Exclusive: UNSG Imposes Unusual Blackout on Annual Report on Western Sahara

New York – The much-anticipated annual report of the United Nations Secretary General on Western Sahara is due to be submitted to the Security Council in the coming days.Based on the recommendations of the report, the 15-member body will decide whether to renew the mandate of the UN Mission in the Western Sahara, known as MINURSO. The mandate will come up for renewal on April 30, 2017.Sources acquainted with the matter told Morocco World News that a draft of report has already been submitted to the office of the UN chief Antonio Guterres. But unlike during the two terms of the former UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Guterres has decided not to share the draft report with Morocco or France, the same source added.The same source said that unlike most reports for other UN missions, which get published before being submitted to the concerned parties, Morocco has therefore received special treatment for many years.This will be the new UN chief’s first annual report on the conflict since he was inaugurated on January 1, 2017.Unprecedented tensionThe release of the UN report comes against the backdrop of unprecedented tension between Morocco and the Polisario in the region of Guerguerate, in the buffer zone between Morocco’s Western Saharan borders and Mauritania.Tension arose in mid-August when Morocco dispatched its security forces to rid the region of smugglers of all sorts and pave the three-kilometer road linking the region to Mauritania.The Polisario responded quickly to Morocco’s decision and sent 36 armed militants to stop the project. The move prompted the then UN chief, Ban Ki-moon to express “his deep concern” about the tension between the two parties.Tension reached alarming levels in in December and January when the Polisario militants started obstructing the traffic of Moroccan trucks carrying goods to Mauritania and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.This action, which violates the 1991-ceasefire agreement, prompted King Mohammed VI to hold a phone conversation with the UN chief on February 26. During the conversation, the Moroccan monarch called on Guterres to take the necessary measures to “put an end to an unacceptable situation seriously threatening the UN-brokered ceasefire and jeopardizing stability in the region of Guergarat.”Two days later, on February 26, Guterres issued a statement calling on the two parties to withdraw unconditionally from the buffer zone.The UN chief expressed concern about the situation in the Guerguerate and called on Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario, to show maximum restraint and avoid taking any measures that could further escalate tension in the region.The UN chief urged “the parties to unconditionally withdraw all armed elements from the Buffer Strip as soon as possible, to create an environment conducive to a resumption of the dialogue in the context of the political process led by the United Nations.”While Morocco immediately withdrew its security forces, the Polisario has decided to keep its armed elements in the region in defiance of the cease-fire agreement signed in 1991 and of the call made by the UN Secretary General. read more

UN chief to take part in aid effectiveness forum in Republic of

23 November 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will depart on Monday for Busan, Republic of Korea, where he will participate in a high-level forum on aid effectiveness, as well as pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the Korean War. Mr. Ban will be among some 2,000 delegates convening in Busan for the 4th High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, which will review global progress in improving the impact and value for money of development aid. Its outcomes will also inform the discussions on international development cooperation at the major UN conference on sustainable development (Rio+20) to be held next June and beyond. The Secretary-General will also have a range of bilateral meetings with leaders attending the forum, from both the public and private sectors, according to his spokesperson.In addition, he will visit the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea, in Busan, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the Korean War, marking the first visit to the cemetery by a UN Secretary-General.Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro arrived today in Lebanon, where she will chair the 15th Regional Coordination Mechanism for the Arab States. These meetings, held in various regions, focus on enhancing collaboration among UN system organizations so that they can be more effective and efficient in delivering results for UN Member States.The meeting in Beirut will focus on regional preparations leading up to the Rio+20 conference, the summit on sustainable development to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June next year. Ms. Migiro will also hold bilateral meetings with Lebanese Government officials, as well as with UN staff based in the country, before returning to New York on Sunday. read more

Lankans in Jordan hospitalized with food poisoning

The women were taken to three hospitals in Amman after receiving first aid, he said.The women had taken refugee at the Sri Lankan embassy after rows with their employers and were awaiting repatriation or a settlement to return to work. (AFP) One hundred and thirty Sri Lankan domestic workers who had taken refuge at their embassy in Jordan have been hospitalised with food poisoning, a security official said.Colonel Farid al-Sharaa, in a statement, said their condition was “stable” after having fallen ill from food ordered from a restaurant.

UN human rights chief appeals for release of kidnapped aid worker in

Mr. Ramcharan called on “all those who are in a position to assist to act expediently to obtain” the freedom of Arjan M. Erkel, a 34-year-old Dutch national who was abducted on 12 August 2002 by three armed men in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a Russian republic. Mr. Erkel had been working with the non-governmental organization, known in French as Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), since 1994 and Mr. Ramcharan made his appeal at a meeting in Geneva with Thomas Linde, Director-General of MSF-Switzerland, and Laure Delcros, MSF Delegate to the United Nations, who asked for his good offices. The Acting High Commissioner recalled that in August 2003, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1502 on the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers. That text calls for adherence to international law on protecting relief personnel and urges that crimes against them do not go unpunished. read more

Five things to know about the loonies value over the years

Five things to know about the loonie’s value over the years Canadian dollars are pictured in Vancouver, Sept. 22, 2011. The Canadian dollar bobbed above and below the 77 cent US mark on Friday. The loonie has been falling steadily since the Bank of Canada announced it was cutting its key rate earlier this week, and is now at its lowest level since March 2009, in the midst of the recession. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 17, 2015 11:08 am MDT Last Updated Jul 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Canadian dollar bobbed above and below the 77 cent US mark on Friday. The loonie has been falling steadily since the Bank of Canada announced it was cutting its key rate earlier this week, and is now at its lowest level since March 2009, in the midst of the recession. Five things to know about the value of the Canadian dollar historically:The dollar’s rise since 2000: Since 2002, the dollar steadily gained value against the U.S. dollar as well as other international currencies. Lately, it’s been fuelled by the price in oil, which is why it’s now considered a petro-currency. When oil prices began plummeting last year, so did the value of the loonie.Highest level ever: While Canada’s currency soared to US$2.78 three years before Confederation when the U.S. temporarily abandoned the gold standard, its highest post-Confederation level was on Nov. 7, 2007, when it reached a high of US$1.0614.The dollar’s long slide in the 1990s: During the tech boom of the ’90s that was centred primarily in the U.S., the Canadian dollar steadily slumped in value against the U.S. dollar throughout the decade and beyond. On Jan. 21, 2002, it traded for as little as US$0.6179 before high oil prices began to buoy it.Fame and fortune: In 2007, the Canadian dollar surged, soaring 23 per cent in value throughout the year. On Sept. 28, 2007, it closed above the American buck for the first time in 30 years. Due to its soaring value and record highs, the Canadian dollar was named the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year for 2007 by the Canadian edition of Time magazine.Petrocurrency? In the 1980s and ’90s, energy’s share in trade hovered around the five per cent mark. But by 2014, energy’s share had nearly tripled to about 15 per cent. “As long as oil exports remain a strong component of Canada’s exports, oil prices will influence the value of the Canadian dollar. If the share of oil and gas exports increases further, the link between oil prices and the exchange rate may become even stronger,” said Werner Antweiler of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia this spring.(Source: The Bank of Canada, CP archival material) read more

Gin boom has created imitations that do not meet definition of the

The Gin Guild has gone to war against ‘fake gins’, arguing that the popularity of the drink has lead to the market being flooded with bottles of drink that do not meet the criteria.Because of the “gin boom”, leading to a record number of distilleries opening in England, dozens of companies have sprung up hoping to capitalise on the nation’s growing love of the drink.According to new figures from HMRC, export sales in of British gin reached a record £612 million in 2018,  meaning that they have doubled in value since 2010, and increased by 15 per cent on last year. British people consumed 66 million bottles of the spirit, which is a 41 per cent increase on last year.The Gin Guild has reported scores of bottled spirits calling themselves “gin” or “gin based liqueur” to Trading Standards. To count as gin, the drink must be at least 37.5 per cent ABV and taste strongly of juniper. Many drinks on sale as “gin” are as low as 18 per cent ABV and taste mainly of an ingredient that is not juniper, including chocolate and marshmallow.Nicholas Cook, director general of the Gin Guild, told The Telegraph: “They aren’t gins at all, the problem is that gin has become incredibly popular but the problem with that is a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon. “This means people are sticking the word gin on any liquid that they fancy because gin is sexy and it sells.”They sell the product in the full knowledge that it isn’t gin but it misleads the consumer, who thinks it is gin.”Customers find out when they buy it and take it home and it’s 18 per cent ABV and tastes very sweet and it’s not gin.”He said that Trading Standards was “frankly a bit overwhelmed” by the number of “fake gins” which have flooded the market.Around Valentine’s Day, sweet “gin” drinks are sold in the supermarkets in pink bottles. However, Mr Cook argued that these flavoured drinks are not gin. He said: “It’s supposed to taste predominantly of juniper.  There are some brands out there where juniper is mainly hidden. “They are a flavoured spirit drink and if they are a low ABV they are a juniper spirit drink. That is as far as you can go – you cannot use those three magic letters ‘G.I.N’ on a product that is not gin.”I have reported all these very odd products to trading standards but they are always cropping up.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Zimbabwe hang on to clinch tworun thriller

Zimbabwe 196 (Taylor 89, Raza 60, Rashid 3-38, Mujeeb 3-49) beat Afghanistan 194 (Shah 69, Nabi 51, Muzarabani 4-47, Raza 3-40) by two runsA match that swung one way and then the other several times boiled down to an incredibly tense finish in Bulawayo, where Afghanistan’s last wicket slowly whittled away at the target set by Zimbabwe. The Zadrans – Dawlat and Shapoor – had added 17 in 8.1 overs for the final wicket, bringing the equation down to three needed off four balls. But the half hour of unbearable tension finally ended in joy for Zimbabwe, as Brian Vitori drew the edge from Shapoor and wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor took the catch to seal a two-run victory.Rashid Khan caught Tendai Chatara short of his ground ( IDI/Getty photo)The result left Zimbabwe well placed to progress from Group B, having won two out of two matches along with Scotland. Afghanistan, on the other hand, suffered their second defeat in as many games, and can afford no slip-ups against Nepal and Hong Kong if they are to make the Super Sixes.The possibility of a Zimbabwe victory seemed remote after they had been dismissed for 196 in 43 overs. And more so after Rahmat Shah and Mohammad Nabi steered Afghanistan to 156 for 3 in the chase with a 98-run partnership.Blessing Muzarabani gave Zimbabwe a small opening, trapping Shah for 69, and then Sikandar Raza turned the game on its head by striking three times in the 37th over. His dismissals of Nabi, Sharafuddin Ashraf and Rashid Khan reduced Afghanistan to 169 for 7. And when two more wickets fell cheaply, the visitors had lost 6 for 21 and all seemed lost.Dawlat and Shapoor came together for the tenth wicket with Afghanistan needing 20 off 53 balls. They went about their task slowly, playing out plenty of dots as they eked out run after run, and victory – once so improbable – now was within sight. They stumbled eventually, only three runs from victory. Muzarabani’s four-wicket haul was his career-best performance.Before the Afghanistan collapse, Zimbabwe had been on the back foot for most part of the match. Electing to bat, they were set back immediately, losing their top three for just 17 in seven overs. Brendan Taylor and Raza revived the innings with counter attacking half-centuries and a 98-run stand.Taylor smashed seven fours and three sixes in his 88-ball 89 before being the fifth wicket to fall. Then Rashid, Afghanistan’s stand-in captain, dismissed the in-form Raza – he was coming off a century against Nepal – for a 68-ball 60. That triggered the innings’ second collapse.Barring Graeme Cremer, who stuck around to make an unbeaten 19, the other four lower-order batsmen quickly fell prey to Rashid and mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Both these spinners finished with three wickets apiece. In total, Zimbabwe lost 7 for 118 to spin, while fast bowler Dawlat Zadran took two wickets.As many as four Zimbabwe batsmen, including opener Cephas Zhuwao, who had made a belligerent 23-ball 41 against Nepal, were out without scoring. Their total of 196 seemed inadequate, until Afghanistan suffered a spectacular collapse of their own. (ESPNCricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRashid Khan, top order give Afghanistan 4-1 series winFebruary 19, 2018In “latest news”Holder named captain of WC Qualifiers squadMarch 27, 2018In “Sports”Trial by spin awaits Windies in key SuperMarch 19, 2018In “Sports” read more

Chase says West Indies ready to fight back against India

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWindies hope Sabina magic will spark team in decisive India TestAugust 30, 2019In “latest news”Reflections on Windies Cricket in 2018 Part 1 …Gabriel, Dowrich top Test performers in 2018December 28, 2018In “latest news”Chase bags century for Windies in mixed fortunes on day 2October 13, 2018In “latest news” West Indies batsman Roston ChaseHYDERABAD, India (AFP) — West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase said Thursday the West Indies were looking to come back fighting in the second Test against India after their crushing defeat in Rajkot.“We didn’t play well in the first game but are looking to fight back in the second,” Chase said a day ahead of the game in Hyderabad.“Had a bit of nervous energy in the first one but guys are good to go in the second,” said Chase, top scorer with 53 in his side’s 181 all out in the first innings in Rajkot.A hapless Caribbean side, led by opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, went down to hosts India by an innings and 272 runs in Rajkot to trail the two-match series 1-0.Prithvi Shaw, 18, became India’s youngest player to score a debut century and his country’s second youngest in all Tests after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, notching up a sparkling 134.“That youngster Shaw took us apart early in the first game, so hope we can learn from our mistakes and move on smartly in the second game,” Chase said.A boost in the second Test for the West Indies will likely come from the return of fast bowler Kemar Roach after he missed the first Test to return home for a funeral.Skipper Jason Holder, recovering from an ankle injury, might also be back. India have retained the 12 they had announced for the first Test.“It is always good to have the captain back, but I am not sure what the line-up will be for the next match,” Chase said.“I can’t say who’s playing but it’s good to have Kemar back as well, he is a senior player and brings a lot of experience to the team,” he added.Both Holder and Roach have played 82 matches between them and remain the team’s most experienced players.Holder has captained West Indies in 26 of his 34 Tests. Roach has taken 163 wickets in 48 matches. read more

Bell Equipment leadership succession finalised

first_imgBell Equipment’s board of directors has announced the appointment of the company’s Chief Operational Officer and executive director, Leon Goosen, as Chief Executive Officer designate to succeed Gary Bell upon his planned retirement. The appointment follows an extensive internal, local and international search process by an external service provider to identify candidates, who were assessed by a sub-committee of the board. Leon, aged 45, was a partner at Deloitte & Touche in South Africa and Namibia prior to joining Bell in 2007. He has held the position of executive director since January 2009 and has been COO since December 2014.Bell Equipment Ltd chairman, John Barton, said: “We are delighted to be able to appoint at the helm of Bell Equipment a successor of Leon’s calibre. As Chief Operating Officer Leon has worked very closely with the Board and Gary over the past eight years, and has made a considerable contribution to the strategic direction of the group. By announcing the successor now we will have the benefit of a smooth handover in the Chief Executive’s office during the transition period. My board colleagues join me in wishing Leon every success during this transition phase and in his new role as Chief Executive of Bell Equipment Ltd.”Bell Chief Executive Officer, Gary Bell, added: “In the past years Leon has stepped up to his operational role and his knowledge and understanding of what is a very complex business has developed particularly well, and the executive team at Bell is very supportive of his appointment. “I take this opportunity to congratulate Leon on his appointment and I have every confidence that he will lead the business to greater heights in the years ahead as we roll out our agreed plans. In an effort to ensure a smooth transition and retain the Bell family linkages it is envisaged that I will continue to play a meaningful role on the Board and, along with Ashley Bell’s presence on the Board, we can steer the business and retain the all important family culture and sentiment that is core to the Bell business today.”In response, Leon said: “It’s an incredible honour to be appointed as CEO designate and I thank the Board, management and Bell family for this opportunity, and for the trust and confidence that they have shown in me. This is an exciting time in the company’s history and I look forward to the support of the larger Bell family and stake holders as we continue to adapt to market influences and grow our great brand.” A date for the final appointment to the CEO position will be taken in due course.last_img read more

Kindle lapplication dAmazon est disponible pour les smartphones Android

first_imgKindle : l’application d’Amazon est disponible pour les smartphones AndroidDéjà disponible sur les BlackBerry et les iPhone, la bibliothèque numérique Kindle d’Amazon débarque sur les smartphones Android.L’application Kindle est disponible depuis lundi pour les smartphones Android. Elle permet d’accéder à une boutique proposant plus de 620.000 titres numérisés. Après avoir investi les Blackberry et les iPhone, Amazon ne pouvait pas passer à côté du système d’exploitation mobile de Google. Le géant de la recherche sur Internet a annoncé récemment que ce sont quelque 160.000 téléphones fonctionnant sous Android qui s’écoulent chaque jour dans le monde.À lire aussiCes deux modèles de smartphones sont maintenant interdits en France, voici pourquoiGrâce à la synchronisation d’un appareil à un autre proposée par l’application Kindle, il est désormais possible de commencer la lecture d’un ouvrage sur un Kindle ou un iPhone et de la poursuivre là où on l’a laissée sur un smartphone Android, comme sur n’importe quel autre terminal équipé du logiciel d’Amazon.Par ailleurs, Amazon a ajouté à son application Kindle pour iPhone et iPad une nouvelle fonctionnalité audio et vidéo. “Les lecteurs peuvent dès aujourd’hui trouver certains titres avec des clips audio/vidéo, comme le livre de recettes ‘Rose’s Heavenly Cakes’, avec illustrations vidéos, ou ‘Bird Songs’, avec des clips audio”, a expliqué la directrice d’Amazon Kindle, Dorothy Nicholls. Et d’ajouter : “Ce n’est qu’un début, nous nous réjouissons de voir ce qu’auteurs et éditeurs créeront pour les clients Kindle grâce à cette nouvelle fonctionnalité”.Le 29 juin 2010 à 16:09 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

iPhone 7 Plus teardown shows us what replaced the headphone jack

first_imgMany a phone has been sacrificed on the altar of iFixit so we may know what is inside them, and the latest device to be torn down is the iPhone 7 Plus. There are usually a few little tweaks inside the new iPhone to obsess over but this time we’ve got a more pressing question to answer. What took the place of the headphone jack? It turns out there’s a little chunk of plastic in there now.Apple said at the iPhone 7 announcement that it took the headphone jack out to make room for other components. Its characterization of this decision as “courageous” has been rightly mocked. Instead of getting audio through a headphone jack, you have to use an adapter or Lightning-equipped headphones.When iFixit opened up the new iPhone 7 Plus, it found the phone has more glue around the case than past models, which is probably related to the new water-resistant design. At the bottom of the phone where the headphone jack used to be is a larger Taptic Engine that adds vibration feedback to the home button. They even took an x-ray of the taptic engine in action, which is pretty neat.Where the headphone jack used to be is now an external grille that looks like a speaker, but it actually houses the microphone. The inside space where you used to have a headphone jack there’s a small piece of molded plastic that fits around the mic (see top). The most likely explanation for this component is that it channels sound to the mic and reduces wind distortion. We don’t actually know, though. It might have something to do with the Taptic Engine as well. I’m no engineer, but it sure seems like you could have made room for a headphone jack in there.In the end, iFixit gave the iPhone 7 Plus a surprisingly good repairability score of 7 out of 10. It gets a headphone jack-having score of 0 out of 10, though.last_img read more

RR Donnelleys 13 Billion Letter to Quebecor

first_imgDavid McCarthy President Quebecor World (USA) Inc. 150 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10034 Steven Strom Managing Director Jefferies & Company, Inc. 520 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor New York, NY 10022 Re: Purchase of All or Substantially All of the Assets of the U.S. and Canadian Debtors Ladies and Gentlemen: As you know, on August 11, 2008 we expressed to you in writing ourinterest in acquiring a significant portion of the assets andbusinesses of Quebecor World. We subsequently further indicated ourinterest in pursuing a transaction in conversations with variouspeople, including Mr. Randy Benson, Chief Restructuring Officer ofQuebecor World Inc. (“QWI”), Mr. Andy Kramer of UBS, and Mr. EricKorsten of Jefferies & Company, Inc. Although we have not receivedany response to our previous proposal, we have continued to follow thepublicly-available information concerning your reorganizationproceedings. We recently reviewed the draft First Amended Plan of Reorganizationproposed with respect to the U.S. bankruptcy proceeding and the draftPlan of Reorganization and Compromise proposed with respect to theCanadian reorganization of QWI. We refer to these documents as the”Plans”, and to QWI, Quebecor World (USA) Inc. and their debtoraffiliates as the “Quebecor Debtors”. After reviewing the draft Plans in light of our own valuation of therelevant companies as stand-alone businesses, we believe that theproposed transaction set out in this letter is superior for theQuebecor Debtors and their creditors to the restructuring proposed bythe Plans in their current form. Accordingly, R.R. Donnelley & SonsCompany (“RRD”) is pleased to submit to you a preliminary indication ofinterest to purchase all or substantially all of the assets andproperties of the Quebecor Debtors (including shares of their LatinAmerican subsidiaries), free and clear of all claims and interests, onthe terms and conditions described below (the “Acquisition”). RRD isready to proceed as quickly as possible to reducing its proposal to alegally-binding asset purchase agreement for implementation in acourt-approved sale pursuant to Section 363(b) under the U.S.Bankruptcy Code and accompanying proceedings under the Companies’Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”). We would be willing to consummatethe Acquisition prior to or in connection with plan confirmation, asyou consider in the best interests of the Quebecor Debtors and theircreditors. We understand and appreciate the time and effort that have gone intopreparing the Plans, but we only learned of the Plans’ terms uponpublication and, in light of those terms, we would like to submitanother approach for your consideration as you weigh the optionsavailable to you to propose the best possible plan of reorganizationfor the Quebecor Debtors and their creditors. Proposal The key provisions of our proposal are as follows: (a) Purchase Consideration. We propose to pay the Quebecor Debtors (in the aggregate): cash in an amount equal to the cash amount contemplated fordistribution under the draft Plans, which we believe is approximatelyUS$700,000,000; plus cash on balance sheet (estimated as of June 30, 2009, at $257,000,000 pursuant to the Plans); plus 30 million shares of RRD common stock, which represent approximately15% of RRD’s outstanding shares and have a value of US$394,200,000based on the closing trading price on May 11, 2009. RRD common stock islisted for trading on the New York Stock Exchange, and the currentmarket capitalization of RRD is approximately US$2.7 billion. We believe that the publicly-listed common stock of the pro formacombined company will offer attractive investment characteristics forcurrent creditors of the Quebecor Debtors when compared to thenewly-issued securities of a stand-alone reorganized company. Inaddition to providing an attractive valuation today and immediateliquidity, for those investors that choose to remain stockholders ofRRD, our proposal offers the opportunity to enjoy the synergiesinvolved in the Acquisition and participate in any future appreciationof RRD stock as we grow our business around the world. This is anexciting opportunity and we expect that the Acquisition will beaccretive to RRD stockholders after the first 12 months of combinedoperations. (b) Valuation Assumptions. Our proposed acquisition price is based onpublicly-available information and our deep knowledge of the industry.We have assumed (i) interim operations in the ordinary course, (ii)normalized working capital at closing, (iii) the assets and propertiesof the Quebecor Debtors (and their Latin American subsidiaries) areconsistent with our business expectations based on our industryknowledge and our review of public financial information, (iv) thenon-debtor subsidiaries are free of liabilities outside of the ordinarycourse of business, and (v) the assets and properties of the QuebecorDebtors will be transferred to us free and clear of all claims andliabilities (other than ordinary course trade payables, specificcontracts that we ask you to assume and assign to us, and otherliabilities to be agreed).(c) Financing. There would be no financing condition to theAcquisition. We have sufficient funds to pay the cash portion of theconsideration from cash on hand and/or availability under our existingrevolving credit facility. (d) Internal Approvals. This proposal has been reviewed at the highestlevels of RRD and we are pleased to advise you that the only furtherinternal approval necessary for the execution and delivery of a bindingasset purchase agreement is the approval of our Board of Directors. Noshareholder approval is required. (e) Due Diligence. We are prepared to work with you and our respectiveadvisors to proceed as expeditiously as possible to complete ourbusiness, financial, accounting, tax, environmental and legal duediligence review, including meetings with QWI’s management, and thereasonable opportunity to inspect QWI’s facilities. With access to theright data and personnel, we are confident that this work could becompleted without material delay. (f) Regulatory Matters. The Acquisition will require expiration of theapplicable waiting period under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Act andunder the Competition Act Canada, if applicable, approval under theInvestment Canada Act and, potentially, filings in other jurisdictions.We and our advisors have done considerable work assessing theregulatory issues associated with the proposed Acquisition and areconfident that the proposed Acquisition can be completed in a timelymanner. (g) Competitively Sensitive Information. We are sensitive to anyconcerns that you may have with respect to the treatment ofcompetitively sensitive information during the due diligence process.One of the first conversations that we would like to suggest take placewould be between your antitrust counsel and our antitrust counsel atSullivan & Cromwell LLP and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. Ouradvisors are very familiar with the issues relating to conductingdiligence for potential strategic transactions in this industry and candescribe to you the set of safeguards that we would implement to avoidany risk that information is shared inappropriately.(h) Structure and Documentation. The purchaser would be one or morewholly-owned subsidiaries of RRD. There would be no other investors orsources of capital or financing for the Acquisition. We would expectthe transaction to be documented in a customary asset purchaseagreement, with an agreed form of bidding procedures, contractprocedures and sale order for the U.S. proceeding, and appropriateequivalent Canadian documents and proceedings relating to the CCAA. Theasset purchase agreement would be effective upon court approval andwould include customary representations, warranties, covenants andclosing conditions and other terms customary for similar transactions.Following due diligence, we are interested in exploring alternativestructures in order to achieve the most tax efficient transaction forthe parties. (i) Stalking Horse Protections. We do not require any exclusivityperiod, no-shop provisions or expense reimbursement to conduct duediligence or finalize the terms of the proposed Acquisition. However,once we execute a definitive asset purchase agreement, we will requirecustomary protections for a stalking horse bidder in light of the valuecreated for the Quebecor Debtors by our offer, including overbidprotections and other bidding procedures to be agreed, milestones toclosing and a termination right if the milestones are not met, expensereimbursement, and, in the event the Quebecor Debtors consummate analternative transaction, a break-up fee in an amount to be agreed. Process We would like to suggest that you immediately identify a working groupat the Quebecor Debtors that can work with us and our advisors,Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, toconduct the due diligence process and finalize the terms of thedefinitive asset purchase agreement. As mentioned above, prior tosigning a definitive asset purchase agreement, we require no expensereimbursement and no deal protection of any sort. We understand thatthe Quebecor Debtors would be free to abandon discussions with us atany time (and vice versa), and we believe that we can progress veryquickly to agree upon a transaction without materially impairing yourability to solicit approval of the current draft Plans later if for anyreason you decide not to proceed with a transaction with RRD. We standready to execute a customary confidentiality agreement upon request. About RR Donnelley RRD is a full-service provider of print and related services, includingbusiness process outsourcing. RRD provides the industry’s broadestproduct and service line, including solutions in commercial printing,direct mail, financial printing, print fulfillment, labels, forms,logistics, call centers, transactional print-and-mail, printmanagement, online services, digital photography, color services, andcontent and database management to customers in the publishing,healthcare, advertising, retail, technology, financial services andmany other industries. RRD’s broad product and service mix enable thecompany to provide end-to-end services to customers in virtually everybusiness, education, government, and non-profit sector. RRD has operations on four continents to provide exceptional service toleading global organizations. Its agile fleet of digital printingdevices includes more than 1,000 proprietary and commercially-availableunits across more than 60 facilities worldwide. Through its leading proprietary eCommerce systems it provides customersa comprehensive array of print management, premedia, and otherservices. RRD’s development pipeline continues to deliver innovations,such as the world’s first 1200 dpi 4-color inkjet press and thecompany’s recent announcement of a breakthrough that will bringlithographic economics, flexibility, and performance to variableprinting. Its logistics capabilities include services that help it effectivelydeliver customers’ mail deep into the postal stream, handle complexrollouts of retail signage and point of sale materials, fulfill directmailings that incorporate personalized URLs, and provide customersonline access to tracking information. Since 2004, RR Donnelley has completed acquisitions and asset purchases in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia. We believe that we are uniquely qualified to assess and complete theAcquisition given our experience in financing and executing majortransactions in the printing industry. We have a proven track record ofsuccessful execution of complex, structured transactions, providing youwith a high degree of certainty that we can consummate the Acquisitionin a timely and efficient manner. * * * * This letter is not a legally-binding offer or agreement. Anylegally-binding offer or agreement will be set forth only in definitivedocumentation approved by you and us. If you have questions about our letter or would like to discuss thenext steps, please do not hesitate to contact me. You also may contactStefan Selig of Banc of America Securities/Merrill Lynch & Co.(REDACTED), or Andy Dietderich atSullivan & Cromwell LLP (REDACTED).In connection with our own disclosure obligations we will be publiclydisclosing this letter by filing it with the US Securities and ExchangeCommission. We also understand and appreciate that you will want toshare this letter with the many stakeholders in your restructuringprocess. We are very excited about the possibility of this transaction and look forward to taking the next steps with you. Very truly yours, R.R. DONNELLEY & SONS COMPANY By /s/ Thomas J. Quinlan III Name: Thomas J. Quinlan III Title: President and Chief Executive Officer cc: Louis J. Gouin (Ogilvy Renault LLP) Michael J. Canning, Esq. Neil M. Goodman, Esq. Joel M. Gross, Esq. (Arnold & Porter LLP) Murray A. McDonald (Ernst & Young Inc) S. Richard Orzy Kevin J. Zych (Bennett Jones LLP) Ira S. Dizengoff David H. Botter Ryan Jacobs David Staber Sarah Schultz (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP) Audra D. Cohen Andrew G. Dietderich (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP) Edward Sellers Randall Pratt (Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP) Stefan Selig (Banc of America Securities/Merrill Lynch & Co.) Yesterday, R.R. Donnelly, the Chicago-based printer, sent a letter to Quebecor World indicating its interest in acquiring the mega-printer for approximately $1.3 billion. It’s unclear whether or not Donnelley’s overture is hostile, nor is it clear whether or not a deal of this size would raise the ire of antitrust regulators (I’m thinking it might).Here’s the letter in full:May 12, 2009 Jacques Mallette President and Chief Executive Officer Quebecor World Inc. 999 de Maisonneuve West Suite 1100 Montréal, Province of Québec H3A 3L4 last_img read more

Texas Comptroller Touts Impact of States Military Installations

first_imgTexas’ 15 military installations contribute $136.4 billion in total output and $81.3 billion to the gross domestic product, Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Monday during a news conference in Fort Worth as part of a statewide tour to raise awareness about the impact of the military.“I think we need to stay on our guard,” Hegar said in reference to the possibility of a new BRAC round. “It’s really important to get out the word to our congressional delegation so they know what the economic impact is here in Texas and they can stay on top of it because there will be probably be another round at some point. Now what comes out of that, nobody knows.”The military would qualify as the sixth largest industry in Texas, Hegar said, reported the Star-Telegram.Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth contributes $6.6 billion to the economy, a drop from the installation’s $9.3 billion impact in 2012.“The economic impact is significant,” Hegar said. “If you live right next to the naval base, you understand it. If you’re a little bit farther away in Fort Worth, you know it’s here but you probably don’t appreciate it.”At the base in Fort Worth, there are 9,723 employees, including 5,957 National Guard and reserve personnel, 1,886 active duty personnel and 1,880 civilians.The installation is well positioned to face a prospective round of base closures, said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “This community stands ready to always fight a BRAC if we need to,” Price said. “I think we’re in good shape now because our joint reserve base is a model base with a lot of people there.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Annihilation Bows at No 2 on DVD Bluray Disc Chart

first_img Popular on Variety For complete sales and rental charts, visit MediaPlayNews.com Marvel’s “Black Panther,” distributed by Walt Disney Studios, topped both national home video sales charts the week ended June 2, marking its third consecutive week as the country’s top-selling DVD and Blu-ray Disc.The sci-fi horror film “Annihilation,” a theatrical underperformer from Paramount Pictures, debuted at No. 2 on both the NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart. According to NPD data, the film, which earned just over $32 million in U.S. theaters, sold 38% as many units its first week in stores as “Black Panther” did in the superhero film’s third week of availability.“Annihilation” stars Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh as members of a group of military scientists who enter “The Shimmer,” a quarantined zone of mutating landscapes and creatures. Twentieth Century Fox’s spy thriller “Red Sparrow” slipped a spot on both charts to No. 3 from No. 2 the prior week. The film, with a $47 million domestic gross, stars Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina who becomes a seductive spy after an injury cuts short her dancing career.Another 20th Century Fox film, “The Greatest Showman,” finished at No. 4 on both charts.Rounding out the top five on the overall disc sales chart was Warner’s “Game Night,” down from No. 3 the prior week. The Jason Bateman-starring comedy finished the week at No. 7 on the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, where “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” moved back up a notch to finish the week at No. 5.“Annihilation” generated 69% of its first-week sales from Blu-ray Disc; 11% of the total were in the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, which is available exclusively at Best Buy until Oct. 29.For the third week of “Black Panther,” Blu-ray contributed 64% to its total copies sold, with 11% from UHD Blu-ray.On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended June 3, Game Night was No. 1 for the second consecutive week, with “Red Sparrow” shooting up to No. 2 now that its week-long holdback from Redbox is over.“Black Panther” slipped a spot to No. 3, with “Annihilation” bowing at No. 4 and Warner’s “The 15:17 to Paris” moving up to No. 5 now that its seven-day holdback from Redbox is over.Thomas K. Arnold is Editorial Director for Media Play News.Top 20 NPD VideoScan First Alert chart for the week ended 6/02/18:1. Black Panther2. Annihilation (new)3. Red Sparrow4. The Greatest Showman5. Game Night6. Fifty Shades Freed7. Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi8. The 15:17 to Paris9. Peter Rabbit10. Deadpool11. Thor: Ragnarok12. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle13. 12 Strong14. Coco15. Maze Runner: The Death Cure16. I Kill Giants17. Early Man18. Spider-Man: Homecoming19. Justice League20. FerdinandTop 10 Media Play News rental chart for the week ended 6/03/18:1. Game Night2. Red Sparrow3. Black Panther4. Annihilation (new)5. The 15:17 to Paris6. 12 Strong7. Peter Rabbit8. Den of Thieves9. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle10. The Greatest Showman ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Growing life on canvas

first_imgJungle Me – Green Grafitti, an exhibition of an unusual method of painting on the canvas by French artist Jonathan Longuet  certainly reflects the artist’s enormous creativity. Jungle Me consists of nine  works and seven are in collaboration with Manou, an acclaimed Indian street fashion photographer.Jonathan Longuet works with a ‘living plant paint’, a curious paint solution made from the extraction of algae (a type of organism that grows on damp stones). The artist harvests the algae at the feet of buildings and after cultivating the algae he applies them artistically to a wall or canvas. He calls his algae paintings Green Graffiti which are like a plant growing slowly over time depending on conservation’s conditions. Green Graffiti paint comes from personal researches and cooperation with several biologists and lichenologists since 2005. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Longuet lives and works in Bordeaux, France. For this series, he questioned the notion of the urban jungle- the density, movement with a focus on the people  evolving  in  such  an environment, their relationship with that world which defines their identity. Explaining the concept behind Green Graffiti, Longuet said, ‘A simple microscopic observation of green graffiti allows us to see the territorial wars, food, duplication, waste management, these same problematic issues that we find in the heart of our contemporary  civilizations apply to complex systems of plants. By giving humans  forms to plants, I try to open a dialogue between human beings and their biological environments, highlighting their common traits, their reactions to the reality of survival,their necessity to live in a community.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe curator of the exhibition, Elizabeth Rogers comented on Longuet’s style of work and said, ‘Inherent in the Green Graffiti/Jungle Me works of the French artist Jonathan Longuet is a personal exploration of an organic growth process and the unfolding of the natural environment with its increasingly complicated and tenuous relationships with humanity.In essence, they investigate and express energy, effort and inner processes, which extend beyond the archetypical boundaries of aesthetic manifestation to juxtapose and ponder the parallels of science and art.’last_img read more

Report Google Is Building a Smart MobileMessaging App to Rival Facebook Messenger

first_img 2 min read December 23, 2015 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img Google has a new, “smart” messaging app in the works, the The Wall Street Journal reports. The artificial intelligence-enhanced service could help the search giant better compete against Facebook’s popular WhatsApp and Messenger offerings.The coming app would enable users to text one another or a chatbot, people familiar with the plan told the Journal. Chatbots are computer programs that scour the Internet and other resources to find and retrieve answers to questions.Within the app, users will reportedly have the ability to text questions to, you guessed it, Google. That way, they won’t have to leave the messaging app to search the discovery juggernaut for information they’re looking for. The strategy is twofold. First, it could potentially give Google a much-needed foothold in the messaging game and, second, it could help preserve its stronghold as the web’s top search option.Related: 11 Things You Might Not Know About GoogleExactly what Google’s rumored messaging app will be called and when it will be available is not yet known. Google declined to comment.It will be interesting to see whether the masses take to the “smart” service better than they did to Google Hangouts, Google Messenger and Google+. The company’s earlier attempts to break into the globally booming instant messaging market haven’t enjoyed the same widespread adoption as Facebook’s ever more robust contributions to the arena have, nor the popularity of China’s Tencent Holdings’ WeChat.Google’s latest attempt to put some skin in the messaging game is reportedly being headed up by veteran Googler Nick Fox, the company’s vice president of product management. Fox and his team have been developing the app for at least a year, sources close to the matter told the Journal.  Related: Google and Ford Reportedly Teaming Up to Build Self-Driving Cars Register Now »last_img read more

Precision Hypofractionated Radiotherapy Effective in Locally Advanced Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer

first_img Image courtesy of Imago Systems January 26, 2016 — A phase 1 trial examining precision hypofractionated radiation therapy (RT) in locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases found that higher RT doses in a shorter time span were potentially cost-effective and generally well tolerated, while allowing for fewer radiation treatments. The study, “Precision hypofractionated radiation therapy in poor performing patients with non-small cell lung cancer: Phase 1 dose escalation trial,” was published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (Red Journal), the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).“Advanced radiotherapy technology, although requiring resources to acquire and thoughtful physician/staff training to operate, can lead to improvements in patient care and outcome, giving hope to even the most frail, at-risk cancer patients,” said lead author Robert Timmerman, M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSW). “And, somewhat surprisingly, this approach is shown to be very cost effective, which is welcomed in this era of difficult-to-control medical expenditures.”The trial was conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) and Stanford University Medical Center. Kenneth D. Westover, M.D., Ph.D., also at UTSW, is first author on the study.The standard of care in NSCLC cases is concurrent chemoradiation, with an absolute survival benefit of 4 percent to 7 percent at 5 years compared to sequential chemotherapy and RT, the study authors reported. Patients experiencing medical comorbidities or cancer-associated decline cannot always receive concurrent chemoradiation treatment because side effects negate potential benefits. For those patients, hypofractionated RT is another option, study authors said.However, its past use has been fraught with the limitations of older technology, with shortened treatments causing excessive toxicity. The current study was designed to examine the use of hypofractionation with modern, advanced radiotherapy planning and delivery technologies including image guidance, intensity modulation and adaptation.“It was previously shown that patients with earlier stages of lung cancer could have very effective treatment completed in fewer than five non-invasive treatments by using more modern, advanced and precise technology to direct the beams,” Timmerman said. “We specifically tested this novel therapy in the frailest patients, the so-called poor-performing patients, who are usually not allowed into clinical trials.”  The study examined 55 patients with stage II to IV or recurrent NSCLC and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 or greater who were not candidates for surgical resection, stereotactic radiation or concurrent chemoradiation. Median age was 70 years old. Sixty-seven percent of patients were male. Seventy percent had a greater than or equal to 30 pack-year smoking history. Tumors in this patient population were large, on average, and commonly localized to the right upper lobe. Approximately 25 percent of patients were stage IV, and the majority of patients were stage III.The trial’s primary endpoint was to determine the maximally tolerated dose (MTD), which was defined as “an unacceptable G3 or higher treatment-related, protocol-specified, adverse event (dose-limiting toxicities [DLT]), and defined according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v.3.0.” MTD was exceeded if 33 percent of evaluable patients experienced DLTs in the time measured.In the study, highly conformal radiation therapy was used in 15 fractions to a total of 50, 55 or 60Gy doses. Of the 55 patients, 15 received 50Gy dose level treatment, 21 received 55Gy dose level treatment and 19 received 60Gy dose level treatment. Of those, the 60Gy arm had the most stage IV disease, at 32 percent, but the amount was not statistically significant.Study subjects had to experience a treatment-related DLT or survive 90 days to be evaluable. Doses were escalated when the last patient enrolled to that dose level had completed a minimum of 90 days’ follow-up without experiencing a DLT.Patients were permitted to undergo chemotherapy after radiation, per consultation with a treating physician.A 90-day follow-up was completed in all three dose level treatment groups without exceeding the MTD. Because the MTD was not reached, it could be possible that higher doses, according to the definition of the trial, might also be safe, study authors said.The median follow-up was 12.5 months. At that point, 93 grade of greater than or equal to 3 adverse events had occurred, including 39 deaths. Most of the adverse events were considered related to factors other than radiation therapy. Median overall survival was 6 months with no significant differences between dose levels (P=.59).Study authors found that results could suggest that a hypofractionated regime is safely delivered with photons rather than particle therapy or other specialized techniques, which could have implications for resource allocation.They also reported that the potential in cost savings from the reduced treatment schedule could be an added benefit of a hypofractionated regime. The current duration of standard RT in locally advanced lung cancer cases is 30-40 treatments for six to eight weeks, compared to the 15 treatments administered over three weeks in this study.Older patients have lower survival rates, which could be connected to not receiving therapy at the same rate as younger patients, study authors reported. Hypofractionated RT could benefit these patients because it would provide them with well-tolerated RT over a shorter timeline.“Providing a therapy that is tolerable in this population may reduce this age disparity in survival outcomes, although it remains to be seen whether the increased potency of hypofractionated RT approaches the potency regimens of concurrent chemoradiation for controlling locally advanced disease,” study authors said.Timmerman said a larger trial comparing these results to standard combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy is needed.“We have already instigated a larger, randomized trial to compare the new 15 treatment regimen to conventional radiation using 30 treatments,” he said. “Depending on the results, a trial comparing the new high-tech, yet cost-effective, therapy to standard chemo-radiotherapy in better performing patients should be considered.”For more information: www.redjournal.org FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | Pediatric Imaging | August 14, 2019 Ultrasound Guidance Improves First-attempt Success in IV Access in Children August 14, 2019 – Children’s veins read more News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more center_img News | Radiation Therapy | January 26, 2016 Precision Hypofractionated Radiotherapy Effective in Locally Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment with modern planning and delivery techniques is well-tolerated, may be cost-effective for poor-performing patients Related Content Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read morelast_img read more

Camp Wild Dhauj launches Aravali Cycling Tours in Aravali Valley

first_imgCamp Wild Dhauj in Aravali Valley, which a unit of M/s Holiday Moods Adventures Pvt Ltd, introduced it’s latest offering the Aravali Cycling Tours in association with Spinmonkey Cycling Tours on November 6, 2016.Managing Director & Founder Tejbir Singh Anand shares, “Aravalis, one of the oldest mountain range in the world, is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes and rural experiences around Delhi. Yet it remains mostly unexplored by most of the travellers. The camp is surrounded by three villages and we felt a need to create an opportunity for everyone to be able to explore this amazing vicinity of our camp.”The day saw over 50 stakeholders from the travel trade participate and enjoy multiple activities. Members from both the travel associations of ATOAI and ADTOI came in large numbers. The day started with breakfast followed by the cycling route for around three hours. Post lunch, the members enjoyed more activities such as Rock Climbing, Rappelling & Zip-line on natural rocks.CEO & Co-Founder Arshdeep Anand articulated that to cater to various kinds of customers, the camp has launched three different tours covering different parts of Aravalis. The guests can choose from the following three variants aimed at the inbound market, the corporate house groups and at the leisure market:• Aravali Exploration Ride – This ride offers unexplored Aravalis on cycles and consists of beautiful landscapes, rural farms, ancient temples, an ancient pond and waterfall. This is a guided tour and the groups would be accompanied by an English speaking guide as well as a co- guide to ensure the safety of everyone.• Rural Experiential Ride – This ride has been specifically designed for the ‘inbound segment’ and is a culmination of rural culture, customs and history. With the ride covering various rural elements in two villages surrounding the camp, the tourists would get an unparalleled experience. Not only would the tourists be taken to local villagers’ houses, they would also get a firsthand experience of practices like those of using handpumps, tube wells, fodder cutters, cattle rearing, milking and trying or observing magnificent Indian rural hukkah. The ride would also cover some very ancient temples, ponds and a large animal shelter where they could get information on environment conservation and animal welfare. The ride would be concluded with cumulative tree plantation activity where the group would be able to contribute to the environment in some way. Carbon footprints generated would be calculated and trees would be planted.• Corporate Team Building Ride – This ride has been designed to be an exhilarating and challenging experience for the corporate groups coming with their teams on their offsite, outbounds or leadership development programmes. The ride has been designed to simulate a race where teams would compete with each other in a series of interestingly designed challenges at different pit stops during the ride. The challenges would be in line with their company’s goals and objectives and would test team skills of the employees such as trust, co- operation, decision making and prioritising team’s interests over self, quick thinking, problem-solving, team dynamic, overall spirit and temperament.All the rides would include brand new mountain bikes, water bottles, safety helmets, safety jackets, certificates of appreciation, props and execution of team building challenges, along with two team leaders (moderators), two co- guides and appreciation certificates for all.last_img read more

Calavo kicks off 2019 with record results as Q1 ne

first_img Calavo kicks off 2019 with record results as Q1 ne … May 10 , 2019 In the 2018 season, Van Drunen Farms planted and harvested hundreds of acres of Rutgers Downey Mildew Resistant (DMR) basil, resulting in tremendous increases in organic and conventional basil yield.“We saw a 194% increase in organic and a 15% in conventional,” reports David Van Drunen, VDF Specialty Seeds manager. “We expect 2019 yields of conventional to increase 50% since all of the 2018 trials were not able to be harvested.”Harvest quality and cost reduction were other important aspects. “Leaf quality of the DMR varieties was exceptional with a decrease in leaf damage, spotting, and yellowing,” says Van Drunen.Full field trials were also performed in Hawaii and other U.S. states in 2018, evaluating the resistance levels of DMR commercial basil varieties marketed by VDF Specialty Seeds.The University of Hawaii’s Cooperative Extension concluded that considering resistance, flowering, and size, the Rutgers Devotion DMR and Rutgers Obsession DMR varieties are a solution to downy mildew issues facing field basil production in Hawaii. You might also be interested in U.S. and China near deal that could end U.S. tarif … center_img U.S.: Salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut melon … U.S.: Northwest cherry crop set to be area’s “thir … Field production trials of new downy mildew resistant basil varieties has yielded positive results, promising the herb industry some much-needed relief from this debilitating disease.These commercially viable downy mildew resistant (DMR) varieties were developed by a team at Rutgers University in New Jersey, spearheaded by Dr. Jim Simon, distinguished professor of plant biology.The development was further supported by long-time herb pioneers Ed Van Drunen of Van Drunen Farms and Charlie Coiner. Seeds for these DMR varieties are now available from select seed distributors or VDF Specialty Seeds.Over the past year, these DMR varieties have undergone field trials to ensure efficacy and viability. In a nod to basil being the “herb of love,” the varieties are named Rutgers Devotion DMR, Rutgers Obsession DMR, Rutgers Thunderstruck DMR, and Rutgers Passion DMR.“At a time when consumer demand for basil is at an all-time high the industry cannot afford to suffer increasing loss due to downy mildew,” says Coiner. “These varieties come at a fortuitous time for growers and the past year’s production and trials prove these varieties yield big when not sick with downy mildew.”last_img read more