Tennis icons and equal rights champions, Serena and Venus Williams have joined the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) advisory board, it was announced today.In addition to their success on the tennis court, where they’ve captured a combined 30 Grand Slam singles titles, along with 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, and 4 Olympic gold medals each, the Williams sisters are strong advocates for equal prize money in the sport. They are also accomplished businesswomen and dedicated philanthropists. In 2016, Serena and Venus teamed up to establish The Williams Sisters Fund, which seeks to support various philanthropic efforts. Their first project, The Yetunde Price Resource Center, was created in honor of their late sister, Yetunde Price.Billie Jean King and the Williams sisters first met at a World TeamTennis clinic in Long Beach, California when Serena and Venus were young girls. They also worked together on the court when King was the Captain of the US Fed Cup and Olympic teams.“I’m thrilled to announce that my dear friends, Serena and Venus Williams, have joined the BJKLI advisory board,” said BJKLI Founder, Billie Jean King. “Without a doubt, they are two of the foremost athletes of their generation and true forces in challenging the public discourse on equality in sport and society. Serena and Venus will be tremendous additions to the BJKLI, and we are pleased to welcome them to our organization.”The BJKLI was founded in 2014 by Billie Jean King, her partner Ilana Kloss, and the global CEO advisory firm, Teneo, in an effort to move the needle forward on issues impacting equality and inclusion in the workplace. Since its inception, the BJKLI has partnered on industry-leading research and hosted a number of symposiums that have brought together diverse leaders from a range of industries to have honest conversations on the state of equality and how to broker tangible positive change.“It is truly an honor to join the advisory board of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative,” commented Serena Williams on her appointment. “Billie Jean has been an inspiration to me on and off the court, and I am excited to play a role in shaping the future of the organization and driving its mission forward.”“Billie Jean has been a role model for me and I’ve always admired her spirit of giving,” said Venus Williams. “I’m delighted to join the advisory board of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, and I intend to continue to do everything I can until Billie Jean’s dream of equality is made real.”The release of the Battle of the Sexes film in 2017 marked a pivotal year for the BJKLI. The organization celebrated at a luncheon at New York’s iconic Rainbow Room. The film, which is centered on the story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, highlights the inequality that existed between men and women. It serves as a poignant reminder that while progress has been made in the fight to achieve equality for all, much remains to be done.Building on the momentum of last year, 2018 is a milestone year for both the BJKLI and its founder. The BJKLI recently announced a partnership with Starbucks and support for the company’s commitment to global gender pay equity, encouraging others to embrace the principles of equal pay and make change. In the fall, the BJKLI will celebrate its fifth anniversary, and King will celebrate her 75th birthday. Events are planned to mark both occasions.The Williams sisters join other notable advisory board members including:Billie Jean King; IIana Kloss (Co-founder, BJKLI); Paul Keary (Vice-Chair, BJKLI and Co-founder & COO, Teneo Holdings); Christiane Amanpour (Anchor and Chief International Correspondent, CNN); Jason Collins (Former NBA Player and Civil Rights Advocate); David Furnish (Chairman, Elton John AIDS Foundation & CEO, Rocket Entertainment Group); Margo Georgiadis (CEO, Mattel); Maritza Gomez-Montiel (Former Vice Chairman and Deputy CEO, Deloitte LLP); Sir Elton John; Jonathan Kraft (President, The Kraft Group); Robert McCann (Chairman, UBS Americas); Pat Mitchell (Founder & CEO, POW! Strategies); Andy Roddick (Former World No. 1 and U.S. Open Champion); Pablo Salame (Global Co-Head, Securities Division, Goldman Sachs) and Michael Strautmanis (VP of Civic Engagement, The Obama Foundation).For more information on the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, visit BJKLI.org.
Objections blunt momentum for foreign lobbying law overhaulObjections blunt momentum for foreign lobbying law overhaul
WASHINGTON – A push to give the Justice Department more enforcement authority over the lucrative and at times shadowy world of foreign lobbying is stalled amid opposition from pro-business groups, nonprofits and privacy advocates.Organizations that range from the influential U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers have raised objections to legislation that would sharpen the teeth of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The law, enacted 80 years ago to expose Nazi propaganda, requires people to disclose when they lobby in the U.S. on behalf of foreign governments or political entities.While there’s bipartisan support for cracking down on unregistered foreign agents, several of the changes proposed in congressional bills could backfire by sweeping in a host of unintended targets, according to critics. That pushback has effectively kept the legislation from advancing as lobbying groups press for revisions.One of the most contentious provisions would eliminate a popular loophole that permits lobbyists representing foreign commercial interests to be exempt from the law, known as FARA. That shift, one business group has warned, could extend the rigorous disclosure requirements to U.S. subsidiaries of global companies, stigmatizing them as foreign agents even though they employ thousands of Americans.Congressional interest in fortifying the law comes in the aftermath of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and a special counsel investigation that’s drawn greater attention to the inner workings of international influence peddling.Most recently, Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, admitted in a plea deal that he’d failed to register as a foreign agent when he directed a lobbying operation for Ukrainian interests. Prosecutors said he concealed millions of dollars in income for the work from the IRS.Earlier this year, federal prosecutors unveiled an indictment against a Russian troll farm accused of interfering in the 2016 election through bogus Facebook posts that revealed how foreign parties can weaponize social media to influence public opinion.Yet criminal cases under FARA have been rare, with fewer than a dozen since 1966 as the Justice Department generally emphasized voluntary compliance over prosecution. Lawmakers supporting the bills say a 2016 inspector general’s report found that the department lacked the tools it needed to properly enforce FARA. A violation of the law is punishable by a fine or up to five years in prison.But the defence lawyers association and the Center for Democracy and Technology, a civil-liberties group, have declared that Fourth Amendment privacy protections would be undermined by a section of the bill that would expand the Justice Department’s power to investigate possible violations of the law.And an alliance of nongovernmental organizations called InterAction has urged lawmakers to repair vague and outdated provisions in the current law before passing a new one that strengthens the government’s hand. These groups fear that the law, if not repaired, could leave nonprofits open “to possible politicized enforcement actions and attack,” according to an open letter more than 40 members and partners of InterAction wrote earlier this year.The House version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., seemed to be on the fast track to passage in the GOP-led House after a committee approved it in January by a comfortable margin. Yet eight months later, it hasn’t moved any further.Johnson described the objections as “overblown” and said he’s hopeful the full House will vote on his bill before the end of the year. The House is in recess and won’t return until after the Nov. 6 elections.“People in Washington are resistant to change,” Johnson said. “The longer we wait to enact these reforms the more critical they become.”An identical Senate bill, by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is bottled up in the Foreign Relations Committee. Grassley charged last year that there has been “rampant disregard” of the law by foreign agents and “lacklustre enforcement by federal authorities.”President Donald Trump invoked the law in a Sept. 13 tweet that attacked former Secretary of State John Kerry for meeting with Iran’s foreign minister, who was his main interlocutor during the Iran nuclear deal negotiations. Trump called the meetings illegal and questioned whether Kerry, now a private citizen, had registered as a foreign agent.But Trump’s broadside appeared to be off base. Meetings between a private U.S. citizen and foreign official are not against the law and not necessarily inappropriate or a violation of federal regulations. Further, FARA provisions don’t extend to activities conducted entirely overseas.“What we are currently seeing is a lot of confusion over the vagueness of FARA and concern that the breadth of the law can lead to its politicized use,” said Nick Robinson, legal adviser at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.Lobbyists that register under FARA must report specific meetings, phone calls and other details of contacts with members of Congress or federal officials to the Justice Department, which then posts the material online .The loophole targeted for elimination permits lobbyists representing foreign commercial interests to get an exemption provided that they register under the less-demanding Lobbying Disclosure Act. The quarterly reports filed with the House and Senate under the 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act also are made public but require much less information.U.S.-based subsidiaries of international companies say the change may lead officials to avoid meeting with companies bound by FARA, putting them at a disadvantage with their domestic competitors.The legislation is supposed to target foreign governments or political parties but may “catch these companies in the crosshairs,” said Nancy McLernon, president of the Organization for International Investment, a lobbying group that represents the U.S. operations of global businesses including BP America, Honda North America, Nestle USA and Samsung.“No one wants to be labeled a foreign agent,” she said. “It sounds like a spy for a foreign government.”The legislation also would allow the Justice Department to demand that individuals and businesses turn over material relevant to federal investigations into alleged violations of FARA. Backers of the bill say the department’s FARA registration unit has long sought the use of administrative subpoenas to better enforce the law. The bill, they added, includes safeguards to ensure this authority isn’t abused.But the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers, in a sharply worded letter to the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, said the investigative procedures proposed in the bill amount to an “expansion of unchecked law-enforcement authority.” The department would be able “to compel the production of documents and force the testimony of the targets of criminal investigations, without any prior showing of probable cause or court approval,” the association’s letter said.The letter was written in January. Spokesman Ivan Dominguez said the association’s position has not changed.___Contact Richard Lardner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rplardner
Steelworkers accuse Alcoa of bargaining in bad faith during Quebec negotiationsSteelworkers accuse Alcoa of bargaining in bad faith during Quebec negotiations
TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. — With a negotiation deadline looming, the United Steelworkers union has filed a complaint with Quebec’s Administrative Labour Tribunal alleging bad faith bargaining by Alcoa Corp. at its aluminum smelter near Trois-Rivieres, where unionized workers have been locked out since January.Local union president Clement Masse says Alcoa is “not taking the negotiation process seriously,” claiming the company has reneged on previous commitments at the bargaining table.Alcoa is calling the union complaint “false and unfounded,” and says the mine’s management has been negotiating in good faith.In November, the Quebec government appointed a special mediation council, chaired by former premier Lucien Bouchard, with a settlement deadline set for Friday.Alcoa announced Wednesday it would cut output in half at its ABI smelter in Becancour, Que., due to the impact of an ongoing lockout.The Pittsburgh-based company curtailed two of the facility’s three pot lines in January after unionized workers rejected a company contract proposal.The Canadian Press
Grande Prairie RCMP search for missing two yearoldGrande Prairie RCMP search for missing two yearold
UPDATE as of 11:30 p.m. July 7 – RCMP continue to assist in the search for a two year old boy who went missing near the Wapiti River at the Canfor Bridge during the evening of July 6, 2018. The search continued throughout the day on July 7, 2018 and included boats, all-terrain vehicles and a helicopter in addition to people searching on foot. The search was concluded for the night at approximately 11:00 PM and will resume at 07:00 AM on July 8, 2018. RCMP and a number of search and rescue members will remain on scene for the duration of the night. Police are asking the general public to stay away from the area to allow emergency services to focus on the search.UPDATE as of 7:00 a.m. July 7 – Search crews continue to search the are near the Canfor Bridge on the Wapiti River. The search was suspended at 11 p.m. Friday, but search and rescue crews remained on scene overnight until the search resumed this morning. The RCMP say all available resources have been deployed to help with the search.Police are asking the general public to stay away from the area to allow emergency services to focus on the search.ORIGINAL STORY:GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The RCMP and STARS Air Ambulance along with the Grande Prairie Technical Search and Rescue are searching in the MD of Greenview for a missing two year old child.The two year-old boy was with his family at the Wapiti River, near the Canfor Bridge, when he disappeared.https://twitter.com/williamvavrek/status/1015407726690615296The RCMP are asking for the general public to stay away from the area while emergency crews focus on the search.https://twitter.com/STARSambulance/status/1015417841347153920When more information is released, we will post further updates.
Messi Ronaldo and Suarez for Best Player in Europe AwardMessi Ronaldo and Suarez for Best Player in Europe Award
Rabat – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luiz Suarez have been announced as the final three nominees for the 2014-15 UEFA Best Player in Europe award. Ronaldo, the leading marksman in the Spanish topflight who won the trophy last year, is again a candidate after a season in which he scored 61 goals in 54 appearances.The Portuguese international leapfrogged Alfredo Di Stefano into second place on Real Madrid’s all-time list. He also claimed the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. Meanwhile, the Barcelona pair Messi and Suarez helped inspire the Catalan club to a historical treble last season.Messi managed to break Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 Liga goals with a hat-trick against Sevilla on 22 November. He also netted 58 goals in all competitions, including a double in the Blaugrana’s Copa del Rey final victory against Athletic Club.Uruguay international formed a lethal trio with Neymar and Messi which yielded 122 goals for Barcelona in all competitions last season. The former Liverpool man began the campaign by scoring in the 5-4 UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla.Ronaldo and the Barca duo finished ahead of Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Neymar and Eden Hazard in the race for the prestigious award.The UEFA Best Player in Europe is voted for by journalists from all 54 of Uefa’s member associations.A jury will cast their votes for the outright winner during the 2015-2016 UEFA Champions’ League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 27 August.Other positions:4 Gianluigi Buffon (Italy – Juventus)5 Neymar (Brazil – Barcelona)6 Eden Hazard (Belgium – Chelsea)7 Andrea Pirlo (Italy – Juventus)8 Arturo Vidal (Chile – Juventus, now Bayern München)9 Carlos Tévez (Argentina – Juventus, now Boca Juniors)10 Paul Pogba (France – Juventus)© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission
Wigneswaran notes differences of opinion with UN officialWigneswaran notes differences of opinion with UN official
He said this when he met the UN country team headed by Una McCauley, the current UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran noted he had differences of opinion with Subinay Nandy, the former United Nations Country Representative for Sri Lanka.Wigneswaran says the differences of opinion arose as Nandy had pushed him to fall in line with the Government. “We were not prepared to do so,” Wigneswaran said. Wigneswaran says the perceptions of the Northern Provincial Council were not taken into consideration by Subinay Nandy.“We had told Mr. Nandy that many matters that needed consideration by the UN at that time were not considered by him,” Wigneswaran said. (Colombo Gazette)
Fairfax Financial to buy American Safety Insurance Holdings for US306 millionFairfax Financial to buy American Safety Insurance Holdings for US306 million
Fairfax Financial to buy American Safety Insurance Holdings for US$306 million AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 3, 2013 10:29 am MDT TORONTO – Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH) says it will buy all outstanding shares of American Safety Insurance Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:ASI) in a US$306 million deal.The Toronto-based financial services holding company said Monday it will pay $29.25 per share in cash for the company, a 22 per cent premium to the closing price of American Safety common stock Friday.As part of the deal, Fairfax will also sell the U.S. company’s Bermuda subsidiary, American Safety Reinsurance Ltd., to Tower Group International Ltd.Fairfax says the deal with provide it with US$480 million of additional investable assets.Several of the American Safety specialty lines groups will move to Fairfax subsidiaries Crum & Forster and Hudson.“We look forward to working with the talented professionals in the American Safety team,” Fairfax chief executive Prem Watsa said in a statement.“We expect to enhance our insurance operations in certain specialty lines of business with American Safety’s expertise.”American Safety’s board of directors has approved the merger, and says directors and executives owning about 10 per cent of the company’s outstanding shares have agreed to vote their shares in favour of the merger.The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.Fairfax is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance as well as investment management.American Safety is a Bermuda-based holding company that targets underserved specialty risks through U.S.-based American Safety Insurance Services Inc. and its U.S. insurance and Bermuda reinsurance companies.
Its not over til its over Alberta energy minister on Keystone pipelineIts not over til its over Alberta energy minister on Keystone pipeline
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 8, 2013 3:07 pm MDT CALGARY – Alberta’s energy minister says it’s important the province keeps pushing for U.S. approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline until a decision is finally made.“There’s every reason to not give up on this file and (to) continue to pursue every possible reasonable way in which to make our case,” Ken Hughes told reporters at an Economic Club of Canada summit on Friday.“Until it’s over, it’s not over. You have to be in the game. You have to keep making the case.”TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) first applied for a U.S. presidential permit to build the $5.4-billion pipeline more than five years ago. The company is hoping a final U.S. State Department decision on the line will come early next year.The project has become a major focus for the U.S. environmental movement, which has raised concerns over the pipeline’s role in enabling oilsands development and its potential environmental impact in the event of a spill.In his speech, Hughes stressed the need to get access to markets not just to the south, but also to Canada’s east and west coasts by building pipelines.Alberta Premier Alison Redford is to make her fifth trip to Washington next week. Plans are to meet with State Department officials to talk about Keystone XL.Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was in Washington this week stumping for Keystone and in September Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a New York business audience that pipeline supporters must not “take no for an answer.”TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said he appreciates Redford going to Washington to speak to the province’s largest oil customer.“That relationship has been built over the last 50 or 60 years and will still be there for the next 50 or 60 years,” he said.“We’re going to continue to be their largest supplier of imported oil and they’re going to continue to be our largest customer. This isn’t the last time a premier will be going there.” It’s not over ’til it’s over: Alberta energy minister on Keystone pipeline push
UN experts sound alarm on mounting rights concerns in Puerto Rico inUN experts sound alarm on mounting rights concerns in Puerto Rico in
“The hurricane has aggravated the island’s existing dire situation caused by debt and austerity measures,” the experts said in a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), calling conditions “alarming” for the 3.5 million residents in the US territory. “Thousands of people are displaced, with homes destroyed, and without any relief in sight. More than 80 per cent of the population, or close to 2.8 million people, continue to live without electricity. Few hospitals are functioning. There are allegations that the water available ¬–for those who have access to it – may be contaminated,” the experts elaborated. “With winter approaching, we call for a speedy and well-resourced emergency response that prioritizes the most vulnerable and at risk – children, older people, people with disabilities, women and homeless people,” they stressed. The Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, said that “even before Hurricane Maria struck, Puerto Rico’s human rights were being massively undermined by the economic and financial crisis and austerity policies, affecting the rights to health, food, education, housing, water and social security.” The experts maintained that even before the hurricane struck, nearly half of Puerto Rico’s population were living below the poverty line. “We can’t fail to note the dissimilar urgency and priority given to the emergency response in Puerto Rico, compared to the US states affected by hurricanes in recent months,” pointed out Leilani Farha, Special Rapporteur on the right to housing. “After a natural disaster, with around 90 thousand homes totally destroyed, people are at their most vulnerable. It’s the obligation of all levels of government to act to protect them, and to ensure that lives can return to some normality quickly. People need safe and adequate homes – temporary and long-term – with electricity, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities” she stressed. The Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, highlighted: “Hurricane Maria wiped out most of the island’s crops. Banana and coffee – the Island’s most valuable exports – were the hardest hit. The population is facing immediate food shortages but also long-term consequences from the destruction of the entire agricultural infrastructure.” “We call on the United States and Puerto Rican authorities to remove regulatory and financial barriers to reconstruction and recovery,” they stated. “All reconstruction efforts should be guided by international human rights standards, ensuring that people can rebuild where they have lived and close to their communities. Reconstruction should aim to increase the resilience of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, housing and hospitals against future natural disasters.” They also stressed the need for debt relief for the island, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2017 under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act. A federal court in San Juan has begun hearings over the biggest public debt restructuring in US history. Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
Oh, and don’t forgetFat Trick achieved We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe Things That Caught My EyeGOATsNick Saban’s tenure at Alabama brought the program their fifth college championship this decade on Monday after defeating a well-matched Georgia team in one of the best championship games Alabama’s had to play. Since at least 1988, the 10-year dynasty for Alabama — from 2008 to 2017 — is the best ever college football dynasty based on Elo ratings. [FiveThirtyEight]Atlanta isn’t the sameThe Atlanta Falcons won against the highly regarded Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but they’ve got trouble ahead based on how this team compares to the NFC conference champions of 2017. They’re racking up fewer big plays — yards per game from 20+ yard plays are down 51 yards since 2016 — and their red zone touchdown percentage dropped from 62 percent and 50 percent this year. [FiveThirtyEight]Brady’s having a streakTom Brady’s previous five games were one of the worst five-game stretches of his career based on expected points added. While the Pats were 4-1, his total EPA over the five games was only 22.16 which is the sixth lowest of his career. [FiveThirtyEight]Overwatch League kicks offThe Overwatch League, a competitive gaming esport, had its inaugural day on Wednesday, with games each night through Saturday. The league is backed by money from several NFL owners, and the slick presentation seen Wednesday — and the massive contract they inked with Twitch to carry the games — show they aren’t messing around. On day one, the Seoul Dynasty beat the Dallas Fuel 2-1, the Los Angeles Gladiators defeated Shanghai 4-0, and the Los Angeles Valiant defeated the San Francisco Shock 4-0. [ESPN]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Imagine getting sued by the ArmyThe Army is suing the Las Vegas Golden Knights over their team name, claiming that it infringes on the name of West Point’s teams. This means that for now, both sides appear poised for combat of the legal variety: The hockey team said in a statment “we are not aware of a single complaint from anyone attending our games that they were expecting to see the parachute team,” which is A+ chirping. [SportsLogos.net]Draft order set for most of usFor 24 teams in the league, the future is no longer a mystery. The draft ordering is set for two thirds of the league, with Cleveland pulling two picks in the top four and Oakland and San Francisco fighting for the 9th and 10th picks based on a coin flip alone. [ESPN]Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL game: Can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions?Big Number$17,157The Cleveland Browns fans had their sad parade last weekend to commemorate the 0-16 season, but they did some serious good in the process, raising $17,157 for the Cleveland Food Banks and likely providing about 70,000 meals resulting from the shamefest. [Hayden Grove]Leaks from Slack, Monday Night: tchow [11:46 PM]This game…walt [11:47 PM]i know who is arie gonna eliminatewait wrong channelTagovailola is so goodi want the giants to draft him like nowtchow [12:01 AM]WowThat throw tho…walt [12:03 AM]I love footballPredictions NFL See more NFL predictions All newsletters See more NBA predictions NBA
Lettuce shortages and hosepipe ban as heatwave continuesLettuce shortages and hosepipe ban as heatwave continues
Severn Trent said: “We’re set for another hot weekend, and, with demand for water really high, we’re producing millions of extra litres.”We’re asking customers to be careful with their water and for now avoid using the garden sprinkler or hosepipe.”Trent Water’s reservoirs were at 88 percent of capacity on June 18, down from 97 percent in April.The British Leafy Salad Growers Association (BLSGA) said the “soaring” temperatures were causing “havoc” for growers.It said the last week a record 18 million lettuces had been sold, about 40% more than last year and warned that that “when the mercury hits 30C lettuces can’t grow”.In good weather the crop normally grows rapidly, but at current high temperatures it effectively stops growing because it is “under stress”.Dieter Lloyd, spokesman for the BLSGA, said it “looks entirely likely that there will be shortages” from the “middle to end of next week”.One East anglian grower added: “I think that if the weather keeps going the way that it’s going absolutely we wouldn’t be in a position to fulfil the demand that we’re seeing with UK-grown produce.”The Met Office said the highest temperature on Friday was 32.5C (90.5F) in Porthmadog, in north-west Wales, and highs of 30C-31C (86F-87.8F) are expected on Saturday. The recent hot spell has put a strain on water firms, which have been pumping millions of litres into their systems. Farmers have warned of a shortage of lettuce while gardeners in England have been told not to use hosepipes as waters shortages deepen as a result of the heatwave.Lettuce and other vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower could be in short supply as high temperatures put the produce “under stress” and stop them growing.Growers say that with traditionally high summer demand for lettuce they may have to import salad leaves from the US to make up the shortfall, at a time when more than 90 per cent usually originates here.Farmers have also said there could be problems with the wheat and barley harvest if there is no rain in the next few weeks, as these crops depend on rainfall rather than irrigation.At the same time water companies have asked customers to conserve supplies by not using hosepipes or water sprinklers, with the heatwave continuing into the weekend.The first hosepipe ban began in Northern Ireland at 6pm on Friday, and on Saturday Severn Trent Water in the Midlands and United Utilities in the north west began to urge people not to use hosepipes and sprinklers. This compares with average temperatures for the time of year of 17C (62.6F) in the north and 21C (69.8F) in the south.Senior forecaster Marco Petagna said: “There’s a lot of fine weather still to come.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Revenue increase at Google driven by the number of paid clicksRevenue increase at Google driven by the number of paid clicks
WALL STREET WAS impressed by Google’s third-quarter revenue figures as declines in average ad prices were cancelled out by stats showing how frequently people are clicking on them.The numbers released yesterday impressed investors who had been fretting about a downturn in Google’s ad prices that began two years ago. Those concerns evaporated, at least temporarily, with a third-quarter performance that exceeded the analyst projections.Google’s ad prices are still sagging as marketers pay less for commercial pitches on mobile devices, but the number of revenue generating clicks on those ads is rising at a much faster rate.The equation resulted in a 36 per cent increase in Google’s earnings for the three months ending in September.Google’s stock surged 8 per cent to $959 in extended trading after the report came out. That leaves it poised to reach an all-time high in today’s regular trading session.The robust rally represents an abrupt about-face. As the overall stock market rose, Google’s shares had slipped slightly during the past three months.Google’s average ad price has now declined from the prior year in each of the last eight quarters, primarily because advertisers aren’t yet paying as much for mobile ads because the screens on smartphones and tablet computers are smaller than those on laptop and desktop computers.As more people rely on mobile devices to connect to Google’s search engine and other services, it’s driving down the company’s average ad price, or “cost per click.”In Google’s latest quarter, that measure fell 8 per cent from last year. That was worse than the 6 per cent drop in the previous quarter.But the number of so-called “paid clicks” on Google’s ads helped offset the lower prices in the third quarter. The clicking volume increased 26 percent from last year, an indication that Google’s data analysis is doing a good job matching ads with the interests of its services’ users.(CEO Larry Page will no longer partipate in revenue announcements. Pic: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Google Inc. earned nearly $3 billion, or $8.75 per share, during the three months ending in September. That compared to income of $2.2 billion, or $6.53 per share, at the same time last year.If not for its expenses for employee stock compensation, Google said it would have earned $10.74 per share. That figure topped the average estimate of $10.36 per share among analysts polled by FactSet.Revenue for the third quarter rose 12 per cent from last year to $14.9 billion. After subtracting commissions paid to Google’s ad partners, Google’s revenue stood at $11.9 billion, about $227 million above analysts’ predictions.Motorola Mobility, a mobile device maker that Google acquired for $12.4 billion last year, remains a financial drag. The division lost $248 million in the quarter, and still hasn’t made any money under Google’s ownership.In a mild surprise, Google CEO Larry Page disclosed that he doesn’t plan to regularly participate in the company’s quarterly earnings calls with analysts in the future.Page, 40, missed an earnings call last year because of an ailment on his vocal chords that made it difficult for him to talk. Although his voice remains raspy, Page didn’t mention that as a reason for skipping the calls. He said he wants to devote more time to running the company and helping Google’s engineers build great products.Read: Google exec grilled in UK over ‘devious’ use of Ireland to reduce tax >Read: 10 ways Google changed our lives >
Merkel ally I told Enda Kenny that Ireland has no chance ofMerkel ally I told Enda Kenny that Ireland has no chance of
AN ALLY OF German chancellor Angela Merkel has said he told Taoiseach Enda Kenny that Ireland cannot use the new eurozone bailout fund to retrospectively recapitalise its banks.Dr Joachim Pfeiffer, economic policy spokesperson for Merkel’s party the Christian Democrats, has said that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can only be used for future banking debt issues and not legacy ones.He told TheJournal.ie today that he communicated this to Enda Kenny in a meeting yesterday but said the Taoiseach did not share his view.“He said the instrument was put in situ – that it can be used. But from my point of view it’s an instrument for the future,” Pfeiffer said of Kenny’s response.For over two years the Irish government has been pushing for the use of the ESM to retrospectively recapitalise its pillar banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, which received some €25 billion in State funding at the height of the financial crisis.The government and Finance Minister Michael Noonan have repeatedly maintained that they will seek relief on legacy bank debt when the ESM is fully established later this year but these latest comments will do little to bolster the government’s case.Pfeiffer has been in Dublin this week attending events and meetings with the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce. He has repeatedly said in interviews that Ireland has no chance of using the ESM for legacy debt.“The ESM is an emergency instrument for the handling of the future problems that hopefully we are going to prevent,” he said this morning, adding “definitely not” when asked if it could be used for legacy debt.He said that every country has to deal with its own debt burden, saying it is not the responsibility of other eurozone nations to provide relief.He said: “Every country has to carry it’s own burden. We [Germany] took about €500 billion in our account with guarantees and we are not asking [for] Ireland to repay our problems.”Pfeiffer repeatedly said that the ESM is “an instrument for the future and not for legacy”.He added that his view was shared unanimously by other German parliamentarians and that he believes Chancellor Merkel also shares his view.Read: After opening a Penneys, Enda Kenny spoke to his ‘good friend’ Angela Merkel about bank debtRead: Noonan says bank debt deal cannot be ‘actively’ pursued until 2015
Related Items:#investturksandcaicosnewbrand, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, April 27, 2017 – Providenciales – Invest Turks & Caicos, the country’s investment promotion agency, recently launched a new agency brand through the hosting of two stakeholder networking receptions. The ‘Brand Launch & Networking Reception’ events were held in Providenciales and Grand Turk, on March 22nd and April 24th respectively.Now into its second year of operations, the Board and senior management felt it needed a brand which would distinguish it, and the TCI, in the minds of clients, potential investors and the general public alike. In September 2016, the Agency began a recruitment exercise which resulted in the hiring of Jamaican brand specialists, The UnAgency, and the results of their work are now in place.John Rutherford, CEO, said “Invest Turks and Caicos is very proud of the results of its rebranding exercise, which has not only produced an attractive and relevant new logo, but also ensured the Agency’s values and personality are strengthened. “We will incorporate these values into our day to day activities to ensure a positive and consistent approach to our customers and stakeholders. We were delighted to launch the brand at our receptions and very happy with the feedback received. We now look forward to promoting the Turks and Caicos Islands internationally and to local business with a powerful logo and positive communications.”Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade, the Hon. Sherlene Cartwright-Robinson, expressed at the Grand Turk reception that she was “proud of the work of the Agency and that it was an important part of the growth and development of the country, especially through its work with the MSME programme”.The receptions hosted Minsters, Parliamentarians, Government officials, business persons and the Agency’s partner and stakeholders. It gave attendees an opportunity to network and discuss matter related to investment and continued economic growth for the islands.The new brand logo and colours incorporate the “Beautiful by Nature” theme of the islands by using Navy Blue to represent the beautiful sky and seas; Orange for the golden sun and sand; and Green to represent our beautiful islands. The Agency’s values are based on three E’s – to always be Energetic, Evolving and Engaging.#MagneticMediaNews#InvestTurksandCaicosNewBrand Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Voter Registration Battles Continue City Floodplain Regulations May Hurt Low Income ResidentsVoter Registration Battles Continue City Floodplain Regulations May Hurt Low Income Residents
Share Study: Climate change to intensify impacts of El Niño/La Niña The recurring climate patterns known as El Niño or La Niña will lead to stronger storms and wildfires as the planet warms, according to a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.That means more chances for wildfires and, particularly on the Gulf Coast, flooding. Are Houston’s floodplain building rules hurting poor residents? Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaMany homeowners in Houston’s Kashmere Gardens community are still rebuilding after Harvey.Under Houston’s new floodplain building regulations, structures in the 500-year floodplain must be elevated at least two feet above the floodplain. The ordinance also affects current residents who are rebuilding homes that were more than 50 percent damaged during Harvey.A new report by Austin-based advocacy group Texas Housers says the regulations adversely affect low-income communities. Tuesday, September 4, 2018As midterm elections approach, voter registration battle continuesMichael Stravato for The Texas TribuneVoters arrive at the polls for the last hour of the primaries in Houston on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.November is approaching, which means the midterm elections are in sight. While candidates are trying to gather votes, some Houstonians’ ability to vote has come under scrutiny.Last month, Harris County voter registrar Ann Harris Bennett said a software glitch mistakenly suspended the voter registration status of over 1,700 voters. These suspensions followed a challenge by a local Republican activist to the legitimacy of nearly 4,000 voter residencies. Houston ISD launches ‘Parent University’HISDNorma Romero works with the parents of her Pre-K students at a parent engagement meeting in 2014.The Houston school district is trying to rebuild trust with parents and community members this year, after several controversies last year, including residents being arrested at a board meeting.The district’s interim superintendent hopes a new effort will help. It’s called “Parent University” and will offer families a crash course in how to be involved in their children’s education.