Kidnapped journalist Mario Alfonso Puello released after four months in captivity

June 12, 2021

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first_img News June 20, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Kidnapped journalist Mario Alfonso Puello released after four months in captivity May 13, 2021 Find out more Organisation 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Reports Reporters Without Borders today welcomed with relief news of the release of Mario Alfonso Puello, a journalist on Radio Delfín, TV Norte and regional daily La Noticia, who was snatched by the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) in Guajira department, northern Colombia on 17 February.ELN guerrillas handed over Mario Alfonso Puello and two other people who had been abducted on the same day to a Red Cross delegation on the outskirts of Riohacha, the departmental capital on the afternoon of 19 June. There were no concerns about their state of health, despite the months spent in captivity. The reasons for their kidnapping remain unknown.“We are delighted by the release of Mario Alfonso Puello, after being held hostage for four months, and we hope he will soon be able to resume his work as a journalist”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “However the happy outcome to this episode should not make us forget the permanent threat to journalists posed by armed groups present on Colombian territory” it added.Alfonso Puello, the father of ten children, was abducted after being stopped at a road block near Dibuya on 17 February as he returned home from attending a literacy day. ColombiaAmericas RSF_en News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Colombia April 27, 2021 Find out more to go further RSF, IFEX-ALC and Media Defence, support FLIP and journalist Diana Díaz against state harassment in Colombia News ColombiaAmericas October 21, 2020 Find out more RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America Reporters Without Borders today welcomed with relief news of the release of Mario Alfonso Puello, a journalist on Radio Delfín, TV Norte and regional daily La Noticia, who was captured by the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) in Guajira department, northern Colombia on 17 February. last_img read more


B’way Pair Stephanie J. Block & Sebastian Arcelus Welcome Baby Girl!

January 18, 2021

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first_imgWe see a nose, we see a curl! Broadway power couple Stephanie J. Block and Sebastian Arcelus have welcomed their first child. Tony nominee Block took to Twitter on January 23 to make the announcement and to share an adorable picture of their daughter’s tiny hand holding her husband’s. The proud Dad tweeted that the newborn was named Vivienne Heléna Arcelus.Block garnered her first Tony nomination for her portrayal of the title role in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Her additional Broadway credits include The Boy From Oz, The Pirate Queen, 9 to 5, Anything Goes and off-Broadway’s Little Miss Sunshine. Arcelus most recently appeared on the Great White Way in A Time to Kill; his additional credits include Elf, Jersey Boys and Rent. He can also be seen in Netflix’s House of Cards. The two briefly starred in Wicked together on tour (before the wedding bells) and reprised their performances on the Great White Way.Block and Arcelus wed in October 2007. Star Files Sebastian Arcelus View Comments Stephanie J. Blocklast_img read more


5-time World Champion and one of India’s greatest stranded in Germany due to Coronavirus

August 5, 2020

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first_imgImage Courtesy: Fortune/GettyAdvertisement aprvNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2law888Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eazmm( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) g8lhWould you ever consider trying this?😱7rw6adCan your students do this? 🌚y8ki0Roller skating! Powered by Firework With the start of the Bundesliga Chess League, Indian Chess icon Viswanathan Anand went to Germany to take part in the competition. Unfortunately, before his flight back to his home country this Monday, the Coronavirus pandemic gave birth to emergency all across the world. While the Government of India has decided to suspend all existing visas except for the diplomats, it is now impossible for the five times world champion to return, who is now stranded in Frankfurt.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Fortune/GettyViswanathan Anand travelled to Germany last month as a member of the OSG Baden-Baden in the German chess tournament, but now has to remain in the country until the visa restriction is lifted by the Indian Govt. However, sources have claimed that the legendary Chess Grandmaster was already under self isolation throughout the last week, as the news of virus outbreak were making the headlines earlier this month.“This is a very unusual experience for me. For the first time in my life and for many others as well, I am forced to self-isolate myself,” Anand said in a personal interview with the Times of India yesterday.Advertisement The veteran is using the blessing of technology to keep in touch with his family amidst the woeful situation around the globe.Anand continued: “I have a video chat with my son Akhil and wife Aruna as soon as I get up. We try to get some happiness talking to each other.”Advertisement The iconic Chess player is not out of activity, as Anand has earned his maiden commentary role in the upcoming FIDE Candidates tournament Yekaterinburg, Russia starting this Tuesday.However, the 50 year old will have to do his job from Frankfurt where he is currently staying, as his wife Aruna Anand recently confirmed in an interview with PTI.“He will be commentating for the Candidates tournament for a website. Guess it will also keep him busy,” Aruna told reporters.“He is near Frankfurt. With all the travel restrictions and advisories, we will have to wait and watch with regards to his return plans. The situation is very fluid,” Mrs Anand added, who hopes to see her husband return to India by the end of March.Also read-R Ashwin unhappy with Chennai people regarding anti-Coronavirus efforts!Table tennis ace Sharath Kamal battles Coronavirus fears to win Oman Open Advertisementlast_img read more


David Warner shaves his head to support frontline staff battling Coronavirus – and challenges…

August 5, 2020

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first_imgImage Courtesy: Instagram(@davidwarner31)Advertisement aw7q6NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vssg5aWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eb8g2o( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) ouxoa8Would you ever consider trying this?😱7xtCan your students do this? 🌚3us9Roller skating! Powered by Firework While the novel Coronavirus pandemic has caused almost all countries to go under lock down and put its citizens under self isolation, the doctors, nurses and healthcare officials working in the front line to curb the further contamination of the virus. Meanwhile, Australian cricketer David Warner has taken it to social media to show his support towards the front line staff, by taking part in a shaving head challenge. With a video of himself accepting the challenge, the Aussie superstar has further nominated several more cricketers, including the captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Instagram(@davidwarner31)On nomination from friends, Warner posted the clip on his official Instagram account today, where he was seen trimming off all his hair as the challenge. He captioned the video with: “Been nominated to shave my head in support of those working on the frontline #Covid-19 here is a time lapse. I think my debut was the last time I recall I’ve done this. Like it or not??”, which already has over 120 thousand likes from followers. Check it out below-Reactions came including his teammate and Australia’s limited overs skipper Aaron Finch, who pulled a joke over Warner’s receding hairline.Along with Kohli, the 33 year old further nominated his fellow teammates Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis, and Joe Burns, along with Australian professional golfer Travis Smyth and English journalist and broadcaster Piers Morgan to stand in solidarity with the front line workers who are battling it out against the virus outbreak.However, the Men in Blue fans are in doubt that their national team skipper, who is very conscious about maintain a classy hairstyle would even consider taking up the challenge.In Australia, over 4000 people have been confirmed to test positive for COVID-19, and 19 deaths have been reported so far.The Government has been very strict on maintain the lock down in the country, with imposing on-spot fines on rule breakers and has restricted more than two people for gathering outdoors.“This progress is early, it’s significant, but now, with these additional rules around gatherings and movement, we are going to take the next step to help reduce the level of infection, and to support our containment,” Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt recently said on the reduced spread of virus.Also read-Always a captain: Bhaichung Bhutia to shelter over 100 migrant workers in SikkimWasim Jaffer reveals how much money MS Dhoni wanted to earn from cricket! Advertisementlast_img read more


Elect Obama, Get Embryonic Stem Cells

December 19, 2019

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first_imgPresident Obama is about to fulfill of his campaign promises: lifting restrictions on creating new embryonic stem cell lines (see Fox News).  The question now is, are they really needed?  They have yet to show any successes, while adult stem cells are enjoying an accelerating boom of amazing discoveries that could provide hope for some of mankind’s worst disorders.(Note: ESC = embryonic stem cells, ASC = adult stem cells).Muscular dystrophy:  Children and adults plagued by the muscle-wasting malady of muscular dystrophy may now have hope thanks to adult stem cells.  PhysOrg and Science Daily both reported advances in treatment in mice that may soon be applicable to humans, using bone marrow stem cells.  The treatments, being studied at University of New South Wales in Australia, may also be applicable to regrowing tissues of the liver, pancreas and brain.Organ regeneration:  Stanford researchers are making progress generating whole organs from ASC.  They are finding that with the proper scaffold and an oxygen supply, adult stem cells from fat tissues and bone marrow can be coaxed into growing new organs.  “In the near future, the researchers believe that the stem cells in the tissue could be induced to become an internal, living factory of healthy, specialized cells churning out proteins missing in people with conditions such as hemophilia or diabetes,” the article encouraged.  “In the long run, they hope to encourage the cells to become entire transplantable organs such as livers or pancreases.”Stroke:  PhysOrg reported that neural stem cells may be able to reduce the damage from strokes.Clean induction:  Viruses are no longer necessary as vectors to induce somatic cells into pluripotency.  A major advance announced in Science Daily has been made at Mt. Sinai Hospital that “accelerates stem cell technology and provides a road map for new clinical approaches to regenerative medicine.”  Dr. Andreas Nagy, the lead researcher said, “This new method of generating stem cells does not require embryos as starting points and could be used to generate cells from many adult tissues such as a patient’s own skin cells.”ESC is not completely without promise.  Science Daily reported that embryonic stem cells are being studied to see if they can grow neurons.  This may have application to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the disorder that afflicts Stephen Hawking.  The work appears to be very preliminary.  Though they were able to tease ESC-derived products to mimic properties of diseased motor neurons, no cells have been transplanted into animals or humans.    In a letter to Nature this week,1 however, a researcher at University of Basel urged caution on human trials with ESC-derived neurons.  Injection will be difficult, and the results hard to assess, he said.  We don’t know yet if the treatment will make matters worse.  His final paragraph warned,Given the controversy over the use of human ES cells in some countries, it is to be hoped that the triumphant announcement of the approval of this clinical trial will not prove to be a prime-time setback.  Regenerative medicine using human ES cells is an exciting prospect, but the field still needs time to mature.  The primary concern of scientists involved in stem-cell research is not to satisfy the short-term expectations of analysts and investors, but to improve public health with the help of innovative, safe treatments.Speaking of safety, a medical doctor had some horror stories to tell of cancerous tumors resulting from ESC treatments.  In “Why Embryonic Stem Cells Are Obsolete,” in US News, Dr. Bernadine Healy said the setbacks using embryonic cells, and the successes of ASC and iPS render ESC research superfluous.  She reminds readers that Bush did not create a new policy, but merely reaffirmed a decision Clinton had made preventing federal money for creation of new lines of human embryos for research purposes.  “Reversing the executive orders of two prior presidents on embryo creation, which even the Congress has been unwilling to tackle, is a far bigger issue than lifting the ban on the use of IVF embryos slated for destruction,” she concluded.  “Obama stands for transparency, and it’s important for him to make sure the public understands his decision, including that all stem cells are not the same or created equally.”  Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council calls the impending action by Obama a “Deadly Executive Order.”  Arguing that it is unethical to use human life, even young embryonic life, to advance science, Perkins said this action “is a slap in the face to Americans who believe in the dignity of all human life.”  Adult stem cells have been used to treat patients with 70 diseases and conditions, he said, while ESC experiments “represent the poorest stem cell science.”  While such research is “unfortunately legal,” he argued that “taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for experiments that require the destruction of human life.”Update 03/09/2009: Fox News reported that Obama signed the executive order, calling the old rules a “false choice” between science and morality.  His order “will not open the door for human cloning,” the article claimed.  Obama called such action “dangerous” and “profoundly wrong.”  Ethicists fear that treating human embryos from IVF as commodities will cheapen human life and make it easier to enact more dangerous policies the next time scientists claim they need something.1.  Yves Barde, “Caution urged in trial of stem cells to treat spinal-cord injury,” Nature 458, 29 (5 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/458029a.Why are scientists continuing to demand ESC when ASC (12/17/2008) provides all the benefits for eliminating human suffering, without the ethical and moral problems?  Why do they demand the government feed their lust with taxpayer dollars?  There seems to be more than logic going on here.  One plausible reason is that they want to assert authority over what constitutes science.  They don’t want any government telling them what they can or cannot do.  And since the pro-life and religious crowd has been standing in their way, their pride may be motivating them to give their old enemies another bullying shove.    President Bush was persistently criticized for “politicizing science” (which means, in their tortured logic, exercising his constitutional power over what taxpayer money can be spent on).  Remember that scientists were never forbidden from working on ESC research; the only restriction was on federal funding for new stem cell lines.  They had unlimited access to ESC lines from before 2001, and could use any private funds they wanted for cutting up human embryos (see NIH Stem Cell Policy document).  Start the violins playing; it was just too inconvenient for researchers to keep two separate accounts, one for their federal funds, and one for their private funds.  They are clamoring like every other irresponsible business these days for a federal bailout.    Bush tried to explain why he did not feel it was appropriate to use taxpayer money to fund research that many found morally objectionable.  For that, he endured scathing criticism from scientific elitists for “mixing politics with science.”  Does the hideous unrighteousness of this begin to sink in?  Of course federally-funded science is political.  If taxpayer money is going to be spent on research, the people paying the bill have the right, through their elected representatives, to have a say about it.  Big Science treats it like a divine right to dictate to the rest of us what they want to do with our money.  That’s why Feyerabend saw science as a threat to democracy; you have these oligarchs telling the populace what to do, hiding their agenda behind incomprehensible jargon.    If ESC research were so promising of success, you can be sure corporate sponsors would be lined up to support it.  Instead, Big Science politicized it by shmoozing political hacks to write initiatives wooing the voters in California and Michigan (10/15/2008) to cough up billions of dollars for ESC institutes.  These were promoted with misleading ads suggesting that miracle cures were right around the corner.  Commercials played on their heartstrings with disabled celebrities making it sound like cutting up human embryos was the epitome of compassion.  After the damage was done (a $3 billion obligation on top of California’s economic meltdown), we are told that any treatments may be years, or decades away, if at all.  Now that Obama is enthusiastically caving in to the scientific oligarchy (01/31/2009, 01/20/2009), one of his prime voting blocks (09/28/2008), do California voters get their $3 billion back?  A better bet would be to wait for aliens to land with Elvis bringing Earth the ultimate diet.    Citizens must be alert to what is going on.  This issue is much bigger than promises about miracle cures.  It bears on questions of the nature of human life, the nature of science (11/25/2008, 11/08/2008, 07/24/2008), and the nature of democracy (01/07/2009).  The public is rapidly losing a voice in these vital issues as science oligarchs raid their pocketbooks.  If you think you can trust scientific experts to provide objective, rational, disinterested voices when billions of dollars are at stake, get real.  Don’t take our word for it.  Look what Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


SA pays tribute to Amina Cachalia

December 18, 2019

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first_img1 February 2013 South Africans from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to Amina Cachalia, a staunch anti-apartheid activist and long-time friend of former president Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday, aged 82. “A seasoned campaigner for women’s rights and one of the liberation movement’s foremost stalwarts, Amina came from a fiercely political family and dedicated her life full-on to the emancipation of all oppressed people in South Africa,” the Presidency said in a statement on Friday. Her political activism saw her play leading roles as a member of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress and Transvaal Indian Congress, as treasurer of the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw) and as patron of the Federation of Transvaal Women, among others.‘Tireless fighter for liberation’ “Our country has lost one of the most tireless and consummate fighters for liberation that we have known,” President Jacob Zuma said, “and we would like to express our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, comrades and all who had the privilege of knowing her.” Cachalia had several stints in prison, including when she was arrested during the 1952 Defiance Campaign and also participated in the 1956 Women’s March against apartheid pass laws, and became a banned person at various stages. African National Congress (ANC) spokesman Jackson Mthembu said “Comrade Amina” was “among the women who are credited for having placed gender equity firmly as a site of struggle and aligned it to broader struggles led by the ANC. As an individual she lived through the pain of police harassment, imprisonment, house arrests, banning and humiliation.” Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said, that, as a member of the Indian Youth Congress and founder of the Women’s Progressive Union, Cachalia “fought fiercely to overcome injustice and racial discrimination”. Zille said that Cachalia, together with Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi and Ida Mtwana, had founded Fedsaw, which led 20 000 women on the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. A Member of Parliament after South Africa’s first democratic elections of 1994, Cachalia received the Order of Luthuli in recognition of a life spent fighting for freedom and democracy.‘Travelled a long road with Mr Mandela’ The Nelson Mandela Foundation said on Friday that it had learned with great sadness of Cachalia’s passing. “Amina Cachalia travelled a long road with Mr Mandela and his family. She and her husband Yusuf were friends with Mr Mandela in the years before he went to prison,” the foundation said in a statement. “After he was imprisoned in 1962, they kept in touch through letters. Only after he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison was he finally allowed to be visited by Mrs Cachalia and her husband. “They resumed their friendship after his release in 1990. In 1995 Mrs Cachalia assisted him at a luncheon he arranged for the widows of leaders from across the political spectrum. As the widow of apartheid prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd could not attend, Mr Mandela travelled to the white enclave of Orania to visit her. Mrs Cachalia accompanied him. “On 1 June 1986, when he was in Pollsmoor Prison, he wrote her a letter saying: ‘I love you and Yusuf very much and you are always in my thoughts … There is, therefore, no danger whatsoever of me forgetting you.’” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more


IDC partnership creates 21 000 jobs

December 18, 2019

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first_img25 June 2013 A partnership between the Department of Labour and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has created 21 234 new jobs, says Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. Speaking at a New Age breakfast briefing in Pretoria on Monday, Oliphant said the department had invested funds in the IDC, maintaining an ongoing collaboration through the issuing of an additional bond of R2-billion, bringing the total bond to R4-billion. The IDC uses the funds to lend out to businesses that aim to create or save jobs. “Through this partnership, 21 234 new jobs were created … This investment has increased from 5% to 10% of the total investment portfolio, meaning that over R8-billion will be made available for investment in manufacturing, mining beneficiation, agriculture and tourism,” Oliphant said. “We have allocated R3.2-billion to the Public Investment Corporation to plough into job creation projects, over and above the amount allocated to IDC.” She added that the department continued to support job-creating projects through prudent investments from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Compensation Fund. The UIF would also continue funding Productivity South Africa’s turnaround solutions – a three-year, R39-million-a-year agreement to help companies in distress to save jobs and keep people in employment. Oliphant noted that the department had just concluded a series of jobs fairs and summits in all nine provinces to introduce prospective employers to potential employees. She also encouraged businesses to register their vacancies on the department’s Employment Services for South Africa database, where 2 620 companies had already registered vacancies. The department has 171 employment services practitioners and 84 employment counsellors providing services at 125 Labour Centres, 72 (out of 139) Thusong Centres and various visiting points. It also has 19 mobile units, two Public Employment Services buses with internet connectivity, 12 Sheltered Employment Factories and Productivity SA headquarters and three regional offices. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more


Another arrest in case of Islamic State conspiracy

December 3, 2019

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UST star Milena Alessandrini feared to have suffered partially torn ACL

November 27, 2019

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first_imgLATEST STORIES Milena Alessandrini. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas star sophomore Milena Alessandirini may have suffered a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee against Far Eastern University on Saturday, initial diagnosis say.Golden Tigresses head coach Kung Fu Reyes said Alessandrini’s final MRI results will be known on Monday, but the initial assessment is a partially torn ACL.ADVERTISEMENT Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Alessandrini, Season 80’s Rookie of the Year, twisted her left knee after a bad landing on a spike attempt in the second set with UST leading, 18-17.The Filipino-Italian outside spiker had to be stretchered off the playing floor then, was rushed to UST Hospital.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesIt was a tough blow for the Golden Tigresses as they went on to lose in four sets to the Lady Tamaraws that brought their record down to 2-2.Alessandrini headed into the FEU match as the sixth-best scorer in the tournament with a total of 47 points. Togetherness helps UP overcome La Salle Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem MOST READ Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crashlast_img read more


Clarksons China to Shorten White List to 59 Yards

October 23, 2019

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first_imgzoom At the start of October 2016, a set of revised criteria was introduced for China’s White List of domestic shipyards, marking a further indication that the industry in China is likely to continue to downsize, according to Clarksons Research.Under the new criteria, builders can be dropped from the list if they suspend production or declare bankruptcy, merge with or be acquired by other yards, fail to win a new order and deliver a vessel over a two year period, or fail to deliver a ship, receive a contract, and have no units under construction over a one year period.Based on the current status of the yards in relation to the new criteria, of the 71 yards on the White List, seven are in financial distress and have declared bankruptcy. Their closures could see the removal of around 1.7 million CGT p.a. of estimated shipbuilding capacity.While some yards on the list have fared better than others, the financial distress faced by some builders is indicative of the significant problems being faced by many Chinese yards.Many yards expanded rapidly during the boom years, but in the following downturn, cost overruns and output delays have been apparent. These yards have been particularly vulnerable, and have suffered from dwindling cash reserves.Although state-owned yards have not been affected to the same extent, they have not been immune to the very difficult market conditions. Consolidation has been apparent, with two CSSC shipyards and three CSIC yards merging with others in the same groups over the last year, and further similar activity is likely, Clarksons Research said.The closure of facilities and redundancies may be required to reduce costs and increase efficiency.Taking into account the yards which have declared bankruptcy and merged with others, the White List will shorten to 59 yards.While these builders currently meet the revised criteria, some may soon receive a warning for failing to secure new orders as 40 of these yards have not won an order in 2016 so far, 18 of which also did not receive an order in 2015. Most yards still have ships under construction, but four builders have not delivered a unit since the start of 2015.last_img read more