Attack on SHO shows liquor mafia spreading tentacles in Gurugram

first_imgGurugram: It was not expected but it happened when a bootlegger smashed one of the liquor bottles on the head of the SHO and injured three other police officials of Phase-3 police station. The main accused who attacked the law enforcement officials since then has not been caught by the police. The incident again highlighted how illegal liquor mafia is gaining a stronghold in Gurugram. From the beginning of the year, police officials have been going extremely tough on the liquor mafia in which more than 50 raids have been conducted. According to law enforcement officials, most of the gangsters have moved from drugs and real estate business to illegal liquor. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkAccording to law enforcement officials not only is the liquor business more profitable in the recent past but it is also far less risky compared to the other businesses. Among various sectors where Gurugram contributes greatly to Government exchequer is sale e of liquor and hard beverages. The business extends beyond the sales that are happening in the glitzy pubs and bars and also occur at the roadside liquor vending units. Recent prohibitions protests and increase in license charges are resulting, however, has prevented the opening of these units despite having a large demand. The urge hard liquor that is readily available and also reasonable is resulting in the opening of various wine shops that are not being registered by the excise department. In this month alone there have been four illegal shops that have been unearthed resulting in the seizure of more than 1000 crates of liquor. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsAccording to police officials, there is a sizeable number of liquor vending units that have not been approved by the public authorities functioning in the city. Constant raids are being carried out by the law enforcement officials to close these units. “It is important that most of the liquor vending units that are set up in the sector is registered with us as it will ensure the safety of the citizens and will also make sure that they are not selling spurious liquor,” said a senior official from the excise department. In the past, there have been complaints against liquor vending units of selling spurious liquor, not paying rents and allowances to the public authorities, setting up shop in the residential area and also in the state and national highways. Irrespective of a strict stance taken by the law enforcement, liquor business continues to grow in Gurugram. This growth is witnessed even after there was a decrease in fee licenses of around 2% for the new tenants. For long, Gurugram followed by Faridabad has been leading among 22 districts in terms of setting up new vendor units for selling alcoholic beverages.last_img read more

Sir Patrick Stewart Attends Duchess Of Cornwalls Reception For Survivors Of Domestic

first_imgHer Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception last week for survivors of domestic abuse, those working in the field, and charities aiming to raise awareness of the issue at Clarence House.The Duchess meets Sir Patrick Stewart at a reception she hosted at Clarence House for domestic abuse survivors and campaignersCredit/Copyright: Duchess decided to hold this reception after a hearing stories of domestic abuse survivors during a visit to the charity, SafeLives back in February of this year. The Duchess also held a similar reception for survivors of rape and sexual abuse and has heard from them how helpful it was to share their experiences with policy makers.The Duchess was joined by Sir Patrick Stewart, a long-time campaigner for women and children affected by domestic abuse and by Louiza Patikas, whose role as Helen from BBC’s ‘The Archers’ is shining a light on the issue of domestic read more

Alberta waited 5 hours before telling Lubicon chief of spill

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe First Nations people living downwind from Alberta’s worst oil spill in over 30 years say their children are falling ill from the spill’s emissions.And their chief says the Alberta government just doesn’t care.APTN National News reporter Noemi LoPinto was there.last_img

UN development agency provides school aid to Burkina Faso AIDS orphans

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners will this year provide school materials to 10,000 Burkina Faso children this year, many of whose parents died of AIDS. Under an education assistance project launched two years ago by the French embassy in Ouagadougou, $145,000 has been raised through the UNDP from donors, including Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and local staff of the German Development Service.The assistance is channelled through 72 community organizations in 25 provinces and is part of a wider initiative to build the capacity of such groups in technical and financial management and promote coordination of their activities, UNDP said. Only about one third of children in Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries, are enrolled in primary school, and nearly two thirds of the population live in severe poverty, surviving on less than $1 a day. Meanwhile, 270,000 children under 15 have lost either one or both parents to AIDS. UNDP Resident Representative Christian Lemaire described the project as a sign of the partners’ support for government priorities set out in the national strategic framework for AIDS control, which strongly emphasizes the need for care and support of orphans and other vulnerable children. read more

Security Council hears repeated calls for more time for UN inspections in

Mr. Khurshid M. KasuriPakistan’s Foreign Minister, Kurshid M. Kasuri, said that while the world community was justified in seeking to bring about Iraq’s compliance with relevant Council resolutions as soon as possible, it could not ignore other elements that arose in the context of security, such as ameliorating the suffering and ensuring the welfare of the Iraqi people; preserving the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq; and preserving the political and economic stability of the region. He welcomed the US’s initiative to work through the UN, and called Mr. Powell’s extensive presentation a significant step forward as the Council sought to secure full implementation of its resolutions regarding Iraq’s disarmament. The information provided enhanced the ability of the inspectors to identify areas of concerns and to pursue more specific lines of action. After United States Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the Security Council US evidence of Iraq’s failure to destroy illicit weapons, several members of the Council voiced their strong support for the continuation of United Nations inspections and urged Baghdad to cooperate proactively in the process. “Why go to war if there still exists an unused space in resolution 1441?” Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin of France said, referring to the Council’s text adopted last November authorizing the resumption of UN inspections in Iraq after a nearly four-year hiatus. “Let us double or even triple the number of inspectors,” he added, stressing that no opportunity should be lost to strengthen the operational effectiveness of the inspections process. Mr. de Villepin noted, however, that there were still “grey areas” in Iraq’s cooperation with the inspections, such as the unresolved questions in the ballistic, chemical and biological areas. If that path failed and led into a dead-end, then “France rules out no option, including the use of force as a last resort, to ensure Iraqi compliance,” he said.Mr. de Villepin was among the 12 Foreign Ministers who took part in the open meeting, which was chaired by Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer of Germany, the Council’s President for the month of February. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the chief UN weapons inspectors, Hans Blix of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), also attended the session. Mr. Igor S. IvanovRussian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said the unanimous adoption of resolution 1441 and the deployment of international inspectors demonstrated the ability of the international community to act together in the interest of obtaining a common goal. Russia is convinced, he said, that maintaining the unity of the world community and of the Council are the best ways to achieve a political end to the situation of weapons of mass destruction. “That we all want an end to such weapons should not be doubted,” he underscored. With that in mind, the UN experts must immediately begin reviewing the information presented today. “Iraq must give the inspectors answers to the questions by Secretary Powell. The Council must do everything [it] can to support the inspections process,” he stressed. Mr. Francois-Xavier NgoubeyouFor his part, Francois-Xavier Ngoubeyou, Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations, wondered if in such “grave circumstances” the time had come for the Council to ask UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to go to Iraq to speak with President Saddam Hussein on urgent ways to resolve the present situation. The information presented today was certainly troubling, Mr. Ngoubeyou said, and it was now up to the Council to make the best use of it, in the spirit of the process provided by resolution 1441. The data just produced could facilitate the inspections, he stressed, suggesting that it would be wise to provide the inspectors with that information and give them more time to do their job. Cameroon recommended the continuation and implementation of forceful and robust action to compel Iraq to cooperate fully with the inspection teams. Mr. Luis Ernesto DerbezForeign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez of Mexico said his country’s position had been unequivocally aimed at achieving the disarmament of Iraq in the most effective way possible and by peaceful means, while ensuring at all times that that goal was achieved at the lowest cost in terms of human suffering and economic instability, without undermining the urgent battle against international terrorism. Citing Mexico’s confidence in the inspections process, Mr. Derbez said he was in favour of intensifying and strengthening those inspections, as well as the assistance that Council members and the international community in general could provide to UNMOVIC and IAEA to successfully accomplish their delicate mission. Mr. Joschka FischerForeign Minister Fischer of Germany said it was now decisive that the inspectors were also provided with extensive material in order to be able to clarify the unresolved questions quickly and fully. He said that several States suspected that Saddam Hussein’s regime was withholding relevant information and concealing military capabilities. That strong suspicion must be dispelled beyond any doubt. At the same time, the dangers of military action were plain to see, he stressed, adding that a peaceful solution must continue to be sought and the instruments of inspection and control should be toughened. Mr. Fischer said that the French delegation had made some very interesting proposals on that matter, which deserved further consideration. Moreover, diplomatic efforts under way by States in the region to bring the Iraqi Government to fully implement the resolutions should be supported, he said. Iraq should disarm openly, peacefully and in cooperation with the inspectors, without any delay. Mr. Georges Rebelo ChikotiGeorges Rebelo Chikoti, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, said the information presented today introduced new elements, further strengthening the importance of monitoring the situation within the framework of the Council. He strongly urged Iraq to do much more – especially given that its substantive cooperation was an obligation – saying the Council needed clear and unambiguous answers from Iraq to the outstanding questions raised by the inspectors. Strengthening the inspections and enlarging their scope would be an ideal way to enhance their efficiency. If the inspections enjoyed the full political support of the Council and the international community, and given adequate time, they could be a powerful tool in the common endeavour to disarm Iraq, avert war and reinforce international peace and security, he underscored. Mr. Mikhail WehbeAmbassador Mikhail Wehbe of Syria pointed out that it would be incorrect to believe that inspections in any part of the world could be free from obstacles and problems. Referring to last week’s briefing by the chief UN inspectors, he said it was important to ask if the difficulties encountered in Iraq were serious enough to warrant war. Noting that Iraq had expressed its readiness to cooperate with inspections and arrive at a peaceful solution, he said Iraq and the inspectors should work out a common denominator of cooperation in order to clarify the situation, as soon as possible. The continuation of the work of the inspectors would definitely lead to building confidence in the region. Syria was calling on the Council to continue to endorse the work of the inspectors and give them sufficient time to carry out their mandate under resolution 1441, he stressed. Mr. Tang JiaxuanTang Jiaxuan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, said the Council had basically maintained unity and cooperation on the Iraqi issue, which was critically important. “As long as there is still the slightest hope for political settlement, the utmost effort should be exerted to achieve it,” he said, noting that the inspections had been ongoing for some two months, and the chief inspectors themselves had suggested continuing inspections. That suggestion should be respected, Mr. Tang said, adding that he hoped the upcoming visit to Baghdad by the head of UNMOVIC and IAEA would yield positive results. He stressed that it was also the universal desire of the international community to see a political settlement to the issue within the UN framework, and to avoid any war. China, he said, was ready to join others in working in that direction. Ms. Soledad Alvear ValenzuelaResolution 1441 gave Iraq a last opportunity to fulfil its disarmament obligations, but the Iraqi regime was now bringing its people into greater suffering, Chile’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Soledad Alvear Valenzuela said, adding that attempts at partial compliance and efforts to deceive or obstruct the process were violations of the Council’s previous resolutions. “We are entering a crucial stage in a situation involving many fears concerning the region and the world,” she said, expressing concern about the consequences of ending the use of diplomatic channels. The day’s presentation demanded action and information from Iraq without any delay or hesitations, she said, stressing that the accusations levelled today required urgent and precise clarification. To that end, inspections should continue. The Foreign Minister also appealed to Iraq to consider its responsibilities to the Council and to the preservation of international peace. Mr. Mamady TraoréGuinea’s Ambassador to the UN, Mamady Traoré, said that while the promise of better cooperation was encouraging, Iraqi authorities must translate that promise into verifiable action. In his view, the possibility of the suspension or lifting of sanctions should encourage Iraq to fully cooperate with inspectors. The existence of grey areas on the one hand and progress made on the other indicated that inspections must go on, Ambassador Traoré stressed, adding that his country had always stressed peaceful settlement of the matter. There were still chances for a peaceful settlement, and those chances must be grasped. “Today, we are witnessing a crucial stage for maintenance of international peace and security,” he said. “We must work in unity to build a world of peace and cooperation.” read more

Brock community mourns former Math and Science Dean

Brock University is saddened to learn of the death of Martin Stewart Gibson, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science.Gibson passed away peacefully at his residence on Tuesday, May 1 at the age of 89.A graduate of Oxford University, he taught Chemistry at Manchester University before immigrating to Canada where he taught at Brock until his retirement.  Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Ian Brindle remembers meeting Gibson in 1968 as a research technician when they were both living in Manchester. They moved to Canada the same year, only a few months apart. Gibson was Brindle’s MSc supervisor and the two worked together at Brock for a number of years.“He was a really, really good teacher. My kids got to know him and all three said that he reminded them of Mr. Rogers. He was a very gentle, soft-spoken guy,” Brindle said.“I benefited enormously from having him first as a mentor, and later a friend. He was well known in the University community. It was a great loss.”A year after moving to Canada, Gibson became Chair of the Department of Chemistry. Seven years later in 1976, he took on the role of Dean, Faculty of Mathematics and Science — a position he held until 1984.During his time as Dean, he served the Faculty in many ways, promoting research and emphasizing the importance of teaching and learning. After taking a chance on a then young Canadian institution, he encouraged others, including Brindle, to do the same. He inspired those around him and is warmly remembered.A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, May 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Royal Henley retirement community.  For more information, please see Gibson’s obituary. read more

Ohio State mens basketball faces judgement week against No 3 Michigan No

When Thad Matta was coaching at Xavier in 2004, the Musketeers had a three-game stretch against Mississippi State, Texas and Duke. Each of those teams was ranked in the top 11 of the Associated Press poll, with MSU (No. 4) and Duke (No. 5) placed in the top five. Those contests came in the NCAA Tournament, as Matta led Xavier to its first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight before losing a close one to the Blue Devils, 66-63. “It was crazy,” Matta said Monday, who left Xavier after that season to coach Ohio State. As treacherous a task as that was for Matta and his team, his current Buckeyes squad is staring down a two-game trek that might be even tougher than the one Xavier faced in 2004. OSU will play two top-three teams in a six-day span this week. And these upcoming bouts will come in the regular season, not in March when consecutive battles against elite programs are commonplace. OSU, ranked No. 10 in the most recent AP poll, is set to take on No. 3 Michigan in Ann Arbor Tuesday night. After squaring off against the Wolverines, the Buckeyes return home Sunday to play the No. 1 team in the country, Indiana. “It’s another week,” Matta said so sarcastically he cracked a smile before finishing the sentence. Matta’s players weren’t as light-hearted in talking about the venture ahead. “It’s why you come to Ohio State and play in a conference like the Big Ten, for weeks like this,” said junior guard Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes’ leading scorer, Deshaun Thomas, agreed, saying he “loves a challenge.” “I’m hyped,” the junior forward said, who leads the conference in scoring at 20 points per game. At 7-2 in the Big Ten, OSU is a game back of the Hoosiers, who are all alone in first place. The Buckeyes share a tie of second with Michigan and Michigan State. OSU is 1-1 against those teams this season, beating Michigan at home but losing to the Spartans on the road. Every team in the Big Ten plays 18 conference games, so no two-game stretch at the midway point is going to decide the league champion. But if OSU wants to stay alive and well in the race for a fourth consecutive regular season title, winning at least one game this week might be necessary. Thomas would love to win both. “It’s going to mean a lot for this team, especially if we get two wins against Michigan, they’re highly ranked. If we get a win against IU, we know we got to go down there and it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be big if we can get these two wins,” he said. This week also represents a turning point in the season for the Buckeyes. OSU (17-4) is exactly halfway through its conference schedule, and they’ll likely be tested much more in the second half of the year than they were in the first. During their first nine Big Ten games, the Buckeyes played five of the worst six teams in the league, and only three of the six best. OSU’s second half includes two games against No. 1 Indiana (20-2), trips to No. 3 Michigan (20-2) and unranked Wisconsin (15-7), and home games against No. 12 Michigan State (18-4) and No. 18 Minnesota (17-5). In his ninth year coaching in the Big Ten, Matta said the league is as competitive as he’s seen it. “I think that probably from top to bottom it’s as good – and we haven’t seen everybody yet – but seeing on tape, seeing scores, seeing the standings, I would probably agree (it’s as good as ever),” Matta said. For now, though, OSU is just focusing on the Wolverines. The Buckeyes gave Michigan its first loss on Jan. 13 with a 56-53 win, also preventing the Maize and Blue from ascending to a No. 1 national ranking. “To be honest, we haven’t even talked about Sunday’s game,” Matta said. “Obviously the mindset is on tomorrow night’s game, knowing that they have a great team.” Michigan, ranked No. 1 last week, dropped in the polls after losing at Indiana Saturday night. Add in the fact that OSU beat the Wolverines the first time around in Columbus, and Michigan will be ready Tuesday night, Craft said. “There is no way we can try to look past this game in any way,” Craft said. Getting out to a fast start in Ann Arbor will be crucial for the Buckeyes, Craft said. In Michigan’s two losses this season, they fell in a big hole early and couldn’t recover. OSU, 3-3 on the road this season, probably needs to at least stay even with the Wolverines (undefeated at home) early to have a chance for an upset. Doing that will require solid defense, something OSU has relied on all season. “Defensively I think we’re pretty sound,” Matta said. “We’re trying to get our guys to have a prideful mentality in terms of getting stops. We want to continue to get them to understand we have to have that for 40 minutes.” That won’t be easy against the Wolverines, who are led by a National Player of the Year candidate and Columbus native Trey Burke. The sophomore point guard has potentially the country’s best sidekick in junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who averages 15.6 points per game. Two freshmen, guard Nik Stauskas and forward Glenn Robinson III, also average double figures in points. OSU has played three teams this season currently ranked in the top 12 by the AP in No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Kansas and No. 12 MSU, not including Michigan. The Wolverines are likely the toughest team the Buckeyes have had to defend. “With the number of people they can put out there, the number of people that can score the ball, it’s really tough to play normal defense when you’re worried about the number of shooters they have,” Craft said. Defending Michigan’s shooters is just one of the many challenges OSU is facing in the week ahead. Matta said his team is as close to being ready for the daunting task as he’d like them to be. “We had two good practices. I’ve never had a team exactly where I wanted it. I do think we’re making strides. We just have to continue to find that consistency and every night we take the floor, we need our guys to play the best that we can,” the 45-year-old coach said. OSU and Michigan are scheduled to tipoff at 9 p.m. Tuesday night in the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes then take on Indiana at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Schottenstein Center. read more

Geek deals 498 off quadcore Dell desktop and 24inch monitor

first_imgYour dollar will take you further with a desktop than a laptop (unpopular fact, but it’s almost always true). Nonetheless, it is still not enough to persuade many people to throw down their cash and get a large, heavy, dust-collecting tower. But what if a free 24-inch LED monitor happened to be include for a fraction of its price? That might be enough to drive the most dedicated laptop user over the edge.This deal on the Dell XPS 8300 desktop bundle might do the trick. For $949.99, you’ll net the quad-core Intel Core i7-powered desktop with pretty generous specs. The handsome white box includes 8GB RAM, a 1TB hard drive, discrete Radeon 6450 graphics, and 15 free months of McAfee SecurityCenter. Dell also includes a laser mouse and keyboard in this bundle, but it doesn’t stop there… it includes a 24-inch display as well.You’ll also receive the Dell U2412M 24-inch monitor in this package. Normally, this LED backlit display retails for $369 but when you purchase it as part of this bundle, it’s only $200. And even if a great deal on an LED IPS-panel monitor doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always the option to pare down your purchase and go with desktop. It’s a pretty good bargain, and an extra monitor is almost always handy somewhere down the line, but if you’re strapped for cash the option to reduce your spend is always there.All told, this deal saves you $498 on a very nice desktop setup. And you even get free shipping… so what are you waiting for?Visit this deal on LogicBuy.last_img read more

33 arrests on Lesvos following illegal erection of Holy Cross

first_imgGreek police arrested 33 people on the Aegean island of Lesbos on Saturday after the group tried to erect a huge metallic Holy Cross at Apelli, at the foot of the castle of Mytilene.The group raised the metallic cross on the same spot where another cross once stood but was destroyed by vandals in October 2018.The group carried a large Greek flag and worked overnight to carry the cross before they were taken into custody.The incident has divided the island.Following the arrests, an announcement was made by the group called, Movement of Free Citizens of Lesbos. They were critical of the radical left-wing Syriza government for its opposition to the raising of the cross. They state that the government’s ultimate goal is the destruction of every Greek and Christian element of Orthodox culture.Other groups, such as the NGO known as the “Movement for Coexistance and Communication in the Aegean” said that it was wrongful to use the Christian symbol as a “tool of aspiring crusaders”. They also argued that the ulterior motive of the placement of the cross was to prevent migrants from swimming in the area.  Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Vancouver lab offers at-home HIV testing kits for $25

first_imgMolecular Testing Labs in Vancouver and Kathy Ireland Worldwide have collaborated to offer affordable at-home HIV testing kits this week.The kits will be sold for $25 through Friday in support of World AIDS Day 2018, which was Saturday. More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. have HIV, and one out of seven people don’t know they have it. HIV attacks cells in the body’s immune system, the natural defense against illness. AIDS is a set of symptoms caused by advanced HIV infection.The kits can be delivered directly to your home in a discreet package. According to Molecular Lab’s website, the test is a “self-administered dry blood spot card with simple-to-follow instructions.” Dr. Charles Sailey, the medical director for the laboratory at Molecular, said these are the best at-home tests on the market, and can detect infection within five to seven days of exposure. Sailey added they’re close to 100 percent accurate.“We are able to do testing that is as accurate as testing they would get at a hospital or clinic,” Sailey said.There are instructions included with the test, and a provided envelope that can be used to mail the specimen back to the lab. The results can be viewed through a secure, HIPAA-compliant portal. Molecular can also help people find the proper physician if they have questions about their results.Sailey said he couldn’t know what the kit would cost after Friday, since Molecular generally offers HIV testing as part of larger panel testing, but he did say that they were under the cost to the laboratory.Sailey explained that at-home testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections is “starting to take off,” but not to the level that genetic testing is. Sailey said that STD and STI testing has more scrutiny involved — for example, Molecular has two layers of accreditation.last_img read more

Cool unsettled Thursday on the way

first_imgAbout yesterday: That was something, huh?Snow and ice caused a handful of wrecks throughout Clark County, and BB to dime-sized hail was reported throughout Vancouver. Today comes with a possibility for more of the same. The National Weather Service predicts a 40 percent chance of showers with thunderstorms possible after 11 a.m. The high will top out at 52 degrees, below the seasonal norm. A northwest wind of between 5 and 9 miles per hour is expected. The temperature will drop to about 34 degrees tonight. Fog is likely to settle in after 11 p.m.last_img read more

Rain blamed for many crashes Friday evening

first_imgA three-vehicle collision in east Vancouver was one of many reported around the county during Friday evening’s rainy commute. The crash was reported at 3:41 p.m. at 1100 N.E. 192nd Ave., just north of the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.A car coming out of a driveway was struck by a southbound car, and another car also got hit, said Vancouver police Sgt. Mike Chylack. There were no major injuries, but the collision did clog traffic. Motorists turned around in the shelter’s parking lot.Crashes were reported Friday evening on state Highway 14, which clogged traffic in both directions. There was also a crash on Interstate 205 in Portland that caused southbound traffic to back up nearly to state Highway 500 in Vancouver; a separate collision occurred on the northbound side of I-205, slowing traffic that direction as well.last_img read more

47 believe pension freedoms have increased employee engagement

first_imgUnder half (47%) of employer respondents believe that pension freedoms have led to employees being more engaged with their workplace pension, according to research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Aegon.Its survey of 189 employers also found that 59% of respondents feel that employees diverting money away from their pension due to other financial priorities is a principle barrier to employees’ engagement with their pension , compared to a further 59% who cite a lack of awareness among employees of the importance of retirement saving as the main barrier to employee engagement with pensions.The research also found:66% of respondents educate employees about the benefits of saving through a workplace pension in order to influence employee engagement with pensions. Other measures respondents believe can increase employee engagement with workplace pensions include wider financial education (58%), simpler language and less jargon in pensions communications (63%), using technology (54%) and individualising pensions communications (49%).24% of respondents feel that challenges around having insufficient resources to communicate to employees about pensions is a key barrier to employee engagement with pensions.92% of respondents contribute above the statutory auto-enrolment minimum levels.63% of respondents include pensions information as part of the employee induction process, 60% use guidance from an external provider and 54% signpost staff to publicly available pensions guidance.51% of respondents provide a digital pensions information portal for employees and 49% deliver in-house webinars or seminars.42% of respondents state that pension provision has had a positive impact on employee retention.12% of respondents are happy with their current levels of employee engagement and 55% think that stronger engagement would improve their ability to either retain, recruit or carry out succession planning.Neil Carberry (pictured), managing director at the CBI, said: “Businesses are contributing billions to their [employees’] pensions each and every year, playing their part in a quiet pensions revolution with auto-enrolment having a growing influence over workplace saving.“While many businesses rightly recognise the positive effect that their investment in pensions can have on recruiting and retaining staff, others need to open their eyes to grasp the opportunities in front of them. Engaging better with workforce on pensions is not a ‘nice-to-have’ but absolutely fundamental to the success of workplace pensions schemes and well-funded retirements for [employees].“Although many [organisations] do a great job, there’s an awful lot more that can be done to get staff engaged in their financial futures and to gain a better grasp of retirement planning. Many younger [employees], those on lower incomes and employees who have been at a business for a short period are not getting the support they need to get to grips with issues that will help determine a successful path to when they retire.“Businesses are up for the challenge, nine in ten [organisations] we talked to felt a responsibility to better engage employees with their pension schemes. Some businesses are already leading the way, over half have a strategy in place for securing greater pensions engagement.”Paul Bucksey, managing director at Aegon Workplace Investing, added: “Pensions are a big financial commitment for employers but this investment often goes underappreciated. A workplace pension is part of an employee pay package.“The challenge is for businesses to help their employees recognise this. Engagement is the key to changing behaviours and helping employees achieve long term financial security. When an employer gets behind their scheme and encourages the workforce to take action, engagement levels rise.“Some employers are already going the extra mile to support their workforce in getting their pensions on the right track. But what remains clear is that whether [they] choose to hold roadshows, workshops or webinars, offer online financial planning tools or workplace financial advice, [they] need to do it regularly, as part of a wider financial awareness strategy.“From recruitment to retirement, long-term planning and regular action will help employees reach a point where they can afford to retire. Ultimately, a workforce that can’t afford to retire presents employers with some new challenges around succession planning and managing an aging workforce. Better pension engagement from employees will help [employers] plan ahead to continue to grow and adapt [their] business.”last_img read more

Reassigned climate official worries nobody home on village relocation

first_imgJoel Clement thinks his job reassignment was retaliation. (Photo courtesy of Joel Clement)In June, the Washington Post reported that dozens of senior officials in the Department of the Interior would be reassigned to new jobs. Now, one of those officials is speaking out. Joel Clement was part of a working group, focused on village relocation and coastal resilience in Alaska. He thinks he was targeted for his views on climate change.Listen nowClement was a director at the Office of Policy Analysis. For over a year, he’d been meeting with different agencies about how to protect Alaska villages from the effects of climate change.There are concerns about major erosion in Shishmaref, Kivalina and Shaktoolik. Parts of Newtok are sloughing into the water. And while relocation efforts have a ways to go, Clement said the conversation at the federal level had at least started.“The political will and the coordination were finally in place,” Clement said.Then last month, Clement got an email that said he was being reassigned. He believes it was retaliation from the new administration.“It said we’re going to reassign you to the place that has the least to do with what you do and understand,” Clement said.Instead of working on climate change resiliency, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke assigned Clement to an accounting job, collecting oil and gas royalties.Clement doesn’t think the Trump administration understood the urgency of his work. That he was trying to help Alaska communities adapt to an imminent threat. He thinks they just saw “climate change.”“Just because this is caused by… climate change and warming doesn’t mean you can’t focus on it,” Clement said.So far, no one has taken Clement’s old position. He hopes an investigation can shed some light on why he was reassigned.And Clement said he doesn’t know who in D.C. will be the point person for Alaska villages trying to relocate or adapt.“There’s really nobody home on this issue right now. So I’m really worried it will fade from priority,” Clement said.There is one federal official still working on this issue in Alaska. Joel Neimeyer chairs the Denali Commission. In 2015, President Barack Obama asked the Denali Commission to spearhead federal efforts on village relocation.“This will have to be something the country’s going to address sometime in the future,” Neimeyer said.Niemeyer hopes the Trump administration won’t drop the issue completely.“Every new administration wants to do things in their style. We don’t know what that is yet,” Neimeyer said. “If they pick up the issue, we’ll continue. If they choose not to, then I suppose the state will take up full leadership on this issue.”Niemeyer said the effects of climate change are perhaps most clear in Alaska. But relocation isn’t just an Alaska problem, and it’s one the federal government will have to grapple with, one way or another.On Monday, eight Democrats from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent a letter to the Department of the Interior asking for a close examination into the reassignments.last_img read more

KCR asks collectors to chalk out plan for forest restoration

first_imgTouring in Siddipet district on Wednesday, KCR reviewed the forest restoration works at Singaipalli, Nenturu and Komatikonda. He said that the results of the forest restoration work carried out three years ago in Gajwel are visible now. Taking Gajwel as a model, he asked collectors to chalk out a plan for forest restoration across Telangana. “The state does not have forests as against 23.4 per cent of the forest land,” KCR said asking the officials to grow the trees by making use of rootstock in the forest. Later, the chief minister visited the Mission Bhagiratha plant in Komatibanda along with the collectors.last_img read more

15 rescued while being trafficked to India

first_imgMember of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), in separate drives, rescued 15 Bangladeshis from Shadipur and Gathipara borders at Benapole in Jessore, while they were being trafficked to India on Tuesday, reports news agency UNB.The arrestees include six male, six female and three children.In another drive, one Indian national was arrested for intrusion into Bangladesh territory without valid documents.Contacted, Lt Col Ariful Haque, commanding officer of BGB-49, said that the arrestees were handed over to Benapole Port Police Station.A case was filed.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Tuesday May 2

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: we continue the Spring Membership Drive, we’ll be joined by Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun discussing his story about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms being brought into Baltimore to help combat skyrocketing gun violence and homicides. Also the NWA Sports Report crew will discuss race in sports, in the wake of Baltimore Orioles all-star centerfielder Adam Jones, claiming he was called, “nigger,” several times by Boston Red Sox fans during last night’s game and it isn’t the first time Jones has been the target of racial slurs. Call and make your pledge of support…410.319.8888!These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.last_img read more

Art exhibition for the visually impaired

first_imgThe initiative titled ‘Abhas’ has been executed by architecture and access consultant Siddhant Shah, who has reproduced the artworks in the form of embossed abstracts to allow blind people to touch and feel them.“Through such initiatives we aim to overcome the physical and mental barriers for individuals and make art inclusive for all.“For visually impaired people, art ends up in making chairs by weaving. So painting or others forms of art are still new for them. The idea is to create abstracts of the original artworks by using similar materials,” he says. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShah has recreated nine out of 12 paintings exhibited at the show titled, “Group 1890- India’s indigenous modernism” by using sand and bee wax among several others products.“By touching these tactile replicas which have the same texture and surface as the originals will help them understand what the painting is about and what materials the artist has used in his painting,” he says.The exhibition features artworks of artists like J Swaminathan, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Himmat Shah, Jeram Patel, Ambadas and Jyoti Bhatt among others from the ‘Group 1890’. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“We want to ensure that an understanding and appreciation of art becomes part of the mainstream lexicon and make it accessible to everybody at a level they can appreciate, and we hope the learning from these will become part of the everyday space for Indian viewers.“We hope this sensitisation will help the majority understand the importance and relevance of art education and assimilation for the marginalised, who have as much of a stake in art and culture as we do,” says Kishore Singh, President, DAG Modern. To replicate Bhatt’s ‘Face Profile’, that showcases a human face featuring text in Tibetan, Shah has used a moulded motif of a peacock feather which can be felt with hands.An ‘Untitled’ artwork by Eric Bowen has been reproduced by using Plaster of Paris.Shah has also designed a book in braille which provides information about the exhibition and the artists whose works have been exhibited. The show will continue till December.last_img read more

Chrome 67 wider Site Isolation roll out

first_imgChrome 67: wider Site Isolation roll out by Martin Brinkmann on May 30, 2018 in Google Chrome – Last Update: July 12, 2018 – 25 commentsGoogle started the roll out of Google Chrome 67, a new version of the company’s web browser, today. The new version of Chrome is a security release first and foremost.Google Chrome users on the desktop can run manual checks for updates to get the browser update right away; considering that Chrome 67 fixes 34 security issues, several of them rated as high, the second highest rating after critical, it is important that users update the browser to the new version as soon as possible.Just load chrome://settings/help in the Chrome address bar to run a manual check for update. Please note that this works only on desktop versions of Chrome and not mobile versions. Unless you download and install Chrome 67 from mirror sites that are not official, you have to wait for Google to distribute the browser to your device.Google continues the roll out of Site Isolation in Chrome. The feature landed in Chrome 63 but it was turned off initially as Google wanted to test the functionality on a small subset of users before it widened the audience.Update: Site Isolation has been turned on for 99% of all Chrome 67 installations according to Google.Site Isolation, or Strict Site Isolation, limits render processes to individual sites. Instead of handling multiple sites in a single render process, Chrome will move any additional site loaded on a website in its own process. Sites can be loaded using iframes and other means.Site Isolation improves stability and security but it comes at the cost of increased memory usage. Google stated that initial tests showed that memory usage might increase by up to 20%.Google enabled the feature for part of the Chrome userbase but it included an experimental flag in the browser which provided anyone with the option to enable it in Chrome (check out the linked article above for instructions).Chrome users who have been selected for the Site Isolation trial may disable it in the following ways:Set chrome://flags#enable-site-per-process to disabled if you enabled the feature using the flag.Set chrome://flags#site-isolation-trial-opt-out to “Opt-out (not recommended)” if you have been selected for the trial.Google notes that users may run into issues when they try to load certain sites in Chrome. Another reason for wanting to disable Site Isolation is the increase in memory usage. If you notice Chrome’s memory usage going way up, you may want to check if the feature has been enabled for the installation.Chrome 67 features plenty of under-the-hood changes. You find some of them mentioned on the official Chromium Blog (focusing on Developer additions); notable additions are inclusion of a Generic Sensor API to work with sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, or motion sensors, the new WebXR Device API for AR and VR experiences, and support for the Web Authentication API.Related articlesGoogle Chrome 66: password export, autoplay blocker, and security updatesHow to enable First-Party Isolation in FirefoxSummaryArticle NameChrome 67: wider Site Isolation roll outDescriptionGoogle started the roll out of Google Chrome 67, a new version of the company’s web browser, today. The new version of Chrome is a security release first and foremost. Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Overcapacity concerns downward pressure on fares No worries say Carnival Corp RCCL

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by This story originally ran in the Oct. 4, 2018 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — Cruise companies have finally realized that it’s just as important, if not more so, to keep your travel agent partners onside as it is to build up and market your own call centre and direct booking channels.The relationship hasn’t been without its ups and downs but for the most part cruise lines have been a steadfast partner for the trade.It’s at the point where cruise bookings are such a core product for so many agencies that success (or lack of it) for the cruise industry can make or break travel agencies heavily invested in cruise sales.When cruise companies falter, travel agents feel it.While cruise fares have dipped slightly for the world’s biggest cruise company, Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald says there’s no cause for concern.Carnival Corp. recently posted its highest-ever quarterly performance, and that’s saying something, considering the cruise giant has been on a tear for the past few years with increasingly strong results.With 10 cruise line brands, and 11.5 million passengers a year – that’s half the entire global cruise market – Carnival Corp. and its ships cut a sizeable wake. Cruise lines including Carnival Corp., especially with its core brand Carnival Cruise Line, have been working hard in recent years to maintain price integrity and keep yields up, and to make bargain-basement cruise fares a thing of the past.Starting in June Carnival Corporation’s booking volumes for the first half of 2019 were running significantly higher than the prior year, at lower prices.But more recently, during the first half of September, booking volumes for the first half of next year were still running higher than last year and at higher prices too.Based on these booking trends, Carnival Corp. says it expects continued improvement when it comes to net revenue yields for the first half of 2019.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthGross revenue yields were up 4% in Q3. Net income for the company clocked in at US$1.7 billion, up from $1.3 billion. Revenues for the third quarter of 2018 were $5.8 billion, up from $5.5 billion.High fuel costs are an ongoing concern and Carnival, like every other company keeping an eye on fuel prices, has warned that climbing costs will put a dent in its Q4 results. Carnival Corp.’s Q3 2018 fuel bill was $434 million, up from $307 million in Q3 2017.For now at least, strong execution is overcoming fuel (and currency) headwinds, says Donald.Carnival and other cruise companies have been known to levy fuel surcharges, but so far haven’t resorted to this unpopular measure despite escalating fuel bills.Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain acknowledges that rising fuel costs are a concern for Royal Caribbean too – RCCL hedges about 50% of its fuel needs. While keeping an eye on fuel costs, RCCL, parent company of Royal Caribbean, is going full steam ahead with its $1 billion investment to upgrade RCI ships, transform private island CocoCay in the Bahamas and attract more Millennials.Just like Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is raking in the dollars, with revenues of US$2.3 billion for Q2.In an interview with CNBC, Fain said new ships like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, heading into its first full year of sailing in 2019, and the much anticipated and soon to be launched Celebrity Edge with its cantilevered floating platform, have created a lot of good momentum “and that’s carrying us nicely into 2019.”“We’re constantly improving our ships. New features attract more customers, they pay more, and that gives us the money to build and enhance our ships,” says Fain.RCCL, already with several brands under its belt including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, is now even bigger with its majority stake purchase of luxury line Silversea Cruises this summer, with three new ships on the way.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTMeanwhile Carnival Corp.’s capacity increases come with concerns about too many berths driving down prices and yields but Donald says there’s no cause for alarm.Carnival Corp. is spreading its capacity growth over a number of its brands and geographical regions “and we’re careful when and where we add capacity,” says Donald. Any over-concentration of capacity in individual markets will be temporary, he adds, and alleviated by new demand from the undersaturated cruise market.He adds: “We’re working aggressively to grow demand for our brands which will allow us to continue to fill our ships at increasingly attractive rates, while still providing a better value to the equivalent land-based alternative.”And while he first attributes Carnival Corp.’s performance to the Carnival Corp. team, he doesn’t forget the cruise company’s other, equally important team: travel agents. The record-breaking Q3 results, he says, “are a testament to the tens of thousands of travel professionals who so enthusiastically support our brand.” Overcapacity concerns, downward pressure on fares? No worries, say Carnival Corp., RCCL Kathryn Folliott Friday, October 12, 2018 Tags: Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Line Share About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019last_img read more