Government bans Pakistani stations in Kashmir

first_img to go further Help by sharing this information India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media Organisation April 27, 2021 Find out more IndiaAsia – Pacific News News RSF_en Indian journalist wrongly accused of “wantonly” inaccurate reporting Follow the news on Indiacenter_img Reporters Without Borders calls on the federal government in New Delhi to explain why cable TV operators in the northwestern state of Jammu and Kashmir have been forbidden to carry several Pakistani TV channels. The organisation calls on the Indian authorities in charge of regulating the broadcast media to lift the ban and find a lasting solution that allows Kashmiris to watch the stations they want.“All TV stations should, it is true, comply with the law and register with the authorities, but this ban is a violation of the right to information, which is protected by the Indian constitution,” the press freedom organisation said. “Now that relations between New Delhi and Islamabad are being normalised and Pakistan is starting to loosen its grip on privately-owned TV stations, this measure sends a negative signal and has deprived millions of homes of news and information.”Cable TV operators in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, suspended broadcasting of the privately-owned Pakistani channels Geo TV, ARY and Aaj and the state-owned Pakistani channel PTV at the behest of the authorities in New Delhi on 24 April.The Indian ministry of information and broadcasting said the Pakistani stations had failed to comply with an Indian broadcasting law which, since 11 November 2005, has required any foreign TV station to register with the Indian authorities and obtain permission in order to broadcast in India.The Pakistani TV stations are very popular with the Kashmiri population, which is mainly Muslim. Some observers wonder what has pushed the Indian authorities to suspend this stations now, after tolerating them for several years.Criticising the measure, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) said: “This obstacle to the free flow of information is anti-democratic. It must be lifted.”Many political groups in Srinagar have variously condemned the measure as “irrational” and “illogical in an era of communication and globalization.” They have also said it could jeopardise rapprochement between India and Pakistan and “reinforce the most radical groups.” RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 April 29, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government bans Pakistani stations in Kashmir News IndiaAsia – Pacific March 3, 2021 Find out more News Receive email alerts February 23, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Arthur passes Juventus medical

first_img(Reuters) – Juventus are set to sign Brazil international Arthur Melo from Barcelona after the midfielder agreed a five-year contract with the Italian champions and passed a medical, according to Spanish media reports on Sunday.The move is part of a twin negotiation between the clubs which involves Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic moving to Barca, said reports in sports dailies Mundo Deportivo and Marca.Mundo Deportivo said Juve will pay Barca 70 million euros (63.67 million pounds) for Arthur, 23, and will receive 60 million for 30-year-old Pjanic. Both players will complete the current season with their present clubs.Arthur was photographed arriving in Turin for his medical on Sunday, with Barca saying he had the club’s permission to miss training.Barca and Juve did not immediately respond to requests for comment.last_img read more

Villanova jumps out to early 10-0 lead, helping Wildcats gain confidence, remain in game

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — Villanova had Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone scrambling around the court in the opening minutes. Crisp passes and ball fakes led to easy jump shots and drives for the Wildcats.They dictated the game with their flawless execution and stormed out to a 10-0 lead at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. The early run ignited the home crowd and gave Villanova confidence that it could pull the upset over the No. 3 Orange. And that’s exactly what the Wildcats did, coming out on top in a dramatic 75-71 overtime victory after losing their lead late in the second half.“They jumped out to a heavy lead there on us in the beginning, and we was playing catch-up after that for a little while,” said forward Jerami Grant. “Probably all the way up until the middle of the second half it was playing catch-up.”Villanova came out with a perfect first possession. The home team swung the ball around the top of the key and worked it back out top to Wildcats point guard Ryan Arcidiacono. He got free with a pump fake and found backcourt mate Darrun Hilliard, who gave a fake of his own before dropping a runner through the basket.After a goaltending call following a turnover, Hilliard nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner to put his team up 7-0. Like the first possession, a handful of passes got the zone moving before Hilliard escaped to the corner.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJames Bell joined the fun with a 3 that caused the Villanova faithful to erupt and SU head coach Jim Boeheim to stand and call for a timeout. Boeheim remained calm despite the big run, but the Wildcats bounded to the sideline with confidence and excitement.“They did a good job setting the tempo,” said forward C.J. Fair. “They hit a couple tough shots, and we was missing a lot of shots early.”Syracuse battled back with seven unanswered points, highlighted by an alley-oop dunk by Rakeem Christmas that got the Orange going.Villanova head coach Jay Wright was livid on the sidelines following the play. His team’s perfect start was over as his team’s lead was cut to six due to the blown defensive play.Red-faced, Wright screamed to his players before admonishing his players on the bench while pointing to the basket where Christmas just finished his dunk. Wright kept the intensity up as SU closed the lead, and his players maintained the advantage for the entire first half.“I think sometimes energy is lacking when we see that these guys are making shots,” SU guard Brandon Triche said, “and they’re making plays because of our lack of energy, then we pick it up.”Syracuse cut the lead to three on Triche’s 3 with 1:22 to play in the first half. But Villanova responded with a 3-pointer by Arcidiacono, and a steal and layup finished by Hilliard to retake the momentum.Villanova would take a six-point lead into the break. Syracuse’s offense didn’t click until after halftime, and it cost the Orange in a close matchup that came down to the final shot of regulation.Said Boeheim: “We couldn’t get going offensively for a long time and we hung in there and battled and we had a little run to get our offense going in the middle, later part of the second half.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories VILLA-NO-FUN: Inconsistency catches up to Orange as Syracuse falls to unranked Villanova in OTGallery: Syracuse falls to Villanova 75-71Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams struggles down stretch in up-and-down performancecenter_img Published on January 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected]last_img read more

Man City beats Southampton to move to second

first_imgManchester City moved above opponents Southampton into second place as three second-half goals cut Chelsea’s Premier League lead to six points.Sergio Aguero, in his 100th top-flight game, pulled the ball back for Yaya Toure to drill in a low strike.City played the final 16 minutes with 10 men after Eliaquim Mangala saw red.But Frank Lampard’s strike and a close-range finish from Gael Clichy saw City clinch their third straight win as Saints suffered a first home defeat.MOTD2 analysis of Southampton 0-3 Man CityJermaine Jenas: “Pellegrini thought ‘if I can stop Ryan Bertrand, I will cut off a big source of Southampton’s attacks’. He did that by picking Jesus Navas, but the reason the plan worked did not rely on his winger doing any defending.”  Ronald Koeman’s side, who had not lost in their last six matches, never looked like extending that unbeaten run against the defending champions.City produced a professional display, restricting Southampton to few clear-cut opportunities and clinically taking their own, to take advantage of Chelsea’s goalless draw at Sunderland on Saturday.When the Premier League fixture list was released in the summer, few would have glanced at this match and marked it down as one between two teams potentially competing for Champions League qualification.After a summer of upheaval, Koeman has rebuilt the south coast side on a strong foundation of defensive stability, with the Saints having conceded just six goals in their previous 12 top-flight matches.But, after French holding midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin’s injury forced a defensive reshuffle at half-time, they were picked apart by the visitors. City striker Sergio Aguero, whose midweek hat-trick against Bayern Munich took him to 17 goals for this season, was expected to be the biggest threat to the home defence.The Argentine did not add to his tally, instead turning provider for both Toure and Clichy, who poked in at the end for his first Blues goal.However, Aguero should have been given the opportunity from the penalty spot on 10 minutes. The City talisman was scythed down by home skipper Jose Fonte’s lunging tackle, but looked up to see referee Mike Jones showing a yellow card after the official decided he had dived.Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.But in the end, that controversial decision did not matter.Many observers warned that Southampton’s credentials would be tested in a difficult run against City, Arsenal and Manchester United – and in this game they looked short of the quality needed to break into the top four. Koeman’s men grew in confidence after a nervous start and could have opened the scoring when Steven Davis’s low shot forced Joe Hart into a superb save low down to his right.Speculative shots from Toby Alderweireld and Dusan Tadic flew past Joe Hart’s right-hand post shortly after the restart, but once Toure scored his fifth goal of the season there appeared to be little way back for Saints.And so it proved – despite Mangala, who was booked in the first-half for a cynical tackle on Tadic, seeing red after clipping home substitute Shane Long.last_img read more

Father of Neo-Darwinism Condemned with Faint Praise

first_imgI will not attempt to revive the FTNS [Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection which turned out not to be so fundamental after all], but instead am trying to extend a 1978 model of mine, put forth in what may be my least-cited paper. This attempts to make a “toy” model of an evolving population…. Salvador Cordova has appeared on National TV, radio shows, newspapers, books and magazines for his work in promoting Intelligent Design and Creation Science. He is a former scientist and engineer in the aerospace and defense industry and presently serves as a professor and researcher in the area of Christian apologetics at small Bible College. He has four science degrees and is working on a PhD. For his previous entries on CEH, see his Author Profile.(Visited 713 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Translation:  I’m trying to draw attention to my clever idea about how evolution works, but which everyone else seems to be ignoring, and hasn’t gotten as much citation as Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem which wasn’t ever really fundamental anyway.  I have to make a ‘toy model’ of evolving populations, because real models are mathematically intractable, and it’s better to have a model that gives inaccurate answers than no model at all.The comedy continues: The models are somewhat absurdly oversimple, but I argue that models like this at least can give us some results, which decades of more handwavy papers on the general connection between evolution, entropy, and information have not.center_img NAS Member’s Comedic Eulogy of Fisher’s Theorem of Natural Selectionby Sal CordovaThe father of neo-Darwinism, R.A. Fisher, put forward what he called “The Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection” (FTNS) in 1930. This mathematically-impressive theorem, of which Fisher was very proud, was long considered to be one of the main pillars of neo-Darwinian theory. Almost comically, it is now referred to in some evolutionary circles as Fisher’s “Not-So-Fundamental Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection.” We might give it a corrected abbreviation: FNSF-FTNS.Bill Basener and John Sanford recently provided a correction to Fisher’s equations in the FNSF-FTNS (12/22/17) that demonstrated real evolution proceeds toward destruction rather than construction of biological function. It basically flips Fisher’s theorem upside down.Drawing by Brett Miller. Used with permission.Concurrently, and equally comedic, something odd happened at the 37th memorial  lecture on January 4, 2018 meant to honor the memory of the late R. A. Fisher. Joe Felsenstein (a National Academy of Science member) condemned Fisher’s work with faint praise. Basically, he criticized Fisher’s famous theorem but tried to do it in a nice way. (After all, this was a memorial lecture intended to honor Fisher’s accomplishments.) As with many eulogies, Felsenstein tried to put as much whitewash on the failures of the deceased individual as possible. He said:In spite of Fisher’s assertion that the theorem “hold[s] the supreme position among the biological sciences”, the Fundamental Theorem is, alas, not-so-fundamental. ….So there was the criticism. Now, the whitewash. How would Felsenstein manage to elevate Fisher’s work and make it look like a stellar accomplishment, given that he’s on the spot to eulogize the deceased father of neo-Darwinian theory? Well, Felsenstein may not have intended to do so, but he made Fisher’s work look better than his own by comparison. He did this by pointing out how much more widely cited Fisher’s work has been than one of his own absurd models which, in turn, he claimed is better than all the other absurd evolutionary models out there! Watch: Translation:  My model is absurd, but it’s better than the other absurd handwavy models out there. This lecture is in honor of RA Fisher. He made a model of evolution that is also oversimplified, was wrong, and now it’s my turn to do the same. In relation to all the bad evolutionary models out there, Fisher’s model doesn’t look so bad. If we had a really good model, I’d be talking about that, but instead let me highlight my model that’s been around for 40 years and which no one seems to pay any attention to. At least Fisher’s model gets more citations than mine. [See Best-in-Field Fallacy in the Baloney Detector —Ed.]Sanford and Basener’s paper critiquing Fisher’s theorem, first announced here, was noticed by Evolution News and by World Magazine with very favorable reviews.Felsenstein’s solution to the dilemma of criticizing Fisher yet keeping his status as the patron saint of neo-Darwinism reminds me of this joke about a preacher who was offered a lot of money to do something similar:In a small town, there were two brothers who, over the course of many years, cheated, swindled, robbed and generally stole from everyone that they ever did business with.The entire town and surrounding community reviled and despised these two brothers as everyone was aware of just how disreputable and dishonest they were.One day, one of the brothers mysteriously died.Although they had never attended church, the one remaining brother went to the local pastor and offered vast sums of money if he would come to the funeral and say the appropriate words, AND, a large bonus, but ONLY if he would – during the course of the eulogy -refer to his brother as “a Saint.”The pastor was troubled by the request, however, it was a very poor church and the church desperately needed repairs.The parishioners had heard about the pastor’s dilemma and were curious as to what he would do.The funeral began, the church was packed, and the pastor started with the usual prayers and followed the rites and traditions as required by the churches teachings. In closing, after referring to the man in the box, he paused and turned to face the remaining brother.He began, “As you all know, the departed was an awful individual who robbed, cheated, swindled and stole from everyone he ever did business with.However, compared to his Brother, he was – a Saint!”last_img read more

What is wrong with Qantas – and Australia?

first_imgIt may well come to pass that the travails of Qantas will be a watershed for Australian work practices. The oft quoted saying that Australians are not prepared to pay for the salaries and conditions they enjoy is becoming truer every day.Aviation is the most global of all industries and, like it or not, every time a foreign airline touches down at an Australia airport it imports the labour costs and work practices of that country from low cost Indonesia to high cost Europe.Qantas’ immediate problem is the emergence of rival Virgin Australia, with lower staff costs and greater productivity, into the premium domestic market, a market it has enjoyed a monolpy on for the past 10 years. Virgin has strong foreign airline backers with deep pockets, whereas Qantas is struggling to attract investor interest.The new threat has been the catalyst for lobbying the Australian government for help after Virgin Australia raised $350 million, mainly through its foreign partner airlines. In Australia Qantas, under the Qantas Sale Act of 1995, is restricted to 49 per cent foreign ownership whereas Virgin Australia has split itself into two entities, domestic and international. Under Australian law the domestic operation can be 100 per cent foreign owned, while the international arm must remain 51 per cent Australian controlled.For years Qantas has traded on – and charged a premium for – its superb safety record. In the movie Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman, playing Raymond Babbitt, uttered the now famous words that “Qantas never crashes”.The movie came out in 1988, at a time when Qantas was at the top of its game with well over 40 per cent of the traffic into and out of Australia.Government policy was to protect the national carrier from foreign competition; an airline which taxpayers owned and which was selling tickets at a premium to adoring travellers at a time when well-known airlines like Pan Am, Alitalia, Korean Air, and Continental Airlines were having many accidents. In 1989 there were 231 accidents and incidents, which made Qantas’ unblemished record shine.The landscape is starkly different today. For 2013 the number of fatal crashes involving IATA members is close to zero.Today only about 25 per cent of travellers list safety as a major consideration when choosing a flight, with most citing price and frequency as the two most important aspects. These are factors in which Qantas is behind, particularly on the international front. As a result only 16 per cent of international travellers into and out of Australia are choosing Qantas.Product, price and planesAustralian travellers have been deserting the airline for years. Initially it was because of cabin offerings. Malaysia Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific started the rot snubbing IATA by offering free drinks way back in the late 1960s. Qantas and other airlines reluctantly followed.Fast forward to the early 1990s and Singapore Airlines led the way with seatback videos for economy passengers. Emirates and Virgin Atlantic were also early adopters of entertainment for all. Inextricably, Qantas was stoic in its resistance.  This website and the author then pleaded the case for premium economy to the late James Strong, who said the airline could not “make the business case”, despite the fact that Australians are the second tallest people in the world behind the Dutch and fly the longest distances after the Kiwis.Premium economy is a no-brainer, as the airline has now discovered, just as business class was when Qantas introduced it in 1979.While price has always been important in the last two decades it has become critical as travel becomes more affordable to budget conscious travellers.Internationally we have seen UTA, Alitalia, Lufthansa and KLM, to name a few, withdraw from Australia because they could not compete with the new breed of Asian airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines. Qantas itself quit a host of Asian cities for the same reason using first lower cost Australian Airlines and now budget Jetstar to serve these markets.In the last ten years the Middle-East giants Emirates, Qatar and Etihad have stolen traffic with lower fares, superb in-flight product and extraordinary networks.Now, a newer breed of airlines with even lower costs such as AirAsiaX and China Southern have entered the fray with rock bottom prices, and in the case of the latter, an excellent product.This unshakable trend combined with continued globalization begs the question: Can Qantas survive in the international space without endless government support?Recently the airline’s virtual monopoly on domestic business class has come to a shuddering halt with the morphing of Virgin Blue into Virgin Australia with a premium product.For Qantas it is a double nightmare. The Virgin A330 business class product is superior and the new upstart has reduced the fares. The latest government index shows that the business class fare which has remained stable for the past ten years has dropped 40 per cent in the past two years.Once Qantas boasted it was the first around the world with theSuper Connie and the first with the 707 outside the USA, while it (Trans Australian Airlines) was amongst the initial airlines to order the 727 and DC-9 and of course, the 747.Today it is not even a participant in the latest technology such as the 777X and it is cancelling orders because it cannot afford the 787. Not buying the 777 has robbed the airline of the most versatile, fuel efficient and reliable aircraft ever built.Within Qantas, it is now recognized that buying the A380 was a mistake because the super jumbo is simply too big for the airline when travellers are demanding point-to-point services and high frequency.It is difficult to see how Qantas can undo the damage done by these bad choices – at least in the short term.ProductivityThere are many that say that Qantas is not an airline but a committee. Harsh possibly but at so many touch-points, one can see many layers of management structure. This is of course is inevitable when you have been in business for 93 years.That inefficiency runs right through the airline in varying degrees from the high profile pilots to baggage handlers.In the US decades of inefficiency have been wiped out by airlines entering Chapter 11 with every major US carrier seeking to reorganise its labour invoking that blunt instrument. The result has been, for example, a 40 per cent decline in pay for pilots since 2001.It would be wrong however to single out any one group for comparison or sacrifice, suffice to point out that the average wage cost at Qantas is $92,000 while at Emirates it is $47,000 and for Singapore Airlines $42,000. And one would guess that the productivity at those two foreign airlines is significantly higher.While it is dangerous to compare short haul airlines with long haul airlines as the metrics are vastly different, the gap between the average salary is vast.But the debate on the efficiency of Qantas must also be a debate about all of Australia’s work practices and salary perks such as weekend and penalty pay rates, 17.5 per cent leave loading and such anachronistic institutions as long service leave. Many reading this would not even understand the origins of long service leave which began in South Australia and Victoria in the 1860s as a scheme that allowed civil servants three months or more leave to go home to Britain after 10 years’ service in the colonies. The lengthy time off was dictated by the long ship journey to and from Australia. Long service leave became widespread in the 1950s and no other country incorporates such a right into their labour market regulations.Holiday leave loading’s origins are just as bizarre relating to the fact that employees cannot earn overtime while they are on leave.But changing work practices and increasing efficiency will only come if Qantas can change its culture and that is a far bigger task. Charles Darwin wrote that “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” This idea was alluded to by former British Airways and Ansett CEO Rod Eddington when he warned in a 2004 interview with the author that achieving that responsiveness is extremely difficult.“Changing airline culture is like trying to perform an engine change inflight,” Eddington said at the time. When Eddington arrived at British Airways in 2000 he found that the staff did not perceive the need to change because the airline had a low cost airline called Go. He found that staff believed that Go mitigated or even eliminated the need for further adjustments at the mainline.“My staff told me that Go was the solution,” he said. “I said I could possibly accept that if Go was making £300 million a year, which is what our European division was losing.” He notes that it was difficult to change this mindset until Go was sold off to easyJet. “Once we sold Go, the staff at BA really focused on making the changes necessary to make BA itself competitive.” Similarly with Qantas it can possibly be argued that the success of Jetstar is having a negative impact on the need for change at the mainline operation.Surveys have shown that another reason for the resistance to change is that although employees agree change is needed, they do not believe they themselves need to change. For example, at an American Airlines management conference in the late 1990s, all participants were polled on a series of questions. More than 90 per cent responded positively to the proposition that management, colleagues and subordinates needed to change, but 90 per cent responded in the negative to the item “I need to change.”Another perspective is added by Nawal Taneja, chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation at Ohio State University in his book Simpli-Flying. “The problem for culture change is that you have to see death right between the eyes before the impetus to change becomes strong enough,” said Teneja. And while the notion that the government will help Qantas stays alive then change may be near impossible.One of the major problems in changing staff culture is how do you strip out complexity, notes Taneja. He says that airlines have added enormous complexity to their operations and processes over time and staff are ingrained with these systems. “Enormous fleet and network complexity and labor contracts have been built around these complex systems and processes.”“Unfortunately for legacy airlines, many passengers now are not willing to pay for this complexity given the increasing availability of low-fare service by the LCCs.”And Taneja warns that many of the structural changes we have seen are permanent and global.Taneja adds that there has been a massive transformation of the industry and the change is equivalent to what the former co-founder of Intel called “a strategic inflection point” which is an event that changes the way we think and act. The change is also global exemplified by the growth of LCCs in the Asia-Pacific region, something considered impossible only ten years ago.Another perspective on the challenge of change is the enormous emphasis on safety in airline culture built around strict management systems and attention to detail, which is the opposite of flexibility and flair. Airlines such as Qantas have built up a rigid model over decades for very sound reasons but the question must be asked whether they are as relevant today.Qantas like so many legacy carriers has evolved out of a military base and much of the management style, marketplace orientation and paraphernalia of culture still reflect an authoritarian, hierarchical and command-and-control worldview.Successive management teams have sidestepped taking on the more militant unions to address gross inefficiencies and ludicrous perks which dog the airline. Over the past 10 years, the launch of low cost Jetstar and a monopoly in the domestic business class market courtesy of the demise of Ansett, have masked the need for massive restructure. But that has all changed!There are no levers left to pull in the cockpit as passengers will no longer pay top fares. They now have alternatives in price and product – in fact better alternatives in many cases.Market shareAt the root of the fare war between Virgin Australia and Qantas is the capacity war instigated by the latter in defense of its refusal to move from a 65 per cent line-in-the-sand strategy for the domestic market.It should be noted that Qantas only won that market share after Ansett collapsed. Prior to this, it had survived with excellent profits on a 50 per cent market share which makes the whole strategy hollow at best.  The 65 per cent market share concept was born out of aviation’s S-curve theory which argues that airlines that have a frequency-share advantage garner a disproportionate market and revenue share. But that thought process had its roots in a 1972 study when low cost carriers did not exist.A recent McKinsey & Co study for IATA says the relevance of the S-curve is waning. The report by Urs Binggeli and Lucio Pompeo found that the “S-curve principle must be applied in a more tailored and specific way than in the past, especially in markets where there is LCC competition.”It noted that in the trade-off between efficiency (e.g. higher aircraft utilization and larger aircraft) and schedule quality, the balance is moving towards more efficiency, as the S-curve premium will be further eroded through the continued growth of LCCs.And in a warning at the heart of the battle in Australia it added that “frequency matching and escalation, which has often led to overcapacity and price wars, is becoming obsolete in many markets, potentially paving the way for a better balance of supply and demand.”The report said that the S-curve principle has been “hard-wired” in the heads of many network planners for decades. “Nevertheless, times are changing and airlines need to take stock of what does and doesn’t work.”However Business Spectator’s Stephen Bartholomeusz makes the point that while “at face value it would seem less painful to cede market share to Virgin ….. the risk in that option would be that it would transform the S-curve into an S-bend.”Bartholomeusz argues that “because its [Qantas’] cost base is significantly higher than Virgin’s, Qantas needs to capture a disproportionate share of higher-yielding fares. To do that – to dominate business travel – it has to have a frequency advantage, which means it has to more than match Virgin’s capacity increases. Its dominance of the high-yield end of the market feeds into its frequent flyer program in a self-reinforcing fashion and that combination also provides volume and yield for its international business.”And of course with lower costs, would Virgin’s CEO John Borghetti be happy to share 50 per cent of the market with Qantas – an airline that passed him over for the top job in 2008? Probably not!No matter what the government does with the Qantas Sale Act, or even if it steps in with a bank guarantee or a buy-in, Qantas is doomed if it does not aggressively address its cost base.Mr Bartholomeusz is spot on in his commentary when he says: “In other words, the entire Qantas business model is built on that domestic market dominance and that dominance has, until now, enabled its domestic business to remain consistently and highly profitable despite its otherwise uncompetitive cost base.”The final words are for former Virgin CEO Brett Godfrey who said in 2004: “This year we will carry as many passengers as Ansett, with one third the staff.”And that staff was being paid approximately half the average of Ansett employees. Perhaps today Qantas is Ansett Mark 2 but the difference is there is still time for Qantas to reinvent itself.last_img read more

Perdue announces Farm Service Agency and Rural Development state directors

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In early November U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a slate of Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Rural Development (RD) State Directors, all serving as appointees of President Donald J. Trump. These FSA State Directors help implement U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies in planning, organizing, and administering FSA programs in their respective states. They are also responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the state FSA office. Similarly, RD State Directors work to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.“These state directors will help ensure that USDA is offering the best customer service to our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers across the country,” Secretary Perdue said. “FSA and RD both play a critical role in helping the people of agriculture, and are able to connect with people in their home states. They are the initial points of contact for millions of our USDA customers. Our goal is to help rural America prosper, and these state leaders will be of great assistance in that task.”In Ohio, this announcement included FSA State Director: Leonard Hubert. Hubert served as the Director of External Affairs & Economic Opportunity in Ohio Governor John Kasich’s Office and also as the Chairman of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.The newly announced Rural Development State Director for Ohio is Dave Hall. Hall’s experience in agriculture began in the late 1960s when he started working on his grandparents’ farm and has since served as a Commissioner for the Ohio Exposition Commission for the Ohio State Fair and Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the Ohio House of Representatives.last_img read more

Keeping watch on the great French rooster battle

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near CelinaAllen Ginsberg, the American poet, philosopher and writer, offered the following observation about France: “You can’t escape the past in France, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden.” That statement pretty much describes how the French, at least many of them, value their rural heritage.Saint-Pierre-D’Oleron, France, is a village of 6,000 on the island of Oleron, off the West Coast of the country. Research indicates that it is quaint, picturesque and agrarian. Fifteen years ago, Jean-Louis Biron and Joelle Andrieux, a couple from Limoges (city of 137,000 in Southwestern Central France known for its decorated porcelain) built a vacation home in Saint-Pierre-D’Oleron because of the tranquility the island offered.Apparently Jean-Louis and Joelle did not get the memo about France valuing its agrarian roots. Their neighbor, Corinne Fesseau, a 35-year resident of Saint-Pierre-D’Oleron and a retired waitress and singer, lives on the very edge of the village with her husband and their rooster, Maurice. And Maurice has the audacity to crow in the morning at 6:30 a.m., as roosters will do and have been doing for centuries. No one else in the village seems to notice or to care, but Jean-Louis and Joelle asked Corrine to give the rooster a new home because of the disruption to their solitude. When she refused, they sued her and accused the rooster of noise pollution. The matter went before the court in Rochefort on July 4, 2019. Many supporters of Maurice were present outside the government building, including some roosters. A decision in the matter is anticipated on Sept. 5 of this year.What makes this an exceptional case is the fact that the rooster is a national symbol of France. A French citizen complaining about a rooster crowing is akin to an American complaining about a bald eagle flying. While this case has no impact whatsoever on U.S. law, we can learn from the French on this one, at least so far.When Corinne declined to find Maurice a new home and was sued, she started an online movement that has over 120,000 signatures of French citizens supporting the right of Maurice to crow. Mayors in small towns all over France have joined the movement to “defend Maurice.” The mayor of Saint-Pierre-D’Oleron was quoted as proclaiming “We have French values that are classic, and we have to defend them. One of those traditions is to have farm animals. If you come to Oleron, you have to accept what’s here.” Further, the mayor supported a municipal ordinance that proclaimed the need to “preserve the rural character of Saint-Pierre-D’Oleron.” Although the measure is largely symbolic, it sends a clear message about his support of Maurice.The mayor also offered his opinion that “we no longer tolerate each other.” Since this is the case, the traditional sounds of the countryside should be protected. The mayor described an earlier complaint by another owner of a vacation home who requested the church bells be silenced.Maurice has become a national cause in the country. This is the classic situation, not unique to France, where outsiders come to the countryside to enjoy the countryside then try to impose their urban or suburban standards on it.The mayor of Gajac, a rural town in the South of France called on the French government to list distinctive elements of the French rural sound scape as part of the national protected cultural heritage.The French don’t just talk about rural issues, either. For example, in 2014, in protest of low food prices, French farmers dumped manure, rats and potatoes in Paris. In 2018, the two major farmers unions, FNSEA and Jeunes Agriculteurs (Young Farmers) blockaded a number of oil refineries and fuel depots across the country because oil giant Total was importing palm oil for use in biofuels. The farmers denounced this as unfair competition which jeopardizes their livelihood, particularly that of farmers who produce rapeseed oil which is used for biofuel. Throughout history, there are numerous other instances of civil disobedience by farmers in France that have kept their farming sector viable.Back to the matter of Maurice, Corinne seems optimistic about the upcoming verdict. The good news is that the life of Maurice is not on the line. The plaintiffs requested removal of the rooster, not termination. Here’s hoping that Maurice has something to crow about in September!last_img read more

Video: Georgia State’s Ron Hunter Broke His Cast Celebrating His Son’s 3-Pointer vs. Baylor

first_imgRon Hunter does interview after NCAA Tournament game.Ron Hunter’s celebratory fall out of his chair proved to be a somewhat costly one – it was clearly worth it, though. On Thursday, the Georgia State coach dropped to the floor after his son, R.J. Hunter, hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Baylor in the NCAA Tournament’s Second Round. Ron Hunter, who was sitting on a rolling chair because he tore his Achilles celebrating his team’s NCAA Tournament berth, cracked his cast as he fell to the ground. A doctor is on his way to Jacksonville to re-cast the foot. Ron Hunter told CBS Sports’ Jamie Erdahl about the situation Friday morning. What would you do for an NCAA Tournament victory?Georgia State is set to face Baylor on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. E.T. The game will be televised on TNT.last_img read more