a month agoHigh Court rule McCabe must sell up at Sheffield Utd

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say High Court rule McCabe must sell up at Sheffield Utdby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe High Court have ruled Kevin McCabe must sell his £5million worth of shares in Sheffield United to Prince Abdullah.It means McCabe’s association with his boyhood club is over and it also ends a bitter feud between the two co-owners that began in 2017.The Sun says both men took 50-50 ownership in 2013 when the club were in League One.McCabe sold a 50 per cent stake of the Yorkshire side for just £1 on the basis that the Saudi prince would provide significant investment in the squad in a bid to get them back to the promised land.But their partnership reached boiling point two years ago when both men launched bids to gain full control of the club.An agreement couldn’t be reached and it has led to a two-year court battle which eventually reached its conclusion today. last_img read more



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Norwegian technology employs artificial magma to stifle Alberta gas well leaks

first_imgCALGARY – New technologies employing brute force as well as artificial volcanic action are being developed to better seal thousands of inactive oil and gas wells in Canada that are leaking methane, a greenhouse gas with an outsized impact on global warming.The technology is advancing as federal and provincial governments embrace new goals to cut fugitive methane gas emissions that the industry concedes are difficult to measure, much less control.A Norwegian company is working in B.C. and Alberta with a technology that creates a pool of volcano-inspired “artificial magma” underground to plug wells by melting and fusing the steel pipe with surrounding rock.Michael Skjold said he came up with the idea to use thermite — a metal-chemical powder that burns at around 3,000 C — to seal oil and gas wells about eight years ago. It has advanced from backyard testing to a full-scale commercial test program to plug oil and gas wells.“The reaction lasts for maybe two or three minutes and then it acts like magma that’s erupting from a volcano. A small man-made volcano. Very controllable,” said the innovation and business development manager for Interwell Norway AS during an interview in Calgary.“Actually, we’ve used the volcano as inspiration because … we are creating something very similar to igneous rock and basalt formations.”Thermite has been used for decades in exothermic bonding, a welding technique used to join railway track segments together by melting the steel ends. It’s considered safe to handle and store because it requires a substantial amount of electrical energy for ignition.The Interwell technology was targeted at Norway’s offshore oil and gas industry but Skjold said Alberta’s inventory of nearly half a million wells, compared with Norway’s cumulative total of about 5,000 wells, convinced the company to focus on Canada instead.The leaking well problem is also better known in Alberta than in Norway because it is more visible, he said, pointing out it’s hard to tell whether wells hundreds of metres deep in the cold and stormy North Sea might be leaking small amounts of natural gas.Interwell has tested its technology on four Alberta wells and one in B.C. for producers Shell Canada, Imperial Oil and Canlin Energy in the past 18 months and plans to test eight to 10 more this year. Skjold said the testing has been successful so far, but the next tests will be performed on “problem wells,” where standard plugs have failed.Most wells in Alberta that no longer produce profitable volumes are plugged with a cast-iron-and-rubber plug inside the steel casing and sealed by pouring cement on top, said Will Butler, lead, regulatory efficiency, for the Alberta Energy Regulator’s oil and gas operations group.If a leak develops outside the casing, the standard fix is called “perf and squeeze,” where the casing is perforated from within and cement squeezed through the holes to make a better seal with the surrounding rock.He said perf and squeeze is successful on the first attempt about half of the time, but often needs to be repeated, which adds to the cost.Skjold said the Interwell technology is probably too expensive to compete on simple well plugs, but can likely be cost-competitive with perf and squeeze and similar methods.The problem with cement is that it tends to shrink and pull away from the metal casing over time — wells that are sealed today may still leak in the future, said Dale Kunz, president of Winterhawk Well Abandonment Ltd.The private Calgary company is developing a tool that can be lowered into a well and then expanded with enough force to make the steel casing bulge outwards to create a tighter seal with the surrounding rock.He said natural gas can leak from oil wells, too, because producers often drill through gas-bearing rock to reach deeper oil-bearing formations. The shallower gas formations are normally sealed off with cement while the oil is produced but that cement seal can also deteriorate over time.Between 80,000 and 100,000 of Alberta’s wells are inactive — in other words, no longer producing but not yet permanently abandoned and reclaimed — said Butler.He said 10 to 12 per cent are probably leaking at least some natural gas.“We know there are many, many hundreds if not thousands of wells that the industry doesn’t realize are leaking,” he said.“They’ve been abandoned previously in the past, maybe decades ago, but not to the standards of today and they may be leaking again … Industry is of the mindset this is no longer their issue. But it is.”Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more



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Peter Mukerjea ‘silent killer’ of Sheena Bora: CBI tells court

first_imgMumbai: Former media executive Peter Mukerjea is the “silent killer” of Sheena Bora, the daughter of his wife Indrani Mukerjea from a previous relationship, the CBI told a special court on Friday while opposing his bail plea in the 2012 murder case.Peter Mukerjea, arrested in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case in 2015, had moved the bail application in November last year before special CBI Judge J C Jagdale. This is the third time he has approached the court for bail. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Opposing his bail plea, special public prosecutor Bharat Badami argued that the CBI has sufficient evidence to prove Peter Mukerjea’s role in the murder conspiracy. Badami told the court Peter Mukerjea didn’t take any step to find Sheena Bora, who had gone missing, despite the fact that she was his son Rahul Mukerjea’s fiancee. “Peter was knowing everything…he was not a statue of the family. He took no step when Rahul was desperately asking about Sheena….. Peter is silent killer of Sheena,” the CBI lawyer said. Rahul Mukerjea is yet to depose before the court and if Peter Mukerjea is released on bail, he may try to win over the witness (Rahul), the lawyer added. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedBadami argued there was sufficient material against Peter Mukerjea that led to framing of charges against him. Therefore, the accused cannot seek bail by merely stating the charges against him were “defective”, he said. One of the reasons forwarded by Peter Mukerjea for not being involved in the Sheena’s murder was that he was in London when the murder took place. However, the CBI contested this argument. Hafiz Saeed (LeT chief) was in Pakistan when the 26/11 Mumbai attacks took place, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved in the attacks. So, even if Peter Mukerjea was in London (at the time of the murder) it doesn’t mean he was not part of the criminal conspiracy, the CBI counsel argued. The April 2012 murder of Sheena Bora (24), Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter from an earlier relationship, came to light in August 2015 when her driver Shyamvar Rai spilled the beans after being arrested in another case. Indrani Mukerjea, a former media executive, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, Rai and Peter Mukerjea were arrested in the case. Rai later became an approver and was pardoned.last_img read more



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Man held with pistol, bullets at airport

first_imgKolkata: A Chennai-bound man has been apprehended at the airport here for allegedly carrying a pistol and live bullets, a CISF official said Friday. B K Munda, a resident of Jharkhand, was going through security checks at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport when a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel detected the weapon and seven bullets in his hand baggage, said the official. “A .32 bore calibre pistol and seven live bullets were recovered from the man. He has been handed over to the police as he could not produce valid documents for carrying the firearm and ammunition,” he added. The man was supposed to take a flight to Chennai, he said, adding the passenger was booked under relevant sections of the Arms Act.last_img



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Sensex at record high, crosses 39,000

first_imgMumbai: The BSE Sensex on Monday touched a record high and crossed the 39,000 mark for the first time. Around 10.15 a.m., the Sensex hit a fresh record of 38,993 points. At 10.27 a.m, the Sensex traded at 39,015.26, higher by 342.35 points or 0.89 per cent from the previous close. The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange also crossed the 11,700 mark for the first time since September 3, 2018. It traded at 11,710.25, higher by 86.35 points or 0.74 per cent from the previous close of 11,623.90 points. A rise in the Asian indices, along with healthy buying in the auto, capital goods and metal stocks supported the gains in the domestic indices, analysts said.last_img



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WTO’s dispute system collapse to hit developing nations: India

first_imgNew Delhi: India Monday said collapse of appellate body of WTO’s dispute settlement system, and the reform agenda being pushed by certain developed economies could harm the interest of developing countries. The issues were flagged by India on the first day of a meeting of senior officials of 22 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) here. Speaking at the inaugural session, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said there are existential challenges to the multilateral rules-based trading system due to spate of unilateral measures and counter steps being taken by certain countries. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraBesides, deadlock in key areas of negotiations and impasse in the appointment of members of WTO’s appellate body are posing challenges. “The logjam in the appellate body is a serious threat to the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO and the implementation function of the organisation,” an official statement said quoting the secretary. He said the continuous rise in protectionist measures is vitiating the global economic environment and this “situation does not bode well for developing countries, including the LDCs (least developed countries)”. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysWadhawan said LDCs and developing countries like India would face more harm due to the impasse over appointment of members in the WTO’s appellate body, which is a critical part of trade dispute settlement system. “There is an urgent need to engage constructively to preserve the system and come up with constructive solutions to the problem,” he said. The delay in appointment of members in the appellate body would hamper its functioning. The US has blocked the appointment of these members. The minimum quorum (3) for functioning of this body will end on December 10, after which it will become dysfunctional. He also said the situation in the WTO has spurred a strong discourse for reforming the WTO, which unfortunately is characterised by a complete lack of balance. “The reform agenda being promoted does not address the concerns of the developing countries,” he said adding the discussions in the meeting being held here give a chance to reaffirm the resolve to keep development at the centre of the reform agenda. The reform initiatives must promote inclusiveness and non-discrimination, build trust and address the inequalities and glaring asymmetries in existing agreements, he added. The secretary said there has been no active engagement or movement on key issues of concerns for developing countries including LDCs in the negotiating agenda of the WTO. “Agriculture remains a key priority for a large membership of WTO representing the developing world. However, there is a strong push to completely relegate existing mandates, decisions and work done for the past many years, to the background,” he said. He called upon the LDCs and developing countries to collectively work for a fair and equitable agreement on fisheries subsidies. That agreement should take into consideration the livelihood needs of subsistence fishermen and protect the policy space to develop capacities for harnessing marine resources, he said. “India believes that developing countries need to work together to protect their interests in the WTO negotiations through preservation of the core fundamental principles of the WTO,” the secretary said. The two-day meeting gives an opportunity to the participating countries to develop a shared WTO reform proposal on issues of priority and interest for developing countries. This will help in building a common narrative on issues of importance for developing countries and LDCs, he said. The issues which would come up in the meeting include finding a solution to the ongoing impasse in the appellate body on an urgent basis; ways to reinvigorate negotiating agenda on issues of critical importance for developing countries; and ensuring effective, special and differential treatment for all developing countries including LDCs. The discussions of the senior officials will feed into the ministers’ deliberations Tuesday. The meeting is being attended by six LDCs and 16 developing countries, including China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Argentina, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Nigeria, according to a commerce ministry statement. World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo is also participating. The meeting is being held at a time when the multilateral rule-based trading system is facing serious challenges. The meeting also assumes significance as countries like the US and China are raising import duties against each other’s products, creating a trade war like situation and posing a threat to global commerce. Developed countries like the US want WTO members to start discussing new issues like e-commerce. However, India is of the view that formal discussions should begin only after consensus is built on them.last_img read more



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Moroccan parliament ratifies an amendment of rape law

first_imgRabat – Here is good news for human rights and women associations, a news that, however, went unreported in Moroccan media.The first chamber of the Moroccan parliament has unanimously ratified last week a draft law to amend article 475 of the penal code that allows rapists to avoid prosecution for rape if they marry their victims.In a phone call with MWN, Abdellatif Ouammou, member of the first chamber of the parliament from the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), and author of the amendment, said the “new law will repeal the second paragraph of article 475 of the penal code that permits a rapist to avoid prison and prosecution if he marries either underage or adult victim unless the latter thinks otherwise.” In accordance with the first paragraph of the amendment, a person who kidnapped or tricked a minor under the age of eighteen without the use of violence or fraud or tried to do so, shall be punished with imprisonment from one year to five years and a fine ranging between two hundred and five hundred dirhams.Amending article 475 comes following the the controversy spurred by the case of Amina Filali, a 16-year-old who killed herself in March 2012 by ingesting rodent poison after she was forced to marry the man who had raped her.Morocco’s conservative society has traditionally preferred to permit a rapist to marry his victim to avoid “dishonor and shame.”Amina’s case spurred women’s rights associations to call on the government to intervene and revoke the rape law, which many think is an infringement of women’s rights.The newly approved law, which aims at protecting underage girls and intimidate rapists, will add three paragraphs. The news paragraphs will focus on doubling the duration of punishment if the kidnapping of a victim causes a sexual relationship, even with the consent of the minor. The second paragraph relates to the application of the sanctions while the third relates to the situation in which the victim loses her virginity. In this case, the punishment is up to thirty years in prison.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more



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Model Talk New Predictions For A Brave New NBA World

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight Since the NBA never stops, we’re proud to announce that our projection model for the 2019-2020 season has formally launched! Nate Silver joins to discuss how the model is assessing the NBA, which new metrics are still in development and what our model suggests about the upcoming season.The British Open begins on Thursday, with Northern Ireland’s own Rory McIlroy heading into the tournament as the favorite. We’ll break down his chances of success in this final installment of the PGA season.Our Rabbit Hole this week dives into the dramatic tiebreakers that decided the winners of both the 2019 Cricket World Cup and Wimbledon men’s final. Sticky wickets, indeed!What we’re looking at this week:Our 2019-2020 NBA model is up!Narratives to keep an eye on heading into the British Open.The unprecedented ending to the Cricket World Cup, explained. Embed Code read more



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The Chances The Philadelphia 76ers Losing Streak Will Reach 18 19 20

The Philadelphia 76ers are in a bit of a tailspin right now. Monday night’s loss, against a San Antonio Spurs team that was sitting both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, was Philadelphia’s 17th straight to start the season, a franchise record and one shy of the all-time NBA record set by the New Jersey Nets in 2009. It’s been 230 days since the Sixers won a basketball game.Back in mid-November, our friends at the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective anticipated the Sixers’ woes and computed the odds of the team’s season-opening losing streak reaching various lengths. The chances of a 17-game streak back then were just 20 percent; Philadelphia still had to lose a few theoretically winnable games (of course, it obliged). Now we need to update the probabilities and ask just how long this Sixers skid might last.To do that, we’ll turn to FiveThirtyEight contributor Mike Beuoy’s betting-market-based team ratings, which use the gambling lines from every game to derive each team’s “generic points favored” (or the amount by which we’d expect the team to be favored against an average team). The final scoring margin in an NBA game can be approximated by a normal random variable with a mean of the Vegas line and a standard deviation of 12. So we can generate win probabilities for every game left on the Sixers’ schedule, then run 1,000 simulations of the rest of their season and determine the odds of their streak reaching a given number of losses.In our set of 1,000 simulations, Philadelphia’s losing streak has an average length of 20.7 games. The streak most commonly ends with a victory Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, a game in which the Sixers have a relatively high (by their standards) 30.9 percent probability of winning. In 60 percent of simulations, the streak ends sometime in the team’s next three games (the last of which is on Saturday night), and 91 percent of simulations see it end before Christmas.However, there is one dark simulation in which the Sixers lose 54 consecutive games before finally snapping their skid against the Orlando Magic on Feb. 22, 2015. For the sake of my home city, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. read more



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For One Former AllStar The Hits Stopped Coming

Before the season, FanGraphs’ depth chart projections called for Davis to hit just .200 this year, largely by virtue of the awful .168 mark he posted last season — already tied for 34th-worst ever by a hitter in a season that qualified for the batting crown. After Davis’s 0-for-28 start in 2019, FanGraphs now see him with a .193 projected batting average over the rest of the season, implying that they believe his true batting-average talent to be 7 points below the Mendoza Line. (Most of the time, players with extremely low batting averages have substantially higher true talent but are also very unlucky.) Combining that with the at-bats he’s already banked, Davis projects to finish the season with a .181 average, which would once again give him one of the 75 or so worst batting-average seasons in MLB history — for the second time in as many years. (So much for reversion to the mean!)But the irony is that Davis is actually hitting the ball better this season, at least according to MLB’s Statcast tracking system. Davis’s average exit velocity of 91.3 miles per hour is higher than it was in 2016 (90.8), when he hit 38 home runs and was a meaningful contributor to plenty of Oriole victories. The big problem is that Davis strikes out so much that he doesn’t have a chance to make use of those powerful swings. So far this season, he has struck out in 47 percent of his plate appearances, more than double the MLB average rate. (Last year, he struck out 37 percent of the time.)Although Davis ought to have broken out of his hitless streak by now — Statcast reports an expected batting average of .119 for Davis this season, based on the quality of his batted balls — his strikeout totals have made it impossible for him to be a functional hitter. The only real question is how much longer the Orioles will continue to pencil him into the lineup and give him more chances to extend the now-record streak of ineffective hitting.Check out our latest MLB predictions.CORRECTION (April 9, 2019, 7 p.m.): A previous version of this story incorrectly characterized the hitless record tied by Craig Counsell. The record was 45 at-bats, not 45 games. You have to feel for Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. Yes, Davis is being paid handsomely ($23 million) this season, and he’s had a solid 12-year major league career. But he currently finds himself mired in one of the most inglorious streaks in baseball history: zero hits in his past 49 at-bats, a new MLB record for futility.Davis broke the nearly 8-year-old mark set by former Dodgers infielder Eugenio Vélez, who went 0-for-46 over a 30-game span that lasted more than a calendar year. Vélez himself “surpassed” a record (45 at-bats) that Craig Counsell had tied earlier the same summer; the original 45-at-bat mark was set by Bill Bergen in 1909 and matched by Dave Campbell in 1973. Here’s a progression of all hitless streaks (among nonpitchers) that lasted 40 or more at-bats over time since 1908, the earliest season in Baseball-Reference.com’s game-level data:1This data set was compiled in part using Baseball-Reference’s Streak Finder but may be incomplete for streaks before 1973, when Baseball-Reference’s play-by-play data coverage begins. read more



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Consumer Reports blasts Teslas automatic lane changing as less competent than humans

first_img 12 Tesla Tags Share your voice More about 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance 50 Photos More From Roadshow Tesla Model 3 barrels through the snow in Track Mode Enlarge ImageIt’s a weird situation to be in, expecting a driver to be as vigilant as they would when in full command of the vehicle, despite the system’s whole intent being to reduce the tedium of driving by taking on some of the work. Tesla Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot system adds even more functionality to the automaker’s lane-holding system, including automatic lane changes and navigating on- and off-ramps. While it worked fine for us on a very brief drive shortly after release, Consumer Reports put it under the microscope and, well, the outlet didn’t exactly like what it found.Consumer Reports did not have kind things to say about Navigate on Autopilot and its optional automatic lane-changing after a thorough test of its capabilities. “The system’s role should be to help the driver, but the way this technology is deployed, it’s the other way around,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at CR, as part of its report. “It’s incredibly nearsighted. It doesn’t appear to react to brake lights or turn signals, it can’t anticipate what other drivers will do, and as a result, you constantly have to be one step ahead of it.”Earlier in May, Consumer Reports’ own Model 3 (that it purchased for testing purposes) received the software update that enabled Navigate on Autopilot. After taking several highway trips in its home state of Connecticut, CR found issue with the automatic lane-changing system in particular, saying the car was taking a few too many risks and changing lanes too closely to other cars. It also made passes on the right, which is illegal in certain states. In addition, Fisher and his team found that the system was “reluctant to merge in heavy traffic,” and when it did, it would occasionally apply the brakes immediately after merging to put some space between it and the car ahead, which can be surprising to drivers behind the Tesla. “[Automatic lane changing] isn’t a convenience at all,” Fisher said. “Monitoring the system is much harder than just changing lanes yourself.” It’s worth noting that the system is optional, so people who don’t like it can turn it off and make lane changes like normal.Tesla did not immediately return a request for comment, but it did provide some statements to Consumer Reports. The statements mostly revolved around how its data shows that people are enjoying the system and then, when used “properly,” Navigate on Autopilot can “offer comparable levels of safety” both with and without automatic lane changes enabled. The automaker also stressed that all final decisions are still in the drivers’ hands, leaving them as the final bastions of responsibility when the system is active.Originally published May 22. Update, May 24: Clarifies the optional nature of Navigate on Autopilot’s automatic lane-changing. Tesla Model 3: The one you’ve been waiting for 2019 Tesla Model S Long Range review: Familiar, yet oh so much better Auto Tech Electric Cars Comments Tesla Tesla Model 3 Review: Performance trim Review • Tesla Model 3 Review: Performance trim Preview • 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance: The future, quickerlast_img read more



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UK housing Why you should bank on builders Barratt Berkeley and Bellway

first_imgThe Brexit debate over Britains upcoming Stay or Go EU referendum has had some obvious effects in financial markets, not least on sterling, which has weakened markedly against both the US dollar and the euro in recent weeks.A more surprising casualty of the economic uncertainty thrown up by Brexit is the UK housebuilding sector. Why should this be the case, given that this is an exclusively domestically-oriented industry?Housebuilders have been left behind over the last monthWhile the bellwether FTSE 100 stock market index has recovered nearly all of the ground lost between the start of the year and early February, housebuilders like Barratt Development, Berkeley Group and Bellway have struggled. Over the year to date, the FTSE 100 has lost just 1%, while these housebuilders have lost on average 12% (Chart 1).But the long-term is a completely different storyThat is all very short-term. But if we pan out and look at a much longer time frame such as since the year 2000, we get a completely different story.While housebuilders have enjoyed massive highs and suffered crushing lows over time, the last 16 years have seen house builders gain 340% while the FTSE 100 has gone precisely nowhere (Chart 2).Investors worry about a construction slowdownA key negative driving housebuilding shares lower is the worry that the UK construction sector is slowing down.It is true that the recent Market/CIPS survey of activity in the sector revealed slowing growth but activity is still growing, albeit at a slower pace than previously. (Chart 3).On the other hand, house price trends have remained remarkably robust, judging by the most recent readings from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) monthly housing survey.Over the long term, housebuilders have suffered when this RICS survey has pointed lower, but right now the RICS survey is hovering around historic high levels (Chart 4). Which should be very supportive for housebuilders, as they can then achieve better profits on new houses that they build.Housebuilders are cheap and pay high dividendsA key attraction of housebuilders right now is that they are much cheaper than the overall stock market. While the FTSE 100 is valued at a price/earnings ratio of 13.8 times (lower is cheaper, higher is more expensive), all three of Barratt, Bellway and Berkeley Group are valued at well under 10 times according to financial data website stockopedia.com (Chart 5), so much much cheaper than the average UK stock.Secondly, all three Bs in the housebuilding sector offer excellent income potential with high dividend yields with Barratt and Berkeley in particular forecast to pay out income yields from dividends of over 6% in the coming year.Bottom line: the stock market looks to have overreacted to short-term slowdown concerns in housebuilders Barratt, Berkeley and Bellway, giving an excellent potential entry point for the long-term, value-oriented investor. It could be a much better investment than, lets say, a buy-to-let property.last_img read more



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Glamourina Offers Afrocentric Inspired Wear to Culturally Conscious Women

first_imgBy Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, mgreen@afro.comAs Black History Month comes to a close and Women’s History Month is ushered in, Glamourina, a women’s active-wear brand, perfectly intersects both month-long celebrations as a Black-women-owned and operated company.“Glamourina is the go-to active-wear brand for culturally conscious women. We are most known for our African inspired active-wear pieces,” founders Kia Phillips and Nekol Gaskins told the AFRO in a statement.Glamourina is an African-inspired active-wear brand established in 2015 that targets culturally conscious women.  (Courtesy Photo)Although both mothers, Phillips and Gaskins found time to work their entrepreneurial and creative muscles when establishing Glamourina in 2015 and launching their Kente collection in 2017.Since the 2017 launch, the millennial mom-bosses have been working constantly to provide quality active-wear, recently launching the 2019 Culture Collection. Glamourina intentionally targets all women within the beautiful, Black diaspora by offering athletic wear that emphasizes and enhances their #BlackGirlMagic.“We started Glamourina for several reasons.  The first is we feel that Black women are highly underrepresented in the athletic market.  When you go into athletic apparel stores or see commercials and ads, there is a clear absence of Black women being represented.  And if you do see them it is always one type of woman displayed, and that is the super athletic woman,” the entrepreneurs said.  “Through Glamourina we wanted to create apparel that represents the diversity of Black women.  We come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we wanted to showcase that in our apparel.”Further, Phillips and Gaskins started Glamourina in order to bring health awareness to Black women.“Also, we know that heart disease is the number one killer amongst African American women.  We wanted to create affordable sustainable apparel in hopes to motivate and encourage women of color to live healthier active lifestyles.  We know that when you look good, you feel good and that might motivate you to go workout, or just be mindful of your overall physical health,” they said.Phillips, 33, is a full time mom and personal trainer.  A Northeast, D.C. native, Gaskins, 28, is a mother, artist and financial aid counselor.  As entrepreneurs with families and other responsibilities, balancing life with Glamourina has its challenges, yet the women find ways to do it while also growing the business, which now has over 5,000 followers on Instagram.“It is not easy but it takes lots of planning and prioritizing for the both of us. We also have to make sure that we designate time for the business, our families and ourselves,” the co-owners told the AFRO.Although now finding success with their active-wear line, it was not always an easy task getting the business off its feet.  “Some of the biggest obstacles include balancing business and personal life and obtaining capital to fund our first collection,” they said.  However, Phillips and Gaskins have found the trick to keeping Glamourina alive and thriving.  “It takes drive and consistency. Also, it takes listening to our audience and staying on top of the news and trends within our industry.”Phillips and Gaskins definitely listen to their audience and find happiness in engaging with them.“We really enjoying seeing our vision come to life. We created this brand to encourage and motivate women of color to live healthy active lifestyles by providing confidence-boosting active-wear,” they said.“When women proudly wear our apparel and share their photos with us, we really feel a sense of joy. It is also great to know that we are building an empire as women of color and being positive role models for our daughters and other young girls.”The mompreneurs who consider the next generation of Black business owners even as they continue to build their current brand, have advice for other women hoping to start businesses.“We advise other Black women entrepreneurs to research their market first, create a game plan and remain determined throughout the entire process of starting and growing their businesses.”As their company continues to grow, Phillips and Gaskins hope that Glamourina will be a true go-to brand for women of color.“Each year we plan to expand our collections and offer more active-wear options to our customer base. Our goal is to become a one-stop-shop for all active-wear needs.”For more information on the culturally conscious active-wear, visit the website, Glamourina.com, or follow the company on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @shopglamourina.last_img read more



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MK2 to Equip VR Venues Around the World Scandinavias Nordisk Brazils Arvore

first_imgOne year after launching Europe’s first and biggest VR space, MK2 is set to start commercializing VR plug-and-play equipment for global exhibitors who are looking to launch VR venues in theaters, museums, and institutions, among other placesCalled the MK2 VR Pod, the equipment which MK2 will be distributing worldwide is considered to be an “end-to-end premium and white-labeled product line,” the company said.“Providing state-of-the-art technology to fill the void of white-label solutions in the virtual reality space will be a catalyst for making VR a requisite part of consumers’ entertainment expectations,” said Elisha Karmitz, MK2’s managing director. “Adapting VR is a natural next step for the cinematic community, and MK2 aims to be their trusted partner in delivering quality and memorable experiences.” Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img The company has already sold its VR plug-and-play equipment to high-profile film and media groups such as Nordisk in Scandinavia, Arvore in Brazil and a banner in Asia. Other partners include public institutions, notably the National Public Library of France. Karmitz said Nordisk will open VR venues in Copenhagen and Oslo in April, while Arvore will launch its venue in San Paulo in May.Karmitz said MK2 had the “ambition to create the biggest open VR distribution network in the world.” The company expects that more than 70 pods will be installed within the first half of 2018 and more than 200 pods by year’s end.MK2’s premium catalog of curated VR experiences from topnotch production partners such as Felix & Paul Studios, Atlas V, WITHIN and SuperHot Team will also be available to customers.With this expansion in the VR field, MK2 firms up its status as one of Europe’s pioneering film groups. Headquartered in Paris, the company has produced more than 100 films, operates more than 26 movie theaters spanning 200 screens and boasts a library of more than 800 films from prestigious directors such as Charlie Chaplin and Xavier Dolan.Mk2’s VR equipment can be purchased via http://www.mk2vrpod.comlast_img read more



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A Simple Bracelet Can Turn Your Arm Into an Interactive Smartphone Display

first_img Smartphone addicts will want to pay close attention to this.Say, for example, you’re taking a shower or relaxing in a hot bath. Your smartphone is nowhere near your wet, soapy hands. Just then an important email comes in. You either have to ignore the message until you’re done or prematurely have to jump out and dry off. Not fun. Not convenient.The inventors of something called Cicret (pronounced “secret”) want to change that. With the simple flick of your wrist, the Cicret bracelet can project your smartphone’s display onto your forearm. Your arm essentially becomes a fully interactive display — a swipeable, touch-sensitive, full-color one that allows you to read and send emails, get directions, you name it.Related: A Watch That Shoots Lasers? Yes, Please.And it’s apparently water-proof, too.Sound too good to be true? Check out the video to get a look for yourself:See? With Cicret on your wrist, you’d never lose touch with your precious smartphone again. Your phone fix would be skin deep.Related: Want a New Smartwatch? Hold On. Why Not a Smart Ring Instead? Basically, Cicret lets you do everything you do on your phone on your forearm, palm up or palm down, depending on which way you wear it. Per Cicret’s website, you can rock it to “Read your emails, play your favorite games, answer your calls, check the weather, find your way…Do whatever you want on your arm.”How it works isn’t, well, much of a Cicret, er, secret. The promo video explains that the snap-on device works its magic using an embedded system that includes one mini projector, one microprocessor and eight long-range proximity sensors. It’s also packed with lots of other geeky goodies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, “vibrator,” micro USB port, battery, LED light components. Oh, and it comes in either 16-GB or 32-GB, and in 10 fun colors.  Also in the promo clip, the bracelet appears to be activated in a quick flick of the wrist. The smooth move instantly lights up a projection of a nearby Bluetooth-paired smartphone (notably an Android), illuminating several inches along the user’s wrist. Pretty bright idea, eh?Related: Gold? Silver? Pffft. This Necklace Is Pure Illumination.The one thing you can’t do unfortunately is get one right now. Cicret is still only in prototype mode. Soul crushing as that is, you can’t even pre-order one yet, either.Cicret’s Paris-based developers say they still need to raise about $1.2 million dollars to make the project a reality. They’re opting for their own PayPal fundraising campaign, forgoing trendy crowdfunding on Kickstarter and on Indiegogo. They recently failed to fund an ephemeral, Snapchat-like messaging app on the latter, ponying up a mere $15 of their $50,000 goal. Let’s hope it’s not a bad omen for their brilliant wearable offering.A beta version of the free app, simply called Cicret, is, however, available on Google Play. We’re guessing they want you to use it on their wristlet, you know, when you’re not busy taking a call in tub. Two questions remain: Does it work under water? And how much will one cost?Related: A Wearable Women Want to Wear? Behind Intel’s New Smart Bracelet. December 8, 2014 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globalcenter_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more



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Go back to the enewsletter Rocky Mountaineer is se

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterRocky Mountaineer is set to add seven newly built GoldLeaf Service rail cars on its Western Canadian rail routes for the 2019 season. The world’s largest privately owned luxury train company will add four rail cars to its fleet in April, with three additional cars coming later in the season. The bi-level rail cars feature oversized glass-dome windows and a separate dining area for guests travelling through the Canadian Rockies.To meet the growing demand from travellers worldwide, Rocky Mountaineer partnered with the Swiss rail car company Stadler to engineer and then build the new equipment at its facilities in Germany, keeping guest comfort and experience at the forefront throughout. This project marked the largest capital investment in Rocky Mountaineer’s history. The remaining three cars will join the fleet in 2020, bringing the company’s total to 26 bi-level GoldLeaf rail cars and 16 single-level SilverLeaf rail cars to mark Rocky Mountaineer’s 30th anniversary as a luxury tourist company.Photo credit: Vincent L Chan“These new GoldLeaf rail cars will allow us to welcome even more guests on board our trains and offer increased availability across our most popular dates and routes,” said Steve Sammut, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rocky Mountaineer. “We were intentional in designing these new cars to offer the same exemplary guest comfort across the entire fleet, while also making numerous engineering enhancements behind the scenes that reflect our goal of constantly enhancing both the experience and efficiency of our service.”The new GoldLeaf rail cars feature:Dimmable domed windows: The upper-level windows use a suspended particle device layer, which can be dimmed to moderate the intensity of incoming sunlight. This is similar technology to what is used in luxury yachts and business jets.Redesigned galley kitchens: The galleys feature upgraded ovens and stovetops, electrical grills, eco-friendly dishwashers, and optimal preparation spaces for meal preparation.Custom-designed seats: The heated composite-leather seats recline without impacting the guest seated behind and can spin 180 degrees to create more social seating.Enhanced ride quality: The cars feature other technical features that enhance the overall guest experience, including improved suspension design.Each GoldLeaf rail car seats 72 guests. The new cars will be added to the trains travelling on two of Rocky Mountaineer’s routes: First Passage to the West, a two-day rail journey between Vancouver and Lake Louise or Banff; and Journey through the Clouds, a two-day rail journey between Vancouver and Jasper.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more



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CORDILLERA Colo — When it comes to convenience

first_imgCORDILLERA, Colo. — When it comes to convenience, luxury, value and service with a smile, there’s just no comparison to what’s available at one of the Vail Valley’s finest private clubs.Cordillera Vail Club, located in the heart of Vail Village, is inviting non-Cordillera property owners to join them. Now, anyone — including those who don’t own a home or property in Cordillera, the Vail Valley’s premiere resort community — can enjoy a variety of amenities while skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, mountain-biking, dining, shopping or enjoying the ambiance of Vail Village, whatever the season.“You can live anywhere in the world and be a member here,” says Bart Sigler, Director of Business Enterprises for the Cordillera Property Owners Association and Cordillera Metro District, who manages the private ski club at the base of Vail Mountain just steps from the Vista Bahn Express Lift. “The first two years have been fantastic. The members are so enthusiastic about this place.”The Cordillera Vail Club, which opened in 2007, is a 3,800-square-foot, seasonal facility located on the top floor of the Vista Bahn Building, at the top of Bridge Street. This handsome facility, with a luxurious lounge, premiere services and two outdoor decks, offers a warm, welcoming, year-round retreat with ample equipment storage, stunning views and exceptional access to both Vail Village and Vail Mountain.Amenities and privileges available to Cordillera Vail Club members and their guests seven days a week during the ski season include: • Luxurious hearth from and lounge with fireplace. • Private locker for two people w/guest privileges. • Ski butler service and equipment storage. • Continental breakfast and après-ski service. • Private access to facility. • Computer and Internet access. • Overnight ski tune services and rental program available. • Boot dryer, disinfector and heater system. • Changing room and restrooms. • Flat-screen televisions. • Daily newspapers, including the New York Times, Denver Post and USA Today.vailclub@cordillerametro.orglast_img read more



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NY Gov Orders Homeless People Forcibly Removed When Weather Turns Cold

first_imgShare18TweetShare4Email22 SharesJanuary 3, 2016; New York TimesYesterday, calling it a “state-level New Year’s resolution,” New York’s Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order requiring local governments across New York State to remove homeless people from the streets when temperatures go below freezing with wind chill factored in—even if it has to be done by force, otherwise known as involuntary placement.Cuomo says that the measure is aimed at protecting homeless people from “hypothermia and possible death,” saying, “It’s about love. It’s about compassion. It’s about helping one another and basic human decency.”New York City, with a rate of homelessness 86 percent higher than ten years ago, has a standing policy named Code Blue that increases outreach and eases intakes during very cold periods. The city can also use a state mental hygiene law to take people to a hospital for mental health evaluation if they seem to be in imminent danger. Estimates suggest that 3,000–4,000 stay on the street rather than going to shelters. Mayor Bill de Blasio is resisting the more aggressive ruling, which is similar to one Mayor Edward I. Koch tried but failed to pass in the ’80s.The city’s press secretary, Karen Hinton, said in a statement, that the order requires Cuomo to pass state law. The measure clearly raises major civil rights and practical concerns. Hinton added, “This executive order adds no legal or financial resources to New York City’s programs to assist the homeless, and merely requires all New York State localities follow many of the same requirements as New York City to shelter families and individuals in need in freezing temperatures.”“This is a state law,” Mr. Cuomo told CBS in urging that the law be implemented without regard for legal consequences. “This is the interpretation of the state law. If there is any challenge to the law, I will defend it.”This does not appear to be some mere philosophical difference, in case you were wondering, but part of a long simmering feud about how to address homelessness. In November, de Blasio announced an investment of $2.6 billion for 15,000 units of supportive housing for homeless populations. Cuomo and the state was nowhere to be seen in that particular effort, a fact noted by Capital New York, observing that the lack of cooperation breaks with a 25-year history of joint city-state supportive housing agreements—initiated, ironically, by Mario Cuomo, the governor’s father, with then-mayor David Dinkins.Mary Brosnahan, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless, made a statement, meant to bring Cuomo into the fold, when de Blasio went ahead without the state’s involvement.“Gov. Cuomo, every day that goes by is another step closer into the most bitter and dangerous days of the winter,” Brosnahan said. “So please, from the bottom of our hearts, we need you to step up.”Perhaps this cowboy stunt is the governor’s version of stepping up, but it is ugly in context. The most recent city-state supportive housing agreement reached in 2005 under Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is nearing its conclusion, and advocacy groups have been warning that a major housing shortage for the homeless and mentally ill will open up within the next year or so if a new agreement is not reached quickly.—Ruth McCambridgeShare18TweetShare4Email22 Shareslast_img read more



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In This Issue   Currencies except the euro pos

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Currencies except the euro post gains. *  RBI advisors chooses the wrong words. *  Russia makes largest one-month Gold purchase for them. *  Fisher sticks to his guns. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. China’s 3rd QTR GDP Shrinks. Good Day!.. And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! I’m feeling much better today, so here I am back in the saddle at the office. The Eagles are playing: My Old ’55 on the IPod, and like the Eagles, I too am riding with Lady Luck. The Happy Song is playing now, and I’ve said this before, but if you’re in a bad mood when that song comes on, you’ll soon change moods! Not that I’m in a bad mood or anything. Just kind of strange this morning. Well, the BIG NEWS overnight was the Chinese 3rd QTR GDP report that printed at +7.3%, down from the 7.5% in the 2nd QTR. But, and this is a Big BUT so I’ll treat it as such. BUT, the 7.3% 3rd QTR print, was better than the forecasts.. And if there’s something we’ve all learned over the years together, is that sometimes / most times, beating the expectations is the most important thing. And so it was with the Chinese renminbi/ yuan overnight, as it was allowed to appreciate again. Remember, that China’s target for 2014 GDP is 7.5%…  And the thing I want to point out here is that the Chinese Gov’t has said that the 7.5% figure was a “soft target”. So, any downside miss that’s near 7.5% would be tolerated by the Chinese Gov’t. And I think that with them allowing an appreciation of the renminbi / yuan overnight, that they are saying just that! So. That’s the Big News overnight. Elsewhere, the currencies and metals seem to have some control over the dollar. The Aussie dollar (A$) has moved back over 88-cents , and kiwi is within spittin’ distance of 80-cents again. These moves higher won’t make the Central Bank Governors of the Reserves Bank of Australia (RBA) and New Zealand (RBNZ), very happy, for it was just two weeks ago, that each respective Central Bank Gov. deep sixed their currencies, in hopes of promoting growth. The RBA will get to view what a cheaper currency does to their CPI (consumer inflation) numbers today. Recall that in August, Aussie CPI was +2.3%, which is over the 2% target of the RBA, and since then the A$ has been deep sixed. So, this report should be quite interesting, eh? On a sidebar this morning. The Bloomberg says that the Total Oil CEO, you know the one that called for an end to the petrodollar dominance, died overnight in a freak airplane crash in Moscow. This is the stuff of conspiracy crazies, like me, but I have to leave it at that, for I could type out my whole message and have it nixed, so I won’t go there. But if you’re ever on the Butler Patio. The one currency that you would think would be participating in a soft dollar market, the euro, is lagging this morning, and in fact it’s in the red! Huh? Why yes, Virginia, the euro can be soft when the dollar is getting sold VS other currencies. I have to say that while I don’t like the European Central Bank (ECB) and their insistence in joining the U.S., Japan and U.K. in interfering in their respective economies, I do like that they have decided to be open about the whole thing. The ECB said that they will print a portfolio statement each week, so that everyone can see what they’ve bought. No need to be a member of any Central Bank’s data bank to see this, the ECB will print it and send it to the markets each week. Of course, I’m no fan of Central Bank Interference. For, in most cases, the respective country has to print money to interfere.  Not the Chinese, but the U.S. Japan, and U.K. did. Speaking of printing money. Which as you know doesn’t really actually happen any longer, as it’s all digits in a computer. But for GP I like to say printing money. Well, after 6 years of doing this, here in the U.S. what do we have to show for it? A strong stock market, that’s beginning to show its true colors as the money printing is taken away, and market participants realize that the U.S. economy never caught up with the stock market.  I only talk about the stock market here to illustrate the money printing part, please don’t mistake me for someone that knows stocks! I do know the economy, probably better than most economists. As Dizzy Dean used to say, “It’s not bragging if you can do it”!  This economy has been a house of cards from the beginning, and I told you that. Built on stimulus after stimulus, money printing, after money printing, and liquidity coming out our ears. The economy became addicted to stimulus, money printing and liquidity. And then one day, just like that old dragon Puff, he sadly slipped into his cave. And so too will the economy once the Spinning Wheel comes to a stop on stimulus, money printing, and liquidity. And oh, I almost forgot, ZIRP. (zero interest rate policy) Speaking of ZIRP. I read a short piece on the Bloomberg this morning, that said that traders were pushing back their calls of rate hikes, and that has the dollar on the run this morning. Hmmm.  I wonder where they got that idea? Pfennig Readers? Probably! HA! The Brazilian real continues to be pushed and shoved around by the upcoming election that will take place this coming Sunday. The polls show the race to be very tight. like Tupperware. (my good, close, friends are laughing right now)  The two opponents couldn’t be more different and that gives the people of Brazil a clear decision as to who they want running their country. A candidate that has pushed the economy to the brink of no return, and wants another turn at bat, or a candidate that is seeking an end to Gov’t intervention. Well, there are more deciders here, but, these are the two major ones. I know which candidates the markets like. and it isn’t the one that has intervened and brought the economy to its knees. In India overnight, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) advisor mentioned that with the price of Oil dropping, the pressures on inflation have dropped, thus giving the RBI the ability to make a rate cut.  And the rupee got sold! Sure all that stuff the advisor talked about is true, but how sure is he about how long this dip in Oil prices might last? Is it the new price of Oil, or is it just another dip like we’ve seen in the past 8 years? I think the RBI, the advisor, and the rupee would have been better served to just add a couple of words to his report. Like “if” the price of Oil remains low, it “could” reduce the inflation pressures, and “a rate cut could be discussed”.  Do they need a new writer at the RBI? I’m available, but I won’t move to India. Well, Gold was up about $5 when I came in, and now it is barely holding on to a gain, and Silver has gone into the red this morning. If traders are pushing their calls for a rate hike back, like I said above, wouldn’t that bring about a metals rally? Of course it would! If there were no manipulators.  And then we have news that Russia’s Central Bank purchased 1.2 Million ounces of Gold in September. If you were lucky enough to see me talk on the video screen in Panama last month, you know how I went through the central Banks in Asia and the Middle East and talked about their increases of Gold reserves. Russia was a main player in the roster of countries raising their Gold reserves, so to see them continue to add makes me smile. And 1.2 Million Troy Ounces was the largest one-month purchase Russia has ever made, and brings their total to 37 Million Troy Ounces. So, in August, Russia had increased their reserves in Gold to 9% of the total reserves, so it’s easy to assume that their total reserves in Gold are now over 10% of the total reserves!  I still say that Russia is following China’s lead on Gold accumulation, so that they too can one day place a backing of some sort of Gold to their currency. Then the two Countries that are bound and determined to remove the dollar from the reserve status, will have the most attractive currencies in the world, backed with Gold.  Write this down in your journal, and then one day, you can refer back to it, and say. “By George, that Chuck sure knew what he was talking about!” Speaking of making me smile. That GEICO commercial with Ickey Woods getting excited having his number called is hilarious! It was just on one of our TV’s here, and I don’t even have the sound on, but know what he’s saying and started laughing out loud!  Now that’s funny! As I’ve said a few times recently, the fall in Oil prices sure has hurt the petro-currencies like Norway, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Canada, but the currency that seems to take it the worst is the Norwegian krone. Norway had seen falling Oil revenues before the price of Oil began to slide, so this Oil price slide has really negatively affected the krone.. Norway still has the deep pockets it will need to navigate through this, so I wouldn’t get too upset with this news. The U.S. Data Cupboard is still pretty much barren, with only some Existing Home Sales data later this morning to print. As I told you yesterday, before my battery power ran out,  the stupid CPI will print on Wednesday. It’s difficult to tell if the Fed members actually use this data or not. I sure hope they don’t! Before I head to the Big Finish today. I don’t want anyone to think all I do is get tough with the Fed. I wanted to take a minute here, to point out that Fed member Fisher, who is one of the hawks on the FOMC, made comments yesterday that let everyone know where he stands on Quantitative Easing, and now the thought that the Fed could be considering extending it. Fisher hasn’t changed his outlook that there’s no reason now to not end QE.   And for that stance, I have to give him credit. He made a statement in the past, and he’s sticking to it, no matter what is presented in front of him. I like that! So, Fisher gets a Gold Star today. For What It’s Worth. Today’s piece is a little different and I found it on MarketWatch.com it’s about doing better. The title is: If Monday morning is so bad, here’s what you can do about it.  And is written by Stewart Friedman. enjoy. Work/life balance” is a misguided metaphor for grasping the relationship between work and the rest of life. And the idea that work competes with life ignores the more nuanced reality of our humanity. It ignores that life is the interaction of the four domains of work, home, community, and the private self. Of course, you can’t have it all – complete success in all corners of your life, all at the same time. No one can. But even though it can seem impossible to bring these four domains into greater alignment, it doesn’t have to be. Three guiding principles: Be real; be whole, be innovative. The most successful people harness the passions and powers of the various parts of their lives, bringing them together to achieve what I call “four-way wins” – actions that result in life being better in all four domains. They make it their business to be conscious of what and who matters most. Their actions flow from their values. They strive to do what they can to make things better for the people who depend on them and on whom they depend. You can achieve a kind of integration that will, in turn, help you have the impact you want to have and lead a life in which you stay true to yourself, serve others, and grow as a person. This integration is the key to leading a meaningful life – the life you want. It starts with three guiding principles: Be real; be whole, be innovative. But what does that mean? To be real is to act with authenticity by clarifying what’s important to you. It’s your answer to this basic question: What matters most to me? To be whole is to act with integrity by recognizing how the different parts of your life affect each other. This means identifying who matters most to you at work, at home, and in the community; understanding what you need from each other; and seeing whether and how these needs mesh. To be innovative is to act with creativity by experimenting with how things get done in ways that are good for you and for the people around you – taking realistic steps aimed at scoring four-way wins. These principles come alive in skills you can practice every day.” -Stewart Friedman Chuck again. I know, I know that was quite long, but I thought it was very good. and something we all could take something from and use it in our lives.  and then maybe you think it’s all BS. Oh well, I can’t please all the people all the time. To recap. The currencies, except for the euro, seem to have some bias over the dollar this morning. The A$ is back over 88-cents, and kiwi is within spittin’ distance of 80-cents again. Chinese 3rd QTR GDP was the BIG NEWS overnight, and printed a +7.3% growth figure, down from the 2nd QTR’s 7.5% gain, but it beat the expectations, and that’s what counts these days, eh? Russia purchases it’s largest one-month amount of Gold in September, and a RBI advisor could use some help choosing the right words, and Chuck has offered his services.. Currencies today 10/21/14. American Style: A$ .8810, kiwi .7990, C$ .8885, euro 1.2750, sterling 1.6155, Swiss $1.0565, . European Style: rand 10.9865, krone 6.5610, SEK 7.2120, forint 240.33, zloty 3.3095, koruna 21.6380, RUB 40.99, yen 106.80, sing 1.2715, HKD 7.7560, INR 61.31, China 6.1410, pesos 13.49, BRL 2.4895, Dollar Index 85.18, Oil $83.30, 10-year 2.18%, Silver $17.43, Platinum $1,269.78, Palladium $765.00, and Gold. $1,249.55 That’s it for today. Well, yesterday was quite the blur for me, as I slept most of the day, but when I woke up, I felt alive again! I even fixed myself a spaghetti dinner. I had 4 pots or pans on the oven cooking away, bread in the oven, and it was all just for me. I could have invited neighbors or my kids to dinner, but. Thought that they probably already had dinner plans. So, I sat down, ate, and then had a BIG mess to clean up! UGH! That’s why I prefer to go out to eat, there’s no mess for me to clean up! Well, the World Series begins tonight. I’ve always been a National League guy, no matter who’s playing I root for the National League team. But this year, that might change, as the other team from Missouri, is the American League Champion, the K.C. Royals. It’s just that I can’t get past that 1985 Don Denkinger debacle. Never have, never will. So, I guess I’ll just not watch it! Yeah, that’s the ticket! I just finished reading my friend, Jim Powell’s latest letter. Jim does such a great job of summarizing things. And we put to bed the November Review & Focus the other day, the cutoff gets earlier in the month and earlier in the month every year. pretty soon, I’ll be putting the next month’s R&F to bed on the 1st of the preceding month! HA!  Oh well, it is what it is. and I carry on despite the requirements!  And, so. it’s time for me to get out of your hair for today, and I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more



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The Department for Work and Pensions is considerin

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions is considering forcing all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity, its new green paper has revealed.The suggestion of compulsory activity is revealed in a single line of the 92-page work, health and disability green paper, published this week.Such a change would mean that all people on out-of-work disability benefits – even those who are terminally-ill or have the very highest support needs – would have to stay in regular touch with their local jobcentre or risk having their benefits sanctioned.The measure would affect those in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) – and the equivalent group in the new universal credit – a group which is currently not expected to carry out any work-related activity at all.The green paper, Improving Lives, says ministers “could consider implementing a ‘keep-in-touch’ discussion with work coaches” for people in the support group, which “could provide an opportunity for work coaches to offer appropriate support tailored to the individual’s current circumstances” and “could be explored as a voluntary or mandatory requirement”.It comes only a month after the new work and pensions secretary, Damian Green, secured widespread praise for announcing an end to repeat assessments for those on ESA with “the most severe, lifetime conditions”.He said then that the government would “sweep away unnecessary stress and bureaucracy which weigh them down” and that “if someone has a disease which can only get worse, making them turn up for repeated appointments to claim what they need is pointless bureaucratic nonsense”.Now Green (pictured, announcing some details of the green paper to MPs) appears to have decided that the same group of people should be forced into repeated contact with a “work coach”, or lose some of their benefits.Asked about this inconsistency, a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokeswoman did not deny the possibility of mandatory activity for all those in the support group.She said: “We recognise that people in the support group have limited capability for work related activity – but that does not necessarily mean they should be left without any support at all.“We believe it is important to give claimants the opportunity to take up the offer of personalised and tailored support if it is appropriate for them, regardless of what group they are placed in following the WCA.”The green paper’s repeated emphasis that the government wants to “reinforce work as a health outcome” is also likely to alarm many disabled campaigners and healthcare professionals.It says the government will increase the number of job advisers in healthcare settings and ensure that “all health professionals are sufficiently trained and confident to have work-related conversations” with patients.It also warns that ministers “want to make the benefits of work an ingrained part of the training and professional approach of the health and social care workforce”.Asked whether DWP accepted that many disabled people and health professionals believe that it is dangerous and unethical to view employment as a health outcome, particularly for people in mental distress, a spokeswoman said that “evidence shows that being in the right work is good for health and that being out of work can have a detrimental effect on health”.She said that the government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies mental health treatment programme was “voluntary at every stage and that includes the employment support offer within the programme”.There may also be concerns about new mandatory “health and work conversations” in which work coaches will use “specially designed techniques” to “help” some ESA claimants “identify their health and work goals, draw out their strengths, make realistic plans, and build resilience and motivation”.The green paper claims that these conversations were “co-designed with disabled people’s organisations and occupational health professionals and practitioners and the Behavioural Insights Team [the controversial ‘Nudge Unit’, which is part-owned by the Cabinet Office]”.There has so far been little or no analysis of the green paper in the mainstream media or from politicians, with most of the coverage and comment occurring before it was published and so based on extracts offered by DWP.Much of that media coverage repeated Green’s claim that the government would provide more “personalised” employment support for disabled people.But the green paper provides little evidence of real personalised support.Measures likely to be widely welcomed include plans to remove the 12-month time limit on permitted work for those in the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG), and the possibility of funding for some local peer support groups.The green paper suggests that those placed in the WRAG will be allocated employment support places in either the new Work and Health Programme or the specialist Work Choice programme, while DWP will expand peer support job clubs – whose effectiveness was backed in research earlier this year by Disability Rights UK and The Work Foundation – to 71 Jobcentre Plus areas with high numbers of ESA claimants.Ministers will also test a voluntary, supported work experience programme for young disabled people, and increase funding for Access to Work’s mental health support service.The DWP spokeswoman said the personalised support “includes a range of new interventions and initiatives, [and] is designed to provide more tailored support which work coaches will offer” to disabled claimants.There was widespread media coverage of Green’s pledge to reform the work capability assessment (WCA), the controversial eligibility test for ESA which has been implicated in hundreds – and possibly thousands – of deaths of disabled people, and in causing significant harm and distress to tens of thousands of others.But the green paper suggests little reform of the assessment process itself, although ministers say they would introduce a separate process for deciding what kind of employment support an ESA claimant should be signposted to.It does suggest that the WCA process should be able to draw on information “from the NHS, the adult social care system or through other benefit applications” if this is “appropriate and relevant”.And it suggests that there could be “a more appropriate process” for the “small proportion” of ESA claimants with the highest support needs, which could include “a simpler assessment process”.Asked about the WCA reform plans, a DWP spokeswoman said there had been five independent reviews of the WCA, which had made more than 100 recommendations, “the vast majority of which we have accepted”, while DWP was now “consulting on a new approach to deciding entitlement to financial employment support”.Questions are likely to be asked about the green paper’s pledge to introduce an extra 300 disability employment advisers (DEAs) to jobcentres, increasing the total number to 500.The green paper fails to point out that, as recently as January 2014, there were 900 DEAs spread across the country’s 719 jobcentres, before hundreds were removed by ministers.As recently as March, the previous – short-lived – work and pensions secretary, Stephen Crabb, promised to recruit an extra 500 DEAs.Asked to confirm these figures, a DWP spokeswoman would only repeat that there will be an extra 300 DEAs.In addition, DWP will recruit about 200 “community partners”, who will have “personal and professional experience of disability”, with many of them apparently to be seconded from disabled people’s organisations.These community partners will work with Jobcentre Plus staff to “provide valuable first-hand insight into the issues individuals with a health condition or disability face in securing and sustaining employment”, and will draw on their local knowledge.Questions may also be asked about the green paper’s refusal to provide any end date for the repeated ministerial pledge to halve the disability employment gap.Asked if there was any target date, the DWP spokeswoman declined to provide one, but said the government was “committed to halving the disability employment gap” and had “helped nearly 500,000 more disabled people into employment over the past three years”.There will be widespread concern at the statement in the green paper that ministers believe there should be a greater role for income protection insurance policies, which employers can take out privately to help address the risks and impact of ill-health among their employees.Many disabled activists have grown increasingly concerned at the influence of at least one provider of such policies, which has been blamed for undermining the system of out-of-work disability benefits.In September, a book by disabled researcher Mo Stewart detailed the influence of the US insurance giant Unum over successive UK governments, and how it had undermined the social security system in order to boost the market for its own income protection policies.And there is likely to be frustration that, yet again, there is a strong focus on encouraging employers to be more “disability confident” – with a suggestion of offering them “financial or other incentives” to employ disabled people – but no mention of any measures to force them to implement their Equality Act duties on employing disabled people.A DWP spokeswoman told DNS: “Businesses are required to fulfil their legal obligations under the Equality Act.“As part of the consultation, we ask what the expectation should be on employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.”Meanwhile, there is confusion about whether ministers plan to scrap Work Choice, the specialist employment programme for disabled people, as was announced in last November’s spending review.The green paper suggests instead that places on Work Choice will still be offered to ESA claimants from 2017.The DWP spokeswoman said that the “Work Programme and Work Choice have been successful in supporting participants into work, but the current economic context demands a new approach” through a new Work and Health Programme, but by 11am today (Thursday) she had failed to clarify whether Work Choice will eventually be scrapped.Help for those who are furthest from the job market will still be available through the Specialist Employability Support programme, according to the green paper, with the possibility of more places on the scheme for ESA WRAG claimants.The green paper also promises to “open up apprenticeships” to young people with learning difficulties, by making “adjustments” to English and maths requirements, while it will work with social enterprises and disabled entrepreneurs to set up apprenticeships “specifically for young disabled people”.A consultation on the green paper will run until 17 February 2017, and among the ways to comment are via an online survey and by emailing workandhealth@dwp.gsi.gov.uklast_img read more



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