Novatek Ships First LNG Cargo to Brazil

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: MOL Russian natural gas producer Novatek has shipped its first LNG cargo to the Brazilian market with LNG produced from the Yamal LNG project. The cargo, shipped through the company’s subsidiary Novatek Gas and Power Asia, was delivered to the Bahia Regasification Terminal owned by Petrobras.“Our LNG marketing strategy aims to diversify our supply geography and customer base,”  Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek’s Chairman of the Management Board, said.“This shipment represents our first LNG cargo produced by our own production to the Latin American market, and confirms the viability of our logistical model and unique geographical location of the Yamal LNG project to deliver competitively priced LNG to any part of the world,” Mikhelson added.last_img read more

Halifax Convention Centre Update

first_imgHalifax Convention Centre today, May 18, provided an update on the progress and preparations for the new facility. To date, the Halifax Convention Centre has booked 50 national and international events, with more than 40,000 visitors that will generate an estimated $59 million in direct spending. “The new convention centre is attracting first-time visitors to Nova Scotia from around the world who will explore our province,” said Scott Ferguson, president and CEO of Trade Centre Limited. “We are securing strategic events that will create new opportunities for our local experts to build connections and showcase Nova Scotia’s strengths in business, research and academia.” Highlights of newly booked business include: Designed to incorporate Nova Scotia culture, history, arts and innovation, the interiors of the new convention centre were also unveiled. “It has been our pleasure to work with the Halifax Convention Centre team to build a top quality facility with all of the features a modern convention goer expects,” said Joe Ramia, president and CEO of Argyle Developments Inc. “This convention centre will be competitive with leading facilities across Canada and around the world.” The centre will have 120,000 square feet of event space, including two convention levels and a mix of multi-purpose, meeting and ballroom space. The building will be state-of-the-art and the first smart building in Atlantic Canada. A smart building uses energy efficiency and efficient systems in terms of structure, appliances, electrical systems and plumbing. It is also designed to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED gold standard, a rating system that is recognized as the mark of excellence for green buildings in 150 countries. The Halifax Convention Centre is part of the Nova Centre, a one-million square-foot, mixed-used development including a hotel, financial tower and retail space. It is the largest integrated development project yet in the province’s history. The funding of the convention centre is shared between three levels of government, totalling $169.2 million. The number of workers on the Nova Centre site is expected to reach 500 in June, as construction ramps up to focus on interior finishes. The convention centre will begin hosting events in early 2017. 2017 International Conference on Residency Education, 1,500 delegates Canadian Diabetes Association 2018 Professional Conference, 1,750 delegates 2019 Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada Annual Clinical Meeting and Scientific Conference, 500 delegates 2017 KDD Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, 2,300 delegates 2017 International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management, 1,400 delegates last_img read more

Distracted pilot blamed in fatal 2016 CF18 crash in Cold Lake

first_imgOTTAWA – A National Defence investigation suggests that pilot distraction was the likely cause of a fatal CF-18 crash near Cold Lake, Alta., in November 2016.Capt. Thomas McQueen of Hamilton was killed in the accident.The final report of the military’s Airworthiness Investigative Authority says McQueen had just dropped a practice bomb in a low-level exercise when the crash occurred.The agency says it found no evidence of a mechanical failure, bird strike or pilot incapacitation in the crash.It says circumstantial evidence suggests the pilot was distracted, trying to see where his bomb had landed.The report says new rules have been issued to help prevent a similar accident.last_img read more

BRENDAN HEALY TAKES OVER AS CANADIAN STAGE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitter An acclaimed director and an innovative administrator with international connections and deep roots in Toronto’s performing arts scene: Canadian Stage’s announcement of Brendan Healy as its new artistic director is a sigh of relief.As recently as last week, the Luminato Festival became the latest major performing arts organization in Toronto to have its leadership up in the air with the resignation of Josephine Ridge. (Soulpepper is likewise still in the process of finding replacements for former artistic director Albert Schultz and executive director Leslie Lester.) So far, the arts community has been vocal about wanting leadership that reflects the city and the art made here, and the concern about these influential positions going to candidates from the United States, Europe or Australia.But Healy’s tenure at Canadian Stage will be a warm welcome back to Toronto, after three years away. Having served six seasons as artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, where he led the LGBTQ+ company through a period of financial and artistic success (while directing memorable productions of Sarah Kane’s Blasted, Nina Arsenault’s The Silicone Diaries, and Tim Luscombe’s PIG), Healy left the company in 2015 to earn a master’s degree in international arts management through a joint program with the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the HEC Montréal, and SDA Bocconi in Milan. Facebook Brendan Healy. (ALEJANDRO SANTIAGO / SUPPLIED PHOTO)last_img read more

French yellow vest protests staged amid enhanced security

PARIS — The French government vowed to strengthen security as yellow vest protesters stage a 19th round of demonstrations, following last week’s riots in Paris.Authorities banned protests from the capital’s Champs-Elysees avenue and central areas of several cities including Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Nice in the south, and Rouen in western France.New Paris police chief Didier Lallement, who took charge following last week’s protests, said specific police units have been created to react faster to any violence.Authorities also deployed soldiers to protect sensitive sites and allow police forces to focus on maintaining order during the protests.In Paris, yellow vests issued calls for a gathering on Trocadero plaza, next to the Eiffel Tower, and a demonstration from the south of the capital to Montmartre neighbourhood.The Associated Press read more

Workers demand better protection from EUwide rules

BRUSSELS — Thousands of trade union members are protesting outside European Union headquarters to demand better working conditions and protections for employees after next month’s EU-wide elections.Union delegates from across many of the bloc’s 28 nation gathered Friday in the peaceful march in Brussels. They say current EU rules favour businesses and employers too much, leaving workers with little incentive to support a united Europe.Luca Visentini, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, says the “only way to save Europe and to save democracy is to make sure that workers can really benefit from rights, from growth, from jobs and from better wages.”Police estimated 4,600 people demonstrated, while unions put the number at around 8,000.The Associated Press read more

UN forum tackles balance between property rights and Internet freedom

14 November 2007Reconciling the free flow of information with intellectual property law topped the agenda today as the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, which has brought together 1,700 delegates from government, civil society and the private sector this week, continued its discussions in Rio de Janeiro. Reconciling the free flow of information with intellectual property law topped the agenda today as the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, which has brought together 1,700 delegates from government, civil society and the private sector this week, continued its discussions in Rio de Janeiro.“For many outside this room, IP does not mean ‘Internet Protocol’ but ‘Intellectual Property’,” said Masanobu Katoh, Fujitsu’s Corporate Vice-President. Freedom of information and regulations could coexist, as shown by legislation and guidelines adopted by the United States Congress, the European Parliament and Japan.Self-regulation by the private sector should supplement government action, he said, and the dilemma between Internet freedom and Internet regulation could be resolved by striking a balance among the various competing interests. Alexandre Jobim of the International Association of Broadcasters said broadcasters were held accountable through laws prohibiting child pornography, incitation to violence and other crimes. But these same restrictions did not apply to the Internet, leading to an unfair imbalance between traditional and Web-based media. Broadcasters fully supported Internet freedom, but saw the need to limit online criminal activities.Nick Dearden of Amnesty International said Internet filtering was spreading rapidly, activists were imprisoned for legitimate online activities and companies cooperated with governments in censorship. “As Internet access continues to grow, this repression seems certain to increase as well,” he said.“For many governments across the world, human rights are actually slipping down the agenda,” he said. Governments were concerned about credit card frauds, child pornography and cyberterrorism but seldom mentioned freedom of expression.Peter Dengate, Chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), said freedom of expression was sacrosanct, but so was “the freedom to enjoy the fruits of your labour and the freedom to enjoy the undisturbed use of your property.” The Internet had made the copying of property “extraordinarily easy,” with images, music and texts able to be taken and used instantly.Carlos Gregorio, an expert in privacy rights, said everybody wanted to keep the broadest degree of openness possible, but this was making people vulnerable, and “the State is a main destroyer of the balance between access and privacy.”In Latin America, many of the websites of the judiciary had been made public in the name of transparency, but in one country the names and social security numbers of almost all people living with HIV/AIDS, most of them children, were available online. Workers who had sued their former employer saw the verdict posted on the Web, and would never be hired again.“Privacy, regrettably, is being lost,” Mr. Gregorio said, “and it will be very difficult to keep it up.” read more

Dont tell us what to do – MR

“Sri Lanka is in the midst of peace won at great sacrifice. We are progressing on the path of peace and reconciliation. Our government is committed to walk that extra mile to establish permanent peace through reconciliation. That is our commitment to our people and no one has to tell us what to do,” the President said. The President also said that Sri Lanka will not allow forces of separatism and terror to raise their ugly heads again in the country.“Moving in tandem with the new rise of Asia as the economic hub of the world you will see that Sri Lanka is now ready to be re-positioned as a strategically important economic centre in this continent of growth,” he said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the government is committed to achieve reconciliation and no one needs to tell his country what to do.Speaking at the launch of an export exhibition today the President stressed that Sri Lanka is in the midst of peace won at great sacrifice and the country is now progressing on the path of peace and reconciliation. He said that the large foreign presence at the exhibition shows there is a measure of confidence in Sri Lanka that has not been diminished by false propaganda that is currently spread by those who are trying to prevent investment flowing to the country The President further noted that business confidence in Sri Lanka has now led to international hotel chains such as Shangri-la, Sun City and Sheraton investing in Sri Lanka while other investments in a diverse portfolio of opportunity are in the pipeline. read more

Over 5000 Indians register for festival on Sri Lankan island

The district administration was likely to convene a meeting next week, with representatives of various security agencies to work out the modalities for the pilgrimage, he said.For the first time, Sivaganga Diocese Bishop Rev Soosai Manickam would be joining the pilgrimage following an invitation from the Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, which organised the festival, he added.The pilgrims would leave on March 11 morning from Rameswaram fishing jetty and take part in the Way of the Cross procession, jointly taken out by Indian and Sri Lankan pilgrims, followed by the mass, the same day evening. After the feast mass on March 12, the pilgrims would return, he also added. This year, at least 4,500 were expected to participate, he said. The Rameswaram fishermen had offered to donate a flag mast and monstrance at a total cost of Rs. 2.40 lakh to the new church for the annual festival and were awaiting response from the Jaffna Diocese, he said. (Colombo Gazette) Last year, the festival was held on February 20 and 21, and 3,249 pilgrims, including 694 women and 154 children, participated in it. He said 147 mechanised boats, including two spare boats, had been registered for the pilgrimage and each boat could carry 30 pilgrims and five crew members.On the demand for allowing country boats to take part in the pilgrimage, he said Sri Lankan Navy and Indian authorities were against carrying pilgrims in country boats for security reasons. A record 5,015 Indian pilgrims, including about 2,000 from Rameswaram island have registered for the two-day annual St Antony’s Church festival in Katchatheevu, scheduled for March 11 and 12, Rev Fr. Sagayaraj, Verkodu Parish Priest and chief coordinator of Indian pilgrimage, said.The response was overwhelming as the pilgrims wanted to visit and offer worship at the new church, which was inaugurated on December 23, 2016, The Hindu newspaper reported. read more

Foreign Minister warns Sri Lanka cannot remain complacent

The Minister also said that Sri Lanka must pursue “hub diplomacy”, which relentlessly promotes Sri Lanka as the first-choice location for the regional headquarters of international companies, from established multinationals to expanding startups.The Foreign Minister also noted that just as India has done with its own diaspora, Sri Lanka must reach out to overseas Sri Lankans as they have networks and the know-how that Sri Lanka does not even appreciate, let alone leverage. (Colombo Gazette) Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake, today warned that Sri Lanka cannot remain complacent, believing that the country will automatically reap the economic rewards of a global shift from West to East.Addressing a seminar titled ‘Emerging Issues in the Indian Ocean’ at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute today, the Minister said that the shift in power from West to East is a positive one for Sri Lanka. Seventh, just as India has done with its own diaspora, we must reach out to Overseas Sri Lankans. They have networks and know-how that we currently do not even appreciate, let alone leverage.Sri Lanka’s overall mission in pursuing these strategies is to maximise the economic benefits of its unique location, at the centre of trading networks in the Indian Ocean, and at the doorstep of the Indian subcontinent. In other words, Sri Lanka must cultivate a dual identity as both the ‘Centre of the Indian Ocean’, and the ‘Gateway to the Subcontinent’.Several other economies have successfully built and leveraged such a dual identity, including Hong Kong in relation to China, Singapore with ASEAN, and even New Zealand with Australia. As I explained in a recent interview, Hong Kong built its prosperity by marketing itself as an international financial city, as well as a gateway to mainland China.Achieving a successful dual identity, however, is not merely a commercial task. Sri Lanka’s commercial diplomacy must be founded on clear and stable principles, to underpin the policy consistency that investors demand, and to safeguard our security from emerging regional power plays that are already apparent in the South China Sea and on the Korean Peninsula. This brings me to how Sri Lanka should respond to the second global shift: weakened support for the values of the international order.There may be some in Sri Lankawho are tempted see a global shift from away from these valuesas an opening for Sri Lanka, for us to be lessbothered with standards likethe rule of law and free trade. I take a different and more long-term view. An international rules-based order is essential for Sri Lanka’s peace and security, economic growth, and democratic stability.Indeed, smaller countries like ours rely on a rules-based order, as a far more preferable alternative to the scenario ofrule by force – a game which we cannot win, and certainly not alone. It is for this reason that Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once wrote that “Singapore must remain committed to upholding the rule of law in relations between states,” even if there are limits to the efficacy of international law.Sri Lanka’s development as a centre of the Indian Ocean cannot afford a weakening of international rules and principles like freedom of navigation, commitment to the law of the sea, and democratic values.This is whyPresident Sirisenasigned the Jakarta Concordthis March at the IORA Summit, affirming freedom of navigation, a “culture of democracy” and human rights, and Prime Minister Wickremesinghehas recently spoken of a Code of Conduct for military vessels in the Indian Ocean.Our foreign policy must therefore continue to advocate and support a rules-based global order.With regard to the third shift of digitalisation, and the millennial generation that has grown up with it, Sri Lankan foreign policy mustlook upon this shift as an unusualopportunity, with high potential.  Sri Lanka has developed great minds and expertise that are pushing the boundaries of information and communication technology, in both the educational and private sector.For example, in 2013,  the University of Moratuwa had the most number of student projects accepted by Google’s Summer of Code programme for the seventh year running,beating all other universities in the world, including the National University of Singapore (which ranked in 7th place) and Peking University (which ranked 9th). Our IT professionals have created software for global clients like the London Stock Exchange.Achievements like these can be multiplied if our foreign policy goes beyond formal diplomatic relations to establishingvaluable people-to-people links,with key partner economies. For example, our missions abroad can assist the thousands of Sri Lankan students studying abroad, including inIndia and China, to obtain internships in high-growth companies and new industries. These students may then return to Sri Lanka with networks that they can tap. Even if they remain abroad, we can tap them for ideas, network introductions, and other assistance. Wednesday, 28 June 2017* Hon. Governors and Ministers, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:It gives me great pleasure, as the new Chairman of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, to address this eminent gathering of policymakers, diplomats, scholars, corporate leaders, lawyers, civil society, and students, at this landmark event on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.It has been a little over a month since I became Foreign Minister. I am conscious that I have assumed an office and responsibilities previously held by some of our most illustrious leaders, not least by the late Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar after whom this Institute is fittingly named, but also by Mr. A.C.S. Hameed, Mrs. Bandaranaike, and several others, each of whom left invaluable legacies for our international relations.While it is early days of my tenure, I can say that one of my priorities is to build a foreign policy – and a foreign service – that predicts and innovates, rather than one that reacts and stagnates. So I look forward to hearing the forecasts and analysis of the experts invited to speak today, as part of developing a foreign policy that foresees and grasps the opportunities of a changing world.  For my part, I will begin the discussion by, first, briefly observing three major shifts that are apparent in the current international order. The first shift, in economic power from the West to East, has been gathering pace for some decades, and has accelerated since the early 2000s. In particular, 2001 may be seen as a watershed moment in this shift because of China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in that year, which resulted in estimated gains of nearly USD 10 billion a year for the Chinese economy.Sixteen years later, China is the world’s largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). Even in terms of nominal GDP, it is estimated to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2029. Meanwhile, India is predicted to overtake the US as the world’s second-largest economy in PPP terms by 2050.The growing economic power of these Asian powers has also translated into more confident foreign policy initiatives. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is one of the most ambitious connectivity plans ever envisioned, which could result inUSD 1 trillion of investment in over 60 countries. India is also strengthening its regional engagement, with one example being Prime MinisterModi’s commitment of USD 2 billion towards strengthening India-ASEAN connectivity.For Sri Lanka, this shift from West to East is naturally a welcome development. Given  our strategic location at the centre of the Indian Ocean, it provides an unprecedented potential economic opportunity, if we carefully plan and actively pursue it.Weakened confidence in foundational values Full speech:Opening Address of the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI), at the commencement of proceedings of the Seminar on Emerging Issues in the Indian Ocean and Foreign Policy Forum  Some of these shifts present opportunities, while some present risks – but mostly, I believe, they will present what we as Sri Lankans will choose to make of them. In the second part of my address, I will therefore outline some thoughts on how Sri Lanka’s foreign policy can adapt to these global shifts. Finally, I will speak on how the Foreign Ministry itself must change, to effectively implement policies for Sri Lanka’s long-term economic and strategic interests.A Changing World: Three major shifts To begin the discussion of major global shifts, I want to highlight three such shifts, although many more will be discussed today. These three are:First, the sustained shift in economic power from the West to East;Second, the recent social and political resistance, in some parts of the world, to previously established valuesof the global order. These values include globalisation, free trade, a rule of law, and democratic principles; and Second, while “thinking global”, our foreign service must also “act local,” by utilising strategies of para-diplomacy. As the Prime Minister has observed, there are untapped opportunities in neighbouring cities and regions, including with the 5 southern states of India: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telegana. These states have a total population of 250 million people and GDP of US$400 billion. Third, we must continue to prioritise our proposed free trade agreements with India, China and Singapore. If our local resources are overstretched, we should seek external expertise and training to conclude these negotiations. The second global shift I want to note is a weakened confidence, in previously well-established principles that underpinned the international order. These principles include globalisation, free trade, the rule of law and liberal democracy. This shift can also be traced back to the year 2001, when the U.S. experienced its terrorist attacks and confronted a predicament that we in Sri Lanka had faced for a long time: that is, the question of how to ensure a free and open society in view of a major threat to national security and sovereignty.The gradual weakening of confidence in established norms and values, especially in the West, is apparent in Brexit and in last year’s presidential election in the U.S. and the subsequent political turbulence. Whileglobal values of politicaland economic freedom were unfortunately never universally applied or evenly enforced in our world, there is now even more uncertainty as to how we can ensure a rules-based international order, which includes norms like freedom of navigation and overflight, free trade,democratic institutions, and the equal rights of all.As a smaller state in a region with increasingly powerful players, Sri Lanka should be concerned about any apparent weakening of support for these values, which are necessary for Sri Lanka’s long-term stability and interests.  To paraphrasethe first Foreign Minister of Singapore, the Sri Lankan-born S. Rajaratnam, a smaller state needs a rule-based international order for “practical self-interest, and not vague idealism,” so that it can ensure its long-term objectives of peace through collective security, economic development, and self-determination.  Increasing digitalisationThe third shift that I want to highlight is the growing digitalisation of societies and political activity. From tweeting Presidents to more serious concerns such as the hacking of sensitive government data, and terror networks spreading via social media, the information revolution is transformingour world. The ability of social media networks to effect far-reaching changes is not yet visible in Sri Lanka, but this is only a matter of time. Events like the Arab Spring have shown us that social media activism can be revolutionary and even anarchic; causing further insecurity in a world that is already facing uncertainty about established values.Despite the uncertainties and risks of digitalisation, however, young people are fully embracing it. In Sri Lanka, as in many other parts of the world, the highest percentage of social media users is aged between 18 and 34. Access to an endless flow of information from various quarters through mobile phones makes the younger generation more sceptical of official sources of information and less accepting of traditional social hierarchies. Sri Lanka must not fear these changes but rather, should recognise themas potentially valuable resources, and find ways to harness them for exponential national growth.How Sri Lanka’s foreign policy should respond to these shifts Third, the transformation of national and international society due to rapid digitalisation. Economic Power from West to East This, he says, is indicated by the interest of the major regional powers in investing in Sri Lanka. China is investing over USD 1.5 billion in building the Colombo port and International Financial City (CIFC). India has indicated an interest in investing over USD 1 billion, in the East Container Terminal of the port, along with other projects like the oil tank farm in Trincomalee under a public-private partnership with the Sri Lankan Government. Fifth, we need to research and pursue new sources of investment, closer to home. These include the Chinese-led Silk Road Fund, Export-Import Bank of China and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, but also new sources of capital in other markets in the region, including in South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Fourth, we should research the potential to engage with proposed “mega FTAs” like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and similarly, advocate greater trade liberalisation in regional groupings that Sri Lanka is already part of, like BIMSTEC and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). The potential of IORA, for example, is evident in the numbers: its member states represent more than a quarterof the global population yet less than 10% of GWP. The IORA of today could become the ASEAN of tomorrow. “Yet despite these positive developments, Sri Lanka has so far been largely reactive to the interest of its neighbours and potential partners. We cannot afford to remain complacent, believing that we will automatically reap the economic rewards of a global shift from West to East. We will not. It is worth noting that, although China is a large investor in Sri Lanka, foreign direct investment from China in other regional economies like Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia is much higher than to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka must, therefore, develop a proactive foreign policy centred on commercial diplomacy, to maximize the benefits of growing economic power in our region,” he said. Sixth, we need to promote the integration of Sri Lankan small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into global and regional value chains. I want to comment briefly on how Sri Lankan foreign policy can evolve in light of each of the 3 shifts just mentioned: the increasing power of the East relative to the West; less confidence in the underlying values of the international order; and rapid digitalisation.As observed earlier, the shift in power from West to East is a positive one for Sri Lanka. This is indicated by the interest of the majorregional powers in investing in Sri Lanka. India has indicated an interest in investing over USD 2 billion, in the East Container Terminal of the port, along with other projects like the oil tank farm in Trincomalee under a public-private partnership with the Sri Lankan government.China is investing over USD 1.5 billion in building the Colombo port and International Financial City (CIFC).Japan, is also investing in key projects, including in a LNG terminal (jointly with India), and is actively seeking more opportunities here.Yet despite these positive developments, Sri Lanka has so far been largely reactive to the interest of its neighbours and potential partners. We cannot afford to remain complacent, believing that we will automatically reap the economic rewards of a global shift from West to East. We will not. It is worth noting that, although China is a large investor in Sri Lanka, foreign direct investment from China in other regional economies like Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia is much higher than to Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka must, therefore, develop a proactive foreign policy centred on commercial diplomacy, to maximize the benefits of growing economic power in our region. There are several strategies of commercial diplomacy that we should pursue. I will justmention a few of these:First, we should pursue a “hub diplomacy”, which relentlessly promotes Sri Lanka as the first-choice location for the regional headquarters of international companies, from established multinationals to expanding start-ups. Just as Singapore established itself as a successful hub between India and China, so too can Sri Lanka – as a centre of the entire Indian Ocean region (that has a population over 2 billion),between Singapore and Dubai. How the Foreign Ministry should respond to these shiftsI have alreadyventured into my final point, which is the need for our Foreign Ministry to develop into a proactive and unified team of diplomats and missions – beyond the current situation in which we have excellent Foreign Service officers without comprehensive and transformative team support.To take full advantage of the shift in economic power to Asia, we should and will prioritize commercial diplomacy.  Our recruitment should target professionals from the private sector, even if only on secondment, and commercial attaches in our missions abroad need to be skilledin trade negotiations,and fluent in the local language. We will work to attract young Sri Lankans who have studied abroad in countries like China, so that we will gain officers with the required cultural fluency and language skills, without significant additional investments of time and money.There are several foreign ministries in other countries that offer valuable examples of commercial diplomacy. The New Zealand government developed its national brand as ‘New Zealand Inc.’ and it ensures that New Zealand’s private sector is deeply involved instrategizing New Zealand’s trade policy. Officers in their Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and even the Media Advisor, have previously worked at a senior level in the dairy sector. This helps to ensure synergies and transfers of knowledge between New Zealand’s foreign ministry and private sector.As to how the Ministry should promote international principles like freedom of navigation,free trade, the rule of law and human rights, we can begin by formulating an organisational Mission, which states the aims of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and the principles for which we have always stood. Just like staff of leading private sector companies are guided by a corporate mission, so too should our Foreign Service officers. The Netherlands is one example of a nation that does this well,by explicitly stating that its foreign policy aims to achieve security, prosperity and freedom.Finally, in view of digitalisation and the millennial generation, the Ministry’s institutional culture and structures may need an overhaul. We can increase the reach of our digital diplomacy, especially by penetrating foreign markets such as China, using channels such as Weibo and Wechat.  While a few of our missions already usefully employ digital diplomacy, every mission’s social media should proactively market our country and opportunities. For examples of this approach, one need only look at the Facebook pages of some of the foreign missions here in Colombo.It has been observed that the most important aspect of foreign policy is the people who make it, and if the Ministry is to attract the best and brightest of the millennial generation, it must be attuned to their expectations. Millennials don’t want staid and hierarchical bureaucracies. Rather, they want horizontal workplaces, where their voices are heard from Day 1, with clear targets and merit-based advancement.If we want young innovators, we must be committed to a culture of innovation. We can’t promise casual clothes and table tennis at our offices like in Silicon Valley, but we can start with new practices like an Ideas Lab, online and in person, and an “open door” policy. Many Foreign Service officers are already offering valuable suggestions.To sum up, our relations with India over the years has been built on mutual confidence and respect for each other. What we have to ensure is that this cordiality is not exploited by political or any other opportunist to their advantage. Therefore, it is incumbent upon me to safeguard and develop our ever-strengthening relationship to the highest levels.The Sri Lankan foreign policy must prioritize commercial diplomacy, take a clear stand for values that are in its long-term interest, and embrace – not fear –digitalisation and the millennial generation.  This is a tall order but we can achieve it together.  As the late Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar said of our difficult peace process, “it’s not a question of pulling a rabbit out of a hat.”Likewise, building a foreign policy for our changing global order is no easy task, but it is an imperative nonetheless. During these changing times, we cannot afford to stand still. Let us move ahead and grasp the hand of others who, like us, want to secure continued peace and prosperity.Thank you. read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange markets

by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 9, 2013 6:25 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (12,522.24 up 17.43 points):Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Transportation. Up four cents, or 1.04 per cent, at $3.90 on 10,084,899 shares.Uranium One Inc. (TSX:UUU). Miner. Down four cents, or 1.65 per cent, at $2.39 on 8,622,344 shares.Denison Mines Corp. (TSX:DML). Miner. Up six cents, or 4.69 per cent, at $1.34 on 4,811,947 shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TXS:MFC). Financial services. Down 26 cents, or 1.81 per cent, at $14.13 on 4,672,784 shares.Air Canada (TSX:AC.B). Airline. Up 15 cents, or 7.54 per cent, at $2.14 on 3,690,325 shares.Torc Oil & Gas Ltd. (TSX:TOG). Oil and gas. Down nine cents, or 3.61 per cent, at $2.40 on 3,247,297 shares.TSX Venture Exchange (1,229.11 up 3.74 points):Sintana Energy Inc. (TSXV:SNN). Oil and gas. Up two cents, or 12.50 per cent, at 18 cents on 6,961,000 shares.Intertainment Media Inc. (TSXV:INT). Digital media. Unchanged at 17 cents on 3,580,928 shares.Companies reporting major news:TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP). Up $1.14, or 2.41 per cent, at $48.39 on 1,558,150 shares. The company has been selected to build a $5-billion pipeline connecting the growing volumes of B.C. shale natural gas to the West Coast for export. The company (TSX:TRP) announced Wednesday that it will design, build, own and operate the proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project for Progress Energy, which is now a subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned firm Petronas.Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B). Up 17 cents, or 0.75 per cent, at $22.71 on 1,063,064 shares. The cable TV and broadcasting giant had good news for its shareholders Wednesday, including higher than expected quarterly profit and a five per cent increase in the company’s dividend.MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA). Up $2.95, or 5.15 per cent, at $60.20 on 355,233 shares. It signed a $706-million deal with the Canadian Space Agency for the Radarsat Constellation Mission. The company will build, launch and provide initial operations for what is planned to be a constellation of three satellites. read more

Cardale Jones to pick up the rifle with Barrett out for season

Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) is carted away after suffering a right ankle fracture during the 4th quarter of a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28. Credit: Chelsea Spears / Multimedia editorFor the second time in less than four months, the Ohio State football team will have to turn to its backup quarterback.Redshirt-freshman quarterback and Heisman candidate J.T. Barrett suffered a broken ankle during the second half of OSU’s 42-28 win over the Michigan Wolverines Saturday afternoon, forcing redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones into action in The Game.Barrett is scheduled to have surgery Sunday, and will miss the remainder of the season.OSU co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said after the game he did not envision losing two possible Heisman candidates at the same position to injury in the same year.“I wouldn’t have asked for that,” he said. “This game is very crazy at times, throws you a lot of curveballs and you have to be able to adapt and adjust and I am sure we will be able to do that.”Senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, who was on the field when Barrett’s injury occurred, said, at first, he didn’t think the injury was severe.“I heard him yell, and I looked over…at first I thought he just got his bell rung (but) as soon as everyone got off of him, I just went over there and as soon as I saw his ankle…he (Barrett) didn’t realize it at first,” Heuerman said. “That is when I told him ‘you need to stay down for a second.’”With Barrett out for the season, Jones is set to make his first career start as a Buckeye next week in the Big Ten Championship Game.The Glenville High School product entered Saturday having attempted just 14 passes, eight of which were completed for 111 yards and two scores through the air.Jones finished the win over Michigan two for three on pass attempts for seven yards and added another 18 yards rushing on two carries.Herman said he was pleased with how Jones responded in such an intense atmosphere.“Great mentally. He missed the one pass to (redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael) Thomas, but mentally he was very in tune,” Herman said. “He keeps a headset on the entire game so he is in tuned to everything we are talking about. He is very engaged in everything that goes on in terms of in-between series adjustments, halftime adjustments, so he was ready to go.”OSU coach Urban Meyer said following the win that the Buckeyes will start preparing for the Big Ten Championship Game on Sunday, adding that the game plan won’t be adjusted that much with Jones at the helm.“We gotta go and we have a lot of confidence in the guy that’s going to be doing it, his name is Cardale Jones. He’s been here I think for 120 years,” Meyer said jokingly. “The good thing is they (Barrett and Jones) have a similar skill set and so it’s not like we’re going to have to drastically change things.”Sophomore safety Vonn Bell, who started the game with an interception on the second play from scrimmage, said the Buckeyes will continue to move forward with Barrett out.“We lost one of our soldiers today,” Bell said after the game. “Somebody has to pick up the rifle and keep on going.”Herman said after the game that although Barrett is out for the season, he does not want to discount the win over Michigan.“We are really, really happy for this team. You are happy for what we have accomplished in the regular season, you are happy to beat our rival at home and get a third pair of gold pants,” Herman said. “At the same time, your heart goes out to J.T. because he has not only meant so much to this team, but this team has meant so much to him and his growth as a young man. We will keep him involved as much as we can, and move forward.”Herman said that he believes the Buckeyes can still be successful with Jones, OSU’s third-string quarterback coming into the season.“The quarterback doesn’t have to win games for us anymore. The quarterback has to manage games, distribute the football and lead,” Herman said. “We have seen that throughout this season and so as long as he is mentally prepared…I have nothing but the utmost confidence that he (Jones) can get the job done because of what we have got around him.”One of those players will be sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for 121 yards and two scores against Michigan Saturday on just 17 carries.Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones (12) carries the ball during a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. Jones replaced an injured redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett in the fourth quarter of OSU’s 42-28 win. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorElliott said after the win that he believes Jones’ experience in the off-season will help him moving forward.“He got a lot of reps in the spring, he got plenty of reps this fall, I think he is ready,” Elliott said. “I don’t think there will be a drop-off.”As another one of the offensive weapons, Heuerman said he believes Herman will be able to coach Jones to success.“Coach Herman has obviously already been through this. Offensively man, we have a lot of talented guys that have played a lot of football this year. They are going to have to step up and make up for lost ground,” Heuerman said. “Cardale is an outstanding athlete, has a super strong arm. He can make the big plays we need to get this team rolling. We are going to have to rely on him, offensively and as a team.”The Buckeyes are set to travel to Indianapolis to take on Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 6. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. read more

A fifth of parents regret their childs name – study

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. For a third of those who changed their mind about their child’s name, regrets emerged within the first six week. For 23%, the catalyst was their child starting school or nursery.Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts told the BBC: “Choosing your baby’s name is one of the first things new parents do, so in some ways baby name regret is great practice for parenting – you do a lot of hard work and research, try to please several people at once, and end up getting it wrong.”The consolation is that most children grow into their names, and those who don’t can always fall back on middle names, nicknames or, in extremis, deed polls.” Nearly one-in-five parents wish they’d opted for a different name for their child, a new survey by Mumsnet has revealed.An online poll by the parenting forum asked 1362 respondents if they ever regretted the first or middle names they’d chosen for any of their children. 18% said yes – with a quarter of those saying that the name being “too commonly used” was the main reason for their regret.The next most common reasons for regretting a child’s name were “it just doesn’t feel right” (21%) and “I have never liked it – I was pressured into using it” (20%.)Other reasons given included: “It’s not distinctive enough”; “It causes him/her problems with spelling/pronunciation”; “It doesn’t suit him/her”; and “Everyone calls him/her by a shortened version of the name, which I don’t like”.Three per cent of those who expressed regret said there had been a “shift in public perception of the name since my child was born”.last_img read more

IntelliSenseio and Antofagasta showcase mill optimisation project on Chile Day

first_imgTo coincide with ‘Chile Day’ and Chilean President Bachelet’s visit to the UK as a guest of the government, the Newton/Prosperity Science and Innovation Program held a showcase of its innovative projects with their partners at the University College London on Friday, May 13. This flagship event was attended by Chilean government ministers including the Minister for Mining, Aurora Williams, among other guests representing the Chilean Senate and scientific and development agencies.Cambridge, UK-based analytics technology specialist IntelliSense.io and Chilean mining major Antofogasta Minerals showcased their project, supported by the Newton-Picarte Fund, to deploy a instrumentation and predictive optimisation application that will increase efficiency and sustainability at the SAG mill and grinding circuit of Minera Centinela in the Antofagasta mining region in Chile. The project will deploy Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and simulation modelling to reduce energy consumption.IntelliSense.io Founder and CEO Sam Bose and Non Executive Director Mark Mathias were joined by the AMSA team of Antofagasta PLC CEO Ivan Arriagada; Diego Hernandez, Advisor to the Board; Andrew Lyndsey, Director of Antofagasta PLC’s London office; and Marubeni MD Mokoto Toromoto, for the showcasing the project and greeting of the Chilean government delegation. The joint project was received with much interest from Williams, who expressed interest in learning how the innovative solution could be deployed on a wider scale in the Chilean mining industry.“We were delighted to attend Friday’s event to demonstrate as a company our commitment to invest in innovations that yield greater efficiencies, reduce operational expense and encourage greater sustainability, not only across the Antofagasta Minerals mining portfolio, but also throughout Chile,” said Arriagada. “This project exemplifies our efforts to be industry leaders in sustainability and optimised operations through our ‘Mine to Mill’ operational efficiency program.”IntelliSense.io technology is used to optimise processes and systems through a combination of sensors, software and simulation delivering “Optimisation-as-a-Service” with no upfront capex, fast deployment and continuous solution upgrades delivering rapid return on investment to mining operations across the world.For the project, the Minera Centinela team, led by AMSA Development Manager Cesar Jimenez, will work closely with the IntelliSense.io team to provide technical knowledge by aiding IntelliSense.io with their existing technical and working knowledge of the SAG mill, coupled with assisting the modeling team in evaluating the mathematical models to ensure the end solution meets the project objectives.“This project will allow Minera Centinela to run their SAG mill with greater accuracy in an continuous optimised state, based on the predicted material type,” said Bose. “Minera Centinela will reduce operational variability, improve energy efficiency and extend liner wear rate through the application of real-time diagnostics, simulations and predictive controls.” He added, “To have such great feedback from the Chile delegation for our work in mining innovation reinforces our belief that modern computing, communications and advanced data analytics can make a fundamental change in the operational economics of the mining industry that is critical in an ever changing commodity market landscape.”The SAG Mill Optimisation and Innovative Instrumentation Development (SMOID) project for Antofagasta Minerals, Minera Centinela Operations, is funded by the Newton-Picarte fund. The Newton-Picarte fund is a joint fund between the UK and Chile to promote scientific research and innovation in order to contribute to the economic development and social welfare of Chile. There is a designated budget from CORFO, the Chilean funding agency and through Innovate UK, the UK funding agency, to support partners.last_img read more

Réchauffement climatique de plus en plus de tempêtes de neige

first_imgRéchauffement climatique : de plus en plus de tempêtes de neige ?Selon des chercheurs américains, les tempêtes de neige surprenantes qui ont frappé les Etats-Unis et l’Europe durant ces deux derniers hivers pourraient se multiplier à cause du changement de climat. La neige et le réchauffement climatique ne sont pas deux phénomènes incompatibles. Les deux derniers hivers aux Etats-Unis et en Europe sont là pour le démontrer. Le bilan des tempêtes de neige de ces dernières années pour le nord-est des Etats-Unis affiche une intensité record avec des perturbations de catégorie 3 selon une échelle locale dite “Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale”. En effet, une telle ampleur remonte à cinquante ans sur des perturbations enregistrées lors de l’hiver 1960-1961.

À lire aussiQuand un panda s’attaque à un bonhomme de neige au CanadaBien que ces chutes de neige présentent une abondance peu commune, les températures ne descendent pas en-dessous de la moyenne. Fait surprenant, le thermomètre a affiché à Washington entre -6 et 4 °C lors de ces perturbations.

 Jeff Masters, directeur de la météorologie pour le site Weather Underground souligne : “Alors que la Terre devient plus chaude et que plus d’humidité est absorbée par l’atmosphère, nous accroissons les chances d’avoir plus de tempêtes d’une extrême intensité à toutes les saisons”.

Selon un modèle météorologique, l’augmentation des chutes de neige peut être corrélée à la hausse des températures. En effet il a été constaté qu’une atmosphère plus chaude retient plus l’humidité. Aussi, au niveau de régions aux températures en dessous du point de congélation, cette augmentation de l’humidité atmosphérique amènera davantage de neige.Le 2 mars 2011 à 17:22 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

No 1 Contendership match set for RAW WWEs ECW relaunch episodes

first_img Roman Reigns Making WWE Appearance Twitter Google+ Dbong Facebook WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 4 COMMENTS Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Fantastic journalism… the ECW relaunch ran until February 2010, not 2009. There’s roughly another 50 episodes still to come. Now Playing Up Next WWE Lists The Shields Top 10 Wins No. 1 Contendership match set for RAWAs noted in Mike Tedesco’s recap of last night’s WWE RAW episode in Houston, a No. 1 Contendership match was setup for next week in Nashville.The match will feature Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe with the winner advancing to SummerSlam to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship.If you missed the segment on RAW, you can check it out below courtesy of WWE.WWE’s ECW relaunch episodesWWE confirmed earlier reports in a tweet this week that all 140 episodes of the company’s ECW relaunch from 2006-2009 on Syfy are now available on the WWE Network.We reported a few weeks ago about the content being hinted to come to the network.Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Lists The Shields Top 10 WinsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:27 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list no he moved out of the way and got a fluke win. July 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm July 12, 2017 at 9:49 am Now Playing Up Next July 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm Shawn Michaelscenter_img WWE RAW Ratings: Viewership sees a 15% drop against the return of Monday Night Football Comments are closed. Ronda Rousey Videos Articles Pinterest Now Playing Up Next Could The Rock Vs. Roman Reigns Actually Happen? July 11, 2017 at 10:48 am Aaron David Harwood Joe will be the better match.I doubt management see that though. Seth Rollins Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Kevin Murphy Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte Roman Reigns Is Back, But Not Fighting For Belts John Naylor WhatsApp WWE’s Sasha Banks Confirms “No One KNew” About Roman Reigns’ Leukemia Why Reigns,… didn’t Strowman kicked his buttocks last_img read more

Sea lions moving into smaller streams

first_imgEvery time Robin Brown heads down a dock to check a sea lion trap, he picks up a large stick.“Once they find a place to haul out, they get pretty mulish,” said Brown, 66, one of just two marine mammal biologists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.Brown will retire in June into a half-time contract with the department — still jousting with critters seemingly more and more out of control.In the past month or two, a few California (one Steller) sea lions have moved into the lower stretches of the Sandy River and as many as half-dozen (some say more) are devouring winter steelhead in the Clackamas River, as far up as Eagle Creek.Washington officials report sea lions prowling the lower Cowlitz, Lewis and Washougal rivers.And these aren’t just any winter steelhead tickling their palates.By this time of year, the earlier-arriving hatchery-origin steelhead run is largely finished, Todd Alsbury, department district fish biologist, told a group of sportfishing leaders in Clackamas.last_img read more

Weather Eye Storms on the horizon through much of week

first_img Monday was Groundhog Day, the annual tradition of the resident groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, venturing outside in the early morning hours in Punxsutawney, Pa., to brave the elements. This year, there was an overcast sky as the early morning rain turned to snow showers. According to officials in the central Pennsylvania town, this allowed old Phil to see his shadow and allowed the mayor to officially announce “six more weeks of winter,” although the light enabling his shadow may have been more from the media lighting than the brightness in the sky. Regardless, the prediction stands. Glancing at the calendar, there will officially be six more weeks of winter anyway you look at it. A German legend foretells that when a furry rodent sees his shadow, the weather will act more like winter than spring. And if he doesn’t see his shadow, early spring weather is in the offing.So much for tales and legends. Our local furry critters would have not seen their shadow, as a steady light rain fell between the 7 and 8 a.m. hour yesterday morning. Now, we could use Phil’s prognostication as we really need six weeks of good winter snows in our mountains. I think, however, spring is already entering our region and only glancing blows of winter lie ahead. Patrick Timmlast_img read more

A Guide to Adding Video to Your Site

first_imgWhile making money on video is elusive for many of us, beginning to post video is not. Early this year the IAB released a terrific basic guide to the emerging video ad market. While “In-Stream” linear video ads are the most common revenue generator, the guide shows the amazing tech advancement that have created a wide variety of ways to deploy video advertising on the Web. There is also some advice on pricing:”Prices in digital video suggest that the medium is quickly maturing. CPM-based pricing is the predominant model for buyers, particularly the In-Stream, Linear Ad format (pre-rolls, post-rolls, etc). CPMs can span a wide range and are based on a number of factors including the quality of the site’s content and users, targeting capabilities, and individual programming.”Here is a chart from the report describing the different ways to add video ads to a Web site:last_img read more

Brazil Petrobras worst strike reduces oil output deepens crisis

first_imgA four-day strike at Brazil’s Petrobras gathered steam on Wednesday, cutting crude and natural gas output from the No 2 South American oil producer and threatening to become the most disruptive walkout at the state-run oil company in 20 years.Oil output in Brazil was about 140,000 barrels a day, or 6.5 percent below pre-strike levels of about 2.1 million barrels a day, said Petroleo Brasileriro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, in a securities filing on Wednesday.Using contingency plans, management restored production that was cut by as much as 273,000 barrels a day, or 13 percent below pre-strike levels on Monday, and by 178,000 barrels a day on Tuesday, or 8.5 percent below levels before the strike began Sunday, said Petrobras.The strike is having a “significant” financial impact on Petrobras, a company source told Reuters late Wednesday, adding that output cuts had not changed significantly from Tuesday.The cuts have already caused the biggest strike-induced hit to Petrobras’ crude output since a 32-day strike in 1995 that led to lines at gas stations and military occupation of refineries. The latest strike is also likely to increase pressure on a company hobbled by a corruption scandal and struggling under $130 billion of debt, the largest in the world oil industry.”This is serious because it is happening in the midst of Brazil’s worst economic crisis in decades and in the middle of Petrobras’ worst crisis ever,” said Adriano Pires, head of the Brazilian Infrastructure Institute, a Rio de Janeiro-based energy research company. “It’s like the unions are saying, ‘Hey, Petrobras is in intensive care. Let’s pull the plug!'” Members of Brazil’s national oil workers’ federation said Petrobras was underestimating output losses. Production cuts are as much as a quarter of Petrobras Brazilian output, or just over 500,000 barrels a day, said Brazil’s biggest oil union federation in a statement late on Wednesday.The union, though, did admit it has not cut output as much as hoped. Production from the giant Roncador offshore oil field in Brazil’s Campos Basin continued on Wednesday despite production-vessel workers joining the strike, said a union spokesman, denying media reports of an output shutdown.Petrobras’ management has said in the past it can maintain operations with no impact to fuel supplies in Brazil for a week or 10 days at the most. The company bought 82,000 cubic metres (515,764 barrels) of gasoline from Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem, bolstering supplies in November, said Petrobras management.The strike aims go far beyond a call for an 18 percent salary increase. The workers also seek to block planned asset sales, reverse budget cuts and protect Petrobras’ right to lead the bulk of new offshore oil development.Petrobras has offered an 8.1 percent salary increase, but wages are not the key issue, say union representatives.”This movement is a clear and open criticism of the government’s economic policies,” said Deyvid Bacelar, a union activist and worker representative, on Petrobras’ board of directors.Those goals, some of which can only be guaranteed by Brazil’s Congress, will be hard for Petrobras to meet.Without $50 billion of planned assets sales and cuts to a five-year investment plan that was recently the world’s largest, Petrobras risks being unable to pay its massive debts, Chief Executive Officer Aldemir Bendine told Congress last month.If prolonged, the strike will worsen the company’s struggles to raise output and reduce debt, the Standard & Poor’s debt-rating agency said on Wednesday.last_img read more