AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’ Distinct distancing Re “Dems seize House” (Nov. 8): Upon listening to right-wing, inane-stream radio the day after the election, I learned that these former Republican propagandists were no longer going to carry the water buckets for the Bush administration team. The “we” they had been so proud to be part of for six years had suddenly become “they,” and all of the Democrats who had won previously Republican seats were actually not Democrats, but Reagan Republicans. Next thing you know, all of these fair-weather supporters will go back to pronouncing “nuclear” correctly. – Marshall Barth In six years of absolute power, the Republicans have been able to destroy a budget surplus, spend more money than in the entire 200-plus-years history of the USA, mortgage the debt to Chinese banks, give away the U.S. treasury (to the oil corporations, health care industry and war profiteers), effectively repeal the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment, create more terrorists, fail to catch all the 9-11 masterminds (where’s Osama?), ship American manufacturing overseas, fail to secure our borders (how many illegals are here now?), underfund our troops and deny benefits to veterans, set a new record for political-corruption scandals (DeLay, Cunningham, Foley, Abramoff, etc.; the list is long) and give America a one-time, $300 tax rebate. But don’t worry, I’m sure this was all somehow President Clinton’s fault. – Robert Barr Burbank Encino Fuzzy-headed liberals With the capture of Congress by the fuzzy-headed liberals, the U.S. sinks rapidly in all areas. The country was already on a disaster course with the Bush administration strongly favoring business. The Iraq war was a rallying call for the liberal media to use. The real problem in America has been the favorable treatment Congress accords to global business while ignoring public concerns. The liberals will not relieve the burden for the middle class, since most of the federal revenue comes from this source. There will be lots of lip service to the middle class during the next two years from the Democrat-controlled Congress, but little progress. The media are to blame for concentrating on the wrong issues, and the Democrats are also parties to this disaster since they are controlled by liberals. – Sion Colvin Woodland Hills Election results Ahhhhhh! That feels better. – Arnie Moore Sherman Oaks Measure H Supporters of the billion-dollar, upside-down (benefit-wise) Measure H said opponents needed to propose alternatives, rather than just oppose the expensive bonds. Unfortunately for those needing housing, city officials did not listen to fiscally prudent recommendations. Now that enough knowledgeable voters rejected Measure H, government officials who sincerely care about low-income people should pay attention to the unsubsidized owners who have been providing housing. Apartment owners should no longer be penalized for paying to improve and properly maintain the apartments. Also, the anti-investment aspects of the 1986 Federal Tax Reform Act should be reversed. – Victor N. Viereck Valley Village Politics work Democracy works. The president and right wingers have been rebuked by the voters. It’s my guess that, to continue to hold on to whatever power remains and get a leg up in ’08, Dick Cheney will resign and the president will utilize the 25th Amendment to nominate the more moderate John McCain to take his place. The new Congress will go along in exchange for having the Justice Department back off on some of the investigations. Politics always works. – Hal Rothberg Calabasas We are in trouble Re “Dems seize House” (Nov. 8): When this country inadvertently “elected” an extreme San Francisco liberal as speaker of the House, only two heartbeats away from the presidency, it showed that we folks are in trouble. Bush is now a lame-duck president for the remainder of his term, and you can be sure the Democratic House is going to rush resolutions through. The Democrats will certainly let the tax cut expire in 2010. The strong economy and bullish stock market will no longer be. Congrats to the Democrats. – John Reilly Granada Hills Tax them Every politician in California should be charged a very hefty fee, sufficient to pay for caller-ID service for every phone in the state. – Marte Brengle Glendale Elections I know of a proposition that would win by a landslide. In light of the most recent campaigns, I propose that using TV, radio and telephone political advertising be limited to three days a week – Monday through Wednesday only – in all statewide elections. That would give us weary voters time to relax over dinner, watch our favorite TV shows and avoid hearing 24/7 campaigning blather. Ready to sign up? – Sol Taylor Sherman Oaks Where’s Harriet? So, I hear that Bush is replacing Donald Rumsfeld with Robert Gates. Why? Wasn’t Harriet Miers available? – Eddie Johnson Panorama City Typical tactic Re “5% trims urged for city departments” (Nov. 8): So Mayor Villaraigosa is calling on city department heads to cut spending by 5 percent and “find” $20 million in savings? It’s a typical tactic used in the city of Los Angeles as officials prepare to negotiate with Service Employees International Union Local 347 and its 10,000 blue-collar workers early next year. The mayor and City Council always try to mislead the union into believing that there simply is no money. Well, if the mayor is looking for millions of dollars in savings, I suggest he look no farther than inside City Hall. Perhaps we could start the savings bonanza by repealing the 13 percent pay increase that the beloved mayor and the 15 City Council members just received. – Brian Hollenbaugh Saugus Glendale development Re “Blueprint for future downtown could get final approval” (Nov. 8): The discussion about the new downtown Glendale has gone on for far too long. It was voted on two years ago on the ballot. The new project will help boost our economic standing. There has been a lack of parks in the area prior to this project, and this will make it a more enjoyable place for families and kids. Too much time and money are going into discussion about it. The developer has already invested a lot of thought, money and effort into perfecting the proposal. No matter what, there will always be questions and concerns. Overall this is “smart development,” and it addresses most of the residents’ concerns. – Elizabeth Khodzabashyan Glendale Not worth it Re “It is wrong not to want U.S. to win in Iraq” (Nov. 5): Bill O’Reilly and other conservatives don’t seem to understand. Do you want your country to win in Iraq? Asking that question is like asking: Have you stopped beating your wife? The real question is: At what cost are you willing to win in Iraq? In my opinion, losing nearly 3,000 men and women in uniform and having nearly 20,000 wounded to avenge the 9-11 loss of nearly 3,000 lives to terrorism does not make sense, unless there is total victory. Losing 3,000 more Americans and spending nearly an additional half-trillion dollars to prolong a quagmire, which appears to be a civil war, is clearly not worth it to this voter. – Richard Buratti Northridge160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Analysis#web What does this mean? In addition to the standard RSS attributes, Wine.com outputs proprietary ones like id, sku and price.Any application that would like to interact with this API can leverage the additional attributes. It is likely that companies will continue to useRSS like this in the future. That’s becauseRSS is already well known and the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what XML-based language we use.Technically speaking, any RSS extension is just XML and does not really have much to do with RSS. But if the world wants to thinkthat it is RSS and is willing to agree on a standard – so be it!The Big PictureSo what happens if we take all of this and put it together? Something really profound – a structured web.Possibly a precursor to the Semantic Web, the structured web would be much more readily remixable. It truly will bethe web as a database. Yes, a good old relational database, but instead of tables we would be remixing web sites and web services. Probably the most interesting thing to note about the structured web of the future is that it will still be non-standard.Just because information is represented as RSS or XML does not mean that two different services will have the same representation of a book.However, the problem of mapping one representation onto another is generally not difficult, as long as the information is structured(financial companies have been doing this for decades). So structure promises to bring nearly automatic interoperability.Another outcome, is that the web where information is structured is much more amicable to be transformed into what iscurrently envisioned as the Semantic Web. The ontologies and relationships are much more readily overlayed on top of structured information.Likely, RDF and OWL would be used to do just that, as they were originally intended, except on top of the new structured layer.Then the coming next web becomes a direct precursor to the Semantic Web. The leap of faith thatwe are now being asked to make would disappear, and instead, the jump to semantics becomes obvious.ConclusionThe next web is not just about one thing, its about many themes. However, what is fueling the web of the future is structured information.As we discussed in this post, many different technologies, in their own way, are gradually transforming the web from its current HTML chaosinto a structured XML heaven. It has already happened in quite a few places and over the next few years we will be seeing more and morestructured information online.The benefits? We hope that some of the promised semantic tools will be able to take advantage of the structured information.We look forward to smarter search, and mashups that bring us exciting remixes that were not possible in yesterday’s world ofunstructured HTML silos.If you enjoyed this article, please digg it here: 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Compare this with a representation typically found in XML: The rise of APIsThe proliferation of vertical applications that run on top of existing dataAn increase in classic Semantic Technologies and MicroformatsThe spread of RSS as an information delivery mechanismIn this post we’ll look at how these movements collectively help power a more structured web.The Basic ProblemTo understand the basic issue with unstructured information consider the following example – a description of a bookin HTML and XML. Here is a typical representation that you find if you look at the source of a web page: alex iskold 1 There is some controversy floating around the blogosphere about the nature of the next web.We got a clear signal fromTim O’Reilly that there is no need to continue the versioning fad and call it “Web 3.0,” but still, people disagree about what’s coming next. To me, what iscoming is not a single thing, but a web that is characterized by several major themes.Among the evolving aspects of the new web are Semantics, Attention(Implicit Behavior) and Personalization. Regardless of what we are decide to call this next web, theinformation in it is going to be more meaningful, more automatic, and more tailored to each of us.A critical piece of the next web evolution is the introduction of structured information. This concept is so basic to us as humans,that we completely overlook the fact that it is quite foreign to computers. When a person looks at a book on Amazon, she seesa book, with the author, ISBN number, publisher and the publication date. To a computer that page on Amazon is nothing more thana bunch of HTML. Increasingly, information on the web is becoming more and more structured. This process is happening viaseveral major movements: The HTML does not capture the structure of the information, and mixes the information with the representation.XML, on the other hand, is focused on structure only and does not say anything at all about how information shouldbe presented. Billions of web pages today contain unstructured information. To people, this is a non-issue because we aregood at semantics and we do not need primitive XML annotation to make us understand. But for computers, lack of structure isa deal-breaker – they can’t interpret unstructured, non-standardized information very well.Why Unstructured Information Is BadWay before people created the web, they created relational databases – the platform on which many corporationsand web sites are built today. A great thing about relational databases is that they represent the information in a structured way.The query language know as Structured Query Language (SQL) supports fetching the information from a single database table.More importantly SQL allows queries that correlate or select information from multiple database tables. Simply speaking,SQL allows the data to be remixed. The only condition for this is that the data must be structured. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 3. Classic Semantic Technologies and Microformats. The main goal of the Semantic Web is to make information structured. XML-based languages like RDF and OWL are designedto capture information so that not only things, but also their attributes and the relationships between them, are represented clearly.The classic approach, however, is running into many difficulties.People are enthusiastic about the prospects and theory behind it, but lack of consumer focus and business value, as well as technical difficulties, havemade the implementation of classic ideas elusive.In the mean time, microformats, a more simple approach to information annotation, has gained some momentum. The idea behind microformatsits simple: embed markup that indicates the structured information within HTML pages. What’s good about this approach is thatannotations are compact and can be interpreted by web browsers as well as any other program that reads the HTML page.The approach also has issues, though. First, the number of things that can be described by microformats is limited. A popular microformat ishCard, which describes contact information about people, organizations, and places.The diagram above is from the Microformats web site.A bigger issue revolves around how microformats are intended to be used. According to the designers, they are nota new language, not infinitely extensible and open-ended, nor are they made for defining the whole world. Rather, microformats are an evolving solution, initiallyaimed at designers as a “set of simple open data format standards that many are actively developing and implementingfor more/better structured blogging and web microcontent publishing in general.” Despite its simplicity, microformats are doing a lot of publicgood by adding structure to unstructured content and pushing the envelope along with other solutions.4. RSS As A Delivery Mechanism. There is a common misconception about RSS – people think that it is a structured language. It is not. Basic RSSis a simple format for delivering news. Each RSS entry contains a title, a link and a description. In addition, RSS allows flexible embeds to deliver things like images, video and podcasts.However, what is true is that RSS, like the XML language, is extensible. What has been happening is that companies have started usingRSS extensions to deliver results from their APIs. For example, as we’ve written,Wine.com does exactly that – its API calls return RSS. On the other hand, if the information is not structured, it is effectively stuck in a proprietary silo – closed and immobile.Its representation is only understood by the creator, and it is not readily consumable byany other application or a web service. In a way, this is sort of wasteful because it can not be remixed with the restof the information on the web.The Key Drivers of Structured Information1. The Rise of APIs. APIs are in fashion these days. Since del.icio.us, the web sites that have definedthe social web era have offered interfaces to access their proprietary databases. This effectively accomplishes two things.First, APIs make it easy to fetch information. Second, most APIs these days emit the informationas XML, so it is automatically structured. For more about the impact of APIs on the web read our “When Web Sites Become Web Services” post.2. Top-Down Semantic Applications. We’ve written recently about the proliferation of top-down semantic applications.In addition to creating utility by extracting meaning from content, these applications do another very important thing:they automatically transform unstructured content into structured information. It happens because after extracting the info, theservices offer an API or structured RSS feeds, effectively injecting the structured information back into the web.
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Analysis#Features#web marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Blogs, RSS, IM, Twitter and FriendFeed – the number of sources of sources of information online can feel like it’s multiplying exponentially every day. It’s easy, natural even, to feel overwhelmed. Especially when we are more familiar with the tightly controlled editorial policies of mainstream media.The social media space is noisy, though. There are many times when filtering that noise effectively makes a lot of sense (some tools discussed below) – but there are also many times when noise is just what we need.Experiments in Noise ControlThere are many ways you can roughly cut down on the noise in your information stream. More emerge all the time and this is a very valuable direction for services to be exploring. We don’t want to argue that noise is always good, it’s clearly important to spend some time without it every day. The most recent entry into the noise filtering scene is probably FriendFeed’s new “best of” feature. Late last night FriendFeed rolled out the ability to view just the items most popular with your friends on the service for the last day, week or month. It’s something many people have been hoping for and there’s no doubt it will prove useful. If you’re not using FriendFeed yet, you can check it out and add me as a friend if you like here.Other services that are good for filtering out noise are del.icio.us popular for a particular tag, AideRSS and Google Reader’s overly friendly shared items from friends feature. We’d love to read about your favorite noise filtering tools in comments below.One way to break down two ends of the spectrum, by Hutch Carpenter. Of course most of us jump from one end to the other and live somewhere in between.On the Beauty of Noise Filtering isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be, though, and you wouldn’t want to live in a fully filtered world all the time. Social media noise is an essential part of learning and living on the web. Hear are some reasons why.Unexpected opportunities.Some people call it “serendipity,” others call it “passive and opportunistic information acquisition.” (Erdelez, see below.) The less limited the boundaries of your scope of view are, the more likely you may be to find things you didn’t even think to look for.Scanning quickly over large quantities of roughly relevant information can turn up invaluable resources, opportunities, context and contacts that you can passively process or opportunistically leverage at will.Future Needs It’s one thing to find something you didn’t know you needed right now, it’s a whole other skill to be able to recall information that seemed marginally useful at best in the past at a time in the future when the need for it arises. Who can’t remember doing that before? The ability to recall passively collected information that was gathered purposelessly in the past and put it to use in the future is a particularly powerful form of intelligence. A person with a substantial reservoir of generally relevant information is a great person to have on any team.Maximizing RecallSome people worry that being exposed to too much information will lead to not remembering very much of it. Scientists say that’s not necessarily the case, though. Sanda Erdelez, for example, wrote the following in her study Information Encountering: It’s More Than Just Bumping into InformationA majority of participants in my information encountering study, when asked about their past experiences of “bumping into information,” were familiar with the notion of accidental discovery of information and could recall these experiences clearly.We may be afraid that we won’t remember key information that rushed past us in a river of news, but Erdelez argues that when prompted about a particular incident of accidental discovery our memories are better than we might think.We would argue here in fact that the more total information our minds are exposed to, the more particular items we’ll be able to recall in the future. One useful strategy may be to spend some time going through a large amount of information just a touch more quickly than we’re comfortable with.General KnowledgeBeyond simple recall of particular information in the past, internalized noise can be just as useful in the formation of wisdom and perspective as introspection, thoughtfulness and other forms of attentiveness can be. Spend some time skimming, it’ll make you a better person. You’ll meet new people, learn new things – don’t worry, it’s fun.Personal Growth Serendipitous search in the offline world is believed to be one of the ways our understanding of the world expands. David Pescovitz at BoingBoing writes about Swedish ethnologist Erik Ottoson’s PhD thesis titled Seeking One’s Own: On Encounters Between Individuals and Objects:“Ideals of what is beautiful, useful and reasonable,” Ottoson argues “materialize in conjunction with the experience of what is available and what is absent or out of reach.”That’s more than just a beautiful reason you should read BoingBoing, it’s an interesting understanding of the way that swimming through noise helps us become who we are.ConclusionQuiet time, time off-line, deep thoughts and long books are all beautiful things – essential to a healthy intellectual, psychological and social life. We argue, though, that the opposite of all those things – online social media noise, is also a great opportunity that deserves to have its worth recognized at a time in history when many of us are struggling to deal with it.So take some time for yourself when you can, find a nice place to sit with a cup of tea and blow through a few hundred items in your RSS reader. If you can relax into it, it’ll help you remember some of the reasons why you love the internet.Creative Commons photos, Christmas 2007 series, by Flickr user Kevin Dooley.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… frederic lardinois Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Product Reviews#Video Services#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Search engines are great at retrieving textual information, but even though a lot of search results today are actually videos, most search engines still only display a text link to those videos. A new Greasemonkey script from VideoSurf changes this by adding small film strips to every video that appears in your search results on Google and Yahoo, as well as to every video on YouTube’s search results page.The Greasemonkey script works for videos from YouTube and MetaCafe. It would be great if VideoSurf also supported other services like DailyMotion, Vimeo, or Viddler, but given YouTube’s domination of the video market, this probably won’t matter too much.VideoSurf, which by itself is a very good video search engine, uses its proprietary algorithms to identify the most interesting moments in these videos and allows you to jump right to them by clicking on the images in the film strip. The only problem with this script is that it won’t take you to directly to YouTube or MetaCafe to see the video, but to VideoSurf itself. This makes sense, given that the script is a way to promote VideoSurf’s search engine, but it would be nice if you could have a choice of destinations.Overall, this is one of the coolest and more useful Greasemonkey scripts we have seen lately and definitely worth a try.Here is how to install the script:Install the Greasemonkey extension for FireFox (if you don’t have it installed already) and restart your browser. Click on this link to the script and then follow the instructions on screen. You’re done. Start searching! Related Posts
With another holiday season quickly approaching, this is a time of year in which retail management is gearing up for the fast-paced frenzy of the holiday season. Store locations are already beginning to decorate the stores, companies are adding seasonal sales and sales support staff, and retail distribution channels are operating at full capacity to fill the stores with merchandise in preparation for the critical weeks ahead that can make or break the year for many organizations. These traditional happenings mark some of the more predictable retail industry trends that occur on an annual basis.But the evolution of retailing is also leading to other tendencies that are rapidly changing the way we shop. In one of the most noticeable retail industry trends, much more is being consumed on Thanksgiving than turkey and all the traditional trimmings. The day itself is being devoured by retailers and bargain-hunting shoppers as the holiday shopping season is being further extended over the Black Friday weekend as retailers engage in an aggressive game of Thanksgiving store hour one-upmanship. The skirmishes began years ago as retailers launched store openings earlier and earlier on the morning of Black Friday to lure the huge crowds of bargain-busting shoppers into retail locations.There are several retailers that have a history of opening earlier and earlier each year for Thanksgiving/Black Friday, and by the time they announce sale launch times for this year, it’s likely they’ll be welcoming deal-seeking shoppers sometime in the early afternoon of Thanksgiving, before the day’s first NFL game has even ended—and before the turkey is on the table in many American households. Even in an age of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing that has opened so many different options for consumers, there are many retail organizations that feel the need to open their doors to meet the demands of a highly competitive retail market. Clearly, some consumers will go shopping whenever retailers say their doors will open for Black Friday sales, no matter if it’s a national holiday.- Sponsor – There are several retailers that have not only confirmed they will remain closed on the holiday; they are promoting the fact that they are staying closed. On the other side of the stage, there are those that argue that such decisions can be valuable both for the retailer and the retail customer.What do you think? This week’s LP Magazine Instant Poll asked: Should retail stores be open on Thanksgiving? Quite convincingly, there are many that believe that current retail industry trends are missing the mark with US consumers. Our poll respondents clearly indicated that they feel the Thanksgiving holiday should be a day reserved for family and friends, and not a day for shopping in retail stores. 98 percent cast a vote against spending Thanksgiving Day at the nearest shopping center.With the current opportunities available in an age of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing, 22 percent felt that these options might present an acceptable option for those that couldn’t wait until Black Friday. However, 76 percent voiced their strong opinions that retail industry trends should hold par and leave the traditional Thanksgiving holiday to family and friends.So how do our poll results compare to other national polls that posed the same question? As LP Magazine researched similar queries across the country, we found slight variations depending on particular audiences, but all overwhelmingly agree that the majority of Americans disagree with the current retail industry trends. In the most comprehensive poll that we found conducted by PBS Newshour, more than 18,000 respondents came to the same conclusion with outcomes nearly identical to our results. Approximately 98 percent of poll participants cast a vote for store doors to remain closed so that both employees and customers could spend the holiday with family and friends.The evolution of retail has led to many revolutionary changes in the way that we shop and spend in recent years, and will only continue to transform the way that we shop in the years to come. Changes are often met with some resistance. By the same respect, shoppers also love a great deal, and if there’s a sale, they will come. How we adjust is where the true story lies; and only time will tell how this story will pan out.From the entire team at LP Magazine, we hope all of you have a wonderful, safe, and prosperous holiday season!Have any additional thoughts that you would like to share? We’d love to hear about it. Please share your thoughts by clicking here. All responses to our polls are strictly confidential Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Protos Security, a nationwide leader in security guard management,is making a buzz at RILA…literally. Protos Security provides so much more than just guard service, and each attendee to the Protos booth was given the opportunity to explore the many unique features and benefits of their nationwide guard service with “Security Surgery,” a giant game of Operation. Attendees were able to pinpoint their current security guard pain points and identify the solutions.First, the features you should expect: • End to end nationwide coveragewith one point of contact. • The largest guard network of over 4,000 vendors.Next, the features you want: • An all-electronic time and attendance system with location verification. • Fast incident reporting, delivered in minutes. • Real time status map • Automated reminders never forget temp and emergency assignments. • Efficiency—Protos tools put time back into your busy schedule. • Total program cost savings- Sponsor – Finally the distinctive features and benefits only available with Protos Security: • Client web app- an online dashboard for your entire guard program. • Real time online status map • Message broadcast. Communicate targeted messages to guards in the field. • QA analysis program. Permanent schedules receive QA calls to the post location to verify guard performance or pinpoint areas for improvement.Protos Security can strategically target your guard program pain points and deliver superior experience for clients nationwide.Contact them at (866) 403-9630 or sales (at) protossecurity (dot) com to learn more. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Xavi: Ajax pair De Jong and De Ligt have Barcelona DNAby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona legend Xavi is convinced by the quality of Ajax pair Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.Xavi admits he can see both players succeeding at Barca.He stated: “I like them very much, they’d be very good for Barça. “They do not lose the ball, they play well, they already have the Barça DNA by coming from Ajax, which was always a good school for us. “And they are young.”
New Delhi: India’s coal import increased by 8.8 per cent to 233.56 million tonnes in 2018-19, according to a report. Coal imports were at 214.61 MT in 2017-18, according to provisional data by mjunction services, based on monitoring of vessels’ positions and data received from shipping companies. mjunction, a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL, is a B2B e-commerce company that also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”India’s coal and coke imports during 2018-19 through 31 major and non-major ports are estimated to have increased by 8.83 per cent to 233.56 million tonnes (MT) (provisional) as compared to 214.61 MT (revised) imported in 2017-18,” it said. Non-coking coal imports were at 164.21 MT in FY2018-19, about 13.25 per cent increase over 144.99 MT recorded in FY2017-18. Coking coal import was almost flat at 47.73 MT compared to 47.22 MT in 2017-18. “The double-digit growth in thermal coal imports during 2018-19 was on expected lines and caused by the coal shortage at power plants until recently. In contrast, the bearish trend in steel consumption and prices, especially during the fourth quarter, restricted coking coal import,” mjunction MD and CEO Vinaya Varma said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”Thermal coal import is likely to remain subdued in the near term, but may rebound if PLF (plant load factor) in thermal power plants goes up post-monsoon,” Varma added. Coal imports during March 2019 were at 19.93 MT (provisional), against 18.02 MT in the corresponding month of 2017-18. Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier urged state-run Coal India to pledge self-sufficiency in production to eliminate import of the dry fuel. The government has set a target of 1 billion tonne of coal production by 2019-20 for the mining major, but is considering relaxing the timeline.
TRIPOLI – A number of disabled former rebels from the war that toppled Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, broke into the parliament building and vandalised some of it Tuesday, an MP told AFP.The protest came on the eve of the second anniversary of the rebels’ declaration of victory over Gadhafi’s forces, three days after he was captured and killed outside his home town Sirte.MP Mohammed al-Khalil al-Zarruq said the protesters came from the town of Ajdabiya, a key crossroads between the capital and eastern Libya which was a major battleground in the 2011 war against Kadhafi. “They got into the Congress chamber and smashed some fittings,” Zarruq said.The MP said the chamber was empty at the time but deplored the “new assault on a state institution.”This was the latest in a string of security breaches at the General National Congress building and came less than two weeks after the brief abduction of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from his Tripoli hotel by disgruntled former rebels.Diplomats and analysts have voiced mounting concern about the inability of the post-Gadhafi government to assert its writ over large swathes of the country.Former rebels units, some of them sympathetic to Al-Qaeda, have refused to surrender their arms.Desperate to forge a new army and police force to replace those crushed or discredited by the rebellion, the government has given some of the militia units varying degrees of official recognition, but its control over them is nominal in many cases.One such unit made a string of arrests in Libya’s second city Benghazi on Monday evening that an army source said lacked legal authority.The Libya Martyrs’ Brigade rounded up 10 people, three of them from neighbouring Chad, joint security operations room spokesman Colonel Abdullah al-Zaidi said.Sources close to the brigade said those arrested were accused of involvement in a recent spate of assassinations in Benghazi of security and judicial officials who served under Gadhafi.But an army source in the eastern city, which was the cradle of the 2011 uprising, cast doubt on the legal basis of the arrests.“Those seized were just part of the migrant workforce — the announcement of the arrests is a bid to cover up the real perpetrators of the killings,” the source said.The three Chadians were paraded on Libya’s privately owned Benghazi-based Al-Hurra television on Tuesday and accused of having fought as mercenaries for Gadhafi during the uprising.The ousted regime did recruit personnel for its armed forces from abroad, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, where Gadhafi built up a network of alliances during his 42-year rule.But human rights groups say many migrant workers unconnected to the old regime suffered abuses in a misplaced vendetta by the victorious rebels that is still continuing.