The charcoal hunters

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Investigative reporter Emmanuel Freudenthal and photographer and videographer Nathan Siegel take you behind the scenes of their reporting.The report is one of a multi-part series on illegal logging in Myanmar, published this week by Mongabay.More reporting, photography, and a short docu-video in this series can be found at Mongabay.com. KATHA, Myanmar – The train rocked from side to side like a sketchy funhouse. It was the rainy season in northern Myanmar and we had been traveling for nearly a week. For the next couple of weeks, we would follow the colossal Irrawaddy River upstream until it bent to lick the Chinese border. We had come to document Myanmar’s export of timber to China, an illegal trade that has been depleting the country’s forests over decades.Our team comprised the usual journalism trinity: a fixer-translator, Mary*; photographer Nathan; and a writer, Emmanuel. Our first target was the forest near Katha, a quiet town bordering the Irrawaddy, where we thought it would be easy to find loggers and then follow the logs to China.Searching for loggersAfter a night in Katha, early in the morning, we set out enthusiastically on a day trip to the forest. It’s just a little bit farther, our guide said, but it seemed like we never got any closer. After shaking across bumpy roads for hours on tiny motorbikes, breaking down twice, and driving over a suicidal chicken (RIP), we were exhausted, but we had finally made it to the forest!Charcoal near Katha, Myanmar. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.A local contact of our fixer introduced us to a logger whom we followed to his forest work site. Surrounded by trees, we chatted with him, feet in ensconced in mud, hands swatting mosquitoes and skin sweating. Our first interviewee, and the only person around, turned out to be more of a heroin addict and small-time laborer than the chainsaw-wielding serial logger we had hoped for.Nevertheless, he told us something crucial: virtually nobody logs during the monsoon season. You can see why, he said, motioning to the swarms of mosquitoes around us. Somehow none of the dozen researchers and fixers we’d talked to before our trip had mentioned that logging comes to halt with the seasonal rains.The story we had spent months researching and planning had just gotten severely and literally bogged down. With night quickly falling, we scooped up what remained of our crushed spirits and headed back to Katha. The headlight of the bike rented by Emmanuel and Mary was broken, so they used the flashlight app on  a smartphone to find their way back to the hotel through the freezing night.“Our bad luck is all because you murdered that chicken,” Nathan said to Emmanuel at one point.Our spirits had hit rock bottom.We were just about to leave Katha in anger to try our luck elsewhere. But the next day, we talked to a local farmer and NGO member who would set our journey on a new direction.A new focusAs the farmer smiled and quietly puffed on a cigarette (all environmentalists smoke, he jokingly explained), he told us that charcoal was exported from Myanmar to China to produce metal. This sounded odd, but promising. Glancing at each other, we tried to contain our excitement. Was this the break we were looking for? Or another dead end?Emmanuel, a calming and even force on the trip, seemed to allow himself a bit of hope.“I forgot how much reporting is like a rollercoaster,” he said. Hopefully we would start climbing to something promising – and exit before the hair-raising fall that inevitably follows.A local woman pulls charcoal from an earth kiln near Katha, a town in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. Producers in the area around Katha are often farmers who make charcoal to supplement their income. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.That night after Nathan made the dubious claim that the soup noodles were “the best we’ve had so far,” we furiously searched the internet for any mentions of this charcoal trade. Nothing turned up apart from a brief paragraph in a December 2014 Forest Trends report which stated that “charcoal now represents 32 percent of Myanmar’s total timber product exports to China.” And that this “is likely prohibited by Myanmar law.”Emmanuel noted he wasn’t sure whether we had set upon a great story or a wild goose chase.The following week, we met with dozens of charcoal producers and traders scattered along the riverbank near Katha. All the producers were small-scale farmers who said they sought to supplement their income by smoking wood in large kilns in their backyard. Many had logged teak and other valuable hardwood species in years past, but greater restrictions and the exhaustion of these trees made the business unviable.Instead, villagers were cutting the trees that remained after companies had cleared the forests for huge profits. That confirmed that the charcoal production is real. But does it go to China’s factories, or just feed local cooking stoves?We had to follow the charcoal trail. We became obsessed with spotting the pale green bags filled with those lumpy chunks of charred wood.The businessSeveral traders near Katha explained that they load the bags on large boats that then fight the current of the mighty Irrawaddy River by going upstream to a town called Bhamo, near the Chinese border. From there, it seemed logical to guess that the charcoal is then loaded onto trucks and smuggled into China.Following these bags to China was not straightforward because it crossed areas where an armed conflict had been simmering since the 1960s, pitting the Kachin ethnic group against Burmese government forces.The Kachin Independence Army and its political wing are incredibly well-organized for a non-state armed group. They have a nice website, trendy Facebook page, decent schools, healthcare and the other trimmings of an established state. At the time we visited the area, it was rather quiet and foreigners were not being targeted by the Kachin army. But despite the appearance of order and normalcy, the government strictly controls the movement of visitors, which meant that many places were out of our reach.To follow the green bags, we needed to jump on a boat to Bhamo. A port official told us that this was not allowed for foreigners. He advised we take the funhouse train ride back to Mandalay and then fly to Bhamo, which would have lost us at least two days.Charcoal bags from Myanmar bound for China. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.Luckily, we were stubborn enough to inquire elsewhere, until we found a boat operator who agreed to take us. The boat was large with wooden seats that were inexplicably suspended so high above the hull that our feet dangled when we sat. The toilets at the back were a couple of planks suspended above the churning water.Yet the stunning landscape of the Irrawaddy River with its alternating pastures and steep, forested banks offered up one of those days where journalism mingles with tourism.Following the charcoal trailBhamo is a bustling riverside town 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Myanmar’s border with China, and was born out of the trade between the two countries. Every day, trucks leave with raw products such as rice, pineapple or charcoal. They head to Lwegel, a town which straddles the border between the two countries. Once they’ve dropped their load, the trucks return filled to the brim with electronics, motorbikes and a flurry of consumer goods.In Bhamo, we spoke with the transporters of the charcoal trade: truck and boat drivers, who confirmed that exporting charcoal was illegal. We estimated the bribes to military officials, police and forest officers as potentially adding up to millions of dollars.Once we had established that Bhamo was a crucial nexus of the charcoal route to China, and had elected our favorite street-side restaurant, it was time to follow the green bags to their next stop: China.We knew that the road from Bhamo to a town straddling the border with China called Lwegel, it was off limits to foreigners. But we decided to see how far we could go before being stopped – we hoped to witness a checkpoint where truck drivers must pay bribes to officials. Riding motorbikes, we trailed a truck and sped through the first checkpoint just fast enough to catch bewildered stares from the police.The second checkpoint was our goal because we had been told the trucks had to queue there. Less than two kilometers from our target, Mary, who was on her own bike, suddenly slowed down. She talked with two men dressed casually, who turned out to be plainclothes officers. Unsure, we continued. With the checkpoint in sight, we were passed by a motorbike mounted by a bitter-faced military officer in a green uniform. He was yelling, “Hey! Hey! Stop!” As it was hard to ignore him, we pulled over. The officer continued to berate us: “Not allowed! Turn around!” We did as we were told – adventure over.Well, adventure diverted.The borderAfter four days of arduous travel, we would arrive just 60 kilometers (40 miles) from where the officer had stopped us, while Mary stayed in Myanmar. To see the next step in the charcoal’s journey, we had to fly back to Mandalay, stay there overnight, then fly to Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province. From Kunming, we still had to drive over 750 kilometers (655 miles), which would take us two long days.Charcoal bags on a boat near Katha, Myanmar. The boat is bound for Bhamo, where the charcoal will be taken by trucks over the order to China. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.In Kunming, we rented motorcycles. As we set out, the rain started falling harder and harder, drenching us. The first day riding was spent soaking in the rain – when Nathan spoke to his girlfriend on the phone, he described it as “taking a four-hour cold shower in a wind tunnel … while not moving an inch.”Nevertheless, this was probably the most beautiful wind tunnel in the world. We slid along rolling hills and impressive canyons, carpeted with lush green forest.We had nearly reached our stop for the first night, the tourist city of Dali, when Emmanuel’s bike broke down at a gas station. The rollercoaster was heading steeply downward. Despite the valiant efforts of a random passerby at a gas station, intermediated by a translation app on our smartphones, we had to call the guy who rented us the bikes. We waited for him in the gas station restaurant, trying to dry and warm up a little bit.The rental guy became our knight in shining armor, riding to us in his white minivan, with his trusty mechanic in tow. After three hours, the knight and his sidekick fixed the motorbike. With daylight long gone, we were back on the road. It was still raining and the wind tunnel hadn’t been shut down, but we managed to make it to Dali. The next day, we reached Ruili, a town hosting the main border crossing between Myanmar and China.Trucks like this are loaded with charcoal for the 50-mile drive to China. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.For a few days, we rode our motorbikes around to small border towns. The border was sometimes just a ditch, and we found a road were trucks freely passed from one country to the other, some of them loaded with charcoal. Armed with a smartphone at the end of a pink selfie stick – embodying a tourist’s caricature – we filmed charcoal warehouses. We saw 10-meter-high (nearly 40 feet) piles of the pale green bags we were hunting for.Then we rode farther inland to find smelting factories, whose GPS coordinates we had marked on the map. There, we filmed the charcoal being thrown into burning ovens. That was the final step of the charcoal’s journey that we wanted to document.After all this, we made the two-day ride back to Kunming to return the bikes. The final day, the rain poured down as we pulled into town. It was a fitting end to a reporting trip during monsoon season, we said.Despite the foul weather, we were smiling, having gathered all the facts and photos we needed for our story. We were back on top of the roller coaster – our final stop.Banner image: A boat travels along a tributary to the Irrawaddy River. Photo by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.*Name has been changed for the safety of the individual.Emmanuel Freudenthal is an investigative reporter whose work has appeared internationally and he can be found on Twitter at @EmmanuelFreuden. Nathan Siegel is a photographer and videographer focusing on international environmental issues. He can be found on Instagram at @npsiegel.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. charcoal, Deforestation, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Tropical Forests center_img Article published by Genevieve Belmakerlast_img read more

‘I’m ready’: Folayang going all out in bid for ONE title

first_imgBREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise Eduard Folayang of Team Lakay shows his fighting stance as he gears up for a title match against defending champion Shinya Aoki on November 11 for the One Championship lightweight title at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. INQUIRER PHOTO BY EV ESPIRITU/@eespirituINQLA TRINIDAD – Eduard Folayang’s time has come and he is taking full advantage of it.Two weeks away from his biggest bout in ONE Championship, the 32-year-old’s confidence is at an all-time high as he prepares for war against Shinya Aoki.ADVERTISEMENT Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sablan calls out players after UST’s 43-point loss: What do you expect? Known as a striker, Folayang has been putting on the work to improve on his ground defense to counter Aoki’s strength.“Yung mga tumalo sa kanya, iniwasan ang ground nya. Kung alam natin na yun ang specialty nila, kailangan nating dalhin sila sa area na mas lamang tayo.”The opportunity also gives Team Lakay a chance to welcome home another champion, something the group has not seen since Honorio Banario’s reign as the ONE Featherweight Champion back in 2013.“Bilang manlalaro, gusto natin maging champion,” said Folayang. “Minsan kailangang dumaan tayo sa butas ng karayom para makuha yung mga ganoong bagay, pero sa akin, naniniwala ako na may time at season para sa lahat. Hindi ko na palalagpasin yung chance para makuha yung belt.”ADVERTISEMENT EDITORS’ PICK Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND We are young Team ‘Trabaho’ scores championship title at the last leg of Smart Siklab Saya Manila Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PHcenter_img “Handa na ako,” he said after training with the rest of Team Lakay in the squad’s gym here on Tuesday. “Excited na talaga ako kasi for how many years na hinintay ko ito, ngayon magkakaroon na ako ng chance para sa title.”Folayang (16-5) will be challenging the experienced Aoki (39-6-0, 1 NC) for the ONE Lightweight title at ONE Championship: Defending Honor on November 11 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentEven Team Lakay founder and coach Mark Sangiao thinks that his ward is ready and primed for the spotlight.“Time na rin para ibigay nila kay Eduard yung title shot. Magandang timing ito para sa kanya,” he said. 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas View comments Brad Pitt wins his first acting Oscar as awards get underway MOST READ BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908last_img read more

SA cracks down on tax offenders

first_imgThe South African Revenue Service (Sars) has unveiled a string of new penalties as it moves to crack down on non-compliant taxpayers. The penalties come into effect on 23 November 2009. The new regulations will see taxpayers who fail to submit their tax returns receive penalties ranging from R250 to R16 000 a month, depending on the individual’s salary. Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula said the new penalty regulations had been communicated and explained to all the relevant stakeholders, including professional bodies representing tax practitioners. Zero tolerance Source: BuaNews 14 October 2009 This means a person earning about R300 000 a year who fails to submit a tax return for 35 months could end up paying a penalty of close to R500 000. The implementation will be phased in over a period, beginning on 23 November for taxpayers with outstanding income tax returns. “We are very serious about making sure that we improve the level of compliance in our country. We want people to understand the implications of not filing on time and failure to meet their obligations.” Penalties The penalties will recur each month for as long as the income tax return remains outstanding. The regulation allows for penalties to be applied for up to 35 months, and for penalties to be doubled monthly. Repeat offenders In effect, taxpayers have until 20 November – the final deadline for the 2009 tax season – to submit any outstanding returns in order to avoid being penalised under the new regime. As part of the collection process, Sars will approach employers to act as agents in terms of the relevant tax legislation. According to Magashula, the number currently stands at just over 3-million. “If we continue to tolerate this non-compliance, that is when we will see our tax system falling flat and the legitimacy of the state undermined,” he said. The penalties cover a range of non-compliance, including failure to register as a taxpayer, failure to inform Sars of a change of address and other personal particulars, and failure to submit tax returns and other documents to Sars. A Sars report reveals that a staggering 5.3-million returns due to the institution were outstanding in the financial year 2007/08, and that legal action had to be taken against 81 000 taxpayers. According to Sars’ head of legal and policy affairs, Kosie Louw, Sars could appoint an agency to collect the money during that 35-month period. In extreme cases, a repeat offender could even be criminally charged. Magashula described the current penalty regime as “ineffective”, saying Sars would not be tolerant of tax offenders under the new regime. Sars delayed implementing the new penalties to give taxpayers time to rectify their affairs and to enable Sars to develop its own systems to automatically issue penalties. In the interest of fairness, Sars will first impose the new penalties against repeat offenders – taxpayers who have failed to submit returns for multiple years.last_img read more

California ~ Corporate Income Tax: Guidance on Amended Market-Based Sourcing Rules Issued

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportThe California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has issued a bulletin advising its staff on how to handle taxpayer inquiries about the amended market-base sourcing rules (TAXDAY, 2016/10/13, S.1), which are effective January 1, 2017, and operative for most taxpayers for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015. The amendments provide the definition of and assignment rules for “marketable securities,” assignment rules for dividends and goodwill, and assignment rules for interest. The FTB noted that, for the 2015 tax year, the amendments may require some taxpayers to file an original return if they were not previously aware that they had a filing requirement. The FTB also provided information on a taxpayer’s eligibility to file in a group return.Subscribers can view the bulletin at https://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/Public_Service_Bulletins/2016/37-10032016.shtml.Public Service Bulletin 16-37, California Franchise Tax Board, October 3, 2016last_img read more

Jamaica Expected to Pass Fourth Review Under IMF Standby Agreement

first_img Mr. Duncan said this optimism is based on the economic programme’s out-turns through to the end of June 2018, which saw the Government meeting all quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets, except inflation. Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chairman, Keith Duncan, anticipates that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board will ratify Jamaica’s fourth review under the IMF’s Precautionary Standby Arrangement (PSBA), when its members meet for deliberations on November 5. Story Highlights The IMF’s Mission Team to Jamaica conducted the review between September 10 and 21. Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chairman, Keith Duncan, anticipates that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board will ratify Jamaica’s fourth review under the IMF’s Precautionary Standby Arrangement (PSBA), when its members meet for deliberations on November 5.Mr. Duncan said this optimism is based on the economic programme’s out-turns through to the end of June 2018, which saw the Government meeting all quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets, except inflation.The IMF’s Mission Team to Jamaica conducted the review between September 10 and 21.He was speaking at EPOC’s quarterly media briefing at Jamaica Money Market Brokers Limited’s (JMMB) corporate offices in Kingston on Wednesday (October 17).Notable among the out-turns, Mr. Duncan said, is the $31.3 billion primary surplus recorded at the end of June, which far exceeded the $18-million target; tax revenue inflows of $128.7 billion, surpassing the $110-billion target; and non-borrowed reserves totalling $2.48 billon, which outweighed the $2.07-billion target.“We do expect a favourable review, in spite of the inflation target coming in at 2.8 per cent… below the programme range [of] 3.5 to 6.5 per cent,” the EPOC Co-Chairman told journalists.He reiterated that consequent on the strong economic performance, the Government met all seven macroeconomic fiscal structural benchmarks for the November 2017 to August 2018 period.Additionally, the Administration met the 14 structural benchmarks for public-sector transformation, and public bodies and public-service reform through to the end of August 2018.Meanwhile, Mr. Duncan said all quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets are basically back on track, based on the August out-turns vis-à-vis the September targets.Notably, he informed, inflation came in at 3.9 per cent to move back into the programme range.Mr. Duncan further stated that the August primary surplus out-turn stood at $42.1 billion, some $1.9 billion shy of the $44-billion September target.Tax revenue inflows stood at $207.9 billion, as against the $234-billion target for September, while total non-borrowed reserves climbed to US$2.47 billion, surpassing the US$2.14-billion September target.The EPOC Co-Chairman indicated that the April to August 2018 period recorded $230 billion in overall grants inflows, 2.8 per cent above the Government’s targeted budget of $223.8 billion.Additionally, he said tax revenues continue to outperform budget, coming in at $207.9 billion or 3.6 per cent above the target of $200.6 billion.Mr. Duncan attributed this out-turn to ongoing improvements in taxpayer compliance, pointing out that approximately 6,080 new persons were brought into the tax net as at July 2018.“EPOC acknowledges the targeted efforts of the Government of Jamaica [and] Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) in widening the tax base, which has contributed to the positive performance of tax revenues,” he stated.Mr. Duncan noted further that total expenditure for the period was below budget by $5.9 billion, while capital expenditure was $24.4 billion, some $2.8 billion or 13.2 per cent above budget.He indicated that tax revenue inflows and expenditure contributed to the $42.1 billion primary surplus recorded for the period, which he said, exceeded the Government’s $34.3 billion target.“It is important to note the capital expenditure of $24.4 billion, which was $10.7 billion greater than the $13.7 billion expended for the same period, up to August of 2017. The improved investment in capital expenditure demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the overall stimulation of growth in the economy,” the EPOC Co-Chair added.Mr, Duncan said that with a little over a year to the completion of the PSBA in 2019, “I would say the [economic] programme is on track… and positively so”.He said the success of the programme, to date, is highlighted by, among other things, growth of at least 2.2 per cent in the April to June quarter; greater tax revenue inflows; unemployment down to 9.7 per cent, the lowest ever; and 1,217,300 persons being employed, the highest number ever recorded.last_img read more

NOW HIRING 10 New Job Openings In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are some of the newest job openings in Wilmington:Full-Time General Merchandise Team Leader at TargetFull-Time Overnight Residential Counselor at NFI Massachusetts (Milestone)Full-Time Recruiter at VerizonFull-Time Database Administrator at Locus RoboticsFull-Time Driver’s License/Road Text Examiner at Registry of Motor VehiclesFull-Time Quality Assurance Auditor 1 at Charles River LabsFull-Time Accounting Associate 2 (Temporary) at L3 TechnologiesFull-Time Hi-Rel Business Development Manager at Heilind ElectronicsFull-Time/Part-Time Cashier at Cumberland FarmsFull-Time Preschool Teacher (Certified) at Little Sprouts(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.)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… RelatedNOW HIRING: 60 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of June 2, 2019)In “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 50 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of August 18, 2019)In “Business”last_img read more

Israels moon dream lives on with second lunar lander Beresheet 2

first_imgEnlarge ImageThe surface of the moon as seen by Beresheet moments before it crashed into the lunar surface. SpaceIL/IAI The ambitious Beresheet moon mission was spectacular and heartbreaking. Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL achieved the first moon orbit by a privately funded spacecraft, but a mysterious engine problem dashed its hopes of safely placing the lander on the moon last week. The crash didn’t end the dream.SpaceIL over the weekend announced plans for the Beresheet 2 mission with a statement from Morris Khan, the Israeli entrepreneur who put up millions toward financing the first lander.  The dream goes on! Morris Kahn just announced the launching of Beresheet 2.0 #Beresheet2.0 #IsraeltotheMoon pic.twitter.com/fHlo3jeQ4W— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) April 13, 2019 Sci-Tech Beresheet’s moon mission Israel’s Beresheet moon landing attempt ends with a crash Before crashing into the moon, Israel’s lunar lander grabbed a breathtaking final image Tags NASA’s wildest rides: Extreme vehicles for Earth and beyond 23 Photos 1 Share your voice Originally published 11:49 a.m. PT.  Comment SpaceIL still hopes to be the first private company to land on the moon. Nathaniel wasn’t ready to guess as to when the new spacecraft might launch. “It will be a major project that will take major planning, coordination, and, last but not least, financing,” he said. The original Beresheet mission launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in February. It carried a time capsule and cameras and planned to study the moon’s magnetic field. Beresheet left us with some haunting imagery, including a glimpse of the moon’s cratered surface. Beresheet 2 hopes to do much, much more. Khan cited the worldwide support, encouragement and excitement for the first mission, and said SpaceIL would build a new spacecraft and try again for a moon landing. “We are going to complete the mission,” he said.Beresheet team member Ben Nathaniel took to Reddit for a Q&A, but SpaceIL has not yet finished its evaluation of what went wrong with the lander and its main engine. “We are still investigating what exactly happened,” said Nathaniel. Spacelast_img read more

Do Driverless Cars Spell Doom for the Insurance Industry

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global November 16, 2016 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Imagine a car accident: You pull out in front of another driver who clearly had the right of way, causing him to run into you. Typically, this would be an obvious case for the insurance company, but one thing is different: You’re driving an autonomous car and arguing that you are not at fault for the accident.Related: Are Self-Driving Cars Good For Insurance?What does your insurance carrier do? And how else can we expect the driverless car of the near-future to alter the insurance industry landscape?This scenario and many others like it have insurers and insureds alike wondering about the future of auto insurance and considering the emergence of autonomous cars, which, of course, is already a reality. Tesla has introduced its driverless vehicle to consumers, despite the accident that occurred with a Tesla in Florida early this year, when the car’s autopilot feature failed to prevent a passenger fatality. In fact, the development of autonomous vehicles is accelerating across the auto industryFord Motor Company, for instance, says it intends to introduce fully driverless cars to the public by 2025, and other manufacturers (Mercedes, Volvo, BMW) are currently creating their own test vehicles. To emphasize how real this technology is becoming, the federal government has already issued regulations on autonomous cars.Needless to say, these vehicles are already promising big changes in the insurance industry.So, will the insurance industry become obsolete?One of the main questions out there is whether the industry will even become obsolete: Why would we need liability insurance for our cars if autonomous vehicles are intended to eliminate accidents and fatalities?The auto insurance industry generates billions of dollars in annual revenue and supports thousands of jobs, so the disruption that autonomous cars pose is a definite concern.What’s more, the current speculation about the future of auto insurance rests on the assumption that autonomous vehicles will actually eliminate auto accidents and fatalities. But safety is still a big concern: Insurers still fear this industry’s new, unknown technology (How will the vehicles handle in high traffic? Can the vehicles be hacked? What if the driver needs to take control of the vehicle?). Additionally, will the technology give drivers a false sense of security and therefore lead to accidents that otherwise could have been avoided?Related: 4 Ways Driverless Cars Will Change the Transportation IndustryMost argue that these systems will increase traffic safety and reduce distracted driving. Tesla CEO Elon Musk assures his “self-driving technology to be at least twice as safe as cars driven by humans.” Although the Florida fatality this year caused many to question the validity of Musk’s statement, the fact that just one confirmed death has occurred in over 222 million miles of autopilot-mode driving by Tesla vehicles certainly seems a promising piece of data.It is hard to dispute the safety benefits of autonomous cars, but what about the benefits related to your auto insurance rates? After all, if autonomous-car manufacturers can convince consumers that they will save on their auto insurance by switching, they are sure to raise interest. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Even if you don’t plan on getting one, all consumers are likely to financially benefit from self-driving cars.” How? It’s simple: Autonomous cars will make roads safer, meaning fewer accidents and fewer claims filed; and that will mean consumers will be less at risk, so insurance companies will need to lower their premiums overall.If drivers are convinced that autonomous cars will decrease the chance of accidents, the demand for auto insurance will decrease, and insurance companies will need to accommodate that, too. However, this by no means suggests that insurance companies will become obsolete; people will always want to insure their belongings, especially something as valuable as a car; but traditional pricing models are bound to be affected.So, if consumers are paying less for auto insurance, what will that mean for carriers’ business models? Does the technology create more jobs or make jobs extinct? Although observers argue that the changes will occur slowly over time, and there is no immediate need for concern over the disruption of the auto insurance industry, some believe that there will be millions autonomous cars on the road globally inside of five years.The presence of autonomous vehicles is growing at a fast rate, and the insurance industry must acclimate. Although this technology does mean fewer accidents, it also means a huge influx of data requiring analysis. Monitoring these vehicles will require insurance companies to utilize telematics software and data analytics, enabling them to streamline their processes.The analysis of such data will require huge resources on the part of insurance carriers, will drastically change carriers’ business models and likely create a need for new jobs to analyze the data.It is an undisputable fact that the insurance industry landscape is drastically changing in the face of driverless cars. But this does not spell doom and gloom for the industry. Rather, just as the industry has adapted to the growth of wearable technology, monitoring devices and the internet of things, it will also continue to adapt to advances like autonomous vehicles.Related: Driverless Cars Won’t Make Roadways Perfectly SafeIt just might need to move faster than initially anticipated. 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

Uber and Lyft drivers strike in Los Angeles

first_imgUber and Lyft drivers yesterday went on strike across Los Angeles in opposition to Uber’s decision to cut rates by 25% in the Los Angeles area. Organized by Rideshare Drivers United, the strike comes as a further labor-led fightback against ride-hailing platforms following news that U.K.-based Uber drivers are suing the company over access to personal data. If anyone thought 2018’s techlash was over, they need to think again – it appears worker solidarity is only getting stronger in the tech industry. What was the purpose of the March 25 Uber strike? Uber and Lyft drivers have experienced declining wages for a number of years as the respective platforms compete to grow customers. This made news earlier in March that Uber would be reducing the per mile rate for drivers from 80¢ to 60¢ particularly tough to take. It underlined to many drivers that things are probably only going to continue to get worse while power rests solely on the side of the platforms. But there was more at stake than just an increase in wages. In many ways opposition to Uber’s pay cut is simply a first step in a longer road towards improved working conditions and greater power. Rideshare Drivers United actually has an extensive list of aims and demands: A 10% cap on commission The right to organize and negotiate for improved working conditions Ensuring Uber and Lyft are working in accordance with authorities on green initiatives With New York City authorities taking steps to implement minimum pay requirements in December 2018, the action on the west coast could certainly be seen as an attempt to push for consistency across the country. However, it doesn’t appear that Los Angeles authorities are interested in taking similar steps at the moment. Uber and Lyft’s response to the Los Angeles strike In a statement given to The Huffington Post, an Uber spokesperson said that the changes “will make rates comparable to where they were in September, while giving drivers more control over how they earn by allowing them to build a model that fits their schedule best.” In the same piece, the HuffPo quotes a Lyft spokesperson who points out that the company hasn’t changed their rates for 12 months. Support for striking Uber and Lyft drivers Support for the strikers came from many quarters, including the National Union of Health Workers and Senator Bernie Sanders. “One job should be enough to make a decent living in America” the NUHW said. Time for Silicon Valley to rethink There’s clearly a long way to go if Rideshare Drivers United are going to achieve their aims. But the conversation is shifting and many Silicon Valley executives will need to look up and take notice – perhaps it’s time to rethink things.last_img read more

Culture you can drink Belgian beer gets UN approval

first_imgCulture you can drink! Belgian beer gets UN approval Posted by Thursday, December 1, 2016 Tags: UNESCO Travelweek Group center_img BRUSSELS — Next time you raise a glass of Belgian beer, rest assured: It’s a cultural experience.UNESCO added Belgian beer to the list of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” on Wednesday.Belgium is known throughout the world for its wide array of tastes, from extreme sour to bitter, produced in just about every city and village across the west European nation of 11 million people. The history of Belgian suds stretches back centuries to medieval monks and has been celebrated in paintings by Pieter Brueghel and in countless songs since.Brussels regional leader Rudi Vervoort said Monday that beer “has been a part of our society since time immemorial.”It is not all history with Belgian beer though. Only this year, one brewer, Brugse Zot, moved very much with the times, building a beer pipeline out of the medieval centre of Bruges to a bottling plant on the outskirts out of environmental and architectural concern.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsAnd at a time when many pubs are closing or falling on hard times as overall beer consumption declines, such international recognition is more than welcome.Sven Gatz, who went from being head of the Belgian Brewers Federation to becoming Culture Minister for the northern region of Flanders, compared the recognition to winning the World Cup.“We love our beer and appreciate the endless diversity within it, something that can’t be equaled anywhere else in the world,” Gatz said. “In Belgium, beer doesn’t have to give way to wine or other drinks in terms of quality and diversity.”In days when alcohol abuse becomes an ever bigger concern, UNESCO said it was about more than just drinking.“Beer is also used by communities for cooking, producing products like beer-washed cheese, and paired with food,” UNESCO said in a statement.For Belgium, it is the spirit of beer that seeps through society, be it from the Dutch-speaking north, the Francophone south or the tiny German-speaking region in the east.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?“This beer culture is really deep for Belgians,” said Isabelle Weykmans, culture minister for the German-speaking region.“It is more than just drinking beers,” she told The Associated Press, saying it is about culture and the skill of beer-making.Despite the decline of many pubs, the spirit is now carried onwards by small craft breweries like the Brussels Brasserie de la Senne, where owner Yvan De Baets works the taps.It is the universal appeal of Belgian beers that he cherishes.“I especially like the fact that they are global, universal, they make people gather, and I think that is what touched UNESCO,” he said. “It highlights our traditions, our own culture that is linked to beer. So, as Belgian brewers, we are very happy.” Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more