Category: hufmbomw

Province to Create Special Operating Agency for Pension Plans

first_imgThe province of Nova Scotia has created an arms-length agency to administer four Nova Scotia public sector pension plans, Finance Minister Peter Christie announced today, Feb. 13. The Nova Scotia Pension Agency will provide administrative services to support the Public Service Superannuation Plan, the Teachers’ Pension Plan, the Members Retiring Allowance Plan, and Sydney Steel Superannuation funds. To date, these have been managed by a division of the Department of Finance. John Traves, a senior government solicitor, has been appointed interim chief executive officer of the special operating agency. He will oversee creation of the new organization over the next few months. “The Nova Scotia Pension Agency will be better positioned to provide services to a variety of pension plan members and clients,” said Mr. Christie. “It will have a more flexible operating structure, able to meet the unique needs of each pension plan at about the same cost.” The pension and investment branch at the Department of Finance currently oversees investments for the pension plans and delivers a broad range of pension-related services to public sector employees and pensioners. Staff will perform the same functions at the new agency. Pension plan revenues will continue to fund administration for the pension plans. The special operating agency will be able to keep costs down by drawing on existing government administrative systems, such as payroll, information technology, and financial services. Mr. Traves will work closely with the governing bodies of each pension plan to set up the agency. It will have an operating charter and service level agreements with partner agencies and each pension plan. Most services familiar to pensioners and other clients will be the same, although the offices will be relocated. The changes will be accomplished with as little inconvenience as possible to clients. The four pension plans represent some 50,000 current and former Nova Scotia public sector employees, with assets of $7.8 billion.last_img read more

SEC under fire for being hacked despite warnings on security

first_imgWASHINGTON – The Securities and Exchange Commission waited until Wednesday to disclose a hack of its corporate filing system that occurred last year. The disclosure raises questions about the agency’s ability to protect important financial information and comes as Americans are still weighing the consequences of the massive hack at Equifax.The SEC, the federal agency responsible for protecting investors and ensuring markets function properly, is under fire after disclosing the hack of its electronic network that whisks company news and data to investors. The breach occurred despite repeated warnings in recent years about weaknesses in the agency’s cybersecurity controls.Experts question the length of time taken to disclose the breach, and why the SEC isn’t meeting the same security standards it demands of corporate America.“Public companies have a clear obligation to disclose material information about cyber risks and cyber events. I expect them to take this requirement seriously,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton warned in a speech in July.While it discovered the breach to its corporate filing system last year, the agency says it only became aware last month that information obtained by the intruders may have been used for illegal trading profits.“It took quite a while,” said Robert Cattanach, an attorney at Dorsey & Whitney and former trial attorney for the Justice Department, whose work includes cybersecurity and data breaches. “The integrity of our whole trading system is dependent on keeping this information secure. … People have got some ‘splaining to do.”The SEC didn’t explain why the initial hack was not revealed sooner, or which individuals or companies may have been affected. The disclosure came two months after a government watchdog said deficiencies in the corporate filing system put the system, and the information it contains, at risk.The agency also didn’t disclose any information about who might have carried out the breach. A hack by Chinese or Russian actors can’t be ruled out, experts say.“Certainly state actors would be on the list of suspects that come to mind,” said Marcus Christian, a former federal prosecutor who is an attorney working in Mayer Brown’s cybersecurity and national security practices. Still, he added, the list also would include “regular old criminal actors.”U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan brought criminal charges last December against three Chinese traders, accusing them of using nonpublic information stolen from two New York law firms to rack up nearly $3 million in illegal profits. The SEC filed a similar civil action, marking the first time the agency laid charges of hacking into a law firm’s computer network. The confidential information was said to be linked to clients of the firm considering mergers or acquisitions.Clayton disclosed the hack in a statement posted to the SEC’s website. It comes just two weeks after the credit agency Equifax revealed a stunning cyberattack that exposed highly sensitive personal information of 143 million people.Clayton is scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee, and he is certain to be questioned about the hack. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, a member of the committee, said in a statement Thursday that the disclosures by the SEC and Equifax show “that government and businesses need to step up their efforts to protect our most sensitive personal and commercial information.”The SEC chief blamed the breach on “a software vulnerability” in the filing system known as EDGAR, short for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system. EDGAR processes more than 1.7 million electronic filings a year. Those documents can cause enormous movements in the stock market, sending billions of dollars into motion in fractions of a second.Clayton, a Wall Street attorney appointed by President Donald Trump to the SEC post, said the agency has been assessing its cybersecurity since he took over as chairman in May. Experts note, however, that both agency and congressional investigators have been critical for years of the SEC’s handling of its information technology security.Early this decade, the SEC inspector general’s office uncovered security lapses involving SEC staffers who examined the data-protection systems of the stock exchanges. Some of the staffers used unencrypted laptops to store sensitive exchange information — and then carried the laptops to a Las Vegas conference for information-security professionals that is known to attract hackers. The 2011-12 investigation raised concerns of a potential breach of the exchanges’ information.David Weber, a professor at the University of Maryland’s business school and a former assistant SEC inspector general for investigations, worked on that probe. The agency “clearly has not held itself to the same standard that it expects regulated companies to adhere to” and “needs to up its game,” he said in an interview Thursday.In 2015, an impostor slipped through the EDGAR filing system with a bogus $8 billion takeover bid for Avon Products. The stock rocketed 20 per cent, but it quickly dropped, burning anyone who’d bought shares of the cosmetics giant at pumped-up prices. The SEC later sued a Bulgarian investor for allegedly orchestrating bogus acquisition bids for Avon and two other companies.The hack of EDGAR is especially concerning because of how widely investors have used and trusted the system, which first came online in the early 1990s. Companies periodically file earnings and a range of financial information, and they alert investors to important developments that could affect their share prices, like government investigations, executive shake-ups and approaches for a takeover.Some experts say gaining access to the system is too easy and the SEC should consider stricter vetting, though they caution that doing so wouldn’t guarantee blocking scammers from getting through.Experts say stricter requirements could include passwords, personal ID, secret questions and answers, security tokens that continuously flash new ID numbers, fingerprints, eye scans or voice recognition.last_img read more

At UN gathering AsiaPacific nations agree to cooperate on renewable energy

The decision to share experiences and disseminate developing renewable energy technologies was taken yesterday before the closing of the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which this year focused on the theme of energy security and sustainable development.A recent ESCAP study showed that the region cannot rely on ongoing increases in the energy supply to spur economic growth. If the region’s energy needs continue growing at the current rate, it will account for half of the world’s energy demand by 2030, 80 per cent of which will be for oil, coal and other fossil fuels, which will result in massive carbon emissions.Some 1.7 billion people in the region rely on traditional biomass fuels – the largest number of victims from indoor air pollution caused by burning these fuels is in the Asia-Pacific – and 1 billion do not have access to electricity.At the meeting, Asia-Pacific countries asked ESCAP to collaborate with multilateral funding agencies, research institutions and public-private partnerships, among others.Representatives from roughly 50 countries attended the session, which also adopted resolutions on boosting resilience to disasters, transport and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets to be met by 2015.“Sustainable agriculture and food security” was selected as next year’s session focus.“The new theme reflects the serious concern that many delegates have expressed over the rocketing food prices,” ESCAP Executive Secretary Noeleen Heyzer said in her closing remarks to the gathering. 1 May 2008Asia-Pacific countries reached an agreement at a United Nations meeting in Bangkok to boost their collaboration on developing renewable energy in a bid to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels and enhance their long-term energy security. read more

Prices of powdered milk will not be increased

It has been informed that the powdered milk importers have said that they want to discuss with the finance ministry either to increase the prices based on the VAT imposition or to get VAT on powdered milk exempted. However the powdered milk importers cannot increase prices without obtaining approval from the government as maximum prices have been declared already for different varieties of powdered milk. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that the prices of powdered milk will not be increased for whatsoever reason following the recent imposition of VAT on imported powdered milk.VAT was imposed on imported powdered milk with effect from November 1st under the new VAT Amendment Act. The current maximum controlled price of a packet of 400 grams of powdered milk is Rs.325 while a packet of a kilogram of powdered milk should be sold at Rs.810. (Colombo Gazette) The government will look into providing any other alternative relief to importers after ascertaining whether there is any truth in the complaints made by powdered milk importers.At the same time, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that the prevailing controlled prices of powdered milk which has been determined by the Consumer Affairs Authority will not be changed for whatever reason. read more

Trial of Gaddafi regime a missed opportunity for justice – UN human

In the report issued today, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) also recognized the challenge of trying former members of the regime, especially amid armed conflict and political polarization, but noted that the trial raised concerns such as serious violations of due process, including prolonged periods of incommunicado detention for the defendants amid allegations of torture which were not properly investigated.“Holding perpetrators responsible for violations is vitally important but accountability should be the result of due process and a fair trial,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a news release detailing the report’s findings on the trial proceedings that examined violations of human rights during the 2011 civil uprising that toppled the long-time Libyan leader’s regime.“This trial was a missed opportunity for justice and for the Libyan people to have the chance to confront and reflect on the conduct of the former regime.” Of the 37 members of the former regime under trial – including Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, and former Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi – six defendants were sentenced to death; eight given life sentences; 15 others jail terms of five to 12 years; four were acquitted on all charges; and one was referred to a mental health institution.UNSMIL and OHCHR closely monitored the case from the pre-trial phase through the court proceedings, which began in March 2014, to the verdict in July 2015. They also interviewed many of the defendants and their relatives and lawyers, reviewed the case dossier and judgement, and had extensive discussions with Libyan officials and Libyan and international experts. VIDEO: A joint UN report on the trial of 37 former members of the Gaddafi regime says was unfair and fell short of international standards. The report cites flaws in the judicial process of the 37 suspects accused of committing crimes during the 2011 uprising and armed conflict.They noted that the public prosecutor’s office, in particular, provided documentation and was available for discussion of the trial throughout the process. However, they also said that the defendants’ lawyers complained repeatedly of difficulties in meeting defendants in private and accessing documentation. “The right to defence was also undermined by the fact that no prosecution witnesses were called to testify in court – the prosecution’s case was only briefly presented during the court sessions – and the court restricted each defendant to two witnesses,” noted the news release. In addition, the Libyan judicial system does not allow for a full appeal but only cassation – a review focused on points of law only. “[We urge] the Court of Cassation to take into full account the due process violations identified in the report and provide effective remedies, pending the adoption of reforms needed to bring Libyan trials into full compliance with international standards,” the two UN entities noted.Among other specific recommendations, the report also called for a review of the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to ensure all crimes are clearly defined, access to lawyers during interrogation is guaranteed and other fair trial safeguards are strengthened. The report also said the Libyan authorities should also ensure the surrender of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court (ICC), in compliance with Libya’s international obligations. read more

Bingo loyalists unhappy about millennial slang creeping into the game

The club has even substituted ’88 – Two fat ladies’ with ’88 – Two body positive ladies’.Mr Baron believes the new repertoire of risque jokes and long number calls could be off-putting for traditional bingo players, who tend to be women aged between 45 and 55 who want to get on with the games without delay.He told The Telegraph: “In some of the newer bingo contexts out there at the moment, which are a bit cutting-edge and are aimed at younger people, some of the innuendos are very offensive.”If you’re a traditional bingo customer in a bingo club and somebody calls 69 and says 6 and 9, sixty-nine, you mark off 69.”But if you’re in one of these more risque, food and drink, aimed at young people-type environments the innuendos on 6 and 9, sixty-nine, probably wouldn’t be appropriate.”He added: “What they’re doing is absolutely brilliant because it’s changing perceptions and it’s trying to bring bingo into the future.”Nevertheless, some of the terminology, the jokes, the innuendo is downright vulgar.”Mr Baron explained that the traditional bingo number calls – such as ’11 – Legs Eleven’ and ’28 – Overweight’ – have been fazed out by many clubs because they take too long to read and are sometimes considered too politically incorrect, but the new wave of youth-focussed events are filling the void with even ruder phrases. 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. It is a game traditionally played by groups of middle-aged women over a glass of wine.However, bingo has started to attract a new crowd of young players introduced to the game by hipster clubs offering vegan food and cocktails.Most pastimes with falling participation rates – more than 1,200 bingo halls have closed since the 1980s – would welcome a new generation adopting the game for their nights out.But bingo loyalists are not keen on the most memorable aspect of the game – the nicknames for numbers as they are called out – being replaced with modern slang.A leading figure in the business has warned that lewd jokes and calls about social media sites used to attract millennials do not go down well with the traditional crowd.Events aimed at students are rife with “vulgar” and “offensive” gags, such as references to oral sex when calling the number 69, says Miles Baron, the CEO of The Bingo Association and the National Bingo Game.Some venues, such as Dabbers Social Bingo in the City of London, have replaced their calls with millennial-friendly versions – such ’14 – Insta hipster scene’, ’48 – Not another Brexit debate’ and ’56 – Scrolling through the ex’s pics’. “Our younger customers who come at the weekend would probably embrace it and think it’s okay, but our bread and butter – 45 to 55-year-old females – who come on a Wednesday or Thursday night, I don’t think would be impressed,” he said.”There are people out there trying to take bingo into the world of the 20-year-old and with it comes some behaviour that perhaps people might find risque.”Bongo’s Bingo, which caters to thousands of bingo fans of all ages across the country, said they have never had any complaints from offended customers.Jonny Lacey, the company’s co-founder, said: “I never want a show to be crude or rude. Our shows may have some tongue-in-cheek comments or a few innuendos but we have never had a complaint from anyone about the show being offensive.”Mecca, the UK’s largest bingo game operator, said it is changing its bingo games because millennials want different things from the game compared with previous generations of players.Barry Lyons, head of events, said: “We are adapting forms of the much loved game of bingo to appeal to everyone who wants to play the game and meet those changing needs.”Our existing audience is still as important as ever and we consciously segment these new concepts by time and days so as not to alienate our existing customer base, but we have to innovate and change to ensure bingo stays relevant in 2019 and beyond.” read more

Prince Charles tells the Duke of York to apologise over heated disagreement

The Duke of York, who has been undertaking public duties despite growing pressure over the Epstein scandal The Duke of York has been embroiled in a heated disagreement with a senior member of staff, it has emerged. The Duke, who has returned to royal duties despite growing pressure over his links to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, is reported to have exchanged furious words with a male aide. The Mail on Sunday claimed that the Prince of Wales was moved to intervene, asking his younger brother to apologise.A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “Some time ago there was a disagreement between The Duke of York and a member of staff. “The disagreement was resolved and there are no ongoing issues.”The newspaper quoted a source saying: “There were heated words on both sides but the altercation was in no way physical. “It was a verbal dispute. It was a work-related issue. The Duke got very cross that what he wanted wasn’t possible.”It is claimed that the Prince of Wales, as a senior member of the Royal Family, heard about the incident and asked the Duke to apologise.  The Duke of York, who has been undertaking public duties despite growing pressure over the Epstein scandalCredit:R&A “There was no apology because there was nothing to apologise for,” the unnamed source added.“The Duke maintains a good relationship with the Prince of Wales.” The Duke is facing ongoing scrutiny over his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died facing charges of sex trafficking.  They centre on a photograph of the Duke standing next to Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was made to have sex with him when she was 17 after being recruited by Epstein. The Duke has always vehemently denied the allegation. On Sunday, he was photographed on the golf course as he attended the Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.On Saturday, he undertook an official visit to Belgium to attend a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges, ignoring a television news reporter who asked if he would cooperate with US lawyers working on the Epstein case.He will shortly undertake a “full programme” of engagements in Northern Ireland relating to a golf tournament The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy. read more

Greek tourist visa holders refused entry to Australia

first_img29 Greek citizens holding tourist visas were turned back at Melbourne Airport in 2011-12 according to the Australian Immigration Department. Neos Kosmos understands that the refusals were made because Immigration officials believed that the individuals concerned were not engaged in tourist travel, but were looking for employment. The right to work in Australia is forbidden under the conditions of a tourist visa. With their visas cancelled, those refused entry were deported back to Greece on the next available flight. In some cases, those whose visas were cancelled were housed overnight in the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre. Melbourne was far and away the major entry point for Greek nationals turned back at the Australian border in the past 18 months, with other major airports accounting for a handful of other cases. “In 2011-12 the total number of people [of all nationalities] refused immigration clearance at the Australian border all around the country was 2100,” an Immigration spokesperson told Neos Kosmos. “In 2011-2012 the total number of Greek nationals refused immigration clearance at Melbourne airport was 29, so it’s not big numbers in the overall scheme of things,” she added. Immigration confirmed that there has been one case of a Greek national being refused entry into Australia at Melbourne Airport since July 1 this year, and in the same period at Sydney Airport, four cases have been recorded. “The most common reason for a refusal is because there are grounds to believe that the traveler does not genuinely intend to abide by the visa conditions, such as no work rights, ” said the spokesperson. “If Immigration officers decide to interview a particular traveler and ask them about their intentions for staying in Australia, sometimes grounds are formed to believe that they may not be here for genuine tourist reasons and the officer has the right to refuse their visa and refuse entry. “When that happens, we consult with the airlines as quickly as possible to get someone sent back to their country of origin straightaway. If we can’t do it the same day, that person may be detained overnight at an immigration detention centre.” The Immigration Department said that other reasons for a visa to be cancelled on arrival relate to character and health. A person who has committed serious offences overseas and served a jail term of longer than 12 months may be refused entry, particularly if they haven’t declared that information on their passenger card. Likewise a traveler arriving in poor health can be regarded as presenting a potential burden to Australia’s health services and may be refused entry. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

WWE Network reaches total of 147 million subscribers as of the end

first_img goddessroleplay Ah, fair enough, I understand now. So after an episode of Raw airs live it will come on the WWE network a month later. This is due to existing deals with both the USA network and Hulu. WhatsApp As someone living in the UK, I took out the network for a month. Enjoyed a lot if it (mostly anything NXT or PPV), but do Americans get full RAW and Smackdown episodes? If so, that cheeses me off a bit because we don’t but due to currency conversion we pay more, May 11, 2016 at 5:59 pm Facebook goddessroleplay May 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm Moonsaves Netflix to introduce weekly episode schedule The Tech Behind the First FDA-Approved Birth Control App Now Playing Up Next Twitter Apple TV+ To Be Offered For $4.99 Per Month May 11, 2016 at 2:05 am Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Disney CEO Bob Iger Leaves Apple’s Board Of Directors May 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm 6 COMMENTS Comments are closed.center_img In Canada, we pay about 12.99 and it comes with no video library / online use. Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Pinterest On Tuesday, WWE released their earnings report for the first quarter of 2016 including a look at the current happenings of the WWE Network.Some highlights of the report include the following:* The WWE Network had an average of 1.29 million paid subscribers in Q1 2016, a 39 percent increase from Q1 2015.* WWE Network reached a record 1.82 million total subscribers on April 4, 2016 (the day after WrestleMania 32).* WWE Network reached a total of 1.47 million at the end of Q1 2016 (April 30, 2016).* WWE Network has recently debuted Camp WWE on the Network and shows such as the second season of Swerved and Holy Foley will debut on the Network in the summer.* Revenue for the Network increased 34 percent from Q1 2015.* They note that they are continuing to work on launching the Network in China.* WWE Network had 360,000 total international subscribers as of April 30, 2016 and 434,000 as of April 4, 2016 (the day after WrestleMania 32).* WWE Network is expected to add more than 300 hours of original content and more than 1,500 hours of VOD content by the end of 2016, totaling near 6,000 hours of content on the Network by the end of 2016.You can read the full earnings report by clicking here.Source: Corporate.WWE.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipApple TV+ To Be Offered For $4.99 Per MonthVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:32/Current Time 0:02Loaded: 100.00%0:02Remaining Time -0:30 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Now Playing Up Next Google+ May 11, 2016 at 5:19 pm We get them about a month or so After they air live. Did you check in the “vault” section. Now Playing Up Next Roku Aims To Beat Netflix In European Streaming Market Moonsaves Yeah, I clocked that, but does America get them live/shortly after they air? Live Podcast: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Now Playing Up Next Moonsaves Now Playing Up Next Clash of Champions Highlights: Luke Harper returns, Rollins/Strowman, Becky against Sasha May 10, 2016 at 1:41 pm Vincelast_img read more

Hearst Making Headway on Mobile but Still Bullish on Print

first_img“For glossy, high-design, tactile magazines, we are in an aspirational business and magazines will always be the preferred medium for inspiring those dreams,” Carey said. “These glossy aspirational things—they work great in print. Magazines transport you to a different place.”Still, Carey said, Hearst is devoting a lot of effort to the tablet business especially. Cosmopolitan is the number-one magazine in the world on tablets, with 180,000 subscriptions, he said. What’s more, Hearst has an in-house app lab dedicated to understanding what consumers want in an app. “Do people want a whole new product, or do they want just a mobile version of a magazine?” Carey asked. “We’ve found that most people just want a mobile version of the magazine itself, with some enhancements.”Another conclusion Hearst has made is that while tablets are a consumer-revenue model, and the Web is an ad-revenue model, mobile phones are also primarily consumer-revenue, but much tougher to crack. One of the challenges with mobile, Carey noted, is its all-encompassing nature. “One of the things we have to get our arms around is—next time you’re in a supermarket or a drugstore checkout line, look around you,” he said. “Ninety percent of the people used to be looking for Slim Jims or magazines. Now they’re glued to their phones. We have to figure that out. It’s a mobile world. We just live in it.”The next horizon for Hearst is “frictionless e-commerce,” Carey said. “We see a click-to-buy process based on editorial recommendations. There used to be concern about the ethics of that, but those sort of orthodoxies have been set aside. Our goal is to sell the product. So why not have us participate?” For more on the Mashable Media Summit see:Mashable Goes All-In On Social With Site Redesign Edelman’s Rubel: Get Ready for a New Era of Hybrid Media Hearst Magazines has 800,000 paying app customers, and 80 percent of them are new to Hearst brands, making mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, a major new business for the company—and for the magazine industry, Hearst president David Carey said last week at the Mashable Media Summit. And yet, at the same time, mobile remains both a friend and a foe, and print magazines remain the state of the art for certain kinds of media consumption—including young consumers, Carey said. In a fast-paced but wide-ranging interview before 200 or so attendees at the conference, held at the Times Center in Midtown Manhattan, Carey pointed to the launches of the Food Network Magazine in 2009 and HGTV Magazine this year as proof of the enduring demand for new print product. In fact, Carey said, Hearst is likely to test another new print magazine next year. He did not indicate which market might be tested or the prospective brand, and Todd Wasserman, business editor of Mashable, who interviewed Carey, did not follow up.last_img read more

2014 Media Supplier Perspective Part 1

first_imgADVANTAGE COMPUTING SYSTEMSCindy MikolMarketing Director 1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? Consolidating, outsourcing—we are a fulfillment software business so it’s a little different than some of these other vendors. They want to try to get more functionality in one place. They kind of want one stop shopping. More people are asking us can you just do everything. They don’t want to have a server and hardware people. They want someone to provide it soup to nuts. That’s what we are hearing.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We are trying to be bullish. We are working really hard to adapt to the changes in the industry and it looks like we can do it. It looks to us that there will still be a place for our kind of software—at least for the near future. I don’t know beyond that what is going to happen to the industry, but I don’t think it’s going to go away. We are certainly are seeing less new business opportunities than we have in the last five years, but business is still good and we are getting new clients. Unfortunately a lot of them are in Europe, but that’s ok. The clients are a lot more global. We have to be bullish on it. It’s our life blood!3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?Significant not in a good way was the drying up of advertising in the business-to-business market. That just cut off a whole area of clients for us. But people want more business intelligence and we work to provide information on that. That’s a trend.LITLE & COJames KeoghBusiness Development Representative1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? It’s too early to say that. It’s kind of hard to answer that. 2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. The publishing industry has a lot of subscription and recurring billing and we as a payment processor that specializes in pay commerce and helping clients with recurring billing with value added services that mitigate risk of losing transaction and publishing is a good niche for us because they have a lot of subscription models and we can help maximize their return on investment.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?The push to go digital; the continued push I guess I would say.SUPERIOR MEDIA SOLUTIONSBill WalkerCEO1.What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? They need to figure out how to balance their legacy business and their digital business. They are really excited about how Superior Media Solutions is helping them do so.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. It’s in my blood. I have been around it for so many years. My wife is the president and COO of Vance publishing and I am a believer.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?[It’s] the trend toward mobile, which in the magazine business means more tablet than smart phone. And the ability to expand the content that’s deliverable—integrating not only data, but other functions—functionality I should say.ATTIVIOKarthik Chelladurai1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? Actually we are here today to know their top priorities. We don’t know yet. I think there are certain areas where we can really add value like being able to monitor a brand’s intelligence—the information that is positively or negatively impacting a given brand, or being able to monitor a personality in the unstructured world of social media. Or how to you keep a handle on things since there are so many tweets and blogs that spread very fast.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We are bullish because there is a big transition to the digital moment. The digital consumption is happening because of the tablets and other devices that are in everyone’s hands. The consumption is happening and to be able to give them a personal experience when they consume digital publishing, that requires a lot of technology to provide that experience and this opens new opportunities for software companies like ours which brings disparate information together on one dashboard, so we are extremely bullish on the industry.
3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?The one thing that we are seeing a lot of is the ability to get a handle on social media. A company’s perception is good or bad just by people tweeting or writing about them. How do you keep a handle on that? In publishing I think that is a very big deal. 
THE MAGAZINE MANAGER, MIRABEL TECHNOLOGIESAndy Balch Vice President, Sales and Marketing1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? They are very interested in digital solutions and executing the multiple digital disseminating of their content and being able to do that with the resources on hand and trying to get some revenue out of it.
2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. Publishers have all the credibility in the world with their brands and their products and there is an opportunity to reach a broader audience whatever the platform is.
3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?I would say the proliferation of mobile devices and being able to connect off of systems with tablets and smart phones and enabling the sales team to be so much more productive.
INQURY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMSMarc HighbloomVice President and General Manager1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?For what we do I would say its lead generation.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We’re not! Magazines have to do a better job. We were just talking about how Google changed up how they do their site and content is king, so if you are a large publisher and you have great content you are ok. But for everybody who is a small business now, Google doesn’t care about your key words any more; they care about your content. Magazines need to do a better job at providing content online and building their brand.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?For us it would be reinventing ourselves and providing more services for the magazine clients that are out there and integrating with other technologies that are more advanced. It’s keeping pace. We reinvented our systems and for the directories that we build for our clients we went out of house and integrated with more advanced third party systems. You can’t just build a single platform any more you will get killed. You have to integrate with Google, DoubleClick, and all these other technologies; otherwise you are dead in the water.CUMMINGS PrintingMark NakosSales Manager1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? I would say the top priority is looking to monetize their online/ digital presence.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. There is no substitute for good content. Readers and customers are thirsty for good content.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?It kind of ties into the first question; people are still searching for that magic bullet to make all the capital that they are investing with their online presence and trying to capture revenue from that. It’s the conundrum. People are throwing a lot of money at the space and not really getting a return for it.MERIT DIRECTDanielle ZaborskiVice President, Data & Media Services1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? They want smarter marketing. Everyone is vying for the same marketing dollar, so they have to be very smart in how they are spending those dollars.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. With many publications ceasing, it’s a different atmosphere. There are fewer players in the game and the smaller players are a little more vulnerable in terms of ad spends and exposure in the market place. The competition is fierce. It’s a different environment, but it is always going to be a viable channel. A lot of publishers are going online, but publishing is not going anywhere. It may shift to a digital forum, but it is by no means dying.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?Again, going back to digital, I think a lot of major publishers and smaller niche publications are trying to transition people to a digital version or shifting completely to an online only model—obviously with the mobile units being key. All industry data show that mobile and tablet readership is up and that is something that all smart publishers will key into in order to keep their business viable moving forward.
MEICraig RothSenior Vice President, Sales1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?They are still transitioning to digital.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We are bullish on the media in general. We don’t look at them as magazines, we look at them as part of the whole communications market place. They are all community experts and they are all becoming media agnostic and we are a supplier to that initiative. Thankfully we are very successful and our clients by default are very successful.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?I think the acceptance that information doesn’t have to be in the form of a piece of paper.DIGARATIKevin KennedyVice President1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? I would say the two major challenges that we are seeing that people want to solve are: Number one, how to you monetize things appropriately? And the second challenge would be, how do you distribute to multiple devices like your computer, your tablet, your smart phone, without having to use three different solutions to do that? Can I distribute to all those platforms from one place and then monetize across those platforms?2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. When I think about magazines I think about content. I think in terms of content rather than just in terms of magazines. It’s a point of gathering that will always appeal to like-minded people. I am still bullish on the way of consuming content in the way of a magazine is still going to be the way of the future. But we have to continue to evolve in how we distribute that content and get it into the hands of people and allow them to consume it in ways that are convenient for them.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?It’s hard to say because there are too many things going on at the same time—better ways of distributing content on mobile devices. It leads back to those challenges. I think the trend is monetizing on platforms like mobile.WRIGHTS MEDIAMichelle WolfNew Business Development1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?The top priority is to generate more revenue through existing assets.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. What better place is there for people who are creating content, are protective of their brand and who better know the value of their brand? That’s a perfect market for us. We work with content creators. They are well aware of the value of their brand and how that brand can be leveraged to create extra revenue.
3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?For the 1400 brands that we represent, it’s taking those existing lists. Publishers are finally realizing not to give away those assets and to monetize them. The editorial is for the reader; the brand is for the marketer, really. We have gone from ancillary revenue to substantial revenues for a lot of our publishers and that’s a big deal.REALMATCHRod GarciaInside Sales1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? Creating new revenue.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We find that it has a readership that is very loyal and they haven’t really begun to monetize their audience. I also think with the shift to mobile there is an audience shift.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?The shift to pay for performance model, the evolution of e recruiting has changed dramatically from the inception of newspapers. It shifted from offline to online. You had your newspapers and job board and then you had your job aggregators and Linkedin and now you have more of a pay for performance model where your employers are trying to gage on one specific avenue to capture their job seeker audience rather than to pay for 20 different licenses and have it all over the place.IPACESETTERSKeith StrehleAccount Executive1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? Primarily [it’s] price point, making sure of quality and also concerns about the new DPA regulations.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We think there’s excellent opportunity for growth with the ability for email marketing. 3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?The changes in DPA regulations and also the FCC wireless regulations.KNOWLEDGE MARKETINGSuzanne DunhamRegional Director of Sales1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? It’s Integrated data—the ability to look at their disparate data across all their different audiences. If you think about how Suzanne attends the MediaNext conference, she also receives FOLIO: magazine, she also subscribes to the e-newsletter. The problem is all of that data exists in silos today and they are trying to figure out the best way to put them together. Looking at the demographics from a behavioral and textural standpoint and then enabling everybody across their organization—from marketing to sales to editors—to really leverage unified data and create a more stable and better partnership with their advertisers.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. Because, believe it or not, we look at it as one of the most innovative industries out there. If you think about how traditional magazine publishers went through a stage of digitizing their brands, they have gone from transforming their sales mythology, their partnerships and their technologies, going from being circulation centric to audience centric and that is a sweet spot for us because we can help publishers to look at their data differently and having a unified data base, which is different than its always been. So it’s a great spot to be in.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?I think it’s similar to these other two areas, the transformation in marketing methodologies [and] sales methodologies. I think in 2013 everyone is going from talking about how to leverage their audience differently to actually doing something about it. So we are seeing that as a trend, taking action to integrate data and leveraging their gold mine of an audience in a different way—a full 360 degree profile of their audience members.FRY COMMUNICATIONSCheri StrykerSales Team Leader1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? I would say cost savings and further revenue.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. I don’t think print is going to go away just like radio didn’t go away. I think that Fry Communications has a lot of sexy print to offer and we are continually investing in our company to make brands more attractive.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?We have something new. We have the Komori cover press. It’s one of a kind in the United States. I think it’s a big door opener for our company. It does special effects with your printing all in one pass. It does dye cutting, embossing, spot UV, foil and it really has helped our publishers stand out in the newsstand area and also in advertising.OMEDADon RossClient Service Manager1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? From my viewpoint it is how to manage all the various data that they are getting from all their various silos and products, whether it is magazines, newsletters, webinars, website activity and behaviors. How do I manage that?2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media.Content is still king. And magazines are just one delivery method, but it’s still a reliable one.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?You are probably asking the wrong person, I really don’t have a good answer for that right now.PUBLISHERS PRESSDavid MarxRegional Sales Manager1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?Not specifically just to do better. They want to attract more ads, more efficiencies and look for additional revenue streams.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We are very bullish on the industry. It is still the preeminent media to deliver content.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?Looking for additional revenue streams using their content.LESTERLisa PistilliDirector, New Business Development1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? It’s building circulation and audience development and engagement within their own budgets, while complying with current audit regulations and government regulations.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. The subscribers still want to read content that is relevant and what I am seeing here is to getting editors and publishers to provide relevant and up to date content for their readers.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?The DPA changes and rules and the TCPA legislation were the most significant development—TCPA being far more important.NXTBOOK MEDIAMarcus GrimmMarketing Director 1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014? Cross platform publishing. The want to take their content to as many platforms as possible so that they can deliver audience to their advertisers and maximize the value to their advertisers.2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. We are bullish. Magazine publishers in particular—the niche magazine publishers—provide tremendous focused value for their advertisers. And while the Internet is a great way to do brand spending, the reality is that those advertisers who serve a niche business (and there are a lot of them) do best if they can find a magazine that serves their core audiences.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?I think that most publishers made the transition to mobile and tablet devices. Cross platform publishing has definitely hit the main stream. Those publishers who said a year or two ago that we are going to wait and see how it plays out are no longer waiting.STATLISTICSJohn PapaliaPresident, List Management1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?Mainly, to be more successful, make more money and move more into the social media world.2.Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media. Although it has to evolve, the magazine business will always be there. Human beings like magazines. They like the whole aspect of printed or digital content.3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?I would say the whole increase or use of portable devices. Everyone is using iPhones and iPads these days. The exhibitor floor at FOLIO:’s annual MediaNext event is likely the one place to experience the full breadth of services for the magazine media industry. It’s also a unique opportunity to take the pulse of the market from the perspective of those who are on the front lines driving the changes in technology and adapting to what publisher clients—and their audiences—are demanding from the marketplace. Here, we present part one of a collection of commentary from some of the top media service providers straight from the show floor of MediaNext 2013.last_img read more

Uniform stationary donated to govt school students in Sircilla

first_imgSircilla: The students should grab all opportunities to greater heights in their lives,advised Sircilla mandal educational officer Dusa Raghupathi.He was the chief guest at a programme organised under Arkmithra Foundation at Government Mandal Parishad Primary School in Gopalnagar of Sircilla town and distributed books, bags, exam pads and school uniform to the students. Also Read – Call to sensitize SC, ST laws in Hanamkonda Advertise With Us The foundation chairman JS Aravind donated these items worth Rs 30,000. Speaking on the occasion, MEO D Raghupathi appreciated the Arkmithra Foundation for encouraging the students by distributing the required materials so that they can concentrate more on studies. He advised the students to utilise the opportunities that come across in their life and strive hard to reach greater heights in future. Also Read – Kids show eco-friendly ways in Mahabubabad Advertise With Us Speaking on the occasion, Arkmithra Foundation chairman JS Aravind suggested the students to concentrate on studies and get command over all the subjects taught by their teachers and become better citizens of the country to help others. School Headmaster Chandrakala, teachers M Venu, Najmas Sahera, V Jyothi, V Priyanka, R Mamatha and B Geetha were present along with others.last_img read more

TS Wakf Board pulls down illegal structure at graveyard

first_imgPahadishareef: TS Wakf Board officials on Thursday removed encroachment on the Wakf land at Pahadishareef. According to officials, on the instructions of Wakf Board chairman Mohammed Saleem, the TSWB Inspector, Khayum Khan, surveyor Shujath Ali Khan, PA to chairman Mohammed Zayed and other TSWB officials visited the encroached graveyard land under survey no 92 Dargah-e-Baba Sharfuddin at Pahadishareef on Thursday. The officers with the help of JCB machine removed the illegal structure and booked criminal cases against the accused at Pahadishareef police station.last_img

A 150YearOld Cemetery Has Been Rediscovered in a Million Dollar Neighborhood

first_img Listen Share – / 5Sandwiched in between million dollar town homes, right outside of Uptown Park lays an acre of grass.In the 1800’s it was home to the Morse family, where they had built a cotton gin, saw mill, and what’s now known as Morse-Bragg Cemetery.Dan Worrall played a large role in turning that land into a historical site. “In 1851 Houston was a small village,” says Worrall. “It was four miles east of this point. They came to Texas for fresh lands settled here near Spring Feed Creek that lay about where that parking garage is behind me.”In the 1990’s, new landowners wanted to turn the property in to real-estate and tombstones began mysteriously disappearing.Janet Wagner recalled when her daughter use to play in the cemetery in the 1970’s.There were 17 tomb stones there at the time. Just two remain.Years later her daughter drew a map to help an archeologist identify the graves.“And so we gave it to the archaeologist who did some digging because they said, ‘Are there really graves out there? You know, is it imitation,’ and they found them,” says Wagner.The acre of grass has now been turned into a park with a historical landmark.An obelisk sits in the center with engraved names of the people buried there. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /01:13last_img read more

Family members accuse Green Park Nursing Home of baby swapping

first_imgKolkata: Green Park Nursing home in the city has been accused of baby swapping. Sukanta Biswas, a resident of Mukundapur has brought serious charges against the nursing home authorities of swapping his new born baby and lodged a complaint at the local police station. The nursing home is situated at Netai Nagar under Purva Jadavpur police station.After receiving the complaint, police took prompt action and held two officials of the nursing home for interrogation. In his complaint, Biswas mentioned that he brought his wife Tapasi Biswas to the nursing home for delivery on June 20. He said his wife was admitted to the nursing home at around 5.30 pm. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe doctor, who was treating the woman, has been attached to the nursing home. The lady doctor told the family members that the operation would be done at around 6.30 pm. The woman gave birth to a boy child at around 7.27 pm. But the family members of the woman was not allowed to see the baby until 9 pm, when the baby was finally produced before Biswas and his family members.The baby had some deformity in his legs and one hand. The family members alleged that the doctor, earlier on the basis of some clinical tests, confirmed that the baby was absolutely fine and he had no such deformities. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedWhen the family members of the victim raised the issue, the nursing home authorities told them that everything will be alright following a plastic surgery on the baby. Biswas was also advised to take the baby home. The victim’s family members on Thursday staged a demonstration inside the nursing home campus onThursday morning.The family members of the infant took him to NRS Medical College and Hospital, where the baby was denied admission initially. The staff members of the hospital wanted to know from the family members where the delivery was done and who had carried out the operation.Biswas also told the police that his wife had been under the treatment of a lady doctor attached to the private nursing home since November last year. Several tests were performed on the patient from time to time on the basis of which doctor had said the baby was absolutely normal.The family members also alleged that their child had been swapped by some of the staff members of the nursing home immediatelyafter he was born.They also added that after the delivery, one unidentified person came out of the operation theatre with a bag, went straight downstairs and left the nursing home.The family members of the victim have demanded a detailed probe into the incident and stern action against those who will be found guilty.last_img read more

Unique tree on IIT Kharagpur campus attracts botanists from across country

first_imgKolkata: A unique tree on the campus of IIT Kharagpur is now the centre of attraction of botanists all over the country because of its rarity.Botanist Barnali Chakrabarti has stumbled upon a unique 5 in 1 tree. Though the main tree is Bakul (Mimusops), four other varieties like Dumur (Ficus), Neem (Azadirachta), Pipal and Sheora (Streblus) have emerged from certain joints of the same tree.”A blend of two varieties like Assattha (Sacred Fig) emerging from banyan tree or vice-versa or Banyan or Assattha erupting from a Simul tree is not uncommon. But 5 in 1 tree is usually unheard of,” Chakrabarti said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to her, the main tree is Bakul (Mimusops). A few feet above the ground from the main stem, two more major trees Dumur (Ficus) and Neem (Azadirachta) have grown as if they are tearing open the Bakul tree stem and coming out. Later, Pipal and Sheora (Streblus) have erupted from the very samejoint at the top.The main Bakul Tree is more than 20 years old, while Dumur and Neem too is more than 10 years old. The last two varieties are relatively new. “There are hundreds of trees on the campus and many of them are unique but this is possibly the most unique one that I have seen,” Chakrabarti said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe Horticulture section has already enclosed the tree to protect it and a board listing out the names of all the species have been put.”A variety of birds throng the IIT KGP campus because of the greenery all around. When a bird feeds on fruits, it sometimes carries the seeds in its beak or the seeds get stuck to its body parts. As it perches from one tree to another, such a phenomenon may occur.” Chakrabarti added.Barnali Chakrabarti has been promoting green activism on the campus for the past few years. The institute has planted some 3,000 tress on the campus in the last three years and is geared up to plant more trees as soon as monsoon sets in full swing.It may be mentioned that the students of IIT Kharagpur have formed a social group to spread the message of tree conservation and planting trees with deep roots that don’t get uprootedduring storms.last_img read more

Australia tackles worldwide Angling market with nationwide Fishing Program

first_imgA suite of promotional materials – including a video, itineraries, articles and stunning imagery – has been published by Tourism Australia to promote the Great Fishing Adventures of Australia collective to keen anglers around the world.The group of independently owned fishing tourism operators in some of Australia’s most naturally spectacular and pristine environments is part of the Signature Experiences of Australia program which packages and promotes outstanding tourism experiences within a variety of niche areas and special interest categories.Fishing enthusiast Dean Cooper is the Executive Officer for the program.last_img

Reevaluating The Mortgage Interest Deduction

first_imgWhile the industry shudders at the thought of a change to the cherished mortgage interest deduction, the future of homeownership could stand to benefit from such a change.By Ron TerwilligerWhile nothing is inevitable in politics, comprehensive tax reform will likely rank high on Washington’s agenda once a new President and Congress assume office in 2017. That means major changes to the mortgage interest deduction (MID) may be just around the corner.Contrary to conventional wisdom, the housing industry has the potential to benefit from the changes. But these benefits will be realized only if the homeownership and rental sectors of the industry work together to further key housing priorities.Speaker Paul Ryan’s Passion for Tax ReformTax reform has a powerful ally in new House Speaker Paul Ryan, who declared tax reform as one of his top goals just before his swearing in. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Ryan is so committed to reform he spends his nights “dreaming about tax policy.”If Republicans maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 2016 elections, a likely prospect at this point, chances are the Speaker will be a major force pushing for an overhaul of the federal tax code. He will find willing allies among Republicans in a newly constituted Senate. And if a Republican is elected to the White House, tax reform will gain even more momentum.The objectives of reform will be to simplify the code and reduce overall individual and corporate tax rates. Achieving these goals in any meaningful sense won’t be easy. It will require lawmakers to reexamine the major deductions, credits, and other “tax expenditures” that currently populate the code and around which strong and vocal constituencies have developed over the years.Reexamining the Mortgage Interest DeductionOne of the biggest federal tax expenditures is the MID. According to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), in 2015 the MID cost the federal government $71 billion in lost revenue. The projected price tag of the MID from 2015 to 2019 will reach nearly $420 billion, a huge sum.The MID ranks as the fourth-largest tax expenditure for individuals in the entire federal budget. It is an obvious source of revenue to offset what may be lost to the federal government by reducing overall tax rates, both individual and corporate. No doubt, that’s one of the reasons Speaker Ryan has proposed capping the amount of mortgage debt eligible for the deduction at $500,000, one-half its current limit of $1 million.Speaker Ryan also favors limiting the home mortgage tax deduction to “middle income people.” It’s no secret that the MID disproportionately benefits higher-income households. Another JCT study found 77 percent of the benefits associated with the MID flow to households with incomes of $100,000 or more, while 35 percent of the benefits accrue to households with incomes of $200,000 or more. Conversely, households with annual incomes of $50,000 or less receive only three percent of the benefits.A major reason for this imbalance is the MID, like other tax deductions, is available only to the small fraction of households who itemize deductions on their federal tax returns. The overwhelming majority of households with annual incomes under $100,000 do not itemize but instead take the standard deduction.To expand the benefits of the MID, three high-level bipartisan advisory groups—the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, established by former President George W. Bush; the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Commission, established by President Obama; and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force—have all recommended the MID be converted into a tax credit that would be potentially available to all filing taxpayers, not just those who itemize.Ensuring MID Savings “Stay at Home”Let’s face it: Whenever the mortgage interest deduction is mentioned in the halls of Congress, the first instinct of many in the housing industry is to crouch in a defensive posture. With change imminent, it’s time to take a more proactive approach that views the prospect of MID reform not as a cause for trepidation but instead as an opportunity.The first step is for those in the homeownership and rental sectors of the industry to unite around a clear objective. We must work to ensure that any “savings” achieved through changes to the MID literally “stay at home” within housing and are used to fund and support critical housing priorities—most prominently, first-time homeownership and affordable rental housing.The pressure to sweep these savings into deficit reduction or to pay for overall tax-rate reductions will be great, so developing an effective strategy that achieves this stay-at-home objective must begin now. We must make the case that promoting first-time homeownership and affordable rental housing directly helps families and provides major macroeconomic benefits as well.Resuscitating First-time HomeownershipSince the subprime debacle, the national homeownership rate has plunged more than five percentage points. It now stands at a 21-year low. During this period, the homeownership rates for younger adults and minorities have also registered dramatic declines. Perhaps even more alarming is the percentage of first-time homebuyers has reached its lowest level in 29 years, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors.What’s behind these declines? Years of wage and income stagnation, regulatory uncertainty that has encouraged lenders to adopt restrictive credit overlays to their underwriting policies, a limited inventory of affordable new and existing homes, and record levels of student loan debt have all put downward pressure on the homeownership rate.America’s changing demographics will also present a major challenge. The bottom line is that minorities will be the driving force behind new household formation over the next 15 years.According to the Urban Institute, from 2010 to 2020, 8.9 million net new minority households will account for 77 percent of overall household growth. From 2020 to 2030, an additional 9.1 million net new minority households will form, comprising an astounding 88 percent of projected household growth. Unfortunately, the median incomes of African-American and Hispanic families continue to lag significantly behind those of whites, a circumstance that will complicate the ability of many to become homeowners.Consequently, new approaches to promote sustainable homeownership for first-time homebuyers will be essential. One such approach would be to adopt what has already been suggested—to convert the MID into a tax credit so that moderate-income and lower-income families, most of whom do not itemize on their federal tax returns and account for a significant share of first–time homebuyers, can benefit.But other ideas are certainly worth considering and pursuing. It’s time for the housing industry to put these ideas on the table and insist they be considered if and when Congress reexamines the MID.Making Rental Housing More AffordableWith the decline in the homeownership rate, we have witnessed an enormous surge in demand for rental housing. Unfortunately, the supply of affordable rental homes in many communities has not kept pace. The result: a rental affordability crisis with rising rents consuming increasingly larger shares of household incomes.According to Harvard‘s Joint Center for Housing Studies, in 2014, a record number of renter households, 21.3 million, paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing (the federal affordability threshold), while 11.4 million renter households paid in excess of 50 percent. Those families with the lowest incomes are suffering the most from excessive rent burdens, forcing some to choose between paying the rent or spending less on essentials like nutritious food and medical care.Less appreciated is the negative correlation between rising rents and homeownership. In particular, many younger renters burdened with high monthly housing costs are finding it increasingly difficult to accumulate funds for a mortgage down payment.Strategies to relieve these pressures should be viewed through a homeownership lens—after all, today’s renters are tomorrow’s first-time homebuyers.Increasing the supply of affordable rental homes is a critical national need. A substantial expansion of federal support for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, our nation’s most successful housing production program for low-income renters, must be a top priority. As recommended by the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, increased funding for the Housing Credit must also be tied with additional federal support for the “gap” financing that is often required for Housing Credit properties.Without question, responding to today’s rental affordability crisis with adequate supply-side and demand-side solutions will require a significant expenditure of federal funds, a difficult “ask” during a time of severe budget pressures. But, as highlighted by the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, Congressional consideration of tax reform provides an opportune moment for this conversation to occur.Come Together Right NowA plunging homeownership rate and skyrocketing rents are challenging our nation’s housing system like never before. With comprehensive tax reform on the horizon, it is time for the housing industry to come together to develop a coherent, unified strategy to best position itself for the potential changes ahead. At the core of this strategy must be the recognition that homeownership and rental housing are complementary, not competing, elements of the same system. We are all in this together.Editor’s note: This select print feature appears in the April 2016 edition of MReport magazine, available now. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Origination, Print Features Homeownership Housing Market Mortgage Interest Deduction 2016-04-14 Staff Writer April 14, 2016 626 Views center_img Share Reevaluating The Mortgage Interest Deductionlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Peregrine Adventures th

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterPeregrine Adventures this week unveiled new expeditions to Antarctica that will benefit both travellers and the environment.Peregrine Adventures’ Antarctica Expeditions aboard the Ocean Endeavour will continue the company’s focus on a sustainable and experiential style of cruising.“We want the journey to Antarctica to be life-changing, not earth-changing,” says Brett Mitchell, Regional Director of Asia Pacific for Peregrine Adventures.Peregrine has a strong focus on sustainability, serving only sustainably sourced seafood, avoiding single-use plastics and using biodegradable and phosphate-free cleaning products on board. Peregrine carbon-offsets all land trips, adventure cruises and polar expeditions, and these new voyages will see Peregrine double the carbon offsets on behalf of all customers.“Antarctica reminds its visitors of just how small our planet is and how interconnected we are. Our travellers leave inspired to do more to protect the environment and we want to play our part by doubling our carbon offsets on each voyage,” said Mitchell, who has just returned from Antarctica himself.The Ocean Endeavour carries 199 travellers and has a range of accommodation options, including single cabins.With an impressive ratio of one crew member to eight travellers to reflect the Peregrine small-group style of travel, travellers will have the chance to explore the White Continent on a range of optional activities with specialised guides such as sea kayaking, snowshoeing, photography tours and even ice-camping. But it’s the opportunity to completely switch off that’s attracting a new type of traveller to the world’s last frontier.Nature as a prescription has been a growing trend and Antarctica may be the ultimate medication for travellers who need to reset in the most pristine environment on Earth.“We want to ensure that not only do we protect the environment, [but we also] inspire travellers as well, and these trips will emphasise personal reflection and offer yoga on the ship, where travellers can completely switch off in this pristine destination.”Mitchell said yoga in Antarctica will turn Bikram yoga on its head by offering the popular wellness movement as the ship sails through below-zero temperatures.He went on to say, starting October 2020, the Peregrine charters will make the polar experience more accessible than ever with a lead-in price of AU$7,090.“Experiencing Antarctica is one of the greatest travel experiences and it shouldn’t be exclusively for the wealthy,” said Mitchell.To celebrate the launch, Peregrine held a panellist event where travel and polar experts come together to discuss whether Antarctica is the ‘ultimate last frontier’. Geoff Manchester, Co-founder of Intrepid Group, was joined on the panel by adventurer Paul Hameister, writer and photographer Liz Carlson, Rachael Robertson (who led a year-long journey in the region) and David ‘Dutch’ Willmott, a polar expedition leader in the region.The five panel members shared their travel stories from a personal perspective with Rachael Robertson, speaker, author and Antarctic expedition leader, saying: “Antarctica is life-changing. The honour of visiting a place so pristine, untouched and precious – a place that remains exactly as it should be – opens you up to a world of possibilities. The sheer scale of the continent is endless and absolutely inspiring.”“It will take your breath away at every turn, and forever hold a piece of your heart. It did for me,” Robertson added.Robertson also added that the physical and mental challenges taught her to become more aware of her thoughts and surroundings in addition to honing her leadership and team-building skills.See peregrineadventures.com/en-au/antarctica-2021-seasonGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Deputies question CB power over payroll

first_imgBy Poly PantelidesTHE MEMBERS of the House Finance Committee yesterday lodged their disapproval with a government-submitted bill giving responsibility to the Central Bank (CB) board for its staff payroll.Central Bank board member Stelios Kiliaris told lawmakers they were down to 273 staff members, from 316 and needed to hire new staff to respond to the regulator’s needs. Austerity measures are in place freezing wages, promotions and new hires in the public sector, but the government said that its lenders wanted the CB to be exempt in order to respond to its role given the ongoing bailout programme, due to end in 2016.A condition in the revised memorandum specified the CB must be able to maintain and hire specialised staff to continue its operations, the government said.Kiliaris said the regulator was planning to act within the overall austerity measures in place in the civil sector and would follow current wage reductions. He added they were considering giving people title promotions without accompanying wage promotions and would be conservative in the number of people they hired, possibly on yearly contracts.The Central Bank’s handling of a number of issues has been publicly criticised by deputies. The government has also questioned the regulator’s competence.Head of the finance committee Nicolas Papadopoulos wanted to know what “invisible hand is leading troika to this obligation in the memorandum.” He said they would seriously consider the proposal because they had to, but added it was not clear the memorandum obligation went as far as allowing the Central Bank to set whatever wages it wanted.“So at this stage we must not examine exempting the CB staff wages but only freeing up new hires,” he said.EDEK deputy Nicos Nicolaides said the bill was “unacceptable and insulting” to the rest of the civil servant sector and said nothing in the memorandum called for distinguishing between the CB staff and the rest of the public sector.He said other services of the state were equally or more important dealing with security, public order and flight safety.And he said they could not accept different treatment for the CB in terms of its staff payroll.The Green Party’s Giorgos Perdikis said the Central Bank “was once again using the Big Brother troika threat to have full immunity in their payroll”.“What is happening is unacceptable,” he added, echoing his peers.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoTruthfinderEnter Any Name, Wait These Seconds, See Instant ResultsTruthfinderUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more