Funding Helps Municipalities Reduce Emissions Improve Air Quality

first_imgFour municipalities and a community arts centre will help fight climate change and improve air quality with more than $448,000 in provincial funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The funding, from the ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change, was announced today, June 24, in the Municipality of the County of Annapolis by Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau. “Government is showing genuine leadership that is on the side of municipalities so that, together, we are making our environment healthier and our economy stronger,” said Mr. Belliveau. “Each of these municipalities is making great strides toward a cleaner Nova Scotia for future generations.” The Municipality of the County of Annapolis is receiving more than $195,000 to install energy management control systems, energy efficient lighting, and insulation in up to 11 buildings. “We have completed energy audits on all of our facilities. With the use of EcoNS funding, we will be investing in changes that will reduce our energy consumption,” said Peter Newton warden of the Municipality of the County of Annapolis. “As we reduce our consumption to a sustainable level, we will look at alternate energy sources in order to reduce our dependence on external energy. This will reduce the impact of rising energy costs and enable us to have secure energy supply.” The Municipality of the District of Argyle is receiving more than $58,000 in ecoNova Scotia funding for two projects: a heat recovery system that will extract energy from wastewater which can be used to heat two new buildings at the wastewater treatment plant; and upgrades to the administration building, including insulation, energy efficient lighting, and an energy management control system. The ecoNova Scotia Fund is also contributing more than $144,000 to the Town of Berwick to add energy efficiencies to its town hall. Insulation, window awnings, a solar wall and an energy efficient heating system will be installed. Other projects in the Valley region are receiving amounts ranging from $23,000 to about $28,000 for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects. Projects include the installation of outdoor solar showers and a solar hot water system at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts. Mr. Belliveau said the projects are helping the province meet its commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to at least 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, as well as significantly reduce air pollutants. He said ecoNova Scotia funding has helped many Nova Scotian businesses and municipalities contribute to meeting that goal. The projects announced today will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 600 tonnes and air pollutants by 1,900 kilograms every year, and help municipalities reduce operating costs. These projects are the equivalent of taking more than 120 cars off the road. More ecoNova Scotia funding announcements will be made soon. The ecoNova Scotia fund is distributing an original $42.5 million grant from the government of Canada. All funding is fully committed and no new applications are being accepted.last_img read more

Duchess Of Cambridge Celebrates 100 Years Of Cub Scouts

first_imgThe Duchess of Cambridge attended a special Cub Scout Pack meeting last week with Cubs from the Kings Lynn District to celebrate 100 years of Cubs.The Duchess Of Cambridge Helps Celebrate 100 Years Of Cub ScoutsCredit/Copyright: Royal.ukHer Royal Highness joined the Pack as they took part in games and activities themed around looking after yourself and others physically and emotionally.They then joined together to renew their Cub Scout promise and celebrate the Cub’s 100th anniversary with the lighting of 100 candles and a rendition of happy birthday.Cub Scouting was co-founded by Robert Baden-Powell and Vera Barclay on the 16th December 1916.Find out more about Cub Scouting here.Source:Royal.uklast_img

Bold New SocialFirst Series SIDES Breaks Boundaries with New Voices and New

first_img Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement TORONTO – Do vending machines for the morning after pill promote risky sex? Do emojis make texting better, or worse? #Activism vs #Slacktivism? Bell Media Studios, in partnership with DAIS, ventures into uncharted territory tackling questions important to youth, with the brand-new, social media-first series SIDES*.The first series of its kind from a Canadian broadcaster, each episode streams live around the world on Twitter @Sides on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, featuring a rotating panel of six teen hosts exploring and debating topics important to them and the series’ social media audience.From political upheaval and leading news stories, to entertainment scandals and life advice, their dynamic and candid conversations allow viewers to listen, learn, and react using the hashtag #MySide. Fans worldwide can continue to engage with SIDES*, and watch clips and additional content 24/7 on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook. SIDES* has found early success with its first-ever live stream on October 11 reaching more than 45,000 viewers, with live viewership up by a massive 400% during last night’s episode. The new series has also garnered more than half a million impressions on additional clips and videos posted across all social media platforms throughout the week.Following the live broadcast, a one-hour episode of SIDES* joins Much’s revamped lineup of topical, millennial-focused programming on Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. TV episodes highlight the debates from that week’s social broadcast, while also incorporating what viewers had to say through tweets, comments, and videos posted using the #MySide hashtag. Each episode also includes host rants and other videos from the cast and guests on additional topics that are important to them.Meet the Cast!“An integral part of our approach with SIDES* is its social-first format, which allows us to engage with our viewers in an immediate way about the topics that matter most to them,” said Nanci MacLean, Vice-President and Head, Bell Media Studios. “With content being posted every day on the @SIDES social media channels, and the Much broadcast incorporating the conversations happening around each episode, the series is a living thing that our viewers can interact with and help shape from week to week.”“Young people across Canada are increasingly coming to platforms like Twitter for not just the conversation and commentary but also the range of live-streaming video content available,” says Michael Palombo, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter Canada. “A program like SIDES* is tailor-made for Twitter and we have no doubt the program will quickly find an audience amongst the millions of Canadians who use Twitter every day.”In Wednesday night’s episode, Much Studios creator Michael Rizzi joined the hosts to add his side to the conversation. Guests including Much and E! host Tyrone Edwards and TSN’s Cabral “Cabbie” Richards are set to make appearances in upcoming episodes. Past guests also include Instagram artist and author Maria Qamar. Ranging from light to heavy subjects, the hosts break down news stories, voice their opinions, discuss viewer feedback from social media, and share positive stories through a variety of segments including:Weekly Breakdowns: SIDES* brings viewers up to speed on some of the biggest stories of the week and the context around them.Okay/No Way: Each host chooses one story they were encouraged by and one they were discouraged by that week.Got Beef: A host explains who or what they’ve got beef with that week.The Upside: The positive stories of the week that caught the hosts’ attention.Onside/Offside: Using thumbs up and thumbs down props, hosts declare whether they think a common thing people do is acceptable or unacceptable.Adulting: Well-known adult guests answer questions about growing up and share insight into what they’ve learned.SIDES* is a Bell Media Studios production in partnership with DAIS. The series is executive produced by Michelle Crespi. Kate McKenna is Supervising Producer. Beth Maher is Executive Producer, Digital, Bell Media Studios. Nanci MacLean is Vice-President and Head, Bell Media Studios. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: In the deep tunnel of the city’s intractable-seeming dispute with the Toronto Media Arts Centre over the group’s in-limbo space on Lisgar Street, there appeared on Wednesday an improbable glimmer of light: For those keeping score, Tuesday, June 5, was the make-or-break deadline for the city to either finally approve TMAC’s agreement of purchase and sale on the space — locked in a legal dispute since 2015 — or send them packing (in February, when the city agreed to allow TMAC interim occupancy, it specified in its terms that the sheriff would be dispatched, if necessary).Instead, something remarkable happened: In a joint statement, both the city and TMAC announced that they had extended the hard deadline with a mind, in the words of TMAC board chair Henry Faber, “to work together to ensure things will move forward as positively as possible.” Jennie Robinson Faber and Henry Faber of the Toronto Media Arts Centre are seen last year in front of contested turf: 36 Lisgar St., whose dedicated arts space they’ve gotten access to and, finally, started using. (STEVE RUSSELL / TORONTO STAR) Twittercenter_img Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

The Latest Court says Nissan exchair Ghosn seeking bail

TOKYO — The Latest on the Nissan Motor Co.’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, who is facing financial misconduct charges (all times local):4 p.m.The Tokyo District Court says that lawyers for Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn have requested his release on bail.The request followed Ghosn’s indictment Monday on fresh breach of trust charges. Ghosn is being held at the Tokyo Detention House.The Tokyo District Prosecutors’ Office said in a statement that Ghosn caused $5 million in financial damage to Nissan by siphoning off half of $10 million that he had a Nissan subsidiary transfer to an overseas sales agent for the automaker in 2017 and 2018.It alleges that Ghosn diverted $2.5 million in July 2017 and another $2.5 million a year later from the sales agent to his private investment company for his personal benefit.Ghosn has said he is innocent of all charges.___1:48 p.m.Japanese media report that prosecutors have charged Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn with breach of trust.The charges reportedly filed Monday are related to payments by a subsidiary of the Japanese automaker that allegedly went to a private investment company controlled by Ghosn.The indictment ensures he will remain in detention. His current period of detention would have expired Monday if he had not been charged.Ghosn, 65, was arrested in November. He says he is innocent of all financial misconduct charges against him.Prosecutors re-arrested Ghosn in early April, a month after his release on 1 billion yen ($9 million) pending his trial.Ghosn has said compensation he allegedly underreported was never decided upon and payments that prosecutors say amount to breach of trust were legitimate business transactions.The Associated Press read more

Southern Sudan needs more help to rebuild education roads health care –

John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, met President Salva Kiir and other senior officials in the Government of Southern Sudan, which was set up as a result of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement that ended the north-south civil war.Mr. Holmes and Mr. Kiir – who met in Juba – discussed the scale of the south’s continuing development needs, as well as mutual concerns about the full implementation of the peace deal, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Mr. Holmes – who is also the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator – also assured southern Sudanese officials of the UN’s ongoing humanitarian support and urged donors to get behind construction and development initiatives.Southern Sudan is lacking in basic infrastructure as a result of the prolonged civil war, and Mr. Holmes stressed that the capacity of the Government in the region must be built up so it can take over health-care, education and other services.“A lot of has been achieved since I was last in Juba less than two years ago, but a huge amount remains to be done,” he said. “The UN must be here for the long haul, to support Government leadership, while the international community as a whole has to keep up its spending. Too much rests on the development of the south and the continued health of the north-south relationship for there to be any other option.”Health care is a particular concern, with southern Sudan experiencing some of the worst child and maternal health indicators in the world, due in part to exceptionally low immunization rates. One in seven women, for instance, dies as a result of causes related to childbirth.“It is simply unacceptable in the 21st century that women continue to die in childbirth at such rates, and that children and adults die needlessly of preventable diseases like malaria.“Distributing mosquito nets to all the population, training enough staff and qualified midwives, and getting them out to the rural communities who are in dire need of primary health care: these must be top priorities.”Mr. Holmes visited Agok, home to some 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled Abyei, a town in an oil-rich area of central Sudan that remains in contention between the north and south despite the peace accord.During their discussions the Under-Secretary-General and Mr. Kiir also emphasized the importance of a rapid solution to the separate conflict still engulfing the Darfur region of western Sudan.Members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a notorious rebel group that has waged war against Ugandan Government forces since the mid-1980s and is accused of recruiting children to serve as soldiers or sexual slaves, have long operated out of southern Sudan, which borders Uganda.Mr. Holmes and Mr. Kiir strongly urged the leadership of the LRA to follow through on promises to sign a peace agreement tomorrow.The UN relief chief is now in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, for meetings with Government officials, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He has already visited Darfur and neighbouring Chad on this visit. 28 November 2008The United Nations relief chief today wrapped up a two-day visit to southern Sudan by calling on international donors to help the region develop basic education and health-care services and quickly build up its road system as it recovers after two decades of civil war. read more

BitGold looks to take gold savings mainstream with app and global network

CALGARY – Want to buy gold as a savings alternative? Well, you guessed it, there’s an app for that.Josh Crumb, co-founder of BitGold, says he created the software that automatically links buyers to bullion dealers and storage companies because he wanted to make it easier for people to own gold as a hedge against inflation and as a store of value.“It’s just so much easier, like everything else, to do it from your mobile phone,” said Crumb.The system charges a one per cent fee to exchange cash into gold and back but storage is free. It also allows users to transfer their gold value to a prepaid credit card, so they can actually buy a cup of coffee with their gold holdings, said Crumb.“It gives the ability without having to go to coin shops and shave off some flakes of gold to buy something.”Crumb said he and co-founder Roy Sebag were inspired by the possibilities of Bitcoin, which allows global financial transactions without going through banking systems.Like Bitcoin, BitGold allows free transfers between users, including an international money-transfer option that is in the works. But the key difference, says Crumb, is that Bitcoin will never be a store of value while gold already is.“We said, let’s do everything Bitcoin is promising to do, but let’s actually be able to do it by having a real currency.”The Toronto-based company began offering its service to the public in May and had already racked up more than 168,000 global users by the end of July, with about $7 million in transactions.Crumb said the system should be popular with the fringe gold bugs who foresee the imminent collapse of the U.S. dollar and a rise in gold, but he wants to appeal to a wider base who will use it as a form of savings account.“You don’t buy gold to get rich like you’re buying Apple Stock, you buy gold to protect your savings.”Most BitGold customers are in their forties or older, said Crumb, but he is seeing younger buyers who have never bought gold before.“We are expanding the market because we’re taking so much friction out of it.”But many financial advisers disagree that gold should be considered a prudent place to store wealth.“The message of gold as a hedge against inflation is something that people sort of accepted as a given, but I think in the last 20 years it really hasn’t been true,” said Ted Rechtshaffen, president and CEO of TriDelta Financial.He said gold has had volatile swings in value in recent years, while inflation has actually stayed quite low.Rechtshaffen acknowledged that gold could be a good investment in countries where you can’t trust your currency or government, but for Canadians it doesn’t make much sense.“I’m not saying gold is a bad investment, but gold as an alternative to cash or as a hedge against inflation, I just don’t buy it.”Danielle Park, a partner and portfolio manager at Venable Park Investment Counsel Inc., has outlined her skepticism of gold on her blog.“Gold makes no sense to me as an investment. It pays nothing, it is not essential for anything in our economy and, as an analyst I have no way of assessing its fair value,” wrote Park.She says investors should be especially wary of taking gold-buying advice from those selling it.“If you are taking your buy advice from those who are paid to sell you the investment products, you are putting yourself and your capital in harm’s way.” BitGold looks to take gold savings mainstream with app and global network by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 30, 2015 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Aug 30, 2015 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

DeVier Posey to Verlon Reed Heres how to receive with ease

The Buckeye quarterback battle has dominated talk at the water cooler, but the biggest concern heading into spring might have been the lack of depth at wide receiver. With DeVier Posey suspended for the first five games of the season and the graduation of Dane Sanzenbacher, the Buckeyes lost virtually all meaningful experience at the position. The Buckeyes have a collection of young players who hope to fill the void, but their performances in the early parts of the spring were far from encouraging. “We got young guys at receiver and I thought they really came along this spring,” coach Jim Tressel said after the Spring Game on Saturday. “I think after about three practices we were thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, we might be in three (tight ends), a fullback and a tailback.’” But Posey took it upon himself to bring the younger guys along. “I think for me the biggest thing to get those guys to understand as far as leading by example is practicing hard every single day,” Posey said. “I want them to see how passionate I play, how the game is supposed to be played and how fast the game is supposed to be played so that they can learn from that.” Posey said the receivers needed some help getting accustomed to college football and the rigors of being a student-athlete. “They had some rough days,” Posey said. “They had some days they didn’t want to play football anymore, and they had some days where they looked like All-Americans and I felt like that was key to get those guys on a straight line and keep them consistent.” Posey’s example seemed to make a big difference. During the first two jersey scrimmages, Posey was the only receiver to reach the end zone, but Saturday’s Spring Game saw four new receivers cross the goal line. At 6-foot-5, 228 pounds, redshirt freshman T.Y. Williams is an imposing physical target. He’s had issues catching the ball in his brief time at Ohio State, but he led the team in receiving yards Saturday with three receptions for 83 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Taylor Graham. Sophomore Corey “Philly” Brown is the only receiver with legitimate game experience. Brown had eight receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown last year and is the leading candidate to replace Posey as the top wide receiver. He hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Braxton Miller on Saturday. Tressel seemed prophetic after calling redshirt freshman Verlon Reed the “dark horse” before the Spring Game. Reed caught Saturday’s first touchdown pass, a 17-yard strike from Kenny Guiton. A quarterback in high school, Reed has caught the attention of his teammates with his play. “I think he’s stepped up,” offensive lineman Mike Brewster said. “I think he’s started to make a name for himself on the team.” Ryan Ross also caught a touchdown from Joe Bauserman. “I felt like a proud dad today watching three of them score touchdowns and making big plays,” Posey said. “To me, that shows their growth and that shows their maturity.” Posey said the success for the young receivers in the spring game will help their progression through the summer and fall camps. “It’s definitely a confidence booster,” Posey said of the receivers’ touchdowns. “I think that was Corey’s second time scoring at Ohio Stadium and it was Tyrone and Verlon’s first time. They’re happy, man, and I’m really excited for those guys.” But the young group still has a ways to go. Most of the receivers’ success came when the first-team defense watched from the sidelines. “(The receivers) need to have tremendous progress between now and September,” Tressel said. “But I think for all of our guys, receivers especially, with the youth of them, this spring was well-served.” Recruits Devin Smith and Evan Spencer will both join the receiver battle this summer and hope to help the offense deal with Posey’s absence. Posey, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, offensive lineman Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits. Tressel will join them for failing to report their violations. OSU has until July 5 to respond to the NCAA’s questions and will meet with the Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12. read more

Olafur Stefansson is missing preseason period

← Previous Story Vladica Stojanovic ended his career! Next Story → Talant Dujshebaev on the HSV bench? One of the best right back on the Planet in last decade, Icelandic Olafur Stefansson (38) will miss pre season period with Rhein Neckar Lowen due recovery after knee surgery treatment. A Captain of bronze medal team from last EURO 2010 in Austria decided to went “under the knife” and because of that, he will be out of the court aproximatelly about a month.Handball Bundesliga start at 28. August and “Wild Card” tournament for Champions League who is organised by RNL is from 5 until 7. September.

Pixar animator sets the bar for storytelling books on iPad

first_imgIn days of yore, kids used to beg their parents to let them go out and play. Jump ahead to the introduction of Nintendo and video game consoles and all of a sudden the parents were doing the begging as they tried to get their kids away from the controller and out in the backyard. As we’ve seen in the past, technology can change a lot about how generations grow up. As tablets and iPads become more and more popular, they may change the way that kids do every day things, like read a book for example.As we saw recently with Griffin’s Crayola ColorStudio HD iPad app, normal things like coloring books are being turned into iPad apps for your kids to enjoy. Even children’s books are being made available for the iPad, which is a hot subject of debate for many people.On the one hand, some think kids should be reading normal paper books and having the experience that everyone else did growing up and falling in love with books. On the other hand, eBooks and interactive book apps can be more educational as they immerse the reader in a way that normal books can’t. While the jury is still out on this subject, animators and authors are creating new, never-before-seen eBook apps that may sway you to the pro-eBook side of things.William Joyce, a well-known illustrator and animator due to his work for Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, and the New Yorker, has created an app that blurs the line between a children’s story eBook and an animated movie. Joyce, along with his team at Moonbot Studios, created “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” an interactive book-app based on the animated short film of the same name.The book can be as interactive or straightforward as you like thanks to the buttons on the side of the app which allow you to turn off sound effects, voiceover, or music. In some ways, parents won’t even have to read their kids bedtime stories anymore because, guess what, there’s an app for that. This has the potential to drastically change the way kids grow up. However, parents still have the ability to turn off the voiceover and read the story to their kids instead.The 27-page book-app is unique, not only because of its aesthetically-pleasing art, but also because each page has some sort of interactive feature on it. You can spin the character’s house around when it gets picked up in a tornado, play piano, or you can help Morris repair books. The Moonbot team called it the “reinvention of digital storytelling.”As you can see in the video below, the app is beautifully animated and is something both parents and children alike will want to play with. After all, a large percentage of box office money from Pixar movies comes from non-parents, so who’s to say people without kids won’t pay the $4.99 to check out the app?Speaking of which, $4.99 for such an elaborate book-app is not a ton of money, which brings up one of the largest issues of digital material vs. physical material: it’s almost always cheaper in digital form. Will parents stop buying physical books for their kids when they can just buy an interactive book for a lot less?Ultimately, paper books will not become obsolete just yet, but kids may be growing up with this new form of media thinking that it is the norm and paper books are old-fashioned. Just like some kids would rather stay inside and play video games, they’ll want to read these book-apps instead of a good ol’ paperback like “Goosebumps” or “Babysitter’s Club,” or even a “Hardy Boys,” or “Nancy Drew.”via FastCoDesignlast_img read more

Professor Paxinos honoured in NSW Premiers awards

first_imgAcclaimed neuroscientist Professor George Paxinos AO is among ten leading researchers who were honoured for their work in this year’s NSW Premier’s Science and Engineering Prizes.The award ceremony took place at Government House in Sydney on 7 October.Professor Paxinos claimed the top prize in the category of Medical Biological Sciences (cell and molecular, medical, veterinary and genetics).Newcastle’s laureate engineering professor Scott Sloan won Scientist of the Year, receiving a trophy and a $55,000 cash prize, while eight other esteemed professionals were recognised for excellence in their fields of specialisation and each awarded a prize of $5,000.Held annually since 2008, the purpose of the institution is to honour science pioneers for their contribution and raise the community’s awareness of their work.“The Premier’s Prizes for Science and Engineering are about celebrating our incredibly talented scientists and engineers, who, through their innovation, collaboration, resourcefulness and impact, have contributed to major advances in our well-being and economy,” said NSW Premier Mike Baird.After finishing high school in Ithaca, Professor Paxinos received his BA in Psychology at the University of California and his PhD at McGill University, followed by a postdoctoral year at Yale University.In 1994 he moved to Australia and continues his academic work as Senior Principal Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia and Professor of Psychology and Medical Sciences at the University of NSW.The 70-year-old neuroscientist has won numerous accolades and has been a member of the Academy of Athens since 2012, as well as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia since 2009.The first book he authored, in collaboration with Charles Watson, titled The Rat Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates holds a place among the most cited scientific texts of all time.He has since then published 160 research papers and 45 books on the structure of the brain and spinal cord of humans and experimental animals. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

CEOs paid 183 times more than average worker

first_imgChief executive officers (CEOs) currently earn around 183 times more than the average worker in the UK, according to research by The High Pay Centre.The research, which compared disclosed FTSE 100 executive pay recorded by organisations in their annual reports, also found that FTSE 100 CEO pay reached £4.964 million in 2014, compared to £4.923 million in 2013.The study also found:The top 10 highest-paid CEOs alone were paid over £156 million between them.Despite average CEO pay of nearly £5 million, only a quarter of FTSE 100 organisations are living wage accredited.The average vote from business shareholders against pay awards across the FTSE 100 was just 6.4%.Deborah Hargreaves, director of The High Pay Centre, said: “Pay packages of this size go far beyond what is sensible or necessary to reward and inspire top executives. It’s more likely that corporate governance structures in the UK are riddled with glaring weaknesses and conflicts of interest. “The coalition government introduced some welcome reforms in 2013 that have enabled us to get a better understanding of the executive pay racket. However it’s clear that these reforms didn’t do nearly enough to start building a pay culture where everybody is rewarded fairly and proportionally for the work that they do.”This follows the news that public employers in the US will have to disclose the difference in pay between the chief executive officer and the median compensation received by other employees from January 2017.Unequal pay will be one of the topics on the agenda at Employee Benefits Live 2015, taking place on 21-22 September at Olympia National, London. Duncan Brown, head of HR consultancy at the Institute for Employment Studies, will be delivering a keynote presentation on the gender pay gap reporting regulations and unequal pay audits.last_img read more

Trash can redux Reexamining the legacy of the 2013 Apple Mac Pro

first_img $4,689 Now playing: Watch this: Adorama 4 Computers Desktops Best Buy Mentioned Above Apple iMac Pro Preview • iMac Pro puts the soul of a Mac Pro in an iMac body CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $4,999 $4,649 Apple Apple $4,999 Jun 14 • Apple Music vs. Apple Podcast vs. Apple TV: What’s the difference? The 2013 Apple Mac Pro. Sarah Tew/CNET In London last week to speak at a video games industry conference, I found myself in Harrods, the famously extravagant department store with everything from gourmet food to expensive suits to collectible coffee table books the size of actual coffee tables. (Editor’s note: Apple unveiled a new Mac Pro at WWDC on Monday.)Naturally, I had to check out the technology section, a long series of corridors filled with high-end gear, from £700 David Lynch Edition Bang & Olufsen speakers to a £1,200 Alligator skin iPhone case.Read more: Meet the new Mac ProIn the dedicated Apple nook of the store, I saw an old friend that I had not expected to. Right next to all the relatively new iPad Pros and Apple Watches, I saw a prominently displayed Mac Pro desktop. It looked just as it had in 2013, when that bold design launched, and yes, Harrods was selling it at its full price ($3,000 and up). Long before butterfly keyboards and Touch Bars, the Mac Pro was the Apple design it was popular to hate on. The design was radical for 2013, coming after years of traditional desktop towers. At the time, I found the change bold and forward-looking, but in hindsight, it was too focused on aesthetics and not enough on functionality. With extremely limited upgradability compared to the old tower design, the Mac Pro could not keep up with the growing demands of creative power users in an evolving world of 4K/8K video, HDR photography and VR/AR development. Apple Mac Pro (2013)Get a look at that interior. Sarah Tew/CNET At the time, I said, “Apple’s new Mac Pro is a stunningly fresh take on the desktop computer. But it’s probably not for you.” One reason was that nearly any expansion would have to happen via externally attached Thunderbolt devices, and even in casual use, all those cables quickly added up to a cluttered workspace.From my original review: “Components are built around something Apple calls a unified thermal core. A small lock switch is moved to the unlocked position, and the entire outer sleeve of the system lifts off, exposing the interior… the idea being promulgated here is that your expandability should flow outward, not inward.”But it was that very thermal core that prevented the Mac Pro from keeping up customers’ needs, especially for graphics power. By 2017, the company had essentially thrown up its hands in the matter, giving the same trash can chassis a reasonable spec upgrade, but then shifting the conversation to a completely different future version of the Mac Pro desktop that would trade the now 6-year-old design for something new and modular. Apple Mac Pro (2013)The 2013 Mac Pro next to an even older tower Mac Pro. Sarah Tew/CNET We’ve been waiting ever since, and in the meantime, Apple execs have dropped a handful of hints, most centered on a “not now,” “not yet,” “maybe next year,” message. An upgraded all-in-one desktop, called the iMac Pro, has attempted to fill some of that marketplace hole, but that system has similar expandability limitations and is also based on a very mature iMac design (plus you’re stuck with a computer and display built into a single unit). This week’s WWDC keynote may be where that wait ends. While the Harrods sales staff may not have read into it yet, the Apple rumor mill is all-in on a new the Mac Pro at least making a preliminary appearance at Monday’s keynote. Follow along with us at our Apple WWDC 2019 keynote liveblog and video stream, starting Monday, June 3, 9:30 a.m. PT. Aug 19 • iOS 13 and iPadOS: How to join the beta, use the best new features on your iPhone and iPad See It Apple iOS 13: New Siri voice, camera tools, Dark Mode for iPhone New Mac Pro makes its debut, starts at $5,999 Apple gives the iPad its own OS Returning to Apple’s WWDC after 20 years, now with 5 OSes instead of 1 Get all the latest from WWDCcenter_img reading • Trash can redux: Reexamining the legacy of the 2013 Apple Mac Pro Hands-on with Apple’s new Mac Pro desktop See also See It Apple iMac Pro See All Share your voice See It Tags WWDC 2019 See it Jul 5 • RIP, iTunes. This is what happens to your Apple music now Comments WWDC 2019 3:15 Jun 30 • iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas: How to download and install them now •last_img read more

Budget 2016 Will Sensex gain on Budget day as it did last

first_imgWhen Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the first full-year budget of the Narendra Modi government Feb. 28, 2015, the stock markets were volatile but managed to end with gains, primarily on the assurance to gradually reduce corporate tax rates (from 30 percent) over the next four years and defer applicability of General Anti-Avoidance Act (GAAR) by two years. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 141 points after a wild swing of about 700 points and settled at 29,361 while the NSE Nifty ended the day at 8,901, up 57 points.The gains were the first on a Budget day in four years; in the previous three sessions on Budget days, the Sensex had ended with losses.Situation thenThe Narendra Modi government last year was still riding a popularity wave, notwithstanding its first electoral drubbing since coming to power in May 2014 when the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP won a landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly polls, reducing the BJP to just three seats.Optimism was in the air for Modi on the economic front.”Indian equity markets were near record highs, the rupee was outperforming its regional peers and a collapse in oil prices (Jan 2015’s $48/bbl from June 2014’s $116/bbl) provided a huge windfall for the fiscal balances,” said Radhika Rao, economist, group research, DBS Bank in her note a few days ago.Situation nowBut the situation has changed drastically for Modi since then: Exports have fallen for 14 months in a row, retail inflation is at a 17-month high, stressed bank loans are at alarming high levels and there are multiple headwinds in the political circles in the form of the JNU row and Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s death, making the task more daunting for Modi as his government presents its third Budget Monday.Based on Friday’s closing level of 23,154, the Sensex has slipped 21 percent from its Feb. 28, 2015 levels, reflecting the drift in the Indian economy that is facing a tough external environment.The situation has been caused due to a fall in crude oil and commodity prices, weakening the global economy.The economies of countries dependent on oil and commodity exports have been hammered, leading to a contagion effect on other countries, including India.Global equity markets have witnessed significant sell-off since the beginning of the year.Foreign institutional investors (FIIs, also FPIs) have been net sellers of Indian stocks for many months now, and have pulled out about Rs 5,690 crore from Indian stock markets this month (till Feb. 26).The Indian rupee closed at 68.62 Friday, not far away from its all-time low of 68.85 against the US dollar in August 2013, when the Congress-led UPA was in power.”Bond yields have hardened, with the benefit from low oil prices largely spent and narrow room for further rate cuts. Despite global central banks maintaining an easy policy bias, foreign investors have trimmed their exposure in January and February,” Rao said in her Wednesday note.With speculations ranging from a possible hike in service tax rate to 16 percent from the current 14 percent, an expected tweak in long capital gains norms, higher outlay of Rs 1.10 lakh crore on account of implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme and recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the markets are on the edge.Foreign investors would be looking at the government’s commitment to the fiscal consolidation path to keep the fiscal deficit at 3.9 percent of the GDP this year and 3.5 percent in FY2017, besides a reduction in corporate tax rates as was promised last year.last_img read more

The Russia Investigations 4 Big Storylines To Watch In 2018

first_imgMark Wilson/Getty ImagesTraffic streaks past the U.S. Capitol on December 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C.If 2016 was the bravura opener and 2017 the tension-building second act, 2018 could deliver an action-packed conclusion to the Russia imbroglio.Or this story might still be getting started.Even without knowing every surprise the saga might bring in the new year, there are already enough waypoints on the calendar to confirm that 2018 will ratchet up the volume yet again.Here are four big storylines to watch.The midterm electionOne-third of the Senate and every member of the House of Representatives is running for re-election this year. Current and former U.S. intelligence bosses say they expect the return of what they call “active measures” aimed across the United States, designed to amplify controversy and divide people as much as possible.FBI Director Christopher Wray says the Bureau has set up a task force to safeguard against foreign influence in American elections, but it isn’t clear how well prepared federal or state governments actually are to handle disinformation campaigns, cyberattacks or any other interference like that launched against the 2016 presidential election.Even without foreign mischief, the congressional midterms may prove to be white hot. Political players in both parties have set the stakes as high as they get: the president’s job. Liberal activists want impeachment to be on the ballot; they’ve said that Democrats must reclaim both chambers and get rid of President Trump, partly over the Russia imbroglio.Republicans dismiss such aims as outrageous — but they also warn their own voters and donors that the threat is real, and so they must be just as aggressive in defending their majorities and President Trump.Democratic congressional leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York have said impeachment is not their priority. Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer, meanwhile, is running an ad campaign that calls for impeachment by name.Expect a fight within Democratic ranks over how much or how little to invoke the I-word — one that could be exacerbated by fake Facebook accounts or groups like the ones that divided Black Lives Matter and other groups.Paperwork avalanche2018 could deliver a blizzard of paper on the Russia imbroglio from across Congress, inside the Justice Department and the intelligence community. At least three congressional committees have said they could release their final reports into the Russian attack on the 2016 election or related events — but that doesn’t mean there will be three reports. There could be many more.The House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee may issue reports from both their Republican majorities and Democratic minorities.House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., a steadfast Trump ally who helped defend the White House all of 2017, may issue a report that emphasizes the denials by members of the Trump campaign of any wrongdoing during the 2016 race and rejects the notion that the campaign conspired with the Russians who were targeting the presidential election.House Intelligence Committee Democrats led by Rep. Adam Schiff of California may issue their own report that highlights all the suggestions about collusion and impropriety, and which complains about the need for more investigation and additional evidence.One potential model for this was the House Benghazi Committee’s investigation into the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.Republicans and Democrats used it to batter or defend Hillary Clinton — then ahead of her presidential run — and, in that case, panel members also issued a third report: Then-Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., now director of the CIA, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who remains in the House, added their own “addendum” to the official report that faulted Clinton even more harshly.Given the stakes of the Russia storyline to the political balance of the Capitol and Trump personally, lawmakers will be keen to use everything they develop to that end.President PutinThe United States isn’t the only nation with a big election scheduled for 2018. Russian President Vladimir Putin is running again too — and guaranteed to win. Even though Russian elections are widely faulted as un-free and unfair at best, Putin’s conduct during this one will be highly suggestive.Previous Russian elections are, in many ways, the origin of the imbroglio. Then-Secretary of State Clinton irritated Putin when she questioned parliamentary elections in 2011. Later, American support for pro-Western elements in Ukraine pushed Putin’s animus toward the West and Clinton into the red zone — prompting the broad campaign of active measures that Russia launched against the U.S. during the 2016 election.Although Putin denies interfering in the West, he also loves to play the Cheshire Cat and let slip the occasional coy statement. Will he go further in talking to Russians about his strengths and accomplishments? Will the United States give Putin “some of his own medicine,” as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has called for, and attempt an interference campaign of its own?Even if the U.S. doesn’t, Putin may still ascribe opposition or disturbances within Russia to American turnabout, and that could have its own consequences.So for 2018, although the outcome of the Russian election is all but certain, the dynamic within Russia — and between Russia and the U.S. — is not.The special counselFew recent Washington, D.C., figures have had the effect of the Justice Department’s special counsel Robert Mueller. He became a cult figure of hope for Trump opponents. He and his unit have been turned into political tackle dummies by Trump allies.But through it all, Mueller and his team have themselves remained nearly silent, operating mostly out of sight within the eye of the hurricane. A federal judge has imposed a gag order on the parties in Mueller’s prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and, moreover, talking directly to the press was never Mueller’s style.So his team is the subject of endless rumor and speculation — about the directions it’s taking, about the people it might charge — but it has exhibited uncommon discipline in actually discussing its own actions.The indictments it brought in 2017 came as a surprise to many people, showing that Mueller could, for example, conclude a plea agreement with former Trump campaign adviser George Papadoupolos on Oct. 5 and keep it confidential until the day it was unsealed. If that discipline persists, the guessing games will too.Outside legal experts have said they believe Mueller’s work might not even be halfway complete, and that, based on past large, complex cases, the investigation might last through 2018.If that is so, and Mueller continues making life uncomfortable for White House aides and other Trumpworld insiders, talk will likely continue about possible attempts to fire him.The president can’t remove Mueller directly, but he could try to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions or other Justice Department leaders with people who would oust Mueller. If the White House decides to go that route in 2018, it would follow extensive political groundwork laid by allies who charge the FBI is rife with “bias,” Mueller has obtained evidence inappropriately and other transgressions.Supporters in Congress want to pass laws that would protect Mueller from such a fate, but unless 2018 brings major changes in the political dynamics, those bills don’t have the support of Republicans leaders and Trump certainly would not sign one.So even though a new year is dawning, the outlook for Mueller remains as murky as ever, both in terms of his job security and whatever work he intends to accomplish.He has the cooperation of at least one major witness, that much is sure: former national security adviser Mike Flynn, who turned state’s evidence in December in exchange for leniency. As far as other interviews, lines of inquiry and more potential charges, only Mueller knows for sure.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit Sharelast_img read more

Voltron Confirmed Gay AF

first_imgStay on target All the Trailers You Might Have Missed from SDCCLegion Teases What’s Next for Season Three at SDCC If you’re not watching Voltron (and dear lord, why not, it’s great), you may not know that the internet has decided that the show is gay af. But now the creators are making it official. According to, who broke the story, showrunner Lauren Montgomery said that fans would soon meet Shiro’s significant other: Adam.“Creators said the men were heading towards marriage but broke it off when Shiro chose his job,” Megan Peters of reported on Twitter.The implications for fans of the show are pretty huge. Thus far the show has taken place in battlegrounds throughout the galaxy as the Voltron team battle the empirical Galra. While Shiro started the series near Earth, the show’s lead has yet to return home.That’s not to mention the pretty big win this is for representation in general. As’s resident gay, I can confirm that Shiro is amazing and the queer community will be glad to have him join the team. He’s a well-respected pilot and leader. Plus, he’s the head of the paladins, the group of sci-fi warriors badasses that fly robotic space lions to fight evil star invaders.Let me tell you, there’s absolutely no shortage of fans of the show in the LGBT community already, and part of that may be that many of the show’s cast are legendarily shippable. This past season, fans of the Shiro-Keith pairing have had plenty of fodder, too. And that could open the door to a pretty nuanced plot arc. It’s not like there’s nothing between Shiro and Keith, after all, and it’d make sense that if work was a limiting factor that maybe Shiro just needs to date within his circle, y’know?Still… rough time for Adam… if he’s back on earth, he’s just living life and hoping that this man that he loves is safe, fighting on the stellar frontier. And… how could he compete with that like, either? Even if things do turn out okay, why would Shiro choose Adam now that he can’t relate to this grand adventure in the same way?Wow. Okay. I’m stopping. You get the idea.The series will be coming to an end pretty soon. The seventh season premiers August 10 on Netflix, and then the show is confirmed to be ending at season 8. Wherever they go with this plot arc, I just hope it’s well done.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Teenagers less reckless when elderly around

first_imgHowever, a new study suggests that being in a group that includes just one slightly older adult might decrease the teenagers’ propensity to engage in risky behaviour. “Decision making in groups of adolescents and young adults is more prudent when a somewhat older adult is present,” explained Laurence Steinberg, psychological scientist at Temple University in Pennsylvania, US.The study was designed to shed light on the group performance in the context of army combat teams where many soldiers in the front lines are in their late teenage or early 20s. However, the researchers also maintained that the findings are relevant across various settings, including restaurants and retail stores, which employ a relatively high proportion of adolescents.The study, published in Psychological Science, provides guidance to organisations that should decide on the age mix of their work teams, the researchers revealed. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Some of the participants, all 18-20-year-old men, were randomly assigned to complete the experiment alone, while others completed the task in a group of three same-aged peers or two same-aged peers and one slightly older male. The participants then completed a computer-based driving game, in which one group member was tasked with driving a car along a track as quickly as possible while the others watched.At each intersection in the game, the “driver” had to decide whether to stop for a yellow light, which would incur a time penalty, or to continue driving. If the driver ran through the light, he risked hitting another vehicle, which would incur an even greater time penalty. The drivers were offered a monetary incentive for completing the course quickly, and the observers received bonuses based on the driver’s performance. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe researchers measured drivers’ risk taking as the proportion of intersections at which they did not brake for the yellow light. They also measured participants’ preference for relatively small immediate rewards versus larger delayed rewards.The results revealed that drivers who were observed by peers took significantly more risks and showed a stronger preference for immediate rewards than those who completed the task in a group that included a slightly older graduate student.last_img read more

10 amazing pics as Sydney Mardi Gras celebrates 40 years

first_img5 reasons to book your trip now to Sydney Mardi Gras 2019First-ever gay couple to marry during Sydney Mardi Gras parade speak outA prime minister and his opposition leader show their gay side in SydneyRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : Gaga meets Cleopatra? | Photo: Shannon Power and Instagram/gaystarnews The LGBTI extravaganza is expected to attract over half a million revelers, just months after the country won marriage equality.The hugely popular parade is currently taking place, with the festival’s official Twitter account posting: ‘Parade viewing is full, there is no access to see the Parade. Do not travel to Oxford Street.’Parade viewing is full, there is no access to see the Parade. Do not travel to Oxford Street. SBS live stream is available at— Sydney Mardi Gras (@sydneymardigras) March 3, 2018Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy were present at the celebrations.‘It’s one of the days where queer people can walk out on the street and be their true selves’Dina from Bankstown, a first-time attendee of Mardi Gras, told GSN’s Shannon Power: ‘I’m really excited because I think I’m going to see a lot of floats and a lot of different types of queer people, getting every community towards me.’Dina furthermore added: ‘I’m here because it’s one of the only days where queer people can walk out on the street and be as queer as they want to and dress however they want to and be their true selves.’‘Our love affair is a result of Mardi Gras’They jpioned the parade on Oxford Street after the Dykes on Bikes and Boys on Bikes, with the PM telling the publication: ‘[The parade is a] wonderful part of Sydney.’According to The Daily Telegraph, he furthermore told reporters: ‘It’s 40 years old and 40 years ago Lucy and I had our first date so our love affair is a result of Mardi Gras.’Speaking about marriage equality, he also added: ‘It was like the nation gave same sex couples an enormous hug. It was a vote for equality, a vote for respect and what a huge vote it was.’‘You run on adrenaline’and that is the real @cher supporting tonight’s @sydneymardigras #MardiGras40 – how’s everyone’s make up going? — TAFE NSW (@tafensw) March 3, 2018Pop icon Cher, who has also appeared in the parade, will give her headline performance at around 3am (at the timing of publishing, it’s 9.30pm in Sydney!).She told ‘I’ll probably take a nap but it won’t make any difference, you run on adrenaline. It will work fine.’ Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . GAYSTARNEWS- They Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has returned for its 40-year outing. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)last_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact On the first possession, quarterback Blaine Gabbert—since benched in favor of Drew Stanton—threw an interception, and then on the second possession, he threw three straight incompletions before Phil Dawson kicked a 19-yard field goal.“I kick myself all the time, we score one touchdown we probably win that game,” Goodwin said. “It’s amazing because getting the ball down there hasn’t been the problem. It’s just been putting it in. To win in this league, you got to be good on third down and you got to be good in the red zone. We got to pick it up.”May be time for Elijhaa PennyFor the second straight day, running back Kerwynn Williams (quadricep/ribs) did not practice.If Williams is unable to go on Sunday, then the Cardinals may be looking at their fifth different starting running back. And it could be Elijhaa Penny, who has rushed for 56 of his 61 yards this season in the last two games.“He’s a hell of a back. He’s got a lot of upside,” Goodwin said. “He’s got a heavy head. I like him. I really do. He works hard and he does a good job on special teams.”Wait. Penny has a heavy head?“Heavy head,” Goodwin repeated. “He’s going to try to run over you. He’s thick-headed. He’s going to try to run over you.” Peterson isn’t wrong.The Cardinals entered Week 10 with the NFL’s 24th-ranked defense, allowing 349.8 total yards per game. Now, heading into this week’s matchup with the New York Giants, the Cardinals rank No. 7 (313.3) and are near the top in several other categories, including net yards per game and yards per play over the last five games.“We can be the first team to ever go top-5 defense three years straight,” Peterson said. “We know what we’re out there playing for right now. We’re just trying to finish strong.”Red zone offense Now while the defense has shown improvement, the offense has regressed, especially inside the red zone.The Cardinals have not scored a touchdown on any of their last nine trips inside their opponent’s 20-yard line, including six missed opportunities at Washington.“It’s simple execution,” offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said, specifically mentioning overthrown passes and poor protection upfront. “There are plays there to be made. There are little things like that we got to do a better job with, but the plays are there we just got to execute.”Twice last week the Cardinals had the ball 1st-and-goal and failed to cross the goal line. The question is why and why now. The answer is two-fold, according to defensive coordinator James Bettcher.On Thursday, Bettcher cited the character in the room — the players believe in each other — and scheme, adding players have bought in to what is being coached.“Our guys understand that it’s not what you do, it’s how you do what you do. And I think anybody in the National Football League, that is such an important factor in believing in your process and believing that it’s now what you do, it’s how you do what you do that leads to success and leads to you getting through some obstacles,” he said.“We’ve had opportunities early in the season with certain plays here and there that right now we’re making those plays and that’s a testament to our the guys believing and staying with the process.”Cornerback Patrick Peterson pointed to the defense’s play post-bye week for the start of the upward trend.“The numbers really, really started to show the growth that we had as a defense because you got to think about, at the beginning of the year we had at least six new faces and once everybody start to understand the terminology, understand how things work in this defense, I mean, we started playing lights out,” he said. Top Stories Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) celebrates his sack against the Jacksonville Jaguars with defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling TEMPE, Ariz. – Defensively, the Arizona Cardinals are playing their best football of the season. They’ve been good against the run, great on third down and have not allowed a second-half touchdown in the past two games.Over the last four weeks, the Cardinals have held each of their opponents to under 100 rushing yards, including a season-low 31 at Washington, and no opponent has converted better than 34 percent on third down with two teams (Jacksonville and Washington) successful on only a single third down throughout the entire game. 6 Comments   Share   In addition to Williams, safety Antoine Bethea (knee), linebacker Josh Bynes (ankle), linebacker Karlos Dansby (knee), tight end Troy Niklas (ankle), defensive lineman Olsen Pierre (illness) and right guard Earl Watford (ankle) missed Thursday’s practice.In the Christmas spiritBefore addressing the Giants offense, Bettcher made sure to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.With two small kids at home—ages two and six—this is a very special time of year for the Bettcher family.“My kids are so excited for it,” he said. “We have The Elf on the Shelf that’s going right now. God bless my wife because she comes up with some of the craziest ways to hide that thing. Elfy comes out and blesses our kids each day and helps them anticipate Christmas coming up. It’s a great time of year.”last_img read more

Etyk bashes Georgiades on pension funds wants a word with President

first_imgBank workers’ union Etyk said on Wednesday that the rejection by the finance minister of its demands for complete compensation of provident funds for losses suffered in the banking crisis, confirms that it is being unfairly treated.The cabinet’s decision in July to compensate funds for 75 per cent of their losses with a cap of up to €100,000 per provident fund beneficiary, confirms that “bank workers are in the crosshairs as it provocatively ignores previous commitments given to us,” Etyk said in a statement on its website.The statement, partly written in capital letters, with parts in bold or underlined, is an all-out-assault against Finance Minister Harris Georgriades, whom Etyk accuses of bias, and suggests that the union intends to step up the pressure against the government. It also bashes the Fiscal Council which also advised against a full reinstatement of provident funds.Provident funds which held €1.1bn in deposits, lost €763m in the banking crisis four-and-a-half years ago like any other depositor. Those at Bank of Cyprus saw 47.5 per cent of their uninsured deposits converted to equity as part of Cyprus’s bailout programme, while those at Cyprus Popular Bank, widely known as Laiki, lost everything in excess of €100,000.“But the culmination of the hatred and mockery of bank workers was manifested in a comment of the minister during our meeting that even if more funds were given, he would propose that none should be given to bank workers,” the union said. “The leaders of our organisation also asked the President of the Republic for a meeting to discuss this burning issue”.On Friday, Georgiades said that while the government acknowledged “mistakes and omissions of the past,” fiscal and moral limitations prevented the government from fully compensating provident funds for their losses. The government which in 2013 made available €300m to compensate the provident funds for half of their losses and pledged further €166m last month, would need €88m to fully compensate provident funds which would “entirely” flow to 1,900 bank workers, the minister had said.In April last year, President Nicos Anastasiades said that the government would compensate the funds to only 75 per cent, in accordance with previous statements by Georgiades.Etyk did not spare the Fiscal Council, a body tasked with monitoring the drafting and implementation of the government budget to ensure fiscal responsibility, saying that “those circles targeting bank workers” also conscripted the council.The fiscal watchdog said on August 22, that the full compensation of provident funds would increase the systemic risk “with incalculable consequence as it would send the message that the taxpayer would be liable for mistakes of institutional investors.The union, refuted that the managing committees of each provident fund had any responsibility for the prudent administration of their funds and blamed the Registrar of Occupational Retirement Funds, who supervises provident funds. “The funds of both funds were trapped in both banks with the responsibility of the Registrar who didn’t allow risk spreading,” the union said. It added that this was particularly the case with Laiki, which went into the hands of the government after its nationalisation in May 2012.Theophanis Tryphonos, head of the Social Insurance Services of the Ministry of Labour, who supervises provident funds, said that he repeatedly asked their management committees to avoid risk concentration as early as 2010 and 2011 and as late as weeks before the banking crisis.Tryphonos, who was commenting in a telephone interview, reiterated that he advised funds managed by bank workers to disperse risk after banks agreed to disburse €1.5n in gratuity fees in January 2013.In its statement, the union, known for its militant rhetoric and practices, mocked Georgiades for his concern about taxpayers. It cited the €1.7bn capital injection to the cooperative banks – which helped the state avoid losses several times that amount – and the support extended to the pension fund of state-owned power producer Electricity Authority of Cyprus to cover losses from mismanagement, which is provided by law.The union also criticised Georgiades for the up to €1.1bn decrease in the equity of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank since its nationalisation, and the government’s decision to assume the responsibility for €185.3m in guaranteed debt of municipal authorities in July.Etyk also resorted to comparing the plight of its retired members with that of civil servants, saying that bank workers paid up to one tenth of their income for contributions “and get no pension from their employer” unlike workers in the government sector and state-owned organisations.The union also said that it had received both verbal and written assurances from the government given as early as in the summer of 2013, months after the banking crisis pushed the island’s economy into uncertainty, that it would offer full compensation.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more