A call on social media and WhatsApp groups for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on April 10, reportedly by people opposed to caste-based reservations in jobs and education, led Madhya Pradesh police on Firday to issue an appeal for calm and peace.Large-scale violence A shutdown on April 2 by Dalit outfits opposing the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act had led to large-scale violence in the Chambal-Gwalior region of the State which left eight people dead and scores, including 54 policemen, injured.Fully prepared: DGP Responding to a media query on shutdown calls being circulated on social media by groups opposed to reservations, Director General of Police (DGP) Rishi Kumar Shukla said the police was prepared to deal with any situation. “We are appealing to citizens to maintain peace and harmony in the State. But we are equally prepared to deal with any untoward situation,” Mr. Shukla told reporters here.‘Peace necessary’ “There may be differences among members of different communities, but they should not resort to violence. Peace and harmony is necessary for the state to prosper,” the DGP said. The violence on April 2 had led to allegations of failure on the part of the police’s intelligence gathering mechanism.
Routine medical services were suspended at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, on Saturday, following a strike called by resident doctors against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill.The PGIMER in a statement said all the routine services, including OPDs and elective procedures, will remain suspended till further notice in view of the indefinite strike call given by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD).Emergency and ICU services, however, continued to work as the ARD decided not to compromise on emergency care.‘Draconian Bill’ARD president Uttam Kumar said resident doctors have decided to join the nationwide protest against the NMC legislation, which he said was a “draconian Bill”.“The non-essential services in our institute [PGIMER] have been suspended indefinitely, without compromising on emergency and ICU care,” he said.Escalation warning“Until our concerns are addressed appropriately, our strike will continue indefinitely. We will not hesitate to escalate by shutting down even our emergency and ICU services if expedited measures are not taken,” said Dr. Kumar.PGIMER authorities have informed patients that all routine services, including OPDs and elective procedures, would remain suspended till further notice.Doctors have been protesting against some of the provisions of the NMC Bill which was passed by the Rajya Sabha earlier this week. The Lok Sabha had cleared the proposed law on July 29. The NMC will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).The protesting doctors have raised concerns regarding the role of community health providers (CHP) vis-a-vis a trained doctors and the NEXT (National Exit Examination). The Bill empowers the Centre to override the decisions and recommendations of the National Medical Commission and autonomous boards.The protesters also pointed out that the Bill would decrease the representation of elected members from 75% (as was in Medical Council of India) to 20% in NMC.(With PTI inputs)
Over the past 72 hours, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang has been on hunger strike demanding 20% bonus for the tea garden workers of the Darjeeling hills. Since the start of the festive season, politics in the Darjeeling hills has been centred around bonus for the tea garden workers who earn ₹176 a day. On October 4, several trade unions working with tea workers organised a 12-hour strike after the talks between tea garden workers and the managements failed.The demands of about 50,000 workers working in 87 tea gardens in the hills were taken up by Mr. Tamang, who on October 6 sat on an indefinite hunger strike in their support. “His health has deteriorated, but he remains firm on the demand that the workers have a right to 20% bonus,” Anit Thapa, chairperson of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and a close aide of Mr. Tamang, told The Hindu.Both Mr. Tamang and Mr. Thapa are close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The GJM faction led by these two leaders contested the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls with the support of the Trinamool Congress.On whether the State government is helping in the cause of Mr. Tamang, Mr. Thapa said, “The government is cooperating. But the decision on the bonus has to be taken at a tripartite meeting.” Meeting on Oct. 11 He added that the meeting scheduled on October 17 will be advanced. By the evening, it was announced that the meeting will be held on October 11.Saman Pathak, leader of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions, the labour arm of the CPI(M), said the demand of tea garden workers of Darjeeling hills is justified. “We support the issue on which Mr Tamang is on hunger strike. But it is a political decision of the GJM leader to sit on a hunger strike. He did not consult any trade unions fighting for the rights of tea workers on this issue,” Mr. Pathak said. Mr. Tamang’s decision to sit on an indefinite strike is also seen as an attempt to revive his support base in the hills, particularly after the people in the region voted overwhelmingly for the BJP candidate, who is a supporter of the other GJM faction led by Bimal Gurung.Meanwhile, the issue has taken a political turn with Darjeeling MP Raju Bista issuing a press release earlier this week targeting the TMC government and Mr. Tamang. The State government could easily include tea gardens under the Minimum Wages Act, but they have not done so, Mr. Bista said. He added that he has raised the issue in Parliament because he “believes they have been deprived and they deserve better working conditions, wages and living standards”.
Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte TIP-INSJazz: Improved to 8-4 in the first of back-to-back games this season. … The first basket of the game for the Jazz came when Mitchell drove across the lane and delivered a no-look bounce pass to Favors for a dunk. … G Raul Neto entered in the second quarter, his first game since Feb. 27 because of hamstring tightness. He played 11 minutes.Suns: Recalled rookie guard Elie Okobo from Northern Arizona of the G-League. … Head coach Igor Kokoskov was on Snyder’s staff at Missouri in 1999-2000, and with the Jazz from 2015-18. … The Suns have lost five straight to the Jazz overall, and play Utah twice more this season.UP NEXTJazz: Return home to host Minnesota on Thursday night.Suns: At the Houston Rockets on Friday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heated 2nd half run propels Miami to romp of Pistons View comments Utah led by 21 in the fourth quarter, pulling away after Phoenix tied it at 75 late in the third. Mitchell hit a 3-pointer with 2:57 left to make it 105-89.Ricky Rubio returned to the Jazz after missing two games with left hip tightness. He played 22 minutes and had six points and four assists.All three of Gobert’s field goals in the first quarter were dunks, and with 52 seconds left in the period he delivered a look-away bounce pass to Jae Crowder for a layup.The Suns led by four in the second, but the Jazz surged ahead with a 9-0 run. Another dunk by Gobert off a lob from Rubio made it 48-41 with 1:54 left in the first half.Mitchell’s 3 with 21 seconds remaining made it 53-41, and the Jazz led by 10 at halftime. Gobert had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.ADVERTISEMENT Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end “Our bigs have been solid all year long and they raised their level,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “A good night for those guys.”Utah went ahead by 14 early in the third quarter, but the Suns put together a 12-2 run to make it 59-55 with 8:29 to go.The crowd was buzzing even two possessions after Phoenix big man Richaun Holmes threw down a windmill dunk with his left hand with 3:39 to go in the third, cutting the Jazz lead to 72-66.A pair of free throws by Booker tied it at 75 with 30 seconds left. Joe Ingles hit a 3 out of the corner for a 78-75 lead for the Jazz at the end of three quarters.“We have to move forward. We have had a pretty good stretch here in previous games and you have to keep building on that,” Booker said. “You are going to have lumps in the road but you’ve got to keep going and punch the clock every day.”PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTSSnyder was asked before the game about the recent incident in Salt Lake City involving Thunder star Russell Westbrook and comments from a fan in the stands. The fan was banned from attending events at Vivint Smart Home Arena.“Anytime you have an incident that is unfortunate, you hope that there can be a catalyst for positive change,” Snyder said.T’D UPOubre was whistled for a technical foul for shouting at an official as he walked to the bench with blood trickling out of his nose just before halftime. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Urgent reply from Philippine football chief Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives as Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)PHOENIX — Donovan Mitchell knows his team is in good position as it pursues a Western Conference playoff spot. He just wasn’t sure exactly where the Utah Jazz were in the standings, until right before Wednesday night’s game.“I really don’t pay attention to that stuff this time of year,” Mitchell said after leading the Jazz to a 114-97 win over the Phoenix Suns. “I try my best not to, because it allows you to get all distracted. We just want to focus on game to game.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Mitchell scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half and Derrick Favors added 18 for Utah. Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 20 rebounds as the Jazz ended a two-game skid and pulled into a tie with the Los Angeles Clippers for the seventh seed in the West.Utah dominated on the boards, outrebounding Phoenix 52-35.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“The goal is just to find our rhythm and keep getting better,” Gobert said. “Guys did a great job boxing out their man, and when you do that you get a lot of rebounds. It’s more about our defense.”Devin Booker’s 27 points led the Suns, who came back from 14 down in the third quarter to tie the score but couldn’t push past the Jazz in the fourth. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 points and Tyler Johnson had 15 for the last-place Suns, who had won four of five.
Giridhar JhaWhen Jitan Ram Manjhi was handpicked by then chief minister Nitish Kumar to be his successor earlier this year, observers were quick to dismiss him as a dummy candidate. Dubbing his appointment as a stop-gap arrangement in Bihar, they expected him to work silently until the next elections.But Manjhi has proved them wrong and that, too, within three months. The 69-year-old leader, who happens to be the first-ever chief minister from the Mushhar community, is speaking his mind , even though his remarks have created controversies and, at times, caused embarrassment to his party and Nitish Kumar.Although Manjhi has shown unflinching loyalty to Nitish, admitting he had become the chief minister solely because of his predecessor, he has not desisted from doing or saying what he wants at the same time. This is not the hallmark of someone who is supposed to be “governed” by others.But is Manjhi doing it deliberately to jettison his image of a “remote-controlled” chief minister or is he harbouring bigger ambitions? Is he trying to carve out his own, independent niche in state politics by making controversial remarks? Even though his motive is not yet clear, he definitely knows his mind.Bihar CM Jitan Ram ManjhiThe chief minister was unambiguous the other day when he talked about the “failure” of the Nitish government to rein in corruption despite its enviable track record on the development front. He also had no qualms in launching a slew of welfare schemes for Gaya, his home district, on the plea that Nitish had metamorphosed his native Nalanda district in a similar way.Manjhi’s candid remarks have predictably not gone down well with other Janata Dal(United) leaders, but he has certainly succeeded in diverting the spotlight away from Nitish. In just three months after taking over the reins of the government, he has proved he is not your dummy chief minister who will remain tight-lipped throughout his term in office.advertisementThere is no denying the fact that most of the JD(U) leaders in his place would have been content following the dictates of Nitish and waiting for their tenures to come to an an end. But Manjhi appears to have his own agenda. Despite carrying forward Nitish’s development agenda vigorously, he is ensuring his interests are being met.Manjhi, as a matter-of-fact, has been no pushover in politics over the years. As a seasoned Mahadalit leader, he has been a minister in different governments for a long time. Even in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, he performed well as the minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It was during his tenure that the state government set up the Mahadalit commission and implemented its recommendations for the uplift of the most marginalised sections of society. If Nitish expected him to remain in the sidelines while discharging his duties as the chief minister, he has made a wrong decision.Still, Manjhi has his limits. Regardless of his performance, he knows it well that he will have to vacate his throne for Nitish if the JD(U) returns to power in the next Assembly polls.But Manjhi would certainly like to leave his mark as an independent-thinking chief minister. He may not be aspiring to become another Nitish Kumar, but he would definitely like to evolve as the second best choice for the chief minister’s post in the party on the basis of his performance during his tenure at the helm.BIG HERO: Suman Kumar Ranjt shows everyone that nothing is impossible.Polio-afflicted braveheart scales Patna’s tallest buildingForty one-year-old physically challenged Suman Kumar Ranjit recently climbed down from an 18-storey building in Patna to prove that disability was no handicap for him. The braveheart from Patna descended down the 71-metre-high Biscomaun Towers, the tallest building in the state capital, with the help of ropes under a programme called Mission Impossible, which was organised by the Disabled Sports and Welfare Academy.Suman, who has been afflicted with polio since birth, has dysfunctional legs and a right hand. Nevertheless, within an hour he came down to the ground from the topmost floor of the highrise.Hundreds of people lined up along the road near Gandhi Maidan in front of Biscomaun Towers holding their breath as Suman, secured with safety belts, slid down on the rope successfully. “I wanted to help generate confidence in differently abled people that nothing is impossible to achieve if one has the determination,” he said, “After all, where there is will there is a way.”advertisementSuman had earlier succeeded in performing similar feats from the 29-metre-high Golghar, a historic granary, twice in 1994 and 2006.One of the state’s most famous monuments, Golghar, is not known much outside BiharSocial media to promote Bihar monumentGolghar is to Patna what the Taj Mahal is to Agra and the Charminar to Hyderabad. But while the famous historic monuments of the other cities have attracted a large number of tourists, this 18th century granary, which was built after a devastating famine of 1770 in Bihar, remains neglected.The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation has started a selfie contest to popularise Golghar among youngsters through social networking sites. Under an innovative campaign called, Golghar: Meri Virasat, Meri Pehchan (Golghar: My heritage, my identity), the corporation has invited people to upload their selfies clicked with the Golghar in the background on the official Facebook page on the famous monument. The selfie which will get the maximum ‘likes’ on the page will be rewarded later this month. The contest has generated tremendous enthusiasm among the people, especially youngsters, who are making a beeline to get their selfies clicked in front of the monument.Golghar was built after the catastrophic famine of 1770 which had claimed the lives of lakhs of people in Bihar and Bengal. Built by Captain John Garstin, a military engineer with East India Company, the 29-metre-high granary has a storage capacity of 140,000 tonnes, but it could never be filled to full capacity because of its faulty design. It, however, emerged as a symbol of Patna over the decades by offering visitors a panoramic view of the entire city from its rooftop.Union Minister for Law and Information Technology Ravi Shankar PrasadUNION MINISTER for Law and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad relived old times during a recent visit to his hometown. The BJP leader visited the Patna High Court where he had begun his career as a young lawyer. On a trip down memory lane, Prasad met lawyers with whom he had worked for many years. During his two-hour-long visit, Prasad shunned security and interacted freely with all the lawyers here who were very happy to see him.
Advertisement(photo credits: FIFA)The Germany Football Team better known as Die Mannschaft boarded the flight to Russia yesterday in a bid to defend their title that they secured in 2014.The team’s defensive spearhead Mats Hummels took to twitter to post an image of him and his teammates leaving to Russia.Off to Russia/Ab nach Russland #linienflug pic.twitter.com/auFR2t9leL— Mats Hummels (@matshummels) June 12, 2018Also having been recently appointed as Bayern Munich’s captain Mats Hummels will realise his importance heading into this world cup and will look to play a vital role in order to defend the elusive title.The German team will consist of a mix of youth and experienced players who will be heading to Russia. They will kick of their campaign when they face Mexico on the 17th of June.The squad list of the German football team is as followsDas ist der finale Kader für die #WM2018 ⚽#DieMannschaft #ZSMMN pic.twitter.com/tvaIKLiEuz— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) June 4, 2018Also Read :FIFA World Cup 2018: 10 Underrated Players To Watch Out ForFIFA World Cup 2018: 10 Players that are likely to set the tournament alightAdvertisement
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal chief Sanllehi: Emery has nothing personal against Ozilby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal chief Raul Sanllehi insists manager Unai Emery has nothing personal against Mesut Ozil.The Gunners’ head of football believes the midfielder’s “qualities are without question” but admitted he must work harder.Speaking at an Arsenal fans forum, Sanllehi said: “Unai has had many good players in other teams also, and he has always followed the same policy.”That is to try not to make any distinctions, play the ones who work hard in training and reward the effort with playing time.”There is nothing against Mesut on the contrary and I hope we get to see him much more in the next games because his qualities are without question.”But he needs to contribute 24/7 and that’s what Unai expects from him.”It’s not that he’s not working so well, but there are others who are deserving more playing time, but Unai can’t treat him differently than any other player.”You may have read that Unai has put a barrier up, but nothing at all like this has happened.”
zoom Maritime service provider V.Group has acquired Bibby Ship Management, part of the Bibby Line Group, specializing in ship management and support services.“With the extensive expertise of the Bibby Ship Management team, our ability to offer comprehensive management and support services to offshore oil and gas assets and specialised project vessels is second to none. “We believe our combined capabilities offer a compelling outsourcing proposition to our clients, helping optimise operating and budgetary performance for ship owners. We deliver a higher performance assurance, through integrating a wider range of services in support of the management offering,” said Clive Richardson, V.Group Chief Executive Officer.Bibby Ship Management services all types of vessels, circa 60, based on the company’s website, ranging from dive support vessels, to oil and gas carriers, bulkers, ROROs with particular focus on the management of offshore vessels.The acquisition comes at a challenging time for ship owners and operators as they explore strategic options for the management of their fleets, Bibby Ship Management says.
Kolkata: Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) will start work for pulling down five buildings at Durga Pithuri Lane in Bowbazar, which have been badly damaged due to the tunneling work of East West Metro from Monday. These buildings are beyond repair and are posing a serious threat to the buildings which are located adjacent to them.”We have got the necessary nod of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation as well as the house owners for the demolition of the buildings after we submitted the soil stability certificate. We are accordingly making arrangements for the same,” said a senior official of KMRCL, the executing agency of the East West Metro project. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt may be mentioned that KMRCL, with assistance from officials of the building department of KMC and Kolkata Police has already started removing debris from the damaged buildings at Syakra Para Lane and Durga Pithuri Lane from Saturday and will continue to do so on Monday. A JCV machine was found positioned on BB Ganguly Street at the entrance of Durga Pithuri Lane, which will be used for demolition. The demolition work will also clear the congestion in the lanes and will speed up the process of debris clearance. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe KMRCL engineers with help from two foreign experts have been able to bring down the degree of subsidence in the earth underneath the damaged buildings through grouting and pumping of water into the earth from within the tunnel. They are hopeful that the earth underneath can be settled within a day or two. “We have already handed over cheques of Rs 5 lakh to 19 beneficiaries. Compilation of the rest of the beneficiaries after necessary verification is going on. We will transfer the amount to the accounts of the beneficiaries directly from Monday, as per the list that will be given to us by the state administration,” said A K Nandy, general manager (Administration), KMRCL. The residents of Durga Pithuri Lane were allowed to take their belongings on Sunday, with the demolition drive scheduled on Monday. “We have vacated our residence on September 1 and are staying in Hotel Himalaya at Mechua. We were allowed 45 minutes and have brought our valuable ornaments, bank documents and educational documents from our building which has developed cracks only. The building just adjacent to ours has tilted slightly and so we were asked to vacate,” said Prabir Kumar Nandy, who was found taking out his belongings along with his family members on Sunday afternoon.
MONTREAL – The new Champlain Bridge slated to open later this year now won’t welcome traffic until sometime in 2019, the federal government confirmed Thursday.Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said during a visit to the site that key work won’t be completed before the winter months take over, forcing a delay to the planned Dec. 21 opening.The $4.2 billion bridge will now open sometime in 2019 — by next June at the latest — Champagne said.“To ensure the durability of the new bridge, certain finishing works … need to be done next spring,” he said.Champagne said while the main structure of the bridge will be completed by December, other work including waterproofing and paving of the span will have to wait until weather conditions are more favourable.Putting down a membrane and two layers of asphalt will take about two months and requires temperatures of at least 2 degrees Celsius.A firm opening date will be announced early next year, but in the meantime the old bridge located next to the new structure will remain open to traffic.Champagne said the government had undertaken measures in 2017 to ensure the old structure would remain “open, functional and safe.”Another $10 million has been added to the previous $50 million earmarked for keeping the aging bridge in service until the new span opens.Champagne said there will be a cost to the consortium building the new bridge because of the delivery delay.The contract provides penalties of $100,000 per day the bridge is late for the first seven days and $400,000 per day late after the first week, to a maximum of $150 million.“When there’s delays, there are consequences and both sides will be looking at the contractual terms and conditions, there will be discussion and there will be legal and financial consequences,” Champagne said. “However, I must say the focus of everyone is to deliver the new Champlain Bridge.”Some 1,600 workers have worked around the clock, seven days a week on the Champlain Bridge project.Champagne said the project has been hit by certain “excusable delays” and any penalties will be the subject of confidential discussions among lawyers.Daniel Genest, who heads Signature on the Saint Lawrence Group — the consortium building the bridge — said a crane was struck by lightning, immobilizing it for three days. Crane operators were also on strike in June and there were some weather-related delays.Genest believed a Dec. 21 delivery was possible until September, because of those delays.“I did ask for other expert opinions which confirmed the work could not be done,” Champagne said. “In my role managing public money, we had to come to the conclusion that this work could not be done without impacting the durability.”The new bridge is expected to last 125 years.
OTTAWA — A federal trade tribunal is tossing out a challenge to the federal government’s handling of a high-stakes competition to design the navy’s new $60-billion fleet of warships.The Canadian International Trade Tribunal’s ruling removes one potential obstacle as Ottawa prepares to award a design contract for the warships to U.S.-based defence giant Lockheed Martin.The government and Irving Shipbuilding selected Lockheed’s proposed warship design in October over submissions from Alion Science and Technology of Virginia and Spanish firm Navantia.Alion subsequently filed complaints with the trade tribunal as well as the Federal Court, saying Lockheed’s design did not meet the navy’s requirements and should have been disqualified.But in a ruling issued on Thursday, the trade tribunal said neither Alion nor its Canadian subsidiary met the requirements to file a challenge and that it was dismissing the complaint.The government and Irving have been negotiating a final design contract with Lockheed for several months, which officials hope to complete in weeks.The Canadian Press
Ninety minutes outside London, a turn down a narrow lane leads past fields of grazing cattle to a sign warning “Private Keep Off.” Around an elbow bend, a great stone manor, its formal gardens and tennis court hidden behind thick hedges, commands a 5,000-acre estate.The estate is a pastoral prize — proof of the great wealth belonging to the family accused of playing a key role in triggering the U.S. opioid epidemic. But there’s little evidence of that connection. On paper, the land is owned by seven companies, most based in distant Bermuda, all controlled by an offshore trust.The haziness surrounding the estate hints at one of the challenges for government lawyers as they eye a potential settlement with Purdue Pharma L.P. and its owners, the Sackler family, for their alleged role in flooding communities with prescription painkillers.All but two U.S. states and 2,000 local governments have taken legal action against Purdue, other drugmakers and distributors. Sixteen states have sued family members by name, alleging they steered Purdue while draining more than $4 billion from the company since 2007. That’s when the Oxycontin maker pleaded guilty to misleading doctors, patients and regulators about the drug’s risks.Purdue’s CEO has said the company could file for bankruptcy. And news organizations have reported that Purdue, the family and government lawyers are negotiating a possible settlement , valued at $10 billion to $12 billion, that would see the Sacklers give up company ownership and contribute $3 billion of their own money.But where, exactly, did the money withdrawn from Purdue over the years end up? And how much might the family be holding that state and local governments should consider fair game?Answers are complicated by the way the Sacklers have shielded their wealth in an intricate web of companies and trusts, a review by The Associated Press has found. Some are registered in offshore tax havens far from Purdue’s Connecticut headquarters.The web’s complexity and offshore reach could affect the calculus for government lawyers as they weigh how to go after Purdue, including how to calibrate demands in settlement talks.“The Sacklers allegedly moved significant money offshore, which potentially would make it harder for any judgment creditor to reach,” said Mark Chalos, a lawyer representing counties and cities including Nashville, Tennessee, in suits against opioids makers.“This is the real question and you’re seeing it playing out in a lot of different states in different ways,” said Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, a professor of law at the University of Georgia. “How do you make sure that they (the Sacklers) are not siphoning off those assets and hiding them away?”A representative for the family of Purdue co-founder Mortimer Sackler declined to comment for this story, as did a company spokeswoman. A representative for the relatives of Raymond Sackler, Purdue’s other scion, did not respond to a request for comment.Purdue and the Sacklers have long relied on a coterie of attorneys and accountants, as well as the family’s closely held ownership of the company, to keep their business and personal dealings private.But AP’s review of court papers, securities filings by companies that have had dealings with Purdue, and documents leaked from an exclusive Bermuda law firm, show how family members have tried to protect their wealth.Purdue — controlled through layers of limited partnerships, holding companies and trusts — is at the centre of the family’s web. But it hardly ends there.In Purdue’s 2007 plea agreement with federal prosecutors, it listed 215 companies under its corporate umbrella. But that list did not include a number of companies used to manage property and investments for family members or the trusts, some offshore, set up to administer their fortunes.Some offshore entities “appear to have served as conduits for monies from Purdue,” a lawyer for New York’s attorney general wrote recently to the judge presiding over the state’s lawsuit.New York has issued subpoenas to 33 Sackler companies, advisers and banks in the U.S., seeking details about money transferred out of Purdue. It is asking for court assistance to demand that four offshore entities also provide information about millions of dollars that “should be clawed back.”Many companies set up limited partnerships and country-specific subsidiaries to cap liabilities for shareholders, and many wealthy individuals manage their investments through opaque entities.But an examination of the Sacklers’ web shows striking complexity and a desire for secrecy, while revealing links between far-flung holdings.The British estate, known as Rooksnest and acquired before Purdue introduced Oxycontin, is one example. The manor is the domain of Theresa Sackler, widow of one of Purdue’s founders and, until last year, a member of the company’s board of directors. Set in the West Berkshire countryside, it includes a stone mansion that dates to the 16th century, 10 acres of formal gardens and expansive pastures for heritage cattle, red deer and wheat.It’s run by a Bermuda company called Earls Court Farm Limited, records filed with UK authorities show. But some of the land is owned by five more companies, three also in Bermuda. Earls Court is owned by yet another offshore company. And all the companies are controlled by a trust, based on Jersey in the Channel Islands.Public filings don’t show who actually owns the estate, and gardeners at the site told an AP photographer they could not answer questions. But documents leaked from Appleby, a Bermuda law firm employed by numerous wealthy clients, show that the companies belong to the Sacklers, among at least 30 island-based entities controlled through family trusts.Indeed, the leaked documents show that the trustee of the British estate also controls a Sackler company named in U.S. securities filing as one of Purdue’s two “ultimate parents.”Some states have also sued that firm, Beacon Co., based in the Channel Islands, along with Purdue and the Sacklers. New York state is seeking to subpoena the offshore trust company used to control both Beacon and the British estate.It has long been known that the Sacklers use Bermuda as a base for Mundipharma, a network of companies set up to do business outside North America. But their island portfolio also includes family foundations, real estate holding companies and an insurer, according to documents leaked in 2017 to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. The documents are part of millions known as the Paradise Papers that were shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists which provided access to the AP.The Sacklers’ use of offshore holding companies and trusts is telling, said Jeffrey Winters, a Northwestern University professor whose research focuses on how the powerful protect their fortunes.“One would not put those trusts there if you didn’t see some wealth defence benefit,” Winters said. “It’s very hard to see what’s in there and it’s very hard to seize what’s in there. That’s the purpose.”But David S. Neufeld, an international tax lawyer who works with wealthy clients and closely held companies, said the layered, partly offshore structure used to control Purdue, while not typical, is also not that uncommon.“Somewhere in this picture is a desire to limit exposure to business liabilities. That’s not, in and of itself, a problem. That’s the very nature” of setting up a corporation, Neufeld said.The Sacklers had an estimated net worth of $13 billion as of 2016, making them America’s 19th-richest family, according to Forbes magazine. One of their largest holdings outside pharmaceuticals appears to be an estimated $1.7 billion portfolio in a family company, Cap 1 LLC, that recently sold its stake in 17 U.S. ski resorts.Massachusetts, New York and other states are alleging that the family has worked methodically to move money out of Purdue to insulate their fortune.At a meeting in December 2010, for example, the Sacklers and other board members approved the withdrawal of $261.3 million from Purdue, according to company records recently made public in the Massachusetts case, the first to name individual family members. Until recently, eight Sacklers served on Purdue’s board.The board instructed that the money be passed through three layers of holding companies, then split equally between Beacon Co. and Rosebay Medical Co., the other “ultimate parent” of Purdue. Both are controlled by Sackler trusts.“Do you know whether any of these sums distributed between 2008 and 2011 made their way into any bank account over which you had control?” an attorney asked Dr. Kathe Sackler, one of the family members who approved the transfers, during a deposition this past April.“I hope so,” she answered, according to a partial transcript recently made public in court filings. “I think so.”The family’s withdrawal of substantial sums from Purdue was noted by Dr. Richard Sackler, the former president and chairman, in a 2014 email to his sons, filed as an exhibit in court proceedings.“In the years when the business was producing massive amounts of cash,” he wrote, “the shareholders departed from the practice of our industry peers and took the money out of the business.”He did not need to remind his sons that the only shareholders of Purdue are Sacklers.It is not clear where the money drawn from Purdue ended up. New York’s attorney general alleges that the Sacklers sent it offshore to “unknown trusts, partnerships, companies” and other entities they control.The possibilities are numerous. When family members directed payments to Rosebay Medical, for example, the company served as much more than a parent of Purdue. It is also the owner-of-record for Sackler companies spread from Poland to New Zealand, corporate registries in those countries show.Rosebay is run from an office in Oklahoma City that manages many family holdings. When David Sackler, son of one of Purdue’s founders, paid $22.5 million last year for a mansion in Los Angeles’ Bel Air neighbourhood, the executive who administers Rosebay served as his representative for the purchase.Lawsuits allege that the Sacklers’ money management decisions were framed by their awareness of state investigations of Purdue.“Despite this knowledge, the Sackler defendants continued to vote to have Purdue pay the Sackler Families significant distributions and send money to offshore companies,” Nevada’s lawsuit says.Family members voiced concerns about threats to their holdings.“While things are looking better now,” Mortimer D.A. Sackler wrote to his cousins months after Purdue’s 2007 guilty plea, and quoted in Connecticut’s lawsuit, “I would not count out the possibility that times will get much more difficult again in the future and probably much sooner than we expect.”Purdue agreed in March to a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma to avoid going to trial. That included $75 million from the Sacklers.A federal judge in Cleveland overseeing suits by local governments has pushed all parties to work toward a nationwide settlement. The resulting negotiations have included representatives for some of the state attorneys general who have filed suit.The first federal trials are scheduled to start in October. Unless there’s a settlement, family members could face more questions about their decisions to move money out of Purdue, some of it offshore.At trial, lawyers for states and cities would “need to prove that the transfer of the money to these offshore accounts were made with fraudulent intent,” said William J. Moon, a professor of law at the University of Maryland.States can ask courts to order the return of such money to satisfy a legal judgment. But going after money moved offshore would be time-consuming and expensive, with few guarantees, Moon and others said.Governments suing the company could start by asking judges to order the seizure of Sackler assets in the U.S., pending an eventual verdict, said Gregory Grossman, a Miami attorney specializing in international insolvency. That would require convincing a judge that they’re likely to win the case. But it would be far easier than getting a U.S. judge to freeze offshore assets, he said.“How comfortable is the court with ordering the seizure of things that are not in their jurisdiction?” Grossman said. “If they are comfortable, will they get co-operation with folks on the other side of the pond?”If Purdue files for bankruptcy, all the company’s assets would be considered fair game for creditors. But the company’s coffers are separate from the family’s own wealth.Unless a state had already won their case by that point, a bankruptcy filing by Purdue would put lawsuits against it on hold, said Jessica Gabel Cino, a professor of law at Georgia State University.As states decide how to proceed, they could find lessons in efforts to recover money lost in broker Bernard Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme.A court-appointed trustee has long sought money Madoff paid out to investors in offshore “feeder funds,” using cash others entrusted to him. Madoff was arrested in December 2008. But just this February, a federal judge ruled that the money Madoff directed offshore had to be returned.The ruling, though, is likely to be appealed.___Associated Press photographer Frank Augstein in Lambourn Woodlands, England, and researchers Randy Herschaft and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this story.Adam Geller, The Associated Press
Puerto Rico01120011 Bulgaria01120000 Track and field2,300471.0 Singapore00220055 Gymnastics1,442142.0 Soccer1,300212.9 Canada151218122124 Modern pentathlon3220.3 * Golf and rugby are new Olympic sports for 2016. Viewership is estimated based on regression analysis.** Boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling award two bronze medals in each event. As a result, they have a lower medal multiplier for bronze medals: 0.3 for boxing and judo, 0.2 for wrestling and 0.1 for taekwondo.Source: Olympic.org Russia2426328225233280 N. Korea40262013 Uzbekistan10230011 Grenada10011001 Venezuela10010000 Bahamas10011001 COUNTRYGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTALGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTAL Weightlifting320150.4 Canoe/kayak195160.2 Handball26522.6 Sweden14380516 Shooting215150.3 Afghanistan00110000 Rowing196140.3 Triathlon10021.0 Switzerland22042204 Related: Hot Takedown Kazakhstan715134116 Tajikistan00110000 Boxing**302130.5 Tennis37151.5 Belgium01230011 Slovenia11241113 Field hockey23322.3 Cyprus01010000 Botswana01010101 Mongolia02350112 Slovakia01340011 ORIGINAL 2012 MEDAL COUNTADJUSTED FOR SPORT POPULARITY Colombia13481214 Tunisia11131113 S. Korea138728861731 Team sports almost invariably wind up with large medal multipliers, including soccer (12.9), basketball (8.0) and even water polo (1.9). Swimming (0.9) and track and field (1.0) hold their own; they’re very popular, but also medal-rich, so there isn’t much need to adjust their numbers one way or the other. Gymnastics gets a boost, though, as does diving (1.9). But many of the more obscure individual sports, such as shooting (0.4), sailing (0.2) and taekwondo (0.2), have low multipliers.How would these adjustments have affected the 2012 Olympic standings? Among other things, they’d have helped the United States, which already led the way with 46 gold and 103 overall medals in London. A lot of those medals came in team sports, such as basketball, volleyball and (women’s) soccer, which have high medal multipliers. Thus, Team USA’s adjusted medal count is 78 golds and 142 medals overall, towering over the competition. Archery16240.8 Norway21143014 U.S.462829103783925142 Egypt02020101 Taekwondo**8880.2 We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Because the Summer Olympics occur during presidential election years, I have to pick my viewing opportunities carefully. I won’t always have the time or patience to watch much water polo or beach volleyball, sports that involve a lot of buildup — dozens of preliminary matches — all leading up to a gold-medal match that I’ll probably forget to watch anyway.1The Winter Olympics are another story: MORE CURLING, PLEASE. Instead, I’m mostly interested in sports such as swimming and track and field, which provide plenty of bang for the buck, with somebody (probably an American) winning a medal pretty much every other time you look.Not everyone agrees with this philosophy, though. Track and field and swimming are indeed very popular, ranking as the top two sports for Olympics TV viewership, followed by gymnastics in third. But soccer ranks fourth. It awards just two gold medals, one each for the men’s and women’s champions, while sailing awards 10. And yet — even if people don’t care as much about Olympic soccer as they do the World Cup or the Champions League — soccer has 15 times the Olympics TV audience that sailing does.So, what if Olympics medals were awarded in proportion to how much people actually cared about each sport, as measured by its TV viewership? To reiterate, I’m talking about TV viewership during the Olympics, specifically. Tennis (as in: Wimbledon) is presumably the more popular spectator sport under ordinary circumstances, but in 2012, people actually spent more time watching table tennis (as in: pingpong) than tennis at the Olympics.The data I’m citing here comes from the IOC’s International Federations Report, which listed the total number of TV viewer hours in each sport during the 2012 London Olympics. People around the world spent a collective 202 million hours watching Olympics fencing in 2012, for example. The list of the most popular sports is less U.S.-centric than you might think: Badminton, not very popular in the United States, gets a lot of TV viewers worldwide.There are just a couple of complications. First, some Olympic federations cover more than one sport, as people usually define them. FINA, for example, governs swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming2Technically the Olympics committee calls diving a discipline, which is organized under one sport, aquatics., and the IOC’s report aggregated their TV viewership together. I used data on London Olympics ticket revenues as a proxy for the relative popularity of these sports, in order to split the TV audiences accordingly.3Specifically, I used data on ticket revenues, excluding tickets sold to residents of the United Kingdom, on the assumption that this would help to correct for sports that are more popular in the U.K. than they are worldwide. Second, golf and rugby are new to the Olympics this year, so I estimated their TV viewership using regression analysis.4The regression was based on the revenue tier in which the IOC ranked each sport — golf and rugby are in the lowest tier along with modern pentathlon — and the number of ticketed sessions for each sport. Ticketed sessions is a proxy for the overall number of broadcast hours available. A sport like handball can slowly accumulate viewers, even it doesn’t have very many of them at any one time.Otherwise, the analysis is pretty straightforward. I calculated a medal multiplier for each sport, such that the value of medals is proportional to the amount of time people spent watching it. Gymnastics, for instance, represented about 4.5 percent of the medals awarded in 2012, but around 9 percent of the TV viewership. It therefore needs a medal multiplier of 2 to bring things into proportion.5For boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling, which award two bronze medals per event, I use a smaller medal multiplier for bronze medals. Brazil359178271146 Azerbaijan226101124 Germany1119144414161141 Kenya2451124511 France11111335915832 The Subtle (And Not So Subtle) Dominance Of U.S. Swimmers And Gymnasts Cycling564180.6 China also gets a modest boost, thanks in part to its gymnastics and table tennis prowess, while Brazil — great at soccer and volleyball, not so good at the individual sports — gets a large one. The country that suffers the most is Great Britain, which used its home-nation advantage to rack up medals in some of the more obscure sports. Nations from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which win lots of medals in relatively unpopular events such as weightlifting and wrestling, also suffer to some extent. Hong Kong00110011 Armenia01230011 USA dominates adjusted medal count Rhythmic gymnastics9220.9 Rugby*14121.4 Portugal01010000 Greece00220011 Italy891128351220 Belarus255122338 Wrestling**318180.3 Equestrian18160.6 Finland01230011 Croatia31263036 Latvia10121089 India02460134 Serbia11240022 Great Britain2917196517101845 New Zealand625132125 Volleyball51925.1 Diving78481.9 Ukraine6592022610 Malaysia01120224 Ethiopia31373137 Poland226101124 Denmark24391337 SPORTVIEWER HOURS (MILLIONS)EVENTSMEDAL MULTIPLIER Trampoline6720.7 Source: Sports-Reference.com Argentina11240224 Cuba536142226 Swimming1,509340.9 Beach volleyball78127.7 Ireland11351113 Uganda10011001 Trinidad and Tobago11241124 Montenegro01010303 Lithuania21251012 Turkey22151102 Bahrain00110011 Guatemala01010101 Basketball80428.0 Jamaica4441244412 S. Africa32162204 Estonia01120011 Spain310417115420 Romania25292428 Gabon01010000 Iran453121214 Thailand02130101 Dominican Rep.11021102 Water polo19421.9 Moldova00220011 Qatar00220011 Table tennis46142.3 Fencing202100.4 Judo**443140.6 Algeria10011001 Morocco00110011 Georgia13371113 Golf*9420.9 Japan71417384281648 China38272388503020100 Badminton56252.2 What if medals were awarded in proportion to a sport’s popularity? Indonesia01120000 Taiwan01120000 Australia71612353121833 Kuwait00110000 Synchronized swimming11321.1 Sailing87100.2 Mexico1337135321 Saudi Arabia00110011 Netherlands6682075416 Hungary846186129 Czech Rep.433102226 We’ll check in on these numbers again at the end of the 2016 Rio games. They may even make inexplicably popular beach volleyball — medal multiplier 7.7 — worth your time to watch.
Drivers could be banned from the roads for 56 daysCredit:Ian Jones “While sat navs and smartphones are an incredibly useful tool for motorists, it is important to remember they are never a complete substitute for knowing the rules of the road.” More than half of drivers who took part in a survey by the price comparison firm, uSwitch, admitted they did not know the correct speed limits for single and dual carriageways.A third also admitted that they rarely updated their sat navs, meaning they were likely to be given out of date information where roads were subject to variable speed limits.Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, said: “We are officially a nation of sat nav junkies, but our addiction to technology is causing us to drive dangerously and risk large fines. Speed camera-carrying motorcycleCredit:Barry Batchelor/PA New sentencing powers aimed at deterring speeding drivers will come into force next week with the worst offenders facing big increases in fines.From Monday, motorists who travel at excessively dangerous speeds, including those who exceed 100 mph on motorways, could be fined up to 175 per cent of their weekly income.In addition to the new fines, they could also be banned from driving for 56 days and have six points added to their licence.But while road safety charities have welcomed the move, there is concern that the fines will have little impact on behaviour because there are too few traffic officers on the roads to enforce them. Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, also said the increase in fines was long overdue, but said the government had to ensure the resources were available to enforce them.He said: “I hope that magistrates ensure the new sentences are consistently applied. It is also vital that a new government look afresh at police resources and make traffic policing a national priority, so that speeding drivers know they will be caught and punished.”The introduction of the new top rate fines has opened the government up to accusations that they are attempting to raise revenue through the scheme, with any cash going to the Treasury.Roger Lawson of the Association of British Drivers said any extra revenue could help recoup some of the huge court costs involved in prosecuting motorists.Meanwhile it has emerged that millions of motorists could be inadvertently speeding because they have been given wrong information by their sat navs. With police forces having to make millions of pounds worth of cuts, many have chosen to reduce the number of traffic patrols.Figures show that between 2005 and 2014 the number of specialist road officers in England and Wales reduced from 7,104 to 4,356.Last year a group of MPs warned that sharp falls in the number of recorded motoring offences was more likely to be down to the lack of patrols rather than an improvement in driving standards.RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said: “We welcome the change in sentencing guidelines for gross speeders. Anyone who breaks the limit excessively is a danger to every other road user and is unnecessarily putting lives at risk.“Hopefully, hitting these offenders harder in the pocket will make them think twice before doing it again in the future.But he added: “Tougher penalties are only effective in changing behaviour or increasing compliance if drivers genuinely believe that they are likely to be caught and prosecuted for breaking the law. “With a significantly reduced number of dedicated roads police officers you have to question whether increased fines alone will change the attitude of excessive speeders.” Credit:Jay Williams Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Wednesday 22 Mar 2017, 2:00 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 35 Comments The figures come from CSO analysis of incomes in 2014. Image: Julien Behal/PA Images Short URL Image: Julien Behal/PA Images http://jrnl.ie/3300484 Share89 Tweet Email9 By Rónán Duffy Mar 22nd 2017, 2:00 PM 80,871 Views ONLY FOUR COUNTIES in the Republic of Ireland have a disposable income per person greater than the State’s average.Those counties are Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Kildare.The results are contained in figures released by the Central Statistics Office for the year of 2014 and also show that the gap between Dublin as the richest region and the border region as the poorest has widened over the past number of years.Disposable income includes primary income plus social welfare payments minus taxes and social insurance contributions.On a per person basis, the disposal income in Dublin comes to €21,963 compared to a nationwide average of €19,178.Limerick’s is the second highest at €20,395, ahead of Kildare at €19,385 and Cork at €19,234.The counties with the greatest deductions from their primary incomes include those four counties as well as Meath, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Galway. Source: CSO.ie(Dublin’s disposable income is greater than 110% above the national average while the counties in purple are above 100%)Donegal has the lowest average disposable income at €15,061, with the counties of Roscommon (€16,281), Monaghan (€16,395) and Offaly (€16,460) just above that.As is evident from that list, the border region has the lowest disposable income on a regional basis with an average of €16,601.It means that the gap between the border region and Dublin now stands at €5,362, almost €800 more than was the difference in the previous year.The CSO also notes that the gap between Dublin and rest of the regions decreased during the period of peak austerity but has since widened again.“Viewed from this longer term perspective (from 2006 onwards) the divergence in income between the regions and Dublin was at its lowest in 2010 but has continued to widen in 2011, 2012 2013 and 2014,” the CSO states.Read: Filling your car is becoming very, very expensive – here’s why >Read: 32 beautiful celebrations of every county in Ireland > The figures come from CSO analysis of incomes in 2014. These are the four richest counties in Ireland Only four counties have a disposable income ahead of the national average.
Firefox : deux extensions infectées suppriméesÉtats-Unis – La fondation Mozilla a retiré deux extensions de son navigateur Firefox, contenant de nombreux malwares. 4.600 personnes auraient vu leur machine infectée.La fondation Mozilla a émis un bulletin d’alerte la semaine dernière concernant deux extensions de son navigateur Firefox : Sothink Web Video Downloader 4.0 et Master Filer ont été retirés car ces applications contiennent de nombreux malwares actifs sous Windows uniquement.Ces virus sont identifiés sous les noms de “Win32.LdPinch.gen” et “Win32.Bifrose.32.Bifrose”. Ils se manifestent dès que Firefox est ouvert. Pour les supprimer, il ne suffit pas de désinstaller le navigateur : il est nécessaire de recourir à un antivirus à jour.Le 8 février 2010 à 12:51 • Emmanuel Perrin
PORTLAND, Maine — The remnants of a violent storm that claimed 13 lives in Oklahoma and sent punishing winds and torrential downpours to northern New England and a tornado to South Carolina moved out to sea with a whimper Monday.The National Weather Service said Sunday’s storms sheared off trees and utility poles in parts of northern New England, dropped ping pong ball-sized hail in New York state and caused a tornado to touch down in South Carolina.On Monday morning, the storm was blowing out to sea with only isolated thunderstorms and localized heavy rain in some areas as a cold front began moving in and clearing the region. “There will be some thunderstorm activity, but the risk of severe weather has pretty much disappeared on the East Coast,” said Bruce Terry, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s weather prediction center in College Park, Md.At the peak of the storm, more than 40,000 homes and businesses were without power in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. That number had fallen to about 12,000 on Monday morning, with utilities hopeful to have most power restored by the end of the day.
HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are searching for a car crook in Hollywood.The man was caught on camera opening the door of an unlocked white Ford Focus and going inside.According to officials, he stole a laptop, DVR recorder, sunglasses and a jumper cable.The break-in was at a home on Van Buren Street and South 44th Avenue.If you have any information on this crime, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Post a comment Enlarge ImageAmusement park attendees, your ride has arrived. Sony The Sony-Yamaha SC-1 Sociable Cart could only come from Japan with its boxy, robotic look. And if you like it, there’s good news — it’s actually going into production.The SC-1 Sociable Cart, based on Sony’s SC-1 New Concept Cart, will enter production via a partnership with Yamaha, the companies said last Wednesday. The SC-1 New Concept Cart debuted in 2017; since then Sony put the boxy mobility van into prototype testing on a Japanese golf course. Following feedback from the trials, Sony and Yamaha created what you see here. Unlike the original concept, the SC-1 Sociable Cart has room for five passengers instead of three and a longer operation time thanks to replaceable batteries. Other improvements include an even smarter feedback system with the inclusion of more image sensors. Sony said the front and rear scopes are improved, specifically. An operator can also control the vehicle via a cloud system.The wildest part of the SC-1 Sociable Cart is the fact it actually doesn’t have windows. The mentioned image sensors instead capture the scenery and display the outside world on monitors for passengers. While that sounds unnecessary, Sony said it allows anyone onboard to see the world in high resolution with feeds displayed only in focus all the time. Further, passengers can see things at night in crystal clarity.With no windows comes great opportunity for advertisers, and this is where it starts to sound rather cumbersome. The Japanese company said the van’s artificial intelligence can gather information about the ages and genders of people outside the vehicle to display interactive and custom advertisements. Yay, ads. Meanwhile, the inside can take advantage of mixed-reality technology with overlays cast onto the screen displays. Think of a program to display interesting facts as the SC-1 Sociable Cart crawls by a tourist area or something along those lines.All the while, a lidar system ensures the van sees the world and drives autonomously and provides opportunities for “deep learning analysis” to become a better driver after every trip.Locals will find the boxy people mover employed at places such as amusement parks, golf courses and other similar facilities by the end of this year. 18 Photos 8:16 Share your voice BMW rocks up at CES 2019 with a self-driving bike and… More From Roadshow 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Now playing: Watch this: 2019 Chevy Malibu review: Swing and a miss 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 0 Ford’s ‘self-driving’ delivery vans bamboozle the public for good reason Tags Autonomous Vehicles Yamaha Sony Self-driving cars