Fires in Cape Breton Prompt Warnings

first_imgThe province is urging Nova Scotians to understand the dangers of uncontrolled fires and to take steps to prevent them after a number of fires have occurred in Cape Breton Regional Municipality already this season. “We don’t want our communities, families and neighbours to experience the devastation of losing their homes,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. “We need to understand the serious danger that fire presents and do everything we can to ensure the safety and security of everyone in our communities.” Most of the about 20 fires in Cape Breton Regional Municipality this week were deliberately set. Firefighting and fire prevention specialists with the Department of Natural Resources are urging people to take necessary precautions with outdoor fires, avoid burning grass, and report suspicious activities to the authorities. In 2012, more than one quarter of Nova Scotia’s 392 wildfires happened in the municipality. “Almost all wildfires are caused by people, and in the spring, many of these begin with people deliberately setting brush or grass on fire,” said Walter Fanning, Natural Resources’ director of forest protection. “Fortunately we are looking at a fair amount of rain this weekend, which will help reduce the chance of fires starting or spreading.” Uncontrolled fires are fueled by weather, wind and dry underbrush. For tips on safe burning and to protect homes and forests, go to novascotia.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/firecentre/fire-smart.asp . Fighting fires comes with a cost, in taxpayers’ dollars and in risks to provincial, municipal and volunteer fire fighters. Nova Scotians are asked to call 9-1-1 immediately, if they spot a wildfire.For more information on forest fire safety and prevention, visit novascotia.ca/natr/ .last_img read more

Andhra CM likely to expand cabinet on June 8

first_imgAmaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is likely to expand his cabinet on June 8. Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan might administer oath to the new ministers in the grounds near State Secretariat at Velagapudi. Jagan Reddy, who took oath as the chief minister on Thursday, is expected to constitute his ministry at one go. YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) sources said he had started the process to consult senior leaders for cabinet expansion. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC Jagan, as the YSRCP chief is popularly known, on Friday began meetings to review functioning of various departments. He is identifying the challenges and will accordingly select the ministers. The first session of the new Assembly is likely to be held in the second week of June. Election of the Speaker and administering oath to newly elected MLAs will be on the agenda. Jagan, who is currently operating from his residence, will enter his office at the State Secretariat on June 8. YSRCP stormed to power last month with a landslide victory, winning 151 seats in 175-member Assembly. The party also bagged 22 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats.last_img read more

Harlem Globetrotters Set To Entertain Troops

first_imgThe world famous Harlem Globetrotters are set to embark on their annual tour of U.S. overseas military bases with a stretch of visits to several bases across the Middle East that will see them entertain troops with 10 shows in 14 days beginning Oct. 1.The trip, made possible by Navy Entertainment and Armed Forces Entertainment, will consist of games on U.S. military bases in Qatar, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Bahrain. A touring group including Hammer Harrison, Bulldog Mack, Torch George, Cheese Chisholm, Thunder Law and Jet Rivers will tip-off the tour next week.“We love getting the opportunity to entertain the men and women of our Armed Forces,” said Globetrotters star Hammer Harrison. “Any chance to bring them a taste of home, and hopefully some great entertainment, is an honor for us, and we’ll do whatever we can to bring smiles to their faces.”Highlights of previous military tours include the Globetrotters’ first-ever visit to Afghanistan in November 2012, tours of Iraq in 2009 and 2006, a visit to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2005 – and games on four active-duty U.S. aircraft carriers, including a performance on the U.S.S. Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf in 2006.In just the past 15 years alone, the Globetrotters have visited more than 50 U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Belgium, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Greece, Guam, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Overall, the Ambassadors of Goodwill have been performing for the troops for over 75 years.It all marks the start of an exciting 2018-19 campaign for the Globetrotters – their 93rd – as they tip off their “Fan Powered” World Tour on Nov. 1. The team will play in more than 250 North American markets, as well as 30 countries worldwide. Tickets are now available at harlemglobetrotters.com.The Harlem Globetrotters are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 92 years. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 123 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans – among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents – over nine thrilling decades. The American Red Cross is the official charity of the Harlem Globetrotters. Sponsored by Entenmann’s Donuts, Tum-e Yummies and Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S.last_img read more

V-P calls PNB ‘Premiere national bank of India’ in its 125th year

first_imgNew Delhi: Punjab National Bank, one of India’s largest public sector banks, celebrated its 125th Foundation day on Friday. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. He released a commemorative postal stamp and coffee table book chronicling the bank’s glorious history. The bank’s leadership team comprising MD & CEO Sunil Mehta, Non-Executive Chairman Sunil Mehta, Executive Directors LV Prabhakar and AK Azad as well as CVO Satish K Nagpal were joined by senior government executives, former PNB CMDs and other members of the Bank. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalSpeaking on the occasion, Venkaiah Naidu congratulated PNB on its continued success and termed it as the “Premiere National Bank of India.” He said, “PNB is an example of what human Enterprise and aspiration can achieve in lasting growth and the difference it can make to the people in the country. PNB began as a Swadeshi bank, run professionally, on Indian money to meet the needs and aspirations of fellow Indians. Through the most testing times, it has retained the trust of its customers, employees, shareholders, regulatory bodies and government.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostStressing the need for inclusive growth, he added, “The Indian Banking sector is poised for growth. 36 crore bank accounts were opened under the Jan Dhan yojana. The benefit of this growth must reach the common people.” Addressing the audience on the occasion MD Sunil Mehta said, “I congratulate all the members of the PNB family on the 125th foundation day of the Bank. We are proud of the legacy of our bank and stand committed to realizing the vision of our founding fathers. On this auspicious occasion we reaffirm our contribution towards nation building by serving our customers and the country in the best possible manner.” Punjab National Bank commenced its business operations on April 12, 1895 in Lahore before the partition of the country. The Bank’s founding members comprised of prominent leaders of the Swadeshi movement which included the prominent freedom fighter Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai. From the opening of the Jalianwala Bagh Committee’s bank account to aiding the rehabilitation of account holders post the partition of the country, the history of Punjab National Bank has always been strongly intertwined with the history of modern India. Throughout the years, Punjab National Bank has weathered various challenges it has faced including the two world wars, the partition and economic downturns. Today, it serves over 110 million customers across the world with more than 7000 branches and employs around 70,000 people. Punjab National Bank has topped the first ever EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) index this year. The EASE index measures performance of a public-sector banks across 6 themes, including customer responsiveness, credit off-take, responsible banking and Deepening Financial Inclusion & Digitalization. Talking about bank’s resurgence after a lean patch Sunil Mehta said, “Last year was a challenging year for us in PNB. Putting the past behind all PNBians toiled hard to ensure that the bank returned to profitability in just 9 months. Our initiative Mission Parivartan played a crucial role in achieving our goals in no time. I thank all stakeholders who have stood by us all this while. Now we have even higher ambitions and I am sure that we would live up to our reputation and everybody’s expectations.” Aligning itself to the reforms agenda of the Government, PNB has embarked on an ongoing process for continuous self-improvement. The transformational exercise, “Mission PARIVARTAN” launched in June 2017, highlights ten key focus areas for enhanced efficiency, profitability and productivity that preserve the core strengths and stimulate progress. “Mission PARIVARTAN” serves as a guidepost for the Bank to remain focused on the critical aspects that would fuel growth and help drive more profitable businesses through wider reach and sharper execution. The Bank has been taking up various initiatives under Mission PARIVARTAN to revisit, redefine and improve the 3 Ps i.e. People, Processes and Products. Riding on a host of new customer centric initiatives and with the by use of latest technologies in the banking space the bank aims to continue its profitability streak in the coming quarters.last_img read more

Amazon to verify its drivers using selfies

first_imgSan Francisco: In a bid to combat delivery-related fraud cases, e-commerce giant Amazon is making a section of its drivers take selfies before resuming their duties for the day in order to record and verify their identities using facial recognition from time to time. For now, the requirement applies specifically to “Flex drivers” — who work as independent contractors for Amazon’s fastest “Prime” deliveries, deliver packages in their own cars and get paid $18 to $25 an hour, The Verge reported on Thursday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalBy asking drivers to take selfies, Amazon could be preventing multiple people from sharing the same account which could screen out anyone who is technically unauthorised from delivering packages, such as criminals. Prior to asking for selfies, the company notified drivers of the new requirement via the Flex app that their biometric data might be collected to confirm their identity from time to time. Previously, the e-commerce giant has come under fire for making its factory workers meet unreasonably high quotas, forcing them to skip out on bathroom breaks and pee in bottles. Hence in contrast, requiring drivers to take selfies seems like a very small demand, the report said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostBack in 2016, global ride sharing company Uber implemented a similar policy that demanded drivers to take selfies before signing into the platform and taking ride requests. However, Uber’s plans failed to pan out as intended after reports surfaced pointing out how transgender Uber drivers were being laid off the company after taking a selfie and having it not match up to previous photos on file, due to being in different points of a gender transition.last_img read more

Telus wins battle with Mason Capital over share conversion plan

Mason Capital lost an appeal Tuesday in its ongoing fight with Telus Corp. over the telecom company’s move to a single class of common shares.In striking down the appeal and approving the one-for-one share conversion plan, the B.C. Supreme Court took note of the New York-based hedge fund’s so-called empty voting tactics to block the conversion of voting and non-voting shares in Telus.Mason’s opposition to the plan must be viewed through the “lens of its unique strategy,” which had nothing to do with the well-being of Telus and its shareholders, Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick wrote in her decision.“It can hardly be overstated that the contention by Telus that Mason is an ’empty voter’ in this and prior proceedings has infused much of the tenor in the contest between them,” Fitzpatrick wrote.“Mason rails against this pejorative moniker. Whether one accepts that name or not, it seems that, at best, one could describe Mason as an ’opportunistic investor.’ ”Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said the decision confirms its share proposal is fair and beneficial to shareholders.“We look forward to completing the share exchange in the near future and moving forward with a share structure that supports excellent corporate governance, share marketability, and enhanced trading performance as a single share class. I would like to thank all of our committed shareholders for their support in this process.”By accumulating an 18.7% stake in Telus in common stock while at the same time short-selling nearly the same amount of non-voting and common Telus stock, Mason was able to vote nearly $2 billion worth of stock with only a $25-million net economic stake, Telus has said.The B.C. Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling that cleared the way for Telus to hold a shareholder meeting to vote on the plan, which was approved by shareholders in October.“Mason stands alone and its submissions are clearly directed at the benefits it alone will achieve by defeating the arrangement,” the decision read.“I conclude that the terms of the arrangement are fair and reasonable,” the judge wrote in approving the share conversion plan.The battle between Mason and Vancouver-based Telus has been going on since the spring. Mason Capital repeatedly said holders of Telus’ voting shares should get a premium to approve the share conversion plan.The New York-based hedge fund had proposed a minimum premium valuation of either 4.75% — which represents the historic average trading premium of the voting shares over the non-voting shares — or a minimum premium of eight%.Tuesday’s decision noted that Mason can appeal the ruling. Mason Capital had no immediate comment.The B.C. Supreme Court also noted that aside from Mason Capital, the overwhelming majority of both common and non-voting shareholders supported the share conversion plan.Telus had two classes of shares to comply with Canada’s foreign ownership rules for big telecom companies, which don’t allow such ownership to exceed 33.3%. U.S.-based telecom Verizon sold its last stake in Telus in 2004.Telus has said the dual-share structure posed corporate governance issues and reduced share liquidity. Historically, the common shares have traded at a premium to the price of the non-voting shares.Last month, Telus said foreign ownership of its common shares had been cut in half, leading the telecom company to believe that Mason had reduced its stake in the company.Telus said the non-Canadian ownership of the company was roughly 15% as of Nov. 16, down from almost 33% last summer. read more

Orphan oil and gas wells adopted by rookie Alberta energy company founder

CALGARY — Where some see only a jumble of rusted pipes and black tanks jutting from a weed-infested yard in a prairie grain field, Tyler Visscher sees opportunity.The 31-year-old Red Deer, Alta., electrician is trying to build an oil and gas company the hard way, by scouring the Orphan Well Association’s list of parentless wells in Alberta in hopes of picking out a few winners.He “adopted” his first well two years ago — bought it, actually — and is now wading through a “whack of paperwork” to buy a second.“Oh, yeah, it’s a gamble for sure,” says the budding oilman. “With everything, there’s a risk, right?”The crash in commodity prices of the past three years has been linked to a dramatic increase in orphans — oil and gas wells assigned to the OWA because there’s no owner financially able to seal the wells, remove equipment and restore the land when their productive life ends.In the fiscal year ended March 31, the OWA had 1,391 wells on its list designated for abandonment, up from 768 a year earlier.As of July 6, the list had climbed to 1,438.That number doesn’t include 1,380 wells the regulator assigned to the OWA in an unprecedented move early this year after owner Lexin Resources was accused of ignoring AER orders and regulations. The former Lexin assets are being marketed as a package by its receiver in a process expected to wrap up this fall.Many assume orphan wells and related assets are all liability with no value but the Alberta Energy Regulator says that’s not the case.“Recently, many wells, pipelines and facilities have been deemed orphans because their owners have gone bankrupt, despite the fact that they are still capable of producing, transporting or processing oil or gas,” said AER spokesman Ryan Bartlett.In an effort to place those assets with responsible new owners, the AER has provided a database on the OWA website that gives orphan well locations and history — information designed to attract potential buyers.“It’s very time-consuming because you have to scour these wells and you have to figure out, ‘OK, why is this well on the list?”‘ said Visscher.“Was it bad management and the company went bankrupt and now this well is in the orphan well list? Or is the well a poor well? Was it not completed properly? Was it not operated properly? You have to go through, kinda like a detective.”To take over the well’s production — and responsibility for its environmental liability — the buyer must acquire the underground mineral rights and surface access rights before applying for a licence transfer from the AER.Not many bother. The AER says the number of licence transfer applications it has handled has increased from four in 2013 to 20 in 2016.Visscher said it took several months to buy his first well east of Calgary. And many hours of work to clean it up after years of neglect.The Crown lease had been returned to the province so he nominated it for public auction and filed the successful bid to buy the mineral rights. He then negotiated an agreement with the landowner, a farmer who hadn’t been paid rent by the previous insolvent owner in four or five years, to gain surface access.To complete the licence transfer, he then had to pay a $10,000 fee to the OWA. To ensure the wellsite will eventually be reclaimed, he has also had to post a $100,000 bond with the AER.In all, he says it cost about $50,000 to buy the well which is daily producing some 90,000 cubic feet of natural gas (enough to heat an average single detached home in Canada for one year) plus two barrels of oil. He figures the decade-old well originally cost about $1 million to drill.Visscher has equipped the well with solar-powered pumps and automated controls designed by his electrical company, Blue Star Electrical, and is using it to demonstrate those products for potential buyers.He said he’s excited about his second well which is awaiting AER licence transfer. It comes with about 260 hectares of Crown drilling rights which means he will have room to drill more wells if he can find the financial backing to do so.OWA chairman Brad Herald says “the clock is ticking” for entrepreneurs like Visscher who want to buy orphan wells because a big acceleration in well site cleanups is expected to start this fall.That’s when a $30-million grant announced in the last federal budget is expected to arrive, allowing the province to go ahead with its plan to offer $235 million in loans for OWA projects.OWA’s annual spending is usually restricted to its $30 million per year industry levy.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. read more

US stocks mostly lower as energy companies fall

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks were mostly lower in early trading Tuesday as investors await updates on oil output at a damaged Saudi Aramco facility and look ahead to a key interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve.Energy companies gave back some of Monday’s gains as the price of oil retreated. U.S. oil dropped 5.4% to $59.50 a barrel, while Brent, the international benchmark, fell 6.1% to $64.82. Oilfield services company Schlumberger fell 4.1% and oil producer Hess dropped 5.9%.On Monday, oil prices spiked more than 14% over concerns that an attack on Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil processing facility could limit supplies from the world’s biggest oil exporter. Investors will be closely watching an update later Tuesday from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister.Banks and industrial companies also fell. JPMorgan and Bank of America shed 1%. 3M fell 1.4% and Caterpillar fell 1.2%.Investors shifted to a more defensive position in the early going, with consumer product makers and utilities among the companies making gains. Bonds rose and the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.82% from 1.84% late Monday.Technology stocks were also holding well as a gain for Microsoft helped counter a slide in Intel.Volatile oil prices and the lingering U.S.-China trade dispute loom over the market as the Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting to determine interest rate policy. Investors are expecting the central bank to cut its short-term rate on Wednesday to help protect the economy from threats to growth.It would be the central bank’s second such cut in two months after not cutting rates for a decade.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.1% as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell 71 points, or 0.3%, to 27,004. The Nasdaq fell 0.1%.OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe moved broadly lower after a new survey showed a decline in consumer confidence within Germany, the continent’s largest economy. Chinese benchmarks led declines in Asia after the credit ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Hong Kong, citing its recent political turmoil.CRACKED GLASS: Corning fell 7.2% after the glassmaker warned investors that weak demand will likely hurt two of its units. The company expects lower third quarter volume for its display technologies unit, which makes display screens for electronic devices. It also expects a sales decline for its optical communications unit, which makes fiber optic cables.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more

CREA cuts home sales forecast after May sales hit sevenyear low

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association is lowering its national home sales forecast for this year due to weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario.The industry association which represents about 100,000 real estate agents across Canada said Friday it now expects home sales this year to fall 11 per cent compared with a year ago to 459,900 units this year. The prediction compared with a forecast for a 7.1 per cent decline the association released in March.“The decrease almost entirely reflects weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario amid heightened housing market uncertainty, provincial policy measures, high home prices, ongoing supply shortages and this year’s new mortgage stress test,” the association said in a statement.The updated forecast came as CREA reported actual home sales in May hit a seven-year low as they fell 16.2 per cent compared with a year ago.The national average price for homes sold in May was just over $496,000, down 6.4 per cent from a year ago. Excluding the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver areas, the average price was just over $391,100, down two per cent.This drop in sales activity capped off a lacklustre spring homebuying season, as March, April and May are typically the most active months in any given year. National home sales activity in March and April were down 22.7 per cent and 13.9 per cent, respectively, according to CREA numbers.Combined sales for the three-month period fell to a nine-year low, CREA said Friday.Factors weighing on home sales include new government measures introduced in British Columbia and Ontario, such as a foreign buyers tax, as well as interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada.The association on Friday again pointed the finger at a new stress test introduced at the beginning of the year for uninsured mortgages, which has cut the amount that certain homebuyers are able to qualify for.“The stress test that came into effect this year for homebuyers with more than a twenty per cent down payment is continuing to suppress sales activity,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau, in a statement. “The extent to which it is sidelining home buyers varies among housing markets and price ranges.As of Jan. 1, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions requires buyers who don’t need mortgage insurance to prove they can make payments at a qualifying rate of the greater of two percentage points higher than the contractual mortgage rate or the central bank’s five-year benchmark rate.The bar was raised even higher in May when the central bank’s five year benchmark rate rose from 5.14 per cent to 5.34 per cent. The Bank of Canada uses the posted five-year fixed mortgage rates at the Big Six banks to calculate the benchmark rate. The central bank’s benchmark rate increased, in turn, after all the Big Six banks raised their posted five-year fixed mortgage rates in the preceding weeks, reflecting the higher borrowing costs associated with a recent rise in government bond yields.“This year’s new stress-test became even more restrictive in May, since the interest rate used to qualify mortgage applications rose early in the month,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, in a statement Friday. “Movements in the stress test interest rate are beyond the control of policy makers. Further increases in the rate could weigh on home sales activity at a time when Canadian economic growth is facing headwinds from U.S. trade policy frictions.”CREA’s latest figures support the notion that markets are stabilizing after the volatility at the beginning of 2018 related to the tightened mortgage rules introduced on Jan. 1, said TD economist Rishi Sondhi.“On balance, this was a better-than-expected report. Sales were effectively flat during the month — their best turnout so far this year. Meanwhile, listings increased for the third time in four months, pointing to somewhat improved confidence on the part of sellers as prices edged higher for the second straight month.” read more

Leaked screenshot suggests Google Drive to offer 5GB free storage

first_imgWhen we last checked in on Google Drive, it looked like Google was finally going to launch their oft-rumored cloud storage service — albeit with a scant 1GB of space for your files. According to a freshly-leaked screenshot, that’s not the case: Google may be planning to one-up competitors like Dropbox and offer up 5GB for free.There are, however, some elements in this alleged screenshot that don’t quite jive. For example, everywhere Google abbreviates gigabytes on it web pages, they put  a space between the number and the GB (5 GB vs. 5GB). Google also doesn’t add text like “for Windows” to its app names. Instead, the operating system that applies to your system is typically listed below the download button.It’s also rare that Google is this cut-and-dried with their storage limitations. On Picasa Web, for example, photos up to 800×800 pixels and videos under 15 minutes in length don’t count against your 1GB of free space. On Google Docs, files you create or convert within the web apps don’t count either. Google+ offers unlimited storage for photos, and Gmail offers 7-ish gigs of space, but the upper limit is constantly changing. Google Music lets you store 20,000 songs of up to 250MB each.Would it make sense, then, for Google Drive to launch with a 5GB limit? Probably not, especially since that space will no doubt be tied in to your other Google storage, too. A 1GB base should be fine, particularly if Google sticks to their current modus operandi and offers ways for you to sidestep the limitations.Hopefully the rumors are true this time and Google Drive will finally launch in April as predicted — or at least by the time Google I/O kicks off — so we can start using it instead of just talking about it.More at Talk Androidlast_img read more

Gunman holds up Hazel Dell hair salon escapes police say

first_imgSheriff’s deputies set a tracking dog on the trail of an armed robber who assaulted a hair salon employee in Hazel Dell on Thursday night, but the gunman escaped with a customer’s $40, police said.Deputies rushed to the Hair and Nail Place in the 6400 block of Northeast Highway 99 at 6:54 p.m. Thursday, said Sgt. Linda Hayes with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.A man had walked in, displayed a silver semiautomatic pistol and demanded money. When an employee told him to get out, he pushed her and she hit her head on a glass shelf.A customer gave the robber $40 from her purse and he left on foot.The employee suffered a head laceration but refused to be checked at a hospital, Hayes said.Police took positions around the area and a K-9 team searched the area around the bowling alley and a nearby Mexican restaurant, but the robber escaped.There was no detailed description of the gunman, just a thin man in his 40s or 50s and about 5 feet 5 inches tall.John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.last_img read more

61 believe staff are not fully aware of the healthcare services available

first_imgAlmost two thirds (61%) of people management professional respondents who work for an organisation that has a health and wellbeing strategy believe that employees are not fully aware of the healthcare services available to them, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare.Its Realising the value of your health and wellbeing strategy report, which surveyed 344 people management professionals, also found that 51% of respondents that work for an organisation with a health and wellbeing strategy believe that board level executives do not understand the value of investing in employee health and wellbeing.The research also found:60% of respondents that work for an organisation that does not have a health and wellbeing strategy in place feel that board level executives do not understand the value of investing in employee health and wellbeing.More than a third (37%) of respondents cite a lack of employee engagement as the biggest challenge to implementing and delivering a health and wellbeing strategy.31% of respondents identify inadequate budget as a key barrier to implementing and delivering a health and wellbeing strategy.75% of respondents that work for an organisation with a health and wellbeing strategy agree that investing in health and wellbeing has had a positive impact on their workforce and business performance.Chris Horlick (pictured), distribution director at Axa PPP Healthcare, said: “While it’s encouraging to see so many people management professionals recognise the value of a health and wellbeing strategy, it’s disappointing that some still face significant barriers to success. For example, lack of buy-in and support from senior management and inertia on the part of unengaged employees; two important obstacles that health services providers can help wellbeing advocates to overcome.”last_img read more

Managing the BackEnd of Web Sales

first_imgThe Interactive Advertising Bureau last month released a white paper called “Revenue Cycle Best Practices” that focuses on internal controls and processes that can help boost efficiency in the online ad revenue cycle. The recommendations focus on interdepartmental communication between credit and collections, sales and operations and processes and controls that ensure the necessary steps are taken and approvals are obtained prior to taking action. Below are some select highlights from the Delivery and Optimization Stage. The full white paper is available here.• Before beginning the campaign, make certain that the IO matches the current information in the order entry system.Since many changes can often occur between the time that the IO is signed and the campaign start date, IAB recommends checking to ensure that the following items on the IO match the current information in the booking/order entry system before commencing the flight:1. Create Unit2. Start and End Date3. Ad Server4. Sponsorship/SOV vs. Impression Performance5. Rich Media Fees6. Targeting• Collections team should hold regular meetings with Ad Sales Management and Sales Teams • Credit approval should be obtained again, if optimization leads to changes in CPM or payment terms• Collections team should keep both Sales and Accounts Payable contacts well-informed of past due invoices. • Require written documentation when a change is requested/made (e.g., revisions, reallocations, optimization, cancellations)-E-mail revisions are only recommended on a case-by-case basis and should be limited to changes that do not affect the dollar value or other material aspects of the IO.-Publishers should run a cost-time/benefit analysis when deciding which changes require a change order and which do not. However, implementing this policy based on partner experience may be practical when only a few agency customers have recurring revision communications issues. Overall, developing better controls on revision approvals is essential.last_img read more

City Approves 500M Plan to Transform Alameda Point

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Alameda City Council last week approved plans to revitalize a 68-acre portion of the former Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif., into a mixed-use project featuring 800 homes and 600,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.Approval of the $500 million plan from Alameda Point Partners — which also calls for 15 acres of parks and open space, and possibly a new ferry terminal — comes after the city decided to direct the project itself following two failed efforts led by master developers over the past decade.The development team includes commercial builder srmErnst, retail company Madison Marquette, residential developer Thompson Dorfman Partners and nonprofit Eden Housing, reported the San Francisco Business Times.“This has been a community-driven process. Last night we heard from residents and decision makers who’ve worked for decades to get something started at the base that they want this plan,” said Joe Ernst, principal of srmErnst. “We look forward to continue working with the city and the community to build a real legacy project for Alameda,” Ernst said.The team’s next step will be building $100 million in infrastructure upgrades on the site. Groundbreaking on the first phase, which includes 650 residential units, is planned for July 2016, with completion expected by 2018.The project will benefit Alameda in multiple ways, including upgrading the area’s infrastructure, increasing the supply of much-needed housing and turning Alameda Point into a desirable destination. Plans to improve road access to Alameda Point from the city’s business district also will help.Providing a direct route to the waterfront “creates a gateway that allows us to have an attractive entry to Alameda Point,” Jennifer Ott, the city’s chief operating officer for the project, told the Contra Costa Times.last_img read more

Oh Baby review Kanganas sister Rangoli makes sensational remark on Samantha Akkineni

first_imgExactly like many bollywood actors who belong to influential families but still have proved there mettle in the industry by the dint of their hardwork. Stop playing the nepotism card for garnering cheap popularity. We all are not born equal but we all have equal potential. Sanyog Singh Patial‏ @sanyogpatial Her identity is now her husbands surname. Why to call such woman feminsts? She’s a product of nepotism. Her father in law and husband are super strong. But u went ahead to support her bec she doesn’t interfere with Kangana. Keeps to herself, which is good. She’s lovely person. But it’s strange to hear praise, for someone, from ucenter_img Samantha Akkineni in Oh! BabyTwitterBollywood actress Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel, who is known for her stint on Twitter, has made a sensational remark on actress Samantha Akkineni’s performance in her latest film Oh Baby.The much-awaited Telugu movie Oh Baby has been released in the cinema halls today. Samantha Akkineni has been flooded with appreciations from everyone including critics and celebs, who have heaped praises upon her performance in the movie and the actress’ name is trending on Twitter and other social-networking websites.Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel, who is quite active on social media, was amused to see the flood of appreciation on Samantha Akkineni. She took to Twitter shower praises upon her. She says that Sam made it big on her own before she became a part of the Akkineni family. She is a true feminist and she wished her good luck on behalf of her sister Kangana Ranaut’s team.Rangoli Chandel tweeted a review of Oh Baby and wrote, “#OhBaby is bound to be a smashing hit, ⁦@Samanthaprabhu2⁩ a true blue feminist & a huge success story, even though she belongs to one f the biggest film families bt her identity is her own..we hail such a goddess All the best from team Kangana.”Rangoli Chandel may not be a big celebrity, but she has achieved a similar position with her fight against nepotism in the film industry. With her stint, she has proved to be one of biggest influencers on social media. Receiving wishes from her was a kind of boost for Samantha Akkineni, who thanked her for kind words. She retweeted her post and wrote, ” such kind words.. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.”While many of her followers expressed happiness with her positive words, some of them were upset with Rangoli Chandel for praising Samantha Akkineni. Here are some of her upset followers’ comments.Seemingly smiling‏ @anusha8188 Neha Sharma‏ @nehasharma4444last_img read more

Three killed in gunfights

first_imgTwo alleged drug traders and a suspected pirate were killed in separate gunfights in Natore, Gazipur and Barguna districts early Tuesday, reports UNB.In Natore, suspected drug trader Meher Ali, an accused in 14 cases including drug and murder, was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in Chamtia Joyontipur area of Lalpur upazila early Tuesday.While a team of Rab-5 was patrolling in the area, they challenged a gathering over suspicion.When the team approached towards the gathering, the miscreants opened fire on them. The law enforcers retaliated and a gunfight began, which left Meher Ali on dead the spot. His cohorts managed to flee.The team recovered arms and drugs from the spot.In Gazipur, another suspected drug trader Shariful Islam was killed in a reported gunfight with members of the elite force in Prottashar Math area of Tongi around 3:30am.Being informed about a gunfight that took place the previous night, police went there and recovered the body in the morning, said Kamal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Tongi Police Station.They also recovered a firearm, huge ammunition and drugs from the spot, he added.In Barguna, a suspected pirate was killed in a reported gunfight with a team of Rab-8 in Sarankhola range of the Sundarbans early in the morning.The deceased was identified as Rafiqul Islam Rana, said a text message from Rab-8.The elite force team recovered two pistols and a one-shooter gun from the spot, it said.last_img read more

Engineering humour not designs

first_imgAn engineer doing comedy? Sounds revolutionary but certainly not comic. Bringing in both the characteristics is this engineer turned stand up comedian who will have you in splits with his witty humour and overtly clean jokes (claimed by him) in his show.Appurv Gupta conceptualised the show Appurview- Laugh with an Engineer in Hinglish after he graduated in an engineering degree but realised that his ultimate love and passion lied in comedy. He finally bid goodbye to the profession and since then have been riding high on creating amusement. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This weekend Appurv is back with his show to present different point of view to discuss about the mundane activities in day-to-day life from the point of view of an engineer. The jokes range from why do you see more colleges on road, why everybody wants to do engineering and MBA and then join TCS, Infosys only.  He will further crack and explore our obsession to go to Amereeka, to learn foreign languages and photography, smoking, our posessiveness about mobile phones, algorithm of marriages, Ramayana, Mahabharata, festivals and many more short stories revolving a typical Indian.There is also an opening act by Sumit Anand an engineer and an MBA who tries hard to speak about modern marriage rules, nation’s lust for an MBA and supreme lack of life in the digital life. Come witness the world go laughing while picking up at every engineer.last_img read more

How Famed Tech Analyst Mary Meeker Foresees the Future of the Internet

first_img The ever-mounting number of users to join the World Wide Web may finally be starting to plateau. So says esteemed tech analyst Mary Meeker, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, in her 20th annual Internet Trends report, which she presented today at the Code Conference in California.To be fair, Internet user growth is still solid, Meeker says, but only increased by 8 percent in 2014 compared to 10 percent in 2013. Smartphone subscriptions followed a similar trajectory, posting increases of 23 percent last year versus 27 percent the year prior.Her report, embedded below, covers a vast array of topics, including the expected proliferation of drone usage in 2015. Meeker predicts that 4.3 million total consumer drones will be shipped in 2015, comprising a $1.7 billion market.Related: Mary Meeker: Tablet Shipments Are Growing Faster Than PCs Ever DidMeeker also covers the ways in which today’s youth is consuming — and increasingly creating — content on the Web. User-generated videos are at an all-time high, thanks to platforms like Snapchat, Facebook and Twitch, she says. And the Web’s most influential trendsetters are 12 to 24 year-olds, who are increasingly flocking to visually-oriented content.Messaging also represents a pivotal opportunity going forward, with six of the top 10 global apps appearing in this category. In the future, Meeker says, messaging platforms will increasingly be used for payments, games, ride-hailing and more. Asian messaging leaders like WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk are paving the way for this evolution.For more findings from Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015 report, check it out in full below:Related: Report: Wearable Devices Could Revolutionize the Way We Do Business Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. May 27, 2015 Register Now »center_img 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

Gay guys tell their horror stories from vacations with their straight friends

first_imgHolidays, too, are breeding grounds for embarrassing moments. And holidays as a young gay person, going on an otherwise heterosexual holiday? It’s like the universe bends to make sure every memory jerks you awake the moment you’re about to go to sleep.The magnitude of cringe I feel from my 18-year-old vacay has lobotomized most of my memory of my time there. But I can tell you we all wore bright orange tops with ‘nicknames’ on the back. Mine said ‘The Gay’, in an act so pathetic that it causes my stomach to fold through my body and into the pain receptors of my brain. I obviously didn’t pull anyone. So while I keep those memories repressed, let these gay guys take you through their holiday horror stories – from the gross to the homophobic – with their nearest and dearest heterosexual friends. ‘UV parties… how very 00s’ | Josh Cannon, InstagramWhere did you go and who did you go with?It was an even split: eleven boys and eleven girls. I was the only gay person in the group, possibly in the whole resort.We went to an island called Kos, in Greece. We were told it was the next Ibiza. We were so keen we had these awful tops printed that said ‘Kos We Want To’. I’m surprised we didn’t get punched for wearing them. Unsurprisingly, it was nothing like Ibiza.What was one of the most disgusting things you saw on the trip?I saw my mate finger a girl on the middle of a pretty busy dance floor. He was at it for ages in full sight of everyone. He then ate a bag of chips without even washing his hands.Did you ever feel uncomfortable being the only LGBTI person on holiday?I mean, first off, I want to say it was a great group of friends I went with, and I was never made to feel uncomfortable by them. However, the general atmosphere – the bars, the clubs, the reps – were aggressively heterosexual. I remember there was a group of lads from England in our hotel who constantly had their cocks out. After the booze cruise they all got off the coach and were walking down the street and pissing at the same time. In fact, one night, they climbed over the balcony and into one of our rooms, dropped their shorts, and did a helicopter dick right in front of us all whilst chanting ‘My cock is bigger than yours’. I did feel a little uncomfortable then.Was there any group drama on the trip?For some reason there was a trend in our group to just storm off drunk. One night one of my friends went missing. After we all woke up the following afternoon, she still wasn’t back. Phone was off and everything. We just sat by the pool hoping she would return. Eventually she did, in last night’s outfit, heels in hand. Turns out she met a guy. It also turns out that guy was a virgin and decided not to go through with it, so they just awkwardly laid there all night. He’d also lost his key too, so she had to climb over a cooker and out the window to get out, in front of all the holidaymakers, while wearing last night’s outfit. People were annoyed at her but I couldn’t stop laughing. All that effort and she didn’t even get laid. Did you hook up with anyone?Like I said, only gay on the island. However, at least two of my friends lost their virginity on that holiday… fond memories for them I’m sure.Not quite the boat party he was looking for | Callum Jewell, Instagram Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Why are things so embarrassing when you’re younger? Everyday I walk down the street and shout ‘Oh God!’ directly into a stranger’s face because I remember that one time, in my A Level English class, I burped halfway through my teacher’s feminism lecture because I daydreamed I was at home. Madonna reveals why Lisbon is so much better for her than the USA eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) A tapestry of bad decisions | Photo: Tom Caponcenter_img Where did you go and who did you go with? Five friends from uni (and one of set of parents, whose boat it was) and I went on a canal boat trip from Oxford to Wallingford and back for a few days. I was the only LGBT person on the trip. What was the most disgusting thing you saw on the trip?It wasn’t so much what I saw. It was the actions of numerous people we had the misfortune to encounter. That or the absolute state of the toilet that we had to clean at the end of the week… the smell was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.Did you ever feel uncomfortable being the only LGBTI person on the trip?Yes. Numerous times. Nothing to do with my friends but in Abingdon we were in a bar and the Olympics was on and it was showing Tom Daley. A guy at the bar started going on about how disgusting gays are and using homophobic slurs. I was trying my best to ignore it but then he turned to us and said, ‘don’t you think boys? Not right.’I stood up, had a go and walked out. My friends stayed and put him in his place properly. That made me feel really good that they had my back. After a night out in Oxford we went to a takeaway. I was inside and I got my food and I was called a faggot by two young guys in there. A big argument ensued and I got grabbed by the bouncer and thrown out. When I asked him why I was kicked out when I was the one being abused he told me he didn’t care. We walked away and the guys came back out and started to shouting a triad of abuse after me. My friend had to hold me back from getting involved in a fight I almost certainly would have lot it. It really put a downer on the trip for me.A lovely wedding jeopardized by lads | Photo: James Coulson, InstagramWhere did you go and who did you go with?Went to Majorca and out in Magaluf for a wedding. Three of us from work went together but had about 60 people at the wedding. I was the only gay. Was there any drama in the group?The bride kicked off in the coach on the way back from the wedding because everyone was chanting her brother’s name. She took it the wrong way and screamed ‘it’s my wedding so everyone shut the fuck up,’ and the whole coach went silent. Her brother is a little geeky and quiet. Everyone was trying to include him and banter with him, so all the lads were chanting his name. She kicked off at everyone apart from me because I didn’t join in. She was sat next to me and I had to calm her down. The next day she was laughing about it but nobody else, including the bridesmaids, ever mentioned it again.Oh, and the groom got arrested the day before the wedding. His mates got him so drunk the police came over and made him get in the car. He was saying ‘can you let me go I haven’t done anything and I’m getting married’ and they replied ‘not any more’. They did drop him back at the hotel and made him pay a fine. But the bride’s mum and dad just arrived at the hotel and the first thing they see is [the groom] getting out of a police car.If you are an LGBTI person and have any holiday horror stories you want to share, get in contact with Tom on Twitter at @TomCapon or [email protected]More from Gay Star News:Meet the gay Spaniard who dated 7 men in 7 cities and made it into a vid series GAYSTARNEWS- Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Why I sobbed tears of joy when Trinidad and Tobago decriminalized homosexualityHow do I convince my mum to accept my sexuality and wish me happiness?Meet the gay Spaniard who dated 7 men in 7 cities and made it into a vid seriesRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/gay-guys-holiday-horror-stories/last_img read more

Sharjah Tourism Development calls for strengthening Vision 2021

first_imgThe Sharjah Tourism Advisory Committee, chaired by H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), held its third meeting to discuss the latest developments in the tourism sector in the emirate. The meeting focused on Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 aim to attract 10 million tourists by 2021, and identified the main pillars that have been activated to achieve this goal. The meeting also highlighted the success achieved by SCTDA during the recent participations in international tourism fairs and regional and global promotional tours.The high-profile meeting was attended by H.E. Saif Mohamed Al Midfa, Director General, Expo Centre Sharjah; Ahmed Al Qaseer, Chief Operating Officer, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Manal Attayah, Director General, Sharjah Museums Department; Naser Nasief, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Committee for Tourism Sector-Hotels; Engineer Lamia Obaid Al Shamsi, Director, IT, Sharjah International Airport Authority; Omar Mattar, Sales Manager, Air Arabia; Maha Jawaad, Administrative Coordinator in  the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Abdul Wahid Al Zarouni, Chairman of the Travel, Haj & Umrah Business Group in the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Mohamed Meer Abdulrahman, Manager, Department of Seaports and Customs; and Abdul Aziz Al Jarwan, Director, Commission for Roads and Transportation in Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority.Reviewing the main features of the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, launched recently by SCTDA, H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa called for concerted efforts of all players in the tourism sector, pointing out that cooperation between all parties is critical to achieving the Vision.H.E. Al Midfa said the Authority is working on activating the key pillars of the Vision in collaboration with partners from the private and government sectors, and has launched initiatives and services to support the Vision. He also highlighted some of the initiatives and programmes launched recently, including the ‘Marhabtain’ initiative, a comprehensive training programme that aims to develop capabilities in the tourism sector and enhance the skill levels of national cadres in this sector.H.E. Al Midfa said the Authority is targeting new markets and looking to expand its share of the global travel and tourism market.  China, India and the GCC are the most important markets for SCTDA in achieving the objectives of Vision 2021, H.E. Midfa added. He also highlighted the need to promote business tourism and conferences due to the importance of this sector around the world.The Sharjah Tourism Advisory Committee’s third meeting concluded with the attendees unanimously expressing their commitment to cooperation and exchange of information and expertise. They also reviewed current tourism projects and explored avenues to strengthen cooperation to promote these projects and connect them to Vision 2021.last_img read more