‘Stinking’ intruders force way into Lincoln

first_imgOn Sunday night two members of the public allegedly broke into Lincoln college and made their way into a Lincoln student’s room.Students have been expressing their concern at the college’s security following the incident.Zoe O’Shea, a Lincoln fresher, woke up at 1.30 am after she heard her door open. Initially expecting it to be friends, she was shocked when two strangers were standing feet from her bed.She described them as “stinking of alcohol and cigarettes.”O’Shea said that the man and woman claimed to be looking for ‘Susie.’ They then asked if there was a party going on where they could find some alcohol.When she asked them to leave, the pair headed for the JCR where the Superbowl was being aired. The two had been seen earlier in the evening looking into the JCR from Turl Street.When asked about the incident, Lincoln’s Junior Dean commented that this was the first he had heard about a break-in. He said that there had been no official report made regarding the incident and therefore no statement could be made.However, O’Shea claimed that she went to a porter to report the incident, and was told that “I should have locked my door”.“She [the porter on duty] was quite stern and unsympathetic,” she said. Richard De Vere, a Lincoln mathematician, was watching the Superbowl when they came in, once again asking for alcohol. The pair this time claimed that they were friends of ‘Sarah’ and asked where the free drinks were.He described the two as looking “poorly kempt” and being in their 40s. He also stated that they appeared very drunk.Finally a student went to find a porter and the two were forced to leave the college.James Meredith, JCR President, said, “I’m absolutely horrified by the incident, and intend to discuss it further with college authorities.”“It is worth noting though, that I brought the fact that the security system at the bottom of staircase one wasn’t working to the attention of college last term.”At present Lincoln uses a swipe card system at night. It is suspected that the intruders waited until someone else swiped their card, and then followed them in, otherwise known as ‘tail gating.’Lincoln Bursar was contacted for a comment, but has not yet responded.last_img read more

Winning Post – British gambling industry undergoes structural changes

first_imgShare Camelot aims for ‘Big September’ supporting a high street recovery August 26, 2020 Share Betfred counters Oppenheimer bid in race to rescue Phumelela August 26, 2020 Regulus Partners, the strategic consultancy focused on international gambling and related industries, gives an insight into some of the key developments in the gambling industry as part of its ‘Winning Post’ column.UK: 2017 Participation statistics – profound structural change continuesThe latest Gambling Commission Participation Data demonstrates a GB sector continuing to evolve along relatively established lines. There are few surprises in the data, though this does not mean that it does not point to some important ongoing structural changes. National Lottery participation illustrates crisis, while low participation among younger customers is as concerning from a commercial standpoint as it is reassuring regarding harm. Online growth continues to be significant, though account concentration among heavy users remains high and recent drivers of growth are likely to be both slowing and more discriminatory going forward. Finally, while problem gambling metrics remain broadly stable, areas of concern and likely scrutiny remain. Overall participationOverall gambling participation (in the past four weeks) continues its medium-term downward trajectory, falling to 45% from 48% last year and over 53% in 2014. This is a double-edged statistic from a policy risk perspective, in our view. On the face of it, it seems to suggest that reports of increased gambling have been overblown. However, the decline is concentrated in lottery (see below), while growing UK gambling revenue on a smaller consumer base points to increasing concentrations of spend: something legislators and regulators might consider cause for concern.  The rate of decline was also the most pronounced among 16-24 year olds (-13.1ppts since 2014 to 32.4%), where the stats exclude National Lottery draws, which is concerning demographically; the average rate of decline for over 45 cohorts was only 1.8ppts for the same period (albeit on a relatively small sample).Participation by productUnsurprisingly, National Lottery draws are showing the steepest decline, -10ppts since 2014 to 27.3%, the data also suggests this decline has not been caused by other lotteries, on a fairly static 11% participation (up 1.6ppts since 2014 but down 1.2ppts YoY). FOBT participation remains a flat 1.4%, while other gaming machine participation records 2ppts growth to 4.4%. This implies an average revenue per FOBT user of £2,460 pa, vs. £700 for all other machines (including £540 in pubs), but we would caveat sample size makes these figures dangerous to take literally, while the 4-week question also leaves out occasional players (likely a relatively small group for machines). Other ‘traditional’ products that are showing life include bingo (+0.9ppts to 3.3%) and dogs (+0.6ppts to 1.1%), though the standout growth was sports betting (+2.3ppts to 6.4%, though with a 0.7ppts YoY decline due to football, almost certainly Euros related). Casino games remain relatively range-bound and all below 2%.Participation by channelFrom channel perspective, the participation data shows that online betting has grown 1.8ppts since 2014 to 5.6%, implying a ‘regular’ population of 3m and a spend per head of £720 (likely overstated due to the likely higher mix of occasional bettors). Other online gambling is a very large 18.3% (+2.58ppts), showing that channel shift in the National Lottery has been considerable but not enough to net off land based participation.Data on the number of accounts per online user also reinforces a clear pattern. The survey tells us the average (c. 3.8), the percentage of players with only one account (44%) and the percentage with more than five (13%). We can therefore infer that 43% have between 2 and 5 accounts; if we assume that the mean within this cohort is 4, then the average number of accounts for the top 13% of players (NB, active within the last 12 months, so excluding dormant accounts) is 12.6.The average number of accounts per active has actually increased YoY in 2017, but we attribute this to the Euros effect. We would anticipate the number to fall materially in 2018 due to the World Cup, with a continuing long-term declining trend due to a greater proportion of mass-market customers who only have 1-3 accounts. Separately, the number of online gamblers using mobile has grown 8ppts to 51%, while those betting in-play remained static at 26%.This steep difference and the changes in mix has three important ramifications for the industry, in our view. First, operators without a genuine brand will struggle to be noticed by 87% of the online population, squeezing them into a highly competitive pool of heavy users. Second, as mass market online penetration continues to occur, growth is likely to be concentrated in a few strong operators: a trend we have already seen developing since 2014. Third, while mobile and inplay still have some room for expansion, they are unlikely to be the significant growth drivers to the same extent that has powered double-digit growth from 2014-17.Attitudes: when the fun stops…The headline rate of public trust in gambling edged down slightly from 34% to 33% (the percentage of respondents who agree that gambling is fair and trustworthy). Bucking the recent trend, this was attributable to non-gamblers more than to gamblers. The report suggests increasing concern over the contentious issues of TV advertising and sponsorship. Compared with 2016, the issues of protecting young people from exposure to gambling, restricting the hours in which gambling adverts may be aired and putting greater controls on content all appear to have grown in the public consciousness.The findings that a majority of respondents recalled seeing a gambling ad in the prior week (nine-in-ten on a past-year basis) and that more than half of gamblers claim that they have been prompted to gamble by adverts may on balance prove unhelpful for those trying to stave off restrictions in this area. It also provided a timely reminder (given the rather odd DCMS plan to reduce public concern about gambling ads through a public health campaign about the dangers of gambling) that gamblers are humans rather than econs – and may not respond to communications in the fashion intended. The Commission research found that promoting responsible gambling agenda can result in increased gambling as well as greater moderation.For all the good work that gambling companies are doing in developing ‘responsible gambling’ tools, usage is low (in part perhaps because they tend to be positioned as safeguards against negative behaviour rather than as concomitants to positive play). This should act as a prompt to think about safer gambling in terms of user experience rather than simple functionality or virtue signalling.While the headline rate of public trust has collapsed over the last decade (from about one-half to around one-third of respondents endorsing the industry), results from the eight-point ‘Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale’ (ATGS-8), suggests a more complex picture. The ATGS-8 derives scores based upon responses to a variety of questions about gambling and may reveal more about true beliefs than a binary question of trust.The overall ATGS-8 score of 21.0 represents a mean negative view on gambling (24.0 is neutral) but this is only slightly lower than the score of 21.2 obtained in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey (the ‘BGPS’) in 2007. There are reasons to be wary of comparing the latest Commission data with the BGPS series but in gambling policy we are used to having to make do with imperfect information.UK: in Parliament – It’s snow so quietThis was a rare quiet week for gambling in Westminster. With one eye presumably on the FOBT debate, Adam Afriye (Cons, Windsor) posed a question about the effect of the revised horseracing levy on racing itself and on the public purse.Meanwhile, Peter Dowd (Lab, Bootle) asked the rather odd question of “how many people received an exemption from value added tax on betting and gaming and lottery duties?” We’re not really sure what Dowd meant by this – and judging by the response from Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride (Cons, Central Devon) – we’re not particularly certain the Government did either.Elsewhere, Jo Stevens (Lab, Cardiff Central) asked when the Government would come to a conclusion on regulatory reform for society lotteries. The DCMS expression of “hope” that it would “conclude considerations and provide an update in due course” left Stevens and the rest of us better informed but none the wiser.GB: horse racing –  there’s life in the nanny yetBetfred has confirmed that it is in advanced talks to sell a 25% stake in the Tote. The potential buyers are reported to be a consortium of racing figures, who, according to Fred, “want to put a lot of marketing money in” and believe “there is big business to be done both nationally and internationally.” Despite the impending loss of the Tote’s exclusive licence in July, Fred’s Tote still has deals in place with retail bookmakers, an on-course partnership with Ascot as well as comingling with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and the benefits of both incumbency and product (eg, Placepot).This positioning and the recent interest show that the Tote should not be written off just yet. While the years have not been so kind to the Tote since the 1960s, a fresh outlook and some much-needed innovation (and marketing) could see it become a compelling alternative to fixed odds and exchange betting, potentially with more money going into racing in the long run. However, getting to that long-run is likely to divide the existing pie, something liquidity-driven products can ill afford: Fred’s fighting talk, newfound allies and war chest is suitably Churchillian to take his creation forward, but might smack more of the Dardanelles than the Finest Hour. GB: horse racing – not Done enough spending..The Racing Foundation, the charity set up to spend the money from the sale of the Tote (to Betfred in 2011), has released its spending strategy for 2018-20. Despite nearly seven years of costs, and £9m of investment into racing related projects, it still has £93m (principal and returns on investment). The plan is for a more coordinated approach to further funding, with a welcome start of £10m set aside for the next three years.While racing’s stakeholders are not always in agreement, it is welcome news for the long-term health of the sport as an industry that there is a more joined up approach with its strategic planning to ensure funding is directed to the areas where it is most needed: especially given such large sums of money are available without needing bitter infighting to unlock. Racing’s grassroots (both business and sport) is its backbone and has lacked vital funding for a long time, causing a disgruntled workforce, static prizemoney and shrinking ownership. At elite-level racing is thriving, but without its foundations, it is only a matter of time before the cracks at the bottom begin to weaken its top-heavy structure. While this is structurally difficult to change, recent moves in a number of areas should help to rebalance the position, which is vital for sustainable growth, in our view.UK: land-based gambling – AGC fix for LCL? This week it was reported in the national press that LCL had put in a licence application for an AGC in Coventry. Faced with the prospect of significant FOBT disruption, the strategy to open arcades would seem like the obvious choice to retain some of the potential lost gaming revenue.  After all, AGCs can offer unlimited machines (with up to 20% B3) and if the new staking levels make B2 games unattractive to players, more B3 machines seems to be a likely outcome.However, the arcade industry reveals a sector that has been in long term decline with only c. 1,475 locations (plus c. 150 bingo-licensed arcades) remaining, compared to c. 8,600 LBOs. With an average revenue of around £240k pa, and many locations underachieving this level, the opportunities for material profits are limited, in our view. In our estimation, an LBO chain at best could hope to economically switch use on c. 100 locations, each doing well to generate a contribution of £25k or an annual EBITDA contribution of £2.5m – worth doing to avoid closure costs perhaps, not enough to provide a true substitute to broad LBO closures, in our view.Ladbrokes has opened (and subsequently closed) arcades in the past (as well as a failed attempt at casino, albeit in very different circumstances) – it its latest foray into land-based gaming is likely to be in the teeth of commercial and political opposition, with material economic headwinds thrown in.Europe: CJEU ruling – Hungary for liberalisation?The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that Hungary’s attempts to restrict online licences to land-based operators is unlawful because it does not appear to be a proportionate way to deliver social protections and therefore unreasonably restricts freedom of trade and establishment. Hungary’s convoluted and transparently self-serving online gambling laws have been under pressure for some time (eg, CJEU also finding blacklisting unlawful) and have been widely ignored by operators. This ruling should not therefore be a surprise, though we would be more cautious than many about the extent to which the look through is clear, or that it backs ‘liberalisation’.Within Europe, online licences linked to a land-based presence are in force in Belgium, Croatia and (currently) Slovenia, and may be considered elsewhere (eg, Germany casino), and so if the CJEU case is the end of this link, it is important (operators seem far less willing to complain about it in the context of the US market). However, Hungary did not just insist on a land-based presence, it required one for 10 years (later reduced to three) explicitly to demonstrate that an operator was ‘trustworthy’. The two standout issues here, in our view, are that backdating the land-based presence (or dragging out online entry) distorts the market, while having only these means of assessing ‘trustworthiness’ is clearly discriminatory to non-Hungarian EU businesses. It is entirely conceivable that if the licensing process were transparent and even-handed, a land-based requirement could be justified (assuming non-domestic EU operators could apply). As usual, we see this as a case of the EU stepping in to prevent egregious protectionism: we believe more subtly delivered protectionism is likely to continue to be uncontested, especially now that the EC has withdrawn infringements on the sector.US: sports betting regulation – state of playConnecticut (pop. 3.6m) is the latest state to give serious scrutiny to potentially legalising sports betting if PASPA is repealed, with a series of House Committee hearings scheduled, including the NBA and MLB this week. Connecticut has one of the most liberal wagering regimes in the US currently, with Sportech offering pari-mutuel horse racing and Jai Alai across 16 OTB venues and online (as well as two tribal casinos). Leveraging this presence will be easier than for many states, suggesting a credible, workable framework is more likely here than elsewhere.The NBA also appeared to soften its stance on a 1% handle integrity fee, offering to negotiate the value (though the position on the existence of a fee is unchanged from the NBA and MLB). This is encouraging given that a 1% fee effectively represents a 17% price distortion in a 6% gross margin environment (likely encouraging illegal betting), and offers little room for both state taxes and effective operations. However, given the power of the sports bodies and the purpose of PASPA, some sort of settlement is likely in most states, in our view; meaning a sustainable framework is critical for both sides.Austria: regulation – consumer protection to another levelAustria’s draft Gambling Act has been amended to include ISP blocking and the right for players to claim back winnings from ‘illegal’ sites. Whether this punchy rule will make the cut remains to be seen, and then the real question of what it is to be ‘illegal’ (rather than just not domestically licensed) will have to be settled. However, the move demonstrates the extent to which legislatures can get ‘creative’ in tackling unwanted .com gambling markets.Separately, amendments to local betting laws are now being implemented (having passed EU scrutiny). Upper Austria (pop. 1.4m) is introducing some significant new player protection regulations. First, all bets over €70 require players to be registered by use of a player card or biometric access system (for example fingerprint recognition); second, all bets are now limited to a maximum stake of €500. The final proposal requires players to initially register with photo identification in order to place sports bets, with any subsequent visits requiring the use of fingerprint biometric access to enable bets of over €70.Unlike games of chance which are regulated by an Austrian federal law ‘Glücksspielgesetz’, betting legislation is legislated at the state level.  Austria is very progressive in its approach to player protection, having already introduced player registration in land based slot gaming locations together with other operator controls. Casino operators are required to monitor player habits and visit frequency to determine if players are at risk of threat to personal minimum subsistence income, carrying out credit checks if they suspect there are potential issues. With these latest legislative introductions, Austria seems to be on a path to be the first EU member state to introduce player registration for all forms of gaming.Global: sports integrity – Council of Europe rattles the tinIt was reported this week that the Council of Europe’s Kick Crime Out of Sport + (KCOOS+) project will start this year and run until 2020. This follows an 18-month pilot project (co-funded by the EU and the Council of Europe) which concluded last June.This global project is focussed on assisting states with the implementation of the Macolin Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, and encouraging collaboration between all stakeholders across sport, gambling, government and law enforcement. The key to this ability to work in partnership is the establishment of national platforms, like the UK’s Sports Betting Integrity Forum.In principle, a joined-up approach such as this is the only way to address the issue of betting-related corruption in sport, in our view, and the political momentum which projects such as this create is crucial. However, unlike the pilot, the KCOOS+ project does not benefit from EU funding and is dependent upon voluntary contributions. The fear is that, without a commitment from Member States to fund such initiatives, or at least mandate funding by other stakeholders, such initiatives may be destined to remain good ideas in principle, with limited effect in practice.UK: sports integrity – anti-doping more than just a numbers game?The FA and the EFL have been criticised for “unacceptable” levels of doping control tests on players in 2016/17, with at least a quarter of EFL players not having been tested. This is despite recent increases in funding and numbers of tests, allowing UKAD (in partnership with the FA, while the EFL has no role in programme management) to take more samples from footballers than participants in any other sport. Among European countries, only Italy takes more football samples than England. However, it is artificial, in our view, to look purely at the numbers. Anti-doping programmes should be multifaceted, efficient, effective and intelligence and research led. Risk is a crucial consideration, which is why we believe that comparing testing levels in elite athletics to football is a nonsense, given the different risk factors involved. While there may be question marks over the FA’s weighting of tests to the elite level, perception is a legitimate factor to consider as well, which many sports do. It should also not be forgotten that testing is one element in an anti-doping programme. Education and prevention is just as (or arguably more) important. An analysis of a sport’s approach to protecting its integrity (against doping, or any other risks) should consider all factors, and not be limited to one discrete element. UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Submit Related Articles StumbleUponlast_img read more

Trio of NCS playoff games on deck

first_imgThe North Coast Section prep football playoffs continue today as a trio of local teams will look to advance beyond the first round. St. Bernard’s, the lone home team in action today, will host Albany while a pair of resurgent teams from the Little 4 Conference, Hoopa and Ferndale, will look to pick up upset road wins over St. Helena and Berean Christian, respectively.No. 12 Albany (6-3) at No. 5 St. Bernard’s (6-4)If a match up was ever that of the “new kid on the block” against the …last_img

South Africa’s new banknotes

first_imgSouth Africa’s new banknotes are the first redesign of banknotes since 1992.The new notes retain the size and colours of the previous series, as well as the animals and economic theme of each denomination, the design has been refreshed and a number of new security features have been included. (Image: Wikimedia)Brand South Africa Reporter The South African Reserve Bank released new banknotes into circulation from 1 February 2005. This is the first redesign of the banknotes since the current series was introduced in 1992.While the new notes retain the size and colours of the previous series, as well as the animals and economic theme of each denomination, the design has been refreshed and a number of new security features have been included.The older notes will remain legal tender for the foreseeable future. No South Africa currency has been demonetarised, so all previous issues are still legal tender.It is expected that the new series of banknotes will form the bulk of the currency in circulation by the end of the year.Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni points out that South African banknote design is “highly regarded”, and that the previous series “withstood any major counterfeiting threat”.Addressing journalists at the launch of the new notes in Pretoria in January, Mboweni said that banknote redesign every six to eight years was in line with international best practice.South Africa’s new banknotes, Mboweni said, “are a window on the country, its people, heritage and culture”. The new design incorporates SA’s Coat of Arms and features all 11 official languages, as well as improved facilities for the partially sighted.Makoya MoolaThe issue of the banknotes is accompanied by a campaign, dubbed “Makoya Moola”, to encourage South Africans to get to know their money. “Makoya” refers to “the real McCoy”, “moola” is a South African slang term for money.“The security features on South African rands are only useful if people use them”, Mboweni said.The Reserve Bank has advised the public to “look, feel and tilt” their money to check the security features of the banknotes.LOOK The banknotes contain a number of new security features that can be examined by holding them up to a light source. An additional watermark of the denomination value has been added to the older series’ animal.The see-through, or perfect registration, security feature can also be seen by holding the note up to the light. In the upgraded series, an R and the denomination value will be seen in the bottom left corner. This is composed of elements printed on the front and back of the note. Users should check that the front and back images align perfectly to form the image.The security thread and unique serial numbers are retained, although the new series contains an additional, conical, serial number. The numbers of this serial number increase in size from left to right.FEEL Banknotes have a distinctive feel and sound when flicked through the fingers. This comes from the paper that is used and the intaglio printing method. The rough effect of the intaglio printing can be felt on the front of all banknotes, and on the backs of R100 and R200 notes.TILT Some of the security features can only be seen by holding the notes almost horizontally. The upgraded R50, R100 and R200 note have their denomination values printed in colour-changing ink on the front bottom right of the note. When a R50 or R100 note is held horizontally, the ink changes from green to gold. On the R200 note, the ink changes from magenta to green.The new R50, R100 and R200 notes also contain a holographic Coat of Arms in the security thread.A new feature that is contained on all of the upgraded series of banknotes is the shimmering gold band. When the note is tilted, this is visible on the back with a Coat of Arms and the denomination value of the note.Another new feature is the hidden image. The geometric shapes on the front of the notes will form an image when the note is held horizontally to the eye.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Shearer Equipment selling assets to Ag-Pro

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Another farm equipment dealer in Ohio has sold to Ag-Pro.Shearer Equipment announced this week they have signed a letter of intent to sell their company’s assets to Ag-Pro Ohio LLC, a subsidiary of Ag-Pro Companies.Ag-Pro recently made a name in Ohio by buying the assets of JD Equipment in late 2018.The anticipated transaction date is January 30, 2019, according to a letter posted by Shearer Equipment on social media.Ag-Pro is based out of Georgia and has over 70 John Deere dealerships in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and Ohio.last_img

After 10 years on the streets Jonah Aglak has a home and

first_imgAnnette Francis APTN National NewsAfter ten years on the streets of Ottawa, Jonas Aglak needed a break.The man from Hall Beach, Nunavut moved to Ottawa for work – but it didn’t pan out.Finally, he got one.Aglak is part of a program run by the Shepherd’s of Good Hope, a downtown Ottawa shelter.Now he’s working a couple of jobs, and enjoying a new [email protected]last_img

World Fair coming back to Fort St John this weekend

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John League of United Youths and Settlement Workers in Schools is bringing the World Fair back to the Energetic City this weekend.The World Fair is an event that gives an opportunity for local cultural groups to showcase the unique qualities and heritage in the community. Organizers say that the event has helped in the development of youth leadership and organization in our community, and to promote the multiculturalism of Fort St. John.This year, organizers say the event will be even bigger and better than in years past. Among the countries that will be represented at this year’s event are: Canada, Philippines, Ethiopia, Jamaica, China, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Nigeria, India, and Pakistan. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Saturday, June 9th at the greenspace at the corner of 100th & 100th across from the Cultural Centre from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.last_img read more

James Bond should always be played by a man Eva Green

first_imgLos Angeles: Former Bond Girl Eva Green is not in the favour of flipping the gender of 007 spy as she believes it would be wrong to ignore the history of the character, which has always been played by a man. The “Casino Royale” star, considered one of the best Bond girls in the history of the franchise, says women should create their own action film legacy. Daniel Craig is set to leave the franchise after the release of Cary Fukunaga’s “Bond 25” in April 2020 and there is already a lot of speculation about his replacement with names such as Idris Elba and Richard Madden doing the rounds. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot Some actors and fans are in favour of giving a gender swap to the character as they believe it is time for a female actor to take on the role, created by Ian Fleming. “I’m for women, but I really think James Bond should remain a man. It doesn’t make sense for him to be a woman. Women can play different types of characters, be in action movies, and be superheroes, but James Bond should always be a man and not be Jane Bond. There is history with the character that should continue. He should be played by a man,” Green told Vanity Fair on the “Dumbo” red carpet. Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversary Green is proud of the fact that her character Vesper Lynd brought about a change in the way Bond girls are perceived. “I originally had reservations about being a Bond girl. I didn’t want to be a bimbo. The women are now perceived differently. They are intelligent and sassy and fascinating. I loved playing Vesper. She’s the only one to get to Bond’s heart and has a big impact on his life,” she said. “Bond 25” will be Craig’s fifth outing as 007 following “Casino Royale”, “Quantum of Solace”, “Skyfall” and “Spectre”.last_img read more

ATF should be brought under GST to provide level playing field to

first_imgNew Delhi: Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime as it will ensure a level playing field for the domestic airline industry, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said. He said input costs should be competitive for any sector and the ministry has been of the strong view that the fuel should be brought under the GST regime. Different rates of taxes in states pushes the price of ATF, he said. “Each state has a different tax. Due to this, the refuelling (for airlines) cost completely changes. We feel that it should be done. I hope the GST Council takes a call on that and we are pursuing this with the council continuously. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We will work on it that aviation fuel should also be brought under GST for predictability and for ensuring level playing field,” the minister said in an interview. Airlines have been demanding inclusion of ATF in the new indirect tax regime. Airlines could expect an annual relief of up to Rs 5,000 crore by way of input tax credit if ATF is brought under GST. The move could cushion them from the burden of increased jet fuel prices, besides providing relief to customers.last_img read more

Morocco Takes Part in UN Commission on Population Development

first_imgNew York  –  Morocco’s inter-ministerial delegate for human rights, Mahjoub El Haiba, is taking part in New York in the 47th session of the UN Commission on population and development (Apr.7-11) “to assess the status of implementation of the program of action of the international conference of population and development, held in Cairo in 1994.The week-long forum will assess action taken over the past 20 years to improve people’s lives and address population issues amid changes in ageing, fertility, mortality, migration and urbanization, since the landmark Cairo international conference.That conference established that increasing access to health and education, and protecting human rights, especially those of women and teenagers, would help secure a better social and economic future and lead to more sustainable population trends. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that with the ICPD Program of Action, Governments set out an ambitious agenda to deliver inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. “Over the past two decades, this agenda has contributed to significant advances,” he said in a message to the Commission.“Fewer people are living in extreme poverty. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are gaining ground worldwide. More people are living longer, healthier lives. More girls are in school. Fewer women are dying in pregnancy and childbirth. There are more laws to protect and uphold human rights.”Yet, in the midst of this human progress, the continued exclusion of some groups and the potential for serious environmental damage put these gains at risk, Ban continued. Moreover, changing age, household and family structures as well as rapid urbanization and migration pose new challenges for human development.“We have an urgent responsibility, to invest in creating opportunities and a supportive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship for persons of all ages, in particular for young people. It is crucial to invest in their health and education and to review legislation, standards and practices that restrict their full participation in and access to sexual and reproductive health services.”The IPCD Global Review Report, issued by the UN in February, pointed out that much remains to be done on a range of issues, including the enormous inequalities that remain in the realization of human rights and access to vital services, as well as new challenges and opportunities related to population growth, changing age structures, rapid urbanization and migration.Since 1994, the global population has grown from 5.7 to 7.2 billion. Despite slowing population growth, UN projections suggest the world’s population could reach 9.6 billion by 2050, with most of the increase concentrated in the poorest countries.According to a report prepared by the Secretary-General for the Commission, the current state of the world’s population is one of unprecedented diversity and change, as reflected in new patterns of ageing, fertility, mortality, migration and urbanization.According to a news release on the Commission’s opening, older persons are the world’s fastest growing age group. The number of people over age 60 almost doubled between 1994 and 2014, and older persons today outnumber children under the age of five. Globally, the share of older persons is expected to reach 21 per cent by 2050.last_img read more