ConocoPhillips fined 180000 for 2016 leak of condensate in northwest Alberta

first_imgCALGARY – Oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips Canada is being fined $180,000 for a 2016 pipeline leak that spilled a light petroleum liquid into a remote area of northwestern Alberta.The leak of 380,000 litres of condensate resulted in 38 observed fatalities to unspecified species of wildlife and hundreds of potential wildlife deaths as it affected nearly three square kilometres of land as well as nearby waterways, the Alberta Energy Regulator said on its website.The AER assessed a $165,000 fine against the Canadian arm of Houston-based ConocoPhillips Co. to account for the 33 days in May and June 2016 that the company failed to report the release to the regulator as it should have.It also fined the company $5,000 each for three counts related to failing to develop and maintain a leak-detection manual for the pipeline, failing to take reasonable measures to remedy and confine the leak and for allowing the release to damage public land.Not noticing the leak when it began and then not reporting it immediately made worse environmental damage that included the loss of all fish spawning output in Webb Creek for the year, said AER director Mark Miller in his decision posted on the website.“The failure to report and take remedial actions as soon as ConocoPhillips ought to have known very likely resulted in a greater degree of adverse effects to the environment that could have been mitigated if dealt with sooner,” said Miller.The company has received the AER’s notice and is reviewing it, said spokeswoman Katherine Springall.She said clean-up activities at the spill site began when it was discovered in 2016 and the company has since worked closely with the AER to mitigate environmental impacts.The asset was included as part of a package sale to Cenovus Energy Inc. in 2017, she added, with responsibility for any remaining remediation transferred along with ownership.The leak took place near ConocoPhillips’ Resthaven gas plant about 65 kilometres northeast of Grande Cache, Alta.Staff noticed lower pressure in the pipeline but couldn’t see a leak right of way because the condensate had travelled underground to a less visible area, Miller said in his decision.They concluded wrongly that the lower pressure resulted from overnight ambient temperature changes and minor leaks from inlet and outlet valves on the pipeline, he noted.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this article: (TSX:CVE)last_img read more

US Diplomats Husband Sentenced to Prison for Committing Sexual Assault in

Casablanca — For the past three years, Labib Chammas, the husband of U.S. diplomat Judith Chammas, was sexually abusing the cook who worked in their household in Morocco.The U.S. Department of Justice announced, in an official communiqué released Wednesday, that Labib Chammas of McLean, Virginia has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Chammas, who pleaded guilty to a single count of abusive sexual conduct, will have to register as a sex offender for 15 years and pay a $15,000 fine.Labib Chammas’ confession revealed that,he sexually abused a household staff member in U.S. Department-owned housing in Morocco from 2010 to 2013, while his wife Judith Chammas was serving as deputy chief of mission in Morocco. The 53-year old victim was a female cook who had worked in the Rabat household for 16 years. read more

TSX rises amid strong US factory orders vehicle sales

The Toronto stock market registered a modest gain Tuesday as key economic data reinforced the view that the U.S. recovery is still on track, helping to make up for worsening conditions in Europe.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 17.95 points to 12,713.09, weighed down by declining resource stocks as miners fell alongside copper and gold prices. The other TSX sectors were positive.The Canadian dollar was off early highs but still up 0.14 of a cent at 98.5 cents US.U.S. indexes were positive as the Dow Jones industrials ran ahead 103.79 points to 14,676.64 as traders looked to the February report on U.S. factory orders, which showed a jump of three per cent following decline in January that was revised to one per cent from two per cent.The Nasdaq composite index was ahead 26.62 points to 3,265.79 and the S&P 500 index climbed 10.66 points to 1,572.83.Markets also got a lift from strong auto sales figures for the U.S.“I think the trend line is going the right way,” said Chris King, portfolio manager at Morgan, Meighen and Associates. “In essence, it says the aspects of manufacturing or auto sales combined with the housing sector and the banking sector, all the elements continue to improve in one of the most critical aspects for the U.S. and that’s the wealth effect that consumers feel.”Chrysler’s U.S. sales rose five per cent in March as the company sold more cars and trucks than in any month since the U.S. went into recession in December 2007 — several months before Canada was dragged into a global downturn. Chrysler sold almost 172,000 cars and trucks in March, led by the Ram pickup with an increase of 25 per cent.GM sales rose 6.4 per cent to 245,950 while Ford sales jumped 5.7 per cent in its best month since May 2007.“American sales have been cruising at a plus-15 million annualized rate for the past four months and show no sign of slowing,” observed BMO Capital Markets senior economist Alex Koustas. “Canadian sales shot out of the gate in Q1 2012, and while they haven’t quite kept up the near-record pace in 2013, they’re still set in the fast lane cruising at a plus-1.7 million annualized rate.”The gold sector led TSX decliners, down 2.2 per cent amid declining gold prices as June bullion declined $18.40 to US$1,582.50 ounce, taking the gold sector down two per cent. The sector is down 25 per cent over the past year as the bottom line for miners has come under increasing pressure from falling prices and higher costs to get the ore out of the ground. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) faded 48 cents to C$29 while Iamgold (TSX:IMG) fell 31 cents to $6.91.May copper was a cent lower at US$3.36 a pound after closing Monday at an eight-month low. The base metals sector moved down 0.75 per cent, adding up to an 18 per cent tumble over the past year, reflecting lower demand, particularly from China, amid a slow global economic recovery. HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) declined 18 cents to C$9.46.Utilities led advancers, up 0.9 per cent as Atlantic Power (TSX:ATP) gained 29 cents to $5.03.Consumer staples was up 0.8 per cent as convenience store owner Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B) rose 70 cents to $55.76.Insurers helped keep the financial sector positive as Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) rose 20 cents to $14.94.The energy sector was up 0.45 per cent even as the May crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 70 cents to US$96.37 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) gained 28 cents to C$31.11.The steady recovery in the U.S. has been supporting markets in the face of financial trouble in the 17-country eurozone, where the economy continues to shrink as governments deal with high levels of debt by imposing deep budget cuts. Data released Tuesday showed that unemployment in the single-currency bloc hit a record high in January and February of 12 per cent, the highest since the currency was launched in 1999.The tiny Mediterranean country of Cyprus has also recently deepened concerns about the future of the currency union. The worry in the markets is that the chaos surrounding the country’s bailout may have further dented confidence across the eurozone, which could further depress economic performance.European markets were up sharply despite the glum jobless data as London’s FTSE 100 index rose 1.3 per cent while Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 1.29 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 was ahead 1.29 per cent.In corporate news, TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) shares gained 19 cents to $49.48 as it begins to seek firm commitments for new pipeline capacity to move oil from Western to Eastern Canada. The Energy East Pipeline project will involve 3,000 kilometres of existing natural gas pipeline, converted to carry crude, and 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline that could stretch as far as New Brunswick. TransCanada is seeking binding commitments for delivery points in Montreal, Quebec City and Saint John, N.B. read more

Annan calls for fairer say for developing countries in globalization

The meeting, on the eve of the opening of the UN General Assembly’s annual general debate to be attended by some 100 heads of State or government, was hosted by Presidents Tarja Halonen of Finland and Benjamin William Mkapa of Tanzania, who co-chaired the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization.In a landmark report, the Commission highlights fair globalization as essential for global prosperity, peace and security. It advocates strengthening the UN multilateral system to ensure coherence among international, economic, social and environmental policies.Addressing participants, the Secretary-General recalled that at the UN’s 2000 Millennium Summit, national leaders from across the planet adopted a declaration pledging to make globalization a positive force for all the world’s people. “I have no doubt that, in next year’s review of the Millennium Declaration, it will be clear that we have a long way to go to meet that goal,” he said.The meeting comes just a year after the collapse of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Cancun, Mexico, where African nations walked out in protest at the refusal of developed countries to open up their agricultural markets by eliminating subsidies and other barriers.Noting the uneven distribution of globalization’s benefit, Mr. Annan said: “Many of its burdens have fallen hardest on those who can least protect themselves. Too many people, particularly in developing countries, feel excluded and threatened by globalization. They feel that they are the servants of markets, when it should be the other way around.”He called for summoning the political will to fulfil pledges made in a range of areas – including trade, financing for development and debt relief. But he also told leaders of developing nations that to harness the benefits of globalization, they must strengthen the rule of law, build democratic political systems, respect human rights, invest in education, health care and infrastructure, and promote social equity.The meeting stressed that global efforts to fulfil the Millennium Declaration and Development Goals by 2015 will fail unless new ways are found to create job opportunities and decent work. “After all, the best anti-poverty programme is employment. And the best road to economic empowerment and social well-being lies in decent work,” Mr. Annan declared.The Declaration and Development Goals seek to restructure the world’s social fabric, from slashing extreme poverty and hunger to curbing infant mortality and major diseases to improving access to education and health care for all – all by 2015.Addressing the gathering, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for eliminating trade barriers used by rich countries to restrict agricultural imports from developing nations.”How many more times will it be necessary to repeat that the most destructive weapon of mass destruction in the world today is poverty?” he asked, stressing that strengthening the UN multilateral system is essential to address the multiple challenges ahead.French President Jacques Chirac said the unprecedented wealth offered by globalization must become a vehicle of integration, not exclusion for those who now have the least.”A globalization which would permit the pillaging and monopolization of its fruits by a minority has no future,” he said. “A globalization which would destroy the social and environmental equilibrium, crush the weakest and deny the rights of man has no future. It is our duty to reject such a deviation.” UN Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Juan Somavia, and Presidents Halonen and Mkapa presided over the meeting. Video of high-level meeting [2hrs] read more

Villanova Will Die — Or Live — By The Three

Villanova Will Die — Or Live — By The Three

2012Ohio34.444.1+9.737.51 3-POINT PERCENTAGE YEARSCHOOLREG. SEASONFIRST 2 TOURN. ROUNDSDIFFERENCEREMAINING TOURN. GAMESNO. REMAINING GAMES Source: Sports Reference 2015UCLA36.851.7+14.923.11 2013Oregon33.348.5+15.235.71 2013Ohio State35.648.5+12.931.62 2013La Salle37.746.2+8.539.02 2014Iowa State35.848.8+13.037.51 2012Xavier35.148.0+12.920.01 Sweet 16 teams that ran hot through the opening weekend 2016Iowa State38.648.810.2—— 2016Villanova35.148.9+13.8—— 2015Xavier35.147.2+12.117.61 2012Louisville31.840.0+8.238.03 2011Wisconsin37.450.0+12.624.11 2013Syracuse33.542.9+9.429.33 2011San Diego State34.945.5+10.631.81 Jay Wright teams shoot a lot of threes. Since the 2006 NCAA Tournament, when Villanova went to the Elite Eight largely on the strength of Wright’s four-guard lineups, the team has been associated with perimeter offense. So when No. 2-seed Villanova plays No. 3-seed Miami tonight, it’s going to toss bombs. The question, given the team’s season-long shooting slump and its recent hot streak, is how many of them are going to fall.Some years, Wright’s team is very good from deep — last season’s squad made 38.9 percent of its attempts, the second-most for a Wright-coached Nova team. And others Villanova is just a bunch of chuckers — the 2012 team made 31.5 percent of its threes, and four Wildcats shot under 30 percent. But throughout Wright’s decade and a half on the Main Line, the team has dogmatically stuck with its perceived strength and has consistently ranked among the top half of Division I in 3-point attempt rate, or the percentage of field-goal attempts that are threes.This year’s team ranked 24th nationally in 3-point attempt rate, the most of any Big East team. Individually, several Wildcats have taken more than 100 threes a piece. In a lot of ways, this was a culminating season for the Wright-era Wildcats. Just one problem: The team wasn’t very accurate.During non-conference play, 49 percent of the team’s shots were threes, and the Wildcats connected on just 30.9 percent of those attempts. That didn’t get any better during the first month of conference play: 39 percent of Nova’s shots came from deep, and but just 33.5 percent were makes. What helped boost their offensive efficiency ranking, which topped the Big East for all but two weeks of conference play, and why VU could get away with such mediocre shooting and still win 16 games in the conference (and 27 overall) was the squad’s 2-point field goal percentage, which was 55.3 percent throughout league play.In February, a few more threes began to drop — 36 percent — and when Villanova entered March, the team’s offense consisted almost solely of a perimeter barrage. More than 41 percent of its attempts were from beyond the arc, led by Kris Jenkins, a Draymond Green-in-training who, at 6-foot-6, has the size to match up with opposing 4s but is an offensive nightmare because of how he moves around the perimeter. It was helped also by Ryan Arcidiacono, who’s become more and more consistent throughout his four seasons. From March 1, when Villanova played a home game against DePaul, through its annihilation of Iowa last weekend (1.26 points per possession), the team has converted 44.7 percent of its threes.Of the 16 remaining teams in the tournament, VU led the first two rounds in both 3-point percentage (48.9 percent) and differential between its perimeter shooting during the regular season and March Madness. Considering each Sweet 16 squad since the 2011 tournament, only four made a bigger leap in perimeter shooting than Villanova’s 13.8 percentage point improvement from the regular season to the first two rounds. The table below shows the Sweet 16 teams since 2011 with the most drastic improvement in 3-point percentage from the regular season to the first two rounds; of those, only five moved on to the Elite Eight. On the one hand, this is evidence that teams tend not to sustain out-of-character starts, which is obvious. On the other, two teams — 2013 Syracuse and 2012 Louisville — went on to the Final Four. 2014Virginia36.946.4+9.533.31 On their face, these results are a good reason to disbelieve the Wildcats’ streaky shooting — but the improvement has been steady and recently fueled by crisp ball movement and superb player spatial recognition just as much as it has by sheer coincidence. That’s good, because Villanova will need more than luck against Miami and potentially Kansas (its probable Elite Eight opponent), which are adept at guarding the perimeter and have skilled close-out and ball-screen defenders. 2011Marquette34.943.5+8.612.51 2012South Florida31.640.6+9.013.31 2012Baylor38.347.5+9.231.02 2015North Carolina35.852.9+17.161.51 2013Arizona37.1%56.3%+19.233.3%1 2013Miami (FL)36.244.7+8.530.81 2011Ohio State42.356.0+13.737.51 read more

Taoiseach says Ireland is one of the safest places on the planet

first_imgTAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said the national examination of maternity services in Ireland will help to ensure Ireland keep its reputation as “one of the safest places on the planet” to have a child.It was announced yesterday that a review of these services in the West/North West Hospitals Group has been suspended and it will now form part of the national review. In the Dáil today, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin questioned the Taoiseach about the terms of reference for the review, and said the public is “entitled to see them”.He added that some people working in maternity services would say that “immediate intervention now to upgrade staffing levels” is needed, pointing out that it was “not long ago that leading practitioners were saying they are not safe”.In response, Kenny said it is important for women to be confident that they were receiving services “of the highest integrity”. He said this review and improvements made as a result would help to “keep up our reputation as one of the safest countries in the world for childbirth”.He agreed that there should be a public consultation process and that the terms of reference should be published. However he did not give any indication of when this might be done.Read: Review of maternity services shelved in wake of hospital chair’s resignation>Read: Chairman of West/Northwest Hospital Group resigns over ‘conflict of interest’ >More: James Reilly denies there was conflict of interest in maternity services review >last_img read more

How to use Googles search tools to get better results

first_imgGoogle Search is one of the most commonly used online tools. It’s so closely tied to daily web browsing that many people barely think about it. But even though you’ve probably looked at the Google results page more times than you can count, there’s one powerful element of it that you might be missing.On the left sidebar, way down at the bottom, there’s a single line of text that says “Show search tools” — click it, and you’ll find a set of tragically underused options. The The search tools provide greater granularity over your queries, and can be invaluable when you’re trying to find something specific. Much like the humble keyboard shortcut, you’ll never use those options until you understand them, so let’s go down the list.Time rangeLimiting your query to a particular time range may seem simple enough, but it’s a great feature for two reasons. First, it lets you prevent your results from being too focused on recent events. For instance, if you search Microsoft Surface right now, you’ll mostly see posts related to the tablets announced last week. But if what you really wanted was articles about the company’s futuristic “Surface” coffee tables (now renamed Pixelsense) you could use a custom range to filter out all that recent news. The second, and even more powerful, aspect of the time filters is that they can be combined with the other tools — any one of the items below can also be restricted by time.Sites with imagesDon’t be fooled by the name, this tool is much more than just another way to search Google Images. Instead of a page full of pictures, Sites with images returns a list of links that are accompanied by up to 6 thumbnails from each page. It’s a good way to find galleries of a particular subject, or visually confirm that a page is what you’re looking for.Related searchesRelated searches won’t alter the normal set of results, but it will drop in a list of links to other things you might want to search. All in all, it’s probably not as useful as many of the other Search tools, but it could point you in a new direction you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.Visited/Not yet visitedThe Visited and Not yet visited filters are two of the handiest Search tools. Let’s say you found a really interesting article yesterday, but it was several pages deep in a list of results. Rather than simply checking the same query, then digging through all the links again, the Visited filter would show you only the pages you’ve been to before. If you knew when that article went up online, you could also employ a time filter to narrow it down even further.Not yet visited is the flip side of that coin, ensuring that you won’t have to sift through dozens of results you’ve already seen. It’s a good option to use if you’re looking for new information on a topic you’ve researched before.DictionaryThe Dictionary tool returns a full listing of definitions from various web sources. It’s the same thing you’d get by searching with the “define:” operator and then clicking the “More info” link — which is probably the faster and easier method.Reading levelThe Reading level tool is a bit of an oddball, but sorting results by Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced vocabulary has it’s uses. The Advanced filter tends to make the biggest difference, bringing the most technical articles to the surface.PersonalIf you’ve got a Google+ account, you’ve probably noticed posts from your circles listed alongside regular search results. This tool lets you search only those personalized items, and nothing else.NearbyAbove the search tool list, you’ll see your auto-detected location; the Nearby option returns results relevant to that place. Take note that you can manually set your location to anywhere, should you want to see results for somewhere else.Translated foreign pagesLike Reading Level, this tool displays a short menu at the top of the page with various languages and how many translated results exist for your query. Click one of the result numbers to see them as search results.VerbatimGoogle Search is always trying to help out with spelling corrections, synonyms, similar terms, and other such improvements. But sometimes you know exactly what you want, and don’t need auto-correction messing with your terms. The Verbatim tool ensures that Google searches exactly what you typed, any nothing else.You may never find uses for all of the items under “Show search tools,” but there are probably at least a couple that can improve your queries from time to time. When doing serious research, a few are even invaluable — Verbatim, Reading Level, and Visited/Not yet visited are the real standouts.last_img read more

PwC Global Launches 21st Global CEO Survey

PwC Global Launches 21st Global CEO Survey

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppSwitzerland, 30 January 2018 – Davos – A record-breaking share of CEOs are optimistic about the economic environment worldwide, at least in the short term. That’s one of the key findings of PwC’s 21st survey of almost 1,300 CEOs around the world, launched today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.  Fifty seven percent of business leaders say they believe global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months. It’s almost twice the level of last year (29%) and the largest ever increase since PwC began asking about global growth in 2012.Optimism in global growth has more than doubled in the US (59%) after a period of uncertainty surrounding the election (2017: 24%).   Brazil also saw a large increase in the share of CEOs who are optimistic global growth will improve (+38% to 80%).   And even among the less optimistic countries such as Japan (2018: 38% vs. 2017: 11%) and the UK (2018: 36% vs. 2017: 17%), optimism in global growth has more than doubled since last year.“With the stock markets booming and GDP predicted to grow in most major markets around the world, it’s no surprise CEOs are so bullish,” comments Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC.Nick Haywood, PwC Turks and Caicos Territory Leader, said: “We are hoping that economic prospects as just as positive based on the CEO Survey results, especially after the devastating blows from the recent hurricanes that ripped through the Caribbean and their resulting economic effects,” said Nick Haywood, Territory Leader, PwC Turks & Caicos.   “Rebuilding after the hurricane related disruptions, along with the positive economic outlook for the U.S and North America markets, can affect mended and improved economic activity and national economy over the medium term.” Jobs and digital skills: headcounts to increase; leaders concerned about availability of digital talentConfidence in short-term revenue growth is feeding into jobs growth, with 54% of CEOs planning to increase their headcount in 2018 (2017: 52%).  Only 18% of CEOs expect to reduce their headcount.Healthcare (71%), Technology (70%), Business Services (67%) Communications (60%) and Hospitality and Leisure (59%) are amongst the sectors with the highest demand for new recruits.On digital skills specifically, over a quarter (28%) of CEOs are extremely concerned about their availability within the country they are based, rising to 49% extremely concerned in South Africa, 51% in China and 59% in Brazil.Overall, 22% of CEOs are extremely concerned about the availability of key digital skills in the workforce, 27% in their industry and 23% at the leadership level.Investments in modern working environments, learning and development programmes and partnering with other providers are the top strategies to help them attract and develop the digital talent they need.Threats to growth: CEOs fear wider societal threats they can’t control Despite the optimism in the global economy, anxiety is rising on a much broader range of business, social and economic threats.  CEOs are ‘extremely concerned’ about geopolitical uncertainty (40%), cyber threats (40%), terrorism (41%), availability of key skills (38%) and populism (35%).  These threats outpace familiar concerns about business growth prospects such as exchange rate volatility (29%) and changing consumer behaviour (26%).Underlining the shift, extreme concern about terrorism doubled (2018: 41% vs 2017: 20%) and terrorism enters the top 10 threats to growth.  The threat of over-regulation remains the top concern for CEOs (42% extremely concerned), and over a third (36%) remain concerned about an increasing tax burden.Key skills availability is the top concern for CEOs in China (2018: 64% extremely concerned vs. 2017: 52%).  In the US (63%) and the UK (39%), cyber has become the top threat for CEOs displacing over-regulation.   And in Germany, cyber jumped from being the fifth threat in 2017 to third place (28%) this year.A year after the Paris Agreement was signed by over 190 nations, which saw countries commit to voluntary action on climate change and low carbon investment, CEOs’ concern about the threat of climate change and environmental damage to growth prospects has now doubled to 31% of CEOs (2017: 15%).High-profile extreme weather events and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement have significantly raised the profile of business action on climate risk, regulation and resilience.  In China, over half (54%) of business leaders are extremely concerned about climate change and environmental damage as a threat to business growth, equal with their levels of concern about geopolitical uncertainty and protectionism. Top countries for growth: Confidence in US continues, reinforcing lead on China CEO confidence in the US market extends overseas, with non-US based CEOs once again voting it the top market for growth in the next 12 months.  This year, the US reinforces its lead on China (46% US vs 33% China, with the US lead over China up 2% compared with 2017).Germany (20%) remains in third place, followed by the UK (15%)n fourth place, while India bumps Japan as the fifth most attractive market in 2018. Impact of technology on employment and skills a concernCEOs say that helping employees retrain, and increasing transparency on how automation and AI could impact jobs is becoming a more important issue for them.Two thirds of CEOs believe they have a responsibility to retrain employees whose roles are replaced by technology, chiefly amongst the Engineering & Construction (73%), Technology (71%) and Communications (77%) sectors. The digital and automation transition is particularly acute in the Financial Services sector. Almost a quarter (24%) of Banking & Capital Markets and Insurance CEOs plan workforce reductions, with 28% of Banking & Capital Markets jobs likely to be lost to a large extent due to technology and automation.Confidence in short-term revenue growth on the riseThis optimism in the economy is feeding into CEOs’ confidence about their own companies’ outlook, even if the uptick is not so large. 42% percent of CEOs said they are “very confident” in their own organisation’s growth prospects over the next 12 months, up from 38% last year.Looking at the results by country, it’s a mixed bag. CEOs’ outlook improved in several key markets including in Australia (up 4% to 46%) and China (up 4% to 40%), where the share of CEOs saying they are “very confident” in their own organisation’s 12-month growth prospects rose.In the US, CEOs’ confidence has recovered. After election nerves last year, the early focus on regulation and tax reform by the new administration has seen confidence in business growth prospects for the year ahead rising significantly – from 39% in 2017 to 52% in 2018.   And North America is the only region where a majority of CEOs are “very confident” about their own 12-month prospects.In the UK, with Brexit negotiations only recently reaching a significant milestone, business leaders’ drop in short-term confidence is unsurprising (2018: 34% vs. 2017: 41%).The top three most confident sectors for their own 12-month prospects this year are Technology (48% “very confident”), Business Services (46%) and Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences (46%) – all exceeding the global “very confident” level of 42%.Strategies for growth remain largely unchanged on last year’s survey – CEOs will rely on organic growth (79%), cost reduction (62%), strategic alliances (49%) and M&As (42%). There was a small increase in interest in partnering with entrepreneurs and start-ups (33% vs 28% last year). Trust and leadership: CEOs divided over whether future economic growth will benefit the many or the fewEchoing the theme of the World Economic Forum this year, CEOs acknowledge that we live in a fractured world.  They are divided over whether future economic growth will benefit the many or the few.  They see the world moving towards new, multifaceted metrics to measure future prosperity.Examining the key challenges to trust for businesses, CEOs admit that delivering results in shorter periods of time (60%) is the main challenge.  However, following this, there is a significant shift with the majority reporting higher levels of pressure to hold individual leaders to account (59%), including for misconduct.  Over a third report more pressure from employees and customers to take political and social stances (38%) in public.In the Banking and Capital Market (65%), Healthcare (65%) and Technology sectors (59%), the profile of leadership accountability was higher than average.  So too were expectations in the US (70%), Brazil (67%), and the UK (63%).   High-profile debates on diversity, immigration, social inclusion and pay equity have raised employees’ expectations of leadership to engage in political and social issues, particularly in the US (51%), China (41%) and the UK (38%). 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HEA Crews Restore Power To Members After Over 10 Hours Without Power

HEA Crews Restore Power To Members After Over 10 Hours Without Power

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Homer Electric Crews responded to an outage in the Aries Court area of Soldotna that initially affected 82 members, yesterday. According to Shelley, the crew’s first action after identifying the cause was to try to find an alternate way to put as many members back in power prior to restoring the initial cause. Bruce Shelley with HEA: “The outage lasted roughly 10 ½ hours. The cause of the outage was an underground primary line fault. The repairs took extra time due to location, and the need to dig in one of the member’s driveway in order to make repairs.” HEA was able to restore power to 20 plus members by early afternoon, yesterday, but in doing so, crews found another problem and had to make repairs before digging up the faulted underground primary line. Shelley: “Crews worked safely and as timely as possible to restore power to the remaining members.”last_img read more

Patriots Sign 1stRound Draft Pick Isaiah Wynn

Patriots Sign 1stRound Draft Pick Isaiah Wynn

first_imgBy The Associated PressFOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots have signed first-round draft pick OL Isaiah Wynn, an offensive lineman from Georgia.Wynn, 22, was selected 23rd overall. At 6-foot-2, 302-pounds, he played both guard and tackle during his college career.New England Patriots offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn steps on the field at the start of an NFL football minicamp practice, Thursday, June 7, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)New England lost starting left tackle Nate Solder to the Giants as a free agent, though it’s uncertain where Wynn will play on the line.His contract, under the rookie wage scale, should be worth about $11.4 million over four years, and the Patriots will have a fifth-year option on Wynn.The team has signed all of its draft selections except second-round running back Sony Michel, also of Georgia.___last_img read more

Say Hello to the Robotic Personal Assistant of Your Dreams

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » July 16, 2014center_img 3 min read Wall-E, eat your mechanical heart out. A Boston-based entrepreneur has created a real-life, robotic personal assistant. And it looks pretty cool.The device is called Jibo. It was created by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she founded and directs the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. Jibo is intended to be a “family robot,” able to take photos, remind you of important dates and events and, more importantly, interact with you and learn about you.”The mobile computing revolution has paved the way for social robots to come into the home, both from a technological price/performance perspective and a consumer readiness perspective,” Breazeal tells Entrepreneur.com. “People are already talking to their smartphones and computers. They are anticipating that social robots for the home are coming soon.”Related: Get This: A Cooler That Uses Dirt to Keep Your Beers CoolSound a bit creepy? Sure it does. But take a look at the video below to get a better sense of Jibo’s capabilities.Today, Breazeal is launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in hopes of generating $100,000 or more to help get Jibo off the ground. Jibo Inc. was founded in late 2012 and has already raised funds from investors including Boston’s Charles River Ventures and others. Related: A Tiny, Whip-Tailed Robot Can Administer Meds Anywhere In the Body”Jibo is a social robot that comes with a core set of skills,” Breazeal says of the sleek-looking contraption, which stands at approximately 11 inches tall and weighs 6 pounds. “Jibo can perform these skills for you through natural and intuitive interaction — speech plus other inputs such as vision and touch. Jibo learns from interacting with you in the context of his skills to personalize them to you. Jibo also can learn who you are by recognizing your face and voice.”So it talks, learns and comes with facial-recognition technology — along with all the usual motors, cameras, microphones and speakers. Tech geeks are sure to rave. Others (those who are already freaked out about spying and the security of their personal information), well, maybe not so much.The consumer version of Jibo will cost $499 and is expected to begin shipping to the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea and Taiwan in late 2015. Related: This Startup Aims to Warn You About Spying Droneslast_img read more

Oregon school principal fired following Bible reading punishment for LGBTQ students

Oregon school principal fired following Bible reading punishment for LGBTQ students

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- Oregon school allegedly forced LGBTQ student to read Bible as punishmentAnti-LGBTI bullying and violence on the rise in schoolsOnly 1 in 4 LGBTQ teens in the United States feel safe in schoolRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/oregon-principal-fired-punishment-lgbtq-students/ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) The ACLU of Oregon reached settlements with a school district in the state following the harassment of LGBTQ students.Two students, Liv Funk and Hailey Smith, originally filed their complaint with the district. When the district failed to do anything, the students appealed to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).center_img ‘It sends a clear message’Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon, said: ‘It sends a clear message to everyone at the district: If you break the law by discriminating against LGBTQ students or engaging in religious proselytization at school, there are serious consequences.’‘With Mr. Lucero gone, LGBTQ students can finally come out of the shadows,’ he continued. ‘It’s past time that North Bend High School make way for a more open and accepting administration.’Funk graduates next month and hopes this will have a lasting impact.‘All I want is a safe learning environment for current and incoming students from any and all walks of life.’Neither student requested money damages. However, their settlement did include the school donating $1,000 to a local LGBTQ support group, Q & A of Coos County.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… The students alleged they faced numerous instances of discrimination and harassment. In one scenario, a student was forced to read the Bible as punishment.ACLU’s settlements include removing Principal Bill Lucero from North Bend High School. The school district also has to work with the ACLU and develop policies intended to prevent future discrimination. Finally, the ODE will monitor the district for five years.A new police officer is also being assigned to the school.last_img read more

5 questions for a Brazilian artist in Tamarindo

5 questions for a Brazilian artist in Tamarindo

first_imgFor Malu Moreira, art has always been a part of life, although she has explored it in various ways. When the Brazilian artist lived in Sao Paolo, she worked as a fashion designer, working side-by-side with designers and exploring theater design as well. The work helped her acquire an ability to whip up color combinations, one that would influence her life later on.Five year ago, she moved with her family to Costa Rica, settling in Tamarindo, Guanacaste. In the Pacific beach town, she began exploring art by creating two collections: mixed media abstract paintings done with a spatula, and acrylic portraits of women.She has used art as a tool to explore her emotions in nature-inspired abstracts, and to present women’s beauty in all aspects. The artist says she hopes viewers will travel to another world through her work.“I think art takes you to a world of dreams, a world that you’re not used to,” Moreira told The Tico Times. “I like it when people look at the painting and say that they want it because it makes them feel good.”Moreira went on to establish La Galería in Tamarindo, where she organizes exhibitions to promote not only her work, but also the work of other area artists.On a warm afternoon in Tamarindo The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Moreira, 50, about her life and work at La Galería. Excerpts follow.Which is your process to create a work of art?I work with acrylics as well as 3D textures. With the textures, I use various materials and work with certain shapes. For example, all the women have some component in their heads that’s 3D. I seek to do something very playful [with the women]. It’s not a sexual woman. It’s a fun woman.This other painting has little bit more of texture… semiprecious stones. I have turquoise and I work a lot with gold sheets to give it a bit of texture as well as resin. Moreira’s abstracts are inspired by nature. Via La Galería Centro de Artes Tamarindo FacebookHow do you choose the color palette?It’s always different, but my color is blue. It’s a color that I love as well as turquoise, red and green. Blue is a color that gives such energy and peace. One time I took a painting to Brazil that was three meters full of blue and textures. The person who bought the painting told me that it was like diving in… I think that all that Costa Rica, the influence of the water, the ocean, and being with Luciano [my husband] as a surfer and has developed my work.As you go out [of the gallery] you’ll see a store called Terrazas where I have a big painting that’s red and blue, which are colors that sometimes are hard to connect. I like that connection, and I think I have an ease in combining colors and balance, because when you paint an abstract painting there’s a chance of making thousands of combinations and not knowing what’ll happen. That’s my world.What inspires you to paint?The truth is that I need to paint. I say it inspires and moves me, so I need to paint every day to live and to think. When I wake up, I go down to my atelier and I’m happy. If I have a commercial painting to do and they ask me when it’ll be ready, I tell them that probably in a month if everything goes right.If you think you’ll paint it today, it sometimes doesn’t happen. Sometimes I paint over and over, but then it doesn’t come out and I’ll paint white over it. I then go to the beach, come back and then the painting comes out in five minutes. My four best paintings came out in five minutes.I’ve never had a process in which I say: ok, I’ll paint a landscape and use these colors. No. My atelier is there. The colors are there. I have the canvas there. I always look and then don’t know what’ll happen. Sometimes I try to [do the process], but I have a path and it usually is much more about intuition. Her work is characterized by the use of blue tones and a spatula technique that creates texture. Via La Galería Centro de Artes Tamarindo FacebookWith your collection of women, how does the process differ from the other works, since it’s more conceptual?It’s completely conceptual. It’s where I can express myself much more freely. [She moves towards a mannequin in her workspace.] This mannequin is a woman whose mind is about to explode, so it’s like my mind.There’s a connection from women with the women paintings when they see them. Men… sometimes tell me to paint a sexy woman, but I can’t do it because it’s not what I want to depict. I’m not against having that beautiful, sexual side… but I don’t like the paintings to turn into something it’s not. These paintings about women are a pure expression about women, about the feelings. Each of them has a story and with them I can get into the craziness of it. The artist with an abstract painting and a mannequin piece focused on women’s empowerment. Jordi Louzao / The Tico TimesSince the Tamarindo Art Wave festival is coming up and you’ll be participating in it with your women collection, what do you expect from it?I hope that people will connect. I always like seeing strong women and empowerment.My work is a manifesto about: do I need this? It’ll be fun because I’ll have a broom with a Barbie-doll head. It’s a topic that has to be strong, but fun at the same time… My work isn’t about making a feminist statement. It’s about fun, and art in which you can observe things.Malu Moreira’s artwork can be found at La Galería Centro de Artes Tamarindo. For more information visit their Facebook page. She will also be participating at the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival from Jan. 25-27.Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Comments Related posts:5 questions for French artist Victoire Cathalan PHOTOS: A glimpse of the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Raudyn Alfaro 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Karen Clacharlast_img read more

Camera lights action at Ingula

Camera lights action at Ingula

first_imgThe greatest benefit of camera traps is that they can monitor wildlife 24 hours a day with almost no disturbance and influence on the animals, thereby capturing them in their natural state.These cameras have a built-in infra-red and motion sensor which, when activated by a moving animal, triggers the camera to take a photograph.The Ingula Partnership initiated a camera trap study at Ingula in October 2014 and already the results are very encouraging!It is expected that the cameras will reveal many more interesting sightings and new species at Ingula, as well as assist in crucial breeding assessments of threatened bird species, namely Wattled Crane, Secretarybird, African Marsh Harrier and Martial Eagle. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Conservation staff at Ingula have a good idea of which animals occur in the  reserve area, but they can never be sure if they have seen all the species. Fortunately, technology has advanced enough to make use of remote  photography or camera traps relatively easy and it has proven itself as being a valuable monitoring tool.Thus far, 14 mammal species have been identified, namely Aardvark Porcupine, Black-backed Jackal, Serval Small-spotted Genet, Water Mongoose, Egyptian (Large-grey) Mongoose, Common Duiker, Mountain Reedbuck Common Reedbuck, Bushbuck Steenbok, Cape Clawless Otter, Chacma Baboon and Vervet Monkey.A camera trap is basically a digital camera in a waterproof casing that can be placed in areas of animal activity such as game trails, waterholes, nesting sites and specific foraging sites.last_img read more

Truck driver killed in attempted hijacking

Truck driver killed in attempted hijacking

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A truck driver was killed in an attempted hijacking on the N3 northbound near the Engen One-Stop early this morning (Monday).It is alleged that the truck stopped at the garage and the driver was attacked by an unknown number of suspects.The hijackers then made their move on the truck, only to find that the driver’s children, a boy and a girl, were in the vehicle. They fled when the children started screaming for help, leaving the truck where it stood.The children are traumatised after seeing their father dead on the road.Police, RTI and EMRS responded to the scene.last_img read more

Ladysmith model on the way to being Mr SA

Ladysmith model on the way to being Mr SA

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Fabian Frank is currently in the top 50 in the prestigious search for ‘Mr South Africa’.Fabian was born in Ladysmith and later moved to Springs. He joined Platinum Blue Models after finishing in the top 40 of the ‘SABC Sports Presenter Search 2013’. The Mr SA slogan for 2014 is “seeking to find a ‘Model Male’ and not just a ‘Male Model’”. He should be task driven, such as raising funds for charity.Fabian is not just good looking; he is busy studying for a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree. He also plays professional football, having played for Orlando Pirates in 2008. The winner of Mr SA will be announced on December 12 and if Fabian has your vote, SMS “MRSA 026” to 47439.last_img read more