Assuria officially opens branch in Linden

first_imgThe Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) community of Linden will now benefit from the services offered by Assuria Life, Fire and General Insurance, as the company opened a branch in the mining town on Friday.A meet-and-greet and a ribbon-cutting exercise marked the official opening of the branch, situated at Republic Avenue, Mackenzie.Under its two registered companies (Life and General), Assuria will be offering services such as life, motor and fire insurance; bonds and contractors’ liability.Assuria General Manager Yogindra Arjune said the company was pleased and excited about extending its services to the Linden community and was optimistic that it would be successful. He noted that though the opening of the branch took a number of years, the timing was right.“The town is developing at a very rapid rate and we want to be here at the time when it is being developed. We want to play our part in developing Linden. So, we’re excited,” he stated.Arjune added that the company would be offering unique packages at affordable prices with easy payment options.“Contractors’ insurance, we’re very big in that and we want to help in every way possible to bring something unique to Linden…,” he said.Outgoing Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland, who was present at the ceremony, expressed gratitude to the insurance company for investing in the town.“It shows that investors are building their confidence in our town and we’re happy that they would have seen it fit to invest and come to this end and also to employ Lindeners; which is good for us. We want to see more Lindeners being employed.“Besides that, the offering of insurance in affordable packages, I think that is good for Linden,” Holland stated.He added that the services which are offered by Assuria would also be beneficial to local contractors looking to secure bonds and the like, as there has been some difficulty faced in this regard.The outgoing Mayor said Assuria has also made a promise to fulfil its social responsibility to the community.The company has so far employed three Lindeners. Assuria, which is a Suriname- based company, currently has five branches across Guyana, some six years after it was established in this country. It has two branches in Trinidad.last_img read more

Coins pay tribute to Mandela the lifelong learner

first_img18 July 2014The South African Mint Company, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, on Friday marked the first Mandela Day since Madiba’s passing by unveiling the second edition of its Protea Life of a Legend coin series.The three-coin series – 24-carat gold R25 (one-ounce) and R5 (one-tenth ounce) coins and a sterling silver R1 coin – are themed around Mandela’s dedication to lifelong learning.The first member of his family to attend school, education remained extremely important to Mandela throughout his life.The pure gold R25 coin displays the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape, where Mandela studied, a young Mandela wearing a double-breasted suit, and the Mandela quote: “Everywhere in the world it is accepted that students, as a thinking and independent-minded section of the population, have the right to freedom of thought and expression of opinion.”The sterling silver R1 coin depicts Mandela as a child practising how to write “Nelson” on a slate board, along with the Mandela quote: “The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and education is a very important weapon to prepare children for their future roles as leaders of the community.”The pure gold R5 coin carries his quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”All three coins have the same obverse: South Africa’s national flower, the King Protea, in a half garland below Mandela in one of his trademark Madiba shirts.“The South African Mint Company is honoured to release the second Protea coin series on the first Mandela Day that he is not with us,” South African Mint Company MD Tumi Tsehlo said in a statement. “Making it more special is that it is dedicated to education, which was so close to his heart.”Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang said: “These beautiful coins, which commemorate the life and times of Madiba, continue to propagate his life and his beliefs, which we cherish as the Nelson Mandela Foundation. They are testament to a living legacy.”The 2014 Protea Life of a legend coin series is available for purchase at the SA Mint in Centurion.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

IPL: How Kochi didn’t crumble

first_imgAt around 2.30 a.m. on November 27, after hectic week-long confabulations where Ravi Gaekwad, Satyajit Gaekwad, Chintan Vohra, Mehul Shah and Harshad Mehta tried desperately to hammer out a deal to save the Kochi IPL franchise, all five finally veered towards some sort of an understanding. The five, who had,At around 2.30 a.m. on November 27, after hectic week-long confabulations where Ravi Gaekwad, Satyajit Gaekwad, Chintan Vohra, Mehul Shah and Harshad Mehta tried desperately to hammer out a deal to save the Kochi IPL franchise, all five finally veered towards some sort of an understanding. The five, who had met repeatedly over the previous seven days at Rendezvous Sports World’s Worli office and Anchor Earth’s office on Hughes Road in Mumbai, decided to embark on the last pit stop of what was a gruelling journey. They drove towards Juhu where another key investor, Mukesh Patel of Parinee Developers, lives. Finally at close to 4.37 a.m., Patel was on board and the franchise had been saved after much persuasion from the Gaekwads. Despite a late protest from Shailendra Gaekwad, who was opposed to the idea of diluting the Rendezvous equity, they finally agreed to agree.IPL Kochi ShareholdersSpeaking to INDIA TODAY, Satyajit said, “The past is behind us. Earlier we were consortium partners, but now we are a family.”  That is just about all he is saying. So are other members of the ‘family’ who seemed bound by Omerta, the code of silence. Anchor Earth promoter Mehul Shah was equally reticent when he said that the consortium members have decided not to speak on the issue while another partner, Vivek Venugopal, was perfunctory when he said that “everything was on track.”When the original bid was devised, it was agreed that the Gaekwads-Satyajit, Shailendra and Ravi (Shailendra and Ravi are brothers while Satyajit is a distant relative) – or Rendezvous Sports World, in whose name the title rights were vested, would get free equity of 25 per cent and pay only for 1 per cent at Rs 1.33 crore. What is not widely known is that the 26 per cent equity was broken up in this manner-the Gaekwads were to get only 10 per cent of this (10 per cent free plus one paid) and Sunanda Pushkar, who later married Shashi Tharoor, was to get 5 per cent as sweat equity towards her contribution in bringing MNC sponsors for the franchise. Another 10 per cent was reserved for the brand ambassador (this was for an important person who would add value to the brand).advertisementTharoor with SunandaI have no plans to associate myself with IPL Kochi in the future. I’ll keep my distance and support them from outside.- Shashi Tharoor, IPL Kochi brand ambassadorTharoor, who is probably the most aggrieved of all the parties associated with this venture because he lost his job, says, “I have no plans to associate with them in the future, other than watch matches played by the Kochi team. I am happy that a compromise was reached between the warring factions. This is great news for all the young Keralites who are enthused by the fact that they now have an IPL team. I am going to keep my distance and support them from the outside.”Speculation has been rife in the past that the job of brand ambassador was reserved for Sunil Gavaskar. Sources close to the franchise said that Kochi was initially keen on Gavaskar as a crucial member of the advisory board to give specific inputs on cricket. This plan may be revived now that the problems have been resolved. Gavaskar is friends with both sides. The earlier arrangement was to have the Gaekwads in lead position in the unregistered joint venture where they paid all the expenses leading up to the bid.Once the discredited Lalit Modi tweeted and outed Pushkar’s name, there was a furore. The fracas died down with the BCCI deciding that Kochi will stay on as a franchise in Season 4. But in the interim, the paid investors led by Mehul Shah, Chintan Vohra and Harshad Mehta and company decided to flex their muscles. The pushing and pulling created intractable differences. At the centre of the conflict was the free equity given to the Gaekwads. By pressuring the Gaekwads to bring down their equity from 26 to 10 per cent, the biggest beneficiary is Venugopal, whose stake has risen from 1 to 5 per cent. Similarly, Shah’s Anchor is now the single largest shareholder with 31.4 per cent (up 4.4 per cent), while Patel has increased his stake by 4.6 per cent.Suddenly, there was a volte face by the paid investors who wanted to grab the reins. The pressure game mounted as they argued for the paring of the free equity component. The Gaekwads also played hardball, refusing to back down. They even floated a trial balloon, saying that they were willing to bring in additional investment and would be willing to pay for some of their free equity at the rate of Rs 1.33 crore per percentage share. The paid investors rejected this notion outright as they didn’t want any new investor to join this band of brothers.advertisementAll this happened despite Shah’s faction sending a legitimate letter of termination to the BCCI. The reason why the BCCI gave the franchise another opportunity was because its legal rights were vested in Rendezvous Sports World. Over those seven days, the Gaekwads forsake control of the franchise by building a new entity, Kochi Cricket Pvt Ltd, which has all six partners as board directors.Investors and their stakes in IPL Kochi Season 4It is still not clear who will represent the Gaekwads on the board: it could be either Shailendra or Satyajit, and this decision will be taken by the board meeting this weekend. The board will now take all decisions and committees have already been formed to independently look after marketing, branding and cricketing, which is believed to be with the Gaekwads.The loose confederation had also prepared the tentpoles by registering the new entity, Kochi Cricket Pvt Ltd.How does the new arrangement work? The new working relationship has the paid investor lot coughing up for the entire 26 per cent that was once owned by the Gaekwads or Rendezvous. They have paid for this equity at the rate of Rs 1.33 crore to the authorised share capital of the company. Based on this principle, the investors have paid Rs 133 crore as the authorised share capital of the new company.Patel sums up the situation by taking recourse to God and fate, “Every human commits mistakes and if a man does not commit a mistake, God makes him commit a mistake so that he can correct himself. Everyone had his own understanding of issues.” Brave words for an outfit that was teetering on the precipice.last_img read more

3 NGOs barred from Rohingya relief operations

first_imgThe government on Wednesday forbade three NGOs from distributing relief materials among the Rohingyas. Prothom Alo File PhotoThe government on Wednesday forbade three non-government organisations (NGOs) from distributing relief materials among the Rohingyas who have taken shelter in Bangladesh fleeing Myanmar.The three NGOs are Muslim Aid, Islamic Relief and Allama Fazlullah Foundation, officials informed a parliamentary panel on Wednesday.It was alleged at the meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on the foreign ministry that these NGOs were doing ‘something else’ in the name of relief operations.“We went to Cox’s Bazar and came to know that a few NGOs were engaged in doing something else on the plea of distribution of relief materials among the Rohingyas,” committee member Mahjabeen Khaled said to Prothom Alo after the meeting held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.“We asked all to stop publicise something else in the name of distribution of relief materials,” she added.The ruling party member of parliament also said they have asked the authorities to check the identities of all whoever comes to distribute relief. “All have been asked as well to distribute relief materials through the coordination committee,” Mahjabeen added.Another member of the standing committee said, “Bangladesh has given shelter to the Rohingyas, but we must not show a welcome gesture  to them. Their repatriation is already a tough task.”The MP also insisted that Bangladesh should ask other countries that proposed to build dwellings for the Rohingyas in Bangladesh, to take them to their countries.The parliamentary body recommended vigorous diplomatic efforts to compel Myanmar to take back Rohingyas, said a press release of the paliament secretariat.The meeting was chaired by committee chief Dipu Moni.last_img read more

Tech Companies Meet in San Francisco to Coordinate Election Protection Report

first_img ×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 Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Representatives from some of the technology industry’s biggest companies have scheduled an internal meeting in San Francisco this Friday to coordinate their efforts against online election interference, according to a Buzzfeed report. The meeting has been organized by Facebook, with Twitter hosting the group at its San Francisco headquarters, according to the report.Other companies invited to participate include Microsoft, Snapchat and Google. An invitation email of the gathering was sent by Nathaniel Gleicher, who had joined Facebook as the company’s new head of cybersecurity policy earlier this year.In the email, which was leaked to Buzzfeed, Gleicher wrote that the meeting would be used to share how each company was preparing for the 2018 election. “We have been looking to schedule a follow-on discussion to our industry conversation about information operations, election protection, and the work we are all doing to tackle these challenges,” Gleicher wrote.center_img The meeting follows a similar gathering by tech companies earlier this year that was also attended by representatives of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, according to Buzzfeed. This time around, the government is not expected to attend.Companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google are increasingly acting in coordination with each other to fight foreign interference campaigns. Just this week, Google, Twitter and Facebook all took down accounts linked to Iran that were trying to covertly sway public opinion on subjects ranging from the Middle East to British and U.S. politics.last_img read more

District students steal march over their city counterparts

first_imgKolkata: Students from the districts continued to dominate the merit list of the Higher Secondary Examinations, the results of which were declared on Friday. 71 out of the 80 students whose names figured in this list are from the districts. Another striking feature of this year’s results has been the success of the minority students.As per statistics of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, 80 percent of the minority students have passed the examination this year. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”We have taken it up as a challenge to rope in more and more first generation learners in higher secondary level which is the gateway to higher education. We are happy that we are reaching out to more and more of these learners. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Kanyashree project and merit-based scholarships by the state government has helped us to penetrate deep into the districts,” said Mohua Das, the Council president, and added that as many as 300 Higher Secondary schools in the districts have been upgraded. According to Das, the dropout rate has also come down from 2.4 percent to 1 percent this year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedGranthan Sengupta of Jalpaiguri Zilla School has come first with 99.2 percent marks. The second position has been bagged by Ritwik Kumar Sahoo (493) of Tamluk Hamilton High School with 98.6 percent. Ritwik had earlier topped from Bengal in NEET with an all-India rank of 13. The third position went to two students while the fourth place has been bagged by six students including Joydeep Bhowmick of Manindra Nath High School in Cooch Behar. Among the OBC-A category, Sariful Islam of Pandua Sasi Bhusan Saha High School in Hooghly came fifth with 97.2 percent marks. East Midnapore which has clinched the top spot in the Madhyamik examination in terms of successful candidates came up with the highest success rate of 91.98 percent. Despite ranking sixth in terms of success rate, Hooghly secured the highest share of 13 merit list holders. The newly created district of Kalimpong followed next with 91.69 percent of students passing the examination. Kolkata ranked fifth registering a pass percentage of 87.68 which is slightly higher than last year’s 87.37. Nine students from the city made it to the merit list. The overall success rate in Higher Secondary examination dipped slightly from 84.20 to 83.75 percent this year. In terms of success rate, boys performed better than girls with the pass percentage slightly increasing from 85.15 to 85.22 percent this year. A total of 21 girls have featured in the top-10 merit list. The success rate for girls slightly decreased from 83.26 to 82.46 percent this year. However, girls have remained almost at par with boys in securing ‘O’ Grade (90-100) with 2,655 boys and 2,593 girls scoring it. A total of 8,04,895 candidates appeared for the exams that were held between March 27 and April 11. The total number of successful candidates have been 6,63,516. The exams registered participation of 53 percent girls which is six percent higher than last year.last_img read more

Elon Musk Unveils Clean Green Batteries to Power the World

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global May 1, 2015 5 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img “Save us, Elon! Save us!” a man shouted at the rosy-cheeked billionaire on stage. The billionaire was Elon Musk, a passionate futurist and crusader for renewable energy. The visionary Tesla founder took to the stage at the electric car company’s Hawthorne, Calif., design studio last night to reveal the much-hyped “missing piece” of our future. And, yes, it’s all part of his ambitious grand plan to save the Earth on his way to Mars, specifically from the environmental ills of oil and gas.As predicted, Musk spilled the details at the glitzy show-and-tell about Tesla Energy, Tesla Motors’ new brand of sustainable battery systems for residential, business and even public utility use. The offering — a bold detour from the world of luxury e-car-manufacturing and into the mushrooming renewable energy market — brings forth two products.The first is the Powerwall, a home battery system, available at 10 kilowatt hours (kWh) for $3,500 or for $3,000 for 7 kWh. (Prices don’t include installation.) The second product, estimated to cost around $13,000 a pop, is the refrigerator-reminiscent, 100 kWh Powerpack, an infinitely scalable, utility-class industrial battery targeted to mid- to large-sized businesses.Related: Elon Musk’s Ex-Wife on What She Learned Living With an Extreme Entrepreneurial Success“The issue with existing batteries is that they suck,” Musk quipped from the event stage to raucous woots and loud applause. “They’re stinky, ugly, bad in every way.” Not only are his much better, he says, “They’re beautiful.”He has a point. They sort of are. The compact, 220-pound Powerwall models are stackable, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries encased in attractive outer shells that fittingly resemble shiny car hoods. After all, the tech inside is a derivative of the battery inside of Tesla’s Model S.Introducing #TeslaEnergy, a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities. pic.twitter.com/HD7DbGRZPW— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) May 1, 2015Powerwalls work with solar or grid power and provide backup power. Both versions, six slender inches thick, can be wall-mounted inside or outside of your house or garage. Available in white, black, gray, blue and red, the sleek, Internet-connected units are indeed pretty, but, uh, not enough to lick.Musk told reporters at a press conference held just before the red carpet launch party that he’s confident the batteries hold the power to revolutionize energy consumption at a global level. He realizes, though, that that’s no easy feat and might seem a little out there.“Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy at extreme scale,” he said. “It’s going to seem crazy, but you’ll see what I mean.” Not as crazy, perhaps, as putting a man on Mars this decade.We asked the entrepreneur and serial investor to describe why the everyday homeowner would want a Powerwall battery. He pointed to its ability store energy to help users survive off the grid whenever energy is scarce or too expensive. “You’ll have the security, freedom and peace of mind of knowing you’ll always have power even if your utility goes down.””This entire night has been powered by batteries. This entire night, everything you are experiencing, is stored sunlight.” – Elon Musk— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) May 1, 2015The temperature-controlled batteries are especially beneficial for people who live in cold climates, he said, where grid power often fails during ice storms and other inclement weather.Or, if you’re ready to ditch the grid altogether, Tesla’s Powerwall can help you cut the cord, that is if you have solar panels. “If you combine the battery pack with solar, you can go completely independent,” Musk said, “so you can be just free of the grid if you want.”Related: 8 CEOs Who Amassed a Fortune Before Age 30 (Infographic)As for Musk himself, he’s not living off the grid just yet. Smiling and rolling his eyes, he admitted that he doesn’t own any Tesla Energy batteries yet. There are, however, several solar panels installed on his $17 million mansion in posh Bel Air, Los Angeles.The industrial Powerpack has already gone on sale to select customers, including Wal-Mart and Cargill. As for the home batteries, they’re available for pre-order now and are expected to begin shipping in three to four months. Musk said he expects the home units to reach moderate volume production later this year, then to kick into “much more serious production” next year, when manufacturing them will transition to Tesla’s “Gigafactory” in the Nevada desert.Related: Why Tesla’s Gigafactory Could Be Obsolete Before It Even Opens Register Now »last_img read more