Indirect poll for civic body heads in Rajasthan

first_imgThe Rajasthan Cabinet on Monday decided to conduct indirect election for the post of mayor and chairperson in corporations and municipalities in the State.“The Cabinet today (Monday) took a decision for indirect election of mayor and chairperson. Ward councillors will now elect them,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal told reporters after the meeting. First direct elections of mayor and chairperson were conducted in the State in 2009.“A mayor or chairperson elected by public usually ignores councillors and development works get affected. When a directly elected mayor or chairperson is from one party and the majority in the corporation or municipality is of the other party, it also stalls development,” he said. BJP blamedAccusing the BJP of creating an atmosphere of hate and violence, Mr. Dhariwal said that it was necessary to return to the old mode of indirect elections of mayors and chairpersons to counter the divisive policies of the BJP.last_img read more

No ownership issues in Kings XI Punjab, says COO

first_imgPreity Zinta and Ness WadiaKings XI Punjab are set to be back in action on the cricket field in the upcoming Champions League T20, the first time after their star owners Priety Zinta and Ness Wadia battled out an ugly police case which remains in the news three months after the incident.Bollywood star Zinta had filed a police complaint alleging molestation by her former lover and co-owner of the team Ness Wadia during the IPL qualifier match played on May 30 at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.Ironically, the incident had come to light at a time when the franchisee had, for the first time in IPL history, found their feet and qualified for the finals where they finished second after Kolkata Knight Riders.Kings XI Punjab COO Fraser Castellino when asked about the effect the warring owners would have on the team and its ownership pattern said it would remain a personal issue between two individuals. “I am not aware of any ownership issues within the team. If you are referring to issues between two individuals, that will in no way affect our cricket or our business. We will continue to strive to win matches on the cricket field.”Kings XI who have qualified for the Champions league for the first time would start their campaign against Hobart Hurricanes on September 18. Fraser confirmed that they would be retaining their support staff for the series even as two of their coaches are now serving the Indian team in England. “I can confirm that Sanjay Bangar will be back in action as our coach, and so will fielding coach R Sridhar. I have been speaking with Sanjay regularly and he would be joining our camp on the 12th,” he said.advertisementInterestingly Australian Joe Dawes, whose innings as Indian team bowling coach may have ended after the test series loss to England, would continue to serve as the bowling coach of Kings XI. While Dawes was asked to step back from duties for the one-day series, Bangar and Sridhar got their first opportunity with the national team in England over their IPL showing.BCCI would be deciding on the make up of the support staff for the West Indies series after the ODI series concludes in England.last_img read more

Borrowing in a Time of Credit Crisis

first_imgPublishers with multiple adjustments to their financial statements won’t have much wiggle room with loan terms. “Lenders are looking for clean financial statements—free of adjustments and/or add-backs, particularly for acquisition targets—and consistent, solid financial performance from the existing company,” says Tom Flynn, chief financial officer at Summit Business Media (which completed its last major refinance last July right before the credit market soured). “There is not as much flexibility in the market place on terms and conditions as there was in prior years.”Publishers with existing loan agreements shouldn’t feel that their terms are locked in. “I have noticed that, for existing credit agreements, especially those that were negotiated prior to the credit markets becoming much more challenged, the lenders are holding you ‘to the letter,’” says Flynn. “There is a general feeling that banks are much more inclined to charge not just fees for changes and amendments but will also implement a re-pricing for what, in the past, may have been a rather minor change to an existing agreement. This can be frustrating to a business even with an existing agreement.”What Lenders Look ForStill publishers that have positioned themselves with multiple revenue streams and emerging new media models are more likely to receive favorable terms which have always been differentiated depending on business model, scale of the company, competitive positioning, etc. An established publisher with a category-leading product offerings and scale is generally going to receive more favorable financing terms and conditions than a smaller, less-seasoned publisher with developing product offerings. In the current environment, lenders and investors are placing more value on publishing companies with successful e-media and event businesses as part of their total company mix and as such are more willing to provide more favorable financing terms. Subscription-based and usage-driven revenue sources in particular are considered a valuable component, especially in the weaker advertising environment, according to Shu.“Generally, in the b-to-b space, we look for companies with either the #1 or #2 position in their category that can deliver their content to audiences in a variety of ways, from print to online to in-person events such as trade shows or conferences,” says Shu. “The #1 or #2 position is important since in a slower economic environment, advertisers or sponsors with a smaller budget will typically gravitate toward the market leaders. A seasoned management team that has operated through various economic cycles is critical as well.”Mangan says the most important consideration is diversity of cash flow. “Properties with single titles are the toughest to finance,” he adds. “Diversity of flagship titles and a complement of events and trade shows demonstrate that diversity of collateral, for a lack of better phrase. With the loss of eyeballs on the print side, you want to see the Web at least bridging that gap.” But being a proven performer can go a long way toward a favorable relationship with your lenders. “You must continue to deliver the financial results as agreed to in your financing agreements,” says Flynn. “You have to focus on having your existing assets perform and continue to invest in assets with upside potential and take advantage of areas for consolidation to mitigate risk in sluggish economy. Remember, this is a challenging market for everyone right now. Once the market settles a bit, you want to be a proven performer whom the lending partners want to continue to do business with and help grow your business.” The credit crunch, which began in July 2007 as result of the subprime fallout and subsequent fall-out in liquidity, is pinching the magazine industry well beyond just magazine M&A. “You’ve got to spend money to make money” or so the old saying goes, and at a time when publishers are trying to reinvent themselves and investing in both online staff and technology (as well as buying new media companies), loans are necessary to fund the growth. But getting those loans at a favorable rate is much harder than it was two years ago. “Lending levels and terms are much less liberal,” says Ray Shu, media team leader for GE Media, Communication and Entertainment Group, part of GE Capital Markets Inc. “Funded leverage (on both a senior and total basis) has dropped meaningfully.”Previously, financing was available at up to 5.5x senior debt and up to 7.5x with a second lien for many publishing deals of scale ($15MM+ EBITDA companies), according to Shu. Average equity-to-total capital levels were typically in the 25 percent to 30 percent range. In today’s market, senior debt leverage levels are in the 3.5x to 4x range with total debt levels topping out at 5x to 5.5x. Average equity-to-total capital requirements are typically in the 45 to 55 percent range, says Shu.“Gone are the days when the senior first lien piece was up in the fives and maybe a little bit more with the second lien or mezzanine,” says Chris Mangan, managing director and head of U.S. media finance with Stamford, Connecticut-based Bank of Ireland. “If you consider we’re a year into this credit crunch, leverage multiples are off at least a full turn at the senior and mezzanine levels.” last_img read more

Payal Tadvi case 3 accused Mumbai doctors arrested by police

first_imgKavita KrishnanThe senior doctors in abetting the suicide of Mumbai doctor Payal Tadvi have been arrested by the state police, according to latest reports.Earlier, protests organised by the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and other Dalit tribal organisations were held today outside the BYL Nair Hospital over the suicide case of 26-year-old Payal Tadvi. She was allegedly driven to suicide by casteist remarks hurled at her by some senior doctors at the state-run hospital, in Mumbai.Payal committed suicide on May 22, according to her mother and husband who joined the protest the senior doctors tortured her due to which she committed suicide and they demand strictest actions against the accused.Dr Salman, husband of Payal said, ” We want government intervention and the police are doing nothing at this moment. It may be possible that they murdered her.”Payal, who was a Post Graduate (PG) second-year resident doctor pursuing gyaenocology in BYL Nair Hospital was found hanging in her room on May 22. On that day she had called her mother and told her that she could not bear any more torture. She was tortured by three senior doctors Hema Ahuja, Ankita Khandelwal and Bhakti Mehare of the gynaecology unit for a very long time as she belonged from an ST( Scheduled Tribe) caste family.They used to harass her by hurling casteist remarks at her as she got admission due to her reservation. They used to tell her that she will not be allowed to enter the operation theatre as she belongs to the lower caste. The seniors even took this to an extreme level by wiping their feet on her bed as they told her that she deserves that.The hospital authorities has suspended the doctors and the three of them have been booked under The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, by the Agripada police. A 21 member anti-ragging committee is also investigating the incident.Her family alleged that she has been harassed for a long time, a year back she even informed her husband who initially did not react to it but later approacher her unit head to transfer her and she got transferred. But when she entered the second year she was again sent to that unit and finally committed suicide due to the torture.The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has issued a notice to the hospital demanding a reply regarding the action taken for this heinous crime.A senior official of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) as quoted by PTI said, ” We have proper evidence that the three senior doctors made casteist remarks at her. We will cooperate with the police in the investigation process.”Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav condemned the incident and said that it is a murder of the protection given to scheduled tribes by the constitution.last_img read more

Iraq forces enter ISheld Mosul airport

first_imgIraqi security forces regroup in the village of al-Buseif, south of Mosul, during an offensive by Iraqi forces to retake the western side of the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters on February 22, 2017. AFPIraqi forces on Thursday entered Mosul airport, which lies on the southern edge of the city, for the first time since the Islamic State group overran the region in 2014.Backed by jets, gunships and drones, forces blitzed their way across open areas south of Mosul and entered the airport compound, apparently meeting limited resistance but strafing the area for suspected snipers.The interior ministry’s Rapid Response units, followed by federal police forces, entered the airport compound from the southwest after pushing north from the village of Al-Buseif.”We have entered the airport and engineering units are clearing the roads,” Hisham Abdul Kadhem, commander of the Rapid Response’s Scorpion Regiment, told AFP inside the airport.Attack helicopters fired rockets at an old sugar factory that stands next to the perimeter wall, sending a cloud of ash floating across the area.On the road leading to the southern end of the airport, the body of an IS fighter lay next to a motorbike.While there was no evidence of fierce resistance from within the airport, Iraqi forces continued to rain fire on the area, including on the sugar factory which they suspected still sheltered IS snipers.Little was left standing inside the perimeter and what used to be the runway was littered with dirt and rubble. Most buildings were completely levelled.US forcesThe regional command said elite forces from the Counter-Terrorism Service were simultaneously attacking the neighbouring Ghazlani military base, where some of them were stationed before IS seized Mosul in June 2014.Control of the base and airport would set government forces up to enter Mosul neighbourhoods on the west bank of the Tigris, a month after declaring full control of the east bank.All of the city’s bridges across the river have been blown up.The US-led coalition has played a key role in supporting Iraqi forces with air strikes and advisers on the ground, and on Thursday US forces were seen on the front lines.The American troops are not supposed to be doing the actual fighting but in recent weeks have got so close to the front that they have come under attack, coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian said.”They have come under fire at different times, they have returned fire at different times, in and around Mosul,” Dorrian told reporters on Wednesday.He declined to say if there had been any US casualties in the attacks, but an unnamed official later told CNN that several personnel had been evacuated from the battlefield.The latest push to retake Mosul, the second city and the last stronghold of the jihadists in Iraq, was launched on Sunday and involves thousands of security personnel.They started closing in on the airport four days ago. It is unclear how many jihadists are defending the airport but US officials said Monday that only around 2,000 remain in Mosul.There are an estimated 750,000 civilians trapped on the city’s west bank, which is a bit smaller than the east side but more densely populated.It is home to the Old City and its narrow streets, which will make for a difficult terrain when Iraqi forces reach it because they will be impassable for some military vehicles.Letters from the eastThe noose has for months now been tightening around Mosul and the living conditions for civilians are fast deteriorating.Residents AFP has reached by phone spoke of dwindling food supplies forcing many families to survive on just one meal a day.Medical workers say the weakest are beginning to die of the combined effect of malnutrition and the lack of medicines, which IS fighters are keeping for themselves.An army plane late Wednesday dropped thousands of letters written by residents of the retaken east bank to their fellow citizens across the river.”Be patient and help each other… the end of injustice is near,” read one of them which was signed “People from the east side.””Stay in your homes and cooperate with the security forces. They are your brothers, they came to liberate you,” read another.A smaller than expected proportion of the east side’s population fled when Iraqi forces stormed it nearly four months ago but the United Nations is bracing for a bigger exodus from the west.It had said 250,000 people or more could flee their homes on the west bank and has scrambled to set up new displacement camps around the city.last_img read more