Virtual Events Come Into Their Own

first_imgBetter Leads Through hosted its second annual “iconference” in June on the InXpo platform, which included 16 sessions over two days. The major change from 2008 is the targeted attendance of financial advisors—a “higher-level and more difficult conference to accomplish”—says Forbes Media vice president and investments editor, Matt Schifrin. The goal of the iconference was to draw a high-level audience (retail investors are the typical attendees), without charging a fee. For these highly-targeted advisor leads, Forbes was able to price sponsorship packages between $7,500 to $37,500.Forbes sent invites to select financial advisors. They then received a coupon code to attend the virtual event for free while Forbes charged $75 for attendees who joined without a code. The incentive for busy advisors? Ten continuing education credits awarded through the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards. In May, Nielsen’s Photo District News launched its first virtual tradeshow, powered by ON24, free for professional and advanced amateur photographers. The tradeshow consisted of two events held two weeks apart. The first day was designed for photography professionals; the second for a targeted “pro-sumers,” serious consumers interested in new technologies. This second event  featured “a major e-commerce component in which attendees were be able to buy equipment directly within the virtual exhibit booths,” says Biener.While Biener tends to “shy away from [virtual event] bells and whistles,” PDN’s first foray into the photo marketplace had “enhancements and incorporated high-definition graphics and robust video” to appeal to more visual attendees as opposed to its typical b-to-b sector, content-focused attendees. The virtual event, launched strategically around Father’s Day (when the bulk of large photography purchases are made) attracted more than 18,500 registrants, with a follow-up series planned for later in 2009. Metrics That Woo AdvertisersWatt Publishing, a b-to-b publisher specializing in the agri-business market, ran its first virtual event in April with the InXpo platform. Besides using its Twitter integration, Jeff Miller, Watt’s director of e-strategy sales and marketing, says the company focused on learning how to use the metrics InXpo offers. “What we felt was helpful was not only looking at who was visiting the booths but the ability to create profiles based on the visitor’s actions in the environment itself,” says Miller. “At its core, this is a lead generation device.”While virtual events are developing stronger marketing plans and incentives for sponsors and exhibitors, Summit Business Media’s Futures, targeting futures, options and derivative traders, is considering upping the cost of entry for its i-Trade shows. Exhibitor booths are priced around $4,500.“We try and base this price on the cost per lead, which is tough to determine because we don’t have an exact number,” says Futures publisher and editorial director Ginger Szala. Currently, its virtual event silver sponsorships run $10,000 per show, with a $12,500 gold sponsorship offering sponsors the option of a separate speaking time that won’t conflict with the tradeshow’s pre-scheduled speakers.‘Conferences Will Never Be Replaced’A number of publishers have opted to forgo their live events this year due to cost restrictions and as a response to across-the-board cuts in travel budgets. However, Haymarket Media, which uses Unisfair’s platform, has decided to integrate both virtual and physical events for its SC Congress (a spin off of IT security title SC Magazine). Exhibitors at physical events will be able to buy a booth inside a year-round virtual environment for an additional fee, according to director of business development Tony Keefe. “We are trying to underpin our physical events by offering a guarantee to give sponsors and exhibitors more confidence,” he adds. Exhibitors are guaranteed at least one virtual event per month; on the low end, those who only buy a booth in the virtual environment are guaranteed 100 leads, according to Keefe. E-conference sponsors, which have their distinct speaking sessions in which they can address the audience, are guaranteed 500 leads, with no extra charge for more leads than that.Nielsen Business Media has grown revenue and online event execution by 50 percent every year over the past three years, says Biener. “Of all of the features marketers are looking for, there is nothing else that answers the questions in legacy media better than virtual events.” However, “We aren’t producing these in place of actual events, but as complementary resources. Physical conferences will never be replaced.” SIDEBAR #1 Virtual Vendors: What’s on the HorizonAs virtual events continue to boom, vendors are trying to keep up with technology extras while still offering affordable packages. Here, some of the latest platform innovations and what’s to come this year from some of the biggest vendors.InXpoPublishing Clients: Forbes Media, TechTarget, Ziff Davis Enterprises, Summit Business MediaPrice Range: $25,000-$35,000, but this price tag can range up into the six figures for more extensive branding, environment customizations, booths and Webcasts.What’s New: InXpo was the first to fully integrate with Twitter, allowing for full information integration into back-end reporting. The platform is enterprise-ready, so it can easily plug-and-play into any third-party technology. UnisfairPublishing Clients: Penton Media, Haymarket Media, The EconomistPrice Range: $30,000-$50,000 per event.What’s New: Unisfair has separated the user interface from the event management functionality, allowing customers to control the entire look and feel of the virtual experience. It also offers lead ranking and qualification analytics, which allow customers to rank leads based on a comprehensive data model populated during the event.ON24Publishing Clients: Penton Media, United Business Media, Nielsen Business Media, McGraw-Hill, Crain Communications, Reed Business InformationPrice Range: Hosting will cost $20,000-$50,000 on average.What’s New: ON24 offers enhanced interactivity and increased engagement with advanced 3-D technologies. They also have new applications which include e-commerce capabilities, mobile and virtual learning centers. There’s no doubt that virtual events have their fair share of naysayers. Access Intelligence CEO Don Pazour once compared them to virtual sex.But as the market begins to stabilize in what is now the new norm, no one is laughing as virtual events become go-to resources for publishers in every market. Vendors have ramped up social media offerings to meet clients’ needs—InXpo, for example, was the first to fully integrate Twitter—while magazine publishers tweak show offerings to attract hyper-targeted attendee leads. “A big area of improvement that I’ve seen on virtual platforms is the virtual lounge area,” says Eric Biener, vice president of business development for Nielsen Business Media. “It allows the audience to communicate. I don’t consider these types of events ‘virtual tradeshows,’ but actually white label b-to-b social networks.” No longer are virtual trade shows a place to log on and zone out; they are valuable lead generation tools and virtual playgrounds for attendees to interact. center_img SIDEBAR #2Archive EtiquetteAs a value-add for sponsors and exhibitors, it’s become common practice to keep sponsor logos and exhibit booths alive on publisher sites. How long an event is archived and how a publisher markets the event after it is archived depends on the publisher and advertiser expectations. Here, three publishers weigh in the etiquette behind maintaining and promoting archived events.“InXpo suggested that we keep our conferences on demand for two months after the live event. We not only do this, but we also have an e-mail account set up specifically for attendee questions. Even though our iconference is on demand, we continue to advertise the event. Also, we take content from the iconference and excerpt it, so, for example, I can spin off short videos for” -Matt Schifrin, Forbes Media“All of our digital events are archived for three to six months. We have a full production staff (two producers, two editors, three sales) and don’t treat our virtual events like a subsidiary. Our archive is exactly the same as it is live; the exhibitor booths are up but instead of being instant messaging-based, they are e-mail based. Our exhibitors can refresh their content themselves, or with our coaching and help. Our team does a majority of the heavy lifting on refreshing this content since exhibitors are not only paying for the delivery, but for our customer service team.”-Eric Biener, Nielsen Business Media“We send a weekly e-mail that informs attendees about updates to exhibitor information. We suggest exhibitors and sponsors put new information in their booths (and keep logos intact) throughout the three-month period that the event is on demand. This way, we can market it for them.-Ginger Szala, Summit Business Medialast_img read more

Say Media Nabs Business Insider Editor

first_imgSay Media’s tech site ReadWrite has named a new editor-in-chief. Again.Industry vet Owen Thomas has agreed to come to ReadWrite, replacing Dan Lyons who joined the company in October. Lyons left on April 1 for a position at marketing software company, HubSpot.Thomas–one of several candidates for the gig, according to Say Media spokesmen via TechCrunch–had most recently been West Coast Editor for Business Insider, but held editorial leadership roles at several big-name brands before that, including VentureBeat, NBC Universal and Gawker’s Valleywag. “A decade ago, Richard MacManus launched ReadWrite by noting how the Web was beginning to fulfill its potential as a two-way medium–one meant for conversation, not broadcasting,” Thomas says in a release. “I’m proud to build on that heritage by leading a team that will explore where technology is taking us next, with an analytical and critical eye.”Prepared statements aside, Thomas is known for his snark. It’s a voice that that fits in with the Say Media’s trademarked “Point-of-View Publishing” and a general rise in first-person storytelling.”Owen is a brilliant writer with great experience covering every aspect of the technology industry,” says Kate Lewis, senior vice president and editorial director at Say Media. “He has a distinct point-of-view and a cleverness that makes his work resonate both inside and outside of his community.”Thomas’ hire comes a little over two years after Say Media acquired the site in December of 2011, and just six months following its rebranding from ReadWriteWeb to ReadWrite.To stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, become a Facebook fan and follow us on Twitter!last_img read more

Gawker Upgrades Its Kinja Commenting System

first_imgKinja originally launched in December of 2012.  “To paraphrase Nick [Denton, founder and CEO of Gawker Media], it was developed to solve the tragedy of comments that can be a toxic and poisonous section of a news site or blog,” says Lauren Bertolini, community development manager It is difficult to argue that Internet trolls have become an endemic problem for publishers looking to create quality conversations that engage serious readers. And while Bertolini doesn’t believe there is a way to rid the Web of trolls, she does believe there are better ways to control the conversations of Gawker’s approximately 20 million monthly site visitors. “If you give people the tools to engage and promote a discussion then hopefully they will utilize it,” Bertolini says.  Social Media is in Kinja’s DNA, but its built around news content, thus making it a unique product. Registered users can create a homepage where they can post blogs, share content from users and editors and store comments posted on any of the Gawker Media sites. Users can also follow writers, other users and integrate social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter into their homepage. Editors from each vertical will have the same tools available and are expected to be active members of the community. This incentivizes both the reader and the writer to participate in a manner that keeps the conversation moving forward. “The revamped commenting system debuting today will refine and sharpen that heckling, and make it more likely, we hope, that informed sources and subjects will bring their voices to bear on our stories, unmediated and of their own volition,” explains Gawker editor-in-chief John Cook in a post about the new platform. “It banishes untrusted or new sources to the outer reaches in a ‘pending queue,’ while privileging and highlighting threads started by readers that have been found useful in the past.”Bertonlini adds that while Gawker is primarily a news-producing operation, the ability for readers to contribute to the content by having a conversation around it is important. “We produce news and that’s what our foundation is. We understand the tools that you need to create content and we wanted a platform that was simple and easy to use that can build a rich story and conversation. We are giving people control of the conversation,” she says.Social blogging is not a new concept, but Kinja is unique in that it merges professional and amateur content into one space. This of course raises provocative questions about crowdsourcing content: How could this impact professional journalists? Will readers ultimately take control of content? Bertolini says that is not a concern for the company: “Our content is still edited by John Cook or our other editors and they will always decide what gets posted. The editors are still in control. But we have hired people out of comments.” Gawker Media rolled out its redesigned platform this week across all of its verticals, which include Gawker, Jezebel, Deadspin and a just re-introduced, Silicon Valley-focused Valleywag. Along with all this is a significant upgrade to Gawker’s homegrown commenting platform Kinja, which has been tweaked to surface more constructive content and “banish” pointless or excessively harsh commenters. last_img read more

One Take MØ On Kim Gordon Sonic Youth Denmark

first_img Watch: One Take With Dorothy One Take With Superstar DJ Tiësto Watch One Take With Little Big Town Watch: One Take With Brandy Clark Watch: One Take With Deva Mahal Email Watch G-Eazy Take On One Take Watch: One Take With Lights MØ released her debut studio album, No Mythologies To Follow, in 2014 and since then she’s collaborated and performed with artists such as Iggy Azalea, Elliphant, Charlie XCX, and Diplo. Most recently, the 29-year-old released her second EP, When I Was Young, in fall 2017.In between her musical endeavors, MØ sat down with us to play One Take,’s video series featuring artists answering rapid-fire questions about music, life and everything in between in just one minute.In this installment, find out how many questions MØ can answer in 60 just seconds. You’ll learn her favorite place to listen to music, the best live show she’s ever seen and what she misses most about Denmark when she isn’t there, in addition to a lot of love for Kim Gordon and Sonic Youth. Watch One Take With Afrojack The Danish pop singer/songwriter dishes new intel during our One Take challenge, including her bucket-list artist collaboration, favorite place to listen to music and moreRenée FabianGRAMMYs Mar 7, 2018 – 2:50 pm Remember that arresting voice in Major Lazer and DJ Snake’s Top 5 hit “Lean On” that delivered the dance tune’s melody? So do we: It was Danish singer/songwriter/producer MØ. One Take With Grupo Fantasma One Take With Pop Trio Ocean Park Standoff Watch One Take With Afrojack Watch One Take With Marian Hill Prev Next One Take With Indie Pop-Duo Freedom Fry Watch One Take With MØ one-take-m%C3%B8-kim-gordon-sonic-youth-denmark Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Watch One Take With Julia Michaels One Take With Demo Taped One Take With Amber Rubarth Watch: One Take With Lights One Take With Reggae Artist Ziggy Marley One Take With Singer/Songwriter Kacey Musgraves One Take With Grupo Fantasma Watch: One Take With MØ Watch: One Take With Brandy Clark Watch: One Take With MØ Watch: One Take With Lights One Take With Demo Taped Watch One Take With Nick Cannon Watch: One Take With Deva Mahal Watch One Take With Anthony Hamilton Watch: One Take With Pronoun One Take With Pop Trio Ocean Park Standoff Watch One Take With Logic Watch G-Eazy Take On One Take Watch: One Take With Brandy Clark Watch: One Take With MØ Watch: One Take With Pronoun Watch One Take With Afrojack One Take With Superstar DJ Tiësto One Take With The Mrs Watch One Take With Nick Cannon One Take With Singer/Songwriter Kacey Musgraves One Take: MØ On Kim Gordon, Sonic Youth & Denmark Twitter Watch One Take With Little Big Town Watch One Take With Nick Cannon Watch One Take With Julia Michaels One Take With The Mrscenter_img Watch: One Take With Khalid One Take With Grupo Fantasma Watch: One Take With Gramps Morgan Watch One Take With Marian Hill One Take With Superstar DJ Tiësto Facebook Watch One Take With Logic Watch One Take With Halestorm Watch One Take With Halestorm Watch One Take With Superfruit One Take With Amber Rubarth One Take With Singer/Songwriter Kacey Musgraves One Take One Take With Producer Greg Wells Watch G-Eazy Take On One Take Watch One Take With Logic Watch One Take With Julia Michaels Watch One Take With Anthony Hamilton Watch One Take With Superfruit Watch One Take With Little Big Town One Take With Pop Trio Ocean Park Standoff One Take With Le Butcherettes One Take With Demo Taped One Take With Le Butcherettes One Take With Reggae Artist Ziggy Marley Watch One Take With Superfruit One Take With Reggae Artist Ziggy Marley One Take With Australian Singer/Rapper Mallrat Watch: One Take With Khalid Watch: One Take With Dorothy One Take With Producer Greg Wells Watch: One Take With Pronoun One Take With Le Butcherettes One Take With The Mrs One Take With Australian Singer/Rapper Mallrat Watch One Take With Halestorm Watch: One Take With Khalid One Take With Producer Greg Wells NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Mar 7, 2018 – 2:49 pm Watch: One Take With MØ Watch: One Take With Dorothy Watch One Take With Anthony Hamilton Watch: One Take With Gramps Morgan Watch: One Take With Deva Mahal One Take With Australian Singer/Rapper Mallrat One Take With Indie Pop-Duo Freedom Fry Watch: One Take With Gramps Morgan One Take With Indie Pop-Duo Freedom Fry Watch One Take With Marian Hill One Take With Amber Rubarth News last_img read more

BUSINESS BRIEF Wilmingtons World Travel Holdings Named 1 Of 50 Most Engaged

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — World Travel Holdings announces being named as one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America. This annual award recognizes top employers that display leadership and innovation in engaging their workplaces.“There are an unprecedented five generations in the workplace. Coupled with the fight for top talent at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever for organizations to put a greater focus on engaging their employees to drive positive business performance and culture. The companies we honor as the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces® have proven their forward-thinking directly leads to a more positive employee experience,” said Jeff Cates, CEO and president at Achievers. “Through the development of a people-first culture, the organizations listed epitomize an innovative, engaged and accomplished workforce, and we’re honored to add them to our growing roster of past winners.”With more than 80 percent of its employees working virtually, developing creative engagement programs is a key contributor to World Travel Holdings’ continued success. An involved Executive Team that leads by example coupled with new personal and professional development opportunities launched regularly, excites and motivates employees to come to work each day.“This year we re-invigorated our mission of ‘Deliver a Remarkable Experience’ by using its acronym D.A.R.E. in a challenge to employees to take our mission statement to new heights working toward our strategic direction,” said Loren Kennedy, senior vice president of human resources. “We found that components of D.A.R.E. can be found in nearly all eight elements of employee engagement which is why we named our Achievers entry ‘Dare to Achieve.’”A panel of 10 esteemed judges comprised of employee engagement academics, industry analysts, thought leaders, journalists and influencers evaluated the applicants. Winners were selected based on Achievers’ Eight Elements of Employee Engagement™: Leadership; Communication; Culture; Rewards and Recognition; Professional and Personal Growth; Accountability and Performance; Vision and Values and Corporate Social Responsibility.World Travel Holdings will be honored alongside other recipients of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Award at an awards gala on September 9, 2019, at the Chicago Public Library – Harold Washington Library Center before the opening of this year’s Achievers Customer Experience (ACE) Conference.About AchieversAchievers Employee Success Platform delivers proven tools for organizations of all sizes to align on values and strategic goals by empowering every employee as an owner of organizational culture and engagement. Built on behavioral science and real-world results from over a decade of engagement leadership, hundreds of global customers rely on Achievers’ dynamic employee recognition, coaching, and continuous listening tools for their people to feel valued and heard, to drive desired behaviors and ignite a positive corporate culture. Achievers provides organizations and managers with engagement intelligence to inform their actions and decisions every day. To learn more about the Achievers platform, visit us at Achievers is a subsidiary of Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc.About World Travel HoldingsWorld Travel Holdings is the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company with a portfolio of more than 35 diverse brands. In addition to owning some of the largest brands distributing cruises, villas, resort vacations, car rentals, resort day passes and luxury travel services, World Travel Holdings has a vast portfolio of licensed private-label partnerships comprised of top leisure travel providers, including almost every U.S. airline, leading hotel brands and prominent corporations. The company also operates a top-rated travel agency franchise and the country’s original host agency, and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in work-at-home employment. Its global presence includes operating multiple cruise and vacation brands in the United Kingdom. World Travel Holdings has offices in Wilmington, Mass.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; New York, NY; and Chorley, England. For more information, visit The above press release is from Heilind Electronics via PR Newswire.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s World Travel Holdings Selected As 1 Of 50 Most Engaged Workplaces In North AmericaIn “Business”Wilmington’s World Travel Holdings Awarded For Innovative Employee Engagement ProgramsIn “Business”BUSINESS BRIEF: Wilmington’s World Travel Holdings Named One Of The 50 Most Engaged Workplaces In North AmericaIn “Business”last_img read more

HSBC in tax dodge claims

first_imgHSBC in tax dodge claims4.1K viewsHSBC in tax dodge claims4.1K views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00HSBC in tax dodge claims4.1K viewsBusinessIt’s been called the biggest banking leak in history – accusations that HSBC helped wealthy clients to dodge tax. Thousands of accounts at the world’s second biggest bank reportedly show the lender’sVentuno Web Player 4.50It’s been called the biggest banking leak in history – accusations that HSBC helped wealthy clients to dodge tax. Thousands of accounts at the world’s second biggest bank reportedly show the lender’slast_img

Avengers Endgame press conference Superheroes leave empty chairs to honour the fallen

first_imgAvengers: Endgame posterTwitterAvengers: Endgame is all set to release on April 26 and ahead of the theatrical release, the filmmakers held a press conference. To make things more interesting, the Marvel superheroes spared some empty chairs at the press conference with a view to honouring the heroes they lost in Avengers: Infinity War.It is a known fact that quite a lot of superheroes were killed off in the previous Avengers film, Infinity War. Thanks to Thanos, superheroes such as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Scarlett Witch, Winter Soldier, Nick Fury, Star-Lord, Drax, to name a few. Their loss wasn’t unrecognised by the Marvel heroes as the Endgame heroes honoured their colleagues. By symbolising honour towards the heroes who were once Avengers, quite a few chairs were kept empty.The same was shared by a New York Times journalist on his Twitter feed as part of the live-feed. In the picture, with the Avengers logo, most of Endgame’s actors such as Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Chris Hemsworth, Danai Gurira, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Russo, Chris Evans, Joe Russo, Brie Larson, and Mark Ruffalo including filmmaker Joe Russo, were all part of the press conference.The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ LA press conference left empty chairs for their fallen comrades ?(via @kylebuchanan)— Fandom (@getFANDOM) April 7, 2019Avengers: Endgame press conferenceTwitterSpoiler related questions were subtly dodged by all the actors but they mostly spoke about their experiences of being a part of MCU. While honouring the fallen comrades was a good strategy, it is certain that most or maybe all of them will come back to life. Considering how Tom Holland is already promoting Spider-Man: Far From Home where he deals with a new villain (Mysterio), it is obvious that the superheroes plan to bring back their Avengers colleagues.With only a few more days to go before the release of Avengers: Endgame, all eyes are on the calendar. To promote the film, Marvel Studios is taking a lot of efforts to spread the word that one of the biggest franchise films is coming to an end. Avengers is one of the only franchises to have a plethora of actors joining hands. With every part, the Avengers family only grew at an exponential rate. Starting from just a few Avengers tackling Loki in the first film to adding more comrades to their team as new challenges befell them. We sure would like to know how the remaining Avengers plan to bring back the dead.last_img read more

Is Allu Arjuns ICON a remake of Filipino film Kita Kita Here

first_imgAllu ArjunFacebookThe story of stylish star Allu Arjun’s ICON, which is directed by Venu Sriram, has been leaked on the internet and fueled speculations that it is going to be a remake of Filipino film Kita Kita.On this date, Dil Raju announced on April 8 that he is teaming with Allu Arjun for the fourth time. He also released the logo of the movie titled ICON, which is produced by Dil Raju under the banner of Sri Venkateswara Creations. He tweeted, “#ICON – కనబడుట లేదు Happy to announce our 4th collaboration with Southern Star @AlluArjun. Written and Directed by Sriram Venu #HBDAlluArjun.”Since then, there has been a lot of speculations on various aspects of ICON. It was rumoured that the film would be a remake of the Filipino film Kita Kita. But sources close to the film unit leaked its storyline and denied this claim. It is titled after Allu Arjun’s bike ICON. “The film’s poster depicts Allu Arjun riding a bike, and for good reason. The story revolves around the bike,” the source told Deccan Chronicle.”Basically, Allu Arjun ends up losing his bike and reports it in a police station, but they ask him to file the complaint at another police station. The officers at the next police station, too, throw excuses at him and ask him to report to another one. An exasperated Allu Arjun decides to teach a lesson to the cops, and begins to play mind games with them,” added the source. Allu Arjun’s next movie IconTwitterDirector Venu Sriram is said to have already completed the script of the first half of ICON and he is currently working on its second half. “The actor seems enthralled by the subject. Venu Sriram is currently working on improving the second half of the script,” the source told DS.After the release of Naa Peru Surya, Allu Arjun has signed three new projects. He is expected to start shooting for Trivikram Srinivas’ upcoming movie. Directors like Sukumar and Venu Sriram are also getting ready their script for Bunny. It is not clear on whose project he will take up after completing Trivikram’s film.last_img read more

Budget 2016 Will Sensex gain on Budget day as it did last

first_imgWhen Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the first full-year budget of the Narendra Modi government Feb. 28, 2015, the stock markets were volatile but managed to end with gains, primarily on the assurance to gradually reduce corporate tax rates (from 30 percent) over the next four years and defer applicability of General Anti-Avoidance Act (GAAR) by two years. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 141 points after a wild swing of about 700 points and settled at 29,361 while the NSE Nifty ended the day at 8,901, up 57 points.The gains were the first on a Budget day in four years; in the previous three sessions on Budget days, the Sensex had ended with losses.Situation thenThe Narendra Modi government last year was still riding a popularity wave, notwithstanding its first electoral drubbing since coming to power in May 2014 when the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP won a landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly polls, reducing the BJP to just three seats.Optimism was in the air for Modi on the economic front.”Indian equity markets were near record highs, the rupee was outperforming its regional peers and a collapse in oil prices (Jan 2015’s $48/bbl from June 2014’s $116/bbl) provided a huge windfall for the fiscal balances,” said Radhika Rao, economist, group research, DBS Bank in her note a few days ago.Situation nowBut the situation has changed drastically for Modi since then: Exports have fallen for 14 months in a row, retail inflation is at a 17-month high, stressed bank loans are at alarming high levels and there are multiple headwinds in the political circles in the form of the JNU row and Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s death, making the task more daunting for Modi as his government presents its third Budget Monday.Based on Friday’s closing level of 23,154, the Sensex has slipped 21 percent from its Feb. 28, 2015 levels, reflecting the drift in the Indian economy that is facing a tough external environment.The situation has been caused due to a fall in crude oil and commodity prices, weakening the global economy.The economies of countries dependent on oil and commodity exports have been hammered, leading to a contagion effect on other countries, including India.Global equity markets have witnessed significant sell-off since the beginning of the year.Foreign institutional investors (FIIs, also FPIs) have been net sellers of Indian stocks for many months now, and have pulled out about Rs 5,690 crore from Indian stock markets this month (till Feb. 26).The Indian rupee closed at 68.62 Friday, not far away from its all-time low of 68.85 against the US dollar in August 2013, when the Congress-led UPA was in power.”Bond yields have hardened, with the benefit from low oil prices largely spent and narrow room for further rate cuts. Despite global central banks maintaining an easy policy bias, foreign investors have trimmed their exposure in January and February,” Rao said in her Wednesday note.With speculations ranging from a possible hike in service tax rate to 16 percent from the current 14 percent, an expected tweak in long capital gains norms, higher outlay of Rs 1.10 lakh crore on account of implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme and recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the markets are on the edge.Foreign investors would be looking at the government’s commitment to the fiscal consolidation path to keep the fiscal deficit at 3.9 percent of the GDP this year and 3.5 percent in FY2017, besides a reduction in corporate tax rates as was promised last year.last_img read more

Ericsson India files insolvency case against Reliance Communications

first_imgA worker cleans a mobile store of Reliance Communications Ltd, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, in Kolkata, India, September 10, 2016.Reuters fileEricsson’s Indian subsidiary has filed insolvency petitions against Reliance Communications and two of its companies to recover unpaid dues, the Indian mobile operator said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday.The Swedish telecoms equipment maker, which signed a seven-year deal in 2014 to operate and manage Reliance Communications’ nationwide network, is seeking a total of $180 million from the three companies, the filing said.Reliance Communications said it planned to challenge the insolvency petitions. The filing said the Ericsson case would go before the National Company Law Tribunal, the designated court for bankruptcy cases in India, on September 26.”Ericsson has done this as a last resort in order to resolve an issue regarding debt that Reliance owes to Ericsson for services provided under a contract. As the legal process is ongoing, we don’t have any further comments at this point,” the Swedish company said.The petitions come as the Indian phone company controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani races against time to seal deals to sell a stake in its tower assets to Canada’s Brookfield and to merge its mobile services business with rival Aircel.Reliance Communications reported its third quarterly loss in a row last month and is trying to find ways to cut its debt after creditors gave it a reprieve on loan repayments until the end of 2017.The Brookfield and Aircel deals are expected to reduce its debt burden by 250 billion rupees. Ambani said at the time of the loan reprieve that he expected to complete the deals by September.The company’s losses are, in part, a result of competition from free voice and cut-price data plans offered by Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom start-up backed by Ambani’s elder brother and India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.Ericsson is aiming to recover Rs 4.91 billion from Reliance Communications, Rs 5.35 billion from Reliance Infratel and Rs 1.29 billion from Reliance Telecom, the filing said.Reliance Communications shares closed 4 percent lower on Wednesday before the filing was released, after local media reports said Ericsson had filed an insolvency plea.India last year revamped its bankruptcy laws to help cut a record $150 billion in impaired bank loans. The rules allow financial as well as business creditors to trigger bankruptcy proceedings against a company which has defaulted on payments.last_img read more

Baisakhi celebrations begin in Pakistan

first_imgAround 1,500 Indian Sikhs with over 500 from European countries and more than 2,000 Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs are participating in the Baisakhi celebrations that began in Punjab province, the media reported.Baisakhi is widely celebrated by Sikhs in the province, with festivities centred on Panja Sahib Complex in Hasan Abdal town, Attock district that started on Thursday, Dawn online reported.This year’s festival marks the 319th anniversary of the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood). In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh (the last Sikh Gurum) asked his followers to sacrifice their lives for him.Baisakhi also marks the beginning of a new solar year and harvest season.At Punja Sahib, most of the pilgrims appeared excited about visiting Pakistan and said they enjoyed their visit to the country more than what they were expecting before reaching here and appreciated the arrangements to make their visit comfortable and for the maintenance of their holy sites, reports Dawn online.Sikh Yatrees group leader Sardar Balvinder Singh thanked the Pakistan government, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the locals for the wonderful welcome and laudable arrangements.He urged the governments of Pakistan and India to remove visa restrictions on senior citizens and relax some immigration laws to facilitate ordinary citizens of both the countries.”Pakistan is like a second home to the Sikh community where they used to live,” Singh added.last_img read more

Nobel institute Myanmar leader cant be stripped of prize

first_imgAung San Suu Kyi. AFP file photoThe organization that oversees the Nobel Peace Prize says the 1991 prize awarded to Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi cannot be revoked, reports UNB quoting AP.The Norwegian Nobel Institute on Friday said that neither the will of prize founder Alfred Nobel nor the Nobel Foundation’s rules provide for the possibility of withdrawing the honor from laureates.An online petition signed by more than 386,000 people on is calling for Suu Kyi to be stripped of her Peace Prize over the persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.Suu Kyi received the award in 1991 for “her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” while standing up against military rulers.She became the country’s de facto leader after Myanmar held its first free election in 2012 and she led her party to a landslide victory.last_img read more

Over 100 factories shut after RMG workers unrest

first_imgReadymade garment workers are seen chanting slogans from a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBAt least 50 people were injured in separate clashes between readymade garment (RMG) workers and police in Savar, Ashulia and parts of Gazipur district on Wednesday, reports UNB.In Savar, workers from different RMG factories in Ulail of Savar and Kathgara in Ashulia took to the streets with processions demanding their wage hike, witnesses said.At one stage, the workers hurled brickbats at police triggering a chase and counter-chase that lasted for about an hour.Police charged baton and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse them, leaving at least 30 people injured, according to the witnesses.A tense situation is prevailing in the area following the incident.Readymade garment workers hold a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBMeanwhile, a team of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) was seen patrolling the area to fend off further troubles.Traffic movement on Baipile-Abdullahpur highway remained suspended for about an hour as the RMG workers put up barricades in Narsinghapur of Ashulia.The garment workers also blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway in Kalampur of Dhamrai in the morning, halting traffic movement for nearly an hour.However, they left the place upon request by the law enforcement.Earlier in the morning, thousands of garment workers in different parts of the industrial zone started demonstrations for the fourth consecutive day, demanding cancellation of what they called discriminatory wage board announced by the government.Officials of the Industrial police said the workers from several RMG factories in Ulail and Genda areas started gathering on the streets since morning and began demonstrations by setting tyres on fire.The agitated workers also hurled brick chips at their factories, said witnesses.On information, police went to the spots and brought the situation under control.Readymade garment workers hold a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBThe workers of five factories put up barricades on Bishmile-Jirabo road in Kathgara of Ashulia demanding the wage hike.Production in four factories in Ulail, Hemayetpur of Savar and Charabagh of Ashulia, remained suspended since morning following the workers’ unrest.The factory authorities, meanwhile, have hung closure notices at the gates of their respective factories.Additional police have been deployed in Savar and Ashulia areas to avoid further troubles, said Shana ShaminurRahman, director of Industrial Police-1.Police were in discussions with the factory owners to find out ways to restore the working environment in the factories.According to UNB Gazipur correspondent, at least 20 people, including a journalist of Somoy Television, was injured during a clash with police on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Gazipura at noon.When workers of different RMG factories tried to stage demonstrations blocking the highway, police charged baton and lobbed tear gas shells, leaving over 20 people, including Somoy TV journalist Asad Nur, injured, witnesses said.Bashon police station officer-in-charge Mokter Hossain said RMG workers of Kashimpur Board Bazar and other adjoining areas started demonstrations in the morning demanding their wage hike.Readymade garment workers hold a demonstration organised in Savar for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding implementation of minimum wage structure. Photo: UNBThey vandalised some factories and blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways for some time.The authorities of over 100 factories in the areas declared their factories shut for today [Wednesday] fearing vandalism.Huge law enforcers have been deployed in Konabari, Chandna, Kashimpur, Tongi and other industrials areas to avert troubles, said Bashon thana officer-in-charge Mokter Hossain.Eight platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) also have been deployed in Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial areas to tackle the situation, BGB public relations officer Mohsin Reza told UNB.Earlier, Sumon Mia, 22, a worker of Anlima Textile, was killed and 30 others injured in clashes with police during demonstrations in Hemayetpur on the third day of the movement on Tuesday.The authorities of Anlima Textile declared a general holiday for Wednesday following the death of its worker.last_img read more

Outgoing Religions for Peace leader reflects on decades of interfaith cooperation

first_imgEric J. Lyman Catholicism Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,LINDAU, Germany (RNS) — William Vendley, the outgoing head of Religions for Peace, said religions must learn to be “bilingual” in the future — becoming adept at addressing their own congregations while also speaking to the world around them.Vendley speaks from experience.He has led Religions for Peace, a global coalition of religions that acts as a consultative body for several United Nations agencies, for more than half its 49-year history, taking the job in 1994. During that time, he’s tried to help religious groups address the problems of the world around them.“It was a very different world when I first become involved with Religions for Peace,” Vendley said in an interview with Religion News Service. “The Cold War had just finished and former communist countries were breaking up and changing,” he said. “The future was uncertain. But if you went to the (U.S.) State Department, or to universities, or think tanks, religion wasn’t on the radar. Today, religious groups are involved in trying to resolve almost all of the major problems in the world.”Religions for Peace ceremony for the “Ring for Peace” in Lindau, Germany. Photo by Christian Flemming/Religions for PeaceThe U.S.-born Vendley said increased visibility for religious groups in geopolitical affairs represented a “new, second phase” for organizations like Religions for Peace. But he said that presents new challenges. Religions, he said, have profound potential assets, both material and intangible, that can be useful in resolving many worldwide problems. But they often were set up to address the needs of members of their own faith — rather than solving global problems.He said that is where interfaith groups can be most relevant, by bringing leaders of many faiths together as a way to foster collaboration.RELATED: Woman chosen to lead Religions for Peace as others urge greater female visibilityIn order for religious leaders to be successful in the role of helping resolve big global problems like wars, climate change, disease, migration and inequality, they must take a page from the book of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to communicate in ways that are appropriate in different settings, said Vendley.“Martin Luther King gave his sermons in a little church on the scandal of apartheid, using his own religion’s primary language, the Gospels, to speak about the beauty of human dignity,” Vendley said. “The same man, without changing his religion, went to the National Mall (in Washington), where he spoke to five or six hundred thousand people. They weren’t all Baptists, they weren’t even all Christians. In that circumstance, he couldn’t give the same sermon. He had to speak so that people of diverse backgrounds could lock arms in solidarity.”King was essentially bilingual, Vendley said.“He knew how to speak a primary religious language to believers and he had to speak a public language to men and women of goodwill of all stripes,” he said.Religions for Peace Secretary-General William Vendley on Aug. 20, 2019, in Lindau, Germany. RNS photo by Adelle M. BanksVendley said religions are going through the process of becoming bilingual in the same way, in order to communicate effectively with each other and the world.“Once religious communities become bilingual,” he said, “then their infrastructures, the churches, mosques, temples are suddenly open to dual use: the transmission of their traditions and the serving of the common good.”RELATED: International interfaith gathering: ‘We must work together or we will all fail’The same trend is relevant for interfaith communications. In the past he said, religious leaders in a community would know of each other and might even know each other personally. Now, he said, they have to work together closely.“I have been at this for 30 years and I have yet to find one person, not one, who ever changed his or her faith because of collaborating side by side with other religious communities,” Vendley said. “I have heard again and again that the other has helped each side learn his or her own faith better.”Vendley will formally step down on Friday (Aug. 23). His successor, Azza Karam, a Muslim woman and a professor of religion and development at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, will be installed soon after. Looking ahead, Vendley said religious groups must build up “the common good.”“We have to understand that there is no security except for shared security,” he said. “No well-being except for shared well-being. I think we are heading for a day when the kind of provincialism and parochialism we still sometimes see today will no longer be an option.” By: Eric J. Lyman Share This! Share This! By: Eric J. Lyman Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Eric J. Lyman,Load Comments,German town welcomes hundreds from different faiths for food, worship and unity Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Share This! Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Share This! We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 By: Eric J. Lyman Loyola’s Sister Jean celebrates her 100th birthday with scholarship, well wishes As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 TagsAzza Karam homepage featured interfaith cooperation Religions for Peace Religions for Peace World Assembly William Vendley,You may also likelast_img read more

Bill Delaying New Ozone Standards Moves Forward In Congress

first_img Share Ken Lund via FlickrThe Houston skyline on a hazy day in 2015.A bill passed by the U.S. House could have implications for Houston’s air quality struggles, giving polluters more flexibility to meet ozone goals.Pollution in the city’s nowhere near as bad as it was decades ago, but Houston has still regularly failed to meet federal air quality standards.With a bill delaying new, Obama-era ozone standards now headed to the Senate, some worry the air problem will be ignored.  “It is an excuse on the part of industry to not use the billions of dollars it has to actually implement mitigations to reduce its emissions,” says Bakeyah Nelson, Executive Director of Air Alliance Houston. Environment Texas, another green group, has pointed to an uptick in high-ozone days in the past couple years.The groups want petrochemical plants to act now, but Anna Burhop, with the industry group American Chemistry Council, says ozone standards have been changing too fast.“From a business perspective, you don’t want to go ahead and jump into reformulating all of your products, or putting really expensive controls on your plants, when you don’t know whether that’s necessary or not,” she says.It’s not clear how this bill, if it becomes law, would affect an ongoing lawsuit against the EPA’s own effort to delay the new ozone limits. X Listen 00:00 /01:10 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more