News / Less transhipment cargo and uncertainty over new US policy hits HPHT profits

first_imgBy Sam Whelan, Asia correspondent 20/02/2017 Hutchison Ports Holdings Trust (HPH Trust) recorded a 6% year-over-year drop in throughput for 2016, and has warned of high levels of uncertainty for the year ahead.The Singapore-listed unit of the global port operator that covers its Pearl River Delta terminals, saw total volumes fall to 22.5m teu, revenue drop 5.6% to HK$11.9bn (US$1.53bn) and operating profit decline 3% to HK$2.95bn ($380m).In Shenzhen, throughput at Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) decreased 3.9% to 11.7m teu compared with 2015. HPH Trust said this was primarily due to less transhipment cargo, although this was offset somewhat by US and EU trade growth.“As a result of the strong rebound in economic activity in the US in the second half of 2016, supported by robust employment data, outbound cargo to the US escalated in the fourth quarter of 2016,” HPH Trust said in its 2016 financial statement.“However, there remains a high level of uncertainty on the policy stance of the new US administration and its domestic and global ramifications on the US economy and trade in 2017.”The company added there had been a moderate uplift in outbound cargo to Europe, but cautioned that weak consumer sentiment and high unemployment would hinder the pickup of European trade this year.Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) saw throughput decline 6.2%, due to weaker intra-Asia and transhipment demand. HIT, in combination with HPH Trust’s additional Hong Kong terminals COSCO-HIT and Asia Container Terminals, handled around 10.8m teu.Total volumes at the port of Hong Kong fell just 2.5% to 16.6m teu in 2016, prompting some analysts to suggest HPH’s weakening position.“HPH Trust has been losing market share in Hong Kong, from 75.5% for 2015 to 71.0% for 2016,” OCBC Investment analyst Deborah Ong said in a research note, adding: “While we believe Hong Kong container throughput has turned a corner, we are slightly less optimistic on the extent of throughput growth HPH will enjoy.”In December, HPH announced a formal collaboration with COSCO Shipping Ports on the management of their combined Hong Kong terminals.HPH said this would create additional capacity by increasing flexibility in berth and yard planning, adding that the partnership was as a “confident response to the changing dynamics of the global shipping industry”.Outlining the challenges it faces from the structural changes taking place in liner shipping, HPH said the service rationalisation of the global container shipping alliances had negatively impacted transhipment volumes of both HIT and YICT in 2016.“Shipping lines continue to deploy mega-vessels to achieve economies of scale and reform their carrier alliances to improve efficiency, control costs and enhance competitiveness,” HPH said.According to Jonathan Beard, Asia head of transportation and logistics at Arcadia, as global port competition heats up more terminal collaborations are likely to take place as it is a “strategy to help ‘lock in’ key customers and secure volumes”.“The COSCO tie-up should help stabilise HPH volumes, but the other carrier alliance partners also play a role in port and terminal choice,” he added.last_img read more

With brain implants, scientists hope to translate paralyzed patients’ thoughts into speech

first_img The technology needn’t give these patients the ability to deliver a Shakespeare soliloquy. More and more experts therefore think a system that decodes whether a person is silently saying yes or no or hungry or pain or water is now within reach, thanks to parallel advances in neuroscience, engineering, and machine learning.“We think we’re getting enough of an understanding of the brain signals that encode silent speech that we could soon make something practical,” said Brian Pasley of the University of California, Berkeley. “Even something modest could be meaningful to patients. I’m convinced it’s possible.”advertisement By Sharon Begley Nov. 15, 2018 Reprints Eros Dervishi for STAT Related: Speech BCI faces even higher hurdles. Decoding the intention to articulate a word involves reading more brain signals than movement, and it hasn’t been clear precisely which areas of the brain are involved. The main challenge is that language is encoded in an extensive brain network, and current recording techniques can’t monitor the whole brain with high enough spatial and temporal resolution, said Stephanie Martin of the University of Geneva, who last year won an award for her progress toward a speech BCI.The brain is also very noisy, and the electrical activity that encodes speech tends to get drowned out by other signals. “That makes it hard to extract the speech patterns with a high accuracy,” she said.Current assistive technologies for people whose paralysis, ALS, or other condition leaves them unable to speak “are not very natural and intuitive,” said Martin, who is part of a European consortium on decoding speech from brain activity. Patients gaze at a screen displaying letters, scalp electrodes sense brain waves that encode eye movement and position, and the chosen letters spell words that a speech synthesizer says aloud. The late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who had ALS, used a system like this. But scientists think they can do better by “directly exploiting neural correlates of speech,” Martin said.Computational neuroscientist Frank Guenther of Boston University developed the first speech BCI way back in 2007. It used electrodes implanted in the brain of a man with locked-in syndrome to eavesdrop on the motor cortex’s plans to speak. They picked up signals corresponding to moving the tongue, lips, larynx, jaw, and cheeks in a way that would produce particular phonemes (though the study got only as far as vowels).The project ended after Guenther’s collaborator, neurologist Phil Kennedy, ran afoul of federal health regulators and was barred from implanting electrodes in any more patients. It didn’t help that Kennedy, frustrated with the field’s slow progress, had his own brain implanted with electrodes, a power coil, and transceiver by a neurosurgeon in Belize in 2014, and initially seemed to have suffered brain damage.Undeterred by such reputational setbacks, other neuroscientists are teaming up with electrical engineers to develop a system of implants, decoders, and speech synthesizers that would read a patient’s intended words, as encoded in brain signals, and turn them into audible speech. One aspect of speech BCI that could one day make their use widespread, Guenther said: The hardware is much less expensive than robot arms, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The whole process was like translating the operating manual for a Ferrari from Italian to English to Japanese and back to Italian: The final version often sounds nothing like the original. And that’s what previous research on brain-computer interfaces for speech had gotten: a string of mostly unintelligible sounds. “Before this, you couldn’t reconstruct the sounds of speech from electrical data very well,” Mesgarani said.The test for his brain-computer interface was whether the tinny sounds coming from the vocoder bore any resemblance to the sounds of the stories and the digits the participants had heard. They did: Intelligibility reached 75 percent, compared to slightly more than half that for earlier speech BCIs, the scientists report in a paper posted on the bioRxiv preprint site; it has not been peer-reviewed but the authors have submitted it to a journal.Averaging all of someone’s neural responses to a particular speech utterance (repeated many times) improved the accuracy of the reconstructed, synthesized speech, as did taking readings from more electrodes of the 128 in the array.The next step is to test the deep neural network on brain signals evoked by imagining speaking, Mesgarani said. “Previous studies have shown it’s possible” to detect the signals that encode such unspoken speech, he said; the bottleneck has been in the acoustic processing and verbal synthesizer.By improving the back end of a potential speech BCI, he said, “we have a good framework for producing accurate and intelligible reconstructed speech from brain activity,” something he calls “a step toward the next generation of human-computer interaction systems … for patients suffering from paralysis and locked-in syndromes.”What begins as technology for people with disabilities could spread to everyone else — or maybe go in reverse. At a 2017 neurotech conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Facebook’s Mark Chevillet described the company’s “thought to typing” BCI research as being guided by one question: “What if you could type directly from your brain?”The goal of the project, which he directs, is “to develop a silent speech interface that will let you produce text five times faster than typing, or 100 words per minute.” The company is studying whether high-quality neural signals detected noninvasively (not even the most ardent Facebook-ers would likely agree to brain surgery) can be accurately decoded into phonemes. If so, the next step is to feed the signals into a database that pairs phoneme sequences with words, then use language-specific probability data to predict which word the signals most likely mean (much like auto-fill in Gmail).“This is not science fiction,” Chevillet told the conference. The brain surgeon began as he always does, making an incision in the scalp and gently spreading it apart to expose the skull. He then drilled a 3-inch circular opening through the bone, down to the thick, tough covering called the dura. He sliced through that, and there in the little porthole he’d made was the glistening, blood-flecked, pewter-colored brain, ready for him to approach the way spies do a foreign embassy: He bugged it.Dr. Ashesh Mehta, a neurosurgeon at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research on Long Island, was operating on his epilepsy patient to determine the source of seizures. But the patient agreed to something more: to be part of an audacious experiment whose ultimate goal is to translate thoughts into speech.While he was in there, Mehta carefully placed a flat array of microelectrodes on the left side of the brain’s surface, over areas involved in both listening to and formulating speech. By eavesdropping on the electrical impulses that crackle through the gray matter when a person hears in the “mind’s ear” what words he intends to articulate (often so quickly it’s barely conscious), then transmitting those signals wirelessly to a computer that decodes them, the electrodes and the rest of the system hold the promise of being the first “brain-computer interface” to go beyond movement and sensation.advertisement Related: Paralyzed man feels touch through mind-controlled robot hand With rehab and a jolt to the spinal cord, paralyzed patients take steps again Leave this field empty if you’re human: Guenther’s 2007 system, he said, “was ancient by today’s standards. I don’t think the problems [that have held back speech BCI] are unsolvable.”Neither does electrical engineer Nima Mesgarani of Columbia University, who is leading a project to reconstruct speech from the signals picked up by electrodes like those Mehta implanted.The reason such a device has a prayer of working is that the human brain doesn’t make hard-and-fast distinctions between fantasy and reality. When the brain imagines something, the neuronal activity is extremely similar, in location and pattern, to when it does something. The mental image of a pumpkin pie produces activity in the visual cortex very much like that while seeing one; imagining taking a jump shot evokes neuronal activity like actually executing one.So it is with “covert” or silent speech: Rehearsing what you’re going to say without moving the lips or tongue “creates the same patterns of brain activity as actually speaking,” Mesgarani said.So does mentally listening to your silent speech. “Think of it as the mind’s ear,” said Berkeley’s Pasley. Say the word giraffe. Then say it silently. Inside your brain, the second syllable should sound louder than the first, and probably rises in pitch. Those and other qualities make up the word’s spectrogram, Pasley explained. STAT+: If all goes well, it will conquer the field’s Everest: developing a brain-computer interface that could enable people with a spinal cord injury, locked-in syndrome, ALS, or other paralyzing condition to talk again. Crucially, brain activity corresponding to the mind’s ear occurs in the auditory cortex, which also hears sounds from the outside world: The overlap, Pasley and his colleagues report in a paper in next month’s Cerebral Cortex, “is substantial.”That allows eavesdropping devices to reconstruct silent speech, if far from perfectly. In a study Martin conducted with Pasley when she was at Berkeley, participants who had electrodes placed in their brains were asked to think about saying aloud a series of words such as cowboys, swimming, python, and telephone. Unfortunately, the accuracy of the software’s interpretation of the resulting brain signals for word pairs such as spoon and battlefield was only slightly better than flipping a coin. That was a big improvement, though, on an earlier system that scored under 40 percent in figuring out what vowel or consonant, not even a whole word, was encoded by brain activity during covert speech.The Berkeley results were good enough for a proof of concept, but not much more. “The reconstructed speech [from that and similar studies] hasn’t been intelligible at all,” Mesgarani said. “We’re trying to overcome the intelligibility barrier.”The best way to do that, he said, is with machine learning, or training software to interpret the brain activity corresponding to covert speech, learn from its mistakes, and get progressively better.To test his ideas, Mesgarani teamed up with Mehta, who recruited five epilepsy patients for the study. During their surgeries, he placed a grid of electrodes (the flat array is called electrocorticography) on the surface of two regions of the auditory cortex: over Heschl’s gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus. The latter contains Wernicke’s area, which figures out what words to use. Both gyruses process features of speech, including volume, intonation, frequency, and, crucially, phonemes — the smallest units of sound, such as “sh,” that comprise a spoken language.The volunteers then listened to people saying digits (“one, two, three …”) and reading stories for 30 minutes. Acoustic processing software extracted the neural activity evoked by listening to speech, essentially a sequence of complex electrical signals. A “deep neural network” that Mesgarani and his team developed to, basically, infer the language sounds that correspond to the neural activity then analyzed that activity. Those inferences were translated back into electrical signals. Those were sent to a vocoder, a synthesizer that produces sounds from features of electrical signals such as frequency and other auditory elements. Senior Writer, Science and Discovery (1956-2021) Sharon covered science and discovery.center_img Further in the future, Facebook and others envision similar technology facilitating consumer products that translate thoughts into text messages and emails. No typing or Siri necessary.The first brain-computer interfaces (BCI) read electrical signals in the motor cortex corresponding to the intention to move, and use software to translate the signals into instructions to operate a computer cursor or robotic arm. In 2016, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh went a step further, adding sensors to a mind-controlled robotic arm so it produced sensations of touch.For all the enthusiastic media coverage they get, brain-computer interfaces are neither routine nor even widely available more than a decade after the first prototypes. Many of the projects floundered after initial excitement. Most such systems require clunky cables as well as large boxes packed with signal analyzers and other electronics, said Pitt’s Jennifer Collinger, who helped develop the tactile robotic arm. She and her colleagues recently got an $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to give it to additional patients at Pittsburgh and keep improving the device.In addition, today’s brain electrodes last only a few years, meaning people would need repeated brain surgery, and current BCI systems, while OK in a lab, aren’t reliable enough for real-world use, Collinger said. Sharon Begley Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. In the LabWith brain implants, scientists hope to translate paralyzed patients’ thoughts into speech Please enter a valid email address. Tags neurologyneuroscienceresearch Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson About the Author Reprints Privacy Policy @sxbegle Exclusive analysis of biopharma, health policy, and the life sciences. [email protected] Trending Now:last_img read more

Cathaoirleach asked if his impressive tie was a gift from President Trump

first_img WhatsApp Cathaoirleach asked if his impressive tie was a gift from President Trump Facebook Home News Council Cathaoirleach asked if his impressive tie was a gift from President Trump NewsCouncil Twitter Pinterest Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Community Pinterest Previous articleLaois auctioneer heading to the Middle East to sell Irish housesNext articlePortlaoise advance to Leinster U-17 Premier League final David PowerA journalist for over 20 years, David has worked for a number of regional titles both as journalist and editor. From Tullamore he also works as a content editor for Independent.ie. His heroes include Shane Lowry, Seamus Darby and Johnny Flaherty Laois County Council create ‘bigger and better’ disability parking spaces to replace ones occupied for outdoor dining Twittercenter_img Council WhatsApp Facebook The tie worn by cathaoirleach Cllr Padraig Fleming recently was so impressive that he was asked if it was given to him by President Donald Trump during his recent visit to New York for St Patrick’s Day.Cllr Fleming outlined details of his visit to the monthly meeting of Laois County Council.He said they had enjoyed blue skies on the day.“We discussed very important matters with the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland. That are all aware that Laois has developed well over the last few years,” he said.“The Metropolitan Museum was very interesting,” Cllr Fleming said.“It was a very successful visit. We were very happy with it. We were very appreciative that we were there to represent the county,” he said.“We done on representing Laois,” Cllr James Kelly said.Cllr John Joe Fennelly said it was great to learn that renowned sculptor Launt Thompson had emigrated from Abbeyleix to New York. He said details of him had only just emerged. By David Power – 28th March 2018 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Rugby TAGSCllr Brendan PhelanCllr James KellyCllr Padraig FlemingCllr Willie AirdLaois County CouncilPresident Donald Trump “Maybe we could make a connection after all those years,” he said.Unbelievable“The way he did sculpture was unbelievable,” Cllr Fleming said. “It was remarkable the way he did it”.Congratulating Cllr Fleming for the way he representing the council in New York, Cllr Tom Mulhall said – “You can never do enough promotion of the council”.However, the discussion did dredge up painful personal memories for Cllr Mulhall.“Myself and Gerry Murphy (finance officer) couldn’t go because of the snow,” he said.“I hope you were wearing that tie,” Cllr Noel Tuohy quipped to the cathaoirleach.“All the kudos are going today for the tie,” Cllr Brendan Phelan said. “The tie doesn’t detract from the work you did in New York,” he added.“There is blue and white in it… so I have the Laois colours,” Cllr Fleming said.“When I saw it,” Cllr Willie Aird said, “I thought you were after getting it from President Trump”.SEE ALSO – One popular Laois pub is choosing to stay closed on Good Friday Laois County Council team up with top chef for online demonstration on tips for reducing food waste last_img read more

Concerns about U.S. replace Europe worries

BMO’s latest fintech acquisition a positive, Moody’s says James Langton At the same time, concerns about European sovereign debt funding are easing. The survey found that a net 27% of the panel sees it as their number one risk, down from a net 33% a month ago, and far lower than the reading of 65% in June. Nonetheless, investors have become more positive, with a net 20% expecting the global economy will strengthen in the next 12 months, up three percentage points from last month. And, concerns about the outlook for corporate profits have eased too, it says. Additionally, equity allocations rose significantly month-on-month, the survey found. It reports that a net 24% of asset allocators are overweight equities, up from a net 15% in September. And, fund managers increased allocations to seven of the 11 global sectors, including banks and industrials, it says. Allocations to the eurozone and global emerging markets increased, but allocations to Japan fell to a three-year low, it reports. “While the U.S. fiscal cliff is a hurdle, growing belief in the global economy could spur a more ‘risk on’ stance from investors,” said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. The latest survey finds that a net 10% is overweight in both the US and Europe, whereas in August a net 13% were underweight eurozone equities and 13% were overweight on the U.S. And, the outlook for the two regions is also identical, it notes. However, investors have become more bearish on Japan, it says, “as concerns grow over a dispute with China over the Senaku Islands and its impact on trade.” Now, a net 38% of global asset allocators are underweight Japanese equities, which is the lowest reading since March 2009. As well as increasing equity allocations, investors are shifting towards higher risk sectors, the survey notes. A net 7% of investors are now overweight industrials, a highly cyclical sector, compared with a net 8% underweight in September. Riskier sectors such as banks, insurance and materials also saw positive shifts, it adds. In order to add riskier equities, investors are selling government bonds, using cash, and selling defensive equities. A total of 269 panelists with US$734 billion of assets under management participated in the survey from October 5 to 11. Factor investors remain confident despite market turmoil Related news Investors make tactical shifts in anticipation of volatility Worries about Europe continue to subside among institutional investors, only to be replaced by concerns about the U.S. fiscal situation, reports the BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey for October. Yet, fund managers are increasingly optimistic. The latest edition of the survey finds that 72% of global investors believe that the so-called U.S. “fiscal cliff” is not substantially priced into global equities and macroeconomic data. The U.S. fiscal situation is also identified as the number one tail risk by 42% of respondents, up from 35% in September and 26% in August. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords Institutional investorsCompanies Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Research Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Retail reforms remain central to CSA’s plans

first_imgStacked white books on rules and regulations stuartphoto/123RF Regulators must avert looming irrelevance: IAP Key retail investor protection initiatives — including efforts to curb conflicts of interest, bolster advisors’ obligations and enhance transparency — remain atop the securities regulators’ agenda for the years ahead.On June 13, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published its plans for the coming years (through 2022), in which measures such as the proposed client-focused reforms and reforms to fund-industry commission structures continue to feature prominently. James Langton Related news MFDA seeks to speed up account transfers Enhancing the advisor-client relationship and revising the rules to improve investor protection are among the regulators’ top strategic objectives for the next several years, the paper said.“The CSA aims to enhance the quality of recommendations made to investors; clients’ understanding of their relationship with their advisors; the client’s ability to secure redress for harms caused by registrants; and to improve the advisor-client relationship by specifically addressing issues of financial exploitation and cognitive impairment and fee transparency,” it said.To that end, the CSA said it will be finalizing its rule proposals, known as the client-focused reforms, which will revise suitability, conflict of interest, KYC and KYP rules to improve the alignment of client and advisor interests.It also said it will propose rule changes to “mitigate the conflict of interest and related investor harms arising from the use of the deferred sales charge (DSC) purchase option and discontinue the payment of trailing commissions by fund organizations to dealers who do not provide suitability advice.”Other retail sector priorities include improving fund fee transparency, developing a framework to address issues of financial exploitation and cognitive impairment among vulnerable investors, and strengthening the powers of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI).The CSA also said it will be examining novel challenges, such as the use of social media by activist short sellers, and regulating issues that arise from innovations such as blockchain/crypto.In terms of financial stability, the plan indicated that the CSA aims to finalize and adopt a new framework for overseeing the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets, and to implement a regulatory regime for financial benchmarks.Additionally, the CSA said that it plans to analyze the differences between the regulatory regimes that apply to various industry segments, including investment funds, venture capital, private equity and mortgage investments, “for evidence of regulatory arbitrage and inconsistent investor protection.”At the same time, the regulators also intend to ramp up their efforts at streamlining regulation to enable innovation, without compromising investor protection.For instance, the CSA will be streamlining the issuers’ disclosure requirements, enhancing electronic delivery and rationalizing investment fund disclosure “to remove redundant and ineffective disclosure and reporting requirements to reduce the regulatory burden for investment funds and provide more streamlined and useful disclosure for investors,” it said. OSC seeks market structure expertise Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords Regulatory reformCompanies Canadian Securities Administrators last_img read more

KYC, suitability failures justify ban, MFDA panel rules

first_img Related news James Langton Facebook LinkedIn Twitter gavel olegdudko/123RF That settlement saw Gordon permanently banned. He also agreed to a $25,000 fine and to pay $2,500 in costs.In its reasons, the panel said the penalty proposed in the case is “necessary and sufficient” to serve as a deterrent.“The penalty demonstrates that the respondent’s misconduct in all of the circumstances is serious and has significant consequences. The penalty will also deter others in the capital markets from engaging in similar activity,” it said.According to the settlement, Gordon failed to ensure that a risky investment strategy involving a high concentration in precious metals funds was suitable, and failed to fully explain the risks involved with the strategy.“This exposed clients to market risks and volatility that would not otherwise have occurred had the clients held a more diversified portfolio, and also resulted in total losses of $73,585.00 as a result of their concentrated positions,” the panel said in its reasons, noting that the firm compensated the clients for their losses.In its reasons, the panel also said that Gordon “poses a risk to other investors and the market at large if he is allowed to return to the industry. The facts demonstrate that the respondent will circumvent the KYC process with his own practices, where such rules impeded his ability to recommend precious metals sectors funds to clients.” BFI investors plead for firm’s sale Share this article and your comments with peers on social media PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case Keywords EnforcementCompanies Mutual Fund Dealers Association Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator A regulatory hearing panel ruled that it was necessary to ban a former mutual fund rep who admitted to improperly advising several clients to adopt a risky strategy of loading up on precious metals funds.A Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) hearing panel issued its reasons for accepting a settlement earlier this year between MFDA staff and a former rep with FundEX Investments Inc. in Campbell River, B.C., David Michael Gordon. last_img read more

U.S. President Biden’s Remarks After Air Force One Arrival

first_imgU.S. President Biden’s Remarks After Air Force One Arrival The White HouseDelaware Air National Guard BaseWilmington, DelawareQ On COVID, sir, do you have any theories about the origins of COVID ahead of the WHO report on the origins of COVID?THE PRESIDENT: Do I have —Q Any theories on the origins of the coronavirus —THE PRESIDENT: No — no, I don’t. I have theories, but I’m not a scientist. I’m going to wait until the scientific community makes that judgment.Q You spoke to the British Prime Minister. What was the conversation about?THE PRESIDENT: Well, we talked a lot about climate change. We talked a lot about the need also for Britain and the United States to — to stand together and deal with the whole notion of whether or not NATO stands together, whether we stand united, and whether or not I’d be able to come, and I hope I can, to the NATO meeting in — I think it’s in late June. So we talked about scheduling and when I come over and how we’d work that out.Q Any commitments on either side during the call?THE PRESIDENT: Well, there was full agreement. One of the things I suggested to do is — we talked about China and the competition they’re engaging in in the Belt and Road Initiative. And I suggested we should have, essentially, a similar initiative coming from the democratic states, helping those communities around the world that, in fact, need help.Q What does it mean to have Baby Beau on the plane with you, on Air Force One?THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) It’s really great.Q President Biden, you issued strong words about the Georgia voting bill —THE PRESIDENT: Not — not as strong as I was really thinking.Q Is there anything the White House can do to protect voting rights in Georgia?THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re working on that right now. We don’t know quite exactly what we can do at this point. The Justice Department is taking a look as well.Q Mr. President, how does the voting issue affect your thinking on the filibuster?THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, we’ll see. The question is whether or not — you know, you have to have 50 votes — 51 votes to have to win to be able to move the filibuster and any change in the filibuster. And right now, that doesn’t exist. That doesn’t exist.So, you know, look, I — the only thing I’ve been relatively good at in my long career in the Senate is figuring out when to move and when not to move. We got to have the votes.Q (Inaudible) gun control?Q Can we expect any gun control executive orders? THE PRESIDENT: Pardon me?Q Can we expect any gun control executive orders soon?THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re looking at that right now. We’re looking at what kind of authority I have relative to imported weapons, as well as whether or not I have any authority to — these new weapons that are being made by 3D equipment that aren’t registered as guns at all, there may be some latitude there as well.Q On the Suez Canal, sir: What offer has the DOD, has the Pentagon made to help Egypt? Can you say? What all can the U.S. do to assist? THE PRESIDENT: We have equipment and capacity that most countries don’t have, and we’re seeing what we can do — what help we can be.Thank you. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:3D, air force, Britain, British, China, climate change, Delaware, Egypt, executive order, Georgia, Government, NATO, Pentagon, United States, White House, WHO, Wilmingtonlast_img read more

Support to Boost Tourism Recovery Across Regional Victoria

first_imgSupport to Boost Tourism Recovery Across Regional Victoria On 6 June the Victorian Government announced a $32.2 million Regional Tourism Support Package that will directly assist businesses, including accommodation providers, attractions and experiences, as they manage the impact of recent restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus. This latest investment builds on the $460 million in business support in response to restrictions previously announced on 27 May 2021.The Regional Tourism Support Package includes three initiatives to support tourism businesses:$16 million to fund 80,000 travel vouchers valued at $200 each, building on the success of the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme to encourage Victorians to support regional tourism operators.$11.8 million for a Business Costs Assistance Program Tourism Supplement to provide eligible tourism businesses – accommodation, attractions and tourism operators – up to $4,500 in additional support.A $4.4 million Alpine Support Program providing businesses in the alpine resorts and Dinner Plain with up to $15,000 grants. Off-mountain alpine related businesses such as equipment hire, transport companies and tour providers may be eligible for $5,000.Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Kim O’Keeffe welcomed this much-needed support for Greater Shepparton businesses: “We welcome incentives that support the local economy and address the significant financial impact this pandemic has had, particularly in the retail, hospitality and tourism sector. Hopefully these motivations will give our region a much needed boost to attract increased visitation and we welcome continued Government support as we try to rebuild from the difficult economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”The included allocation of $16 million in travel vouchers builds on the success of the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme that saw eager-to-travel Victorians snap up 160,000 vouchers in just minutes. More than 88,000 regional vouchers have been claimed so far, with those travellers injecting an estimated $130 million into local economies.Each voucher gives the recipient the right to claim a reimbursement of $200 if they have spent at least $400 on accommodation, experiences, tours or attractions for a minimum 2 nights in paid accommodation in regional Victoria, the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges or the Mornington Peninsula.Information on how Victorians can apply for and use the vouchers will be available in due course. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Alpine, building, business, coronavirus, Dandenong, Dinner Plain, Government, Greater Shepparton, Greater Shepparton City Council, Investment, local council, Mornington Peninsula, pandemic, Shepparton, Transport, Victoria, Yarralast_img read more

Commission workgroup to hold special meeting on Columbia River salmon policy

first_imgMaterials for this Columbia River workgroup meeting are available at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission. Public comments will not be taken during this teleconference. However, the public can listen remotely or from room 180 in the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street, S.E., Olympia, WA. Interested members of the public should contact the Commission office at (360) 902-2267 prior to 3 p.m. on March 10 to obtain the conference phone number and access code.The Commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Clark CountyVancouvershare 0 Previous : House approves updates to laws against animal cruelty Next : Commission on Aging holds joint study session with Battle Ground City CouncilAdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commission workgroup to hold special meeting on Columbia River salmon policyPosted by ClarkCountyToday.comDate: Friday, March 6, 2020in: Community News, Sportsshare 0 The Commission is cancelling the in-person meeting of this workgroup previously scheduled in favor of a teleconferenceOLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has set a special meeting for its workgroup on the Columbia River salmon management policy to begin at 1 p.m. on Wed., March 11 via teleconference. The Commission is cancelling the in-person meeting of this workgroup previously scheduled in Kennewick.The Commission has established this workgroup to develop recommendations to the full Commission regarding whether any long-term modifications of its Columbia River Salmon Management Policy are necessary. Photo by Mike SchultzThe Commission has established this workgroup to develop recommendations to the full Commission regarding whether any long-term modifications of its Columbia River Salmon Management Policy are necessary. Photo by Mike SchultzThe Commission has established this workgroup to develop recommendations to the full Commission regarding whether any long-term modifications of its Columbia River Salmon Management Policy are necessary. The workgroup will not be making any recommendations regarding the policy framework for the 2020 fisheries.last_img read more

With Prosecco DOC Export Volume up 33.5% Blue Ventures Wine Marketing…

first_imgShare AdvertisementWith a Standout Wine and Packaging to Match, Neirano Targets the U.S. MarketSAN RAFAEL, CA (November 4, 2014) – Blue Ventures Wine Marketing, a fully integrated sales and marketing agency focused on family owned and operated wineries, today announced their partnership with Tenute Neirano to launch Neirano Prosecco DOC. For the first time, these industry leaders will join forces on this exciting new project for the Prosecco DOC.The launch of Neirano Prosecco DOC coincides with the Prosecco DOC Consortium (Consorzio di Tutela Della DOC Prosecco) reporting a 33.5% increase in export volume to the U.S. during the first fiscal semester of 2014, ended June 30, at 1.27 million cases (15.24 million bottles).“This collaboration for the inaugural release of the Neirano Prosecco DOC in the U.S. has come together at the perfect time. The elegant packaging, superior quality and flavor profile combined with a competitive price point is a formula for great success,” said Larry Moraes, Principal of Blue Ventures Wine Marketing.Tenute Neirano is an Asti based winery established in 1982, and founded by the Sperone family as a diversification from their original winery opened in 1911 by Antonio Sperone Sr. In 1960 Antonio’s son, oenologist Giacomo, built a new, modern winery in Cusano Milanino, and the company added a range of sparkling wines to its portfolio.About Blue Ventures Wine Marketing, LLCBlue Ventures Wine Marketing, LLC is a fully integrated sales and marketing agency, focused on family owned and operated wineries competing in the premium and ultra-premium market segment. Our contemporary approach applies all organizational resources toward market execution, brand development, and emerging sales channels.Advertisement Pinterest Linkedin TAGSBlue Ventures Wine MarketingfeaturedNeirano Prosecco Facebook Twitter Previous articleGroupon Launches Private Label Wine SelectionNext articleAfternoon Brief, November 4 Press Release ReddIt Email Home Industry News Releases With Prosecco DOC Export Volume up 33.5% Blue Ventures Wine Marketing Announces…Industry News ReleasesWine BusinessWith Prosecco DOC Export Volume up 33.5% Blue Ventures Wine Marketing Announces Their Representation of Neirano Prosecco in the U.S.By Press Release – November 4, 2014 96 0 last_img read more