GEM: A year to remember

first_imgFor the Going The Extra Mile project, 2017 was a year of milestones and great successes, with volunteers from around the country banding together to make a difference in their communities. Take a look back at a few of the organisation’s achievements last year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.Mathiba MolefeFor the Going The Extra Mile (GEM) project, 2017 started off well enough, with its volunteer community growing steadily as word spread of its work, but few could have guessed the scale of its success.In 2017, Going the Extra Mile touched the lives of more than 30,000 people, with about 4,000 of them being direct beneficiaries of the efforts of the many volunteers who gave up their time to work towards improving lives.Throughout the year the project listed more than 370 events in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, working with 45 non-government organisations.At more than an event a day, GEM offered almost everyone an opportunity to make a difference at some point during the year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.“There’s a social activity for everyone on the GEM app and if you haven’t already, download GEM project & check it out for yourself.”Onwards and upwardsHaving raised the bar in 2017, GEM is gearing up to make similar strides in 2018 with the continued support of its volunteer and stakeholder community.“We’re definitely keen on going nationwide,” explains Ramada. “What we want to do is identify champions in the communities we haven’t reached yet and get them to help us spread our reach and build our network of non-profit organisations and volunteers.”Currently working in three of the country’s nine provinces, in 2018 GEM aims to offer people across the entire country an opportunity to work for the greater good while earning rewards either for themselves or the listed organisation of their choice.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home. This is a view shared by Brand South Africa and, through partnerships such as the one with GEM, it is definitely a possibility.“We hope that the nation will continue to contribute to positive change because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live, is beneficial for everyone,” says Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home.Get involvedRamada concludes: “South Africa is one of the best countries in the world, so why not get involved, why not work together to do good, feel good and be good?”To find out how you can volunteer for one of GEM’s projects, check out the GEM website and download the app or simply dial *120*GEM1# to get started. You can also follow GEM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.last_img read more

Frugal Happy: Demolition

first_imgWith permit in hand, it was now time to prepare for demolition. The plan is to live in the bedrooms while we do construction on the living room, dining room, and kitchen — rooms we collectively refer to as the common area, highlighted in the floor plan (see Image #2 below).After the common area is done, or at least livable, we will switch and live there while the bedrooms are under construction. Because we were about to lose our living room and kitchen during construction, we set up a living and dining space in the master bedroom and turned the covered back patio into a makeshift outdoor kitchen. (The living room prior to demolition is shown in Image #3 below.)We began clearing out the space. A lot of stuff we donated. Some stuff we kept and moved into other rooms. Some items were harder to move than others.Eventually all the rooms in the common area were empty. In the living room, the carpeting is extremely worn in some areas, and looks brand new in others. I’m leaving it in place to protect the hardwood floor underneath during construction. When everything else is done, I’ll remove the carpet and refinish the hardwood floor. And now the chimneyOnce upon a time our living room had a fireplace. It was a gas fireplace, but it looked like it had never been used. Wen moved into the house in 1992 and she said she can’t ever remember her family using the fireplace (see Images #5 and #6 below).The rocks lend some interest to the living room because of the angled wall, their texture, and their color. Fireplaces can be nice to look at, but they tend to be huge energy wasters, even if they’re not being used.The R-value of brick is estimated to be R-0.8 per 4 inches. So if the fireplace ranged in depth from 8 inches to 12 inches, then its R-value ranged from R-1.6 to R-2.4. It would be very difficult to air seal the perimeter of the fireplace, and for the flue itself it’s nearly impossible to get a good air seal with the damper. All in all, a fireplace represents a huge thermal liability in a building envelope because of unavoidable thermal bridging and infiltration. If heating with wood is a priority, then a free-standing wood stove is a much more effective and efficient option.A rotary hammer was a big help in breaking up the brick-and-mortar chimney.So that’s the technical energy efficiency and indoor air quality rationale for getting rid of the fireplace. But the hearth has a deep place in our psyche, I think, since fire and warmth have been so important to our survival. For most of our history, the fireplace was the essential anchor of our homes, the setting around which every domestic task was oriented. Without the hearth, where is the heart of the home? Can it be a coincidence that these two words differ by only one letter?That said, our hearth was never much of a center to our home. It’s not even clear that it was ever used. Even so, the prospect of its demolition seemed a little sad. We would be destroying the physical product of a skilled mason, razing the labors of a dead man’s dying trade. It felt like we were being too good for open fire, like we thought we are better than our forebears. Actually it’s true: we kind of are too good for open fire, with its inefficient heat, its air pollution. And if we’re not better than our forebears per se, then we are least more knowledgeable than them about the importance of a high-performance home.And so, with mixed feelings and though the path forward seemed difficult and uncertain, we embarked on the demolition of the chimney. Naively, I began with an actual chisel and a hammer. I didn’t know what to expect or how it would be constructed inside, so I started slow.We also began demolishing the stones on the wall surrounding the fireplace. They look like volcanic rock of some kind, and were set in what appeared to be mortar that was on the surface of the interior brick. Our neighbor let us borrow a tool called a rotary hammer that can act like a mini jackhammer to chisel out the rocks and bricks. This tool made the demolition go much faster (see the photo at left).One of the contractors who was helping me (or vice versa) put up the structure for the vaulted ceiling (more on that soon) let me borrow his rotary hammer, and after a few days most of the bricks of the exterior were down.The same contractor also generously let me borrow his 35-pound demolition hammer for the bigger chunks inside. Using the demolition hammer higher up was not possible, because doing so would have been unwieldy and unsafe. But now that we were at ground level, I could go at it. The demolition hammer was a heavy monster and tiring to use. But it was effective. Soon there were increasingly large patches of daylight coming into our living room wall where the fireplace used to be.All the bricks that I determined I could not reuse I schlepped, wheelbarrow load by wheelbarrow load, into the 30-cubic-yard dumpster. Based on the weight of each brick and an approximation of how many bricks I removed, I estimate the total mass of the bricks I removed to be something like 14,000 pounds. This unbelievable number seemed to be substantiated by a bill I later received from the dumpster company charging me for exceeding their 6-ton limit. RELATED ARTICLES Editor’s Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Chris. BLOGS BY WEN AND CHRIS A Car-Free ExperimentAn Introduction I’m being somewhat glib about the prospect of beginning the demolition on the house, but it really was a scary thing to undertake. There’s so much uncertainty, so much self-doubt and second-guessing. How much is this project going to cost? Is it okay that I don’t really know what I’m doing? What if I mess it all up? So many questions, and so few easy or certain answers.The house was kind of shabby in places and had some deferred maintenance, but it was perfectly functional. And I was about to start tearing it apart and turn it into an unlivable construction zone! And this is my wife’s childhood home, no less.Before I began demolishing the ceiling drywall, I collected samples of it from different parts of the house and sent them off to a lab so that the “popcorn” finish could be tested for asbestos. It came back negative. And with the first hole poked in the ceiling, it begins…Demolition of the common areaThe idea was to take off the drywall in big sheets by trying to find the seams and pulling the nails out rather than just smashing it all apart. But as we were very much amateurs, we often ended up just smashing it apart. Wen and her brother Bin helped take out the ceiling.We got the living room ceiling out after several hours of work. For me this was the first of many, many long, hot, sweaty days. Next came the decidedly less fun and exciting process of shoveling up hundreds of pounds of drywall first into a wheelbarrow, and then into a huge dumpster (see Image #4 below).The dumpster gradually got more full. But it was still only about 75% full when they picked it up — not the most efficient use of an expensive resource.A lot of the equipment I bought can be used throughout the project, so it can be considered an investment. The dumpsters, however, I did not use efficiently enough. I underestimated just how how laborious the demolition would be, and struggled to fill the 30 cubic-yard dumpster by myself within the seven-day rental period. I overworked myself that first week, so much so that the next week I needed a few days to recover and couldn’t work. I learned later that I could have just extended the dumpster another week at no charge. I guess the lesson is to know what your options are and to be realistic and conservative about what you can get done within a certain time period, especially when you haven’t done it before and uncertainty is high.For some reason, there were no volunteer helpers for the cleanup part or any of the subsequent days of demolition. In any case, I pressed onward. After cleaning up the living room somewhat, I moved on to the kitchen. Also to be removed was the forced-air heating and cooling system of the house. We will be without central heating and cooling until I install the new heat pump system. We either donated or recycled the appliances.I wanted to open up the common area and remove walls that made small spaces feel dark and even smaller. One of those areas to be opened up is the front door entry (as opposed to the entry door from the garage). With the HVAC being moved, there would be more space to make a mud room area for removing and storing outdoor clothing like jackets and shoes, and for more easily transitioning between inside and outside.center_img A bigger job than expectedThe demolition required a significant amount of time and money. I spent about 115 hours and approximately $2,500 on the demolition. Of the total, $1,300 was for dumpster rental (it turns out that dumpsters are expensive), and the remainder was mostly spent on tools, safety gear, and equipment, including wrecking bars, gloves, hard hats, goggles, respirators, ladders and scaffolding, a wheelbarrow and brooms and dustpans and shovels, and blades for the reciprocating saw, angle grinder, and oscillating multitool. It sounds like (and is) a lot money for a DIY demolition of a space that’s only about 700 square feet.With the ceiling gone and a good portion of the drywall on the walls gone and the kitchen appliances and about half the counter removed, and the forced-air heating and cooling system and ducts removed, I deemed the demolition sufficiently complete to begin construction on changing the roof structure of the common area. In retrospect, knowing what I know now through my own experience and based on conversations with actual contractors, even though the initial demolition felt like an enormous undertaking and a hell of a lot of work, it was far from complete.In retrospect it was premature to declare the house ready to begin construction. There were too many electrical wires hanging down from the attic, too many walls that had nails and staples and little annoying bits — or even entire sheets — of drywall and plaster on them. And the chimney and fireplace should have been gone.Everything should have been removed from the kitchen, including all the counters and cabinets, and yes, even the kitchen sink. Everything should have been down to bare, clean studs and ceiling joists. The initial construction — which I’ll talk about in another post — would have gone faster without having to backtrack and do more demolition. I didn’t know that then, but now I do. And learning’s the main goal of this project, so it’s okay. It’s good, in fact.Another thing I’ve learned is that there’s such a thing as taking the “insourcing” (that is, DIY) dictum too far. In this case, in fact I probably should have hired some outside help for the demolition. Considering what I ended up paying for dumpster fees because it took so long to do the work myself, getting outside help for demolition would likely have cost about the same or only slightly more, and would have been much faster. There’s only so much to be learned about the physical process of demolition. At some point it just becomes mindless tedium.But mindless as it is, sometimes it’s still fun. Building a new floorEventually we got everything out. The good news was that there was poured concrete below the fireplace. This meant that we would not have to excavate and pour a footing for the new concrete stem wall foundation.Now that I had finished the demolition grunt work, I hired two skilled contractors to help me form and pour the foundation wall. You only get one chance pouring concrete and I didn’t want to screw it up. We cleaned out the pit with water and compressed air so that the new concrete could bind well to the old concrete and brick. We constructed wooden forms for the new foundation wall and installed rebar.To tie the new foundation to the old, we drilled holes about 10 inches deep into the sides of the existing concrete walls flanking our new one. Then we cleaned the debris from the holes using compressed air and what appear to be giant pipe cleaners. This helps ensure a clean surface for the epoxy to set to. We then filled these holes with epoxy and inserted the new horizontal rebar that would go across the new section of foundation wall.The two pieces of threaded rod sticking up out of the top of the wall (see Image #7) will be used to tie down the sill plate (a 2×6 placed on top of the foundation wall) to the foundation, using the nuts and giant square-shaped washers at the bottom left of this image. This anchors the house to the foundation. After the foundation was poured, the contractors’ work was done and I was in charge of framing the new wall and floor on my own.After the sill plate was in place, the next step was to frame the rest of the floor using the existing pattern and spacing (see Image #8 below). I thought this was going to be difficult, but it turned out to be fairly intuitive. (This is notable because in general in this project tasks have tended to be much harder and more time-consuming than I expect.)The 2×6 band (or rim) joist goes on the outer edge of the wall and on top of the sill plate. The new 2×6 floor joists are sistered to the existing ones, overlapping enough to be supported by the 4×6 girder that’s spaced about 4 feet from the foundation wall, and which itself is supported by the concrete footing. Since the new floor joists were overlapping the old ones, I didn’t need to be precise about their length, as long as they were well connected to the existing joists, were supported by the girder, and terminated perpendicular to the band joist. I air-sealed the seam between the sill plate and foundation with spray foam, and the seam between the sill plate and band joist with caulk.Next I put in 3/4-inch plywood on top of the floor joists to form the subfloor, then a sole (or bottom) plate — the 2×4 lying flat that forms the bottom of the wall. Farewell to the Chimney?Tips from a Commercial Demolition Company An Agent of Green Invention in Philly: Row House DemolitionJob-Site Recycling: PVCGBA Encyclopedia: Job-Site RecyclingRecycling Vinyl SidingJob-Site Recycling: Asphalt Roofing ShinglesAsphalt Shingle Recycling LocatorJob-Site Recycling: Gypsum WallboardSaving Energy by RecyclingCarpet RecyclingVideo: Grinding Drywall and Wood Finishing up the exteriorNext on the list of things to do that I have never done before is: stuccoing the wall. I first used a pneumatic air hammer to chisel away the ragged bits of stucco around the perimeter. This was to straighten the edge and expose the existing lath wire and building paper so it could be more easily tied into the new section. I then put down two plies of 60-pound building paper, lapping the upper layers over the lower ones, like shingles. This is to drain away any water that gets behind the stucco.On top of the building paper I put horizontal strips of “pre-furred” metal lath (see Image #9 below). This would provide a substrate for the stucco to hang onto. I don’t think I did the lath quite right — there should have been more overlap, and the piece one up from the bottom is oriented upside down — but in the end it seemed to work well enough.I prepped the edges of the existing stucco with glue that’s supposed to help it bind to new stuff. Then I mixed the stucco powder with water in a wheelbarrow until it reached something resembling the consistency depicted in videos I’d watched and which I’d read about. Then it was time to try my hand at slathering it on. It took four coats instead of the typical three, and lots of trial and error, but the end result is not too bad. Once it’s painted it shouldn’t be terribly noticeable, I hope (see Image #10 below).I installed rafter tails and sheathing to roof the overhang where the chimney used to be. It’s pretty rough-looking so far, but it’s structurally secure and once it’s painted and cleaned up should be less offensive to the eye. After framing the wall, you might not have any inkling that there used to be a chimney there, except perhaps that the floor is different. Also the new studs stand out, but they will be covered up soon enough.All in all, removing the chimney was a huge amount of work. It took me approximately 90 hours to demolish the chimney and haul the bricks to the dumpster. And the dumpster itself cost about $950, after the overage fee. There were many moments when I questioned my decision to undertake it.Before beginning the renovation, I spoke with an experienced contractor about the prospect of removing the chimney and he said, “I removed a chimney once. Never again.” He advised me to leave it in place. In the end, I’m glad I did remove it, but I don’t know if I would have undertaken it had I known how much work it would entail. For anyone else contemplating a DIY chimney removal, I advise you to get the right tools, have patience, and work deliberately from top to bottom.last_img read more

Ind vs WI: We did not bat well and our shot selection was wrong: Raina

first_imgIndia’s stand-in skipper Suresh Raina admitted that his batsmen let the team down after they were handed a crushing 103-defeat by the West Indies in the fourth ODI here on Monday.”Credit to Windies for batting well. But we did not bat well at all to be honest,” Raina said after the match. “Our shot selection was wrong, we had no partnerships. Rohit (Sharma) was there but I and Yusuf (Pathan) got out at that time.”There was no partnership. Batsmen have to be there when chasing a total like 240-245. And the West Indies played well in the batting Powerplay.”Raina was, however, pleased with his bowlers’ performances. “(Amit) Mishra and (Ravichandran) Ashwin bowled well for us, Ashwin got us the wicket of Pollard who was batting well. Ishant and PK also bowled well,” he said.Rival skipper Darren Sammy was delighted that his team managed to break a sequence of three successive defeats. “We showed a lot of character and it’s good to come on the winning side. We played a lot better today, we have been improving throughout this series. We posted 250, bowlers have been getting early wicket, today we handled it better,” Sammy said.Opener Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard — both made valuable half centuries — came in for praise from the skipper.”Since Simmons came back he has been our main run-getter. Pollard got runs down the order, we keep losing track in the middle. As long as we keep improving, we are still a young team,” he said.advertisementAbout Andre Russell, Sammy said, “He is a total team man, I spoke to him and he told me, skipper I am going to give my best. He has a bright future.”Man-of-the-Match Anthony Martin, who acknowledged the loud cheers from the crowd, said the familiar conditions worked in his favour.”The conditions I know very well, it helped me a lot. Thanks to the crowd for supporting me. I am going to do the best I can,” Martin said.Asked what was his strategy going into the match, he said, “I just decided to keep it tight and let the batters do what they wanted to do.”- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Abhishek Bachchan in film on kabaddi?

first_imgActor Abhishek Bachchan, who owns Jaipur Pink Panthers, a franchise of the Pro Kabaddi League, may do a full-fledged movie on the sport.It may be too early to talk about the movie, but sources close to the project say it would be as inspirational a film about the game of kabaddi as Chak De! India was for hockey.Abhishek makes sure he is physically present to cheer and motivate his kabaddi team, the Jaipur Pink Panthers.”Abhishek wants to make sure it’s the perfect kabaddi film. He’s on the lookout for the script,” said a source.For now, making kabaddi into a cool game is Abhishek’s game-plan. Though he is committed to join his good friend Shah Rukh Khan on their global tour to promote their film Happy New Year September onwards, Abhishek is making the best of the time before the concert tours to promote his kabaddi team at matches all over India.Abhishek makes sure he is physically present to cheer and motivate his kabaddi team, the Jaipur Pink Panthers.”There is little point in associating with a team, no matter which game, unless you’re physically present to motivate them,” said Abhishek.last_img read more

UCSD ranked among top 100 research institutions in the US

first_img KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, June 20, 2019 UCSD ranked among top 100 research institutions in the US SAN DIEGO ( KUSI ) – UC San Diego is one of the top 10 universities in the country for research output and fourth among the country’s public universities, according to rankings released Thursday by the Nature Index.The index, a research database run by the scientific journal Nature, released its annual list of the top 500 universities and institutions for scientific research around the world. The list considered research articles published during 2018 in the 82 scientific journals in the Nature Index archive.UCSD ranked ninth among U.S. research institutions and sat behind UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan and UCLA among public universities in the U.S. Harvard University ranked second overall and first among U.S. research institutions, while the Chinese Academy of Sciences topped the list.“Our culture of experimentation and fresh thinking allow our exceptional faculty and scholars to conduct high volumes of transformative research, which has a global impact,” said Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “UC San Diego is a unique place where fresh ideas are translated into solutions to benefit society.”U.S. universities accounted for roughly 150 entries on the list, the most of any country in the world. Chinese universities totaled nearly 100 entries on the list while the United Kingdom and Germany also had several dozen entries.The 2019 ranking is a step back for UCSD, which ranked 18th overall on Nature Index’s 2018 list. UCSD also ranked seventh among all U.S. research institutions in 2018 and third among public universities behind UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan. Posted: June 20, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Rate Bases Jump Again for Food Network HGTV Magazines

first_img“Very rarely do we explicitly copy or interpret a show onto the pages of the magazine,” John Loughlin, EVP and general manager of Hearst Magazines, told FOLIO:’s supplement Audience Development (AD) in February 2012. “The magazines that we create in partnership out of television activity have the look, feel and essence of the television brand but in no way are they imitations of it. They break new ground and broaden the experience for the consumer.”See Also: On the Tube and On the Page: Television-Branded Publications HGTV Magazine first went to market with a test issue in October 2011—at the time, the publication had a rate base of just 450,000. Similarly, Food Network Magazine, which launched its first official issue in 2009 and was the first joint venture between Hearst and Scripps, has seen similar success, boasting its seventh rate base bump by the summer of 2012, with its 11th to come in 2014.“It’s one thing to tune in once a week and say ‘I like this show’ but it’s another thing to say I like this brand enough that I will spend $18, which is our introductory price on Food Network Magazine,” Loughlin told AD.Partnering with a television network has its perks when it comes to promotion. HGTV Magazine generated 25,000 orders after 15-second and 30-second commercials aired on the channel. Promotional messages about the publications also appear on the bottom of the screen during television programs. According to Loughlin, the overall viewing size of the audience, instead of ratings, is what really maters.“There is not a hugely tight correlation between day-to-day, week-to-week or period-to-period ratings and the circulation of the magazine,” Loughin said to AD. “Consumers who are watching television proactively tune in on a Tuesday, might not on a Wednesday and come back to it Saturday—it’s really about the consumer’s discretionary time. Consumers order a magazine or pay for a magazine and that’s the key differentiator, the fact that they’re paying for it. It also comes once a month, and because it doesn’t have the same kind of shelf life that an episode of Iron Chef or Oprah’s former daily television show, studies have shown consumers come back multiple times. The reality is there isn’t a tight correlation between ratings and circulation.”Stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, follow us on Facebook & Twitter! Hearst’s TV-tied brands are seeing their rate bases jump again.The company announced Tuesday that Food Network Magazine will see its 11th consecutive rate base increase since officially launching in 2009, with sister title HGTV Magazine increasing its rate base for the third time since launching its first official issue in June 2012.With the July/August 2013 issue, HGTV will raise its rate base to 800,000, and the title will increase again to 1 million with the January/February 2014 issue. Big sister Food Network Magazine will increase to 1.55 million with its July/August 2013 issue and will raise its rate base twice in 2014—to 1.6 million with the January/February issue, and another bump to 1.65 million with the July/August edition.Hearst publishes these titles in a partnership with Scripps Interactive Networks—the HGTV and Food Network channels are distributed by Scripps to almost 100 million households.last_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

DLF pares GIC debt by Rs 3100 crore plans to clear all

first_imgDLF logoWikimedia CommonsReal estate giant DLF has repaid Rs 3100 crore of debt to its venture partner GIC by transferring Noida shopping mall and some land parcels. DLF owed about Rs 8,700 crore to DLF Cyber City Developers LTD (DCCDL), which is a joint venture between DLF and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. With the latest transaction, DLF’s debt has come down to about Rs 5600 crore as of July 2019.In an investor presentation, DLF clarified that it has transferred the Mall of India project in Noida, worth Rs 2950 crore, to DCCDL. The Economic Times also reported that the company also added that it has transferred 3.05 acres of land parcel in Gurugram to the Singapore-based firm. Representational ImageINDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty ImagesThe joint venture between GIC and DLF was signed in December 2017 when DLF promoters sold 40 percent of their stake in DCCDL to GIC for about Rs 1,200 crore. The deal included the sale of DCCDL’s 33.34 percent stake to GIC for about Rs 9,000 crore and the remaining Rs 3m000 crore was acquired by DCCDL through buyback.DLF holds about 66.66 percent in the joint venture firm and the remaining 33.34 percent is with GIC. The Gurgaon-based real estate giant has plans to sell prime commercial project Horizon Central in Gurugram for about Rs 850 crore, to settle the remaining debt of Rs 5,600 crore. The company also plans to transfer its mall in Saket for a valuation of Rs 1,050 crore, reported ET. Real estateThe report also stated that DLF will transfer its commercial land in Chennai for about Rs 1,000 crore. Some parts of the monetary settlement to GIC will be done by transferring SEZs at Hyderabad and Chennai as per the contract with group firm DLF Assets Ltd. The leftover debt of about Rs 7,00 will be paid in cash.DLF has reported a two-fold growth in its profit at Rs 414.72 crore for the June quarter against Rs 172.77 crore last year. DCCDL holds about 30 million sqft of commercial real estate in Gurugram that yields an annual revenue of about Rs 3,000 crore.last_img read more

Over 100 die in Cuba plane crash

first_imgA Cuban state airways plane with 110 passengers and crew on board crashed shortly after taking off from Havana on Friday, leaving a mass of twisted and smouldering fuselage, as the country’s president warned many people were feared dead.Cuban state media reported that three women had been pulled alive from the mangled wreckage and were in critical condition in hospital.There was no other official mention of survivors from the nearly 40-year-old Boeing 737, operated by Cubana de Aviacion. It crashed into a field close to a wooded area near Jose Marti airport, sending a thick column of acrid smoke into the air.The 110 people aboard included six Mexican crew, said the Mexico-based company that leased the plane, Global Air, also known as Aerolineas Damojh.Two victims were Argentine, the country’s foreign ministry said. Most of the others were Cuban, according to state media.The plane—carrying 104 passengers—was almost completely destroyed in the crash and subsequent fire. Firefighters raced to the scene along with a fleet of ambulances to put out the blaze.Emergency personnel combed through the wreckage, lending little hope that there could be other survivors.What appeared to be one of the wings of the plane was wedged among scorched tree trunks, but the main fuselage was almost entirely destroyed.Cuba’s president Miguel Diaz-Canel, who visited the scene, told AFP authorities feared the worst.“The news is not very promising—it seems that there is a high number of victims,” Diaz-Canel said.The 58-year-old president, who succeeded Raul Castro as the communist island’s leader only last month, appeared aghast as he surveyed the recovery efforts, wearing a short-sleeved green shirt and surrounded by officials.He said an investigation into the cause of the accident was underway.Cuba declared two days of national mourning.Raul Castro sent condolences to families of the victims of the “catastrophic accident,” a statement read, as Russian president Vladimir Putin and a string of Latin American leaders also expressed sympathy.‘The explosion shook everything’Airport sources said the plane took off at 12:08 pm (1608 GMT) heading for the eastern city of Holguin, 670 kilometres (415 miles) away.From the supermarket where he works near the airport, Jose Luis, 49, said he could see the plane taking off before it banked and plunged to the ground.“I saw it taking off. All of a sudden, it made a turn, and went down. We were all amazed,” he said.Yasniel Diaz, a 21-year-old musician, said the pilot appeared to attempt an emergency landing, but crashed instead.“The explosion shook everything,” he said.“I started running, I was so afraid.”Images from Cuban television showed rescue workers at the scene removing what appeared to be a survivor on a stretcher as rain began to fall.Anguished relativesGlobal Air said the plane was flying with a crew of six Mexicans—the pilot, co-pilot, three flight attendants and a maintenance technician.In Mexico City, anguished relatives and colleagues of the crew gathered outside the company’s offices demanding information—some of them hugging and crying.“I was friends with the captain, with the co-pilot, with the head flight attendant,” said a former Global Air employee, 44-year-old Ana Marlene Covarrubias.“When I heard the news on the phone, I thought it was one of those jokes people play,” she told AFP.Mexico said it had sent two civil aviation specialists to help in the investigation.The Mexican communications and transportation ministry said the plane was built in 1979. Global Air had the necessary permits to lease it, and had passed inspections in November last year, it said.The company, formed in 1990, had a fleet of three planes, all Boeing 737s.Prior to Friday’s crash, Cuba’s most recent air accident occurred in April 2017, when eight military personnel died when a Russian-made AN-26 transport aircraft went down in western Cuba.The country’s last major airline disaster was in November 2010 when a Cuban Aerocaribbean jet crashed on a flight from Santiago de Cuba to Havana, killing all 68 people on board, including 28 foreigners.last_img read more

Melbourne knife attacker known to Intelligence

first_imgThis handout video grab taken and received on 9 November, 2018 via the Instagram account of Chris Newport shows a man fighting with policemen in downtown Melbourne after he stabbed a number of people. Photo: AFPA Somali-born Australian who carried out a deadly knife rampage in Melbourne held extremist views and was known to intelligence services, authorities said Saturday, as they carried out raids and interviewed dozens of witnesses.Australian Federal Police said 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali — who was shot dead after driving a 4×4 laden with gas cylinders into the city centre and stabbing three people — fled to Australia as a child with his family in the 1980s.He stabbed three people before being confronted by members of the public and armed officers who eventually shot him in the chest. One of his victims died at the scene while two others were wounded.Authorities have questioned around 35 people who saw the rush hour attack, which although crude, was said to have been designed to “cause terror and cause maximum casualties” in the heart Australia’s bustling second city.Armed officers raided two addresses in the west and northeast of the city, linked to the perpetrator’s family and associates, although there is not thought to be an ongoing threat.The man killed by Shire Ali was named by local media as 74-year-old Sisto Malaspina, an icon of Melbourne’s thriving culinary culture who ran a famous Italian cafe.Two other men wounded in the attack are still being treated but are expected to make a recovery.Difficult questionsAustralian authorities now face difficult questions about how Shire Ali, who was known to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation for at least three years, was able to carry out an attack.He had his Australian passport revoked in 2015 amid fears he was trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.His brother will go on trial next year on separate terror-related charges — accused of trying to acquire a firearm and kill people in a New Years’ Eve crowd.”The assessment was made that whilst he had radicalised views he didn’t pose a threat to the national security environment,” Ian Mccartney, a federal police counterterrorism official said of Shire Ali.Mccartney described the attack as a “wake up call” even as the Islamic State loses territory in Iraq and Syria, where Australian forces are part of a coalition fighting the group.”The circumstances of how he and when he moved from having these radicalised views to carrying out this attack yesterday will be a key focus of the investigation,” Mccartney added.The Islamic State group — which often claims responsibility for such attacks — said via its propaganda arm that the perpetrator was an “Islamic State fighter and carried out the operation.”It provided no evidence to back its claim.Witness footage showed police struggling for at least a minute to corral the towering man as he lunged, slashed and stabbed wildly at two officers.At least two members of the public stepped in to help police. One man was armed with a cafe chair while another — swiftly dubbed an “Aussie hero” on social media — repeatedly tried to ram the suspect with an empty metal shopping cart.But the attacks continued unabated before one officer opted for lethal force, shooting the suspect in the chest.Tried to deescalateThe officers “tried to verbally deescalate” said Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton.”Once the officer is off the view that there is an imminent threat to life,” he added. “That is when firearms are drawn.”Witness Chris Newport, 60, described how he had been returning from a job interview when he heard a loud noise and saw a truck on fire, rolling across the tram tracks before a second, louder bang.”In a split second everything changes” Newport told AFP, describing Shire Ali manically brandishing a knife. “You can’t imagine someone deciding to do that.”Police said that his improvised explosive device was made up of gas cylinders and some form of lighter and “certainly wasn’t sophisticated”.Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the country would be unflinching in the fight against “radical, violent… extremist Islam that opposes our very way of life”.Shire Ali “sought to instill fear in our nation. Like those who tried before him, this terrorist failed,” he said.He cited more than a dozen foiled terror plots as evidence that Australians could have faith in their counterterrorism authorities.Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city, a cosmopolitan metropolis of almost five million people famed for its cafes, bars, restaurants and high standard of living.Friday’s attack was a double blow for the city as it coincides with an ongoing murder trial of 28-year-old James Gargasoulas, accused of ploughing his car into crowds in the same area in 2017, killing six people. The motives for that attack are still unclear.last_img read more