Martin Shkreli harassed employee’s wife and son, court documents show

first_img Tags Martin ShkreliRetrophin By Ed Silverman Dec. 17, 2015 Reprints Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. [email protected] Martin Shkreli was arrested on Thursday for securities fraud — but he has a history of bad behavior. Craig Ruttle/AP Reviled CEO Martin Shkreli arrested on securities fraud charges Shkreli then hacked Pierotti’s AOL, Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, according to court documents and a police report filed in Summit, N.J., where Pierotti lived.He allegedly “friended” one of Pierotti’s teenage sons and wrote, “I want you to know about your dad … he betrayed me, he stole $3 million from me.”advertisement PharmalotMartin Shkreli harassed employee’s wife and son, court documents show center_img Ed Silverman Related: Shkreli also purportedly wrote a letter to Pierotti’s wife, stating: “Your husband stole $1.6 million from me and I will get it back. I will go to any length necessary to get it back … Having frozen your husband’s stock account once, I will do so repeatedly until I get what is mine … Your pathetic excuse of a husband needs to get a job real job that does not depend on fraud to succeed … I hope to see you and your four children homeless and I will do whatever I can to assure this.”He also tweeted “hey, sweetie” to Pierotti’s wife, the police report states.A police officer who contacted Shkreli by phone said Shkreli initially denied knowing Pierotti but, after the officer told him about the Facebook friend requests, Shkreli maintained he had no recent contact with Pierotti. “Mr. Shkreli advised me that he hadn’t talked to Mr. Pierotti in over a year, so how could he be harassing him?” the officer wrote in the Dec. 27, 2013 police report.We could not reach Pierotti, but did leave a message for his attorney and will update you with any reply.In the end, the lawsuit was discontinued, according to court documents. Martin Shkreli may have a reputation for being brazen and reckless, but a clash with a former employee at Retrophin, the company Shkreli founded in 2011, underscored just how erratic the pharma bad boy could be.In a 2013 lawsuit, Shkreli asserted that his former portfolio manager Timothy Pierotti “absconded” with 350,000 shares in a company with which Retrophin did a reverse merger. Shkreli claimed these were awarded as an incentive; Pieroitti argued he bought the shares, according to court documents.What happened next is the sort of scenario that might pop up from the pages of a cheap crime novel, not what you would expect from someone who aspires to build a pharmaceutical empire.advertisement @Pharmalot About the Author Reprintslast_img read more

Bacteria-fighting antitoxins offer remedy to antibiotic resistance

first_img Merck showed in clinical trials that when patients used their toxin-blocking agent in combination with traditional antibiotics, only 16 percent of patients got sick again, with few noticeable side effects of the experimental therapy.If used widely, the Merck drug, called bezlotoxumab, could help ward off tens of thousands of recurrent infections in the United States each year. “This would be a welcome addition to our medicine box,” said Dr. John Lamont, a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston who specializes in intestinal infections and was not involved in the development of the drug.But with one in six patients still experiencing recurrences, Lamont noted, “it’s not a home run.”Bezlotoxumab could make a bigger public health dent if it can be used to stop C. diff from taking hold in the first place in at-risk patients. “Theoretically this might work,” said Lamont.Merck has not yet tested this prophylactic strategy, but AstraZeneca is already running a trial of its Staph antitoxin agent to see if it can prevent infections in people on ventilators. These assisted-breathing devices are known to put people at a heightened risk of developing Staph-related pneumonia.Still, Dr. David Shlaes, a retired antiinfectives consultant, cautioned that these drugs will only solve a small piece of the drug resistance problem. “I’m not sure that this is the answer to the bigger resistance problem,” he said.Even more effective drugs, and better stewardship of antibiotics in humans and livestock, are also needed to manage the emerging crisis of antibiotic resistance. Drug industry warming to antibiotics, but resistance outpaces new products About the Author Reprints Doctors warn that these agents, if approved, are likely to be come with a much higher sticker price than existing antibacterials. This is because drug companies need to make profits and recoup their drug development costs, but also because these drugs are “biologic” antibodies that are expensive to produce.advertisement By Asher Mullard Jan. 29, 2016 Reprints Related: Infectious disease specialists urgently need new drug options — and the situation is especially dire in the fight against Clostridium difficile, the most common type of hospital-acquired superbug.C. diff, as it’s commonly known, lays low nearly half a million Americans and kills an estimated 15,000 each year.Merck’s first-in-class drug targets one of the two toxins produced by C. diff. Although bacteria-killing antibiotics can get these infections under control, more than 25 percent of patients get a second bout of C. diff within weeks of their recovery. And for many patients the infections keep on coming back after that. “It’s a vicious cycle,” Kartsonis said. Other companies pursuing their own antitoxins against deadly pathogens include AstraZeneca and Aridis Pharmaceuticals, each of which are developing experimental drugs that neutralize a Staph toxin, and Bellus Health, which is working on a drug that blocks the E. coli toxin. A radically simple idea may open the door to a new world of antibiotics BusinessBacteria-fighting antitoxins offer remedy to antibiotic resistance [email protected] Tags antibioticsbacteriadrug development Related: Asher Mullard The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing a drug that mops up bacterial toxins while leaving microbes themselves unscathed, potentially providing infectious disease doctors with a new treatment option that might be less prone to drug resistance than existing antibiotics.It’s the first in a new wave of targeted therapies that home in on the bacterial poisons responsible for the abdominal pain, vomiting, and watery diarrhea experienced by people with gut infections. Although doctors expect to use this first antitoxin in combination with conventional antibiotics, it demonstrates that a soft touch can help ward off persistent bugs.“It’s really exciting,” said Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, section head of infectious diseases clinical research at Merck, the drug company behind the agent. Merck announced this week that the FDA had accepted its marketing application, and that a regulatory decision is expected by the end of July. “This is really getting people enthused about working on nonantibiotic approaches to treating infections.”advertisement @ashermullard Merck’s first-in-class drug targets one of the two toxins produced by Clostridium difficile. CDClast_img read more

Divisive CEO of Google’s biotech startup turns on the charm

first_img Conrad’s corner office was small and uncluttered. One of its few adornments was a sign on his desk reading, “do epic shit.”Dressed casually in a blue T-shirt, the CEO called his decision not to answer questions for STAT’s initial article “a catastrophic error in judgment” — because he had a good story to tell: Verily is hiring like mad from thousands of applicants who represent the “cream of the crop.”In general, Conrad said, he enjoys good relationships with employees, regulators, and corporate partners.“Business is pretty dang good for us,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that there’s not some people mad. But overall, the morale here is high …”The two-hour visit at Verily included interviews with some of Conrad’s managers and a tour of Verily’s labs.Dr. Jessica Mega, chief medical officer, called Verily “a really dynamic place” that can challenge people who are not ready for rapid change. Often, she said, those individuals can find other jobs within Google.Verily’s and Conrad’s openness went only so far. Set up as a limited liability company, Verily has no legal obligation to disclose the names of board members. Asked to name the board members, Conrad acknowledged that he was one, then said, “Let the lawyers do that. We’ll get you an official statement.”The statement later provided to STAT said no additional names would be disclosed. Newsletters Sign up for Weekend Reads Our top picks for great reads, delivered to your inbox each weekend. Andrew Conrad, CEO of Verily. Verily Google’s bold bid to transform medicine hits turbulence under a divisive CEO Leave this field empty if you’re human: Brin discussed news coverage depicting a “bleak picture of management and products” at some Alphabet subsidiaries, including Verily and Nest — which makes Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats and other home devices — according to a portion of the meeting transcript that an employee read aloud to STAT. The articles were placed on the agenda at the request of Alphabet employees using the “ask me anything” feature of an internal social media system, which allows them to pose questions to Brin or cofounder Larry Page.Brin, according to the transcript, said he was “sad that former and soon-to-be former employees talked to the press” to air their concerns. The loss of some top talent from Verily doesn’t worry him, Brin said, given that overall attrition rates remain relatively low.advertisement Please enter a valid email address. BusinessDivisive CEO of Google’s biotech startup turns on the charm Privacy Policycenter_img By Charles Piller April 6, 2016 Reprints Related: Nest CEO Tony Fadell defended his actions at the meeting. Conrad didn’t speak. Asked in an email why not, his spokeswoman said, “Andy was there and available to answer questions directed to him.”On Monday, Conrad set out to counter the prevailing narrative about his company as an unhappy place. After months of refusing to be interviewed by STAT, he reversed course — going so far as to greet a reporter at a Google building with a warm handshake and exuberant welcome, and act as personal escort to Verily’s adjacent headquarters. The standard, low-rise tech building sits on one of Alphabet’s outlying campuses, a couple of miles from the “Googleplex” headquarters. Related: MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — What do you do when you and your company are the subject of unflattering media coverage? If you’re Andrew Conrad — biologist, CEO of Google startup Verily Life Sciences, and consummate scientific salesman — you mount a charm offensive.Last week, STAT reported that some former employees described Conrad as so divisive, uncompromising, and impulsive that he has driven scientists and engineers to tears, and triggered an exodus of top talent. The story revealed that he had strained Verily’s relationships with regulators in Washington and rashly shifted around resources.The article prompted enough concern inside Alphabet, the holding company for Google, Verily, and other subsidiaries, that it was addressed by Google cofounder Sergey Brin at a town hall-style meeting last week. The meeting was webcast internally; such events are normally attended or viewed later by tens of thousands of employees worldwide.advertisement Google’s next big idea: Mining health data to prevent disease Tags biotechGoogleVerilylast_img read more

40 cases of hepatitis A in Va. linked to frozen strawberries

first_img Tags food poisoninghepatitis Apublic health Privacy Policy All the potentially contaminated Egyptian-sourced berries were pulled from the 96 Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in Virginia no later than Aug. 8 or Aug. 9.Officials say more cases could emerge, since some symptoms take as many as 50 days to emerge. The hepatitis A virus affects the liver.advertisement By Associated Press Aug. 30, 2016 Reprints J. Scott Applewhite/AP Health40 cases of hepatitis A in Va. linked to frozen strawberries Leave this field empty if you’re human: center_img About the Author Reprints Please enter a valid email address. Associated Press RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia health officials say there are now 40 confirmed cases of hepatitis A that are connected to frozen strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations across the state, up from 28 cases less than a week ago.The Virginia Department of Health said in a news release Monday that about 55 percent of the infected residents have been hospitalized.There are more than 500 of the smoothie franchises across the country, and Virginia is not the only state affected.advertisement Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day.last_img read more

Financial toxicity: 1 in 3 cancer patients have to turn to friends or family to pay for care

first_img Veena Shankaran [email protected] First OpinionFinancial toxicity: 1 in 3 cancer patients have to turn to friends or family to pay for care Leave this field empty if you’re human: One option to help patients burdened by financial toxicity is to create a program like Social Security Disability Insurance or unemployment insurance that serves those least equipped to endure financial hardship. It would kick in at the onset of a major cancer diagnosis and provide cash assistance for a defined period. This would go beyond the cost of care, as many families say that loss of income plus out-of-pocket costs for transportation, childcare, and caregiving are even bigger burdens than the copays.Another option aims to encourage cost-saving treatments — ones supported by evidence — to achieve the same outcomes. We should adopt policies that eliminate out-of-pocket spending for newly diagnosed cancer patients provided that they and their doctors agree to follow guideline-recommended treatment plans. “For many cancers, guidelines include options that are considered equivalent therapeutically, yet the costs of the treatments might vary by fiftyfold or more,” said the National Cancer Institute.The status quo is not acceptable. The number of Americans diagnosed with cancer is projected to rise nearly 75 percent between now and 2030. A focused effort to address the all-too-common problem of financial toxicity could help prevent at least some of the suffering that invariably comes with a cancer diagnosis.Scott D. Ramsey, MD, is the director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research in Seattle. Health economist Veena Shankaran, MD, is a medical oncologist and an associate member of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research. Please enter a valid email address. The National Cancer Institute advises physicians and patients to understand that cancer’s financial impact affects both family budgets and patients’ health. According to the institute, when a loved one develops cancer, the family’s risk of significant financial hardship becomes startlingly high:Between 33 percent and 80 percent of cancer survivors exhaust their savings to finance medical expenses.Up to 34 percent borrow money from friends or family to pay for care.For those who fall into debt, the level of debt is substantial. In a study of colon cancer survivors in Washington state, the mean debt was $26,860.Bankruptcy rates among cancer survivors are 260 percent higher than among similar households without cancer.The problem of paying for cancer care is so vast that it has a name, financial toxicity, representing the “other” toxic side effect of cancer treatment. Patients who get into financial difficulty suffer high rates of emotional distress and lower quality of life. In a study we conducted with several colleagues, cancer patients who filed for bankruptcy had a 79 percent higher mortality rate compared to those who had the same cancer and did not file for bankruptcy.advertisement Tags cancerhealth carehealth care costs With the revelations of significant problems with our health care system, it is tempting to point to a single group for blame. In reality, the problem appears to be quite complex. Rapidly rising drug and hospital costs, relatively weak insurance coverage, uneven and inadequate sick leave policies of most employers, and the generally poor financial state of many families in the United States all contribute to the problem. As a result, addressing financial toxicity will require tackling multiple issues simultaneously.As part of the cancer moonshot initiative launched by Vice President Joe Biden, Family Reach has launched the Financial Treatment Project. It takes a multiple-pronged approach to addressing the financial health of patients and their families. Family Reach recently joined with our organization, the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, and Tufts Medical Center in Boston to measure the impact of the program on patients’ financial health and medical outcomes.We hope to find simple, nonjudgmental ways to identify when the family of a newly diagnosed cancer patient faces a high likelihood of falling into financial distress. We will also evaluate the different ways to address the problem once a high-risk case is identified, ranging from bringing in financial counselors to tapping pharmaceutical company patient assistance programs to signing up uninsured patients for the Affordable Care Act. Newsletters Sign up for Cancer Briefing A weekly look at the latest in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. About the Authors Reprintscenter_img Privacy Policy By Scott D. Ramsey and Veena Shankaran Nov. 2, 2016 Reprints [email protected] Chris Hondros/Getty Images Scott D. Ramsey Related: Cancer drugs, though cheaper in the developing world, remain unaffordable in poorer countries Maria (not her real name) was terrified when her 5-year-old son, Rafe, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She worried about his chances of survival and the side effects of the proposed treatment. What she didn’t anticipate was the financial toll his illness would take on the family. As Rafe’s medical needs intensified, caring for him became all-consuming and Maria quit her job. Although her husband was still employed, the family’s income fell to half of what it had been, and they were faced with mounting medical bills on top of the normal day-to-day expenses like groceries and gas.The financial stress ramped up quickly. Months into Rafe’s treatment, with the family’s savings obliterated, they fell behind on mortgage and utility payments. Neighbors held a fundraising drive, gathering nearly $10,000, but by then the bills were so great that the money was gone within a week. Then the power company came to shut off the electricity. By this time, Rafe was on a chemotherapy infusion pump, and the backup batteries would last only a few hours. Where to turn? What to do?We heard about Maria’s situation and similar crises at a recent retreat of Family Reach, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing assistance to families who have fallen into severe financial distress after a family member was diagnosed with cancer. Horrific stories like Maria’s are becoming more common as the cost of treating cancer and caring for people with it grows more expensive. There is no silver bullet, but measures that promote better cost management of treatment and well-targeted financial assistance could not only relieve financial distress but also produce better outcomes and improved quality of life.advertisementlast_img read more

First Look: Decoding dyslexia by tracking frenetic neurons

first_img Tags brainneuroscienceresearchSTAT+ First Look: Decoding dyslexia by tracking frenetic neurons People with dyslexia have a harder time adapting to the sound of a foreign voice or the sight of a new word. John Gabrieli/MIT Log In | Learn More STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. New clues about the biological underpinnings of dyslexia have confounded scientists’ old assumptions, opening fresh avenues of research that might one day help treat the world’s most common learning disorder.Dyslexia, an often inherited condition that makes it difficult to read, spell, and recognize speech, has long been associated with dysfunction in the parts of the brain associated with interpreting words. But research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests dyslexia’s roots are in fact much deeper, pointing to a more complicated disorder than previously thought. By Damian Garde Dec. 29, 2016 Reprints What is it? What’s included? Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTEDcenter_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. In the Lab About the Author Reprints GET STARTED National Biotech Reporter Damian covers biotech, is a co-writer of The Readout newsletter, and a co-host of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. [email protected] @damiangarde Damian Gardelast_img read more

Storm flooding engulfs MD Anderson Cancer Center, canceling treatments for days

first_img Tags cancerhospitalspatients Casey Ross National Technology Correspondent Casey covers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and its underlying questions of safety, fairness, and privacy. He is the co-author of the newsletter STAT Health Tech. By Casey Ross and Kate Sheridan Aug. 29, 2017 Reprints The cancer hospital has not been evacuated and MD Anderson administrators said they have maintained continuous care for patients staying in the hospital, even though much of the area around the hospital remains impassable. “High water conditions persist in the Texas Medical Center, and travel should not be attempted,” said Dr. Karen Lu, MD Anderson’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. “All leaks reported yesterday are under control, and patient care has not been impacted.”advertisement Tropical Storm Harvey has flooded the roads in and around MD Anderson’s primary Houston hospital, leaving one of the world’s foremost cancer centers unable to see patients for appointments or previously scheduled treatments until Thursday at the earliest.The cancer hospital issued a statement Tuesday saying the main building and several MD Anderson satellites around Houston will remain closed to appointments through Wednesday, as emergency crews work to restore operations and wait for the flood waters to recede.Pictures posted on Twitter show muddy water filling a parking garage in the facility and seeping into lobby areas of the Texas Medical Center facility.advertisement People walk through the flooded waters of Telephone Road in Houston on Sunday as the city battles with tropical storm Harvey and resulting floods. Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images @caseymross About the Authors Reprints Kate Sheridan Dr. Ashish Kamat, a urologic oncology surgeon at the hospital, said he and many other colleagues have not been able to return to work since the storm hit.“The streets have opened up a little bit. We’re still not open for routine business and we’re not really encouraging patients to leave, even though some of them want to leave, unless they’re completely recovered,” Kamat said.center_img Privacy Policy MD Anderson also deploys so-called ride-out teams, or groups of doctors and nurses from critical specialities who can provide care for up to 650 patients in the hours and days after a storm hits. A spokeswoman said those teams were activated when Harvey swept through the area.“Things are definitely calm and under control here,” said Dr. Andrew Rhim, an assistant professor of gastroenterology, who was working at the hospital on Monday. Though the lobby and other flooded areas are cordoned off, Rhim said, no patient areas have been affected. “The cafeteria is still open,” he added.Rhim was able to make it to the hospital on Monday morning after some of the waters on the roads around the center receded. He and other staff members who lived close by arrived Monday morning to give the ride-out teams some relief — at the risk of possibly getting stranded at the hospital should floodwaters rise again. “Everyone knew to bring extra changes of clothes and water, food, and so on,” he said.Taking shelter at workThe storm caused Brays Bayou to overflow into large sections of Houston, catching residents off guard by the extent of the flooding. Many were asleep when waters cascaded into their homes, forcing them to quickly evacuate to rooftops or into the deluged streets.“My husband and I woke up to a foot of water in our apartment,” said Ron Gilmore, a public relations specialist at MD Anderson. “We grabbed a few clothes and our dogs and started walking out in waist-deep water.”He said they were able to make the mile-long trek into the medical center complex and managed to get a hotel room at the Wyndham Hotel. “We lost our car and almost everything we have of course,” he said. “But we’re fine.”Gilmore said others were in much more dire circumstances. “As we were walking, a woman came out and said, ‘Are you a doctor?’” he said. “We said no and she told us she had a neighbor going into labor. There was nothing we could do. She couldn’t reach 911.” [email protected] HospitalsStorm flooding engulfs MD Anderson Cancer Center, canceling treatments for days Leave this field empty if you’re human: Kamat, who lives close to the hospital, snapped photos showing several feet of water covering the roads and parking areas around the medical complex, which sits along Brays Bayou.MD Anderson has dealt with several severe weather events over its history, including Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, which also resulted in major flooding. The hospital upgraded its preparations following that storm, adding more than 25 floodgates, relocating electrical equipment, and installing submarine doors. Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. General Assignment Reporter Kate covers biotech startups and the venture capital firms that back them. [email protected] Please enter a valid email address. @sheridan_kate last_img read more

Pharmalittle: Senator leans on Allergan over Mohawk deal; insurers limit access to pain meds

first_img @Pharmalot GET STARTED Log In | Learn More Pharmalittle: Senator leans on Allergan over Mohawk deal; insurers limit access to pain meds Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was refreshing and invigorating, because that oh-so-familiar routine of meetings, deadlines, and the like has returned. This was inevitable, though, yes? So while you mull over what to do first, please enjoy the tidbits gathered for your edification. Hopefully, you will have a delightfully productive day …U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants Allergan (AGN) to explain its patent deal with the Mohawk tribe. “This move rips off consumers who need these drugs and closes the market to innovative new generics, and we can’t let this go-around become the new normal,” he said in a statement. He added he wants to “close loopholes that drug companies exploit to avoid competition.” Allergan told Reuters it will “provide the facts and context around this agreement.” Alex Hogan/STAT STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. What is it? What’s included? Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry.center_img Tags opioidspharmaceuticalspharmalittleSTAT+ Ed Silverman By Ed Silverman Sept. 18, 2017 Reprints Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED About the Author Reprints [email protected] Pharmalot Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.last_img read more

Hey, Amazon: As a pharmacy benefit manager, you could create real competition for drug prices

first_imgWhat’s missingPharmacy benefit managers could easily foster price competition. They determine the drugs that will be included and favored on their formularies. These lists identify all drugs that a health plan covers and create different tiers requiring different copayments or coinsurance for different types of drugs.PBMs could make their formulary decisions based on the actual prices of drugs, after factoring in all price reductions. Instead, they enter into secret deals with manufacturers and require them to pay rebates that the pharmacy benefit managers purportedly pass through to their clients. Pharmacy benefit managers also arrange to collect other secret payments that these companies keep for themselves.advertisement [email protected] Related: Two immense problems plague the prescription drug marketplace: The costs of prescription drugs are spiraling out of control, and few people are able to access accurate information about drugs’ effectiveness, safety, or side effects, all of which are needed for wise use of these drugs.Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are contributing to the cost problem and failing to address the information problem. These companies administer prescription drug coverage for large corporations, unions, municipalities, insurance companies, federal and state governments, and the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Three companies currently dominate this marketplace: Express Scripts, Caremark, and Optum. The deficiencies of these companies and other smaller PBMs create an opportunity for other entities to address both problems and entirely disrupt the prescription coverage industry.Amazon has obtained wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least a dozen states and may be preparing to launch a pharmacy benefit manager business. If it does, and it addresses the pricing and information problems, Amazon would totally transform the prescription coverage marketplace. If it enters this arena and ignores these problems, expect another large company — like Walmart or Anthem — to shake up the marketplace instead.advertisement Newsletters Sign up for Pharmalot Your daily update on the drug industry. David Ryder/Getty Images If prices are kept hidden, consumers can’t take more responsibility for their health care costs Related: Privacy Policy By Linda Cahn Nov. 15, 2017 Reprints Leave this field empty if you’re human: Amazon could create an entirely different modelFor any marketplace to work effectively, people need to know the actual prices and the comparative usefulness of competing products. When it comes to prescription drugs, they currently know neither. As a new pharmacy benefit manager, Amazon could provide both sets of information and vastly improve the entire system. Here’s one way Amazon could do this:Assume that Amazon decides to open a new pharmacy benefit manager on Jan. 1, 2020. Between now and then, it would need to build two software systems that together would disseminate essential information about every drug’s actual price, as well as its effectiveness, safety, and side effects.Amazon’s next step would be to implement a new method to create price competition: pricing drugs openly, rather than by entering into secret deals with manufacturers. Amazon would do this by requiring every manufacturer to simultaneously identify its net price for every drug — including all price reductions from rebates, other payments, coupons, and the like.Having announced its new approach to drug pricing, Amazon would conduct its first Bid Day. At a single point in time — say Sept. 1, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. — the new PBM would require every manufacturer to submit its price for each of its drugs, inclusive of all price reductions, telling each manufacturer that its submitted drug prices would be used for the first six months of Amazon’s PBM operation. Amazon would also warn manufacturers that those failing to submit drug prices on the Bid Day would have their drugs identified with the drugs’ current (high) list prices. Who wins and who loses if Amazon enters the prescription drug business center_img First OpinionHey, Amazon: As a pharmacy benefit manager, you could create real competition for drug prices Related: Would Amazon really succeed as a pharmacy benefits manager? Pharmacy benefit managers’ secret deals create perverse incentives for manufacturers to increase their drug prices, not decrease them. The more money that PBMs extract from manufacturers, the more manufacturers raise their prices.Also, since pharmacy benefit managers refuse to disclose drug-by-drug rebate information, a health plan can’t determine if its PBM is favoring the lowest net-cost drugs in each therapeutic category or higher-cost drugs due to the secret monies the PBM is collecting. Making matters worse, if doctors and patients can’t see the net cost of drugs (the cost after factoring in rebates that are passed through), how can they select the lowest-cost drugs, and how can price competition exist?Today’s pharmacy benefit managers also don’t disclose how much they retain in total manufacturer payments or what services they purportedly perform to earn those payments. As a result, no one knows the extent to which PBMs’ conflicts of interest affect the decisions and choices they make.For example, many — if not most — pharmacy benefit managers contract with manufacturers to be paid what are known as inflation protection rebates. When a manufacturer increases the list price of a drug annually by more than a certain percent (say 3 percent), it must pay back some of the increase to the pharmacy benefit manager. But pharmacy benefit managers typically retain the price protection rebates they’re paid and don’t pass them through to their customers. As a result, PBMs profit when drug prices increase while everyone else incurs higher costs.Despite the large sums that pharmacy benefit managers earn, they do nothing to assemble and disseminate information about drugs’ relative effectiveness, safety, or side effects. And they aren’t likely to do so in the future, since they derive a large portion of their profits from negotiating secret deals with manufacturers to collect hidden amounts of monies for favoring higher-cost drugs. Please enter a valid email address. About the Author Reprints Every six months thereafter, Amazon would conduct another Bid Day, allowing manufacturers to change their prices for any drug for the next six-month period.Amazon would also make clear that it would identify all Bid Day drug prices on a new app, together with information about every drug’s effectiveness, safety, and side effects. This information would be based entirely on reliable sources, such as information manufacturers submit to the FDA to obtain drug approval, along with information submitted thereafter to satisfy FDA post-approval requirements,  and other independent drug evaluations, such as Cochrane Reports.Amazon’s app would be organized by drug and by therapeutic category, allowing any user to easily find and compare the prices of drugs and their effectiveness, safety, and side effects in every therapeutic category. Amazon would make the app available to all plan beneficiaries obtaining drugs from Amazon’s new PBM, as well as to the public.Dramatic improvementsIf Amazon implemented this approach, it could create a marketplace that fosters real competition for every type of drug.In therapeutic categories in which multiple generic drugs are available — such as diabetes treatments, drugs that lower cholesterol or high blood pressure, or drugs to treat depression or ADHD — makers of brand-name drugs would either drastically reduce their prices or lose a large percentage of their market share to generic competitors.In therapeutic categories where generic drugs are not available but there are multiple brand-name drugs and some biosimilars — such as in many of the high-cost specialty drug categories like growth hormones and treatments for hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis — makers of brand-name drugs and biosimilars would be forced to compete and continuously reduce their prices to retain market share.For therapeutic categories in which drug alternatives are not available, such as many high-cost cancer treatments, patients would have ready access to information revealing the limited effectiveness and toxic side effects of many drugs. This information would tend to decrease utilization, and therefore likely decrease costs. Linda Cahn For example, a recent study looked at 36 cancer treatments the FDA approved between 2008 and 2012 based on surrogate endpoints (like tumor response rates or progression-free survival), rather than on overall survival. Four or more years after approval, only five of the drugs had been shown to actually improve overall survival. The remaining 31 either didn’t provide any overall survival benefit (18 of the 36) or still had not demonstrated any impact on survival (13 of the 36).If Amazon made information about these 36 drugs readily available, imagine how many doctors and patients might avoid the drugs with limited effectiveness and toxic side effects. Imagine how much money might be saved.With the availability of such information, it’s likely that manufacturers would reduce their prices to reflect the drugs’ limited value. Equally important, manufacturers might devote more time to discovering drugs with greater value, knowing that drugs with little or no value would be doomed to limited sales.Revolutionizing the marketplaceCreating price competition and then providing everyone with easily accessible information about every drug’s price and its effectiveness, safety, and side effects will revolutionize the marketplace for prescription drugs. Amazon could accomplish these goals and simultaneously expose the distorted conduct of existing pharmacy benefit managers, forcing them to change.If Amazon doesn’t engage in this marketplace disruption, another company undoubtedly will.Linda Cahn is a nationally recognized expert in prescription coverage and the founder and head of Pharmacy Benefit Consultants and the National Prescription Coverage Coalition. Tags drug pricingfinancepharmaceuticalslast_img read more

Of ‘miracles’ and money: why hemophilia drugs are so expensive

first_img Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson About the Author Reprints By Jenny Gold — Kaiser Health News March 8, 2018 Reprints Please enter a valid email address. Trending Now: Michelle Rice, a senior vice president at the National Hemophilia Foundation, said she has been working with several insurers to help them manage costs safely. “We understand the need to control costs, but they can’t impede access to the product a patient needs,” she said.It is not yet clear whether such efforts will work, let alone spread.Sitting at a picnic bench at a park, Jessica Morris pages through Landon’s insurance documents. Over the past year, his care cost over $120,000. She wonders sometimes what would happen if they lost their coverage.“How much would you be willing to pay to have your child lead a normal life?” she said. “I don’t think that there’s anything we wouldn’t pay or sacrifice for him.”It’s a problem she prays they’ll never have to face.This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service. KHN’s coverage of these topics is supported by Laura and John Arnold Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Hemophiliacs can more easily play soccer thanks to this drug? FDA says not so fast Sanofi makes a steep bid for a hemophilia business, but did it make a good case? Jenny Gold — Kaiser Health News Leave this field empty if you’re human: Manufacturers, as well as specialty pharmacies that sell the drugs, hire patients and parents as recruiters and advisers, hold dinners and holiday parties, offer scholarships to patients, and even run summer camps for children with the disease. The Morris family regularly receives such invitations.Dr. Jonathan Ducore, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at the University of California-Davis Hemophilia Treatment Center in Sacramento, said some of his patients are persuaded by drug company presentations to switch medications. ”But the real differences between the drugs are limited,” he said.Ducore said he tells patients if he thinks they are being misled by drug makers about what a product will do. “But even though the tactics may seem a little smarmy, if it’s the patient’s choice, you have to go with it,” said Ducore, who has been Landon’s doctor since the boy was born.The first clotting factor products, which came onto the market in the mid-1960s, were derived from human blood plasma, with thousands of donations combined to create one batch. This proved disastrous in the 1980s, when donors unwittingly spread HIV into the blood supply. An estimated 4,000 people with hemophilia — about 40 percent of the patient population in the U.S. — died from AIDS as a result.In the 1990s, manufacturers introduced a product that did not carry the disease risk of plasma-based drugs — made by cloning human clotting proteins in animal cells. Companies charged a premium for this ever-more-popular “recombinant factor.”Recombinant factor is difficult and delicate to make, said Steve Garger, a development scientist at Bayer, which produces two popular factor products at its Berkeley, Calif., plant — including Landon Morris’ drug, Kogenate. Privacy Policy YUBA CITY, Calif. — When Landon Morris was diagnosed with hemophilia shortly after birth, his mother, Jessica Morris, was devastated. “It was like having your dreams — all the dreams you imagined for your child — just kind of disappear,” she recalled.Hemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder caused by a gene mutation that prevents blood from clotting properly, is typically passed from mother to son. Morris’ grandfather had it, and she remembered hearing how painful it was. “It was almost like he was bubble-wrapped,” she said. “He was coddled, because his mom didn’t want him to get hurt.”But Landon’s life turned out much different than she expected.advertisementcenter_img Examining the stubbornly high cost of these medications opens a window into why some prescription drugs the United States — especially those for rare diseases — have stratospheric prices. The short answer: Competition doesn’t do its traditional job of tamping down costs.Vying for patientsThe market for hemophilia medicines in the United States is flooded with 28 different drugs, with another 21 drugs in development. Because blood factor drugs are biological products — in this case, a protein — there are no cheaper copies, called biosimilars, available. Not only do prices rise steadily as each new product comes on the market, demand is growing — and pushing costs upward — as more and more clotting factor is used to prevent bleeding episodes, not just to treat them.Yet competition has not brought prices down in the way someone “operating at the level of undergrad Econ 101 would expect,” said Jerry Avorn, a professor at Harvard Medical School who studies prescription drug costs. Related: Tags drug pricingpharmaceuticals “He’s wild. He’s probably sometimes the roughest of them all,” she said, as she watched the 6-year-old race around a park. “He leads a totally normal life. He plays T-ball. He’ll start soccer in the fall. He runs and jumps and wrestles with his brothers.”That’s due almost entirely to his medication — the kind that wasn’t available in his grandfather’s day. For the Morris family, this type of drug — broadly known as clotting factor — is a miracle, helping Landon’s blood clot normally. And its cost is almost entirely covered by his father’s federal employee health plan.Three times each week, Jessica Landon injects the protein into son Landon’s vein to help his blood clot normally. Heidi de Marco/KHNBut for the health care system, such drugs are enormously expensive, among the priciest in the nation. Medications to treat hemophilia cost an average of more than $270,000 annually per patient, according to a 2015 Express Scripts report. If complications arise, that annual price tag can soar above $1 million. The U.S. hemophilia drug market, which serves about 20,000 patients, is worth $4.6 billion a year, according to the investment research firm AllianceBernstein.advertisement The problem is that companies have no incentive to lower prices. Patients generally don’t push back because insurers pay the bulk of the cost. And insurers tend not to object because the market for the drugs — expensive as they are — is small and the patients are especially vulnerable.For drug companies, Avorn said, “it’s a magical formula: Lifesaving drug, child at risk of bleeding to death — it kind of casts anybody who looks at costs into the role of some evil Scrooge-like person.”“The insurers don’t want to end up on the front page of the newspaper saying Little Timmy bled to death because his drug wasn’t covered,” he said.Also, because prices are high across the hemophilia market, no drug company wants to be the one to blink first. “They don’t want to get a price war started and end up at a super low price point,” said Edmund Pezalla, a consultant to pharmaceutical companies and former executive at Aetna.So, these drugmakers compete not on price but clinical benefits — such as how long the drugs’ effects last — and through intensive marketing. The pool of potential customers is so valuable that companies often vie directly for individual patients. The manufacturing process for Kogenate (pictured) and Kovaltry, Bayer’s clotting-factor products, requires the company’s factory in Berkeley, Calif., to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Eric Kayne for KHN Related: [email protected] @JennyAGold HealthOf ‘miracles’ and money: why hemophilia drugs are so expensive Inside a concrete building on the campus, kidney cells from baby hamsters are grown in stainless-steel vessels called bioreactors, and the clotting factor they produce is then purified in steel tanks kept in cold rooms. Working at full capacity, this factory produces less than a pound of clotting factor each year — but when diluted with other ingredients, it’s enough to treat thousands of patients in 80 countries.The investment in manufacturing and marketing is only part of the reason for the high cost of the drugs, said Kevin O’Leary, vice president of pricing and contracting at Bayer. Bayer does not simply add up the costs, slap on a profit margin and come up with the price, O’Leary explained.Instead, he said, the company begins by talking to insurers, doctors and patients to get a sense of what value its products bring to the market, especially compared to drugs already available. Bayer then sets a price based on both its investment and the product’s perceived worth. In the end, he said, “we’re charging a price that’s competitive with the other factor products on the market.”Bayer’s annual sales from its hemophilia drugs were 1.166 billion euros in 2016. That’s the equivalent of about $1.45 billion in the U.S.Jessica injects Landon with a blood-clotting factor. Heidi de Marco/KHNPushing back on costsIn Europe, hemophilia drugs cost less than half what they cost in the U.S. That’s because payers — usually governments — request bids and pick products based on cost and quality.Without pushback from insurers in the U.S., “the price of any drug in the U.S. is whatever the market will bear as seen by the manufacturer,” said Avorn of Harvard.Recently, a few insurance companies have quietly started to push back on costs. Bayer’s O’Leary said several insurers have approached the company and demanded rebates in exchange for offering the drug to their customers. O’Leary would not discuss the details because he said the contracts are confidential.State Medicaid programs, which provide health insurance to low-income Americans and cover about half of hemophilia patients, already receive significant rebates from hemophilia drug manufacturers.last_img read more

The Nasdaq’s newest ETF invites investors to bet on Chinese biopharma

first_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What is it? Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Investors who want to bet on China’s booming biopharma industry will soon be able to buy and sell a new basket of securities.A new exchange-traded fund dedicated to the sector will begin trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Wednesday, under the ticker CHNA. The ETF comes from the biotech investor Brad Loncar, who earlier this year launched an index tracking the performance of China’s drug industry. Biotech What’s included? The Nasdaq’s newest ETF invites investors to bet on Chinese biopharma Log In | Learn More GET STARTED By Rebecca Robbins Aug. 14, 2018 Reprints STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Alex Hogan/STAT Tags biotechnologyChinafinanceSTAT+last_img read more

Amgen lowers wholesale price for its cholesterol medicine in bid to remain competitive

first_img What’s included? In the latest round of the cholesterol wars, Amgen (AMGN) is cutting the list price of its injectable cholesterol medicine by 60 percent from its original price tag, a move that the drug maker hopes will appease payers and lower out-of-pocket costs for many patients.After launching Repatha at roughly $14,500, the company is now setting a wholesale price of $5,850 per year, but this remains well above the range recommended last year by a cost-effectiveness watchdog, except for a select group of high-risk patients. The price cut comes as the Trump administration leans on drug makers to hold the line on price hikes, although Amgen officials demurred when asked whether they were trying to win political brownie points. Tags cardiologydrug pricinginsuranceMedicarepharmaceuticalsSTAT+ GET STARTED By Ed Silverman Oct. 24, 2018 Reprints Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Log In | Learn More Robert Dawson/Amgen via AP Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Pharmalot center_img What is it? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Ed Silverman About the Author Reprints Amgen lowers wholesale price for its cholesterol medicine in bid to remain competitive @Pharmalot [email protected] last_img read more

For a Chinese cancer drug developer, Bristol-Celgene deal is poised to have big ripple effects

first_imgBiotech By Rebecca Robbins Feb. 13, 2019 Reprints Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED For a Chinese cancer drug developer, Bristol-Celgene deal is poised to have big ripple effects SAN FRANCISCO — Celgene is famous for cultivating a constellation of biotech partners — companies whose fortunes are poised to be shifted by last month’s news that Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to buy Celgene in a $74 billion deal.One of those partners is BeiGene, among the buzziest companies in China’s rising biotech sector and one that could feel ripple effects. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Log In | Learn More GET STARTED What’s included? Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What is it? BeiGene CEO John Oyler Imaginechina via AP Tags biotechnologycancerChinaresearchSTAT+last_img read more

How our health systems are working to prevent hospital drug shortages

first_img Related: First OpinionHow our health systems are working to prevent hospital drug shortages Barclay E. Berdan @texashealth Earlier this year, for example, a physician chronicled in STAT the shortage of a generic drug used to treat pediatric cancer. Last year, the American Society of Anesthesiologists suggested that doctors “consider postponing an elective procedure when the risks of proceeding might outweigh the risks of using medications that are alternative to those in short supply or unavailable.” Recognizing the dangers of hospital drug shortages, the Food and Drug Administration has made great strides to encourage additional manufacturers to enter the market. Until recently, though, the FDA had a drug approval backlog that took most new manufacturers of existing drugs more than four years to move through, giving legacy drug makers a de facto, multiyear monopoly that not only limited options and compromised the nation’s supply but also led to dramatic price increases.In response, the agency has fast-tracked approvals in shortage categories, increasing the number of drugs on the market by nearly 17%, while cutting average reviews of new drug applications by six months. At the same time, the FDA began publishing a list of drugs that are off patent but lacking generic competition, giving manufacturers a clear set of opportune targets.Though helpful, these efforts have not produced a permanent fix to hospitals’ drug shortage problem.That is why health systems like ours have been working on new solutions to reorganize the market and create incentives to increase drug supplies at prices that won’t bust the budget.Our health systems are owners of Premier Inc., a health care improvement company that created a subsidiary called ProvideGx that is devoted to increasing the supply of shortage generic drugs. (Approximately 200 other health systems also have ownership stakes in Premier, which is publicly traded.) As an alliance of health systems, we are working to curb shortages by fundamentally altering the market dynamics between buyers and sellers of drugs. @AdventistHealth Scott Reiner By Barclay E. Berdan, Scott Reiner, and Terry Shaw Aug. 1, 2019 Reprints Newsletters Sign up for Pharmalot Your daily update on the drug industry. Drug shortages jeopardize the lives of children with cancer @AdventHealth Drug shortages are a major challenge for hospitals. Today, 121 key lifesaving drugs are in short supply and 70% of all hospital pharmacists report at least 50 shortages a year. Without these lifesaving drugs on hand, providers may be forced to delay medically necessary care or substitute therapies that may not be as effective. Health systems like ours can help alleviate the problem.Drug shortages are triggered by a variety of events, including natural disasters or manufacturing quality problems that take producers offline for weeks or months at a time. Some shortages occur when manufacturers have difficulty finding sources of raw materials, others when there is a sudden surge in demand due to a disease outbreak or seasonal spike in cases, such as flu season.Most shortages occur with generic drugs. Because many of these are low-margin products, too few companies produce them. As a result, many drugs have just one or two suppliers for the entire country, creating a fragile supply chain that isn’t strong enough to handle variable market demand.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: Specifically, we are mitigating the risks manufacturers face when entering the market by aggregating the demand of hospital members and approaching manufacturers with a guaranteed buyer base if they enter a new market or increase their production of shortage products. This creates a predictable sales channel for the manufacturer, thereby cutting down its financial risks. In exchange, health systems get a guaranteed supply at a guaranteed price and, most importantly, patients get access to the medications they need in a timely manner.Through this work, Premier has brought one manufacturer, Baxter, back into the market to produce metoprolol, a drug used to treat high blood pressure that has been in short supply, and partnered with another, Fresenius Kabi, to increase production levels for injectable thiamine, lidocaine, diphenhydramine, hydromorphone, and morphine sulfate, all of which have been in shortage for a year or more. Over the long term, we expect to put capital to work by investing in new, competitive drug manufacturers to help lower the risk burden of entering new markets.By using creative financing and group purchasing options, we are able to create more stability in the pharmaceutical manufacturing market that will encourage new entrants to step in and provide more competition and more options for providers, hopefully addressing the drug shortage problem in a more sustainable manner.Although much good work has been done to curb drug shortages, hospital leaders must continue to step up and support new models that provide incentives to nourish the drug manufacturing market and bring it back to life. When we do this work together, we can create a circle of partnerships between buyers and sellers, reinvent the economics used to source generic drugs, and solve the shortage problem once and for all. As Helen Keller once said: “Alone we can do so little. Together, we can do so much.”Barclay E. Berdan is CEO of Texas Health Resources, an integrated health system that provides care to 7 million residents in North Texas. Scott Reiner is CEO of Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serves 4.8 million patients on the West Coast and Hawaii. Terry Shaw is president and CEO of AdventHealth, a faith-based health care organization headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Fla., that provides care to 4.7 million patients. About the Authors Reprints Tags hospitalspharmaceuticals Please enter a valid email address. One shortage of norepinephrine, a drug used to treat septic shock, resulted in a nearly 4% increase in inpatient deaths and added $13.7 billion in costs to the nation’s health care tab.advertisement Terry Shaw Privacy Policy Adobelast_img read more

Biotech veteran Tony Coles to become CEO of Pfizer neuroscience spinout Cerevel

first_img Biotech veteran Tony Coles to become CEO of Pfizer neuroscience spinout Cerevel @matthewherper Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. About the Author Reprints By Matthew Herper Sept. 9, 2019 Reprints Log In | Learn More GET STARTED What is it? Senior Writer, Medicine, Editorial Director of Events Matthew covers medical innovation — both its promise and its perils. What’s included?center_img [email protected] Tony Coles, remembered by many investors for engineering a $10 billion biotech deal in 2013, will become chief executive of Cerevel, the Pfizer neuroscience spinout to which Bain Capital has pledged up to $350 million in funding, the company announced Monday.“From my perspective, the area of neuroscience drug discovery is the next frontier for life sciences,” Coles said in an interview. “It’s essentially what HIV AIDS and cancer were two decades ago.” STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Biotech Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Tags Bostonneuroscience Matthew Herper Spencer Platt/Getty Imageslast_img read more

‘The time to worry is now’: The coronavirus in China could threaten pharma’s ingredient sourcing

first_img As a novel coronavirus spreads through China and rattles the rest of the world, the pharmaceutical industry is on guard over the adequacy of its global supply chain.Over the past decade, China has become a bigger player in the market for active pharmaceutical ingredients, which are the building blocks found in each drug. China is now home to 13% of all facilities that make ingredients for medicines that are sold in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration. By comparison, 28% of such facilities are in the U.S. and 26% are in the European Union. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. By Ed Silverman Jan. 27, 2020 Reprints Tags ChinaCoronavirusinfectious disease STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. [email protected] Chinese workers monitor pill production at a factory in Beijing. Teh Eng Koon/AFP/Getty Images Ed Silverman What is it? Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTEDcenter_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. About the Author Reprints What’s included? @Pharmalot ‘The time to worry is now’: The coronavirus in China could threaten pharma’s ingredient sourcing Pharmalot GET STARTED Log In | Learn More last_img read more

Drug companies deliver a vote of confidence in adaptive trial for Covid-19

first_img What is it? @caseymross Ruby Wallau for STAT Unlock this article — and get additional analysis of the technologies disrupting health care — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED A novel clinical trial that uses artificial intelligence to rapidly compare Covid-19 treatments has attracted participation from two major drug companies, a key milestone in the effort to shake up the way trials are conducted.Amgen and the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai will become the first pharma companies to test their experimental therapies in REMAP-CAP, an adaptive clinical trial that seeks to rapidly evaluate potential Covid-19 treatments in patients around the world. Drug companies deliver a vote of confidence in adaptive trial for Covid-19 What’s included? Health Tech National Technology Correspondent Casey covers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and its underlying questions of safety, fairness, and privacy. He is the co-author of the newsletter STAT Health Tech. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.center_img GET STARTED Casey Ross About the Author Reprints Tags clinical trialsmedical technologypharmaceuticalsSTAT+ [email protected] STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Log In | Learn More By Casey Ross Nov. 10, 2020 Reprintslast_img read more

As he battles cancer, Punta Gorda boy organizes toy drive for sick kids

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement“I feel very happy,” said Alex, who has lost most of his vision as a result of his cancer. “People care. They care a lot.”The toys for the drive were delivered personally by Alex on Friday. PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Alex Meyer has every reason to be thinking of only himself right now, but that’s not the type of person he is.Alex, who was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in March, recently decided to organize a toy drive for other sick kids at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Fort Myers. The idea came after he learned a closet that is used to hold gifts for patients receiving treatment was empty.“He’s the kind of kid that will literally take his shirt off… and give it to somebody because they don’t have one,” Alex’s mom Tiffany said. “And he’s been that way his whole life.”Originally, Alex set a goal to collect 1,000 toys for the hospital. Once people from across the country learned of his mission, nearly twice that amount of gifts arrived. AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments RELATEDTOPICS Retired teacher hopes to empower students with swim around Key West June 14, 2021 AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 commentscenter_img Clewiston High School senior surprises crowd with generosity at graduation June 9, 2021 Advertisement AdvertisementTags: Story2Share Former NYPD officer finds unexpected joy patrolling Fort Myers elementary school June 17, 2021 Estero’s one-of-a-kind service horse and owner spread smiles June 7, 2021last_img read more

NFL to honor health care workers by inviting those who have been vaccinated to Super Bowl LV

first_imgRELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementThis idea still needs the approval of health care authorities. Wednesday’s NFL meeting with team owners was focused on coronavirus. Goodell praised the league for its COVID-19 protocols and highlighted that positive coronavirus test results within the NFL declined by about half in consecutive weeks. He said this is proof that protocols implemented by the league are working. According to Goodell, family members of NFL players and staff will now be offered COVID-19 testing. Mobile pediatric clinic provides COVID vaccines for children 12+ June 15, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 commentsDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Health Matters: Managing the Stress of COVID-19 June 7, 2021 COVID-19 restrictions likely kept kids out of swim class, putting them at risk June 9, 2021center_img “We shared last night with the clubs that we are making testing available for family members and other people in the household,” Goodell said. “We know that community transmission is a risk, and it’s increasing the testing to the household personnel will keep all personnel safer, not just in the homes but really transferring that to NFL personnel.” Japan to ease COVID restrictions as country prepares for 2020 Olympics June 17, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Covid-19NFLSuper Bowl LV TAMPA, Fla. (CNN) – The NFL is planning on honoring health care workers by inviting some who have had their COVID-19 vaccines to Super Bowl LV.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called frontline health care workers “true American heroes” Wednesday, adding he hopes to invite vaccinated employees of Florida hospitals to the big game. Super Bowl LV is set for Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. “As we all know, these frontline workers are the true American heroes, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” Goodell said during a call with reporters. “We also know that we need to rely on them for months to come to distribute vaccines and continue to treat all of those that are ill from COVID and other illnesses.”last_img read more

Twins providing the spark for Lightning playoff run

first_imgLehigh Acres man gains attention for riding bike backwards June 16, 2021 Driver slams parked cars into Lehigh Acres home June 17, 2021 RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 commentsDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments AdvertisementTags: basketballLehigh AcresLehigh Senior High School Advertisement“So, that’s why everyone just refers to them as ‘the twins.” Coleman said.For one of the areas top teams, ‘the twins’ have been the charge for the lightings recent seven game winning streak.“They are the kind of fuel to our fire. We go defensively, especially defensively as they go and if they are out there getting after it the rest of the team kind of feeds right off of it,” Coleman said.center_img The brothers who might as well be carbon copies of each other on the court — except for one being a righty and one a lefty — take pride in their defense and use each other as motivation on the court.“When I see him dancing someone up and he gets to talk his little trash, it just boosts me up because I usually don’t talk trash but when I see him do it I just have to,” Markel said.“That’s the way it’s been since we were kids. Every time I make a play we hype each other up,” Marvel said.A connection made through brotherly love and brotherly competition. That combined with the heartbreak of two years ago could be what puts Lehigh over the top.“They have been to a final four. They know what it takes to get there,” Coleman said.“Knowing that two years ago we had lost in the final four that pushed me a lot. So, I feel like we got something going, we are going to get it this year,” Marvel said.The Lighting have nine games left before entering postseason play. Lehigh Elementary preschool teacher accused of child abuse won’t renew contract June 16, 2021 LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Year in and year out, the Lehigh boys basketball team makes a run at a state championship. This season is shaping up to be much of the same with a family connection powering the Lightning to another winning season.For Lehigh head basketball coach Greg Coleman, there is only one easy way to distinguish senior guards Markel and Marvel Carter from each other.“If they have their numbers on that’s easy,” Coleman said.Other than that… good luck. Suspect breaks into Lehigh Acres Popeyes June 11, 2021last_img read more

Salvation Army opens new Homeless Center in Fort Myers

first_imgFORT MYERS, Fla. — Today, Jan. 22, The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, & Glades Counties opened a new Homeless Resource Day Center in Fort Myers.Lee County Commissioners joined Salvation Army officials in celebrating the new center located at 2450 Edison Ave.The center will provide people experiencing homelessness in Fort Myers a temporary place to stay.CLICK HERE to learn more about the Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, & Glades County. Advertisement Homeless gather at abandoned North Fort Myers shopping plaza May 5, 2021 Cape Coral nurse & patient bond over bikes, help give thousands away June 11, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 commentscenter_img Advertisement North Fort Myers homeless camp to be cleared out May 3, 2021 Advertisement Lee County Commission could allocate over $3 million to fight homelessness June 16, 2021 AdvertisementTags: HomelesshomelessnessSalvation Armylast_img read more

DOH-Collier to offer appointment-only COVID-19 testing this week

first_imgAdvertisementTags: Covid-19testing sites AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Florida Department of Health will no longer release daily COVID-19 data June 8, 2021 COVID-19 restrictions likely kept kids out of swim class, putting them at risk June 9, 2021 Advertisement NAPLES, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Collier County will offer COVID-19 testing for three days this week.The testing will be done by appointment only at the FDOH in Collier County located at 3339 E. Tamiami Trail, health officials said. COVID-19 testing will be done on Tuesday, Feb. 9, Wednesday, Feb. 10 and Thursday, Feb. 11. All appointments have been scheduled for Tuesday. To schedule an appointment call (239) 252-6220. The call center will be available Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 commentscenter_img RELATEDTOPICS Advertisement AdvertisementFace masks will be required. There is no referral needed to schedule an appointment, which comes also comes at no cost.Click here for more information. Mobile pediatric clinic provides COVID vaccines for children 12+ June 15, 2021 Health Matters: Managing the Stress of COVID-19 June 7, 2021last_img read more

Collier County businesses feel impact of record low tourism in Florida

first_imgAdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Collier school resource officers teach kids how to fish on first day of “Summerfest” June 16, 2021 AdvertisementOwner of the Beach Cafe at Lowdermilk beach, Jason Gibson said this year has been unprecedented. “2021 high January here was below half of what it was last year and we have never seen that before, same with February,” Gibson said.The pandemic putting a halt on people’s beach getaways to Naples, meaning fewer customers at his concession stand. AdvertisementTags: collier countytourism COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Local businesses in Collier County are feeling the impact of the record low tourism in the state of Florida in 2020. According to Visit Florida, in 2020 Florida saw the lowest number of visitors since 2010; with a 34 percent drop in tourism compared to 2019.  RSW Airport saw a 41.7 percent decrease in passenger traffic in 2020 from 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic having a major impact on tourism.  Amazon distribution center officially opens in Collier County June 16, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Advertisement RELATEDTOPICS Wounded Warriors organization accuses City of Naples of discrimination June 16, 2021 Mosquitoes swarming Collier County, crews trap 25,000 in two nights June 17, 2021 “Obviously, it hurt us but pretty much everyone is dealing with the same thing,” Gibson said.Owner of Audrey’s consignment store Quenby Tyler in Downtown Naples is also feeling the impact“We have a very multinational customer base, so a lot of our customers are coming from historically from Europe and from Canada and from other countries from all over the world actually, so we have missed out on all of that, we miss their faces,” Tyler said.Tyler is thankful, they have loyal local customers that keep her business afloat. “It could be a lot worse, it could certainly be a lot worse. I am just thankful we are in Florida, I am thankful that we are able to be open because we could be in another state where we are not open at all,” Tyler said. Advertisementlast_img read more

Animal advocates drive around the state to rehome over 200 guinea pigs

first_imgRELATEDTOPICS Advertisement Florida moves against foreign theft of intellectual property June 8, 2021 AdvertisementTags: FloridaNews Over 1,000 unemployment claim call takers let go as DEO cancels contract June 12, 2021 Advertisement Florida nursing homes report COVID-19 infection rates nearly double the national average June 16, 2021 ALVA, Fla.– Two animal advocates drove hundreds of animals around the state, rehoming them after receiving a call from an Alva barn owner who left more than 200 guinea pigs and rabbits in inhumane conditions. Marquelle Hendryx runs the nonprofit Broken Oak Sanctuary in Alva. She says she received a call from the distressed animal owner pleading for help toward the end of January.“It was a case of mismanagement. Different farmhands and barn help and stuff that unfortunately mis-sexed some animals,” said Hendryx. The guinea pigs and rabbits left in the barn grew to more than 250 animals. Hendryx immediately made a call to the other coast of Florida-getting in touch with 17 year old animal advocate and Pompano Beach native Dylan Warfel to help make a plan of action. The guinea pigs and rabbits were jammed into narrow cages where disease and infighting ran rampant. Some of the animals were missing limbs while others contracted things like mange and lice.“It’s definitely sad to see them there but we show up with the intention of removing them all,” said Warfel. After a five hour excavation effort, the two hundred plus animals were saved. Now the task for the animal advocates became finding places for them to adequately recover. “I don’t even think I can articulate the enormity of something like this,” Hendryx said.Warfel called humane society and other rescue organizations around the state and country. After a high volume of calls, plans to rehome the animals were arranged at human societies and other rescue organizations. Hendryx and Warfel hopped on the road to take the animals to their desired destinations themselves. “We rented a climate controlled cargo van. To be able to go and organize all of the animals was about 260 that we took,” said Hendryx. “Not every animal survives something like this.”Thankfully, many of the animals survived the trip. Some traveled as far as the midwest.“Some of these animals went as far as St. Louis, Missouri,” Hendryx said. Now that the traveling is done, Hendryx is facing astronomical bills to rehab the six guinea pigs she kept at her sanctuary.“The six guinea pigs that we kept- their first veterinarian visit was over $1200,” said Hendryx. “Some of the rabbits, they’ve already exceeded $2000 for just one rabbit.”If you would like to help the Broken Oak Sanctuary you can visit their Facebook page or their websites. You can also visit Warfel’s facebook page or their website. Advertisement“I immediately reached out to Dylan and we put our heads together because this was a very large number of animals,” said Hendryx. When the two arrived at the Alva barn, they were horrified at what they saw.“The barn itself was not a very pretty site. There was poop everywhere. Duck poop, rabbit poop, guinea pig poop,” said Warfel. “ They were cramped animals everywhere. You could smell the mange from outside the door.”  AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Two suffer shark bites off Florida beach June 16, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 commentslast_img read more

Geico Nationals ditch Big Apple for City of Palms amid pandemic

first_imgNo Content Available FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Geico High School Nationals, a nationally-ranked high school basketball championship, being played in the South for the first time in its 11 year history. “For this year, going to the East coast really wasn’t an option,” explained the tournament executive director Rashid Ghazi. The reason being COVID-19. “COVID has kind of created some unique opportunities from the way kids play, to the way tournaments are set up and because of COVID we ended up bringing the tournament to Florida and Fort Myers,” said Ghazi.  Ghazi said FSW’s reputation precedes it after consistently hosting events like the City of Palms Classic and Fort Myers Tip-Off. “The other thing about Fort Myers we really liked was that we like was the City of Palms (Classic) is held here and this venue knows how to host elite tournaments,” admits Ghazi. However, attendance at these games will be strictly limited to 40 family members that traveled with each team and tickets will not be sold to the general public. Regardless of ticket sales, FSW’s brand will be on full display for four straight days as each game will be nationally televised. “I couldn’t ask for a better commercial,” said Sander. “It’s just a great opportunity for us to reach people and for them to see our product, as far as the building, and what attracts people to come here.” The Geico Nationals begins Wednesday night and concludes Saturday afternoon with the crowning of a new national champion.  Advertisement AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Advertisementcenter_img AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments AdvertisementTags: City of PalmsGeico Nationals AdvertisementA few of the best high school basketball teams in the country are arriving to play in a four-day, single elimination tournament to determine a national champion.But how did a tournament that has been a New York City staple since 2014 wind up on the campus of Florida Southwestern State College? “Well, we’re open. The state is open,” said FSW Director of Athletics George Sander.  RELATEDTOPICSlast_img read more

Naples 12-year-old launches successful baking business amid pandemic

first_imgMia Pardo has turned a new hobby she picked up during the start of the COVID pandemic into an opportunity. Last year, the Naples 12-year-old launched Mia Bella Sweets from her home kitchen. She offers baked goods ranging from cakes and cookies to pies. “It just took off,” Mia said of her business. She now has dozens of customers and has had hundreds of dollars in sales since the launch. Prior to the pandemic, Mia had never baked anything on her own. She got inspired to start while watching tutorials on YouTube.  Retired teacher hopes to empower students with swim around Key West June 14, 2021 Advertisement“A lot of people got sick of being stuck at home, but it worked out in her case,” Mia’s dad, Roger, said. Pictures of Mia’s creations can be found on her Instagram page and orders for custom baked goods can be made through email at [email protected]  Advertisement AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments RELATEDTOPICS Former NYPD officer finds unexpected joy patrolling Fort Myers elementary school June 16, 2021center_img AdvertisementTags: Story2Share Estero’s one-of-a-kind service horse and owner spread smiles June 7, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Advertisement Clewiston High School senior surprises crowd with generosity at graduation June 9, 2021last_img read more

Portlaoise claim U-19 CCFL Division 1 title

first_img Previous articleAll of this weekend’s Laois GAA FixturesNext articleDeaths in Laois – Monday, April 23, 2018 Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. TAGSCCFLPortlaoise AFC By Alan Hartnett – 23rd April 2018 Portlaoise claim U-19 CCFL Division 1 title WhatsApp Pinterest Laois County Council create ‘bigger and better’ disability parking spaces to replace ones occupied for outdoor dining Facebook Home Sport Soccer Portlaoise claim U-19 CCFL Division 1 title SportSoccer The Portlaoise U-19 CCFL winning team Portlaoise AFC U-19s clinched the Division 1 league title following a hard fought victory in Kilbeggan on Thursday night in their last game of the season.The season went down to the wire as fellow Laois side Clonaslee United pushed them all the way and ended up in second.Portlaoise started this match well as Ronan McEvoy, Jack Langton, Alan Roberts and Jason Woods all went close to scoring in the first 20 minutes of the game but fine goalkeeping by Kilbeggan’s Cormac Harnan kept them at bay. Twitter WhatsAppcenter_img Twitter Pinterest Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Council Portlaoise then finally scored on 25 minutes when, after good work on the left by Jack Langton, his pinpoint cross was volley home by Ronan McEvoy.Then, on 36 minutes, the two combined again and Langton sent McEvoy through and he chipped the keeper to make it 2-0 and that’s how it finished at the break.Kilbeggan began the 2nd half in style and went close on two occasions from Peter Whelan and Conor Daly but Adam Scully in the Portlaoise made two good saves.They then scored on 60 minutes when, from a corner, Conor Ferry headed home to make it 2-1 and it was game on again.Jack Langton, David Nolan and Ronan McEvoy went close before Jason Woods scored on 70 minutes after another brilliant assist from Jack Langton to make it 3-1.Josh Malone then scored a goal for Kilbeggan on the 80th minute but Portlaoise held on and it finished 3-2 – meaning they clinched the league title among jubilant scenes at the final whistle.Best for for Portlaoise were Oisin Kiernan, Alan Roberts, Pauric Cahill, Andrew Swayne, Eoghan Brennan, Ronan McEvoy, Jason Woods and man-of-match Jack Langton who set up all 3 goals for the champions.They will now go on to the U-19 cup where they are in the quarter final stage against Mullingar.Portlaoise: Adam Scully, Eoin Carey, Oisin Kiernan, Pauric Cahill, Alan Roberts, Eoghan Brennan, Jack Langton, Andrew Swayne, Ronan McEvoy, Jason Woods, David Nolan. Subs: Jason Maher, Liam Frazier, Ronan Corr, Ruairi Burke, Mickey Nurney, Jack O’Reilly, Aaron Feane, Conor McKenna, Cillian Reddin.Management Team:Glen Scully and John (Birdie) Langton.SEE ALSO – WATCH: Laois Third Level team up with UCC to launch exciting new courses RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Rugby Community Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government fundinglast_img read more

LIVE BLOG: Follow the action as the Laois senior and minor hurlers face championship battles

first_img Brought to you in association with O’Sullivan Motors RoscreaThis day two weeks ago the Laois senior hurlers began life in the new Joe McDonagh Cup championship, a competition for the teams operating below the elite level.Where once Laois regularly came up against the likes of Kilkenny, Galway or Wexford in the Leinster championship and got occasional outings against some of the big Munster teams in the All Ireland Qualifiers, a new system introduced for 2018 sees them excluded from that top table.Instead they’d compete against Antrim, Meath, Kerry, Carlow and Westmeath in a round robin competition played over a hectic six-week period in May and June.Laois started the competition as favourites but disappointing defeats to Westmeath and Kerry have them almost out of contention before we’ve even reached the mid-way stage. Pinterest LIVE BLOG: Follow the action as the Laois senior and minor hurlers face championship battles Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Pinterest Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding TAGSJoe McDonagh CupLaois minor hurlersLaois senior hurlersLaois v AntrimLaois v DublinLeinster MHCLive Blog Home Sport GAA LIVE BLOG: Follow the action as the Laois senior and minor hurlers… SportGAAHurlingLaois Minor Hurling TeamLaois Senior Hurling Team This afternoon they take on an Antrim side with two wins to their name already. Another loss for Laois would officially end their hopes – but a win would keep their slim chances alive for another couple of weeks at least anyway.Laois have already beaten Antrim twice this year in the league and will be hoping they can continue that level of dominance over the Ulster side. Throw-in in Dunloy is at 1.30pm.The Laois minor hurlers are also in action this afternoon. They went down to Wexford last week in the opening round of the Leinster minor championship but this is also in group stages and they take on Dublin in O’Moore Park at 3.30pm.We will be live blogging both games. Twitter Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Facebook Community By Steven Miller – 19th May 2018 WhatsApp Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Community SEE ALSO – A selection of great photos as curtain comes down on Cumann na mBunscol finals week Previous articleFr Paddy: Angels are gifts from GodNext articlePortlaoise Prison wing ‘on lockdown’ Steven Millerhttp://www.laoistoday.ieSteven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he’s happiest when he’s telling stories or kicking a point. Rugby Twitterlast_img read more

Deaths in Laois – Saturday, August 11, 2018

first_imgHome Deaths Deaths in Laois – Saturday, August 11, 2018 Deaths Below are the recent deaths in Laois.Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.Maureen DunneCastlecuffe, Clonaslee, LaoisEx National Teacher Stratford on Slaney, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, and Rath, Ballybrittas, Co Laois. Died peacefully on the 8th of August 2018 in her 99th year at Kilminchey Lodge Nursing Home, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Predeceased by her brother Michael, and sister Sr. Oliver (Presentation Sisters, Kildare). She will be very sadly missed by her sister Sr. Alphonsus (Presentation Sisters, Kilcock, Co Kildare), cousins, neighbours, and friends.Reposing at the residence of her cousin Pat Dunne, Ballymacrory, Clonaslee, Co. Laois, from 6pm on Thursday evening with Rosary at 9pm. Reposing on Friday from 12 noon with removal Friday evening at 7pm arriving to St. Manman’s Church, Clonaslee for 7.30pm. Funeral Mass on Saturday at 12 noon, followed by burial afterwards in St. Manman’s Cemetery, Clonaslee.Patrick (Pat) DoyleOld Caragh Court, Kildare / Baldoyle, Dublin / Stradbally, LaoisRetired member of An Garda Síochana. Formerly of Grange Abbey Road, Baldoyle, Dublin 13 and Stradbally, Co. Laois.Sadly missed by his loving wife Marie, son Patrick, daughters Siobhan, Claire, Laura and Emily, brother Hugh, sisters Kathleen and Marcella, daughter-in-law Alison, son-in-law Lewis, grandchildren Caoimhe, Adam, Justin, Amber, Luke, Alex and Isaac, extended family and friends.Reposing at The George Mullins Funeral Home, Kilcullen Road, Naas, on Friday from 4pm with prayers at 7pm. Removal on Saturday morning at 9.20am to arrive at The Church of Our Lady and St. David, Naas, for Funeral Mass at 10am followed by Burial in St. Corban’s Cemetery, Dublin Road, Naas.Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to The Friends of Naas Hospital. Donation box in church.“May He Rest In Peace”Catherine MooneyCloshawn, Attanagh, Laois / Attanagh, KilkennyDied peacefully at her home, surrounded by her family. Predeceased by her parents Statia and Martin, her brother Henry, her sister in law Carmel and her nephew Alan. Deeply regretted by her loving brothers Tom, Pat, Martin and Denis, sister Statia, sister in law Ber, brother in law Peter, her devoted nieces and nephews, Helen, Mary, Martin, Sharon, Paul, Colm, Carmel, Kevin, Ciara, Lynda, Shane and Adrian, grandnephews, grandnieces, relatives, neighbours, former work colleagues and friends. R.I.P.Reposing at her home from 2pm on Thursday afternoon. Funeral prayers on Thursday evening at 7.30pm, followed by removal to the Church of the Assumption Ballyouskill. Requiem Mass on Friday morning at 11am followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only please.Linda Therese Smith62 St Joseph’s Tce, Mountmellick, LaoisDied peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, at The Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore. Staff memebr of St Vincent’s Hospital, Mountmellick.Sadly missed by her loving parents, Pete and Helen, her sisters Karen, Wendy & Debbie, her brothers Brian, Colm & Owen, nieces Jennifer, Ava, Kellie, Rebecca & Oonagh, nephews Conor, David, Brian, Cillian, Robert, Tadgh, Harry & Adam, sisters-in-law Louise Kelly & Mary McEvoy, relatives, family and a large circle of family and friends. R.I.P.Reposing today, Wednesday 8th, in Moloney’s Funeral Home from 6pm with Rosary at 9pm. Removal on Thursday morning at 10.30am to St Joseph’s Church Moutmellick, arriving for 11am requiem Mass. Burial afterwards in St Joseph’s cemetery. House private please.Mary (May) Bernie (née Frens)Chantiere Gate, Portlaoise, LaoisDied peacefully in the loving care of The Staff of St Vincent’s Hospital, Mountmellick. Funeral arrangements will be published on Tuesday. Daughter of The Late Dennis & Margaret Ferns (North Circular Road, Dublin) and sister of Bunty Ferns. Predeceased by her husband Niall Brendan Beirne (Pharmacist, Portarlington) and her late daughter Baby Brigid Beirne.Sadly missed by her niece Rita & husband Charlie, Nephews Paddy, Wally and John, Her beloved Ann, devoted friends Miriam and Nancy, Cousins The Woods Family (Durrow Co. Laois), The Bergin Family (Grennan, Attanagh Co. Laois) and The Walsh Family (Formally of North King Street Dublin), friends and The Wonderfull Staff of St Vincent’s Hospital Mountmellick where she resided for the last 13 years. Rest in Peace.Reposing on Wednesday morning in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Mountmellick from 11am with prayers at 12.30pm. Removal to Glasnevin Cemetery for burial at 2.30pm.Laura Fitzpatrick (née Phelan)Borris-in-Ossory, Laois/Beaumont, DublinLaura Fitzpatrick (nee Phelan), Rathdowney Road, Borris in Ossory, Co. Laois and TLC Nursing Home Santry, Dublin and formerly Beaumont, Dublin. August 4th. 2018. Unexpectedly at Beaumont Hospital. Beloved wife of the Late Jim. Sadly missed by her sister Joan, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends. Reposing at Guilfoyle’s Funeral Home Castletown, Mountrath, this Tuesday evening from 5 o’c with removal at 7 o’c to St. Canice’s Church, Borris in Ossory arriving at 7. 30 o’c. Funeral Mass on Wednesday morning Aug. 8th. at 11 o’c with burial immediately afterwards in Derrinsallagh Cemetery, Borris in Ossory.Ellen (Elsie) O’Shea (née Simms)Church St, Ballinakill, LaoisEllen (Elsie) died on Sunday 5th August at The Regional Hospital, Portlaoise. Deeply regretted by her loving husband Christy, sons Billy, Kevin, Paul, daughters Anne and Susan, sister Nancy, sons-in-law Gerard and Eric, daughters-in-law Sheila and Carina, brother-in-law Ron, nephews and nieces, grandchildren Roisin, Padraig, Eimear, Robyn, Emma, William, Chris, Ciara, Sam and Lauryn, and a host of other relatives and friends. Reposing at The Chapel of Rest, Portlaoise Hospital from 4pm on Tuesday, with Rosary at 6.45pm. Removal at 7.30pm to St. Brigid’s Church, Ballinakill, arriving at 8pm. Funeral Mass on Wednesday at 11am with interment afterwards in St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Ballinakiil.Michael LeighTullamoy, Stradbally, LaoisHusband of the late Margaret. Deeply regretted by his loving family Michael, Sarah, Kathleen and Anne, brother Pat, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grand-children, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.Reposing at his residence from 5pm on Tuesday evening with Rosary at 8pm. Removal at 1.30pm on Wednesday afternoon to arrive at the Church of the Holy Rosary, Luggacurren, for Requiem Mass at 2pm. Burial afterwards in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Ballyadams. House private Wednesday morning please.SEE ALSO – Deaths in Laois – Friday, August 10, 2018 Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding Facebook Pinterest By LaoisToday Reporter – 11th August 2018 WhatsApp Community TAGSDeaths in Laois Rugby Facebook Community Twitter Previous articleGoals galore as O’Dempsey’s strong second half sees them past SpinkNext articleFr Paddy: The Gift Young People Bring to our Church LaoisToday Reporter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Twitter WhatsApp Deaths in Laois – Saturday, August 11, 2018 Pinterest Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’last_img read more

Laois husky bidding to become top dog in Nose of Tralee competition

first_img Community Laois husky bidding to become top dog in Nose of Tralee competition Community Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Twitter Facebook Twitter Pinterest Previous article“I was so nervous, but when I got out there I had so much fun,” Laois Rose Grainne gives the lowdownNext articleUpdated Laois club hurling rankings after Round 3 of the action Siun Lennonhttp://heresosiun.blogspot.ie/2016/09/the-lekkie-piccie-experience.htmlSiún Lennon joined LaoisToday in a full-time capacity after studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick. She hails from Rosenallis and her interests vary from news, sports and politics. “My dog is cute and the best dog ever. She is really harmless and loves everyone and everything. She wouldn’t hurt anyone all she wants to do is run around and play.”Ruff competition for top dog  The adorable Laois winner faces ruff competition from Kilkenny’s nose Poppy and Lexi – Mayo’s Scotty dog.Now in its fifth year, the competition sees animals from all over the country compete for the top spot of Nose of Tralee.This year is a little different, as 2018’s finalists include not just dogs, but a cat and a budgie.The winner will receive a photo shoot with David Mcauley photography, and a range of prizes from Pet Sitters Ireland, Dabble in Art, Buster Box and Naturo Pet Food.Voting has now opened for the public to decide which of the final 32 animals will be crowned the overall Nose of Tralee.This year’s crew was selected by a series of judging and public votes, and will continue on in the competition to be judged and eventually crowned by a panel of judges including author Lorna Sixsmith and comedienne Tara Flynn.The winner will be announced via a Facebook Live on the Pet Sitters Ireland Facebook Page tonight at 7pm, Tuesday 21 August.SEE ALSO – Legendary multiple winning Eurovision singer coming to Electric Picniccenter_img By Siun Lennon – 21st August 2018 Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding WhatsApp Rugby TAGSNose of Tralee Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Facebook WhatsApp Home We Are Laois Laois husky bidding to become top dog in Nose of Tralee competition We Are Laois A Rose of Tralee-esque competition for Ireland’s best animals is in its fifth year and this year’s finalists boast the best group yet.The ‘Nose of Tralee’ is Pet Sitters Ireland’s annual pet competition open to all 32 counties in Ireland.Laois’s contender for the top spot is a lovely black and white husky. The O’Moore county’s entrant doesn’t give a name in their bio, she is described fondly by her owner.last_img read more

Social media seminars planned for Laois hurling and football panelists

first_img Social media seminars planned for Laois hurling and football panelists WhatsApp By Alan Hartnett – 2nd December 2018 Pinterest Twitter TAGSsocial media Laois senior footballers and hurlers panelists may have to undergo seminars or talks on their use of social media.Laois GAA secretary Niall Handy, in his Convention report, explained that the county board are exploring introducing the messure in a bid to ‘educate panellists on the use of social media.Laois GAA were caught in a PR storm earlier this year when footballer Gary Walsh tweeted his personal opinion on the outcome of a trial in Belfast involving rugby players Paddy Jackson and Start Olding.This was prior to the Division 4 national league final against Carlow and Walsh, who was the top scorer in the country at the time, was dropped as a result of what he tweeted.Niall said: “Social media is a wonderful and powerful communication platform when used in the appropriate manner.“However as we have witnessed during the year when used in an inappropriate manner with careless and unwarranted personal remarks by individuals representing our county and club individuals mockingly posting images highlighting the misfortune of others, it can be a dangerous and disheartening tool that can cause huge damage to our association.“It is intended to explore the introduction of talks/seminars in an attempt to educate our panellists on the use of social media.”SEE ALSO – Sadness as giant of Ballinakill community Aidan Kennedy passes away Twitter Laois secondary school announces scholarship winners for new academic year Previous articleDeaths in Laois – Sunday, December 2, 2018Next articleLaois author’s work features in new Irish crime anthology Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Pinterest Facebook Community WhatsApp Community Council Facebook Home Sport GAA Social media seminars planned for Laois hurling and football panelists SportGAA New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening last_img read more

In Pictures: Ballyroan-Abbey celebrate remarkable 2018 with Juvenile Awards

first_img TAGSBallyroan-Abbey In Pictures: Ballyroan-Abbey celebrate remarkable 2018 with Juvenile Awards New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening Council Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Previous articlePloughing Queen Anna May McHugh to star in new television documentaryNext articleWATCH: Courtwood footballer stars as Cadet Choir sing on RTE One LaoisToday Reporter Pinterest By LaoisToday Reporter – 17th December 2018 SEE ALSO – Four schools in Laois set to undergo major improvement works next summer WhatsApp Facebook Facebook What a year it has been for all involved in Ballyroan-Abbey GAA.The club completed league and championship doubles at minor and U-15 ‘A’ level while their U-13s won the Plate.It was undoubtedly the minor victory which tasted the sweetest for Ballyroan-Abbey as they ended a famine at the grade. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Community Home Sport GAA In Pictures: Ballyroan-Abbey celebrate remarkable 2018 with Juvenile Awards SportGAAGaelic Football Pinterest It was their first win at the grade since 1971 and ended a staggering period of 47 years without tasting success.But their victory over Portarlington was far from straight forward as it took them a replay to get there.It looked like they missed their opportunity in the drawn game as Ceilum Coughlan-Maher’s late goal snatched a draw for a Portarlington side that played the majority of the final with 14 men.However, Ballyroan-Abbey were super in the replay and won by 13 points in the end.The awards night, held in the school in Ballyroan on Friday night, was extremely well attended.Guest speakers included Laois senior football boss John Sugrue while Rody McEvoy was MC on the night.Our photographer Julie Anne Miller went along on the night and snapped these brilliant photos: Community Twitter Twitter WhatsApp Laois secondary school announces scholarship winners for new academic yearlast_img read more

Laois Minister and Senator in ‘nutjob’ row in the Seanad

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Twitter Previous articleThe 11 stages of every GAA club player’s life and careerNext articleDeaths in Laois – Sunday, April 14, 2019 Siun Lennonhttp://heresosiun.blogspot.ie/2016/09/the-lekkie-piccie-experience.htmlSiún Lennon joined LaoisToday in a full-time capacity after studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick. She hails from Rosenallis and her interests vary from news, sports and politics. Twitter Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results GAA By Siun Lennon – 14th April 2019 Pinterest Facebook Well-known senator David Norris labeled any one opposing an amendment put forward in the Seanad last Wednesday a ‘nutjob’, including Minister for Justice and Equality Laois TD Charlie Flanagan.The remarks towards the Laois TD came during a committee Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in the Seanad, where Senator Norris stated, ‘one would have to be a nutjob’ to object to an amendment by Senator Michael McDowell on Wednesday April 10.The amendment put forward by Mr McDowell stated that any member of the Judicial Appointments Commission who is eligible for appointment to any judicial office should not have to make an application to the commission to be considered for the position.As Senator McDowell called for the amendment to be passed, Minister Flanagan called for a No vote, but was informed he had no vote in the Seanad.“One would have to be a nutjob to object to the Senator’s amendment. I use the expression “nutjob” because I heard it during the week for the first time and thought it so delicious that I sought an opportunity to use it, which has now been provided,” said Senator Norris in response to Minister Flanagan’s objection.An Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan asked that Senator Norris ‘reflect’ on using the word nutjob in the Seanad.“For someone who has an exceptional knowledge of the English language and is a representative of Trinity College, that is an inappropriate descriptor and the Senator should reflect on its use,” said Mr O’Donovan.Minister Flanagan asked that the statement be withdrawn.“I do not mind withdrawing it. It will be on the record in any event. It will be printed and, therefore, I do not care,” said Senator Norris.Senator Norris then stated that he did not use the term in reference to Minister Flanagan, but rather in reference to ‘anybody who will not support the amendment’.Then a tit-for-tat exchange took place over the use of the word ‘nutjob’ in the Seanad.“The Cathaoirleach must agree that ‘nutjob’ is a delicious expression which is worthy of being used,” said Senator Norris.“It is not appropriate,” said Cathaoirleach O’Donovan.“It is certainly not on the list of banned words,” replied the Senator.“I am quite certain the Senator did not pick up the word when he was walking along the corridors of Trinity College,” remarked Cathaoirleach O’Donnell.“I might have done.”“I suggest that he reflect on its use.”“It could well be used in American literature, for all I know.”Minister Flanagan interjected, “The Senator does not understand the word. He regards it as being in some way delicious.”“Yes, absolutely. Nuts are lovely,” said Senator Norris.“That is outrageous,” replied Minister Flanagan.“They are frightfully good for one’s health.”“A Chathaoirligh, will you intervene, please?” asked Minister Flanagan.Mr Flanagan then called for a quorum but was told he could not act for the Chamber. The amendment was eventually passed 20-8.SEE ALSO – Former Paypal boss offers to head up taskforce in Laois with tourism, local hubs, jobs and broadband on the agenda TAGSMinister Charlie FlanagannutjobSenator David Norris 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Home News Laois Minister and Senator in ‘nutjob’ row in the Seanad NewsPolitics Pinterest GAA Facebook WhatsApp Laois Minister and Senator in ‘nutjob’ row in the Seanad GAA last_img read more

Motorway misery set to continue for Laois commuters as M7 works extended

first_img WhatsApp Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results By Alan Hartnett – 16th April 2019 GAA Home News Motorway misery set to continue for Laois commuters as M7 works extended News Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleBusiness incentive scheme extended in PortlaoiseNext articleRathdowney man flies the flag proudly for Laois at national Mr Personality festival 2019 Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Motorway misery set to continue for Laois commuters as M7 works extended Pinterest Facebook TAGSM7 Motorway Twitter There really seems to be no end in sight for these roadworks.Kildare County Council officials have said that the improvement works on the M7 motorway will miss their intended end date.Local Labour councillor Mark Wall confirmed to Independent.ie that the project’s estimated completion date has now been pushed back to the end of July.He said: “I’m getting a lot of frustration today“Everyone was looking forward to the end of April. A lot of commuters are very frustrated.”The project will see the M7 widened from Naas to the M9, along with the bypass of Sallins and a new interchange at Osberstown, in Kildare.The council’s director of services Niall Morrissey told Newstalk Breakfast yesterday that work crews are making ‘great progress’ but the job is a daunting one.He said: “It’s a difficult job, a tight site of 14km long.“Motorists can see that sections are getting completed, we are making great progress and what you will see is the first phase from Johnstown J8 to Naas south, we’re aiming to open that up sometime next month.“People will see a huge improvement in that first section of the journey.“As that gets finished, you’ll see the crews from that site moving onto the next section and joining up with their other colleagues from Naas south onto the merger.“Back in December we projected we might get it done by April or May, but it’s a difficult site, every metre of excavation is a challenge.“Two major challenges we faced were demolition of the bridge and construction of the new bridge last weekend, which both went down very well. We’re trying not to put out too many dates, but we do see that we’re making great progress.”The roadworks mean that motorists must slow down to 60kmh from the maximum motorway speed of 120kmh.Two permanent speed vans on the M7 between Junction 8 and 11 in a bid to deter motorists from speeding back in November and thousands have been prosecuted since.SEE ALSO – Bord na Móna propose major renewable gas plant near Portlaoise GAA GAA 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshinlast_img read more

Darkness into Light success, and life-saving treatment- it’s our top stories of the week

first_img We’re back again with our Top Stories of the Week. As ever, we cover top stories from news, sport, columnists and regular features on LaoisToday.Sit back and enjoy our Top Stories of the week.NEWSDarkness into LightSee here for photos from the three different Darkness into Light events taking place in Mountmellick, The Swan and Rathdowney on Saturday morning.Knowles family see ‘massive difference’ in little Mary-Claire since life-saving treatment began 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin GAA Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Twitter Pinterest By Siun Lennon – 12th May 2019 Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results WhatsApp Facebook Home We Are Laois A Bit of Fun Darkness into Light success, and life-saving treatment- it’s our top stories of… We Are LaoisA Bit of Fun Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Previous articleWATCH: 10 Questions with Rosemarie Bermingham (Sarsfields)Next articleDarkness into Light, perks of nursing abroad and praise for Laois hurlers – It’s our Tweets of the week Siun Lennonhttp://heresosiun.blogspot.ie/2016/09/the-lekkie-piccie-experience.htmlSiún Lennon joined LaoisToday in a full-time capacity after studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick. She hails from Rosenallis and her interests vary from news, sports and politics. Twitter Little Mary-Claire has had to fight so hard but finally she and her family have some good news…Portarlington marks first official day of Scoil Phadraig on Canal RoadPlenty of photos from the historic day hereLocal sports clubs rally around for fundraiser for Mountmellick teenagerMountmellick GAA club grounds was a hive of activity on Sunday afternoon and LaoisToday went along to take photos of the brilliant daySPORTSLaois minor footballersSeven Talking Points as Laois minor footballers go top of Group 1Portlaoise RFC U-16s claim Leinster gloryPortlaoise RFC U-16s upset all the odds to claim Leinster glory this weekWE ARE LAOISMoment In TimeThis week’s Moment in Time focuses on Fr. Patrick Kehoe’s Golden Jubilee Celebration in 2005Tweets of the Week Horse outside, tea drinking tips and political tattoos – it’s our Tweets of the WeekGood Week/Bad Week See who made last weekend’s Good Week/Bad WeekCOLUMNISTSElection Memories1999 Election Memories: The count that ended up in court as Fianna Fáil glory in their boomtown purple patchFr PaddyFr Paddy: May – the month of MarySEE ALSO –  GAA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR GAA Darkness into Light success, and life-saving treatment- it’s our top stories of the weeklast_img read more

In Pictures: Rosenallis NS in full colour ahead of upcoming county final

first_img Pinterest WhatsApp SEE ALSO – Laois player named in Ireland Women’s Rugby squad for first time Home Sport GAA In Pictures: Rosenallis NS in full colour ahead of upcoming county final SportGAAGaelic Football Twitter In Pictures: Rosenallis NS in full colour ahead of upcoming county final GAA County final fever will grip the county for the next month or so and we have two of them this weekend.On Saturday evening, the Laois Junior football final will be followed by the Intermediate final.The intermediate decider will see neighbours Clonaslee and Rosenallis clash in O’Moore Park at 7.15pm.Back in the 2000s, Clonaslee and Rosenallis joined forces in hurling and, as Tinnahinch, reached three senior finals.They lost twice to Castletown in 2001 and 2002 before losing again to Rathdowney-Errill in 2006.But with excitement building for the football decider this Saturday, our photographer Julie Anne Miller took a trip out to Rosenallis NS to sample the excitement among the school children.We had green hair and lots of smiles as Julie Anne made her way from class to class.Check out her brilliant pictures below: By Alan Hartnett – 27th September 2019 Facebook WhatsApp TAGSLaois IFCRosenallis NSRosenallis v Clonaslee center_img Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results Facebook Previous articleGOAL appeals to Laois people to tog out for Jersey DayNext articleIn Pictures: Serious style as Colaiste Iosagain Portarlington bring Debs season to an end Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest GAA Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory GAA 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshinlast_img read more

Laois school set to hold fundraising table quiz

first_img Twitter Laois school set to hold fundraising table quiz TAGSTobar an Léinn By LaoisToday Reporter – 1st November 2019 Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory GAA Pinterest GAA Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp GAA Quiz Tobar an Léinn Raheen NS Parent’s Association have announced plans to run a fundraising table quiz on Saturday November 8.The school recently raised its second active flag and its first health promotion flag.The school and its staff place its pupils at the heart of everything they do.Music Generation are currently running a drumming programme in the school and the school also is involved in two different art projects The Creative Cluster and The Artist in School Scheme.The school actively promotes Well Being and all the children have the opportunity to take part in Yoga sessions.With this in mind a lot of fundraising has to be done by both the school and the Parent’s Association to help support and facilitate these valuable and beneficial activities.The school recently held a sponsored Witches Walk to raise funds to purchase STEM equipment for the pupils and the PA are running a table quiz in Leonard’s pub, Abbeyleix on Saturday November 8 at 8pm to raise funds to further support the school.There will be a special guest on the night. Prizes will be given for the winning table and the table with the best name.The cost of a table of four is €40 and entries must be submitted to the school by Tuesday November 5 or you can register on the night.All proceeds go to Tobar an Leinn and all support is welcome.SEE ALSO – Laois hurler named Joe McDonagh Cup Player of the Year WhatsApp Facebook Previous articleCome and explore two important topics with Duncan StewartNext article19 caps for Ireland, the Barbarians and a junior hurling title with Clonaslee – the amazing sporting career of Gerry Culliton LaoisToday Reporter Home News Community Laois school set to hold fundraising table quiz NewsCommunity 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin Facebook Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

Deaths in Laois – Wednesday, December 4, 2019

first_img WhatsApp Below are the recent deaths in Laois.Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.Neville JamesMountmellick, LaoisNeville James, Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Died unexpectedly, December 1st 2019. Deeply regretted by his wife Gloria, daughters Fiona, Heather and Sarah. Sister Muriel, grandchildren Zoe, Leah, Maeve, Christopher, Charlotte and Isobel, sons-in-law, sister-in-law and his many friends.Funeral arrangements will be announced on Thursday afternoon.Timmy (Jnr) ReardonRathnaveen, Tipperary Town, Tipperary / Portarlington, LaoisReardon, (Timmy Jnr) Portarlington, Co. Laois and Rathnaveen, Tipperary, November 30th 2019. (Unexpected).May He Rest In PeaceFuneral Arrangements LaterMaura FingletonGrange, Stradbally, LaoisFingleton . Grange . Stradbally ( R32 T2F9 ) Dec 2nd 2019 Peacefully surrounded by her loving family. Maura. Predeceased by her father Mick and Sister , Eilish. Deeply regretted by her loving mother Mai. Brother Harry. Sisters Teresina and Aine. Brother in law Padraigh. Partners Mary and Derek Nephews, Declan, Conor, Jack and Liam. Uncles, aunts. Cousins. Relatives, neighbours and good friends. Rest in Peace. Reposing at her residence from 2 pm on Tuesday with rosary at 8 pm. Removal on Wed morning to arrive at The Church of the Holy Cross Ratheniska for 12 noon requiem Mass. Followed by interment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.John DempseyCarlow / Portlaoise, LaoisJohn Dempsey of Croydon, London and formerly of Portlaoise, Co. Laois, passed away suddenly, on November 24th, 2019.Beloved son of Danny and Bridie, cherished brother of Donal, much loved brother-in-law of Cathryn and adored uncle of Cillian and Darragh. He will be sadly missed by his extended family, relatives and friends.May John Rest In PeaceReposing at Carpenter Bros. Funeral Home, Barrack St., Carlow from 5pm on Saturday with Prayers at 7.30 pm. Arriving at St Clare’s Church, Graiguecullen, for Funeral Mass on Sunday at 11.30am. Burial afterwards in Killeshin Cemetery, Carlow. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to The Poor Clare Sisters, Graiguecullen.Damien CrossanO’Moores, Ballyfin, Laois / Mountmellick, LaoisDamien Crossan, O’Moores Forest, Mountmellick and formerly Kirwan Park, Mountmellick, died unexpectedly December 1st.2019. Predeceased by his infant son Dylan. Deeply regretted by his loving partner Stephanie and children Aaron, Lily and Sophie, parents Billy and Anna Mai, brother Liam and sister-in-law Lorraine, aunts, uncles, niece Cédhla and nephew Ciarán, and Stephanie’s parents Eddie and Ann Foot, the Foot family, cousins, relatives and friends.Rest in PeaceReposing in his home in O’Moore’s Forest (R32D8K1) on Tuesday from 6pm, Recital of the Rosary at 9pm. Family time on Wednesday morning. Funeral arriving to St. Joseph’s Church, Mountmellick for 11am Requiem Mass, burial afterwards in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.Seán CampionJohnstown Glebe, Rathdowney, LaoisSeán Campion, Johnstown Glebe, Rathdowney, Co. Laois (R32 D857) December 1st, 2019 in the tender loving care of all the staff of Oakdale Nursing Home following a long illness. Predeceased by his beloved wife Mary, his angel infant son and daughter, his brothers Mick-Joe and Eddie and his sister Frances. Sadly mourned by his adoring family, Patrick, Anne-Marie (Moore) and Geraldine, his grandsons Michael and Seán, his granddaughter Mary-Kate, his son-in-law Michael, his brother Loughlin (Lot), his sister May (Whyte) and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and friends.Reposing at Oakdale Nursing Home(R32 P025) this Sunday evening with rosary at 8pm and reposing at his home (Johnstown Glebe) tomorrow, Monday evening, from 5pm with rosary at 8pm. Funeral Mass on Tuesday morning in the Church Of The Holy Trinity, Rathdowney at 11am followed by burial in Rathdowney Local Cemetery. House private on Tuesday morning please.“May His Gentle Soul Rest in Peace”Owen HeffernanRed Gate Deerpark, LaoisOwen Heffernan Red Gate, Deerpark, Ballyfin, Co. Laois died unexpectedly at home December 1st.2019 Deeply regretted by his loving wife Breda (née McCann Wexford) and his family Mary (Todd,Tullamore). Catherine (Revelle Belfast) Jimmy, Oonagh and Eugene, neices, nephews grandchildren, brother Patsy, sister Josie (Kelly, The Heath) sisters-in-law Marie (Coleman,Wexford) Ann (Heffernan) and Sheila (Heffernan) brother in law Miley McCann (UK),relatives neighbours and many friends.Reposing in his home Monday from 5pm Recital of The Rosary at 9pm. Funeral arriving on Tuesday to St.Fintans Church Ballyfin for 11am Requiem Mass. Burial after In St.Fintans Cemetery.House private Tuesday morning please.Annette Murphy (née Seale)Clonenagh, Mountrath, LaoisAnnette Murphy (neé Seale), England, and late of Clonenagh, Mountrath, Co. Laois. Died 22nd November 2019, at the Care Centre Westhoughton, Bolton. Deeply regretted by her husband David, children, grandchildren, brothers, Tony and Gerry extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends.May She Rest In PeaceFuneral Mass on Wednesday morning (4th December 2019) in the Sacred Heart Church, Henley, at 11am, followed by burial in Henley Cemetery, England.SEE ALSO – Deaths in Laois – Tuesday, December 3, 2019 By LaoisToday Reporter – 4th December 2019 Electric Picnic Pinterest Pinterest Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Electric Picnic Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter TAGSDeath in Laois Previous articlePeople urged to give blood In Laois this weekNext articleName change paves the way for area teams in Laois senior hurling championship LaoisToday Reporter News Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Deaths in Laois – Wednesday, December 4, 2019 Home Deaths Deaths in Laois – Wednesday, December 4, 2019 Deaths WhatsApp Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival datelast_img read more

Property Watch: Five houses for sale for around €200,000 in Laois and surrounding counties

first_img Electric Picnic Previous articleRosenallis GAA to hold tractor and truck run next weekendNext articleExplained: Who votes and how it works – five local candidates in the mix as nominations close for Senate elections Megan ShielMegan is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. A Raheen native, she’s happiest when talking sport, especially soccer but just don’t mention the 2019 champions league final Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Property Watch: Five houses for sale for around €200,000 in Laois and surrounding counties This week for Property Watch we look at five houses for sale for around €200,000 in Portlaoise, Newbridge, Thurles, Tullamore and Carlow Town.If you’re in the market for a new home and are curious to see what your money can buy in Laois – and how it compares in neighbouring counties, have a look at our piece below. Electric Picnic By Megan Shiel – 8th March 2020 TAGSproperty watch Home Property Property Watch: Five houses for sale for around €200,000 in Laois and… Property 37 Millfield Manor, Newbridge, Co. KildareThis property is on the market with Jordan Town and Country Estate Agents, Millfield is a modern residential development of houses and apartments in a very central location in the centre of Newbridge.This property is only a short walk from the town centre, schools, churches, banks post office and superb shopping centre.Accommodation includes: Entrance hall, sitting/dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and three bathrooms.Guide Price: €195,000 Facebook 11 Sandhills, Carlow Town, Co. CarlowREA Sothern are offering this large 3-bed semi close to Hacketstown road neighbourhood centre, Presentation College, Askea church and school.Accommodation comprises of: Entrance hall, sitting room, large kitchen/dining area, utility, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.On a corner site, the house has an extra large rear garden which captures the mid/late afternoon sun.Guide Price: €212,500SEE ALSO – Check out more Property Watch on LaoisToday here RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival datecenter_img Twitter Facebook 45 Cluain Glas, Thurles, Co. TipperarySherry FitzGerald Gleeson are offering this stunning 4-bed semi-detached family home situated in Cluain Glas, conveniently located between the Templemore & Nenagh Roads and just 1km from Thurles town centre.Accommodation comprises Entrance hall with toilet, living room, separate dining room, kitchen/dining room, utility and bedroom/playroom/study on the ground floor. Upstairs contains 3 bedrooms (Main Ensuite) and Bathroom.Central Heating is provided by means of an oil-fired system with double-glazed windows throughout.Guide Price: €197,500 WhatsApp Pinterest WhatsApp News Clonminch Lane, Tullamore, Co. OffalyThis property is on the market with Property Partners Richard Cleary and is conveniently located on the outskirts of Tullamore.Accommodation comprises of: Entrance hall, kitchen/living room, sitting room, utility, three bedrooms and one bathroom.Externally the property is well set back from the road with well-maintained gardens including lawn to the front and a large garage.Guide Price: €200,000 Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Twitter Pinterest 34 The Pines, Forest Park, Portlaoise, Co. LaoisThis stunning property is on the market with Hume Auctioneers superbly located in one of the most popular developments in Portlaoise and within walking distance of all amenities including shops, schools, creche, church, hospital, etc.Accommodation includes: Entrance hall, sitting room, kitchen/dining room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.A large private enclosed rear garden with lawn area, feature raised beds, decking, side access also.Guide Price: €200,000last_img read more

BREAKING: 424 new cases of Coronavirus in Ireland while deaths go above 100

first_img Facebook WhatsApp Electric Picnic WhatsApp Twitter 18 of today’s deaths are located in the east, 3 in the south, 1 in the west of the country.The patients included 11 females and 11 males. 16 of the patients were reported as having underlying health conditions while the average age of the people who died today is 80.Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We are concerned with the number of clusters identified in nursing homes. We have identified a range of measures, working with the HSE. We need to see continuous actions being taken to reduce the risk of transmission in nursing home and long-term residential facilities.”Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We are now facing into the end of week one of new measures. It has been a tough adjustment but these efforts save lives. We will continue to protect vulnerable groups against this virus, by staying home and following public health advice. These efforts result in lives saved.“Anyone over 70 years of age should remain cocooned as per public health advice, and for essential food and prescription shopping, call on family, friends or services to help you. Over 70’s should not be leaving home.”Dr. Colm Henry, Clinical Chief Officer, HSE, said; “There is now a clear picture of more severe illness in older people. This underlines the importance of our advice on cocooning and requires all of us to support any vulnerable people who find themselves in isolation.”People have been asking for the stats on recovered patients but as yet, the HSE have not released these.However, a website giving stats on worldwide figures of Coronavirus, says that just five people have recovered in Ireland.Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Wednesday 1st April 2020 (3,655 cases), reveals:· 49% are male and 51% are female, with 171 clusters involving 626 cases· Median age of confirmed cases is 48 years· 1,039 cases (28%) have been hospitalised· Of those hospitalised, 148 cases have been admitted to ICU· 948 cases (26%) are associated with healthcare workers· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 2,077 (57% of all cases) followed by Cork with 292 cases (8%)· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 61%, close contact accounts for 23%, travel abroad accounts for 16%Links to today’s other Coronavirus stories Hilary Treacy: Why extra care is needed when you’re working from homeLaois TD calls on banks to ‘change attitude’ during Coronavirus pandemicLaois Doctor explains how Coronavirus has changed practice, testing issues and offers advice for non-Covid patientsLaois lads turn cancelled Aintree trip into ‘Do It For Dan’ fundraiserWATCH: Laois Community turns out in force to celebrate much loved granny on 100th birthdayChange of opening hours of St Canice’s Credit Union BranchesNorthern Ireland, the UK and globally There have been 12 more deaths from Coronavirus in Northern Ireland, double the previous highest daily figure.This brings total fatalities to 48. There are 130 new cases, bringing total in Northern Ireland to 904.The UK suffered its deadliest day in their battle with Coronavirus as they registered 684 new deaths, taking total to 3,605.New York also suffered its deadliest single day from Coronavirus, with 562 additional deaths across the state for a total of 2,935 fatalities, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.Cuomo warned that people were going to die in the near term due to a lack of ventilators for hospital beds and called for resources from across the United States to be deployed to New York to help it deal with the growing crisis in the state.There are now more than 1,061,000 cases globally with at least one in almost every country on the planet. Almost 57,000 people have died. While 225,000 have recovered.Latest Health Department Data The latest HPSC stats on COVID-19 reveals that a second person aged 25-34 has died from the pandemic in Ireland.It also reveals that the number of clusters in nursing homes has now risen to 38, while hospital clusters now number 29.Here’s the breakdown for total cases confirmed as of Tuesday night – there are eight cases involving children under one year.Economy update Over the next three months, the Central Bank believes the economy here could collapse by 25%.It warns that unemployment could rise to 25%, with up to half a million jobs lost.Premier League The Premier League season has been suspended until it is safe to resume play, as it is announced players may have 30% of their salary cut.In a statement on its website, it sets out a number of new steps being taken following a Premier League Shareholders meeting held today.The statement lists new measures regarding the season, players, steps to support the NHS, supporting clubs’ community work and promoting public health messages.It confirmed that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May, stating that “the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so”.Coronavirus MythsAs yet, there is no cure currently for COVID-19.So people suggesting/selling special remedies like vitamin C, garlic, home cures, drinking bleach, or putting half an onion in rooms around the house are – well you know don’t you?The World Health Organisation has advice on some of these urban legends.Cuisle Centre The Coronavirus outbreak has led to the Cuisle Centre in Portlaoise closing.They said: “The Covid-19 restrictions mean that we have had to temporarily close our doors, but we are still here to support you and your family.“As we know this is a confusing time for our patients as chemotherapy and surgery are been rescheduled – we will be continuing to give you support and guidance over the phone.“Just call 0578681492 and leave your name, number and a brief message and we will get back to you. You can also contact us on email: [email protected] or messenger us through facebook.“Stay safe everyone, wash your hands and take a little exercise.”Important information Symptoms of Covid-19 include:CoughShortness of breathFeverBreathing difficulties.Further resources:The HSE: Official advice on the coronavirus in Ireland. This is being updated based on the number of confirmed cases and how the virus spreads in Ireland.The Department of Foreign Affairs: Official advice on where to avoid travelling to. Also a resource for those who are abroad.The World Health Organization (WHO): The UN agency on global public health publishes statements and daily situation reports based on the latest data.European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): The EU agency on the number of cases, deaths and how it’s spreading in Europe.The Johns Hopkins University map: A heat map of the confirmed cases across the world.A helpline for older people who are concerned about the coronavirus has been launched by Alone. The number is 0818 222 024, and it’s open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm.SEE ALSO – For more Coronavirus stories click here Pinterest By Alan Hartnett – 3rd April 2020 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Twittercenter_img Home News BREAKING: 424 new cases of Coronavirus in Ireland while deaths go above… News Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Previous articleLaois lads turn cancelled Aintree trip into ‘Do It For Dan’ fundraiserNext articleCoronavirus Daily Noticeboard – Friday, April 3, 2020 Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. TAGSCoronavirusCovid-19 News A total of 424 new cases of Coronavirus have been diagnosed in Ireland today.This is an increase on the 3,849 cases from yesterday and takes the overall total to 4,273.While now 120 people have died from the disease – an increase of 22 from yesterday. The average age of the people who have died is 82. Electric Picnic Pinterest BREAKING: 424 new cases of Coronavirus in Ireland while deaths go above 100 Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival datelast_img read more

WATCH: Laois school releases uplifting video for their Leaving Certs

first_imgHome News Community WATCH: Laois school releases uplifting video for their Leaving Certs NewsCommunity News Pinterest Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Facebook Electric Picnic Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WATCH: Laois school releases uplifting video for their Leaving Certs TAGSClonaslee College Twitter Twittercenter_img Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role WhatsApp Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival WhatsApp By Alan Hartnett – 14th May 2020 2020 is a year that we will never forget – and we have all been impacted by Coronavirus in one way or another.Leaving Cert students are a group of people who have been hit more than most.In their final year of school, they saw it cut short in March and then the exams they had been preparing for for the last six years were cancelled and replaced by ‘predicted grades’.While they won’t get to return to spend some time with their classmates again, there are also fears that milestones like Graduations and Debs may not take place either.What it all means is that morale may well be low among sixth year students and, recognising this, the staff of Clonaslee College have come together to produce an uplifting video. Electric Picnic Pinterest Principal Suzanne McMahon explained how it all came about.She said: “The staff of Clonaslee College decided in April to create a video message of support for the 6th year class of 2020.“They recognised that the proposed postponement of the Leaving certificate to July/August was impacting negatively on student’s well being.“In an attempt to keep them motivated and bring a little smile to their faces, the staff, present and retired, put together a short video with their own positive messages of support.“It transpired that it was ready for release shortly after the announcement of the possibility of students opting for predicted grades and/or Leaving certificate in Autumn.“The students and parents response has been extremely positive to the staff’s efforts to show their support and understanding of their disappointments.“Not only the deferral of the leaving certificate but the cancellation of many of the traditional events that takes place for these students at the end of their post primary educational journey.“The school hopes to hold a graduation in 2021 to celebrate their achievements when gatherings may be permitted again.”Check it out below:SEE ALSO – Reopening schools and childcare facilities ‘among the safest things we can do’ says Taoiseach Previous articleIn Pictures: International Nurses Day 2020 celebrated at Portlaoise HospitalNext articleDown Memory Lane – 1998: Offaly’s sit down protest, Omagh bombing, Laois underage stars and the end of Fr Ted Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.last_img read more

Laois receives over €1.2 million for Housing Adaptation Grant

first_img Electric Picnic Pinterest Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role The government has made €73.75 million available in 2020 for Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability living in private houses.Of that, €1,231,728 will go to Laois. That funding is split 80% to 20% between exchequer and local authority.€985,382 is provided through the exchequer while the remaining €246,346 comes through local authority.The increased funding continues to support home adaptations for older people, people with a disability and people with mobility issues.It will enable older people and people with disabilities to remain living independently in their own homes for longer should they wish and will also facilitate early return from hospital. Twitter Laois receives over €1.2 million for Housing Adaptation Grant TAGSHousing Adaption Grant WhatsApp Previous articleExplained: The 14-day rate that has Laois in lockdown – but why there’s some cause for optimismNext articleTwo Laois GAA clubs set to begin ‘gradual reopening’ of grounds following Coronavirus cases Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Announcing the allocations, Minister Darragh O’Brien said: “I am pleased to be in a position to increase the funding again for this important scheme in 2020, with all local authorities receiving an increase in funding compared to their 2019 allocation.“These grants have had a huge impact on the quality of life of the many beneficiaries and play a vitally important role in helping people with a disability and people who are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile, to continue to live independently in their own homes.”Grants of up to €30,000 are available to assist people with a disability in carrying out necessary works to make a house more suitable for their needs, up to €8,000 to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out and up to €6,000 for mobility aids to address mobility problems for a member of the household.The grants are 80% funded from the exchequer by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with 20% funding from the relevant local authority.The grants also create employment opportunities for builders and local businesses and help reduce the dependency on our health services by supporting independent living for as long as possible.Minister O’Brien said: “I am confident that today’s allocation will demonstrate the Government’s continued commitment to older people and people with a disability and is in line with commitments made in the Programme for Government.”SEE ALSO – Coronavirus: One new death and 40 new cases but none in Laois for a second time since lockdown WhatsApp Twittercenter_img Facebook Home News Laois receives over €1.2 million for Housing Adaptation Grant News News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By Alan Hartnett – 12th August 2020 Facebook Pinterest Electric Picnic Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival datelast_img read more

Portlaoise confirm senior football management team as they bid to get back on top in 2021

first_imgHome Sport GAA Portlaoise confirm senior football management team as they bid to get back… SportGAAGaelic Football Twitter Electric Picnic TAGSKevin FitzpatrickPortlaoise GAA Portlaoise confirm senior football management team as they bid to get back on top in 2021 Twitter Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date WhatsApp By Steven Miller – 16th December 2020 Pinterest Facebook The Portlaoise senior footballers will be a wounded animal in 2021 having been knocked out of this year’s championship at the quarter-final stage for the first time since 2006.Having won 12 of the last 13 titles, they won’t even play in the 2020 semi-finals (whenever they are played) but you can expect them to come back with an even greater focus for the new season.The club held their AGM last weekend remotely – and ratified the senior football management for 2021.center_img Previous articleLaois County Councillor calls on government to abolish annual fee for nurses and midwivesNext articleDepartment of Health confirm total number of Covid-19 related deaths in Laois since March Steven Millerhttp://www.laoistoday.ieSteven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he’s happiest when he’s telling stories or kicking a point. WhatsApp Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Kevin Fitzpatrick will continue again as manager where he’ll be assisted again by Owen Delaney, Paul Cotter, Pat Critchley and David Fitzpatrick.As one of the most decorated club players in Laois of all time, Fitzpatrick retired as a player to take on the management job last year when he replaced Niall Rigney.However, they struggled for form in the championship. They beat Ballylinan in the opening round but were then beaten by Portarlington and though they bounced back with a win over St Joseph’s, they then crashed out in the quarter-final stage to Emo.The Portlaoise hurling team, under manager Derek Delaney, are awaiting details for the re-fixed premier intermediate final where they are due to play The Harps.Due to the various Coronavirus restrictions, Laois GAA have been unable to finalise dates for the completion of the 2020 championships which include senior and junior football as well as all the main hurling finals.The GAA at national level have still to confirm the format for the 2021 inter-county season though there have been reports of the National League resuming at the end of February.SEE ALSO – Boost for residents of one Laois nursing home as Covid-proof visiting booth installed Electric Picnic Electric Picnic Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festivallast_img read more

Koizumi’s Entourage “Resolution for North’s Nukes”

first_img Koizumi’s Entourage “Resolution for North’s Nukes” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak [imText1]The Abe Administration is being severely pressured for its hard-line policy against North Korea as it tries to break away from the deteriorating North Korea-Japan relationship arising from the abductees issue. Minister Yamasaki Taku (Vice-president of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party) plans to visit North Korea on the 9th in hope of resolving the North’s nuke issue. Minister Yamasaki known for being one of former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s associates revealed at a hotel in Fukuyoka city, “I want to lead the talks and make efforts to arbitrate.” It appears that the minister will go to Beijing on the 8th and then proceed onto Pyongyang the following day. While sojourning in Pyongyang for 5 days, Minister Yamazaki plans to hold meetings with North Korean affiliates and Song Il Hok, the chief negotiator of DPRK-Japan talks.In regards to Minister Yamazaki’s plans, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Abe expressed disagreement and said “Prime Minister Abe is indifferent. Minister Yamasaki is acting on his own.” According to a government official, at a meeting with former Prime Minister Koizumi last December Minister Yamazaki solicited that “a 3rd visit to North Korea must be made” and said “there is reason to believe that former Prime Minister Koizumi was in the early stages of preparing a visit to North Korea.” Former Prime Minister Koizumi showed a great desire for better relations with North Korea but due to the overriding force of Japan’s media regarding the issue of abductees, he was unable to implement friendship policies for North Korea and Japan. In response, an affiliate of Minister Yamazaki revealed “Distrust of Abe’s long-term hard line policy has set the background of North Korea’s visit.” In April 2004, Minister Yamazaki was known to have held talks with North Korea’s elite officials in China. In contrast, if Minister Yamazaki does not go forth to negotiate with the North, news agencies indicate that political powers will begin to criticize the ‘bilateral ties.’ In short, due to the issue of abductees, North Korea may receive a wrong message from the Japanese government and ruling party. By Yang Jung A – 2007.01.08 7:40pm News News SHAREcenter_img News News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest AvatarYang Jung A Facebook Twitter North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

Kim Yo Jong’s Party Post Confirmed

first_img Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April North Korean leader Kim Jong Eun’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, has been confirmed in state media as a vice department director in the Central Committee of the ruling Chosun Workers’ Party [WPK]. This is the first time a North Korean media outlet has revealed the specific post held by Kim’s younger sister; she was previously referred to as “a responsible worker of the WPK Central Committee.”Confirmation came in a November 27th Rodong Sinmun article about the leader’s recent trip to the Korea April 26 Cartoon Film Studio, wherein the younger Kim was listed as a member of theentourage for the “onsite guidance” visit. She was cited third on the list of accompanying officials.The paper did not mention the departmentfor which Kim works, but she was accompanying Party Secretary Kim Ki Nam and First Vice Department Director Ri Jae Il, both from the WPKPropaganda and Agitation Department, and the onsite visit was to a site of propaganda production. This makes it highly likely that she is in the samedepartment.Kim Yo Jong made her first publicappearance at Kim Jong Il’s funeral in December 2011.Following the execution of Jang Song Taek and the mysterious disappearance ofKim Kyung Hee, Jang’s wife and Kim Jong Eun’s aunt, she is widely believed to have risen in stature, playing a support role for her brother during the regime transition phase.According to the article, the purpose of the onsite visit was to “put the film making in fullprogress as movies play an important role in educating the people, establishingthe stirring atmosphere in society, and propelling the revolution andconstruction.”During the visit, Kim Jong Eun stated, “If cartoon films can aid in Chosun superiority, collectivism, andclass idea education [sic.], as well as making scientific decisions, and exercisinglogical deductions and thinking, they should be made so they can enhance abeautiful, elegant spirit and moral qualities.”The Korea April 26 Cartoon Film Studio is perhaps best known for The Boy General, a cartoon film based around the GoguryeoKingdom. Put out in the early 1980s, the animation proved popular among bothchildren and adults. The studio was established in September 1957 underorders from Kim Il Sung and was called the April 26 Children’s Film Studio until late 2012. It adopted its current name in 2013. News By Kang Mi Jin – 2014.11.27 4:18pm News SHARE Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] Facebook Twittercenter_img News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Kim Yo Jong’s Party Post Confirmed North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China News Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department storelast_img read more

AIG makes US$1 billion payment to U.S. Treasury

James Langton The payment came primarily from funds released from the escrow held in connection with AIG’s sale of American Life Insurance Company to MetLife, Inc. last year. So far this year, the firm has repaid approximately US$45 billion to the US government. “We continue to make steady progress toward our goal of America’s taxpayers recouping their entire investment in AIG,” said AIG president and CEO, Robert Benmosche. “I am confident that AIG’s employees will continue to work hard so we can achieve this goal.” Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Companies American International Group Bailed out insurance giant American International Group, Inc. Wednesday announced its latest payment of almost US$1 billion back to the U.S. government. The firm said that it has paid the U.S. Treasury another US$972 million towards one of the special purpose vehicles created as part of the government’s assistance to the firm. The payment reduces the Treasury’s interest in the SPV, known as AIA Aurora LLC to approximately US$8.4 billion (it was initially US$16 billion). Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

BCSC panel finds that B.C. man committed fraud

BFI investors plead for firm’s sale Keywords Fraud,  EnforcementCompanies British Columbia Securities Commission IE Staff PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case Share this article and your comments with peers on social media A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has found that a B.C. man committed fraud and engaged in unregistered trading. The panel found that Michael Shantz committed fraud through his company, Canada Pacific Consulting Inc. (CPC), by soliciting German and Swiss residents to open trading accounts with CPC. Shantz and CPC claimed that they would conduct gold futures or foreign exchange trading on behalf of these individuals. Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator Between June 2009 and September 2010, 11 German and Swiss investors deposited $1.5 million with CPC for investment in gold futures and foreign exchange. CPC told them that the investments were low risk. The panel found that CPC lied to investors about the nature of its business and its plans to invest their money. None of the investors’ funds were invested as promised. Most of the funds — $1.2 million — were wired by Shantz to bank accounts in Spain for unknown purposes. Shantz also used $172,000 for his own personal use. CPC also attempted to make it appear that it had substantial operations in the lower mainland, telling investors it had 120 employees working in offices in Vancouver and Richmond. In fact, the office in Vancouver was only a façade and there was no office in Richmond. CPC also sent investors falsified account statements showing profits where none existed. The statements were prepared in Europe and sent to Vancouver for re-mailing to investors to make it appear that they came from CPC’s Vancouver office. The panel directed the parties to make submissions on sanctions according to the schedule set out in the findings. Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Firms get two years to conform to U.S. Volcker rule, Fed says

Translating climate risks into financial risks takes work Share this article and your comments with peers on social media OSFI seeks to step up sector’s cyber resilience Facebook LinkedIn Twitter U.S. financial regulators say firms will have two years to comply with the Volcker rule, which imposes restrictions on banks’ proprietary trading, hedge fund and private equity activities. The US Federal Reserve Board said Thursday that firms covered by the so-called Volcker Rule will have the full two-year period provided by the statute to fully conform to the rule, which imposes prohibitions and restrictions on proprietary trading activities, and on hedge fund and private equity fund activities and investments by banks. James Langton Related news The Fed says that it has received a number of requests for clarification on the deadlines imposed by the rule. On Thursday it issued a statement to address this question. It notes that the various regulators, including the Fed, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, plan to administer their oversight of the banks under their respective jurisdictions in line with that statement. The agencies have invited public comment on a proposal to implement the Volcker rule, which has proven very controversial with financial firms in the U.S. and elsewhere, including Canada. The regulators have not yet adopted a final version of the rule. In response to the regulators’ announcement, securities industry lobbyists, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said that the move was appropriate and necessary. Kenneth Bentsen, Jr., executive vice president, public policy and advocacy at SIFMA, said that the guidance, “is critically important because it alleviates concerns over potentially having to comply with a rule whose details had not yet been made clear.” “SIFMA continues to believe that the rule as proposed is structurally flawed, particularly as it relates to the assumption that any activity is prohibited proprietary trading unless otherwise explicitly prescribed,” he added. “We believe this is inconsistent with Congressional intent and results in an overly narrow interpretation of the permitted activities that constrains the beneficial effects those activities have for corporate issuers and investors that rely on the capital markets to meet their business and investment needs.” How should banks allocate capital for crypto? Keywords Banking industry,  Volcker ruleCompanies Federal Reserve Board read more

OSC to consider review of Schoer penalty decision

James Langton The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will hear a bid for an appeal of a disciplinary decision that was handed down against a former rep last year. The OSC said Tuesday that it will hold a hearing to consider an application from a former rep Roger Carl Schoer for a review of a decision from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) that was rendered in May 2011. Related news Keywords EnforcementCompanies Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, Ontario Securities Commission Share this article and your comments with peers on social media PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case Toronto broker banned for running “Ponzi-like” scheme In that decision, an IIROC hearing panel ruled that Schoer fraudulently induced clients and others to invest in what were misrepresented as private placement investments in small corporate entities. Instead, it found that he used the funds to pay off other clients and individuals, or to pay unrelated personal debts. As a result, it banned him permanently, handed him a $200,000 fine and assessed $100,000 in costs. The review by the OSC is scheduled for September 18. BFI investors plead for firm’s sale Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Nasdaq OMX and Accretive Asset Management announce partnership

Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Companies Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. Nasdaq notes that Accretive developed the BulletShares methodology in 2009 with the objective of combining the benefits of individual bonds and bond funds. Plans for new versions of the indices are now under development. “Accretive was quick to identify an opportunity in the bond index field and develop an innovative solution to meet the needs of investors with the first fixed-maturity corporate bond indices. Nasdaq OMX is excited to partner with Accretive to expand the BulletShares brand globally and bring these indices to investors around the world,” said John Jacobs, executive vice president, Nasdaq OMX Global Indexes. New York-based Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. Monday announced a new partnership with Naperville, Ill.-based Accretive Asset Management, LLC to co-brand Accretive’s BulletShares corporate bond index family and to jointly promote them around the world. The firm says that the index lineup, which includes 20 indices covering the investment grade and high yield corporate debt markets and are now co-branded as the Nasdaq BulletShares Indexes, “represent the performance of an investment in a diversified, held-to-maturity portfolio of fixed income securities with a common year of maturity”. IE Staff Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

CRA revokes group’s charitable status

In particular, it says that information obtained during the audit has led the CRA to believe that the organization had entered into a funding arrangement with the Kashmiri Canadian Council/Kashmiri Relief Fund of Canada (KCC/KRFC), with the ultimate goal of sending the raised funds to a Pakistan-based non-governmental organization named the Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM) “without maintaining direction and control”. The CRA says that its research indicates that ROKM is the charitable arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, a political organization that actively contests the legitimacy of India’s governance over the state of Jammu and Kashmir, “including reportedly through the activities of its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen.” And, it notes that Hizbul Mujahideen is listed as a terrorist entity by the Council of the European Union and is declared a banned terrorist organization by the government of India. “Given the commonalities in directorship between ROKM and Jamaat-e-Islami, concerns exist that the organization’s resources may have been used to support the political efforts of Jamaat-e-Islami and/or its armed wing, Hizbul Mujahideen,” it says. The CRA says that the federal government does not tolerate the abuse of the charitable registration system to provide any sort of support to terrorism. An organization that has had its registration as a charity revoked can no longer issue donation receipts for income tax purposes, and is no longer a qualified donee under the Income Tax Act. It’s also no longer exempt from income tax, unless it qualifies as a non-profit organization, it says. Keywords Charitable givingCompanies Canada Revenue Agency Seniors intent on donating to charities: report Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter The benefits and challenges of donating property The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that it has revoked the charitable status of a Mississauga, Ont.-based group, the ISNA Development Foundation, citing concerns about possible links to a terrorist organization in Kashmir. The CRA reports that it sent a letter to the group last month indicating its plans to revoke its charitable status after its audit concluded that ISNA has failed to comply with the requirements for continued registration. James Langton Related news Feds look to increase charities’ disbursement quota read more

Sprott launches new offshore fund

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter “Zijin is the largest gold producer and the second largest mined copper producer in China and is listed on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. We believe the combination of Zijin’s technical strengths and Sprott’s resource investment expertise will prove to be an attractive option for investors looking to invest in the mining sector with a focus on gold,” said Peter Grosskopf, CEO of Sprott, in a release. The fund management company is a joint venture between Sprott and Zijin and will invest primarily in the publically listed equity and debt instruments of gold, other precious metals and copper mining companies. The fund will be co-managed by affiliates of Sprott and Zijin. Under the joint venture agreement, Americas Now Resources Investment Management Corp. has agreed to provide technical and marketing services to the fund. The target size of the fund is US$500 million and the Sprott anticipates receiving additional commitments from onshore Chinese investors beginning in the fourth quarter of 2013. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media IE Staff Sprott Inc. (TSX: SII) Friday announced that it has launched a new offshore global mining fund with China-based Zijin Mining Group Company Ltd. Sprott says all relevant regulatory approvals have been received in Canada and the People’s Republic of China and the fund has been initially seeded with US$100 million from Zijin and US$10 million from Sprott. Companies Sprott Inc. read more

Court rules damage insurance consultants must register with AMF

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter New international capital standard may have little impact on Canadian P&C insurers The regulator notes that it informed several damage insurance consultants of their registration obligations back in 2009. Now, it says, “This judgment confirms that the practice of damage insurance consultants includes activities which are reserved for registered firms and representatives. Their argument that they did not need to be registered since they did not ‘sell’ insurance as such was not accepted by the court.” According to a translation of the decision, the law “imposes the responsibility to ensure that the client has sufficient coverage and the duty to explain the proposed product to the client before the contract is entered into. This responsibility cannot be transferred or shared. A person cannot be released from this responsibility merely because the information provided derives from an independent third party.” The court also, “asks insurance professionals to be vigilant and, where applicable, to change their practices to comply with their professional and ethical duties and obligations.” The AMF adds that it also expects affected firms and individuals to comply with the law, warning that it “intends to take appropriate measures to ensure such compliance.” Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords Property and casualty insurance industryCompanies Autorité des marchés financiers The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) reports that a Quebec court has handed down a decision confirming that independent risk management advisers, or damage insurance consultants, must be registered with the regulator. The AMF said Monday that Justice of the Peace, Monique Perron, of the Court of Quebec (district of Drummond) issued a decision in November last year confirming that risk management advisers (or damage insurance consultants) must be registered with the AMF when carrying on advisory activities related to insurance product offerings. center_img Related news OSFI issues draft 2016 MCT guideline for P&C insurers OSFI invites comment on revisions to P&C capital framework James Langton last_img read more

Advisor defamation lawsuit to proceed

first_img Court approves data breach settlements with BMO, CIBC According to the decision, the advisors, Michael and Robert Sells, are suing Manulife claiming that it made false allegations against them in their uniform termination notices (UTNs), which has made them unemployable in the industry. “The plaintiffs’ essential claim for their damages against Manulife is that Manulife made very serious but false and misleading statements on the UTN’s regarding the plaintiffs’ work and practices while with Manulife which Manulife knew or ought to have known would make it impossible for the plaintiffs to obtain new employment,” the decision says. Those allegations have not been proven. Indeed, Manulife sought to have the case dismissed on the basis that it could not succeed, even if their allegations are proven to be true. The decision indicates that Manulife argues that this sort of action is barred by the Securities Act, which provides immunity for acts done in complying with securities law. “Its position is that the plaintiffs have no cause of action against Manulife for what it is alleged to have done to the plaintiffs regardless of whether it acted in good faith or not and even if they filed intentionally false UTN’s with the [Ontario Securities Commission],” the decision says, adding that the firm argues that “their only remedy is to apply for a review hearing at the [Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada] under the dealer member rules.” Next: The court gives its reasons @[email protected] The court gives its reasons The court disagreed with Manulife, and declined to dismiss the case out of hand for several reasons. For one, it found that there is a significant dispute between the firm and the advisors about the facts in the case. “In my view, given this significant factual dispute and this court’s discretion not to decide a question of law raised in the pleading which is dependent upon an adequate factual foundation, there is no realistic advantage achieved in deciding this question without a trial,” Judge Robert Nightingale said in the decision. The court also found that Manulife did not meet the high burden of proof required to establish that an action cannot succeed even if the facts alleged in the statement of claim are proven; and, that an Investment Industry Regulator Organization of Canada (IIROC) hearing would not give the advisors to claim damages against the firm, as they are seeking in their suit. Additionally, the court notes that the Securities Act may only take away rights of action for acts done in compliance with Ontario securities law; but that the plaintiffs are alleging that Manulife didn’t comply with securities law by filing UTNs that, they claim, are false. “I am not prepared to find that it is plain and obvious, given the nature of the plaintiffs’ allegations, that … the Securities Act is a bar to the plaintiffs’ action against Manulife at this stage,” Nightingale said. “The law is not fully settled and the applicability of that statute to the alleged actions of Manulife’s intentional and deliberate acts of filing false UTN’s involving the plaintiffs with IIROC, its actions being independent of the Act or in bad faith or simply negligent conduct should be resolved at trial on a complete evidentiary record.” James Langton Keywords Lawsuits,  Investment dealersCompanies Manulife Securities Universal life policies can’t be used for unlimited deposits, appeal court rules An Ontario court has decided to allow a lawsuit brought by a pair of advisors against their former firm alleging that it intentionally defamed them in a regulatory filing. On January 31, the Superior Court of Justice handed down a decision on a motion brought by Manulife Securities Inc., seeking to dismiss a suit against the firm by a couple of former advisors. Related news IIROC reaches settlement with three former All Group reps serezniy/123RF Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Bitcoin surge doesn’t affect damages, B.C. court says Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

FSCO suspends insurance agent

first_img Keywords Enforcement FSCO has now also ordered a nine-month suspension in the case, starting March 1, noting that an advisory board found that “Paul Vorstadt was guilty of a fraudulent act and demonstrated untrustworthiness in the transaction that was the subject matter of this proceeding”. However, FSCO’s order notes that the advisory board found that an allegation that Vorstadt was unsuitable to transact business as a life insurance agent was not established. So, it recommended that Vorstadt’s insurance licence be suspended for four months and that he be required to complete an ethics course. According to FSCO’s order, the advisory board noted that a nine-month suspension would be appropriate for the offence, but that there were some mitigating circumstances, including that it was an isolated event, that he’d expressed remorse, and that he’d already been punished by IIROC. As a result, it said the suspension should be reduced to four months. The superintendent of financial services ruled instead that a nine-month suspension should be imposed and that credit should be given on a day for day basis for each day of suspension served in the penalty imposed by IIROC. The decision notes that it’s common to have licences for more than one financial service, and that discipline imposed by one regulator may be considered by another regulator. Additionally, it notes that dual licensing can impair the effectiveness of discipline if an individual is sanctioned in one area and can simply continue their business in the other area. “For further clarity, I also emphasize that a decision by one regulator regarding the suitability of a person to hold a licence can be relevant to disciplinary actions by other regulators regarding other financial services licences. Accordingly a revocation of a financial services licence by one regulator is not an alternative to a decision to revoke another financial services licence by another regulator,” it notes. The superintendent also decided that it was not necessary to require an ethics course, noting, “…considering the remorse expressed by Mr. Vorstadt and his co-operation, I believe that he already understands what is acceptable behaviour.” Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator BFI investors plead for firm’s sale An insurance agent will have his license suspended for nine months by insurance regulators after a securities regulator found that he forged a letter to a client, which involved an insurance product. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has ordered a nine-month suspension for agent, Paul Vorstadt, after the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) found that he fabricated a letter that misrepresented the guarantee features of a product he recommended to a client. Back in 2012, IIROC announced a settlement with Vortsadt, which saw him agree to a $40,000 fine and a seven-month suspension. Facebook LinkedIn Twittercenter_img PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case James Langton Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related newslast_img read more

O’Leary launches Global Income Fund

first_img Keywords Fund launchesCompanies O’Leary Funds Management LP Facebook LinkedIn Twitter BMO to launch six new mutual funds Montreal-based O’Leary Funds Management LP Thursday announced the launch of the O’Leary Global Income Fund. The new fund aims to invest in an actively managed portfolio comprised primarily of dividend-paying common equities, publicly traded corporate bonds, preferred securities and convertible debt securities of mid and large-cap Canadian and global issuers, providing investors with both income and the potential for capital appreciation. Related news Fidelity Investments unveils new climate-focused fund suitecenter_img Wealthsimple launches Sharia-compliant ETF The fund’s versatile mandate allows the portfolio advisor to invest in a focused “best ideas” portfolio of global income opportunities, while actively managing the asset allocation to suit market conditions and interest rate cycles. “We believe that a ‘best ideas’ portfolio and an actively managed asset allocation strategy that takes into account market cycles are important tools in achieving the fund’s investment objectives”, says Connor O’Brien, CEO of O’Leary Funds and president of Stanton Asset Management Inc., the portfolio advisor to the O’Leary family of funds. “In addition, a high conviction approach gives the portfolio advisor the opportunity to invest in a concentrated number of investments.” “We are introducing this O’Leary Fund to meet increased advisor demand for a global product focused on a combination of dividend-paying global equities, short duration corporate bonds as well as floating rate loans,” says Stephen Crawford, senior vice president, national sales. “In the current environment, the equity portfolio of the Fund is focused on high conviction opportunities in developed markets which are expected to provide strong growth in 2014. The fixed income portfolio is positioned for a period of rising interest rates, with a targeted allocation to floating rate securities, which have a history of generating stable income and diversification, with reduced interest rate risk,” he says. The fund is available for sale in hedged and unhedged Series A and F, as well as in a hedged Series H. Income distributions to unitholders will be made monthly. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media IE Staff last_img read more

TMX names new CEO

first_img Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter CETFA elects new board leader Eccleston brings to TMX Group more than 30 years of extensive experience gained in senior leadership roles in the information services, financial technology and capital market services sectors. Most recently, he was president, S&P Capital IQ and chairman of the board, S&P Dow Jones Indices, which are business lines of McGraw Hill Financial. Previously, Eccleston was at Thomson Financial in the roles of president of global sales, marketing & services and president of the banking and brokerage Group. He was at Bloomberg LP, where he held a number of roles including chief executive of Bloomberg Tradebook. He also served as chairman and CEO of Pivot Inc., a capital market software services company. Chuck Winograd, Chair of TMX Group Limited, said: “The Board of Directors undertook an extensive international search for our new CEO. It was clear that Lou has the right skill set, experience and proven track record to be successful in this critical role. It was also the Board’s view that he has the expertise and instincts to effectively lead the company in this rapidly-evolving operating environment.” Eccleston is the successor to Tom Kloet, who announced his intention to retire from the company in March 2014. As previously announced, Kloet has agreed to remain as CEO until October 31. Keywords AppointmentsCompanies TMX Group Ltd. TD getting new head of private wealth, financial planningcenter_img TMX Group Ltd. said Monday it has selected Lou Eccleston to lead the organization as its chief executive officer. Eccleston, who will assume the role effective November 3, will also become a member of the TMX Group (TSX:X) board of directors. PenderFund names new SVP for investments Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more

Change to Empire Life’s e-app process will have significant benefits

first_img PPI announces brand refresh Empire Life becomes minority shareholder in Ontario MGA Keywords Managing General AgenciesCompanies Empire Life Insurance Co. Tessie Sanci Two MGAs acquired by Financial Horizons Group “It eliminates the need for the MGA office to get a scanned copy or a PDF copy from Empire Life and then re-key [that information] into their system,” says Mike Stocks, vice president of insurance marketing with Empire Life. In addition to saving the MGA’s back-office staff time, this development will benefit advisors directly, Stocks says: “It also gets the advisors excited because they have the ability to have their apps processed faster and, ultimately, get paid faster.” The firm is also touting another feature, which would see MGAs receive a PDF of each application in the automatic transmission of data. In the past, MGAs would have to wait for Empire Life to send them a PDF copy of each document, Stocks says. Pilot testing is underway with several MGAs; and additional data-management systems will be enabled in the weeks to come, according to the firm’s announcement. The data feed system has also received approval from Canadian Life Insurance EDI Standards, the recognized authority for standardized electronic data exchange (eData) within the Canadian life and health insurance industry.center_img Related news Kingston, Ont.-based Empire Life Insurance Co. is launching electronic application data feeds that the firm is promising will save managing general agents (MGAs) time and effort; get applications processed faster; and, ultimately, allow financial advisors to receive their compensation sooner. When an e-app is sent to Empire Life through its Fast & Full e-app process, the firm will now ensure the e-app is electronically sent to the MGA’s back-office provider and that the information is automatically inputted into that back-office system. This will occur if the MGA is using a data management system enabled to receive this feed. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

NYSE, Nasdaq to back up each other’s closing auctions

first_img Keywords Stock exchanges Negative 2021 outlook on exchange, clearing sector: Fitch The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq announced a proposal on Wednesday to introduce an additional layer of redundancy for the closing auction of U.S. equities in the event of a systems failure. If NYSE, NYSE Arca or NYSE MKT are unable to run a closing auction in NYSE-listed securities, they will use the price of the Nasdaq Closing Cross in those securities as the official NYSE closing price, the exchanges say. Related news James Langton Similarly, if Nasdaq is unable to run its closing cross in any Nasdaq-listed securities, it will use the price of the NYSE Arca closing auction in those Nasdaq listings as the official Nasdaq closing price. The new framework is being proposed in response to input from industry participants and regulators so that investors and market participants can be confident in closing prices if there’s a systems failure at either of the major exchanges, the exchanges say. They plan to file the proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and it will then go out for public comment. “The role the closing auction plays in establishing reliable closing prices and facilitating liquidity is recognized by market participants and regulators alike,” says Tom Farley, NYSE president, in a statement. “We look forward to working with the industry and the SEC to implement this resiliency plan for the public markets on behalf of investors.” “Operating our markets to benefit and protect investors is paramount,” adds Tom Wittman, global head of equities and president and CEO of The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC. “We devote significant resources to ensure redundancy, and this is a way to further enhance that. We welcome the opportunity to work with the NYSE to continually strengthen the quality of our U.S. equity markets.” The U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) has applauded the exchanges’ move, saying that it supports the proposal. “We appreciate that NYSE and Nasdaq have considered the industry’s input in taking this important step to improve the resiliency of the closing auction process for U.S. equities,” says Randy Snook, executive vice president, business policies and practices at SIFMA, in a statement. “The exchanges’ closing auctions are essential to market efficiency and investor confidence as they establish consistent closing prices for listed equities. SIFMA commends NYSE and Nasdaq for collaborating with each other in developing a framework designed to benefit the entire market,” he adds. “By backstopping each other’s closing auctions, the exchanges will help provide needed certainty that official closing prices can be established in the event that one of the exchanges cannot operate its closing auction.” Looking ahead, he called on the exchanges to work directly with SIFMA to hammer out the details of the proposals. “This valuable insight from market participants will be vital to help the exchanges develop a plan that is effective and can be implemented as soon as possible. We look forward to considering the details of the proposal with our members and working with the exchanges and the SEC to finalize this plan to support the resiliency of a critical equity markets function,” he concludes.center_img Nasdaq sharpens market surveillance Canadian IPO market limps through Q3, PwC reports Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Post-secondary students concerned about education costs

first_img Related news Canadian post-secondary students are proving themselves to be financially aware of the cost of education and the responsibility to ensure those expenses are covered, according to two studies published on Wednesday. Almost three-quarters of students (73%) surveyed for new research conducted for Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada say they are concerned about having enough money to pay for their post-secondary education. Keywords Education Tessie Sanci CRA updates child-related tax folios Thus, most students are thinking ahead and trying to save enough to afford their academic expenses. More than one-third (35%) of Canadian students report they are saving as much as they possibly can to prepare for school and 45% report they have increased their savings substantially — although they admit they could have saved more, according to a new survey from Tangerine Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotia. “It’s encouraging to see that many young Canadians are working hard to save their money, invest in their future and become financially independent,” says Silvio Stroescu, managing director of deposits and investments at Tangerine, in a statement. “While it may be challenging to save money and go to school at the same time, good money habits will carry on long past graduation and help establish the discipline needed to stay on track.” Forty-one per cent of respondents in the Tangerine survey are setting aside more than $5,000 to help finance their education in the coming school year. These savings will come in handy as 34% of students state they alone will fund their post-secondary education and 29% will pay at least half of their school-related expenses. One-quarter state that they will be responsible for producing spending money, although parents or other family members will help with school costs. Only 7% say that others will fund their education and discretionary expenses. Although students are attempting to save to pay for their post-secondary education, 64% still report having student debt and 27% of those respondents say their debt amounts to more than $10,000, according to the Tangerine survey. Both the RBC and Tangerine studies also gathered data on students’ top concerns, although the results diverged in this area. The Tangerine survey found that students’ top concern is exams, with 48% citing this as a leading cause of stress and 24% citing term papers and projects. The respondents in the RBC study were more worried about their future, with concerns including getting a job after graduation (45%), making enough money to support themselves (38%) and being happy with their jobs (36%). RBC’s research also found that students are concerned about how long they will live with their parents following graduation, with 58% nervous about this. “The transition from student to adulthood comes with apprehension, but for students, the biggest step to independence is moving out of the house,” says Mandy Mail, director of student banking at RBC. “As they worry about the cost of living, student debt, grades and job prospects, staying at home longer than they want weighs on them heavily, too.” Ipsos Reid conducted RBC’s 2015 Student Finances poll through an online survey of 1,003 students between the ages of 17 and 24 from June 23 to July 7. Tangerine’s results came from an online survey of 1,090 Canadian university students between the ages of 18 and 25 from July 23 to Aug. 4.center_img Greens would axe RESP Kids’ post-secondary costs delaying parents’ retirement Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Manulife Q3 profit down from a year ago

first_img Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) saw its third-quarter profit fall compared with a year ago as it was hit by losses related to its oil and gas investments. The insurance company said Thursday it booked $220 million in charges related to its investments as losses in oil and gas were offset in part by gains related to fixed-income redeployment, favourable credit experience and other assets. Canadian Press Related news Overall, Manulife said it earned a profit of $622 million in its latest quarter or 30 cents per diluted share. That compared with a profit of $1.10 billion or 57 cents per diluted share for the same quarter a year earlier. The results for the most recent quarter included a charge of $285 million due to changes in actuarial methods and assumptions and a net gain of $232 million related to the direct impact of equity markets and interest rates. Manulife said its core earnings for the quarter amounted to $870 million or 43 cents per share, up from $755 million or 39 cents per share a year ago. “We delivered strong operating results in the third quarter, including double-digit growth in insurance sales and positive net flows in our wealth and asset management businesses,” chief executive Donald Guloien said in a statement. Manulife is a Toronto-based insurance and financial services company with some $883 billion in assets under management. It operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and under the John Hancock banner in the U.S. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Canaccord reports record revenues, drops proposal to acquire RF Capital Laurentian Bank reports $53.1M profit in Q2, beats expectations Keywords EarningsCompanies Manulife Financial Corp. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Canadian banks to focus on growth, spending and buybacks after strong second quarterlast_img read more

Conditions in euro-denominated securities financing and OTC derivatives markets decline: ECB

first_img The results of the survey are based on responses from a panel of 28 large banks, comprised of 14 euro area banks and 14 banks based outside Europe. Additionally, the ECB reports that liquidity, and the functioning of markets, has deteriorated for many types of euro-denominated collateral. These same trends have been observed in previous surveys, but the ECB reports that this has accelerated, and is most evident for government bonds, high-yield corporate bonds, high-quality financial corporate bonds, high-quality non-financial corporate bonds and covered bonds. The report also notes that banks have decreased their market-making activities over the past year and expect further cutbacks in 2016; particularly in government bonds and high-quality corporate bonds. “Compared with previous years, fewer banks characterized their ability to make markets in times of stress as ‘good’, and more banks characterized it as only ‘moderate’,” the report notes. “Results show a strong deterioration in respondents’ ability to act as a market-maker in times of stress, particularly for high-yield corporate bonds.’ The survey found that the use of central counterparties (CCPs) has increased somewhat for securities financing transactions when government bonds, high-quality and high-yield corporate bonds, and covered bonds are used as collateral. Bank lending survey A separate survey that looks at euro area bank lending, based on responses from 141 European banks, found that borrowing conditions for businesses have improved, and that standards for housing loans have eased due to competitive pressures. That survey also found an increase in demand across all loan categories, particularly by businesses. And, it observed that banks’ capital positions have continued to strengthen, and that they have reduced risk-weighted assets (RWAs) in response to regulatory changes. Related news Keywords Europe Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media ECB leaves interest rates and pandemic stimulus unchangedcenter_img ECB speeds up help for virus hit economy Europe’s economy shrank 0.6% in Q1 Liquidity and market functioning has declined in euro-denominated securities financings and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets, according to a new report from the European Central Bank (ECB). The bank reported that results its latest survey on credit terms and conditions in financing and OTC derivatives markets, which found that “less favourable credit terms” are being offered to counterparties, such as hedge funds, throughout these markets. Credit terms are also expected to tighten further in the months ahead, it notes. James Langton last_img read more

SIFMA in favour of pilot program to examine cutting “maker-taker” fees

first_img Keywords Trading feesCompanies Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association A subcommittee of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee (EMSAC) suggested in its report that a pilot study would hopefully help reveal: the relationship among access fees, liquidity provision and market quality; the relationship between access fees, rebates and order-routing practices; and the potential impact of fees on the price discovery process. In response to the recommendations, the U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) issued a statement indicating that it endorses this experiment. “SIFMA agrees with the basic elements of EMSAC’s subcommittee recommendations. We support centralized regulation of cross-market functions through a single markets regulator, or at the very least [self-regulatory organizations] whose focus is entirely on regulation,” says Randy Snook, executive vice president of business policies and practices with SIFMA, in a statement. In addition, SIFMA says it supports a pilot on so-called maker-taker trading models that would analyze the effects of reduced fees. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) recently indicated that it does not intend to go ahead with a planned pilot to examine possible changes to maker-taker models because of the risk that inter-listed trading would migrate to the U.S. as a result. Related news The U.S. securities industry supports the idea of carrying out a pilot program to evaluate the impact of cutting “maker-taker” fees. Earlier this week, a regulatory committee recommended that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) carry out a pilot program to test the impact of lower maker-taker fees on market quality and liquidity. Trading fees capped on Lynx ATS U.S. discount brokerage manipulates inexperienced investors, regulators saycenter_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Pilot to study trading-fee rebates scrapped James Langton Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

No consensus on CSA’s best interest proposal

first_img Keywords Best interest standardCompanies Canadian Securities Administrators Investment firms, dealers face MiFID II review Specifically, the CSA’s consultation paper calling for a series of so-called “targeted reforms” — including changes to existing rules regarding conflicts of interest, suitability, know your client, proficiency and business titles — and, with the exception of the B.C. Securities Commission, also proposes the adoption of a possible “best interest” standard for consultation. The CSA paper indicates that the regulators in Ontario and New Brunswick are most in favour of a best interest standard while the rest of the CSA’s members have reservations about the idea to varying degrees The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) believes that investors deserve “nothing less” than a best interest standard, says Maureen Jensen, the OSC’s chairwoman. She points out that the research and consultations that regulators have carried out during the past four years have revealed that clients believe there already is a best interest standard and that the investment industry tells clients that it acts in their best interests. “It’s time for the standard to match,” she says. Although the targeted reforms the CSA is proposing aim to address the known regulatory concerns, regulators will never be able to anticipate every issue, Jensen says. So, she believes that it’s important to have an overarching “aspirational principle” that makes it clear that investors’ best interests must, in fact, come first. Conversely, the BCSC says a best interest standard is “not workable” and that it could exacerbate existing regulatory concerns, particularly concerns about investors placing undue reliance on advisors. At this point, the investment industry is aligning itself with the BCSC. In response to the CSA’s consultation paper, the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) says that, overall, it supports the targeted reforms and does not believe that a “best interest” standard is necessary. The IIAC argues that targeted reforms, along with the implementation of the second phase of the client relationship model (CRM2) reforms and investment fund point-of-sale disclosure requirements, “will deliver a high standard of advisor conduct, and enable advisors to comply effectively with obligations to deal honestly, fairly and in good faith with their clients, and to act in the best interests of their clients. This will boost investor confidence and strengthen investor protection.” The IIAC warns that an actual best interest standard, however, “would lead to confusion on the part of advisors and clients”; a reduction in the availability of products and services; and higher legal costs. Conversely, investor advocacy group, the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (a.k.a. FAIR Canada) argues that Canada’s investment industry should deliver the highest standards of advisor conduct and that the introduction of a best interest standard is essential to that. Although Neil Gross, executive director of FAIR Canada, notes that it will have to study the paper in depth before commenting in detail, “What we can say at this point is that many Canadians need financial advice, and they need that advice to be provided at the highest level of proficiency and professionalism. It’s hard to imagine how that level of true professionalism can be achieved without an obligation to act in the client’s best interests and an obligation to avoid conflicts of interest. Would imposing those obligations require significant changes to the existing business models? Yes. But significant change is exactly what’s needed.” CSA proposes best interest standard The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) also indicates that it supports the targeted reforms “in principle” as well as the CSA’s pledge to involve the self-regulatory organizations in the reform efforts, “as they will bring the practical knowledge and understanding needed for the development of workable rules.” “Canada already has a robust regulatory framework that serves investors well, but there will always be room for improvement,” said Joanne De Laurentiis, president and CEO of IFIC, in a statement. “This paper helps us more fully understand regulators’ perspectives on what is needed to achieve those goals and puts the industry in a better position to provide constructive suggestions to further strengthen the framework.” Meanwhile, the IIAC says that its member securities firms are looking forward to the consultations that will be carried out on the paper: “The key objective will be to find the right balance between additional clarity and simplicity in the rules and limiting detailed requirements resulting in a ‘box-ticking’ exercise reducing flexibility.” Photo copyright: nasirkhan/123RF Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter FCA seeks consumer duty standards No consensus on CSA’s best interest proposal Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The release of a Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) consultation paper on Thursday that calls for sweeping changes to the regulation of client/advisor relationships reveals a clear divide among regulators, investor advocates and the investment industry. FINRA to focus on retail investors in its reviews this year James Langton last_img read more

Wholesale sales fall 1.2% in September: StatsCan

first_imgCanadian Press Household debt-to-income ratio fell in first quarter: Statscan Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Leading indicators signal steady rebound: OECD Statistics Canada said Monday the value of wholesale sales fell 1.2% in September to $56.0 billion. Economists had expected a gain of 0.4% from the previous month, according to Thomson Reuters. center_img CIBC economist Nick Exarhos noted that the softness was reflected in the volume of wholesale sales, which fell 1.5%. “We’re hopeful that strong retail figures tomorrow make up for some of the lost ground, but it looks like September will be a lacklustre month for output, Exarhos wrote in a note to clients. “After some strong months, today’s release won’t change our third-quarter forecast much. But it will mean that the fourth quarter, which is likely the decisive quarter for the Bank of Canada on whether to ease (rates) or not, will get a weak hand-off.” The drop in wholesale sales follows increases in four of the previous five months. Statistics Canada said wholesale sales fell in five of the seven subsectors it tracks, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies and the miscellaneous subsectors. The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector posted the largest drop in dollar terms for the month as it fell 4.0% to $10.9 billion, its lowest level since April. The miscellaneous subsector fell 3.1% to $7.0 billion. Wholesale sales in volume terms fell 1.5% in September. The results come ahead of retail sales data for September on Tuesday morning and third-quarter growth figures on Nov. 30. Economists expect the third quarter to show strong growth after the economy pulled back in the second quarter. However, how much of that momentum will carry over into the final three months of the year is unknown. The weak wholesale sales data follows a report last week that manufacturing sales rose 0.3% to $51.5 billion in September, however sales in constant dollar terms sales slipped 0.2%, indicating a lower volume of goods sold. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Keywords Economic indicators last_img read more

Manulife Asset Management names new senior portfolio manager

first_img Robertson — who will oversee Manulife Asset Management’s Canadian asset allocation franchise, which includes portfolio management, research and development — is based in Toronto and will report to Nathan Thooft, co-head of PSG for North America. “[Robertson] is a senior investment professional with a long history of managing asset allocation portfolios. We believe our clients and our firm will benefit from his expertise and his leadership of Canadian portfolio management across a wide range of multi-asset and multi-manager solutions,” says Thooft in a statement. “Jamie leads the PSG team in Toronto and will work closely with the other members of PSG in the U.S. and Asia.” Robertson joins MAM from McLean and Partners Wealth Management in Calgary, at which he was chief investment officer. Photo copyright: nonwarit/123RF Tessie Sanci Change to Counsel Global Small Cap Fund Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news NEO, Invesco launch four index PTFs Keywords Fund managersCompanies Manulife Asset Management nonwarit/123RF Toronto-based Manulife Asset Management Ltd. (MAM) announced on Thursday that it has named Jamie Robertson to the role of senior portfolio manager for the firm’s portfolio solutions group (PSG). Franklin Templeton renames funds with new managers Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Manulife unitholders approve changes

first_img Purpose looks to fill retirement income gap with longevity fund IG Wealth amends product shelf Unitholders approved proposed changes to two of Toronto-based Manulife Asset Management Ltd.’s mutual funds at special meetings held on Thursday. The unitholders voted to replace certain operating expenses with fixed administration fees for Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Class (Advisor Series and Series T6) and Manulife Global Balanced Private Trust (Advisor Series, Series L, Series LT6, and Series T6) effective March 1. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Franklin Templeton launches new real asset fund IE Staff center_img They also approved to change the auditor for Manulife Tactical Income Fund to Ernst & Young LLP from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. According to a statement from Manulife, the benefits of the fixed administration fee model include: > a management expense ratio (MER) that will be substantially equal to or less than the most recently reported fund MERs; > increased certainty and transparency of fund MERs; > protection against an increase in MERs; and > Manulife will assume the risk of future increases in operating expenses. Keywords Mutual fundsCompanies Manulife Asset Management Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

National strategy needed to help Canadian fintechs succeed

first_img The Waterloo, Ont.-based think tank’s paper calls for a national strategy on fintech that encourages both domestic growth and global expansion. According to the paper, domestic fintech innovation should be facilitated through open data and payment systems while global expansion can be fostered through international agreements between regulators and comprehensive intellectual property (IP) strategies. On the domestic front, “Access to data for development, testing and compliance is vital for fintechs, and requires an industry-wide effort. Canadian banks enjoy a balance of power in their stockpile of financial and user data, which is held as confidential information or protected by copyright,” CIGI’s paper says. “Where banks are unwilling or unmotivated to collaborate, implementing rules on open data can remove barriers to innovation.” At the same time, the paper also argues that for Canadian fintechs to thrive on the global stage, policymakers must help firms secure their IP while also gaining access to foreign markets. “The government needs to develop fintech IP infrastructure that enables the creation, acquisition and licensing of key technology assets, as through a patent collective or sovereign patent fund devoted to fintech,” the paper says. “Encouraging patent collectives can help companies commercialize and provide freedom to operate for Canadian companies in key international markets.” In addition, CIGI’s paper argues that Canadian fintech “must be strategically included in fintech standards; inclusion of Canadian IP in standards encourages adoption of Canadian innovations, and the ownership of standard-essential patents decreases Canadian reliance on foreign patent holders.” “This is an opportunity for the Standards Council of Canada to play a strategic role. Patenting in general is essential if Canadian fintech firms wish to expand internationally,” it says. Finally, the paper suggests that regulators should expand their efforts at facilitating global expansion through cross-border agreements to share information and refer fintech firms for expansion into each other’s markets. So far, within Canada, only the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has taken this approach by signing deals with regulators in the U.K. and Australia. “Regulatory hurdles and the need for industry connections make it difficult for smaller start-ups to accomplish this on their own,” the paper notes, “without active involvement by policy makers and regulators, Canadian fintech is unlikely to cross borders at the same pace as fintech in other countries.” Photo copyright: adiruch/123RF Mogo to acquire investing app For Canadian financial technology (fintech) firms to flourish, policymakers must pay special attention to open data and ensuring access to payment systems to drive domestic growth while also securing patents and engaging with the international counterparts to facilitate global expansion, argues a new paper from the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Canadians slow to adopt fintech Keywords Fintech Share this article and your comments with peers on social media James Langton Estateably expands to Alberta Wealthsimple’s peer-to-peer app goes national Related newslast_img read more

Basel Committee consults on stricter disclosure from banks

first_img Related news The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published consultation paper that contemplates tougher disclosure requirements for banks, the committee announced Thursday.Specifically, the committee proposes boosting the current disclosure obligations to require that banks also reveal the leverage ratio exposure amounts of securities financing transactions, derivatives replacement cost, and central bank reserves. Canadian banks to focus on growth, spending and buybacks after strong second quarter James Langton The proposals come amid concerns that banks may be engaging in “window dressing” activity that impacts their existing leverage disclosures.“Heightened volatility in various segments of money and derivatives markets around key reference dates (e.g. quarter end) has alerted the Basel Committee to potential regulatory arbitrage by banks,” the committee says in a news release. “A particular concern is ‘window-dressing’, in the form of temporary reductions of transaction volumes in key financial markets around reference dates resulting in the reporting and public disclosure of elevated leverage ratios.”This sort of window-dressing activity “is unacceptable, as it undermines the intended policy objectives of the leverage ratio requirement and risks disrupting the operations of financial markets,” says the committee.“In evaluating its leverage ratio exposure, a bank should assess the volatility of transaction volumes throughout reporting periods, and the effect on its leverage ratio requirements. Banks should also desist from undertaking transactions with the sole purpose of reporting and disclosing higher leverage ratios at reporting days only,” the committee warns.For now, the committee is considering changes to the banks’ leverage disclosure requirements, which would be adopted by 2022. It will alos consider revising the leverage calculation requirements to deal with this sort of activity.Comments on the proposals are due by March 13, 2019. Fed plays limited role in assessing climate risks for bankscenter_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Keywords Banking industry,  DisclosureCompanies Basel Committee on Banking Supervision TD getting new head of private wealth, financial planninglast_img read more

What impeachment could mean for U.S. markets

first_imgWashington DC skyline with Monument Capitol and Abraham Lincoln memorial tonobalaguer/123RF U.S. jobless claims drop to new pandemic low U.S. employers added a modest 559k jobs in May Keywords U.S. Another jump in prices tightens the squeeze on U.S. consumers Related news “We’re in for a very, very bumpy ride,” Myers told the audience of advisors. “I’m absolutely convinced that as we go through the fourth quarter, this impeachment process in the United States is going to become the single biggest focus for the U.S. market, and possibly other markets.”Myers gave a rundown of the impeachment process and a preview of what may come, predicting it would be “the most extensive investigation of any American politician, his family and his company in the history of the country.”Myers said he was certain the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives would impeach the president. “If they don’t move forward after all this effort and noise, it would be politically catastrophic for the Democrats,” he said.There may not be a smoking gun, he added, but he believes the accumulation of evidence from the six House committees investigating alleged wrongdoing — ranging from financial crimes to insurance fraud to abuse of power to violating the emoluments clause — will, “in aggregate, rise either to or above the standard of impeachment.”But while impeachment in the House could be swift, what follows would not be straightforward. Trump would stand trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where he would be forced to either appear live or via a recorded deposition.Myers is just as certain accusations would be dismissed in the Senate. However, he expects the process to be longer and “messier” than it was for Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, two career politicians who respected political institutions.“It is going to be a completely different impeachment process because, unlike the previous two in modern history, this president is going to do everything he can to fight back,” he predicted.Myers also pointed out that the president’s children, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, don’t have executive immunity. “Privately, the chairs of these committees will tell you they’re absolutely going after the children,” he said.While impeachment proceedings will occupy Washington’s attention for months, Myers said it could contribute to a positive outcome for trade talks with China. As Trump faces more political pressure, he will need good news from the economy and the stock markets more than ever.With forward-looking data on the U.S. economy “alarmingly weak,” Myers predicted the president would resort to a “mini-deal” with China on trade to try to preserve the economic expansion — and his electoral prospects.“The markets don’t care, in the end, if we get to a deeply structural deal with China,” which China won’t do anyway, Myers said. “What the markets want is a de-escalation, and I think we’re going to get that.”President Elizabeth Warren: A buying opportunity?Myers said his firm already liked Senator Elizabeth Warren’s chances of winning the Democratic nomination before the impeachment proceedings began; now that they’re underway, with Trump’s efforts to dig up dirt on Democratic candidate Joe Biden in Ukraine as the catalyst, he said Warren’s chances have improved to 70% or higher.He also thinks she’ll be elected president in 13 months.With the California Democratic primary moved up to “Super Tuesday” in March, rather than its historic position in June, Myers said there’s a good chance the Democratic nomination will be decided by April. If Warren is leading next spring and polling well against Trump, he expects U.S. equity markets to respond to her populist agenda of regulating banks, energy and tech by selling off 30%.“It will be a gradual selloff. It’s not going to be overnight. There will be months where the market’s discounting a Warren presidency,” he said. “If the market does that, it will be the biggest buying opportunity in U.S. equities since 2009.”The reason? Myers predicted Republicans will hold the Senate, forcing Warren to govern as a centrist. This would prevent many of the leftist policies, such as a wealth tax, the Green New Deal and certain financial regulations from getting through Congress.However, Myers said investors in energy, technology and pharmaceuticals should be cautious.President Trump used executive orders to roll back layers of environmental protections. Warren would “snap all that back on Day 1,” he said, with consequences for energy producers.Technology companies —  Google and Facebook in particular — are also at risk, as Warren has made clear her agenda to break up big tech. But Myers said there’s a surprising amount of bipartisan agreement that certain companies are stifling innovation and failing on privacy, with potential national security implications.“We’re not saying don’t own [big tech] stocks, but we’re saying own them with your eyes wide open because there is a huge move coming from Washington that will be even more punitive if a Democrat wins the White House, but will still happen even if Trump gets re-elected,” he said.Myers also said investors should be prepared for action on drug prices. Warren may do this through executive order, but he also said it could happen under Trump before the 2020 election. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Mark Burgess President Donald Trump will be impeached before American Thanksgiving, a process that will add to market turmoil and potentially swing the Democratic nomination in favour of Senator Elizabeth Warren, according to an American political insider speaking Tuesday in Toronto.Charles Myers, founder and chairman of Signum Global Advisors, delivered the closing keynote at Tuesday’s second annual ETF Summit, hosted by Advisor’s Edge and Investment Executive. The former investment banker and advisor for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign gave an insider’s view of impeachment proceedings, the U.S.-China trade war, and why an Elizabeth Warren presidency would represent a massive buying opportunity. Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Derivatives margin requirements delayed

first_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Final implementation of these requirements, which were developed in response to the financial crisis, was due to be completed by Sept. 1, 2021.The regulators are pushing that deadline to Sept. 1, 2022, citing “the significant challenges posed by Covid-19, including the displacement of staff and the need for firms to focus resources on managing risks associated with current market volatility.”By the final deadline in 2022, firms with an aggregate average notional amount of non-centrally cleared derivatives of more than €8 billion will be subject to the requirements. In 2021, firms with more than €50 billion in exposure will be subject to the requirements.The regulators said that the extension will provide firms with “additional operational capacity” to respond to the immediate effects of Covid-19, while also enabling them to “act diligently to comply with the requirements by the revised deadline.” Related news Montreal Exchange proposes rulebook reforms CFTC has collected more than US$1 billion in sanctions via tipsters Keywords Pandemics,  Financial crisis,  DerivativesCompanies Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, International Organization of Securities Commissions Singapore’s financial regulator invests in innovation James Langton notepad, laptop and coffee cup on wood table karandaev/123RF Margin requirements in the global derivatives markets are the latest Covid-19 casualty, as regulators decide to push implementation of yet another post–financial crisis reform.The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announced they are delaying the deadline for adopting margin requirements for derivatives that aren’t centrally cleared. Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

IIAC seeks tax relief for investors

first_imgFolder tab with the word tax olivier26/123RF Federal budget bill includes changes to stock options, annuities, mutual fund trusts Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Virtual meetings to continue post-pandemic in B.C. James Langton Keywords Capital gains tax,  Income taxes,  PandemicsCompanies Investment Industry Association of Canada Related news Deadline extended again for ETF tax proposal “These proposed tax measures would cushion retirement savings, bolster investor confidence and provide underlying stability to share prices,” the association stated in the letter.Specifically, the IIAC called on the government to suspend the “superficial loss” rule for 2020, allowing investors to “sell a security at a loss in a non-registered account, benefit from the capital loss, and then repurchase the identical security in a registered account.”The IIAC added: “This would enable investors to reposition assets and rebuild their retirement savings plans. For Canadians who may need to sell investments to access cash, this would allow them to repurchase the investments in a RRSP or RRIF without being denied the capital loss which may result.”The group also recommended that the government allow investors to use a portion of their capital losses in 2020 to offset income, instead of capital gains.“The allowance to apply net capital losses against personal income should be limited to ensure it primarily helps average, ordinary Canadians,” it said.For example, it suggested that the losses that could be used against income should be limited to $100,000, and that no more than 50% of taxable income can be offset in the current year. The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) is calling on the federal government to provide investors with some relief on their 2020 income taxes.In a letter to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the industry trade group is requesting two changes to the treatment of capital losses for the 2020 tax year. Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Manufacturers suffered record sales plunge in April: StatsCan

first_imgThe national statistical agency noted that the sharp drop in April came during the first full month of physical distancing requirements, which saw manufacturing plants either slashing capacity or stopping operations completely.In March, the value of manufacturing activity declined by 9.8% after public health curbs were introduced mid-month.StatsCan noted that sales were down in all 21 industries tracked by the survey in April, led by sharp declines in the transportation equipment and petroleum and coal product industries.For example, sales in transportation equipment fell by 76.4% in the month to $1.9 billion, which was a record decline.StatsCan noted that the motor vehicle and vehicle parts industries saw declines of 97.5% and 88.1%, respectively, as, “every Canadian assembly plant ceased operations in April.”In the petroleum and coal industry, sales dropped by a record 46.4% in April to $2.0 billion.“The drop reflected lower prices and sales, as refineries curtailed production in response to reduced demand for energy products,” StatsCan said.” The lower demand was due to an increase in remote work and a decline in commuting, which lowered energy consumption.”StatsCan reported that the inventory-to-sales ratio — which measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales remain at current levels — jumped from 1.74 in March to 2.41 in April.The increase, which StatsCan said was mostly due to lower sales, “was the largest monthly increase” since the height of the financial crisis in December 2008.The capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector also plunged by a record 16.4 percentage points in April to 55.9%.StatsCan noted that many manufacturers resumed production in the second week of May, “which is expected to bolster sales compared with April.”“The good news is that the worst is likely in the rear-view mirror,” said TD Economics in a report on the data. “Assembly plants have since reopened, and provincial economies have gradually relaxed restrictions on manufacturing activity and most other sectors since May.”“That said, the path to recovery in the sector will be long and mired with uncertainty,” TD cautioned. “The weak and uncertain global backdrop will continue to weigh on the sector’s prospects well into 2021.” Household debt-to-income ratio fell in first quarter: Statscan Metal worker teaching trainee on machine use goodluz/123RF Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Ontario unlikely to balance budget by 2030: FAO Related news Keywords Economic indicators,  Pandemics,  Coronavirus,  ManufacturingCompanies Statistics Canada Normally mundane economic data, such as Monday’s manufacturing survey reading for April, are taking on new importance in tracking the economic fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak.Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales fell by a record 28.5% in April to $36.4 billion. By volume, sales dropped 26.0% in the month — also a record decline. Leading indicators signal steady rebound: OECD James Langton last_img read more

Biotechnology Policy to be Ready by Year-End

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Dr. Arnoldo Ventura, special advisor to the Prime Minister on Science and Technology, has said that the National Policy on Biotechnology should be ready by year-end, and should be promulgated through the legislative system by mid 2008.The draft document entitled: ‘Biotechnology for Socio-Economic Development: A Policy for Jamaica’, is now being discussed in public consultations across the island.Dr. Ventura, who spoke to JIS News at a consultation held at the Western Region Office of the Prime Minister on Delisser Drive, Montego Bay yesterday (Sept. 12), informed that public meetings have already been held in Kingston, Portland, and Mandeville, and more would be held in other parishes in the coming months.He noted that the consultations held to date have been successful, with a wide cross section of the society participating.“Once [the public] begins to understand what we are about, that this is about our future, they become very interested and animated,” he pointed out.According to Dr. Ventura, the implementation of a biodiversity policy was important for the country’s development.“The future for Jamaica lies in our ability to use knowledge, nothing else, because we don’t have large land space.we are bright people and we must use the world knowledge base .to be more productive in food, in industry, and we must protect our environment”, he stated.He said that while Jamaica was behind a lot of countries in the development and implementation of biotechnology, “I have no doubt that we can catch up because we are a bright people.”Dr. Ventura, who chairs the steering committee of the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST), that is developing the biotechnology policy, added that he was “looking forward to the day when the average Jamaican could understand fully what biotechnology means, and how it affects his own life and livelihood”.According to the draft document, developments in biotechnology in Jamaica are essential to agro-industrial development, human and environmental health, bio-safety, biodiversity, and the protection of natural resources.It further states that despite gains within the field in several of the island’s research and teaching institutions, the vast potential afforded by biotechnology for national social and economic development remained largely untapped. RelatedBiotechnology Policy to be Ready by Year-End RelatedBiotechnology Policy to be Ready by Year-End Advertisementscenter_img RelatedBiotechnology Policy to be Ready by Year-End Biotechnology Policy to be Ready by Year-End UncategorizedSeptember 13, 2006last_img read more

Prime Minister of Grenada to Open S&T Conference and Expo Nov. 20

first_imgRelatedPrime Minister of Grenada to Open S&T Conference and Expo Nov. 20 Advertisements RelatedPrime Minister of Grenada to Open S&T Conference and Expo Nov. 20 RelatedPrime Minister of Grenada to Open S&T Conference and Expo Nov. 20center_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell will be the guest speaker at the 20th annual Science and Technology Conference and Exposition, which will be staged from November 20 to 22 at the Hilton Hotel in New Kingston.Dr. Mitchell is also Lead Head of CARICOM, with responsibility for Science and Technology.The event is one of the activities being organized by the Scientific Research Council (SRC), in observance of National Science and Technology Month, which is being celebrated throughout the month of November under the theme: ‘Science and Technology for Economic Development: Impacting the Caribbean Single Market (CSM)’.Team Leader for Popularization at the SRC, Andrea Heavens, explained to JIS News that, “the theme was chosen because the SRC recognizes that science and technology can be used to successfully integrate the individual economies of the region into a global economy”, adding that the planned activities would increase the awareness of the value of the application of science and technology (S&T) for the economic development of the region.She outlined that the three-day conference would demonstrate how S&T could provide solutions to challenges arising from globalization and the development of other economic and trading blocs.Local and regional scientists and technologists, representatives from the public and private sectors and industry leaders will make presentations and demonstrate science and technology as a powerful tool for the development of the CSM.Presentation topics will include: ‘The CSM Impacting Growth and Profitability of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’; ‘Science and Technology Creating Business Opportunities’; ‘Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development’ and ‘Information & Communication Technologies Driving Regional Integration’.In addition, several awards will be presented, including the Young Scientist/Technologist Award, initiated in 1990 and sponsored by the Jamaica Public Service Company. This award is presented to a young scientist/technologist who has conducted research in the area of the current conference theme.Awards will also be given to the island’s Top Achievers in Science for 2006 in CXC and CAPE Science-related subjects.Miss Heavens noted that prior to the Annual Conference and Exposition, the Council would be hosting an Open House on its grounds on November 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.The Team Leader pointed out that this day “offers an opportunity for the interaction of members of the scientific community with students and the general public”.She added that the event would feature educational exhibits and would allow for a first hand view at the latest research being conducted at the SRC.Previous activities included a Thanksgiving Service, which took place at the Swallowfield Chapel on November 5, and a Strategic Marketing Workshop, which was held from November 6 to 7 at the Four Seasons Hotel.Miss Heavens explained that the two-day workshop specifically targeted small business owners in an effort to assist them, “to strategically place themselves in terms of marketing their products and services”.The month’s activities began with the launch and proclamation ceremony on October 31 at King’s House. Prime Minister of Grenada to Open S&T Conference and Expo Nov. 20 UncategorizedNovember 9, 2006last_img read more

NBTS to Undertake Several Initiatives to Increase Intake of Blood

first_imgNBTS to Undertake Several Initiatives to Increase Intake of Blood UncategorizedJanuary 10, 2007 RelatedNBTS to Undertake Several Initiatives to Increase Intake of Blood RelatedNBTS to Undertake Several Initiatives to Increase Intake of Blood RelatedNBTS to Undertake Several Initiatives to Increase Intake of Bloodcenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The re-launch of the National Volunteer Blood Donor Programme will be among several initiatives lined up for the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) next month.These initiatives are set to coincide with the build up for the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) in March this year.Director of the NBTS, Dr. Lundie Richards anticipates that the re-launch of the programme as well as other promotional activities will stimulate an increase in the intake of blood at the bank, to ensure an adequate supply of the precious commodity should any incident or accidents occur during the hosting of the event.“We expect that persons will come out and donate, especially at that time. We will be doing a lot of promotions tied in with the beginning of the Cricket World Cup,” he told JIS News.“A lot of people will be coming into the country at the same time, so we will need to have ample blood available for our people to use as well as for visitors, should the need arise,” Dr. Richards noted, adding that the importation of blood was not considered as an early option, if there was little response to the programme.The Director said that prior to the launch, the NBTS in partnership with other entities, such as the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), would conduct sensitization workshops targeting health care workers and also the media, especially those who report on health issues.“We are going to have a special workshop for them so that they, who are out in the public, will in turn be able to sensitize the public and help us as we move forward as an organization and as a nation,” he said.“The important message is that Jamaicans need to recognize that if you do not donate blood, it may not be there when you may need it,” Dr. Richards warned. Back in March 2003, the Ministry of Health, through the NTBS, embarked on the National Volunteer Blood Donor Programme, which was a crucial, full-scale campaign to promote voluntary blood donations, as opposed to replacement donations, which have, over the years caused a severe strain on the country’s blood demand.The programme was developed as a response to the steady decline in the number of donors and potential blood donors, because of health issues due to an increase in chronic diseases and risky behaviours. As a result, the country is currently meeting an average of 60 per cent of the demand for blood.Highlights of the programme back then included improved donor recruitment through mass education and collaboration with service clubs and other community based organisations; continuous donor motivation through annual awards and incentive packages, as well as staff training, aimed at improving customer service skills.Other aspects included the reactivation of the National Advisory Council; Hospital Transfusion Committees, and the introduction of new legislation governing the operations of the NBTS. Advertisementslast_img read more

Citrus Replanting Project Ends Next Month

first_imgCitrus Replanting Project Ends Next Month UncategorizedApril 11, 2007 RelatedCitrus Replanting Project Ends Next Month FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Citrus Replanting Project, which was implemented to prevent the decline of the citrus industry, through the planting of trees resistant to the citrus tristeza virus, comes to an end in May of this year.Project Coordinator, Dr. Florence Young, told JIS News that the project, which was implemented in January 2001, was extended from April 2006 to March 2007, to allow for further implementation and research work.She noted that the additional research, undertaken by consultants from the Citrus Protection Agency, the Citrus Growers Association and the Biotech Centre of the University of West Indies, Mona have been completed, and the reports would be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.“All three consultants have submitted what I would call draft of reports, so basically we are refining to get to what will be the final report from each of these entities. It is my expectation that this will be completed in the very near future,” she informed.Since its implementation, the project has been successful in preparing 91 farm plans; 7,910 farm visits were carried out; and an extension service provider was engaged. Certification services are fully operational, and the production and movement of 499,614 certified plants from 20 registered nurseries has been monitored, through 757 nursery visits in the case of certifications.A two-year public education component of the project has been completed; in the area of entomology, research work has been completed; in the area of agronomy, research pilots were established and several applications of fertilizer done; leaf and soil samples were collected from all research plots, and inter-cropping of research plots done at Montpelier and Orange River Research Stations in St. James.The Citrus Replanting Project is intended to provide growers with the necessary technical information to effectively replant and manage groves. It also aims to increase the technical capabilities of the research staff to continually establish, monitor and evaluate technologies. RelatedCitrus Replanting Project Ends Next Monthcenter_img RelatedCitrus Replanting Project Ends Next Month Advertisementslast_img read more

$108 Million to Upgrade and Maintain Health Facilities

first_imgRelated$108 Million to Upgrade and Maintain Health Facilities $108 Million to Upgrade and Maintain Health Facilities UncategorizedApril 4, 2007 Advertisements Related$108 Million to Upgrade and Maintain Health Facilitiescenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail A total of $108.8 million has been allotted to maintain and upgrade health facilities in the 2007/2008 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.A breakdown of the allocation will see $50 million going toward the health facilities improvement programme, which is an ongoing project for maintaining and upgrading the buildings and equipment of health care institutions; $38.8 million for the Disease Prevention and Control project, which was developed to initiate and maintain measures such as the surveillance of water supplies, the food trade and sewage disposal systems; $10 million for the procurement of medical equipment for selected hospitals and other health care institutions; and $10 million has been provided to facilitate repairs to the Bellevue Hospital.Also an allocation of $4 million has been made for Project Inner City (FOCUS), which is geared towards the prevention and control of drug abuse.This allocation is to continue the necessary establishment of infrastructure within five rural and urban communities, and develop self-sustained, integrated and demand-reduction programmes as part of a concerted effort to effectively reduce the demand for drugs. The provision is also to facilitate various workshops and to cover administrative expenses.In addition, a total of $8 million was also provided for the National Registration (Preparatory) Unit to continue the development of multipurpose identity cards with numbers to facilitate voter registration, taxation, social security services, registration of births, deaths and marriages. Related$108 Million to Upgrade and Maintain Health Facilitieslast_img read more

Seaga for Lecture Series in South Florida

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Distinguished Fellow at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Edward Seaga, will be the first presenter at the inaugural launch of the Distinguished Lecture Series, to be held on April 27 at the Nova Southeastern University in Davie, South Florida.Mr. Seaga, a former Prime Minister, will speak on the ‘Role of Culture in the Development of the Jamaican Psyche – How We Define Ourselves’.Jamaica Awareness Incorporated, a South Florida cultural organization, is presenting the lecture series, in association with the Jamaican Diaspora in the southern USA.Prior to the lecture, Mr. Seaga will answer questions at a press conference to be held at 10:00 a.m. at the offices of Mystik Radio 1400 AM, located at 4431 Rock Island Road in Fort Lauderdale.Through the series, topics affecting the Caribbean community will be addressed using world-renowned scholars, according to the President of Jamaica Awareness, Sydney Roberts.Mr. Seaga was appointed a Distinguished Fellow of the UWI following his retirement in January 2005 from active politics, serving as Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, a position he held for 30 years. With his active political career spanning over 40 years, Mr. Seaga has served the longest continuously of any elected representative in the English speaking Caribbean.With his recent appointment as a Distinguished Fellow by the UWI, he is now engaged in research and the writing of books. The Jamaica Awareness Incorporated was formed in 1984 and aims at heightening the awareness of Caribbean culture through the delivery of events highlighting the region’s various art forms in the South Florida community. RelatedSeaga for Lecture Series in South Florida RelatedSeaga for Lecture Series in South Florida RelatedSeaga for Lecture Series in South Floridacenter_img Advertisements Seaga for Lecture Series in South Florida UncategorizedApril 23, 2007last_img read more

Young Persons Urged to take Advantage of Opportunities in Jamaica

first_imgAdvertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall has called on young persons overseas to take advantage of opportunities that exist in Jamaica, in order to contribute to the development of the country.Addressing a group of young persons recently at the first Future Leadership Conference organized by the Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation (JDCF), at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto, Canada, Professor Hall told them that those opportunities would give them the chance to have a stake in what happened in Jamaica and helped to mold the future of the country.He said that although they were living overseas, their contributions were “valued and valid.” He also implored them to find ways of meaningful contribution to help Jamaica realize the vision of ‘Jamaica 2030’, which is a plan for Jamaica to achieve ‘developed country’ status by that time.The Governor-General told the conference attendees that they should strive to become leaders, because Jamaica needed those persons, adding that leaders and managers were not the same, as leaders had vision.“Managers administrate, while leaders innovate; managers rely on control, while leaders inspire trust. Managers accept the status quo, while leaders challenge the status quo. Managers imitate, while leaders originate; and managers have their eyes on the bottom line, while leaders have their eyes on the horizon,” he explained.Also addressing the conference were Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services, Jamaican-born MaryAnne Chambers; Parliamentary Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Deepak Obhrai; Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Denis Kingsley; Former Speaker of the Ontario Legislature, Alvin Curling; Chair of the FestivalManagement Committee (Caribana), Joe Halstead; and the National Co-ordinator for the Governor-General’s Achievement Scheme, Hugh Morris.Minister Chambers gave the young people some advice, entreating them to be passionate about what they did. He also told them that there was no service greater than serving “your brother and sister.”The conference was one of several events organized by the JDCF to commemorate Jamaican Diaspora Day, today (June 16).On June 23 a forum/discussion will be held on how the diaspora can assist inner-city communities in Jamaica. RelatedYoung Persons Urged to take Advantage of Opportunities in Jamaica RelatedYoung Persons Urged to take Advantage of Opportunities in Jamaicacenter_img Story HighlightsGovernor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall has called on young persons overseas to take advantage of opportunities that exist in Jamaica, in order to contribute to the development of the country.Addressing a group of young persons recently at the first Future Leadership Conference organized by the Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation (JDCF), at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto, Canada, Professor Hall told them that those opportunities would give them the chance to have a stake in what happened in Jamaica and helped to mold the future of the country.He said that although they were living overseas, their contributions were “valued and valid.” He also implored them to find ways of meaningful contribution to help Jamaica realize the vision of ‘Jamaica 2030’, which is a plan for Jamaica to achieve ‘developed country’ status by that time. RelatedYoung Persons Urged to take Advantage of Opportunities in Jamaica Young Persons Urged to take Advantage of Opportunities in Jamaica Governor GeneralJune 16, 2007last_img read more

Correctional Officers to Benefit from Cross Cultural Training in the Bahamas

first_imgCorrectional Officers to Benefit from Cross Cultural Training in the Bahamas UncategorizedNovember 12, 2007 RelatedCorrectional Officers to Benefit from Cross Cultural Training in the Bahamas FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Jamaica’s correctional officers are to benefit from cross cultural training in the Bahamas, under a pilot project which will come on stream early next year.Director of Human Resource Development and Training in the Department of Correctional Services, Patricia Bambury, told JIS News that the programme will last for six weeks and during the period, 12 correctional officers from Jamaica will visit the Bahamas, while the same number of personnel from the Bahamas will be in Jamaica.She said that the exchange is in keeping with the Department’s objective of identifying, developing and training members of staff to upgrade their competencies and skills in all functional areas of the Department. The training is focused on areas such as justice, sex offender, inmate and drug abuse management.According to Mrs. Bambury, 702 members of the Department benefited from 40 training sessions conducted from June to September at the University of the West Indies, the Management Institute for National Development and the Northern Caribbean University.Additionally, 35 correctional officers have been exposed to international training programmes in countries such as St. Lucia, Barbados and the United Kingdom.Managers have also been trained in business management and leadership, while there is a systematic search training course conducted by the Caribbean Search Centre at Twickenham Park in St. Catherine.Mrs. Bambury explained that officers ranging from recruits to superintendents undergo this training at least four times each year.Of the 1,900 correctional officers on staff, Mrs. Bambury told JIS News that at least 80 per cent would have participated in the various training sessions.“[Training] is very important because it develops their competency levels and their skills. It also assists them to manage the inmate population,” she explained, adding that it empowers them, improves their morale and upward mobility. She noted too that the training helps correctional officers to be able to impart counselling and guidance to wards and inmates. RelatedCorrectional Officers to Benefit from Cross Cultural Training in the Bahamascenter_img RelatedCorrectional Officers to Benefit from Cross Cultural Training in the Bahamas Advertisementslast_img read more

Our Women are Achievers…Justice in Good Hands, Says Information Minister Grange

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Honorable Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS) has said that women are now represented in all spheres of social, economic, cultural and political life.Minister Grange spoke today at the showing of a number of short documentaries, WHY WOMEN COUNT, presented by CVM Television in partnership with Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) to a group of professional women at the Jamaica Pegasus.The launch of the WHY WOMEN COUNT series in Jamaica is in solidarity with the global picture and to sensitize policy makers with what is happening around the world and what needs to be done to improve the lives of women and girls.“Today, we can say that women have indeed come a far way. We are now seeing many of our women represented at the highest levels of governance,” Minister Grange said.She recounted the Jamaican scene where, “we have witnessed having the first female prime minister and leader of the opposition. We can also boast of having our first female justice minister and attorney general, our first female chief justice and our first female director of public prosecution. Our Justice System is in good hands.”All this in addition to having already had a first female President of the Senate and a female Speaker of the House,” the Minister added.Minister Grange commended CVM Television and TVE for producing the films on women’s rights and gender equality.She said she knew that the Bureau of Women’s Affairs would find the documentaries useful to assist in raising awareness on the issues amongst the women served by the Bureau.The Minister also announced that the pilot had been produced locally for a documentary series, called BREAKING THE SILENCE, which sought to lay bare the ugly occurrence of sexual abuse of children in Jamaica.She said that soon the pilot would be made available to the Bureau of Women Affairs and that she would be involving CVM Television in the launch of BREAKING THE SILENCE. Advertisements RelatedOur Women are Achievers…Justice in Good Hands, Says Information Minister Grange RelatedOur Women are Achievers…Justice in Good Hands, Says Information Minister Grangecenter_img RelatedOur Women are Achievers…Justice in Good Hands, Says Information Minister Grange Our Women are Achievers…Justice in Good Hands, Says Information Minister Grange UncategorizedJune 11, 2008last_img read more

Jamaica to the Aid of Cuba with Hurricane Relief Supplies

first_imgJamaica to the Aid of Cuba with Hurricane Relief Supplies UncategorizedSeptember 22, 2008 RelatedJamaica to the Aid of Cuba with Hurricane Relief Supplies RelatedJamaica to the Aid of Cuba with Hurricane Relief Supplies RelatedJamaica to the Aid of Cuba with Hurricane Relief Suppliescenter_img Advertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Government of Jamaica through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will be providing emergency relief supplies and food items to the people of Cuba, following the recent onslaught of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.Four people were reported to have died and over 1.2-million Cubans were forced to evacuate as a result of Hurricane Ike while over 250,000 were evacuated when Gustav tore across Western Cuba on August 30.The shipment is expected to leave Jamaica for Santiago this evening at 8:00pm on board a Jamaica Defence Force coast guard vessel leaving from its headquarters at HMJS CAGWAY, Port Royal. The operation is being coordinated by the Jamaica Defence Force coast guard and four representatives of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.Supplies were donated to the Government through ODPEM from a number of companies including Nature’s Pure Bottling Company, Island Mist, Jamaica Beverages Limited, Grace Kennedy Company Ltd., Amalgamated Distributors Ltd., H.D. Hopwood Company Ltd., Seprod Limited and Lasco Distributors Limited.Jamaica has been providing assistance to its neighbours affected by the Hurricanes since the start of the season. Haiti and Turks and Caicos islands have already received aid from the government of Jamaica.last_img read more

Security Minister Lauds Work of PMI

first_imgSecurity Minister Lauds Work of PMI UncategorizedNovember 8, 2008 RelatedSecurity Minister Lauds Work of PMI Advertisements RelatedSecurity Minister Lauds Work of PMIcenter_img RelatedSecurity Minister Lauds Work of PMI FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of National Security, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan, has commended members of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), for remaining steadfast in their commitment to work in troubled communities, despite the many challenges.“I must congratulate the Peace Management Initiative for your tough work. Despite the challenges, you continue to roll-out your operations in new communities, growing from 15 in 2001 when you started, to 26 at last count. This says much about your commitment,” he said.Senator MacMillan was addressing participants at a PMI Seminar, held at the Altamont Court Hotel, in Kingston, on November 6.According to the Minister, he supports the philosophy of the PMI, but rejects suggestions not to work with ‘area dons’.“I completely support the philosophy behind the PMI. There is a school of thought that suggests that working with ‘area dons’ is tantamount to legitimising them. Well, I reject that completely. The State couldn’t, in all conscience, sit by and not seek to engage them. That would’ve been tantamount to negligence. Top down approaches just don’t work in such complex situations. Dialogue at least brings hope to the situation,” he pointed out.The Minister also made a rallying cry to the gathering, emphasising that there can be no days off in the fight against crime, and urged them to become an active part of the solution to crime and violence, and criminal gangs.“This is not a time to back off. This is a time to increase our understanding of the changing nature of one of the main causes of the problem – the criminal gangs,” he said.Senator MacMillan explained that the way forward depends on “improved policing, new laws to support the work of the police and prosecutors, and greater dependence on intelligence and modern investigative methods.”The Minister also used the opportunity to encourage the corporate community, to continue supporting the fight against crime.“A few firms have adopted police stations and are assisting with their refurbishment. We know that corporate Jamaica is stretched, but crime is such a major concern, that they are willing to assist,” he noted.The PMI was established in January 2002, and currently has Bishop Herro Blair as its Chairman.The seminar was held under the theme: ‘Peace for Prosperity’.last_img read more

Gustav Victims to Get Housing Assistance

first_imgAdvertisements RelatedGustav Victims to Get Housing Assistance RelatedGustav Victims to Get Housing Assistance FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Ministry of Water and Housing and Food for the Poor have collaborated to assist persons whose houses were destroyed by Tropical Storm Gustav in August.The Ministry is providing the land, while Food for the Poor is providing housing for the victims.According to information supplied by the Ministry’s technical team, the Ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, carried out several assessments on the socio-economic status of the victims in the worst affected parishes, including Kingston and St. Andrew, Portland, St. Thomas, and St. Catherine.Food for the Poor is expected to deliver some 200 housing units to beneficiaries as soon as a list is supplied by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The cost of a single unit is $30,000, while the double unit will cost $60,000.Assessments have so far been done on 139 of the 248 affected families in Kingston and St. Andrew; 56 of the 116 affected families in Portland; 28 of the 34 affected families in St. Thomas, and 23 of the 29 affected families in St. Catherine. Those affected fall into two categories: persons whose houses were totally destroyed; and those who had partial damage to sections of their roof or to the housing structure.The Ministry is now focusing on persons whose houses were totally destroyed during the passage of the storm. Affected householders, who own their own land, or have been given permission to use family land, have the option of rebuilding on site or “infilling” with the assistance of Food for the Poor.Those whose homes were located in areas such as the Hope River Valley and Buff Bay in Portland, which have been declared ‘no-build zones’ by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), are to be relocated.Victims whose houses were located in the vicinity of the Hope River are to be relocated to Albion in St. Thomas where the Ministry is currently carrying out site investigation and planning. The assessment is to be completed by December this year.The other solution for the Hope River Valley victims is the identification of infill housing in and around the Kingston Metropolitan Area for those who have expressed a desire to remain in the Corporate Area. The Ministry is compiling a list of all available lands to fulfill this purpose.Land has also been identified at Darlingford in Portland, where the Technical Services Unit of the Ministry is currently preparing the subdivision plan for 25 units.center_img Gustav Victims to Get Housing Assistance UncategorizedNovember 24, 2008 RelatedGustav Victims to Get Housing Assistancelast_img read more

Most JUTC Commuters Welcome Cashless Express System

first_imgRelatedMost JUTC Commuters Welcome Cashless Express System Most JUTC Commuters Welcome Cashless Express System TransportFebruary 24, 2009 Advertisements RelatedMost JUTC Commuters Welcome Cashless Express Systemcenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Following the Jamaica Urban Transit Company’s (JUTC) roll out of the cashless system on all Express routes on February 1, commuters in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), are singing the praises of the company for offering a more efficient and convenient service.Just how beneficial have Express commuters found this switch to cashless?Marion Johnson, who plies the Greater Portmore-Half-Way Tree route, is delighted with the recent initiative.“I think the move to go cashless is excellent, I take the Express to work in the mornings, and it is so good it helps me to reach work on time,” she says.“With the Smart Card, the traffic flows even better, as what happens is that you don’t have to wait for the driver to make change, you just slide your card, you get on and that’s it,” she added.Miss Johnson speaks highly of the drivers, whom she noted, are “very pleasant and nice”, which encourages her even more to take the bus in the mornings.“I wish for the day when the entire JUTC system will finally go cashless,” she said.But just how soon will this be?Assistant Vice President of Operations at the JUTC, Robert Harpaul, projects that the entire system could go cashless in another 12 months.Speaking with JIS News, he explains that it will take some time to acquire additional machines, which are quite costly. Additionally, he notes, there are also other operational matters that need sorting.Some commuters believe that the maximum benefit to be derived is in the security and safety that carrying a Smart Card offers.Robert, who plies the Spanish Town to Half-Way Tree route daily, is quite receptive to the cashless system on Express buses. He recounts the many times he has suffered, because he did not have the correct change.“Sometimes I would have a thousand dollars and the driver doesn’t have any change, and I have to come off the bus when I just wanted to move,” he notes, in a rather disgruntled tone. However, his frown transforms into radiance when he speaks of the benefits of the Smart Card.“I feel a lot more secure travelling now, as sometimes you have all kinds of unscrupulous characters riding the buses. A man will hear the driver say to you, ‘no change,’ and immediately you become a target, because to them it means is either a ‘Nanny’ or a ‘Manley’ you have,” he explains.For another Express commuter, Ryland James, purchasing a Smart Card is a very smart decision.“Using cash or purchasing a ticket just takes up a lot of time, especially when you come in the Centre and see the bus you want on the stand and you have to go to the ticket outlet and join the long line to get a ticket. And, to make it worse, the bus drives off. It pays to just buy a Smart Card and avoid the hassle,” Mr. James insists.Miss Campbell, who also takes the Greater Portmore-Half-Way Tree Express bus, echoes the sentiments of fellow commuter Marion Johnson.She believes that the introduction of the Smart Card does not only offer convenience to commuters but also to the bus crew, which in this instance is one person – the bus driver.“It’s convenient to me and I think it is only fair that this be done, because on the Express Bus is only the driver. So, when you use the Smart Card, he does not have the problem with money and making change. The Smart Card makes it easier and saves time,” she says.The JUTC Express Drivers who were interviewed welcome the fully cashless initiative wholeheartedly.For Lynford Maitland, who drives the 17 AX Express from Greater Portmore to downtown, the system helps to ensure transparency on the buses.“This is great for us drivers, as it prevents shortages in the fare boxes, as now we don’t have to encounter with any cash. It’s strictly Smart Cards,” he says. Although he hastily adds that he is still handling cash in the short term, to facilitate commuters who are not yet aware of the changes.Mr. Maitland also points to the benefits of increased security that going cashless offers.“For one, we don’t have to entertain any uncomely visitors on the buses, as you have some unscrupulous persons who want to take people’s money. However, with the cashless, when they take the buses, they simply have to step off the buses as they have no money to encounter with,” he said.Nevertheless, resistance to change is almost always expected and it is no different for the JUTC and its commuters.Customer Service Representative at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre, Sophia Beckford, disclosed that some commuters have expressed the view that they prefer to go the old-fashioned way of using cash. There are some commuters who have not latched on to the Smart Card system and have refused to take the Express Buses since the changeover.A conversation with Marie Williams, who patiently awaited the arrival of a “regular” JUTC bus, confirmed Miss Beckford’s statement.Her response to the question, “Are you waiting on one of the Express buses?” was an outright, “No sah, I can’t bother with the foolishness to go buy no Smart Card. That is foolishness, mi deal with cash, strictly cash.”Marketing and Sales Manager at the JUTC, Lenworth Simms, says that the JUTC is working assiduously to ensure a smooth transition from cash to a totally cashless bus service.This move, he says, is part of the Company’s aim of repositioning the JUTC brand, as a bus company that operates with efficiency and transparency. He said that public education efforts to encourage purchase and use of the Smart Cards are ongoing and will be strengthened throughout the year. RelatedMost JUTC Commuters Welcome Cashless Express Systemlast_img read more

Mullings Expresses Confidence in Bio-Fuels Task Force

first_imgMullings Expresses Confidence in Bio-Fuels Task Force TechnologyMarch 11, 2009 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, has said that while the development of a viable local bio-fuels industry would have its challenges, he was confident that the recently established Bio-fuels Task Force would be able to achieve such an objective.He was speaking at yesterday’s (March 10) launch of the Task Force at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) building in Kingston.“I have every confidence in the team that has been selected to participate in this Task Force, and in your commitment to recommending an appropriate framework that will allow us to develop a practical and sustainable bio-fuels industry. I am of view that all the experience and technical skills required is represented on this task force,” he stated, adding that he expected some component of biodiesel (B5) to materialize within a year.The body will have responsibility for creating an appropriate policy framework and a legal and regulatory regime, within which a bio-fuels industry will flourish. It will take into consideration, incentive schemes, affordable project/programme financing, research and development support, as well as local technical capability and demand for new products.Chaired by PCJ board director, William Saunders, the Task Force is comprised of representatives from local, international and multilateral organisations, comprising the PCJ, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Scientific Research Council (SRC), Petrojam, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Organization of American States (OAS), World Bank, and the United States and Brazilian embassies.Economic Officer at the United States Embassy, Nathan Carter, said that the mission was “very excited” about this initiative. “We think that this is a great opportunity for Jamaica and we are here to offer the services and assistance that we can…we know that Jamaica will do very well,” he stated.Expressing a similar sentiment, Assistant Representative of the FAO, Dr. Gillian Smith, said that the organisation was “delighted” to be a part of the group, as energy security was important to Jamaica and developing countries in general.“Coming from (the) launch of our Bio-fuels Challenges and Threats Report last year, we are very pleased that this is happening now.we are cognizant of the traditional relationship between energy generation and agriculture and from that point of view, we are committing a considerable amount of knowledge that exists in the FAO worldwide to this process, and we are really looking forward to seeing something come out of this very soon,” she pointed out.OAS representative, Dr. Joan Neil, in her remarks, stated that “through our unit for sustainable development and energy, our task force will have access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise. We feel very certain that with the level of experience here and the technical know-how, we are bound for success”.In addition to the support of these organisations, Jamaica stands to benefit from the new processes and technologies that will emerge from the research and development programmes of Brazil and the United States, as a result of a tri-lateral agreement on bio-fuels that was signed in November of last year.The Bio-fuels Task Force is a project of the Ministries of Energy, and Agriculture. RelatedMullings Expresses Confidence in Bio-Fuels Task Force RelatedMullings Expresses Confidence in Bio-Fuels Task Forcecenter_img RelatedMullings Expresses Confidence in Bio-Fuels Task Force Advertisementslast_img read more

High Commissioner Calls for Continued Support of Air Jamaica

first_imgHigh Commissioner Calls for Continued Support of Air Jamaica Foreign AffairsMay 13, 2009 RelatedHigh Commissioner Calls for Continued Support of Air Jamaica RelatedHigh Commissioner Calls for Continued Support of Air Jamaica Advertisementscenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye, has called on Jamaicans living in Canada to continue to support the country’s national airline, Air Jamaica.The High Commissioner was speaking recently at a special church service, held at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto, Canada, to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the first Air Jamaica flight – a twin-jet DC-9 – which left Kingston for Miami on April 1, 1969, with 90 passengers and crew.“We from the foreign service have always done our best to support Air Jamaica wherever we are. I am asking you to do that today,” High Commissioner Coye told the congregation.She recalled the tears of pride when she saw the Air Jamaica airplane for the first time 40 years ago. “I still feel that pride whenever I see that bird today,” she said.Air Jamaica’s Director of Sales, George deMercado, noted that although these are challenging times for the airline, it is empowered by the positives of its 40-year history.“We are getting ready to embrace the future and Air Jamaica is going to emerge from our current transformation a more valuable company, buoyed by commitment from our employees who do good work to make sure that we succeed. And, we can succeed if we get support from people like you in this congregation,” he said.He noted that since Air Jamaica has been in existence, many other airlines have folded, including PanAm, TWA, Eastern Airlines, National Airlines and People’s Express.“But after 40 years, the little piece of Jamaica that flies, is still flying. Airlines take off and airlines land, and we have had our ups and downs. The difference for us is that we are distinctly Jamaican and we are a dynamic expression of the spirit and warmth of the people of Jamaica and the place we call home,” the Director said.Mr. deMercado also paid tribute to the staff of Air Jamaica, noting that, “over 2,000 people have put their hands, minds and bodies together to make sure that we have a successful operation. One of the amazing things about the Air Jamaica family is that of those 2,000 people, there are some 27 persons who are still with us that were there on day one.”Also attending the service were: Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Anne-Marie Bonner; President of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams; Paul Barnett of the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations; Bishop Audley James of Revivaltime Tabernacle; and present and former staff of Air Jamaica, including Area Sales Manager in Canada, Norma Sale; Airport Manager, Shelly Goulbourne and one of the airline’s first flight attendants, Sandra Scott, who is now the Regional Manager of the Jamaica Tourist Board. RelatedHigh Commissioner Calls for Continued Support of Air Jamaicalast_img read more

Little support for GPs in mental health report

first_imgLittle support for GPs in mental health report A proposal to scrap GP mental health treatment plans and replace them with an online assessment tool would undermine the holistic approach needed to care for patients with mental health concerns, AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said today.The proposal is among the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s long-awaited Mental Health Inquiry Report, which calls for a $2.6 billion overhaul of the system, estimating the total cost of poor mental health and suicide to be as much as $70 billion per year.Dr Khorshid said the report recognises the crucial role that GPs play in delivering frontline mental health care, but then delivers proposals that result in diminished support for this role.“The AMA welcomes the report’s aspirations for a person-centred mental health care system, focusing on prevention and early help – both early in life and early in illness,” Dr Khorshid said.“But we cannot accept recommendations that take away support for GPs at a time when the burden of mental illness is growing.“The report highlights the fact that GPs are the first port of call for Australians seeking mental health support, with one in five Australians having a mental health consultation with their GP every year, and a satisfaction rate of more than 80 per cent.“Yet it offers little in the way of extra support, other than the introduction of a Medicare item for GPs to get advice from a psychiatrist about a patient in their care.“While this is sensible policy that recognises the expertise of psychiatrists and encourages collaboration, it falls short of the support GPs need.“The report also proposes abolishing Medicare-funded GP mental health treatment plans, which are fundamental to providing well-coordinated care and engaging with a patient about their care needs.“Instead, patients would be assessed using an online tool. While the Commission sees this being used by GPs in collaboration with their patients, its recommendations also allow patients using this tool to bypass their GP altogether at a time when holistic care is so important.“The report should have placed much more emphasis on the patient-centred medical home as the ideal model for people seeking care for their mental health.“Under this model, psychologists, mental health nurses and social workers can all be integrated into the patient’s health care as part of a well coordinated and holistic model of GP led care.“As the report states, comorbid diseases are responsible for much of the average 10-15 year mortality gap between people with severe mental illness and the general population.“GPs form lifelong relationships with their patients, and building mental health into general practice will further enhance the role of GPs in early intervention.“Promoting general practice as a safe, accessible and effective place to seek support for mental ill-health is critical to improving access to care for patients.“The AMA is pleased that the Commission has acknowledged workforce shortages that often make it difficult for patients to access specialist psychiatric care, and identified the need for a national plan to increase the number of psychiatrists in Australia, particularly in rural areas.“The AMA acknowledges that low-intensity mental health services are under-utilised, and supports the development of resources to support GPs in promoting these services to patients where clinically appropriate.“GPs should receive feedback from these services about their patient’s progress to ensure continuity of care.“With the mental health sector receiving less than half the funding of the comparable burden of disease funding, one thing is clear – any Government response to this report will need to be backed by much greater funding, otherwise patients will continue to struggle to access the vital care that they need.”The report’s recommendations are extensive, and the AMA is reviewing them in detail.BackgroundIn 2018-19, at least five million people – or one in five Australians – had a mental health consultation with their GP.About one in eight GP consultations relates to a mental health problem, equating to about 20 million consultations per year.As well as being a key gateway to other mental health services, GPs are key providers of mental health. More people receive mental health treatment from their GP than from psychologists and psychiatrists combined.Four out of five people with mental illness report that the service they receive from their GP is excellent or very good.18 November 2020 /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AMA, Australia, Australian Medical Association, building, Commission, disease, general practice, Government, health, health services, healthcare, Medicare, mental health, President, Productivity Commission, resources, social work, suicidelast_img read more

Compassionate state budget takes bold and big steps to fix society’s inequalities

first_imgCompassionate state budget takes bold and big steps to fix society’s inequalities Brotherhood of St LaurenceSocial justice organisation the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) welcomes the Victorian Government’s bold and progressive investment in tackling joblessness, homelessness and climate change for society’s most disadvantaged. This was a historic opportunity to address inequality and the Andrews Government has risen to the challenge by taking the first step towards addressing insecure work with sick leave for casuals; significant social housing investment; and addressing climate energy and energy poverty. The budget offers much needed investment in jobs, housing and the Victorian community.BSL Executive Director Conny Lenneberg said “This compassionate budget shows real leadership and will drive the recovery for all Victorians, including those doing it toughest. COVID-19 has shaken our economy and society to its core and this budget will provide homes for the homeless, jobs for the jobless and energy bill relief for our fellow Victorians in their hour of need. This is a big step in the right direction that we hope is built upon in future budgets”.The intersection of insecure work and disadvantage with COVID-19 has been devastating. BSL’s “Voices from the COVID-19 Frontline” Report found that of the 189 workers in our employment programs, 44% were in casual jobs without sick leave, compared with the national average of 24%. The proposed new Secure Work Pilot Scheme has the potential to plug some of the holes in our safety net to ensure a fairer society.“We are pleased that the budget has recognised that women and young people have disproportionately been impacted by the pandemic. Targeted investment for this workforce will be life changing for many Victorians, as will expanded job programs for temporary visa holders such as people seeking asylum, who are not covered by existing safety nets.”BSL also welcomes the Government’s energy measures which have a direct impact on those experiencing poverty and disadvantage. The historic $797 million household energy efficiency support package will provide much needed short and long-term energy bill relief and reduce energy poverty.“Those who are doing it toughest should never have to choose between putting food on the table and keeping warm during winter or cool in summer without breaking the bank. The household energy support is even more important as the repercussions of income support cuts will hit many next year. The investment in 6 renewable energy zones will also create jobs and address climate change.“The pandemic has exposed the great inequalities that exist in our society. This budget is a significant step forward that we need to build upon to ensure that no Victorian is left behind”.The Brotherhood of St. Laurence is a social justice organisation working to prevent and alleviate poverty across Australia. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, climate change, community, covid-19, efficiency, employment, energy efficiency, Government, homeless, homelessness, inequality, Investment, renewable, renewable energy, social justice, Victorialast_img read more

NSW arts and culture gets $5 million boost

first_imgNSW arts and culture gets $5 million boost Minister of StateThe NSW Government is investing more than $5 million in the state’s arts and cultural sector through Round 1 of Create NSW’s 2020/21 Arts and Cultural Funding Program.Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin announced 97 recipients throughout NSW will share in $5.045 million funding to deliver arts and cultural activity, with nearly 60 per cent of funded activity occurring in Western Sydney and Regional NSW.Mr Harwin said the funding will support projects that are key to the state’s cultural life and contribute to a thriving and connected arts and cultural sector.“This funding will support programs and projects estimated to employ over 6000 artists and reach more than 1.4 million people across the state. We know the people of NSW want to return to theatres, galleries and festivals and to show their support for the sector after such a challenging year.“Arts and cultural organisations and individual artists in regional NSW will benefit from more than $1.7 million in funding as the NSW Government continues to show its commitment to supporting the recovery of local communities.“Round 1 also includes more than $535,000 for projects and programs that are Aboriginal-led or have a significant focus on First Nations content, including support for Sunshine Super Girl – The Evonne Goolagong Story by Andrea James to take the stage at this year’s All-Australian Sydney Festival, and funding for a new public program at the Armidale Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre & Keeping Place.“The new Artform Advisory Boards have made recommendations that reflect the strength and diversity of NSW’s arts and cultural life, with programs set to boost engagement and employment opportunities across the state,” said Mr Harwin.A full list of Round 1 recipients is available online. All applications were assessed against published criteria and ranked in order of merit by the Artform Advisory Boards.Round 2 of Create NSW’s 2020/21 Creative Koori, Project and Annual Organisation funding will open on 1 February 2021. For further information on arts, screen and cultural funding, including targeted support opportunities, visit the Create NSW website. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Aboriginal, Armidale, Arts, Australia, culture, employment, festival, Government, Internet, Minister, New South Wales, NSW, project, super, Sydney, visit, website, Western Sydneylast_img read more

New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka

first_imgNew Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan.“The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took place on 10 and 11 January 1846, marked the end of the Northern War and was the culmination of the first of a series of conflicts signifying the beginning of the New Zealand Wars,” Kiri Allan said.“The conflicts waged during 1845-1846 were some of the earliest occasions where relations between Māori and Europeans deteriorated into open warfare, so it is important to acknowledge and understand the impact they had.“Marking 175 years since the Battle of Ruapekapeka provides us with an opportunity for reflection and remembrance of the events that took place there, and for the stories of our past to be shared more widely.“Now one of our most significant heritage sites, Ruapekapeka is one of the largest and most complex Pā in the country and has been described as a masterpiece of military engineering.“It’s especially important for our rangatahi to learn about their history, because in understanding our past, we can build a stronger foundation for a shared future.“The introduction of New Zealand history into the curriculum of all schools and kura from 2022 will help ensure the important people, places and events in our nation’s past are more deeply understood by future generations.”Commemorative activities to mark the anniversary of the Battle have been organised by local hāpu and will take place at and around Kawiti Marae in Waiomio, Te Taitokerau between 8 and 10 January.A memorial to the British servicemen who died during the Battle will also be unveiled on Wednesday 3 February at the British camp below Te Ruapekapeka Pā, as part of this year’s Waitangi Day activities.“I acknowledge the efforts of Te Ruapekapeka Trust in planning for the anniversary, especially following the recent passing of its chair, Allan Halliday, who was dedicated to developing a powerful and memorable series of commemorative events,” Kiri Allan said. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:anniversary, Arts, Arts, Culture and Heritage, battle, British, culture, Engineering, Europe, future, future generation, Government, Impact, military, Minister, New Zealandlast_img read more

Stay up to date with road and footpath construction

first_imgStay up to date with road and footpath construction Find out about road and footpath projects that impact the Adelaide Hills Council area and subscribe to receive updates as they’re added.This includes most:Council led road and footpath projectsSA Government road projectsSA Government and Council ConsultationsOther known projects impacting roads and footpaths in the Adelaide Hills Council Area*.*Please note Council is not made aware of all external projects so you may not find the project you are looking for if it is being undertaken by a third party (e.g. SA Power Networks, NBN, SA Water, Telstra) .Explore the news items on our update page and get the latest information and subscribe to stay informed.If you are interested in road works outside the Adelaide Hills Council Area please visit Traffic SA. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Adelaide, Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Hills Council, council, Government, Impact, local council, NBN, project, SA, SA Government, visit, Waterlast_img read more

Australia’s financial law intricacy hurts businesses and consumers

first_imgAustralia’s financial law intricacy hurts businesses and consumers The complexity and prescriptiveness of Australian financial services laws makes it harder for businesses to meaningfully comply with the law, affecting businesses and consumers.The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has been tasked by the Attorney-General of Australia the Hon Christian Porter MP with simplifying the legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation. (See the Inquiry terms of reference.)Key problems identified by the ALRC in its initial analysis of Australian financial services laws include:overly prescriptive approach to regulation; complex and unwieldy regulation, contained in various instruments;complexity of definitions; andinconsistent use of definitions.Attached is further information about the Inquiry including examples of the issues identified.The Inquiry is part of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry released in February 2019.President of the ALRC, the Hon Justice SC Derrington, said the intricacy of the current financial services laws obfuscates understanding and inhibits compliance.“The Inquiry is a once in a generation opportunity to ensure that the design of Australian financial services legislation is appropriate, both in terms of ensuring that industry players comply with the law and in promoting productivity and innovation in the financial sector,” Justice Derrington said.The ALRC will deliver interim reports on the review of corporations and financial services regulation in November 2021, September 2022 and August 2023, with the final report and recommendations due to be provided by 25 November 2023.About the Australian Law Reform CommissionThe Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is an independent Australian Government agency that provides recommendations for law reform to Government on issues referred to it by the Attorney-General of Australia. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Australian, Australian Government, Christian, Commission, financial sector, financial services, Government, innovation, law reform, legislation, President, regulation, royal commission, superannuation, terms of referencelast_img read more

Investment to revitalise Southern Rangelands landscape and pastoral enterprises

first_imgInvestment to revitalise Southern Rangelands landscape and pastoral enterprises McGowan Government injects $550,000 to kick-start Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Pilot Project Dual purpose support to enhance land condition and livestock productivity to ensure future industry sustainabilityThe McGowan Government is investing in the long term condition and productivity of the southern rangelands through a $550,000 funding injection to a pilot revitalisation project.The Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Pilot project will draw on the extensive experience and knowledge of local pastoralists and establish a pilot group to host producer demonstration sites and share their learnings with the wider industry.Drawing upon the best available research and technologies, pastoralists involved in the pilot project will test a variety of strategies and options best suited to their circumstances to improve degraded landscapes and lift the productivity of their livestock operations.A workshop will be held in autumn to engage with pastoralists and other key stakeholders to lay the ground work to roll out of the project, which aims to create enduring benefits from improving the sustainability and productivity of the Southern Rangelands for generations to come.The Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Project will lay the foundations from which to attract future co-investment to cultivate innovation and build resilience to climate variability in the Western Australian pastoral industry.As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:“This investment in the Southern Rangelands is yet another demonstration of our Government’s commitment to revitalising WA’s pastoral landscape and the productive capacity of the pastoral region.“There is no one simple solution to improving the health of the southern rangelands so this project has been designed to test, confirm and demonstrate a variety of technologies and management strategies on the ground over time.“Tailor made land management and improvement strategies will be developed with pastoralists participating in the pilot to improve land condition to increase the productivity and profitability of their enterprises.“Collaboration is a key feature of this project, enabling Southern Rangelands pastoralists to share their knowledge and experiences to refine land and business management practices to augment research and aid the adoption of new tools and management strategies.“We welcome and support the formation of the Southern Rangelands Pastoral Alliance, which will provide a stronger, collaborative and co-ordinated approach to local issues, including those addressed by this pilot project.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Agriculture, Australia, Australian, demonstration, Government, industry, innovation, Investment, livestock, Minister, research, resilience, southern, sustainability, WA, Western Australialast_img read more

Stamp duty exemptions help thousands more first homebuyers turn key on Aussie dream

first_imgStamp duty exemptions help thousands more first homebuyers turn key on Aussie dream The PremierMore than six thousand additional first homebuyers have gained a foothold on the property ladder in just six months following the NSW Government’s decision to provide additional relief on stamp duty and help boost the economy and jobs.Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the latest data indicated the great Australian dream of home ownership remained strong, with the total number of stamp duty exemptions and partial concessions granted rising 30% over the year, from more than 31,500 in 2019 to more than 41,000 in 2020.“We all know how challenging 2020 was and our suite of COVID-19 support and stimulus measures – the largest of any state or territory – has helped cushion the worst economic impacts of the pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.“Additional stamp duty relief has delivered the twin benefit of helping more people achieve their dream of homeownership, while continuing to boost the economy.”Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government’s continued focus on housing affordability had seen first home buyers as a share of the total owner occupier residential market increase from below 15% in 2016 to around 30%.“Stamp duty is a significant financial barrier to those buying a first home and this program has helped thousands of people go from renters to homeowners without saving for years to pay stamp duty,” Mr Perrottet said.“Record low interest rates are putting upwards pressure on prices, but it’s clear if we can lower the financial burden the dream of home ownership burns as strong as ever.”The total value of stamp duty concessions and exemptions granted by the NSW Government increased from $485.9 million in 2019 to $559.7 million in 2020.Under the temporary changes the cap on the value of new homes at which stamp duty exemptions apply increased from $650,000 to $800,000, with concessional duty applied on higher values before phasing out at $1 million.For vacant land purchases, the threshold for an exemption increased from $350,000 to $400,000 with concessional duty rates applying on purchases up to $500,000.This additional relief will remain in place until July 31, 2021.In the five months following the changes – from August to December 2020 – the number of stamp duty exemptions and concessions granted topped 21,436, compared to 14,967 in the same period in 2019.According to NSW Treasury stamp duty adds about $34,000 to the upfront cost of buying the average NSW home.It now takes around 12.6 years compared to 8 years in 1990 for the average person to save for a deposit.Stamp duty was introduced to NSW in 1865 and has continued for more than 150 years.On 1 July 2019, NSW became the first state in Australia to index stamp duty brackets to the Sydney Consumer Price Index, to limit the taxation cost due to inflation. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:affordability, Aussie, Australia, Australian, Berejiklian, first home buyer, Gladys, Gladys Berejiklian, Government, home buyer, housing affordability, New South Wales, NSW, price, record low, stamp duty, Sydneylast_img read more

Update on future of Defence land in Sainte-Foy, Québec City

first_imgUpdate on future of Defence land in Sainte-Foy, Québec City From: National DefenceThe Department of National Defence (DND) has the largest infrastructure portfolio in the federal government. Effectively managing these assets, and transferring or selling properties we no longer require, are key to providing our Canadian Armed Forces’ members with the modern and green infrastructure they need.The Department of National Defence (DND) has the largest infrastructure portfolio in the federal government. Effectively managing these assets, and transferring or selling properties we no longer require, are key to providing our Canadian Armed Forces members with the modern and green infrastructure they need.As part of ongoing consultations with Indigenous groups and other interested parties about our former military housing site in the Sainte-Foy area of Québec City, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan, today announced plans to sell a parcel of the property to the province of Quebec. Nearly one hectare will go to the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur for the construction of a new high school.Consultations continue with all interested parties on possible future plans for the rest of the property (about 11 hectares). These discussions will help us make an informed decision that provides the greatest benefit to all community members.Quotes“It’s great to see this former Defence site transformed into a new high school in Québec City. It will help support the local economy by creating economic opportunities for local businesses during the COVID-19 recovery. We are continuing discussions with Indigenous groups and other interested parties to make an informed decision regarding the rest of the property.”The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence“The divestment of this property will support an important project in our community and help create construction jobs. I am pleased to see this project move forward and look forward to future announcements for this area.”The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board, and Member of Parliament for Québec, Quebec“Our government is pleased to support the government of Quebec and the Central Québec School Board with this land transfer. Their important project will support education for Anglophones in the area, many of whom are from military families posted in the community.”Joël Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert, Québec“Today’s announcement confirms the location of a future school in the heart of the Jean-Talon area. Without a doubt, the transfer of this land will allow us to provide education in an optimal setting for our secondary students.”Joëlle Boutin, Member for Jean-Talon, National Assembly of QuebecQuick factsThe transfer to the province (0.98 hectare of land) is expected in spring 2022, so it can build an English high school within the next few years, which will support the linguistic minority community in the region.About 0.29 hectare of land was also sold to the City of Québec to support its roadwork along Boulevard Hochelaga. The city’s work will improve traffic flow and public transportation, and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.These municipal and provincial projects are expected to create jobs during the construction phase and provide economic opportunities for businesses in the region.In 2016, DND consolidated military housing in the Valcartier area. As a result, the former Sainte-Foy military housing site was vacated in 2017. The housing units on the site were beyond economic repair and demolished in fall 2018 to prepare the land for future use.DND kept 2.06 hectares of the original 14.32-hectare site for the construction of the new Sainte-Foy armoury, which opened in 2018. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Canada, Central, community, Defence, education, Emergency, emergency preparedness, English, federal government, Government, Indigenous, infrastructure, parliament, President, public transport, Secretary, studentslast_img read more

Frontline workers to receive a second dose of Pfizer vaccine from today

first_imgFrontline workers to receive a second dose of Pfizer vaccine from today JOINT STATEMENTPremier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Yvette D’Ath today visited the Gold Coast to see the first Queenslander to receive her COVID-19 vaccine get the crucial second booster dose.Gold Coast University Hospital Registered Nurse Zoe Park was today (16 March 2021) administered her booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, three weeks after her initial jab.The Premier said the rollout of the second booster doses was another important milestone in the state’s fight against the virus.“So far, more than 21,000 Queenslanders have received a vaccine dose, with some now being fully vaccinated with their second shot,” the Premier said.“The more people we can get fully vaccinated, the safer all Queenslanders will be.“Our priority is to get our frontline workers vaccinated ahead of the rollout to the general population.“Zoe has set a great example by becoming one of the first Queenslanders to be fully vaccinated – and I hope that when other Queenslanders have their turn to get the vaccine, they also roll up their sleeves.”Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said more than 6,300 people had already been vaccinated at the Gold Coast University Hospital vaccination hub.“The Gold Coast made history by becoming Queensland’s first vaccination hub and it’s great to see Zoe get her second dose today,” she said.“As we ramp up our vaccine rollout our other priority groups, including older Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, will be prioritised for vaccination.“Queensland relies on the federal government for its vaccine supply and we’re calling on the Commonwealth to ensure there are enough doses available to protect Queenslanders’ health.”Zoe is among the cohort of frontline workers who are now able to receive their booster doses after waiting the minimum 21-day period from receiving the initial dose of the Pfizer vaccine.“It feels great to receive the second dose of the vaccine today and know that I am another step closer to being protected from getting really sick from COVID’,” Zoe said.“Being the first person in Queensland to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was an absolute privilege but it’s been even better to see my colleagues receiving their vaccines over the past few weeks.“Knowing that we are safe and able to keep our families and friends safe after such a difficult and uncertain year is a wonderful feeling. It has been a boost for all of us.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Aboriginal, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Australia, commonwealth, federal government, frontline workers, Gold Coast, Government, health, health minister, hospital, Palaszczuk, Pfizer, QLD, Queensland, university, vaccination, Vaccineslast_img read more

Minister Ng concludes successful meeting of Ottawa Group on WTO reform

first_imgMinister Ng concludes successful meeting of Ottawa Group on WTO reform From: Global Affairs CanadaA rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, is essential to ensuring a sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.A rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, is essential to ensuring a sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, led a meeting of the Ottawa Group where ministers discussed progress on WTO reform efforts and identified key priorities in the lead up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) and beyond.The ministers welcomed the recently appointed WTO Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who joined the meeting to share her priorities for WTO reform and collaboration with the Ottawa Group.The United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, also participated in the meeting, the first time a minister from the U.K. has engaged in the Ottawa Group.During the discussion on the three pillars of the WTO reform – negotiations, dispute settlement and transparency and monitoring, the ministers emphasized the importance of working quickly to resolve the Appellate Body impasse, concluding negotiations on fisheries subsidies, advancing work on the Joint Statement Initiatives, including domestic regulation of services, and e-commerce by MC12. Ministers also agreed to advance efforts on health, agriculture, environment, transparency, and trade and gender.Minister Ng also led a discussion on next steps on the Ottawa Group COVID-19 Action Plan where she encouraged further concrete steps on the Ottawa Group’s Trade in Health Initiative which seeks to strengthen global supply chains, as well as facilitate trade in essential medicines and medical supplies. The ministers discussed broadening support for the initiative through engagement with broader WTO Members on the issue.The ministers also agreed on the importance of the Ottawa Group engaging with the larger WTO membership, including the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai.Quotes“Canada is a trading nation. Nearly two thirds of our economy and millions of Canadian jobs depend on international trade and investment-as we prepare for a strong, inclusive economic recovery, international trade will be crucial to generate growth and create good jobs. Fair, predictable, rule-based trade creates opportunities for Canadian businesses to succeed at home and abroad. Through our leadership of the Ottawa Group, Canada is committed to making the WTO a more inclusive, modern, resilient, and transparent system for all.– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Agriculture, Canada, environment, Government, health, International trade, Katherine, leadership, Ottawa, secretary of state, settlement, Small Business, supply chain, sustainable, United Kingdom, United States, WTOlast_img read more

Rights experts concerned about alleged detention, forced labour of Uyghurs in China

first_imgRights experts concerned about alleged detention, forced labour of Uyghurs in China The United NationsIndependent UN human rights experts have urged companies to closely scrutinize their supply chains following concerns over the alleged detention and forced labour of Muslim Uyghurs in China, according to a statement issued on Monday.The experts said they have received information that connected more than 150 Chinese and foreign domiciled companies to serious allegations of human rights abuses against workers from the minority group.Well-known brands Many businesses and factories implicated in the abusive practices are reportedly operating as part of supply chains of various well-known global brands, they added.“We are deeply concerned by these allegations which, if proven, would constitute grave human rights abuses”, said the members of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights, who are among eight entities seeking to conduct fact-finding missions to China.Uyghur workers have reportedly been subjected to exploitative working and abusive living conditions, according to sources, and hundreds of thousands allegedly have been held in “re-education” facilities.Forced to work in factories Many have also reportedly been forcibly transferred to work in factories in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, located in northwest China, and elsewhere in the country.“Uyghur workers have allegedly been forcibly employed in low-skilled, labor-intensive industries, such as agribusiness, textile and garment, automotive and technological sectors”, said Dante Pesce, Chairperson of the Working Group.“While the Government of China justifies its actions relating to the treatment of Uyghurs by combatting terrorism and violent extremism, poverty alleviation or development purposes, we nevertheless respectfully urge the Government to immediately cease any such measures that are not fully compliant with international law, norms and standards relating to human rights, including the rights of minorities.”The business of human rights The UN experts have written to the Government of China, and to private businesses both inside and outside of the country that may be implicated in the alleged abuses.They have also contacted authorities in 13 countries where the businesses are domiciled or headquartered. These governments have been reminded of their duty to ensure that businesses under their territory or jurisdiction respect all human rights throughout their operations, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.“Many businesses are also implicated in these allegations, either directly or through their supply chains. Businesses must not turn a blind eye to this and must conduct meaningful human rights due diligence in line with the UN Guiding Principles to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for human rights abuses caused, contributed to or directly linked to their operations, products or services in Xinjiang and in other Chinese provinces”, said Surya Deva, Vice Chairperson of the Working Group.He added that the Chinese Government also must create an environment conducive for all businesses operating there “to conduct human rights due diligence in line with international standards.”Independent voices The 16 experts who issued the statement monitor specific human rights situations covering areas such as freedom of religion or belief, modern slavery, minority issues, human trafficking and cultural rights.They were appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, which issued their mandates, and are not UN staff, nor do they receive a salary. /UN News Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:business, China, chinese, detention, environment, freedom of religion, Government, Human Rights, human trafficking, modern slavery, Slavery, supply chain, terrorism, treatment, UN, Xinjianglast_img read more

National Living Wage extended to younger workers

first_imgNational Living Wage extended to younger workers The National Living Wage (NLW) will increase on Thursday 1 April to £8.91, giving a real-terms pay rise to millions of workers. At the same time, the age threshold for the rate will move from 25 to 23, meaning that thousands of young workers will be eligible for a higher wage floor. These changes follow recommendations made to the Government by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) and are a first step towards the target of the NLW reaching two-thirds of median earnings for workers aged 21 and over by 2024.In the 3 March Budget, the Government asked the LPC to monitor and evaluate the impact of these changes and recommend the rate that should apply from 2022. They asked the LPC to monitor developments in the labour market and advise on whether the target is achievable in the timeframe. The LPC will make its recommendations to Government on the 2022 National Minimum Wage rates in October.Bryan Sanderson, Chair of the Low Pay Commission, said:This has been an extraordinary year for all of us, but particularly for minimum wage workers, many of whom have worked throughout the pandemic in frontline roles or have worked in the sectors that have been hardest hit by lockdown measures.This week’s increase in the NLW is our first step towards the Government’s target of two-thirds of median earnings. It is a real-terms increase, meaning that an hour’s work can buy more than it could last year, at the start of the pandemic. The level of the new rate however also reflects the need to protect workers from job losses.Importantly, the NLW will now apply to workers aged 23 and over. This is an important change which is strongly endorsed by the Commission. Young people should be fairly rewarded for their work. We will seek to understand how young people’s pay and employment are affected by this in our consideration of a further reduction in the NLW age qualification to 21.The LPC has today published a short report which outlines how we will respond to our remit and approach our recommendations on the April 2022 rates, in the context of economic uncertainty and recovery from the pandemic. The report sets out a pathway to the target of two-thirds of median earnings. Our best current estimate for the on-course NLW rate in 2022 is £9.42, a 5.7 per cent increase. However, this is subject to more uncertainty than usual and is likely to change. We will publish an updated path in the summer.The other rates of the National Minimum Wage will also increase alongside the NLW.Previous rateRate from April 2021IncreaseNational Living Wage£8.72£8.912.2%21-22 Year Old Rate£8.20£8.362.0%18-20 Year Old Rate£6.45£6.561.7%16-17 Year Old Rate£4.55£4.621.5%Apprentice Rate£4.15£4.303.6%Accommodation Offset£8.20£8.362.0% /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Commission, employment, Government, Impact, job loss, lockdown, market, minimum wage, national minimum wage, pandemic, pay rise, UK, UK Government, younglast_img read more

A Proclamation on World Autism Awareness Day, 2021

first_imgA Proclamation on World Autism Awareness Day, 2021 The White HouseOn World Autism Awareness Day, we celebrate the countless ways that people with autism contribute to our families, our communities, our Nation, and the world, and we shine a light on the systemic barriers people with autism face in their daily lives.More than 2 percent of American adults and 1 in every 54 of our children have autism — a community of millions who deserve to live full lives of dignity and respect. My Administration is committed to funding cutting-edge research to help us to better understand autism and related health conditions in order to improve quality of life for people with autism and their families in every community.Recent Government initiatives have focused on detecting autism in the first year of life, funding new national research networks to improve our knowledge of autism, and advancing services and support to help Americans with autism live independently in their communities. A recent apprenticeship initiative from the Department of Labor seeks to open up career pathways for people with autism and other developmental disabilities in thriving fields like information technology and health care. Investments like these and others that we continue to pursue are critical to expanding possibilities and improving life for all people with autism.Meanwhile, agencies across the Federal Government are working to protect the rights of all people with disabilities — including people with autism — while also advancing equity when it comes to accessing vital services and supports. Our research agencies are working to reduce barriers in access to early diagnoses, interventions, and services for people with autism — including those from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and rural communities — and to incorporate the perspectives of individuals with autism in scientific research. For too long, disparities in access to health care, education, and services have placed an undue burden on individuals with disabilities and their loved ones, particularly those from underserved communities. My Administration is committed to addressing these inequities in partnership with the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and the National Autism Coordinator of the Department of Health and Human Services.We also recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unique disruptions to, and placed new strains on, the lives of individuals with autism and their families. All Americans should be grateful for the creativity and dedication of educators, health care providers, and others who have rapidly adapted to the limitations of the pandemic by offering virtual learning, telehealth appointments, and other remote services. My Administration is working tirelessly to get America vaccinated, get our children safely back in school, and deliver direct economic relief to families across the country in order to end this year of disruption and alleviate as much of the burden as possible. In addition, agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Education are hard at work developing data-driven guidance to help people with disabilities and their families mitigate the far-reaching effects of the pandemic.Today, we honor those with autism and recommit ourselves to providing them and their families with the investment, support, and care they need to live independently, fully participate in their communities, and live fulfilling lives of dignity and opportunity.NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2021, as World Autism Awareness Day. I call upon all Americans to learn more about autism to improve early diagnosis, to learn more about the experiences of autistic people from autistic people, and to build more welcoming and inclusive communities to support people with autism.IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:america, american, apprenticeship, Constitution, creativity, Department of Health, developmental, Federal, federal government, first year, Government, health, Human Services, prevention, technology, telehealth, United States, White Houselast_img read more

Statement from President on Beginning of Ramadan

first_imgStatement from President on Beginning of Ramadan The White HouseJill and I send our warmest greetings and best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.As many of our fellow Americans begin fasting tomorrow, we are reminded of how difficult this year has been. In this pandemic, friends and loved ones cannot yet gather together in celebration and congregation, and far too many families will sit down for iftar with loved ones missing.Yet, our Muslim communities begin the month of revelation with renewed hope. Many will focus on increasing their consciousness of the presence of God in their lives, reaffirming their commitment to the service of others that their faith compels, and expressing gratitude for the blessings they enjoy-health, well-being, and life itself.Muslim Americans have enriched our country since our founding. They are as diverse and vibrant as the America they have helped build. Today, Muslims are leading in our efforts to fight COVID-19, playing a pioneering role in vaccine development and serving as frontline health care workers. They are creating jobs as entrepreneurs and business owners, risking their lives as first responders, teaching in our schools, serving as dedicated public servants across the nation, and playing a leading role in our ongoing struggle for racial equity and social justice.But still, Muslim Americans continue to be targeted by bullying, bigotry, and hate crimes. This prejudice and these attacks are wrong. They are unacceptable. And they must stop. No one in America should ever live in fear of expressing his or her faith. And my administration will work tirelessly to protect the rights and safety of all people.On my first day as President, I was proud to end the shameful Muslim travel ban, and I will continue to stand up for human rights everywhere, including for Uyghurs in China, Rohingya in Burma, and Muslim communities all over the world.As we remember those who we have lost since last Ramadan, we are hopeful for brighter days ahead. The Holy Qur’an reminds us that “God is the light of the heavens and earth,” who leads us out of darkness to the light. Although our White House festivities will be held virtually this Ramadan, Jill and I look forward to resuming the traditional White House Eid celebration in person next year, inshallah. We wish your families an inspiring and rewarding month. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:america, bullying, business, China, covid-19, entrepreneurs, Government, hate crime, Human Rights, pandemic, President, Rohingya, social justice, travel ban, United States, vaccine development, White Houselast_img read more

Minister Wilkinson and John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

first_imgMinister Wilkinson and John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate From: Environment and Climate Change CanadaReadoutToday, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, spoke with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, during the second meeting of the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Ambition.Today, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, spoke with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, during the second meeting of the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Ambition.During the meeting, Minister Wilkinson and Secretary Kerry took stock of each country’s progress toward increasing the scope and scale of climate action at home, their efforts to encourage other countries to do the same, as well as their shared progress in identifying and implementing bilateral climate cooperation opportunities over the last few months. In this context, both countries welcomed early progress made to date under the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Ambition, reiterating their commitment to enhance their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement by the U.S.‑led Climate Summit that will take place on April 22, 2021.Minister Wilkinson underscored the importance of an aligned, enhanced ambition on methane reduction standards and transportation standards relating to fuel efficiency and the deployment of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), recognizing that this will enable both countries to increase their respective NDC ambitions. Minister Wilkinson reaffirmed Canada’s interest in taking a continental approach to addressing methane emission reductions from the oil and gas sector. The Minister proposed to build on the objective to reduce North American emissions by 40% by 2025-which Canada has continued to pursue over the last four years-toward the potential for a more aggressive 2030 policy reflecting recent statements by the International Energy Agency that countries should target a 75% emission reduction against forecast emissions. He also noted Canada and the United States’ commitment to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050 and the importance of aligned LDV and HDV standards – building on the progress that Canada has made with California in recent years in this area – and to implement a 100% ZEV sales target as soon as possible.Both countries reaffirmed that climate action and job creation go hand-in-hand, and agreed that Canada and the U.S. are more aligned in this view and in their climate objectives than ever before. Recognizing that major economies around the world are aggressively embracing low-carbon solutions to attract more investment and create more good jobs for their citizens, the two countries agreed that continued bilateral collaboration will ensure North American workers and industries can attract their fair share of global investment in the increasingly competitive low-carbon world.Minister Wilkinson and Secretary Kerry also reiterated the importance of other areas of work under the Climate Dialogue, including on adaptation, sustainable finance, nature‑based solutions, and smart agriculture. Minister Wilkinson identified the potential to align a Canadian and US Buy Clean approach to greening government, as a means to enhance climate change ambitions and trade opportunities.Minister Wilkinson and Special Envoy Kerry emphasized that the Dialogue serves to align policies and approaches to create jobs, while tackling climate change and inequality, and enhancing adaptation and resilience to climate impacts. They agreed to continue working together with a view to concrete policy outcomes in advance of COP 26 following this month’s Earth Day Summit. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Agriculture, america, american, california, Canada, climate change, climate summit, Earth, environment, Government, Kerry, North America, Paris, sustainable, U.S., United States, zero-emissionlast_img read more

204 police recruits sworn in at attestation ceremony

first_img204 police recruits sworn in at attestation ceremony The NSW Police Force welcomed 204 new probationary constables at the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn today (Friday 23 April 2021).Family and friends were able to watch on as Class 346 attested in a full attestation ceremony that featured the Police Band, Pipe Band, Mounted Unit and VIP cycles.Class 346 includes 149 men and 55 women who will undertake a year of on-the-job training and complete the Associate Degree in Policing Practice by distance education with Charles Sturt University before being confirmed to the rank of constable.Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mr David Elliott congratulated the newest recruits in Goulburn.“Police officers perform a crucial role in protecting the community. As the probationary constables of Class 346 step into their law enforcement duties they can know that they have the full support of this government,” Mr Elliott said.“I commend their choice to pursue a career in policing, where they will serve the community and keep this state safe.”In 2019 the NSW Government announced the delivery of 1500 additional officers over four years, and the government has further committed to a $60 million upgrade to Goulburn Police Academy.Acting Police Commissioner David Hudson APM welcomed the latest intake of probationary constables.“Our newest probationary constables join the Force at a critical time, as we move beyond the trials of 2020,” he said.“As an organisation, we are constantly forced to face new and emerging challenges and I can assure our attesting police recruits that they are embarking on a satisfying and rewarding career.“I welcome Class 346 and wish them well as they start at their new stations next Monday. They will be a valuable addition to our policing capabilities across the state.”Education and Training Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Barrie, acknowledged the dedication and achievement of the Class 346 recruits as they attest today.“Our attesting recruits will now head to their stations to take on their role as probationary constables and serve communities across the state,” Assistant Commissioner Barrie said.“Today’s ceremony follows eight months of commitment to becoming a police officer and today we celebrate their achievement.“They have passed this very significant milestone and can now look forward to a challenging and fulfilling career with the NSW Police Force,” he said.FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT CLASS 346A total of 204 recruits are being sworn in today.The class comprises 149 men and 55 women.The students will attest with the rank of probationary constable. Recruits will report to their stations for work from Monday 26 April 2021.They will then complete 12 months’ on-the-job training and study by distance education with Charles Sturt University. They officially graduate with an Associate Degree in Policing Practice once they have passed all academic and operation standards. The officers will then be confirmed to the rank of constable.Of the probationary constables attesting today, 182 were born in Australia and 22 were born overseas. Their countries of origin include Iraq, Pakistan and India.Six recruits are indigenous, with 1 recruit joining through the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) program.Class 346 comprises:18-20 – 3121-25 – 10026-30 – 4231-35 – 2036-40 – 7Over 40 – 4For interviews with recruits going to specific areas, please contact the relevant Police Area Command or Police District on Monday 26 April 2021. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Commissioner, community, education, Emergency, Emergency Services, Goulburn, Government, India, Indigenous, Iraq, New South Wales, NSW, NSW Police, operation, Pakistan, police, universitylast_img read more

Statement on National Day of Mourning

first_imgStatement on National Day of Mourning From: Employment and Social Development CanadaThe Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, issued the following statement today on the National Day of Mourning:The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, issued the following statement today on the National Day of Mourning:“Everyone has the right to a healthy and safe working environment. Sadly, not all workplaces are safe. Every year, thousands of Canadians are killed, injured or suffer workplace-related illnesses on the job.Thirty years ago, the Parliament of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act, making April 28 an official Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace in Canada. Every year on this day, we pause to pay our respects and remember these workers. We honour them and acknowledge the grief felt by their family and friends who miss their lost loved ones or have had to see them suffer from injury.The COVID-19 pandemic has once again highlighted the importance of health and safety in the workplace. Important measures, such as the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, have been put in place to protect workers and to make sure Canada’s front-line and essential workers are supported. Today, we also reflect on these workers and their families across Canada.As we pause to reflect, it is important to remember that April 28 also represents a day of action. That is why the Government of Canada is renewing its commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths. Better health and safety in the workplace happens through diligent, deliberate actions carried out by workers and employers. However, our government recognizes that more can and must be done to make our workplaces safe and to give Canadian workers confidence in the laws that exist to protect them.The 1992 Westray mine tragedy resulted in legislative changes regarding how to establish the criminal liability of corporations for workplace deaths and injuries. This includes the enactment of a legal duty in the Criminal Code for people who direct the work of others to take reasonable steps to prevent harm to workers and the public. The violation of this duty can lead to a criminal conviction and result in significant penalties.The federal government has been working collaboratively with its partners and stakeholders to make sure that the Criminal Code’s Westray provisions are properly understood and applied effectively. Last year, as part of this work, we published a series of fact sheets regarding criminal liability for workplace deaths and injuries: Background on the Westray Law, Criminal Code offences and their application by the courts, and Sentencing of individuals and organizations.Since then, the federal government has worked with employee representatives, employers, and the provinces and territories to develop training resources, such as the online course entitled Investigating Serious Injuries and Fatalities in the Workplace. This training has been endorsed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and is available to law enforcement officers, prosecutors and labour inspectors via the Canadian Police Knowledge Network. Effective investigations facilitate prosecutions where criminal wrongdoing exists, and are one aspect of building a more robust culture of workplace safety.Taken together, these resources will lead to a greater understanding of roles and responsibilities-for employers, regulatory health and safety inspectors, police and prosecutors-regarding occupational health and safety and criminal conduct, and will contribute to healthier and safer workplaces for everyone.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:attorney-general, building, Canada, covid-19, Criminal, Emergency, emergency preparedness, environment, federal government, Government, health and safety, Minister, occupational health, pandemic, parliament, resourceslast_img read more

New study on airborne transmission of Covid-19 helping to kick-start large-scale events

first_imgNew study on airborne transmission of Covid-19 helping to kick-start large-scale events A new study involving the University of Nottingham will investigate how we can safely use and ventilate non-residential buildings like concert stadiums after lockdown to minimise the risk of airborne transmission of Covid-19 and other viruses.The government-funded AIRBODS (Airborne Infection Reduction through Building Operation and Design for SARS-CoV-2) project will help get large-scale events back up and running, with trials currently taking place at several ‘test’ venues including the O2 arena and Wembley Stadium.Data collected from a nightclub event in Liverpool and the Crucible’s Snooker World Championship is already being analysed.The 18-month study is being led by Loughborough University, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, University College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Sheffield and London South Bank University. The project aims to create clear guidance on how to design and operate non-domestic buildings.Inadequate ventilation has been highlighted as a risk factor in terms of the possible airborne transmission (the primary mode) of Covid-19 in buildings. AIRBODS aims to quantify the risk of this transmission through a combination of experimental work, measurement of environmental factors in non-domestic buildings, and computer modelling.The team are currently monitoring the indoor air quality and the movement of air at different locations around the test venues to try and understand the impact of ventilation, and then relate this to the number of people present at an event and the microbiological analysis of surfaces and air around the venue.AIRBODs co-investigator Dr Benjamin Jones, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham. He is an architectural engineer with a research interest in ventilation and indoor air quality and its effect on health. He recently contributed to a SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group report on the role of ventilation in controlling SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The findings of which subsequently influenced the UK Government’s Covid-19 response and made headlines in the national media. “Our models will consider the relative risk of different scenarios by assessing a range of factors, including the activities people do inside the buildings – for example, a workout in a gym or singing in a church changes a person’s breathing rate and the number and size of aerosols that may contain virus – as well as how the building itself performs, in terms of ventilation, the number of occupants, and its volume. Our guidance will be shared via the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and we hope this will influence building regulations and the future design of non-domestic buildings to improve their resilience to future pandemics and climate change.” Speaking about the research, AIRBODS project lead, Professor Malcolm Cook from Loughborough said: “Getting our lives back to some sense of normal following the pandemic is a huge challenge and doing it in a safe and measured way even more so.“The large-scale events industry has been shut down for over a year. The work we are doing will help get these types of events and venues back up and running in a safe way, providing scientifically proven information and advice on ventilation and building management, to reduce the risk of airborne transmission of Covid-19, and other viruses, as much as possible.“But it will not only benefit this sector, it can be used in all non-domestic settings, including healthcare, education and retail. Our approach to the research will also mean the knowledge and tools we generate will be relevant for the mitigation of a wide range of airborne hazards across the spectrum of indoor environments for many years to come.“The data we have already been able to collect from the events in Liverpool and Sheffield is proving very interesting and we look forward to learning as much as we can from it.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:air quality, architecture, Cambridge, climate change, Cook, environment, Government, liverpool, London, resilience, Sheffield, UK, UK Government, university, University of Cambridge, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffieldlast_img read more

COVID-19: Focus on Substance Use and Stigma

first_imgCOVID-19: Focus on Substance Use and Stigma From: Public Health Agency of CanadaOn May 9, 2021, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement on COVID-19.This past week was Mental Health Week. This is a longstanding Canadian tradition in which communities, schools and workplaces come together to celebrate, protect and promote mental health. This week, through some of my daily statements and remarks, I have discussed some of the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and shared some useful and readily available resources.This year’s Mental Health Week theme, #GetReal, is about expressing our emotions and getting the help and support we need. It is an important and fitting message to promote during this time when it is normal to be experiencing difficult emotions, like fear, loneliness, anger, and grief.Some people however, may find it difficult to open up about the challenges they are facing because of stigmas and discrimination, which can also affect access to the supports they need. This can have serious negative impacts on our mental health and use of substances like alcohol and drugs.The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to significantly increased substance use and related harms. It has also intensified the existing overdose crisis in Canada, resulting in what some are referring to as a “dual crisis”. I remain deeply concerned by these trends. Mental Health Week and today’s Sunday Edition are opportunities to raise awareness about this serious public health issue. COVID-19 Pandemic – Impact on People Who Use SubstancesThe COVID-19 pandemic has had serious negative consequences for people who use drugs and other substances. A report released just this week by the Canadian Institutes for Health Information highlights that more Canadians required hospital care for harm caused by substances such as alcohol, opioids, and stimulants between March and September 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.For some Canadians, the stress, isolation, and uncertainty of the pandemic has led to increased substance use as a means to cope. For example, 15 percent of Canadians have reported increased alcohol use during the pandemic. Additionally, public health measures that have been put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19, such as physical distancing and limited trips outside the home, have had broader impacts including increased social isolation and reduced access to services, such as in-person support groups, substance use treatment programs, and harm reduction services. These measures can increase the risk of substance-related harms, including, for example, by increasing the likelihood that people will use substances alone.These factors have resulted in particularly dire consequences in the context of the ongoing overdose crisis. Prior to the pandemic, there had been a 13 percent decrease in opioid overdose deaths in Canada between 2018 and 2019, suggesting that efforts to address the crisis were making gains, particularly in British Columbia and Alberta. The COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, has set back this progress. The latest national data indicates that in many areas of Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the crisis, with the rates of overdoses, deaths, and other substance-related harms increasing over the past year. Between July and September 2020, 1,705 opioid overdose deaths were reported in Canada, representing the highest quarterly count since national surveillance began in 2016. Putting an end to substance use stigmaThere is an urgent need for increased action to support people who use substances. One way that we can do so is by reducing stigma. People who use substances experience considerable stigma and discrimination in their daily life. Stigma can make people feel ashamed of their drug use and make it hard for them and their loved ones to get help.Stigma is prevalent in the health system and contributes to barriers to accessing and receiving appropriate care. A well-documented example of this is how stigma has created barriers to accessing effective treatment for opioid-use disorders. For many individuals, these barriers have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.There are small ways that each of us can help. Change can start by being aware of the assumptions we make about people who use drugs and other substances. We need to keep in mind that substance use disorders are a medical condition, deserving of care and treatment just like any other, and remain open-minded and not let our judgements or assumptions colour the way we think of someone. Everyone has a story, and for people experiencing substance-related harms, we know that their’s often includes trauma. Kindness and respect are Canadian traits, and these traits are particularly important for those negatively impacted by trauma and substance use. The words we use matter. You can find a guide to non-stigmatizing language here.Reducing stigma in the health system requires concrete actions by leaders and professionals. This lexicon and primer provide information on safe and compassionate communication for health professionals and evidence-based interventions to help reduce systemic stigma in health systems. My 2019 Annual Report also looks at the ways in which different stigmas intersect and provides examples of interventions and promising initiatives to address stigma across individual, interpersonal, institutional, and population levels.While reducing stigma can help, our actions must not stop there. Substance use and mental health intersect in complex ways and it is important that whenever we are talking to, supporting or treating someone struggling with substance use and mental health challenges, that we consider the whole person and meet them where they are at in their journey. Evidence-based and innovative services that take this approach, like distribution of take-home naloxone kits, harm reduction services and safer supply programs are critical for saving lives. Improving access to and the availability of these services and addressing the unique needs of different populations must continue to be an urgent area focus. Recent Progress and the Path Forward /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:British, Canada, communication, covid-19, Government, health, hospital, isolation, loneliness, mental health, mental health week, overdose, pandemic, public health, resources, surveillance, treatmentlast_img read more

£58,000 invested in fisheries in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk

first_img£58,000 invested in fisheries in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk This financial year, over 170 projects were funded by the Environment Agency’s Fisheries Improvement Programme (FIP).The FIP funding has been matched by partners including local angling clubs and fisheries, resulting in a total estimated investment of over £3.2 million.The Environment Agency fisheries teams in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk were assigned just over £58,000 to deliver local improvements which would benefit wildlife and anglers.In Essex £10,000 has been allocated to help set up a new fishery for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.The Environment Agency, in partnership with iCarp, are renovating Lifted Lakes near Harwich. The venue will be used to teach fishing to those with mental health issues.One of the fishing platforms created with iCarp at Lifted Lakes near Harwich.The money is being used to fund treatment rooms, shower facilities and fishing platforms. The venue is also intended to be used as a base for treatment and future mental health research.Ben Norrington, Fisheries officer in Essex, said:The project is in early stages but work is well underway with treatment rooms, toilets and lake restoration.Updates through the year will be documented and we hope to see people enjoying fishing here by autumn.Our FIP contribution to the iCarp project means we can reach out via angling to better people’s mental well-being.One of the treatment rooms created with the FIP funding at Lifted Lakes in Essex.In Norfolk Cawston Angling Club received £6,000 to help with their Booton Clay Pit lake. The lake was overrun with water solider, a rare plant which grows in ponds and lakes. Due the intense spread of the plant fishing becomes impossible until it is removed.One of the fishing banks stabilised at Booton Clay pit.The money was also used to stabilise the fishing banks resulting in improved access for anglers.A fishing bank stabilised at Booton Clay pit.Another 8 projects also benefited from the FIP funding, they include installation of toilet facilities and improvements to access at Hadleigh and District Angling Society. The building of 2 accessible angling platforms at Scole Nature Trails Trust, and an in-depth research program on the movement of sea trout in Norfolk.Roger Handford, Environment Agency Senior Fisheries Advisor said:Anglers often ask us about how we spend the money raised from the sale of fishing licences. The FIP is a prime example of the wide range of activities this income pays for in order to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries.Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Manager said:All of the projects we fund must demonstrate benefits for anglers. The Fisheries Improvement Programme allows us to identify and invest in work supporting a local, sustainable future for angling.The programme is a great demonstration of our partnership efforts, many of the projects completed with the support of land owners, local businesses and fisheries. It’s a real team effort! The more people who go fishing, the more we can invest.Looking forward, the Environment Agency wants to hear from more clubs and fisheries about the work and projects they would like to see undertaken. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:building, demonstration, environment, Fisheries, fishing, Government, Investment, mental, mental health, military, Norfolk, project, research, Society, sustainable, treatment, UK, UK Government, wildlifelast_img read more

$1.8 million announced for Maryborough Railway Station Activation Proj

first_img$1.8 million announced for Maryborough Railway Station Activation Proj Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited the Central Goldfields yesterday (19/05) to announce $1.8 million in funding for the Maryborough Railway Station Activation Project.The funding, as part of the Victorian Government’s Stronger Regional Communities Program, marks stage two of the project, which will build on the recent relocation of the Central Goldfields Visitor Information Centre and the opening of the new co-working space.Council will contribute a further $200,000 making Stage 2 a $2 million project.The Maryborough Railway Station Activation Project is one of Council’s Priority Projects and a key feature in its Tourism and Events and Economic Development strategies.Council’s vision is to see the station building become a welcoming hub of activity in the centre of the wider Goldfields Region telling the rich stories of the Goldfields in dynamic contemporary ways and nurturing creative enterprises.It will be a place of immense community pride and enjoyment and also provide an attractive co-working space to support new business.Central Goldfields Shire Mayor Cr Chris Meddows-Taylor thanked the Victorian Government for their investment to this iconic heritage building.“The announcement of funding this week will mean we can increase visitation by providing immersive, engaging and incredibly exciting contemporary experiences that promote further exploration of our Shire and the entire Goldfields region.”“This will help our tourism and hospitality sector leverage off the opportunities that emerge from the Victorian Goldfields World Heritage bid as it evolves. We will tell that exciting story showing why the Central Victorian Goldfields is unique in the history of the world.”Stage Two of the Maryborough Railway Station Activation Project will also include:• New studio and exhibition spaces will showcase emerging local creative enterprises.• Our new co-working space will be extended and enhanced to support local micro-business establishment and resilience.• Enhanced weather protection for the platform space adjacent to the café and Visitor Information Centre will create more flexible year-round spaces and take advantage of the beautiful lantern roof that is a distinguishing feature of this 19th-Century station architecture.• Improved accessibility to meet 21st-Century standards will enable currently unused spaces to be opened up to the public. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Accessibility, architecture, building, business, Central, Central Goldfields, Central Goldfields Shire Council, community, Economic Development, Exhibition, exploration, Government, Investment, local council, Maryborough, regional development, resilience, Victoria, weatherlast_img read more