FFHB sack Alain Portes – Krumbholz leads French ladies

← Previous Story ICELAND LOOKING FOR A NEW COACH: Aron Kristjansson resigns! Next Story → Premier Handball League to become reality in 2019? alain portesFrench handballOlivier Krumbholz The seventh place at the Women’s World Championship 2015 wasn’t in question regarding status of Alain Portes on French NT bench, but a month later, the decision of French Handball Federation was to sack their coach.The former Tunisian NT headcoach, who made a great result with Africans by playing at Olympic Games quarter-finals, will be replaced by former head-coach of the French ladies, Olivier Krumbholz, who will try to reach Olympic tournament via qualification tournament in Metz in March.Decision was based on some “off-court” situations (Portes made the media story about his stolen mobile phone) which happened during and after the tournament concluded with letter of players to the FFHB president and few meetings with the girls. read more

Sligo garda jailed for 18 months for passing Pulse information to criminals

first_img Image: Shutterstock/blackzheep A SLIGO GARDA has been jailed for 18 months after she admitted passing information to local criminals from the Garda Pulse system.It is the first time in the history of the State that such a prosecution has come before the courts.In jailing 36-year-old Jimell Henry of Cairns Hill, Sligo, for three years with the final 18 months suspended for five years, Judge Keenan Johnson said she her crime was a “very serious matter”.Speaking at Sligo Circuit Court today he said: “By her actions the accused put investigations and more importantly lives at risk”.He said her actions had caused “serious reputational damage” to An Garda Siochana, but  added that the “thorough investigation” which resulted in the apprehension and prosecution of the accused “goes a long way to restoring the force’s reputation and undoing the damage caused by the criminality of the accused”.The judge said the public had a right to expect gardaí to be “beyond reproach” in their duties.“Not alone did the accused as an acting member of An Garda Siochana break the law, but by releasing sensitive information from the Pulse system to members of the criminal fraternity, she put the lives of members of the public at risk.”Henry, whose father and grandfather were respected gardaí, had pleaded guilty at an earlier sitting to passing information to two well-known Sligo criminals called ‘Pharmacy’ and ‘Child’.Henry was caught out after a “complex multi-disciplinary” investigation. It was found that Henry had made 980 queries in a two-week period, and 73% of those were about Sligo, on the Pulse system.Judge Johnson said:“The offences undermine public confidence in the gardaí and mark a serious betrayal of trust by the accused not only to herself, but to her colleagues in An Garda Siochana, her family and most importantly the community at large. Sligo garda jailed for 18 months for passing Pulse information to criminals It is the first time in the history of the State that such a prosecution has come before the courts. Jun 25th 2018, 3:31 PM I am satisfied that the disclosure offences are very serious matters and are arguably as serious as possible, other than violent offences, for a garda to commit in the course of their duty.Sensitive information He said he was satisfied that the offending in this case, given that it “involved disclosure of extremely sensitive information on a total of eight occasions, including the whereabouts of a particular individual, the progress of court proceedings and other matters” would attract a sentence of five years in jail before mitigation.The judge said that given the “offending occurred over less than a two-month period and while the accused was in the throes of a serious drug addiction and under the influence of an undesirable criminal fraternity, I am satisfied that an element of consecutive sentencing is not appropriate”.Henry originally pleaded guilty to three charges of disclosing information obtained during the course of her duty as a garda in County Dublin knowing that the disclosure of that information was likely to have a harmful effect on dates between 16 December 2014 and 14 January 2015.She pleaded guilty to four charges of disclosing operational details without proper authority on dates between 16 December 2014 and 15 January 2015.The defendant also pleaded guilty to two charges of forging prescriptions for medication and two charges of giving false information to obtain prescribed medication from chemists in Sligo in a period from 3 February 2016 and 20 April 2016.In addition, she pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine at Tullynagracken North, Cairns Hill Sligo, on 16 January 2015.Judge Johnson told the court that the accused had lost her job as a consequence of her offending and “taking into account the difficulties she will have in obtaining future employment” he was satisfied to mark all the other charges as taken into consideration.She was sentenced on one count of disclosing information and all of the remaining charges were taken into consideration.Judge Johnson noted that Garda Henry had drug issues well before she joined the force.“During her career as a garda and obviously the accused continued to abuse drugs and it is the abuse of these drugs together with her fraternisation with criminals that led to her committing the index offences”.He also called for the gardaí to carry out random drug testing of its active members.The judge said that a garda on active duty and who has drug addiction problems is vulnerable to being used and blackmailed by his/her supplier.He called on garda authorities to be extremely vigilant to ensure that members are not abusing drugs or alcohol.Bond The powerful position that gardaí enjoy, he said, demands that they “observe the highest standards when it comes to their behaviour both on and off duty”.Several testimonies read out in court were considered by the judge as mitigating factors.He added:“I want to assure all parties that I have taken considerable time to consider the sentence in this matter.“Regretfully I came to the inescapable conclusion that because of the gravity of the offending a custodial sentence was unavoidable.However the sentence I have formulated has been structured in such a way as to be as fair as possible to the accused.The defendant was also bound to the peace on a bond of €500 for a period of five years after her release.She was to be under the supervision of the Probation Service for two years after her release, stay drug free and submit to a urine analysis when requested by gardaí. By Gerry McLaughlin Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share7 Tweet Email center_img https://jrnl.ie/4090680 Monday 25 Jun 2018, 3:31 PM 25 Comments 19,320 Views Image: Shutterstock/blackzheep Short URLlast_img read more

Droutsas meets with Hague and Ban Kimoon

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday.The main topic of conversation between Droutsas and the UN chief was the Cyprus issue, ahead of the secretary general’s report, which will be submitted to the UN Security Council by the end of the month. Droutsas reiterated Athens’s position that Turkey and Turkish Cypriots should be doing more to help reunify Cyprus.”We want to see a settlement and the settlement in our view must be based on the UN Security Council resolutions but also on the full respect of the EU acquis communitaire since the Republic of Cyprus is a full member of the European Union and this must be taken into account in the search for a settlement,” said Droutsas after talks between the two men on Friday.Droutsas urged Ban to be objective in his report to the UN Security Council on his mediation of Cyprus reunification talks.”For us reality says that you have President Demetris Christofias who is putting forward from the beginning of this effort, very constructive, forthcoming proposals,” said Droutsas.“Unfortunately, we see the Turkish Cypriot community and especially the new leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community Mr [Dervis] Eroglu, expressing positions that remind us of the past, that are also abandoning in some terms the basis agreed upon for the solution of the Cyprus problem and we encourage also the Turkish Cypriot community to look into the issue of the settlement in the most constructive way.”The FYROM name talks and the situation in the Middle East were amongst the other issues discussed.The meetings at the United Nations followed his two day visit to LondonDroutsas and British Foreign Minister William Haig held talks at the Foreign Office on Wednesday, focusing on the rapid and historic developments in the Middle East, the issue of Cyprus and Greek-Turkish relations. Great priority was placed on the developments in the Middle East and the Greek minister pointed out to his British counterpart that Greece, with the great tradition of the country in which Democracy was born, is able and willing to help the international efforts in the direction of the democratisation of the countries of the Middle East. Droutsas told the British Foreign secretary that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has the idea, and will promote the creation in Greece of a “Democracy Centre”, that will help the development of democracy in the Middle East and its operational program will include the training and education of young politicians from the countries of the Middle East. In the discussion on Greek-Turkish relations Turkey’s latest provocations were raised, stressing that these actions cause great harm to Greece’s efforts to establish good relations and a good climate with the neighbouring country. On Thursday, Droutsas held talks with British Deputy Foreign Minister David Leadington, responsible for the issues of southeastern Europe and NATO.Droutsas started his week with a two-day visit to Cyprus where he met with the President of Cyprus Demitri Christofias and with the Cypriot Foreign Minister Kyprianou to coordinate their joint position on the issue of Cyprus.Source: ANAlast_img read more

Les araignées sont menacées par lagriculture intensive

first_imgLes araignées sont menacées par l’agriculture intensivePubliée dans Biological Conservation, une étude espagnole montre que les araignées, pourtant grandes destructrices d’insectes parasites, font partie des créatures mises à mal par les méthodes de l’agriculture moderne.Peu présentes sur les listes d’espèces menacées et malaimées du public, les araignées sont pourtant elles aussi menacées par l’activité humaine dans les milieux agricoles et forestiers, selon une étude réalisée par Samuel Prieto-Benítez et Marcos Méndez, chercheurs en biodiversité à l’Université royale Juan Carlos (URJC) de Móstoles, en Espagne. Ils ont compilé un total de 173 articles scientifiques publiés depuis 1980, qui fournissent des données généralisables.À lire aussiLa plus grosse araignée du monde surprend un scientifique en pleine forêtEn provoquant des changements extrêmes de la structure de la végétation, fragmentation de l’habitat, pâturage des moutons, feu et pesticides sont les grands types de menace qui affectent les trois écosystèmes étudiés par ces scientifiques : terres agricoles, prairies et bois. Jusqu’à présent, moins de 20% des études avaient indiqué les effets négatifs de l’impact humain sur les arachnides. La présente étude démontre d’”évidents” effets néfastes sur le nombre d’araignées.Elle propose en outre des solutions pour protéger ces “très importants prédateurs” d’insectes nuisibles : réduction des altérations mécaniques de la terre, meilleur contrôle de l’utilisation d’insecticides, comme dans l’agriculture biologique, et limitation de la fragmentation de l’habitat.Le 29 mai 2011 à 20:13 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

15 Snakes North Americas Longest Released Into the Wild

first_imgStay on target Caught on Camera: Copperhead Snakes Mate on Bike TrailRare Two-Headed Timber Rattlesnake Spotted in New Jersey Free the snakes! Fifteen eastern indigo snakes, North America’s longest snakes and listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, were released into a northern Florida preserve.The release of 10 females and five males was part of a plan to repopulate the region with the native, nonvenomous apex predator, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said Tuesday.The eastern indigo snake is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. (Photo Credit: Tim Donovan / FWC)At over 8 feet long, the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) is the longest snake native to North America and an iconic and essential component of the now rare southern longleaf pine forest. It serves a critical function to balance the wildlife community — it consumes a variety of small animals including both venomous and non-venomous snakes.The snakes often rely on gopher tortoise burrows for shelter and were historically found throughout southern Georgia, Alabama, eastern Mississippi and throughout Florida, although their range is now far more restricted, according to the FWC.At over 8 feet long, the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) is the longest snake native to North America. (Photo Credit: Tim Donovan / FWC)It’s the third year in a row that snakes raised specifically for recovery of the species have been released at The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve (ABRP) in Bristol.The indigo was largely eliminated from northern Florida due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and was last observed at ABRP in 1982, until 2017 and 2018 when several dozen snakes were introduced to the preserve.Ten female and 5 male eastern indigo snakes we released at The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve in Bristol. (Photo Credit: Tim Donovan / FWC)This year’s annual release is part of a 10-year commitment to the species’ recovery and continues a “focus on establishment of healthy ecosystems through collaborative land, water and wildlife conservation efforts,” the FWC said.“We continue our work throughout the state and at our preserves to create healthy habitats and properly functioning natural systems that support iconic and important wildlife and plants,” said Temperince Morgan, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in Florida.The ABRP is currently the only site in Florida designated for indigo reintroduction. The 6,295-acre nature preserve in northern Florida’s Liberty County protects a large longleaf pine landscape carved by numerous seepage streams and is also home to the gopher tortoise.The snakes have been implanted with passive integrated transponders to allow for identification. (Photo Credit: Tim Donovan / FWC)The Central Florida Zoo’s Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation bred and hatched the 15 snakes that were released. All hatched in 2017 and spent their first year at the zoo before being moved to the Welaka National Fish Hatchery for another year.The snakes have been implanted with passive integrated transponders by the Central Florida Zoo’s veterinary staff to allow for identification when encountered after release.More on Geek.com:This ‘Zombie Snake’ Found in North Carolina Can Play DeadWatch: Deputy Saves Sleeping Couple From Rattlesnake in TennesseeAnaconda Gets Pregnant Without a Male, Has ‘Virgin Birth’ at Aquariumlast_img read more

Saayii Tolof Part 401 EPISODE 30 Difficult Marriages – Dusa Nawle

first_imgAt the Village Jula rang her mom and told her she was coming by the weekend; “Mom I have finished my attachment and coming as a full-fledged Economist graduate.”Maama Jonsaba She is very happy and high in the cloud with excitement; “Greet Mba Toma for me I miss her very much.” “My daughter is now a full-fledged Economist Graduate after finish serving I’ll throw a party in the village in her honour she is amongst the first graduates in her village age group I am very proud.”Jula She is at her lodge adamant and insensitive to Fams feeling she developed an I don’t care attitude towards her husband. “Alhajj has offered me a job with a quick promotion to managerial position.”Fams    “You are not taking the job right I see in it a conspiracy against your husband and the break of our marriage; I’ll find another job for you.”Jula “Utter rubbish! You are saying utter nonsense! I am definitely taking this job and I am ready to divorce you just for it; what sort of jealousy is this? Enemy of progress why are you jealous of the woman you say you love?”Fams    “You adamancy is a conspiracy what is between you and Alhajj Insha Allah will become known to the whole world.”Jula “Say whatever you like but I don’t care.” The argument became bitter and nasty Fams was agitated to give her a nasty slap and they bitterly fought like two angry lions. Mba Toma wept bitterly and blamed her mother for the commotion.Fams    He regretted his action and apologized to his daughter. “You mother provoked me but I’ll never fight her again that is my promise to you my lovely daughter.” Mba Toma went and embraced her father and shed emotional tears with him.At the Village     Fams visited his home with his family and met her mother Mba Nyaling who was excited to see them Majula came out with Mba Toma who rushed to hug her toma but Jula refused to greet her in-law who as an elder noticed that all was wrong because Jula was always warm and welcoming whenever she meets her but this time she was dead cold she went into her transport and drove away leaving Mba Toma behind.Mba Nyaling    She was flabbergasted and just stared at one place; “What is happening my son? All is not right? Have you quarrel? Your wife is snobbish towards me. What she wore is very revealing and unfit for a responsible, married woman.”At Majula’ Home    Mba Jonsi welcomed her only daughter like a princess and adored her car. “You own this posh car my daughter even before you start a job where they paying you while at attachment?”Jula She bluffed her mom; “Mom you have not seen anything as yet your daughter is the owner of the posh car with a fat bank account in millions of dalasi.”Mba Jonsi She dragged her in; “Don’t say it aloud come into my bedroom you dad has gone to his first home the mosque.” They went inside her bedroom and she shut the door behind her for complete secrecy between mom and daughter.Jula    ‘Alhajj the owner of the Financial Company I was attached to is filthy rich and very generous towards me the magic between us was love at first sight he has asked me to open a secret account which I did and he has now posted millions into it now your daughter is a millionaire and very powerful I’ll not let any man bullshit me in fact I’ll be doing the bullying for now to hell with Fams with his crumbs which I don’t need now; Alhajj has offered me a job with his company and my that God forsaken husband says I should not take it.”Mba Jonsi    “What did you tell that pauper of a man?”Jula “I insulted and told him off.”Mba Jonsi “That’ my daughter I respect you if he wants to disturb you just divorce him and I’ll hundred percent support you.”Jula “What about my dad, would he agree?”Mba Jonsi “Leave your dad to me is he not my husband? I know how to handle him opportunity knocks only but once I married your dad for love and character but what has it brought for me? Look at a whole me reduce to a village teacher you are a graduate and what Alhajj is giving you cannot be received from the highest job your qualification can give you. Give it to him in all directions even if he does not marry you, you’ll be his mistress. For now don’t say anything to your nit wit father.”Imam   He came and was very pleased to welcome his graduate daughter; he hugged and advised her “Now you are a full-fledged Economist graduate of high caliber be ready to assume your full duty when you are employed.”Jula   “Dad your blessings have been fulfilled my attachment boss has decided to employ me with start as his secretary and in the very near future to create a managerial post for me.”Imam   “Allah be praised did you discuss it with your husband?”Jula    She stammered and imam got it all was not right; “He did not agree dad you better speak to him.”Imam    “But why did he not agree? There must be a reason, Fams is very reasonable he educated you in tertiary education and is out for your empowerment so why should he block your progress? I’ll enquire from my good son-in-law.” To Be Cont.last_img read more

New downtown library opens Sunday

first_imgLibrary hourso 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday-Thursdayo 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday – SundayIf you go:o What: Grand opening, Vancouver Community Library.o When: 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Doors will open about 1:45 p.m.o Where: 901 C. St., Vancouver (East Evergreen Boulevard and C Street).o Features: Outdoor ceremony with light refreshments, self-guided tours, craft activities, musical and costume groups, and library mascot Sophie the Otter.o Cost: Free.o More information: http://fvrl.org or 360-695-1566.o Traffic alerts: C Street will close from Eighth Street to Evergreen Boulevard, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On-street metered parking is free on Sundays. Today, parking is free at The Academy on C Street; enter from 12th Street.Five years after voters approved a construction bond measure, the $38 million Vancouver Community Library debuts Sunday with a festive grand opening.A block party on C Street will detour vehicle traffic until late afternoon.Once the VIP speeches conclude, ribbons are cut and main doors swung open about 1:45 p.m., action moves inside the sparkling flagship of the four-county, 13-branch Fort Vancouver Regional Library system.FVRL staff have left few details to chance in the new jewel, which will operate seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.Sunday’s visitors will receive a self-guided tour sheet that features 20 stops of interest on the four floors of public space (library staff and operations occupy a fifth level).Meantime, here’s the scoop on five can’t-miss attractions, or, at least, particulars to keep in mind.• Parking: Promoters of the mixed-development Library Square — to eventually fill the void where the Carr Auto Group dealership once stood — have pledged an underground parking garage with 200 slots reserved for library users. An elevator will zip patrons above ground.last_img read more

Bus rapid transit station topic of event

first_imgAn open house next week will invite participants to weigh in on the design of a downtown Vancouver transit station planned as part of C-Tran’s proposed bus rapid transit line.The $53 million enhanced bus system would run between the Westfield Vancouver mall and downtown, ending at what’s now Turtle Place plaza on West Seventh Street. C-Tran, which owns the property, has said a BRT terminus station could incorporate some elements of the existing public space.The meeting is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 14, in the Columbia Room of the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C St. Participants will meet with C-Tran staff before walking to the station site.The C-Tran Board of Directors voted last month to commit local funding to the project. Construction could begin as soon as next year, with the BRT system opening in 2016, according to the agency.last_img read more

The 2009 FOLIO 40

first_imgINDUSTRY INFLUENCERSBarack Obama | President | United States of AmericaFlavorpill | Mark Mangan and Sascha Lewis | Co-FoundersStephen Saunders | Founder | Light ReadingJim Malkin | CEO | SourceMediaRichard Rosenblatt | Co-Founder | Demand MediaCynthia Typaldos | Founder and CEO | KachingleNewsstand Wholesalers and DistributorsQuadra Media | Chris Shannon | President • Don Hellinger | CEOE-readersTwitter UNDER THE RADARJoe Rominiecki | Newsletter Editor | ASAEWarwick Sabin | Publisher | Oxford AmericanJenny Doh | Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director | Stampington & Co.Gerald “Butch” Boettcher | President | Kalmbach Publishing Co.Jay Hook | Director of Online Strategy | Reni PublishingAna Marie Cox | BloggerMarti Buscaglia | Publisher and CEO | Duluth~Superior MagazineJohn Teresko | Editor Emeritus | IndustryWeekWilliam McGuirl | Director of Quality Assurance | Hearst MagazinesCasey Caplowe | Creative Director, GoodONES TO WATCH [EDITOR’S NOTE: These reports were compiled by FOLIO: staff editors Matt Kinsman, Dylan Stableford, Jason Fell, Vanessa Voltolina and freelancer Matt Schwartz.] Welcome to the 2009 FOLIO: 40, the oldest, most comprehensive and most distinguished magazine industry compilation of its kind. We’ve spent the last year examining the industry, as well as a few markets that intersect it, for individuals who best represent an increasingly multifaceted media landscape. Times are hard but this year’s selections can inspire us all.C-LEVEL VISIONARIESLen Burnett | Co-CEO and Group Publisher | Uptown MediaMarc Lotenberg | CEO | 944 MediaRieva Lesonsky | Founder | GrowBiz MediaPeter Sprague | CEO | Premier GuitarKathleen Kennedy | Chief Strategy Officer | Technology ReviewTim Regan-Porter | Vice President | PasteNick Palazzo | Co-Founder and CEO | StackAlain Lemarchand | CEO | HachetteDavid Levin | Chief Executive | United Business MediaSteve Morris | EVP | Advanstar Life Sciences DIRECTOR-LEVEL DOERSTodd Tauber | Director, Corporate Development | The Economist GroupDavid Granger | Editor | EsquireRichard Alleger | SVP of Retail Sales | RodaleFrank Cutitta | General Manager | IDG ConnectTricia Clarke-Stone | Director of Integrated Sales | Emmis InteractiveAndrew Sullivan | Blogger | The AtlanticJohn Rockwell | VP, Marketing and e-Media | Access IntelligenceAmy Taschler Snyder | Director of Media Systems | Hanley WoodChris Dixon | Design Director | New YorkKim Miller | VP, Consumer Marketing | People Grouplast_img read more

Sensex Nifty extend rally NTPC Tata Motors Cipla top gainers

first_imgThe Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai in this file photo on November 9, 2016.IANSStock markets sustained their previous day’s GST-driven rally on Tuesday also, with benchmark indices opening in the green, led by NTPC, Tata Motors and Cipla. ITC cooled down after the spectacular rally on Monday, driven by optimistic assessment for cigarette business post GST.The BSE Sensex was up 67 points at 31,288 while the NSE Nifty opened 20 points higher.The bullish sentiments on Monday were, however, not reflected in trading by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) who were net sellers of Indian equities worth Rs 805 crore.Among other corporate news, IDFC will be approaching shareholders to raise Rs 10,000 crore via debt instrument on private placement basis. ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), said that it has acquired 30 percent interest in an oil block, off Namibia, from UK’s Tullow Oil, said brokerage Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities in a note.CDSL, which got listed last Friday at 67 premium to its issue price of Rs 149, was trading 2.3 percent higher at Rs 268 on the NSE.More to follow….last_img read more

Former student confesses to Florida school shooting

first_imgShooting suspect Nikolas Cruz on 15 February at Broward County Jail in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Photo: AFP Former student confesses to Florida school shootingA troubled teen has confessed to gunning down 17 people at his former high school in Florida, court documents showed Thursday, as the FBI admitted it had received a tip-off about the 19-year-old gunman yet failed to stop him.As Americans reeled from the country’s worst school massacre since the horror at Sandy Hook six years ago, President Donald Trump suggested the root cause of the violence was a crisis of mental health and defied calls to address gun control.Terrified students hid in closets and under desks on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, texting for help as the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, stalked the school with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, appearing Thursday afternoon via video link before a judge who ordered him held without bond. More than a dozen other people were injured in the shooting spree.”Today is a day of healing. Today is a day of mourning,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.After being read his legal rights, “Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on the school grounds,” court documents showed.Cruz also admitted to police that he discarded his rifle- which he bought legally in Florida- and tactical gear in order to blend in with the crowd to flee the campus, the documents showed.After the shooting, he stopped at a Wal-Mart and then McDonald’s, Israel told reporters. He was detained 40 minutes later, after police identified him using school security camera footage.In a somber televised address to the nation in response to the 18th school shooting so far this year, Trump vowed to make mental health a priority — after tweeting about the ‘many signs’ the gunman was ‘mentally disturbed’ — while avoiding any talk of gun curbs.Earlier in the day, Trump had asserted that “neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”Expelled from school for disciplinary reasons, Cruz was known to be fixated on firearms — and had reportedly been identified as a potential threat to his classmates.But US authorities themselves were under scrutiny, after the FBI confirmed it was alerted last September to a message posted on YouTube, in which a user named Nikolas Cruz vowed: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”In a statement, the FBI said it had carried out “database reviews and other checks” but was unable to identify the person who made the post. ‘Something was off’A mugshot of Cruz depicts an ordinary-looking young man — cleanly-cut chestnut hair, hazel eyes, his face speckled with freckles.But the information emerging since his attack suggests there were red flags that should have set off danger alerts.”I met him last year, he was in my class at the beginning of the year and when I first met him, I knew that something was off about him and he was kind of weird,” Manolo Alvarez, 17, told AFP.Fellow students knew he posted violent messages online, and on Thursday the Anti-Defamation League reported he was a member of a white supremacist group and had taken part in military-style training exercises.Fifteen people were killed at the high school, and two later died in hospital.One of those killed was Aaron Feis, a well-loved football coach in Parkland, a city of about 30,000 people located north of Miami where Trump was due to travel to meet the shocked community.Many others were first-year students at the school like Gina Montalto, who was a member of the school’s winter color guard squad.Thousands of people turned out at numerous vigils throughout the day. Officials released silver balloons in honor of the 17 victims.”President Trump, please do something. Do something. Action. We need it now. These kids need safety now,” an emotional Lori Aldaheff, whose daughter Alyssa was among the dead, told CNN.last_img read more

Senate to vote on aid to Yemen

first_imgSaudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in London Britain on 29 September. Photo: ReutersSenators are expected to vote Thursday on a resolution that would call on the US to pull assistance from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, a measure that would rebuke Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.The Senate may also consider a separate resolution condemning the journalist’s killing as senators have wrestled with how to respond to the Saudi journalist’s murder. US intelligence officials have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must have at least known of the plot, but President Donald Trump has been reluctant to pin the blame.Senators voted 60-39 on Wednesday to open debate on the Yemen resolution, signalling there is enough support to win the 50 votes needed. But it’s unclear how amendments to the measure could affect the final vote, which is expected to come Thursday.While enough Republicans support the resolution, which was sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and most other Republicans oppose it.”I think every single member of this body shares grave concerns about the murder of Khashoggi and wants accountability,” McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. “We also want to preserve a 70-year partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and we want to ensure it continues to serve American interests and stabilizes a dangerous and critical region.”Senators have been enraged by Khashoggi’s October killing and the White House response, and that outrage prompted several Republicans to support the Yemen resolution because it would be seen as a rebuke to the longtime ally. Others already had concerns about the war in Yemen, which human rights groups say is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians, many of them children, to indiscriminate bombing and disease.Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, is preparing the separate, alternate resolution condemning the journalist’s killing. McConnell urged senators to vote for Corker’s measure, which he said “does a good job capturing bipartisan concerns about both the war in Yemen and the behaviour of our Saudi partners more broadly.” Corker has not released the full text of that resolution.It appears unlikely that the House would be willing to consider either measure. House leaders added a provision to an unrelated House rule that would make it harder for lawmakers there to call up a Yemen resolution if the Senate passes it. The rule barely passed, 206-203, after Democrats railed against the Yemen provision.CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed House leaders on the Khashoggi slaying on Wednesday, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are scheduled to brief the full House on Thursday.Pompeo and Mattis briefed the Senate last month and told senators that there was “no direct reporting” or “smoking gun” to connect the crown prince to Khashoggi’s death at a Saudi consulate in Turkey. But a smaller group of senators leaving a separate briefing with Haspel days later said there was “zero chance” the crown prince wasn’t involved.Khashoggi, who had lived in the US and wrote for The Washington Post, had been critical of the Saudi regime. He was killed in what US officials have described as an elaborate plot as he visited the consulate in Istanbul for marriage paperwork.Pressed on a response to the slaying, Trump has been reluctant to condemn the crown prince. He said the United States “intends to remain a steadfast partner” of the country, touted Saudi arms deals worth billions of dollars to the US and thanked the country for plunging oil prices.Saudi prosecutors have said a 15-man team sent to Istanbul killed Khashoggi with tranquilizers and then dismembered his body, which has not been found. Those findings came after Saudi authorities spent weeks denying Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate.Whatever is passed this month, lawmakers in both chambers have signaled that they will continue to press Saudi Arabia next year.The top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, is pushing tough legislation with a growing bipartisan group of senators that would halt arms sales and impose sanctions, to send what he called a “global message” to not just the Saudis but also to other regimes. “Just because you’re our ally, you can’t kill with impunity,” Menendez said.”The current relationship with Saudi Arabia is not working,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who supports Menendez’s measure and is expected to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2019. “You’re never going to have a relationship with the United States Senate unless things change.”House Democrats are also expected to keep the issue alive when they take the majority in January. The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, California Rep. Adam Schiff, said he intends to lead a “deep dive” into Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the likely incoming chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he would hold hearings on Saudi Arabia early next year.last_img read more

Nintendo Switch Online costs 20 per year and comes with 20

first_imgNintendo has finally revealed the details of its paid online service after months of speculation by fans. The pricing is pretty much as expected ($20 per year), but the additions of online save game backups and NES games with added online multiplayer sweeten the deal.We first heard the pricing last June, including the $3.99 monthly and $7.99 3-month options, but the announcement then left much to the imagination. This one makes things much clearer, but there are still a few mysteries it will perhaps clear up at E3 or closer to the September launch.Save data being backed up online is perhaps the most asked-for feature on the Switch, and one other platforms have provided for years. So its official announcement will surely be greeted with cries of joy. The exact details are coming soon.But it’s the online play for NES games that really caught my eye. Officially called “NES – Nintendo Switch Online,” it will be a collection of 10 games to start and 10 more to come, all of which can be played in both single- and multi-player modes online. How that looks exactly isn’t quite clear; the Nintendo release says “Depending on the game, players can engage in online competitive or co-op multiplayer, or take turns controlling the action.”Does that mean we’ll have leaderboards? Ghost runs in Super Mario Bros 3? Low-latency battles in Balloon Fight? No clue.At least the first 10 games are confirmed: Balloon Fight, Dr. Mario and Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Soccer, Super Mario Bros. and Tennis. The other 10 will supposedly be announced soon, with more added “on a regular basis.”Those are of course all Nintendo-made games, suggesting licensing negotiations are still underway for classics like Final Fantasy and Double Dragon. For now it’s a package deal, you can’t just buy Soccer and play it unless you go for the full online experience.The $20 per year subscription will also be necessary starting in September for online play. It might be a bit much to ask if you don’t play a lot of Splatoon or Mario Kart 8 or aren’t so into retro NES games, but it’s sure cheaper than the competition.If you want to talk with your friends while trading off Zelda dungeons, you’ll still need the smartphone app, though. Perhaps a chat service will be announced another time.A couple technical notes: the subscription is tied to an account, not the hardware, so if you and I shared a Switch and only I paid for the online aspect, you don’t get it when you log in. On the other hand, when I go to a friend’s house, I can log in to their device and use online services there. There is a $35 yearly option that lets you authorize up to 8 accounts though, for families with multiple users.The Switch Online service isn’t needed for system updates or buying games online or anything — just online play, the NES games, and save game backups.last_img read more

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first_img The road to accountable care can seem like an uphill climb, but it can be reached by following clearcut steps.It’s difficult, they say, to accurately gauge the impact of change without the benefit of time and historical perspective. Yet, some change brings a sense that nothing will ever be the same. Much of the discussion surrounding accountable care organizations (ACOs) has fallen along typical party lines of resistance — referencing formerly failed reimbursement and payment initiatives and arguing that the cost of entry is prohibitive, while realized savings are minimal.Whether the ACO model currently approved and in pilot phase will stand up over time is difficult to predict, but most agree that the changes sought with shared savings are here to stay.  And these changes are the lever that will change the way healthcare is managed and delivered — from provider to payer to patient.  The InformationPatient-level data, as it’s gathered and aggregated, will culminate in large datasets that will propel the way we manage health and treat illness. Recently I was asked to speak at a fundraiser and participated on a panel that included a physician and a cancer survivor. We were asked to address the wave of change as it intersects with cancer research and treatment. What became glaringly clear as we interacted was the incredible benefit empirical aggregated data would have on research and discovery.  While the world is changing at the molecular level for research so, too, is it expanding at the global level. With expansion comes aggregation and intelligent tools for data mining. These will provide thought-leaders with the tools to analyze and discover trends, monitor and even predict population health, streamline clinical trials and access to those trials, and enhance treatment and prescribing.In the face of this trend, I’d ask:“How much of your IT strategy reflects designing your data warehouse and business intelligence/analytics tools?”The way this information is managed is changing drastically. Historically we have used the term “patient information” to mean information about the patient — not information owned by the patient. Patient records and results have long been the property of providers and payers and managed territorially.We’ve all heard enough stories about the difficulty patients have had in gathering their patient data in a timely manner from those who were paid to provide that information. In the new paradigm, this long-held model of hoarding and protecting patient information as a way to capture patient loyalty will disappear. The ACO model, coupled with mandatory requirements of meaningful use addressing shared data, shifts the model to patient-owned data. Providers will still be paid to gather and store patient data, but the patients will own access and distribution rights.So, I ask:“What steps are you taking to ensure your patients’ data are available for access, tracking, trending and distributing – safely and securely?”I predict that patient access and ownership of their health data will lead to healthier living. The old adage in business is, “What gets measured, gets done.” As the population begins to track its health and is able to trend its vitals, there will be renewed understanding of the effects of lifestyle choices — diet, smoking, exercise.  Rather than waiting until there are physical symptoms related to lifestyle choices — which is reactive — patients will become collaborators with their physicians in managing their own health, even from a young age.  The paradigm of the “wise sage” will give way to “expert consultant.” It will be more about the relationship than the office visit. The next question is:  “What are you doing to build a collaborative communication model to your patient population?”This leads me to another significant area of change — the relationship.The Relationships and InteroperabilityThe first relationship that will change will be the relationship between clinical information systems. Typically we categorize systems and IT as data and infrastructure. I would argue that not much will change in the ways systems gather and store patient data. Even with the advent of the electronic health record/electronic medical record (EHR/EMR), the importance and position of clinical information systems has not diminished or necessarily changed.  Departmental and specialty-related systems are still used to capture and present data specific to the needs of the clinician. Radiologists, surgeons and orthopedists all have specific information that must be captured and presented in a way that meets the workflow and diagnostic requirements of the specialty. But what will change is the relationship between these systems. Interoperability is still a mountain most organizations have yet to summit internally — yet the real challenge is true exchange of data beyond the organization.  Health information exchanges (HIE) have proven successful geographically. The next exciting step will be the point where technological advances intersect with true exchange of data, and patient information is available on demand, as required, regardless of the provider or location.“How are you designing your infrastructure to simplify enterprise, and ultimately global, clinical systems relationships?”The relationships between physicians will continue to shift and collaboration will continue to advance.The ACO requires a team approach to patient care, both vertically and horizontally. Not only will care be managed from payer to provider to patient, care will be managed from primary care physician to specialist to home healthcare provider. Territorialism will give way to blurred lines, as shared savings replaces fee for service.  Remember, shared savings means shared risk! The mindset is shifting from “stay out of my yard” to “we’re in this together.” For a field that is used to doing business the same way for nearly 100 years, this may be one of the most difficult changes to embrace.  “How are you shifting your thinking as a provider to bring collaboration to your organization — both vertically and horizontally, internally and externally?”And finally, the organization will change.The Organization — ACO Requirements Are Just the First StepIt seems obvious that organizational change will occur as it is inherent in the ACO Final Rule. The governance, structure and requirements are all addressed specifically in the ACO model. There is plenty to do for every organization that is pursuing ACO certification to meet the criteria, metrics and reporting requirements as legislated. Meeting these requirements is simply the first step and focusing solely on these will not address and position an organization for long-term success.  Beyond the metrics are the systems and culture. Healthcare organizations are beginning to understand the importance of learning transferable best practices from other industries. Six Sigma, Lean and other process and quality improvement models are gaining traction in our world. Over the last 15 years, nearly every other industry has figured out how to do more with less. Greater output and higher quality while utilizing fewer resources is how the best companies have differentiated themselves.  These same efforts must play a critical role in the development of your organization if you want to be positioned for success in the new landscape. This approach is as much about culture and systems as it is about roles and responsibilities.  “How are you providing leadership to become a better and successful organization?”The landscape is changing. As I’ve said previously, you don’t have to be first, but you’d better not be last. Not everyone will succeed in an ACO paradigm. Those who thrive will be nimble in their adoption of change. They will move, not to where things are, but to where things will be.  “What are you doing to prepare yourself, your organization and, ultimately, your patients for the world of change?”Jef Williams is a frequent speaker and writer on healthcare technology topics and ACO. He is a vice president at Ascendian Healthcare Consulting, www.ascendian.com. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more Feature | April 03, 2012 | Jef Williams ACOs: Change is in the Wind A new era is dawning in the way patient information will be managed — and relationships will change News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:33Loaded: 2.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:33 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more Related Content Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | August 01, 2019 DrChrono Teams With DeepScribe to Automate Medical Note Taking in EHR DrChrono Inc. and DeepScribe announced a partnership so medical practices using DrChrono EHR can use artificial… read more Videos | Radiology Business | August 02, 2019 VIDEO: Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019 Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) President … read more The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July.  News | Radiology Business | August 01, 2019 Philips Completes Acquisition of Carestream Health’s HCIS Business … read morelast_img read more

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first_imgTechnology | May 29, 2013 Hologic Receives FDA Approval for Low-Dose 3-D Mammography Breast tomosynthesis solution may offer more accurate method for breast cancer screening. Technology | Artificial Intelligence | July 18, 2019 Paragon Biosciences Launches Qlarity Imaging to Advance FDA-cleared AI Breast Cancer Diagnosis System Paragon Biosciences LLC announced the launch of its seventh portfolio company, Qlarity Imaging LLC, which was founded… read more Technology | Breast Biopsy Systems | July 24, 2019 Fujifilm Releases Tomosynthesis Biopsy Option for Aspire Cristalle Mammography System Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently expanded its breast imaging solutions with the launch of its… read more News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Qlarity Imaging’s software is used to assist radiologists in the assessment and characterization of breast lesions. Imaging features are synthesized by an artificial intelligence algorithm into a single value, the QI score, which is analyzed relative to a database of reference abnormalities with known ground truth. Image courtesy of Business Wire. Related Content News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more read more Technology | Mammography Reporting Software | July 25, 2019 Hologic Partners With MagView to Develop Unifi EQUIP Solution Hologic announced a partnership with mammography information solutions provider MagView to develop Unifi EQUIP, an… read more IBM collected a dataset of 52,936 images from 13,234 women who underwent at least one mammogram between 2013 and 2017, and who had health records for at least one year prior to the mammogram. The algorithm was trained on 9,611 mammograms. Image courtesy of Radiology. News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more News | Mammography Reporting Software | July 26, 2019 Ikonopedia Releases Automated Combined Reporting Package at AHRA Ikonopedia showcased its recently released Automated Combined Reporting package and its entire suite of structured… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems News | Ultrasound Women’s Health | July 11, 2019 FDA Clears Koios DS Breast 2.0 AI-based Software Koios Medical announced its second 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). May 29, 2013 — Hologic Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Hologic’s new C-View 2-D imaging software. C-View 2-D images may now be used in place of the conventional 2-D exposure previously required as part of a Hologic 3-D breast tomosynthesis screening exam.C-View images are generated from the 3-D tomosynthesis data acquired during the mammography exam, eliminating the need for additional 2-D exposures. The combination of Hologic’s 3-D and C-View 2-D images results in less time under compression, for greater patient comfort and a lower radiation dose, while still providing the 2-D images required as part of Hologic’s FDA-approved 3-D mammography screening exam.“Large-scale clinical studies have shown that screening with Hologic’s 3-D mammography technology allows radiologists to visualize the breast in greater detail than with 2-D mammography alone, which results in earlier detection of cancers while at the same time reducing the false positives associated with conventional 2D mammography that cause unnecessary anxiety and cost,” said Peter Soltani, Hologic senior vice president and general manager, breast health.Hologic’s 3-D mammography technology has been approved for use in countries recognizing the CE mark since 2008. It was approved for use in the United States for breast cancer screening and diagnosis in 2011. Hologic systems are now in use in 48 states and over 50 countries.For more information: www.breasttomo.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Feature | Artificial Intelligence | July 19, 2019 | Michal Chorev AI Models Predict Breast Cancer With Radiologist-level Accuracy Breast cancer is the global leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer… read more last_img read more

As the cost of doing business climbs host agencies retail groups say

first_imgTags: Finances, Small Agencies Kathryn Folliott This story originally ran in the March 28th, 2019 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — It’s one thing to know that owning and operating a travel agency comes with significant financial responsibilities. It’s another to see many of those costs itemized in black and white.In this third installment of Travelweek’s 5-part series, looking at options for owners for small to mid-size agencies who may be looking to downsize their responsibilities – or even to sell while still staying in the industry they love – we talked to agents and agency groups, from host agencies looking to grow their membership ranks, to retail groups interested in acquiring smaller agencies, about the costs of doing business.Not including rent and staff payroll and other major expenses, which vary widely from city to city, an owner’s list of pesky but must-pay items for a small to mid-size agency in Ontario might look like this (all prices per year and approximate):Audit: $3,500TICO: $1,000Telephone system: $3,500E & O insurance: $1,500IATA: $400Website: $3,000 per yearBooking engines: $1,500Accounting system: $3,000CLIA membership: $400Flemming Friisdahl, founder of The Travel Agent Next Door, says the major concerns he’s hearing from owners of agencies in the $1 – $3 million bracket, are threefold. “One, there is too much work outside just selling travel, from audits, to making sure you are PCI compliant, to bank reconciliation, to figuring out if you are getting the best prices on phone systems to insurance for the office (like Errors & Omissions).“Two, owners are asking ‘How do I make sure that I keep the customers I have presently, plus cover the costs of a website, the cost of the booking engines on the site and then how do I keep it up to date?’ And they’re also saying, ‘And then for other marketing like e-mail campaigns, I don’t do it but I need to stay in front of my customers. And how do I provide magazines/print marketing to my customers when I am not making a lot of money as it is?’“Three, I’m hearing ‘How do I make sure I get the maximum commission, even being with a consortium? The suppliers are tiering the agencies much more, so it’s hard to keep the sales up.’“And four, I’m hearing ‘How do I not lose my agents to home-based agencies, they have better programs and can afford to pay them more commission.’”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTAsked if The Travel Agent Next Door has seen an increase in the number of inquiries from agencies looking for options as they face the future, Friisdahl says an emphatic “YES”.He adds: “Most certainly, and as most costs (rent, phone, insurances, bank fees, compliance requirements) are getting higher it is harder to make money. Most agents love selling travel but are not enjoying the admin side of running the office, payroll, doing contracts with agents, to doing all the requirements you have with TICO or CPBC (Consumer Protection B.C). The key is, most agency owners can make more money, doing less work and selling only the kind of trips they like to sell, while still (if they wish) slow down a little and smell the roses.”With The Travel Agent Next Door, says Friisdahl, agency owners “can still own their business and offload all the back end work while making more commissions”.Other host agencies with storefront options include TPI and Independent by Flight Centre. IFC General Manager Lee Zanello says agencies with $3 million or less in sales fit perfectly with a host model as they have enough back end support needed to justify switching to a host model to ease that burden.Says Zanello: “These agencies will often have multiple agents working in the office or as a part of the team working offsite and the technology and communications systems we offer as a part of the host experience can help bring efficiency to that team dynamic.  Put simply, we have the ability to take all the parts of running their business that they don’t like off their plate so that they have more time for the parts they do enjoy.”Technology is a major obstacle for many smaller agencies, confirms Brian Robertson, President, Vision Travel Solutions. “Many small- to medium-sized agencies are having a hard time keeping up with evolving technology and the associated costs,” says Roberston. “They got into the travel business to sell travel and find the operational overhead takes up too much time. In addition, the globalization of travel is removing a whole segment of client and future opportunity from the SME agency. Most of them cannot qualify for these opportunities simply because they do not have the network to support it.”Uniglobe’s Regional VP Eastern Canada, Joel Kopstick, agrees. “To be competitive in today’s world, you need technology which is out of reach for most small to mid size agencies in terms of cost and human resourses to operate it.” He adds that Uniglobe offers corporate programs, marketing and leading-edge technology which allow agencies to compete and thrive while maintaining their independence.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesA B.C. agent shared her experience. Powell River Cruise & Travel’s Viv Watson opened her storefront about 20 years ago. “I loved being in control of my own destiny but really didn’t enjoy all the paperwork and regulations that is actually fairly onerous in the travel industry. And also the costs of rent, licensing, fees, etc. I got into the business in the first place because I loved the interaction with people and was finding that more and more of my time was spent on administration.”An economic downturn made it harder and harder to keep the doors open as a brick-and-mortar shop. “And even though I am in the ‘sunset’ of my career, I wasn’t quite ready to retire, so started exploring other avenues that would keep me in the industry on my own terms,” she says.Her decision to join forces with a host agency, says Watson, who now runs her storefront as part of The Travel Agent Next Door network, meant a higher rate of commission on sales from preferred suppliers, less paperwork, lower fees for licensing and registrations, a marketing program and commissions paid twice a month with direct deposit.Travelweek’s 5-part special series looks at the options available particularly to owners of small to mid-size agencies with annual sales of up to $3 million or so, who may be looking to sell, or downsize their responsibilities, while remaining in the industry. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. Posted by As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Thursday, April 4, 2019 About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019last_img read more

Luis Guillermo Solís says if hes elected president he will not personally

first_imgCitizens Action Party presidential candidate Luis Guillermo Solís told reporters Tuesday that he has no plans to meet with Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega until the disputes between two countries are resolved.Solís also assured that he would not personally invite Ortega to his inauguration – as he would for other Central American presidents – if he is elected. Instead, he would send an official invitation to the Nicaragua government.That news surely will disappoint Ortega, who had begun making overtures toward Costa Rica’s potential presidents. But no Costa Rican leader wants to be seen as kowtowing to Ortega whose bullying rhetoric and authoritative rule continue to cause headaches for Costa Rica.One of the biggest issues remains a Nicaraguan incursion into Costa Rican territory in 2010. The dispute will be decided at the International Court of Justice, likely within the coming year. But Costa Rica is planning to sue Nicaragua at the Hague-based world court again – this time over Nicaragua’s alleged plans to sell Costa Rican maritime territory to international oil companies.Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, who took office in May 2010, has maintained an icy, tense relationship with the country’s neighbors to the north. But Ortega said last week that he hoped to repair relations with either Solís or ruling party candidate Johnny Araya, who face off in a runoff election on April 6.The announcement came after Solís met with Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo about the problems with Nicaragua and other foreign issues. Solís stated it’s still important to keep  ties with Nicaragua and work together in regards to security and other diplomatic topics. But he dismissed any idea of a personal powwow with Ortega.Castillo is awaiting a meeting with Araya, who also appears to be an unlikely candidate to reach out to Ortega. Facebook Comments Related posts:Nicaragua’s Ortega wants to have a friendly chat with next Costa Rican president Can Nicaragua survive the crisis in Venezuela? Costa Rica concerned by Nicaragua’s interest in boosting its military, says minister Puerto Rican independence front and center at CELAClast_img read more

Dueling Anthems StarSpangled Banner vs Hermosa Bandera

first_imgThe American Colony’s annual Fourth of July picnic kicks off tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Cervercería Nacional, near the Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside San José. Read all about it here. And download a copy of The Tico Times’ Fourth of July picnic program here: July 4 Picnic Program PDF.Here’s how the story goes: In 1852, President Juan Rafael Mora Porras was about to receive delegates from Great Britain and the United States. Costa Rica was newly independent, and Mora didn’t want to welcome guests without a decent national anthem. He turned to Manuel María Gutiérrez Flores, a military officer who just happened to compose music. But Mora couldn’t wait around for a magnum opus, so he locked Gutiérrez in a prison cell, instructing him to produce an anthem in 24 hours.The result was “Noble Patria, Tu Hermosa Bandera,” (“Noble Homeland, Your Beautiful Flag”), a song now played and sung before almost every civic event. The “Himno Nacional” is among the most successful rush-jobs in history: The music is martial and triumphant, and the listener immediately swells with pride. In 1900, the politician and poet José María Zeledón Brenes added lyrics, which speak of a “noble homeland,” “your sons, simple farmhands,” “unsullied blue of your skies,” and “mother of life!” Only in the fourth stanza is there any reference to war, and it’s fairly tame: “When anyone should attempt to besmirch your glory/You will see your people, valiant and virile/The rustic tool into a weapon transform.”In other words: We’re pretty easygoing people, but don’t mess with us, because we’ve got machetes. Pura vida!The differences between the “Himno” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” are obvious, starting with their contexts. The American Revolution lasted eight years and cost tens of thousands of lives. A few decades later, there was a sequel: The War of 1812 lasted nearly three additional years and killed more than 20,000 people. The British forces went so far as to burn down Washington, D.C., and battles were fought all along the eastern seaboard. When Maryland attorney Francis Scott Key found himself captive aboard the HMS Surprise, he witnessed the Battle of Baltimore, with its tall ships, exploding rockets, and 15-star flag rising over Fort McHenry. (Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)It’s no surprise that “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a story of combat, since the 13 colonies had to fight bitterly to become the United States of America, which then shed more blood just to assert itself. It took a while for Key’s poem to become an anthem: His brother-in-law John Stafford Smith put the verses to music (by plagiarizing a British melody, ironically enough), and although the tune was popular among drinking buddies and brass bands, “Banner” didn’t become an official anthem until 1931.Costa Rica has a different story, starting with the quandary of its independence. It’s hard to say exactly when Costa Rica became “free.” Without firing a shot, Spain relinquished the country on September 15, 1821, and Costa Rica gradually became an “autonomous subject” of the United Provinces of Central America. But Ticos were never really committed to that loose confederation, and when Spain recognized its independence in 1850, Costa Rica stayed peaceful for nearly 100 years. Even the fight against the U.S. Filibusteros was a short-lived affair, and fighting took place primarily in Nicaragua.So yes, it’s easy to see the two anthems as different and distinct. But what about the commonalities? Unlike “God Save the Queen,” the “Bandera” and “Banner” anthems do not praise monarchy. Instead, they celebrate scrappy pioneers in the New World, determined patriots proud of their young nations. After “the twilight’s last gleaming,” Gringos marvel that their “flag was still there,” while Ticos are grateful that “in the tenacious struggle of fruitful toil,” their flag “brings a glow to men’s faces.” In each set of lyrics, a post-colonial people shows love and appreciation for its respective promised land. (Compare “rockets’ red glare” to Italy’s refrain, “We are ready to die!” Or see Hungary’s anthem, with its weeping orphans and torrents of blood). Indeed, neither the U.S. nor Costa Rica calls out a specific enemy by name, whereas many anthems do. Facebook Comments Related posts:Dueling anthems: ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and ‘Hermosa Bandera’ American Colony to host 54th annual Independence Day Picnic PHOTOS: American Colony celebrates US Independence Day at annual picnic White House names Democratic donor as nominee for ambassador to Costa Ricalast_img read more

Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival is rising star in artisanal food movement

first_imgRelated posts:Health Ministry shuts down Chocolate Festival Delicious take-aways from the Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival San José’s Feria de Chocolate highlights growth in Costa Rican chocolate industry Chocolate has new Latin America king as Ecuador edges past Brazil PUERTO VIEJO, Limón — Spice-laden chocolate bars, whisky-filled truffles and raw cacao drinks filled the tables at the Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival this weekend. Hopeful attendants for the festival’s popular liquor and chocolate pairing called in favors and waited in long lines with the enthusiasm of super-fans trying to snag tickets to a sold-out concert.Now in its fifth iteration, the Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival has become the premier opportunity for southern Caribbean chocolate makers to showcase their best products. While the festival has always been a hit with locals, the festival’s reputation has begun to spread throughout Costa Rica along with the popularity of Caribbean-made cacao.While cacao has a long history in Costa Rica, the crop’s viability in Costa Rica has declined since a deadly fungus wiped out most of the country’s plantations several decades ago. This shift was felt the most in the Caribbean lowlands, where cacao was once the main crop, and banana and pineapple began to overtake agriculture in the region. In terms of planted hectares, cacao has still not returned to its glory days, but improved cacao genetics and a growing worldwide interest in chocolate have allowed for a resurgence in the crop in Costa Rica, especially in the southern Caribbean.“There is an increased interest in fine flavor aroma cacao,” said Paul Johnson, the owner of Caribeans, a bean-to-bar producer in Playa Cocles. “People who are sourcing high-quality cacao want it from Central and South America, so we are seeing more and more small producers from the U.S. who come here and want to source local cacao straight from the farmer.”While Costa Rica still exports much of its cacao, there is a growing number of bean-to-bar operations creating chocolate within Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo has become ground zero for Caribbean chocolate makers, and the Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival has become one of the region’s most important events.While tourists still make up a large chunk of those buying Costa Rican chocolate and attending the festival, local chocolate makers are also benefiting from an artisanal food boom throughout the country. The popularity of everything from craft beer to gourmet popsicles has exploded in recent years, giving rise to hundreds of new businesses. For industry leaders and fans of the artisanal food movement, the hope is that with time the overall quality of the products will improve.“People just want different things, to try different flavors,” said C.S. Derrick, the brewmaster at Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Company and one of the expert judges in the Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival’s chocolate competition. “As palates become more and more refined, tastes become more specific and discerning. After that happens, the people that aren’t doing a great job tend to go under and the people that are doing a great job tend to grow.”Fortunately for Costa Rican chocolate makers, the cacao grown in the country is some of the best in the world. According to the International Cocoa Organization, Costa Rica is one of only nine countries in the world — and the only in Central America — that exports 100 percent fine flavor cacao.Caribbean bean-to-bar businesses hope the country’s reputation for high-quality cacao can help create a “Napa Valley” effect in Puerto Viejo, drawing in visitors interested in sampling the area’s chocolate.“This year at least 10 groups came from the U.S. specifically for the festival,” Johnson said. “If that can get bigger, then a place like Puerto Viejo can become known for chocolate.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “If door number two is a better option we’ll go to door number two,” Arians said, adding that it is something that will play out in the future.The future is what this hire was all about, which is part of the reason Arians said he did not want to retain defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Horton was also interviewed for the top job, and while Arians said he values the defensive coordinator as a friend and a coach, he felt it would not be best to keep him on board.“Having it for my first time, this is a direction I feel very strong about,” Arians said, adding he wishes Horton the best and believes will be a head coach in the league very soon. “It needed to be a football team that was directed by me, and anytime there’s carryover we don’t want guys being able to go somewhere else to voice their opinion.“I didn’t want to put Ray in that situation; that’s not fair to him. If a guy’s got a gripe or concern, come to me, and that’s just the way we’re going to do business.”As of now there should be few gripes. Arians said he’s talked to both Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson, both of whom expressed excitement over the hire. This is the honeymoon period for the coach, and as of this moment he has yet to lose a game in Arizona. He said the plan is for his team to play smart and disciplined football, which would go a long way towards helping the team be successful. “A short time ago this organization was 37 seconds away from the Super Bowl trophy,” Arians reminded those in attendance. “I just happened to be calling plays on the other side. Got real lucky, too.“That’s the excitement that we want to bring back. That’s our goal and our only goal.”Arians said Cardinals fans deserve that, and he believes it can happen in Arizona.He’s officially on the clock. LISTEN: Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians – / 15 The Arizona Cardinals formally introduced Bruce Arians as their new head coach Friday, putting an end to a nearly three-week search for Ken Whisenhunt’s replacement.In Arians they found a man who is experienced, well-liked and motivated. And thankful.“I’ve been looking forward to this a long time,” an emotional Arians said at his first meeting with the media as the Cardinals’ head coach. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Your browser does not support the audio element. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Indeed he has. Arians has been coaching for more than 30 years, and while he’s had great success as a coordinator, he had never been given an opportunity to be an NFL head coach.That changed in 2012 when he guided the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3 record as an interim coach. Not only did Arians prove to himself that he could lead a team, but the rest of the league, too. “The last 12 months have been quite a ride,” Arians said. “Here we are.”The Cardinals are coming off a 5-11 season that saw them score — by far — the fewest number of points in the league. Given Arians’ track record on the offensive side of the football, it’s fair to assume the team brought him in because they believe he can fix things.And Arians — who has coached quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck — understands the Cardinals will need improved play out of that position.“I know there’s some really good quality guys,” Arians said of who the Cardinals have. “If they’re our quarterbacks, we’re going to coach them up and they’re going to play their tails off.”Arians said he knows general manager Steve Keim and director of player personnel Jason Licht will continue looking for help at the position, and if that’s where the answer lies, so be it.last_img read more