Did you know Why flights are longer now than they were in

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by Wednesday, January 11, 2017 TORONTO — The 1970s will always be remembered for disco music and platform shoes, and not so much for technological advances. Back then, computers were big and clunky, phones were still of the rotary kind, and the Walkman was considered a breakthrough achievement. It was not a time known for science and technology, but then how do you explain the fact that commercial flights were actually faster back then compared to those today?According to Business Insider, a flight between New York and Houston took just two hours and 37 minutes in 1973, compared to three hours and 50 minutes today. The reason? Today’s high price of fuel.As it turns out, airlines today are instructing pilots to fly at slower speeds in an effort to save on fuel costs. Business Insider reports that between 2002 and 2012, the price of fuel increased from US$0.70 per gallon to more than $3.Flying slower has paid off for many airlines, including Northwest Airlines, which in 2008 was able to trim 162 gallons of fuel off a flight between Paris and Minneapolis after the pilot cut his average speed by two miles per hour. This reduction in speed resulted in an additional eight minutes to the total flight time, but also saved the airline about $365, reports the Daily Mail.More news:  Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksSo there you have it. Now when your flight runs over on time, rather than blaming the airline you can actually blame inflation. Did you know? Why flights are longer now than they were in the 1970s Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Transat celebrates 30 years with travel agent incentive 30 prize trips

first_img Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — As part of its 30th anniversary celebrations Transat will be holding prize draws throughout the year to award 30 surprise trips to travel consultants across Canada.Three trips will be drawn each month from February to November, with one draw in Quebec, one in the Ontario-Atlantic region and one in Western Canada.“Travel agents have been key Transat partners since the company’s beginnings,” said Denise Heffron, Vice-President, National Sales and Commercial, Transat Tours Canada. “That’s why we decided to make them part of our 30th anniversary celebrations and show how important they are to us.”Transat has chosen one milestone date in its history for each of the next 10 months for each surprise trip. On the morning of each ‘surprise day,’ the company will notify travel consultants that every Transat product booking – either flights, packages or cruises – made that day will earn them one chance to win a trip.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThere will be one trip drawn per month in each of the regions (Quebec, Ontario-Atlantic and West). The names of two other agents, having also booked a Transat product on the surprise date, will also be drawn randomly to earn $30 in Bonbon rewards. All of the winners’ names will be announced a few days after the surprise date.No registration is required; contest entry is automatic as soon as a consultant sells the product. Transat says it has a variety of surprises and special activities planned throughout its 30th anniversary year. Travelweek Group center_img Transat celebrates 30 years with travel agent incentive: 30 prize trips Friday, February 10, 2017 Tags: Agent Incentives, Transatlast_img read more

UK pay TV provider Virgin TV has launched an app p

first_imgUK pay TV provider Virgin TV has launched an app package that gives viewers access to two Indian video-on-demand services, Eros Now and Voot.Virgin TV customers can add the Desi App Pack to their service from this week and access the content, which is available in more than 10 languages, by going to channel 800 on their V6 box and pressing the red button on their remote.Voot is home to original productions like It’s Not That Simple, hit shows such as Bigg Boss, and more than 400 movies. Eros Now offers a library of more than 11,000 films including original productions such as Operation Cobra and Enaaya.Viewers who already pay for Virgin’s £12 per-month Asian Mela TV offering – which includes 11 Asian channels such as Star Plus and Zee TV – can add the Desi App Package for an additional £6 per-month. For all other customers, the Desi App Package will cost £12 per-month.“We designed our V6 TV box to work seamlessly with on demand apps such as Netflix and to maximise the power of our fibre network for instantaneous access to the limitless programming available on demand. The addition of the Desi apps further strengthens our lead in the on demand viewing experience,” said David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer at Virgin Media.Eros Digital CEO, Rishika Lulla Singh, added: “With increasing consumption of cross border content and popularity of Indian films, we are excited to announce our collaboration with Virgin Media.“Eros Now is the largest South Asian Video Service with close to 16 million paid subscribers [the] world over and the United Kingdom is one of our primary international markets. We are happy to cater to this growing community with best of Indian content and remain focused on expanding our global presence by exploring opportunities to connect with local audiences.”last_img read more

In This Issue… Dudley agrees with Yellen on rat

first_imgIn This Issue… * Dudley agrees with Yellen on rates… * Which sends Gold higher! * Chinese GDP weakens to 8.1%… * Buying Gold on the dips… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Rates To Remain Near Zero Through 2014 … Good day… And a Happy Friday to one and all! It’s Opening Day here in St. Louis as baseball comes back to the town that loves its Cardinals and baseball. The people of the city will be dressed in red today, the ballpark will be a sea of red, and the excitement for the day begins… But, we could be in trouble weather wise… It’s already rained in some parts of the city and is expected to rain all day and night here… UGH! The Cardinals are the reigning World Series Champions, and should have opened their season at home… But no… they played a week on the road to start the season… If they had opened at home, last week was sunny and 80 all week… OK… Sorry… I guess if the game gets rained out, we can all go see the Opening of the 3 Stooges Movie! HA! Sorry… but guys my age all grew up watching the 3 Stooges, and laughing until it hurt… In my old writing style… I would be associating some Gov’t leaders with the 3 Stooges right now, but since I don’t do that any longer, I should just move along, for these are not the droids I’m looking for… Well… the currencies and metals added to their gains yesterday as the day went along. The euro traded briefly at 1.32, and the Aussie dollar (A$) trade through $1.04… There was more Fed Heads speaking, and Fed Head Dudley agreed with Fed Head Yellen who had said the previous day that keeping interest rates near zero through 2014 was needed… Dudley said, “I haven’t seen any set of information that should suggest to me we should change that view.” So, that got the ball rolling with Gold, for as I’ve explained many times in the past 4 years since interest rates around the world headed to zero… Gold competes with deposit rates… So, if there are no deposit rates, Gold is the chief beneficiary… And now knowing that 2 Fed Heads agree with Fed President, Big Ben Bernanke, that rates need to remain near zero through 2014, really got the ball rolling for Gold, and as I left the office, with my tail dragging, and totally exhausted, Gold was up $17 on the day… But… all the euphoria in the risk assets got some cold water thrown on them by the latest GDP data from China overnight… China’s 1st QTR GDP grew at the slowest pace in 11 quarters, but was still a robust +8.1%… If you keep with what I told you years ago, that you should believe 1/2 of what the Chinese report, then that puts 1st QTR GDP at +4%, which is still far greater than most countries around the world… So, the moderation of the Chinese economy continues… But that really takes a bite out of the Commodity Countries’ currencies… Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, all felt the bite of slower Chinese economic growth. I think this slower GDP report might spur that reserve requirement reduction we were looking for last weekend, even with inflation bumping higher last month. A move to reduce reserve requirements would be like a rate cut, and even though in the old days, that was viewed as debasing a currency, these days, the markets reward countries that promote growth… And the global growth countries would be jumping up and clicking their heels together! I’ve spent a couple of days this week talking about Singapore and the Sing dollar (S$) well, as I explained the other day, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) met last night, and I was quite pleased with their decision… The MAS decided to maintain its currency’s appreciation and increase the slope of its trading band… Apparently the MAS is very concerned about rising inflation in Singapore, and as I’ve explained in the past the MAS uses the S$ to combat inflation… They do this by adjusting the trade-weighted band of currencies by changing the slope, width and center of the band. A flatter slope allows slower appreciation or even depreciation over time, but… that’s not what the MAS has decided it will do going forward… The will increase the slope, which means they will allow additional currency appreciation! Heading over the North Pole from China, we land in Canada… and the Canadian dollar /loonie finally got back to parity to the U.S. dollar yesterday, as the price of Oil rebounded from a dip this week. The price of Oil rebounded to $103, and I’ve told you many times that a higher Oil Price is needed to move the loonie higher, as the Bank of Canada (BOC) refuses to hike rates. You know… I like the Canadian dollar / loonie for a number of reasons, but what I don’t like is the BOC sitting and watching a housing bubble and doing nothing… Finance Minister, Flaherty, said that he “prefers to allow the Housing Market to correct itself” Vancouver and Toronto are the locations of the biggest housing problems… But to sit there, and do nothing is not prudent in my opinion… Speaking of Oil… I read a report last night that made a lot of sense to me… the researcher pointed toward the growth in U.S. M3 Money Supply as a strong reason for the elevated Oil prices… in the report they showed that M3 had grown more than 150% since 1998, while global Oil reserves grew 33%… Which means more dollars in circulation chasing a certain amount of Oil reserves, and you get inflated Oil prices… But remember… the price of getting Oil out of the ground continues to rise too… And, don’t forget what I told you a month or so ago, about how the Saudi’s need to keep the price of Oil high, to keep the money flowing, and prevent riots like those seen all over the Middle East last year. And don’t forget that there’s a strong correlation between Oil prices and the U.S. dollar, that began around 2004, and is now at a 82% historic average… years ago, there was no such correlation, but as time has gone on, and investors learn that they can hedge against dollar weakness with commodities like Oil… the correlation has come about… Buying Gold is another investment that hedges against dollar weakness… but it’s also a commodity… it’s a currency… it’s an uncertainty hedge… No… it’s Super Man! Just having some fun… I know a lot of people think that Gold’s shiny days are over… But, I’m not one of them! And apparently long time acquaintance, Frank Holmes, the CEO of U.S. Global Investors, isn’t one of them either… Frank was interviewed for Forbes.com and he said that, “buying the dips in Gold has been the right move for a decade.” If you’re interested in reading what else Frank had to say about why buying Gold on the dips continues to be the right move, you can click here:. OK… The pressure on the euro and the ECB coming from Spain continues to be strong… The return of the Spanish Flu? I read a report that called the problems in Spain the return of the Spanish Flu… I’m not sure that associating a debt problem with a pandemic that killed between 50 and 100 million people is a good thing… In fact, I’m sure it isn’t! Well.. as I said earlier this week, the European Central Bank (ECB) is becoming the Fed of Europe… and with that title, the ECB will look to buy Spanish debt, and not continue the 3-year loans they’ve been making… We’ll have to wait-n-see what the markets think of that. But judging from the performance of the euro this morning, It looks like the markets don’t really care, as the euro is up from where it was when I came in and turned on the screens this morning. There’s a story out this morning that says that Japan’s top Pension Fund is going to begin to invest in emerging markets stocks as early as this quarter. The Pension Fund oversees $1.3 Trillion, will begin to focus on markets including Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Korea, Taiwan and South Africa… This is good news for these countries and their stock markets, and vis-à-vis each respective currency… for… the currency of each country has to be bought to buy stock in that country! Speaking of South Korea… things are brighter there this morning, after the North Korea rocket launch failed… There was another earthquake, this time hitting in Mexico… That’s two earthquakes this week around the world… The data cupboard told us yesterday that the Trade Deficit for February narrowed to $46 Billion from $52.5 Billion… remember that February has fewer days, before you go out and buy something that was imported to make up for the difference! HA! PPI (wholesale inflation) showed a .3% increase month-on-month, and an annualized figure of 2.8%… The Initial Jobless Claims gained 13,000 last week, moving to 380,000 from 367,000… Today, we’ll see the stupid CPI (Consumer Inflation) … And the U. of Michigan Consumer Confidence report… Then There Was This… I meant to talk about this yesterday, but, completely forgot, until I heard it mentioned again in a TV interview that I saw. (Thanks JMR Doug!) Here’s what I’m talking about… There are reports out that say the Big Banks are once again beginning to give loans to bad credit people… OMG! More Sub Prime? Have we not learned anything? I shake my head in disgust here folks, because… This will all end up in the crying pool… I’m not someone that doesn’t believe in giving people a chance, but at the same time, I’m someone that believes in the once bitten twice shy, babe… More Sub Prime… again, it’s an election year… right? To recap… Dudley agrees with Yellen that rates will remain near zero through 2014… That pushes Gold higher on the day. Oil rebounds to $103. Chinese GDP weakens to 8.1%, thus proving that the moderation is in, not the collapse that many economist called for. Sub Prime 2? When do we ever learn? And Frank Holmes tells us about buying Gold on the dips! Currencies today 4/13/12… American Style: A$ $1.0405, kiwi .83, C$ $1.0065, euro 1.3165, sterling 1.5935, Swiss $1.0955, … European Style: rand 7.8755, krone 5.7770, SEK 6.7515, forint 225, zloty 3.1730, koruna 18.7760, RUB 29.46, yen 81, sing 1.2455, HKD 7.7610, INR 51.33, China 6.3025, pesos 13.07, BRL 1.8260, Dollar Index 79.45, Oil $103, 10-year 2.01%, Silver $32.37, and Gold… $1,675.05… and getting back to our old Friday practice of taking a peek at the U.S. Debt Clock… click here… http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html That’s it for today… A Big Congratulations to our little Christine and hubby Matt, on the birth of a baby boy yesterday… That’s 3 boys now for Christine & Matt… 2 more and they’ll have a basketball team! I meant to wish our Blues good luck on the start of the Playoffs yesterday and forgot… The Blues forgot how they beat the Sharks 4 times this year, and lost the first game… We’ve been disappointed for over 40 years, but I was hoping this was going to be “the year”… It’s best of 7, so they can come back… I made it through today’s letter without mentioning it’s Friday the 13th! Until now that is… Be careful out there today! So… Opening Day in St. Louis! If you’ve never been here for this, you should… Since 2007, I get chills every time the players come in, the Clydesdales go around the stadium, and look around at the sea of red… and with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today, before I really begin to get sappy! I hope you have a Fantastico Friday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

Heres another two photos I took on Sunday  Its

first_imgHere’s another two photos I took on Sunday.  It’s our old friend, the double-crested cormorant.  It’s the same bird sitting in the same spot that I presented in this column about a month ago—and that I photographed in early summer as well, so I would think that it’s a non-breeding adult.  Since I already had all the photos of this fellow I could ever want, I thought it would fun to see how close I could get.  The first photo is from about 8 meters at bird-eye level, which is point blank range for a 400mm telephoto lens for an object this size, so I didn’t have to crop it much.  Here he/she is, standing on one leg, pretending to sleep, but with at least one eye wide open.  The second photo was taken from a bit further away and from a slightly elevated position on some stairs as I left.  I spent half an hour at that spot—and it didn’t move an inch. Are we done to the downside?  Beats the hell out of me.  JPMorgan et al along with their HFT buddies can do anything they want.  But there are limits to how low these prices can be driven—and as Ted Butler said in his Saturday column—and again on the phone yesterday—if we’re not there already, we aren’t far off.  I’m sure he’ll have more to say about this to his paying subscribers in his mid-week commentary later today.And as I write this paragraph, the London open is less than 15 minutes away—and prices did absolute nothing in Far East trading on their Wednesday.  Of course silver had it’s obligatory down spike at the 6 p.m. open in New York on Tuesday evening—and it’s still down as of this writing.  Net gold volume is around 15,000 contracts—and silver’ net volume is 4,500 contracts.  The dollar index is basically unchanged.As I said in The Wrap yesterday, I was kind of hoping that JPMorgan et al would get this over with on Tuesday, as I would like all the data in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, as yesterday at the close of Comex trading was the cut-off for that report.  And whether it was the bottom or not, there’s an excellent chance that all of it should be reported in a timely manner.And as I send this off to Stowe, Vermont at 5:20 a.m. EDT, I note that all four precious metals are being guided lower—and are below yesterday’s closing prices in New York—and palladium is once again at a new low for this move down.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if ‘da boyz’ had the other three precious metals at new lows before the trading day is done in New York today.  Gold’s net volume is now 25,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is up to 6,500 contracts net.  The dollar index is still up a tiny amount.Based on what I see here, nothing will surprise me from a price perspective when I check out the Kitco charts after I fire up my computer later this morning.And before heading out the door, I’d like to point out that the Casey OnePass has been opened for a very brief period of time.  You have until this Friday to sign up to save $1,749 on the full subscription package.As you know, with the Casey OnePass, you get ALL of Casey’s newsletters (no CIA or CEC alert services) at a significant saving of $1,749 per year.  But more importantly, we’ve got some good opportunities across all sectors—and what better way to keep track of them, then to sign up for a service that includes them all?You can find out all you need to know by clicking here—and it costs nothing to have a look.I’m off to bed.  See you here tomorrow. There are limits to how low these prices can be drivenIt was a very quiet day on Tuesday with not much happening during Far East and London trading session.  That all changed starting at 11:40 a.m. EDT when the HFT boyz showed up with their algorithms—and it appeared that a new low for this move down was set at, or very close to, the 1:30 p.m. Comex close.  From there it rallied a few bucks before rallying anew starting around 3:15 p.m.  A thoughtful non-for-profit seller put a pin in that rally balloon a few minutes after 4 p.m.—and  the price didn’t do much after that.The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,258.90 and $1,248.10 in the December contract.Gold finished the Tuesday trading session in New York at $1,255.80 spot, up 30 cents from Monday’s close.  Net volume was around 113,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart on its own so you can see the finer details of the Comex and electronic markets in New York yesterday.Brad Robertson sent us the 5-minute gold tick chart—and you can see the associated volume that went with the price action.  Remember to add 2 hours for EDT.After the obligatory down tick at the open on Monday night in New York, the silver price made quite a few attempts to break above its Monday closing price in New York, but didn’t quite make it.  Once Comex trading began however, there was some price pressure—and ‘da boyz’ printed a new silver low as well for this move down shortly after 12 o’clock noon in New York.  After that, it traded almost the same as gold, including the nifty rally that began at 3:15 p.m. EDT—which also got cut off a the knees minutes after 4 p.m. by a willing seller.The low and high ticks were reported as $18.89 and $19.155 in the December contract.Silver finished the Monday trading session at $19.055 spot, up 3.5 cents from Monday.  Net volume was 30,500 contracts.And here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart.Platinum and palladium weren’t spared by the HFT algorithm yesterday, either.  Platinum, which is now hugely oversold, was closed down 12 bucks, but well off its low tick.Palladium really got it in the neck yesterday starting at the London p.m. gold fix—and by 12:15 p.m. EDT, most of the damage had been done—and ‘da boyz’ closed it down by 24 bucks.  It was a dollar or so lower than that on the day as well.The dollar index closed late on Monday afternoon in New York at 80.30.  From there it chopped to its 84.56 high, which occurred at precisely 9:00 a.m. BST in London on their Tuesday morning.  Then it drifted unsteadily lower, closing at 84.17, which was down 13 basis points on the day—and 39 points off its high tick.The gold stocks rallied slightly into positive territory at the open—and then slowly began to sink back into the red, hitting their lows just before the 3:15 p.m. EDT rally began in both gold and silver.  They popped back into positive territory in no time—and the HUI closed up 1.48%.The silver equities followed a similar path, except their time in positive territory didn’t last long—and they got sold down much harder than the gold shares.  They were down by almost 3 percent at their 3:15 p.m. EDT low—and the subsequent rally in Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index cut the loss to only 0.86%.The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 227 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday.  In silver, the two largest short/issuers were ABN Amro and R.J. O’Brien with 138 and 77 contracts respectively.  There were 11 different long/stoppers. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here—and it’s certainly worth a quick look.The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session shows that there are still 24 gold contracts left open in the September delivery month, which is unchanged from Monday’s report.  But the number of silver contracts left open in September rose by 90 yesterday, so there are now 977 contracts left to deliver in September—from which you can subtract the 227 contracts mentioned in the prior paragraph.There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 9:40 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.  But when I was editing today’s efforts at 3:55 a.m. EDT, I was shocked to see that there was another addition to SLV.  This time it was 1,438,770 troy ounces.  Was this deposited to cover an existing JPMorgan short position?  Since the beginning of the month, 3.12 million ounces of silver have been added to SLV—and 9.7 million troy ounces were added in August—and since August 1, silver prices have been engineered lower to the tune of almost two bucks.  During the same time period, GLD has shed about 320,000 troy ounces.We should get the new short positions for both GLD and SLV this evening sometime—and that will be up until the end of August.  The 3.12 million ounces added so far this month, won’t show up in shortsqueeze.com‘s numbers until almost the end of September.There was another sales report from the U.S. Mint.  The sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—200,000 silver eagles—and 100 platinum eagles.Once again there was big movement at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  In gold, nothing was reported received, but 56,748 troy ounces were shipped out, with most of it coming out of Scotiabank’s vault.  The link to that activity is here.In silver, there was 601,494 troy ounces received—and 1,222,262 troy ounces shipped out the door.  All the activity was at the CNT Depository—and Brink’s, Inc.  The link to that action is here.Happily, I don’t have all that many stories for you today—and that suits me just fine.  You as well, I would assume.Let me take another shot at trying to highlight why this COMEX physical turnover, unique to silver among all commodities, has captured my attention. There are six COMEX-approved silver warehouses—four in the vicinity of New York City and two not that far away in Delaware and Massachusetts. There is not a lot of silver mining or smelting occurring in this narrow area of the Northeastern US, although this is clearly a hub for distribution and transportation. This year some 900,000 oz of silver on average have moved into or out from these six warehouses on a daily basis.Converting world annual silver mine production to the same five day work week as COMEX inventories are reported (800 million oz divided by 250 days), the daily world mine production of silver comes to 3.2 million oz each business day. The daily average movement of silver into and out from the COMEX silver warehouses at 900,000 oz is equal to 28% of total world daily mine production, even though the world mines and refines silver in areas far from the narrow area where the COMEX silver warehouses are located. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 06 September 2014[And as an aside to what Ted say above, it’s a very good bet that just about every good delivery bar that’s been received or shipped out of these six Comex-approved depositories during the last three years or so, has some pretty awesome ‘frequent flyer’ points attached to them. – Ed]I don’t have much to add to my prior comments about any of the four precious metals, as JPMorgan et al took all four of them to new lows yesterday in these ongoing engineered price declines.Here are the 6-month charts for all four metals.last_img read more

Nearly a third of households in the United States

first_imgNearly a third of households in the United States have struggled to pay their energy bills, the Energy Information Administration said in a report released Wednesday. The differences were minor in terms of geography, but Hispanics and racial minorities were hit hardest.About one in five households had to reduce or forego food, medicine and other necessities to pay an energy bill, according to the report. “Of the 25 million households that reported forgoing food and medicine to pay energy bills, 7 million faced that decision nearly every month,” the report stated.More than 10 percent of households kept their homes at unhealthy or unsafe temperatures. The data come from the federal agency’s most recent energy consumption survey in 2015. That year, expenditures for energy were at their lowest in more than decade, according to the agency. “We only conduct the Residential Energy Consumption Survey every 4-5 years,” survey manager Chip Berry told NPR by email. “This is the first time in the history of the study (goes back to late ’70s) that we have [measured] energy insecurity across all households, so there’s not much in the way of historical comparison.”The study found that about half of households experiencing trouble reported income of less than $20,000. More than 40 percent had at least one child. And people of color were disproportionately affected: about half of respondents who reported challenges paying their energy bills identified as black. More than 40 percent identified as Latino.”It’s not shocking, because the communities of color disproportionately face all the highest burdens, whether it’s housing, lack of jobs or education,” Tracey Capers, executive vice president of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, a community development initiative in New York, told The Associated Press. A 2016 study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Energy Efficiency for All found that African-American and Latino households “paid more for utilities per square foot than the average household.” Housing for the low income also tended to be less energy efficient, researchers found. Families in that group were at higher risk for respiratory diseases and stress. “Households can spend more than 20 percent of their total income on their electricity needs,” George Koutitas, CEO and co-founder of Gridmates, a crowdfunding platform told NPR. Gridmates funnels donations to utility companies for struggling customers’ energy bills.Low-income heat assistance programs, he says, only go so far. Weatherization programs that insulate a home “take a lot of time and they are not very responsive.” Bill assistance alternatives, he says, are underfunded and have been canceled. Citing lack of need and fraud, the Trump administration called for an end to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program last fall and winter.”Please I beg you to bring back this assistance with electricity,” a woman in northern Texas wrote, after a state assistance program called Lite-Up Texas ran out of money, according to The Texas Tribune. “I am going to freeze during this cold season.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Marijuana it seems is not a performanceenhancin

first_imgMarijuana, it seems, is not a performance-enhancing drug. That is, at least, not among young people, and not when the activity is learning.A study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry finds that when adolescents stop using marijuana – even for just one week – their verbal learning and memory improves. The study contributes to growing evidence that marijuana use in adolescents is associated with reduced neurocognitive functioning.More than 14 percent of middle and high school students reported using marijuana within the last month, finds a National Institutes of Health survey conducted in 2017. And marijuana use has increased among high schoolers over the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. At the same time, the percentage of teens who believe that regular marijuana use poses a great risk to their health has dropped sharply since the mid-2000s. And, legalization of marijuana may play a part in shaping how young people think about the drug. One study noted that after 2012, when marijuana was legalized in Washington state, the number of eighth graders there that believed marijuana posed risks to their health dropped by 14 percent. Researchers are particularly concerned with use of marijuana among the young because THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, most sharply affects the parts of the brain that develop during adolescence.”The adolescent brain is undergoing significant neurodevelopment well into the 20s, and the regions that are last to develop are those regions that are most populated by cannabis receptors, and are also very critical to cognitive functioning,” says Randi Schuster. Schuster is the director of Neuropsychology at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Addiction Medicine, and the study’s lead author.Schuster and the team of researchers set out to determine if cognitive functions that are potentially harmed by marijuana use in adolescents – particularly attention and memory – improve when they abstain from marijuana.They recruited 88 pot-using teens and young adults, ages 16 to 25, and got some of them to agree to stop smoking (or otherwise consuming) marijuana for the month. Schuster says the researchers wanted to recruit a range of participants, not just heavy users or those in a treatment program, for example. Some of the young people smoked once per week; some smoked nearly daily. The researchers randomly assigned the volunteers into an abstaining group and a non-abstaining group. They delivered the bad news to those chosen to be abstainers at the end of their first visit, and Shuster says, they took it surprisingly well.”People were generally fine,” she says. “We kind of went through what the next month would look like and helped them come up with strategies for staying abstinent.”One motivation for the non-tokers to stick with the program? They received increasing amounts of money each week of the month-long study.The researchers urine tested both groups on a weekly basis to make sure that the THC levels for the abstinent group were going down, but that the levels for the control group were staying consistent as they continued using.Also at each visit, the participants completed a variety of tasks testing their attention and memory through the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, a validated cognitive assessment tool. The researchers found that after four weeks, there was no noticeable difference in attention scores between the marijuana users and the non-users. But, the memory scores of the non-users improved, whereas the users’ memories mostly stayed the same.The verbal memory test challenged participants to learn and recall new words, which “lets us look both at their ability to learn information the first time the words were presented, as well as the number of words that they’re able to retrieve from long-term memory storage after a delay,” Schuster says.Verbal memory is particularly relevant for adolescents and young adults when they’re in the classroom, says Schuster.”For an adolescent sitting in their history class learning new facts for the first time, we’re suspecting that active cannabis users might have a difficult time putting that new information into their long-term memory,” Schuster says.While this study didn’t prove that abstaining from cannabis improves adolescents’ attention, other studies have found that marijuana users fare worse in attention tests than non-users. Schusters hypothesizes it might take more than four weeks of abstinence for attention levels to improve.Interestingly, most of the memory improvement for the abstinent group happened during the first week of the study, which leaves the researchers feeling hopeful.”We were pleasantly surprised to see that at least some of the deficits that we think may be caused by cannabis appear to be reversible, and at least some of them are quickly reversible, which is good news,” Schuster says.One weakness of this study is its lack of a non-marijuana-using control group, says Krista Lisdahl, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee who was not involved with the study, but also researches the neuroscience of addiction. Because of this, it’s difficult to conclude whether the improvements in memory brought the participants back to their baseline levels prior to using marijuana.Also, because the study lasted only four weeks, it’s impossible to draw conclusions about the long term effects of marijuana usage for young people, such as how marijuana directly affects academic performance or sleep patterns or mood.Lisdahl says that longitudinal studies like the NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, could provide more information about what marijuana does to the adolescent brain. It might also reveal what happens if adolescents stop using marijuana, and if their brain functioning can completely recover.Lisdahl is helping with the NIH study, which has, to date, enrolled over 11,000 children ages nine and 10, and will follow them over into young adulthood. It’s the largest long-term research study on child brain development in the U.S., and it assesses how everything from screen time to concussions to drugs affect adolescents’ brains.In the meantime, Lisdahl says the findings from the new study – that abstinence from marijuana is associated with improvements in adolescents’ learning and memory – sends a positive message.”I remain optimistic that we can show recovery of function with sustained abstinence,” she says.Rachel D. Cohen is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Updated July 19 at 1225 pm ETMark Morgan actin

first_imgUpdated July 19 at 12:25 p.m. ETMark Morgan, acting head of Customs and Border Protection, said on Thursday that his agency is rolling out the Trump administration’s new asylum rule as a small “pilot” for now but that officials expect it to be blocked in court.The rule is a major change in U.S. asylum law. It effectively denies asylum protection to most migrants arriving at the Southern border unless they first apply in a country they passed through on the way.”Although the new federal regulation allows us to apply that all 2,000 miles along the Southwest border, we’re not going to do that. We’re really piloting it in just one location,” Morgan said during an interview on All Things Considered.In a statement on Friday, Morgan said that he was not referring to implementation of the new rule “as a whole.” He said the rule applies to all migrants who didn’t previously apply for asylum in another country but for now his agency is only putting it into place in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas at two CBP stations.”That location is briefed, and they know what to do and how to do that now,” he said. “It’s very limited,” he said.Morgan said he doesn’t expect the policy to be in place for long.”We’re actually anticipating the … regulation will be enjoined. And then we’ll have to go from there, as unfortunately, many times, this happens,” Morgan said.Two federal lawsuits that have been filed in California and Washington, D.C.Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union’s immigrant rights project said the administration hadn’t presented the rule as limited in court where the rule is being challenged.”It may be that the government is backtracking given the plain illegality of the rule. But whether it applies across the southern border or only in two places, it will cause serious harm and we will continue to challenge the new rule,” Gelernt said.U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, whose officers interview asylum seekers, did not respond to requests for comment. That agency issued guidance earlier this week, saying the rule applies to migrants who cross the southern border and took effect Tuesday.Morgan, who has been on the job for two weeks after spending just a month as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also addressed an internal CBP investigation into a private Border Patrol Facebook group that circulated obscene images of Democrats in Congress and ridiculed people who have crossed the border illegally. “It was horrendous,” Morgan said.”Some of the images that were out there, absolutely horrendous, wrong and not consistent with the way CBP, or specifically, Border Patrol conducts themselves.””We’re going to hold these people responsible,” Morgan said, adding that offenders could face criminal charges.”I don’t know whether the actions will satisfy any of the elements of criminal charges, but that has been talked about just to show how serious we’re taking that,” Morgan said.Nearly all high-level immigration officials at the Department of Homeland Security are serving in an acting capacity. Morgan acknowledged “that any time you have turnover, there is some impact.”But he said it doesn’t affect his job.”We do the same job, we have the same authority, same responsibilities whether acting is in front of our name or not. I don’t wake up the morning changing anything I do because I have ‘acting’ in front of my name,” he said.On Thursday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testified to Congress that there has been a 28% drop in the number of migrants taken into custody at the Southern border in the last month.Morgan credited Mexico for helping to slow the flow of migrants.”The support that they’ve shown now in the recent couple of weeks is unprecedented. And we’re seeing it there. They’re … tightening up their Southern border. They’re sending more troops to the U.S. Mexico border. And it’s definitely having an impact,” Morgan said. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Levels of satisfaction among claimants of the gove

first_imgLevels of satisfaction among claimants of the government’s new disability benefit are far lower than for other benefits, according to new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures.The survey found that only two-thirds (68 per cent) of personal independence payment (PIP) claimants were satisfied with the service they received from DWP, compared with an average of 82 per cent across all 10 benefits surveyed.The report covered the period from summer 2014 to summer 2015.PIP, which is gradually replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA), has been mired in controversy, delays and backlogs ever since its launch in April 2013.Government documents have previously estimated that the number of working-age claimants would be cut by as much as 28 per cent by 2018, with 900,000 fewer people receiving PIP than if DLA had not been replaced.Some disabled people had to wait more than a year just to be assessed, while Atos – one of two government contractors carrying out the assessments – had to fend off claims that it misled the government over how many assessment centres it would provide across London and the south of England.And earlier this month, research by Caroline Richardson, Stef Benstead and Emma Nock for the user-led Spartacus online network concluded that DWP had failed to provide “adequate” or “robust” evidence to justify changes set to tighten eligibility for PIP, through changes to how assessments take account of the way a claimant uses independent living aids and appliances.In the survey, one in five PIP claimants (19 per cent) believed they had received incorrect or contradictory information, while only two-thirds (69 per cent) said that DWP had done what it had said it would do (compared with an average of 87 per cent across all 10 benefits).And more than a quarter (26 per cent) of PIP claimants reported some difficulties or problems in their dealings with DWP, compared to 12 per cent overall, and as low as four per cent for attendance allowance and five per cent for state pension claimants.Overall levels of satisfaction were lower and levels of dissatisfaction were higher for PIP than for any of the other nine benefits.But there was some good news for DWP, as the survey showed that, for each of the 10 benefits, more than 90 per cent of staff encountered in person were polite.For all but three of the benefits, this level of satisfaction was at least 96 per cent, while for PIP it was 97 per cent, although based on a sample size of just 38.The report, commissioned by DWP, concluded that PIP claimants were “more likely to report their calls left unanswered; explanations of decisions inadequate; information incorrect or contradictory; timings unclear; and progress updates lacking”.A DWP spokeswoman said: “The survey results show the significant progress made since the PIP rollout began in 2013.“The vast majority of claimants have been satisfied with the service they were provided with, but we’re not complacent and are making improvements.“Crucially, PIP decisions are now made in 11 weeks – three times faster than in January 2014.“Since the introduction of PIP we have continued to make improvements to the system.“We accepted the majority of the recommendations of the first independent review of PIP, carried out by Paul Gray, and have also recently changed the process for providing support to terminally-ill people, meaning they now receive their payments at an earlier point than ever before.”last_img read more

A council has been accused of being vindictive a

first_imgA council has been accused of being “vindictive” and trying to “silence” a disabled people’s organisation (DPO) by withdrawing funding for its advice service, just months after the DPO published a critical report about social care provision in the borough.Labour-runMerton council, in south-west London, has been accused of discriminatingagainst disabled people by withdrawing funding from the only advice service inthe borough that provides welfare rights experts who will visit disabled peoplein their own homes.Thecouncil’s equality impact assessment of the decision to withdraw funding from Merton Centre for Independent Living (MCIL)* concluded that it provided “high qualitycasework support” and was “serving a small number of vulnerable disabled peoplevery well”.It alsoconcluded that the loss of funding would mean “potentially a negative impactidentified for deaf and disabled residents”.But thecouncil decided not to offer funding of £75,000 a year to replace an existing£80,000-a-year grant, arguing that MCIL’s high-intensity service was helpingtoo few people.MCIL willcontinue to provide advice and advocacy services in welfare rights and socialcare, and visit service-users at home, but it has had to close its housingadvice service.The loss ofthe funding may also impact other services, including the advice and support itprovides to victims of disability hate crime.Last October, MCIL published a 96-page report intothe flaws and failings of Merton council’s adult social care provision.That report concludedthat a growing number of disabled people were resorting to legal action againstthe council to secure the support they needed, and warned that Merton council appearedto be carrying out reassessments and reviews of people’s care packages with theaim of cutting their support.RoyBenjamin, MCIL’s chair, said he believed the council was now being “vindictive”in the wake of the social care report.He said: “Itis very much about settling scores. I feel angry… because we are a strong voiceand it’s an attempt to silence us, and clearly any decision to cut ourresources is going to impact on our ability to meet the needs [of disabledpeople in the borough].”He added: “Wealready were not in a position to meet all the need that was identified. Thisis only going to exacerbate [that].”Last year,MCIL supported 332 individual Deaf and disabled people with advice andcasework, and provided information, signposting and guidance in another 170cases, leading to a contribution of nearly £700,000 to the local economy in2017-18.Benjaminsaid it was an “irrational decision” and “discrimination” to cut the funding, becauseof its impact on disabled people who find it difficult to access mainstreamservices.MCILprovides a high-intensity advice service, often following disability benefitscases right through to the appeal stage.Benjaminsaid: “We are the only pan-disability organisation in the borough. We are theonly organisation that offers any sort of domiciliary service for those peoplewho can’t get to [Citizen’s Advice] or other advice providers.”MCIL wasoriginally one of six partners that put together a joint bid for funding.When thatbid was unsuccessful, the council asked the six individual organisations to putin individual bids for funding. MCIL said itwas the only one of the six that was unsuccessful in its bid for funding.The councilnow provides no funding at all to MCIL.A Mertoncouncil spokesperson refused to answer a series of questions about whether itwas being “vindictive” and “settling scores”, if it was discriminating againstdisabled people, and why it ignored the conclusions of its equality impactassessment.But EdithMacauley, the cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities,said in a statement: “Merton is one of only a few London boroughs not to havecut overall funding for the voluntary sector and we are spending around£4million between 2019 and 2022.   “All bidsfor funding of the information and advice element of the Strategic PartnerProgramme 2019-22 were scored against the funding criteria, but not everyorganisation’s bid was successful. “MertonCentre for Independent Living’s two bids, the first of which was as part of aconsortium and the second bid in a round which was only open to unsuccessfulbidders from the first round, scored less highly than the other bids which werereceived. “Merton CILchallenged their score, which was upheld after their bid was reviewed by acouncil officer who was unconnected to it.     “Theprogramme has commissioned a wide range of high quality and accessible supportthrough this funding, including a central information and advice offer,complemented by a range of services, including specialist legal support andservices with proven outreach to communities with some of the most challengingneeds. “We havebeen actively working with Merton CIL and our new providers to ensure thatanyone who needs advice and support has access to it.”*To donate money to Merton CIL, visit this pagePicture: Roy Benjamin (with guide dog) at a sponsored walk to raise funds for MCIL in 2015last_img read more

Heres How the New Overtime Rules Will Affect Entrepreneurs

first_imgOvertime May 18, 2016 Add to Queue –shares Jonathan Segal 5 min read Image credit: Hero Images | Getty Images Guest Writer Here’s How the New Overtime Rules Will Affect Entrepreneurscenter_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Partner in Employment Practice Group of Duane Morris Next Article The federal Department of Labor today published its final overtime rules but, before you say or write anything about the final regulations, please take a deep breath.The first thing to know is that for an employee ordinarily must meet three requirements to be exempt from receiving overtime under one of the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, professional, etc.).1. Minimum salary.The current minimum salary is $455/week. The DOL had proposed increasing the minimum salary to what would have been over $50,000 per year. The DOL pulled back slightly in its final rules; the new minimum salary will be $46,475 per year or $913.00 per week. Yes, that is more than double what it was in 2004.In addition, the minimum salary will increase every three years. Initially, the DOL had proposed annual increases.2. Salary basis.The employee must be paid on a salary, not hourly, basis. This means:limited deductions are permitted for absences.no deductions may be made based on quantity or quality of work.One important change to the salary basis test: employers (for the first time) may use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the substantially-higher minimum salary.3. Duties test.The employee’s primary duty must be exempt. Under current regulations, this is quantitative. Primary means the principal, major or most important. The DOL did not propose any specific changes to primary duty test. But it did ask a lot questions, suggesting that it would consider adopting a (harder-to-meet) percentage test.Ultimately, the DOL did not change the primary duty test. With this background here are some do’s and don’ts for adjusting to the new regulations:Do keep legal challenges in mind when analyzing positions.When you evaluate or re-evaluate some positions in terms of their duties, some will fall into the legal gray. Be careful of self-analysis that may be discoverable and hurt you in the event of a legal challenge.I get it. Labor costs may soar as a result of the new regulations but do not create “smoking guns” that will hurt you in court. Be careful of what you say or write. You don’t want to explain in court what you meant when you emailed “These regulations will kill us! We can’t increase salaries or pay overtime!”Those emails will kill you in court, so think before you click “send.”The scope of the attorney-client privilege is deceptively complex. Without getting into the legal weeds, talk with your lawyer about how to structure the collection and analysis of data to minimize its discoverability. By the way, sending a “cc” to your lawyer does not make the communication privileged from discovery. It simply makes your lawyer a potential witness. Delightful.Lastly, this is a federal regulation but don’t forget state law. Employees get the benefit of whichever is more favorable.Related: Do You Have a Plan to Survive the Proposed Overtime Rules?Don’t immediately increase salaries above the ceiling.You may be able to meet the minimum salary now. But will you be able to keep up as number goes up? Employee relations considerations come into play if you later convert the employee’s status to non-exempt. Plus, the cost of overtime may go up, discussed in more detail below.Do carefully evaluate cost of retaining employees “as exempt.”As noted earlier, the minimum salary will go up every three years. What if you can’t keep up? If you convert an employee later to non-exempt because of the minimum salary increases or the position is found to be non-exempt based on a legal challenge, your overtime costs will be based on a higher base rate. Here is an example to demonstrate the point:Assume an exempt employee currently makes $800 per week — $20 per hour times 40 hours. If her rate is not increased and she is converted to non-exempt now, her overtime rate will be $30 per hour. Assume you raise that employee’s salary to the current minimum of $913 per week to keep her exempt from overtime, but further estimate that in six years the minimum salary is $1,200 per week. Money is tight so you convert the employee to non-exempt. Her hourly rate is $30.00, so that the overtime rate now is $45.00 per hour.The cost of overtime soars.Related: Should You Pay Employees an Hourly Wage or a Salary?Keep employee relations top-of-mind.Hourly employees do not have the same flexibility as exempt employees. Most exempt employees have discretion over when and where they work, so long as they get the job done. Convert them to non-exempt and that flexibility goes away. Employers must consider this, and other employee relations considerations, before converting an employee from exempt to non-exempt.Do proceed cautiously.The new rules do not go into effect until Dec 1. You have time to plan thoughtfully, so do just that. Do not rush!.Start thinking….now.This blog is not legal advice. Register Now »last_img read more

Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn for 262 Billion

first_img Reuters Add to Queue Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal, combining the software giant’s fast-growing cloud services business with the world’s largest online network for professionals.The offer of $196 per share represents a premium of 49.5 percent to LinkedIn’s Friday closing price.LinkedIn’s shares were jumped 48 percent to $194.28 before the opening bell on Monday. Microsoft’s shares were down 3.3 percent.”Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn,” Reid Hoffman, chairman of LinkedIn’s board, said in a statement.Jeff Weiner will remain chief executive of LinkedIn, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.”I have always had a great admiration for LinkedIn,” Nadella said in a video on Microsoft’s website. “I have been talking with Reid and Jeff for a while. … I have been thinking about this for a long time.” The deal is expected to close in 2016, the companies said in a joint statement.Microsoft said it would issue new debt to fund the deal.After the deal, LinkedIn will become part of Microsoft’s productivity and business processes unit.(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty) June 13, 2016 This story originally appeared on Reuters Next Article Image credit: Reuters | Robert Galbraith Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Businesscenter_img 341shares 2 min read Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion Microsoft Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

Evidence against bishop Franco Mulakkal in Kerala nun rape case police

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL crime, law and justice RELATED Sexual assault charge: police inspect room where Bishop stayed COMMENT gender Published on Keralacenter_img COMMENTS courts and legal As per the initial investigation of the police, Roman Catholic Bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal abused his position and repeatedly raped a nun from Kerala, a special team probing the case told the Kerala high court today.Responding to a petition seeking speedy investigation, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, K Subhash informed the court that the investigation was proceeding effectively and impartially. After the submission by the officer, the HC disposed of the petition with a direction to the police to investigate the case properly.The government counsel told Justice B Sudheendra Kumar that a decision on arresting Mulakkal, who has so far claimed innocence, will be taken after he is interrogated and evidence is examined.In the statement, Subhash said he and his team would continue their investigation in Jalandhar.The police statement was based on initial investigation and available evidence. It is revealed that the accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal committed unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly on the nun against her will, the statement read.The bishop confined the nun to a guestroom in St Francis Mission Home in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district of Kerala, the statement alleged.No laxity or indifference has been shown till date in the investigation of the case, it said.The petition was filed by the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (KCRM), which claimed that the police were not taking speedy action in the case.In her complaint lodged with Kottayam district police, the nun accused Mulakkal of raping and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.State police chief Loknath Behera on August 1 reviewed the progress of the case and permitted the investigation team to proceed to Jalandhar, New Delhi and other cities as part of the investigations. SHARE August 13, 2018 religionlast_img read more

Moneylaundering case Delhi HC to hear EDs plea seeking cancellation of Vadras

first_imgRobert Vadra   –  THE HINDU The ED has alleged that Arora, a close aide of Vadra, was aware of his undeclared overseas assets and was instrumental in arranging funds The Delhi High Court will on Monday hear the plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking the cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to businessman Robert Vadra in a money-laundering case.The ED’s plea, filed on May 24, is listed for hearing before Justice Chander Shekhar.The agency has sought quashing of the trial court’s April 1 order by which Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was granted anticipatory bail, saying the special judge had failed to consider the settled position of law that bail should not be “granted in a routine manner”.The ED has also claimed that Vadra was non-cooperative and evasive during the probe and may tamper with evidence.The central agency has also challenged the anticipatory bail granted to Manoj Arora, an employee of Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality LLP and a co-accused in the case.In its plea, filed through ED prosecutor D P Singh, the agency has sought cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to Vadra, saying the protection given to him would be detrimental to its probe on certain crucial aspects, including ascertaining the exact source of the allegedly tainted money and the end use of the funds involved in the case.Vadra is facing allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property, located at 12, Bryanston Square and worth 1.9 million pounds.The ED has alleged that Arora, a close aide of Vadra, was aware of his undeclared overseas assets and was instrumental in arranging funds.The separate pleas of Vadra and Arora seeking quashing of the case are also pending before the high court.In its plea, the ED has contended that if Vadra is granted the blanket protection of bail, there is a likelihood that he may tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses in the case. They said that the trial court had failed to appreciate that he was a highly-influential person.It has claimed that Vadra was “non-cooperative” and in spite of being given several opportunities to come clean on his alleged role in the case, he remained evasive.On the contrary, Vadra has “maliciously” claimed to be a victim of political vendetta and made all possible attempts to sensationalise the case, the agency has alleged.Vadra and Arora have denied the allegations levelled against them.The ED has said the other important aspects of the probe are related to unearthing the entire source of credits for purchasing the properties and ascertaining the details of all similar transactions in the accounts of the entities concerned.The agency has said it will also require to confront Vadra with voluminous incriminating material for bringing the investigation to a logical conclusion.Vadra has recently approached a trial court seeking permission to travel abroad and his plea is pending.The trial court, while granting anticipatory bail to Vadra, had directed him not to leave the country without prior permission and also to join the probe as and when called by the investigating officer.According to the ED, it had lodged the money-laundering case against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case filed by the Income Tax department under the newly-enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.It has alleged that the London-based property was bought by Bhandari for 1.9 million pounds and sold in 2010 for the same amount. This was despite incurring an additional expense of approximately 65,900 pounds on its renovation.The ED has also said it has received information about various new properties in London which allegedly belong to Vadra, including two houses worth five and four million pounds each and six flats. RELATED SHARE Published on ED for Vadra’s custodial interrogation COMMENT Enforcement Directorate SHARE SHARE EMAIL May 26, 2019 COMMENTSlast_img read more

Its now RLDs turn to walk out of the Grand Alliance in

first_imgpolitics The grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh formally collapsed on Wednesday after the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), one of the three partners, announced that it will contest the upcoming by-polls alone. The BSP was the first to take such a decision, followed by the SP. The RLD, however, has not completely shut the doors, but said it will take a decision according to the political scenario of the State.Announcing the decision in Lucknow, party’s Uttar Pradesh president Masood Ahmad said the Congress should also be part of the Grand Alliance. “The Rashtriya Lok Dal will contest the UP Assembly by-polls on its own. However, it is too early to comment on the political scenario in the State,” he told PTI.Ahmed added that party President Ajit Singh and his son and Vice- President Jayant Chaudhary will decide on the number of seats the party will contest during a meeting in the next few days. “The profit and loss analysis will be done later. Our wish is that the gathbandhan should increase its kunbaa (clan), so that we can emerge as a strong anti-BJP force,” he said.The RLD had got three seats — Mathura, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpath — to contest as part of the alliance during the Lok Sabha election. The party lost all the three seats to the BJP. The RLD was hoping for a revival by taking up issues of sugarcane farmers, but failed to make a comeback. In 2014, too, the RLD did not win any seat. In a 2018 by-poll, the party contested Kairana and won with the support of the SP and the BSP. At present, the party does not have any members in the UP Assembly, too.While Ajit Singh was the candidate from Muzaffar Nagar, Jayant Chaudhary unsuccessfully contested from the Baghpat constituency. BJP’s Hema Malini defeated RLD’s Kunwar Narendra Singh in Mathura. June 05, 2019 Published on COMMENTS Uttar Pradesh COMMENT SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

Singapore cautions wealth managers on aggressively courting HK business

first_imgSINGAPORE/HONG KONG: Singapore has cautioned wealth managers against aggressively marketing their services or making other efforts to woo clients to the city state by capitalising on rival Hong Kong’s political turmoil, people with knowledge of the matter said.Officials from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made the request last month to wealth managers, including DBS and a unit of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, the people said, declining to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.The central bank told bankers it wanted to ensure wealth managers in Singapore were sensitive to the situation in Hong Kong and did not design campaigns specifically targeting business from Hong Kong, the people said.The move comes as Hong Kong has been thrown into turmoil by a proposed extradition bill – declared dead this week by its CEO Carrie Lam – that for the first time would have allowed China to seek extraditions from the city, sparking demonstrations that attracted at least a million protesters. Corporate News 28 May 2019 Asia’s billionaires develop taste for boutique wealth managers Related News Related News World 28 Jun 2019 Wealth managers head to Singapore as China concerns dim Hong Kong’s lure Tags / Keywords:center_img Business News 10 Jul 2019 Hong Kong’s penny stock enigma remains unsolved {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Some tycoons in the Chinese-controlled territory have moved funds, or considered doing so, given provisions in the bill that would have allowed China to potentially freeze funds or other assets in the city.The unrest has also encouraged some wealth managers to choose to set up in Singapore after also considering Hong Kong, the main offshore hubs for wealth management in Asia, Reuters has reported.When asked for a comment for this story, MAS referred to comments last month by its managing director, Ravi Menon, that there were no signs of “any significant shift of business or funds” from Hong Kong to Singapore.He had said that any upheaval in Hong Kong could actually be negative for Singapore.It was not immediately clear how many banks had received the MAS guidance. Private banks routinely and legally help clients to move and manage their assets in different parts of the world.”The message was that we shouldn’t be taking undue advantage of what’s going on in Hong Kong,” a senior banking source said on condition of anonymity.”We have to act responsibly and not launch campaigns to convince clients that this is a good time for them to move their assets,” he said, adding he was not aware of any banks making a big push to get business from Hong Kong in the current climate.”We are getting a lot of enquiries. What can we do if clients are looking to moving money here? We can’t stop the flows,” the Singapore-based banking source added.DBS and OCBC declined to comment.Offshore moveHong Kong and Singapore compete fiercely to be considered Asia’s premier financial centre. Global private banks including Credit Suisse and UBS, as well as Asian wealth managers have their regional operations in the two hubs.The riches held by Hong Kong’s tycoons have until now made the city the larger private wealth base, with 853 individuals worth more than $100 million – just over double the number in Singapore, according to a 2018 report from Credit Suisse.Singaporean banks, including DBS and OCBC, have been rapidly expanding their businesses in Hong Kong and China over the past few years, and the Greater China region accounts for a significant portion of their revenue.Like their global peers, Singaporean wealth managers also have Greater China desks in Singapore dedicated to clients in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and help them open bank accounts and set up family offices or trusts.”The fact is that we are getting inquiries from clients in Hong Kong. They want to know how this will impact their assets and the Hong Kong markets,” an industry executive said.”If they really want to move offshore, we have to help them with that,” the executive added. – Reuters Bankinglast_img read more

Vietnam goes from trade war winner to Trump target

first_imgVietnam goes from trade war winner to Trump target. Nation 08 Jul 2019 US not being clear of its priority targets in trade war with China For manufacturers like IREX, Trump’s recent action means they can’t sit back either.”Our sales department is looking for new markets, so if the U.S. increases Vietnam tariffs it won’t impact IREX’s business much,” said Trang, the company’s COO.- Bloomberg {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News Related News Markets 27 Jun 2019 Trade-war winner Vietnam is now a target for Trump’s tariffs HANOI: Americans are buying solar panels from Vietnam like never before, but local manufacturer IREX Energy JSC isn’t celebrating.After U.S. President Donald Trump slapped higher tariffs on China, production in neighbouring Vietnam went into overdrive. Chinese manufacturers, who face a 55% U.S. tariff on their goods, relocated some production to Vietnam, while local businesses saw a jump in orders. In June alone, U.S. imports of solar cells from Vietnam surged 656% from a year ago.That trade boom in everything from Ikea furniture to Nike Inc. shoes is now prompting more scrutiny from the US and making businesses like IREX concerned.”We are worried that the US may raise tariffs on our solar panels,” Pham Thi Thu Trang, the company’s chief operating officer, said from Ho Chi Minh City. “Though the U.S market is huge, it is a complicated market when it comes to its politics.”Communist Party-led Vietnam has steadily opened up to foreign investors over the years to become a manufacturing hub in the region, with household names like Samsung Electronics Co., Intel Corp. and Nestle SA setting up factories there. It’s that trade openness, as well as its low-cost labor and proximity to China, that’s helped Vietnam successfully navigate growing global protectionism as companies seek out refuges from the trade war.It’s very quickly climbed the ranks to become a significant U.S. trade partner. Vietnam’s annual trade surplus with the U.S. has exceeded $20 billion since 2014 and reached $40 billion last year, the highest in records going back to 1990, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. For the first five months of the year, the surplus is already 43% higher than a year ago at $21.6 billion.The Trump administration is now pressuring the nation of 97 million people to slash its trade surplus, threatening one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.Trouble began in May, when the U.S. Treasury added Vietnam to a watchlist of countries being monitored for possible currency manipulation. Then, in response to U.S. pressure, Vietnam announced a crackdown on Chinese exporters rerouting products through the Southeast Asian nation with fake Made-in-Vietnam labels to bypass Trump’s tariffs.Trump described Vietnam last month as “almost the single-worst abuser of everybody” when asked if he wanted to impose tariffs on the nation. And just last week, the U.S. slapped duties of more than 400% on steel imports from Vietnam which originated in South Korea and Taiwan.Vietnam officials have been left reeling. The government says it’s committed to buying more U.S. goods, from Boeing Co. jets to energy products to help narrow its trade surplus with the world’s largest economy. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last week told officials to monitor U.S. reactions to the nation’s monetary policy more closely.”They are very nervous and confused. They don’t know what Trump’s next move will be,” said Alexander Vuving, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii.Vietnam has not been adept at responding to charges against its trading practices in Washington, where a cadre of lawyers are needed to quickly engage the government, said Nestor Scherbey, a licensed U.S. customs broker and consultant based in Ho Chi Minh City. “It’s like being charged in court and not showing up.”Cheap LabourCapital Economics Ltd. estimates that if Trump levied a 25% tariff on imports from Vietnam as he did with Chinese goods, Hanoi would see a 25% drop in export revenue, equivalent to more than 1% of the nation’s gross domestic product. That would erase the estimated 0.5 percentage-point gain it has had over the past year as a beneficiary of the trade war.Even before the trade tensions, Vietnam was benefiting from businesses looking for low-cost alternatives to China as wages there grew. That trend will likely continue, which should help to sustain Vietnam’s economic trajectory, according to Adam McCarty, chief economist with Mekong Economics in Hanoi.”It’s not going to stop the underlying economic motivation to move basic factory work from China to Vietnam,” he said. “China is getting too expensive.”Vietnam’s leaders have also long worked to buffer the country from trade shocks by hedging its reliance on any single market, including the U.S., the nation’s largest export destination. Vietnam has inked more than a dozen free trade agreements such as the just-signed deal with the European Union that will eliminate 99% of customs duties, and the revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership, which eventually provides duty-free access to markets such as Canada and Japan for many products.”Vietnam’s foreign policy for decades has been the opposite of what Groucho Marx said: he’d never want to join a club that would have him,” McCarty said. “The Vietnamese approach is to join every trade and investment club they possibly can.” Nation 10 Jul 2019 Malaysia has potential to profit from US-China trade war, says Azmin Tags / Keywords: Economylast_img read more

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the Labour Party, TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. "If Ken Paxton cant follow the law.

"When you taste it on your tongue,"Soldiers on guard after an attack in Cancun. It said the district hospital of Unnao had issued a statement that the victim’s father had died on 9 April. "The Centre will not interfere unless in an extreme?Centre. Actress and producer Connie Britton and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro were on hand to back him up. “In any event, when Jeff Currie at Goldman Sachs Commodities Group gets on CNBC and opines about future price movements, The implication is that producers are on a never ending treadmill in order to maintain or grow production volumes. Studios the app company responsible for RuPaul’s Drag Race: Dragopolis the game allows smartphone users to take on the role of their favorite character.

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We welcome outside contributions. When questioned by the Bench on the collection of data by an individual RE, 2005 (PML Rules) which directed the linking,The plan goes on to say: "A fan might help to increase heat loss if the temperature is below 35 °C and the fan is not directly aimed at the person, I think the market would crash, Adah said the Commissioner of Police, He assured their wives that the police would do all within its power to ensure that the death of the gallant officers was not in vain. They promised us that they will take us to a better place with water, government would encourage everybody in the state to go into farming by the creating the enabling environment.Cool temperatures also slowed the harvest.

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