Washington, Nov 8 (AP/UNB) — The United States is warning other countries not to allow Iranian oil tankers into their territorial waters or ports, saying such access may run afoul of U.S. sanctions and not only incur penalties, but also result in catastrophic economic and environmental damage should an accident occur.
The State Department reminded the global shipping and insurance industries Wednesday that as part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure campaign" to get Iran to change its behavior, insuring Iranian tankers will now incur penalties under U.S. sanctions reinstated this week.
Brian Hook, the special U.S. representative for Iran, said that as major insurers withdraw coverage from Iranian vessels, Iran will likely turn to domestic insurance companies that will not be able to cover losses for maritime accidents that could run into the billions of dollars.
"From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke points in between, Iranian tankers are now a floating liability," Hook told reporters. "Countries, ports and canal operators and private firms should know they will be likely responsible for the costs of an accident involving a self-insured Iranian tanker."
The U.S. "sincerely hopes" accidents do not occur, he said, but he noted that an Iranian tanker was involved in an accident in the East China Sea in January that resulted in the loss of the ship and a massive oil spill. He said the U.S. has evidence that Iranian vessels are trying to evade U.S. sanctions by disabling location transponders used to prevent collisions.
"This tactic is a maritime security threat," Hook said. "These transponders are designed to maximize visibility at sea and turning them off only increases risk of accidents and injuries. Self-insured Iranian tankers engaging in unsafe behavior, with many tons of crude oil on board, is courting environmental and financial disaster."
The sanctions that came into force Monday target Iran's energy, financial and shipping sectors and mark the end of U.S. participation in the 2015 nuclear deal that President Donald Trump withdrew from in May.
The sanctions aim to further isolate Iran by choking off its main source of revenue — oil exports — by imposing sanctions on countries and companies that do not end their imports.
However, some trade is still allowed, as the administration has granted waivers for eight major importers to continue buying Iranian petroleum products without penalty for another six months.
Dhaka, Nov 7 (UNB)- Within eight months of introducing 4G, Grameenphone has become the first operator in the country achieving the 5 million 4G internet users.
The 4G service was introduced in the country from February 2018 with a promise to put high-speed internet in the hands of the people, said a press release.
Given the high price of 4G devices and relatively low penetration of such devices in the ecosystem, this is a notable achievement for the company, said the GP.
”We are humbled by the trust that the customers placed on our network and services. We are always committed to maintaining the high standards and bring the best for our customers,” Yasir Azman, Grameenphone’s Deputy CEO & CMO.
Currently, over 36 million customers use the internet in Grameenphone’s network making it the single largest internet service provider in the country, he said.
“While rolling out the 4G network we focused on quality rather than quantity aiming to provide the best 4G experience to our valued customers,” added Azman.
Dhaka, Nov 7 (UNB)- Country’s one of the leading electronics and electrical appliances manufacturers ‘Marcel’ posted 41 percent sales growth in the period of January to October of this year.
The local brand also set target of registering 82 percent sales growth in the next year and to meet the target, Marcel has been undertaking massive initiatives.
Marcel’s Director SM Ashraful Alam came up with the remarks in a day-long conference - ‘Meet the New Distributors 2018,’ at its corporate office in the capital on recently.
More than 150 new distributors of the local brand took part in the day-long conference and shared their views and ideas on initiating timely and fruitful marketing strategies.
Marcel’s another Director, SM Mahbubul Alam inaugurated the conference as the chief guest while the company’s Vice-Chairman SM Nurul Alam Rezvi and other Directors SM Ashraful Alam, SM Monjurul Alam, Zakia Sultana, Tahmina Afrose Tanna and Raisa Sigma Hima were present as special guests. Country’s renowned film actor Amin Khan moderated the function.
Wolfsburg (Germany), Nov 7 (UNB) – Experts from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia have gathered here as the two-day 9th Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) begins on Thursday with the theme – ‘Building a new civilization’.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and his creative adviser Hans Reitz are organising the annual event and the leading conference on social business or entrepreneurship.
The main topics of the GSBS 2018 are plastic and circular economy, mobility, solidarity, sports and social business and food and its value.
The worldwide leading forum serves to spread awareness about social business, foster discussions and collaboration between practitioners and stakeholders, as well as present and conceive best practices.
Prof Muhammad Yunus, Executive Director Yunus Centre Lamiya Morshed, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG; Human Resources and Organization Gunnar Kilian, former NASA Austronaut Ron Garan, CEO Autostadt Roland Clement, CEO The Grameen Creative Lab, Head of GSBS Hans Reitz, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Monica Yunus, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Camille Zamora, President and Founder of Jean Bernou Consulting Jean Bernou, Peter Schwarzenbauer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Impact Investor and Social Entrepreneur Ruben Vardanyan and adviser to Prof Yunus Nurjahan Begum and Board of Management Volkswagen AG, Integrity and Legal Affairs Hiltrud Werner are among the speakers of the GSBS 2018.
The participants will experience outstanding Social Business entrepreneurs, great keynotes, master classes, workshops and networking sessions during the two-day Summit.
Hans Reitz said plastic does not belong to nature and they need a fundamental system change to address the problem. “What we need is a circular economy.”
“I always felt amazed at the limitless power of sport. It’s powerful because it is basic to human nature. Where there’s power there’s always a chance to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives,” said Prof Yunus.
The 9th edition, organisers said, represents an important step for the social business community they have fostered over the past years, as they are working concretely on action steps that will aim on building a new civilization.
In this spirit, the organisers will spread out in different hubs where they concentrate on the topics of plastic, sports, food, solidarity and mobility.
Prior to the main Summit, the Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC) was held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Autostadt, the headquarters of Volkswagen.
Prof Muhammad Yunus, while opening the Social Business Academia Conference on Tuesday, said the academics are the navigators.
"They’re the pilots who’re navigating everyone in the direction we should go as a global society. If we continue on the current path we’ll head towards disaster with wealth concentration and environmental degradation," he said.
Prof Yunus said academics have to find a way to get to a new destination which is sustainable for all of them and social business is one way to do that.
Lamiya Morshed said the goal of the conference was to foster an inter-disciplinary and international academic and research community around Social Business, and generate more research and curricula in the field of social business.
The Social Business Academia Conference was jointly organised by Yunus Centre and the Grameen Creative Lab, and with the help of the Scientific and Organising Committee of SBAC.
The conference saw around 150 academics and researchers from at least a dozen countries representing many Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBCs).
SBAC is a platform for networking of the growing network of Yunus Social Business Centers at universities around the world to share their experiences and future plans.
There are currently 64 YSBCs in 28 countries.
At the SBAC, 37 papers were selected from among 52 submitted papers.
Nineteen of them were presented at the SBAC covering issues like SDGs, health, education and training, technology, marketing, financing Social Business, wealth concentration and other issues.
Seattle, Nov 7 (AP/UNB) — The City Council in Spokane, Washington, has passed an ordinance prohibiting police from selling confiscated firearms, citing an Associated Press investigation that found that some guns sold by law enforcement were used in new crimes.
"Disposing of long guns and assault rifles is a sensible approach," Councilwoman Candace Mumm told The Associated Press in an email after the 6-1 vote on Monday night. "Instead of spending time recycling weapons, our police staff can get back to the primary mission of solving crimes and protecting the public."
The Spokane Police Department has sold 311 firearms since 2011, spokesman Officer John O'Brien said. The AP investigation went back to 2010, which included 25 sold that year and brought Spokane's total to 336 since 2010. The department sold its confiscated long guns through an auction house in Post Falls, Idaho, he said. The agency had been destroying forfeited handguns under an ordinance passed in 1993.
The Spokane City Council is the second political entity to order a ban on law enforcement gun sales, citing the AP's investigation into 6,000 guns sold by law enforcement between 2010 and 2017.
The Metropolitan King County Council passed an ordinance on Oct. 2 that prohibits the sheriff's office from selling forfeited firearms.
"While the practice of selling these firearms back into private hands is legal, a yearlong Associated Press analysis published in January 2018 found more than a dozen firearms sold by law enforcement agencies in Washington since 2010 later became evidence in new criminal investigations," the council said in its report supporting the ordinance. "The report noted that weapons auctioned by the Washington State Patrol, Kitsap, Pierce and Thurston counties and the Aberdeen, Bonney Lake and Longview police departments were used in the commission of crimes or to commit suicide."
The King County Sheriff's office has been destroying forfeited guns, but the ordinance ensures that practice continues, Council Chair Joe McDermott said.
The guns sold by Spokane police included Winchester .22-caliber rifles, Remington 12-gauge shotguns, a Colt AR-15, a Bulgarian-made AK47-style rifle, a "Romar assault rifle" and several Norinco SKS, 7.62 x 39 mm semi-automatic rifles. One of the Norincos sold for $180, according to police records.
Between 2011 and 2018, the forfeited firearms sales generated $16,787, according to the ordinance. The sales ranged from $633 to about $7,488 in any given year, the ordinance said.
"The books show just a few thousand dollars a year are netted out after paying for the auction fees and the 10 percent fee to the state," Mumm said before the vote. "This amount does not take into account the expenses that are incurred by the police department for staff time to secure, catalog, process, transport and document the weapons. Nor does it account for the trade and fund balances.
"We may actually be costing the city coffers by reselling and recycling the guns."
Several members of the public spoke against the ordinance based on their support for the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But Phyllis Holmes, who was on the Spokane City Council when it passed the original measure requiring the destruction of handguns, supported the plan.
When the council passed that ordinance 6-1 in 1993, it conveyed the panel's "determination to reduce the level of violent crime associated with firearms," Holmes said. "Circumstances were a little different then. We didn't see on the streets the kinds of weapons that we now see."
"It has troubled me the past few years that we didn't include all guns," Holmes said. "We perhaps weren't thinking forward enough in terms of what might happen. Passage of this measure tonight would bring consistency to our position on the management of confiscated weapons."
Without further discussion, the council passed the ordinance, which states: "The City of Spokane intends to do all it can to prevent and reduce violent crime in Spokane and has determined that destroying all seized or forfeited firearms rather than reselling them to the public or to gun dealers is a simple, sensible and effective way to reduce access to firearms and help reduce and prevent gun violence."