The Bitcoin probe unravelling in Surat is a Pandora’s Box

December 3, 2019 0 Comments

first_img The CID’s probe revealed that, about two years ago, one Satish Kumbhani floated the ‘Bit Connect Investment Company’ and lured people like Bhatt to invest in it. Huge returns of 1%-4% per day were promised. Bhatt invested ₹2 crore in the enterprise. In December 2017, its promoters downed the shutters and went underground.To recover his investment, Bhatt’s accomplices posed as Income Tax officials and kidnapped Piyush Savalia, who had worked with Bit Connect, on January 30, 2018. He was kept in a farmhouse at gunpoint and released two days later, on February 1. “On the morning of February 1, Bhatt’s men kidnapped Dhaval Mavani, another person associated with the company, and released him late on the same night. Mavani was forced to transfer 2,256 bitcoins worth ₹131 crore into their account. The builder and his accomplices had also transferred another 166 bitcoins worth ₹9.64 crore into their account,” Mr. Bhatia said, adding, “When we started a probe directed at Bhatt, he even paid ₹ 34.5 lakh to Piyush Savalia as hush money to keep him quiet.”The former legislator, who played a fixer between Bhatt and the Amreli Police when the police extorted ₹12 crore bitcoins from Bhatt, allegedly received ₹60 lakh, of which the CID has recovered ₹20 lakh transacted through havala.Mr. Bhatia estimates that the Bitcoin extortion racket is set to get bigger as more people who invested in the hope of making a quick buck became victims of organised crime. “So far, we have only caught two cases involving ₹167 crore,” Mr. Bhatia said. “We are investigating seven companies with investments in virtual currencies in which businessmen parked their illicit cash after demonetisation.”A senior official in Gujarat who declined to be named said, “It’s an open secret that people having a high volume of cash at the time of demonetisation converted their black money into crypto currencies with the help of havala operators.” Officials involved in the Bitcoin probe estimate that approximately ₹5,000 crore cash was converted into cryptocurrencies in Surat after demonetisation. Bitcoin extortion case: complainant now becomes an accused The Bitcoin scam unravelling in Surat began with a letter. Shailesh Bhatt, a builder based in the diamond city, wrote to Gujarat’s junior Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja in February, alleging that Amreli Police had extorted bitcoins worth ₹12 crore from him. Mr. Jadeja forwarded the complaint to the Crime Investigation Department (CID). A probe led to the opening of a Pandora’s Box.“While probing the case, we learnt that Bhatt himself was an extortionist. He had extorted bitcoins worth ₹155.21 crore from others before he was kidnapped [for extortion] by the Amreli Police,” CID (Crime) Director General of Police (DGP) Ashish Bhatia told reporters on May 21.New caseThe agency has registered a new case to book Bhatt and others, including Superintendent of Police (SP) Jagdish Patel and Police Inspector Anant Patel. Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Nalin Kotadia, currently absconding, is also an accused in the case.Also Readlast_img read more

BSF mulling laser walls along Indo-Bangla border in Tripura

December 3, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgThe Border Security Force in Tripura is “contemplating” installation of laser walls at the unfenced riverine patches along India-Bangladesh border to check infiltration bids, official sources said.The security forces have so far been using sensor devices, floodlights and night-vision goggles to guard the international border; the laser walls would further help in plugging gaps in the “vulnerable” areas, a senior officer of BSF’s Tripura Frontier said. “We want to install laser walls to ensure effective border management along the Indo-Bangla border but nothing has been finalised as yet,” he said. A similar project is on the verge of completion in the sensitive areas of Dhubri in Assam, the officer said.Dhubri project “Once the project is successfully implemented at Dhubri, the BSF higher-ups will assess its utility and decide if the model could be replicated in Tripura,” he explained. A real-time communication system, in coordination with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-information (BISAG), has also been introduced in the State for smooth coordination with the senior officers. “The satellite-integrated BISAG programme facilitates DG BSF to directly interact with the jawans deployed along the border areas. With this, the troops can hold discussions and address queries for better understanding of issues,” the officer stated. Of the total 856-km-long India-Bangladesh border in Tripura, the Centre had approved fencing for 840-km stretch.While 750-km borderline has been sealed, isolated patches — mainly in Sepahijala district’s Sonamura subdivision — still remain unfenced, the officer added.last_img read more

4 medals out of 1.2 bn people is just too few

November 28, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgEuphoria is good, I don’t mind it at all. India has done wonderfully well at the Olympics – four medals – our best haul ever. Wait, hold on, isn’t that good news for the collective called India? Given that as the second most populous nation, we should be like fire crackers, winning a bagful of medals. Dang, that is not to be, we are happy with what we have. As I write this, one of the grapplers Amit Kumar has been vanquished, there were a lot of oohs and aahs in the news room, but bottom line, he is out.Of course we work on the principle of four is better than one with perhaps one more medal from either Yogesh or Sushil and move on. At the very kernel of what is required to turn us into a sporting powerhouse is focus on a handful of disciplines. There was a time Pakistan was all conquering in cricket, squash and hockey. We need that kind of zeal. Boxing, badminton, shooting, wrestling and archery could be those disciplines. Build competencies in these sports, concentrate on them for better productivity and results.It is pointless sending contingents. So and so has qualified for the Games, so he should go. Junk it, look for potential medal winners. Bah, nobody remembers a loser, forget the Olympic spirit, people remember Rajyavardhan Chilli Rathore, Karnam Malleshwari and Abhinav Bindra because they stood proudly on the podium. Ditto for the medal winners this time. Amazing that the Koreans and Chinese have turned it on so quickly, how do they produce an assembly line of champions? Institutions like the Army need to be encouraged not belittled, they have helped not discouraged.advertisementWe need an elite school to produce champions, government or privately sponsored by focusing on just these five disciplines. So, while four is better than one, it doesn’t do justice to the gargantuan called India. Woe betide.last_img read more

Karate Nadanam: Skanda Trust presents Karate in dhoti, the graceful aspects of the martial art

November 28, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgStriking steps: A. Balamurugan and R. Kanya VaishnaviEver seen a Karate artiste performing in a dhoti? Chennai did. And not just a dhoti, the artist also sported anklets and a melmundu (shawl). Skanda Trust’s recent show of Karate Nadanam highlighted the graceful aspects of the martial art.A. Balamurugan, a Karate,Striking steps: A. Balamurugan and R. Kanya VaishnaviEver seen a Karate artiste performing in a dhoti? Chennai did. And not just a dhoti, the artist also sported anklets and a melmundu (shawl). Skanda Trust’s recent show of Karate Nadanam highlighted the graceful aspects of the martial art.A. Balamurugan, a Karate black belt and a student of Bharatanatyam at the trust, was joined by R. Kanya Vaishnavi for a harmonious display of beauty in the art of self-defence to the tune of Music Today’s Soundscapes.Says Bharatanatyam exponent and Skanda Director Vidya Bhavani Suresh: “When Balamurugan was demonstrating his Karate skills, I found some of his movements like a dance form. Adding a female artist was an improvisation I made.”Balamurugan had to pull a few punches, but Karate sidekicks never looked so elegant before.last_img read more

Manny Pacquiao’s son Jimuel scores KO in first amateur fight

November 27, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgLATEST STORIES WATCH: Manny Pacquiao coaches son and aspiring boxer JimuelThe younger Pacquiao on Saturday showed uncanny resemblance from his dad and proved that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after impressing in his first amateur fight.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThe 18-year-old Jimuel needed only two rounds and a solid one-two combination to knock out his 26-year-old opponent Miguel Egan in their charity match, as per Mav Gonzales of GMA News.My son’s first amateur fight. pacquiao.emmanuel— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) April 14, 2019The eight-division boxing champion dubbed his son as “the future” and Jimuel could very well be as he is on his way to following in his dad’s footsteps.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Novak Djokovic eyes French Open final against Rafael Nadal as clay begins ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View comments Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao helps out his son Jimuel in his training. Image: Instagram/@mannypacquiaoMANILA, Philippines—A week ago, Manny Pacquiao posted a video of himself giving his son Jimuel boxing tips surfaced on social media.Jimuel took his father’s advice to heart.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READlast_img read more

WTA chief backs Serena as row grows over US Open ‘sexism’

November 17, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgNew York, Sep 10 (AFP) Serena Williams’s claim that the code violations that sparked her meltdown in the US Open final were sexist stirred debate, with WTA Tour chief executive Steve Simon backing her on Sunday.Williams was handed three code violations — and docked a point and then a game — in her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka in the Flushing Meadows final.Osaka out-played her childhood hero to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam, but her accomplishment was swamped in the controversy surrounding 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams.The American superstar claimed that chair umpire Carlos Ramos meted out penalties for infractions that male players could have gotten away with, specifically a violation for verbal abuse after she called him a “thief” and a “liar” for warning her for coaching from her players’ box, then docking her a point when a racquet abuse violation followed.Eventually she was docked a game — putting Osaka on the brink of victory.Simon said the affair brought to the forefront the question of whether different standards are applied to men and women in the officiating of matches.”The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same,” he said.”We do not believe that this was done last night.” Williams was most incensed by the first code violation she received — for coaching from her box.advertisementIt’s not clear if she even saw the hand gestures by coach Patrick Mouratoglou sitting her box, although he admitted in an interview with ESPN that he was trying to advise her — and said all coaches do it.- Coaching ‘hypocrisy’ -========================”Yes, I was coaching just like everybody else. We have to stop this hypocrisy. Furthermore, Serena didn’t even see my gestures. She felt humiliated by the warning,” said the Frenchman.Simon said the sport as a whole should examine the rules on coaching, noting that the WTA already allows on-court coaching during regular tour events — if a player requests it.US great Billie Jean King addressed both issues, also seeing things Williams’s way.”When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it,” King tweeted.”When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.” National Organization of Women president Toni Van Pelt weighed in with a statement calling for the USTA to sever any ties to Ramos for “a blatantly racist and sexist move”.Williams’s pleas to referee Brian Earley and a Grand Slam supervisor — called to the court after she failed to get satisfaction from Ramos — were to no avail.The USTA said in a statement after the match that the decision to hand out the final code violation and game penalty was “not reviewable”.”Because I’m a woman you’re going to do this to me,” she fumed on court and after the match Williams didn’t walk back that charge.”I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things,” she said. “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff.” Men’s champion Novak Djokovic treaded warily when asked to weigh in on matter.Djokovic noted that it was an “awkward situation” for both competitors and “tough” for the umpire.”I have my personal opinion that maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a Grand Slam final,” he said.”He did change the course of the match. It was, in my opinion, maybe unnecessary. We all go through our emotions, especially when you’re fighting for a Grand Slam trophy.However, he said he wasn’t sure sexism was at the root of Ramos’s decisions.”It’s hard to generalize things,” he said.(AFP) APAAPAlast_img read more

Which Big 12 Team Has Had the Worst QB Luck?

November 16, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgWest Virginia – 201595.3%4.7%–––1.09 Oklahoma St – 201195.1%4.9%–––1.10 1.35 TCU – 201357.6%42.4%–––1.85 Iowa St – 201154.1%45.9%–––1.92 Texas A&M – 201199.3%0.7%–––1.01 BIG 12 MEDIAN Texas Tech – 201350.9%48.0%1.1%––2.00 Baylor – 201197.1%2.9%–––1.06 Iowa St – 201259.4%23.2%17.4%––2.16 Kansas State – 201298.1%1.9%–––1.04 Oklahoma St – 201240.3%32.9%26.8%––2.73 TCU – 201578.4%16.7%5.0%––1.53 Kansas – 201269.7%30.3%–––1.61 Kansas – 201380.1%19.0%0.9%––1.42 Oklahoma St – 201360.7%39.3%–––1.79 Kansas – 201570.0%23.5%5.1%1.3%–1.76 Texas – 201563.4%36.6%–––1.73 Kansas State – 201496.4%3.6%–––1.07 Iowa St – 201489.3%10.7%–––1.21 Kansas State – 201582.0%18.0%–––1.36 Texas – 201376.6%20.4%3.0%––1.53 Baylor – 201390.4%9.6%–––1.19 Baylor – 201552.8%27.4%13.2%5.8%0.8%2.49 Iowa St – 201553.0%47.0%–––1.94 West Virginia – 201350.0%36.4%13.6%––2.27 Texas – 201280.9%19.1%–––1.38 Iowa St – 201353.2%46.8%–––1.94 Kansas – 201465.4%34.6%–––1.69 Texas Tech – 201292.3%7.7%–––1.15 Baylor – 201483.3%16.1%0.6%––1.35 Kansas – 201194.6%5.4%–––1.11 Oklahoma St – 201583.5%15.6%1.0%––1.35 Texas Tech – 201462.1%33.3%4.7%––1.85 Oklahoma State fans know as well as maybe any program in the country that a good backup QB comes in handy. In 2012 injuries led to OSU starting three different quarterbacks throughout the season. In 2014 J.W. Walsh started the season against Florida State, then injured his foot in a win over Missouri State. Later in the year, a concussion knocked Daxx Garman out of his starting job and introduced the Rudolph era.OSU isn’t alone, of course. Baylor played five different QBs last year. Kody Cook served as an emergency QB for Kansas State last year and led the Wildcats to four touchdown drives in the first half alone against OSU.With so many teams in our conference dealing with QB carousels in recent years, I thought it would be interesting to see what Big 12 teams over the last five seasons have reached the farthest down their QB depth chart – whether by choice or necessity.For this analysis, I pulled every passing attempt for Big 12 teams over the last five seasons. I did not include a player’s attempts if they had three or fewer attempts in a game – this was an attempt to weed out light mop-up duty and trick plays. The table below shows each team’s QB1 through QB5 in a given season.The table is sorted by my calculation of how many QBs they used. As an example, if a team’s QB1 was used for every single play, their depth rating would be 1.0. If QB1 was used for 50% of team snaps and QB2 was used for 50%, their depth rating would be 2.0. If QB1 was used for 75% of snaps and QB2 was used for 25%, the depth rating would be 1.5. In this ranking, it matters more how many snaps were used by the 2nd or 3rd guy than how many QBs were used outright. Here’s the table. Oklahoma St – 201469.4%21.6%9.0%––1.79 Texas Tech – 201593.3%6.7%–––1.13 Oklahoma – 201197.6%2.4%–––1.05 Missouri – 2011100.0%––––1.00 TCU – 201494.4%4.0%1.5%––1.14 TeamQB1QB2QB3QB4QB5Deep TCU – 201273.6%24.6%1.8%––1.56 Oklahoma – 201361.4%35.2%3.4%––1.84 West Virginia – 201478.9%20.3%0.8%––1.44 Oklahoma – 201591.2%8.8%–––1.18 Texas – 201491.9%8.1%–––1.16 Texas Tech – 201197.5%2.5%–––1.05 West Virginia – 201297.2%2.8%–––1.06 Kansas State – 201197.9%2.1%–––1.04 Oklahoma – 201483.6%16.4%–––1.33 Baylor – 201298.1%1.9%–––1.04 Here’s the full chart with every QB listed by name.A few notes.• “QB1” in this context does not necessarily mean the QB who started the season – it is the attempts leader for each team during that season. For example, Wes Lunt started the season in 2012, but Chelf had the most attempts that year so he is QB1 in the table.• The median depth rating was 1.35 in the 50 seasons covered in the table. OSU’s 2015 season was representative of a median QB rotation – QB1 using around 83% of the snaps, QB2 with almost all of the rest.• OSU’s 2012 QB carousel rates as the deepest a team was forced to go out of the 50 seasons I looked at. 60% of OSU’s attempts in 2012 were used by someone other than the QB1 – the most in this study by a 10% margin. Sure, Baylor used 5 QBs in 2015, but their QB3 used 13% of attempts. In our case, Wes Lunt used 27% of team attempts as the QB3 in 2012.• OSU had only 1 season in the last 5 that was materially below the conference median – Weeden attempted 95% of OSU’s passes in 2011.• Who’s had it worst? Iowa State has the highest 5-year average at 1.83 (about on par with the Walsh/Garman/Rudolph season – not fun). Some of that is by choice, of course – just as OSU’s 2015 Walsh package led to a higher score. OSU’s 1.75 average is the 2nd highest in the conference.• Who’s had it easy? K-State has the lowest 5-year average at 1.16, largely due to having three seasons where their starting QB used 96%+ of team attempts. OU has the 2nd lowest score at 1.28.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Texas – 201150.3%40.6%9.1%––2.18 Kansas State – 201385.0%15.0%–––1.30 Oklahoma – 201298.2%1.8%–––1.04last_img read more

Aiba’s Wu Ching-kuo steps down amid financial mismanagement allegations

November 16, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgBizarrely, the investigation into these claims appears to have been quietly dropped. A joint statement between Wu and the Swiss-based organisation said: “They have amicably agreed to resolve the management issues within Aiba and to withdraw and terminate all related pending procedures before civil courts and Aiba disciplinary commission.”Wu claimed he is stepping down from his post to “resolve the management issues” within the governing body. He will be replaced by Franco Falcinelli, Aiba’s senior vice-president. “I remain committed to ensure a smooth handover to the new leadership,” Wut said. Aiba will convene an extraordinary congress with its national member federations on 27 January in Dubai to consider proposed changes to its governance.Wu was provisionally suspended by a disciplinary commission last month after a complaint from 11 Aiba executive committee members who alleged he had “violated and continues to violate various provisions of Aiba’s statutes and codes”.Aiba has been riven with infighting for months, with Taiwan’s Wu pitted against most of the executive committee who failed to remove him through a vote of no confidence in July. Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Since you’re here… Amateur boxing president Wu’s reign set to end as federations back opponents Support The Guardian Share on Twitter Share on Facebook newscenter_img … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest Boxing The suspended leader of amateur boxing’s governing body, Aiba, has announced he is stepping down amid allegations of financial mismanagement but remarkably will be named as the organisation’s honorary president.Wu Ching-kuo’s resignation follows a divisive 11-year reign, characterised by a bitter power struggle in recent times. Last month Aiba’s disciplinary commission voted unanimously to suspend the 70-year-old. He was alleged to have accumulated debt of 15m Swiss francs for the organisation through poor financial management and auditing. He was also accused of trying to depose the members of the executive committee who challenged his leadership. Read more Topics Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Michelle Beadle Has Strong Response To Those Upset With Her Today

October 26, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgMichelle Beadle tells white men to shut up and listen.ESPNIn light of the last night’s Urban Meyer decision at Ohio State, ESPN’s Michelle Beadle made a pretty bold proclamation. Despite the fact that she co-hosts a show that discusses football pretty much every day, she says that she is completely done with the sport.Beadle said that she did not watch the NFL season, and will not do so this year either. Now, after the Ohio State situation, she says she’s done with college football on Saturdays as well.Michelle Beadle’s comments on Get Up made the rounds this morning, as many learned of the three-game suspension for Ohio State football.@MichelleDBeadle: “This will be the second season I don’t watch NFL.”— ✏️Jacob Feldman (@JacobFeldman4) August 23, 2018The Big Lead transcribed Beadle’s comments:“There’s a reason why this will be the second season I don’t watch NFL and I don’t spend my Saturdays watching college football either. I believe that the sport of football has set itself up to be in a position where it shows itself in the bigger picture to not really care about women — they don’t really care about people of color, but we won’t get into that for NFL either — but as a woman I feel like a person who has been marginalized.”“And every single one of these stories that comes out, every single time, pushes me further and further away. I realize they don’t care, but for me it’s opened up my weekends. I appreciate you for giving that to me. I don’t care anymore. I’ve lost the ability to be surprised. You got three games. You could’ve been fired. They could’ve gotten away with not having to pay you a single dime. You survived it, and not only did you survive it, but you didn’t have the grace enough to at least look over the statement you were handed seven seconds before and pretend that you meant a single word in it. The entire thing is a disgrace. I’m just numb to it. I’m just ready for NBA to kick off, quite frankly. That’s what I’m here for.”You can take exception with Beadle’s decision, though it is her’s alone to make. However, some of the feedback she’s gotten online is absolutely disgusting.This afternoon, Beadle shared one message she received on Instagram, via Twitter. On Twitter, she wrote:“A reminder: (I didn’t beat a woman. I didn’t lie about someone beating a woman. I didn’t claim to be a leader of men and hide behind memory loss.) but I’m the enemy?”The message:A horrible message Michelle Beadle received on Instagram after announcing her football boycott.However you feel about Beadle or her decision, there is absolutely no excuse for that.last_img read more

Stunt the Stunning Levi’s X Air Jordan IV Sneakers Starting June 30

October 24, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgPrevious Next 1 of 7 The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date Editors’ Recommendations 1 of 2 What Is the Best Jean Style for You? 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States center_img Of course, you could always pair them with the simultaneously released Levi’s X Jordan Reversible Trucker jacket. Inspired and designed with the classic Jordan warm-up suit in mind, the Reversible Trucker Jacket can be worn with the interior red, crinkle taffeta fabric facing outward accented with a denim collar and the Flight Jumpman logo on the back or worn the “right” way with Levi’s denim on the exterior and the taffeta collar as an accent. The jacket also sports thoughtful details like copper shank buttons branded with Levi’s and Jordan logos.The Levi’s X Air Jordan IV will retail for $225 (for sizes 7-16) and $200 (for youth sizes 3.5-7). The Levi’s X Jordan Reversible Trucker Jacket will retail for $180.Again, both the jacket and the shoes launch June 30, but the Levi’s X Air Jordan IV sneakers available only at Levi’s Market Street San Francisco and Levi’s SoHo New York stores. So, if you want to guarantee yourself a pair of these killer kicks, you’re going to need a plane ticket or somebody in one of those cities willing to wait in line for you.The Levi’s X Jordan Reversible Trucker Jacket will be available online at Levi’s official website.Not a fan of the Jordans, but still want a high-top sneaker to see you through summer? We’ve got all the best choice right here. Previous 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers Next In January 2018, Levi’s teamed up with Air Jordan for the fantastic Levi’s X Air Jordan 4 sneakers and a reversible trucker jacket.  Now they’re at it again and shooting for a June 30, 2018 release of the latest collaboration between the two venerable American brands.The Levi’s X Air Jordan IV comes in two new colorways and expanded shoe sizing for men, women, and children. Even though Father’s Day is June 17, a post-Father’s Day gift of Levi’s X Air Jordan IV sneakers for dad and son might just be the coolest fathers-on matching combination we can think of after Will Smith and his son Trey in the music video for “Just the Two of Us.”Coming in both black and white denim colorways with a leather tongue patch featuring the iconic Jumpman logo, these kicks are just aching to be paired with joggers and an oversized sweatshirt for that in,vogue sneakerhead-meets-street look.last_img read more

Spain Arrests 12 in Pornographic Network Exploiting Moroccan Children

October 12, 2019 0 Comments

Rabat – The nightmare has ended for the Moroccan children. Spanish authorities have dismantled a child pornography network exploiting minors, including Moroccan children, in the production of pornographic images and videos.After months of investigations, Spanish police have arrested 12 people. The 12 were behind a network that produced and distributed pornographic films of minors via the internet. More than one million child pornography films were seized.A joint statement from the Spanish Civil Guard and the Catalan police, broadcast on Wednesday, June 20, reports that “a large part of the child pornographic material broadcast was produced by the criminal network itself, through the sexual exploitation of minors in a situation of socioeconomic precariousness, originating from the cities of Barcelona, Tortosa, Valencia and Morocco.” The videos of 80 minors, filmed during trips between 2000 and 2015 were also exploited by a criminal gang in Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, the Czech Republic, and France.The investigation was launched when the Directorate-General for the Protection of Children and Adolescents noticed a suspicious case at the Tortosa Education Center in north-east Spain. The manager contacted the police, who discovered a residence prepared for the recording of child pornography videos. read more

AU Commission President Faki Mahamet Encourages Morocco-Algeria Dialogue

October 12, 2019 0 Comments

Rabat – Mahamat also reaffirmed the AU’s support for any initiative to promote the revival of regional cooperation.“The President of the Commission has welcomed the will expressed by the King of Morocco, and reaffirmed the support of the African Union for any initiative likely to promote the revival of regional cooperation,” said Mahamat’s statement in response to King Mohammed VI’s Royal Speech on the 43rd anniversary of the Green March.In his speech to the nation, the sovereign said that Morocco stands ready for a direct and frank dialogue with Algeria and proposed the setting up of a joint political mechanism for dialogue and consultation in order to settle the differences impeding the development of bilateral relations between the two countries. Morocco and Algeria share the world’s longest closed land border, and relations have suffered from their differing positions on the Western Sahara conflict.Several Arab, African, and European countries have commended the royal initiative to open new perspectives for peace, stability, and development in the Maghreb. read more

BlackBerry Ltd unveils BlackBerry Radar tracking system at trucking show

October 8, 2019 0 Comments

WATERLOO, Ont. — BlackBerry has unveiled a tracking system intended to help trucking companies and car fleet operators improve delivery times, reduce theft and lower costs.Dubbed BlackBerry Radar, the device can monitor location, temperature, humidity and cargo, all in an effort to help companies optimize how they use their trailers and shipping containers.BlackBerry Radar, which operates on cloud-based software, can be used to alert users when a trailer door opens or closes, or inform warehouse workers when a trailer is approaching.BlackBerry Ltd’s hardware business may soon be goneFacebook dropping BlackBerry support in latest blow to smartphone makerThe Waterloo, Ont.-based company says the encrypted information provided by the tracking system should help workers make profitable decisions.BlackBerry revealed the new product at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.It has partnered with a number of companies for a pilot program and expects to have the device available to the public this summer.The announcement comes a day before the company is due to release its fourth quarter and annual earnings reports Friday.Some industry watchers have been speculating BlackBerry may withdraw from the smartphone hardware business if sales for its newest device, the Priv, have faltered since its November 2015 launch. read more

WatchMexico wont ratify new NAFTA if US keeps tariffs on steel and

October 7, 2019 0 Comments

“Now that we have concluded our NAFTA negotiation with the United States, we believe it is all the more reason for the U.S. administration to lift its tariffs,” Austen said Sunday, although he did not say specifically whether the issue would lead to a delay in ratification.If the tariffs aren’t lifted, de la Mora suggested Mexico is fine with the current version of NAFTA that remains in force.“We hope to have this new agreement in place. But in the absence of the new agreement, we know that NAFTA is good enough,” she said.Mexico would prefer the updated agreement “for the relations we have with the U.S. and Canada but we are OK with the current NAFTA.”Mexican senators, who were in Ottawa the past week to conference with their Canadian parliamentary counterparts, echoed de la Mora’s assessment.“We are going to approve it, but right now our government is trying to deal with this (the tariffs),” Sen. Antares Guadalupe said in an interview.“We’re not in a rush. Trade right now, it’s working,” she added. “We have many things to do but we want to take it slowly because it is very important to have it in a very good way for Mexico.”Sen. Hector Vasconcelos, the head of the Mexican Senate’s foreign-affairs committee, said the ratification of the new agreement is also subject to the domestic political situations in all three countries. That includes the ongoing turmoil in the Trump administration and Canada’s legislative clock, which will see the House of Commons adjourn in June until after the October federal election.Asked what happens if the new agreement is not ratified, Vasconcelos laughed.“Life goes on, I assure you,” he said, referring to the current NAFTA. “It’s good enough and we will try to get it better. That’s what we are going to do. We have to discuss a lot in Mexico.” Rebecca Blackwell/AP Photo OTTAWA — Mexico’s Congress will be asked to approve a major labour-reform bill this spring as a necessary step to ratifying the new North American free-trade pact later this autumn, say Mexican officials.But unless the Trump administration lifts the punishing tariffs it has imposed on Mexican steel and aluminum imports — duties it also imposed on Canada — Mexico is prepared to keep the status quo with the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.The push to improve workers’ rights in Mexico was a key priority for Canada and the United States during the rocky NAFTA renegotiation because they wanted to level the playing field between their workers and lower-paid Mexican workers, especially in the auto sector.When Mexico and the U.S. reached their surprise bilateral agreement last August, forcing the Trudeau government to quickly forge a deal with the Trump administration, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland lauded Mexico for making labour concessions. Not ratifying NAFTA will be a ‘catastrophe,’ U.S. trade czar says, as U.S. works to lift metals tariffs Canada won’t ratify new NAFTA until steel and aluminum tariffs lifted, warns key U.S. Senator Mexico threw Canada ‘under the bus’ with bilateral trade deal with U.S., Liberal MP tells Mexican minister But a senior trade official in the new government of socialist reformer Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador suggested in an interview it wasn’t a huge sacrifice because elevating the status of country’s workers was a key plank in the platform that brought their Morena party to power.Lopez Obrador made it clear in his election campaign that he wanted to strengthen the rights of workers and labour unions, which made a good fit with Canada’s bargaining position, Luz Maria de la Mora, Mexico’s deputy trade minister, said in an interview.“With the agreement or without the agreement, this is something central to President Lopez Obrador — strengthening workers’ rights and strengthening trade deals in Mexico,” said de la Mora.She said the new government wants a package of labour reform ratified in Mexico’s Congress before its April 30 adjournment “so we can reflect the commitments that we’ve made under the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement in domestic legislation.”That means the new agreement will be sent to the Mexican Congress for ratification after it reconvenes in Sept. 1, she said.But that won’t happen unless the United States lifts its so-called section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum exports, said de la Mora.With the agreement or without the agreement, this is something central to President Lopez Obrador — strengthening workers’ rights and strengthening trade deals in MexicoLuz Maria de la Mora, Mexico’s deputy trade minister U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum from Mexico and Canada, using the controversial national-security clause in U.S. trade law — “Section 232,” as it’s called in shorthand — that both countries say was illegal.Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau recently told Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, during a public panel in Washington that the tariffs are “a serious impediment to us moving forward on what is the best trade deal in the world.”On Nov. 30, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump and former Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, who was on his last day in office, signed the new trade agreement. It now faces ratification by the legislatures of all three countries.Trudeau spoke to Trump on Thursday and “raised the issue of steel and aluminum tariffs and expressed the need for the removal of tariffs,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.Canada has been clear from the outset that the tariffs “are illegal and unjustified,” said Adam Austen, a spokesman for Freeland.Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has made it clear that elevating the status of the country’s workers was a key plank in the platform that brought his party to power. read more

ExJPMorgan execs regulators pressed about 62B trading loss

October 4, 2019 0 Comments

by Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press Posted Mar 14, 2013 5:02 pm MDT Ex-JPMorgan execs, regulators pressed about $6.2B trading loss AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Two former high-ranking executives at JPMorgan Chase faced tough questions from senators Friday about why the bank played down risks and hid losses from regulators when it was losing billions of dollars.The hearing was held a day after the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a scathing report that ascribed widespread blame for $6.2 billion in trading losses to key executives at the nation’s biggest bank.Douglas Braunstein, the former chief financial officer, and Ina Drew, the former chief investment officer overseeing trading strategy, were pressed to explain why bank executives gave federal examiners in April information that significantly understated losses for the first quarter of 2012.“The number I reported (to the regulators) was the number that was given to me,” said Drew, who resigned last spring after the losses became public.Drew blamed the losses on executives under her watch who failed to control risks out of the London office. She said that undermined her oversight and kept her from preventing the losses.The report also suggested that CEO Jamie Dimon was aware of the losses in April, even while he played them down publicly. And Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the panel, implied that Dimon set a precedent at the bank for withholding information.Dimon acknowledged in May 2012 that the firm had lost $2 billion on risky trades out of its London office. The losses have since been revised to more than $6 billion.After reading the report and hearing executives testify that they didn’t know who was responsible for informing regulators, members of the panel questioned whether the nation’s biggest bank had become too large to manage.The “trading culture at JPMorgan … piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight and misinformed the public,” Levin said Friday at the hearing.New York-based JPMorgan acknowledges that it made mistakes but rejects any assertions that it concealed losses or risks.The bank said in a statement Friday, “We have made regrettable errors and overhauled our risk policies to correct these mistakes, but senior executives always provided information to regulators and the public that they believed to be accurate.”Dimon was not a witness at Friday’s hearing.In April, news reports said a trader in JPMorgan’s London office known as “the whale” had taken huge risks that were roiling the markets. Dimon immediately dismissed the reports as a “tempest in a teapot” during a conference call with analysts.But Dimon acknowledged the losses a month later. And he told a separate Senate committee in June that the bank showed “bad judgment,” was “stupid” and “took far too much risk.” He also had his compensation last year reduced by 50 per cent, as did Braunstein.After the trading loss came to light, Drew resigned after 30 years with the firm and voluntarily paid back two years of salary.Drew said Friday that while she doesn’t believe she bore personal responsibility for the losses, she decided to step down to make it easier for JPMorgan “to move beyond these issues.” Her comments were her first public remarks since leaving the firm.Braunstein acknowledged that risk models for the trading operation were changed in a way that was improper early last year. The changes made the bank’s trading losses appear smaller than they were.The loss came less than four years after the 2008 financial crisis and hurt the reputation of a bank that had come through the crisis known for taking fewer risks than its competitors. Three employees in the London office were fired — two senior managers and a trader. It also led to Drew’s resignation.The subcommittee report was also critical of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, JPMorgan’s primary regulator. It said the Treasury agency failed to investigate the trading even when the London operation repeatedly blew through pre-set risk limits and it failed to notice when the unit didn’t submit required reports for several months.The agency acknowledged that there were shortcomings in its oversight of JPMorgan.“There were red flags that we failed to notice and act upon,” Comptroller Thomas Curry testified at Friday’s hearing. read more

Apple cofounder is bringing us an even nerdier Comic Con

October 3, 2019 0 Comments

Apple co-founder is bringing us an even nerdier ‘Comic Con’ Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak smiles while interviewed in San Francisco, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. Wozniak is helping to create the inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con, which will be held from March 18-20, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) SAN FRANCISCO – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak had a front row seat as the personal computer began to reshape society. So it made perfect sense to him to bring a convention meshing technology with pop culture to Silicon Valley.The convergence will occur March 18-20 in San Jose, California, with the debut of Silicon Valley Comic Con. It’s a new twist on an idea that has brought together fans of science fiction, fantasy and superheroes at packed shows held around the world for years.“I don’t like doing the same thing as everyone else,” Wozniak told The Associated Press Wednesday. So he teamed with four other partners to try something slightly different.Throwing technology into the mix should ratchet up the nerd vibe that ripples through all Comic Cons. A sold-out crowd of about 30,000 engineers, entrepreneurs and pop-culture connoisseurs is expected to swarm into the Silicon Valley event.The agenda includes a panel devoted to the quantum realm and an “app alley” featuring products from technology startups. The marquee attractions on the entertainment side include William Shatner from the original “Star Trek” and “Back To The Future” stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson.Wozniak, 65, is confident the hybrid convention will be a hit.“The emotions we have for technology now are the same as we get for movies, celebrities and the whole pop culture side of our lives,” he said.That veneration of technology helped turn Wozniak’s late partner, Steve Jobs, into an icon — and his October 2011 death into a worldwide wake.Wozniak himself has become better known through recent movies that retold the story of Jobs and Apple, as well as his guest appearances on TV shows such as “Dancing With The Stars” and “The Big Bang Theory.” He now works at a Silicon Valley startup, Primary Data, and also spends about a third of the year on the road, mostly giving speeches and making other public appearances.“Everyone I go in the world, people just say, ‘Thank you, thank you,’ even if they don’t happen to own an Apple product,” Wozniak said. “They are just saying thank you for being a part of it all and want to show their love.”Silicon Valley Comic Con is the first major event that Wozniak has backed since the early 1980s. While on leave from Apple following an airplane crash, he financed the US Festivals, a pair of three-day concerts held in the southern California desert. The events, which featured top acts such as The Police, The Talking Heads, The Clash, David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac, drew massive crowds yet still managed to lose about $26 million, according to Wozniak.He said that won’t happen at Silicon Valley Comic Con, which has already sold enough tickets to turn a profit. Some tickets, which cost from $25 to $99, are still available, though a sold-out crowd of about 30,000 people is expected.“Ever since starting Apple, I have had the mentality that you should make a profit,” Wozniak said. “That was Steve Jobs’ big role (at Apple). He believed you start a company to make a profit because that is the only way you are going to go on to build other great things.”Jobs frowned upon Wozniak’s involvement in the US Festivals and probably wouldn’t have thought much of Silicon Valley Comic Con, according to Wozniak.“He would have been at it in his very early days, but people change and personalities settle in,” Wozniak said. “He became more of the businessman taking the world forward with things like the Apple computer.”Although Apple hasn’t introduced another hit product since Jobs’ death, Wozniak doesn’t believe the company has lost the “innovation magic” that hatched the iPod, iPhone and iPad during the final decade of its late CEO’s tenure.“Apple is in great shape to innovate for the next 200 years, just with their cash (totalling $216 billion),” he said. “That buys a lot of failure. One of the things about innovation is you have to risk failure.”Wozniak is hoping Silicon Valley Comic Con inspires some of the engineers and other entrepreneurs in attendance to gamble on ideas that may seem a little kooky.“A lot of science fiction starts out as a dream in your head where you go, ‘Wow, that would be cool,’ and then you have the actual technology people turn it into reality,” Wozniak said. “That is the process of creation.”___Online: by Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted Feb 10, 2016 7:00 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Opinion Peyton Mannings numbers dont make him the greatest quarterback in NFL

October 2, 2019 0 Comments

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws the ball during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 5 in Denver. The Broncos defeated the Cardinals, 41-20.Credit: Courtesy of TNSWhen Peyton Manning broke the NFL’s all-time passing touchdown record last week with the 509th of his illustrious career, many wondered if the former Colt and current Bronco is now officially the greatest quarterback in the NFL’s history.He very well could be, but, in my opinion, breaking that record does not change a single thing.The man whose record Manning just topped? Brett Favre.Favre — even while he held the record — was rarely in the conversation surrounding who the best quarterback ever is.And the man Favre grabbed the record from back in 2007? Dan Marino. Marino, again, a great quarterback, but not easily classified as the greatest.The reason for those two not being the top quarterbacks of all time, even while each holding the career passing touchdowns and yardage records, is simple — championships.And it is the same reason why I believe Manning — for now, at least — stacks up a rung short of the top.Between Manning, Favre and Marino — the three greatest quarterbacks ever if you go by their individual passing yards and touchdowns — there are only two championship rings. Favre won one in a 20-year career, Manning has won one in a 17-year career and Marino never won a Super Bowl in 17 seasons.Manning is 11-12 in the playoffs. He has won 70 percent of his regular season games, but holds a losing record when it really counts.That is something that cannot be overlooked.Now, of course, wins and losses are team accomplishments and it is not fair to put it all on the quarterback. But Manning’s game has taken a step down in the postseason, beyond losing more games.In his career in the regular season, Manning has thrown 0.43 interceptions for every touchdown pass. Come playoff time, that number soars up to 0.65.In Super Bowls, Manning has thrown more picks than touchdowns. He averages more than two passing touchdowns per game in his career in the regular season, but has never thrown more than one in each of his three Super Bowl appearances.Heck, even in 2006 — the year Manning won his only ring — he threw seven interceptions compared to three touchdowns in the playoffs. That’s not simply just a step down for a great, that’s downright lousy.Karl Malone might have more points than Michael Jordan, but no one will ever mistake the Mailman for being in the discussion for the greatest basketball player ever.That is for the most part because Malone never won a championship, while Jordan elevated his already-phenomenal regular season play in the playoffs. By the end of Jordan’s career, he was six-for-six in the NBA Finals.Similarly, Joe Montana, a great regular season quarterback in his own right, stepped it up to another level when it really mattered. In four Super Bowl appearances, Montana never lost — and never threw an interception.Regular season statistics are great, but, at the end of the day, teams are after the pursuit of the gold. If Manning can add another championship before his career ends — which is rapidly approaching — the book can certainly be reopened.But for now, Manning’s accolades are not enough to lift him into the greatest ever until he can prove to have something different than the regular season wonders before him. read more

The Honeycomb Statue Lands on Googles Lawn

September 21, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgToday, Google rolled its latest statue, Honeycomb, out onto its lawn, joining Google’s growing number of dessert statues. Justin Mattson, a developer advocate at Google, tweeted the above picture with the message, “Honeycomb arrives. I think we’re getting more fanciful with these things.” They even incorporated the little Android robot in this statue, but I seriously fear for his safety up against that giant bee. AdChoices广告Google’s lawn is starting to look like a little dessert party! I have one thing to say: Nom nom nom.last_img read more

Dennis Rodmans gifts for Kim Jongun include Trumps book and a mermaid

September 21, 2019 0 Comments

first_img Jun 15th 2017, 8:29 AM Thursday 15 Jun 2017, 8:29 AM Source: Kim Kwang Hyon/APDENNIS RODMAN HAS delivered a message from President Donald Trump to North Korea — sort of.The former NBA player gave the country’s sports minister a copy of Trump’s book The Art of the Deal today, a present intended for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.It wasn’t signed by Trump, who was Rodman’s boss for two seasons of the Celebrity Apprentice reality TV show. Rodman has said his visit has nothing to do with the White House.While his previous visits in 2013 and 2014 often drew controversy, Rodman has said this week he’s just here to meet old friends and have a good time. He and his small entourage have been spending time with young North Korean basketball players and visiting local sights.He watched a North Korean men’s basketball team and met Sports Minister Kim Il Guk. Along with the Trump book, other gifts he presented for Kim Jong-un include a copy of Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection, a mermaid puzzle, two sets of soap and two autographed jerseys. Rodman poses with North Korean Olympic athletes Source: Kim Kwang HyonRodman also met North Korean Olympic athletes, including judo gold medalist An Kum Ae.“All of you guys should be proud of yourselves, because, you know, a lot of people don’t give you guys credit, because this is such a small country, and not many people from North Korea can compete around the world,” Rodman said.He continued: “But for you guys to come back here in your country, with a medal, that says a lot about North Korea, because people don’t really take North Korea so seriously about sports or anything like that.”‘An old friend’ Rodman, one of the only Westerners to have personally met Kim Jong-un, has been criticised for a previous trip where he sang Happy Birthday to Kim and suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologised.The sports minister made clear Rodman is viewed fondly in Pyongyang.“In the past, our respected supreme leader met you several times and he used his precious time to watch the basketball match with the players you brought here. In the past he met you, so our people all know you well,” Kim Il Guk told Rodman. “And also we feel that you are an old friend.”No role in student’s release Rodman’s arrival on Tuesday came just hours after the North decided to release Otto Warmbier, an American university student who had been imprisoned for 15 years with hard labour for trying to steal a propaganda banner.Warmbier, who had been confined for 17 months, apparently fell into a coma not long after his confinement began and Pyongyang issued a statement today saying it decided to let him go for “humanitarian reasons”. Otto Warmbier Source: Kim Kwang Hyon/APOfficials in Washington and Pyongyang said Rodman played no role in the release. Behind-the-scenes discussions regarding Warmbier had been underway well before his visit.The 22-year-old Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea’s Supreme Court in March 2016. He got 15 years in prison with hard labour for subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal the propaganda banner.His father, Fred Warmbier, told Fox News his son was “terrorised and brutalised” and has been in a coma for more than a year.The report of Warmbier’s release on the North’s official Korean Central News Agency made no mention of Warmbier’s health. Although US citizens are not banned from visiting North Korea, the US State Department strongly advises against it.With Warmbier’s release, three other Americans remain imprisoned in North Korea.Read: US student who fell into coma while imprisoned in North Korea returned homeRead: Dennis Rodman thinks Trump is ‘pretty happy’ he’s going back to North Korea Share45 Tweet Email 14 Comments Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Dennis Rodman’s gifts for Kim Jong-un include Trump’s book and a mermaid puzzle He also gave a copy of Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection, two sets of soap and two autographed jerseys. 16,628 Views By Associated Presslast_img read more

Spirit Airlines encourages travelers to demand their money back

September 17, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMIRAMAR, Fla., July 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — For decades, the major airlines have been playing a psychological trick on their passengers. They charge people very high airfares, and then tell them they are giving away different items and services for “free.” In reality those airlines are forcing all of their customers to pay for those items upfront with bundled, all-inclusive fares. Spirit Airlines wants air travelers to know they’ve been bundled by other airlines and is giving travelers a way to fight back.Every product or service on an airline has a built-in cost: Agents handling bags and printing boarding passes, the cost of beverages, food, and magazines and stocking these items on planes, and the extra costs in fuel for the added weight of carry-on bags and in-flight entertainment systems, just to name a few. Many consumers don’t realize that airlines pass those costs on to their customers and, even if the product or service isn’t used, the airline still financially benefits.“Bundling is a practice that, at best, is less-than-transparent,” said Spirit’s President and CEO Ben Baldanza. “When airlines tell their customers the item or service is free, it just isn’t true. We feel air travelers should only have to pay for what they want or need – not be forced to pay for everything an airline may offer. We did the math on all those unused items and it adds up to billions of customer dollars.”At Spirit, customers pay for their seat and a personal item to get them from point A to point B. Spirit calls this their Bare Fare®. If you want other options they are available, but Spirit puts you in charge by allowing you to pay only for what you want, not what you don’t. This is called Frill Control®. This unbundled approach allows Spirit customers to pay the lowest total price for air travel. According to the Department of Transportation, Spirit’s fares are 40 percent less than other airlines, on average. Even after adding optional items Spirit’s total price is still 30 – 35 percent lower, making Spirit the smart choice for air travel.To understand the impact of airline bundling, Spirit conducted a nationwide study of air travelers regarding their most recent flight. The survey reveals that many passengers skip the complimentary services that they paid for in a bundled price. For example, one in four (25%) passengers didn’t bring a “complimentary” carry-on bag, but likely had to pony up as much as $35 within their ticket price for that amenity. In some cases, customers lost that money because the overhead bin space was full, and they were forced to have their bag checked. With 586 million travelers on major airlines in 2014, Spirit estimates customers spent more than $5 billion on carry-on bags that they didn’t use.It may seem small, but the costs for those “free” snacks add up too. Twenty percent of passengers skipped the complimentary snacks, but may have been charged up to $3.50 for each one. That’s approximately $410 million of unused snacks that airlines benefited from by charging their customers in the price of their ticket.To help air travelers understand this long-held less-than-transparent practice, Spirit has introduced a vigilante lawyer team called “The Unbundlers” dedicated to getting air travelers their money back. The fictitious, but hilariously-truthful duo encourages travelers who have been bundled to directly calculate how much money they lost as a result of not checking a bag, passing on ‘free’ soda, or not using various other products and services. They can demand their money back by posting a message on Twitter to the offending airline. You can see The Unbundlers in action at“It’s a fun way to point out a serious issue,” said Baldanza. “At Spirit we pride ourselves on being very upfront and honest about what you get – and what you don’t – when you purchase tickets on our airline. All airlines should be as transparent with their customers and should let them know exactly what they’re paying for.”Other results of the survey, conducted by Toluna Research for Spirit Airlines:25% of air travelers did not bring a carry-on20% skipped the snack (peanuts, chips, etc.)21% said no to coffee, tea, or soda40% didn’t read the in-flight magazine41% didn’t check-in with an agent52% didn’t use WiFi (however other surveys suggest WiFi usage is below 10%)It’s time to take a stand against being bundled. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:spirit airlineslast_img read more