Sunday, 10 January 2016

Spain:Catalonia elects new leader tasked with secession from Spain

BARCELONA: A fiercely secessionist leader was elected president of the wealthy region of Catalonia on Sunday thanks to a last-minute show of unity, giving fresh impetus to attempts to break away from Spain after months of infighting.

The appointment of Carles Puigdemont, just hours before a deadline which would have forced fresh regional elections, drew an immediate rebuke from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. "The government won't allow a single act that could harm the unity and sovereignty of Spain," Rajoy warned in a live televised appearance in Madrid.

Rajoy's remarks came after Catalonia's pro-independence faction that won regional parliamentary elections in September finally came to an agreement this weekend over who should lead the new local government.

The sticking point had been Artur Mas, the incumbent, separatist regional president whom the far-left CUP — part of the secessionist faction that topped the polls — rejected over his support for austerity and corruption scandals linked to his party.

In a surprise move Mas agreed to step aside on Saturday, naming the relatively unknown politician Puigdemont as his successor and sparing Catalonia its fourth set of elections since 2010. Puigdemont, the 53-year-old mayor of Girona who comes from a fervently pro-independence family, will now appoint his cabinet.

"We need ... to start the process to set up an independent state in Catalonia," Puigdemont said in a speech to the northeastern region's parliament ahead of the vote.

Puigdemont, a baker's son, has never hidden his separatist tendencies, not even when he joined Mas's CDC party in 1980 at a time when it merely wanted to negotiate greater autonomy for Catalonia — far from the idea of breaking away from Spain. Despite having to step aside, Mas hailed the last-ditch agreement, telling his party on Sunday that in Madrid "all the alarm bells started ringing again".

"In the past few weeks (in Madrid), they were saying enthusiastically that Catalonia was sinking, they were so enthusiastic that they had started to relax," he told members of his CDC party.

The formation of a Catalan government stands in stark contrast to the situation in Madrid, where the national government is in limbo following inconclusive December polls. Rajoy's conservative Popular Party (PP) came top in the December 20 elections but lost its absolute majority, leaving him struggling to form a coalition government as other parties refuse to support him.

"The (separatist) coalition is profiting from the power vacuum in Madrid," headlined online daily El Espanol on Sunday.

So far the PP's traditional Socialist rivals PSOE, who came second in the elections, have refused to back the incumbent Prime Minister. But ironically, the newly-reached separatist deal may put pressure on the PSOE to stand united with the PP over its opposition to Catalonia breaking away from Spain.

source: timesofindia

Friday, 8 January 2016

apple car :- Apple registers automobile domain names, including ‘apple.car’



Apple was register domain names related to automobiles, adding to gossip about the company’s plans to develop an automobile.

The iPhone maker registered the domain names, which include apple.car, apple.cars and apple.auto in December, according to domain information provider Who.is.

MacRumors had first reported the news on Friday, but said the domain names could be related to Apple’s CarPlay, which lets driver’s access contacts on their iPhones, make calls or listen to voicemails without taking their hands off the steering wheel.

While never openly acknowledging plans to build a car, Apple has been aggressive in recruiting auto experts from companies such as Ford or Mercedes-Benz.

Car technology has become a prime area of interest for Silicon Valley companies including Google Inc, which has built a prototype self-driving car

Mobile makers seek extension of differential pricing rules

Mobile and IT equipment maker have sought extension of differential pricing rules imposed on mobile phones to other categories of electronic products, a move that will boost domestic manufacturing.

“We have request government that besides continuing differential pricing on mobile phones, it should be extended to other categories as well like laptops,” Foxconn India Country head Josh Foulger told reporters after a pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday.

To boost local manufacturing of mobile phones and tablets, the government in last budget increased duty benefits for domestic producers of these electronic items. Excise duty structure for mobiles handsets was changed to one percent without CENVAT credit or 12.5 percent with CENVAT credit which gave domestic manufacturers a benefit of about 11 percent over imported phones.

The current fiscal year saw funds from manufacturing giant Foxconn in the country while many other mobile phone companies like Gionee, Xiaomi, Lava, Karbonn, HTC, Datawind, started production of their handsets locally.

“For successful Make In India campaign, we have requested a tax structure where we can focus on higher value addition in manufacturing of electronic products. We are looking for measures that can support development of component base in the country,” Indian Cellular Association National President Pankaj Mohindroo said.

Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (TEMA) has requested government to levy duties on non-ITA (Information Technology Agreement) products as well as review duty on IT and Telecom products falling under duty free import category.

“We have also requested Finance Minister to introduce 5 percent research and development cess on user of telecom services to create a corpus for supporting R&D for technology development in telecom sector,” Shyam Telecom Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Mehrotra who led TEMA at the meeting said.
He said that in line with Make In India objective, TEMA has request government to extend infrastructure status to domestic telecom equipment manufacturing companies complying with preferential market access (PMA) rules.

“We have also request to extend Income Tax section 35 AD benefit to domestic telecom equipment manufacturing companies which are complying with PMA provisions,” Mehrotra said. Under PMA, a company is required to give preference to domestically manufactured components in final product.