上海419龙凤

Under pressure, Google to pay some outlets for news content

first_imgGoogle announced plans Thursday to pay some news organizations for content in a departure from its past practice following pressure from governments and media groups around the world.While details of the plan were not known, the move could represent a significant shift by the internet giant and follows initiatives by Facebook and Apple to create news products in partnership with media outlets.Google said it would pay media partners in three countries and cover the costs of pay-walled news sites to give users free access to a dedicated news app. Topics : The program will begin with “local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil” and is set to expand to more countries soon, the tech giant said.”A vibrant news industry matters — perhaps now more than ever, as people look for information they can count on in the midst of a global pandemic and growing concerns about racial injustice around the world,” said Brad Bender, Google’s vice president for news product management.Google intends to pay for “high-quality content for a new news experience launching later this year” to allow media groups to “monetize their content,” Bender said. Helping whom? David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, which represents the US newspaper sector, said the announcement was “vague and confusing” and may be designed to help Google negotiate its legal battles with media.”It is a step in the right direction, but only a quite small one,” he said.Gabriel Kahn, a professor who follows media economics at the University of Southern California, said Google’s move is not what the industry has been seeking.”Google has crossed an important philosophical threshold — the idea of paying the producers of the content that it distributes,” Kahn said.”But this is still Google setting the rules for its own game. Google is still the one deciding who gets to play, what the terms are and how much is paid out.”Nikos Smyrnaios, a media professor at the University of Toulouse in France, said Google’s announcement “fits into a strategy of divide and conquer” and may be part of an effort to avoid a broader compensation plan.Geraldo Costa Neto, executive director of the Brazilian newspaper Estado de Minas and a negotiator with Google, said however the agreement would compensate media and “reverses the logic of Google’s algorithm” by allowing the news organizations to select content.”The news will be chosen on editorial, not technological criteria,” Costa Neto told AFP.Some European and global organizations including AFP have sought laws requiring internet companies to pay for news content including “snippets” in search results.In April, France’s competition regulator said Google must begin negotiations on payments to media groups after refusing to comply with Europe’s new digital copyright law.Earlier this month, Google rejected demands from Australian news publishers to pay millions in compensation to local media under a government-imposed revenue sharing plan. News industry’s woes The move comes with many news organizations struggling with declining print readership and challenged by the digital ecosystem where ad revenue is dominated by Google and Facebook.Google has been accused of siphoning off online revenue and has faced legal battles in France and Australia over its refusal to pay news organizations for content.The California giant has countered that it helps drive traffic and revenue to online news sites. It has also announced several efforts to aid journalism through its Google News Initiative.The Google move comes after Facebook said last year it would create a “news tab” in partnership with media groups to promote journalism and stem the flow of misinformation.Apple launched its news app in 2015 which helps promote media subscriptions and in 2019 added a paid service called Apple News+ which shares revenue with newspaper and magazine publishers.Google’s initial partners include the Spiegel Group in Germany and Brazil’s Diarios Associados. Australian publishers Schwartz Media, The Conversation and Solstice Media are also among the partners, according to public broadcaster ABC.last_img read more

Read More

Beat writers split on outcome of Syracuse’s home matchup with Boston College

first_imgSyracuse (13-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) faces Boston College (13-7, 3-4) on Wednesday in the Carrier Dome. Last season, the Orange visited Conte Forum on New Year’s Day and got a bloody nose from Ky Bowman and the Eagles, losing 96-81. Less than two weeks later, BC came to the Dome and lost, spoiling its chance to sweep the season series with SU. The two sides haven’t faced off this season, but our beat writers are split about who will get a win.Matthew Gutierrez (17-2)Eye of the EagleBoston College 64, Syracuse 57Remember last year at Conte Forum, where Ky Bowman drilled 7 of 8 3s in BC’s 96-point outburst against the Orange? There’s no way the Eagles will reach the 90-point threshold this time, especially on the road against a solid defensive team.But Boston College will shoot it. Jim Christian’s offense is more efficient than it has been in years past  — the Eagles went 10-62 in ACC play over the past four seasons. That’s been enough to beat Duke, Wake Forest and Florida State, as well as nearly beating Virginia and Clemson.Jerome Robinson and Jordan Chatman are taking care of the ball while seeing upticks in their 3-point shooting percentages. Wednesday evening, the Eagles will knock down open 3s for a road victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSam Fortier (15-4)Bye Eagles ByeSyracuse 63, Boston College 58The Orange will burst out of its longest layoff of the season and get the best of an Eagles team playing its second tough road game in four days. Boston College, for all its growth, is still one of the youngest teams in the country — though still older than Syracuse, on average — and it will take a near-flawless night to beat Syracuse in the Dome.SU head coach Jim Boeheim called BC one of the country’s best 3-point shooting teams and, though statistics don’t necessarily support that, it would be one way for BC to take advantage of the Orange’s 2-3 zone and its struggles to defend the perimeter this season. Still, fresh legs will prevail as Syracuse locks down on the outside and grinds out a victory.Tomer Langer (14-5)Going streakingSyracuse 68, Boston College 61It’s true that Boston College is improved and has a good young core of Bowman and Robinson, with the former being an all-around threat and the latter being absolutely lethal from beyond the arc. There are two problems for the Eagles, though. The first is that they’re just 2-6 away from home. The other is that BC lacks a true scoring threat in the paint.Last year, when the Eagles obliterated the Orange at Conte Forum, SU spent too much time scrambling toward the posts, even though those weren’t serious threats to score.The Orange is well rested, as Sam mentioned. Center Paschal Chukwu, who has seen a large uptick of minutes in ACC play with Bourama Sidibe limited, probably needed the break more than anyone and should be fresh defending the paint. Syracuse should be able to push out its zone to limit BC’s guards, and expect Tyus Battle and Frank Howard to be more effective on offense with the extra rest. Comments Published on January 23, 2018 at 9:27 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Read More

Montessori Academy To Present ‘Harlequin’ June 23

first_imgRED BANK – The students of Little Silver’s Mastro Montessori will stage Harle­quin at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at the Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave.The story takes place a little Italian village during the Renaissance before carnival, the last day of Lent. Harle­quin, the son of a poor widow, is encouraged by his friends to participate in the celebration, but has no costume to wear. His friends all try to help by contributing a small scrap of cloth with which to make a costume. He falls asleep and has a whimsical dream.Adults and children alike will enjoy the lively performance performed by current Mastro Montessori students and a few of its illustrious alumni. Youth Opera Inter­national will guide the cast through word, song, and dance.Tickets are $50 for premium reserve seating. General seating prices are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for children.Tickets may be purchased by calling 732-842-5816.Mastro Montessori Acad­emy, located in Little Silver, serves students in primary and elementary grades. A Montessori education, known worldwide for its unique teaching methodologies, in­stills lifelong learning and socialization skills.Additional information about Mastro Montessori is available by calling Kristin De Rose at 732-842-5816.last_img read more

Read More

Graduate Level Baloney Detecting About Natural Selection

first_imgWe examine some leading journal papers that lean on natural selection to see if they can wobble without falling over.In yesterday’s post, Dr Ross Anderson took on an impressive paper from the National Academy of Sciences that claimed to have proven natural selection. Behold: a new gene from non-coding DNA! And it provides a function! “This paper is a concrete dissection of the process of a de novo gene birth that has conferred a vital adaptive function directly linked to natural selection,” they boasted. Of course, they had to insert several chance miracles along the way, as Anderson pointed out.This week, World Magazine printed an interview with Günter Bechly, the world-renowned paleontologist who joined the honorable ranks of the ‘Expelled’ by ditching Darwinism a few years ago and considering intelligent design seriously. Now living in Austria, Bechly mentioned a project he is working on with other Darwin skeptics. He says, “we find the time needed to get a single coordinated mutation is much longer than the existence of the entire universe.” That’s important to know about the ‘antifreeze’ gene arising spontaneously from several coordinated mutations. It’s just not going to happen; that’s the “time problem” of evolution.Graduate Level Baloney DetectingRegular readers know that we have been critiquing natural selection in recent months (list). Some Darwin worshipers might object that our examples mostly come from the popular science press. Perhaps science writers are more prone to storytelling than professional scientists are. Can we take on the big guns? Many papers in big-league journals refer to natural selection with charts, graphs and equations. If natural selection (NS) equates to the Stuff Happens Law (SHL) as we allege (3 Oct 2015), why does it appear to take on a useful role in many recondite science papers? Surely these scientists cannot be deceived into using a vacuous idea, can they? Yesterday’s case didn’t fare too well. Let’s take a brief grad-level course in baloney detecting and see if other high-profile selectionist papers are able to pass.Extreme diversification of floral volatiles within and among species of Lithophragma (Saxifragaceae) (PNAS). Ah, the scent of a meadow or forest! Plants give off volatile chemicals into the air not just for pleasure, but for signalling other plants and resisting pests. The chemicals in these living laboratories, however, are very complex. They require molecular machines to make them. “A major challenge in biology is to understand how complex traits important for ecological interactions between species coevolve and diversify across contrasting ecosystems,” the authors say. Here is the claim for NS:The complexity of species interactions, gene flow, and genomic variation among populations and the ever-changing composition of local networks of interacting species generate geographic mosaics of adaptation, maladaptation, evolution, and coevolution, which, in turn, can remix and generate new trait variation to be molded by natural selection.OK, so which is the cause of the chemical bouquet in saxifrages? Is it adaptation, maladaptation, evolution, coevolution, or natural selection? These are all synonyms for the SHL. They all come from the circular argument that ‘evolution is true, therefore things evolve,” which conveys no explanatory information. It’s like saying, ‘NS, and NS, plus NS, can generate new trait variation molded by NS.’ Read this paper and you will find a remarkable thing. Every instance of ‘selection’ in a sentence contains the word ‘could’ or some other escape hatch, like ‘suggests’ or ‘may’ or ‘appears to be.’ Example:Several nonmutually exclusive processes could contribute to the high diversity of floral scent variation found in Lithophragma: relaxed selection; spatially varying selection imposed by the abiotic environment; or spatially varying selection imposed by interacting species, such as Greya moths, and, in some populations, copollinators.Baloney hunters will look in vain for any evidence that NS was able to create, generate or improve on any plant chemical. The explanation is all smoke and mirrors, appearing to validate NS with hot air. Verdict: junk science, just-so storytelling, circular reasoning.Bird Evolution: Convergence Fits the Bill (Current Biology). Here’s another charade based on the assumption that NS is life’s innovator. Watch for the rising perhapsimaybecouldness index:Long-term ecological studies of Darwin’s famous finches demonstrate that selection for enhanced seed-cracking ability can rapidly drive the evolution of beak size and shape, yielding general insights into the adaptability of the passerine beak.Cartoon by Brett Miller. Used by permission.They claim that selection “can” do these things, but they don’t show how. NS is not a driver. It’s not like a taxi taking things somewhere. Since NS is not a cause, this is equivalent to saying, ‘Because stuff happens, bird beak changes happen.’ NS is Daniel Field’s pot hookah, bringing him the illusion of enlightenment. He basically says that the SHL provides “a new dawn in our understanding of early passerine evolution.” He needs to sober up and do some real work in the lab.Functional architecture of low-frequency variants highlights strength of negative selection across coding and non-coding annotations (Nature Genetics). Uh-oh; this will be a tough one. This paper is loaded with “coefficients of selection” and equations, enough to send undergrad baloney detectors running back to the Temple of Darwin for comfort. Well, surprise! This paper is all about negative selection. There’s nothing about novelty, innovation, or improvement that Darwin had hoped could generate humans from bacteria. The authors describe variations that break things, like Michael Behe describes in his new book Darwin Devolves (just out today). The paper is all about deleterious mutations and the origin of genetic diseases. And you were so scared!Negative selection is to natural selection as lawn mowing is to lawn growing. They’re very different things. Darwin is not going to explain grass by mowing it down. Negative selection doesn’t even deserve to be called selection. Will Darwin ever hit a home run with all strikes?Quantifying the risk of hemiplasy in phylogenetic inference (PNAS). This paper strikes out in the first sentence. “Convergent evolution provides key evidence for the action of natural selection.” No it doesn’t. This is another circular argument. It only makes sense to those who already believe natural selection produces convergence. Common design is a superior explanation for similarities, because it doesn’t lean on the Stuff Happens Law. But that’s not the funniest part of this paper. The authors undermine that first sentence by showing that many cases of convergence are not due to natural selection, but to a different process called hemiplasy. Read and LOL:Convergent evolution—the appearance of the same character state in apparently unrelated organisms—is often inferred when a trait is incongruent with the species tree. However, trait incongruence can also arise from changes that occur on discordant gene trees, a process referred to as hemiplasy. Hemiplasy is rarely taken into account in studies of convergent evolution, despite the fact that phylogenomic studies have revealed rampant discordance. Here, we study the relative probabilities of homoplasy (including convergence and reversal) and hemiplasy for an incongruent trait. We derive expressions for the probabilities of the two events, showing that they depend on many of the same parameters. We find that hemiplasy is as likely—or more likely—than homoplasy for a wide range of conditions, even when levels of discordance are low.They just falsified a whole stack of Darwinian papers claiming convergence by natural selection! This is rich.Polygenic adaptation and convergent evolution on growth and cardiac genetic pathways in African and Asian rainforest hunter-gatherers (PNAS). Our side of the debate is in trouble now. These authors claim evidence for positive selection – strong positive selection. My, how shall we do? Not to worry. First of all, their alleged evidence for positive selection amounts to ‘what exists’ – i.e., if it exists, it must have been positively selected. They were too lazy to do the hard work of finding a true beneficial mutation that conferred a new beneficial trait:Given that our motivating phenotype is a complex trait and signatures of polygenic adaptation are expected to be relatively subtle and especially difficult to detect at the individual mutation and gene levels, in this study we principally consider patterns of convergence versus population specificity at the functional pathway/annotation level.Basically, they’re finding strong hearts and lungs among hunter-gatherers who hunt for a living. But that’s not the worst part of this paper. The data is all about one species, Homo sapiens —us! If they claim natural selection is evolving some humans into beings with superior fitness, that makes this a racist paper. The ghost of Darwin’s scientific racism is rising like a zombie in this paper. Run away fast!Are we having fun yet? We have many more examples of natural selection masquerading as a scientific theory in leading scientific journal papers, if you can handle it. Upon scrutiny, we always only find storytelling, circular reasoning and emptiness. Folks, this is the theory that is causing many in the church to leave the God of Genesis for the Baal of Darwin. Theistic evolutionists have been led to believe, and are teaching churches, that natural selection is such a powerful theory, all reasonable people must bow down to Darwin-Baal. One must insert and twist NS into the creation account, and when something has to give, the Bible must always flex to service the ‘science’ of Darwin. It is therefore necessary for us to open the curtains, turn on the lights, and stop the deceit.We could show more papers like this, but what will help you more is to learn how to detect baloney on your own. It’s not that hard. You don’t have to get into the weeds, learn jargon, and double-check equations. The baloney is right on the surface and in the foundation. Bad assumptions will not give good science. Here are some simple techniques for unmasking claims that natural selection explains biology.GRAD SCHOOL LESSONS IN BALONEY DETECTING THE CLAIMS OF NATURAL SELECTIONDon’t be intimidated by jargon.Ignore statements about ‘driving force’ and ‘selection pressure.’ Blind nature doesn’t care what happens.Keep your baloney detector aimed. Ignore distractions. Assertions that critics want to push Genesis in schools or ‘you just don’t understand evolution’ and other red herrings and non-sequiturs are attempts to derail the debate.Look for examples of new functional information arising by chance mutations.Look for examples of speciation, not just variation within one species or genus, which is not the controversial point.Look for new genetic information arising by chance, that confers a new function.Search for key words: positive, innovation, novel, function, information, de novo, mutation.Watch out for a high perhapsimaybecouldness index. Remember, if a trait ‘could’ be explained by natural selection, it also ‘might not’ be explainable by natural selection. Where’s the beef?Remember that some accidents can produce temporary benefits, but not progress. (Behe’s favorite example is that you can give your car better gas mileage by removing the doors and hood.) Blind cave fish are not improved fish, even if genetic damage lets them live in caves. Sickle-cell patients are not better humans, even if the gene defect gives them resistance to malaria.Look for the assumption of evolution. Beware those who never even consider other possibilities, such as design for robustness against unforeseen challenges. A programmed search for beneficial variants, as with the human immune system’s ability to produce antibodies, is not natural selection.Watch for scrambled causation: ‘This trait might have been caused by homoplasy, hemiplasy, luck, convergence, alcohol or natural selection.’ This is like the student explaining, ‘My homework might be missing because the dog ate it, aliens took it, I forgot, I ran out of paper, the internet was down, or Mom said I had to clean my room instead.’ What was the vera causa?Be alert for self-refuting statements. If natural selection explains away free will, it also explains away the scientist’s truth claims that natural selection eliminates free will.Be on guard for antisocial statements. Indications that natural selection explains differences in human fitness capacities fertilizes the toxic seedplot of eugenics.Go forth and help bring down the Darwin dictatorship.Humpty Darwin sits on a wall of foam bricks held together by decayed mortar. Cartoon by Brett Miller commissioned for CEH. All rights reserved. (Visited 364 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More

Rey Nambatac grateful for chance to showcase late-game guts for Rain or Shine

first_imgLATEST STORIES US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants View comments Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Bantamweight champ Reymart Gaballo demolishes Japanese foe for 2nd round KO Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READcenter_img Despite being drafted no.7 overall in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, Nambatac wasn’t seen as a franchise changer especially when he arrived in a loaded Rain or Shine team that has Chris Tiu, James Yap, Gabe Norwood, and Maverick Ahanmisi in the guard and wing positions.Nambatac, however, displayed a tenacity of someone about to strike gold and this slow grind eventually earned him head coach Caloy Garcia’s trust to put him in late-game situations.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesColegio de San Juan de Letran’s alum showed unflappable calm in the final three minutes of Rain or Shine’s 107-100 win over NorthPort in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.“I’m glad that coach has slowly given me the break,” said Nambatac in Filipino. “And whenever I’m in the game I just try to fill in the gaps and those are hustle and defense and I never veer away from my role in the team.” MANILA, Philippines—Rey Nambatac just proved that hard work will eventually reap anyone glory.ADVERTISEMENT And in some sort of butterfly effect, Nambatac’s bigger role with the team came with Tiu’s retirement right before the start of the conference.“Actually I’ve been preparing myself for Chris’ retirement because once that happens I could get a bigger role with the team,” said Nambatac who finished with 11 points, four rebounds, and two steals.“Of course it’s hard to fill in Chris’ role so, for me, I’ll just stick on defense because that really is my bread and butter.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations “I just play my game and whenever I’m in the court I just focus on what I have to do and read the situation so I can do whatever I have to do to get the lead and for us to get momentum.”After James Yap’s gutsy three-pointer over Paolo Taha gave the Elasto Painters a 102-100 lead with 2:50 to play, Nambatac showed his aggressive side by pestering ball handlers and getting to the line a couple of times.Nambatac was able to steal the ball from Sean Anthony resulting in a split from the stripe for the 103-100 lead just 16 seconds after Yap’s three.The sophomore guard once again got a steal, this time at the expense of Stanley Pringle, but his jump shot at the 1:43 mark failed to get in.Nambatac, however, eventually iced the game from the free throw line hitting two of his freebies with 15 seconds left for Rain or Shine’s 104-100 lead.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Read More

10 months agoCazorla buzzing after 2-goal performance for Real Madrid draw

first_imgCazorla buzzing after 2-goal performance for Real Madrid drawby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveVillarreal’s two goal Santi Cazorla was delighted with their 2-2 draw against Real Madrid.Cazorla struck twice – his first goals since 2012.The former Arsenal star said, “We are happy for the point, we have to keep it that way.”We wanted the three points, but the important thing was to add, it was very important to get out of the dropzone, but there is still a lot left.”On the goals, Cazorla added: “In a few training sessions and in official games this is the second one, I scored one in England.”It was a very special match for me after everything I’ve been through.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Read More

9 months agoArsenal goalkeeper Cech calls out BT Sport after dodgy stats tweet

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal goalkeeper Cech calls out BT Sport after dodgy stats tweetby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech hasn’t allowed BT Sport to get away with a mistaken social media post.BT Sport tweeted out a graphic of the Premier League’s most clean sheets but fans on social media and Cech himself were quick to notice the stats were very wrong.The graphic wrongly stated that Cech has 161 clean sheets when in actuality, the Arsenal and former Chelsea star has a mammoth 202 Premier League shutouts.Cech, 36, instantly wrote back laughing at the error, saying: “this is the easiest stat to find on the internet.”The Gunners keeper famously holds the record for the most Premier League clean sheets overall as well as the most shutouts kept in a single season with 24.BT Sport were so embarrassed they deleted the post after being called out by Cech. this is the easiest stat to find on the internet [email protected]://t.co/DStSIn43gy— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) January 14, 2019 last_img read more

Read More

Iowa Releases “See You In Pasadena” Rose Bowl Hype Video

first_imgAn exterior view of the Rose BowlRose BowlIt has been 25 years since Iowa last played in the Rose Bowl. The Hawkeyes will be back in Pasadena Jan. 1 to take on Stanford.Iowa fans are justifiably excited for the occasion, even if their team narrowly missed out on the College Football Playoff. This weekend, the Hawkeyes dropped a very cool “See You in Pasadena” hype video for the game, featuring highlights from this season and homage to the program’s past Rose Bowl squads.  Smelling roses #Hawkeyes @rosebowlgame https://t.co/JfihBC86PR— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) December 12, 2015Hawkeye fans, are you ready yet?last_img read more

Read More

Winnipeg police investigating after womans body discovered at recycling depot

first_imgWINNIPEG – Winnipeg police say their homicide unit is investigating the discovery of a woman’s body at a recycling depot.Police say in a news release that the body of the middle-aged woman was found Friday evening, mixed in with recycling materials.Investigators believe the remains arrived at the facility from another location.They’re calling it a suspicious death.Police say they’re still trying to identify the woman and notify her next of kin.They’re asking anyone with information that could help investigators to call them.last_img read more

Read More

COAI seeks roadmap to resolve issues plaguing telecom sector

first_imgNew Delhi: Industry body COAI on Tuesday said the new government post elections should set out a clear roadmap to ease the burden of levies on the telecom sector, and issues including cut in licence fee and spectrum charges should be taken up at the earliest, preferably in 6-9 months’ timeframe. COAI rued that revenue continues to remain under pressure for the industry saddled with high debt, and for most players the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization or EBITDA generated “is not enough to meet the interest expenses”. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”The definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) should be reviewed to include revenue from licensed activities only … Telecom Department should adopt the recommendations given by the regulator on the issue of determination of AGR,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan S Mathews told reporters here. COAI said that income from interest, dividend, capital gains from sale of fixed assets, gains from forex fluctuation, income from rent, insurance claims, and distributors margin should not be included in the revenue of the telecom operators for the purpose of computation of licence fee and spectrum usage charges. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAlso, revenue from sale of handsets and other subscriber terminals like routers should also be not included in the AGR, it said. “Once you address the AGR definition issue, it has cascading benefits.. that is the first thing they (the new Government) should look at. Second, the issue of double taxation…you have got payment for spectrum up-front why are you continuing to tax the industry for the spectrum usage charge and licence…TRAI already recommended that SUC should come down to 1 per cent and licence fee should come down too,” he said. He added that if these outstanding issues are dealt with in the first 6-9 months by the new government post elections, it would yield “sizable benefits” for the industry. “It would also send a clear signal to both industry and investors that the government is serious about getting the sector back on its feet,” Mathews said. Some of the major demands of the industry include reforms in AGR finalization, allowing deductions of lease line/bandwidth charges and the charges paid by one telecom operator to another as `pass through charges’, alignment of the bank guarantees with the licence fee and SUC payouts of telecom operators, and refund of accumulated unutilised input tax credit, among others. Under the Unified License Agreement, the licence fee currently is 8 per cent of the AGR. Further, in case the operator obtains spectrum, they also pay spectrum related charges, including payment for allotment and use of such radiowaves. Over the past few years, India’s telecom market had become cut-throat where nearly a dozen players jostled for market share, pummelling the call rates to among the lowest in the world. Competition has only intensified since 2016, when Reliance Jio Infocomm, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, stormed into the market and offered free calls and dirt cheap data. This triggered massive consolidation in the industry the most prominent being that of Vodafone and Idea.last_img
Read More