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Vermont Federal CU president named to CUNA panel

first_imgBURLINGTON, VT-Joseph M. Finnigan, President/CEO of Vermont Federal Credit Union was recently named to an Advisory Panel for CUNA Mutual Group.The Advisory Panel is made up of 30-40 CEOs from mid to large sized Credit Unions from around the country. The groups role is informal and will provide direction to CUNA Mutual on topics, trends, products and solutions.CUNA Mutual Group is the leading provider of financial services to credit unions and their members worldwide, offering lending, protection, financial, employee and member solutions through strategic partnerships, technological innovations and multiple service channels.Joseph Finnigan is embarking on his 28th year with Vermont Federal Credit Union. He is serving his 2nd term as Chair of the Board of Directors for TriCorp Federal Credit Union. He was appointed to the National Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) Board of Trustees. He has been active on various community boards including the Vermont Childrens Aid Society, the Jimmy Fund Council, through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Y Time Childrens Center.Joe is a graduate of Northeastern University, and resides in South Burlington with his wife Sue.VTFCU is a $140 million plus financial institution, currently serving over 21,000 members. We provide membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Chittenden, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Franklin, Washington, or Addison Counties in Vermont.#last_img read more

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Union Bank Welcomes Additions to St Albans Team

first_img(January 22, 2008)–Union Bank will add Lura Jacques as Assistant Vice President and Trust Officer of the western service area and Lois Pigeon as Branch Manager to its new St. Albans Office.Lura was a Wealth Advisor for TD Banknorths St. Albans office for the past nineteen years. She currently serves as Treasurer of the St. Albans Rotary Expo and Homeshow and as secretary of the St. Albans Rotary. She is also a board Member with Franklin County Court Diversion. Her educational background includes graduating from Champlain College, New England School of Banking, and earning a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation from Cannon Financial Institute.Lois Pigeon is a long time active resident of St. Albans, where she has been involved with Vermont National Bank, which became Charter One and then Citizens. She also owns a small business with her husband.Union Banks operates headquarters in Morrisville and offers deposit, loan, trust and commercial banking services in Northern Vermont and New Hampshire. As of September 30 they had 397 million dollars in consolidated assets and 13 banking offices. They operate 30 ATMs in Vermont and Littleton, New Hampshire and a loan office in St. Albans. The bank employs 170.last_img read more

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Green Mountain Power’s SolarGMP Approved by Vermont Public Service Board

first_imgGreen Mountain Power’s SolarGMPApproved by Vermont Public Service BoardNew solar incentive takes effect July 1COLCHESTER, Vt. (July 1, 2008) — Green Mountain Power’s groundbreaking new approach to accelerate the adoption of solar energy by Vermont homes and businesses has been approved by the Vermont Public Service Board. The program became available July 1, 2008.”We are so pleased that our customers will now receive the appropriate financial incentive to install solar generation at their homes and businesses,” said Mary Powell, incoming president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power. “SolarGMP will help increase the amount of renewable energy resources powering Vermont in the future.”The program will work in conjunction with existing “net metering” programs in which Vermonters using solar power feed energy back into the grid when it is not needed in the home or business. Under the new solar rates program, customers will now be paid by Green Mountain Power for all solar energy generated at a rate of six cents per kilowatthour above and beyond the 12 to 13 cents per kilowatthour net metering benefit.Solar generates the bulk of its power during hot summer days when electric system use is at its highest, and so it replaces the expensive system power that Green Mountain Power would otherwise have to purchase.”As the state debates its future energy resources, one thing is clear: renewable energy sources like solar must play an increasing role,” said Ms. Powell. “It is good for Vermont economically and environmentally.”Ms. Powell said changing the way Vermonters pay for solar energy could help ease congestion on power lines, delay the need for new power line construction and reduce peak energy demand in hot summer months when demand for energy is highest.The new incentive rates are available to all Green Mountain Power customers connected to the electric grid. Customers must go through appropriate net meter permitting, meter installation and inspection to begin SolarGMP. Additional information is available at www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external).About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external)) is an electric utility owned by Northern New England Energy Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaz Métro, a leading Québec energy company with a long history of investment in Vermont. Green Mountain Power transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves approximately 94,000 customers.– 30 —last_img read more

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Legislators Announce Plan to Merge Labor and Economic Development, Eliminate Commerce Agency

first_imgSenate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith today announced a large-scale restructuring plan for two state agencies to deliver higher quality services and reduce state spending.  Senator Shumlin and Speaker Smith called on the Senate and House committees to consider a consolidation of the Department of Labor and Department of Economic Development and the dissolution of the Agency of Commerce. Governor Douglas said he vehemently opposes the plan. With Vermonters facing the most difficult times many of us have ever seen and with the need for state services higher than ever, it is critical that Vermont s government be as efficient and effective as possible, said Senator Shumlin.  Much of our governmental structure is outdated and reflects a time when Vermonters were facing different challenges and had different needs.  It s time for a modern state government that reflects the realities of Vermont in the 21stCentury.     In order to more efficiently deliver high quality services and reduce state spending, Senator Shumlin and Speaker Smith called for the restructuring of the Department of Labor and the Department of Economic Development. Under the plan, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development will be dissolved and much of its services folded into the Department of Labor or transitioned to existing private entities.  Savings in the first year are estimated to be between $1.2 to $1.5 million with a high potential of additional savings in FY11 and beyond. It will only be with strong leadership that Vermont emerges from this crisis as a more vibrant state than before, said Speaker Smith. We need to modernize our government to ensure we can do a better job with less.  Senator Shumlin and Speaker Smith directed both the Senate and House Committees to analyze and implement as appropriate the proposal.last_img read more

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Vermont Unemployment rate unchanged in August

first_imgVermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted)Changes FromAug2009July2009Aug2008July2009Aug2008Total Labor Force358,800360,200355,300-1,4003,500Employment334,500335,600338,700-1,100-4,200Unemployment24,30024,60016,600-3007.700Rate (%)6.86.84.70.02.1Vermont’s labor force, employment and unemployment statistics are produced from a combination of a Statewide survey of households and statistical modeling. The data are produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS) a cooperative program with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Vermont Department of Labor.Vermont Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment in ThousandsBY NAICSPrelim.RevisedRevisedChange From:% Change From:Aug -09 Jul-09 Aug-08 Jul-09 Aug-08 Jul-09 Aug-08 Total – All Industries294.5294.6306.5-0.1-12.00.0-3.9Private Industries239.3239.3252.20.0-12.90.0-5.1Construction13.113.215.5-0.1-2.4-0.8-15.5Manufacturing30.230.334.8-0.1-4.6-0.3-13.2Durable Goods21.221.325.2-0.1-4.0-0.5-15.9Non-Durable Goods9.09.09.60.0-0.60.0-6.3Trade, Transportation & Utilities56.756.759.20.0-2.50.0-4.2Retail Trade 37.737.740.00.0-2.30.0-5.7Trans., Warehousing & Utilities8.98.98.90.00.00.00.0Financial Activities12.512.612.9-0.1-0.4-0.8-3.1Professional & Business Services20.520.822.7-0.3-2.2-1.4-9.7Professional., Scientific & Technical12.712.713.50.0-0.80.0-5.9Administrative Support & Waste7.87.98.9-0.1-1.1-1.3-12.4Education & Health Services60.960.658.80.32.10.53.6Private Ed. Services13.513.613.2-0.10.3-0.72.3Health Care & Social Assistance47.447.045.60.41.80.93.9Leisure & Hospitality 30.530.432.30.1-1.80.3-5.6Arts, Entertainment & Recreation3.73.73.90.0-0.20.0-5.1Accommodation & Food Services26.826.728.40.1-1.60.4-5.6Other Services9.59.59.70.0-0.20.0-2.1Total Government55.255.354.3-0.10.9-0.21.7State Government18.418.518.0-0.10.4-0.52.2Local Government30.530.630.0-0.10.5-0.31.7Burlington-S. Burlington MSATotal – All Industries108.6108.6113.80.0-5.20.0-4.6Statewide Total – All Industries estimate is seasonally adjusted independently.Note: Beginning January 2009 Vermont will publish a seasonally adjusted Total-All Industries estimate for theBurlington – S. Burlington MSA.Produced by the Vermont Department of Labor in cooperation with the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.ESTIMATED NONFARM EMPLOYMENT IN VERMONT(not seasonally adjusted)PRELIMREVISEDREVISEDCHANGES FROM% CHANGES FROMINDUSTRY BY NAICSAugl-09Jul-09Aug-08Jul-09Aug-08Jul-09Aug-08TOTAL NONFARM289,900289,650301,050250-11,1500.1%-3.7%TOTAL PRIVATE244,450244,250256,550200-12,1000.1%-4.7%GOODS PRODUCING46,00046,20053,250-200-7,250-0.4%-13.6%MANUFACTURING30,50030,55035,100-50-4,600-0.2%-13.1%Durable Goods21,30021,40025,350-100-4,050-0.5%-16.0%Computer & Electrical Equipment Mfg.8,4008,4509,100-50-700-0.6%-7.7%Fabricated Metal Products Mfg.2,5002,5002,5500-500.0%-2.0%Non-Durable Goods9,2009,1509,75050-5500.5%-5.6%Food Mfg.4,0003,9004,050100-502.6%-1.2%CONSTRUCTION14,65014,80017,250-150-2,600-1.0%-15.1%MINING & LOGGING8508509000-500.0%-5.6%SERVICE-PROVIDING243,900243,450247,800450-3,9000.2%-1.6%TRADE, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILITIES56,80056,70058,950100-2,1500.2%-3.6%Wholesale Trade10,15010,10010,30050-1500.5%-1.5%Retail Trade38,10038,10040,2000-2,1000.0%-5.2%Food & Beverage Stores10,25010,20010,30050-500.5%-0.5%General Merchandise Store2,7502,7502,8500-1000.0%-3.5%Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities8,5508,5008,450501000.6%1.2%Utilities1,8501,8501,8000500.0%2.8%Transportation & Warehousing6,7006,6506,65050500.8%0.8%INFORMATION5,5505,5505,8500-3000.0%-5.1%FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES12,70012,70013,1000-4000.0%-3.1%Finance & Insurance9,3509,3509,6500-3000.0%-3.1%Real Estate, Rental & Leasing3,3503,3503,4500-1000.0%-2.9%PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES21,25021,40023,250-150-2,000-0.7%-8.6%Professional, Scientific and Technical12,75012,75013,5000-7500.0%-5.6%Administrative, Support and Waste8,2508,3509,500-100-1,250-1.2%-13.2%EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICES60,10060,00058,1001002,0000.2%3.4%Educational Services12,55012,65012,300-100250-0.8%2.0%College, Universities and Professional6,7506,7006,80050-500.7%-0.7%Health Care and Social Assistance47,55047,35045,8002001,7500.4%3.8%Ambulatory Health Care Services16,20016,25016,000-50200-0.3%1.3%Hospitals12,80012,80012,15006500.0%5.3%Nursing and Residential Care Facilities7,1007,0507,000501000.7%1.4%LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY32,35031,95034,200400-1,8501.3%-5.4%Arts, Entertainment and Recreation4,5004,6004,650-100-150-2.2%-3.2%Accommodation and Food Services27,85027,35029,550500-1,7001.8%-5.8%Accommodations10,3009,85010,900450-6004.6%-5.5%Hotels & Motels8,3508,1508,950200-6002.5%-6.7%Food Services and Drinking Places17,55017,50018,65050-1,1000.3%-5.9%OTHER SERVICES9,7009,7509,850-50-150-0.5%-1.5%GOVERNMENT45,45045,40044,500509500.1%2.1%Federal Government6,3006,3006,2500500.0%0.8%State Government Education6,3006,2006,30010001.6%0.0%Local Government Education14,30014,25014,000503000.4%2.1%Other State Government10,50010,60010,100-100400-0.9%4.0%Other Local Government8,0508,0507,85002000.0%2.5%NOTE: DATA COMPLIED IN COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICSESTIMATES ARE PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO REVISION. SEE ANNUAL SUMMARY FOR DETAILSBeginning with the January ’09 estimates CES has implemented a change to theSuper Sector previously titled “Natural Resources & Mining” to “Mining & Logging”.It’s merely a change of title to better reflect the true makeup of the Super Sector in CES.VERMONT LABOR FORCE AND UNEMPLOYMENTLABOR MARKET AREAS BY RESIDENCE (Not Seasonally Adjusted)August 2009 EstimatesTotalNumberNumberAug-09Jul-09Aug-08AreaLabor ForceEmployedUnemployedRate (%)Rate (%)Rate (%)Barre-Montpelier29,75028,0001,8006.06.44.2Bennington13,40012,4509507.07.64.6Bradford5,1004,7503006.26.63.9Brattleboro24,35022,8001,5506.36.64.4Burlington-South Burlington114,800108,5006,3005.55.93.8Hartford21,25020,4507503.63.92.4Manchester12,60011,8007506.16.44.1Middlebury18,50017,4001,1006.06.54.0Morristown-Stowe21,40020,1501,2505.96.44.0Newport14,35013,2001,1508.08.45.5Randolph8,8508,2506006.97.44.6Rutland25,65023,5502,1508.38.95.4Springfield12,50011,6009007.27.54.5St. Johnsbury15,45014,3501,1007.17.44.3Swanton-Enosburg14,30013,3509506.77.14.6Warren-Waitsfield3,8503,6502004.95.62.8Woodstock3,9003,7501504.24.42.5Vermont Total362,400340,25022,1506.16.54.1Note: Rate is unemployed divided by total labor force, expressed as a percent.Source: Vermont Department of Labor in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics30 The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2009 was 6.8 percent, unchanged from the revised July rate and up 2.1 points from a year ago.  The rate remained unchanged from July as a result of very little change in the number of unemployed and a decline in the total labor force. The same forces that kept Vermont’s unemployment rate at the lowest in the region last month appear to remain in August. A strong summer youth employment program, continued growth in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector and a steady Leisure and Hospitality sector. Vermont’s observed August seasonally adjusted employment, unemployment levels and unemployment rate estimates were not statistically different from July values.  For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 9.7 percent, up three-tenths of a point from the revised August rate of 9.4 percent. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.6 percent in Hartford to 8.3 percent in Rutland.  Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the August unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 6.1 percent, down four-tenths of a point from July 2009 and up 2.0 points from a year ago.  The August unadjusted unemployment rate estimate for Vermont was not statistically different from the July rate.“Unemployment remained at 6.8 percent, reflecting the same forces that were at work in July,” said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. “Strong summer youth employment, growth in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector and a steady Leisure and Hospitality sector kept our unemployment rate relatively low as compared to recent months.”Job GrowthHistorically, job growth between July and August has been variable – some years showing small growth, others a small decline.  Before seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm (TNF) jobs grew by 250 or 0.1% over the month. Annual unadjusted job growth fell by 11,150 or -3.7% – a very slight improvement over July.  . Leisure & Hospitality, (+400 or +1.3%) and Health care & Social Assistance, (+200 or 0.4%) showed the largest month to month growth. No sector showed significant declines.When seasonally adjusted, August job levels were essentially flat, (-100 or -0.0%) to July. The largest growth was seen in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector (+400 or +0.9%).  The largest job losses were seen in Professional & Business Services, (-300 or -1.4%).  All other sectors were quiet.The preliminary estimates of nonfarm jobs for August, and the revisions to the estimates for November 2008 through July 2009, incorporate substantive changes made in the Current Employment Survey estimation procedures. These new procedures are designed to bring the aggregate monthly change in jobs for individual states into closer alignment with the change in national job counts reflected in the estimates produced and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of these changes, the November 2008 and forward estimates may not be totally comparable to previous months’ data. The impact of these changes in methodology will be better understood when we are able to make benchmark comparisons to Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. We expect to make these comparisons beginning in May of 2009.  For details of these changes, please contact Andy Condon at the Vermont Department of Labor at 802-828-4153 or andrew.condon@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail).last_img read more

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FEMA teams in Vermont to assess flood damage

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin announced today that Preliminary Damage Assessment teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are in Vermont this week to help determine if the state qualifies for federal disaster assistance for individuals and families affected by the flooding.  The teams will be in the field on Wednesday to visit many homes that have reported damage to Vermont 211.  The Governor urged anyone who has suffered damage to their home to call 211 to report those problems. ‘We need a reliable estimate of individual damage,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘The state needs to show significant damage to primary residences to qualify for an Individual Assistance declaration to help homeowners who suffered damage by the floods of the past month.’ The FEMA teams assessing public infrastructure damage for a possible Public Assistance declaration have completed their work and found more than $3 million in damages statewide.  Those teams have also found that the counties of Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans, and Washington have shown enough damage to qualify for a disaster declaration. ‘We have shown significant public infrastructure damage and I’m confident we will be granted federal funds to help rebuild roads, bridges, and other public property,’ Gov. Shumlin said.  ‘Now we need to show private property damage.  I encourage everyone who suffered flood damage to their homes to call 2-1-1 so FEMA can get an accurate picture of damages.’ The process of obtaining an Individual Assistance declaration is just beginning and will likely take time as many homes are still under water.  Vermont must show a significant impact from the flooding to be considered. The Small Business Administration will also be in the field on Wednesday.  The SBA could offer low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and businesses damaged by the flooding.  If you own a small business injured by the floods in the form of physical damage or lost business please call your city or town to report that damage. Agricultural operators who suffered damage to their farms should contact the Vermont Agency of Agriculture at agr.emergency@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail).last_img read more

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Opinion: Aerospace transforms healthcare in Vermont

first_imgVAAA will also introduce Vermont’s winning Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) team.  We were the first in the nation to launch the RWDC in 2008 while I served as Lt Governor. 35 states have now joined Vermont in this highly acclaimed national competition.  Our goal is to give students a hands-on experience with a real-world technical challenge, using and developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math and giving them the keys to rewarding and satisfying careers.  The Vermont 2011 RWDC Team, from South Burlington High School, recently returned from Washington D.C where they presented their final design of the main wing and tail assemblies for a Boeing 737-800 jet to the judges, who ‘all agreed that their presentation was the best at the competition.’ The Vermont team finished fourth in the nation and is looking to win the 2012 competition. At our last VAAA meeting, we recognized Franklin County based Liquid Measurement Systems (LMS) — a great example of a growing Vermont manufacturer that has current and future needs to hire a STEM-skilled and educated workforce. LMS uses technology originally developed for the Apollo Space program that was reengineered to help detect and clean up polluted ground water. The same technology now provides the safest and most reliable fuel measurement and management systems for the aerospace industry in the world. LMS and other Vermont aerospace companies rely on Vermont’s universities and colleges for students with engineering and science skills for the 21st century.     MMIC of St. Johnsbury and ORBIS have entered into a multi-year development and manufacturing agreement for the configuration of ORBIS’ third generation Flying Eye Hospital. This amazing aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas MD 10 Series 30 Freighter, will ensure that ORBIS can continue to provide state-of-the-art ophthalmic training and surgery to those most in need across the globe. We founded the Vermont Aerospace and Aviation Association (VAAA) in 2006 to encourage the growth of good jobs in aerospace and to encourage young people to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects that lead to satisfying careers here in Vermont. Senator Patrick Leahy serves as our honorary Co-Chair, and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce provides administrative support for VAAA.  We will hold our third quarterly VAAA Event of 2011 on Tuesday, August 30th from 3 to 5:30 at Heritage Aviation at Burlington International Airport. This event will highlight the joining of two major industries, healthcare and aerospace, in Mobile Medical International Corporation’s (MMIC) and ORBIS International’s Flying Eye Hospital. We will also introduce the winning Vermont Real World Design Challenge Team, which placed 4th in this year’s national competition. Senator Patrick Leahy and the Secretary of Commerce for the State of Vermont are both on the program to speak. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet more companies like LMS at the August 30 VAAA Event. It’s open to the public. You’ll be able to tour the Flying Eye Hospital, and talk with members of the MMIC-ORBIS team, leaders in Vermont’s healthcare industry, and Vermont state and federal government officials, including Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. MMIC is a leader in the design and build of next generation, rapidly deployable, modular health service delivery systems. MMIC’s team of 50 Vermonters is carving out a new humanitarian role for aerospace, helping remote and underserved people around the globe gain access to health services.  MMIC’s modular hospital systems were a great asset to our National Guard soldiers that were deployed to Afghanistan.  What: VAAA Event and Flying Eye Hospital VisitDate: Tuesday, August 30th, 2011  Time: 3 ‘ 5:30 p.m.Place: Heritage Aviation, 228 Aviation Ave, S. Burlington, VT, Burlington International AirportContact: Chris Carrigan at ccarrigan@vtchamber.com(link sends e-mail) By Brian Dubie, Chair of the Vermont Aerospace and Aviation Association. Vermont may be a state small in size, but we take great pride in knowing that we are the largest producer of Maple Syrup of all the fifty states, and that we are the 14th largest dairy-producing state.   Many Vermonters would be surprised to know that Vermont also ranks 14th in the nation as an aerospace cluster, according to a new study being released this month by Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and Embry-Riddle University. Caledonia County companies like Mobile Medical and Franklin County companies like Superior Technical Ceramics and Liquid Measurement Systems contribute to our high ranking, along with other Vermont companies, such as Mansfield Heliflight, Aviatron, General Electric, Goodrich, GS Precision and Vermont Composites and many more.last_img read more

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Navigant: Solar plus storage turning variable green power into a dispatchable resource

first_imgNavigant: Solar plus storage turning variable green power into a dispatchable resource FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Storage-plus-renewable energy projects, in particular solar, are expected to play an important role as electric utilities develop their strategies for the gird of the future. The risk and cost associated with battery technology continues to decline, enabling utilities to transition large-scale renewables from intermittent to dispatchable energy resources.The utility-scale energy storage market has seen a steady growth since 2011, with more than 8.9 GW of non-pumped hydro storage projects coming online over the past seven years, according to Navigant Research, “How Utilities Can Look Beyond Natural Gas with Cost-Effective Solar Plus Storage Strategies.”One of the technologies driving market growth is lithium-ion batteries, the report said. The latest analysis showed that lithium-ion batteries accounted for 29.4% of non-pumped storage capacity and 70% of advanced battery capacity developed since 2011.Due to the advancements in lithium-ion battery technology, Navigant Research expects that PPA prices for projects combining energy storage and renewable resources will continue to decline as their adoption expands. Storage-plus PPAs are already less expensive than the LCOE for combined cycle natural gas in the United States, the report found.“In 2018, storage-plus made its first shift from the validation and first-mover adopters to diffuse adoption led by utilities,” Alex Eller, senior research analyst with Navigant Research, said in a statement. “The accurate valuing and positioning of storage-plus by utilities will continue to drive the market in coming years.”Regulators and utilities should push for all-resource solicitation to take advantage of the price disruption in the area of storage-plus renewable energy and to meet aggressive renewable portfolio standard targets in the process, the report said.More: Solar + storage projects to drive utility-scale deployment of batteries: Navigantlast_img read more

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China to end subsidies for onshore wind power in 2021

first_imgChina to end subsidies for onshore wind power in 2021 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:China will end subsidies for new onshore wind power projects at the start of 2021, with renewable projects set to compete on an equal footing with coal- and gas-fired electricity, the country’s state planning agency said on Friday.The move is a milestone for the renewable energy sector, which has traditionally relied on subsidies and other preferential policies to encourage developers to build plants.China pays a relatively high tariff per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity produced by wind or solar projects, but it has been promoting what is known as ‘grid price parity’ with traditional sources of power such as coal. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said tariffs paid to onshore wind projects will be cut to as low as 0.29 yuan ($0.0420) per kWh in 2020, while grid price parity will apply to all new projects from Jan. 1, 2021.China has been scaling back subsidies for both wind and solar projects after a rapid fall in equipment and construction costs, as well as a huge subsidy payment backlog for existing projects.China also launched a series of subsidy-free wind and solar projects in January, noting that solar construction costs in China fell 45 percent from 2012 to 2017, while wind project costs dropped 20 percent over the same period.According to a forecast published last weekend by the North China Electric Power University, the use of coal by the power sector is set to peak at 1.32 billion tonnes next year, though it remains higher than the government target of 1.23 billion tonnes. The study also said the share of non-fossil fuels in China’s total electricity mix is on course to hit 32-34% next year, higher than the 31% target.More: China to end subsidies for onshore wind power by 2021last_img read more

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China’s CO2 emissions could peak by 2022, government researcher says

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:China’s emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases are likely to peak by 2022 even without the introduction of tougher policies, well ahead of an original target of “around” 2030, a senior government researcher said on Thursday.China’s pledge to bring emissions to a peak by “around 2030” was a key component of a global pact to tackle climate change drawn up in Paris in 2015. Beijing has since promised to show “the highest possible ambition” when reviewing its targets, and a government think tank has urged Beijing to introduce stricter measures for its next 2021-2025 “five-year plan.”But Jiang Kejun, research professor with the Energy Research Institute, a unit of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top planning body, said he had “extreme confidence” in Beijing’s ability to bring emissions to a peak by 2022 on just a “business as usual” trajectory. “China already has very strong policies and for me, just continuing to do that could be enough,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Fortune Sustainability Forum at the Fuxian Lake in the southwestern province of Yunnan.Any change in the official targets of the world’s largest CO2 emitter is likely to have big implications for the global fight against climate change, but Chinese government officials have remained cautious about revising their forecasts.An industry group has forecast China’s coal-fired capacity to peak at 1,300 gigawatts (GW), an increase of nearly 300 GW compared to the end of last year. Eric Luo, chief executive of Chinese renewable energy manufacturer GCL, said it was unlikely another 300 GW would be necessary, adding that a 2022 peak in carbon emissions was plausible.“After 2022, coal emissions should slow down, with the number of new coal plants falling,” he told Reuters. “Even if they have approved another 200GW…it doesn’t make sense to build so much.”More: China CO2 emissions to peak in 2022, ahead of schedule: government researcher China’s CO2 emissions could peak by 2022, government researcher sayslast_img read more

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Australian company planning to build 50MW 24/7 solar project in Queensland

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australian solar thermal developer Vast Solar has unveiled plans to take its technology into the mainstream, unveiling a $600 million proposal to build a “baseload” solar plant in Mt Isa that will combine solar thermal, solar PV, battery storage and fast-acting gas generators.The plan, being supported and advised by Energy Estate, is to build a plant that will provide 50MW of continuous 24/7 power for Mt Isa, making up for the imminent closure of the Mica Creek gas plant and positioning itself for further developments should the Copperstring 2.0 transmission link is built between the mining city and Townsville.Vast Solar has been operating a small , award-winning 1MW pilot plant at Jemalong near Forbes in western NSW for the last two and a half years, and recently passed up an opportunity to build a full scale commercial plant in the region because the solar resource wasn’t quite good enough. (It sold it to Genex Power which is building a solar PV plant instead). In Mt Isa, Vast Solar CEO Craig Wood says, there is a solar resource that is the second best in the world behind the Atacama Desert in Chile, and an isolated grid where consumers have to, quite literally, supply their own gas, give it to the local gas generator to burn and then buy the electricity back at sky-high prices.The North West Queensland Hybrid Power Project will be the biggest hybrid plant in Australia, and will combine 60MW of solar PV and a 52MW battery storage facility with 10 minutes storage – which will provide the bulk of daytime power- and the 50MW solar thermal facility with more than 14 hours of storage, with back up from the reciprocating gas engines if needed.The battery has low level of storage because its major role is to balance out impacts of clouds and the like, and fill in the gap if gas generators need to be fired up. About half the total output will come from solar thermal, around one third from the solar PV and battery, and 15 per cent from the gas engines.The $600 million ticket price may seem sky high for just 50MW of baseload capacity, but Wood says the output will be delivered at a significant discount to the current gas-fired generation, which is probably costing local customers around $150 a megawatt hour – more than twice the average price of the main grid. “$600 million does sound like a lot. It is a lot,” Wood says. “But what happens with the economics of concentrated solar thermal and solar PV are similar. Their costs are all up front. You can get lower capital costs from gas generators, but then you spend $2.1 billion for the cost of gas over the next 30 years.”[Giles Parkinson]More: Vast plans $600m “baseload” solar thermal plant for Mt Isa Australian company planning to build 50MW 24/7 solar project in Queenslandlast_img read more

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Massive 1,200MW wind farm in Queensland, Australia moves a step closer to construction

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Plans to build one of the largest onshore wind farms in the Southern Hemisphere on government-owned forestry land in Queensland’s Wide Bay-Burnett region have gained new momentum, with legislation to fast-track the project passing through state parliament late last week.The massive 1200MW Forest Wind project, a joint venture between global engineering giant Siemens and Queensland renewables outfit Clean Sight, was granted state government approval in February. The project proposes to install up to 226 turbines in state forest used as pine plantations between the towns of Gympie and Maryborough, in a similar approach to that proposed by French renewable energy developer Neoen, which is looking at a 900MW wind project and battery hub in western Victoria.State Development Minister Kate Jones said last Thursday that the Forest Wind Farm Development Bill 2020, tabled in May, had been voted through state parliament, marking a new milestone for the project. The bill is designed to cut red tape for the project to operate on actively managed exotic pine plantation license areas in the Toolara, Tuan and Neerdie State forests.According to the developers, the site was selected to capture the south-easterly wind blowing in from the Pacific Ocean onto the Queensland coast, as well as to mitigate potential community impacts on landscape, ecology and acoustic amenity – current plans put a distance of at least 3km between turbines and residents.Forest Wind would also be well-positioned on the network, the developers say, connecting directly into the southeast Queensland grid and feeding into one of Australia’s largest and fastest-growing electricity demand centres.“The legislation passed today is absolutely vital to ensure this project can proceed to the next stage,” Jones said on Thursday. “Forest Wind could be a game-changer for our state Queensland. It has the potential to generate up to 1,200 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply one in four homes in our state and move us closer to our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030. If it goes ahead, this project will be one of the largest grid-connected wind farms anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere,” she said.[Sophie Vorrath]More: Massive 1200MW Forest Wind project gets “vital” boost from state legislation Massive 1,200MW wind farm in Queensland, Australia moves a step closer to constructionlast_img read more

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Beer Blog: Stuff Your Stockings with These Christmas Beers

first_imgStuff Your Stockings With BeerYou think Christmas is just about giving battery operated vacuum cleaners and underwear? Think again. Christmas is about beer.Okay, it’s about Jesus Christ, but it’s also about beer. This is the time of year that breweries throw everything they have into the pot and whip up some of the boldest, most striking brews of the year. Christmas beers are malty. They’re high alcohol. Sometimes they’re spicy. And they’re usually damned good (if you don’t drink too many of them).Here are five Christmas beers from Southern craft breweries that should go in your stocking this year.Starr Hill – The Gift A helles bock that’s a little bit hoppy from start to finish, but maintains all sort of fun malty sweetness as well. It’s creamy too.starrhill.comSweetwater – Festive Ale A winter warmer that bangs home toffee and chocolate before unleashing a barrage of holiday spices on your tongue. Oh yeah, there’s cinnamon in there. And alcohol too.sweetwaterbrew.com Heavy Seas – Winter StormHopsity hops hops hops. This strong ale is dominated by floral hops notes thanks the dry hopping technique (not to be confused with dry humping).hsbeer.comBlue Mountain – BlitzenYes, that’s a drunk reindeer on the label. Yes, this sweet, Belgian dark ale will also put you on your back if you get too carried away with it (7% abv). Plus, it’s fun to pop beer corks like champagne bottles.bluemountainbrewery.com Catawba Brewing – King Winterbolt This canned beer goes deep into malty sweetness before being pulled back onto the balance beam with Sorachi Ace and Cascade hops.catawbabrewingco.comFollow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.comlast_img read more

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Kentucky’s Pine Mountain and the Cloudsplitter Ultra

first_imgOn a sunny, crisp April day, a dozen outdoor enthusiasts sit around a table in Whitesburg, Kentucky inside the county’s extension office. In front of each member of the Pine Mountain Trail Conference is a proposal for the Cloudsplitter 100 Mile Ultra on October 4, which would traverse the mountain looming just outside the room’s windows.Pine Mountain, a 123-mile-long ridgeline, straddles the border between Kentucky and Virginia. It creates a natural castle wall, which proved to be a challenge for the likes of Daniel Boone and other early explorers looking west for opportunities during the early years of our country. The rugged mountain also harbors some dark secrets with its thick, wooded gaps that served as passageways for moonshiners and outlaws. Remnants of the mountain’s rich history abound today in the stone foundations of century-old cabins to mysterious grave-like mounds.Pine Mountain’s fortress-like rock face was once considered to be an impediment to early exploration. Today, its challenging terrain is becoming an asset to local communities.The proposed new ultra race is spearheaded by Susan Howell, a running enthusiast from Kentucky. “When I came out and saw Pine Mountain, I said to myself, we’ve got to come out and do something here because it’s just so spectacular,” said Howell.The 100-miler (which will also include a 100K, 50K and 25K option) is the first ever of its kind for Kentucky, and already the race is making headlines. The Cloudsplitter is a USA Track & Field sanctioned event and will be the Mountain Ultra Distance and Trail Championship event for Kentucky.The Cloudsplitter is also a race so intense Howell has enlisted the help of the Kentucky National Guard to be a support unit for runners. The ultra runners will have 40 hours to complete the course, which will begin and end in Elkhorn City, Kentucky. Runners will climb 2,000 feet in elevation in the first six miles and almost 26,000 feet total.“These trails bring an international crowd to town,” said James Stapleton, a local biologist and member of the Pine Mountain Trail Conference.In early 2013, Susan Howell started looking for a location in Kentucky to hold a trail race. She presented her idea to the Pine Mountain Trail Conference, the governing body which manages the 110-mile trail system that hugs the ridge of its namesake range. The idea was met with excitement but with questions about supporting a race of this magnitude in a relatively impoverished region. Most vehicles in the area sport bumper stickers with phrases such as “If you don’t like coal, don’t use electricity” and “Friends of Coal,” so it’s easy to see where local alliances lie. Mining continues to drive local economies, even though the volume of coal being extracted and blasted out of the surrounding mountains has diminished greatly from its heyday in the 1950s. So how do these communities shift a mindset from mountaintop removal to Leave No Trace?“People have to eat, and there are very few working industries,” said Shad Baker, Director of the Pine Mountain Trail Conference. “It’d be like going to Iowa and being against corn.”Stapleton says changing people’s opinions of events like the Cloudsplitter 100 and others means showing positive impacts these types of economic drivers can have on communities such as Whitesburg and Elkhorn City.“Natural resources have always been looked at as something you take out of the ground and we’ve been very good at that; for a hundred years that’s been the viable part of our economy,” says Stapleton. “Those resources are dwindling and people are looking in other directions. This race can be a more sustainable use of natural resources. For the first time, folks won’t be coming and taking away resources from Appalachia, cutting down the trees, mining the coal, and putting it into a train, sending it to the northern cities. Pine Mountain is a natural resource that can be perpetuated for eternity.”Luckily the mining industry has largely left Pine Mountain untouched because of a lack of coal. While there may be a lack of carbon inside the mountain, there is no lack of flora and fauna diversity on the ridge. The mountain is covered with spectacular natural features such as waterfalls, house-sized limestone boulders, caves and hidden mountain streams and ponds. Dense forests and thick rhododendron tunnels can darken the trail to almost headlamp conditions. The remoteness of the trail adds an extra element of adventure to anyone who challenges the mountain; only six roads cross the entire 110-mile footpath.“Adventure tourism can be used to diversify the economy,” Baker explains. “The Cloudsplitter is something that will be a big time event on the trail. It’s good for the mountain and good for the region.”Accompanying the race will be craft fairs and a race festival featuring local artists, musicians, and vendors. Along with the festival atmosphere, runner-infused money into local hotels, restaurants and outfitters may lead to a change in mindset for community leaders.“We don’t have to construct the mountain,” Howell said. “The trail is there. We just have to bring the people to it.”Pine Mountain is already home to another extreme sports event. The Lord of the Fork Whitewater Race is held on the Russell Fork River, which sits at the base of the 3,500-foot mountain, and boasts class V rapids for competitors to navigate.The Pine Mountain Trail Conference is hopeful that events such as Lord of the Fork and Cloudsplitter will put the range on the map as the adventure tourism destination in Kentucky.“I want people to come away with a deeper appreciation for this region,” says Howell. “This will be an opportunity to introduce ourselves to the world in a different light.”Illegal off-road vehicle use has been a hot topic among race organizers. ATV riders have left their mark on Pine Mountain in the form of giant, man-sized ruts that cause erosion and muddy trail conditions. ATV enthusiasts also contribute heavily to garbage along the trail that greatly detracts from the serenity and natural feeling.“It’s a political thing,” said Stapleton. “Many have turned a blind eye to the illegal ATV use. We’re hoping this race will shine a light on the problem that can no longer be ignored.”Stapleton says the Pine Mountain Trail Conference isn’t against ATV enthusiasts, but he believes there are just better places to ride than the Pine Mountain Trail. Locations like reclaimed mine lands are perfect ATV courses, where roads, once used by heavy machinery, braid the old mines and are hardened, making great riding trails. The soft mountain soil of Pine Mountain is not meant for heavy all-terrain vehicles.In the end, Howell, Stapleton and others aren’t content with the Cloudsplitter 100 being just another trail race. They are working to turn this mountain into an engine that drives the region.“That’s the thing that sets the Cloudsplitter race apart,” says Stapleton. “Susan [Howell] has been planning this thing for years. She’s visited the small communities and she’s getting to know the people. She’s taking the time to learn the history and incorporate all of that into the race.”Find out more and register at cloudsplitter100.com.–Stuart Pecklast_img read more

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White Water Healing: Paddling with Purpose

first_imgMeanwhile, elite paddler Shawn “Animal” Malone organized a team of volunteer ambassadors consisting of the Southeast’s premier whitewater boaters, including Matthew Thomas, Eli Helbert, Jennifer Taylor, and Jerrod Jones. All of them volunteer their time, money, and talents to provide whitewater excitement to a group of people who might never get that exposure without them. “All guides come away enriched,” said Malone. Together, they created Whitewater Healing, which, in its first year of existence won Canoe & Kayak Magazine’s 2016 “Paddle With Purpose” Award.  “Often people don’t know how to engage a child with autism, especially one who doesn’t talk,” says Will’s father, Bill. “But with Shawn, the communication and understanding just seemed to come naturally and from his heart. Will reads people very well and he knows Shawn is someone he can trust and be himself with.”  “Personally, Whitewater Healing opened my eyes to challenges that some families face.” Put a bunch of kids with autism and their families in rubber rafts and shoot them through the Nantahala Gorge with guides who know nothing about autism. That’s the basic idea put forth by Canadian whitewater canoe legend and global swiftwater rescue guru Jim Coffey to a couple of self-described dirtbag boaters from Chattanooga.  14-year-old twins Daniel and Darren Pernell, along with their 16-year-old sister Olivia, were first timers at Whitewater Healing WNC 2018 and vow to return next year.   Coffey teamed up with Endless River Adventures, based on the Nantahala River in Western North Carolina, which quickly committed to provide necessary boats, gear, and logistic support.  My own son Tuck has had similar experiences with Whitewater Healing. In 2016, he and other paddlers were offered the opportunity to leap off a large boulder into the frigid Nantahala River. Already Tuck was cold, wet, hungry, tired after a long day on the river, and now he was afraid, too. For many people with autism, moving forward under these conditions is impossible. I knew how badly he wanted to join the others in this adventure, but it had to be his decision, not mine. center_img Whitewater Healing helps kids with autism brave new waters “I’ll be walking with this stoke for a long time,” added elite paddler and Whitewater Healing volunteer Nathan Cline after this year’s event. “We decided that we could use our talents and our connections in the whitewater world to present the magic of whitewater to people who are challenged with autism,” said Coffey. 12-year-old Will Brittain, of York, S.C., has developed a very special relationship with paddler Shawn Malone over four years of paddling together on the Nantahala.  “It was a super chill event, very similar to Surfer’s Healing,”  said Marty Pernell, their father. “The boys’ disabilities can be very isolating for the entire family. An event like this, for the entire family is priceless.” He did it. Afterwards, I asked him why. Tuck said, “Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you have to do it afraid.”last_img read more

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Outdoor Updates: Alaska’s sea ice has completely melted away from its shores

first_imgLike much of the arctic, Alaska has had an unbelievably hot summer. In July, the state experienced a historic heatwave, with temperatures hitting the 90’s in some parts of Alaska. Temperatures have remained above average and the waters of the interior Arctic Ocean have continued to warm. And now the latest news out of Alaska: the ice within 150 miles of land has melted. “Alaska waters are ice-free,” said Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy. But the tree-planting campaign doesn’t stop there. The country’s Prime Minister tweeted that Ethiopia plans to plant 4 billion trees during the rainy season, which takes place between May and October. Less than 4 percent of Ethiopia’s land is currently covered in trees. A recent study suggests that restoring the world’s downed forests has the potential to remove two-thirds of climate change causing carbon in the atmosphere.  Ethiopia plants more than 353 million trees in one day to combat climate change Alaska’s sea ice has completely melted away from its shores Ethiopia set an unofficial world record last week when over 353 million trees were planted throughout the country in 12 hours. The reforestation campaign, lead by the country’s Prime Minister, planted a total of 353,633,600 tree seedlings, smashing the original goal of 200 million trees. This isn’t the first time Arctic sea ice has melted from Alaska’s coast. In 2017, sea ice disappeared completely during the melt season. But this year marks the earliest year on record that the sea ice has vanished. Jeremy Mathis, an Arctic researcher and board director at the National Academies of Sciences told Mashable, “I’m running out of adjectives to describe the scope of change we’re seeing.”  He hasn’t aged a bit, but despite his youthful appearance, Smokey Bear turns 75-years-old today. The furry icon of the country’s longest public service campaign was born on August 9, 1944. He was the brainchild of the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council during a time when federal officials worried the country’s forests could become targets during WWII. Today, Smokey still has work to do. A recent report showed that people caused 84 percent of the forest fires started between 1992 and 2012. Happy birthday, Smokey Bear To celebrate the bear’s birthday, Smokey requests that the public “take a video singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, your pal Smokey Bear and use the hashtag #SingForSmokey.”last_img read more

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Back to the Beginning

first_imgEasley: I left publishing and got pulled into the internet vortex in the mid-90s (dotcom 1.0). I founded several companies in NYC that developed video games and apps and more recently have shifted to developing products that marry hardware with software, including specialized cameras and smart home products. On the recreational side I am an avid snowboarder, surfer, and biker. My biggest commitment these days is to gravel riding, which is world class where I live in the northeast. I previously climbed a good amount all over the U.S. but transitioned out of that 20 years ago when I became a surfing addict.  Each of us seeks out the mountains and the waters of the Blue Ridge for a different reason. Whether we’re searching for solitude or community, a challenge or peace of mind, the outdoors offers a place to individually and collectively connect with something larger than ourselves.  Greg Easley A Q&A with the Founders of Blue Ridge Outdoors BRO: What have you all been up to since founding Blue Ridge Outdoors? Blackburn: My career path has been pretty crooked, winding through several different fields, including the restaurant business and higher ed fundraising. I recently found my way to the Nature Conservancy at the Virginia Chapter, based in Charlottesville, and I couldn’t be happier to advance the great work of this organization, helping to protect the Virginia landscapes I love so much.  Blackburn: At that time there just wasn’t much good information out there. At least, it wasn’t easy to find for the generalist. There were some fairly stale guidebooks around, and insiders within certain sports shared information—climbers shared beta with other climbers, fly fishers shared good spots with others inside their cliques. We saw a need for a multisport guide. As editor, once we launched it as an ad-supported free magazine, I tried to make it somewhat educational. I was a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) instructor at the time and made sure to advance Leave No Trace principles whenever I could. For 25 years, it has been Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s mission to provide inspiring stories from the outdoors for free. What started out as a guide to locally exploring the area surrounding Charlottesville, Va., grew to cover the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. For our anniversary issue, we talked with BRO founders John Blackburn and Greg Easley about the early days of the magazine and the evolution of outdoor recreation over the last quarter century.  BRO: Blue Ridge Outdoors is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Is that something you pictured happening when you first started the publication? Blackburn: Fly fishing the Jackson River and Buffalo Creek, paddling the James and Maury Rivers, hiking The Priest. My current obsession is the Clinch River in southwest Virginia, which has a mind-blowing biodiversity of rare fish and mussels. My favorite memories are probably cooking and trading stories around a campfire with friends after a long day of fly fishing and the many times I would get my kids to play hooky from school. We’d go out to Snowshoe for a day of skiing, and we’d have the place to ourselves.  Easley: I’m blown away that the publication is still going! Not that this is shocking given the setting and need for it, but I moved north in 1995 and hadn’t spent much time back in the area. Easley: I was very surprised that the area, which is very rich in outdoor recreational options, had almost no information that we could find on what you could do back then. This was just before the internet emerged as a tool everyone used, and there were no publications beyond some hiking guides. There was nothing covering mountain bike trails, swimming holes, bouldering, etc. So, we wanted to fill that void. Plus, we needed something to do that summer!  I also used to rail against freeze-dried food—which people seemed to think was okay, even though it was/is gross and expensive—so I made creative backcountry cooking a part of those early issues, including a Name-O-Matic thing (ripped off from Spy magazine, I think) to come up with funny names for dishes. center_img BRO: Blue Ridge Outdoors started as a collaboration between you two in 1995. Can you talk about those early days, how you two were connected, and how you went about sharing your idea? Easley: I have fond memories climbing at Seneca Rocks and also swimming at various watering holes and quarries around C’ville, including some that were off the grid, so to speak. BRO: In the editor’s note in the premier issue, you described Blue Ridge Outdoors as a “nudge” for people to get outside in the Charlottesville, Va., area. Can you talk about the original inspiration for starting the publication and what you saw as its role in the community?  Blackburn: I still can’t get over how funny it is that I was so wowed by a website that offered up 15 links! And those long, clunky URLs. It’s also funny that it didn’t occur to us for long time that the magazine itself could be online. Easley: To me it’s clear that the internet has helped ignite interest in outdoor activities across the spectrum. More information translates into more accessibility. And in general, this is a great thing, as it leads to more people caring about the environment and about enjoying and preserving the natural resources that are around us.  BRO: What’s your go-to outdoor recreation spot and activity in the Blue Ridge, and do you have any favorite memories from recreating in the region? Easley:We were grad-school roommates in an epic A-frame house in the woods in Ivy, but we also knew each other as undergrads. I had written some articles for Hawes Spencer, an old friend from Richmond who was the founder and publisher of C-VILLE Weekly. So, we went to him with a pitch—we would write the guide, and he would publish it. I think we may have grossly undercharged him, as he instantly said yes.  Blackburn: 25 years ago, I couldn’t imagine any of this. I’m just happy that it’s going strong and better than ever.  Blackburn:Maybe at one point we thought we’d self-publish a stand-alone guidebook and sell it through outdoors shops and bookstores, but that looked like too much work. BRO: In the first issue, you all discussed “surfing the internet” as a new technology that could help connect people with outdoor resources. With the internet now a major part of our everyday life, in what other ways have you seen the outdoor industry change or evolve over the last 25 years?last_img read more

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Dominicans Fascinated by Santo Domingo’s Subway

first_imgBy Dialogo March 10, 2009 Santo Domingo, Mar 10 (EFE) – The subway in Santo Domingo, which was inaugurated about a ‎month ago, fascinates the Dominicans. Entire families travel to distant locations just for a fun ride ‎and a picture or a video to document having set foot in one of its stations.‎ A total of 1,895,000 people used the subway service during its first month of operation, according ‎to data from the President of the country, Leonel Fernández, who pointed out the users’ ‎‎“exemplary” behavior on this transportation system.‎ ‎“Gentlemen give up their seats to ladies and the disabled. Rules are followed and so are seat ‎assignments,” Fernández said in a recent speech.‎ In Santo Domingo subways, he added, sanitation is well kept and users understand that they are ‎not allowed to eat chicharrones, the typical dish of Villa Mella, to the north of Santo Domingo, ‎which the subway line passes after traveling 14.5 kilometers.‎ Therefore, despite the controversy that has surrounded the construction of the subway from start ‎to finish, the inhabitants of the country’s capital see in this railroad a solution to lengthy commutes ‎in a country with a deficient public transportation system.‎ ‎“I believe this is the beginning of the creation of a good transportation system in our Dominican ‎Republic,” Manuel Gil, a local resident of Yaguate in San Cristóbal (west), said to Efe.‎ When he commutes to the capital city, Gil takes his own vehicle, parks it, and runs his errands ‎and visits on the underground, avoiding the long city traffic and the resultant stress, he stated.‎ The subway is a great service, it has no inconveniences, and in a matter of minutes it goes from ‎one place to another,” added Gil, who recounted having similar experiences in Italy, Spain, Brazil, ‎and Venezuela.‎ The subway in Santo Domingo, considered the largest infrastructure built in the Dominican ‎Republic, was officially inaugurated on January 29 after a few tests in December, when it ‎transported over 2 million people free of charge.‎ The 14.5 kilometer long train route cost $672 million dollars, according to official numbers.‎ It goes from north to south along Máximo Gómez Avenue, in the heart of the Dominican capital, ‎all the way to the Villa Mella community, in the city of Santo Domingo North, and is estimated to ‎be able to carry 175 thousand people per day.‎ The subway has 16 stations connected by 19 trains and 57 cars which were made in Spain, and ‎its construction was supervised by the Metro de Madrid and international companies like the ‎German Siemens.‎ The underground railway is also a tourist spot and many foreigners who visit the country now ‎want to experience it.‎ Just like Manuel, a Colombian visiting Santo Domingo, who did not want to leave without first ‎‎“experiencing it.”‎ ‎“The subway is very beautiful, very fast, and it is not crowded. Its route passes by a very ‎important part of the country,” said Manuel in statements to Efe, in which he emphasized ‎information from subway employees about the routes and stations. ‎ On weekends entire families come from different places to see the subway, and during the ‎weekdays schools go on field trips to familiarize their students with the underground.‎ The construction was accomplished despite strong opposition from the political sector and ‎popular organizations, complaining that the government should focus on other priorities, like ‎health and education.‎ Despite this opposition, last month the President instructed the Oficina de Reordenamiente del ‎Transporte to speed up the construction of the second route of the Santo Domingo subway, ‎which will connect the city of San Luis (east) to Los Alcarrizos (west).‎ Fernández expects to inaugurate the second route of the subway in February 2012. ‎last_img read more

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Iran’s Hand In Latin America Not As US Feared

first_imgBy Dialogo July 15, 2009 The United States may have overestimated Iran’s influence in Latin America, described for months as worrisome by Obama administration officials, lawmakers and experts, the State Department said. The agency’s spokesman Ian Kelly had to refute his own boss, Hillary Clinton, after The Washington Post revealed Iran was not building a major beachhead in Nicaragua, despite the US diplomatic chief’s assertions otherwise. “The Iranians are building a huge embassy in Managua,” Secretary of State Clinton said in May. “And you can only imagine what that’s for,” she added, calling the effort “quite disturbing.” But on Monday, Kelly recognized that “right now, there is no major Iranian presence in Nicaragua.” Not only does the worksite not exist, but Iran’s promised investment in the impoverished Central American nation, declared during heavily publicized meetings between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega, also never materialized. One US diplomat in Managua went so far as to tell the Post that “there is no huge Iranian Embassy being built, as far as we can tell.” Kelly said he was unaware of the source behind Clinton’s statements. But another State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said her assertions came from an unidentified “foreign counterpart.” Iran’s influence in America’s backyard has long been cited as a concern in Washington, especially regarding links between Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a firebrand leftist leader who has often been in the crosshairs of the United States. Some think-tanks in Washington have made allegations about Iran’s planned “mega-embassy” in Managua. In March 2008, Michael Rubin of the conservative American Enterprise Institute pointed to “Iran’s global ambition,” citing interests in Latin America and Africa. “Iran’s embassy in Managua is now the largest diplomatic mission in the city,” he wrote in an essay. Citing Western counterterrorism officials, the Los Angeles Times in August spoke of Tehran-financed training camps for the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in January denounced Iran’s “subversive activity” in Latin America. Citing a secret Israeli government report, Tel Aviv-based Haaretz said in May that Venezuela and Bolivia, led by President Evo Morales — another US foe — was providing uranium to Iran for its controversial nuclear program. “It’s very concerning,” Republican Representative Connie Mack of Florida told reporters last month. Iran’s involvement in Latin America, he said, had been a major topic of a spring meeting between Clinton and other lawmakers. US officials said privately they were concerned that the allegations could lack little real world evidence. But Eliot Engel, a congressman of the majority Democratic Party who chairs a subcommittee dealing with Latin American affairs in the House of Representatives, warned the threat was real. He told AFP he was “relieved” that Iran may not be building a huge embassy compound in Managua. However, he added: “I remain deeply concerned about the lax screening of Iranian travelers to Nicaragua, the flights from Tehran to Caracas for which the passenger and cargo manifests are secret and the many reports of Hezbollah fundraising in South America.”last_img read more

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Haiti Urgently Needs Hurricane Alert System: Scientists

first_imgBy Dialogo March 10, 2010 Haitians desperately need a new hurricane alert system because communications were largely destroyed by January’s devastating earthquake, experts warned Monday. Scientists from 30 countries focused on how to improve meteorological services in Haiti to prevent further disasters as they began three days of meetings in Bermuda. “One of the areas they will be looking at will be better communications and dissemination possibilities,” Robert Masters of the World Meteorological Organization told AFP by telephone as the hurricane committee convened. Masters said about 80 percent of Haitians would normally be informed of any imminent hurricane or storm threat by turning on their televisions or tuning in on their radios. “But now with the earthquake this was reduced to 20 percent because people don’t have electricity, don’t have television and radios,” he said. “So it’s important to find new ways to disseminate information to be sure people are warned in the face of severe weather.” The scientists are expected to recommend, when the meeting wraps up on Wednesday, that governments providing aid to Haiti seek to create a storm alert system to ensure new disaster is averted. Haiti, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic is often hit by storms during the June to November hurricane season. The Western hemisphere’s poorest nation, Haiti is also poorly equipped to deal with hurricanes because massive deforestation has left it with few moisture-absorbing tropical forests. International aid groups have for weeks warned about the onset of the Caribbean’s rainy season, which begins in earnest late April, followed by the potentially disastrous hurricane season. Violent storms could turn fields where homeless Haitians are camping out into unsanitary pools of overflowing sewage and trigger mudslides and flooding that would threaten precarious post-quake settlements made of tents and flimsy plastic. In the 2008 hurricane season, Haiti was pounded by four storms that left more than 800,000 people homeless and devastated its agriculture. Last year, Haiti, the Caribbean, and the US mainland were spared any major storms during a relatively calm hurricane season. But the devastating earthquake that struck the country January 12 flattened most of the capital Port-au-Prince, killing more than 220,000 people and destroying half the nation’s economy, according to government estimates. Another 1.3 million people have been left homeless since the quake.last_img read more

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Conference in El Salvador Discusses Narco-Terrorism and Violence in Mesoamerica

first_imgBy Dialogo July 30, 2010 I think some of the participant’s ideas are excellent, but I think an effort should be made to control all manner of communication in correctional facilities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as illicit orders are being given from these correctional facilities. (We have to invest in technology and not give the gangs a break) “More than 90 percent of the crimes committed in El Salvador are the work of gang members. Today, in order to be a member of one of these criminal groups, it’s necessary to commit at least one homicide, and in some cases, up to six.” These were a few of the statements made by the country’s defense minister, Gen. David Munguía Payés, during his speech to open the Sixth Sub-Regional Conference for Mesoamerica, held between 20 and 23 July in San Salvador and organized by the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS). The conference addressed topics related to current challenges in the Mesoamerican region (Central America, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico), primarily violence and drug trafficking, and was divided into plenary and simultaneous sessions, with the presentation of academic papers on subjects such as the analysis of the underlying causes and effects of the insecurity, criminality, and violence in the region, as well as their impact on regional societies. “The fundamental idea was to design three days of intensive academic work so that the participants from North America, Central America, and South America, actors and experts on security and defense issues in Mesoamerica, could interact on the basis of the thematic axes, which were selected in accordance with current trends in the region,” said Richard Downie, CHDS director. Among the suggestions made during the conference for confronting the region’s problems, such as transnational security, terrorism, drug trafficking, and arms smuggling, two of those that had the most impact on participants were those made by Camilo Alfonso Ospina Bernal, former legal advisor to the office of the president and former minister of national defense of Colombia. During his address, Ospina Bernal suggested that “when a highly influential criminal — especially one with connections to gangs or organized crime — is arrested, he should be transfered to a jail in another country. This would cut off his ties in his homeland, lower his morale, and impede him from communicating with and passing instructions to his subordinates, and it would be the perfect form of transregional and transnational interaction.” In relation to the fight against drug trafficking, Ospina Bernal also presented a proposal that, in his view, would be very effective. “When someone is arrested and has assets that far surpass his financial possibilities, there needs to be an investigation to see where the money to acquire those assets came from. If he can’t prove the source, these assets should become state property. This would break with what the drug traffickers like best: ostentatiously spending their illicit money.” The Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies annually organizes thematic sub-regional conferences in order to improve the networks of contact and exchange between CHDS graduates and regional leaders. The CHDS was created during the Hemispheric Conference on Defense Education for Civilians in September 1997. The next sub-regional conference will be held in South America in 2011, according to CHDS administrators.last_img read more

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Diálogo Interview With Jamaica Chief Of Defense Staff: Major General Antony Anderson

first_img Major General Antony Anderson: DIÁLOGO: I made that comment in the context of the reality that for a small state it’s not going to be possible to have your armed forces not get involved, when the problem is exceeding the capacity of the police for any number of reasons. Recognizing that, you have to get past the point of reluctance and get to the point that this is reality and how do we best do that mission. It’s one of the missions we have and it was in that context that I was saying that. Over the years, we’ve developed quite a good synergy with our police force and I think it’s as good as it’s been at the moment, because we do a lot of joint work, but behind the scenes we do a lot supportive work as well. Even if one country wins this fight by normalizing their internal situation, wouldn’t it still make you vulnerable? The armed forces went through a defense review in 2006 that outlines clearly what roles it would be required to take on. These roles are from our national security strategy, which is an all of government document. We pull the capabilities we require, and then of course, we look at the capabilities we have and the gaps we have and determine how to fill those. When you actually do an analysis, there are a number of capabilities that you require that may involve more structural changes, more doctrinal changes, and then of course there are those things that are associated with actual expenditure and budget support, like equipment and infrastructure. So as you look at the range that gives you a capability, the most important thing is to decide what you are going to be doing and what you need to do it. DIÁLOGO: DIÁLOGO: DIÁLOGO: Those are a lot of priorities… Do you feel the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) will contribute to this regional cooperation? Major General Antony Anderson: DIÁLOGO: Major General Antony Anderson: Major General Antony Anderson: Major General Antony Anderson: We are doing it in a number of ways: through direct support with soldiers and joint patrolling and getting involved in any type of police actions there are in terms if the need to conduct check points, but that is only on the front end of it. On the back end of it, we provide our planning skills and bring them to bear on situations that they may face or we face jointly, so we conduct joint training. We offer training and course development for and with the police, so on that side of things, on the side where you develop the human capital to take on new challenges we support the police in that way as well as with intelligence. What is the benefit of working with other countries in the region and the United States? The most important topic discussed during the Caribbean Nations Security Conference, hosted by the United States Southern Command and Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain, from February 23-24, was countering illicit trafficking, a trans-national challenge which requires trans-national cooperation and partnerships. Diálogo spoke more in depth about this and other subjects with the Chief of Defense of Jamaica, Major General Antony Anderson, one of the presenters at the event. You stated at the conference: “We are past the point where we think the military has no business in law enforcement. This is the military’s business.” Please elaborate on that statement: How are you working with the police to counter illicit trafficking and the spread of transnational criminal organizations? What are the armed forces doing to deal with these concerns? Major General Antony Anderson: By Dialogo March 14, 2011 The Jamaica Defence Force has improved in its capabilities over the years as a small but very professional military in the region. The military serves as a model somewhat to others in the caribbean to emulate in its roles. Continue to make jamaica and the region proud! I hope someday to be apart of this truly remarkable force. excellent Well other than the typo in the sentence (“These roles are from our national security strategy, which is an all of government document.”) where the word “AN” should be ON…., it was a very good advisory on current issues and future expectations… well said by Major General Antony Anderson Major General Antony Anderson:center_img What are the main security concerns for Jamaica at present? Major General Antony Anderson: How do you see Jamaica’s future? What we have been contributing to the region for a very long time. We offer training to the region in a number of ways, from junior staff training for mid level officers, to intelligence training, aviation training, and also support in a number of ways to the other countries in the region. We’ve done this for a while and we’ll continue to do this for a while. And also, we perhaps have a bit more experience at doing joint operations with police than most people. A lot of the countries have been coming to this in the past 3-5 years; but we’ve been doing this for 35 years. It’s important that we share our experience so that they don’t have to go the long route, they don’t have the time for that. They have to be effective now and their situation is evolving quickly. That is demanding more attention from the military from what was essentially and traditionally a law enforcement matter. I would like to believe we have turned the corner. It was not just a matter of police confidence, it was a matter of public confidence, of the society really wanting and recognizing that change is required. Your law enforcement and security forces cannot really deal with that matter without the support of society and I think there are voices in society that are now pushing for it to continue. I think the police have a renewed energy. Their leadership is first class as far as I’m concerned and they’re doing all the right things. It will take a little while for it to catch on throughout the entire force, but you can see a new energy and how things are being tackled, and if that can be maintained, then I think we can turn the corner on it. Of course, on the other side of things, there’s a part of the social environment that is not within our ambient, such as the accessibility to jobs and those other entirely social issues that have to be addressed as well in order to deal with the problem. There are a couple of things for people involved in combating transnational crimes that require you to have a robust structure and legislation to prevent things like corruption or to set up mechanisms that can allow people to say what they know and be protected and secure. Will all your problems go away? Certainly not, because they evolve and things change. As a region, there are large disparities and capacities to deal with those problems, but in Jamaica, we’ve always held our hand out. Even when our own problems are overwhelming, we’ve always extended a hand to assist in the Caribbean. Haiti was an example that we were there within 48 hours of the earthquake occurring. Not only to deal with search and rescue issues, but also to send in orthopedic surgeons. For a small country like ours, we managed to affect fifty thousand families and move a million pounds of supplies to support them, so we have a history of supporting the region. DIÁLOGO: What can be done to avoid the emergence of new gang leaders? DIÁLOGO: It must contribute because of the way it is working; it’s a multilateral security initiative. In terms of U.S. engagement, doing it multilaterally is relatively recent. Traditionally we have a number of bi-lats with countries or specific groups, but CBSI seeks to broaden that to a wider group. Like anything in its early stages, it will go through teething problems, but there is significant multilateral activity within CARICOM already. There are proper structures that exist for security and arrangements, treaties, and legislation to support those treaties and structures, means of intelligence sharing mechanisms for advance passenger and cargo systems, standing committees of heads of security agencies. So there’s structure there. I think that CBSI, having now decided that the Secretariat will reside with the CARICOM agency, can obtain synergy from that which can add additional value to existing structures, as opposed to running parallel structures, so I think it will assist our process along. DIÁLOGO: What does Jamaica bring to the table? These threats are called transnational in nature and therefore the response needs to be a transnational one to fully deal with the situation. A lot of the successes in dealing with transnational and organized crime are transnational investigations and transnational organized approaches. If you trace those successes, you will see those partnerships that led to the success. What I think we need to do is establish this as a normal way of operating, where you can share information and support each other’s operations, because I don’t think there is any one of the countries that we speak of that wishes to have an organized crime problem. It’s really a matter of strengthening those structures between nations so that the extent of the organized transnational crime problem is visible. DIÁLOGO: DIÁLOGO: Major General Antony Anderson: Major General Antony Anderson: I think that it is well within our capacity as a country to win the fight against illicit trafficking. If we can just galvanize the will from all of the pieces that are required to win the fight and get it done. The capacity is there whether the intent can be wielded to reach that end. I think it can be, but like anything else, circumstances are what drive you to do things. We’ll see how it evolves. At the moment it’s trending in the right direction. We are going to continue to push in that direction. It’s recognized what is needed to be done from the socio-economic perspective and that area is receiving attention. It depends on how well we coordinate all that attention and how we maintain the will both socially as a country and politically through leadership. DIÁLOGO: We have to continue our process of crime reduction. We also have to ensure we secure our maritime space and we have to ensure we have an appropriate range of capabilities to respond to a wide range of contingencies. Anything from the sort of security concerns that arise from a natural disaster to those concerns that rise out of a pandemic, to the concerns of crime and public safety. Unfortunately you don’t choose what happens to you, you can only choose how prepared you are to deal with it. Major General Antony Anderson:last_img read more

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France and North Korea Win the First Gold Medals in Marathon

first_imgBy Dialogo July 18, 2011 The 5th Military World Games took advantage of Marathon in Rio de Janeiro for their own competition within the event, which has become a tradition in the city. And this was exactly the setting responsible for the first medals of the fifth edition of the Games. On Sunday morning, North Korea and France won the first two gold medals from the event. North Korea’s Kim Kum Ok won the women’s marathon, finishing in 2 hours and 35 minutes, while France’s Patrick Ngoie grabbed the gold after running more than 40 kilometers in 2 hours and 18 minutes. Also on the women’s medal podium was silver medalist Wei Yanan China, and bronze medalist for Johames Helario of Namibia. For the men, Frenchman Rachid Ghamnoumi won the silver and Paul Kogsei of Kenya took the bronze.last_img read more

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Peru Takes Part in 2019 Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo April 10, 2019 Peruvian Navy Submarine Force officers took part in the 18th annual Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference at the invitation of the Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The event was held February 12-15 in San Diego, California. The Peruvian Navy designated as its representatives Captain César Augusto Mauricio Jaramillo, commander of the Submarine Squadron; and Lieutenant Commander Wilfredo Berto Muñoz, second commander of the Rescue Group. “We strengthened collaboration in combined operations to rescue submarine crews sunk in the Pacific,” Capt. Mauricio told Diálogo. “We also gained knowledge about the latest technological advances for emergencies.” In 2001, the U.S. force established the conference that each year gathers navies that operate submarines, such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Peru, and the United Kingdom, to exchange survival and interoperability knowledge of rescue resources. The objective is to promote mutual understanding and open international cooperation channels. “These forums involve us in technological advances, standardizing procedures, and the update of international cooperation channels,” Lt. Cdr. Berto told Diálogo. “Although the conference was only for Asia-Pacific, we know that there is worldwide interest and awareness of what might happen to any unit, either submarine or surface, in a catastrophe.” The Peruvian Submarine Force is the oldest in South America. It has six class 209 units, and started a modernization process in 2017. Cutting-edge technology The U.S. Navy Undersea Rescue Command (URC) presented its Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM). The mini submarine can submerge at a depth of 600 meters to connect to a submarine at the bottom of the ocean at up to a 45-degree angle in both pitch and roll. PRM can rescue up to 16 people at a time. “Weather and bathymetry [underwater depth] influence sea search-and-rescue operations. It’s essential to know URC’s rescue module, as well as the procedure to move the equipment in case of emergency,” Capt. Mauricio said. “The U.S. Navy’s high-tech equipment is compatible with submarines and rescue systems of other navies worldwide.” Participating countries agreed to look into ways to support PRM deployment in their jurisdictions. The Peruvian Navy analyzes resources and capabilities in country to mobilize the mini submarine by air, sea, or land to save submarine crews in danger. “It’s important to be prepared all over with special infrastructure and tools to receive help as soon as possible,” Lt. Cdr. Berto added. The U.S. Navy also presented the Submarine Rescue Chamber designed during World War II. It can rescue up to six people at a time and reach a submarine at a depth of 250 meters. The Navy also displayed its remotely operated vehicles, undersea exploring robots that send real-time information on damaged vehicles. “It was useful to learn about URC’s assets, exchange information, and reinforce collaboration with several international organizations, such as the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office,” said Capt. Mauricio. “Opening communication channels with the U.S. Undersea Rescue Command is crucial for the Peruvian Navy.” Hope decreases The Argentine Navy delegation shared a technical presentation concerning its submarine ARA San Juan, which disappeared November 2017 in the Atlantic Ocean with 44 people aboard. In late 2018, a U.S. company found the remains of the ARA San Juan 907 meters deep in the Argentine Patagonia, but was unable to bring it up. Something similar happened in Peru in 1988, when the submarine BAP Pacocha sank following an accident with a Japanese vessel. Eight Peruvian Navy personnel died. A team of 150 members, including 70 divers from the Peruvian Navy Rescue Service, worked for more than a year to bring the submarine afloat. The submarine prow emerged in July 1989, the Navy indicated on its website. “Submarines have testing, operational, and collapse depths. When one of the vessels falls below its collapse depth, hope decreases,” said Capt. Mauricio. “Help can arrive immediately, but sometimes the consequences can be dire, as was the case in the ARA San Juan’s tragedy.” Interoperability and organization Interoperability among the countries that take part in a search-and-rescue mission captured the attention of everyone at the conference. During an emergency, eight navies worldwide join efforts in different areas: the United Kingdom leads the technical area, Canada conducts medical efforts, and the United States leads the operational part. Sweden, Norway, Japan, Australia, France, and the United States work aerial and mobility areas. The Peruvian Navy is preparing for those situations. The Submarine Force trains with the support of the Submarine Learning Center on breakdown control, stations to trim submarines to go to the surface, and surface tactics maneuvers. “We’ve been sending submarine units to the United States to train for more than 15 years. Each unit has a crew of 45 members,” said Capt. Mauricio. “In November 2019, the Royal Australian Navy will conduct a multinational rescue exercise, and it would be beneficial for us if we could participate,” he concluded.last_img read more

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Cuba’s Torture Methods in Venezuela Take a Brutal Toll

first_imgBy ShareAmerica / Edited by Diálogo staff February 26, 2020 Cuba’s influence has caused a sharp increase in brutal torture methods used on prisoners in Venezuela, according to a recent report by the CASLA Institute, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that promotes human rights and democracy in Latin America.In 2019, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States, decried Cuba’s training of Venezuelan police in torture tactics. Cuba deployed tens of thousands of personnel to Venezuela to give lessons in torture to special police forces and intelligence agencies.Asphyxiation, electric shock, waterboarding, sexual violence, and intoxication with unknown psychotropic substances are some of the torture methods that have intensified in 2018-2019, the CASLA Institute report indicates. According to the NGO, new techniques were also introduced, such as the piercing of the prisoner’s fingernails and toenails to run wires, or inserting electrically charged needles in the genitals to increase pain during shocks.Cubans intelligence agents and officers belonging to the Cuban Liaison and Cooperation Group (GRUCE, in Spanish) — a Cuban military unit permanently based in Venezuela — not only train Venezuelan security forces, but also participate in the torture of prisoners, the NGO says. The report goes on to denounce the Cuban ambassador to Venezuela as the top facilitator of torture training, asserting that “nothing happens without his knowledge.”Known among Venezuelan security forces as the “Islanders,” Cuban agents operate from Fort Tiuna in Caracas, but also have access to clandestine torture centers located within intelligence agencies and homes seized from criminals across the country, the NGO says.Cuban agents, the report continues, also train officers of the Bolivarian Armed Forces in repression, intimidation, and follow-up techniques to spy on their own colleagues and families, political and social leaders, and to monitor the social unrest.“With the guidance and encouragement of Russia and Cuba, the [Nicolás] Maduro regime arrests, tortures, and even kills our citizens,” said Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó in an editorial published in the Miami Herald. “We demand that the regimes of Russia and Cuba stop torture and abuse, and leave our country forever.”The use of torture has been essential for the Maduro regime to punish opponents, and extract confessions from victims, including accusations, the report concludes. The increase in torture, the NGO adds, allows the regime to cultivate fear and to continue social control.last_img read more

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Giving ‘Maximum Pressure’ a New Meaning

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati / Diálogo April 28, 2020 The Venezuelan regime has proven resilient over the years, but it may be nearing its final hours, says the National Review Institute, in an article posted on its website on April 4. The article referred to U.S. President Donald Trump’s directive to deploy additional ships, aircraft, and security forces in the eastern Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea under the authorities granted to U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).According to a White House briefing on April 1, SOUTHCOM, in cooperation with 22 partner nations, will significantly increase ongoing surveillance, disruption, and seizures of drug shipments and provide additional support for eradication efforts. The enhanced deployment includes additional Navy destroyers, combat ships, aircraft, and helicopters; Coast Guard cutters; and Air Force surveillance aircraft, doubling U.S. capabilities in the region. “We came upon some intelligence some time ago that the drug cartels, as a result of COVID-19, were going to try to take advantage of the situation and infiltrate our country with additional drugs,” said U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the briefing.Expanded sanctions against VenezuelaJust over a year ago, the U.S. enacted a policy of putting “maximum pressure” on the Nicolás Maduro regime. As part of this policy, the Treasury Department expanded sanctions against Venezuela, specifically targeting oil exports and high-ranking regime officials. U.S. policymakers intended to weaken Maduro’s standing within the country and cause defections in the government and military. However, in recent years, the regime has carefully cultivated loyalty within the armed services by handing over key sectors of the economy to military leaders and embedding Cuban security personnel to stamp out dissent, according to the same article by the National Review Institute.“When we started the maximum pressure policy in January, the president analyzed what our military assets were in the Western Hemisphere because obviously, all the options were and are on the table,” a senior administration official told the Miami Herald. “There was no balance; most of our assets were in the Middle East, Asia, etc., so he asked to recalibrate those assets to have necessary presence in the hemisphere and see where this situation was going, regarding Venezuela,” the official added.More resources for counternarcoticsU.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, SOUTHCOM commander, has been advocating for more resources for counternarcotics operations in Central, South America and the Caribbean. In a congressional hearing in March, he announced that U.S. military presence would increase in the region in terms of ships, aircraft, and security forces to “reassure partners” in combating “illicit narco-terrorism.”Last year alone, SOUTHCOM’s operations resulted in the seizure of over 280 tons of drugs, much of which was designated for shipment to America, said U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper during the White House briefing. “While this was an incredible achievement, there’s much more work to be done. Transnational criminal organizations continue to threaten our security by smuggling cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other narcotics across our borders. These drug traffickers put our communities at risk and destroy lives. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans die from drug overdoses and thousands more suffer the harmful effects of addiction,” the secretary added.“As we know, annually, 70,000 Americans die on average due to drugs. That’s unacceptable. We’re at war with COVID-19, we’re at war with terrorists, and we are at war with the drug cartels as well,” concluded Gen. Milley.last_img read more

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Proposal calls for recording all JNC interviews

first_img June 15, 2004 Senior Editor Regular News Proposal calls for recording all JNC interviews Proposal calls for recording all JNC interviews Gary Blankenship Senior Editor The Bar Board of Governors has asked the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee to develop a rule that would allow the recording of all judicial candidate interviews conducted by the state’s judicial nominating commissions.The board acted at its May 28 meeting in Hollywood on a proposal by board member Jennifer Coberly. Coberly had suggested the recording idea at the board’s April meeting, but governors then voted to seek the input of the JNPC and the Judicial Administration, Selection, and Tenure Committee.Richard Doran, chair of the JNPC, told the board that a survey of his committee found 17 members in favor of recording candidate interviews, 14 opposed, three abstaining, and nine not voting. (On JAST, three supported, seven opposed and one was mixed.)“I think the committee is prepared to continue looking at this,” Doran said, adding they could take up the proposal at the June meeting.He also said the committee values its job of providing training for JNC members. “We will continue to work hard on that. We are enthusiastic about the role we have in the Bar,” Doran said.Coberly made the motion to task the JNPC with drawing up an amendment to the JNC Uniform Rules of Procedure to provide for recording all JNC interviews using court reporters who have agreed to volunteer their services.She said she hoped the new proposed uniform rule could be considered at the next scheduled JNC annual training session, usually conducted in the fall. She also thanked 15th Circuit board member Amy Smith for helping line up volunteer court reporting companies around the state. The 15th Circuit JNC has routinely recorded its interviews using a volunteer court reporter for several years.Coberly’s proposal to have the interviews recorded came after a controversy involving allegations of improper questions were asked last year of candidates during interviews by the 17th Circuit JNC.That led to a call for better training of JNC members and discussions of other possible reforms. Coberly and supporters of recording the interviews argued that would provide protection for both candidates and JNC members by providing a record of what was said at the interviews.Under the Florida Constitution, all JNC meetings and interviews are open to the public, except for deliberations where candidates are nominated to the governor for appointment.last_img read more

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Grey: Lawyers have a responsibility to lead

first_img Grey: Lawyers have a responsibility to lead Mark D. Killian Managing Editor Lawyers who are active in their state and local bar associations are on the front lines when it comes to defending the judiciary.“If you don’t stand up, then people in our country will never appreciate or understand the value that our justice system has to the development and evolution of our democracy,” ABA President Robert J. Grey, Jr., imparted to those attending a joint luncheon sponsored by the Equal Opportunities Law Section, the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association, and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers at the Bar’s Annual Meeting in Orlando.The gathering of the three diverse bar groups did not go unnoticed as Grey reminded attendees that only 40 years ago – the anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act – “we would not have been sitting together in this room.”“But we are because of lawyers, because of judges. . . because of a Supreme Court that had the courage to not make a popular decision but to make a correct decision,” Grey said, adding America must appreciate its diversity in order to achieve its highest potential.“We [lawyers] want respect throughout the world and the respect of our citizens,” Grey said. “Respect comes when you recognize and appreciate contributions of all Americans. Respect comes when you open the door to opportunity to all of those who participate in our society. Respect comes when you are willing to stand up for what is right, even at personal risk.”There is a difference between judicial accountability and judicial independence, he said.“To those who say our judges are not accountable, they are very much accountable, maybe not to politicians, but to the American public,” Grey said. “That is the beauty of judicial independence.”Grey said lawyers are not engaged in a popularity contest when they practice and serve on the bench, but are the referees of society ready to make the call that is going to make someone unhappy.“But that is what we do for a living and for society and we do it with dignity and grace and the highest degree of ethics we are capable of mustering among ourselves,” Grey said.Grey said the American system of justice is still the envy of the world and when he travels internationally “people tell me again and again that they admire America’s lawyers and judges because they have stood for decency, for individual rights. They have stood for people having opportunity to achieve their highest potential.”He asked the attendees to examine daily what they do, because their actions are a beacon of hope to emerging democracies around the world.“The idea is not to export American justice; the idea is to set the example so they might — based on their culture — develop a system that will be fair and balanced and free of corruption,” Grey said. “That is what they are trying to achive.”Lawyers, he said, have a responsibility to lead the nation and their communities.“We are what we are and should accept and be grateful that we are here in this country,” Grey said. “This country is not only great because of its wealth. . . it is not only great because of its military strength. . . this country is great because of its justice system and its ability to do what is right for those who are being governed and it will not waiver as long as you and I are at the helm.” Grey: Lawyers have a responsibility to lead July 15, 2005 Managing Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

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Briefs

first_img January 1, 2006 Regular News Briefs Briefs THE CHARLOTTE COUNTY BAR recently held its third annual toy drive that supports, “For the Love of Kids.” The bar received more than 50 gifts to distribute to area children. Pictured from the left are Rich Simpson, treasurer; Randy Spence, accepting toys on behalf of For the Love of Kids; Mike Wilson, president; and Jennifer Howell, secretary. THE 14TH ANNUAL NUTS & BOLTS OF DIVORCE presented by the DCBA Family Courts Committee, Young Lawyers Section, and Put Something Back recently featured presentations on new bankruptcy laws, trusts and estate planning, treating psychologist/psychiatrist, and testifying experts. Pictured from the left are Paul Orshan, Marilee Mark, Patricia Redmond, and Judge Sandy Karlan. THE YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION recently met in Washington, D.C. and several present and former YLD board members were sworn in before the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, in an effort to reach out to the out-of-state young lawyers in D.C., the YLD hosted a reception in Dupont Circle. Pictured above from the left are YLD members Ward Griffin of Washington; Mark Romance, a former YLD president; YLD President Jamie Billotte Moses; Victoria Wu, YLD board member from Washington; and Nicholas Ware of Washington. While in the capital, President Moses also ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Not one to miss an opportunity to promote the Bar, she ran in a shirt that read “Florida Bar YLD” on the front. Moses, pictured with her friend Mike Noone, finished the 26.2 mile run in 4:58. DEAN LEBOEUF of Tallahassee was presented the Florida Distinguished Service Medal by Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett for his exceptional service to the Florida National Guard through the Stand Up For America holiday aid program, which provides financial support for area families with loved ones serving on active duty. His efforts resulted in community and firm donations of over $20,000. From the left are Lt. Col. Glenn Sutphin (Ret.), legislative director, Florida Department of Military Affairs; Chief Warrant Officer Bobbi Hall; LeBoeuf; Burnett; Family Support Specialist Area 1 Carol Atwell; and SSGT Tamala Hammond. PARRIS JENKINS, age 12, a student in the varied exceptionality program at Timber Trace Elementary School in Palm Beach Gardens, created the winning artwork for this year’s holiday greeting card contest for the West Palm Beach/Jupiter law firm of Littky, Smith, Phipps, Casas & Phillips. This is the 14th annual holiday art contest the firm has sponsored in conjunction with Very Special Arts of Florida, Palm Beach County. Each year, the firm asks Palm Beach County elementary students enrolled in grades K-5 in the varied exceptionality programs to participate in creating an illustration for the cover of the firm’s holiday cards. Pictured in the front from the left are Jenkins and Steven Phillips. In the back from the left are Karen Longhofer, Parris’ homeroom teacher, Elaine Morrison, Parris’ art teacher, and their principal, Sue Slone. The firm donated over $2,000 in cash prizes for the winning entries in this year’s contest.last_img read more

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Man Nabbed for Forcing Ex to Drive Him Around

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Queens man has been accused of punching his ex-girlfriend, threatening her with a hammer while he forced her to drive him around in her BMW over the weekend.Nassau County police said Quandell Cooper met the victim on Dutch Broadway in Elmont and forced her to drive him to Roosevelt Field Mall, to Queens and then back to the mall on Saturday afternoon.Cooper punched the woman and threatened her with a hammer during the drive back and forth, police said. She escaped when they returned to the mall the second time and later called police from her Franklin Square home.Police installed in the victim’s home a CAPER alarm, which the victim activated when Cooper began to pounding on her door at 12:45 a.m. Monday, police said.Officers apprehended Cooper and found the victim’s vehicle shortly later. The victim suffered minor injuries to her neck and shoulder. Both she and the suspect are 24 years old.Cooper was charged with robbery, assault and unlawful imprisonment. He will be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Hempstead.last_img read more

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Holbrook LIE Crash Leaves Woman Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 33-year-old Queens woman was killed when the SUV her husband was driving hit a truck parked on side of the Long Island Expressway in Holbrook early Sunday morning.Suffolk County police said Matthew Polashek was driving a GMC Yukon westbound on the LIE when he veered onto the right shoulder and struck an unoccupied, disabled Dodge pickup truck on the shoulder between exits 61 and 62 at 4:31 a.m.Polashek’s wife, Stacie, was pronounced dead at the scene. Matthew, also 33, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.Sixth Squad detectives impounded the trucks, are continuing the investigation and ask any witnesses to call them at 631-854-8652.last_img read more

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Alligator No. 20 Found in Islip Home

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This alligator is the 20th gator discovered on Long Island since late last year. (Photo: Suffolk County SPCA)Twenty.That’s the number of alligators that have been found on Long Island over the course of a little more than a year.The Suffolk County SPCA reported the 20th such discovery Saturday after Suffolk County police detectives called SPCA investigators Friday to an Islip home while they were investigating an unrelated matter, said Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross.The 13-inch alligator—the smallest of the 20 found over the last 16 months—appeared healthy and is being held by the SPCA until the reptile can be transferred to a licensed facility, Gross said.New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officers were also alerted. The owner may face charges for possession of the reptile, Gross said.It is illegal to own an alligator without a permit.Gator No. 20 appears to be under a year old, Gross said. Alligators typically grow at a rate of about one foot a year and eventually become too big to handle, which is why illegal gator owners eventually release them. Gross is concerned that their luck may eventually run out and someone could get seriously hurt.“We find it very disturbing because we know it’s an accident waiting to happen,” Gross said by phone. “The odds are somebody is going to get hurt. Thankfully that hasn’t occurred yet.”Gross, a 30-year SPCA veteran, said he’s never quite seen anything like this before, adding that the discovery of 16 gators over a nine-month period was “unheard of.” Also troubling, he said, were the instances when gators were spotted in public—on the lawn of a Mastic Beach home, at an Applebee’s in Shirley, a Wading River golf course, Lilly Pond County Park in Lake Ronkonkoma, and in a Baldwin supermarket parking lot.The other 19 gators were between two and four feet long.The Suffolk SPCA has been aggressive in publicizing these discoveries since alligators began surfacing late last year.Alligators cannot survive cold Long Island winters, officials have said.In response to the gator discoveries, officials created a Long Island reptile amnesty day for owners of an illegal reptile to anonymously drop it off at a location where trained reptile handlers are present. The most recent reptile amnesty day was held in September. Gross said about half of the 12 reptiles turned in to the SPCA during the two events were alligators.Another reptile amnesty day is tentatively scheduled for next spring and will likely include mammals, Gross said.The Suffolk SPCA last week also conducted a training seminar for law enforcement authorities that may come in contact with gators and other reptiles.Anyone who sees an alligator, reptile or other potentially dangerous animals can call the Suffolk SPCA at 631-382-SPCA.last_img read more

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1 Dead, 1 Injured in Deer Park Gang Shooting

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police homicide detectives are investigating a possible gang-related shooting outside a Deer Park bar early Thursday morning that killed one man and seriously injured another.Police said three men inside a white Cadillac pulled into the parking lot of Night Owl Lounge on Long Island Avenue at 2:22 a.m. when two men standing with a group of people outside started firing shots at the vehicle.The driver was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital with a fatal gunshot wound, police said. The second victim was in serious condition after a bullet hit him in the chest. The third person inside the car was not injured, police said.Officers responded after a 911 caller reported hearing gun shots coming from the bar, a police spokeswoman said.Police arrived and found a car with bullet holes and two shooting victims inside.Police did not immediately identify the victims.Detectives are exploring the possibility that the shooting is gang related, police said.The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more

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Long Island Pro Gamer Returns Home a Little Richer, Wiser

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With his team earning four bronze medals and $10,000 in cash prizes, Long Island’s top-skilled video gamer Nicholas Dicostanzo has returned home to Dix Hills after competing at the X Games in Austin, Texas, earlier this month.For the second year in a row, the extreme sports contest featured eSports, an electronic gaming competition, but for the first time, it was broadcasted live on ESPN. Dicostanzo’s four-member Team eLevate suffered a disappointing 4-0 loss in their final game, but the eSports competitors have certainly gained a lot more than they lost by landing in third place.“Obviously there were a lot of gameplay mistakes that I’m hashing over in my mind,” said Dicostanzo. “So I just keep playing and working on what I identify as my greatest weaknesses, building my intuition and reactions, and working on communication.”Diconstanzo, who’s been playing video games since 2007, only began playing competitively last year, winning team prizes across the country. For the MLG Professional League Championship in Austin, they were virtually slaying opponents in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.Compared to extreme skateboarding or BMX racing, eSports certainly differs from typical physical sports, but they share more similarities than not.“To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me if the world thinks of eSports as on the same level as athletic sports,” said Dicostanzo. “I know we put in a ton of time and practice like the athletes do, and we actually press to the physical limits similarly. But I don’t occupy myself with what others think about how eSports is situated.”He said his interactions with the other athletes proved to be supportive and insightful, helping both gamers and X-Game regulars gain mutual respect.“They were totally cool,” said Dicostanzo. “A lot of them play video games all the time, so they were interested in seeing how professional gamers play…Just like we were impressed by the stunts they could pull off, they were amazed to see the level of play we had.”So what’s next for the 23-year-old Long Island native, besides getting his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at the end of the year from Long Island University?“I enjoy getting back home, but I am focused on season three,” said Dicostanzo. “We’re putting together our roster now and want to make sure it’s top-quality, so we’ll see how that develops. We have a couple of plans in the works.”last_img read more

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John Cameron: Engineering The Road to Success

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York After graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, John Cameron worked as a field engineer for Westinghouse Electric at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, then for the Nassau County Department of Health. Nights he took graduate classes in environmental science at LIU Post. In 1985, he founded Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP, growing it into one of Long Island’s foremost consulting engineering and planning firms, handling many of the region’s major construction, expansion and renovation projects. For 10 years John has chaired the influential Long Island Regional Planning Council. Active in leadership roles at numerous educational, charitable and environmental organizations, Cameron serves on the boards of the engineering schools of both Hofstra and Stony Brook universities and the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County. A one-time college track and field star, he is also a lifelong runner, surfer and fitness enthusiast. Raised in Long Beach, he and his wife Loretta live in Rockville Centre. Here are excerpts from our conversation.Warren Strugatch: Who were the major influences in your life?John Cameron: My parents were tremendous influences. My father, John, came to America from Scotland through Ellis Island. My mother, Florence, came from a Catholic family in Scotland. In those days it was difficult to practice Catholicism there, so she talked my grandfather into coming to America. My dad was the most Christian person I have ever known and my moral compass: Right was right, wrong was wrong, you don’t blur the lines. For years on Long Island he worked two jobs, as a school bus driver and as a carpenter. We moved out to Nevada where he worked as a carpenter in the copper mines, as a janitor, as a bartender and at a bowling alley. My mom got homesick so we moved back. She was a huge sports fan. My father and my mother raised four kids and taught us the value of hard work.WS: How did you decide to start your own business?JC: Growing up I didn’t know anyone who had their own business, so I didn’t necessarily think of starting my own. I started working for other people. Engineering is a very conservative profession, by its nature. I wanted to innovate and I knew I had to do this on my own. I started my own firm in 1985 with $5,000 in the bank and no clients — the most difficult thing I ever did. A year later everything burned down. I had to start again. Nietzsche said whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.WS: Did it make you stronger?JC: Definitely. I started different businesses and did different things: general construction, recycling, design. We started getting contracts around the country. People who worked for us stay on. My first part-time assistant still works here.WS: What’s the most important project you’ve worked on?JC: I’d say it’s the Long Beach Waterfront Park in ’97. I grew up down the block. It was named Project of the Year for Long Island by the Professional Engineers Society of New York. There’s a plaque there dedicated to my parents.WS: Engineers are famous for being cerebral. What are you passionate about?JC: I’m passionate about Long Island, what our challenges are and what we have to do to resolve them. Resistance to change is one of our biggest impediments, along with cost of living, cost of government, legacy cost, and cost of (public employee) pensions.WS: You’ve spent a decade as chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Board. How has that affected you?JC: I deal with a great deal of cynicism. Many people experience not having a voice in how things are done. They react by becoming resistant to change. That resistance impedes progress. We need affordable housing here. We also need more rental housing. These have become four-letter words. Where are working class people supposed to live? Where are poor people supposed to live? They have to live somewhere. They should be able to live in safety and have decent schools too.Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLPManaging director: John CameronLocation: Woodbury, NYDescription: Consulting engineering and planning firmFounded: 1985Employees: 100Work force: engineers, landscape architects, planners, facility operators and environmental scientistsWarren Strugatch is co-founder of Inflection Point Associates (InflectionPointAssoc.com) consulting firm in Stony Brook. Reach him at Warren@ InflectionPointAssoc.com.last_img read more

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CUNA, NAFCU call out data security bill flaws

first_imgby: Nicholas BallasyCUNA and NAFCU have called on lawmakers to address what a retailer’s responsibility will be for the cost of a data breach on their system as part of a data security bill that’s currently being considered by a House committee.The House Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee marked up the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 on Wednesday. The bill has advanced to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee.Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation has been advocating for financial institutions to embrace chip and PIN credit cards to combat fraud. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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3 secrets to unlocking board support for business continuity

first_imgOften, employees find it challenging to prove to boards the importance of having a truly executable disaster recovery/business continuity plan. Although boards are well aware of NCUA Requirements, many may cite excuses such as lack of time, money or even interest in building out a comprehensive, tested plan. If you’re among the many that are looking for support from leadership teams, or your board, these three steps could go a long way to help get your initiatives pushed through.Secret #1: Determine their Risk ToleranceEveryone serving in leadership roles or on your board should be aware of the FFIEC Requirements on Business Continuity and NCUA Recommendations, or at least the basic principles of risk management. Although everyone has an individual bias towards how they respond to the risks that face their organization, there should be an overall consensus about your organization’s risk tolerance. It is vital that those responsible for the health of your organization understand and agree on the risk tolerance of the credit union as a whole. This way, everyone will conceivably agree on how and where to appropriately spend time, energy and resources preparing an optimal recovery solution.Before approaching your team, consider examples of different threats that could occur, and determine the impact (risk) those disasters could have on the following:Reputation (impacts credibility to members and the overall community)Financial Well-Being (losses and costs of an outage)Responsibility (to members, stakeholders, employees and the greater community)Requirements (FFIEC, NCUA, Audits etc. that all require a plan in place to restore operations) 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Teel Scott Teel is the Marketing & Education Director at Agility Recovery, where he contributes to both the marketing strategy development and implementation for the company, as well as the creation, … Web: www2.agilityrecovery.com Details Secret #2: Determine the ROI on having a tested, proven planOnce you’ve analyzed these aspects, your next step should be to determine the return on investment (ROI) of having a proven plan in place, i.e. a tested recovery strategy. Leadership will most likely require hard numbers or evidence that will illustrate how the time and money invested into this program will benefit your members in the long run, and outweigh the potential losses if any type of disaster were to occur.Understanding how having a current documented or tested recovery strategy can help you serve your members, and maintain requirements or regulations within your industry, or better position your credit union for employees and the community following a disaster, are just a few examples of the “return” a successful business continuity strategy can have.We all have a duty to enable the communities we serve to recover quickly in the hours and days following a disaster, and that requires commerce to resume. Serving our members with their financial needs immediately, regardless of the scope of damage or interruption we have experienced, is a foundational responsibility. That responsibility requires that we have some basic needs met, like power, office space, communications access, and computer systems. And having a proven plan to restore these fundamental elements can pay huge dividends when you’re able to serve members in their greatest time of need.Secret #3: Present a “program”, not a projectWhen you’re ready to sit down with the board or leadership team to present your case, don’t ask for a simple “test” of your strategy.  At this point, you’ve put the work in and deserve to request a comprehensive, ongoing program; one that will not only help your organization get prepared, but stay prepared. Here are a few essential elements to have in your program:A Crisis Management Team – This should be comprised of members of senior management and representation from each critical department.A Branch Recovery Strategy – A strategy that incorporates all departments, and ensures the viability of your strategy no matter the type or scope of interruption. The strategy should have multiple redundancies to ensure you can resume critical operations in a timely manner, and serve your members where they live.A Testing Plan – A plan to at least annually test your plan, in a variety of ways, using multiple scenarios. The plan should involve all critical operations and staff, and enable you to push the current recovery strategy to its breaking point.A Budget – The financial commitment should include at least one annual test, even one as simple as a 2-hour mock recovery “table-top” drill to practice and keep your strategy up-to-date.To help get you started with unlocking managements support, download Agility Recovery’s free Risk Assessment Form to identify threats to your organization and where to focus your mitigation effort.last_img read more

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NC, CA primaries have credit union candidates on Tuesday’s ballot

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Primary elections in North Carolina and California are among the states with credit union-backed candidates on the ballot Tuesday.In North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Walter Jones (R) has come under attack from the banking industry due to his support of credit unions and credit union issues.Jones has sponsored legislation that would raise credit unions’ cap on member business lending, and maintains good relationships with credit unions in his district.Elsewhere in North Carolina, in the 9th Congressional District, Rep. Robert Pittenger (R) faces a primary challenge. Pittenger has introduced a bill that would form a credit union advisory group at the U.S. Treasury, has supported an extended examination cycle and has expressed concerns about the excessive regulatory burdens facing credit unions. continue reading »last_img read more

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Standing up to bank attacks

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Jim Nussle at the 2019 African-American Credit Union Coalition Conference in Charlotte, NC. These days it seems like banks will stop at nothing to take down credit unions, even creating problems where none exist. In recent years, megabanks have gobbled up tons of community banks, leaving many people with one fewer financial option that has local interests at heart.As small banks continue to suffer, some are joining credit unions instead of behemoth banks. And boy are the banks not happy. They want every crumb of the pie and since they’re not getting it, they’ve instead turned to bashing credit unions and manipulating the intent of our tax status.Murray Williams, President and CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League, and Patrick La Pine, President and CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, recently wrote great opinion pieces to refute these attacks. I encourage everyone to read them and know that CUNA and Leagues are fighting to set the record straight. And if you want to read more, check out a recent USA Today article that highlights how credit unions serve people that banks routinely turn away.center_img continue reading »last_img read more

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6 tips to reach even bigger goals

first_img2019 was one of best years my organization has had in its 50+ year history. We saw tremendous growth, launched a number of new products to better serve our members, and achieved big victories with our advocacy. So after a stellar year, where do we go from here?It can be intimidating to plot new goals after a successful year. You question whether you’ll actually be able to hit them, especially considering how hard you and your team worked to achieve those you set last year. To instill faith in your efforts, leadership guru Karin Hurt outlines six tips to help you accomplish more than you thought possible:Break down the numbers. Big numbers are daunting, even if everyone on your team is working toward it. By simplifying the goal to what each person will have to contribute, the ask seems more reasonable. As individual goals are met, employees will gain confidence and want to keep pushing for more.Then stop talking about the numbers. Throughout the year, you’ll evaluate your company’s progress toward hitting goals. Updating employees on that progress is important to create a sense of urgency and responsibility, but talking too much about the numbers can make it seem hypothetical. Instead, try talking about the behaviors that are helping you reach that goal. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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CUInsight Minute with Lauren Culp – July 24, 2020

first_imgWelcome to the CUInsight Minute, sixty seconds from our Publisher & CEO Lauren Culp with the top three of our favorite things from the week.Mentioned this week:*Summer recipe alert: Lauren’s favorite grilled pizza tutorial from the Kitchn, here.How to inspire staff positivity and engagement in a pandemicby JULIE ANN WESSINGER, ALLIED SOLUTIONSThe pandemic changed many logistical elements of employment. Employees had to figure out how to work from home, while simultaneously making other at-home adjustments. Managers spent months adjusting to these same work-life changes, while also learning how to continue to lead their teams in this new or ‘now normal’.  (read more)The importance of credit union employee brand ownershipby MARK ARNOLD, ON THE MARK STRATEGIESCredit unions love to talk about (and rightfully so) the member-owners that make our industry so unique and differentiated for consumers. Having member-owners is a distinction upon which our industry must never lose focus. However, have you ever thought about the importance of having employee-owners of your credit union? I’m not talking about your current employees that are also actual members of your credit union (although that is also vital and important). (read more)How to get more revenue from your website: Conversion rate optimizationby DERIK KRAUSS, BLOOMCUImagine you need to add a quart of oil to your car. You pop the hood and grab your funnel. As you start to pour, you realize the funnel has several holes in it—more than just the one it’s supposed to have—and oil spills everywhere. Some gets inside your engine, but most of the oil is dripping down the engine block and onto your garage floor. (read more)Webinar: Navigating Uncertainty: 3 Ways to Prioritize Member Experience During COVID-19by SoGoSurvey and CUInsightAugust 5, 2020: COVID-19 has forced changes in member behavior. The unexpected shift to virtual/online options has uncovered new pain points and challenges. Credit unions that are unable to address these challenges quickly and efficiently in the days and weeks ahead will struggle, so it’s more important than ever to enhance the member experience. (read more) ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lauren Culp Lauren Culp is the Publisher & CEO at CUInsight.com.She leads the growing team at CUInsight, works with organizations serving credit unions to maximize their brand and exposure, connects … Web: https://www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

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Valley Stream Man Gets 35 Years for Fatal Shooting

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A gunman was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison for shooting a 50-year-old Queens man to death in 2013 in the shooter’s hometown of Valley Stream.Orlando Ortiz was convicted at Nassau County court in December of first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.“This defendant shot an unarmed man multiple times as he sat in his car, unable to defend himself,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.Prosecutors said the 32-year-old man shot Richard Baccus of Rosedale in the parking lot of Ay! Caramba following an argument shortly before midnight on the night of Dec. 23, 2013.last_img read more

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Charles Krypell Fine Jewelry Opens Flagship Store in Greenvale

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York For nearly four decades, Brookville resident Charles Krypell’s jewelry has been sold at top retail stores and boutiques across the country.Now, the designer has planted his business on the North Shore of Long Island, where he’s lived for 25 years. The flagship store of Charles Krypell Fine Jewelry opened this week at 25 Northern Blvd. in Greenvale. Evan Krypell, Charles’ son and the company’s director of retail operations, says the shop brings them a fresh avenue in which to engage with people about Charles’ jewelry.“Charles loves dealing with the consumer,” Evan, of Centre Island, says. “Being in wholesale for so many years, you don’t get much interaction with the final customer. We built our store to create a one-on-one purchasing experience.”Quite literally, Charles and Evan dictated the design of the building and had it built “to suit the store.”“It has almost a residential feel — warm, comforting and inviting,” Evan says. “When people come in here, there’s no pretension. We want anyone, no matter what their budget is, to feel comfortable coming here.”Seventy percent of the store’s stock is Charles’ designs, while the rest are other jewelry brands of his choosing. Prices run the gamut from hundreds to millions of dollars.Charles Krypell Fine Jewelry is able to custom-manufacture diamond rings now, as well. The designer is offering bridal boutique jewelry services to create a bride’s dream ring based on ideas she’s seen or any other additions she might want.Customers will also have the option to reserve the store an hour before or after it opens for a one-on-one consultation. Evan says they’ll be making house calls if people are uncomfortable leaving their homes at this time.Overall, “We want to be in control” of selling to the customer, he says, and are excited about opening so close to home.“We’ve developed countless relationships within the community,” Evan says. “We love the community and wanted to offer a fresh, new option in the area.”For more business coverage visit longislandpress.com/category/business.Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.last_img read more

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Hack-A-Thon teaches children coding through building apps

first_img“I can teach other girls and then more girls will be able to code, and then those girls can teach more girls. Then a lot of girls can code, just like the boys can,” said Grace Williamson, a student building a texting app. After the students complete their app projects, they’ll be submitted to judges for review. Students will receive awards based on teamwork, quality, and other aspects of their work. “Now they can actually see that they can make a project, or an animation, or an app, or a web page of their own. It sort of gives a whole new way for them to expand their learning now,” said Pamela Puri, Tech4Kidz owner, and organizer of the event. TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — The AT&T Binghamton Youth Hack is teaching children how to code, build apps, and develop an interest in computer science. Girls in the class say they are re-coding the craft. The young tech wizards have all day to work on a project. It’s a task the children say, isn’t easy. Computer science is a field dominated by men, according to AT&T New York President, Amy Kramer. This Hack-A-Thon is trying to change those statistics. “Right now we know that women make up only 18 percent in kids in college studying computer science,” said Kramer. “It’s fun to code, there’s quite a bit of challenge to it,” said Alexander Sherman, a student in the class. last_img read more

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Ithaca Police investigating reports of shots fired on W Spencer Street

first_imgITHACA, N.Y. (WBNG) — The Ithaca Police Department responded to reports of shots fired on Thursday night. The Police Department says this is the same area where similar instances have occurred in the past few months. Anyone with relevant information should contact the Ithaca Police Department: The Police Department is in the process of identifying any witnesses or victims involved in the incident. This incident is still under investigation. The Ithaca Police department responded to multiple reports of people who heard a sound that was believed to be gunshots at around 9:13 p.m. Thursday night. Officials say the incident was reported in the area of the 200 block of W Spencer St. Upon arriving, officers located a vehicle that attempted to leave the scene. A traffic stop was conducted and according to officials, the occupants’ actions were deemed to be suspicious in nature. Police Dispatch: (607) 272-3245Police Administration: (607) 272-9973Email: policeinfo@cityofithaca.orgAnonymous Email Tip: www.cityofithaca.org/ipdtipsFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/ithacapolicelast_img read more

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Ithaca Police investigating armed robbery at Quik Shoppe

first_imgITHACA, N.Y. (WBNG) — Authorities in Ithaca are investigating an armed robbery at the Quik Shoppe on Tuesday night. This incident is under investigation. Anyone with information should contact the Ithaca Police Department:Police Dispatch: 607-272-3245Police Administration: 607-272-9973Email: policeinfo@cityofithaca.orgAnonymous Email Tip Address: www.cityofithaca.org/ipdtipsFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/ithacapoliceTwitter: https://twitter.com/ithacapolice The clerk told officers the male subject entered the store and approached the clerk with a handgun-style firearm, demanding money. They say the clerk was able to get to the register and offer cash to the subject. Additionally, officials say the subject fled the scene on foot after taking possession of an unknown amount of cash. The clerk was uninjured as a result of the incident. Police say they located the victim who was working as a clerk at the time. The department says the suspect is described as a male of average height and build. They say the subject was wearing a dark-colored long-sleeved hooded shirt or sweatshirt, dark bottoms, transparent gloves and a ski type mask. Authorities say the subject is believed to be of Caucasian descent. The Ithaca Police Department says they received the call at approximately 9:50 p.m. and arrived at the Quik Shoppe located at 317 3rd St. They say upon arrival, the robbery had just concluded.last_img read more

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2019 Rumble Pony David Peterson to make MLB debut Tuesday night

first_imgI’m very proud and excited for David and he’s worked hard to get to this point,” said Boles. “The biggest overall improvement from this year to last year is his overall physical conditioning.  He has taken what he’s learned from the Arizona Fall League and ML camp and put himself in a great position.  I’m very happy and excited for him. Couldn’t be prouder.” Peterson spent the entire 2019 season on the Rumble Ponies, posting a 4.19 ERA across 24 starts. Peterson played in the Arizona Fall League last fall. He has spent no time in triple-A. Peterson was the Mets first-round pick in 2017. He was originally drafted out of high school by the Red Sox in 2014, but opted to play baseball at the University of Oregon. He is currently ranked tenth on the Mets prospects list. Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park is at 7:30 p.m. With Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman on the injured list, the Mets were in need of a fifth starter and added Peterson to the taxi squad for the team’s first road trip of the season. 2019 Rumble Ponies manager Kevin Boles shared his thoughts on Peterson getting the start. (WBNG) — Mets pitching prospect David Peterson will make his MLB debut tonight against the Boston Red Sox. last_img read more

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Back to school: Pennsylvania districts welcome students back for unique semester

first_imgSome Pennsylvania schools in Susquehanna, Lackawanna and Bradford Counties have their first day of classes on Monday. Schools are offering several models of instruction for students and families to choose from. (WBNG) — Schools across the country have been preparing for the first day of school all summer. The standard models schools are offering include; hybrid, full-time in-person and virtual learning.last_img

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Aidy Boothroyd says England U21s players will never be put at risk | Football News

first_img“We work closely with the clubs on the loading of the players. We’ve a good idea of when they come to us the game time they’ve had and the training loads they have gone through. Aidy Boothroyd has promised England U21s will never risk players’ fitness.The Young Lions host Andorra at Molineux on Friday as they begin their Euro 2021 countdown.- Advertisement – Christian Garcia's last-minute equaliser cancelled out Eddie Nketiah's goal as Andorra U21s earned a historic draw with England U21sImage:Christian Garcia’s last-minute equaliser earned Andorra U21s a historic draw with England U21s in October England drew 3-3 in Andorra last month, the first qualifying points they have dropped in over four years, and Boothroyd is eager to ensure it does not happen again in their final two Group Three games.“We’re expected to win no matter who we play. We accept and rise to that challenge, to try to play a brand of football people want to watch,” he added.“I want the six points, try one or two tactical adjustments and manage the game time very carefully.“It feels like we’re in the second part of the season.” “We discuss just how fit the players are and how much we can do. We’re in constant contact with the clubs, like in Ryan’s (Sessegnon) case with Covid-19 we have to adhere to that (the player returning to Hoffenheim after a coronavirus outbreak at the club).“One of the big plusses of this current England pathway is we have really good relationships with coaches. When it’s a tough situation we work with them and not against them.” Players have been put under extra strain this year given the packed schedule, due to the quick turnaround from last season amid the coronavirus crisis and amount of games they are playing per week.Boothroyd’s side also welcome Albania to Molineux on Tuesday and with qualification for next year’s tournament already secured he insisted the players will not be put in jeopardy.He said: “Any time you put on the shirt it means an awful lot. In terms of what we need to do, we have to win our games and play in a manner that fits our style. As far as the clubs are concerned, it’s not a case of flogging the players.- Advertisement – England's Ryan Sessegnon (right) celebrates after Turkey's Huseyin Turkmen (not pictured) scores an own goal during the UEFA Euro 2021 Under-21 Qualifying Group 3 match at MolineuxImage:Ryan Sessegnon (right) will now go into quarantine with the rest of the Hoffenheim squad – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Cheers and Jeers: Monday

first_imgAnd now, our feature presentation…–- Advertisement – By the Numbers:Thanksgivingsquirrel.jpg10 days!!!Days ’til Thanksgiving: 10Years since a Democratic presidential candidate won Maricopa County, Arizona, as Joe Biden did last week: 72Net change in France‘s and Germany‘s approval of the United States since Joe Biden became president-elect, according to a new Morning Consult poll: +33%, +32%Number of countries in the survey in which approval of the U.S. went down after Biden’s win: 2 (Russia, China)Daily shipping capacity in the U.S. during the holiday season, according to ShipMatrix: 79 million parcelsExpected number of parcels Americans will ship per day during the holiday season: 86 millionPercent of donations under $8,000 to Donald Trump’s legal defense fund that, per the fine print, will actually go to Donald Trump’s legal defense fund and not his own slush fund: $0–Puppy Pic of the Day: Monday morning. Back to work, everyone…–JEERS to keeping track of America’s fugliest numbers. Sadly, our top story this morning involves the mighty Covid-19 Wurlitzer, which plays on with 55 million cases worldwide—the usual 20 percent of them in the U.S, where the pandemic is now so out of control that “several dozen” members of the Secret Service are quarantining and even the governor of freaking North Dakota has instituted a mask mandate. Our weekly tradition of maintaining a benchmark of the awfulness for the C&J historical record continues, so let’s check the most depressing tote board in the world as our death toll now surpasses the population of America’s 89th-largest city North Las Vegas, Nevada:6 months ago: 1.5 million confirmed cases. 90,000 deaths.3 months ago: 5.5 million confirmed cases. 173,000 deathsTrumpgolfing.jpgYup. He frolicked on the golf course at his Virginia pleasure palace again last weekend.1 month ago: 8.3 million confirmed cases. 224,000 deathsThis morning: 11.5 million confirmed cases. 251,000 deathsTo make matters worse, Trump emerged from his bunker Friday and saw his shadow, meaning we’re in for ten more weeks of carnage and chaos. On the bright side, that’ll be followed by ten years of trials and jail time.CHEERS to throwing out the welcome mat again. When Congress wouldn’t fund his stupid border wall, impeached one-term president Donald Trump swiped money designated for military schools and housing so he could end up completing—[checks notes]—a whopping 12 miles of new wall, and throwing a coat of paint on the existing parts. Happily, Captain Xenophobia’s dedication to barring non-whites from entering the country will soon grind to a halt under his successor, who possesses a smidgeon of decency:President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday reaffirmed his commitment to raise America’s annual refugee admissions target to 125,000, reviving a program that endured deep, historic cuts under the Trump administration. […]biden-16_91.jpg65 days.Biden’s target, first proposed on the campaign trail, would set an even higher ceiling for admissions than the 110,000 slots approved by President Barack Obama in 2016.“The U.S. has long stood as a beacon of hope for the downtrodden and oppressed, a leader in resettling refugees, in our humanitarian response,” Biden said in a video recorded for the 40th anniversary of the Jesuit Refugee Service. “I promise as president I’ll reclaim that proud legacy for our country.”In the distance the Statue of Liberty reached down and high-fived the groundskeeper.JEERS to missing the mark. They came so close—the “Million MAGA March” Saturday in D.C. I mean. But, y’know, as long as the few thousand who showed up at the latest Trump-themed super-spreader event had a good time, that’s what’s important, right? And, hey, at least they got to see the president mouth the words “Thank y…” as his motorcade plowed through them on the way to his Virginia golf course. Then it was back to, as NPR described it……a day of rallying to echo the false assertion that the presidential election was marked by fraud.clown-car.pngSadly, not all the MAGA protesters made it to D.C.[The] crowd…included the group Women for America First, right-wing activists and conspiracy theorists gathered in the city’s downtown near the White House. Members of the Proud Boys, a white-nationalist movement designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were also seen out on the streets of Washington. […]Tammy Summers, who traveled to Washington from Missouri, said she was there to show her support from Trump as he continues to contest the election results. “We’re here to tell President Trump that we totally support him,” Summers said. “He should never give up the fight and never give in.”I agree, Tammy. He should never give up. We’ve waited far too long to see him dragged out of the White House kicking and screaming. –BRIEF SANITY BREAK––END BRIEF SANITY BREAK–CHEERS to home where the buffalo roam. Happy Birthday, Oklahoma! The “Hey, that state looks like a skillet!” state—home of Mauree Turner, elected this month as the first Muslim legislator from Oklahoma and the first nonbinary legislator in America—officially nabbed the 46th star on the flag 113 years ago today. Fun facts: the state animal is the buffalo, the state insect is the honey bee, and the state flower is the Oklahoma rose, which is quite lovely:Oklahoma_rose.jpg Also: the state rock is “rose barite,” which you’ll find in the greatest abundance, as usual, between state dinosaur Jim Inhofe’s ears.CHEERS to America’s new gatekeeper. The president may be the most powerful person in the universe, but the White House Chief of Staff ain’t exactly chopped liver. Everything and everyone gets OK’d through the C-o-S office before reaching the president, and thankfully Joe Biden’s pick is a whip-smart, experienced priority-juggler named Ron Klain, and here are some of his particulars:»  Born August 8, 1961 (four days after Barack Obama, whom he served as Ebola response coordinator) in IndianapolisCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden (L) and Ebola response co-ordinator Ron Klain take part in a meeting on Ebola response with US President Barack Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)I look forward to working with Mr. Klain to convince President Biden that the lifting of candy corn tariffs is in the best interests of this great country in which we live. »  B.A. from Georgetown University and J.D. from Harvard»  Formerly chief of staff to VPs Gore and Biden»  Law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Byron White»  Married to attorney and environmental activist Monica Medina, former Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, General Counsel of NOAA, and U.S. Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. Of course he’ll be great. He’s a Leo.–Ten years ago in C&J: November 16, 2010JEERS to paraphrasing the pundits.  And now a brief summary of the extraordinary illumination bestowed upon the unwashed masses via The Chris Matthews Show Sunday:Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, John Thune, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels or Mike Pence might win the 2012 presidential nomination for the Republican party.  Or—and this is a risky, out-there-on-a-ledge, out-of-the-box supposition on the part of our blue-ribbon panel—they might not. Yay!  I learned stuff from the teevee!–And just one more…CHEERS to cleansing your cosmic soul.  Hey, cast your eyes heavenward over the next few days and you might see some wowee-zowee fireworks in the sky. The Leonid Brezhnev meteor shower—which happens every time Earth crosses paths with Comet Tempel-Tuttle and its debris field—is entering its most Leonidiousy period starting tonight:This annual meteor shower is responsible for some of the most intense meteor storms in history. Sometimes, meteors fall at rates as high as 50,000 per hour.Leonid Meteor ShowerThis is either the Leonid meteor shower, or Trump just pushed the nuclear button instead of the Diet Coke one.These meteor storms only happen rarely, but viewers this year will see more Leonid meteors than in 2019, because the thin, crescent moon will be only 5% illuminated during the night of the peak. The best time to look in past years was before dawn around 3 a.m. EST on the morning of the peak, according to Jane Houston Jones of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  … According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, without moonlight skywatchers can expect to see around 10-15 meteors per hour during the peak. The Leonid meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, where its meteors appear to originate. But you can look in just about any direction to enjoy the show, said NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke. If you directly face Leo, you may miss the meteors with longer tails.As I like to say, everyone loves meteor showers because they’re beautiful, unite Americans in a delightful bonding activity, and make millions of people more curious about the universe and the wonders of science, thus explaining why Republicans in Congress are always trying to introduce a constitutional amendment banning all future meteor showers.Have a tolerable Monday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?–Today’s Shameless C&J TestimonialCheers and Jeers is a dumpster fire. Really.—USA Today– – Advertisement – The capsule was named Resiliance by the crew “in a nod not only to the pandemic, but also racial injustice and contentious politics.” The only glitch: Mike Pence failed to follow the trail of pork rinds into the cargo hold. Sadly, he still walks among us.P.S. Our 46th president weighs in…- Advertisement – Cheers and Jeers for Monday, November 16, 2020Note: From the Eyewitness News desk: New York prosecutors working on Trump fraud investigation treated for acute case of post-election chops licking. Film at 11.–- Advertisement – xlast_img read more

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Indonesia reports 75th avian flu death

first_imgMay 7, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia reported today that a 29-year-old woman who died 4 days ago had H5N1 avian influenza, according to news services, signaling the first confirmed case anywhere in nearly a month.The woman was admitted to a hospital in Medan in northern Sumatra May 1 and died May 3, according to an Agence France-Press (AFP) report quoting an official named Suhardaningrum of the national avian flu information center.Her death raises Indonesia’s H5N1 death toll to 75, according to AFP. The total case count at the time of Indonesia’s last case, in early April, was listed as 94.The World Health Organization (WHO) has not included any Indonesian cases in its H5N1 count since the country stopped sharing H5N1 virus samples with the agency in late January. The WHO lists 81 cases with 63 deaths for Indonesia, out of a global total of 291 cases with 172 deaths.Two series of tests confirmed that the Sumatran woman was infected with H5N1, Suhardaningrum told AFP. Other officials said she had had no known contact with sick poultry and it was unclear how she contracted the disease, AFP reported.Reuters reported that the woman was from Pekanbaru in Sumatra’s Riau province. She had been suffering from fever and respiratory problems, a health ministry official said.Before today, the latest human H5N1 case was that of a 15-year-old Egyptian girl, reported Apr 8. She died Apr 10. Indonesia had reported a case in a 29-year-old man on Apr 7.Indonesia stopped sending H5N1 virus samples to the WHO at the end of 2006 out of opposition to the WHO practice of sharing the samples with drug companies, which, in Indonesia’s view, use the samples to make vaccines priced beyond the country’s reach.In late March, Indonesia said it would resume sharing samples in return for a WHO promise to develop new guidelines for sample sharing and, in the interim, to refrain from supplying Indonesian samples to drug companies without the country’s permission.But the country had not provided any more viruses as of last week. Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said May 2 that no samples would be sent until the country had a written guarantee that they would not be turned over to vaccine makers without Indonesia’s consent.H5N1 samples are used to monitor the virus’s evolution, spread, and resistance to antiviral drugs, as well as to make vaccines.See also:WHO avian influenza situation updateshttp://www.who.int/influenza/human_animal_interface/avian_influenza/archive/en/index.htmlApr 9 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia, Egypt report H5N1 cases”last_img read more

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Experts urge clinicians to extend flu-shot season

first_img See also: Andrew Eisenberg, MD, a family practice and emergency department physician from Madisonville, Tex., who has attended NIVS on behalf the Texas Medical Association, shared suggestions for boosting vaccination rates through doctors’ offices. One strategy he said he has found successful is to issue standing orders for all patients to be vaccinated, except those with contraindications. “That way, the vaccination is done before the patient even sees you, and it doesn’t take up the doctor’s time,” Eisenberg said. “Influenza is out there all year round,” he said. “Keep giving it [flu vaccine] when you’ve got it, and give it till it’s gone.” Physicians should also ensure that clinic staff members are immunized, Eisenberg said. Staff vaccination not only is useful for protecting patients and maintaining workforce productivity, but also gives staff members opportunities to debunk some myths that patients believe, such as that flu shots cause the flu, he said. It’s too early to tell if this season’s vaccine is a good match for the circulating flu strains, he said. “Lab surveillance began in October, so we don’t really have a sense of that yet.” The number of confirmed influenza cases is normal for this point in the season, Kroger said. In November, John Bresee, MD, chief of epidemiology and prevention for the CDC’s immunization services division, said the agency was concerned about reports from last season and the summer of possible drift in the influenza A subtype H3N2. Seasonal flu vaccines can be given during preventive visits, for which payers often compensate doctors, Eisenberg said.center_img Kroger said the influenza season is just beginning and emphasized the importance of encouraging patients to be vaccinated, even well after December. “It’s a fallacy that the vaccination season is over in December. The job is not done yet,” he said. Offering the flu vaccine shouldn’t always be thought of as a moneymaking proposition, Eisenberg said: “It’s the right thing to do.” However, physicians can avoid losing money on unused vaccine by using it early and frequently. Dec 6, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Influenza Vaccine Summit (NIVS) in a teleconference today urged clinicians to consider extending their seasonal flu vaccination efforts through March and shared strategies for immunizing more patients during office visits. When patients decline the vaccine, physicians can intervene and tell them about the importance of getting their annual flu shot, he said. The CDC and NIVS efforts are aimed at utilizing the record number of seasonal flu vaccine doses that will be available this year. In November the CDC predicted producers would ship 132 million doses of vaccine by the end of the flu season—more than 10 million more than ever produced before in the United States. At today’s teleconference, Andrew Kroger, MD, medical officer and trainer with the CDC’s immunization services division, said 109.3 million doses have already been distributed. Nov 9 CIDRAP News story “CDC: vaccine deliveries set record, but will strains match?”last_img read more

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Income tax and what do we need to know about it?

first_imgThose who consider themselves experts in this field have not really proven their expertise in their statements. On the contrary, on this occasion, it was shown that the difference in perception of the real situation between “the field” and “Zagreb” is dramatically different. That is why there was a great surprise when most of the decisions of the representative bodies of local self-government units were on the side of keeping the previous amounts of the “flat tax”. What does “terrain” know and “Zagreb” do not know? („Zagreb “is on this occasion a synonym for all these experts in the public and private sector who are concentrated in the Croatian capital). To which income group does the “activity of renting and organizing accommodation in tourism” belong? It is income from property and property rights. The same group of income also includes income from the sale of property, rental of property. For example, renting apartments for tourists belongs to the same group with renting accommodation to tourists. IGNORANCE CREATES THE WRONG PICTURE LET’S GO IN ORDER Non-residents from these countries can stay in the Republic of Croatia for up to 90 days in 180 days without the obligation to register their residence. This means that they can rent apartments and holiday homes every 90 days. In such apartments and holiday homes can stay their friends who also have no obligation to register residence. Smart enough. A natural person who has a place of residence in the place of occurrence of the tax liability directly contributes to the budget of the same local self-government in which he operates. Not only that, the income tax from his salary (income from self-employment) also “fills” the budget of the same LGU. The part that is paid into the local government budget is 60% of the total tax, and 40% of the funds “go” to the county budget. A citizen, a natural person who has a different place of residence from the place of occurrence of the flat-rate income tax liability, does not contribute to that local self-government unit with the tax expense of the “flat rate” as well as with the income tax from self-employment. Both taxes are paid to the local self-government of his residence and the corresponding part also “goes” to the budget of the county to which the local self-government belongs territorially. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE ? What about non-residents? Unlike residents who do not have the same place of residence and incur a flat-rate income tax liability, non-residents from EU Member States, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation who choose to use the flat-rate income tax option for their real estate activities still contribute to the budget. and the same JLS. What is the tax rate on renting apartments for housing and business premises? The income tax rate on receipts from the rent of business premises and residential apartments is 12%. However, before taxation, the reported amount of rent is reduced by 30% (at the expense of costs) and the income tax is calculated on the reduced amount at a rate of 12% STATUS OF NON-RESIDENTS, EU AND EEA TOURISTS + SWISS CONFEDERATION How did we get to that rate? According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, the average number of beds in a household is 6, and the average gross income is 6.000,00 euros (45.000,00 kn). If the taxation system were applied as in the case of renting an apartment, then this amount would be reduced by 30% to the thus obtained base of EUR 4.200,00. Income tax of HRK 300,00 per bed amounts to a total of EUR 240,00 or 5,7% taxes. When the flat-rate sojourn tax is added to this benefit, which in this case has the character of a tax because it is paid regardless of whether overnight stays were realized at all, in the amount of HRK 345,00 per bed, we get a further burden of 6,6%. A tourist membership fee of approximately 0,22% is additionally charged for this amount. The total fiscal and parafiscal burden is 12,52%.center_img There will be opportunities for a more detailed explanation of the whole set of legal possibilities that can be activated in the case of “excessive shelling” of natural persons by fiscal and parafiscal benefits. Thus, currently in a more favorable position are those local self-governments that have more non-resident property owners in their area than residents with a place of residence in another local self-government. Of course, provided that these non-residents decide to engage in the activity of renting and organizing accommodation for tourists. Then they still have to pay 13% VAT on such a service. If they operate through domestic agencies, then they do not pay VAT, but income tax is paid to the budget of the local government headquarters of the agency… The difference between taxpayers with a place of residence in the area of ​​the local self-government where the tax liability arises and taxpayers who have a place of residence in the territory of another local self-government Few topics have so stirred the spirits of those who “cheered” for higher tax burdens on citizens of accommodation providers in the household and on the family farm as a current new way of determining the amount of flat-rate income tax. In accordance with international regulations, in this case the tax liability is reported according to the place of origin, and the tax is paid to the local self-government and the county to which the property territorially belongs. Receipts from the same income group and similar in nature are taxed at the same rate. The only difference is that for the “activity of renting and organizing accommodation in tourism” this tax is converted on the basis of the average to a fixed amount per bed and camp and is part of the total tax in a lump sum consisting of tax and sojourn tax, as before . The method of distribution of income tax and sojourn tax revenues is similar, namely 60% of tax revenues and 65% of sojourn tax revenues belong to the local community. When renting apartments for housing, no sojourn tax is paid. If the tax rate for the activity of renting and organizing accommodation in tourism would increase significantly, then it would certainly pay more to rent an apartment or a holiday home as a residential apartment because the fiscal tax would be lower (no tourist tax is paid). Author: Nedo Pinezić, www.nedopinezic.com What is the recalculated rate of fiscal and parafiscal levies for the “activity of renting and organizing accommodation in tourism?” Also 12%. Economic experts, consultants, journalists… fired “heavy fire” in the public space at the representative bodies of cities and municipalities that are in charge of deciding on the amount of “lump sum” per bed and camp in the household. In that “barrage fire”, the amounts were auctioned, the tax on income from property and property rights was compared with the tax on income from self-employment, non-residents and residents were confused, the permanent population was forgotten and so on…last_img read more

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Tourists from the UK will not need visas for the EU after Brexit

first_imgIf the United Kingdom introduces a visa for citizens of at least one Member State, the reciprocity mechanism provided for by European Union legislation will apply, the proposal said. This could lead to the reintroduction of visas for UK citizens. The proposal explicitly states that visas will be abolished for UK citizens only on the basis of reciprocity, ie provided that EU citizens are granted visa-free access for shorter business or tourist trips to the UK if the country separates from the EU. Without reciprocity there is no visa waiver Following the approval of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Council (COREPER) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, the proposal will be put to the vote today. The legislation should be adopted and published in the Official Journal of the European Union (EUR-Lex) before 12 April, in order to prepare for the “no-deal” Brexit on that date. Citizens of Great Britain will be able to enter the European Union without visas even after the country leaves the EU, but only on short trips, but also under the condition that citizens of the European Union can enter Great Britain without visas, reports European Parliament. To this end, the UK will be included in the list of countries whose nationals do not need to apply for a visa to enter the European Union for business, tourist or private travel. The visa exemption does not provide for the right to work within the European Union. With 38 votes in favor, 8 against and 3 abstentions, members of the Committee on Civil Liberties supported the Council of the European Union’s compromise proposal to abolish visas for UK citizens after their country withdraws from the European Union. center_img The law will enter into force the day after the UK withdraws from the European Union. From that date, British citizens will not need a visa to stay in the European Union for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Next steps Sergei Stanishev, the rapporteur of the proposal, said today’s vote was an important step in guaranteeing the right to visa-free travel for European and British citizens after Brexit, especially in the event that no agreement is reached. While it is known that nothing is known about Brexit, including how it will affect tourism, the EU has shown that it is ready for all scenarios, and before the final decision on Brexit in the UK made a decision that will certainly be welcomed by all tourism workers in Croatia and throughout Europe. Visa waivers will apply in all EU Member States (except Ireland, which has its own visa policy) and in the Schengen countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Ireland and the United Kingdom have a special bilateral agreement that provides for visa-free travel between the two countries.last_img read more

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The new high-speed service connects Split Airport, the islands of Brač and Hvar and the city of Split

first_imgOn the first of June this year, the transport of passengers between the Split airport and the islands of Brač (Bol) and Hvar (Stari Grad), and the city of Split by fast catamaran branded as splitexpress.com begins. CONTINUATION OF LH&V AND SILVER AIR COOPERATION: DIRECT RETURN FLIGHTS FROM ZAGREB, VENICE AND LUGAN TO LOŠINJ The direct connection of Split Airport with the islands by public liner shipping has been awaited for years, and is now finally operational. “When we had the opportunity earlier this year to buy a suitable catamaran, we decided to launch this unique service.”, Says Alan Klanac, one of the two founders of Adriatic Fast Ferries doo, the shipping company behind the Splitexpress.com service. THE FIRST SPEED LINE IS STARTING, WHICH WILL CONNECT THE RIVER, KRK, RAB, PAG AND ZADAR Bol on the island of Brač will be connected five times a day with other destinations, and the Old Town on the island of Hvar and the city of Split will be touched by a catamaran two or three times a day. RELATED NEWS:center_img For more information on the timetable, see https://splitexpress.com Ticket prices range from HRK 99,00 for the route Split – Bol on Brač, and the ticket price for the return trip Split – Hvar is HRK 198,00. This new service will shorten the significant trip to the islands of Brač and Hvar from Split Airport compared to the trip available so far by public transport.  “The opening of this line is very meaningfully followed by the imminent opening of a new passenger terminal building at Split Airport. The new increased capacities of the airport, coupled with efficient and fast travel by sea to the final destination, will enhance the overall experience of all travelers who come to visit the area of ​​the city of Split and the islands this and next years.”Points out Klanac.last_img read more

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Rijeka tunnel reopened for all visitors

first_imgThe working hours of the tunnel are from Monday to Sunday (including holidays) from 10,00 to 20,00. Although the tunnel has not yet come to life in the context as in the case of the Grič tunnel in Zagreb, which has become a platform for various entertainment, cultural and other events, which is a pity because such a tunnel would have added value. It is a tunnel built by the Italian army in the length of 330 meters, in the period from 1939 to 1942, and it is about four meters wide and 2,5 meters high on average. The tunnel is equipped with lighting fixtures. Its soil is sprinkled with sand for easier walking and passable along its entire length, and the internal temperature is 15 degrees. New times have brought a new role to the tunnel – instead of yesterday’s military purpose, today it is becoming a place on the tourist map of the city.center_img Rijeka tunnel, the new Rijeka street, as it is popularly called, the renovated military tunnel that stretches from Dolac Street all the way to the Cathedral of St. Vida, reopened to all visitors. last_img read more

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Adventure tourism a new Dalmatian trump card

first_imgThe experiences exchanged by entrepreneurs will be very important for the County Action Plan for the Development of Active Tourism. It was emphasized that adventure tourism, whose development opportunities are great in different parts of the county, from the sea to the mountains, brings added value to tourism, and is especially important for rural areas, where it develops in parallel with rural tourism. “All the trends show that this is a type of tourism that is growing rapidly everywhere in the world. Croatia is somewhat weaker when it comes to mountain tourism, so our focus is on mountain and all related types of tourism. What should be done to begin with are certainly better-maintained hiking and mountaineering trails, more suitable for ordinary tourists, not just hikers, better marked and better promoted., said prof. dr. sc. Zoran Klarić from the Institute of Tourism. The action plan for active tourism for the area of ​​the Split-Dalmatia County is prepared by the Institute for Tourism for the client, the Tourist Board of the Split-Dalmatia County. So far, we have been working on cycling, trails, and what is expected next are our mountains, hiking, climbing, but also other activities. Prebeg cited the example of two ferratas, which have been launched in the last two years, and these are extreme hiking trails equipped with cables, chains, etc. that cause great interest and are the sole reason for the arrival of some tourists. “It is good that the Action Plan is being drafted, meetings are being held and information is being exchanged, and we expect it to be ready soon. The biggest specificity and advantage of the offer of adventure tourism is that we can work all year round and extend the season. The goals of our Section are to offer everything that guests are looking for and to make the most of the benefits of this area of ​​ours. It is also important to us that our first associates, representatives of accommodation facilities, recognize the importance of this offer and find their interest in connecting. “, said the president of the Section of the Community of Adventure Tourism ŽK Split, Iris Prebeg. “Organizing members into professional bodies of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce is a real example of how, through the chamber framework of our company, we can jointly influence changes in future plans and regulations, so that they are as consistent as possible with the needs of the profession and the situation on the ground.”, said the coordinator for tourism of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce – Split County Chamber, Nataša Bušić. Adventure tourism is a segment of tourism that has been growing rapidly everywhere in the world for the last ten years, and the Split-Dalmatia County has a natural basis and great potential for its even greater development. In order to develop this potential as much as possible and to jointly and systematically develop the profession, the Split County Chamber of Commerce operates the Adventure Tourism Association Section, at whose session the possibilities and direction of active tourism development in the county and especially the Action Plan for its development. Imotska Krajina also has great potential for the development of adventure and general outdoor tourism, and the association of local communities in the joint Imotski Tourist Board enables them to make even better use of this potential. “Last year, we built 14 bike paths, almost 400 km across the country, and now we are working on the Geo Park together with the Biokovo Nature Park. The potential is huge and I think we will see a significant growth in adventure tourism in the coming years. ”, said the president of the Imotski Tourist Board Luka Kolovrat. By the way, in the area of ​​the Imotski Tourist Board, 24% more arrivals and 30% more overnight stays were recorded last year compared to the record-breaking 2018.last_img read more

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Flag protesters are sending message

first_imgThe recent flap about football players taking a knee is to bring the news about black people being killed by the police in every corner of our country. It wasn’t about showing disrespect toward our country or flag. It wasn’t about hatred of our flag or country. It was to bring out what was happening to black men and children.Our president avoided service during the Vietnam conflict and hid while others died. How dare he act patriotic, as his actions show him to be a coward. I believe those who are saying it is unpatriotic for blacks and Caucasians to take a knee are bigots. I applaud the team owners for sticking by their players and showing respect.For too long, the American people have closed their eyes to what is happening. There’s evidence on videotape, and most don’t believe what is in front of their eyes. I watch football every Sunday. I served as many others have, and we will continue to serve. The fact is we have good cops and bad cops. I thank God for the good ones and I pray for those who have been denied life because of the bad ones.Thanks to Colin Kaepernick, America has been awakened to the senseless killings, as well as the plight of black men and children. This is something my four sons never had to worry about. I thank God for this and I will pray for those who woke America up.Gary Philip GuidoRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionA recent letter writer stated that he had been a football fan since 1948. My friends and I played football and had our favorite players and teams. As we grew into manhood, we watched every game we could, and football taught us how to be good sports.last_img read more

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Add Gov. Cuomo to list of ex-politicians

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Progressive, liberals, socialists or whatever losers on the left call yourselves, here’s an updated list of your dishonor roll: Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Sheldon Silver and Eric Schneiderman.All of the above left office in disgrace. One can only hope that criminal coddler-in-chief, Andrew Cuomo, joins them seoon.Wake up, New Yorkers and vote this bum out.Ray WeidmanLathamMore from The Daily Gazette:Albany County warns of COVID increaseEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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Industrial Prime time

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

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True grit

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Prescott all-clear for Stockley

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Railtrack in chaos

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When a plan comes together

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Glasgow scheme gets the go-ahead

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David the goliath

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No EV? Park outside new capital city and take public transportation

first_imgTopics : “We will produce lithium batteries in the region with hydropower energy. At the moment [mining tycoon] Andrew Forrest from Australia is there to conduct [feasibility] studies to also look at hydro-green energy that will be produced after lithium batteries,” said the retired army general.The plan is in line with the government’s vision of promoting EVs, which are considered cleaner as they do not use fossil fuels, with a greater goal of reducing the country’s carbon emissions while promoting domestic battery production. Indonesia is rich in cobalt and manganese, the main components for EV batteries.Hayu Prasasati, secretary of the new capital city secretariat at the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), said the new capital would also be developed using transit-oriented development (TOD) methods whereby every center of business and entertainment would be able to be accessed within walking distance.Read also: Technology, regulation key to driving xEV adoption in Indonesia: Seminar“This would be a compact city and will be developed into clusters. In every cluster there will be centers of activities,” she said. “So, it won’t be like Jakarta, where every time we want to go to work, we need to allocate two hours on the road in advance. With clusters, we can get to different destinations in just 10 minutes.”The government is also aiming for 80 percent of people’s movements in the city being by public transportation, walking or cycling. The public transportation system is expected to reduce people’s travel times. The new capital city will be developed on 256,000 hectares, with buildings and infrastructure occupying only a fifth at 56,000 ha and the rest green areas. The government will start developing road access to and from the new city this year. As the government brushes up on its plans to ensure transportation in the new capital city fully involves electric vehicles (EVs), it has come up with the idea of developing parking lots surrounding the area, a senior minister has said.Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Wednesday that as all vehicles in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara, both in East Kalimantan, must be EVs, non-EVs from surrounding cities such as Samarinda and Balikpapan would be prohibited from entering.“Non-electric vehicles cannot enter the new capital city. They must park and the passengers enter the city using public transportation. There will be parking lots for non-EVs” he told a discussion forum about the new capital city’s transportation system development in Jakarta.center_img President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has announced that the new capital city development will be focused on the basis of a technology-driven green city with an integrated transportation system. The new capital city development project is expected to cost Rp 466 trillion (US$33.7 billion).Read also: Jokowi wants all vehicles in new capital city to be autonomous, electricFor public transportation, the new capital city aims to fully use autonomous systems such as autonomous bus rapid transit and an autonomous railway.Luhut said there would be lithium battery-production facilities in the new capital city to ensure the availability of power for the EVs.last_img read more

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Australia to close schools, cancel sports in event of coronavirus outbreak

first_imgAustralia has had 23 cases of the coronavirus but has managed to head off widespread transmission.That may change and Hunt met top state and territory officials on Tuesday to discuss plans if it does.”If you had an outbreak in a particular city or state … you might close the schools or change the configuration of the hospitals to deal with that,” Hunt told reporters in Canberra.”If it’s in several cities or states, you do it according to the local needs at the time.” Australia will close schools and cancel sporting events in the event of an uncontained coronavirus outbreak, Minister for Health Greg Hunt said on Wednesday, as the government accelerates plans to cope with a possible pandemic.Believed to have originated from wildlife in China’s Wuhan city late last year, the flu-like disease has infected 80,000 people and killed nearly 3,000 in China.It has jumped to about 30 countries and territories, with some three dozen deaths outside China, according to a Reuters tally. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday warned Americans to prepare for the spread of coronavirus in the United States, signalling a change in tone for the Atlanta-based U.S. health agency.Preparations to cope with the virus come as sports-mad Australia is looking forward to the start of the National Rugby League and the Australian Football League seasons.Hunt said some games could be cancelled, though that would be a “last resort”.Australia has since Feb. 1 barred entry to anyone arriving directly from mainland China.Last week, the government evacuated 170 citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which held been held in quarantine in a Japanese port with the virus running rife on board, and put them in quarantine for 14 days in northern Australia.Topics :last_img read more

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Pope to Catholics: For Lent, give up trolling

first_imgDuring Lent, Catholics are called on to give up something, like sweets. On Wednesday, Pope Francis added a modern twist to the list of things to quit during the season and beyond: insulting people on social media.The pope made his appeal to tone things down while speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his general audience on Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day season that leads up to Easter.Lent, he said in partially improvised remarks, “is a time to give up useless words, gossip, rumors, tittle-tattle and speak to God on a first name basis,” he said. “We live in an atmosphere polluted by too much verbal violence, too many offensive and harmful words, which are amplified by the internet,” he said. “Today, people insult each other as if they were saying ‘Good Day.'”In recent years, Francis himself has been the butt of insults from ultra-conservative Catholic websites and mostly anonymous anti-pope Twitter feeds.Twitter has also become a platform for sometimes pitched verbal battles between his supporters and detractors.Later on Wednesday, Francis was due to have ashes rubbed on his forehead at a traditional Ash Wednesday service that reminds Christians of mortality and that everyone will someday become dust.During Lent, which is marked by repentance, fasting and reflection, the faithful are also called on to practice more good deeds, such as alms giving, and to be particularly closer to the needy.Topics :last_img read more

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Indonesia removes price floor for unsubsidized fuels amid global oil price war

first_imgIndonesia has revoked the price floor for unsubsidized gasoline and diesel as the government expects falling global oil prices to push down retail costs, but distributors look less likely to drastically cut prices with some already providing discounts.The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry issued on Feb. 28 Ministerial Decree No. 62/2020 that erases a price floor for gasoline and diesel set by a previous decree, providing flexibility for distributors to reduce prices as low as possible. The new decree still maintains a price ceiling for such fuels pegged to prices in Singapore.“The government’s position is to protect the people’s purchasing power and ensure business continuity,” said the energy ministry’s acting oil and gas director general, Ego Syahrial, on Monday, “as we are facing a sudden fluctuation in crude prices.” The month in which the Energy Ministry issued the new decree saw Indonesian crude prices (ICP) fall by 13.42 percent month-to-month (mtm) to $56.61 per barrel in February because of slowed economic activity from the world’s second largest economy.Global crude oil prices fell about 30 percent on Monday last week after Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, slashed selling prices and planned to increase crude production next month, effectively starting a price war between oil exporting countries.While Pertamina president director Nicke Widyawati echoed government sentiment over increasing crude oil imports, a separate company representative did not immediately comment, explicitly, on plans to lower fuel prices.“Pertamina has executed and complied with the ministerial decree in question,” said Pertamina spokeswoman Fajriyah Usman on Monday.A representative from the Netherlands-based Shell Indonesia oil company also did not elaborate on plans to lower fuel prices.“Shell is committed to complying with regulations and collaborating with the government and all stakeholders over this issue,” said Shell’s vice president of external relations, Rhea Sianipar.Both companies had lowered fuel prices earlier this year after the energy ministry issued on Dec. 26 Ministerial Decree No. 187/2019 – a regulation revoked by the new decree – that tightened the minimum and maximum prices for fuel.Read also: Pertamina again lowers Pertamax prices to promote nonsubsidized fuelAfterwards, in early January in Greater Jakarta, retail fuel prices were reportedly lower at Shell and Total gas stations by up to 15.71 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively, for certain fuels.In comparison, Pertamina reduced its Pertamax and Pertamax Turbo brand gasolines by 8.7 percent to Rp 9,000 per liter and 12.1 percent to Rp 9,850 per liter, respectively.Topics : Global crude oil prices plunged this year as the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has hurt global demand and triggered a price war between major oil exporting countries. The international Brent oil price benchmark almost halved its value to below US$30.50 on Tuesday, from around $50.10 at the start of the year.Ego said on March 10 that the government would make the most of low global crude prices by increasing imports without swelling the country’s trade deficit. The government said it expected Indonesia’s top oil company, state-owned Pertamina, to “buy as much oil as it can”, preferably under long-term purchasing contracts, while global prices sit at a four-year low.Read also: ‘We have many tanks to fill’: Indonesia to make the most out of globally low oil pricesOil and gas imports, which reached $1.75 billion in February, up 10.7 percent from the same month last year, remained a key vulnerability for Southeast Asia’s largest economy.last_img read more

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French doctors learn to draw blood as virus knackers nurses

first_img‘It comes back fast’One nurse usually cares for two to three ICU patients, and on Monday, the AP-HP training platform sent 200 newly-trained medics to hospitals around Paris.Among those getting a refresher course was a 35-year-old radiologist who declined to give his name.”It must be 10 years since I have done this,” he said while sticking a needle into a dummy’s arm. “But it comes back fast.”At first, “I couldn’t do anything right, but now I’m feeling better, already more prepared than this morning,” he added.The teacher, a nurse, patiently takes the class through the ABCs of hospital care.First they are reminded of the importance of following strict hygiene — regularly changing gloves and disinfecting as they go along — especially key in dealing with a highly-contagious virus.Then they are shown how to apply a tourniquet, disinfect skin, find a vein… and within minutes four new nursing personnel are trained.”Nursing is not something to be taken lightly, particularly in intensive care, it is essential to train caregivers even if they are already doctors,” said the teacher, who also did not wish to be named.Several dozen volunteers are trained each day, said Hirsch, to be sent to critical and geriatric care wards at hospitals in the Paris metropolitan area. With other volunteers, including a cardiologist, Eliott learnt to draw blood, start an intravenous drip and inject medicines — tasks normally done by trained nurses.”What we need most at AP-HP are paramedics and nurses,” said director general Martin Hirsch. The group’s hospitals have more than 1,700 COVID-19 intensive care patients in and around Paris, now the epicenter of France’s coronavirus outbreak. Topics : France has more than 22,700 people afflicted with coronavirus in hospital on top of the usual patient population, with more than 5,500 in intensive care units (ICU).More than 3,500 have died in hospital so far.Once trained, Eliott can be called upon to provide nursing care in the greater Paris region.”Our vocation is to help” in any way, he remarks. COVID-19 has French hospitals in dire need of nurses, so seasoned doctors and interns are taking crash courses in drawing blood and other skills long forgotten or never learnt.”I’ve never done this before, but it’s the kind of thing you learn on the job,” said fourth-year medical student Eliott, 22 — a vial in one hand and a needle in the other as he practices on a dummy while being instructed in dosage.Eliott took an express course offered by Paris hospital group AP-HP, which is desperately seeking solutions for a dearth of nurses as the unprecedented health crisis swamps its facilities.last_img read more

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Cautious hope for pandemic peak as Spain readies to reopen some factories

first_imgThe death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has slowed in some of the worst-hit countries, with Spain readying Monday to reopen parts of its economy as governments grapple with a once-in-a-century recession.Italy, France and the US have all reported a drop in COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours — with Italy, the European nation most afflicted by the disease, reporting its lowest toll in more than three weeks.It came as Pope Francis delivered an unprecedented livestream message to a world under lockdown on Easter Sunday and Britain’s Boris Johnson left hospital, thanking medics for saving his life.  ‘Easter of solitude’ President Donald Trump had previously wanted the US to be back to normal by Easter. But most of the country remained at a standstill and churches took celebrations online.Many of the world’s more than two billion Christians celebrated Easter from the confines of their homes while from a hauntingly empty Vatican, Pope Francis delivered a livestream message.”For many, this is an Easter of solitude lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties,” he said.One priest in Rio de Janeiro blessed the Brazilian city from a helicopter, while another in Portugal addressed the faithful from the open top of a moving convertible car.In the UK, which has logged more than 10,000 deaths, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday he had been discharged after “a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question”, referring to the country’s state-run National Health Service.Britain is now seeing daily death tolls to match those previously seen in Italy and Spain, after recording nearly 1,000 fatalities on Friday and Saturday. There were 737 new deaths reported Sunday.Johnson, like Trump, had initially resisted stringent measures such as shutting down public places. More than half of the planet’s population is staying home as part of efforts to stem the spread of the virus, which emerged in China late last year and has now killed at least 112,500 people, overwhelming healthcare systems and crippling the world economy.Spain’s death toll has fallen over recent days, but as a small bump in deaths was reported on Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned that the locked-down country was “far from victory”.”We are all keen to go back out on the streets… but our desire is even greater to win the war and prevent a relapse,” he said, as some companies were set to resume operations at the end of a two-weeks halt of all non-essential activity.In the US — the world’s worst-hit nation with a fifth of all deaths and more than half a million confirmed cases — the government’s top infectious disease expert added to cautious optimism that the pandemic may have reached its peak. Topics :center_img Spain ends ‘economic hibernation’ Some factory and construction workers in Spain were set to return to work on Monday, with police to hand out face masks at metro and train stations.The fortnight of “economic hibernation” is about to be lifted, drawing criticism from some regional leaders and unions, but the rest of the lockdown restrictions in the nation of around 47 million people will remain in place.Meanwhile there were also worrying signs the virus could be taking hold in new, and vulnerable, parts of the world.Conflict-wracked Yemen reported its first case last week, raising fears of a devastating outbreak in the war-torn country.In Mumbai’s crowded Dharavi slum — one of Asia’s biggest and the inspiration for the 2008 Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” — more than 43 cases have been confirmed.And while sub-Saharan Africa has not been as badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic as some other parts of the world, the economy is being pummeled.Governments are under pressure to keep populations safe while preventing economic collapse, amid warnings of a downturn not seen since the Great Depression.But the World Health Organization has warned countries against lifting lockdown restrictions too early. Anthony Fauci said parts of the country could begin easing restrictions in May, but warned that the world’s biggest economy would not turn back on like a “light switch”.”We are hoping by the end of the month we can look around and say, OK, is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on?” Fauci told CNN.last_img read more

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Hungary, China sign loan deal for Budapest-Belgrade Chinese rail project

first_imgHungary and China have signed a loan agreement to finance the construction of a railway link between Budapest and Belgrade, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga announced on Friday.Varga said in a video on his Facebook page that the loan carried a fixed interest rate and an early repayment option but he did not say what the exact terms were.A key piece of data in the loan agreement is what interest rate Hungary will pay. Earlier this month, Hungary drafted legislation to classify all data included in contracts for the $2.1 billion, tax-payer funded rail project for 10 years.”We have a loan agreement that is advantageous and secure for Hungary,” Varga said in the video, adding that the terms of the loan were “favorable relative to the currently available debt financing conditions.”Some 85% of the financing comes from China as a loan, while 15% is provided by Hungary, he said.Varga said the new rail link, to be completed by 2025, would allow Hungary to be a center for European logistical networks as Chinese goods travel from Greece to western Europe. The 150-km (93-mile) Hungarian stretch of the railway will be built by CRE Consortium which includes holding company Opus Global, controlled by Lorinc Meszaros, an associate of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.The other half of the winning consortium is owned by China Tiejiuju Engineering & Construction Kft. and China Railway Electrification Engineering Group Kft., representing the Chinese state railways company.According to a statement by Opus in 2019, the holding company could earn revenues worth about 295 billion forints from the project over the planned construction period.The project has suffered significant delays. China, Serbia and Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding on the 370-km rail route in December 2014 in Belgrade.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Van passenger struggling to breathe left on side of road

first_imgA 57-year-old woman who was suffering breathing difficulties was left lying on the side of a public road in Purbalingga regency, Central Java, after the driver of the shuttle van she was riding dropped her off.The passenger, identified only as YT, was returning from Jakarta to her hometown in Sumingkir, Kutasari district, ahead of the Idul Fitri holiday.En route, she began to experience shortness of breath – a known symptom of COVID-19. She then asked the driver to drop her off on the side of Jl. Raya Kutasari, saying her family would pick her up instead. YT, who was still struggling to breathe, was then left lying on the side of Jl. Raya Kutasari along with her luggage. None of the locals helped her because of virus fears.Later, a medical worker clad in a protective suit arrived and rushed the woman to the emergency unit at Siaga Medika Hospital in the neighboring Banyumas regency. They arrived at the hospital at 11:25 a.m.Kutasari Police Chief Adj. Comr. Agus Amjat Purnomo said the shuttle van driver – a Purbalingga native identified only as KM – was brought in for questioning not long after YT was evacuated.“We tracked [the driver] down as soon as we received the report. We got his phone number and called him in for questioning,” Agus said as quoted by kompas.com on Sunday. Read also: COVID-19: ‘Mudik’ ban catches travelers flat-footedKM was taking 10 passengers from Greater Jakarta to Purwekerto, Purbalingga and Banjarnegara in Central Java, Agus said.“The driver did not know that the passenger was having breathing difficulties when he dropped her off,” Agus said.Purbalingga Health Agency head Hanung Wikantono said YT’s symptoms were not linked to COVID-19.“She was conscious during the evacuation. There were no seizures. She has a history of asthma,” Hanung said, adding that the patient was in stable condition.The government has officially banned the Idul Fitri tradition of mudik (exodus) to stem the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus throughout the country. However, a recent survey by the Transportation Ministry showed that 7 percent of citizens had already left for their hometowns ahead of the Islamic holiday.Some residents of Greater Jakarta participated in mudik despite the ban. Within the first five hours after the ministry’s travel restrictions were officially enacted, the Jakarta Police stopped more than 1,000 motorists attempting to leave Greater Jakarta. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

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Brazilians divided on impeachment of President Bolsonaro: poll

first_imgBrazilians are split on impeaching President Jair Bolsonaro despite a majority believing accusations by the former justice minister that Bolsonaro tried to interfere with the federal police’s work for political gain, a poll conducted on Monday showed.Pollster Datafolha found that 48 percent oppose impeaching Bolsonaro while 45 percent of those surveyed want to see him impeached, a difference within the margin of error of the poll.Sergio Moro, a popular minister because of his record fighting corruption as a federal judge, resigned as justice minister on Friday, accusing the president of attempting to interfere in sensitive police investigations involving family members. Bolsonaro said the accusations were unfounded.For 52 percent of those polled by Datafolha, Moro was telling the truth and only 20 percent said they believed Bolsonaro’s account.While Brazilians are split on Congress removing the president by impeachment, the number that believe Bolsonaro should resign has risen to 46 percent from 37 percent in the previous poll at the beginning of April. Those opposed to his resigning have decreased to 50 percent from 59 percent.A main reason for discontent with Bolsonaro has been his handling of the coronavirus epidemic, whose gravity he has downplayed as the death toll rises in Brazil. The poll found 45 percent consider his handling bad or terrible against 27 percent who think he has done a good or excellent job.The Datafolha poll showed that Bolsonaro has hung on to his core support, with the positive approval rating of his government rising to 33 percent from 30 percent in December. Its negative numbers have risen to 38 percent from 36 percent four months ago.Datafolha polled 1,503 people by telephone on Monday. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points up or down.Topics :last_img read more

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Nahdlatul Ulama launches online career center for members

first_imgNahdhalatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest mass Muslim organization, has launched online career center NUcareer.id to help its member apply for jobs and improve their skills, according to the organization’s officials.The online platform was established through a collaboration between the organization’s professional association, NU Circle, and career center developer TopKarir Indonesia, and is designed to prepare NU’s youth members to enter the workforce.“We hope that through this platform, santri [Islamic boarding school students] and former santri will have the same employment opportunities as others,” NU Circle talent development head Bayu Janitra said during the platform’s online launch on Wednesday. The platform provides job search and posting features, information of scholarships and internships and an online training and certification center.Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Teten Masduki, who also participated in the launch ceremony, expressed hope the platform would help pesantren (Islamic boarding school) graduates gain employment in the formal sector.“During my visit with President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo to local pesantren, many kyai [Islamic teacher] expressed hope their students could have professional careers. Hopefully, the career center can develop the skills of our santri,” Teten said.The application uses the TopKarir platform but is operated by NU and prioritizes NU members, although the website is accessible for the general public, NU Circle chairman Gatot Prio Utomo said. In addition to launching the career center, Bayu said the organization was also developing an end-to-end programming training course for santri in collaboration with state lender Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) and the Indonesian Islamic Economy Expert Association (IAEI).“We’re developing the Santri Developer program to provide online and offline end-to-end training for our santri. We hope the State-Owned Enterprise Ministry and the cooperatives ministry can support the initiative,” he said.NU claims to have around 60 million members across the country and has had a major influence on the country’s politics and government since its founding in 1926.Ma’ruf Amin, a senior cleric within the organization, was elected as the country’s vice president in 2019.Topics :last_img read more

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Saudi plans for Newcastle may not be on scale of Man City transformation

first_imgTopics : A bid by a Saudi Arabian state fund to secure ownership of Newcastle United is drawing scrutiny, but even if it succeeds it is unlikely that the petrodollars will transform the Premier League club into a powerhouse in the near future.The prospect of the Saudi bid fuelling a rapid rise to the top, in the manner of Manchester City’s four title successes under owners from the United Arab Emirates, has thrilled many Newcastle fans, but several analysts believe that the investment impact may not be on such a scale.A group fronted by British financier Amanda Staveley, with an expected 80% investment from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF and 10 percent involvement from billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, have made a reported 300 million pound ($375 million) bid to buy the club from British businessman Mike Ashley. Investors wanting to become owners of English professional clubs have to show they have no unspent criminal conviction for fraud, are not bankrupt, and have not been banned from serving as a company director.Newcastle supporters, however, are mostly excited at the prospect of major investment in their team, which has not featured in the Champions League since 2004 and has not won the English title since 1927 or FA Cup since 1955, despite claiming one of the country’s largest fan bases.The timing of the bid, though, is far from ideal — the Premier League is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, Moody’s Investors Service cut Saudi Arabia’s outlook to “negative” from “stable”, saying the oil price crash has raised fiscal risks for the Gulf nation.”It is a relatively risky undertaking at a time when it looks like the kingdom will need a lot of liquid assets to finance deficits and maintain its currency peg,” says Steffen Hertog, Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics.Improving influence Hertog, like a number of observers, believes the Saudi involvement is aimed at improving the country’s influence and image outside of its borders but says economic realities may limit PIF’s ambitions.”It definitely is part of an Abu Dhabi style soft power strategy, but I am not sure how much extra money they will pour into the club. Given current fiscal developments and the travails of some of the PIF’s other assets, there are likely to be constraints to Saudi generosity,” he said.Manchester City’s UAE owners have been closely involved in the major decision-making at the club with Khaldoon Al Mubarak chairman since September 2008 but that path may not be followed by the Saudis.”PIF does not have the experience or capacity to be ‘hands on’ so would likely take a back seat,” says Neil Quilliam, CEO of Gulf-focused consultancy Castlereagh Associates.Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan addressed, in a television interview on Saturday, the issue of investments abroad, without directly mentioning PIF’s potential bid for Newcastle.”The investments are highly important because they have returns we can use in case of a crisis to curb the deficit. If we use the reserves, we consume the assets and won’t have any returns.”Also, these types of crises create investment opportunities. Many companies reduce their investments, which creates opportunities to invest in them,” he told Al Arabiya news channel.PIF manages over $300 billion in assets. It has been in existence since 1971, but became a more active investor since 2015 when it started reporting to a high-level economic body headed by the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.PIF has been tasked with delivering on Prince Mohammed’s ambitious economic transformation drive to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil revenues.The fund is headed by former Saudi banker Yasir al-Rumayyan, whose title is governor and is seen as close to Prince Mohammed.Financial sources have told Reuters that the crown prince had a say on many strategic PIF decisions, such as Softbank’s Vision fund investment.center_img The proposal faces some early obstacles and the prospect of Saudi ownership of a top English club has been condemned by human rights groups.Saudi Arabia was internationally criticized after the 2018 murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate, the Yemen war and the detention of several women’s rights activists.Added to that there is the long-running dispute with Qatari company BeInSport regarding allegations of Saudi tolerance of ‘pirate’ broadcasts in the kingdom — an issue which has been raised by some parliamentarians in the UK.The proposed takeover is now being reviewed as part of the Premier League’s “owners’ and directors’ test”, which was previously known as the ‘fit and proper person’s test’.last_img read more

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Hong Kong leader vows education overhaul after protests

first_imgTopics : Protests rekindle Hong Kong was convulsed by seven straight months of often-violent youth-led pro-democracy protests last year, with millions hitting the streets.More than 8,000 people have been arrested — around 17 percent of them secondary school students.The mass arrests and the coronavirus pandemic ushered in a period of enforced calm.But with the finance hub successfully tackling its COVID-19 outbreak — and social distancing measures easing — small protests have bubbled up.On Sunday, riot police chased flash-mob protesters through multiple shopping malls.They later used pepper spray and batons against protesters, bystanders and journalists in the district of Mong Kok.Police said 230 people were arrested throughout the day, aged between 12 and 65.”Police condemn protestors for disregarding the Government’s disease prevention and control measures, and participating in or organizing prohibited group gatherings,” the force said in a statement on Monday.Lam has resisted calls for universal suffrage or an independent inquiry into the police’s handling of the protests.In the New Year, she vowed to heal the divisions coursing through Hong Kong, but her administration has offered little in the way of reconciliation or a political solution.Arrests and prosecutions have continued apace, while Beijing’s offices in the city sparked a constitutional row last month by announcing a greater say in how Hong Kong is run. Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leader on Monday vowed to overhaul the city’s education system, arguing its liberal studies curriculum helped fuel last year’s violent pro-democracy protests.Chief Executive Carrie Lam described the current secondary school program as a “chicken coop without a roof” and said her government would soon unveil their plans.”In terms of handling the subject of liberal studies in the future, we will definitely make things clear to the public within this year,” she told the pro-government Ta Kung Pao newspaper in an interview published Monday. Hong Kong has some of Asia’s best schools and universities with academic freedoms unseen in mainland China.Liberal studies was introduced in 2009 as a way to foster critical thinking with schools allowed to choose how they teach it.But it has become a bete noire for Chinese state media and pro-Beijing politicians who have called for more patriotic education.In Monday’s interview, Lam said she felt the classes allowed teachers to push their political biases and that greater oversight by the government was now needed. Her comments are likely to inflame those Hong Kongers who fear Beijing is chipping away at the freedoms that make the city a major international draw as political tensions rise once more.With the backing of Beijing, Hong Kong’s government is pushing ahead with a bill that outlaws insulting China’s national anthem and leading pro-establishment figures are lobbying for an anti-sedition law.The government says new legislation is needed to curb snowballing support — especially among younger Hong Kongers — for democracy and greater autonomy from China.Opponents say the laws will cut back on free speech and do little to heal the city’s festering divides.last_img read more

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Indonesia renews call to maintain UN peacekeeping operations during COVID-19

first_imgThe COVID-19 crisis had disrupted peacekeeping operations (PKO), making it difficult for conflicting parties to engage and discuss peace, while also limiting the movement and activities of peacekeepers, Retno said.Access to humanitarian aid and logistics had been disrupted due to the unavailability of transportation, she added.Read also: COVID-19: Nearly 90,000 Indonesians return home after more than 700 infected abroadIn this regard, Indonesia continued to stress the importance of ensuring the safety and health of UN peacekeepers at the UN Security Council (UNSC) meetings. Indonesia has renewed its call for the world to refocus on maintaining and supporting peacekeeping operations, as countries in conflict are being hit even harder by the COVID-19 pandemic than countries at peace.Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi on Thursday reiterated Indonesia’s concerns about the impacts of the coronavirus crisis in conflict countries, saying that Indonesia was committed to upholding any and all efforts to resolve conflict and build peace.“As we are all aware, COVID-19 has an enormous impact for all countries, including countries affected by conflict. The situation on the ground, which is already fragile due to ongoing conflicts, is now worsened by COVID-19 due to limited health infrastructure, fragile security, challenging economic situations and humanitarian conditions,” Retno told a press briefing on May 14. “At least 13 countries with PKO have confirmed COVID-19 cases. Sixty-four peacekeepers have contracted the virus,” Retno said, citing UN data.Although no Indonesian peacekeepers had contracted the disease to date, the country remained fully alert in following developments on the ground, she added.Indonesia is the largest country among UNSC member states in terms of contributing peacekeeping troops, and the eighth largest among all UN member states.“Therefore, Indonesia will closely follow the impact of COVID-19 on our peacekeepers,” Retno said.On March 23, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an appeal for a global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic.”To warring parties, I say: Pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns, stop the artillery, end the airstrikes. This is crucial to help create corridors for life-saving aid,” he states in the press release published on the UN website.“As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, Indonesia welcomes and supports the [UN secretary-general’s] call,” Retno stressed at Thursday’s briefing.Read also: Indonesia to prioritize quality in peacekeeping contributions as UN funds evaporateAlong with other members of the UNSC, Indonesia was currently drafting a resolution on measures to address COVID-19 challenges, particularly peace and security.“Unfortunately, the draft has yet to reach consensus. The longer the UNSC cannot agree on the draft, [the more] it sends a negative signal on the ground, and could even worsen the situation for [people] in many conflict areas,” Retno said.The UNSC should focus on enhancing cooperation to protect the people in conflict areas, and Indonesia was ready to continue contributing to negotiations on the draft resolution, she concluded.Topics :last_img read more

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COVID-19: Health minister issues ‘new normal’ guidelines for workplaces

first_img“However, it’s impossible to impose restrictions on workplaces forever. We should keep the wheels of our economy running,” Terawan said in a statement on the Health Ministry’s official website. “That’s why workplaces must prepare to adapt to changes amid the COVID-19 situation, also known as the new normal.”The ministerial decree requires company management to create task forces to curb the spread of the disease. They should also ensure cleanliness and hygiene at the workplace and increase the number of hand-washing facilities.The decree also advises workplaces to do away with late-night shifts or at least only assign such shifts to workers under the age of 50.Employees are required to maintain a safe physical distance at the workplace and wear masks. Their temperatures should also be checked daily. Companies are also advised to set aside a time for employees to exercise together – while adhering to physical distancing guidelines – before work starts.”By implementing these guidelines, we hope to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the workplace,” Terawan said.The Health Ministry announced 479 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 22,750 with 1,391 fatalities.Topics : Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto has issued new health protocols for workplaces to usher in the so-called “new normal” even as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise.In a ministerial decree issued on Saturday, Terawan detailed how offices and manufacturers should operate during the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).Government Regulation (PP) No. 21/2020 requires all workplaces, except those in essential sectors, to be temporarily shut down in areas enacting the PSBB.last_img read more

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Hong Kong airport to resume limited transit services

first_imgHong Kong will partly resume transit services at its international airport next week, the city’s leader announced Tuesday, as the business hub gradually reopens while keeping the coronavirus at bay.Hong Kong’s airport is one of the world’s busiest but arrivals and flights have collapsed in the wake of the global pandemic.”Transit services at the airport, which have been suspended since March 25, will partly resume on June 1,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters. Further details on lifting transit flight restrictions were expected to be unveiled at a press conference by health officials later in the afternoon. Hong Kong was one of the first places to record the COVID-19 disease when it broke out of mainland China. But the city has since made impressive headway against the virus with a little over 1,000 recorded infections and four deaths out of a population of 7.5 million people.Tuesday marked 11 consecutive days with no recorded local infections. Anyone arriving at the airport is not allowed into the city until they take a coronavirus test. Those found to be positive are immediately quarantined. Many businesses including bars were forced to shut in March and April but have since reopened.Karaoke lounges, nightclubs, saunas and party rooms will be allowed to reopen on Friday, Lam said.Hong Kong’s airport was ranked the largest air cargo hub and the fourth largest international passenger centre in 2019 by the Airports Council International, handling 4.8 million metric tonnes of cargo and over 71 million international passengers. Arrivals dropped last year during anti-government protests that rocked the city for months. Topics :last_img read more

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Bumi Resources Mineral to hold private placement to pay debt

first_imgPublicly listed mineral miner PT Bumi Resources Mineral (BRMS) plans to issue US$52 million worth of new shares in a private placement this year to finish paying off a three-year-old debt penalty.The indebted miner is slated to sell all the shares to Singapore-based management consulting firm Wexler Capital Pte, to which BRMS owes the money. The miner plans to request shareholder approval over the debt-for-equity swap during a meeting on June 24.Read also: Omnibus bill to centralize permit processing, offer incentives for miners“After completing this transaction, BRMS’s minority shareholder ownership will only be diluted by 2.3 percent,” BRMS director Herwin W. Hidayat said in a statement on Tuesday.The sale is expected to improve the miner’s debt-to-equity ratio and liquidity, he added.Publicly-listed BRMS owes Wexler $154.96 million worth of shares after the consultancy and other creditors won a court case at the South Jakarta District Court in 2017.Read also: Miners call for more government support amid rising problemsThe miner paid off 65 percent of its debt to Wexler in 2017 and was scheduled to pay off the remaining 35 percent in 2018 but delayed payments twice until this year, according to a BRMS investor notice about the swap uploaded on the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) website on May 18.As of December 2019, Wexler holds a 9.79 percent ownership of BRMS. The miner booked a $1.28 million net profit in 2019, turning around a $103.5 million net loss from the previous year.Topics :last_img read more

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Ministry pushes for revision of laws on welfare during National Day for the Elderly

first_imgTopics : The Social Affairs Ministry hosted a virtual event to celebrate the 24th National Day for Elderly People on Friday.”The celebration was conducted virtually to comply with physical-distancing procedures amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ministry’s social rehabilitation director general, Harry Hikmat, said as quoted by Antara.During the event, the ministry pushed for a revision of Law No. 13/1998 on elderly welfare, which is regarded as outdated and needing to be improved to accommodate the problems encountered by elderly people nowadays. A 2015 report from the United Nations, titled “World Population Ageing”, projected that the number of people 60 years old and above in the country would reach 39 million in 2030, 13.2 percent of the population, and 61.8 million in 2050, 19.2 percent.Many senior citizens live with their families, some of them have the potential for being abused behind closed doors, however such cases remain unreported.The World Health Organization estimates that up to 80 percent of cases of elder abuse are not reported.The government has made efforts to provide legal protection, as stipulated in Law No. 23/2004 on the elimination of domestic violence as well as Law No. 13/1998 on elderly welfare. However, there are few details on the implementation of these laws.Law No. 23/2004 prohibits negligence of the elderly within the household, while Law No. 13/1998 states that the family are responsible for the welfare of the elderly.However, neither law includes details on rights for the elderly or the protection of their interests and intentions. (vny)center_img Harry hoped that the revised law could be included in this year’s priority legislation list (Prolegnas).In addition to that, the ministry also paid special attention to the elderly by providing them with various kinds of social assistance, including staple-food packages and cash aid.Indonesia has over 23 million senior citizens.Read also: COVID-19 kills elderly, haunts the young in Indonesialast_img read more

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Pertamina enlists Krakatau Steel as supplier for Rokan Block

first_imgPertagas president director Wiko Migantoro said the deal was a means of using more locally made components within the Rokan Block, which is Indonesia’s second-most productive oil block.“This is mainly an effort to create synergy among state-owned enterprises and their subsidiaries in key national projects,” he said in a joint statement, adding that the deal would cut pipe purchasing costs by 16 percent.Indonesia, through Pertamina, is set to nationalize the Rokan Block next year. The area is currently operated by United States-based Chevron.Read also: Pertamina loses partners, eyes new investors for refinery megaprojectsThe country expects Pertamina’s takeover to maintain block production levels, which saw a landmark decline of 9.2 percent year-on-year to 190,131 barrels per day in 2019. Prior to 2019, the Rokan Block was Indonesia’s most productive oil block.“We guarantee punctuality on the lead time of 4-6 months, so that this project can be finished on time and with quality,” said Krakatau Steel president director Silmy Karim.Topics : State-owned energy giant Pertamina has enlisted fellow state-owned company Krakatau Steel to supply metal sheet coils for the former’s project in the Rokan oil and gas block in Riau.Pertamina, through subsidiary Pertamina Gas (Pertagas), signed on Tuesday a deal with Krakatau Steel, the country’s largest steelmaker, to purchase 53,600 metric tons of hot rolled coil (HRC) steel, which will be turned into 370 kilometers of piping for the project.Read also: SOE Ministry slashes Pertamina’s board of directors to refocus businesslast_img read more

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‘Victory for French football’ as fans return and witness 9-0 PSG rout

first_img“It is a victory for French football, sport in general,” said outgoing Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu who was at the match. “I am delighted that football in France can resume in a popular way, with more people in the stadiums. It is the only country in western Europe to be able to do this.”Unlike Germany, England, Italy and Spain, France abandoned its league season in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but when the other four countries resumed their leagues, they did so behind closed doors.Although social distancing rules were in place, fans took a few liberties once they were in the 25,000-capacity Stade Ocean on Sunday. “It’s a bit like a return to normal life, even if there are some drastic conditions,” said Johan Vattier, president of Les Barbarians Havre, the club’s biggest supporters group. “We don’t give a damn about PSG, this match is first and foremost a way to get back together with our mates!””It’s not easy for a group like ours to enforce the rules because we’re used to cramming together, but we’re going to try to respect them as much as possible,” he added. “We want to start next season with fans in the ground.”Alan, 20, a student in Le Havre, who is a PSG fan, said it had been a dream to finally see his team in the flesh and he had not thought about the health risk.”When I saw that it was Paris, I didn’t even think about it,” he said. “Closed-door games on TV are boring.” On the field, Neymar and Mauro Icardi each scored twice and Kylian Mbappe once before PSG made 10 changes leading 5-0 at half time. Pablo Sarabia, with two, Idrissa Gueye and Arnaud Kalimuendo scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half to complete the rout as PSG started to warm up for a busy few weeks in late July and early August.”We are back! A friendly that feels like a final with a knot in my stomach,” Neymar wrote on Instagram before kick-off.PSG are due to play Saint-Etienne in the French Cup final on July 24 and Lyon in the French League Cup Ffinal on July 31 before resuming their Champions League campaign away to Atalanta on August 12.Both French finals will be at the 80,000-seat Stade de France in Paris.Maracineanu said the attendance limit would be reviewed on July 18 and would consider adjusting the limit so it was proportional with the size of the stadium.Topics : Paris Saint-Germain routed second division Le Havre in a friendly on Sunday remarkable not for the 9-0 score, but because it drew the biggest crowd for a match in one of Europe’s ‘Big Five’ football nations since early March.The French government relaxed the health protocols before the weekend to allow for a total attendance of 5,000, including players, journalists and staff, at games and while the match at Le Havre was not the first to be played, the others involved only lower-division clubs.For the game at Le Havre, the tickets, priced between 30 euros ($34) and 60 euros, sold out in six minutes. last_img read more

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PT KAI offers rapid testing for passengers at 12 Java train stations

first_imgRead also: Doubts loom over widespread use of rapid tests in virus-stricken IndonesiaBesides providing rapid test services for passengers, PT KAI has set up strict health protocols in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 on board and at train stations.Travelers who plan to take the train are required to be in prime condition and have a temperature below 37.3 degrees Celsius.Aboard the train, passengers have to maintain a safe physical distance, wash their hands routinely and wear masks and long-sleeved clothing. They also must wear face shields provided by the train operator throughout the trip, while children aged below 3 years old must bring their own face shields.The staff will also arrange seats for passengers aged above 50 years old so they won’t be sitting close to other passengers.Didiek expressed hopes that the rapid test services and strict health protocols could increase the number of passengers while ensuring their safety during their journey.Read also: Jakarta replaces entry and exit permit with app-based monitoring system to contain COVID-19″Through this service, we hope the public could increase their mobility by using trains. We also hope that we can keep all of our passengers healthy until they arrive at their destinations. We want to highlight that trains can be a safe and comfortable mode of transportation,” he said.The company suffered a plunge in income because of fewer trips and passengers due to the coronavirus outbreak.Didiek said that before the pandemic, the company earned Rp 23 billion per day, but the figure dropped to between Rp 300 million and Rp 400 million per day starting in March, tempo.co reported on June 30.Indonesia announced its first COVID-19 cases in early March, which was followed by social restriction policies set by the central and local governments in a bid to curb the spread of the disease. (nal)Topics : State-owned train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) has started providing rapid testing at several train stations in a bid to boost ridership and ensure safe protocols for passengers amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.“We provide this [rapid test] service for the passengers’ convenience, especially for those who want to travel during the ‘adapting to new habits’ era,” PT KAI president director Didiek Hartantyo said in a written statement on Monday as reported by kompas.com.The company previously announced that passengers of long-distance trains are required to bring negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or non-reactive rapid test results that are valid for 14 days at the time of the trip.Didiek said the rapid test services would be available at 12 train stations across Java, namely Gambir and Pasar Senen in Jakarta; Bandung and Cirebon in West Java; Semarang, Tawang, Purwokerto and Solo Balapan in Central Java; Yogyakarta; Madiun, Surabaya Gubeng, Surabaya Pasarturi and Malang in East Java.Pasar Senen Station in Central Jakarta was the first station to provide testing on Monday. PT KAI would then expand the service gradually to the remaining 11 stations.Passengers can take a rapid test by paying Rp 85,000 (US$6). They are required to show their ticket for a long-distance train ride to train station officials.last_img read more

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Tokyo stocks close lower after Trump-Biden debate

first_imgTokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday after the first US presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, which turned into a shouting match.The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.50 percent or 353.98 points to end at 23,185.12, while the broader Topix index dropped 1.97 percent or 32.61 points to 1,625.49.”After the presidential debate, concerns over a (potential) political vacuum due to issues around Mr Trump caused falls in US features, with the Nikkei slipping further,” Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary. Telecom operator NTT closed down 3.60 percent at 2,150 yen, a day after it announced a takeover of its mobile phone unit on concerns the deal could have negative impact on NTT’s financial conditions.Its phone unit NTT Docomo climbed 20.91 percent to 3,885 yen, near the 3,900 yen price NTT will pay in the deal.Its smaller rival and wireless newcomer Rakuten was up 0.89 percent at 1,132 yen. After the market close it announced a 5G wireless service at a much cheaper price than domestic rivals. Among other major shares, Toyota was down 2.54 percent at 6,932 yen, Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was down 0.36 percent at 65,860 yen, and Sony ended down 2.04 percent at 8,032 yen.The dollar fetched 105.49 yen in Asian trade, against 105.68 yen in New York late Tuesday.Topics :last_img read more

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Yogyakarta, Malang balance local COVID-19 response with economic activities

first_imgEditor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the national COVID-19 task force (Satgas COVID-19) to raise awareness about the health emergency.Topics : The administration of Yogyakarta has set its sights on balancing its COVID-19 response with its efforts to reopen tourism to keep the local economy running. Heroe Poerwadi, the head of the Yogyakarta COVID-19 task force, said that the special province had implemented “small-scale”social restrictions to allow economic activities to continue in the region. The policy permitted the smallest administrative districts in the region, like villages, to temporarily limit access if a confirmed case emerged. “This ‘micro’ lockdown aims to curb transmission in only the affected are, while maintaining economic activities in other areas of the region, which relies heavily on tourism,” Heroe said on Sunday as quoted by tempo.co. He said the policy was implemented in mid-September, when a new COVID-19 cluster emerged in the province from a street food vendor selling soto Lamongan (Lamongan chicken soup) in Umbulharjo district.The soto Lamongan cluster resulted in 25 confirmed cases, including the vendor and several customers, as well as tourists who had bought food from other nearby vendors.Read also: 20 COVID-19 patients linked to ‘soto Lamongan’ cluster in Yogyakarta “When the soto Lamongan vendor cluster emerged, [the administration] immediately closed access to and from the village where the vendor was located, with local residents setting up an access point to monitor people’s movements over 10 days,” said Heroe.He added that Yogyakarta had taken a similar measure in Kotabaru when the subdistrict recorded nine new cases and one COVID-19 death.“With this type of micro-lockdown, we were able to [contain] the infection and avoid wider transmission of the virus,” he said.Heroe said that the Yogyakarta administration also encouraged the local people to help each other by providing free meals to residents who were self-isolating at home. The food must be in a container and placed in a certain spot for the self-isolating resident to collect.Earlier, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko expressed his support for Yogyakarta’s small-scale restrictive measures as a way to keep the economy running in the province, which was dependent on tourism and education.Meanwhile, Malang is another tourist destination that is also trying to balance its COVID-19 response with the local tourist industry.Known for its scenic view of the surrounding plateau and its apples, the city is requiring all visitors to present their negative rapid test result to be permitted entry. It is also mandatory for everyone in the city to comply with the health protocols, including wearing masks, washing hands with soap and maintaining physical distance. Read also: Malang designer finds inspiration in COVID-19 pandemicThe Malang COVID-19 task force stated that the city had seen a decrease in confirmed cases and an increase in recovered cases. Nevertheless, it was still seeing coronavirus-related deaths.Malang Mayor Sutiaji said that public compliance with the COVID-19 protocols had contributed to the improvements in its coronavirus figures.“But we have to stay alert and cautious,” Sutiaji said as quoted by kompas.com on Sunday. On Monday, Yogyakarta recorded 2,813 confirmed cases, 2,123 recovered cases and 75 deaths, while Malang recorded 1,823 confirmed cases, 1,575 recovered cases and 177 deaths. (nkn) #wearmask #usesoap #washyourhandlast_img read more

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Maurizio Sarri wants Chelsea bosses to revamp squad after Manchester City loss

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Sarri says he’s ‘at risk’ of losing his job, after City thrashingTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 3:36FullscreenSarri says he’s ‘at risk’ of losing his job, after City thrashinghttps://metro.co.uk/video/sarri-says-hes-risk-losing-job-city-thrashing-1860108/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. The Italian has run out of patience after another woeful performance (Picture: Getty)Maurizio Sarri does not believe his Chelsea players are capable of playing ‘Sarri-ball’ and wants club bosses to back him in overhauling the squad, according to reports.The Italian is under growing pressure at Stamford Bridge following Sunday’s brutal 6-0 defeat to Manchester City – the club’s heaviest defeat in the Premier League and worst since a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Nottingham Forest in 1991.Sarri has previously questioned his players’ desire and motivation after poor results against Arsenal and Bournemouth, but was at a loss to explain Sunday’s capitulation at the Etihad. Maurizio Sarri wants Chelsea bosses to revamp squad after Manchester City loss Comment Chelsea were ripped apart by Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday (Picture: Getty)According to The Times, the defeat is the breaking point for Sarri and he is worried he lacks the players required to implement his gameplan at Chelsea.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHe now feels that the club must either back him or sack him, believing it is virtually impossible to play the brand of football he is so noted for unless there are significant changes made to his squad.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CitySarri has identified two key traits his squad are lacking: physical commitment and tactical understanding.The former Napoli boss was given little opportunity to really stamp his ideals on the squad, and club bosses are sympathetic to the fact that his pre-season preparations were cut short as they struggled to get rid of Antonio Conte until deep into the summer. The Italian believes his squad lacks physicality and tactical understanding (Picture: Getty)Sarri has only made two permanent signings since taking charge – Jorginho and Kepa – and believes more investment is needed.Chelsea have a number of players nearing the end of their contracts, while star man Eden Hazard is being linked with a £100million move to Real Madrid, and Sarri wants to use it as an opportunity to remould the squad he has inherited.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 12 Feb 2019 7:41 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kShareslast_img read more

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer forced to break up dressing room bust-up between Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku after Southampton win

first_imgOle Gunnar Solskjaer forced to break up dressing room bust-up between Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku after Southampton win Comment Metro Sport ReporterMonday 4 Mar 2019 11:24 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.4kShares Romelu Lukaku was furious with Paul Pogba (Picture: Getty)Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to intervene to break up an argument between Manchester United team-mates Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku after the side’s win against Southampton on Saturday.The Belgian scored the winner – his second of the game – in the dying stages against the Saints and had the perfect chance to complete his hat-trick when United were awarded a penalty in injury time.However, Pogba – who is the club’s designated penalty taker – refused to give Lukaku the spot kick and the Belgian was even more furious when the midfielder failed to convert from 12 yards.United hadn’t recorded a hat-trick since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s treble against St Etienne in 2016 and Lukaku felt Pogba should have given him the opportunity to boost his confidence with the spot kick.ADVERTISEMENT Lukaku scored a late winner but was denied the chance to get his hat-trick (Picture: Getty)The pair are close friends off the field and Lukaku initiated the blazing row in the dressing room by telling Pogba he supported him when he fell out with Jose Mourinho, according to the Sun.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe striker told Pogba he would have given him the ball if the roles were reversed and cited Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, who gave up his penalty duties for Roberto Firmino when he was on a hat-trick against Arsenal in December, as an example.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsPogba hit back by claiming he was only doing his job as the designated penalty taker and Solskjaer is said to have stepped in to calm the argument down after what was a pivotal win for the side.The Norwegian told the pair to forget about the incident and was able to calm tensions between the players.center_img Advertisement Advertisement Solskjaer was forced to intervene in the dressing room (Picture: Getty)United can ill-afford to lose their focus as they travel to Paris this week seeking to overturn a two-goal defecit against Paris Saint-Germain.Pogba will remain in Manchester as he’s suspended for the second-leg and Lukaku is expected to start as Solskjaer deals with having ten injured first team players.MORE: Juan Mata pinpoints Manchester United youngster James Garner’s two biggest strengthslast_img read more

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Gary Neville describes what is fundamentally wrong with Man Utd after Everton thrashing

first_img Comment Gary Neville describes what is fundamentally wrong with Man Utd after Everton thrashing Phil HaighSunday 21 Apr 2019 4:00 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link42Shares Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apologised to fans after the hammering by Everton (Picture: Getty Images)After Manchester United were thrashed 4-0 by Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, Gary Neville believes there is something ‘fundamentally wrong’ with the club.Goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott mean that United have now conceded more goals than in any other Premier League season.Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was forced to apologise to fans after the humbling defeat, and Neville believes that the Norwegian is not to blame for the situation at Old Trafford.The former United and England defender has blasted the structure of the club and believes it needs to change for United to compete with Europe’s biggest sides again.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Things can be turned around quickly but good decisions, big decisions need to be made quickly,’ Neville told Sky Sports.‘Ole Gunnar Solksjaer said he needs to rebuild this team, and rebuild this sqaud, but he also said eh needed a few transfer windows. Advertisement Advertisement The Manchester United players have come under fire after the 4-0 loss on Merseyside (Picture: Getty Images)‘Real Madrid are rebuilding, Bayern Munich, Arsenal are rebuilding, Barcelona, Liverpool will get players. Manchester United are in a world where they need to compete with those teams to get the best players into the club.‘Who is rebuilding this squad for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and for the Manchester United fans? I’ve asked that question since Christmas and from the start of the season.‘I don’t think there’s anybody there at this moment in time to rebuild that club from a football point of view, in the way that it needs to be built.‘I might be proved wrong, I might be completely out of order, but at this moment in time the evidence is there that something is fundamentally wrong.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityNeville has not only backed Solskjaer, but went on to say that the previous three Manchester United managers were not to blame for their failures either.The 44-year-old believes the current boss desperately needs some help from above him at the club if he is to improve their fortunes.‘I never wanted David Moyes, Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho to be sacked because I never fundamentally believed it was a managerial problem,’ continued Neville.‘I certainly don’t want Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be sacked because I love him to bits. So to protect him and get the club back where it needs to be, he needs to be supported by good recruitment and good support on the football side, he won’t be able to do it on his own.’United are sixth in the Premier League and out of all competitions, ahead of the Manchester derby on Wednesday at Old Trafford.MORE: Alan Shearer mocks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Everton thrash Man UtdMORE: Man Utd suffer humiliation at Everton as top four hopes take major hitlast_img read more

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Arsenal set to miss out on Markus Schubert with goalkeeper choosing Schalke instead

first_imgMarkus Schubert has chosen Schalke over Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal are set to miss out on Markus Schubert, with the goalkeeper opting for a move to Schalke instead of a switch to north London.It was reported last week that a deal to bring Schubert to the Emirates was imminent, but it now appears he prefers to stay in Germany after his contract expires at Dynamo Dresden.The 21-year-old was being lined up as a new number two, behind Bernd Leno, following Petr Cech’s retirement after the Europa League final defeat to Chelsea.However, Schalke also want to bring in Schubert as their back-up keeper, and they have been able to tempt him to Gelsenkirchen, according to the Daily Mail.ADVERTISEMENT Schubert had been close to a switch to Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)Schubert will be second choice behind Alexander Nubel at Schalke, who has only made 24 league appearances in his career but is being linked with a move to Bayern Munich.AdvertisementAdvertisementWith Bernd Leno firmly positioned as the first choice at Arsenal, Schubert sees a more achievable route to the first team at Schalke, either by ousting Nubel or capitalising on his exit.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityIt is a blow for Arsenal who are operating on a limited budget this summer and were glad of bringing in a target free of charge.Unai Emery is thought to have no more than £50m to spend and with numerous positions needing strengthening, there will plenty of haggling for the Gunners during the transfer window.Emiliano Martinez, now 26-years-old, may be promoted to second choice stopper after numerous loan spells away from the club, including impressing for Reading last season.MORE: Arsenal confirm backroom shake-up as Unai Emery replaces Steve Bould with Freddie LjungbergMORE: Man City and Arsenal target Kostas Manolas described as ‘Chiellini’s heir at Juventus’ by Fabio Capello Comment Arsenal set to miss out on Markus Schubert with goalkeeper choosing Schalke instead Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterMonday 17 Jun 2019 8:11 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link750Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

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How Arsenal missed out on signing Juan Mata as Cesc Fabregas’ replacement

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterSunday 19 Apr 2020 8:50 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.3kShares Mata left Chelsea for Manchester United after just two-and-a-half seasons (Picture: Getty)Mata would win the Champions League and FA Cup in his first season at Chelsea, while Arsenal ended up waiting until deadline day to sign Mikel Arteta from Everton and just pipped north London rivals Spurs to third spot in the Premier League.The Gunners also missed out on Cazorla that summer, who instead joined big-spending Malaga, though a year later Wenger would eventually get his man in a bargain £10m deal.MORE: Why Arsenal signed Granit Xhaka ahead of N’Golo KanteMORE: Dimitar Berbatov fires warning to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over Arsenal exitFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Mata and Cazorla could have been teammates at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)According to The Athletic, Wenger quickly dispatched Arsenal’s former chief negotiator Dick Law to Spain where he met with Mata’s father and even agreed a contract.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Then we waited,’ says Law of the negotiations. ‘Juan definitely wanted to come to Arsenal, there was no question about that.’However, Wenger and Arsenal were concerned by the combined value of both Mata’s massive contract and the transfer fee – with Valencia eventually receiving £37million.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsThat would have more than doubled Arsenal’s then transfer record, which stood at the £18m that had been spent on Jose Antonio Reyes.While Arsenal delayed and dithered, Chelsea swooped in and offered better terms to land Mata, with the Spaniard – who now plays for Manchester United – winning the club’s Player of the Year award in his first two seasons at the club.Asked if Arsenal ever considered paying slightly over their own valuation to land a target ahead of a rival, Law told The Athletic: ‘I don’t think that calculation ever entered our equation. We didn’t have the money to say, “We’ll spend a bit more to block”.’center_img How Arsenal missed out on signing Juan Mata as Cesc Fabregas’ replacement When Fabregas left for Barcelona in 2011, the Gunners turned to another Spaniard (Picture: Getty)Arsenal were in pole position to sign Juan Mata back in 2011 as a replacement for Barcelona-bound Cesc Fabregas but dithered over the deal, allowing Chelsea to swoop in.Almost a decade ago, the Gunners were scouring the market for two new playmakers with both Fabregas and Samir Nasri looking to leave; the former returned to Camp Nou, while the latter joined Manchester City.Arsenal’s scouting department quickly identified two replacements for the duo, both from Spain: Villarreal’s Santi Cazorla and Valencia’s Mata. Advertisementlast_img read more

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Remarks by Governor Wolf at the World Meeting of Families, Visit of Pope Francis

first_imgRemarks by Governor Wolf at the World Meeting of Families, Visit of Pope Francis September 26, 2015 Remarks Independence HallPhiladelphia, PATRANSCRIPT:Welcome to Philadelphia, and welcome to Pennsylvania. I am very proud to welcome you all to this great Commonwealth. And I am especially grateful to the Holy Father for visiting this city and this state. By his visit – and by his many actions as Pontiff – he is reaffirming the noble values this place symbolizesBehind me is Independence Hall. This was the home of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for many years. The Liberty Bell once rang out from its tower. The second Continental Congress met here. The Constitution of 1787 was drafted here. This is a place of freedom.It is also a place of welcome. The Commonwealth whose government met here was founded by William Penn. Its very existence was premised on the idea of freedom of conscience. Pennsylvania was established by Penn as a refuge for people of different faiths and different nationalities. It was a place that welcomed people looking for a place to worship their God in their own way.And Pennsylvania grew as a result. We Pennsylvanians showed that granting freedom of religion was not simply sound from a moral point of view. It was also smart public policy. Pennsylvania’s economy flourished. And so did its religious institutionsAnd this place became a magnet for great leaders with visions that transcended time. John F. Kennedy spoke here in 1962. Nelson Mandela spoke here. Abraham Lincoln stopped here on his way to his inauguration in 1861. In fact, he also spoke behind this lectern when he delivered the Gettysburg Address just a few miles west of here.This is an important neighborhood, too. The National Constitution Center is just across the green. The African American Museum is just down the street. The National Museum of American Jewish History is right over there. And of course the present home of the Liberty Bell is there.It is therefore fitting that Pope Francis makes this one of his new world destinations. This is a place of history. But more than that, it is a place of strong values and high ideals. Values and ideals that pay tribute to the Holy Father’s focus on justice, fairness, openness.Pope Francis reminds us all of what it is to be human in its most elevated ways. And so does this place.The Holy Father suggests that we should organize our lives in ways that promote fairness and justice. This place tells us we should govern ourselves according to the same values.The Holy Father tells us that the world is noble because it is founded on ordinary souls. This place tells us that a government so founded is also noble.The Holy Father tells us that we can be better than we often are. This place tells us that our government can be, too.So, I am honored and proud to welcome all of you and the Holy Father here today.This is a big event for all of us in Pennsylvania. And I know it is a big event for all of you here today. In a few minutes Pope Francis will give his message. He will inspire us with his thoughts on freedom and democracy. And he will reaffirm the commitment all of us must make to the better world it is our job to build.Next I am proud to hand these festivities over to the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra. And then to Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput, who will make way for His Holiness the Pope.###center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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BLOG: How to Stay Healthy in Harsh Winter Weather

first_imgBLOG: How to Stay Healthy in Harsh Winter Weather Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter PSA,  The Blog,  Weather Safety This past weekend, Pennsylvania saw our first major snowstorm of the season. While all of us hope that we don’t experience another Winter Storm Jonas this year, all Pennsylvanians should be prepared to brave the snow, wind, and cold for many more weeks.In light of this historic storm, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is reminding Pennsylvania residents to follow some important tips to stay healthy and safe, particularly while removing snow in cold winter weather.Keep Your Heart HealthyCold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. When removing snow, make sure you stay as warm as possible. Always call 911 if you or your loved ones have any heart attack symptoms.The major symptoms of a heart attack are:Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, upper abdomen, or back;Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint;Chest pain or discomfort;Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder;Shortness of breath;Unusual or unexplained tiredness;Nausea; andVomiting.Shovel SmartlyIf you have to do outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. Your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it. Follow these additional tips to make removing snow safer:Consider shoveling in shifts instead of all at once;Take breaks and drink water to prevent dehydration;Push snow instead of lifting it – if you must lift, bend your legs and not your back;Avoid twisting motions that can stress your back; andIf using a snow blower, follow all safety instructions and stay aware of others who may be nearby.Dress AppropriatelyExposure to cold temperatures, whether indoors or outdoors, can cause serious or life-threatening health problems. Infants and older Pennsylvanians are at greater risk of serious cold-related health problems and should be checked frequently to ensure they are warm enough during winter weather.If you have to go outside in harsh winter weather:Dress warmly and stay dry;Make outdoor trips brief and dress warmly;Cover your ears, head, mouth, and face;Never ignore shivering – it’s your body’s way of saying you’re losing heat and it’s time to return indoors;Know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:Hypothermia causes shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness in adults and bright red, cold skin and very low energy in babies.Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas and symptoms include a white or grayish-yellow area of skin, numbness or skin that feels unusually firm or waxy.Seek medical attention if it is suspected that you or your loved ones have hypothermia or frostbite. January 25, 2016 By: Dr. Karen Murphy, Secretary of Health Beware of Carbon Monoxide PoisoningCarbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. The use of other sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home or garage and poison the people and animals inside. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those made by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood.In order to prevent CO poisoning:Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.Never run a generator outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.Never run a generator inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented.Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, garage, or camper.Install a battery-operated CO detector.CO poisoning can be recognized by the following symptoms:Headache;Dizziness;Weakness;Nausea/Vomiting;Chest pain; andConfusion.If CO poisoning is suspected, call a health care professional right away. If the CO detector alarm sounds, leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1.Visit www.health.pa.gov for more winter weather safety tips.last_img read more

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BLOG: Governor Wolf Will Keep Making Government More Efficient

first_img Budget News,  Efficiency,  Government That Works,  The Blog Governor Wolf remains committed to improving efficiencies, streamlining government operations, and reducing costs. He continues to change the way business is conducted to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely, redundancies are eliminated, and customer interactions at all levels are improved.Just last week, Governor Wolf gave an update on these improvements, announcing produced savings for both the current and future state budgets. The Wolf Administration is on track to save $150 million in the current fiscal year. To date, GO-TIME has identified nearly 250 initiatives by state agencies to modernize government operations by increasing efficiency, improving technology, and identifying opportunities for agencies to collaborate and share resources. These initiatives will provide benefits including savings, reduced processing times, increased convenience, better customer service, and maximizing existing resources.Last year, Governor Wolf’s administration also implemented many reforms that generated substantial taxpayer savings and increased service effectiveness, including: eliminating the SNAP asset test, reducing the food stamp error rate, helping more TANF families find employment, reducing insurance rates by more than $80 million, and the largest reduction in prison population in 40 years.The 2016-17 Budget will again focus on creating a government that works effectively through innovation and increased efficiencies to ensure that taxpayer dollars are wisely spent.This budget includes the merger of the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole (PDF) and the relocation of the eHealth Partnership Authority to within the Department of Human Services.The 2016-2017 Budget increases the use of Pay for Success performance contracts, which provide an innovative strategy to finance proven programs through public-private partnerships on a straightforward proposition. The Wolf Administration will work with private sector partners to address the employment needs of individuals with criminal convictions to make them less likely to return to the corrections system and more likely to build a foundation for a stable, productive life.Taxpayers will only pay for services that get results and save money in the long run. Payments are tied to the achievement of specific, pre-established performance goals that are set forth in the contract, and only occur after rigorous evaluation.Governor Wolf’s 2016-2017 Budget includes key government consolidations along with targeted investments that build upon the bipartisan budget agreement. It faces up to reality and does the difficult things we need to do to bring it into balance. This budget is the path we must choose to ensure that Pennsylvania has a bright future. BLOG: Governor Wolf Will Keep Making Government More Efficient February 11, 2016 You can find updates and behind-the-scenes content on the 2016-2017 budget announcement on our Facebook and Twitter all this week.Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretarylast_img read more

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Governor Wolf Announces PRUFTECHNIK, Inc. to Establish National Headquarters in Philadelphia, Creating New Jobs

first_img May 17, 2016 Jobs That Pay,  Press Release  Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pruftechnik, Inc., a global provider of high-quality testing and measuring systems for industrial maintenance, will establish a national headquarters in Philadelphia, a move that will create 35 new, high-wage, full-time jobs.“Today’s announcement is another indicator that businesses are feeling confident in Pennsylvania as the best place to start and grow their companies,” Governor Wolf said. “Companies from all across the U.S. are moving their operations to Pennsylvania, and Pruftechnik is the latest one to make the move.”Pruftechnik will expand operations and establish a national headquarters which will house its sales and management operations for alignment systems and condition monitoring at a renovated building on Bartram Avenue in Philadelphia. The new facility will also house Pruftechnik Services, Inc., a subsidiary that provides specialized machinery services. The company will invest more than $1.4 million in the project, and has also committed to creating 35 new, high-wage full-time jobs over the next three years.“The new operation enables PRUFTECHNIK to bridge the gap between R&D, product management, international sales and production in Germany, and the end-user community in the United States. The ‘factory direct’ approach makes us more customer-centric,” Florian Buder, Chief Executive Officer, PRUFTECHNIK North America said.Pruftechnik received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development that includes $70,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, and $21,350 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.PRUFTECHNIK is a market leader in laser alignment systems and a world leading solution provider for the maintenance of rotating equipment. PRUFTECHNIK’s portfolio of products and services ranges from the monitoring of machine health and fault diagnosis through to corrective solutions such as alignment and field balancing. PRUFTECHNIK operates 20 sales and service locations around the world.For more information on Pruftechnik, visit www.pruftechnik.comFor more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED visit www.newPA.com.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Wolf Announces PRUFTECHNIK, Inc. to Establish National Headquarters in Philadelphia, Creating New Jobscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Weekly Update: Protecting Pennsylvanians’ Healthcare, Managing State Finances, Urging Ban on ‘Bump Stock’

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Weekly Update: Protecting Pennsylvanians’ Healthcare, Managing State Finances, Urging Ban on ‘Bump Stock’ PA has a responsibility to our institutions of higher ed. The legislature must act to fund them — our students are counting on us. pic.twitter.com/IfkmtpdcYs— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) October 12, 2017 The Blog,  Weekly Update On Monday, Governor Wolf called on the state legislature to pass legislation that would require employers to cover contraceptives at no-cost. The governor’s call for the mandate follows the announcement that the Trump Administration would be allowing more employers to deny coverage for birth control.On Friday, Governor Wolf and Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman issued a statement on the Trump Administration’s latest effort to destabilize the Affordable Care Act, which would cause health insurance rate increases in 2018.This week, Governor Wolf continued to manage state finances and announced more action to meet commitments to fund schools, health and human services, and other government entities. The governor also traveled to Erie on Wednesday to rally support for a shale tax and urged the legislature to pass funding for state-related universities.“I’m here to make clear that I am managing the budget, but the General Assembly still has work to do: fund our major state universities and pass a commonsense tax on shale,” said Governor Wolf. “The fairest and simplest solution to the current budget challenge is a severance tax on natural gas production.”After the tragedy in Las Vegas, Governor Wolf joined in supporting commonsense bipartisan proposals to ban ‘bump stock’ accessories for military style-weapons.“Bipartisan legislators are rightfully sounding the alarm that these devices should not be legal in Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “Given the bipartisan nature, this should be commonsense for the General Assembly to swiftly pass to protect Pennsylvanians.”Governor Wolf’s Week, October 8 – October 14, 2017Sunday, 10/8/17Governor Wolf Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial ServiceMonday, 10/9/17Governor Wolf Calls on Legislature to Make Birth Control Coverage a MandateGovernor Wolf Announces More Action to Manage State Budget and Meet Commitments to Schools, ProvidersTuesday, 10/10/17Governor Wolf Urges Swift Passage of Bipartisan ‘Bump-Stock’ BanGovernor Wolf Announces Relocation of Royal Industries International, Inc. Into Pennsylvania, Creating 80 JobsWednesday, 10/11/17Governor Wolf Signs Legislation Authorizing “Right to Try,” Allows Terminally Ill Patients to Seek Experimental TreatmentsGovernor Wolf Announces $217 Million in GO-TIME Savings in 2016-2017 Fiscal YearGovernor Wolf Urges Support for Shale Tax, State-Related UniversitiesThursday, 10/12/17Governor Wolf Announces Google to Invest in Workforce, Business DevelopmentGovernor Wolf Nominates Acting Secretaries of Health, Human Services, and Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Acting Commissioner of Insurance to Serve PermanentlyFriday, 10/13/17Governor Wolf and Acting Insurance Commissioner Statement: Washington Sabotaging Pennsylvanians’ Health InsuranceGovernor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force Hears From North Central PennsylvaniaHighlights from The BlogDid you know you can find The Press Office on Twitter?Highlights from TwitterExcited to be with @Google to announce their new initiative that will help more Americans prepare for jobs, find jobs & grow their business. pic.twitter.com/LE3tGkA5R0— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) October 12, 2017 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf October 13, 2017last_img read more

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Governor Wolf’s Statement on House Finance Committee’s Shale Tax Approval

first_img October 18, 2017 Governor Wolf’s Statement on House Finance Committee’s Shale Tax Approval Budget News,  Press Release,  Severance Tax Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf provided the following statement on the House Finance Committee’s approval of a shale tax:“I urge House leadership to bring the severance tax to a vote on the floor as soon as they return to Harrisburg next week.“This is a fair and commonsense proposal that will address our structural budget deficit. Pennsylvania is the only natural gas producing state without a severance tax and the vast majority of the tax would be paid out of state.“I want to thank the bipartisan members of the General Assembly who worked to find common ground on the severance tax proposal.”center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Production Capacity, Job Creation at TruFood Mfg., Inc.

first_img Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced a new low-interest loan approval through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) program for TruFood Mfg., Inc., a confection and snack food manufacturer, that will enable the expansion of the company’s production capacity and the creation of more than 50 new jobs in the Pittsburgh area.“This is great news for the workers and families in the region,” Governor Wolf said. “TruFood has had great success in Pittsburgh over the years, and this funding will help them continue that success for years to come.”In 2018, PIDA has approved $68.5 million in low-interest loans that have resulted in $91.3 million in private investment and supported 3,380 created and retained full-time jobs.TruFood Mfg., Inc. was approved for a $650,000, 10-year loan at a 3.75 percent rate through North Side Industrial Development Company, Inc. for the purchase of machinery and equipment to be installed at the company’s manufacturing facility located in Pittsburgh. To meet the production obligations of several new contracts, the company requires two additional production and bagging lines to be constructed along with significant building modifications to accommodate the installation of the new production lines. The project is expected to create 55 new full-time jobs and retain 470 existing jobs within three years.PIDA is an independent authority staffed and regulated through the Department of Community and Economic Development. The authority provides capital for building acquisition, construction and renovation work, machinery, and equipment loans along with working capital lines of credit, primarily for manufacturers, industrial developers, research and development firms, agricultural processors, and employers looking to establish national or regional headquarters in Pennsylvania.For more information about the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority and other DCED initiatives, visit dced.pa.gov. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Production Capacity, Job Creation at TruFood Mfg., Inc.center_img September 05, 2018last_img read more

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Australia’s fastest selling suburbs

first_imgEager buyers keen to claim their own little patch of Australia are snapping up properties in just three weeks, as the country’s property boom continues.No suburbs outside of NSW made the national top 30 list of suburbs where properties spend the shortest number of days on the market before sale.Properties in the northwestern Sydney suburb of Cherrybrook, Naremburn and Queenscliff, along with Jannali in The Shire, tied for number one spot on the list.All four suburbs recorded a median number of days on market of just 21 between March 2014 and February 2015.The realestate.com.au data was compiled by measuring the difference between the days when a property was first listed on realestate.com.au to the last day it was listed. The results include only those suburbs that recorded at least 60 sales.Which suburbs made the list in your state? See belowFamily-friendly Cherrybrook is top of the list for buyers in SydneyWhile NSW was a clear winner on the list, properties in Victoria weren’t far behind, with five suburbs tying for the top honours.Properties in all five – Armadale, Carlton North, Clifton Hill, Ivanhoe East and Malvern – recorded a median number of days on market of 26.Of the top suburbs in each state, properties in Leanyer in the Northern Territory, spent the longest time on market with a median of 76 days.Thinking of selling? Get a Property Value Report for your homeBresicWhitney Estate Agents CEO Shannan Whitney says the short sale times are indicative of a sellers’ market.He says the market conditions are a result of demand from buyers and urgency on both sides for a sale.“When the market is good it feeds that urgency in number of ways and you tend to find fewer properties go to auction,” he says.“It’s the need to try and minimise the process and price is one of the main mechanisms.“Sales happen quicker, they will not go to auction because buyers are forcing results to get the property off the market.”Hot property: What $1 million buys you in AustraliaPublic transport and proximity to the city make Armadale a top choice for buyersWhitney says agents have seen the pace of the market pick up at the start of 2015.“We expected that to be how 2015 was going to start, given the momentum at the end of last year.”How to: Spot a growth areaWhitney urges buyers in the market for property to be pragmatic in their approach to a sale.“It’s important because it does require a certain amount of decisiveness and patience. I would encourage buyers to be aware of what outcomes they want.“You can still make good decisions when the market is a sellers’ market.”And he says vendors need to remain realistic about prices and understand where their property is performing in its particular market.The median number of days on market for homes in West Hobart was 40.5Top five suburbs with the shortest time on market by stateNSWCherrybrookJannaliNaremburnQueenscliffBeacon HillSydney buyer’s agent Rich Harvey of propertybuyer.com.au says Cherrybrook is popular for families with children as it lies in the Cherrybrook Tech School catchment area.“It’s also close to the new Castle Hill train station which is being built. It’s a nice family friendly, leafy suburb in northern Sydney.”Harvey says buyers looking to get into sought after suburbs should do their research on the area and be ready to make an offer if a house they like comes on the market.“You could also use a buyer’s agent, as they often get advance notice on properties coming up for sale.”VICArmadaleCarlton NorthClifton HillIvanhoe EastMalvernHocking Stuart Armadale Director Andrew James says buyers are always on the lookout for inner-city locations.“In Armadale in particular there are only 3,500 dwellings and not a huge amount of turnover. It’s highly sought after, for its village atmosphere plus close proximity to public transport.”ACTMore from newsAustralia’s best growth suburbs16 Feb 2015Up-and-coming suburbs set to boom20 Apr 2015O’ConnorDunlopHarrisonKambahMacgregorO’Connor, in the north of the capital, is one of Canberra’s high-demand suburbs. With a median house price of $750,000 it is home to a mix of young couples and older families as well as independent youth. The suburb commands a median rent of $495 per week. Homes in O’Connor tend to be detached single dwellings built along leafy, tree-lined streets.SAFullartonTranmereParksideRostrevorLockleysHomes in Parkside spent a median 50 days on the market before sellingWAForrestfieldCoolbellupSouth LakeHigh WycombeSeville GroveWith a median house price of $455,000 and just 15km from the Perth CBD, Forrestfield is in high demand among buyers. Data shows the suburb receives 323 visits per property listing in the past 12 months – well above the WA average of 198 visits per property.TASLenah ValleyWest HobartSouth HobartSandy BayMoonahSandy Bay, south of Hobart, has a median house price of $640,000 and is popular with young people, families and professionalsQLDCentenary HeightsBrinsmeadBrowns PlainsGlenvaleHarristownNestled in the southern suburbs of booming Toowoomba, Centenary Heights is riding the boom currently running through the Queensland city.House Estate Agents Principal Emmy Thies says the established suburbs is attractive to young families.“It’s a leafy green suburbs, really well-built houses and great established trees and parkland. There are also good schools and a nice café strip.”Thies says the Toowoomba market is the best she’s seen it in four years and is offering great opportunities for investors.Fast growing towns: Toowoomba in investors’ sightsNTLeanyerGillenKatherineStuart ParkRoseberyWith a median property house price of $620,000 and an average weekly rent of $620, Leanyer, in Darwin’s northwest, is in high demand from buyers. The suburb recorded 337 visits per property listing in the past 12 months, compared with the NT average of 217.last_img read more

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Suburbs with the highest rental yield

first_imgHoliday destinations in Queensland have topped a list of suburbs where investors are likely to receive the highest income from an investment property.One-bedroom units in Cairns, Miami, Port Douglas and Noosaville make the top ten list of suburbs with the highest rental yields, realestate.com.au/Invest data shows.Caboolture, a satellite city in southeast Queensland, has the highest average rental yield in the country at 15.2%. Caboolture has a 15.2% rental yield, according to realestate.com.au/Invest.*Sunny Caboolture a new haven for investors?Professionals Caboolture Real Estate Principal Leigh Chippendale says she’s not surprised to see Caboolture stacking up decent rental returns for investors, but its prospects haven’t always been so bright.“Throughout the GFC we had to ask our landlords to drop rent or keep rent the same,” Chippendale says.“Now we’re able to increase rent, and we feel justified in doing so, where as a few years back that wasn’t the case.”Southeast spotlight: What’s inside the Golden Triangle?Chippendale says it’s mostly ‘mum and dad’ investors dominating the Caboolture investor market these days. “They’re starting to feel confident again. In the last three months we’ve started to get interstate investors back too,” she says.“As long as the figures match up with the returns they expect, they’re happy to buy sight unseen.“We’re also starting to see purchaser’s agents – that’s usually a sign of groups of investors becoming more confident of the market.”‘Mum and dad’ investors tighten their foothold on the Caboolture market.Chippendale says the Caboolture property market is pretty typical of most of Australia – probably about a third of housing is investor-owned.“Demographics are quite mixed – retirees, down-sizers, up-graders, couples in their 20s just starting out and a diverse range of working skills.“From an investment point of view, you know you can buy a good quality home in Caboolture for a reasonable price with good rental returns.“You have all the facilities here for people who wish to live here and rent your property. The area continues to grow – we have good private and public schools, good medical facilities, a community hub that offers a great library, arts and educational facilities.“It’s a great place to live … you’re only half an hour from the beaches, 45 minutes from the hinterland, and 30 minutes from the Brisbane CBD.“Plus, the weather’s good.”A range of commercial opportunities are attracting renters to Caboolture.What is rental yield?Rental yield is an important factor for investors to consider because it will indicate the future income an asset is likely to make.Rental yield is the rate of income return over the cost associated with an investment. There are two types of rental yield, which are calculated a little differently: gross rental yield and net rental yield.The suburb rental yield represented in these results uses the calculation for gross rental yield, which is annual rental income, divided by the property value and expressed as a percentage.Find out more: What is yield?To get the suburb rental yield, we’ve used the median advertised rent as a percentage of median price, based on the number of property rentals and property sales in the past 12 months. The data looks specifically at one and two-bedroom units.It’s important to note that gross rental yield does not take into account the known or estimated property costs and ongoing expenses that will affect a property’s value, such as stamp duty, legal fees, council rates and building and pest inspections.To calculate a more precise prediction of rental return, you would need to estimate these costs and deduct them from the annual rental income to get the net rental yield.Investor consideration: Capital gain vs. cash flowNational Top 10 suburbs with the highest rental yieldListed by suburb, state, bedroom configuration and gross rental yield. Results are for one and two-bedroom units.*Caboolture – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 15.2%More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours agoCairns City – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 13.2%Miami – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 11.9%Ultimo – NSW – 1-bedroom units – 11.6%Port Douglas – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 11.3%Box Hill – VIC – 1-bedroom units – 11.1%Harristown – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 10.6%Manoora – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 10.2%Noosaville – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 10.1%Woree – QLD – 1-bedroom units – 9.6%Top 5 suburbs with the highest rental yield by stateListed by suburb, bedroom configuration and gross rental yield. Results are for one and two-bedroom units.*QLDCaboolture – 1-bedroom units – 15.2%Cairns City – 1-bedroom units – 13.2%Miami – 1-bedroom units – 11.9%Port Douglas – 1-bedroom units – 11.3%Harristown – 1-bedroom units – 10.6%NSWUltimo – 1-bedroom units – 11.6%The Entrance – 1-bedroom units – 8.7%Eden – 2-bedroom units – 8.4%Nowra – 2-bedroom units – 7.8%Rosehill – 1-bedroom units – 7.7%VICBox Hill – 1-bedroom units – 11.1%Carlton – 1-bedroom units – 9.1%Mildura – 2-bedroom units – 7.2%Melton South – 2-bedroom units – 7.1%Horsham – 2-bedroom units – 6.9%ACTCanberra City – 1-bedroom units – 7.2%Franklin – 2-bedroom units – 6.5%Hawker – 2-bedroom units – 6.3%Franklin – 1-bedroom units – 5.8%Belconnen – 1-bedroom units – 5.7%NTGillen – 2-bedroom units – 7.2%Gray – 2-bedroom units – 6.5%The Gap – 2-bedroom units – 6.4%Bakewell – 2-bedroom units – 6.3%Parap – 2-bedroom units – 6.2%SAAdelaide – 1-bedroom units – 8.3%Rosewater – 2-bedroom units – 7.1%Findon – 2-bedroom units – 7.0%Kurralta Park – 1-bedroom units – 6.7%Salisbury – 2-bedroom units – 6.7%TAS Newnham – 2-bedroom units – 7.3%Mowbray – 2-bedroom units – 7.0%Riverside – 2-bedroom units – 6.7%Claremont – 2-bedroom units – 6.6%Newstead – 2-bedroom units – 6.5%WA Bunbury – 2-bedroom units – 6.9%Armadale – 2-bedroom units – 6.8%Rivervale – 1-bedroom units – 6.0%Mandurah – 2-bedroom units – 6.0%Rivervale – 2-bedroom units – 5.9%Looking to invest? Our Invest section will help you crunch the numbers.*Data correct at time of publication.Disclaimer: The information published regarding property investment yields is of a general nature only and does not consider your personal or investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Information is based on historical data and past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. realestate.com.au does not hold an Australian financial services or credit licence and cannot provide any endorsement, recommendation or suggestion about any information or products displayed on the property investment destination. We strongly recommend that you obtain independent advice before you make any financial decisions using the information or investment tools contained on the property investment destination site, and we make no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information or investment tools, nor do we accept any liability and responsibility arising in any way from omissions or errors contained on the property investment destination.last_img read more

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Bokarina Beach is drawing strong interest as it nears sales launch

first_imgStockland’s Bokarina Beach residential precinct (part of the $5 billion Oceanside development on the Sunshine Coast) is generating strong early interest from buyers ahead of the first land release in July.STRONG interest is fuelling the fire of the Sunshine Coast’s highly anticipated Bokarina Beach community with around 220 people heading to its recent plan and price unveiling.The premium mixed-use residential, retail and tourism hub is a key component of the $5 billion Oceanside community.Stockland regional manager for the Sunshine Coast Ben Simpson, said the project had struck a chord with potential home buyers seeking an enviable coastal lifestyle, with an outstanding turnout for its unveiling.“Bokarina Beach will be an exceptional masterplanned community fronting one of the Sunshine Coast’s best beaches and just minutes from the world-class facilities within Oceanside,” Mr Simpson said.“After years of carefully planning every aspect of this exciting new community, we’re delighted with the strong interest we’ve already received from home buyers.”The preview event, held at the Bokarina Beach site, provided registered buyers the chance to be one of the first people to secure a home site.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoDisplay village at Oceanside.The first land release includes a wide range of home sites just a short stroll to the beach, the future village park, the calm waters of the future Lake Kawana extension and the future shops and cafes.Lots range in size from 250sq m to 480sq m and are priced from $319,000 to $639,000. “The public launch of home sites will take place in early July and since all lots will be exclusively available to customers who have registered their interest, I would encourage anyone wishing to secure land to act now,” Mr Simpson said.The community spans almost 30 hectares and will feature a five hectare central lake, parkland and conservation areas leading to the beach.Located close to the Sunshine Coast Health Precinct and future Oceanside Town Centre, Bokarina Beach will include a community hub and outdoor plaza for markets, festivals and community events.The community will eventually comprise approximately 160 home sites, 130 terrace homes and 800 beachside and north facing park front apartments.last_img read more

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You’ll be salivating over this kitchen designer’s kitchen

first_imgThe kitchen at 39 Instow St, Yeronga, is something else. Picture: realestate.com.auFIVE bedrooms, absolute river frontage, a deep water pontoon, a jet ski landing and one killer kitchen.Make that two.You’d expect nothing less from food outlet and commercial kitchen designers Spencer and Brooke Lambert, of Lamberts, which designed the funky fit-outs for Bucci and Quench in Fortitude Valley’s James Street.The Brisbane couple have just listed their amazing family home for sale at 39 Instow Street, Yeronga. The home is being offered to the market by Place director Sarah Hackett and is expected to fetch a price north of $2.5 million. The view from 39 Instow St, Yeronga. Picture: realestate.com.auMrs Lambert said she would miss the peace and quiet the most.“There’s no street noise and on this part of the river there’s not much river traffic, so it’s quiet and we’re opposite a park and Indooroopilly Gold Course,” she said. Mrs Lambert said she also loved how the house opened up and invited the outdoors in, making it the perfect entertainer in summer. This home at 39 Instow St, Yeronga, is for sale. Picture: realestate.com.auMrs Lambert said the house had been perfect for raising her three children, but it was time to downsize.The kitchen, living and dining space is the hub of the home on the second floor, featuring high ceilings with wraparound glass panelling designed to capture natural light. The kitchen opens onto the front and back of the house with glass bi-fold doors that fold back to create a breezy atrium feel, ideal for year-round entertaining. The kitchen itself is stainless-steel and commercial-style – perfectly practical for the home chef. The kitchen at 39 Instow St, Yeronga, which is for sale.Four bedrooms are also on this level, as well as separate powder room and office/library.A loft-style master bedroom is connected to the home via an internal suspended walkway and separated with an outdoor deck.Yeronga is just 5km from Brisbane’s CBD and has a median house price of $912,500. “Yeronga is such an easy suburb to live in; it’s so accessible to everything and still a bit of a hidden pocket,” Mrs Lambert said.Follow Liz Tilley on Twitter @liztilley84center_img Indoor/outdoor living at 39 Instow St, Yeronga. Picture: realestate.com.auThis connects to a covered, outdoor entertaining area and dining room featuring a second outdoor kitchen and barbecue, overlooking the river.It’s enough to make any passionate chef salivate. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours ago What a $700,000 reno looks like Brisbane home price growth slows Swap city penthouse for suburbia The house occupies 690 sqm of riverfront land in a private cul-de-sac, with views of the river and Indooroopilly Golf Course from every living and dining space. The kitchen and living area at 39 Instow St, Yeronga. Picture: realestate.com.auThe mix of polished and raw timber, polished concrete, and stone throughout the house allows for durable, low maintenance living.“It’s a hardy, tough house,” Mrs Lambert said.“You can do a lot to it, it’s not precious. It’s a real kids home.”The lower level of the home features an open-plan living area with a fully equipped bar and floor to ceiling glass bi-fold doors which open out onto a large deck overlooking the saltwater swimming pool and river.last_img read more

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Inspired by a friends mansion, these homeowners wanted one for themselves

first_img151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We focused a lot on raw materials like marble and wicker and although I am a big fan of trends we wanted a family home that was modern and elegant but a place you could live in and enjoy comfortably.” African baskets, art and tropical plants fill the large spaces. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We didn’t have Pinterest or much online inspiration at the time, it was mostly ideas we pulled from magazines and our travels to South Africa and around the world.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North4 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“My husband Johan’s family is South African and we used that as inspiration in the design.“We gave our architect photos from our travels and photos of angles on houses we liked and he was able to use that to design a house that matched our personality.” The mammoth sized front door opens to reveal an African-style and captures a striking riverfront view.“That was one of the requirements we gave the architect, that when you opened the front door you would have a long, unobstructed view down the hallway to the water,” Mrs Planting said. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.ADMIRATION for breathtaking architecture led homeowners Helen and Johan Planting to build one for themselves. The six-bedroom house designed by architect Shane Denman commands the street with its sophisticated style and extensive use of raw materials including timber, marble and stone.The couple who built their stunning family home five years ago said they were inspired by a friend’s home. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.Louvres and wall-to-wall bi-fold doors seamlessly connect the inside to the outside while the soaring ceilings provide light and a sense of space.“There are windows everywhere so you can catch the light from a sunrise and a sunset right through the house,” Mrs Planting said.The mother-of-two said she wanted a home that wouldn’t date. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.While the house is big on space Mrs Planting said it is designed to feel like you’re living in two villas.“The water feature separates the back of the home so when you’re in the main bedroom you can look out and feel like you are completely detached from the next room,” she said. center_img 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We asked our friend what architect he used because we loved the angles, light and especially the space in his house,” Mrs Planting said.“It was luxurious and breathable at the same time.“We really admired the architecture and wanted similliar spaces.” Mrs Planting said the couple bought the block of land and started from scratch.“The design took about six months,” she said. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We needed a lot of wall space because we love showcasing art,” Mrs Planting said.“My father-in-law does a lot of beautiful paintings and we wanted a place to hang them, not just a corner but walls with space.” last_img read more

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Gold Coast mega mansion listing price slashed

first_imgThe courtyard links the living and personal wings. Picture: Realestate.com.auThis week it’s hit the market with Kollosche Prestige Agents at $9.95 million.“This property was initially on the market with another agent and then removed from the market,” Kollosche Prestige Agents principal Michael Kollosche said.“They’ve now priced it for sale at $9.95 million.” Relax on your private terrace. Picture: Realestate.com.auMr Burnett and wife Toni Ferguson bought the five-bedroom house at 22-24 Admiralty Drive in 2011 for $6.72 million after moving back to Paradise Waters from Sanctuary Cove.Admiralty Drive has some of the largest residences on the Gold Coast and is home to a swag of rich listers and corporate high-flyers. No expense has been spared in the fitout of the home. Picture: Realestate.com.au More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North3 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa23 hours agoThe 12m pool. Picture: Realestate.com.auMr Kollosche said he was confident he could sell the 1351sq m riverfront property.“There is a lack of quality properties available at the moment,” he said.“This one in particular has a timeless design, it located in the six knot zone which is highly sought-after and has outstanding Surfers Paradise skyline views.“The new price of $9.95 million represents really good value.” Enjoy a waterfront lifestyle. Picture: Realestate.com.au Tony Burnett has slashed the listing price of his waterfront home by $1 million. Picture: Realestate.com.auA Surfers Paradise mega-mansion has had its listing price slashed by $1 million.Pub baron Tony Burnett, whose hotels include the Jubilee in Brisbane, Del Plaza in Southport and Waxy’s Irish Pub in Surfers Paradise, listed his Glitter Strip residence in June for $10.95 million. Unwind in your library. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe home was “originally built for (Sachiko) Matsushita — the family behind the Panasonic Electronics empire”, according to the listing.The five-bedroom house is on a 1351sq m block and features a 12m indoor swimming pool, marble-tiled ensuites, cinema, library games room, boathouse and 24m pontoon among its luxury features.The large master suite has direct access to the 12m indoor pool as well as river and city views. The home also has three other bedrooms in a separate wing, plus a bedroom designed for wheelchair access, which was being used as an executive study by the couple.last_img read more

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Enjoy breezes on deck on elevated family home

first_imgThe kitchen at 24 Willand Drive, Beenleigh.“The 900mm gourmet oven was a definite must have for us and I couldn’t do without the gas cooktop,” Ms Murphy said. There is also a separate media room upstairs. The master bedroom has an ensuite with a huge shower and the remaining bedrooms have built-in wardrobes. The family bathroom also features a big shower and bath. The home at 24 Willand Drive, Beenleigh.THIS two-storey family home at 24 Willand Drive was built five years ago on an elevated block in Beenleigh. Owners Fiona and Adam Murphy said they wanted a spacious home that was light, bright and cheerful. “We built up high so it’s so breezy,” Ms Murphy said. “I love hanging out in my hammock on the deck — I feel like I’m on holidays out there.“And it’s nice to sit on the front porch in the morning, eat my breakfast and take in all the different layers of the garden.” The living area at 24 Willand Drive Beenleigh.Spread across two levels, the home has a double lockup garage downstairs along with a second living area and bedroom with bathroom that could be used as a home office. The hub of the home is a huge light-filled open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, with high ceilings, timber floors and french doors opening to the front deck. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020“We get really nice breezes that come through the french doors,” Ms Murphy said. The modern white kitchen includes plenty of cupboard space, island bench and stainless steel appliances. center_img The deck at 24 Willand Drive, Beenleigh.The home has ducted airconditioning, intelligent home automation and an in-built sound system in several of the rooms. The house is on a 724sq m block with side access. “We’re on a quiet, older street so it is really only people who live here who drive down it,” Ms Murphy said. The property is being marketed by Brennan Hill of Ray White Beenleigh and will go to auction at 10am on October 7.last_img read more

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‘Hot-property’ family abode gone in just a week

first_imgThe home at 28 Joynt St, Hamilton.A BIG family home with an even bigger backyard in Hamilton has sold in just one week for $2.3 million.The renovated five-bedroom Queenslander on a 910sq m block at 28 Joynt St attracted many offers before selling to a local buyer.“Family homes on good-sized allotments are hot property at the moment and we can’t get enough of them,” selling agent Damon Warat of Ray White Ascot said.Mr Warat said the Ascot/Hamilton market was “very strong”, with properties over $2 million particularly sought-after.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019The home at 28 Joynt St, Hamilton.“We have seen over $10 million of local real estate transact off market in the last month,” he said. The sprawling home has character features such as wide verandas, high ceilings and polished timber floors. Dual living areas and decks are spread over two levels.It also has a solar-heated pool and a wading pool with a water feature and an outdoor shower.The home’s location in the Ascot State School catchment was another strong selling point. Hamilton is 5km from Brisbane’s CBD and has a median house price of $1.1 million, according to CoreLogic.last_img read more

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Holiday’s over: pilot program to crackdown on unauthorised rentals

first_imgUp to 8 guests are welcome to stay in this Broadbeach Waters house. This $899 per night Reedy Creek property is described as a ‘Commonwealth Games luxury home’ on Airbnb.Gold Coast City Council decided last year to slug property owners $8086 to rent out a room or their home. This was introduced under changes to the city plan.As part of the council’s enforcement of regulations governing party houses, most Airbnb hosts would have to apply for development permits to rent out their properties legally. A current Airbnb listing on the Gold Coast. This two-bedroom apartment with a private pool can be rented for $446 per night.A PILOT program is targeting tenants illegally subletting homes as the popularity of short-term rental options such as Airbnb grows.BnbGuard is currently monitoring 3000 properties across 12 websites for unauthorised listings. You can book a mansion on the Gold Coast! This Hinterland haven, featured in a Mission Impossible TV series, can be rented for $1250 per night.Co-founders Richard Frey and Reuben Schwarz started BnbGuard to address the risks of unwanted subletting, such as out-of-control parties, increased wear and tear, uninsured property damage, security worries, pop-up brothels, and squatters.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa19 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“Our unique technology and specialist team monitor short-term and long-term rental sites for our clients’ properties,” Mr Frey said. The listing is advertised for $373 per night.There were more than 120,000 Airbnb listings active in Australia as of November 2017 — an increase of 40 per cent from the year before; according to industry estimates, 35 per cent of those were listed by tenants.Surfers Paradise ranks the fourth highest Australian suburb with the greatest number of listings on Airbnb with one in 10 rental properties listed on the website. It comes with the number of Airbnb listings expected to peak in the lead-up to and during the Commonwealth Games.last_img read more

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Letters

first_imgHeavy haul bogiesSir – The Leader in your May issue (RG 5.97 p 267) concerning high axleloads for heavy haul railways mentions ’the unending search for the ideal wheel-rail interface’. This subject was addressed in detail in my paper titled Review of Freight Car Bogie Design and Performance presented to the IHHA Bogie Conference in Montreal last year.Modern passenger trains, such as the Eurostar and the British InterCity 125 and 225, have bogies designed for the specific service requirements and are capable of providing excellent performance. Equally, high axleload freight cars in heavy haul service, both bulk commodity and intermodal, need bogies purpose-designed to meet the requirements of this particular duty.In my paper, I listed the performance requirements of the ideal freight car bogie as follows:last_img read more

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