The President of Iran is due to face a vote of no confidence following a ministerial scandal over a forged Oxford University degree.The turmoil follows the sacking of the Government’s Interior Minister this week, after revelations over the summer that his Law degree was in fact a fake.Ali Kordan was officially dismissed from his cabinet post last Tuesday on charges of dishonesty and lying about his educational record, after months of political wrangling. He had initially denied the allegations of forgery and copies of the degree were even released onto the internet in an effort to prove its legitimacy.However Iranian political blogs soon exposed that the diploma was indeed a crude fake, riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.An official statement released by Oxford University later confirmed that the Interior Minister had never received any type of commendation from the institution, leading to 20 Iranian Government ministers to call for Kordan’s impeachment after he admitted the degree was indeed a forgery. An overwhelming majority of Iranian MPs subsequently voted to dismiss Kordan, with just 45 of 247 members voting that he should keep his job.President faces vote of confidenceThe affair could have additional consequences for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who now faces a vote on his own future after Kordan became the tenth government minister to be sacked during his tenure in office.According to Iran’s constitution, the expulsion of ten ministers should trigger a vote of confidence in the President – which would make Ahmadinejad the first President in Iranian history to ever face such a vote. However, the Iranian sumpreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the attempts to undermine his country’s government.He told the BBC, “This careless atmosphere of talking against the government is not to be easily forgiven by God.” His remarks appear to be directed against those who have impeached Kordan and came as implicit support for Ahmadinejad’s government.Inflation at a highThe controversy comes at an especially bad time for Ahmadinejad as Iran is to hold a presidential election in just eight month’s time. The country is currently experiencing its own version of the international economic crisis as inflation is at a high of 30% and oil prices are continuing to drop.The Iranian President, who defended Kordan when the allegations against him emerged last August, has refused to speak further on the issue and did not attend the vote to impeach the Interior Minister.A spokesperson for Oxford University said this week that they would not be commenting again on the matter. They had previously confirmed that the academics who ‘signed’ the diploma had all held Oxford posts, but never in the field of Law, and they would never have signed degree diplomas either.
Like-for-like sales of Hovis bread grew 17% in the first half of 2009, boosting the brand’s share of the market to its highest in two years. However, profits are proving harder to come by, according to one City analyst.The jump in Hovis’ sales, announced in parent company Premier Foods’ half-year results to 27 June, boosts the brand’s market share from 22.7% to 26.3%, following a relaunch last year, with new recipes, packaging and heavy marketing support.Premier said sales across its entire Hovis division, which includes baking, milling and frozen pizza bases, had fallen 3.2% to £372.4m, but profit had increased 18.7% to £14.6m. The fall in turn-over is partly due a 20.7% sales decrease at the firm’s milling operation, following the end of a flour contract with Warburtons.Martin Deboo, an analyst at Investec, said that Premier had done a good job of reviving Hovis bread sales, but added: “It remains to be seen whether these can be translated into profits.”At the current rate, Premier would expect to make around £30m profit in bread and milling in 2009. To put this into context, in 2006 – the last boom year for UK bread and milling (when the business was owned by RHM)- it made £64m profit.”With wheat prices falling from £220 to £180 per tonne since January and branded loaves remaining above £1.20, bakeries should be making “much better profits”, said Deboo. But, he said much of the profit is being poc-keted by the supermarkets, while brands are having to finance large-scale promotions.
For full details, see the Call for Expressions of Interest. Answers to questions about the competition will be posted on the Questions and Answers page. Posted on April 5, 2012Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On March 13, DFID announced their Health Research Competition for the Development of New Technologies to Impact Diseases of Poverty. The competition will fund research projects on a number of global health issues–including malaria in pregnancy, reproductive health commodities, family planning technologies, and more. See below for details on the competition! The competition is open to all areas of work but at the present time areas of particular interest to DFID are:Malaria – drugs – in particular for P. vivax and malaria in pregnancy; diagnostics; insecticides; G6PD testCommunicable diseases (e.g. TB/HIV/Diarrhoea/Meningitis/etc) – drugs; diagnostics; vaccines; microbicidesNeglected tropical diseases – drugs; diagnostics; insecticidesReproductive, maternal and newborn health – e.g. reproductive health commodities, family planning technologies, dual prevention technologies. G6PD testOther – hunger and humanitarian issues This competition for DFID health research funding concerns developing new technologies to impact on diseases of poverty e.g. vaccines, drugs, insecticides, diagnostics, reproductive health commodities, etc. DFID priority geographic areas are Africa and resource poor areas in Asia. Deadline for applications: 2 pm UK time, 23 April 2012 Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: