Are bad times awaiting the “King of good times”? Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya laundered Rs 1,301.67 crore though various shell companies in India and abroad, according to a complaint by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before the special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), a report in the Hindustan Times (HT) on Thursday said.The agency suspects that Mallya has around 13 such shell companies in the United States, Ireland, Mauritius and France. In its complaint, ED said that the only purpose of these companies under Mallya’s control was to either obtain loans or launder money, the report said, quoting the ED complaint.The central agency had last month filed a chargesheet against Mallya and nine others, including top officials of IDBI bank, from where Mallya had obtained a loan of Rs 950 crore. Taking cognisance of the complaint of the central agency, the PMLA court issued arrest warrants against all the accused, the report said.In its complaint, the ED listed various shell companies including M/s PE Data Centre Resources Private Limited, M/s Pharma Trading Limited, M/s Kingfisher Finvest Limited, Devi Investment Private Limited, M/s Mallya Investment Private Limited, and M/s Gem Investment.The agency claimed these shell companies had no actual activities and their directors were ex-employees of Mallya’s United Breweries group, the HT report said. The agency further claimed that some of the companies had not even hired employees and only these directors were on the payroll. The agency alleged that these companies were directly under Mallya’s control.The agency alleged that one of the shell companies – PE data Centre Resources Private Limited — had obtained a loan of Rs 100 crore and funds were transferred to the account of Kingfisher Airlines. COMING UP FOR AIR: Vijay Mallya, who is hiding out in a London mansion away from the clutches of the law, took time to resurface at cricketer Virat Kohli’s recent charity event.YouTube/ScreenshotThe agency claimed that Mallya had parked around half of the loan amount obtained from IDBI bank outside India in shell companies he had set up. “Out of Rs 900 crore, Rs 417.29 crore has been remitted out of India for payments shown to be made towards aircraft rental lease, maintenance, services and several such purposes. However, no documents were submitted to support such transaction. Thus, it appears to be laundering,” the HT report quoted the complaint as saying.The report said that the ED examined the lease rates and amount paid towards maintenance and other services by other airlines and by Kingfisher and found discrepancies in what Mallya’s firm had done. In this context, the HT report said that the agency cited payments made to two Mauritius-based firms, Veling Narain Ltd and Veling Sacheedanand Ltd, towards lease and maintenance of aircraft and pointed out that these were nothing but shell companies with former UB group employees as directors.The agency said it had so far managed to attach immovable property worth Rs 807.82 crore owned by Mallya. The agency claimed that Mallya has huge amounts of property in the US in the name of his daughters Leana and Tanya, HT said.The agency further alleged in its complaint that Mallya had a total of 291.31 acres in several villages in Karnataka, including Bilgeri, Coorg, Madekeri, and Kumboor. However, when the situation started getting worse, the agency claimed that Mallya managed to dispose of 264.80 acres in January 2016. The agency claimed that the transactions were done in a rush.The HT report added that the central agency is continuing its probe into the property and accounts held by Mallya outside India. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.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. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close
Listen 00:00 /04:00 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Al OrtizTarps such as the one this photo shows covered the roof of Ms. Vallia Huff’s home for eight years.As we have reported this week, Vallia Huff is a Houston senior citizen who lost her roof to hurricane Ike in 2008.Through its so-called blue tarp program, the City of Houston finally provided Huff with a new roof at the end of September.She says that something many of us take for granted would change her life because “every time it rains, you go into a panic.”So, why are there still hundreds of homes in need of repair?It is a complicated issue, so we spoke with some of the top people who were in charge of leading the city when hurricane Ike hit Houston and during the aftermath.Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker says some people chose not to fix their homes.“There may have been people who received the dollars and did not turn around to put those dollars into the necessary home repairs. The City of Houston was contracting directly with contractors to do the repairs, but there are some other programs where the homeowners themselves received the dollars,” Parker said.Those other programs were managed by the federal government.Parker’s immediate predecessor, Bill White, agrees with her assessment.“We had abundant evidence that some people chose to cash their checks and not have their homes repaired,” he said.Parker also says many people lacked homeowners insurance.In other cases, back taxes, confusion about ownership of the homes and other factors, such as simply not completing the paperwork for assistance, slowed down the process and eventually put it to a halt.Other Houstonians didn’t get timely repairs because their homes didn’t qualify for federal assistance.For example, they exceeded the cap set by the government on the property’s damage.Parker says that, at the time, if the damage to the property was higher than $25,000, the homeowner wasn’t eligible for assistance because the damage exceeded the threshold set by the federal government.However, some housing experts think the genesis of the problem was in fact years in the making.John Henneberger is co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service and thinks the blue tarps represent “a failure to plan for the rebuilding following a disaster.”“It had to do with long-term structural and administrative problems within the city’s housing department,” adds Henneberger who, nonetheless, notes those problems predated the White and Parker administrations.Tom McCasland, the current director of the city’s Housing and Community Development Department, says right after the hurricane the city was focused on a particular type of housing.“We’ve done a lot of good work using the Ike funds, some of it has gone into multi-family, replacement units,” McCasland said. “Some of it has gone into replacing entire homes and all of that is excellent work that needs to be done, but one of the things that this mayor wants to support is single-family homeownership.”Sylvester Turner addressed the blue tarp situation last year, when he was running for mayor.He said the city has a duty to repair the roofs and it has identified more than 500 homes with blue tarps.Turner announced the roof repair program at the beginning of September.He said the initiative is directly related to a concept he campaigned on in 2015 called complete communities, which, among other things, means fixing damaged roofs.And the mayor emphasizes he is not implementing the program because of a major event that is now just around the corner.“Has nothing to do with the Super Bowl,” Turner assured at a press conference held at Houston City Hall several days after announcing the launch of the program and added “it has everything to do about quality of life and providing people with a quality of life.”According to the Housing and Community Development Department, as of December 15th, the city had approved repairs for 168 homes.Marissa CummingsAfter eight years of not having a solid roof, this is how Huff’s home looks now. X
Study maps hotspots of genetic rearrangement In order to reproduce, the human body must first make either sperm in males or eggs in females and to do that, it must somehow create cells that have just half of that individual’s DNA—the other half will come from the other person during conception. The process by which this occurs is called homologous recombination, where diploid cells undergo cell division resulting in the production of gamete cells. The process is initiated when the body forms breaks in DNA double-strands. It’s in the repair of these breaks that exchanges between chromosomes occur. Recombination occurs at specific sites along chromosomes that are known as hot spots. Finding these hot spots has proved challenging, but now, the researchers with this latest effort report that they have succeeded in creating map of such hot spots which not only allows for looking at how evolution works in new ways, but could prove to be very helpful in better understanding, and possibly treating, some genetic diseases.In their study, the researchers were able to detect the triggers inside the body that led to recombination occurring in human male volunteers—that allowed them to create the maps which show where the recombination events occur. Just looking at the maps, the team notes, allows for a better understanding of the recombination process. One preliminary finding, for example, was that hotspots can be influenced by proteins expressed by a specific gene. de Massy notes that the maps created by the team could very well be used in other mammal species as well, which could help researchers studying how genetic diseases come about better understand where things go wrong, and perhaps, shine a light on possible ways to prevent it from happening. DNA damage resulting in multiple broken chromosomes. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 More information: Recombination initiation maps of individual human genomes, Science 14 November 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6211. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256442ABSTRACTDNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are introduced in meiosis to initiate recombination and generate crossovers, the reciprocal exchanges of genetic material between parental chromosomes. Here, we present high-resolution maps of meiotic DSBs in individual human genomes. Comparing DSB maps between individuals shows that along with DNA binding by PRDM9, additional factors may dictate the efficiency of DSB formation. We find evidence for both GC-biased gene conversion and mutagenesis around meiotic DSB hotspots, while frequent colocalization of DSB hotspots with chromosome rearrangement breakpoints implicates the aberrant repair of meiotic DSBs in genomic disorders. Furthermore, our data indicate that DSB frequency is a major determinant of crossover rate. These maps provide new insights into the regulation of meiotic recombination and the impact of meiotic recombination on genome function. © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Science 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. Citation: Researchers build a map of sites where genetic information is swapped between chromosomes (2014, November 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-sites-genetic-swapped-chromosomes.html (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers in the U.S. has built a detailed map that shows the sites where human genetic information is swapped between chromosomes. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describe their work and explain how their maps could provide new ways of looking at how such sites influence evolution and possibly genetic diseases. Bernard de Massy, of the Institute of Human Genetics offers an in depth perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal edition. Explore further
Business travel is fraught with irritating noises – the insistent whooshing of a plane engine, crying kids, chatty neighbors.If you’re a frequent road warrior (or even just on your daily commute), you likely always keep a pair of earbuds on hand. But what if you could just simply turn down the volume of the world around you? Two-year-old wearable tech company Doppler Labs wants to give users that experience with its latest product, the Here Active Listening System.Related: Should You Break Into the Wearables Market?The company launched a Kickstarter campaign this week for the wireless earbuds and accompanying mobile app that allows the user adjust the volume of what they are hearing in essentially real time, characterizing the system as a “remote control for your ears.” The technology takes in what you are hearing, processes it and then plays it back to you within 30 microseconds, so there’s no perceptible time delay.You can’t use them to listen to a podcast or a new album on your devices, but you can turn the volume up at a concert or an outdoor movie screening, or turn down the sounds of the street below your office building. With the app, you can also change what you’re hearing with sound effects options (i.e. reverb, and echo) or choose from a series of filters with names like Blue Note and Hendrix. The company has also developed specific algorithms to combat sounds like those jet engines. Related: Wearable Tech Will Soon Be Work Attire in These 4 IndustriesLast year, Doppler Labs released its first product, $25 “advanced tech ear plugs” called DUBS Acoustic Filters that are specifically designed to filter out harmful sound without muffling it, unlike an average rubber earplug.The Here Active Listening campaign has already met more than half its goal of $250,000 with 27 days left to go. Some of the perks that come with donating range from branded swag to meeting the Doppler team and seeing a live demonstration.The system is on track to ship December 2015 at a list price of $249. Related: Wearable Tech Is Improving Employee Productivity and Happiness 2 min read Register Now » June 3, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.