zoomImage by WMN Uncertain market conditions coupled with international sanctions against Russia have delayed yet again the planned initial public offering (IPO) of the country’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot, Reuters reported citing the company’s CEO Sergei Frank.Hence, the company plans to wait out until the shipping market recovers in full in order to list its shares. As explained by Frank, despite signs of market rebound in the fourth quarter of last year, this is far from the historical average the company is waiting for.Russia owns 100% stake in the company and is seeking to sell 25% stake targeting around 24 billion rubles (USD 358 million). Earlier reports suggested that the preferred investors would be small-scale rather than a strategic buyer as Moscow would like to keep control of the company’s management.The privatization process, aimed at collecting fresh funds for the company, have been faced with several delays over the past few years.Sovcomflot managed to return to the black in the third quarter ended September 30, 2018, amid signs of a better balance in the tanker market.Namely, the company reported a net profit of USD 0.3 million for the period, against a loss of USD 22 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier.World Maritime News Staff
After 131 years, Ladies’ Home Journal will end its monthly frequency in July and convert to a newsstand-only special interest quarterly publication this fall. In its new format, the New York-based Ladies’ Home Journal will relocate to parent Meredith Corp.’s Des Moines, Iowa headquarters.While LHJ.com will continue to publish to its 1.1 million monthly unique visitors (comScore), Meredith communications director Art Slusark confirmed to FOLIO: that the entire editorial staff (around 35 employees) was laid off, including six-year editor-in-chief Sally Lee. Lee also serves as the Meredith National Media Group New York editorial director. Also out is publisher Diane Malloy, but Slusark said that she and others on the business side could still secure positions within the company.The monthly magazine carried a rate base of 3.2 million readers. The title will forever be remembered as a member of the women’s-service magazines’ “seven sisters.” McCall’s folded in 2012, but Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Woman’s Day still survive. LHJ’s advertising pages more than halved between 2009 (1,269.82 ) and 2013 (614.64). The 2014 differential is a poor -23.36 percent when compared to last year.Ladies’ Home Journal survived an earlier crisis in 1982 when Charter Communications all but gave it away to Family Media as “homemaking” was becoming archaic. The magazine quickly prospered under editor-in-chief Myrna Blyth (now AARP editorial director) between 1981 and 2002. The late Family Media CEO Bob Riordan was said to have made a handsome profit when he sold the magazine to Meredith for $96 million in 1986.
Share your voice 6 Photos Comments Tags Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook’s data mining scandal.iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet. 3 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday announced changes to the company’s formula for determining employee bonuses. Alex Wong/Getty Images Facebook is changing how it determines employee bonuses, tying them to how well the company confronts issues such as misinformation and hate speech on the platform.Facebook’s employee bonuses were previously based on factors such as user growth and product quality. The social-media giant is updating its formula to better reflect the company’s updated priorities for 2019, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday during an all-hands meeting at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters.Those updated goals, as outlined last month by Zuckerberg during a conference call with analysts, include making progress on the social issues facing the internet and Facebook, building services that improve people’s lives, supporting businesses and being more transparent about the role Facebook plays in the world.”Over the past two years, we’ve fundamentally changed how we run Facebook,” Facebook said in a statement. “This particular change is designed to ensure that we are incentivizing people to keep making progress on the major social issues facing the internet and our company.”Facebook’s move comes as the social media giant faces its toughest stretch in its 15-year history. The company is under pressure to do more to combat election meddling, misinformation and hate speech on the platform. It’s also come under fire for not doing enough to protect the data privacy and security of its 2.3 billion users after the company revealed that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million users without their permission. The company’s series of scandals didn’t appear to affect its revenue and profits in the fourth quarter, both of which beat estimates and fueled a rally in its stock last Wednesday.Facebook said there isn’t an easy formula for determining whether the company achieves its goals, but said it will record its progress by tracking how many fake accounts it takes down daily and improvements to safety and security. Internet The great Facebook exodus Mark Zuckerberg Facebook
In October 2018, the Space Council approved six recommendations to send to the president, which became part of Trump’s fourth Space Policy Directive. The recommendations lay the groundwork for the Space Force by establishing a new, unified space command as well as a new space technology procurement agency, and by initiating an interagency review of space capabilities. In addition, Pence said during his speech announcing the plan, the Space Council would work with the National Security Council to “remove red tape” around the rules of engagement in space, which could be construed as looking for a way around the insistence by the international Outer Space Treaty that all activities in space be peaceful. So what exactly is a Space Force? This is one of the foggier parts of the proposal. While it’s envisioned as a service branch like the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy that people could enlist and serve in, it’s not completely clear what those enlistees would be doing. It seems unlikely that the Space Force will be sending troops to space on a regular basis, if at all. Instead, it appears a Space Force would be much more focused on imposing military influence on current space traffic, which is mostly unmanned spacecraft (satellites, by and large), and also consolidating the way items in space are used to guide and assist military operations on the surface of the planet.Isn’t our military already doing things in and about space?Yes. The US military has been actively involved in space activities for decades. In the 1960s, at the same time that NASA was working toward a moon landing, the Air Force even had a parallel manned space program with its own astronauts, although none of them ever launched, as far as we know.Today, a significant portion of US military activities tied to space resides in the Air Force Space Command, headquartered in Colorado, with over 30,000 people worldwide and launch facilities in Florida and California. The command handles missions that include satellite communications, missile warning systems, global positioning systems, surveillance of space, and other projects like the secretive X-37B space plane. Now playing: Watch this: Tags Sci-Tech 12 Photos Target Military Space Donald Trump Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: The US is getting a Space Force 1:31 Will Trump’s Space Force really protect us all? Three months later, Trump made it clear he was serious. At a meeting of the National Space Council, he directed the Department of Defense to begin the process of forming a sixth branch of the military.”It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” Trump said. “We must have American dominance in space.” The president doesn’t have the authority to create a military service on his own. That’s a job for Congress, which last did so in 1947 when, with President Harry Truman’s signature, it spun the Air Force out of the Army. But Trump has been moving forward with the Pentagon and the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, to develop and talk up a plan that includes both executive actions and a legislative proposal. 24 In August, President Trump tweeted “Space Force All The Way” in support of his proposed new military service. Could it serve as a motto for the branch? NASA/NOAA image with text by Amanda Kooser/CNET From the start, the name Space Force sounded like a punchline. It carried echoes of juvenile name-calling and Hollywood laugh lines. Space cadet. Spaceballs. Marvin the Martian’s Q-36 explosive space modulator.But despite the plans getting blasted by Twitter snark and inspiring a new Netflix comedy starring Steve Carell, President Donald Trump’s Space Force is serious business.The basic concept is a call to arms for a new way of dealing with military matters in Earth’s orbit. The Trump administration hopes to have a United States Space Force up and running by as soon as 2020, but politics could stand in the way of meeting that goal.The midterm elections of 2018 and resulting shift of power in the House of Representatives from Republican to Democratic control make it unlikely a whole new branch of the military will be created as Trump initially proposed. At least not until the next election.In the meantime, Trump formally reestablished the United States Space Command as a division within the Department of Defense on Aug. 29. Space Command is one of 11 unified combatant commands that oversee a certain geographical or functional area: United States European Command and Cyber Command are a few other examples of existing combatant commands.Space Command isn’t new; it was established in 1985 by President Reagan and went away when it was merged with US Strategic Command in 2002 following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.Trump said that reviving the command is a step towards creating his Space Force as a sixth military branch.Another idea from the White House is to create a Space Force that exists within the structure of the Air Force. On Feb. 19, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4 calling for the creation of a Space Force Department that will be under the purview of the Secretary of the Air Force. The directive specifically maintains the goal of eventually converting the new department into its own, sixth military branch. Even as a department within the Air Force, the new Space Force will still need to have its funding approved by Congress in an upcoming budget. Still, in just a few years, military recruiters could be looking to sign up America’s best and brightest for a brand new military duty that no one was talking about a year ago.Here are some key things to know about what exactly a Space Force might do and how this vision might turn into reality. How did this Space Force talk get started?The idea for a cosmic military branch seems to have begun as an aside by President Trump, who first used the term “space force” in public during an address to Marines in March 2018.”We’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space, and I said, ‘Maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the Space Force,” Trump said during the speech. “I was not really serious, and then I said, What a great idea. Maybe we’ll have to do that.” Comments 1:16 X-37B: The space plane of mystery (pictures) A Pentagon memo obtained by Defense One indicates that the Trump administration’s original proposal for a sixth military branch had the Space Force absorbing the Naval Satellite Operations Center, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, parts of Air Force Space Command and the Army’s 1st Space Brigade, which was specifically created for “enabling the delivery of decisive combat power” and includes two astronauts who are basically on loan to NASA.Why do we need this? Pence has made the argument that space is a “war-fighting domain” and that other global powers like Russia and China are already treating it as such. That phrase echoes what some in the Air Force have been saying for months.The stakes are high. Much of our 21st-century economy and lifestyle — from bank transactions to weather forecasting to television service to the GPS directions guiding you on your vacation road trip — depends on satellites functioning round the clock and without interruption. The military depends on them too.But space right now is a bit like the Wild West, with a wide-ranging mix of government and commercial satellites, all of them sitting ducks. We’ve even seen an instance of target practice: In 2007, China shot down one of its own satellites — mission accomplished in its own right, it also littered orbit with potentially destructive space debris. Many saw the operation as a veiled display of military power. Is everyone on board with the idea?Definitely not. Since Trump’s aside in March of 2018, the notion of a Space Force has been a constant target of ridicule on social media, talk shows and sometimes even on CNET. More seriously, some analysts say the creation of a new military branch would weaken some of the other branches and lead to internal squabbling within the military. “When you create a new bureaucracy, that bureaucracy tends to focus on its own ends. That’s where the problems happen,” Dan Grazier, military fellow at the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight, told SpaceNews. Trump’s own Air Force secretary, Heather Wilson, has been less than enthusiastic about the idea. Wilson signed a memo that estimated starting up a Space Force would cost $13 billion over five years, a figure dismissed by Pence and other Space Force boosters. Grazier argues that the cost could be significantly higher.But what was once a “not really serious” idea soon gained serious momentum, and even Wilson has since said publicly that she’s in “complete alignment” with the plan.But for a now a full-blown Space Force remains grounded on the doorstep of Congress.Originally published Oct. 27, 2018. Update, Jan. 16, 2019: Adds that Netflix will be producing a workplace comedy based on Space Force. Update, Feb. 19: Adds that the President signed a directive to create the Space Force within the Air Force.Update, Aug. 30: Adds formal establishment of US Space Command.
Police recovered body of a young man from a betel nut orchard at Mujgonni village in Monirampur upazila of Jessore district on Friday morning.The deceased is Ashraful Islam, 30, son of late Abdul Kader of the village.Monirampur police station officer-in-charge Md Mokarram Hossain said locals spotted the body at the orchard in the morning and informed police.Later, police recovered the body and sent it to Jessore Sadar Hospital for autopsy, the OC said, adding that there were marks on the victim’s throat which could be from strangulation.Victim’s wife Hamida Khatun alleged that there was an extramarital affair between Ashraful and Khaleda Khatun, wife of a Malaysia expatriate Abdur Razzak, a neighbour.Ashraful might be strangulated to death over the affair, she added.Police took Khadela Khatun to their custody for interrogation, the OC said.
Donald TrumpNorth Korea has freed three American detainees, president Donald Trump announced Wednesday, hailing a diplomatic victory ahead of a planned summit with Kim Jong Un.Pyongyang granted the three men “amnesty,” a US official said, and they are now on their way back to the United States with secretary of state Mike Pompeo.Two of the men, agricultural expert Kim Hak-song and former professor Tony Kim were arrested in 2017, while Kim Dong-chul, a South Korea-born American businessman and pastor in his 60s, was sentenced to 10 years’ hard labour in 2016.”I am pleased to inform you that secretary of state Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health,” Trump tweeted.The White House said all three men were able to walk unassisted onto a US Air Force plane that carried them and the secretary of state out of North Korea.A second plane, with more robust medical equipment, waited for them at Yokota Air Force Base, just outside Tokyo.”All indications are their health is as good as could be given they been through,” said Pompeo.The family of Tony Kim voiced their gratitude to “all of those who have worked toward and contributed to his return home” — and specifically thanking Trump for “engaging directly with North Korea.””Mostly, we thank God for Tony’s safe return,” the family said in a statement. “We ask that you continue to pray for the people of North Korea and for the release of all who are still being held.”Trump meanwhile described the release as “a gesture of good will” and said he would be on hand when Pompeo’s three “guests” land at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington at 2:00 am (0600 GMT) Thursday.Trump acolytes declared the release an unbridled political victory, evidence, vice president Mike Pence said, that “strong leadership and our America First policies are paying dividends.”The men’s release appears to pave the way for a much-anticipated summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim, scheduled to take place within weeks.- Summit details to follow -Trump says a time, date and location have been decided for that historic summit, although US officials say there are still some details to be worked out.Pompeo told reporters the administration would “in the next handful of days be able to announce date and time.”Possible locations include Singapore and the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea.The meeting will discuss North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic weapons programme, which may soon give Pyongyang the capability of striking the continental United States.Trump has demanded that North Korea give up its nukes, while Kim has offered few indications about what he is willing to concede or what he will demand in return.North Korea has often insisted that the United States withdraw support for South Korea, where 30,000-plus US military personnel are stationed.Since coming to office Trump has embarked on a campaign of “maximum pressure” on the North Korean regime.A series of provocative North Korean missile tests have been met with US sanctions and a tougher Chinese stance on cross border trade.Officials in Washington believe the punitive economic measures have prompted fuel shortages in North Korea and increased tension inside the regime.North Korea official Kim Yong Chul, who met Pompeo in Pyongyang, insisted the country’s openness to talks was “not the result of sanctions that have been imposed from outside,” but a change in regime focus.”We have perfected our nuclear capability. It is our policy to concentrate all efforts into economic progress in country,” he said.
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen. File photoForeign minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday informed parliament that a total of 8,848 Bangladeshis are now staying in jails or detention centres of different countries, including India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the USA, reports UNB.The minister came up with the statistics while responding to a question by treasury bench MPM Abdul Latif (Chattogram-11).As per the data, the highest 2,051 Bangladeshis are now languishing in different prisons of India, including 2,031 in Kolkata.Besides, the minister said,1,289 Bangladeshis are now staying in prisons in Saudi Arabia while1,156 in the UAE, 693 in Bahrain, 572 in Malaysia, 442 in Oman, 351 in Qatar, 316 in Kuwait, 275 In Iraq, 243 in Iran, 126 in the UK and 79 in the USA.Momen said his ministry with the help of Bangladesh embassies and high commissions is working to bring the Bangladeshis back from the jails of those countries.He said the foreign ministry usually appoints lawyers, prepare travel documents and necessary papers for either reducing the tenure of punishment or getting clemency whenever any Bangladeshi is jailed by foreign countries.
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen View Fullscreen X 00:00 /00:00 Andrew Schneider/Houston Public MediaPhoto, taken across the street from Houston City Hall, August 8, 2018Mayor Sylvester Turner has scheduled a public meeting tomorrow, Wednesday January 16, with the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA). The mayor wants to discuss the union’s ideas on how to implement voter mandated pay raises without busting the budget and the union has accepted his proposal to meet.Mayor Turner sent an open letter to firefighters’ union president Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton last week, inviting him to discuss the union’s ideas for implementing Proposition B. That’s the ballot measure that requires firefighters get the same pay as police of similar ranks.On Tuesday afternoon, Lancton said he wrote back a series of questions, but had yet to receive any answers. “And what we asked was, ‘Will you bring your own solutions, not simply demand that us or the people in the community not only negotiate against each other or we with ourselves?’” Lancton says. “That’s not constructive.”Lancton also asked whether the mayor would cease threatening to lay off workers. Both Mayor Turner and City Controller Chris Brown say the only way the city can afford the firefighters’ raises is by laying off hundreds of city workers – including firefighters.Later on Tuesday afternoon, the firefighters union said in a statement that Lancton and union attorney Troy Blakeney will meet with Mayor Turner Wednesday “to discuss implementation of Prop B and settlement of the City’s pending lawsuit against firefighters.”In the statement, the union also announced it is seeking a court order “compelling the city to begin paying firefighters equally with police officers on a rank-by-rank basis.”In a letter sent to Ron Lewis, the City of Houston’s Attorney, Blakeney wrote: “It is not our intent to have another public debate between Mayor Turner and HPFFA President Lancton” and added the union looks forward to “gaining a better understanding of the City of Houston’s proposals and options for implementing Prop B and discussing a possible resolution of the legal actions concerning this matter.”Note: The meeting will take place at the Houston City Hall Annex at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. It is open to the public, but seating is limited. Share
By BRIAN WITTE, Associated PressANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A White Maryland lawmaker was censured by the state’s House of Delegates on Thursday for making a racial slur about a legislative district in a majority-Black county, but she said she would not resign despite calls for her to do so.The House voted 137-0 for the body’s expression of severe disapproval against Del. Mary Ann Lisanti.Maryland Del. Mary Ann Lisanti talks to reporters after the House of Delegates voted to censure her on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 in Annapolis, Md., for making a racial slur about a majority-black county. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)“With this vote, we are saying as a body that racial slurs and racially charged language cannot and will not be tolerated by this House,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais, a Democrat who is the House majority leader.In addition, House Speaker Michael Busch is kicking Lisanti off of a legislative committee. The speaker already has stripped Lisanti of a leadership post she held earlier in the week.Lisanti, a Harford County Democrat who is in her second term, apologized earlier in the week to the Legislative Black Caucus and the Democratic House Caucus, as well as publicly in a written statement, after The Washington Post reported she used the slur in reference to Prince George’s County during an after-hours gathering with fellow legislators at a cigar lounge in the state capital after a dinner.Maryland political leaders from both parties and civil rights groups have called for her resignation. After the censure vote, however, Lisanti said she will not resign. She rose in the House chamber to speak, but she was not acknowledged and spoke to reporters outside of the chamber.“To those who have called for my resignation, I say quitting is easy, but not the road to redemption,” Lisanti said. “Quitting this body would in fact be an easy way out.”The resolution the House voted on noted that Lisanti “has publicly admitted to using a hateful and derogatory racial slur while describing a predominantly African American legislative district in Prince George’s County.”Even after apologizing earlier this week, Lisanti expressed some doubt Thursday about whether she used the word, though she said she was taking responsibility for saying it.“It is apparent that some in attendance heard, or thought they overheard, an inappropriate word, and in lieu of reporting the incident in accordance with our newly adopted harassment policy chose to instead contact a member of the media, thus igniting the firestorm that brings us all here tonight,” she said.The situation has caused a considerable distraction this week, as the General Assembly has crossed into the second half of its annual 90-day session.The speaker said he would not allow the House to be “torn apart by hurtful and divisive slurs.”“Delegate Lisanti’s use of a racial slur to describe an entire community is inexcusable,” Busch, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Her actions have caused hurt and disappointment among legislators and the general public. This behavior has become a distraction to the important work that these dedicated public servants do each and every day in the legislature.”Nearly 30 percent of the state’s population is African-American, and 57 members of the 188-member General Assembly are Black.When Lisanti was first asked about the comment by the Post, the newspaper reported that she said: “I don’t recall that … I don’t recall much of that evening.”Asked Thursday about whether she believes she had had too much to drink that night, she said “I do not,” adding she had just had a very long day.The condemnation of the comment came as state government in neighboring Virginia has been embroiled in scandal after Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, acknowledged they wore Blackface in the 1980s. They have resisted calls to resign.