Sanjeev Dua takes over as HDC MD

first_imgNEW DELHI: MMTC Ltd Chief GM Sanjeev Dua assumed charge as Managing Director of National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd (NHDC) on May Day. An alumnus of St. Xavier’s School, New Delhi, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) New Delhi, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi, and Panjab University, Chandigarh, he holds educational qualifications of PG in International Trade, MBA, and MA in Economics. He has served as Trustee Board Member on the Marmugao Port Trust, Goa and has attended program of Strategic Leadership for Senior Managers at IIM Ahmedabad. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraHe started his professional career in 1983 having worked with DCM-Shriram and Birla Groups and with multinational Woolworth Overseas Corporation USA India office and is widely travelled in India and overseas. At MMTC he has held various challenging assignments at Corporate and at Regional offices and is recipient of Best Regional Award while posted at Goa. During his distinguished career at MMTC he has handled all facets of Management covering International Trade, Corporate Planning, Finance & Accounts, Administration & Personnel, Audit, Law and International Arbitration. He lives with his wife, former Assistant Professor, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), and his son who is pursuing his MBBS degree at AIIMS.last_img read more

UN Ethiopia agree on plan to send aid to eastern areas

The United Nations today announced plans with the Government of Ethiopia aimed at ensuring that much needed emergency relief food, medicines and other assistance reach the country’s Somali Regional State.“The Ethiopian Government has assured the UN that humanitarian activities within Somali region will be unrestricted,” said Fidele Sarassoro, UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative. “These developments are very good news for the people of the region.”Under the plan, Ethiopia’s Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Agency will establish joint support centers in the most affected areas of the region to facilitate the logistics of bringing relief food, medicine, veterinary services and livelihoods help there.In August, the UN announced plans to send an assessment mission to Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State to determine humanitarian needs in the light of “security operations” in the area. 18 October 2007The United Nations today announced plans with the Government of Ethiopia aimed at ensuring that much needed emergency relief food, medicines and other assistance reach the country’s Somali Regional State. read more

UNP accuses UPFA of marketing Maithripala

“The majority of the UPFA candidates are those who are accused of corruption, fraud, thuggery and spreading fear psychosis. They do not represent the thinking of President Maithripala Sirisena.  The group that broke away from the UPFA along with President Maithripala has come forward to contest this election as candidates of the United National Front.  It is now too late for the UPFA to guarantee their future by taking cover under President Maithripala’s image,” he added.Karu Jayasuriya said that throughout the whole election campaign, the UPFA based their propaganda on slogans connecting the diaspora, division of the country and federal administration and when it was found that these slogans have lost validity they resorted to staging hilarious dramas by exhibiting vials of poison and empty pots. (Colombo Gazette) “It shows that those who shouted the slogans can’t do without Mahinda have now changed the slogan to can’t do with Mahinda. The group which tried to convene the SLFP Central Committee and oust the President and his loyalists from the party has now started marketing the image of President Maithripala Sirisena; as their final trump card,” he said. The United National Party (UNP) has accused the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) of marketing President Maithripala Sirisena ahead of the Parliamentary election as a last resort to win public support.Former UNP Parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya said that the UPFA campaign commenced with the slogan “can’t do without Mahinda” then they changed it to “we rise with Mahinda” and now they have abandoned both slogans and have started using the photograph of President Maithripala Sirisena to boost their campaign. Jayasuriya also said that what the UPFA leaders should understand is that President Maithripala Sirisena is not merely an individual, but an icon of a program of action and the real representatives of the movement who stand for good governance, guaranteeing the supremacy of law and creating a righteous society are candidates contesting the elections from the United National Front for good governance and not from the UPFA. read more

Millennial Money Make renting work for your financial goals

“Renting is just throwing money away.”“Renting is like paying someone else instead of paying yourself.”You may have heard these opinions from family and friends, but it’s not that simple. In some areas (looking at you, San Francisco), renting is far more economical than buying a home. But renting can be used to fatten your credit profile as a steppingstone to your financial goals.MILLENNIALS WANT TO BUY BUT FACE BARRIERSMillennials are delaying homeownership and staying in rentals longer than previous generations, multiple studies show.Student debt — that bane of millennial existence — is one factor pushing back the age of homeownership. Rising rents and home prices coupled with slow wage growth also make it hard to save for a down payment.The vast majority of Americans — 9 out of 10 — still equate homeownership with personal success and economic security, according to a survey released in July by the website Apartment List. The survey of a nationally representative sample of people found both renters and homeowners believe there is a social stigma associated with renting.HOW TO MAKE RENT WORK FOR YOUYou cannot fully control how much money you make. But your credit score — the key to qualifying for rewards credit cards, financing a car or even a home — is largely under your control. Rent payments can be used to beef up your score.For many millennials, rent payments are a great way to demonstrate responsible behaviour to potential creditors. But rent payments — unlike credit card, mortgage and loan payments — don’t automatically appear on credit reports. And your credit scores rely on what’s in your credit reports.There are two ways to get rent added to your reports:— ASK YOUR LANDLORD. Two of the three major credit bureaus — Experian and TransUnion — accept payment information from landlords. Both bureaus’ websites have a simple process for landlords to sign up.— DO IT YOURSELF. You can use third-party companies such as RentTrack, Rock The Score and others to report rent payments directly to one or more bureaus for a monthly fee.A 2017 TransUnion study followed 12,000 renters for a year. Scores rose 16 points on average within six months after rent reporting began, says Maitri Johnson, vice-president of multifamily at TransUnion. The largest increase was for scores below 620, generally considered bad credit.With rent reporting, payments show up on your credit report like any other account. Positive payments help your score; missed or late payments can damage it. If there are errors, you can dispute them with the bureaus.WHAT TO KNOWRent reporting lets you get credit for something you’re already doing. Better credit can get you a cash-back credit card or a cheaper car loan, saving you money in the short term and strengthening your finances for the long term. But rent reporting also has some drawbacks:— NOT ALL CREDIT SCORES FACTOR IN RENT PAYMENTS. FICO 8, the most widely used score by lenders, and the FICO versions used in mortgage lending do not use rental information to calculate scores. But newer versions, such as FICO 9 and FICO XD, do. VantageScore, FICO’s main competitor, also uses rental payment information.“Even if it’s not something considered in your score, it’s still cosmetically on your credit report,” says John Ulzheimer, a credit expert who has worked at Equifax and FICO. “A lender considers information in good standing and that’s going to benefit you as an applicant.”— REPORTING IS NOT FREE. If you use a reporting service, you’ll pay a monthly fee ranging from $6.95 to $9.95 depending on the company, plus a one-time enrolment fee of $25 to $95. Extras like adding past rental information cost more.OTHER WAYS TO BUILD CREDITUlzheimer points out that traditional credit-building methods are more effective than rent reporting: They don’t cost much, payments are typically reported to all three credit bureaus, and they influence all types of FICO scores and VantageScores.— You can become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, preferably someone with a long history of responsible credit use.— You can get a secured credit card, which requires an upfront deposit. Charge a small amount on it every month and always pay on time.— You can apply for a credit-builder loan, available at credit unions. Your monthly payments are reported to the credit bureaus. The money you borrow is released to you once the loan is paid off.___________________________________This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Amrita Jayakumar is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: ajayakumar@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ajbombay.RELATED LINK:NerdWallet: How to report rent to credit bureaus http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-rent-and-creditAmrita Jayakumar Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press read more

East Timor approves measure to join global financial institutions upon independence

The plan put forward by the Ministry of Finance and approved by the Council of Ministers would enable East Timor to join the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank after achieving statehood on 20 May, according to the UN Transitional Administration (UNTAET).The Council also approved a new organizational structure of the Second Transitional Government, a $19.2 million assistance package from Japan for various public works projects, and a proposal to increase the health ministry’s ability to provide international-standard mental health services over the next three years.In other action, the Ministers endorsed a foreign affairs package that included a recommendation that several agreements signed by UNTAET/East Timor and Indonesia would remain valid until new accords were negotiated and signed.Among the agreements are those that cover the movement of people and goods between East Timor and the Oecussi enclave, which is located in Indonesian West Timor; the Joint Border Commission; postal services; the Indonesian rupiah; and pension payments to former East Timorese who served in the Indonesian civil service, police and military. read more

Bird flu a threat to southern Balkans Caucasus region warns UN agency

Despite successful efforts to contain the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus, avian flu poses a threat to a growing number of countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which says the Caucasus and southern Balkans are now considered “high-risk” areas.“The region is not only a prime resting ground for migratory bird species, but poultry production is mostly characterized by rural and household husbandry with little in terms of biosecurity and strong regulatory inspection,” says Juan Lubroth, head of FAO’s Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal Diseases.The FAO says bird flu has been confirmed in 55 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, up from 45 just four months ago, though the rate of infection among poultry has slowed in most countries.“We don’t expect to eradicate the H5N1 virus from possible wild bird reservoirs, but we can contain and control it fully in the poultry sector, which is the best insurance we have that it will not mutate into a virus that is easily transmissible among humans,” says Joseph Domenech, Chief Veterinary Officer of FAO.For that to happen, however, he says veterinary and laboratory services need to be improved in poorer countries, where a general lack of funds hampers public services.“Just like a chain with a weak link, we need to find the weak links in the global effort to contain H5N1 and strengthen them,” says Mr. Domenech.The virus has killed 140 people worldwide since 2002, including 63 so far this year, according to the World Health Organization. More than 220 million birds have died from the virus or been killed in culling activities aimed at stopping the spread of the disease. read more

UN war crimes tribunal transfers Serb official to Portugal to serve 20year

On 27 September 2007, Mile Mrkšic, a former Colonel within the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), was sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to 20 years in prison for aiding and abetting the murder, torture and cruel treatment of prisoners, as well as the inhumane conditions of detention at the hangar of Ovcara near the Croatian town of Vukovar between 20 and 21 November 1991.Following the fall of Vukovar to JNA and Serb paramilitary forces, the JNA loaded about 260 non-Serbs from the Vukovar hospital onto buses and transported them first to JNA barracks and then to a pig farm at Ovcara, where they were subjected to severe beatings that lasted for hours.During the trial, the ICTY found that later that evening, Mr. Mrkšic withdrew the JNA troops, leaving the prisoners to the mercy of paramilitaries who then killed and buried at least 194 of them in a mass grave at Ovcara. JNA forces had established inhumane conditions of detention, and Mr. Mrkšic, who commanded the forces, failed to act effectively to ensure that the prisoners were properly protected.Portugal is one of 17 countries that have signed an agreement with the ICTY, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, to enforce the tribunal’s sentences. Mr. Mrkšic is the first convicted person to be transferred to Portugal.In a news release, the ICTY commended the Portuguese authorities for their support in ensuring the enforcement of the Tribunal’s sentences, and called on Member States to assist it in securing additional enforcement capacity.Since its inception 19 years ago, the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 126 persons have been concluded, and are currently ongoing for 35 accused individuals. read more

Brock University tops Bold New Brock fundraising goal extends campaign

David Petis, Vice-President of Advancement, Brock President Jack Lightstone, Wendy Ward, Canada Research Chair, and student Tyler Plyley at the Bold New Brock campaign celebration. Photo: Niagara This Week.Brock University has garnered $85 million in support of its Bold New Brock capital campaign, exceeding its original goal by $10 million.Brock President Jack Lightstone shared the news today at a celebration event at the University where he also announced Brock is extending the campaign to the end of 2015, with a new cumulative goal of $110 million.“This decision is endorsed by Brock’s board of trustees, but it is driven by the motivation of our partners to assist Brock, and also by the unmet and growing need that still exists,” said Lightstone. “We must remain committed to sustaining our momentum to positively impact the cultural, social and economic well-being of Brock, Niagara and Canada,”Extending the capital campaign will include support for the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex projects, as well as raise money for the new home of the Goodman School of Business, and Brock’s strategic plan.Bold New Brock, the largest fundraising and advocacy campaign ever undertaken by the University, was launched in March 2009 to increase endowments for student financial assistance, invest in teaching and research facilities, expand knowledge and empower faculty as educator-researchers building intellectual capacity.The campaign had an even loftier goal of strengthening Brock’s relationships with its alumni, benefactors, governments and the community, to create invaluable academic assets that will benefit Niagara and all Canadians economically, socially and culturally for generations to come.David Petis, Brock’s Vice-President Advancement, said the University is proud that many of the 14,000 campaign gifts have come from Brock faculty, staff and students, whom he called “the foundation of the success.”“It has been amazing to see the support of so many help raise the level of philanthropy at Brock,” he said.Highlights of the Bold New Brock capital campaign to date include:* approximately 185 new student awards and the creation of 13 new athletic awards* more than 25 newly named spaces, including the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex and Goodman School of Business* Brock’s endowment fund has doubled from $28.6 in 2008 to $57.2 million today* construction of the Matheson Learning Commons, used by thousands of students on a daily basis* 87.4 per cent of the gifts received through the Bold New Brock campaign have been directed to priority projects of the institution read more

Urban Meyer Redshirt philosophy unchanged health key to winning in November

With just one win — or a Michigan State loss — in the way of Ohio State and a ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game, coach Urban Meyer said staying healthy is the key to winning late in the season.Meyer spoke on the Big Ten teleconference Tuesday afternoon and addressed OSU’s goal of clinching a spot in the conference title game, the development of junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker and his unwavering stance on redshirting players. He also talked about the upcoming matchup with Indiana and reiterated praise for one Hoosier offensive weapon.Meyer said he hopes his players understand that “they clinch a spot in the championship game with a win.”Meyer said the Buckeyes had probably their best Sunday practice of the season this week.He said Decker is a “model citizen for a team and program … he’s a much better player too.”Meyer on Decker: “I can’t say enough about how much he’s grown in two years.”Meyer said he “probably should have played” freshman defensive lineman Sam Hubbard earlier this season because “he’s doing really, really good.” Meyer added that it’s too hard to burn a year of eligibility by putting a player on the field this late in the season.Meyer said he still doesn’t intend to redshirt players off the bat. “If you’re not good enough, you won’t play or if you’re hurt, you won’t play,” he said. “If you’re recruiting a good player, play him.”He singled out redshirt-freshman cornerback Eli Apple and redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee as two players who benefited from sitting out a season.Meyer said he doesn’t expect Apple to be at OSU for five years. “My guess is, if he continues to improve, that they move on,” he said.On what the key to winning in November is, Meyer said: “Without question, it’s the health of your team and managing practice.”He singled out freshman linebacker Dante Booker and freshman safety Erick Smith as two young players who are excelling late in the season after developing throughout the year.Meyer said Indiana junior running back Tevin Coleman is “ridiculous.” Coleman ran for 307 yards in a loss to Rutgers last week.He added that Coleman is “definitely an NFL running back.”Meyer said sophomore punter Cameron Johnston had his “worst day this year” against Minnesota last Saturday.He said current Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith had a similar impact at Utah that redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has had in place of senior Braxton Miller this season.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Indiana on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

The Miz Summer Rae talk The Marine 4 release this week

first_img Lindsay Lohan Becky Lynch `WWE 24` Documentary Premier Date Announced Now Playing Up Next Roman Reigns Is Back, But Not Fighting For Belts Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Google+ Roman Reigns featured in The Rock’s latest movie trailer Hobbs & Shaw Pinterest Videos Articles Facebook Videos Articles These Actors Really Refused To Work With Each Othercenter_img O. T. Fagbenle Videos Articles John Cena Says WWE Doesn`t Need Him Now Playing Up Next Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Vin Diesel Roman Reigns: Leukemia Is In Remission Dean Ambrose to appear at Cauliflower Alley Club reunion after his WWE contract expires Donald Wood sent this in.Fellow columnists Mike Chiari, Brandon Galvin and myself had former WWE champion The Miz and WWE Diva Summer Rae on the show this week, and it was a great episode with plenty of exclusive content.YouTube interview: https://youtu.be/4Pv3FXO3h44Blog Talk Radio Episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ringrustradio/2015/04/21/ring-rust-radio–apr-21-w-wwes-the-miz-summer-rae-extreme-rules-previewThe Miz and Summer Rae TranscriptionDonald Wood: Your movie, The Marine 4: Moving Target, was released on DVD and Blu-ray today, April 21. While you have done several WWE films, this is your second consecutive time working on the Marine franchise. Do you feel you have taken over the role as the Marine on a permanent basis, like we see in 007 films?The Miz: It was a huge honor to be asked to do the Marine once again. We know John Cena did the first, Ted DiBiase did the second, and I did the third. Then to be asked to come back and do the fourth I couldn’t believe it. Anytime you do a movie with the name Marine in it, you have a huge pressure put on your shoulder. Those are real heroes over in war zones, sacrificing their lives, being away from their family and friends, and here I am being an actor portraying them it’s a huge honor and I hope I make them proud and entertain them and they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.Mike Chiari: You really established yourself as a successful actor in The Marine 3, but it was your first starring role in a movie, so how would you say that experience changed things for you when it came to filming The Marine 4: Moving Target? What were some of the main differences for you as an actor between the two movies?The Miz: Whenever you do your first movie, you’re not necessarily lost, but it’s easy to get lost. I was a person that set out and had the luxury to have Scott Wiper as my Director. Really took me under his wing and guided me through the entire process and hone in on what I had to do. Now each time I do another movie I continue to learn from each movie I do. With Marine 3, I went on to Christmas Bounty, and I learned from the other actors and other directors each time. You have to be a sponge to take it all in, and take it with you to your next movie, which for me is Marine 4. Coming into Marine 4, I really set out to make something special. To really hone in not only on the action, but the acting as well. I wanted every moment to live at that particular moment. Hopefully, people will really enjoy the time we spent doing it.Summer Rae: For me, I was so honored to get the opportunity. Since there hadn’t been any Divas that had done films yet, that kind of took me aback. I really just wanted to perform and show that I knew how to hold a gun and look like a sniper because that’s what they wanted me to be for the movie. So we had a lot of training before we started. Mike had a lot of previous experience, and that helped him bring that calming effect to the set, almost like confidence. Any questions I had no matter how silly or stupid they were I was able to ask him. The great thing was our set was like a family. We had the most amazing actors and actresses on set. The actors would always ask if I had questions and they would bounce ideas off each other, it was a real family situation. On the last day of filming, after 20 days, none of us wanted to leave.The Miz: It’s great that you talk about that, because I actually did the Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zack Galafanankis. In one of the scenes, it was a 15 hour day and just watching the way Will presented himself on set, how nice, how courteous, he was amazing. He spoke to every single person, knew everyone’s name, and was just the most amazing person. I wanted to be like that on set. I want to be that guy; he was a true star and a great person. When I came to Marine 3, I said to myself that I was going to set the tone. Everyone is going to look to me to be there early, or be there late. If I’m going to be late, then everyone is going to be late. If I show up early then everyone thinks they have to step up their game and one up everyone. That is what I tried to bring to set.Brandon Galvin: This question is for both Miz and Summer. What was it like to film the Marine 4 together, was it comforting knowing there was somebody else from WWE there during filming?Summer Rae: Kind of but we weren’t really on set a lot together. I played one of the mercenaries so I was one of the bad guys and he was the good guy. It was interesting in that dynamic especially while watching the movie. I didn’t see a lot of the scenes till three weeks ago when we first saw the movie. I hadn’t seen any clips till it came out at our screening five days before WrestleMania. I would see him in passing and it was good because I could text him or call him or ask him what to do. Also I didn’t have to latch on to him because I had my own set of friends. I told him that I had my own group of friends on set and they think I am hilarious.The Miz: So she was surrounded by a bunch of dudes. She comes up to me and tells me, “Mike, I was so funny today”. So I asked her how many girls were there, and she said none. I asked how many guys were there, well they all were. So I asked if she really thought she was that funny or was it because she was a pretty blonde girl.Summer Rae: I was on fire; you have no idea what I was saying. It’s actually funny too because we both became friends with all the stunt people that worked there. It was almost very similar to wrestling. To be a stunt person you kind of have to have a screw loose like you do in wrestling. It was interesting how we kind of gravitated to those people.Donald Wood: On Monday’s episode of Raw, you defeated Damien Sandow to keep The Miz brand. What does the victory mean for you as an actor retaining your name and what do you think comes next for Sandow?The Miz: I don’t think anyone realizes how valuable the Miz brand is. I have had it over 15 years now, over a decade. I have developed it, and now my stunt double/personal assistant that I brought up and made him relevant. Damian Sandow was fired twice from this company and he was on his way out again, and I came in and gave him relevance. I gave him a championship and everything. Then of course, the WWE Universe has to tell him that he is better than the Miz, you should go out on your own, and you can do it. Then what happened? I went out there and proved them all wrong like I always do. It’s up to Damian Sandow what happens next. I can’t do anything more for him because he left and made his decision. It’s up to him if he is going to succeed or fail.Summer Rae: Damian Sandow should know better than to fall for a silly girl. That never works out.The Miz: Basically I had that plan all along and he fell for the con.Summer Rae: What can I say, the bait was there.Mike Chiari: In your win over Damien Sandow on Raw you received a little helping hand from your Marine 4: Moving Target co-star Summer Rae. Even though you’re just coming off a partnership of sorts with Sandow could we see an alliance between yourself and Summer moving forward? Do you think that would be beneficial to you?The Miz: You never know what’s going to happen in the WWE and that’s the best part of being a WWE Superstar. You get there on Monday for Raw or Thursday for Smackdown and who knows what’s going to happen, its live TV so you never really know.Summer Rae: You never really know so we will see.The Miz: She obviously would love to be around me.Summer Rae: Hey I tell you, they hate me, they hate you, and we might as well join forces.Brandon Galvin: In WWE, you both get to play extensions of yourselves. Then heading into Marine 4 you get to play a different role. What is it like to have to film a movie and playing such a different role than what you play in the WWE?The Miz: We play extensions of ourselves huh? Really?Summer Rae: The most successful people do play extensions of themselves in the ring.The Miz: If you ask any actor out there about the characters the play, they are kind of extensions of themselves. They have to find what’s true to them and how to make people believe in their characters. That is what you do when acting on a set. You find how you can relate to this character and how you can become who he is so everything that character feels is you.Summer Rae: For me, because of WWE programming, it’s easier for me to slip into someone that I’m not or someone that I always wanted to be and just haven’t had the guts to. So this super, horrible mean person, I personally don’t think it’s who I am outside of the ring, but maybe it’s someone I have always wanted to be and I just snapped. It kind of gives you the courage that once I step through the curtain, I can be that person that pie faces all the girls.The Miz: Who’s to say I’m not a Hollywood star? I’ve filmed three movies; about to go film another movie, I’m the biggest star the WWE has ever seen. I’m more critically acclaimed in acting than the Rock is. He just makes more money right now. People don’t understand, they just don’t get me. I’m still here, working a 300 day schedule with the WWE, so I don’t have time to go film a Furious 7 or a Hercules. Those are fantastic movies; he does great jobs in them. I do movies that are 20 days long, that are a grind and you really have to hone in on your acting abilities to make them a success. That is exactly what I did with the Marine 4: Moving Target.Donald Wood: With your acting career really taking off and you mentioning on our show before an interest in becoming world champion once again, do you fear one goal will begin overtaking the other, and if it came down to it, would you rather be a big-time movie star or world champion again?The Miz: It’s a difficult time, because I have done the main event of WrestleMania and retained the WWE championship. Do I want to do it again? Absolutely. I wouldn’t be in the WWE if I didn’t want the ultimate goal and that is for a Superstar to be in that main event. Obviously though doing these movies you want to be the biggest star you can be. In a sense, if I go do movies, I would always come back to WWE. Its home to me and it’s what I have always wanted to do since I was a kid.Mike Chiari: WWE recently announced the return of Tough Enough, which is a show that obviously really helped launch your wrestling career. There’s been a lot of speculation lately about who might host the show. If you were approached by WWE and asked to do it is that something you’d be interested in? Do you think you’d be a good fit?The Miz: Of course it would be a good fit. I am the most successful Tough Enough contestant ever. I am the only contestant ever to win the WWE championship and main event WrestleMania. So to be asked to host would be a huge honor. Plus, it’s such a great opportunity for anyone in the world that has ever had the dream of being a WWE Superstar. When I was coming into the business, I was in the independent wrestling scene and trying to think of a way to make it here, and Tough Enough gave me that opportunity. I didn’t win Tough Enough. I worked hard enough to show the WWE execs that I wanted it bad enough that they gave me that opportunity and gave me that contract. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for anyone that has that dream, that is ready to sacrifice and do what they have to do to become a star. Would I host it? Absolutely. I would love to be a part of that show that made me and that allowed me to be here today.Brandon Galvin: How do you guys feel filming the Marine 4 is going to help you moving forward in the WWE?Summer Rae: I think that being able to do a WWE studios film gives you confidence to say that I was able to go out there and accomplish something. To be a WWE Diva was my main goal. I guess it was kind of silly of me to not dream big enough or pass that. I was just telling Mike that I never thought I would have the chance to be in a movie, a movie, that’s insane. Being able to be humbled by this and I think in this company you should feel like you are the best and there is no one better than you. You also need to be humble and stay hungry though. Being away for 20 days, it gives you that perspective so that when you come back to WWE you’re ready to do it.The Miz: I love going to do movies because it shows the more talent I have I guess you could say. Not to sound arrogant or egotistical, but that’s what you want to do. When you are an entertainer, you want to display every single talent you have. Whether it’s hosting a show, or being a WWE Superstar, or being in a movie, or doing interviews, you want to be the best you possibly can be. That’s why we call ourselves sports entertainers now instead of wrestlers, because we’re not just wrestlers anymore. We are a little bit of everything. We are some of the most talented people, not to toot my own horn, all the other people are very talented as well at what we do. I think it’s just another opportunity to display or talent and earn the respect that the WWE Superstars really deserve.Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipThese Actors Really Refused To Work With Each OtherVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 1:58/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 50.54%0:04Remaining Time -1:54 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Impact Wrestling leaving channel 5Spike in the UK, New deal with 5STAR announced Now Playing Up Nextlast_img

UPDATE Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner Offers to Take Company Private

first_imgHefner offered to purchase the shares at $5.50 per share in cash.In association with the offer, Hefner indicated that he plans to partner with investment firm Rizvi Traverse Management, which already has taken steps to secure the required funding for the proposed deal.“In the proposal letter, Hefner advises the board of directors that out of Hefner’s concerns for, amongst other matters, the PEI brand, the editorial direction of the magazine and PEI’s legacy, Hefner is not interested in any sale or merger of PEI, selling Hefner’s shares to any third party or entering into discussions with any other financial sponsor for a transaction of the nature proposed in the latter,” Playboy says in a statement.UPDATE: Marc Bell, CEO of Penthouse magazine parent FriendFinder Networks, tells FOLIO: that the company is planning to place a bid to acquire Playboy magazine as well. He declined to get into specifics about the potential offer but says he plans to submit something “within the next few days.”Playboy says that its board of directors will consider the offer and that if the proposal does in fact move forward, the board will form a special committee of independent directors to consider it.Late last month, the company said it was “downsizing its organizational structure” again in another step toward becoming a “brand management” company. During the first quarter of 2010, Playboy Enterprises reported a net loss of $1 million compared to a $13.7 million net loss during the same period last year. SEE ALSO: Hefner: ‘I’m Buying, Not Selling’Hugh Hefner, the man who launched Playboy magazine in the early 1950s in Chicago, has made a formal offer to take parent company Playboy Enterprises private.In a letter to Playboy’s board of directors, Hefner offered to purchase all of the company’s outstanding shares of Class A and Class B common stock. Hefner currently owns 69.5 percent of Playboy Enterprise’s Class A stock and 27.7 of its Class B stock. last_img read more

New faces dot Alaskas mayoral lineup

first_imgSeveral communities across the state voted in new mayors in local elections yesterday.Download AudioIn Juneau, fisheries consultant Greg Fisk beat incumbent Mayor Merrill Sanford 2-1.Greg Fisk, left, watches election results come in with supporter Marc Wheeler, center, and campaign manager Greg Smith.(Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)“I’m a little overwhelmed. I really thought it was going to be closer, a lot closer,” Fisk said after the results were in. “I think it’s really a reflection of the fact — not so much a reflection on me as, you know, the fact that Merrill, he could have run a lot harder and made it a lot closer.”In the Interior, voters chose Karl Kassel to be the next Mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The longtime assembly member won by a wide margin, decisively taking a race that was primarily contested over the growth of borough government.“It shows that the community wants to keep trying to move things forward.”Kassel says that means maintaining services, while trying to keep property taxes in check.“It means were going to have to be a little more efficient. Maybe start some new partnerships–build some bridges between different segments of our community and see how we can accomplish providing these services without spending as much money.”In the Mat Su Borough, the mayors race is too close to call but challenger Vern Halter is leading incumbent Larry DeVilbiss by 179 votes. Over 2,000 absentee and questioned ballots remain to be counted.And in Nome, challenger Richard Beneville soundly beat incumbent Denise Michels, who has held the job since 2003. Beneville has staged musical theater productions in the Nome schools for years. He was close to speechless when he learned about the results:“That’s very heartening, I’m very happy- Mayor of Nome, isn’t that cool, wow! I just got to let it kind of all soak in.”Soldotna will also have a new mayor. Pete Sprague won election yesterday to replace Mayor Nels Anderson who resigned July 8th this year. And in North Pole, Santa Claus — that’s his real name — is leading the race to fill two open seats on the North Pole city council. Claus is the former president of the North Pole Chamber of Commerce.last_img read more

Nwora Leads Louisville Past Georgia Tech 7951

first_img PDF Box Score Raycom Sports/WAVE-TV Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats Listen Live Watch Live Full Schedule Roster Story Links Next Game: NC STATE 1/24/2019 | 8 p.m. Matchup History Postgame Notes ATLANTA (AP) — Jordan Nwora scored 25 points and continued his hot streak to lead Louisville to a 79-51 runaway win over short-handed Georgia Tech on Saturday.The sophomore forward entered the game as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s most improved scorer, bumping his average from 5.7 points per game last season to 18.1. He surpassed that with 21 points in the first half as the Cardinals raced to a 43-16 lead.Steven Enoch scored 15 points off the bench for Louisville (13-5, 4-1 ACC). Malik Williams added 13 for the Cardinals, whose fans were loud in McCamish Pavilion.James Banks III paced Tech (10-8, 2-3) with a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season, but he had little help.The Yellow Jackets were without starting point guard Jose Alvarado, their leading scorer who has a groin injury, starting forward Abdoulaye Gueye, who missed his second consecutive game with an undisclosed medical condition, and senior guard Brandon Alston, the team’s third-leading scorer who missed his second game for personal reasons.Banks scored the game’s first bucket, on a baby hook, but Louisville dominated from there beginning with a 14-2 run.The Cardinals beat the Jackets in a variety of ways, and Nwora was in the middle of most of it in the first half. He made three 3-point shots, threw down a dunk and had an old-fashioned 3-point play to give Louisville its biggest lead, 39-8, with 4:38 remaining.Tech had fits offensively, turning the ball over on seven of its first 16 possessions and scoring just twice while struggling when Louisville double-teamed ballhandlers.The Jackets missed all six of their 3-point shots in the first half, when they had 10 turnovers. Beyond Banks scoring nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, all other Tech players combined to make 2 of 16.BIG PICTURELouisville: The Cardinals overwhelmed Tech, and their big men did the most damage, especially from beyond the 3-point arc. Center/forward Williams was just as effective in the first half as Nwora (8 of 12) although he shot the ball less. He scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including two 3-pointers.Georgia Tech: Without Alvarado to run the show, the Jackets were lost offensively and threatened the school record for fewest points scored in a half of an ACC game. Tech scored just 12 points at Virginia on Jan. 22, 2015. The Jackets had four assists in the first half, and players other than Banks made just 10 of 33 shots in the game.UP NEXTLouisville: Returns home to play No. 17 N.C. State on Thursday and Pittsburgh Saturday.Georgia Tech: Plays host to Notre Dame Tuesday evening before playing at No. 1 Duke on Saturday afternoon.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

US Senators Want Answers From Zuckerberg Other Tech CEOs After Facebook UserData

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety In a letter Monday, the two senators asked Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to hold hearings on the subject and raised the specter of introducing new legislation to address handling of personal data.“While Facebook has pledged to enforce its policies to protect people’s information, questions remain as to whether those policies are sufficient and whether Congress should take action to protect people’s private information,” Klobuchar and Kennedy wrote in the letter.Facebook claimed that Cambridge Analytica did not use the data on the more than 50 million users as part of its work for the 2016 Trump campaign. Facebook has previously been hauled in front of Congress — along with other tech companies — over their role in spreading misinformation planted by orgs with ties to the Russian government designed to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Social-media platforms have user bases larger than all of the major TV broadcasting companies combined, the senators noted. Today, “Facebook, Google, and Twitter have amassed unprecedented amounts of personal data and use this data when selling advertising, including political advertisements,” Klobuchar and Kennedy wrote. “The lack of oversight on how data is stored and how political advertisements are sold raises concerns about the integrity of American elections as well as privacy rights.”A hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee would let lawmakers gather the facts and “assess what measures should be taken before the next elections,” the senators wrote.Also Monday, European Union officials said they will investigate Facebook’s processes for handling personal user data.Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on the senators’ call for hearings.center_img Facebook is in the political hot seat yet again after revelations that personal info on millions of users ended up in the hands of a data-analytics firm used by Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign — without the knowledge or permission of those users.In the wake of the Facebook incident, two U.S. Senators — Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) — called for hearings to grill Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the chief execs of Google and Twitter about how the companies share personal user data.Facebook shares fell more than 6% Monday after reports about the user data improperly being obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm used by Trump’s presidential campaign. On Friday, the social giant announced that it kicked Cambridge Analytica and its parent company off the platform, claiming the researcher who provided the data to them violated Facebook’s policies.last_img read more

Facebook AI Proactively Removes Bad Content

first_imgStay on target Sterilizing a global social network is not a one-size-fits-all operation: Content moderators work round-the-clock to assess and remove (as necessary) hate speech, nudity, and violence.That’s a lot of pressure for anyone—unless you’re an emotionless robot, which is exactly what Facebook is using to spot problematic posts.At this week’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, Calif., the company revealed for the first time how it employs artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision to proactively purge the site.“It’s taken time to develop this software—and we’re constantly pushing to improve it,” Guy Rosen, vice president of product management, wrote in an accompanying blog post.By analyzing specific examples of “bad content” that’s been reported and removed, the technology learns to identify patterns in seven areas: nudity and graphic violence, hate speech, fake accounts, spam, terrorist propaganda, and suicide prevention.The process, however, is not exactly cut-and-dry: Humans still better understand context, and can determine whether a statement is being shared to spread hate or raise awareness about it.For now, Facebook’s AI is detecting possible policy violations (in English and Portuguese), then passing them along to mortals for review.“When I talk about technology like artificial intelligence, computer vision, or machine learning, people often ask why we’re not making progress more quickly. And it’s a good question,” Rosen said.After all, CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dorm room when he was 20. Shouldn’t the entrepreneur be able to pump out some high-tech code to fix everyone’s problems?Well, no.“We are still years away from [artificial intelligence] being effective for all kinds of bad content, because context is so important. That’s why we have people still reviewing reports,” Rosen explained. “And more generally, the technology needs large amounts of training data to recognize meaningful patterns of behavior, which we often lack in less widely used languages or for cases that are not often reported.”Facebook has even reached into the Instagram cookie jar: As reported by TechCrunch, the firm used billions of public photos (annotated by users with hashtags) to train its image recognition models.The company, still reeling from the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, is starting to open up about its in-house tools and new transparency goals.“Reports that come from people who use Facebook are so important—so please keep them coming,” Rosen said. “Because by working together we can help make Facebook safer for everyone.” Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img ‘Storm Loch Ness’ Joke Facebook Event Aims to Spot Folklore ‘Monster’Nearly 300K Alien Fans Sign Up to ‘Raid Area 51’ for Joke Facebook Event last_img read more

Celebrating the poetry of silent films

first_imgIntroducing people to the world of silent films, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi, organised a festival from September 14 – 16. Titled ‘Silent film festival’, the event was inaugurated by well-known filmmaker Shyam Benegal.During the function, Shyam Benegal also released the book ‘Poster Bolte Hain’ published by IGNCA. This book focuses on film posters and their history and is written by Iqbal Rizvi and, presumed by Gautam Chatterjee, former media controller of IGNCA. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShyam Benegal inaugurating the festival said that according to today’s cinema, these films cannot be understood, you have to read them. Suresh Sharma, the curator of the festival, while speaking about the function, said, “In our country, the concerts of silent films have been organized once or twice but this is the first time we are organizing a film festival. Through this celebration, our aim is to introduce present generation to the films that were made in that period.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA said, “IGNCA wanted to do some serious work in the field of cinema, in the same effort and this ‘Poster Bolte Hain’ published in Hindi is presented to you. When Ramabahadur Rai, president, IGNCA came to the center two-and half-a-half years ago, we had decided that 50 percent of the Center’s publication will be done in Hindi and today the book on the occasion of Hindi Diwas is a sincere effort. It’s a matter of pride for us.” Atul Tiwari, said, “Even today, the cinema can be seen in many colors, but the movie mode has been born from silent cinema”.President IGNCA, Ram Bahadur Rai said that September 14 is a historic day in the history of India’s independence, and Shyam Benegal chose the day for this program. “The beginning of Indian cinema started from Raja Harishchandra, a film produced by Dada Saheb Phalke, which was based on the search of truth. IGNCA is also moving forward on the same path. “After the inauguration of this film festival, three films of Dada Saheb Phalke including Raja Harishchandra (1913), Shri Krishna Birth (1917) and Kaliya Mardan (1919) were shown. On the second day of the ceremony, Himanshu Rai’s ‘The Light of Asia (1925)’, ‘A Throw of Dice'(1929) and Kalipada Das’ ‘Jamai Babu’ (1931) were shown. On the last day, ‘The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (1903), Lanka Dahan (1917), Shearaj (1928) was shown.last_img read more

Your Next Cute Robot May Be Korean

first_img Listen Now 8 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Pibo and Cubroid are friends. In a country where three giant conglomerates (LG, Samsung and Hyundai) suck up most of the engineering talent, these two pint-sized little robots could be the future of Korean hardware innovation.Pibo is a 3-D-printed, Raspberry Pi-based “family companion” that can use the internet to answer questions about your world. Cubroid is a bunch of robotic blocks that help kids learn how to program using physical objects. The two are part of a small club of companies in Korea’s new startup scene, which is dominated by software and services.In a presentation, consultant Nathan Millard of G3 Partners says there’s been a massive upswing in the number of Korean startups in the past five years, with more than 20 accelerators, a vibrant investment scene and major government support. When I visited the startups behind Pibo and Cubroid, I found a new Digital Media City (DMC) by the old World Cup stadium featuring towers stuffed with dozens of small startup companies.Pibo, at right, is the third generation of Circulus’s robotsThe biggest challenge, it seems, is global breakout. Of the 46 startups that DMC’s Yu Bae Park told me he helps manage, only about 10 percent are currently looking at markets outside Korea. Millard points out that “of Korea’s recent standout successes … none have found success beyond Korea.”Korean tech firms other than the big three have tended to develop primarily for their own market — Korea has its own analogues of Google (Naver), Facebook/WhatsApp (Kakao) and various other services — and they don’t tend to think or speak globally. That’s changing, too, though. The Pibo and Cubroid guys, while unpolished and thoroughly engineer-driven, have their eyes set on the global market, and even on the U.S.One thing about being in a small scene is that everyone knows each other. Cubroid’s Mark Shin showed me a Javascript book written by Pibo’s Jonggun Park and said he wanted to use Pibo’s big-data AI system in the future. That’s the kind of cross-pollination a startup scene could use to succeed.Big data, small robotPibo is clearly one of DMC’s darlings. It’s made by Circulus, which is led by Jonggun Park, a former Samsung engineer who was working on IoT and big data projects when he became convinced that the way to push Korea forward was to teach everyone to code.”I think that if everyone could make their own programs in Korea, then our country will be stronger,” he said.Coding eventually became robots because, well, “most guys love robots.” Coding robots thus became Pibo: an open-source, Raspberry Pi-based, 3-D-printed home robot with its own cloud-based system, where you can code it through a block language, use JavaScript or download features that other people have written.”We will provide our own functions for families, but everyone can add their own ideas for programming, share their ideas and download other peoples’ ideas too,” Park said.Pibo’s demo reel shows the little bot being a home and family companion. Pibo plays soothing music, asks about your emotions and takes notes to relay to other family members. It has personality. The coolest thing about Pibo isn’t the hardware. It’s the AI platform. Remember, Park started out as an AI engineer.Pibo’s platform scrapes Google and the Korean services Naver and Kakao, and mixes in news sources such as The New York Times and BBC News, trying to fit queries to web data the way Google Assistant does. The company also plans to integrate the Alexa API and let Pibo use Alexa skills. So when I asked Pibo what she thinks of Donald Trump, she gave a consensus based on the contents of Korean blogs. (They don’t much like him.)Google Home and Alexa are trying to do this as well, of course, but the extra twist for Pibo is that she’s mobile. She’s not very mobile — she’s slow, and only has about two hours of battery life when she’s on the move. But she can amble around a table using her camera to do video calls with various people sitting there, for instance.Pibo’s heart is a Raspberry Pi 2. Park said they’d like to use a Pi 3 or Pi 4, but the 2 is the right price to keep the robot under $500. “I want an intelligent robot for everyone, so we focused our price,” he said.The idea here is to let everyone do the level of DIYing they want. Are you hardcore? Circulus has uploaded the whole thing to Thingiverse, a repository of 3-D printing codes. Just want a cuddly home companion? It’ll cost under $500 when it goes on Kickstarter in September.Totally cubularYou know those guys who can sort of do everything? Mark Jaekwang Shin (below, right) is one of those guys. He’s a lawyer. He programs. He has an MBA. But right now he’s living off some money his brother-in-law lent him and funding from various Korean seed funds and prizes, in a cluttered little office at the top of a slightly run-down building halfway to the Seoul airport, miles from the DMC startup hub.Shin has three daughters, ages 11, 8 and 5, and he wants them all to code. So he came up with a set of configurable Lego-like blocks that can be programmed either with a smartphone app (because it’s impossible to get the kids off their phones, he says), or with the popular educational language MIT Scratch.”The future of education is very interesting to me,” he said. “I wanted to get [my 11-year-old] to code, using something like a robot.” (Me too.)The Scratch connection is what drew me to Cubroid, because my daughter is into Scratch. It’s not just a language, it’s also an unusually positive, reinforcing and safe online community for kids: Club Penguin for li’l coders.Cubroid’s office is a mess of boxes of little Lego-like cubes, naked circuit boards and one set of shelves with every other educational robot they could think of, for inspiration.The Cubroid blocks, two years in the making, snap together just like Lego. A prototype first generation used magnets, but a snap-together toy is safer, Shin said.There are 10 different cubes: a knob; proximity, light and touch sensors; two motors; an LED light grid; a buzzer, a “master” cube and dummy spacer cubes. Each functional block has its own little battery, which charges via MicroUSB. They’re color-coded by function: green and red for functions, blue for the master cube and orange for spacers. The master cube communicates with a smartphone via Bluetooth or a PC via USB, and then communicates with sub-cubes using a proprietary wireless protocol Cubroid developed. You can also plug the master cube into a PC using micro-USB.Shin and his two staffers quickly put together a wobbly little robot with an LED smiley face which tried to clomp across the floor, and another giant kaiju-like thing that ended up being so heavy, he needed to replace the motor blocks with a newer version that had more torque.The idea here is to balance simplicity and extensibility. Lego Mindstorms lets you build and program with Scratch, but it’s very fiddly. Other robots like Dash and Dot, Anki Cosmo and Ozobot are easier to use, but are fixed hardware. Cubroid is extensible, but extremely easy to put together.On a white board, they’ve scribbled ideas for the next round of cubes: a camera, an MP3 player, an OLED screen. Shin said they’re developing an Amazon Alexa-compatible block and a face-recognition block, and they’re talking to the Pibo folks about connecting to Pibo’s cloud-based system.”In the future, like LittleBits, there could be different kits,” he said.Cubroid’s next step is to go to the big-league Kickstarter for manufacturing cash, probably sometime this fall. I’m normally super skeptical about Kickstarter, but I know this isn’t vaporware and these guys are for real. They just can, right now, only afford to make lots of 300 at a time.”When the Kickstarter money comes, we can make more,” he said. And they don’t seem to be having manufacturing problems. Both Pibo and Cubroid show the advantage of starting a new hardware company in a country that actually, you know, builds hardware. There’s a certain U.S. Kickstarter narrative that I call “Heart of Darkness,” involving U.S. hardware companies that basically get eaten by a predatory China supply chain.Shin’s building his robots in Korea. He’s Korean. He speaks Korean. This could work. I hope it does. Then we in the U.S. might be hearing more about Korean tech than just LG, Samsung and Hyundai. This story originally appeared on PCMag March 23, 2017 Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger.last_img read more

Qantas pilots threaten action

first_imgAmid calls for increased job security, 94 per cent of Qantas pilots yesterday voted in favour of taking industrial action against the carrier in the first such ballot since 1966. Qantas says it is “disappointed” with the threat made by its long-haul pilots, saying any stoppages would cause disruptions to Australian travellers as well as “drive up ticket prices” if successful.According to the carrier, the demands being made by the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) are “unsustainable” and in excess of the “sensible and reasonable increases in pay and conditions” the airline is willing to negotiate.   As well as demanding a 2.5 per cent pay increase each year for the next three years and asking for two extra upgradeable tickets per year, pilots are calling on the airline to fund two full time union officials at a cost of up to AU$1 million per year.The biggest issue however is said to be equal pay for all Jetstar pilots.  “Paying Qantas pilot rates to pilots for our low cost carrier Jetstar would drive up ticket prices, make Jetstar unprofitable and set precedents for other staff salaries,” the airline said in a statement.Despite an overwhelming majority of pilots electing to take protected industrial action, AIPA president Barry Jackson said its members would be doing “everything possible to minimise disruption to travellers and focus the pressure on management”.“Qantas pilots want to continue operating Qantas flights, but they know management has plans to shift Qantas operations to Asia and start mass outsourcing,” Captain Jackson said. “As a result, AIPA is insisting on a Qantas flight/Qantas pilot clause in the new enterprise agreement.”The news comes a fortnight after the airline was given notification by the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) that its members were planning industrial action against the airline. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H 94 per cent of Qantas pilots are unhappy with the airline last_img read more

Boost or bust Travelscene urges support for preferreds

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Travelscene American Express members have again been strongly advised to continue supporting preferred partners if they are expected to reap rewards from the associations and choosing not to do so could potentially threaten future business.Travelscene Head of Product, Damien Borg, told consultants at the NCC last weekend, that to sell a non-preferred product could damage future business giving competitors the ability to steal potential business.“For every non-preferred product, we have a preferred product to sell, but it’s up to you to educate yourself on that,” Mr Borg said.“Every dollar you sell, they use against you to steal customers in future.”Mr Borg said the group was committed to growing sales in their channel as a priority, adding preferred partners were considered to be a “lifeline to our business”.“We are ready and prepared to help combat non-preferred activity,” he said.According to General Manager, Jacqui Timmins, some 55 per cent of current member sales are through preferred partners, an improvement but hard to quantify as a large proportion is toward hotel bookings, which are differentiated from wholesale and air transactions.“There’s a leakage but there’s an improvement.  We’ve got so many preferred suppliers getting behind them (members), we’re a lot smarter now with the tools we give them to show what impact they are having on their business with what they are losing out on when they don’t support them (preferred partners),” Ms Timmins said. Ms Timmins revealed agents’ feedback toward preferred products was constantly provided to suppliers to encourage more point of sale material, marketing and advertising. “Our focus is on increasing our cruise partners and cruise in general.  The Travelscene wholesale product is getting great support,” Ms Timmins said.Consultants were also advised to join the newly re-launched Quantum Consultant Programme (QC) to reap benefits which has already provided $160,000 or 30 million points for members. “We have suppliers knocking on the door trying to get into the programme, they see value in it,” Ms Timmins said.last_img read more

Refi Borrowers in a Rising Mortgage Rate Environment

first_imgRefi Borrowers in a Rising Mortgage Rate Environment CoreLogic loans mortgage Refinance 2018-08-21 Radhika Ojha The rise of mortgage rates over the past few months has triggered a significant slowdown in refinance loans. According to an analysis by CoreLogic, the needs of homeowners who refinance in a rising rate environment is different from the rate-and-term borrowers that dominated the market during the refinance boom.In this video, Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains how borrowers opt for refinance loans. “Homeowners that obtain a cash-out refinance when rates are at or above the rate on their prior loan may choose a term of up to 30 years on their new loan to keep the change in their monthly mortgage payment as small as possible,” Nothaft said.The analysis found that the share of refinance loans that cash out some home equity is generally very small during a refinance boom. “During 2012, when 30-year fixed-rates fell to an all-time low, the cash-out share of refinancing fell to 10 percent, the lowest recorded in CoreLogic’s public records data during the last two decades,” Nothaft noted. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Originationcenter_img August 21, 2018 569 Views Sharelast_img read more