Interview: Ferry Industry Rules Lack Practicality

first_imgThe recent Norman Atlantic case was the first accident to claim passenger lives in this sector in more than a decade. WMN: How would you assess the overall safety conditions across the industry? Would you say that there is an ever growing number of accidents (groundings/capsizing) in the ferry/Ro-Ro industry, often with tragic consequences?Roos: Firstly, we do not see an ever growing number of accidents in the ferry/RoRo industry, especially if measured in relative terms i.e. the number of accidents in relation to the number of ships. Secondly, it is very important to categorise ferry accidents in relation to the regulatory framework that governs their respective operations.International ferry routes governed by IMO rules in OECD countries have an excellent safety record.  The recent Norman Atlantic case was the first accident to claim passenger lives in this sector in more than a decade.  With 700 million passengers per year in Europe alone, ferry travel in OECD states can be considered extremely safe.  At the other end of the spectrum, there are some less developed countries where domestic operations account for the vast majority of the 15,000 lives lost in ferry accidents since 2000.  This is truly an unacceptable situation but it is important to keep it in perspective – the World Health Organization reports that 1.24 million people died on the world’s roads in 2010.WMN: What are the crucial issues that need to be addressed in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening?Roos: First and foremost, adequate enforcement of already existing rules for domestic operations. In some cases, the domestic rules themselves may not be fully adequate, but we consider that sub-ordinate to flag states taking their responsibility to ensure that safe operations are conducted. Very basic measures – such as ensuring that the number of passengers on-board is within the ferry’s limits and that adequate life saving equipment is readily available – would immediately save many lives.For international operations, we see no crucial issues to be addressed. The regulatory framework is exhaustive and predominately very well enforced. The only area of potential improvement we note is that cooperation between flag and port states could be improved in some areas to ensure that any local agreements are properly scrutinised.WMN: The global shipping industry has been pursuing a “bigger is better” policy.  Can this kind of approach to building vessels be applied to ferries in the future?Roos: We have already been through that phase and have probably reached the upper limits.  Ferries are more dependent on quick turnaround in port than tankers or container ships.  Many ferries also operate on routes and into ports that restrict their size. Furthermore, ferries serve as the lifeline for many scarcely populated island communities, where a super-sized ferry could not be filled even if the entire population was lined up.  The ferry sector is very diverse, ranging from very small to very large ships, all of which try to be optimised for the routes they serve and the benefits they provide to society. The new sulphur regulations have certainly diminished the ability of northern European ferry operators to compete for the same business with rival modes such as railways, motorways and low cost airlines. WMN: How has the January 1 sulphur switch influenced the ferry industry?Roos: The recent drop in fuel prices came as a fundamental relief to operators who have chosen to use low sulphur distillate fuel.  Even though the price difference between Heavy Fuel Oil and Marine Gas Oil remains at around USD 250 per ton, the lower oil prices in general have meant that operators are paying more or less the same today as one year ago. The much dreaded overnight price hike of 20-40% on ferry tariffs has been avoided, so fears of a modal shift have also been diluted – although we must bear in mind that the road option has also benefited from the low fuel prices.  However, no-one knows if this price level is only temporary.Long term, the new sulphur regulations have certainly diminished the ability of northern European ferry operators to compete for the same business with rival modes such as railways, motorways and low cost airlines. WMN: What has been the feedback from your members so far on meeting the new requirements? Roos: A vast majority of the ferries operating in SECA areas have switched from 1% HFO to 0.1% MGO, with few reported technical issues.  Apart from some clogged up filters and separators, the transition has been remarkably smooth.Also the port states seem to have been wise enough to refrain from any draconian inspection campaigns.  This recognises that contamination from old HFO in the on-board systems can significantly influence the sulphur content of a fuel sample and generate unintentional non-compliance, which obviously should not be punished.WMN: What has been the preferred option among ferry companies to meet the new requirements?Roos: Distillate fuels were already commonplace for many domestic operations and high-speed international crossings and most other ships have now switched to MGO.  In addition, a handful of LNG-fuelled ships have been introduced over the past few years and the world’s first methanol-powered ferry is now entering service. We have also seen a significant uptake of scrubber technology.  Some 40 ships under Interferry’s membership have installed or are currently fitting scrubbers on one or more engines in their fleet – the total of individual scrubbing units is approaching 100.  The main concern among operators right now is that, despite the EU Commission promoting scrubbing as an alternative compliance solution since 2010, there is still no legal certainty that the units already installed may actually be used in all SECA ports and waters.WMN: Many companies have opted for LNG-powered newbuilds. However, there have been various safety concerns regarding the location of fuel tanks on LNG-powered ships. Have there been any developments on this debate? What would be the ideal scenario for ferries in this respect?Roos: There never were any real safety concerns as such. Our concerns were over a rather puzzling academic approach to LNG tank location – and consequently their size – in order to prevent impact damage. This approach took into account mostly irrelevant accident statistics derived not primarily from modern ferry operation but from a muddled dataset ranging back to the 1980’s and largely populated with container ship accidents – since there were too few ferry accidents to be statistically significant.  If LNG prices prove to be at the levels promised by the fuel’s proponents over the years, there is no reason to be overly concerned by the current lack of infrastructure. At the IMO, Interferry and others successfully argued that the very same safety provisions that have effectively safeguarded huge LNG tankers for decades should also be applied to LNG propulsion tanks. We will now be able to build new LNG-powered ferries that will not have to refuel after each and every crossing.WMN: Is LNG a sustainable solution for ferry operators having in mind that LNG bunkering is still under development?Roos: With any new fuel there is always a gradual transition period as supply and demand seek a balance. If LNG prices prove to be at the levels promised by the fuel’s proponents over the years, there is no reason to be overly concerned by the current lack of infrastructure.The EU Commission has put in place a requirement for ports to provide LNG, but Interferry considers this to be slightly misguided and a matter best dealt with by the market. Instead, the EU should support individual ship owners in their investment in LNG-powered ships, which would also entail investment in the necessary infrastructure.  Furthermore, the EU would be perfectly placed to support the bunker suppliers investing in LNG provision, including shore-side tanks.WMN: How has the oil price fall influenced ferry operators and their investment in environmental solutions?Roos: It has given them some breathing space to cope with the SECA situation, but the general sensation in the market is that today’s oil prices will not last for very long.  Further ahead, in addition to the increased uptake of scrubbers and LNG, we also see some very interesting developments on electrically-powered ferries, either as hybrids or as pure electric drive.80% of maritime incidents are due to human errorWMN: How would you describe the outlook for the ferry industry having in mind the ongoing trends and push for technologically-superior vessels? Can we expect SMART (autonomous) ferries to be introduced soon?Roos: We would like to see an informed discussion on how we could better utilise modern technology to reduce risks in maritime operations in general and ferry operations in particular – but this must go hand in hand with increased focus on the human element in safety.At IMO level, improved safety is too often equated with adding more steel and equipment on the ship – seemingly with the unrealistic end goal of making ships unsinkable. That mentality is hampering the industry and should be compared to what has been done in aviation over a long period of time. Aircraft are not expected to be collision proof but rather to operate in a system that prevents them colliding or crashing in the first place.  We are confident that very much could be done with a systems approach for ferries, but we would not consider autonomous ferries to be realised in the near or even medium term. Meanwhile we also wholeheartedly support the growing trend to think beyond enhanced technical safety solutions by combining them with improved operational control. We know that 80% of maritime incidents are due to human error, so the industry is increasingly committed to crew training programmes that build a leadership and teamwork safety culture. The experience and competence of on-board personnel must be acknowledged as a paramount factor in helping to avoid or mitigate an incident.World Maritime News Staff zoom Originally formed back in 1976 as the International Marine Transit Association in order to provide the ferry industry with a platform for networking and information exchange, Interferry soon evolved into the only world-wide industry association, currently representing 225 members from 38 countries.Interferry has also assumed the role of the industry representative regarding regulatory matters, attaining Consultative Status at the International Maritime Organization and Observer Status at the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) to fulfill this role.World Maritime News spoke to Interferry’s Regulatory Affairs Director Johan Roos to find out how the industry is tackling the latest safety and environmental issues.Current proposals to prevent the spread of invasive species go too far. WMN: What are the most important projects you are currently involved in?Roos: There are several regulatory issues of high importance on our agenda. The most immediate is ballast water management. In our view, current proposals to prevent the spread of invasive species go too far – measures to restrict inter-continental spread are laudable but we cannot see the point of imposing them on short stretches of water between two nations. In effect, this would require spending half a million dollars per ship on equipment to kill organisms that are common in the same water.  Therefore, at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in May, Interferry and other sponsors will propose that neighbouring states should be allowed to reach bilateral agreements on whatever action they see fit. This would spare them from the onus of applying for exemption from a requirement to fit expensive, voluminous and – in their cases – unnecessary equipment.On passenger ship safety we are engaged in three parallel issues of high relevance and concern. The first one is domestic passenger ship safety, where we are in close collaboration with the IMO in trying to devise new ways of reducing the large number of passengers that are lost every year, primarily in south-east Asia. In our view, if all flag states put in place the requirements we have in for instance North America and Europe, the problem would be solved. We realise however that the resources to make such an investment are not available to all countries and therefore we need to find other ways to reduce the greatest risk factors. At the end of the day, it will come down to the member states concerned taking their responsibility.The second issue relates to a ship’s ability to stay afloat after a collision or grounding. For many years a sophisticated and, to us, rather academic approach called ”probabilistic damage stability” has been pursued by the IMO to put in place requirements on a more theoretical basis rather than building new rules from experience.  This general line of thought is good – it means that, rather than waiting for the next accident and adjusting the regulations accordingly, clever people can predict risk scenarios and design regulations to prevent such risk scenarios leading to catastrophic consequences. The concern we have is that the process has been very academic and non-transparent – looking forward, the ship’s captain may almost need to be a professor in naval architecture in order to ascertain whether his ship will sink if it is involved in an accident.The third safety issue is more hands-on and is prompted by the recent Norman Atlantic fire. We note that several previous fires on Ro-Pax ships all relate to vehicles on the car deck and that the on-board systems for detecting and fighting fires have not been perfectly in tune with what we expected.  We do not yet know the details of the Norman Atlantic, but we believe it is important to have another look at fire safety on ferries so that any systemic or technical shortcomings can be properly addressed.last_img read more

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ADS Crude Carriers to Pay More for Scrubber Installations

first_imgzoomIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Tanker owner and operator ADS Crude Carriers has seen an increase in the cost of its scrubber installation project in China.The VLCC owner said that the total expected investment in scrubber systems and taking the vessels through intermediate surveys is around USD 6.5 million per vessel, up from the previously guided USD 5.5 million per vessel.The company, set up in April 2018, explained that the change was mainly due to “increased estimated costs necessary to maintain the highest level vessel rating.”Subsequent to quarter end, two of the company’s vessels went into yard to perform mandatory intermediate surveys and retrofitting of scrubbers, with the third vessel expected to enter yard around the end of September. ADS Crude Carriers said that the yard stays remain on schedule with two expected to finish before end of the third quarter of 2019 and one during the fourth quarter of the year.The rise in costs was revealed as part of the company’s second quarter of 2019 financial report.ADS Crude Carriers reported a net profit of USD 0.6 million for the second quarter of 2019, down from a profit of USD 1.2 million seen in the first quarter of the year. Net revenue decreased 27% to USD 4.8 million from USD 6.5 million in the previous quarter, mainly due to increased voyage expenses.“The seasonally weak tanker market impacted our second quarter earnings, resulting in a 27% lower average Time Charter Equivalent quarter-on-quarter of USD 17,463 per day and providing a net profit of USD 0.6 million, of which we will immediately return USD 0.5 million back to shareholders by way of a dividend,” Bjørn Tore Larsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said.last_img read more

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Thoroughly enjoyed directing Kangana Judgementall Hai Kya director

first_imgMumbai: Filmmaker Prakash Kovelamudi says he enjoyed working with Kangana Ranaut in “Judgementall Hai Kya” and thanked the leading lady and male protagonist Rajkummar Rao for their support. Prakash, a prominent name in Telugu film industry, is making his Bollywood debut with “Judgementall Hai Kya”, produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shailesh R Singh. In the past, Kangana has been accused of “hijacking” a film, most recent being “Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi”. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography Asked about the experience of working on the thriller, the director said he likes to have creative discussions with his cast and crew as filmmaking is a collaborative process. “I would like to thank the team who helped me make this wonderful film. The entry into Bollywood is fantastic. With the kind of support I have got from my producer, writer, technical team and most importantly, my cast Kangana and Rajkummar has been fantastic. “I thoroughly enjoyed directing Kangana. I come from theatre (background) and I like when my actors ask me questions. I like us to have creative discussions. I like us to arrive on something that we can creatively collaborate on. I believe filmmaking is a collaborative process,” Prakash told reporters here at the trailer launch of the film on Tuesday here. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot Calling Kangana a “thinking actor”, the director said the movie has turned out be “better” with teamwork. “I thoroughly enjoyed working (with her). Taking her inputs and giving mine, we have made this a better film together. And those inputs have come from everybody in the team. She is wonderful. She is a thinking actor,” he said. Also featuring Jimmy Shergill, Amyra Dastur and Satish Kaushik, the film is slated to be released on July 26.last_img read more

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Trudeau apologizes asks for forgiveness after third instance of racist makeup surfaces

first_imgHe added that he told campaign staff of the existence of photos only when he found out that Time Magazine was looking for a picture of the 2001 event.Trudeau also said he was wary of giving a definite number of instances when he wore racist makeup or indulged in similar behaviour because he had not even remembered the pictures that surfaced since Wednesday night.“How can you not remember? The fact is I didn’t understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination every single day. I have always acknowledged that I come from a place of privilege, but I now need to acknowledge that that comes with a massive blind spot,” he said. Trudeau added that people of colour face racism and hardship on a regular basis simply because of their skin or their language and he “didn’t see that from the layers of privilege that [he has]”When asked why he did not volunteer information about the instances during the vetting process when he was running for office, he said he was embarrassed.“It was not something that represents the person I’ve become, the leader I try to be and it was really embarrassing.” The Prime Minister said representing a multicultural riding like Papineau helped him understand the racist connotations of blackface.“The responsibility of not just sticking up for people of all different backgrounds, but fighting for them and defending them is something that made it very very clear to me that minimizing or further marginalizing people by dressing up that way is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.Trudeau also acknowledged the difficult conversation Canadians may have had to have with their kids, trying to explain what the pictures of their Prime Minister meant and represent.“I regret deeply parents who had to had difficult conversations with their kids that were uncomfortable and hurtful because of my actions,” he said.In answering why he chose to dress up in brownface and blackface, Trudeau said he did not have a clear reason, but it was a terrible idea and it “minimizes and takes advantage of a reality [he has] not had to live with.”“I have to recognize that I let a lot of people down with that choice. I stand here today to reflect on that and to ask for forgiveness,” he said, followed by a round of applause from some of the gathered crowd.Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was kicked out of the Liberal caucus amid the SNC-Lavalin scandal, said she was “extremely disappointed” to learn party leader Justin Trudeau wore brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago.“I’m incredibly proud to be an Indigenous person in this country, one that has experienced racism and discrimination,” she said. “And it’s completely unacceptable for anybody in a position of authority and power to do something like that.”At a campaign stop in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., just east of Montreal, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s attempt to proceed with the campaign as normal and announce a tax credit for seniors was knocked off the rails by the emerging Liberal crisis.Asked whether he had ever dressed in a way that stereotyped or mocked anyone’s race or culture.“No,” he said firmly.When asked if his comments on same-sex marriage are among the things he regrets, he did not directly answer the question.“I have addressed the speech I gave in 2005,” he said. “What we’re talking about today is Justin Trudeau’s behaviours and his inability to be truthful and honest about it, and we saw that last night when he was asked directly if there were other examples out there of this and he failed to be honest.”RELATED: It’s not just a ‘brownface’ photo. The whole election is about race.While federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh sought to keep his campaign on message Thursday, he responded to the images by speaking of the hurt the pictures and video have caused to many Canadians who have suffered racism and discrimination.“When you’ve got a prime minister that is mocking the lived realities of Canadians, it can inflame those tensions and give more oxygen to those who believe in discriminating (against) people based on the way they look,” he said.“That’s why it’s deeply concerning. The impacts that this has on Canada and on the lives of Canadians can’t be underestimated. This is massive.”Singh said Canadians will have to decide who the real Trudeau is while underscoring what he described as the importance of having a federal government “that’s going to move forward the policies to end discrimination.”Files from The Canadian Press were used in this reportcenter_img Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the release of a video of him in blackface Thursday afternoon — the third instance of him in racist makeup revealed since Wednesday night.Speaking during a campaign stop in Winnipeg, Trudeau said he “deeply, deeply” regrets his actions.Trudeau started by addressing racialized Canadians “who face discrimination every single day.”“What I did hurt them, hurt people who shouldn’t have to face intolerance and discrimination because of their identity,” he said. “Darkening your face, regardless of the context and circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface. I should have understood that then and I never should have done it.”last_img read more

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Helen Mirren Supports No One Should Have No One Campaign

first_imgHelen Mirren has thrown her support behind an Age UK campaign that aims to raise awareness about the millions of older people who are facing later life alone.There are 2.9 million people aged 65 and over who feel they have no one to go to for help and support, a new Age UK survey finds. Of these, 39% said they felt lonely and one in five said they felt forgotten as a result of this.In addition, half of younger people aged 25-44 admit to worrying about being alone in later life.The research shows just how crucial having someone to turn to is if we’re to be happy and fulfilled in our lives. For those aged 65 and over, 81% said being able to talk and laugh with someone is the most important thing of all, with 57% saying physical contact has made them happy.Nearly two thirds (62%) of all UK adults said this for having someone to eat with and 67% said that feeling that they are part of other people’s lives makes them happy.No one should have no oneThe findings come as Age UK launched No One Should Have No One on Monday 19 January in order to raise awareness about the millions of older people who are facing later life alone.Age UK is calling for donations to enable it to continue the vital work of providing companionship, support and advice.“It’s vital we raise awareness of this sad fact so isolated older people get the help and support they need,” said Dame Helen Mirren. “I’m proud to support Age Uk, which aims to give older people the things everyone deserves in life – a bit of advice, sharing a cuppa (cup of tea), company or simply someone to laugh with.”Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “We all face ups and downs and our survey shows that sadly, millions of older people could be doing so almost entirely alone.“This means they have no one close with whom to share the good times, or to go to for support when life is tough or for trusted advice to help solve a nagging problem.“That’s why we’re asking the public to donate today so we can continue to give millions of older people the companionship, support and advice they need.“We also hope these findings will spur everyone into being good neighbours to older people living nearby. Truly, no one should have no one in our society and together we can make sure that no one does.’Having someone to turn to is important to us all, and this was highlighted in the survey with many UK adults saying that everyday things, such as meals out (54%), going on holiday (42%) and being successful in our careers (37%) are currently less important than having someone to go to for help and support.Older people and their families can call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 65 65 to find out how the Age UK network can help someone who may be feeling alone. Lines are open 365 days a year from 8am – 7pm.To support Age UK’s work and help it provide companionship, advice and support for millions of people facing later life alone people can donate online.last_img read more

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YSRC retains all sitting MLAs Jagan to seek reelection from Pulivendula

first_imgAmaravati (AP): Fighting a do-or-die electoral battle in Andhra Pradesh on April 11, the main opposition YSR Congress on Sunday announced its candidates for all 175 assembly seats, retaining almost all the sitting MLAs and giving a major share to the backward communities.YSRC chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy who is aspiring to become the chief minister in his late father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s footsteps will, for the second time, contest from his family pocket borough Pulivendula in Kadapa district. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedIn 2014, Jagan won the seat by a record margin of 74,256 votes, the highest in the state. The announcement of candidates, however, triggered some rebellion in the party in a few districts, including Guntur, Prakasam and Visakhapatnam where some aspirants were denied tickets. Floated in 2011 after Jaganmohan Reddy quit the Congress over denial of chief ministership, the YSRC lost the race in the 2014 general elections, getting just 0.3 per cent less vote share than the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) that captured power winning 106 seats in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) then. Though the YSRC won 67 seats, as many as 23 of its MLAs defected to the ruling party in 2016 and 2017. In the context, the 2019 election is a do-or-die battle for the YSRC as its political longevity will largely depend on election result. Political strategist Prashant Kishore, who worked the electoral magic for Narendra Modi in 2014, is YSRC’s consultant now.last_img read more

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Lankan court extends custody of Indian fishermen

A court in Sri Lanka today extended till November 6 the custody of 19 Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested by naval personnel of the island nation on September 10.President of Sri Lanka Vadakku Marachi Fishermen Association T Emiliyan Pillai told PTI that the fishermen were produced at the court at Paruthithurai today and that the magistrate Vijaya Rani extended their custody till November 6. Meanwhile, mechanised fishermen organisations in Rameswaram today decided to observe a one-day fast tomorrow pressing various demands, including securing the release of 24 of their colleagues and boats in Lankan custody.The fishermen would boycott fishing tomorrow, the meeting resolved, association leaders R Sagayam, N J Bose, T Sesuraja, S Emirite and N Devadoss said. This is the second time their remand is being extended. Earlier, the fishermen had been produced in the same court on October 3 and their remanded extended to Oct 23. They also demanded suitable compensation for the families of the fishermen whose 18 boats were allegedly destroyed by Sri Lankan Navy in June, 2014. (Courtesy Outlook India) The 19 fishermen were arrested by Lankan naval personnel off Paruthithurai on September 10 and their two boats seized. They were later lodged in a prison at Jaffna. read more

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Reuters photographer arrested in Negombo granted bail

A Reuters photographer who was arrested in Negombo and remanded yesterday has been granted bail.Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photographer and Pulitzer prize winner who is based in India was arrested when he allegedly attempted to forcibly enter a school in Katana. However a special motion was filed by his lawyers today pleading for bail and he was released on surety bail and was asked to appear in court on May 9. He was produced before a Magistrate and remanded until May 15. The photographer was in Sri Lanka to cover incidents related to the Easter Sunday bombings.He had attempted to enter the school to obtain information regarding a student killed in the bombing of St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya when parents who were at the school at the time alerted the Police. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Trump picks fast food executive Andrew Puzder for Labour

Trump picks fast food executive Andrew Puzder for Labour by Julie Bykowicz And Alan Fram, The Associated Press Posted Dec 8, 2016 12:10 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump plans to add another wealthy business person and elite donor to his Cabinet, saying he would nominate fast-food executive Andrew Puzder as labour secretary.Puzder heads CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and other chains. In 2010, he published a book called “Job Creation: How it Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.”“Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring workers receive the benefits they deserve, and he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages,” President-elect Trump said in a statement.Puzder, in the same statement, said he was honoured “to help President-elect Trump restore America’s global economic leadership.”The Californian was one of Trump’s earliest campaign financiers, serving as a co-chairman of his California finance team and organizing fundraisers well before most major donors got on board with the eventual Republican nominee. Together with his wife, Puzder contributed $150,000 in late May to Trump’s campaign and Republican Party partners, fundraising records show.As one of Trump’s most outspoken defenders, Puzder frequently appeared on cable news and Twitter to talk up the benefits of having a business leader in the White House.A week after Trump’s election, Puzder said he agreed with Trump’s aim to ease business regulations.“We’ve reached the point where overregulation is doing meaningful damage to our businesses,” he said last month at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, citing high labour costs, increased health care costs and “political and social” policies as hindrances.Union leaders decried Puzder as a secretary who would look out for millionaires — but not workers.AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement that Puzder’s “business record is defined by fighting against working people.”Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said there’s reason to be skeptical about Puzder.“Turning the Labor Department over to someone who opposes an increase in the minimum wage, opposes the overtime rule that would raise middle class wages, and whose businesses have repeatedly violated labour laws might be the surest sign yet that the next cabinet will be looking out for the billionaires and special interests, instead of America’s working class,” Schumer said in a statement.Trump’s selection won praise from the National Retail Federation, however.“Andrew Puzder is someone with the real-world experience to understand workforce issues and how jobs are created,” said David French, NRF’s senior vice-president for government relations.Trump’s recent appointments have reflected his desire to turn to business leaders — who also were campaign donors. Trump tapped former WWE chief executive and top campaign contributor Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration. He also selected his campaign’s national finance chairman Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive and hedge fund investor, as Treasury secretary.Puzder visited with Trump several times since the election, including a meeting Wednesday afternoon at Trump Tower.He has long been a reliable GOP donor. He was a major financier for 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and has remained close to him. At Romney’s annual donor summit in June, Puzder was one of just a few attendees who aggressively promoted Trump to the dozens who were more squeamish about their party’s new star.He told The Associated Press at the Republican National Convention in late July that he enjoyed the challenge of raising money for Trump, saying he often sought common ground with reluctant GOP donors by talking up Trump’s children.“If he’s such an evil villain,” Puzder said he would tell would-be donors, “how do you explain the kids?”___AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace contributed to this report. FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump walks with CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J. Trump is expected to add another wealthy business person and elite donor to his Cabinet, with fast food executive Andrew Puzder as Labor secretary. In the background is Vice President-elect Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) read more

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MacBook Air refresh to include 19nm 400Mbps mSATA SSD

first_imgA typical mSATA flash driveWhen the MacBook Air got an update last year it impressed on a number of fronts. The super thin laptop not only offered long battery life and decent performance using an Intel Core 2 processor, but the decision to incorporate an SSD instead of a hard drive meant instant-on capabilities and much faster access to stored data.AdChoices广告Apple managed to keep the Air so thin by initially using a new type of Toshiba SSD called Blade X-gale. Those drives looked more like RAM modules and had no casing in order to keep their size down. The Air now uses drives from both Toshiba and Samsung that are capable of achieveing read speeds of up to 260Mbps. However, for the Air hardware refresh expected this year Apple is thought to have moved to another, much faster drive.The new MacBook Air is expected to adopt the mSATA connector which we’ve mainly seen used on mini-ITX motherboards and in some netbooks. It allows a flash drive to be slotted directly on to the motherboard taking up very little space.The memory Apple has opted for is called “Toggle DDR 2.0” built on a 19nm process. The good news for consumers is the fact this new memory can reach speeds of 400Mbps while using less power due to the smaller manufacturing process used to create it. In other words, the MacBook Air refresh should bring with it even faster access to your data while using less power than previous models.We don’t know who is providing these new mSATA Toggle drives, but both Toshiba and Samsung are setup to manufacture them. It could just be a case of supplies arriving from both companies and which you get is the luck of the draw.Read more at Macotakara (translated), and Apple Insider (images courtesy of Intel)last_img read more

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Tebas drops massive La Liga hint of Neymar and Mbappé

first_imgDuring an event organized by Europa Press, La Liga president Javier Tebas stated that he believes “something” will happen with Neymar and Mbappé.The summer transfer market seems like it will be even more interesting than the ones prior due to the high demand for stars like Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, at least that’s what La Liga’s president Javier Tebas seemed to hint this Wednesday.During an event organized by Europa Press, the chairman spoke about several topics regarding the competition he controls and spoke about how much the exit of people like Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, or Pep Guardiola have affected the tournament in a very negative way.It’s clear that these football stars leaving Spain dropped La Liga’s level and has elevated the countries where they have decided to continue their careers, Guardiola made a massive impact in the Bundesliga when he coached Bayern Munich for three seasons and Jose Mourinho kept winning trophies in the Premier League during the time he managed both Chelsea and Manchester United.The situation with Cristiano Ronaldo is no different as he has managed to revive Serie A practically on his own after coming to Juventus, suddenly many top players want to play in Italy just because they want to play either with or against the Portuguese forward.➡ Tebas: “Ojalá que Mbappé y Neymar jueguen en #LaLiga”➡ El presidente de LaLiga cree que “puede que haya algún club que se está guardando dinero” y que pueda “haber algo importante en verano”#EPDesayunoTebas https://t.co/vnRHxjSsA0— EP Deportes (@EPdeportes) January 30, 2019Tebas is aware that the Spanish La Liga needs to make some instrumental decisions that will bring the competition back to the very top and they can keep winning the biggest trophies on club level football.While FC Barcelona seems like they will keep Lionel Messi in the squad until the day he retires, clubs like Real Madrid or Atletico are still searching for more interesting players who can help them compete against the dominant Catalan club.Los Blancos are a very specific case, they are one of the wealthiest clubs in the world and they are expected to make a massive investment in one of the two most coveted players in European football.Paris Saint-Germain currently has Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, the Brazilian seems like a more plausible option for the French giants to release from the club but the French wonder kid is still one of the most impossible targets in the market today.However, president Javier Tebas just hinted that he may have some inside information about the possible negotiations for both players and he let something slip this Wednesday during the public event organized by Europa Press this week.Javier Tebas, boss of LaLiga: “There are many indications that one of the clubs from LaLiga saves money for the big move. I don’t know if it’s about Neymar or Kylian Mbappé, but I have the impression that something big can happen in the summer.” pic.twitter.com/PzoM1piBeB— Rafał (@madridreigns) January 30, 2019Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…Apart from dismissing the complaints from Real Madrid about VAR used in the Spanish La Liga, Javier Tebas offered several headlines as usual about several topics that are very interesting to the world of football.“I wish that both Neymar and Kylian Mbappé can come to La Liga next season,” said Tebas on Europa Press during the event.“I have a feeling that something important is going to happen during the summer. Both of these players are people who can only come to great clubs and there is a possibility that one of them is saving money in order to bring one of those major stars to Spanish football.”“I obviously would’ve loved Cristiano Ronaldo to continue playing for La Liga, or that Mourinho would sign a new contract with a Spanish club.”“Their exits haven’t really affected us, I am not 100% sure that people from Serie A are happy with his arrival.”“As far as the financial fair play allegations against PSG goes, we have been leading the charge on this for the last three years in European football.”“We did place a formal accusation against Paris Saint-Germain in front of UEFA. We won’t stop being on top of this issue until we get a proper resolution,” he added.📈 Biggest home win in #Ligue1 🏡🏅 Biggest win in #Ligue1, equaling the scoreline from a March 2016 victory 🆚 Troyes9⃣-0⃣ #PSGEAG🔴🔵 #AllezParis pic.twitter.com/y9rduSsmYr— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 19, 2019Who would you like to come to La Liga, Neymar or Kylian Mbappé? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

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National Tourism Month

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 30 Oct 2014 – November begins National Tourism Month and among the activities is a Tourism Symposium; the two day event is set for next Tuesday and Wednesday… the theme is: “Tourism is Key, Unlock its Possibilities.” Recommended for you Holiday on Friday in Turks and Caicos Related Items:national tourism month, novembercenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI Shines joins National Tourism Month activity calendarlast_img read more

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USSEC Presents Swine Feed and Nutrition Course to Japan Industry Leaders

first_imgIn January, U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and International Grains Program (IGP) Institute at Kansas State University, presented a course to Janpense industry leaders looking to improve their swine feed milling and nutritional programs in Japan. The course was a part of USSEC’s Japan Soybean Meal Feed and Swine Nutrition Training Program, whose goal is to increase knowledge in the swine nutrition and feed manufacturing industries.Participants were invited to attend guest speaker presentations, field trips, lectures and workshops all focused on feed manufacturing, nutritional components and requirements for the Japan swine industry. compUSSEC consultant and course instructor Carlos Campabadal says that the partnership with USSEC is crucial.“All U.S. grain buyers benefit from our membership with USSEC when they attend these courses because we know what their clients, the buyers, are looking for,” says Dr. Campabadal, feed manufacturing and grain quality management curriculum manager for IGP.Course participant Toshiharu Taguchi, a feed manager at SEW Saisaikai Farms in Japan, says that he is interested in operating his own swine nutrition program.“I was interested in coming to IGP Institute to observe U.S. swine facilities since I want to operate my own swine nutrition program. I will take back the information that I learned from Carlos on feed quality control.”last_img read more

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NOW HIRING 10 New Job Openings In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are some of the newest job openings in Wilmington:Full-Time Mathematics Teacher at Wilmington High SchoolFull-Time Member Onboarding Coordinator at AmetrosFull-Time Member Care Specialist at AmetrosFull-Time Rx Authorization Specialist at AmetrosFull-Time Durable Medical Equipment Specialist at AmetrosFull-Time Scenic Painter at Art of the EventPart-Time Nanny For Wilmington ChildFull-Time Shirt Presser at Anton’s CleanersPart-Time Scale House Operator at Lynch Materials Inc.Part-Time Sunday Deliver Driver at Optima(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOW HIRING: 50 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of June 23, 2019)In “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”last_img read more

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Very rare Beavis Butthead prototype arcade cabinet found and restored

first_imgIf you grew up in the 90s, then you no doubt remember Beavis & Butt-head. The MTV show was a huge hit, and led to a handful of video games and even a major movie. You may know that there was a tie-in video game released for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, but there was also an arcade game by Atari that was scrapped because it failed location tests.Thanks to Galloping Ghost Arcade, this forgotten prototype has been restored and can now be enjoyed by the public, but bringing the game back to life wasn’t an easy task.“When we received the cabinet, its proprietary CD drive was not working and the game was completely dead,” said Galloping Ghost Arcade on their Facebook page. “The drive had an odd ribbon cable we’d not seen before. The jamma based PCB looked to be in very nice shape as did the entire cabinet. The CDs would not recognize in a PC so we were unsure of their functionality.”“While the game would not start, when the reset button in the cabinet was pressed, a 3DO logo would display,” the post continued to say. “That sparked the idea to go do a little research on the 3DO. It quickly looked like the drive in the old Panasonic 3DO used the same cable. We went out the next day and found a used 3DO and opened it up.” The post concluded: “Taking the drive out and just connecting it to the PCB did not start the drive properly. So we put the drive back in the 3DO and let the Power go from the 3DO to the drive and the data cable go to the Beavis and Butthead PCB. Moments later, Seth Young and I heard the incredibly recognizable music of the Beavis and Butthead theme song. Now it is available for all to play!”If you’re ever in Brookfield, Illinois, do yourself a favor and head over to the Galloping Ghost Arcade and check the game out.last_img read more

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Nevada Attorney General Charges Two from LPS

first_imgNevada Attorney General Charges Two from LPS Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Fraud Processing Service Providers 2011-11-21 Abby Gregory November 21, 2011 447 Views Sharecenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Employees of “”Lender Processing Services””:www.lpsvcs.com/ are under examination from the “”Nevada attorney general””:ag.state.nv.us/ for issues encompassing specific incidents with the company’s document processing and practices. The state’s attorney general recently indicted two mid-level personnel within LPS on 606 counts of fraud, alleging that the two forged signatures and notarization on mortgage-related paperwork.[IMAGE]Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, both identified as title officers for LPS, are facing felony and gross misdemeanor charges as a result of the attorney general’s inquiries, and bail for the pair has been set at $500,000 apiece. The charges against the LPS employees represents the first criminal indictment in Nevada since the 2010 initiation of a nationwide probe into robo-signing crimes. Prior to the criminal filings, LPS had disclosed that it was conducting an internal review of the signature and notary processes used for foreclosure documents. In a company statement, LPS noted, “”Based on the company’s reviews, LPS acknowledges the signing procedures on some of these documents were flawed; however, the company also believes [COLUMN_BREAK]these documents were properly authorized and their recording did not result in a wrongful foreclosure.””LPS went on to state “”its willingness to fully cooperate with the investigation.”” The fraudulent activities under investigation stem from notices of default and deeds of trust on record in Clark County, Nevada, from 2005 to 2008, and according to information released by the Nevada attorney general’s office earlier in the month, LPS, the company, is not a target of the inquiry.Commenting on the filings, the state’s chief deputy attorney general, John Kelleher, said, “”The grand jury found probable cause that there was a robo-signing scheme which resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s Office between 2005 and 2008.””LPS’ newly appointed president and CEO, Hugh Harris, officially responded to the indictments, saying, “”I am deeply committed to ensuring that LPS meets rigorous standards of professional conduct and operating excellence. I have full confidence in the ability of our leadership team and more than 8,000 dedicated employees to deliver on that commitment.””The actions by Nevada’s attorney general are a part of the previously established effort among the attorneys general for all 50 states to team up with the federal government in pursuit of mortgage crimes related to robo-signing. Speaking to the _Huffington_ _Post_, Prentiss Cox, a law professor at the “”University of Minnesota””:www.umn.edu/ and a former assistant state attorney general, noted his “”admiration”” for Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s handling of the indictment; however, Cox went on to say, “”When criminal prosecutions are done for robo-signing, I would hope the target of those prosecutions would be the people who designed the system and profited from it, not just the low-level people doing what they were told.””last_img read more

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Tempe Ariz — You can take the players out of the

first_imgTempe, Ariz. — You can take the players out of the rivalry, but you can’t take the rivalry out of the players.Arizona vs. Arizona State. The Duel in the Desert. The Territorial Cup.Even though they are no longer wearing the Red and Blue or Maroon and Gold, once a part of the rivalry, you can never really leave.It’s kind of like Hotel California, only with significantly more animosity.“Umm, shoot, I can’t stand them,” former Wildcat and current Eagles quarterback Nick Foles said when asked for his thoughts on ASU and the rivalry. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling And clearly, it’s not just any other game.“Usually in the weight room there would be a countdown board for every opponent and also the countdown to the UofA game,” Fanaika said. “It’s that big.”“You had to win the state,” Buckner said. “The Territorial Cup is big no matter what sport it is.”This year is as big a game as it has been for a long time. Should the Sun Devils win, they would improve to 10-2 (8-1) and have the inside track on reaching the Rose Bowl. However, a win for the Wildcats would not only serve to play a little bit of spoiler for their rivals, but also see their record improve to 8-4 (5-4), likely improving their bowl situation as well as the perception of the program itself. Needless to say, motivation is not likely to be a concern.“That makes it even bigger,” Fanaika said. “The chance to host the Pac-12 Championship Game is on the line, so I’m pretty sure the Sun Devils are going to come out ready to play.”“When you think of bowl game, knocking them off of a home Pac-12 Championship Game, that’s huge,” Cason said. “We have a lot to play for — Arizona has a lot to play for and it’s definitely going to be exciting and that extra boost of momentum and adrenaline to play.” “I wanted to be 3-0 but it didn’t work out that way,” Foles said. “It will be a fun game; I’m excited to watch it.”As far as entertainment value goes, the game rarely disappoints. Each of the last four games have been decided by seven points or less, and the road team has triumphed in each one. In 2009, the Wildcats were aided by a muffed punt by Kyle Williams in the waning moments, setting up a game-winning field goal. In 2010, ASU linebacker James Brooks blocked a potential game-winning extra point in the final seconds, sending the game to overtime where Arizona kicker Alex Zendejas missed a PAT that would have tied the game. The following season, the Wildcats went to Tempe and knocked off the Sun Devils, though an injury caused Foles to leave the game before it was over. And last year, Buckner’s senior year, he missed the majority of the battle due to an ankle injury suffered in the first quarter and could only watch as the Sun Devils rallied to overcome a fourth quarter deficit to win the game.“It was hard for me because it was Senior Night on top of that last home game, and they kind of came in and spoiled us,” Buckner said. “But the thing is, two years ago we went up there and we beat them, and it seems like that’s been the tale of the game lately.” 0 Comments   Share   center_img “I hate anything that has to do with UofA,” Cardinals guard and former Sun Devil Paul Fanaika said. “We call them the ‘Scum Devils’ and we don’t really like them at all, and it’s a big rivalry here,” Cardinals receiver Dan Buckner, a UA alum, added.Foles admitted it’s “all on the field stuff,” because there are some guys who have donned Sun Devil colors that he likes, including current Eagles teammate Keelan Johnson. But for most people, especially the week of the game, friendships are put aside and the rivalry takes center stage. No one wants to lose to the game. Period.“Everybody talks all week about who’s going to win, who’s not going to win and everybody’s against you who goes to ASU and everybody who goes to Arizona is against ASU,” Cardinals cornerback and former Wildcat Antoine Cason said. “It’s a great week preparing for it, I really enjoyed it.”Unfortunately (from Cason’s perspective, anyway), the games were not all that enjoyable. Arizona went just 1-3 against Arizona State during his time in the Old Pueblo. Things were better for Fanaika, as he went 3-1 against the ‘Cats. Buckner, on the other hand, played in two Territorial Cups, which the teams split. Foles’ Wildcats took two out of three meetings when he was under center. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires No one knows exactly how the game will go, but what everyone can say with certainty is that it will be an intense matchup between a pair of teams who have more than just bragging rights on the line. Of course, that is usually enough for the requisite animosity.“You always want to see them lose, especially to Arizona,” Cason said. “So that’s how I feel.” – / 15 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Keep a lookout for James Bond and his favorite tim

first_imgKeep a lookout for James Bond and his favorite timepiece in New York, as Swiss watchmaker Omega opened its U.S. flagship store on Fifth Avenue last Saturday. As the first-ever New York boutique, this Omega offers a unique and innovative shopping experience, building on its 161-year history of superior craftsmanship and novel design.From one-on-one watchmaker consultations to an on-site cappuccino and champagne bar, the 3,600-square foot boutique ups-the-ante on the sometimes tedious watch shopping undertaking. Omega designed the store for more European-like customer service – salespeople bring options out to guests rather than guests standing at a glass counter. Further, the store has at least one of every Omega watch in production, guaranteeing that customers will have the widest selection in which to chose the perfect timepiece.Specially designed L-shaped armrests on chairs increase interaction between sales person and guest and the use of natural materials for the walls gives the boutique a relaxing vibe. The strong focus on light, largely gained from the enormous glass window facing Fifth Avenue, follows the Japanese architect’s concept for the space: time, sun, water, earth. As a legendary watchmaking company, Omega plays a role in the interaction of these universal elements, adding to it, the way its customers connect to the cosmos. Further, the store has display dioramas that highlight the history of the brand, including miniature moon rover set beside a modern recreation of the watch worn by astronauts, complete with elastic strap.As the only watch brand used on the moon and the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games since 1932, Omega shines with its newest retail outlet just like its watches do on the wrists of any customer. Remember, Bond thinks so. Visit omegawatches.com.last_img read more

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