Deadline for filing for public FEMA assistance is Monday, October 17

first_imgState Auditor Tom Salmon, CPA, would like to remind municipalities, schools and non-profit organizations who may be eligible for FEMA assistance that the one-page ‘Request for Public Assistance’ form (Form 90-49) must be submitted by the close of business Monday, October 17. This a simple one page form that must be submitted, even if you don’t know your DUNs number. The Request for Public Assistance Form (RPA) may be found at: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2690(link is external)  and should be submitted to Alec Portalupi at the Vermont Agency of Transportation.  He can be contacted by phone at 802-828-3889 or by e-mail at Alec.Portalupi@state.vermont.us(link sends e-mail). You may fax the form to 802-828-2848.Communities, certain non-profits, and publicly owned utilities in the declared counties can put in claims for things like overtime paid for storm cleanup, public infrastructure damage, contractors, equipment rentals, fuel for those rentals and other publicly owned equipment used for cleanup or repairs, and any other costs above and beyond normal operating expenses.Your regional planning commission, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and PA specialists from FEMA can help with the application process, but it must be completed by the deadline of October 17.  For more information, please call Alec Portalupi at the Vermont Agency of Transportation at 802-828-3889; or Gary Schelley of VTrans at 802-828-0425.last_img read more

Colombia Dismantles Counterfeit Dollar Factory

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo September 17, 2020 In late July, troops of the Colombian Army’s Deployment Force against Transnational Threats, in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General’s Technical Investigation Team, dismantled a factory that produced counterfeit U.S. dollars in Meta department. According to a press release from the Army, the criminal organization had been engaging in this activity for a year, producing $1.5 million monthly. The monthly earnings of the criminal group from their counterfeit activities amounted to $400,000, the Army’s Press Office said.During the operation carried out in a house in the Villavicencio municipality, authorities found several elements used to commit the crime, such as a laminating machine, lithographic ink, an industrial lithographic machine, an ultraviolet banknote checker, and more than $600,000 in counterfeit banknotes, the Army said. Authorities also detained two members of the criminal ring on site.“What they want is to go unnoticed, and they look for common areas, neighborhoods,” Brigadier General Antonio María Beltrán Díaz, commander of the Army’s 4th Division, whose troops took part in the operation, told Diálogo. “That’s the goal, to go unnoticed, rent a house, and set up the machines […]. But this is also what draws attention and helps us to gather intelligence [and] get to them.”Brig. Gen. Beltrán said that the operation took place after one year of monitoring and “thorough intelligence work” with the support of the U.S. Secret Service, the organization that combats U.S. dollar counterfeiting. Once the banknotes were printed, the criminals distributed them in different Colombian cities and neighboring countries for their commercialization, the Army said.According to InSight Crime, an organization specializing in security threats in Latin America and the Caribbean, criminal groups that engage in counterfeiting currency have developed sophisticated techniques to produce convincing counterfeit money. Peru, the organization says, has surpassed Colombia, becoming the greatest concern in Latin America for the U.S. Secret Service.“The major counterfeiters are usually part of organized crime, drug cartels, […] and they sell their counterfeit bills wholesale, for 50 cents on the dollar or sometimes even less,” Arian Panariti, operations supervisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Cash Services Group, said in a press release published by the institution.The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) says on its website, “If left unchecked, the circulation of counterfeit currency can undermine national economies, weaken financial institutions, and jeopardize people’s livelihoods. It fuels the underground economy and finances the activities of organized criminal networks and terrorists.”last_img read more

Briefs

first_img February 1, 2006 Regular News Briefs FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT Alan Bookman, center, was recently in the Tampa area and attended a reception by the Hillsborough County Bar Association. Pictured with Bookman are HCBA member Clint Paris, left, and Lanse Scriven, president of the Hillsborough County Bar. Bookman also addressed a luncheon meeting of the West Pasco Bar Association that same day and presented Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, with a legislative award from the Bar and The Florida Bar Foundation for his contributions in fostering the delivery of civil legal assistance to the people of Florida. “This award is one way to thank Sen. Fasano for his support of the Florida Civil Legal Assistance Act and to recognize his commitment to all Floridians having equal access to justice,” Bookman said. AT ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY CAMPAIGN kickoff event January 5, Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., announced two campaign initiatives—the Chesterfield Smith Society for Equal Justice and the Circle of Support. “As we approach our 40th anniversary and the final payment on our mortgage in July 2006, we turn to the private bar for renewed support,” said LSGMI Board President Darrell Payne. “It is critical that we supplement our government funding so that we can address the increasing legal needs of the low income community.” Payne acknowledged Holland & Knight as the founding member of the Chesterfield Smith Society, and Miles McGrane as chair. The society was established to provide general operating support for LSGMI. Payne also acknowledged gifts from Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart; Hunton & Williams; Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson; St. Thomas University; H. T. Smith; and Garrett Biondo. The Circle of Support was established to support specific LSGMI projects, and Payne acknowledged lead gifts from The William J. and Tina Rosenberg Foundation; McDermott Will & Emery; Podhurst Orseck; Ruden McClosky Smith Schuster & Russell; Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson; McLuskey & McDonald; Ratzan & Alters; Shook, Hardy & Bacon; and in Memory of Frances and Louis M. Jepeway. Pictured from the left are Payne; U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-FL, who received LSGMI’s Distinguished Alumni Award at the event; Marcia Cypen, LSGMI executive director; Frank Angones, Florida Bar president-elect designate; and Don Horn, chief assistant state attorney for the 11th Circuit. Briefscenter_img Human Rights Conference: Amnesty International has set its Florida State Conference for the University of Miami School of Law on February 25, beginning at 9 a.m.Nationally and internationally renowned speakers, panelists, activist members, and staff of AIUSA will explore strategies for confronting national and international human rights violations. For more informationContact Beth Lindeman at (786) 210-5797 or E-mail: Amnestymiami@aol.com.last_img read more

Marketing to millennials: Social media, privacy, and email trends

first_img 46SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Millennials in the United States are heavy users of Facebook’s platforms, they are less worried about privacy compared with older consumers, and they are still influenced by email campaigns, according to recent research from Fluent.The report was based on data from a nationwide survey of 1,769 Millennial adults (age 18-34) and 1,191 non-Millennial adults (age 35+). Participants were asked about their device use and how they interact with various digital media channels.Below, key findings from the report.Social NetworksFacebook is the top social network among Millennial adults: 43% rank it as the social channel they use most. However, that’s lower than the percentage of non-Millennial adults (63%) who rank Facebook as the social network they use most. continue reading »last_img read more

CBS: Double-digit increase in tourist arrivals and overnight stays in October

first_imgIn October 2018, more than 963 thousand tourist arrivals and 2,8 million tourist nights were realized in commercial accommodation facilities. Compared to October 2017, there were 13,3% more arrivals and 12,4% more overnight stays.Domestic tourists realized 166 thousand arrivals and 344 thousand overnight stays, which is an increase of arrivals by 15,7% and an increase of overnight stays by 13,7% compared to November 2017. Foreign tourists realized 798 thousand arrivals and 2,5 million overnight stays, which is an increase in arrivals by 12,8% and an increase in overnight stays by 12,2% compared to the same period last year.Most tourist nights from Germany and the United KingdomThe highest number of overnight stays by foreign tourists in October 2018 was realized by tourists from Germany, 697 thousand overnight stays (28,1% of the total overnight stays of foreign tourists) and tourists from the United Kingdom, with 283 thousand overnight stays by tourists (11,4% of the total number of overnight stays). overnight stays of foreign tourists). Compared to October 2017, tourists from Germany increased their overnight stays by 16,3%, and tourists from the United Kingdom increased their overnight stays by 15,3%.This is followed by overnight stays of tourists from Austria (7,8%), Slovenia (4,7%), USA (4,6%) and France (3,5%).Source: CBSDubrovnik is the first in terms of the number of realized tourist nightsDubrovnik realized the highest number of tourist nights in October 2018, 362 thousand overnight stays, which is 12,8% of the total number of overnight stays. Compared to October 2017, there were 9,5% more arrivals and 7,0% more overnight stays in Dubrovnik.The highest number of overnight stays in Dubrovnik was realized by tourists from the United Kingdom, 92 thousand overnight stays, which is 26,2% of the total number of overnight stays by foreign tourists. This is followed by overnight stays of tourists from the USA (10,8%), Germany (9,2%) and France (5,6%).Most arrivals and overnight stays were realized in hotelsIn October 2018, the highest number of tourist nights was realized in hotels, 1,7 million overnight stays, which is 59,0% of the total number of overnight stays. Compared to October 2017, hotels recorded an increase in arrivals by 11,4% and an increase in overnight stays by 10,3%. In the group Hotels and similar accommodation available the most roomsIn October 2018, tourists had at their disposal 173 thousand rooms, apartments and camping places with a total of 427 thousand permanent beds.In the group Hotels and similar accommodation, there were a total of 69 thousand rooms and suites available to tourists (which is 39,7% of the total number of available rooms and suites) with a total of 140 thousand permanent beds (which is 32,8% of the total number of available permanent beds). ). The average occupancy of rooms was 54,6%, and permanent beds 47,8%.Source: CBSTourists aged 65 and over realized the most overnight staysIn October 2018, tourists in the age group of 65 and over realized the most overnight stays, 689 thousand overnight stays, which is 24,4% of the total number of overnight stays. They are followed by tourists in the age group of 55 to 64 years, 564 thousand overnight stays, which is 20,0% of the total overnight stays.In the first ten months an increase in tourist arrivals and overnight staysIn the first ten months of 2018, tourists realized 17,9 million arrivals and 88,1 million overnight stays in commercial accommodation facilities, which is an increase in arrivals by 6,8% and an increase in overnight stays by 3,8% compared to the same period in 2017.In the first ten months, domestic tourists realized 1,8 million arrivals and almost 6,0 million overnight stays, which is an increase in arrivals by 10,1% and an increase in overnight stays by 8,1% compared to the same period in 2017.Foreign tourists realized 16,2 million arrivals and 82,2 million overnight stays, which is an increase of 6,4% in arrivals and an increase of 3,5% of overnight stays compared to the same period last year. Most overnight stays of foreign tourists were realized by tourists from Germany (24,2%), Slovenia (8,7%), Austria (8,4%), Poland (7,3%), Czech Republic (6,2%) and Italy 6,0%).last_img read more

Lothian adopts ‘Engage our equities, deny our debt’ mantra on climate

first_imgCIO Bruce Miller said: “We feel that it’s in the interests of our members to be transparent in the methods we use to foster responsible investment as an organisation”.“We’re very clear that our primary responsibility is to be able to pay the future pensions of our members, but it’s important to all stakeholders that we invest in a manner that the average member sees as fair and reasonable.“While some of our members will have very strong views on particular companies or sectors, this document articulates how we aim to invest in a responsible manner on behalf of all members whilst not overly emphasising the specific ethical viewpoints of individual members, trustees and portfolio managers.” Scotland’s Lothian Pension Fund has adopted a new policy document in a bid to be more transparent about how it pursues responsible investment, an approach that now includes a commitment to no longer supply new debt or equity capital to companies not deemed to be aligned with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.Publication of the document – ‘Statement of Responsible Investment Principles’ – comes against a backdrop of what Councillor Alasdair Rankin said was “enormous growth in the acceptance of the importance of informed stewardship and responsible investment of assets at Lothian Pension Fund”.Rankin is chair of the pensions committee at City of Edinburgh Council, the administering authority for Lothian Pension Fund, second largest in Scotland’s local government pension scheme (LGPS).The new document goes beyond the pension fund’s statutory statement of investment principles, which only includes high-level information about its approach to responsible investment. Source: Lothian Pension Fund is the local authority scheme for Edinburgh and the Lothian regionIn the responsible investment policy statement, the pension fund said it “should not be considered as either an ‘ethical’ or ‘unethical’ investor, but as a responsible steward of capital”.“The mantra we’ll follow from now on is very clearly ‘Engage our equities, deny our debt’”David Hickey, European equity manager at Lothian Pension FundEuropean equity manager David Hickey has been leading on the pension fund’s overall approach to responsible investment, and played a key role in the adoption of the statement of responsible investment principles.He said the pension fund was making some specific climate change-related commitments.In addition to ceasing any primary investment in non-Paris-aligned companies, the pension fund would be measuring the carbon intensity of 100% of its assets by the end-2022 reporting cycle.The responsible investment policy document states it will use estimates if necessary to do this, and will seek support from external managers and GPs.2025 crunch timeAccording to Hickey, the pension fund will also be continuing engaging with non-Paris-aligned companies until 2025, “with any companies making little progress towards the goals likely being divested at this point”.In its policy document, Lothian states that “academic research supports the belief that successful engagement adds value to the investment process, and that divestment has no effect on company finances in the long term and can produce perverse incentives in the short term”.However, “where material risks remain following engagement activity, we retain the ability to divest”.Hickey said: “The mantra we’ll follow from now on is very clearly ‘Engage our equities, deny our debt’.“Lothian Pension Fund will no longer supply new funding to non-Paris aligned companies either through new bond issuance or through new equity issuance.”Fixed income analyst Miko Zhou added: “Traditionally carbon footprints measures have only been applied to equity holdings, but the reality is that new capital fundraising happens in the debt markets far more than the equity markets. It’s this bond issuance that’s often used to finance new capital projects.”The pension fund will be using data from the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) to come to a decision about companies’ alignment with the Paris accord.CEO Doug Heron said he hoped the new statement of responsible investment principles “could be the start of a an open conversation around collaboration that will lead to other funds implementing similar statements and we’re happy for this document to become a basis for wider adoption of such standards throughout the LGPS space”.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Peru ships two LNG cargoes to Spain

first_imgMaran Gas Efessos (Image Courtesy of Maran Gas)Peru’s only liquefaction facility at Pampa Melchorita shipped two cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Spain.According to the shipping data released by the state-owned Perupetro, the 138 000-cbm Sestao Knutsen LNG carrier left the liquefaction plant on June 30. It was the fifth cargo dispatched from the facility during the month.The first cargo in the month of July was loaded on Monday, July 3, aboard the 159,800-cbm Maran Gas Efessos that also set course for Spain.The 4.45 million tons per year gas liquefaction plant is located 170 kilometers south of Lima and receives gas via a 408-kilometer pipeline built across the Andes.With the two latest cargoes, the facility has dispatched 407 vessels in total since it started operations in June 2010. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

Scrubber Investment Case Undermined as Low-Sulphur Premium Drops

first_imgThe latest geopolitical events dominated by the downfall of the global economy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the latest oil price war have had a major impact on the industry with some outcomes that might seem surprising.According to the latest update from the Copenhagen-based consultancy Sea-Intelligence, the latest price war has drastically lowered carriers’ costs, generating a positive cashflow effect.On the other hand, the low-sulphur premium dropped from a peak around 300 USD/ton at the start of the year down to 60 USD/ton, undermining the investment case for scrubbers.The premium drop comes at a time when scrubber installations are considerably delayed in China due to the virus.“The consequence might well be that vessels which were otherwise planned to go for scrubber installation instead re-enter the operational fleet. This would add more capacity to a situation where demand is about to drop sharply,” the consultancy said.Numerous shipping companies are reporting that they are shelving their scrubber installations due to the ongoing situation. The latest announcements saw Wallenius Wilhelmsen delay the installation of four scrubbers on its ships.At the end of February, bulker owner and operator Safe Bulkers informed that five scrubber installations would be postponed.Scrubbers were praised by owners as an extremely attractive solution for meeting the IMO 2020 regulation on cutting the sulphur content in marine fuel. Payback times from scrubber investments were said to be between 12 and 18 months.According to figures from the naval architect and marine engineering specialist Foreship, some 3,756 vessels have exhaust gas scrubbers either installed or on order.By the end of 2020, it was estimated that up to 15 percent of ocean-going freight capacity will employ the machinery. If and how will these figures be impacted is yet to be determined.The worst is yet to comeThe container shipping industry is yet to see the worst amid an estimated drop in demand.The worst-case scenario of a 10 percent drop, equal to 17 million TEU, seems to be moving closer to reality, according to Sea Intelligence.“Economists at Goldman Sachs are now forecasting a staggering 24% decline in US GDP in 2020-Q2. We also have US business inventories being 10% larger than just before the financial crisis when they are compared to the magnitude of sales – and during the financial crisis, inventories were reduced by 18%,” the consultancy added.“On top of that, we are seeing restrictions implemented in ports, with a few even banning vessels if they have been in virus affected countries or shutting down temporarily when they find workers who have tested positive for the virus.”Idle fleetThe shutdowns in China and the resulting blanking of sailings have seen idle container capacity reach 2.46 million TEU on March 2, 2020, higher than what has been seen during the financial crisis in 2008, data from Alphaliner and BIMCO shows.With the Chinese manufacturing industry recovering, container volumes are expected to pick up.However, BIMCO expects that the growth of container volumes could start to stagnate or even decline, as consumer confidence deteriorates across advanced economies in the coming months.Intense trade rhetoric, spearheaded by Washington, partly led to sluggish growth of container volumes last year with annual growth of 0.8%, equal to a trade-to-GDP multiplier at roughly 0.3. (Source: IMF, CTS)Even before the outbreak of the coronavirus, BIMCO had expected the multiplier to hover around 0.8-1.0 in 2020.“Yet, the global economy is now at the mercy of the coronavirus and it would probably have to be a V-shaped recovery for global container volumes to grow compared to 2019.“When the outbreak was confined to China, it primarily represented a supply-side shock to the global supply chains with fewer containerized goods being shipped from China.“As the rest of the world exercises various containment measures, it is now the demand side for containerized goods that will be impacted. Currently, some reports hint towards shortages of containers on the front-haul, but as demand for containerized goods starts to falter in advanced economies, any such issue should abate,” BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst Peter Sand said.last_img read more

Botswana investigates mystery deaths of elephants

first_imgAfrica’s overall elephant population is declining due to poaching but Botswana, home to almost a third of the continent’s elephants, has seen numbers grow to 130,000 from 80,000 in the late 1990s. (Reuters) A combination photo shows dead elephants in Okavango Delta, Botswana from May to June, 2020. REUTERS “Several live elephants that we observed appeared to be weak, lethargic and emaciated. Some elephants appeared disorientated, had difficulty walking, showed signs of partial paralysis or a limp,” EWB director Mike Chase said. GABORONE – The number of elephants found dead in Botswana’s Okavango Panhandle has risen to 275 from 154 reported two weeks ago, the government said on Thursday. In the report, EWB put the death toll at 356 and Chase said urgent action was needed to establish if the deaths were caused by disease or poisoning.center_img In early May, Elephants without Borders (EWB), a conservation organization, reported that its own aerial survey showed elephants of all ages appeared to be dying. Authorities are investigating the unexplained deaths over the past months. Poaching has been ruled out as the carcasses were found intact. “Three laboratories in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Canada have been identified to process the samples taken from the dead elephants,” the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism said in a statement.last_img read more

Two Sides of the Class System Coin

first_imgThe class system is a definite benefit to the smaller schools.  For instance, Jac-Cen-Del & South Decatur have both had state titles in basketball.  Several other schools have had runner-up finishes. This is wonderful and it takes nothing away from their state titles.  However, I personally feel that it should be one way or the other.One of the big reasons for the IHSAA’s opposition to classes in the open sports we mentioned a couple days ago is the cost involved with providing awards for these teams.  Remember, in football there are 6 state champions and in most cases football teams have the largest rosters of any sport in Indiana.  It does not seem to bother the IHSAA to shell out the money for the awards for 6 state football teams, but they don’t want to do it for track (generally the sport with the second largest roster).last_img read more