zoom Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) wrapped up the first six months of the fiscal year 2018 with a net income of JPY 6.29 billion (USD 55.5 million), compared to a net loss of JPY 231.8 billion posted in the same period last year.From April 1, 2017, to September 30, 2017, consolidated revenues amounted to JPY 1.06 trillion, up from JPY 928.5 billion seen in the same period of the previous fiscal year.As explained, conditions in the maritime shipping market were positive overall during the first half of the fiscal year and the results exceeded the company’s previous forecast.In the container shipping market, shipping traffic was brisk along transpacific routes, but not enough to compensate for an increase in total shipping capacity for trades overall following the reorganization of alliances and commissioning of extra vessels by some shipping companies. Consequently, the upswing in spot freight rates largely came to a standstill. Meanwhile, robust demand for freight shipments along European shipping routes supported favorable conditions in the market, the company said.The NYK Group said it worked to limit fleet and operating costs by continuing efforts to boost cargo-loading efficiency, switch to new highly fuel-efficient vessels with capacity for 14,000 TEU, and optimize vessel assignment and economic performance in accordance with the circumstances of shipping routes.Meanwhile, overall handling volume at container terminals in Japan and around the world increased year on year. Owing to these factors, results in the liner trade segment as a whole improved substantially, with the segment posting a profit and higher revenues than in the same period of the previous fiscal year.As previously announced, NYK Line decided to integrate its container shipping business (including its terminal business outside Japan) with those of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL). Following the integration, Ocean Network Express (ONE) was established as an operating company in Singapore on July 7, 2017. Preparations are currently underway for ONE to commence services from April 1, 2018.What is more, the group took advantage of robust demand for automobile shipments to North America, Europe and Asia by assigning vessels to those regions. As a result, the total number of new vehicles it shipped by sea increased, when compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year. In Europe, shipments by the group’s LNG-fueled pure car and truck carrier continued to be steady.In the dry bulk shipping market, cargo volume of iron ore, coal, and grains was up, but excess tonnage was not fully canceled out as more new ships were commissioned than the number of vessels scrapped. Nonetheless, the market continued to recover moderately after bottoming out in the second half of the previous fiscal year, according to the company.In the liquid transport market, conditions worsened across the board compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year, as the commissioning of new very large crude carriers (VLCCs) put strong pressure on supply despite brisk shipping traffic. However, NYK was able to secure “favorable conditions” in long-term contracts, providing a stable source of earnings from its fleet of LNG tankers.In addition, the group said that its operations of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, drill ships and shuttle tankers contributed substantially to its offshore business.“Although demand in the container shipping market is projected to decline in the second half, which is the slack season, shipping traffic is expected to remain stable for both transpacific and European shipping routes,” NYK said in its forecast of full-year consolidated financial results.“The dry bulk shipping market is forecast to continue recovering moderately, supported by brisk shipping traffic. The liquid transport market is forecast to recover from the third quarter of the fiscal year when it enters a period of demand for shipments by tankers, and the company expects to continue securing stable profits from its LNG tanker and offshore businesses,” the company continued.“In the automobile transport market, NYK Line will take advantage of strong demand for shipments originating from Japan and mainly bound for Europe and North America, while working to boost profitability and optimize shipping efficiency,” NYK concluded.Separately, NYK revealed decision to acquire the common stock of Yusen Logistics through a tender offer in an effort to make Yusen a fully owned subsidiary of the group. The tender offer period is from November 1, 2017, to December 14, 2017.Image Courtesy: NYK Line
Chris Stewart APTN National NewsWhile the community of Red Pheasant tries to mourn the loss of Colten Boushie several people say it’s not helping that the RCMP have upped patrols that includes pulling people over and shinning spotlights into homes.Residents on the Saskatchewan First Nation say it’s harassment.“Getting stopped for no cause,” said resident Tash Baptiste, and Boushie’s aunt. “Just like last night. They asked why they were driving up and down … this is a reserve. We have relatives at every house. It’s not a crime to jump in your vehicle and go visit somebody.”Boushie was shot and killed Aug. 9 in a farmer’s field a short distance away in Biggar, about an hour west of Saskatoon. Gerald Stanley has been charged with second-degree murder and is out on bail pending a trial.The shooting sparked a massive outcry over racism in the province.Sabrina Peeaychaw, also Boushie’s aunt, said she’s seen RCMP out patrolling.“Stopping in people’s yards. Flashing their spotlights in their homes. Pulling into yards, as well as peeking into windows,” said Peeaychew.Peeaychew is also on the Red Pheasant council and said she called the RCMP to complain.“It has become a problem. I thought I would take it upon myself and question them. The RCMP returned my call stating they spoke to their constables. They are only to come to our community if there are any calls for them to be here,” she said.Stanley’s next court date is scheduled for Sept. 13.
Not every player has taken quite the same path as Dwight Howard, who ranks No. 18 in the 2010s and is now on his seventh team of the decade after being traded away from the Wizards this summer. But James, for instance, has played for three teams this decade — the Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers — while only one No. 1 player of the previous three decades — Kevin Garnett, who starred for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics during the 2000s — played for more than one team. The reality of today’s league is stars hop teams far more often than their counterparts did in earlier eras, controlling their own destinies rather than letting team executives slide them around like pawns on a chessboard.It’s a trend NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems keenly aware of — if powerless to change, particularly with regard to the many deals that appeared to be made before the league’s mandated free-agency period was set to begin.“My sense in the room today was, especially when it comes to free agency and the rules around it, that we’ve got work to do,” Silver told reporters last week, after the league’s board of governors meetings. “And as I said, it’s still the same principles of fair balance of power and a sense that it’s a level playing field. I think that’s what teams want to know. I think they’re put in difficult situations because when they’re sitting across from a player and whether it’s conversations that are happening earlier than they should or frankly things are being discussed that don’t fall squarely within the collective bargaining agreement, it puts teams in a very difficult position because they are reading or hearing that other teams are doing other things to compete.”Even incentives put into place to theoretically curb player movement, such as larger maximum contracts (both in guaranteed length and total money) for players re-signing with their most recent teams, have failed to stop them from packing up and leaving town. Durant, for instance, left $57 million on the table to sign with Brooklyn rather than return to Golden State. Leonard gave up at least $80 million (!!) — if not even more — relative to what he could have gotten from a supermax deal with the Spurs, and about $30 million compared with what the Raptors could have given him by signing with the Clippers.Today’s stars, as ESPN’s Rachel Nichols perfectly put it, can’t be bought. They’ve proven that they’re willing to give up mind-boggling sums of cash in order to make their own decisions.Is all of this good for the league? Judging from the reaction on social media or in search traffic — where the NBA got playoff-level attention during the first week of July — the game’s popularity has seldom been higher, and the craziness of this offseason has only helped. I’ve said before that, if you view the modern NBA through a player-focused lens, it makes the most sense as a gigantic real-life soap opera. The concept of franchises is just incidental to all that, merely providing structure for the individual drama.Of course, if you are a fan of a team, it hurts to see your favorite players leave. The Raptors did everything they possibly could to retain Leonard’s services, but they reportedly had practically no chance of re-signing him even as they were winning the title. Although the players should owe no loyalty to team owners (err, “governors”) beyond the contracts they sign, from a fan’s perspective it seems to make little sense to root for any specific NBA team. Even if a team is lucky enough to acquire a superstar, it’s far from guaranteed he would stay more than a season or two in today’s climate.But the other side of that coin is that it’s more possible than ever for downtrodden teams to land a superstar in the first place. The Nets and Clippers have spent more of their histories as laughingstocks than contenders, particularly since both were seen as the “little brothers” in their markets (behind the Knicks — LOL — and Lakers). The franchises were not traditional free-agent destinations. But as stars become more focused on setting up the right situation for themselves and the players they want to play with, even teams without a history of snagging big-name players can make themselves an attractive option. It’s a different way of doing business — but in today’s era of superstar team-hopping, it might just be the new normal.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Dear NBA Diary,Remember when NBA players wearing different jerseys was new and novel? When you’d experiment with weird trades in NBA Live’s franchise mode, knowing that nothing so crazy as, I don’t know, Russell Westbrook in a Houston Rockets uniform or Kevin Durant as a Brooklyn Net would actually happen? And when the first wave of truly wild moves — such as LeBron James joining the Miami Heat in 2010 — did actually happen, do you remember the way our minds were blown as we imagined superstar combinations we’d never seen before?All of that is old news in 2019, now that we’ve seen countless Big Threes and even Hamptons Fives. If James signing to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was groundbreaking and Durant joining the Golden State Warriors still managed to shock, we’re pretty desensitized to huge names heading for new places by now. Yes, Kawhi Leonard becoming an L.A. Clipper was a big story, but mostly because of what it means for next season’s championship chase — not because the idea of him in a different jersey was all that tough to comprehend. (We’d just finished watching the longtime Spur win a title in a Toronto Raptors jersey anyway.)This is the era of player empowerment, as it’s recently been designated, and NBA players are placing a major premium on freedom of movement and choice of teammates. You can see this in the sheer number of different franchises for which top players suit up, relative to in the past. From the 1980s through the 2000s, a top 25 NBA player of a given decade (according to consensus Wins Created)1Which combines Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating into a single consensus measure of player performance, scaled to absolute wins added. played for 1.99 teams during a 10-year span, on average. During the 2010s, however, the average top 25 player has played for 2.76 teams. And that bump in franchises played for holds across most of the ranking slots from No. 1 to No. 25, if we plot them out in a chart: Keep track of the chaotic NBA offseason with our Free Agency Diary.
Volkswagen’s former chief executive Martin Winterkorn was informed that the car-maker had told regulators it was using defeat devices two weeks before the scandal became public, German tabloid Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday.It said it was in possession of a letter sent Sept. 4, 2015, by an unnamed manager directly to then-CEO Winterkorn that said: “In the conversation on 03.09.2015 with the regulator CARB (California Air Resources Board), the defeat device was admitted. (sic)”Volkswagen’s US CEO Michael Horn told a U.S. House of Representatives hearing in October the company had told regulators Sept. 3 it was using defeat devices.A letter pointing to the then-CEO could lend weight to the cases of shareholders planning to sue Volkswagen for compensation for the plunge in its share price, saying VW should have told the public as soon as it became aware.The law firm acting for Winterkorn, who resigned on Sept. 23, was not immediately reachable for comment.A Volkswagen spokesman said the company declined to comment on an ongoing investigation.German financial watchdog Bafin is investigating whether Volkswagen breached disclosure rules when it admitted to falsifying U.S. emissions tests in September. It said last month the probe would probably take several more months.In parallel with investigations by various authorities, Volkswagen has hired law firm Jones Day to carry out an internal probe into identifying who ordered engineers to develop and install software designed to cheat U.S. diesel-emissions tests, and who knew.The discovery of the cheating, which U.S. authorities announced Sept. 18, unleashed one of Volkswagen’s biggest-ever scandals, leading to the resignation of several top managers and likely to cost it tens of billions of dollars.The news wiped 17 percent, or more than â‚¬13 billion ($14.2 billion), off Volkswagen’s market value on the next trading day.Volkswagen is expected to present the first results of its investigation in April. It has said so far it has no reason to believe that more than a few people were involved in the cheating, and not at top level.
Front Altair on fire.TwitterTwo oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, according to a UK maritime security report. A similar incident in the region was reported last month when four oil tankers were attacked.The incident took place near the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.One of the two ships, the tanker ‘Front Altair’ managed by a Bermuda-owned shipping company Frontline, suffered a fire on Thursday morning while sailing through the southern end of the Strait of Hormuz. While the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, a spokesperson of the company told CNN that all the 23 crew members were evacuated and safe.The Iran state media, on the other hand, reported that the Front Altair had sunk, reported The Guardian.The vessel was identified as an oil tanker that was transporting Naptha (a type of crude oil) and was on its way to Taiwan. The other ship, Kokuka Courageous was reportedly attacked “thrice” with “some sort of shell” according to the spokesperson of the Japanese ship, reported CNN. All 21 crew members on board were evacuated in which one was reported to be injured. The ship was reportedly a goods carrier and was carrying methanol and was on route to Singapore, reported CNN. However, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, both tankers were carrying “Japan-related cargo.”Managed by the Singapore based company BSM, a company spokesperson said that the ship remains in the area and is not in danger of sinking.Michio Yuube, the co-manager of company Kokuka Sangyo said that the vessel was “first shot above sea level and then caught fire briefly before the blaze was extinguished”.Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Tweeted that “suspicious doesn’t begin to describe” the incident as it happened on the day Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on a state visit to Iran to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReported attacks on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM @AbeShinzo was meeting with Ayatollah @khamenei_ir for extensive and friendly talks. Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning. Iran’s proposed Regional Dialogue Forum is imperative.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 13, 2019On June 6, according to the international investigation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Norway told the United Nations Security Council in an informal meeting that there are “strong indications that the four attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out with significant operational capacity.’Out of the four vessels attacked on May 12, two belonged to Saudi Arabia, while the remaining were owned by the UAE and Norway. The investigation did not mention the name of any country responsible behind the attack.
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:50 PixabayA new survey found Texas voters overwhelmingly want to increase state money for public schools, but a majority also oppose raising sales taxes to offset any cuts to property taxes. So what funding solutions do Texans support?According to the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, most Texans favor an increase in so-called sin taxes to pay for public education.“Almost 70 percent support increasing taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, and about 60 percent support increased sales taxes on beer, wine and other alcohol,” said Jim Granato, the Hobby School’s executive director.Residents also favor raising taxes on oil and gas extraction — and there was one big surprise.“About three out of five Texans support legalization and taxing of casino gambling, and almost the same percent support legalizing and taxing recreational sale of marijuana,” Granato said.But respondents rejected the idea of instituting a state income tax by three-to-one.State lawmakers are trying to figure out how to fund public education, while capping property taxes. Listen X Share
Darjeeling: As part of the trial run for the implementation of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement, two buses that had started journey from Dhaka, Bangladesh on Monday, entered Fulbari in Jalpaiguri district on Tuesday and will commence journey to Kathmandu, Nepal on Wednesday.The two buses carrying officials of the three countries arrived to a warm welcome at Fulbari at around 4:30 pm on Tuesday. The 45 passengers of the two buses include 25 officials from Bangladesh, 12 officials from India and 6 officials from Nepal, along with 2 officials of the Asian Development Bank. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”This is a trial run including a feasibility study. A feasibility study report will be prepared, based on which a protocol will be signed between the three countries, paving way for a passenger service connecting Dhaka and Kathmandu via Siliguri,” stated Farid Ahmed Bhiyan, chairman, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation.The distance between Dhaka and Kathmandu via Siliguri is 1,104 km. The passenger service is expected to take 30 hours. The trial run and feasibility study will work out details, including a point for night halt and the fare. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedA meeting is on the anvil on April 27 in Kathmandu, to discuss the details. “We expect the passenger service to commence at the earliest. The participating countries can get opportunities for trade, tourism and connectivity among the people, through this service,” stated Binod Bhattarai, senior divisional engineer, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport department, government of Nepal.An agreement had been signed between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement) in 2015, to enhance road connectivity between the four countries. It was a festive environment at Fulbari, with local residents welcoming the passengers of the two Shyamoli Transport Service buses with flowers and garlands. Even shops were decorated and lit up for the event.The local residents of Fulbari are also optimistic that with international tourists coming in, there will be an economical upliftment of the area.Subal Roy, Managing Director of North Bengal State Transport Corporation was present on behalf of the government of West Bengal to welcome the guests. “It is a historic day. After Kolkata, now SIliguri will soon be connected to Dhaka through the passenger bus service. It will definitely boost business and international tourism,” stated Roy.The buses will depart from Uttarkanya, the mini state secretariat on Wednesday for Kathmandu via Panitanki, Kakarvita and a night halt at Narayanghat in Nepal. The buses will reach Kathmandu on Thursday.