A leap of faith

first_imgIt may be the right time to think ‘out of the box’ to solve the current problem of economic meltdown. Small sops to the business community and foreign investors are going to tackle the recession and move the economy northward. Only massive ongoing long-term investments in megaprojects, carrying a long gestation period, can handle the problem by generating large employment and income to revitalise the market. Fresh large employment and income will automatically grow expenditure and demand. Profit-driven, small-purse private enterprises can’t handle such investments; only the state can. Private investments always look for definitely forecastable returns. They act mostly as important supplementary players, benefiting from the government-pushed structural development to drive their own business agendas. During the economic recession, it will be wrong to leave the arduous task of rejuvenating demand with the private sector, operating mostly under shrinking sales and bottom-line pressure. Therefore, the primary role for employment, income and demand creation lies with the government. Also Read – A special kind of bondBehind the reason of the ongoing crippling recession in India is the steady growth of unemployment, which according to the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) job survey for 2017-18 spiked to over six per cent, a 45-year high. For unknown reasons, the report was not released by the government. The annual report (July 2017-June 2018) of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) pegged the all-India unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent. Unemployment was higher in urban areas as compared to the rural. In rural areas, the unemployment rate was 5.3 per cent, while in urban areas it was 7.8 per cent. However, rural jobs are generally low-paid and fall mostly under the ‘disguised unemployment’ category. Also Read – Insider threat managementAccording to a State of India’s Environment (SoE) study, 2019, released by the Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment, India’s rate of unemployment doubled in the past two years. The SoE study reported that the unemployment rate had gone up from four per cent to 7.6 per cent in the last two years (May 2017-April 2019). The unemployment rate in April 2019 was the highest in two years. The 2011 census report said a fifth of India’s total population was in the 15- to 24-year age group. By 2020, they are predicted to make up a third of the country’s population. The SoE report noted that the youth, who constitute around 40 per cent of India’s labour force, has an unemployment rate of 32 per cent. The unemployment rate among the educated is even worse. The rate among people with at least a graduate degree was 13.17 per cent in September-December 2018, up from 10.39 per cent in May-August 2017. The rising unemployment rate over the years and poor quality of employment are two of the most important contributors to the crippling recession. General individual income is not growing enough to push demand and grow the market. The World Bank recently estimated that India needs to create at least 8.1 million jobs a year to maintain its employment rate. However, the mere creation of jobs is not going to visibly change the market demand, except for wage goods. The quality of jobs and expendable income are among the important factors to grow the market. The overwhelming growth of India’s low-paid services sector in the last 10 years has failed to improve the market. University graduates employed in the services sector are earning mostly in the rage of Rs.8,000-Rs.10,000 per month. In large cities, illiterate domestic helpers, ayahs and attendants earn more. Anyway, such earnings do not raise demands for motorcars, motorbikes, scooters, concrete housing and branded consumables. Moreover, most of these jobs are of temporary or contract-based in nature. They may provide for sustenance, but not the quality of life that positively impacts the economy. Unfortunately, the government has no concrete plan for employment. It does not even have a concrete idea about how to grow the economy, which continues to be largely import-led — from aircraft, merchant ships, heavy and light engineering equipment, mobile phones, steel, coal to toys. The government hardly understands that a recession-hit low-income economy can’t be pepped up overnight by bank rate reduction. In a market situation as this, lower interest rates will not lead to an increase in investment to generate long term demand and employment. Instead, they may only help the debt-ridden, low net-worth industry to retire earlier high-cost loans for comfort. It is still not too late for the government to start investing big in areas such as ports, roads and rail infrastructure, river linking and dredging, building merchant ships, container vessels, commercial aircraft, commercial semiconductors, heavy-duty earth moving equipment and setting-up big-draft seaports, to name a few. The private sector has no money to handle such investments carrying long gestation period. With 6,00,000-km coastline and nearly a trillion-dollar foreign trade, why is that India does not have shipyards to build commercial vessels? If South Korea, the world’s biggest commercial shipbuilder, China, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam can, why can’t India build commercial vessels that create lakhs of jobs? Why doesn’t India feature among the world’s top owners of shipping lines? Why can’t India produce commercial aircraft, if China, Brazil and Canada can? Why are there no commercial semiconductor fabrication plants in India, the world’s second-largest cellphones market? Why did the UPA and NDA governments issue licences to incompetent private firms to make semiconductors without result in the last 15 years? Two state-operated ventures — ISRO-owned Semiconductor Laboratories and SITAR, a unit of DRDO — build silicon chips for defence and space programmes only. If such large public investments cause big budget deficits, let them. They will, at least, create millions of jobs, enhance the market and make India a truly global economic power. India can put up with inflation, but not massive unemployment and demand contraction. IPA (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Climate policy may inspire young Canadians to vote in 2019 pollster

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While a strong turnout by younger voters worked to the Liberal Party’s advantage in 2015, Justin Trudeau’s appeal among Millennials appears to have diminished.According to Ottawa-based pollster Abacus Data, which surveys Canadian Millennials twice a year, climate policy may be the issue which inspires the country’s largest voting block to head to the polls.People born between 1980 and 2000 represent up to 37 per cent of eligible voters in Canada, and the coming election will be the first in which people born after the turn of the century will be eligible to participate.Voter turnout among Millennials surged during the last federal election, jumping nearly 40 per cent among those aged 18 to 24.But David Coletto, Abacus’ CEO, says elections since then have shown that young people only show up to vote if they’re inspired by a particular issue or candidate. And that could be a problem in October.“There’s still no overarching narrative or story. We’re telling people to go vote right now. That could change. I think climate change is perhaps the best issue that could do that,” he says.According to Abacus, 87 percent of Millennials consider themselves to be either environmental moderates or ardent environmentalists, and that could make the difference.“We’ve seen events around the world where when young people are engaged and they come out and vote, they can change the course of history.”While young voters don’t yet seem to be entirely galvanized by the climate issue, there’s still weeks to go.“This time around it might change, we’ve still got lots of campaign left but I don’t feel the energy or the pull that existed in 2015. So I do think there’s a high risk with the return back to a much lower turnout of young Canadians,” Coletto says.The Liberals have so far made climate change a centrepiece of their campaign, promising to make Canada carbon neutral by 2050.But Coletto says without that strong inspiration, young voters will stay home on election day.“You’re not going to vote just because you should vote, you’re going to vote because there’s a reason to vote, someone’s asked you, someone’s compelled you.”last_img read more

Morocco’s Net International Reserves Rise by 25.7% in Mid-January

Rabat – Morocco’s net international reserves amounted to MAD 230 billion until January 15, 2016, recording a 25.7 percent increase on an annual basis, Bank Al-Maghrib said.The reserves recorded a 1.5 percent weekly increase, the central bank pointed out in its weekly indicators.During the week of January 14-20, 2016, the central bank injected MAD 18 billion. Over the course of this period, the interbank rate fell to 2.52 percent, and the average exchanged volume amounted to MAD 3.2 billion against MAD 5.3 billion one week before.During the same period, the dirham appreciated by 0.31 percent against the euro and depreciated by 0.49 percent against the dollar.With MAP

Saudi may stop beheading due to swordsmen shortages

Last month, Saudi Arabia slammed international reactions to its beheading of a Sri Lankan man convicted of killing her employer’s baby.Riyadh “deplores the statements made… about the execution of a Sri Lankan maid who had plotted and killed an infant by suffocating him to death one week after she arrived in the kingdom,” a government spokesman said.The case sparked widespread international condemnation, including from rights groups that said she had only been 17 years old when she was charged with murdering the baby in 2005. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Sharia, or Islamic Law. So far this year, three people have been executed.The beheading issue has always been a source of tension between Saudi Arabia and the international community. The ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom beheaded 76 people in 2012, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. Human Rights Watch (HRW) put the number at 69. A joint Saudi committee composed of representatives of the ministries of interior, justice and health is mulling the replacement of beheading with firing squads for capital sentences due to shortages in government swordsmen, Ahram Online quoted the Saudi daily Al-Youm as saying on Sunday.The committee argued that such a step, if adopted, would not violate Islamic law, allowing heads – or emirs – of the country’s 13 local administrative regions to begin using the new method when needed. The case soured the kingdom’s diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka, which on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia in protest. “This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents; the aim is to avoid interruption of the regularly-taken security arrangements,” the committee said in a statement. The UN’s main human rights body on Friday expressed “deep dismay” at the beheading, while the European Union said it had asked Saudi authorities to commute the death penalty. Riyadh, however, rejected the statements as “external interference” in its domestic affairs.Saudi Arabia “respects… all rules and laws and protects the rights of its people and residents, and completely rejects any intervention in its affairs and judicial verdicts, whatever the excuse,” the spokesman said. read more

Review Samsungs Gear VR is both virtual and real though not without

by Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press Posted Nov 20, 2015 11:40 am MDT Last Updated Nov 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Samsung makes history of a sort Friday by launching the first major consumer-oriented virtual-reality headset. (It comes with an asterisk; prototypes and other not-quite-mass-market versions have been available for a while.) And its Gear VR headset is pretty impressive as first-generation devices go.The biggest surprise after using the new Gear VR for a few days: There’s a lot of stuff to watch and play in the virtual worlds the headset opens up. Granted, some of that material is gimmicky or amateurish. But the best of it hints at some of the mind-expanding experiences VR can make possible.The Gear VR is relatively cheap, too, at just $100. You do need your own headphones, preferably wireless, plus a recent Samsung phone — the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus or Note 5. If you don’t already have one, the package could set you back nearly $1,000. (Other VR systems will also need companion devices, such as high-end personal computers.)Samsung developed the Gear VR with the virtual-reality startup Oculus (now part of Facebook). It supplants the $200 “innovator edition” Samsung has sold for a year. That earlier prototype was mainly intended to build enthusiasm for VR and to help developers start producing games and apps for it. Samsung bills the new model as its first consumer VR product, although it still requires some savvy on the consumer’s part to use.___ABOUT THE DEVICEYour phone attaches to the front of the Gear VR headset, just in front of the lens for your eyes. Put the headset on, and your surroundings disappear as the phone screen opens a window into an unreal, three-dimensional world. As you turn your head, the image shifts accordingly to give the sense of being there in real life. You can even turn all the way around to see what’s behind you. The screen projects slightly different perspectives to your left and right eyes to give the virtual world depth.The Gear VR wasn’t easy to set up. I had trouble figuring out where all the Velcro straps and hooks were supposed to go. I couldn’t get the phone to snap into place. I needed the manual to find a lever I had to switch because I had a larger phone, the Note 5. Many consumers might need help from a tech-savvy friend or kid.I also got frustrated having to wait for apps and video to download — a few minutes in some cases. The Gear VR can stream relatively few videos for instant playback.___WHAT TO DO WITH ITFortunately, it was worth the wait most of the time, even if many of the videos seemed like concepts intended to demonstrate the Future of Virtual Reality or are merely promotions for regular movies and TV shows. A lot of it is free, though some videos or apps will set you back $2 to $10.And some apps were surprisingly absorbing. The notion of the Netflix app, which streams video to a virtual TV in front of you, initially seemed silly. Why not watch a real TV? Well, the virtual TV is huge, much larger than what I could afford in real life. And VR also removes the distractions surrounding you — such as Facebook.Repeat viewings sometimes turned up unexpected detail. Not until a second viewing of a Cirque du Soleil video did I notice performers to my left and right. In a horror video, I initially kept my eyes on a woman in distress; only later did I see scary creatures crawling out of a playground. You’re no longer stuck with whatever the director chooses for you.But one video of the Oct. 13 Democratic presidential debate was disappointing. There were four VR cameras around the room, but you couldn’t pick the one to watch. And in 3-D, candidates looked like dolls on stage. It was a novel idea, but it’ll take time to figure out what works and what doesn’t. This one was also long, while the best ones were typically a few minutes each.A few apps also have interactive elements. One lets you walk around a cafe depicted in the Vincent Van Gogh painting “The Night Cafe.” Another lets you explore an island and solve puzzles to open doors. It made me nauseous, though.It’ll be great to see interactive storytelling, with plot lines that change depending on which rooms you choose to explore. And eventually filmmakers will rely less on stationary cameras. A VR piece featuring a hike with Reese Witherspoon could have let you hike with her, rather than watch from afar.___COMPARISONSThe Gear VR is meant for use while sitting down, ideally in a swivel chair. You can’t walk around and explore your virtual environment. (You might trip over the ottoman or break things if you tried.)The upcoming HTC Vive does offer that kind of walkabout experience, though you’ll also need an uncluttered room. That offers the possibility of brand-new VR experiences, such as walking around Mars or a building you just designed.The Vive, along with the Sony PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift, will do much more than Gear VR, but will likely cost many times the $100 the Gear VR will set you back. Samsung’s gadget is impressive for the price. Review: Samsung’s Gear VR is both virtual and real, though not without shortcomings In this Sept. 2, 2015 file photo, a man tests a Sony ‘Project Morpheus Virtual Reality’ device after a press conference at the company’s stand at the IFA 2015 tech fair in Berlin, Germany. There are the promises of virtual reality in the form of headsets that drop you into another world and offer 360-degree views that shift as you turn your head. If VR doesn’t reach a broader audience, it could constrain development of tools to help with training, medicine, building design and other tasks yet to be imagined. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn read more

TMobile Galaxy Tab hacked now makes calls

first_imgThere’s a number of networks offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the U.S. with data plans to allow web access and services. But one missing feature is the ability to make calls. You may think holding a 7″ tablet to your ear makes little sense, but why not enable it on a device clearly capable?Some hackers got frustrated with a lack of phone features so they started investigating, and guess what? It’s possible to get your Galaxy Tab making calls.AdChoices广告Before you get too excited know that this first hack is quite involved and only works on T-Mobile Galaxy Tabs. It requires you format and reboot the Tab with nothing but the file system structure, flash it with a new base rom, and then manually set your wireless settings with your SIM card in.It’s confirmed working if you want to give it a go. The details can be found on the xda-developer forums.If you purchased your Galaxy Tab from T-Mobile then you likely paid $399.99 for it and then signed up to a $24.99 or $39.99 data plan for 2 years. With that much money being spent using it as a phone as well makes a lot of sense.Read more at Android Centrallast_img read more

Windows 81 build 9369 leaked brings Files app to start screen

first_imgWindows 8 can probably best be described as a work in progress, and it’s clear that Microsoft is looking to patch several holes in Windows 8.1. For instance, it’s now clear that there will definitely be a Metro/modern Windows Explorer alternative so that you can manage your files without flipping to the desktop.The Files app was spotted in a freshly-leaked build of Windows 8.1 that started making the rounds on private torrent trackers last night. As you might expect, it’s built with touchscreen use in mind. Individual files are given plenty of padding to make fingertip selection easier, and Microsoft has strictly followed its own Windows Store app design guidance.The top bar of the Files app is reserved for navigation. Tap the drop down menu to quickly jump to another drive or folder, or the back button to quickly flip to a parent directory.Commands are presented on the bottom bar: delete, rename, copy/paste, create a new folder. It’s an elegant setup, and far less cluttered than the Files app’s desktop cousin. No, the more advanced options aren’t available in the Modern app — but they don’t need to be yet.Despite making a strong pitch for ditching the desktop, Microsoft doesn’t plan on making it disappear completely any time soon. It will remain an important tool for enterprise deployments and power users for the time being.Until there’s a dramatic shift in the business world, the duality will remain. These are the same folks that keep Internet Explorer 6 alive and kicking, after all, and they’ll need an old-timey version of Explorer to lean on for a few more years.For those who like what they see in Windows 8 — and tablet users in particular — the simplified Files app will do just fine.last_img read more

Madagascar le bilan du cyclone salourdit

first_imgMadagascar : le bilan du cyclone s’alourditMi-février, l’île de Madagascar a été victime du meurtrier et dévastateur cyclone Bingiza. Si un précédent bilan faisait état de quinze morts et neuf disparus, les autorités annoncent aujourd’hui la mort de trente-quatre victimes. Onze autres personnes sont portées disparues, tandis que les sinistrés se comptent en centaines de milliers.Ce sont plus de 216.000 personnes qui sont aujourd’hui sinistrées à Madagascar, 77.000 d’entre elles ayant perdu leur maison et se trouvant sans-abri, ont annoncé les autorités dans un communiqué relayé par le Figaro.À lire aussiQuand une cascade se met à couler à l’envers en EcosseLe cyclone, première tempête dévastatrice dans le pays depuis le début de la saison cyclonique, a atteint Madagascar le 14 janvier, pour ne le quitter que cinq jours plus tard. Le nord et le sud-est du pays ont été les zones les plus touchées par ce cyclone qui a détruit de nombreuses habitations et plus de 105.000 hectares de cultures.Régulièrement frappé par ce type de dépressions tropicales, l’île qui traverse de novembre à avril une saison cyclonique, avait en 2010 été touchée par une tempête aussi violente que Bingiza. Baptisée Hubert, elle avait fait 36 victimes et laissé derrière elle plus de 85.000 sinistrés.Le 3 mars 2011 à 19:01 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

ASA Kudos this Week…

first_imgKudos go to Bob Worth, Lake Benton, Minn., who spoke about the Highway Bill on his radio show this week.You can catch Bob’s segment “For What It’s Worth” live each Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. CT on Minnesota’s KLOH by clicking here and then clicking “Listen Live.”Click here to see last week’s ASA Kudos!last_img

Mamatas unique mass outreach scheme

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday launched a first-of-its-kind unique public outreach campaign titled ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ (Tell Didi) with the target to reach around 1.6 crore families, which is 80 percent of the total households in Bengal in the coming 20 months ahead of the 2021 state Assembly elections.This is the second of the major public outreach programmes initiated by her followed by the “Jan Sanjog Yatra,” which she announced during the Martyrs’ Day Rally at Esplanade on July 21. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAs part of the programme, TMC representatives will reach out to the families, have dinner at the booth-level party workers’ houses and spend the night in villages. During the level-playing interaction, they will give a phone number: 9137091370 that will enable people to put across their views, grievances, if any, directly to Didi. People can also get straight access to the Chief Minister digitally through www.didikebolo.com. Using this platform, people can reach out to her by simply calling on a number or logging onto the campaign website with their suggestions and problems. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe campaign will commence with more than a thousand elected representatives and party functionaries who will personally visit 10,000 villages and urban habitations over the next 100 days, meet people and listen to their problems. “The objective of the initiative is to improve citizen’s participation and engagement by providing a platform to every individual to share their views or problems and suggestions for expedited action,” Banerjee said. The brochure that was released by her on Saturday in a press conference lists a stepwise do’s for the party representatives. Trinamool leaders, after reaching a village or town assigned to them by the party headquarters, are required to hold a meeting of the booth-level party workers. They should try to meet three to five prominent personalities of the area and seek their views. The party leaders should then hold an interactive session with the local party workers and booth-level members and stay overnight at the house of one of the party members. The next day they should conduct door-to-door visits of the neighbouring households. Before leaving the area, they should hoist the Trinamool flag there. Banerjee addressed the media conference all by herself and held a meeting with the MLAs and senior party leaders in the district level at Nazrul Manch, asking them to popularise the phone number in the best possible manner. All the MLAs present in the meeting were given bags, small batches, T-shirts and visiting cards to make the new initiative popular that Banerjee termed as the ‘modernization’ of TMC. It may be mentioned that Banerjee had roped in poll strategist and Janata Dal (U) vice-president Prashant Kishor in June. According to party sources, Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) has designed the campaign for the election to the 294-member state Assembly scheduled to be held in 2021. Representatives from the IPAC were also present during Banerjee’s press conference. The initiative will be followed by similar launch events across the state by elected representatives and key functionaries of the party in over 1,000 locations over the next three to five days.last_img read more

Hosted PBX Market Expected to Register High Revenue Growth Through 2024

first_imgHosted PBX Table of Contents: Global Hosted PBX Market Research ReportHosted PBX Market OverviewGlobal Economic ImpactCompetition by ManufacturersProduction, Revenue (Value) by RegionSupply (Production), Consumption, Export, Import by RegionsProduction, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by TypeAnalysis by ApplicationManufacturing Cost AnalysisIndustrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream BuyersMarketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/TradersMarket Effect Factors AnalysisMarket ForecastAppendix Across the globe, several regions like North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Africa have been studied on the basis of sale and profit margin. Some significant key players have been profiled to get informative data to make informed decisions in the businesses. It makes use of info graphics, graphs, charts, tables, and pictures. For an effective and accurate business outlook, the report on the global Hosted PBX market examined details of the changing trends adopted by the top-level companies. Leading Key Players in Hosted PBX Market are: BT Group, Cisco Systems, 8×8, Avaya, Megapath, Centurylink About Us:Big Market Research has a range of research reports from various publishers across the world. Our database of reports of various market categories and sub-categories would help to find the exact report you may be looking for. The report takes a close and analytical look at the various companies that strive for a higher share of the global Hosted PBX market. Data on the leading and fastest-growing segments along with what drives them has been given. This report implements a balanced mix of primary and secondary research methodologies for its analysis. The market is segmented on the basis of key criteria. For this purpose, a section dedicated to company profiles has been included in the report. Contact us: Mr. Abhishek Paliwal5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland, OR 97220 United StatesDirect: +1-971-202-1575Toll Free: +1-800-910-6452E-mail : help@bigmarketresearch.com Hosted PBX Market Global Industry research report offers you market size, industry growth, share, development trends, product demand, investment plans, business idea and forecasts to 2024. This report highlights exhaustive study of major market along with present and forecast market scenario with useful business decisions. Buy Now @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/checkout/sales/548?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil Major highlights of the global research report: • In-depth analysis of the degree of competition across the globe • Estimation of global market values and volumes • Global market analysis through industry analysis tools such as SWOT and Porter’s five analysis • Business profiling of prominent companies across the global regions like North America, Latin America, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Europe • Detailed elaboration on global market value, volume, and penetration • Global market growth projections • Detailed description on development policies and plans • Analytical study on drivers, restraints, opportunities, hindrances, inadequacies, challenges and strengths Download sample copy of this report at: https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-sample/3180807?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil Avail Discount on this Report: https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-for-discount/3180807?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil Analysis tools such as Porter’s five forces analysis and SWOT analysis have also been utilized for analyzing the market data. The major tactics adopted by the well-established competitors for a better penetration in the Global Hosted PBX Market also form a key division of this study. These approaches can be applied by the imminent vendors for a better infiltration in the market. While the demand is expected to remain high in developed nations, over the forecast period emerging nations will offer lucrative opportunities as well. We are instrumental in providing quantitative and qualitative insights on your area of interest by bringing reports from various publishers at one place to save your time and money. A lot of organizations across the world are gaining profits and great benefits from information gained through reports sourced by us.last_img read more

Aussie specialist agents acknowledged at ultimate stars awards

first_imgSource = New Caledonia Tourism New Caledonia’s Ultimate Stars Awards took place at the famed Nouméa Aquarium last Friday to acknowledge the recent winners of the destination’s Stars Ultimate Reward competition which identifies New Caledonia’s Top 5 Australian specialist agents.The program rewards those who join New Caledonia’s Specialist Agent Program, make bookings, complete online training and attend educationals and/or training seminars. Points accrued enable the agents’ ‘Star’ status to increase, Alpha being the top spot.Diane Moynihan, General Manager for New Caledonia Tourism Australia said “In 2008 New Caledonia Tourism was faced with a dilemma. Our loyalty program for trade, launched in 2006, had secured an overwhelming number of registered specialist agents – over a thousand in 12 months- but to become really serious about acknowledging our top agents within this group we needed a program to identify and reward them.” “To seek out and reward agents with a real passion for the destination, we launched “Star Rewards” in 2008, dividing our specialist agents into five distinct star rating groups based on their overall dedication to New Caledonia as a holiday destination for Australian travellers, Diane said.” “In 2009 we launched a new competition called “Ultimate Star Rewards” to encourage agents to become Alpha specialists and to also identify New Caledonia’s top 5 Australian booking agents for the year.”The winning agents each won an all expenses paid luxury gourmet trip to the country for themselves and a companion, hosted by celebrity chef and Gourmet Ambassador for New Caledonia, Gabriel Gaté. The holiday included gastronomy personally selected by Gabriel, a helicopter tour of New Caledonia’s UNESCO Heritage listed reef, a luxury catamaran cruise, accommodation at Le Meridién Nouméa, Le Meridién Isle of Pines and overwater bungalow resort L’Escapade and a special awards event.Diane said holding an awards event for the top five in Nouméa had also allowed the New Caledonia tourism industry an opportunity to meet, congratulate and thank the highest achieving agents.To find out more about New Caledonia Tourism’s Specialist Agents Program visit www.newcaledonia.com.au/trade L-R: Archy Arushanyan from Flight Centre Norwest, Keith Lindsay from Travelscene @ Air Travel 2000 North Rocks, Claire Morgans from Flight Centre North Ryde, Mika Sawada from Pitt Travel Sydney, Gabriel Gaté, New Caledonia’s Gourmet Ambassador and Steve Lowe from Jetset Drummoynelast_img read more

Campus Travel unveils Academias Most Remote Destinations

first_imgReflecting Australia’s connectedness to Asia Pacific, seven of the top 10 destinations are located in this region.The busiest month for travel was May, with the average length of stay being nine days.Campus Travel booked approx. 24,500 international trips during the past 12 months for academic customers. Campus Travel unveils Academia’s Most Remote DestinationsCampus Travel unveils Academia’s Most Remote DestinationsUniversity travel specialist Campus Travel has highlighted a number of travel trends in the Australian university sector, including a list of some of the most remote locations our academics are visiting. The data was extracted from travel reports covering the past 12 months.While many academics are heading to the usual city centres of Singapore, London or Hong Kong, a handful of our customers are broadening their minds … and their travel horizons with work in places such as Kabul (Afghanistan); Novosibirsk and Omsk (Russia); Tabriz (Iran); Urumqi, Bishkek, Tbilisi (Central Asia); Kano, Lumbadzi, Tamale, Abidjan, Lome (Africa); and Clyde River, Iqaluit (Canada).Campus Travel’s general manager Cathryn Cole, said that making bookings to long-haul destinations required experienced travel consultants who had exceptional knowledge of air carriers, countries and cultures.“Some of our academic customers have itineraries that are 10 legs long, include many different destinations, domestic flights with local carriers and ground transport options that our consultants will source direct from local suppliers,” said Ms Cole. “Our consultants have at least five years’ experience in academic travel and are known to be specialists in compiling complex flight itineraries.“Looking after the travel needs for the academic sector is very different to the needs of corporate customers who tend to travel point-to-point i.e. Brisbane to Sydney or Brisbane to London return, or retail customers who are heading to holiday destinations.”Ms Cole said that travelling for important, often life-changing research or going to conferences to present papers linked to critical research in their fields were important aspects of academic travel.According to Campus Travel’s reporting:The top 10 international destinations booked by academic travellers were:SingaporeLondonHong KongLos AngelesBeijingAucklandKuala LumpurSan FranciscoJakartaBangkok Source = Campus Travellast_img read more

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first_img Comments   Share   Williams finished his time in Arizona with 164 yards on 58 carries. He also gained 44 yards on seven receptions.Along with Williams, the Cardinals also cut tight end Brett Brackett, center John Estes and linebacker Kenny Rowe. When asked about Williams’ future with the team in February, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the running back would have a chance in 2014.“He went into training camp, missed the entire preseason. It’s very hard to become a player during the season when you’ve got three guys in front of you,” he said. “And he did impressive things with our scout team.”At the time, though, Arians noted that there was always a chance the back’s future could not involve Arizona, adding that if the team found a better option at the position, “he’ll be gone.” Ryan Williams’ career with the Arizona Cardinals is officially finished.Unfortunately, it never really started.The team announced Monday it had released the running back, marking the end of the former second-round pick’s rocky three-year run with the team.Largely because of injury, Williams was never really able to get on track with the Cardinals. Selected 38th overall out of Virginia Tech, his rookie season was ended after he ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The following season, finally healthy, he injured his left shoulder during a Week 5 loss to the St. Louis Rams. Williams appeared to be close to the chopping block during preseason last year, but was able to get healthy, finish strong and keep his roster spot. He was inactive for all 16 games, however, and could only watch as rookies Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor cemented their roles as part of the team’s offense behind veteran Rashard Mendenhall.There was a reason was i was hidden last yr, business can be really funny lol but like i said, cream always rise to the top!! Thanks u all!!— Tuxedo Mask (@lilsweetness34) May 12, 2014 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Rep Lauwers testifies on bill to end film subsidies

first_img Categories: Lauwers News,News State Rep. Dan Lauwers today told a House committee that the state’s failed tax incentive for the film industry is draining money from more worthwhile projects and should be eliminated by the end of the fiscal year.Rep. Lauwers, R-Brockway Township, author of House Bill 4122, presented testimony to the House Committee on Tax Policy that unexpected tax credits handed out by an earlier administration have already wreaked havoc on the current state budget, and continuing the film incentive program will only cause future chaos for state finances.“My motivation for this bill is simply one of fiscal responsibility,” Rep. Lauwers said. “We have had a great number of tax credits come due this year, and it has had a negative effect on our budgeting. It is just common sense that we should not further extend tax cuts in a new fashion for new projects. My thought is we need to use this $50 million requested for film credits in the next budget to pay tax credits already on the books.”Rep. Lauwers said results of the film incentives allowed during the past seven years have proven that the predictions of long-term, full-time jobs accompanying the film industry have been overstated.“Those good-paying permanent jobs have not materialized,” Rep. Lauwers said. “Any businesses that receives a 40 percent reimbursement for their business expenses ought to be thriving, not protesting. It’s time to close the curtains on the film incentives and put the money toward projects that have proven track records.”The committee took the bill under consideration.##### 25Feb Rep. Lauwers testifies on bill to end film subsidiescenter_img Lawmaker: Just a question of fiscal responsibilitylast_img read more

Rep Theis elected to 201718 House leadership position

first_img Categories: Theis News 10Nov Rep. Theis elected to 2017-18 House leadership position Brighton lawmaker will serve as assistant majority floor leaderState Rep. Lana Theis was today elected to serve as assistant majority floor leader for the 2017-2018 legislative session of the Michigan House of Representatives.“It’s a great honor to be selected by my colleagues to serve as a member of the House leadership team next session,” said Rep. Theis, R-Brighton. “I look forward to continuing Michigan’s success that we saw last term.”The assistant majority floor leader assists the majority floor leader in directing activities on the House floor.First elected in 2014, Rep. Theis serves as the vice chair of the Committee on Insurance. She is also a member of the Committees on Financial Services, Local Government, and Oversight and Ethics.###last_img read more

Rendon helps approve bills giving families and seniors broader tax relief

first_img25Jan Rendon helps approve bills giving families and seniors broader tax relief State Rep. Daire Rendon of Lake City joined her colleagues in the Michigan House today in approving legislation giving Michigan families and seniors broader income tax relief.The legislation continues and increases personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their state income taxes. Other bills in the package provide additional tax relief for senior citizens.“The recent federal tax reforms were a great start, but today’s vote for me was about delivering even more significant income tax relief for the hard-working people of Michigan,” Rendon said. “This tax relief will put a little more money into the paychecks of teachers, first responders and our seniors. As I’ve always said, we must help people from all walks of life – this legislation does that.”One of the bills ensures Michigan taxpayers will be able to continue claiming personal exemptions on their income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month. In addition, the legislation increases the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,800 by the 2020 tax year.Another measure provides a tax credit for those 62 and older — $100 for single filers and $200 for joint filers – in addition to the personal exemption increase. A third bill would allow taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax to continue to claim exemptions.The House specifically added a provision to make sure public school funding is not affected by the proposal.House Bills 5420-22 advance to the Senate for consideration. Categories: Daire Rendon Newslast_img read more

Rep Howell receives inaugural Legislator of the Year Award from Ducks Unlimited

first_imgState Rep. Gary Howell (second from left) is joined by Dale Borske, MI Ducks Unlimited Star Chairman; Steve Wyckoff, MI Ducks Unlimited State Policy Chair; and Amy Batson, Ducks Unlimited INC Chief Fundraising Officer, after accepting Michigan Ducks Unlimited’s Legislator of the Year Award at the organization’s annual meeting.State Rep. Gary Howell has been named the Legislator of the Year in Michigan by Ducks Unlimited – the first time that the honor has been awarded.Howell (R-North Branch) received the award at Michigan Ducks Unlimited’s annual meeting in Harbor Springs. The group has roughly 28,000 members nationwide across 130 chapters, specializing in wetlands and waterfowl conservation and restoration programs while focusing on landscape, habitat and environmental changes.Howell and State Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe) have sponsored House Bills 5854 and 5855, which seek to preserve and strengthen wetland restoration programs. Howell and Bellino have been working closely with Ducks Unlimited to secure cooperation from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the legislation.“As an avid outdoorsman, this is a tremendous honor,” said Howell, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources. “One of my priorities as a state legislator is protecting Michigan’s natural resources and preventing the enactment of measures that negatively impact our outdoor recreation or wildlife. I will keep working to accomplish those goals while in Lansing.”This is the third award Howell has received this year recognizing his service to the people of Michigan. He was also named Legislator of The Year by both the Hunting Dog Federation of Michigan and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office is located in Dexter, Michigan.“I did not expect to be honored in such strong fashion by so many conservation organizations,” Howell said. “The decision by Ducks Unlimited to name me in its inaugural award will always be one of my legislative highlights.” Categories: Howell News,News 17Oct Rep. Howell receives inaugural Legislator of the Year Award from Ducks Unlimitedlast_img read more

Rep LaFave votes to build utility pipeline Canadian company foots the bill

first_img11Dec Rep. LaFave votes to build utility pipeline, Canadian company foots the bill A plan approved today with bipartisan support in the Michigan House protects the Great Lakes while providing crucial energy and creating jobs and opportunity in the Upper Peninsula, said state Rep. Beau LaFave.LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said agreements with Enbridge Energy to build a multi-use utility tunnel will provide a safer alternative for transporting the propane and natural gas that currently flows through Line 5, nearly eliminating the risk of an environmental incident between Michigan’s peninsulas.“This agreement will make sure the energy resources Yoopers and Northern Michigan residents depend on are delivered to their homes without compromising the safety and security of our Great Lakes,” LaFave said, who was joined by all members of the U.P. delegation in supporting the plan. “We cannot afford to wait on this important issue. That’s why I was proud today to support construction of a utility tunnel.”The plan laid out in Senate Bill 1197 creates a new, independent authority to provide oversight and take ownership of the proposed tunnel. The new body will be called the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority. A multi-use utility tunnel is the safest and most cost-effective method for delivering energy resources between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. A 2017 report prepared for the State of Michigan estimated that the Upper Peninsula would require an average of 52 truckloads of fuel — and as many as 100 truckloads in the winter – each week to meet energy needs and would saddle residents with the added costs.“Energy rates are already far too high in the U.P. and it’s time for residents to see their rates go down, instead of up,” LaFave said.  “It is complete nonsense to encourage truckload after truckload of wear and tear on our roads when experts are telling us an underground pipeline is the safest option to transport these resources.”LaFave also noted that construction of a multi-use tunnel opens up opportunities for long-overdue service improvements.“A multi-use tunnel reopens the conversation to build a transmission line between the Upper and Lower Peninsula,” LaFave said. “Yoopers should not have to live with the worry that a strong storm would leave them stranded without power for days while they continue to pay the highest rates in the continental U.S.”Other potential service improvements could include broadband internet expansion and construction of a fiber optic network in the U.P.Under the plan proposed today, LaFave said Enbridge, not taxpayers, will pay for 100 percent of design, construction, operation and maintenance of the tunnel. Once the company reaches an agreement with the newly-created Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority, the authority would own the tunnel and provide proper oversight, including a public, transparent process for ongoing operation of the tunnel.“This project is a win-win for Michigan,” LaFave said. “Enbridge will pay for the cost of the tunnel and create thousands of jobs in Northern Michigan and the U.P. This is the right solution that protects our way of life.” Categories: LaFave News,Newslast_img read more

Is Political Philosophy This Important

first_imgShare12TweetShareEmail12 SharesFebruary 2, 2016; Crain’s Chicago Business and Daily HeraldSeven months and counting. Illinois continues on without a state budget in sight as its Republican governor battles with Democratic legislative majorities over political philosophies. And while this struggle winds on, great harm is being done to the state’s social service and education systems—harm that may be too big to be repaired just by agreeing on a balanced budget.Last month, according to the Daily Herald, Lutheran Social Services, the state’s largest social service provider, “announced it closed more than 30 programs throughout the state and eliminated 750 jobs on Friday. The programs have been operating without payment from the state at a cost to the agency of close to $6.5 million. […] It’s unlikely these programs will be resurrected when or if the state passes a budget. […] Lutheran Social Services has relied on a line of credit and other resources from its foundation to compensate for the lack of state funding.”“Six drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation programs offered by the agency in Elgin and Chicago will close.”“Mental health counseling programs offered in Des Plaines, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Prospect Heights, Wheaton and Villa Park are being shut down as well. A ‘respite service’ program for veterans and their families based in Streamwood is also closing, according to a news release issued by agency officials.”A state funded program designed to break the school-prison pipeline, Redeploy Illinois, is shutting down service locations across the state.According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “More than 1,000 students failed to return for the second semester as their schools stopped picking up the tab for the $373 million Monetary Award Program, said Randy Dunn, president of the Southern Illinois University system. The program normally provides grants of up to nearly $5,000 to some 128,000 students with mean family incomes of about $30,000, said Lynne Baker, spokeswoman for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which administers the program. But with no state budget in place since summer, the program’s funding has”The Southeastern Illinois Agency on Aging posts on its Facebook page that “Since October we have seen four senior centers close and many other organizations reduce the days they are open. In a network survey about the budget impasse conducted in the fall it was estimated that if there was no budget by the end of February 84,500 seniors will be without services.”Day after day, there are more and more signs of lost opportunity and critical human needs that will cannot be met. But the harm that can be seen is just the tip of the iceberg that the ongoing impasse is causing.Not all state spending has been halted because of the lack of a budget. At the beginning of this fiscal year, the governor and legislative leaders agreed to continue to fund public schools at the prior year’s levels. State law allowed continued funding for many “essential services,” and several court orders enforcing consent decrees maintained funding for some other state services. Because the state legislature allowed a temporary income tax increase to lapse, even this limited spending exceeds current revenues, and billions of dollars continue to add to a stack of unpaid bills, further weakening the state’s credit rating and making it even more difficult to achieve a long term financial plan. Christine Radogno, the State Senate’s Republican minority leader, in a speech to the Chicago City Club last month cited “a three-year fiscal projection released by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget showing Illinois has a $5 billion budget hole and $9 billion bill backlog for the current fiscal year, FY2016. Radogno said she couldn’t rule out the possibility that the state will continue to operate with an ‘autopilot’ budget until June 30, 2020, when the bill backlog is projected to skyrocket to $25 billion.”The impact of the stalemate is not hard to see. Clearly, the impasse is hurting individuals young and old. It threatens the existence of social service agencies throughout the state. And the cost of fixing the problems is getting higher and higher. So why can’t Illinois’s leaders reach a compromise? According to State Senator Daniel Biss, this is not an argument over how to create a balanced budget. In a recent op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business, he wrote:The underlying dispute is about economic philosophy and values between a Republican governor and a Democratic-controlled Legislature. Rauner and his supporters believe in a theory of economic growth that focuses on competitiveness, which to them means decreasing costs for businesses and decreasing wages and benefits for workers. Democrats believe in a theory of economic growth that invests in people and infrastructure while relying on rising wages to build a thriving middle class that then drives further consumption and growth.The citizens of Illinois are waiting to see if there is a way to resolve this clash of philosophies that doesn’t leave many hurt, wounded, or left behind.—Martin LevineShare12TweetShareEmail12 Shareslast_img read more