Julien GignacAPTN National NewsA non-governmental organization has initiated a water-related study about Shoal Lake 40 First Nation as part of a world-wide investigation into healthy communities.“It’s part of a broader research project on the rights to water and sanitation in First Nations communities in Ontario,” said Amanda Klasing, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch. “As we were mapping out and thinking about countries that have particular human rights issues related to water and sanitation, Canada came up consistently.”Shoal Lake 40 has made news for the past year because of its dire situation. The community straddles the Ontario, Manitoba border and has been under a boil water advisory for the past 17 years.For more than a century, the First Nation, which supplies the city of Winnipeg with drinking water, has strived to survive without the luxury of a road connecting it to the mainland. Members have resorted to crossing the body of water by boat, by foot during the winter. Nine people have perished due to unstable ice.Because the band doesn’t have the capacity to filter its own water, it uses pump houses with chlorination systems in place.Klasing is investigating the potential health risks associated with these circumstances.The findings of the report will be sent to the United Nations in February, she said.Shoal Lake’s situation has made headway since the latest rounds of media exposure.Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger confirmed Saturday that the province will chip in $10-million towards the cost of building what is being called, Freedom Road, a bridge that will link the community to the mainland.The city of Winnipeg is also offering $10-million.The project is likely to cost $30-million.Selinger announced that he will put the required funds in the budget, as per the demands raised by community, he said.“A lot of Manitobans feel that we’ve been drawing clean water from that area for nearly a hundred years and it’s only right that this community get access to a road, which will then facilitate them having clean water facilities so they can have the same quality of resources that the rest of us are enjoying,” said Selinger. “It’s a question of basic fairness, and we support that view and are trying to contribute to a positive solution.”Selinger told APTN that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also expressed interest in being part of the solution.“The bottom line is everybody’s taking a positive attitude on trying to resolve this issue,” he said.The federal Conservatives are promising $1-million for a design plan.The construction of “Freedom Road” has been a talking point during the election, however, with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair acknowledging the outstanding funds for the road’s construction and offering assistance if deemed prime minister.This is not an election issue, nor a political one, according to Chief Erwin Redsky.“It’s basic survival for my community and we have to work with whoever’s in power,” he said. “We’re willing to work with the current sitting conservatives and we’re going to work with the next government after the election.”It is not simply another road project, said Redsky, but assurance of the overall health and safety of the community.“It’s everything. It’s a lifeline that’s been missing for the past hundred years,” he said. “The federal government is front and centre. They created the problem, they need to be front and centre in the solution.”Jgignac@aptn.ca
On Saturday, Feb. 12, the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society (BLCS) will stage a Seniors’ Valentine’s Day Prom for residents at the West Park Health Centre long-term care home in St. Catharines.The students will provide everything from music and dinner to photos and corsages for the ladies.The BLCS is a group of exceptional Brock students recognized for a combination of high academic achievement and personal leadership abilities.Focused on helping young people develop strong leadership skills, the BLCS runs various social events and fundraisers at Brock and in the local community.Their efforts include last year’s Flora Broley Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament, which raised $2,700 for the Alzheimer Society Niagara Foundation, as well as helping the annual Brock Shinerama, which raises money and awareness?for Cystic Fibrosis research.The upcoming Seniors’ Prom at West Park Health Centre is meant “to give back to our senior community of Niagara,” said BLCS spokesperson Amanda Slamka.Related links:• Brock Leaders Citizenship Society pitches in | The Brock News• BLCS on Facebook
Agencies have been able to distribute food to more than 54,000 families around Gonaïves in the past two weeks, but their plans for further distribution are being hampered by difficulties in bringing food in through the port, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today in a statement in New York.At least 1,500 people were killed and more than 900 others are listed as missing in the wake of the floods and mudslides that followed the tropical storm as it ravaged the north of Haiti three weeks ago. Most of the casualties are in Gonaïves.OCHA said it has contacted officials from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and with the interim Government to help open the port, so that food can then be delivered to several distribution points established around the city.The distribution of clean water is proceeding more smoothly, OCHA reported, adding that the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is also repairing water and sanitation centres attached to several schools in Gonaïves.The statement added that the residents of Gonaïves still face serious problems as the slowly rebuild their lives again. Many streets and homes are buried in mud and many temporary shelters for the homeless do not have basic supplies or sanitation.In the long term, the mud and debris left by Tropical Storm Jeanne could worsen the already massive erosion that leaves Haiti so much more vulnerable to natural disasters than its neighbours in the Caribbean region. The marine ecosystem may have also been damaged, threatening the livelihoods of people in the fishing industry.
A new publication by historian Dr David Lee is the latest of the Minerals Council of Australia’s Monograph series. In Iron country: Unlocking the Pilbara, Lee charts Australia’s modern iron age from the lifting of the iron ore export embargo in the early 1960s to the China boom of the early 21st century. He demonstrates that there was nothing inevitable about the rise of the Pilbara to become the jewel in the crown of the Australian mining industry.As John Kunkel, Deputy Chief Executive, Minerals Council of Australia, says “the vital importance of the iron ore industry to Australia’s modern prosperity is widely recognised. Less appreciated perhaps is the industry’s remarkable back-story. This gap has now been filled.”A daunting series of political, commercial, financial, engineering and infrastructure challenges all had to be overcome to develop the foundation Pilbara projects. Similarly, there was nothing ordained about the industry’s survival through the long years of low prices at the end of the 20th century.Lee uncovers the many and varied players who pioneered the industry. They include prospectors and geologists, politicians and business visionaries, as well as the engineers, architects and workers who built much of the infrastructure of the Pilbara industry in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These are all the sort of people that International Mining seeks to recognise in the IM Technology Hall of Fame (www.im-halloffame.com)“The conclusion Lee draws is compelling,” says Kunkel. “The Snowy Mountains Scheme is held up as the benchmark of Australian engineering and technological prowess in the 20th century. The foundation Pilbara projects, constructed by private enterprise and over a much shorter time period, are at least a comparable achievement.“Those interested in a carefully-researched, fact-based analysis of the iron ore industry will find this publication indispensable.”It is available at http://bit.ly/ironcountryDr David Lee is the Director of the Historical Publications and Research Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is the author of Australia and the World in the Twentieth Century and Stanley Melbourne Bruce: Australian Internationalist. He is currently researching Australia’s post-1960 mining booms and a collaborative biography of Sir John Crawford.The Minerals Council of Australia has now launched a new website to help better inform the community about Australia’s iron ore industry. The website – ironorefacts.com.au – “provides factual information on Australia’s A$75 billion iron ore export sector and addresses some of the myths that have been peddled in recent weeks about the industry,” says Brendan Pearson, Chief Executive, Minerals Council of Australia.“While there is vast amounts of publicly available data about the sector, ironorefacts.com.au provides an easily accessible platform to better understand the industry.“Australia’s iron ore industry has been one of the nation’s great economic success stories over the past 50 years. It has delivered hundreds of billions of dollars in royalties and taxes and directly employs over 60,000 Australians. None of this has happened by accident. It has taken a vast effort and investment to develop this jewel in Australia’s economic crown, which is the envy of the world.” Picture courtesy of Rio Tinto
A FORMER ADVISER to President Michael D. Higgins has broken her silence over her decision to leave her position in Áras an Úactaráin.Mary Van Lieshout has said that she left the Office of the President to “pursue other interests” and that she departed “on very amicable terms”.Van Lieshout said that she issued the personal statement as a result of the media response to her departure.There has been speculation in several media that Van Lieshout decided to leave because of tension with other advisers and a frustration over a lack of access to President Higgins.In a statement released through a PR company, Van Lieshout said, “In recent days there has been much speculation and comment relating to my departure from Áras an Uachtaráin. I have sought to protect my privacy by not commenting. However, I wish to clarify matters at this time.I was honoured to accept the appointment of Adviser when invited to do so by President Higgins and was privileged to have the experience of working in Áras an Uachtaráin. In order to pursue other interests, I decided to end the assignment and have now taken up a role in overseas development, an area to which I have a deep, personal and longstanding commitment.The former aide, who joined the President’s staff in February 2012 , added that she “departed Áras an Uachtaráin on very amicable terms with everyone and wish the President, Sabina and all my former colleagues well for the future.”It has been reported that Van Lieshout will take up a position in aid agency GOAL.Read: Michael D Higgins hires new speech writer…she sounds smart >Read: President Higgins accepts invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to visit the UK >
THE VALUE OF Irish food and drink exports continues to grow – and approached a record €10 billion for the first time in 2013.That’s according to new figures released by Bord Bia today, which show that the figure represents an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year and 40 per cent in the last four years.Revenues are almost €3 billion higher than in 2009.Popular productsWhile export values for dairy product and ingredients exceeded €3 billion for the first time, there were also strong performances for meat and livestock (€3.3billion) and prepared foods (€1.65 billion).The Christmas Tree Growers Association estimated that 250,000 of the 650,000 trees harvested were exported in 2013, with an estimated export value of €5.5 million.There were strong mushroom exports, a decline in seafood exports, but an increased shipment of whiskey and mineral waters.The strongest performing categories of prepared foods included fat-filled milk powders, cooked meats, pizza, sauces, bakery and confectionary.Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD said “This leading performance in what was a challenging year for the industry, highlights the key role of agri-food, Ireland’s largest indigenous sector, in underpinning exports and economic activity.”Key marketsThe largest export destination for Irish food and drink remains the UK, with 42 per cent of exports worth an estimated €4.1 billion reaching that market in 2013.Meanwhile, exports of food and drink to other EU markets increased by 11 per cent in 2013 reaching €3.2 billion.There were also strong exports to Asia, and to a lesser extent Russia, said Bord Bia, which contributed toward an increase of 6 per cent in the value of trade to international markets – this exceeded €2.6 billion in the period.Exports to China grew by over 40 per cent, with values trebling over the last three years to reach €390 million in 2013.China is now Ireland’s sixth largest market overall, with strong dairy and pork exports contributing to this, and seafood and beverage exports also growing.Bord Bia said that eventual access to the beef market will further broaden the industry’s presence in China, and the inclusion of hide exports from the beef industry would bring the market’s value overall for the sector to €432 million.Bord Bia said that the market environment for Irish food and drink remains “positive” for the year ahead.Industry A Bord Bia industry survey showed that exporters remain positive about prospects for their business.Some 75 per cent of exporters expect their export sales to grow in 2014. Next year, Bord Bia will continue to take part in trade exhibitions, including Gulfood in Dubai.It will also roll out its Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme to provide a uniform mechanism of recording, monitoring and improving the sustainability of Irish dairying at farm level.This coincides with Bord Bia’s plans to invest almost €3.5million during the year in a new marketing campaign, under the Origin Green banner, to promote Ireland as a source of world-class sustainably produced food and drink.Read: Japan ends 12-year-ban and reopens its market to Irish beef>Read: SuperValu to become first retailer to trace its bacon by DNA>
The iPhone 4S has been spoken about for months now as either an alternative to releasing the iPhone 5, or a complimentary handset to cater for a different, more value-driven segment of the market. But could Apple really be contemplating releasing the 4S instead of an iPhone 5 tomorrow?If Vodafone’s website for Germany (Vodafone.de) is anything to go by then Apple is going to do exactly that. Multiple listings for an iPhone 4S have appeared on Vodafone’s site in both black and white colors, as well as 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB configurations.These aren’t specific listings for the phone models, instead they are options for compatibility with the iPhone bumpers. That could mean two things: that Apple is launching an iPhone 4S tomorrow alone, or that it is set to appear alongside an iPhone 5.The only definite in all of this is the addition of the iPhone 4S as a model on the Vodafone site. There is clearly no reason to add such entries unless the phone exists, and the entries appear for a number of accessories, not just the bumpers. The chances we’ll see the 4S tomorrow have gone up in my estimation after seeing this.Will we also see an iPhone 5 tomorrow? I think if we don’t then Apple’s share price may take a major hit as it’s the expected device everyone is waiting for them to release. So I’m now expecting a new iPhone in each of Tim Cook’s pockets on stage tomorrow.Read more at MacRumors
LAKE MARY, Fla. — The sobbing wife of George Zimmerman called 911 Monday to report that her estranged husband was threatening her with a gun and had punched her father in the nose, but hours later she decided not to press charges against the man acquitted of all charges for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.Lake Mary police officers were still investigating the encounter as a domestic dispute, but no charges had been filed Monday afternoon. George Zimmerman, wearing a flannel shirt, baseball cap and with sunglasses on, left the home after being questioned by police.Shellie Zimmerman, who has filed for divorce, initially told a 911 dispatcher that her husband had his hand on his gun as he sat in his car outside the home she was at with her father. She said she was scared because she wasn’t sure what Zimmerman was capable of doing. But hours later she changed her story and said she never saw a firearm, said Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell.For the time being, “domestic violence can’t be invoked because she has changed her story and says she didn’t see a firearm,” Bracknell said.On the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman is sobbing and repeating “Oh my God” as she talks to a police dispatcher. She yells at her father to get inside the house, saying Zimmerman may start shooting at them.
Deere cuts profit forecast, hurt by weak equipment sales78 viewsDeere cuts profit forecast, hurt by weak equipment sales78 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Deere cuts profit forecast, hurt by weak equipment sales78 viewsBusinessFarmers are hurting and that’s bad news for Deere. The world’s largest farm-equipment maker reported a 43 percent drop in its first-quarter profit, while sales declined 17 percent– though it did topVentuno Web Player 4.50Farmers are hurting and that’s bad news for Deere. The world’s largest farm-equipment maker reported a 43 percent drop in its first-quarter profit, while sales declined 17 percent– though it did top
Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Company Limited (BDMCL) shares flared up on the BSE on Thursday, hitting an intraday high of Rs 54.40 before closing at Rs 53.85, a gain of 5.80 percent. In the past four trading sessions this year, the stock has appreciated about 13 percent.BDMCL is in the news for its revival plans that are expected to bring the loss-making company back in black in the next few years.As part of its efforts to exit non-core activities, the company sold land on December 31, 2016 for ~ Rs 185 crore in Maharashtra, including a flat in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi area for Rs 9.4 crore. The other sale effected was “MIDC Land & Building and some specific utility machinery of Ranjangaon unit” for Rs 174.45 crore, the company said in regulatory filing on January 1, 2017.”What Bombay Dyeing aims to do now is to revive the loss making flagship textile business by investing in the brand, expanding store network, growing product portfolio and liaising with international designers. Manufacturing will be outsourced,” brokerage Dynamic Levels said in an update a few days ago.”From now till 2020, the Wadia group owned company plans to invest over Rs 100 crore in the brand, double its multibrand outlets to 10,000, more than double its franchise stores to 500 and commence three to four new products every year,” Dynamic Levels added.For the quarter ended September 2016, the company incurred standalone loss of Rs 71 crore on sales of Rs 430 crore. In 2015-16, the company posted loss of Rs 84 crore on total sales of Rs 1,804 crore. The company’s chairman is Nusli Wadia, who was in the news recently in the context of the ongoing corporate battle saga within the Tata Group.
Fires continue to burn in and around Napa, California, on October 10, 2017. AFPFirefighters battled wildfires in California’s wine region on Tuesday as the death toll rose to 15 and thousands were left homeless in neighborhoods reduced to ashes.“The homes are gone, they are like dust,” said Jack Dixon, a personal trainer who lives in Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000 in Sonoma County. “It is just like we were nuked.”Dixon told AFP that his own neighborhood was spared when the fire “miraculously” changed direction but many others were not so fortunate.“I am surrounded by devastation and feel lucky it didn’t happen to me,” Dixon said.US President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in California, freeing up federal funding and resources to help fight the 17 large wildfires in the western state.Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in eight counties-including wine-producing Napa and Sonoma-and said thousands of firefighters had been deployed to fight the blazes.The state fire prevention agency Calfire forecast strong winds for Wednesday, which could fan the fires.Nine deaths were reported in Sonoma County, three in Mendocino County, two in Napa County and one in Yuba County and the governor said “emergency responders anticipate the number of fatalities could grow.”Among the dead were a couple aged 99 and 100-years-old from Napa who had been married for 75 years, KTVU-TV said. They were unable to evacuate their home in time.The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page it had received reports of 200 missing people.Forty-five had been located and the department said it was confident that many of the rest would be found safe.About 25,000 people have been evacuated in Sonoma County alone, the department said, and 5,000 have sought refuge in shelters.The fires have torched more than 115,000 acres (46,500 hectares) and destroyed over 2,000 homes and businesses, according to the authorities.Winds have weakened -The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said 17 large fires were continuing to burn on Tuesday.“The winds that fanned these fires Sunday night and Monday morning have decreased significantly, but local winds and dry conditions continue to pose a challenge,” Cal Fire said.“With the decrease in the winds combined with cooler weather, firefighters made good progress overnight,” it added.Governor Brown said the “devastation and disruption caused by these fires is extraordinary.“Thousands have been made homeless.”Much of the worst damage was in Santa Rosa, the county seat of Sonoma County, and could be seen from US Route 101, the north-south highway which runs from California through Oregon to Washington state.The Sonoma County Hilton perched on a hill overlooking 101 was a smoldering ruin of charred wood and twisted metal, as was the nearby Fountaingrove Inn.An enormous K-Mart store was entirely destroyed with only a couple of blackened walls still standing.Among the wineries which reportedly suffered damage were William Hill Estate Winery in Napa, Signorello Vineyards, Stags’ Leap and Chimney Rock.Maureen Fairchild, a nurse, was working at a hospital in Marin County where some of the evacuees were brought.“I was working in a memory-impaired unit,” Fairchild told AFP. “We had all these people who were already confused and now they were in an unfamiliar place with all this frenzy going on around them.”Kris Hammar, who lives in Santa Rosa on the edge of a mandatory evacuation zone, had not yet evacuated but was monitoring maps, wind direction, and fire updates to see if she and her family should bolt.“The fire is close, very close,” Hammer said. “Everything is in the car, and we are checking constantly to see if anything has changed.”‘Boom, boom, boom’ -Troy Newton, 46, a Sonoma County sheriff’s detective, was among those who fled Santa Rosa.Newton told The Los Angeles Times he was returning home when he saw a “growing red snake” of fire.“I ran into my house and told my wife to get our four-year-old boy ready to leave,” Newton said, before raising the alarm for around 40 neighbors.“It was boom, boom, boom. Ring the door bell. Boom, boom-until someone inside got the message,” he said.Pacific Gas & Electric said more than 196,000 customers had initially lost electricity although half had had their power restored.Governor Brown in April declared the official end of the state’s drought that lasted more than five years.But California is still dealing with the Santa Ana winds, a meteorological phenomenon which brings dry winds down from the high mountains east of the coastal areas-a recipe for perfect wildfire conditions.Forest fires are common in the western United States during dry, hot summer months.Last month, a massive fire described as the biggest in the history of Los Angeles forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.
Coal-based jet fuel poised for next step © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: US military to make jet fuel from algae (2010, February 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-military-jet-fuel-algae.html The military is the largest single consumer of energy in the US, and a cheap alternative to oil would reduce the 60-75 million barrels of oil currently consumed by military operations. Scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have already successfully extracted oil from algal ponds, and is now about to begin large-scale refining of the oil. Special assistant for energy with DARPA, Barbara McQuiston, said unrefined oil produced from algae currently costs $2 per gallon, but the cost is projected to reduce to around $1. The refined and processed jet fuel is expected to cost under $3 per gallon. The refining operation would produce 50 million gallons of oil derived from algae each year and is expected to begin full-scale operations in 2011. Each acre of algal farm pond can produce 1,000 gallons of oil. The projects are run by private companies General Atomics and SAIC.One advantage of algae over other biofuels such as ethanol derived from corn or sugar is that they do not compete with land use for food, and algae can be grown in brackish water or waste water. The fuel theoretically produces zero carbon emissions, since all the CO2 released when the fuel is burned was absorbed from the atmosphere by the algae in the first place. Even when processing and transportation are taken into account, the fuel is still low carbon.DARPA aims to obtain 50 per cent of all military-use fuel from renewable sources by 2016, and the Air Force plans to test a 50-50 mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources in its jet fighters and transport planes by next year. The driving force is not just money, but also the desire to create jet fuel in locations such as Afghanistan, where supply convoys are particularly prone to attack. Creating fuel in the field would not only save money and lives, but the infrastructure would be left behind to enable the production of sustainable fuel supplies to continue.The Chinese government has also been looking at the possibility of using jet fuel produced from algae, and many commercial airlines are doing the same. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — If military researchers in the US are right, jet fuel produced from algae may soon be available for about the same price as ordinary jet fuels. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Croatia’s Education Minister, Blazenka Divjak, condemned the action.‘The burning of books and discrimination are unacceptable,’ she said in a statement.‘We can agree or disagree on some topics in the public sphere, but the messages that we send to our children must contribute to building an open and tolerant society.’Donations to Rainbow Families Croatia to make more books poured in after the effigy burning.The crowdfunding campaign to print more copies of My Rainbow Family got almost $10,000 in donations, 332% more than original target of $3,000.Rainbow Families Croatia said it planned to expand the range of books it published with the money donated.‘We believe that we are contributing to the creation of a society in which the respect of diversity and the acceptance of all families is learned from a young age,’ said Rainbow Families Croatia’s Daniel Martinovic.‘The vision of our association is a society that respects, embraces and celebrates all families and this publishing venture is just one of the activities that we are doing to achieve that vision.’Croatia ranked 11th on the Rainbow Europe Map, which ranks European countries on how they fare on LGBTI rights.[embedded content]Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Rainbow Families Croatia created the book My Rainbow Family, whose original print run of 500 was snapped up within days.The book tells the story of Ana and Roko who both have same-sex parents. It was made to spread awareness of LGBTI families in the majority Catholic Croatia.My Rainbow Family. | Photo: Rainbow Families CroatiaReligious groups denounced the book and on 4 February organizers of an annual carnival burnt it in effigy.They burnt the replica on the coastal town of Kastela near the tourist destination, Split.Organizers paraded the replica down the main street in a horse drawn carriage. Then they burnt the effigy on a nearby beach while hundreds looked on.Donations pour inLGBTI rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the carnival organizers saying it was a ‘public incitement to violence and hatred’, according to New Now Next. Shocking video shows homophobes destroying LGBTI stand at street fair in PolandArsonist targeted Lithuanian gay director in a possible homophobic attackBig street protest will call for LGBTI book ban to be changed in Hong KongRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/homophobes-burn-lgbti-childrens-book-effigy-symbolizing-evil/ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) An effigy of a LGBTI children’s book being burnt in Croatia. | Photo: Facebook via Random Toni GAYSTARNEWS- Donations to a crowdfunding campaign to produce a LGBTI children’s book soared after homophobes burnt its replica in an effigy.
“Business as usual”: rumoured Sandals sale could mean expansion Share Travelweek Group Friday, May 12, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Sandals Resorts International is said to be eyeing several business strategies including the possible sale of a majority stake in the company, privately owned since 1981 when it was founded by Sandals Resorts Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.According to Reuters, Sandals has hired Deutsche Bank AG to explore various options. The company’s estimated worth is more than US$1 billion including debt.Sandals Resorts International issued a statement to the Jamaica Gleaner saying “Sandals Resorts International is exploring options to accelerate the company’s long-term growth and development plans. This is not new. Meanwhile it’s business as usual.”The resort industry has seen some high-level shakeups recently. In December 2016 Playa Hotels & Resorts B.V. announced plans to go public. Playa’s move to go public was seen as a catalyst to accelerate Playa’s growth strategy by providing million of dollars of additional capital and access to the public markets to strengthen its balance sheet, pursue acquisitions, and enhance distribution. Reports indicated that Playa intends to launch a new hotel brand as part of its growth plan.More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaAlso in December 2016 AMResorts’ parent company Apple Leisure Group reached a deal to be bought by financial firms KKR & Co. and KSL Capital Partners LLC. Posted by Tags: Sandals Resorts
The second portfolio consists of 11 hotels (ibis, ibis budget and Novotel) in Switzerland and has been operated by Accor since 2008 also under variable-rent leases. The first portfolio contains 67 hotels across Germany and 19 hotels in the Netherlands (ibis, ibis budget, Mercure and Novotel), and has been operated by Accor under variable-rent lease agreements since 2007, with the acquisition for this portfolio around €722 million. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich Accor hotel group has announced the acquisition of two real estate portfolios, featuring 97 hotels in Europe through its Hotellnvest business in a deal worth around EUR €900 million. “These transactions send a strong signal of our capability to rapidly implement the strategy of restructuring the Hotellnvest portfolio and they are fully aligned with our selective asset acquisition criteria; hotels located in key European cities and delivering excellent operating performance in our most profitable market segments,” Accor chairman and chief executive officer Sébastien Bazin said.
Air Arabia, in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration, will organise a road show in India.Earlier, events were held in Delhi and Mumbai to showcase Georgia as a destination to the Indian travel trade besides providing an update on Air Arabia’s flights and services. Members at the programme included Sachin Nene, Air Arabia’s regional manager for India, and George Chogovadze, head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration.“Georgia is still lesser known in the Indian market and we are creating awareness about the destination and its offerings through roadshows and by meeting travel trade in the country,” said Chogovadze.Air Arabia started operating direct services to Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, in October 2014, from its home base of Sharjah. It also flies to 13 cities in India: Jaipur, Kochi, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, Goa, Kozhikode, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Chennai.
By Constantinos PsillidesWORLD Health Organisation (WHO) experts have suggested an across-the-board cut of 8-8.5 per cent on drug prices in Cyprus as part of needed sweeping reforms before a National Health Scheme (NHS) can be effectively implemented.The WHO report, commissioned by the government, was made public yesterday.It highlights not only the high price of branded drugs but also generic ones, the plethora of private pharmacies and their mark-ups, the lack of mechanisms to monitor and control the prescribing behaviour of physicians, and their relationships with pharmaceutical companies.According to the report, in 2011, €106.8 million (50.5%) and €104.5 million (49.5%) were spent in the private sector and public sector, respectively, despite the private sector serving less than 20% of the population.“Per capita spending on drugs in the private sector is among the highest in the world,” said the report, adding that Cypriot generic drug prices were among the highest in Europe. Cyprus and the Czech Republic are the only EU member states that rely on foreign list prices to set domestic generic drug prices. By relying on the list prices instead of transaction prices in other countries, the Cypriot consumer was vastly overpaying for generic drugs.“The private sector prices are high and the burden is borne by patients. This can lead to salient affordability issues and may even deter some patients from seeking pharmacologic treatment,” the WHO said.“Given the current economic climate the decreased purchasing power of the average Cypriot patient, downward pricing changes would ensure more affordable prices for the private sector.”Compounding this, the WHO said that currently, there were no mechanisms in place to monitor and control the prescribing behaviour of physicians. Coupled with brand awareness, this has led physicians to potentially over-prescribe on-patent, expensive products with no fear of financial or non-financial penalties.“It is essential to break any financial relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical manufacturers or the pharmaceutical supply chain,” said the report.There also did not appear to be any limits on promotional activities by manufacturers and distributors or any self-regulating practices (such as a code of practice), potentially incentivising providers to induce demand.“The pharmacy remuneration structure and the absence of generic substitution favour the dispensing of expensive products,” the report said.The report cited data provided by the Pharmaceutical Services, which showed that 81.3 per cent of sales in the private sector, in 2013 (€110.5 million), concerned medicines for which their wholesale price was below €50.Based on current practices, these medicines fall into the broad category of the 37 per cent retail markup added to the wholesale price. “This is one of the highest allowable markups in EU Member States and merits revision,” the report added.In addition to a recommended across-the-board price cut of 8.0-8.5 per cent, the WHO suggested a price reduction between 20-30 per cent to all off-patent originator brands. Generic versions of the off-patent originator brands for which Cypriots are vastly overpaying, should continue to be priced at 80 per cent of the originator prices, it said. “A price decline in the above range will ensure savings to private sector patients and is unlikely to jeopardise supply to the public sector,” said the report.It also recommended changing the basket of countries used in calculating the list price of the medicines and revise the list annually. Improving the perception of generic medicines was also essential as patients are currently sceptical about their value.The report deals indepth with issues such as drug pricing that need to be addressed before the NHS can be implemented. It warns that it will take at least three to four years before the reforms will see results.The issue of consumers being overcharged for drugs, was showcased in the worst possible way two months ago.Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides filed a report saying that the committee in charge of pricing failed to take corrective action when drug prices in Greece rose in 2009, resulting in millions of euros being wasted on overpriced drugs because the committee continued to use Greece as a ‘cheap’ benchmark for drugs prices.Greece was meant to be used as a market sample of cheap drugs, thereby offsetting the more expensive drugs sold in Switzerland. Austria and France, which are also used in the sample.When drug prices in Greece increased between 2009 and 2012, no measures were taken to adjust the formula, leading to allegations that millions of euros were spent on drugs unnecessarily because the committee continued to use Greece as a ‘cheap’ benchmark for drugs prices. The WHO report suggested using two low-priced and one medium-priced countries on the list.Current news also reinforced the experts views about lack of control over doctors. On Saturday, Health Minister Phillipos Patsalis ordered a probe on the prescription practices of a doctor at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics after suspicions arose that he favoured prescribing a drug subsidised by the state, pocketing the subsidy.While the health ministry press office sent the WHO report to the media yesterday, Patsalis did not make any comment on the subject.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
BJPLok Sabha elections 2019Mamata BanerjeeNarendra Modi First Published: April 25, 2019, 3:22 PM IST Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using her gesture of sending ‘kurta’ and ‘sweets’ to him for political mileage. In an interview to Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar on Wednesday, the PM had revealed that Banerjee, one of his harshest critics, still sends him kurtas and Bengali sweets every year. “What’s wrong in sending sweets and kurta? Not only him (Modi), I send gifts to other leaders as well. It’s a political courtesy. At least I am not wishing bad for anyone. But look at him…instead of maintaining the courtesy, he is attacking me every day in public rallies,” Banerjee said at a public rally in Suri area of Birbhum district. She further accused Modi of using her courtesy to pursue his political interests. “Modi is marketing my courtesy for his political interests. I condemned this. He calls me ‘goonda’ (goon). I would like to ask him, if I am a goonda, then who is he? I would like to ask him, who killed Mahatma Gandhi? I would like to remind him about the Gujarat riots. People of this country will teach him a lesson.”Modi, in a candid interview with actor Akshay Kumar, had said: “It may affect me during elections but I can admit that Mamata Banerjee still gifts me kurtas… When Banerjee found out that Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina gifted me Bengali sweets, she also started to send me those.”During a rally on April 20, Modi had said that he misunderstood Banerjee by thinking she is hardworking and always stood for the poor. “You trusted your speed breaker didi (Mamata) but she betrayed you. This is not your fault. Before becoming PM, even I used to think that she is a ‘Sadagi ki Murat’ (idol of simplicity). But after I became the PM, I got to know more about her and today, my head hangs in shame with her anti-people policies in Bengal. I was wrong. It was my mistake (to understand her)”.In retaliation, Banerjee said that the PM is a habitual liar and she is committed to oust his government at the Centre.