India Signs Customs Treaty With Holland To Push Business With Europe

first_imgIndia and European economic major Netherlands last week singed Customs Treaty which will boost trade ties between the two countries through an efficicent management of customs rules. Menno Snel, Netherlands Minister for Customs and Taxation, during whose trip the Customs Treaty was signed told ET that the more efficient cargo can pass borders, whether in the Port of Rotterdam or Mumbai – or the airport of New Delhi, the more time and money is saved. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

Dazzling Success

first_imgOnce small farmers in the villages of Gujarat, they now harvest diamonds. And what a bumper crop it is!Almost 80 percent of the world’s polished diamonds pass through the hands of Indian merchants, some of whom are among the biggest players in the multibillion-dollar diamond business. These merchants of dreams create the sparkling diamond rings, solitaire earrings and wedding bands that initiate couples into wedded bliss; they are the ones who craft the jeweled baubles that celebrate every joyous occasion.For Indian diamond merchants, many of whom are the descendents of farmers from Palanpur and Kathiawar in Gujarat, the whole world has become their beat. The diamond-paved city of Antwerp is a second home to them, as is the bustling diamond district of New York. Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Russia, Sri Lanka and Canada are all extensions of their factories and workplaces and their glittering crafts are found in retail emporia around the world.Today, India’s total export of gem and jewelry to the United States alone stands at $6.2 billion, and Indian goods account for over two-thirds of the total volume of retail jewelry sold in the United States. In fact, the Indian company Rosy Blue is one of the largest customers for rough diamonds from the diamond giant De Beers, which controls 60 percent of the world’s supply. At least six Indian companies make up the top ten De Beers clients. Rajshekhar Parikh of Renaissance Gems: “When we came, we used to sell to Jewish wholesalers. Then we started selling to retailers and went into jewelry manufacturing.”Other major companies that have a presence on several continents apart from Rosy Blue, are Eurostar, Emby International, Vijay Diamonds, Disons Gems, Paras Diamonds, and Shivani Gems. The Lakhi Group, another major player in the industry, entered the media limelight when Dilip Kumar Lakhi became the highest individual taxpayer in India in 2003.The Lakhi family, probably the only Sindhi family among the big players, started out modestly in Jaipur as traders in precious stones and then moved into manufacturing. Today the five brothers have expanded the family business to several companies, and Prakash Lakhi heads Vishinda in New York. The Lakhi Group is one of the largest exporter of diamonds from India and has perhaps the world’s largest diamond polishing factory in Surat, with over 6,000 workers under one roof.Nor are Indian diamond merchants, a low profile crowd if ever there was one, blowing their own trumpet. The Wall Street Journal did it for them recently, noting that in Antwerp, the Indians’ share of the $26 billion-a-year diamond revenues had risen to roughly 65 percent from about 25 percent just 20 years ago. The Jewish share had fallen to 25 percent from 70 percent.Idex, the magazine of the International Diamond Exchange, published from Israel, also recently ran an article titled “India’s Dazzling Secrets.”While estimating that India produces 50 percent of the world’s polished diamond consumption by value and 80 percent by weight, the article notes that the Indian industry alone imported some 129.3 million carats of rough diamonds last year: “India has become financially probably the strongest manufacturing sector and its largest companies are among the fastest growing conglomerates in the world.” Basant Johari: “We grew up seeing diamonds and emeralds right from birth.”Indians, of course, have a very old connection with diamonds. In fact, the Museum of Natural History in New York showcased a landmark exhibition of diamonds recently, noting that the first diamonds were mined in India. The earliest known hreference to diamonds is in a Sanskrit manuscript, the Arthasastra by Kautiliya, a minister to Chandragupta of the Mauryan dynasty.Diamonds were discovered in India in the 4th century BC and except for a minor supply of diamonds in Borneo, India was the world’s only source until the 1730s. The diamond mines of Golconda were legendary, but gradually rich deposits were discovered in many other countries. Today the Majhgawan pipe near Panna is India’s only diamond producing source, and now the hot spots for mining have shifted to Australia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Canada.Ever the innovators, Indians have taken on a new role: banking on skilled hands and eyes and enterprise, they have become the most prolific diamond polishers in the world!“The largest exporter of polished diamonds is India and Israel is second,” says Basant Johari, the president of Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association in New York. “India exports by value about 50 percent of the world’s production, and by quantity over 80 percent in carats. If you look at the number of stones, India produces ten stones out of every 11 stones.” Apart from the skill, Johari explains, there is a very big difference in the price structure of labor in India, as compared to Israel or the United States.In India, the rough diamonds come from either De Beers or traders who buy in the open market in Antwerp, and to a certain extent even from New York and other places in the world, including the Argyle Mines in Australia. So, not surprisingly, Indians have become entrenched in Antwerp, which is the hub of the diamond trade with four diamond exchanges. Prakash Lakhi of Vishinda in New York. The Lakhi group is one of the largest exporters of diamonds from India.Dilip Mehta, who is based in Antwerp, is one of the biggest players. He is the CEO of Rosy Blue, a global company that had net sales of $1.25 billion last year, with offices or factories in 14 locations employing15,000 people worldwide. It is the biggest exporter of polished diamonds from India, but its dealings have spread across continents.When this writer conducted a long interview with Mehta in Antwerp via his cell phone on a Sunday, he constantly and politely terminated other calls, but he did attend to one pressing matter. It was the demands of his little granddaughter, insisting he untie a balloon. The lines from Europe to America crackled, as things came to a halt while he patiently attended to this important task.And that somehow sums up one of the big hidden strengths of India’s diamond merchants: their strong family ties. Whether in manufacturing, buying or selling, Indian diamond merchants have a strong family support system and many willing hands.In fact, the majority of the businesses are family-owned, and certain names like Mehta, Shah, Jhaveri and Patel dominate in the diamond industry. Many of them hail from Palanpur, a small town in Gujarat, and Palanpuris initially controlled the diamond trade in India. In the late 70s and early 80s, they accounted for 85-90 percent of the Indian trade. Indians are a sizable presence on New York’s diamond district, which stretches between 5th and 6th Avenue on 47th Street.They are still the main component of the diamond industry, especially in buying and selling, but lately, Kathiawaris, hailing from Saurashtra in Gujarat, have become active in the actual cutting and polishing of diamonds, already accounting for about 30-40 percent of the Indian industry. “We grew up seeing diamonds and emeralds right from birth,” says Johari, who came to New York in the 1980s. “My father, grandfather, great grandfather were all in the same business. In India, people work also at home, so it’s like a 24-hour job.” Johari, who is a Vaishnav from Benares, recalls that his family used to do business with the royals, who sometimes bought, but mostly sold jewels, as their financial status dictated.Jivraj Bhai Surani, founder of JB Diamonds Group, is one of the prominent Kathiawari diamond dealers. The business started back in 1963, with the family actually doing the polishing. Surani, who is a past president of the Surat Diamond Association and co-convener of the Gujarat Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion, lives in Surat, but for him, as for most of the diamond merchants, New York is just a flight away.Surani’s brothers are in Antwerp and Hong Kong, and his son heads the New York office. The JB Diamond Group has factories in India, China, Thailand and Hong Kong. Says Surani, “I have three boys all in the business, but years ago my family were farmers in Bhavnagar.”As the families have spread out from India, Antwerp has become a major base: in the 70s there were just about 15 Indian families, today there are 300 families. Last year, international media attention was fixated on an Indian wedding in Antwerp. “Even by the standards of lavish Indian marriage ceremonies, the weekend double wedding of Vishal and Priya Shah, son and daughter of Vijay Shah, one of the biggest diamond dealers in the world, has set a new benchmark for opulence and innovation,” gushed The London Telegraph. “For a few days Antwerp, the world’s diamond trading center, has became a Bollywood fantasy at an estimated cost of £10 million ($18 million).”Weddings are, of course, a sacred cow in the Indian ethos where no expense is spared, but generally diamond merchants have kept a very low profile even as they’ve become a major force in the industry. Simple lifestyles, family togetherness and a vegetarian diet are their credo. Currently, Indian-origin companies control 55-60 percent of the Antwerp trade, but not all of the polishing is done in India. Indian merchants are diversifying their operations to far-flung places in South East Asia, Russia and Armenia, thus expanding their base, as the diamond industry seeks out low cost areas for manufacturing.“Indians had the flexibility and the ability, and because of their geographic situation and big families, they could put people all around the world. Their business grew much more as compared to the other communities,” says Mehta. How well do the Indians interact with the Jewish merchants in Antwerp? Says Mehta, “The diamond community is made up of all cultures; you have the Jewish community, the local Flemish people and quite a few Lebanese and the Armenians. Then you have the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese. The industry really is a melting pot of various cultures so it works very well. They all have common interests – to grow the business and prosper.”This commonality of business interests has motivated the two communities – who are both very strong on family values, hard work and religion – to learn to co-exist in the business. Jewish and Indian business organizations often honor each other’s community leaders or invite them to sit on their boards of directors. Indian merchants often donate to Jewish causes, and after the Gujarat quake took place, Jewish dealers also chipped in.According to the Wall Street Journal, the polishing costs in India are 80 percent lower than in Antwerp, and until recently the Jewish merchants polished and cut the diamonds locally. Indians also had another point in their favor, for as the Journal notes, they “also proved canny at polishing and cutting the lower-quality rough diamonds that Jewish traders typically overlooked, squeezing higher profit margins than thei Jewish competitors and pumping the profits back into their businesses.” The Journal noted: “While the Jews try to stem their decline, the Indians are demanding that their influence in the Antwerp diamond world mirror their economic might. They want better representation on Antwerp’s High Diamond Council, the powerful body that regulates the city’s diamond industry.”Amal Jhaveri, a past president of IDCA and president of sales and marketing at Sugem in New York, says: “We are competitors, but we are all working together in many different ways. We are all born businessmen, so we’re going to do business; but there is enough place in this business for everyone.”When the IDCA was formed 17 years ago, there were just 65 member companies, but today it has over 300 member companies that participate in shows in New York, Las Vegas, Tuscan (Arizona) and Orlando.As Indians have streamed into the diamond business, they have become a sizable presence on 47th street, the nerve center of New York’s bustling diamond district, stretching between 5th and 6th Avenues. In recent years, as more players have entered, the district has spilled into neighboring streets and avenues too. Amidst the hustle and bustle of retail jewelry shops on the street level and in the vaulted offices above them, are probably an ocean of diamonds.Security has been beefed up dramatically in these buildings, especially after 9/11, but tenants can remember bygone times, when there were muggings and break-ins. Traveling salesmen, laden with gems, still have the occasional hold-up in Atlanta or Puerto Rico, but the business has become fortified. Jewelers rarely carry the gems on their person, sending them ahead by special couriers who cater to the diamond trade. “There have been a lot of changes. The business has changed step by step, quite dramatically,” says Rajshekhar Parikh of Renaissance Gems, who came to the United States in 1975. “Each year it has continuously changed, the way things are done. When we came, we used to sell to the Jewish wholesalers. Then we started selling to retailers and went into jewelry manufacturing. There has been a shift and the dominance of the trade has become much larger.”Sometimes, outside factors help too. Parikh explains that since the U.S. Government eliminated duty on Indian jewelry, the industry has expanded. “It’s a combination of many things which are giving a push to this business.” Indian diamond merchants are trading in everything from large stones to colored stones, from semi-precious to smaller goods; they are even doing the actual setting and manufacturing here for clients, and have even branched out into gold for the U.S. consumer.Over time, Indians are becoming more market savvy and catering to the demands of the American consumer. Says Johari, who heads Dow Gems, which specializes in loose diamonds: “All the items are geared to the American market and if you go to major stores like JC Penneys, Macy’s, Sears or Walmarts, or retail jewelry chains like Zales, K Jewelers or Litmans, most of the jewelry you see is through India.”In fact, even if the merchandise is actually from China or Bangkok, most is being supplied through India and the diamonds are passing through Indian hands. Johari’s jewelry division, Kuber Inc., for instance, is manufacturing the bulk of its merchandise right here while some of it is done in Bangkok, China and India.It may sound intriguing to hear that jewelry manufacturing is actually being done in the United States, but as Johari explains, “Anything which is labor-intensive will go out, because labor is cheap overseas, but other items are finished here. Americans, Armenians, even Indians are running contracting factories with Chinese, Indian, and Spanish workmen who do the setting and finishing right here.”Of the entire American consumer market, the bridal business is the biggest and includes wedding bands, engagement rings as well as jewelry for anniversaries. Larger stones of a carat to three carat still come largely from Israel and Antwerp, and the proportion of Indians selling such stones, though growing, is still small.To the uninitiated eye, the grading of diamonds can be bewildering, but there is a fine science to it as the stones are calibrated for cut, clarity and color. If you have a diamond certified from the Gemological Institute of America, and take the stone back to them five years later for re-evaluation, chances are you will get the exact same report.Interestingly enough, India itself is becoming a lucrative market for the sale of big diamonds and diamond jewelry, earlier reserved just for the wealthy. Explains Johari, “In India the middleclass has been growing and there has been a shift away from gold jewelry so the market for diamonds has grown.”So what is the secret of the Indian success in the global marketplace? Says Amal Jhaveri: “They are business oriented from birth. It’s in their blood. The reason for their success is that they change according to the times. Where the wind is blowing, they blend. We are very low-profile people – in any community, anywhere we blend.” Rosy Blue is a blueprint for how a business can grow from modest beginnings. This family business started in the 1960s in India and branched out to Antwerp in the 1970s. The brothers then started expanding their manufacturing to Sri Lanka, with local partners. Today they have factories in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Armenia, Israel, and Sri Lanka.They have a manufacturing base of various products and distribution is well established with operations that are over 25 years old. Explains Mehta, “These are very mature operations focusing on local competition, rather than just worrying about being better than your fellow Indians. That policy has helped us very well so that one thinks global and acts local.”Rather than just relying on family, the company has encouraged outside talent. “We started making that change in the late 70s because one realizes that you cannot always produce capable children. We’ve been very lucky so far; sometimes it actually makes sense to have professionals as they bring new insights. Today all our operations are very competitive in their own areas and their own regions.”Many Indian companies have started doing the same to keep pace with a sophisticated market. Indians, ever the explorers, are also trying out many new possibilities, landing up in Russia, South Africa, Botswana and the Congo to set up factories. Entrepreneurs are setting up contacts with African governments. An Indian has even set up a factory in Yakutia in Siberia!Dilip Mehta believes there is a need for all this activity since the stockpiles of rough diamonds have diminished considerably with all the mining companies, including De Beers. “Everybody has working stocks and that’s created a lot of anxiety amongst the diamond people in the world, and all of them are trying to secure supplies from wherever they can. They are looking for all the opportunities of business.”Rosy Blue, for instance, has opened cutting factories in Canada in Yellowknife, which is also a source for rough diamonds. Says Mehta, “So it’s all about people moving to where there are business opportunities and if it ties into the supply situation then it works very well. This is what Indians have been able to do due to their flexibility and large families. They’ve been able to adapt and so naturally their business has been increasing.”Indians have also been moving on to new pastures, to bigger diamonds. Earlier they were mainly dealing with lower qualities, but are now producing predominately middle quality diamonds, sizes up to 2 carats. About five or six cutters in India are also producing larger, high quality diamonds. Indians in the industry are agile in adapting to the times. “People have moved on and the interesting thing is that we’re talking about people like us who had just a high school education and no formal training,” says Dilip Mehta.“And now how things have evolved! We trained ourselves over a period of time and now with the younger generation, more focused and more educated, coming in, it’s making a difference big time. Indians are doing just about everything and they are in the true sense business houses now.”   Related Itemslast_img read more

Why Are Small Films, Suddenly In Big Trouble?

first_imgRemember Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Khosla ka Ghosla, Aamir, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Welcome to Sajjanpur, Dev D, Mithya and Bheja Fry? Wasn’t it just the other day that these films were hymned and celebrated by critics, industry-wallahs, trade and the audience alike, and termed as the “New Parallel Cinema” of the new-age? Remember how the intelligentsia — the educated, discriminating, middle-class — lapped them up and eagerly looked forward to more? Even the likes of Mr. & Mrs. Iyer, 15 Park Avenue and Gandhi, My Father were celebrated by the discerning and went heavy-duty on the word-of-mouth track.So, what happened? It is reported that over a 100 small films, censor-approved and ready, are rotting in the cans with no takers! One major player in this category confessed he had six unsold movies on hand. So is this genre, which had spawned sub-brands, such as UTV’s Spotboy, PNC’s Guerilla, Mukta Arts Malpix, Sanjay Gupta’s White Feather Films Arthouse, and Balaji’s Alt Entertainment, on the verge of a fade-out?Tough call, but insiders point to Dibakar Banerjee’s (whose earlier Khosla and Oye Lucky were thumping successes) latest Love, Sex Aur Dhoka as the first deadly thud that started it all. After the initial hullabaloo — shot in high definition, devoid of stars, original concept — the Ekta Kapoor product designed to zonk the multiplex audience with a cathartic, never-before-experience, mysteriously zoomed out and landed in a DVD avatar in shelves across the globe within two weeks of release.Wassup?  Saas Bahu Aur SensexDepends on who who’s telling. The UTV honchos, perhaps the biggest backers of this genre, admit it was no easy task getting films like A Wednesday, Aamir, Mumbai Meri Jaan or Sajjanpur off the block. “Solid investments, both monetary and marketing focus had to be called upon. No regrets. We went into these projects with our eyes open and remain proud of our association with these excellent products,” says Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures. However, when recession struck, marketing budgets for these small films took a big hit making their entry non-viable. Kapur is quick to explode a popular myth of small films being risk-free, commercially. He insists that the exact opposite is true, “If they don’t hit the bull’s eye, you could end up losing your total investment.”Adds a trade analyst, that while tons of money were indeed lost on multi-starrer bombs such as Drona, Chandni Chowk to China, Luck, Kidnap, Kambaqt Ishq and now the latest Kites and Raavan, people will still happily stand in line to see their favorite stars in big glossy movies rather than glamor-free, star-less fare like Saas Bahu aur Sensex, Dasvidanya, Aamras, Ugly aur Pagli, or Raat Gayi Baat Gayi. The other reason, say insiders, was the greed of the quick-buck, on-the-make financiers of these movies. Witnessing the success of small films, a quick appreciation on investment, and the viability of cashing in on numbers (six small films as opposed to one risky monster-budget, mega-starrer?) quantity preceded quality, leading to shoddy, even badly-made films with little style and less substance. Naturally, they had to be peeled off the ceiling!Finally, there is the terrifying logic articulated by a hot-shot producer: “Most small films are on DTH (Direct to Home) within days of their release. When viewers go to multiplexes and are offered a choice between SRK, Aamir and Akshay with Kareena, Kat and Priyanka and Vinay Pathak and Rajat Kapoor with Neha Dhupia and Neetu Chandra, having to shell out the same big bucks, any prizes for guessing which side is going to win, hands down?”So, at the end of the day, what gives? For one, substance and content remain key for small films to make big waves. Two, big ideas rather than big bucks, both in content and marketing focus in terms of bold, unique, unusual, or unconventional innovation have to be dreamed up and creatively leveraged. Finally — and this might be critical — can’t ticket prices for small films be rationalized to make them more realistic in confrontation with mega-crore glossies? As a perceptive Bollywood producer explained, it is the multiplexes, originally created to promote small films, that pose the biggest roadblocks to small films. Can or will that happen?This demand, from saner voices within the industry for alternative, smaller auditoriums for small films has been voiced for the last five decades. Only P.C. Sorcar or Houdini can help otherwise.   Related Itemslast_img read more

NRI University In Bangalore

first_imgThe Indian government has selected The Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Trust to run the country’s first Non Resident Indian University in Bangalore.  The proposed university will start functioning from the 2009-10 academic year with its student body evenly split between overseas Indians and resident Indians.The trust currently runs nearly 20 educational institutes, including Manipal University and Kasturba Medical College.  Related Itemslast_img

Gandhi’s Last English Speech

first_imgWhat is believed to be only one of two recordings of English speeches delivered by Mahatma Gandhi has surfaced in Washington, D.C.The recording of Gandhi’s speech to a group of Asian leaders in New Delhi by journalist Alfred Wagg had been preserved by John Cosgrove, a former president of the National Press Club.Gandhi is reported to have been recorded just twice speaking in English, once in 1930 and the second time in April 1947, nine months before his death on Jan 30, 1948. In the speech, Gandhi says:“If you really want to see India at its best, you have to find it in the Bhangi cottage, in a humble Bhangi home…. “What I want you to understand – if you can – that the message of the East, the message of Asia, is not to be learned through European spectacles, through Western spectacles, not by imitating the tension of the West, the gunpowder of the West, the atom bomb of the West. If you want to give a message again to the West, it must be a message of love; it must be a message of truth…”Gandhi rebukes his audience as they cheer him: “Please, please, please. That will interfere with my speech and that will interfere with your understanding also. I want to capture your hearts, and don’t want to receive your claps. Let your hearts clap in unison with what I am saying, and I think I shall have finished my work.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Satyam, Re-branded As Mahindra Satyam

first_imgSatyam, the disgraced Indian outsourcing giant, has re-branded itself as Mahindra Satyam following its acquisition by Tech Mahindra. New CEO C.P. Gurnani said: “Mahindra Satyam has four immediate priorities: to strengthen corporate governance, enhance customer delight, regain market share, and build the brand.’’ Related Itemslast_img

Hedge Fund Manager Fined by SEC for Concealing $14 Million in Trading Losses

first_imgA San Francisco hedge-fund manager has been fined and barred from the securities industry for five years by the Securities and Exchange Commission for concealing $14.5 million in trading losses from his mostly Indian investors.Neil Godbole, 29, who managed $30 million in assets for Opulent Lite, is the son of Navin Mail founder Vishwas Godbole, who manages the Opulent Fund and who founded Opulent Lite, before transferring it to his son. According to an SEC order issued on Dec. 1, Opulent Lite suffered its largest loss of $8.3 million in February 2008, which Godbole concealed from his investors. “Throughout 2008,” the SEC said, “Godbole continued to misrepresent the fund’s trading results and asset values,” overstating them by as much as 81 percent in December 2008. Neil Godbole has been fined and barred by the SEC from the security industry for 5 years for defrauding investors in Opulent Lite.The SEC concluded: “He (Neil Godbole) repeatedly underreported Opulent Lite’s trading losses to investors. For example, in September, Godbole reported trading losses of $859,000, when in fact the fund had lost $4 million; at the same time, he reported the fund’s asset value as $29 million, when in reality it had fallen to$19 million. Even in the few months when the fund experienced gains, Godbole underreported those gains, allowing him to smooth the fund’s returns and conceal the losses he had failed to report previously. By December 2008, when Godbole had informed investors that the fund had an asset value of over $26 million, the fund had actually fallen below $14.4 million in assets — an 81% overstatement.”The SEC said that Godbole falsely attributed the losses to a “’rollover strategy,’minimizing these declines as merely artificial ‘paper’ losses or ‘projected’ losses tied to open option positions. In reality, these losses represented actual, realized trading losses.” The SEC concluded that Godbole paid himself inflated management fees during the period he was falsifying the accounts. He reimbursed the fund for the overpaid management fees in February 2009 after the fraudulent scheme unraveled because its broker notified investors that it was dropping both funds.The agency ruled: “Godbole willfully violated Sections 206(1) and (2), which prohibit fraudulent and misleading conduct by an investment adviser. He also violated Section 206(4) and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder by providing false information to the fund’s investors.”The SEC sanctions also include the satisfaction by Godbole of any disgorgement orders and arbitration and restitution awards before  readmission after the 5-year ban to engage in securities services.Opulent Lite and Neil Godbole, as well as his father Vishwas Godbole and the Opulent Fund, are currently being sued by nearly 100 investors, mostly Indian technology professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area, who lost an estimated $20 million between the two funds in 2008. The claims are under arbitration. Opulent Lite restated its net unit value by over 50% and the Opulent Fund by almost 20% in February 2009, soon after their broker Charles Schwab dropped both funds, “due to questions about the valuation of the Funds and recent transactions between the Funds’ accounts at Schwab,” according to a Jan. 15, 2009 letter from Schwab Vice President Brian McDonald to investors in the fund.According to the investor lawsuit, Neil Godbole and his father Vishwas Godbole deposited paper checks for $6.5 million each in each other’s funds on the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2008 in a kiting scheme to inflate the values of both funds to cover up a $20 million shortfall. The  lawsuit alleges: “Vishwas Godbole and Neil Godbole knew that the checks would clear on or after January 2, 2009 (January 1, 2009 being a bank holiday), as a result temporarily inflating both fund values, and covering up losses that the funds had sustained and defendants hidden from the plaintiff investors.”The Opulent Lite Fund liquidated in February 2009 after a run by investors, many of whom lost more than half their investment. The Opulent Fund shriveled to a quarter of its size as panicked investors redeemed their accounts.  The investors lawsuit accuses the two funds and members of the Godbole family, including, beside the father and son duo, Neil Godbole’s sister Nina Kulick and her husband Aaron Kulick, of orchestrating “a systematic and organized family scheme,” as well as fraud, concealment, negligence and elder abuse. Vishwas Godbole (above) and his son Neil Godbole are being sued by nearly 100 Indian investors who accuse them in court filings of orchestrating “a systematic and organized family scheme.”Throughout 2008, as both funds were imploding from market losses the Godbole’s reported rosy projections to their investors. On Dec. 22, 2008, weeks before the fund went down,  for instance, Neil Godbole wrote to Opulent Lite  investors: “We have limited our loss to less than 10% for the year. This is in sharp contrast to the S&P500, which is down close to 40% for 2008.” That same week, on Dec. 19, 2008, Vishwas Godbole wrote to his Opulent Fund investors: “It was very fortunate that we liquidated most of our positions and limited our loss after the first major sell off. This allowed us to eliminate further downside while managing the remaining positions rolled over to December. We have recovered gradually throughout this difficult period.” Opulent Fund  restated its net unit values by 20 percent a few weeks later, blaming it, according to Godbole’s attorney Jahan Raissi, on an “accounting error” in September 2008, which “propagated through the subsequent periods….”Neil Godbole and Vishwas Godbole did not respond to Little India requests to comment on the SEC sanctions. Asked to comment on the criticism of some investors that the SEC sanctions constituted a slap on the wrist for egregious violations, his attorney Raissi demurred, noting that his client had cooperated with the SEC and has been “barred for five years and faces a large fine.”The Wall Street Journal reported that, “The San Francisco office of the Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to crack down on illegal conduct by hedge funds and corporate bribery, activity that got pushed aside as regulators grappled with Ponzi schemes and subprime mortgage-related probes during the recent financial crisis” and that “The shift in focus is reverberating among Bay Area technology companies and financial-services firms.”Little India’s investigative piece on the lawsuit against the two funds is available here.A profile of Neil Godbole’s over-the-top lifestyle is available here.SEC’s Cease and Desist Order on Neil Godbole The article has been updated on Dec 2. Related Itemslast_img read more

Renewable Costs

first_imgGlobal power demand today is about 12.5 terawatts, which is likely to grow to 17 terawatts by 2030, the U.S. Energy Department reports. Meeting that demand with renewable power certainly won’t be cheap. Mark Jacobson, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Stanford, and Mark Delucchi, a research scientist at the University of California, Davis’s Institute of Transportation Studies, estimate that construction of a worldwide wind, water and solar system would cost $100 trillion over 20 years, including upgrades to the grid.But, Jacobson and Delucchi write, “This is not money handed out by governments or consumers. It is investment that is paid back through the sale of electricity and energy.” And the authors contend that because electrification is more efficient than using fossil fuels, a drop in global energy demand occurs from 17 terawatts to 11.5 in 2030.According to a new report from the University of California at Davis and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, all of this spending and more could be saved if the world’s urban population made the transition from automobile dependence to reliance on mass transit, walking and cycling. (A co-benefit would be a 1,700-megaton annual reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.) But that rosy future is dependent on a massive change in consumer behavior.The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate puts a slightly lower price tag on the global infrastructure expenditure necessary to reach renewable energy and climate goals by 2030—$89 trillion—but also envisions $2 trillion savings to that date from “reduced investment in fossil fuel power plants in a low-carbon scenario.” And it sees further savings accruing from energy-efficiency gains, reductions in transmission and distribution investment, and drastically lower costs for fossil fuel exploration and transportation, among other things.Those savings could add up dramatically. “Overall, the net incremental infrastructure investment needs from a low-carbon transition could be just $4.1 trillion, if these investments are done well,” said the Global Commission report. It even imagines a scenario that would result in net savings of $1 trillion. Some disagree. Ottmar Edenhofer, a German climate economist who served as an advisor to the Global Commission but was not an author of its report, told The New York Times that the assumptions necessary to reach that no-net-cost outcome are “overly optimistic.”High Up–front CostsIn 2011, President Obama outlined a goal of 80% renewable energy for the U.S. grid by 2035. Reaching that ambitious target could mean adding 20 gigawatts a year for 20 years, then 45 gigawatts annually until mid-century.The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that President Obama’s scenario would raise average utility bills in 2035 by 29% (higher in some areas). A megawatt-hour of electricity could rise from $9 to $26 in 2030, and from $41 to $53 per megawatt-hour by 2050, the Renewable Electricity Futures study said.According to that federal report, “Higher electricity prices associated with the high renewable scenarios are driven by replacement of existing generation plants with new generators (mostly renewable), additional balancing requirements reflected in expenditures for combustion turbines, storage and transmission; and the assumed higher relative capital cost of renewable generation, compared to conventional technologies.”A new “Green Growth” report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute estimates the cost of reaching a similarly ambitious goal — 40% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2035 — at $200 billion annually from both public and private sources (with public investment averaging about $55 billion per year).However, the CAP report notes that the projected public spending under its plan would be only 0.3% of current U.S. GDP, and approximately 1.4% of the federal budget. Some $90 billion of the annual expenditures would go to energy-efficiency measures for buildings, transportation and industry — with the potential of reducing American energy use by 30%.Looking to recent history for guidance, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) reports that there’s little evidence that a 40% increase in renewable energy on the grid since 1994 has raised electricity prices in the U.S. EDF reports that those rates have “remained steady” during this period, even as coal plant sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions declined by more than 75%.That Could Exceed Projections …Critics say the actual increases from committing to renewables will be higher than the federal estimates. For instance, the Manhattan Institute said in 2011 that reaching the 20% wind goal for the U.S. national grid would “impose a tax on U.S. electricity consumers of $45 to $54 for each ton of carbon dioxide that was removed,” and it claimed that electricity consumers in coal-dependent regions would end up paying as much as 48% more for electricity.”Utility-scale solar in the U.S. has dropped from $3 per installed watt in the first quarter of 2012 to $1.85 in the first quarter of 201…. Commercial solar prices dropped 20% … and residential solar 25%. –The Solar Energy Industries AssociationMeeting British renewable energy goals, said Britain’s Renewable Energy Foundation in 2014, would require $211 billion in subsidies by 2040, with peak annual costs of around $10 billion. The country’s Committee on Climate Change estimates expenditures of $10 billion per year.The German goal of 40% to 45% renewable energy by 2025 (and 80% by 2050) is proving costly to achieve. According to the The Wall Street Journal, “Average electricity prices for companies have jumped 60% over the past five years because of costs passed along as part of government subsidies of renewable energy producers. Prices are now more than double those in the U.S.”The International Energy Agency has put a price tag on confronting climate change at $10.5 trillion by 2030. That’s the global investment in low-carbon energy (plus energy efficiency) that’s needed, the agency estimates, to hold greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million and world temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.According to Mark Moro, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, “The figure $10.5 trillion by 2030 declares objectively and indelibly that the battle against climate change requires remaking the world energy system with new Save & add newtechnologies, many of which don’t exist, or don’t exist cheaply enough, and that we’d better get to work on that in earnest.” … But Prices Are Coming DownYet, renewable energy costs are already dropping. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reported in 2014 that the average, upfront installed price for utility-scale photovoltaics dropped by more than a third since the 2007-2009 period, with an attendant increase in project-level performance. And, said report author Mark Bolinger of Berkeley Lab, “The price of electricity sold to utilities under long-term contracts [in 2013 and 2014] from large-scale solar projects has fallen by more than 70% since 2008, to $50 per megawatt-hour on average.”According to Lazard Freres & Company’s “Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) Analysis 7.0,” LCOE for wind and solar in the U.S. has declined more than 50% between 2009 and 2013. Lazard estimates that utility-scale solar photovoltaics are competitive with fossil fuel for peak energy in much of the world, even without subsidies. The New York Times concludes that Germany’s fast-paced purchase of wind turbines and solar panels is bringing large Chinese manufacturers into the space and “driving down costs faster than almost anyone thought possible just a few years ago.” That development is threatening to electric utilities, which have seen few challenges to their business plans.According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, utility-scale solar in the U.S. has dropped from $3 per installed watt in the first quarter of 2012 to $1.85 in the first quarter of 2014. And, in the same period, commercial solar prices dropped 20% (to $3.72 per watt) and residential solar 25% (to $4.56 per watt).Wind farms are also competitive. Bernard David, an entrepreneur and author who is also a senior fellow at Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), agrees that, although there are some technical constraints, the aggressive Chinese push into renewable energy is bringing with it the economies of scale necessary to compete with fossil fuels.Wind costs have dropped 90% since 1980 and, reports the Motley Fool, “Wind energy is now cheaper than many conventional fuels.” According to Mandy Warner, an EDF climate specialist, “New coal-fired power plants are one of the costliest generation options even without considering the significant pollution they generate. If built in the next five years, they would cost about 19% more than onshore wind, 44% more than combined cycle natural gas, and significantly more than energy-efficiency measures.”Targeting CoalAddressing coal-burning power plants has become an effective strategy for reducing emissions, and the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan aims to cut U.S. power carbon by 30% below 2005 levels. And EPA modeling shows that implementation of its Clean Power Plan for older coal plants will result in bills $8 per month lower in 2030 than they would be without the plan.Just $50 billion “is the surprising low price to buy up and shut down all the private and public coal companies in the U.S., breaking the centuries-old grip of an obsolete, destructive technology that threatens our present and our future.” –Felix Kramer and Gil FriendIn The Guardian, Felix Kramer and Gil Friend report that $50 billion “is the surprising low price to buy up and shut down all the private and public coal companies in the U.S., breaking the centuries-old grip of an obsolete, destructive technology that threatens our present and our future.” The authors claim that such a move would “generate $100 to $500 billion in benefits every year,” and imagine “a few shrewd and enlightened investors” taking the lead on funding and structuring the Coal Buyout Fund.The Path Not Taken?And any analysis of energy generating costs has to include consideration of the costs of not taking the renewable path. That’s the focus of the Risky Business Project, co-chaired by former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and hedge fund manager/environmentalist Tom Steyer.Because of higher sea level and aggravated storm surge, the average annual cost of coastal storms on the eastern seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico could reach $3.5 billion in 15 years, with hurricane activity taking that figure to $7.3 billion. By 2050, $66 to $106 billion in coastal property could be underwater, and up to $507 billion worth by 2100.Midwestern and Southern farmers could see their corn, wheat, soy and cotton yields drop 10% over the next five to 25 years. There’s a one in 20 chance the losses could top 20%.Temperature changes because of climate change might require the construction of up to 95 gigawatts of new power generation in the next five to 25 years. That translates to 200 coal or natural gas power plants.Some of the projections may underestimate the cost of switching to renewables, but the more pessimistic reports probably downplay the offsetting benefits and consequences of not taking steps. Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian-origin Man Jailed for Role in Drug Cartel in UK

first_imgTen members, including an Indian-origin man, of a criminal group that smuggled drugs and money across the United Kingdom were sentenced to a total of 31 years at Liverpool Crown Court following a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation.The Metropolitan police stopped Daljeet Singh Juttla, 42, of Ruislip, London, with £90,000 of drugs money that Richard Hunt, another gang member, had couriered down to the city on Jamie Hughes’ behalf. Hughes was the mastermind behind the group.Juttla received 20-month jail sentence, was suspended for two years, and has to do 200 hours unpaid work for money laundering.“Established trafficking routes like these present a complex and troubling threat to the UK. With well worked-out logistics a criminal group can turn its hand to anything from gun running or drug smuggling, expanding their own operations or hiring out their services to others. NCA officers are alert to the tactics criminals use to shift commodities and hide their activity and are equipped with the skills and tools needed to bring them to justice,” Jane Lloyd, the branch commander at the National Crime Agency (NCA), said on Dec. 19.Hughes was imprisoned for five years and four months after pleading guilty to his role in the conspiracy. He claimed to be a car dealer but was exchanging vehicles as part payment for drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines and ketamine. They operated out of North West of England. Members delivered bulk loads of drugs to clients in locations from Scotland to London in vans with hidden compartments.Hughes had installed a CCTV system to monitor his driveway. It provided NCA officers with key evidence against his network as footage showed various members of the conspiracy exchanging packages or leaving Hughes’ address with parcels.NCA officers exposed the group in an investigation that ran from October 2014 to January 2016. Related ItemsFraudUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

West Bengal govt. to go on a statue spree

first_imgCollege Street and its adjoining areas in north Kolkata, which witnessed violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow during the height of the Lok Sabha poll campaign, will see many more busts and statues.Along with the installation of a statue of Rabindranath Tagore at the entrance of Presidency University, one of Sir Asutosh Mookerjee inside the Centenary Hall of Calcutta University will be shifted to a place where it gets more viewers.State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said artists were being selected for replacing the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, which was vandalised during the BJP president’s roadshow on May 14. A new statue of Bengal’s renaissance icon will be installed at Vidyasagar College where the violence had erupted. The college will also have a Vidyasagar museum.Mr. Chatterjee said there were plans of installing statues of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in the College Street area.last_img read more

Vernon Gonsalves part of front outfit of CPI (Maoist): police to HC

first_imgActivist Vernon Gonsalves, who is accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, is part of a front organisation of the banned organisation, CPI Maoists, Pune police told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.Additional public prosecutor Aruna Pai opened her arguments opposing bail for Mr. Gonsalves, who is at Yerwada jail for the past 18 months, before Justice Sarang Kotwal.Ms. Pai said the police has relied on the forensic report of documents recovered from accused Rona Wilson and computer files from Surendra Gadling, who are also in Yerwada jail. “We (police) have not tampered anything (sic),” she said.She read out a letter dated January 2, 2018 recovered from Mr. Wilson’s laptop, which she said, “acts as corroborative material as far as the first information report is concerned and shows the role of a banned organisation (CPI M),” she said.She then read out another letter recovered from Mr. Gadling’s laptop that said, “Vernon and Arun (Ferreira also an accused in jail) are members of ‘radical study circle’, which is a front organisation of CPI M.”The court, however, said, “The author of these letters is unknown.” Ms. Pai went on to talk about the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners and Indian Association of People’s Lawyers, and said they were fronts of the CPI M.The court asked, “How is Vernon connected to these organisations or even either of them?” Ms Pai said, “His name is not there, and there is no direct involvement.”In the end, she read out call detail records of all the accused: Dalit activist and writer Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, a Tata Institute of Social Sciences alumnus known for working for tribals in Gadchiroli, Shoma Sen, a retired professor at Nagpur University, Mr. Wilson, poet Varavara Rao, activists Mr. Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bharadwaj, and said “Call records show they were in touch with each other.”The hearing will continue on October 3.last_img read more

Citizenship Amendment Bill: chopper ride for winners in essay contest

first_imgThe children of Manipur’s government schools can now enjoy a free helicopter ride from this Children’s Day thanks to an essay-writing contest on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) — which the Centre plans to place in Parliament.The BJP-led government organised the contest for students of Class 9 and above on November 2 to “dispel misconceptions and misinformation” about the CAB, Education Minister Thokchom Radheshyam said on Tuesday.While cash awards were announced for the district-wise winners among some 3,000 students, Mr. Radheshyam thought of offering a helicopter ride to students of classes 4-8 who top similar creative contests.“I had the children of the remote hill districts, particularly bordering Myanmar, who hardly go out of their areas.” “My own childhood experience of yearning to be in a helicopter or aeroplane played a part,” he told The Hindu.Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, also in charge of the Transport Ministry, agreed to the plan and the Department of Education (School) set about providing the funds from the Samagra Shiksha State Implementing Society.“According to the plan, the government would be buying the tickets for a 20-minute ride over the State. The three best students from classes 4-6 and the five best students from classes 7-8 who would win the various contests would be eligible,” Mr. Radheshyam said.last_img read more

Del Potro stuns Federer at US Open

first_imgJuan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, hits a backhand to Roger Federer, of Switzerland, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in New York. APJuan Martin del Potro sensationally gatecrashed the US Open again on Wednesday, stunning five-champion Roger Federer and shattering hopes of a first New York showdown between the Swiss legend and Rafael Nadal.The Argentine giant, who won his only Grand Slam title in the city in 2009 by beating Federer in the final after seeing off Nadal in the semis, triumphed 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 in front of a spellbound Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The 28-year-old will once again face world number one Nadal in the semi-finals on Friday, a stunning achievement for a man who had saved two match points to beat sixth seed Dominic Thiem in the last 16.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Mayweather-McGregor ticket sales fall short of record E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Read Next LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Adamson gets 2nd wins, trumps NCAA champ Arellano

first_imgAteneo snatches top spot, FEU humbles La Salle in men’s PVL E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Jema Galanza, Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdamson remained undefeated and ran Arellano aground in straight sets, 25-20, 25-22, 25-16, in thePremier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Lady Falcons, who recorded their first win streak under head coach Air Padda, remained undefeated and topped Group B with a 2-0 record while the Lady Chiefs slipped to 2-1.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Padda, who started her Adamson tenure in 2016, said their win over Arellano was quite an accomplishment considering the stature of their opponents.“This could be really small for other teams but this was huge for us,” said Padda. “Arellano is the NCAA champion and when we play against higher teams the girls usually get timid but today the girls were focused.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I wasn’t expecting this and what I expected was that Arellano would give a better fight.”Jema Galanza reigned high for the Lady Falcons putting up 18 points while Christine Soyud added nine points.center_img LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Jovielyn Prado led the Lady Chiefs with 11 points. MOST READ Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View commentslast_img read more

Maliksi regrets early exit after tough stand against Meralco

first_imgFire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City PBA IMAGESBlackwater was 12 minutes away from history.After a forcing top seeded Meralco into a do-or-die with a 92-91 stunner in Game 1, the no. 8 Elite had a real chance to advance to the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals against Star.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img View comments Blackwater even had the upper hand early in the rubber match but Meralco just showed its class, outscoring the Elite 31-19 in the fourth quarter en route to the the semifinal clincher.Maliksi, who finished with 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting and six boards, was disappointed he couldn’t lead his new team to greater heights.“I feel bad about myself because the trust of the coaches is there,” said Maliksi who only came to the Elite a couple of games before the eliminations ended. “My teammates trusted me and I feel bad because there were opportunities I know I’ve wasted.”ADVERTISEMENT Tasked to guide the Bolts, Amer drops 31 in crucial game BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ All Blackwater needed was one more strong quarter to prove that a small franchise could make it big in the PBA.The Bolts, however, had other plans and that came in the form of a 104-96 win that ousted the Elite in a heartbreaker.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“All of us want something to prove, we can’t call this overachieving if we played just the quarterfinals,” said a dejected Allein Maliksi Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “Of course you want to win the championship. So, I think there’s a reason why we were put in this situation.”“It’s that we have to learn from this and apply whatever we need to do next conference, next season.” Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Turkey seeks jail term for Enes Kanter for insulting Erdogan

first_imgDo not bring these items in SEA Games venues Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Ravena shines as NLEX survives KIA; Magnolia rips Alaska The player is a vocal supporter of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric blamed by Turkey for last year’s failed military coup.Kanter was detained in Romania on May 20. He said he was able to return to the United States after American officials intervened.He said his family remains in Turkey and he is concerned for them — he said his father at one point was jailed for a week — but he downplayed the situation otherwise.“I was like, that’s it, only four years? All the trash I’ve been talking?” Kanter said. “I promise you guys, it doesn’t really bother me even bother me a little bit, because my thing is just going out there and playing basketball.”ADVERTISEMENT 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kanter said he wasn’t concerned and continued his criticisms of Erdogan, saying, “That dude is a maniac.”“That stuff really don’t bother me because I’m used to it,” Kanter said after the Knicks practiced Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) in New York.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I think it’s just nothing to me, man. I’m in America. I’m good and my focus right now is just going out there, playing basketball, have fun with my teammates and just winning and just thinking about playoffs.”Kanter cannot return to Turkey because his passport has been canceled. He would be tried in absentia. Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasacenter_img BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next AFP FILE PHOTOANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s state-run news agency says prosecutors are seeking more than four years in prison for NBA player Enes Kanter on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Anadolu Agency says an indictment prepared by the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office accuses the New York Knicks player of insulting the president in a series of tweets he posted in May and June 2016.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’last_img read more

Cobb stars as La Salle halts late UP rally to stay unbeaten

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding AFP official booed out of forum NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES With La Salle trailing 24-23, Cobb scored three straight service aces ending the Lady Maroons’ rebellion and sending the Lady Spikers to a 2-0 card.UP built a 23-19 buffer and looked to force a fifth set after Diana Carlos and Clarice Ramos teamed up for a block.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDesiree Cheng would score off UP’s blockade and Aduke Ogunsanya followed it up with a service ace that trimmed the margin to two, 23-21.After UP got the 24-21 set point, reigning MVP and captain Mary Joy Baron displayed a queenly poise and kept La Salle’s fight alive with an off-speed kill cutting the deficit to 24-22. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ Deaf personalities everyone should know PLAY LIST 04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know05:01What the Deaf want the hearing to know01:24Life lessons the hearing can learn from the Deaf01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next Sophomore Michelle Cobb played heroine for De La Salle as she helped the defending champion finish off University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-22, 26-24, in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Carlos had 19 points to lead the 1-1 Lady Maroons while Molde added 10. Mentality is back as Galanza showcases best game since return Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Ironically, it was UP’s Isa Molde who would usher the Lady Maroons’ doom with an error that allowed La Salle to creep in 24-23.“I told them that UP is not an easy opponent to beat, but you even though it was almost impossible to win the team still pulled it off,” said La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus in Filipino.“My team just needed to display the maturity needed to win the game.”Cobb not only executed the team’s offense with 32 excellent sets but she also did a little dirty work with 10 points, the same scoring production as open spiker Desiree Cheng.Kianna Dy and Tin Tiamzon were the ones who paced La Salle in scoring with 13 points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

NBA: Kerr credits ex-Dubs coach Jackson for team’s defensive prowess

first_img‘A dogfight’ What ‘missteps’? WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Mark Jackson  AP FILE PHOTOThe Golden State Warriors are one win away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy and going undefeated in the 2017 NBA Finals.Much can be said about the Warriors’ offensive firepower, but the team’s prowess on the defensive end is truly something to marvel at.ADVERTISEMENT Before current head coach Stever Kerr took over the reigns in the Bay Area in 2014, Mark Jackson was the catalyst of the then up-and-coming squad.Prior to Game 3, Kerr was quick to credit his predecessor as the man responsible for instilling the team’s core defensive values.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“When I was in TV, I was doing Warriors games for years; every year, they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Mark came in and made a focus of being a tough defensive-minded team,” Kerr said, as relayed by ESPN.“The year before I got here, the Warriors were the fourth-ranked defensive team in the league—already top-five. We knew what we had. We didn’t change one thing defensively,” he added. Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games RELATED STORY:Durant, Warriors rally to beat Cavs for 3-0 leadSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide View comments Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES He said they started switching more when Draymond [Green] took over the power forward role. “But for the most part, our schemes—everything—stayed the same.”The reigning NBA coach of the year also lauded Jackson for making his transition to coaching much easier.“We already knew they had established that defensive identity. Our job was to improve the offense—to get more movement and more flow. And that was my focus,” he said.Kerr has returned to coach the Warriors in Game 2 after being sidelined most of the playoffs due to complications from his back surgery.Jackson, meanwhile, currently works as a broadcast commentator for ESPN and ABC and continues to call the finals match-up between his former team and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Dying at Wimbledon would have been acceptable—Bartoli

first_img“It was almost a miracle from God to win Wimbledon,” said Bartoli, whose highest world ranking was seven.Bartoli says the weight loss was so dramatic she was reduced to buying clothes made for young teenagers.“I was in the public eye and I could hear people talking behind my back and saying, ‘Oh, she’s anorexic’ and I wanted to scream out and say, ‘You have no idea what I’m going through’,” said Bartoli, who went through her 2013 Wimbledon campaign without dropping a set.“It was a battle to survive every day. I could not believe people were thinking I was doing that on purpose to myself. I was scared of everything.“I was not processing protein, I was losing my hair and I love my long hair, and my teeth were almost falling out and my skin was breaking down.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena After shock win over Pacquiao, Horn ignoring the criticism LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera MOST READ China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img French former tennis player Marion Bartoli. AFPMarion Bartoli has battled back from ill health to be fighting fit for her role commentating at Wimbledon but the former French tennis star admitted on Monday she feared she would die.The 32-year-old who beat Germany’s Sabine Lisicki to win the 2013 Wimbledon title, retired later that year and faded away to a mere shadow of the robust looking athlete she once was.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games What ‘missteps’? LATEST STORIES She told The Times she was battling the HINI virus, the swine flu bug blamed for wiping out millions in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, but was only diagnosed after Wimbledon last year, laying to rest the rumours she was anorexic.“I did not know if I would wake up alive the next morning,” she said while taking time out from commentating on the WTA tournament at Eastbourne last week.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“But I thought, ‘if I have to die, then if it is at Wimbledon, I would accept it.’”Bartoli, who also reached the 2007 Wimbledon final, says her career-defining victory in 2013 came just at the moment she was physically falling apart. “I could not wash myself with normal water, I could not type an email, my skin was so thin that I could feel the electricity. I had arthritis. I was buying clothes for 14-year-olds.”Following her diagnosis last year Bartoli spent four months in hospital in Paris and then required daily visits from a nurse at her home in Dubai.She puts her illness down to battering her body incessantly from a very young age in her bid to succeed in the sport.“I felt it happened for a reason. My body was reminding me that it has been going non-stop since I was eight years old until the moment I got ill,” said Bartoli, whose immediate target is to focus on her personal life and her desire to find love and found  a family.“I am starting to feel alive again and ready to build a love story, to start a family,” she said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 View commentslast_img read more

Saunders retains title, stays on course to face Golovkin or Alvarez

first_img‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 16: Gennady Golovkin reacts after his fight with Canelo Alvarez was called a draw during their WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight championionship bout at T-Mobile Arena on September 16, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFPLONDON — Billy Joe Saunders remained on course to challenge either Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez after Saunders defended his WBO middleweight title with a unanimous points decision over American Willie Monroe Jr. on Saturday.The 28-year-old Saunders, (25-0, 12 knockouts) was fighting for the first time under new trainer Dominic Ingle. He received scores of 117-111, 115-114, 117-112 from the three ringside judges.ADVERTISEMENT 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 Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Monroe’s record fell to 21-3, with six knockouts.Promising heavyweight Daniel Dubois had earlier earned his fifth victory from five when stopping A.J. Carter in only 48 seconds. Carter required oxygen and was immediately sent to hospital, having been knocked down three times.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Gonzales picks up emotional first win in ONE Championship Saunders had been tipped to face the winner of the Las Vegas fight, but Golovkin retained his middleweight titles Saturday night, fighting to a 12-round draw with Alvarez in a brutal battle that ended with both fighters holding their hands aloft in victory. There is already talk of a rematch.READ: Alvarez, Golovkin fight to a brutal draw; rematch to comeFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn London, it was Saunders’ superior sharpness and intent as much as his skills that secured his latest victory. Leading with the jab and also succeeding to Monroe’s body, Saunders began with a typically fast pace and faced little more than jabs in return.In the third round an accurate right uppercut hurt his challenger, and it was only when a cut opened by the bridge of his nose following an accidental clash of heads in the fourth that the American temporarily fought with greater belief.last_img read more