Province Extends External Review Process To Culture Funding

first_imgGovernment will extend the use of independent juries and review panels to all of its arts and culture funding programs and prizes by April 1. Tourism, Culture and Heritage Minister Len Goucher said today, Feb. 19, the decision came at the recommendation of the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council, an advisory body to government. “We asked the partnership council how we could improve the way in which arts and culture funding is administered,” said Mr. Goucher. “They came back to us with a recommendation for a fair and open process that would involve the arts and culture community to an even greater extent.” Based on the processes already in place for several funding programs and prizes, the partnership council developed an external assessment panel model and recommended that it be adopted for the remainder of the department’s culture funding programs. The peer jury process used for arts funding programs and prizes is based on the model used by the former Nova Scotia Arts Council and it will not be changed. Juries will continue to be made up of three peers — all from the arts community — who make independent decisions respecting arts funding. External assessment panels will be similar to peer juries. They will be made up of three members, two from the arts and culture community and one staff person from the department. They will be responsible for making recommendations on culture funding for groups and organizations. The department will also begin releasing the names of jurors and panel members shortly after funding recipients are announced. “This is an innovative process that combines increased transparency with greater input from the arts and culture community,” said Mr. Goucher. “It is just one more way we are trying to strengthen the arts and culture sector in our province with the help of the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council.” Anyone interested in learning more about the jury or panel process is encouraged to visit the department website at for complete criteria and guidelines. A form for becoming a jury or panel member is also available online or by contacting the department at 902-424-4510. The Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage administers more than $6.2 million annually through its arts and culture funding programs.last_img read more

Environmental leaders from Bangladesh to New Zealand to receive UN honours

The head of a leading South Asian environmental think tank and the Prime Minister of New Zealand are among those chosen as this year’s Champions of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for spearheading efforts to advance sustainable development and combat climate change. Atiq Rahman, the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, and Prime Minister Helen Clark are among the seven environmental leaders chosen for the prize, which will be given out at a ceremony in Singapore on 22 April. The other winners are Prince Albert II of Monaco; former United States Senator Timothy E. Wirth; Balgis Osman-Elasha, a senior researcher at Sudan’s Higher Council for Environment & Natural Resources; Liz Thompson, the former Energy and Environment Minister of Barbados; and Abdul-Qader Ba-Jammal, the Secretary-General of the Yemen People’s General Congress. “Today, we face environmental challenges of unprecedented magnitude. More than ever, our planet needs committed leaders and achievers like the 2008 Champions of the Earth who spur real, positive change and fuel innovative solutions to environmental problems,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “These inspirational individuals demonstrate not only that action and different development paths are possible but also the abundant opportunities arising as a result of a transformation towards a green economy.” This year’s winners have all spearheaded exceptional initiatives on issues ranging from protecting the unique biodiversity of Yemen’s islands to piloting climate-proofing strategies in Sudan and boosting conservation in Barbados, the agency said. The announcement comes as environmental officials from over 100 countries prepare to gather in Monaco for the 10th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council from 20 to 22 February. This year’s session focuses on the urgent challenge of climate change – specifically, the issue of mobilizing funds to realize a low-carbon world. World Environment Day will be marked this year under the theme “Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy,” with New Zealand as host. 28 January 2008The head of a leading South Asian environmental think tank and the Prime Minister of New Zealand are among those chosen as this year’s Champions of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for spearheading efforts to advance sustainable development and combat climate change. read more

Gay City worker sues former hedge fund employer for more than £1m

first_imgA gay City worker is suing his former hedge fund employer for more than £1 million over claims he suffered an “unrelenting” campaign of homophobic abuse at work.Paul Newton claimed he was mocked by staff at Balyasny Europe Asset Management as they made limp-wristed hand gestures and told him he should not drive his high-powered Aston Martin.Colleagues also openly made jokes about his sex life, claiming he wanted to have relations with multiple men, and called him “camp” and “effeminate”, treating him like a “curiosity on exhibit”, the 43-year-old alleged. …subjected to unrelenting abuse based on his sexual orientation by his colleaguesWrit Mr Newton, who joined the office in spring 2014, was reportedly fired from his role as an asset manager for poor performance and losses linked to the Brexit vote at the end of June, according to the Evening Standard.He is now suing the firm, which has offices in London, America and Hong Kong, for unfair dismissal as he believes his sacking was the culmination of two-years of abuse.In a writ seen by the paper, Mr Newton described the working environment at the firm as “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive”.He claimed he was “constantly told that he looked like a woman” because he had long hair and said his colleagues “had the unmistakable assumption that he was extremely promiscuous”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Newton, whose barrister is Lawrence Jones, has since suffered depression and anxiety, and used to cry in his office over the abuse, the writ said.The Central London Employment Tribunal confirmed the dates of the hearing but would not confirm any details.The Telegraph has contacted Balyasny Europe Asset Management for comment but has not yet had a reply. In a statement issued to the Standard, the firm said it would “resist the claim vigorously” and affirmed it was “committed, by policy and ethical commitment, to a work-force free from harassment”. It added that the claims were “without merit”. The hearing is expected to take place on March 15 next year.last_img read more

Britain plans mass mobile phone alerts to protect public from terrorism major floods

The technology allows thousands of messages to be sent to every mobile phone in areas deemed at risk. If the pilot project is successful, officials want to roll out the system across the country. Britain is planning to introduce US-style mass mobile phone alerts to protect the public against terrorism, major floods and nuclear attack. Supporters of so-called ‘cell broadcasting’ claim the message alerts could have saved lives during major incidents including the London Bridge terrorist attack and Grenfell Tower fire. Senior figures have raised concerns, however, that… A major new early warning system for deadly threats will be trialled for the first time later this year, the Telegraph has learned.

11/12 WWE Results: Newcastle, England (Reigns vs. Wyatt)

first_imgFacebook Now Playing Up Next Twitter Watch every episode of Firefly Funhouse, Top 10 Greatest Kings of the Ring Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WWE’s Bray Wyatt Cited In Car Accident WWE’s Sasha Banks Confirms “No One KNew” About Roman Reigns’ Leukemia Videos Articles “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt being advertised for Title Match at Hell In A Cell PPV Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img Pinterest Now Playing Up Next Erick Rowan Videos Articles Matt Hardy Says John Olivers WWE Claims Are Outdated Sasha Banks Takes A Break From WWE To Deal With Injury Google+ Bray Wyatt 11/11 WWE Results: Newcastle, England* Neville def. Stardust (big reaction for Neville in his hometown).* Fandango & Damien Sandow def. Adam Rose & Heath Slater.* WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio def. King Barrett & Jack Swagger in a triple threat match.* Luke Harper, Erick Rowan & Braun Stroman def. The Usos & Ryback.* NXT Women’s Champion Bayley & Becky Lynch def. Sasha Banks & Naomi.* The Lucha Dragons def. Los Matadores & The Ascension.* Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt in a No Holds Barred match.Source: Prowrestling.netRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE’s Bray Wyatt Cited In Car AccidentVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 48.61%0:03Remaining Time -0:27 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Luke Harper Returns To WWE Live New matches announced for Summerslam, Updated card in three weeks in Torontolast_img read more

Ivan Juric tips Bessa and Cristian Romero for great things

first_imgGenoa football head coach Ivan Juric believes he can see many positivities from Genoa’s 2-2 draw with Udinese, stating that Daniel Bessa and Cristian Romero are for great things.Rodrigo De Paul cleared up for Kevin Lasagna and scored the second goal with a fantastic curler while the Grifone were twice in front at Marassi.“I saw a good team for long periods and we deserved to be more than 1-0 up at half-time, as Udinese didn’t have a shot on goal,” the Coach told Sky Sports Italia via Football Italia.“There are many positives to take from this match. It’s a positive result, considering we were down to 10 men at the end. We know De Paul is dangerous from that distance, so we shouldn’t have let him take the shot in all that space.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….“I’ve known Daniel Bessa since he was in the youth team, he has everything it takes to become a great player. He hit the post today and won the penalty, so the future depends on him. He can either keep growing or rest on his laurels.“Cristian Romero was playing with the youth team three weeks ago. I know he’ll make mistakes, but he’ll learn to be more careful now when he’s on a yellow card.”last_img read more

Sea turtles released to sea in Marathon after treatment

first_imgMARATHON, FLA. (WSVN) – Crowds gathered in Marathon to watch a pair of sea turtles return to their natural habitat.The turtles, named Little Money and Coco, were freed, Friday, after being found suffering from intestinal issues three weeks ago, near Marathon.After undergoing treatment at The Turtle Hospital, they were fitted with satellite tracking transmitters and sent on their way.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Disney Publishing to Launch Two Print Titles

first_imgDisney Publishing Worldwide announced the launch of two magazines targeted at children – Phineas and Ferb, and Thor. Phineas and Farb is a bimonthly publication which will be available for purchase at retail locations such as supermarkets, bookstores, mass market and drug stores, as well as through subscription.DPW will the follow the launch of Phineas and Ferb with three special interest publications focusing on content based on Marvel and Disney-Pixar filmsDisney Publishing Worldwide currently distributes Disney FamilyFun, a magazine serving mothers. Along with Phineas and Ferb, Disney Publishing is releasing Thor in April, with Cars 2 (set to be distributed monthly) and Captain America being launched later in 2011. The publications will contain 52 glossy pages. Disney rebranded their FamilyFun magazine in June 2009 in order to establish a closer connection between Disney and the FamilyFun brand. Disney also has the quarterly Spanish language Disney en Familia edition, which launched in the fall of 2008. Ad pages increased in 2010 for Disney FamilyFun, rising from 617.78 in 2009 to 667.11 in 2010.last_img read more

Pedestrian and bike friendly community planning

first_imgWorking to make community streets safer for pedestrians, bicycle riders and public transit users can revitalize neighborhoods, boost the economy and help residents get more exercise. It also keeps the air cleaner. These ideas are increasingly being built into long range traffic and community design plans and it’s not just a concept for warm climate cities. We’ll discuss new ways of designing transportation plans for trails and roads.Listen NowHOST: Lori TownsendGUESTS:Mark Fenton – MIT Engineer and Transportation expert Steve Cleary –  of Alaska TrailsStatewide callers Participate:Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcastPost your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send email to (comments may be read on air)LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by email, RSS or podcast.last_img read more

Police to start libraries in Maoist leaders villages SP

first_imgSrikakulam: District police have come forward with a novel idea to gain the hearts of residents of native villages of leaders of Maoist and its affiliated organisations. Superintendent of Police (SP), R N Ammi Reddy proposed to establish libraries to reach the public in these villages. Initially they planned to start two libraries – one at Giyyannapeta in Kotabommali mandal and another at Bathupuram in Vajrapukotturu mandal. The library is named as ‘Jnana Nilayam’ (knowledge center). Also Read – Former Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao put on house arrest Advertise With Us Giyyannapeta is the native of Maoist top leader Namballa Kesava Rao. Bathupuram is the native village of several underground cadre Maoist members and it’s front organizations like ‘Bandhu Mitrula Sangham,’ Desabakthi Sangham’ etc. These libraries are established with the funds of central government. Village elders and concerned police station circle inspector or sub-inspector will supervise it regularly. Newspapers and books for competitive examinations will be available at these libraries. Students, job aspirants can utilise the facility and villagers also can also gain knowledge. Also Read – DGP Gautam Sawang warns over objectional posts on social media Advertise With Us Other villages like Boddapdu in Palasa mandal, Akkupalli, Bypalli in Vajrapukotturu mandal also native places of members of several front organisations of Maoist party. Several youth have been appointed as home guards from these villages in the police department. By providing employment to youth, police department officials had established effective information source from these villages. With the establishment of libraries, police will improve their image among public. For the last several years no incidents were reported from the Maoists side, but 15 days ago Maoists old dump was unearthed under Donubai police station limits in Sitampeta mandal. Advertise With Us Police believe that the Maoists have been utilising Srikakulam area as their shelter zone for the last several years. “As part of social responsibility and to provide knowledge gaining facility to youth we decided to start ‘Jnana Nilayams’ by providing newspapers and books for competitive examinations,” SP, R N Ammi Reddy told The Hans India. -Chowdary Lakshmana Raolast_img read more

Complete repair works before religious fete SO

first_imgTirumala: TTD is gearing up for the smooth and successful conduct of the annual Brahmotsavams to be held from September 30 to October 8. TTD Tirumala Special Officer (SO) AV Dharma Reddy along with senior officials, after the weekly review meeting, on Tuesday took out an extensive inspection covering queue lines, galleries, rest houses and cottages and also other facilities like public toilets to identify any repair works and complete them before the mega religious fete which attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country. Also Read – 10 injured as school bus falls off bridge in Nellore district Advertise With Us The TTD SO directed the engineering officials to complete all the repair works including of all the public toilets in Tirumala well ahead of annual Brahmotsavams and should cater to the demand of the pilgrims during the occasion. In the weekly review meeting of senior officials held at Annamayya Bhavan in Tirumala on Tuesday, the SO instructed the Chief Engineer Ramachandra Reddy to ensure that all cottages and toilet blocks are free from repairs and meet the needs of the multitude of visiting pilgrims during annual fete. Also Read – TDP to open shelters for victims of attacks Advertise With Us He also instructed that henceforth all the senior officers, who have adopted each area, to ensure overall development shall be reviewed from next week onwards for betterment of the system. The SO also reviewed on the pending civil, electrical and water works in Tirumala along with sanitation and procurement of ingredients required to make prasadams. Additional CVSO Venkata Siva Kumar Reddy, GM (Transport) and IT wing head Sesha Reddy, GM (Procurement) Jagadishwar Reddy and Health Officer Dr RR Reddy were also present.last_img read more

Game of Thrones Star Sophie Turner Honors Her Stark Family on Instagram

first_img Game of Thrones is unfortunately over, however, many Game of Thrones stars, including Sophie Turner, are posting sweet tributes about their characters on social media. As shown in the series finale (warning: spoilers ahead), Arya Stark, Bran Stark, and Sansa Stark are still “alive and well,” and Turner acknowledged her Stark squad’s final appearance in a funny Instagram post.On Tuesday, Turner confirmed that “the pack survived” in the post, which shows Turner on the Game of Thrones set with Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark). In between takes for Season 8, Episode 6, Turner appears to be using a vape, while Williams is posing in a pair of sunglasses and Hempstead-Wright looks like he’s wearing shorts. ‘Game of Thrones’ Director Explains Why Arya Ambushed the Night King’Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Predicts Sansa Stark’s Future Stay on target Even though some Game of Thrones fans were not happy with the way the show ended, the series finale ended on a surprising note: Bran Stark becomes king of the six kingdoms, Sansa Stark is officially “Queen of the North,” and Arya Stark sets out to explore what’s west of Westeros. The three Stark siblings might have endured different hardships and situations, but at the end of the day, the squad made it to the end of the series together.Turner also shared a touching tribute to her character, Sansa Stark, on Instagram. The post, which shows Turner with all her cast mates on the Game of Thrones set, has generated more than three million likes so far. “Sansa, Thank you for teaching me resilience, bravery and what true strength really is. Thank you teaching me to be kind and patient and to lead with love. I grew up with you,” Turner wrote on Instagram. “I fell in love with you at 13 and now 10 years on.. at 23 I leave you behind, but I will never leave behind what you’ve taught me.”<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>&nbsp;</p><p>More on‘Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Posts Tribute to Sansa Stark: ‘I Grew Up With You’ Sophie Turner Calls Out Fans for ‘Game of Thrones’ Petition‘Game of Thrones’ Series Final Recap: Who Can Say What’s Good?last_img read more

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first_img News | Contrast Media | February 28, 2018 Guerbet Presents Contrast&Care Injection Management Solution at ECR 2018 February 28, 2018 — Guerbet will present its new Contrast&Care application, as well as other… read more The Bayer/Medrad Mark 7 Arterion angiographic injector is designed for better ergonomics, to be small, light-weigh and easy to use.Two next-generation automated contrast injector systems were recently introduced in the United States. In March 2012, Covidien began its global launch of a new version of its Optivantage dual-head computed tomography (CT) contrast media delivery system that allows simultaneous injection. The vendor said simultaneous injection and use of prefilled syringes offer technicians flexibility. The prefilled syringes also help minimize the risk of contamination from filling empty syringes. The system offers Covidien’s Optibolus software to deliver contrast media at a decelerating exponential rate compared to the standard constant rate of uniphasic injections.At RSNA 2011, Medrad (now Bayer) introduced the Mark 7 Arterion angiographic injection system. The system is much smaller, lighter-weight, more ergonomic and easier to maneuver than previous Medrad injectors. It also is easier to operate than previous models, requiring less time to position and set up. It has a clearly visible and intuitive user interface to guide the user through proper set-up, and highlights the information needed to perform injections.The Mark 7 Arterion has a unique front loading system to simplify set-up and makes for a cleaner tear down. The Mark 7 Arterion syringe provides a clear view of the contrast. Bracco Acquires Swiss Medical CareIn January, Bracco Imaging SpA acquired Swiss Medical Care (SMC), a Swiss contrast injector system vendor. The acquisition is a continuation of Bracco’s expansion into the injector market, after previously purchasing Acist and EZEM. The company said Swiss Medical will further strengthen its portfolio of solutions for radiology and diagnostic imaging. Swiss Medical said the merger will help expand sales of its CT Exprés computed tomography syringe-less contrast injector, which gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in December 2006. Connecting Injector Data to EMRsAt RSNA 2011, Medrad released the Certegra Informatics Connect.RIS vendor-neutral informatics application to establish connectivity between Medrad’s Stellant contrast-injection systems and hospital information systems.  The application auto-populates contrast-injection records into reporting systems, eliminating the need to look for or dictate contrast-injection records. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Contrast Media | July 17, 2017 ACR Offers Revised Contrast Media in Imaging Manual The American College of Radiology (ACR) recently revised its authoritative guide for the safe and effective use of… read more News | Interventional Radiology | December 12, 2018 Guerbet Showcases Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging Solutions at RSNA 2018 Guerbet LLC USA highlighted new and next-level product offerings and partnerships in contrast media, injectors,… read more Feature | Contrast Media Injectors | March 07, 2018 | Grand View Research Inc. Contrast Media Injectors A $1.4 B Market by 2025 The global contrast media injectors market is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual… read more Feature | May 15, 2012 | Dave Fornell Recently Introduced Contrast Injectors Medrad, Covidien release next generation systems Sponsored Content | Case Study | Contrast Media Injectors | March 06, 2018 The Power In Prefilled Syringes The continuing search for advantages to improve workflow has radiology departments constantly searching for new… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Contrast Media Injectors | April 02, 2019 The Power In Prefilled Syringes The continuing search for advantages to improve workflow has radiology departments constantly searching for new solut read more Example of full-dose, 10 percent low-dose and algorithm-enhanced low-dose. Image courtesy of Enhao Gong, Ph.D.center_img Technology | Contrast Media Injectors | December 05, 2018 Guerbet Launches Multi-Use OptiVantage Contrast Media Injector in Europe Contrast agent company Guerbet recently announced that the OptiVantage multi-use contrast media injector is now CE… read more Feature | Contrast Media Injectors | April 11, 2019 | By Jeff Zagoudis Using Artificial Intelligence to Reduce Gadolinium Contrast One of the most controversial issues in radiology in recent years has been the use of… read more GU12171120 TriHealth in Cincinnati. Related Content News | Contrast Media | October 10, 2017 Guerbet to Participate in French Interventional Radiology Conference Guerbet announced it will be taking part in the 65th edition of the Journées Francophones de Radiologie (JFR) that will… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Contrast Media Injectors | April 13, 2017 Experience at 3 Sites Utilizing Syringe-Less Contrast Injectors The volume of computed tomography (CT) imaging exams continues to grow in the United States,[2] adding pressure to… read morelast_img read more

Unions call for nationwide protest against proposed budget cuts

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican lawmakers approve national budget for 2014 Costa Rican government presents national budget for 2014 Costa Rica’s Solís denies secret agreement with unions on Monday’s strike For Solís, next key issue is striking workers in essential public services Public employee unions will hold a demonstration on Oct.20 to urge lawmakers not to cut salary bonuses from Costa Rica’s budget for 2015.The National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP) is calling for a large protest to begin at 11 a.m. in San José’s Central Park. The demonstration will continue to the Legislative Assembly.Some of the slogans ANEP leaders plan to use include: “I’m not responsible for the fiscal deficit”; “I don’t dodge taxes”; and “I’m not lazy or corrupt.”A pamphlet circulating in government offices argues that wage bonuses are lawful and cannot be eliminated. “We live in a state of law, and these benefits are protected by vested rights,” the pamphlet states.The document claims that the business sector “concentrates wealth, dodges taxes and is pushing to maintain an unfair Costa Rican tax structure.”Lawmakers from several political parties have voiced the need to cut a proposed 2015 budget of ₡7.9 trillion ($14.5 billion), submitted by President Luis Guillermo Solís on Sept. 1.That proposal would allot more than ₡1 billion ($1.8 million) for salary bonuses and overtime for public workers.Solís has said he is open to making some cuts that wouldn’t affect essential and “strategic” plans for his administration.The Assembly’s Financial Affairs Commission currently is discussing the draft budget and will issue an overview by Oct. 20. The budget then must be approved by the full Assembly in two separate rounds of voting.Last year, lawmakers approved the 2014 budget at a total of ₡6.6 trillion ($13.1 billion). Facebook Commentslast_img read more

In Georgia where guest is God tourism thrives

first_imgAssociated PressBATUMI, Georgia (AP) – Georgia’s Black Sea resort of Batumi was once a bleak site: Roads were dotted with pot-holes, the city was pitch dark at night, running water was scarce and the city’s best hotel was infested with rats. Today Batumi glitters with neon lights and luxury high-rise hotels dot its skyline; soon the city will even boast a fountain flowing with Georgian grape vodka.The transformation of the ancient city of 180,000 near the border with Turkey is a vivid example of Georgia’s drive to capitalize on its tourism potential, boosting the economy of an ex-Soviet nation where roughly one person in five lives in poverty. The government has attracted top foreign investors, such as U.S. real estate magnate Donald Trump, to build hotels and develop and renovate tourist sites. And it has aggressively marketed Georgia as a tourism hot spot. And while some skeptics say that the official tourism figures may be inflated, there is no doubt that tourism is booming here, with beaches and restaurants busy with visitors. Most tourists come from other ex-Soviet nations like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan, but English, French and other languages are also heard on the streets.Oksana Dovrenova, 40, came to Batumi with her daughter Damira Rakhmanova, 15, from the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan. It was their first time at the sea and they were pleasantly surprised to discover that sea water is indeed salty.“The people are very friendly, very welcoming, they are always happy to see you. Good job,” Dovrenova said, as she sunbathed at the pebble stone beach.Shi Tang, 29, from China who works as a sales manager at a radio station in nearby Turkey said he will return to Batumi, which he called a “European city,” with his friends.“This is a good place: good sea, good beach and there are so many churches,” Shi said.Locals call Batumi “the city of love” and authorities have erected numerous monuments to make the point _ like the figure of a man kneeling down before a woman, offering her a red heart. They’ve even opened a round-the-clock marriage registry, where anyone can tie the knot day and night. Sponsored Stories It remains to be seen whether Saakashvili’s rival, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who appears poised to become the next prime minister, will continue developing the tourism sector or focus on something else.But the effects of the tourism campaign are plain to see in the transformation of this resort, dubbed the “Batumi Miracle.”Today, the center of Batumi could easily be mistaken for a western European seaside town with neat cobble-stone streets, graced by vine grapes descending onto the pavement, bustling cafes and noisy fountains. The city skyline is dotted by internationally renowned hotels like the Sheraton and the Hilton; scores of others including a 47-story Trump Tower are being built. At night, Batumi is bright with lights and even the pineapple-shaped palm trees, which line the embankment, are illuminated.Batumi now boasts its own piazza, dominated by a soaring clock-tower, which is modeled after central city squares in Italian cities. Work is also under way to erect a fountain flowing with chacha, Georgian grape vodka, available for free, though in small amounts. There are scores of fashion boutiques and even a plastic surgery clinic.The new hotels have created several thousand jobs for the graduates of a recently opened tourism collage, a heartening change in a country where the unemployment rate is 16 percent. Restaurants and cafes have sprung up like mushrooms, offering the traditional Georgian dish called of Khachapuri, crusty boat-shaped bread in which an egg yolk floats in melted cheese and butter. “A lot of families have been created after the tourist season in Batumi,” Chkhaidze, the mayor, said with a smile.But a lot remains to be done. Step a few blocks away from the city center, and you may stumble into a pot-hole, see crumbling buildings and underwear flapping in the wind on balconies. Locals complain that water shortages still persist in residential areas and the average monthly salary in the city is just $300.“People are still struggling, but the city is getting better and better,” said Marina Soselia, a 57-year-old doctor in Batumi.Despite the difficulties, officials say, tourists are sure to get a warm welcome in Georgia.One recent afternoon, a taxi driver pulled up to entrance of the Batumi and told his passengers, a young couple, that the next time they come here, “I will show you such places, that you wouldn’t want to leave.” The couple smiled with gratitude, but a colleague of the driver who stood nearby admonished him, “Why didn’t you show them these places this time around? If you had, they wouldn’t be leaving now!”___Associated Press Writer Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili contributed to this report from Tbilisi, Georgia. Comments   Share   The project capitalizes not only on Georgia’s geographical riches _ the Black Sea, the soaring Caucasus mountains and its ancient cities _ but also on the very essence of the Georgian culture: hospitality itself. Here, refusing to come into one’s home and sitting down at a food-laden table can result in deep personal insult, while declining to toast with traditional Georgian wine can prompt reprimands like, “Don’t you respect me?”“Unfortunately, Georgia is not a country that has a lot of natural resources, there is no oil, no gas and so what helps the country grow economically is intellect and tourism,” Batumi mayor Robert Chkhaidze told The Associated Press in an interview. “For us, a guest is something precious. For a Georgian, each guest is like God.”Since coming to power in the peaceful 2003 Rose Revolution, the pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili has turned the tourism industry into a key sector of the Georgian economy, now comprising 7.1 percent of the Georgian GDP, compared to 3.4 percent in 2004. In 2001, Georgia’s Black Sea towns, the ski resorts of Gudauri and Bakuriani, the winemaking region of Kakheti and other tourist attractions have drawn 2.8 million or nearly 8 times more than in 2004 and tourism revenues have jumped from $176 million to $938 million, according to tourism officials. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

OCC Compliance Risk Remains High

first_img July 11, 2016 570 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination OCC: Compliance Risk Remains High Compliance risk management systems remain high for banks, with the implementation of TRID on October 3, 2015, identified as a key risk, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)’s Semiannual Risk Perspective released Monday.Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry said on Monday that “Banks have more work to do to ensure full compliance” with TRID as well as the amended Military Lending Act (MLA), which was expanded to include coverage of all consumer credit covered under the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z except for residential mortgages.The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID), or the integration of the new mortgage disclosure forms, the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, have presented significant compliance challenges for banks and the mortgage industry as a whole because of the significant systems and operational changes required to comply. Nine months after the controversial TRID rule has taken effect, compliance is still a challenge for banks, the OCC reported.”The implementation process required extensive coordination with third parties, and there were numerous reports of issues relating to third-party readiness,” the report stated. “Many banks also have dedicated substantial resources to understanding the rules, adapting systems, and training personnel. Full implementation of the rules, however, continues to pose operational and compliance risks and challenges.”The OCC said that FY 2017 examination strategies incorporate assessing compliance with rules as well as banks’ compliance management systems and overall compliance efforts, in recognition of the scope and scale of challenges banks need to achieve effective compliance with TRID.Even with the elevated risk presented by TRID and the amended MLA, Curry said that 2015 was still a solid year for banks.”The banking sector benefited from the improving economy with broad-based loan growth, driven by commercial and industrial and real estate lending,” Curry said. “Income and profitability were up, particularly at banks with less than $1 billion in assets, which had return on equity that exceeded 10 percent on average. Large banks net income also improved, but higher provisioning expenses partially offset gains in net interest income and lower overhead. The improvement in banks’ performance is also reflected in the decreasing number of 4- and 5-rated national banks and federal savings associations, which fell 34 percent in 2015. All of these indicators suggest a strong and healthy federal banking system. However, despite these improving indicators, as regulators, we must remain on guard and our top concerns for the banking system remain strategic, credit, operational, and compliance risks.”Click here to view the full report.center_img Banks Compliance Risk mortgage originations OCC TRID 2016-07-11 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

by The Associated Press Posted Jan 1 2019 12

first_img by The Associated Press Posted Jan 1, 2019 12:06 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ASTEROID CHASENASA spacecraft enters orbit around asteroid, sets recordsLAUREL, Md. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft has gone into orbit around an ancient asteroid, setting a pair of records.The Osiris-Rex spacecraft entered orbit Monday around the asteroid Bennu, 70 million miles (110 million kilometres) from Earth. It’s the smallest celestial body ever to be orbited by a spacecraft. Bennu is just 1,600 feet (500 metres) across.The spacecraft’s laps are barely a mile (1.6 kilometres) above the asteroid’s surface, another record.Osiris-Rex arrived at Bennu in early December and flew in formation with it until the latest manoeuvr. The goal is to grab gravel samples in 2020 for return to Earth in 2023.The New Year’s Eve milestone occurred just hours before another NASA explorer, New Horizons, was set to fly past an icy space rock beyond Pluto.SMOKE SHOP-TRUMP SUPPORTERSmoke shop: Worker fired after anti-Trump rant at customerTUCKER, Ga. (AP) — A store that sells smoking and vaping material in Georgia says it fired an employee after he yelled profanity at a customer wearing a T-shirt and hat supporting President Donald Trump.The customer, Ian Fergeson, says he went to Xhale City in the Atlanta suburb of Tucker to try to buy vape juice. WAGA-TV reports that Ferguson recorded a video showing the unnamed store worker refusing to wait on him and using several expletives. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the video showed the worker calling Trump and the customer “racist.”In a statement on Facebook and Twitter, the shop says it does not tolerate such behaviour by employees and that it fired the worker immediately after the confrontation.SHUTDOWN-NATIONA PARKSNational parks hurt by government shutdownWASHINGTON (AP) — Where is Smokey the Bear when you need him?The Trump administration’s decision to leave national parks open despite the government shutdown has created a mess, in more ways than one.Garbage is overflowing. A resident near Yosemite National Park says “a free-for-all” is under way with illegal off-roading and other behaviour. There is scattered trash and human waste. Campers at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California’s deserts were reporting squabbles as different families laid claims to sites, with no rangers on hand to adjudicate.The 10th day of the partial federal government shutdown, which has forced furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal government employees, has left many parks without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep parks running.The Associated Presscenter_img AM Prep-Cooler Copylast_img read more

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