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US contractor fined $3.1 million for outsourcing work to India

US contractor fined $3.1 million for outsourcing work to India

NEW YORK: A US contractor here has been ordered to pay a hefty fine of $3.1 million dollars for illegally outsourcing government-funded work to a sub-contractor based in India.

Focused Technologies Imaging Services, its sole owner Charles Tobin and former co-owner Julie Benware agreed to pay the penalty and fees under an agreement with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after admitting that they violated New York federal laws by illegally outsourcing the work to a subcontractor based in Mumbai in 2008 and 2009.

Authorities said the Indian company, which was unaware it had got the work illegally, fully and voluntarily cooperated with the investigation.


Find out yeast's 'chocolaty' secret....

Find out yeast's 'chocolaty' secret....

Washington D. C., Mar. 25 : For years humans have used yeast to make bread, beer, and wine and the wild strains of yeast are also found in the natural fermentations that are essential for chocolate and coffee production.

But, as new genetic evidence reported in a recent study, the yeasts associated with coffee and cacao beans have had a rather unique history.

In comparison to the yeasts found in vineyards around the world, the new work shows that those associated with coffee and cacao beans show much greater diversity. The findings suggest that those differences may play an important role in the characteristics of chocolate and coffee from different parts of the world.


Naruto monkey files appeal to claim selfie

Naruto monkey files appeal to claim selfie

New York, March 21 : The animal right organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has reportedly filed an appeal against a lower court's decision in January this year that declined to give a macaque monkey the right to his famous selfie taken in Indonesia in 2011.

The appeal brief was filed at the northern district of California and the appeals court will now decide whether or not to uphold the earlier court ruling, Ubergizmo reported on Monday.

In an earlier ruling, a federal judge in San Francisco declined to give a macaque monkey the right to his famous selfie in Indonesia in
2011.


Duchess Kate reveals little George calls Queen `Gan-Gan`

Duchess Kate reveals little George calls Queen `Gan-Gan`

Washington, D. C., 19 : Princess Kate has spilled the beans about her kids' relationship with their grandmother, the Queen, in a new documentary, which marks Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday.

Kate Middleton revealed that Prince George calls his great-grandmother "Gan-Gan," People magazine reports.

"George is only two-and-a-half and he calls her 'Gan-Gan.' She always leaves a little gift or something in their room when we go and stay and that just shows her love for her family," she said.

Talking about 10-month-old Princess Charlotte, the 34-year-old Duchess of Cambridge said that she feels very lucky that George is joined by little sister and added that especially, the Queen was really thrilled when she and Prince William welcomed the baby girl last May.


Russia: 55 feared dead as Airliner crashes

Russia: 55 feared dead as Airliner crashes

Washington D. C., Mar. 19 : All 55 passengers on board a Boeing 738 passenger jet have been reportedly killed as the aircraft crashed while landing at the Rostov-on-Don airport in Russia.

Quoting Russian state news agency Tass, CNN reports that an official at the emergency center confirmed that all people on board have died.

According to reports, the aircraft crashed at the city airport missing the runway amid poor visibility.

Flydubai Flight 981 had travelled from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don with 55 people aboard, the emergency center said.

State news agency Sputnik reported the airport would be closed until 6 a. m. Moscow time.

"We're aware of reports coming out of Russia and our team is currently gathering more details," Boeing Airlines tweeted.


Do high expectations hurt marriages? It depends

Do high expectations hurt marriages? It depends

Washington D. C, Mar 17 : It turns out that having high standards in a marriage can harm as well as help relationships.

According to a Florida State University study, high standards improve satisfaction only when a marriage is strong to begin with. For weaker unions, including those involving passive aggression or severe differences, high standards only make things worse.

Author Dr. James McNulty said that some people demand too much from their marriages because they are requiring that their marriages fulfill needs that they are not capable of achieving, either because they have limited time, energy, effort, or skills to apply to their marriages.


US to start accepting H1B application from April 1

US to start accepting H1B application from April 1

Washington: The US would start accepting petitions for popular H-1B work visas for the fiscal year 2017 from the beginning of next month, officials announced today.

H-1B visa, popular with Indians, is used by American companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialised knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming.

There is no change in the congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 on H-1B visas for FY 2017, beginning October 1.

The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a US Master's degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap.


When rewarding top employees goes wrong

When rewarding top employees goes wrong

Washington D. C, Mar 16 : Turns out, having a recognition program doesn't mean it is working. A new study has revealed that award programs like "Employee of the Month" and "Top Sales Club" might be reducing firms' overall productivity.

The University of California research shows that seemingly innocuous non-financial award programs can be costly to firms, primarily because they can upset the status quo and influence perceptions of equity and fairness. This can lead to internally motivated employees becoming disenfranchised.


Oil prices drop amid ample supply

Oil prices drop amid ample supply

New York, March 16 : Oil prices dropped as market expected that global supply exceeded the demand.

The West Texas Intermediate for April delivery on Tuesday moved down 84 cents to settle at $36.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery decreased 79 cents to close at $38.74 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hopes faded that major crude producers would freeze output levels to ease a global glut as Iran reportedly said Monday that it intended to ramp its production level back up to the 4 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia and Russia announced in mid-February that they would halt production increases as long as other major producers followed suit.


US stocks end mixed

US stocks end mixed

New York, March 16 : US stocks closed mixed as investors digested the newly-released economic data while awaiting US Federal Reserve policy announcement.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 22.40 points, or 0.13 percent, to 17,251.53 on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 fell 3.71 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,015.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 21.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,728.67.(IANS)


You don`t think of budget while shopping for loved ones

You don`t think of budget while shopping for loved ones

Washington D. C., Mar. 15 : A new study has revealed that shoppers may have a tendency to reject thriftiness when your purchase is a matter of the heart.

People are reluctant to seek cost-saving options when buying what they consider sacred such as engagement rings, cremation urns or even desserts for a birthday party for or to commemorate loved ones.

The research conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder is the first to examine the implications of this phenomenon.

Even when they identify a less expensive alternative to be equally desirable, people choose the more expensive of two items. They also avoid searching for lower prices and negotiating better prices when the goods they're buying are symbolic of love.


US stocks end mixed

US stocks end mixed

New York, March 15 : US stocks pared early losses to close narrowly mixed as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting later this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.82 points, or 0.09 percent, to 17,229.13 on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 fell 2.55 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,019.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 1.81 points, or 0.04 percent, to
4,750.28.

The Fed will start its highly-anticipated policy meeting on Tuesday and hold a press conference on Wednesday. (IANS)


US dollar rises ahead of Fed meeting

US dollar rises ahead of Fed meeting

New York, March 15 : The US dollar increased against other major currencies as investors were awaiting the closely-watched Federal Reserve meeting.

In late New York trading on Monday, the euro fell to $1.1083 from $1.1155 of the previous session, and the British pound dropped to $1.4299 from $1.4378, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Australian dollar went down to $0.7496 from $0.7573.

The dollar bought 113.82 Japanese yen, higher than 113.73 yen of the previous session.

The dollar increased to 0.9880 Swiss francs from 0.9819 Swiss francs, and it inched up to 1.3270 Canadian dollars from 1.3218 Canadian dollars.

Fed officials will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the country's economic performance and monetary policy. (IANS)


Indian-origin dean resigns after sexual harassment allegation in US

Indian-origin dean resigns after sexual harassment allegation in US

New York: A 45-year-old Indian-origin dean of a prestigious US law school has resigned from his post, days after a lawsuit was filed against him by his executive assistant alleging that he sexually harassed her over a period of several months.

Sujit Choudhry had initially taken an indefinite leave of absence after the lawsuit was filed earlier this week but the Berkeley Law School announced that he had resigned from his post and his resignation was accepted on Thursday.

Choudhry had also "admitted" in a campus investigative report, dated July 2015, that he had hugged and kissed his executive assistant but there was no "sexual intent" to his conduct towards her.


Individual rewards can `supercharge` team performance

Individual rewards can `supercharge` team performance

Washington D. C, Mar 12 : Reward systems that focus on individual performance can boost employees' work zest, raising the performance of the team as a whole.

Co-author Bradley Kirkman said that the findings are based on laboratory and field experiments in China and those findings tell them that recognizing individual team members can supercharge team performance.

In lab experiments, the researchers at the University of Iowa, Texas Christian University and Tsinghua University had 256 students at a large Chinese university perform individual tasks (making small boxes) and then combine into groups to perform a team task
(building the boxes into towers).


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