Real Madrid top Forbes football rich list again

first_imgReal Madrid have kept their position as the world’s most valuable football team for a fourth straight year.Real’s value stands at $3.645 billion (£2.52bn), according to US business magazine Forbes, with an annual revenue of $694m (£480m) – pipping Liga rivals Barcelona, who are second, in both categories.Manchester United are third, with fellow Premier League sides Arsenal (fifth), Manchester City (sixth), Chelsea (seventh), Liverpool (eighth) and Tottenham (tenth) all securing spots in the top 10.The study added that the 20 most valuable football teams are worth 24 per cent more than 12 months ago, which is attributed to booming television and kit deals.Real occupy second spot in the rankings of the world’s richest sports teams, with NFL outfit Dallas Cowboys topping the pile with a valuation of £4bn (£2.77bn).The world’s most valuable football teams (Forbes) 1. Real Madrid – US$3.645 bn (£2.52billion)2. Barcelona – $3.549bn (£2.46bn)3. Manchester United – $3.317bn (£2.3bn)4. Bayern Munich – $2.678bn (£1.85bn)5. Arsenal – $2.017bn (£1.4bn)6. Manchester City – $1.921bn (£1.33bn)7. Chelsea – $1.661bn (£1.15bn)8. Liverpool – $1.548bn (£1.07bn)9. Juventus – $1.299bn (£900million)10. Tottenham – $1.017bn (£704m)—last_img read more


PBC Commission to Consider Vaping Ban for Parks, Playgrounds

first_imgBlowing smoke at parks and playgrounds in Palm Beach County could soon become a thing of the past.Eric Call, the county’s director of parks and recreation, says the county commission plans to vote this October on a proposed vaping ban. He explains that the commission is reacting to the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes among young people.Call says, “I heard a statistic recently that 70% of high schoolers are actively engaged in some form of vaping, and that’s pretty amazing to me.”According to the U.S. surgeon general, e-cigarettes have become the most commonly used tobacco product among youth during the past five years, with more than 3.6 million vaping last year.Call believes it could be difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement to monitor such large areas, which means the public could be asked to operate on an honor system. Offenders would face fines that would increase with each incident. He says, “Fifty dollars for the first occurrence, $100 for the second, $200 for the third and $300 for the fourth and any successive violations of that.”County commissioners will vote on the issue during their scheduled meeting on October 8.last_img read more


RLHC Opens Hotel RL in Olympia

first_imgFacebook1Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Red Lion Hotels CorporationRLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) (NYSE:RLH) has announced the opening of Hotel RL Olympia. The hotel was built in 1969 and has undergone a multi-million dollar transformation to be rebranded as a Hotel RL. Hotel RL Olympia is the first of five Hotel RLs scheduled to open this year and the third to launch since the brand’s first opening last August.“The Hotel RL brand DNA is consistent with Pacific Northwest values, which makes us especially delighted to open Hotel RL Olympia in the heart of Washington’s state capital” said RLHC Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Linehan. “The Living Stage, a unique feature to Hotel RL, located in the hotel’s open pavilion-style lobby, is an exceptional venue for people to share their creativity, innovation or spread awareness about their passions during scheduled performances. This feature caters to local artists from all walks of life and benefits the community as well as overnight guests – it’s a lively concept that has been very well received.”“The Living Stage is one of a series of spaces, experiences and amenities at Hotel RL especially suited to travelers seeking more than just a hotel room,” Linehan added. “Hotel RL offers spaces for business and leisure travelers to immerse themselves into local culture, while maintaining their connection to the world.”Hotel RL Olympia has 193 guest rooms and features major enhancements and expansions to the lobby, bar and restaurant.  The hotel also offers 16,500 square feet of meeting space. Other hotel amenities include free Wi-Fi, complimentary parking, Cascadia Soapery bath and beauty products, complimentary artisanal coffee by Victrola Coffee Roaster made to order, complimentary Villy Custom bicycle rentals and performances by local artists and influencers at the Living Stage.Doing Good For Our Neighbors: Project Wake Up Call Hotel RL Olympia will also continue the brand’s charitable awareness campaign, Project Wake Up Call, which focuses on aiding the homeless in each city that a Hotel RL is located. Guests can donate to SideWalk, a non-profit that provides rapid rehousing to those who are experiencing homelessness in Thurston County, Washington. All of the charities participating in Project Wake Up Call align with RLHC’s mission and have been carefully selected to help those without homes get the support they need. RLHC donors that contribute $100 or more will enjoy a complimentary night stay at a Hotel RL location of their choice.“The team at Hotel RL Olympia has been a great ally to us through Project Wake Up Call,” said Anna Robinson, Development Director at SideWalk.  “We appreciate their intention to support and raise awareness for local non-profits that are working to end homelessness across the country. We look forward to our continued partnership.”Hotel RL Olympia is in the state’s capital at 2300 Evergreen Park Drive Southwest. Olympia is only 60 miles from Seattle. Nearby attractions include Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Percival Landing, Priest Point Park, Millersylvania State Park, Tolmie State Park and more.For more information, please visit: www.rlhco.com.last_img read more


Kootenay Lake Fishing Report — Exciting time of the year

first_img Spring weather is finally here!  And the water is warming up and so are the fish. Duncan was good throughout April, but is slowing down now.  As the water rises, the fish get more spread out and are a bit tougher to catch, although we still always seem to scrape a few up.  So, it’s always worth the trip.   The first of May saw another weeklong opening for Kokanee fishing in the West Arm.  And just like the April opening, the fishing was good. The first few days were better than the last few days, but that seems to be the norm.  For the first couple days we were limited out and back to the dock by 8 a.m.  Then the last few days made us work a bit harder for the prize.  But, still lots of action and some great tasting Kokanee. And again, Pike have been caught in the past little while also.  Concentrate on the shallower, warmer water for the Pike.  They seem to hang around the weeded bays and drop offs.  You never know what you’re going to catch out there now.  Duncan Lake: With the warmer weather here, we have seen the beginning of our flying ant hatch.  This seems to bring all of the fish to surface and creates a feeding frenzy. The fishing is in full swing on the Columbia now.  We had some crazy days with lots of Rainbows taking our lures and flies.  Mostly two to five pounds as of late, but we have hooked into a few in the seven pound range and I’m pretty sure there were a couple over 10 pounds that just wouldn’t stay on.  But that’s normal.  The big ones always get away…… Walleye fishing was pretty good for the past little while also.  The usual bottom bouncer or jigs have been working well.  Some good sized Walleye at this time year too.  Always makes for a good fish fry. But, until then, we will just have to enjoy the fast paced action of the high population of smaller fish.  Lots of fun on the lighter gear.  Columbia River: The hotter weather has produced some hatches on the river lately.  So, dry fly fishing is making for some exciting days.  Looking forward to the next month of fly-fishing, as the dry flies should get more and more productive. We have had lots of days with over 15 – 20 fish to the boat.  It’s an exciting time of year.  Most of the fish left in the lake seem to be of the younger age class.  So a normal day would consist of many fish between two and three pounds, with a few over five pounds. There have also been a few fish over 10 pounds caught, so it keeps it interesting. Our Bucktail flies have been working best for the Rainbows on Kootenay.  The magic colors have been purple/pink, grey/pink, and black/white.  We’ve also been catching lots on the Lyman plugs.  Mostly blues and greens have been working best for the plugs. April is in the books, but Kerry Reed from Reel Adventures has all the tips and news for May in the Kootenay Lake Fishing Report.Kootenay Lake: The Gerrard run of spawning rainbows has peaked and the numbers are about what we had expected.  Low numbers this year similar to back in 2000 when the lake crashed.  Hopefully they can rebound again as they have in the past.  We shall see. Bull trout up to 10 pounds have been caught in the past week, as well as some nice Kokanee.  The warmer temperatures will help activate the Kokanee feeding, so that’s another option while fishing up there.  What are they biting on??? On the river we have had our best days using fly rods.  Sinking tips with nymphs or wooly buggers have been producing well for the Rainbows.  And for the Walleye, we have been using the 3-way bottom bouncing rig as well as rubber twisters with jigs. Looking forward to the June opening, as these fish should be even bigger. And on the Duncan, the best lures have been my Lyman plugs.  Trolled on the surface or down to 60 ft seems to work best.  Again, blues and greens seem to be the ticket.  Whats coming up: We are expecting the lake fishing to pick up even more as the water gets warmer.  So, expect lots of fish in May, and June.  Our river fishing should only get better and better as well.  As the weather warms up and the bugs start hatching, the fish will become more and more aggressive.  Looking forward to the next few months of fishing. We are almost fully booked for our upcoming Salmon/Halibut fishing season.  This year is expected to be another good run of Salmon and we still have about 10 days to fill.   So, drop me a line if you’re interested in filling your freezer with fish for the year. That about sums it up.Hope to see you out there! Tight lines………………….Kerry Reed Reel Adventures Sportfishing www.reeladventuresfishing.comlast_img read more


Illegal immigration debate gets do-over

first_imgSACRAMENTO – Lawmakers are expected to take up the fierce debate over illegal immigration again this year with a host of bills to deny or expand benefits to the undocumented. Already in this new legislative session, Republicans have proposed bills to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants, crack down on employers who hire them and give law enforcement new tools to arrest them. And reflecting sharp party-line splits, Democrats are looking to expand opportunities available to undocumented immigrants, including granting them the right to drive and providing subsidized health coverage. But, as in previous efforts, little significant action is expected to emerge on the controversial topic as lawmakers remain wary of the complexity of the issue and California voters’ views. “California voters are bipolar,” said David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University. “They want to think of themselves as progressive and liberal – and (to think) that California is the epitome of the American dream. “But by the same token, they don’t want to pay for or provide access to those who came into the country illegally.” Republican lawmakers say they are motivated by saving money for taxpayers and by stepping in where the federal government has failed to enforce immigration laws. “They’ve got free medical, free education. They qualify for welfare benefits,” said Sen. Tom Harman, R-Costa Mesa. “This is all about money. We’re in tough fiscal times.” Harman has proposed a bill that would authorize local and state law enforcement agencies to charge illegal immigrants with trespassing simply because they are in California without authorization. Dealing with illegal immigration is primarily a federal responsibility, and many local police departments do not get involved in investigating the immigration status of those they arrest or question. Harman’s bill would not necessarily lead to the deportation of the undocumented, but would authorize police to ticket them and possibly jail them for short periods. Harman has also authored a bill to require public and private employers in California to do more stringent background checks for citizenship status of job applicants. Other Republican proposals include bills from Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucaipa, and Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, targeting in-state resident college tuition rates, and from Cook seeking to deny most state benefits to illegals. Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature, are expected to oppose most of the Republican proposals, and analysts say most won’t have a chance to get out of committee. “They will have no success,” said Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, who has led efforts to protect undocumented immigrants. “None whatsoever. They’re wasting their time.” Californians have historically demonstrated mixed views on illegal immigration. In the 1990s, voters approved Proposition 187, which sought to deny most public benefits to illegal immigrants. But the divisive politics behind the measure also caused a backlash that has been credited with a surge in Latino voter registration that helped the Democratic Party. Proposition 187 was later overturned by the courts. A new, similar ballot proposal authored by conservative Republicans is currently being circulated for signatures in California. It would prohibit illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses, college tuition benefits and any other benefits not required by federal law. But the Republican proposals, McCuan said, aren’t likely to make it to a floor vote, though they could have potential as ballot measures. Another Republican proposal may have a better chance for success because it is less ideologically charged. Assemblyman John Benoit, R-Riverside, has proposed a bill that would ask the federal government to reimburse California for the full costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants who have committed a criminal offense, or take those prisoners into federal custody. According to the state Department of Corrections, about 20,000 of the state’s 174,000 prisoners have been flagged by immigration authorities for possible violations. The state expects to spend about $865 million this year incarcerating them. Meanwhile, Democrats, led by Cedillo, are looking to expand services available to the undocumented. Cedillo is trying yet again to get the state to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, something that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed the previous two legislative sessions. Cedillo hopes this year will be different because his bill seeks to help California implement the new federal Real ID Act, which under federal law must be in place by next year. He has also proposed legislation to allow illegal immigrants to compete for scholarships and financial aid at public colleges and universities. “We know there are millions of immigrants in California, speaking over 100 languages, from all over the world,” Cedillo said. “They play critical roles in California. “We, the state of California, should figure out mechanisms to facilitate their assimilation into society.” harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Housing redevelopment plans in west Donegal welcomed

first_imgProposed redevelopment and construction work on a number of housing units on the former Ard Scoil Mhuire school site in Gaoth Dobhair was welcomed on Friday. Pearse Doherty praised news that a planning application to build houses on the former west Donegal school site has now been lodged.It’s understood that the application for the site by Charles Roarty proposes to construct up to thirty number housing units and includes plans to build an assisted living residential facility for adults with intellectual disabilities. Commenting on the project, Deputy Doherty said that the proposed redevelopment of the former school would provide much needed additional housing to the area.He said: “I very much welcome these plans to redevelop the former Ard Scoil Mhuire college site which will see the construction of up thirty housing units as well as a purpose-built assisted living unit.“The assisted living element of the development will provide accommodation for adults with intellectual disabilities and the purpose of the facility is to enable them to continue living independently within their own community by providing personal and emotional assistance and supports in order to meet their individual care needs.” “The planning application has now been submitted to Donegal County Council and will now go through the formal planning process,” Doherty continued.“As many people will be aware, this derelict site has a very troubled past and has been somewhat of a blight on the landscape and a scare on Gaoth Dobhair and the surrounding area.“It’s hoped that this project will assist families in Gaoth Dobhair by providing much needed additional housing in the locality, including badly needed homes for persons with intellectual disabilities,” he added.“I now look forward to seeing how these plans progress over the coming weeks and months, and I intend to continue to engage and work closely alongside all the various stakeholders in an effort to ensure that this project, if approved, can be delivered in a thoughtful, sensitive and respectful manner.”Housing redevelopment plans in west Donegal welcomed was last modified: May 10th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


SA takes part in Syria peace talks

first_img22 January 2014 South African International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is in Switzerland for a peace conference which hopes to break the stalemate in the three-year Syrian civil war. Nkoana-Mashabane was invited by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to attend the high-level international meeting, which starts in Montreux on Wednesday. The meeting will be attended by dozens of countries that had agreed to the 2012 Geneva Communique, which calls for an end to fighting and the installation of a transitional government with full executive powers. International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said on Wednesday that South Africa believes there can be no military solution to the conflict in Syria, and sees the conference as a step in the right direction towards bringing an end to the suffering of the Syrian people. Monyela said South Africa believed that democracy was an unassailable right of the Syrian people. “The South African government is thus committed to encouraging all parties involved in the current conflict in Syria to engage in a process of all-inclusive national dialogue, free of any form of violence, intimidation or outside interference aimed at government change, in order to satisfy the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.” The conference participants will seek to make arrangements for humanitarian aid to flow into that country, where over 100 000 people have been killed and more than eight-million others driven from their homes since the conflict erupted between the government and various groups seeking the ousting of President Bashar al-Assad. Monyela said South Africa was deeply disappointed by the fact that the Syrian conflict had been raging for nearly three years, with devastating humanitarian consequences. “The situation in Syria is evolving into one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent times, with severe political and economic consequences for the entire region.” The Montreux meeting, which is designed to give international support to the efforts to resolve the deadly conflict that has torn Syria apart, will be followed by talks in Geneva – scheduled for Friday – between the two Syrian delegations and UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, who is organising the peace conference. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has rescinded his invitation to Iran to participate in the Syrian peace conference, his spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, told reporters on Monday. Nesirky said Ban was “dismayed [and] deeply disappointed” after Iran released public statements conflicting with what was reportedly discussed in private, resulting in their invitation to participate being withdrawn. Iran, whose invitation was seen as controversial due to that country’s backing of al-Assad, refused to support a process to form a transitional government – one of the stated goals of the conference, as laid out in the Geneva Communique. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more



first_imgWestern Suburbs Touch Association hosted a gala dinner to launch their Vawdon Cup season and raise money for the Westmead Children’s hospital on Saturday 27 July 2007 at the Massey Park Golf Club, Concord.Respected sports author, Sydney premiership winning Rugby Coach, and Rugby’s ‘unofficial poet laureate’ Peter ‘Fab’ Fenton was the Master of Ceremonies and special guest speaker at the black tie event.Rugby League superstar and former Wests “old boy” Benji Marshall, and Wests Tigers Rugby League gun Bronson Harrison joined the Sydney TAB Swift’s triple Commonwealth Bank Trophy winning netball coach Julie Fitzgerald, and star players Jackie Murphy and Chelsea Pitman in attending the dinner that raised over $ 20,000 for the Westmead Children’s hospital.Guest speakers included the irrepressible Fenton, Lebanon World Cup Assistant Coach Paul Sfeir, Australian Men’s 30s Assistant Coach Emmanuel “Budgie” Bughiar, and the “blackest of the black cats,” Australian Mixed Open skipper Tony Eltakchi.A sports memorabilia auction was held with items such as signed Australian, NSW, and club Rugby League jerseys, signed cricket bats by Australian Cricket Captains and World cricketing legends, Sydney TAB Swifts items, and a plethora of memorabilia from across the sporting spectrum went under the hammer to raise funds for the most worthy of causes.The big hearted Magpies had resolved to do something special this Vawdon Cup season to honour the memory of 2006 Wests Clubman of the Year Matthew Essey, who sadly passed away in May 2007 after waging a brave three year fight against cancer.Matthew’s passion for his family, friends, Touch Football, and the Magpies was matched only by his generosity of spirit towards others.Despite the debilitating nature of Matthew’s illness, the popular Lebanon, Mets, and Wests Manager maintained his positive outlook and iron will commitment to making a difference.In failing health, Matthew organized a charity fundraiser for the Millennium Foundation that raises funds for Cancer research and the Westmead Hospital.Sadly, Matthew passed away before seeing his fund raising efforts bare fruit, but the evening was a spectacular success, a sell out in fact, with a huge amount of money being raised to ensure the good fight against the insidious condition would continue in the future.West’s stalwart Emmanuel “Budgie” Bughiar, who has been at the Magpies club since 1981 said that the Millennium Foundation Dinner which was attended by many of the Wests players was a motivating factor in deciding upon a direction for the Magpies 2007 Fundraising efforts.“We were all saddened by Matthew’s passing…there is no doubt it’s had a profound effect upon our club. The endless work he did to try to raise money to fight for other people to have a better life was inspiring and humbling to the rest of us. Matthew’s work needed to be continued. He gave so much to us and we really wanted to honour him and pay him the highest level of respect possible by going on with the job for him. We were stoked that the night went off so well, it was a very special evening and showed the spirit and strength of character of our club members. Everyone was there, and I reckon Matthew would have been so proud of it all,” Bughiar said. The fundraising dinner was also the launch for the Western Suburbs 2007 Vawdon Cup season with the announcement of the Premier League Teams in Men’s and Women’s divisions.The Wests Men’s Premier League Team’s 2007 jerseys proudly display on one sleeve a list of club champions, and on the other sleeve, a poignant reminder of their treasured mate Matthew.“Matthew Essey” is etched on the sleeve as a mark of respect and a source of constant inspiration for the Magpies, who have dedicated this season to Matt’s memory. New South Wales Touch Association President, Mr. John Howard and the entire Wests Magpies club community – players, officials, coaches, and supporters, showed their commitment and respect for the values that were at the core of Matt Essey’s existence by attending the event in droves. Inspired by Matthew’s endless acts of generosity and initiatives, Western Suburbs have instigated the Annual Fundraiser for the Westmead Children’s Hospital to coincide with their Vawdon Cup Launch.Each year, the club will select a high priority treatment item to raise funds for then donate to the hospital.In 2007 the club will purchase two Corometrics Monitors (approximately $9,000 each). These specialist monitors alert parents and carers when an infant stops breathing.The fetal monitor also records heart rate and oxygen levels that are vital in the early detection of distress in infants.  The machines have the capability of transferring data to a specialist via the Internet, or a telephone line for real time care. Westmead Children’s Hospital had requested nine of these units at the beginning of the year, and until last week, had none. Thanks to the inspiring life example and lasting memory of a cherished friend, and the commitment of a close knit Touch Association, Westmead Children’s hospital now have two of the life saving devices on the way.9-0 is a daunting challenge in anyone’s language!That is, to anyone except the Wests Magpies club.You can just see “Sfeiry”, “Budgie”, “Stanto”, “Rushy”, and the boys doing the math… like in a tough game with their backs to the wall… two monitors down, seven to go, pegging back the deficit, play by play, until their heart, courage, refusal to go quietly, and passionate commitment to the cause wins out… conceding defeat is never an option.In the Magpies, Westmead Children’s Hospital couldn’t have a better group of people fighting the good fight on their behalf…Wests, the 2006 State Cup champions in the Men’s Open division, have begun the 2007 Vawdon Cup in fine style with two wins from two starts. Sure the guys can’t find their water bottles, the sub box is a mess, and Sfeiry is getting a little more agitated with the referees than he used to when he had Matt’s wise counsel on the sidelines, but the boys are sticking together, playing well, and with Matt’s name in clear view, they are digging deeper and literally wearing their hearts on their sleeves.There is little doubt that Matthew Essey, watching down from his vantage point in heaven would be well pleased with the start his beloved Magpies have made.What would make Matthew Essey even prouder though, is the fantastic spirit, selflessness, commitment, and generosity his club mates have shown in picking up the ball and going forward hard to continue the work that underpinned his life.If you would like to contribute to Wests 2007 Fundraising efforts for the Westmead Children’s Hospital, please contact Emmanuel Bughiar on 0418694318 for further details.last_img read more


Cabinet ministers meet with Mexican presidentelect in shadow of trade spat

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada’s foreign affairs minister says a meeting with Mexico’s president-elect has cleared the haze about diving back into free trade talks between Canada, the United States and Mexico.The meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and International Trade Minister Jim Carr with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came one day before his representatives travel to the U.S. to talk to American trade negotiators and in the shadow of a simmering trade war with the Trump administration.Freeland spoke in broad, largely positive terms about the meeting with the 64-year-old political veteran, but wouldn’t detail what he told Canadian officials. Freeland said she was “hopeful” NAFTA talks could hit high gear now that she gauged the policy pulse of Canada’s new political neighbour in North America.“It was important to meet with the president-elect and with his team to understand their position so we really knew where Mexico was,” she said in a conference call from Mexico City.“We have a clear understanding now and we certainly are very committed to moving forward as quickly as we can.”Lopez Obrador and his top officials have said they back the North American Free Trade Agreement, emphasizing that talks about North American trade must involve all three countries — eschewing the idea of a one-on-one deal with the Americans.Lopez Obrador, who goes by the nickname AMLO, is “astute enough to recognize that Trump is playing a game and trying to divide and conquer his two NAFTA allies,” said Laura Macdonald, an expert on Mexican politics from Carleton University in Ottawa.But, she cautioned, “we never know.”Carlo Dade, an expert on Latin American politics from the Canada West Foundation, said the uncertainty around trade pacts in North America as well as with Pacific Rim countries means Canadian politicians need to build up a personal relationship with Lopez Obrador, something which can often get overlooked.“There’s an expression in Spanish: ‘hasta en la sopa’ — even in the soup. It’s when you keep running into someone every time you turn around and that, I think, could potentially be us and Mexico at the trade table.”NAFTA negotiations were paused in late spring because of the July 1 Mexican presidential election that Lopez Obrador won with a majority of the popular vote. He assumes office in December.Trump viewed Lopez Obrador’s victory at the national and state levels as a symbol of political strength, and that’s a significant factor in the relationship between the two men, said Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center.“Trump sees AMLO as a strong leader, as a legitimate leader, somebody to be taken seriously. He didn’t always see (outgoing Mexican President) Enrique Pena Nieto in that way,” Wood said.In a letter to Trump earlier this month, Lopez Obrador called for talks between all three countries to avoid prolonged trade uncertainty that could damage economies. Trump’s reply to Mexico said such a deal would help both countries, “but only if it can go quickly, because otherwise I must go a much different route.”A number of issues remain unresolved in the talks, including U.S. demands for changes to rules of origin for automobiles, a five-year sunset clause for a new pact and demands for Mexico to quickly hike wages.Macdonald said immediately raising auto worker wages in Mexico — Trump argues low labour costs siphon American jobs — would shutter plants. But Lopez Obrador’s vow to improve wages may help negotiators get past the thorny issue, Macdonald said.The five-year review is more problematic and Freeland said Canada’s opposition to it has stiffened throughout the talks.In the meantime, Trump is considering imposing a 25 per cent tariff on auto imports that Republican lawmakers, industry — although his own administration officials warn that such a step could kneecap the American economy.The World Trade Organization said in a report Wednesday that the proliferation of tariffs by the United States, Canada, Mexico and the European Union among others “could place economic recovery in jeopardy.”— Follow @jpress on Twitter.last_img read more


NGO crackdown has foreign fund inflows plunging 40 since Modi govt era

first_imgMumbai: The Modi governments crackdown on foreign funding of non-profit organisaitons has resulted in a massive 40 percent decline in fund flows from external sources for social uplift in the four years to 2017-18, finds and industry report. Over 13,000 non-government organisations have been acted against by the Union home ministry by cancelling their licences, according to a report by a foreign consultancy Bain & Co. The report has also found that as many as 4,800 NGOs lost their licenses in 2017 alone. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”Foreign contributions declined by about 40 percent. This comes amid a government crackdown on NGOs for violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) of 2010,” says the report. Several of these NGOs which lost licences are engaged in rights-based advocacy, and the crackdown has led to an outcry from civil society organisations who termed it as an abuse of legal procedures. The Modi government had cut short the term of Nachiket Mor from the RBI’s central board last year. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsMor is the country director of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch had lobbied for his removal as RBI oversees funding for NGOs coming from overseas. There were also many other big names from the world of charities being targeted. Ford Foundation, and Amnesty International among others being the most notable names. The Bain report says compliance with the rules can result in increase in the social sector wallet size. The report further says donations by individual philanthropists have ensured that the role of private funding continues to grow despite slowing foreign fund inflows. Total private funds raised for the social sector is estimated to have grown to Rs 70,000 crore in FY18, up from Rs 60,000 crore in FY15, even as the share of foreign contributions has come down. India Inch has contributed with Rs 13,000 crore through their mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, which is a growth rate of 12 percent, while individual donations came in at Rs 43,000 crore growing at 21 percent yearly during this period. The report, however, says there is a need for a greater participation by individual donors to meet various goals and projects that the ultra-high networth individuals have the potential to give 2.5-3.5 times more than they are donating now. This is essential because the country needs an additional Rs 4.2 trillion annually to achieve five of the 17 sustainable development goals, which include ending poverty and hunger, good health and quality education, among others.last_img read more