Alex turns down QPR – report

first_imgChelsea defender Alex has snubbed a move to QPR because he does not want to remain in England, the Daily Mirror reports.French club Paris St-Germain are now tipped to sign the player unless he returns to his native Brazil.The Sun say Blackburn boss Steve Kean is planning talks with Chris Samba, who is determined to leave Rovers amid interest from QPR and Tottenham.The Daily Mail include a story about QPR’s plans for a new training ground and stadium.Related story: QPR want Warren Farm training ground (11 January)And the Mirror report that Mark Hughes wants to take Manchester City misfit Roque Santa Cruz to Loftus Road.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Interview: How Bitcoin Created a Decentralized Crypto-Currency

first_imgHow to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Related Posts Bitcoin is an open source, peer-to-peer electronic currency created by Satoshi Nakamoto and maintained by a small team of developers. As part of what’s turning into an ongoing series on the distributed Web, I talked to contributor Gavin Andresen about how the software works. This is a technical overview. If you’re interested in an economic or political look at the software, you can read the Wikipedia entry or Niklas Blanchard’s essay on the project.Klint Finley: Could you give us a brief overview of what Bitcoin is for the unfamiliar?Gavin Andresen: Sure. Bitcoin is the first peer-to-peer currency – it is money created by people instead of by a central bank or government.And how does it work?Everybody trying to create bitcoins and everybody trading bitcoins is connected by a peer-to-peer network. And the code everybody is running makes sure nobody else is cheating – nobody else is creating more bitcoins than are allowed, nobody is trying to spend their bitcoins more than once, and that bitcoins are only being spent by their rightful owners.The really novel idea is a mechanism for preventing bitcoins from being spent more than once WITHOUT relying on a central authority.The other mostly new idea is limiting the supply of bitcoins without relying on a central authority.How do you accomplish these things without a central authority? And how do Bitcoin clients and servers find each other?Let me tackle the easy one first – how do Bitcoin clients find each other:All p2p networks have “the bootstrapping problem” – without central servers, nodes (machines) on the network need to be able to find each other. Bitcoin solves it using three mechanisms:By default, Bitcoin clients join an IRC chat channel and watch for the IP addresses and ports of other clients joining that channel. The name of that channel (and the name of the IRC chat server) is hardcoded into the Bitcoin software.There is a list of “well known” Bitcoin nodes compiled into the software in case the IRC chat server is unreachable for some reason.You can manually add (via configuration file or command-line option) IP addresses of other machines running Bitcoin to connect.Once you’re connected to the Bitcoin p2p network, other machines send you messages containing IP addresses (and ports) of other machines they know about, so after bootstrapping you find other Bitcoin nodes via the Bitcoin network itself.There is a lot of discussion about alternative bootstrapping mechanisms, so I wouldn’t be surprised if alternative Bitcoin implementations that use something else pop up in the next year or so.I’m guessing you can also change the IRC server and channel manually as well?No, actually, you can’t – you’d have to recompile Bitcoin to do that.Why is that?The whole idea with bootstrapping is to define one place where you can go to find other nodes; establishing a second IRC channel by yourself would be pointless, and there’s no real limit to the number of clients that can connect to the one IRC Channel, so there’s really no reason to use more than one.But what if the IRC server gets shut down?Bitcoin actually did change which IRC server is used for bootstrapping a few months ago – a new client was released that used a different IRC network. If the IRC server is down temporarily, then brand-new Bitcoin clients will use the backup hard-coded ‘well-known’ list of nodes. Old Bitcoin clients will connect to nodes that they connected to before – IP addresses are remembered (in an ‘addr.dat’ database file) from the last time Bitcoin ran.Is there any mechanism to require clients use the most recent version of the software in order to connect?Yes… and no.Old clients aren’t prevented from connecting, and we work hard to support old clients in an upward-compatible way. But there was a major bug a couple months back that prompted the lead developer (Satoshi) to implement a mechanism so that anybody running an insecure version could be notified that they should upgrade.That didn’t, of course, help people running the really old versions of Bitcoin. Hindsight is always 20/20So how about the harder part – preventing bitcoins from being spent more than once and limiting the supply of bitcoins without relying on a central authority?Right: I’ll start with limiting the supply.Bitcoin is designed so that there will only EVER by 21 million bitcoins created. Right now, they are being created at a rate of 50 every ten minutes or so. First, everybody who is trying to create bitcoins is racing to be the first to create what is called a ‘block’. A ‘block’ is just all the transactions (“I give/sell/trade these bitcoins to you”) that have happened since the last block. So to generate bitcoins, my machine sits and listens for new transactions, bundles them all up into a block, and then repeatedly runs a hashing algorithm on that data. It is running a hashing algorithm (which transforms that arbitrary-length data into 256 bits) to try to find a hash that is small enough to declare “I won the race to find the next valid block” to the rest of the network. If it does, it gets rewarded with 50 bitcoins.Right now, every new block is worth 50 bitcoins. All of the nodes on the network evaluate how many blocks have been created about every two weeks, and automatically (and independently) adjust the ‘difficulty’ so that, on average, across the whole network, one block will be found about every 10 minutes. That’s how the supply is limited without any central server.The only way to create a block is to solve the “find a small hash” problem, which, as far as we know, just takes a lot of brute-force computation (computing hashes over and over and over on slight variations on the block data). And everybody on the network can check to make sure you actually DID solve that problem (computing just one hash is really easy), can make sure you only included VALID transactions in the new block, and you only claimed 50 bitcoins for yourself in that new block.How many transactions make up one block?An arbitrary number – at least one (the first transaction is always a 50-bitcoin transaction to reward whoever found the block), up to an arbitrary limit that can be fairly easily changed in the future. The Bitcoin Block Explorer website will actually show you any of the 100,000 bitcoin blocks and what is in them.And the other part? Making sure a coin is only spent once?All transactions are broadcast to all the nodes on the p2p network… which is the first part of the solution.If a double-spend is broadcast, then some of the nodes will see one of the spend transactions first, and others will see it second.Which one ‘wins’ is determined by which node happens to solve the next block – whichever node finds the small hash will include the first valid transaction involving those bitcoins that it sees. That one become “THE” spend, and the other attempted double-spend is considered invalid.Things get really mind-warping every once in a while when two nodes on the network happen to find valid blocks at about the same time.Do you have any insight into whether many people are trying to cheat?Good question! I wish somebody would write a tool to listen on the network for attempted double-spends.Can double-spends happen accidentally?It is really hard to double-spend accidentally.There are several developers involved in Bitcoin – how is the project managed?We’re in the middle of a transition from a basically one-person project (Satoshi writing all the code and being a gatekeeper for all changes) to a more open-source, community-driven model. I’ve volunteered to try to ‘herd the cats’ and create a more distributed way of making Bitcoin-the-software better. We’ll be trying a Linux-like process, where patches are submitted (using Github), reviewed, and then accepted or reworked.Can you recommend any resources for developers interested in getting started with distributed computing?Hmm… good question! So much of distributed computing is still cutting-edge research, I’m not sure where to start. My personal background is not in p2p networking, so I’m not the right person to ask.Do you think distributed computing, combined with strong cryptography, can create a decent alternative to “cloud computing” for developers that can’t afford to rent servers?Yes, although it is VERY inexpensive to deploy applications in the cloud. I’m using Google’s App Engine for the front-end to my Bitcoin-related projects, and VPSes and Amazon’s EC2 for the back-end Bitcoin-network nodes.Creating an application using App Engine is a good, free way to start learning about scalable, distributed computing.Do you think Bitcoin’s source code be used as the foundation to build other types of peer-to-peer communities?No – it is really designed to do one thing and do it really well. Other peer-to-peer communities will have different networking needs.For more on the decentralized web, see our interviews with CouchOne’s J Chris Anderson and Unhosted’s Michiel de Jong. Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img klint finley 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#hack#Interviews last_img read more

Can Spray Foam Rot Your Roof?

first_imgOpen-cell foam is not a vapor barrierClosed-cell foam, with higher densities and a higher R-value, can be an effective vapor retarder.But not open-cell foam, It has a perm rating as high as 35 per inch, according to a technical bulletin from Fomo Products Inc.And this, Robert Riversong points out, could be the source of the problem:“The open-cell foam allows water vapor to diffuse through to the cold-at-night roof sheathing where it condenses and runs down, possibly saturating the foam which does hold water,” Riversong writes. “Open cell foam needs to be sealed with a vapor retardant paint. If the installer didn’t inform you of that, he wasn’t doing his job.”Riversong thinks the foam has the potential to absorb significant quantities of water, allowing it to pass through to a cold, condensing surface–the bottom of the roof deck. He argues the foam is a hygrophobic (water repelling) material that morphs into a hydrophillic (water loving) matrix as it cures.When subjected to a standard ASTM test, he adds, an Icynene Inc. foam sample sucked up 34% of its volume in water after 96 hours of submersion. Installed at a density of 0.5 lb. per cubic foot, it has the potential to take in 2 1/2 gal. of water per cubic foot.“I’ve heard of Icynene problems under leaking roofs, in which the foam soaked up water like a sponge,” Riversong says.Whoa, writes GBA advisor Michael Chandler. “Open cell foam is hardly hydrophillic. Leave a chunk of it floating in a bucket of water for a couple of days and see how much water it takes on. Hardly any, I’ve done it.”While Chandler thinks the ASTM test here is inappropriate, Riversong is undeterred.“There are many examples of open-cell foam in walls and roofs that has become so wet from vapor diffusion alone that it could be wrung out like a sponge,” he writes.“An anecdotal report on a blog told of Icynene in a basement ceiling under a bath that developed a leak. When the foam was pulled, the subfloor was black with mold and there were mushrooms growing in the foam.” Spray Foam InsulationThe Icynene Insulation System Ice dams are a familiar problem in New England and other parts of the country where winters are long and cold. Snow on under-insulated and under-ventilated roofs melts, pools and refreezes to form a dam. Water backs up under the shingles and much to the horror of homeowners often finds its way inside the building.Spray foam polyurethane insulation is supposed to be a hedge against that problem. By forming an effective seal around rafters, and offering respectable R-values, foam should be blocking the migration of cold air into the roof where it can condense into water.But a post by a New Orleans resident in our Q&A section showed just the opposite seemed to be happening.Nick had hired a contractor to install open-cell foam on the bottom of his roof deck, converting the attic from a vented to an unvented space. When temperatures dropped below freezing, Nick noticed icicles forming at the soffit near an old, and by then unused, vent for a bathroom fan.The roof itself was virtually new, and neither the insulation contractor nor the roofer could explain what was going on. RELATED MULTIMEDIA The whole roof is not affectedIf vapor permeance was the problem, wouldn’t we expect to see evidence of water over the entire roof deck, icicles forming all along the eaves rather than in an isolated spot?Rich Bev suggestions Nick look for a crack in the condensation line from air conditioning equipment installed in the attic, which may be contributing to a water and humidity problem.“It may be just a direct leak from the A/C to a poorly installed spot in the insulation,” he says.A not-so-hot job of installing the insulation also could be playing its part.Chandler suggests that some installers plug up rafter bays at exterior walls with plastic film so the foam doesn’t leak out the soffits as its applied. But that keeps the foam from sealing wiring and plumbing penetrations in the top plate, he adds, and allows humid air to collect in soffits where it can condense.Taking short cuts as the foam is sprayed can result in voids in the foam between the rafters and the roof deck–another channel for warm air. He suggests a look inside the soffit to make sure the foam has completely sealed the top plate in the wall, and to check that foam has completely filled the rafter bays.“So much of this stuff is about caring enough about the building science to get the details right the first time,” Chandler ways. “Spray foam is ‘hot’ and there are a lot of get-rich-quick types going into green building with little care for quality or integrity.”GBA senior editor Martin Holladay is thinking along the same lines: “Is there any chance that the spray foam has shrunk away from the rafters, leaving cracks that permit warm humid air to contact the cold roof sheathing?” he asks. “Perhaps the moisture transport mechanism isn’t diffusion–perhaps it’s air movement.” RELATED ARTICLES Podcast: How Humid Air Affects A House:Podcast:Air Barriers vs. Vapor Barrierscenter_img “This leads me to believe that it has to do with the cold weather on the asphalt roof and somehow the warm air in the attic is going through the insulation in that area to cause the problem,” Nick writes. “The question is what can I do to stop the condensation?” GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE Enclosure Overview AtticsSpray Foam Insulation: Open and Closed Cell Does Spray Foam Insulation Out-Gas Poisonous Fumes? Q&A: High humidity issues in a spray foam attic Open-Cell Foam Beats Closed-Cell Foam Our expert weighs inWe invited Peter Yost, the Director of Residential Services for BuildingGreen, to provide his expert opinion on what might be causing Nick’s icicle.Peter Yost’s advice:To identify the source of the moisture, the first step is to determine if the dampness problem is local or general. If the problem is vapor diffusion, the moisture will extend to all (or most) of the roof sheathing. If the moisture is due to a roof leak or an air leak, the dampness will be localized.A clue: The exhaust fan looks awful suspiciousNine times out of ten, moisture problems are caused by bulk water or air leaks. I bet this is one of those nine times. If the moisture occurs in just this one spot — a spot that has a soffit termination for a bath exhaust fan and a condensate line — it’s hard to imagine that this is just coincidence. Even though this exhaust vent was abandoned for a through-the-roof route, are there enough obstacles in this section of the attic at the eave to make the spray foam application in this section less than complete?Pete’s bet: An incomplete foam jobMy first bet would be that the spray-foam installer had a hard time getting a proper airtight application of the foam in this area of the attic. My second bet would be he or she saved this tough section for last; contrary to popular belief, spray foam installations are quite quality-dependent (and even more so with open-cell foams because their expansion is more than three times greater than closed-cell).The pictures of the opened soffit are too close up to really tell us much — other than stuff is wet and probably moldy. Does the opened soffit suggest that spray foam installation in this section of the attic at the eave was deficient?last_img read more

Why “SUCCES” Spells Success in Social Media

first_imgThis is part of the “Hi AleX,” series — advice to AleX NetLit about enhancing her levels of network literacy through day-to-day personal and professional social networking. AleX Netlit is a fictional persona created by Network Literacy Community of Practice to serve as a guide to Military Families Service professionals, Cooperative Extension educators and others seeking to learn more about using online networks in their work.More about Alex NetLit This article (Why “SUCCES” Spells Success in Social Media) was originally published Monday December 10, 2012 on the Military Families Learning Network blog. Author: Jim Langcuster This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Hi, AleX:Many years ago, a high school journalism teacher, unaware of it at the time, imparted an enormously valuable lesson—and a “sticky” idea —to one of his students.He challenged his students to write a story lead about a local high school principal’s decision to send his faculty to another city the following Thursday for a day-long training session.After quickly scanning all the submitted leads the teacher offered this entirely unexpected observation: “The lead to the story is ‘There will be no school next Thursday.’”This brilliantly disruptive response stuck forever in the mind of at least one student, Nora Ephron, who was inspired that day to train as a journalist and who later went on to become one of the most successful screenwriters in motion picture history.The Science of StickinessThe story is related by Chip and Dan Heath, authors of “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Thrive and Others Die,” as a stellar example of how the element of surprise can be used to create messages with lasting impressions—”sticky” ones, in other words.There’s an important lesson here for you too, AleX.  If there is one critical social-media skill you should develop in the immediate future, it is mastering what the Heaths describe as the “science of stickiness.”You must learn to create messages that stick to the Velcro of your clients’ minds. Equally important, AleX, you must learn to distinguish your messages from the thousands of others that bombard your clients day after day.By ensuring that your messages stick with your audiences, you deepen the levels of engagement with them.  Equally important, they come to appreciate you as a valuable resource. In time, you not only build valuable social capital with your clients but also enhance your networking effectiveness.So, how should you go about mastering stickiness?The Heaths have devised an acronym, “SUCCES”—with stickiness in mind—to help readers focus on how to craft the most effective messages.Simple – strip the message of everything but its core.Unexpected – when possible, add an element of surprise.Concrete – put the message in visual or sensory context.Credible – ensure the message is believable.Emotional – underscore the message’s importance by connecting with a reader’s, listener’s, or viewer’s feelings.Stories – use narratives to get people to act on these messages.How to Post Sticky MessagesThe next challenge is putting this SUCCES formula to work in social-media venues such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter.The Heaths put simplicity at the top of the list for good reason. Simplicity can be immensely helpful to people struggling to make sense of the welter of messages they encounter daily on Facebook and Twitter news feeds and other other social media venues.For example, medical professionals could develop an enormous amount of goodwill among their Facebook friends and Twitter followers by linking regularly to news articles about the most timely and relevant health-related topics, introducing each with a concise description that focuses solely on the core message.Space constraints forced newspapers into mastering simplicity centuries ago. Here are some recent examples of headlines from the online Health section of the New York Times: “High Blood Pressure Tied to Brain Changes,” “Can Exercise Protect the Brain from Fatty Foods?” and “Can Foods Affect Colon Cancer Survival?”Of course, all elements of the Heath’s SUCCES formula can be used in effective social-media messaging—the reason why it is worth investing the time to read the book and taking its lessons to heart, AleX.Crafting sticky messages will be one of the most valuable job skills in this new information order.last_img read more

Photo: Ohio State Signee Tweeted Out A Picture Of Michigan Football Toilet Paper

first_imgJ.T. Barrett running into the end zone for an Ohio State buckeyes touchdown.ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes for a fourth quarter touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Ohio State’s 2015 recruiting class is pretty stacked, as you’d expect it would be right after winning a national championship. Four star quarterback Joey Burrow signed his letter of intent this morning, and is already staking his claim as Buckeye fans’ favorite player in the class. Shortly after posting a tweet about his signing day, he sent a picture of toilet paper with a Michigan football logo on it.One dream down now it’s time to chase some more. Special day with my friends— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) February 4, 2015Where they should be— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) February 4, 2015That is certainly a good way for a Buckeye to endear himself to his fanbase.[Bleacher Report]last_img read more

Finance Minister Says No New Taxes

first_img Mr. Shaw said the Government will, however, focus on implementing non-tax initiatives to ensure that importers in particular “pay their fair share at the wharves”. “Happily, with this trajectory, it is not the Government’s plan to introduce a new tax package in the new Budget that is coming,” the Minister indicated. Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says no new taxes will be included in the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure Story Highlights Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says no new taxes will be included in the 2018/19 Estimates of ExpenditureHe says revenue inflows have been doing “fairly well” this year, noting that the out-turn at the end of December 2017 was $13 billion ahead of projections.“Happily, with this trajectory, it is not the Government’s plan to introduce a new tax package in the new Budget that is coming,” the Minister indicated.He was speaking at Mayberry Investments Limited’s monthly Investor Forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on January 17.Mr. Shaw said the Government will, however, focus on implementing non-tax initiatives to ensure that importers in particular “pay their fair share at the wharves”.To this end, he said the Jamaica Customs Agency has been instructed to take the necessary steps to acquire the requisite modern state-of-the-art X-ray equipment to enable them to scan all incoming containers.“We are going to (scan) all barrels and containers 100 per cent… . Everything coming in will be scanned, because all I want is a fair system where all persons pay their duties,” the Minister added.Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw advised that the Government plans to lobby the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to further reduce the Primary Surplus Balance.The primary surplus is the minimum set aside in the Budget for debt payments. This was a stipulation under the previous International Monetary Fund Extended Fund Facility, and remains under the successor Precautionary Standby Arrangement.“We had gotten a relaxation… from 7.5 per cent, which is where it (initially) was, down to seven per cent, and when the time is appropriate, we will seek to get it further down to 6.5 per cent and then six per cent. Of course, the more relaxation you have of the Primary Surplus is the more money you will have for capital expenditure,” the Minister explained.Mr. Shaw also advised that Jamaica’s debt is expected to further decline to 107.1 per cent of gross domestic product by the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year on March 31.last_img read more

Oil prices perk up on trade truce possible OPEC decision

first_imgA rally in oil prices after a two-month slide indicates traders are betting that OPEC and its allies including Russia will agree to produce less crude.Representatives of oil-producing nations will hold a highly anticipated meeting Thursday in Vienna, with analysts predicting that they will agree on a cut of at least 1 billion barrels a day in an effort to bolster prices.Russian President Vladimir Putin boosted expectations for a deal when he said at the G20 summit over last weekend that Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to extend an attempt by OPEC to balance oil supply and demand — although he provided no figures.Crude prices began falling in October and continued to plunge last month due to oversupply and fears that weaker global economic growth would dampen energy demand. The price of both benchmark U.S. crude and the standard for internationally traded oil fell 22 per cent in November.On Monday, however, West Texas intermediate rose $2.02, or 4 per cent, to settle at $52.95 a barrel, and Brent international crude climbed $2.23, or nearly 4 per cent, to close at $61.69 a barrel in London.Analysts attribute the turnaround to a truce in the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China. That has raised hopes that, with a cessation in further tit-for-tat tariffs, short-term economic growth and energy demand might be stronger than feared.Also, the Alberta premier announced that the Canadian province will trim production by 8.7 per cent because a shortage of pipeline capacity has caused a glut of Canadian crude. Canada is the largest source of oil imported by the U.S.Finally, the small but wealthy Persian Gulf nation of Qatar said Monday that it will leave OPEC in January. Qatar has been feuding with Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations that accuse it of financing terrorism.Qatar is one of the smallest oil producers in OPEC, so its departure will have only a marginal impact on the cartel’s share of the world’s supply. Still, the surprising announcement by Qatar’s energy minister underscores the political tension within OPEC, “which doesn’t necessarily make it easier to come to a decision” on cutting production, said JBC Energy analyst David Wech.Some analysts expect OPEC and Russia will agree to even larger cuts, about 1.5 million barrels a day. Anything less, they say, could set the stage for continued global oversupply next year and send oil prices lower.OPEC must produce “a credible agreement” to cut output by about 1.5 million barrels a day for oil prices to recover their recent losses, Credit Suisse analyst William Featherston wrote in a note Monday. The Saudis, he said, will have to bear the largest share of cuts.Saudi Arabia seems eager to reduce supply, Featherston said, but the kingdom’s decision is complicated by President Donald Trump’s desire for lower prices and the Saudis’ wish to improve relations with the U.S. after the murder of journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.Trump blamed OPEC and Saudi Arabia earlier this year for high oil prices. When U.S. crude skidded to $54 on Nov. 21, he tweeted, “Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” Trump might complain about cuts designed to send prices higher.U.S. producers have benefited from higher prices. American output has soared since the price bust of 2014-15, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the U.S. has eclipsed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest producer. (Saudi Arabia remains the top exporter.)Much of that new U.S. production is coming out of shale formations that lie underneath West Texas and New Mexico. Executives of some companies that operate there, including Trump supporter Harold Hamm, the chairman and CEO of Continental Resources Inc., have said recently that they might cut back on production if oil falls below $50 a barrel, which it barely avoided in late November.“I think (Trump) is starting to realize that if oil prices continue to fall, it might have a negative effect for U.S. producers,” said Phil Flynn, a prominent oil analyst. “I think he has heard from a couple of them, ‘Hey, you don’t want to crash this thing too hard.’”David Koenig, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Canfor extends temporary BC curtailment

first_imgThe Corporation plans to resume operations by January 7, 2019.“The curtailment extension and reduction in operating hours is expected to reduce Canfor’s production output by an additional 55 million board feet in Q1. The sawmills are scheduled to resume production on January 7, 2019.”Canfor has 13 sawmills in Canada, with a total annual capacity of approximately 3.8 billion board feet. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Canfor Corporation has announced it will be extending itstemporary curtailment at sawmills in British Columbia.Canfor will be reducing operating hours at some sawmills throughout the first quarter of 2019.Canfor says this decision is due to a continuing decline in lumber prices, in addition to high log costs and log supply constraints.last_img read more

Modi’s address gross misuse of power & machinery: Mayawati

first_imgLucknow: BSP president Mayawati Thursday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “gross misuse of power and machinery” in addressing the nation without prior permission of the Election Commission and hoped that the poll body will act in an exemplary manner. She was referring to Modi’s address to the nation on Wednesday announcing India’s successful test of an anti-satellite missile that put the country in an exclusive club of space super powers. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “The EC has formed a committee to examine the content of PM’s address yesterday but the real issue is why & how the PM addressed the country without its prior permission. It is the gross misuse of power & machinery for the electoral benefits. EC must act in an exemplary manner,” the BSP leader tweeted. “Previous experience proves that like law & order, BJP leaders are habitual offenders in violating Model Code of Conduct. And PM Mr Modi again flouted poll norms by addressing the country without prior permission of EC though there was no such emergency. Hope the EC acts promptly,” she said in another tweet. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K India shot down one of its satellites in space on Wednesday with an anti-satellite missile to demonstrate this complex capability, making it only the fourth country to have used such a weapon. Declaring India has established itself as a global space power after the success of the operation ‘Mission Shakti’, Modi said the missile hit a live satellite flying in a Low Earth Orbit after it traversed a distance of almost 300 km from earth within three minutes of its launch.last_img read more

CBDT orders I-T probe of 3 lakh de-registered firms for money laundering, DeMo misuse

first_imgNew Delhi: The CBDT has issued directions to Income Tax (I-T) offices across the country to probe financial transactions of about 3 lakh firms, de-registered by the government for their dubious financial credentials, for tax evasion and money laundering, especially during demonetisation. The board has asked the tax offices to undertake this special task and bring under their ambit the time period (over the last two years) when these companies were struck off from the records of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”To check possible misuse of such companies for money laundering activities, the board desires that the field authorities may verify deposits / withdrawals from the bank accounts of such companies during the process of striking down and just before that especially during the period of demonetisation,” the CBDT said in a communication. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the policy making body for the I-T Department. A senior official said the board has inputs that a number of these companies possibly indulged in tax crimes and once this is established, the department will initiate action against them for indulging in money laundering and tax evasion. He said cases of money laundering will also be referred to the Enforcement Directorate as it investigates cases under this category of tax crime. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe CBDT asked the taxman to collect the information about these firms from the public section of the MCA website and subsequently scan their I-T returns and check their financial transactions history from the banks where they had accounts. “In cases of detection of unusual transactions and beneficiaries thereof, appropriate action may be taken as per provisions of the I-T Act after seeking restoration of the struck off company by filing an appeal before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT),” the CBDT said. The board asked the tax department offices across the country to complete this task in a “time-bound” manner and make it a practise to keep a track of such companies who indulge in money laundering.last_img read more