Six stories in the news for today June 20

first_imgSix stories in the news for Tuesday, June 20———SENATE BALKS AT SPLITTING BUDGET BILLThe Senate won’t be splitting the Trudeau government’s budget bill to hive off the portion dealing with creation of a new infrastructure bank. Senators rejected a motion late Monday to split the bill, defeating it on a tie vote of 38-38. The motion from independent Sen. Andre Pratte would have carved out the infrastructure bank provisions into a separate bill that could be examined at greater length.———LIBERALS SET TO TABLE NATIONAL SECURITY BILLPublic Safety Minister Ralph Goodale plans to introduce a bill today to upgrade a list of Conservative anti-terrorism measures. Among other things, it will include more robust oversight of the Canada Border Services Agency and ensure appeals by Canadians on the no-fly list will be subject to mandatory review. The Liberals had promised to repeal some elements of omnibus security legislation brought in by the Conservatives after a gunman stormed Parliament Hill in 2014.———GRIM PREDICTIONS FROM CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETYAlmost one in two Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in four will die from the disease, predicts a new report by the Canadian Cancer Society. It says an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year and an estimated 80,800 will die from the disease — making cancer the leading cause of death in Canada.———WOMAN MEETS REQUIREMENTS FOR ASSISTED DEATH: JUDGEA judge says an Ontario woman with incurable erosive osteoarthritis fits a key requirement to receive a medically assisted death after her doctor refused to help her because he feared criminal prosecution. In a decision released Monday, Superior Court Justice Paul Perell ruled the 77-year-old woman’s “natural death is reasonably foreseeable.” He said her doctor had agreed, but changed his mind because he feared a murder charge.———VIETNAMESE ‘BOAT PEOPLE’ FOCUS OF NEW HERITAGE MINUTEThe makers of Canada’s latest Heritage Minute say featuring the Vietnamese “boat people” in the short film was an ideal way to keep current events in perspective and usher in a national birthday. The short clip, now among others highlighting key moments in Canadian History, was released by Historica Canada on Tuesday and shines a light on Canada’s admission of more than 100,000 refugees fleeing war-torn Vietnam in the 1970s.———CAE ISSUES ITS FIRST PILOT OUTLOOK REPORTMontreal-based flight training provider CAE Inc. says airlines around the world will need 255,000 new commercial pilots over the next decade, a third of whom will be required in North America. CAE’s report says there are about 290,000 commercial pilots working now, but 440,000 will be needed by 2027. It says 105,000 will be needed just to replace pilots who retire in addition to 150,000 new pilots to meet growing global demand.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Statistics Canada will release data on wholesale trade, travel between Canada and other countries, and nutritional supplements.— Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will host a special preview of the new Bank of Canada Museum in Ottawa.— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will appear at a Commons committee hearing witnesses on Canada’s Defence Policy Review.— Trial in Vancouver for Patrick Fox, charged with criminal harassment regarding his ex-wife Desiree Capuano.last_img read more

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UN calls for release of BBC journalist kidnapped three weeks ago in

3 April 2007The head of the United Nations body mandated to protect press freedom today called for the release of a BBC journalist abducted in the Palestinian Gaza Strip three weeks ago, deploring the proliferation of hostage-taking involving media professionals. “When a journalist is abducted, the whole of society is taken hostage,” UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement on the 12 March kidnapping of Alan Johnston, who has been living and working in Gaza for several years. “In view of this increasingly disturbing situation, I call on the authorities to do their utmost to obtain his release as quickly as possible. I wish to commend the determination and courage of journalists who continue to do their work despite the growing frequency of such abductions,” he added. “We must all mobilize to put an end to these heinous practices that constitute a serious threat to media professionals and also to freedom of expression. All too many abductions have taken place recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in Gaza. Not all these kidnappings have ended in bloodshed, but they remain intolerable and must not go unpunished.” According to Reporters Without Borders, 14 foreign journalists have been kidnapped in the Gaza Strip since August 2005, with none of the abductors caught or prosecuted. In Afghanistan, the journalist Adjmal Nasqhbandi is still held hostage whereas the Italian journalist he was accompanying, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, was released by their captors on 18 March, UNESCO said. As to Iraq, there is no news on seven journalists and four assistants who were recently kidnapped there. Over 50 journalists and media employees have been abducted in Iraq since 2003, according to Reporters Without Borders. Mr. Matsuura has repeatedly denounced the murder and harassment of media workers around the world. read more

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Celgene and SRC Energy post gains while Pitney Bowes dips

NEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Monday:Celgene Corp., up $3.01 to $97The company is selling its psoriasis treatment Otezla for $13.4 billion to Amgen to clear the way for its acquisition by Bristol-Myers.SRC Energy Inc., up 50 cents to $4.65The oil and gas company agreed to be acquired by PDC Energy in a deal the companies valued at $1.7 billion including debt.TechipFMC PLC, up 91 cents to $24.01The London-based energy company said it would separate into two publicly traded businesses.Walt Disney Co., up $2.94 to $134.61The media company will open 25 Disney-branded stores in Target locations starting in October, with more to follow.Pitney Bowes Inc., down 30 cents to $3.31The company said it would sell its software and data business to Syncsort for $700 million.Apple Inc., up $3.85 to $206.49Technology companies that do a lot of business with China rose after President Donald Trump said Beijing wanted to make a trade deal.Fossil Group Inc., up $1.09 to $11.49Fossil disclosed that Executive Vice-President Greg McKelvey has purchased another 200,000 shares of the company’s stock.The Medicines Co., up $4.82 to $39.85The company announced positive trial results for a cholesterol drug.The Associated Press read more

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HBC says its CFO will remain in role as replacement search continues

TORONTO – Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX:HBC) says chief financial officer Paul Beesley will remain in his current role while it continues to search for his replacement.In May, the department store operator said Beesley would step down July 7 in order to return to Canada to be closer to his family.Beesley moved to New York to join the company to become CFO in May 2014. HBC says its CFO will remain in role as replacement search continues by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 7, 2017 2:48 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 7, 2017 at 3:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Quebecer seeks to file class action against Netflix over fee hikes without

Quebecer seeks to file class action against Netflix over fee hikes without warning The Netflix logo is displayed on an iPhone in Philadelphia, Monday, July 17, 2017. A Quebec man wants millions in compensation from Netflix on behalf of subscribers in the province, alleging the company violated strict consumer rights rules when it upped their fees. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Matt Rourke by Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 17, 2017 8:07 am MDT Last Updated Aug 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – A Quebec man wants millions in compensation from Netflix on behalf of subscribers in the province, alleging the company violated strict consumer rights rules when it upped their fees.The class action document filed in Quebec Superior Court earlier this month seeks permission to sue the popular video streaming service for allegedly charging higher fees unilaterally.“They had to send a notice which mentions exclusively the rate that the people were paying and the new rate,” said lawyer Pierre Boivin, who represents the consumers.“They also have to mention that the consumer would have 30 days to cancel the contract if they don’t agree with this increase, and that’s not what Netflix sent. They did not respect this provision of the Consumer Protection Act.”Boivin’s Montreal law firm, Kugler Kandestin, is acting on behalf of Frederic Seigneur and other Quebecers — an estimated 1.45 million subscribers in the province.The action has not yet been given the go-ahead by a judge, but Boivin said he hopes to have it in a few months time.A public relations firm that deals with the company said Thursday that Netflix does not comment on ongoing litigation.Earlier this month, it announced it was hiking prices for new members, effective immediately, and would do the same for existing users after notifying them by email in the coming weeks.Netflix has invested heavily in producing its own original content in recent years, including “House of Cards,” “Ozark” and in a slate of feature films bought at international film festivals.The Quebec suit would extend to any rate hike by Netflix since Aug. 11, 2014, and Boivin said there appears to have been just one, in 2016.Because the suit argues on the basis of Quebec legislation, other Canadian users are exempted, he said, adding Quebec subscribers wouldn’t have to do anything to take part in the suit.The class action seeks a reimbursement of the fees paid since the 2016 hike — $1 to $2 a month depending on the subscription.Boivin said that works out to roughly $14 million as of now, with lawyers seeking an additional $7.5 million in punitive damages.“When a company wants to do business in Quebec, it must minimally respect the law — in this case, the Consumer Protection Act,” he said. “They had to send a notice of the rate hike, which we argue they did not do.”– Follow @sidhartha_b on Twitter. read more

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Ohio State volleyball falls to Michigan State for first loss of the

Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary (11) spikes the ball during a match against Michigan Sept. 27 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-1.Credit: Mark Batke / Lantern photographerThe No. 13 Ohio State women’s volleyball team started its season by winning 13 straight matches, including a four set victory over then-No. 10 Michigan. The team’s winning streak came to a halt when the Buckeyes fell to No. 15 Michigan State in three straight sets.The Buckeyes (13-1) struggled early against the Spartans on Sunday, but still had a chance in each set. OSU jumped out to an 18-14 lead in the match’s opening set, but MSU fought back to take get the win, 27-25.Throughout the match, OSU struggled with passing, due partially to dominant serving from its opponent. The Spartans finished the day with eight service aces, as well as 14 errors. These problems and Michigan State’s strong serving led to OSU dropping the next two sets, 25-23 and 25-22.Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary finished with 10 kills in the losing effort and said her and her teammates must use this match to grow as they move forward in Big Ten play.“We just didn’t come out strong, and we’re gonna use this, work on what we need to do this week to be ready for Indiana and Purdue next week,” Leary said.OSU coach Geoff Carlston was also impressed with the Spartans’ serving game.“We just didn’t pass very well, but in Michigan State’s defense that’s the toughest serving team I’ve ever seen,” he said.Carlston said the match exhibited poor play from some typical stars, while some others were able to step up.“We rely a lot on Kaitlyn Leary and she struggled today,” Carlston said. “I thought our freshmen really stepped up and played well.”Leary had an uncharacteristic seven errors on top of her 10 kills while freshman right side hitter Taylor Sandbothe led the team with 12 kills while committing just one error. Sanbothe’s classmate, outside hitter Kylie Randall, added 11 kills of her own to go along with two errors.Following the first set, Carlston made a change at the libero position, as senior Julianne Mandolfo donned the scarlet jersey instead of senior Davionna DiSalvatore.“Davionna got aced three times in one set (against MSU), that’s something that can’t happen,” Carlston said. “That’s the luxury we have. They’re both really, really good and so if one is struggling, we can put the other one in and vice versa.”Carlston also shuffled his lineup late in the match, throwing sophomore outside hitter Katie Mitchell onto the court in the third set in hopes of extending the match.“What we had been doing the past two sets hadn’t been working,” Mitchell said.Mitchell said the team’s cohesion will have to improve this week in practice.“We kind of fell apart a little bit,” she said. “We need to bounce back as a group.”Freshman outside hitter Chloe Reinig and senior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski led the way for the Spartans with 12 kills each.Even with a loss to the Spartans, the players were able to take some positives away from its win against Michigan on Friday night, especially the great play of Sandbothe and Randall, Leary said. She said she was proud to see them step up.“They both really stepped up as freshmen and we needed that, especially with me starting off a little slow, they definitely brought that and that’s what helped us win this game tonight,” Leary said Friday.Sandbothe said there were a lot of emotions for her coming into the first Michigan clash of her college career.“There’s a lot of people here, so I was a little nervous, but excited,” she said after the win against the Wolverines. “This is the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of.”The official attendance for the match against Michigan was about 4,500.Even though the Buckeyes came out victorious, the team struggled at times. OSU led the second set 22-16 before eventually losing 27-25.Randall said the team made some mistakes at the service line that contributed to the loss.“In the second game, we missed four to five in a row so I think we could definitely work on that,” she said.Carlston added that the personnel OSU had on the court in the set it lost did not leave them with a very good chance to win.“We got stuck in a rotation that we weren’t playing very well in and they were playing very well in, and that’s the game,” he said.Leary led the match with 22 kills while Sandbothe recorded 12 kills and eight blocks and Randall finished 11 kills and four blocks.OSU is set to travel to Indiana this weekend for its first road matches of the Big Ten season. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., at 7 p.m. Friday and Indiana in Bloomington, Ind., at the same time Saturday. read more

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Remote Bisie tin mine in DRC using Trafos drytype transformers

first_imgOne of the world’s highest grade known tin deposits is being developed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and dry-type transformers from specialist supplier Trafo Power Solutions are now integral to powering this effort. Two 3000 kVA, 400 V / 11 kV cast resin transformers – housed in 6-m containers – were recently delivered to Alphamin Resources’ remote Bisie mine site in North Kivu province. They will step up the supply from the operation’s diesel-powered generator plant from 400 V to 11 kV. Trafo Power Solutions also supplied two 100 kVA, 400 V / 400 V Dyn11 dry-type lighting transformers for outdoor applications.Bisie is located about 180 km north west of Goma, in the Walikale Territory – some 60 km from the town of Walikale and 32 km from the national route linking Walikale with Kisangani.“The mine’s remote position, and the difficult access road to the mining operation, made it essential for us to custom-design the substation and transformers to withstand the rough journey,” says Trafo Power Solutions managing director David Claassen.According to Claassen, the complete solution was manufactured in a fast track project that took only 12 weeks. This included the in-house design of ventilation and airflow systems to deal with the extreme heat and humidity levels of over 90%, as well as lighting and small power equipment.He highlights the suitability of dry-type transformers to the climatic conditions at the mine, especially their ability to remain cool with only minimal movement of air across the windings. Where necessary, extremely high ambient temperatures may require the employment of forced air options in the design.“The cast resin design of dry-type transformers improves their efficiency and hence their heat losses, so cooling requirements are reduced,” he says. “Their efficiency also means they consume less energy, which in this application saves on diesel costs.”Among the advantages of dry-type transformers is that they require almost no maintenance and can last up to 25 years without much attention. Oil-filled transformers, on the other hand, need regular maintenance and sampling of oil if they are to operate safely and consistently. In a remote location like Bisie mine, this advantage delivers particular benefits to the user. Dry-type transformers can also be installed indoors, without the need for their own civils infrastructure such as bund walls and structures – as there is no oil posing safety or environmental risks.On December 5, Alphamin reported progress at its Bisie tin project. By then, the company’s 80.75% owned DRC subsidiary, Alphamin Bisie Mining SA (ABM) had received all approvals required to draw down the final $20 million of its previously announced $80 million credit facility.Cold commissioning of the crushing circuit was expected to start in the first half of December, while the completion of construction of the gravity concentration building and tailings storage facility remain on track for Q1, 2019. Hot commissioning (first ore through the plant) is currently expected to commence in late March 2019.Alphamin is assessing the impact of the likely change of mining method. Rock conditions underground have led management to review the suitability of sub level caving mining as previously planned at Bisie. A cut and fill mining method is being analysed and if approved, would result in changes to the operating costs, mined grade, recovery and mineral reserves.last_img read more

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Record year for NDRC as startups pull down €40 million

first_imgINVESTMENT IN CLIENT companies at the National Digital Research Centre ncreased by 150% to €40 million last year, according to the company’s annual report.The market capitalisation of the digital start-ups linked to the innovation hotbed trebled to €120 million, and is projected to rise to €180 million by the end of the year.Companies in the NDRC stable created 311 full-time jobs and 121 part-time jobs in the country by the end of last year.Within the last month, the NDRC was ranked in the top 2.5% of university business incubators worldwide in what the agency described as “the most comprehensive global study of its kind”, the Global Benchmark Report 2014.The final ranking was the highest-ever placement for an Irish incubator.Launching the report, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White said that the transition of research into economic outputs is vital.“NDRC can make a key contribution to achieving this. The value of the Government’s investment is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the NDRC-backed ventures have created more than 300 full-time and 120 part-time jobs in Ireland’s digital economy.”Leading companies in the NDRC portfolio secured several multi-million funding rounds last year, including a €12 million investment in FieldAware and fellow start-up Logentries landing €10 million in investment.NDRC chief executive Ben Hurley said that the company plans to become an international leader in early stage investment and technology innovation.“NDRC has achieved a huge amount in our short history and by analysing the key performance indicators of job creation, market capital and follow-on investment, it is clear that the organisation is continuing to help develop Ireland’s technology base.”Column: From idea to reality, the story of a young Irish start up>Read: Physicist wins €5,000 to bring science into morning commute>last_img read more

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Klopp Vardy will always pose a threat

first_imgJurgen Klopp is wary of the threat posed by Jamie Vardy in Wednesday’s Premier League game.Vardy has an excellent record against the Reds with seven goals in his last meetings against them in the Premier League.The former England international has scored more goals against Liverpool than any other club and has scored in his last two visits to Anfield.And Klopp reckons his defence will have to be on form to stop the striker from finding the net again.“He’s quality, the speed he has and the finishing skills he has,” Klopp told reporters via FourFourTwo on Tuesday. “A few times we made it easy for him – Lucas Leiva, did he get an assist for that goal? So I would have scored that goal!“But Jamie is a fantastic striker really, each fibre of his body is on this decisive situation. He always waits for the ball over the shoulder and is always more involved in defending than in the past, but this doesn’t make it easy to defend against him.“He’s a massive threat, to be honest, but he’s not the only one in that team. [James] Maddison – really, really good player. Not only from set pieces, a fine footballer.Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, LiverpoolMo Salah laughs off Sadio Mane incident with a brilliant video Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Mohamed Salah laughed off his little spat with Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane by posting a brilliant video showing they’ve made up.Stunning work from Robbo. 💪Well-taken by Sadio. ⚽️Our opener 🆚 @LCFC earlier this season. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/2LRl1TaDoC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 28, 2019“[Demarai] Gray, [Ricardo] Pereira, a lot of really quality players. [Marc] Albrighton. Experienced and in tune with all the other players, or very skilful and quick. Having [Ben] Chilwell make the left flank up and down, it makes it all interesting.“I don’t know why Jamie has such a good record against us. I would say minus one goal because that was the only one I thought he shouldn’t have scored.“The best one I think he scored when they won the title, he got the ball on the halfway line and shot pretty much [immediately], yeah that was a good year for them. Very, very good player and that’s the main reason why he is such a threat.”last_img read more

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Bird and Bird reports a 145 mean gender pay gap

first_imgInternational law firm Bird and Bird has reported a 14.5% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at 5 April 2017.The organisation has reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2018.The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were awarded bonus pay; and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.Bird and Bird’s median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 27.6% as at 5 April 2017.Its mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 5 April 2017 is 33.5%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 48.9%. Over this period, 40% of female employees received a bonus payment compared to 42% of male employees.More than half (55.2%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Bird and Bird are female, compared to 52.2% in the second quartile, 64.4% in the third quartile and 71.1% in the lowest pay quartile.Bird and Bird attributes its gender pay gap to the higher proportion of women who are employed in junior roles. For example, the majority of lower paid legal personal assistant positions are fulfilled by women. Furthermore, the law firm’s analysis shows that the gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay and for bonus pay is more prevalent within senior business services roles, as this is reflective of the higher number of men who work in senior management jobs at the organisation.The firm’s bonus gap is also attributed to the fact that more female employees work part-time than male employees. As the gender pay gap data for bonuses reflects the actual sums paid, female employees who work on a part-time basis, or who were on maternity leave for part of the bonus year, will therefore have received a lower bonus payment than male employees working in an equivalent role. As of 5 April 2017, 18.3% of Bird and Bird’s part-time employees are women, compared to 0.9% who are men.To address its gender pay gap, Bird and Bird will continue to encourage both agile and flexible working opportunities, as well as promote its family-friendly policies, which support employees in creating a good work-life balance. Furthermore, the law firm has introduced a global women’s development programme, which is designed to help retain female associates and encourage female progression into more senior roles.Nicholas Perry, partner, head of London at Bird and Bird, and Andrea Pankhurst, head of human resources, UK at Bird and Bird, said in the report: “At Bird and Bird we are committed to creating a diverse workforce, and recognise the benefits of diversity throughout our business. We strive to create, and maintain, an inclusive work environment and are proud to be founding signatories of the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter, the flagship diversity initiative of the legal profession.“At Bird and Bird we encourage both agile and flexible working and are confident that our family-friendly working environment, together with our approach to equal pay, will continue to attract and retain both male and female employees.”last_img read more

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Median gross weekly earnings increased by 35 for fulltime employees

first_imgThe median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in the UK was £569 as at April 2018, a 3.5% improvement since 2017, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).Its Employee earnings in the UK: 2018 report, which uses data from the Annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE), further noted that this 3.5% growth in earnings is the highest on record since 2008. Adjusted for inflation, weekly earnings increased by 1.2% between 2017 and 2018.The growth in median gross weekly earnings for part-time employees in the UK between 2017 and 2018 is 2.9%; this is the first time since 2012 that growth in full-time employee pay has exceeded the growth in part-time employee pay.Furthermore, employees that are continuously employed in full-time jobs in 2018 received median gross weekly earnings that are 5.2% higher than the median recorded for this in 2017. Around 81% of full-time employees are defined as continuously employed. The ONS attributes this to the pay increases continuously employed staff can experience, for example through progression of a pay scale, entitlement to a higher minimum wage and via pay settlements.London has the highest median earnings for full-time employees as at April 2018, with staff able to earn £713 a week. The second highest region is the South East, with median earnings of £589 a week for full-time staff. London also ranks as having the highest gross weekly earnings for full-time staff in the UK, with £1,054 as at April 2018. This compares to the gross weekly earnings of £427 in Rother, which ranked the lowest.Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “The latest figures from the ONS show median full-time weekly earnings have risen by 3.5% over the last 12 months, the highest growth rate since 2008. Importantly, this is 1.2% above price inflation, putting more purchasing power into [employees’] pay packets.“However, the figures show significant variation by geographical region, with London full-time [employees] taking home an average £713 [a] week compared to a UK average of £569, with the North East having the lowest average at £507.”In terms of gender, the report found that full-time gross weekly earnings peaked between the ages of 40 and 49 for men with £708, while women’s gross weekly earnings excelled between the ages of 30 and 39 with £575 as at April 2018.“While the gender pay gap continues across every age band, it’s encouraging to see the ONS note [it] is close to zero for full-time [employees] aged 18-39,” Cameron added. “Over the last 20 years, it has fallen from 17.4% in 1998 to 8.6% in 2018. Hopefully, as the gender pay gap is eliminated, we’ll begin to see a narrowing of the gender pensions gap.”Private sector pay increased by 3.5% between 2017 and 2018, compared to a 2.3% increase for employees working in the public sector.In April 2018, the occupation group with the highest median weekly earnings for full-time employees in the UK was managers, directors and senior officials, with £835. This compares with caring, leisure and other service occupations, which were the lowest-paid group with median weekly earnings of £374.Cameron said: “The figures also provide an update on how average pay compares between the private and public sectors. Median full-time earnings in the private sector remain at 90% of those in the public sector. However, these figures don’t take into account other benefits and many in the public sector benefit from more generous pensions, which mean the difference in overall remuneration is likely to be greater.”last_img read more

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MA Update Detroits Hour Media Buys Three More Regional Titles

first_imgDetroit-based Hour Media Group continued its nearly two-year-long regional magazine shopping spree this week, snatching up 38-year-old Gemini Publications, also based in Michigan, from longtime owner and publisher John Zwarensteyn.Included in the sale are the monthly Grand Rapids magazine, the weekly Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Michigan Blue, a lifestyle title which publishes six times per year.The deal—the terms of which were not disclosed—is the latest in a string of acquisitions for Hour Media Group, following last year’s purchases of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Naples Illustrated, Orange Coast, Palm Beach Illustrated, and Pasadena magazines in three separate transactions. Altogether, Hour Media now publishes more than 132 magazines and custom titles and produces 65 live events around the country, including through its corporate subsidiaries in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio.“These brands have established a strong presence and earned respect in the West Michigan market, and as with all our regional products around the country, our goal is to first serve our local markets,” said Hour Media president John Balardo in a prepared statement.Although prior acquisitions by Hour Media have been met with layoffs and staff turnover—most notably last March’s purchase of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Orange Coast, and Los Angeles from Emmis Communications—the company maintains that Gemini Publications staffers will remain based at their current location in Grand Rapids.“I am proud of our history, proud of our great customers and employees,” added Zwarensteyn, who is retiring from publishing to pursue other interests. “I am especially proud that we have continued to provide solid, ethical journalism in an era where journalism is under attack.” Elsewhere in the Great Lakes region (about 600 miles to the Northwest, to be exact), another long-running regional glossy changed hands this week.Duluth, Minn.-based Lake Superior magazine has been sold to BusinessNorth publishers Beth Bily and Ron Brochu by Cindy and Paul Hayden, who had owned the 39-year-old bimonthly since 1984.New owners Bily and Brochu, who purchased the monthly BusinessNorth in 2010, say that readers of Lake Superior aren’t likely to notice many changes to the magazine, “because it already serves its readers well,” and that all of the magazine’s eight current staffers, including longtime editor Konnie LeMay (as well as BusinessNorth‘s six employees, who already work in the same building), will be retained.“The demand for niche publications remains strong,” said Bily.As for the magazine’s former owners, the Haydens say they plan to retire after a brief transition period.“We’ve thought about retirement in recent years, but we weren’t going to until we found the perfect fit,” added Cindy Hayden. “Beth and Ron share our passion and we’re excited to leave this business in their experienced hands.”last_img read more

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Kodiak puts hold on fisheries analyst services

first_imgKodiak downtown area. (Photo byRaymond Bucko, SJ / Flickr)Kodiak may be without a fisheries analyst for a while.Listen nowThat’s according to Kodiak City Councilman John Whiddon, one of the two city representatives who attended what was scheduled to be a meeting of the city and borough’s joint Fisheries Work Group on Wednesday.Without a quorum, the meeting became more of an informational session instead, and one piece of information they shared was the end of fisheries analyst Heather McCarty’s contract.The analyst in the past has provided representation for Kodiak on the regulatory side of fisheries and helped interpret that part of the fisheries world.During public comment, fisherman Alexus Kwachka said it’s a bad time for Kodiak to lose someone to fill that role.“We’re gonna have a constant battle of push and pull of what people’s needs are in the state. Southeast needs king salmon,” Kwachka said. “Western gulf’s talking about going into a bottom fishery to kind of replace the lack of [Pacific cod]. That gonna mean more interaction with king salmon. There’s just gonna be a constant struggle going on.”City councilman Whiddon described the end of the contract as more of a hiatus than anything else.“I fully agree we need somebody to guide us through this, and I don’t foresee this vacancy being a long-term thing. Our budget will be done by May,” Whiddon said. “I think the borough’s probably the same time frame. Something like that. So, it comes right down right now to just looking at really, really difficult decisions to how we allocate very, very limited resources.”The city and borough have contracted with fisheries analyst Heather McCarty for the last four years. She attended the fisheries work group meeting yesterday, and it’ll be her last one until further notice.Kodiak Island Borough Assemblymen Scott Smiley and Andy Schroeder were both absent.last_img read more

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Unalaska City Council rejects proposal to employ inmates at fish plant —

first_imgWorkers sort crab at the UniSea processing plant in Unalaska. Company officials say they were hoping to employ four inmates during the winter fishing season. (Photo by Laura Kraegel/KUCB)This winter, prison inmates won’t be allowed to finish their sentences while working at UniSea’s processing plant.The Unalaska City Council narrowly rejected a resolution Tuesday that would have approved the community’s participation in a work release program run by the state Department of Corrections.City Councilor Dave Gregory cast the only “no” vote on the proposal to let four select inmates live and work at UniSea under electronic monitoring. But with four of six councilors present, it was enough to sink the measure.“We’re a small, isolated community,” said Gregory. “I’ve talked to probably 25 people who’ve come to me and said, ‘Why are we doing this? We don’t need the risk.’ And I feel the same way.”Gregory and other critics said they might support the program in the future — if Unalaska bolsters its counseling and addiction services to help with rehabilitation.Others opposed it outright, including resident Mary Lekanoff.“Kids here are free,” she said. “They’re running around safe. And you guys want to bring these people here? What are you going to do when the first child gets abducted or raped? How are you guys going to feel?”Still, many expressed support for the program, which aims to chip away at Alaska’s high recidivism rate by preparing inmates for life after prison.Some Unalaskans argued the island already counts felons among its residents, while others pointed to failures of the corrections system.“When people are exiting prison, they need resources, support, community connections, and tools,” said Alysha Richardson in a letter to the council. “It is not in the best interest of anyone to create or maintain barriers for these people. The people who will qualify for this program are getting out of prison anyway. I want them to have the best possible chance to succeed.”Mayor Frank Kelty agreed. He said he’ll look into revisiting the issue with a full council.“I think we’re a big enough and strong enough community to support a program like this,” he said. “We’re talking only four individuals. We have the support of our police department. People are going to be thoroughly checked out before they’re brought here. There’s not going to be any sex offenders. So I don’t think this [proposal] is done yet.”The resolution would seem likely to pass if it goes to another vote. Councilors Shari Coleman, James Fitch, and Dennis Robinson all voted in favor, meaning it only needs one more supporter.While they were absent Tuesday night, Councilors Roger Rowland and Alejandro “Bong” Tungul could tip the scale in that direction. Rowland previously said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the program.last_img read more

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EPA Gives Updates On Superfund Cleanup Timeline

first_imgMichael StravatoThe San Jacinto River Waste Pits, an EPA Superfund site that is contaminated with dioxins, is located on Interstate 10 east of Houston.The head of the Environmental Protection Agency recently added the contaminated San Jacinto River Waste Pits to a list of Superfund sites targeted for “immediate and intense action.” Still, the actual cleanup of that site might not begin for another two years.Tuesday night in Galveston, EPA staff gave updates on their plan to remove thousands of pounds of toxic dioxins from the waste pits.John Meyer, Remedial Branch Chief of the EPA’s regional Superfund division, said the first step in the process is to get the companies carrying out the agreement to sign an agreement.“We have to define all the details of that agreement, so that’s what we’re doing right now,” he said. “We’re telling them, ‘these are the types of things that need to be done as part of this process.’ We have some standard approaches about how to do it.”Meyer and Remedial Project Manager Gary Miller said it could take up to a year to get that agreement in place, and then it could take another year or so for engineers to come up with a design for the cleanup.“We are going to put our biggest focus on how do we design this process to ensure we can do this work safely, not cause releases during the construction work, so we can get to a final completion,” Meyer said.Among the details the agency is trying to hash out are whether the waste will be moved from the site by barge, truck or some other means. It’s also still unclear where the waste will be sent for disposal, though Miller indicated he doesn’t know of a local landfill that would be capable of accepting the waste.The agency’s plan calls for temporary dam structures that would hold back the San Jacinto River while the toxins are removed. But given the site’s proximity to the coast, the threat of a hurricane will loom over the cleanup once it begins. Sharelast_img read more

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Quantum computer emulated by a classical system

first_img Physicist Brian La Cour and electrical engineer Granville Ott at Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin (ARL:UT), have published a paper on the classical emulation of a quantum computer in a recent issue of The New Journal of Physics. Besides having fundamental interest, using classical systems to emulate quantum computers could have practical advantages, since such quantum emulation devices would be easier to build and more robust to decoherence compared with true quantum computers.”We hope that this work removes some of the mystery and ‘weirdness’ associated with quantum computing by providing a concrete, classical analog,” La Cour told Phys.org. “The insights gained should help develop exciting new technology in both classical analog computing and true quantum computing.”As La Cour and Ott explain, quantum computers have been simulated in the past using software on a classical computer, but these simulations are merely numerical representations of the quantum computer’s operations. In contrast, emulating a quantum computer involves physically representing the qubit structure and displaying actual quantum behavior. One key quantum behavior that can be emulated, but not simulated, is parallelism. Parallelism allows for multiple operations on the data to be performed simultaneously—a trait that arises from quantum superposition and entanglement, and enables quantum computers to operate at very fast speeds.To emulate a quantum computer, the physicists’ approach uses electronic signals to represent qubits, in which a qubit’s state is encoded in the amplitudes and frequencies of the signals in a complex mathematical way. Although the scientists use electronic signals, they explain that any kind of signal, such as acoustic and electromagnetic waves, would also work.Even though this classical system emulates quantum phenomena and behaves like a quantum computer, the scientists emphasize that it is still considered to be classical and not quantum. (Phys.org)—Quantum computers are inherently different from their classical counterparts because they involve quantum phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, which do not exist in classical digital computers. But in a new paper, physicists have shown that a classical analog computer can be used to emulate a quantum computer, along with quantum superposition and entanglement, with the result that the fully classical system behaves like a true quantum computer. © 2015 Phys.org Explore further Emulation of quantum superpositions using classical signals. Credit: Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin “This is an important point,” La Cour explained. “Superposition is a property of waves adding coherently, a phenomenon that is exhibited by many classical systems, including ours. Citation: Quantum computer emulated by a classical system (2015, May 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-emulated-classical.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Journal information: New Journal of Physics Drs. Granville Ott (left) and Brian La Cour (center) with student Michael Starkey (right) beside their prototype quantum emulation device. Credit Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin More information: Brian R. La Cour and Granville E. Ott. “Signal-based classical emulation of a universal quantum computer.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/17/5/053017 “Entanglement is a more subtle issue,” he continued, describing entanglement as a “purely mathematical property of waves.” “Since our classical signals are described by the same mathematics as a true quantum system, they can exhibit these same properties.”He added that this kind of entanglement does not violate Bell’s inequality, which is a widely used way to test for entanglement. “Entanglement as a statistical phenomenon, as exhibited by such things as violations of Bell’s inequality, is rather a different beast,” La Cour explained. “We believe that, by adding an emulation of quantum noise to the signal, our device would be capable of exhibiting this type of entanglement as well, as described in another recent publication.”In the current paper, La Cour and Ott describe how their system can be constructed using basic analog electronic components, and that the biggest challenge is to fit a large number of these components on a single integrated circuit in order to represent as many qubits as possible. Considering that today’s best semiconductor technology can fit more than a billion transistors on an integrated circuit, the scientists estimate that this transistor density corresponds to about 30 qubits. An increase in transistor density of a factor of 1000, which according to Moore’s law may be achieved in the next 20 to 30 years, would correspond to 40 qubits.This 40-qubit limit is also enforced by a second, more fundamental restriction, which arises from the bandwidth of the signal. The scientists estimate that a signal duration of a reasonable 10 seconds can accommodate 40 qubits; increasing the duration to 10 hours would only increase this to 50 qubits, and a one-year duration would only accommodate 60 qubits. Due to this scaling behavior, the physicists even calculated that a signal duration of the approximate age of the universe (13.77 billion years) could accommodate about 95 qubits, while that of the Planck time scale (10-43 seconds) would correspond to 176 qubits.Considering that thousands of qubits are needed for some complex quantum computing tasks, such as certain encryption techniques, this scheme clearly faces some insurmountable limits. Nevertheless, the scientists note that 40 qubits is still sufficient for some low-qubit applications, such as quantum simulations. Because the quantum emulation device offers practical advantages over quantum computers and performance advantages over most classical computers, it could one day prove very useful. For now, the next step will be building the device.”Efforts are currently underway to build a two-qubit prototype device capable of demonstrating entanglement,” La Cour said. “The enclosed photo [see above] shows the current quantum emulation device as a lovely assortment of breadboarded electronics put together by one of my students, Mr. Michael Starkey. We are hoping to get future funding to support the development of an actual chip. Leveraging quantum parallelism, we believe that a coprocessor with as few as 10 qubits could rival the performance of a modern Intel Core at certain computational tasks. Fault tolerance is another important issue that we studying. Due to the similarities in mathematical structure, we believe the same quantum error correction algorithms used to make quantum computers fault tolerant could be used for our quantum emulation device as well.” Protocol corrects virtually all errors in quantum memory, but requires little measure of quantum stateslast_img read more

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Earn 15 commission and free hotel nights with AlSols new agent program

first_img Share TORONTO — AlSol Hotels & Resorts is rolling out a new travel agent program that will reward agents with 15% commission and free hotel nights.The ‘AlWays AlSol’ program affords agents who book directly on the Travel Agent Portal a 15% commission, plus they’ll earn one free night for every five paid nights at the AlSol resort of their choice. As a bonus, AlSol Hotels & Resorts will give agents one free night to start as a thank you for joining the program.AlSol Hotels & Resorts, based in Cancun, is a rapidly expanding hotel and resort operator, with three properties set in the exclusive community of Cap Cana, the jewel of Punta Cana. All properties impress with luxury accommodations, personalized check-in, butler service in common areas, suites and poolside, gourmet cuisine and more. The company is represented in Canada by VoX International.To register for the program, go to AlSol.com/travel-agents and click ‘register now.’ For more information email Alsol@voxtm.ca or go to alsolresorts.com. Posted by Earn 15% commission and free hotel nights with AlSol’s new agent program Travelweek Group Friday, October 7, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Business helps empower Guatemalan women and preserve an ancient trade

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY – Stephanie Jolluck first came to Guatemala in 1997 to volunteer with a women’s cooperative. The country’s 36-year civil war had just ended, leaving a bloody legacy of 200,000 people dead and more than 40,000 disappeared.Working with an organization that helped empower indigenous women, Jolluck gained an insight into the color and culture of Guatemala.“I rapidly fell in love with the rich and vibrant colors of the textiles and other handicrafts. I witnessed extreme poverty for the first time and noticed that most people living in poverty were the very ones creating the beautiful, ingenious, awe-inspiring weavings and art; it was a contradiction that didn’t make sense,” Jolluck told The Tico Times.Guatemalan textiles have become famous throughout the world; however, the majority of the Mayan women who create them live in extreme poverty. Many Mayan girls drop out of school during third grade, marry young and have large families, which puts a strain on their already limited resources.“I explored the country and the anthropologist and designer in me grew amazed at the 2,000-year-old textile tradition that was slowly disappearing. I couldn’t bear the thought of this beautiful tradition going extinct and wanted to share it with the world,” Jolluck said. Colección Luna’s designs are made from reclaimed indigenous clothing that is then handwoven or embroidered to make bags and jewelry that are sold to customers around the world. Courtesy of Colección Luna Shortly after returning to the United States, Jolluck gave up her job as a high school Spanish teacher and decided to create Colección Luna, at the age of 26, in an effort to alleviate poverty, preserve Guatemala’s textile tradition and empower women.Working with a women’s cooperative that employs about 100 people on the shores of Lake Atitlán, 150 kilometers west of Guatemala City, Colección Luna sells handbags, accessories and beaded jewelry to customers all over the world using reclaimed indigenous clothing and fair-trade practices.“I travel four to six times a year to the highland region of Guatemala, working directly with the artisans on my designs. The line of textiles is created from reclaimed Mayan indigenous clothing: huipiles (blouses), cortes (skirts) and fajas (belts) that are hand-woven or hand-embroidered,” she said.Weaving together ancient traditions and contemporary pieces such as iPad covers, smartphone cases and yoga bags, Colección Luna shares the Mayan culture with customers overseas and teaches them the importance of fair trade and empowerment of women.“It’s been amazing to see and hear how consumers are becoming more socially conscious about their buying decisions. When my business started in 1999, you rarely heard the words ‘fair/direct trade,’ ‘women’s empowerment,’ ‘sustainability,’ ‘eco-friendly,’ things that I focused on when I began Colección Luna. I love that these words are now recognized and that consumers care about the how, where and why of Colección Luna,” she added.Last month, Jolluck was announced as a “Leg Up” winner by SPANX, a hosiery company that runs a program to raise awareness of entrepreneurship by women.“On the morning of the announcement I was on a plane headed to Guatemala to work with my artisans. It was so wonderful to share [the news] with them because, as my partners, it was their award too,” Jolluck said.Lidia Agarre and her husband have worked with Jolluck since the business first began, sourcing fabrics, developing products and working with weavers in their small village in Quiché, in northwestern Guatemala. Coming from a family of artisans, Agarre used to sell her designs at Chichicastenango, Central America’s biggest market, but says that business was unpredictable.“Stephanie has helped us a lot. The economy has gone down a bit, but Stephanie is always opening up new markets so we still have work. Employees earn more than they used to at the market and they work when they can. Some of them have to attend to the maize harvest so we work around that,” Agarre said. Related posts:Belize urges solution to Guatemala’s long-standing territorial claims Guatemala’s Relief Map: hands down the country’s best guide Award-winning documentary portrays a Guatemalan family’s struggle to bring a sister’s killer to justice Guatemala looks to Colombia’s success to overhaul police forcecenter_img Since working with Colección Luna, Agarre and her husband have seen their standard of living improve and have been able to buy a small plot of land and a house.“We’ve had some difficult times, but thanks to our jobs we were able to afford hospital bills. We live better now – we can send our daughters to school and afford food,” she said.Jolluck is currently working on a line of vintage Guatemalan textiles and an exhibition and talk in the U.S. about Colección Luna’s work.To learn more about Colección Luna, visit the website: http://coleccion-luna.myshopify.com/ Facebook Comments Colección Luna recently partnered with the African musician Emmanuel Jal and his “We Want Peace” campaign to empower indigenous Mayan women, build schools in South Sudan and spread the message of global peace. Courtesy of Colección Lunalast_img read more

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First new flight with Tigerair Australia lands in the Whitsundays

first_imgFirst new flight with Tigerair Australia lands in the WhitsundaysFirst new flight with Tigerair Australia lands in the WhitsundaysThe first of the new Tigerair Australia flights into Whitsunday Coast Airport commences today.The airline is increasing return services from Sydney, to six weekly return services, and is introducing four new return services from Brisbane, resulting in an additional 55,000 visitor seats into Whitsunday Coast Airport each year.The move has been welcomed by the region’s tourism operators and Tourism Whitsundays.Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the new flights would help the region fulfil its “massive potential”.“While the Whitsundays has always been highly aspirational, one of the barriers to converting this into visitation has been the challenges around ways to get here and the convenience of flights,” he said.“With the additional six flights into region with Tigerair, starting on March 23, this will go some way to breaking down that conversion barrier.“The Whitsundays is in a very strong position and the addition of these flights will allow us to continue to fulfil the massive potential that the Whitsundays has.”Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the additional flights and increased visitor seats would provide a significant boost for accommodation houses, tour and transport operators, restaurants and retail businesses in the region.“It is certainly happy days in the Whitsundays so far in 2017 and the new direct morning return service from Brisbane is a massive vote of confidence in our region by Tigerair.“As owners of Whitsunday Coast Airport this council has worked closely with Tigerair to secure the new flights, which will also provide better connectivity for overseas visitors.“Basically more choice and availability of flights makes it easier for international tourists to visit our region,” Mayor Willcox said.The new flights mean it has never been easier or more affordable to visit the Whitsundays. Source = Tourism Whitsundayslast_img read more

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SIVB Hapi Isles Specialist agents numbers crack 200 mark

first_imgSIVB ‘Hapi Isles Specialist’ agents numbers crack 200 markThe Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau’s ‘Hapi Isles Specialists’ agents’ online training program has signed up more than 200 consultants on both sides of the Tasman within five weeks of its launch.SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said the result underlined the steadily growing interest the industry is taking in the destination and mirrored the Solomon Islands’ steadily growing international visitation which has continued to increase year on year by some 7 per cent for the past four years.A total of 125 Australian and 85 New Zealand agents have signed up for the program which was launched in mid-September.The focus of the program is intended to equip key front like sales staff with product knowledge via a series of online modules designed to help them learn about the Solomon Islands and the destination’s vast array of niche product.To date the newly-recruited ‘Hapi Isles Specialists’ have completed over 700 of these modules which include information on the Solomon Islands’ unique culture, reef and wreck diving, WWII history, sport fishing, weddings/romantic travel, surfing and bird watching.Source = Mike Parker-Brown, PR – Solomon Islands Visitors Bureaulast_img read more

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