Twitter Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Of all the good things that I might wish for our friends and neighbours to the south, the most frequent is surely health care.That is, publicly funded, universally accessible health care of the kind we enjoy in Canada; it may be an imperfect system, but at least it seems pretty fair. So, I applauded when former U.S. president Barack Obama succeeded in expanding health insurance to millions more Americans, and I watched with alarm as President Donald Trump tried to claw that progress back. Sure, he failed, but don’t think he won’t try again once he gets this Congress thing figured out.So, that’s why, in these disheartening times, I have turned to Designated Survivor. Accidental chief executive Tom Kirkman, a fundamentally decent guy tossed into the Oval Office when a bomb kills the president and the entire cabinet, will get that health-care thing happening. I’m sure of it. After all, president Kirkman is played by the Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, grandson of Tommy Douglas, the premier of Saskatchewan who introduced North America’s first universal health-care system in the 1960s – and a beloved figure who television viewers voted greatest Canadian ever in a 2004 contest on the CBC. Health-care reform must run thick in Kirkman’s veins.Since the great success of The West Wing in the 2000s, American TV has thrown up all kinds of shows that feature the president as a fictional character and, whatever their initial dramatic impetus, audiences soon fashion them as alternative political realities, more comforting, more truthful or more interesting than the actual times in which they are aired.
“I just welcomed key members of National Freedom Front, who joined Sri Lanka Freedom Party,” the President tweeted after handing over the SLFP membership to the three NFF members. Key National Freedom Front members joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today.Deputy Leader of the NFF (Jathika Nidhahas Peramuna) Weerakumara Dissanayake, former National Organizer of the NFF, Piyasiri Wijenayake and NFF provincial council member P.B. Kumara obtained SLFP membership from President Maithripala Sirisena today. Weerakumara Dissanayake, a member of Parliament, and Piyasiri Wijenayake had in the recent past made statements critical of NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa. Dissanayake had accused Weerawansa of blocking moves by the joint opposition to unite with the SLFP. (Colombo Gazette)
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a lung cancer cell during cell division Oxford University released on Wednesday a set of sample interview questions, and answers, in an attempt to debunk “myths” surrounding the process as the application deadline looms.The prestigious university has released its annual sample of questions as part of a continuing bid to demystify its admissions process.Why do older siblings do better on IQ tests than their younger counterparts? What exactly do you think is involved in blaming someone? These are among the questions that candidates may face in an Oxford interview.”Interviews will be an entirely new experience for most students, and we know many prospective applicants are already worried about being in an unfamiliar place and being questioned by people they have not met – so to help students to become familiar with the type of questions they might get asked we release these real examples,” said Dr Samina Khan, Director of Admissions and Outreach at Oxford.’How can I increase my chances of getting into Oxford?’Dr Khan explained that the questions are designed to give candidates a chance to show their real ability and potential and not to “catch students out.””No matter what kind of educational background or opportunities you have had, the interview should be an opportunity to show off your interest and ability in your chosen subject, since they are not about reciting what you already know,” Dr Khan said. A large study appears to show that older siblings consistently score higher than younger siblings on IQ tests. Why would this be?(Sample question for Experimental Psychology)This is a question that really asks students to think about lots of different aspects of psychology, and we guide students when discussing it to think about both scientific factors such as maternal age (mothers are older when younger siblings are born – could that play a role?) and observational analysis about how birth order might affect behaviour and therefore performance on IQ tests.It’s a great question because students begin from the point they are most comfortable with, and we gradually add more information to see how they respond: for example, noting that the pattern holds true even taking into account things like maternal age. Here is a sample of some of the questions and answers:What makes a novel or play ‘political’?(Sample question for Modern Languages – French)This is the sort of question that could emerge from a student’s personal statement, where, in speaking about their engagement with literature and culture of the language they want to study, they state a keen interest in works (of whatever type they mention, such as a novel, play or film) that are ‘political’.We might start off by discussing the specific work that they cite (something that isn’t included in their A-level syllabus), so they have chance to start off on something concrete and familiar, asking, for instance, ‘in what ways?’, ‘why?’, ‘why might someone not enjoy it for the same reason?’.We’d then look to test the extent of their intellectual curiosity and capacities for critical engagement by broadening the questioning out to be more conceptually orientated and invite them to make comparisons between things that they’ve read/seen (in whatever language). So, in posing the overall question ‘what makes this political?’ we’d want the candidate to start thinking about what one means in applying the label: what aspects of a work does it evoke? Is it a judgment about content or style?Could it be seen in and of itself a value judgment? How useful is it as a label? What if we said that all art is, in fact, political?What about cases where an author denies that their work is political, but critics assert that it is – is it purely a question of subjective interpretation? And so on.The interviewers would provide prompt questions to help guide the discussion. A strong candidate would show ready willingness and very good ability to engage and develop their ideas in conversation.It would be perfectly fine for someone to change their mind in the course of the discussion or come up with a thought that contradicted something they’d said before – we want people to think flexibly and be willing to consider different perspectives; ideally, they would recognise themselves that they were changing their viewpoint, and such awareness could indicate aptitude for sustained, careful reflection rather than a ‘scattergun’ effect of lots of different points that aren’t developed or considered in a probing way.Undoubtedly, the candidate would need to take a moment to think in the middle of all that – we expect that ‘ermmm’, ‘ah’, ‘oh’, ‘well’, etc. will feature in someone’s responses!About 1 in 4 deaths in the UK is due to some form of cancer, yet in the Philippines the figure is only around 1 in 10. What factors might underlie this difference?(Sample question for Medicine) This is a typically open question, with no single ‘correct’ answer, which aims to stimulate the sort of discussion that might be encountered in a tutorial teaching session. The discussion could take any one of a number of directions, according to the candidate’s interests.Some candidates will ask useful clarifying questions, such as ‘Where do these data come from, and how reliable are they?’, or ‘What is the average life expectancy in these parts of the world?’. Some candidates will seize on the idea that various aspects of the typical lifestyle in the UK are inherently unhealthy, which can make for an interesting discussion in itself.Others, especially if they appreciate that life expectancy in the Philippines is substantially lower than in the UK, will realise that other causes of death are more common in the developing world, and that this is the major factor that gives rise to the difference alluded to in the question.This probes selection criteria including problem-solving, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, communication skills, ability to listen and compatibility with the tutorial format.What exactly do you think is involved in blaming someone?(Sample question for PPE – and other philosophy courses)Questions like this help draw out a candidate’s ability to think carefully and precisely about a familiar concept, evaluating proposals, coming up with counter-examples, disentangling considerations, and being creative in proposing alternative approaches.Obviously the notion of blame is an important one in moral theory but insofar as blame is an emotional attitude it also brings in issues in the philosophy of mind. Debates about the nature of blame are going on right now in philosophy so the question is also partly a prompt for doing some philosophy together – which is exactly what we hope to achieve in a tutorial.With a question like this we’re not looking for a right answer but instead whether the candidate can be creative in coming up with examples and suggestions, and can think critically and carefully through their implications. So, for example, many candidates start out by suggesting that for A to blame B, A would have to think that B had done something wrong. This can lead them to think about what the dynamics of being an older sibling might be that produce such an effect – they might suggest that having more undivided parental attention in the years before a sibling comes along makes a difference, for example.Then we introduce the further proviso that the effect isn’t observable in only children – there is something particular to being an older sibling that produces it. Eventually most students arrive at the conclusion that being an older sibling and having to teach a younger sibling certain skills and types of knowledge benefits their own cognitive skills (learning things twice, in effect).But there isn’t really a ‘right’ answer and we are always interested to hear new explanations that we haven’t heard before. What we are interested in is the kinds of reasoning students use and the questions they ask about the study – what it takes into account, what it might not – that tells us about their suitability for the course. And of course it doesn’t matter if you have a sibling or not – though depending on family dynamics, that can add an interesting twist to the conversation! What’s the worst interview question you’ve had thrown at you? How would you go answering Oxford interview questions? https://t.co/6jzj9koUpL pic.twitter.com/vQnWUpEobU— Oxford University (@UniofOxford) 11 October 2016 “It is often best to start responding by making very obvious observations and build up discussion from there – solving the problem quickly is less important than showing how you use information and analysis to get there,” Dr Khan explained. “We know there are still misunderstandings about the Oxford interview, so we put as much information as possible out there to allow students to see the reality of the process.”We now have mock interviews online, video diaries made by admissions tutors during the interview process, and lots of example questions to help students to familiarise themselves with what the process is – and isn’t – about,” said Dr Khan. Many might also make the point that B needn’t actually have done anything wrong. We can use this opening suggestion to consider a simple theory of blame: blame is just thinking that someone has done something wrong.When this is put to candidates, most recognize that blame seems to involve more than this. This shows their capacity to evaluate a proposal, and we’ll typically ask them to illustrate their verdict with a counter-example: a case where someone thinks someone has done something wrong but doesn’t blame them.Candidates will then be encouraged to offer and test out more sophisticated proposals about the nature of blame. Some might suggest that blame involves a more complex judgement than just that someone has done something wrong.Others instead might argue that real blame requires feelings of some kind on the part of the blamer: anger, or resentment, for example. And again we can put these proposals to the test by looking for counter-examples. Good interviews will often generate all kinds of interesting and revealing discussions that show a candidate’s ability for analytical thought: for example about self-blame, cases of blame where the blamer knew the blamed had done nothing wrong, and indeed cases of blaming something inanimate (such as a faulty printer or phone). Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Last week, it was announced amid fanfare as the jewel in the Radio 4 Christmas crown.On Thursday a production of King Lear, starring Glenda Jackson, was quietly dropped from the schedules in a mistake bound to cause red faces all round.The radio drama, which follows Jackson’s star performance in the play at the Old Vic theatre, was pencilled in for two and a half hours of Boxing Day airtime. Credit:Alastair Muir Libby Purves will continue to present on Radio 4Credit:Tina Norris/Rex Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The BBC has cancelled the broadcastCredit:Carl Court /Getty A spokesman for Radio 4 emphasised that the decision to cancel the radio play was “unrelated to Glenda”, with a Christmas Day documentary about the landmark production still due to go ahead.”As you know, every now and then we have to make changes to our scheduling,” she said.”We were looking forward to bringing King Lear to Radio 4 audiences this Boxing Day, but unfortunately on this occasion we were not able to progress with this production as planned.”This is unrelated to Glenda, and her ‘Making of King Lear’ documentary scheduled for Christmas Day will go ahead. “The Boxing Day broadcast will be replaced by one of the drama highlights of the year – Unmade Movies: Hitchcock’s The Blind Man starring Hugh Laurie.” News of its cancellation came as Radio 4 announced it would also be scrapping its Midweek programme after 34 years, replacing it with two programmes about the arts.Fulfilling Lord Hall’s pledge to put arts at the centre of the BBC, it announced Libby Purves will now present a new theatre show, while a second programme will feature prominent artists interviewing one another. We were looking forward to bringing King Lear to Radio 4 audiences this Boxing Day, but unfortunately on this occasion we were not able to progress with this production as plannedRadio 4 spokesman But the translation from stage to the airwaves has proved impossible, it appears, as the BBC admits “we were not able to progress with this production as planned”.The Stage, the theatre industry trade paper, blamed the complexities of making the audio production work, which proved too great for programme-makers.While there had been speculation about Jackson’s stamina at the age of 80, the actress has performed a full run of gruelling stage shows, due to come to an Saturday. While the theatre version was directed by Deborah Warner, the radio dramatisation was due to be directed by Susan Roberts and Pauline Harris.Speaking as the show was announced last week, Jackson had said: “This is a very exciting prospect for us all. It will be very interesting to see how the play transfers from stage to microphone [and radio]. I look forward to it.”
The five accused Orlando Dickie, Radesh Motie, Diodath Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, and Niran Yacoob are accused of murdering Narinedatt between October 31 and November 1, 2016, at Number 70 Village, Berbice.After Magistrate, Charlyn Artiga announced that a prima facie case was made out against the five men charged for the killing of Faiyaz Narinedatt, Attorney for the accused will now be required to lead his defence.The Attorney, Sanjeev Dadatin had made a no case submission for his clients however after overruling same, Artiga made her ruling.As such, Datadin is now expected to lead his defence on September 28 at the Number 51 Magistrate’s Court.The five accused Orlando Dickie, Radesh Motie, Diodath Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, and Niran Yacoob are accused of murdering Narinedatt between October 31 and November 1, 2016, at Number 70 Village, Berbice.The killing was allegedly masterminded by Marcus Bisram who is currently fighting extradition in the United States (US).Narinedatt’s lifeless body was found on the Number 70 Village public road, Corentyne on November 1 with marks of violence about his body.Initially, it was reported that the man was involved in a hit and run. His relatives however, denied that this was so and as such made repeated calls for the matter to be closely investigated.Alleged mastermind: Marcus BisramIt was only after a post-mortem examination revealed that the man died from a fractured skull but had also sustained a fractured spine and other injuries that an investigation was launched.That investigation revealed that the day before he was found dead, Narinedatt had attended a party in Number 70 Village, which was hosted by Bisram who allegedly made sexual advances towards him that were rejected.This allegedly angered Bisram who ordered the Narinedatt be killed.The suspects allegedly dealt the now deceased man a sever beating before his unconscious body was placed in the trunk of a car and dumped.Bisram who had fled US was detained their after an arrest warrant was issued for him. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNarinedatt’s murder: Former Magistrate, eyewitness in custody for alleged witness tamperingOctober 23, 2017In “Court”Judge strikes out request to withdraw Bisram’s murder chargeOctober 31, 2017In “Court”Carpenter’s murder PI: ‘Poisoned’ teenager appears in court , leaves before taking the standJuly 27, 2017In “Court”
Minera Zaldívar will be the first Chilean company to use 100% renewable energy sources to produce copper. This is thanks to a long-term contract signed recently between Zaldívar – operated by Antofagasta Minerals, owner of 50% of the company – and Colbún SA.“This agreement continues our move to become a more sustainable mining operation, with clean energy reducing the emissions of gases that cause climate change. In addition, as a result of a competitive tender process, we have managed to reduce Zaldívar’s future energy costs”, said the CEO of Antofagasta Minerals, Iván Arriagada.“The signing of this contract crystallises Colbún’s vision of contributing safe, competitive and sustainable energy to the productive development of the country, and allows us to advance the development of a value offer for our clients that is consistent with our strategy of increasing our renewable energy portfolio”, said Thomas Keller, CEO of Colbún.The agreement signed between the General Manager of Minera Zaldívar, Luis Sánchez, and Juan Eduardo Vásquez, Manager of the Business and Energy Management Division of Colbún, will take effect in July 2020 and will last for ten years. The award of the electricity supply bid will see Colbún certify that the energy used by Zaldívar comes from renewable sources that do not generate emissions, and this must be verified by an external body.“This is a very important step for the future of Zaldívar, because it will help us to be more competitive. Our intention is to continue be a contributor to the region and the country, as we have been over the 23 years of our operation, “said Luis Sánchez.Thanks to this contract for 550 GWh/year, Zaldívar will be the first copper mine in Chile that will use only sources of renewable generation to supply its electricity needs. In this way, it will be able to replace emissions equivalent to 350,000 t per year of greenhouse gases, equivalent to about 87,000 vehicles per year.According to Juan Eduardo Vázquez, of Colbún, “this contract will be supplied from a combination of three renewable energy sources: hydro, solar and wind, from existing power plants and future projects. These diversified technologies will not only allow us to deliver 100% renewable energy, but will also provide a reliable supply at competitive prices. ”In the Antofagasta region, Colbún is undertaking studies associated with the Horizonte wind project (close to 600 MW), in the Taltal area. This initiative was initiated through a tender by the Ministry of National Assets that was awarded last September to Colbún, for 30 years and whose income from the concession will go in part to the regional government. The project will require four years of study and three years for construction.Colbún SA is a company dedicated to the generation and commercialisation of energy with 3,893 MW of installed capacity in Chile and Peru, and a diversified portfolio of renewable energy projects. Minera Zaldívar is owned equally by Barrick Gold Corp and Antofagasta Minerals, who is the operator. In 2017, it produced 103,000 t of copper cathodes. Located at more than 3,300 m above sea level, in the Antofagasta region, it started its operations 23 years ago.
Gardaí find ‘no suspicious circumstances’ around death of 71-year-old man in Donegal The man’s body was found on Thursday night. By Rónán Duffy Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3868654 Share18 Tweet Email1 3 Comments 20,610 Views Letterkenny Garda Station. Image: Google Maps Saturday 24 Feb 2018, 6:00 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Updated 24/02/18GARDAÍ HAVE SAID they are not treating the death of an elderly man in Donegal as suspicious.The man’s body was found in a house in the Garryharry area of Letterkenny on Thursday night and was pronounced dead by emergency services.In an appeal yesterday, gardaí said the alarm was raised when a car associated with the man was earlier found abandoned in the nearby Kirkstown area.A post-mortem examination was carried out on the man’s body today and gardaí said there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.- Additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.Read: Families say they will leave Tory Island if 42-year-old ferry comes into service >Read: Victorian country house in Donegal reduced to ‘shell’ after blaze > Feb 23rd 2018, 5:00 PM Want our daily report from the Disclosures Tribunal straight to your inbox? Sign up here: Letterkenny Garda Station. Image: Google Maps
L’homme moderne devient adulte plus lentement Une étude euro-américaine montre que l’Homo sapiens devient adulte plus lentement que l’homme de Néandertal. La découverte faite par les chercheurs laisse à penser que les Homo sapiens ont un vieillissement plus lent que l’homme de Néandertal, disparu depuis 30.000 ans. Il s’agit là d’un phénomène unique. Ce dernier avait une gestation plus courte, une enfance et une durée de vie moins longues. Basée sur l’analyse des dents des espèces via de très puissants rayons X, l’étude a montré que la pousse des dents des néandertaliens était beaucoup plus rapide que celle des dents des premiers groupes d’humains “modernes”. En revanche, il est difficile de savoir comment se sont produits ces évolutions et changements de rythme. Le 17 novembre 2010 à 11:32 • Emmanuel Perrin
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner traded heated rhetoric yet also showed signs of compromise Tuesday, a frustratingly inconclusive combination that left an eight-day partial government shutdown firmly in place and the threat of an unprecedented national default drawing closer.Stocks fell significantly — the Dow Jones average by 159 points — as political gridlock endured. And, in the latest in a string of dire warnings, the International Monetary Fund said failure to raise America’s debt limit could lead to default and disrupt worldwide financial markets, raise interest rates and push the U.S economy back into recession. Even the deaths of U.S. servicemen over the weekend in Afghanistan were grist for the politicians. The Pentagon said that because of the partial shutdown it was unable to pay the customary death benefits to the survivors. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said Congress had passed legislation last week permitting the payments, adding it was “disgraceful” for the administration to say otherwise.In Congress, a plan by Senate Democrats to raise the debt limit by $1 trillion to stave off a possible default drew little evidence of support from Republicans. And a proposal by the House Republicans to create a working group of 20 lawmakers to tackle deficit issues drew a veto threat from the White House, the latest in a string of them as the administration insists the GOP reopen the government and avert default before any negotiations on deficit reduction or the three-year-old health care law can take place.
EXCLUSIVE: Rachel Billington (pictured), HR diversity and inclusion lead at the Metropolitan Police, will share her organisation’s journey around improving the retention of female employees to impact the gender pay gap at Employee Benefits Live 2019.Her session, titled ‘Breaking down gender barriers and closing the gender pay gap’, will be delivered in conjunction with Loraine Martins, director of diversity and inclusion, HR at Network Rail, as part of the pay and pensions conference stream on Tuesday 1 October 2019.Billington will showcase the Metropolitan Police’s work on recruiting and retaining women, specifically focusing on the returner programme that she helped the organisation launch in 2018. This aims to encourage women who have taken an extended career break to return to the police force.As well as sharing details on the returner programme, Billington will also explain the initiative’s role within the Metropolitan Police’s wider gender retention approach; this also tackles maternity and parenting challenges, flexible working and employee health and wellbeing.This subject matter is particularly topical for the Metropolitan Police, which is celebrating 100 years of women in policing this year. Billington said: “Diversity and inclusion is a massive part of policing and has been ever since the 1990s. Celebrating 100 years [of women in policing] has made us reflect; what does our actual representation look like?”Billington will demonstrate her organisation’s approach to female retention, as well as the challenges and difficulties it has experienced on this journey. For example, the Metropolitan Police is still struggling to recruit and retain female staff in London due to the impact commuting has on childcare responsibilities, as well as the dangerous perception of crime in the capital.However, Billington notes that recruitment is only one part of the puzzle, and that it has to be viewed in partnership with retention in order to be successful.She said: “[Recruitment is] one part of a wider strategy, which has to also include progression and retention as well. There’s no point getting lots of females through the door if [employers have] only got one sat at [their] board.”Employee Benefits Live 2019 will take place on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 October 2019 at The ExCeL London.For more information or to register for the show…
How to solve the rural broadband problem? Fix the maps Tags Maps comparing broadband access versus actual usage data. Microsoft Microsoft thinks the Federal Communications Commission is vastly undercounting the number of Americans who still don’t have access to broadband internet. In a Monday blog post, the tech giant said it found that 162.8 million people aren’t using the internet at broadband speeds. That’s a much greater number than the 25 million Americans the FCC estimates don’t have access to broadband. Now playing: Watch this: Crossing the Broadband Divide Internet Politics Why rural areas can’t catch a break on speedy broadband In farm country, forget broadband. You might not have internet at all FCC leaders say we need a ‘national mission’ to fix rural broadband “The FCC data is based on census blocks, the smallest unit used by the US Census Bureau — though in rural areas, these blocks can be quite large,” John Kahan, chief data analytics officer at Microsoft, wrote in the blog post. “If broadband access is delivered to a single customer in that block, the entire block is counted as having service.”Broadband coverage maps are used to determine who does and doesn’t get funds dedicated to closing the broadband coverage gap. In December, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the agency would investigate if carriers have submitted incorrect coverage data. Microsoft suggested the FCC update Form 477 and use both availability and actual usage data to guide its investments. It also suggested the FCC update its methodology before releasing its next update on broadband coverage. The FCC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Share your voice 3 Comments 5:13 The FCC builds its coverage map, which has been widely criticized as inaccurate, using data that internet service providers report twice a year via what’s called Form 477. Microsoft said this form is too broad and that FCC mapping based on census blocks lacks specificity. FCC Microsoft
Malkajgiri: On the occasion of fourth anniversary of the Lakshmi Venkateshwara Devasthanam located at Anand Bagh in Malkajgiri division, Brahmotsavam celebrations are being held at the temple with religious fervor. The celebrations which started on Saturday and would come to an end on Wednesday. On Tuesday, ‘Suprabhata Seva’, ‘nitya homam’ and ‘Kalyanotsavam’ were performed to the deity on a grand note. Also Read – With 61 feet high, Khairatabad Ganesh claimed to be tallest idol in India Advertise With Us In the evening, Hanuman chariot was taken out in a procession from the temple to Malkajgiri crossroads amidst women’s Kolatam and Kerala traditional music performances. As part of Brahmotsavam, various rituals such as ‘Sudarshana Homam’, ‘Maha Purnahuthi’, ‘Vasanthotsavam’, ‘Mahakumba Samprokshana’, and ‘Pushpa Yagam’ were performed in the premises of the temple. Also Read – Unidentified assailants killed a person in Saidabad PS limits Advertise With Us Those who visited the temple and offered prayers include Malkajgiri MP Revanth Reddy, Congress leaders Nandikanti Sridhar, Jeedi Srinivas, Malkajgiri circle GHMC deputy commissioner Venugopal, the temple manager Chandramohan, Sudhakar and others. The main priest of the temple Mudum Venkata Ramanacharyulu and priest Tulisi Ramanacharyulu have been performing puja programs. The main priest Venkata Ramanacharyulu, Tulisi Ramanacharyulu and temple manager Chandramohan appealed to devotees to participate in the celebrations on the last day and receive the blessings of ‘Swamy.’
ReutersAs many as 200 more employees at Jabong could be sacked as the company is looking at wrapping up its integration with Myntra in the aftermath of the events last week at Flipkart.The fresh round of layoffs will materialise after three months, the Economic Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.It was reported last week that around 150 employees at the online fashion retailer were on the firing line after Walmart decided to merge the company with Myntra.The new round of job cuts at Jabong is on the table as the company is combining functions from finance, technology, marketing and creative teams, a source who attended a town hall meeting by Myntra chief executive Ananth Narayanan told the business daily.Jabong employs as many as 600 people. Myntra acquired Jabong for $70 million in 2016, after fighting off stiff competition from the likes of rival Snapdeal.Flipkart owners Walmart rolled out market moving changes in the company last week with the announcement that Flipkart group CEO and co-founder Binny Bansal was leaving the position while retaining his seat on the board. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella and Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Binny Bansal attend a news conference in Bengaluru, India, February 20, 2017.ReutersBansal resigned after the Walmart management concluded that there was “a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to a charge of “personal misconduct”. With the exit of Bansal, Flipkart lost both of its co-founders at the helm, leaving Walmart with the room and freedom to roll out sweeping changes.Sachin Bansal, the other co-founder, had exited the company earlier this year after the US retail behemoth took a 77 percent stake in the Indian company for $16 billion.Removing market overlaps Myntra and Jabong compete in the online fashion retail business, prompting Walmart to remove the market overlap and streamline operations. Until Binny Bansal’s exit Jabong and Myntra were operating independently under Flipkart. But Walmart said both the companies would merge and the leadership would report into Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who became the most powerful executive in the group overnight after Bansal’s exit.This also gave rise to rumours that Jabong and Myntra top leadership would resign.It was reported last week that several senior executives at Flipkart have stated looking for jobs outside following the abrupt exit of co-founder Binny Bansal from the Indian e-commerce giant that was acquired by Walmart earlier this year.
Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Evelyn and Jerome Matula were still polka-dancing newlyweds in 1950 when they spotted a half-finished cottage in the woods along the San Jacinto River east of Houston. It seemed idyllic, with panoramic views and a sandy path to the river, where their three children and later their grandchildren fished. Now, the retired refinery worker and former educator fear their kin were poisoned by carcinogenic dioxin in the fish and well water.Decades ago, paper mill waste barged down the Houston Ship Channel was buried across the river. From their bluff today, the Matulas can see orange buoys marking a federal Superfund hazardous waste site established in 2008.An agreement announced last month has cleared the way for the San Jacinto Waste Pits to finally be cleaned up. But dioxin damage already has spread far beyond the waste pits, the Houston Chronicle and The Associated Press found.MORE: Houston Chronicle’s Lise Olsen Explains Dioxin Findings More than 30 hotspots — small sites where dioxin has settled — have been located in sediments along the river, the Houston Ship Channel and into Galveston Bay, according to University of Houston research conducted from 2001 to 2011 and pieced together by the news organizations.The affected areas are alongside parks and residential neighborhoods with thousands of homes. But the residents’ wells or yards have not been tested by state health officials.Details about the hotspots have not been made public by Texas environmental regulators, who used more than $5 million in federal money to pay for the research. In 2012, they ended a fact-finding committee that oversaw the project and had proposed new standards for dioxin and PCBs that could have been costly to corporate polluters.The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality refused to release the full results of the studies that identified the sources of dioxin and PCBs, even to academic researchers, Harris County officials and lawyers who later sued companies over environmental damage. The research funding ended in 2011, leaving unanswered questions about whether toxic damage spread even farther during hurricanes Ike and Harvey.The university data linked hotspots primarily to three sources: the leaking waste pits, the original site of the paper mill in Pasadena and a major chemical complex in nearby Deer Park that is part of another Superfund site, records show. None has been cleaned up.Under the Clean Water Act and state law, Texas authorities were required to address dioxin and PCBs in the river and ship channel, waterways officially designated as “impaired.” Setting such standards could have forced the responsible companies to clean up and upgrade contaminated stormwater and wastewater treatment.All three TCEQ commissioners, appointed by the governor, declined an interview request.Carl Masterson, a former Houston-Galveston Area Council staffer who for years served as a facilitator for the committee, said state regulators failed to do their duty. Once “the meetings were done, the project was over and the findings were in, the TCEQ should have approved” the committee’s recommendations, he said.In a statement, the agency said it’s still working on “a document summarizing the source characterization of dioxin loads in the Houston Ship Channel/Upper Galveston Bay system.”The state’s approach to dioxin follows the same pattern the Chronicle and AP previously identified in an investigation into air and water pollution releases from Hurricane Harvey. The news organizations found that state and federal regulators did little in response to massive releases of toxic pollution reported during and after Harvey’s torrential rains.Similarly, Texas regulators have not followed up on the dioxin research with additional testing to see if wells, parks or property also are contaminated by the pollutants that formed the toxic hotspots.In the Matulas’ case, their grandson Sean, a 33-year-old emergency manager, paid to have samples from the cottage’s two wells tested after learning he suffers from long-hidden heart and kidney defects that may shorten his life.His mother had moved to the cottage when she was pregnant with him. Recent test results showed that the family well used at the time he was born tested at twice the level of dioxin considered healthy for human consumption.“I have been told,” Sean Matula said of conversations with his doctor, “that I am lucky to be walking.”___LEAKING WASTE PITSThe Texas Department of Health Services warned in 1990 that catfish and crabs in the San Jacinto and parts of upper Galveston Bay area contained so much dioxin that local seafood posed potential health risks — and banned its consumption by children and pregnant women.The Environmental Protection Agency already had been funding initiatives to clean up the nation’s impaired rivers and identify sources of toxic substances in sediments and water that poisoned fish. The actions came in response to revelations in the 1980s that one of the most dangerous dioxin forms had been unleashed into the environment from paper bleaching and chemical manufacturing.Even in microscopic doses, those dioxin types have been linked to birth defects as well as cancer and reproductive problems.Some of the most likely sources were two former paper mills and the huge chemical complex in Deer Park. Then a state park employee discovered sand pits near a highway bridge where pulp from the larger paper mill in Pasadena had been barged in the 1960s, buried and forgotten.A video of the site taken around 2009 shows that fishermen and others had carved a path across unmarked sand pits partially submerged by the river. Particles of what looks like an egg carton were shearing off the shore into the water. Those crystalline fragments are examples of dioxin sediment, said Larry Koenig, who for 10 years was the TCEQ staff member assigned to the dioxin study.He and other experts have estimated that about half the waste originally buried in pits already had escaped into the environment before the site was rediscovered.Koenig retired in 2010, in part, he said, because of frustration over inaction on any proposed water quality standard.A dozen hotspots identified by teams of University of Houston researchers were scattered around those pits.Some of the worst hotspots became part of the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site a decade ago. But others are miles downstream, near riverside neighborhoods in Baytown and LaPorte.Another source of hotspots was chemical plants along Patrick Bayou in Deer Park, according to the committee’s reports and research. The bayou had been identified as a priority site for Superfund cleanup even before the state committee’s dioxin water quality work began.The committee formed by state regulators to study dioxin included representatives of two companies ultimately found to be major contamination sources: Shell Chemical and OxyVinyls, a subsidiary of Occidental Chemical.By 2009, the corporate representatives, along with environmentalists and government officials, had reviewed proposed water quality standards for PCB and dioxin that could have sparked regulatory or legal action against their companies.Most of Patrick Bayou’s dioxin and PCB pollution was from historic industrial activities. But Shell and Occidental Chemical would likely have faced pressure to address contaminated runoff, according to TCEQ documents, UH research, EPA records and Hanadi Rifai, the UH environmental engineering professor who oversaw the research teams.Representatives of OxyVinyls and Shell expressed no objections to proposed pollution-reduction reforms in public meetings, according to minutes and interviews.But EPA records show that during the time the dioxin cleanup committee was making its recommendations, neither company had agreed to pay to address polluted Patrick Bayou. EPA subsequently named Shell Chemical, Occidental Chemical and Lubrizol, all chemical companies with operations in Deer Park, as “potentially responsible parties”, according to EPA records.The companies still have not agreed to fund the cleanup of Patrick Bayou, 16 years after the area was designated as a Superfund site.At the San Jacinto Waste Pits, federal officials said in April that International Paper Company and McGinnis Industrial Maintenance Corporation had pledged to pay design costs for the plan to remove 161,000 tons of carcinogenic paper mill waste buried there in the 1960s.Ray Fisher, a Shell spokesman, said the company continues to collaborate “with other relevant parties” on the Patrick Bayou site, adding, “Our focus is on safety of our people and community.”Eric Moses, an Occidental Chemical spokesman, said the company is working with others to complete investigation of the site “and implement effective controls and remedies that will be protective of human health and the environment.”Both Shell and Occidental Chemical have acted more quickly to address dioxin and other pollutants at multiple Superfund sites in other states, EPA records show.___NO KNOWN THREAT?In 2012, the Texas Department of State Health Services delivered its public health assessment of dioxin in the waste pits. The report again warned of hazards posed to fish, but it dismissed the idea of contamination in neighborhoods’ soil or well water.Rifai said UH’s studies of river water and sediment could not be used to determine whether yards, parks or well water was safe. She is now working with the Galveston Bay Foundation, an independent nonprofit, and Harris County to conduct more testing after Harvey’s flooding.The Matulas have two wells on the cottage property. For decades, they drank from the older, shallow well. About 10 years ago, they dug a deeper one.After Sean Matula paid for testing, he asked state health officials to review the complex lab reports. They found dioxin in the older well to be more than twice what the EPA considers dangerous for humans of any age to drink. Dioxin levels in the newer well represented an increased risk of cancer for children and adults but were within EPA’s drinking water limits.Houston lawyer Richard Mithoff represents the Matulas and another 600 families. He says he believes he will be able to prove that cancer, birth defects and other ailments reported by many clients who lived around the pits are directly related to the dioxin in the river and its fish.The EPA cleanup of the waste pits won’t undo damage done to those who lived there, Mithoff said, “but it certainly holds great promise for the future and those living there now will be able to rest a little easier.” 00:00 /08:07 X Share
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Smartphones have fundamentally changed the way we order food, get a taxi, and connect with our friends. So why does attending an event still feel like it did in 1995? Sure, you might be able to present a QR code for scanning, but ultimately, the vast majority of events are supported by an infrastructure that fails to incorporate any of the meaningful technological advances made in the last 20 years.Thankfully, that’s changing. Within five years, event technology is poised to radically transform every aspect of the event experience.Here’s how attending an event in 2020 will be different than today:You’ll be buying your ticket in an app, and not on web/mobile web.Why? The experience is better, hands down. Reading yet another fluff piece about the enduring dominance of Duke’s basketball dynasty and get the urge to buy a ticket to a game? You’ll be able to do it right in the app. As marketers get smarter about how to use deep linking technologies to serve full-service ticketing experiences within different app environments (e.g. ESPN for tickets), we will see this dynamic become more prevalent.You’ll lose the ticket and enjoy seamless Bluetooth event access.In five years, it will be standard to have your ticket validated via a unique, low-frequency bluetooth emission from your phone. That’s it. You will literally just walk into the venue. The technology for this exists today, but it’s only being used in places where a tech-focused company controls the entire event experience. Related: Download These 5 Apps Now to Make Your Life EasierYou’ll be paying for stuff at the event with your ticketing app.Ticketing companies are going to have a huge opportunity to be first movers in mobile commerce; you will soon be able to pay using your ticketing app. Your credit card info will either be embedded into the QR code on your ticket, or you will be able to use Bluetooth to pay with your ticketing app using a next generation POS system. You are going to do a lot more than buy tickets from your “ticketing” app.Mobile monetization is not about advertising. It’s about understanding the latent intent of your installed base and connecting users with a purchasing opportunity. The latent intent of event attendees is well understood and their behaviors are predictable. For a concert, there are some obvious integrations that can drive tremendous value throughout your evening.First, you need to get to the venue (hey, Uber), probably want to have dinner before (thanks, OpenTable), you’re certainly open to buying some band swag (E-Commerce/POS), find a place to have a nightcap (Yelp), and get a ride home (Uber, Pt. 2) to your just-in-time hotel (HotelTonight). Ticketing companies understand this, and their apps are already beginning to provide extremely creative and authentic ways to connect you with your needs before you know even realize you have them – all without leaving the app.Event discovery in your ticketing apps will actually work – and you’ll actually use it.Sure, “discovery” was 2010’s buzzword, but guess what? From the user’s perspective, event discovery is still abjectly terrible. The landscape (or perhaps graveyard) of participation reflects this — companies that dedicated themselves to helping users find events have largely failed. Eventbrite is one possible exception, though discovery is largely an immaterial and marginalized portion of their value proposition.Related: 8 Crucial Apps for Hacking Everything From Lunch to Project ManagementIn the next five years, there will be significant consolidation in the ticketing space – and those that dominate will become de facto discovery engines. You will have a few dedicated ticketing apps installed on your device, and through these you will be able to search for relevant events, set preferences, and get alerts when events that match your interest criteria are announced.Your event app will be the next big social network…if they’re smart.Ticketing is an incredibly effective user-acquisition strategy; people simply download apps to access their tickets. Ticketing companies have begun focusing on ways to leverage their installed bases, including pushing people to live-event chat rooms, connecting users, building permanence through user profiles, aggregating content from other publishing platforms, and becoming maniacal about the same data traditional consumer apps use to drive adoption.Brands will be reaching you through your ticketing app…and you might even like it.Think branded push notifications, high-quality content being placed in event-specific publishing platforms, and logo placement on digital tickets – all with clear, direct actions for the user to take. And that’s just the beginning. Incorporate the ability to meet latent demand through cashless systems, dynamic promotions, and evolving event footprints, and you begin to see why event sponsorship is about to get a major facelift. So what will it be like to attend an event in five years? Yeah, you’ll probably still have the self-important bouncers that let the club owner’s friends and gaggles of teenage girls without ID or tickets in before you. But pretty much everything else will improve. This article was written by a member of the AlleyNYC contributor network. AlleyNYC is one of the world’s largest innovation hubs, helping foster the growth of startups in its flagship location in New York City. Entrepreneur Media is a partner and investor in AlleyNYC. If you would like to learn more about AlleyNYC and how to apply for membership visit here.Related: 4 Must-Have Ecommerce Automations April 16, 2015 5 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global
June 15, 2015 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Wearables’ could provide just what organizations need to improve performance: a better understanding of what makes workers tick.More than three-quarters of wearable users have already seen improved business performance, and 86 percent of adopters plan to increase spending within the next year, a study conducted by Salesforce found. The study surveyed more than 500 wearable tech adopters from February 27 through March 1, 2015.Data from wearables gives managers insight into what employees need to perform tasks more effectively, what motivates them and what keeps their spirits high. This information alone is powerful enough to drive engagement, a factor in business performance leaders constantly seek to improve.Here are some ways to use wearables as tools to manage employees more efficiently and improve engagement:1. Streamline customer interactions.Currently, smartwatches hold the title as the device with the quickest adoption rate at the enterprise level. In fact, 62 percent are using, piloting or planning to use smartwatches at their company in the next two years, according to Salesforce.Their popularity might in part have to due with the impact they’ve had on employee interactions with customers. For example, customer service representatives can deliver a VIP customer experience by wearing a smartwatch that alerts them of customer preferences to create a highly personalized experience.Consider implementing a device such as a smartwatch to help employees give customers the best experience possible. A smart device can act as each employee’s personal assistant and offer resources to help them do their job more effectively.Related: The One Reason You Should Want to Buy a Smartwatch2. Increase productivity and performance.Productivity for people using wearable technology was found to increase 8.5 percent overall, according to research led by Dr. Chris Brauer at the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. The study, called The Human Cloud At Work, examined 120 employees (40 participants and 80 peers) in March 2014 at Mindshare UK, a global media agency in London.Study participants’ notes pointed to a key factor in this increase: as participants’ awareness of their own activity increased, so did their productivity.“The benefits of wearing NeuroSky during my work day is that, on some level, this whole experiment at work made me more aware of my productivity,” says a participant from Dr. Brauer’s study.Since not every enterprise has the budget to purchase NeuroSky devices for everyone in the office, an app alternative might be the answer. Use apps like Weekdone or iDoneThis to help increase employees’ awareness of their productivity.Related: Wearable Tech Is Improving Employee Productivity and Happiness3. Increase employee support.Workplace wearables do more than just increase a business’s ROI. They can completely change the worker’s experience, which in turn has been shown to increase job satisfaction.Wearable devices can support employees by creating seamless daily on-site experiences. For example, employees can use devices like RFID badges and lanyards to manage access to restricted rooms and transact payments. These devices can also track traffic flow within areas at specific times, giving leadership insight to schedule more or less employees during those times.Another popular wearable, smart glasses, has proven to be a helpful for supporting field service workers. They provide immediate information workers need to perform a complicated task. For example, using smart glasses, repairman can access technical diagrams to troubleshoot complicated projects.Related: Will the Workplace Lead Wearable Technology Adoption?4. Improve employee well-being.Twentyone percent of U.K. consumers of working age currently use wearable tech, mainly for health and fitness purposes, according to a study by Vision Critical, analyzing responses from 2000 U.K. consumers in 2014. Additionally, a resounding 65 percent of study participants said these devices have enhanced their lives.“What I have found, though, is that taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and collect yourself does help in those times when you feel overwhelmed; it recharges you,” says a participant from Dr. Brauer’s study.Wearables make employee needs visible. Their metrics might reveal bad eating habits, poor sleeping patterns or anything else that might impede work performance. Having access to what was once invisible data allows leaders and employees to see and change behaviors if necessary.Encourage employees to use an app like OfficeHealth to track time spent in front of the computer and remind them to take appropriate breaks. Wellness apps like this can help coach workers through mini exercises to help them recharge and feel more energized throughout the workday.Related: Using Wearable Devices to Help Promote Employee Wellness Register Now »
To find Soda Lima, look for a yellow and red sign painted on a white wall that’s shared with the neighboring Mini Super Feng. The sign is next to a bookstore on Calle 2, between Avenida 6 and 8, and there’s a glass display case full of yellow-orange Ají chilis that will let you know you’ve arrived at this authentic Peruvian eatery.The chilis are native to Peru, as is Doña Natividad Madera, who’s run the restaurant along with her husband since 1986. They’ve been serving Peruvian comfort food for so long that you can find retro news clips if you look up “Soda Lima en Costa Rica” on YouTube. It appears not much has changed since then. It’s almost as if you are stepping back in time as soon as you walk in.As the name suggests, this is indeed a soda. This is a totally casual, 34-seat restaurant, where they specialize in home-style food that your grandmother would serve if she were Peruvian. If you don’t have a Peruvian grandmother, at least you have Doña Natividad, and what a sweet lady she is.While I waited for my food, she was happy to answer any questions that I had and we discussed her beloved hometown of Cuzco, which she proudly displays photos of on the walls around her restaurant.Meanwhile, her husband toiled away in the kitchen. I could see him through the open window as I sat eager to try the food I had heard so much about.You don’t actually order the food off a menu. It is customary to order off of the chalkboard, which they will be happy to offer you verbally, as well. The roughly 12 different plates that are available change daily, so you always have the chance to try something new. Of course, their classics are frequently on the list.These include lomo saltado, ceviche, escabeche de pollo, arroz chaufa, cauca and tallarines. On my visit, I shared three of these with a friend and we both left more than full. Prices average around 4,000 colones (about $8) per main, including taxes, and you get a healthy portion. This no-frills spot is definitely a bang for your buck.To start, we devoured a traditional Peruvian-style ceviche 5,000 colones (about $10) of sea bass, which was quite possibly one of the best ceviches I have ever had. It was obviously super fresh, possibly even made to order. The quality of the fish was the star of the show. The ceviche at Soda Lima A tower of delicious, incredibly fresh sea bass ceviche (William Ayre / The Tico Times)It was also marinated in a perfectly seasoned lime juice and mixed generously with slices of red onion. It towered up off the plate and was served with boiled yams and corn. Their house-made hot sauce really took this one to the next level, but be careful, it is not for the faint-hearted.Then, came the lomo saltado, 6,500 colones (about $13), and escabeche de pollo, 3,500 colones (about $7). Lomo saltado is a traditional stir-fry dish. This one was made with strips of sirloin in some sort of pepper sauce. It also had sautéed tomatoes, roughly cut french fries, and a side of white rice. The steak was nice and tender, and the sauce was deliciously flavorful. Stir-fried steak and thick french fries (William Ayre / The Tico Times)This was my first time trying escabeche de pollo — which translates to pickled chicken — and I now feel like I’ve been missing out for too long. Let’s get this straight though, this isn’t actually pickled chicken, despite the name. The chicken is cooked in a red wine vinegar sauce, seared in a skillet, and finished in an oven.It comes with a side of sliced boiled potatoes that are absolutely smothered in a creamy Huancaina sauce, which is another staple in the Peruvian kitchen. Huancaina sauce is made from cheese, cream, yellow ají, and spices. It is tangy and creamy, rich and light, salty and savory. If it’s available when you visit, as I imagine it should be, please try it. Pollo escabeche at Soda Lima The non-pickled pollo escabeche with boiled potatoes topped with an exquisite Huancaina sauce (William Ayre / The Tico Times)They do not have alcohol for sale at Soda Lima, but they do have a basic selection of bottled soft drinks and one natural juice, which happened to be Tamarind fruit on my visit. If you want an authentic experience, go for the Chicha Morada or a bottle of Inca Kola.I had the Chicha Morada, 1,000 colones (about $2), which is a sweet drink based off of purple corn, spiced with cinnamon and cloves, and with a slight hint of citrus. At Soda Lima they added bits of apple into the glass, like a sober Sangria. Chicha morada, Soda Lima style (William Ayre / The Tico Times)There’s no parking for customers at Soda Lima and there’s no street parking either. But look for the Parqueo Teatro Moderno just down the block if you want to park. Here, you will be able to leave your car for 1,000 colones (about $2) an hour, more than enough time to enjoy your meal.Soda Lima is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They do not accept cards, so it’s cash only. Search “Soda Lima” in Waze or Uber to arrive conveniently. Doña Natividad Madera standing outside Soda Lima. Doña Natividad Madera, her restaurant and a display case filled with Ají chilis, all authentically Peruvian (William Ayre / The Tico Times) Related posts:Off the eaten path: Bar La Selegna Off the eaten path: Pad Thai Off the eaten path: Villa Oro Off the eaten path: Al Masri Cocina Egipcia William Ayre is a Canadian born chef and restaurateur who has spent the last half of his life doing business in Costa Rica, where he now considers to be home. Inspired by Anthony Bourdain, Ayre’s passion of experiencing different cultures through food has taken him to 35 different countries over five continents. Whether it’s a 20-course meal at a fine dining restaurant in Toronto, or cantina hopping in search for the best chifrijo here in San José, he fits in just fine. Facebook Comments
The Expedia group has revealed how travellers from different countries prefer to pay for their hotel stays using data collected from the Expedia Traveller PreferenceTM (ETP) program.The ETP program allows travellers to choose whether they would like pay for their hotel reservation at the time of booking or at the time of their stay.The data analysis shows when given the payment choices for hotel stays in Australia, up to 75 per cent of travellers from Western Europe, the United States and Asia preferred paying at the time of booking.On the other hand, the payment preference of travellers from Australia, New Zealand and China was approximately split in half either way.The Expedia group data reveals hotels that have enabled the ETP program have, on average, seen an increase of approximately ten percentage points to their net room night production.Expedia senior director of market management Australia and New Zealand David Hamblin said the payment choice has been successful in increasing bookings on Expedia sites.“In addition to the benefits for hotel partners, ETP is also great for travellers who get to choose whether to pay for their hotel stay at the time they book, or at the time of their stay, and this functionality is now live on Wotif.com for participating hotels,” Mr Hamblin said.“We are pleased to offer Wotif customers more travel options than ever before, including access to approximately 435,000 hotels and a choice of when to pay for their hotel stay for hotels that elect to participate in ETP.“This is all with the elimination of the hotel booking, change and cancellation fees Wotif previously charged.”Almost 4,000 hotels in Australia and New Zealand currently operate the ETP program, including Hotel Grand Chancellor.Hotel Grand Chancellor group marketing manager Australia and New Zealand Hazel Rigler said implementing the ETP program has had a positive impact on the hotel’s business.“Expedia Traveller Preference allows us to deliver better service by offering customers the choice of payment, helping attract more domestic and international visitors to stay in our hotels,” Ms Rigler said.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
Share Arch MI blend Closepin digital FinTech mortgage Origination RoundPoint Mortgage Vendorly 2019-04-11 Radhika Ojha Eye on the Industry: Updates on RoundPoint, Arch MI, and More … From new launches and partnerships to rewards and new tools, get the latest buzz on the industry here.Arch Mortgage Insurance Company (Arch MI), a provider of private mortgage insurance (MI) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Arch Capital Group Ltd., announced the release of an update to their premium pricing tool, RateStar.This next generation of Arch MI’s RateStar user portal delivers a streamlined customer experience with express quotes and options to fully customize quotes. RateStar launched 10 years ago as a dynamic tool that could evaluate individual loan risk precisely. RateStar is also the only MI pricing tool that currently has an MI buydown feature. RateStar Buydown allows loan officers to customize a unique MI premium payment for each borrower, leveraging all lender and seller credits.“RateStar continues to evolve as we apply our decade of expertise and customer feedback,” said Michael Schmeiser, Arch MI’s President and CEO. “RateStar transformed the way lenders selected coverage, delivering our most competitive rates for each loan, and RateStar Buydown made it possible for them to tailor MI premiums according to individual borrower circumstances.”________________________________________________________________Charlotte, North Carolina-headquartered RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation(RoundPoint) announced that it has earned the Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards (STAR) Program performer recognition from Fannie Mae. This recognition is given by Fannie Mae to top performing servicers. RoundPoint said that it earned the STAR recognition for two categories: General Servicing and Solution Delivery, based on specific metrics set by Fannie Mae.“We are honored to receive Fannie Mae’s STAR recognition because it acknowledges the tremendous effort put forth by our customer service team to consistently deliver exceptional support,” said Kevin Brungardt, CEO of RoundPoint. “The recognition aligns with our corporate values, our focus on service excellence, and being ‘all things home’ to our customers.”________________________________________________________________Blend recently announced the launch of its deposit account offering. The new product enables Blend customers to offer a digital account opening experience to consumers across desktop and mobile.“By making deposit account opening easier, Blend is enabling banks and credit unions, no matter their size, to deepen consumer relationships and stay competitive in a crowded market,” said Blend Head of Product Olivia Teich. “This is an important step in our journey to build a single platform for lenders to provide exceptional customer experiences across their products.”Blend states that Mountain America Credit Union was able to fully roll out Blend’s deposit account product in one month, with all online account opening traffic now flowing through Blend’s platform. Already, the company has seen 53% of applications come through mobile, a channel not previously offered for deposits. Additionally, Blend notes that the time it takes to apply for and open an account has decreased by 46%.________________________________________________________________Closepin announced the launch of a tool which assists mortgage lenders in their efforts to conduct fully-digital closings. Closepin’s core business offers lenders automated compliance validation and wire instruction verification for mortgage-closing agents. With this new feature, Closepin empowers lenders to search for eClosing-enabled title agents.“Lenders are looking for ways to offer digital closings to those customers that want them, but to do so requires an entire ecosystem of partners. One of the biggest challenges has been finding closing agent partners who are equipped to manage these transactions. Closepin now solves that for lenders,” said Ryan Peterson, EVP of Westcor Global, the creators of Closepin.________________________________________________________________Vendorly, a vendor oversight platform for financial institutions, recently announced an agreement with BitSight. Vendorly is now an authorized reseller of BitSight Security Ratings.In a release, Vendorly stated that “global organizations are increasingly facing significant cyber risk management challenges. To help proactively mitigate risk, organizations need automated tools to measure and monitor the security performance of vendors.”“For many organizations, cybersecurity and threat assessments continue to be an esoteric concept,” said Jim Vaca, SVP, Vendorly. “Organizations are often not capable of keeping up with the rapidly changing threat environment, let alone understanding the actual security performance of their critical vendors. BitSight has created objective metrics and tools that help identify cyber risk in a way that is understandable for organizations.” in Daily Dose, Featured, News April 11, 2019 845 Views
New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazinePresented as a limited series of only 1000 pieces (in steel/tantalum, pink gold/tantalum and platinum/tantalum), the Limited Edition Leo Messi Royal Oak is distinctive on every front. With a 41-mm diameter, it offers a stylish and modern face. In addition, the limited series is graced with an alligator strap and an additional sportier rubber strap to replace the traditional steel bracelet.The Leo Messi Royal Oak’s pure and elegant dial does not repeat the “tapisserie” motif that was the Royal Oak’s trademark. The dial is vertically brushed anthracite with hour markers in white gold for the steel version and pink gold for the pink gold version, while the platinum version sports a deep blue dial with white gold hour markers. For all versions, the three auxiliary chronograph counters and the small seconds counter are encircled by a finely brushed silvered ring.Retaining the collection’s eight hexagonal screws in polished white gold, the bezel of the Limited Edition Leo Messi Royal Oak and the fastening links of the strap are in tantalum, giving off subtle glints of blue and grey. The uniqueness of these sublime colors governed the choice of tantalum, a material with very strong resistance to corrosion and high density that is particularly difficult to machine and polish.The Leo Messi Royal Oak is offered in a limited series of 1000 pieces: 500 in steel/tantalum, 400 in pink gold/tantalum and 100 in platinum/tantalum. Each watch is delivered in an original case in the shape of a lacquered shoe box decorated on the inside with the player’s dedication.This Royal Oak chronograph houses the self-winding mechanical calibre 2385 which offers hours, minutes, small seconds, date and chronograph functions. Made up of 304 components, the movement has a 40-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. It is fitted with a single-block 18-carat gold oscillating weight.www.audemarspiguet.com