Blog Posts by Aaron Task

  • Another US hunter suspected of illegal Zimbabwe lion kill

    Another US trophy hunter is suspected of killing a lion in Zimbabwe without a permit, authorities in Harare said Sunday, days after the killing of Cecil the lion by an American dentist caused global outrage.

    A government statement said a crackdown on illegal hunting since Cecil's killing had led to the arrest of safari organiser Headman Sibanda.

    Sibanda's client was an American called Jan Casmir Sieski from Pennsylvania who travelled to the southern African country in April, the statement said, adding that the hunt took place on Sibanda's Railway Farm 31.

    "Headman Sibanda's case is in connection with a lion that was killed by the other American in April," Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo said.

    On Saturday, the parks authority announced restrictions on hunting around Hwange National Park, the country's biggest game reserve, where Cecil lived.

    The hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in the area around the reserve in western

    Read More »from Another US hunter suspected of illegal Zimbabwe lion kill
  • France and Britain vowed Sunday that a cross-Channel migrant crisis was their "top priority" in a united front that belied simmering anger over an issue which has become a political hot potato.

    Heightened security has curbed the number of attempts by migrants in the port city of Calais trying to make it through an undersea tunnel to Britain, with only 400 bids Saturday night, a police source said, compared to 2,000 earlier in the week.

    Around 3,000 people from Africa, the Middle East and Asia are camped in Calais hoping to smuggle themselves into Britain, and the costly crisis has strained ties across the Channel.

    "Tackling this situation is the top priority for the UK and French governments," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and his British counterpart Theresa May said in a statement published in France's Journal Du Dimanche and Britain's Telegraph newspaper.

    "We are committed and determined to solve this, and to solve it together."

    However politicians were less

    Read More »from France, Britain present united front as anger soars over migrants
  • Byrne

    Photo by KMazur/WireImage

    David Byrne

    If the world needed any more proof of how absurdly convoluted the streaming music business is, the former frontman of the legendary band Talking Heads has now provided it.

    It seems that even David Byrne, a music industry veteran who was the lead singer of the critically-acclaimed Talking Heads, is as much in the dark as everyone else about some of the royalty rates that Apple and other streaming services pay artists when their songs get played.

    In an op-ed in the New York Times, Byrne says that it’s time for the record labels and streaming services to open up the “black box” and make clear exactly “how they share the wealth generated by music.”

    The music industry is a notoriously difficult business to understand, with byzantine, private contracts, deals and licenses governing how much musicians get paid.  The issue has been thrust in the spotlight as new Internet streaming music services increasingly replace digital downloads, CDs and other

    Read More »from Even the lead singer of Talking Heads has no idea how Apple’s music royalty payments work
  • No plane link to new debris in island hunt for MH370 clues

    A fevered hunt for more wreckage from missing flight MH370 on La Reunion island turned up no new clues Sunday as authorities said metallic debris found by locals did not come from an airplane.

    However Malaysia urged authorities in the Indian Ocean region to be on the lookout for debris washing up on their shores after the discovery of part of a Boeing 777 wing raised hopes it could help solve one of aviation's greatest mysteries.

    Locals on La Reunion island have been combing the shores since the wing part was found last Wednesday, handing over bits of what they believe to be wreckage to police.

    On Sunday, several pieces of debris sparked excitement, one of which was believed by locals to be from a plane door.

    However investigators quickly shot down hopes.

    Malaysian Director General of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman who is in France for the analysis of the wing part, told AFP one item "was actually from a domestic ladder. It is not a door".

    And a source close to the

    Read More »from No plane link to new debris in island hunt for MH370 clues
  • Kitchen appliance maker plots $62M expansion in Wisconsin

    Kitchen appliance maker Sub-Zero plots $62M expansion in Wisconsin

    FITCHBURG, Wis. (AP) -- A kitchen appliance manufacturer is planning a $62 million expansion south of Madison, netting $5 million in state and local support for creating an estimated 300 new jobs.

    Sub-Zero Group, makers of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, chose last month to expand its Fitchburg facility over a planned site in Kentucky, the Wisconsin State Journal ( ) reported. The 400,000-square-foot expansion will more than double its current footprint in Fitchburg and churn out upscale dishwashers and ranges.

    Their new facility is slated to open in fall 2016.

    At least $5 million in state and local incentives are part of the deal, including state tax credits for meeting job creation and wage requirements. Madison has also pledged financial assistance for some infrastructure costs. The company is also seeking $1 million in state assistance for building roads.

    But it was a new

    Read More »from Kitchen appliance maker plots $62M expansion in Wisconsin
  • ITV studios in focus as audiences fall

    Shares in ITV continued their upwards spiral last week, buoyed by strong ad revenues and buyout speculation.

    But there was one fly in the ointment: the broadcaster's audience share fell to 21 per cent, its lowest in at least 15 years. Some of the biggest flops were programmes produced by its much-vaunted in-house production arm.

    Superhospital and The Secret Life of Your House - made by The Garden, a company bought by ITV for up to £46m in 2013 - epitomised the shortcomings of the broadcaster's 9pm documentaries. When they aired in June, audiences were 28 per cent and 64 per cent below the average for that time slot over the previous year.

    That strikes at a tension within ITV - should it be seeking the best shows to maximise ad sales, or favouring in-house shows in order to boost production revenues?

    About 60 per cent of ITV1's programmes are now made by its in-house Studios division, up from less than 50 per cent in 2009, the year chief executive Adam Crozier

    Read More »from ITV studios in focus as audiences fall
  • UniCredit chief explores options as he seeks to avoid cash call

    UniCredit chief Federico Ghizzoni is exploring a strategic shake-up of the bank to boost profitability and address investor concerns while he seeks to avoid a cash call, insiders say.

    The move by Mr Ghizzoni - who became chief executive five years ago after his predecessor, Alessandro Profumo, was ousted by the board - comes as Italian banks brace for the results of a health check by European regulators.

    UniCredit, Italy's only globally systemically important financial institution, reported a common equity tier 1 ratio of 10.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year. This measure of the bank's financial strength was at the low end among its European peers and has raised concerns that regulators may push the bank to boost its capital base.

    Mr Ghizzoni's move follows growing restlessness about the company's weak share performance among UniCredit's non-Italian investors, which include its biggest shareholder Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments, according to insiders.


    Read More »from UniCredit chief explores options as he seeks to avoid cash call
  • Emirates National Oil Company boosts offer for Dragon Oil

    Dubai's national oil group has raised its offer to buy out minority shareholders at Dragon Oil, the Irish and UK-listed energy explorer, and secured the backing of key investors.

    The Emirates National Oil Company on Sunday announced it had increased its cash offer for the 46 per cent of the Turkmenistan-focused explorer it does not already own, from 750p a share to 800p.

    The offer was backed by Baillie Gifford, the asset manager, and Elliott Advisors, the UK subsidiary of US activist investor Elliott Management. These two investors had both pushed for improved deal terms from Enoc.

    Saif Al Falasi, chief executive of Enoc, said in a statement: "We are pleased to have the support of the required majority of Dragon Oil shareholders for our revised offer of 800 pence, including the two largest minority shareholders, Baillie Gifford and Elliott Capital Advisors."

    He said the process for delisting Dragon Oil from the Irish and London stock exchanges would begin shortly to

    Read More »from Emirates National Oil Company boosts offer for Dragon Oil
  • Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul on Sunday said Planned Parenthood funding should be redirected toward community health centers, weighing in on a growing controversy over the women's health care network and the abortion services it offers.

    "We have 9,000 community health centers that do everything that Planned Parenthood does does, but they don't get into abortions, so it'd be much less emotional for everyone if we just funded community health centers," Paul said, appearing on CNN's State of the Union. The Kentucky senator, who will attempt to get a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood this week, is touting his effort in a new presidential campaign ad.

    More from Sam Adams Could Turn Benedict Arnold Because of Taxes

    But Paul stopped short of endorsing a threat to block a government funding bill if it contains money for Planned Parenthood. A number of Republicans, including Paul's presidential rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, have said

    Read More »from Rand Paul: Give Planned Parenthood Funds to Community Health Centers
  • Foreign investors are selling Thai stocks at the fastest pace this year as the nation’s military government struggles to deliver on pledges to revive economic growth.

    Overseas funds unloaded a net $774 million of Thai shares in July as the benchmark SET Index fell 4.3 percent. The baht is trading near the weakest level in more than six years after slumping 3.4 percent against the U.S. dollar last month.

    The selloff suggests international money managers are losing patience amid falling exports, weak corporate earnings and a contraction in manufacturing. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha has failed to make much headway on planned investments in transport infrastructure, disappointing investors who had bet the projects would help kick-start Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

    More from Sam Adams Could Turn Benedict Arnold Because of Taxes

    “We still don’t see any bargains,” said Roshan Padamadan, a Singapore-based money manager at Luminance Global Fund. “A dark cloud is

    Read More »from Foreigners Flee Thai Stocks as Patience Thins Over Junta Pledges


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