No savings at 40? I’d buy these 2 investment funds to double my State Pension


first_imgNo savings at 40? I’d buy these 2 investment funds to double my State Pension John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Harvey Jones has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Amazon, Apple, Mastercard, Microsoft, Unilever, and Visa. The Motley Fool UK has recommended AstraZeneca and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Harvey Jones | Sunday, 26th January, 2020 | More on: FCIT JMG Enter Your Email Address Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Sharescenter_img See all posts by Harvey Jones Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Image source: Getty Images. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. If you haven’t seriously started saving for retirement by age 40, that’s a blow, but it’s not the end of the world. There’s still time to build a big enough nest egg to avoid total reliance on the State Pension, just don’t leave it any longer.My tip would be to start investing tax-free through a Stocks and Shares ISA allowance. While stock markets can be volatile in the short term, I’d tip equities to beat almost every other form of investment in the longer run, making them the ideal way to build retirement wealth.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Investment trusts are an underrated way to tap into this growth, as they regularly outperform rival fund types. These two global trusts could help you towards a target of doubling the income you get from the State Pension.F&C Investment TrustF&C Investment Trust (LSE: FCIT) invests in a spread of global stocks, giving you an instant, internationally-diversified portfolio of publicly-listed equities, unlisted stocks and private equity. Launched in 1868, this is the world’s first collective investment vehicle with a tremendous pedigree.Despite its long history, the £4.5bn fund remains sprightly today, its share price rising a bumper 99% in the last five years, easily beating its benchmark FTSE All-World index.It gives you exposure to a spread of globally-renowned stocks, including US tech giants Amazon, Microsoft, Google-owner Alphabet, Facebook and Apple, as well as Visa, MasterCard, BP, Unilever and AstraZeneca. In total, it holds 450 companies, giving you a cushion if some of them underperform.F&C currently yields around 1.5% but has a proud record of increasing its dividend payout ahead of inflation, boosting its value in real terms.I’ve been an investment journalist for around 25 years, and F&C has been there throughout, doing what it does best… making investors richer. I reckon it should continue to do that over the next 25 years, taking you into retirement and beyond.JP Morgan Emerging Markets Investment TrustYou could supplement it with a fund that zones in on the faster growth opportunities available from emerging markets. JP Morgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust (LSE: JMG) has also thumped its benchmark index, its share price climbing 91% over the last five years. If you had invested £10,000 in this 10 years ago, you’d have £24,145 today.The trust contains big-name emerging market companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor, Chinese giants Tencent and Alibaba, and Tata Consultancy Services, giving you exposure to companies you might probably never buy as individual stocks.A third of the fund is invested in China, which makes recent performance even more impressive, given the trade war with the US. It also gives you exposure to India, Taiwan, South Africa, Brazil and other emerging stars. The current yield is 1.32% but, again, you can expect dividend payouts to steadily increase over the years.Whatever your age, these two trusts could help you build a passive income in retirement to supplement the State Pension, which isn’t enough on its own.last_img read more

Amtrak Vermonter returns October 1


first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Transportation today announced that the Amtrak Vermonter train will return to service this Saturday, October 1, 2011, with a northbound journey from Washington, DC to Saint Albans, VT.  On Sunday, October 2, regular Amtrak service with northbound and southbound trains in full operation will commence.    There will be slow orders on some portions of the rail line which will initially delay the train up to one hour from its regular schedule but the New England Central Railway (NECR) anticipates that these slow order locations will be reduced as rail work crews continue to improve the rail line. ‘The NECR did an amazing job of repairing their rail line in a short amount of time given the extent of the damage to their infrastructure,’ commented Brian Searles, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.  ‘I know VTrans staff provided assistance to their recovery efforts and I appreciate the team effort that was involved in getting the Vermonter back in service,’ stated Searles. The State of Vermont was awarded a $52 million ARRA economic stimulus grant for the NECR line and their construction contractors have been working all spring and summer on upgrading the rail line with grant continuously-welded rail (CWR), new ties, rail crossing improvements and other upgrades.  At the time of Irene, the Vermonter rail service had been replaced by chartered motor coaches to facilitate advancing that project ahead of schedule and to maintain on time performance for Amtrak customers. The Vermonter train service was originally scheduled for a return to service on September 19th will be back on track only 12 days later than expected.          While the flood waters of Irene dealt a huge setback to the infrastructure of NECR, there were mixed blessings as the impossibility of north-to-south train traffic allowed the CWR installation crew to increase production, while the strong and freshly-laid rail was able to survive the ravages of the washouts to the north.  Construction and re-construction crews worked 24-7 to restore service, sharing equipment, materials, expertise, and labor in one concentrated effort.  It is a huge compliment to their dedication that service was restored on the New England Central Railway, border-to-border, as of last Tuesday, September 20th.    ‘We appreciate the understanding and patience of the passengers while our route was out of service for the project and then the hurricane repairs,’ stated Charles Hunter, Vice President for Government Affairs for RailAmerica.  ‘All of the 18 train loads of continuous welded rail have been received and the last few miles will be installed during October. Thanks in part to the track outage, the High Speed Rail Project is now about 70% complete and remains on schedule for completion in 2012.  We are very proud of our employees and contractors for maintaining momentum and safety on the project while completing the hurricane repairs in record time,’ continued Hunter. A map with the most recent updates of the Vermont rail system is available at is external).  Note the bright green New England Central Railroad route.last_img read more

What ransomware reveals about our cybersecurity strategy


first_imgRansomware is here to stay.  Worse yet, the blind-spot in your cybersecurity, leveraged by Ransomware may lead to damage well beyond “simple payoffs.”Imagine logging in to your network to find this message: “All of your files have been encrypted. You have 72 hours to obtain a secret key to unlock your files, or else they will remain locked forever. The price to obtain the key is $100,000 worth of Bitcoin.” Worse yet, what if the bad actor was threatening to destroy your back-ups, having already encrypted your files?Unlikely to happen to your organization, you say. Think again. More and more, Ransomware is succeeding at fleecing companies across the nation and around the world, including banks and credit unions. Just last month, the Bankers Electronic Crimes Task Force joined with the State Bank Regulators and the U.S. Secret Service to publish a “Ransomware Self-Assessment Tool” meant to guide you toward better security practices to reduce the threat posed by Ransomware. They use the word “protect” often, but I see more “mitigation” than I do “protection” when reading through it. And I wonder why our collective thinking, here and elsewhere, continues on the path of “monitor and mitigate” in the face of Ransomware’s growth and success. According to cybersecurity experts such as CyberTheory’s Steve King, it’s “a classic 2020 Cybersecurity nightmare: We know what’s going on, but we can’t stop it.” Worse yet, people working to change how the industry approaches the endpoint security challenge, point out how Ransomware’s success REVEALS THE BLINDSPOT and the weakness in our cybersecurity efforts.What is that weakness, and what might it cost us?  Our collective acceptance that we can’t stop this from happening, that we can only mitigate loss by cleaning up and paying up after the damage is done is the weakness we’ve accepted. This failure to address the challenge directly, to work to render malicious software benign, not just “patch and backup”, has left us all vulnerable to existential threats to our organizations and our brands, not just demands for ransom.What is this thing we choose to minimize rather than stop?  Traditionally, Ransomware has been malicious software designed to encrypt the victim’s data storage drives, rendering them inaccessible to the owner. An ultimatum is then delivered, demanding payment in return for the encryption key. If the ransom demand isn’t met, the key will be deleted, and the data lost forever. Current guidance focuses on backing up data and keeping it clear of external access, then using it when successfully attacked; but too few do this or can afford to do this.  More importantly, paying off the bad guys or restoring systems and data, while mitigating the immediate disaster, hasn’t solved for the systemic BLINDSPOT in Cybersecurity practice. I wrote “traditionally” above because, as Steve King recently wrote “Ransomware continues to dominate the news and has become a major business risk. It’s not your granddaddy’s Ransomware either. Threat actors have become more sophisticated. No more opportunistic or shotgun attacks on non-specific targets. Now we see lengthy reconnaissance. Currently, the average time from the first evidence to deployment is 3 days. The global average dwell-time is 56 days.”He goes on to explain that these bad actors are collecting tons of useful network topology (e.g., ingress and egress points such as compromised web servers), backup sources and destinations, crown jewel assets, and administration (e.g., KRBTGT, ADFS, Microsoft 365) targets. And he points out that many times, these access points are productized and made available for sale on the dark web, saving the modern attacker a lot of work. He refers to how “back in the day, attackers were simply encrypting an OS and network files. Now, we’re seeing them exfiltrate key data and destroy backups before the encryption takes place.” He rightly points out that this is much more impactful and increases the likelihood that the ransom gets paid. And now it’s “pay me twice, first for decryption capabilities, and second to return or destroy the stolen data. If not, public excerpts happen.”  Clearly, these guys have gotten really good at being bad! And they can do even more damage once they have breached your system, often hiding from your “detection” efforts in order to do more than just demand ransom.Just a matter of time. You may not yet have been targeted by Ransomware, but many large, medium and small financial institutions have; and because your cybersecurity tools and methods do a poor job addressing the threat of Ransomware it’s not unkind to write “it’s just a matter of time.”  So, what should we be doing?There are ways to mitigate the risks of ransomware (but are they good enough?). We are told to worry, a lot, and we are presented with a laundry list of policies and tasks to bring to bear on the problem. For instance, the FBI, U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council put out guidance and best practices on how to help protect your systems from this growing threat. Some of the basic defenses against ransomware they prescribed include:Educating all staff on the risks and how to safely use email and the web;Making sure to regularly back-up critical systems and data;Maintaining up-to-date firewalls and anti-malware systems and protections;Limiting the ability of users or IT systems to write onto servers or other systems;Having a robust patch-management program;Using web- and email-protection systems and software; andRemoving any device suspected of being infected from your systems.While good and necessary, none of the above prevent the most pernicious forms of malware delivering today’s Ransomware. All of the above tasks are part of the standard methodology and prescribed practices to limit the access of unauthorized users and software to your systems. They are all good things to do. They all reduce risk, and show you are working hard to address your cybersecurity responsibilities but, unfortunately, they aren’t enough. WHY NOT? Because, as I’ve come to learn, the best Anti-virus/Endpoint Detection software on the market today, and the best monitoring and detection tools and processes, and the best mitigation and recovery tasks all have a critical blind-spot — they all fail to see what is happening INSIDE OF APPLICATIONS, which is where the majority of today’s successful security attacks are occurring including Ransomware attacks (which do their designed damage before detection and mitigation can make any impact). According to TJ Tajalli, CEO of OnSystem Logic, “what you’re using today, regardless of the vendor you’ve chosen, while absolutely necessary, is unfortunately also absolutely insufficient, tragically insufficient, in the face of today’s next-gen Ransomware because its defenses are built based only on AI, signatures, and behavioral data of previously seen attacks.” Mr. Tajalli goes on to suggest that “we must stop accepting the idea that even the most sophisticated endpoint security products are incapable of PREVENTING attacks in the first place.” He points out that “clicking on one email by an employee should never put a company in a position to have the type of disruption we see happening today.” And he laments that the news stories regarding Ransomware attacks and the payoffs or expensive mitigation efforts are not “success stories” but, rather, reminders of how “customers have been trained to accept that attacks will succeed but if they can afford to pay big dollars after an attack has succeeded, there are companies out there, including those that built their endpoint security product in the first place, that may be able to clean up the mess for them.”So, what can we do? Well, it’s time to learn about and start adding endpoint prevention solutions that stop malicious software from running and delivering attacks such as Ransomware. Bad/misbehaving software can get on the endpoint any number of ways (which is why we receive so much advice about patching, training and monitoring). It could arrive via phishing attacks, credential stealing, pictures, links, or other data files containing its bad payload, malicious Microsoft Office macros, or any other method.  But what is important, is to make sure that bad/misbehaving software CANNOT execute its damaging instructions, including Ransomware, no matter how hard it tries. It’s time to demand answers to this problem. It’s time for the market to provide solutions.  Monitoring and mitigation are not prevention. It’s time to act on that knowledge. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Greg Crandell Greg Crandell provides strategy, market planning, business development, and management consulting to financial technology firms and their clients – Credit Unions and Banks. For more years than he wishes to admit, … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Syracuse blows past UConn 4-0 in Big East tournament opener


first_img Related Stories Syracuse heads to Tampa with final chance at Big East championship Syracuse won its opening-round match against Connecticut on Thursday, 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament in Tampa, Fla.The fourth-seeded Orange (13-7, 7-1 Big East) shut out the Huskies (7-11, 2-5 Big East) for the second time this season. The first win came on March 29, a 7-0 win in Hartford.The win marked the eighth straight conference win for Syracuse. During that stretch SU has won 44 individual matches, while losing just eight.The Orange won the doubles point behind victories from junior Aleah Marrow and freshman Alex Aiello. The tandem of junior Maddie Kobelt and freshman Brittany Lashway won as well, improving the pair’s record to 10-2 on the season. Both matches ended 8-6.The Orange didn’t drop a set in singles as Kobelt ended her strong day with a 6-0, 6-1 win in No. 2 singles. Sophomore Amanda Rodgers won next with a 6-2, 6-3 win, and sophomore Jimena Wu ended the match quickly with a 6-2, 6-1 rout.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe win sets up a rematch with DePaul, which beat Providence 4-0 on Thursday.Earlier in the year on Feb. 24, Syracuse beat DePaul on the road 4-3. At the time DePaul was No. 69. It is the only match in which Syracuse has defeated a ranked team this year. The match came down to a tense final-set tiebreaker for Rodgers.Friday’s second-round match starts at noon. If Syracuse wins, it will take on the winner of the Notre Dame-Marquette in the semifinals Saturday.Syracuse has never won a Big East championship, but has now won in the first round in three of the past four seasons. Comments Published on April 19, 2013 at 12:44 amcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Lakers cut Robert Upshaw, hold on to Robert Sacre


first_imgRarely does the first round of NBA roster cuts in training camp elicit anything more than a collective shrug.Sure, it concerns the affected players pursuing their dream of an NBA career. It can also become difficult for coaches and general managers to shrink the roster and deliver the news.But among the general public? Not so much.The Lakers offered some surprise Tuesday by waiving Robert Upshaw while keeping fourth-year veteran Robert Sacre as the team’s third center. The 7-foot-2, 264-pound Upshaw was an intriguing player with his shot-blocking ability and long-term potential. The Lakers opted for Sacre, who is seen as dependable on defense and a positive locker-room presence. The Lakers will start Roy Hibbert at center, and likely play Tarik Black behind him. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “His upside is big time,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said of Upshaw. “But sometimes experience and wanting to make sure the roster is balanced outweighs that. If we get our wish list, he passes through the 48 hours and we can claim him and bring it him back to the D-League.”Scott expressed the same thing about undrafted guard Michael Frazier, who was not expected to stay amid a loaded Lakers backcourt with Kobe Bryant, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Marcelo Huertas. But what if another NBA team signs Upshaw right away for the same reasons the Lakers signed him to the summer-league and training camp roster?“You live with it,” Scott said. “You won’t kick yourself. It’s a decision that’s made. If it happens to be the wrong decision two or three years down the line, you live with it.”Scott maintained he is not thinking that far ahead. Instead, he is thinking about the 2015-16 season. Upshaw averaged 2.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 0.75 blocks in 14.1 minutes through four exhibitions. In those games, Upshaw looked raw offensively and defensively. center_img “We saw that at times and flashes of him being able to defend and do some of the things that we wanted him to do,” Scott said of Upshaw. “But a lot of it was a big-time learning curve on both ends of the floor.”Fresno State (2012-13) and the University of Washington (2014-15) dismissed Upshaw amid unspecified violations of team rules, causing the projected first-round pick to go undrafted. Upshaw also reported to summer league out of shape, before Scott noted he dropped from 290 pounds to 265 pounds entering training camp.“He’s going to have that stigma with him for a while until he can erase it. That’s probably going to be one of the biggest problems to deal with,” Scott said. “But if you look at the summer compared to now, he’s 100 percent better. If he can keep going in that upward spiral, he’ll be all right.”It also did not help that Upshaw had a non-guaranteed deal. Sacre has a guaranteed contract at just less than $1 million. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said that factor would not influence his decision making.The Lakers still need to trim their roster to at least 15 by the season opener Oct. 28.Forward Jonathan Holmes has a dicey future after suffering a right shoulder injury in Monday’s game against Portland, an injury that will keep him sidelined for at least a few weeks.It could come down to either forward Metta World Peace or guard Jabari Brown. The 35-year-old World Peace is older and less athletic than the 22-year-old Brown. But World Peace could provide a veteran presence, particularly for second-year forward Julius Randle. “As long as you get the players to understand you’re trying to do everything in their best interest, it’s not that difficult,” Scott said. “But players are players. They want to play and they want to compete.”last_img read more

Rice scores first Hammers goal to defeat Arsenal


first_imgAnd it appeared Arnautovic was waving goodbye to the home fans in a London Stadium record of over 59,000 when substituted in the 71st minute.“We will see what happens in the next days,” said Manuel Pellegrini, the West Ham manager.“It is an issue that the club must see what is the best for the player, for the club and for everyone.”Former Arsenal favourite Samir Nasri started against his old club as the midfielder made his Premier League debut for the Hammers.Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi returned from injury for Arsenal but there was no place in their squad for Mesut Ozil.The match was goalless at the interval following near-misses by Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi and Hammers playmaker Felipe Anderson.That all changed in the 48th minute courtesy of Rice, a Republic of Ireland Under-21 international.Granit Xhaka’s poor clearing header fell to Anderson, whose ball came to Rice via a neat lay-off from Nasri and Rice’s first-time shot gave Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno little chance.Arsenal pressed for an equaliser but the Hammers survived three minutes of stoppage time as they held on for victory.Share on: WhatsApp Rice and Noble delighted by Arsenal win and ‘special momentLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Declan Rice’s first West Ham goal secured a 1-0 win over Arsenal in a capital city derby clash at the London Stadium.The victory in Saturday’s early kick-off saw the Hammers move up to eighth in the Premier League table, on 31 points, ahead of the bulk of the weekend’s fixtures.Teenage midfielder Rice gave himself an early present for his 20th birthday on Monday by scoring the only goal of the game three minutes into the second half.“I can’t put it into the words,” an elated Rice told Sky Sports. “The lads are always on at me to take the shot on more.”– ‘Special talent’ –West Ham captain Mark Noble was almost as pleased as Rice himself, adding: “I am delighted for this young man to score the goal…He is a special talent and keeps working hard.”Defeat dented Arsenal’s bid to break into the top four, with the Gunners still adrift of Chelsea — their next opponents — in the race for a Champions League place.“It is difficult to win if you don’t score,” said Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny, after a defeat that meant the Gunners had won just one of their last seven away Premier League matches.The defender, looking ahead to next weekend’s clash with Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium, said: “It is a home game against an opponent in the top four. We know what we need to do. We need to prepare all week for this important team.”West Ham named Marko Arnautovic in their starting line-up despite the Austrian forward’s brother and agent saying Thursday he wanted to move to the Chinese Super League.last_img read more

Dedication of 9/11 Tribute Slated for Memorial Day


first_imgBy Celia BelmonteThe Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department will unveil its 9/11 tribute in a ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, Memorial Day, outside the Red Bank Borough Hall at 90 Monmouth St.The monument includes a piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center Towers. “I applied for the piece in 2010,” Fire Chief Alan Soden Jr. said. “The application is the biggest thing. They want to know exactly where the steel will go and how it will be specifically used for a monument. We even had to send a picture of the monument two weeks ago.”Soden’s father, Alan Soden Sr., who was fire chief in 1986, was also involved in obtaining the steel for the tribute. “It was a long process with a lot of paperwork and legal action,” the senior Soden said. “All the pieces were numbered because every piece was evidence.”The fire department was not approved to pick up the steel until winter 2011 at a high security terminal atthe John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y.Once the 450-pound piece was in Red Bank, Bobby Holiday, a volunteer fireman and former fire chief, created five wooden models of potential monument designs. After a vote, the fire department’s six companies finally decided on Holiday’s personal favorite, The Rising.A memorial with steel from the World Trade Center will be dedicated on Memorial Day on Monmouth Street, Red Bank.“In this design I tried to show that the steel is rising back to the top,” Holiday said. “It’s going back up.”The design places the twisted piece of steel on two pegs of different sizes, slant­ing it upward toward a representation of twin towers behind it. Beginning from the base of the steel, the design forces the eye up along the metal piece to the top of the towers where the numbers “9” and “11” have been placed.“Clark Craig made the towers for us for just the material cost,” Holiday said. “His friend donated the specially cut numbers for free. It is still unknown who it was.”The fire department understands how important it is to have this 9/11 tribute in the community. “We want to remember the 343 firemen that died that day and all of the others who lost their lives,” Soden Sr. said.The department also hopes to commemorate the life of their fallen brother, Mark F. Hemschoot, a member of the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department who worked on one of the top floors of the World Trade Center.Hemschoot’s name is part of a plaque listing the names of volunteer members who have died in the line of duty. The plaque, placed below the original bell from the early 20th century Liberty Fire House on White Street, is part of the fire department’s two-year-old memorial.The 9/11 tribute is a much welcomed addition. “People love it and have said how nice it looks,” Soden Sr. said. “Everyone is pleased with it. It took some time but we got it where we wanted it.”last_img read more

Haryana Congress urges EC to remove BJP govt hoardings


first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress has sought Election Commission’s intervention over violation of model code of conduct by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) through displaying hoardings and advertisements featuring “achievements” of the state government’s at public places such as petrol pump stations, state government hospitals, etc.A delegation of Congress leaders, led by former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state party chief Kumari Selja met the poll panel and handed over memorandums. “The advertisements constitute a clear and material breach of the relevant laws as they represent a misuse of public funds and official machinery for campaign purposes. These advertisements are less in the public interest and more to advance the cause of the Chief Minister and the ruling party. The CM is, therefore, using his office to serve his personal agenda and cult of personality instead of furthering the interests of our fellow citizens,” Selja said in her memorandum submitted to the EC. The Congress has urged the EC for immediate removal of the all such hoardings on display across the state. The delegation further urged the EC to issue directions for no issuance of advertisements in the newspapers and other media, including electronic media during the election period. The Congress delegation has also urged the EC direct concerned authorities to prevent the state government from misusing any of the government officials or agencies. “The officials of the HPSC and the Haryana Staff Selection Commission have repeatedly been acting as political agents of the BJP government in the state,” the Congress said in a memorandum.last_img read more