zoom Switzerland’s logistics provider Agility Logistics has signed an agreement with Danish shipping giant Maersk Line to cut CO2 emissions by 15% per container transported for Agility shipments by 2020.The deal is part of Maersk’s Carbon Pact Challenge, an initiative which aims to drive down harmful emissions and reduce the environmental impact of container shipping, the Danish container carrier said.Under the contract, the parties will look for ways to cut emissions by shipping cargo on more fuel efficient ships, optimizing shipping routes, and taking other alternative steps to reduce CO2 emissions such as investigating how to integrate CO2 emission indicators into the regular business information flow and procurement of ocean shipping.“Responsible companies are looking for innovative, commercially viable ways to reduce the impact of their business on the environment,” Cas Pouderoyen, Agility Senior Vice President for Global Ocean Freight, said.The International Maritime Organization says ocean shipping accounts 3% of the world’s global CO2 emissions and 10% of global O2 emissions from transportation.
A marketing campaign promoting the world-class offerings of Nova Scotia universities was launched in Halifax today, Jan. 11. The campaign markets Nova Scotia as “Canada’s University Capital” to prospective students and their parents. “We are sending a strong message to students across Canada: Nova Scotia is the destination for education in this country,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks, on behalf of the Premier Darrell Dexter. “We want prospective students and their parents to know that Nova Scotia’s universities offer a wide range of quality programs and a personalized approach to learning.” An enthusiastic crowd of university students and alumni from across Nova Scotia were on hand for the launch. “The competition for students in Canada is fierce, this campaign will help Nova Scotia’s universities stand out and remind our young people that a world-class education can be found right here,” said Cape Breton University president John Harker, chair of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents. The campaign brings together every university in the province, offering a unified voice under the Come to Life brand. An interactive website gives visitors an opportunity to meet a professor from each university and receive a brief introduction to their university. From the campaign site, visitors can access links to explore offerings of each university. The campaign will also be launched with events in Toronto and Ottawa later this month. “This campaign is one part of government’s overall goal to attract and retain young people to the province. After receiving their education at one of the province’s fine universities, we invite those alumni to stay here, put down roots, and build a life in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “Nova Scotia is also grateful for the many friends and ambassadors around the world who have come to Nova Scotia for their higher education and continue to boast about the province, its people and their experiences at our universities.” “The education I received in Nova Scotia was invaluable to me,” said John Rogers, an Acadia and Dalhousie alumnus and CEO of the law firm of Stewart McKelvey. “My professors knew me by name. I felt like I was part of a community. The value given to excellence in my field of study instilled a sense of pride that has carried on throughout my career. It provided me with the foundation for life-long learning.” A province steeped in a tradition of education, Nova Scotia remains an education destination of choice for out-of-province and international students. In 2009, more than 16,000 out-of-province students and more than 4,000 international students from 100 countries were enrolled in programs across the province.
Leeds: Celebrating his illustrious career, the ICC has paid tribute to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, applauding the World Cup winning captain for changing “the face of Indian cricket”. Dhoni, who has won all cricketing accolades including captaining India to triumph at the 2011 ODI World Cup, 2007 T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy, will turn 38 on Sunday. The ICC posted a video celebrating the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman’s achievements. “A name that changed the face of Indian cricket. A name inspiring millions across the globe. A name with an undeniable legacy, MS Dhoni — not just a name! #CWC19 | #TeamIndia,” ICC wrote on its official Twitter handle. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherIn the video, skipper Virat Kohli and ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah are seen talking about the calming influence of Dhoni. “What you see from the outside is very different from how things happen within a person. He’s always calm and composed, there’s so much to learn from him. He was my captain and he will always be my captain. Our understanding has always been brilliant. I am always up for listening to his advice,” Kohli said. “When I came to the team in 2016, he was the captain. He’s a calming influence on the team and he’s always there to help,” Bumrah said. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenEngland’s all-rounder Ben Stokes was lavish in his praise and said no one will ever be as good as Dhoni. Stokes shared the same dressing room with Dhoni during their sting at the IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants. “One of the greats of the game, phenomenal wicket-keeper. I don’t think anyone will be as good as him,” Stokes said. England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler joined in the praise, calling himself a huge fan of Dhoni. Buttler said Dhoni has been his idol growing up. “Obviously a fellow wicket-keeper, he has been my idol growing up. Mr Cool, I love his persona on the field, he has got lightning fast hands behind the stumps, he looks very calm when he bats. He is a huge ambassador for the game and I am a huge MS Dhoni fan.”
EDMONTON — Albertans are going to the polls in a spring election on April 16. Here’s a look at the leaders of the five parties that currently hold seats in the legislature:Derek Fildebrandt, Freedom Conservative PartyAge: 33Pre-politics: Alberta director and national research director of Canadian Taxpayers Federation.Politics: Elected member of the legislature for the Wildrose Party in 2015; joined the United Conservative Party after the Wildrose merged with the Progressive Conservatives; expelled from the UCP caucus in 2018; formed and now leading the Freedom Conservative Party.Running in: Chestermere-StrathmoreQuote: “I want elections to be about issues. The Tories wanted it to be about simply a brand vote for the blue team — essentially buy Toronto Maple Leaf tickets (and) go for the guys in the blue jersey no matter how badly they treat their fans.”—Jason Kenney, United Conservative PartyAge: 50Pre-politics: Studied philosophy at University of San Francisco, CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.Politics: Elected as Reform MP in Calgary in 1997; re-elected with the Canadian Alliance in 2000; re-elected four more times with the Conservatives; held several cabinet posts from 2008 to 2015, including immigration, employment, and defence; elected leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, which became the United Conservatives, in 2017.Running in: Calgary LougheedQuote: “The NDP promised change, but instead what they gave us is a record of economic failure — the worst economic record of any government in the history of Alberta since the Great Depression.”—David Khan, Alberta Liberal PartyAge: 44Pre-politics: Lawyer specializing in Indigenous rights and land-claims litigation.Politics: Won party leadership in 2017; lost Calgary Lougheed byelection in 2017; ran and lost in Calgary Buffalo in the 2015 provincial election; ran and lost in 2014 byelection in Calgary West.Running in: Calgary Mountain ViewQuote: “The Alberta Liberals’ priority issues will be improving public health care, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, boosting education, and an immediate ban on conversion therapy. We’ll hold the NDP government to account for failing to deliver on its progressive promises.”—Stephen Mandel, Alberta PartyAge: 73Pre-politics: BusinessmanPolitics: Elected Edmonton city councillor in 2001; elected mayor in 2004, 2007 and 2010; named provincial Progressive Conservative health minister and won Edmonton Whitemud byelection in 2014; lost Edmonton Whitemud in 2015 election; won leadership of Alberta Party in 2018.Running in: Edmonton McClungQuote: “Albertans are frustrated with the level of spending we have right now. Many people feel we have a spending problem rather than necessarily just an expense problem.”—Rachel Notley, Alberta New Democratic PartyAge: 54Pre-politics: Lawyer, labour negotiatorPolitics: Elected member of the legislature for Edmonton Strathcona in 2008; re-elected in 2012; became NDP leader in 2014; re-elected 2015 and became premier when party won a majority.Running in: Edmonton StrathconaQuote: “Who is going to be premier and who is fit to be premier? That is the choice. Because Alberta is really for all of us. One Alberta, not just for the few, but for all of us.”The Canadian Press
Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement The Handmaid’s Tale, a Hulu-produced television show based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel, has exploded in popularity. And between the book often being required reading in high school and the nasty women constituency of modern-day feminism eager for a show that speaks to them—in March, activists even protested anti-choice measures in Texas in Handmaid’s Tale garb—it’s little wonder the show has become a smash. The discourse around it has been enthusiastic, mostly focussing on two main themes: the modern resonance of the dystopian Republic of Gilead in the novel, and whether the story is a feminist one.But these conversations are both misguided, led by mainstream, ahistorical and dangerous understandings of both oppression and feminism.The book and the show are decidedly not in line with an inclusive feminism. But I can acknowledge its undeniable feminist themes centred on reproductive rights, subjugation, inequality and political disempowerment. And in Trump’s America, where Congress just passed a health care law that deems the Caesarean section to be a pre-existing condition, the show’s timing is uncanny. But as a matter of whether The Handmaid’s Tale constitutes a dystopian future, it doesn’t offer a vision of an America where democracy has collapsed. Instead, it shows white women subjected to the conditions under which their country was born. The thing that, tellingly, has proven the most alarming to audiences. Twitter Advertisement Advertisement READ MORE
Recommendations based off of the eight dimension-specific frameworks included;Action• Continue to ensure that City communications employ a diverse range of strategies and tools to communicate with seniors, including traditional media, posters, social media, emails, and word of mouth.• Advocacy • Work with community-nonprofit organizations and local media outlets to continue supporting the development of routine seniors communication tools.• Work with the Fort St. John Public Library and Northern Lights Collegeto continue developing and offering social media training for older residents. By using the interviewing process of key members of the City such as Northern Health, The North Peace Seniors Housing Society, Save our Seniors and other groups not listed, gave their views on amenities and services offered to seniors in Fort St. John.A physical walkthrough of the City was done by several of the members of the fore mentioned groups going to places most regularly used by seniors and assessed mobility barriers at each location. The third data collection tool was a survey of all residents of Fort St. John, 55 years and older, 118 responses to the survey were received.Assets to the senior’s community are a range of groups and organizations that provide services to seniors. Seniors are advocating for themselves and using their political voice which is important in a community such as Fort St. John that has a younger demographic profile. There are facilities such as the Pomeroy where seniors can go to be active as well as senior-focused facilities that support healthy ageing such as the seniors Hall.The barriers that can be an issue for ageing are a shortage of affordable housing and most noticeable in rental units. After a census in 2016, 44 percent of seniors who rent have inadequate or unsuitable shelter or the shelter costs that exceed 30 percent of their income. The Handy Dart was recognized as a vital part of transportation yet has limited hours and availability. Social media is becoming a barrier regarding communication for seniors as they may no longer be aware of upcoming events. As the Seniors Hall is an asset, it is only open two days a week which means limited opportunities for social participation. There was also a large emphasis for long waitlists with medical and health professionals as another barrier.To make Fort St. John more age-friendly, recommendations were broken down into global recommendations such as;• That the City of Fort St. John establish an Age-Friendly Advisory Committee• That the City of Fort St. John review current and future policies and programs through an age-friendly lens• That the City of Fort St. John develop and adopt universal design policies and bylaws for all new construction FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Results and findings of the Age-Friendly Assesment and Action Plan were presented to City Council.Seniors are a growing segment of the population in Fort St. John, and with the findings of the Assessment and Action plan, these will provide a foundation for planning and decision making for Seniors programs and services in the future.By using a framework assesment structure to look at both the physical and social environments for Seniors. The eight dimensions include; Housing, Transportation, Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Community Support and Health Services, Social Participation, Civic Participation and Employment, Communication and Information, Respect and Social Inclusion.
Addressing a conference on AIDS orphans in Africa, Special Envoy Stephen Lewis said the lack of treatment suitable for children was a long-time problem, but the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were now trying to find solutions.”The most important touch of solace on the horizon is that UNICEF and WHO have come together in an effort to address the most complex aspects of this predicament,” he said. “It’s estimated that if we started immediately, we could get certain paediatric formulations onto the market within 18 months.”Nonetheless, the 2.2 million children already living with AIDS were likely to lose the race against time, he said.The most effective way to stop the infection of children was to stop transmission from the pregnant mother to the developing child, but only 10 per cent of HIV-infected expectant mothers in Africa could access clinics providing prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), he said.Those clinics were distributing single-dose nevirapine, which if 80 per cent of infected African women got it, would reduce child infection by half, or 300,000 cases, Mr. Lewis said.”On the other hand, in the West, using full-anti-retroviral (ATV) intervention, what we call triple dose therapy, the numbers of infected children have been cut virtually to zero,” he said, asking, “How long will this double standard be tolerated? How long will the lives of African children be considered of lesser worth?”
TORONTO – The Toronto stock market soared to a triple-digit advance Wednesday after two days of heavy losses as oil prices rose and energy stocks gained.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 163.56 points to end the day at 13,863.16.New York markets were also up after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it was keeping interest rates steady.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 198.09 points to close at 17,779.52, while the broader S&P 500 added 24.46 points to 2,090.35 and the Nasdaq gained 65.54 points to 5,095.69.In its latest policy statement, released Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. central bank said it would not raise interest rates and was closely monitoring the health of the American economy as it looks ahead.The Fed has kept its benchmark rate near zero since December 2008, a move that has been credited with creating some of the liquidity that has since powered the stock market recovery.Gareth Watson, director of the investment management group at Richardson GMP Ltd., said there are two schools of thought on the potential impact of the Fed’s decision not to change rates.For some, he said, the Fed’s decision to keep rates low means money remains cheap to borrow, making it easier to invest in stocks and less attractive to park money in low-interest savings products.A second school of thought, he said, is that the Fed has been keeping rates low for such a long time that there are concerns that the central bank has left itself little room to manoeuvre if the United States does hit a rough patch.“Historically, no move or no hint of rate increase is a good thing, but that might be changing now because it’s been going on for so long,” he said.On commodity markets, the December contract for benchmark crude oil rose $2.74 to end trading at US$45.94 a barrel, while December natural gas fell 6.3 cents to US$2.298 per mmBtu and December gold added $10.30 to US$1,176.10.Energy stocks responded to the rebound in crude prices as Pemex, the national oil company of Mexico, said it had received permission to swap crude oil with the United States. Observers see that as a possible to step toward ending the U.S. ban on crude exports.The energy subsector of the TSX rose 2.67 per cent on the day, the second-largest rise on the index. The New York Stock Exchange’s energy index gained 2.21 per cent.The Canadian dollar fell sharply after the Fed announcement, yet still ended the day up 0.42 of a U.S. cent at 75.80 cents US.— With files from The Associated Press TSX soars on higher gold, energy stocks by Peter Henderson, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 28, 2015 6:31 am MDT Last Updated Oct 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Pirate Trails, produced by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and INTERPOL, uses data and evidence from interviews with former pirates, Government officials, bankers and others involved in countering piracy, to investigate the glow of ransom money paid out to Somali pirates operating in the Indian Ocean.“The vast amounts of money collected by pirates, and the fact that they have faced virtually no constraint in moving and using their assets has allowed them not only to thrive, but also to develop their capacities on land,” said the Chief of the Implementation Support Section in the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch at UNODC, Tofik Murshudlu.“These criminal groups and their assets will continue to pose a threat to the stability and security of the Horn of Africa unless long-term structural solutions are implemented to impede their current freedom of movement.”Piracy costs the global economy about $18 billion a year in increased trade costs. Because the outbreak of piracy has reduced maritime activity around the Horn of Africa, East African countries have suffered a significant decline in tourist arrivals and fishing yields since 2006.“Unchallenged piracy is not only a menace to stability and security, but it also has the power to corrupt the regional and international economy,” said Stuart Yikona, a World Bank Senior Financial Sector Specialist and the report’s co-author.The report found that ransom money was invested in criminal activities, such as arms trafficking, funding militias, migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and was used to further finance piracy activities. Piracy profits are also laundered through the trade of ‘khat,’ a herbal stimulant, where it is not monitored and is therefore the most vulnerable to illicit international flows of money.The report, which focused on Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Seychelles, and Somalia, also analyzed the investments made by a sample of 59 pirate ‘financiers’ to reveal the range of sectors – including both legitimate businesses and criminal ventures – that were funded by the ransom money. It found that between 30 per cent and 75 per cent of the ransom money ends up with these financiers, while the pirate ‘foot soldiers’ aboard the ships receive just a fraction of the proceeds, amounting to less than 1 per cent of the total.Pirate Trails calls for coordinated international action to address the issue, and sets out how the flow of illicit money from the Indian Ocean can be disrupted.“The international community has mobilized a naval force to deal with the pirates. A similarly managed multinational effort is needed to disrupt and halt the flow of illicit money that circulates in the wake of their activities,” said Mr. Yikona.Among the range of measures recommended by the report are strengthening the capacity of countries in the Horn of Africa to deal with illegal cross-border cash smuggling, risk-based oversight of Money Value Transfer Service Providers, and the development of mechanisms to monitor international financial flows into the khat trade.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Sophie Turner has revealed social media trolls made her think about suicide “a lot” when she was younger as she admitted remarks posted online impacted her mental health.The 23-year-old, who portrays Sansa Stark in HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones, said she never considered taking her own life but described it as a “weird fascination”.Speaking to US talk show host Dr Phil on his podcast, Turner said: “It’s weird. I say I wasn’t very depressed when I was younger, but I used to think about suicide a lot when I was younger. I don’t know why though.”Maybe it’s just a weird fascination I used to have, but yeah, I used to think about it. I don’t think I ever would have gone through with it. I don’t know.”Turner, who grew up in a large Edwardian house near Leamington Spa, said her anxiety over social media trolls progressed to the point she avoided leaving her home and seeing her friends. Turner is now one of the world’s most recognisable actresses thanks in part to Game Of Thrones and will star in Marvel superhero film Dark Phoenix in June.She is engaged to the singer Joe Jonas and is expected to walk down the aisle later this year.The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones began on Monday.To talk to the Samaritans call 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org She said she “would just believe” negative comments posted about her weight, skin and abilities as an actress.”I had no motivation to do anything or go out. Even with my best friends, I wouldn’t want to see them, I wouldn’t want to go out and eat with them”, she added. Turner rose to worldwide fame playing Sansa Stark in Game of ThronesCredit:Helen Sloan
Those who graduated from this course after the 2010/11 academic year earned an average £74,100 five years after graduation.Oxford dominates the top three this year with Computing (£67,900) and Law (£67,200) coming second and third respectively.Oxbridge and Russell Group courses are reliably found at the top of theses rankings and the same is true this year with business and management at Bath the only non-Russell Group course in the top 10. This is more than £10,000 ahead of The London Institute of Banking & Finance ‘s business graduates in second place.Medicine graduates tend to get jobs that pay wellMedicine has retained its title as the degree subject attracting the highest average graduate salary, according to the figures.While some economics and business courses might bring in the most money individually, the average medicine graduate was earning £46,600 five years after completing their course – the highest of any subject.At the other end of the spectrum people graduating with creative arts degrees had the lowest average salaries, standing at just £20,600 five years after graduation. The highest paying university degreesThe latest figures from the Department for Education show that the course with the highest graduate salary is business and management from Oxford University. In an age where students have to fork out large tuition fees, the courses – like law, business and economics – that result in the highest graduate salaries are becoming increasingly attractive.With the Oxbridge deadline, as well as that for courses in medicine, veterinary science and dentistry, on the horizon in October, it’s time to start weighing up universities options.While monetary earnings aren’t everything in a degree, it’s important to know the sorts of graduate salaries you can expect to earn after graduating – and there are some big discrepancies depending on what you choose.It is certainly true that some courses at top universities can give you some of the highest paying degrees, adding tens of thousands to the average starting salary.But some of the highest paying jobs actually come from some lesser known institutions, with engineering, computer science and business graduates from a wide variety of universities punching above their weight.Use the tool below to compare which courses delivered the highest earnings five years after graduating. It contains a couple of entries that are likely to be fairly surprising. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. What about the highest graduate salary after one year?While looking at highest paying jobs a year after graduation is not the ideal way of measuring the true earnings of a specific course or institution, we can still glean an indication of a course’s potential.The most lucrative course is surprising when we look at figures this way. All the big name universities are beaten by a little known institution from east London.According to figures from the Department for Education, engineering and technology students from Havering College of Further and Higher Education command a higher average salary than graduates of any other course in Britain a year after graduating.The course had 35 students in 2015-16, with this cohort achieving an impressive median salary of £54,400 in 2015-16. After doing this they concluded that studying at the most prestigious universities did, in fact, result in higher earnings. LSE had the greatest effect and was responsible for a 49 per cent boost in wages for men and 37 per cent for women compared to the average graduate. How big an impact does a specific course actually make on earnings?When looking at graduate salaries it is important to note that many things go into determining the earnings potential of a graduate.Oxford and Cambridge come at the top end of the table for graduate salaries but a large part of this is due to the fact that they select some of the best students to take their courses. The true extent to which the university has boosted their earning potential is therefore not immediately apparent.Last year the IFS (the Institute For Fiscal Studies) sought to answer this conundrum by measuring earnings after accounting for things like prior attainment, socioeconomic background, region and ethnicity.
.A worker was killed and another severely injured after falling down from a crane inside the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) project in Iswardi upazila of Pabna on Friday, reports UNB.The deceased is Shikhon Hossain, 27, son of a certain Nabab Ali of Juktitala village.Quoting witnesses, officer-in-charge of Iswardi police station Bahauddin Faruki said Shikhon and Jewel fell down from the crane and sustained severe injuries.The injured were rushed to upazila health complex where physicians declared Shikhon dead and referred Jewel to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital considering the severity of his injury.Shikhon’s body was sent to Pabna General Hospital morgue for an autopsy, the OC added.
A demonstrator holds a sign, signifying hundreds of thousands of federal employees who won’t be receiving their paychecks as a result of the partial government shutdown, during a “Rally to End the Shutdown” in Washington, US on 10 January, 2019. Photo: ReutersA partial shutdown of the US government could slash job growth by as much as 500,000 in January and lift the unemployment rate above 4.0 per cent unless the impasse in Washington is resolved before next Friday, economists warned.Some 800,000 government workers missed their first paycheck on Friday following the partial shutdown which started on 22 December as president Donald Trump demanded that the US Congress give him $5.7 billion this year to help build a wall on the country’s border with Mexico.The Labor Department, which has not been affected by the shutdown, surveys employers and households for its closely watched employment report, which includes nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, during the week that includes the 12th of the month.For this month, the pay period for most federal employees that includes the week of the 12th runs from 6 Jauary to 19 January. About 380,000 workers have been furloughed, while the rest are working without pay.Unless the government reopens next week, furloughed workers will probably be counted as unemployed, as they would not have received a salary during the pay period survey.“So, if the government remains closed past 19 January, then furloughed federal workers will not receive pay during the survey week, meaning that we’d very likely get a big drop in the headline payrolls report, something on the order of perhaps 500,000 to 600,000,” said Omair Sharif, senior US economist at Societe Generale in New York.That could result in the first monthly decline in employment since September 2010 and snap a string of 99 consecutive months of jobs gains.But if Congress decides to pay these workers retroactively as was the case following the October 2013 government shut down, they would be considered employed.“You can look at the private sector payroll figure to bypass this distortion, but it’ll create some uncertainty and prevent us from getting a clean read on the labour market,” said Sharif.The economy created 312,000 jobs in December, the most in 10 months. Trump likes to boast about the strong labour market as one of his crown achievements. The shutdown, which on Friday tied the record for the longest in the nation’s history, could also drive up the unemployment rate in January.Higher Unemployment RateThe household survey from which the jobless rate is derived would likely consider the furloughed workers as unemployed.“These workers account for about 0.2 per cent of the current labour force, so all else equal, the increase in unemployment associated with the government shutdown could lead to a 0.2 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate in January,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.The unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 per cent in December as some jobless Americans piled into the labour market confident of their employment prospects.While these impacts on the labour market are likely to be temporary, they could make it difficult for policymakers to get a clear read of the health of the economy for monetary policy.Economists also worry that a prolonged government shutdown could hurt both business and consumer confidence, and undercut business and household spending.Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin said on Thursday that the shutdown, which has delayed the release of Commerce Department data, including November trade figures, could affect the amount of economic data available to the Federal Reserve, the US central bank.JPMorgan estimates the shutdown is cutting 0.1-0.2 percentage point every week from quarterly economic growth. It said the impact could be even larger if the shutdown led to a significant shift in sentiment.“The 2013 shutdown did have noticeable negative effects on some measures of consumer and business sentiment, but these effects proved short-lived against a backdrop of otherwise strong economic data and buoyant equity markets,” said Silver.“It is possible that an extended shutdown right now could interact with market declines and already weakening economic data to produce a larger drag on sentiment and the overall economy.”
4 min read This story originally appeared on Due Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now March 23, 2018 Blockchain technology was one of this past year’s biggest stories. For example, Bitcoin, the pioneer of cryptocurrencies, closed out 2017 at nearly $15,000. As Bitcoin’s popularity has grown, more blockchain innovations and cryptocurrencies have emerged from the shadows. Now, it’s nearly considered mainstream. Since then, investors and fund managers have flocked to blockchain for fintech.Related: The Best Business Credit Card for Every Type of SpenderHowever, blockchain is more than just something to drive digital assets. That’s why financial professionals need to pay attention to how their industry is changing. Now, here are five ways blockchain innovations will reshape the financial system.1. Paying with cryptocurrencyFirst, one of blockchain’s most exciting applications is its ability to facilitate financial transactions in a very different way compared to legacy financial systems like credit card traditional payment processors. Recently, the rise of cryptocurrency technology has turned cryptocurrency into viable currency.Right now, over $500 billion in cryptocurrency exists. Yet, current owners have limited ways to spend them. One startup, OPEN Platform, is fixing this problem. They’ve created a payment solution for application developers. As such, developers can easily integrate and enable their application to accept cryptocurrency as payment.2. System integritySecond, the biggest upside for using blockchain is system integrity. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology eliminate the need for middlemen. Hence, it’s these middlemen that tend to overcomplicate payments and charge expensive fees on top of large transactions. As such, the very design of blockchain lends itself to security.Blockchain is a decentralized ledger. Therefore, transactions are not visible to any person besides the two parties engaging in the asset transfer. Also, crypto wallets are essentially immune to fraud due to their complexity and uniqueness. Hence, it’s difficult to steal assets. The assets become invulnerable to forgery.Related: 5 Business Ideas You Can Launch from Your Living RoomFor example, the Internet of Services Foundation has created a scalable blockchain infrastructure for the future of online business. Its high throughput processing and security offer an intriguing alternative from cryptocurrency mainstays like Bitcoin and Ethereum. To date, these cryptocurrencies have been unable to scale for mass adoption. The Internet of Services Foundation’s token, IOST, has clearly caught the eye of global blockchain enthusiasts. At times, daily trading volume at reaches $200 million.3. Regulatory concernsThird, for those interested in commercial finance, blockchain’s applications in cross border transactions are particularly exciting. One of the main advantages of cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies is their ability to be sent across borders without any fees. For example, money transfers can be conducted between any two locations in the world. All users need is a connection to the internet. Therefore, Blockchain technology has the potential to offer a more secure experience than traditional wire services. Additionally, users avoid conversion fees between currencies. Small online businesses can also conduct transactions easier than ever. That’s because cryptocurrencies avoid the need for currency conversions that cost both parties significant amounts of money.4. Mainstream banking adoptionFourth, large banks are already beginning to develop infrastructures to support the new assets and payment systems based in the blockchain. In June 2017, a group of seven of Europe’s largest banks formed a blockchain consortium. Forming the consortium was necessary for simplifying payments. Therefore, the result has been advantageous for small and medium enterprises across national borders.Now, there are many benefits to going paperless and eliminating the need for many brick and mortar establishments. Also, banks can offer faster, easier and cheaper transactions for their customers. Hence, using blockchain innovations will create transactions that are a fraction of current costs.Recently, the consortium has indicated more European banks have plans to join in 2018. As the European consortium grows, it wouldn’t be surprising to see other banks around the world engaging in similar activities.5. Financial automationFifth, blockchain’s most interesting application is the potential to offer systems where users can automate payments and optimize their finances. For example, by using embedded smart contracts on blockchain ledgers, financial institutions can easily and efficiently collect insurance and mortgage payments. Therefore, the result would mean more on-time payments. Also, consumers could spend less time organizing their finances. Now, blockchain technology continues to grow in popularity. Hence, it will be important to monitor how its applications will affect all industries. Already, the rise of cryptocurrencies have already attracted investors and financial institutions. Now, the financial industry is poised to gain the most immediate impact from blockchain innovations. Related: How Millennials Manage Their MoneyToday, there are smarter blockchain networks, better cryptocurrencies and improved infrastructures in development by a variety of companies and groups. Moving forward, blockchain technology is set to completely reshape the financial industry as early as the next decade.(By Peter Daisyme) This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free
It’s an insight into the solar system that Cassini died to give us. Back in 2015, NASA space probe Cassini swooped down to Saturn’s moon Enceladus to taste its geysers. It was analysis of those samples that led scientists to believe the moon’s underwater oceans could harbor life. Saturn’s moon Enceladus has become an alien-hunting hot spot, and not just for the tinfoil hat crowd. Thought to be a barren cue ball until NASA’s Cassini mission found both active geysers and a liquid ocean beneath its frozen surface, the icy little moon is now one of the likeliest places to encounter extraterrestrial life in our solar system. Last year, when scientists analyzed Enceladus’ ocean—or a small drop of it blasted skyward in a geyser, anyway—they found evidence of hydrothermal reactions, which produce H2, just the kind of molecular food some little Enceladian organism might like to munch on.A cutaway view of Enceladus. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft discovered the moon has a global ocean and likely hydrothermal activity. A plume of ice particles, water vapor and organic molecules sprays from fractures in the moon’s south polar region.NASA/JPL-CaltechIn a paper released today in Nature Communications, one research group has taken its study of potential life on Enceladus one step further. Simon Rittmann, who studies single-celled microorganisms at the University of Vienna, determined that a certain Earthly microbe could survive under the conditions scientists think they’re likely to find beneath Enceladus’ icy crust. In other words, if there’s life lurking on Enceladus, it might be something like Methanothermococcus okinawensis.Dr. T.J. Beveridge/Getty ImagesMethanothermococcus okinawensis is a methanogen, type of archaea (a kind of single-organism distinct from both bacteria and eukaryotes like us) which convert molecular hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methane—all of which Cassini found in Enceladus’ geyser. (Enticingly, the source(s) of these components, especially the methane bit, are still something of a mystery.) On Earth, the microbe lives in a deep sea hydrothermal vent off the coast of Japan. Rittmann and his team cultivated several methanogens under gas compositions and pressures similar to Enceladus’, but only M. okinawensis survived when they threw in some of Enceladus’ chemical wildcards like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Theoretically, if some future mission delivered a sample of the methanogen to Enceladus’ ocean floor, M. okinawensis could probably colonize it.Is that proof positive of, well, anything? Not really. Methanogens are hardly the only possible source of Enceladus’ methane. Some hydrothermal vents on Earth can produce methane even in the absence of life, and comets, which really aren’t so different from small, icy Enceladus, seem to have picked up methane from interstellar clouds. And even if life on Enceladus does produce methane, it’s not likely to be similar to M. okinawensis in the way a horse is similar to a zebra. “Nature is usually smarter than us. It could have found a way to use that fuel in an entirely different way,” says Hunter Waite, a planetary scientist at Southwest Research Institute. “Would it be like a microbe on Earth? Probably not. Would it even be DNA-based? Maybe not.”Which doesn’t mean that scientists subjecting microbes to Enceladus-like conditions are wasting their grant money. “I’m pleased people are starting to take deep looks at biological methane production,” says Christopher Glein, a geochemist and planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute. “The next step is doing this hard work in the lab to figure out what life might look like from a spacecraft instrument’s point of view.” Now that scientists have a model organism to work with, Glein is curious about the isotopic composition of the biological methane it produces. (Chem 101 refresher: isotopes are variants on a particular element with differing numbers of neutrons in their nuclei.) It stands to reason that methane belched out by microbes would contain different isotopes of carbon and hydrogen than methane produced by hot rocks or some other non-biological process. “It would be really useful in defining some future mission requirements for us,” Glein says. Detecting isotopes is well within NASA spacecraft capabilities, so if biological methane produced by microbes does have some kind of distinct signature, it would be a helpful, easily measurable hint.And designing future missions, maybe even more than the search for hypothetical extraterrestrial life, is really what all of this is about. “Some people would say we should fly back through Enceladus’ plumes and we’ll find some wiggly microbes,” Waite says. “And we might do that, but the probability is not so high. I would just as soon know more about the chemistry.” Long before anyone encounters an actual alien—if any are out there—deep space missions will probably encounter evidence of them. Unless folks back in the lab keep testing hypotheses, trying to fit these chemical puzzles together, and designing devices to detect them, those missions are likely to fly right on by.Moon Rocks
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Expects 10% increase in tourist arrival On July 25, an indoor theme park- Warner Bros. World will welcome the public in Abu Dhabi. The highly-anticipated Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will feature six immersive lands including DC’s Metropolis and Gotham City, as well as Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch and Warner Bros. Plaza. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral Asset Management, the Abu Dhabi-based developer behind Yas Island’s main leisure attractions, said, “It gives us great pride to have partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to launch the world’s largest Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park right here in Abu Dhabi. The launch is yet another milestone in the Emirate’s journey to further enrich its tourism offering.”Mohamed Al Zaabi, Chief Executive, Miral, stated that last year we achieved 27 million visitors and this year, after the launch of the theme park, they are expecting a 10% increase in tourists arrival. Pam Lifford, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, stated that their primer goal is to continue the brands’ storytelling and reach to a wider audience as much as possible. He pointed out, “We have worked tirelessly with our partners at Miral to faithfully bring iconic franchises such as DC Entertainment, Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera to life in a truly immersive and authentic environment,” Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will complement Yas Island’s destination offering of entertainment and leisure, includes iconic attractions such as Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit – home of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Mall, as well as a wide variety of world-class entertainment venues, restaurants and hotels. The 1.65 million sq ft park promises to deliver guests with captivating experiences, bringing together some of the world’s most iconic characters and stories under one roof for the first time in the region. Featuring a total of 29 state-of-the-art rides, interactive family-friendly attractions and unique live entertainment, as well as a variety of authentically themed dining and shopping outlets, the park’s incredibly immersive environments, unique thrill rides and fan-favourite characters will create a truly unparalleled experience for all who visit.
August 17, 2015 585 Views Builder Confidence National Association of Home Builders Single-Family Housing Market Wells Fargo Housing Market Index 2015-08-17 Staff Writer Progress among the single-family housing market is moving at a slow but sure pace. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder sentiment in the market for newly built, single-family homes in August rose one point to a level of 61, the highest reading since November 2005.“The fact the builder confidence has been in the low 60s for three straight months shows that single-family housing is making slow but steady progress,” said Tom Woods, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Blue Springs, Missouri. “However, we continue to hear that builders face difficulties accessing land and labor.”The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.In August, the NAHB reported that two of the three HMI components posted gains. The index measuring buyer traffic increased two points to 45 and the component gauging current sales conditions rose one point to 66. Meanwhile, the index charting sales expectations in the next six months held steady at 70.Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West and Midwest each rose three points to 63 and 58, respectively. The South posted a two-point gain to 63 and the Northeast held steady at 46.”Even with the slow rise in confidence, builders continue to face difficulty obtaining lots to build on and labor to build the homes,” said David Crowe, NAHB chief economist. “Prices are rising for both inputs putting some profit squeeze on builders and making it more difficult to build affordable homes for first time buyers. While existing home prices have risen, they have not risen enough to compensate builders for the added supply costs, particularly land. While actual sales prices of new homes have been rising because of the compositional shift, quality constant new home prices have risen less than quality controlled existing home prices. This trend is likely to shift to higher new home prices in order to induce more builders to build.”Source: NAHB in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Builder Confidence Reaches Highest Level Since 2005 Share
Computerworld Fannie Mae Lending mortgage technology 2018-06-22 Radhika Ojha Fannie Mae was recently named among the 100 Best Places to Work in IT for 2018 by IDG’s Computerworld, a technology media brand. The government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) was ranked 47th among large organizations on this list, which recognizes the world’s 100 top organizations that challenge their technology professionals while providing great benefits and ample development opportunities.”Our developers, coders, engineers, and other technology professionals are delivering the 21st-century products and tools our customers need,” said Kimberly Johnson, COO, Fannie Mae. “Fannie Mae’s vital mission to provide access to reliable, affordable mortgage financing in all markets at all times is enabled by our employees in IT, whose work is transforming the housing market every day. We are continually focused on making it faster and simpler to get a mortgage.”According to a statement released by Fannie Mae, the technology teams at the GSE are “driving innovation across the industry through new services, solutions, and agile methods for designing and developing solutions.“Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen an already tight market for tech talent get even tighter,” said Ken Mingis, Executive Editor at Computerworld. “Computerworld’s 2018 Best Places to Work in IT list illustrates that the companies that offer the best working environments aren’t satisfied with rolling out one or two initiatives. They seek an edge in the talent marketplace through a combination of good salaries, great benefits, ready access to training, and the deployment of cutting-edge technologies. ”The rankings are compiled based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, career development, training, and retention. Additionally, Computerworld conducts extensive surveys of lT workers, and their responses factor heavily in determining the rankings.Fannie Mae invests a great deal of time, energy, and resources into giving employees the tools and training they need to develop the technologies necessary to simplify the mortgage process and provide a better overall experience for our customers and home buyers. This includes building partnerships with leading organizations dedicated to developing the diverse leaders of tomorrow, including Hispanic IT Executive Council, IT Senior Management Forum, Women in Technology, and Ascend. The GSE is also a leader in Agile and DevOps. June 22, 2018 827 Views in Headlines, News, Technology Fannie Mae Among 100 Best Places to Work in IT Share
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