Tag: 上海楼凤

Di Maria Mbappe will certainly win the Ballon dOr

first_imgThe “phenomenon” Kylian Mbappe will only get better and will certainly win the Ballon d’Or during his career, says Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Angel Di MariaAt just 20 years of age, Mbappe has already achieved things in his short career that most footballers can only dream about after tasting a great deal of domestic success and winning the World Cup with France last summer.The forward’s exploits saw him win the inaugural Trophee Kopa for the world’s best U-21 player along with finishing fourth in the 2018 Ballon d’Or poll.And Mbappe looks set to possibly go on to achieve even higher standards this season with the Frenchman leading the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 14 goals in 13 games for PSG.Opinion: Neymar needs to apologize to PSG’s supporters Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After such a dramatic summer during the transfer window, Neymar truly needs to apologize to all the PSG supporters this weekend.When Neymar finished last…“Kylian is a phenomenon,” Di Maria told France Bleu.“Since his exit from Monaco he has grown a lot as a player and produced an extraordinary World Cup.“If he continues like this, surrounded by team-mates with great potential, he will evolve further and will certainly win the Ballon d’Or.”Mbappe, who found the net in PSG’s 3-0 win over Amiens last weekend, will be looking to continue his strong form for Saturday’s Ligue 1 match against Guingamp.last_img read more

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INFECTED MOSQUITOES IN THE TCI PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you TCI Health warns against Zika as Caribbean counts five cases Related Items:Chikungunya, Dengue, Ts cristobal Mosquitoes on the attack; residents run, one school closed up Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales – We are just over three weeks since TS Cristobal and in some areas flood waters remain having been replenished in rains following the storm.Prior to that though the TCI had confirmed cases of Chikungunya and Dengue Fever; mosquito borne viruses from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.Well those infected mosquitoes are around and they are biting people! Being bitten means you too can become infected.Not only are these diseases excruciatingly painful, but they are debilitating and hang around just ‘mashing you up’ for a week at least.Its really bad for babies/toddlers and the elderly. Really bad.Please do all you can to protect yourself and your dependents as there are residents reporting symptoms, these are possible new cases.Remain vigilant! ZIKA Press Releaselast_img read more

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Your next iPhone or Mac Apples WWDC offers the best tease

first_imgThat same focus hasn’t extended to Apple’s other products, though. The Mac App Store never really took off, with most software on computers coming through Web browsers. Not all developers have made companion Apple Watch apps, and Apple TV has largely centered around video, not the gaming platform Apple once envisioned. It can even be hard to find apps optimized for Apple’s various iPads. The next version of Apple’s WatchOS is expected to make the Apple Watch more “independent.” You’ll be able to download apps directly from your watch — even if your phone is nowhere around. Today, Apple Watch apps are companions to the main iPhone app. You currently add them, update them or change their settings through your smartphone, not your watch. “The watch is an area where Apple has an enormous lead over the competition,” Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart said. “There’s still a lot of headroom on the watch.”Mac attention?The biggest advancements from WWDC could come to Apple’s long-neglected Mac computer line. Apple still generates about 10% to 15% of its quarterly sales from its computer line, but it hasn’t given its Macs as much attention in recent years as the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. In October 2016, Apple redesigned the MacBook Pro laptop for the first time in four years, but the “butterfly switch” keyboard it’s used in every new laptop since then has been criticized. Two weeks ago, Apple said it would replace all defective butterfly switch keyboards for free — even on the new MacBook Pro models it just unveiled.Apple's Mac Pro is no longer persona non grata in Europe.Apple’s Mac Pro is long overdue for an update. CNET Power users, like graphic designers, also have been waiting for more pro-friendly features for years. The company hasn’t made big changes to its high-power Mac Pro since 2013. Notable for its cylindrical design, the Mac Pro is favored by creatives who need a lot of horsepower for professional purposes. Apple said in April 2017 that it’s working on a big refresh of the computer, but a year later, it said the device wouldn’t hit the market until sometime in 2019. It’s unclear whether Apple will actually launch the Mac Pro at WWDC, but it likely will spend a big chunk of its keynote on its computer line. At the end of Apple’s WWDC presentation last year, the company gave a sneak peak of Project Marzipan, its effort to make it easy to take apps developed for iOS devices to Macs. Its MacOS update released in September included four of Apple’s own apps that originated on iOS — News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home. This year at WWDC, Apple is expected to open that capability up to third-party developers, as well as port more of its own iOS apps, like Podcasts, to the Mac. Marzipan brings Apple’s mobile devices and computers one step closer — without actually merging them.Like much of WWDC, it may seem wonky and pretty removed from your actual devices. But listen closely, and you’ll see the future of those Apple products already in your hands.Originally published May 30. $999 iOS 13, MacOS 10.15 and MacPro: Everything we’re expecting… $999 Apple launches App Store explainer page as it faces fire over its policies What Apple’s WWDC 2019 invite teases about the next iOS and MacOS Everything we know about Apple WWDC 2019 Apple’s biggest milestones reading • Your next iPhone or Mac? Apple’s WWDC offers the best tease Consumers say Apple’s tight control over the App Store causes higher prices. Some developers say Apple’s policies, like charging a commission for any subscriptions, make it harder for services that compete directly with Apple’s own. Apple, for its part, says its App Store policies keep its customers safe and help maintain high standards. It also says it welcomes competition.  While Apple likely won’t completely overhaul the App Store, it’s got to find ways to keep its developers — and in return, you — happy.At a time when rival Google is touting its artificial intelligence prowess, Apple’s software also needs to be smarter. Apple’s Siri Shortcuts feature from last year lets the company’s digital assistant complete complex tasks with a single voice command — or sometimes without a voice command at all. But Siri still doesn’t match up to the assistants from Google and Amazon. The breadth of apps in the App Store isn’t the advantage it used to be.”I don’t know the last time I downloaded a new app from the App Store,” Milanesi said. “We’re now in a very mature part of the market. Apple can’t tell the same story.”Beyond the iPhoneThis year, there could be two major announcements by Apple that actually have very little to do with its iPhones: the launch of a Watch App Store and a bigger push with Project Marzipan, the effort to make iPhone and iPad (iOS-based) apps run on Macs.Apple’s installed base of iPhone users has made developing for the iOS App Store an easy sell. At the end of 2018, there were 1.4 billion Apple devices actively used around the globe, the company said in late January during its quarterly earnings report. More than 900 million of them were iPhones.  9:08 Sprint Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Tags Best Buy Apple will kick off its developer conference Monday.  James Martin/CNET At WWDC 2019 2019 on Monday, Apple may be talking to developers. But it’s really all about you.Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is an annual gathering at which Apple hosts designers and engineers making apps for iPhones, iPads, the Apple Watch and other Apple devices. Thousands will descend on the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, at 10 a.m. PT on Monday to hear CEO Tim Cook and his team outline their strategy for the company’s software. They’ll spend the rest of the week at sessions about the new technology and walk away with plans for updating their apps. Tune in: How to watch Apple’s WWDC 2019 keynote.WWDC typically isn’t where Apple launches new devices. Instead, it updates its iOS mobile software for iPhones and iPads, MacOS for its computers, TVOS for Apple TV and WatchOS for the Apple Watch. Even with all that news, most of what Cook will unveil won’t be available until later in the year — at best. Even if you’re a big software fan, some of Apple’s announcements, like discussions about the Swift programming language and application programming interfaces, get technical pretty fast. $999 Jun 30 • iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas: How to download and install them now Aug 19 • iOS 13 and iPadOS: How to join the beta, use the best new features on your iPhone and iPad See it WWDC 2019 See It Jun 14 • Apple Music vs. Apple Podcast vs. Apple TV: What’s the difference? See also center_img Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) That’s why it may be easy to think WWDC 2019 doesn’t have anything for you. You’re not going to see the next iPhone there, and Oprah’s not going to show up. She’s already been to one Apple event this year, after all. So what could a developer fest really offer you?But if you look past the talk about Swift and APIs, you’ll find quite a lot. It’s also Apple’s way of teasing the features and services you’ll see in products coming later this year. You’ll have to wait until September (as usual) for the new iPhone, but you will see what its software interface looks like with the expected iOS 13. You may not get the long-overdue Mac Pro high-end computer, but at the very least, Apple will try to make you feel like it hasn’t forgotten the creative professionals. And there will be various health, augmented reality and privacy advancements you’ll soon get to access. The twist this year, though, is those new features and services are increasingly coming directly from Apple — in some ways a source of tension for the company. As iPhone sales slow — we’re all holding onto our phones longer than before — Cook has been trying to turn Apple into a services powerhouse. It has jumped into TV and music streaming, introduced a gaming service called Apple Arcade and news subscriptions. It even plans to launch its own credit card, the Apple Card, this summer.But just because it’s doing more on its own doesn’t mean Apple doesn’t need developers. After all, it’s their apps that keep you reaching for your iPhone. And Apple will give them even more ways to improve those apps you use everyday.”Apple’s not going to have a service for everything out there,” Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi said. “At the end of the day, developers drive engagement, drive new use cases and drive the link the consumer has with their device.”Apple declined to comment ahead of WWDC 2019. App battleThis year’s WWDC comes at a tense time for Apple’s App Store, which hosts more than 1.8 million apps. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that iPhone owners can sue Apple for allegedly operating a monopoly through its App Store, which is the only way you can add apps to your iPhone and iPad. And there’s been an outcry from parental control app makers that Apple unfairly banned their software because their apps compete with Apple’s own software. Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and other heavyweights have also criticized Apple’s App Store model.Even the man who used to run third-party app approvals for Apple called on the company to “own up” to irresponsible policies against direct-competitor services, saying “Apple has struggled with using the App Store as a weapon” for years. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all apps and in app-purchases.  WWDC 2019 iPhone Update Apple Event $999 Jul 5 • RIP, iTunes. This is what happens to your Apple music now Boost Mobile Phones Tablets Laptops Mobile Apps See It 17 Photos Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X See It Apple iPhone XS See All Comments 28 Share your voice • Now playing: Watch this: CNET may get a commission from retail offers. iOS 12 TV OS MacOS High Sierra Amazon Google Siri Apple WatchOSlast_img read more

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WATCH Divya Drishtis Rakshit and Drishti share intimate moment fans cant keep

first_imgTake a look at some of the fans reaction to the upcoming steamy sequence: Rakshit (Adhvik Mahajan) and Drishti (Sana Sayyad) of Divya DrishtiinstagramArdent fans of supernatural show Divya Drishti, are set to witness another intimate sequence between show’s leads – Rakshit (Adhvik Mahajan) and Drishti (Sana Sayyad).In just six months of run, the show has managed to win the hearts of millions of viewers. Not just the gripping storyline but the chemistry between Rakshit and Drishti have kept viewers hooked to the show.And now, the makers are raising the entertainment quotient with a steamy track, which will be aired soon. In a sneak peek shared by the makers, Rakshit is seen draping Drishti’s saree. As soon as the promo was out, fans went crazy and expressed their eagerness to watch the episode.Earlier, when the on-screen couple’s first kissing scene was aired, it went viral on social media in no time. Talking about it, Adhvik had told Telly Chakkar, “Well, this is the first time that I have shot a kissing scene. Although Sana and I have romanced in the show, for the first time, viewers will witness our sensuous romance.””Talking about comfort, being an actor, every scene is very mechanical. Since Sana and I are very good friends off-screen and we are quite comfortable shooting with each other, there was no awkwardness,” Adhvik added.When asked about his wife Neha Mahajan’s reaction on his steamy scene, he said that Neha understands his job and has no qualms on his kissing on-screen.”Neha knows me from my college days, and she understands an actor’s job and my passion towards acting. She has no qualms on me kissing on-screen. We both have made a lot of sacrifices to reach here.We support each other, and she gets happy seeing me becoming successful in life,” Adhvik said.last_img read more

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Voting begins in DNCC DSCC polls

first_imgLogos of Dhaka North City Corporation (L) and Dhaka South City Corporation. File PhotoThe voting in the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) elections began on Thursday morning.The voting has begun at 8:00am and will continue uninterruptedly until 4:00pm.The day has been announced as public holiday in the areas of the two city corporations.The election commission (EC) has organised the voting for the by-polls to the DNCC mayoral post and election to councillor and reserved councillor posts of the newly added 36 wards, including 18 under the DNCC and 18 under the DSCC.The winners will be elected for one year tenure. The officials of the election management department of the EC said they sent the ballot papers to 36 wards yesterday. EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said a total of 19 members of different law enforcement agencies will be deployed at the centres each while 23 members for each of the risky centres. Besides, 27 mobile teams consist of the members of police, APBn and Ansar were deployed. News agency BSS adds: chief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Wednesday said that the EC has completed all kinds of preparation to hold a free, fair and credible by-election to Dhaka North City Corporation. “Executive and judicial magistrates and required number of law enforcement agency members have been employed to hold the election in a fair manner. There also will be EC’s monitoring teams in the election fields,” he said at a press conference at media centre of the EC secretariat in the city. Besides, members of different law enforcement agencies will be employed as striking forces at different spots while police, BGB and RAB personnel will be patrolling in the city during the election, he added. Huda urged all polling agents to stay in the respective polling stations until they got result sheet of the election. Legal action will be taken if allegation of playing biased role in the election is proved against any election official and law enforcement agency member, the CEC said. “Voting will be stopped immediately if any irregularities take place at any centre during the election. And stern action will be taken against those who will be responsible for the incident after investigation,” he added. Speaking about vehicle movement in the elation area, Huda said the vehicles can ply on the ‘main road’. The people, however, can also ply their private vehicles on an emergency basis, he added. Responding to a query over poor participation in the polls, the CEC said people might not have shown eagerness participating in the election as its tenure will be only for a year. “However, we have nothing to do if any party does not take part in the election,” he added. Five candidates including Awami League (AL) nominated Atiqul Islam have been contesting for the mayoral post of DNCC. A total of 116 candidates are vying for general councillor post and 45 for reserved councillor post in the DNCC while 125 are contesting for general councillor post and 45 for reserved councillor post in the DSCC.last_img read more

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10 Things To Know For Wednesday

first_img Share AP Photo/Eugene HoshikoU.S. Vice President Mike Pence, front, waves to U.S. servicemen and Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel on the flight deck of U.S. navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, at the U.S. Navy’s Yokosuka base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Wednesday, April 19, 2017.1. GEORGIA HOUSE SEAT STILL UNDECIDEDA June 20 runoff between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel is an early barometer for Trump and both parties ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.2. ‘THE SHIELD STANDS GUARD AND THE SWORD STANDS READY’From the deck of a massive aircraft carrier off Tokyo, Vice President Mike Pence warns North Korea not to test the resolve of the U.S. military.3. TRUMP SHAKING UP STATUS-QUO IN NORTH ASIAIn trying to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, Pyongyang sees more volatility, China calls for calm and Japan weighs a retaliatory capability.4. WHAT MAY HAVE MOTIVATED FRESNO SHOOTERBefore he shot to death three people at random, Kori Ali Muhammad, a 34-year-old black man, told police he wanted to kill as many white people as he could before he was captured.5. MANHUNT ENDS IN UNLIKELY FASHIONFacebook slaying suspect Steve Stephens was undone when a worker at a McDonald’s near Erie, Pennsylvania, recognized him at the drive-thru window.6. WHERE TRUMP SUPPORT IS STRONGResidents of Androscoggin County, Maine, backed a Republican for president for the first time in decades because many support his views on immigration, AP finds, even though the town has been bolstered by immigrants.7. AP: PERU BACKSLIDING ON ILLEGAL LOGGINGThe 2015 impoundment of a freighter in Houston carrying tons of Amazon rainforest wood represents a rare victory in the battle to preserve tropical forests.8. HOW NAVY IS ADDRESSING FEMALE SAILORSDefense contractor Electric Boat is designing what will be the first U.S. fleet of Navy submarines built specifically to accommodate female crew members.9. NO SPINNING THIS ONEViewership of Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor” drops without its vacationing and scandal-riddled host, Bill O’Reilly.10. WHO’S WONDERING WHETHER HE’LL ‘GET THAT ITCH AGAIN’Michael Phelps hasn’t gotten the urge to return to swimming, but the winningest athlete in Olympic history hasn’t ruled out yet another comeback.last_img read more

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Researchers create image of weak hydrogen bond using AFM

first_img(Phys.org) —Researchers at China’s National Center for Nanoscience and Technology and Renmin University have used Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to create an image of the weak hydrogen bonds present in a molecule. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they used the non-contact form of AFM to capture an image of weak hydrogen bonds in a 8-hydroxyquinoline molecule (8hq). Until recently, the most accurate images of molecules were obtained using scanning tunneling microscopy, recent advances with AFM, however (particularly the addition of a carbon monoxide molecule to the probe tip) have made it the method of choice for obtaining actual images of molecules and the bonds that hold them together. In this new effort, the research team has advanced the science of AFM by capturing an image of the weak hydrogen bonds present in a 8hq molecule. Understanding how hydrogen bonds work is a very important part of science—they are responsible, for example, for holding together strands of DNA. Currently, there are two ways to capture images using AFM: contact, and non-contact imaging. With contact imaging, the tip of the mechanical probe is made to touch the surface of the material being analyzed. The amount of deflection of the probe tip as its dragged is used to create an image. In non-contact mode, the tip is brought near to the surface, but doesn’t touch it. An image is created by measuring changes to the oscillating tip probe from weak forces emanating from the source.The team in China used the non-contact form of AFM and chose 8hq as a test subject because it’s a relatively flat molecule. The resulting image is the first created using AFM to show weak hydrogen bonds, and is important because there is still debate about the nature of hydrogen bonds. For many years it was considered to be purely an electrostatic interaction—new evidence has cast doubt on that idea, suggesting that it might be at least partially chemical. The new image doesn’t clear up the debate, but does offer some intriguing possibilities for the future as it demonstrates that as AFM matures, it will offer more and more evidence of the true nature of molecules and how they interact. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Researchers create image of weak hydrogen bond using AFM (2013, October 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-image-weak-hydrogen-bond-afm.html More information: Real-Space Identification of Intermolecular Bonding with Atomic Force Microscopy, Published Online September 26 2013. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1242603ABSTRACTWe report a real-space visualization of the formation of hydrogen bonding in 8-hydroxyquiline (8-hq) molecular assemblies on a Cu(111) substrate using noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM). The atomically resolved molecular structures enable a precise determination of the characteristics of hydrogen bonding networks, including the bonding sites, orientations, and lengths. The observation of bond contrast was interpreted by ab initio density functional calculations, which indicated the electron density contribution from the hybridized electronic state of the hydrogen bond. Intermolecular coordination between the dehydrogenated 8-hq and Cu adatoms was also revealed by the submolecular resolution AFM characterization. The direct identification of local bonding configurations by NC-AFM would facilitate detailed investigations of intermolecular interactions in complex molecules with multiple active sites. © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Science In world’s first, atomic force microscope sees chemical bonds in individual molecules (w/ video) AFM measurements of 8-hq assembled clusters on Cu(111). (A and B) Constant-height frequency shift images of typical molecule assembled clusters, and their corresponding structure models (C and D). Imaging parameters: V = 0 V, A = 100 p.m., Δz = +10 pm. Image size: (A) 2.3 nm × 2.0 nm, (B) 2.5 nm × 1.8 nm. The dashed lines in (C) and (D) indicate likely H bonds between 8-hq molecules. Credit: Science DOI:10.1126/science.1242603 Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Are women really moving up in the workplace

first_imgMeanwhile, men were significantly more sanguine about progress: 33 percent said they’ve seen positive change in the last five years. Only 20 percent of women agreed things have gotten better for women in their companies in the last five years, according to a new ASCEND-Morning Consult poll. The #MeToo movement has thrown a spotlight on gender discrimination issues in the workplace. But is office culture really changing? It depends on whom you ask.center_img “We were actually quite surprised,” Katherine Phillips, a Columbia Business School professor who analyzed the poll’s results for Ascend and Morning Consult, told “Morning Joe” co-host and Know Your Value founder Mika Brzezinski. Read the whole story: NBClast_img read more

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US travel uncertainty continues with school boards accessing future student trips

first_img Tweet Monday, February 27, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: America, Donald Trump, Trend Watch TORONTO — Schools across Canada are grappling with the uncertainty of U.S. travel restrictions and how that affects upcoming student trips across the border.A travel ban instituted by President Donald Trump on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and Syrian refugees may be on hold as it works its way through the U.S. justice system, but Canadian schools remain concerned with how foreign-born students will be treated at the border.Jim Cambridge, superintendent of the Sooke School District in British Columbia, said there are a number of trips planned for sports, music and educational purposes in the coming months that are being reconsidered.While the refugee population among students in the Vancouver Island district is small, Cambridge said the board must make a decision based on safety and also ethical considerations.“The board is concerned some students may be stopped at the border, and if that’s the case, they want to examine whether or not they’ll support any trips to the States right now,” he said.The B.C. School Trustees Association is advising them on what student groups can expect at the border based on information from both U.S. and Canadian border agencies, he said.One of the board’s concerns is fairness to students who may not be allowed to cross the border, he said.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthEven if specific trips may not involve students affected by the ban, Cambridge said the board will have to decide whether to take a stance on the ban anyway, recognizing there are students within the district who are being discriminated against due to new U.S. travel policies.“That’s what the board needs to wrestle with is the more ethical decision about whether some trips can go and some can’t or whether they all can’t or can,” he said.The board meets Tuesday to discuss the issue, and Cambridge said some schools have begun looking at Canadian cities as a “Plan B” in the event trips are cancelled.Sooke trustees have looked to neighbouring school boards and other areas of the country to help inform their decision.The Greater Essex County School Board in southwestern Ontario decided earlier this month to cancel a handful of trips over concerns of safety and equity.The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board sent a letter to parents to confirm whether their children will participate in upcoming trips across the border to determine whether plans should go ahead.Students in the Pembina Trails School Division in Winnipeg participate in many international trips, but superintendent Ted Fransen said a recent decision to cancel one, although rushed, was made easily.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsThe track team at Acadia Junior High School was required to submit a deposit on Jan. 30 to participate in a competition in Minnesota, days after Trump signed his executive order.Unsure about how policy would affect students on the team, they chose to opt out of the race.Since the ban has been blocked by the U.S. courts, Fransen said two other trips to the States have since gone ahead.Trump has vowed to bring in a new travel ban order to replace the one that the American courts have suspended pending a legal challenge by Washington State and Minnesota. It’s not clear when the new order would be issued.The Pembina Trails school board isn’t considering new rules around travel in light of the situation in the U.S., even if another ban is implemented.Fransen said he knows principals, teachers and students within his diverse district all value inclusivity, and a board-wide rule isn’t necessary.“I just can’t imagine that we would get a request from a school principal to approve a trip to the U.S. where students in the group wouldn’t be allowed to go,” he said. “That would be counter to our culture.” U.S. travel uncertainty continues with school boards accessing future student trips By: Linda Givetash Source: The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Lately it seems you cant read a newspaper or turn

first_imgLately it seems you can’t read a newspaper or turn on the nightly news without getting bombarded with political rhetoric about how our government must do something to bring our country out of the economic doldrums. The debate boils down to raising taxes or cutting taxes. Either way, pundits complain that the rich are “not paying their fair share,” or that politicians are “just making their rich cronies richer.” It’s sad how much investors have to factor the current political climate into their investment decisions. But savvy investors have to cut through the political rhetoric and look at reality. Regardless of the party in power, all levels of government are masters at increasing tax revenue to help do their bidding.Once You Open the Door, 2% Can Turn Into 94% I looked up the history of the federal income tax and found some interesting data. The first income tax, passed in 1894, was a 2% tax on incomes over $4,000. Fewer than 10% of US households paid any federal income tax at all. After the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913, there were seven income brackets for the federal income tax, the highest starting at $500,000 – or about $10 million in 2007 dollars. Tax rates ranged from 1-7%. Much like the old stories of vacuum-cleaner salesmen, once they get a foot in the door, look out! Trickery and deceit are a normal part of the political process. When the original income-tax law was passed, very few Americans were affected. The government was essentially taxing “someone else.” By 1944, the top marginal tax rate hit 94%. When politicians are faced with taking salary cuts or cutting payments to those who help elect them, they always find ways to extract more tax revenue from the working class. It’s been that way for all of time.Who’s Really Paying What? When I started hearing protests about the top 1% folks not paying their fair share, I realized that much of the noise was just rhetoric for politicians to sell a particular point of view. So what are the facts? One quite politically biased report I read claimed that the top 1% of taxpayers have an average net worth of a little over $19 million each. It basically implied that unless you’re worth $19 million or more, potential tax hikes won’t affect you. Bill Gates has an estimated net worth of $61.3 billion; the Walton family’s (of Walmart fame) combined net worth is about $93 billion. That means that Bill Gates is worth about 3,226 times more than the average top 1% folks, and the Walton family about 4,894 times more. $19 million may be the accurate average net worth of the top 1%, but averages can sure be misleading.Do You Feel Rich Today? After spending a couple frustrating hours on the Internet finding old data, I turned to our research team for some help. Adam Crawford, one of our energetic researchers, put together a much clearer picture based on a recent report from the US Census Bureau. The net worth on top of each column is the entry-level net worth – not the average – for each percentile noted. Adam also pointed out a couple of interesting items from the report. If you have a total net worth of $344,000, or $179,533 excluding the value of your home, you are better off than 80% of Americans today. The top 7% of the population begins at $856,000, but when you exclude personal-residence values, it’s $586,507. In simple terms, if you have a home worth around $270,000 and a $587,000 portfolio, you’re ahead of 93% of Americans. Those 93% think you’re rich, even though you’re a long way from $19 million. I mentioned to Adam that a lot of folks in California and the northeast must be in the top 7% because of real-estate values in those parts of the country. He reminded me that a person may live in a million-dollar home, but it’s likely heavily mortgaged. True net worth comes from equity, not your address.Retirement Income in the Post-2008 Economy I’ve read many reports claiming that the average net worth of 99% of the population dropped 20% or more after the 2008 housing crash. Many people had contemplated retirement with the idea of downsizing and investing some of their home equity to provide retirement income. Instead, they saw a couple hundred thousand dollars or more vanish as their home equity collapsed. Time to look at some real numbers. Let’s assume our entry-level elite top-7% couple – I’ll call them the “Rich Joe” family – has $86,000 in cars and “stuff,” and a $500,000 portfolio. If they’re retired, they have to live off income from their investments and Social Security… for the rest of their lives. In 2007, before the crash, a five-year CD paid around 6% interest; $500,000 invested in CDs at that rate would provide $30,000 in interest. Assume that Rich Joe family collected the Social Security payments of high-wage earners – $30,000 between Rich Joe and his wife. That’s a combined gross income of $60,000. If they spent and invested wisely, hopefully it would last. Times, however, have changed since the housing crash. Two percent is about the best rate Rich Joe family can hope for from a five-year CD, so their $500,000 investment in CDs now earns them only $10,000 annually. Their income has dropped from $60,000 to $40,000 per year. The picture is even gloomier when you factor in inflation. Current CD interest rates don’t even cover the current inflation rate. In other words, when Rich Joe family buys a five-year CD, at the end of the five-year period, even with interest, their buying power has been reduced. Many retirees are now finding second careers to supplement their income because they know that their life savings won’t last long enough. You many have noticed the number of seniors working in fast food restaurants, which may also be a factor in the high unemployment rate of young people today. Sadly, many grandparents are lamenting how they’ve had to really cut back on travel and Christmas gifts for grandchildren.Watch the Other Hand I have a friend who’s a pretty good amateur magician, doing many tricks with cards and coins. He regularly preaches to “watch the other hand,” and cautions his friends to do the same with the government. The current political debate is whether to extend the Bush tax cuts or make them permanent. I recently read another idea about extending them for everyone except folks earning over $250,000. Certainly most retirees don’t fall into that category, so they may not see the trick. What’s in the other hand? Since retirees can’t find decent yields on CDs and top-rated bonds, many have turned to good-quality, dividend-paying stocks. As of 2008, 42% of all reported dividend income went to people 65 and older. In the last four years, the percentage has likely risen dramatically as seniors saw their CDs mature and were offered inadequate rates to roll them over. The Bush tax cuts allowed for a 15% tax on dividends. I recently read that some politicians would like to let this portion of the tax cuts quietly expire also. If that were to happen, dividends would be taxed as ordinary income. That’s a jump to a 25% marginal tax rate for a married couple earning just over $70,000. Politicians and pundits may talk about the repeal as though it only affects folks earning $250,000 or more, but watch the other hand. Many retirees have given up on CDs and are investing in dividend-paying stocks. A higher tax rate on those dividends will affect a lot of retirees who need that money to pay their bills.“Don’t Trust the Government” Club What would be the consequences of taxing dividends as ordinary income? Some pundits argue that it would cause a sell-off of dividend-paying stocks. Maybe investors needing dividend income would see a reduction in their investment capital. Others disagree, pointing out that many mutual funds and 401(k)s are heavily invested in dividend-paying stocks, and they would hold on to them. The only common conclusion I can offer is this: If the Bush tax cuts on dividends expire, a lot of folks with income under $250,000 are going to see a bigger tax bite. There does not seem be a consensus that dividend-paying stock prices will drop because they are being sold as investors seek higher yields. The appeal of dividend-paying stocks taxed at a lower rate may lose some glamor, as investors evaluate their alternatives. Most baby boomers thinking about retirement have likely done a few calculations on one or more financial-planning websites, and the average yield on your investment portfolio after retirement is always a part of these calculations. My generation was encouraged to use 6% as a “safe” estimate. Now that CDs and top-rated bonds are not realistic options, investors have to put more of their money at greater risk for a decent yield. Certainly a 4% dividend taxed at a rate no higher than 15% is one option to consider, particularly if the investor thinks there will be stock appreciation as part of the process. Dividend-paying stocks are an option we don’t want to lose. Right now, my state of Florida has a senator from each political party, but in this case it makes little difference which side of the aisle they’re on. This concerns everyone living on a fixed income and everyone trying to figure out how they can afford to retire. I’ve written both of my senators and my representative, pointing out that the incomes of many seniors and savers have been radically reduced because the government holds interest rates near zero. They’d better vote to freeze the current tax rates and the tax on dividends, or seniors and savers will once again bear the brunt of their tax policies. Enough already! The average net worth of the top 1% may be $19 million, but some data from the Federal Reserve shows that the median of the top 10% of the population is approximately $1.8 million, inclusive of personal residences. Maybe Bill Gates and Warren Buffett make a lot of money on dividends, but the vast majority of retirees rely on that income to survive. If Mr. Buffett thinks millionaires should pay more in taxes, I can gladly direct him to a government website where he can voluntarily contribute to the federal government. Sometimes I feel like Papa Bear guarding the food supply – we need to let “Big Brother” know it better keep its hands off our dividends.On the Lighter Side The first weekend of the NFL season is now in the books. It’s interesting that the last three Super Bowl champions all lost their first games. Several games went down to the last minute or even into overtime, which kept a lot of folks glued to their seats. On Thursday night, the Bears take on the Packers – a rivalry of the highest order. And finally… With the political conventions behind us, we’re all being bombarded with campaign advertisements. I suspect I’m not the only person who is already sick of the negative advertising, and we still have two months to go. Political candidates and their consultants seem to think their best bet is to depict their opponent as some sort of a crook or bum beholden to special interests. It’s no wonder voters are so cynical when the election rolls around. I have a friend who gets pretty upset and starts yelling at the TV when he knows the facts have been misrepresented. He told me he’s relinquished total clicker control to his wife until after the election – a wise man. Until next week…last_img read more

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Over the past three years Ive had one major goal

first_imgOver the past three years, I’ve had one major goal in my personal life: To stop being so angry.Anger has been my emotional currency. I grew up in an angry home. Door slamming and phone throwing were basic means of communication.I brought these skills to my 20-year marriage. “Why are you yelling?” my husband would say.”I’m not,” I’d retort. Oh wait. On second thought: “You’re right. I am yelling.”Then three years ago, an earthquake hit our home: We had a baby girl. And all I wanted was the opposite. I wanted her to grow up in a peaceful environment — to learn other ways of handling uncomfortable situations.So I went to therapy. I kept cognitive behavioral therapy worksheets. I took deep breaths, counted to 10 and walked out of rooms. And I even meditated at night.These strategies helped me manage the anger, but they never really decreased it. It was like keeping a feral horse in a barn. I was contained, but not really domesticated.Then, six months ago, I was talking with Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University. Right at the end of the hour-long interview, she tossed out this suggestion: “You could increase your emotional granularity.”My emotional what?”Go learn more emotion words and emotion concepts from your culture and other cultures,” she added.Over the past 30 years, Feldman Barrett has found evidence that anger isn’t one emotion but rather a whole family of emotions. And learning to identify different members of the family is a powerful tool for regulating your anger, studies have shown.Or better yet, as I found, go and make up your own anger categories and start using them.What is anger?There’s a common theory about anger. You’ll find it in text books, scientific papers, news reports — even here at NPR. And some scientists support the theory, says Feldman Barrett.The idea is that anger is one of several “basic emotions” that are universal, Feldman Barrett says. It’s almost like a reflex — hard-wired in the brain. When something unjust or unfair happens to you, “your blood pressure often goes up. Your heart rate will go up. Maybe you’ll breathe heavily or you’ll have a reddening of your skin,” she says. “Then you’ll have an urge … to punch or yell at someone. That’s the stereotype of what anger is,” Feldman Barrett says.But it’s not the full story.Anger around the worldWhat you feel when you’re angry depends on the situation, what your past experiences are and how your culture has taught you to respond, she says.As a result, there is actually enormous variation in the types of anger in the U.S., like exuberant anger when you’re getting pumped up to compete in sports, or sad anger when your spouse or boss doesn’t appreciate you.When you look at other cultures, the variation explodes.Germans have a word that roughly means “a face in need of a slap,”or backpfeifengesicht. “It’s like you’re so furious with someone that you look at their face, and it’s as if their face is urging you to punch them,” Feldman Barrett says. “It’s a great emotion.”Ancient Greeks differentiated between a short-term anger that doesn’t stick around (ὀργή or orge ) with a long-lasting anger that’s permanent (μῆνις or menin).Mandarin Chinese has a specific word for anger directed toward yourself, 悔恨 or huǐhèn. It’s literally a combination of regret and hate, says linguist Yao Yao at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. “You regret something you did so much, that you’re angry at yourself,” she says.Thais have, at least, seven degrees of anger, says linguist Yuphaphann Hoonchamlong at the University of Hawaii. “We don’t walk around saying ‘I’m angry.’ That’s too broad,” she says. “We may start with ‘I’m displeased’ and ‘I’m dissatisfied’ and then increase the intensity,” she says.And India is a treasure trove of angers.”There’s a common form of anger which means like ‘when eggplant hits the hot oil,’ ” says Abhijeet Paul, who teaches South Asian literature at Middlebury College.”You suddenly become, like, really angry at hearing something shocking or learning something that you really, really dislike,” Paul says.Indians also differentiate between political anger, which you have for the ruling class or “boss man,” and personal angers, which you have for a friend, family or neighbor. You would never mix the two and express political anger in a personal relationship, Paul says.”There’s also a very interesting anger that is a loving anger,” Paul says. You express this emotion toward a spouse when your spouse has angered you but you can’t help them, only love them, he says. “It’s a mixed bag of love, grief, sorrow and anger.”Personalize anger to help regulate itSo in many ways, anger is like wine. There are these major varieties — such as chardonnay and pinot noir — but each vintage has its own unique combination of aromas, flavors and potency. The more practice you have at detecting — and naming — these nuances, the better you understand wine.And if you learn to detect all the various flavors and nuances of anger and label them, you can start to handle your anger better, says psychologist Maria Gendron at Yale University.”There’s definitely emerging evidence that just the act of putting a label on your feelings is a really powerful tool for regulation,” Gendron says. It can keep the anger from overwhelming you. It can offer clues about what to do in response to the anger. And sometimes, it can make the anger go away.The idea is to take a statement that’s broad and general, such as, “I’m so angry,” and make it more precise. Take the Thai: “I’m displeased,” or the German “Backpfeifengesicht!”Psychologists call this strategy emotional granularity. Studies show that the more emotional granularity a person has, the less likely they are to shout or hit someone who has hurt them. They are also less like to binge drink when stressed. On the other hand, people diagnosed with major depressive disorder are more likely to have low emotional granularity compared to healthy adults.”There’s a whole arm of research showing how functional it is to have finely tuned categories for our experiences,” Gendron says.Emotional granularity is like watching HDTV versus regular TV. It lets you see your anger with higher resolution, Gendron says. “It gives you more information about what that anger means, whether you value that experience and choices about what to do next,” she says.This last part is key: Being granular with you anger helps you figure out what’s the best way to handle the situation — or whether you should do anything at all.For instance, if you are feeling a quick burst of anger, which you know will fade rapidly, then maybe doing nothing is the best strategy.And you don’t have to limit yourself to the labels that already exist, Gendron says. Be creative. Analyze what’s causing your various angers, give them specific names and start using the terms with family and coworkers.”If you’re making a practice in your family of coming up with words and then using them together, that actually can regulate physiology,” she says. “That can resolve the kind of ambiguity about the situation.”Personally, I found this strategy the most helpful. I started paying attention to what typically triggers my anger at work and at home. And I found three major types, which I named.Illogical anger: This emotions happens when somebody at work makes a decision that seems completely illogical. Once I labeled this anger and started tracking what happens afterwards, I quickly realized that trying to convince an illogical person of logic is often futile – and a waste of time.Hurry-up anger: This is the anger I feel when someone else is not doing something fast enough — yes, I’m talking about the driver of the gray Prius at the stoplight this morning or the 3-year-old who will not put her shoes on fast enough. Once I labeled it, I realized that cars, people and toddlers eventually move. Huffing and puffing doesn’t make it faster.Disonophous anger: This is my favorite anger. And has the biggest impact on my life.I wanted to figure out how to decrease yelling at our house. So I started paying attention to what often occurred right before the screaming began. It was super obvious: The dog was barking and the toddler was screaming. Basically two loud sounds simultaneously. So my husband and I made up disonophous anger from the Latin for “two sounds.”Now when my husband says, “I have disonophous anger, Michaeleen …” we know exactly what to do: Put the dog on the porch and pick up the baby.And I know he’s not angry at me. He just wants some peace and quiet. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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Nearly half the sports at this summers Paralympic

first_imgNearly half the sports at this summer’s Paralympic Games in Rio will not be covered live on television after the host city scrapped plans to pay for an expansion of its coverage.The Rio organising committee has decided not to provide the funding needed to increase the number of Paralympic sports that were covered live at London 2012, because it could not afford the extra expense.This means that the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) will provide live TV feeds for just 13 of the 22 sports, so there will not be live coverage from Rio of some of the biggest British names from London 2012.Channel 4 was responsible for the critically-acclaimed UK coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics and has the UK television rights for the Rio Paralympic Games.But the UK broadcaster has no say over which events are covered live, and has instead pledged to provide its own camera teams “at the finish line” to at least “capture British medal wins and the reaction of athletes after their events”.The sports that OBS will not cover live are goalball, triathlon, rowing, canoeing, sailing, shooting and archery, as well as road cycling, although track cycling will be covered.There will also be no live pictures from the marathons, which means no coverage of one of the stars of the ParalympicsGB team, David Weir, in one of his gold medal events from London 2012.And there will be no live feed from the equestrian events, which rules out another of the British team’s high-profile stars, Sophie Christiansen (pictured at London 2012), who won three golds at London 2012, and double gold-winner Natasha Baker.The OBS decision also means there will be no live coverage of boccia, the sport that features those Paralympic athletes with the highest support needs.The OBS plans are detailed in a Channel 4 briefing document obtained by Disability News Service (DNS) through the disabled Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington.The document was prepared by Channel 4 after Lord Addington told the government of his plan to raise the issue of live Paralympic coverage in the House of Lords.Channel 4 says in the document that it will broadcast “all sports with British representation” which are covered live by OBS, on Channel 4, More4 or its online channel All4.It says the decision on which sports are covered live is made by OBS and the Rio 2016 local organising committee, and that it has been working with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), OBS and the Rio committee to “ascertain the scope for extending live coverage to all sports particularly where British teams are represented”. These efforts appear to have failed.Lord Addington told DNS that he had heard about the problem at a parliamentary event on rowing, and emphasised that “it really isn’t Channel 4’s fault”.Because the television coverage of London 2012 was so successful and had “set a precedent”, he said, it was assumed that it “would go on from there” with live coverage of more sports at Rio, but that had not happened.He said: “One of the big successes of 2012 definitely was the way that the Paralympics was brought out to our attention, and I was hoping that this would be followed up [for Rio].“There are a lot of events out there but I would hope as a matter of course that everything would be covered.“This is something which should be a normal price of having the games: that all the Paralympic sports are covered.”He said he wanted the government and the British Paralympic Association to ensure that all sports were covered live at future Paralympic Games, but the government had “ducked” this request.He said he had been told the loss of extra live coverage was because of the crumbling Brazilian economy, with the local organising committee trying to cut down on the cost of expensive live outside broadcasting.Last week (7 July), he asked the government to promise that it would encourage the IPC to insist that all future host cities “guarantee in the planning process that the Paralympic Games will have full coverage”.He told fellow peers: “That will ensure that we do not have the situation we are in now, where certain sports will happen to be missed out, many of which have good British medal prospects.”But the hereditary Tory peer the Earl of Courtown said it was for UK Sport to pressure the IPC on television coverage of future Paralympic Games.Asked whether it was concerned at how many sports would not have live coverage, a Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We will be showing more hours of live sport online and on television than we did in 2012.“We are fully committed to giving the best coverage we possibly can and are continuing to work closely with the host broadcaster to that end.”She added: “We’re delivering the most comprehensive and innovative coverage of the games ever.“With a combination of live units and roving cameras we will cover rowing, canoeing, equestrian, sailing, road cycling, marathons, triathlon, boccia, archery and shooting and can be flexible on the ground to make sure we broadcast as many medal successes as possible.“Our ambition is to show as many [British] medal-winning performances live as possible – every single medal will be reflected in the coverage.”The Rio organising committee had not responded to a request for a comment by 11am today (Thursday).But an OBS spokesman said: “In the Paralympic Games the scope of coverage is defined by the organizing committee of the Paralympic Games, in this case Rio 2016, as they are responsible for funding this production. “Usually, the baseline coverage for every Paralympic Games is the broadcast coverage plan from the previous games.“In Rio, OBS, at the request of Rio 2016, developed a broadcast plan that included the sports covered live in London.“OBS also proposed a few other sports for additional live coverage. This plan was presented to the Rio 2016 committee and the International Paralympic Committee with the corresponding budget.“Rio 2016 then reviewed the proposal but eventually determined that the increase in live sports coverage was outside their budget and as a result, the live broadcast plan in Rio is identical to the plan from London.”OBS was set up by the International Olympic Committee in 2001 and is responsible for providing “unbiased” pictures and sounds from all Olympic and Paralympic Games to broadcasters that hold the rights to broadcast the games in each country.Channel 4 will provide nearly 120 hours of live television coverage across Channel 4 and More 4.Nearly three-quarters of its presenters, reporters and pundits will be disabled – which Channel 4 says will be the largest number of disabled presenters ever seen on UK television – including its four daytime studio anchors and its entire swimming on-screen team, while more than 15 per cent of its Rio production team will be disabled people.The Last Leg, featuring the disabled comedian Adam Hills and disabled journalist and presenter Alex Brooker, will be filmed live every night during the games in front of a studio audience at the Rio Olympic Park.Other disabled presenters will include Breaking Bad actor R J Mitte, broadcaster and campaigner Sophie Morgan and retired Paralympian Ade Adepitan, with reporters including retired Paralympians Steve Brown, Martine Wright, Steve Rose, Sophia Warner, Danny Crates, Giles Long, Liz Johnson and Peter Norfolk.All coverage will be available with subtitles, and a signed and audio described version of the opening and closing ceremonies will be broadcast simultaneously on 4seven, with audio described and signed editions of The Last Leg available each evening on 4seven soon after the live broadcast.last_img read more

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Tesla Owner Banned From Driving for 18 Months for Turning on Autopilot

first_img Tesla will be one of the first to tell you not to put too much faith in Autopilot. It’s currently more of an advanced driver assist than a full self-driving system. However, one driver recently ignored that advice in dramatic fashion.Nottingham, U.K. resident Bhavesh Patel has received an 18-month driving ban after he was caught sitting in the passenger seat of his Model S on the M1 in May 2017. The man said he invoked Autopilot and was betting that its “amazing” semi-autonomous guidance would keep the car rolling at the estimated 40 MPH of surrounding traffic.He didn’t crash, but that obviously didn’t matter. Police noted that what he did was “grossly irresponsible” and was risking not just his life, but those of “other innocent people.” On top of the ban, Patel has to work 100 unpaid hours, conduct 10 days of rehabilitation and pay £1,800 (about $2,480) in prosecution costs.It almost goes without saying why doing this would be dangerous: Autopilot can keep your car in its lane and maintain a traffic-appropriate speed, but it won’t perform evasive maneuvers or otherwise react well in emergencies. There is a question about how long Patel managed to keep Autopilot going, though. The system requires that you keep your hands on the wheel. Ignore warnings for a minute and Autopilot will not only switch off for the rest of the drive, but (if you continue to ignore it) bring the car to a complete halt. Patel most likely stayed in the passenger’s seat for just a brief period, but it’s slightly disconcerting that he had any time to crawl around the Model S without Autopilot bringing his experiment to a premature end.Man pleads guilty to dangerous driving after switching on his car’s autopilot and moving over to the passenger seat while travelling along the M1 near #HemelHempstead: https://t.co/GrKppSLVZT pic.twitter.com/JPYgk9eyDM— Herts Police (@HertsPolice) April 27, 2018  Next Article He put too much trust in Autopilot. Tesla Owner Banned From Driving for 18 Months for Turning on Autopilot and Leaving the Driver’s Seat This story originally appeared on Engadget Image credit: PA Images | Getty Images via engadget –shares 2 min read April 30, 2018 Add to Queue Jon Fingas Tesla Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

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Chicago Is Developing Its Own Taxi App to Compete With Uber Lyft

first_img December 11, 2014 Chicago Is Developing Its Own Taxi App to Compete With Uber, Lyft 4 min read Sharing Economy Add to Queue Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Next Article This story originally appeared on Reuters Enroll Now for $5 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Chicago opened a new front in the war on ridesharing services like Uber on Wednesday, approving a plan to sponsor an app for riders to hail local cabs.The measure was part of a package including financial supports for taxis, such as fee breaks, passed by the city council on Wednesday.A union that has expanded into cab drivers and organized Chicago this year pushed hard for the package, which had the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”We have found a way to level the playing field,” between cabs and ridesharing services, said City Councilman Emma Mitts, a co-sponsor of the ordinance.Uber’s app to let mobile phone users summon drivers is growing fast around the world, but concerns over fair competition with cabs, the safety of Uber drivers and Uber’s use of data about riders, recently has led to questions and government measures, including bans on Uber service, in parts of India, Thailand and some U.S. cities.Uber declined to comment directly on the Chicago plans, while saying that its efficiency and safety were superior to those of the taxi industry.The Chicago ordinance commits the city to developing a mobile app that will serve as a dispatch for all the city’s taxicab companies. Rideshare companies including Uber and smaller rival Lyft offer dispatch of a variety of cars, and in some markets the Uber app can call taxis.It is not yet determined how the Chicago mobile app will be administered, who will pay for it, and whether rideshare services would be able to bid for the contract to develop or run it.Chicago appears to be the only major city to agree to develop its own app, although New York City Council Member Ben Kallos this week proposed a similar app. The Chicago move also represents a political push from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a union which has organized drivers in two cities so far.More than half of Chicago’s 7,000 active cabbies have joined AFSCME since June. In New Orleans, the second U.S. city where AFSCME has organized taxi drivers, more than 800 drivers have signed up, which represents more than half of the city’s fleet.Cheryl Miller, a Chicago taxi driver for 20 years, says the rideshare issue was key to making drivers organize this year. She says the app might serve to increase her customer base, but she says the more pressing issue is increased regulation and accountability of Uber drivers.”I see this as a first step. I’m excited about that,” she says.Labor groups say that the taxi industry suffers from identical issues of low-wage workers in the fast-food and other industries, namely stagnant wages and limited bargaining rights.The taxi industry says the Chicago measures, which include reducing the fees drivers pay to lease their car or medallion, lowering amounts they can be fined, and giving taxi drivers a share of in-car advertising revenue, will collectively raise income for drivers up to $8,000 annually.The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has formed alliances with taxi worker groups in New York and other cities.The Chicago measure does not increase regulation of rideshare services. Taxi and rideshare proponents vigorously disagree about whether rideshare companies are adequately controlled. Regulations vary considerably between cities and countries.Taxi groups say rideshare drivers, and their vehicles, do not have to go through the same rigorous security checks or training as licensed taxi drivers.”They operate with impunity and are invisible to city oversight. That’s not just unfair but can be dangerous,” said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall.Uber says its background checks and insurance requirements are equal to or better than those of city drivers.”Uber has more insurance and we perform more thorough background checks than the taxi industry, which is why the city of Chicago has validated our approach,” Chris Taylor, general manager of Uber in Chicago, told Reuters by email.”The regulations created for taxis and rideshare services are appropriate for how each industry has proven itself capable of protecting riders and drivers.”Mayor Emanuel, who has had strained relations with unions and whose brother is an Uber investor, also supported the measure.The “reforms represent what is necessary to further modernize this growing industry” Emanuel said in a statement. –shares Reuters last_img read more

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Improve Employee Morale and Save Money by Going Green

first_img July 25, 2016 Guest Writer “Going green” is by no means a modern movement, but technology has certainly modernized our approach to sustainability. Solar panels, hybrid vehicles and energy-efficient appliances have become normal aspects of life in many parts of the world. And though none of it happened overnight, many would argue that similar advances are taking too long to catch on in the business world.The topic of the “paperless office” still elicits many eye rolls and is treated as something unattainable — dismissible, even — when in fact, corporate sustainability has emerged as a fundamental part of 21st century business strategy.Related: The Still-Not-Here-Yet Paperless OfficeThere is certainly plenty of room for improvement here. According to The Paperless Project, a grassroots coalition of companies focused on transforming the way organizations use paper and electronic content, it takes 24 trees, 2.2K lbs of solid waste and 19K gallons of water to make one ton of paper. After all that, almost half — 45 percent — of the paper we print ends up in the trash every day.From some viewpoints, a corporate sustainability program might seem like a nice-to-have, but when you consider the massive amount of waste created by businesses — even with the many technology-driven options now available — it is, irrefutably, a must-have. We all share a collective responsibility to reduce paper waste and cultivate a more sustainable lifestyle, from our homes to our offices. Luckily, a corporate sustainability program does more than just eliminate paper. You can actually improve employee productivity and spread an altruistic sentiment while shaving costs off your bottom line. And in a competitive global marketplace, having a strong reputation for sustainability can be a key distinguishing factor — especially among millennials, a group that’s growing quickly in buying power, influence and presence in the workforce.Here are three ways corporate sustainability can improve employee morale and save your company a boatload of cash:1. Time is money.Paper is wildly inefficient. Think of how much more time it would take to search for a mis-filed paper document versus a digital file that had been dropped in the wrong folder, or the time and effort required to print a document, sign it, scan it and email it. It should be a no-brainer, but employee habits and lax paperless policies have maintained paper as a fixture in many offices worldwide.A recent survey, conducted by Nitro, revealed more than 70 percent of IT leadership identify paper as a continued organizational obstacle, and more than 50 percent see inconsistency in workflow and collaboration. More than 40 percent struggle with document version control, and more than 33 percent grapple with lack of visibility of their knowledge workers’ document activity. With paper in the picture, it’s hard to view these productivity-draining challenges as anything but insurmountable.Related: Why Environmental Responsibility Is Good for Your Bottom LineAt Nitro, we endeavour to practice what we preach. We’re selling digital document productivity, but we’re also practicing it on a daily basis. In fact, a recent internal survey revealed that more than 40 percent of Nitro employees say they never print anything. It helps that everyone has access to our tools, which eliminate a lot of the frustrations and productivity sinks we hear about from our customers.In addition to equipping employees with the right digital tools to help them break their existing paper-based habits, we put an emphasis on integrating the sustainable and paperless mindset into the company culture through company-wide trainings and competitions. The result is reduced waste, increased productivity and more money in the bank — money that we’ve been able to reinvest into our people and our business.2. It’s a feel-good approach to saving.Going paperless doesn’t just save you cash and increase productivity. It can significantly impact your company morale. Over the past ten years, consumers (aka employees) have become more interested in sustainability, more concerned about environmental threats and are more willing to take action and/or direct their dollars in ways that benefit (or don’t harm) the environment. Rates of recycling and composting have consistently been climbing, and people, businesses and governments are working to reduce waste through measures like charging for plastic bags, redistributing food leftovers and biking to work.At Nitro, we have a robust recycling and composting program that  is peer-managed. We put the onus on our employees to maintain sustainable practices, and that genuineness goes a long way in terms of their perception of Nitro as an employer. We also encourage biking to work and have designated areas throughout our office for bike storage. We make it fun, yes, but we trust that when we give our employees the tools to be better and do better, they will. We’ve found this to be extremely successful and it certainly improves morale.3. Attracting the next-generation of employees.You know all those millennials and Gen Zers who will soon dominate the workforce? Sustainability means a lot to them. In her book Meet the Millennials, Leigh Buchanon writes: “One of the characteristics of millennials […] is that they are primed to do well by doing good. Almost 70 percent say that giving back and being civically engaged are their highest priorities.”The new generation of knowledge workers seem to work for a purpose and not just a paycheck. They are not interested in working for employers who disregard the environment or cling to antiquated processes.From the employer perspective, we look to hire people who are good people — people who care about their customers, colleagues and the world they live in. Our hiring practices relate to sustainability in a lot of ways, mainly because we’re a technology company. We want to hire people who rely on technology to be super productive. We have paperless hiring processes so it’s only natural that we want people who work the same way.Related: 3 No-Brainer Reasons Why I’m Going More Green — And Why You Should TooThe reality is that people roll their eyes about the paperless discussion, and maybe some people will always have that attitude. But sustainability initiatives are still very relevant today from both an environmental perspective and an efficiency perspective.We at Nitro accept that paper will be used for certain things and is required in certain instances, but where we can and should, we rely on and incorporate digital workflows. Outside of this being a more sustainable approach, we’ve absolutely seen, and continue to see, productivity benefits. 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