US tells Sri Lanka to prosecute officials involved in trafficking

The United States has urged Sri Lanka to prosecute officials involved in human trafficking.The call was made in an annual report released by US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on human trafficking. Pompeo will unveiled the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report at the US State Department yesterday (Thursday). On Sri Lanka, the report says while respecting due process, Sri Lanka must improve efforts to investigate and prosecute suspected traffickers, including complicit officials, and convict and punish offenders with sentences commensurate with other serious crimes. The report also proposes that Sri Lanka take steps to eliminate all recruitment fees charged to workers by labor recruiters and instead ensure they are paid by employers and to also expand the foreign employment bureau’s (SLBFE) mandate to include the regulation of sub-agents, promote safe and legal migration and ensure migration regulations do not discriminate on the basis of gender and increase efforts of the task force to institutionalize sustained Government coordination efforts.In the annual report, Sri Lanka remains in Tier 2 and the US says while the Government of Sri Lanka does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, it is making significant efforts to do so.According to the report, the Government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period and therefore Sri Lanka remained on Tier 2. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka was also urged to increase efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims and train officials on victim identification and referral procedures, especially to ensure victims are not detained or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts, such as immigration violations or prostitution, committed as a direct result of having been subjected to human trafficking.The US also urged Sri Lanka to improve protection services to ensure identified victims, including men and children, receive specialized care services. read more

Petition filed in Supreme Court over delay in holding polls

The petition has been filed by an organisation named the ‘Truth Seekers’. (Colombo Gazette) A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court over the delay to hold the Provincial Council elections.The petitioner has sought court intervention to order the Elections Commission to hold the Provincial Council elections immediately.

Chinese embassy tells Canada to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs

OTTAWA — China’s embassy in Ottawa warned Canada on Sunday to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs a day after the country issued a joint statement with the European Union in defense of the “fundamental right of assembly” for Hong Kong citizens.Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied peacefully in Hong Kong on Sunday in the 11th week of what have been often violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.On the eve of Sunday’s rally, Canadian Foreign Minister Chyrstia Freeland and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “Fundamental freedoms, including the right of peaceful assembly … must continue to be upheld.”The Canada-EU statement also expressed concerns about the escalation of violence and encouraged engagement by all sides to ease tensions.The Chinese embassy said in a statement on its website that Canada should “immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs.”Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“Under the current situation, the Canadian side should be cautious on its words and deeds regarding the Hong Kong related issue,” the statement from an unnamed “spokesperson” for the Chinese embassy in Canada said.“The relevant protests and demonstrations in Hong Kong have already deteriorated and evolved into extreme violence. In face of such severe violence and offenses, no government with a sense of responsibility would sit idly by,” the statement said.Canada’s foreign ministry had no immediate response. Canada has about 300,000 citizens living in Hong Kong, the ministry has said.Canada has been caught up in a diplomatic dispute with China since Canada’s detention of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant in December.Shortly after Meng’s arrest in Vancouver, China detained two Canadian men, who have yet to be released. China has also blocked imports of some Canadian commodities.(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Peter Cooney) read more

Repatriation in Liberia and Sudan hit by funding shortfalls – UN refugee

“The paradox here is that donors are always anxious to see these solutions get off the ground, but we can’t do that without first buying trucks, building transit centres, digging water wells, reconstructing schools and all of the other preparatory work that must be done months before the arrival of the first returnees,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Ron Redmond told a press briefing in Geneva.In Liberia, where spontaneous returnees have been arriving by the thousands after a peace accord last year ended nearly 15 years of civil war, UNHCR has received only $3 million of the $39.2 million it has sought for 2004 while returnees have become stranded in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) as their home areas are not yet deemed safe. “The returnees in the IDP camps live in miserable conditions as food, water and medical facilities are insufficient for new arrivals. We need funding,” Mr. Redmond said. With optimism at the new peace in their homeland running high among Liberian refugees abroad, more groups of spontaneous returnees are expected to flock in during the year from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ghana, he added. For Sudan, Africa’s largest country where a potential peace accord in the two-decades old war between the government and rebels in the south is expected to lead to a flood of returnees, UNHCR has so far received only $3 million of the $8.8 million it is seeking for preparatory activities for voluntary repatriation and reintegration. “Large expenses have already been incurred by the pre-positioning of domestic items, and deployment of an emergency team, light vehicles and telecom equipment,” Mr. Redmond said. At the two-day Dialogue on Voluntary Repatriation and Sustainable Reintegration in Africa held last month in Geneva, High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers said as many as 5 million people could soon return to their homelands – the continent’s biggest return movement in a decade – as nine conflicts come to an end or diminish in intensity. Mr. Redmond said that beyond the special appeals for Liberia and Sudan a supplementary appeal will be released soon for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), while operations for the six other countries are funded under UNHCR’s regular budget. read more

In face of wildfires UN disaster agency calls for global cooperation on

“Every country should follow basic rules of fire prevention and increase its expertise on fire management with its neighbours,” the Director of the Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), Salvano Briceño, said in a news release. “The treatment of combustible material, proper training for safe use of fire for agricultural purposes and a better behaviour by the public to avoid triggering fires are some of the main rules. National platforms for disaster risk reduction have a role to play to make forest management one of their top priorities and to better prepare their populations to reduce risk and vulnerability to natural hazards,” he added. The current fire situation in Portugal has been aggravated by the change in land use. The rural exodus has left a large area of land uncultivated, increasing the amount of combustible materials that can trigger big fires when droughts occur. Preventive measures include using such material for fuel. Mr. Briceño also noted that the floods currently sweeping Switzerland and Central Europe were a reminder that “floods do not only happen in India or Sierra Leone,” and urged preventive steps here too, such as building houses in safe areas, allowing water to evacuate through the natural flow of rivers and controlling erosion to avoid mudslides.“It is incredible that people in a country like Switzerland are dying because of floods,” he said, noting the severity and frequency of rains that Europe will face in the future due to global warming will be a constant challenge for governments. “We cannot be fatalistic about these phenomena. We cannot prevent flash floods and storms but we can reduce our vulnerability and learn to live with natural hazards.” The Global Fire Monitoring Centre (GFMC), established in 1998 as Germany’s contribution to ISDR, has outlined a set of measures to reduce the number of wildland fires, including the use of the forest biomass for energy production. “It offers an increasingly valuable opportunity, especially now when oil prices are soaring,” GFMC Director Johann Goldammer said. “Governments should pay more attention to these resources because it is a way to reduce the number of fires in many countries, while increasing the economic benefits to communities.” He noted that what was happening in Portugal was a clear demonstration of the strong need for closer cooperation between countries on fire management. “More needs to be done to enhance regional cooperation and develop common standards on technologies and fire prevention procedures and languages,” he said. The GFMC coordinates the ISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group and the ISDR Global Wildland Fire Network. Other big partners in ISDR are the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which coordinate the challenge of reducing forest fires around the world, particularly in Asia where they have become a threat to development. read more

Public Mobile sold to Telus with fate of Wind Mobile Mobilicity still

by LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 23, 2013 4:05 pm MDT Public Mobile has been bought by Telus, eliminating the small company from Canada’s wireless landscape and leaving Wind Mobile and Mobilicity as the remaining cellphone startups from the federal government’s efforts to create more competition almost five years ago.Telus received federal approval late Wednesday to buy Public Mobile, primarily a talk-and-text service with 280,000 customers in Ontario and Quebec.Federal Industry Minister James Moore approved the transfer of Public Mobile’s spectrum licence to Vancouver-based Telus, saying the transaction doesn’t affect competition in the wireless industry.Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose called the deal a “surprise move,” saying it eliminates a small competitor for Telus, Rogers and Bell, as well as for Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Quebecor’s Videotron.“It also highlights that the new entrants have, by and large, failed,” Ghose said in a research note.Industry Canada said Public Mobile’s spectrum — radio waves needed to operate cellphone networks — isn’t used for the latest smartphones and data plans. However, Telus says such spectrum can now be deployed for next generation networks.Public Mobile bought its spectrum in 2008 and was never under any restrictions that would have prevented it from being sold.Wind Mobile and Mobilicity bought a different kind of spectrum that the government does not appear to want sold to Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Bell (TSX:BCE) or Telus (TSX:T) when their spectrum licences expire next year.“We will not approve any spectrum transfer request that decreases competition in our wireless sector to the detriment of consumers,” Moore said in a statement.All three startups launched in recent years have made only a dent in attracting consumers away from the big three carriers, who have about 26 million customers between them.Telus tried to buy struggling Mobilicity last spring, but the $380-million deal was rejected by Industry Canada. Both Mobilicity and Wind Mobile are still seeking buyers.Financial terms of the Public Mobile deal were not disclosed.Public Mobile’s customers will be migrated to Telus’s fast network that uses Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology.Telus said Public Mobile’s G-block spectrum can be used for LTE networks and for some smartphones, such as the new iPhone 5s and 5c.“We look forward to the successful completion of this transaction, and migrating Public Mobile’s customers onto Telus’ world-class 4G LTE network while putting their spectrum to good use for millions of customers across Canada,” Eros Spadotto, executive vice-president of technology strategy and operations, said in a statement.Canaccord Genuity’s Ghose said if the transaction is approved by the Competition Bureau there will still be four wireless competitors in Quebec — Bell, Rogers, Telus and Quebecor’s Videotron and five players in the Ontario market — the Big Three plus Wind Mobile and Mobilicity.The federal government said its goal is to have four wireless competitors in every region of the country to encourage more competition and better prices for consumers.Telus said proceeds from the deal will be used to pay Public Mobile’s debt and equity investors and its employees will have the possibility of working at Telus.Public Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic said the decision was the right one, following a strategic review.“This transaction is the best option to guarantee continued quality service for our customers and to maximize the opportunity for our employees and investors,” Krstajic said in a statement.“Given that Public Mobile only paid $52 million for this spectrum and has tax losses, we believe that this is a small and low-risk investment for Telus,” Ghose said.Last June, Public Mobile got financial backing from Toronto’s Thomvest Seed Capital Inc., owned by Peter Thomson, who is a co-chairman of Woodbridge Co. Ltd., the Thomson family’s investment company which has controlling stakes in Thomson Reuters and The Globe and Mail.The Thomson family, headed by Peter’s older brother David, is Canada’s wealthiest family.Public Mobile also received backing at the time from New York private equity firm, Cartesian Capital. Both private equity firms have been invested in Public Mobile since 2009. Public Mobile sold to Telus with fate of Wind Mobile, Mobilicity still uncertain read more

Googles tentacles sprout a helping hand with new service selling expert advice

by Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted Nov 4, 2013 11:07 pm MDT Google’s tentacles sprout a helping hand with new service selling expert advice on live video SAN FRANCISCO – Google has opened a how-to shop that sells expert advice on everything from cosmetics to the cosmos in live video sessions streamed on computers and smartphones.The service, called Helpouts, began taking calls for help Tuesday and offer connections to more than 1,000 merchants, instructors, websites and health care specialists who cleared Google Inc.’s background checks.It represents Google’s latest attempt to play an instrumental role in helping people manage their lives. Since establishing its search engine as the go-to place to find information online, Google has expanded into giving directions on digital maps and introduced a virtual assistant that is designed to learn about users’ interests so it can provide helpful tips without prompting.Helpouts is meant to fill the gaps in Google’s search engine, which sometimes delivers unsatisfactory results because the answers being sought aren’t available on a website, said Udi Manber, a Google executive overseeing the new service.“Sometimes, you need someone to look over your shoulder. Sometimes you need someone to show you the way,” Manber said.For starters, Helpouts is offering to connect people with experts in eight different categories: art and music; computers and electronics; cooking; education and careers; fashion and beauty; fitness and nutrition; health; and home and garden.The fees will be set by each expert, with 20 per cent of the revenue going to Google for most video chats. For now, the Mountain View, Calif., company isn’t collecting a commission for health advice. Experts can charge a flat-fee per session or by the minute. If the advice is unsatisfactory, Google is promising to refund the money.A Helpouts application is being offered for smartphones running on Google’s Android software. The service isn’t yet available for Apple Inc.’s iPhone or other mobile devices running on different software.Besides opening up a source of new revenue for Google, Helpouts could give more people a reason to set up a profile on the company’s social network, Google Plus. That’s because a Google Plus account is required to seek advice on Helpouts. The company says it currently has about 540 million active Google Plus users.Helpouts is similar to several other online services that already provide connections to experts in various fields., a San Francisco startup formerly known as, also sells one-on-one online sessions on a wide variety of subjects. HealthTap dispenses medical advice and RocketLawyer specializes in legal matters. Google’s new service also may end up competing with the company’s own YouTube video site, which offers a wide array of how-to clips for free.This isn’t the first time that Google has tried to supplement its search engine with the knowledge of human experts. The company also once ran a service that hired researchers to field questions about homework and other subjects. That service, which charged anywhere from $2 to $200 per question, closed down seven years ago.___Online: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Mens basketball Kaleb Wesson has improvements still left to make but flashes

Ohio State freshman forward Kaleb Wesson finished with 16 points in the Buckeyes’ exhibition game against Wooster on Nov. 5, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for ContentFreshman forward Kaleb Wesson crouched on the sideline, waiting for his chance to enter Ohio State’s exhibition game against Wooster. Even haunched over, the 6-foot-9, 270-pound big man was nearly as tall as the officials sitting at the table behind him.Finally, with 14:15 left in the first half, the whistle blew, and Wesson took the court for the first time in front of an Ohio State crowd. Wesson said he was nervous heading out at first in front of the home fans, but that he eventually was able to get his feet under him soon after arriving in the game.“I had butterflies at the beginning of the game,” Wesson said. “But then the first time I went in, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s just basketball.’ So it was fun.”Though not a starter, Wesson shined in his performance, going 5-for-8 from the field and finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds. However, he also had his struggles. The forward fouled out with 5:12 remaining in the game and looked ineffective at times defensively.Head coach Chris Holtmann said with that size, just as he draws the attention of the fans, so too does he draw the eye of officials, making it obvious when he commits a foul. Holtmann added that this is not the first time he fouled out. He also was ousted from the closed-door exhibition against Xavier.“It’s a byproduct of being big and physical and he catches the official’s eye,” Holtmann said. “He’s got to understand that as a big guy.”Fixing the issue will not be easy, and it will not come quick. As Holtmann said, big guys struggle with foul trouble, particularly early in their careers. “We just have to show it to him over and over. It’s going to be something. Trust me, we’re not going to come here in a month and say, ‘Oh, he’s got this foul trouble thing figured out,’” Holtmann said. “He’s got a really good approach right now. But it’s going to be something he’s always going to struggle with and we’ve talked to him about that and he’s got to accept the fact that, ‘Hey, I’ve got to continue to improve in this particular area.’”The height of Wesson will never be something he can change. However, Wesson has progressively tried to trim down his weight to assist him in all areas of the game. Though Holtmann said it would aid him in reducing the amount of fouls he commits, he said it will also help with some of the other areas with which Wesson struggles.Hotlmann knows he has a talented player in Wesson, but between the foul trouble and additional struggles outside of his offensive ability, he still has work to do before he is ready to be a full-time contributor.“He’s got to continue to get in great shape and he can get in better shape, and his technique has to continue to grow and improve,” Holtmann said. “He’s got great skill. The biggest challenge for Kaleb is going to be, how does he impact the other end? Can he rebound? Can he get traffic rebounds? Can he defend ball screens? How good is he defending the post?”As Holtmann told The Lantern in October, Wesson has been self-motivated to improve his shape and deserves all the credit for the improving condition. Wesson knows that his conditioning needs to improve and that he needs to trim down his weight. “I’m nowhere near where I want to be as far as my conditioning goes,” Wesson said. “I have a long way to go. Right now, I feel like it helped me more as, like you said, on the defensive end, as just being able to play great defense for a longer period of time.”If Wesson can improve in the other aspects of his game, he has the playmaking ability to be an impact player for Ohio State and a real crowd-pleaser for the Buckeyes. All game, the announcement of Wesson’s entry brought down a roar of approval from the crowd as the Columbus native quickly turned to be a fan-favorite. As he continued to dominate defenders in the paint, fans oohed and aahed at the talent he flashed.“We get enamored with points and he’s really good at that,” Holtmann said. “The challenge for him is going to be in terms of playing, can he stay out of foul trouble, and how does he defend consistently.”Wesson has yet to play in a regular-season game. This was only an exhibition game, and he still has a full season ahead of him in just his first year of play. The playing time will come, he will make highlight reel plays and excite the crowd. He will also struggle through some trying times as he works to make himself a better all-around player.He will get his chance to play, but for now he will have to become accustomed to coming in off the sideline. read more

Komatsu Finning CAT and Metso lead Chilean mining supplier ranking

first_imgIn its third version, the Ranking of Suppliers of the Chilean Mining Industry study shows which are the most recognised suppliers to the country’s mines. The data and conclusions gathered by the industrial research company Phibrand, with the support of the Mining Ministry, the Association of Large Suppliers of the Mining Industry, the Association of Engineering Consulting Companies of Chile, Expomin 2014, the Mining National Society and the Editorial Group Editec, were presented during the second day of Expomin 2014.The study, with a level of confidence of 95%, includes the participation of more than 370 professionals of the most important mining companies in the country. It highlights how perception of ‘brand’ and ‘performance’ affect commercial relations from the executives’ point of view, assessing the companies that supply to the industry. The ranking distinguishes the supplier companies with higher and best performance, the most representative of the mining industry and the most successful of every evaluated category.The ranking awarded the supplier companies that contributed the most to the development of the field, the best evaluated in their performance and the ones that showed most success in management during 2013.The companies with best performance in 2013 are: Komatsu (12%), Finning CAT (11%) and FLSmidth (7%). The most representative national suppliers are: Enaex (16%), Elecmetal (7%) and JRI (6%).The study also recognised the brands that have demonstrated best management to improve their productivity. The most successful brands in the various categories in 2013 are:Surface Mining Equipment: Komatsu (40%), Finning CAT (38%) and Joy Global (9%)Crushing and Grinding: FLSmidth (40%), Metso (40%) and Sandvik (10%)Conceptual, Basic and Detailed Engineering: Bechtel (41%), Fluor (17%) and SNC-LAVALIN (11%)Control and Automation: ABB (43%), Siemens (25%) and Honeywell (12%)Elements of Personal Security: 3M (45%), MSA (41%) and Steelpro (6%).This year the study distinguished for the first time local suppliers, so in the Local Suppliers with Best Performance category of 2013, the following companies were awarded: Todo Acero (Iquique), JCM Ingeniería (Copiapó) and Neptuno (Iquique). Considering reduction of production costs, the study concludes that 62% believe that they can find a better supplier than the one they have and a 37% has been thinking lately of changing their current supplier. Therefore, the study states, “the idea of replacing suppliers and negotiating greater benefits with the current suppliers become two real and substitute alternatives when it comes to accomplishing this goal.”Also, the study reports that “79% consider that mining costs won’t decrease in the short term; this exposes the benefits, projections and guarantees that the mining industry offers to the labour market, which demonstrates at the same time the productivity need that this industry requires and the standards that are demanded. 51% consider that mining is not entering a process of deceleration and 72% state that mining is a good industry to work in. Both conclusions complement the idea that – despite the variability in the international price of copper – mining is observed as a dynamic industry in the long term, which, with no doubt, must improve substantially the competitiveness by means of reducing production costs. Hence, the sustainability of the business is directly related with: productivity through innovation levels and better human resource; control of production costs derivative of a greater competitiveness in the suppliers’ sector, less energetic and human resource costs; and environmental security and sustainability.“In regards to national suppliers, who have less visibility and development but make a great portion of the total amount of providers in the present industry, the study concluded that in order to increase their levels of competitiveness they must focus on improving three elements: a better understanding of the client’s needs, support the reduction of production costs in mine workings and improving their services’ specialization. Therefore, it can be remarked in regards to the industry data, that this is a general and transversal issue, where national suppliers, mainly SMEs, have a potentially huge competitive advantage and a disadvantage that they must sort out in order to capitalise it. Specialisation is a disadvantage and the reduction of costs and formation of offers with top value – characteristic of the knowledge of the clients’ specific needs – the potential advantage.“Nowadays, the main and most transversal value proposition that national suppliers have to place in the market, is to lower their prices. This way, they are directly impacting the profits of the mining companies, ensuring their continuity. Yet, this is the less sustainable path and the most impoverishing way to create value. Because of this and in relation to the data, more levels of specialization are demanded, which would derive – with high probability – in more attractive offers, more productivity and lower costs.“According to Juan Carlos Olivares, CEO of the Association of Large Suppliers of the Mining Industry, the awarded companies must feel especially proud since the level of the mining suppliers industry in Chile is one of the best and most competitive of the world, therefore, competing in this country is greatly meritorious.“Phibrand will continue working to achieve a greater accuracy in this instrument that allows us to acknowledge the valuation and positioning of the brand in relation to the market and its competition. Throughout the communication of information, the study gives an added value to the industry by means of improving the competitiveness and contributes mining and suppliers to improve their trade.”last_img read more

Economic activity strong says RBA

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Reserve Bank of Australia, in the released minutes of the May meeting of its Board this week, states that overall, the pace of economic activity had increased over the previous six months, with the economy looking to have grown at around its long-run average pace in the March quarter, driven by especially strong growth of exports. With this pace of export growth unlikely to be sustained, output growth is expected to be somewhat slower over the next few quarters says.The housing market continued to be an area of strength in the economy, stated Australia’s central Bank. Although the most recent data had indicated a decline, dwelling approvals remained at high levels and the flow-on to commencements pointed to strong growth in dwelling investment in the first half of 2014. Across Australia, housing price inflation had eased somewhat in recent months from the earlier rapid pace, with auction clearance rates edging back and housing loan approvals stabilising. Other indicators, such as turnover, first home owner grants and loan approvals for new housing, remained consistent with strong demand for both established and new housing. Source: RBAlast_img read more

More Families Get Discounted Lyft to the Grocery Store

first_imgStay on target Following successful pilots in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, the Lyft Grocery Access Program will provide affordable rides to the supermarket for families in a dozen more cities.For folks living in a food desert—like the nation’s sprawling capital—finding affordable and nutritious ingredients often requires a car or multiple forms of public transit.So, in December, ride-sharing service Lyft partnered with charity Martha’s Table to launch the Grocery Access Program.Families with a child enrolled at a participating elementary school can register to receive 50 $2.50 flat fare rides to and/or from three available grocery stores, as well as the market at Martha’s Table.The six-month trial ends in June, but, according to Geek sister site Mashable, D.C.’s program will continue running.“Realizing the positive impact the program can have in just one community, and how pervasive of an issue this is—affecting approximately 23.5 million people in the US—we’re launching the program in more than a dozen cities across the country, and soon rolling out to more markets throughout North America,” a Lyft blog post said.Individual cities’ grocery programs will be shaped by a local non-profit partner, Mashable reported.So while Martha’s Table dictated D.C.’s $125 in rides over six months based on school enrollment, the same may not be true for Atlantic City, Miami, or Phoenix, where Community FoodBank, Health in the Hood, and United Way will help determine the best way to distribute subsidized rides, respectively.Mike Masserman, Lyft’s head of social impact, told Mashable that the company’s discounted rides provided some families with their first taste of healthy food.The program has “given me peace of mind knowing that I can get to the grocery store and home safely,” a D.C. participant said. “It has helped me … on days I don’t want to be physically burdened with grocery bags on the bus or train.”Cities included in the national program launch:Atlantic City, N.J.Baltimore, Md.Chicago, Ill.Columbus, OhioDetroit, Mich.Indianapolis, Ind.Los Angeles, Calif.Miami, Fla.Ottawa, CanadaPhiladelphia, Pa.Phoenix, Ariz.Portland, Ore.Richmond, Va.Toronto, CanadaMore locations will be available later this year.More on Americans Use Ride-Hailing Apps for Travel, Research SaysTaco Bell and Lyft Join Forces to Satisfy Your Late-Night Chalupa CravingsNew Uber Initiative Boosts Rider Safety on College Campuses Arizona Medicaid Patients Can Now Get a Lyft to the DoctorUber, Lyft Test PIN-Based Pickups at Portland Airport last_img read more

Woman injured in 3car crash on Highway 500

first_imgA 21-year-old Vancouver woman was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center following a three-car collision Tuesday afternoon on state Highway 500.According to a news release from the Washington State Patrol, Tina Conover of Vancouver was driving a Chevrolet pickup truck northbound on 137th Avenue. The release states that she failed to stop for a red light and struck a Chevrolet Cobalt that was traveling eastbound on state Highway 500 and was driven by Craig Dunn of Hillsboro, Ore. A Lexus Sedan driven by Ridvan Madatov of Vancouver collided with the Cobalt, according to the release. The release states that Ferdi Chakhalidze, also of Vancouver and a passenger in the Lexus, was transported to the hospital for injuries. Conover faces a DUI charge, according to the release. Neither Conover, Madatov nor Dunn were injured, the release states.last_img read more

Gattuso confirms Silva Kalinic will stay at Milan

first_imgAC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has confirmed that he intends to retain both Andre Silva and Nikola Kalinic for next seasonSilva joined the Rossoneri last summer from FC Porto in a €38m deal, but had only found the back of the net 10 times in his 40 appearances.Prior to joining Milan, the 22-year-old had scored 21 goals in 44 matches for Porto.Meanwhile, Kalinic completed a €25m move to Milan but he has appeared to be a mere shadow of the player he was during his time at Fiorentina and the Croatia international only scored six goals all season.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….But, despite a lacklustre season from both of them, Gattuso intends to keep the pair at the San Siro.“Kalinic and Andre Silva? I hope that they will improve, Andre Silva has scored. All of you keep talking about an exit for them but we will hold onto them both, tightly,” said Gattuso, via Calcio Mercato.last_img read more

Batswinging man suspected in Hialeah road rage arrested

first_imgHIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police have announced the arrest of a suspect who they said was caught on camera swinging a bat at a food delivery driver in Hialeah.Thirty-year-old Yoandis Diaz is now behind bars, accused of hitting 22-year-old Ernesto Morales with a baseball bat on July 16.Diaz was charged with aggravated assault.Officials said Diaz swung at Morales in a Hialeah parking lot moments after he allegedly cut the suspect off while delivering food in Hialeah.Morales told 7News that he was struck in the fingers and leg, which left a large bruise.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

FOLIO Roadshow Returns to West Coast Next Week

first_imgThere are new channels, new formats, new expectations and new opportunities. And the basic relationship between content creators and content consumers has evolved.  To stay at the top of your game and keep your brand’s content-creation efforts at the center of your market, you’ll need to understand the new landscape, as well as what’s coming. We hope you can join us next week in San Francisco. Check out our full brochure here. FOLIO:’s C2 roadshow—our content and community tour—is returning to the West Coast on December 4th in San Francisco. The tour, which has already made two successful stops in Los Angeles and New York, aims to take FOLIO:’s unique angle on the magazine media industry to the back yards of publishers looking for tactical assistance in an increasingly fragmented content world.  FOLIO: editor Bill Mickey and general manager Tony Silber will be hosting a one-day training workshop for editors, publishers and content creators. The summit is designed to help brands amplify their message, tap new technologies and build community. Top trends and exclusive research will be analyzed and this year’s biggest success stories will be dissected as case studies for taking your business to the next level in 2013.The program has been designed to have an interactive element—a combination of traditional presentations plus group exercises and peer-to-peer sharing. last_img read more

Dont Sleep On These BrandNew Holiday Songs From RuPaul Lil Jon More

first_img Facebook News Our Favorite 2018 Holiday Songs With RuPaul & More dont-sleep-these-brand-new-holiday-songs-rupaul-lil-jon-more Don’t Sleep On These Brand-New Holiday Songs From RuPaul, Lil Jon & More Twitter Email Tired of the same ol’ holiday songs? We’ve got you covered with this roundup of the best new ones from 2018Ana YglesiasGRAMMYs Dec 24, 2018 – 8:06 am Every year, shortly after Thanksgiving ends, the debate around which holiday song is the best returns, with Mariah Carey an ever-present fixture of the discussion. By the time the holidays creep around, though, chances are those tracks are feeling a little played out. And you know what that means: It’s time for a new playlist.Thanks to the generous spirit of artists including John Legend, Tyler, The Creator, Lil Jon, Ozuna, Aloe Blacc and RuPaul (of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”), there are now a handful of cheerful new holiday tracks you can jam out to. You can listen to our selection below, all of which are original songs released this year (no remakes of “Jingle Bells” or “Santa Baby” here).”Bring Me Love” – John LegendMulti-hyphenate GRAMMY winner John Legend has been pretty busy. Remember when he became the first black man—and youngest person ever—to earn an EGOT (an Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony winner) on Sept. 9? Perhaps his schedule had something to do with why the R&B crooner waited to release a proper holiday album, A Legendary Christmas (geddit?) until 2018. It was worth the wait: A Legendary Christmas offers Legend’s take on eight holiday classics, along with six original tracks, including “Bring Me Love.””I Am The Grinch” – Tyler, The CreatorEveryone’s favorite holiday hater, the Grinch, got a makeover this year with a new feature film, complete with a score written by GRAMMY-winning composer Danny Elfman and GRAMMY-nominated rapper Tyler, The Creator. The soundtrack features two tracks by Tyler, including an original song, “I Am The Grinch.””All I Really Want For Christmas” – Lil JonIf you haven’t watched the music video for GRAMMY-nominated rapper/hype-man Lil Jon’s “All I Really Want For Christmas” since it was released on Dec. 17, you’ve been missing out. Spoiler alert: The Kool-Aid Man is still breaking through walls, and all Lil Jon wants “is everything on my list, baby!””Llego La Navidad” – OzunaReggaeton star Ozuna offers a joyful Spanish-language song, whose title translates to “Christmas Is Here,” and is dedicated to his native Puerto Rico, with support from fellow Puerto Rican artists: Christian Nieves and children’s music group Generación Escogida.”Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” – RuPaul feat. MarkaholicQueen bee drag queen RuPaul has gifted us with a third holiday album this year, titled Christmas Party, which follows 2015’s Slay Belles and 1997’s Ho Ho Ho. The album features several new, original songs, including the all-around fabulous “Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” featuring Markaholic, with amazing lyrics like “all of Santa’s elves be giving me life.” RuPaul, you give us life.”I Got Your Christmas Right Here” – Aloe BlaccThe soulful GRAMMY nominee also blessed listeners with a holiday album this year, Christmas Funk, which he said is “Christmas music you can listen to year round.” One of the original songs, “I Got Your Christmas Right Here,” is a cheerful track—and music video—celebrating love and family.Sam Smith Sings “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”Read morelast_img read more

VIDEO Watch Wilmington Recreation Departments Easter Parade

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Recreation Department’s held its 48th Annual Easter Egg Hunt — which turned into an Easter Parade due to the weather — on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Wilmington High School.Hundreds of children paraded from the high school’s entrance to the cafeteria, where dozens of volunteers were waiting with eggs filled with candy.Wilmington Community Television was on hand to cover parade. Watch the short video below:—Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch ‘The Back Track Band’ Perform A Concert On The CommonIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch ‘Jimmy & The Jesters’ Perform A Concert On The CommonIn “Videos”VIDEO: Highlights From Wilmington’s Tiny Tots/Kids Club ProgramIn “Videos”last_img read more

Facebook teams with UK newspaper for series of positive sponsored articles

first_img Comment Share your voice Facebook’s had a rough couple of years. With revelations that its platform was twisted into a tool for election interference, propaganda and harassment, as well as a breeding ground for hate speech, it’s hard to feel good about the social network these days. So Facebook has partnered with The Telegraph, a major UK newspaper, to publish more than two dozen stories as part of a promotional campaign to burnish its image.  The series, called “Being human in the Information Age,” includes articles ranging from defending Facebook’s mission to “bring the world closer together” to primers on how the social network is handling cyberbullying, free expression and scammers. The partnership was first reported on by Business Insider. “There’s no doubt that the internet has changed our lives,” the introduction for the series says. “Here, we take a closer look at new challenges raised by the internet like fake news and data privacy — and how social media is tackling these challenges.” A Facebook spokeswoman said the sponsored articles were part of “larger marketing efforts in the UK with the goal of educating and driving awareness of our local investments, initiatives and partnerships here in the UK that have a positive impact on people’s lives.” The Telegraph didn’t immediately responded to a request for comment. 1 Facebook Politics Tech Industry Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: What’s your relationship… The move marks Facebook’s latest effort to respond to the deluge of criticism it’s faced in the past couple of years. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who was once whispered about as a potential contender to run for president of the United States, spends most of his time in public defending the company’s latest snafu while extolling the virtues of what it offers to the more than 2.3 billion people who log on each month. Meanwhile, people’s trust in Silicon Valley has dropped. Roughly half of Americans told the Pew Research Center last year they don’t trust social media sites to protect their data, and 62% said in 2017 that they believe online harassment is a “major problem.” Facebook’s challenge with paying for positive articles, which are marked below the headline as “Brought to you by Facebook” to indicate they’re ads, is that they don’t always work as intended.  Two days before a gunman used Facebook to livestream a massacre he committed in New Zealand, the Telegraph-Facebook partnership published an article titled “What action is Facebook taking to tackle terrorist content?” It profiled a London employee who works on Facebook’s counterterrorism team, touting how the company has removed terrorist content from its service. “Between human expertise, tooling [software development] and machine learning, we’re achieving extraordinary things, of which I’m very proud,” the Facebook employee says in the article.  After the shooting, Facebook quickly found itself explaining why it had failed to identify and stop the gunman’s livestream, copies of which spread across the internet. The series also includes an article with instructions on how to protect your privacy on social media networks, particularly on Facebook. But at no point does it offer instructions on how to close and delete your account, a remedy a former Facebook executive has recommended. First published April 3 at 5:18 p.m. PT.Updated April 4 at 12:19 p.m. PT: Adds Facebook comment. Tags 5:14 Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

Costa Rica nearing record rainfall for May

first_imgForecastThe IMN report states that the tropical wave on Monday “brought strong nuclei of clouds mainly along the coastal areas of the Caribbean region and in the northern region,” and will increase morning showers in those areas. The mountainous areas of both regions, as well as the Pacific region and Central Valley, will also see heavy showers in the afternoons and evenings.Naranjo said rainy conditions will gradually begin to subside in coming days, with scattered showers rather than baldazos.“In approximately one week, showers will return to the normal patterns for the rainy season, with hot and cloudy mornings and short but intense showers in the afternoons,” he said.The IMN expects an influence over the country of an El Niño weather phenomenon during the second half of the year.“This will prompt a decrease in precipitation levels, primarily in the Central and Northern Pacific regions,” Naranjo said. Facebook Comments Los Yoses #traficocr #lluvia Foto: @IvoRodZam— David Roverssi (@droverssi11) May 29, 2017 May will end with a rainfall surplus that beat all forecasts. Precipitation levels so far this month are close to breaking 15 years of rainfall records, the National Meteorological Institute (IMN) reported Monday.IMN meteorologist Juan Diego Naranjo said in a report on Monday morning that May 2017 has been the wettest since May 2002.  It already passed rainfall levels from May 2008, the year Costa Rica faced increased downpours due to the influence here of Tropical Storm Alma.Cartago and Guanacaste are the provinces with the highest precipitation levels this month. Both already surpassed records from 2002, the IMN reported, and San José is ready to break those records as well. The IMN on Monday reported a total of 450 millimeters for the month in the capital; total rainfall there in May 2008 was 496 millimeters.Thunderstorms during the current rainy season also are approaching a record for lightning, with a total — as of Friday — of just over 338,000 occurrences, according to the IMN.The National Emergency Commission (CNE) reported that, as of Monday, there are 70 people who have been evacuated to shelters in Tilarán in Guanacaste, and in Coronado, north of San José. The CNE issued a Yellow — Preventive — Alert for Tilarán last week following landslides in various areas caused by an increase in rains from tropical waves number five and six of the year.The seventh tropical wave is to blame for the heavy showers over most of Costa Rica at the time of publication of this article. The wave will continue influencing rainfall patterns for a few more days, the IMN said. Heavy showers on Monday afternoon flooded various streets and caused problems for motorists and pedestrians in San José and Heredia.center_img Related posts:El Niño heat expected to last through May Tropical wave increases rains over Costa Rica Landslides block roads, cause losses at farms in Tilarán Low rainfall in Central Valley, northern regions; La Niña still a no-showlast_img read more

Combating Credit Invisibility

first_img Borrowers Credit Scores FICO Lenders loans mortgage No Scores Scores 2018-08-12 Radhika Ojha August 12, 2018 622 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features Combating Credit Invisibilitycenter_img Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the August issue of MReport, out now.Following the Great Recession, lenders shied away from working with nonprime borrowers, but with a rising-rate environment emerging, many lenders are reevaluating that position, particularly as it relates to so-called “no-score” borrowers.One of the lingering impacts of the recession is the way in which it has informed how individuals manage money. Ten years ago, many of today’s homebuyers were either graduating from school and getting started in their careers or were well into their vocation and lost their savings, homes, and jobs. This event taught them valuable lessons about fiscal responsibility and had a two-fold effect: 1) Those of the first category have been slower to enter the housing market than prior generations and 2) They all almost universally have a disdain for carrying debt. This extends to all types of debt, including basic credit cards, which has impacted the industry’s ability to apply traditional credit scoring to them.The Truth Behind the NumbersIt’s true that millennials have the numbers, but other types of borrowers may not have a FICO score for other legitimate reasons, including:A borrower who paid off his or her loan/debt balance and no longer utilizes credit, but requires funding to purchase a home;Borrowers who have not had a mortgage or debt in recent years but need to buy a larger home to accommodate additional family members; andA legal immigrant or new citizen, who may not have yet built a credit history but has a significant professional background and savings.Unfortunately, many lenders want to treat borrowers like these as low-score or subprime, but they are not, and a borrower who demonstrates financial responsibility through the pursuit of a debt-free lifestyle should not be penalized for this worthwhile effort. Their intentional avoidance of debt or lack of a FICO score does not make them unqualified for a mortgage or loan. In reality, all it means is that the potential borrower has either paid down all of their past debt or elected to avoid debt outright, which is not a good qualifier of creditworthiness. It’s an element to keep in mind, but it should not be the sole consideration.In truth, the key qualifier for these mortgage applicants is in their experience with using credit and debt. Millennials entering the market largely fall into the category of “inexperienced credit users,” whereas those who have a credit history but have not utilized debt in quite some time fall into the “experienced” category. It’s those “experienced” credit users who lenders must begin isolating from subprime, “low-score,” or inexperienced credit users because, in fact, these borrowers are sometimes the most-qualified borrowers.These experienced credit users also frequently have higher than normal reserves. Typically, they have somewhere in the range of at least 15 to 20 months of reserves saved in their bank or retirement accounts, but sometimes, “no score” borrowers will have closer to 70 or 80 months of reserves. That’s almost six and a half years of payments that the borrower could draw on!How to Qualify a NoScore Loan (And Sell It)Alternative credit at its core is simply any definitive proof or justification for a borrower’s creditworthiness beyond a traditional FICO score. This can include a potential borrower’s history of rent or utility payments, childcare, rent-to-own agreements, or even monthly insurance payments. All of these serve as reliable indicators of a potential borrower’s creditworthiness. If a borrower successfully makes the same payment every month, has held a consistent job, and has never defaulted on a loan or contract, that person is likely a reliable borrower.Also, keep in mind that many of these borrowers have large cash or investment reserves. The standard debt-to-income (DTI) ratio for a borrower today is typically around 36 percent for their mortgage. Many no-score borrowers, on the other hand, adhere to a higher standard of financial responsibility and seek out mortgages that will bring them closer to a DTI of 28 percent. This further reduces the chance of default on the part of the borrower.One of the most significant issues with “no-score” loans concerns nondepository lenders, who must determine how best to package and sell those loans on the secondary market.In general, the GSEs are not keen to purchase “no-score” loans, and thus, there are additional charges that come along with originating them. This is particularly true with out-of-scope or manually underwritten loans, which frequently occur when neither borrower has a credit score. For a 95 percent 30-year conventional mortgage, the charge typically amounts to three and a quarter points of the entire loan itself. Not to mention the GSEs’ ability to come back and force lenders to buy back the loan.Some lenders are choosing to pass that cost onto borrowers in the form of additional fees, which is frankly wrong. Why should a borrower pay a fee for acting with financial responsibility and not taking on additional debt or credit that they do not need? Such practices led to the 2008 recession and have stereotyped the financial services industry since.Encouragingly for lenders, “noscore” borrowers are typically able to pay down a loan significantly faster than traditional borrowers, not to mention that they have a desire to as well. “No-score” borrowers are debt averse, which means they may be inclined to go into a 15- or 20-year conventional mortgage, which significantly reduces fees imposed by the GSEs.Taking the Long ViewWith the state of the market today, it’s a stark reality that all lenders are looking for ways to cut costs and maintain a steady stream of profit. The FOMC is likely to continue raising interest rates throughout the remainder of the year, which will further stymy refinance activity. While this has been a more-than-optimal market for lenders over the previous seven or eight years, one can expect that business will slow to a more balanced pace in the coming years.For most lenders, this means that now is the time to start thinking about what niche they occupy in the market and the type of relationship they have with borrowers. This may include focusing on VA loans for some or jumbo mortgages. Either way, it will be increasingly important to have an area of focus in the coming years. More importantly, all lenders will need to ensure they have an honest, consultative relationship with their borrowers— this is where taking the long view of things will have an impact.And, this does not mean looking to the next quarter, year, or even the next five years. Instead, the long view is looking 20, 30, or even 40 years down the road from now. Even if a lender originates a borrower’s first mortgage, they may never hear back from them on their second or third, much less their fourth or fifth. That’s why it’s important to establish relationships with first-time borrowers. It’s especially important to create a link that will keep those borrowers returning for more throughout their entire lives.Likewise, there is increasing value in helping borrowers identify loan products that fit their individual long-term financial goals. In the past, tactics such as offering borrowers a lower interest rate was seen as the best way to compete with other lenders, but today, borrowers require much more than just a low rate. Instead, they want to ensure that they are in the right loan for them, and for their offer on a home to be the best possible. Tactics such as pre-underwriting borrowers and providing them with digital tools to support their home search serve as a compelling value-add to the borrower-lender relationship, as well as to the lender’s relationship with realty agents.It’s also important to keep in mind that many borrowers are already wary when approaching a lender. According to Ernst & Young’s 2016 Global Consumer Banking Survey, only 26 percent of respondents have complete trust that banks will provide genuinely unbiased advice. By demonstrating a commitment to providing borrowers with the best guidance possible and helping them towards fulfilling their long-term financial goals and needs, lenders can set themselves apart from the competition and establish those meaningful relationships.When considering “no-score” borrowers, there’s an old saying that comes to mind—“The only people who can get a loan are those who do not need a loan in the first place.” These borrowers are a prime example of this adage in action, except practically most everyone today must take out a mortgage to buy property. Whether due to market timing, financial security or other reasons, acquiring the capital to purchase a home typically requires one to go through a lender.Currently, however, these “no score” borrowers are being mischaracterized as subprime or “low score” when in actuality, they can be some of the most-qualified borrowers around. Those with low FICO scores, which are a definite red flag, do not fall within this spectrum.By not working with these types of borrowers (or worse, outright avoiding them), lenders are only hurting themselves and their communities in the long run. Opening up to “no-score” borrowers is a move that not only demonstrates lenders’ commitment to supporting borrowers as they move down the path of financial responsibility but one that also improves lenders’ overall business by expanding their customer base and referral reach, Not to mention that it is also the ethically right thing to do. Sharelast_img read more