Some districts are opting to allow students who have met all other graduation requirements to walk across the stage with their peers anyway, although they will not receive a diploma.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO Another 4,500 high school seniors passed the controversial exit exam and will be able to graduate with their class in the coming weeks, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said Thursday. That means 41,758 seniors still nearly one in 10 have yet to pass the two-part test of basic reading and math, which is required for the first time this year to receive a California diploma, according to the state Department of Education. Nearly two-thirds of those who still failed are Hispanic. Blacks, students from poor families and English-learners still lag their white counterparts on the test, the superintendent acknowledged at a news conference at John Burroughs High School in Burbank. “There is an achievement gap in California. We know that, we admit that,” O’Connell said. “I welcome the focus, the sunshine and the dialogue that we need to have on the achievement gap.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2 The updated figures include results from March. More students took the exit exam again in May, but those results won’t be available until July, the CDE said. In recent weeks, a court battle over the exam has created confusion for thousands of students, parents and schools making final graduation plans. A group of students still learning to speak English who failed the test sued to block the results so they could graduate, arguing it was discriminatory because all California students do not have equal preparation or instruction. An Alameda County Superior Court judge issued an injunction against the exit exam requirement May 12, but the state Supreme Court stayed that ruling last week and sent the case to an appeals court. That court won’t hear arguments on the case until July long after graduation ceremonies. The Supreme Court on Wednesday sent a second lawsuit over the exam to the appeals court. It did not rule on another request to immediately halt the test again as a graduation requirement.
18 October 2004The National Treasury has launched an urban renewal tax incentive to encourage the refurbishment and construction of commercial and residential properties in South Africa’s 16 major cities.The incentive translates into considerable financial benefits for investors, especially for refurbishing existing buildings. Companies that redevelop buildings in the country’s inner cities will get a 20% tax deduction from all income earned in the first five years after a building has been refurbished.Companies that develop new buildings will get a 20% tax deduction in the first year the building earns an income, plus an annual depreciation of 5% for the next 16 years. Urban renewal tax incentive: guide for investors This incentive supports other initiatives, such as policies to write off existing bad debt from inner city buildings in order to allow for these buildings to be sold, restored and refurbished.The incentive will also encourage investment in affordable inner city rental housing, as well as provides a catalyst for public-private partnerships in mixed-used developments that provide social facilities integrated into new commercial and residential developments.The incentive scheme will eventually apply to developments undertaken in 16 identified municipalities:Buffalo City (East London), Eastern CapeCape Town, Western CapeEkurhuleni (East Rand), GautengEmalahleni (Witbank), MpumalangaEmfuleni (Vaal Triangle), Free StateeThekwini (Durban), KwaZulu-NatalJohannesburg, GautengMafikeng, North WestMangaung (Bloemfontein), Free StateMatjhabeng (Welkom), Free StateMbombela (Nelspruit), MpumalangaMsunduzi (Pietermaritzburg), KwaZulu-NatalNelson Mandela (Port Elizabeth), East LondonPolokwane (Pietersburg), LimpopoSol Plaatje (Kimberley), Northern CapeTshwane (Pretoria), GautengThe Johannesburg and Cape Town incentive scheme took effect from 14 October, with the Durban scheme expected to be gazetted by the end of 2004.The Treasury has also already received applications for the scheme from the Tshwane, Emfuleni, and Sol Plaatje municipalities.Johannesburg’s approved urban development zones include the central business district, Newtown and Braamfontein, as well as the high-density high-rise residential areas of Hillbrow and Berea.Other lower-density residential areas surrounding Johannesburg’s Ellis Park area, such as Bertrams, Judith’s Paarl, Doornfontein and Troyeville, as well as Bellevue, Bellevue East and Yeoville, are also included. The manufacturing and industrial strip to the north of the M2 East/West, from Benrose in the east to City West in the west, also fall under the city’s approved urban development zones. Johannesburg UDZ map Cape Town has two urban development zones. Most of the historic Cape Town central business district is included, as are properties adjacent to the Main Road and Klipfontein Road Corridors. This includes portions of the suburbs of Salt River, Woodstock, Observatoy, Maitland, Mowbray, Athlone and Gatesville. Cape Town UDZ map Cape Town’s second urban development zone includes the older part of the Bellville central business district, focusing on land adjacent to the Voortrekker Road Corridor and around Bellville Station. Some properties along Modderdam Road and Kasselsvlei Road are also included. Belville UDZ map The proposed urban development zone for eThekwini/Durban includes parts of Walter Gilbert Road, Bell Road, Shepstone Road, Bay Terrace, Victoria Embankment, Alexandra, Brook Streets, West Street, Berea Road, Carters Ave, Canongate Road, Warwick Ave, Centenary Road, Carlisle Road, First Ave, Stamford Hill Road, Croydon Road. Walter Gilbert Road, Cobham Road, Old Fort Road, NMR Ave, Somtseu Ave, Stanger Str, Argyle Road, and NMR Ave until Walter Gilbert Rd. Proposed Durban UDZ map SouthAfrica.info reporter read more
Corruption CarnivalIndia already seems to have lost the Commonwealth Games even before the first swimmer has splashed into the Dr SPM Aquatic Complex, the first archer let loose his bolt at the Yamuna Sports Complex, the first sprinter begun his race at the Chhatrasal Stadium. India has lost thousands of,Corruption CarnivalIndia already seems to have lost the Commonwealth Games even before the first swimmer has splashed into the Dr SPM Aquatic Complex, the first archer let loose his bolt at the Yamuna Sports Complex, the first sprinter begun his race at the Chhatrasal Stadium. India has lost thousands of crores of the taxpayers’ money to shady deals and the corrupt nexus of officials and outside agencies who were able to pirate away large chunks off the Rs 11,494-crore Commonwealth Games (CWG) budget.Kalmadi is playing the stone walling game even as Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit looks the other way.India has lost its credibility as a sporting destination with forged e-mails becoming public excuses for graft and ministers shrugging off responsibility with the ease water sloughs off ace swimmer Rehan Poncha’s back. India has lost its ability to assure sportspeople that their safety will not be compromised with leaking roofs and collapsing walls in stadiums; it cannot comfort badminton champ Saina Nehwal that her feet will not slip during her serve because of flooded courts or promise shooting star Abhinav Bindra that his shot will not go awry on a range which may be washed away under his feet.In the midst of this macabre theatre, India’s Don Corleone of sports, Suresh Kallu Kalmadi, stands like the bewildered hero of a Greek tragedy, his beard uncombed and hair flying in the wind, claiming that all is not lost.The GoM that includes Gill and Reddy makes many CWG decisions.The corruption now coming under the floodlights reveals a shocking story of collusion; e-mails sent by a high ranking organising committee (OC) member to inflate taxi bills, fake certificates issued by authorities to pass steel so dubious that the anti-corrosive came off when rubbed by hand, electrical fittings cleared even without testing. Questions fall like the debris at a newly built CWG stadium: how much money has been stolen? Who did it? Who is responsible? What action is being taken?Organised CrimeIndications that the Games would be over soon came when a confidential e-mail from CWG Deputy Director-General Dr Sanjay Mohindroo was leaked, in which he had asked AM Car and Van Rental for inflated taxi rates for services provided during the Queen’s Baton function held in October 2009 in London.advertisementKalmadi’s aide Darbari has reason to smile despite the sports ministry asking for his head.The mail reads, “When quoting for the branded taxis you shall quote Rs 1,550 per month for one month of branding, Rs 500 for installing and uninstalling and Rs 450 per day for usage.” By then, scandals were leaking like the stadiums. Reports of customs violations by OC Joint Director-General T.S. Darbari prompted official requests for Kalmadi consiglieres Mohindroo and Darbari to be sacked. Darbari is still the OC’s revenue boss while Mohindroo headed marketing before his exit.This article appeared in the India Today magazine dated August 16, 2010. Subscribe to the print copy or read it on Kindle and Zinio.Mosquito repellent, emergency lights (which indicates that the power situation during CWG is also suspect), steppers and dustbins, are priced way above the market price. Four hundred items appear in the 10-page factsheet; high-altitude training simulators hired for Rs 1.16 crore each at 20 times the purchase price and a corporate umbrella hired for Rs 6,308. The budget for the overlays is a numbing Rs 650 crore.* Rent per unit for 45 days, ** Highest market price, source: Headlines Today auditThe OC explains that 10 vendors participated in the bidding and the winners were unanimously approved by the finance sub-committee. Treadmills worth Rs 1 lakh were hired for Rs 9 lakh and a two-tonne ac costing Rs 70,827 was rented for Rs 1.87 lakh. Diesel is budgeted for Rs 80 a litre.But OC General Secretary Lalit Bhanot said the numbers were incorrectly quoted; for example, “Rs 3,750 was spent on 100 toilet paper rolls and not one,” he says. But even the liquid soap dispensers bought for Rs 3,397 each cannot wash the muck from the hands of the OC.Nepotism is rampant in the OC; the contract for tennis courts surfaces was awarded to the son of Games OC Treasurer Anil Khanna, Aditya. Khanna quit on August 5. The smam deal with the OC, too, has raised eyebrows; the company already tainted by IPLgate for billing Rs 380 crore as facilitation fee is supposed to be paid Rs 45 crore as commissions for sponsorships not obtained.A Team EffortBut Kalmadi and the OC are not the only ones to be held answerable for the blatant loot of public money. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Lieutenant Governor Tejindra Khanna and the chief secretary, who oversees and ensures their implementation, are part of the accountability matrix. Above all is the sovereign Government of India (GOI)-represented by Sports Minister M.S. Gill, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy and Tourism Minister Kumari Selja-which is responsible for all apex body decisions. Add to this a plethora of acronyms like the SAI, DDA, NDMC, GNCTD, DU, CRPL, CPWD, MCD, PWD; and the gang is complete.advertisementAs October draws closer, Delhi is turning into a war zone with torn-up roads, collapsing flyovers and the debris of construction everywhere. Dikshit has only urged speedier work. As per the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) records, “The delays were generally on account of the reluctance of the proponent to comply with observations made by DUAC.” Delays seemed to be a deliberate strategy on the officials’ part to inflate costs as fait accompli. But the Government is empowered to overrule the DUAC. “It is for the GOI to take quick and speedy decisions in such cases,” the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) censured.The CVC report also notes that the Ministry of Youth and Sports asked Kalmadi not to interfere in the opening and closing ceremonies but the OC ignored it until an uneasy truce was called. Much later, it was revealed that Kalmadi’s Caesar-like vision of the CWG meant blowing Rs 150 crore on the ceremonies. The height of extravagance is a Rs 40-crore helium balloon complete with lights and cameras that has been contracted to Italian entertainment company K-Events, which has organised similar events in the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics as well.TALKING HEADCornered by the stink over the CWG, Suresh Kalmadi speaks to India Today Principal Correspondent Mihir Srivastava about the corruption charges he faces. Excerpts:You are in a cesspool of corruption. What do you have to say?Everything is according to the law. All the procedures are met. Any one can check it.Did you fudge the mail from Indian High Commission in UK?I was not aware that it was doctored.You have been charged of shielding the corrupt like T.S. Darbari.He was a witness in a custom case in Kochi. The Sports Ministry wrote to me about it. There was no evidence against him. Now we have formed a committee that will look into it and appropriate action will be initiated.So you think you are being targeted?I see that there is a move to divert attention from more sinister corruption issues pointed out by CVC. It is time for all of us to act. My team is very demoralised. Spreading the CheerThe curious case of foreign consultants is one that begs a question. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had wanted more and more overseas consultants to be hired but Kalmadi was categorical that only in areas where Indians lacked expertise would outsiders be taken. Yet inexplicably the OC gave in, hiring more than 50 foreign consultants for legal issues, ticketing and ceremonies, paying them 200 to 500 per cent higher than their Indian counterparts. The OC also foots the CWG salary bill of Rs 300 crore. advertisementMore than Rs 30 crore was also spent on other consultants who had not delivered even by August 2009. Technical sanctions were delayed and press statements issued even before tenders were finalised. The CVC later scrutinised 16 Games-related projects worth Rs 2,477.22 crore which also included road construction and street lighting-high power sodium vapour light fittings of the same specs taken from two sources show a 300 per cent rate difference-and found massive tampering of initially discounted tenders by officials and contractors.More than 30 items were incorporated in one tender for a street lighting project after it was submitted. The contractor, aided by corrupt officers, made a neat Rs 3.7 crore. The CVC found that test records of 12 samples that failed to meet the 28-day strength test were fudged and passed. Concrete core samples failed to meet strength tests. The fears were not just about roofs leaking or walls seeping: would the stadiums themselves collapse? The CVC found testing data of concrete core samples also forged.The CBI has registered the first FIR relating to CWG corruption on the grounds of inflating costs in a Rs 345-crore project for upgrading streetlights in Delhi. The CVC’s chief technical examiner’s team discovered that secret bid documents had been tampered with by MCD officials in favour of an NDMC authorised contractor named Sweka Engineering Works Pvt Ltd. Five senior officials were arrested along with Sweka’s Managing Director T.P. Singh. Eventually, the GOI which had stayed blind to the CVC report was forced to order the CBI to lodge an FIR concerning fiscal irregularities in 15 Games-related projects. Inquiries with the CBI revealed that many more names are being shortlisted for corruption.Faster, Hire, FurtherThe roll of dishonour is as long as the toilet rolls that were bought for Rs 4,138 each. Gymnasium mirrors that cost Rs 4,600 in the market were rented for Rs 10,260 and plug points costing Rs 25 hired for Rs 6,218 each for 45 days. Kalmadi’s defence is that these are high capacity items that can’t be compared with the ones in shops. “The overlay material is of high quality and not available in India,” he says, adding, “The costs include shipment, installation, operation, maintenance, removal and sending the shipment back.” The matter is now being mulled over by the Enforcement Directorate.When October arrives and the extravagant balloon ascends above Delhi’s mauled landscape of pathetically patched up roads and sports venues, it may meet Kalmadi in descent. A nation’s pride is at stake as much as its faith in law and governance. The CWG cannot afford to fall at the expense of the games people play.This article appeared in the India Today magazine dated August 16, 2010. Subscribe to the print copy or read it on Kindle and Zinio. read more
Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Director Sadaf Foroughi attends the Toronto International Film Festival announcement of their Canadian features for this year’s program in Toronto, Wednesday August 9 , 2017. – CHRIS YOUNG/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Tired of summers and the scorching heat in the month of June, all I wanted was to go back home from work and eat the chilled mangoes which I kept in the fridge before leaving for office.This was my daily routine, all the summers and then one day I was invited by Cafe Knosh in Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi, to taste their exclusive ‘Mangolicious’ menu. It is then when I realised that there is a lot more scope with mango as an ingredient than just having Its slices. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBefore going to the venue, I was totally unaware of what will be served to me. But trust me, my eyes were wide opened and mouth started watering when I saw the meticulous range of dishes – from appetizers to the main course – covering different kinds of rice and roti preparations to desserts. The welcome drinks varied from a very basic ‘Mangotini’, which was more like a pulpy fruity with slices of mango in it to a very unique amalgamation of coconut and mango in ‘Mango coconut chia cooler’. The mocktail menu was an assemblage of three more drinks besides Mangotini and Chia cooler. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveNow that the body temperature was normalised and we started to talk, a starter was served in front of us – which was Raw mango stuffed aranchi with sweet mango aioli. Maybe, the name is too big and confusing, but the way it was presented was immensely appealing to my eyes.Enlisted in the menu were the other four starter items out of which I liked ‘Ambi pudina ki machhli’ and ‘Aam ke kaliyan waale jhinge’. Personally, I didn’t like the ‘fried chicken’ and ‘Mango chilli potato’ there, as the taste was very basic and boring. The main-course menu out-stood the charts as the chef had very wisely chosen the dishes and balance of taste and presentation were quite visible.You won’t believe me if I tell you that I had ‘Mango Noodles’ as my lunch. Will you? Well, they were amongst the best noodles I have ever had in my life.I am not a big fan of eating fish, but the chef at Cafe Knosh made me fall in love with his second recipe of ‘fish’ when I had the first bite of ‘mango fish curry’ with rice. The fish was so soft and the curry had a perfect balance of spices in it. I would give that curry a perfect 10/10. Also, the Pancha Manga curry, a South Indian mango curry served with nice was okay in taste but the mongo fish curry stole the show.I literally held my tummy and said “I cannot eat anything else. ENOUGH!” when a very subtle and alluring platter of deserts was kept on my table and the chef asked me to try it.I swear that even if the chef had not asked me to eat it, I had already made my mind to dive into the beauty and experience its taste.Now, that I had the mango mousse and cupcake in Cafe Knosh, I would not be able to try any other mango dessert without comparing it with the one I just had!It was so delicious and pleasing to my eyes that in no time I ate the whole palate and wanted to ask for more.Overall, I had a wonderful experience and I would definitely love to experiment with the king of fruits, now that I know that it blends with so many things to make a perfect dish.This festival offering plenty of happiness with mangoes will last until June 25. read more