Gone but not forgotten: Notable Bay Area residents who died in 2018

first_img(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)Several notable Bay Area residents passed away in 2018. They come from all corners of the region and all walks of life. The one thing they all have in common is the legacy they leave behind. Here are their stories.Leon Fox, Jan. 4: The longtime judge presided over cases in Santa Clara County Superior Court for decades. He was 77.Priscilla Elder, Jan. 7: The onetime “Rosie” who worked at the Kaiser shipyards …last_img

Ohio Soybean Council Foundation awards $47,500 in scholarships

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (OSCF) is pleased to announce the scholarship recipients for the 2018-2019 academic year.This is the eleventh year for the OSCF Scholarship Program, which was created to encourage undergraduate students to pursue degrees in one of the many academic fields that support the future of the soybean industry including agriculture, business, communication, economics, education, science and technology, as well as to support ongoing graduate-level research. Since 2008, the OSCF scholarship program has awarded $310,000 in scholarship funds to students studying agriculture or a related field at Ohio colleges or universities.Undergraduate scholarships of $3,000 each were awarded to Wyatt Jones, Tanner Matthews, Kayle Mast, Abby Motter and Mikayla Storck.  A $1,500 scholarship was awarded to Monica Pennewitt as she will be graduating in the winter of 2018.  The annual $3,000 FLM Harvest Scholarship, awarded to students in the field of agriculture communications or business, was awarded to Lea Kimley. The annual $5,000 Bhima Vijayendran Scholarship, named in honor of a Battelle research scientist who has made tremendous contributions to the soybean industry, was awarded to Matthew Klopfenstein. The Robinson W. Joslin scholarship was awarded to Rex Tietje. The annual $3,000 scholarship was created to honor a long-time leader in the soybean industry both in Ohio and nationally, who passed away in May of 2016.Graduate scholarships of $5,000 were awarded to Will Hamman, Emma Matcham, Krystel Navarro, and Linda Weber.“Congratulations to the 2018-2019 OSCF scholarship recipients,” said Bill Bateson, OSC board member, soybean farmer from Hancock County and scholarship selection committee member. “These students are bright and have already contributed to the success of the soybean industry. We cannot wait to see what they do in the future.”  Undergraduate Winners:Wyatt Jones of Salem, Ohio is a junior at the Ohio State University studying Agriscience Education.Lea Kimley of South Charleston, Ohio is a junior at the Ohio State University studying Agriculture Communication.Matthew Klopfenstein of Haviland, Ohio is a junior at the Ohio State University studying Agricultural Engineering.Tanner Matthews of Ohio City, Ohio is a sophomore at the Ohio State University studying Agricultural Systems Management.Kayle Mast of London, Ohio is a sophomore at Wilmington College studying Agronomy.Abby Motter of Mansfield, Ohio is a junior at the Ohio State University studying Agriscience Education.Monica Pennewitt of Wilmington, Ohio is a junior at the Ohio State University studying Plant Pathology.  Mikayla Storck of New Carlisle, Ohio is a junior at the Ohio State University studying Agribusiness and Applied Economics.Rex Tietje of Deshler, Ohio is a junior at the Ohio State University studying Agricultural Systems Management.  Graduate Winners: Will Hamman of Columbus, Ohio is pursuing his Master of Science in Horticulture and Crop Science at the Ohio State University. His research consists of two major segments, one focusing on seeding rates for different management zones and zone delineation. A second part focuses on how soybeans change their plant architecture as well as how changing the seeding rates affect harvest loss and combine fuel use when soybeans are harvested.Emma Matcham of Columbus, Ohio is pursuing her Master of Science in Agronomy at the Ohio State University. Emma is determining which components of field variability have an impact on ideal seeding rate. She is also looking at how to delineate homogenous zones based on those variables and how to set seeding rates for each zone.Krystel Navarro of Wooster, Ohio is pursuing her Doctorate in Plant Pathology at the Ohio State University. Her research uses an amplicon-based metagenomics approach to study oomycete populations in Ohio and to determine the effects of environment, agricultural practices, soybean cultivar, and soil physical properties in species diversity and abundance.Linda Weber of Wooster, Ohio is pursuing her Master of Science in Plant Pathology at the Ohio State University. Her research is focused on the management of soybean diseases, mainly through studying the effectiveness of host resistance. Her research also involves several other disease issues, from preventing the spread of fungicide resistance to the screening of soybean cultivars for resistance to a certain set of pathogens.last_img read more

Plenty to ponder as planting progresses

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Doug Tenney, Leist MercantileFieldwork for much of Ohio finally returned the second week of April. Producers were aggressively applying fertilizer and spraying herbicides for corn and soybeans. In addition, repairing dreaded tile blowouts as well as installing new tile were in the mix of work being completed. Corn and soybean planting was taking place in very small amounts as evidenced by the April 9 weekly Crop Progress Report as it detailed planting progress across the country. This report had U.S. corn planted at just 2%, matching the five-year average. To no surprise, this report had zero corn planted in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and South Dakota. The European and American weather models were in huge disagreement in their weather forecasts for the last half of April. The American model indicates a warmer and drier outlook. In sharp contrast, the European model has showers continuing for that timeframe for the Delta, central Midwest, and eastern Midwest. It also indicates rainfall amounts for areas of the Midwest could reach 200% of normal.Corn and soybean weekly export sales the second week of April were disappointing and below trade expectations. Corn sales were 21.5 million bushels, just above those of the previous week. However, soybean sales were just 9.9 million bushels, down 86% from the previous week. The April 9 Supply and Demand Report cut U.S. wheat exports 20 million bushels. Egypt — traditionally an active buyer of U.S. wheat — passed on our wheat as it was sourced elsewhere. The same report also reduced corn demand in three lines, with corn fed to livestock reduced 75 million bushels to 5.3 billion bushels, corn exports were cut 75 million bushels to 2.3 billion bushels, while corn used for ethanol was cut 50 million bushels to 5.5 billion bushels.The May 10 Supply and Demand report will include numerous changes. Specifically, price range forecasts will be eliminated and replaced with single price points for all crops and livestock, international crop tables  will include an aggregate value for “World less China,” countries, and lists of major importers/exporters will be updated to eliminate outdated aggregations such as “Former Soviet Union,” to better reflect current trade patterns according to the USDA website.The April 12 Commitment of Traders Report had managed money short 71,000 contracts of soybeans as traders continued their months long pattern of being short corn, soybeans, and wheat. They were short 272,000 contracts of corn, a new record. The big shorts continue to flaunt they have no reason yet to exit their huge short positions in corn, in spite of what appears to be less than excellent planting conditions as weather across much of the Midwest looks to see less than ideal amounts of corn getting planted the last two weeks of April. Typically managed money has not been short the grains during the spring timeframe.There continues to be promise that China could be buying quite a bit of U.S. corn the next few years if a U.S./China trade deal ever gets done. As of mid-April there is still no sign of a completed trade deal in spite of being weeks past a March 1 deadline announced months earlier by President Trump. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as of mid-April continues to report good progress being made in the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China. We can only hope a final agreement is one fantastic deal for U.S. agriculture. If it is not, it will only add to the sharply bearish sentiment, which seems to permeate the landscape today for grains.A mid-April snowstorm in the upper Midwest provides yet another huge weather event following the March snowstorm and heavy rains which flooded portions of Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa. Late March satellite images indicated at least one million acres still under water out west. Those factors along with April rainfalls strongly suggest U.S. corn acres could decrease while soybean acres could increase. A much better handle on actual plantings should be seen by June 1.last_img read more

Cloud Computing Security: What The Big Guns Have In Store

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The RSA Conference is the event for news to spill over with talk about cloud computing security.Let’s take a look at some of the announcements from the major players in the market, including Intel, Novell and Cisco.Intel, RSA, VMware and the Trusted ServerAccording to Dark Reading, the companies demonstrated a proof-of-concept for “building security into the cloud computing infrastructure.”The companies are playing on the white listing concept, which has gained wider acceptance in the security world. The idea being that if a server is trusted or white listed then it will be far less vulnerable to malware attacks:“At the heart of the PoC is a hardware “root of trust,” which uses Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), which authenticates each step in the boot process of a system, verifying the hardware configuration, initializing the BIOS, and launching the hypervisor. It basically ensures physical and virtual environments aren’t tampered via malware or other malicious activity. Intel’s upcoming “Westmere” processor, which will be announced in two weeks, will support this capability, says Kirk Skaugen, vice president of the architecture group and general manager of the data center group at Intel.”Novell and the Cloud Security AllianceNovell is teaming up with the Cloud Security Alliance to push standards for cloud computing. The effort is called the “Trusted Cloud Intiiative.” According to Information Week, Novel will develop standards for cloud security, compliance, identity management and other related issues.Cloud computing is essentially a world with no standards whatsoever. Everyone has different meanings for the fundamental aspects that are a part of cloud computing. That leaves the customer with little way to fully understand what they are committing to with a cloud vendor. In its second year, The Cloud Security Alliance consists of technology companies seeking to develop use cases about the processes and practices around cloud computing security.Cisco: Developing Mobile Phone SecurityCisco is developing an “always on” security system for mobile devices. According to Computerworld, the service would give enterprise managers the ability to control cloud-based applications on an employee’s mobile device.ComputerWorld:The service…”would allow a business to establish an always-on VPN connection that would “automatically log you in” and “maintain session state.”This new VPN client on the mobile smartphone and other types of computers would be the means to also establish policy controls to set restrictions on Web browsing, prevent unauthorized transmissions of sensitive data through data-loss prevention filtering, and provide automated access to cloud-based applications, as well as a way to de-provision use of applications, if needed.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… alex williamscenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Tags:#Announcements#cloud#cloud computing#events last_img read more

US Women Are Stronger In The Tennis World Than US Men

American men’s tennis is at a nadir. No Grand Slam singles champion in 11 years. No Grand Slam singles semifinalist in over five years. The U.S. Open unfolding now in New York is the 12th straight Grand Slam without an American man in the quarterfinals, and the seventh of the last eight with none in the fourth round.1The only active American man to even reach a major semifinal is Robby Ginepri, who is 31 and ranked 204th in the world.American women’s tennis is led by the No. 1 player in the world, Serena Williams, who has won 17 Grand Slam titles and remains the favorite to win the U.S. Open for the third year in a row.I wondered, though: Are the American women a stronger force in world tennis than the American men are? Beyond Serena and Venus Williams — who are 32 and 34 years old, respectively — are the women any deeper and stronger than the men?To check, I downloaded the latest singles rankings from both the men’s ATP World Tour and the women’s WTA tour — every player in the world who has a professional ranking point, even just one.As of Aug. 25, the start of the U.S. Open, there are 2,232 ranked men and 1,323 ranked women. About one in 12 of the ranked women are from the U.S., more than from any other nation (Russia trails narrowly). U.S. men make up one in 16 of all ranked professional players, tied with France for most in the world.Counting ranked players is a pretty rough gauge of national tennis strength. A player outside the Top 500 will appear in few tour events, let alone Grand Slams. Getting a ranking can be a product of opportunity as much as merit. An American player who’s just as good as, say, an Algerian player lives much closer to events where he can earn points, and therefore doesn’t have to spend as much to play.So I went beyond merely counting ranked players and added up the ranking points for each nation. This is a decent proxy for how much money players have earned in the sport, because ranking points generally scale with earnings. The bigger the tournament, the more points and dollars are available; and the further a player advances, the bigger a piece of the pie she earns. By this math, Serena Williams’s 2,000 points for winning the U.S Open last year — which still counts in the latest 52-week ranking — is worth slightly more than No. 24 Sloane Stephens’s cumulative tennis accomplishments in the last year. And Serena’s annual achievements are worth about five Sloanes in national tennis strength.That feels about right. Having lots of Top 100 players is nice in the first couple of days of a Grand Slam tournament. Having one player who can consistently reach the last couple of days of a Grand Slam is much nicer.Here, the U.S. women dominate their peers, and their male counterparts. They hog 12 percent of the world’s female tennis talent — half again as much as runner-up Russia. The U.S. men have just 5 percent of global male talent. The U.S. trails four European nations — Spain, France, Serbia and Switzerland — that combined have less than one-half the population of the U.S.Just five years ago, American men and women were much closer in their global tennis standing. American men held 8 percent of tennis ranking points, compared to 10 percent for women. The women have rebounded slightly while the men have lost ground.American men’s tennis boosters can point to a few reasonable explanations. First, the men’s long-term slump is less precipitous than the women’s. I checked by downloading pre-U.S. Open rankings data from the ATP and WTA websites for prior years, with major help from my colleague, Paul Schreiber. At this stage of the season in 1999 — the first year for which WTA ranking data is available on the WTA website — American women commanded 21 percent of global tennis power. American men held 11 percent. The men have narrowed the gender gap even as they have fallen further behind the rest of the world.2Any comparison can look different depending on which dates we choose to start and end with. The U.S. men’s slow decline over the last 15 years followed a crash, from 26 percent heading into the 1990 U.S. Open and 18 percent in 1994.Globalization also has brought more competition to the men’s game. Over the last few decades, the sport’s footprint has expanded further beyond the traditional bases in the four Grand Slam-hosting nations (the U.S., U.K., France and Australia). This is particularly so in the men’s game. That’s partly because of unequal opportunities; many countries still haven’t given girls the same chance to play sports as boys, or have done so only recently. Economic incentives have also favored the men: The Grand Slams equalized pay only seven years ago, and many other tournaments still pay men more than women. There also are more men’s professional events, which helps explain why there are more ranked male players than female players.The result is that 104 countries have ranked men, compared to just 79 countries with ranked women. That represents an increase of 14 countries from this time in 1999 for the men, but a rise of just four countries for the women.American women also are competing with fewer talent bases around the world. Russia is the only other country with at least 5 percent of the world’s ranked women. Three other countries besides the U.S. have a share that big of all ranked men.Another way to understand the men’s relative struggles is that the Williams sisters might be outliers who skew the whole comparison. Their story often has been described as one of the most remarkable in sports history, and rightly so. Their parents, Richard Williams and Oracene Price, trained them at a very young age with the goal of making each the No. 1 player in the world. Their daughters each achieved that audacious goal, and did so outside the well funded national centers. They have remained so good, past the age that most other women’s greats retired, that they account today for more than one-third of all U.S. women’s ranking points.What if the Williams family had never picked up tennis rackets? Then U.S. women would account for less than 8 percent of global talent today, much closer to their male counterparts.3Comparable earlier figures are 5 percent before the 2009 U.S. Open, 13 percent in 2004 and 17 percent in 1999. American women other than the Williams sisters have rebounded slightly after a steep decline. That group includes a number of young players who could one day enter the Top 10 but so far have performed inconsistently, including Stephens, Christina McHale and Madison Keys. None of them — nor the other three American women who rank behind the two Williams sisters but inside the Top 50 — reached the third round of the U.S. Open.4Remove John Isner and Donald Young, the top two American men, from the sport and the U.S. men’s share of global pro tennis power drops just one percentage point, to 4 percent.Here’s an even more outrageous hypothetical: What if Richard and Oracene had trained two young sons instead of daughters, and Jupiter and Steve had the same success that Venus and Serena have had? American men would hog a greater portion of global tennis talent than American women would today.While that scenario is farfetched, it is rooted in the reality of a sport usually dominated by just a few superstars. Even when American tennis was much deeper than it is today, one or two singular talents carried most of the load for winning big tournaments and contending for No. 1. Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe gave way to Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi. Those men won 41 of American men’s 46 Grand Slams in the last 42 years. Maybe it’s just a fluke that another player with that kind of talent hasn’t come around since Sampras and Agassi retired — or hasn’t played tennis.As it happens, Richard Williams, who is 72, has a two-year-old son. But if Richard has his way, Dylan won’t help pick up the mantle for the American men. “He’ll never be a billionaire in tennis,” Richard Williams said earlier this year. He wants his son to buy a gold mine. read more

Bloomberg Businessweek Taking Print Delivery Into Own Hands

first_imgAfter Bloomberg bought the magazine in late 2009, incoming president Paul Bascobert initiated discussions on enhancing the its delivery options. By December 2010, subscribers in Philadelphia were getting the magazine through a partnership with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday mornings. By August this year similar partnerships will be rolled out in Portland, Oregon, Chicago and in southern California from Los Angeles to San Diego. “We’re in the process of getting signed contracts as we speak,” says Bernie Schraml, director of manufacturing and distribution for Bloomberg Businessweek. “It will be a mix of newspaper companies and private delivery companies in those markets.”Partnerships in the New York metro area, New Jersey and Connecticut are expected to launch by October. In all, Schraml is expecting to have about 250,000 subscriber copies delivered by this method by the end of the year, maybe more. “We don’t have any limit at all as far as the total number of copies,” he says. “The more the better.” How It WorksSchraml identifies regions of the country where there’s a combination of problematic delivery, sufficient entry points and appropriate and available delivery partners. After an NDA is in place with the partner company, Bloomberg Businessweek provides a copy of its subscriber file for that region to the partner. The highest density areas are selected for delivery. Schraml declined to reveal pricing arrangements, citing confidential agreements, but costs vary according to subscriber density and are determined by the number of copies delivered into the area. Overall, costs are comparable to traditional delivery of subscriber copies. “I don’t have a budget to increase my costs, I can tell you that,” clarifies Schraml. In markets where the alternative delivery system will launch, customers are notified either by a letter polybagged or cover-wrapped with the issue two weeks prior. Subscribers can choose to stay with postal delivery or take the alternate Friday morning delivery. So far, Schraml says there’s been a ratio of under 1 per 1,000 customers who’ve asked to go back to the traditional delivery method. The magazine is delivered in its own polybag, soft-folded and handled separately from the newspaper. Bloomberg Businessweek has been rapidly expanding an “alternative distribution” plan to print subscribers. Since last December the magazine has been partnering with newspaper publishers and other delivery services to have the magazine hand-delivered with the Friday morning paper. Currently, 9 percent of the magazine’s 860,000 domestic print subscribers already receive the magazine this way. The publisher wants to expand into other metro regions and raise that to 30 percent by the end of the year.And that figure is just a 4Q 2011 goal. The magazine likely won’t stop there. Instead, to counteract delays caused by the Postal Service’s FSS equipment and a potential five-day delivery schedule, it will continue to explore ways to transition more print subscriber copies away from USPS delivery and into co-delivery with newspaper publishers and other private delivery services. Right now, the weekly magazine achieves about a 60 percent cumulative delivery rate between Friday and Saturday with the Postal Service. The remainder of subscriber copies arrive sometime between Monday and Wednesday-the latest arriving almost a week after the issue ships. By partnering with a major newspaper and/or a private carrier, the magazine has a guaranteed Friday delivery by 6 am. last_img read more

NEW STEW Meet Childrens Author Ioana Hobai On Augusts Book Stew

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a message from Book Stew host Eileen MacDougall:Hello, Book Stew viewers! It’s such a pleasure to host my first children’s book illustrator and author, Ioana Hobai.A native of Romania, Ioana grew up drawing and doodling in repressive Budapest. After coming to the US, she worked as an architect before returning to her first love, art and illustration. Ioana’s new book, “Lena’s Slippers,” is based on an incident in her own life. She’s a dream guest and I hope you’ll enjoy this episode!Watch the episode, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:—Video Playerhttps://wilmington.vod.castus.tv/vod/dl.php/8/c/8/2/6/5/8c8265f4-b94f-4fc5-a21a-49ee5e3317271564418333.122+69201032.166@castus4-wilmington+15645990431564597150038576.vod.1080p.Book%20Stew.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://wilmington.vod.castus.tv/vod/dl.php/8/c/8/2/6/5/8c8265f4-b94f-4fc5-a21a-49ee5e3317271564418333.122+69201032.166@castus4-wilmington+15645990431564597150038576.vod.1080p.Book%20Stew.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.— Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNEW STEW: Meet Author Ben Berkley On September’s Book StewIn “Videos”NEW STEW: Meet Author Renee Simms On June’s Book StewIn “Community”NEW STEW: Meet Author Marcia Butler On May’s Book StewIn “Videos”last_img read more

31 held in two districts

first_imgLogo of arrestThe police in special drives arrested 31 people in Dinajpur and Habiganj districts on Saturday morning.The arrestees include three activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami from Dinajpur and six wanted accused from Habiganj, reports BSS.In Dinajpur, the law enforcement arrested 16 people from different areas and recovered 192 bottles of phensedyl during the raids, said police.During the drives, Dinajpur sadar police arrested four persons, Birampur, Biral and Bochaganj police arrested two persons each, Birganj, Phulbari and Ghoraghat police arrested one person each, and Chirirbandar police arrested three activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami from Ranir Bandar area of the upazila around 7:00am.Several cases, including charges of subversive activities, are pending with different police stations against the arrested persons, the BSS report said.Meanwhile, members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), in a drive, detained three ‘drug traders’ with 192 bottles of Phensedyl around 11:00pm on Thursday from Hili railway station in Hakimpur upazila.Later, the detainees were handed over to the Hakimpur police, BGB said.The arrested persons were sent to jail.The Habiganj police, in regular drives, arrested 12 people including six wanted accused from different areas of the district in 12-hour-long drives that ended at 9:00am on Saturday.Additional superintendent of police ASM Shamsur Rahman Bhuiyan said they were picked up from different areas of the district on different charges.Several cases, including charges of subversive activities, are pending with different police stations against the arrested persons, he said.The arrestees were sent to jail.last_img read more

Budget lacks measures to address institutional challenges Unnayan Onneshan

first_img.Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think-tank, has said the proposed budget for 2018-19 fiscal year lacks measures necessary to address the macroeconomic, medium term and institutional challenges the economy is facing.”The budget speech seems to lack providing prudent and farsighted solutions to the current challenges except it earmarks ambitious targets of expenditure amidst inefficient distribution of resources and cost overrun,” it said its rapid assessment of the new proposed national budget.Inequality has widened on the back of the gap between return on capital and return on labour on the one hand and the persistent primitive accumulation in the form of looting in different sectors of the economy on the other, the think-tank said.Institutional fragility has been evident in the economy, leading different economic sectors to fail to maintain discipline, it said, adding that institutional fragility and political uncertainty are contributing to lack of confidence among investors and entrepreneurs.The UO said in the wake of parliamentary elections, investors may adopt wait-and-see policy about making investment since they are fearful about the process of the transition of power and the subsequent business environment recalling the situation after the national election back in 2014.It said incapacity to implement the budget has been a major challenge in recent years. The rate of implementation has assumed a decreasing trend since FY 2011-12. In FY 2011-12, budget implementation rate was 93 per cent which decreased to 91 per cent in FY 2012-13, 85 per cent in FY 2013-14, 82 per cent in FY 2014-15, 81 per cent in FY 2015-16 and 79 per cent in FY 2016-17.Despite the increasing trend in tax revenue over the years, the tax-GDP ratio is very low compared to global average. In FY 2015-16, Tax-GDP ratio in Bangladesh stood at 8.98 per cent, while it increased slightly to 9 percent and 10.39 per cent in FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18 respectively.Bangladesh has a regressive tax structure where people with low income have to share relatively larger share of the tax burden due to different forms of indirect taxes. In 2018-19 budget, revenue from income tax and VAT has been estimated to be Tk 1,007.19 billion and Tk 1,105.55 billion respectively. In FY 2018-19, 34 per cent of total NBR revenue would come from taxes on income and profit whereas 53.79 per cent would come from indirect sources, including Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty, together.The budget has set a target of collecting Tk 3,392.80 billion as revenue receipts. The target seems to fall short since a gap between revenue target and actual collection has been regular, the think-tank said.In the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the revenue collection stood at Tk 1,440 billion against a target of Tk 1,670 billion leaving a shortfall by Tk 230 billion.About the rising operating expenditure, the UO evinces that in the budget for FY 2018-19, a total of Tk 1122.66 billion has been proposed for salary and allowances and interest repayment which constitutes 24.17 per cent of the total budgetary outlay. In addition, in the proposed budget for FY 2018-19, operating expenditure grows by 21 per cent while development expenditure registers a 13 per cent growth.It mentioned that it has been regular phenomenon in Bangladesh that the mass people fear national budget. This is because budget has been the occasion of increase in price of many necessities either directly or indirectly.The measures taken in the budget 2018-19 is likely to increase price of some 19 commodities while reducing price of some 14 commodities.While national budget is directly linked to the living standard of the mass, they have little stake in the formulation of budget. Lack of fiscal accountability in Bangladesh due to limited role of the parliament in budget-making process together with constitutional and systematic rigidities results in inefficiency, poor implementation of budget and misuse of public resources, the think-tank said.It said due to persistent depreciation, the local currency has been exposed to serious pressure. In 2017, local currency has experienced a depreciation of 5 percent against US Dollar. In May 2018, the exchange rate has stood at Tk 83.70 per USD which was Tk 80.69 in August 2017. Depreciation of local currency has added to the inflationary pressure on the mass.Sluggish export growth and cut in the inflow of wage earners’ remittance along with high import payment is exerting pressure on the current account balance. Referring to the deficit in current account balance, the think tank finds that the current account balance recorded a deficit of USD 7.08 billion during July-March, 2017-18 due mainly to a significant trade deficit and lower income from services and primary income accounts compared to that of July-March, 2016-17.High inflationary pressure is increasing the cost of living, thus gradually degrading the living standard of the mass by lowering the consumption capacity of the people with limited income. Statistics suggest that twelve-month average inflation increased to 5.83 per cent in April 2018 from 5.82 per cent in March 2018.Observing institutional fragility in the banking sector due to massive irregularities followed by rise in default loans and resulting capital shortfall, the UO shows that at the end of 2017, total default loans in the banking sector stood at Tk 743.03 billion, representing 9.31 per cent of the gross loan, compared to Tk 621.72 billion in the previous year.Amid chaotic situation in the country’s financial sector and political uncertainty ahead of the national election, foreign investors are increasingly making exit from capital market, the UO said.Private sector investment has been remaining stagnant at below 23 per cent for a decade. It stood at 22.07 per cent of GDP in FY 2014-15, 21.78 per cent in FY 2015-16, 23.1 in FY 2016-17 and 23.25 per cent in FY 2017-18.Meanwhile, it is found that net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has slumped recently. In 2017, FDI has declined by 7.76 per cent compared to that in the previous yearThe economy of Bangladesh is missing the opportunity to capitalise its demographic dividend. While the GDP growth figure is impressive, the poor rate of quality job creation is characterising it as jobless growth. The economy is presenting disconcerting job scenario with a huge number of people remaining out of work.Referring to the state of jobless growth, the research organisation notes that unemployed population increased to 2.68 million in FY 2016-17 while 1.46 million remained underemployed. In addition, the number of people not in education, employment or training rose to 48.28 million in FY 2016-17, representing 44.25 per cent of the people who are able and ready to work, from 46.6 million in FY 2015-16.If not dealt with effectively, income inequality together with inequality in access to health and social security, multidimensional poverty, and joblessness particularly among the youth may undermine the development already achieved by the county, comments the UO.Calling for prudent and farsighted fiscal management, the research organisation states that proposed actions are inadequate to bring fiscal discipline in the management of revenue, deficit and debt one the one hand and to establish an inclusive society in the absence of distributive reforms in the tax system on the other.last_img read more

Anger as Trumps US leaves global climate pact

first_imgProtesters hold up signs during a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2017, objecting to US President Donald Trump`s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate accord. AFPUS President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, prompting a furious global backlash and throwing efforts to slow global warming into doubt.In a sharply nationalistic address from the White House Rose Garden, Trump announced his administration would immediately stop implementing the “bad” 195-nation accord.”I cannot, in good conscience, support a deal that punishes the United States,” he said, decrying the “draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”Trump repeatedly painted the pact — struck by his predecessor Barack Obama — as a deal that failed to “put America first” and was too lenient on economic rivals China, India and Europe.”I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said. “We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won’t be.”Trump offered no details about how, or when, a formal withdrawal would happen, and at one point suggested a renegotiation could take place.”We’re getting out but we’ll start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine,” he said.That idea was unceremoniously slapped down by furious allies in Europe, who joined figures from around the United States and the world in condemning the move.”The agreement cannot be renegotiated,” France, Germany and Italy said in a joint statement.’Reject the future’The United States is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter after China, so Trump’s decision could seriously hamper efforts to cut emissions and limit global temperature increases.Trump’s domestic critics included Obama, who said the United States was “joining a handful of nations that reject the future.”Nicaragua and Syria are the only countries not party to the Paris accord, the former seeing it as not ambitious enough and the latter being racked by a brutal civil war.Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent in last year’s White House race, called the decision to pull out a “historic mistake.””The world is moving forward together on climate change. Paris withdrawal leaves American workers & families behind,” she wrote on Twitter.The Democratic governors of New York, California and Washington states formed a quick alliance, vowing to respect the standards agreed on under the Paris deal.In New York, some major buildings, like the World Trade Center and City Hall, were lit green in solidarity with the climate agreement, echoing a move in Paris.With much of the implementation of the accord taking place at the local level, the Paris accord’s supporters hope the deal will be in hibernation rather than killed off entirely.Trump’s decision is likely to play well with the Republican base, with the more immediate damage on the diplomatic front.Vice President Mike Pence, interviewed late Thursday on Fox, said that Trump “has demonstrated his commitment not just to keep his word, but to put American workers, American consumers, American energy, and the American people first.”Trump is “a president who is fighting for the American people, fighting for American jobs,” Pence said.The US president called his counterparts in Britain, Canada, France and Germany to explain his decision.But traditional US allies were uncharacteristically blunt in their condemnation, which comes amid already strained relationships with the hard-charging president.Germany said the US was “harming” the entire planet, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called the decision “seriously wrong.”Reality TV-styleEver the showman, the 70-year-old Trump gave his decision a reality TV-style tease, refusing to indicate his preference either way until his announcement.Withdrawal opponents — said to include Trump’s daughter Ivanka — had warned that the US global leadership role was at stake, along with the environment.A dozen large companies including oil major BP, agrochemical giant DuPont, Google, Intel and Microsoft had urged Trump to remain in the deal.Ultimately, the lobbying by Trump’s environmental protection chief Scott Pruitt and chief strategist Steve Bannon urging the president to leave won out.Following the announcement Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk, and Disney chief Robert Iger, announced they would no longer participate in presidential business councils.”Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Musk said.GE head Jeff Immelt said he was “disappointed” with the decision: “Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”China pledgeWhite House officials acknowledged that under the deal, formal withdrawal may not take place until after the 2020 election.Hours ahead of Trump’s announcement, China’s Premier Li Keqiang pledged to stay the course on implementing the climate accord in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and urged other countries to do likewise.China has been investing billions in clean energy infrastructure, as it battles to clear up the choking pollution enveloping its cities.On Friday the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary that Trump’s announcement came “to the regret of almost all”, although it was “anything but a surprise.”It added that “other major players” including the European Union, China and India have said they will “step up efforts in the face of the US change of heart over the landmark deal.”China and the US are responsible for some 40 percent of the world’s emissions and experts had warned it was vital for both to remain in the Paris agreement if it is to succeed.The leader of Asia’s other behemoth, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who is due to visit the White House shortly — has said failing to act on climate change would be “morally criminal.”Mixed signalsTrump’s announcement comes less than 18 months after the climate pact was adopted in the French capital, the fruit of a hard-fought agreement between Beijing and Washington under Obama’s leadership.The Paris Agreement commits signatories to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, which is blamed for melting ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels and more violent weather events.They vowed steps to keep the worldwide rise in temperatures “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial times and to “pursue efforts” to hold the increase under 1.5 degrees Celsius.last_img