Local RCMP members support Words on Wheels Bus with donation

first_imgStaff Sgt. Darren Traichevich, commander of the Dawson Creek detachment, was pleased to present a cheque for $8,131 to Gloria Cleve, early learning project manager for the Peace River South School District, on behalf of the RCMP Foundation, an organization that provides grants for community initiatives supported by local members. Traichevich said when he was approached by Cleve about supporting the grant application, it was easy to see the benefits for the community and for his detachment.“I just thought it was a great community initiative, and an initiative that members could use,” he said. “That’s what we based part of our support on, that this bus is available the entire community. We have a detachment of 30 members and they have young families …and if the bus is available for their use, definitely the members are aware of it and will hopefully get some use out of it as well.”Cleve said the money will be used to restock the bus with books, educational toys and resources for parents. She added beyond the funding, which is needed, the donation also represents an opportunity to get local police officers who are parents involved with the WOW Bus, and hopefully foster a relationship between local members and the youth of the community that will last into the future.- Advertisement -The WOW Bus was a project initiated by the South Peace Building Learning Together (BLT) Society – an association of different stakeholders involved in early childhood education – as a way to address vulnerabilities that were identified in the region’s preschool population in regards to literacy and preparedness for school. The bus offers activities and games for children, from newborns to five-year-olds, and free resources for families, all with the aim of promoting family literacy. It stops in community centres and neighbourhoods not only in Dawson Creek, but also in Pouce Coupe, Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations.Some of the activities offered on the WOW Bus include the “Kiwanis Buddies” program, where members of the Kiwanis Club of Dawson Creek come onboard to read to children, and the “Rotary Book Club,” where families take a book home to read and then return to take part in activities centred around that particular book. Last year, the WOW Bus created a cookbook for parents called “Healthy Meals from Words on Wheels.”Cleve said following some engine problems with the bus back in May, a major overhaul of the bus was done to ensure it remains road-worthy.Advertisement “That bill came to just over $5,000, and it was huge hit to the WOW Bus budget, so we are still looking for support for the WOW bus,” she said. “We have enough money to keep the WOW bus on the road for this (school) year, and hopefully we will get money for many more years to come.”A schedule of where the WOW Bus will stop throughout the rest of this month has been included below. For more information, call 250-219-2416 or go online to www.sd59.bc.ca. Volunteer bus drivers and “bus buddies” are needed for community events, and anyone interested is encouraged to call the number above.last_img read more

Discovery in Chinese acquisition

first_img2 December 2009South African healthcare insurer Discovery has announced its intention to expand into China with the acquisition of a 24.99% stake in Ping An Health Insurance.While China’s private health insurance market is still nascent, there is strong growth potential – in 2007, gross written premiums were approximately 19-billion Yuan (R21-billion), while McKinsey & Company estimates that in 2008, private healthcare premiums reached approximately 55-billion Yuan (R59-billion).The Chinese company is owned by Ping An Insurance, the second largest insurer in China with a market capitalisation of 292-billion Yuan (about R319-billion).“Ping An is an excellent partner,” Discovery CEO Adrian Gore said in a statement this week. “The group is a leader in the Chinese insurance market, providing immediate scale, brand and distribution capability in this rapidly growing market.”Social health insurance limitationsWhile large portions of the Chinese population are covered by the Social Health Insurance (SHI) system, this has strict coverage caps and co-payments, and there is inadequate access to top-tier hospitals and healthcare facilities.According to Discovery, this inadequate cover, coupled with increasing consumer awareness about the need for preventive healthcare, has created demand for private medical insurance.The growing disposable income amongst the 25-40 million middle-class households means many consumers can afford top-up cover, while there is also increasing demand for cover for private healthcare facilities, diagnostics and branded drugs that fall outside the limited SHI schedule of benefits.According to Discovery, the Chinese government recognises the limitations of the SHI, and through their reform process, is encouraging private healthcare insurance providers to play an active role in developing a multi-level health insurance system.Ping An Health currently holds one of a limited number of health insurance licences issued by the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission.Middle and upper class customers“Ping An Group currently has a 30% share of the ‘riders’ or ‘supplementary’ private health insurance market,” said Gore. “In 2005, Ping An grasped the enormous growth opportunity and potential of the comprehensive health insurance market, and Ping An Health was established in Shanghai.”Ping An Health’s products and services are primarily aimed at middle and upper income customers, and it has branches in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. It has recorded significant growth over the last three years with sales increasing more than 400% over the period.“Ping An Health is a fast-growing, well capitalised business,” said Gore. “We are confident that it will be able to maintain its growth trajectory as the Chinese health insurance market develops and it is able to leverage off Ping An group’s comprehensive distribution network and scale in the Chinese market.”The conclusion of the transaction is subject to definitive agreement between the parties, following which it would be subject to the requisite regulatory approvals and other conditions precedent.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

A parent’s guide to schooling

first_imgAt what age must my child enter school? What if I can’t afford the school fees? Are teachers allowed to smack my child? What if my child has special educational needs? Can I educate my child at home? We give you the answers, and more, to frequent questions about South Africa’s schooling system.We give you the answers, and more, to frequent questions about South Africa’s schooling system. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterClick on the question to read the answer.What are the South African government’s responsibilities regarding education?At what age must my child start school?What are the grades in South African schools?What documents do I have to supply to admit my child to a school?Can my child attend any public school?How do I go about finding the right school?What can I expect to pay?Can a school take legal action against me if I don’t pay my child’s school fees?But what if I can’t afford to pay school fees?Can a school refuse to admit my child if I haven’t paid school fees?Can a school refuse to admit my child for any other reason?What if I’m still having trouble getting my child into a school?Are teachers allowed to hit my child?How large will my child’s class be?Is learning computer-based?Will my child have access to sporting and other facilities?Will tuition be in English?What if my child has special educational needs?Do parents have a say in the running of their children’s school?Are school uniforms compulsory?Are children allowed to wear religious dress to school?How long are the school holidays?Can I home school in South Africa?Useful documents What are the South African government’s responsibilities regarding education?Section 29 (1) of South Africa’s Constitution reads: “Everyone has the right to a basic education, including adult basic education; and to further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible.”According to the South African Schools Act of 1996, schooling is compulsory for all South Africans from the age of six (grade 1) to the age of 15, or the completion of grade 9.At what age may my child start school?The age of a child entering grade 1 is age five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission. For grade 0 (otherwise known as grade R – the reception year), the age is four turning five by 30 June in the year of admission.If parents feel their children are not yet ready for school, they are allowed to admit them at an older age – five turning six for grade 0, and six turning seven for grade 1.Many schools conduct school-readiness tests to determine if a later admission would be in the child’s best interests.What are the grades in South African schools?Schooling runs from grade 0 (the reception year also known as grade R) through to grade 12 (known as matric). Grades 1 to 9 are compulsory and are classified as General Education and Training. Grades 10 to 12 are considered to be Further Education and Training.Grade 12 is the year of matriculation, which is required (with certain minimum conditions) for tertiary education. Some private schools also offer a post-matric “sixth form” year which allows students to sit for A-level examinations.What documents do I have to supply to admit my child to a school?For public schools, the only documents parents are required to supply when applying to admit their child to school are:The child’s birth certificate;The child’s immunisation card; and,The child’s transfer card or last school report, if the child has already been to another school.A child may be registered provisionally if these documents are not immediately available, and the parents must be given a reasonable time to submit them.If you are not a South African citizen, you should also include a copy of your study permit or your temporary or permanent residence permit. If you do not yet have a permit, you will need to submit evidence that you have applied for permission to stay in South Africa.It is the responsibility of every parent (or guardian) to ensure that:Their children are registered for the following year, well before the end of the current school year;Their children attend school regularly; and,All children between the ages six and 15 years attend school.Can my child attend any public school?A parent may register his or her child at any public school, if there are vacancies.Most schools have established so-called feeder zones, the area the school favours when admitting students. The order of preference for admission to schools generally is:Children whose parents live in the school’s feeder zone – this includes parents who live at their place of work, such as domestic workers;Children whose parents work in the feeder zone; and,The rest are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, and may be placed on a waiting list.However, the provincial departments of education are obliged to find a place in school for every learner. The feeder zone system does not apply to private or independent schools, which have their own admission requirements.How do I go about finding the right school?For state schools, contact the provincial department of education, which keeps a comprehensive list of all registered schools. Most provincial departments have searchable school databases on their websites – see the list in the box on the right.For private schools contact the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa for its list.What can I expect to pay?Many of our state-aided schools – which receive a state subsidy as well as fees from parents – are on a par with private schools at a fraction of the price. A good state-aided school, offering smallish class sizes (about 25-odd) – generally the former Model C schools – may cost R8 000 to R20 000 per year compared with a private school, costing about R30 000 to R70 000 per year – excluding boarding, which could cost an extra R50 000 a year.Some 80% of South Africa’s school pupils don’t pay fees. Fees are paid at about 5 000 of the 25 000 schools. At primary school, fees are about R1 000 a month; at secondary school fees are about R2 300 a month, depending on the school.State funding is organised on a quintile system, in which schools are divided into five categories according to the poverty levels in the areas they serve. Poorer schools are given larger state subsidies, and so have lower school fees, while wealthier schools are given smaller subsidies, and so have higher fees.In the poorest areas of all, parents are completely exempt from paying school fees. These schools are called no-fee schools that receive all their required funding from the government. For the first three quintile groups, the government’s allocation for schools per child is R1 116. In quintile four, R559 is paid per child, and for quintile five the allocation is R193.No-fee schools will be published in the Provincial Gazette and the criteria to determine no-fee schools will be based on the economic level of the community around the school.In January 2015, it was reported that the most expensive private school in South Africa was Hilton College in KwaZulu-Natal. Pupils who board at this school each pay R219 500 per year.Like most private schools, Hilton College’s annual increase for school fees in 2015 from 2014, was 5%. Other expensive private schools, such as Treverton College in KwaZulu-Natal, cost R72&nsbp;800 annually per pupil, boarders at the school pay R149 800 annually.Can a school take legal action against me if I don’t pay my child’s school fees?Yes; in terms of the Schools Act, parents have a legal obligation to pay public school fees, as determined by the school governing body.But this action can only be taken if the fee-exemption criteria have been applied, and the parent still found to be liable for – in other words, can afford to pay – the fees. This obviously excludes no-fee schools, and orphans are exempt from school fees.But what if I can’t afford to pay school fees?At all public schools, parents may apply for a reduction in or even exemption from school fees. If both parents’ annual earnings are less than 10 times the yearly school fees (before tax), the child qualifies for a full fee exemption. Partial exemptions can also be made for parents with financial problems. This generally requires some kind of proof of income.Schools are encouraged to form a school fees committee, which should assist parents in applying for exemption. Forms for fee exemption should be available at the school office; otherwise contact your provincial department of education.Can a school refuse to admit my child if I haven’t paid school fees?No; in terms of the Schools Act, no student may be refused admission to a public school on the grounds that his or her parent or caregiver is unable to pay, or has not paid, school fees.It is also illegal for a school to refuse to allow a child to take part in the school’s sporting, cultural or social activities – such as the matric dance – on the grounds that fees have not been paid, or to retain the child’s report.Can a school refuse to admit my child for any other reason?No, the school may not, unless the child has already been expelled from that particular school. All schools must admit students without discrimination of any kind. Schools may not administer tests or use pre-school experience or language as reasons not to enrol a child. Admission may not be refused because parents or guardians:Are unable to pay, or haven’t paid, school fees;Do not subscribe to the school’s mission statement;Have refused to sign an indemnity contract; or,Are unable to afford all or part of the school uniform.What if I’m still having trouble getting my child into a school?Call the Department of Basic Education’s toll-free hotline on 0800 202 933, contact your provincial education department, or contact the Education Rights Project.Are teachers allowed to hit or cane my child?No; the Schools Act outlaws corporal punishment. Any teacher administering physical punishment faces prosecution for assault, and may be fined or even jailed.Corporal or physical punishment can take many forms, including hitting with a hand or an object such as a cane, belt, whip, shoe or ruler, slapping, kicking, shaking, burning, pinching or pulling hair, forcing someone to stand in an uncomfortable and undignified position, denying or restricting someone’s use of the toilet, denying meals, drink, heat and shelter as a form of punishment, or forcing someone to do excessive exercise.How large will my child’s class be?There is usually some correlation between class size and fees. At the state- aided schools where parents pay for extra teachers by way of school fees, and at the more expensive private schools, the maximum number of pupils is usually about 30. At poorer schools this is often higher, with as many as 40 to 50 children in a classroom.Is learning at schools computer-based?This depends on a particular school’s resources. Most private and state-aided schools have well-stocked computer or media centres, and increasing numbers have computers in every classroom. There are several government and private initiatives to get the rest – most schools in townships and rural areas – online within the next few years.For more information on schools online, see School Net.Will my child have access to sporting and other facilities?While schools in poor areas are sorely under-resourced when it comes to sports fields and other facilities, most schools in the suburbs have good to excellent sporting facilities. Space is seldom a constraint in South Africa, and a growing number of schools boast state-of-the-art Astroturf hockey fields, indoor gyms, squash courts and swimming pools.The emphasis on sport depends largely on the school, but – given that sport is a national preoccupation – most schools devote substantial amounts of time to it. In fact, under the new curriculum introduced in 2012, sport is included in the school day, aiming to ensure all children have the opportunity to participate.Other facilities such as music rooms, theatres and art centres depend largely on the particular bent of the school and on its financial resources. Most state-aided schools offer a range of curricular and extramural choices in the arts.Will tuition be in English?It is compulsory to do a home language, which is the language of learning and teaching, and an additional language from grade 1. These are set by the school governing body (see below), and are not necessarily the language spoken at home by the majority of learners.While research shows that learners who are taught in their mother tongue perform better, most schools choose to teach in English because of parent perception that it will benefit their children. From grade 4 onwards, learners are encouraged to switch to English.If you want a new language to be introduced to your preferred school, you must get at least 35 parents together who want this option. You must then see the principal and school governing body as a delegation.My daughter has special learning needs. Do regular schools have remedial programmes, or must she go to a special school?It depends on the severity of the problem and on how well-resourced the school is. In 2010, there were 104 633 children in 423 public special needs schools. There are also private schools for children with severe remedial problems or disabilities.South Africa has a policy of inclusive education, which includes various models to integrate special-needs children into ordinary schools. However, a lack of resources and infrastructure have meant that this policy has been slow to implement and children who have been mainstreamed don’t always get the special education they need.Some of the better-off schools, both state-aided and private, offer remedial education in one form or another. They employ remedial teachers and run small remedial classes alongside regular classes.Do parents have a say in the running of their children’s school?Definitely; national policy on state schools requires that the school governing body (SGB) – made up of management, teachers, learners (at high school) and parents (51%) – plays a large part in how the school is run, within a national framework.Dynamic SGBs capable of raising funds and offering diverse skills to their schools have managed to turn them into thriving centres of excellence. On the downside, where parents are uneducated and poor, the SGBs are hamstrung from the start. Also, many children go to school miles from home, making it difficult for parents to get involved.At private schools, parental involvement depends largely on the nature of the school.Are school uniforms compulsory?Yes; they are compulsory in all state schools and most private schools.Are children allowed to wear religious dress to school?In terms of the Constitution, learners may not be prohibited from wearing particular attire – such as yarmulkes and headscarves – to school. Schools are encouraged to have uniform policies that accommodate learners’ religious beliefs.How long are the school holidays?State schools follow the four-term system, while most private schools have three longer terms. At state schools, students are on holiday for two to three weeks between each term (except after the third term, when the break is usually 10 days) and for about five weeks in December and January, at the end of the school year.At private schools, the holidays are usually about a month between each of the three school terms, with a longer holiday, also usually about five weeks, at the end of the year.Download the public school calendar from the learners page on the Department of Basic Education’s website.Can I home school in South Africa?There’s a growing trend worldwide towards home schooling and South Africa is no exception, with thousands of families opting to home school their children, for a variety of reasons. Some parents are keen to give their children religious or individualised tuition which they won’t receive at school; others want to avoid the institutional nature of school life.For those who wish to send their children to private schools but cannot afford to, home schooling is a cheaper alternative. Several home schooling associations are on hand to help those who choose to go this route.Although home schooling is legal in South Africa, it is not actively encouraged by the government: permission must first be sought from provincial authorities, and various requirements must be met, such as the provision of a weekly timetable and a learning programme.See the Department of Basic Education website for details on home schooling requirements.Useful documentsFollow these links to download the following documents:The South African Schools Acts (1996)The Rights and Responsibilities of Parents, Learners and Public Schools (2005)The Education Rights Project has a range of online information regarding the rights of students and parents, from school fees to admissions, HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancy and more.Updated October 2015Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Evolution Ag outlook meeting Dec. 11

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Evolution Ag LLC will be holding its 4th annual Outlook Meeting on Friday, Dec. 11 at their recently opened corporate headquarters and training center on US 42 between Delaware and Plain City. Doug Loudenslager said that this year’s event will allow producers to hear some of the latest research on agronomic practices, technology and data management.Bill and Missy Bauer of B & M Crop Consulting will be one of the headliners for this year’s meeting. The program is free and open to all producers. Loudenslager said that the Bauers will be presenting their research and recommendations on matching hybrid characteristics with corn planting populations. They will also be making a presentation on the creation and utilization of growth management zones. During the final session participants will hear Bill Bauer discuss aerial imagery, fine-tuning yield monitor data and how drones are providing management opportunities. Missy Bauer is an associate field agronomist for Farm Journal and has made presentations at previous Outlook meetings.Scott Shearer and Andrew Klopfenstein from the Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering will also be featured. They will be presenting the latest research on multi-hybrid planting and the results from this summer’s compaction studies. Ohio State has been using the Case IH Early Riser Planter with Precision Planting row units and will be sharing their observations. A similarly equipped planter will be on display at the meeting.Loudenslager said that one of the benefits of having the Outlook meeting at the new dealership is that it allows for the inside display of many pieces of agricultural and lawn and garden equipment. Product specialists from many of the manufacturers that Evolution Ag represents will be on hand to answer questions and discuss changes for the upcoming year.Management of data continues to be a hot topic and a concern for many producers. Britney Salmon, Case IH Product Specialist will be demonstrating some of the desktop software that is currently available. Salmon will also be answering questions on aspects of precision farming, data ownership and management.The day-long program will provide an opportunity for attendees to receive product updates and meet with Case IH product specialists on the new Magnum Rowtrac tractors, Patriot Sprayers, Precision Farming, Early Riser Planters and tillage equipment.  In addition, representatives from Great Plains, MacDon, Unverferth, Geringhoff, Kioti, Kubota, Grasshopper and Gravely will be in attendance.“The Outlook meeting is one way that we are working to help provide our customers the information they need to make critical business decisions,” Loudenslager said. “Our new corporate headquarters and training center provides a unique opportunity for producers to not only learn about some of the latest agronomic research but also kick the tires and try out the technology. We have an excellent line-up of presenters and topics and there will be ample time to talk with industry experts throughout the day.”The program is free and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and all presenter handouts but reservations are requested. If you want to attend, contact one of the Evolution Ag locations in Circleville, Delaware, Plain City, Lisbon, Upper Sandusky or Utica or by calling 1-800-421-2374. The program on Dec. 11 kicks off with registration and breakfast at 8:00 a.m. Evolution Ag is located 8 miles south of Delaware or approximately 10 miles north of Plain City on US 42 North.The companies that make up Evolution Ag LLC have been serving Ohio farmers for over 225 years. More information about the company can be found at www.evolutionagllc.com.last_img read more

Atal Bihari Vajpayee versus Uma Bharati

first_img“I have failed in my initiatives to find a settlement of the Ayodhya issue. The only course left now is to wait for the court verdict.”ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE, Prime Minister “The matter will remain hanging in the court and so long as it is there, it will remain unresolved and,”I have failed in my initiatives to find a settlement of the Ayodhya issue. The only course left now is to wait for the court verdict.”ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE, Prime Minister”The matter will remain hanging in the court and so long as it is there, it will remain unresolved and continue to be a national problem.”UMA BHARATI, Union Sports Ministerlast_img

Without Jeter The Yankees Improved More At Shortstop Than Any Other MLB

The other day, several of us in the FiveThirtyEight office were musing about the New York Yankees’ chances in 2015. Certainly the Yankees are no longer the dominant powerhouse they were in the late 1990s and early 2000s, nor are they even the outrageously expensive (but championship-starved) juggernaut of the mid-to-late 2000s.1They’re still spending in excess of $200 million on payroll, but that no longer ranks No. 1 in baseball, nor is it anywhere near as far from average as their payroll was at its 2005 peak. Fangraphs’ projections — which, like all preseason predictions, come with a lot of uncertainty — see the Yankees as a slightly above-average team this season, and their 84-78 record last year fit that description as well.But another interesting note about the 2015 Yankees is that their position-player corps figures to be one of the most improved in the American League, according to the projected wins above replacement (WAR) listed on Fangraphs’ depth charts. And the biggest position at which they got better? Shortstop — former home of future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter.We slagged on Jeter a bit last season for all the attention paid to his yearlong retirement tour despite his plainly awful numbers. The truth is that, according to WAR at least, the Yankees had the least-productive shortstop situation in all of baseball last year, so even a shortstop depth chart headlined by Didi Gregorius was bound to be one of the game’s most improved in 2015. And, sure enough, no team is projected to gain more WAR at shortstop this season than the Yankees, mostly because Jeter retired.Here’s an accounting of the Yankees’ projected gains and losses at each position, along with those of every other team going into the 2015 season:Of course, some teams improved even more at other positions than the Yankees did at shortstop. The St. Louis Cardinals, for instance, picked up WAR superstar Jason Heyward to man right field, a position that had been filled poorly by Allen Craig and the late Oscar Taveras in 2014. That change projects to be worth a net improvement of about 7 WAR for St. Louis this season (including 4.6 from Heyward himself, plus the additional bonus of getting rid of -1.8 WAR from Craig and Taveras).The following table represents a more specific breakdown of the Yankees’ shortstops, the Cardinals’ right fielders and the 28 other positional situations that are projected to improve the most in 20152Note that, in some cases, a team can show great improvement despite the same player being projected as the primary starter in both 2015 as in 2014. This could be due to a number of reasons, including the player having improved projected rate statistics (whether because of age-related improvement or regression to the mean after an out-of-character bad season) or even more projected playing time in 2015.: read more

SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher in the fight of his life

first_img April 5, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher will be on trial at the end of May.He is charged with military crimes in a case having heavy political overtones.The charges accuse Chief Gallagher of killing an ISIS fighter, of military age.The defense maintains he is innocent and is working to clear Gallagher’s name.Friday, April 5th all parties were in court to discuss motions brought forward by the defense.Representative Duncan D Hunter urged the President to intervene in this case because of human rights violations against the Navy SEAL while in custody.KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries spoke with Eddie’s wife Andrea Gallagher. SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher in “the fight of his life” Posted: April 5, 2019 Updated: 2:07 PMcenter_img Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more

Ballentine Offers Forceful Defense of Pentagons BRAC Request

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Defending the administration’s request for a BRAC round in 2019 at last week’s hearing of the House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee was left to Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, who took on lawmakers’ past concerns about the economic harm borne by defense communities, implementation costs and the prospect that surge capacity could be shortchanged following a future round.But first Ballentine pointed out that 30 percent of the service’s infrastructure is excess, making a new round of base closures urgent.“Since the Gulf War, we’ve reduced combat-coded fighter squadrons from 134 to 55. That’s a nearly 60 percent reduction. Yet all BRACs in that time period have only reduced U.S. bases by about 15 percent,” she said.“Since BRAC 2005, the Air Force has thousands fewer personnel and hundreds fewer aircraft, yet we have not closed a single installation in the United States,” Ballentine noted.Later, she clarified that the excess capacity estimate is an average of multiple scenarios for the Air Force’s size.“We’ve run the numbers a number of different ways, looking at various force structures. And it ranges anywhere from 28 to 34, depending on which force structure you use,” Ballentine said.To assuage Congress’ concern about the economic blow host communities suffer following a base closure, Ballentine pointed out that 92 percent of respondents to an instant poll taken during last year’s Defense Communities National Summit said they believe the status quo — with reduced manning levels and declining funding for installations — is worse for communities than holding a BRAC round.“Without BRAC, the Air Force will be forced to continue to spread out our airmen and our aircraft. And many communities will continue to suffer from the economic detriment of hollowed-out bases without the economic support that only BRAC legislation allows,” she told the panel.To respond to lawmakers’ concern that the investment required to carry out a BRAC round is not justified by its savings, Ballentine highlighted the Air Force’s $2.9 billion annual savings from the first five base closure rounds.“The results of previous BRAC efforts for the Air Force are really staggering,” she said.Finally, Ballentine pointed out that officials have no intention of shedding infrastructure that may be needed to support future mission needs.“Through five previous rounds of BRAC and numerous force structure changes, we’ve never dipped below 20 percent excess infrastructure capacity. We’ve always left and we always will leave room for future maneuvering,” she said.Later, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, argued that a new round of base closures is the best way to restore cuts to the services’ military construction budgets over the past several years.“The ability to catch up is called BRAC,” Hammack said in response to a question from Subcommittee Chairman Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). “The ability to catch up is the ability for us to close those facilities that have least military value, so that we can focus our funds, focus our military construction, focus our sustainment on our most critical facilities,” she said.Written testimony and a webcast of the hearing on the installations, environment and energy budget request for fiscal 2017 submitted by DOD and the military services are available on the committee website.last_img read more

DHFL approves allotment of Rs 10000 crore debentures Can Fin Homes eyes

first_imgClose on the heels of home loan company DHFL successfully raising Rs. 10,000 crore via debt, Canara Bank subsidiary Can Fin Homes has decided to shore up its finances through a Rs. 3,000-crore private placement of non-convertible debentures (NCDs). Shares of the two companies have rallied sharply in the past three months.DHFL, at its board of directors meeting on Friday, approved allotment of 10 lakh NCDs for Rs. 10,000 crore. The effective yield on the NCDs ranges from 9.05 to 9.25 percent per annum, with multiple tenure options of three, five and seven years.Can Fin Homes decided on Wednesday to take the NCD route to raise Rs. 3,000 crore by issuing debt on private placement basis at its board of directors meeting.DHFL posted 16.2 percent growth in net profit for the first quarter (Q1) ended June 2016 to Rs. 201.40 crore on 18.5 percent rise in income from operations to Rs. 1,958 crore, on a year-on-year basis. Gross non-performing assets stood at Rs. 623.80 crore, or 0.98 percent, of total advances.Loan disbursements and sanctions were Rs. 6,214 crore and Rs. 8,800 crore, respectively for Q1, up 25.54 percent and 12 percent, respectively, over the year-ago period. DHFL shares hit a 52-week high of Rs. 304.70 on Friday before closing at Rs. 299.85, marking an appreciation of 43 percent over a three-month period, based on the closing price of Rs. 208.75 of June 10, 2016.  Can Fin Homes shares have also rallied 40.6 percent during the same period to close at Rs. 1,653.80 on Friday; the stock had ended at Rs. 1,175.65 on June 10, 2016.The Bengaluru-based home loan company earned net profit of Rs. 49.73 crore in Q1, an increase of 55 percent from Rs. 32.10 crore in the June 2015 quarter. Income rose 28 percent to Rs. 309.62 crore in Q1.PNB Housing Finance, a subsidiary of state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), is coming up with an initial public offering, signalling a bullish trend in home loan business.The BSE Financials index closed 1.09 percent down on Friday, reflecting the downward trend on the Sensex that ended 248 points lower at 28,797.last_img read more

Bangladesh people want change says Ershad

first_imgHM ErshadClaiming that the country sees no peace and order whenever Awami League and BNP come to power, Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad on Tuesday said people now want a change.”And Jatiya Party can bring that change. The country sees peace and order whenever our party is in power,” he said while addressing a rally arranged by Mathbaria upazila unit of his party at Shaheed Mostafa field in the upazila of Pirojpur.Ershad said his party kept its head high although its many leaders, including him, were put behind the bars to destroy it. “Many had thought that Jatiya Party couldn’t make a turnaround.”He also alleged that although Awami League came to power with the support of his party, Jatiya Party got nothing in return.last_img