200 kilograms of hash found hidden in shipment of chocolate bars in

first_imgHALIFAX – Officials say an attempt to smuggle 200 kilograms of hash by hiding it in chocolate bars was foiled by border officers and an X-ray machine in Halifax.A Mississauga, Ont., man is facing multiple charges after the discovery in a shipping container at the city’s port.The Canada Border Services Agency said 51-year-old Owen Jagasar was charged with drug possession and importation on June 23.The agency says the drugs were concealed in 100 chocolate bars, each containing two kilograms of hidden hashish, and were seized at the port on May 25.The CBSA said its officers, acting on a tip, “noted anomalies in X-ray images while examining a marine container.”The shipment originated in the Netherlands. The CBSA says the goods were destined for Ontario, where the arrest occurred.”This is a significant seizure, and a great example of how our border services officers use a combination of instinct, training and tools to intercept illegal drugs,” Calvin Christiansen, the agency’s Atlantic director-general, said in a statement.Jagasar has been charged with importation of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and two counts of conspiring to commit an indictable offence.last_img read more

Daughter of murdered woman tells inquiry she fears becoming a statistic

first_imgHAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. – An Indigenous Newfoundland woman whose mother was murdered in 2002 says she worries she will also become a statistic.Amena Evans Harlick told her story to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls during a hearing Thursday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.Her mother, Mary Evans Harlick, was just 24 years old when she was strangled to death in 2002. Her body was put in a sleeping bag and left in a crawl space.Harlick said she worries about the day when the man convicted of her mother’s second-degree murder is released.“I don’t like feeling scared. I shouldn’t have to feel scared,” she said.“When I get these feelings of being scared I feel like I’m going to be just another statistic. That’s something that worries me all the time because I don’t want to be another statistic,” Harlick said.Another witness, Sylvia Murphy, told the inquiry how she and seven siblings were abandoned by their mother and sent to an orphanage that later closed.Murphy said they then found themselves in a series of foster homes where she and her sister were abused as young girls.She said her sister was sexually assaulted on a regular basis and was told not to tell anyone.Murphy said they eventually went to police and gave statements, but investigators said charges could not be laid.“There has been no justice for us all this time. When that investigator came back and said, we cannot charge them, I felt my whole world fell,” she said.Murphy also told the inquiry that the federal government is revoking her Indigenous status as a Mi’kmaq, claiming she doesn’t meet the requirements even though she has provided ancestry information.The issue of women losing status has been a common story across the country as a result of changing circumstances including marrying a non-Indigenous man.Rutie Lampe spoke about the death of her daughter, Kimberley Jararuse, who was just 20 when she was killed in an abusive relationship.“She didn’t get a chance to live her life,” Lampe said.She said there needs to be more safe houses where abused women can seek refuge, and more healing sessions for families, even years after suffering the loss of someone to violence.The Labrador hearings concluded with emotional testimony from Benigna Anderson of Nain who got into an abusive relationship at the age of 15 with a man who was seven years older.She spoke of being severely beaten many times, often in front of others who did nothing to intervene.Anderson was with the man for quite a few years, having six of his children, while he continued to drink and beat her.She said police intervened many times, and he was put in custody — each time returning to start the cycle again.“Each time his sentence was reduced because he was aboriginal. I believe this is the number one reason violence is so prevalent in aboriginal communities. People literally get away with murder,” she said.Anderson called on the inquiry to recommend better resources for abused women, and said there needs to be a change in attitude by police.“There is a systematic disrespect for aboriginal people,” she said.At the start of Thursday’s hearing, Johannes Lampe, president of Nunatsiavut Assembly, read a list of missing and murdered women from Labrador.“It is my hope that the concerns of Labrador Inuit will be heard loud and clear by the inquiry commissioners and that those concerns will be given full consideration in the inquiry’s final report,” he said.“In the end we all want justice. We all want the healing to begin. And we all want to move on with our lives.”The federal government set up the inquiry in December 2015 to address the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.The inquiry began its work in September 2016 and have requested a two-year extension which would nearly double its original $54-million budget and push back the due date for its final report to December 2020.So far, close to 800 witnesses have testified at nearly 250 hearings across the country.— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.last_img read more

Sri Lanka blocks social media after Easter Sunday bombings

Sri Lankan authorities flicked the off switch on most social media after Easter Sunday attacks on churches and hotels killed hundreds of people, a dramatic reaction that reflects accumulated distrust in the capability of American internet companies to control harmful content.The block on social media including Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram services was announced by the government’s official news portal, which cited the spread of “false news reports” online. The NetBlocks observatory said it detected an intentional blackout of the popular platforms as well as YouTube, Snapchat and Viber. Twitter appeared unaffected.Officials likely feared that the spread of inflammatory content could provoke more bloodshed in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist-majority island nation that has large Hindu, Muslim and Christian minorities and a long history of ethnic and sectarian conflict. At least 290 people were killed in the bombings.Ivan Sigal, head of the internet and journalism advocacy organization Global Voices, said the country’s rapid action was a “telling moment.”“A few years ago we’d be using these platforms to help each other and co-ordinating assistance. Now we view them as a threat,” he wrote on Twitter.“If I were Facebook and WhatsApp I’d take a moment to ask myself where I’d gone wrong,” he said. “Cannot think of a clearer signal for lack of platform trust.”It wasn’t the first time Sri Lanka has blocked social media. The government imposed a weeklong ban in March 2018 because of concerns that WhatsApp and other platforms were being used to fan anti-Muslim violence in the country’s central region.Facebook is increasingly in the crosshairs of regulators, rights groups and the public as it tries to balance what CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called “giving people a voice” and demands for censorship of hate speech and other harmful content posted on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.It faced intense criticism after the right-wing extremist who attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, killing 50 people, live-streamed the massacre on Facebook. The U.N. in a report last year blamed the social media company for the spread of hate speech in Myanmar that dehumanized Rohingya Muslims and contributed to persecution that caused hundreds of thousands to flee the country.In the past, blocking social media would have been seen as “outrageous censorship,” Sigal said, highlighting the shift in attitude to social media sites. “Now we think of it as essential duty of care, to protect ourselves from threat.”Sri Lanka’s government said the shutdown would extend until it concludes its investigation into the bomb blasts that rocked churches, luxury hotels and other sites.NetBlocks, however, said post-attack blackouts can be ineffective.“What we’ve seen is that when social media is shut down, it creates a vacuum of information that’s readily exploited by other parties,” said Alp Toker, executive director of the London-based group. “It can add to the sense of fear and can cause panic.”“That’s going to be a problem for people trying to communicate with friends and family,” Toker said.Some internet users are circumventing the social media blocks by using a virtual private network, which masks the location of a computer, Toker said.An analysis by Sri Lankan researcher and author Yudhanjaya Wijeratne of thousands of Facebook posts made during last year’s ban found that many Sri Lankans simply found ways around it.Wijeratne has recommended narrower and more “technically challenging” approaches to curbing hate speech, such as better detection and strengthening local laws.Facebook said it was aware of the Sri Lankan government’s statement.“People rely on our services to communicate with their loved ones and we are committed to maintaining our services and helping the community and the country during this tragic time,” the company said.Matt O’Brien And Stephen Wright, The Associated Press read more

Ivanhoe Cambridge snaps up two Chicago office buildings in US360M deal

MONTREAL — Ivanhoe Cambridge has acquired twin office buildings in Chicago in a US$360-million deal that furthers its plans to establish a strong presence in that city’s business district.The 21-storey twin buildings occupy two full city blocks at 10 and 120 South Riverside Plaza, in Chicago’s West Loop. They add 130,000 square metres of office space to the company’s portfolio.The purchase comes 18 months after Ivanhoe Cambridge — the main real estate subsidiary of Quebec’s largest pension fund manager — began construction on another development project, the River Point Tower, in the same area.“Chicago is one of the key U.S. cities we’ve set our sights on in order to build a solid national high-quality office building platform,” said Adam Adamakakis, executive vice president of U.S. Investments for Ivanhoe Cambridge.Ivanhoe Cambridge has assets in more than 20 countries valued at more than $35-billion through its various subsidiaries. It’s a subsidary of the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec.The Canadian Press read more

Stormravaged Dominica in urgent need of food and water finds UN assessment

“There is a big, big urgency to get water and food,” said Sergio Da Silva, UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team leader, who spoke to reporters in New York by phone from the ground, adding that inaccessibility to remote areas has made it difficult to ascertain just how many people have been affected.“And when you fly over, you see all the trees are down…debris everywhere and people are homeless,” he added. Created in 1993, UNDAC is designed to help the UN and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency. Maria made landfall on the tiny island of 72,000 on the evening of 18 September, with maximum sustained winds of nearly 160 miles per hour.Mr. Silva said he has been in Dominica since Thursday, assisting in the coordination of incoming international relief.Along with food and shelter, getting clean water is a priority, he said, as water in the river is not consumable. Work is also under way to restore hospitals.Delivering humanitarian aid to remote villages remains a huge challenge as many roads were destroyed. read more

Football Ohio State defense uses momentum to survive in Penn State

Ohio State redshirt junior defensive lineman Dre’mont Jones (86) sets up at the line of scrimmage in the third quarter of the game against Penn State on Sept. 29. Ohio State won 27-26. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorIn No. 4 Ohio State’s 27-26 victory over No. 9 Penn State, there were many moments throughout the game that pushed the defense to its limit.The first three drives of the game all went into Ohio State territory. The fifth drive started at the Ohio State 28-yard line. Redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley found redshirt freshman wide receiver KJ Hamler for a 93-yard score, tied for the longest play against Ohio State in school history.But the Buckeyes slowed McSorley and the Nittany Lions offense just enough to pull out the one-point victory in Happy Valley.Junior defensive end Jonathon Cooper said it’s all part of the game.“We’re tough, our mentality is tough,” Cooper said. “There’s going to be mistakes, you can’t play a perfect game, I mean there’s going to be big plays and everything, it’s just rallying together as a team, as a unit, and realizing that we have to get the job done and just do better.”That is exactly what this Ohio State defense did late in the fourth quarter to slow down the Penn State offense enough to earn the victory.After forcing a fourth down on Penn State’s final drive, sophomore defensive end Chase Young made the game-winning play, breaking through the offensive line and getting to junior running back Miles Sanders in the backfield to seal the game.The Buckeyes defense did much of the same to start the game.While Ohio State’s offense struggled to get anything going in the first half, the defense allowed only six points on Penn State’s first six drives, even with the Nittany Lions getting into Buckeye territory on four of them.The defense also was the major cause of the Buckeyes’ first score, a 26-yard catch by redshirt sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins, made possible by a forced fumble from redshirt sophomore linebacker Tuf Borland recovered by redshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones.Cooper said it was the defense’s job to step up early on.“You know the saying, defense wins championships,” Cooper said. “Every time something would go wrong or anything would happen on offense or whatever it was, we knew the defense would have to step up.”Even with the victory and some key stops, this was not a textbook game for Ohio State’s defense.The Buckeyes allowed 492 total yards, 461 of which came from McSorley, who broke the Penn State record for all-purpose yards on Saturday.The redshirt senior used a run-pass option to find holes in the defense on numerous occasions, ending the day with 175 yards on the ground.But, when it mattered the most, Ohio State found the stops, kept Penn State out of a scoring position and came up with the victory.Jones said the defense fed on big plays by the offense late.“We feed off their energy and they feed off ours, when someone makes a big play it’s hard not to want to go out there and respond,” Jones said.For a defense still looking for answers without redshirt junior defensive end Nick Bosa, there are sure to be mistakes. But even without its star player, Ohio State’s defense did just enough to pull out a major victory against the No. 9 team in the country. read more

Former Oxford student unlikely to face third rape trial after another jury

first_imgA former Oxford University PhD student who was accused of raping a woman before texting to say sorry has walked free after a jury failed to reach verdict for a second time. Statistician Sherman Ip, 25, was said to have forced the woman down on to his bed and pulled off her clothes before launching the attack on 14 May 2013.But Ip told jurors “she consented” and says he thought “everything was normal” when they had sex at her parent’s house the following day.The woman, who cannot be identified, claimed she fled Ip’s flat in tears after he forced her onto his bed, pulled her clothes off, and raped her. Sherman Ip attended OxfordCredit:Central News Sherman Ip Southwark Crown Court heard she sent Ip a private Facebook message saying what happened was ‘semi-rape’ and pressed charges in October 2014 after receiving a text from him saying: “I am really sorry for raping you.”But Ip told jurors he sent the apology because:”I wanted to get [her] back and I would do anything to get back with her.”Two juries have now failed to reach a verdict on a single charge of rape at Southwark Crown Court.Ip is unlikely to face a third trial but prosecutors are expected to make a final decision within a week.He has a masters degree in Physics from University College London and in 2015 moved to Oxford University for the first year of his PhD as part of the Oxford Warwick Statistics Programme.Ip, who is now studying at Warwick, told the court the woman came to his flat in Euston Square, because she “wanted to talk” on 14 May 2013, but they ended up having consensual sex.center_img 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. Ip said: “She said ‘let’s have sex’ and then she sat on the bed, laid on the bed.”Prosecutor David Povall asked: “And this was all, the two of you had sex and everything was alright was it?'”Everything was normal,” replied Ip.He said the woman became jealous when he told her about his relationship with another girl.Ip said they talked about it before having sex at her parent’s house on 15 May 2013.Mr Povall said: “I suggest that your reason for doing that is to try to say that she was lying about being raped the day before.”Ip replied: “I wouldn’t have made up that event on the 15th…she wanted to have sex with me.”Ip, of Burcot Gardens, Maidenhead, Berkshire, denies rape.last_img read more

Russian TV reporter looks for conspiracies everywhere in Salisbury Hospital but finds

first_imgIt’s safe to say that the jobs of the three JBs – James Bond, Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne – are safe. Carrie from Homeland won’t be losing any sleep. Even Austin Powers and Johnny English can rest easy in their beds. The REN TV report is the worst piece of investigative sleuthing I’ve seen on-screen since I last watched Danger Mouse with my children. Only not nearly as much fun. A Russian TV crew was caught roaming corridors at the hospital treating poisoned spy Sergei Skripal, seeking evidence of a cover-up. They prowled around for 15 minutes before being thrown out by security – and their resultant four-minute report is laughably inept.center_img An icy news anchor – sporting a Ron Burgundy-esque red…last_img read more

Appeals for help after toddler Estlin Wall 3 dies in car crash

first_img Short URL This is my brother Vinnie and his family. We are all devastated. He is pure kindness. Please have a read and RT. https://t.co/KJpCckhwW2— Steve Wall (@stevethewall) March 19, 2017 Young Estlin Wall died last night after Wednesday’s crash. Image: ifundraise.ie Source: Steve Wall/Twitter 11 Comments “It’s a tragedy beyond belief and we are all in bits.,” Steve Wall wrote on his Facebook page.“The details of Estlin’s funeral in Ennistymon will be on RIP.ie soon. Please don’t send any flowers, but consider donating something, no matter how small, to this fund set up by the community of Ennistymon to help Amy and Vinnie through the difficult times ahead and Vincent’s rehabilitation.”The fundraising page says that: “Vinnie’s recovery will be a long road and it’s impossible to tell how his long-term condition will be.”Read: Cyclist dies after being knocked down near Phoenix Park in Dublin >Read: Man in his 70s announced dead at scene is revived in hospital after four-car crash in Dublin > 76,709 Views http://jrnl.ie/3295884 Sunday 19 Mar 2017, 4:21 PM Young Estlin Wall died last night after Wednesday’s crash. A FUNDRAISING PAGE has been set up for the family of a three-year-old girl who died after a car crash that happened when her father was bringing her to a local creche.Estlin Wall died after she sustained brain injuries in the crash that happened on the N85 Ennis to Ennistymon road near Inagh in Co Clare.The toddler was airlifted to Dublin due to the severity of her injuries and was on life-support until last night when it was switched off, allowing the child to die in her mother’s arms.The child’s father Vincent Wall also suffered severe brain trauma in the crash and he remains unconscious in another Dublin hospital.The fundraising page says the Estlin’s mother Amy only recently gave birth to another child, 12-week-old baby Mannix:On top of all this Amy is nursing their 12-week old baby Mannix. Her family, the Dutil’s, have arrived from the US and the Wall family have also gathered in Dublin where they’ve been supported by some of Vinnie and Amy’s close friends who have traveled from all over. Everyone is devastated and in a complete state of shock. Amy requested that Estlin’s organs be donated and that procedure took place immediately after she passed away.Actor and The Stunning musician Steven Wall is Vincent’s brother and he has today shared the fundraising page saying the family is “devastated” by what happened. Appeals for help after toddler Estlin Wall (3) dies in car crash and her father fights for his life The crash happened in Co. Clare on Wednesday. Share Tweet Email5 Mar 19th 2017, 4:21 PM Image: ifundraise.ie By Rónán Duffy Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Record number of tourists expected in Greece for 2017 but competition remains

first_imgJust a few days ago, the Greek National Tourism Organization announced that a record-breaking 30 million international visitors are expected in Greece for 2017, two million more than last year. As reported earlier in the year by the World Tourism Organization, in the last two years Greece’s touristic growth has nearly doubled the global average of 3.9 per cent; creating jobs, supporting existing employment, and offering a vital transfusion in the country’s ailing GDP. While Greece has always been a popular and attractive holiday destination, accolades such as the inclusion of Athens in the New York Times’ ’52 Places To Go in 2017′ article, a number of new direct flights with some of the world’s biggest airlines and an increased focus in innovative travel segmentation has paid dividends for the extension of the travel season and the emergence of new markets, the biggest one being China. According to a recent article by The Economist, travel experts are predicting 40 million arrivals nationwide by the year 2022; for 2017 Greece is expecting a large flow of British, German, and Russian tourists, although various reports from the tourism industry suggest that, on average, tourists are staying fewer nights and spending far less than ten years ago. It is an area that needs addressing.But Greece is not the only game in (the southern Europe) town. A host of other countries are also relying on tourism to give a helping hand to their struggling economies and we must be prepared. So how do we fare against the competition from the five most formidable tourist foes?Turkey A series of terrorist attacks and domestic political turmoil has taken its toll on Turkey’s previously booming tourism sector. With the growing network of the national air carrier, infrastructure development, and an easy entry to the country – only three per cent of foreign visitors need visas – Turkey immediately grew into one of the most popular destinations in the world for the first half of the decade. But after the events of 2016, the country’s tourism has yet to recover. Foreign arrivals for the first three months of 2017 fell to 3.8 million, down 6.4 per cent from the same period last year. Citizens from Western Europe appear very hesitant to visit a country that is widely characterised as ‘not safe’, with Turkey depending on arrivals mostly from countries like Iran, Georgia, or Bulgaria to avoid a further tourist nosedive. Since Ankara and Moscow repaired diplomatic relations, Russian arrivals have shown signs of life, but the future doesn’t look bright for a country where tourism accounts for 13 per cent of the national GDP and helps support eight per cent of all jobs.Spain In 2016 Spain shattered every tourism record with 75 million foreign arrivals forking out a total of €77 billion (AUD$113 billion). The lion’s share of foreign visitors came from the UK (17 million in a Brexit year), France, and Germany. In terms of the most popular regions, Barcelona held the top spot, with the Balearic and Canary Islands also scoring huge numbers. State officials voiced their satisfaction for 2016 results, but underscored the need to create an economic policy to consolidate what the World Economic Forum called ‘the most competitive sector in the world’. The low-cost ‘sand and sun’ model isn’t sustainable, so every hand on deck is working tirelessly in an effort to bring more tourists, higher hotel prices and improved services. Whether they will break the arrivals record for the eighth year in a row remains to be seen.Italy Italy is an historically desirable holiday destination and arrivals in 2017 have already seen a strong gain from last year. The country has rolled out the carpet in order to attract tourists mainly from China and Russia in the last two years, as the country represents the second-most important destination for tax-free shopping in all of Europe. April saw a 57 per cent increase in sales of this fashion (sic), with the country targeting more tourists from the US, Japan, and Taiwan to boost this profitable ‘visit and shop’ combination. For the fifth-most visited country in the world, one that boasts rich culture, history, countless world heritage sites and a beautiful landscape, it is a sign that you can never rest on your laurels and wait for the tourist hordes to just appear.Croatia In 2012 Croatia had 11.8 million tourist visitors; in 2016 the number rose to 16.6 million arrivals and with 300,000 foreigners visiting the country in the first weekend of June alone Croatia is set for a record-breaking year as well. Croatia is a very popular destination for Austrians, Germans, and Italians due to its close proximity. In 2015 the Croatian Ministry of Tourism launched an ambitious campaign that through large investments and the development of special forms of tourism (mostly in the health, business and nautical sectors) would raise the figures to 93 million overnight stays by the year 2020. All indications suggest that they will reach their landmark three years earlier. Portugal Portugal saw an extraordinary 13 per cent rise in foreign visitors for 2016 from the previous year, exceeding the 10 million mark for the first time and helping the recovery of a still fragile economy. Like Greece, Portugal is considered one of the world’s safest destinations and has profited from security concerns in Turkey, North Africa, and even France. The country lures tourists with some of the most competitive holiday packages in Western Europe, but despite the redevelopment of many apartment buildings and the opening of 100 four- and five-star hotels in the last two years, the infrastructure leaves much to be desired. For now. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

IGT dips toe into social gaming

first_img IGT announces offering of €500,000,000 senior secured notes Global gaming product sales push IGT to 5% growth in 2Q19 Marriage proposal provides unexpected highlight at third Macau After Dark RelatedPostscenter_img Load More Global gaming giant IGT is making its first major foray into social casino gaming after signing a patent cross-license agreement with FlowPlay, Inc, a developer and publisher of community-based online social games.Under the agreement, FlowPlay can develop games including patented game features from the IGT portfolio and will pay ongoing licensing fees to IGT.“We are excited to expand our game feature patent licensing efforts to online social casino game development with FlowPlay,” said Renato Ascoli, IGT CEO North America.“FlowPlay offers more than 45 different casino-style games already and this agreement helps to ensure that even more of the authenticity and excitement of land-based casino gaming extends to players in the online social space.”Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay, added, “We are excited to become a member of the game features patent pool managed by IGT. Licensing these game features patents will help FlowPlay build on our legacy of success offering massively multiplayer online (MMO) games and free-to-play social casino titles such as Vegas World.“Partnering with industry leader IGT provides us with a phenomenal selection of patents that we can leverage to expand our scope of development and suite of online social games to ultimately reach new audiences.”The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.last_img read more

68 favour initial tax relief on pensions

first_imgMore than two-thirds (68%) of respondents are in favour of retaining some level of initial tax relief for pension contributions, according to research by Jelf Employee Benefits.The 2015/16 Jelf Employee Benefits survey found that, from an employer perspective, 27% of respondents do not want to see any change to the current tax system for pensions.The survey also found that:Less than a quarter (24%) would like an individual savings account (Isa)-style tax system for pensions.29% are in favour of one level of tax relief for all savers.40% of respondents would like a minimum of two years to adapt their pensions approach and run employee communication initiatives ahead of any changes to pensions tax relief.Around a third (36%) would like at least 12 months to adjust and prepare for any changes that may arise from the government’s consultation into pensions tax relief, while 12% say the ideal period of time would be a minimum of three years.Steve Herbert (pictured), head of benefits strategy at Jelf Employee Benefits, said: “Employers have had pension duties forced upon them by successive governments, so it is only right that their voice should be heard on this really important issue. And the message is clear; employers want to retain some form of initial tax relief to encourage pension savings by their employees.“The employers we questioned have been under increasing and unrealistic time pressures with regard to recent changes to pension legislation, so it’s to be hoped that governments listen to this call for adequate planning and implementation time should any major changes arise from this consultation.”Financial educationThe research also found:91% of respondents do not believe staff are fully aware of the financial implications of changes to benefits, such as childcare support and pensions.93% think changes to benefits necessitate the provision of financial education in the workplace.Just over a third (35%) do not provide employees any assistance with financial education.37% of respondents offer financial education support on a case-by-case basis.Jo Thresher, head of money at work at Jelf Employee Benefits, said: “Money worries are severely detrimental to a person’s wellbeing and can permeate every area of their life, including, of course, their work.“Productivity can be much lower for people with money worries, so it makes economic sense for employers to offer assistance where they can.”Engagement with Fit for WorkAbsence management is also a key issue among respondents.27% of respondents signpost employees that are absent from work towards Fit for Work where GPs have not provided a referral to the service. A further 42% do so on a case-by-case basis.22% of respondents would use their bespoke occupational health scheme for such referrals.Almost half (45%) of respondents plan to communicate the Fit for Work service to staff over the next 12 months.Herbert added: “Our figures suggest that many more absent employees will now benefit from an assessment by an occupational health professional either via Fit for Work, or a more bespoke employer-sponsored occupational health arrangement. This can only be a good thing for all concerned.”last_img read more

Supreme Court to hear Pimlico Plumbers employment status case

first_imgThe Supreme Court is to review a Court of Appeal decision today (Tuesday 20 February 2018), which ruled that former plumber Gary Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers as a worker rather than as a self-employed contractor, entitling him to employment rights such as access to reasonable adjustments and holiday pay.The case, Pimlico Plumbers and Charlie Mullins v Gary Smith, was originally brought by Smith to the Employment Tribunal (ET) in 2012, where he argued that he was wrongfully dismissed by Pimlico Plumbers in May 2011 after he suffered a heart attack in January 2011. He had worked for the plumbing organisation for six years from August 2005.The ET ruled that Smith was a worker rather than a self-employed contractor due to the measures laid out in an employment agreement between Smith and Pimlico Plumbers. The employment agreement was first issued in 2005 and then updated in 2009.Although Smith had some degree of flexibility over the hours he worked and was treated as self-employed for tax and VAT purposes, the 2005 and 2009 employment agreements required Smith to wear a uniform and drive a hired van carrying Pimlico Plumbers’ logo and work a five-day working week consisting of a minimum of 40 hours. Smith would also have to liaise with Pimlico Plumbers regarding any annual leave or time off.Pimlico Plumbers appealed the ET’s ruling, and Smith cross-appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). Both were dismissed.The case was then taken to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the ET’s decision in February 2017. It found that Smith was a worker because he provided work personally for Pimlico Plumbers, was obliged to work a set number of hours on agreed days, and that there was a high degree of restriction on Smith’s ability to work in a competitive situation, suggesting that he was not in business on his own account.Pimlico Plumbers was granted permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s judgement in August 2017 to bring the case to the Supreme Court for review. The organisation does not expect a verdict to be issued until the end of 2018.Charlie Mullins OBE, chief executive officer at Pimlico Plumbers, said: “This case is not like Uber and the other ‘gig-economy’ cases. The engineers who contract to Pimlico Plumbers are very highly skilled individuals, can go anywhere and do whatever they want. They earn six-figures when they work with our customers, which is why they are so keen to do it. It is also true that engineers can choose when they want to work. They do not have to make themselves available to Pimlico Plumbers, and can take time off whenever they want.“As [an organisation], Pimlico Plumbers wants to comply with its obligations and it has always been our genuine belief that we have been doing that. [HM Revenue and Customs] has looked into the situation in the past and told us that engineers are self-employed. We have been operating in accordance with that.“Employment law in the UK is very unclear, and hopefully we can all get some clarity from the Supreme Court on this situation, which will have huge implications for many industries, including plumbing and construction.“The UK is going through a huge cultural change in how people work, and how they are paid, and what we need more than anything else this week is a ruling that takes into account what is happening on the building sites, offices, press rooms and hospital wards of the 21st century, not one that harks back to the 1950s.”Alan Lewis, employment partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The outcome of the case could be significant and if it rules against Pimlico it will mean that the plumbers will be entitled to basic workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and paid holiday. They will also be able to bring discrimination claims.“It could have wider repercussions too. It is estimated that as many as five million people work in the gig economy, getting paid for ‘gigs’ they do, such as delivering food, packages or making car journeys.“One implication of the acquisition of workers’ rights could well be a threat to the economic viability of the gig economy model.  If national minimum wages, rest breaks and holiday pay leads to an inevitable increase in the overheads of engaging people to work, prices for the consumer will increase. That could reach a level where demand for the services tails off and a sector that created the ability for millions of individuals to work flexibly shrinks or even disappears.”Seb Maley, chief executive officer at Qdos Contractor, added: “Following recent Uber and Deliveroo verdicts, the Pimlico Plumber case is yet another example of why employment status legislation must be simplified. With the lines currently blurred, it makes it incredibly confusing for the growing number of self-employed and gig economy workers to know where they stand with regards to employment rights.“Recent changes to IR35 in the public sector also strengthens the argument for a simplification of the rules, given that it is clients who now decide a worker’s employment status for tax reasons. With the prospect of IR35 reform reaching the private sector as early as April 2019, the need for clear legislation defining the differences between a self-employed worker and employee have never been greater.”last_img read more

Playboy Sues ECommerce Manager

first_imgA Playboy spokesperson declined comment, saying that the company does not discuss pending litigation.But in the court documents, Playboy said that its e-commerce and catalog division generated $17 million in sales in 2007; under eFashion’s management, the revenue projection was between $4 million and $5 million.While Playboy’s fastest-growing and most profitable segment is its licensing business, Flanders told FOLIO: in a recent Q+A, the loss of eFashion as manager of Playboy’s Bunny Shop “will irreparably harm Playboy, forcing Playboy to shut down its e-commerce and catalog business,” the suit said.In its Q1 2008 earnings call transcript, Playboy CFO and EVP Linda Havard said that the company’s operating results “included nearly $600,000 in restructuring charges primarily related to the outsourcing of our e-commerce business to eFashion Solutions” and that Playboy did “not expect additional charges related to this deal.” Playboy.com has filed a lawsuit again its e-commerce management company, N.J.-based eFashion Solutions, for a breach in contract.According to documents filed last week obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business, Playboy hired eFashion in January 2008 to manage, plan, market and fulfill orders for its online and catalog sales. The online and catalog operations were transferred to eFashion by March 2008, the suit said.Playboy now says that eFashion Solutions is attempting break its contract, and is petitioning to have eFashion pay damages and honor its business agreement until Playboy finds a suitable replacement company.eFashion wanted to end this business relationship on July 1—the same day Scott Flanders will ascend to his Playboy post as chief executive—claiming that it was Playboy, in fact, that breached the contract terms.last_img read more

RCB captain Virat Kohli scares players in dressing room Rishabh Pants shock

first_img Watch: Virat Kohli takes rare wicket during practice match Virat Kohli has been the centre of everyone’s attention leading up to the Indian Premier League because of his statements on resting players ahead of the World Cup but thanks to Rishabh Pant, the Indian captain is making headlines for his anger.Kohli is well known for his expressive nature on the cricket field and although he has toned down his boisterous celebrations with the bat in hand, while fielding he still remains his exuberant self. From celebrating the fall of opposition wickets with more verve than the bowler himself to expressions of disappointment when things are not going his team’s way – one glance at Kohli is enough to know about the match situation.Kohli’s immense passion and commitment to winning bring out his emotions and young wicketkeeper Pant referenced that while answering a rapid-fire question for his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals. In the video, Pant was asked to mention a member of the Indian team he is scared of and the 21-year-old said that he is not scared of any player but the Indian captain’s anger frightens him. Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant.JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images”I am not scared of anyone really. It’s a fun atmosphere,” Pant answered when he was asked who he was scared of in the Indian team. But when the question was tweaked to whose anger scares him, Pant said, “Virat bhaiyya ka gusse se darr lagta hai. But agar aap sab kuchh thik kar rahe ho toh gussa kyun karenge bhaiyya, but generally agar aap koi galti karte ho toh koi gussa karta hai toh achchhi baat hai kyunki aap sikhte ho usse. So wo achchha positive hai.”Pant’s statement roughly translates to English as thus – I am scared of Virat Kohli’s anger. But if you are doing everything correctly, why will he be angry and if you have done something wrong, the anger is justified because you learn from your mistakes. So that’s a positive.The rapid fire also threw light on the fact that Pant has got Kohli’s number when it comes to playing the popular football video game FIFA. The host of the show spoke about it and Pant did not deny it but appeared coy saying, “Do you want to get me in trouble?”Pant also made other revelations and said that he would love to have faced Shane Warne in his career once but the legendary leg-spinner had already retired from international and IPL cricket by the time Pant came onto the scene. Talking about his favourite hangout spot in Delhi, Pant said that he does not go anywhere specifically but loves shopping and immediately purchases whatever he likes. Pant scored a blistering century against Australia in Sydney. Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesPant was also asked what he did with his first paycheque, to which he said that he gave it to his mother and later bought a cricket bat with it. Concluding the video, the Delhi Capitals wicketkeeper said he wishes that Viv Richards was still playing cricket as he had heard a lot about the West Indies legend.Pant will next be seen in action when he walks out in a Delhi Capitals jersey at the Wankhede Stadium against Mumbai Indians on March 24.center_img Closelast_img read more

South By Swipe Left How Dating App Behavior Changes During SXSW

first_imgANDREA GARCIA FOR KUTAlberto Orozco probably won’t open his dating apps during SXSW.“I feel like SXSW is a little harder, if you’re looking for stability,” said Orozco, 30. “I think it’s a time when people are looking for a fling. … If that’s what you’re looking for, I think South By is a good opportunity – kind of like going to Vegas.”Orozco, who said he’s not interested in a fling, attended a SXSW party last weekend hosted by Austin-based dating app Bumble. Most of the Austin locals there said they typically shun all dating apps when thousands of people flood into the city for the weeks-long festival.CREDIT ANDREA GARCIA FOR KUTJill Dretzka (left) and Vanessa Naccara at the Bumble Empowering Connections event last weekend.Jill Dretzka, 29, said the SXSW blackout of dating apps fell under a general rule she has: Avoid matching with out-of-towners.“I don’t swipe on the weekends,” she said. “The bachelor parties descend on Thursday afternoon and they don’t leave until Sunday night, Monday morning. And since I’m actually looking to date someone who lives here, swiping on the weekends seems counterproductive, and so I don’t swipe during South By either.”‘Playing It By Ear’Dretzka and others said they’re less interested in online dating during SXSW. It’s often hard to discern a visitor from a local. You may not know whether you’re getting fling or a long-term match.Data from Bumble supports this anecdotal disinterest. According to the company, the number of people in Austin using Bumble Bizz, the company’s professional networking platform, increased by 120 percent last weekend, the first weekend of SXSW. But it’s dating platform, Bumble Date, saw only an increase of 6 percent during the same time. The number of people using Bumble BFF, where you can match with potential friends, rose 38 percent.CREDIT AUDREY MCGLINCHY / KUT Share Justin Sanchez, 29, is a copywriter in Chicago. I matched with him on the dating app Tinder. (I wanted to meet some of these dating out-of-towners, so I swiped – for work.) In his profile, he’d written, “In town from Chicago!” Others did the same – changing their profiles to make it clear they were just passing through Austin for the festival.Sanchez said doing so sets expectations.“You’re like, ‘OK, cool, this is a two-day weekend person I’m going to hang out with. Let’s see how this goes,’” he said.Sanchez said he often uses dating apps while he’s traveling to meet locals who are willing to show him around. (He’s done this while traveling internationally, as well, in Seoul and Hong Kong.)He talked to a few people on Tinder in Austin, but he said their schedules never synced up. When traveling and swiping, his intentions are neither solely romantic nor solely friendly; he keeps an open mind.“I think with dating and just meeting people in general you just should be playing it by ear,” he said.But Sanchez said he gets why locals might stay off their dating apps during the festival.“A lot of people avoid online dating during South By because they’re like, ‘There’s just a bunch of jabronis hanging out in Austin not really sticking around or not really being clear about their intentions and who they are.’”South By South PerksIf there’s one thing Austinites are good at during SXSW, it’s getting things for free. And, sometimes, dating apps can facilitate those exchanges, like Tinder did for a friend of mine, Allie Diamond, when she was living in Austin during SXSW 2015.In a few months, she was moving to California for a PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley. So, she figured she’d use Tinder to meet people in Austin from Northern California ahead of her move.“I could match with people now who happen to live in Oakland and then if we go on a date and it’s fun I could start dating them when I move there,” Allie said. “Or just to have friends who lived there who could show me around when I got to the Bay Area.”She matched with a guy from San Francisco who we’ll call Nick. He worked for Spotify and offered to get us into the Spotify House where a couple bands were playing.“He got us in the back and gave us little wrist things,” Allie said. “It was awesome.”When she went to California a couple weeks later to hunt for housing, she messaged Nick and he asked her out to dinner.“We went on a date,” Allie said. “It was horrible.”Apparently, Nick already felt very comfortable around her – too comfortable for her liking.“He farted and then like laughed more than once during the date, and I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” she said, confused by how quickly his behavior had changed. “He was totally charming in Austin.”During SXSW, there had been sunshine, alcohol and good music. Plus, they’d both met outside of their daily responsibilities – he’d been traveling and she’d taken the day off work to hang out.While the relationship with Nick didn’t work out, Allie did, eventually, find success on Tinder.“I am getting married to someone, to the most amazing human I’ve ever met.”last_img read more

Real time webcams show sargassum updates on Cancun Riviera Maya beaches

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — Although the sargasso has not been a factor in travel decisions for its clients, Best Day says there are live webcams for beaches in Cancun and Riviera Maya to show real time sargasso updates.Julián Balbuena, president of the Board of Directors of Best Day Travel Group says that to date, the sargasso has not been a differential factor in the purchasing decisions of its customers. However, to help them see the real day-to-day situation of the beaches that they want to visit, there are real time cameras in popular areas.Balbuena said that the sargassum is being attended to, and although it requires constant work, to date its presence is not a differential factor in the vacation decision, nor a topic that the call center says is of major concern for its travelers.He explained that for those who do want to see a specific beach or area before making a booking, Webcams de Mexico offers real time video of beaches and cities all over the country. For those considering a vacation, they can check the beach first before making a decision.“We have just begun the low season period, but we had a growth rate of 12 percent compared to 2017. We are progressing with respect to reservations toward the end of the year by 17 percent and now, we are at 75 percent,” he said regarding his figures so far this year.He says there were less US visitors this year, which he saw reflected in his receptive business model, explaining, that while the figure for US visitors “has not grown, it is sustained without detecting a decline while other sectors grew at small rates.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

TICO announces election results following AGM

first_img Travelweek Group Thursday, June 22, 2017 Share Posted by TORONTO — Following TICO’s Annual General Meeting held in Mississauga on June 20, TICO’s Board of Directors has named Richard Vanderlubbe as Vice Chair of the Board.Vanderlubbe is the president and co-founder of tripcentral.ca with 27 locations in Ontario. The Vice Chair appointment is for one year until TICO’s next AGM, to be held in 2018.In addition, Marc Patry, Director of CNH Tours in Ottawa was named the successful candidate elected by the industry at large to serve a three-year term on the TICO Board of Directors. The position was open to a retail registrant. Patry replaces Paul Samuel of Overseas Travel Division at Vision Travel Solutions in Toronto.The Board also welcomes Jim Diebel, President of Hanover Holidays in Hanover, Ontario as the OMCA representative. Diebel will replace Ray DeNure of DeNure Tours in Lindsay, Ont.center_img Tags: TICO TICO announces election results following AGM << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Costa Rica is still the happiest country in the world

first_imgNo related posts. A new report released Thursday finds that Costa Rica and Vietnam are the ‘happiest’ countries in the world based upon the health and happiness produced per unit of environmental output.These findings come from the Happy Planet Index compiled by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) which ranks 151 countries around the world based upon their “efficiency [and] how many long and happy lives each country produces per unit of environmental output.”The Happy Planet Index rank is based upon global data of life expectancy, happiness and environmental sustainability and is calculated as follows (Experienced well-being X Life expectancy) / Ecological Footprint. The data for well-being is taken from the Gallup World Poll, ‘life expectancy’ is based upon the 2011 United Nations Human Development Report and ‘ecological footprint’ is calculated from data provided by the WWF.For Costa Rica, this is the second year in a row at top of the list. The list seems to have be slanted toward Central America countries. Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua all made the list. El Salvador, ranked 5th, has the second highest murder rate in the world. Typically the report found that high-income countries, such as the UK (ranked 41st) and the US (ranked 105th), received a low overall score due to the large per-capita ecological footprint. Norway placed in 29th position while Japan came in 45th. The unhappiest places in the world were Botswana, Chad and Qatar.According to the Happy Planet Index the top ten ‘happiest countries’ are:01. Costa Rica02. Vietnam03. Colombia04. Belize05. El Salvador06. Jamaica07. Panama08. Nicaragua09. Venezuela10. Guatemala Facebook Commentslast_img read more

No regrets about quitting campaign says Costa Ricas ruling party candidate Johnny

first_imgThe National Liberation Party’s (PLN) “non-candidate,” Johnny Araya, left his home in Rohrmoser, a wealthy neighborhood west of San José, at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to begin Costa Rica’s second-round Election Day.Surrounded by a throng of journalists, Araya said he has no regrets about his decision to stop campaigning in early March due to overwhelming odds against his victory and a shortage of campaign funds.  The former San José mayor said his decision would help improve unity within his struggling political party, which has dominated Costa Rican politics for half a century.Araya then accompanied running mate Silvia Lara, who voted in the southwestern San José suburb of Escazú. Despite the odds stacked against him, Araya remained upbeat: “We’ve received several messages from across the country reporting that party members are present at all polling centers, despite our lack of financial resources. I want to thank all of them.”He then took advantage of the media exposure to address his followers, saying, “I call on all Costa Ricans to cast their votes, and I particularly call on liberacionistas to collaborate by lending us cars to mobilize voters.”Araya arrived a short while later at Carlos Sanabria elementary school in the western district of Pavas, where journalists continued asking him about his chances of winning.“I hope that Costa Ricans pay attention to the call for national unity that I made, and I hope they understand that ours is the best proposal for Costa Rica. As of 6 p.m., I will be ready to serve the country, either as president or as a citizen,” Araya said shortly before casting his vote at polling center number 200.“If the PLN becomes the opposition party, I will try to help however I can, and I will try to exercise responsible leadership in the party,” Araya added. “I will not act like other opposition parties that devote their time to blocking the current administration in an attempt to promote failure, starting on the first day of the term.”Araya said he did not plan on attending other public activities the rest of the afternoon, and he said he would stay in contact with party members in all provinces via social media networks.The candidate is scheduled to arrive at 6 p.m. at PLN headquarters, known as the “Balcón Verde,” near La Sabana Park in western San José. There he will wait for the first results issued by the Supreme Elections Tribunal, beginning at 8 p.m.Araya, who governed Costa Rica’s capital for more than two decades before running for president, said he has no speech prepared for tonight, hoping his words – either in victory or defeat – “will come from the heart.”Before leaving Carlos Sanabria school, Araya, whose brother Rolando unsuccessfully ran for president 12 years ago, insisted the PLN is not fledgling: “Our party has 63 years of history, and I personally will work for its renovation, as it is now clear that a generational renovation is needed.” Facebook Comments Related posts:What keeps Johnny Araya awake at night? The real communist threat in Costa Rica The light at the end of the election National Liberation Party bans former presidential candidate and ex-mayor Johnny Araya from running for office for 4 yearslast_img read more