Croatian family tourism as the best example of good practice in Europe

first_imgAt the invitation of the European Association of Family Accommodation (EHHA), of which it is a recent member, the Family Tourism Association presented at the World Tourism Fair (ITB) on March 9 in Berlin a model of regulation and organization of family accommodation as an example of good practice.”Croatian family accommodation is recognized as a successful model in the countries of the European Union. Half of all tourist beds are in private accommodation, which has grown by 25 percent in the last ten years”, Said the director of the HGK Tourism Department Leila Krešić-Jurić in the introductory part of the presentation and stated that family accommodation and related services earn two billion euros a year, which gives a value of 170.000 jobs, and the state collects 50 million euros a year from various taxes. . She pointed out that family accommodation last year brought 35 percent of all overnight stays to Croatian tourism, while the most numerous guests are from Germany, so family accommodation is the generator of a large increase in the number of overnight stays in Croatia in recent years.”The tradition of household accommodation dates back to Roman times and spa treatment, nurtured by proud citizens of Dubrovnik who resisted the sale of family real estate on which they build their present and future, and this model developed especially in the 60s on the Adriatic and represents the beginning of the economy sharing the modern age. With such a history and existing strategic documents of Croatian tourism, which respect the specifics of culture and tourist offer, Croatia is an example of how to easily regulate this activity“, Pointed out Krešić-Jurić and presented the legal and fiscal framework of family tourism and promotion through the tourist community.During the presentation, the role of the Family Tourism Community established at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce was emphasized, at the regional level in 1997, then at the national level in 2010. In three years, 10 regional sections have been established throughout Croatia for stronger lobbying, exchange of experiences, development of quality standards, branding and promotion, through national, regional and local forums visited by more than 10.000 citizens.Photo: HGKDuring the presentation, the President of the Family Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Nedjeljko Pinezić, additionally presented the socio-demographic dimension of this type of accommodation and its impact on the Croatian economy. “Europe is the world’s number one destination. Tourists from all over the world want to come to Europe and experience the lifestyle of the locals. If we do not allow the local population to continue living in their area in the traditional way, we will lose the basic attraction that makes tourists come to Europe. The solution is to enable people to provide accommodation services in their homes. They thus remain attached to their homes”, Pointed out Pinezić and added that this creates additional jobs, for example, for taxi drivers, traders, caterers…”Household accommodation is an important issue in the European Union that requires fair and simple regulation. Croatia has gone through its difficult period in recent history and can offer its experience and its model of household accommodation management to other EU members as an example of good practice in all the above parameters.”, Said Pinezic. The presentation was held as part of a round table organized by EHHA, during which the impact of the sharing economy on tourism trends was discussed.Berlin is an example of a city where many visitors use real estate outside the law. The influx of tourists using household accommodation in major cities in Europe has caught city administrations unprepared and is now fighting to legally prevent tourist rental apartments. However, such attitudes provoke protests of citizens about freedom of movement and freedom of inclusion in modern economic trends. The discussion was attended by leaders of political parties in Berlin and the German Association of Family Accommodation and the director of Novasol Bernd Muckenschnabel, who was impressed by the Croatian model and announced with great pleasure his arrival at the next national Family Accommodation Forum.last_img read more

Blue Lagoon in search of seasonal workers

first_imgOn Saturday, May 13, the team of the Plava laguna tourist group (Plava laguna dd and Istraturist Umag dd) presented employment opportunities in Istrian destinations in two Osijek locations – on Ante Starčević Square and in the Portanova center. These are companies that employ a total of about 3 workers, and for the peak season itself, jobs are being offered for another 200 seasonal workers.”The Blue Lagoon Group annually employs about 2.000 thousand seasonal workers. Most of them have been employed since the Easter holidays, and about 200 jobs are still open. The companies Plava laguna and Istraturist operate in Istria and offer quality opportunities for acquiring work skills, gathering work experience and meeting interesting people. Jobs have been created in Poreč and Umag, accommodation and three meals a day are at the employer’s expense, and in addition to a secure and regular salary, incentives for work in July and August have been provided. “, say the Blue Lagoon group, adding that they need about 200 more seasonal workers, from waiters, chefs and other support staff.The fact that we already have a large number of seasonal workers who return to us from year to year speaks volumes about the quality of work in the Blue Lagoon. On the contrary, this year 78 new contracts were concluded for permanent seasonal workers, who are actually workers with a permanent contract, but in practice they usually work for less than twelve months while their length of service and pension insurance are paid throughout the year. This year we have invested in an additional 300 beds for personal accommodation, with a continuous increase in quality for existing accommodation. e hereIf you are looking for a seasonal job, apply for a job in the Blue Lagoon herelast_img read more

Study: This is your teen’s brain behind the wheel

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn Share on Facebook “He found that peers significantly increase risk-taking among teens,” Telzer said. “I wanted to know whether we could reduce risk-taking by bringing a parent into the car.”Telzer and her colleagues observed that teens driving alone found risky decisions rewarding. Blood flow to the ventral striatum, a “reward center” in the brain, increased significantly when teen drivers chose to ignore a yellow stoplight and drove through the intersection anyway.Previous research has demonstrated that the ventral striatum is more sensitive to rewards in adolescence than during any other developmental period, Telzer said.“The prevailing view is that this peak in reward sensitivity in adolescence underlies, in part, adolescent risk-taking,” she said.A mother’s presence, however, blunted the thrill of running the yellow light, Telzer and her colleagues found.“When mom is there, the heightened ventral striatum activation during risky decisions goes away,” Telzer said. “Being risky, it appears, is no longer rewarding in the presence of mom.”Not surprisingly, teens stepped on the brakes significantly more often at yellow lights when their moms were present than when they were alone.“The teens go from about 55 percent risky choices to about 45 percent when their mom is watching,” Telzer said. “That’s a big effect.”Another brain region, the prefrontal cortex, kicked into gear when the teens put on the brakes – but only when their mom was watching, the researchers found. The PFC is important to behavioral regulation, also called “cognitive control,” Telzer said.“When they make safe decisions, when they choose to stop instead of going through that intersection, the prefrontal cortex comes online,” she said. “It’s activated when mom is there, but not when they’re alone.”The PFC (the control center) and the ventral striatum (the reward center) are key brain regions involved in adolescent risk-taking behavior, Telzer said. But in the absence of a well-developed control center, adolescents are more susceptible to the stimulating allure of risky behavior.“Here we’re showing that mom reduces the rewarding nature of risk-taking and increases activation of the prefrontal cortex during safe behavior,” Telzer said. “And so these two mechanisms help adolescents to think twice before running the intersection. A parent’s presence is actually changing the way the adolescent is reasoning and thinking about risk – and this increases their safe behavior.”center_img Email A new study of teenagers an d their moms reveals how adolescent brains negotiate risk – and the factors that modulate their risk-taking behind the wheel.In the study, reported in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14-year-old subjects completed a simulated driving task while researchers tracked blood flow in their brains. In one trial, the teen driver was alone; in another, the teen’s mother was present and watching, said University of Illinois psychology professor Eva Telzer , who led the study.Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University, developed the driving task and evaluated how the presence of peers influenced teen risk-taking, Telzer said. Sharelast_img read more

Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Email The findings come out of a novel study published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions that collectively examined two leading theories on ADHD, combining what previous work had mostly looked at separately.One of those theories suggests that lower-than-average cognitive abilities contribute to symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattentiveness. The other theory favors motivation over ability, focusing on whether kids with ADHD have an increased sensitivity to reward.“When asking whether the performance difference we see is the result of ability or motivation, this research has more of an answer than any study that comes before it,” says UB psychologist Larry Hawk, the paper’s principle investigator.The results of the research conducted by Hawk, Fosco, UB graduate student Michelle Bubnik and Keri Rosch of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, have clinical parallels as well.Behavioral therapy, which uses positive consequences to increase the likelihood of achieving certain behaviors, is among the leading psychosocial interventions for children with an ADHD diagnosis.The authors point out that the benefits of reward are not specific to children with ADHD.“The major difference is that typically developing kids usually perform well even when simply asked to do their best,” says Fosco. “But kids with ADHD typically need an external or an additional reinforcement to perform their best.”It’s a tricky area of research area, according to Hawk, since some of the subjects are being tested on tasks on which they have a demonstrated history of poor performance.There is also a degree of variability between the two groups. The authors say that having a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t necessarily mean that a child will perform poorly on any given task, and neither does the absence of a diagnosis mean that the child will perform well on any given task.“You can’t say kids with ADHD respond more to reinforcement because they were doing poorly to begin with,” says Hawk. “We showed that was not true. It was greater motivation to obtain external rewards that drove the effects we observed.” A little recognition for a job well done means a lot to children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – more so than it would for typically developing kids.That praise, or other possible reward, improves the performance of children with ADHD on certain cognitive tasks, but until a recent study led by researchers from the University at Buffalo, it wasn’t clear if that result was due to heightened motivation inspired by positive reinforcement or because those with ADHD simply had greater room for improvement at certain tasks relative to their peers without such a diagnosis.“Our results suggest that the motivation piece is critical,” says Whitney Fosco, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. “Kids with ADHD showed more improvement because they are more motivated by the opportunity to gain rewards, not because they simply did worse from the beginning.”center_img Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twitterlast_img read more

How marriage has morphed into a means of supporting intensive investments in children

first_img“In a gender-specialized economy, where men and women are playing very different productive roles, you need the long-term commitment to protect the vulnerable party, who in this case is the woman,” explained Lundberg, UCSB’s Leonard Broom Professor of Demography. “But when women’s educational attainment increased and surpassed that of men, and women became more committed to jobs and careers, the kind of economic disparity that supported a division of labor in the household eroded.”If this scenario is true for people across the economic spectrum, Lundberg posited, then statistics should show a broad-based retreat from marriage. Evidence, however, bears out something entirely different.“What we see is a striking adherence to traditional marriage patterns among the college educated and those with higher professional degrees,” Lundberg said. “While marriage rates have declined consistently over time, they have declined far more among people whose education level is high school or some college.”Also, college graduates tend to marry before they begin families and, when they do wed, their marriages are more stable than those of couples with less education. This puzzled Lundberg and Pollak.The researchers hypothesized that now — in the 21st century — a primary function of marriage is to provide a long-term stable home for children, which suggests that investments in offspring have become a driving force in preserving the institution of matrimony. Lundberg noted that mothers at all economic levels spend more time with their children now than was common 30 years ago.“In terms of time and money, the well-educated, higher-income parents have increased their investments in children much more than those with lower incomes,” Lundberg said. “They have the know-how and the resources and they expect to help their children become economically successful in a way that may seem out of reach for parents with much lower levels of resources.”According to Lundberg, the playing field is not level and the focus for low-income parents is on keeping their children safe and healthy. “When the joint project of intense investments in children seems out of reach, it may not seem worth putting up with the disadvantages of marriage,” Lundberg said.“One possible implication if we are right — and I should say that this is a speculative argument — is that it may be possible to encourage investing in children among lower-income parents by devoting more social resources to early childhood, enabling parents to see a brighter future for their children,” Lundberg added. “These societal investments could, in turn, make longer-term commitments among these parents more feasible and advantageous.”One aspect of marriage that hasn’t changed much over the years is that most men and women eventually do marry. “If you look at the fraction of people 50 years old who have ever married, the differences between the education groups are very, very small,” Lundberg said. “What is really distinctive is the timing of marriage and the very high proportion of women with a high school diploma or some college who have their first child either on their own or within a cohabitating relationship, which is extremely rare among people with a college degree or higher.“The timing is extraordinarily suggestive,” Lundberg concluded. “Almost everyone wants to get married eventually. The question is when, and do you wait until you get married before you have a child?” Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img Pinterest Marriage as an institution is not what it used to be. Since the 1950s, the number of couple exchanging “I dos” has dropped steadily. And while most Americans do marry at some point in their lives, many are choosing to do so later.A new study by UC Santa Barbara demographer Shelly Lundberg and economist Robert Pollak of Washington University in St. Louis examines Americans’ changing sensibilities about marriage, using economics as a measuring tool. Lundberg and Pollak contend that families with high incomes and high levels of education have the greatest incentives to maintain long-term relationships. Their findings appear in the journal The Future of Children.The researchers argue that, since the mid-20th century, marriage has morphed from an institution based on gender specialization — the man earns the income and the woman stays home to take care of the children — to a means of supporting intensive investment in children. LinkedInlast_img read more

Decline in cognitive ability leads to fear of upfront costs

first_imgShare Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img In 2014, 75.4 million Baby Boomers lived in the United States, according to Pew Research. As this generation continues to age, dialogue will increase on how to manage concerns associated with aging, such as the decline in cognitive ability and retirement decisions. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has found that older individuals with lower cognitive abilities are susceptible to behavioral biases, such as being adverse to upfront costs. Michael Guillemette, an assistant professor of personal financial planning in the University of Missouri’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, says that risk aversion, along with lower cognitive ability among older Americans, might explain the lack of demand for certain retirement savings products.“Some financial products, such as annuities, have upfront costs,” Guillemette said. “With a pure-life annuity, an individual will pay an upfront cost that is typically $50,000 or higher and in exchange will receive monthly payments for life. The risk associated with annuities comes from the uncertainty of death. If the full amount of the annuity is not paid out prior to the death of the recipient, the money is lost. In our study, an upfront cost caused people with lower cognitive abilities to shy away from future risky decisions.”In the study, Guillemette and his coauthors Chris Browning and Patrick Payne from Texas Tech University, measured participants’ cognitive function by evaluating respondents’ working memory and numeracy. The analysis considered two hypothetical risky financial prospects, both with equivalent expected returns, but one situation included an upfront cost and the other had no upfront cost. Share on Twitter Results from the study show that individuals with lower cognitive ability exposed to the perceived upfront cost were less willing to take subsequent risk. Results from the study might help explain the low demand for annuity products among older Americans. The results might also explain why companies choose to break up upfront costs in order to increase sales. For example, a large phone company now has a program where you pay for the full cost of the phone over several years.Baby Boomers, on average, have insufficient retirement assets, and a strain on the Social Security System leaves questions for how this generation will support themselves as they age. Annuities can play an important role for older Americans. Serving as a type of insurance, annuities can help protect people from running out of money before death. However, results from this study reveal that the upfront cost associated with annuities might deter older individuals from purchasing these products. Guillemette says that the industry could improve the demand for annuities by breaking the large upfront cost into incremental payments over time. The researchers also say that financial advisors often describe annuity products as investments, but they might be more appropriately framed as insurance products that protect against loss.“The perfect storm is created as individuals age,” Guillemette said. “When they get into their 60s and, especially, 70s it is natural to experience cognitive decline. This becomes detrimental when combined with the fact that as individuals age, they also become more confident in their choices. A Certified Financial Planner who is a fiduciary could be beneficial because he or she could recognize those cognitive shortfalls and work in the individual’s best interest in terms of proper financial decisions.”This study was published in Applied Economics Letters.last_img read more

Paying people to raise money for charity makes them less persuasive, study finds

first_imgShare on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebook People who receive a financial incentive to raise money for a charity they care about are actually less effective in soliciting donations, even when potential donors have no idea that incentives were involved, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research suggests that incentives may have this effect because they result in the fundraisers coming off as less sincere to the people they’re trying to persuade.“We show that incentives make persuaders less effective at communicating sincere concern for a charitable cause, which means the incentive is having harmful effects on the very activity it was designed to improve,” says psychological scientist and study author Alixandra Barasch of the Stern School of Business at New York University. “This is important because it helps us understand the costs and benefits of incentives in the context of philanthropy.”Although financial incentives can provide motivation to perform a task well, Barasch and colleagues Jonathan Z. Berman (London Business School) and Deborah A. Small (the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania) wondered whether paying people to advocate for a cause that they were already motivated to support might have unintended negative consequences.center_img Email Share In one study, the researchers recruited 36 “persuaders” at a community event intended to raise money for an organization supporting breast cancer research and awareness. The persuaders were asked to make a video pitch for the organization, doing their best to persuade potential donors to contribute. Some of the persuaders were offered a personal incentive: For every $10 donated in response to their video, they would receive $1.Later, 243 participants were randomly assigned to watch one of the video pitches. In addition to the standard $10 participation fee, they received an extra $3 that they could keep for themselves or donate to the cause promoted in the video.The data showed that participants donated less of their extra cash in response to pitches from persuaders who had received an incentive compared to pitches from persuaders who hadn’t been incentivized. This occurred despite the fact that the participants had no idea that the persuaders might have received incentives.A second study, in which college students made video pitches for community-service organizations, showed similar results. Again, persuaders who received an incentive were less effective in soliciting donations; moreover, participants rated the videos of incentivized persuaders as less sincere.The researchers hypothesized that the inherent conflict between benefits to others, or altruism, and benefits to the self might inhibit persuaders from behaving in a sincere manner. Additional data from a follow-up study supported this idea: Persuaders who were given a charitable incentive — any money raised from their pitch would be matched by the researchers – seemed to be just as effective in raising funds as those who received no incentive. In this case, the incentive didn’t benefit the persuaders personally, and so it didn’t inhibit them from being sincere.Together, the findings underscore the notion the incentives compromise persuaders’ ability to convey sincerity. Barasch and colleagues are currently planning follow-up studies to examine the cues – both verbal and nonverbal – that might convey sincerity.Even if incentives do have a negative effect on sincerity, the researchers note that there may be other reasons to use incentives in the context of fundraising campaigns:“Incentives may engage people who would otherwise not help at all, and they may help recruit better talent within a competitive landscape,” says Barasch.last_img read more

How authentic are photographic memories?

first_imgMomentous eventsMany of us have experienced momentous personal or world events for which even years later, our memories seem just as vivid and detailed as a photograph taken on the day. Yet studies show that these so-called “flashbulb memories” are far from photographic.In one study, American students were surveyed the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001 and asked to document the circumstances in which they first heard the news of these attacks, plus details of an everyday event they had recently experienced. Then either one, six, or 32 weeks later, the students were surveyed about the same two events again.Exceptional memoriesThe results showed that participants judged their everyday memories as less and less vivid over time. Their reports of these memories also became less detailed over time, and less consistent with their initial reports. In contrast, participants reported their 9/11 memories to be equally as vivid after 32 weeks as on the day after the attacks. But importantly, the memory reports showed that these “flashbulb memories” had in fact lost just as much detail over time as the everyday memories, and gained just as many inconsistencies.If our flashbulb memories aren’t photographic, then what about other highly compelling kinds of memories? For example, there are many historical and contemporary cases of people with astounding memory capabilities, who can visually absorb seemingly impossible amounts of information with very little effort, as if snapping mental photographs for later review in the mind’s eye. But by and large, these so-called “memory athletes” appear to hone their skills through intense practice and age-old memorising techniques, rather than mental photography. Only very rarely have apparent exceptions to this rule been identified, and these cases can serve as particular conundrums for sceptics.Setting memory athletes aside, we might instead consider another exceptional group of people: those with so-called “highly superior autobiographical memory” (HSAM), who appear capable of remembering each day of their lives since childhood in incredible, often verifiable detail.As more and more of these people have been discovered, many have been the subjects of scientific studies, which suggest that their memory abilities are not a result of practice but are largely unintentional. This ability is indeed amazing, but sceptics might argue that even these people’s memories cannot be called photographic. Indeed, one study of 20 people with HSAM found they were just as susceptible to false memories as a group of control participants of a similar age.Photographs fadeSo we might be willing to concede to sceptics, then, that although memories sometimes seem incredibly detailed, accurate, and consistent, few if any of them are truly like photographic records frozen in time.But on second thoughts, don’t all these findings tell us that our memories, in fact, are very much like photographs? After all, even long before the terms “post-truth” and “fake news” gained currency, photographs were never wholly reliable sources.Like our memories, vividly detailed photographs can turn out to be doctored and distorted; they can misrepresent the events that occurred. Like our memories, we don’t always view photographs with an objective eye, but through the lens of our personal agendas and biases. And like our memories, a printed photograph will fade over time, even though we might continue to value it just the same.In all of these respects at least, it’s easy to see that every single one of us has photographic memory, just maybe not in the way we first thought.By Robert Nash, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Aston UniversityThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Since the invention of photography itself, people have used photograph-themed metaphors when thinking and talking about memories and remembering. When we want to retain memories of everyday events for example, we take “mental snapshots”, and when we think back to momentous events, we regard them as “flashbulb moments”. But are memories ever truly like photographs?A large number of people certainly believe so. In fact, in one recent survey of the general public from the US and UK, 87% agreed —- at least to some degree —- that “some people have ‘true’ photographic memories”. Yet, when the same statement was put to members of an esteemed scientific society for memory research, only a third of the participants agreed.The many scientists who are sceptical about the existence of photographic memories know, of course, that plenty of memories do seem highly photographic to people. However, for these sceptics, none of the available evidence so far is enough to fully convince them. Share on Twitter Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest Share LinkedInlast_img read more

Differences in the rhetorical styles of candidates in the 2016 US presidential election

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share LinkedIncenter_img Email According to several overall stylistic indicators, candidate Trump used a simple communication style, avoiding complex formulation and vocabulary. The authors analysed lexical density – or how much actual information there was in the words spoken. Trump scored the lowest for lexical density, and he also reused the same phrases more than other candidates.Former governors (Bush and Kasich) tend to use “we” more frequently than “I.” Usually Senators (Cruz, Paul, Clinton, and Sanders) tend to prefer using the pronoun “I.”Donald Trump presents an atypical figure, employing short sentences, a reduced vocabulary, repeating the same arguments with simple words. He is the single candidate to have the pronoun “I” in the second rank (after the article “the”).Hillary Clinton can also be characterized by a large use of the pronoun I. The candidates who stayed longer in the campaign had a clear preference for “I” over the “we.” When considering overall stylistic indicators, Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders presented a high lexical density value as well as a higher number of long and complex words than the mean.Long sentences were preferred by O’Malley, Clinton, and Sanders. A relatively high lexical density percentage indicates a more complex text, containing more information. Using the transcripts of the TV debates, the lexical density values varied from 36.6% (Trump) to 44.6% (Cruz).The percentage of long or complex words varied from 18.3% (Trump) to 26.4% (Cruz, and Sanders). Senators Cruz and O’Malley had a more sophisticated communication style, employing longer sentences, and a more complex lexicon.An analysis of the top ten most specific terms per candidate reveals interesting specifics about their campaigns. Top terms used by Jeb Bush included “proven,” “status,” and “brother.” Top terms used by Martin O’Malley included “actually” and “Maryland.” Sanders preferred “Wall Street,” “wealth,” “class,” and “billionaire.” Top Clinton words included “comprehensive,” “affordable,” and “try.” Among the top ten specific words used by Trump in the course of his campaign were “I,” “Mexico,” “deal,” and “tremendous.”“As Trump won the primaries and the general election, does that mean that efficient communication must be based on tweet-like rhetoric and this form will dominate the future elections?” asked lead author Jacques Savoy. “Clearly the rhetoric evolution goes towards to short communication messages, but this also implies simplistic analysis and solutions? If the answer is affirmative, I see a real risk of the democracy.”The paper “Analysis of the Style and the Rhetoric of the 2016 US Presidential Primaries” is available at: https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/llc/fqx007/2993886/Analysis-of-the-style-and-the-rhetoric-of-the-2016?redirectedFrom=fulltext A new paper published in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities reveals and quantifies dramatic differences in the speaking styles of candidates in the 2016 United States presidential election. Lexical analysis indicates that President Donald Trump had a distinct communication style, and it was far more direct than any of the other candidates.The most frequently used thematic words are very similar across politicians, with ‘people’ appearing in the top 4 for 7/9 candidates, and ‘say’ for 5/9. Trump and Hillary Clinton had 3 out of 4 most-used words the same.Researchers here analyzed the transcripts of the TV debates involving Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump.last_img read more

Research suggests amygdala neural circuits drive pleasure-inducing behavior

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Email Pinterest Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear and responses to unpleasant events.However, a team of MIT neuroscientists has now discovered a circuit in this structure that responds to rewarding events. In a study of mice, activating this circuit with certain stimuli made the animals seek those stimuli further. The researchers also found a circuit that controls responses to fearful events, but most of the neurons in the central amygdala are involved in the reward circuit, they report.“It’s surprising that positive-behavior-promoting subsets are so abundant, which is contrary to what many people in the field have been thinking,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.center_img Share Share on Twitter Tonegawa is the senior author of the study, which appears in the March 22 issue of the journal Neuron. The paper’s lead authors are graduate students Joshua Kim and Xiangyu Zhang.Driving behaviorThe paper builds on a study published last year in which Tonegawa’s lab identified two distinct populations of neurons in a different part of the amygdala, known as the basolateral amygdala (BLA). These two populations are genetically programmed to encode either fearful or happy memories.In that study, the researchers found that the neurons encoding positive and negative memories relay information to different parts of the central amygdala. In their new work, they set out to further clarify the connections from the two BLA populations to the central amygdala, and to determine the functions of the central amygdala cells that receive information from the BLA.First, the researchers analyzed the genetic profiles of the central amygdala neurons and divided them into seven groups based on the genetic markers they express and their anatomical location. They then used optogenetics, a technique that allowed them to control neuron activity with light, to investigate the functions of each population.The researchers found that five of these populations stimulate reward-related behavior: When the mice were exposed to light, the mice repeatedly sought more light exposure because these neurons were driving a reward circuit. These same populations all receive input from the positive emotion cells in the BLA.Another population of neurons underlies fear-related innate and memory behaviors, and the last population was not required for either fear- or reward-related behavior.This finding contradicts the consensus that the central amygdala is involved primarily in fear-related behavior, the researchers say.“Classically people have generalized the central amygdala as a fear-related structure. They think it’s involved in anxiety and fear-related responses,” Kim says. “However, it looks like the structure as a whole mainly seems to participate in appetitive behaviors.”The researchers cannot rule out the possibility that some yet-to-be-discovered cells in the central amygdala control negative behavior, they say. “However, the cells that we have identified so far represent more than 90 percent of the central amygdala,” Tonegawa says. “If there are some other cells for negative behavior, it’s a small fraction.”“Most of the research on the amygdala during last 20 years has focused on the role of the central amygdala of the nucleus in mediating aversive responses,” says Richard Palmiter, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research. “The Tonegawa lab has put together an amazing paper that will change the way scientists think about the central nucleus of the amygdala.”Surprising circuitsIn another surprising finding, the researchers discovered that the fear-linked neurons they identified in the central amygdala do not send messages directly to the part of the brain that is believed to receive fear-related input from the central amygdala. This part of the brain, the periaqueductal gray (PAG), is located in the brainstem and plays a role in responding to pain, stress, and external threats.Still unknown is where those central amygdala cells send their output, and whether it eventually gets to the PAG after stopping somewhere else. Tonegawa’s lab is now trying to trace these circuits further to find out where they go.The researchers are also studying the role of BLA neurons in fear extinction, which is the process of rewriting fearful memories so that they are associated with more positive feelings. This approach is often used to treat disorders such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the JPB Foundation.last_img read more

Particular personality traits are linked to economic ideologies

first_imgShare on Facebook Email Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img Share Particular personality traits are linked to economic ideologies, according to new research, but this relationship appears to be influenced by a person’s income.The findings were published in the journal Political Psychology.“In my PhD, I studied the associations between people’s personality and their preferences about politics,” said study author Bert N. Bakker of the University of Amsterdam. “Many studies have shown direct associations between a person’s personality and their position towards politics on a scale from left (liberal) to right (conservative) as well as their positions towards social issues such as immigration and abortion.”“Yet, the association between personality and people’s preferences towards economic issues such as income redistribution were less clear,” Bakker said. “In this project, I set out to study whether the associations between personality and a person’s economic preferences might be stronger or weaker conditional upon another factor, namely their income.”The research was based on the Big Five model of personality, which breaks personality down into five traits: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. For his study, Bakker examined data from studies conducted in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He found that people with more conservative economic attitudes tended to be more conscientious, but less agreeable and less neurotic than their more liberal counterparts.In other words, people who disagreed with statements such as “high income earners do not pay enough taxes” were more likely to score higher on a measure of Conscientiousness, and lower on measures of Agreeableness and Neuroticism.“Yet, the association between personality traits and economic preferences is attenuated by income,” Bakker told PsyPost. “Specifically, I find that the association between the personality trait Agreeableness and economic preferences is weaker among poor people compared to wealthier people in all three countries.”“Low income also attenuates the association between economic ideology and the traits Openness (in Denmark), Extraversion (in the United Kingdom) and Neuroticism (in the United States). As such, this study shows that personality traits are associated with economic preferences and that some personality traits are weaker associated with economic preferences among citizens with a lower income.”The study found some differences between Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States. But it is unclear if this is because of cultural and political differences, or differences in the methodologies of the studies examined.“I conducted this study in three countries,” Bakker said. “I relied upon data from Denmark and supplemented this with data from the United Kingdom and the United States. The data from the U.K. and U.S. was collected by other researchers and as such the measures employed are not exactly the same as those used in Denmark.”“Perhaps some of the differences that I find across the studies are due to the differences in the measurement of personality and/or the economic preferences. Future research using fully comparable surveys in multiple countries would be beneficial.”The study was titled: “Personality Traits, Income, and Economic Ideology“.last_img read more

Study finds a link between mood and the experience of creativity in those with bipolar disorder

first_imgThe different mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are associated with different levels of self-reported creativity, according to a new study published in Psychiatry Research.An estimated 5.7 million Americans have bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by recurrent periods of mania and depression. Manic episodes typically include hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia.“Although some studies have looked at objective measures of creativity in bipolar disorder, we also thought it would be useful to understand how people diagnosed with bipolar disorder understand their own creativity and how this may be related to their mood,” said study author Tania Perich, a lecturer at Western Sydney University. Share on Facebook LinkedIn The researchers surveyed 397 individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder regarding their recent symptoms and their perceptions about their own level of creativity.Those reporting symptoms of depression tended to report feeling significantly less creative. But participants who reported mania symptoms did not view themselves as more creative than those who did not report any symptoms.“There is a relationship between mood and the experience of creativity for people living with bipolar disorder. When depressed, people experience lower perceived creativity,” Perich said.Some of the findings run contrary to previous research, which had found a relationship between mania and creativity. But the disparity could be the result of measuring creativity in different ways.The creativity measure in the new study asked participants to rate their creativity in a variety of specific domains, such as acting, crafts, dancing, money management, solving personal problems, and writing. The previous study, on the other hand, used a more general measure of creative achievement.“Further research is needed to better understand how creativity may help in living with bipolar disorder and how it may assist in improving well-being,” Perich said.The study, “Depression, mania and self-reported creativity in bipolar disorder“, was authored by Natalie Miller, Tania Perich, and Tanya Meade. Emailcenter_img Pinterest Share Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Our creative ideas are viewed as a window into our true selves

first_imgShare on Twitter “Then the agent shared a candle scent idea that was so inappropriate that it stopped the conversation completely. That got me thinking — are the ideas we share revealing of our true selves? Does being creative feel personally self-disclosing? So, my coauthor, Josh Katz and I turned that experience into the series of laboratory experiments.”The research consisted of five separate experiments.In three experiments with 600 participants in total, the researchers found that people who were asked to generate creative ideas — compared to typical or conventional ideas — were more likely to believe those ideas revealed something about themselves.Their fourth experiment, which included another 399 participants, indicated that focusing on one particular category of creative ideas tended to produce greater feelings of self-disclosure. In particular, people asked to brainstorm new scents for candles believed their ideas revealed more about themselves when asked to generate only new fruit scents compared to any type of scent.“This result seems consistent with a growing stream of research suggesting that creativity not only demands cognitive flexibility but also focused persistence,” the researchers wrote in their study.In the fifth and final experiment, 326 participants generated ideas and then shared them with one another. The researchers found that participants believed they disclosed more about their personality after sharing creative ideas compared to conventional ideas. The participants also felt that their partner revealed more personal information when sharing creative ideas.“The instruction to be creative is very common in organizations but it is not benign. In the process of being creative, you rely on your own idiosyncratic point of view and unique preferences, thus making the ideas you share revealing of your true self,” Goncalo told PsyPost.“More importantly, other people listen to your ideas and make judgments about you. We found that when people heard another individual’s creative ideas, they became more confident that their judgments about their personality were accurate. People are not just judging your ideas, they are making personal judgments about you based on your ideas.”The findings could have some important implications for personal relationships. But, currently, the relationship between creativity and social bonding is unclear.“We found that people use creative ideas to judge another person’s personality but we found no effect on how much they liked the person. It remains an open question as to whether hearing a person’s creative ideas can pave the way for either rejection or bonding,” Goncalo explained.“For instance, one person shared creative candle scents ideas like ‘Zombie Apocalypse’, ‘Spoiled Milk in a Hot Car’, ‘Dog Farts’ and ‘Guilt, Guile and Gore.’ You probably formed an image of this person based on these ideas. But whether you like this person or not will probably depend on whether your preferences match.”“My lab is doing more and more work on the consequences of creativity so I hope to have more findings to share in the near future,” Goncalo added.The study, “Your Soul Spills Out: The Creative Act Feels Self-Disclosing“, was authored by Jack A Goncalo and Joshua H Katz. Share Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest LinkedIn Creative ideas are perceived to be revealing of the self, according to research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The findings provide new insights into the psychological and interpersonal consequences of creativity.“Most research on creativity has assumed that creativity is almost inherently positive and so most of the focus has been on how to boost creative output. More recently, I have become interested in the consequences of expressing creative ideas,” said study author Jack A. Goncalo, a professor and the Robert and Helen P. Seass Faculty Fellow at the Gies College of Business.“The link to self-disclosure came about through a conversation I had with a real estate agent who was showing my family homes and we remarked on the variety of different candle scents that we had smelled throughout the day. This conversation turned into an impromptu brainstorming session — everyone started sharing various ideas for candle scents (e.g. Vanilla, Freshly Baked Cookies, Orange Grove).”last_img read more

News report says multiple Saudi hospitals treating nCoV cases

first_imgMay 7, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – A media report late yesterday suggested that the 13 novel coronavirus (nCoV) cases reported in Saudi Arabia in the past few days are not confined to just one hospital, contrary to a May 5 statement from the Saudi health ministry.Malek al Moosa, executive director of a small hospital in Hofuf, in the country’s Eastern province, said the hospital has treated many of the nCoV patients but that it was not the only hospital treating such patients, the Wall Street Journal reported.Also, a man who is a cousin of three patients in the current case cluster, including one who died, said his cousins went to three different hospitals in the province, the newspaper said. The story did not name the man.The 13 cases, with 7 deaths, have all been reported since May 2. On May 5, Ziad A. Memish, MD, deputy minister for public health, reported that transmission of the disease seemed linked to one healthcare facility. He said there had been no transmission in the community.But Moosa denied that his hospital was the center of the outbreak, according to the Journal. “We have maybe paid the price of being transparent,” by testing patients and reporting the results, he said.The unidentified man whose cousins were infected told the newspaper that the Saudi health ministry “just wants to close the books” by saying the recent cases are limited to one hospital.Reports of the hospital cluster have stirred concern about possible person-to-person transmission of the virus and have prompted experts to recall how hospital outbreaks spurred the spread of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), another coronavirus infection, a decade ago.The novel virus is believed to be spreading to humans from some unidentified animal source. But person-to-person transmission has been clearly shown once before, when two family members of an infected UK man caught the virus from him after he returned sick from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Other small case clusters also have occurred, but human transmission has not been proved in those.In other developments, the Saudi government has invited an international team of experts to help investigate the outbreak, the Journal story said. The team is expected to arrive this week.Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidance yesterday on infection prevention and control in caring for confirmed or probable nCoV case-patients.The 9-page document recommends assigning probable or confirmed cases “to be cared for exclusively by a group of skilled [healthcare workers] both for continuity of care and to reduce opportunities for inadvertent infection control breaches that could result in unprotected exposure.”The WHO also advises that relatives and visitors in contact with nCoV patients be limited to those “essential for patient support” and should be trained to use the same infection control precautions as healthcare workers use.The agency also recommends, among other things, that all staff members and visitors approaching within 1 meter of nCoV patients wear a medical mask, eye protection, gown, and gloves, and perform hand hygiene before and after patient contact.The WHO previously published recommendations on surveillance and clinical management for nCoV cases.Also today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published a brief epidemiologic update on the nCoV cases in Saudi Arabia.See also: May 6 Wall Street Journal storyMay 6 WHO infection control guidanceMay 7 ECDC epidemiologic updatelast_img read more

News Scan for Aug 28, 2015

first_imgSalmonella outbreak tied to pork grows to 152 cases as recall expandsA salmonellosis outbreak tied to pork products grew by 18 cases, to 152, as a slaughterhouse in Washington state expanded a prior recall to more than 500,000 pounds of pork products and whole hogs after environmental sampling revealed insufficient sanitary conditions.The new case numbers were posted in an update today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency said that 24 people have been hospitalized because of their illness, an increase of 8 cases since the CDC’s previous update on Aug 14. Illness-onset dates range from Apr 25 to Aug 12.Meanwhile, Kapowsin Meats in Graham, Wash., recalled 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-, according to an update yesterday from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).Products affected by the expanded recall include bagged or boxed Whole Hogs for Barbecue and bagged or boxed fabricated pork products including various pork offal products, pork blood, and pork trim. The original recall, announced on Aug 13, involved about 116,000 pounds of pork products.Recalled products have the mark “Est 1628″ in the USDA seal of inspection. Pork products were shipped to Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and may still be in freezers. Consumers and establishments should throw away or return any pork affected by the recall.FSIS found unsatisfactory sanitary conditions in the Kapowsin Meats facility after beginning environmental and pork sampling processes on Aug 13, and the slaughterhouse has voluntarily suspended operations.Aug 28 CDC update Aug 27 FSIS update Case of 28-year poliovirus shedding reported in UKA man living in the United Kingdom (UK) has been shedding highly evolved, vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) serotype 2 for 28 years, according to a case report yesterday in PLoS Pathogens.Researchers at the UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control analyzed more than 180 stool samples from the man from 1995 to this year. The man received a full course of childhood polio immunizations, including oral polio vaccine (OPV) administered in 1986, and was later diagnosed as having common variable immunodeficiency, which reduces the digestive tract’s ability to kill viruses.All stool samples were positive for a high titer of iVDPV (VDPV in an immunodeficient person) strains that had reverted to neurovirulent phenotypes capable of causing paralytic polio disease.The initial samples gathered in 1995 showed iVDPV strains had undergone antigenic drift of 9.9% to 11.3% from the Sabin serotype 2 poliovirus included in the live-attenuated OPV. By March 2015, strains drifted 17.7% from the Sabin 2 poliovirus.The iVDPV strains from the stool samples also contained a high proportion of nucleotide mutations that made them different from circulating VDPV type 2 strains and wild type 2 poliovirus. The samples did not show evidence of iVDPV derived from the Sabin types 1 or 3 poliovirus strains.All iVDPV isolates were capable of causing paralytic disease in transgenic mice with human poliovirus receptors. Although investigators said that most sites on the iVDPV strains did not react with monoclonal antibodies, an antibody reaction occurred at antigenic site 3b on all strains, suggesting that antibody activity at this site could be enough to neutralize the iVDPV strains in humans.The man represents the longest period of VDPV shedding currently known, and the only person identified as a chronic shedder of highly evolved VDPV, the authors said. Aug 27 PLoS Pathog case report Iowa reports H1N1v illness in person with swine contactA person in Iowa was infected with a variant H1N1 influenza strain (H1N1v), the CDC reported today in its weekly FluView update.The patient required hospitalization and reported close contact with swine in the week before he or she became ill. The agency said that no human-to-human transmission was associated with the case. No timetable or disease outcome was disclosed.”Early identification and investigation of human infections with novel influenza A viruses are critical so that risk of infection can be more fully appreciated and appropriate public health measures can be taken,” the agency said.The case is the third confirmed H1N1v infection this year. The first was reported in January in Minnesota, and the second was reported in May in Ohio and proved fatal. After the CDC confirmed more than 300 cases of variant H3N2 (H3N2v) in the summer of 2012, the annual number of variant influenza cases has dropped dramatically.Aug 28 CDC FluView report Mumps outbreaks reported on two Midwestern campusesHealth officials at the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa have reported mumps outbreaks on campuses as students return for the fall semester, according to local news reports.The University of Illinois has confirmed 101 cases of mumps, and ill students are still being tested, the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette reported on Aug 26. The university is offering free vaccination clinics for any students or staff who have not received two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.The Iowa City Press-Citizen on Aug 14 reported that six students at the University of Iowa have been diagnosed as having mumps. The Johnson County Public Health Department confirmed the surge in mumps cases, saying that it has received 15 reports of mumps diagnoses in 2015, compared with no cases in 2014 and 1 case in 2013.The University of Iowa Student Health and Wellness division issued a mumps health advisory to students on Aug 7. The advisory warns that the virus is highly contagious and can spread through saliva and mucus, also asking that students or staff with mumps symptoms such as swollen salivary glands and muscle aches remain home and ensure they have received both doses of the MMR vaccine.Aug 26 Champaign-Urbana News Gazette story Aug 14 Iowa City Press-Citizen report Aug 7 University of Iowa health advisorylast_img read more

WHO notes 3 Ebola cases in Guinea as UK nurse improves

first_imgThe World Health Organization (WHO) today reported three Ebola cases in Guinea, one of which is new, while a UK nurse is showing promising signs of recovery after nearly dying from meningitis caused by a relapse—not a re-infection—of the virus, hospital officials said.Sierra Leone, meanwhile, has now gone 5 weeks with no new cases, the WHO said in its weekly update.No registered contacts in 2 casesOne of the new patients in Guinea is in the capital, Conakry, while the other two are in Forecariah district, where some of the most recent cases have been detected. The case in Conakry and one of the other cases were reported by the media on Oct 16.As noted then, the Conakry patient, a 21-year-old man, is not part of a known transmission chain. And genomic analyses suggest he was not infected with the virus strain responsible for the most recent cases in Conakry and Forecariah, the WHO said today.The WHO also reported that the newly reported case, which was detected only during post-mortem testing, also was not a known contact of any previously reported case. “Therefore there remains a near-term risk of further cases among both registered and untraced contacts,” the agency said.The fatal case involved a 35-year-old woman, and genetic analysis showed she is part of the same chain of transmission as the four cases reported in Forecariah in the WHO’s Sep 30 update. Guinea had gone more than 2 weeks between those cases and the two reported last week.The third case is the 3-month-old child of the dead woman. Officials are monitoring 246 contacts in Guinea, 70 of whom are considered high risk. The WHO said an additional 253 contacts identified in the past 6 weeks remain untraced.Sierra Leone has now gone 5 weeks without a case, and all contacts linked to its two most recently active transmission chains have completed 21 days of follow-up. As well, the last patient to receive treatment was confirmed free of Ebola virus after a second consecutive test on Sep 25 was negative. Two high-risk contacts, however—one in Bombali and one in Kambia—remain untraced, and officials are still trying to locate them.The country will be declared free of the disease on Nov 7 if no further cases are reported.Signs of improvement after meningitisIn related news, Pauline Cafferkey, the Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola last December in West Africa before recovering in late January, came close to death from meningitis caused by the virus, her doctors said today. Her condition, though, has now improved enough for her to converse, use an iPad, and sit up in bed, The Guardian reported today.BBC News reported that Michael Jacobs, MD, who is treating Cafferkey at the Royal Free Hospital in London, said, “Pauline has become unwell by meningitis caused by the Ebola virus. But to be very clear about this, she hasn’t been re-infected with the Ebola virus.”This is the original Ebola virus that she had many months ago, which has been lying inside the brain, replicating at a very low level probably, and has now re-emerged to cause this clinical illness of meningitis. And this is obviously a serious thing.”Neurologic complications due to meningitis caused life-threatening disease while Cafferkey was being treated at the specialist isolation unit at Royal Free, Jacobs said. “I think she has a long recovery ahead of her and will be with us for quite a while still.”See also:Oct 21 WHO updateOct 16 CIDRAP News story “Guinea reports two more Ebola cases; review sheds light on CNS complications”Oct 21 Guardian storyOct 21 BBC News reportlast_img read more

Studies find prior dengue worsens Zika but hint at vaccine potential

first_imgA pair of studies today probing the complex antibody reactions between Zika and dengue infection have both bad news and good news: that earlier dengue infection can worsen Zika infections, but a certain antibody against dengue can also neutralize Zika virus, raising the possibility of a vaccine target.In other developments, more Zika-related birth defects were reported in the United States, along with a steep rise in the number of Puerto Ricans infected by the virus.Drawbacks, benefits of dengue-Zika similaritiesThe two studies were done by the same team of researchers from Imperial College London, the Pasteur Institute, and Madihol University in Bangkok. Also, both were supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, and other groups.The team published the study on cross-reactions and enhanced Zika infection in Nature Immunology, while the report on the antibody with the potential to neutralize both viruses appeared in Nature.The authors noted that the lab findings in the first study are in the early stages, but in a nutshell, their work suggests that previous dengue exposure enhances Zika infection. Theirs is the second study to hint that prior dengue infection might be a cofactor in Zika infection. In late April, a team from Florida Gulf Coast University found that dengue monoclonal antibodies cross-react, don’t neutralize, and enhance Zika infection.In the new study, researchers also used antibodies collected from people who had been infected with Zika virus. When the group added the antibodies to cell culture, along with Zika virus, they found that the dengue antibodies recognize and bind to Zika, but they can also worsen Zika infection through a process called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Identified earlier in dengue studies, ADE is thought to trigger more serious infections following a first dengue infection.Juthathip Mongkolsapaya, PhD, from Imperial College London, said in a press release that the next step is to investigate if ADE helps Zika virus cross the placenta. She said the team also found a group of antibodies (EDE1) that can bind to certain dengue virus sites and block Zika virus from entering immune cells.In the second study, the researchers confirmed that EDE1 antibodies bind efficiently to Zika virus and can neutralize infection, as they do for dengue virus. Using x-ray crystallography, they determined that the binding site on the viral envelope is the same for both viruses, which they said could one day lead to a universal vaccine that protects against both of them.In their experiments, the investigators tested two antibodies that were already known to neutralize dengue virus. One of them was even more effective at blocking Zika virus, suggesting a high level of closeness between the two viruses that surprised the team.Jeremy Farrar, MD, PhD, director of the Wellcome Trust, said in the Imperial College press release that the viruses come from the same flavivirus family and share many genetic, transmission pattern, and immune response characteristics.”These new studies suggest that prior infection with dengue doesn’t offer any protection against Zika, and may in fact predispose people to a more severe infection,” he said. “We can’t say yet whether this interaction is playing a role in the current outbreak, but if confirmed it’s likely to have important implications for the control and global spread of Zika, and for the development of any vaccine for the virus.”Farrar said there are still more questions than answers about Zika virus, including why explosive transmission hasn’t been seen in Southeast Asia and Africa, where the virus has caused disease for several years. “This is what the international research effort needs to work out, and quickly.US Zika birth defect totals riseIn outbreak news two more birth defects have been reported in US pregnant women infected with Zika virus, raising the total to eight as of Jun 16, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a regular update. One was related to a live birth and the other in a pregnancy loss situation.The CDC also reported the first birth outcome information in pregnant women infected with Zika virus who live in US territories. So far one pregnancy loss with birth defects had been reported as of Jun 16, which may reflect a case reported by Puerto Rico on May 13. Microcephaly was detected on ultrasound, and it wasn’t clear if the woman miscarried or had an abortion.Information on birth outcomes is from two different CDC Zika pregnancy registries: one that includes US states and the District of Columbia, and one based in Puerto Rico.The pregnancy registries also show rising numbers of pregnant women infected with Zika virus. So far 265 have been reported from US states as of Jun 16, an increase of 31 from the previous week, and 216 have been reported in US territories, up 27 from the last report.Puerto Rico Zika spike; more GBS, sexual transmissionThe CDC also reported a steep rise in the number of Zika infections in US territories where the virus is circulating, with a steady rise in the number of US residents who have traveled to affected areas.Zika-affected US territories reported 418 more cases since the CDC’s report last week, boosting the total to 1,854, most of them in Puerto Rico. For comparison, the total rose by 135 the previous week. The CDC last week warned of a rapid Zika rise in Puerto Rico, based on what it is seeing with blood center test results. The territories also reported one more Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) case, putting that total at seven.Meanwhile, the CDC reported 63 more infections in travelers as of Jun 22, increasing that total to 819. One more GBS case was received, with four now reported.The number of sexually transmitted Zika cases stayed the same, at 11 as of Jun 22, but the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) yesterday reported its first case, involving a 61-year-old woman from Lucas County whose husband had traveled to a country with active Zika transmission. The ODH said local officials are increasing mosquito assessment and control in the areas to reduce the risk of local mosquitoes becoming infected.Funding, outbreak spreadEarly this morning the US House of Representatives approved a $1.1 billion bill to fund the Zika virus response, but Democratic senators have threatened to sink the measure when it comes up for a Senate vote, because the bill includes $750 million in budget cuts to other health programs, USA Today reported. The vote came during an unrelated sit-in by House Democrats to protest lack of a House vote on gun control bills. The House is now adjourned until after the 4th of July holiday.Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean, is the latest location to report local Zika virus transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today in its weekly situation report. It also noted that Guadeloupe has reported one more patient with a severe neurologic condition, raising its total to four. The number of countries reporting microcephaly, sexual transmission, and GBS remained the same as last week. The WHO said its risk assessment hasn’t changed and that overall Zika activity isn’t declining, though cases have fallen in some countries and in some parts of countries.The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded $742,000 to three health centers in American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands to help battle Zika virus. The two US territories are reporting local spread of the virus. HHS said in a statement that the money is meant to help expand preventive and primary care services, outreach, patient education, and screening. The health systems have 12 delivery sites that served nearly 26,000 patients in 2014, including 6,000 child-bearing-age women.See also:Jun 23 Nature Immunol abstractJun 23 Imperial College London press releaseJun 23 Nature abstractJun 23 Pasteur Institute press releaseJun 22 CDC update on birth outcomes in pregnant women infected with Zika virusJun 22 CDC update on Zika infections in pregnant womenJun 22 CDC update on Zika virus in the USJun 22 ODH news releaselast_img read more

Microcephaly case series points to need for expanded Zika screening

first_imgMicrocephaly screening for Zika complications in newborns might miss some birth defects, according to a long-awaited analysis of the first 1,500 suspected cases in Brazil, which revealed instances of brain damage in babies with normal head circumference, a team from Brazil reported yesterday.In the largest case series to date, published in The Lancet, researchers from Brazil said screening criteria should be adjusted to include signs and symptoms of brain abnormalities.In a related research development, pathology examination of postmortem samples from infants and fetuses from Brazil at US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labs revealed Zika antigens, cell damage, but no sign of Zika outside of the central nervous system and no indication that other pathogens are involved.Defects in babies with normal head sizeIn the surveillance study, the researchers analyzed investigations completed as of Feb 27 by medical teams of 1,501 live-born babies with suspected microcephaly.Using clinical data from Brazil’s Ministry of Health, they grouped the cases into five categories based on neuroimaging and Zika virus lab findings. Categories ranged from definite microcephaly to discarded. The team also looked at head circumference, first-week mortality, and history of maternal rash.Of the total, 899 cases were discarded. Among the remaining 602, 76 were definite, 54 highly probable, 181 moderately probable, and 291 somewhat probable. Compared with the discarded cases, definite or probable ones had small head circumference, and mothers were more likely to have had a rash during pregnancy (21% vs 61%). Infants in the definite and probable groups were also four time more likely to die during the first week of life.The analysis also revealed brain abnormalities in babies with normal head size who were born to mothers who had a Zika-like rash in late pregnancy. The investigators noted that cranium development is generally complete by week 30 of gestation, so infants can be born with normal head size and still have brain damage. They also said the findings raise the possibility that Zika infection in newborns might lead to brain damage.Cesar Victora, MD, PhD, the study’s lead author, said in a Lancet press release, “Although we believe that the underreporting of microcephaly cases is rare during the epidemic, newborns infected with the virus late in pregnancy may go unreported due to their head size being within normal range.” He also noted that about a third of the mothers of babies in the definite and probable group reported no rash during pregnancy.Examination of all newborns during epidemic waves should be considered, Victora said, and he warned that because southern Brazil experienced a wave of Zika in early 2016, the country could see a second spike in microcephaly at the end of the year.In a related commentary in the same Lancet issue, two experts from Brazil said adding new neurologic symptom criteria to detect Zika cases would be useful for identifying all affected infants, but many medical settings don’t have the specialized personnel. The authors are Jorg Heukelbach, MD, MPH, PhD, a community health specialist from the School of Medicine at Federal University of Ceara, and Guilherme Loureiro Werneck, MD, PhD, with the epidemiology department at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Another option would be incorporating an accurate serologic test into routine prenatal care, and they said validation of such a test should be a research priority.Damage in postmortem and placental samplesIn the pathology study, also published yesterday in The Lancet, researchers from the CDC and collaborators in Brazil analyzed tissue from three babies born with microcephaly who died and two placentas from mothers who miscarried at 11 and 13 weeks’ gestation. In all five instances, the mothers reported Zika symptoms during their first pregnancy trimesters.In the three fatal cases, investigators found Zika antigens in neurons and glial cells. Brain tissue analysis showed cell damage, calcium deposits, and death. Unlike for other infections such as herpes, they found no sign of substantial inflammatory response or specific structural effects.No evidence of Zika virus were found in other organ systems, and the three babies showed a range of birth defects and brain abnormalities.In placental samples from the two miscarriages, investigators found Zika virus antigens. For all five cases, tests ruled out other infectious causes.The authors said the mechanism that causes the birth defects still isn’t clear, but it is probably related to the virus attacking the nervous system, resulting in brain damage and muscle impairment.In an accompanying commentary, two US-based experts said though the CDC has concluded that Zika virus causes microcephaly, detections of Zika virus in tissues are scarce. The authors are Drucilla Roberts, MD, a pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Matthew Frosch, MD, PhD, a neuropathologist at MGH and Harvard University.They said more detailed pathology studies are needed to identify the full spectrum of Zika virus infection and to confirm the link to perinatal complications. Roberts and Frosch also recommended that future studies should include histopathologic examination of tissue at different gestational ages.”This report highlights that we can learn much about the pathogenesis of Zika virus congenital infection through careful pathological investigation, but leaves us with many questions for study,” the two wrote.Other developmentsThe CDC today reported 4 more Zika-related birth defects in US pregnant women, raising the total to 12 as of Jun 23. Three of the new cases involved live births, and one involved a pregnancy loss. The number of Zika-related birth defects in the US territories remained the same, at one. In other numbers updates, the CDC reported 22 more Zika infections in US pregnant women (raising the total to 287), and 34 more in pregnant women in the US territories (raising the total to 250). Regarding infections in the general population, the CDC reported 166 more cases in US territories where the virus is spreading locally, most of them in Puerto Rico. The total in the region stands at 2,020 now, and 3 more Guillain-Barre syndrome cases were reported, boosting the total to 10. US states reported 115 more Zika illnesses in travelers, increasing the total to 934, plus 2 more sexually transmitted Zika cases, putting that number at 13.Though most Americans have heard of Zika virus, only 13% are aware of the impact on adults and only half know that the virus can spread sexually, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported today in a health tracking poll for June. The poll also found widespread support for Zika funding, including assistance with reproductive services for women in outbreak areas in and outside of the United States.The CDC on Jun 28 added Anguilla to its level 2 travel notice for Zika virus. There are now 49 countries or territories listed among the CDC’s Zika travel advisories.See also:Jun 29 Lancet report on Zika microcephaly surveillanceJun 29 Lancet related commentaryJun 29 related Lancet press releaseJun 29 Lancet report on Zika birth defect pathologyJun 29 Lancet related commentaryJun 29 related Lancet press releaselast_img read more

Genetic tests reveal more about new H5N6 reassortant

first_imgThe latest analysis of reassortant H5N6 avian flu viruses from South Korean wild birds and domestic ducks shows that the strain is a close relative of an H5N6 virus that first turned up in Greek poultry last season, but it has two mutations that might alter its susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors, according to an expert familiar the test results.In other avian flu developments, the animal health officials in the United Kingdom (UK) issued a new risk assessment for avian flu in Europe, and French veterinary authorities reported another low-pathogenic H5N3 outbreak in poultry.H5N6 mutations might lower susceptibilityViruses from recent outbreaks in South Korea underwent further analysis at the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency of the Republic of Korea and the International Reference Laboratory in the UK government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency lab at Weybridge. And a reliable but anonymous source outlined the findings yesterday in a post to ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.Earlier this week, the Netherlands became the fifth country to report the H5N6 reassortant, which is different than the one that has caused human infections in China and has been found in poultry outbreaks in a few Asian countries. In November, South Korea reported its first outbreak involving the reassortant, which was quickly followed by detections in Japan and Taiwan.According to the source, phylogenetic analysis showed that the recent H5N6 virus from South Korea differs from the strain implicated in outbreaks last winter. Also, all genes except neuraminidase are from the European H5N8 lineage that triggered widespread outbreaks last season and is still causing sporadic outbreaks.The neuraminidase gene, most similar to the H5N6 reassortant detected in Greece last winter, is related to low-pathogenic Eurasian influenza A virus circulating in wild birds. The expert said, however, there are differences between the neuraminidases in the Greek and South Korean isolates, and one of the viruses can’t determine the risk for the whole lineage. “Indeed, the Korean isolate has 2 mutations, which might confer altered susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors.”The findings point to ongoing H5 lineage circulation in multiple geographic regions, likely spread by wild birds.Though so far sequence analysis doesn’t show that the virus poses a zoonotic threat, heightened vigilance should be maintained for potential spread from wild birds to poultry, the expert said. The source added that the findings also underscore the complex evolution of H5 clade 2.3.4.4 viruses that will likely have different phenotypic properties in a range of hosts, possibly including humans.DEFRA weighs H5N6, H5N8 threatsIn a new outbreak assessment update, the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the recent H5N6 outbreak in the Netherlands probably reflects a new incursion into Europe, given that the only previous detection on the continent was the earlier poultry outbreak in Greece.The agency added that the same farm in the Netherlands was struck by an H5N8 outbreak last year. So far, early analysis suggests it is a reassortant between H5N8 and low-pathogenic H5N6.DEFRA also weighed in on the H5N8 threat, saying that since late October, outbreaks have continued, but at a lower rate than last season in just four countries: Russia, Italy, Germany, and Bulgaria.Wild migratory waterfowl have arrived from Asia for overwintering in northern Europe and the UK, and compared with this time last year, the outlook is more favorable for central Europe, with relatively fewer cases in wild birds. However, DEFRA added that it’s possible that wild birds have asymptomatic infections or are immune after exposure to the virus last season. Also, it’s possible that local birds could be maintaining the H5N8 virus, which could spread by other routes.With uncertainty about H5N8 prevalence in wild birds and the new development with the H5N6 ressortant, DEFRA is keeping the risk level at “medium” for now, with the risk staying at “low” for individual poultry farms.Low-path H5N3 in FranceIn outbreak developments, veterinary officials in France reported another low-pathogenic H5N3 outbreak, the second involving the strain this month, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).The new outbreak began on Dec 2 at a turkey breeding farm in Maine-et-Loire department in west central France. Farm workers noticed an excessive death rate and a drop in egg production in one of the facility’s four pens. The virus killed 30 of 9,200 turkeys, and the remaining ones are slated for culling.See also:Dec 12 ProMED Mail postDec 11 DEFRA reportDec 11 OIE report on H5N3 in Francelast_img read more

News Scan for Dec 27, 2019

first_imgThree MERS cases confirmed in Qatar’s capitalQatar has reported three more MERS cases to the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO said yesterday. The three cases are related, and all case-patients are from Doha.The first case-patient is a 67-year-old woman who developed symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection at the end of November, and died on Dec 12. The source of her illness is still under investigation.”The patient had neither a history of contact with dromedary camels nor recent travel. Follow up and screening of seven household contacts and 40 healthcare worker contacts is ongoing and two asymptomatic secondary cases have been identified so far,” the WHO said.The woman’s son, age 50, and a 32-year-old case contact have also been diagnosed as having MERS-CoV. Both patients were asymptomatic and identified during contact tracing. The WHO said a total of 47 identified contacts of the patient have been monitored daily for the appearance of respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms for a period of 2 weeks following their last exposure to the patient.From 2012 through Nov 30, 2019, a total of 2,494 laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases and 858 associated deaths have been reported to the WHO, the vast majority in Saudi Arabia.Dec 26 WHO report Six countries report more polio cases; WHO extends polio emergencyIn the latest global polio developments, Afghanistan and Pakistan reported more wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases, and four African nations reported more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases, according to totals reflected on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) tables, which include data reported as of Dec 24.The GPEI didn’t publish its full report with paralysis onsets, noting that the weekly updates will resume on Jan 9.ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) compiled a report on the recent cases compared to the previous weekly polio totals. It said for WPV1 cases, Afghanistan has two more, one each from Fara and Kandahar provinces, raising its total for the year to 26. Pakistan has 10 more cases from Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, and Islamabad provinces, pushing its number for 2019 to 111.Meanwhile, four African countries reported five new cVDPV2 cases, including two from Angola and one each from Central African Republic, Chad, and Ethiopia.GPEI WPV1 cases as of Dec 24 GPEI vaccine-derived polio cases as of Dec 24 Dec 26 ProMED Mail postIn other polio developments, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) polio emergency committee met for the 23rd time on Dec 11, and after hearing from experts and representatives from polio-affected countries unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread remains a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).The WHO said in a Dec 20 statement on the deliberations that the committee voiced grave concerns about the significant rise in WPV1 cases this year, along with widespread transmission, vaccine refusal, and detection of vaccine-derived cases in Pakistan and challenging security and inaccessibility problems in Afghanistan.Regarding vaccine-derived polio, the group said multiple outbreaks in four of the WHO regions are very concerning, noting that since its last meeting, seven new countries have reported outbreaks. WHO emergency committees typically meet every 3 months or sooner if needed.Dec 20 WHO statement WHO details yellow fever outbreak in MaliThe WHO yesterday released more details about a yellow fever outbreak in Mali that has so far resulted in three confirmed cases, plus nine suspected and three probable infections.The initial case-patient is a 15-year-old girl from Koulikoro region who had not traveled outside of her district and had not been vaccinated. The other confirmed infections are in two men ages 17 and 25 from Ivory Coast who are living in Bouguimi district in Mali’s Sikasso region. Two of the people with confirmed infections died.The suspected and probable cases are all from Bouguimi district, and there are three deaths among the suspected infections.The WHO said mass yellow fever campaigns have been underway in Mali since 2008, but coverage is still below herd immunity thresholds and there are pockets of low immunity, with high population movements within and outside of the country possibly diluting population immunity.The district where the first patient is from is near Bamako, Mali’s capital and home to 2 million people. The district where the two other patients lived is near the Ivory Coast border. The WHO said the risk of yellow fever spread within Mali due to disease activity is high, the risk of regional spread is moderate, and the threat of global spread is low.Dec 26 WHO statement Dec 9 CIDRAP news scan “Health officials confirm 3 yellow fever cases in Mali, Ivory Coast”last_img read more

News Scan for Aug 31, 2020

first_imgUS cell phone data: Staying home amid lockdowns may stem COVID-19US counties with large declines in cell phone activity at workplaces, transit stations, and stores and concomitant increases in home activity during COVID-19 lockdowns had lower rates of coronavirus infections 5, 10, and 15 days later, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.The researchers made 22,124 to 83,745 daily observations of cell phone location data from 949 to 2,740 counties, depending on data availability, from Jan 22 to May 11 and compared them with COVID-19 growth rates.Growth of COVID-19 cases was 45.5% lower in counties in the lowest quartile of activity in retail stores than in those with the highest quartile, while counties with the most residential activity had a 19% lower COVID-19 growth rate at 15 days than those with the least.Overall, cell phone activity outside the home increased roughly 0.5% compared with in-home activity per day that the stay-at-home measures were in place, suggesting waning adherence over time.After adjusting for county population, case rates, and state-level factors, rural counties had smaller reductions in cell phone activity at workplaces, transit stations, and stores and greater reductions in visits to parks and home activities than did urban counties.Counties in states with higher proportions of older adults, children, black residents, and people living in poverty; more per-capital hospital beds; and lower population density had the smallest reductions in workplace cell phone activity. Conversely, county residents stayed home more in states with a lower proportion of older adults, higher population density, greater economic productivity, lower rates of the uninsured, greater proportion spent on healthcare, fewer people living in poverty, and higher case rates.”Reductions in workplace activity and increases in residential activity were higher in counties and on days where/when there was a greater number of new cases, and thus there was likely a higher perceived risk of infection,” the authors said. “Counties with a high rate of cases were likely to also have more restrictions in place.”The researchers said that their findings support cell phone location monitoring to predict pandemic trends.Aug 31 JAMA Intern Med study Multicenter study suggests stealthy COVID-19 spread by childrenTwenty of 91 children (22%) diagnosed as having COVID-19 in a South Korean study had no symptoms, and most symptoms in clinically ill children went unrecognized or developed only after diagnosis, suggesting that this age-group may silently spread coronavirus in the community.The study, which involved pediatric contacts of people with COVID-19 at 22 medical centers from Feb 18 to Mar 31, was published late last week in JAMA Pediatrics. Of the 71 symptomatic children, 47 (66%) had symptoms that went unrecognized as coronavirus symptoms, and 18 (25%) developed symptoms only after diagnosis, while only 6 (9%) were diagnosed at the time of illness onset.Of the 91 children, 22 (24%) had lower respiratory tract infections. RNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was found in upper respiratory samples for a mean of 17.6 days among all patients and for a mean of 14.1 days in children with no symptoms. Mean duration of virus RNA detection was not different for children with upper versus lower respiratory tract infections (18.7 days vs 19.9 days). All patients recovered from their infections.Median patient age was 11 years, 53 (58%) were boys, and 6 (7%) had underlying medical conditions. Fifty-seven children (63%) were infected by household members.The authors called for heightened surveillance with COVID-19 testing to allow detection of the virus in children with no, mild, or nonspecific symptoms.In a commentary in the same journal, Roberta DeBiasi, MD, MS, and Meghan Delaney, DO, MPH, of George Washington University pointed out that most ill children had symptoms for as long as 28 days before diagnosis, although they were presumably being monitored because they were a contact of a COVID-19 patient.”This highlights the concept that infected children may be more likely to go unnoticed either with or without symptoms and continue on with their usual activities, which may contribute to viral circulation within their community,” they said.Aug 28 JAMA Pediatr study and commentary Ebola sickens 2 more in DRC outbreak, 109 total, with 47 deathsTests confirmed Ebola infections in 2 more people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Equateur province outbreak, raising the total to 109 cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said today on Twitter.No new deaths were reported, keeping the fatality count at 47.The outbreak, the DRC’s 11th involving Ebola, was first detected in early June in the same area where the country’s ninth outbreak occurred in 2018.Health officials are concerned about the latest outbreak, as responders grapple with COVID-19 and other health challenges and stretched resources. Also, the outbreak is occurring across a wide region, which includes both difficult-to-access areas and Mbandaka, the provincial capital.Aug 31 WHO African regional office tweetlast_img read more

New mission to explore bottom of Belize’s Great Blue Hole

first_img They’re planning to take submersibles including a manned Aquatica Stingray 500 to the bottom of the hole to chart what lies deep down below. Caribbean Aims to Become World’s First Climate-Smart Zone In 1971, underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau put the Blue Hole on the map when he first explored its depths.Nearly half a century later, despite becoming a scuba hotspot, the Blue Hole’s exact features remain mostly unknown. But Cousteau’s grandson, Fabien Cousteau, is on the case. He’ll be joinging Branson — who runs Ocean Unite, a leadership initiative that aims to help protect the ocean — and a team of scientists, explorers and filmmakers from the Aquatica Foundation. Aug 10, 2018 New GEF-Funded Blue Economy Initiative begins in Caribbean(Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism Press Release)—A new US$46M initiative to promote Blue Economic priorities in the Caribbean gets underway with a two-day inception workshop on 5-6 March at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The initiative is in support of the sustainable use and conservation of…March 5, 2020In “Agriculture”Sustainable use of our marine resources: Caribbean Community at UN Ocean Conference – Day oneThe global High Level Conference which will seek agreement on a Call For Action to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development opens Monday at UN Headquarters in New York. Day One  of the five-day Conference will feature several activities with strong participation by Caribbean…June 5, 2017In “Barbados”Strong CARICOM participation on Day One of UN Ocean ConferenceCaribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States sent a strong signal about their commitment to saving the oceans by taking lead roles in a number of the activities on Day One of the UN Oceans conference in New York, Monday 5 June, 2017. Grenada facilitated two strongly supported events on the Blue…June 6, 2017In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApp Dec 27, 2017 Devastation brought out generosity, spirit of togetherness… Read more at: CNN Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Virgin Atlantic takeover of LIAT? May 7, 2019 The Blue Hole Belize 2018 Expedition, as it’s been titled, will be broadcast live on the Discovery Channel on Sunday December 2, 2018. You may be interested in… CNN) — Virgin billionaire Richard Branson is joining a new mission to solve one of the most captivating mysteries of the ocean — what lies at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole in Belize? The Great Blue Hole in Belize is the largest sinkhole in the world — a giant cavern measuring 300 meters (984 feet) across and around 125 meters deep.last_img read more

Tech Company to launch Facebook developer circle in Guyana

first_img(Kaieteur News)Trifinity Solutions, a local tech company is set to collaborate with Silicon Valley tech giant Facebook to help build a developer community in Guyana through the launch of a local chapter. The Facebook Global Developers Circle (DevC) is set to launch in Guyana on 21st September at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre. Attendees will enjoy panel discussions and networking sessions with local talents and representatives from the Facebook team; they will also interact with the local DevC lead, Samantha Sheoprashad. You may be interested in… May 28, 2020 According to Sheoprashad, the Founder of Trifinity Solutions, believes that collaboration is the key to community development. “With such community development in our country, we will be able to develop and nurture tech talents for local and International opportunities. Read more at: Kaieteur News Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Market Region as Safe Haven – Business Leader center_img Jun 4, 2020 Use crisis to propel Region into future – business leader Commonwealth Secretary-General to attend CARICOM summitClimate change, indebtedness, protecting migrant remittances and banking systems, and the consequences of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on small and vulnerable economies are priority concerns for the Commonwealth Secretary-General as she heads to Guyana for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Conference of Heads of Government. Twelve of…July 1, 2016In “Anguilla”App development critical to Single ICT Space – CARICOM officialPowered by flickr embed. Gratis Botón Facebook like generador Gratis Botón Facebook like generador The development of applications such as the recently launched CXC Connect, is critical to the CARICOM Single ICT Space. Speaking at the Guyana launch of the application on Monday, 31 July, 2017, Deputy Programme Manager ICT4D…August 2, 2017In “Antigua & Barbuda”CARICOM, GPL join Guyana Solar ChallengeSolar Head of State (SHOS) and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) are pleased to announce the new partnership with Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), CARICOM, Guyana Power and Light (GPL), MPC Capital, Guyana Ministry of Environment, Public Service International (PSI), and Guyana Energy Agency (GEA)…October 7, 2019In “Business”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Bermuda to accept digital currency – CARICOM Business News

first_img Guyana Waives Banking Fees for Rest of 2020 – CARICOM… Oct 7, 2020 Please see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices CARICOM Business 18 October 2019 CARICOM Business 18 October 2019 Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Oct 7, 2020 UK appoints New Special Trade Envoy to Caribbean Aug 25, 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Standards, Quality Still Important You may be interested in… BOJ Developing Digital Currency as Legal Tender –… BOJ Developing Digital Currency as Legal Tender – CARICOM Business NewsPlease see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices. CARICOM-Business-July-312c-2020DownloadAugust 3, 2020In “Barbados”Barbados modernises immigration services – CARICOM Business NewsPlease see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices. CARICOM Business 14 December, 2018December 17, 2018In “Antigua & Barbuda”Barbados fiscal accounts on track – CARICOM Business NewsPlease see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices. CARICOM Business 9 August 2019August 12, 2019In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

WORLDPAC Names New CEO, COO

first_imgWith more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement NEWARK, CA — WORLDPAC President Tom O’Hare has been promoted to CEO of the company. O’Hare will remain on the board of directors. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Filling the position that has opened as a result of O’Hare’s promotion, John Mosunic, vice president of finance, has been promoted to president of WORLDPAC. He has also been named COO. “John’s promotion is a direct result of his business sense, progressive ideas, and ethical standards he has demonstrated in the past three years with our organization,” said O’Hare. _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain.last_img read more

Northwood University to Honor Eight Aftermarket Professionals with Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award

first_imgLAS VEGAS – Northwood University honored eight automotive aftermarket leaders with its annual Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award on Tuesday, November 2, during a luncheon at AAPEX.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Those being honored are: Stephen Crowley, president and CEO, VIPAR Heavy Duty, Crystal Lake, Ill.; James Franco, president and CEO, Autologue Computer Systems Inc., Buena Park, Calif.; Martin Gold, president, S-G Imported Car Parts, Inc., Farmington Hills, Mich.; John Grote, vice president of sales and marketing, Grote Industries, Inc., Madison, Ind.; Michael Lambert, president, Automotive Distribution Network, Germantown, Tenn.; William Rhodes III, chairman, president and CEO, AutoZone, Memphis, Tenn.; Ronald Rossi, director of market research, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Bethesda, Md.; and Susan Ulrey, executive director of customer sales operations and e-commerce, Tenneco, Inc., Monroe, Mich. The Northwood Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award is given to individuals in the Automotive Aftermarket field who have made noteworthy contributions to education, on any level, inside or outside of the industry. They are people of stature and the award is recognition of substantial dedication over a number of years to the educational process and the field of automotive aftermarket.last_img read more

Plans For Gas Station Property Not Yet Announced

first_imgZRG Investments pulled a commercial demolition permit in August for the gas station at the corner of Diamond Drive and Sandia, across the street from Los Alamos High School. The plan for the property has not yet been made public but check back at ladailypost.com for updates. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.comlast_img

Water Distribution Affects Exoplanets Habitable Zone

first_imgWarmer temperatures and more surface water both cause more water vapor to enter a planet’s atmosphere. If more heat is coming into the atmosphere in the form of solar radiation than the amount of heat that is being expelled as outgoing planetary radiation, the planet gets hotter. This causes more evaporation and more water vapor, subsequently trapping more heat and causing a runaway greenhouse cycle. The researchers used three-dimensional models to simulate the different ways a set volume of water on land planets could be distributed. In one model, the water was distributed closer to the planet’s poles. In the other, water was scattered away from the poles. Mars is an example of a potentially Earth-like planet that lost its liquid water and atmosphere. Courtesy/NASA/JPL/USGS “Our results showed the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single, sharp boundary, but a border whose location changes depending on the planetary surface environment,” said Takanori Kodama, an astrophysicist at the University of Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France, and lead author of the new study. AGU News: Distance to the central star, thickness of the atmosphere, and the amount of water on a planet can affect where its habitable zone lies. The new research in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, finds where water is distributed on land also impacts how close some types of planets can be to their central star without losing all their water. Water in the habitable zone “Small differences in the amount of water cause significant differences in planets’ climates,” Kodama said. Earth is an example of an aqua planet that maintains its water in a habitable zone. This image of Earth taken by the spacecraft Galileo shows its vast Pacific Ocean. Courtesy/NASA/JPL The new study finds land planets, which have equal to or less than 10 percent of the volume of Earth’s water, can remain habitable at a closer distance to their host star if most of their water is at the planet’s poles. This means the habitable zone for these types of planets may be different than previously assumed.center_img They found land planets with more water at their equator have wetter atmospheres, sending them into a greenhouse state. Land planets with water near their poles have drier atmospheres around their tropical regions, because the water vapor does not circulate up to the equator. Those land planets can maintain their water when they are closer to their central stars. Because life on Earth requires liquid water, researchers looking for life beyond Earth’s solar system search for exoplanets that orbit their star within a “habitable zone” where the planet is neither frozen in ice nor completely dry. Kodama previously established the total amount of water a land planet has can affect how close it can be to its central star before the amount of water vapor thickens the atmosphere and sends the planet into a runaway greenhouse state. After this water vapor threshold is reached, all the planet’s water eventually disappears through evaporation caused by heat accumulation. On habitable planets, incoming solar radiation and outgoing planetary radiation are balanced. Aqua planets, like Earth, have narrow habitable zones because their water-heavy atmospheres limit outgoing planetary radiation while insulating solar radiation, creating a buildup of heat. Land planets have a wider habitable zone, because they have less water in their atmospheres. The new study examines how water distribution on land planets influences how close they can exist to their host star without entering a runaway greenhouse state. The new results indicate that how close a planet can be to its host star and remain habitable also depends on the planet’s surface water distribution in addition to its overall amount of water. Land planets with drier equators can live closer to their stars. Earth-like exoplanets with dry tropical regions can remain habitable at a closer distance to their host star than previously thought, a new study suggests. The amount of water a planet has limits how close it can be to the heat of its star. Water vapor in the air traps heat like a greenhouse, insulating the planet and making its surface much warmer than it normally would be.last_img read more

Obituary: Robert W. (Bob) Turner

first_imgROBERT W. (BOB) TURNER Feb. 3, 1926 – Dec. 26, 2019Robert W. (Bob) Turner/AA5VD, was born February 3, 1926, Orchard, NE, to William W. & Alice M. Tomlinson Turner and died December 26, 2019 in Los Alamos.  Bill and Alice preceded Bob in death as did his Sister, Billie Maxine Turner Thomson.  Bob  is survived by his two sons, Roger W. Turner, Menifee, CA and Philip L. Turner, of Albuquerque, NM; two grandsons, Ivan Turner and his wife Cheri, San Jacinto, CA, and Trevor Turner Lucero, Albuquerque, NM; Three great grand daughters, Haley Lynn, Amber Elaine and Emily Jean Turner, San Jacinto, CA.;Bob was a registered, professional architect in Nebraska, graduating from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 1950. He served in the U.S. Army, Coast Artillery Corps in the USA and 36th Infantry Division and 7th Army Hqtrs/G-3, in Europe during WWII; U.S. Army Signal Corps Enlisted Reserve in the USA and the 5th RCT/S-3, 24th Division Army Infantry in the Korean War in Korea.  Bob moved to Los Alamos, NM with his Family in 1959, where he worked in the Facilities Engineering Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 30 years. He then retired and lived in Los Alamos until his death. He was a Christian since the age of 12, a past member of the First Baptist Church, Los Alamos, NM, and a charter member of the White Rock Baptist Church, Los Alamos, NM. Bob was active in the Prison Fellowship at the PNM in Santa Fe for several years;  a member of the Los Alamos Amateur Radio Club (W5PDO); Life member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL); Life member of the American Legion, Post 90; Life member of the Good Sam Club; Life member of the 24th Taro Leaf Div. Assoc, 5th RCT.Burial in the Guaje Pines Cemetery, Los Alamos, which will include a brief graveside memorial service with Pastor Chuck McCullough officiating. The family of Robert W. (Bob) Turner has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. 505-747-7477 – www.devargasfuneral.comThe Crown of Life2 Timothy 4:1-8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me on that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. – Verse 8.last_img read more

County Clerk Naomi Maestas Files For Re-Election

first_imgLos Alamos County Clerk Naomi Maestas, a Democrat, files today for re-election. She is shown here with her husband Sammy and son Isaiah in Council Chambers. ‘I was elected to this office in 2016 but I started working in the Clerk’s Office in 2005. I am a strong advocate for democracy. I want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. I want to continue our progress in the Clerk’s Office … we have a great team.’ Photo by Bonnie Gordon/ladailypost.comlast_img

Ellie Norman Spending Time At Mesa Public Library Tuesday

first_imgEllie Norman, 2.5, spending time Tuesday at Mesa Public Library, is the daughter of Robin and Jason Norman. Photo by Jenn Bartram/ladailypost.comlast_img

New Mexico COVID-19 Cases At 1,711 With 7 New Deaths

first_imgSTATE News:SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced this afternoon 115 additional positive tests for COVID-19. The number of positive tests for COVID-19 in Los Alamos County remains at 6.The update today also includes seven additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.Per the New Mexico Department of Health, the most recent cases announced today include:24 new cases in Bernalillo County2 new cases in Chaves County2 new cases in Cibola County1 new case in Colfax County7 new cases in Doña Ana County2 new cases in Eddy County1 new case in Grant County51 new cases in McKinley County8 new cases in Sandoval County14 new cases in San Juan County1 new case in Santa Fe County2 new cases in Valencia CountySeven additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19:A male in his 70s from Bernalillo County. The individual had underlying medical conditions and was a resident of the La Vida Llena facility in Albuquerque.A female in her 80s from Bernalillo County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.A second female in her 80s from Bernalillo County. The individual had underlying medical conditions.A female in her 90s from Bernalillo County. The individual had underlying medical conditions and was a resident of the La Vida Llena facility in Albuquerque.A female in her 50s from Sandoval County. A male in his 80s from San Juan County. The individual was hospitalized.A male in his 40s from Socorro County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now 51.The Department of Health has identified positive COVID-19 cases in residents and/or staff at the following congregate living facilities:Advanced Health Care of Albuquerque in AlbuquerqueAztec Health Care in AztecBeehive Homes in FarmingtonCentral Desert Behavioral Health in AlbuquerqueLa Vida Llena in AlbuquerqueLegacy Santa Fe in Santa FeLife Care Center of Farmington in FarmingtonThe Neighborhood in Rio RanchoUptown Genesis in AlbuquerqueThe case numbers reported previously included one case from Bernalillo County that was not lab confirmed – the error has been corrected.Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 1,711 positive tests for COVID-19:Bernalillo County: 514Catron County: 1Chaves County: 21Cibola County: 32Colfax County: 4Curry County: 10Doña Ana County: 65Eddy County: 9Grant County: 13Lea County: 2Lincoln County: 1Los Alamos County: 6Luna County: 3McKinley County: 316Otero County: 3Quay County: 1Rio Arriba County: 10Roosevelt County: 1Sandoval County: 301San Juan County: 243San Miguel County: 2Santa Fe County: 80Socorro County: 20Taos County: 15Torrance County: 12Valencia County: 26County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.As of today, there are 96 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.As of today, there are 382 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.The Department of Health has detected community spread in Bernalillo, Doña Ana, McKinley, Otero, Sandoval, San Juan, and Santa Fe counties and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing: Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers; andSymptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath. New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns also can call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.last_img read more

New Mexico Congressional Delegation Applauds Over $2 Million In CARES Act Funding For Safe, Affordable Housing

first_imgNEW MEXICO CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $2,138,253 to housing authorities across 15 New Mexico counties from the CARES Act funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The grant is funded by the $850 million provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for administrative and other expenses incurred by public housing authorities to implement key programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher program and Tenant Based Rental Assistance. The state has previously received $1,621,186 in similar funding for housing authorities across the state, in addition to over $16.7 million for emergency housing funds to keep more people in homes during the dual economic disruption and public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Affordable and reliable housing is critically important during this pandemic when physical distancing is the best measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “In the Senate, I am continuing to fight to protect New Mexico renters from eviction and to fully fund state and city budgets. Meanwhile, housing authorities across New Mexico are helping our communities stay healthy and safe, yet all too often lack the necessary financial resources as state and local budgets are strained. As we continue to grapple with the effects of this pandemic, I will continue to fight for safe and affordable housing for all New Mexicans.”“The last thing New Mexico families should be worrying about right now is how they will keep a roof over their heads,” Heinrich said. “I am proud to support this critical funding from the CARES Act for programs that help families in New Mexico access affordable housing during these difficult months. I will continue fighting for resources that promote housing security and a broad economic recovery across New Mexico.”“Public housing authorities are working hard to meet New Mexicans’ housing needs during this public health emergency. These critical investments will allow them to cover essential costs and bolster their ability to continue serving their communities,” Luján said. “I’ll keep working alongside my fellow members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation to ensure our local governments and housing authorities receive the resources they need to continue supporting New Mexicans during these challenging times.”“Housing is essential during this pandemic, but the Trump Administration and Senate GOP allowed federal relief and eviction protections to lapse. Many families worry about keeping their families fed, clothed and supported during this pandemic, the last thing they need to worry about is not having a place to live. That’s why we included important housing funding in the CARES Act, and now that this funding will get to New Mexico organizations that help people with affordable housing, families will start to see some relief. I will continue to pressure the Senate to pass the HEROES Act, which includes vital housing, rental, and utility assistance for New Mexicans,” said Haaland, Vice Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.  “As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, families across New Mexico are struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. Meanwhile, state and local governments are facing strained budgets, making it difficult to provide the ample support families need. Safe, affordable housing is critical to providing stability for families and workers and reducing the spread of the virus in our communities. This funding is critical to support our local housing authorities, and I’m continuing to work to secure the federal funding families need to make it through this crisis,” Torres Small said.Regional housing authorities in New Mexico are responsible for the planning, finance and creation of affordable housing. In addition, they operate federal programs such as Section 8 or Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Low Rent Program, also referred to as public housing.Breakdown of Grants: City of Albuquerque Housing Authority, $656,285Clovis Housing and Redevelopment Agency, Inc., $61,753Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority, $190,483Housing Authority of the City of Gallup, $6,037Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority, $221,457Housing Authority of the City of Truth or Consequences, $20,683Housing Authority of the City of Tucumcari, $11,096Housing Authority of the County of Rio Arriba, $2,482Housing Authority of the County of Santa Fe, $61,910Bernalillo County Housing Department, $406,143Housing Authority of San Miguel County, $19,855Eastern Regional Housing Authority, $157,011Housing Authority of the County of San Juan, $46,446Western Regional Housing Authority, $117,976El Camino Real Housing Authority, $78,090Northern Regional Housing Authority, $59,002City of Albuquerque Housing Authority, $8,719Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority, $4,261Housing Authority of the City of Truths and Consequences, $2,955Housing Authority of the County of Santa Fe, $5,609last_img read more

Feeling the Silverburn

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HBOS rules out bid for Quintain for time being

first_imgThe stock exchange announcement triggered a 9.6% fall in Quintain’s share price to 818p a share. Quill said: ‘In response to recent speculation regarding its stake in Quintain, Quill Securities Limited confirms that it has no current intention to make an offer for Quintain.’However, It said it would still reserve the right to make or participate in an offer if a separate offer for the company was made or if ‘an agreement or recommendation from the board of Quintain is forthcoming’. In July, Quintain chairman John Plender called for the UK Takeover Panel to impose a deadline on HBOS to end the uncertainty which could have an adverse impact on the company. HBOS was subsequently given until Sept. 10 to make a bid.last_img read more

Aberdeen raises $80m for Asian purse

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Strutts partners inject £5m after 79% fall in profits

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First restructures £240m of debt

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Last chance to submit your essay and win £500

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2017 Predictions: maintaining momentum for an aspirational retirement key

first_imgAudley Retirement’s Mote House – Source: Audley RetirementThis year has also experienced its fair share of volatility following the vote to leave the EU, but also opportunity in the form of Philip Hammond’s announcement in the Autumn Statement that investment was needed in all forms of housing. For too long, there has been a distorted focus on first-time buyers, and it is a relief to see this view start to change because the demand for quality retirement housing is only growing.However, there is still a gaping hole when it comes to the older generation: a staggering lack of measures to address care. The NHS and care system is struggling at the lack of appropriate housing for those who don’t need to be in hospital and this is putting a huge strain on available beds.The fact that there are now plans to increase council tax to bail out social care services for the elderly is itself evidence of how far the situation has been allowed to spiral. Further pressure will come as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU. For a sector so dependent on an EU migrant workforce, it’s hard to underestimate the impact these workers being forced to leave could have.Retirement stock map across the UK – see full infographic hereSo while there is movement in the right direction, far more has to be done to combat both the care crisis, and lack of aspirational retirement properties. We need to incentivise people to downsize, live in their own homes and maintain their independence, but with the knowledge that flexible care is there as and when they need it.Over 65s are the fastest growing proportion of the population and by 2039 there will be more than a million people aged over 90 in UK. If we continue to talk about it, but take no further action, we can only expect the pressure to worsen.   It is absolutely vital that as we enter 2017, we maintain momentum. The Chancellor has made the first move by broadening the housing spotlight, and we need to ensure this commitment is kept.Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Retirement Villageslast_img read more

Industry and academics call for cross-party committee to tackle housing crisis

first_imgSource: Shutterstock/Serhii KrotThe new report from businesses including Argent, Berkeley Group and Clarion Housing Group as well as academics from Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UCL and LSE said an independent, non-departmental body was needed to advise on how to provide housing to meet needs in all sections of society, plan long-term to deliver housing for a zero-carbon economy and reduce risk and uncertainty around the delivery of new housing.Other findings in the report titled “The Housing Sprint: How to Solve the Housing Crisis”, included that just a “small proportion” of the £2tn it would cost to hit government’s targeted six million new homes in the next 20 years would need to be paid for by the state and would require building on, “at most”, 1.5% of England’s undeveloped land. It suggested developing around 2% of the country’s greenbelt would deliver between 12-20% of space needed for the required homes and added that extra provisions could be made for green schemes on this land.“We have no choice but to build our way out of the current crisis,” said the report. “In doing so, we are likely to spend £2 trillion over the next twenty years. Spent without careful thought and consultation, that money will fuel arguments in every corner of the country.”The group also suggested a Housing Advisory Committee should explore the replacement of both Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) with new land value capture mechanisms that are fairer, provide better commercial incentive and reduce the administrative burden on both the public and private sectors.“Both [CIL and S106] are highly dependent on professional expertise and skills which are patchy and uneven across the country, and further hampered by a lack of transparent, comparable information,” the report said.However the group added that “until a better methodology can be established” it supported the continued use of Section 106 and the CIL.More liberal use of Compulsory Purchase Ordered was also suggested, encouraged by changes to the current system that would make CPOs “resented less and consequently applied more frequently”.These changes include public bodies paying “only a fair quantum sufficient to incentivise development” where land constitutes a potentially “large part of a significant housing development”, coupled with “speeding up the CPO process by creating a greater sense of both fairness and certainty”.The group recommended a total budget of £100m a year for the advisory committee, to pay staff and external consultants across 10 hubs nationwide. The committee, it said, should be implemented for a starting period of 12 years to make sure it outlasted individual governments.”£100m is a large sum but an essential cost,” said the report. “It would only be one thousandth of the £100bn to be spent per year to deliver 300,000 homes and their supporting infrastructure.”last_img read more

Spin class: bull genius

first_imgWhen I hear them prattling on about how clever they are, I want to remind them: “Don’t confuse genius with a bull market.” Or, as I learned this week from the CFO of the new Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield: “NAVs are a lazy metric for lazy people.”This is particularly pertinent for one of my listed clients, who barely does a deal, saying haughtily that the market is overpriced. Yet, his year-end NAV goes up thanks to market forces and he picks up a big bonus. I always worry that he might come in for criticism at the AGM or a journalist might question his worth, but so far he’s got off scot-free. That doesn’t stop him questioning my worth, of course, but that is the PR’s lot in life.“Henrietta, we need to sit down and talk about doing something for [insert name of lazy client],” says my colleague, Charlotte.“OK, but he’s not doing anything, and if he’s not doing anything, we can’t do anything,” I protest. “Let’s get him to sponsor a conference and then he will get a speaking slot and we will be kept busy for a while.”“If we do that, he’ll be spending money from his marketing budget and won’t increase our fee.”“Well, what then?”“It’s got to be time for some S&M,” I respond. “Social media. We’ll set him up on Twitter.” . .last_img read more

More funding, less planning could get us out of housing crisis

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Students among group placed in quarantine following latest COVID case in Grenada

first_img Grenada’s COVID-19 regulations state that a person who contravenes or fails to comply with the measures shall be guilty of an offence and on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding EC$10,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents). Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Steele said that it appears, some people are of the belief that they were not aware that they did not have to remain at the safe facility until the all-clear is given by a health official but could depart once the PCR swab is conducted. St. Lucia records more cases of COVID More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak However, after he was swabbed by health officials, he departed the facility before receiving his result. By the time he was picked up by the authorities at his home, he had already attended a mass social gathering event that was not granted permission by the authorities. Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC Story via CMC Health Minister Nickolas Steele Tuesday confirmed that several students are among 30 people who have been placed in quarantine after the island recorded its first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after a three month period. Oct 16, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 “The entry protocol says it’s for a minimum of four days not until you are swabbed,” he said, adding that the quarantine can go beyond four day period. “As of this morning based on the one positive case who escaped from quarantine, we have 13 direct individuals and 17 indirect individuals that have been put in isolation/quarantine as a result,” Steele told reporters. Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn Charles, told a news conference that the 32-year-old man from the village of Tivoli, St Andrew entered Grenada on an Air Canada flight on October 5. As mandated, he was temporarily residing in a safe quarantine facility in the south of the island until he received the on-island PCR test. “We will keep these individuals in quarantine and observation for at least four days before we test them to see if they were exposed or infected by the individual,” he added. Health authorities said that the island’s 25th case is a national returning from Canada who breached the mandatory quarantine period for persons returning from medium risk destinations. St. Kitts And Nevis Confirms Two COVID-19 CasesNATIONAL STATEMENT ON COVID-19 By the Hon Wendy Colleen Phipps Minister of State with Responsibility for Health March 25, 2020 In my capacity as Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, it is my duty to inform you that as of 11:03 pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Federation…March 25, 2020In “CARICOM”CARICOM SG commends regional response to COVID-19CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, has commended the health emergency response mechanism engineered by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to keep the Community free of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Secretary-General LaRocque said the inter-agency collaboration that was taking place was another example of the co-ordination required to address the…February 18, 2020In “31Intersessional”21 quarantine patients to be discharged todayA group of 21 Guyanese who returned from Barbados recently are heading back home to their families after being medically cleared. They were placed in mandatory isolation by the Ministry of Public Health. Another seven persons who were on home quarantine have also been cleared. These disclosures were made by…April 10, 2020In “General”Share this on WhatsApp “The other individuals that caused a breach in quarantine, I am told by the Commissioner that they have been charged so too is one other from Monday morning for attempting to breach protocol,” he said. Oct 15, 2020 Steele said that the persons who assisted the young man in breaching the COVID-19 regulation have now been charged. Oct 16, 2020 You may be interested in…last_img read more

Eighteen Industry Professionals Receive AAP, MAAP Certificates In Las Vegas

first_imgMIDLAND, MI – The University of the Aftermarket awarded Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) and Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) certificates to 18 industry veterans at the 2013 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas, NV.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementThe University of the Aftermarket’s AAP and MAAP designation programs recognize long-term commitment to the aftermarket and professional development through programs and courses offered by the University and its association partners. Developed in partnership with AAIA, AASA, AWDA and Northwood University, these programs highlight both the educational and professional achievements of each recipient and, by extension, demonstrate the resulting competitive advantage for their employers and the aftermarket industry.AAP and MAAP certificates were presented by University of the Aftermarket Director Brian Cruickshank, MAAP, and Northwood University President and CEO Dr. Keith Pretty at Northwood University’s annual graduation and awards luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Venetian. The 2013 graduates of the program are:AAP Recipients:Jamie Ardis, AGS CompanyLindsey Ehlert, NGK Spark Plugs, Inc.William Flaherty, Jr., Stant CorporationRichard Guirlinger, Bourke Services, LLCSteve Handschuh, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA)David Haun, Gates CorporationThomas Litzinger, Motown Automotive Distributing Inc.William Long, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)Gary McCoy, Fairway CommunicationsLarry Northup, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA)Stephen Novak, ZF Services NA, LLCMAAP Recipients:Ron Aparicio, Walker Products, Inc.Margaret Beck, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)Cal Coburn, NGK Spark Plugs, Inc.James Eady, GOJO Industries, Inc.Stephen Horn, ATP Inc.Eric Liebovitz, Marathon Sales & MarketingBrent Windom, Uni-Select USA, Inc.last_img read more

Auto Care Association Launches Auto Care Careers Website

first_imgCREF Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode noted, “We are excited about how this one event will bring together 90 I-CAR volunteer committees nationwide and through their local promotion of the event, the more support can be raised for collision schools. As collision instructors and students need the industry’s support now more than ever, we didn’t want the fact that in-person fundraisers not being possible to stop us from coming together for the future professionals of the industry.” Advertisement The 90 I-CAR volunteer committees will be promoting this fundraiser not only to their local industry members, but also the general public as the more local virtual golfers that participate, the more funding will be raised for their local collision school programs. Also, with the event being virtual, zero golfing skill is required, and golfers can play from the comfort of their home.Advertisement Ford Performance Racing School has donated two passes, a $4,000 value, that will be awarded to the virtual gofer with the best score at the end of the tournament. Tom Wolf, CREF board of trustees chair and PPG Automotive Refinish director of business development noted, “PPG is proud to continue supporting CREF’s efforts to help collision programs, students, and instructors and this is a creative way to get not only the industry, but general public supporting their local schools. While we are limited on the number of golfers that attend our annual CREF summer golf fundraiser, this virtual event allows for thousands to participate, knowing that their registration fee will be reinvested back into their local schools.” I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne said, “What a fantastic way to support an important cause. A couple I-CAR committees worked with CREF to innovate their normal golf outing fundraisers in the face of COVID earlier this year with great success, and the same can be expected here. I-CAR committees across the U.S. are increasingly focused on supporting career technical schools as our industry seeks more qualified and capable talent.  This event will be a fun and easy way to support that goal.” center_img Registration is now open online. Industry members not located near one of the participating I-CAR Volunteer Committees can select “CREF General Fund” when registering and their registration fee will help CREF collision school programs, instructors and students nationwide. Registrants can download the free TopGolf online game to their phone, tablet, or desktop and start practicing their virtual golf swing prior to the Nov. 20 tee-off, when registered players will be given instructions on how to access the private in-game tournament. Questions regarding the fundraiser can be directed to CREF director of development  Brandon Eckenrode. To help raise additional funds for local collision school programs, when paying their $25 registration fee online, golfers will be able to select one of the 90 participating I-CAR volunteer committees and $20 of their registration fee will be reinvested into collision schools in that specific market.  BETHESDA, Md. – The Auto Care Association has launched a new auto care careers website, www.autocarecareers.org, to educate young people about, and attract them to, careers in the auto care industry. The website, created as part of the association’s Education Committee Auto Care Careers initiative, features resources and information highlighting the variety of professional positions, fast growth potential and dynamic career paths available in the auto care industry.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementAmong the valuable materials on the website are downloadable factsheets in the “Resources” section, designed for a variety of key audiences, including secondary students, parents and counselors, college students and graduates, military and technicians. The factsheets detail the wide range of potential job titles and the skills required for industry positions, and present individual testimonials and key data about the industry.The website “Careers” page features a custom-built, interactive career accelerator featuring five industry segments: retail/wholesale, manufacturing, distribution, industry-wide positions and service/repair. Users can click on their preferred path to learn more about the positions, advancement opportunities and career trajectories available in the auto care industry.“The auto care industry has the ability to provide exactly what young people are looking for in the workforce – fast career advancement, a job for just about every professional interest and interesting and exciting work,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “The auto care careers website is our first big step in communicating the value and potential of our industry to outside stakeholders, and the potential employees that will be the future of the auto care industry.”The association encourages member companies to link to the new site at www.autocarecareers.org and use it as a resource in their recruitment efforts. Members also are encouraged to download and print the factsheets as useful handouts for potential employees about the industry and its careers. The association adds that plans are already underway to communicate with additional non-industry audiences about the site, and the variety of resources and opportunities available in the auto care industry.,To raise additional support for high school and college collision school programs, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) will be collaborating with 90 I-CAR volunteer committee groups nationwide on a winter virtual golf fundraiser, exclusively sponsored by PPG Automotive. This event will be a private tournament within TopGolf’s online game, which will be held from Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 20. Golfers will be able to play an unlimited number of rounds of virtual golf during those 30 days, while viewing an in-game leaderboard to see how they are doing compared to others golfing from around the country. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementlast_img read more

Minimizer Adds 2 New Territory Managers

first_imgMinimizer has announced the addition of two new territory managers – Northeastern Territory Manager Kyle Hamm and West Territory Manager Royce Johnson.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“Kyle has spent time as a route driver and more recently as head of fleet maintenance for a large wholesale distributor in the Eastern region of the U.S.,” said Greg Renberg, Minimizer senior director of sales. “This experience gives Kyle unique insight into what drivers are looking for in terms of keeping them productive while operating their vehicles. It also gives us a clue in how fleets need to be efficient in maintaining their vehicles.”Hamm’s territory includes New York, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.Johnson is based in the San Francisco area, and brings valuable experience to his role with Minimizer.“Royce’s experience is critical as we continue to develop this large business area for Minimizer,” said Renberg. “His history with current and potential new customers in this territory will help us deepen our relationships with customers in this region of the U.S.”Johnson’s territory includes California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii.Both Hamm and Johnson started at Minimizer in mid-March. To contact them, visit minimizer.com.last_img read more

Photos: It’s All About Family In The Automotive Aftermarket

first_img Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America, speaking at the Bosch Mobility Experience, where Bosch demoed current and future vehicle technology at the Bosch Proving Grounds in Flat Rock, Michigan. L to R: Ambassador award winners Al Kucera, Kay Walker, Dan Kruzic, Shane McNallie, [Wendi Damron for Mark Cappucci] Brake Parts Inc and Remy Power Products employees volunteered for a “Day of Caring” and spring cleaning at the Pioneer Center for Human Services PADS Homeless Services Day Center in Woodstock, Illinois. Left to Right: Ben Wang, Megan Johnson, Jim Hodges, Tracey Tantillo, Debby O’Donnell, Megan Buccola, Debra Ivarson, Andy Ortega, Lee Rico, Ryan Oddo, Eileen Thomas, Meg Johnson, a local Woodstock area resident, Zach Rasmussen, Cinthia Melesio, Angie Smola, Colin Gambaro We often hear those in the automotive aftermarket saying that it’s the people who make it all worthwhile. And whether you are part of a multi-generation, family run business, or your company just treats you like their own, this week’s AMN People photo gallery shows it’s all about family in the automotive aftermarket.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementClick on any image below to scroll through the full image gallery.To submit your event images and details for consideration in a future issue of AMN People, email AMN Editor Amy Antenora at aantenora@babcox.com. (L to R): Rusty Bishop, CEO, Federated Auto Parts; Michael Cardone III, executive chairman, Cardone Industries; and Bo Fisher, chairman, Federated Auto Parts. Cardone III accepted the Federated Hall of Fame award on behalf of his father, Michael Cardone Jr. Left to Right: Brad and Susan Johnston, Edie and Sandra Cifuentes, Al and Danielle Torcini, JC Washbish, John and Kathy Gustafson, Tim and Amy Lassila, Jason and Stephanie Kozak, Charlotte Grimmett Congratulations to the newly elected WIN board for 2018-’19! Left to Right: Corvette Winners Jason Kool, Donald Addison, and Jason Kozak In honor of its 120th anniversary, Stant is hosting celebrations with its employees at locations around the globe. On May 23, Tim King, senior vice president of global sales for Stant, visited the Stant plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic. (L to R): Tim King, senior vice president global sales, Stant; Sergio Perini, senior commodity buyer, Roechling; Sebastiano Pagano, OV sales engineer, Stant; Wolfgang Toegel, senior commodity buyer, Roechling; Karin Hajkova, plant manager, Stant; and Vincent Dupuis, OV sales engineer, Stant. Dayco Products, LLC helped kick-off Northwood University’s Aftermarket 101 course last week by hosting a YANG Regional Meet-up attended by nearly 50 young aftermarket professionals. Stant employee Shandra Smith helps with face painting during Stant’s family day event held May 5 at Stant’s Pine Bluff, Arkansas plant. Adrienne Wilson rides the mechanical bull during Stant’s family day celebration held May 5 at Stant’s Pine Bluff, Arkansas plant. During the 12th Annual WIN Educational Conference “Racing to Connect,” which was held May 7-9 in Indianapolis, Beverly Rook-Twibell (right) of Safelite Solutions was recognized as the 2018 recipient of this prestigious award by Petra Schroeder, outgoing WIN Chair.last_img read more

Modine Announces CEO Transition Plan

first_imgModine Manufacturing Co., a diversified global leader in thermal management technology and solutions, announced today that Modine’s Board of Directors has launched a search for a new president and CEO. Thomas A. Burke will be stepping down from both his position as president and CEO and as a member of Modine’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “I am honored to have served as Modine’s president and CEO,” said Burke. “I would like to thank the entire Modine team. It has been a privilege to work with all of the Modine employees for the past 15 years. I believe we have done tremendous work together, including transforming the business to be a more diversified thermal management solutions provider. Modine has a bright future and I look forward to seeing its continued success.”   Lucareli concluded, “I would also like to thank Tom for his mentorship and leadership over the fifteen years I have worked with him at Modine. I strongly believe in the future of Modine and its vision of being a stronger, more diversified thermal management company. I remain committed to this strategy and am honored to lead this effort during the current transition period.” Williams continued, “In 2015, Tom launched our transformational, Strengthen, Diversify and Grow (SDG) strategy. That platform gained Modine a foothold in new, growing markets and resulted in the acquisition of Luvata HTS in 2016. The addition of Luvata’s industrial-based portfolio of products significantly diversified our technological capabilities and customer mix, while making Modine a global leader in coils and coatings. Lastly, Tom has been instrumental in leading Modine through the COVID-19 crisis and has positioned the business to emerge stronger. Tom has made an indelible mark on Modine’s rich history of innovation that spans more than a century and we are grateful for his historical leadership.”  Williams added, “As Modine works to complete the divestiture of its legacy Automotive business and further pivots towards its long-term vision to become a true industrial thermal management solutions provider, we have reached a natural inflection point. Now is the right time to find a new leader that can drive our industrial transformation strategy, while accelerating the Company’s future growth. A global search is underway to help us find that leader. The Board has extreme confidence that Mick and our experienced senior leadership team will continue to execute against our strategic vision until that leader is in place.”Advertisement Marsha Williams, lead director of Modine’s Board of Directors added, “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank Tom for his more than 15 years of service with Modine and his more than 12 years as our President and CEO. Tom accepted the CEO position in the midst of the 2008-2009 financial crisis and acted with a sense of urgency to fortify Modine’s operations and ensure that the company weathered the economic downturn.”  Advertisement The board has named Mick Lucareli, the company’s vice president, finance and CFO, as interim president and CEO, effective today. Burke will remain with the company in a senior advisory role until Aug. 28, to ensure a smooth transition. last_img read more

Halcyon Days

first_imgRoman Fine Art in East Hampton presents “Halcyon Days,” a solo exhibition of new works by Polaroid photographer Alex Moore. Moore’s first solo exhibition at Roman Fine Art features new figurative and landscape works from his most recent travels. The exhibit will continue through June 24. There was a reception for the artist on Saturday, May 25. Sharelast_img

Hamptons Takes Over At National Lifeguard Comp

first_img Independent/Nicole Starr Castillo Share Independent/Nicole Starr CastilloHamptons Lifeguard Association’s junior and adult groups can hang with the best of them.The participants returned from last week’s United States Lifesaving Association national competition with top-place finishes, some boasting multiple medals.Standouts included Emma Hren’s first-place finish in the distance run for 14 to 15-year-olds, and Corrina Castillo’s and Colin Shaefer’s tie for third. Brodie Schneider finished third in the distance run for 12 to 13-year-olds. In the distance swim, Sophia Swanson placed third in the under-19 bracket. She also placed third in the same division in the ironguard and the run-swim-run, and came in second in the board rescue race open with Amanda Calabrese. Calabrese placed first with Molly Mamay in the 4×100 relay open.Other first-place finishers included Ryan Paroz in the surf-ski-race open, and Nicky Badilla and Tenzin Tamang in the rescue relay for 14 to 15-year-olds.Liam Knight placed first in the ironguard for 11-year-olds, as did Daisy Pitches for nine-year-olds. Lyla Metz crossed the finish line second for 10-year-olds. Pitches also placed second for nine-, 10-, and 11-year-olds in the board race. Luke Castillo came in second in the same event for 12 to 13-year-olds.Pitches was also a member of the nine, 10, 11 swim relay that came in third. Knight, Ginger Griffin, and Elizabeth Daniels rounded out the quartet. Calabrese also came in second in the open beach flags. Bella Tarbet finished second and Jack Duryea third in the under-19 division. Julia Erickson claimed second for 14-year-olds and Colin Schaefer second for 15. Castillo came in third for 12-13, Luke Rossano second for 11-year-olds, Even Schaefer first for 10-year-olds, and Myla Schneider second for nine-year-olds.desiree@indyeastend.comlast_img read more

A Rosé Cocktail For National Rosé Weekend

first_imgIndependent/Jessica Mackin-CiproIn celebration of National Rosé Weekend in the Hamptons, I’ve created a Rosé cocktail.Ingredients (Serves 1 in rocks glass)1/2 oz gin1/2 oz Campari1/2 oz orange liquorJuice of half a lemon1/4 c rosé1/4 c club sodaCrushed iceAdd gin, Campari, orange liquor, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake and pour into a glass a quarter of the way full of crushed ice. Pour in the rosé, then the club soda. Enjoy! Sharelast_img

Linde announces profits

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Gladstone LNG contract award

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QuestAir completes purifier testing

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John Raquet of Spiritus Consulting – Crystal ball gazing, or common sense?

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Air Liquide completes acquisition of Middle Eastern company

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Horizon Pulp & Paper receives €1.9m order from Indonesian firm

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Air Products to build ASU in Texas

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Stormproof and confident – A positive day for The Linde Group

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BOC launches fuel-cell powered portable generator

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Sierra launches new cryo flow metre

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Linde wins California’s highest environmental honour

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New release: Photoacoustic infrared gas monitor

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Linde partners in German hydrogen refueling plan

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CGA celebrates 100 years of gas safety

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SERVOPRO Chroma proves argon recovery capability

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Hydrogen landmarks for Air Products

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Registration open for Pittcon 2015

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Norris Cylinder names new VP of Global Sales & Marketing

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LNG discussions at International Congress

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Exclusive: Myles Dempsey on acquisition strategies and brand consolidation

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Toshiba starts fuel cell system in Japan

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HFT introduces the PurgEye® 1000

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Coronavirus: Global update

first_img“All operational factories are focused on producing all of our LifeGuard Safety hoses but particularly our high pressure and cryogenic hoses to support the high demands on the oxygen production industry,” the company said.Full story here.10:30 – ACWA Power contributes SAR 50m to coronavirus effortsSaudi Arabian utility developer ACWA Power has pledged a contribution of SAR 50m to support national health endeavours and efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.More here.10:00 – No reason for an oxygen shortageExclusive insight: Covid-19 versus oxygen supply – the status on supply and demandIn an exclusive for gasworld in the last few days, Publisher and CEO John Raquet explained why there should be no reason for alarm over the critical supply of oxygen on the front line of the fight against Covid-19.Responding to mounting speculation in the mainstream press, he wrote, “There is no doubt that a few hospitals have experienced low levels of oxygen or a lack of cylinders but it would be wrong to assume there will be national shortages of oxygen. It is important to understand both the current supply situation and the measures the gas companies are taking in order to supply the significant increase in demand due to Covid-19.”Read the full story here09:45 – Siemens makes its AM Network available to global medical communitySiemens revealed last week that it is making its Additive Manufacturing (AM) Network along with its 3D printers, available to the global medical community to speed design and production of medical components.The AM Network connects users, designers and 3D-print service providers to enable faster and less complicated production of spare parts for machines like ventilators.“To help fight Covid-19, we have opened our AM Network for hospitals and other health institutions needing spare medical parts to efficiently manage their design and printing requests.”Full story here.09:00 – As the world continues with its varying stages of lockdown, here’s the news you’re waking up to this morning: Covid-19 (coronavirus) cases worldwide have escalated over the course of the last weekThere are now more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide; fatalities number almost 70,000The situation has accelerated most notably in the US, where there are now almost 338,000 confirmed cases, and approaching 10,000 fatalitiesIn Europe, confirmed cases have reached 128,000 in Italy, 131,000 in Spain, 100,000 in Germany, 93,000 in France, and 48,000 in the UKThe rate of new cases and fatalities in both Spain and Italy, however, is showing signs of slowingIran remains the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, with 58,000 confirmed cases and a significant death toll (3,600); Saudi Arabia has a recorded 2,400 casesIn Asia-Pacific, confirmed cases have reached 82,000 in China, 3,600 in Japan, 10,200 in South Korea, 3,600 in Malaysia, 2,200 in Thailand, 1,300 in Singapore, 3,200 in Pakistan, 4,300 in India, and 5,600 in Australialast_img read more

MAN to Provide Propulsion for GC Rieber’s Seismic Vessel (Norway)

first_imgMAN Diesel & Turbo recently signed a contract for the supply of 8L32/44CR B.2 engines as part of a complete propulsion package to power a seismic vessel ordered by GC Rieber Shipping of Norway.The contract contains an option for an extra vessel. Four of the engines, along with 2 × 2-speed Flender Twin-In/Single-Out reduction gears and MAN Alpha Twin Screw CP propellers in AHT nozzles, will power the vessel. The seismic vessel is graded as Ice Class 1A*, which provides a good basis for operating in Arctic areas.The vessel design is an ST 324 XT from Skipsteknisk of Aalesund, Norway whose hull will be constructed in Poland with outfitting subsequently carried out at the Myklebust shipyard north of Aalesund. The propulsion plant is scheduled for delivery by May 2014 with vessel delivery following in March 2015.Expertise in ice has long been a GC Rieber Shipping trademark with an emphasis on delivering customer solutions for demanding operations in sensitive environments where quality, safety and environmental concerns are crucial. These tough requirements also apply to the propulsion plant and the shipyard’s previous, positive experience with MAN Diesel & Turbo engines was decisive in finalising the propulsion package.Propulsion packageThe four-stroke 8L32/44CR B.2 common-rail engines with a high-powered 600 kW/cylinder will be constructed and tested in Augsburg, Germany – headquarters of MAN Diesel & Turbo. The common-rail B.2 engine is one of the most advanced in the company’s product portfolio, has a second-to-none SFOC, and has gained a solid foothold in the offshore business.The reduction gears from Siemens-Flender are specially designed such that – at constant engine speed (750 rpm) – two different propeller speeds can be selected (155 rpm or 120 rpm), allowing the propellers to have a much wider silent-operation window. The TI/SO gears are also provided with 2 × 2,600 kWe PTOs each.The MAN Alpha VBS1100 Mk5 CP propellers utilise, courtesy of up to six operating modes, the flexible propeller-output speed to operate at the optimum efficiency in all modes. Suppressing cavitation on the propellers is an important design criterion since, especially on the pressure side, the noise deriving from cavitation can disturb seismic sonar readings.The ø4200 CP propellers operate in Alpha High Thrust (AHT) nozzles, which further help to increase propeller performance by offering higher thrust at low vessel speed, and reduce cavitation noise through selection of the optimum nozzle L/D ratio.The Alphatronic 2000 remote-control system facilitates the most favourable propulsion-plant control in all operating modes. A special feature of the new seismic vessel is an ‘ice operation mode’ since the DNV Ice 1A* only applies when one engine is engaged to each propeller shaft. The complete propulsion plant at 100% MCR is classed as fully MCR certified by DNV for operation in areas with no ice.Finally, as part of the overall deal, MAN Diesel & Turbo will provide two years of online service and PrimeServLab (stringent quality control for engine operating fluids) on board in order to obtain valuable performance data for seismic high-load operation.[mappress]Press Release, June 28, 2013; Image: skipsteknisklast_img read more

DONG to Use Maersk Resolve in Danish North Sea Drilling Ops

first_imgMaersk Drilling has been awarded a contract from DONG Energy for the jack-up Maersk Resolve for drilling operations in the Danish North Sea.The contract is expected to commence in August 2013 in direct continuation of its current contract in the UK. The duration of the new contract with DONG Energy is expected to be nine months until June 2014, where the rig after a planned yard stay will commence another five well firm contract with DONG Energy awarded in March 2012 expected to last approximately two years. The estimated value of the new nine month contract is USD 58 million.“We are very pleased to enter this contract with DONG Energy, one of our key customers in the North Sea area,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.“Maersk Resolve will now work for DONG Energy through to the end of third quarter of 2016 and we look forward to co-create value with DONG Energy on their many interesting prospects including the high profile Hejre field development which requires the drilling of a number of deep and complicated High-Pressure-High-Temperature wells. With its high tech equipment the Maersk Resolve is ideally suited to meet these demands.”Maersk Resolve is the third in a series of four High Efficiency 350 ft jack-up rigs in Maersk Drilling’s fleet. Since its delivery in 2009 the rig has been employed in the Danish and UK North Sea.[mappress]Press Release, July 9, 2013last_img read more

UAE to Host Third International Counter Piracy Conference

first_imgThe UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, global ports operator DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) announce they are co-convening the third international counter-piracy conference in Dubai on 11-12 September. Their joint hosting of the conference demonstrates the vital importance of public and private sector coordination in the fight against maritime piracy both on and off shore.More than 500 participants comprising foreign ministers, senior government officials, executives of global maritime-sector companies, and leading experts will convene for the two-day event entitled: Countering Maritime Piracy: Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building.Building capacity in the region includes addressing piracy in the short term through effective security initiatives, including co-ordination between international navies and merchant vessels, and longer term initiatives that support the development of local economies.The humanitarian impact of piracy on seafarers and their families continues to be a focus, and a highlight of this year’s conference will be a discussion with Captain Juwaid Saleem, a former captive of pirates in Somalia, and his family, who will share their experiences. Captain Juwaid and his crew were held for more than two years and his two daughters featured in a documentary premiered at last year’s conference highlighting the humanitarian cost of piracy, when he was still a prisoner. He and seven of his crew were released six weeks after the 2012 conference; the remaining 15 crew members are still missing in Somalia.Key themes of the conference will include:• Continuing to build awareness of the humanitarian and economic cost of piracy, including support for seafarers;• Injecting new momentum in the search for an effective and enduring solution to piracy through collaboration across political, military, financial and legal sectors;• Encouraging a comprehensive approach that can deliver a long term sustainable solution to counter piracy, including land-based solutions;• Highlighting cooperation between industry and government sectors through joint strategies emphasising sustainable long-term solutionsHis Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “While the international community has made great strides in fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia, the UAE believes that maritime piracy, notably in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, remains of serious global concern. We are convinced that successfully countering piracy can only be achieved if the international community enhances its efforts to build capacity in the region. With that in mind, we have chosen “Countering Maritime Piracy: Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building” as the theme for this year’s conference.”His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: ”I am delighted that DP World will again play a major role in continuing the dialogue on countering piracy. We all continue to be affected by the ramifications of piracy and it is vital that we keep the issue on the radar so that public and private sector remedies can be implemented both now and for future generations. We at DP World, together with our industry colleagues from around the world, look forward to cementing the achievements of previous conferences and discussing building capacity in the region, analysing state legitimacy issues and seeking long term solutions to the problem.”His Excellency, H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Chairman ADPC, added: “Abu Dhabi Ports Company is pleased to continue to support the efforts of industry and governments around the world to counter maritime piracy at this event.“While much has been achieved through the last two conferences and the number of incidents has dropped – the pirate groups still exist, the threat is still present and the devastating human consequences of pirate attack or armed robbery at sea still remains.“We applaud the tactical and short term success achieved by industry and governments so far. We welcome the next steps to develop a comprehensive long term strategy, which strengthens and supports the local communities and eradicates piracy on shore. Counter piracy remains a top priority for the emirate as maritime security is an important factor in the economic growth of the GCC region.”[mappress]DP World, August 14, 2013last_img read more

Seascape Surveys Bags $55 Mln Subsea Job in Indonesia

first_imgPT Seascape Surveys Indonesia has been awarded a two years long contract, with a one year option, to provide offshore Inspection, Repair and Maintenance (“IRM”) services to a major Indonesian based upstream oil and gas operator.The estimated contract value for the initial term is USD 55 million and will utilise the Indonesian flagged DP2 vessel, M.V. ‘Endeavour’, which is on long-term charter to Seascape. Seascape will be directly providing full service air diving and remotely operated vehicle (“ROV”) spreads for this IRM campaign through in-house resources.“For Seascape, this is our first diving contract, which will be performed directly by Seascape through in-house resources. We believe this a tremendous accomplishment for Seascape and appreciate the trust that our client has in Seascape to undertake this project”, said Peter Reichlmeier, Managing Director of Seascape.[mappress] September 16, 2013last_img read more

Dockwise Vanguard to Transport Costa Concordia Wreck?

first_imgDockwise Vanguard may be the solution for the transportation of Costa Concordia wreck to the scrapyard, since the owner of the cruise ship Carnival Cruises commissioned the transport ship, the Italian media reported.Dockwise Vanguard is a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel (SSHTV) and currently the largest of its kind. The vessel is built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Ulsan for the Dutch shipping company Dockwise, owned by Boskalis.The refloating of the Costa Concordia wreck is the last phase of the salvage operation and it would probably happen in the spring.World Maritime News Staff, September 20, 2013; Image: Dockwiselast_img read more

Statoil Announces Exciting Exploration Plans for NCS in 2014

first_imgStatoil announces an exciting exploration programme in Norway also in 2014, building on the exploration successes of recent years.Statoil plans to drill 20-25 exploration wells on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 2014, of which around two-thirds will be Statoil-operated.“Statoil’s exploration success rate on the Norwegian continental shelf has been over 70% the last five years, compared to an industry average of 49%. This confirms that our exploration strategy is paying off,” says Gro G. Haatvedt, senior vice president for NCS exploration in Statoil.Statoil has a diversified exploration portfolio on the NCS targeting both growth prospects, opportunities in frontier areas and selected prospects in mature areas which can be tied into existing infrastructure.“We believe that our competence and experience throughout the value chain give us an advantage when prioritising the right prospects, performing efficient exploration and ensuring value creation,” says Haatvedt.Barents Sea campaign continuesStatoil will continue the exploration campaign in the Barents Sea in 2014 with 5-7 new wells. The company will test the potential in the Hoop area and continue exploration drilling around the Johan Castberg discoveries (Skrugard and Havis).Statoil is a partner in the OMV-operated Wisting Central discovery in PL537 announced in September, which opened a new oil play in the Hoop area. During Q2-Q3 of 2014 Statoil will drill the Atlantis and Apollo prospects in PL615, approximately 50 kilometres north of PL537.“The Apollo well will target the same geological formation as the Wisting Central well. We have a solid understanding of the subsurface and are well prepared to conduct safe and secure operations in this area of the NCS,” says Haatvedt.In the Johan Castberg area the Skavl prospect is currently being drilled, followed by the Kramsnø and Drivis prospects late 2013/early 2014.“We still believe we can find more oil in the Johan Castberg area to make the field development project more robust. Currently we are evaluating several prospects around Johan Castberg for drilling in 2014,” says Haatvedt.Hunting high-value barrels“In the North Sea our plan is to further explore around the King Lear discovery and continue our hunt for barrels in the greater Utsira High area. We will also pursue our exploration effort around existing infrastructure in order to discover timely high-value barrels for the new fast-track developments,” says Haatvedt.In the Johan Sverdrup/greater Utsira High area, the Geitungen appraisal will be drilled in PL265 at the turn of the year and Statoil will also drill the Tastaveden prospect in PL628.In 2012 Statoil made a significant gas and condensate discovery in the King Lear prospect. In 2014-2015 two new wells will be drilled in PL146/PL333. The Romeo prospect will test the potential north of King Lear, while the Julius prospect will both appraise the King Lear discovery and test additional potential south of the find. This is a high temperature and high pressure (HTHP) area, which Statoil has a strong record in handling.In the Norwegian Sea the focus next year will be to mature the deep-water exploration campaign in the Aasta Hansteen area which is planned to start in 2015.“We are confident there are new, exciting opportunities to be explored on the Norwegian continental shelf going forward,” concludes Haatvedt.Press Release, November 07, 2013last_img read more

Navios Acquisition Closes Offer of First Priority Ship Mortgage Notes Due 2021

first_imgNavios Maritime Acquisition Corporation announced today that the Company and Navios Acquisition Finance (US) Inc., its wholly owned finance subsidiary, completed the sale of $610 million of 8 1/8% first priority ship mortgage notes due 2021. The Notes were offered and sold in the United States only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and in offshore transactions to non-United States persons in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act.The Notes are secured by first priority ship mortgages on 12 vessels aggregating approximately 2.6 million deadweight tons owned by certain subsidiary guarantors. The Notes are guaranteed by each of Navios Acquisition’s direct and indirect subsidiaries.The net proceeds of the offering will be used to fund its current tender offer and consent solicitation for certain outstanding notes and pay related fees and expenses, to discharge and redeem any of such notes that are not purchased in the tender offer after all conditions to the tender offer are satisfied or waived, including the payment of any related fees and expenses and any redemption premium, to fund the repayment of outstanding borrowings under a term loan secured by two of the mortgaged vessels, which are expected to be repaid immediately prior to the closing of the offering using cash on hand, and if any remain, for general corporate purposes.The Notes and related guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to or for the benefit of U.S. persons unless so registered except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable securities laws in other jurisdictions.This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Notes or any other securities, and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale of any Notes or other securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. Any offer of the Notes was made only by means of a private offering memorandum. This press release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act.[mappress]Navios Maritime, November 14, 2013last_img read more

Gazprom, Enagas Discuss LNG Supplies to Europe, Latin America

first_imgGazprom’s Chairman Alexey Miller met in Moscow with CEO of Enagas Marcelino Oreja where they discussed cooperation in liquefied natural gas supplies, particularly from the Baltic LNG project to the European and Latin American markets.The meeting noted that Spain had a potential to become one of the major consumers of LNG from the project, Gazprom said in a statement.At present, Gazprom supplies LNG to more than ten countries. The company’s goal is to build up its presence in the promising markets, to be achieved, at first place, through increasing its own production.The company’s Vladivostok-LNG project, which has an annual production capacity of 10 million tons with the potential for further expansion, entered the investment stage in February 2013. The project Investment Rationale will be completed in the first half of 2014. The plant with the capacity of up to 10 million tons a year will start commercial production in 2018.[mappress]LNG World News Staff, December 13, 2013; Image: Gazpromlast_img read more

USA: Officials Celebrate Completion of Philadelphia Restoration Project

first_imgThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, and the Philadelphia Water Department celebrated the completion of a first-of-its-kind ecosystem restoration project during an April 25 ribbon cutting and site tour event at Morris Park in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia.The event was attended by Congressman Bob Brady, Army Corps leadership and staff, city and state officials, community groups, and contractors.“This is the first stream to be daylighted in the city of Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug who thanked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its partnership on the project and other efforts throughout the city.Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Chris Becking said the project is a model for creative problem solving in part because the end product has multiple benefits for the community.“We are the nation’s engineers and one of our missions is to deliver water resources solutions to the public,” said Becking. “This is a great example of such a solution as we’ve improved water quality, created wildlife habitat, reduced park flooding, enhanced recreational opportunities and aesthetics – all with one project.”[mappress]Press Release, April 29, 2014last_img read more

LNG Limited to add third LNG project in North America

first_imgLiquefied Natural Gas Limited of Australia is eyeing a third liquefaction project in North America.  LNG Limited’s Managing Director Maurice Brand said the company is looking to “unlock further value” but not until it delivers further milestones with the Magnolia LNG project, one of which is the FERC DEIS that the company expects to receive by the end of the year.The company is looking to “execute the legally binding lump sum turn-key EPC contract with SK E&C following completion of FEED, as well as executing legally binding tolling agreements for the supply of 4 mtpa of LNG,” stands in the shareholders report.There are general milestones the company wants to achieve and Brand broke these into three sections, one of which is a corporate office in Houston which is close to completion. It already reached one of the goals with the appointment of Paul J. Cavicchi as a non-executive director of the company.To add to that appointment, “LNG Limited also wants to add couple of additional management officials to help the company develop North American opportunities,” said Brand in a shareholders presentation.As a third target, the company intends to unlock further shareholder value. LNG World News Staff, September 24, 2014; Image: LNG Limitedlast_img read more

BOEM to offer 44M acres in Central GoM lease sale

first_imgBureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank has announced that the bureau will offer nearly 44 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in a sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area.Proposed Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 235, scheduled to take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, in March of 2015, will be the seventh offshore sale under the Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program). This sale builds on the first six sales in the current Five Year Program, which have offered more than 60 million acres and netted $2.4 billion for American taxpayers.“As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico is a cornerstone of our domestic energy portfolio, offering vital oil and gas resources that further economic growth and continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Walter Cruickshank.“This lease sale is another important step in promoting responsible domestic energy production through the safe, environmentally sound development of the Nation’s offshore energy resources, while ensuring a fair return to the American people.”Sale 235 will include approximately 7,477 blocks, covering 43.5 million acres, located from three to 230 nautical miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,000 feet (three to 3,400 meters). BOEM plans to offer blocks located, or partially located, within the three statute mile U.S. – Mexico Boundary Area subject to the terms of the U.S. – Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement. BOEM estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 460 to 894 million barrels of oil and 1.9 to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.Press Release[mappress mapid=”242″]last_img read more

Lekoil: Otakikpo production expected months ahead of schedule

first_imgLekoil has informed that production from Otakikpo Marginal Field in oil mining lease (OML) 11, offshore Nigeria, adjacent to shoreline in the eastern part of the Niger Delta, is expected months ahead of schedule. Lekoil, the Technical and Financial Partner in the Otakikpo project (Lekoil: 40 per cent. participating and economic interest) and its partner Green Energy, have secured approvals for the well re-entry plan. The company has also started a phased re-entry plan, fully funded with cash on hand, to reach production. Earlier in the year, the company had announced that it expected to begin production in the second half of 2015.Based on the updated phased approach, Lekoil says that production is now expected in the first half of 2015, six months ahead of the previous schedule. Under the terms of the acquisition of the interest in Otakikpo, Lekoil will fund costs to first oil and be entitled to recover this expenditure preferentially.“We continue to accelerate our work with our partners, host communities and regulators to deliver on this valuable project and across our portfolio.”Based on Lekoil’s internal analysis and assumptions, which incorporate the AGR Tracs CPR data, the company will break-even at an oil price of less than $30 per bbl (life of field basis) with the lifetime unit costs being in the mid to low double digits. This analysis does not include the potentially positive impact of the Pioneer Tax status which is currently being applied for. The indicative costs to first oil are substantially lower than expected due to more favourable service costs in the tenders received so far. According to Lekoil, contracting has started for the rig, well services and production facilities construction. Lekoil adds that rig mobilization is initially expected within the first quarter of 2015 at the same time as construction and the subsequent commissioning of production facilities.Lekoil adds that progress is being made on discussions with lenders to provide debt financing to be used as funding for an accelerated work programme and the company expects these discussions to be concluded in the first quarter of 2015. The accelerated work programme may be the optimal route to production if the company secures Pioneer Tax status, the company explains.Otakikpo field 2C reserves upgradedIn September 2014, the company announced a “significant” upgrade to 2C oil reserves estimates for Lekoil Nigeria’s 40 per cent. participating interest and economic interest in Otakikpo. Lekoil holds 90 per cent of the economic interests in Lekoil Nigeria.AGR TRACS International Ltd carried out a comprehensive review of the surface and subsurface data provided by Lekoil. Following the review, AGR TRACS reported that the gross unrisked 2C Contingent Resources for Otakikpo were estimated to be 56.75 mmbbl. This compares to the 36 mmbbl of gross oil resources in the most recent 2C resource estimates available at the time of the company’s acquisition of the interest in Otakikpo in May 2014.In addition, Stock Tank Oil Initially In Place (STOIIP) ranges have been estimated by AGR TRACS for four exploration prospects within the onshore part of the Otakikpo acreage and, in total, these are estimated (on a P50, unrisked basis) to contain potential gross aggregate Oil in Place volumes of 162.8 mmbbl. The company also says it believes that additional prospectively exists in the southern (shallow water) portion of the acreage which will be defined by further studies and appraisal in due course.Lekan Akinyanmi, Lekoil’s CEO, said, “We are now ahead of schedule to achieve our target of first production from Otakikpo, which is value enhancing despite the depressed oil price, during the first half of 2015. We have been very pleased with our progress on the development and look forward to learning more about the offshore area of the lease which we believe holds some exciting upside. We continue to accelerate our work with our partners, host communities and regulators to deliver on this valuable project and across our portfolio.”[mappress mapid=”891″]last_img read more

EU Backs Development of Northern Adriatic Ports

first_imgSource: inea The EU’s TEN-T Programme will back with almost €3 million studies on a better connection between the northern Adriatic ports and the main rail and inland waterways networks in the region.The studies will focus on improving the hinterland access of the sea ports of Trieste, Venice (Italy), Koper (Slovenia) and Rijeka (Croatia) and the inland ports of Chioggia, Porto Levante and Mantova (Italy) to the core European transport networks by rail and inland waterway connections.In specific, the project will:Prepare an advanced analysis for future investments in these ports;Promote cooperation and agreements between ports, freight operators and inland terminals to improve services;Promote efficient sea-rail freight intermodal solutions to integrate the ports into the core transport corridors crossing the northern Adriatic;Foster sea-river co-modal services and integration of the sea ports of Venice and Chioggia into the Po river system;Promote investments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve the efficiency of the short sea shipping and its interconnection with other transport modes.The project was selected for EU funding with the assistance of external experts under the TEN-T Multi-Annual Call 2013, ‘Motorways of the Sea’. Its implementation will be monitored by INEA, the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.The project is to be completed by December 2015.last_img read more

BP, Kansai Electric pen LNG deals

first_imgOil and gas giant BP and Japan’s Kansai Electric entered into a sales and purchase agreement for liquefied natural gas.The two companies also signed cooperation agreement for the purpose of exploring opportunities for business collaboration, BP informed in a statement.Under the agreements, BP will provide Kansai Electric with up to 13 million tonnes of LNG over 23 years, from its global LNG portfolio.In addition, the agreements provide for Kansai Electric and BP to explore areas of cooperation across a wide range of LNG business activities such as LNG trading, and optimization of LNG ship operations. Image: BPlast_img read more

IOC, Mitsubishi Corp in LNG supply deal

first_imgIndian Oil Corporation informed an interim sales purchase agreement was signed with Mitsubishi Corporation for supply of 0.7 MMTPA of LNG for 20 years from the Cameron LNG project in the USA.The company’s LNG sales registered a growth of 6.3% in the financial year 2014-2015 reaching 3.42 million metric tons, IOC’s Chairman B. Ashok said at a press conference.He said that in order to secure LNG supplies, the corporation has forayed into independent LNG purchase besides tying up for 1.2 MMTPA of LNG for 20 years with Pacific North West LNG Project, Canada.Deliveries from the Pacific NorthWest LNG project are expected to commence in 2020 while deliveries from the Cameron LNG project should begin two years earlier, in the first quarter of 2018, the company informed.The volumes will be delivered to IOC’s planned LNG import terminal at Kamarajar Port in Ennore. LNG World News Staff; Image: Cameron LNGlast_img read more

ICS Worried over Protectionist US Approach to LNG Exports

first_imgThe International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has voiced serious concern about the potentially protectionist approach being taken by the U.S. with respect to the future transport of energy exports, despite the signal of the US Congress from last week that it would approve major free trade deals with Asia and Europe.“International ship operators, represented by ICS, are particularly anxious that a regime currently being developed to promote the carriage of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports on U.S. flag ships may set an undesirable precedent should the U.S. decide to lift the current ban on crude oil exports (as is being considered by Congress at the moment),” ICS said.In December 2014, the US President Obama signed a legislation requiring the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to implement a program to promote the use of U.S. flag ships. This is expected to prioritise the processing of licenses for new deep water LNG export facilities from those exporters that indicate they plan to use U.S. flag gas carriers, rather than ships operated by foreign shipping companies.ICS believes that this approach is not in the spirit of the free trade commitments that the U.S. has already accepted with respect to maritime services at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and has implications bilaterally, for example, with respect to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).The European Commission, which represents the EU in trade negotiation, and governments of other countries with large LNG tanker fleets, such as Japan and Norway, are also concerned.ICS says that any protectionist approach towards shipping being pursued by the U.S. might also be emulated by other energy exporters, such as Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia.“This could seriously undermine the framework of open market access and free trade principles in shipping that has facilitated the efficient transport of energy worldwide since the 1980s,” ICS added.The United States already has restricting policies in place such as the Jones Act, which limits foreign carrier access to maritime trade between U.S. ports.Gas carriers are highly sophisticated vessels that typically cost over USD 100 million each to build. In reality, the U.S. has virtually no LNG carriers capable of operating in global export markets and is likely to find them uneconomic to build. Most gas carriers today are built in Japan, Korea and China In practice therefore, ICS believes that it is possible that the initial U.S. program will lead to foreign LNG shipowners being discriminated against in other ways, such as being required to employ U.S. seafarers, which are far more expensive to employ than their non-U.S. counterparts.“However, the U.S. does possess a domestic oil tanker fleet. Should a similar protectionist approach be applied to the carriage of crude oil exports, the global shipping industry fears it could be completely shut out of what is expected to be a major shipping trade worth billions of dollars a year,” ICS added.Any requirement or pressure to use U.S. flag tankers would undoubtedly increase the costs of exporting U.S. energy. But ICS says that unless the United States Trade Representative (USTR) or other supporters of free trade intervene, energy companies might see this as a price worth paying in order to be permitted to export U.S. crude.last_img read more

Eco VLGC Constitution delivered to Dorian LPG

first_imgDorian LPG, an owner and operator of modern Very Large Gas Carriers, said that it took delivery of the ECO VLGC Constitution from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.Constitution, Dorian LPG’s eight newbuilding delivery, will be operated in the Helios LPG Pool.Including the newly-delivered Constitution, Dorian LPG currently owns and operates 11 modern VLGCs and one pressurized LPG vessel. In addition, Dorian LPG has 11 ECO VLGC newbuildings under construction.last_img

Oceaneering Wins with Statoil

first_imgOceaneering Norway has been awarded a framework agreement by Statoil for the maintenance, modification and storage of ROV tools and related subsea equipment.Additionally, the deal covers the manufacturing and sale of ROV tools and related equipment.Reportedly, the agreement has been signed for two years with options for an additional 2 x 3 years duration.To remind, In March this year, Oceaneering announced an eight-year contract with Statoil for provision of two work-class electric remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to work on Statoil’s CAT-J platforms in the North Sea.Subsea World News Stafflast_img read more

Public get-together on green hydrogen set for Orkney

first_imgIllustration (Photo: Pixabay) Public meeting regarding the opportunities for using ‘green’ hydrogen produced from renewable energy in transport and heating will take place later this month in Kirkwall, Orkney.The speakers at the meeting will offer updates on BIG HIT initiative, a five-year project aimed at overcoming local grid constraints through the use of renewable energy to produce hydrogen.Illustration of the BIG HIT project (Image: EMEC)The list of speakers includes Neil Kermode from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) who will offer updates on Eday renewable energy developments, Nigel Holmes from Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA) who will provide the public with an overview of ‘Green H2’ activities in Scotland, as well as Mark Hull from Community Energy Scotland (CES) who will present community and local energy opportunities.BIG HIT project builds on foundations laid by an initial £3 million capital investment by EMEC in a 0.5MW electrolyser and the complementary Orkney Surf ‘n’ Turf initiative, which will see production of hydrogen on the island of Eday using tidal and wind energy.The event will take place on September 22, 2016 at the Kirkwall Town Hall.[mappress mapid=”950″]last_img read more

OEEC: Future Looks Bright for Offshore Renewables

first_imgThe offshore renewable industry will be a valuable ingredient in the future energy mix but it is highly unlikely that it will ever be as big as the oil and gas industry, according to speakers and participants of a technical session titled ”Offshore Renewables“ which was held on Wednesday, 26 October,  at the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) in Amsterdam.The speakers discussed new, as well as already proven concepts in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.The conference also covered some of the ”burning” topics within the industry, such as how the offshore renewable energy industry can leverage experiences from the oil and gas industry, and also how solutions developed for the renewable energy industry can benefit oil and gas projects.The session was moderated by Capt. Mike Frampton, Renewable Business Line Director at LOC Group.Speakers included Lee Clarke, Chief Operating Officer at the Renewables Consulting Group, Jake Anderson, Director at Longitude Engineering, Arend Doppenberg, Director Client Services at TMF Netherlands, and Robert Jan van Hedel, Supervisor Legal at TMF Netherlands.Opening the session, Mike Frampton, who previously worked as a captain on Shell’s LNG carrier and has a background in oil and gas, said that the offshore renewable industry is in many ways similar to oil and gas, although it is a fairly new industry.During the session, he said that there are many countries already forging ahead towards a low-carbon future, embracing renewable energies or boosting the use of renewables such as offshore wind.When asked about the role of renewables in the future energy mix, Frampton said he sees a ”bright outlook“ for the industry.”There is plenty of enthusiasm for the future, without a doubt… The industry at the moment is strong,” Frampton said.”However, it is never going to be as big as oil and gas.”Lee Clarke followed up on the outlook for the renewable industry saying that he sees ”a pipeline of opportunities“ in the next 10 to 15 years. However, many factors could affect the future energy mix, Clarke cautioned.”The big unknown is, of course, how the other parts of the energy sector decarbonise over the coming years if we move to electric vehicles that seem to be moving ahead at an enormous pace. That is going to increase the demand for electricity and will have a direct impact on the use of oil,” Clarke said.That will require a huge demand for electricity to fill that gap, Clarke concluded.last_img read more

Japan’s LNG imports rise 14.6 percent in January

first_imgFor illustration only (Image courtesy of Tokyo Electric)Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into Japan increased 14.6 percent in January as demand for the chilled fuel for power generation rose on the back of low winter temperatures.Japan imported 8.30 million mt of LNG in January, as compared to 7.24 million mt the year before, according to the provisional data released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance.The country paid about $3.28 billion for LNG imports last month, a rise of 6.7 percent as compared to the same month in 2016, the data shows.Japan’s average price of spot LNG hit its two-year high record during January. The average price of spot LNG bought last month was $8.40 per million British thermal units, up from $8 in the previous month and the highest since January 2015.Worth mentioning, Japan imported 83.34 million mt of LNG in 2016, as compared to 85.05 million mt the year before.This was the second drop in Japan’s annual LNG imports since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 which caused Japan to shut down its nuclear industry. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

Sandvik launches next gen impact crusher

first_imgSandvik QI442 mobile impact crusherSandvik has launched its upgraded 2 Series QI442 tracked mobile impact crusher.According to the manufacturer, the impact crusher comes with overband magnet, pre-screen, underpan feeder, ceramic blow bars and remote control as standard.Like the company’s previous Prisec crushers, it can be configured to work as either a primary or secondary machine and the hydraulically assisted curtains can be adjusted to produce a range of product sizes.When it comes to the machinery data, the QI442 includes Sandvik’s My Fleet remote monitoring system, which helps to optimise machine operation.Sandvik said the machine comes equipped with features designed to improve the return on investment, including a Cat C13 diesel emission compliant engine with direct drive heavy duty wet clutch to increase fuel efficiency. #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

Multi-million boost for Scottish demolition

first_imgMore than 20 demolition businesses are set to benefit from an £18 million (US$23.7 million) a year contract to offer services to local authorities and housing associations in Scotland.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The new framework will run until the end of July 2022 and will include deconstruction as well as demolitionThe contract, which started on 1 August, runs until the end of July 2022 with an option to extend for a further two years at that time.It was put together by the Scotland Excel framework, which helps local government deliver planned demolition as part of regeneration and improvement work. This latest contract has also been redesigned to include deconstruction for the first time.The framework is divided into three lots, based on work up to a value of £50,000 ($66,000); work valued at £50,000 or over; and emergency work.Eleven companies – Burnfield Builders and Demolishers, Caskie, Central Demolition, Chris Wright & Sons, Daltons Demolitions, David Morton (Larbert), Dem-Master Demolition, George Beattie, JCJ (Demolition & Construction), Reigart Contracts and Safedem – have been awarded in all three lots.A further 14 firms are on the list for one or two lots. Of the listed companies, only two – Birmingham-based Coleman Group and Technical Demolition Services from the north west of England – are based outside Scotland. All are committed to paying the Real Living Wage and to recycling up to 95% of materials from demolition and deconstruction projects.Scotland Excel has saved local authorities more than £150 million ($198 million) since it started in 2008 and its convener, Councillor John Shaw, said: “The renewal of our demolition and deconstruction Works contract comes at an important time for Scotland’s construction sector.“It will bring value for money, has sustainability at its core and is good for business.”last_img read more

Why newspapers lack interest in court reporting

first_imgThe name Mike Taylor is not one that many lawyers will recognise, even though he has spent his entire working life writing about the law. In an extraordinary 42 years at the Press Association law courts news service, he reported countless cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords with speed and clarity. His reward was to see his words used by every news organisation in the country — though almost invariably under someone else’s byline. Taylor hit the age of 65 on Sunday and retired immediately. So far he has not been replaced. There used to be 25 reporters covering the law courts for Britain’s national news agency. Now, only four are left. That would matter less if newspapers still kept their own reporters at the law courts. But those days have gone, and not just because of the recession. Editors take the view that their readers no longer need to understand why the courts have reached a particular decision. It was against this background that the lord chief justice expressed concern last week about the decline in coverage of the courts, with local papers in particular no longer sending reporters to hearings. ‘If there is no one to walk in, the public interest is damaged. That is the harsh reality.’ Experience of local government reporting was also being lost, Lord Judge said in a speech to the Society of Editors. There was evidence that some weeklies were relying too much on council press offices and not enough on independent, objective reporting. ‘Just as an independent press can expose the errors made by local authorities and governments, so too, the administration of justice in the courts should be open to the public scrutiny which an independent press provides,’ Lord Judge told journalists. ‘Unless the right has been expressly taken away, your right to be in court is no different to and no less than the right of the lawyers, the advocates, even the judge himself or herself. You are not performing the same function as the judge, but you have a valued function to perform.’ Lord Judge’s comments were welcomed by Jack Straw when the lord chancellor launched a bill intended to allow reporters greater access to the family courts. ‘We want to create a system that is transparent, accountable, and inspires public confidence in its good work, while still protecting the privacy of children and families involved,’ Straw said. Although ‘accredited media representatives’ have been permitted to attend family courts since April, they are not allowed to report the substance of those proceedings without express permission from the court. Incidentally, bloggers and other freelance commentators are unlikely to qualify as accredited media representatives. Straw initially wanted new rules of court that would have allowed accredited reporters not only to cover hearings but also to inspect and report documents filed at court. Parties would have been permitted to disclose information about their cases to accredited media representatives who would then have been able to report this information — even if they had not been in court — unless a judge had ordered otherwise. There were plans for medical reports to be supplied in redacted form. But Straw was forced to water down his proposals in the summer after strong opposition from family judges. They feared that publication of medical reports could harm the children involved as well as discouraging experts from speaking frankly. Judges were also concerned that allowing journalists to interview parties would lead to self-serving accounts and do little to increase public understanding of the courts. They even suggested that Straw’s rules were unlawful. So instead of new, more open, rules that could have been in force by Christmas, we are to have much narrower primary legislation that cannot take effect before next spring at the earliest. The Children, Schools and Families Bill starts from the default position that it will be contempt of court to report family proceedings, apart from those that are open to the public. It then provides an exception for ‘authorised news publication’. But this is very narrowly defined. First, the information must have been obtained by the accredited media representative by observing or listening to proceedings that he or she was permitted to attend. Gone is the option of asking the lawyers to fill you in if you missed something. You can’t even ask another reporter. Second, the information must initially be published either by the representative or by someone the representative works for. So law firms will not be able to publish their own accounts of their own cases. Next, it must not be ‘identification information’ or ‘sensitive personal information’ or ‘restricted adoption information’ or ‘restricted parental order information’. Some of these restrictions may be lifted by the court, but only if this would be in the public interest or the interests of a party. Specific permission will be needed to report court judgments, and the court can still restrict publication of any information at the request of an interested person. The legislation may be reviewed after 18 months. But, in a final twist, it will reverse the burden of proof. If publishers want to avoid going to prison for contempt of court, it will be up to them to prove they ‘did not know and had no reason to suspect’ that the information they published was covered by these restrictions. There must be an overwhelming temptation to write about The X Factor instead. Only a child could imagine that the family courts will deliver a renaissance in court reporting.last_img read more

European contract law – the film

first_img Jonathan Goldsmith is secretary general of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, which represents about one million European lawyers through its member bars and law societies. He blogs weekly for the Gazette on European affairs only if both parties voluntarily and expressly agree to it; to cross-border contracts, where most of the problems of additional transaction costs and legal complexity arise – member states will have the choice to make the Common European Sales Law applicable to domestic contracts as well; to contracts for the sale of goods – the bulk of intra-EU trade – as well as digital content contracts, such as music, movies, software or smart-phone applications;for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business transactions;if one party is established in a member state of the EU (traders can use the same set of contract terms when dealing with other traders from within and from outside the EU, giving the Common European Sales Law an international dimension). The Commission claims that traders who are dissuaded from cross-border transactions due to current contract law obstacles forego at least €26bn in intra-EU trade every year. Meanwhile, it says, 500 million consumers in Europe lose out on greater choice and lower prices because fewer firms make cross-border offers, particularly in smaller national markets. There will be doubtless be plenty of gun-slinging challenges in the future, particularly from Hollywood’s favourite baddies – those with an English accent. Commissioner Reding has made other appearances as well. The lipsticked vamp is within her repertoire. I have written before about the opposition to her measure to ensure the right to a lawyer from the beginning to end of criminal proceedings for suspects and defendants in all member states. Five member states, including the UK, have indicated their opposition. The signs here are that the tough-talking Commissioner will not give up – but will also not get into a gunfight. Rather, she will turn the lights low, put on some old Frank Sinatra records, and play a long game of persuasion. It will not be long before she is asked to leave her footprint outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Hollywood agents regularly comb Brussels for their future stars. This week, we had President Barroso featuring as King Kong, beating his chest and roaring, hoping to terrify the financial markets into having faith in the euro. Commissioner for justice, Viviane Reding, has appeared in several guises before – country-and-western singer and cowboy. Now she has turned up in a film noir, as the fast-talking, no-nonsense dame, battling her way through the dangerous alleys of European contract law in search of a better life. Many UK audiences cannot bear the blood-and-gore of contract law films. This one has a special EU certificate, suitable only for those mature enough to tolerate harmonising initiatives. Be warned before you read further. Contract law has been a long saga – with weekly serials, just like in the early days of cinema – and this week commissioner Reding delivered her first shot: an optional (I stress optional) Common European Sales Law. The Commission claims that it will facilitate trade by offering a single set of rules for cross-border contracts in all 27 EU countries. If traders offer products on the basis of the Common European Sales Law, consumers will have the option of choosing it with just one click of a mouse. The Commission’s proposal now needs approval from EU member states – guess which way the UK will vote? – and the European Parliament (which has already signalled its overwhelming support in a vote earlier this year). Some UK lawyers have given early negative views in a piece in the Gazette, and the Law Society has issued a statement with doubts and warnings. The Common European Sales Law will be applicable in the following circumstances:last_img read more

Company

first_img David Foxton QC (instructed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP) for the claimant; Anthony Boswood QC and Nigel Dougherty QC (instructed by Wragge & Co) for the defendant. The first claimant company was a property development and management company. The second claimant company was its largest shareholder. A share and option agreement (the SOA) was created between the first claimant and the defendant company, S Ltd, to enable S Ltd to buy shares in the first claimant. The SOA envisaged that S Ltd would acquire shares in two tranches: the ‘first shares’ and the ‘option shares’. Clause 5 of the SOA concerned the purchase of the option shares. In October 2010, S Ltd purported to exercise the first put option. A number of disputes arose between the parties: in particular, the claimants contended that S Ltd had issued press announcements that had damaged the first claimant, that it had wrongly published confidential information and impeded the first claimant’s admission to the main market of the London Stock Exchange. They further challenged the exercise of the first put option. The first claimant applied for summary judgment. The first claimant sought summary judgment on the main issue, namely whether it was entitled to a declaration that the first claimant had not breached clause 5.2(b) of the SOA and that S Ltd had no right to exercise the first shares put option. In deciding that issue, consideration was given to the meaning of the word ‘investor’ in clause 5.2(b) of the SOA. Clause 5.2(b) provided that: ‘Within 5 (five) business days following the option payment date… the company shall: (a) apply for admission of the option shares to trading on the alternative investment market; (b) allot and issue the option shares to the investor; and upon which: (c) issue a share certificate for the option shares to the investor (unless the investor has given notice to the company no fewer than 5 (five) business days prior to the date of allotment of the option shares that the investor wishes the option shares to be credited to a Central Securities Depository (CREST) Account, and supplying details of such account)…’ The essential issue raised by S Ltd’s defence was whether as a matter of construction the ‘investor’ in clause 5.2(b) meant and could only mean S Ltd as legal and beneficial owner, or whether it also embraced S as beneficial owner of shares held by a nominee. The claim would be allowed. First, construing clause 5.2(b) as only applying to S Ltd as legal and beneficial owner would run contrary to the contractual scheme whereby shares were to be held through the CREST system. Secondly, when properly construed, the word ‘investor’ was capable of embracing S Ltd as beneficial owner of shares held by a nominee. The meaning of ‘investor’ would not change according to the form of notice that was to be given: either it would be wide enough to cover a notified nominee or not. On S Ltd’s own case it would be wide enough. Thirdly, it would be remarkable if clause 5.2(b) could not be met in circumstances where option shares were held through a nominee at S Ltd’s request. The ability to hold shares through a nominee was a matter for the convenience and benefit of S Ltd. The form in which confirmation that the shares be credited to the CREST account was given did not affect the reality that the claimant had done exactly what S Ltd had requested, with a result clearly contemplated by clause 5.2. Fourthly, if ‘investor’ was to be construed in the narrow and limited way suggested, other provisions of the SOA would be rendered unworkable or insensible. Fifthly, S Ltd’s construction of clause 5.2 was contrary to business common sense. If 5.2 was to be construed in that way, S Ltd would be entitled to exercise the put option notwithstanding that it had and would maintain beneficial ownership of all the put option shares. Further, the fact that there might be other legal means by which the apparent consequences of their construction might be avoided, would not bear on what the parties’ intentions would reasonably have been understood to be at the time that the contract had been made and was not a good reason for accepting a construction that flouted business common sense (see [40]-[49] of the judgment). Clause 5.2(b) did not fall to be construed in the manner put forward by the S Ltd (see [39] of the judgment). R.G.I International Ltd and another company v Synergy Classic Ltd: Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court (Mr Justice Hamblen): 19 December 2011center_img Shares – Agreement for sale – First claimant seeking summary judgmentlast_img read more

Latham’s legacy

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

The housing block

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

Welcoming our guest workers

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

Hansom

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Room for improvement

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more

Halifax house price time machine takes us back to the Spring of 2006

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

One giant leap for womankind

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

CIPS figures show construction activity in 2009 ending with a whimper

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more

Nobody was left

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

If the Government wants to a boost from construction it better be quick about it

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

A quick guide to provisional liquidation

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

No stay of execution

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Heat networks aren’t always a hot idea

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

Delivering a healthy digital railway

first_imgFor those of us looking to shed unwanted festive pounds through a healthier diet it can be a confusing business. The Times, for example, recently reported that switching from sugary drinks to diet alternatives can actually make us fatter over the long term (as we unconsciously over compensate for the subsequent caloric deficit through other comestibles). In other words, drinking diet cola will not make you thin… on its own. Similarly, to make our railways more efficient, safer and provide much-needed capacity, the adoption of a computer-based train control system will not realise the true vision of a digital railway on its own. As with long-term healthy diets, balance is the key.Digital technology is only part of the answer to improving our railways, and taken on its own it may even make things worseThe commercial and industrial world is largely driven by getting the biggest bang for its buck. So, with evidence showing that the European Train Control System (ETCS) could reduce costs by 25% and increase capacity by 40%, why not deploy it everywhere? But without considering its overall impact, adopting ETCS in isolation could have an adverse effect over the long term too by increasing the unreliability of the rail network through lack of maintenance experience, for example.ETCS has the potential to play a vital role in the brave new world of the UK railway, but it needs to be part of a range of informed decisions. Indeed, in one of the many research studies I have been involved in over the years, we found that by combining ETCS with other more conventional upgrades, such as a grade separation, the benefits of its implementation would be increased tenfold by freeing up additional train paths that could then make use of the ETCS capacity benefits.Of course, implementation is one thing, but ensuring tomorrow’s digital systems will operate efficiently and be maintainable long into the future requires fundamental organisational and cultural changes including a fully thought through and tested operational and maintenance plan.Digital technology is only part of the answer to improving our railways, and taken on its own it may even make things worse. Only through combining new technology, good old fashioned enhancements, like track realignment, and a change in the culture of how our railways operate can we make meaningful improvements to our largely Victorian railway.Working closely with all stakeholders – including route owners, train operators and technology providers  – the cross-industry Network Rail lead team driving the Digital Railway forward is working hard to achieve a balanced ‘diet’ that will yield long-term improvements to the health of our UK rail.Steve Denniss is a rail technical director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhofflast_img read more

It’s up to employers to make apprenticeships work

first_imgThe government’s recognition of the need to focus on grassroots recruitment through a number of avenues is to be applauded, and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy will directly increase the number of businesses growing apprentice numbers across the UK.Technical skillsets, in particular in sectors such as construction, engineering and health and social care, are vital to the strength of UK Plc but are currently in short supply so this policy represents a significant step in the right direction.The impetus to increase take up can’t be led by government alone; now is the time for greater collaboration and industries with skills shortages should unite to better promote the benefits to young people of undertaking apprenticeships, and pursuing a career, in their respective areas.Although the emphasis of the government to date has been on apprenticeship starts, importantly we must move to placing an equal emphasis on measuring and reporting on completions across all sectors and the quality of the training provided, as observed by the Commons Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy.Partnering to deliver better learning outcomesEnsuring course quality also comes through collaboration with the Further Education College or independent provider delivering the apprenticeship. It is vital to set out the expectations on both sides of the equation (apprenticeship provider and employer) in a service level agreement right at the start of the relationship. This avoids confusion and sets out the quality expected of the course delivered without a doubt.The onus isn’t just on the college or provider to deliver an excellent learning experience: the employer should take an active interest in the content and delivery of the tuition to its apprentices.Apprentices need a real understanding of the application from industry experts on technical subjects – onsite, where new techniques are being developed all the timeAt Redrow we ensure we have regular contact with the individual on the ground delivering the tuition and also someone operating at the strategic level. This varies from provider to provider but is often the chief executive or a senior relationship manager. Regular reviews involving these key players as well as the apprentices – around every six weeks – is important for checking progress. Feedback from all parties on what’s working, and what might need improvement, builds a full picture of course quality.It is also important for employers to regularly input into the course content, ensuring continued relevance and up to date methods with materials, resources and plans used at the forefront of construction. Textbook understanding is important; however apprentices and trainees also need a real understanding of the application from industry experts on technical subjects – onsite, where new techniques are being developed all the time.Tutors delivering training may not have been on a construction site for a number of years so we help them with their continued professional development, encouraging them to sit in on some of the courses we deliver to employees at Redrow.The Apprenticeship Levy should be viewed as one element of a holistic strategy and we need better collaboration on best practice within the industry on what works in terms of attracting and developing our apprentices. Collaboration is also crucial to safeguard the quality of the tuition delivered. Employers must work with the apprenticeship provider from the get-go and constantly input into course content and delivery to help them hone the very best learning experience.Karen Jones, HR director at leading housebuilder Redrowlast_img read more

Geodis Wilson launches new projects division in Houston

first_imgIt is already meeting the demands of oil and gas, engineering, drilling and engineering procurement contractors (EPCs) based in the Houston area, providing a one-stop shop for transport management by truck, barge, air and ocean, as well as offering order expediting, customs brokerage, storage and inventory functions, materials management and distribution.Essential in serving this sector is provision of an industrial packing capability, which Geodis Wilson’s Industrial Projects Division meets through its own 65,000 sq ft (6,000 sq metre) packing and temporary and long-term storage warehouse close to Houston Airport, complete with two acres of outside area for marshalling heavy plant and project equipment. Supplementing this facility, a mobile packing team will service projects at the docks where necessary.”When you have to move heavy or out-of-gauge cargoes into countries that are not your typical destinations it is very specialized and you need a team that is not only familiar with the type of cargoes involved and how to handle and treat them, but also has the know-how to deal with matters in other countries, and all of this expertise is consolidated here in Houston in one group of people,” said Philippe Somers, the division’s Senior Vice-President, who has a 20-year management pedigree in this sector.last_img read more

ALE plays key role in i54 project

first_imgThe bridge is an important part of the i54 project that has seen three local councils invest in the development of a 1,000 sq m business park. The 45 m bridge will serve a new engine manufacturing plant and water treatment works. It will also act as a footpath across the M54 motorway, near Wolverhampton.The bridge was installed in a nighttime operation requiring a partial closure of the M54. ALE used 24-axle lines of SPMTs to shift the heavy load approximately 400 m from its fabrication position to the installation site.The bridge will be temporarily used for construction traffic for the i54 project before being opened to the public later this year.Gareth Evans, project engineer at ALE said: “The move and installation itself was fairly straightforward utilising our SPMTs and their hydraulic functions to install the bridge to its abutments.”www.ale-heavylift.comlast_img read more

V. Alexander crosses countries

first_imgThe largest pieces – the crane girders measuring 33 m long – posed the toughest challenge along the 4,500 km route. V. Alexander encountered heavy snow and icy weather systems and poor road conditions en route; the long girders required a special kind of fastening on their trucks due to overhanging lengths of almost 10 m. The shipment was convoyed on 45 fully-loaded trucks to the Manzhouli Chinese border rail terminal. From there it was transferred onto 35 rail wagons and forwarded the remaining 2,500 km to Bogouchany. V. Alexander Germany is a member of the Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) network. www.valexander.comwww.cargoequipmentexperts.comlast_img read more

Noble delivers heavy SGBC

first_imgThe 2,000 cu m shipment consisted of six out-of-gauge units, the largest of which weighed 71.7 tonnes. The discharge of the units at Karachi port proved to be a challenging task. Tight stowage slowed down the discharge operation; as the daylight faded the operation was suspended.  The following morning the vessel’s two onboard cranes were used to complete the heavy lifts. The consignment was safely unloaded onto heavy-duty trailers and transported to the final project site Northern Pakistan – a distance of some 1,500 km away. The job was completed in 45 days, within the agreed timescale of the project. Noble Shipping Services is a member of the Project Cargo Network (PCN), representing Pakistan.By Luke King. www.nobleship.comlast_img read more

Erickson adds Crespo to sales team

first_imgCrespo joins Erickson Air-Crane with more than 20 years of international experience in global sales, marketing, finance and management. He most recently served as global key account director of CHC Helicopter, where he was responsible for managing oil and gas business with revenues in excess of USD1 billion.Crespo is also familiar with Evergreen Helicopters – which was acquired by Erickson Air-Crane in March 2013 – having previously served from 2006-2010 as its director South American sales and marketing.Crespo succeeds Gary Zamieroski who returns to California, USA to pursue other business opportunities.Santiago Crespowww.ericksonaircrane.comlast_img read more

L.Branco joins GPLN

first_imgHeadquartered in Setúbal in southwest Portugal, L.Branco – Navegação e Trânsitos has a strong background in the international heavy project forwarding market, including the power, construction and energy sectors.Luis Branco, who has more than 40 years of experience in the international shipping industry, manages the company.GPLN is one of the largest non-exclusive projects logistics networks, specialising in international projects movements and specialised lifts.  www.gpln.netwww.l-branco.comlast_img read more

Teekay Offshore Partners to acquire ALP Maritime Services

first_imgALP will continue to operate fully independently within the Teekay Group and believes that being of the group will allow it to learn and better understand other segments of the maritime industry as well. Teekay Offshore is an international provider of marine transportation, oil production and storage services to the offshore oil industry focusing on the fast-growing, deepwater offshore oil regions of the North Sea and Brazil. ALP Maritime Services provides commercial and operational services in the towage, transport and installation market to the offshore oil and gas industry internationally.www.alpmaritime.comwww.teekayoffshore.comlast_img read more

Super lift for Kalmar

first_imgThe new DRG-1000-92 ZXS reachstacker range is the world’s largest industrial reachstacker in Kalmar’s Gloria range, claimed the company.The new design has been developed to meet customer specifications, with lift capabilities of up to 120 tonnes depending on application.Kalmar says that the innovative boom design with rotation, and the wide range of attachment options, means that these machines can be adapted for a huge variety of applications, including steel handling, wind turbine construction, and other demanding heavy lifting tasks.  www.kalmarglobal.comlast_img read more

Liebherr lifts Schares fleet

first_imgThe new Liebherr crane will be the company’s largest machine. “The crane fits neatly into our existing fleet with a 350-tonne capacity model previously being our largest crane. The bigger crane will expand and supplement our portfolio perfectly,” said Schares managing director Katrin Schleiting.The equipment for the new 500-tonne capacity crane can be transported using Schares’ existing fleet of tractor vehicles and trailers, which the company says is a major advantage.Planned applications for the new LTM 1500-8.1 include handling work, bridge installations and prefabricated concrete assembly work.  www.liebherr.com www.schares.delast_img read more

Cargolux returns to Rio

first_imgFlight CV7645 will leave Luxembourg on Fridays at 12:00 GMT and arrive in Rio de Janeiro at 23:30 GMT, before continuing to Viracopos and returning to Europe as CV7656. Arrival in Luxembourg is scheduled for Saturdays at 15:30 GMT.Cargolux says that the return to Rio de Janeiro was driven by growing demand for freight capacity before the Olympic Summer Games 2016, which will take place from August 5-21.As well as equipment for the games, Cargolux expects to carry car parts and spares, chemicals, electrical goods, consolidated freight and household goods.  www.cargolux.comlast_img read more

NR Rail established

first_imgThe new entity will provide railfreight services between Finland and Russia. Rustranscom is one of the largest providers of rail services in the region, in areas such as forest and agricultural products. It has a rolling stock fleet encompassing more than 44,000 wagons.  This deal follows news that a new agreement on international railway transport between Finland and Russia is due to be ratified in the near future. The bi-lateral agreement will see the deregulation of rail transport between Finland and Russia on the Finnish rail network. “The aim is to start the locomotive business in the second half of 2017. What we are setting out to do is to maintain our commitment to developing cost-effective and transparent logistics services to benefit Finnish import and export industries,” said Marko Tuunainen, president and ceo at Nurminen Logistics. www.nurminenlogistics.comlast_img read more

Big barges sail with Hude

first_imgHenrik Thejll, director of E.W.v.d. Hude & Son, explained that it took two years to develop the shipment from Nantong, with huge amounts of preparation and discussion required, as well as unfortunate delays in China due to floods, bad weather and stowage. The barges – the heaviest of which weighed in at 1,350 tonnes – were loaded on board the Saga Welco ship by floating cranes and discharged in Rotterdam by the same method. www.hude.dkwww.petersandmay.comwww.sagawelco.comlast_img read more

Call to arms on ballast water deadline

first_img“The industry may collectively need to spend around USD100 billion in order to install the new ballast water treatment systems that will be required by law. We therefore have to get this right,” says Esben Poulsson, ICS chairman (pictured).Poulsson has called on shipowners, equipment manufacturers and governments to co-operate to ensure that proper implementation of this significant new regulatory regime will deliver maximum environment benefit.”We need to ensure, so far as practicable, that the systems installed on ships will indeed be fit for purpose in all known operating conditions worldwide. We are therefore advising shipping companies that they should make it clear to equipment manufacturers they will only consider fitting treatment systems which have been certified in accordance with the revised IMO type-approval standards adopted in 2016, even though this is not yet a mandatory requirement.”ICS has welcomed the important decision, made by IMO in July, to adjust the implementation dates of the Convention, so that existing ships (ships constructed before September 8, 2017) will not be required to install treatment systems until the date of their first International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) renewal survey after September 8, 2019.”We acknowledge the pragmatic approach to implementation taken by IMO member states that accepted the arguments made by ICS and other industry associations that there is little logic, from an environmental protection standpoint, in requiring thousands of ships to comply until they can be fitted with systems that have been approved under the more stringent standards,” explained Poulsson.”Shipowners must make full use of this additional time to identify and invest in far more robust technology to the benefit of the environment,” Poulsson added.  “And in view of the significant concessions that IMO has now made in response to the industry’s representations, shipping companies should not anticipate any further relaxation to the implementation schedule.”ICS believes that as a result of the industry’s intensive efforts to explain its implementation challenges to regulators, shipowners will hopefully now have the clarity needed to get on with the job.The chamber was previously ambivalent about encouraging flag states to ratify the BWM Convention in advance of some serious implementation issues being fully resolved. But now that the Convention is at the point of entry into force, and in recognition of the actions agreed by IMO, ICS is now encouraging all IMO member states to ratify as soon as possible  www.ics-shipping.orglast_img read more

France’s first floating turbine installed

first_imgThe UK-headquartered heavy transportation and rigging specialist said the installation was part of pre-commissioning works for the Floatgen demonstrator, under development by Ideol. ALE was contracted to complete the mechanical and electrical installation of a 2 MW V80 wind turbine onto a floating foundation.The turbine components, including two tower sections, a nacelle, hub and three blades, were lifted using 1,200-tonne capacity crane. A 100-tonne capacity auxiliary crane was also used to assist with the erection and lift of the tower sections.ALE simultaneously performed ballasting operations on the floating foundation during the lifting operation, in order to maintain stability. Four submersible pumps were used to supply water to the ballast tanks situated at the corners of the foundation.Once the wind turbine was mounted the electrical components and cables were connected and assembled, and the client’s sensors and measuring equipment were installed.Antonio Martin Garcia, project manager for ALE, said: “This was a unique job for ALE and the first time we have undertaken such a complex scope of work in this sector. We were able to provide a bespoke solution for this challenging operation and by providing experienced operators with expertise in each discipline, including the installation, ballasting and lifting, as well as coordination so we could ensure smooth project management.” www.ale-heavylift.comwww.ideol-offshore.comlast_img read more

From Antwerp to Açu

first_imgThe vessel transported a Siemens gas turbine for a thermoelectric power plant developed by Gás Natural Açu (GNA) – a joint venture of BP, Siemens and Prumo, the parent company of Porto do Açu.The gas turbine was delivered by barge from Mülheim, Germany, to the Katoen Natie terminal in Antwerp, where it was subsequently loaded into the hold of the BBC Amethyst, together with other bulky components.Since 2017, Port of Antwerp International, a subsidiary of the Antwerp Port Authority, has been a shareholder of and consultant to the port of Açu, with a goal of promoting trade with the Belgian gateway.portodoacu.com.brwww.portofantwerp.comwww.bbc-chartering.comlast_img read more

Call for more mall security

first_imgThe Athlone Community Police Forum (CPF) has called for rigorous security to ensure the safety of shoppers at Vangate Mall this coming festive season after Clicks was robbed of R80 000 last Sunday.Athlone police confirmed the robbery took place just before 7pm on Sunday November 20.Four unknown armed men entered the store and two of the men went to the back office where the big safe is located and removed R60 000 worth of coins, while the other two jumped over the front counter and ordered the two cashiers to empty their registers into black bags which amounted to R20 000.The manager told them that she did not have access to the drop safe where the notes are kept. They then ushered the employees into the back room and left the scene.Sergeant Zita Norman, Athlone police spokeswoman, said no shots were fired and no injuries were sustained.Aziza Kannemeyer, chairperson of the Athlone CPF, said mall owners need to provide sufficient security, especially with the upcoming festive season when shoppers carry more cash on them. “Not enough is being done in terms of security. Irrespective if the area has a high crime rate, quite a few communities still shop at the mall because there are no other malls in the area. Vangate Mall is a prime spot for hijacking and robberies of shoppers inside the mall. “People are getting good returns on their investments so surely they can invest in extra security for the shoppers,” said Ms Kannemeyer.“The businesses in the mall deserve security and the shoppers also deserve more, if it were not for them the mall wouldn’t make money. This is the beginning of the festive season. What can people expect from the mall that will ensure their safety? The mall owners have a role to play,” she said.However, Gouwa Waja-Stemmet, Vangate Mall marketing manager, assured customers that their safety remains the highest priority and that they will continue to ensure that all security measures are in place. “Security procedures are constantly being evaluated and tenants and staff are being educated accordingly. Mall management and security personnel are working closely with SAPS to ramp up security during the festive season. “SAPS will provide additional manpower during this period, while working closely with a local neighbourhood watch group. Various other neighbourhood watch groups will also participate in a festive season awareness campaign. Private security will be substantially increased over the period, while the mall’s hi-tech CCTV surveillance equipment will continue to play a vital role towards enhancing safety and security,” said Ms Waja-Stemmet. Ms Kannemeyer warned shoppers to be alert when visiting malls and business hubs.last_img read more

Cape Town Festival of Beer

first_imgThe Cape Town Festival of Beer takes place from Friday November 30 to Sunday November 2 at Hamilton’s Rugby Club in Green Point. The festival features over 60 breweries and distributors and offers more than 200 beers ranging from international mega-breweries such as Stella Artois to local microbreweries such as Drifter, Saggy Stone, Little Wolf and Urban Brewing. There will also be top-class pop-up restaurants and gourmet food trucks as well as a line up of local DJs. Tickets cost R120 on Friday, R150 on Saturday and R100 on Sunday. Book through Webtickets. The festival has partnered with Taxify as the official transport supplier. New users will receive a free trip to the value of R150 and existing users will receive 80% off their trip to the value of R100. Visit www.capetownfestivalofbeer.co.za for details.last_img read more

Two South Carolina men charged after forcing alligator to drink beer

first_img SHARE Author: CNN Two South Carolina men charged after forcing alligator to drink beer Published: May 27, 2017 6:48 AM EDT Updated: May 27, 2017 8:11 AM EDT center_img RIDGELAND, SC (CNN) Two South Carolina men each face a harassment charge after pictures surfaced on social media showing them pouring beer down the throat of an alligator, authorities said.Joseph Andrew Floyd Jr., 20, and Zachary Lloyd Brown, 21, both of Ridgeland, are accused of harassing wildlife, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.The incident took place on Wednesday in Jasper County, located in the coastal region in the southernmost part of the state.The men admitted to investigators that they picked up the juvenile alligator after they saw it crossing a road, forced beer down its throat and watched it swim away in a nearby pond, according to the release.Pictures posted on social media alerted officials the next day.“We started receiving a lot of e-mails and phone calls about this. People had taken screen shots from Snapchat accounts,” the agency’s spokeswoman Kyndel McConchie told CNN.In one of the six photos obtained by CNN from authorities, the alligator’s neck is being squeezed and a beer can is pressed against its snout. The text on the photo says “Gator Shotgun.”Other photos show beer being dripped into its mouth while its neck is held tightly. Another picture shows smoke being blown onto the face of the gator.Besides the state misdemeanor charge of harassing wildlife, Floyd and Brown also face a maximum fine of $300.There is federal protection in place to ensure alligators are legally harvested for international trade. But for a case like this, no federal protection applies, the Department of Natural Resources said.“Alligators are protected under state law and even federal law where they are still listed as threatened solely due to their similarity of appearance to other endangered crocodilians worldwide,” SCDNR Alligator Program Coordinator Jay Butfiloski added.The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources posted the photos on Twitter:Two men have been charged with harassment of wildlife after posting photos to social media. https://t.co/yRJr2fkLxb #SCDNR pic.twitter.com/eMOK3jl3md— SCDNR (@SCDNR) May 26, 2017 Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.last_img read more

Explosion outside US Air Force recruiting office under investigation

first_img SHARE Published: July 11, 2017 6:21 AM EDT Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Recommended Massive Beirut blast kills more than 60, injures thousands Explosion outside US Air Force recruiting office under investigation Propane tank explodes in Bonita Springs Author: CNN BIXBY, Okla.(CNN) Local and federal authorities are investigating an explosion at a US Air Force recruiting office.Bomb squads from Bixby and Tulsa police responded around 10:30 p.m. local time Monday to the reported explosion, near Tulsa, Bixby Police Sgt. Tim Scrivner told CNN.The FBI and ATF are on scene and investigating the cause of the explosion, according to ATF public information officer, Meredith Davis.The incident hasn’t officially been called a domestic case of terrorism, but if it is considered one, the FBI would have jurisdiction over the incident.@KTULNews this was before police arrived. pic.twitter.com/NsypKbaYH6— Jaycie (@WhitworthJaycie) July 11, 2017A photo taken after the incident showed the glass doors to the Air Force office opened with scattered debris on the ground and a dangling light fixture.last_img read more

2 more GOP senators oppose health bill, killing it for now

first_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARE Published: July 17, 2017 10:01 PM EDT Updated: July 17, 2017 11:03 PM EDT WASHINGTON (AP) The latest GOP effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare” was fatally wounded in the Senate Monday night when two more Republican senators announced their opposition to the legislation strongly backed by President Donald Trump.The announcements from Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas left the Republican Party’s long-promised efforts to get rid of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation reeling. Next steps, if any, were not immediately clear.center_img 2 more GOP senators oppose health bill, killing it for now Trump, who had predicted success for the legislation just hours earlier, responded with a tweet urging: “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” But Republican leaders rejected that clean-repeal approach months ago because it could not pass Congress.Lee and Moran both said they could not support Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislation in its current form. They joined GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both of whom announced their opposition right after McConnell released the bill last Thursday.McConnell is now at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate and may have to go back to the drawing board or even begin to negotiate with Democrats, a prospect he’s threatened but resisted so far. Or he could abandon the health care effort, which has proven more difficult than many Republicans envisioned after campaigning on the issue for years, and move on to tax legislation, a bigger Trump priority to begin with.McConnell’s bill “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs. For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one,” said Moran.Lee said, “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”It was the second straight failure for McConnell, who had to cancel a vote on an earlier version of the bill last month when defeat became inevitable.Trump had kept his distance from the Senate process, but Monday night’s development was a major blow for him, too, as the president failed to rally support for what has been the GOP’s trademark issue for seven years – ever since Obama and the Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act. Republicans won the White House and full control of Congress in large part on the basis of their promises to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” but have struggled to overcome their deep internal divisions and deliver.The Senate bill, like an earlier version that barely passed the House, eliminated mandates and taxes under Obamacare, and unraveled an expansion of the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled. But for conservatives like Lee and Paul it didn’t go far enough in delivering on Republican Party promises to undo Obama’s law, while moderates like Collins viewed the bill as too extreme in yanking insurance coverage from millions.McConnell’s latest version aimed to satisfy both camps, by incorporating language by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas allowing insurers to sell skimpy plans alongside more robust ones, and by adding billions to treat opioid addiction and to defray consumer costs.His efforts did not achieve the intended result.There was no immediate reaction from McConnell’s office. But Democrats could barely contain their glee.“This second failure of Trumpcare is proof positive that the core of this bill is unworkable,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. “Rather than repeating the same failed, partisan process yet again, Republicans should start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long term stability to the markets and improves our health care system.”Prior to the stunning announcements from Lee and Moran, the GOP bill stood on the knife’s edge, with zero votes to spare but not dead yet. It was apparent that no GOP senator wanted to be the third to announce opposition and become responsible for killing the bill, so the news from Lee and Moran came simultaneously.It arrived as about a half-dozen senators were at the White House meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the next steps in the GOP effort to ensure passage of the bill.There are at least a half-dozen or so others who are undecided, so it’s quite likely that more “no” votes will be announced in the hours and days ahead.In a Senate divided 52-48 between Republicans and Democrats, McConnell could lose only two senators and still prevail on a procedural vote to open debate on the bill. He had hoped to hold that vote this week, but Sen. John McCain’s recovery following surgery in Arizona had already pushed back that timeframe.Earlier this month, Moran faced tough questions from constituents at a town hall in tiny Palco, Kansas, about the impact of the GOP bill. About 150 people tried to squeeze into a community center room and many applauded his opposition to the initial health care bill. The session underscored the evolving position of many Americans to government-run health care, with loud approval for programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.“I will choose country over party,” Moran told the town hall. “I will choose Kansans over party.” Related Articles:Trump says he’ll be ‘angry’ if Senate health care bill flopsTrump presses Congress on health care bill: Get it done2 GOP senators suggest bill to repeal health care law ‘dead’Trump makes push on health bill; repeal-only vote an option Author: Associated Press last_img read more

Anthony Weiner reports to prison for sexting conviction

first_imgAnthony Weiner reports to prison for sexting conviction Published: November 6, 2017 1:57 PM EST Author: AP AYER, Mass. (AP) Former Rep. Anthony Weiner reported to prison Monday to begin a 21-month sentence for sexting with a 15-year-old girl.Weiner is being held at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Massachusetts, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.The facility in Ayer, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Boston, has over 1,000 inmates at the medical center and over 100 more at an adjacent minimum security satellite camp. It’s the same prison that once housed Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.Weiner was sentenced in September by a judge who said the crime resulted from a “very strong compulsion.” At the time, a tearful Weiner said he was undergoing therapy and had been “a very sick man for a very long time.”Amid a sexting controversy involving women, the New York Democrat resigned his U.S. House seat in 2011 only to have new allegations doom his 2013 run for mayor.MORE: Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting caseLast year, a criminal probe into his sexting with a high school student intruded into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Then-FBI Director James Comey announced in late October 2016 that he was reopening the probe of Clinton’s use of a private computer server after emails between Clinton and Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin – formerly Clinton’s closest aide – were found on Weiner’s computer.Two days before Election Day, the FBI declared there was nothing new in the emails. But in a recent interview, Clinton called Comey’s intervention “the determining factor” in her defeat.Abedin and Weiner are in divorce proceedings.At sentencing in Manhattan federal court, Weiner attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown said his client likely exchanged thousands of messages with hundreds of women over the years and was communicating with up to 19 women when he encountered the teenager.Devlin-Brown declined to comment on Monday.MORE: Ex-US Rep. Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in sexting case SHAREcenter_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Recommended Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting case last_img read more

Taking a view on gay marriage

first_img David Hadfield, Forest Row, East Sussex I confess to having been taken aback that a committee of the Law Society has responded to the government’s consultation on ‘gay marriage’ at all, but the more so because its response is prefaced by a reference to the Society representing solicitors in England and Wales, thus giving the impression that this response is made on behalf of all solicitors. Leaving aside the issue of whether this is a matter that should concern committee members in anything other than their private capacities, how can it be proper to head the response in this way? Neither I nor any other solicitor I have spoken to has been asked for an opinion on what is both a legal and (whether the committee likes it or not) a theological issue.last_img read more

IBA 2012: former president of American bar dismisses ‘risky’ ABS model

first_imgThe immediate past-president of the American Bar Association has strongly denounced alternative business structures, arguing that non-lawyer investment in law firms compromises the client’s best interests and undermines professional independence. William T (Bill) Robinson III gave the strongest indication yet that the US will not bend soon to pressure for liberalisation, pointing to the jurisdiction’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct to underpin his arguments. Robinson was speaking at a panel session on ABSs at this year’s International Bar Association conference. Also on the panel were Solicitors Regulation Authority chief executive Antony Townsend, former Law Society president Bob Heslett and Christina Blacklaws, director at Co-operative Legal Services. Though stressing that he was not speaking on behalf of the ABA, Robinson said his views broadly reflect the consensus among US lawyers. ‘What you need to understand is that from the US perspective, the Model Rules start and end with a focus on the interests of the client,’ he said. ‘There is a strong sense that in the ABS approach there is an inherent conflict of interest. Investors invest to make money and, as we say, “he or she who has the gold makes the golden rule”. They don’t bring a higher quality of practice or integrity.’ He added: ‘If there is one investor in a firm and that investor is Walmart, it is not unrealistic to expect that investor to communicate what is to be done and that will be in the investor’s best interests. That is why we are not stepping up to this. ‘Another concern we have is the continuing attack on the legal profession and its independence across the world in the name of consumerism and bringing the price down. The reality is that specialised training and years of extra education are necessary to impute the required discipline and time to protect the client. Profit as an influencer of human choices under pressure is just too much of a risk.’ Robinson acknowledged the potential benefits of ABS status to lawyers and law firms, but said he had ‘yet to hear how the interests of the clients are enhanced’. He also raised the spectre of government interference in the profession to protect shareholder interests, ‘just as the Securities and Exchange Commission has intervened to protect corporations’. He added: ‘They will come in behind the investors and tell us what to do; we will have become not a profession, but commerce’. In the US, ABSs would also have to clear other practical hurdles. ‘What about exit strategies? In the US lawyers cannot be required to sign non-compete agreements, it is up to the client to decide whether to waive privileged, confidential information.’ Robinson also dismissed the claim that liberalising ownership will enhance access to justice, an argument made by Co-operative Legal Services. He said: ‘In the US there is no money in access to justice and pro bono; it’s an overhead that derives from commitment and professionalism. I am perplexed as to how having investors involved enhances access to justice. Too much pro bono inhibits return on investment.’ Responding, Christina Blacklaws described it as an ‘insult’ to suppose other professionals who might co-own firms adhere to lower professional standards. However, an inquisitor from the German bar questioned using the Co-op as an exemplar of ABS status, pointing out: ‘The Co-operative is more analogous to a trade union owning a law firm that will provide services to its members. That is very different from a third-party investor seeking a return on their money.’ In her address, Blacklaws pointed to the rigour of the SRA’s ABS licensing process and joked: ‘We have seen very little evidence of the mafia or al-Qaida applying.’ Co-operative Legal Services now has 48 licensed managers and expects annual turnover this year of £45m, placing it among the top 75 legal firms. Townsend meanwhile, expects the number of ABSs approved, which recently hit 30, to double by the end of the year. There are about 100 more applications ‘in the wings’, some of which may come to nothing. ‘We are beginning to see the evolution of a more dynamic market,’ he said. Heslett, meanwhile, was notably more muted about ABSs, saying: ‘I think the changes are extremely limited. The Co-op may raise standards on the high street but I don’t think the major firms [in England and Wales] will ever get involved.’ International interest in following the UK and Australia’s lead on ABSs is clearly limited. Fewer than 50 of the 5,000 delegates registered at this year’s conference attended the session.last_img read more

My conviction is unsafe, says QC jailed for VAT fraud

first_imgA London silk sentenced today to three and a half years in prison after being convicted of a £600,000 VAT fraud says he will fight to clear his name. Rohan Anthony Pershad, who practised from Thirty Nine Essex Street, was convicted at Blackfriars Crown Court earlier this month of one count of cheating the public revenue of £624,579, between 1 June 1999 and 24 September 2011. A statement from HM Revenue & Customs said that instead of paying the VAT due, Pershad spent the money on two homes in Surrey and Somerset and on school fees for his children. HMRC said that it cancelled Pershad’s VAT registration in 2003 with effect from 1999, after his repeated failures to submit tax returns or tell the authorities about a change of address. The statement said: ‘Pershad effectively became a missing trader, disappearing below the VAT radar. This meant he was unable legally to trade above the VAT threshold, which was between £54,000 in 2001 and £67,000 in 2008. However, his self-assessment tax returns showed his income had increased from £85,000 in 2001 to £346,000 in 2008, breaching the VAT registration limit by £279,000.’ During this period, the Revenue said Pershad continued to use his invalid VAT number on invoices, meaning he was collecting the VAT on fees but pocketing the money for himself. HMRC’s director of criminal investigation Donald Toon, said: ‘Pershad’s 12-year history of tax evasion was blatant theft from the public purse. He thought he was above the law, but someone in his profession should have known better than to try to cheat the system, as HMRC will not stand by while criminals try to cheat the taxpayer.’ Confiscation proceedings are underway. Following notice of his prosecution, Pershad voluntarily suspended his membership of chambers. A spokeswoman for the Bar Standards Board said that it had raised a complaint about Pershad and the case will be referred to a five-person disciplinary tribunal, which has the power to disbar him. Pershad’s solicitor, Angus McBride at London firm London firm Kingsley Napley, said Pershad will appeal both the conviction and sentence. In a statement via his solicitor, Pershad said he believed the conviction to be unsafe. He said: ‘I have not acted dishonestly in relation to the payment of VAT and I will be seeking to have my conviction overturned in the Court of Appeal.’ He said: ‘There have been a number of inaccurate and misleading comments made publicly since my conviction. I will seek to correct them at the appropriate time. ‘I am very grateful to all the many people that have stood by me at what has been a deeply distressing time – most of all for my family.’ Pershad added: ‘I am not a dishonest man. I have never sought to defraud or cheat anyone. I will fight to clear my name.’last_img read more

Conservatives: court fees? Let’s talk about solicitors’ costs – Faulks

first_imgLawyers’ costs are just as big an obstacle to people conducting litigation as court fees, justice minister Lord Faulks has said.Speaking at a fringe event of the Conservative party conference, Faulks (pictured) accepted there is ‘anxiety’ from some in the business community and elsewhere about the level of fees charged for commencing claims in court.But the QC said fees charged by lawyers remain the ‘elephant in the room’ and hinted that the government is still keen to do more to reform ‘enormous’ legal costs.‘I don’t think we have got a grip on the overall amount that lawyers charge,’ he said.‘The Germans, for example, have very much more in the way of fixed costs. Once you decide to go [down] the court routes you know what is coming at the end of the road.’He added: ‘[Court fees are] not too much compared with the fees you come up with for solicitors.’The session itself concentrated on the importance, take-up and consistency of mediation as a form of alternative dispute resolution.Speaking at the event, former City solicitor and recently elected Conservative MP Alberto Costa said some of his ex-colleagues are still not doing enough to encourage and promote ADR.‘Looking back over the last 15 years we are not where ADR was promised to be. Most business people don’t know what ADR stands for.‘The majority of litigators, particularly in the City, are still not qualified [in ADR]. People are still wedded to the court system.’Costa said he would like to see ADR clauses as standard in contracts drawn up by lawyers for their clients and said ‘without exception’ his own former clients had approved of such clauses being inserted when the potential benefits of ADR were explained.Costa, a member of the House of Commons justice select committee, also hinted that the committee is preparing to consult on the Legal Services Act ahead of a review by justice secretary Michael Gove, with a view to getting more smaller businesses to access legal help.last_img read more

‘Innovative’ financial list formally unveiled

first_imgA specialist list hosted at the Rolls Building to deal with financial market cases has taken a further step towards full operation with the publication of practice directions at a formal unveiling last night. Speaking before representatives from the legal and financial professions, lord chancellor Michael Gove praised the financial list, which launched on 1 October, as one of the most ‘exciting innovations in the field of British justice’.  The list was a key part in ensuring the modernisation of the legal system, he said.Bank of England deputy governor Sir Jon Cunliffe said the central bank ‘wholeheartedly supports’ the initiative for financial stability and competitive reasons.‘This isn’t just something that matters for the UK and UK financial stability. It is something that matters [for] international financial stability as well,’ he said.Lord chief justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said that the list would be kept under review, but added: ‘I do hope this initial experiment will work and we will try and improve it wherever possible.’The financial list will initially run as a two-year pilot until the end of September 2017. Cases will be heard by 12 judges from the Commercial Court and Chancery Division.Alasdair Douglas, chair of the City of London Law Society, said: ‘The facility to bring market test cases, where authoritative legal guidance is needed, will be an important feature of the financial list initiative. ‘Litigants expect judges to be familiar with the subject matter of a case, and the financial list will offer the assurance that these significant cases will be heard by a high-calibre judge who, for example, has an understanding of the global financial markets.‘The financial list will improve, and be seen to improve, the service provided by the English courts to international litigants.’The first case, between foreign parties and concerning derivatives transactions, was transferred onto the financial list last week and is in the course of being tried by Mr Justice Blair.last_img read more

MoJ seeks to plug legal aid housing gap

first_imgThe government has moved to plug at least one of the gaps in legal aid housing services highlighted by the Law Society last week in a shocking infographic, the Gazette has learned.The Society’s ‘legal aid deserts map’ showed that nearly a third of legal aid areas have just one solicitor provider who specialises in housing and whose advice is available through legal aid.Surrey, Shropshire and Suffolk have no housing provider at all.A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice told the Gazette that housing contracts are being offered for the Surrey procurement area after firms were invited to submit an ‘expression of interest’ in April.Services will be in place ‘imminently’, the spokesperson said.Society chief executive Catherine Dixon said early legal advice on housing matters could make the difference between a family being made homeless or not.Citizens Advice has warned that some families trying to keep a roof over their head are finding that no local legal aid lawyers will take their case.Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said (pictured): ‘People threatened with eviction and facing homelessness are among those who often can’t access free legal representation, even if they qualify for it.’Research shows that nine out of 10 Citizens Advice bureaux have encountered difficulties in referring people to the specialist legal advice they need since 2013, when the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act emasculated civil legal aid.Guy said: ‘It is crucial that people who qualify for legal aid can find lawyers that can help them with housing problems, especially with more people turning to us for help after being threatened with eviction illegally.’Guy said that in the 12 months to March 2016, 2,000 people sought Citizens Advice’s help after being threatened with illegal eviction, representing a 47% rise from the previous year.last_img read more

Council chiefs under fire over ‘emergency’ grant to solicitors firm

first_imgCouncil bosses in Bolton are today facing calls to resign over a ‘secret’ emergency grant of £300,000 handed to a local solicitors firm that posted a £1m loss last year.Asons Solicitors was awarded the grant earlier this month under the Emergency Powers Procedure, used by the authority to take ‘any action on behalf of the council in any cases of urgency’.The meeting at which the grant was awarded to the personal injury firm was closed to press and public. In a statement, the council has said the grant will guarantee that 263 jobs are retained in the town centre for at least the next five years. But local solicitors are outraged by one local firm apparently gaining a competitive advantage through taxpayers’ money. The council refused to confirm the size of the grant but local press reported that the figure is £300,000. The cash is understood to have been intended to assist the firm with its move to different premises in the town earlier this year.With our madam mayor of #Bolton pic.twitter.com/5HG5wkT3C2— Dr Imran Akram (@DrimranKakram) 30 August 2016Council leader Cliff Morris (Labour), who has come under pressure over the award, said: ‘Financial transparency and trust at this challenging time is more important than ever and this is why I am calling for a full independent audit of this investment to reassure the public.’In a statement sent to the Gazette, he added: ‘The council’s investment will be repaid through their business rates, which we estimate to be more than £460,000 and this will be reinvested across the borough. This is on top of the value from retaining the firm in the town centre, which should return £10m to our local economy over the next five years.’This assurance is sure to be called into question however, as Asons has itself stated that the key risk facing its business is a potential rise in the small claims limit. Last week the government announced plans to raise that limit five-fold, a potentially devastating development for the claimant PI sector. Opposition leaders have hit out at the grant. David Greenhalgh, leader of the Conservative party, told the Bolton News: ‘A growing number of decisions are being made by this council under emergency powers. This process should only be used when absolutely necessary.’Other local solicitor firms have also voiced concern, including Craig Morris, a partner at Fieldings Porter and Stephen Crompton, joint managing partner at Russell and Russell.Crompton said: ‘This is extremely worrying. Law firms up and down the country have been subjected to the same challenging market conditions as Asons, so why has it been given preferential funding?’Local UKIP leader Sean Hornby has called on residents to stage a mass protest outside Bolton Town Hall (pictured) ahead of the council’s next meeting at the end of November. Bolton TUC, meanwhile, has today called for the resignation of the officers and politicians at the council ’who have been involved in subsidising Asons while proposing cuts to services for the disabled and other vulnerable members of the Bolton family’.Latest published accounts for Asons Solicitors list the sole director as Kamran Akram. Asons Solicitors Ltd posted a pre-tax loss of £1.14m on annual turnover of £13.6m for the year to 31 May 2015. This compares with a profit of £864,444 on turnover of £15.9m in 2014.Under ‘principal risks and uncertainties’, the director’s report states: ‘The key risks facing the business are changes in UK legislation that impact on the small claims limit.’In 2013 Dr Imran Akram, chief executive of Asons Solicitors, was crowned ‘Business Person of the Year 2013’ at the Bolton & Bury Business Awards. He is pictured above with the mayor of Bolton at the opening of the new Asons office.The flamboyant Akram has also attracted media attention for collecting Lamborghinis.The Gazette has contacted Asons for comment.last_img read more

Businesses offered ‘no win, no fee’ deal on commercial disputes

first_imgA consortium of litigation firms is offering a commercial dispute resolution on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis backed by external funding. Caresso Law, which opened for business last week, provides a ‘fully funded’ litigation service for claims where damages are below £5m.Currently made up of four firms, it offers clients immediate after the event (ATE) insurance, typically reserved for personal injury and clinical negligence claims. The consortium, which covers ‘most types of commercial disputes’, is managed by a media agency called EightFooted, which takes a cut of firms’ fees after the successful conclusion of cases.Lee Jones, CEO of EightFooted, said: ‘Our research shows that the legal services market in the UK is ripe for change. We have worked with the firms to develop a unique commercial litigation service that meets technological and financial challenges head on.’He added that the consortium is committed to access to justice and bringing litigation funding ‘into the mainstream’.‘This is streamlined litigation at the more moderate end of the scale,’ he said.David Haynes, underwriting and marketing director of ARAG plc, which provides insurance to Caresso Law, said: ‘Many individuals and smaller businesses with well-founded claims are prevented from pursuing their legal rights because they cannot fund their case. Caresso Law is offering a new solution that will reduce both the risk and cost of seeking justice.’last_img read more

Solicitor fined £7.5k – with four times that in costs

first_imgA solicitor has received a £7,500 fine, but four times that amount in costs, for his ‘sloppy’ conduct in a property transaction.The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal said Daniel Mun Kin Tang’s work on the transaction in 2012 ‘was more than sloppy’, in a judgment published on its website.Tang, a partner at north London firm Christopher Mathew Solicitors and admitted to the roll in 2006, acted for TP Ltd in relation to the purchase of three flats. He was instructed to prepare and execute an investment agreement to part-fund the £252,000 purchase. Tang denied the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s allegation that the transaction had ‘a number of dubious features’. The judgment states that he ‘accepted that he was “sloppy” in the way that he handled the transaction and ought to have satisfied himself that certain features of the transaction were not dubious, but that did not mean that the features were dubious’.Tang, who had acted for the parties previously, said he had ‘not been on such guard as he would have been if this was the first time he acted for them’.However, the tribunal identified ‘red flags’ that ‘merited further investigation and enquiry’. The tribunal said it was not within Tang’s remit to advise Ms FA, a third party part-funding the transaction, to seek independent financial advice – ‘but, as he accepted, he should have advised her to [seek] independent legal advice’. He did not take unfair advantage of her, the tribunal said.Tang admitted he lodged an application to register a charge on the property without Ms FA’s written consent when he ‘ought to have known’ this was required.The tribunal said Tang ‘appeared to have fallen into a trap where he failed to distinguish between the personal and professional when he was doing business with a family with whom he was acquainted’.The tribunal found that Tang made an error in the way he completed a MGO1-particulars of a mortgage charge form. ‘The tribunal accepted that this was a genuine mistake but having made the mistake and knowing that he had made the mistake the respondent did not rectify it or advise TP Ltd of the error and what could be done to rectify it,’ the judgment states.In mitigation, Tang ‘acknowledged that this was not a shining example of his work’ and that he had been far too “sloppy” in his approach’. The ‘minimal’ harm caused was ‘due to luck and not the respondent’s judgement’, the tribunal said, assessing the conduct to be ‘at the higher end of moderately serious’.Counsel for Tang argued that the SRA’s claim for £34,760 costs was ‘manifestly excessive for a one transaction case’, reminding the tribunal ‘that costs should not be a penalty and if they were disproportionately larger than the sanction they could be seen as a penalty’.However, the tribunal concluded the allegations were properly brought. Tang was ordered to pay a £7,500 fine and £32,469 costs.Tang has been approached for comment.last_img read more

Hillsborough: Police solicitor and senior officers charged

first_imgA solicitor is among six people who have been charged with criminal offences in relation to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath, the Crown Prosecution Service announced today.Peter Metcalf acted for South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor inquiry and the first inquests. He is charged with doing acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice relating to material changes made to witness statements.The CPS says Metcalf was instructed by Municipal Mutual Insurance to represent the interests of the force at the Taylor Inquiry and in any civil litigation that might result from the Hillsborough disaster. According to the CPS statement, he reviewed the accounts provided by the officers and made suggestions for alterations, deletions and amendments. The CPS alleges these were directly relevant to the Salmon letter issued by the Taylor Inquiry and for which there appears to be no justification.Also charged are:David Duckenfield, who was the Match Commander for South Yorkshire Police on the day of the disaster;Graham Henry Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer at the time of the disaster in 1989;Former Chief Superintendent Donald Denton of South Yorkshire Police;Former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster of South Yorkshire Police;Norman Bettison, a former officer with South Yorkshire Police and subsequently Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police.All defendants except Duckenfield will appear at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on 9 August.Sue Hemming, head of the CPS special crime and counter terrorism division, said: ‘Criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.’According to the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor service, Metcalf was admitted as a solicitor in June 1977 and now works as a locum.The Gazette called Metcalf’s office and was told he has no comment to make about Hillsborough.An SRA spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of the CPS’s statement. We continue to work closely with other authorities involved in this matter. We will now await the conclusion of this case before deciding on appropriate action.’last_img read more

Legal profession dominates social mobility awards shortlist

first_imgThe shortlist for a newly established set of awards to honour social mobility has highlighted the strides the legal profession has taken to become more diverse.Law firms and solicitors dominate the shortlist for the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards. Winners will be announced in London in October.In-house solicitor Barry Matthews, director of legal and third party sales at ITV, and Sarah Hyde, of counsel at international firm CMS, are among six finalists for the ‘outstanding achievement of the year’ award.Matthews founded the Legal Social Mobility Partnership, which has been nominated for the ‘innovation award’. Matthews told the Gazette: ‘I’m extremely honoured to make the shortlist, although the scheme we have created is a true partnership and I will be representing the 70 law firms, commercial organisations and professional sports clubs all committed to creating a meritocratic ennvironment for the solicitors of the future.’Hyde is behind CMS’s bursary scheme, now in its sixth year, which provides aspiring young lawyers from disadvantaged backgrounds with financial help, work experience and support. One of the scheme’s first students will begin her training contract at the firm this year.CMS said the scheme’s success ‘comes as a direct result of Sarah’s initial idea, passion and devotion’.Claudine Adeyemi, a real estate associate at London firm Mishcon de Reya, has been nominated for the ‘rising star of the year’ award. In her spare time, Adeyemi founded and runs The Student Development Co, CIC, a non-profit organisation which provides career support to 16-24 year olds from less privileged backgrounds. She also created a mobile app, Career Ear, to improve access to quality careers advice.Adeyemi said it was ‘incredible’ that her work with The Student Development Co and everything she has achieved to improve young people’s experiences have been recognised.Daniel Levy, partner and head of Mishcon de Reya’s property litigation group, said Adeyemi is ‘passionate about helping young people reach their potential. These kind of pro-active social initiatives, in addition to the social impact opportunities we give our people, are something we greatly encourage and celebrate as a firm’.James Wickes, a partner at City firm RPC, is one of five nominees for ‘mentor of the year’. Wickes co-founded Limitless London a decade ago, which provides career guidance to school pupils in Wickes’ hometown of Barking and Dagenham.Wickes said: ‘I set it up because I didn’t have any real guidance when I was at school in terms of moving on to higher education or employment. When I got to university, I realised the lack of opportunities I had.’Over the past four years Limitless London has focused on helping Year 10 students. Wickes said the charity wanted to ‘get the message across’ at an earlier stage to help pupils ‘turn their predicted Cs into As’.The Ministry of Justice has been nominated for ‘organisation of the year’.International firm Simmons & Simmons, the Law Society of Scotland and the Legal Social Mobility Partnership will be competing for the ‘innovation award’.Magic circle firm Clifford Chance and international firm Pinsent Masons have been shortlisted for the ‘recruitment programme of the year’ award.National firm Browne Jacobson is nominated for ‘progression programme of the year’.Magic circle firm Allen & Overy and international firm Herbert Smith Freehills have been shortlisted for ‘community programme of the year’.last_img read more

Dormant legal aid accounts to be closed

first_imgThe government will close solicitor accounts that are not being used to access the Legal Aid Agency’s services following a system upgrade to prevent glitches that led to the portal going offline for nearly a week.The online web portal provides single sign-on access to the agency’s core applications for legal aid providers and LAA staff. Applications include contracted work and administration, the client cost management system, eForms, Crown court remuneration and litigation fees as well as management information.This week the agency announced that, starting next month, it will begin closing accounts that have not been accessed for more than six months. Solicitors must contact their system administrator to restore access or set up a new account. Shared accounts will no longer be allowed for security reasons.Last year the portal was upgraded to improve performance and stability, ‘and decrease the likelihood of the occurrence of the types of severe issues that caused it to go offline for nearly a week in 2016’, according to guidance published by the agency.In March 2016, the Law Society reported that ‘significant ongoing problems’ with the portal for submitting electronic crime applications had severely delayed legal aid applications and applications for prior authority to do essential work on cases.The agency says the upgraded portal has improved security and data protection, quicker log-in times, a more user-friendly password reset process, a status bar for all applications which provides up-to-date information on issues affecting performance, and an upgraded message function.The guidance states that solicitors will no longer need to clear the cache to reset their password. They have 10 attempts to correctly state their username and password before they are locked out of the portal for 30 minutes. As long as a session is not idle for more than an hour at a time, solicitors will be able to access the portal for up to eight hours before the session must be re-authenticated.last_img read more

A&O joins other magic circle firms with student grant boost

first_imgAllen & Overy has confirmed it will increase the maintenance grant it awards for future trainees taking the legal practice course (LPC) – the last of the magic circle firms to do so.The firm said its grant will be increased by 43%, from £7,000 to £10,000. It will be backdated to the January 2018 LPC class.Claire Wright, graduate recruitment partner at A&O, said the increase is in ‘recognition of the fact that living costs have increased and as part of our overall commitment to social mobility’.She added: ‘We have a responsibility to ensure our profession is attractive and accessible to talented people who have the potential to succeed. We don’t want financial considerations to be a barrier to entry.’Last week Slaughter and May and Linklaters signified their intention to increase the grant from £7,000 to £10,000. Earlier this year, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer also boosted the grants by the same amount.All five magic circle firms cover LPC course fees.last_img read more

Costs penalty for defendant who withheld the ‘full story’

first_imgMichael Mylonas QC, instructed by Irwin Mitchell, appeared for the claimant. Michael de Navarro QC, instructed by Hempsons, represented the defendant. A winning defendant has been denied full costs in a clinical negligence case after crucial evidence which killed the claim emerged on the third day of trial. The Honourable Mrs Justice Lambert DBE said the defendant in Harrap v Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust omitted important details from written witness evidence submitted in December 2017.Instead, the case continued to trial in March this year, but the claim was discontinued after new evidence emerged for the first time during cross-examination of a defendant witness. The evidence amounted to a change of circumstances and claimant lawyers accepted it was fatal to their case.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Justice LambertThe defendant argued that the usual costs order should follow the discontinuance of a claim and said the claimant’s case was always ‘doomed to failure’. Any effort to claw back costs based on the conduct of litigation was ‘ingenious’ but ‘merely a smokescreen’ to mask the breakdown of the claim.But claimant lawyers argued the change in circumstances was due to the failure to set out the full story in the witness statement, with evidence emerging at trial being ‘wholly new’.The judge refused to accept the claim was doomed to failure and concluded the change of circumstances was a consequence of what came out at trial. ‘The new evidence had a direct bearing upon the claimant’s case and its effect was to shut down the claim on factual causation.’The judge said omission of details in the witness statement was unreasonable and that no explanation had been provided.The claimant was ordered to bear the costs up to December 2017, with no order for costs thereafter.last_img read more

Baker McKenzie and Clyde & Co tough it out in Venezuela

first_imgTwo international firms in Venezuela have indicated that they have no plans to cease practising in the country, despite high profile exits from the troubled South American nation.The Gazette understands that both Clyde & Co and Baker McKenzie will continue to operate and have no plans to leave. In the past year both Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright have left.Venezuela has been ravaged by hyper-inflation and food shortages and its currency, the Bolivar, has been rendered near worthless. Further, the US and more than 20 other nations have recognised president Nicolas Maduro’s opposition Juan Guaidó as interim president.Hogan Lovells announced its departure from Caracas in May last year and last week Norton Rose Fulbright also departed citing ’challenging market conditions’.Norton Rose’s base in the country was snapped up by international behemoth Dentons which said it had agreed to create Despacho de Abogados miembros de Dentons, S.C.last_img read more

Fieldfisher takes on litigation funders with DBA insurance

first_imgInternational firm Fieldfisher has challenged litigation funders with a ‘more competitive’ insurance policy for damages-based agreements.Having introduced a litigation funding service for commercial claims last year, the firm has announced a DBA insurance policy that will guarantee a proportion of the firm’s unbilled work in progress and disbursements at the end of the case. Fieldfisher said the product is the ‘first of its kind’ as it covers a portfolio of cases directly funded by the firm.The City practice moved into the litigation funding market in 2019 with FeeSolve, a package of alternative funding arrangements including DBAs. Such agreements have proved largely unpopular with the profession because of the risk involved. Tony Lewis, dispute resolution partner and head of FeeSolve at Fieldfisher, said: ‘This product is a real challenge to funders in the market and incredibly timely. In the new Covid 19 world, businesses more than ever are looking at how they can manage costs. We are providing certainty of cost for clients and showing that we have skin in the game, without the need for funders. We are taking the risk and costs off of businesses bottom line. Why should clients share a hefty portion of their winnings with funders when they can work directly with us on a more competitive basis?’The firm said it has restructured internally to provide ‘unbiased and independent assessment’ about the chance of winning and likely costs of completing the case. It has triaged around 20 cases so far.last_img read more

Don’t worry about stuffy courts, says HMCTS

first_imgFind advice and updates here. Please see the Gazette’s dedicated coronavirus page here >> Ventilation in courtrooms should not concern users, according to the government’s response to worries about stuffy courts, saying the risk of transmitting coronavirus through the air is ‘extremely low’.HM Courts & Tribunals Service said nothing beyond what is normally expected in workplaces is needed to regulate air flow and ventilation. Where normal air-handling systems are in operation – or where windows can be opened – rooms should be considered safe, it said.In a letter to the Criminal Bar Association (CBA), HMCTS said it had consulted public health officials, who advised that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 through an airborne route is ‘extremely low’.The CBA had raised concerns with the government about stuffy courtrooms, and asked whether the fact that parties often speak loudly in a court setting had been taken into account. It was assured that the risk assessments for the courts address the airflow management system.Jury trials have now re-started in Reading, Warwick, Winchester, Manchester Minshull Street, Bristol, Cardiff and the Old Bailey. In her weekly message, chair of the CBA Caroline Goodwin QC said court buildings ‘look and feel very different’ and ‘the effort by the staff has been nothing short of impressive’.‘If someone were to ask me would I go into court and conduct a hearing. The answer would be yes,’ she said. center_img *The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.last_img read more

IBA warns against Assange extradition

first_imgThe human rights arm of the International Bar Association has strongly criticised the potential extradition of Julian Assange to the US as the Wikileaks founder’s hearing resumes at the Old Bailey. Australian-born Assange is fighting efforts to send him to the US where he faces 18 counts of violating the Espionage Act. In a statement today the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) said that granting the US government’s request would:  Contravene the Extradition Treaty between the UK and US;Constitute a violation of freedom of expression;Set a dangerous precedent in the restriction of press freedom in the UK, US and in other countries;Potentially subject Assange to an unfair trial in the US where, if convicted, he could face up to 175 years imprisonment.‘We are concerned that this case is politically charged,’ IBAHRI’s director, Baroness Kennedy (Helena Kennedy QC), said: ‘We can have little confidence in the extremely polarised situation in the US at present and are concerned that there is a risk to justice in the case of Julian Assange. We hope that the English court hearing his case is true to its commitment to the rule of law, human rights and justice, and delivers a fair outcome in this extradition hearing.’IBAHRI co-chair and former Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Hon Michael Kirby, said: ‘If Mr Assange is extradited, it will set a dangerous precedent endangering freedom of the press and expression in two countries boasting mature democratic systems. It will have a chilling effect on free expression by whistle-blowers and journalists disclosing to the public potentially grave human rights law violations. The UK and US must remember their obligations under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guaranteeing an individual’s right to freedom of expression.’last_img read more

Berlin cross-city links

first_imgGERMAN Railway is to launch a network of cross-city regional express routes in May to integrate services radiating from Berlin. Following completion of reconstruction work on the city’s Stadtbahn core (RG 1.98 p22), regional services feeding the outer ends of the S-Bahn network will be extended into the city centre and paired up to create cross-regional corridors. Limited stop services will provide much faster links to cities up to 250 km from Berlin.DB will initially launch five RE routes, combining to give an intensive service along the Stadtbahn between Hauptbahnhof and Zoo. They are:RE1 Brandenburg – Frankfurt (Oder);RE2 Werder – Cottbus;RE3 Dessau – Pasewalk – Stralsund;RE4 Wittenberge – Jüterbog;RE5 Stralsund – Neubrandenburg – Elsterwerda.Another route, RE7, will link Lichtenberg and Schwedt, interchanging with RE3 at Bernau. On December 18 S-Bahn Berlin GmbH inaugurated services on a further section of the city’s S-Bahn ring, from Neuklast_img read more

DB joins loco leasing pool

first_imgGERMAN Railway revealed on February 2 that it had reached agreement with Austrian Federal Railways to form a joint locomotive leasing pool. An initial fleet of 50 locos is being allocated: 25 of DB’s Siemens-built Class 152 freight locos and 25 of ÖBB’s similar Class 1016 Taurus design. According to ÖBB Director General Helmut Draxler, the Eurotraction pool will be expanded over the next five years, and could eventually total 2000 locos. Rail Cargo Austria has placed orders for 130 new diesel locos and 400 Taurus units, including multi-system versions designated Class 1116.Meanwhile, the Angel Trains/Vossloh joint venture Locomotion Capital has agreed to purchase a further 20 locos from Vossloh Schienenfahrzeugtechnik, augmenting the initial fleet of 16. The second build will include the G2000 design, as well as the established G1700. Fret SNCF is leasing six G1500s, as Class BB461000, and plans to form a joint venture with Locomotion to buy up to 790 diesel locos from VSFT.General Motors has decided to build a speculative batch of 10 JT42CWR diesels for demonstration and leasing in mainland Europe. Almost 300 of this design have been delivered to Great Britain as the Class 66, and two are already in service with HGK in Germany.Last month, Siemens Transportation Systems confirmed that it was restructuring its Dispolok leasing business as a stand-alone subsidiary, Siemens Dispolok GmbH. Based in München, Dispolok is currently leasing 17 electric and diesel locos, and plans to add a further 40 locos over the next two years. nlast_img read more

Capacity expansion flags up asset management challenges

first_imgINTRO: Attention to vehicle and track component life at high axleloads has enabled BHP Billiton Iron Ore to boost the capacity of its Mount Newman rail operationsBYLINE: Mike Darby, Peter Mutton and Graham Tew ** Mike Darby is Vice-President, Railroad, at BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Ltd. Peter Mutton is Associate Director of the Institute of Railway Technology at Monash University, and Graham Tew is Director of the Institute.GROWTH in the international iron ore market has spurred BHP Billiton Iron Ore (originally Mount Newman Mining) to expand the capacity of its heavy haul rail network in Western Australia. The A$77m PACE (Port And Capacity Expansion) programme due for completion by the end of this year is intended to boost annual carryings from around 70 million to over 100 million tonnes (RG 9.03 p531).The expansion programme has already seen the opening of the recently-completed 38 km branch from the Yandi line south to Mining Area C, increasing the total network to 734 route-km. Other developments include increasing the number and length of passing loops to accommodate more and longer trains.Expansion of the wagon fleet will come from the addition of 250 wide-bodied gondola cars. The bodies for all new vehicles are being assembled from corrosion-resistant steel to minimise long-term structural degradation (top). The latest cars are fitted with an upgraded design of three-piece bogie which will permit operation with 40 tonne axleloads in the future.For many years, BHP Billiton Iron Ore has increased capacity on its predominantly single-track railway by raising axleloads. In doing so it has achieved rolling stock productivity levels that are the best in the world1. This strategy has been supported by an ongoing research and development programme that has focused on the effects of heavier axleloads on component performance2. Today’s maximum axleload is one of the highest in the world. The wide-bodied cars used on trains serving the Yandi mining operations have enabled average loadings of 37·5 tonnes to be achieved (Fig 1). This figure was achieved by the introduction of more consistent and even loading procedures. Unlike some other railways which serve a single mine, BHP Billiton draws its ore from several different locations. Differences in the design of loading facilities between mine sites resulted in a greater variability in axleloads. This necessitated tight limits on peak loads, to avoid any risk of the wagon suspensions bottoming when running at speed on the main line.Longer not heavierAlthough a further increase in the axleload is being considered, at present the scope is limited by the increased risk of component deterioration and failure, particularly the aluminothermic rail welds. The current increase in capacity is therefore being implemented through increased use of three-rake (300-car) train formations. As the name suggests, three-rake trains are formed by coupling three 100-car sets together and controlling the intermediate locomotives remotely from the front unit. Three-rake operation began in July 2000, and has steadily increased (Fig 2). Today the line carries four or five such trains each day, out of a total of nine; the others are predominantly two-rake (200-car) trains, with the occasional single-rake train. All ore trains are worked using driver-only operation. Coupled with the use of longer trains has been the introduction of automatic train protection to improve safety. However, the increased use of longer trains has brought additional challenges in the management of in-train (longitudinal) forces. The railway has been working to identify optimum driving strategies for long trains, to avoid delays due to broken trains and damage to couplers and drawgear components.Building on previous research and development programmes, a three-pronged strategy is being applied to the management of track and rolling stock to enable the higher haulage rates required:last_img read more

Dubai looks at light rail

first_imgPLANS TO develop a network of light rail lines in Dubai were unveiled by the Chairman of the emirate’s Roads & Traffic Authority Mattar Mohammed Al-Tayer at the Metro Rail conference in Roma on March 29. With Dubai’s population expected to reach 5·25 million by 2020, RTA is forecasting that total daily travel demand will rise from 5·1 to 21·9 million trips. To alleviate growing road congestion, Al-Tayer said Dubai would invest US$6·3bn on its automated metro network and US$2·5bn on light rail routes over the next 10 to 12 years.Two metro routes totalling 75 km are currently under construction (RG 9.06 p493), and boring of the Green Line tunnels under Dubai Creek is scheduled to start this month. The Red and Green lines are on course to open by 2009, and planning for the Blue and Purple lines is already well advanced. Al-Tayer said further extensions would eventually bring the four-line metro network to 318 route-km.According to the CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency Abdelmajid Al-Khaja, the seven light rail routes totalling 268 km are envisaged as local feeders to the metro, which would remain the backbone of the rail network. The first routes to be built would link stations on the Red Line with hotel and office developments along the coast west of the city centre. Tenders for design and construction of these lines could be awarded by the end of 2008, he said.last_img read more

World rail market November 2007

first_imgArgentina: National Railway Equipment Co of the USA is supplying two E2300 diesel locomotives to Ferrosur Roca. They are similar to the General Motors GT22 design already operated by the railway.Austria: Last month ÖBB placed a €76m order for a further 17 Class 4124 four-car Bombardier Talent EMUs, bringing its total Talent fleet to 188 units. The 15 kV/25 kV dual-voltage units with Elin EBG electrics will be delivered by May 2009 for use on services to Hungary.France: SNCF has awarded Thales a €15m four-year maintenance support contract extendable for two years covering 2 300 ticket gates on the Transilien network.Italy: FNM subsidiary Nordcargo has agreed a nine-year lease of three out of a batch of 10 Traxx E483 DC electric locos ordered from Bombardier by Angel Trains in 2005. They will be delivered by the end of this year.South Korea: Last month Rail.One began work on a contract to supervise the installation of Rheda 2000 ballastless track which has been selected for use on the Kyungbu Line, the Taegu – Busan second phase of the high speed line from Seoul (RG 4.04 p227). The German firm is to supply Sampyo E&C with 150 000 twin-block concrete sleepers to be produced at a recently-completed plant in Sangju.Netherlands: On October 24 Betuwe Route infrastructure manager Keyrail signed a contract for maintenance of the dedicated freight line with Strukton Infra, which had installed ERTMS and erected electrification equipment. Five parties had participated in tendering for the contract, which runs for three years from January 1 2008 with an optional two-year extension subject to meeting cost and performance targets. Norway: NSB has awarded Bombardier a €64m contract to refurbish 56 Class 5 coaches dating from 1977-81, including new doors, windows, HVAC and seats. BT5000 bogies will be fitted during the work, which will be carried out in Norway and Hungary from November 2008 to June 2010. South Africa: Voestalpine is to supply 84 turnouts for the Gautrain standard-gauge line, including swing-nose crossings suitable for speeds of up to 200 km/h. Deliveries will run from January 2008 to November 2009.Spain: A joint venture of Acciona Infraestructuras and Obras Subterráneas has been awarded a €113·8m contract for civil works on the 4·7 km Aranjuez – Ontígola section of the Madrid – Valencia high speed line. Work is due to take 24 months.Arcelor España has been awarded a contract worth €50·3m to supply 51 000 tonnes of rail for track renewals on the conventional network. Under a separate contract worth €13·4m, turnouts are to be supplied by a joint venture of Amurrio, Felguera Melt, Jez Sistemas Ferroviarios and Talleres Alegría.ADIF has awarded Dimetronic a €10m contract to install digital ASFA intermittent ATP equipment (RG 6.05 p303) on a further 211 vehicles. With the first converted trains now back in service, Renfe is installing 2 650 sets of onboard equipment at a cost of €80m.Thales Rail Signalling Solutions has been awarded a €11·4m contract to install signalling including LZB and ASFA on the direct connection outside Madrid between the high speed lines to Sevilla and Barcelona. Work is due to take 18 months to complete.Switzerland: Rhätische Bahn has placed a further SFr50m order with Stadler for five four-car single-voltage EMUs, to be delivered by July 2012 (RG 7.07 p404).Taiwan: THSRC has placed a €10·5m order with Windhoff for six 100 km/h maintenance vehicles of two types, and three trailers, which will be delivered by summer next year. Turkey: TCDD has added an additional two trainsets worth €37m to its €180m order placed with CAF of Spain in 2005 for 10 high speed trains based on Renfe’s Class 120 (RG 12.05 p752). With the fleet due to enter service between Istanbul and Ankara in 2008, the first unit was expected to be shipped to Turkey last month.UK: Scottish Borders Council has appointed consultancy Scott Wilson as engineering advisor for the Waverley Railway Project in a contract which is expected to be worth up to £9m by the time the 47 km line is reinstated, now planned for winter 2011.USA: On October 10 The Greenbrier Companies and the Rail Services division of GE Equipment Services announced an agreement for the supply of 11 900 tank and covered hopper wagons over eight years, marking Greenbrier’s entry into the US tank car market. Delivery of the first 3 400 wagons is scheduled for 2008-11. Capital Metro has selected RailComm to provide its Domain Operations Controller track warrants and centralised train control for the 52 km Austin – Leander commuter line scheduled to open in autumn 2008.RailComm is also to supply CTC for the Washington County commuter rail project, a peak-hour service between Beaverton and Wilsonville over the Portland & Western Railroad which is due to start in late 2008.last_img read more

Siemens coaches arrive at Ashdod

first_imgISRAEL: The first six of 87 coaches ordered from Siemens for inter-city and regional services was unloaded at the Port of Ashdod on June 18. ISR expects to have two complete 10-car trains ready for trials by the end of August, and plans to put the first into passenger service during October or November. Each of the single-deck cars is 24·4 m long, 2·86 m wide and 4·35 m high, and weighs 47 tonnes. One end car per rake incorporates a generator and driving cab for push-pull operation at speeds up to 160 km/h, and three cars for train will be suitable for wheelchair users. The vehicles will initially be hauled by diesel locomotives, but provision has been made for future electric operation. The new stock is ‘essential in order to cope with ever-growing demand and for the new lines to be opened’, said ISR General Manager Yitzhak Harel. ‘The 87 cars will reinforce the existing fleet and enable the replacement of old outdated equipment.’ The €125m order was placed with Siemens in early 2006, with deliveries then expected to begin in 2007. The bodyshells are being built in Praha, and the bogies supplied from Graz. Final fitting-out will be undertaken locally. ISR has options worth €900m for up to 585 additional vehicles.last_img read more

DB orders more Twindexx Vario electric multiple-units

first_imgGERMANY: Deutsche Bahn announced a €50m firm order for a further five Bombardier Transportation Twindexx Vario double-deck electric multiple-units on October 1. Delivery is scheduled to start in the second half of 2014. The four and five-car 160 km/h EMUs will be used on regional services south from the Baltic coast.The order has been placed under a December 2008 framework agreement for double-deck stock including EMUs, and includes three previously-ordered powered driving cars. The EMUs will have low-floor entrances and a multi-purpose area on the lower deck of each car, providing space for luggage and up to 36 bicycles per unit. The middle cars will be equipped with vending machines, and an area for people with reduced mobility including an accessible toilet. The upper deck of this car will have a first class area with 2+1 seating. The driving cars have conventional toilets. The cars are to be built at Görlitz, with development undertaken at Hennigsdorf, bogies from Siegen and the traction systems supplied from Vasteras in Sweden Bombardier Twindexx double-deck stock ordered by DB under 2008 framework agreement DateValueVehiclesTypeRouteDelivery January 2011€362m (includes 27 Traxx locos)135 coacheslong-distance December 2011€34m18 coachesregionalKreuz Bremen March 2012€160m16 x 4-car EMUsregionalHamburg – Kiel/Flensburg 2014 October 2012€50m5 x 4/5-car EMUs (includes 3 previously-ordered powered vehiclesregionalBaltic coast – Berlin/Sachsen Anhalt2014last_img read more

Infrabel warns of project delays

first_imgBELGIUM: Meeting on December 16, the board of infrastructure manager Infrabel approved a 2015 budget incorporating savings of €170m. Given the ‘very difficult’ economic climate, spending has been reduced across all categories with the exception of safety investment where €332∙4m is to be spent on programmes including the installation of TBL1+ and ETCS.Infrabel says that €45m will be saved through internal economies including the deferral of buildings and structures maintenance, a reduction in the training budget and lower IT costs. With the aim of saving €30m without the need for compulsory redundancies, staff recruitment is to undergo a major freeze with only key posts in engineering disciplines to be filled.While insisting that no line closures are planned for 2015, Infrabel has warned of delays to major investment projects as spending is targeted on safety programmes. Such projects are likely to include the upgrade of the Namur – Luxembourg route and four-tracking between Ottignies and Brussels for RER services, although Infrabel says it would be ‘premature’ to specify the extent of the delay.last_img read more

London Suburban Metro and local input to franchising proposed

first_imgUK: The Department for Transport and Transport for London released a consultation document on January 21 proposing the creation of a partnership to ‘provide joined-up strategic direction for the specification and management for passenger services across London and the South East’. The aim would be to increase local input into the franchising process, increase capacity, reliability and customer service levels, and possibly create a London Suburban Metro based on the inner-suburban rail network. ‘We are working closely with TfL to agree the best way of delivering integrated, seamless journeys for passengers both inside and outside of London, and as we continue these discussions, we want to hear people’s views’, said Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin. A prospectus proposes ‘new mechanisms’ to enable local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and other bodies inside and outside London to have a direct say in the way services are planned and specified by DfT and TfL.DfT would remain accountable for outer-suburban and longer-distance services, while services operating wholly or mostly within Greater London would be transferred to TfL when the current operating franchises expire. The precise boundaries ‘will take time to agree’, and TfL told Railway Gazette that the current consultation is a ‘top level’ overview. Details such as the operating contract model and possible integration with the existing TfL-controlled London Overground operating concession have still to be decided.Aims include ensuring ‘service improvements for all and no detrimental effect on fares or for longer distance services.’ There would be ‘clear safeguards’ for services from outside London, with a ‘guiding principle’ that their train paths would not be affected by any changes within the capital.Options are to be explored for a London Suburban Metro, which would provide at least four and ideally six trains/h within Greater London ‘in the medium term’; this would increase the percentage of south London stations with a minimum service of a train every 15 min from 67% to more than 80%. There would be consistent stopping patterns and ‘clear, identifiable routes’, while new ‘metro-style’ trains could offer more doors and standing space with better acceleration. The prospectus says London Suburban Metro would ‘require significant investment and take some years to achieve’, and the partners are to ‘work to identify options for funding this’. Intra-London fares could be integrated to operate on a zonal basis irrespective of services used, with simplification of fares from outside London which are valid across the two networks. However, the prospectus cautions that the financial pressures on DfT and TfL mean ‘this may take time.’The prospectus does not commit to specific infrastructure proposals, or changes to accountability for infrastructure, because a separate review of the funding and structure of Network Rail is currently being undertaken by HS1 Ltd Chief Executive Nicola Shaw.Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group which represents Network Rail and train operators, said the industry ‘works closely with both TfL and DfT to run services and will work with them to help continue to improve services for passengers and make the best possible use of scarce capacity’. He said ‘the railway in and around London is full in many places and, even with planned improvements to allow more trains to run, the desire for more services for passengers in the capital will have to be balanced with the needs of passengers further away and with the needs of rail freight.’ Franchise renewal dates South West Trains(bidders for the next franchise have been asked to propose plans for a separate inner-London business unit which could be transferred to TfL in 2020, once capacity works at Waterloo have been completed) 2017 Southeastern 2018 Thameslink Southern Great Northern 2021last_img read more

Ethernet switches for rail infrastructure

first_imgMICROSENS: On the Euromicron group stand at InnoTrans 2018 Microsens will be showing its high-availability, robust and intelligent gigabit ethernet switches.These are designed with high electromagnetic immunity and vibration resistance, making them suitable for use in transport infrastructure applications such as CCTV and real-time data transmission.last_img

LocoTech to plan ÖBB locomotive modernisation

first_imgAUSTRIA: Transmashholding’s maintenance services business LocoTech and Austrian Federal Railways’ ÖBB Technische Services have signed an agreement to co-operate to modernise, maintain and lease locomotives used in Austria, Hungary and southeast Europe.As the the first stage of the planned co-operation, LocoTech is to develop a concept for the modernisation of electric locomotives. ÖBB TS is interested in the modernisation of up to 80 Class 1144 electric locomotives originally manufactured by BBC, ELIN, Siemens and SGP in 1976-95 as Class 1044.last_img read more

Systra awarded Grand Paris Express contract

first_imgGrand Paris ExpressFRANCE: Grand Paris Express metro project promoter Société du Grand Paris has awarded Systra a contract to provide technical project management assistance services for construction of the East and West sections of the future automated Line 15.What Systra described as ‘an exceptionally large’ contract, and one of the biggest it has won in France, will see the consultancy support SGP during the programme definition, tender management and construction phases between September 2019 and the completion of commissioning, which is scheduled for 2030.Line 15 will provide an orbital loop around Paris, and is expected to carry 1 million passengers/day when complete.last_img read more

UK companies sought to join InnoTrans 2020 start-ups festival

first_imgUK: Not-for-profit networking and development organisation the Rail Innovation Group is seeking recently-founded companies to join a Start-Up Festival to take place at the InnoTrans 2020 trade show in Berlin in September.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The start-up recruitment campaign was launched in London on January 27.RIG launched the start-up recruitment drive in London on January 27 at an event attended by Business, Enterprise, Innovation & Skills Minister Nadhim Zahawi.Entitled ‘Start Up Rail: Unleashing UK Start-Up Culture’, the national tour is intended to discover the most promising UK start-ups to bring to InnoTrans 2020. Recruitment events are planned in Liverpool, Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and on the south coast to engage with digital suppliers which may not currently be considering the rail market.RIG says that Start Up Rail builds on the government’s ambitions to promote the UK technology sector’s role in fighting climate change and increasing exports, as well as its Rail Sector Deal commitments to harness the innovation of small suppliers.RIG hopes to target a wider community which is ‘not part of the traditional rail supply chain’, broadening the experience and talent pool available to the national rail industry.‘There are a huge number of exciting opportunities across the sector as we look ahead to InnoTrans 2020’, Zahawi said. ‘The Start Up Rail programme will help to unleash the potential of UK tech communities to meet national challenges and promote global opportunities for even the newest UK businesses.’‘As the founder of a start-up company in Bristol, the Start Up Rail programme has been invaluable to us in discovering the scale of routes into the rail sector’, added Emily Kent, founder of intelligent video software specialist One Big Circle Ltd. ‘The national tour will have a definite impact on the tech communities given the opportunity to engage with the rail market from their own locations.’‘I’m always impressed by the commitment of the rail sector to embrace new technological approaches’, emphasised Liam Henderson, Chair of RIG. ‘Start Up Rail is our way of showing this energy to small companies across the country, keen to see their businesses thrive on a national and international stage. We’re truly encouraged by the approaches we’ve had from stakeholders and welcome new partnerships across industry.’last_img read more

Journey to the Savage Planet expansion Hot Garbage coming to PC and Xbox this week

first_img505 Games and Typhoon Studios have announced an expansion to Journey to the Savage Planet with the reveal of the Hot Garbage expansion. The expansion will debut on Xbox One and for PC from the Epic Games Store on Wednesday, 15th April priced at £7.99. The Hot Garbage expansion will also be available to PlayStation 4 players in the near future.Journey to the Savage Planet’s Hot Garbage expansion rockets players to a new alien planet named DL-C1. Players are tasked with investigating reports of strange spikes in pollutants at Kindred Aerospace’s (voted 4th Best in Space) new interstellar waterfront resort. Watch the Journey to the Savage Planet – Hot Garbage DLC trailer below:After discovering robotic representatives from Vyper Corp. (voted 2nd Best in Space) are using Kindred’s resort as a toxic waste dump, players will explore their way through more alien goo and report their findings back to corporate headquarters. Using the Kindred scanner to report their discoveries, players will unlock new upgrades to gear and abilities including lead boots for adventuring underwater, a specialized Kindred suit for traversing toxic areas, an unlimited stamina ability for endless sprinting and the power of flight (well, sort of).The Hot Garbage expansion also introduces Kronus, a trash talking piece of Vyper Corp. property with a single mission to berate players throughout their adventure. The new area of this weird and wonderful world also brings new flora and fauna, including a goofy variation of the bird-like Puffer and a fleet of ‘harmless’ Vyper Corp. cleaning and flying security bots. After a long day of dumpster diving, return to the Javelin habitat to view a selection of new commercials for the galaxy’s hottest products and services the future has to offer.Read our Journey to the Savage Planet review to see what we thought of the game. Xbox One players can find the game currently available via Xbox Game Pass. Check out the official website for more information.last_img read more

Walkabout Blu-ray review

first_imgWhere the performances are concerned, it’s little wonder that Jenny Agutter carved out a rich and successful career. She carries the bulk of the dialogue, though there are long tracts of the film without any at all. Although his character doesn’t speak English, David Gulpilil is impressive as the Aboriginal boy, conveying much of his intent through body language and laughter. Luc Roeg, although very young, is perfectly convincing as the boy. Credit: Second Sight Films There are few humans in the film outside the trio of children. But those who do appear are unsympathetic. There’s a business owner who mistreats the Aboriginals who work for him, and the father we’ve already met. Then there are the hunters who butcher cattle for sport. But what of the girl? It’s impossible to speak of Jenny Agutter’s character arc without giving away the ending, but, suffice it to say, the way in which she romanticises her adventure in the outback, especially given how it ends, is repellent in its dishonesty. Credit: Second Sight Films This limited edition Blu-ray box set is attractively packaged and comes with a whole host of special features, not least a copy of the original novel on which the film is based. The picture is presented in 4K and looks sharper and more vivid than ever before, really bringing to life the stunning Australian land. There is an audio commentary with Luc Roeg and David Thomson, as well as new interviews with Luc Roeg and Jenny Agutter. Danny Boyle fans will enjoy the celebrated director’s evaluation of the cinematic contributions of Nicolas Roeg, and the late director is also represented with some archive footage. This is the full-on collector’s edition. That synopsis makes the film sound charming, safe, perhaps even a utopian view of childhood. In reality, it’s nothing of the sort, and it always leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. There are many moments that are simply horrifying. Not least the reason the children become stranded in the outback in the first place. They are ostensibly taken on a picnic by their father, who appears to have inappropriate lascivious feelings about his daughter. He attempts to kill his children before settling for suicide, effectively killing his kids too by leaving them little chance of survival against the elements. Credit: Second Sight Films Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout is, like all his films, intriguing and compelling, inviting multiple viewings before you even start to get beneath the skin of it and discover what it’s really about. The British director was behind the camera for the psychological drama Don’t Look Now, in which Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland mourned their young daughter in Venice. That too is a layered, complex, nuanced piece that divulges many more of its secrets to careful and attentive viewers. Cast: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg Director: Nicolas Roeg Writer: Edward Bond Certificate: 12 Duration: 100 mins Released by: Second Sight Films Release date: 31st August 2020 Walkabout was released in 1971, a few years before Don’t Look Now, and it was the first feature film in which Roeg was the sole director. All of his trademarks are very much in evidence: the topography becomes a character in itself, whereas the humans are much more inscrutable. The narrative follows two children – a teenage girl (Jenny Agutter) and her young brother (Luc Roeg – the son of the director) as they become lost in the Australian outback. As city kids, they struggle to survive on their own, lacking the knowledge of what fruits are safe to eat, and how to find water beneath the scorched earth. Luckily, they encounter an Aboriginal boy (David Gulpilil) who is on his coming-of-age Walkabout, and he helps them to survive. Despite the cultural divide, they strike up a friendship, and enjoy an adventure as they cross the desert. Walkabout is uncomfortable viewing for many reasons, not least the difficulty in fathoming what, if any, lessons we should derive from it. Some scenes are harrowing for viewers who will struggle to see animals hunted and killed. But it is also a brilliantly realised film, and its classic status perhaps lies in its moral ambiguity. It is possible to be thoroughly absorbed by a story that retains the power to shock and appal on return viewings. If you like challenging films and ones that make you think about them for days afterwards, Walkabout may be your kind of movie. If you prefer a popcorn blockbuster, this isn’t one for you. The challenge is to watch it again a decade later and see if it’s the same film you remembered. Then there’s the topography I mentioned earlier. There is a bleak beauty to the outback – the orangey land, cracked and dusty beneath an unforgiving sun. It looks magnificent on screen, the desert colours vivid, the endless stretches of perfectly flat land unimaginable to those of us used to living in towns and cities. But Roeg constantly reminds his audience of the savagery of nature. There are bones, bleached by the sun, dust blowing into long-empty eye sockets. Living creatures too, are magnificent in their variety and diversity, but they are dangerous and inimical to life. Even the ants quickly emerge to cover and devour the fruit the girl was eating only moments before. Credit: Second Sight Filmslast_img read more

Hardy – ‘A Rock’ album review

first_img‘So Close’ featuring Ashland Craft is one of the album’s biggest surprises. The song is a sultry R&B-infused Country track and it features a very soulful vocal from Hardy. You hear him pushing his vocals in a direction you haven’t heard before and he soars on the explosive chorus. On ‘Hate Your Hometown’ Hardy injects some rock into the mix and his gritty voice sounds fantastic against the backdrop of heavier guitars, while on ‘Where Ya At’ he ups the tempo for a rousing Country anthem. Track list: 1. Truck 2. Boyfriend 3. Give Heaven Some Hell 4. Boots 5. Where Ya At 6. Ain’t a Bad Day 7. One Beer (feat. Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson) 8. So Close (feat. Ashland Craft) 9. Broke Boy 10. Hate Your Hometown 11. Unapologetically Country As Hell 12. A Rock Record label: Big Loud Release date: 4th September 2020 Buy A Rock Mississippi native Hardy was enjoying plenty of success as a songwriter before he decided to step into the artist spotlight himself. He co-wrote singles for Florida Georgia Line (‘Simple’, ‘Talk You Out Of It’), Blake Shelton (‘God’s Country’) and Morgan Wallen (‘Up Down’). In 2018 and 2019 he released EPs and last year he unleashed his well-received Hixtape, Vol 1, which saw him collaborating with 17 artists. At the moment Hardy is riding high in the US with his single ‘One Beer’ featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson, and today he’s released his debut album ‘A Rock’. Credit: Big Loud ‘A Rock’ is a storming debut from Hardy. It builds on the promise that we’ve seen over the last couple of years and delivers a cohesive body of work that marks him out as one of the big new stars of the genre. Any of the songs on here could be singles and the record could very well see him blow up in the genre. A confident and assured collection, ‘A Rock’ showcases Hardy’s talents as a songwriter and an artist, and it will definitely put him on more people’s radars. Elsewhere on the record the ballad ‘Ain’t a Bad Day’ could very well give Hardy a huge radio hit, ‘Unapologetically Country As Hell’ embraces rising star’s redneck side, and ‘Broke Boy’ combines shimmering guitars with a steady beat for one of the album’s highlights. The title track, ‘A Rock’ closes the record and it’s the most vulnerable track here. It’s refreshing to hear Hardy with a stripped-back production and it allows the more soulful side of his voice to shine. In the lead-up to ‘A Rock’ Hardy has been showcasing his versatility as both a singer and a writer. Fans have been treated to several songs including the Florida Georgia Line-esque ‘Give Heaven Some Hell’, the surprisingly romantic ‘Boyfriend’ and the Country boy anthem ‘Truck’. The variety heard between those songs is a good indication of what to expect from ‘A Rock’. All of the 12 songs on the record are distinguishable from each other with Hardy trying different sounds and styles on every track.last_img read more

POST OFFICE UPGRADE “GOOD NEWS FOR CANONBIE”, SAYS LOCAL MSP

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPost Office Ltd have written to Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray confirming that they have begun a public consultation on the re-location and upgrade of the Canonbie Post Office. Following a lengthy process of identifying suitable new premises in the village, Post Office Ltd have confirmed that the Annex at the Cross keys Hotel in Canonbie is their proposed new site.If the move is confirmed following the public consultation, the new Post Office will have upgraded facilities, a convenience store and improved opening times, including Sunday openings.The public consultation will run from the 16th March until the 25th May.Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:“This is good news for Canonbie, and it’s great to see that Post Office Ltd have stuck to their word in retaining the service in a suitable location in the village. If all goes well, the new Post Office at the Cross Keys Hotel will have improved services and longer opening hours. I know many local people were concerned with the lengthy process of finding suitable new premises, but hopefully this news will bring peace of mind that the Canonbie Post Office is here to stay. I’d encourage as many people as possible to get involved with the public consultation to find out precisely what Post Office Ltd are proposing, and to ensure your voices are heard.”last_img read more

Jamaica Stock Exchange best performance in the world

first_imgA look at some of the top stories making the news today, December 28, across your Caribbean-American community in South Florida.Congresswoman Frederica Wilson for South Florida has expressed her approval of the Haitian government’s recent decision to postpone the presidential run-off, and investigate the legitimacy of the elections. Rep. Wilson said she had recommended the delay, based on input from South Florida’s Haitian Diaspora.Fort Lauderdale plans to start 2016 on the right road, as the city joins the international Vision Zero initiative to eliminate all road deaths and injuries. Fort Lauderdale, which has the 2nd highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation, plans to improve safety with new engineering, urban design and a public education platform.Celebrating the new year, Jamaica Youth for Christ will be hosting the Genesis Gospel Benefit Concert on Friday, January 1st, starting 7 p.m. and the First Baptist Church of Plantation. Headliners include international recording Jamaican artiste URIM7, singer Tawana Ross and the Emmanuel Mass Choir of Miramar. Simultaneous concerts will be held in Montego Bay, Portland and Mandeville in Jamaica.In sports, The Board of Control for Cricket in India says the team will tour the Caribbean next year provided West Indies return to India to complete their 2014 abandoned series following a players’ strike, according to the west Indies Cricket board. The Players Association, however, still needs to approve the deal.What’s trending:The Jamaica Stock Exchange has been ranked the top performing index of 2015, out of 92 global markets, according to a Bloomberg report. Bloomberg attributes the exchange’s success, to “foreign acquisitions, stronger investor safeguards and a rebounding economy.”For Today’s Weather Forecast:Scattered Thunderstorms in Broward County with a high of 84 and a low of 74. For Miami-Dade, scattered thunderstorms with a high of 83 and a low of 73.For more information on these and other stories, visit caribbeannationalweekly.com.last_img read more

Jamaica to focus on gastronomy tourism

first_imgThe Jamaican government says it is renewing the focus on culinary assets or gastronomy to boost the tourism sector after indicating that gastronomy has grown into a US$150-billion industry globally.Tremendous value-added potentialTourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, speaking at the opening of the US$7.2-million “renovated and rebranded” Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience in the parish of St. Elizabeth last  weekend, said the gastronomy industry “is now ripe for our taking.If we can get even two per cent of that market that would be tremendous value added to what we are doing.“Attractions like the Appleton Estate Rum Experience contribute significantly to our efforts to develop Jamaica into a gastronomy center of excellence, as visitors are taken on a journey through the history of rum and view first-hand the development of the spirits from cane to cup,” he added.Bartlett said more people are travelling to experience the food culture of other destinations, “whether it is local restaurants” or “bars, farms and markets, vineyards and distilleries.Jamaica is second to none“The fact is that gastronomy tourism has grown considerably and has become one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism globally,” he said, noting that as competition between destinations increases, it will be cultural heritage, entertainment offerings and the unique local and regional intangibles like food and cuisine that will make the difference, and Jamaica is second to none in this regard.Gastronomy networkBartlett said the fusion of cultures has created a delicious melting pot of wonderfully diverse foods that “make us ideally positioned to take advantage of the growing phenomenon of culinary travel.“This is why the Ministry has put in place the framework to develop our culinary offerings. Our Gastronomy Network, which falls under the aegis of our Tourism Linkages Network, has been rolling out a number of innovative initiatives to strengthen Jamaica’s competitiveness in this subsector, including establishing the island’s first Gastronomy Centre at Devon House and the Blue Mountain Culinary Tour,” he added.Bartlett lauded J. Wray and Nephew’s parent company, Gruppo Campari, “for your vision and belief in Jamaica”, noting that the US$7.2-million investment was a testament “for love of country and the people of the south coast.“As the island’s oldest distillery, Appleton Estate is already the biggest tourist attraction on the south coast, bringing in tens of thousands of visitors a year. With the new upgrade, more than 200,000 visitors are expected to visit the home of Appleton over time to experience how the world-leading premium rums are produced,” he said.last_img read more

West Indies expected to win Test series against Bangladesh

first_imgAlthough the West Indies are rated lower than Bangladesh in the ICC’s Test rankings, Jeffrey Dujon expects the home side to win the upcoming Test series.During a recent interview on the Line and Length show Dujon, a former West Indies wicketkeeper said he believed the Windies would emerge victorious in the two-match Test series, despite the visitors being ranked eighth – one spot ahead of the home side.“I didn’t think that I would ever say it, but Bangladesh are above us in the Test rankings…but it is a series that we should win,” he said.However, Dujon, who worked as a commentator during the just concluded series between the West Indies and Sri Lanka, said the result of the series would come down to the type of pitches which were prepared,He said it would be in the Windies’ best interest if livelier wickets were prepared. “We need something that our bowlers can work with, we still don’t have that strong a bowling unit, but we need to give the bowlers a bit more help and the batsmen have got to stand up and be counted…” Dujon maintained.The first Test match begins on Wednesday, July 4 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua.last_img read more

Habitat for Humanity of Broward aiming to improve home affordability

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE – Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet.Affordability problemsAccording to the Broward County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment of 2018, In Broward County 58 percent of renters are cost-burdened, and 87 percent of households cannot afford the median sales price of $350,000. The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $$1,902 per month with more than 30 percent of renters spending more than half their income on rent and 54 percent of workers are in lower-range service sector jobs.The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.On Wednesday, Habitat Broward joined Habitat organizations across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years.Cost of Home campaignMarking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels.Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.Habitat Broward already has taken several steps toward these goals. Habitat Broward addresses the critical need for housing by bringing every community sector together to build and renovate 20 to 25 homes per year alongside people in need of decent, affordable housing. To date, Habitat Broward and its community partners have empowered over 400 hardworking families to build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.“At Habitat Broward, we know that a family should never have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on a home. But consider that today nearly 19 million U.S. households pay half or more of their income on a place to live, this is unacceptable, that is why we have joined forces with other Habitats nationwide to do something about this,” said Marcia Barry-Smith, Director of Community Outreach and Advocacy for Habitat Broward as she addressed the Broward County Commissioners on Tuesday, June 11 to share some startling facts regarding affordable housing and homelessness.  About Habitat for Humanity of BrowardSeeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Broward brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat Broward offers a “hand up” not a “hand out” to low to very low-income families who are unable to qualify for conventional financing but are willing to work hard to improve their family’s lives. Key initiatives include empowering partner families through education, resources and support to successfully achieve their personal, academic and professional goals; teaching the youth of future homeowner families the skills and attitudes needed to make better life choices and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty; increasing awareness and educating the community regarding issues related to the affordable housing crisis and what they can do to help; pursuing green building certification for Habitat Broward homes in order to make our design more sustainable and eco-friendly; as well as revitalizing and strengthening the community by building affordable homes throughout Broward County. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Broward call (954) 396-3030 or visit www.habitatbroward.orglast_img read more

Online tutorials enable people to create their own recycling centre

first_imgThere are four machines in all that can be built with readily available materials in just a few days. A plastic shredder, an extruder which turns plastic flakes, an injector which heats the flakes and uses them to create mould which can be used to create large objects.“With this project we want to try and improve plastic recycling by providing the tools to get started. Sot this is all the basic information people need to start their own little recycling business anywhere in the world. ” Said Dave Haakens,  Founder, Precious PlasticHakkens is encouraging users of the site – www.preciousplastics.com – to spread the word and wants people across the globe to create their own small recycling centres and products.A recent study by the National Resource Defense Council found that recycling 75 percent of the United States’ waste could generate 1.1 million jobs by 2030. The project originally started as the 2013 graduation project of Dave Hakkens for the Design Academy Eindhoven.last_img read more

Orphaned South Sudanese girls find solace in singing

first_imgTens of thousands of children in world’s youngest nation South Sudan have been left orphans at a very tender age following decades of conflicts in the country.These girls are among the vulnerable children rescued from the harsh environment that exposed them to both rape and sexual exploitation, africanews.com reports.But for them, the orphanage in the country’s capital Juba has given them a ray of hope.“I started with three girls and then the number grew. By providing them something to eat, water, and a place to stay. The whole program started growing. We started by discussing the things that happened in the night, because most of the girls were spending the night in nightclubs,” said Cathy Groendijk, Director of Confident Children out of Conflict center in Juba.“I like singing the songs because we sing to praise glory to God. And I love the songs,” said Regina Keji, one of the orphaned girls.Apart from restoring their confidence, the choir also instills in them a sense of responsibility through their daily chores and also in their studies.“Here we practice tough love. They have to change they have to be clean they have to participate in everything. They have to keep the environment where they sleep very very clean. They have to go to school regularly,” said Cathy.South Sudan’s fragile peace agreement was broken by intense fighting in Juba last month that saw the loss of lives of more than 100 people.last_img read more

Ivorian football star Yaya Toure apologizes to Man City for “misunderstandings”

first_imgIvorian and Manchester City football star Yaya Toure has apologised to Manchester City “for the misunderstandings from the past” as he attempts to resurrect his career at the Etihad Stadium.His apology brings to an end a long-running saga between him and manager Pep Guardiola after his agent criticized the coach for leaving the player out of the Champions league squad.Toure’s agent Dimitri Seluk questioned whether Guardiola had “the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya” should City not win the Champions League. Guardiola then insisted Touré would not play for him again unless Seluk apologised for his comments and on Friday, the four-time African Player of the Year moved to make peace with a statement on his website.“I wish to apologise – on behalf of myself and those who represent me – to the management team and all those working at the club for the misunderstandings from the past,” read the statement.“Those statements do not represent my views on the club or the people who work there. I have nothing but respect for Manchester City and only wish the best for the football club.“I am immensely proud to have played a part in the club’s history and want to help City succeed further. I live to play football and entertain the fans.“On that note, I would like to thank all of the fans for their messages through this difficult period. This means a great deal to me and my family.”Touré has been training with the Citizen’s first team squad despite not being in contention to play and it remains to be seen whether he features for City again, although comments from Seluk on Thursday evening hinted he could still have a future at the club.“I have spoken to Yaya in the last few days and he has asked me to make the peace with Pep,” Seluk told the Mirror.“I agreed with him that I had to do what I could to make the situation better, because Yaya and Manchester City have been caught in the crossfire. I am genuine in what I say.“This is a genuine gesture. I hope Pep accepts that my hope is that we can start with a clean page.“Of course, I hope Pep takes the decision to bring Yaya back into his squad. But even if he doesn’t, I can assure him that I am not going to speak about him any more in the media. I felt it was important that it was me who make the first step towards peace, respect and friendship.“I really do hope this can be a new start and that Yaya can help Manchester City to win more trophies.”last_img read more

Tougher law drives away Zimbabwe’s street dealers of foreign currency

first_imgIllegal money changers disappeared from the streets on Friday after Zimbabwe passed a law to jail offenders for up to 10 years.The government on Thursday gazetted a Statutory Instrument that allows for the arrest and prosecution of illegal currency dealers and authorizes the police to seize the cash being transacted.Harare’s streets, especially around Eastgate Mall in the central business district and a cross-border bus terminal to the east, had become hotspots for illegal foreign currency dealers who have partly been blamed for the economic hardships the country faces, particularly the cash crisis.While banks have been short of cash, including the surrogate bond notes, illegal cash vendors have been making brisk business in the streets selling the U.S. dollar at a premium.However, there was general calm in the trade zone Friday as the vendors went underground, leaving their makeshift tables and chairs unattended on the pavements.A traffic marshal at Eastgate Mall said they were scared of being imprisoned, while a worker in one of the nearby shops said “they are still around”.“They are simply going to use cell phones to communicate with their clients and will just stop flashing the money in public,” she said.The new regulations also impose several other penalties including the freezing of funds, if the illegal deals are conducted through banks, while the courts may impose fines three times the value of the currency confiscated.Prior to the new regulations, the Banking Act only allowed the central bank to impose penalties on offenders.last_img read more

British aid budget to boost trade in Africa- PM Theresa May

first_imgBritain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is greeted by school children waving flags during a visit to the ID Mkhize Secondary School in Gugulethu near Cape Town, South Africa, August 28, 2018. Rodger Bosh/Pool via REUTERS Britain will use its international aid budget to boost its national interest and deepen trade ties with Africa, Prime Minister Theresa May told South African media.The PM will also visit Nigeria and Kenya as part of a three-day visit to Africa alongside a group of business delegates.Children wait for the visit of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of her visit to the ID Mkhize Secondary School in Gugulethu, South Africa, August 28, 2018. Rodger Bosch/Pool via REUTERSShe recommited to maintaining the overall British aid budget at 0.7 percent of economic output but added that she will be “unashamed” to use it in a way that helps Britain.The target has previously come under fire from many of May’s own lawmakers who say it is a blunt tool that is too high and should be spent elsewhere or in Britain itself.May says she wants Britain to become the biggest investor in Africa out of the countries in the Group of Seven nations, overtaking the United States, by using the aid budget to help British private sector companies invest on the continent.“I am unashamed about the need to ensure that our aid programme works for the UK,” May said in her speech.“Today I am committing that our development spending will not only combat extreme poverty, but at the same time tackle global challenges and support our own national interest. This will ensure that our investment in aid benefits us all, and is fully aligned with our wider national security priorities.”Related South Africa budget expectations Talk Africa:Tackling Africa’s budget deficitcenter_img South Africa steps up aid relief for victimslast_img read more

World Bank scraps plan to loan Tanzania $300 million

first_imgTanzania’s Exim Bank acquires Imperial Bank Uganda World Bank, partners launch flood management initiative for Tanzania World Bank approves $455 million loan for Tanzania power projectscenter_img Tanzania is now on the spot because of the recent affirmation of its policy on banning pregnant girls from school.The World Bank has now scrapped a plan to loan Tanzania $300 million. The Washington-based lender made the decision in October and cited Tanzania’s ban as the reason why.“The World Bank supports policies that encourage girls’ education and make it possible for young women to stay in school until they reach their full potential,” the Bank said in an e-mailed statement.“Working with other partners, the World Bank will continue to advocate for girls’ access to education through our dialogue with the Tanzanian governmentTanzanian authorities did not answer calls for comment on Wednesday.President John Magufuli’s government has been condemned by rights groups and a Western government for what they say is its growing authoritarianism and intolerance of dissent. The government has rejected that criticism.Tanzania has banned pregnant girls from attending state primary and secondary schools since 1961.Last month, the World Bank also criticized new Tanzanian legislation which will punish anyone who questions official statistics, saying the law will undermine the production of useful, high-quality data.At the same time, it also suspended visiting missions to Tanzania, according to an internal note seen by Reuters, after an official in Dar es Salaam threatened to launch a crackdown on homosexuals.The foreign ministry said the official’s anti-gay campaign represented his own views and not a government position.Relatedlast_img read more

UNHCR concerned about Italy’s law on immigrants

first_imgRelated Illegal immigrants are transferred to Tripoli’s naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on June 21, 2018. Image courtesy: XinhuaThe Italian parliament on Monday made a decision to change into law a security decree that could impose more severe penalties on boats and people conducting search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean sea.This has seen the United Nations High Commission on Refugees worried about the fate of the immigrants from Africa headed to Europe.Under these new changes if approved by Parliament, will see fines for private vessels that undertake rescue of persons and do not respect the ban on entry into territorial waters  rise to a maximum of €1 million.This is in addition to the fact that, the vessels will now be automatically impounded.The UN Refugee Agency decried the decision saying imposing financial or other penalties on ship-masters could deter or impede sea rescue activities by private vessels at a time when European states have largely withdrawn from rescue efforts in the Central Mediterranean.It added that “NGOs play an invaluable role in saving the lives of refugees and migrants attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Europe. The commitment and humanity that motivates their activities should not be criminalized or stigmatized.”UNHCR is concerned that commercial vessels might be forced to transfer those rescued at sea to be disembarked  in Libya.It said the situation in Libya is volatile and it is not a safe place for the immigrants.UNHCR called on States to build on recent discussions in Paris-France to establish a temporary, predictable arrangement for disembarking people after they have been rescued. Zimbabwe’s Vendor Law Would-be immigrants stand on a coastguard vessel as they arrive at Tarifa’s harbour on August 11, 2014, after being rescued off the Spanish Coast. Spain’s coastguard today rescued more than 260 sub-Saharan African migrants crossing the Strait of Gibraltar on small boats. Many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempt to cross into Spain from Morocco, either by sea through the Strait of Gibraltar or overland, via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the extreme north of Morocco. AFP PHOTO / MARCOS MORENO (Photo credit should read MARCOS MORENO/AFP/Getty Images)center_img UNHCR Concerned on the Humanitarian Situation in South Sudan Zimbabwe repeals indigenization lawlast_img read more

Kenyan president hails sports teams for great performances

first_imgKenyan president vows vengeance for Somalia attack resident Kenyatta (centre) with Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed when they posed for a photo with Team Kenya members at State House Nairobi. Photo/PSCU.Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday congratulated Kenyan teams in various international sport events for outstanding performances.Kenyatta said he has been closely following exploits by the country’s sports men and women, adding, “I am particularly impressed by the performances by our teams at the 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco.”The east African nation is ranked seventh at the African Games with 11 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals.Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa occupy the top three positions with 270, 126 and 87 medals respectively.According to Kenyatta, the hard-fought win on Friday evening by Malkia Strikers, the country’s women volleyball team, was typical of the resilience and the fighting spirit of the Kenyan people.“We all saw how our volleyball queens put up a spirited fight to win gold last (Friday) night. They fought hard against a tough Cameroonian team to retain their title as African Champions,” he said.Kenyatta also lauded team captain in Rabat, Julius Yego who not only retained his African Championship by winning gold but also ensured fellow Kenyan Alexander Kiprotich came second.He also congratulated the Kenyan team which finished second at the World Martial Arts Mastership Tong Il Moo Do in South Korea for a splendid performance.Other notable Kenyan performances at the continental games which end today include a silver medal win by boxer Shaffi Bakari in the 52kg flyweight, the half marathon gold win by Titus Ekiru and a podium sweep by Kenya in men’s 5,000m as well as the gold win by George Manangoi in 1,500m.Related Kenyan President heads to China for FOCACcenter_img Kenyan judge elected ICC vice presidentlast_img read more

Springboks make six changes for must-win game against Italy

first_imgTOYOTA, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 28: Jacques Nienaber (Defence Coach) of South Africa chats to the players during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool B match between South Africa and Namibia at City of Toyota Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Toyota, Japan. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images) TOYOTA, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 28: Makazole Mapimpi of South Africa celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s seventh try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa and Namibia at City of Toyota Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Tendai Mtawarira, Bongo Mbonambi, Lood de Jager, Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am are the only players retained in South Africa’s starting XV for Friday’s must-win Pool B match against Italy at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.In all, South Africa’s rugby coach Rassie Erasmus made six changes to the side that started in the 57-3 win against Namibia at the Toyota Stadium on Saturday.Of particular interest in the latest 23-man squad is the fact that Erasmus has named six forwards on the bench and only two backs.Erasmus noted that South Africa wants to have plenty of ammunition for what is likely to be a major forward battle.“This game is going to be decided by the forwards and at the set phases and we wanted to maximise our options in those battles,” Erasmus said.Regular captain Siya Kolisi is also restored to the starting lineup having been on the bench for the ‘African derby’.Handré Pollard, who will start at fly-half, is on the cusp of a couple of milestones. Pollard needs four points to reach 400 career points in Test matches. He also needs 11 points to overhaul Percy Montgomery’s Springbok record of 111 points at Rugby World Cups.South Africa has won 13 of the 14 matches it has played against Italy. However, this will be the first ever encounter between the two sides at a Rugby World Cup.Italy currently leads Pool B with 10 points while South Africa is second with five points.Related “Three new changes” lead China-Africa win-win cooperation, says Chinese foreign minister Injuries force South Africa Springboks to make changescenter_img Nigerians celebrate Anthony Joshua’s win against Takanlast_img read more

Senegal beats Netherlands to qualify for U17 World Cup last 16

first_imgSenegal’s elimination means Africa bids 2018 FIFA World cup goodbye Algerian World Cup Fan VITORIA, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 30: Aliou Balde of Senegal celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 group D match between Netherlands and Senegal at Estádio Kléber Andrade on October 30, 2019 in Vitoria, Brazil. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images) VITORIA, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 30: Pape Sarr of Senegal celebrates with Souleymane Faye after scoring a goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 group D match between Netherlands and Senegal at Estádio Kléber Andrade on October 30, 2019 in Vitoria, Brazil. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)Senegal secured its place in the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup following a 3-1 come-from-behind win against 10-man Netherlands at the Estadio Kleber Andrade in Cariacica, Brazil, on Wednesday.Naoufal Bannis opened the scoring after 10 minutes after he found himself unmarked at the far post following a corner to smash the ball into the roof of the net.Samba Diallo leveled the game with a header three minutes later but the goal was ruled out after a VAR check as Souleymane Faye was judged to have committed a foul in the buildup to the goal.Five minutes later, Bannis thought he had doubled Netherlands’ lead but the goal was ruled out as Jayden Braaf was offside in the buildup.Pape Sarr’s deflected long-range strike less than a minute after the restart drew Senegal level.Sarr grabbed his brace in the 87th minute through a penalty after Melayro Bogarde fouled Mouhamadou Diaw in the penalty box.Bogarde was subsequently sent off after receiving a second booking for the foul.The Young Lions of Teranga then sealed the win in the fifth minute of stoppage time after a counterattacking move saw Sarr release Aliou Balde who rounded Dutch goalkeeper Calvin Raatsie to score.Senegal tops Group D with a maximum six points from two games, two ahead of Japan, whom they will face in their final group game.Senegal joins Nigeria and Angola as the other African teams to advance to the knockout stage of the Under-17 World Cup.Relatedcenter_img Senegal beat South Africa to qualify for World Cuplast_img read more

Libyan navy rescues over 200 migrants

first_imgLibyan navy rescues more than 100 immigrants FILE PHOTO:Mediterranean Sea. Rescue operation 20 miles of the coasts of Libya. (Photo by Fabrizio Villa “2013 Getty Images)”The Libyan Coast Guard on Friday rescued more than 200 migrants off the country’s western coast, the International Organization for Migration in Libya (IOM Libya) said.“Over 200 migrants were returned to Libyan shore by the coast guard,” the IOM Libya tweeted earlier Saturday.https://twitter.com/IOM_Libya/status/1200542641307443200?s=20“While our staff are at the disembarkation point to provide needed emergency assistance, we reiterate that Libya is not a safe port,” said the United Nations Migration Agency in Libya.Libya has become a preferred departure point for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to the insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.The Libyan navy said it has rescued nearly 500 illegal immigrants off the country’s western coast over the past few days.“There are over 600,000 migrants in Libya, many of whom are in need of assistance especially as conflict continues,” the IOM Libya said. Libyan navy rescues 458 migrants off western coast Relatedcenter_img Libyan navy rescues 22 migrants off western coast FILE PHOTO:Mediterranean Sea. Rescue operation 20 miles of the coasts of Libya. (Photo by Fabrizio Villa “2013 Getty Images)”last_img read more

Kenya to re-introduce betting tax

first_img“The removal of this tax happened during the committee stage of the bill…The National Treasury will be proposing to the National Assembly the re-introduction of the excise duty on betting within the next six months.” Kenya announces new sports betting regulations Tax on betting companies was scrapped after an obscure stakeholder group — identified only by a non-existent website shade.co.ke made the proposals on May 15.FILE PHOTO: A gambler uses his cell phone to launch the Sportpesa online betting link, along the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. /ReutersAnd the parliamentary committee justified the reversal saying the taxes hurt the industry, which has led to the closure of betting companies in Kenya, yet international players continue to operate. The scrapping of the excise duty tax has coincided with restructuring of ownership at SportsPesa raising speculation the company is about to return. A sports enthusiast holds a betting slip while different games are broadcast on screens at a sports betting shop in July 15, 2019 in Nairobi. – Kenya’s Betting Control and Licence Board announced sweeping restrictions in May 2019, on gambling advertisements, including outright bans on celebrity endorsements and social media promotions, in a blow to the fast-growing gambling industry in East Africa. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images) The leading sports betting firm SportPesa Global Holdings made a profit after tax of almost Sh1.6 billion in 2018, according to its financial statements. Last year, the government again slapped the industry with additional taxes, introducing a 20 percent excise duty charge on any amount staked. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani blamed the Parliament, saying the industry has been lobbying the government for the removal of the taxes. “The players in the industry have been petitioning the government to reduce taxation in the industry,” said Mr Yatani. This saw the government and the betting industry face off in a move that led to SportPesa losing its betting licence last July before it withdrew from Kenya last September in response to what it called “the hostile taxation and operating environment in the country”. Their withdrawal resulted in 400 job losses and cancellation of its local sports sponsorships. In 2018, the National Treasury introduced a 15 percent tax on betting companies and 20 percent withholding tax on all winnings. Betting gained prevalence in Kenya, which saw the industry expand on the back of mobile payments and digital applications, creating a multi-billion industry. Entrepreneurs worried as Kenya plans to introduce digital tax Related Tax paid by betting firms in Kenya almost triples in three years The Kenyan government will bring back excise tax on betting companies in the next six months after a public outcry over scrapping of the 20 percent duty in the Finance Bill 2020.last_img read more

Uganda reports fifth COVID-19 death,as cases surpass 1200 mark

first_imgUganda confirms 14 new COVID-19 cases FILE PHOTO: Uganda’s Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng looks on during the commissioning of the 1st Port Health laboratory in Uganda. COURTESY: TWITTER/Ministry of Health Uganda FILE PHOTO: Uganda’s Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng looks on during the commissioning of the 1st Port Health laboratory in Uganda. COURTESY: TWITTER/Ministry of Health UgandaUganda’s health ministry on Tuesday reported eight new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the East African country to 1,203.Through a statement by the ministry, the 1,765 samples collected over the past 24 hours, four Ugandan cross-border truck drivers, two alerts, one contact, and a returnee from abroad tested positive for the virus.Additionally, 12 foreign truck drivers who tested positive for COVID-19 at Uganda’s common border points of entry were not permitted into the country.According to the ministry, the country has a total of 1,073 recoveries and five deaths since the index case was reported on March 21.Related COVID-19 cases in Uganda cross 1,000 markcenter_img Uganda registers 2nd COVID-19 deathlast_img read more

POLICE APPEAL FOR MOTORISTS TO BE AWARE OF VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPolice Scotland Roads Policing Inspector Campbell Moffat in Dumfries this week wants to remind motorists across the Dumfries and Galloway that the start of the school summer holidays is a time to remember that there is a likelihood of more vulnerable road users using our roads. This will include people out walking, cycling, or even on horseback, as the summer months usually sees an increase in people out and about using the roads across our countryside.Inspector Moffat said, “ I ask that drivers be mindful of how busy the roads network can be at this time of year with children off school on holiday and out and about on our roads, whether in town or in the countryside. Drivers must be careful of and considerate towards all types of road users especially those requiring extra care. The roads in the region are there to be shared by all motorists, including older, learner and inexperienced drivers, as well as other vulnerable groups such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. We all have a duty to help each other stay safe.“Extra traffic brought about by tourists visiting, or passing through Dumfries and Galloway for their summer holidays only adds to the potential dangers. The increase at this time of year in slow moving agricultural vehicles for harvest activities also can pose further danger on the roads network. Slow moving and often large and wide vehicles used in farming today can increase the potential for coming across the unexpected, particularly on some of the narrower roads in our countryside. This often includes the hours of darkness because when the weather is right, harvest activities will go on around the clock.“I also ask those involved in the harvest and other farm work to remember to take their time and expect the unexpected on all our rural roads, no matter how well you think you know them. Complacency itself can be a danger and just because the last five times that day you haven’t met anything on the road back to the farm doesn’t mean that you won’t meet something on the sixth journey. We all have a duty of care on our roads.“Parents and those who care for children and young people should have the relevant conversation with them about road safety in general. Reducing the number of casualties on our roads is a priority for Police Scotland, however we all need to work together to help achieve this goal.”last_img read more

McAlpine Celebrates Economic Potential of Rabbie Burns’ Legacy

first_imgMs McAlpine suggested it was time to update a 2003 study by World Bank economists that calculated the Bard boosted the economy by £157m per year. Commenting, Ms McAlpine said: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInDumfries and Galloway MSP Joan McAlpine this week led a debate in the Scottish Parliament celebrating the economic impact of Rabbie Burns’ legacy for Scotland.  The research was done before the watershed Homecoming Year of 2009, Burns 250th anniversary, which reached out to Scotland’s diaspora as never before, as well as the opening of Burns’ Birthplace museum and the launch of the Winter Festival Programme. The study was based on Burns related tourism and merchandising, as well as the bonanza of the supper season, with spending on everything from hospitality, whisky and haggis sales, kilt hire and even paying the piper. “The bard has enriched our culture but it is by investing in his cultural legacy that we shall also enrich ourselves and the prosperity of the people Burns loved so much.” “I think we Scots are, in general, more confident about celebrating our cultural heritage today than we have been in the past, and I am really proud of the role that the SNP Scottish Government has played in promoting our precious cultural assets like the life and poetry of Rabbie Burns.“Burns the brand helps promote Scotland’s exports and trade links through Burns suppers around the globe, including through more than 250 member clubs of the Robert Burns World Federation.“And year-round Burns-related tourism is on the increase thanks to Burns Scotland partner destinations such as the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ellisland Farm near Auldgirth, the Monument Centre in Kilmarnock and Burns House Museum in Mauchline, as well as numerous other places in Scotland associated with the poet.“Not to mention fantastic initiatives like the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries, which has become a staple feature of the Winter Festivals Programme.“The Centre for Robert Burns Studies has, in and of itself, been an income generator and job creator – with students from all over the world are coming to the centre to study Burns and others writers of his period. The Centre secured an Arts and Humanities Research Council or AHRC grant worth £1.1 million towards the project editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century. Over 15 years it will produce a new multi volume edition of his entire work published by Oxford University Press and with an accompanying website and social media engagement.“Of course, we cannot put a price on the cultural value of Burns. Burns cemented our national identify and self-confidence. But we can be sure that the Bard’s legacy wields soft power, spreading Scotland’s influence far and wide, and is a huge part of our contribution to the world.last_img read more

Kirkcudbright Man Toasts The Immortal Memory At Scottish Parliament

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPresident of the Robert Burns World Federation, Kirkcudbright man Ian McIntyre was in Holyrood last week at the Scottish Parliament Burns Supper. There was a strong Galloway presence at the event. Ian was invited by host for the evening, Emma Harper, MSP, to toast the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns. A packed Members Restaurant also saw Finlay Carson Address the Haggis and contribute to Tam O’Shanter. Sir Paul Grice, Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Parliament toasted The Lasses and Deputy Presiding Officer, Linda Fabriani, MSP, replied on behalf of the Lasses.last_img read more

Government Cracks Down On Spread Of False Coronavirus Information Online

first_imgHeadline – always read beyond the headline Error – look out for bad grammar and spelling Specialist units are operating to combat misinformation about coronavirus and five to ten incidents are being identified and tackled each day.Specialist units across government are working at pace to combat false and misleading narratives about coronavirus, ensuring the public has the right information to protect themselves and save lives.The Rapid Response Unit, operating from within the Cabinet Office and No10, is tackling a range of harmful narratives online – from purported ‘experts’ issuing dangerous misinformation to criminal fraudsters running phishing scams.Up to 70 incidents a week, often false narratives containing multiple misleading claims, are being identified and resolved. The successful ‘Don’t Feed the Beast’ public information campaign will also relaunch next week, to empower people to question what they read online.Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:We need people to follow expert medical advice and stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. It is vital that this message hits home and that misinformation and disinformation which undermines it is knocked down quickly.We’re working with social media companies, and I’ll be pressing them this week for further action to stem the spread of falsehoods and rumours which could cost lives.When false narratives are identified, the government’s Rapid Response Unit coordinates with departments across Whitehall to deploy the appropriate response. This can include a direct rebuttal on social media, working with platforms to remove harmful content and ensuring public health campaigns are promoted through reliable sources.The unit is one of the teams feeding into the wider Counter Disinformation Cell led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, made up of experts from across government and in the tech sector.The Cell is engaging with social media platforms and with disinformation specialists from civil society and academia, to establish a comprehensive overview of the extent, scope and impact of disinformation related to coronavirus.The Culture Secretary will be contacting social media companies this week to thank them for their good efforts to date, assess the progress made and discuss what other potential measures can be put in place to ensure accurate, honest information consistently reaches users of their platforms.Penny Mordaunt, Paymaster General said:Holding your breath for ten seconds is not a test for coronavirus and gargling water for 15 seconds is not a cure – this is the kind of false advice we have seen coming from sources claiming to be medical experts.That is why government communicators are working in tandem with health bodies to promote official medical advice, rebut false narratives and clamp down on criminals seeking to exploit public concern during this pandemic.But the public can also help with this effort, so today we implore them to take some simple steps before sharing information online, such as always reading beyond the headline and scrutinising the source.The public can help stop the spread of potentially dangerous or false stories circulating online by following official government guidance – the ‘SHARE’ checklist (see further information). This includes basic but essential advice such as checking the source of a story and analysing the facts before sharing.Certain states routinely use disinformation as a policy tool, so the government is also stepping up its efforts to share its assessments on coronavirus disinformation with international partners. Working collaboratively has already helped make the UK safer, providing ourselves and our allies with a better understanding of how different techniques are used as part of malicious information operations – and how to protect against those techniques more effectively.These measures follow recent advice from the National Cyber Security Centre, which revealed a range of attacks being perpetrated online by cyber criminals seeking to exploit coronavirus earlier this month.This included guidance on how to spot and deal with suspicious emails related to coronavirus, as well as mitigate and defend against malware and ransomware.Further informationTo help the public spot false information the government is running the SHARE checklist and Don’t Feed The Beast campaign here. This gives the public five easy steps to follow to identify whether information may be misleading: Source – make sure information comes from a trusted source AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn Analyse – check the facts Retouched – does the image or video look as though it has been doctored?last_img read more

Dumfries and Galloway Museums, Galleries and Customer Service Facilities Re-Open!

first_imgCommunities Committee Chairman, Councillor Andy Ferguson, visited The Ewart Library. He said;“The reopening of our Customer Service Centre facilities is very timely for communities across the region. These places are ‘one stop shops’ for a lot of people who take the opportunity to bring the kids along to pick up a book, use the ICT equipment on-site and perhaps ask a question of a Council service or function. We’ve taken steps to protect service users and our staff by deploying large screens and sanitiser and we’re looking forward to welcoming people back in. It’s worth checking the website before visiting though, as some services require an appointment and opening times have altered for most sites.”Updates to opening times, events and exhibitions will be posted on www.dgculture.co.uk and www.dumgal.gov.uk/lia Communities Committee Vice Chairman, Councillor John Martin paid a visit to Gracefield Arts Centre earlier this week. He commented afterwards;“This site, along with all our facilities have spent a lot of time making sure our sites are health and safety compliant to allow visitors to enjoy their experience in the facility. There’s hand sanitor everywhere you turn and the booking system allows us to hold records for test and protect as well as control visitor numbers. We will be opening our other museums and galleries next week and I would encourage locals and visitors alike to get themselves booked in, as I did today, and come along.”Last week also saw our Customer Service Facilities reopen, with library services resuming first of all and the wider customer service functions following on. From this week you can now visit a customer service facility for assistance with NEC applications, blue badge renewal or applications, pick up dog bags or pay a bill. As with all our facilities, there’s hand sanitiser available as you enter and exit buildings and some of the opening times have altered for each site. Opening times for each facility can be found on our website at www.dumgal.gov.uk/lia Kirkcudbright Museum, Due to reopen on Tuesday 1 September 2020 – Image Credit -DGWGO AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInOver the past week, and into the next week, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Museums, Galleries and Customer Service Facilities have started to reopen and will continue to reopen, following their enforced closure due to Covid-19.Last week, Gracefield Arts Centre and Kirkcudbright Galleries opened their doors, and the remainder of our museums and galleries will reopen on Tuesday 1 September with the exception of the Castle of St John in Stranraer (due to social distancing guidelines). Visitors are encouraged to book beforehand and can do so online at www.dgculture.co.uk or by calling our Midsteeple Box Office on 01387 253383. The Box Office is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm.last_img read more

Remembrance service for Jeff Joe

first_imgLocalNews Remembrance service for Jeff Joe by: – November 23, 2012 Tweet Share Jeff Joseph performing at the 2011 World Creole Music FestivalToday marks the one year anniversary of the passing of Dominica’s Cadence icon Jeff Joseph.Joseph who hailed from the village of St. Joseph passed away after unsuccessful emergency surgery in Martinique last year.His death sent shock waves throughout his homeland Dominica and the rest of the world. Jeff Joe as he was affectionately known was a founding member of the Grammacks New Generation and performed with his band at last years 15th edition of the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF).He was known for his significant contribution to the musical industry in Dominica and is described by many as a “creative genius” particularly due to his instrumental role in the development and promotion of Cadence Lypso and Dominica’s WCMF.Jeff Joe was one of Dominica’s Goodwill Ambassadors and recognized as a “great humanitarian”, community activist and diplomat and a dedicated family man.In celebration of the life of Jeff Joe and his contribution to music in Dominica, this year’s 16th edition of the WCMF paid homage to the Cadence icon.A special service in remembrance of the life and great works of Jeff Joe will be held at the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church from 7:00 p.m. this evening. Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share 15 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

National volleyball team training begins

first_img Share NewsSports National volleyball team training begins by: – April 16, 2013 45 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring!center_img Twenty-four volleyball players have been selected for the national team’s training squad for round 2 of the World Championship qualifying tournament, scheduled for June 13th to 17th in Guadeloupe.Training sessions will commence on Wednesday April 17th at the Lime Sports Complex and the players are asked to attend as some very important matters will be discussed.They are:• David Toussaint,• Ronald Bruno,• Ronelle Joseph,• Germain (stevie)Ettiene,• Ray Robinson,• Shayne Guiste,• Lincon Riviere,• Travis Lawrence,• Chevon Ambo,• Kerwin George,• Reginald Thomas,• Shervan (spral) Thomas,• Luciano Dupuis,• Okimo Bedminister,• Johnny Seraphine,• Calvin Dublin,• Sherwin (power)James,• Ithoma James,• Kairann George,• Dion Vidal,• Dexter (posey) Daniel,• Presley (bamboo) Telemaque,• Allison (Al) Alfred and• Sheldon Joyce.Dominica Vibes News Tweet Sharelast_img read more

Male adult fatally stabbed in Roseau

first_img Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img A stabbing incident in River Street on Friday evening has left a male adult dead.Police has confirmed that Jeffrey Winston, 40, of River Street was pronounced dead about 8:55pm at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Friday, 26th July.According to the police public relations officer, inspector John Carbon, Winston sustained a single stab wound to his upper right abdomen.Mr Carbon also confirmed that another male adult has been detained in connection with the incident.The incident occurred in the vicinity of Fervrier’s Enterprises about 8:30pm.Dominica Vibes News 76 Views   16 comments LocalNews Male adult fatally stabbed in Roseau by: – July 27, 2013last_img read more

2013 hurricane season officially ends

first_img Share The Layou River overflowed it’s banks during the trough system in April, 2013Today, Saturday, November 30, 2013 marks the official end of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season.According to a 2013 Hurricane season summary posted on the Dominica Meteorological Service’s official website, the 2013 season “was remarkably quiet with the formation of thirteen (13) Named Storms and two (2) Hurricanes”.The island was affected by only one storm for the entire season, Tropical Storm Chantal damaging the road networks, housing and agricultural sectors. Some utility companies also reported some level of damage in July.Acting program officer at the Office of Disaster Management (ODM), Steve Joseph has advised however, that although the official season ends today, citizens should not let their guards down in light of the change in climate activities.“It is only the official close of the season, it doesn’t mean that we are totally out of the woods, this is not exact science so we don’t want people just putting on their guards totally,” Joseph said in an interview with Dominica Vibes on Friday, November 29.“We could certainly be hit by an event outside of the official hurricane season but here at the Office of Disaster we look at comprehensive disaster management as a year round event,” he continued.Joseph further warned that the country must always be prepared to face disasters at any time.He noted that the trough system which claimed the lives of two footballers in April, 2013, before the hurricane season commenced, should serve as a warning to all Dominicans.“We cannot just put our guards down because the official season comes to a close, we have to be more vigilant with the changing of the climate that we could be impacted with just rain in Dominica”.Severe rainfall has in the past caused flooding in some villages; Massacre and St Joseph and landslides that affects some of the more vulnerable communities.He added that preparation for the 2014 Atlantic season has already begun; ODM is currenlty assessing disaster shelters across the island to ensure that the island is better prepared to weather any storm.“We do not wait until the last hour before the season would open in 2014 to begin to look at those things, we want to address them much earlier”.He called on citizens to also take a leaf from that approach “to make sure that it’s a continuous thing even outside of the hurricane season that we are considering preparedness activities”.Dominica Vibes News 33 Views   no discussions Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! LocalNews 2013 hurricane season officially ends by: – November 30, 2013 Sharelast_img read more

Twenty-two y-o back in jail

first_img Share 41 Views   no discussions Share Akim Vaughn Smith, 22, of Canefield who was granted bail on March 31, 2014, has found himself in trouble with the law again.Smith pleaded guilty to entering the Wesleyan Hotel on 9th Street, Canefield for unlawful purposes on April 15, 2014 at a Roseau Magistrate’s court on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 and was ordered to serve two months imprisonment.Police prosecutor sergeant Valda Powell told Magistrate Arley Gill that about 6:45 am on April 15 the hotel manager Cedric Joseph heard a sound in the corridor like someone trying to open a door.Joseph went to investigate and saw the defendant trying to open one of the doors with a key. He ran back inside, retrieved a cutlass and held the defendant by his shirt.The defendant, who began screaming, took off his shirt and ran down the stairs. Joseph pursued Smith but was unable to catch him; hence he made a report at the Roseau Police Station.On the April 17, at about 3:25 pm Smith was cautioned about the incident on Great George Street, Roseau.“Officer, I don’t know nothing about that,” was Smith’s response.He was informed that he was going to be arrested for vagrancy to which he responded, “I don’t know what you are charging me for”.When magistrate Gill asked Smith whether he wanted to make a plea in mitigation for himself, Smith explained that he went to the hotel in search of his friends. “Before I went to jail, I had some women friends there; I just want to see if they were still there, I had no intentions of stealing or anything”.When he was questioned as to why he had a key for the hotel, he said that he had “a key before I went to jail so I was just trying it”.Smith, who has a list of similar convictions and was not supposed to commit any offenses as part of his bail conditions, was sentenced to serve two months in prison.Dominica Vibes News LocalNews Twenty-two y-o back in jail by: – April 22, 2014center_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Dominica reports first commercial geothermal well

first_img Share 22 Views   no discussions LocalNews Dominica reports first commercial geothermal well by: – June 17, 2014 Share Tweetcenter_img Share Sharing is caring! A six day flow test to determine the generation capacity of a geothermal production well in Laudat, Dominica has been completed. Results from the flow test of the first commercial geothermal well indicate that the well is productive and can be used for electricity generation. The test report also indicates that Dominica could generate over ten megawatts of electricity. Drilling, testing and monitoring consultant, vice president Geothermal Resource Group Will Osborn reported at a press conference on June 16, 2014 that the flow test conducted between June 10 to 16 was successful. “Today we have completed a six day well test, the first commercial geothermal well of the country, we measured the output of this well and we expect it to be capable of more than 10 megawatts”.Osborn explained that this capacity “is enough to replace the current diesel power generation on the island and bring energy Independence to the common wealth of Dominica”.The US Geothermal expert urged citizens to continue to learn about geothermal energy and support the initiative as it will result in cheaper electricity rates on the island. “It is also misunderstood in many countries and as you know it is used for power generation in over 50 countries around the world already”. He said there are thousands of geothermal wells operating safely every day around the world, “so we urge you to continue to support the initiative”. Energy Minister Rayburn Blackmoore noted that reports from the flow test indicate that Dominica could generate up to 11.4 megawatts of electricity. “This surpasses the capacity that we once thought of which was five megawatts [and] that is commendable”.“It tells you that the Dominica Labour Party is on the right track and we shall take Dominica to the next level by ensuring that we have cheaper energy, cleaner energy, more reliable energy and at the same time contributing to combating climate change,” he said. Minister Blackmore called on citizens to take ownership of the island’s geothermal energy project.“We are confident going forward that the people of Dominica will demonstrate the requisite ownership of this project by ensuring that they work with us and understand the processes involved, what we are seeing today also demonstrates our commitment to transparency”. Mr Blackmoore also assured citizens that the geothermal project, once complete, will reduce the cost of electricity. “I am happy to be part of this administration that have been able to deal with this issue of high energy cost and of course today you are witnessing leadership from in front by having the presence of the Prime Minister,” he said.– / 23Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Monell Williams to be installed as UWP senator

first_img Share LocalNews Monell Williams to be installed as UWP senator by: – June 27, 2014 Share Share 292 Views   no discussionscenter_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Monell WilliamsThe Dominica Parliament is expected to welcome a new female senator next week.Monell Williams, the Opposition United Workers Party candidate for the St Joseph constituency, will be sworn in as a senator on July 1 replacing former senator Ronnie Isidore whose candidacy was withdrawn by the Party in May of this year.Ms Williams will replace former senator Ronnie Isidore whose candidacy was withdrawn by the Party in May of this year.Opposition Leader Hector John confirmed to Dominica Vibes that the UWP wrote to President Charles Savarin on June 24, 2014 seeking his endorsement. Mr John said Miss Williams’ appointment as a senator will bring gender balance to the Parliament.He added that she will bring effective representation to the Parliament “as a woman, as a single parent, a very articulate, very bright candidate for the United Workers Party in the St Joseph constituency”.Felix Thomas (Facebook picture)“In terms of the different issues we will be dealing with she will be making a presentation as a young woman looking at issues within the St. Joseph constituency that she can bring at Parliament,” she said. He added that she is expected to deal with the many challenges that single mothers face at present particularly in the St Joseph constituency.The other UWP Senators are Ezekiel Bazil, Norris Prevost, Daniel Lugay and Ronald Green.Meanwhile, the United Workers Party has a new candidate for the Mahaut constituency. Felix Thomas, a contractor by profession has replaced Ronnie Isidore and will run against the Dominica Labour Party’s candidate, Rayburn Blackmore in the general election constitutionally due in May, 2015. “The people from the Mahaut Constituency Association has nominated Felix Thomas to represent the constituency on a UWP ticket for the next general election and the management committee of the UWP accepted the nomination,” John told Dominica Vibes on Friday. The United Workers Party (UWP) sacked Isidore in May, due to “trust and respect issues”.Mr Isidore, who contested the Mahaut seat at the 2009 general election and lost, was subsequently named a UWP senator.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Portsmouth fire officers get relief

first_img Tweet LocalNews Portsmouth fire officers get relief by: – August 16, 2014 Share Share The plight of sixteen fire officers stationed at Portsmouth is said to be receiving some attention.Fire officers have been protesting over the last two weeks over deplorable working conditions which includes rat and termite infestation, poor ventilation and leaking toilets.The officers camped outside the fire station for several nights with the hope that their cries will be heard.Deputy fire chief Jones Lawrence told Vibes news on August 15, the officers will be relocated to a new facility effective today, Saturday August 16.“Officers will be relocated to the place where we had already identified for them. This is in Portsmouth central and the accommodation is very good, it is not a hope, it is a fact that things will be ok,” he said.Lawrence could not say whether the new facility could become the permanent location of the station.“Until it is changed, we can just possibly look at it as first temporary and secondly permanent because we do not know,” he said.The sixteen fire officers, who were stationed at Portsmouth, were transferred to other stations earlier this week.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img 33 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

Over $36, 000 raised JA Dominica’s Power Breakfast

first_imgLocalNews Over $36, 000 raised JA Dominica’s Power Breakfast by: Dominica Vibes News – November 7, 2014 Junior Achievement (JA) Dominica, an organization which aims to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy, has raised over thirty-six thousand dollars through a fundraising initiative.On Friday, 7 November 2014, JA Dominica held its second annual Power Breakfast at the Fort Young Hotel under the distinguished patronage of President of Dominica and First Lady Mrs. Clara Savarin.The Power Breakfast, one of Junior Achievement’s major fundraising initiatives which began last year, invites private and public sector partners “to commit a small percentage of their funding to the JA programme”.This year more than fifty (50) partners were engaged and thirty-six thousand, two hundred and sixty thousand ($36,260.00) dollars was donated. This amount is almost double to last year’s total of EC twelve thousand dollars ($12, 000).Junior Achievement Dominica has also received over one hundred thousand US dollars ($100 000) donation from a U.S agency. It will go towards educational and entrepreneurial programs for students. “The need for experimental learning is not tomorrow but it is now,” executive director of Junior Achievement Dominica, Natasha Yeeloy-Labad said.Mrs Labad noted that JA Dominica, which started in 2011, has been a journey of excitement. “We want young persons to have the understanding to be economically successful but also while they are in the safety of the work place to have the real experience of working for someone or for themselves”.According to Mrs Labad, one of the challenges faced by JA Dominica is after investing resources into educating these young persons “we realize that a large majority of those young persons still say to us they want to go out and find a job”.There are six levels of sponsorship; Platinum EC$10, 000.00, Gold EC$5,000.00, Silver EC$3,000.00, Bronze EC$2,500.00, Power Partner Level EC$1,500.00 and Event Sponsorship.Meanwhile, Junior Achievement awarded three companies; the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD), Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC) and LIME Dominica for supporting and making financial contributions to the organization.– / 18 Share Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! 523 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more

Public servants warned to campaign discretely

first_imgDominica Labour Party supporters at its campaign launch on the Dame Mary Eugenia Charles BoulevardGeneral secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Thomas Letang has called for a review of the Public Service Act where the involvement of public officers in politics is concerned. In an interview with Dominica Vibes on Monday 17 November 2014, Letang noted that there must be some “tidying up” of the Act.“At some point we have to review the Act and to try to tidy up that Act because if the Act was tidy, certain things would not be allowed and it would be clear in people’s minds as to what they can do and they cannot do”.Letang said while the current Act does not “speak to any sanctions”, the Public Service Commission can take disciplinary action against a public officer “if a person goes overboard”.“If one feels that somebody has gone overboard the disciplinary procedure would be referring the matter to the Public Service Commission”.United Workers Party rally in Newtown to launch Joshua Francis“The Public Service Commission doesn’t really say exactly what specific disciplinary measures can be taken against that person but they have a number of ways they can deal with the these persons,” he informed.Meanwhile, Letang noted that while he is not against public officers attending political meetings; this must be done in a discrete way. At a recent meeting of the United Workers Party in Newtown, political leader Lennox Linton asked the public servants attending the meeting to raise their hands and make themselves known because the DLP Government is on its way out and there can be no implications for them.Letang said public officers have a right to join any democratic process and attend political meetings, but warned that the Public Service Act prohibits public officers from “active canvasing where they go to the political platforms”.He also advised that public officers should stay away from wearing political shirts along with other paraphernalia. “Even the shirts, while all the parties have been doing it, I believe that the more that you can stay away from identifying yourself with a political party is better for you”.“While I would not discourage public officers from attending meetings if they so desire, but to go onto the political platform, I would advise them against doing that and if they can avoid wearing those t-shirts that would even be better,” he said. Sharing is caring! Tweet 543 Views   one comment Sharecenter_img Share Share LocalNewsPolitics Public servants warned to campaign discretely by: Dominica Vibes News – November 17, 2014last_img read more