10 months agoMolde chief Neerland: We couldn’t block Solskjaer moving to Man Utd

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Molde chief Neerland: We couldn’t block Solskjaer moving to Man Utdby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMolde management admit they were blindsided by Manchester United’s move for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Solskjaer, who signed a new deal as manager of Norwegian club Molde earlier this month, was appointed interim boss until the end of the season on Wednesday.Molde managing director Oystein Neerland said they were called by United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on Tuesday and both he and Solskjaer “didn’t see it coming.””I think it is double sided,” Neerland told BBC Sport.”On one hand, Molde lose their manager for the next months who had just agreed a new three-year contract. On the other hand, Molde will not get in the way of such an opportunity.”When the biggest club in the world call and ask to borrow your manager from a club the size of Molde, you have to say yes.”Solskjaer has been dreaming about this. It is no longer a dream.” last_img read more

The Comedy Network Stacks Up The Satire as THE BEAVERTON and FULL

first_img Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Wednesdays just got an extra dose of wit. Beginning today, THE BEAVERTON and FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE now air on Wednesday nights. Canada’s hard-hitting satirical news series THE BEAVERTON moves to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT followed by all-new episodes of FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. All-new episodes of THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH continue Monday-Thursday at 11 p.m. ET/PT, now followed by all-new episodes of @MIDNIGHT as it returns exclusively to The Comedy Network, Monday-Thursday at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.“Stories” covered on THE BEAVERTON this week include: Marilla Wex visits the NRA marketing department,  Brian Baeumler reveals his latest home renovation series, and The Beavfeed takes a look at the difference between 30s kids and 90s kids. Here’s a sneak peek clip of tonight’s episode. Advertisement About The Comedy NetworkCanada’s first specialty comedy service, The Comedy Network airs comedy of all kinds, 24-hours-a-day, across multiple platforms, including a revolutionary broadband service at thecomedynetwork.ca. Launched in October 1997, Comedy broadcasts, uncut and uncensored, an eclectic mix of scripted, stand-up, sketch, improv, and animated comedy – as well as topical comedy talk shows, game shows and classic situation comedies. Offering an unrivalled slate of original Canadian programming, Comedy reinvests nearly 50 per cent of its revenues into home-grown productions. Comedy is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company, and is available in nearly six million households across the country. The Comedy Network on Twitter The Comedy Network on Facebook The Beaverton on Twitter The Beaverton on Facebook Samantha Bee on Twitter Trevor Noah on Twitter Chris Hardwick on Twitter Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Canadian comedian Samantha Bee continues to be one of the most-buzzed about and revered late night hosts on the Emmy®-nominated, TCA award-winning FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE, featuring her bare-knuckled coverage of U.S. politics, infamous field reports, and more.Guests this week on THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH include New York Magazine columnist and author Jonathan Chait (Jan. 11), and President of Planned Parenthood Foundation of America, Cecile Richards (Jan. 12).Comics featured this week on @MIDNIGHT include Rhys Darby, Matt Kirshen, and Emily Fleming (Jan. 11), and Jamie Lee, Brian Moses, and Michelle Buteau (Jan. 12). Twitter Advertisement Social Media linkslast_img read more

Push to end bullet train in 2020 could signal GOP strategy

first_imgSACRAMENTO, Calif. – Worried they would lack big-name candidates at the top of the ticket this November, California Republicans turned to a ballot measure that would eliminate a recent gas tax increase in hopes of exciting conservatives and ensuring they show up to support lower-profile legislative and congressional candidates.A potential similar strategy for 2020 emerged Tuesday, when a conservative radio host who is the public face behind this year’s gas tax initiative announced he will pursue another measure — this one eliminating the state’s beleaguered high-speed rail project.Though it’s a presidential election year, California is overwhelmingly Democratic and a Republican hasn’t won the state since 2006.Early phases of construction have begun on the train meant to take passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours. But the $77 billion project championed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his supporters has seen costs spike and the completion date pushed back.“This is a colossal failure of these politicians, and you don’t want to throw good money after bad,” said Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman who now hosts a radio show.The 2020 initiative also would change the state Constitution to require all fees related to transportation — from the gas tax to taxes on vehicle sales and car insurance — be spent only on transportation-related projects. Those dollars could not go to the general fund.It’s backed by DeMaio and others behind Proposition 6, which will ask voters this November if they want to repeal a 12-cent gas tax hike and increases in vehicle registration fees approved by lawmakers last year.Proposition 6 was funded in part by California’s Republican congressional delegation, including Kevin McCarthy, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House who is seeking to replace Paul Ryan as speaker. It was an unusual intervention by elected U.S. officials in a state political campaign.They gave their support when it looked possible that no Republican would be in the races for governor and U.S. Senate this November. Republicans feared that would depress turnout among conservatives and allow Democrats to win close contests down the ballot, potentially giving them control of the U.S. House.They dodged that scenario, however, when Republican businessman John Cox snagged the second position in California’s gubernatorial primary, in which the top two finishers advance to the general election regardless of party. The U.S. Senate race has two Democrats and no Republicans.In 2020, California will have neither a Senate nor governor’s race on the ballot.“I have to believe that it’s an issue that’s being used because Trump doesn’t generate turnout, doesn’t generate excitement in California,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a public policy professor at the University of Southern California, said of the latest initiative.Thad Kousser, chairman of the political science department at University of California, San Diego, said he’s skeptical ballot measures can tip an election.“I don’t think there’s any state initiative — and certainly not these — that’s going to make people more motivated to turn out than their view of whether they are loving or hating President Trump,” he said.California’s high-speed rail project has become politically fraught. A poll conducted in March by the Public Policy Institute of California found tepid support for rail and overwhelming opposition among Republicans.Forty-six per cent of likely voters said they support the project, with 52 per cent opposed. Among Republicans, just 28 per cent supported it, with 69 per cent opposed. Independents were evenly split, while two-thirds of Democrats supported it.DeMaio said his proposals have nothing to do with driving Republican turnout and predicted conservative voters will be motivated regardless.“I think turnout’s going to be healthy in 2020,” DeMaio said. “I don’t think there’s a turnout problem.”Voters approved roughly $10 billion in bonds in 2008 to construct the high-speed train. It was supposed to cost about $40 billion.Now, the cost has ballooned to an expected $77 billion, with the completion date pushed to 2033.Construction is underway in the state’s Central Valley agricultural heartland, but officials don’t have enough money to complete the first phase from Bakersfield to San Francisco. The project has between $20 billion and $28 billion in hand.Its funding comes from the bonds, federal dollars and revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program that requires businesses to buy credits to emit greenhouse gases.The proposed ballot measure would halt funding for high-speed rail, force the state to cease activities on it and use any unspent bond money to retire the debt. The federal money has already been spent.Some Democratic lawmakers have grown frustrated by the problems with California’s largest single infrastructure project.Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said he supports it but is concerned about its financing. Cox, the GOP candidate, says he would kill the project.___Associated Press writer Kathleen Ronayne contributed.last_img read more

Bad review Owners should address online reviewers concerns

first_imgNEW YORK — Brad Schweig thought he had a satisfied customer when a woman who bought outdoor furniture in March 2017 posted a five-star review online. Less than a year later, it was down to one star after a squirrel chewed a hole in one of the cushions.Many business owners have faced the same uncomfortable situation since the advent of online review sites — a negative review, out there for potential customers to see. Schweig, co-owner of Sunnyland Furniture in Dallas, did what marketing experts recommend and tried to make amends in an online response.“We apologized, and said, ‘we’d be glad to work with you on a replacement at discount,’” Schweig says. “We explained, ‘this can happen with nature.’”Negative reviews are likely inevitable for many companies, especially those that cater to the public. Even a company whose customers are almost universally happy will be panned by someone who wound up with a defective product or had a bad experience or misunderstood a situation. Marketing consultants and owners themselves say the best way to handle these reviews is to acknowledge that the customer is unhappy and offer to discuss the problem offline, either on the phone or via email.The malcontents who are easily angered and impossible to placate tend to be rare, says Ryan Goff, chief marketing officer at MGH, a marketing firm in Owings Mills, Maryland. Most negative reviewers respond well if a company is sincere in trying to right a situation, he says.“I would say, ‘we understand completely you had a negative experience,’” Goff says. The next step: “We are going to do everything in our power to address this, and we want a full understanding of what happened.”If the customer is eventually satisfied, owners should ask for an amended review or to have the angry one deleted.Schweig never heard back from the customer, whose review said the outdoor furniture “should withstand a squirrel.” But he believes his was the right response, not only for that customer, but also for potential buyers.“It might not make the reviewer change their mind but we know others are reading it and can see that we either care about resolving the issues, or it can make them realize the skewed ones aren’t as they seem,” he says.Companies that post on social media need to be vigilant about checking for replies, and not just from unhappy customers, says Hank Yuloff, owner of Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions in Sedona, Arizona.“You have to scroll down and look at the comments being made and answer all. Even if they’re positive, say ‘thank you’ and build relationships,” Yuloff says.Some owners may encounter reviews they believe are libelous or false.“If it’s outright slanderous and untrue then you can reach out to the platform where the review was published and see if they’ll investigate it and potentially take it down. It could also be the basis for legal action,” says Rex Kimball, owner of marketing firm Mirex Marketing, based in Gilbert, Arizona.Many of the negative reviews Todd Fetterly’s three mobile phone stores have received had nothing to do with the phones he sells. Instead, customers often are unhappy with phone service providers but vent at Fetterly and his staff. Still, Fetterly, whose Cell Phone Centre stores are in the Ottawa, Ontario, area, responds immediately.“Because we are in such a commoditized market, customers have choices of where to go to purchase their devices,” he says.Most reviewers don’t get back to Fetterly, so there’s no opportunity for their reviews to be amended or retracted. So, he works to counter the negative postings by encouraging happier customers to post reviews — staffers routinely ask them to give positive feedback online. The strategy also includes using a company that solicits reviews. If a review is negative, it’s not automatically posted; Fetterly can contact the customer and try to get it changed.A negative review posted 10 years ago is still reverberating at Mary Nisi’s company, Toast & Jam, which supplies disc jockeys for weddings and other events. While the company has hundreds of five-star reviews on several websites, Nisi still is asked about the customer who said Toast & Jam cancelled less than a month before the wedding; Nisi says the couple never signed a contract or responded to her emails.“The worst thing you can say about a wedding vendor is they cancelled two weeks before,” says Nisi, who’s located in Chicago.When couples ask about the review, she notes her ratings at or near five stars, and says, “if we cancelled all the time, that would be coming out all the time in our reviews.”Franchise companies must be proactive about bad reviews because a complaint about one location can have a negative impact on others. At Children’s Lighthouse, an early education company with 49 locations, the home office in Fort Worth, Texas, monitors and responds online to reviews for the entire chain.“We apologize and say, ‘please call the office. We’d like to talk to you directly,” Marketing Director Monica Brown says.If customers are satisfied after discussing the problem with staffers, the company asks if they’re willing to delete the review.“Most of the time they do take it off,” Brown says. “It’s mostly that they want to be heard.”_____For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Presslast_img read more

World Fair coming back to Fort St John this weekend

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John League of United Youths and Settlement Workers in Schools is bringing the World Fair back to the Energetic City this weekend.The World Fair is an event that gives an opportunity for local cultural groups to showcase the unique qualities and heritage in the community. Organizers say that the event has helped in the development of youth leadership and organization in our community, and to promote the multiculturalism of Fort St. John.This year, organizers say the event will be even bigger and better than in years past. Among the countries that will be represented at this year’s event are: Canada, Philippines, Ethiopia, Jamaica, China, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Nigeria, India, and Pakistan. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Saturday, June 9th at the greenspace at the corner of 100th & 100th across from the Cultural Centre from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.last_img read more

ATF should be brought under GST to provide level playing field to

first_imgNew Delhi: Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime as it will ensure a level playing field for the domestic airline industry, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said. He said input costs should be competitive for any sector and the ministry has been of the strong view that the fuel should be brought under the GST regime. Different rates of taxes in states pushes the price of ATF, he said. “Each state has a different tax. Due to this, the refuelling (for airlines) cost completely changes. We feel that it should be done. I hope the GST Council takes a call on that and we are pursuing this with the council continuously. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We will work on it that aviation fuel should also be brought under GST for predictability and for ensuring level playing field,” the minister said in an interview. Airlines have been demanding inclusion of ATF in the new indirect tax regime. Airlines could expect an annual relief of up to Rs 5,000 crore by way of input tax credit if ATF is brought under GST. The move could cushion them from the burden of increased jet fuel prices, besides providing relief to customers.last_img read more

Trevor Botting Gives Statement on Robbery of American Tourist

first_img Related Items:#americantouristshot, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppThe Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force continues to investigate the shooting of Mr. Kevin Newman in Grace Bay in the early hours of Friday 23rd June 2017. Mr. Newman was a visitor to the Islands and has returned to the US where he continues to receive medical treatment. Detectives from the RT&CIPF Serious Crime Team are actively following lines of enquiry to identify those responsible for what was a callous act in shooting Mr Newman. In addition, Detectives are also investigating other offences of robbery that have occurred in Providenciales although there is nothing to connect them to the assault of Mr Newman at this stage.Acting Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said this morning:“The shooting of Mr. Newman was a callous and cowardly attack and my thoughts are with Mr. Newman and his family as he recovers in hospital. My detectives are doing all they can to bring those responsible to justice. However, they need the help of the community. Someone knows or suspects who may have committed this act and I urge you to speak to one of my officers or, if you wish to remain anonymous, please call CrimeStoppers on 1-800-8477 or contact the Chalk Sound Police Station at 338-5901.I know the community and those visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands are concerned about the attack on Mr. Newman. To reassure the community, visitors and those who work within the tourism industry, addition visible policing has been deployed to key locations. My officers would welcome a chat with you if you are concerned. I myself worked with my team Saturday evening and I spoke to a number of tourists and partners providing security at the hotels and resorts in order to provide support to my teams and so that I can see for myself how we are seeking to reassure and engage with the community and visitors.I would again ask that people remain alert and vigilant but not alarmed. Sensible precautions should be taken when walking around the Island late in the evening. These include taking licenced taxis where possible and walking together in groups. I would also advise not carrying more valuables than you need and to make use of safes and where they are available.I am grateful for the public’s support and patience during what is a worrying time for the Islands. If you are concerned, speak to my officers, they are here to serve, support and assist you. My officers are working hard to keep you safe and we will use all available tools and tactics to prevent offences and bring those who seek to commit crime to justice. ”#magneticmedianews#americantouristshot Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Salmonfest Turning The Tide On Music Scene

first_imgAnother of many Alaska great bands, Hope Social Club takes the stage twice throughout the weekend. Salmonfest is supported by and benefits several non-profit organizations on the Kenai Peninsula and in the State of Alaska. Two prominent supportors are the Kachemak Bay Conservation Soceity and Cook Inletkeeper. Both are longstanding Homer-based non profit organizations that seek to educate the public, and both protect and promote Alaska’s fish-filled waters. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Salmonfest kicks off it’s three day event this weekend to emphasize and celebrate the connection of all Alaskans to the fish and the waters that “provide this magnificent resource”. On Saturday music begins at 11:15am and later Alaska’s Blackwater Railroad Co. takes the stage at 7:10PM followed by The California Honeydrops before headliner and Grammy Award winner Jason Mraz begins at 10:15pm. In addition, ARCHES Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula Fair Association have teamed up to help make Salmonfest a successful event. View the entire lineup of entertainment at Salmonfestalaska.org. Friday’s headliner and Grammy winner Ani DiFranco hits the Ocean Stage at 9:15pm followed by WookieFoot. Music opens at 12:30pm with Food For The Soul along with the Rainbow Girls first appearance in Alaska playing twice over the weekend, just to name a few of the many great bands.last_img read more

Wilmington Photographer Paul Oliver Attends Imaging USA Conference

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Paul Oliver, of Paul Oliver Photography in Wilmington, expanded his skills by attending Imaging USA, the premier professional photography conference in the United States. He joined thousands of industry professionals attending this event January 20-22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia World Congress Center.“This was my third time attending Imaging USA,” says Oliver. “It was another exceptional experience. I participated in programs covering Business Marketing, Social Media Strategies, Lighting, Drones & Mirrorless Camera Technology and Photography Techniques, volunteered at the convention, attended the trade show, photographed the Atlanta Skyline, Centennial Olympic Park, and some models in downtown Atlanta. I learned from the best of the best in the professional photography industry. This conference offers a wide range of networking opportunities.”Oliver hopes to attend next year’s Imaging USA in Nashville, Tennessee.“Over the years, we have attended many conventions, but the highlight of each year was and still is attending Imaging USA,” adds former PPA Chairman Michael Timmons, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, F- ASP. “The education everyone has access to here is nearly unlimited, from speaker after speaker presenting their messages, to when friends come together and share.”Imaging USA is the longest-running international photography convention, tradeshow and image exhibition in the world. The event dates back to 1869, when PPA began organizing its annual convention and tradeshow, ran by professional photographers for professional photographers.More than 10,000 photography enthusiasts descended upon Atlanta for three days of photography education and inspiration as well as some exclusive photography-related shopping.Highlights of this year’s event included the three-day Imaging Expo trade show, featuring more than 600 booths, giving photographers the opportunity to demo and purchase the latest products at deeply discounted and tradeshow-only prices. The event also hosted more than 100 speeches, presentations and hands-on demonstrations by some of the most respected names in the industry. Photographers also found mentoring opportunities, portfolio reviews and 10,000+ photographers to network with and create career-spanning relationships—a real bonus for photographers, who typically work for themselves.The photography learning and networking extravaganza helps photographers like Paul Oliver become better photographers and businesspeople, allowing them to better serve their clients in the process. For more information on Imaging USA, visit ImagingUSA.org.To learn about booking your next photography session with Paul Oliver Photography, visit http://www.pauloliverphotography.com or on Instagram @PauliverPhoto.About PPAProfessional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA’s roots date back to 1869. It assists 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at PPA.com.Skyline of Atlanta, Georgia (photo taken by Paul Oliver)(NOTE: The above press release is from Paul Oliver Photography. Cover photo of Oliver was taken by Seth Dixon.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Photographer Attends International Photography ConventionIn “Business”Wilmington Photographer Attends International Photographic ConventionIn “Business”Wilmington’s Paul Oliver Attends Prestigious New England Institute of Professional PhotographyIn “Business”last_img read more

Goa Food Regulator Finds Maggi Noodles Safe to Eat FSSAI Embarrassed

first_imgThe Goa Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has found Maggi noodles safe to eat, contradicting the ban imposed on the noodle brand by the country’s food regulator, the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).On 5 June, FSSAI had ordered Nestle India to recall all available stocks of Maggi noodles after finding harmful levels of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in tested samples.Earlier, in June, the Goa FDA had sent five samples of Maggi noodles to Mysuru’s Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) for re-testing, after the FSSAI said that the state regulator’s findings were ‘questionable’.CFTRI, an institute approved by the FSSAI, has now found that the samples sent by the Goa food regulator did not contain lead above the permissible levels. The institute also did not find any trace of MSG.”The lead content in all these five samples has been reported to be well below the permissible limit and the level of monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is negative when analysis was performed separately on the noodles and tastemaker by the Mysuru lab,” an official with the Goa FDA, told Business Standard.”The lab authorities could not speak on the matter as it was sub-judice,” said a CFTRI official, requesting anonymity.Nestle India has challenged the FSSAI ban on Maggi noodles in the Bombay High Court. Last week, the court had asked Nestle India and the FSSAI to retest Maggi samples, raising hopes of some relief for the noodle maker.The Goa FDA seems to be the only state agency in the country to test the Maggi samples for the third time, to substantiate its findings.”We are complying with the recall order of FSSAI. But we have sent the samples to Mysuru for counter-verification. This is only to reinforce our (Goa) lab’s credibility,” Salim A Veljee, director, Goa FDA, had said.After testing the samples at its lab, the Goa FDA had got them re-tested at the state pollution control board, to ensure that its findings are credible. At both the stages, the Goa food regulator did not find higher levels of lead in the instant noodle.But in the findings sent to the FSSAI, the Goa agency did not inform about the exact levels of lead it found in the samples, as the chemical content remained well below the permissible limits, said Veljee. The FSSAI termed the Goa test results ‘questionable’ for failing to mention the lead content in the samples.Maggi noodles have been declared as safe to eat in many countries such as Singapore, the UK, and Canada, in sharp contrast to the FSSAI’s findings as “hazardous for human consumption.”last_img read more

Infosys ceases using bell curve to evaluate employees performance attrition falling

first_imgJust as other IT majors who abandoned old-fashioned employee appraisal systems, India’s second largest software firm Infosys has finally stopped using the bell curve, a tool used to evaluate its 1.76 lakh employees’ performance.The move is already showing some positive impact and the company’s attrition rate is projected to come down to 13% during the July-September quarter. Infosys reported an attrition level of 20% during the same quarter last year.”From this quarter, we have removed the forced ranking and in the October appraisal, employees will be appraised on the open ranking. From now on, the managers will take a call and reward,” Richard Lobo, senior vice president, human resources department, at Infosys, told The Economic Times.”Attrition is now close to 13 per cent. One of the big reasons for this (attrition) to come down is because we consciously got rid of the bell curve,” Lobo said. “The new system will be more open and flexible with a pronounced focus on rewards for performance.”By ceasing to use the bell curve, Infosys joins a list of global IT companies that moved away from the appraisal system, which is “often criticised as a forced ranking system.”Under the system, managers are compelled to separate the employees into three categories and “rank the performance of 70% as average, 20% as high and 10%, low.””In performance evaluation based on bell curve, it became a race to get to the top for employees. We were losing a lot of good people who were not ranked at the top,” Lobo said.In a similar move, global software giant Accenture had said in July that it would abandon annual performance evaluation and also dump the ranking system for its employees.Accenture laid out plans to put in place a “more fluid system,” which would enable its employees to get “timely feedback” from their superiors on a continuous basis after an assignment is completed.Infosys’ latest move to discontinue using the bell curve is a part of CEO Vishal Sikka’s initiatives to reduce attrition levels and improve employee productivity. Taking charge as the chief of Infosys in August last year, Sikka has brought many changes for ‘Infoscions’, including doing away with the formal dress code.last_img read more

Nipah outbreak hits Kerala again authorities open isolation wards in Kochi hospital

first_imgReutersIn 2018, the entire state of Kerala was in a state of panic as the Nipah virus claimed the lives of 17 people. And now, on June 03, 2019, health authorities in Kerala have hinted at a possible Nipah outbreak. As per reports, authorities have sent the blood sample of the suspected patient to the Pune virology institute, and the entire state is waiting to know whether the dreaded virus has made its way to Kerala. K K Shailaja, Kerala health minister, revealed that the suspected patient has shown signs of Nipah. However, she made it clear that the confirmation will be made only after the blood test. Shailaja also urged people to stay calm and revealed that the state is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of citizens.”It is not yet confirmed. But, the suspect patient has shown signs of Nipah. If anyone starts suffering from fever and severe cough, do not try to hide it, you should immediately seek medical advice. We have experience in handling emergency situations. Last year, we had a tough time, but this year, we will ensure that no one will die due to this virus,” said Shailaja. The District Medical Officer urged people not to panic and added that everything is under control now. The DMO also revealed that the place of origin of the current Nipah outbreak was not Ernakulam district.As a precautionary measure, the health ministry has ordered to open five isolation wards in Kalamassery Medical College, Cochin. The health ministry has also apparently asked health professionals in both government and private sectors to stay alert.As per the latest updates, a team of doctors and nurses who handled last year’s Nipah outbreak has already started their journey to Cochin. This team led by Dr. Chandini will work with experts in Cochin to formulate an effective treatment plan.last_img read more

Market capitalisation of Tata companies at 127 billion

first_imgA man looks at a screen displaying news of markets update inside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, June 20, 2016.Reuters fileThe combined market capitalisation of the listed companies of the Tata Group stood at $127.62 billion, or Rs 8,12,877 crore, as of April 27, 2017, based on the closing share prices of the respective companies. The top three listed entities are TCS, Tata Motors and Tata Steel.There are 17 listed entities that include lifestyle company Titan; hospitality venture Indian Hotels Co.; air-conditioner maker Voltas; retail company Trent; telecom ventures Tata Communications and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra), and non-alcoholic beverages maker Tata Global Beverages, in addition to the three referred above.TCS had market capitalisation of Rs 4,53,474 crore ($70.69 billion), Tata Motors Rs 1,31,649 crore ($20.52 billion) and Tata Steel Rs 43,292 crore ($6.75 billion). On Friday (April 27), TCS shares closed 1.27 percent lower at Rs 2,272, Tata Motors gained 0.41 percent at Rs 458 and Tata Steel ended at Rs 449, up 0.70 percent. The BSE Sensex closed 111 points down at 29,918 on Friday.The April 27 valuation mark a significant fall from $130.80 billion (Rs 8,44,314 crore) as of April 6, 2017.TCS has declared its Q4 and FY2017 results while most of the other companies are yet to do so. Tata Motors will be declaring its April vehicle sales next Monday/Tuesday.The Tata Group comprises more than 100 companies operating in about 100 countries. In 2015-16, the combined revenue of the Tata Group was $103.51 billion.  Market capitalisation of Tata Group.tata.comlast_img read more

Air India divestment More positives than negatives to a Maharajas selloff

first_imgAUTUMN OF THE PATRIARCH: The government should expedite Air India’s sale by increasing the higher FDI component for foreign buyers who can employ the right professional expertise and marketing know-how to turn around the beleaguered airline.Creative CommonsBad mergers create bad blood – in the skies and on the ground. When the government merged India’s two state-owned airlines in 2007, Air India and domestic carrier Indian Airlines, the combined entity would soon grow into a megalith symbolising all the shortcomings of India’s public sector.In just a generation, competition from the private sector, rising fuel costs as a percentage of operational expenditure, strikes by opposing factions of pilots, freebies and upgrades to politicians and bureaucrats, and huge discounting would move the Maharaja from monopolising air travel to being only India’s third largest airline with a 11.8 percent market share.But the literal bottomline here is: Air India has lost money almost every year since its merger despite the UPA II government infusing Rs 30,000 crore into Air India under a financial restructuring plan (FRP). Total equity infused in the airline thus far is Rs 22,280 crore. Banks currently have an exposure of about Rs 53,980 crore.A diverting fact is that state-owned Air India utilised government bailouts while launching price wars with other airlines as part of its survival requirements, leading to the logical conclusion that the government was helping subsidise monopolistic behaviour.Another FRP by the present BJP dispensation to infuse Rs 42,182 crore as additional equity over 22 years has been delayed as the airline grapples with the problem of handling over Rs 50,000 crore in debt, of which an estimated Rs 23,000 crore is by way of aircraft loan advances. It is a no-win situation exacerbated by the airline’s asset deterioration down the years and its inability to even control its operating losses since 2011.Last year, for the first time in about a decade, Air India managed to post Rs 105 crore in operating profit (net loss after tax in 2016 — Rs 3,836.77 crore) on the back of fresh capital infusion from the government and lower ATF prices. But was the intangible benefits of holding on to a 13 percent market share worth splattering more red ink on a battered balance-sheet? The government didn’t think so. Its decision to divest the national carrier spoke of the triumph of experience over, often unrealistic, hope.Dreams Un-linedThe national career was a symbol of public sector ingenuity and operational inventiveness down the decades till its much- ballyhooed merger with Indian Airlines. Then, the losses started piling up with fresh competition from the private sector on key sectors within India. Even Vijay Mallya’s doomed Kingfisher took valuable market share away from Air India. Middle East carriers like Emirates, Gulf Air and Qatar Airways gained top-of-the-mind recall for expatriate travellers to destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah and Muscat.For a government long in denial about the dismal picture which Air India presented, the benefits of disinvesting the airline in a single swoop are far more than taking a piecemeal approach as recommended by critics who suggest that it retain 51 percent in the asset-heavy airline. Air India owns prime land in cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the sale of which, disinvestment supporters expect will vault the airline out of troubled times. But this asset class, going by the airline’s own assessment, would yield only Rs 10,000 crore which is not a scratch on its huge debt burden. Raghavendra NThe Dreamliner aircraft and its entitled pilot crews have remained a thorn in the airline’s flesh to this day. Pilot strikes and mutinies since 2012 and largescale operational mismanagement took the airlines to a new low. The airline incurred operational losses of Rs 5,537 crore in 2012 (or Rs 15 crore every day). Subsequent years were not too different, though going by the government’s claims, Air India was actually paring down its losses fiscal after fiscal.Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had exuded confidence about the airline’s performance since last year, and earlier this year, asserted that it would show operating profits of Rs 300 crore in 2016-17, and the government had no plans to privatise the airline – till the latter poured cold water over his enthusiasm by announcing that a disinvestment program to sell the airline and recover its losses would soon be underway.The Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) made things stickier when it said that the airline had actually posted operating losses of Rs 321.40 crore in the April-June period of 2015-16, when the government had claimed a profit.But Air India said that its operational performance targets were in line with the turnaround plan. A spokesperson said that “considerable improvement” in on-time performance at 78.2 percent was achieved in 2015-16 as compared to 68.2 percent in 2011-12. The available evidence didn’t justify the airline’s claims.Taking the debt-free roadThe logical answer to Air India’s problems is privatisation — but politicians and bureaucrats, who misuse India’s flag carrier as much as its employees do –, would baulk at such a move. Air India has been surviving on the Rs 30,000-crore bailout package put together by UPA-II in 2012 to help its turnaround, as well as debt relief provided by public sector banks. It is estimated that even a well executed asset sale may not fully cover the airline’s liabilities, and taxpayers cannot escape footing part of the loss — either directly in case the government pays off the airline’s creditors, or indirectly if the public sector banks write off their loans to the airline.The three options on the table could be a full 100 percent selloff, a 74 percent stake sale or retaining a 49 percent share in the airline, as per a tentative note from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Raghavendra NThe decision to form an Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism to take forward the disinvestment plan is timely. But this Mechanism should first shed clarity on how the eventual sale will be executed — whether the airline will be fully privatised or hived off asset-wise to interested bidders like IndiGo, which has expressed interest in buying out the carrier’s international operations and peak hour landing slots in airports like London and New York. These slots if sold should fetch the government at least Rs 3,000 crore.A sale of market slots in airports like Delhi and Mumbai would be attractive to foreign airlines to invest in India, though the government’s stakeholding and quantum of divestment will come under their scrutiny before entering the bidding fray. Experts have suggested that the value of the heritage Air India brand can’t be overlooked either, when even Kingfisher’s hostile lenders valued that brand at Rs 160 crore.If both foreign and prospective domestic buyers like Indigo, are allowed to bid freely for the airline, more value could be realised from a sale. There have been suggestions to add more value to the airline’s assets by hiving off non-core assets with high profit potential into a shell company and demerger and strategic disinvestment of profit-making subsidiaries. This make sense only if the government considers making key changes in its FDI policy to allow foreign investors to buy a more substantial stake in Air India. If it is possible to invest 74 percent FDI in telecom, then why not in aviation?The highly rated Tata-Air Asia Berhad JV which saw Air Asia grabbing a foothold in the huge Indian market, has still not fulfilled its initial promise. Going by the record, almost all airlines that have lost money have only themselves to blame. Their painpoints include inefficient operations, aggressive expansion without consolidation, balance-sheets which are leveraged unduly high, improper route planning and wrong pricing of tickets. These factors have contributed more to the downfall of many an airline meeting its Waterloo in the Indian aviation market, rather than the market itself — which is growing and has many milestones ahead of it. Carriers like IndiGo have excelled in the same market. Stabilising Air India will be an important step ahead for Indian aviation. For a start, in the event of a successful sale, the government and its ministries must start seeing Air India as a revenue source and not a revenue generator.last_img read more

BJP set to sweep Delhi civic polls

first_imgThe BJP was on Wednesday set to sweep the Delhi civic polls, leading in over 140 wards and has won six wards so far, according to the Delhi State Election Commission.The Aam Aadmi Party, was at second spot, leading in 40 wards and has won one ward so far.The Congress was at third spot, and was leading in 28 wards.In the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won two wards — Ramnagar and Krishnanagar.In the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won three wards — Janakpuri West, Janakpuri South and Vishnu Garden.In North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won Rajinder Nagar.The AAP has won Shakurpur in North Delhi Municipal Corporation.last_img

Dutch concert cancelled for terror threat

first_imgA van with a Spanish numberplate near the concert venue Maassilo is seen during police investigations after a rock concert was cancelled due to a terror threat, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo: AFPDutch police are investigating possible terror links after arresting a Spaniard driving a van containing gas canisters close to a rock concert which was abruptly cancelled over fears of an attack.The man “was arrested and taken to the police station,” Rotterdam police said in a Tweet, following a tip-off from Spanish authorities.The arrest came little under a week after twin car-bomb attacks in Spain killed 15 people, in attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.Dutch bomb squad officials “were investigating the van” which was found just two streets away from the Maassilo concert hall where an American rock band was due to play, they added.Earlier in the evening Dutch authorities decided to cancel the concert by Californian group Allah-Las in Europe’s largest port city after a tip-off from Spanish police around 5:30pm (1530 GMT) about a possible terror attack.“In the early evening I was warned by telephone that we had received a threat which had implications for an American concert at the Maassilo in Rotterdam,” the city’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, told a hastily-called press conference.“This signal came from the Spanish police to the Dutch police,” he added.But Aboutaleb, the country’s first Muslim and immigrant-born mayor who has spoken out against Islamic terror groups, added an investigation was under way and “we cannot say now if the van with the canisters was linked to the threat”.The four-piece band, from Los Angeles, had been escorted from the concert hall by police wearing bullet-proof vests.In a statement sent to AFP, they said they were “unharmed and are very grateful to the Rotterdam police and other responsible agencies for detecting the potential threat before anyone was hurt.”Rotterdam police said that afterwards an officer “stationed close to the venue decided to stop a van that he saw driving at around 21:30 hrs”.“The van had Spanish plates and was driven by a Spanish national. Inside the van were a couple of gas bottles. Whether there is a link with the terror threat is being looked into,” the statement in English said, adding “the driver was taken into custody”.Concert hall evacuatedThe international connections of the cell of mostly Moroccan nationals behind the Spanish attacks are being probed as investigators retrace their movements to France and Belgium.Spanish police carried out new raids overnight Tuesday to Wednesday after vehicles ploughed into pedestrians on Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas boulevard and a seaside promenade in the resort town of Cambrils.Fifteen people were killed and more than 120 others were wounded.Spanish court documents have shown that at least 500 litres of acetone, large quantities of nails and detonators as well as gas canisters were found in raids on a house in the town of Alcanar, south of Barcelona.The Rotterdam building where Wednesday’s concert was to be held, which can hold about 1,000 people, was searched by the Dutch anti-terror squad after the crowd had been evacuated.The Netherlands has so far been spared from the slew of terror attacks which have rocked its closest European neighbours in past years.But amid a number of scares here in recent months, and reports that people linked to some of the attacks may have crossed briefly into the country, concerned top Dutch security and intelligence officials have been keeping a wary eye on events.A spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry told AFP the threat level in The Netherlands remained at “four” out of a possible five.“Nothing has changed for the moment,” Lodewijk Hekking said, meaning the threat levels remains that there is the real possibility of an attack in the Netherlands.last_img read more

Unmarked buildings quiet legal help for accused priests

first_img Share This! Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,DRYDEN, Mich. (AP) — The visiting priests arrived discreetly, day and night.Stripped of their collars and cassocks, they went unnoticed in this tiny Midwestern town as they were escorted into a dingy warehouse across from an elementary school playground. Neighbors had no idea some of the dressed-down clergymen dining at local restaurants might have been accused sexual predators.They had been brought to town by a small, nonprofit group called Opus Bono Sacerdotii. For nearly two decades, the group has operated out of a series of unmarked buildings in rural Michigan, providing money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse across the country.Again and again, Opus Bono has served as a rapid-response team for the accused.When a serial pedophile was sent to jail for abusing dozens of minors, Opus Bono was there for him, with regular visits and commissary cash.When a priest admitted sexually assaulting boys under 14, Opus Bono raised funds for his defense.When another priest was criminally charged with abusing a teen, Opus Bono later made him a legal adviser.Informational pamphlets for Opus Bono Sacerdotii are displayed with others at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Detroit, on June 7, 2019. For nearly two decades, the small nonprofit organization called Opus Bono Sacerdotii, operating out of a series of unmarked buildings in rural Michigan, has provided money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to priests accused of sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)And while powerful clerics have publicly pledged to hold the church accountable for the crimes of its clergy and help survivors heal, some of them arranged meetings, offered blessings or quietly sent checks to this organization that provided support to alleged abusers, The Associated Press has found.Though Catholic leaders deny the church has any official relationship with the group, Opus Bono successfully forged networks reaching all the way to the Vatican.The AP unraveled the continuing story of Opus Bono in dozens of interviews with experts, lawyers, clergy members and former employees, along with hundreds of pages of documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests.In recent months, two of the group’s founders were forced out after Michigan’s attorney general found that Opus Bono had misused donated funds and misled contributors. A third co-founder, a priest, was abruptly removed from ministry earlier this month after the AP began asking about an allegation that he had sexually abused a child decades ago.Still, since 2002, Opus Bono has played a little-known role among conservative Catholic groups that portray the abuse scandal as a media and legal feeding frenzy. These groups contend the scandal maligns the priesthood and harms the Catholic faith.Opus Bono established itself as a counterpoint to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and other groups that have accused the church of trying to cover up the scandal and failing to support victims of clergy misconduct. Opus Bono focuses on what it considers the neglected victims: priests, and the church itself.“All of these people that have made allegations are very well taken care of,” Opus Bono co-founder Joe Maher said in a radio interview, contending that many abuse accusations lodged against priests are false. “The priests are not at all very well taken care of.”___Opus Bono’s roots reach back almost two decades to a sex abuse scandal that convulsed The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, a grand stone structure set amid Detroit’s crumbling brick blight.For 25 years, the Rev. Eduard Perrone presided there. Inside the church, commonly known as Assumption Grotto, glossy Opus Bono brochures tout the pastor’s role as the group’s co-founder and spiritual lifeblood. Stern and imposing, the 70-year-old Perrone is a staunch conservative; he refused to marry couples, for example, if he thought the bride’s dress was too revealing.In this June 9, 2019, file photo, the Rev. Eduard Perrone conducts a choir during a Mass at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Detroit. Perrone was a co-founder of a small nonprofit organization called Opus Bono Sacerdotii, which has provided money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to priests accused of sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Earlier this month, his parishioners were shocked when Perrone was removed from ministry after a church review board decided there was a “semblance of truth” to allegations that he abused a child decades ago. Perrone told the AP that he “never would have done such a thing.”In the years before Perrone helped start Opus Bono, he and Assumption Grotto took in at least two priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct at dioceses in other states. One of them later admitted to molesting as many as 50 children in the 1980s and ’90s, according to court documents in Texas.In 1999, Perrone welcomed the other priest — a West African clergyman named Komlan Dem Houndjame — to come work at Assumption Grotto. Two years later, Detroit Archdiocese officials say, they asked Houndjame to return to his home country, Togo, after learning of accusations of sexual misconduct against him in Detroit and at an earlier posting in Florida.Instead he went to a treatment facility in St. Louis.In 2002, Detroit police charged him with sexually assaulting a member of Assumption Grotto’s choir.This undated photo, provided by Mary Rose Maher in 2019, shows her as a child standing with the Rev. Komlan Dem Houndjame at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Detroit. Detroit Archdiocese officials said that two years after he arrived at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in 1999,  they asked Houndjame to return to his home country, Togo, after learning of accusations of sexual misconduct against him in Detroit and at an earlier posting in Florida. Instead he went to a treatment facility in St. Louis. In 2002, Detroit police arrested him and charged him with sexually assaulting a member of the church’s choir. (Courtesy Mary Rose Maher via AP)The 48-year-old parishioner who accused Houndjame of rape said Perrone’s response was to protect the church, testifying in court that he told her, “Just walk by him and ignore him.”Perrone responded to the charges against Houndjame by asking the congregation to support the priest in his time of crisis.Joe Maher was among those who were moved by Perrone’s plea for help.Maher grew up Catholic in the Midwest, then headed to California, where, he said in a podcast, he found work producing live entertainment for Hollywood award shows and other events. “I had access to all the studios,” Maher said. He told a radio interviewer he found his faith again in California before moving his family back to Michigan.Maher led the effort to support Houndjame, serving as media spokesman for the accused priest during the case. Maher even brought the priest home to live with his family, according to his daughter Mary Rose, who was about 10 at the time.In court files, the AP found two other women at Assumption Grotto also had told police about sexual misconduct by Houndjame. But their testimony was never heard in court.When the case went to trial, “it was essentially her word against the priest,” said then-prosecutor Maria Miller. Houndjame was acquitted and moved to Las Vegas. He told the AP that Perrone had been “a real friend.”Joe Maher, meanwhile, was inundated with calls from other desperate priests, begging for help.Out of those pleas, Opus Bono was launched.Around the clock, the organization’s main number rang through to Maher’s cellphone. Maher and fellow co-founder Peter Ferrara, who had worked in accounting, would mobilize, picking priests up in person or buying them plane tickets, then moving them into a hotel, an apartment or one of several “halfway houses.”“We’re on our way to help a priest in need, in the Midwest, so it’s going to be a long trip and not much sleep and it could be potentially a dangerous situation,” Maher said in a homemade video posted on Opus Bono’s Facebook page. He didn’t explain why the mission might be dangerous.___Opus Bono’s client list is confidential, but its promotional brochures say it has helped over 8,000 priests. The Michigan attorney general estimates the real number is closer to 1,000.One of those was Rev. Gregory Ingels, a well-known priest in San Francisco’s archdiocese who was charged in 2003 with abusing a 15-year-old boy in the 1970s. The criminal charges were dismissed after California’s extended statute of limitations was ruled unconstitutional, but the archdiocese later settled a lawsuit filed by another Ingels accuser.Opus Bono made Ingels one of its advisers on canon, or church, law. When reached by the AP, Ingels said the allegations against him were false and said his involvement with Opus Bono was minimal.“With Opus Bono, I only answered canon law questions that they had before I hit retirement age,” he said.The group also provided support to Jason Sigler, a former Detroit priest convicted of molesting dozens of children in New Mexico and Michigan.In a lawsuit, one former altar boy said Sigler forced him into “hundreds of sexual abuse events, each a violation of criminal sexual penetration laws.”Maher visited Sigler in prison regularly, funded his commissary account and took his calls, said Mary Rose Maher. She also says her father introduced her to Sigler before and after he was sentenced to prison, and put her on the phone with him while he was behind bars.“I really didn’t know who Jason was. I had only met him once and I didn’t understand why I had to speak to a priest in prison,” she said.Mary Rose Maher, the daughter of Opus Bono Sacerdotii co-founder Joe Maher, visits a former Opus Bono location in Oxford, Mich., on June 5, 2019. In a February 2017 letter to the state attorney general, she wrote, “A simple investigation into the Michigan non-profit charity Opus Bono Sacerdotii would bring to light the millions of embezzled dollars, years of mail fraud, and the constant systemic abuse of donations.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)She told the AP that while she was still a teenager, she and her homeschooled friends began working for her father’s organization — and often spent time with men who were accused of abuse. Sometimes Mary Rose, her father and other employees would meet with accused priests, drive them around town and take them to lunch, she said.Opus Bono also hired accused priest Dennis Druggan, who headed a Catholic seminary high school in Wisconsin for more than a decade. Druggan was put on administrative leave in July 2012 after allegations surfaced that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor at a Catholic high school for Native American teens in Montana in the 1980s.Druggan was later removed from public ministry, according to a 2013 audit of the Capuchin province where he served, and is no longer a member of the order, said the province spokesman Tim Hinkle.Instead, Druggan went to work for Opus Bono, according to employment records the group turned over to Michigan’s attorney general.Druggan occasionally visited Opus Bono’s office to say Mass or conduct other business, according to Mary Rose Maher. She recalls sitting at his side for lessons on fundraising.When contacted by the AP, Druggan said he no longer works for Opus Bono and declined further comment.Another former priest, Robert Kealy, was sent by church officials in Chicago to Opus Bono for “monitoring/therapy” in 2003 after admitting he abused teens. The group described him as an adviser on church law.The exterior of a former location for Opus Bono Sacerdotii is shown in Dryden, Mich., on June 6, 2019. For nearly two decades, the group has operated out of a series of unmarked buildings in rural Michigan, providing money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse across the country. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Earlier, Kealy himself had helped handle sex-abuse cases for the church. Now his out-of-town trips had to be approved by the Chicago Archdiocese, and documents show they outsourced his monitoring to Maher, who was listed as his “Therapist, Spiritual Leader, Doctor, Monitor,” even though there is no indication Maher is a licensed therapist.Kealy also attended a conference Opus Bono put on in Detroit, monitored by Monsignor William Varvaro, a former president of the Canon Law Society of America and an early Opus Bono adviser, records show.Kealy did not respond to requests for comment. Varvaro died in 2007.___From the very beginning, the group won backing from influential members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy who were eager to advocate for the rights of accused priests.In 2002, Maher sent a news article about Opus Bono to Father Richard John Neuhaus, the editor of a conservative Catholic journal who served as an unofficial adviser to President George W. Bush. “Some priests have suggested I write to you and let you know what we’re doing,” Maher told Neuhaus.“More power to you!” Neuhaus replied in a letter the AP located in archives at the Catholic University of America. “The demand that a person ‘must be punished,’ no matter how long ago the offense or the repentance and transformation of the offender is nothing more than a demand for vengeance.”Neuhaus introduced Maher to his friend Cardinal Avery Dulles, the son of John Foster Dulles, the former U.S. Secretary of State. Dulles was a pre-eminent conservative Catholic theologian in his two decades at Fordham University.Both men became Opus Bono’s theological advisers. Correspondence shows they forged critical connections for Maher in Rome with at least three powerful Vatican officials. Photographs of American cardinals Raymond Burke and Edmund Szoka were displayed in the group’s promotional materials, along with pictures of other high-ranking church officials who paid calls to the group’s Michigan headquarters. Others sent donations.Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, the former archbishop of Baltimore and now a Vatican official, said he occasionally sent money to Opus Bono over the years but has not done so in at least a year. He said he never met Maher, Ferrara or other founding members and never visited Michigan.“I saw some charity being done and wanted to encourage them. They were very appreciative,” O’Brien said, but added that the next time the group reaches out, he will ask that his photo be removed from its Facebook page.Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the only contact between the Vatican and the U.S. group that he was aware of was the receipt of some promotional materials from Opus Bono years ago. He was not aware of a response.Don Hanchon, an auxiliary bishop in Detroit, said he was surprised his images were featured on the group’s website and in brochures. Hanchon told the AP he might have sent in a donation, but the photograph “seems like I’m a big supporter, and that’s just not the truth.”Szoka died in 2014 and Burke could not be reached for comment.The Rev. Eduard Perrone talks to a reporter in Warren, Mich., on June 7, 2019. In July 2019, Detroit’s Catholic archdiocese removed Perrone, one of Opus Bono Sacerdotii’s co-founders, from public ministry after a church review board decided there was a “semblance of truth” to allegations that he abused a child decades ago.  Perrone told the AP that he “never would have done such a thing.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Perrone told an interviewer in 2013 that Opus Bono’s relationship with the Roman Catholic Church was deliberately arms-length.“The church benefits from what we’re doing but it doesn’t give it the support,” he said. “The whole point of this is to be a counterpoint to a movement which is also outside the church, a movement of dissent and against the priesthood.”But the group also presented itself as deeply entwined with the church, right down to its name, which means “work for the good of the priesthood.”“Use of the Latin, which is the official language of the Church, helps to identify OBS with the Catholic Church in Rome and the Papacy,” the group’s founding documents note.In addition to courting religious leaders, Opus Bono also has benefited from connections to wealthy U.S. Catholics.A radio network founded by Tom Monaghan, a billionaire Domino’s Pizza founder who later advised President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, interviewed Maher and Perrone and promoted Opus Bono’s work, according to archived Ave Maria Radio recordings.Monaghan’s Ave Maria Foundation also sponsored a community talk Maher gave at a Detroit hotel, according to the recordings. And a former chaplain at Florida-based Ave Maria School of Law, which Monaghan founded and on whose board he serves, was listed as an Opus Bono adviser on the group’s website.A spokesman for Monaghan declined to comment on Opus Bono. Joe Maher has said that Monaghan never made any direct donations to the group.___In their four locations over 17 years — three of them in towns in rural Michigan — the group didn’t post signs.In 2005, in Oxford, Michigan, Opus Bono retrofitted one side of an old metal-casting facility adjacent to a high school for its headquarters. At noon, metal workers would halt their noisy work to let Opus Bono staffers observe Mass and sometimes join in prayer, two former employees of the group said.The group’s next move, in 2014, was 20 miles away to the village of Dryden. Local officials were puzzled when they heard Maher and Ferrara wanted to set up a Hollywood-style production studio in a dilapidated warehouse off Main Street — again facing an elementary school playground.Nothing was mentioned about priests.“They were very tight-lipped and never talked about anything having to do with priests,” said Gyrome Edwards, a building and zoning official in Dryden. “They were just trying to go unseen.”Each week inside the warehouse, office workers mailed out appeals to potential donors in envelopes featuring pictures of the pope. The letters inside, as well as postings on the group’s website, included testimonials describing the purported experiences of priests who’d faced desperate crises, including false accusations of sexual abuse.One testimonial from May 2018, for example, claimed that a “Father David” had been stalked by a mentally unbalanced parishioner who had accused him of sexual misconduct after he turned down her offers of gifts and money.“Even when a priest has done absolutely nothing wrong,” the testimonial asserted, “the Church will sometimes go to the nth degree, including subjecting some priests to unwarranted psychological trauma, and a very long wait to return to active ministry, all to appease a terribly aggressive accuser.”The testimonials, however, were misleading, an investigation by Michigan’s attorney general found. Opus Bono’s lawyers conceded to state investigators that Maher had concocted them by stitching together stories from various priests.Mary Rose Maher, the daughter of Opus Bono Sacerdotii co-founder Joe Maher, holds a photo from her childhood with her parents in Detroit, on June 12, 2019. Opus Bono’s finances came under scrutiny after authorities were contacted by a once-loyal employee — Mary Rose — who began questioning the way money was spent. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)The state’s investigation began after it was contacted by a once-loyal Opus Bono employee — Maher’s own daughter, Mary Rose, now 27.In February 2017, she wrote a letter to the state attorney general accusing the group of financial misconduct.“A simple investigation into the Michigan non-profit charity Opus Bono Sacerdotii would bring to light the millions of embezzled dollars, years of mail fraud, and the constant systemic abuse of donations,” she wrote.The tip landed on the desk of Assistant Attorney General William Bloomfield, a devout Catholic with a law degree from Ave Maria.The investigation lasted more than a year.Investigators concluded the group’s fundraising solicitations had been deceptive. They also found that Maher and Ferrara had violated state charity laws by using donated funds to cover such personal expenses as sushi lunches, chiropractor visits and power tools to work on their homes, according to a cease and desist order filed by Michigan’s attorney general.Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a Michigan based nonprofit that aims to assist priests accused of sexual abuse, raised more than $8 million between 2002 and 2016. (AP Graphic)Over the years, as the group grew richer — financial records show donations increased from $73,000 in 2002 to $1.3 million in 2016 — Maher’s pay soared from $40,500 to $212,000. Ferrara’s rose from $16,300 to $316,000.“Maher and Ferrara took what they wanted, when they wanted it,” the attorney general’s office wrote, demanding repayment of more than $500,000.A former board member — J. Michael Carrigan, a former Smithsonian Institution director — said that whatever the co-founders paid themselves was only to reimburse the tens of thousands of dollars they spent out of their own pockets supporting priests in Opus Bono’s early days.Ultimately, Bloomfield oversaw a settlement last December that required Opus Bono to pay $10,000 to cover the costs of the state’s investigation and forced Ferrara and Maher from their jobs at the nonprofit. The group’s entire board of directors was replaced.Within weeks of the settlement, Bloomfield left his job at the attorney general’s office and took a job with the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, as general counsel.Bloomfield said his work on the investigation did not represent a conflict of interest because Opus Bono is a nonprofit, separate from the church.But four years before Bloomfield began directing the state’s investigation of Opus Bono, he attended a service chanted by Perrone and the Assumption Grotto choir that moved him “to a deep and joyful praise of God,” he wrote on Facebook. Bloomfield told the AP his parents knew Perrone and that he had attended services at Assumption Grotto on occasion as a youth.Bloomfield also sells religious texts through his own imprint, Sacred Art Series, which sometimes can be found for sale at Assumption Grotto’s gift shop, a clerk said. Bloomfield said he has never sold books there directly, but added it’s possible that his mother, who served on a nonprofit board with Perrone, may have dropped off copies.___Despite the settlement, the story of Opus Bono continues to unfold.The Archdiocese of Detroit has asked the Vatican to review the sexual misconduct allegations against Father Perrone.Mary Rose Maher recently launched her own nonprofit group. She says the group will support survivors of sexual abuse, positioning it squarely in opposition to her father’s organization even as she adapts some of its tactics — offering shelter, legal representation and emotional and financial help. She is soliciting donations to build a “safe haven house” and raising money by selling tickets to a banquet that will be held at an as-yet-determined date.Her father, who was required by the state to never again run a nonprofit in Michigan, has launched a second nonprofit that seems to have the identical mission of helping priests in need.The new group is called Men of Melchizedek, a reference to an Old Testament figure who was thought to be both a king and a priest. It is registered in Indiana, but its website says its “principal office” is located in Michigan. The group lists Maher as its president.In a March letter to the Michigan attorney general, Maher’s attorney described him something akin to a case worker whose labors are “a corporal and spiritual work of mercy; it is how he practices his Catholic faith.” The letter said the new group will provide the same services as Opus Bono, but warned that “more vulnerable beneficiaries may be lost to suicide during the transition.”Both Opus Bono and Men of Melchizedek now list the same canon lawyer, the Rev. David Deibel, as their chairman.Deibel, Joe Maher and Maher’s attorneys did not return multiple messages from the AP.On its website, the new group promises “non-judgmental support and life-time accompaniment for our priest-clients who are so very much in need.”“We turn no priest away,” it says.(Martha Mendoza, Juliet Linderman and Garance Burke write for The Associated Press.)  Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,The Village Church sued for more than $1 million over alleged abuse at church camp Catholicism By: The Associated Press Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 The Associated Press Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This!center_img News • Photos of the Week Investigation reveals Chicago Archdiocese’s financial woes By: The Associated Press Share This! News By: The Associated Press The Associated Press,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email TagsCatholic Church clergy sex Eduard Perrone homepage featured Komlan Dem Houndjame Opus Bono Sacerdotii Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,You may also like Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emaillast_img read more

One killed 17 injured in two road accidents

first_imgKolkata: One person was killed and seventeen others injured in two separate road accidents in two districts. The first incident took place at Belpahari block in Jhragram on Tuesday morning. The deceased has been identified as Md Basir (26). He was a resident of Madhubani district in Bihar. The victim along with some others were going to Jhargram from Bihar in a bus which overturned. The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained by the district police. Around 10 other passengers received injuries in the accident. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment. In a separate incident, seven persons, who were travelling in a matador, received injuries when the vehicle overturned on Kachkal-Rajarhat road in North 24-Parganas on Tuesday afternoon. Two of the injured passengers are stated serious.last_img read more

Transat Distribution Canada AIR MILES sign on for expanded partnership

first_img Posted by Transat Distribution Canada, AIR MILES sign on for expanded partnership Thursday, July 6, 2017 Tags: Transat Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Transat Distribution Canada has upped the ante in its partnership with AIR MILES, signing a deal that includes extra AIR MILES benefits for customers who book travel with TDC.“After a relationship of nearly 20 years, we are thrilled to be able to take it to the next level,” says Nathalie Boyer, General Manager, Transat Distribution Canada. “This represents a great opportunity for our travel agencies and travel professionals to showcase the quality of Transat Distribution’s customer service by improving the Collector’s overall redemption experience.”Effective Aug. 13 AIR MILES Packaged Vacation and Cruise (PVC) bookings will now be completed through Transat Distribution’s travel agency network.Collectors will be able to use their Miles for more destinations and at more partners than ever before, including Collette, Encore Cruises TravelBrands, AmaWaterways and Tours Chanteclerc.They’ll also be able to redeem exclusively online for Marlin Travel, Club Voyages, Transat Travel, TripCentral Atlantic Canada, and TravelPlus eVouchers (currently available using Cash Miles) and physical Certificates (available Aug. 13 in $100 denominations using Dream Miles). These can be used towards PVC travel bookings with participating preferred partners through any of Transat Distribution’s 286 participating travel agency locations across Canada or through the TDC call centre.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckTo make it easier to receive the physical Dream Certificates, AIR MILES will be shipping certificates within 72 business hours from redemption, at no cost to the Collector.Collectors can also take advantage of more opportunities to earn miles. As of Aug. 13, they will receive 1 Mile for every $20 spent (versus 1 Mile for $35) on any PVC booking with a participating Transat Distribution travel agency. This includes any additional Cash portion spent on the PVC booking, beyond the certificate value.In 2018, AIR MILES, together with Transat Distribution Canada, will launch a new PVC website, which will allow Collectors to use their Miles immediately for PVC bookings online, 24/7 with participating partners.“We are always looking for new opportunities to make the Collector experience better, and we are thrilled to be able to deliver on that promise,” said Sharmane Good, SVP, Member Experience, AIR MILES Reward Program. “This expansion provides Collectors with increased booking options and earning potential, providing a better PVC travel booking experience. We are excited to roll out these features as just a few of the many ways we will continue to augment our rewards offering.” << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharelast_img read more

Bouygues Telecom French constructiontotelecoms c

first_imgBouygues TelecomFrench construction-to-telecoms conglomerate Bouygues has categorically denied that it is in talks with other French operators after news service La Lettre de l’Expansion reported that Orange CEO Stéphane Richard and Martin Bouygues had talks about possible consolidation at the beginning of March.“Following the article published in La Lettre de l’Expansion on 13 March 2017 entitled ‘Orange-Bouygues, un accord en vue’, Bouygues wishes to categorically deny the existence of any discussions with other operators with a view to consolidating the French telecoms market,” said the company.La Lettre de l’Expansion reported that Bouygues’ bankers were looking for a deal that would see Bouygues Telecom valued at about the same level as when negotiations were taking place last year – about €10 billion.Any deal would be expected to involve the other main French telecom players – Free and SFR – to allay competition concerns. The most widely discussed scenario involves the Free Mobile taking over Bouygues wireless spectrum while Orange and SFR share the fourth operator’s subscribers and retail outlets.Bouygues broke off talks with Orange early last year after failing to find agreement with the larger player on key elements including the level of participation of Bouygues in Orange post the acquisition, the risks of execution and the value placed on Bouygues Telecom, as well as the fate of its employees.Bouygues said at the time that it would pursue a standalone strategy in a market that still had growth potential.last_img read more