AXA to build private debt partnership with Capzanine

first_imgBefore the transaction, AXA France owned 22% of Capzanine. AXA and Capzanine first formed a partnership in 2005.The private debt collaboration would grant Capzanine access to AXA IM’s €38bn structured finance platform, the companies said in a joint statement, opening up its offerings to pension funds, insurers, and family offices.Pascal Christory, chief investment officer at AXA Group, said: “This collaboration strengthens our access to innovative, diversifying products and stable, attractive returns through the proven performance of a highly reputed management company. These investments allow AXA companies to participate in the financing of the growth of the European real economy.”Andrea Rossi, CEO of AXA IM, added: “Complementing our investment capabilities selectively to better meet the needs of our customers is one of our strategic priorities. This partnership fits perfectly into this framework by strengthening our alternative investment offer.”The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.AXA IM last year announced a €100m investment programme aimed at restructuring its business and increasing its offerings in alternative asset classes.In December, it announced a scaling up of its use of artificial intelligence technologies and making investments into digital services, data analysis and science capabilities in order to improve efficiency and “identify new sources of alpha”. AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is poised to launch a private debt distribution partnership with Capzanine, a specialist debt investor in the small and medium-sized business sector.The agreement forms part of a proposed €82m transaction that will see AXA IM and AXA France buy out French investment company Eurazeo’s stake in Capzanine.According to a statement from Eurazeo, the AXA companies “and other investors” will take on Eurazeo’s investments in Capzanine funds.Once the transaction is complete, AXA IM and AXA France will own 46% of Capzanine in total, with the latter company’s management owning the rest of the shares.last_img read more

Van Ginkel seals Milan loan move

first_img “I’m just happy to be finally here. “I spoke to (AC Milan’s Holland international) Nigel De Jong and he told me very good things about this club.” Van Ginkel moved to Chelsea from Vitesse last summer but missed most of the 2013-14 campaign with a knee injury. The 21-year-old is hoping to earn a regular spot in Filippo Inzaghi’s side, who will not compete in Europe this season. “I am a midfielder that defends but is also is able to score goals,” Van Ginkel said. “I can play in many positions in midfield. “I want to have more playing time and this is my aim this season. “I believe at Milan I will have the opportunity to play more games, in what is a big competition, with many strong teams. “I have not spoken to Mr Inzaghi yet but I’ve spoken to Fernando Torres this week.” Van Ginkel completed a medical on Monday morning with the Italian outfit. “I am very happy to have arrived in Milan,” Van Ginkel said on www.acmilan.com. “A lot of Dutch players have played in this great club, big names. Spanish striker Torres joined Milan last week on a two-season loan from Chelsea. Milan still had time to complete another deal before the transfer window closed, announcing the arrival of Atalanta’s attacking midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura for a fee reportedly worth seven million euros. Milan said Bonaventura had signed until 2019. News of the move came after Milan said they had failed in a bid to land Parma winger Jonathan Biabiany in a swap deal involving defender Cristian Zaccardo, as the Milan player had rejected the switch. One player on his way out of the San Siro on Monday evening was Bryan Cristante – to Benfica, for a fee reported to be in the region of 6million euros. “Italian midfielder Bryan Cristante has joined Benfica,” a statement on www.slbenfica.pt read. “The player, 19, from AC Milan, will strengthen the senior team over the next five years.” Press Association New AC Milan signing Marco van Ginkel is thrilled to have moved to the San Siro on a season long-loan from Chelsea.last_img read more

ARROGATE NAMED ‘HORSE OF MEET’ IN MEDIA POLL

first_imgMiller, Bejarano Earn Honors as Top Trainer, Jockey Horse of Meet: ArrogateSprinter: DrefongOlder Horse: California Chrome                             Older Filly/Mare: BeholderClaimer: NextdoorneighborGrass Horse: Highland ReelGrass Filly/Mare: Queen’s Trust3-Year-Old: Arrogate 3-Year-Old Filly: SongbirdTrainer: Peter MillerJockey: Rafael BejaranoApprentice: Austin SolisRace: Breeders’ Cup DistaffOwner: Spendthrift Farm, LLCAchievement: Baffert 3rd Classic Win ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2016) – Up and coming three-year-old star Arrogate, winner of five straight races including the Grade I Travers Stakes by 13 ½ lengths and the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Saturday, was named Horse of the Meet in the annual Autumn Meet media poll.The gray son of Unbridled’s Song trained by Bob Baffert for owner Juddmonte Farms, Inc. outfinished favored California Chrome in deep stretch in the mile and a quarter Classic to win by a half-length under Mike Smith.“When Chrome was out there cruising (on the lead) I thought no way he’s going to catch him,” said Baffert, who was winning his third straight Breeders’ Cup Classic. “. . . Then all of a sudden, Mike’s riding and he’s catching up little by little with that big stride kicking in . . . I never thought he would be able to catch Chrome.”Arrogate also was named Outstanding Three-Year-Old male, while Baffert’s third straight Breeders’ Cup Classic victory was named Achievement of the Meet. Five-year-old California Chrome, who captured the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes on Oct. 1, was named Outstanding Older Horse.Breeders’ Cup winners understandably dominated the categories.Distaff winner Beholder was named Outstanding Older Filly or Mare, thanks to her pulsating nose victory in the race over previously undefeated 2015 Two-Year-Old filly champion Songbird, who incurred her first loss after 11 straight easy victories.Songbird was named the Meet’s Outstanding Three-Year-Old filly and the Distaff was named Race of the Meet.Peter Miller led the trainers’ race from start to finish throughout the 23-day meet and outlasted runners-up Baffert and Doug O’Neill to capture the training title, 18-16, while perennial Southern California riding kingpin Rafael Bejarano withstood several challenges to take yet another crown, 23-20, over runner-up Kent Desormeaux. This was Bejarano’s 32nd title overall, his 27th in the Golden State and his 15th at Santa Anita.Honored in other categories were Champagne Room, $69.20 upset winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies for trainer Peter Eurton, Outstanding Two-Year-Old filly; Queen’s Trust, nose winner of the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, Outstanding Grass Filly or Mare; Sprint winner Drefong for Baffert, Outstanding Sprinter; and Highland Reel, victor in the $4 million Turf for trainer Aidan O’Brien, Outstanding Grass Horse.Also, Classic Empire, winner of the Juvenile for trainer Mark Casse, Outstanding Two-Year-Old male; Austin Solis, 24-year-old son of Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis, Outstanding Apprentice; B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm, owner of Beholder, Owner of the Meet by virtue of $1,431,890 in purse earnings.Nextdoorneighbor, who posted a 2 ¼-length victory against $8,000 claiming horses on Oct. 30, was named Claiming Horse of the Meet. Despite winning his second straight race at the bottom level, the popular nine-year-old Florida-bred gelding that was trained by Peter Miller is a virtual win machine, having registered his 13th career victory from 51 starts. The bay son of Lido Palace also has 11 seconds and seven thirds for earnings of $333,869. ARROGATE ‘HORSE OF MEET’ IN MEDIA POLL 2016 Santa Anita Autumn Media Polllast_img read more

The Bethal Trial Story

first_imgThe story of the Bethal trial will soon bewidely available in all libraries across thecountry.(Image:David Krut Publishing) Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane(third from left) accepting the Bethal TrialStory, from Mike Matsobane.The book now part of the province’sPolitical Heritage Collection. Living to tell the tale: from Left, RodneyTsoletsane, Biza Matsobane, LawrenceNtlokoa, Templeton “Pops” Mageza, andMike Matsobane are reunited at the launchof the book.(Images: Khanyi Magubane)Khanyi MagubaneA newly released book details the harrowing experiences of activists charged with treason during the Bethal trial, which was held in complete secrecy from 1978 to 1979 and reportedly became South Africa’s longest political trial.The Bethal Trial Story: Where do we begin… follows the young student activists of Mosupatsela High School in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, and the role they played in the June 1976 uprisings.The publication has officially been adopted as part of the Gauteng provincial government’s Political Heritage Collection.The collection was launched in 2002, and includes books, videos and tapes written and produced by political leaders, and those who documented the political tensions and struggles in South Africa during apartheid.Most of the material included in the collection was written during the apartheid regime and banned that government.It was therefore inaccessible to the public at the time.The collection was inspired by a need for South African libraries to transform their book and historical periodicals, to accurately represent the country’s diverse political history.Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Member of the Executive Council for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Nelisiwe Mbatha-Mthimkulu attended the 23 July launch.Both hailed the book as a crucial part of South African history.“The value and significance of documenting our life-changing experiences cannot be overstated.“The stories that shaped our course of history must be narrated and preserved in various forms, so that generations that follow can insight about how this nation was mold,” said Mokonyane in her speech.Born and raised in Krugersdorp, Mokonyane said the book has affected her personally, as it reminded her of her journey in politics.“As an activist whose home and primary constituency has always in Mogale City (The new name for Krugersdorp), I am fully aware of the history detailed in this book.“The school itself [Mosupatsela High School] is my beloved alma mater.”Mbatha-Mthimkhulu highlighted the importance of supporting initiatives that sought to tell the South African story.“The reason why we deem it fit to support the launches of books to celebrate our heritage is because they play such an important role in shaping perceptions of who we are as people in the eyes of humanity.“Without this sense of identity, we are nothing as people,” she said.South Africa’s famous political legal battle, the Rivonia Trial, took place at the Pretoria Supreme Court on 20 April 1964.Former president Nelson Mandela was accused number one due to his passionate opposition to segregation in South Africa.On 11 June 1964, at the conclusion of the trial, Mandela and seven others – Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg – were convicted. Mandela was found guilty on four charges of sabotage and like the others was sentenced to life imprisonment.Brave students take to streetsThe book traces the rise of five school representative council students and activists, Templeton Mageza; Themba Raymond Hlatshwayo; Rodney Tsholetsane; Molathegi Thlale and Lawrence Ntlokoa. The five were recruited to join the liberation movement by Mike Matsobane, a popular activist at the time.Armed with a new political awakening and influenced by the writings of Steve Biko, leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, the students encouraged and mobilised their fellow pupils to rebel against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in non-white schools.The students became the target of the apartheid government’s security police and were often threatened and intimidated.Because Kagiso, the township of Krugersdorp, was a small community during the 1970s, the security officers also knew the families of the “troublemakers” and threatened them with arrests and detentions.Not to be deterred, on 17 June, a day after the famous 16 June uprisings, students in Krugersdorp also took to the streets, resulting in a violent clash between students and the police force.In the aftermath of the student protests, Hlatshwayo, Thlale, Tsholestane, along with Mike Matsobane, were arrested and detained until January 1977.During this time, the students and Matsobane reportedly endured severe torture from state police, which they testified to during their trial.In the months following their release, an extensive charge sheet was compiled against the students and eight other defendants who were all grouped together to form part of the trial.A trial of secrecy and betrayalThe trial took place in Bethal, then falling under the Eastern Transvaal region, now known as Mpumalanga.Charges against the 12 focused on the contravention of the old Terrorism Act of 1967.The defendants were from different parts of the country and had been involved in different, what was deemed ‘terrorist activities”, by the apartheid government.A big blow to the defendants was the appointment of Judge D J Curlewis, who was widely known as a racist Nationalist.“Curlewis has always had a dubious reputation for heavy-handedness and his adverse comments in … political trials he p5resided over are the stuff of legend. His handling of the Bethal trial was arguable the most controversial performance of any by the select group of apartheid judges.”Most worrying to the accused was Curlewis’s reputation of handing down death sentences to those who had previously faced similar charges.Curlewis ordered that the trial be held in-camera, and banned the public and the press from covering it.During the 18-month trial, 168 state witnesses were brought to testify against the students. These included members of the same communities the defendants were from, who were forced by the state to testify.In the book, one of the defendants and authors of the book Rodney Tsholestane, recalls the betrayal they felt when close community members testifying against them.One of these was a Mr Sejanamane, who was a local primary school principal in their home town of Kagiso.“Actually, he was also our neighbour at home. He backed up this false allegation that I had been training people [to rebel against the state]. He said I did it. He was under duress to say this, of course, but there was a pay-off for him.“That same school principal gave false witness against many people, but I would say it was the worst against me because he was a friend of my father.”According to the book, some of the techniques used by the police to recruit informants or cooperatives included accommodation at “nice” police stations, cars and pocket money.At the end of the trial, the Kagiso group, made up of the student activists from Krugersdorp, were found guilty and served their respective sentences at various prisons across the country.Shedding light on the Bethal trialNow, 31 years after the traumatic experience of standing trial as students, the authors felt it necessary to tell their story.The process of writing involved extensive research at the Historical Papers Archives Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand.According to Templeton Mageza, popularly known as “Pops” the hours spent at the library were like travelling back in time.“We would spend hours and hours reading the available material. When it was time for the Unit to close, it was like they could keep it open for another hour.“We’ve written this book to remove the veil of secrecy. No family members were allowed to support us, no community members were allowed inside, and the media was also banned from telling our story. Most of the time, we felt alone.”Biza Matsobane, a fellow student activist at the time in Krugersdorp, said the book is long overdue.“We, as a people from the West Rand, have failed to document our political history, and that is the biggest betrayal to any people.“We don’t pretend to have given a comprehensive account of our history, but at least we found a place to begin,” said Matsobane.Useful linksGauteng government Department of Recreation, Sports, Arts and Culture The Bethal trial storylast_img read more

Mda’s Madonna now stage drama

first_imgSome of the cast members of Madonna of Excelsior in the promotional picture for the play. Diana Maseko, who plays Popi in the play. The two directors, Jerry Pooe (L) and Roel Twijnstra have a chat in between rehearsals. (Images: PACOFS) MEDIA CONTACTS • Steven Buys   Marketing coordinator: PACOFS   +27 51 447 7771 RELATED ARTICLES • South African theatre • West End beckons for playwrights • New Fugard play takes to stage • JM Coetzee archive heads to USValencia TalaneTen years after Zakes Mda’s acclaimed novel The Madonna of Excelsior was published in 2002, a stage adaptation is now ready for South African theatre audiences.The play is directed by Netherlands-based Roel Twijnstra and South African playwright and director Jerry Pooe. It opens on 15 August at the Andre Huguenet theatre in Bloemfontein and runs until 18 August when it moves to Johannesburg’s Windybrow theatre, opening there on 23 August.Based on a real-life drama, Madonna follows the trials of a poor black family living in Mahlaswetsa township next to Excelsior, a small farming town in the Free State province. The mother and protagonist, Niki, was one of 14 women arrested in 1971 for their part in a scandal in which they bore children with several of the area’s white farmers.The women, along with five farmers, were charged for violating the controversial Immorality Act, which prohibited people from having interracial sex. For the short duration of the trial – during which the women caused frustrations for the state by refusing to testify against the farmers – a great deal of attention was focused on the town by local and international journalists who came in their hundreds to hear the story.The government dropped the charges, mainly as a way of saving face, although the spectacle surrounding the scandal had a negative effect on many of those involved. Some of the women on trial committed suicide, according to Twijnstra, who researched the area for about a year prior to the start of production.Niki’s daughter Popi, whose birth was a result of her affair with a character that Mda named Tjaart Cronje, went on to live a life somewhat burdened by the stigma attached to her family by some members of the community.What inspired the play?The idea to make the play first came to the two directors five years ago when Pooe gave Twijnstra a copy of the novel to read.The two started doing research for the play and found that some of the people on whom Mda’s characters are based are still living in the town. Many people don’t want to talk about the scandal to this day, said Twijnstra – a sign of how deep the scars run.In modern-day Excelsior Twijnstra also observed economic disparities between the black and white communities, with the white community still having access to and owning a lot of property, while for the black locals the dire situation described in the book has not improved. There remains a bizarre tension amongst the people.“The scenario was shocking and inspiring for us, and we decided about a year ago that this is even more of a reason to make the play there rather than Johannesburg.”With the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) changing from just being a receiving house for touring productions and becoming a producing house, it made even more sense.           On a personal level, Twijnstra has wanted to do something with the theme of mixed-race relationships for a while, an issue to which he relates. His wife is black, and originally from KwaZulu-Natal.“I haven’t seen that many productions that portray these relationships,” he said, adding that not many of the Madonna cast have worked with people of other races before, so it was an opportunity to bring talents from different backgrounds together.Asked what Mda – who had been in the country and visited the set during rehearsals – had to say about the play, Twijnstra said he was an inspiration.“He liked what he saw, and because he is honest in his approach, we knew that he meant it.”The cast of charactersTwijnstra said that by making Niki and Popi the centre of the play, the angle of the relationship between mother and daughter became a partial tribute to Women’s Month.He has a lot of faith in the actresses who play the two characters and their ability to bring off the demanding portrayals. Popi is played by Diana Maseko, who has been in leading roles in the 2011 production Spirits and Bones as well as in Seipati, made in 2010.The role of Niki is played by two actresses, as the story follows her younger experiences as well as her relationship with Popi when they are both older. The younger character is played by Tshidi Thenyane, while Dieketseng Mnisi, whose experience goes back many years, plays the more mature role. Mnisi is known by local television viewers as Caroline in popular series Rhythm City.    By Twijnstra’s own admission, casting Popi’s role was the biggest challenge, partly because there is some nudity related to the part, so finding someone who is open minded and talented enough to portray this well proved difficult.“She (Maseko) is a huge talent from a community theatre background, and is very ambitious. I think she’ll grow a lot over the next few years.”The directors opted to pay tribute to Excelsior by using Bloemfontein, about 110km northeast of the small town, as their base. They also ended up with a cast of which 40% are local actors.“There was a great deal of interest from the local community in terms of auditions, despite the storyline being a sensitive topic,” said Twijnstra. “Among the white farming community as well, many people came through.”Film actor Mpho Lovinga, who played the lead in Max and Mona, has double roles – as Niki’s estranged husband Pule, and as Viliki, her son and Popi’s brother.The adaptation was written by Kobus Moolman, who has won numerous awards in literature, theatre writing and radio drama work. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.Other works by the directorsTwijnstra has worked on several projects in other African countries, including Morocco, Uganda and Benin. With a career that goes back to 1981, he has over 80 theatre productions to his name and has worked with European theatre icons such as the late Viola Spolin, Peter Stein and Lodewik de Boer.Most of his work in Africa is centred on young people and the social issues that affect their everyday lives.Through the South African branch of his theatre development company Twist International, some of Twijnstra’s projects have highlighted topics very close to the hearts of South Africans, like xenophobia, HIV/Aids and poverty.Some of Twist’s smaller projects have been staged in the annual National Arts Festival that takes place in Grahamstown in July.Pooe, meanwhile, has been in the development of community theatre for over 20 years, having written his very first script at the age of 17. He studied speech and drama at the former University of Natal (Now the Durban University of Technology) before founding Eager Artists Productions, a company that offers training for young actors and musicians.Prior to his work with PACOFS, he worked as the cultural development officer at Durban’s Playhouse Company.last_img read more

Social Capital: How Relationship Science Captures It All

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit One of the big promises of social networking is that it will inject your networking skills with PED (performance enhancing data), able to give you the biggest network on the block. If you’re a believer in the raw power of oh-so many social connections, that’s OK. But if you’re like me, you’ll already hearing Janet Jackson’s hit, What Have You Done For Me Lately? playing in your head. The problem with most social media is that the quality of your network degenerates as it grows. At first, best friends and business connections are added. Only to be followed by many requests from friends with few benefits. That sentiment may be harsh but in this day and age of Time Compression, the greatest value of business networking lies in its ability to improve daily dealings.Unfortunately, as I’m sure you’ve already discovered, many of your “extremely well-connected” network contacts turn out to be, more often than not, less than stellar. So expect the next generation of social networks to devote a lot more attention to the purview of social capital.Doing It The Analog WayOne company that provides a peek into the future of social networking is New York-based Relationship Science, a company founded by Neal Goldman, who reportedly raised the first $3 million of his $60 million investment in just three days.Relationship Science has built the ultimate business Who’s Who directory, relying on a staff of more than 800 people, located mostly in India. The data gathered over the past two years is derived strictly from publicly available information, Relationship Science CMO Josh Mait tells me.What sets the company apart from most online directories is its interface. As Mait describes it, Relationship Science offers “institutional grade data in a consumer-friendly interface.”To use the data effectively you need to identify people you know well. Once your relationships are tagged, the system will show your total number of first-degree connections, which in Mait’s case was about 18,000 connections produced by just 50 tagged relationships.Relationship Science has cataloged millions of people and organized their affinities, connections and special interests in the ultimate networking directory, also conveniently available via iPad, as this image demonstrates.Finding A PathOne of the most powerful features of Relationship Science is Path Finder, which lets you visually see how you’re connected to someone else, say for example, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Relationship links are color-coded as either strong, average or weak.These relationships are based on many data elements, including education, memberships, interests, affiliations, career, boards, committees, non-profit donations, public holdings, awards and events. Anyone in sales will really appreciate this level of data granularity, all delivered in a simple interface.Mait adds, “Our investors invested in the product because they saw themselves in it, networking is how they became successful.” I truly believe that social networks like Linked In could learn from Relationship Science, although the company vigorously denies that it’s a social network or a “traditional CRM system.”I predict that a lot of social innovation will come in the area of superior connection building. The watchword of the future being “social capital.” People who blow other people off without communication will in the very near future be anonymously rated by their social media peers.And those ratings will pop up in social capital databases that everyone will tap into. We can’t wait to see how this futuristic science of relationships helps us all perform better. Until then, I suggest you spend $3,000 a year on Relationship Science. There’s no better way to get to Howard Schultz.Images via Relationship Science.Editors Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly noted the cost of the Relationship Science service as $3000/month. It is actually $3000/year, and the article has been updated to reflect that amount. Tags:#customer information#LinkedIn#social networking#social networks Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification michael tchongcenter_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

Competitive season expected as 9 teams see action in ABL

first_imgNonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ‘Not about numbers’: Slaughter looking to help Ginebra in any way he can Read Next The addition of the teams, which was officially announced on Tuesday in a press conference Tuesday at Shangri-La Hotel at Bonifacio Global City, expands the league’s reach in Asia.“We’ll be able to bring more exciting games for the fans. You’ll be able to see other stars in the region,” Ilagan told INQUIRER.net. “You’re not just confined in the Philippines then you get to appreciate other countries’ basketball culture as well.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIlagan believes it will be a “very competitive” season.“I think most if not all of our games will be down the wire this year. All the teams we have this year are very competitive. The addition of CLS Knights from Indonesia, Mono Vampire from Thailand, they are very established teams,” he said. “Plus, you add that team from China and the group from Taiwan who equally love basketball as we do.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa The ninth season opens on Nov. 17. Alab Pilipinas begins its campaign on Nov. 19 against the Eastern Long Lions at Mall of Asia Arena.The Philippines, bannered by reigning local MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and import Ivan Johnson, will be tested right away against Hong Kong, which will be led by Fil-German Christian Standhardinger and Thai-American Tyler Lamb.“It will absolutely be a tough game. They have a loaded team over there with Christian but we’ll do our part and be ready for our opening game,” said new Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag. ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nine ABL teams for the 2017-2018 season. Photo from ASEAN Basketball LeagueA league record nine teams will see action in the new Asean Basketball League season which unfolds next month.Defending champion Hong Kong is expected to have its hands full with the entry of the Formosa Dreamers of Taiwan, CLS Knights Surabaya of Indonesia, Nanhai Long-Lions of China and returning Mono Vampire of Thailand.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  MOST READ PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:18Sangley airport to be operational in 7 days – Tugade03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

UAE says Qatar fighter jets intercept flights Doha denies

first_imgDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates claimed Qatari fighter jets intercepted two of its commercial airliners in international airspace on the way to Bahrain, allegations denied by Qatar.The claims Monday could further escalate tensions between Qatar and the four Arab nations that have been boycotting it for months, among them the UAE, home to the world’s busiest international airport. They also could affect long-haul airline travel, as the region’s carriers are a crucial link between the East and West.It follows two complaints by Qatar to the United Nations about Emirati military aircraft allegedly violating its international airspace amid the diplomatic crisis. The UAE denies the allegations.The UAE’s state-run WAM news agency made the claim about the Qatari jet fighters on Monday, citing the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority.WAM quoted Saif al-Suwaidi, the director-general of the GCAA, as saying the intercepts happened at 10:30 a.m. and 11:05 a.m. He said Bahraini radar, as well as crew and passengers on board, saw the military aircraft, “which constituted a clear and explicit threat to the lives of innocent civilians.”WAM did not identify the aircraft involved, nor did it elaborate on details of the purported encounters. The GCAA did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.Bahrain’s state-run BNA news agency, citing its own civil aviation authority, identified the two flights as Dubai-based Emirates flight No. EK837, a Boeing 777, and another flown by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad. The flight number it offered for Etihad did not correspond with any scheduled flight to Bahrain.“Qatari military fighter jets came within two miles of the Emirates aircraft, which put the lives of passengers and crew at risk,” BNA said. It offered few details about the Etihad flight.Both airlines declined to comment when reached by the AP.Qatar’s Foreign Ministry called the UAE’s allegations a “totally false claim” in a statement Monday night. “It seems that the UAE is trying to draw attention away from other incidents that have caused media crises,” it said.That appeared to reference a video released Sunday night of an exiled Qatari ruling family member, once promoted by Saudi Arabia as an alternative to the country’s ruling emir, claiming he’s being held against his will in the UAE, an allegation denied by Abu Dhabi.The video of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani recalled the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri while on a trip to Saudi Arabia, a Nov. 4 decision that was widely seen as orchestrated by Riyadh.Emirates flight No. EK837 was scheduled to depart Dubai at 8:20 a.m. Monday, but pushed off nearly an hour late. It flew out over international waters near the northern tip of Qatar, a peninsular nation that juts into the Persian Gulf, before arriving in the island nation of Bahrain 46 minutes after takeoff. That’s been the standard route of all Emirati commercial airliners since the crisis began.FlightRadar24, a plane-tracking website, did not show any unusual routes between the UAE and Bahrain. “There appears to be no deviation from standard routing and approach patterns in today’s flights,” FlightRadar24 spokesman Ian Petchenik told the AP.U.S. Air Force Central Command, which is based at the sprawling al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, did not have any reports of incidents involving commercial aircraft in the region, said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman. However, Pickart cautioned that U.S. forces don’t routinely monitor the flights and operations of the Qatari air force.Qatar’s stock exchange dropped some 2.5 per cent in trading Monday, one of its biggest jolts since the crisis began.Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut off Qatar’s land, sea and air routes on June 5 over its alleged support of extremists and close ties with Iran.Qatar has long denied funding extremists. It recently restored full diplomatic relations with Iran, with which it shares a massive offshore natural gas field that makes the country and its 250,000 citizens extremely wealthy.The crisis has hurt Qatar Airways, Doha’s long-haul carrier that competes with Emirates and Etihad.Qatar had complained to the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization about the boycotting nations cutting off its air routes, forcing the carrier to take longer flights through Iran and Turkey. Its regional feeder flights in Saudi Arabia and the UAE also have been cut off.However, widening the Gulf dispute to include civilian aviation and airspace could hurt Emirati airlines already stung by President Donald Trump’s travel bans, as well as last year’s since-lifted ban on laptops in airplane cabins.The White House said Trump spoke Monday with Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, saying the president reiterated his support for unity among Gulf Arab nations. Trump also thanked Sheikh Tamim for Qatar’s “action to counter terrorism and extremism,” the White House said.Qatar earlier accused Emirati military jets of violating its air space in December and January in two incidents, filing a complaint to the United Nations. Anwar Gargash, the Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, wrote Friday on Twitter that Qatar’s airspace complaints were “incorrect and confused,” without elaborating.Sheikh Tamim also travelled Monday to Ankara to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish officials said Erdogan and Al Thani discussed bilateral ties and regional issues, without offering specifics. Turkey has a military base in Qatar and has supported Doha in the diplomatic dispute.___Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.___Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap . His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz .last_img read more

Drug company Actelion to pay 360M in kickback probe

first_imgBOSTON — A pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay $360 million to resolve allegations that it used a charitable foundation to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients.The U.S. attorney’s office in Boston announced the settlement Thursday with Actelion Pharmaceuticals US Inc., which was acquired last year by health care giant Johnson & Johnson.Federal prosecutors say South San Francisco-based Actelion illegally used a purportedly independent charity to cover the co-payments of thousands of Medicare patients taking its pulmonary arterial high blood pressure drugs.Prosecutors say that helped the company convince patients to buy its drugs when the prices it set would have otherwise prevented them from doing so. The U.S. attorney’s office says that violated the anti-kickback law.A message was left with Actelion on Thursday seeking comment.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Court Testimony from OxyContin maker must be unsealed

first_imgFRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky appeals court says the secret testimony from a former president of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of dangerously addictive opioid painkillers must be released to the public.A three-judge panel ruled Friday the deposition of Richard Sackler must be unsealed. Sackler is a former president of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. He’s a member of the family that controls the company. His testimony could reveal more information about the company’s marketing practices. The company announced earlier this year it would stop marketing the painkiller.Sackler’s testimony is part of Kentucky’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharma that settled in 2015 for $24 million.The ruling is a victory for STAT, a national health publication owned by Boston Globe Media that sued to unseal the testimony.Adam Beam, The Associated Presslast_img read more