Air India disinvestment facing headwinds failing to attract buyers

first_imgA fuel tanker moves past Air India passenger jets parked at an airport in Kolkata May 6, 2012.Reuters fileSelling off India’s national airline, Air India is facing some serious roadblocks, with only IndoGo showing interest in buying the international business of the carrier, a senior official aware of the development told Business Standard.The official explained that the problem has only got worse because of the government policy, which barred foreign players from bidding for Air India. These kept foreign airlines like Emirates and Singapore Airlines, which could have been interested, out of the game.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently said that the process was moving “quite well” and the government would soon appoint a transaction advisor to value the company and decide on the contours of disinvestment.IndiGo had also said that the company is considering investing in Jet Airways, if it fails to acquire a stake in Air India. “IndiGo would go all out to get Air India’s international business as the state-owned carrier has international flying rights and slots. Another alternative could be Jet Airways. The company sees an opportunity there,” the officer said.Another reason why investors are not showing much interest in buying the state-owned carrier is because of the company’s large debt of more than Rs 52,000 crore. Experts opined that investors will come in depending on how much the government is willing to write off the loans.Even IndiGo has made it clear that while it would be ready to take the long-term debt on its books, the government has to write off or take some part of the overall debt, BS reported.Experts estimate that around Rs 30,000 crore of working capital debt needs to be written off for potential buyers to consider acquiring the airline.Writing off the Rs 30,000 crore debts will lead to a serious financial problem, and the government would be facing serious opposition from Air India unions. Another industry expert believes that selling off the airline won’t be an easy task and selling won’t bring substantial amounts of cash to the government to help it meet its disinvestment target.Another stumbling block is the more than 22,000 employees of Air India, which, based on the employee-to-plane ratio, is too high for the national carrier.last_img read more

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616 Rohingyas sent back to Myanmar

616 Rohingyas sent back to Myanmar

first_imgRohingya refugees head back to Myanmar as Bangladeshi border guards drive them away from Bangladeshi territory near Ukhiya. Photo: ReutersMembers of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have sent back 616 Rohingyas as they attempted to enter Bangladesh through different bordering points amid the escalating tension in Rakhine state following an attack by insurgents on 24 police posts and an army base.BGB Battalion-2 commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ariful Islam, said the Rohingyas were pushed back to Myanmar while they were trying to intrude into Bangladesh through Whykong and Unchhiprang points from Sunday night to 7:00pm on Monday.He said tight patrolling was enforced in the bordering area. Police and coastguards along with BGB were working to prevent the influx of Rohingyas.Police also detained seven Rohingyas in front of Whykong police checkpost on Sunday night.Later, the detainees were handed over to BGB, said sub-inspector of the outpost Mahir Uddin Khan.last_img read more

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Art in schools get a pat on the back

Art in schools get a pat on the back

first_imgIf anyone thought that the talented artists could only be found in the art galleries – they could not be more wrong! The schools across the Capital are churning out brilliant artworks by not only students – but teachers as well.Here’s another feather in the cap for Chiranjiv Bharati School (Palam Vihar). Biplav Rej of Chiranjiv Bharati School-Palam Vihar (Art Department) was felicitated and awarded the prestigious Delhi State Award for his Scratch paintings in a glittering function on 19 September.Celebrating the works of the artist were a host of dignitaries and chief minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit. The award was presented to him by Dikshit at Delhi Sachivalaya Auditorium. Rej received a shawl, certificate and a cheque for Rs.25000. The function was well attended by other artists as well.last_img read more

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ASUS servers hijacked pushed backdoor malware via software updates potentially affecting over

ASUS servers hijacked pushed backdoor malware via software updates potentially affecting over

first_imgMotherboard, today, reported of a backdoor malware attack on ASUS’ servers, which took place last year between June and November 2018. The attack was discovered by Kaspersky Lab in January 2019 and was named ‘ShadowHammer’ thereafter. Researchers say that the attack was discovered after adding a new supply-chain detection technology to ASUS’ scanning tool to catch anomalous code fragments hidden in legitimate code or catch code that is hijacking normal operations on a machine. Kaspersky analysts told Kim Zetter, a cybersecurity journalist at Motherboard, that the backdoor malware was pushed to ASUS customers for at least five months before it was discovered and shut down. Researchers also said that attackers compromised ASUS’ server for the company’s live software update tool. Following which the attackers used it to push the malware to inadvertently install a malicious backdoor on thousands of its customers’ computers. The malicious file, however, was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates to make it appear to be an authentic software update from the company. One of Kaspersky’s spokesperson said, “Over 57,000 Kaspersky users have downloaded and installed the backdoored version of ASUS Live Update at some point in time… We are not able to calculate the total count of affected users based only on our data; however, we estimate that the real scale of the problem is much bigger and is possibly affecting over a million users worldwide”. According to researchers at Kaspersky Lab, the goal of the attack was to “surgically target an unknown pool of users, which were identified by their network adapters’ MAC addresses”. The attackers’ first hardcoded a list of MAC addresses in the trojanized samples and this list was used to identify the actual intended targets of this massive operation. “We were able to extract more than 600 unique MAC addresses from over 200 samples used in this attack. Of course, there might be other samples out there with different MAC addresses in their list”, the researchers mentioned. Zetter also tweeted about “a Reddit forum from last year where ASUS users were discussing the suspicious software update ASUS was trying to install on their machines in June 2018” Kaspersky Lab plans to release a full technical paper and presentation about the ASUS attack at its Security Analyst Summit held in Singapore next month. Vitaly Kamluk, Asia-Pacific director of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team, said, “This attack shows that the trust model we are using based on known vendor names and validation of digital signatures cannot guarantee that you are safe from malware.” Zetter writes, “Motherboard sent ASUS a list of the claims made by Kaspersky in three separate emails on Thursday but has not heard back from the company.” Costin Raiu, company-wide director of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team, told Motherboard, “I’d say this attack stands out from previous ones while being one level up in complexity and stealthiness. The filtering of targets in a surgical manner by their MAC addresses is one of the reasons it stayed undetected for so long. If you are not a target, the malware is virtually silent.” In a press release, Asus stated that the backdoor was fixed in the Live Update version 3.6.8. The company has also “introduced multiple security verification mechanisms to prevent any malicious manipulation in the form of software updates or other means, and implemented an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism”, the press release states. Additionally, ASUS has also created an online security diagnostic tool to check for affected systems. To know more about the technical details on this attack, head over to Kaspersky’s website. UPDATED: In a press release, Asus stated that the backdoor was fixed in the Live Update version 3.6.8. Additionally, ASUS has also created an online security diagnostic tool to check for affected systems. Read Next Researchers prove that Intel SGX and TSX can hide malware from antivirus software Using deep learning methods to detect malware in Android Applications Security researcher exposes malicious GitHub repositories that host more than 300 backdoored appslast_img read more

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Oh the Places Youll Go Dr Seuss museum opens its doors in

Oh the Places Youll Go Dr Seuss museum opens its doors in

first_imgOh the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss museum opens its doors in Massachusetts SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — From the squiggly, pink handrails outside the entrance to the front hall decorated with scenes from “And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street” – a real street just blocks away – the new Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum says “You’re off to Great Places!”Walking into to the museum opening to the public Saturday in the author and illustrator’s hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, is like walking into one of his beloved children’s books.The museum dedicated to Theodor Geisel – who under the pen name Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children’s books including “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” – features interactive exhibits, artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 145 kilometres west of Boston shaped his work.“He would absolutely be at ease here,” said Leagrey Dimond, one of Geisel’s stepdaughters (He didn’t have any biological children). “And to know that he’s going to be here permanently, safe, protected, that people who want to know more are going to make this trip here to see him, it’s perfect.”Examples of Geisel’s early advertising work and World War II-era propaganda and political illustrations that critics consider racist are conspicuously absent, but that’s because the museum is aimed primarily at children, said Kay Simpson, president of the Springfield Museums complex.The organization has in the past hosted exhibits of Geisel’s wartime work, she said.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?Kids are definitely the focus of the first floor of the museum, created in conjunction with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the family company that protects Geisel’s legacy. It features games and climbable statues of Horton, the stack of turtles from “Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories” and Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “The Cat in the Hat.”“This museum is about visitors encountering the creatures that sprang out from Ted Geisel’s imagination – Horton, the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, Sam I Am – that got kids excited about reading, which was really his preoccupation later on in his career,” Simpson said.Visitors are taken through Geisel’s boyhood bedroom, his grandparents’ bakery and brewery and different rooms painted in brilliant blues and radiant reds, and decorated in almost fanatical detail with scenes from the books.The museum’s second floor has a more intimate feeling with the actual furnishings and assorted knick-knacks from Geisel’s studio from the La Jolla, California, home where he lived until his death in 1991 at age 87. Even his collection of 117 bowties is on display.But by not referencing Geisel’s wartime work, which often stereotyped the Japanese, the museum is telling only half the story, said Katie Ishizuka, who has written on Geisel’s work.“They don’t acknowledge the full picture of him or they try to minimize that or sweep it under the rug,” said Ishizuka, director of The Conscious Kid Library, which lends what she says are more diverse and appropriate books for young readers.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksEven in his children’s books, characters of colour are subservient or secondary to the white characters, or depicted as stereotypes and caricatures, she said.Dimond never heard a prejudiced word out of Geisel, she said, and knows he had some regrets about the wartime work.“If there is criticism of Ted, it has its place,” she said. “I would never try to, and he would not want any of us to try to hide away anything he did. I know that he changed with the times.”Richard Minear, a professor emeritus of Japanese history at the University of Massachusetts, who wrote “Dr. Seuss Goes to War” about his political illustrations, says Geisel certainly had a blind spot on race, but it’s not fair to judge his entire career on that work.“He matured and he developed a whole lot from those early years,” Minear said, noting that “Horton Hears a Who!” was an allegory about post-war Japan and the nation’s relationship with the U.S.The museum is expected to draw about 100,000 visitors annually and along with a $1 billion casino scheduled to open in 2018, is part of the Springfield’s economic renaissance, Mayor Domenic Sarno said. Geisel belongs in his hometown, the mayor said.“Any other city in the country would be salivating to have a museum for a world-renowned author like Dr. Seuss,” he said. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: Museums By: Mark PrattSource: The Associated Press Monday, June 5, 2017 last_img read more

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Saint Lucias Coconut Bay to slash prices following September refurbishment

Saint Lucias Coconut Bay to slash prices following September refurbishment

first_img Share Saint Lucia’s Coconut Bay to slash prices following September refurbishment Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Saint Lucia VIEX FORT — In anticipation of its grand reopening following a US$5 million refurbishment, Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in Saint Lucia will be slashing prices by as much as 70%.The Reopening Special Offer includes Premium All-Inclusive rates starting at $126 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, on bookings of five nights or more by Sept. 30, 2018. Rates apply to both the resort’s Splash family-friendly wing and its adults-only Harmony wing, for travel Oct. 1-31, 2018.Children under three stay for free, while kids ages 3-17 stay for $59 per night. There are no resort fees at the resort, and rates include all government taxes, gratuities and airport transfers from Hewanorra International Airport.Bookings of seven nights or more also include a $1,000 resort savings booklet redeemable for exclusive discounts on spa treatments, boutique purchases, photography services, island tours and more.Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa has closed its doors for the month of September for renovations, reopening on Oct. 1, 2018.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA Sales“This year as we continue our slate of enhancements during Coconut Bay’s annual September closure, we are focusing on some major back-of-the-house modernizations that will positively affect our staff as well as the service they provide our guests,” says Mark Adams, CEO. “Of course, we continue to enrich our Premium All-Inclusive amenities that deliver the wow factor our guests have come to expect, from revamped menus for exciting new dining options to a redesigned look for our main Coconut Walk restaurant that is sure to be a guest favourite.”The planned enhancements include:New kitchens will be installed in two of the resort’s four à la carte specialty restaurants, plus the top-floor kitchen at Jerk Treehouse Restaurant will be expanded to meet demand for Caribbean favourites.The fourth floor of the family-friendly Splash wing will receive new awnings that provide shade to premium category rooms. The zero-entry Splash Pool will also be completely resurfaced, the Tiki Canopy will be expanded to the Splash Bar, and the oceanfront deck behind the Activity Pool will be replaced to accommodate additional loungers and future private parties.As part of its ongoing commitment to sea turtle conservation, the resort will be expanding its ‘Skip The Straw, Save A Turtle’ initiative to the adults-only Harmony Pool Bar and the Splash Pool Swim-up Bar.The Cove, the resort’s expansive outdoor dining and entertainment venue, will receive a new roof.Upgrades at the 11,000 square-foot oceanfront Kai Mer Spa include new décor, paint and enhanced changing rooms.A new duty-free retail jewelry store will open in the lobby, next to the 24-hour Coffee and Tea Corner.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”For more information go to cbayresort.com or call 1-877-252-0304.last_img read more

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