WASHINGTON – President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan attempted to convince President George W. Bush on Friday that a deal he approved with tribal leaders in one of the country’s most lawless border areas would rid the areas of al-Qaida and Taliban influence, rather than give them more freedom to operate. Bush and his national security aides were clearly skeptical, according to administration officials, but at a news conference, Bush appeared to take Musharraf’s assurances at face value. Musharraf knew that there were enough questions in the air about the accord that he felt compelled to explain that “this deal is not at all with the Taliban; as I said, this is against the Taliban, actually.” At the heart of the discussion in the Oval Office was a fear among American officials that Musharraf, whose political hold over sections of his own country is tenuous at best, is only episodically engaged in the battle against al-Qaida and the Taliban. That has been an increasingly contentious issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with Afghan leaders complaining that many of the attacks launched against Afghan targets are originating from Pakistan’s side of the border. Musharraf’s visit marked the fifth anniversary of the radical change in Washington’s relationship with Islamabad after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but the uneasiness of the alliance created from those events was on full display Friday. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsMusharraf, who has a book coming out Monday, told “60 Minutes,” in an interview to be broadcast this weekend on CBS, that Richard Armitage, then the deputy secretary of state, had threatened Pakistan’s intelligence chief in September 2001 that the consequences of failing to side with the U.S. would be huge. Musharraf quoted the in- telligence chief as recalling Armitage saying, “Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age.” But Armitage said on Friday that he had never made such a threat, and that he was not authorized to make any threats during that meeting. “I never made a threat in my life that I couldn’t back up,” he said on CNN. “Since I wasn’t authorized to say such a thing, hence, I couldn’t back up that threat.” When asked about the issue at the East Room news conference, Musharraf refused to answer the question – not on national security grounds, but on the grounds that it would violate his book contract. “I am launching my book on the 25th, and I am honor-bound to Simon & Schuster not to comment on the book,” he said. After laughter subsided, Bush said, “In other words, buy the book.” But Bush also said that he “was taken aback by the harshness of the words” of the threat, and doubted that events unfolded that way. He said he recalled that Musharraf was “one of the first leaders to step up and say that the stakes have changed.” Armitage did recall telling Pakistan’s leaders that they had to make a choice between supporting the Taliban and supporting the United States, which was clearly headed into conflict with the Taliban leaders of Afghanistan. Bush and Musharraf stepped around the question of whether American forces or intelligence agencies had the right to go into Pakistan to hunt down bin Laden. Musharraf has bristled at the idea before, largely because of the unpopularity of giving American forces the right to operate inside Pakistan’s borders. Bush fudged the issue by saying, “we’re on the hunt together.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Manchester United slipped to third in the Premier League as they were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Southampton at Old Trafford.Jose Mourinho’s side also lost striker Romelu Lukaku to a serious looking head injury as they were forced to settle for a point for a third game in succession.The hosts had a strong penalty appeal turned down and had a late Paul Pogba goal disallowed for offside, but Saints arguably deserved a point for their resilience.Before he went off after a nasty clash of heads with Wesley Hoedt, Lukaku headed over a glorious early chance for United, while Jesse Lingard also put a header narrowly wide.Lingard also appeared to be frustrated by the hand of Maya Yoshida in the box, but nothing was given by referee Craig Pawson.The Lukaku injury came less than 10 minutes into the game. The striker was carried off on a stretcher and wearing an oxygen mask after a stoppage of around five minutes.That further changed Mourinho’s game plan after leaving Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of his squad altogether. Marcus Rashford, dropped to the bench, was soon sent on.Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino also made a big call by dropping goalkeeper Fraser Forster.Forster’s replacement Alex McCarthy looked confident as he made his first Premier League appearance for almost two years, but he was fortunate not to concede early on to Lukaku. The £75million striker headed over from seven yards after being picked out by Juan Mata.It proved Lukaku’s only significant involvement, but Southampton went close soon after as Sofiane Boufal beat the offside trap and pulled the ball back through a crowded area to James Ward-Prowse.Ward-Prowse made a good connection, but David de Gea saved well to his left.The atmosphere fell flat as the first-half wore on with neither side able to fully impose themselves.United had the better of the openings, but were wasteful in possession and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, back in the starting line-up for the first time since November 5, was particularly culpable.On the occasion Mkhitaryan did deliver a good cross, Lingard headed narrowly wide.Saints also survived a penalty appeal for handball against Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, as well as the one against Yoshida, while McCarthy saved from Mata and Nemanja Matic.At the other end Ward-Prowse forced De Gea to save from a free-kick and an unmarked Hoedt headed wide following a corner.Shane Long looked set to end a goal drought stretching back to February early in the second half, but De Gea saved with his feet.Mourinho began to get frustrated and shouted angrily at fourth official Bobby Madley after apparently disagreeing with a decision.His team struggled to match that fire, but Ashley Young went close with a free-kick deflected narrowly wide.United applied near constant pressure in the closing stages, but Saints managed to hold firm.Pogba did tap the ball into the net from close range after a goalmouth scramble, but the flag was raised for offside. The Red Devils nearly snatched a win via Pogba’s bundled effort but it was ruled out for offside 1
In the five years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks shattered the nation’s security and innocence, $1 billion has been plunged into efforts to protect Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents from a similar catastrophe. However, despite the unprecedented scramble to make the region safer, few doubt another attack on the scale of 9/11 will be attempted. “It’s not the earthquakes and fires that we really need to be ready for. … That’s not where our weakness is,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said last October, just three months after his inauguration. “I think it’s biological, and chemical, terrorism and the dirty bomb.” Villaraigosa said Friday that in the past year, the region and city have more aggressively funded counter-terrorism measures and he’s grown more comfortable with the security umbrella. There are other pots of homeland security money doled out to the region’s law enforcement agencies, airports, ports and transportation agencies. Under a plan for the city, Villaraigosa has set more than $3million aside for security efforts. And then there’s the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by local private businesses to secure their properties. Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infrastructure bond on the November ballot includes $100 million for port security statewide, including Los Angeles and Long Beach. “The country is unquestionably safer and that spills over into Los Angeles,” said Jack Riley, a homeland security expert with the Rand Corp. “We have done a much better job of disrupting the organizations, eroding or degrading some of their human capital. We’ve captured or killed some very important terrorists. We’re doing a much better job of keeping them out of the country.” But many of the pieces in L.A.’s wide-ranging terrorism shield have chinks in them. Years after vowing to create an interoperable communications system for all emergency agencies in the Los Angeles and Long Beach regions, officials said this year that they still need an estimated $400 million for it. Critics say port screening of cargo remains haphazard, with a $70 million state-of-the-art container inspection facility at Terminal Island still several years from completion. Five years after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, key counter-terrorism investigation operations are just now being pulled together with a fraction of full staffing. The new Joint Regional Intelligence Center in Norwalk – intended as a model of around-the-clock intelligence gathering, sharing and analyses among seven Southern California counties – is a little over half-staffed, with 62 analysts envisioned. About 10 LAPD officers are assigned to JRIC – a $5 million venture between the FBI, LAPD, Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement agencies throughout the region – with 22 eventually planned. Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton defends the center, saying its emphasis on a broad sharing of intelligence is revolutionary. “There is no one entity that is over the other; they are all equals in that room,” Bratton said. “That’s a reflection of the importance that we’re placing on the gathering of intelligence, the analysis of it across jurisdictional lines.” Bratton said Southern California’s history of natural disasters has honed inter-agency emergency response capabilities. And a nearly 30-year state mandate requires agencies to operate under a unified command structure during disasters – a move being translated into terrorism interdiction. email@example.com (818) 713-3731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possible“You can never completely protect or prevent a terrorist strike against a city,” he said. “But I think we’ve made huge strides and that gives me a huge deal of satisfaction in knowing we’ve engaged in the necessary preparations to keep our city safe.” But experts and enforcement officials acknowledge that while defenses have become stronger since 2001, vulnerabilities remain widespread. Federal funds are inadequate and bogged down in bureaucracy. And local officials estimate they still need more than $600 million for more safeguards. “It’s like the advent of a new disease, except it’s even worse. You’re not facing the natural rhythm of life … but groups of people whose focus is on innovative ways to attack us,” said Deputy Mayor Maurice M. Suh. While California has gotten $1.4 billion from the federal government since the attacks, much of the money began to trickle down only three years ago. Los Angeles County received about $233 million of $1.2 billion that was allocated through fiscal 2005, and is to get $80.3 million more this year.
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has criticised the Government’s failure to take action to curb rising motor insurance costs which has directly affected every household in Donegal over the past four years.He said there be no longer any excuses as the Insurance Report is complete and recommendations made but still no action from this Government.“Premiums are continuing to rise while the Government sits on its hands and delays on implementing policies to tackle the problem,” he fumed. Deputy Gallagher stated the Government must stop stalling and start acting to tackle rising motor insurance costs.Since 2014 premiums have continued to rise at uncontrollable levels year on year.The Oireachtas Working Group on the Cost of Insurance published their report insurance costs a number of weeks ago but the issue appears to have fallen off the Government’s agenda.People are walking into my constituency office, with their renewal premium in hand, shocked at the rise in their premiums. They are seriously worried about these spiralling prices, and some people who cannot afford to pay these extortionate premiums and are considering giving up their cars. Pat the Cope added that in rural communities in Donegal, a car is a vital necessity; it’s not a luxury.“Without access to affordable insurance, we are consigning people, especially older people, to an isolated existence. The rate at which costs have been growing is completely unsustainable and unaffordable. In 2016, motor insurance costs increased by an annual rate of 11.6%, in 2015 they rose by 30.8%, and in the 12 months to August 2016 there was a jump of 28%. These increases are outrageous and are putting families under serious financial pressure.”He added that unlike other types of insurance cover, motor insurance is not an optional extra – it’s a legal requirement for everyone on the road. However, families are being squeezed time and again by insurance companies who are bulking up their profits by slapping huge premiums on already overburdened customers.“I have been highlighting this issue for well over a year but the Government has sat on its hands – total inaction on their part while thousands of motorists pay through the nose for insurance premiums. The Government are only getting around to debating the report next week in the Dáil. This is simply not good enough – the Government must work harder to ensure that consumers are getting a fair deal on their insurance cover rather than being continuously fleeced for premiums,” concluded Pat the Cope.Cope slams Government for delay in tackling rising car insurance was last modified: February 19th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Share This!Who else has been off this week? I love 4 day weeks, but they do mess me up. What about you?This week, there’s a lot of news about Disney Cruise Line, see what Freeform has in store for celebrating Halloween, and more!In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and RumorsBye. That’s what Guests said to a bug’s land this week. Share your favorite memories of this land that closed to make way for the upcoming Marvel land at Disney California Adventure.Could Disney Cruise Line make more of a presence in Miami? Things sure seem to look that way. Are you excited about this potential development?Disney has made a presentation to the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce about their hope to develop a destination at Lighthouse Point as a new potential cruise port.Effective Tuesday, September 11, Disney Cruise Line is adjusting its Final Payment and Cancellation Policy. This is a big change, so if you’re book a Disney Cruise, you’ll want to be aware of this one.I’m excited about this news personally. A brand new Vera Bradley/Disney line comes out today! I was worried that they had maybe stopped their partnership, since I hadn’t seen a new Disney pattern in a while.This past weekend, Spaceship Earth sprung a leak! Luckily, no major damage was done to the attraction.It appears that John Williams and Michael Giacchino could be scoring the music we hear while touring around Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! Get ready for some epicness, if this is true!Love these sketches of Mickey Mouse through the years!This year, Freeform will celebrate 31 days of Halloween! Besides a marathon of Hocus Pocus, I find the Decorating Disney Halloween episode most intriguing….will definitely set the DVR for that!Have you been following the Redbox/Disney saga? Well, this week, Disney received a major victory. Thoughts?In Case We Missed ItWhat did we miss? Attach your ideas to an Orange Bird Wallet by Loungefly and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “In Case You Missed It” in the subject line.
Hong Kong Airport has been forced to close for a second-day reports NBC.NBC said that “all check-in services at Hong Kong airport’s main terminal shut down for a second day on Tuesday after protesters blocked the entrance of the building.”Arriving flights are not impacted.“Terminal operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today,” the airport announced in a statement sent to reporters it says.All check-in service for departure flights were suspended at 4:30 p.m. the airport authority added. Other departure and arrival flights for the rest of the day would continue, it said.It told members of the public not to come to the airport.The shut down will cause massive knock-on disruptions for days particularly for Cathay Pacific Airways which will have many aircraft and crews out of position.The disruptions will also have a significant impact on forward bookings with intending or booked passengers changing plans to avoid Hong Kong.Hubs such as Singapore and Seoul and their airlines will be major beneficiaries.
At some point, all technology eventually becomes either obsolete or commoditized, one or the other. For vendors of the affected technology, neither outcome is pretty, although commoditization as an outcome is probably better than being totally run out of town as the world moves on past your obsolete product. Commoditization levels both brands and monopolies, and with that, what once were expensive products become cheap.Consider this. 38.9% of all servers within all of the enterprises surveyed were virtual and 86.5% of all enterprises are using some amount of virtualization. Gartner has Virtualization high on it’s list of top 10 technology trends to watch for in 2012. That doesn’t exactly sound like the description of a technology that’s about to meet the fate of commoditization. It sounds more like a scenario where you’d expect innovation to be thriving and where quality products would command high prices. But despite that, there are signs that the virtualization market may be on the brink of a shakeup that’s being driven by rapidly shrinking prices.The recent V-Index survey results reported by Veeam Software finds that as many as 38 percent of enterprises are planning to dump their current virtual machine software over the next year and switch to lower cost alternatives. That result has raised some eyebrows. Swapping virtualization technologies is a huge change in infrastructure and doing something like that comes with risks. It implies there must be compelling reasons to make the change.Nearly 60 percent of organizations considering swapping say the main reason for moving to a different technology would be cost. But this behavior implies that virtualization has become a commidity. When customers change from a brand-name item to a no-name one or to one from a less well-known maker for reasons of cost, that is commoditization. Or perhaps more likely, this is the first step of competition in the marketplace that will ultimately lead to commoditization. But if that’s true, what is truly amazing is the compressed timeline for the life of virtualization technology, going from a relatively unknown technology five years ago to one that saturates IT shops today and is considered to be a commodity.But some analysts think that it’s easy for customers to say they plan to swap out their VM with another. Acting on that is another thing. Bruce Hoard of Virtualization Review for example, , wrote that “It’s not that users can’t just convert a VM, because vendors provide suitable tools for that task. The issue is the operational software–backup, security, capacity management and configuration management–that gets tied into the hypervisor. How do you untie those knots?”After cost, other reasons cited by customers for wanting to move from current virtualization products are features offered by alternative virtualization software, different licensing models, and increased maturity of the alternative products.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Number of U.S. IPOs by year, 1980-2011, with pre-IPO last 12-month sales less than (small firms) or greater than (large firms) $50 million (2009 purchasing power). [Credit: Prof. Jay Ritter, for testimony before the Senate Banking Committee]The fact that a great deal of the content produced by tech news sites concerns startup companies might make an observer from another planet think America is a veritable nursery for brilliant business ideas. The real truth is, since the “Internet bubble” burst in 2001, initial public offerings have not resumed the vitality levels of the late 1980s, let alone the boom years of the ’90s.This week, President Obama is scheduled to sign into law a bill that eases the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) auditing and reporting requirements on new companies looking to go public, as well as effectively legalizing the principle of crowdfunding – pooling the resources of micro-investors to make small batches of seed capital available to early-stage startups. It’s a move that’s not without controversy, and not even the people who are happy with it are completely happy with it. But it could affect one thing right away: the level of buzz and information surrounding young IPOs, which no longer have to keep mum.Make Way for the On-RampThe most important belt that the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act loosens concerns the amount of capital a new company may raise through the sale of securities in a 12-month period. Previously $5 million, the securities sales cap will be raised to $50 million. That cap will now specifically apply to a broader group of small companies: those with annual gross revenues of $1 billion or less (adjusted for inflation), within a five-year interval from the sale of its first security.We’d better get used to the new phrase, emerging growth companies (EGCs). It’s the term proposed by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) in a proposal last October (PDF available here), and this week it will be codified into law. It refers to this specific, new group of young, low-revenue companies for whom some of the SOX reporting regulations will no longer apply.The NVCA recommended the five-year period as part of what it called the “IPO on-ramp.” As the proposal read, “We recommend that companies with total annual gross revenue of less than $1 billion at IPO registration and that are not recognized by the SEC as ‘well-known seasoned issuers’ be given up to five years from the date of their IPOs to scale up to compliance. Doing so would reduce costs for companies while still adhering to the first principle of investor protection.”In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee last December, Kate Mitchell, former head of the NVCA and currently Managing Director at Scale Venture Partners, stated that EGCs were overdue for relief. Her case was that the reporting requirements applicable to public companies like Exxon and Apple were strangling small companies, making them less attractive to investors.“As someone who has spent the last 15 years seeking out, evaluating, investing in, and helping to build promising young companies, I cannot overemphasize the value of a robust and accessible IPO market,” stated Mitchell. “In our survey of emerging growth company CEOs, 86% of respondents listed accounting and compliance costs as a major concern of going public… Over 85% of CEOs said that going public was not as attractive of an option as it was in 1995. Given these concerns, for CEOs of successful companies deciding between pursuing an IPO or positioning themselves for an acquisition, the scaled disclosure and cost flexibility provided by the bill could help make an IPO the more attractive option.”Because EGCs were under the same burdens to remain quiet as the larger, established ones, Mitchell and NVCA argued, they couldn’t generate enough buzz. You read that right: Not a lot of people are that interested in startups.This argument raised objections from Prof. Jay Ritter of the University of Florida’s prestigious Warrington College of Business Administration. In testimony before the same Banking Committee last month (PDF available here), Prof. Ritter alluded to what appeared, at least to him, to be a plethora of news sources emerging in just the past few years devoted in large part to emerging tech startups – perhaps you’ve read a few yourself. Citing data from a study he conducted in conjunction with two Hong Kong universities last month entitled “Where Have All the IPOs Gone?”, Ritter acknowledged that the reporting requirements were a burden for EGCs, but argued it wasn’t enough of a burden to keep the tech bubble of the ’90s deflated throughout the 21st century.“I agree with the conventional wisdom that these factors have discouraged small companies from going public, but I believe that only a small part of the drop in small company IPO volume can be explained by these factors,” stated Prof. Ritter. “Instead, I think that the more fundamental problem is the declining profitability of small firms. In many industries, over time it has become more important for a firm to be big if it is to be profitable. Emerging growth companies are responding to this change in the merits of being a small, stand-alone firm by merging in order to grow big fast, rather than remaining as an independent firm and depending on organic (internal) growth.”The hole in the NVCA’s data, the professor alleges, comes from a factor that perhaps would be obvious if anyone bothered to read those non-existent venture sites: mergers and acquisitions. In short, small companies aren’t entering the IPO state because they had no desire to be independent in the first place. The earnings, the UF team believe their data indicates, come from being part of someone else’s desire to scale up.States the Florida/Hong Kong study, “Our explanation is that earnings are higher as part of a larger organization that can realize economies of scope and economies of scale, and this regularity is the main reason why many small firms are choosing not to remain independent, but instead merging as a way of getting big fast. If our explanation is correct, regulatory reforms aimed at restoring the IPO ecosystem will have only a modest ability to affect IPO volume.” Two’s Company, 2,000’s a CrowdThe crowdfunding business is already well under way, as evidenced by the existence of online marketplaces such as Appbackr.com. The business itself was technically illegal, although its practitioners were never prosecuted. Once the JOBS Act is signed, new statutes will effectively legalize the practice, while limiting the sale of all crowdfunding transactions with a particular business to $1 million per year.While The Economist hailed the passage of the bill as a whole, it cast a skeptical eye on simply enabling crowdfunding sources to exist without firmer regulations. “Crowdfunding is an efficient way for entrepreneurs to raise seed capital,” the editors wrote. “But it is also a good way for hucksters to fleece suckers.”The magazine’s comments play into the now-legendary testimony last November of Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee, who dubbed the crowdfunding bill that was later incorporated into the JOBS Act “The Boiler Room Legalization Act of 2011.” Coffee took issue with an aspect of that bill – which will indeed be signed into law – that increases the minimum shareholder number threshold for SOX reporting restrictions from 500 to 2,000. “There is no need for such an open-ended exemption, largely benefitting larger firms,” he told Congress, “or for such a dramatic retreat from the principle of transparency that has long governed our securities markets in order to spur job creation at smaller firms.”But in her arguments for the JOBS Act, the NVCA’s Mitchell stated that rolling back these requirements could save EGCs as much as $2 million each per year, suggesting that startup firms may have owed more in reporting costs than it was ever possible for them to raise through crowdfunding alone.Stock image by Shutterstock. scott fulton Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#startups
A new Ohio Department of Taxation rule addresses monthly aviation fuel dealer reports. Under the rule, such reports must contain:the seller’s name and address;the seller’s tax identification number and Ohio motor fuel/aviation fuel account number;the purchaser’s name;the purchaser’s tax identification number;the the the city and state of origin of the aviation fuel;the destination of the fuel by street address;the type of fuel;the total gallons sold to Ohio airports;the number of gallons of fuel sold by product type; andthe number of gallons on which sales tax was not charged.Rule 5703-11-05, Ohio Department of Taxation, effective January 18, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
Earlier this year, astronomers reported discovering a handful of Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars. One of them, a presumably rocky orb dubbed Kepler-438b, orbits a red dwarf star and may be just a bit warmer than Earth, those researchers suggested. Now, another team finds that the planet may be hostile to life because it has no atmosphere, thanks to supersized solar flares that blast the planet every few hundred days, the researchers report online before print in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The flares are about 10 times as powerful as those ever recorded on our sun, the team estimates. And because Kepler-438b orbits just 25 million kilometers from its star (about half the distance of Mercury’s closest approach to our sun), that’s a recipe for disaster for life as we know it, the researchers say: With little or no atmosphere, the planet’s surface would be exposed to harsh x-ray and ultraviolet radiation, not to mention floods of charged particles like those in our solar wind.