Airbus eyes 2 billion in civil defence procurement from India by 2020

first_imgAirbus exceeded the $500 million mark in annual procurement from India in 2015 and added that it planned to surpass the $2 billion in cumulative procurement across civil and defence segment by 2020. According to a company press release, Airbus India grew 15 percent in 2015 with its overall procurement from India going north by 16 times in the last decade. “Today, every Airbus commercial aircraft being produced is partly Made-in-India,” Airbus India said. “Indian suppliers are a cornerstone of our globalisation strategy. Many of the projects with our Indian partners have been very successful and we aim to further strengthen these relationships in the future,” said Klaus Richter, chief procurement officer at Airbus Group and Airbus.The company said this was the first time any foreign aerospace and defence original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in India has crossed the half-a-billion dollar mark. Airbus India directly engages with over 6,000 people across more than 45 suppliers for various aspects of its leading aircraft including A380, A350 XWB, A320 Family, A330, C295W, A400M, Eurofighter, Tiger and NH90. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) makes half of the entire A320 family forward passenger doors produced worldwide, according to the press release. “If our proposals to produce the C295W military transporter in India together with Tata and military helicopters along with Mahindra materialise, we will help set-up system integration and final assembly lines which will spawn an Indian defence supplier base that will be second to none globally,” said Pierre de Bausset, president and managing director of Airbus Group India.Dynamatic Technologies, a Bangalore-based company, makes flap track beams for the A320 family on a global single source basis. Last year, the company was awarded the contract to manufacture them for the A330 family as well. Flap track beams are the assemblies on which the wings extend and retract every time the aircraft takes-off and lands.Wipro, the Indian information technology (IT) major, received technology transfer from an Airbus Defence and Space JV company in Spain to manufacture more than 8,000 aerospace actuators per year, which go on platforms such as A400M, CN235 and C295W, while SEFEE India designs, develops, manufactures and tests complete electrical harness systems for aircraft like A400M and several helicopter types.Another Indian IT major, Infosys, is tasked with providing SAP development and maintenance services.last_img read more

Bribes by the kg in Titas Gas

first_imgTitas Gas logo“Secretary Mushtaque has been given three kgs, Tepa 15.” “Sabur and Jahangir have taken 5 kgs.” “When will you take your 6 kgs?”These ‘kgs’ are no units of weight. These are actually coded words denoting bribes shared among top officials, including its managing director, of Titas Gas Transmission Company Limited, a state-owned gas distribution company. One ‘kg’ means Taka One Lakh or that is, Taka 100,000.Titas’ officials use these codes among each other regarding bribes they extract in Gazipur, Savar, Bhaluka and Narayanganj distribution zones.Alongside taking bribes themselves, they have created a class of middlemen to bring in the bribes. These middlemen directly deliver the bribes to the top officials.Details of these underhand transactions were revealed in mobile phone text messages provided by a government agency, and also from the experiences of the victimised businesspersons and Prothom Alo investigations.The mobile phone SMS texts were exchanged over a period of three months, covering September to November 2016. Though these SMS records are of three months, these bribes are extracted the year round. Prothom Alo took up a detailed investigation into the matter.A syndicate has been created under the leadership of Titas’ current managing director Mir Mashiur Rahman, investigation confirmed. His main associate in all this is the manager of Titas’ pipeline design department Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury.The others in the syndicate are named as manager Titas’ ECC department manager Mohammed Abu Bakr Siddiqur Rahman, Gazipur’s current general manager (currently GM, vigilance) SM Abdul Wadud and former company secretary, and current MD of the Sundarban Gas Distribution Company, Mushtaq Ahmed.These incidents of bribery took place when Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury was manager of the Gazipur sales region and Abu Bakr Siddiqur Rahman was manager of the Tongi North system operation department.Officials within Titas said the bribes were mainly taken for changing installations, providing clients with illegal gas connects, increasing illegal gas loads, providing unlawful facilities to use additional appliances, and providing selective promotions. Titas is a distribution company of the country’s Oil, Gas and Minerals Resources Corporation, popularly known as Petrobangla. According to records till 30 June 2017, the company has authority over 13,056 km of gas pipeline and 4,610 subscribers.However, the syndicate targeted the owners of certain industrial units near Dhaka, in the Gazipur region. Most of these entities with Titas gas connections are located in the Gazipur zone.Businesspersons, at a meeting on 23 April at the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) office, demanded that action be taken against corruption and bribery of the top Titas officials. BTMA director Mohammad Khorshed Alam said, “Titas’ harassment has made me ill.”When asked about the bribes and corruption of the Titas officials, Supreme Court lawyer Tanjib-ul Alam, who deals in company law and IT, told Prothom Alo, “If these accusations against the Titas officials are proven to be true, they are to receive seven-year prison sentence in accordance with Section 5 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947.”He suggests that the relevant government departments should thoroughly investigate the asset details of the accused persons.Energy and mineral resources secretary Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem on Wednesday told Prothom Alo, “Titas’ thieves are always stealing. We can’t take action as they haven’t been caught out.”Bribes deals over SMSMobile phone SMS texts reveal that of the bribes taken by Titas official Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury’s family, from Prodip Das, an engineer of the company AMC located in Gazipur, Tk 50 lakh (5 million) was paid on 13 October 2016. An SMS text message exchanged between Sabber and Prodip on that day reveals: At 8:27am Prodip texted to Sabber, addressing him as ‘boss’ and asking where he would deliver the money. At 9:13am, Sabber asked Prodip, “How many kg?”On the same day at 9:22am Sabber wrote to Prodip: “Kg means amount.” A minute later Prodip told Sabber,” That’s why I need to talk. You just listen and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” At 9:54am Prodip wrote to Sabber, “In front of them say that the entire 50 has to be given by Sunday.” At 10:18 am Prodip wrote, “I will give 50.” On the same day at 3:30pm Prodip texted Sabber, “Boss, I gave bhabhi (referring to Sabber’s wife) 50. Please confirm.”Prothom Alo tried for three months to call the mobile phone number which Prodip called on 13 October 2016 for all these exchanges with Sabber, but it is now turned off. Prothom Alo gathered his present number from AMC Knit Composite. The mobile phone operator records show he has been using this new number since 13 December 2017.When an attempt was made to meet Prodip Das directly on 2 July this year at AMC Knit Composite in Baniarchala, Gazipur, the security guard Manik said he was inside, but ‘you will have to wait to meet him.’ After 30 minutes, the security guard came and said, ‘Sir (Prodip Das) has said he is busy.’ When a text message was sent to this present phone number regarding the reason of wanting to meet him, he replied that he was not Prodip Das.When a call was made to AMC Knit’s MD Md Enamul Huq on 4 July, explaining why Prodip Das was being approached, he said that he would arrange Prodip to call back. However, since them Enamul Huq has also not being answering his phone.Similarly, Mohammed Taimur, manager of Vielatex in Gazipur, paid Sabber on behalf of the company. On 24 October 2016 at 10:29am, Sabber messaged Taimur, “Give it all in one go. First deal complete please.” The next day on 25 October at 6:03pm Sabber said to him again, “Was this the final contract? Will I keep anything for you?” In the afternoon on the same day at 6:56pm he told Taimur again, “Try to give 50. I will come to Dhaka tomorrow. You can give 20 tomorrow. The other 10 is yours.”On 20 May Taimur of Vielatex told Prothom Alo, “We are very upset about this matter. It is no secret how a class of officials at Titas hold us hostage to extract bribes.”According to information of the government agency, two contractors enlisted with Titas, Saiful Islam and Swapan, were also involved in delivering bribes to Sabber, from which they would get a cut too. For example, the Mahmud Group has three companies, Mahmud Denim, Mahmud Fashion and Dong Bang. Contractor Saiful Islam paid Sabber Tk 20 lakh (2 million) from Mahmud Fashion in Gazipur. Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury received Tk 1 crore 50 lakh (15 million) from Mahmud Group’s MD Aminul Islam through Saiful Islam in order to provide a connection from Titas’ main transmission line to Dong Bang. Saiful Islam received a share of this amount. Dong Bang has still not been given the gas connection.The present general manager (GM vigilance) in charge of Gazipur, SM Abdul Wadud, took Tk 20 lakh (2 million) from Gazipur’s Binoda Textiles. In the meantime, Sabber and Siddiqur Rahman tried to arrange gas connections from the Titas transmission line to two companies, NRG and AT&T. Also, Sabber would go as far as to warn subscribers in advance if any illegal connection was to be severed. For instance, one of his text messages to Pradip Das read, “Vigilance team is in the field. So be alert and keep in touch.”Bribe talk on brother’s phoneThe Grameen Phone SIM card used by Sabber for his unscrupulous negotiations belonged to his brother Sajjad Ahmed Chowdhury. Sajjad Ahmed Chowdhury is the MD and director of a firm, Westcam International. Westcam is an ITP chemical sales company.Westcam was registered with the Office of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms on 29 March 2012. Though its approved capital was Tk 3 crore (30 million), its paid-up capital was Tk 60 lakh (6 million). During registration of the company, Sajjad Ahmed Chowdhury and his brother Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury’s wife Rumana Rishat Zaman, Syed Zahid Parvez and Subrata Paul were directors, purchasing 15,000 shares each at the rate of Tk 100 per share. Subrata Paul was MD at the time. Their mobile numbers were all of the same series.The international mobile phone equipment identity (IMEI) number used by Sabber for his bribe negotiations was in his wife’s name. On 25 September 2014, Subrata Paul handed over 15,000 shares of 5,000 each to the three and Sajjad became the new MD. When asked, Sajjad Ahmed Chowdhury said his brother Sabber used to use that phone number before, but not anymore.MD’s involvementIn a cryptic SMS sent to contractor Swapan at 10:12am on October 2016, Sabber wrote, “55-24=31. That is 10.5 for you, 10.5 for me, 10 for MD and Siddique. So you will give me 20.5.” On the same day at 10:15am, Swapan texted Sabber, “All right, but where will I deliver the money?” Four minutes later, Swapan told Sabber, “I’m delivering it to bhabi.”In an SMS sent to Mir Mashiur Rahman at 1:14pm on 27 November 2016, Sabber wrote, “Sir, your 140 kg (other than Noman’s 50 and Kader’s 1).” The code 140 kg meant Tk 1 crore 40 lakh (14 million). That means the MD’s share would have to be handed over to Sabber, the share amounting to over one crore.”The SMS text messages indicate that the bribes were also for postings and promotions. Persons involved in the bribe syndicate were placed in key posts. In an SMS text, Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury wrote to Abu Bakr Siddiqur Rahman, “You 36.5, MD 140 and Noman 50.” In another text message on 24 November 2016 at 9:53 am, Sabber asked Abu Bakr Siddiqur Rahman, “How much of the MD’s amount do you have?” Again, in a message to contractor Swapan, Sabber gives a breakdown of the payment — “MD 4, me 6, you 5.”When contacted over phone on Wednesday, Swapan admitted to being a contractor with Titas, but said he was not a go-between for bribes. When he was told that Prothom Alo has information that he delivered money to Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury’s wife at their home, he said he did not know anyone by the name of Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury.On 25 October 2016 at 3:28pm, Sabber sent the same SMS text to two of the numbers of the MD, stating, “Sir, the vigilance team found excess load. They shouldn’t cut the line. We are dealing with the customer.” Titas later didn’t sever the company’s line.Even though he is a subordinate officer, Sabber’s closeness to the MD is apparent in an SMS text sent to him by the MD: “We will meet at our hangout.” In other messages to the MD, Sabber wrote, “Arrange the posting of Sumon Das (Savar zone deputy manager) please.” “Ask ATI, SM Knitting, Elegant Washing, director operations to approve the drill file.” “We have already taken the Mahmud Group work.” “Release the Binoda reconnection.” Sir, I’ve asked them to hold up the work. Will discuss later.” “Sir, unless you say ‘okay’, I don’t understand whether you have received the SMS or not.”The MD is mentioned by others too. For example, in a message to Sabber on 27 September 2016, Abu Bakr Siddiqur asked how much should he negotiate for with Paragon (a company). The next day on 28 September Siddiqur wrote to Sabber again, “Paragon’s bag and file is with me. How much will I ask for the MD about the Paragon reconnection?”On 18 October 2016, in an SMS to Abu Bakr Siddiqur Rahman, Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury said, “I’ll need 25 kg of apples tomorrow.” Siddiqur replied, “Forget it. Do you have any lack of money?”Prothom Alo spoke to manager Abu Bakr Siddiqur Rahman at the Titas office on 3 July. He denied having taking bribes. When told about the date and text of the SMS messages, he said, “I do not remember any such SMS texts. And the Paragon files are not supposed to come to me and they didn’t come to me either.”Further conversations on bribesSome significant text message exchanges between Saber and Titas officials, contractors and private firms who have received gas connections, include: “Me 6, you 4. Your due was 2, so pay me 4.”Other messages read: “My man is at the head office with the advance payment and file. How much do I get? 45?” “Saiful has been given 10 lakh (1 million), another 20 (2 million) will be paid tomorrow.” “For audit and Petrobangla you will pay 1 lakh (0.10 million).” “Secretary Mushtaque has been given 3 kg, Tepa 15, 17 taken from the ATI bag.” Sabur and Jahangir have taken 4 kg.” “When will you take your 6kg?” “No need to count, it may be 7.” “6 from the MD’s kgs, 5 to SABD, 10 to the director.” “Give 4 from 181 kg.”Also, “Your file has been approved. Saiful will go to you tomorrow. Pay Tk 1 crore (10 million) for the office expenses in approving it.” “I’ll meet you at your convenience tomorrow and take my 10.” Titas sources say this was about a company’s application for a Titas gas line connection.It wasn’t possible to identify Sabur, Jahangir, Tepa, Noman and Kader. However, Prothom Alo spoke to a contractor on 26 June. On condition of anonymity, he said, he had worked for three years as a middleman between Sabber Ahmed Chowdhury and certain companies. He would get commission from both sides. Once the negotiations were final, he would deliver the money to a house in an upscale residential area of Dhaka. Work has slowed down for about a year.When contacted about the bribes and corruption, Sabber advised that this correspondent through an SMS text on 11 April to contact Titas’ ECC department manager Abu Bakr Siddiqur. After about a month’s efforts of trying to meet Sabber, he was finally tracked down on 15 October at a five-star hotel lobby in the city. When he was given details of the dates and messages concerning the bribery, Sabber told Prothom Alo, “This is all a conspiracy. Ask those who claim to have paid the bribes.”When the current Titas MD Mir Mashiur Rahman was approached in his office on 23 April this year about the allegation of taking bribes, he denied it outright: “Allah has given me more than enough. How much money does one need in one lifetime? Why should I take bribes?”When faced with the allegations that he took a cut of the bribes and there is proof of such accusations, Mir Mashiur Rahman said, “The basis on which you are saying this is not correct. Someone is working against us.” When asked why anyone would do so, he replied, “Perhaps someone isn’t getting a good posting.”Businessmen, experts seek end to corruptionAt the meeting held in the BTMA office on 23 April this year, former president of the association Matin Chowdhury also said, “Titas has to be paid a few extra crore taka for gas connections. The Titas people are so organised, nothing can be done against them.”Quoting information from an intelligence report, Khandakar Salek Sufi, former director of a gas transmission company, told a meeting held at Dhaka Club on 4 May, the amount of gas pilfered from Titas every month would be enough to generate 1,000 MW of electricity and provide a few hundred factories with gas connections.Officials with Titas who have a clean image, say if the pilferage could have been halted, they would have been able to receive higher profit bonuses and the government would have received more revenue.Supreme Court lawyer who works with IT law, Anik R Huq, told Prothom Alo, “The bribery of these top Titas officials tarnishes the image of the government too. The government should look into the mater seriously and ensure punishment of those proven to be guilty.”Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)’s executive director Iftekharuzzaman told Prothom Alo, “These serious allegations against the top officials of Titas show that its system of control and monitoring is ineffective. It would not be surprising if influential political persons are involved in this too.”Iftekharuzzaman suggests that the energy and mineral resources department investigates this organised corruption and takes departmental actions against those proven to be guilty. And the Anti-Corruption Commission can carry out its own investigations and dig out deeper evidence.* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir.last_img read more

Houston Weather Forecasters Exploring Ways To Improve Heat Warnings

first_imgLance Wood, Science Operations Officer for the local office, said the heat index equation forecasters use was developed back in 1990. It isn’t ideal for the Gulf Coast, Wood said, because it uses an assumed constant wind speed, whereas Gulf winds can vary a lot.“Generally in the summer, we have a sea breeze that propagates inland, and behind the sea breeze the wind comes up,” Wood said. “So as the wind speeds come up, they become a cooling factor that’s not really factored into this heat index.”That means forecasters might actually be over-estimating heat risks on days when the coastal breeze is helping to cool things down.But what’s more concerning is that the opposite is true at night, when winds are calm.“There are some really warm nights,” Wood said. “Like for example, consider somebody who doesn’t have air conditioning or it’s broken, and there’s no wind at night, and the humidity levels are really high. Well, our current heat index right now is under-estimating that heat risk.”Travis Bubenik/Houston Public MediaThe Galveston County Emergency Management building in League City, TX, which houses the National Weather Service’s Houston/Galveston officeWood and his team are also looking into ways to cover a broader spectrum of heat risks when they issue advisories.For example, with air quality forecasts, there are nuanced warnings for “moderate” days versus “unhealthy” or “very unhealthy” days. “We know [in] June and even late May, there are some days that the heat-related illness is above normal, from some of the numbers, the counts we see,” Wood said. “And they’re on days when we’re not reaching our heat advisory criteria.”Heat warnings could very well be a thing Houstonians pay more attention to in the decades ahead, as global temperatures continue to rise.“There are going to be these adverse health impacts, including deaths, from heat, that will only increase in the summer months,” said Courtney Schumacher, an atmospheric sciences professor at Texas A&M University.“Temperatures are going to rise,” she said. “Depending on [carbon] emissions, does that mean Houston has a climate more like Kingsville, or more like somewhere in Mexico? You’re kind of moving this big city around into warmer climates, it will warm.”In the meantime, Wood said, the local weather service office just wants to be able to help people make more informed decisions.“If we issue a heat advisory on a day where we previously wouldn’t have, we might be changing some actions of some people,” he said. “Especially people that are more at risk for heat-related illness.”There isn’t a timeline for when the Houston-Galveston office might roll out any changes.The City of Houston, meanwhile, is planning to conduct a “climate risk assessment” this year that will include a look at increased heat risk in the future, and what Houston might have to do to adapt. Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaA view of the Houston skyline on a hot day in May, 2019Forecasters with the National Weather Service regularly warn us about bad rain storms and hurricanes. But now, here in Houston, they’re hoping to improve warnings about a less-discussed weather risk that some call a “silent killer” – heat.Even in Houston, a city that has a long love affair with air conditioning, heat kills.The city’s health department says there were 15 heat-related deaths in Houston and Harris County in 2018, and that Houston alone sees anywhere from 4-6 heat-related deaths every year.Nationally, more Americans have died in recent years from extreme heat than any other single form of severe weather.The Weather Service’s Houston-area office is exploring ways to make sure people better understand the risks of heat. One of the things the office is rethinking is how forecasters calculate “heat indexes” – also known as “feels like” temperatures – that are generally higher than actual temperatures when it’s muggy out. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen Xcenter_img 00:00 /03:36 Sharelast_img read more

Jama Masjid Illuminated in Iftar fervour

first_imgDecked like a bride, with garlands of glittering lights wrapped around her ensemble, she stands tall and bright as hundreds horde towards her before breaking the day long fast. Iftar at Jama Masjid is a treat for the uninitiated, for whom Old Delhi stands only as a symbol of what the city was, what it is not, what it will never again be. At sunset, a walk down the lane adjacent to Meena Bazaar and Jama Masjid one is greeted with a line of shops, each selling paraphernalia particular to the holy time of Ramadan. While the festival is one; its antiques, many. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfJust as you cross the newly constructed Jama Masjid Metro station on your left, on your right is an organized line of shops selling everything – from raw chicken to Lucknowi chikan. The holy month of Ramadan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed as a holy month by Muslims across the globe, to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Mohammed. The fast is a rigorous test of one’s potential, to cleanse the mind and the body of impurity, to test perseverance and the power of unflinching devotion. The day begins with a meal before sunrise, which is followed by an entire day of fasting- where the staunch are even prohibited from swallowing their own saliva, it all ends with a meal after sunset. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAfter 7pm, when the Delhi sun finally decides to dip, hundreds gather at Jama Masjid to partake in the festivities that are held both inside and outside the complex. While inside, lines of people are welcomed to break their fast without having to shed a penny, outside, the shops provide a repertoire of delicacies – from fruits, to sweets, to the lip smacking kebabs and biryanis which have been the pride of the Nawabs. “My favourite Iftar dish is Sevaiyah (Semolina pancakes), the ones we get here at Jama Masjid are lip-smacking,” said Raheem, a beaming 10-year old from Daryaganj who was accompanied by his father, who looked almost exhausted at fulfilling his son’s eager demands. “One day he likes Sevaiyah, and the next day he wants Biryani. But that’s what festivals are for; and this is what children will do,” said the exhausted but nevertheless complying father of young Raheem. “We do not observe the fast because we have to; it is because we want to. It is our token of love to Allah,” says Ruhani, an enthusiastic 17-year old, who has been visiting Jama Masjid with her family since the tender age of 10. Wasim a rickshaw puller in his 40s visits the Masjid after an entire day of toiling in the sun, “It (the fast) does not make me weak, it makes me work harder, this is the time I prove my devotion, I struggle through the day to come here in the evening and finally take a bite. But I will not lie, I do relish that first sip of Shikanji,” he said, breaking out in an almost child-like laughter.While the austerities of devotion are contested across the world, what we miss is how there is a parallel and immediate journey back to an innocent phase of naivety. Whether Chistmas, or Durga Puja, Navratri or Ramadan, festivities glorify a phase of nonchalance which has to be otherwise masked in the adult world, where the real austerity thrives.Walking down the lane at Jama Masjid, you will be welcomed by an exciting aura of differences – aromas of beautifully cooked food- somewhere there are kebabs being roasted, elsewhere tea being freshly brewed; move forward and you will hear faint whisperings of a variety of languages- some speaking in hushed Urdu, others ranting in crisp Persian, still others in confused English; and then of course you will see honest devotees in well ironed white kurtas, eager tourists with dangling DSLR-s, and rushing journalists with a paper and pen.Who said India cannot thrive in diversity?last_img read more

Make your evening snack healthy

first_imgIn todays fast-paced world and lifestyle, snacking has become an integral part of the daily diet. But most snacks consumed today skew toward prepackaged and processed foods, that only add calories, but very little of anything else hence it is important to provide healthy yet tasty alternatives that is changing the quick snack culture in India. Experts list reason on how to make evening snack delicious as well as healthy. Opt for Makhana (Fox nut). Makhana is easy on the body and provides a wholesome alternative to unhealthy binging. They also known as a great guilt free snack around the world. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWith properties such as low in cholesterol, fat and sodium, they make for an ideal snack to satiate those in-between meal hunger pangs.They are beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure, heart diseases and obesity due to their high magnesium and low sodium content. Besides this, makhana acts as an anti-oxidant, very light and good for digestion. While it is roasted in Olive oil, its mild flavour makes them a perfect everyday snack for all age groups. For the older audience, it is the perfect choice as an anti-ageing enzyme in these seeds are said to help repair damaged proteins. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWith the idea of catering to all Indian taste buds and all sections of the society, manufacturers are now introducing interesting flavors which are adaptable to the Indian palettes. The aware and health conscious Indian audience has now definitely started using Makhanas as a substitute to Popcorn. evening or late night snacking.One can also try other variants of snacks.Nuts: Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small packages. These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Almonds: These are highly nutritional nuts rich in Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron amongst many others. Besides being great in taste, eating almonds boosts brain health, greatly effects weight loss, lowers your cholesterol and reduces you hunger, hence, lowering your overall calorie intake.Walnuts: Walnuts are most often eaten on their own as a snack. However, they can be added to salads, pastas, desserts, breakfast cereals, soups and baked goods as well. They’re often referred to as “brain food”.Berries: They are sweet superfruits with an unending list of benefits.Blueberries: Sweet in flavor, these berries are succulent and nutritious. They are the King of antioxidant foods, boost immunity, manage diabetes and help prevent cancer. Raw or dried, you can add either to your breakfast cereal/ smoothie or just sprinkle some over your garden salad and you’re good to go.Cranberries: These little red berries are a delectable, popular and healthful food. They not only help guard against UTIs, heart disease, types of cancer, and the flu, but benefits oral health too. You can eat them in their raw state, but if the zesty flavor of fresh berries is not your thing, you can go for readily available jams or dried cranberries.Pumpkin seeds: Eat them raw, or roast them in the oven. Either way, these wholesome powerhouses are a formidable source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron and protein. They go great with your evening tea and considering their size, are an effective snack on-the-go!Flax seeds: When it comes to nutritional goodness, flaxseeds are full of it. Get creative and add them to your daily parfaits, yogurts, salads, smoothies or morning cereals. Nutritionists recommend a tablespoon of flaxseeds a day (which only contain approx 55 calories).last_img read more

This 4Part Process Helps One Firm Vet Top Talent

first_img 2 min read Enroll Now for Free May 25, 2016 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now When firms like Google, Ideo, Airbnb and even Pfizer need a freelance Java expert or UX designer — and they need it, like, yesterday — they call Toptal. The $80 million company has developed a rigorous, four-part screening process: “We get thousands of applicants every month,” says cofounder and CEO Taso du Val, “and we take the top 3 percent.” Here’s how Toptal vets its freelancers.Hurdle One: Soft-Skills Screening“We have to screen for adulthood,” says cofounder and COO Breanden Beneschott. “You need to be able to work across the world and still get stuff done. So, do you have a certain energy level? Are you disciplined? If you’re one minute late to the call — literally 60 seconds late — it’s an automatic fail.” 26.4 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…Hurdle Two: Coding ChallengeApplicants are given 90 minutes to solve three coding problems. Even developers with decades of experience face-plant under the pressure. “And if there’s a hint of cheating, you’re never going to get into Toptal,” says Beneschott.7.4 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…Hurdle Three: Big-Brother-Style ExercisesToptal hopefuls have to share their screens so an evaluator can watch their every keystroke. This is as much about creativity and collaboration as speed and intellect, so candidates are encouraged to talk through their thought process. 3.6 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…Hurdle Four: Faux ProjectTest projects can take 30 or more hours to complete. “People at the very top are so much better than everybody else — they’re endlessly hungry, endlessly talented,” says Beneschott. “It’s hugely valuable to find them.” That’s how 3 percent of original applicants make it into Toptal.Check out more companies on the 2016 Brilliant 100 list.  This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. This story appears in the June 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »last_img read more

CDC warns of measles outbreak in Europe

first_img Share Thursday, July 20, 2017 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> CDC warns of measles outbreak in Europecenter_img Tags: Europe ATLANTA — With the peak summer travel season under way, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding travellers to Europe and other global destinations to take steps to protect themselves against measles amid outbreaks of the disease.More than 14,000 cases of measles have been reported in Europe since January 2016, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. In the past year, 35 people across Europe have died from the disease, according to the World Health Organization.Measles cases have been reported in 15 European countries in 2017: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, reports the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.CDC has issued travel health notices for five European countries with measles outbreaks since November 2016; the most recent was France on July 7. The others are Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongThe CDC recommends that anyone who isn’t protected against measles, either through vaccination or past infection, should get vaccinated, including before international travel. This simple step protects both travelers and people back home. Travellers should see their health care professional at least 4-6 weeks before any international travel. You may need this much time to complete a vaccine series, and your body needs time to build up immunity. Travelweek Group last_img read more