9 May 2011Brazilian mining giant Vale has opened a new US$1.7-billion (R11.39-billion) coal mine in Mozambique, tapping the southern African country’s thermal and coking coal reserves of around 23-billion tonnes.Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and outgoing Vale chief executive Roger Agnelli opened the mine together on Sunday by pressing a button that triggered an underground explosion, enabling the company to bring to the surface its first coal from the mine in Moatize, outside the city of Tete in northwest Mozambique.As a giant smoke cloud mushroomed over the hundreds of VIP guests, a large truck brought a symbolic load to a conveyer belt and onward to a coal washing plant.“A dream of decades today becomes a reality,” said Guebuza.Largest single investmentThe $1.7-billion project is the largest single investment to date in Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries.Vale plans to start production in July and export one-million tonnes of coal this year, ramping up output to 11-million tonnes in a few years – and, local officials hope, boosting Mozambique’s current economic growth of 6.5%.Agnelli said the project would add as much as $3-billion to the economy.“Africa means opportunities,” he told journalists.Mozambique’s coal reserves have gone largely untapped since independence from Portugal in 1975. A civil war from 1977 to 1992 crippled the country’s economy and decimated its infrastructure.Two decades later, Mozambique is welcoming foreign investors to its mineral wealth and licking its lips at the prospect of a boom.In 2004, Vale became the first international mining giant to be granted a concession in Mozambique. At the peak of preparations, the company counted 7 500 workers, mostly Mozambican.Australian mining company Riversdale, in a partnership with Indian companies Tata steel and Jindal Steel and Power, are also developing major coal mines in Mozambique.Infrastructure concerns remainBut concerns remain about getting the product to market, as infrastructure renovation lags behind: “We are running at this stage to get the infrastructure ready for export,” said Agnelli, adding that exports would start in July, though railway authorities told AFP they would only be ready in August.Mozambique is scrambling to finish a much-delayed rebuilding of the 600-kilometre Sena railway line that connects coal-rich Moatize to the Indian Ocean port city of Beira. The coal terminal at the port is also unfinished.Even when ready, the Sena line will only be able to handle six-million tonnes of coal a year – four-million allocated to Vale and two-million to Riversdale – caps that are less than half the companies’ respective export goals.Vale is investing in another railway line from Tete to the northern port of Nacala, the coutry’s only deep-water port and a gateway to Indian Ocean ports for Mozambique’s land-locked southern African neighbours.The company is also funding the reconstruction of an international airbase in Nacala, Agnelli said.Sapa
The charitable giving service SwipeGood is launching a new feature today called “SmartGiving” that will enable its users to donate to different charities based on their monthly spending patterns.SwipeGood’s goal, according to co-founder Steli Efti, is to build a “simple, elegant solution to giving.” By tying donations in to your regular spending habits, SwipeGood has certainly made it simple. The company rounds up to the nearest dollar on every credit card transaction you make, and then donates that lump sum to a charitable organization. That works out to a roughly $20 donation per person who’s joined the platform so far – spare change adds up.Since SwipeGood launched late last year, Efti says they’ve attracted different sorts of users. Some have a clear idea of which cause they’d like their donations to go toward. Others like the idea of giving back, but aren’t particularly passionate about one cause or another. These users often bail from the system, overwhelmed by the 300 plus charities to choose from and unsure about where best to target their donations.A new feature launching today with SwipeGood addresses that. “SmartGiving” allocates the donations based on users’ actual spending habits. Rather than selecting one charity, SmartGiving means that donations are directed to multiple charities. Based on how your spending is allocated – groceries, housing, travel, for example – SmartGiving will automatically direct funds to food-, housing-, and eco-related charities. audrey watters Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts The idea of simplifying charitable donations is a nice one, and on one hand I think people might be willing to turn over their “spare change” for this sort of endeavor. On the other, I’m not sure if people will balk at having their spending data analyzed for this sort of thing. Users’ financial data is kept private here – this isn’t quite a Blippy for charitable giving. Using the category data from card transactions, SwipeGood breaks down spending into 5 large categories – home, food, healthcare, education, and nature. Watching that allocation and how it plays out as a charitable contribution might prove interesting data for some folks to consider their lifestyle and purchase habits. Tags:#news#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
The visit to the Taj Mahal may have been the highlight of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s short visit to Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, but he also discussed some important issues with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.At a meeting in Agra, the two leaders discussed collaboration to improve the lives of farmers in India’s most populous state. Among the issues raised were the two centres of excellence for horticulture and food processing coming up in Basti and Kannauj districts with Israel’s support, drinking water management in urban areas and solid waste management, a government spokesperson said.The critical subjects of water conservation, water recharging and drip irrigation were also discussed in context of the depleting water table in the drought-prone Bundelkhand. Mr. Adityanath said the talks were “extremely positive”, and would pave the way for exchange of technical knowledge in future. Exudes confidence“I have faith that through the exchange of technology and in the interests of farmers in mind, the talks will move forward. We will try to bring a smile to the faces of farmers through the use of technology,” he said. The signs of new collaboration between the State government and Israel come months after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Jal Nigam of Uttar Pradesh and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources on water utility reforms.
Accusing the Opposition of sympathising with criminals, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday declared in the State Legislative Council that police encounters in the State would not stop.Speaking in the House during the Zero Hour, Mr. Adityanath pointed towards the Opposition and said everybody knew who gave patronage to criminals.A total of 40 dreaded criminals have been gunned down in 1,200 encounters, and this will continue, the Chief Minister said.He was replying to Devendra Pratap Singh’s (BJP) question on propriety pertaining to the February 13 directive of Chairman Ramesh Yadav asking the Yogi Adityanath government to get a CBI probe conducted into three cases, including of two police encounters.“It is unfortunate that some people are showing sympathy towards criminals. This is dangerous for democracy. The Noida incident which took place on February 3, in which Jitendra Yadav was hit by a bullet, was not a police encounter, and police do not count it as an encounter. Even the person affected had endorsed it,” he said.The Chief Minister urged the Chair to consider the questions raised by Devendra Pratap Singh.To this, Leader of Opposition Ahmed Hasan (SP) said the Chair had already directed the government to get a CBI probe conducted. “Now it can either recommend a CBI probe or may not do so. What is the relevance of the objection,” Mr. Hasan asked.Later, Chairman Ramesh Yadav said he would reserve his decision on the question of propriety raised by Mr. Singh.
Amid a growing demand of BJP leaders for renaming Allahabad as Prayag, party chief Amit Shah on Friday visited the Sangam city where he interacted with Hindu seers and participated in prayers and rituals. While Mr. Shah did not speak to media during his day-long visit of the city, it is being seen as politically significant as Allahabad is set to host the Kumbh Mela (formerly known as Ardh Kumbh) from January to March 2019, around the time when the campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections is expected to be at its peak.The Yogi Adityanath government plans to make the upcoming Kumbh an even bigger spectacle than the 2013 Maha Kumbh. The State claims that 120 million pilgrims and tourists are expected to visit the Kumbh Mela. The government also aims to attract at least four-five pilgrims from each of the over 6,00,000 villages in the country. NRI delegates who will attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas summit in Varanasi (January 21-23) during the same time would also be shown around the Mela.In Allahabad, Mr. Shah laid the foundation of a yoga and meditation centre at the Sangam and offered prayers at the Maujgiri temple of the Juna Akhara. He also inaugurated a ghat for the Maujgiri temple on the banks of the Yamuna, besides performing aarti at the Yamuna ghat, and offered prayers at the famous Bade Hanuman Mandir. Mr. Shah’s visit to Allahabad comes amid a demand by senior BJP leaders and the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the apex governing body of 13 major Hindu akharas in the country, to rename Allahabad as Prayag. U.P. Cabinet Minister Sidharth Nath Singh had recently written to Governor Ram Naik requesting him to rechristen Allahabad. In his letter, Mr. Singh cited the significance of Prayag in “ancient Hindu texts” as a cultural centre. Then on July 22, a delegation of seers led by Swami Narendra Giri, head of the ABAP, met Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and pressed the same demand.Talking to The Hindu, Swami Narendra Giri said Mr. Shah had assured him that Allahabad would be renamed Prayag soon. “[My] demand has been fulfilled. There will be no hurdles. This proposal is going to be passed by the State Cabinet,” Swami Narendra Giri said.The seer also said Mr. Shah’s interaction with seers during his Allahabad trip, which included a lunch at the Baghambari Gaddi, was focused on the preparations for the Kumbh Mela. He said the Ram Mandir issue was not discussed on the day. ‘Not political’BJP spokesperson Chandramohan said Mr. Shah’s visit should not be linked to politics or the 2019 polls. “It was a spiritual yatra on the day of Guru Purnima,” he said, adding that the visit was focused on reviewing preparations for the Kumbh and also a part of his outreach programme, ‘Sampark for Samarthan’.Mr. Shah’s visit came a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicks off a two-day visit of Lucknow where he will launch 95 projects related to urban housing and infrastructure, and the Smart Cities scheme, and participate in the ground-breaking ceremony of mega projects in U.P. worth a massive ₹60,000 crore that were pledged by investors during the UP Investors Summit 2018 in February.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on January 23 called to revoke government benefits to those people who bear more than two children, and that such people should not be eligible to even vote. “Those who have more than 2 children, their voting rights should be taken away & they shouldn’t be allowed to contest elections. Don’t let them use govt schools, hospitals, & don’t give them govt jobs. Population will be controlled automatically,” said Ramdev.
Deputy Chief Minister and senior leader of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) Sudin Dhavalikar, who was also Minister for Public Works, was dropped from the Cabinet on Wednesday morning by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Mr. Dhavalikar was dropped following a split in the three-member MGP, with two of his colleagues merging the split legislative wing into BJP.Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Dhavlikar said, “At night, the ‘chowkidars’, by committing biggest dacoity on MGP, have shocked the people of Goa. People of Goa are watching this. People will decide on the course of action.”One of the two MGP MLAs who joined BJP, Manohar Ajgaonkar, is a Minister in the BJP-led coalition government. The other MLA, Deepak Pauskar, is expected to be sworn in as a Cabinet Minister later in the evening after Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, who is out of station, arrives in Goa, Chief Minister Sawant has confirmed. The political development and rift between the ruling BJP and the MGP is expected to heat up in the campaign of the upcoming general elections for two Lok Sabha seats and three assembly seats. Sources in the MGP have indicated that it will field candidates against the BJP. Dipak Dhavlikar, brother of Mr. Dhavlikar is already in the fray in the Shiroda by-poll and has refused to withdraw from it despite repeated pleas from the BJP to its ally.
Fireworks light up the Jawaharlal Nehry Stadium at the CWG opening ceremony on Sunday evening.Putting behind months of controversies, New Delhi put together a spectacular opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games, which received the approval of all watching.The show of colour, light, music and dance at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium left the 65,000-plus present there screaming in delight as the 12-day sporting extravaganza kicked off with participating teams from 71 members of the Commonwealth.Prince Charles, filling in for Queen Elizabeth II, declared the Games open after which President Pratibha Patil, making a short speech, said, “Let the Games begin!”AR Rahman capped the evening with his CWG anthem, Jeeyo Utho Badho, followed by Jai Ho, which the crowd gladly sung along.Among those attending the grand opening were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi, and Patil’s husband Devi Singh Shekhawat.Manmohan said: “Welcome to India, welcome to these Games. It is a proud moment for the country. We invite all our guests to enjoy our hospitality.”CWG chief Michael Fennell, who was critical of the Games preparations, acknowledged the big, through belated, turnaround. “Congratulations to the Organising Committee. Let us join hands in celebrating the glorious opening ceremony,” he said.Abhinav Bindra leads the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.The Delhi Games organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi was initially welcomed by the large crowd here, but later booed by it. advertisement”India is ready to host the games,” Kalmadi said, reading out from a prepared speech, sounding confident and not a man whose career in sports administration nearly came to an end because of the problems leading up to this day.Kalmadi also mentioned AB Vajpayee in his speech as he brought the Games to India. At the parade of the participating contingents, the Pakistan team received loud cheers. But the roof was brought down the moment ace marksman and Olympic hero Abhinav Bindra led the Indian contingent on to the park.Patil, Manmohan and Sonia all stood up to applaud the Indian team, which aims to finish with a best ever CWG rank of No. 2.The day’s festivities were marred a little by official broadcaster Doordarshan’s deferred live coverage of the event.Rahman’s act was broadcast only after 10.30 pm, nearly an hour after the opening ceremony had already concluded.
Mercedes Benz price increaseMercedes Benz is incidentally the first luxury maker to have entered India more than 15 years ago. With the launch of the new A-Class and B-Class Sports Tourer vehicles, it has been able to regain lost ground from competitors BMW and Audi. Owing to rising input costs and high exchange rate, the company has recently announced a small price hike of 2.5% across its model range from September 1, 2014Speaking more on the situation, Mr Eberhard Kern, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said, “Mercedes-Benz continues to offer ‘top of the line’ products for its customers and focuses on adding more value to their overall ownership experience. We have decided to upwardly revise the prices of some of our models given the rising input costs and continued high exchange rate. Mercedes Benz models are highly enriched in terms of features and they command high customer preference in the market. Our aim remains to grow sustainably in the market in the long-term and keep creating new benchmark in modern luxury for our customers.”Quality, world-class safety standards and refined performance are always standard with the Mercedes brand and the company will continue to maintain its high standards even in times of inflation. To adhere to the interests of the buyers, Mercedes Benz has come out with a host of financial services. Elaborating on the same, Mr. Kern said, “Despite the price hike, the attractive financial solutions from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services like ‘Flexinomics’, ‘STAR Agility, STAR Lease’ and ‘STAR Supersonic’ loan approvals etc. are all tailor made for our customers. These solutions will provide benchmark value proposition, enabling a hassle free purchase, while our service programmes like Star Care, Star Ease and Road Side Assistance, will enhance the customer’s overall ownership experience.”advertisement
New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) The government has come up with a handbook detailing ways to deal with children in conflict with the law, emphasising on launching a database and a tracking system for their effective rehabilitation post incarceration, after procedural flaws were exposed in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya case.The standard operating procedure (SOP), prepared by the women and child development (WCD) ministry based on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015, aims at eliminating maltreatment of such children while protecting them from violence, abuse and exploitation.The objective of all the stakeholders should be to rehabilitate and reintegrate children in conflict with the law into the mainstream, the SOP states.The ministry has recommended a slew of activities as part of the rehabilitation process which include yoga, physical training, meditation, skill training, computer education, art and craft therapy, training in spoken English, dance and drama and sports.It also enumerates individual care plans to be drafted for each child which is mandated in by the JJ Act.The SOP has laid down a provision for professional course for a child in order to make him/her financially independent and recommended that child care institutions tie up with universities for such courses.It has also advised that there should be a follow-up plan in place for all children in conflict with the law who are in institutional care.”Institutions should conduct regular follow-up programmes for all released children to ensure the child does not get back to a difficult situation. Institution should maintain regular contact with the children and their families.advertisement”Regular follow-up activities help to reduce the rate of recidivism. Institutions should conduct half yearly meets to get a feedback from the juveniles about their current situation and to ascertain the further interventions required for their successful rehabilitation,” the SOP said.Flaws were exposed in the procedural aspects of the JJ Act in the aftermath of the release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case, prompting the government to work on a comprehensive plan for such children so that they do not become repeat offenders.The juvenile convict in the gangrape and murder of a 23- year-old physiotherapy intern in Delhi in December 2012 was released in December 2015 and is believed to be working at a roadside eatery in South India.Ministry officials say that there was no follow-up plan devised for his release.The officials also say that while he was taught how to stitch and cook, it was a south India-based non-for-profit organisation which later trained him and presently monitoring him.The ministrys SOP also has a provision for after-care whereby a tracking system is to be created by state governments through which children, once they leave child care institutions, will be tracked for minimum three years to analyse the transition.The government may also set up a database of children leaving child care homes upon turning 18 every year and also create helpline numbers for those who are out of institutional care, where they can contact to seek guidance or counselling, whenever required, and can find solutions for their concerns.The Supreme Court had earlier this month upheld the death sentence for four others convicted of the rape and murder of the woman who later came to be known as “Nirbhaya”, the fearless. PTI ASG SMN