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Mastermind Toys expanding across Canada despite challenges of retail sector

first_imgTORONTO – Mastermind Toys is shrugging off the challenges that have beset the retail sector with plans to open more stores this year.The Canadian retailer said it’s opening its 56th store in Orleans, Ont. Tuesday and plans to have locations open later this year in Sudbury, Ont., Langford, B.C., Fredericton, and Toronto.The new stores are in addition to the seven Mastermind has already opened this year, while since 2011 the retailer has opened 50 new toy stores as it expands out of Toronto to now have stores in seven provinces.The latest expansion news comes a day after Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, saying it intends to follow suit in Canada as online competition takes an increasing toll on in-person retailers.The toy giant said its roughly 1,600 global stores will continue to operate normally, with the vast majority profitable, but it has struggled with the burden of $5 billion in long-term debt.Brick and mortar retailers continue to face pressure from online competition and changing consumer taste, helping lead to high profile restructurings including Sears Canada’s bankruptcy protection this past June.last_img read more

Ethiopia UNICEF reports Japanese donation to fight possible malaria epidemic

With a sharp increase in malaria cases and deaths across Ethiopia raising fears of a major epidemic in the June to October malaria transmission season, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today reported a $5 million donation from Japan to help prevent the spread of the disease and wipe out polio. On top of the Japanese donation, the single largest to UNICEF for disease prevention programmes in Ethiopia, Britain, Canada, and the United States have made recent contributions to the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal but the agency still requires an additional $36 million for emergency child survival interventions.As well as helping to confront the challenge of a possible malaria epidemic later this year, the Japanese contribution will also be a vital boost to Ethiopia’s race to contain the spread of the paralyzing polio virus.The country was on the verge of eradicating the potentially paralysing disease when a viral strain originating in Nigeria was identified near the border with Sudan in December 2004. Fourteen additional cases have been identified since then.The strain came from northern Nigerian states where concern among public figures over vaccine safety, including rumours that it was contaminated by the HIV virus or could sterilize young girls, prompted suspension of immunization campaigns. They were resumed last year, but not before the disease spread to more than a dozen previously polio-free countries. read more

UK automotive production – August 2010

Total77,882812,6875,88579,98583,767892,672115,8041,569,966 Car output grew 37.3% in August and was up 41.3% over the year-to-date.Commercial vehicle output rose 22.1% in August and 41.4% in first eight months.Engine production was up 15.4% for the month and 27.7% for the year-to-date.“UK vehicle and engine production continues to lead a strong manufacturing recovery,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. “The UK is an important part of the global automotive industry, exporting cars, commercial vehicles and engines to markets around the world. There are still significant challenges ahead and government must do all it can to encourage continued international investment in UK based R&D, skills, plant and machinery.”DOWNLOAD REPORT % change51.8%31.6%13.5%32.7%48.8%31.7%-0.8%22.1% Home20,877227,7792,30124,82723,178252,58642,173439,737 % change37.3%41.3%22.1%41.4%36.1%41.3%15.4%27.7% % of total73.2%72.0%60.9%69.0%72.3%71.7%63.6%72.0% Export57,005584,9083,58455,17860,589640,08673,6311,130,229 % change8.9%74.2%38.3%65.6%11.2%73.3%61.1%44.5% Source:CarsCommercial VehiclesTotal VehiclesTotal Engines SMMT LtdAug-10YTD 2010Aug-10YTD 2010Aug-10YTD 2010Aug-10YTD 2010 % of total26.8%28.0%39.1%31.0%27.7%28.3%36.4%28.0% Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Register now for SMMTs next Open Forum

SMMT will host its next Open Forum event on Wednesday 18 September 2013 at Worcester Warriors Rugby Club’s, Sixways Stadium.With a focus on government’s Automotive Sector Strategy, which is due to be published in July, SMMT’s Open Forum will explore the exact ramifications for UK-based suppliers as well as a whole host of other issues impacting on the supply chain.Bringing together around 400 delegates for a day of presentations, knowledge sharing and discussion, the event offers excellent networking opportunities with leading senior figures from the automotive industry. Specific topics and speakers will be announced in due course.Delegate numbers are strictly limited, and SMMT encourages early registration. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. For more details on how to book and costs, visit: http://openforumsept2013.eventbrite.co.uk/ or contact supplychain@smmt.co.uk.SMMT is also offering companies an exclusive opportunity to exhibit at September’s Open Forum event. To find out more about purchasing exhibition space, contact Mairi Lucas on supplychain@smmt.co.uk or 020 7344 1647. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

By 2015 the netbook will be extinct

first_imgWhen netbooks first appeared in 2007 the iPad was still 3 years away, Android had only just been unveiled, and consumers were queuing up to check out this new “smartphone” called the iPhone. Netbooks offered a great alternative to laptops at the time. They were significantly cheaper, quite portable, and usable if all you wanted to do was write documents and surf the web while forgiving the tiny, low resolution display.They proved very popular, accounted for tens of millions of sales every year, and even started taking market share away from the more expensive and feature rich laptops. As a first PC, they were perfect for kids and some manufacturers even targeted the younger generations and schools with rugged models.The run of the netbook as a form factor is coming to an end, though. Ever since the iPad and Android tablets have been available netbook sales have been falling to the point where we now have a predicted extinction date.Market research firm iSuppli has compiled the figures and believes that come 2015 the netbook will be extinct as a product. The evidence suggesting that is based on sales, which sat at 32.14 million in 2010, but dropped to 14.13 million for 2012. The prediction for 2013? Just 3.97 million, and there’s no signs that will do anything other than fall sharply again next year.A 72 percent drop in sales this year certainly doesn’t bode well, but at the same time is a good reflection of how the market has changed. Portable computing is now done on large screen smartphones, tablets, and Ultrabooks, which are much more portable laptops with larger displays and prices that are falling.The netbook served a purpose as a transition device, and one that will likely be fondly remembered by millions of users, but its time is up and we have all moved on.last_img read more

Young Greek of the week Peter Matthew Karakoussis

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Name: Peter Matthew Karakoussis, 20 , Bachelor of Science – University of Melbourne.Your greatest achievements and how you reached them? Studying at the University of Melbourne, successfully returning to soccer from an ACL reconstruction, becoming the president of the Melbourne University Greek Association, and captaining my soccer team. This was all done with hard work and commitment.Goals for the future? To become a successful physiotherapist, and help out my friends and family who have supported me throughout my schooling.Best moments of your life? The 98/99 South Melbourne Hellas ‘back to back’ championships and finishing year 12.One word that describes you the best: Passionate.Persons you most admire and why? My parents. They have always supported me and given me the confidence to undertake any challenges and opportunities that have come my way. They lead by example and have accomplished so many feats throughout their lives. They have moulded me into the person I am today.Most embarrassing moment? Going to Kinisi for a Christmas party and backing into one of the yellow parking posts with a car load full of friends and family watching. It was only a month after getting my P’s.If I could say anything to the Greek community… To unite and resurrect Lonsdale Street as the central hub of the Greek community.Favourite place to go or hang out at? Tsubu @ Melbourne Uni, always a good place to hang out in my spare time.Song that I can’t get out of my head at the moment? Matia Vourkomena by Dimitris Papamihail.Favourite Greek food? Fasolakia me salsa.I can’t live without… My family.If I was Kevin Rudd for a day I would… Go back to Scores strip club in New York City, and relive my memories.last_img read more

Neuer speaks ahead of Liverpool match

first_imgThe Bayern Munich goalkeeper talked how his team knows the rivals, ahead of their Champions League match.Bayern Munich will visit Anfield Road tomorrow to play against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.And for Bayern’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, this is a very exciting match that he cannot wait to play on.“I’m looking forward to playing there. We heard a lot about the fans and atmosphere in the stadium,” he was quoted by The Liverpool Echo.“It will be two great games. For us, it’s very important to play Champions League.”“It’s a knockout game so it will be two finals. Everyone who watches a lot of football knows it’s a special atmosphere,” he commented.“Does it matter? Of course. I like it when fans are cheering a lot, close to the goal.”“But if you want to speak to your colleagues on the pitch it’s not that easy when it’s loud, they can’t hear you. You have to speak in a different way,” he explained.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.Bayern was struggling in the German Bundesliga for most of the first part of the season, but now they are just two points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp’s former team.“I think we know Klopp and we know his style. He knows Bayern Munich as well.”“No one is in a better position. We know him, he knows us,” he recalled.“I like his style. I’ve seen him at Rome, and I’ve seen him in the Brazil team, he’s doing a great job,” Neuer added about Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker.Suited and booted. Boss tha’ 👔#packmas #UCL #LFCFCB pic.twitter.com/1kMm57WTck— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) February 18, 2019last_img read more

Port of Vancouver hires firms to lobby state federal lawmakers

first_imgIf the Port of Vancouver fails to win favorable state and federal legislation or funding this year, it won’t be for lack of trying.The port’s Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved two separate contracts totaling $185,000 to hire lobbyists to make the port’s priorities known to lawmakers at the state and federal levels.The port will pay Olympia-based firm R.L. Wickman Inc. $55,000 this year to influence legislation at the state level. The Washington Legislature convened its 60-day session on Monday.The other contract hands Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs, with offices in Tacoma, Seattle and Washington, D.C., $130,000 to lobby federal lawmakers.Both firms have previously represented the port. The port’s policy, adopted in 2010, exempts government relations lobbying contracts from competitive bidding due to “the uniqueness of these services.”This year, the two firms are expected to continue to advance the port’s initiatives, including its drive to win more money to build out its signature venture: the $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access project.last_img read more

Time Cover ThinlyVeiled Twitter Ad

first_imgWe’ve been covering the debate over ads on magazine covers (“The Great Cover Ad Debate”) at FOLIO: a lot lately. So far, we’ve limited the debate to magazines—fairly openly and brazenly—putting ads on their covers.But what about magazines whose covers—while editorial by nature—look like an ad?Take Time’s June 15 issue. The cover touts a somewhat generic mobile phone (it looks like an iPhone) with a Twitter update by the issue’s cover story author, Steven Johnson, reading: “I’ve written this week’s TIME cover story about how Twitter is changing the way we live—and showing us the future of innovation. Buy a copy!” Is this low-cost design an effective way to promote the issue’s cover story on Twitter? An odd effort to make their cover look like a Twitter ad? Or something else?Leave your comments below.last_img read more

Tapatalk wants to help your Google communities live on

first_img1:15 Now playing: Watch this: Comment Google+ communities can migrate to Tapatalk for free. Tapatalk Tapatalk’s forum app is offering a new home for soon to be platform-less Google+ communities. The company announced Wednesday that moderators and owners of communities can migrate their data to Tapatalk for free.Moderators or owners of Google+ communities can fill out a form to request a migration to Tapatalk, the company said in a release Wednesday. Users will see a preview of what their community will look like in Tapatalk Groups. Tapatalk can move all the content after being given moderator access and doesn’t need any of your backup files. After the migration, community members can log in to Tapatalk with Google Sign In. “We believe in the value of online communities and are committed to ensuring members of Google+ communities can continue to engage on the topics they are passionate about,” Winter Wong, CEO of Tapatalk, said in the press release. “We’re proud to enable this transition and support these communities with end-to-end migration services and a host of new added benefits that are proven to help online forums thrive.”Google announced the decision to shutter its social network Google+ last October after a massive data breach. Google said that between 2015 and March 2018, up to 500,000 users’ personal data was exposed. The company planned to sunset the network in August 2019.Two months later the company moved up the shutdown date to April 2019 after a bug affected more than 50 million users.  Here’s how to use Google’s Password Checkup tool 1 Tags Software Share your voicelast_img read more

Savar wall collapse kills mother son

first_imgA woman and her son were killed and her brother was injured as a wall of a water tank collapsed on them in Narsinghapur Banglabazar area of Savar’s Ashulia early Monday.The deceased were garment worker Selima Begum and her son Siyam Hossain, from Kamaliapara area under Saghata thana in Gaibandha district. They used to live in the rented house of Nur Mohammad Palwan in the area.Police and fire service officials said that the wall of the water tank collapsed on them around 5:00am, leaving Selima and her 10-year old boy dead on the spot and her brother Tutul injured.The injured was admitted to Orthopedic hospital.last_img

Election official among 7 shot dead in Rangamati

first_imgThe injured undergo treatment at a hospital after the gun attack in Baghaichhari on Monday, 18 Mar, 2019. Photo: UNBSeven people, including an assistant presiding officer, were killed and 13 others were injured in a gun attack on a vehicle of a motorcade carrying election officials and law enforcers in Baghaichhari upazila of Rangamati on Monday.According to UNB, the deceased were M Amir Ali, 37, assistant presiding officer of a polling centre at Kanglak under Sajek and a teacher of Kachalong Girls’ School, Ansar VDP members Jahanara Begum, 40, wife of Tafsil Ahmed of Kachalong Bazar, Mihir Kanti Dutta, 40, son of Sadhu Basak of Karoshtali, Bilkis Akther, 50, daughter of Nur Ali of Paillagona, M Al Amin, 25, son of Selim of Sarikkha in the upazila, Toyeb Ali and assistant of a bus driver Mantu Chakma, 25.However, the professional identity of Toyeb could not be confirmed.Superintendent of police M Alamgir Kabir said the election officials and law enforcers were returning to the upazila headquarters in four vehicles after counting votes at the polling centre in the 2nd phase upazila parishad election.Terrorists opened fire on the last vehicle of the convoy from a hill at Noymile of the upazila around 6:30pm.The attack left the six dead on the spot and the others injured.On information, members of Bangladesh Army and Border Guard Bangladesh rushed in, rescued the victims with the help of locals and took them to the upazila health complex.The injured include presiding officer of the centre Abdul Hannan, five policemen and three Ansar VDP men.Of them, six were airlifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Chattogram where one of them was declared brought dead.Amid a tense situation, security was beefed up there.Members of United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF, Proshid Khisa) might have carried out the attack.They said Barorishi Chakma, nominated by JSS (Santu Larma), contested the upazila parishad election from Baghaichhari against Sudarshan Chakma of JSS (reformists).Barorishi, however, boycotted the election halfway through, they said, adding that after the announcement of the polls boycott, various posts were made on Facebook threatening to launch an attack.Meanwhile, the election commission condemned the attack on the election officials, saying it will stand by the families of the deceased and the injured.The commission also directed for ensuring proper treatment of the injured, said a press release.last_img read more

Hospital chaplains stick to the heart of the job amid health care

first_img Amanda Abrams,Load Comments,Newly released letters shine light on McCarrick allegations Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 News • Photos of the Week Catholicism By: Amanda Abrams Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts After centuries of persecution, ‘lost’ Brazilian Jews struggle to regain t … Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 News Amanda Abrams By: Amanda Abrams Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — Hospitalized with a serious illness, a 55-year-old lawyer found himself taking stock.He’d gone to Ivy League schools, supported a beautiful family, ran a prosperous business, bought a second home on the coast. But what had he contributed? What had been the point of it all?Lying alone in the stillness of the wee hours, he remembered that what he’d really wanted to do was become a teacher.“So what do you do with that, when you realize a life has been spent in a way that wasn’t the best?” asked Jim Rawlings, who retired recently as head of Duke University Hospital’s pastoral services staff.“Most people live in such denial that anything can happen to them. It’s one of the times they confront their mortality. And there’s anxiety often,” says Rawlings, who spent more than 30 years as a hospital chaplain.A common perception of clergy who work in hospitals is that they are there to perform last rites for the terminally ill, or prompt 11th-hour conversions. But chaplaincy has little do to with religion per se. “We try to hear their story,” says Rawlings. “To be able to tell your story is a way to become known and thus become less lonely, and connect with the spirit inside of us.”While a large hospital will try to provide chaplains who match religious patients’ specific faiths — and possibly a humanist chaplain to cover those who are nonreligious — a chaplain of any faith should be able to minister to any patient.“We don’t proselytize, and we’re not looking to change people’s belief systems,” says Amy Strano, director of spiritual care at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.“We sit with people in the heartbreak of life. It’s about being with them and letting them grieve and share what’s on their hearts,” she explains. “We sometimes talk about the chaplain as a spiritual care specialist” — and that’s relevant whether “spiritual” refers to God, or to secular ideas of connection or significance.As our medical system grows more fast-paced, impersonal and complex, the hospital or health care chaplain’s role has been growing. Many patients need help deciphering the best next steps. Practitioners, burned out by the same system, often benefit from working with chaplains.A hospital chaplain prays with a nurse in a scene from “Your Health: A Sacred Matter.” Photo courtesy of Auteur ProductionsThe profession, which began in its modern form in the early 1900s, has swelled since the 1990s. Today there are more than 10,000 health care chaplains in the United States, most with master’s degrees, rigorous hands-on training and board certification. Almost two-thirds of the country’s hospitals make chaplains available.With American society becoming increasingly disconnected and less religious, chaplains’ role has become particularly important. “A lot of people (in the U.S.) don’t have community. We don’t live in neighborhoods our whole lives where people know us; we don’t have those places of worship where we’re known. Nobody brings a casserole” when sickness descends, says Strano. As a result, “when there’s a crisis, there isn’t that community to turn to; there isn’t someone who’s there as that counselor.” And there haven’t necessarily been those discussions about the point of life or what might happen after death.Despite their growing numbers, chaplains have less time to spend with patients. Thirty years ago, hospital stays were longer and chaplains could visit with nearly everyone who came through. These days, they’re encouraged to focus largely on the sickest patients.The biggest change, however, is the shift seen across all health care professions, from volume-based to value-based care. In the past 10 to 15 years, medical professionals have stopped simply billing for services rendered; they have to show that those services led to positive outcomes.Chaplains, too, are increasingly being rated by a wide range of measures: better outcomes, lower costs and higher patient satisfaction.Ultimately, “those who don’t demonstrate value will not be funded,” says George Handzo, director of health services research and quality at the Healthcare Chaplaincy Network, one of the field’s big organizations. Hospital chaplains’ services aren’t covered by insurance. So while they’re very cheap by health care standards, a penny-pinching hospital administrator might very well zero them out if she doesn’t understand what they contribute.The Rev. George Handzo. Video screenshotThe problem is, hard data illustrating the results of chaplains’ visits is difficult to come by. “We’ve never been focused on outcomes,” explains Handzo. “We’ve been largely anti-outcomes. ‘We don’t have an agenda,’ you’ll hear chaplains say.” Chaplains have prided themselves on meeting patients where they are, rather than pushing for anything specific.Handzo recalls a visit to a hospital administrator a few years ago who wanted to talk about chaplains’ contributions. “So I went in with all my numbers about cost per visit over thousands of visits,” remembers Handzo. “And she said something like, ‘Oh George, these numbers are really impressive, but tell me: What difference has this made to my patients?’ And I had no idea how to demonstrate that.”Discussions with chaplains may very well result in families declining complicated and expensive interventions for loved ones near the end of life. A sick person who feels at peace might heal more quickly. And patients and their families who get help in talking about their concerns will likely feel more satisfied with their overall hospital experience. These are all critical indicators in today’s health care environment.But there’s been very little monitoring of those results. Chaplains themselves have simply taken it on faith that their efforts benefit patients.Which isn’t to say there’s no data out there. A 2013 study by Harvard researchers illustrated that patients whose spiritual needs have been met have chosen less aggressive care. A 2015 Mount Sinai paper showed that chaplain visits boost patient satisfaction.George Fitchett, a professor at Rush University, is one of the only chaplains with a Ph.D. who is conducting research on chaplains’ effectiveness.“Our health care colleagues have no training to help them understand who we are and what we do,” says Fitchett. “In an environment where the lingua franca is research, we need to be able to demonstrate what we contribute.”That begins, he says, with careful charting and evaluations by chaplains.Trace Haythorn. Photo by Tavits PhotographySome chaplains are pushing back on the move toward data-driven standardization. “It feels like it cuts to the very core of the practice,” says Trace Haythorn, executive director of ACPE, the main organization for accrediting spiritual care education programs. Chaplains worry that maintaining a compassionate, nonjudgmental presence will be clinicalized into a set of prescribed behaviors.Another, more welcome change is that chaplains, as they are integrated into care teams, find themselves spending more time supporting the hospital staff, helping nurses and doctors who struggle with stress and burnout.As practitioners see how chaplains work, too, some are becoming interested in employing chaplains’ techniques. “Doctors are saying, ‘I want to listen deeply to the patient, too,’” says Christina Puchalski, director of George Washington University’s Institute for Spirituality and Health in Washington, D.C., and a longtime leader in uniting chaplains and practitioners. “Clinicians and nurses are beginning to recognize the importance of things not so deeply measured.”As their work gains in credibility with other health care professionals, chaplaincy may follow the path of palliative care. A decade ago, the notion of managing the symptoms of patients with serious illnesses was considered fringy. Since then, the field has grown hugely, and these days it’s frequently covered by insurance.Some observers believe that the day chaplaincy is covered by insurance isn’t far off. Blue Shield of California already pays for some chaplains in its home-based palliative care programs, and Torrie Fields, the senior manager for advanced illness and palliative care at the company, envisions that coverage continuing to grow.“I see a very clear movement towards chaplains being involved in improving patient outcomes,” particularly in cases of life-threatening illness, says Fields. She imagines chaplains eventually serving as the leaders of multidisciplinary medical teams, all covered by insurance.“I think they’re able to see the big picture,” says Fields, who herself experienced chaplains’ transformative power when she was ill with cancer.Fields doesn’t necessarily think research needs to meet the gold standard of randomized, controlled trials in order to demonstrate chaplains’ value. “Maybe there’s been too much of an emphasis on measuring them, fitting them into a box,” says Fields. “If we put chaplains through that level of rigor, they’ll be limited in doing what actually brings support.”Meanwhile, health care chaplains and their fans are excited to see the field gradually growing into adulthood after a long period of adolescence. Society, they say, needs it.“So much of our public discourse is oppositional, rather than listening deeply for the core of who you are as a person,” says Haythorn. “The very best chaplains help people go to those deep places where very little in this culture is allowed to go safely. The biggest and most important questions in life are often asked in moments like that.”This story was changed to correct the description of ACPE. It is the main organization for accrediting spiritual care education programs, not only for chaplains. By: Amanda Abrams Tagschaplaincy doctors Duke University health care health insurance homepage featured hospital chaplains illness nurses Top Story,You may also like Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emaillast_img read more

Upcoming AKA Regional Conference Brings Promise of Economic Impact to Baltimore

first_imgThe North Atlantic Regional Conference for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) will be held in Baltimore, Md. at the Baltimore Convention Center from April 26 through April 30. The sorority estimates over 5,000 members will attend the conference. The sorority will display its commitment to volunteerism and charitable giving by hosting numerous community service projects across the city throughout the conference.Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated International President, Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson. (AKA)AKA is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of more than 290,000 members in 993 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States and around the world.The conference is being led by the AKA North Atlantic Regional Director, Meredith L. Henderson, International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, and Conference Chairman Tracey Barbour-Gillet. In addition to “conducting the business of AKA” attendees will support several community service projects that represent the five targets of the Sorority’s programs of service: education, health, family strengthening, environmental ownership and global impact.On April 27, members will donate 1,000 backpacks along with school supplies and clothing to students at Beechfield Elementary/Middle School located at 301 South Beechfield Avenue. Later that same day AKA will be stocking a food pantry for students at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) with items donated by members. “A recent [news article] reported on the growing problem of college students struggling to pay for food and stay in school as tuition has increased and financial aid has fallen,” Henderson said in a statement. “I am happy to aid students in need, help break new ground and supply the BCCC food pantry with the generous donations of Alpha Kappa Alpha women.” The AKA food pantry donation will take place at the Liberty Campus of BCCC, located at 2901 Liberty Heights Avenue. On April 29, AKA will be hosting a Community Forum called “Ending the Violence and Building Healthy Communities (ACA).” The forum will feature Congressman Anthony Brown (D – Md) as the keynote speaker and former Baltimore City Mayor and sorority member Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will serve as moderator. The forum will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Carter Memorial Church of God in Christ located at 13 South Poppleton Street. Also from 9 a.m. to noon, on the same day, the organization will host an “HBCU Expo” at the Baltimore Convention Center. Representatives from historically Black colleges and universities will be in attendance and available to discuss future educational opportunities with area high school students. During the “HBCU Expo”, AKA will donate 1,000 backpacks to Monrovia Park Elementary School.According to Visit Baltimore, the AKAs (who will be wearing apple green and salmon pink) will support the Baltimore City economy by spending more than $1,930,000 during their conference through hotel stays, shopping, dining and tours of Charm City.last_img read more

Australian Finds Monster 69000 Gold Nugget With Metal Detector

first_imgThe shop posted photos of the gold nugget on Facebook, complete with a coin to show the size of the treasure.“What a monster,” said the post. “[A] 1.4 Kilo piece found a few weeks ago near Kalgoorlie by a very lucky customer of mine whilst walking the saltbush flats … Cha Ching!”The owner of Finders Keepers told BBC News the man who made the discovery was an experienced local hobbyist, who detected the piece on some saltbush flats, about 18 inches below the surface, using a GPX detector with Coiltek coils.The city of Kalgoorlie was founded in 1889 by the amalgamation of the towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder.The mining of gold, along with other metals such as nickel, has been a major industry in Kalgoorlie since its founding, and today employs about one-quarter of Kalgoorlie’s workforce and generates a significant proportion of its income. The concentrated area of large gold mines in the area is often referred to as the Golden Mile, and was sometimes referred to as the world’s richest square mile of earth.About three-quarters of the gold mined in Australia is produced in and around the Kalgoorlie region, BBC News said.“Along with the mines around, a lot of people go around as prospectors on the weekend, as a hobby. Other people do it on a full-time basis,” Sam Spearing, director of the Western Australia School of Mines at Curtin University, told the BBC.More on Geek.com:Ground Penetrating Radar Detects Lost Graves in AustraliaSeashell Hunter Hits ‘Jackpot’ With Giant Shell at North Carolina ParkRare, 20-Carat Blue Diamond in Botswana New Species of Leech Found Near Washington, DC3,300-Year-Old Chamber Tombs Filled With Bones Discovered in Greece Stay on targetcenter_img An amateur treasure hunter in Australia has unearthed a 49-ounce gold nugget while walking the fields in a goldmining town in Western Australia, according to local reports.The man found the “monster” of a gold nugget with a metal detector, said Finder Keepers Gold Prospecting, a shop located in the city of Kalgoorlie. The nugget is estimated to be worth $69,000, BBC News reported.last_img read more

Princess cruise line suggests passengers avoid mainland travel using ferries

first_imgCozumel, Q.R. — Numerous shore excursions from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen have been affected by Princess Cruises in a reaction to the recent events surrounding the ferry dock and Barcos Caribe boat explosion on February 21.The cruise ship circulated a formal letter addressed to all Princess Guests and signed by the ship’s captain outlining the recent events involving the areas ferry services and encouraging all passengers to avoid mainland travel from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen.In the letter dated March 2, the ship’s captain Fabrizzio Maresca says, “we strongly advise that Cozumel ferry use to the mainland be avoided.”“Authorities believe that this is probably the result of criminal action against the ferry operator. Unfortunately, any future incident could result in collateral damage to the other ferries,” he says. In an official statement, the company says:At Princess Cruises, the safety and security of our guests is our top priority. We are aware of the updated travel warning involving ferry boats that carry passengers between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, Mexico issued by U.S. State Department.We would not take our guests and crew to a port — or operate a shore excursion — where we had any indication there may be an undue risk to safety and security. As a precautionary measure, we have cancelled all tours that make use of ferries and strongly advise that ferries from Cozumel to the mainland be avoided. Guests with pre-paid excursions impacted by this change will be issued a refund to their shipboard account. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. As always, we work closely with government officials to ensure our guest’s security at all times.A more drastic move came from Carnival cruise lines who have outright cancelled passenger excursions that require travel to the mainland. In a statement, Carnival senior cruise director John Heald said, “In an abundance of caution, we have canceled all tours that make use of ferries and we strongly advise that ferries from Cozumel to the mainland be avoided.”“Guests with scheduled tours impacted by these changes will have their tickets refunded to their account,” Heald continued. “I apologize for this unexpected change in plans and trust you understand everyone’s safety is my number one priority.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

TravelBrands makes waves with fifth successful SeaU

first_imgTravelBrands makes waves with fifth successful SeaU Posted by Tags: TravelBrands Travelweek Group Thursday, November 2, 2017 center_img MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands’ fifth SeaU, taking place last week aboard Anthem of the Seas, treated some 150 travel agents, team members and suppliers to a week of prizes, speakers and raising awareness for hurricane relief.“This was our most action-packed SeaU to date,” says Frank DeMarinis, President & CEO, TravelBrands.DeMarinis added that while the group enjoyed their trip, “we felt that it was important to give back to the surrounding communities affected by recent natural disasters.” Through the generous contributions of travel agents, Royal Caribbean and TravelBrands, the group raised US$10,000 towards the hurricane relief fund.SeaU is filled with training sessions, workshops and seminars to give agents and partners all the tools necessary to make the best cruise sale, he said.Throughout the duration of the sailing, 10 suppliers presented their products to 125 travel agents in both English and French. Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises was the keynote speaker while Ron Petit from Royal Caribbean held a conference on Autism at Sea.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckMultiple prizes were awarded to agents throughout the sail. Radha Yipchuck of Titan Tours won back the value of her SeaU participation fee. Gisèle Boissonneault of Voyages Gaby won a cruise on the MSC Seaside. Manon Chartrand of Exotentik won a spot on the inaugural of the Norwegian Cruise Line Bliss and air for two. Janet Flegel of Celebration Travel and Mary Elsa May of itravel2000 each were rewarded a cruise for two including air on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.In addition to these winnings, each agent received 2,500 Access Loyalty Rewards points to be applied on their next five cruises booked through Encore Cruises.Anthem of the Seas departed from Cape Liberty and made stops in Nassau, Port Canaveral and CocoCay. During the port day at Port Canaveral, Universal Orlando hosted the agents in their theme parks. TravelBrands’ SeaU takes place every 18-24 months. Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Experienced Consultant Award relaunched

first_imgSource = ATTTO A popular programme that enabled highly experienced senior travel consultants to achieve nationally recognised qualifications has been re-launched today.Following on from the successful launch earlier this year, the Experienced Consultant programme, offers a straight-forward path for people with ten or more years’ experience in the travel industry to complete the National Certificate in Travel (Level 4). ATTTO has decided to re-offer this programme until March 2013. So far, more than 230 people have achieved the qualification.Kathy Wolfe, Chief Executive of ATTTO said: “This qualification pathway is ideal for busy senior consultants, who have a lot of experience and knowledge but don’t have the qualifications behind them to endorse their skills.“Programmes such as this are designed to be completed in the workplace, with consultants collecting evidence of their knowledge and the work they do in their jobs every day and using this towards achieving the qualification.” Completion of the Travel (Level 4) qualification contributes to meeting the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) bonding and membership requirements.Andrew Olsen, Chief Executive of TAANZ, was instrumental in the implementation of the Award and has worked with ATTTO and members of TAANZ and the travel industry to promote the initiative. He said: “Members of TAANZ are acutely aware of the need to meet the Association’s accreditation requirements, but just as importantly, that members of the public take assurance from the knowledge that agents with whom they are dealing are trained and recognised to be so, through national qualifications.”last_img read more

Midwest To Remain Most Affordable Region for Homebuyers

first_img Home Prices Housing Market Midwest Outlook RE/MAX region Single-Family 2018-01-03 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Midwest To Remain Most Affordable Region for Homebuyers The Midwest will remain the most affordable area in the U.S. despite slightly higher home prices according to the 2018 Housing Market Outlook released by brokerage firm RE/MAX INTEGRA on Wednesday. The report which covers Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, provides insight on what to expect in the key housing markets across these regions.According to the report the average sales price in Indiana was up 5 percent to $171,686 in 2017 with the average time on the market falling 14.8 percent to 66 days. In Minnesota, the average sales price also rose 6.9 percent to $264,801 with the average time on market going down 12.7 percent to 51 days in 2017. At $201,713 Wisconsin recorded a rise of 5.6 percent in its average sales price while its average time on market went down by 9.7 percent to 97 days.Single family and one story homes remained most in demand in most of the region, with the exceptions being southern and central Indiana, where homes for retirees, ranches, and farm houses remained in demand.The report indicates that new buyers, including millennials will continue to flood the housing market in search of new homes as the economy in all three Midwest states soars. “Now, even during the winter months, our real estate experts recommend that sellers’ sell. Intense competition for homes due to low housing inventory over the last year has not led to buyer fatigue, and right now there remains a large pool of serious buyers for all types of homes,” said Fiona Petrie, EVP and MD of U.S. operations for RE/MAX INTEGRA.According to the report, which identifies statewide trends collected through multiple sources including analysis of housing data and interviews with RE/MAX brokers and agents in each of the three Midwest states, buyers and sellers can expect modest price increases due to even lower inventory and sellers’ market as the average sales prices in the regions covered went up between 5-7 percent in 2017.The report also indicated increased market activity during the winter months due to the rising demand. Traditionally, the real estate season in these regions starts in the spring and summer months. According to the report new construction is often priced at $250,000 or above, creating more competition for middle-income and first-time buyers who want to purchase existing homes for affordability in these regions.center_img Share January 3, 2018 709 Views last_img read more

US First storm hits California more heavy rain

first_img U.S.: First storm hits California, more heavy rain … Blueberries in Charts: Finding opportunities in th … Blueberries’ “premium position” as a healthy foodAcknowledging how the category has come to be linked with the idea of wellness, Brazelton said: “the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council has invested over US$7 million in research exploring and documenting the health benefits of blueberries.”Collaborating with world-leading researchers at exceptional research institutions and supporting the best independent research has been the key to blueberries continuing to hold a premium position as a healthy food. And exciting health results keep coming.”This phenomenon hasn’t been limited to one country either.He elaborated: “Public interest has spread well beyond the U.S. In many areas where people are not familiar with highbush blueberries, they try them because they have heard of the health benefits.”Considering the possibilities of the relationship between blueberries and health-consciousness, Brazelton was optimistic.He noted: “I think we’ll continue to discover and document more health benefits as we get more sophisticated tools and learn more, especially as health care becomes individualized. Blueberries will fit into that future really well.”According to him, this reflects the societal trend of seeking health solutions apart from modern medications.”‘Functional foods’ will continue to move mainstream into the medical community’s strategy. The medical community is looking beyond medications and procedures for improving human health. Lifestyle matters and holistic medicine is more popular.”The nutritive makeup of blueberries is a good fit for a healthy lifestyle and people will eat them because they taste good.”How the industry can improveRegarding how actors can make sure their products penetrate a greater range of markets, he explained: “We need more innovation beyond fresh products because not everywhere in the world has reliable and abundant cold chain.”New technologies will be developed that will lead to innovative shelf-stable products.”A further development he deemed necessary is on the genetics side of things.”We will also see breakthroughs in new blueberry genetics. This is an area that Fall Creek is investing in heavily. Blueberries are not as consistent in their quality as other products. We are getting better, but inconsistency is becoming a barrier to real growth.”Noting how the blueberry industry could learn from other categories’ successes, he commented: “The apple and banana industries have improved fruit consistency in recent years; table grapes are getting there too.”Blueberries need to follow suit and then we’ll see some big jumps in consumption. So, the industry still has a bright global future.”Final advice for industry playersWhen asked what advice he had for current blueberry growers or new entrants to the industry, Brazelton spoke on bettering export opportunities and learning about the advances being made internationally.Regarding a renewed focus on export, he noted this could be particularly advantageous for the Pacific Northwest. After all, this area is one of North America’s major supplying regions.”During the 2018 summer period, the Pacific Northwest supplied more than 70% of the fresh berries consumed in the U.S. and Canada. These are impressive numbers, but the Northwest industry needs to develop a greater export market, especially for processed berries.”To do this, he said he would urge greater collaboration among growers, packers and sellers to address the challenges and complexities of export.As for actors who are newly apart of the industry, he elaborated on the importance of learning not just the approaches that are locally used, but also those utilized in other regions.”For new growers anywhere, I would urge them to travel and learn about the incredible innovations that are taking place in blueberries. Every grower, new or old, can learn and improve their positioning.”A commitment to travel throughout the world might cost as much as a late model used car but would pay amazing benefits.”According to him, there is no better place to start than the upcoming IBO Summit.Here, he explained, industry actors will be able to “meet growers from around the world. Invite them to your operation. They will do the same.”In conclusion, he said: “The industry is changing, and like the last 40 years, great innovations are coming from all around the blueberry world.”With so much to gain as the industry continues to progress, Brazelton remarked: “I honestly feel our best days are before us.” June 18 , 2019 You might also be interested incenter_img Blueberries In Charts: Higher market volumes lead … Over the last century, blueberries have become a staple in the produce aisle of grocery stores as consumption has skyrocketed. Millions of people worldwide are particularly drawn to the health benefits associated with the fruit, as well as its flavor.Later this month, leaders of the global blueberry industry will meet in Richmond, Vancouver, B.C., for the International Blueberry Organization (IBO) Summit. The event will bring together experts to discuss the biggest opportunities and challenges for the industry worldwide.In advance of the Summit, industry pioneer Dave Brazelton, founder and chair of Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc., shared his insights on the more recent history of the blueberry industry’s global boom and some perspective on where it may be headed next.Improved horticultural practicesSpeaking on the progress the industry has made, Brazelton commented: “We have seen major advances in horticultural management, variety development, in packing, as well as increased consumption demand – much of it driven by the growing awareness of the health benefits of blueberries.”He explained that, with new varieties and horticultural management practices, the industry has benefitted in another way. There is now an expanded number of production areas and a more steady supply in the market.”This has helped to make blueberries more available year-round,” he added.Increased shelf life and new growing methodsBeyond a more steady supply, he spoke on advances that have lengthened the category’s shelf life.He pointed to new varieties and improved cooling and shipping practices as factors that have “significantly” improved this.What’s more, they have also helped extend the range of where and when the fruit can be sold.”Another milestone leap we have been excited to be involved in has been substrate growing,” he added.Indeed, the idea of growing them commercially on a large scale in containers instead of in pots is relatively new.”Substrate growing, combined with advances from the last 20 years, is changing the way blueberries are grown.”For this next year, a substantial portion of the new acreage will be planted in substrate,” Brazelton explained.He elaborated how these changes have improved availability on an intercontinental level.”These advances, plus others, have paved the way for extending the regions of the world where they can now be grown, resulting in availability year-round. Quality, yields, and efficiencies are all improving.”To him, there are numerous possibilities for how different growing techniques could be adapted for the category in the future.”I’m excited to watch over the next decade to see if blueberries go the way of tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers, if they’ll move to climate-controlled greenhouses.”I’m interested to see how far we can go with genetics and great, consistent flavors that consumers really want to eat, and what growing systems we’ll use to get there.”Technological advances could especially change the methods growers use, he said.”I believe the world of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will transform how we harvest, sort and pack blueberries. I don’t see one way of harvesting, but many. Mechanization and efficiency breakthroughs will come for sure.”Future blueberry packaging solutionsWhen it comes to moving forward in a world that’s growing increasingly environmentally conscious, Brazelton emphasized the importance of eco-friendly packaging solutions.”Plastic is wearing out its welcome. In my opinion, we absolutely must find an environmentally friendly packaging material with all the consumer advantages of the clamshell but that is more sustainable.”We’re addicted to plastic in this world. Many people are working on it and know it’s an issue.”He said he believed the industry would also see an increase in packaging size.”I see the industry moving away from small containers and moving to more uniform large containers so blueberries will be available in the world’s kitchens every day of the week. Chilean blueberries fetched lower prices in 2018-1 …last_img read more