Brazil World Cup grounds up for sale following cash flow problems

first_img Brazils World Cup stadium in Natal is up for sale as the company that owns it is suffering from cash flow problems following a corruption scandal.Natals Dunas arena is being sold by owner Grupo OAS, with the company also trying to sell the 50% share it owns of the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador.The company has struggled for months with the impact of a corruption investigation at state-controlled oil company Petrobras, which undercut the builders access to financing.An economic downturn, government austerity and a slumping currency has also taken its toll, leading to Grupo OAS to announce it is selling its stakes in football venues and other businesses to focus on the core construction business.OAS spent $187m (£126.2m) on completely rebuilding the old Fonte Nova arena in Salvador and $134m on the new Dunas arena. The Fonte Nova hosted six games in the 2014 tournament and the Dunas arena four.The announcement was the latest in a string of bad news for Brazilian football post-World Cup.Earlier this week Esporte Club Bahia, one of the biggest clubs in Salvador, said they were abandoning plans to use the Fonte Nova because they felt the owners did not respect their fans. Closelast_img read more

Railways to export six DMU train sets to Sri Lanka

first_img[Representational image]Twitter/Prasar BhartiThe Indian Railways is all set to establish its footprint in Sri Lanka with the export of six DMU (diesel multiple units) trainsets consisting of 78 modern coaches worth Rs 600 crore.The first DMU train set comprising 13 coaches will be shipped out to the island nation in September while the rest will follow by year-end, as per the delivery schedule finalised by the two countries. DMU trainsets do not require separate locomotives as the engines are incorporated into one or more of its coaches.All train sets would be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai for which the order is a big boost in its export business. There will be three different type of coaches — AC Executive Class, Second and Third Class — and, as per the Sri Lankan requirement, they will only have seating facility.”The design of coaches is being finalised as per the customer’s choice and ICF has fully geared up to meet the export order in time,” a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the manufacturing process told IANS.The first rake shipment will take place in September after which it will be put on a trial run on the Sri Lankan rails. “There will be oscillation trial of the first rake which will be followed by shipment of five more rakes by the year-end or early next year,” the official said.The contract will be funded under the Indian Line of Credit to Sri Lanka announced in 2011. In order to foster regional cooperation with these countries, the government has been extending various lines of credit for funding railway projects for export of Indian Railways-manufactured locomotives and rolling stock.ICF manufactured 2,500 coaches last year and has a target of 3,000 in the current fiscal.Source: IANSlast_img read more

UN tightens sanctions on North Korea

first_imgSecurity Council members vote on a US-drafted resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: AFPThe UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously backed a US-drafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea, imposing a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue.The sweeping measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since US President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China’s willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally.The resolution imposed a full ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state—stripping North Korea of a third of its export earnings estimated at $3 billion per year.US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the stiffer measures brought the penalty imposed on North Korea for its ballistic missile tests “to a whole new level” and that the council had put leader Kim Jong-Un “on notice.”“This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation,” Haley told the council after the vote.“These sanctions will cut deep and in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people.”The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad whose earnings are another source of revenue for Kim’s regime.It prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korea, bans new investment in the current joint companies and adds nine North Korean officials and four entities including North Korea’s main foreign exchange bank to the UN sanctions blacklist.If fully implemented, the measures would tighten the economic vise around Pyongyang as it seeks to develop its missile and nuclear programs.Trump hailed the unanimous vote in the Security Council, saying the sanctions will have “very big financial impact!”It was “the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in cost to N.K.,” the US leader said on Twitter.The United States entered into negotiations with China a month ago on the new resolution after Pyongyang launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4 which was followed by a second test on July 28.But the measure does not provide for cuts to oil deliveries to North Korea as initially proposed by the United States—a move that would have dealt a serious blow to the economy.The new raft of measures are the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006.Sanctions not an endThe United States has put heavy pressure on China, which accounts for 90 percent of trade with North Korea, to enforce the sanctions and the fate of these measures largely hinges on Beijing’s cooperation.China and Russia had resisted the US push, arguing that dialogue with North Korea was the way to persuade Pyongyang to halt its military programs.Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi said the resolution “does not intend to cause a negative impact” to North Korea’s people and stressed that it called for a return to talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.“The fact that the council adopted this resolution unanimously demonstrates that the international community is united in its position regarding the nuclear issue of the peninsula,” said Liu.Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia stressed that sanctions “cannot be an end in themselves” but rather “a tool for engaging this country in constructive talks.”Backed by Japan, South Korea and its European allies, the United States has maintained that tougher sanctions would put pressure on North Korea to come to the table.As negotiations at the United Nations entered the final stretch earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that Washington was not seeking regime change in North Korea and was willing to talk to Pyongyang.Next stepSpeaking to reporters after the council vote, Haley said “what’s next is completely up to North Korea.”“The United States has been loud about it, now the international community has been loud and North Korea now has to respond,” she said.Trump’s national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, said the United States would not tolerate the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.McMaster, in an interview with MSNBC, said Trump had told China’s President Xi Jinping it was no longer enough for North Korea to “freeze” its programs since it had already crossed “threshold capability” and the goal was now denuclearization.South Korea’s foreign minister, meanwhile, held out a diplomatic olive branch Saturday, saying she was open to holding discussions with her North Korean counterpart at a security forum in the Philippines.“If there is an opportunity that naturally occurs, we should talk,” Kang Kyung-Wha said as she landed in Manila on Saturday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.North Korea’s top diplomat, Ri Hong-Yo, was attending the regional summit, which is hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).Seoul last month proposed military talks with Pyongyang but the North refused to respond. Had they gone ahead, they would have been the first official inter-Korean talks since 2015.last_img read more

Middle East service provider Ooredoo Oman has tapp

first_imgMiddle East service provider Ooredoo Oman has tapped TV technology outfit Netgem to provide a new multiscreen TV service.The deal is Netgem’s first in the Middle East. The company has made its platform available in Arabic with support from local content providers and technical partners.The Netgem-powered multiscreen TV-as-a-service will enable Ooredoo Oman to offer its customers a range of programming, including English and Arabic channels, and VOD services. A connected user interface will give Ooredoo’s customers the ability to enjoy access to the content across multiple devices.Sylvain ThevenotSylvain Thevenot, managing director, Netgem #TelcoTV Services, said: “We are very proud to support the launch of Ooredoo Oman TV with our feature-rich TV product offering a great range of international and local content. This is the first deployment of our TV-as-a-Service solution in the Middle-East, and reinforces that our cloud-based technology is the platform of choice to rapidly launch powerful entertainment services. With our award-winning user interface now adapted to support mixed Arabic and European content, we are looking forward to further deployments in the region.’’Johan Buse, chief commercial officer at Ooredoo, said, “We are very excited to unveil Ooredoo TV, which is powered by Netgem, and give consumers in Oman a simple and seamless way to stream their favourite content direct to their mobile phones. This is a step change in the way people access TV content and we are happy to be at the forefront of a new digital experience.”last_img read more