Services Sector Project Receives $27 Million

first_img The Government is to spend approximately $27 million on the ‘Implementation Support for Skills Development for Global Services’ project, during the fiscal year 2019/20. Details about the project are provided in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives. Story Highlights The Government is to spend approximately $27 million on the ‘Implementation Support for Skills Development for Global Services’ project, during the fiscal year 2019/20.Details about the project are provided in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.The main objective of the project is to promote the growth of the Global Services Sector in Jamaica, particularly in higher value-added segments. The project intends to provide the sector with better skilled workers and increase Jamaica’s institutional capacity to attract Foreign Direct Investments and increase exports.Targets for 2019/20 under the project include furnishing of a Project Execution Unit office space; procurement of computer and office equipment; hosting additional stakeholder meetings and consultations; delivering an update of job readiness curricula; holding an industry validation workshop; undertaking a study of the GlobalServices Sector industry to establish a baseline for firms with the potential of participating in the project; and undertaking a survey of cultural perceptions towards the Global Services Sector.Up to December 2018, the project established a Project Execution Unit with a Programme Director, Financial Specialist, a Procurement Specialist and a Project Assistant; undertook the revision of a Project Operations Manual; and hosted stakeholder workshops with the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica, HEART Trust/NTA, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).The project is funded by a grant from the Inter-American Development Bank. The main objective of the project is to promote the growth of the Global Services Sector in Jamaica, particularly in higher value-added segments. The project intends to provide the sector with better skilled workers and increase Jamaica’s institutional capacity to attract Foreign Direct Investments and increase exports. last_img read more

SSE Grills COSCO Shipping over OOIL Deal

first_imgzoom COSCO Shipping Holdings has received a letter of inquiry from the Shanghai Stock Exchange asking clarity on the company’s “significant assets reorganization” and asset acquisition, mainly the purchase of Hong Kong-based rival Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL).The offer, made to all shareholders of the world’s seventh largest container shipping line earlier this month would total in USD 6.3 billion.On completion, assuming all OOIL shareholders tender their shares, COSCO would hold 90.1%, while SIPG would hold 9.9% of OOIL.According to COSCO, the transaction still needs to be approved by the EU and US antitrust bodies.The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) wants to know whether there is a possibility that the deal might not pass the anti-monopoly review, and what would be the impact and risk should that be the case.Additional information has been requested on the financing arrangements, especially with regard to those with overseas creditors, along with the very valuation process of the deal, and manner of achieving synergies between the two companies following the merger.Furthermore, the stock exchange is seeking information on how COSCO plans to keep OOIL listed on Hong Kong’s stock exchange with less than 25% public ownership planned to be retained. As informed, the stake proportion does not meet the Hong Kong stock exchange’s listing criteria.COSCO has been given until July 25 to provide relevant documentation on the issues at stake.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Google makes shopping easy via Chrome browser

first_imgSan Francisco: Google has made it easier to buy things online using its Chrome browser. Now, when you’re signed into Chrome on your laptop, you’ll be able to use payment methods previously saved to your Google Account to fill in checkout forms. You can use this feature without having to turn on “Chrome sync”. The feature takes advantage of Google Pay, which has been recently expanding to more sites across the web. “You’ll also be able to use the payment info you’ve saved in your Google Account across your devices in Chrome where you’re signed in, and wherever Google Pay is accepted,” the company said in a statement late on Wednesday. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app When you’re signed-in and Chrome offers you the option of using a card from your Google Account, it will ask you to confirm the card’s CVC. If you choose to save a new card to your account, you will receive a confirmation email from Google Pay with additional information. “You can manage and delete the cards in your account at anytime by going to your Google Account > Payments & subscriptions > Payment methods,” the company said. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails Using this new feature doesn’t turn on Chrome sync. If a user prefers to save payment methods only locally on his device, he can still do that: “Add your card in Chrome Settings > Payment methods > Add. When you sign into any Google website, you’re also signed into Chrome with the same account. You can turn off ‘Allow Chrome sign-in’ altogether in settings,” Google said.last_img read more

The Elders Demand Israel Respects International Law To Stop Further Gaza Protest

first_imgThe Elders today called on the Israeli Government to fully comply with international humanitarian law and respect the right to peaceful protest of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.Their call follows the killing of 48 demonstrators and injury of almost 7,000 others, many of them children, by the Israeli army in the past month.They warned of the danger of more casualties in the run-up to 15 May, when Palestinians mark what they call the “nakba”, or catastrophe – a day after Israel commemorates the 70th anniversary of its independence. Two-thirds of Gaza’s residents are classified by the UN as refugees, having been expelled from or fled nearby Arab towns and villages in 1947 and 1948, or else are their descendants.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:“This is a sensitive – and important – anniversary for Israelis and Palestinians alike. But Israel’s heavy-handed military tactics are inflaming the situation needlessly. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government should exercise the utmost restraint and care over the coming weeks, to avoid further deaths.”Mary Robinson, Elder and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, added:“International humanitarian law prohibits the use of deadly force against unarmed demonstrators. We should remember that despite Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, under international law Gaza remains occupied territory and the occupying power has a legal duty to protect its population – not endanger their lives.”Lakhdar Brahimi , Elder and former Algerian Foreign Minister, said:“Palestinians have the right to fight for their rights with all the legitimate means available to them. This includes peaceful protest; Palestinians in Gaza are just as entitled to exercise this right as Israelis in Tel Aviv or Americans in Washington.”last_img read more

Nearly 12 Million Travelers Passed through Moroccan Airports

Rabat – According to the National Office of Airports, the commercial air traffic in Morocco’s various airports recorded 1.915.301 passengers at the end of August 2015; an increase of 1.74 percent compared to the same period last year (1.882.552).During the last seven months, the passenger traffic reached 11.754.943, a rise of 1.43 percent compared to the same period last year.Mohamed V International Airport in Casablanca came first in terms of passenger traffic with 48.99%, followed by Marrakesh-Menara Airport (17.05%), Agadir-Massira (7.12%), and Tangier-IbnBatouta (6.02%). The other airports did not exceed 5%, the source said. According to statistics by the Office, the commercial air traffic increased at both internal flights (3.18%) and international flights (1.6%).An increase of 35.42% in freight traffic was also recorded; an improvement from 3.314.088 tons in 2014 to 4.489.013 tons in August 2015. read more

Driss Lachgar Receives Aziz Akhannouch

Rabat – Secretary General of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) party, Driss Lachgar, received Aziz Akhannouch, Secretary General of the National Rally of Independents Party (RNI), Wednesday at USFP’s headquarters in Rabat.  Amid the growing controversy over the so-called “governmental blockage” and the delay in forming a coalition government, the meeting of Lachgar and Akhannouch is raising many questions for Moroccans in light of the fact that the appointed Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane has not yet announced the list of the parties which will lead the government for the next five years.As soon as the party leaders ended their meeting, the RNI issued a communiqué saying that the meeting shed light on the old bilateral political experiences between the RNI and their joint work in the previous governments they led together. The same communiqué also revealed that “the meeting was an opportunity for the party leaders to discuss the recent challenges being faced in Moroccan politics,” noting that “there are potential possibilities to foster their political tie.”This meeting follows Benkirane’s attempt to convince Akhannouch to join the coalition government. Akhannouch, however, is still procrastinating on the announcement of his final decision on whether or not to join the government.Akhannouch maintains that he will not reveal his decision until Benkirane excludes the leader of the Istiqlal Party (IP), Hamid Chabbat, For his part, Benkirane has refused Akhannouch’s plea and is upholding his decision to include the IP and the RNI in the same coalition government.Edited by Constance Guindon read more

Russia Backs Moroccos 2026 World Cup

Rabat – Member of Russia’s Football Federation Pyutr Barkalov has officially expressed his country’s support for Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid.Barkalov has echoed remarks made by Russia’s Ambassador to Morocco Valery Vorobiev, who said on Saturday that his country believes that Morocco’s bid is “the best” to host the tournament in 2026.The Russian official said that “Morocco has considerable assets that can allow it to challenge the United States, Mexico, and Canada.” “Given the close relations between our two countries, we will vote for Morocco,” he added.On Saturday, Vorobiev said during a conference on Russia’s preparations to host the upcoming world tournament held by the Russian embassy in Rabat that “objectively, the three candidate countries are weak in football, we all know the American, Mexican, and Canadian football. [It is] not real football.”He added that the 2026 World Cup in Morocco will be beneficial for many countries, including African, Middle Eastern, and European countries as the kingdom is only 14 kilometers away from Europe, “which is good for [football] fans.”The Moroccan bid is gaining more support and confidence; the country has received international support from several countries, including Algeria, Tunisia, Botswana, and Nigeria.President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad has supported the Moroccan bid since Morocco expressed its desire to host the world premier event. Other members of CAF also expressed their support for Morocco’s bid on sidelines of the recent African Nations Championship, which took place in Morocco. Morocco officially submitted its bid book to FIFA on March 15.In addition, France, Serbia, and Luxembourg recently expressed their unwavering support for the bid, with Qatar reaffirming its positive stance on the application.Two hundred eleven international football federations will vote for their favorite bid in Moscow on the eve of the launch of 2018 World Cup in Russia on June 13. read more

Free trips to New Zealand offered to 100 tech workers

by Nick Perry, The Associated Press Posted Mar 9, 2017 11:17 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 10, 2017 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Free trips to New Zealand offered to 100 tech workers Tech developer Nick Piesco poses for a photo in Wellington, New Zealand Friday, March 10, 2017. Local authorities and businesses are offering free trips to New Zealand for 100 tech workers from around the globe as they seek to boost the city’s growing tech hub. (AP Photo/Nick Perry) WELLINGTON, New Zealand – It sounds almost too good to be true: A free trip to New Zealand to interview for a job in the tech sector.But that’s what local authorities and businesses in the capital, Wellington, are offering to 100 talented workers from around the globe as they seek to boost the city’s growing tech hub. The idea has caught fire, with 12,000 people completing applications so far and thousands more registering interest ahead of the March 20 deadline.Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said the city’s tech sector has been growing at an annual rate of 14 per cent over the past five years.“The problem we need to solve is that we have a whole lot of businesses that are struggling to keep up with recruitment,” he said.The LookSee campaign was first promoted in tech hubs like San Francisco, which is more than 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) from Wellington.About one-third of the applicants are from the U.S. but that mix is changing as more people from other parts of the world find out about the offer, said David Jones, who is helping oversee the campaign at the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.“This is the first time a city has approached recruitment in this way,” Jones said. “We’ve been absolutely amazed at the level of interest.”Successful applicants get free flights to New Zealand and free accommodation during their four-day stay in Wellington. They also get to see some of the sights and meet tech leaders. They are expected to apply for three jobs each but aren’t obliged to accept any offers.The 850,000 New Zealand dollar ($588,000) cost of the campaign is paid for by a combination of taxpayer money and contributions from local businesses.Nick Piesco, 40, moved to Wellington from Austin, Texas, two weeks ago to take a job as a developer at Xero, an online accounting software company. He said his wife Reneau Skinner had loved Wellington when she visited more than a decade ago for an eight-month working holiday and that they made the decision to move to the city before the LookSee offer.He said people in New Zealand seemed to really value having a life outside of work and that he was making some life changes, including foregoing a car.“I can walk to work, I can walk to the shops. I live between two breweries, so I think I’m pretty well situated,” he said. “The fact that you live in such a beautiful city in such a beautiful country means that you are urged to get outside and enjoy it.”He said the timing of his move soon after President Donald Trump was elected was “coincidental but fortuitous.” read more

Libya Ban calls for urgent agreement on formation of Government of National

The appeal was also previously made by Member States and regional organizations during a high-level meeting Mr. Ban convened on 2 October in New York on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual debate.“The Secretary-General commends the political will and courage of Libyans who remain committed to resolving the current crisis through dialogue,” said a statement issued today by his spokesperson.“He encourages them to seize the opportunity of the agreement to start rebuilding Libya and confronting the country’s urgent challenges. Only a Government of National Accord will unite the Libyans and enable them, with the support of the international community, to address these challenges,” said the statement.Mr. Ban also added that he remains committed to supporting the Libyan people through his Special Representative and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). read more

Sadiq Khan calls for Royal wedding bank holiday We could do with

first_imgMr Khan also confessed he was a big fan of Ms Markle’s television show Suits, saying of her move to the UK: “Suits’ loss is Prince Harry’s gain and London’s gain.”The Mayor of London’s official Twitter account later underlined the sentiment, challenging Downing Street: “How about it @Number10gov? An extra bank holiday for next year’s Royal Wedding would be a fantastic way to celebrate the big day.” Mrs May has so far declined to specify whether the country will get an extra bank holiday to celebrate the wedding, responding to a question of whether it would cheer the country up by saying: “You talk about cheering people up, I think seeing two young people in love, and actually that was obvious from – I didn’t see all of the BBC interview, I saw some snatches of it – and I think that was obvious.”I think what was also obvious was that they have given a lot of thought of what it means to be a modern royal couple in today’s age.“I wish them great happiness for the future and I think the country is delighted to see this engagement and collectively we wish them all the very best.” Pressure is growing on Theresa May to grant a bank holiday for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as the Mayor of London says the “benefits would be huge”.Sadiq Khan said the public could “do with being cheered up”, arguing that the benefits of tourists streaming into London and the UK would merit a day off.The Prime Minister has so far signalled that there will be no new bank holiday declared to allow the public to celebrate the May wedding, which will take place in Windsor.Asked about the possibility of a bank holiday during her trip to the Middle East this week, Mrs May said the public would already be cheered by the simple sight of “two young people in love”. He suggested that although he understood that business would be lost when firms closed for the day, the benefits would be make it worthwhile. Royal wedding “Do you know what?” he asked listeners. “We could do with a day off, we could do with being cheered up, we could do with people coming to London and spending time here in London.”Windsor is down the road and so look, my message to the Prime Minister, my message to the Government, is: you haven’t got much right, get this right, call a bank holiday.” Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Khan said he was “absolutely” in favour of granting the public a day off, adding: “I’m so excited about Meghan and Harry getting married.”When I think of the benefits to our city… I looked at the figures for when Prince William got married to Kate, the amount of good it did our city.”The world saw London in a positive light. Hotels were booming, retailers were booming, restaurants were booming, the theatres were booming.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Downing Street sources have so far signalled there will be no bank holiday, citing a lack of precedent.Although the public were given a day off to celebrate the weddings of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer in 1981, Prince William to Catherine Middleton in 2011, and Princess Anne to Mark Phillips in 1973, no such national holidays were awarded for Prince Andrew or Prince Edward. The public had a day off to watch the 2011 Royal weddingCredit:AP Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London A study conducted in 2012 by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) showed that, on average, a bank holiday costs the UK £2.3bn in lost economic output. The wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton in April 2011 accounted for a £527 million increase in UK retail spending, according to an estimate from the Centre for Retail Research, a British firm.The Office of National Statistics has said the wedding saw 350,000 extra people visit the UK in the month of the wedding alone.A spokesman for Kensington Palace said the question of a bank holiday was a matter for the Government. The date of Prince Harry’s wedding has not yet been confirmed, and may fall on a Saturday or one of the May bank holiday weekends.The final weekend in May, which sees a bank holiday fall on Monday 28th, is a favourite option among pundits, with the Duchess of Cambridge expecting her third baby in April.last_img read more

Advisians optimisation tools aim to help the success of mining projects

first_imgIn today’s world of constrained capital, clients in the mining sector are seeking ways to maximise returns while minimising exposure to risk, particularly those companies who need to make strategic decisions on potential investments, says Denver Dreyer, CEO of WorleyParsons. “Front end services are critical in a cash-constrained environment. Through our global advisory and technical consulting arm – Advisian – we have introduced innovative optimisation tools to help our clients identify opportunities upfront and create value across every phase of a project so that when the project is ready to go into execution, it has the highest probability of success,” says Dreyer.Advisian’s Regional Executive Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Adam Boughton, says that Advisian’s optimisation tools help to address the modern day challenges that mining companies are facing and offer real solutions to real problems. “We draw on our deep domain expertise and experience in the mining sector to advise our clients and then can partner with them to implement that advice. Our solutions and tools are centred on creating assets, improving asset efficiency and sustainability, and optimising asset portfolios. When used together, these tools go beyond optimisation – we can identify risks and mitigate them, as well as identify opportunities across the full business value chain. This combination of multiple techniques has improved our capability to help our clients to reinvigorate stalled projects and currently unprofitable operations,” says Boughton.Boughton says that forecasting risks and returns needs to be evaluated in a clear model. To this end, Advisian uses a unique financial and technical process model called StepWise. This provides the best possible technical alternatives for a project in a quick and cost-effective way, so that clients can make the right investment decisions. It is a low-cost approach that provides a sales case based on the client’s desired business outcomes (or metrics for success) and identifies risks and opportunities early on in the process.Steve Burks, Principal – Operational Improvement Advisory for Advisian, explains that operational improvement increases net cash flow by increasing revenue while simultaneously reducing costs. “Our objective is to implement recommendations and embed them into the culture of the operating company so that it steadily improves cash flow during the entire life of the planned operation,” says Burks. Advisian recently entered into a regional framework agreement with Whittle Consulting (Africa) to enhance and extend its optimisation capability. This focuses on early cash flow to achieve significant improvements in NPV. Advisian links this technique with nine other business improvement mechanisms and identifies the most beneficial mix of technical, project delivery, and conventional management consulting processes.Advisian has also entered into a regional framework agreement with Ensight Energy which will enable its clients to implement energy optimisation initiatives and realise immediate benefits in the short term. The initial assessment and energy efficiency initiatives will improve cash flows steadily through the entire life of the planned operation. “Ensight Energy has deep domain experience in solving energy challenges. The combination of Advisian’s heat recovery expertise and global EPCM capabilities through the WorleyParsons group, together with Ensight Energy’s unique approach to energy optimisation and track record in energy cost savings, provides our clients with a comprehensive suite of energy optimisation solutions covering every aspect of their operations,” says Boughton. “Mining companies and investors need energy surety in order for new projects to be successful. The Advisian/Ensight joint energy optimisation solutions will provide unparalleled capabilities for businesses that have energy challenges,” he adds.An additional service offered by Advisian is the provision of comprehensive services to support corporate and project development transactions leveraging the company’s due diligence processes and capability within the structure and requirements of each different transaction type across all sectors including minerals and metals.“We support corporate development (‘inorganic’ growth transactions) by providing technical and environmental due diligence for mergers and acquisitions with buy-side target due diligence, and Divestitures with sell-side vendor due diligence,” explains Boughton.“We also support project development (‘organic’ growth transactions) by acting as lenders’ independent technical and environmental advisor for non-recourse project finance, export credit agency (ECA) finance and structured trade commodity finance.“Our approach is to focus on providing independent assurance by rigorous analysis of the available documents and material issues associated with the investment. Our key deliverable is a succinct report with a focus on the material issues which present residual risks.”“These specialist services offered by Advisian allows WorleyParsons (as a group) to partner with our clients right from the start of a project, ensure that a project is financially viable, identify opportunities upfront and develop optimised strategic plans,” says Dreyer. “We can gain a thorough understanding of our clients’ challenges from the onset, help find solutions to complex problems and then take the project from idea phase to execution phase. With Advisian spearheading the study phase, WorleyParsons can take the project across all the phases of the asset lifecycle with the maximum probability of success.”last_img read more

Three men arrested for shooting in Kildare two years ago

first_imgTHREE MEN HAVE been arrested in connection with the shooting of man in Kilcock, Co Kildare on 6 December 2011.The victim received serious head injuries while he sat in his car in the Brayton Wood area of Kilcock at around 11.45am.A dark coloured car was later found burnt out at Courtown Wood, Kilcock around 1km from the scene.Gardai in Leixlip, Co. Kildare investigating the shooting, arrested the three men yesterday in Dublin city and west Dublin.One of the men is in his late teens and the other two are in their thirties.They are being detained in Leixlip, Kildare and Newbridge Garda stations.Anyone with information is asked to contact them in Leixlip Garda station on 01 6667800, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.Read: Man hospitalised after being shot in his car in Kildare>last_img read more

Abbott And FEMA Are Using Harvey To Reinvent Disaster Response Some Say

first_imgEddie Seal for The Texas TribuneWorkers in Rockport repair waterfront condominiums damaged by Hurricane Harvey on Feb. 22, 2018.In the weeks immediately after Hurricane Harvey, thousands of Texans lingered in emergency shelters, small coastal communities scrambled to restore electricity and entire neighborhoods sat swamped with moldy mounds of housing innards.As more than half a million families sought disaster relief aid and damage estimates surpassed the $100 billion mark, the Federal Emergency Management Agency worried that it didn’t have the capability to handle what was quickly becoming the largest housing recovery effort in American history, according to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office.So Abbott tasked the state’s General Land Office with a job that typically falls to FEMA: running short-term housing programs for Harvey victims. That undertaking includes everything from lining up contractors for minor repairs to securing trailers for displaced families.Abbott, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and FEMA officials touted the unprecedented arrangement as a way to rewrite the nation’s disaster response playbook. Port Aransas Mayor Charles Bujan estimates that his town, where up to 85 percent of the homes and virtually every business sustained Harvey damage, is probably about 40 percent of the way through its recovery.With spring break just weeks away, the anxiety is growing in Bujan’s town.“If you have 50,000 people come into town, where are they going to eat at, where are they going to stay?” said Andrea Gallegos, who manages a local RV park. “But if they don’t come, how are we going to pay our bills?”Neighborly supportAs state and federal officials struggle to get ahead of the massive task in front of them, spontaneous networks of neighbors and charities have stepped in, buoying displaced Texans struggling not to get lost amid the collision of Mother Nature and American bureaucracy.In Rockport, a frigid December rain thumped tarps, tents and trailers scattered across a wooded 3.5 acres of land just off Farm to Market Road 3036. For months after Harvey rocked Aransas County’s beachfront communities, dozens of displaced families camped here, at what’s officially known as the Rockport Relief Camp on the north end of town.That number is now down to about a dozen people. But the camp remains the staging ground for donated items — from clothes and blankets to diapers and baby formula — that routinely get matched with residents who lost virtually everything they own.“There are so many people in Rockport right now living in one room because that’s the place where the roof doesn’t leak quite as bad,” said Sam McCrary, who owns the land on which the camp sits.The 46-year-old’s catering and event business in town, the Mermaid Kitchen, was destroyed by the storm. But the house she bought just months earlier sustained little more than shingle damage. McCrary received updates about her town’s extensive damage as she sheltered in Nacogdoches and decided to turn her land into the town’s lifeline.“I contacted everybody I knew and said, ‘Hey, this is what I’m going to do, send me some money,’” she said this week.After raising $5,000 in 24 hours, McCrary returned home three days after the hurricane came ashore with a travel trailer packed with bottled water, food, chainsaws and shovels — “Anything we could think of that we knew people were going to need immediately,” she said.Within days, McCrary was serving meals to hundreds of people a day. She estimates the number of people stopping by for meals peaked at about 1,100 at one point. Before too long, people were encouraging her to run for mayor. She thought about it. Then she thought again.“I could accomplish more with what I’m doing here than I can at City Hall,” she said. “Out here I’m a loose cannon. I do whatever the hell I want to.”Crash course in FEMA proceduresWhen a natural disaster strikes anywhere in the United States, the three federal agencies that primarily oversee and distribute housing recovery money are the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and FEMA.Kamys Cotera for The Texas TribuneGov. Greg Abbott announced that the state’s General Land Office would oversee short-term housing needs almost three weeks after Hurricane Harvey. Abbott told the state agency about the plan one day before the announcement. MarjorieThe SBA provides homeowners low-interest loans of up to $240,000 to repair damaged homes and replace destroyed personal property and vehicles. That agency approved more than $1 billion worth of loans in the first two months after Harvey.HUD oversees long-term recovery efforts that include replacing destroyed homes and rebuilding damaged roads and government buildings. So far, Texas is set to receive $5 billion in HUD disaster relief aid. It will also receive a still-undetermined cut of $90 billion in disaster relief that Congress approved earlier this month, to be split between states and territories impacted by hurricanes and wildfires last year.FEMA’s chief goal has traditionally been to provide short-term relief, including everything from hotel rooms and money for minor home repairs to trailers where people can live until they receive government grants or save enough to rebuild on their own.Turning that job over to the Texas General Land Office required state staffers to get a crash course on FEMA procedures and regulations. Then the GLO had to negotiate contracts with a host of entities, from FEMA itself to local governments to individual contractors who would start repairing homes with minor damage.It’s unclear how much the ramp-up period delayed getting Harvey victims into trailers, mobile homes or apartments — or how the number of Texans currently living in or waiting for short-term housing compares to the six-month anniversary numbers of previous storms.As thousands of Texas families remain displaced, the GLO is already working on a new disaster response handbook Abbott and Bush have promised. But the history of American disaster response is littered with unheeded recommendations.Some best practices that grew from previous storms — including a recommendation to have government partnerships and vendor contracts in place before a disaster strikes — have not been followed for Harvey.“It seems like every event there are lessons to be learned, and then we relearn them after each event,” said Brittany Eck, a spokeswoman for the GLO.Local officials across the battered Coastal Bend have fiercely criticized the Harvey response plan, which they blame for months-long delays in helping their displaced residents. But their ire isn’t aimed at Abbott or the GLO. Instead, it’s virtually all focused on FEMA.“They may have very well set you up to fail,” Bujan, the Port Aransas mayor, told lawmakers in December.Coastal residents weigh whether to stay or goBrandon Formby / The Texas TribuneAndrea Gallegos surveys damage to the Marina Beach RV Resort office in Port Aransas, more than three months after Hurricane Harvey damaged the building. Gallegos lives and works at the RV park.In Port Aransas, Gallegos, who lives and works at the Marina Beach RV Park, can rattle off myriad hurdles she and her neighbors have faced in getting federal or charitable aid after Harvey tore through this Gulf Coast beach town.Even using a maiden name instead of a married name on paperwork can gum up the process, she said.“It’s pretty desperate down here,” Gallegos said. After being turned down for Red Cross assistance and an SBA loan, Gallegos was still waiting to hear about her FEMA application more than three months after the eye of the hurricane slammed into nearby Rockport. Gallegos said she had to justify to the agency why her mailing address was a post office box. And even after she explained, six weeks passed with no apparent progress on her application.“It’s repetitive, silly stuff to brush you off,” she said. “I think what they’re trying to do, which is almost the point, is to get you to just give up.”Harvey shredded Gallegos’ mobile home, which her family bought after selling their house in San Antonio so they could live full time in their favorite vacation spot. Gallegos said she received just enough insurance money to pay off the outstanding debt on the destroyed home, but not enough to make a down payment on a replacement.Luckily, she said, a local nonprofit named Homes for Displaced Marlins gave her family $5,000 for a new mobile home. The charity was formed after Harvey and originally aimed to raise $400,000 to buy mobile homes for 20 families. By early this month, it had raised almost $1 million and helped 48 families.With her family in a new home, Gallegos’ worry turned to the rest of the town. The storm shuttered so many businesses that many of her friends no longer have jobs. Others didn’t have homes. Many had already scattered to start new lives in places from North Texas to California.“It’s like you’re trying to run a tourist vacation town on 10 percent, if that,” Gallegos said.But even with demolition crews tearing down damaged restaurants and hotels empty except for construction workers, Gallegos said she and her family are staying.“You can’t just walk away from a whole town,” she said.‘We don’t have a clue’State and federal officials have said it for months: For the recovery to succeed, it’s going to have to be locally driven. But up and down the Texas coast, mayors and county commissioners from the hardest-hit areas have repeatedly complained to state lawmakers about not having access to FEMA data that would tell them how many homes in their towns were damaged and how many people have been given or denied federal assistance.Eddie Seal for The Texas TribuneSeaworthy Marine in Fulton in February 2018, about a month after it reopened following Hurricane Harvey.“We don’t have a clue,” Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick testified at a committee hearing in December. “We can’t tell you how many people are living here right now.”Due to federal privacy law, FEMA typically won’t provide certain data to other agencies until their employees obtain a certain level of security clearance. And many small communities that bore the brunt of Harvey’s winds don’t have technology sophisticated enough to store and protect so much sensitive information — or the resources needed to quantify and track the kind of extensive damage Harvey unleashed.“A local little city like ourselves, you don’t have that expertise,” said Bujan, the Port Aransas mayor.Meanwhile, the GLO’s agreement with FEMA prevents state employees from sharing the data that local leaders are requesting.“We can’t exactly share the criteria by which applicants are being declined,” Bush, the land commissioner, told lawmakers when asked why hundreds of thousands of families had been denied assistance.While Bush’s agency can’t share the reasons why, it knows how many people in each community have been denied short-term aid, and that will help local leaders quantify how much money they’ll need from HUD’s long-term recovery grants, said Eck, the GLO spokeswoman.“So that is information that, if we were not involved in this process, we would not have,” Eck said.The lack of data hasn’t been local officials’ only source of frustration. At state legislative hearings, public events and in interviews, they have portrayed the FEMA aid application process as confusing to people already living with the stress of displacement and property loss.San Patricio County Judge Terry Simpson told state lawmakers in November that turnover among FEMA staffers compounds the confusion.“The faces keep changing, and when you get a new face, you’re going to get something different,” he said.GLO staffers began recognizing slowdowns in the disaster aid process as they learned about and implemented FEMA’s short-term housing programs, Eck said. For example, one housing repair program’s damage threshold was preventing many Harvey victims from qualifying, and Eck said the the agency successfully got the threshold lowered so more people would qualify.Other hurdles haven’t been as easy to overcome. Eck said helping renters has proven difficult because they don’t qualify for mobile homes (since they don’t own property on which to put them) and local landlords have resisted offering apartments to displaced people because one of the federal programs prohibits them from running background checks on applicants.“We found it was not a popular option,” she said.‘It’s overwhelming’Eddie Seal for The Texas TribuneWorkers prepare the interior of Third Coast Beach Co. in February 2018. The store was flooded with 31 inches of water when Hurricane Harvey hit. The owner is expecting to be open in two weeks.Mario and Rosemary Zamorano are glad to be back in Rockport after Harvey forced them away, though they don’t want to be living in a mobile home. But after the estimate to tear down their place came in between $8,000 and $16,000 — it’s a total loss because of extensive roof and water damage — they didn’t even try to figure out the cost of actually rebuilding.“When you start throwing around numbers like that, it’s overwhelming,” said Rosemary Zamorano, a 36-year-old mother of five.Their plan now is to have Mario Zamorano, who works in construction, tear down what he can when he’s not taking other jobs helping neighbors rebuild their own homes, then hope to save enough to rebuild. “He has to work,” Rosemary Zamorano said. “We still have bills. It doesn’t come easy. We have to live day to day.”It could be months or years before Texans like the Zamoranos know if they qualify for long-term housing grants. After months of living with relatives in Corpus Christi, they were among the first families in Texas to receive a mobile home through a short-term housing program that the General Land Office is overseeing. Shortly after, they got a visit from Melania Trump, Karen Pence and a bevy of government officials and reporters who toured the Coastal Bend’s devastation.Rosemary Zamorano wasn’t excited about hosting the horde of officials, but she hoped it would bring attention to the ongoing plight of the town and their neighbors who are still waiting for assistance.“We’re grateful and thankful because we’re home now in a warm place, but what about all the other people who haven’t for whatever reason been able to get the help they need?” Rosemary Zamorano said.When Harvey struck, she said, “People all over the world want to help, but once the stories are gone, that stops as well.”Earlier this month, Rockport celebrated a major milestone: the 500th reopening of a business that closed after Harvey. That leaves about 800 establishments still closed. But business leaders are pushing to get 500 more businesses up and running before the end of the summer tourism season. This season, they’re promoting Rockport as a place where visitors can enjoy the beach and help fellow Texans muck out houses and hang drywall in shuttered stores. They call it voluntourism. McCrary, who started the relief camp, is now getting her land ready to host church groups and Boy Scout troops who plan to visit the town this summer and help with the recovery.“If everybody did that, just think how much better the world would be,” she said.Up and down the coast, optimism is growing as more open and businesses come back in time for the tourists. Still, it could be years before life looks like it did before Harvey. “It’s not going to be 100 percent,” said Bujan, the Port Aransas mayor. “It can’t be. That’s just impossible. Just making it as good as you can, that’s the hardest thing I’m having to deal with right now.” Sharecenter_img “We are energized by the opportunity,” Bush told lawmakers in October.But six months after Harvey slammed the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane and dropped historic rainfall on large swaths of the state, that initial public optimism has crashed against the reality of trying to re-engineer an already-byzantine process of getting disaster aid to hurricane survivors.More than 890,000 families sought federal disaster aid in the three months after Harvey hit — including more than 40,000 who needed short-term housing help. Yet more than 100 days after Harvey’s landfall, the General Land Office had provided short-term housing to fewer than 900 families.Michael Stravato for The Texas TribuneTexas Land Commissioner George P. Bush speaks to the Texas House Urban Affairs Committee during a special Houston meeting on Hurricane Harvey in October 2017.And by the time the GLO contacted more than 33,000 families for the short-term housing help they sought, those Texans had made other arrangements. Many officials fear an untold number of people are living in moldy, unrepaired homes.The new process was delayed from the beginning: Abbott didn’t tell Bush’s office about the plan until 19 days after the storm’s Aug. 25 landfall — and one day before the governor and FEMA officials publicly unveiled it.Federal records suggest that state officials almost immediately had concerns that hiring and training the necessary personnel would require additional time. “The program probably didn’t get started as quickly as any of us would have liked, but it is new,” FEMA coordinating officer Kevin Hannes told The Texas Tribune.The state-led plan was raising alarms from federal officials as well. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General said in a Sept. 29 “management alert” that because FEMA still hadn’t developed policies and procedures for the disaster recovery efforts, officials in hard-hit communities had been forced to develop housing plans themselves on a “disaster-by-disaster basis.”“The problem is no one really understands how FEMA works,” Rockport Mayor C.J. Wax said at a Texas Tribune event in October. “When you don’t understand how they work, then how can they understand what our needs are?”Six months after Harvey caused an estimated $200 billion in damage, more than 8,000 Texans remain in hotel rooms and another 2,000 households have received temporary housing, such as mobile homes and trailers. About 5,000 families are getting basic emergency repairs done to their homes through the GLO, while 30,000 others await such work to be complete.Lawmakers grilled Bush about the short-term housing programs at a hearing in Corpus Christi days before Christmas. He pointed to five chokepoints he said his office and FEMA were working to overcome. But he also portrayed their efforts as a learning process that will have long-term benefits.“We think we’ll have a model for temporary housing for the next storm,” he said.That brought little comfort to officials in the coastal towns still scrambling to rebuild hotels and reopen damaged businesses in time for the tourism season that can make or break local economies.“That’s important, but that puts my citizens as the guinea pigs,” Wax said.last_img read more

Dallas Police Department Fires Officer Accused in Neighbors Death

first_imgKaufman County JailAmber Guyger has been charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Botham Jean.A white police officer accused of fatally shooting her black neighbor inside his own apartment has been dismissed, the police department announced Monday.The Dallas Police Department fired officer Amber Guyger on Monday, weeks after she fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean inside his own apartment on Sept. 6. Court records show Guyger said she thought she had encountered a burglar inside her own home.Guyger was arrested on a preliminary charge of manslaughter days after the shooting. She is out on bond.Jean family attorneys and protesters have called for her firing following the shooting.Guyger was a four-year veteran of the police force. She told investigators that she had just ended a shift when she returned in uniform to the South Side Flats apartment complex.When she put her key in the apartment door, which was unlocked and slightly ajar, it opened, the affidavit said. Inside, the lights were off, and she saw a figure in the darkness that cast a large silhouette across the room, according to the officer’s account.She called 911. When asked where she was, she returned to the front door to see she was in the wrong unit, according to the affidavit. The 911 tapes have not been released. Sharelast_img read more

Md National Guard Operates in the Red

first_imgBrig. Gen. Linda Singh, Army commander for the Maryland National Guard.Drills for soldiers in the Maryland National Guard and other units across the country have come to a screeching halt due to an unforeseen budget deficit.Officials at the National Guard Bureau have identified a $101 million shortfall of federal funds, and they say, if Congress does not find a way to close the gap, training schedules will be disrupted.Brig. Gen. Linda Singh, Army commander for the Maryland National Guard, said the Bureau started off at a financial disadvantage.“The challenge is we started—like most government agencies in general—with a shortfall because of sequestration,” she said.Then, she added, there was a “miscalculation,” at the national level, of the number of soldiers who were deployed versus those who were on drilling status. A higher number of recruits than anticipated also tipped the scales.“Fewer mobilizations, shortened deployments, and higher training attendance, have all contributed to higher-than-normal expenditure rates across the Army National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Robert L. Ditchey II, a spokesman for the Army National Guard, in a statement.In Maryland, training for about 3,700 out of about 4,700 soldiers will be shelved in September to bridge a $1.5 million budget gap, Gen. Singh said. Those who are preparing for deployment or have just returned from a tour—like the 150 members of the 1229th Transportation Company, who returned from their nearly yearlong deployment to Afghanistan over the weekend—will not be affected.But the decision has ramifications at the individual and institutional level, Singh said.“There are soldiers who depend on these drills for their monthly pay,” the commander said.More broadly, interruptions to guardsmen’s training is problematic given the scope of state and federal responsibilities in their purview. For example, Singh said, Maryland National Guard members are currently deployed to far-flung places in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, while those at home have to be prepared for potential disasters during the current hurricane season and the approaching winter, among other duties.“There’s a lot of things we do to ensure that we’re prepared to handle anything,” she said. “Every month we work on requirements to maintain our readiness level [so] having to cut short our training year means requirements will go unfulfilled.”Ditchey said Bureau officials are taking other steps to recoup the missing funds, including asking Congress to reallocate unused funds from other programs, which could allow drills to be rescheduled.“We are in the process of requesting approval to reprogram available year-end funds to pay for the shortfall,” Ditchey said. He added, “We have also asked States to return unobligated funds in order to consolidate all available funds.”last_img read more

NAACP Joins Black Motorcyclists in Suing Myrtle Beach for Discrimination

first_imgBy Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor, pgreen@afro.comA group of Black motorcyclists teamed up with the NAACP to file a lawsuit against the city of Myrtle Beach, S.C., as well as its local police department, for alleged racial discrimination shown towards those who participate in Black Bike Week.According to the NAACP, the complaint alleges that there are major differences in the treatment of African-American bikers during Black Bike Week in comparison to how bikers are treated during Harley Week, which attracts mostly White riders. While both bike events occur in May, Black Bike Week is traditionally held during Memorial Day Weekend, while Harley Week occurs a week prior.A lawsuit alleges members of Black Bike week in South Carolina were the victims of discrimination. (Facebook)2 AttachmentsClick here to Reply, Reply to all, or Forward4.2 GB (27%) of 15 GB usedManageTerms – PrivacyLast account activity: 1 hour agoDetailsThe complaint is mainly about a different traffic plan that Myrtle Beach has enforced during Black Bike Week; the city doesn’t enforce the same traffic plan during Harley Week, despite both events attracting a similar amount of people in attendance.“The City of Myrtle Beach and its police department impose no formal traffic plan during Harley Week.  However, during Black Bike Week they restrict the main two-way thoroughfare, Ocean Boulevard, to a single lane of southbound traffic.  All vehicles entering Ocean Boulevard at night are forced to travel through a 23-mile loop with just one exit. On Sunday night of Black Bike Week, it could take over six hours to complete the loop,” the NAACP said in a statement.The suit also mentioned how Myrtle Beach drastically beefs up its police force, which “utilizes overly aggressive policing tactics against African Americans.”The NAACP claims Myrtle Beach’s city government are employing these tactics in attempt to deter Black riders and tourists from visiting the city.“All citizens are entitled to equal protection under the law and have the rights of expression, assembly and association,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson in the press release. “The City’s traffic plan and overly aggressive policing tactics during Black Bike Week violate those fundamental constitutional rights. The Association will continue to use the courts to fight such blatant discrimination.”The NAACP fought and beat Myrtle Beach for the exact same issue more than a decade ago. In 2005, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina granted the NAACP’s motion for preliminary injunction, citing the differences in the traffic plans for both events were likely motivated by race, which violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. According to the NAACP, an agreement was then reached that forced Myrtle Beach to apply the same traffic plan for both events. But that agreement expired three years ago, and Myrtle Beach has since begun to enforce an even more rigorous traffic plan for Black Bike Week than before.Chauncey Harris, a Maryland native who regularly drives out to Myrtle Beach to ride his bike during the event, said the current traffic plan and heavy police presence is causing some of the bikers to consider moving the event just north of Myrtle Beach, near Atlantic Beach.“The loop that they’re forcing us to drive is affecting everybody,” Harris told the AFRO. “There’s talks going around of just meeting up at North Beach, where we’ll probably feel more comfortable because the White folks ate acting like they don’t want us here.”Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said the different plans are due to “public safety,” according to Myrtle Beach Online. “What I want to do on behalf of council is to reassure the public that our number one concern always has been and always will be public safety. And that’s just really what I want to stress. To me, my job is to make the public feel secure in their city management and their city government and our number one focus is to make sure our public is safe in all situations and all special events no matter how many people are here,” she said at a recent city council meeting.last_img read more

Sling TV Hikes Price of DisneyESPN Bundle to 25 Monthly Launches Free

first_imgSling TV, the original “skinny bundle” internet service that touts itself as an affordable, no-hassle alternative to traditional cable and satellite TV, is raising the price of its baseline package featuring Disney and ESPN networks by 25%.It’s the kind of rate hike the pay-TV biz has foisted on consumers for years — and one of the top reasons people have gravitated to over-the-top services like Sling TV.At the same time, Dish Network’s Sling TV is making a very un-cable move. In a bid to woo back customers who have canceled, Sling TV will offer free, ad-supported television programming and movies to former subscribers. In addition, it’s going to let ex-subs purchase Showtime, NBA League Pass and other channels à la carte, as well as rent on-demand movies from a library of 5,000-plus titles and order pay-per-view events — without the need to buy a TV bundle. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 In an industry first for any pay-TV distributor, Sling TV will let ex-customers buy à la carte subscriptions to eight channels without requiring them take a base TV bundle. The initial channels available are: Showtime ($10 per month), NBA League Pass ($28.99 monthly), CuriosityStream ($6), Stingray Karaoke ($7), Cinedigm’s Dove Channel ($5), Outside TV Features ($5), Up Faith & Family ($5), and Lionsgate-Hemisphere Media Group’s Pantaya ($6), a Spanish-language entertainment service. (Existing Sling TV customers also can purchase the à la carte channels on top of their base services.)At launch, the free content and à la carte options will be available to ex-Sling customers only on Roku devices, with other Sling-supported devices (like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and iOS and Android devices) to be upgraded in the near future.Down the road, Sling TV may extend those features to people who haven’t previously subscribed, as a new on-ramp for customer acquisition, Schlichting said.Today, Sling TV is the biggest over-the-top “virtual” pay-TV service. It had 2.3 million subscribers as of the end of the first quarter 2018, according to Dish. AT&T’s DirecTV Now tallied 1.46 million subscribers as of Q1 while Hulu With Live TV recently hit 800,000. Popular on Variety “It’s an evolutionary step for not only for Dish, but I think for the industry as a whole,” said Warren Schlichting, president of Sling TV.Schlichting, who’s also in charge of Dish content acquisition and media sales, has been overseeing Sling TV for the past six months after Roger Lynch exited to become Pandora’s CEO last year. According to Schlichting, he discovered that a “fairly significant” percentage of Sling’s activations are restarts — customers who paid for the service for a time, canceled, and then came back. “That led us to this idea that we want to provide value to them even if they’re not paying us,” he said. “We’re in the relationship business.”And Sling may see an uptick in cancellations now that it’s upping the price of its popular Orange package.Sling TV’s Orange package, a bundle of 30-plus channels that includes ESPN and Disney networks, has cost $20 per month since it was introduced in early 2015. That’s now going up to $25 for new subscribers as of June 28; existing Sling TV Orange customers will pay the higher rate starting in August.“We’ve been able to hold the price at $20 for three years. But programming costs go only one direction,” Schlichting said. “At some stage we needed to be healthy and viable.”Sling TV’s Blue bundle, which includes Fox sports and entertainment nets, will remain $25 per month, and the combo price (for all networks in the Orange and Blue tiers) will remain $40.It’s worth noting that Google’s YouTube TV this spring raised the price of its skinny bundle to $40 per month after adding Turner networks to the lineup (although customers who subscribed at the original $35 monthly price point, for now, will not see their rates increase).Customers who have bailed on Sling TV will now be invited to come back to access to a range of free and à la carte premium video. When they reopen the Sling TV app, in what the company is calling “the new Sling TV experience,” returning customers will be able to access more than 100 hours of free, ad-supported TV shows and movies without restarting their subscription. At launch, shows will include TBS’s “Wrecked” and “The Detour”; TNT’s “The Last Ship” and “Good Behavior”; TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers”; HGTV’s “Flip or Flop”; Food Network’s “Food Network Star”; and programming from A+E Networks’ History.last_img read more

5 Best Practices for Remaining MalwareFree

first_img Nowadays, a large portion your work is likely done online. From keeping accounts and other records to interacting with your customers and marketing to get new ones, you’re going to be relying a whole lot on your office’s network. And when it comes to efficient data storage and processing, as well as lead generation, sales and generally increased profits, the most important thing you can do is secure that network. Here are a few tips to help.1.Encrypt all access points with complex passwords.The very worst thing you can do is leave devices running on the manufacturers’ default passwords, which are widely known to hackers. Create new, complex passwords for all your access points by using phrases that have no connection to your business. If you’re worried about forgetting them, you can use password managers such as LastPass. In addition, be sure to train your staff on password security and how to recognize phishing attempts.Related: 4 Signs Your Site Traffic is Being Hijacked2. Ensure your antivirus software is up to date.There’s no point having antivirus software if its abilities to recognize and tackle malware aren’t up to date. New viruses are constantly being unleasged, and it’s essential that your network is safeguarded. Depending on which particular devices and software you are using, the process will be slightly different, but check for new definitions and update them regularly.While you’re at it, go through your antivirus’ settings routinely to see if everything is optimized. Set a schedule for scans, and be sure to check the results for any files that might be posing problems.3. Confine file-sharing to a single server.The more devices that have file sharing enabled on your network, the more vulnerable it’ll be to intruders. The best solution is have a single, secure server for that purpose. That way, You can easily monitor for unauthorized access. It might be necessary to connect other computers to your file server directly at some point, or you might need to host some files on another computer in the short term. In either case, make sure it’s only temporary and that a professional guides you on how to do it safely.Related: For the Average Hacker, Your Small Business is an Ideal Target4. Have multiple backups and update them regularly.Realizing that you’ve lost important data is one of the worst feelings you can have as a business owner. In my experience, I’ve learned that adequate documentation is one of the most crucial aspects of management. Having to start over without records, contracts and other important files will put your business at a serious disadvantage. But with the right back up system in place — i.e. a combination of physical backup and cloud solution via Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon or any similar product — you’ll be able to prevent that from occurring. Be sure that you set up the permissions in your cloud storage well, giving read/write permissions on specific sets of documents only to those who need them. That way, you’ll reduce the risk of unilateral tampering.5. Obtain private IP addresses.If your business uses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP, consider making the shift to private IP addresses. The change will secure your network by assigning specific IP addresses to devices and making it easy to identify when an unauthorized device has connected to your network by checking your router logs.Being able to immediately identify and tackle any malicious network intrusion can mean the difference between preventing a major breach and having your customer data sold on the dark web. And one wants to have their entire business held captive by the next WannaCry. August 13, 2019 Register Now » 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

Gay man who married stranger on reality TV show says producers humiliated

first_imgA gay man who married a complete stranger on a reality television show in 2016 now claims producers deliberately set him up with his worst ‘nightmare.’Craig Roach took to Facebook to vent about his experience on the Australian reality television show, Married At First Sight. GAYSTARNEWS- eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) The premise of the show sees producers set up couples, who then marry each other after meeting for the first time.Roach appeared on the third season of the popular reality TV show and married Andy John but now says he ‘left feeling emotionally raped.’The relationship ended when Roach decided it all got to be too much for him and left the show.He wrote in a newly-surfaced Facebook post from April: ‘I had complete faith in the producers and the slaughtering that I endured was inhumane and downright humiliating.’Roach said he explicitly told the producers not to match him with a smoker or heavy drinker. But when it came to their big day, that’s exactly what he got.He said: ‘They matched me with a chain-smoking, binge-drinking, all round party boy from hell who hadn’t been to the gym or raised his heart rate naturally in 10 years.’center_img Craig Roach: ‘I was stupid going on the show’Roach details the time they spent together after meeting for the first time on their wedding day in Queenstown, New Zealand.He said it quickly came to light that there was much more going on behind the scenes.From a dramatic encounter with Roach’s ex and a horrible first night in bed together, Roach said he suffered ‘downright torture’Roach also claims Andy was a paid actor. He wrote: ‘I will forever know in my heart that he was a paid actor and I was a vessel for this bullshit story.‘[Andy] has also recently claimed he came into quite a bit of money since the show aired and he took 6 months off work to travel. I observed that he had a different relationship with the producers and crew than I did. I’m positive that I wasn’t imagining it,’ he said.He now suffers from PTSD as a result from the show.Roach ended his Facebook post with the reasons why he’s telling his story now. He said: ‘The reason I am telling my story isn’t to bitch and whinge. It really is just to tell the real story and actual events that took place.‘I invested my heart and soul into the process of the show I was hoping I found the man of my dreams. Unfortunately I was matched with my worse (sic) nightmare on every level.’Read the full post.Gay Star News reached out to Nine Entertainment for comment.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Queer Eye’s Kamaro on fatherhood and why he doesn’t identify as queerQueer Eye’s Karamo on fatherhood and why he doesn’t identify as queerGay contestant physically attacked by housemate in Big Brother houseRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : read more

PEOPLE Carnival Cruise Lines Justin French named Regional Vice President Canada and

first_img[PEOPLE] Carnival Cruise Line’s Justin French named Regional Vice President, Canada and Northern U.S. MIAMI — As part of Carnival Cruise Line’s expansion of its business development team, Justin French will become Regional Vice President, Canada and Northern U.S., maintaining his current role of managing Canada.This move adds additional sales leadership presence to key metros in the Northern U.S., which helps the line expand its support to travel partners in these cruise markets.French will continue to be based in Toronto. Given his expanded role in North America, his responsibilities in managing Carnival’s international business will move to Iain Baillie, who is now Vice President of U.K. and International Sales.“Our goal is to reach as many agents as we can by offering them the best and most trusted sales support,” said Carnival’s Vice President of Sales & Trade Marketing Adolfo Perez. “These team enhancements allow us to work more closely with a significant number of agents and we look forward to the expertise these long time travel industry veterans will bring to these new markets.” Posted by Wednesday, November 23, 2016 Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Carnival Cruise Line Travelweek Group last_img read more