James Harden, one of the Oklahoma City trio of stars that led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in June, was traded to the Houston Rockets when he refused a $55-million contract extension offer.The news that OKC had broken up its dynamic young core of Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook was met with shock around the league. But it came down to money. Harden, an all-star who was a member of the London Olympic gold-medal-winning team, wanted a maximum contract of $60 million. The Thunder, according to reports, offered four years and $55 million.“We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved,” Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. “Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers.”Finally, OKC made a move, acquiring veteran scoring guard Kevin Martin and rookie Jeremy Lamb, two first-round draft picks and a second-round selection, too. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich, Dequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Rockets, who will sign Harden to the max deal he sought.Wednesday’s deadline to extend Harden or allow him to become a restricted free agent next July had been hanging over the Thunder from the moment they reported to training camp, but sources told ESPN.com late Saturday the Rockets intended to sign the swingman to the max contract extension he was seeking before Wednesday’s midnight deadline.“We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin’s caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team.”The small-market Thunder had already signed Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, and apparently realized Harden was going to want a bigger salary than they would offer.Harden averaged 16.8 points and 3.7 assists last season, and joined Durant and Westbrook on the U.S. men’s Olympic team. He struggled badly in Oklahoma City’s loss to Miami in the NBA Finals, but the Thunder felt good about their chances of getting back there with another year of experience for their young stars, all 24 or younger.The Thunder got back a good scorer in Martin, who has averaged 18.4 points in his eight NBA seasons, and a promising young player in Lamb, the No. 12 pick in the draft who helped Connecticut win the 2011 NCAA championship. He led Houston’s summer league team in scoring with 20 points per game.Had the Thunder been able to ink Harden to that $13.5 million annual contract, a franchise playing in the league’s third smallest market would have owed $69 million to just five players next season. That figure would have increased to $72 million in 2014-15 for those same five players.The tax threshold for this season is $70.3 million. Starting next season, teams must pay an incremental rate starting at $1.50 for every dollar they exceed the threshold.“At the end of the day, you have to do the best thing for the organization,” Presti said at his preseason press conference. “That’s what my job is. The day that I stop doing what’s in the best interest of the organization is the day that you should get somebody else.”
The Indian power ministry announced on Thursday that it will invest $4 billion (INR 25,300 crore) in the power industry to roll out a new metering system and upgrade distribution networks around the country to help tackle the power theft issue.The announcement is a key step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to wipe out the electricity theft problem plaguing the country and to introduce uninterrupted power supply. The total project will reportedly cost $5.27 billion of which $4 billion will be contributed by the government.The new scheme will see the power ministry rolling out new meters for distribution feeders, transformers and consumers. The plan also intends to strengthen sub-transmission and distribution networks, Reuters reports. The project will help cut technical and commercial losses in the power department.Power theft has been a major problem in the country. According to a previous Bloomberg analysis, India loses $17 billion in revenue annually due to prolonged power cuts and blackouts. The country also loses over a quarter of its power due to poor wiring.Billing rates “are too low, and theft is too high. If you look at the power losses, 80 percent is theft,” Ratul Puri, chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects , a privately held power plant operator told Businessweek in an earlier interview.The government has raided several private companies after the Modi administration stepped in. More than 750 cases of power theft were reported before June.Experts suggested that power should be subsidized to solve the emerging problem. But theft- from both the poor and rich – made it unfeasible.In a 2013 feature for The Hindu, William Ash, a Strategic Program Manager at the IEEE Standards Association explained that “smart meters” are a great way to tackle the theft problem.”Most of the time, this theft happens through tapping of electricity from live wires, which also poses risks to people’s lives. The use of smart meters thus becomes extremely relevant in developing countries such as India,” Ash wrote.A smart meter is an electricity-measuring device that remotely switches “the customer’s power supply off and/or individual appliances based on demand response. It can remotely control electricity consumption to maximise energy efficiency and load balancing,” Ash explained.The Modi government has set a goal to use renewable energy to power at least one light bulb in the remote areas of India by 2019. Narendra Modi has been credited for solving the power theft problem in Gujarat when he was the chief minister. o f the state
Close Chirs Jericho is a legend in the WWE and might one day make it to the company’s coveted hall of fame but for the moment things do not look good for the wrestler. In a recent interview with Jim Norton and Sam Roberts on Sirius XM, Jericho said that he is now banned from WWE.Jericho had signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling earlier this year and the new wrestling promotion is seen as WWE’s biggest competition. This is the reason WWE has debarred him from their company. “I’ve talked with him a couple of times. But I’m kind of public enemy number one there now. I’ve been kind of removed from the annals of history,” Jericho said when asked if he had spoken to Vince McMahon before signing for AEW.”I asked the other day if I could have a couple of their guys on my podcast to promote Mania and I was told, ‘No, it’s not appropriate because you’re in AEW.’ I am banned from WWE.” Talking about the ban he said that although the WWE Network does have his content, he has been edited out of some other videos. Wikimedia Commons / Concerttour”I think my stuff is still on there [WWE Network]. I haven’t been disgraced. But as far as I know, they had to take some videos down from UpUpDownDown of me playing. Took that off. They edited some stuff from The Edge & Christian Show that had my name on it,” Jericho said.Jericho also spoke about Hall of Fame speeches and how the main event stars should be given more time to speak than those who are the opening acts. “Here’s the problem though. When you have something like the Hall of Fame that’s so subjective. Once again, you can’t have one guy go 45 and then Stone Cold Steve Austin I think went five minutes or ten minutes. If someone’s gonna talk for 45 minutes it should be Steve,” said Jericho.”They should weight it on, ‘Listen, we love you, but you’re the opening match. The opening guy. You get, you know, ten minutes. You’re lucky to be in it.’ And as you get to the top, the main event guy, you go as long as you want within reason. I think that’s the way to do it.” WWE stands for World Wrestling Entertainment.Mark Mainz/Getty ImagesJericho had signed for AEW in dramatic fashion. Being the final act of a historic press conference, Jericho almost gate-crashed the event saying, “I’m here because I believe in doing something different, I believe in doing something new.””It’s what I’ve always done my entire career. I’m a maverick. I’m an outlaw. I’m a pariah. I’m Chris Jericho, baby. I’m not here just to change the world. AEW is not here just to change the world. We are going to change the whole universe,” Jericho had said. WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017 inductee Kurt Angle
Pranab Mukherjee. Reuters File PhotoFormer Indian president Pranab Mukherjee has said the birth of an independent Bangladesh remains the “most significant” event in his public life.“To my mind it is Bangladesh, the birth of a nation of 12 or 13 crore people in 1971. That is the most significant event since I joined public life,” Pranab told The Times of India in an interview.He said he still remembers that Indira Gandhi, then prime minister of India, made a short statement in both Houses saying, “I am happy to inform the House that Pakistan army has surrendered to the joint command of the Indian army and the Bangladesh Mukti Bahini and now Dhaka is the free capital of free Bangladesh.”On pronouncement on the two-nation theory, the former Indian president said that will be an over-simplification of the whole issue because the two-nation theory was challenged at the very time of its pronouncement.“It (the partition of Pakistan) once again established that mere religion cannot be the basis of a state. There are many other factors: religion, language, customs, culture and social systems,” he said.Responding to a question on Kashmir issue, he said Indira Gandhi took the wisest decision by declaring the unilateral ceasefire.“If India had not declared unilateral ceasefire, there would have been expansion of the conflict. It would have engulfed both India and Pakistan because America was bent on protecting the unity of western Pakistan after they had lost the hope on eastern Pakistan. Soviet Russia also did not want the war to be extended,” Pranab said.The Times of India published the long interview on Thursday.Pranab Mukherjee remains in the news even after the end of his term and a long innings in public life. His book ‘Coalition Years’ has trained the spotlight on the major events that shaped UPA governments.
Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: AFPIsraeli police were expected to question Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday over whether he illegally accepted gifts from wealthy supporters, media reports said, in a probe shaking the country’s political scene.The long-running inquiry has looked into whether Israeli and foreign businessmen have offered gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars as well as another unspecified issue, according to the reports.Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit has reportedly decided to upgrade the inquiry to a criminal probe, though he has yet to confirm this.Police and Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on Monday.Public radio said Netanyahu has agreed to be questioned at his residence. It was not clear when it would occur, though some reports said it would not be until 7:00 pm (1700 GMT).Screens were mounted at the entrance to the compound in central Jerusalem in an apparent bid to shield the investigators’ arrival.In a Facebook post at the weekend, Netanyahu rejected all allegations against him and said his political opponents and some news outlets wanted to bring down his government.Police have carried out the inquiry in secret over the course of some eight months and recently arrived at an important breakthrough, reports said. Some 50 witnesses are said to have been questioned.In July, Mandelblit said he had ordered a preliminary examination into an unspecified affair involving Netanyahu, with no details given.US billionaire and World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder has been among those questioned in the probe over gifts he allegedly gave Netanyahu and alleged spending on trips for him, Israeli media reported.Lauder, whose family founded the Estee Lauder cosmetics giant, has long been seen as an ally of Netanyahu, who in the late 1990s put him in charge of negotiating with then Syrian president Hafez al-Assad. ‘Campaign of provocation’ Netanyahu has acknowledged receiving money from French tycoon Arnaud Mimran, who was sentenced to eight years in prison over a scam amounting to 283 million euros involving the trade of carbon emissions permits and the taxes on them.Netanyahu’s office said he had received $40,000 in contributions from Mimran in 2001, when he was not in office, as part of a fund for public activities, including appearances abroad to promote Israel.He has also come under scrutiny over an alleged conflict of interest in the purchase of submarines from a German firm.Media reports have alleged a conflict of interest over the role played by the Netanyahu family lawyer, David Shimron, who also acts for the Israeli agent of Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, which builds the Dolphin submarines.Beyond those issues, Israel’s state comptroller released a critical report in May about Netanyahu’s foreign trips, some with his wife and children, between 2003 and 2005 when he was finance minister.Netanyahu, 67, is in his fourth term as prime minister and currently heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history.He has served as premier for a total of nearly 11 years, fast approaching revered founding father David Ben-Gurion’s 13 years.Polls have shown that if elections were held today, his Likud party would finish behind the centrist Yesh Atid, but that voters still prefer Netanyahu as prime minister.The inquiry has led to fierce debate in Israeli politics, with Netanyahu’s allies accusing opposition politicians and some in the news media of unfairly pressuring the attorney general.Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, in comments on army radio on Monday, denounced what he called a “campaign of provocation and incitement” against Mandelblit.Others have however accused Mandelblit of moving too slowly.Netanyahu’s predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was forced to resign while dogged by corruption allegations.He entered prison in February and is serving 27 months for corruption, making Olmert the first former Israeli premier to serve jail time.
Photo: ABC NewsFourteen-month-old Nima and Dawa Pelden, supported by their mum, flew from their remote Himalayan region home in Bhutan to Melbourne on Tuesday, report Australian media.The girls are looking forward a separation surgery as, reports say, doctors are confident they will get a new life.Their ‘life-saving surgery’ evokes the story of Nepalese twins, Ganga and Jamuma, who were separated in Singapore in 2001 that drew global attention.Nima and Dawa were born conjoined at the chest facing each other and scans carried out in Bhutan suggested they shared a liver, wrote ABCNet Australia.”Mum said the girls are getting a little frustrated with each other,” Children First Foundation chief executive Elizabeth Lodge was quoted by The Australian.”The girls are losing weight. They’ve been in hospital in recent weeks getting some extra nutrition so mum’s really keen for them to get here [in Melbourne].”A team of six surgeons and dozens of specialist nurses have been assembled for what is likely to be a lengthy operation on the twins, according to 9News.It said the Royal Children’s Hospital is offering the surgery to the Children First Foundation at a humanitarian rate but it will still cost more than $250,000. The foundation reportedly raised the fund.The aim of the surgery is to separate the girls in a single surgery, hospital head paediatric surgeon Joe Crameri told reporters on Tuesday. “We just want to facilitate a good outcome for these twins to go home and live a normal life.”Nine years ago surgeons at the hospital successfully separated Bangladeshi sisters Trishna and Krishna, who had been joined at the head, recalled The Australian.
3 min read Register Now » March 23, 2015 You know how it goes. You can see the glue — or paint, or suntan lotion, or honey — still in the bottle, but no amount of shaking or squeezing can get the substance to leave the container. So you throw the bottle away, wasting the contents you were hoping to use.LiquiGlide, a company created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by a professor and one of his graduate students back in 2012, is able to reduce that waste to zero thanks to a coating that keeps the inside of containers constantly slippery. The invention has caught the attention of famed glue company Elmer’s Products, which has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with LiquiGlide for the use of such coatings in glue containers, The New York Times reports. The coating has also been licensed to a packaging company in Australia to use inside paint cans. As J. David Smith, one of LiquiGlide’s founders, told the Times, “We expect it to be ubiquitous.”The science behind the coating can be a bit tricky, but the Times explains it this way: “Essentially, the lubricant binds more strongly to the textured surface than to the liquid, and that allows the liquid to slide on a layer of lubricant instead of being pinned against the surface, and the textured surface keeps the lubricant from slipping out.” Moreover, the ingredients of the lubricant and the textured layer can be adjusted to be effective for various liquids — from paint to condiments — that each have their own particular properties and viscosities.LiquiGlide assures the coatings are non-toxic and can be created from all sorts of materials. According to its website, consumer products such as condiments or body lotion can be coated with food materials. “If you took a ketchup bottle with our coating and scraped off the coating with a knife, you could eat it and it would be completely harmless.”Related: You Can Literally Play With Fire Thanks to This Hot New GadgetFor product makers, the coating can be applied through a “simple spray coating process, using existing machinery, available on the market today,” the company states. It can be used on any smooth surface, including glass, metal and plastic.It might seem, to product companies, that the coating would cause customers to buy their products less often if they’re able to use every bit of it. Instead, LiquiGlide argues the opposite, explaining that because there’s no need for customers to ration their use of a product as it’s running out, they’ll actually consume it faster. “This will increase sales for consumer brands, as it pushes consumers to an earlier repurchase point,” the company states.While ketchup companies have not yet expressed interest, LiquiGlide plans to explore other, more industrial applications for its coating, including the pipelines and tanks used for oil, the Times reports.Earlier this month, the company received $7 million in funding from Toronto-based Roadmap Capital which will be used to move into a new laboratory in Cambridge, Mass.In 2009, Consumer Reports magazine found that sizeable percentages of various products never make it out of their packagings. Skin lotion was the worst offender, with somewhere between 17 and 25 percent of liquid staying in the bottle. Detergent, condiments and toothpaste were also wasted, as up to 16 percent, 15 percent and 13 percent of the materials were stuck to their respective containers.Related: A 5-Step Reality Check for Inventors Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global