Extinction Rebellion’s climate change protests blockades London roads for fourth day

first_imgParliament Square – and approaches remain closed. Traffic is slow moving southbound on Lambeth Palace Road and on approach to Lambeth Roundabout. https://t.co/MfR3ZTcxlW— TfL Traffic News (@TfLTrafficNews) April 18, 2019Officers have made 340 arrests since Monday but Extinction Rebellion claimed police cells across London were now full, with the Met operating a one-in one-out policy. More From Our Partners Police Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.org Thursday 18 April 2019 9:04 am Roads around Marble Arch were blocked by protesters (Source: Getty)Transport for London (TfL) this morning warned that Marble Arch remains closed to traffic as does Parliament Square, and Waterloo Bridge, where police have struggled to remove a protester blockade.Oxford Circus, where protesters have set up camp, also remains blocked, with commuters warned to “expect delays throughout the day”. whatsapp Protesters glued themselves to the fence outside Corbyn’s north London home (Source: Getty)Read more: Radical climate protestors are beginning to resemble a cultExtinction Rebellion’s demands include restricting air travel for emergency use only and for the UK economy to completely de-carbonise within six years. Londoners face another day of climate change protests today after action has so far cost businesses millions in lost revenue and disrupted key transport services.Read more: Protesters glue themselves to train at Canary Wharf station Extinction Rebellion’s climate change protests blockades London roads for fourth day New West End Company, which represents businesses in the area, urged London mayor Sadiq Khan to “take control” of the situation.Four protesters glued themselves to a fence outside Jeremy Corbyn’s north London home yesterday. One reportedly said: “He is [the] best hope this country has and we are hear to support him to go further.” Joe Curtis whatsapp Share Police removed three climate change protesters from a DLR train yesterday (Source: Getty)Yesterday police spent hours removing three protesters who glued themselves to a Docklands Light Railway (DLR) train at Canary Wharf station, causing disruption in the heart of the financial district.West End businesses also complained that the week’s action has cost them £12m in lost revenue. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBleacherBreaker4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!BleacherBreakerbonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comFilm OracleThey Drained Niagara Falls – Their Gruesome Find Will Keep You Up All NightFilm OracleDefinitionMost Embarrassing Mistakes Ever Made In HistoryDefinitionPost FunA Coast Guard Spotted Movement On A Remote Island, Then Looked CloserPost FunZen HeraldEllen Got A Little Too Personal With Blake Shelton, So He Said ThisZen HeraldHealthyGem20 Hair Shapes That Make A Man Over 60 Look 40HealthyGemDaily Funny40 Brilliant Life Hacks Nobody Told You AboutDaily FunnyMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStory The Extinction Rebellion protest entered its fourth day this morning as organisers vowed they would not leave until the government meets its demands to de-carbonise the economy. Tags: Climate change Jeremy Corbyn People Transport for Londonlast_img read more

Out of the prison cell, into the workplace

first_imgTuesday 25 June 2019 5:42 am Will TannerWill Tanner is director of Onward. whatsapp We have been asked to give the candidates for the post of Prime Minister a chance at redemption. We should do the same for people in our prison system too. We propose Employment Councils of local business leaders in every prison and a nationwide Second Chances scheme to accredit enlightened employers who take a chance. At the same time, the number of prisoners on learning courses has fallen by 13 per cent over the last two years, and the number achieving GCSE-level qualification fell by two thirds between 2015/16 and 2016/17. The leadership contenders should begin with a longstanding Conservative truth: that the best way to lift up the vulnerable and help those with troubled life chances is by giving them the independence and security of a steady job. Most importantly, though, we need a sea change in the attitudes of employers. Our polling reveals that only a third of employers say they would employ an ex-offender, compared to half who would not, despite only one per cent of bosses surveyed having had a bad experience hiring one. Yet Britain’s prisons are failing in all but their most basic purpose. It is a well known but damning statistic that half of prisoners go on to commit another crime within a year of leaving prison, a figure that has barely moved in decades. Out of the prison cell, into the workplace No wonder the vast majority of prisoners leave custody with the literacy and numeracy levels of an 11-year-old. Less widely known is the fact that just 17 per cent of prisoners are in steady work a year after leaving the prison gate – despite the labour market being at full employment and vacancies at their highest in years. Sharecenter_img whatsapp Beyond the popular but reactive refrain of putting more bobbies on the beat, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have so far failed to spell out how they would curb rising criminality on Britain’s streets. Learning from countries such as Norway, whose prisoner employment rate is 34 per cent, Her Majesty’s Prison Service should require every prisoner to train or work for 40 hours a week, and track their progress from reception to release. So much for the traditional party of law and order. Analysis for the Ministry of Justice reveals that a steady job can cut reoffending risk by 20 percentage points for those leaving prison, and some international studies imply a reduction of as much as 38 percentage points. To transition from prison gate to job interview, ministers should help offenders gain experience while still behind bars, through new prisoner apprenticeships and an expansion of Release on Temporary Licence, where prisoners are allowed out during the day to work in the community. As my report for the think tank Onward sets out today, the answer is to turn prisons into centres of training and work – to give every ex-offender the opportunity of a decent, paid job after they leave. Crime is a top tier political issue for members of the public, but it has barely featured in the race for Number 10 Downing Street. NORWICH, UNITED KINGDOM – AUGUST 25: (EDITORS NOTE: IMAGES EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 0001GMT AUGUST 26, 2005) 19 year old inmate James looks out of the window of the Young Offenders Institution attached to Norwich Prison on August 25, 2005 in Norwich, England. A Chief Inspector of Prisons report on Norwich Prison says healthcare accommodation was among the worst seen, as prisoners suffered from unscreened toilets, little natural light, poor suicide prevention, inadequate education and training for long-term prisoners. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) A wealth of academic evidence shows the influence of employment in desistance from crime. Work offers the social relationships, financial stability, and sense of purpose that are critical for keeping people on the straight and narrow. The reality is that prisons have become holding pens of idleness and boredom – a fifth of prisoners spend fewer than two hours out of their cell every day. This principle runs through our welfare system; it must now be rooted in our criminal justice system too. last_img read more

Foxtons shares slip after profit takes Brexit blow

first_imgFriday 28 February 2020 10:37 am Foxtons shares slip after profit takes Brexit blow whatsapp Jack Richardson With the continuing uncertainty over when or if the UK would leave the EU last year, Foxtons reported a drop in buying and selling activity. “We continue to maintain a strong balance sheet with no external borrowings.” Foxtons’ revenue fell four per cent to £106.9m in 2019, compared to £111.5m in 2018. Lettings revenue slipped two per cent to £65.7m while sales revenue slumped 10 per cent to £32.6m. Foxtons saw a shareholder revolt after deciding to pay its chief executive a bonus. (Getty Images) Also Read: Foxtons shares slip after profit takes Brexit blow Uncertainty remains over whether new chancellor Rishi Sunak will make any changes to stamp duty in his March budget. Broker Peel Hunt urged investors to sell their shares, saying: “The outlook remains tricky given ongoing Brexit-related uncertainty and the lack of liquidity in the second hand housing market.” Foxtons saw a shareholder revolt after deciding to pay its chief executive a bonus. (Getty Images) Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell to £2.5m during 2019, a year-on-year decrease of 30 per cent from 2018’s £3.6m. Sign up to City A.M.’s Midday Update newsletter, delivered to your inbox every lunchtime However, the company today gave a positive assessment for the year ahead on the back of December’s decisive General Election result. Budden added: “Overall, we are pleased with our resilience in this prolonged downturn. Its cash balance also fell 13 per cent year on year to £15.5m. Foxtons saw a shareholder revolt after deciding to pay its chief executive a bonus. (Getty Images) Also Read: Foxtons shares slip after profit takes Brexit blow center_img UK house prices enjoyed their fastest rise in 18 months in February, Nationwide said today. However, they later recovered four per cent, rising to 81.50p. whatsapp Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBleacherBreaker4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!BleacherBreakerUndoDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyUndobonvoyaged.comTotal Jerks: These Stars Are Horrible People.bonvoyaged.comUndoMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoBeach RaiderMom Belly Keeps Growing, Doctor Sees Scan And Calls CopsBeach RaiderUndoGloriousaDrone Captures What No One Was Supposed to SeeGloriousaUndoNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyUndoDefinitionThe Funniest Yard Signs EVER WrittenDefinitionUndozenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comUndo “The business and our people have proved adaptable and reslient, delivering stable results.” Foxtons saw a shareholder revolt after deciding to pay its chief executive a bonus. (Getty Images) Also Read: Foxtons shares slip after profit takes Brexit blow “Our sales pipeline is currently ahead of last year, however we are well prepared for further challenging conditions in the sales market in the run up to Brexit,” chief executive Nic Budden said. Housing remains high on the political agenda with a shortage of affordable homes to buy and rent. This problem is particularly acute in London and the south east. The estate agent narrowed its loss before tax from £17.2m last year to £8.8m for 2019. Estate agent Foxtons has posted a 30 per cent drop in annual profit against the backdrop of last year’s Brexit uncertainty. Investors sent Foxtons’ shares down 5.4 per cent to 74.2p, as they looked ahead to the UK’s tricky Brexit trade talks with the EU. Share Foxtons also blamed a ban on tenant fees for hurting its lettings business, amounting to a £2.7m hit. In line with the struggling estate agent’s current policy, no dividend will be awarded as the company tries to get back on its feet amid a weak housing market. Show Comments ▼last_img read more

New Zealand’s bourse, NZX, has resumed trading, after facing cyber attacks

first_imgThe source of the “offshore” attacks is unknown, but the failure to stop them increased doubts about New Zealand’s security systems, experts said. The NZX halted trading for around three hours on Friday, after crashing due to network connectivity issues, marking the fourth day that trading has been hit. Show Comments ▼ whatsapp (Getty Images) Josh Martin New Zealand stock exchange targeted by hacker in fourth day of cyber attacks The NZX said: “Given that this is an ongoing response, NZX will not be providing detail on the nature of the attacks or counter-measures.  by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeYourDailyLamaHe Used To Be Handsome In 80s Now It’s Hard To Look At HimYourDailyLamaNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableybonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comBeach RaiderMom Belly Keeps Growing, Doctor Sees Scan And Calls CopsBeach RaiderJustPerfact USAMan Decides to File for Divorce After Taking a Closer Look at This Photo!   JustPerfact USADefinitionThe 20 Worst Draft Picks Ever – Ryan Leaf Doesn’t Even Crack The Top 5Definitionmaternityweek.comArchie Issued New Birth Certificate After Harry’s Title Revokedmaternityweek.comGloriousaOctomom’s Kids Are All Grown Up. Here’s How They Turned OutGloriousaMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStory whatsapp (Getty Images) Also Read: New Zealand stock exchange targeted by hacker in fourth day of cyber attacks It’s prompted the government to activate national security systems to support the bourse.center_img The attacks forced NZX to halt trading in its cash markets, disrupting operations in its debt market and derivatives market. NZX was hit on Tuesday and Wednesday by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, a common way to disrupt a server by overwhelming it with a flood of internet traffic. Friday 28 August 2020 9:38 am Finance minister Grant Robertson said the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and other state apparatus had been called in to help the stock exchange. New Zealand’s stock exchange, the NZX, has resumed trading, after outages for four consecutive days in the wake of cyber attacks this week. Share “I can’t go into much more in terms of specific details other than to say that we as a government are treating this very seriously,” Robertson said. The bourse would not confirm to local media on whether it had received a blackmail demand, or whether the NZX had a policy with regard to paying ransoms (Getty Images) Also Read: New Zealand stock exchange targeted by hacker in fourth day of cyber attacks last_img read more

9 people on plane die in crash on Alaska cliff

first_imgSearch & Rescue | Southeast9 people on plane die in crash on Alaska cliffJune 25, 2015 by Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan and the Associated Press Share:Updated at 10:06 p.m.From the Associated PressAuthorities say all nine people aboard a sightseeing airplane died when it crashed Thursday in southeast Alaska.Clint Johnson, head of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska office, confirmed weather is preventing the recovery of bodies Thursday evening off a cliff about 20 miles northeast of Ketchikan.Attempts to recover the bodies will resume Friday.The plane was carrying eight cruise ship passengers and a pilot. It went missing Thursday afternoon and was crashed against the granite rock face of a southeast Alaska cliff.Original story:A Promech float plane with nine people on board apparently went down near Ella Lake in Misty Fiords National Monument outside of Ketchikan. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker says the plane was reported overdue this afternoon.“The Coast Guard received a request from Promech Air to assist in a search for an overdue aircraft,” he said. “The Coast Guard was in the process of launching a helicopter from Air Station Sitka and a vessel from Station Ketchikan, when a Temsco Helicopter crew located the aircraft on the cliffside of Ella Lake. At this time, Alaska State Troopers are coordinating the response at the site with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.”Alaska State Troopers Spokeswoman Megan Peters says in a written statement that the plane was about 800 feet above the lake, against a rock face. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been advised of the accident.There was no information at deadline on the condition of the people on board. Names of the eight passengers and one pilot were not available.KVRS representatives were unavailable for comment, and an employee who answered the phone at Promech says the company is not commenting at this time.Promech is a Ketchikan-based company that offers flightseeing tours and charters.Share this story:last_img read more

Leaked documents point to misallocation of federal funds at tribal group

first_imgAlaska Native Government & Policy | Government | Southwest | WesternLeaked documents point to misallocation of federal funds at tribal groupJanuary 9, 2016 by Lakeidra Chavis, KYUK Share:In late December, the Association of Village Council Presidents laid off 30 employees. AVCP has made no official statement about why the layoffs occurred, but documents obtained by KYUK illustrate misappropriation of federal grant dollars spanning nearly a decade.The week before Christmas the Association of Village Council Presidents abruptly laid off 30 employees– about seven percent of their workforce.In a press release, AVCP cited current economic trends.But, confidential documents obtained by KYUK through a former AVCP employee illustrate years of mishandling of grants to fund administrative salaries and workforce programs.The money is from AVCP’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund, or TANF. TANF is a federal program under the Dept. of Health and Human Services, aimed at helping economically disadvantaged families.Email transcripts from 2008 show then-AVCP grants compliance officer, Hansel Mathlaw, raising concerns after a financial report revealed 25-percent of AVCP’s Social Services Director Pat Samson’s salary was being paid with TANF funds.Samson didn’t work for the TANF program, but then-AVCP Vice President Zach Brink responded to Mathlaw’s email saying, “he [Pat Samson] has done a lot of tanf [sic] work.”Documents indicate Samson’s salary was more than $96,000 at the time.Email correspondence regarding Pat Samson’s salary.Samson left AVCP a few years ago, citing exhaustion. He worked for the department for more than two decades.“I did not work for any TANF programs,” Samson said, adding he wasn’t aware that’s how his salary was paid for.AVCP’s Myron Naneng addresses the panel at the Chinook Symposium in Anchorage. (KYUK file photo)Then, in 2009, AVCP President Myron Naneng and the nonprofit’s senior chairperson formally requested the organization use up to “$500,000 each year in TANF funds to sustain” the corporation’s aircraft maintenance and flight school.Former AVCP TANF director Jolene Geerhart, says the request was denied by a federal agent.But, between 2010 and 2011 at least three checks totaling $250,000 each went from the AVCP TANF account to fund the flight school.Minutes from a 2010 board meeting show that John Amik, the flight school’s director, asked the board for the funds. According to minutes, he said the money “would allow funding to be spent and not returned to the Federal Government. This falls in line with the Economic Development requirement under this grant.”Email correspondence regarding Pat Samson’s salary.In 2010, Larry Barnes, then-AVCP vice president of finance, wrote in an email that the “federal TANF agency has reimbursed AVCP for the funds, and that the monies will cover operational costs that student revenue won’t cover.”But, federal directors repeatedly told AVCP administrators that TANF monies couldn’t be used to fund the school’s operating costs.Screenshot of email transcript regarding appropriate uses of federal TANF money, sent from former Tribal TANF Region X Program Specialist Judy Ogliore to former AVCP Director Lynn Kassman, and later forwarded to Jolene Geerhart.Geerhart was the AVCP TANF program director from 2010-2013. She says during her time at least two of these checks were signed.“There were checks that [were] made out, but I didn’t authorize those monies,” Geerhart said.”Geerhart says she started digging into previous years, and estimates the amount of TANF money used to fund the flight school is much higher than $750,000.“What I found,” she said, “it was a little more than a million dollars while I was the director. It was $500,000 total two separate times.”In mid-2011 AVCP grants compliance officer, Hansel Mathlaw, raised concerns about the use of TANF child support money. Larry Barnes, then-AVCP Vice President of Finance, addressed Mathlaw’s concerns, writing, “unspent child support funding was deemed unrestricted funding, because there were no reporting requirements tied to prior year funds.”It’s unclear what AVCP used the funds for, but Geerhart says unused federal TANF funds rollover; they don’t just become a free-for-all. State TANF funds don’t rollover either, and if not used, have to be returned.Geerhart says it’s hard to misuse federal TANF grant money–there is extensive training, and even annual conferences directors can attend.“I’m pretty sure the past director and deputy director would’ve advised them [of] the correct use of TANF monies,” Geerhart said. “The TANF program has been with AVCP since 2000, or shortly before that.”During that same month, Naneng awarded the TANF department the, ‘Department of the Year Award.’As the director of AVCP’s TANF program Geerhart says she repeatedly raised concerns about the use of TANF monies to her superiors, Naneng and AVCP Vice President Mike Hoffman. In one particular meeting with Naneng, Geerheart says he dismissed her concerns.“I really didn’t appreciate that kind of response, because my concerns, to me, were really important misuse of TANF monies,” she said.On a different occasion, she says she was asked to resubmit the letter Naneng sent to TANF in 2009. When a federal TANF representative told her the funds couldn’t be used to cover flight school operating costs, she applied for funds to cover school tuition for TANF-eligible students.Email transcripts show that this is allowed, but Geerhart says when she looked over the paperwork, the number of TANF eligible students in the program compared to the amount of TANF funds taken didn’t match up.Geerhart was fired from AVCP in early 2013. She says her supervisor, Hoffman, told her it was due to insubordination.“I continued to let my supervisor know these are inappropriate uses and it needs to stop,” Geerhart said, ” and I believe I was terminated because I didn’t stop and keep my mouth quiet and walk away and let it continue to happen.”Later that year, the flight school, which had been open for about a decade, shut down due to what Naneng described as “diminished federal funding and high operational costs.”A spokesman from the federal TANF departments says they are currently not investigating AVCP regarding the misuse of funds and did not respond to any further questions.After more than a dozen interview requests, Naneng declined to comment and referred all questions to Hoffman. Hoffman declined to comment as well.Now, less than a year after Naneng’s reelection as AVCP president, leaders of four Unit 4 village tribes-Akiak, Akiakchak, Kwethluk and Tuluksak, are calling for a special meeting ahead of the annual conference, an investigation into AVCP and for the organization’s top directors to be placed on administrative leave.Mike Williams is the leader of the Yupiit Nation, and helped draft the resolution.“They need more explanation rather than [saying it’s] because of economic conditions,” Williams said. He says tribes just want to see the region working together.If there’s no response from AVCP by Jan. 15, the proposed resolution calls for Naneng’s resignation.Williams says tribal leaders who filed the resolution are still waiting to hear back.Share this story:last_img read more

News / Stressed carriers hold their breath during Golden Week as contract talks loom

first_img China’s Golden Week traditionally marks the start of the slack season on the major tradelanes of Asia-Europe and the transpacific. Before this week’s Chinese national holiday, container spot rates, as recorded by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), had slumped to nigh year-to-date lows on both routes and there seems no reason to suggest there will be a recovery by the time the SCFI resumes publication on 10 October. Analyst Alphaliner said: “Further rate weakness is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks, with rates of below $500 per teu to Europe and $1,100 per 40ft to the US west coast already being offered by carriers.”Worryingly for the container lines, Asia-North Europe spot rates are some 22% below the level of 12 months ago, and for the US west coast they are about 18% down. Carriers will hope that they can at least stabilise the market in the coming weeks with their strategy of blank sailings, and, in the case of the 2M alliance, temporarily suspending a loop until demand picks up. It is particularly important for the Asia-Europe trades that the rate erosion is halted quickly and a recovery curve is begun, given that new annual contract negotiations would normally begin next month. “We are quite concerned about our annual contract business,” one carrier source told The Loadstar this week. “At the moment we are not in the best position to start the ball rolling and I can see us deferring initial talks for as long as possible.” Meanwhile, The Loadstar’s forwarding sources confirmed there were “very low rates” being touted in the market. “They [carriers] seem more concerned in nailing down their low-sulphur fuel surcharges, but at the same time are offering us, almost daily, silly short-term rates from China,” said one UK forwarder. Elsewhere, transpacific carriers are banking on a fresh front-loading surge from China to the US west coast ports after the holiday, as shippers endeavour to beat the latest 15% levy on a vast range of Chinese imports and stock up earlier than usual for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales. The liners will hope that a spike in demand combined with a reduction in supply on the route will push freight rates up to acceptable levels and provide a solid foundation for the bridge to the normal booking surge prior to Chinese new year, which falls early in 2020, on 25 January. Spot rates from Asia to the US west coast are currently some 30% below the level of a year ago. Nevertheless, container analyst and SeaIntelligence Consulting co-founder Lars Jensen believes comparing transpacific rates this year with last “conveys no meaningful information”, given that the market in 2018 was thrown out of kilter by significant front-loading ahead of the first tranche of import duty on Chinese goods. And, notwithstanding the trade spat between the US and China potentially denting transpacific demand, online freight marketplace firm Freightos said US importers “were increasingly evaluating non-Chinese options in South-east Asia”. “This change has accelerated during the course of the year,” noted Freightos; its data recording a near two percentage point increase in South-east Asia searches in Q3, compared with the first quarter of the year. By Mike Wackett 04/10/2019 © Woraphon Banchobdi last_img read more

Explained: Everything you need to know ahead of the General Election this Saturday, February 8

first_img GAA Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role By Steven Miller – 6th February 2020 WhatsApp Pinterest There has been so much election coverage over the last couple of weeks that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by it all.Here we attempt to answer some of the questions people may have over the next couple of days.Why are we having an election? How do they count the votes? Why are some Laois people not voting in Laois? Who do we have to vote for?What are tallies, transfers and quotas? And what happens after it’s all over?So why are we having an election?The Irish people must vote at least every five years for the politicians they want to run the country. For the last four years, Fine Gael have led the country along with the support of a couple of Independents.In all there will be 160 TDs elected (up from 158 four years ago), meaning that to make a Government you would need 81 of them to have enough support to pass votes in the Dáil. Because Fine Gael only won 50 seats in 2016, they were way off what they needed, even after bringing a few Independents on board.So you’ll have heard over the last couple of years of a thing called ‘Confidence and Supply’. It was a new phrase in Irish politics but it essentially meant that Fianna Fail accommodated the Government without actually teaming up with them. They never voted against Fine Gael in the Dáil.The initial arrangement was for three Budgets though few expected it would even last that long. That it lasted four years is considered a surprise.In any case it reached the end of the road and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar decided to have an election a full year before he had to as the last General Election was only four years ago, in February 2016.And when, where and how do we vote?Polling day is this Saturday, February 8. You can vote any time from 7am to 10pm. You should get your polling card posted to your home address should bring that with you to the polling station along with ID.It is the first time that a General Election will be held on Saturday since 1922 so it will be interesting to see how that effects turnout – and will it lead to more students and younger people using their right to vote. Needless to say, you have to be over 18 to vote and on the Register of Electors.You will hear all about things like ‘first preferences’, ‘Number 2s’ and ‘transfers’ over the coming days. But the simple thing to keep in mind is – give your preferred candidate your Number 1 vote, your second preference Number 2 and so on. You don’t have to continue your preference all the way down but it is actually relevant and a low preference vote that you give someone could come into play.What’s going on with the constituencies?Right. Since the foundation of the state Laois and Offaly were always part of the same constituency, electing five TDs. That was until 2016, when they were split into two smaller three-seat constituencies.It is decided on by population with a recommendation that there should be no fewer than 20,000 people per TD and no more than 30,000. Because the population of Laois has grown so much in recent years it has led to a lot of messing around with the boundaries.In 2016, Monasterevin and some other parts of Kildare on the Laois border were brought into Laois to bring up the population to have enough for a three-seater. A part of North Tipperary was brought into Offaly.Now they (an independent Boundary Commission) have put Laois and Offaly back together but because the population now is too big for a five-seater they have siphoned off Portarlington, Gracefield Killenard and Ballybrittas and sent them to Kildare along with Monasterevin. It actually means that Kildare South will have people from three different counties voting in it.North Tipp has gone back to Tipperary. It has led to widespread frustration and a general consensus that the county boundaries – that serve the GAA and local authorities so well – should not be broken.Would it really make that much of a difference if it was one TD to 32 or 33,000 people? Should keeping the county boundaries intact not supersede the ratio in terms of importance?In instances where they need by-elections – as was the case in four constituencies after last year’s Local Elections – that is the case anyway. Constituencies are down a TD for a number of months.It could be worse though – Sligo-Leitrim also takes in part of Donegal and Cavan. At the last election one voter spoiled their vote by simply writing ‘I am from Cavan’ on the ballot paper.Who can I vote for in Laois then?If you’re not in Portarlington, Killenard or Ballybrittas, you are in the Laois-Offaly constituency. There are six outgoing TDs and only five seats – which means that at least one of them won’t be going back to the Dáil. In all there are 15 candidates in Laois-Offaly on this occasion.The Laois TDs for the last term were Charlie Flanagan (Fine Gael), Sean Fleming (Fianna Fail) and Brian Stanley (Sinn Fein).The Offaly TDs were Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy (Fine Gael), Barry Cowen (Fianna Fail) and Carol Nolan (Independent).The other candidates in Laois are John Daly (Irish National Party), Pauline Flanagan (Fianna Fail), Stephen Tynan (People Before Profit) and Noel Tuohy (Labour).In Offaly you have Pippa Hackett (Green Party), John Leahy (Independent), Peter Ormond (Fianna Fail) and Ken Smollen (Irish Democratic Party). You can read more about the candidates here.And in Kildare South?This is a slightly funny one. For the last General Election, Kildare South was a three-seat constituency and elected Martin Heydon (Fine Gael), Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fail) and Sean O Fearghail (Fianna Fail).Sean O Fearghail was appointed as the Ceann Comhairle in the Dail (effectively the chairman and the one that has to try keep law and order on them). A perk of that job is that you get automatic re-election.But because of the constituencies being re-drawn and the larger population, Kildare South is now a four-seater. One of them is already filled with O Fearghail but there are still three up for grabs. With only two outgoing TDs there will be at least one new face heading up to the Dáil when it reconvenes.In all there are 11 candidates. The other candidates are Cathal Berry (Independent), Suzanne Doyle (Fianna Fáil), Linda Hayden (Social Democrats), Ronan Maher (Green Party), Fiona McLoughlin-Healy (Independent), Anita Nic Ghib (Aontú), Patricia Ryan (Sinn Fein), Roisin ui Bhroin (Solidarity-People Before Profit) and Mark Wall (Labour). You can read more about the candidates here.As well as Portarlington, Killenard and Ballybrittas, Kildare South takes in Newbridge, Kildare Town, Rathangan and Kilcullen and stretches up to Clogherinkoe on the Meath border on one side and to Ballymore Eustace on the Wicklow border on the other.Naas, Celbridge, Maynooth, Leixlip and Kilcock are all in North Kildare, which is also a four-seat constituency.Who’s going to win overall?A very good question and it’s one that might not even be answered in full after the votes are counted.Fine Gael left the Dáil with 47 seats (they lost a few between 2016 and now), Fianna Fail had 45 and Sinn Fein had 20. There were also 22 Independents while Labour had 7, People Before Profit 6 and the Green Party 3. There was a handful of others also like Social Democrats (2), Aontu (1) and Independents 4 Change (1).The opinion polls – which are conducted mostly on behalf of the various national newspapers – are showing increased support for Sinn Fein and a drop in support for Fine Gael. Fianna Fail were initially fancied to do better than they are but they are being considered at a similar level of support as Sinn Fein.Since first entering the political space in 1987, Sinn Féin have never been as popular in the opinion polls and look almost certain to return with their greatest number of seats ever.What you can be sure of though is that Fianna Fail will win more seats than Sinn Fein simply because they are running almost twice the number of candidates.And what happens when we know who is elected?That’s when the real fun and wheeling and dealing begins. No party will be close to an overall majority on their own so there will be negotiations between all the parties – big and small – to see who forms the next Government.Sinn Féin, who have never been in Government in Ireland before, have said that they are willing to speak with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil – though those two parties have said on numerous occasions that they will not go into power with them.The smaller parties generally get assurances on certain issues and an agreed number of ministerial roles in return for their support.It is possible too that there could be a coalition of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, something that has never happened before – or that there is a return to the ‘Confidence and Supply’ arrangement that we saw in use over the last four years.When they do get back to the Dáil, a vote will take place among the TDs as to who will lead the Government and who will be the next Taoiseach. Will Leo Varadkar be the main man again? Will Micheal Martin get his time and no longer be the only Fianna Fáil leader never to be Taoiseach? Or could Mary Lou McDonald be the first female Taoiseach?And this Green Wave?That is in reference to the supposed increase in support for the Green Party, who are very strong on Climate Change and the environment, two massive issues at the moment.They did better than ever in last year’s Local and European Elections, increasing their representation to historic highs in both.They also won a seat in Dublin in last November’s Dáil election so their support is translating into votes. There are signs of that in Laois-Offaly now too. Pippa Hackett won an historic first seat for the Greens on Offaly County Council and is now hoping that transfers to Laois for this General Election.They only won two seats in the last General Election (increased to three in the by-election) but they have been in power before. They were coalition partners of Fianna Fail from 2007 to 2011 but lost all six of their TDs at the 2011 election. This, then, could be a second coming of sorts for them.How are the votes counted?After the polls close on Saturday night at 10pm they will be stored and brought to the count centre in Kealew Business Park in Portlaoise (Punchestown for the Kildare votes).They will be sorted and counted one by one. It is a painstakingly slow but thorough process and it could take a couple of days before they are finished.Quotas, tallies and transfers – what are they?We’ll break them up into three separate answers. Quotas first. The quota is the number of votes it takes to get elected. It is the total number of valid votes (ones that aren’t spoiled) divided by the number of seats plus one. When you get that number you add one again!In Laois-Offaly for example, if 70,000 people vote and the number of seats is five, then the quota will be 70,000 divided by six (five plus one). You then add one again so the quota in this instance would be 11,668.If someone gets more than that in first preferences, they will be elected on the first count and their surplus (their extra votes) will be distributed among the remaining candidates.If nobody is elected on the first count, they will eliminate the bottom candidate and distribute their votes. That process continues until they have the required number of TDs elected. It is long process and it’s why it can often take 14 or 15 counts and a couple of days before there is a final result.Explain a bit more about these transfers?This is where it gets confusing. Ireland uses a system of voting called Proportional Representation (PR). It is distinctly different than what is used in the UK for example where they use ‘a first past the post’  system where the constituencies are all one-seaters and the person who gets the most votes wins the seat.Here, voters vote in order of preference giving their Number 1 to the first choice, 2 to their second choice and so on. It is deemed to be a fairer system overall.It means that after someone is elected or eliminated, their Number 2 is given to that candidate. So for example if your first preference vote is is elected on the first count, your second preference will will get a transfer from the person you voted for Number 1.And it gets even more complicated. If a candidate had 10,000 votes and the quota was 8,000, it means they have a surplus of 2,000. The counters, however, must go through all 10,000 of their votes and see where their second choices go.But they only distribute 2,000 of them and they calculate that proportionally. So 2,000 is 20% of 10,000. A candidate may have got 1,000 Number 2s from the person the transfers are coming from – but the real figure that is transferred is 200, ie 20%. We know, it’s quite a lot to get your head around!Likewise if someone is eliminated, those counting the votes will assign ALL of their Number 2s (or next preference if that person is already elected or eliminated) to the relevant places.It also means that your 15th preference could eventually get your vote if they are still in the race way down the line and all other candidates are gone.It’s why it’s worth considering do you go all the way down the sheet or would you rather your vote became ‘non transferrable’ and can’t be given to anyone.Tallies – what are these?A tally is where supporters of the candidates will count the votes being sorted. The count staff facilitate this by letting the tallymen and women see what the ballot papers are showing.The candidates and their supporters have a system of recording it and the information they receive on this is of huge value to them.As the sorting is done box by box (which is done geographically), it allows them to see in which areas they performed well and where they did poorly. It is not 100% accurate but it gives a very good indication of the first preference votes.It’s only after the votes are sorted that they begin actually counting.When should we know the result?God only knows. In 2011, the last time that Laois-Offaly was a two-county constituency, voting took place on a Friday and the result of the final seat wasn’t confirmed until late on Monday night after three long days of counting.We’re almost certain it will take two days – and Laois-Offaly has a notorious reputation of being one of the slowest in the country. As it is essentially a three-seater and there are fewer candidates, Kildare South should be done and dusted a bit sooner.Keep up to speed with LaoisToday!LaoisToday will be keep you updated from the first minute to the very last – and our Live Blog will commence first thing on Sunday morning and we won’t sign off until all the seats are filled.We hope you’ll enjoy our coverage.SEE ALSO – Check out all of the 2020 General Election coverage on LaoisToday hereSEE ALSO – In Pictures: Laois Early Years educators out in force as protest in Dublin gets underway RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Twitter 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin Facebook Explained: Everything you need to know ahead of the General Election this Saturday, February 8 Facebook Twitter TAGS2020 General ElectionExplainedLong Read Home News Explained: Everything you need to know ahead of the General Election this… NewsPolitics Electric Picnic News WhatsApp Previous articleLaois Open Door Theatre in full swing with rehearsals for new playNext articleMASSIVE 2-week 30th Anniversary Sale Now On at Centrepoint Carpets Steven Millerhttp://www.laoistoday.ieSteven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he’s happiest when he’s telling stories or kicking a point. Pinterestlast_img read more

Advice to rookies: Keep focused on clients, cash flow

Government to reimburse self-employed workers who repaid CERB New business owners, including rookie advisors, may be too focused on issues outside of their control such as the economy, suggests a new CIBC poll. This is in contrast to the advice of more established business owners that point to cash flow management and financing as the keys to getting through those first few challenging years. Looking back at their first few years in business, established business owners (those in operation for six years or more) rank the following as the top three significant obstacles they had to overcome to be successful when they started out: attracting or retaining customers (56%) fluctuations in cash flow (42%) having access to adequate capital/financing (40%) Comparatively, while newer small business owners also listed attracting or retaining customers as the most common obstacle they must overcome to be successful (52%), they follow with: economic uncertainty (40%); and strong competition from other businesses in their industry (36%). The findings suggest that new businesses could learn from their more established peers who have succeeded by refocusing their priorities on those aspects of their business that are within their control, including having a strong financial foundation to drive growth, solid cash management, and client focus. “When you first start up a business, you absolutely must keep an eye on your cash flow and have a good source of financing to support you over the short term,” explains Jon Hountalas, executive vice president, Business Banking for CIBC. “While it’s easy to be caught up in the latest economic news or concerned about your competitors, the reality is that you need to ensure your business has the cash it needs to fuel growth and support the business through a challenging time.” The poll also reveals that nearly one-fifth (19%) of all established business owners say that a lack of expertise to draw on, including financial advice, was an obstacle they had to overcome to be successful in their first few years of business. “When they look back, some successful business owners realize that they would have benefited from advice about how to manage their money in the early years of their business,” notes Hountalas. “You can’t be an expert in everything, but you can strengthen your business significantly by building a connection with a relationship manager who knows your business and can assist you with cash management advice, or arrange the financing you need to move your business forward.” The CIBC poll was conducted online by Léger Marketing poll was conducted online in every province of Canada with a representative sample of 801 decision-makers in Canadian companies between July 3 and July 12. Nova Scotia offers extra $12 million to businesses hit by latest Covid-19 lockdown Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords Small business,  Rookies Facebook LinkedIn Twitter IE Staff B.C.’s $500-million investment fund to help small, medium sized businesses Related news read more

Fiera sees surge in Q4 profit

first_imgHorn speaker for public relations sign symbol, vintage color - sun with blue sky 123RF Total revenues reached $204.5 million in Q4, up 30% from a year ago. Revenues in 2019 were $657.2 million, up from $540.3 million in 2018. Fiera’s four acquisitions over the course of the year — including the acquisition of Foresters Asset Management Inc., Integrated Asset Management Corp. and Natixis’ Canadian operations, as well as an 80% stake in Palmer Capital Partners Limited — helped bolster revenues, the firm said.Assets under management (AUM) were $169.7 billion in the fourth quarter, up 24% year over year. Fiera attributed the increase to favourable market conditions and new institutional global equity mandates won in Europe and the U.S., which added $2.8 billion to AUM.Fiera also announced on Thursday that Jean-Philippe Lemay has been appointed global president and chief operating officer, replacing Vincent Duhamel, who will serve as vice chairman of Fiera’s board of directors. TD getting new head of private wealth, financial planning PenderFund names new SVP for investments Profits surged for Fiera Capital Corporation in the fourth quarter of 2019, the Montreal-based asset manager reported on Thursday. Net earnings reached $5.3 million, rebounding from a net loss of $4.6 million the previous quarter and a net loss of $1.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.  Maddie Johnson CI GAM names its first-ever head of investment management Keywords Earnings,  Appointments,  Asset management companiesCompanies Fiera Capital Corp. Related news Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more