FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Salvation Army has been working hard to expand its Perishable Food Program and with their new walk-in Fridge and Freezer units now running, there is room for greater growth and development.The commercial style fridge and freezer units stand behind the shelves of the food processing area of the Food Bank as volunteers push trolleys and fill them with items from checklists.Trying to keep out of the way in the fast paced environment and looking into the new fridge, Cameron Eggie, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Northern Centre of Hope shared, “we are just finishing building the shelving.” The units will not only be able to hold more food, but they will also help create space as the Food Bank has been using 11 residential refrigerator/freezers to house the perishables. With the new shelving in the commercial units, it will be much easier to organize and maintain the food donations received until clients of the food bank can pick up their food.‘Under 500 people use the Food Bank every month,” said Eggie, he goes on to explain that the Food Bank only employs one person for 20 hours a week and the rest of the help they get is through volunteers. Eggie expresses that they currently have 20 volunteers and are yet to be able to keep up with capacity and filling the need, ideally, the Salvation Army needs 40 volunteers.Every morning a volunteer goes around to five stores to collect non-perishables which is about 6/700lbs of food daily. The Salvation Army will soon be taking possession of a new refrigerated van that will make picking up perishable food donations easier and more efficient.Eggie is also converting an old kitchen area to a stainless steel washing station for food handling equipment to increase capacity, which will process donations quicker and provide healthier food options for families to have access too.Once the new washing station is complete, the Salvation Army will work in collaboration with NEAT to do community canning and creating soup stock.If you would be interested in volunteering in the Food Bank, contact the Salvation Army at; 250.785.0506, email; firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the food bank in person
Casablanca- A Moroccan family urged diplomatic authorities to intervene via the country’s embassy in Malaysia to save the son’s life.Mohamed Seddiki was sentenced to death penalty by Malaysia’s High Court last May 30 over drug smuggling charges.The 27 year- old was arrested along with two Germans of Moroccan origin at the Kuala Lumpur international airport on January 1th 2012. Officials reported to have found 10.2 kilograms of methamphetamine in their bags. A district court nearby the airport charged the three with drug trafficking, but the German nationals were acquitted last May whereas Seddiki convicted and sentenced to death penalty.The court freed the two men because of reasonable doubt raised by their defense, claiming that they had no idea about the content of the bags handed to them by Seddiki, according to New Straits Times.In a statement to Nador City.com, the family said that the three young men were sent by their company on a special mission to Malaysia, accusing officials of the same company of putting drugs in the bags without informing their son and his colleagues.The family went on to say that German embassy interfered in favor of the German nationals, urging Moroccan embassy to take similar action to save their son’s life or at least ensure his right to a fair trial.
TRENTON, N.J. — U.S. regulators want to know why Novartis didn’t disclose a problem with testing data until after the Swiss drugmaker’s $2.1 million gene therapy was approved.The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday the manipulated data involved testing in animals, not patients, and it’s confident that the drug, called Zolgensma, should remain on the market. The agency said it’s investigating and will consider criminal or civil penalties if appropriate.Zolgensma was approved in May for children under 2, becoming the most expensive treatment ever. It’s a one-time treatment for a rare inherited condition, spinal muscular atrophy, which destroys a baby’s muscle control.The FDA said in a statement that AveXis Inc., the Novartis AG subsidiary that manufactures Zolgensma, told the agency five weeks after the approval about a “data manipulation issue” that resulted in inaccurate information about testing in animals. The agency said the company knew about the problem before the FDA approved Zolgensma. The inaccurate data is a small subset of the testing information that the FDA evaluated.Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless tweeted that “the agency will use its full authorities to take action.”In a statement Tuesday evening, Novartis said that after AveXis learned of alleged data manipulation in one animal testing procedure, the company immediately began investigating. Once it had “interim conclusions,” it shared them with the FDA.Novartis didn’t say why it didn’t notify the FDA before it approved Zolgensma. Novartis stated that the animal test in question isn’t used in making the therapy for patients and that Zolgensma is safe and effective.FDA staff inspected the company’s Irvine, California, manufacturing plant in recent weeks, then issued a report finding several deficiencies, including not fully following quality control procedures.Spinal muscular atrophy strikes about 400 babies born in the U.S. each year and is a top genetic cause of infant death. Zolgensma works by supplying a healthy copy of the faulty gene that causes the condition.___Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma .___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Linda A. Johnson, The Associated Press
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People said the two-day meeting under the theme, “End the Occupation!,” is scheduled to open on 23 September.In addition to giving non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world an opportunity to exchange views, the conference also aims to renew efforts to coordinate their activities and develop action-oriented proposals in support of the Palestinian people.Scheduled panellists for the event include Hanan Ashrawi, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy, and Terry Greenblatt, Director of Bat Shalom, the Israeli Women’s peace organization.
Agriculture Secretary Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks during an interview wit The Associated Press, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at the Agriculture Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) by Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press Posted May 3, 2017 3:31 pm MDT Last Updated May 3, 2017 at 4:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email AP Interview: Ag leader supports renegotiating trade pact WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who last week helped persuade President Donald Trump not to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement, said Wednesday that the administration would renegotiate the pact with Canada and Mexico with a focus on what has worked and what hasn’t.Trump appeared to be on the brink of pulling out of the trade agreement last week after strongly criticizing it during the 2016 campaign as a job-killer. But the former Georgia governor was one of several top officials who helped convince him not to do so, pointing out its benefits to agriculture and the potentially disruptive effect of an abrupt withdrawal.“I tried to demonstrate to him that in the agricultural market sometimes words like ‘withdraw’ or ‘terminate’ can have a major impact on markets,” Perdue said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. “I think the president made a very wise decision for the benefit of many agricultural producers across the country.”Perdue was only in his second day in office at USDA when he found himself urgently arguing agriculture’s case to the president. As Trump balances his strong dislike of trade agreements like NAFTA, which he called a “disaster” on the campaign trail, Perdue is prepared to continue that role.Still, he’s supportive of renegotiating the pact and says that while it has been good for Midwestern grain and dairy farmers, it hasn’t been as beneficial for some other growers, including fruit and vegetable producers in South Florida.“These things will be done individually, whether it’s milk, whether it’s with the Canadians and the Mexicans, whether it’s fruit and vegetables, whether it’s feed grains, whether it’s oilseeds, cotton and the many products that we grow,” Perdue said. “All those will be on the table as we come back and say what’s working and what’s not?”As for his meeting with Trump, Perdue says the president was “well aware” that he was elected with strong margins in farm country. That was something agricultural commodity groups desperately sought to remind the White House last week as Trump considered withdrawing from the pact, with the head of the National Corn Growers Association saying in a statement: “Mr. President, America’s corn farmers helped elect you.”Despite his decision not to withdraw, Perdue says Trump is very serious about changes.“I think we can come up with a better plan,” Perdue said.In his first week on the job, Perdue announced changes to Obama administration rules that make school meals healthier, delaying upcoming standards to lower sodium in meals and allowing some schools to get waivers from whole grain requirements. Perdue said the move “is a pause in the process to give us and school lunch professionals the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.”He did have some potentially good news for nutrition advocates who were frustrated by the changes. Asked if the department will act on a request from some schools who say requirements to take fruits and vegetables on the lunch line are costly and wasteful, he said he’ll take a look but will be hard to convince.“I’m a big fruit and vegetable kind of guy,” he said. “Frankly, I have no immediate plans, and I’m not sure I have any future plans, to reduce fruits and vegetables in wholesome meals.”On USDA’s food stamp program, which cost more than $70 billion last year and has been the target of some proposed cuts by Republicans, Perdue said he plans to investigate how much states are spending administratively. Those amounts vary widely and the federal government shares part of that cost, he said.Perdue said he’s already met with Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who has pushed USDA to allow states to ban food stamp recipients from buying junk food. The Obama administration wouldn’t grant LePage’s request, and Perdue didn’t say how he would rule on the issue. But he said LePage, a Republican, “has some very creative programs that we’re exploring.”Perdue is also inheriting a decision by Trump administration officials to remove animal welfare inspection reports, enforcement records and other information about the treatment of animals from USDA’s website. Some of the documents have been restored, but many are still inaccessible.Department officials said in February that they removed the records because they are trying to balance the need for transparency with rules protecting individual privacy rights. Though the decision came before he was in office, Perdue says he agrees with it and the department is reviewing the issue.“I’m not very much of a name it and shame it kind of guy,” Perdue said. “If I want to call somebody’s name out, I want to make sure they’ve done wrong.”
Like most people, the sports information directors in the Ohio State athletic department have their own unique personalities and reputations. I was fortunate enough to receive an impromptu education in the ways of the late men’s and women’s volleyball and riffle and pistol sports information director D.C. Koehl this past fall. During football season, Mr. Koehl distributed reporters credentials for home OSU football games. The Lantern had a rotating cast of reporters covering football during the 2011 season, so I paid Mr. Koehl quite a few visits. The week leading up to OSU football home game against Penn State on Nov. 19, I made another trek up to Mr. Koehl’s cubicle in the Fawcett Center. I said I needed to pick up credentials for the coming Saturday’s game. The conversation, as I remember it, went something like this: “I see,” he said, pulling a drawer open to reveal stacks of credentials held together by rubber bands. He thumbed through envelopes and I noticed a nice piece of hardware on his ring finger — he later told me it was for the men’s volleyball team’s 2011 national title. “What organization are you with?” Mr. Koehl asked me. “The Lantern,” I replied sheepishly. “Oh, The Lantern,” he said. He began to hand me the white envelope containing our credentials but then hesitated and eventually tucked the envelope under his folded arms. I shot a glance at a co-worker who had accompanied me to the Fawcett Center. We were scared. “You know, you guys run a football column or story a day in your paper, but rarely a single mention of the (women’s) volleyball team,” he said. “Not even a brief. And I send those releases out after every match.” I took a moment to collect myself. Then, I set about explaining to Mr. Koehl that my staff of sports reporters was considerably smaller than in the past and that we didn’t have the resources to cover every sport on campus. We went back and forth for about five more minutes before he looked up at me, gave me an understanding nod and handed me the envelope. “Email me anytime you can find someone to cover the team,” he said. Though direct, Mr. Koehl was a gentleman during the conversation. His sole intent was to advocate for a team and the program he cared so much for. We shook hands and parted ways. It was the last time Koehl and I would speak in person. I corresponded with Koehl via email in early January as the men’s volleyball season neared. The first response I received from him was on Jan. 7, and it was an auto-reply saying that he would “be out of the office for an extended period of time and would be unable to be reached.” On Jan. 8, Mr. Koehl responded to me in great detail, polite and helpful as ever, providing me with pictures to accompany upcoming stories on the men’s volleyball team as well as information my reporters would need to cover home games this season. It was in this Jan. 8 email that he also made his final story pitch to me: “Please note that the NCAA (championship) Banners is scheduled to be displayed at the Penn State match.” A lovely photograph of the banner was featured in the next print edition of The Lantern. In fact, an entire package of content was produced thanks to Mr. Koehl’s helpful tip. Mr. Koehl, 61, died on Jan. 26 due to complications that arose after a fall in late November, and his Jan. 8 email to me was our last correspondence. He spent 39 years as a member of the OSU athletics department, and just 18 days before he died, he was still pitching his team to The Lantern.
File photo Apr 2nd 2017, 10:08 AM Man charged after cocaine and cannabis worth €1.5m seized in Artane Ammunition and component parts of firearms were also found. Short URL File photo Image: Shutterstock/DedMityay No Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 12,160 Views Image: Shutterstock/DedMityay http://jrnl.ie/3319665 By Órla Ryan A MAN IN his 40s has been charged in connection with a drugs seizure in Dublin on Friday.During the course of a search in Artane, gardaí discovered 20kg of cocaine, with an estimated street value of €1.4 million, subject to analysis, and 4kg of cannabis resin, with a street value of €100,000.They also found component parts of firearms and a quantity of ammunition.The man was arrested at the scene and will appear before court one at the Criminal Courts of Justice at 10.30am tomorrow.Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. Read: Cocaine and cannabis worth €1.5m seized in Artane Sunday 2 Apr 2017, 10:08 AM Share Tweet Email
A local government agency that helps local landowners conserve and improve natural resources says it’ll have to start laying off staff and cut services if the Clark County council doesn’t approve a proposed set of new fees.At its Tuesday morning meeting, the Clark County council will hold a hearing on a proposed new fee structure to fund the Clark Conservation District. If approved, the county would charge property owners $5 per parcel of land and another fee of 10 cents per acre. The district expects that if they’re enacted, an owner of 20 acres of agricultural land would pay no more than $7 annually.District Manager Denise Smee said the district was formed in 1942 in response to the Dust Bowl to help farmers conserve soil. The district is now completely dependent on what she said are dwindling state and federal grants to support its operations, services and three full-time staff positions.Those services include helping farmers or landowners get grants to maintain soil, install vegetative buffers near streams, restore wetlands or comply with regulations. With Clark County losing farmland to growth, she said its services are becoming more important.“When you have a high density of people, there are more people using the land,” she said.Accepting the district’s services, which are available to landowners in unincorporated Clark County and Vancouver, is voluntary. Smee didn’t have specific numbers on demand for the district’s services but said it is unable to fully serve 50 to 75 people each year due to a lack of resources.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) congratulates Congress for final passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which authorizes much-needed improvements to waterways that are vital to the transport of U.S. soybeans. Today, the Senate voted 79-14 to override the President’s veto of WRDA. Late Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 361-54 to override the President’s veto.”Soybean growers appreciate the persistence of the Senate and House because the Water Resources Development Act is key to soybean sales,” said ASA President John Hoffman, a soybean grower from Waterloo, Iowa. “U.S. waterways are the most economical and environmentally friendly way to move U.S. soybeans to domestic and foreign markets.”More than 75 percent of U.S. soybean exports move to world ports through the Upper Mississippi and Illinois river systems. WRDA legislation will authorize funding for construction of seven new locks and other critical improvements on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.”On behalf of our grower-members, ASA and its 25 state soybean affiliates have been working in Washington for many years to improve our nation’s waterways,” Hoffman said. “Although these authorized projects must still be funded through the annual federal appropriations process, we are very pleased that this major step has been accomplished.”More than 50 percent of U.S. locks and dams have aged beyond their life cycle and many are crumbling. In addition, many are unable to handle today’s barges that are twice as long as when the system was built in the 1930s. Because many barges must be split, higher transportation costs, lower commodity prices and fewer international sales for U.S. farmers occur.
An old stack of newspapers was to blame when a fire caused about $20,000 worth of damage to an empty house Saturday morning.Four engines and one truck from the Vancouver Fire Department responded at 9:49 a.m. Saturday to a residential fire at 602 S.E. 100th Ave.Firefighter-paramedic Kevin Stromberg said the fire was traced to a stack of newspapers that had been piled on top of a heating outlet in the floor of a bedroom.The property is owned by a bank, and a contractor had been hired to clean the house. When a worker turned the power on, the heating system started up. In 20 minutes or so, the worker noticed the smell of smoke coming from the bedroom.Eighteen firefighters who responded quickly had the fire under control. Most of the units were released after about five minutes, Stromberg said. Damage to the single-story, wood-framed house was limited. However, the fire serves as another example of the importance of keeping combustible materials away from anything that produces heat, Stromberg said.
Employee Benefits has been shortlisted in the Pensions/Benefits Publication of the Year category at the Willis Towers Watson Media Awards.The winner of this category is decided by public vote among readers in the HR and benefits industry. We would be delighted to receive your vote to help us retain the title, after winning this accolade in 2015.The Willis Towers Watson Media Awards will take place on Wednesday 13 July 2016.In addition to recognising the leading trade publications serving the HR, benefits and pensions industries, the awards also celebrate individual journalists in categories such as HR journalist of the year, HR technology journalist of the year, and Pay, rewards and benefits journalist of the year. The award winners in the individual categories are decided by an expert judging panel.Cast your vote.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen Now Mat-Su votes are in, ban on marijuana growth outEllen Lockyer, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageVoters in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on Tuesday overwhelmingly turned down a citizens’ ballot initiative banning the commercial growth and sale of cannabis in the Borough.After vote, Anchorage could see first pot shop by late OctoberZachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThe Anchorage Assembly gave unanimous approval a retail cannabis business, the first time a one has met both state and local requirements in Alaska’s largest city.Fairbanks likely to have new mayorRobyne, KUAC – FairbanksThe City of Fairbanks likely has a new mayor. City council member Jim Matherly has a substantial lead over incumbent John Eberhart, with Frank Turney a distant 3rd, but nearly 700 outstanding ballots remain to be counted.Juneau access road proves to be point of contention among officialsAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauGovernor Bill Walker is facing a major decision on one of Alaska’s oldest and controversial megaproject ideas: whether to extend Juneau’s main road 28 miles closer to Haines and Skagway.Wasilla legislator plans bill to restore dividend amountAssociated PressSenator Mike Dunleavy of Wasilla plans to introduce legislation that would restore the portion of Alaska Permanent Fund dividends vetoed by Gov. Bill Walker.Snow Trac program issues final grants after being vetoedDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksA vetoed state program that provides grants for trail grooming and safety projects has issued its’ final round of awards. $236,000 in grants to 17 organizations statewide for this coming winter were announced last week.Fish and Game conservative in herring forecastDave Bendinger, KDLG – DillinghamThe forecast is out for next spring’s Togiak herring fishery, the largest of its kind in the state. The Department of Fish and Game is taking a conservative approach to managing the fishery since its budget to do so was zeroed out.Online fundraiser nets nearly $50k for erosion control project at Delta-area parkTim Ellis, KUAC – FairbanksDonors gave nearly $50,000 to an online fundraiser last month to help pay for a project to prevent the Tanana River from washing away the bank that runs along Big Delta State Historical Park near Delta Junction. Alaska State Parks will use the donations as a match for further fundraising to pay for a bank-stabilization project riverbank to prevent further erosion.Brotherhood, Sisterhood prep for conventionEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauAlaska’s oldest Native organizations are trying to attract younger members. That, subsistence and other issues are on the table at the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood’s Grand Camp Convention this week in Juneau.
Virat KohliIANSHe struggled to get going in the first match against Chennai Super Kings, there were question marks over his fitness and form, and when AB de Villiers walked out to bat against Mumbai Indians, the target was stiff. He was dropped by Yuvraj Singh in the slips when he was not even off the mark, but then the man found his groove.After knocking around in the initial few overs, he found his range, he enamoured Chinnaswamy just like the way he has always done in his career so far. Kohli departed, the chase was getting tricky, but de Villiers stuck to his guns. He screamed to his 50, breached 4000 IPL runs and then took down Hardik Pandya in the 18th over.ABD chants reverberated around the ground as he took guard against Jasprit Bumrah. And Bumrah was absolutely brilliant in the 19th over, mixing his lengths and pace and it even bamboozled a marauding de Villiers. The fast bowler got rid of Colin de Grandhomme in the process.Malinga bowled the final over, he defended 17 runs and even though, the final ball was a no ball which was not spotted by the umpire, MI won the match by 6 runs. This is how Twitter responded:Peak IPL #RCBvMI— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) March 28, 2019Kohli has started #IPL2019 by losing to teams led by his former captain and current vice captain #RCBvMI— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) March 28, 2019Sorry.. but umpires are missing too many no balls these days.. time for another umpire on the ground to call no balls! #fedup— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) March 28, 2019Brilliant from Bumrah. No bowler in the world like him in the ‘death’— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 28, 2019Kohli was not pleased after the match and said, “We are playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That is a ridiculous call at the last ball. If it is a game of margins, I don’t know what is happening.”Drama ? #RCBvMI— Robin John Peterson (@robbie13flair) March 28, 2019Technology should be used much more often in cricket … so many front foot no-balls missed all the time in all formats and only checked on dismissal. Should be as simple as 3rd umpire telling the umpire through ear piece that a no ball has been bowled.— Faf Du Plessis (@faf1307) March 28, 2019Candid post match talk by @ImRo45 with @sanjaymanjrekar on poor umpiring. Can’t have 3rd class umpiring in a high class tournament. Raise your standards umpires!— shishir hattangadi (@shishhattangadi) March 28, 2019Talking about the game, the RCB captain said, “They should have been more sharp and careful out there. When they were 145 for 7, we should have done better. The last few overs were brutal for us. A few more strikes apart from AB could have done the job for us. We need to be smarter at death bowling. Sure they guys will take a lot of learnings from the game. I think the way they bowled, we can learn from their game. The onus is always on each and every member of the team. I got out at a wrong point of time. Shivam was good as well.”The Indian captain also reserved praise for his international teammate Jaspirt Bumrah when he said that the Mumbai Indians pacer is the best bowler in the world at the moment. “I mean Jassi is a top-class bowler. A bit of a mistake from me to take him on at that stage. Mumbai is lucky to have him. And also Malinga. And if Jassi is in good form, it is good for India,” Kohli said.
The first trading day — July 3 — after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into effect (from July 1) saw investors cheering the implementation of the indirect tax regime. ITC was the top gainer, rising as high as 9.2 percent intraday to Rs 353 before closing at Rs 342, a net gain of 5.70 percent.The BSE Sensex ended 300 points, or 0.97 percent higher, at 31,221 while the NSE Nifty closed at 9,615, up 0.99 percent, led by ITC, Hindalco and Eicher Motors.”Market welcomed the new tax regime, shrugging off the initial hiccups of investors during the last couple of weeks where market witnessed consolidation. Spending is likely to increase due to the impact of lower tax and increased sales volume will continue to benefit the earnings potential in the future,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said in a note.Among sectoral indices, the NSE FMCG and Auto outperformed the Nifty, ending 3.84 percent and 1.33 percent, respectively.On the BSE, Hindustan Unilever closed 1.29 percent higher at Rs 1,095 while Chambal Fertilizers and Chemicals ended 2.81 percent to end at Rs 120.75 on rate cut for fertilizers.CDSL, which listed at a significant premium last Friday to its issue price of Rs 149, closed 1 percent higher at Rs 264 on the NSE.On the BSE, Yes Bank was the top gainer among bank stocks while State Bank of India and ICICI Bank ended almost flat at Rs 274.70 and 290, respectively. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance closed at Rs 472 on the BSE.Stocks that hit new 52-week highs during the day included ITC, Ashok Leyland, VST Industries, Aditya Birla Nuva, Tata Steel and Colgate-Palmolive. Infosys ended 1.68 percent higher at Rs 951.40, Wipro closed flat at Rs 259 and TCS gained 0.38 percent to end at Rs 2,373.40 on the BSE.
A picture taken on 26 May 2018, shows a car stuck in a flooded street in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepares for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. Photo: AFPBangladesh has sought India’s support for rescuing its nationals if anybody is found in danger, after a powerful cyclone struck Oman’s Salalah city killing at least three people including a 12-year-old girl.India has sent its two rescue ships of its Navy to Oman.“I have talked to Indian state minister for external affairs MJ Akbar to help rescue Bangladeshis if anybody is affected by the cyclone,” state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam said in a Facebook message.MJ Akbar assured his Bangladesh counterpart of providing support like they did while conducting rescue operation in Yemen, reports UNB.Shahriar said Bangladesh officials will go to the affected areas once Salalah airport resumes operation.Cyclone Mekunu caused flash flooding that tore away some roads and submerged others in Salalah, the country’s third-largest city, leaving drivers stranded, reports AP on Saturday.Strong winds knocked over street lights and ripped off roofs. The cyclone also struck neighbouring Yemen on Saturday.Fast-moving waters from the rain and storm surge flooded normally dry creek beds.Tourist beaches were littered with debris and foam from the Arabian Sea.Captain Tarek al-Shanfari of Royal Oman police said the 12-year-old girl had been hit in the head by a door torn off by the wind.An Asian person died in a flooded valley and an Omani national in a 4×4 was killed when his vehicle was swept away, Shanfari said.Shahriar Alam said many Bangladesh nationals remain engaged in fishing in sea.Bangladesh mission is in touch with other missions and authorities in Oman to get updated information.Shahriar Alam hoped that there would not be many casualties as they were given alarm beforehand.He urged all to keep Bangladesh nationals living in Salalah in their prayers.Yemeni officials also reported damage in the east of the country along the border with Oman, reports AP.Rageh Bakrit, the governor of al-Mahra province, said strong winds had destroyed houses and taken out communication lines and water services.He said there were no deaths in the province.India’s meteorological department described the cyclone as “extremely severe”, with sustained winds of about 110mph (177km/h).Parts of Salalah, a city of about 200,000 people, lost power as the cyclone made landfall.The airport, which has been closed since Thursday, will reopen early on Sunday, Oman’s civil aviation authority said.Salalah’s port is a key gateway for the country.Salalah and the surrounding area received nearly 11in (278mm) of rain, nearly three times its annual amount.
DC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC NewsOur Favorite TV Superheroes Ranked Stay on target After last week’s boring, predictable trip to feudal Japan, Legends of Tomorrow needed a fast-paced, fun and just a little ridiculous episode like this to bounce back. The fact that it reminded us that zombies can still be fun, even after years of abuse from The Walking Dead is a nice bonus. We see another time traveler, a pirate, communicating with someone named Dontar about a heist he pulled off in 2235. He says they were able to smuggle the “TX-90” out, but one of his crew mates got infected and killed everyone. His ship crashes into Civil War-era America, where Confederate soldiers are pointing guns at him. They tell him not to move, but he begins to turn into a zombie.On the Waverider, Martin and Jax are listening to the message from future Barry Allen again. It says that war is coming. Sarah calls them into the library, where they’ve found the time pirate’s message. They tracked him to Mississippi in 1863, apparently the bloodiest year in American history. Sarah instructs the now-powerless Ray to stay behind. Martin expresses concern that Jax may face some harsh racism in this time period. Jax says he can take care of himself and reminds Martin that there isn’t a time they could go to where he wouldn’t be subjected to some kind of racism.They find the time pirate’s escape pod and Mick blows it up with his heat gun. They rescue a dispatch named Henry Scott, a freed former slave stealing secrets for the union, from some Confederate soldiers. The soldiers seem to survive Heatwave’s blast and as they get closer, are revealed to be zombies, which Martin has an irrational fear of. They fight off the zombies, but Scott has fallen onto a bayonet during the fight. He asks Jax to finish his mission for him.Martin (Victor Garber) and Ray (Brandon Routh) try to cure Mick (Dominic Purcell) of his zombie infection. (Photo: Screenshot via CW)Back on the Waverider, we learn that the TX-90 is a futuristic bioweapon that makes zombies. Mick collapses, and Ray finds out that he’s been bitten. He begins to work on a cure while Nate discovers that the South has now won the Civil War. Jax says it’s probably partially because Scott never got to carry out his orders. Ulysses S. Grant had charged him with stealing confederate troop movement orders that help win the Battle of Champion Hill.They go back to Mississippi and split up into two groups. Sarah and Nate go to warn the Union Army about the Confederate zombies. They’re captured as they get too close to the camp. Sarah and Nate are taken to Ulysses S. Grant, who accuses them of being confederate spies. Nate introduces himself as Colonel Sanders, and Sarah tries to explain what a zombie is. When Grant doesn’t get it, she returns with the still-living head of a zombie. She says a whole hoard is less than a mile from the camp.When the soldiers spend most of their ammo, and there’s still a whole host of zombies attacking the camp, Sarah sees a box of nitro glycerin and comes up with a plan. When the zombies attack the camp, the soldiers put out all the fires and Nate distracts them with a torch. The zombies all run after him, and he leads them to the case of nitro in the middle of the field. He turns himself into steel so the bites can’t hurt him and ignites the box, killing all the zombies. When the blast clears, they find Nate alive under a pile of zombie guts.Citizen Steel (Nick Zano) saves the Union. (Photo: Screenshot via CW)Meanwhile, Jax and Amaya plan to sneak into a plantation house and steal the plans. While they’re waiting until dark so they can sneak in, they see a slave, a young woman, being beaten. Amaya wants to help, but Jax stops her. He says if they blow their cover now, they won’t be able to steal the plans and the South will win the war.At night, Jax follows Scott’s plan to dress up as a slave and infiltrate a cotillion. Amaya isn’t happy about the plan and stays behind to communicate with him. As Jax searches for the plans, he bumps into a woman and is taken to the barn by the slave owner he saw earlier. He’s chained to a pole and punched, knocking his communicator loose. He speaks with the slaves in the barn and hears about the horrors they face every day. They tell him that the reason they don’t go insane is because that’s what their owners want them to do.Still a better southern zombie show than The Walking Dead. (Photo: Screenshot via CW)Amaya gets tired of waiting and walks into the party herself. She has no time to pretend to be a slave, and one of the plantation owners takes her to the barn too. She knocks him out and frees Jax, who insists on freeing the rest of the people chained up in the barn. They’re about to escape the barn but are met by a hoard of zombies. Amaya takes most of the slaves to safety and Jax runs back into the house to look for the plans. After a satisfying moment where the plantation owner is eaten by zombies, one of the now-former slaves leads Jax upstairs. He grabs a lamp, and drops it down the stairs, lighting the house and the zombies on fire. They escape with the plans. Jax delivers the plans to General Grant and tells him his name is Henry Scott.Back on the Waverider, Ray makes a serum for Mick. Before he can fully inject the serum, Mick wakes up. Now there’s a zombie on the loose inside the Waverider and Ray and Martin are trapped in the galley. Ray climbs through the vents to retry the injection, but Mick ends up right behind him and knocks him out. Martin has to confront his fears and try it himself. Mick ends up on top of him, but Ray’s serum kicks in. Mick is himself again, but very confused as to why he’s on top of Martin. Once everything is back to normal, Ray tells Mick he doesn’t feel himself without his suit. Mick thanks Ray for getting him back to normal by giving him Captain Cold’s old gun. Ray will become Heatwave’s new partner.This episode was certainly a step up from last week. The team being split up and unable to help each other added some tension and there was a lot of great character development. While the horrors of slavery were mostly glossed over, there were a couple of scenes that dealt with them in a way that felt honest without being heavy handed. Those scenes also made it much more satisfying to watch the plantation owners be eaten by zombies before their house went up in flames. Sarah also makes a great captain, which makes the dynamic between the Legends more fun to watch. Ray being the new Captain Cold should also make things interesting. Definitely want to see where that goes next week.
Related posts:6 Guantanamo detainees turned over to Uruguay US prepares to ramp up transfers from Guantanamo Uruguay plan to sell pot at pharmacies slammed Obama seeks $1.9 billion to combat spread of Zika virus WASHINGTON, D.C. – Uruguay’s President José Mujica warned U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday of the mass “murder” of smokers across the world, highlighting his nation’s legal battle to preserve tough anti-tobacco laws.Mujica met Obama in the Oval Office for talks focusing on wider U.S.-Uruguayan relations and issues including education and trade.But he made a point of bringing up Uruguay’s tough restrictions on smoking, which have led to it being sued for $25 million by U.S. tobacco giant Philip Morris at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).Mujica told Obama, a reformed smoker, that eight million people a year were dying from tobacco-related illnesses, as the two leaders held a photo-op in the Oval Office.“That is more than World War I, [and] World War II,” he said.“It’s murder. We are in an arduous fight — very arduous — and we must fight against very strong interests,” Mujica said through a translator.“Governments must not be involved in private litigation, but here we’re fighting for life.“Nobody must be distracted in this fight for life, because out of all values, the most important one is life itself.”In March 2006, Uruguay became the first Latin American country and the fifth nation worldwide to implement a ban on smoking in enclosed public places.It also enacted some of the world’s toughest tobacco laws, requiring large health warnings on packages and banning advertising and the use of multiple products for one brand.Philip Morris, owner of the Marlboro brand, is the largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States. It has huge global business interests and its case against Uruguay is being closely watched.The company, which is headquartered in Lausanne, contends that the anti-smoking rules infringe Uruguay’s investment treaties with Switzerland. Facebook Comments
Here are the Top 5 Issues Lenders are Facing With Loan Officer Compensation Compensation Compliance Lenders Loan Officers 2016-01-21 Staff Writer Share As lenders gear up to attract new loan officers (LO), many have them are requesting unique or complex compensation plans. The real challenge lenders face is adapting their compensation plans to these requests, while complying with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) standards.Joe Ludlow, VP at Advantage Systems shares his insights about the recent trends he’s seen in loan officer compensation, and offers best practices to lenders to meet compliance standards, while attracting the most talented loan officers.MReport: What trends are you seeing in terms of loan officer compensation?Ludlow: The trends that we’re seeing with loan officer compensation right now relate primarily to being creative within the Dodd Frank rules. And then also, a higher interest in making sure you have a system that’s auditable and can be reviewed in the event that you have a regulatory audit down the road. So it’s really two things: flexibility and auditability. Those are the two things that seem to be driving most of the decisions right now. On the other hand, it needs to be great from the loan officer’s perspective, because we need to attract loan officers.What’s really happening in the industry is the decision about the compensation plan is made between the recruiting sales manager for the retail mortgage compensation and the prospective loan officer. These arrangements are made almost with accounting and procedural commission calculations as an afterthought. The beleaguered accounting department gets this compensation plan for LO compensation for a new LO that they didn’t get a chance to comment on. And that’s a very simple example, but the complexity of it goes far beyond this.Another big trend we’ve seen lately is different compensation plans based on the source of the lead. So in a given mortgage compensation any, you have a compensation any marketing strategy where they’re out advertising in the marketplace. Oftentimes, because there are costs associated with any compensation any-driven market program or internet-based marketing program, a lot of times the compensation paid to the LO for leads that come from that source is less than if the LO goes out and finds it on their own. So, that’s another factor that can contribute to when they hit a tier or not. The mathematics behind some of these calculations is extraordinary.Never underestimate the creativity of the American loan officer. Within any regulatory structure, they will find a way to squeeze a few extra dollars out of each deal if they can get the mortgage compensation any to agree.MReport: What if the loan officer is working in a team, where there are three loan officers that share all the deals? Perhaps a senior and two juniors?Ludlow: This is becoming more and more common. So then you either split the loan up and calculate the commissions, or calculate the commissions for the senior guy and then split it up afterwards. Either way, you have to give them the options.In many cases, you have a branch manager that has five loan officers working within their branch. That brand manager might negotiate for what we call an override on the production of the loan officers that they manage. So a branch manager might be paid as a loan officer, and then get a second paycheck where they’re paid an override as the manager of the compensation based on the productivity of their business unit.MReport: What kind of compliance issues are you seeing among these lenders, in terms of LO compensation? How can they adhere?Ludlow: For us, compliance is based on reviewing the compensation plans in our system, looking at the reports of the compensation plans in our system and making sure that your compliance officer agreed that these were compliant. Because, the definition of what’s compliant continues to change. You’d think that by now we’d have the rules well defined, but they’re not, so most mortgage companies have a compliance officer of some sort whose job it is to review these things and make sure they’re compliant.I have begun to see retail mortgage firms where they are providing a minority partnership to a loan officer in an effort to allow that loan officer to earn more beyond what’s consider just a straight sales commission as a member of the ownership of the compensation any. So, in fact, the income on the loan was taboo in the Dodd Frank world, but if you’re a partner in the compensation, you’re entitled to participation in the income of the compensation. Now, the whole concept of income is coming back into the conversation, which tends to throw the whole compliance issue on its ears.We instruct and provide best practices to those companies to intend to be compliant, until we started to see this partnership stuff come out. And now this is a trend, and so who knows. Fortunately, we were ready for it. From a technology standpoint, we can provide it any way we want to do it.MReport: How does tech play into compensation?Ludlow: All these calculations I’ve described as trends can be calculated in our system. So, what’s happening is when a loan officer signs on, if you’re an AMB user you set up the LO in AMB as an LO, who will be paid through the compensation module. And then as loans are defined as being closed, whereby the loan is recorded as an asset on the books, then the compensation system then produces a report saying, based on the two week timeframe or whatever date range you want, here are all the loans that closed and the compensation as it should be paid to the Los and it produces a report – a variety of different reports. Some of them are meant to be distributed to the Los, some of them are meant to be distributed internally to managers, different reports. So the idea here is that regardless of how complex or how your compensation structures follow the ever-changing fashions in the mortgage community, AMB will then – you can set those compensation structures up in AMB and then AMB will look at the loans that funded and produce a report that tells you what your compensation per LO should be.Why is this important? Because loan officers – it’s very important to loan officers that they have an easily understandable and every detailed report that shows them why they’re getting paid what they’re getting paid. A loan officer won’t just take your word for it. They need to see why you’re paying them what you’re paying them for the loans that they did.So our technology is the engine that does that. Without our system, if you have a relatively complex compensation plan, and you’re doing several hundred loans a month, without our system it’s probably costing you an extra salary just to deal with these compensation issues in spreadsheets on a bi-weekly basis. And that’s kind of a tax on the compensation any. With our system, which is always less than the cost of a new employee, it’ll do it for you in a very automated way and it will distribute through our web reporting tools, it will distribute through email. Of course, there’s another added benefit to doing it our system, which is it is under the control of the accounting department, so the accounting department can create a controlled environment so that branch managers and loan officers don’t have direct access to the calculations.Well what if your compensation arrangement was very complicated and there were 8 different types of loans you could do, based on different sources, different types of loans, so 8 different ways you could get paid. You’d want a report that could show you exactly which loans you did and which ones you got paid on and how–to compensation are to the arrangement that agreed to when you signed on. So that’s a very complicated process. AMB creates those reports and sends them out–takes the confusing element out of the process.I’d like to emphasize one thing: Compliance has been an important part of this whole process here–making sure the compensation plans can be set up in a compliant way and that we survive the audits and that we’re within the rules–but the other side of this is kind of where I started. It’s about loan officer recruitment and loan officer retention. Any business manager anywhere will tell you that the hardest thing to do is to get good people and keep them in any business.MReport: How do you attract the best loan officers? And keep the best loan officers? Ludlow: And as this marketplace turns over to a more purchase money driven marketplace, which I think everybody anticipates–the number of refis is probably going to go down, as a percentage, and the number of purchasing loans is going to go up–purchase loans are more loan officer-driven than refis. Therefore, your success as a mortgage compensation any, in large part, depends on your ability to attract and retain loan officers. And proper compensation reporting is a big part of that, because loan officers are in it for the salaries. Everybody works for a living. You’ve got to have great technology to speak to that basic understanding of, I want the best employees, the best loan officers working for me and I need to attract them by, in part, providing great reporting, timely reporting, and detailed reporting about how they’re going to get paid. That’s going to enhance my arrangement with them.I think this is really–all this compensation stuff is driven in part by compliance issues, but more importantly by the basic market need of attracting great loan officers. Never underestimate the creativity of the American loan officer. I can’t speak for other loan officers in other countries, but that’s how it is here.Click here to learn more about Advantage Systems. January 21, 2016 1,153 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Origination, Technology
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