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  • New Initiative for ClimateSmart Shipping Launched in Sweden

    first_imgElectromobility for Shipping is the name of a new collaboration between six actors with the aim to increase the electrification of shipping.Swedish ferry company Stena AB, the Swedish Shipowners’ Association, ABB Sweden AB, ABB Marine Oy, research institute RISE and battery company Northvolt have decided to collaborate for a more sustainable future within shipping.“There is a lot going on concerning battery on ships and we believe that research and development are crucial for finding the best. By joining forces between the research community and the maritime sector, we have great opportunities for the future,” Dan Sten Olsson, CEO of Stena AB, commented.As informed, the organizations intend to jointly contribute to climate-smart shipping, international competitiveness and increased export opportunities for green technologies.Image Courtesy: Stena Linelast_img read more

  • Marine Renewable Energy Legislation Provides Industry Clarity

    first_img “We’re pleased the province continues to support the development of a marine renewable energy sector in Nova Scotia,” said Elisa Obermann, executive director of Marine Renewables Canada. “As this industry develops, it will provide more companies with the opportunity to participate in local projects and develop skills and products that will help them reach global markets.” The province has consulted widely with stakeholders on how to balance the interests of other marine users, and ensure Nova Scotians benefit from the development of a new resource. More information on the legislation can be found at http://energy.novascotia.ca/renewables/marine-renewable-energy . Government introduced legislation today, April 29, to ensure marine renewable energy projects are developed in a responsible manner to respect the environment and the interests of local communities. The new legislation will increase consultation and provide for the safe, responsible and strategic development of the industry. “We need a clear and responsible path forward for developing Nova Scotia’s marine renewable energy sector,” said Energy Minister Michel Samson. “Our tidal resources will make a significant contribution to the province, both as an economic generator with export potential and as a new power source. We have an opportunity to build on our leadership position as a centre of excellence in the tidal industry and this legislation sets out how we do that.” The act allows government to regulate projects in the Bay of Fundy and Bras d’Or Lakes and will also: ensure consultation in establishing areas where industry will be developed establish a licensing and permitting system for the placement of marine renewable energy generators in those areas give the Energy Minister the authority to develop regulations to ensure the safe and responsible construction, installation and operation of industry projectslast_img read more

  • Police chiefs tackle drink tampering urge victims to come forward

    first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s police chiefs are shining a spotlight on drink tampering, after several high-profile cases of suspected druggings in downtown Halifax.At a meeting this fall, members of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association agreed to make the issue a priority, focusing on community education and prevention.They are also calling on people who believe they have been victimized to report it.“If you think it has happened, then you need to go to the police,” said Halifax RCMP Chief Supt. Lee Bergerman, chairwoman of the association’s drug committee, who has sent a letter to community organizations across the province about drink tampering.Although she said an analysis of police data did not reveal a widespread problem with spiked drinks, she said that shouldn’t be interpreted as “minimizing the seriousness of this issue.”“We felt we could play a role in highlighting the need for increased reporting of such incidents as well as enhanced overall awareness of this issue,” Bergerman said in the Nov. 1 letter sent to 10 community groups.She said police would like the organizations to help raise awareness about drink tampering and encourage possible victims to come forward.Bergerman said increased awareness and education “can be part of the solution in reducing additional victimization.”The move comes after multiple women said they had been slipped unidentified substances at Halifax bars.Despite the apparent rash of incidents reported in the media, a Canadian Press request under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that police don’t track drink tampering and were unable to provide statistics on reported incidents.Bergerman said police can’t establish a new database category when stats do not warrant it.“We do not have the ability or quantitative rationale at this time to add a new data category for this issue,” she said in the letter.In an interview, Bergerman added that crime analysts comb through reports looking for possible trends, and if there were a spike in reports of drink tamperings it would be noticed — and possibly merit a new data field.She said part of the problem may be that people are sharing their experience on social media but not reporting suspected drink tampering incidents to police.“If it’s happening, it’s not being reported to us,” she said.“Reporting is being done via Facebook, but nobody’s calling the police. We don’t do anything based on gossip, rumour or innuendo.”Two women came forward this spring after they were allegedly slipped an unidentified substance at a packed Halifax cabaret, prompting several women to speak out about similar experiences: Blacking out after only a few drinks, sleeping long stretches and recalling nothing from the night before.Some women described being carried home by friends. Others awoke to unfamiliar surroundings with no memory of how they got there or what occurred.Although some of the victims said they went to a hospital, they said tests did not reveal the presence of drugs and they didn’t bother going to police.The QEII Health Sciences Centre doesn’t keep statistics on incidents involving possible date rape drugs, sometimes called roofies, which include rohypnol, ketamine and gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).Dr. Sam Campbell, the chief of emergency at the Halifax Infirmary, has said that the drugs are extremely difficult to test for because they are rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body. Also, he said there are several different drugs that can be used, making it challenging to know what to test for.Neera Ritcey, communications chairwoman with the Nova Scotia chiefs of police, said despite low reports of drink tampering, it doesn’t mean nothing can be done.“We didn’t want to just conclude things by saying there are simply not enough complaints — and we certainly don’t want to minimize concerns that have been expressed,” she said.The awareness initiative will involve community response officers and school liaison officers, who have access to higher-risk populations in high schools and on university campuses, Ritcey said.She added that in the future they may develop public education tool kits about drink tampering, and stressed that awareness and community engagement is an important part of preventing this sort of criminal activity and increasing reporting.last_img read more

  • Chowkidar is 100 per cent chor alleges Rahul Gandhi

    first_imgKolar/Chitradurga (Karna): Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi Saturday alleged the “chowkidar” was a “100 per cent chor” and the Lok Sabha polls was a fight between Anil Ambani and ordinary people and thieves and honest people.Stepping up the campaign for the ruling Congress-JDS alliance on a day when the prime minister was also on a blitzkrieg in Karnataka, Gandhi said he wanted to know “why all the thieves have surnames of Modi.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Congress president said he would not like to be the Chowkidar (watchman), but the voice of the people. Continuing his vituperative attack on the Modi government over the Rafale fighter jet deal at a rally in Kolar, he said, “100 per cent. Chowkidar is a chor (thief)” and alleged that the prime minister stole Rs 30,000 crore and gifted it to his “thief friend” Anil Ambani. “You stole Rs 30,000 crore and gifted to your thief friend. You 100 per cent steal money. ‘Chowkidar’ is a thief. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KNirav Modi, Mehul Choksy, Lalit Modi, Mallya, Anil Ambani and Narendra Modi – There is a group, a team of thieves,” Gandhi said, attacking Modi, who has described himself as a “chowkidar” in his battle against graft. He also mocked the surname Modi, saying, “I have a question. Why all the thieves have Modi in their names, be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don’t know how many more such Modis will come out.” Gandhi also said Modi no longer spoke about farmers, jobs and corruption. “Unlike him, we don’t tell lies.” At the Chitradurga rally, Gandhi said the 2019 Lok Sabha election is a fight between Anil Ambani and ordinary people, thieves and honest people and false promises and the truth. “This election is between Anil Ambani and the common citizens, five years of ‘Anyay’ (injustice) and NYAY (justice/minimum income scheme), thieves and honest people and false promises and truth,” Gandhi said. He said the 2019 election was also a fight between ideologies, where there is hatred, anger and divisive politics on the one hand and love, affection and brotherhood on the other.last_img read more

  • Morocco and the Rights of People with Disabilities

    By Kawtar Zahidi and Souhail Wardi“During my daily commute, I suffer enormously with transportation problems. For me it is the greatest obstacle in my daily life. It is impossible to take buses, because they are not wheelchair accessible nor are there reserved seats for people with disabilities. Taxis do not stop for me, because they either do not have a large trunk to carry my wheelchair (90% of taxis are small vehicles like Fiat Unos) or they do not want to take the time to do it.The worst days are the days of winter, when I have a class at 8 a.m., and I remain in the rain waiting for the bus. The first one comes packed with people, the second and the third, too. I usually take the fourth one. I climb into the bus with great difficulty, with the help of some kind souls. After all this mess, I make it to class one hour late and exhausted. Fifteen minutes of rest is essential, so in the end I have only 45 minutes left to follow the class, that is, of course, if I can understand (laughter).” Adil Nidae – 29 years old – translated from French.A big part of one’s quality of life depends on the ability to move around the city comfortably and without difficulty. Going to work, continuing one’s education, going shopping, finding access to healthcare, participating in cultural events as well as recreational activities should be possible for all people. Improving the living conditions and quality of life of people with disabilities is everyone’s responsibility. There is a clear need for systems and institutions that protect the rights of the differently abled. Governments surely need to step up, but it is also the responsibility of various associations and organizations to make both private and public spaces accessible. Some countries are doing very well in this regard, while many around the world are still lagging behind.Morocco is one of these countries that are still lagging behind. Even though Morocco is committed to regional and international treaties to respect and uphold the right to adequate care and the rights of people with disabilities, unfortunately very little is seen on the ground. The situation of disabled people is not at all reassuring. Morocco is far from doing enough, as the rights of disabled people are still overlooked. Public transportation is not accessible, nor are sidewalks, building, etc. People with disabilities also face frequent discrimination because of their condition. This deprives them of the simplest rights such as education, employment, and healthcare. They are as Moroccan as any one of us, yet are ignored in public policy; instead of helping them, the language adopted by society contributes to their stigmatization.People with disabilities struggle every day with the nightmare of public transportation in Morocco. Some, like Adil Nidae, decide to go out and persevere despite the many hurdles in their way. However, the majority of people with disabilities give up and decide to just live at home. This is at times a personal decision, but it is quite often imposed by family and loved ones. They stay home to not “disturb” anyone and to avoid the hurtful looks of society.Disabled people who experience loss of mobility in Morocco remain in the shadows and are looked down upon. They are excluded from society and lack services to improve their quality of life. It is our duty to facilitate social inclusion of people with disabilities in order to positively impact their quality of life and improve their psychological and physical health.What are we doing about this?Dinavie is a Moroccan social enterprise that is here to solve the transportation problem faced by people with disabilities. We want to provide services to improve the mobility of people with disabilities. Every day, people in wheelchairs, the elderly with mobility problems, blind people and others struggle to get around. By providing them with the opportunity to move freely, just like everyone else, and to benefit from quality care and transportation suited to their needs, we enable them to regain an active social life. We want to promote their autonomy and social integration and enable them to access primary care, work, get educated, partake in cultural events and above all have fun and be happy.How can you help?We are raising money to acquire a wheelchair-accessible car to provide the above-mentioned services. We will use special tools to make it a breeze to transfer the disabled from their bed to a comfortable wheelchair, then onto one of our wheelchair-accessible cars. We then take them wherever their heart desires or schedule the day for them.We have raised $4,917 so far out of our $21,000 goal. Let us stand together to improve the situation of people with disabilities in Morocco.To learn more about the campaign, visit this link: launchgood.com/project/dinavie read more

  • Moroccos Police Abort A Bitcoin Related Kidnapping Case near Casablanca

    Rabar – On July 5, the Judicial Police in Casablanca arrested three individuals aged between 30 and 34 on suspicion of their involvement in an attempted Kidnapping, detention, and theft. Upon their arrest, the suspects were in possession of significant amounts of national currency money from an unknown source.The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) issued a statement in which it explained that the judicial police team was able to monitor two of the arrested individuals. The two suspects were planning to kidnap the third and take him to his house in Bournazel, ​​Casablanca in order to steal significant sums of money. The police carried out a field operation in which they aborted the kidnapping and arrested the two suspects as they were abducting the victim.Read also: Casablanca Police Arrest Woman For Alleged Kidnapping of MinorSearch operations conducted by the police at the victim’s house enabled the seizure of a box containing more than MAD 2 million. Initial data indicate that the victim obtained the money through circulation of virtual currency, Bitcoin.One of the victim’s acquaintances living in Europe was responsible for the Bitcoin circulation operations, while he was responsible for collecting the money in Morocco.The police placed the three suspects under custody under the supervision of the Public Prosecution Office in order to determine the cases’ details, the source of the seized amounts of money, and the methods of their circulation and collection. read more

  • Switzerland relaxes travel advise on Sri Lanka

    He also thanked the envoys for the intelligence expertise and cooperation provided by those countries.Last week China relaxed the travel advise imposed on Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday attacks. (Colombo Gazette) Switzerland has relaxed a travel advise imposed on Sri Lanka, the Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Hanspeter Mock said.He said that Switzerland no longer advises to avoid unnecessary travel to Sri Lanka but notes that travelers should maintain a high level of personal security during their stay in the country. FDFA says a tense political environment is likely to remain in Sri Lanka till the end of the elections in December 2019. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), meanwhile, notes that political and social tensions are still high in Sri Lanka and they can trigger violent clashes at any time and throughout the country. President Maithripala Sirisena had told diplomats in Colombo this week that the country was now 99% secure. He thanked the international community for the cooperation and assistance provided to Sri Lanka at this time of need and urged them to continue to provide economic assistance and lift the travel advisories issued to tourists.Addressing Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, United States, Germany, Australia and EU, at the President’s Official Residence in Colombo, the President had said that a large number of the terrorists and suspects had been arrested and a huge quantity of explosives and weapons have been seized. read more

  • Portal Huffington Post to expand with German edition threatens to shake up

    by Juergen Baetz, The Associated Press Posted Apr 29, 2013 4:37 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Portal Huffington Post to expand with German edition, threatens to shake up media landscape BERLIN – The Huffington Post is expanding further with a German language edition, putting new pressure on media companies in Europe’s largest economy as they struggle with newspaper closures and try to introduce online pay walls.The online news portal said Monday it is partnering with Tomorrow Focus AG, a division of Germany’s Burda Media group, to launch the site this fall, featuring its “signature mix of news, blogging, community, and social engagement.”A core editorial staff in Munich will produce the site, catering to readers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland — a market of about 100 million people — while offering free content and relying solely on advertisement revenue.The Huffington Post already has international editions in Britain, Canada, France, Italy and Spain. A Japanese version is due to launch in May. The U.S. version of the site was founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005 and bought by AOL Inc. for $315 million in 2011, though it has not turned a profit since.Experts say the Huffington Post’s arrival in Germany could prove disruptive for the established players in Europe’s biggest news market.“This is a big thing,” said media studies professor Jo Groebel. “The leading German news websites still look and read like the extension of their printed parent media, but the Huffington Post’s style is different. We have seen in the U.S. how fast it rose to prominence,” he added.Groebel said the Huffington Post’s style will be a breach with German media tradition, which grants great prominence to political news coverage and seeks to distance opinion from factual reporting.“Judging by the U.S. site, the Huffington Post’s reporting will be more emotional, more personality-driven, strongly focusing on cliffhangers and short news episodes,” Groebel said.While other German online media might eventually follow that trend, experts say the bigger challenge might be Huffington Post’s insistence on offering content for free. That could dent other media companies’ hopes of erecting pay walls to make up for lost advertisement revenue in their core print business.German publisher Axel Springer AG seeks to make users pay for content from its newspapers websites — which include the online offerings of daily Die Welt and that of mass-selling tabloid Bild — following a pay wall model championed by the New York Times.Other German media groups are pursuing similar plans — but none has yet introduced a pay wall with commercial success.Germany’s leading news website, Spiegel Online, has so far rejected the idea of a pay wall. But that may change after a leadership shake-up on Monday that will see the head of German news agency dpa, Wolfgang Buechner, take over news weekly Der Spiegel and its website.Germany’s media industry is experiencing its most serious crisis since World War II, according to the DJV journalists’ union.The country’s second-largest business daily, Financial Times Deutschland, was shut late last year and newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau filed for insolvency and laid off all but a core staff. German new agency dapd went bankrupt this year and most newspapers are currently seeking to cut costs amid falling advertisement revenues.Newspaper readership in Germany has been falling constantly over the past few years. From 2000 to 2011 the daily circulation of all newspapers fell by about 22 per cent, from 24 million to 18.9 million copies, according to the BDZV lobby group of newspaper publishers.Trends in the European newspaper industry appear to follow those set by their U.S. peers, with falling revenues leading to paper closures as readers switch to read their news online or on tablet computers.The Huffington Post’s German co-operation partner sees a silver lining in the changing media landscape, saying its approach to giving readers more possibilities to contribute their own ideas will benefit the news segment.“It offers our public a new way of experiencing journalism and enriches the German media landscape with fresh, unconsumed voices,” said Tomorrow Focus managing director Oliver Eckert.___Follow Juergen Baetz at http://www.twitter.com/jbaetz read more

  • Real GDP rose 01 per cent in April same gain as in

    AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Craig Wong, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 30, 2014 6:44 am MDT Real GDP rose 0.1 per cent in April, same gain as in March: StatsCan OTTAWA – The Canadian economy remained in low gear in April as the key resource and construction sectors were stuck in the spring mud.Statistics Canada said Monday the economy grew by 0.1 per cent in April, the same pace as in March.Economists had expected a gain of 0.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.CIBC economist Nick Exarhos noted that the drop in the resource sector should be temporary, but added the weakness in construction was a bit of a surprise.“Even if some of April’s weakness should prove temporary, and thus likely to influence the next month’s readings positively, the disappointment means that growth is likely to come in closer to two per cent than 2.5 per cent (the Bank of Canada’s prior forecast) in the second quarter,” Exarhos wrote in a note to clients.“An undershoot in growth is likely to give governor Stephen Poloz enough reason to stay on his current policy stance, even with inflation readings heating up.”Statistics Canada said the output of service industries increased 0.3 per cent in April, led by wholesale and retail trade. However, the output of goods-producing industries fell 0.3 per cent as all the major sub-sectors except manufacturing fell.Oil and gas extraction dropped 0.8 per cent due to lower oil and natural gas production, while mining and quarrying fell 1.3 per cent. Support work for mining and oil and gas extraction increased 1.9 per cent.Construction dropped 0.6 per cent for the month as residential building and repair work fell.Wholesale trade rose 1.3 per cent in April, led by increases in machinery, equipment and supplies as well as building materials and supplies.Retail trade grew 0.8 per cent in April, following a 0.1 per cent decline in March.A bitterly cold winter had been blamed for a slow start to the year and it appeared Monday as if the sluggishness seen in the first three months carried over to April.Economists have been hoping that strength in the U.S. economy would help things pick up in the second quarter. Last week, revised data suggested the U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent in the first quarter of the year, a move not seen since the financial crisis.“The Canadian economy is trudging along at a pace of right around two per cent, simply not strong enough to cut into the unemployment rate or to get any pulses racing,” BMO Capital Markets chief economist Douglas Porter said.“What’s required now is for the U.S. economy to find a higher gear, because the domestic sources of growth in Canada are looking pretty tired,” Porter said. read more

  • New UN treatment guidelines say all people with HIV should get antiretrovirals

    With its “treat-all” recommendation, WHO removes all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV.“All populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment,” the Geneva-based agency said in a news release.According to WHO, the expanded use of antiretroviral treatment is supported by recent findings from clinical trials confirming that early use of ART keeps people living with HIV alive, healthier and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to partners.WHO is also now recommending that people at “substantial” risk of HIV should be offered preventive antiretroviral treatment. This builds on previous guidance to offer a combination of antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV acquisition, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), for men who have sex with men. Following further evidence of the effectiveness and acceptability of PrEP, WHO has now broadened this recommendation to support the offer of PrEP to other population groups at significant HIV risk. PrEP should be seen as an additional prevention choice based on a comprehensive package of services, including HIV testing, counselling and support, and access to condoms and safe injection equipment.The new guideline stresses that, in order to effectively implement the recommendations, countries will need to ensure that testing and treatment for HIV infection are readily available and that those undergoing treatment are supported to adhere to recommended regimens and are retained in care.Based on the new recommendations, the number of people eligible for antiretroviral treatment increases from 28 million to all 37 million people who currently live with HIV globally. Expanding access to treatment is at the heart of a new set of targets for 2020 aimed at ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. These targets include 90 per cent of people living with HIV being aware of their HIV infection, 90 per cent of those receiving antiretroviral treatment, and 90 per cent of people on ART having no detectable virus in their blood.According to estimates by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), expanding ART to all people living with HIV and expanding prevention choices can help avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.In a news release, UNAIDS welcomed the release of the new guidelines as a significant step towards improving the lives of people living with HIV and reducing the transmission of the virus.“These new guidelines and recommendations are a highly significant moment in the AIDS response,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “The medicines and scientific tools now at our disposal provide us with a real opportunity to save millions of lives over the coming years and to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.” read more

  • UCLA knocks LMU from unbeaten ranks with 8258 win

    LOS ANGELES — Jaylen Hands and Moses Brown had double-doubles and UCLA knocked Loyola Marymount from the unbeaten ranks with an 82-58 victory on Sunday night.The Bruins (6-2) led all the way while holding the Lions (8-1) to their lowest point total of the season. LMU came in having won by an average of 17.8 points during its streak.But the Lions never got untracked. None of their starters had more than five points at halftime. James Batemon, who averages a team-leading 20.3 points, got in foul trouble and finished with seven points.Hands had 17 points and 10 assists, while Brown added 12 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Kris Wilkes scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half.Dameane Douglas led the Lions with 11 points and Petr Herman added 10 points off the bench.LMU got within nine points early in the second half before the Bruins ran off seven straight points, including Cody Riley’s 3-point play, to go up 52-36.The Lions answered with a 12-6 spurt in which Batemon scored six that left them trailing by 10. But he picked up his third foul. Eli Scott and Jeffery McClendon also got their third fouls over the final 9:58.UCLA closed the game on a 24-10 run featuring dunks by Prince Ali, Wilkes and Hands off his own steal.The schools separated by 11 miles were playing for the first time since 2011, when the Lions upset the Bruins 69-58 in the teams’ season opener.BIG PICTURELoyola Marymount: The Lions have just one road game outside of California over the next 1 1/2 months that includes the first weekend of West Coast Conference play, giving them a chance to start a new winning streak.UCLA: The Bruins are in the midst of a key stretch of four straight home games against teams with impressive starts. So far, they’ve beaten Hawaii and LMU with Notre Dame and Belmont (with one loss each) coming up.UP NEXTLoyola Marymount: At Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday in the second of three straight road games.UCLA: Hosts Notre Dame on Saturday.___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Beth Harris, The Associated Press read more

  • SP Revises Outlook on Hanley Wood Negative

    first_img[SEE RELATED VIDEO: Anton at the FOLIO: Publishing Summit in Miami]S&P did reaffirm all of its ratings for Hanley Wood, including its “B” corporate credit rating. But Altberg said that “good niche competitive positions” in the residential publishing and exhibition industries “only partially offset these factors.”Anton says Hanley Wood remains committed to a growth strategy “tied almost exclusively” to the construction market. “As it is, neither our loan pricing nor our covenants are based on ratings.” Citing the soft housing market and “weaker than expected” 2007 operating results, Standard&Poor’s revised its outlook on Hanley Wood late last week to “negative” from “stable.”“Our concern that the soft U.S. housing market and general economic conditions will continue to pressure performance in 2008,” S&P credit analyst Michael Altberg said in a note accompanying the revision, adding that revision reflects the “high financial risk” resulting from JP Morgan’s $650 million leveraged acquisition of the company in 2005, a decline in EBITDA, “cyclical operating performance” and “limited business diversity.”“As everybody knows, the housing market is at a post-WWII low point,” Frank Anton wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. “However, HW remains aggressive and financially strong.”last_img read more

  • UPDATED Access Intelligence Undergoes Significant Reorg

    first_imgThe subscription-based information products and, interestingly,events are holding up very well, says Pazour. “Our two biggest showswere up in 2009 versus 2008 and our re-sign is trending for growthagain in 2010,” he said.Print ad revenues are a starkly different story. The first quarterwas an apparently manageable 16 percent drop compared to 2008. By April,however, the situation changed dramatically when ad revenues suddenlyplummeted to more than 30 percent. Pazour said the declines werewidespread, and not attached to a particular served market. Accordingly, resources are now being realigned to emphasize thesubscription products and event business—the print-based Business MediaGroup and the Business Information Group have been merged together,says Pazour. “Over 52 percent of our revenue is subscription-based,” hesays. “What we want to do is leverage our expertise and infrastructureto support our business groups in that way.”On top of that, Pazour says the company is set to announce an acquisition targeting a market currently unserved by AI. UPDATE: The deal closed and AI has bought Contexo Media, a Salt-Lake City-based firm offering information products and software for the medical coding market.Pazour declined to reveal terms of the deal, but ballparked Contexo’s revenues between $5 million and $10 million. The company’s offices will remain in Salt Lake City. The deal opens up a new market for AI, and the brands—almost 100 percent subscription based—will be housed under the Business Information Group headed by group president Heather Farley.And in an interesting twist, Jerry Okabe, the former VP of audience marketing for Penton Media who was edged out as that company attempted an overhaul of its circ marketing and online audience development groups, will be joining AI as general manager onsite at Contexo. “It’s the perfect job for him,” said Pazour. “It’s marketing and fulfillment and we’re delighted to have him on board.” Despite AI’s the cost-cutting measures, the Contexo deal is the third one so far this year. The company also bought two events in the energy market. While the cutting has been a tough process, Pazour is confident the company isbetter fortified for what lies ahead. “These things are extremelypainful, they’re never easy and they’re necessary steps that I dreadfor months, but I think we’re very well positioned now for the secondhalf and beyond.” A severe drop in advertising revenue has forced Access Intelligence,the Rockville, Maryland-based b-to-b publisher in the aviation, energyand chemical markets, this week to undergo a 5.8 percent reduction instaff and a realignment of assets to emphasize subscription-drivenproducts and events—all while closing on a deal that opens up a new market opportunity.According to CEO Donald Pazour [pictured], the staff reduction—20employees—was “very broad-based” across markets, but focused on themagazine and print areas. This occurred simultaneously with seniormanagement changes and a reorganization of assets which wereconsolidated under Business Information division president HeatherFarley and resulted in the departure of Paul McPherson, who headed theBusiness Media Group. No magazines have been closed, says Pazour, although one title is currently under review. last_img read more

  • Twitterati goes gaga over Bengaluru police chiefs plan to restore Britishera Bangalore

    first_imgBangalore GateAmal RasheedaliThe long-forgotten and historic Bangalore Gate may finally be revived after the Bengaluru city police commissioner Bhaskar Rao sought help in restoring the heritage structure.Rao had tweeted from his personal handle asking for help in the restoration. The tweet went viral after netizens came up with suggestions over the restoration work. “Can anyone recommend a Heritage Architect who can help me restore this early 18 Century Bangalore Gate located in our City Armed Reserve (CAR) Compound in Chamrajpet…,” read his tweet posted on August 18. Bangalore GateAmal RasheedaliSpeaking to International Business Times, Rao said the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, Bengaluru, will lend advice on the restoration work to bring the gate back to its former glory. After receiving a massive response over the project, Rao tweeted that he is spellbound with the outpouring of help and guidance from all. “I will immediately seek Government permission and take help from all of you,” he tweeted. Bangalore GateAmal RasheedaliThe Bangalore Gate consists of several cloister type arches and big dome on top of its central part. The structure also has several doors and windows, which are now in a terrible condition with cracks all over the wall and roof. The left-wing of the building is also destroyed.The gate is located inside the CAR quarters at Mysore Circle in Chamrajpet in the central part of the city, yet most of the people are unaware of its existence or history. Founded in 1892, Chamrajpet is one of the oldest and original parts of Bengaluru, which was built by the royals of Mysore.  Bangalore Gate at Chamrajpet is in a dilapidated condition.Amal RasheedaliAccording to historians, Bangalore Gate used to be the entry point of the city. It was like an army outpost, where the soldiers used to track people’s movements in and out of the city. However, the structure is now in a dilapidated state and needs serious restoration as a major of the building is overgrown with huge trees. Chamrajpet is Bengaluru’s first planned and developed extension that paved way for the parallel and diagonal enclaves which we now see in the city. Even back then the area was a prosperous hub for trading due to which the development took place. In 1894 the locality was named as Chamarajendrapete, after the Mysore Ruler Chamarajendra Wadiyar X.There are many historical structures in this area, including the Bangalore Fort, Tippu Sultan’s summer palace and the Kannada Sahitya Parishat building.last_img read more

  • Baltimore Rising Two Years After Freddie Grays Death Shaken City Mends

    first_imgBALTIMORE — It’s an overcast morning outside Gilmor Homes, the public housing complex where two years ago, Freddie Gray was arrested and placed in police custody. His death one week later—on April 19, 2015— would trigger a series of cataclysmic events that changed countless lives and forever altered a city.A mural depicting Freddie Gray at the intersection of his arrest, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)On today’s second anniversary — which comes fresh on the heels of a formalized consent decree with the Justice Department intended to guide and monitor police reforms — city leaders, activists and residents reveal a mix of optimism tempered by realism about the road ahead.“We’re still a city divided. I see both the elevation and the regression,” said Earl Mahammitt, 35, who grew up in Sandtown-Winchester, the historic yet struggling African-American community that Gray called home. “We were starting at a negative axis, not even zero. It’s going to take a lot for the conditions to improve.  “More…last_img read more

  • Wii U Mario Kart 8 bundle image leaks

    first_imgThe Wii U needs all the help it can get to shift units, and that’s why Nintendo is focusing on its much-loved first-party IP to sell the machine. The next game to get the Wii U treatment is Mario Kart 8 at the end of May. It looks great as the first Mario Kart to sport HD graphics, and it also looks like Nintendo is planning to bundle the game with the Wii U.An image has leaked of the box art for this new bundle. Nintendo isn’t confirming it exists of course, but does anyone really doubt that it does? In fact, I think gamers would be more surprised if Nintendo didn’t create this bundle as it just makes sense.The existing official bundles: one containing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, and the other Mario & Luigi, both can be picked up for $299.99. I expect the Mario Kart 8 bundle complete with a 32GB black Wii U to match that price, especially as Nintendo has made it clear we won’t be seeing a hardware price drop before 2015. However, saying that, a $249.99 Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle would be great to kick off the summer with.If you already own a Wii U, then I’m sure Mario Kart 8 is on your buy list come May 30. The gameplay is more of the same (not a bad thing), but there are going to be anti-gravity sections to mix things up a bit. You can also play online against up to 11 other players, and use Mario Kart TV to share clips from races through Miiverse.Even if you don’t like the gimmicks that surround the racing, this is a 60fps game with HD graphics running on a Wii U. Highest quality game yet seen on the platform? Probably.last_img read more

  • Virgin tries to fill Qantas pouch doubles TA deal

    first_imgTourism Australia MD expects extra funds to “go to good use”. Image: skyscrapercity.com Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Following Qantas’ decision to terminate its joint partnership with Tourism Australia, rival airline, Virgin Australia has agreed to double its current agreement with the tourist bureau.Earlier this month, the Australian flag carrier announced that due to a “conflict of interest” and concerns the bureau’s director was out to sabotage the airline Qantas could no longer support Tourism Australia or continue with its joint three-year $44 million marketing agreement.Although far from Qantas’ contribution, Virgin Australia has since agreed to increase its participation with Tourism Australia, doubling its joint commitments from AU$6 million to AU$12 million over the next three financial years.The new agreement will cover marketing activities including major sporting and business events and focus on key inbound visitor markets – the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia.Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the decision was “great news” for Australia’s tourism sector and expects extra funds to “go to good use”.Meanwhile, Qantas is obliged to continue working with the tourist bureau until its three year contract expires mid-2013.Despite pulling funds from Tourism Australia, Qantas has reassured the industry it will continue to promote Australia on a domestic and international level, keeping every dollar within marketing the country.last_img read more

  • 3 Ways Lenders Can Increase Their Purchase Mortgage Origination Business

    first_img March 10, 2016 643 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination, Technology Share Mortgage lenders remain optimistic and unbothered by the news surrounding the dismal, but improving, state of the U.S. economy.A recent survey of 200 mortgage lending professionals from Lenders One showed that lenders are exuding confidence in the real estate market. In addition, lenders say that millennials, Hispanics, and boomerang buyers will lead the expected gains in business.According to the survey, 62 percent of lenders surveyed said that they expect mortgage purchase production to increase by an average of 11 percent in 2016. Another 87 percent indicated that the mortgage purchase market will be extremely active.Mortgage lenders in the housing market said that diverse growth opportunities will be the driving force behind the increase in business. Seventy-nine percent of lenders pointed to millennials as their target, as these young prospects enter into the peak age for purchasing a home. Hispanics were named by 71 percent of lenders surveyed, while non-traditional buyers in the rental and vacation home markets were named by 70 percent of lenders. Boomerang buyers, or those that can now qualify for a mortgage after undergoing a short sale, foreclosure, or bankruptcy, will be targeted by 68 percent of lenders.“The strong confidence levels we’re seeing among lenders highlight the continued bounce back from one of the most challenging real estate and lending environments in U.S. history,” said Lenders One Interim CEO Dan Goldman. “In an environment where lenders can once again focus on business growth initiatives, it will be more important than ever for mortgage professionals to have access to the tools and ongoing training they need to capitalize on these emerging trends.”Goldman sat down with MReport to explain why lenders are so optimistic in the housing market today and what they can do to reach untapped borrowers and grow their origination business.MReport: What is causing the uptick in lender optimism about purchase growth in the housing market when the economic picture was so bleak to start 2016?Dan GoldmanGoldman: If you think about the time frame that this survey was done, it was in the first two weeks of January and there definitely was optimism at that point among lenders. Lenders believed that 2016 would be a strong year and there will be more purchase business, and applications seemed to be up a bit. However, closings were not good in December and I say that because of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule. A lot of lenders were struggling with TRID at that time from a closing perspective. There was good optimism early January on locks and applications and at that time, lenders felt that they might have a good year ahead of them.What they were feeling right then was that those applications were purchase-related and not as much on the refinancing side. If we fast-forward to now, where rates have ticked down a bit, I think that lenders are probably seeing more refinances and now the pain associated with TRID has softened a bit. As January progressed and even into February, we were still hearing about the pain associated with TRID, specifically on the closing side of the transaction.MReport: Explain how lenders are expecting to target millennials, Hispanics, and boomerang buyers populations. How will they get them to enter the housing market?Let’s start with the millennials. The key piece with millennials has been and always will be technology. Getting in front of these younger buyers with tools that are available will grab their attention. Part of that stems from the advertising that is available. Once an application is taken, either in-person or online, the status and the updating of the process is all being done on Android and iPhone applications. That engages the millennial and gets them involved. They are doing everything online or on the Internet. There are more things happening like an Owners.com or Zillow, where homes are being searched for online. They are engaging Realtors and mortgage companies online.The boomerang buyer leads themselves to some of the non-qualified mortgage (QM) products that are emerging, still with the Ability-to-Repay but there’s less guidelines and restrictions on products where there was a short-sale, foreclosure, or some type of event in years past the prohibited these buyers from fitting into a conventional application. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan are still prevalent for boomerang buyers because there are less stringent guidelines for a mortgage loan.Hispanics are an untapped market in many areas and I have seen a lot more activity, depending on geographic areas, where lenders are holding information sessions, event, and homebuyer seminars for lenders that have not been in that market and marketing to Hispanic buyers.  There’s been quite a bit of activity in the market recently and the expectation from those lenders that were surveyed was those three segments particularly would present opportunities to grow their business.MReport: What should lender expect in the housing market for the rest of 2016 and beyond in terms of their purchase mortgage origination business?Goldman: There is still going to be a focus on compliance, which we all understand and expect. There will be a focus on TRID to ensure that everything it encompasses is working properly. There will be a focus on vendor oversight which is becoming more prevalent in the market. There is also a significant focus on education and making sure that the loan officers are educated, trained, and able to target the borrowers for their business. The last piece is technology. Technology will be important because mortgage companies want to be on the cutting edge and using technology to be compliant, capture customers, and for educational purposes. Lender will need to use social media, search engine optimization to be able to reach the right borrower, tech solutions for figuring out underwriter income, and have a handheld application for borrowers to be able to check the status of their loan. This is what I see from an outlook perspective for the remainder of 2016. Lenders will be focused on how to grow their business, capture more purchase business, and with rates so low, pay attention to refinances. It should still be a strong year compared to last year, with the estimated 11 percent purchase originations growth.center_img Lenders One Mortgage Lender Purchase Mortgage Origination 2016-03-10 Staff Writer 3 Ways Lenders Can Increase Their Purchase Mortgage Origination Businesslast_img read more

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