Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo said Tuesday his “brilliance” annoys people, a day after he was quizzed by a Spanish judge investigating whether he evaded paying millions of euros in taxes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“What bothers people is my brilliance, insects only attack lamps that shine!!!!” the Portuguese wrote in an Instagram message that received over a million likes within an hour of being posted.ADVERTISEMENT Portuguese television SIC reported that Ronaldo aborted the appearance at the podium set up outside the court because the court hearing had gone badly, with many moments of “tension” between him and the judge.Ronaldo is not the only footballer to fall foul of authorities in Spain.His arch-rival, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, was found guilty of tax evasion last year.Other footballers have also recently run into trouble with Spain’s taxman, some of them already convicted and others under investigation.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Prosecutors accuse the four-time world player of the year of having evaded 14.7 million euros ($17.3 million) in tax.Ronaldo, 32, has denied any wrongdoing. He told the judge he has always filed his tax returns and “never had the intention of evading taxes”, according to a statement from his representatives.Spanish daily El Mundo said the player — the world’s highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine — implied during his court hearing that he was only being investigated because of who he is.“I am only here because my name is Cristiano Ronaldo,” the player told the judge, according to the newspaper.Ronaldo had been expected to speak to the throng of reporters gathered outside of the court after the hearing but instead his spokesman Inaki Torres emerged from the building to announce the player “was on his way home”, prompting jeers from the press.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Herndon to Marinero, Apinan to Cignal as D-League teams retool ahead of playoffs Ronaldo spent over 90 minutes on Monday answering the questions of investigating judge Monica Gomez at a closed door hearing in Pozuelo de Alarcon, the wealthy suburb of Madrid where he lives. DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ View comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet
Yuvraj SinghCricketer Yuvraj Singh is likely to campaign for the BJP in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Haryana, sources said on Friday.The decision, sources said, was taken in a meeting Yuvraj had with BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Friday.The cricketer from Chandigarh is considered to be popular in Haryana, where the BJP hopes to topple the two-time chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress.Elections to the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly will be held in a single phase on October 15 and the counting of votes will be done on October 19, the Election Commission announced on Friday.For the beleagured Congress, the upcoming polls in the two states currently ruled by it are an opportunity to make a comeback and shed its losing streak after the Lok Sabha humiliation when the party was reduced to an all-time low 44 seats.The Assembly elections, to be held shortly after the BJP’s spectacular victory in the Lok Sabha polls in May, will also check if the Narendra Modi wave still persists or has subsided.The Maharashtra Assembly has 288 seats while Haryana has 90.
Global glut and growth concerns may pressurize the crude oil market further, leading oil prices to fall to as low as $20 a barrel in coming months, according to a global brokerage firm.Brent oil prices fell nearly 2% or 71 cents to touch an 11-year low of $36.17 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange on Monday, while the US Benchmark West Texas Intermediate dropped 32 cents, or nearly 1%, to trade at $34.41 a barrel.The decline in oil prices comes on the back of growing concerns over the global growth, which could weigh on the oil demand in the coming months. A slowdown in demand may worsen the oversupply conditions that have been rattling the oil market since June 2014.”We reiterate our concern that ‘financial stress’ may prove too little too late to prevent the market from having to clear through ‘operational stress’ with prices near cash costs to force production cuts, likely around $20/barrel,” said Goldman Sachs in a note to its clients.”Our base case remains that the global oil stock build will on aggregate remain shy of storage capacity, although the storage buffer has once again narrowed. But this rebalancing is far from achieved…,” Business Standard quoted Damien Courvalin, Abhisek Banerjee, Raquel Ohana of Goldman Sachs, as saying in a report.Oil prices are also under pressure from an unchanged decision on production levels by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its recent meeting. The oil cartel remains reluctant to cut the oil output, as it fears loss of market shares to other oil-exporting countries.”OPEC can’t take a unilateral decision, for example, to cut production and others … raise production. Either we all go to cut production to really defend prices or we have to wait and see,” Iraq’s oil minister Adel Abdul Mahdi told Reuters on Sunday.A slowdown in China and resumption in oil exports from Iran are also expected to keep oil prices lower for a prolonged period.
Thousands of people and lion mascots swarmed the weekend opening of a “Make in India” drive to attract foreign direct investment, pitched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “the biggest brand that India has ever created”.The week-long event, the boldest since Modi launched the initiative to emulate China’s export miracle back in 2014, got off to an inauspicious start when a huge fire engulfed the stage at a cultural event on Sunday. Nobody was hurt.Even as the Make in India hype scales new heights, some bosses questioned Modi’s delivery on promises to make it easier to do business, while marketing experts cautioned against creating unrealistic expectations.”When you over-communicate and you under-deliver, the biggest risk is that you begin to lose trust,” said Chandramouli Nilakantan, CEO of Blue Lotus Communications, a branding and public relations consultancy.On buzz alone, the effort got off to a great start, with the prime ministers of Sweden and Finland attending Saturday’s gala opening hosted by Modi.On Sunday, delegates thronged the 10 pavilions erected for the event in Mumbai, India’s financial capital. Around 2,500 foreign and 8,000 domestic companies were expected to attend, organisers said.Yet on the ground, the experience of businesses is more prosaic. Twenty months after Modi swept to power with a promise of growth and jobs for India’s 1.3 billion people, executives say more needs to be done, including improving infrastructure.More pressingly, key legislation such as a goods and services tax and land acquisition bill are stuck in parliament, just as global competitors such as Vietnam step up their own reform efforts.”Make in India is a great initiative and has created a lot of positive sentiments,” Vikas Agarwal, general manager of mobile phone maker OnePlus in India, told Reuters.”Now the government needs to follow up with policies. That includes providing custom duty and export incentives, tax rationalisation and removal of ambiguous land acquisition policies.”MAJOR WINSMake In India has scored major wins, including a pledge by Taiwan’s Foxconn to invest $5 billion in a new electronics manufacturing facility.That has helped foreign direct investment to nearly double to $59 billion last year, the seventh highest level in the world, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.Yet in critical aspects, India remains far behind its goals.The proportion of manufacturing to gross domestic product has been stuck at around 17 percent for five years, below the government’s goal to ramp it up to 25 percent, according to the Boston Consulting Group.India has only created 4 million manufacturing jobs since 2010, according to Boston Consulting. At the current rate, India may only create 8 million jobs by 2022, well below the government’s goal of 100 million.Professor Ravi Aron, a US-based expert in manufacturing, said India was ill-suited for a Chinese-style export boom, because it lacked the infrastructure and the skills for its exports to compete internationally.”It should not be called ‘Make in India’ but ‘Make In Spite of India’,” said Aron, of Johns Hopkins University, advising the Indian government to scale back its ambitions and focus on its growing domestic market.($1 = 68.2750 Indian rupees)
Students sit for a public examination. Prothom Alo File PhotoQuestion paper leaks have become a regular phenomenon in the country’s public examinations of late, while many question papers are printed full of errors, leaving the nation’s education system in jeopardy.Until now, these acts-students copying from others’ scripts, teachers telling examinees the answers, or question papers going outside the exam centres-were done covertly. However, the situation has worsened and leaked question papers are now sold on social media or at the dormitories in the open.The number of public exams has increased in the country, which means the number of examinees has increased as well. About 7.5 million students are appearing for four public exams – PEC (Primary Education Completion), JSC (Junior School Certificate), SSC (Secondary School Certificate) and HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate).Numerous faults in the question papers and wholesale adoption of unfair means are creating social instability. However, the education ministry, the primary and mass education ministry, and the education boards-all are failing to take effective measures to address the problem.There was a rumour that the question paper of PEC’s Science exam held on Wednesday was also leaked.Md Sohrab Hossain, secretary at the education ministry’s Secondary and Higher Education Division, told Prothom Alo on Wednesday, “Leaking of question papers cannot be prevented in the current process. We have formed committees to check the feasibility of having separate question papers for different exam centres. We shall take steps once we get their report.”Question papers full of errorsThe Bangladesh and Global Studies question paper in the ongoing PEC exam was full of errors.One of the questions there read, ‘What would happen if no the Mujibnagar govt. was formed’.In another question, the ‘liberation war’ was written as ‘freedom fight’.There were several other mistakes, and these mostly happened in Sylhet and Narayanganj areas.Seeking anonymity, two school teachers of English version told Prothom Alo that this was not the only time an English question paper was full of errors. Rather, this happens very often as the translators are not that skilled.Another question read, ‘What was the consequence of the British policy ‘divide and rule’ here?’ and the options were racial discrimination, social discrimination, cultural discrimination and economic discrimination. Students got confused by these options. In most cases incompetent people are being recruited as teachers and education officers, which is worsening the situation further, former professor of Dhaka University’s Institute of Education and Research (IER), Siddiqur Rahman, told Prothom Alo.Qualified people who are morally upright should be appointed to such posts, he observed.The National Academy of Primary Education (NAPE) at Mymensingh prepares the question papers for the PEC exams. As many as eight sets of question papers are printed and used at different locations. It’s the education officers who translate these question papers.NAPE managing director Md Shah Alam acknowledged the mistakes.“It is true that it was a big mistake. But, they cannot see the question papers,” he said, adding that they would look into the issue and take necessary steps.The Home Science question paper of the recently concluded JSC exam was full of errors as well.Last year there were 11 errors in the Mathematics question paper of Jessore Board, five in the Physics question paper of Dhaka Board, seven in Bangla question paper of Rajshahi Board, and 11 in the Bangla and English versions of the Mathematics question paper of the Chittagong Board.At several places exams were held with two-year-old questions. This also happened in 2012 at Kurigram and Habiganj disctricts, and Dhaka’s Keraniganj.Tapan Kumar Sarkar, controller of examinations of the Dhaka education board, said, “We take a number of steps, including blacklisting the people responsible for the errors.”Leaks in days prior to examInvestigation reveals that question papers are not leaked only on the morning of the exam days, but in some instances, as many as two or three days before as well. Along with BG (Bangladesh Government) Press and exam centres, persons at the distribution level are also involved in the leaking.Previously, question papers of one or two subjects used to be leaked occasionally but since 2012 the trend has changed. Question papers of almost all the subjects are being leaked these days.A detective branch (DB) official of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (west) told Prothom Alo they detained Gazirchot AM High School and College principal Md Mozaffar Ahmed and eight others on 27 March for their alleged involvement in question paper leaking.The detainees informed police that being secretary of a centre of the last SSC examination, Mozaffar Ahmed, along with one of his office assistants, would go to collect question papers from Savar model police station early on exam day. The then Savar upazilla secondary education officer was one of the question paper distributors there.Principal Mozaffar Ahmed and his office assistant would collect the next exam’s question papers along with the questions of the respective day’s exam and spread that around. Police also found that they used their facebook IDs to disseminate sample questions the night before the exams.Police investigation also revealed that sometimes the same teachers are appointed to prepare question papers for several years. They share the questions with students of their schools and coaching centres in the name of giving suggestions.The investigation also revealed that there is a chance of leaking during the typing of questions at the BG press.Two high-ups of the education ministry and secondary and higher secondary education board of Dhaka acknowledged they changed the English question paper of the SSC exam on exam day as it was leaked the previous night.Earlier in 2014, English and Mathematics question papers of HSC exams were leaked the night before the exams. But from 2015 onwards, some teachers have been breaking the seals of packed question papers just 1-2 hours before the exams and sending out images of the questions. The same happened in the recently concluded JSC MCQ (multiple choice question) exam.“[People used to] leak question papers before too, but that was limited. It has increased recently. A good student gets frustrated when he sees that a bad one is doing well getting leaked questions. [As a result] they lose confidence as they grow up. Quality of education is being severely hampered,” said BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) professor M Kaykobad.Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, however, said on several occasions that some miscreants known as teachers are leaking questions on the exam days. They are under surveillance and being seized.Identical question might act as boomerangThe education ministry plans to print question papers at the centres on the day of a public exam, to curb the trend.Several officials of the education ministry, though, informed that the plan will not be implemented in the next SSC exam. BG press will print the question papers again.As eight boards will use identical question papers in the next SSC exam, officials of the education ministry suspect the situation will worsen. Questions leaked at one place will spread quickly across the country and create havoc.*This piece, originally published in the Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin
Darjeeling: The Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU, affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) will stop the dispatch of tea from Hill tea gardens from Thursday. The Joint Forum of Tea Unions will stop the plucking of leaves in the tea gardens from March 11. The move comes in protest against the non-payment of arrears in around 60 percent tea gardens in the Hills.This is the time of the premium first flush tea, which is exported. “In January 2018, the daily wages of tea garden workers had been increased by Rs 17.50. However, in most of the gardens in the Hills, the increment took effect from March 2018. A year has passed and the arrears have still not been paid,” stated Balam Tamang, president, Darjeeling sub-division committee, DTDPLU. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseTamang stated that upon hearing about the blockade of tea dispatch, the Darjeeling Tea Association has called for a meeting of the management of the gardens that have not paid the arrears and trade union representatives on Friday. “We will stop tea dispatches from Thursday. Depending on the outcome of the meeting on March 8, we will decide on our future course of action,” stated Tamang. The Joint Forum (conglomeration of 6 unions) has launched a dharna at the Darjeeling Tea Association. “We will hold gate meetings from Thursday till March 9. If arrears are not paid by March 10, we will stop the plucking of tea leaves from March 11,” stated J B Tamang, convener of the forum. It may be mentioned that there are 87 tea gardens in the Darjeeling Hills.
Posted by Air Transat slashes domestic fares for Canada’s 150th anniversary Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Share Tags: Air Transat, Canada, Promotions TORONTO — Air Transat is encouraging Canadians to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with summer deals on flights connecting Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.Clients have until May 1 to take advantage of these offers. With the promo, one-way fares from Vancouver to Montreal start at $234, Toronto-Vancouver from $243, Toronto-Montreal from $111, Vancouver-Calgary from $124, Toronto-Calgary from $242, and Montreal-Quebec City from $119.“Canada is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, and we are pleased to offer flights that will allow travellers to explore more of it,” says Annick Guérard, President and General Manager of Transat Tours Canada. “In addition to travelling with the company named Best North American Leisure Airline by Skytrax, Air Transat’s clients will also benefit from our inflight entertainment system and will have the option to upgrade to Option Plus or Club Class.” Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
Sunwing launches Let It Snow sale, celebrates first Ottawa-Miami flight Travelweek Group Posted by Share Monday, December 17, 2018 TORONTO — Sunwing says clients can trade in the bitter cold and snow for sun and sand with its annual Let it Snow sale, offering savings worth up to $2,000 per couple off all-inclusive winter vacation packages to top-rated resorts across Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean booked by Dec. 21.Vacationers can also get perks including Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, unlimited specialty dining, discounted spa treatments and more, depending on their selected resort.One resort taking part in the sale, the five-star Grand Sunset Princess All Suites and Spa Resort in Riviera Maya, offers spacious suites with swim-out options, 12 pools and spa facilities featuring traditional Mayan Baths. There’s also the popular Riu Bambu in Punta Cana, with five specialty restaurants, exclusive complimentary access to Splash Water Park, regular pool parties, complimentary kids clubs and more.Perennial family-favourite Royalton White Sands in Montego Bay also has an on-site water park that includes a pirate-themed splash park. There’s also daily land and water sports program, nightly entertainment and a supervised kids’ club.Meanwhile Sunwing is also celebrating its inaugural flight to Miami from Ottawa, which took off Dec. 15. The flight marks the first of this season’s new weekly direct flights from Ottawa to Miami, departing every Saturday until March 30, 2019, inclusive. Sunwing is anticipated to be the only leisure carrier to offer direct flights from the Canadian capital to Miami this winter.“We’re excited to be offering our customers in Ottawa even more options for their winter escape this year with the addition of Miami as a new flight route,” says Reg Mendes, Vice President of USA and Cruises for Sunwing. “This new direct flight service will offer Ottawa travellers more ways to Vacation Better in Florida both on land and at sea with Sunwing vacation and cruise packages and convenient transfers to PortMiami from Miami International Airport.” The city is the perfect base from which to explore Southern Florida or embark on a cruise, he adds.Sunwing offers Caribbean cruise packages with NCL and MSC Cruises sailing from Miami (including transfers from the airport to nearby PortMiami). Two of the most popular cruise ships are MSC Seaside and the new Norwegian Bliss. Customers can also opt for a Cruise & Stay package and get a vacation in Miami or Fort Lauderdale before or after they sail. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Miami, New Routes, Savings, Sunwing