The exit polls for the 2019 Lok Sabha election have made the BJP-led NDA the frontrunner in the Northeast comprising 25 parliamentary seats across eight States.The agencies that conducted the polls have predicted an average 15 seats for the NDA with an upper limit of 17, while the prime challenger, the Congress, has been given a maximum of seven seats. The predictions indicate that the BJP would fare better than its eight seats — seven from Assam and one from Arunachal Pradesh — in 2014.The agencies have been consistent with Assam, ruled by a BJP-led alliance. They have given the NDA a maximum of eight out of a total of 14 seats. The BJP had contested 10 seats, leaving three to the Asom Gana Parishad and one to the Bodoland People’s Front.For instance, Republic-C voter has predicted 17 seats for the NDA and seven for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in the Northeast. It has forecast eight seats for BJP, five for Congress and one for others in Assam.The Republic-Jan Ki Baat has predicted 14-15 seats for the NDA and 10-11 seats for the UPA in the Northeast. The BJP is predicted to win 10-11 of these and the Congress seven.The News18-IPSOS survey for Assam is 8-10 for NDA, 2-4 for Congress and two for the All India United Democratic Front. Chanankya, on the other hand, has predicted 10 seats for BJP and allies, three for Congress and one for others. “The exit polls show the people have voted for nationalism, for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, for development and against appeasement. If you transfer the Lok Sabha result to the Assembly segment, you will see that the BJP and its allies have done better than in the 2016 Assembly polls,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam’s Health Minister and BJP’s chief strategist in the Northeast.‘Wait for results’ “We have seen such predictions going awfully wrong in the past. It is advisable to wait for the actual results on May 23,” former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.Former Congress MP Kirip Chaliha, however, said exit polls cannot be “all gossip” as “certain amount of science is behind it” and the credibility of the survey agencies is at stake. “The readings reveal there is a 30% gap between the winner and loser. So if you allow a correction of 10%, the exit polls seem to be more or less on target. Still, this is just prediction, not the actual thing,” he said.
Thirteen workers, including six women were killed and 64 others injured in explosions of nitrogen gas cylinders at a chemical factory in North Maharashtra’s Dhule district on Saturday morning, police said.Preliminary probe revealed that a chemical leak caused a fire which led to serial explosions at the factory of Rumit Chemsynth Private Limited located at Waghadi village in Shirpur tehsil, around 9.45 am, a senior police officer told PTI.The fire was doused by evening and search was on for more bodies, if any, in the debris, the officer said.“At least 100 workers were present in the factory at the time of the incident,” the officer said adding that the presence of several nitrogen gas cylinders and barrels of chemicals in one place increased the severity of the tragedy.Teams of fire brigade, police and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) conducted the rescue operations.The deafening sound of explosions caused panic in the vicinity, prompting people to rush out of houses. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed grief over the incident and announced ₹5 lakh compensation to the kin of the deceased.
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is redesigning and rebuilding Jamaica’s fashion future, through the development of the local talent in the industry. Speaking with JIS News at the recent launch of Irie Magic Fashion Fusion Plus at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Chief Executive Officer at the JBDC, Valerie Veira, said the agency has a big vision to highlight and promote the development of small businesses, especially the fashion industry. The agency has implemented a fashion programme, dubbed ‘Irie Magic Fashion Fusion’, which highlights the works of nine local emerging designers and recent Edna Manley College graduates. Story Highlights The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is redesigning and rebuilding Jamaica’s fashion future, through the development of the local talent in the industry.The agency has implemented a fashion programme, dubbed ‘Irie Magic Fashion Fusion’, which highlights the works of nine local emerging designers and recent Edna Manley College graduates.Through the programme the designers are also being mentored and prepared to operate sustainable businesses with strong design identities and brand presence as an entrepreneur.Speaking with JIS News at the recent launch of Irie Magic Fashion Fusion Plus at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Chief Executive Officer at the JBDC, Valerie Veira, said the agency has a big vision to highlight and promote the development of small businesses, especially the fashion industry.She noted that development of the fashion industry has always been a core objective of the JBDC since the early 2000s, and through the JBDC’s efforts in the industry, many designers have participated in local and international fashion-related events, trade shows and business.“It is within this context that the JBDC is re-energising its fashion programme with its Irie Magic concept, which endeavours to prepare the new generation of designers to operate sustainable businesses,” Mrs. Veira said.“We are aware of the small entrepreneurs, their skills and contribution to the economy, so we want to nurture this growth and guide them on to the global market with the ideas,” she added.Manager, Technical Services at the JBDC, Colin Porter, explained that the concept was designed to provide market exposure to the fashion programmes, and specifically to the participating designers.“All participants in the programme got the chance to display their pieces during Style Week and highlight the exposure of JBDC’s support to the small business and the fashion industry,” Mr. Porter added.He noted that the JBDC is there to help small businesses, and encourages persons to visit the agency to get the information as well as share ideas on how the entity can improve its offerings.Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, congratulated the JBDC on the successful execution of the launch.She said Irie Magic will serve as an encouragement to creative persons and enable the development of the fashion industry.“Through this activity, we are bringing form to the fashion industry by way of designer mentorship programmes and product-development training,” Miss Grange argued.She said there is a shift in consumer appetites and the JBDC fashion development programme is sharpening the designer’s entrepreneurial skill sets and business acumen to meet the desires of the potential clients, and, by extension, the industry.“People want convenience, a great price, quality, novel designs and their designs on time. It is imperative that our designers are equipped to be able to maintain the appetite of buyers of Jamaican fashion, especially in this evolving global fashion ecosystem where it is predicted that in 2018, half of the world’s apparel and footwear will not originate in North America and Europe,” Miss Grange said.She further noted that the JBDC is uniquely positioned to bolster production capacity for the designers, improve their business strategies and formalise things for overseas opportunities through the Irie Magic programme.“I can think of international superstars, like Ralph Lauren, who have used Jamaica as an inspiration for their Spring/Summer collection for this year,” Miss Grange said.She said with help from the JBDC, local designers will soon have their clothes on the international market.Moses Fennel, who is now a firefighter at the Norman Manley International Airport, is one of the standout designers among the nine Irie Magic participants. He said the training he has received from the JBDC is giving him an opportunity to live his dream.He said that since he has enrolled in the JBDC fashion designer programme, the experience has given him a new perspective about business development.“The workshops at JBDC have broadened my knowledge and have really helped me to understand the value of my designs and how to convert my skill into a brand and how to make money from it.The class is ongoing, and we have learnt a lot about collection development process, costing for the international and local markets, and business acumen as a designer, which includes marketing strategies, catalogues and entrepreneurship,” he added.“Fashion is my passion; it’s the only thing that occupies my mind… so even while I did my duties at the Jamaica Fire Brigade, I still went and got additional training. I went to Garmex (HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy) to study for a diploma in Fashion Design and Technology, and from there other opportunities came up, including this Irie Magic show,” he noted.Mr. Fennel said he wants to transition from firefighting to fashion designing. “My aim is to have a global brand, providing ball gowns to females, and this is becoming more of a reality with the JBDC influence,” he told JIS News.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) announced that the 7th annual BROADWAY BELTS FOR PFF! raised a record-breaking $250,000 (a 35% increase over the previous year’s revenue).Broadway stars belted their favorite hits during 7th annual Broadway Belts for PFF! fundraiser The event, an exclusive fundraiser at New York City’s Edison Ballroom, was hosted by Broadway star and comedienne Julie Halston and featured Grammy and Tony Award winners on Monday, February 27.BROADWAY BELTS FOR PFF! was co-founded by Halston, an award-winning actress whose notable roles include THE BABYLON LINE, GYPSY, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. As a leading advocate for the PFF, Halston and her husband Ralph Howard co-created the event after their friend, Associated Press theater critic Michael Kuchwara, passed away from pulmonary fibrosis (PF). Coincidentally, Howard was subsequently diagnosed with PF and successfully underwent lung transplantation.“To say the show was a smash is an understatement. Our performers were so incredibly gracious and everyone brought the house down,” said Halston. “Ralph and I are grateful for the opportunity to promote awareness of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s important work in helping patients and funding research for a cure.”Broadway stars belted their favorite hits under the direction of Carl Andress (THE DIVINE SISTER) with Christopher McGovern (CAGNEY) as Musical Director, Greg Santos as Stage Manager and produced by D. Michael Dvorchak, Sue Frost (COME FROM AWAY) and Ed Windels. This year’s performers included Grammy-winner Stephanie Mills (THE WIZ), Orfeh (Tony-nominee for LEGALLY BLONDE), Lucas Steele (NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812), NBC’s Gus Rosendale (“WEEKEND TODAY IN NEW YORK”), Stephanie J. Block (FALSETTOS, and Tony-nominee for THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD), Mandy Gonzalez (HAMILTON, IN THE HEIGHTS), Mario Cantone (“THE VIEW”), Robert Creighton (CAGNEY), and Tony-winner Randy Graff (CITY OF ANGELS, THE BABYLON LINE).The proceeds from the show are donated to the PFF’s work aimed at finding a cure for pulmonary fibrosis, a devastating and relentless group of progressive diseases that result in scarring of the lungs. Presently, there is no cure for PF.“Enhanced awareness and expanded research are vital to support those affected by pulmonary fibrosis and to continue to identify effective therapies,” said Gregory P. Cosgrove, MD, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer at the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. “We thank everyone involved in supporting our efforts and helping to make Broadway Belts For PFF! the success it has become.”
TV technology company SeaChange International’s chief financial officer, Kevin Bisson, has left the company. Bisson served as chief financial officer, treasurer, secretary and senior vice-president of finance and administration since joining SeaChange in March 2006.“We sincerely thank Kevin for his years of dedication to SeaChange and his contributions towards ensuring the Company’s continued financial strength and strong balance sheet. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” said Raghu Rau, SeaChange’s CEO. “We intend to announce the appointment of a new CFO next week.”