Mondi expands Russian business

first_imgSouth African-based paper producer Mondi is expanding its international presence following its listing on the JSE at the beginning of the month, announcing a €525-million (about R5.1-billion) project to modernise and expand the pulp and paper mill in Syktyvkar, Russia.All main equipment contracts have been agreed and construction is to commence in April 2008, with completion scheduled by the end of 2010,” the company said in a statement issued last week. “The project will enhance Syktyvkar’s low cost position, with the additional volume of uncoated fine paper and containerboard being supplied to the high growth domestic Russian market.”Engineering News reported last month that the project involved the construction of new wood-handling facilities, a recovery boiler and turbine, a lime kiln and pulp dryer, as well as upgrades to two chemical pulp lines and improvements to machinery.Mondi chief executive David Hathorn told the publication that it should slash operating costs and improve efficiencies, while also slightly increasing production by 190 000 tonnes per year, 60 000 tonnes of which will be sold into the pulp market, which is being driven by Chinese demand.He added that the modernisation of the plant was probably only the start of the group’s activities in the territory, which is arguably the only major unexploited softwood resource left in the world.“In fact, forests cover more than 70% of the territory, while swamps cover about 15%, making forestry activity attractive but difficult, given swarming mosquitoes and mud in the warmer periods,” Engineering News says. “This means that felling is generally confined to the icy winter months.”The company was spun-off from former parent Anglo American plc in July this year, and has looked at expansion to secure its position as an independent integrated paper and packaging group.Its main interests are in emerging markets, such as South Africa and in various locations in Eastern Europe.According to Mondi, Mondi Business Paper Syktyvkar, with an annual capacity of 580 000 tonnes of paper per year, is one of the largest producers in the Russian pulp and paper industry. In addition, the Syktyvkar mill controls 11 logging companies in the Komi Republic that supply the mill with wood.Mondi Packaging Paper, which operates within the same complex, has an annual capacity of more than 200 000 tonnes of packaging paper, delivering around 60% of the total white top paper market in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.last_img read more

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Used for Fraudulent Activities

first_imgTags:#Features#Trends#web Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has fallen prey to social media spammers and it is now full of requests to spam bookmarking services for pennies per link. Although these HITs may stop short of being “fraud” in the legal sense of the word, they are certainly dishonest and unsavory. In addition to these spam bookmarking requests, we’re also seeing HITs for Diggs, Stumbles, Slashdots, etc. of spammers’ web pages and web sites.In case you’re unfamiliar, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourced marketplace for tasks. A person needing work done can set up a HIT (human intelligence task) – the small job they need done. Others come along to perform the HITs, earning micro payments along the way. In this way, businesses, developers, and other individuals have access to an affordable, scalable workforceThe Dark Side to Mechanical TurkUnfortunately, it appears that the convenience of the Turk marketplace has some appeal to social media spammers, who are now using the site to earn Diggs, bookmarks, and other social recommendations they do not deserve. Here’s an example: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts sarah perez A search for “bookmark” on MT today displays 48 results (at the time of writing) where spammers are requesting social bookmarking of their web site. Search for “digg” and you’ll find people paying for Diggs. Of course, whenever there is a system in place (like social media) that can help drive traffic to a web site, there will be those people who use it to generate traffic for their spam sites. But why are they able to use Amazon Mechanical Turk to do so? Shouldn’t Amazon police the Turk to shut down these spam accounts? Mechanical Turk Still Has Promise, Despite SpammersHowever, this doesn’t mean that Mechanical Turk doesn’t hold any value – it’s still an innovative and useful tool for many. In fact, members of the HCI community (Human Computer Interaction) have begun to use Turk for userresearch studies with great success. This work has inspired others like open source advocate, Chris Messina, to do the same. He plans to use Turk for usability studies on OpenID and OAuth. Since the HITs are spread out among many, the cost of performing these studies is greatly reduced. Being able to crowdsource research is a great way that MT can be used today, and one that will have a big impact on the future, too. Thanks to Brynn Evans, a graduate student in the Department of Cognitive Science at University of California, San Diego for discovering this and thanks to open source advocate Chris Messina for sending it along to us.center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Photo courtesy of Brynn EvansAnyone who uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has no doubt come across similar HITs posted by spammers. For example, this guy is requesting someone create 29 social bookmark accounts from 29 sites: A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

UNICAP Regs Finalize Modified Simplified Production Method, Treatment of Negative Adjustments, Section 471 Costs; Accounting Method Change Rules Provided (T.D. 9843; Rev. Proc. 2018-56)

first_imgFinal regulations issued under the uniform capitalization (UNICAP) rules adopt a new simplified method (the “modified simplified production method”) for determining additional Code Sec. 263A costs allocable to property produced by a taxpayer or acquired for resale (T.D. 9843). This method is in addition to the current simplified methods. The manner in which certain costs are categorized for purposes of the various simplified methods are redefined and rules for the treatment of negative adjustments in additional Code Sec. 263A costs are provided. A separate revenue procedure allows taxpayers to change their accounting method to comply with these final regulations. The final regulations adopt previously issued proposed regulations with minor changes (REG-126770-06, I.R.B. 2012-38, 347).Modified Simplified Production MethodThe new modified simplified production method adopted by the final regulations allocates additional Code Sec. 263A costs, including negative adjustments, among raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods inventories on hand at the end of the year. Taxpayers using the new method are not required to separately track direct material costs that are integrated into work-in-process and finished goods inventories. In addition, the types of methods permitted to allocate mixed service costs between pre-production and production additional section 263A costs are expanded. A taxpayer using the new simplified method may also allocate 100 percent of capitalizable mixed-service costs to pre-production or production additional Code Sec. 263A costs if 90 percent or more of the costs would otherwise be allocated to that amount.Additional clarifications to the modified simplified production method provide that:— Additional Code Sec. 263A costs allocable to property produced under a contract and property acquired for resale are included in pre-production additional Code Sec. 263A costs;— Code Sec. 471 costs for property produced under a contract and property acquired for resale are included in pre-production Code Sec. 471 costs; and— Direct material costs include property produced under a contract that are direct material costs when the property is used in an additional production activity of the taxpayer.Definition of Code Sec. 471 CostsThe final regulations provide that for purposes of any of the simplified methods, Code Sec. 471 costs are the types of costs that a taxpayer capitalizes to produced property or inventory in its financial statement. Furthermore, taxpayers must include all direct costs of property produced or acquired for resale in Code Sec. 471 costs regardless of the treatment on a financial statement. A de minimis exception described below applies. Code Sec. 471 costs are determined by reference to the Code Sec. 471 costs incurred during the tax year for federal income tax purposes.The regulations prioritize various types of financial statements for purpose of determining Code Sec. 471 costs.An alternative method of determining Code Sec. 471 costs is provided for taxpayers with an audited financial statement as well as other specified statements that are deemed reliable. Under the alternative method, Code Sec. 471 costs are the costs capitalized to property produced or property acquired for resale in the taxpayer’s financial statement. However, financial statement write-downs, reserves, or other financial statement valuation adjustments are not taken into account in determining Code Sec. 471 costs. The alternative method must be applied consistently to all Code Sec. 471 costs in order to limit potential distortions in the absorption ratios used under the simplified methods. Also, if the alternative method is used, additional Code Sec. 263A costs include all negative adjustments to remove Code Sec. 471 costs, as well as all permitted positive and negative book-to-tax adjustments.De Minimis Safe HarborsThe final regulations provide a de minimis rule that allows a taxpayer using a simplified method to include in additional Code Sec. 263A costs and exclude from Code Sec. 471 costs, direct labor costs that are not capitalized in a taxpayer’s financial statement. The de minimis rule is only available if uncapitalized direct labor costs are less than five percent of total direct labor costs incurred during the tax year. Basic compensation, overtime, and costs included in a taxpayer’s standard cost or burden rate methods used for Code Sec. 471 costs are not covered by the de minimis rule.Another de minimus rule allows taxpayers using a simplified method to include in additional Code Sec. 263A costs and exclude form Code Sec. 471 costs, direct material costs that are uncapitalized on financial statements if the amount of those costs comprise less than five percent of total direct material costs incurred during the tax year.A final de minimis rule allows taxpayers using a simplified method to include in additional Code Sec. 263A costs and exclude from Code Sec. 471 costs, uncapitalized variances and under or over-applied burdens if the sum of these amounts is less than five percent of the taxpayers’s total Code Sec. 471 costs for all items for which the taxpayer uses a standard cost or burden rate method to allocate costs.Negative Adjustments in Additional Section 263A CostsUnder the final regulations, negative adjustments included in additional Code Sec. 471 costs to remove Code Sec. 471 costs are only allowed if a taxpayer uses the simplified production method, the simplified resale method, or the new modified simplified production method. The final regulations impose a consistency requirement mandating that taxpayers that include negative adjustments in additional Code Sec. 263A costs must use this method of accounting for all Code Sec. 471 costs permitted to be removed using negative adjustments. However, certain specified costs such as bribes, lobbying expenses, and fines may not be removed from Code Sec. 471 costs as a negative adjustment.A taxpayer using the simplified production method may include negative adjustments in additional Code Sec. 263A costs only if its average annual gross receipts for the three prior tax years are $50 million or less.Accounting Method ChangesAn accounting method change procedure is also issued in conjunction with the final regulations (Rev. Proc. 2018-56). The procedure grants taxpayers automatic consent to make an accounting method change to comply with the regulations. These changes include, for example, a change to comply with the new definition of section 471 costs, the treatment of negative adjustments, or a change to the new modified simplified production method. Rev. Proc. 2018-31, I.R.B. 2018-22, 637 (TAXDAY, 2018/05/10, I.2), which provides a comprehensive listing of automatic accounting method changes, is modified and amplified to include the changes described in Rev. Proc. 2018-56.Effective Date of Final RegulationsThe final regulations apply to tax years beginning on or after November 20, 2018. The IRS will not challenge return positions consistent with all of the final regulations for any tax year that both begins before November 20, 2018 and ends after November 20, 2018.Rev. Proc. 2018-56T.D. 9843Other References:Code Sec. 263ACCH Reference – 2018FED ¶13,822.80CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶13,829.70CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶13,848.12CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶13,848.15CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶13,848.53Code Sec. 481CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶20,620.285Tax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC ACCTNG: 15,200CCH Reference – TRC ACCTNG: 15,211Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Akshay’s Brothers, Salman’s Sultan, Aamir’s Dangal: The rise of combat sports in Bollywood

first_imgWrestling and boxing might not be that influential as sports in our country, but B-Town is clearly eager to tap into the potential of the games in their films. With Priyanka Chopra’s Mary Kom, Bollywood has started following the trend of such films which portray boxing, wrestling or Mixed Martial Arts. The latest one to join this club is Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra’s Brothers.RELATED: Apart from sibling rivalry, all forms of Mixed Martial Arts too in Brothers Brothers is the remake of the 2011 Hollywood film Warriors. It is a tale of two estranged brothers (David Fernandes and Monty Fernandes), who, in order to prove themselves, are ready to fight each other inside the boxing ring. The film also stars Jacqueline Fernandez in a pivotal role. It is the first time that the trio would be seen together on the silver screen. Akshay is well-trained in Martial Arts, but still found preparing to play David in Brothers a difficult task. As for Sidharth, the boxing and MMA sequences were not exactly a cakewalk for the actor, as the Brothers’ team has repeatedly emphasised.WATCH: Akshay and Sidharth in an emotional song Gaye Jaa from Brothers Here are some other recent films that have had and are portraying wrestling and boxing on the silver screen: Mary Kom The 2014 Mary Kom was based on the life of Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, the champion boxer from Manipur. Director Omung Kumar’s film is an account of what actually happened in Kom’s life, all the troubles which she has had to face, and everything else that made Mary Kom a name to reckon with in the boxing scene of the country. Piyanka Chopra played the real life five-time world boxing champion, and totally nailed the character. The film was much appreciated by the audience and claimed numerous awards as well.advertisement Dangal Aamir Khan is also not far behind, as far as displaying wrestling in Hindi films is concerned. He plays the real life wrestler Mahavir Phogat in his next film, Dangal. In fact, he’ll be playing father to two grown-up daughters (Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat) who play boxers in the film. There were a lot of rumours that Kangana Ranaut and Taapsee Pannu were also a part of this script, but all were rubbished by Aamir. Bollywood debudants Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra have been roped in for the roles of the two daughters in Dangal.Aamir gained around 22kgs for Dangal  Sultan On his part, Salman too is not far behind vis-a-vis portraying wrestling in films. He is wooing his fans with his forthcoming film Sultan, which is the tale of a wrestler from Haryana. The teaser of Sultan was released a few weeks back. The teaser glorified Sultan the wrestler to the T – ‘Haryana ki shaan, Haryana ka sher, Haryana ki jaan… Sultan Ali Khan.. jab vo ring mein move karta hai, toh aisa lagta hai maano dance kar raha ho’. The film has created a lot of buzz already because of its clash with Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees. The shooting of Sultan will begin in November this year, while director Abbas Ali Zafar has already begun hunting for locations for the film. It is expected to hit the screens on Eid 2016. Holiday Yes, the film had as its theme terrorism and patriotism, but had the Dabangg Girl Sonakshi Sinha, who played the role of a boxer in the film. Holiday did not really focus on the sport as such, but was a delight to see actors like Sonakshi and Priyanka taking up such roles in their movies.last_img read more