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5 questions for Costa Ricas indigenous Jirondai Project

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first_imgPreserving the ancestral traditions of Costa Rica’s eight indigenous cultures: that’s the mission that the Jirondai Project has been pursuing for 12 years now.The project has connected indigenous people from around the country with non-indigenous people with expertise in art, music, anthropology, ethnology, gastronomy and other areas. A special focus for the project has been indigenous chants, songs and language, which in many cases have begun to vanish slowly over time.  Today, the project seeks to provide indigenous groups with the tools they need to document culture and traditions from an audiovisual perspective for safekeeping by younger generations.The project’s name and logo are inspired by the Gnöbe Buglé indigenous community.“There’s a figure in the history of the Gnöbe Buglé from Costa Rica and Panama that’s called jirondai. It’s a shaman… They said that it was a being with two faces. One of the faces knew about the Gnöbes past, and the other one saw the future,” Luis Porras, founder of the Jirondai Project, told The Tico Times.With this in mind, Porras, a journalist and musician, has worked to keep creating content that pays homage to Costa Rica’s indigenous communities. When he was 18 years old, he lived in South Dakota for a time and met descendants of the Sioux as well as the Pine Ridge community. He began to wonder how indigenous groups in Costa Rica were living and, later on, had the opportunity to meet indigenous leaders here struggling to maintain their cultures.One such leader is the Cabécar jawá (doctor) Luis Salazar, who has been working along with Porras and the rest of the collaborators of the Jirondai Project during the past five years. Salazar lives in the mountains of Chirripó; it takes him 10 or 11 hours to walk down the mountains to then take two buses to San José. His joy in  teaching younger generations about his culture is what drives him to participate in Jirondai.On a rainy afternoon at the Ecole Travel Tourism Agency in Barrio Escalante, east of San José, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Porras and Salazar. Excerpts follow.How did you two get to know each other?LS: It’s been five years since we met here in San José.LP: A very good friend of ours, Elvis Vitar, who runs and is a Bribri music teacher, lives in Uatsi and teaches in Amubri. He’s a marathoner, and he [met] Luis at a race called the Ruta Run, which is 150 kilometers with the Tarahumaras from Mexico. Immediately, Elvis called me and told me that he wanted me to meet a friend that was running with the Tarahumaras.Luis is a master of the culture, a doctor and a singer. He also represents maybe one of the most important pillars to understand decolonization. Meeting Luis and the community of Alto Telire, where Luis lives, is to discover something very important about decolonized thought… he did not go through any traditional elements of colonization. Not even school.The biggest colonization Luis has is his friendships, having friends in Pérez Zeledón or San José. It’s the biggest counterculture he knows, but it’s not going to school to learn from a Sikua (foreign) teacher or going to Church to be evangelized. Luis Porras recording indigenous people Courtesy of Proyecto Jirondai Courtesy of Proyecto JirondaiHow many people participate in Jirondai?LS: Many. It’s hard to count.LP: For percussion we have Isaac Morera, who’s also a percussionist at Infibeat. Andrés Cervilla is also working with us. Luis Mario Marín, who’s the guitarist. Johnny Gutiérrez. Paloma Coronado, who is a Mexican-Peruvian singer.We’re actually a really big collective, including academic musicians like Andrés and people who are partially musicians like me. We have anthropologists. We have people from the communities: singers, doctors, elementary and high school teachers.There’s also the gastronomic part with Pablo Bonilla, which is oriented to erase [the idea] that the poor indigenous people from the mountains are dying of hunger and we must help them with cans of tuna. It’s unjust to have masters of food security [in our country], and telling them they’re dying of hunger. In our national gastronomy, we don’t having any vestige of the marvels they use in the mountains to survive.LS: Sometimes we’re told that they’ve found indigenous people who live in Alto Telire that [supposedly] are dying of hunger …it’s a lie [that’s told].They eat natural food and a lot of food. There are a lot of crops. When I return home they’re OK and working a lot. They’re very happy and are not dying of hunger.A few days ago some girls were asked if they were hungry and they did not speak Spanish, so they did not understand well. They just answered yes, and then the other people believed that, and then it’s published that we’re dying of hunger and it’s not true. Cabécar indigenous Luis Salazar on the top of the Usure. Courtesy of Proyecto JirondaiDuring the political campaign you published a video with indigenous people speaking about the elections. What was the result?LP: We’ve never gotten into anything political. We made two short videos. Many people saw it, and that generated a lot of things. We were treated badly and were told many things. Even the men from the communities that appeared in the videos were treated badly. I think the country still doesn’t know what it saved itself from. Seeing the threats that the people received after participating in the video, we notice the craziness that’s behind it.How did you choose to focus on music and audiovisual production?LP: Because it’s what allowed us to speak to more people without the people feeling that it was an anthropological lecture. It made it possible to go to the bar El Observatorio and perform… We’ve played at the National Auditorium, the National Theater, the Melico Salazar Theater, and now we’ll have four dates to perform at the Vargas Calvo to film an audiovisual piece that will document the old singers due to the generational change we’re looking for.I want to generate a dialogue with new voices in communities that want to explore strange and unusual places. Like suddenly taking a public space… and creating a new relationship with music. Young people who do reggae, hip hop and dancehall, but in Bribri and Cabecar. Courtesy of Proyecto Jirondai What motivates you?LS: For me it’s very important to keep on with this work for the rest of my life. I hope my groups, families and students keep going onward. I prefer that they keep learning and growing, and if I become tired or am lazy about it, then my students continue with it. It is important work, like the work of my grandfathers and grandmothers’ work who worked many years, the caciques who worked thousands of years on the Earth and still keep working. We must work like them. We move on and it’s very important for us. We keep going on with the project.LP: This year, Spanish Cooperation is giving us a hand to produce content. We’ll be classifying what we’ve recorded and also produce a lot of content for radio, which is a joint project with Salvador Vayá, who has opened the doors for us at the Farolito and Casa Caníbal because it’s about the new generations taking on this cultural heritage.Listen to one of Jirondai Project’s albums called Sesiones Quetzal:<a href=”http://jirondai.bandcamp.com/album/sesiones-quetzal-ep”>Sesiones Quetzal EP by Proyecto Jirondai</a>“Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at elang@ticotimes.net. Facebook Comments Related posts:5 questions for US painter Suzahn King 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros 5 questions for a Salvadoran street artist in Costa Rica 5 questions for a Canadian punk rock band in Costa Ricalast_img read more

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March 31 2000 Nick Miron is painting the bunkroom

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first_imgMarch 31, 2000Nick Miron is painting the bunkrooms during camp synergy. Photo by: DoctressNeutopialast_img

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Sir Nicholas Serota The BBC has appointed Tate dir

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first_imgSir Nicholas SerotaThe BBC has appointed Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota to the BBC Executive board for a two-year term.Serota is due to join as non-executive director from August 1, 2016. He replaces theatre director Sir Nicholas Hytner, who stood down on December 31.“The BBC already showcases some of the very best of UK arts in a distinctive way and I am excited by [director general] Tony Hall’s plan to take that to the next level by creating a more open BBC,” said Serota.“I look forward to contributing to the future of the nation’s most important cultural organisation at such a critical time for public service broadcasting.”BBC DG Tony Hall said: “I love what Sir Nicholas has done with the Tate, working in partnership with so many others. I’m confident he’ll make a remarkable contribution to the BBC.”Sir Nicholas Serota has been the Director of the Tate since 1988 having previously been director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. Tate is a non-departmental public body and an exempt charity that runs the Tate Britain and Tate Modern galleries in London, and Tate art galleries in Liverpool and St Ives.The BBC Executive Board made the appointment following approval of the BBC Trust.last_img read more

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Zimbabwe seeks closer ICT Terms with China

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first_imgAdvertisement Zimbabwe and China are seeking increased cooperation in the southern African country’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector through increased investments from the Asian country.China’s Eximbank has already approved a $218 million loan facility for state owned mobile company, NetOne to upgrade its data network. Chinese tech companies such as Huawei and ZTE are already active in Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry.“We are seeking increased cooperation between our two countries, particularly in areas of ICT. Our two sides already have good cooperation in this sector and Chinese companies, Huawei and ZTE have been doing well here (building NetOne and Econet Wireless networks respectively,” said China’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Lin Lin. – Advertisement – He met Zimbabwe’s new ICT Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira in Harare on Thursday to strengthen growing ties between the two countries in the telecommunications and technology sectors. Lin added that China was also exploring opportunities for training in ICT for young Zimbabweans.“Chinese companies here can also start training courses here. We are urging Chinese companies in ICT to start investing in Zimbabwe, not only through loans provided through government to government cooperation,” the Chinese ambassador said the meeting.Mandiwanzira said cash-strapped and investment-starved Zimbabwe had “a lot to benefit by engaging with China” and stressed that increased investment would lead to the creation of more jobs and “technology transfer”.“We want to encourage Chinese investments to come in on the basis of commercially successful projects. If a Zimbabwean mobile company requires more capital and can demonstrate that it can pay back the loan, we don’t have to wait for a government guarantee for a Chinese company to invest,” said Mandiwanzira.He said Zimbabwe offered an attractive market for ICT investors as people in the southern African country were frequently changing their mobile devices. He also said there were opportunities for computerisation and assembling of smartphones.“We have people and kids in the rural areas who have never seen a computer. We have a majority of people still using feature phones and Chinese companies can come and assemble their smart devices and take up this market.”Credits: ItwebAfricalast_img read more

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Yahoo May Write Off 1 Billion Acquisition of Tumblr

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first_img Yahoo Inc. said it may have to write down the goodwill value of Tumblr, more than two years after the web pioneer spent $1.1 billion to buy the microblogging site.Yahoo said earlier in the month it took a $230 million impairment charge related to Tumblr and was considering strategic alternatives for its core internet business.”It is reasonably possible that changes in judgments … could cause the company to consider some portion or all of the remaining goodwill of the Tumblr reporting unit to become impaired,” Yahoo said in a regulatory filing on Monday.The deal for Tumblr was then seen as a bold bet by Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to revitalize the company by co-opting a Web property with strong visitor traffic but little revenue.Yahoo said on Friday it would take pretax charges of $64 million to $78 million, mostly in the first quarter of 2016, due to job cuts and other restructuring moves.Of the total, $40 million to $48 million would be for severance pay and related cash expenditures, the company said in a filing.Yahoo has said it would reduce workforce by 15 percent by the end of 2016 and close offices in Dubai, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Milan.The company’s shares closed up 1.3 percent at $31.79 on Monday and were largely unchanged in extended trading.(Reporting by Alan John Koshy in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Sriraj Kalluvila) Yahoo! Yahoo May Write Off $1 Billion Acquisition of Tumblr Reuters –shares Next Article This story originally appeared on Reuters 2 min read Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business March 1, 2016 Register Now »last_img read more

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BrightEdge Instant Is an Industry First Taking Research and Content Optimization RealTime

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first_img BrightEdgeBrightEdge InstantContent OptimizationJim YuMarketing TechnologyNewsSEO solution Previous ArticleViamedia Names Tom Walsh Chief Digital OfficerNext ArticleFoleon Announces Zapier Integration BrightEdge Instant Is an Industry First: Taking Research and Content Optimization Real-Time PRNewswireMay 7, 2019, 3:10 pmMay 7, 2019 “Leading brands realize the importance of organic search as the key to digital portfolio success and have been asking for technology that can truly help them produce real, tangible business outcomes ‘right here and right now,’” said Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge. “At BrightEdge we take great pride in adding new capabilities in lockstep with both technological innovation and investment in the success of our customers. I am so excited to see how brands will maximize revenue lift with BrightEdge Instant.”Marketing Technology News: Neustar Integrates TiVo TV Viewership Data into Multi-Touch Attribution Models The final shift from multiple SEO point solutions to a single-platform experienceAccording to BrightEdge market research a typical organic search practitioner uses an average of 6 tools and can spend up to 4 hours a day on research, reporting and analysis. In the past it was difficult for search marketers to truly understand the customer journey as it happens and, in turn, maximize revenue. BrightEdge Instant ensures that this is no longer a problem.“Having the capability to conduct real-time research and optimize content all within one platform is game-changing for search, content and digital marketers,” said Carlos Spallarossa, director of SEO, L’Oréal. “Marketers no longer have to deal with the inaccuracy of data silos and the inflexibility of point solutions, while at the same time they save vital resources and time in order to focus on highly impactful revenue-based incremental revenue opportunities.”Marketing Technology News: Tetra TV Launches Transparent Advertising Network for Connected TVReal-time insights how and when marketers want and need itBrightEdge Instant is set to transform the search industry rapidly. Key capabilities enable marketers to:Research on Demand: Utilize real-time research to answer questions and uncover opportunities as they happen. BrightEdge Instant gives marketers access to real-time, on-demand data, which allows them to ask specific questions and discover quantitative, data-driven answers with rapid speed, ease and accuracy. Marketers for the first time can take action on the voice opportunity with a data-driven approach to conversational search.Rankings in Real-time: Understand in real-time how content is performing across any search engine and any device across 37,000 locations and 46 languages. Real-Time Rank Checker allows marketers to optimize at the speed of Google through analysis of video (YouTube) and image SERP rankings. Amazon Rank Checker enables marketers to protect their brand on Amazon.Recommendations and Page Speed Performance: Take action on instantly identified content opportunities, page insights and link recommendations through an integrated approach to page speed analysis and data insights. Page Speed Performance allows marketers to understand, at scale, desktop and mobile site speed performance while comparing and contrasting against the competition.According to Tanu Javeri, global SEO strategist at IBM, “Responding to changes in the customer journey with speed and agility begins with identifying and understanding even the most subtle shifts in search patterns in real-time and optimizing accordingly.”Marketing Technology News: PDI Launches PDI Marketing Cloud Solutions to Broadly Serve Needs of Convenience Retailers and Petroleum Wholesalers Pioneering Innovation Allows Marketers to Research at Scale and Optimize at Lightning PaceBrightEdge, the global leader in organic search and content performance, unveiled BrightEdge Instant, a revolutionary set of innovations that transforms how search marketers drive performance at scale. BrightEdge Instant is the industry’s first and most powerful real-time SEO solution that empowers marketers to utilize real-time insights and take action to optimize content all within one unified platform. This is something that has been never done before.last_img read more

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Smarter more educated people get a cognitive head start but arent protected

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first_imgOur data suggest that more education seems to play a role as a form of cognitive reserve that helps people do better at baseline, but it doesn’t affect one’s actual level of decline. This makes studies tricky because someone who has good education may be less likely to show a benefit of an experimental treatment because they are already doing well.”Rebecca Gottesman Our study was designed to look for trends, not prove cause and effect, but the major implication of our study is that exposure to education and better cognitive performance when you’re younger can help preserve cognitive function for a while even if it’s unlikely to change the course of the disease.”Rebecca Gottesman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Source:Johns Hopkins Medicine About 5 million people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s disease, a number expected to triple by 2060, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Because effective treatment options aren’t available for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, researchers are interested in identifying ways to prevent or delay disease. Earlier studies suggested that people with higher intelligence or more education might have lower rates of these diseases, and Gottesman’s team designed a study to test the idea.For the study, the researchers used data from the federally funded Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, in which nearly 16,000 healthy participants in midlife from Washington County, Maryland; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, were enrolled from 1987 to 1989 and followed over the next decades. Twenty years into the study, participants were an average of 76 years old. About 57% were women, and 43% were African American, with the remaining participants white.The investigators focused on a group of 331 participants without dementia who were part of an additional study, the ARIC-PET study, in which participants underwent specialized brain imaging. Some 54 had less than a high school education, 144 had completed high school or earned their GED diploma, and 133 had some college or more formal education.Related StoriesJohns Hopkins experts release digital health roadmapResearchers develop new artificial intelligence tools to find cell’s true identityNew implant technology safely minimizes injections for people with macular degenerationTwenty years in, all participants underwent MRIs and positron emission tomography (PET) scans of their brains to measure levels of amyloid beta protein accumulated in the brain, a standard marker of Alzheimer’s disease. The average PET scan score indicating the amount of amyloid beta protein in the brain after being compared with a part of the brain where amyloid beta doesn’t accumulate was 1.2. Some 171 participants were categorized as having elevated values greater than this standard, and the remaining participants were assigned to the nonelevated amyloid beta values category.In late life (ages 65-84), each participant’s cognition was assessed with 10 standard tests of memory, language and other intellectual function. Three of these tests were administered at about the 10-year timepoint as well. The average score indicating normal cognition was set to zero for statistical purposes, with a value of 1 indicating an above-average score, and -1 indicating a below average score.Participants with any level of amyloid beta and with college, postgraduate or professional schooling had average cognitive scores of about one or more standard units higher than those who had less than a high school education, regardless of beta amyloid levels in the brain. Gottesman says these data suggest that education seems to help preserve cognition, since those with education scored higher.Gottesman noted that cognition scores in midlife weren’t associated with elevated levels of amyloid beta protein in the brain in late life. White participants with higher late-life cognition scores had a 40% lower risk of having elevated amyloid beta protein in the brain. This general trend was observed in African American participants too, but to a lesser degree (around 30% lower risk). Pet scan. Credit: Rebecca Gottesmancenter_img Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 11 2019In a search for clues to what may delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists report that smarter, more educated people aren’t protected from the disease, but do get a cognitive “head start” that may keep their minds functioning better temporarily. What this means for future research into developing therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, Gottesman says, is that it’s important to focus on some sort of independent and specific biomarker to show actual treatment benefit. She also says studies must look at trends in performance over time rather than at one timepoint. Put another way, the investigators say, those who start out with greater cognitive reserve — a baseline of higher mental functioning — may have more they can afford to lose before Alzheimer’s disease symptoms begin to interfere with their daily lives compared with those who don’t have as much schooling or participate regularly in mentally challenging tasks.The findings, published in the April issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggest — but don’t prove — that exercising your brain might help keep people cognitively functional longer, but won’t ward off the inevitable decline of Alzheimer’s disease.last_img read more

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Strength in numbers for 3D printing

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first_img Explore further Nanoparticles improve the strength of metallic alloys Journal information: Scripta Materialia Provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Citation: Strength in numbers for 3-D printing (2019, March 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-strength-d.html Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img Cobalt-chromium-iron-nickel-manganese (CoCrFeNiMn) is known as a high entropy alloy. Discovered in 2004, it is particularly good at withstanding fractures under harsh environmental conditions, such as low temperatures. To make an object from the alloy, researchers typically pour the molten metal into a cast, allow it to cool, and then machine it into the desired shape. However, this can be a time-consuming and costly way of making complex components. In principle, additive manufacturing could skip the machining step to directly fabricate complex components.Nai Mui Ling Sharon of the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), her colleagues, and international collaborators have shown that an additive manufacturing method, called selective laser melting, is well suited to building components from CoCrFeNiMn. The process uses a powerful laser beam to melt tiny powder particles of the alloy, which then fuse to make a solid object. Remarkably, the researchers found that the process actually produces a stronger material than conventional casting methods. “It exhibits an enhanced strength with a relatively good ductility,” says Zhu Zhiguang, a research fellow in the SIMTech team that led the study.The researchers first created a pre-alloyed powder of CoCrFeNiMn, containing particles that were an average of 36 micrometers across. Then they used laser melting to craft the particles into 10-millimeter-wide cubes, or flat bars of 90 millimeters. They also varied the laser’s power, and the speed that it scanned over the alloy particles, to understand how different printing conditions affected the alloy’s performance.Analysis of the samples revealed a number of features that determined the material’s properties. For example, it contained microscopic melt pools, rather like miniature welds that held the material together. It also contained elongated crystalline grains that were roughly 13 micrometers across; these grains were subdivided into smaller ‘cells’ less than one micrometer wide. The researchers found that these cells played a crucial role in strengthening the alloy.Crystals contain a regular array of atoms arranged in repeating patterns. Large crystals often cleave fairly easily—if the atoms in one part of the crystal slip out of place, they force neighboring atoms to slip in the same way, sending a fracture racing through the entire crystal.But materials formed from many smaller grains can avoid this problem. That’s because the crystal structure of each grain may not line up with its neighbors, so any atomic dislocations stop as soon as they reach a grain boundary.The minuscule cells in the researcher’s alloy seem to enhance this strengthening effect, trapping dislocations and offering a major improvement in the material’s strength. One of the printed alloys, prepared using optimized printing conditions, could withstand 510 megapascals of stress before it started to permanently deform. This is almost twice the stress that a conventionally prepared CoCrFeNiMn alloy can handle.The researchers then heated their 3-D-printed objects at 900 degrees Celsius for one hour under an inert atmosphere. This partially removed the cellular structure and reduced the material’s strength, but it also made the material more ductile, enabling it to deform further.The researchers hope that tweaking the 3-D-printing processes could further enhance the mechanical properties of the materials. They also plan to use selective laser melting to fabricate other high performance alloys, so that they can study how the microscopic structure of the materials affects their properties. “With this understanding, we will be better equipped to tailor their properties for industrial application, and help to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing,” says Nai. Additive manufacturing, also called 3-D printing, is commonly used to build complex three-dimensional objects, layer by layer. A*STAR researchers have shown that the process can also help to make a high-performance alloy even stronger. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Z.G. Zhu et al. Hierarchical microstructure and strengthening mechanisms of a CoCrFeNiMn high entropy alloy additively manufactured by selective laser melting, Scripta Materialia (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2018.05.015last_img read more

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Ragstoriches Skoda mulls postBrexit sales woes

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first_imgSkoda has left communist-era jokes far behind “Britain is simply a symbolic, important market, and Brexit would be terribly unpleasant for the make.”A hard Brexit would “slash Czech exports to the UK by 20 percent, Czech GDP growth by 1.1 points, and employment by 40,000 staff”, analysts at the Ceska sporitelna bank, a Czech unit of Austria’s Erste Bank, have warned.Czech companies sell goods worth 210 billion koruna (8.2 billion euros, $9.2 billion) to Britain a year, with auto exports making up more than half of the total, according to Ceska.Accounting for more than 20 percent of Czech industrial output, the car industry “is the most threatened by Brexit because of its size within the economy”, David Marek, chief economist at Deloitte Czech Republic, told AFP.Three global carmakers with Czech plants turned out more than 1.4 million cars in 2018, a new record, with Skoda making up over 60 percent of that.South Korea’s Hyundai, and TPCA, a joint venture of Japan’s Toyota and France’s Peugeot-Citroen, also have Czech factories. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The car industry is key to the Czech economy—and vulnerable to tariffs © 2019 AFP Once the butt of jokes, Czech-made Skoda cars have won over Brits, but the UK’s exit from the European Union could deal a heavy blow to the brand and the entire Czech economy. Britain is the fifth largest export market for the Czech Republic, an EU member of 10.6 million people heavily dependent on overseas shipments, especially cars.The EU has given Britain until October 31 to organise an orderly departure, but a no-deal hard Brexit that would slap high tariffs on imports like cars is still possible.Controlled by Volkswagen since 1991, Skoda exports some 80,000 cars to Britain a year, almost 10 percent of its annual output.In an emailed statement, Skoda told AFP it was “worried and getting ready for all scenarios” and called for a “solution acceptable for all parties”, but declined to elaborate.Radek Spicar, vice-president of the Czech Confederation of Industry, went further, warning that the company might suffer a heavy blow.”A hard Brexit would mean 10 percent import duties slapped on cars, and that would hurt,” he told AFP.”It would stifle demand for cars. Companies like Skoda wouldn’t collapse, but they would lose part of an important market,” Spicar added.Despite the grim outlook, Skoda raised its first-quarter sales to Britain by 3.6 percent against a year ago to 22,200 units, company spokesman Zdenek Stepanek told AFP.Spicar pointed out Britain was also a “symbolic” market for the make, which has come a long way from being the butt of jokes to one of the most respected makes there. Despite the grim outlook, Skoda raised its first-quarter sales to Britain by 3.6 percent against a year ago to 22,200 units, company spokesman Zdenek Stepanek told AFP Rags-to-riches Skoda mulls post-Brexit sales woes ‘Hard Brexit would be unpleasant’A thriving auto sector has been a major contributor to economic growth since 2013, with 2.9 percent expansion last year following 4.5 percent in 2017.Czech producers of electronics, nuclear plant components, sweets, photo equipment and others are also worried.”We generate turnover of some 10 million euros in Britain, which is about four percent of our total turnover,” says Tomas Kolar, chief executive of Linet, a producer of hospital beds and mattresses.”A hard Brexit would be unpleasant but not critical,” he added.For Linet, just like for car makers and other companies, Brexit will most probably mean their products will have to get a fresh certificate for sales in the British market.”This is a non-tariff trade barrier, independent regulation present in all non-EU countries. It may take time before we get the certificates,” said Kolar.Stocking up is a way to avoid problems, but Linet could not do that as its products are tailor-made for each hospital or clinic.Instead, it has stocked up on welded mattress parts from a British supplier.”We didn’t want to end up empty-handed, it would hit us globally because we sell mattresses worldwide,” said Kolar, who expects Britain to impose a 6.5 percent duty on special mattresses made by Linet should a hard Brexit occur.”It’s tough. I still hope they will find some common sense,” he said. No joke anymore”How do you double the value of a Skoda? Fill the tank with petrol,” went a popular joke about Skoda’s clunky models produced in the 1980s when Czechoslovakia—the predecessor of the Czech Republic and Slovakia—was still communist.”Do you know why Skoda has heated rear windows? So when you’re pushing it home in the winter, your hands stay warm,” said another.But Britons gradually melted—Skoda’s Fabia model was named car of the year by What Car? magazine in 2000, while the Skoda Yeti became the best car to own in a 2013 poll of 46,000 British drivers conducted by the Auto Express magazine.”Nobody is ashamed of driving a Skoda now, Jeremy Clarkson praised it in Top Gear, it is driven by taxi drivers,” said Spicar. Citation: Rags-to-riches Skoda mulls post-Brexit sales woes (2019, April 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-rags-to-riches-skoda-mulls-post-brexit-sales.htmllast_img read more

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With 100 members in attendance Lok Sabha sits till 1158 pm to

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first_imgWith 100 members in attendance, Lok Sabha sits till 11.58 pm to conclude debate on railwaysParliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said it is for the first time in nearly 18 years that the Lower House has sat for this long.advertisement Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 13:05 IST During the debate, the Opposition accused the Modi government of trying to sell off railways’ assets instead of focusing on services. (File Photo)The Lok Sabha sat till 11.58 pm on Thursday to conclude discussion on demands for grants for the Railway Ministry, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi saying it is for the first time in nearly 18 years that the Lower House has sat for this long.Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is likely to reply to the debate Friday afternoon, following which the demands for grants will be put to vote.Nearly a 100 members participated in the debate which began Thursday afternoon and concluded at 11.58 pm.”It is a record,” Joshi said.During the debate, the Opposition accused the Modi government of trying to sell off railways’ assets instead of focusing on services, but the BJP asserted that the transport behemoth is breaking new ground everyday especially in areas of infrastructure and safety.The Congress, TMC and other parties tore into the government as they opposed alleged attempts to “privatise” the railways and claimed that the NDA dispensation was “selling dreams” like the ‘bullet train’ to the people, which were “not feasible”.Countering the opposition’s allegations, BJP MP Sunil Kumar Singh said the performance of railways is much better now than under the Congress rule and the national transporter was achieving new milestones.Railway accidents have reduced by 73 per cent in the five-year period of Modi government from 2014 to 2019, he noted.ALSO READ | 29 elected unopposed to Parliamentary Estimates panelALSO WATCH | Narendra Modi arrives for the first parliament session of 17th Lok SabhaFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Nextlast_img read more

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