Sharjah Ruler says education key in fight against terrorism

Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, second left, visits the Abu Dhabi tourist pavilion at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism

Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, second left, visits the Abu Dhabi tourist pavilion at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism

It is through education, the Sharjah Ruler said, that we can rid the region of the scourge of terrorism.

“The most effective way to face negative forces is through education and upbringing from an early age, all the way through to university,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi as he addressed attendees of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

“This will empower individuals and develop their critical thinking and decision-making skills.”

Sheikh Sultan praised the constructive role Sharjah Youth and Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah organisations have played in encouraging education and creativity in the emirate’s young minds as he talked up the value of international book fairs.

“Taking part in different international fairs and exhibitions provides a platform to communicate with other cultures, enhance dialogue and promote the literary and scientific values of the Arab and Islamic world, as well as draw on international experience and expertise,” he said.

Concerned at the lack of appreciation shown to Arabic culture and literature in general, Sheikh Sultan hopes his visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair and his spearheading of the forthcoming Sharjah edition to be held on November 1 will act as a sign that writers’ and publishers’ work is valued.

“It is important that we are supporting authors, illustrators, publishers and other experts to develop the quality and quantity of literature,” he said.

“Sharjah’s cultural initiatives restore confidence and support intellectuals in the Arab world, many of whom had been disheartened with a lack of respect and recognition, in addition to the launch of children’s programmes, to build a new generation of writers, poets and intellectuals.”

Read more: Sharjah named World Book Capital for 2019 by Unesco

Sheikh Sultan also used the occasion to launch the German edition of his book, The Conflict between Power and Trade in the Gulf, which this year also received its English and French translation.

The event was part of a range of initiatives run by UAE cultural bodies in Frankfurt, led by the Sharjah delegation.

Wednesday also saw Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, as the founder of publishing house Kalimat Group, address a panel on the opportunities that literature translation presents.

She said international collaboration was key for regional publishers to evolve.

“The initial idea of using partnerships to have rights deals with different publishers really opens doors as a publisher, not only for cultural exchange but also to make sure that children in other parts of the world can understand more about our stories,” she said.

“It can act as an agent of soft diplomacy and make this world a better place.”

Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism was also present at Frankfurt, hosting a series of seminars emphasising German and Arabic cultural organisation and challenges facing the regional publishing industry.

Thursday saw Emirati author and academic Saeed Hamdan Altunaji and German literary scholar Klaus Reichert discuss the value of translating German literary classics to Arabic. Also on Thursday, the pavilion hosted a discussion on book piracy and intellectual property rights in the Arab world.

On the international front, blockbuster author Dan Brown launched the German translation of his latest novel Origins.

With the latest novel finding his hero, the symbologist Robert Langdon, solving a case involving clues found in modern art pieces, Brown told The National that the planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi would have been an ideal setting for Origin.

“I have to admit that I saw the proposed blueprint for the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi and it will be one of the most spectacular buildings in the world,” he said.

“I think if that building was finished when I started this book there would have been a good chance the plot would have moved to Abu Dhabi. Call me when [The Louvre Abu Dhabi] is done. I want to see it.”

[“Source-thenational”]

Trian to Launch Proxy Fight Against P&G

Investor Nelson Peltz

Investor Nelson Peltz plans to launch a fight for a board seat at Procter & Gamble Co.PG 0.46% , in an effort to jolt the consumer-products giant whose sales and profit growth stalled, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move would make P&G , PG 0.46% with a market value of $222 billion, the largest company ever to face a proxy fight. Should Mr. Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP win, which is far from guaranteed given how much support it must gain from other shareholders, it would mark a new milestone for a shareholder-activism movement that has shaken up some of the biggest U.S. companies in recent years.

Trian, which owns roughly $3.3 billion of P&G stock, will seek a single seat for Mr. Peltz in a shareholder vote at the company’s annual meeting, likely in October, the people said. It is expected to disclose the campaign Monday, they added.

After nearly five months of discussions, P&G last week rejected a demand from Trian to name Mr. Peltz a director, the people said, setting the stage for what could be months of public debate over how to get the maker of everything from Tide detergent and Gillette razors to Pampers diapers on a stronger growth trajectory.

In a statement, P&G said: “The Board is confident that the changes being made are producing results, and expresses complete support for the Company’s strategy, plans, and management.”

P&G’s sales growth has been lackluster amid a sluggish global economy, pricing pressure and competition from well-funded startups. It faced an earlier activist approach from William Ackman and has cycled through leaders as the stock price has lagged.

P&G shares have underperformed the S&P 500 and the consumer-staples group for the past 10 years. They have returned about 4% to investors over the past 12 months, including dividends, compared with a 16% return for the S&P 500.

Trian and P&G agree on some steps the company needs to take, such as cutting costs and restructuring management, and the investor supports Chief Executive David Taylor and the company’s 11-person board. It isn’t seeking a breakup as some analysts have speculated since the investment was disclosed in February.

Trian has told P&G if it were to win a seat at the annual meeting, it would seek to renominate whoever lost, the people said, expanding the board by the one seat.

Still, Trian believes P&G has failed to move fast enough to arrest its market-share losses and convert cost cuts into profit, questioning the credibility of the company when it comes to carrying out promises.

“We need a game-changing attitude at P&G,” Mr. Peltz said in an interview. “We just can’t keep going along the same path,” he said, adding that he sees the board as well-intentioned.

Since Mr. Taylor took over in November 2015, P&G has moved to restructure management responsibilities, bring in outside talent, drop brands and cut some $10 billion in annual expenses by 2021. That’s on top of the $10 billion the company says it already eliminated since 2012—by cutting 24,000 jobs globally, shedding 14 factories and more than 100 brands to refocus on its most lucrative businesses.

Yet sales and profit growth have remained elusive. The company reported earnings of $13.4 billion for its fiscal 2016, slightly less than the $13.8 billion it notched five years earlier. Organic sales growth, a closely watched metric that excludes acquisitions or divestments as well as currency swings, has been stuck between 1% and 3% in recent years, well below prerecession levels. In the March-ended quarter, organic sales rose just 1%.

Mr. Taylor has said the company was failing to deliver and “we need to bring our standards up.”

Trian will need to garner widespread investor support to succeed. Even though the investment is its largest ever and the fifth-biggest P&G holding overall, it still amounts to only about 1.5% of the company’s market value.

Trian will have to convince investors that Mr. Peltz’s experience—and stock gains—at consumer giants like Mondelez International Inc. and H.J. Heinz Co. —recommend him for a board stacked with well-known business leaders.

Those arguments didn’t persuade P&G’s board in private discussions. Over roughly half-a-dozen meetings and conversations, Trian laid out its concerns while P&G detailed its own views, but the sides didn’t come to an agreement, the people said.

Last Tuesday, in a meeting with several directors and Mr. Peltz, P&G said it wouldn’t give him a seat and that it wanted time to prove management could boost results, the people said. The board also refused to commit publicly to adding Mr. Peltz if the company missed its targets this year, they said.

The activist is focused on the structure of P&G’s leadership. Historically, there have been executives who run business units and others who are in control of sales and marketing, which Trian argues clouds who has ultimate responsibility for profits.

Mr. Taylor has looked to address this concern already. Regional units have been handed more autonomy in bringing their products to market and executives say profit-and-loss responsibility now lies at the feet of category leaders.

Trian also zeroed in on P&G’s costs, questioning how a market powerhouse that commands prices far exceeding those of rivals, on average, doesn’t have the best profit margins.

P&G has increased operating profit margins, to 20.6% last year from 19.1% in 2011, and says it ranks third in the industry—behind competitors that also charge high premiums. It has said the $10 billion it will cut by 2021 will come from reducing billions in spending on packaging, supply-chain costs and marketing.

Trian says the previous $10 billion in cost cuts didn’t translate into profit growth even after taking into account surging foreign-currency costs and it wants to ensure the current plan increases the bottom line.

“We can’t have what happened last time happen again,” Trian co-founder and Chief Investment Officer Ed Garden said in an interview.

Google Play to Fight Fake Reviews and Ratings With New Ways to Detect, Filter

Google Play to Fight Fake Reviews and Ratings With New Ways to Detect, Filter

Google Play to Fight Fake Reviews and Ratings With New Ways to Detect, Filter
HIGHLIGHTS
Company says it wants to provide trustworthy experience to users
Asks developers to adhere to Google Play Developer Policy
Google says it can now identify and remove fake feedback in better way
After announcing new ways it was fighting fraud and spam installs on Google Play, the search giant earlier this week revealed that it has also improved the ways through which it identifies and removes fake reviews from Google Play.

“In continuing our efforts to combat spammy behavior, we’ve also improved the ways we identify and remove fake reviews and ratings. With this enhanced capability we are now able to identify and remove more fake reviews and ratings with greater accuracy,” Google said in its blog post.

(Also see: Google Play Gets New Systems to Fight Fraud and Spam Installs)
Google says that in majority cases, no action is required by the developers. However, it reiterates that if they are working with a third-party marketing agency for their app, it would be advisable for them to ensure that they are using legitimate promotion techniques. The California-based company says that developers need to adhere to Google Play Developer Policy.
The company says that the ratings and reviews need to come through genuine users, and that the developers should avoid fake, paid, or incentivised feedback. Google said that the aim to remove the fake reviews and ratings aggressively is to provide users with a trustworthy experience.

Tags: Google Play Fraud Reviews, Google Play, Google Play Spam Installs, Apps, Google, Android

[“Source-Gadgets”]

John Kerry Calls For New Measures To Counter Changing ISIS Fight

John Kerry Calls For New Measures To Counter Changing ISIS Fight

John Kerry said the US-led coalition was making progress in fighting ISIS. (File Photo)

WASHINGTON:  US Secretary of State John Kerry today urged members of a US-led coalition to increase information-sharing and get more creative in the fight against ISIS as the group seeks to boost recruitment by adopting new languages and moving into new areas.

Kerry said the US-led coalition was making progress in fighting ISIS, and the number of the group’s fighters were estimated to be down by about one-third. A victory in liberating the northern city of Mosul from ISIS would mark “a critical turning point” in the fight, he said.

But further efforts were needed, Kerry told about 30 defense and foreign ministers in Washington to discuss the effort. For instance, he said, it was critical to break down structural barriers to allow more sharing of information about threats.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

[“source-ndtv”]