YoPro founders meet with Loblaws Galen Weston after video plea goes viral

“He listened, and he’s going to investigate it further,” said House. “That’s all he can do at this time.”In March 2010, the couple launched a lawsuit against Loblaw for $20 million, alleging that the grocer breached its contract when it launched its own similar product. House claims they and their families have lost $1-million in their dealings with Loblaw and have been left in financial ruin.None of the allegations have been proven in court.In a statement Friday, the company acknowledged that “mistakes were made” and that it retracted its original offer to the small business owners.“However in the overall context, these were outweighed by the significant effort made by colleagues to support the sale of YoPro in hundreds of the (Loblaw)’s stores in Ontario and Quebec for more than a year,” said the company.“Unfortunately for both parties, the product simply didn’t sell well.”It also refuted claims that their PC brand Greek yogurt bar products are similar to YoPro.Loblaw says it has been using the manufacturing process to make the bars since the 1990s and that the recipe was inspired by a House and Home magazine article from 2010.“Loblaw Companies remains committed to operating at the highest ethical standards and believes it has acted appropriately in this circumstance,” said the company.“Having said all of that we remain hopeful that this matter can be resolved without going to court.”House says the legal saga has also impacted her fiance’s health.In the video, she says she was on her way to a scheduled legal meeting when Delaney, who is blind, collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital.She never would’ve thought that the video would’ve gained so much publicity. After all, it was the first time she had ever posted anything on YouTube.“It was a very big decision (to do the video),” she said. “I couldn’t have imagined it would’ve ended up like that, with people sharing it as much as they have. I couldn’t have imagined that it would’ve gotten that big.”The Canadian Press TORONTO — The owners of an Ontario frozen yogurt company embroiled in a $20-million lawsuit with Loblaw Companies Ltd., met with the head of the grocery giant Friday, just days after an impassioned video about their business dealings went viral.Amanda House says although no settlement offers came out of the hour-long meeting with Loblaw executive chairman Galen Weston Jr., she was hopeful that communication lines are now open between her company YoPRO Treats Inc. and the supermarket chain.It was a step in the right direction“It was a step in the right direction,” said 35-year-old House, who attended the meeting at Loblaw headquarters in Brampton, Ont. with her company co-founder and fiance Chris Delaney and their lawyer.“It was just basically open communication and explaining to Galen what had happened. It was good to be able to express our side of it.”The meeting was arranged after Loblaw became aware of a video the Burlington, Ont., kinesiologist and personal trainer uploaded earlier this week to YouTube. In the nearly four-minute video, House makes an impassioned plea to Weston for help.She alleges that Loblaw, on two occasions, promised to sell the couple’s low-fat, high-protein frozen yogurt product at their stores in Ontario and Quebec but then unexpectedly reneged on their offers.House says their products were not placed in freezers at hundreds of stores as promised, but a small order was made for a handful of stores with little marketing and signage.The couple says at the end of Friday’s meeting, Weston said he would try to get back to them next week.Darren Calabrese/National Post read more

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UN food agency battles bad weather and landslides to reach hungry in

As part of a major operation to feed tens of thousands of flood survivors in Nepal, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has battled bad weather and landslides to help an estimated 8,150 people in the western Banke District. The agency – along with the Nepal Red Cross – has given survivors 30 days’ rations which include rice, lentils and oil. Landslides have blocked some roads but food deliveries are continuing in several harder to reach areas such as Bardiya, Achham and Mugu districts.WFP announced in a news release that it has distributed 291 tons of food so far in western Nepal. Some 1,300 tons will be given to flood victims over the next few days. Operations will continue throughout the week, with all districts receiving food over the next several weeks, the Rome-based agency said. read more

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21st Century Fox investigating OReilly harassment claims

NEW YORK, N.Y. – As advertisers flee Bill O’Reilly’s nightly talk show amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment, Fox News parent 21st Century Fox is investigating one of those claims against its popular TV host.The investigation is in response to a complaint lodged last week by Wendy Walsh, formerly a regular guest on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” show.“21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul, Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters,” the company said in a statement.As part of the probe, Walsh and her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, had a two-hour phone interview with four Fox News lawyers Monday afternoon, Bloom said.At a news conference last week, Bloom had detailed allegations against O’Reilly by Walsh, a psychologist and radio host.Bloom said O’Reilly had told Walsh he would recommend her for a paid contributor role on the network. Walsh and O’Reilly had dinner in Los Angeles in 2013, but when Walsh refused his invitation to go back to his hotel room, his attitude changed and she was soon dropped from the show, according to Walsh.Bloom’s pronouncements came on the heels of a report by The New York Times that five women had been paid $13 million to settle allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate conduct by the top-rated host.O’Reilly has denied all the allegations, saying that, as a prominent public figure, he is vulnerable to lawsuits from people who threaten to cause him bad publicity unless they get paid.Walsh said she came forward because she was told by a Times reporter that many of the women who have accused O’Reilly of harassment are bound by gag orders. She said she is not bound by any such agreement, and the statute of limitations for suing has run out.“Nobody can silence me, because my voice is not for sale,” she said.Long Fox News’ top-rated star, O’Reilly has seen his ratings rise even higher during the past year with the public’s heightened interest in politics. Independent studies show he generates more than $100 million in advertising revenue per year for TV’s top-rated cable news network.But in the past week, dozens of brands have said they’re pulling ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” because of the allegations.The O’Reilly uproar has reignited a problem Fox had hoped to contain after forcing out Fox News’ founding boss Roger Ailes last summer in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment against him.Even so, The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Fox renewed O’Reilly’s contract, which was due to expire at the end of the year, while fully aware of the accusations, which stretch back more than a decade. 21st Century Fox investigating O’Reilly harassment claims by Frazier Moore, The Associated Press Posted Apr 10, 2017 1:33 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Ohio State marching band to perform in 2018 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

A cymbal player in the Ohio State University Marching Band performs the song “Hang on Sloopy” during the OSU vs. Oklahoma game. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorThe Ohio State marching band will travel to New York City next year to perform in the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the school announced Saturday. It will be the band’s first appearance in the parade.The Macy’s Parade has an annual viewership of 50 million and Ohio State was selected by the Macy’s Band Committee from more than 100 applicants, according to a press release. Ten bands total will perform. “For decades, The Ohio State University Marching Band has entertained stadiums of football lovers and most recently millions of fans on YouTube with their spectacular showmanship, ingenious field show designs and impressive big sound and even bigger school spirit,” said Wesley Whatley, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade creative director in the release. “Macy’s Band Selection Committee is proud to welcome ‘The Best Damn Band in the Land’ to the streets of New York City in 2018 for their inaugural appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!”The band performed a New York-themed halftime show Saturday, playing songs “New York State of Mind” and “On Broadway.”University President Michael Drake said Ohio State is thrilled for the nation to experience the hard work, focus and creativity of the band. “The Ohio State University Marching Band is near and dear to the hearts of Buckeyes across the nation and around the world,” he said in the release. read more

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Tragic Russian bombing being blamed on Modern Warfare 2

first_imgOn Monday morning, 35 people lost their lives and over 180 people were injured after a suitcase bomb packed with shrapnel and chopped wire exploded in the international arrivals area of Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport. It was a horrible tragedy, and after all such tragedies, those touched struggle to make sense of what appears to be such a senseless and despicable act. Unfortunately, all too often, those affected by such ordeals tend to chase after bogeymen to blame, and the Domodedovo Airport bombing is no different, as some are already trying to blame video games for the blast.According to Walid Phares, the Director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the terrorists who pulled off the Domodedovo bombing may have used the controversial “No Russian” mission from Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 to “train.”“I think those who have been radicalized already – that is supposed in this case jihadists, Al-Qaeda or other kind – they look at the games and say these games will serve them to train.” It’s nonsense, of course. For one thing, as you can see below, “No Russian” does not actually involve setting off a bomb.How, exactly, did the terrorists of a suitcase bombing use this mission to “train?” None the less, media critic Danny Schechter believes that, if they didn’t use “No Russian” to train, the level at least directly inspired the bombing:“This is the way entertainment mirrors reality and reality mirrors entertainment, and there are people influenced by all this, even though the manufacturers always deny having any influence on anyone,” Schechter says.Sorry, no. Game publishers and developers never argue they don’t have any influence on anyone: they argue that they have the same influence on people as any other form of art, and that the price of free artistic expression is the possibility that you will send someone who is already unhinged off the psychopathic deep end.Ironically given the number of commenters who are convinced that Modern Warfare 2 was responsible for this tragedy, the “No Russian” mission was never included in the Russian version of the game, making the whole argument moot.Read more at RTlast_img read more

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Theophanous lobbies for National Broadband Network

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Former Victorian Labor minister Theo Theophanous has met his long-time friend and factional ally, federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, to lobby on behalf of a Chinese firm, according to The Age. All NBN contracts go to tender and are decided by NBN Co without reference to the minister.Katharine Murphy reports Theophanous is advising Huawei Technologies, a Chinese communications firm with links to the military. Senator Conroy, who is responsible for the rollout of the $43 billion National Broadband Network (NBN), told The Age he met Mr Theophanous once, but said he wasn’t responsible for contractual decisions. ”All NBN contracts go to tender and are decided by NBN Co without reference to the minister,” he said. Murphy reports Huawei is the second-largest telecommunications network provider in the world and employs about 300 Australian staff. A Huawei spokesman told The Age Mr Theophanous’s role ”as part of our ongoing localisation strategy” reflected the firm’s commitment to business in Victoria. In 2009, Senator Conroy publicly backed Mr Theophanous when a rape charge against him was dismissed.last_img read more

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Le tarif social de lInternet fixe en place avant fin 2011

first_imgLe tarif social de l’Internet fixe en place avant fin 2011 ?En fin de semaine dernière, l’autorité de la concurrence a validé la création d’un label gouvernemental visant à créer un tarif social de l’Internet fixe. Les opérateurs seront convoqués en septembre pour en discuter et sa mise en place pourrait se faire avant la fin de l’année.Après le tarif social pour la téléphonie mobile, entériné en mars dernier, le gouvernement veut créer un tarif social pour l’Internet haut débit. Eric Besson et Frédéric Lefebvre, respectivement ministre de l’Economie numérique et secrétaire d’Etat au Commerce, l’ont justifié ainsi dans un communiqué commun : “21 millions de Français sont abonnés à Internet haut débit. 91 % des chercheurs d’emploi ont aujourd’hui recours à Internet pour leurs démarches. L’exclusion numérique est désormais source d’exclusion tout court. C’est pourquoi le gouvernement va mettre en place dès cet automne un tarif social de l’Internet”.Pour ce faire, ils ont donné rendez-vous aux opérateurs à Bercy le 13 septembre prochain. Ceux-ci devront à ce moment-là présenter leurs projets dans ce sens, pour une mise en oeuvre d’ici à la fin de l’année, précise le journal économique Les Echos.Deux obstacles majeurs À lire aussiLe World Wide Web a 30 ans : devons-nous nous inquiéter de son évolution ?Pour le moment, ce projet, à l’intention de deux millions de Français (les bénéficiaires du RSA socle) se heurte à plusieurs obstacles, dont le “paquet télécom”. Ce dernier ne prévoit pas de service universel pour Internet, à part les offres couplées à de la téléphonie fixe. Puis, il y a le problème France Télécom, qui exerce un monopole sur la téléphonie fixe, car il loue son cuivre aux autres. L’Autorité de la concurrence a donc demandé la réalisation de tests, qui seront faits par l’Arcep, le gendarme des télécommunications.Par ailleurs, le site ZDNet précise qu’aucun détail sur le contenu et le prix de cette offre n’est connu pour l’instant, même si le prix évoqué en janvier lors des premières discussions se situait autour de 20 euros.La fracture numérique pas toujours liée au portefeuille Mais ce n’est pas tout. L’autorité de la concurrence veut également aller plus loin, car la fracture numérique n’est pas toujours liée au portefeuille. Les personnes âgées, celles qui vivent à la campagne, dans les DOM-TOM, ou encore les non-diplômés, n’ont pas toujours accès à l’Internet haut débit. Les Echos rapportent que l’Autorité de la concurrence veut alors favoriser le développement d’espaces publics numériques pour réduire ces inégalités. D’autres pistes comme les offres globales destinées aux locataires de HLM sont également à l’étude, selon le journal économique.Le 11 juillet 2011 à 16:10 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Humanity Has a New Star Courtesy Space Startup Rocket Lab

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. US startup Rocket lab launched a trio of satellites last weekend. That’s pretty normal these days, as spaceflight goes, but it was what CEO Peter Beck announced afterwards that turned heads. Beck said that the company also released an object that should become the “brightest thing in the night sky.” The probe, if you can call it that, is shaped like a disco ball. Rocket Lab calls it the “Humanity Star,” and it should reflect sunlight with its array of 65 mirrored panels. It’s spinning, too, like it’s 70s aesthetic inspiration. It is already so bright that people can see it with the naked eye. The path of the satellite allows it to cover all of Earth, and to help stargazers track the object, the company made a website where you can track it. Ostensibly, the goal of the humanity star was to help provide a symbol of hope and unity for everyone on Earth.“No matter where you are in the world, or what is happening in your life, everyone will be able to see the Humanity Star in the night sky,” Beck said in a statement. “Our hope is that everyone looking at the Humanity Star will look past it to the vast expanse of the Universe and think a little differently about their lives, actions, and what is important for humanity.”While the sentiment is noble, astronomers are, understandably, a little miffed. But the object won’t stay in the sky forever. Over the next few months, its orbit will decay and the “star” will fall back to Earth. Plus, there’s plenty of human-man objects that can be seen from Earth, like, say,  the International Space Station. The big difference here, though, is that Humanity Star blinks and flickers, thanks to its spin. Because it has no scientific purpose and because the launch was kept secret, there’a good case to be made that this is some sort of mischief. Even so, the heart seems there, and the temporary nature of the thing does defang it a bit.If anything, it’s certainly a fascinating (albeit somewhat intrusive) art piece, and anything that aims to engender empathy has to be moving in the right direction, eh?last_img read more

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ASA Inks Soybean Cooperation Agreement with China

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) today signed a cooperation agreement with representatives of the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce & Animal By-Products (CFNA) in support of continued U.S. soybean exports to China. The ceremony was held at the Chicago Board of Trade.”We have just signed an agreement on cooperation between CFNA and ASA, in which we agreed to begin a wide range of mutually beneficial exchanges and activities, including the exchange of delegations between our two organizations,” said ASA Chairman Dwain Ford, a producer from Kinmundy, Ill. “As a representative of U.S. soybean farmers, I can tell you that we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”Among the distinguished delegates from China were Mr. Liao Xiaoqi, Vice Minister of Commerce; Mr. Cao Xu Min, President of the CFNA; Mr. Xia Hongmin, Deputy Administrator of the State Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine; and Mr. Deng Qinghai, Deputy Director General of Development and Planning, from the Ministry of Agriculture.ASA’s mission in China has always been one of working closely with Chinese aquaculture, livestock, feed milling, and soybean processing industries to increase the demand and preference for U.S. soybeans within these industries. This work not only increased demand for U.S. soybeans, but also resulted in the production of better and more food for the Chinese people.Long before China imported soybeans, ASA producer-leaders decided to open an office in China to begin building demand for U.S. soybeans. That was 21 years ago. More recently, ASA’s 25,000 farmer-members were politically active in supporting China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and successfully urged the U.S. Congress to grant China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status.China is now the United States’ largest customer for soybeans and it is a growing market. In the marketing year that ended August 31, China purchased nearly 7.7 million metric tons (283 million bushels) of U.S. soybeans with an estimated farm-gate value of $1.6 billion. In the current marketing year that began on September 1, 2003, China already has purchased over 7.35 million metric tons with a farm-gate value of $2 billion, and ASA anticipates more business will be completed over the coming days and months.”To the soybean farmer, these are very exciting trade figures,” Ford said. “China is and will continue to be a critical market to the American soybean farmer. It is ASA’s commitment to continue to work with China to further build demand and preference for U.S. soybeans.”Since opening the first office in 1982, the scope of ASA’s work in China has grown from technical services to livestock and feed production to the current important work with China’s livestock producers, feed millers, aquaculture industry, soybean processors, and the traders and distributors who supply their protein needs. Today, ASA has a staff of highly respected livestock, aquaculture, feed milling and marketing experts located in offices in Beijing and Shanghai. ASA’s activities to expand international markets for U.S. soybeans and products are made possible by producer checkoff dollars invested by the United Soybean Board and various State Soybean Councils, as well as by cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.While U.S. soybean farmers have greatly benefited from ASA’s work in China, so have Chinese consumers. Today, imports of soybeans from the United States allow China to keep meat and vegetable oil supplied and prices under control for Chinese consumers.”ASA’s work in China has created additional demand in China from the livestock and aquaculture industries, and Chinese soybean producers also have benefited from this additional demand building,” Ford said. “ASA is proud of the role it has played in helping make China the number one export market for U.S. soybeans.”Ford said that the road to this point has been both rewarding and challenging. At times, U.S. soybean exports have faced issues such as trade restrictions, import permit delays, confusion over biotechnology regulations and problems with transparency. These issues have hurt both China and the United States. Ford said that future prosperity lies in ensuring that the major buyers of U.S. soybeans in China can operate knowing that they have a free and unencumbered flow of soybeans from the United States.”As soybean producers, we need to know that the markets that we produce for will be there when we harvest,” Ford said. “If we can work under those circumstances, we will all be prosperous. It is my hope that this delegation, and the joint agreement we just signed, will help ensure that soybean trade between our two great nations continues unencumbered and we can operate our businesses efficiently without having to focus on trade policy issues.”last_img read more

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HomesteadMiami Speedway hosts fundraiser for youth programs

first_imgHOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – Drivers from all walks of life went for a spin at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, and it was all for a good cause.The annual Give Back at the Track was held over the weekend at the iconic racetrack.For a $20 donation, participants ran two laps around the track in their own cars.Some guests said the experience gave them quite a thrill.“I’d never done this before,” said Michael Baron. “My heart was rushing the whole way down here, and once you got out of the track, it was an amazing experience, just amazing.”Donations from the event benefit several local youth and education programs.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Budget Squeeze Forces JBLM to Consider Training Closer to Base

first_imgFunding constraints are prompting Army leaders at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) to consider opportunities for conducting training on post or closer to the western Washington installation as a way of cutting costs.“We have to be efficient. We have to do at JBLM locally everything that we can,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas James, commander of the 7th Infantry Division.One cost-saving proposal would give Army helicopter pilots new routes and training zones over public land in southwest Washington and in the North Cascades as an alternative to a site in Colorado, reported the News Tribune. A second proposal would allow two battalions to fire rocket training rounds in JBLM’s artillery impact area instead of limiting their exercises to the Yakima Training Center.JBLM has considered carrying out training for the rocket system in the past, but did not go ahead due to community concerns about noise. The change would save money, as two battalions now travel to the Yakima Training Center in central Washington to test the weapons, incurring about $227,000 in travel expenses for moving Army vehicles to Yakima.Army officials believe both proposals are cost-effective ways to improve training.“These are things we can do at JBLM to maximize our nation’s resources,” James said. “We have to make sure it’s safe and the community around JBLM embraces it.”Budget concerns this summer already forced a Stryker battalion’s scheduled training rotation at Yakima to be postponed, according to the story. The funds weren’t available initially due to unexpected maintenance and training costs for other units at the post. Forces Command ultimately furnished several million dollars to the division, allowing the battalion to travel to Yakima at a later date. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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Russian gamer sues Fallout 4s Bethesda complaining that game is addictive after

first_imgFallout 4 was released on 10 November.FacebookWhen the Bethesda released Fallout 4, it shattered several records for the company and even led to a dip in traffic for websites like PornHub. The game is no doubt popular and involves players completely.But that has not deterred a Russian gamer from filing a lawsuit against Bethesda after the 28-year old played the game for three weeks and ended up losing both his job and his wife.The Russian gamer wants Bethesda to compensate him 500,000 roubles ($7,000) for not warning that the game could “become so addictive”, reported RT. He has sued the company for emotional distress.After seeing an advertisement of the game, the gamer wanted to play it for couple of evenings, but due to its addiction, played it for the next three weeks. The gamer started skipping work and stopped meeting friends, and in between, his wife also left him.He also started to lose his health after he started to skip food and sleep. He said in a statement if he had known this game would be so addictive, he would have bought the game later and played it when he left for “holiday or until the New Year holidays”.This is the first such case in Russia and is being considered a test case. There is no precedent in the country of someone suing a company for similar reasons.Previously, in the US, one such gamer was compensated for getting hooked to Lineage 2, after the court asked NCsoft to pay his legal fee.last_img read more

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US Dhaka embassy to stay closed 16 Dec

first_imgThe US embassy in Dhaka including its consular section will remain closed on Sunday on the occasion of Victory Day, a national holiday in Bangladesh.The American Center, Archer K Blood American Center Library and the Education USA Student Advising Centre will also remain closed on the occasion.However, the emergency services for American citizens will be available, said a press releaseFor any emergency, anyone can call to 5566-2000 and ask for the duty officer, it added.last_img

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Couples can save almost 8500 and add in a bonus n

first_imgCouples can save almost $8500 and add in a bonus night’s accommodation in Dublin on a new fly, stay and cruise package from Adventure Canada and Cruise Traveller that takes guests on a circumnavigation of the Emerald Isle.The new 12-night ‘Shamrock Express’ package includes an 11-night cruise circumnavigating Ireland aboard Adventure Canada’s 198-passenger, eco-friendly vessel, the Ocean Endeavour, and a free night’s accommodation in Dublin, pre-cruise. The discounted package also includes free flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth and free transfers, with total savings of $8490 per couple. Guests need to book through Cruise Traveller before 15 April, 2019.Departing Australia on June 7, 2019, the 11-night round-trip cruise departs Dublin on 9 June, 2019. The package is priced from $12,545 per person, including the discount when booked before 15 April, 2019. cruiseIrelandspecialslast_img read more

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Motown Museum event to honour black familyowned b

first_imgMotown Museum event to honour black family-owned businesses by The Associated Press Posted Feb 19, 2018 7:44 pm PDT Last Updated Feb 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email DETROIT – Detroit’s Motown Museum is organizing an event to celebrate the entrepreneurial legacy of the Gordy family and black family-owned businesses in honour of Black History Month.The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Feb. 28 at TechTown. The program will be moderated by Paul Riser Jr., one of the business incubator’s managing directors and son of Motown Records’ musician and arranger Paul Riser Sr.Presentations will include a history of the Gordy family’s migration to Detroit and its role in shaping the company founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1959. The museum was opened in 1985 by Gordy’s sister, Esther Gordy Edwards.Representatives from other black businesses are expected to share their successes and failures, as well as offer advice to budding entrepreneurs.last_img read more

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Leave Cyprus now if you want gas jobs later

first_imgBy Peter StevensonIF YOUNG Cypriots want to have any chance of being employed in the island’s natural gas industry, they need to leave the country now, the head of the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company Charles Ellinas advises.“My message to you is get out of Cyprus as soon as you can. Go to the UK, to the Middle-East to get experience because without it you will be unemployable,” Ellinas told students at a talk on Oil and Gas Developments in the Region of Cyprus – Job Opportunities and Educational Needs at Frederick University.Also speaking at the event were Symeon Kassianides, the CEO of Hyperion Systems Engineering Group and Dr Richard Burns, a visiting lecturer.Since news of the gas find in Cyprus broke local universities have jumped on the bandwagon hoping to churn out gas experts by the time reserves start coming onshore, ostensibly around 2020.However, the message from the three experts to eager students was clear: when the island’s reserves start to come in, the positions available for locals will initially be mainly for unskilled and semi-skilled workers.All three agreed that companies coming in would need a lot of motivation to hire local staff. Noble Energy, ENI/KOGAS and Total, the three companies who own drilling rights, are currently contributing €1.5m towards degrees related to the oil and gas industry but the experts say this may not be enough to boost jobs in the short to medium term.Ellinas believes a large number of workers will be needed before, during and after an LNG plant is built, which could peak at 7,500 people during the construction of the plant at Vassilikos, which is estimated to begin in 2016, with about 700 jobs being created during the operation phase.“For every job created during construction, three or more other jobs will be also created in the fields of external support, security and supplies,” he said.However of the expected 7,500 jobs, only about one third will go to Cypriots and that is mainly due to a lack of experience in the construction of LNG plants.“Most jobs will not go to locals because the necessary experience is not available but with initial preparation many jobs can be provided outside the LNG plant with construction consultancy firms convincing firms like Noble Energy, ENI/KOGAS and Total to maximise Cypriot participation,” he said.With the operation phase believed to begin in around 2020, Ellinas said that now was the time to begin preparations to educate, train and gain experience.He said that if preparations such as young people going abroad to seek experience,  was not done correctly, ahead of the beginning of construction in 2016 Cypriots could even lose out on the jobs that could be available to locals.He added that the government, oil and gas industry and academia needed to provide the necessary training in the lower skilled fields needed for construction of more Cypriots were to be employed.“A gas masterplan needs to be developed, a strategy of cooperation needs to be created between the universities, the government and everyone else who is involved and it needs to be done immediately, we have no time to spare,” he said.Ellinas said he strongly believed that universities taking the initiative was not enough, and everyone needed to become involved if Cyprus was to make the most out of its natural resources.“The industry will be around for at least the next 50 years so we need to ingrain it into young peoples’ minds and that starts at schools,” he concluded.Barnes’ estimate was that it would take 40 years for a Cypriot to be running the show but he said that there were areas in the local hotel industry that could be adapted to meet employment opportunities once things get going in the medium term.“A construction camp for the workers on the LNG plant will need to provide very similar services to what the hotel industry provides so there are positions which won’t need any training, only to adapt,” he said.Barnes believes there will eventually be tremendous opportunities for locals even if there are only 100-150 jobs initially. “Even if it’s only 150 jobs, that’s 150 more than exist right now,” he concluded.You May LikeSub Compact SUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best New Sub Compact SUVSub Compact SUVs | Search AdsUndoEditorChoice.comIf You See Square Waves In The Ocean Get Out Of The Water ImmediatelyEditorChoice.comUndoNovelodgeBaby Photoshoots That Went Hilariously WrongNovelodgeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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New law seeks to put private schools in order

first_imgBy Annette ChrysostomouWith all private schools on the island and what goes on in them being their concern, the private schools association’s current main concern is a new law that will regulate them, its head George Kriticos said.The bill has been discussed by all stakeholders, including private schools, the education and finance ministries, legal services, parents and schools.It calls for parents to be informed on the total amount of tuition they will have to pay for the duration of their children’s studies. “Parents need to know how much they have to pay for the entire time. Some schools talk about small increases but this is subjective,” Kriticos explained.There were cases, he said, where parents found themselves having to pay up to €1,500 and €2,000 more by the time their child graduated compared with the first year of his or her studies. While some schools charge more for year six than year one, he is not referring to this, but about increases solely related to inflated charges over the years.The majority of MPs concur the provision will ensure transparency and help parents plan their children’s studies accordingly. The association of private schools, which initiated the plan, is therefore confident it will pass.George KritikosAccording to the same bill, the head of the association said, all private schools will have to submit to the education ministry each year their studies guides and other obligations of the schools, for approval by the minister. This is, Kriticos said, aimed at “putting things in order.”The new law was not finalised at the time of writing, so the education ministry declined to comment on what ‘other obligations’ will entail, saying only that at present all programmes already have to be approved for the schools to retain their licence.Head of the House education committee Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis agreed the new law is necessary. “It is something that all agree on, the parents, the associations…” he said. “There has been a dialogue which lasted for three months.”He confirmed not all has been resolved but what is for sure is that the schools will have to decide tuition fees for seven years and cannot change them once parents have registered their children.What must also be included is extra money the school might need, for example for building or extending premises, Kriticos said. “The school must inform the parents about the long-term plans, they need to be included in what the school informs the parents to pay before registration.”If, for example, a new swimming pool needs to be paid for, the private school must either make a long-term plan and include the money in the fees to be paid, or the owners will be able to charge only new students whose parents have agreed to pay for its construction upon registration.At the moment, the yearly reduction or increase in fees is calculated by the education and finance ministries each year and takes into account salaries and inflation, a spokesman of the education ministry said.When a private school needs extra money, it must inform the ministry, and the ministry will have to approve before parents can be asked to pay.Fees and regulations are probably the two issues that take up most of the association’s time but also high on their agenda is members pushing for the introduction of a subsidy for parents who send their kids to private schools.There are currently about 9,900 pupils in private secondary schools, about 19 per cent of all secondary pupils, and about 4,600 in private primary education, about 10 per cent of all pupils. The numbers have not significantly changed over the past years though they briefly dropped during the economic crisis in 2013.Private tuition fees range from €5,000 to €7,500 and are well below the cost per pupil in the public school. The cost per pupil in public education, according to the latest data from the Statistical Service, amounts to €6,308 per pupil for primary education and €9,428 per pupil for secondary education.“Taking into account the development and school maintenance costs, the cost goes up a lot,” the private schools association says.“We demand subsidies just like other Europeans get,” the head of the association said. “For each student who chooses a private school the government saves €10,000 per year. We ask that one third of this money, around €3,000, is given to these students as a subsidy. Elsewhere each gets a coupon for an amount of money, and either the student will give this to a public or a private school. Parents then just pay the difference. The government will still save money, and the parents will have a choice, it will be a fairer competition.“In Europe it is proven that the level of quality of education is intertwined with the greater support / presence of private education,” Kriticos stressed, noting that the policy of the Scandinavian countries on this issue is the most generous.The private schools association argues the grant would give more parents and students the choice between private and public education. The state would also save on expenditure on building extensions or rebuilding new schools and maintenance costs of buildings. In addition, the increased work of private schools would bring added benefits to the state as a result of raising the amount of income and other taxes.The introduction of the subsidy is something that is going to happen, the head of the association believes. “The politicians are positive, the minister is positive.”Another problem in the past for private students was their acceptance into public universities, which has been solved for the time being, Kriticos went on to say. The problem arose for the English speaking students, as entrance exams were in Greek only. The Greek speakers from private schools, 25 to 30 per cent of students, did not have a problem. Though he expressed satisfaction with the way the government cooperates with the private schools, this problem was solved for a different reason. “The university has opened a window and accepts the English speakers, it was not the government,” Kriticos commented.Of the 39 private secondary schools currently recognised by the ministry of education, 14 are members of the private schools association, the rest are independent. BACK TO SCHOOLS GUIDEYou May LikeIcePopMan Notices A Strange Hole In This Lake, So He Gets A Drone, Flies It Inside And Captures ThisIcePopUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Rep Miller announces grant for downtown Sturgis project

first_imgState Rep. Aaron Miller today announced a state grant to help develop five parcels of land in Sturgis into a new two-story building, which represents the first significant new construction in the downtown area in half a century.Rep. Miller, R-Sturgis, said Moso Village, LLC, will use the $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program grant to redevelop the land to include commercial, retail, restaurant and residential space. In addition, the Sturgis Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received $1.9 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund for demolition, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.“This is exciting news for downtown Sturgis and is a huge win for the families of Sturgis and the surrounding area,” Rep. Miller said. “This project is expected to create 25 jobs and generate $6.7 million in capital investment.”The city also is supporting the project through $1 million in tax-increment financing, and the St. Joseph County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has pledged $32,000 to the project.##### Categories: Miller News,News 28Apr Rep. Miller announces grant for downtown Sturgis projectcenter_img Lawmaker says development will create 25 jobslast_img read more

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Rep Whiteford welcomes guests to state Capitol

first_img01Feb Rep. Whiteford welcomes guests to state Capitol Categories: News,Photos,Whiteford News,Whiteford Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Mary Whiteford (center) welcomed Tom and Michelle Krcatovich to the state Capitol.  Rep. Whiteford gave Tom and Michelle a tour of the Capitol building before the House session.###last_img

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