FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Grupo Bimbo, the world’s biggest baking company, has committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity by the year 2025.Headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico, Grupo Bimbo has also joined the RE100, a global initiative made up of some of the world’s biggest companies, all committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity.The RE100 is led by international non-profit The Climate Group in partnership with the CDP, previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. Other members of the RE100 include Facebook, Goldman Sachs, the Carlsberg Group and eBay.In a statement Tuesday, the Climate Group said that because of its renewable electricity use, Grupo Bimbo would save 440,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2019. In Mexico, 70 percent of electricity used by the firm comes from wind energy, while it also uses rooftop solar power to provide it with clean energy.Daniel Servitje, the president and CEO of Grupo Bimbo, said that his company’s commitment represented “a major step towards our purpose of building a sustainable, highly productive, and deeply humane company.”Other new members of the RE100 announced Tuesday include Decathlon, Lyft and Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India.More: World’s biggest baking company goes green World’s largest baker commits to 100% renewables
INTRO: Spectacular growth in trade across the Pacific has generated severe congestion on the railways which serve the southern Californian ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. William D Middleton describes the Alameda Corridor – a US$2bn construction project to cure congestion and provide capacity for future growthTHE SAN PEDRO BAY ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been cashing in on booming trade with the Pacific Rim that has made them the busiest in the USA. As this trade has doubled over the past decade, traffic through the ports has reached close to 100 million tonnes a year, and growth is expected to continue over the next few decades. High-value containerised freight is forecast to grow threefold over the next 25 years. The twin ports now account for a quarter of the country’s international maritime trade, and this has provided a traffic bonanza for Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific, the two major railways serving Los Angeles. But increasingly they have been handicapped by outdated infrastructure which connects the docks to their yards and main lines in central Los Angeles, over 30 km away. Threading through built-up commercial and residential areas on four mainly single-track routes to and from the ports, trains up to 2·5 km long frequently conflict with other rail traffic. There are nearly 200 level crossings, restricting maximum speed to 32 km/h, and creating enormous congestion on crowded Los Angeles streets. Trains can sometimes take 5 or 6h to complete the journey, while the impact of steadily-growing lorry and rail traffic to and from the ports has become an increasingly contentious issue amongst residents.The BNSF route meanders to the west from central Los Angeles through El Segundo and Torrance before reaching the ports. UP’s San Pedro branch starts at East Los Angeles yard, heads east and then south through Downey and North Long Beach, but UP acquired two further routes in the merger with Southern Pacific, and these are more centrally located. The first, SP’s Wilmington branch, shares a direct north-south alignment through Compton and Carson with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Blue Line light rail route, while the former SP San Pedro branch occupies a parallel corridor along Alameda Street.Longstanding ambitionsThe poor quality of rail access to the ports was recognised as far back as 1982, when the Southern California Association of Governments initiated a study that considered a range of alternative options for the corridor. The concept of a consolidated corridor was adopted in 1984 as the preferred and most cost-effective solution, and set the stage for the project now under way.There was little progress until 1989, when Los Angeles and Long Beach established the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, a single-purpose joint powers agency to plan and carry out the project. Since then, ACTA has been engaged in the difficult tasks of obtaining required approvals, concluding agreements with the railways and port authorities, and establishing a financial structure.The US$2bn project is now entering the design and construction phase, with completion scheduled for 2001. The four existing routes and their 198 level crossings will be replaced by a single, fully grade-separated route extending 32 km from the ports to a connection with the existing rail network at Redondo junction, south of Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.Entrenched positionAbout 16 km of the northern segment of the corridor, from Route 91 in Compton to 25th Street near Los Angeles city centre, will be placed in a depressed trench at the centre of the Alameda Street right-of-way. This will be 15·2m wide to accommodate two tracks designed for 64 km/h operation and a roadway for maintenance access, which could be converted to a third running track if required. An additional track at street level will serve local factories along this heavily-industrialised corridor. The trench will provide an overhead clearance of 7·5m for double-stack container train operation. Vertical side walls will be braced by overhead crossbeams which provide support for part of the roadway and the industrial railway, which overhang the edges of the trench. Side streets running perpendicular to the corridor will cross the trench on bridges. South of Route 91, the Alameda Corridor tracks will run on the surface, with road traffic passing overhead on flyovers.While the primary aim is to handle the 100 trains a day expected by 2020, the corridor will also ease road freight movements, which presently total more than 20000 each day. As well as eliminating the frequent delays at the many existing level crossings, the project will widen and improve the parallel Alameda Street roadway for lorry traffic.Major construction will be required at the north end of the corridor where it joins existing rail lines (map inset). At 25th Street the new line will curve eastward and rise to surface level at Santa Fe Avenue. Two tracks will link the corridor with an existing bridge over the Los Angeles river and the main line to BNSF’s Hobart Yard, while a new three-track bridge over the river will link the corridor with UP’s East Los Angeles yard and former Southern Pacific lines to the north. To avoid conflicting movements, a new double-track flyover and Los Angeles River bridge will carry Amtrak and Metrolink passenger services over the corridor line at Redondo Junction. Major grade separations will be constructed for Washington Boulevard and Santa Fe Avenue. Other work will include new road subways at three other locations and relocation of two large flood control box culverts. Major construction will be required at the corridor’s south end where a grade separation will carry the corridor over Henry Ford Avenue at the Dominguez Channel in Wilmington.Funding and project management Bringing the Alameda Corridor project to the construction stage has been a long and difficult process for ACTA. At the end of 1994 the ports and the railways completed the necessary purchase and sale agreements and a joint operating agreement for the corridor.During 1995, passage of the National Highway System Designation Act authorised the project at federal level and designated it a high-priority intermodal corridor, eligible for a range of innovative federal financing options. Still at the federal level, the Department of Transportation approved a final environmental impact statement and the Surface Transportation Board granted permission for construction in the first half of 1996.Lining up funding for the US$2bn project has been among the most difficult tasks facing the corridor authority. The last major element in the financing plan fell into place in January 1997, when President Clinton presided over a ceremony approving a US$400m federal loan to the project. To be funded from the Department of Transportation’s annual appropriation, the loan must be repaid over a 30-year period. Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and other funds will increase the federal commitment to US$447m. Funding at state level, largely from California’s Proposition 116 transportation bond measure of 1990, will total US$67·5m, while Los Angeles County MTA will contribute just over US$347m from a variety of sources. The two port authorities are each contributing US$200m, while ACTA will issue more than US$711m in revenue bonds. Federal loan and revenue bond payments will come from fees assessed against corridor users.The completed corridor will be owned by the two ports, which acquired the Alameda Street right-of-way from Southern Pacific. An operating committee appointed by the ports, BNSF and UP will oversee operations. The railways will operate their own trains, while a ’neutral’ dispatcher will assure equitable access.Design work is well advanced for work at the north end of the project. With finance in place, ACTA started work early in May on the bridge over the Los Angeles river at Redondo Junction. Tenders will be called late this year for the Redondo Junction flyover, while the two grade-separation projects at the north end and several major structures at the south end will follow in 1998 and 1999. Construction of the trenched section should begin in 1999.ACTA’s programme manager for the project is the Alameda Corridor Engineering Team, a joint venture of Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, Moffat & Nichol, Jenkins/Gales & Martinez, Inc and Telacu that will develop preliminary designs and provide oversight and management of the final design.Some work for the project is being completed by other agencies. The City of Carson has already completed a road flyover on Carson Street, and will build another at Sepulveda Boulevard. The City of Los Angeles is building a road overbridge at Anaheim Street, and will also construct one at Pacific Coast Highway.While the project is presently scheduled for completion in 2001, ACTA is trying to shorten the construction period. ’We’re considering the use of a ’design-build’ procedure for construction of the mid-corridor trench section’ says ACTA General Manager Gill V Hicks. ’We believe this could shorten construction time by 20 months.’ oCAPTION: Double-stack container trains access the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on unsuitable infrastructure featuring many road crossings at grade. Reconstruction of the Alameda Corridor will increase capacity and cut congestionCAPTION: The rebuilt Alameda Corridor will provide a double track main line in trench below road level, with a service road alongside which could be used to accommodate a third track later. Another track parallels a six-lane road at surface level, giving rail access to factoriesLe corridor d’Alameda soulagera la congestion du port de Los AngelesUn essor commercial spectaculaire à travers le Pacifique a produit une sérieuse congestion dans les chemins de fer qui desservent les ports de Los Angeles et de Long Beach en Californie du sud. William D Middleton décrit le corridor d’Alameda – un projet de construction de $2bn pour remédier à la congestion et fournir la capacité nécessaire à une croissance future. Une ligne à double voie à niveaux séparés entre les ports et les principales zones de garage et d entretien dans le centre de Los Angeles doit s’ouvrir d’ici 2001Alameda-Korridor wird Engpaß im Hafen von LA lindernDie spektakuläre Zunahme des Handelsverkehrs über den Pazifik hat zu einer starken Überlastung der Eisenbahnen geführt, die die südkalifornischen Häfen in Los Angeles und Long Beach versorgen. William D Middleton beschreibt den Alameda-Korridor als ein $2bn teures Bauprojekt, das die Überlastung lindern und Kapazität für zukünftiges Wachstum schaffen soll. Die planfreie doppelgleisige Strecke zwischen den Häfen und den Hauptrangierbahnh
Black Satellites’intelligent attacker Clifford Aboagye, says Ghana can no longer ride their luck in the ongoing FIFA Under-20 Championship and must begin to take charge of their remaining matches, particularly today’s semi-final clash with France in Bursa.Last Sunday evening, Ghana confirmed their reputation as the comeback kings of the FIFA U-20 World Cup with a dramatic 4-3 extra-time victory over Chile, sealed with the most last-gasp of last-gasp winners. After the exhilarating encounter, the euphoric Ghanaians began their frenzied celebrations with body language and facial expressions conveying utter conviction and belief.After reaching the penultimate round, Aboagye, whose two clinical passes put Ghana through at the expense of Chile, believes the Satellites must be cautiously optimistic.“We lost our first two matches at the tournament, but still made it through thanks to a big win over USA,” he told Sportsfilla.com. “We came from behind against Portugal in the Round of 16, and now we’ve beaten Chile, even though they were in the lead. Believe me, we’re bursting with confidence at the moment.”“I’m so happy. I wasn’t able to score in all of our group games, but today I’ve got two. We have a wonderful team and I was able to help today,” continued Aboagye, managing to combine elation with clearly sincere humility.However, despite their rapid progress over the last few weeks, the Ghanaians are firmly resisting the temptation to overreact, as Aboagye insisted: “Morale is soaring, and you can understand that. But I want to warn against us thinking we can rely on always turning games around.” The pacy and skilled Ghanaian No.10 is already looking ahead to the semi-final clash with France in Bursa. “If we start believing we can allow ourselves to fall behind again, we’d be completely wrong. We’ve used up all our luck. There’s no way we can keep on conceding goals and let our opponents to take the lead,” he declared.For all his caution, Ghana have unquestionably produced a couple of the greatest turnarounds in the history of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.You might be tempted to think the Satellites’s next goal would be revenge over the French today for a 3-1 defeat in their opening match.
Residents on Marine Way are experiencing flooding after the City of Delray Beach took sandbags they set up to protect their properties from the King Tides.According to CBS12, about $6,000 was spent to protect the neighborhood homes located across from the Intracoastal.The City of Delray said the bags were against city ordinance and took them.Then Dorian came and combined with the King Tides, the Intracoastal has been flooding properties on Marine Way, CBS12 reports.Related content:Cat 2 Dorian On The Move North, Finally
The role of South African women in politics has increased since the end of apartheid through policy changes and organisations set up to enable women’s rights. Data from United Nations Women has shown that the country is faring decently in enabling women to take an active role in government.South Africa has made great headway in the representation of women in parliament, housed in Cape Town. (Image: Wikipedia) Priya PitamberWomen have made strides in all sectors of society – the economy, engineering, science, technology, academia, media, and many more. In politics in particular, South African women have come incredibly far.Before the arrival of democracy in South Africa in 1994, there was a mere 2.7% representation of women in parliament; since then, though, things have changed.“Currently women ministers comprise 41% of the cabinet, women deputy ministers make up 47% of the total number of deputy ministers and there is a 41% representation of women in the National Assembly,” says the South African government.Leadership positions in politics were previously dominated by men, and women’s entry into the sphere has been included in South Africa’s globally acclaimed narrative of triumph. “One of the success stories of our democracy is that of the representation of women in political and decision-making positions,” it adds.“The new government and parliament have undertaken various measures to advance the position of women and to promote gender equality in all spheres,” wrote Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini in the article Women in parliament: beyond numbers for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).By South Africa’s 1999 election, she added, women accounted for 29.8% of the elected public representatives. That placed the country in the “top 10 in terms of representation of women, and giving it second highest representation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region”.Minister of Women Susan Shabangu launched Women’s Month under the theme “Women united in moving South Africa forward” at the Union Buildings on 30 July 2015. (Image: South African Government, Flickr)It starts with the ConstitutionSouth African women were active in calling for change, which led to policy shifts. And it started with the country’s internationally lauded Constitution. Women made sure their rights were included in the document.“This was not an easy task as they had to convince not only their parties but also the entire constitutional assembly,” wrote Myakayaka-Manzini. “The new Constitution protects many critical rights for women, including the right to equality; the right to freedom and security of the person (including the right to freedom from violence); the right to make decisions concerning reproduction; and the right to security and control over one’s own body.”The Women’s Charter, a document enshrining women’s rights drawn up in 1954, was also taken into account and adopted under the Women’s National Coalition campaign in 1994. “The Constitution also contains a clause which enables women to take the Women’s Charter and other charters forward so that they can be adopted as government policies,” wrote Myakayaka-Manzini.In relation to policy changes, a number of organisations and departments were set up to ensure policy translated into reality. The Presidency set up an Office on the Status of Women (OSW) to oversee and co-ordinate policy on women at national level.In addition, the National Commission on Gender Equality started its work in 1997. “The task of this commission is to promote gender equality in society and to ensure that government and other non-statutory bodies implement their commitment to gender equality.”With more women in parliament, structural changes were also made to the building itself. “When women came into parliament in such great numbers there were few facilities for them, including toilets in some of the buildings or floors,” observed Myakayaka-Manzini.“Some male toilets were converted to female toilets.” A parliamentary day-care centre was also set up so women were able to do their work while their children were cared for in that facility.Global comparisonData from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women show that while the number of women in government is increasing, it is at a slow pace. Click on the image for a larger view. (Image: UN Women)According to United Nations Women (UN Women), women entering politics is progressing slowly. “The snail’s pace of progress on gender equality and women’s participation in public and political life will need to be tackled head-on for the overall success of the new goals,” the organisation said.In its report on the participation of women in politics, it said “women government ministers grew from 670 to 715 in the 12 months since 1 January 2014, that figure represents only 17.7% of all government ministers in the world. Since 2005, the percentage of women ministers has only increased by 3.5 points.”The data also revealed that only 30 countries had 30% or more female ministers, with Finland, Cape Verde, Sweden, France and Liechtenstein occupying the top five places in the global rankings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), respectively.However, there are only eight countries – Bosnia Herzegovina, Brunei, Hungary, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Tonga and Vanuatu – that have no women in their governments.In Africa, there are only three countries – South Africa, Cape Verde and Rwanda – where women account for more than 30% of ministers in the cabinet. “In absolute numbers, South Africa has the largest number of women ministers – 15 accounting for 41.7% of all ministers,” said UN Women.“We are a long way from where the world needs to be on gender equality and women’s political participation,” said IPU president Saber Chowdhury. “This data should be a wake-up call to mobilise political will to change mind-sets and take action that will spur progress on this issue.”The executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, called for renewed commitments and investments to meet the Beijing Platform for Action’s now 20-year-old target of gender balance. “If today’s leaders front-load gender equality, if they start now to make good on those 20-year-old promises, we can look forward to gender equality by 2030 at the latest,” she predicted.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest FFA members are talented in many ways. For some students, traveling to Ohio FFA State Convention is a time to receive recognition for their hard work throughout the year, but for others it is a time reserved to showcase their unique talents at the Ohio FFA Talent Show.This year at the 87th Ohio FFA State Convention, students from the Hardin Northern FFA Chapter stole the show with an a cappella performance that was pitch perfect. The first place act was Awakened Commotion — a group of 10 FFA members under the direction of their high school choir director, Kelly Eikenbary. The talented ensemble sparked energy in the convention hall during their performance of a Justin Bieber and Katy Perry mash up song.“It was a giant adrenaline rush,” said Mariah Burton. a sophomore FFA member. “I had more fun during this show than any other because I felt confident performing with my team. The energy while we were on stage was exciting and fun.”Each year before the convention, a panel of handpicked judges is selected to evaluate and place each talent act. This year, 23-year-old Mackenzie Bart, who currently serves as Miss Ohio, was asked to be a judge.“I was amazed at the amount of incredibly talented students that all performed on one stage,” Bart said. “I was happy to have been a judge. It almost felt like American Idol.”The idea of starting their own group formed when a performing a cappella group from Tiffin came to visit students at Hardin Northern six years ago. Shortly after the visit, the students expressed interest in holding signups and auditions.“After the group from Tiffin visited us, it just kind of clicked,” said Lukas Schroeder, senior FFA member. “It was the drive of our director at the time that encouraged us to try something new and different. Her support is what helped lead us to where we are now.”It isn’t just singing and performing for this enthusiastic group of students. Their talents and ambition to succeed carry over into their academics and other FFA activities within their chapter. Hardin Northern FFA members also participate in various career development events and judging invitationals.“Sometimes it is difficult to balance a cappella responsibilities and our activities within the FFA,” Shroeder said. “We are really lucky to have a great group of advisors, school faculty, parents and our choir director to support us.”Some of the group’s fans and supporters also made the trip to convention to watch the students perform at the talent show.“This is one special group of students,” said Don Paullin, Hardin Northern FFA advisor. “They are well-rounded and talented and I couldn’t be any more proud of them.”The students’ talents shined throughout convention even after the talent show concluded. The group returned on stage to perform the song, “This Little Light of Mine,” during Ohio FFA State President Sydney Snider’s retiring address.Other performances included students playing the guitar, plucking the banjo and using their voices to share their passion for singing. The Ohio FFA Talent show offers a unique opportunity to spotlight the talent of Ohio’s FFA members each year.Members of Awakened Commotion include David Allen, Mariah Burton, Breanna Cook, Cassidy Deckling, Collin Hoffman, Grace King, Danielle Miller, Sara Morris, James Rickenbacher, and Lukas Schroeder.Hardin Northern FFA Advisors include Mr. Don Paullin and Ms. Krista Hellwig.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In a state whose biggest agricultural export is soybeans, growers of the crop perhaps should be leery.Tariffs on imported aluminum and steel, which President Trump imposed March 8 could have disastrous consequences, particularly for soybean farmers, according to an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University.The tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum could cause other countries to retaliate by setting tariffs on U.S. goods they import, including soybeans, which are Ohio’s top agricultural export, said Ian Sheldon, who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).If that happens, that could further drive down the price of soybeans in the world market and the income Ohio farmers are earning on their soybeans, Sheldon said.Here’s why. Although China is not the largest source of U.S. steel imports, the country has contributed to global overcapacity in steel production, driving down the world price. It also buys many soybeans from the United States. So, a steel tariff might lead China to penalize the United States with tariffs on American imports. That would make it more expensive for the Chinese to purchase American imports, including soybeans. And the demand for U.S. soybeans in China has been strong in recent years, fueled by the growing demand for meat in the Chinese diet and soybean meal to feed those livestock.But if China retaliates with a tariff on U.S. soybeans, that could reduce the demand for soybeans from the United States and drive down the price, Sheldon said.“This is a big deal,” he said. “There could be a lot of unintended consequences that I don’t think have really been thought through by the administration.”In 2016, soybeans were Ohio’s most important agricultural export, totaling $1.4 million, and China is the top market for Ohio’s agricultural exports. About 40% of Ohio’s total agricultural exports are sold to China, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.“So it’s reasonable to argue China is Ohio’s most important soybean export market,” Sheldon said.Besides affecting soybean prices, the tariffs would cause the price of machinery to rise in the United States when the cost of steel and aluminum, the majority of which is imported, goes up with the planned tariffs, Sheldon pointed out. Any industry that consumes steel or aluminum will have to pay higher prices to make its products, and will likely pass those higher prices onto consumers and potentially cut jobs to stay profitable, he said.Proponents of the tariffs have argued that the tariffs will help resurrect jobs in America’s diminishing shrinking steel and aluminum industries.But, Sheldon pointed out, for every job in steel or aluminum the United States regains as a result of the tariffs, it will lose five to eight jobs in other industries that consume those metals.“If the U.S. is inefficient at producing steel or aluminum, compared to other countries, we shouldn’t necessarily be directing resources toward those industries,” Sheldon said.For years, China has produced steel primarily through government-subsidized businesses, which enabled it to produce a lot inexpensively. Chinese steel is now being diverted to the world market, giving it an unfair trade advantage, Sheldon said.But instead of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, the Trump administration has the option of going to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and making a case against China for unfair trade practices, Sheldon said.The role of the WTO is to encourage trade among countries and settle disputes when unfair trade is alleged to avoid all-out trade wars in which countries keep raising tariffs to shut out foreign products.“I really worry about this undermining the WTO,” Sheldon said. “If we have a trade war, that would lower national income and lead to job losses. It could even start a global recession.”The Trump administration, which originally called for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from all countries, recently softened its stance a bit, making exceptions for Canadian, Mexican, and Australian imports. Canada is the biggest supplier of U.S. steel and aluminum, and Mexico also is a significant steel supplier to the United States.However, making exceptions for any countries is likely to result in the United States being found in violation of WTO rules, Sheldon said.“You can’t pick out some countries to target and then not others,” he said.Sheldon and colleagues in CFAES and across Ohio State are in the midst of a National Science Foundation-funded study in which they’re developing models of the Great Lakes region to simulate the effects of various trade scenarios on producers, consumers and the environment.For more information on Sheldon’s research, visit aede.osu.edu/research/andersons-program.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Not much going on today, as we experience the “calm before the storm”. Clouds will be thickening as the day progresses, due to the approaching system that brings us action tomorrow. We expect no new precipitation today.Snow will move across the state tomorrow, but wont really get going until late morning to midday, moving in from the west and southwest. Snow continues Sunday, but will be tapering off. We are leaving our forecasted snow totals unchanged, expecting 1″-4″ over most of the state, with a few areas pushing closer to 5″. The heaviest snows can be in central to southern Ohio. We do have a renewed concern this morning about some rain mixing in in far southern Ohio, as temps climb tomorrow in to the upper 30s. Any rain would decrease the snow potential, of course, but we think that the rain threat is relatively small. On Sunday, we see light snow and flurries ending across the state through the day as the system exits to the east. The map at right shows updated snow potential through Sunday night.We will be dry for Monday through Thursday of next week. Clouds increase Friday, as we are pushing back our next system again by about 12 hours. We have a chance of snow developing in the north, and rain in the south, with a few hundredths to .4” of liquid equivalent precipitation over about 60% of the state. The heaviest action will be in the south, where rain is most likely. We turn dry again to finish next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, but we also turn much colder, looking for temps below normal.The cold theme remains for the 11-16 day extended period. We expect light snow and flurries off and on from the 21st through the 25th. These come like minor, clipper waves, bringing the potential for minor accumulations with each wave, but nothing earth-shattering.
The Bihar unit of the BJP on Friday alleged that Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s two sons — Tej Pratap and Tejaswi — and his wife Rabri Devi were involved in a multi-crore land scam. The allegation comes days after the BJP had charged Mr Tejaswi Prasad Yadav with conflict of interest as Forest and Environment Minister in a soil purchase contract, worth ₹90 lakh, for the Patna Zoo.Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to sack both Mr. Lalu Prasad’s sons from the cabinet and order a thorough inquiry into the land scam.Showing about 280 pages of documents related to the “dubious sale and purchase of the land”, Mr Modi further said, “I’ve all the authentic documents to prove my charges and we’ll take this scam too to the extent of the fodder scam.”Ownership transferredMr Modi said the land on which a shopping mall is being constructed by a company owned by an RJD MLA, was first given to Delight Marketing Company Pvt. Ltd in 2005 by Harsh and Vinay Kochar, prominent hoteliers of Patna. The Kochars, alleged Mr Modi, were given two railway hotels at Ranchi and Puri to run when Mr Lalu Prasad was union railway minister.Mr. Modi alleged that, “In 2010 Lalu’s family members, his wife Rabri Devi, two sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav, daughters Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav made an entry into the company as directors but on November 12, 2016 the company changed its name to LaRa Projects Pvt. Ltd and just two months back on February 14, 2017, only Rabri Devi, Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav remained directors of the company.”“LaRa means Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi…Rabri Devi owns 2,402 and both Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav own 800 shares each of the company today… The company, interestingly, did no business in last 15 years but added ‘construction’ in its objective in 2015,” said Mr Modi, who was earlier in exposing the multi-crore fodder scam against Lalu Prasad Yadav.“Nitish Kumar always says he neither protects anyone, nor implicates anyone…So we expect a thorough probe into this land scam too, ” Mr Modi told journalists.Neither the JD(U) nor Mr Lalu Prasad have responded to the allegations so far.
Four people were shot during a Halloween party on the University of Southern California campus late Wednesday, including one person who was critically injured.The incident sent a flood of police into the area to control the crowd. Police Sgt. Andrew Chao of the Hollywood Station told City News Service that the shooting took place around 10 p.m. on Hollywood Boulevard.A 17-year-old boy was critically wounded with gunshot wounds to the chest and a leg.A 14-year-old boy was shot in a foot and a 25-year-old man was struck in the buttocks, he said. All three were transported to local hospitals.The gunmen fled, possibly in a white sport utility vehicle, Chao said.KNBC reported a fourth person injured in a possible assault with a deadly weapon, around 11:20 p.m. Footage shot from KNBC helicopter showed paramedics loading a man into an ambulance.Dozens of police officers were on the scene, some in riot gear and others on horseback and bicycle, to control the crowd and close off the street, one of Los Angeles’ major thoroughfares.Video footage on KNBC’s website showed several hundred people along Hollywood Boulevard and at least three men taken into custody in handcuffs.