Category: krplluwtg

August 24, 2021

For decades, the government stood between the Unangan people and the seals they subsist on. Now that’s changing.

first_imgAlaska Native Arts & Culture | Alaska Native Government & Policy | Alaska’s Energy Desk | Aleutians | Arts & Culture | History | SubsistenceFor decades, the government stood between the Unangan people and the seals they subsist on. Now that’s changing.March 7, 2019 by Nat Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage Share:Robert Melovidov holds up fur seal meat that he’s preparing to cook in his home on St. Paul island in January. Unangan people on St. Paul like Melovidov have been pushing the federal government for more than a decade for more freedom to harvest the fur seals they share the island with. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)On the remote Bering Sea island of St. Paul, where groceries have to be barged or flown in, Serafima Edelen and her boyfriend still eat meat most nights. For the past several years, they’ve almost never had to buy it: The island and ocean provide them with an abundance of reindeer and fur seal.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“It was always nice knowing I didn’t have to go and buy any meat from the store — just because of how expensive everything is, living in the village,” said Edelen, 25. “I still refuse to move away. This is home. This is where I want to be.”Plastic-wrapped chunks of meat fill the chest freezer in a back room of Edelen’s house. Her boyfriend shoots as many as 10 reindeer a year. And in the summer, you can find them both near St. Paul’s beaches, killing and processing fur seals in a subsistence harvest open to the island’s Alaska Native residents, who call themselves the Unangan people.The seal harvest connects Edelen to her heritage, and to St. Paul. But it also makes a material difference to whether she can afford to live on the island, a 10-mile-wide volcanic speck more than 250 miles from the mainland.At the island’s grocery store, it’s $6 for a pound of ground beef. A 12-ounce package of Oscar Mayer beef bologna costs $10.Serafima Edelen stands in front of her house on St. Paul island in January, 2019. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)But last year, health problems kept Edelen’s boyfriend from hunting. And even though fur seals are on or near the island year-round, federal regulations only allow a 47-day subsistence harvest in the summer. Edelen’s job and other obligations left her with little time to participate.Eventually, she had to go to the store. It felt like crossing a line, she said: “To have to break down and realize: ‘I’m out of meat. I don’t have anything to cook.’”St. Paul’s tribal government has been petitioning the federal government to relax the regulations governing the seal harvest for more than a decade. And now, the National Marine Fisheries Service is finishing a rewrite — one that would allow seals to be taken more than 11 months a year, and loosen restrictions on which animals can be killed.Federal managers say the proposed revisions, released in August, will make a healthy, culturally relevant food source more accessible on the island, while granting the island’s tribal government more local control. A scientific analysis accompanying the rule change says it will have no significant effect on the fur seal population.“There is no doubt that this is an important item, culturally and nutritionally, for the communities,” said Mike Williams, the fisheries service official overseeing the rule changes from Anchorage. “This is real food security.”A view of Otter Island, just off St. Paul. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)But the proposal faces opposition from the Humane Society of the United States, which has a decades-long history of activism in the Pribilofs.The source of the organization’s concern: St. Paul’s fur seal population has been declining for years, and scientists don’t know why. Some 600,000 northern fur seals now return each summer to the Pribilofs, which include St. Paul and its sister island, St. George; that’s down from an estimated 2 million in the 1950s.The federal government’s proposal leaves an annual 2,000-seal harvest limit in place — it’s designed to make it possible for St. Paul residents to get closer to the cap, since the current rules have had the effect of keeping harvests at far lower levels.But it still doesn’t make sense for the government to loosen restrictions on the harvest until more is known about the population decline, said Sharon Young, the Humane Society’s marine issues field director.“We don’t fully understand why there is a decline ongoing,” Young said in a phone interview from Massachusetts. “But there is a decline ongoing, and we’re very concerned that this is not the time to increase the number of animals that are being killed, or to use a way of killing them that is more indiscriminate.”Some 600,000 northern fur seals, nearly half the global population, return each summer to the Pribilofs.The U.S. government used to run a commercial harvest on the island, taking about 25,000 seals for their furs each year and sending profits to the treasury.That harvest long depended on forced labor from St. Paul’s Unangan people — Alaska Natives originally relocated from the Aleutian Islands by Russian fur traders. After Alaska was sold, the U.S. government, for decades, compensated workers with little more than food and housing.While the commercial harvest ended in the 1980s, the government left behind a legacy of tight regulation of the subsistence harvest — which has effectively limited it to no more than 400 seals a year for the past decade.Ground beef at St. Paul’s tribally run grocery store on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Many of St. Paul’s 500 residents don’t have time to participate because the harvest is limited to seven weeks in mid-summer — when they’re working as commercial halibut fishermen, earning cash to spend on groceries in winter.The tender meat from the fur seal pups, known as laaqudan, is a favorite of Unangan people on St. Paul. But under the current federal regulations, the pups are off-limits year-round.Some St. Paul residents still risk criminal penalties by harvesting them illegally, which in the past has drawn federal enforcement agents to the island. Under the proposed revisions, harvesting pups would be allowed.Tribal leaders leaders say it doesn’t make sense for the seal harvest to be controlled by federal managers in Anchorage and Washington, D.C., when Unangan people live on the island and have a long history of working with the animals. The tribe has its own ecosystem conservation office that does subsistence research and runs the harvest in accordance with federal rules, under a co-management agreement with the fisheries service.Sitting in the cab of his pickup truck on a dirt pullout overlooking the Bering Sea, Amos Philemonoff, the tribal president, fumed at the government’s restrictions, and the slow process of changing them.“The harvest of fur seals is ingrained in us out here. It’s a part of who we are,” Philemonoff said, as a sea lion swam by in the ocean below. “To be severely restricted in expressing who we are is just a darn shame. We want nothing more than to live off the land, live off the sea. But unfortunately, we’re regulated out of that.”‘A sacrifice a lot of guys can’t make’When the Pribilofs were first occupied by the Russians, explorers described St. Paul’s beaches as so covered with marine mammals that they looked golden from the sea. They could hear the sound of the seals through the fog.The Pribilofs were uninhabited until Russian colonists were first drawn there in the late 1700s. But Unangan oral traditions hold that they had discovered the islands long before, and used them as hunting grounds.Before colonizing the Pribilofs, the Russians swept down the Aleutian Island chain in search of furs to sell to Asian markets. They found the Pribilofs while searching for seals to keep supplying those markets, after their harvest of Aleutian sea otters reduced the population to near-extinction.The Russian Orthodox church on St. Paul island, a legacy of the Russian colonization of the Pribilofs. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)The ensuing commercial seal harvest in the Pribilofs lasted 200 years and depended on the Unangan people, who were forcibly resettled on the islands and conducted the harvest under Russian, then American management. The relationship between the managers and the Unangan people evolved over time, but through the start of World War II, the power dynamics were stark. One government agent, in a 1916 report, wrote that St. Paul’s residents were “living in actual slavery,” under the “immediate control and direction of the United States government.”Unangan workers were paid largely in goods and services, not cash. The government controlled the distribution of food; only heads of household could pick up groceries at the store. Federal officials tried to pressure Pribilof men out of marrying women from the Aleutian Islands. Visits to the islands were restricted through the 1960s.The commercial harvest continued through 1984, with about 25,000 seals taken on St. Paul each year. It ended when the U.S. Senate, under pressure from animal welfare groups, failed to renew an international treaty that governed the harvest.At the time, seal meat was a staple of the Unangan people’s diet: Each St. Paul household ate about 13 pounds a week, according to a 1981 estimate. But when the federal government authorized Pribilofs residents to continue taking seals for subsistence, the regulations largely modeled the harvest on the commercial one, without accommodations for Unangan culture or the Pribilofs’ transition to a cash economy driven by commercial fishing.Today, the St. Paul subsistence harvest looks much the same as it did 30 years ago. Tribal members meet in the mornings, then drive out to a spot above one of the rookeries where seals have hauled themselves out of the ocean.Several men will sneak up on a group of seals, cutting off their path to the water, then herd the animals into the uplands — slowly, to keep them from overheating, which taints the meat. The seals are stunned with a long, wooden club, then killed with a cut to the heart and skinned. Participants can take meat home to process and freeze themselves, or deliver it to elders, friends and family.The basic framework of the system works, according to tribal members. But the strict federal regulations surrounding present several unneeded obstacles, they argue.Timing is a central problem.On St. Paul, the subsistence season is only open between June 23 and Aug. 8, posing a dilemma for the island’s many commercial fishermen. Halibut fishing is one of the best cash-paying jobs available on St. Paul, but the peak season comes during the summer. And a single day off the water can cost a boat as much as $30,000, said Philemonoff, the tribal president and a commercial fisherman.Philemoneff describes fishing as his means of paying for the expensive groceries that replace subsistence foods when they’re off-limits. If it’s the middle of winter and you need cash to buy food at the store, you can’t get it by fishing then, he said — the season is closed. That leaves the summer.“So, the seal harvest is a sacrifice that a lot of guys just can’t make,” he said. “I’ve got my wife — she goes out and gets us a few seals every year from the harvest. But I can’t expect her to get a dozen for me and my family to put away for the winter.”Because the harvest is typically held Thursdays and Fridays, Edelen, who works in accounting for the tribe, said she has to take a full day off to participate. She can only take so much time away from her job during the summer, which is a busy time of year. And sometimes, she’s arrived at the tribal office only to have the harvest canceled because too few people show up.Edelen values the tradition of the seal harvest, she said, and it’s frustrating that it’s scheduled for such a short window.“I’m stuck. I’m needed at my desk. There’s no one to replace me. I can’t go,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to accept. But I have to keep the roof over my head.”The tribe also wants more latitude in the harvest timing because of the potential for climate change to affect when seals return to the rookeries each summer. St. Paul residents are particular about the size of the seals they harvest, and they don’t always arrive at the same time of year.“I’ve seen, after the deadline, up to 1,500 animals that are perfect size, just, bam, show up. And you’re like, ‘Man, where were those?’” said Robert Melovidov, a tribal council member who was foreman of the subsistence harvest last summer. “We have no control over when spring is going to start and when winter is going to start. And those play a very big role in when the animals are here.”The village of St. Paul. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)The new rules would also allow tribal members to hunt fur seals with guns between January and May. At that time of year, the animals aren’t hauled out on the rookeries, but individual seals can occasionally be spotted swimming just off shore. Tribal members say the swimming seals could be a source of fresh meat during the winter and spring — but the current regulations make it illegal to hunt the animals during those months.Also banned year-round is harvesting the laaqudan, or seal pups. The Unangan people describe the taste of pup meat with longing, paired with deep frustration that they can only get it if they risk of being caught.“If I hear somebody say there’s laquudan, I’m in line right away,” said Edelen. “And I will be that greedy person that grabs a little more than, maybe, I should.”Elders, at a recent afternoon gathering for tea and cookies at St. Paul’s medical clinic, recalled threats and intimidation as part of the federal government’s enforcement efforts. Families would hide traces of the pups by burning their bones, said Zee Melovidov, 70.“I remember my mom telling me: ‘Don’t throw ‘em out! Put ‘em in the stove,’” said Melovidov.Both tribal leaders and federal officials said the ban on harvesting pups is a problem because it happens anyway, and unlike the organized and regulated summer harvest, government and tribal scientists get no data on the number of pups killed. If people are hunting hurriedly or while it’s dark to avoid detection, they’re are also more likely to lose track of an injured pup, or to accidentally kill a female — which has a far more negative effect on the overall population.“A legal, monitored, reported harvest allows us to ensure that it’s sustainable, it’s meeting conservation goals and it’s being responsive to the fact that fur seals are a public resource,” said Williams, the fisheries service official. “Everything’s better in the light of day.”‘A public trust resource’Tribal leaders said the government did not actively police the pup harvesting ban until about a decade ago, when authorities discovered a number of uneaten carcasses left on a beach. That prompted a crackdown, with enforcement agents making trips to the island, which in turn pushed the tribe to work more closely with the federal government to change the regulations.The tribe’s first request came in 2007. After several years of back and forth, the fisheries service formally opened the revision process.After the release of a draft environmental review in 2017 and the proposed revisions last year, tribal leaders hoped there might be a legal pup harvest last fall. And after more than a decade of back and forth, Philemonoff, the tribal president, said he’s left with a sense that the federal government is not respecting the tribe’s sovereignty.He also objects to one idea the fisheries service is considering as part of the revised regulations: hiring an independent contractor to make sure St. Paul residents are following the rules.The Unangan people have been hunting fur seals for thousands of years, and it would be “insulting” to have the harvest monitored by someone who’s not from St. Paul, Philemonoff added.“I think we’ve got pretty humane means of harvesting our subsistence resources here on the island,” he said. “And we don’t do it in a wasteful manner.”Williams said he’s sensitive to the needs of the tribe and the importance of access to subsistence foods. While he works in Anchorage, he lived on St. Paul’s sister island, St. George, for three years, and he still travels to the Pribilofs regularly for research. At an interview last month, his forearm sported a scar that a fur seal pup bite inflicted last summer.Williams has been working on the rule change since the process started in 2007. He said the he, too, is frustrated about how long it’s taken.“I would have never predicted it would take 10 years to get through the process — to come to agreement on fundamental issues related to people on St. Paul wanting to eat,” he said.But, Williams added, the federal government’s obligations are complicated by the seals’ precarious and protected status.There were an estimated 2.1 million fur seals in the Pribilofs in the 1950s. Today, the population is one-fourth of that and designated as “depleted.” Federal scientists estimate that the number of fur seals born on St. Paul — home to the vast majority of the Alaska population — has been falling 4 percent a year for two decades.There’s no scientific consensus on the cause of the decline. Researchers, and some St. Paul residents, have eyed industrial-scale fishing in the Bering Sea that targets a species called pollock — one of fur seals’ primary foods — but that link has not been definitively established.Robert Melovidov holds a plate of fur seal and rice. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)The decline, and the uncertainty about its cause, meant the fisheries service had to be especially careful in its drafting and justification of the rewritten harvest rules, Williams said.The agency’s actions are being carefully scrutinized by the Humane Society, which is concerned about the fur seal population’s overall health, said Young, the organization’s marine issues field director.The group’s involvement in the Pribilofs dates back more than 45 years, to when it sent an observer to document what it called the “brutality” of the commercial harvest.Young said she hasn’t seen a “strong justification” for the proposal to change the subsistence regulations — though she acknowledged that she’s never been to St. Paul or engaged its tribal leaders in direct dialogue. Broadly, Young said, her organization’s Pribilofs advocacy is part of its mission to ensure that wildlife management is “humane and sustainable.” In its nine-page formal comment letter to the fisheries service, the group called the government’s proposal to deregulate the subsistence harvest “impermissibly risk-prone.”“This is a public trust resource. All of the marine mammals of the United States are the property of all the citizens of the United States,” Young said. “The harbor seals here in Massachusetts are not simply the property of the citizens of Massachusetts, any more than the fur seals are the property of the folks in the Pribilofs on whose islands they breed.”The Humane Society went to court in the 1990s in a failed effort to try to limit the harvest of the Pribilofs’ fur seals; Young said her organization won’t decide on its next steps until it sees the final version of the new rules.Williams acknowledged that more seals will be killed if the proposed rule change is adopted. But the fisheries service, supported by an 11-page statistical analysis, said in its proposal that even harvesting all 2,000 seals allowed under the cap will not have “significant, negative population consequences,” whether those seals are juveniles or pups.That’s largely because of the way the seals reproduce. The harvest is restricted to male seals, and because one male can breed with as many as 100 females in a single summer, fewer males are needed to sustain the overall population.The male pups are even less important from a population standpoint, according to the fisheries service, since the pups already have a higher mortality rate: More than half are predicted to die before they turn two years old.“We are confident in the biological consequences even if the community needs that full 2,000 animals for food security and subsistence. That is still safe for the population,” said Williams. He added: “The potential impact on the population is barely detectable.”Williams said he hopes the proposed rule change can take effect in time for St. Paul to harvest pups before the end of 2019.Residents are excited for year-round access to fresh meat, said Philemonoff, the tribe’s president — in part because it’s much healthier than the processed food at the store.Philemonoff said he’s a “case in point.” He has diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and rather than eating frozen food from the store, he said he’d like more fur seal. His favorite is when it’s cooked in a pot roast, with gravy, over rice or potatoes.“If I got back to a totally traditional diet,” he said, “I probably wouldn’t have half the issues I have right now.”Share this story:last_img read more

June 23, 2021

Pharmalittle: Serum Institute threatens to sue Covid-19 vaccine trial participant; U.S. agency prepares for Covid-19 vaccine fraud

first_img Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, courtesy of sunny skies and mild breezes hovering over the Pharmalot campus. Moreover, the short person is quietly hunched over a laptop and the official mascot has left for a much-needed constitutional. This makes it possible for us to tend to the matters at hand. We will, however, take a brief detour today to chat about drug pricing with former Gilead Sciences chief operating officer Jim Meyers at 1 p.m. ET, and STAT+ subscribers are invited to tune in. Meanwhile, here are a few tidbits. Hope your day goes well and you remain safe. Remember, wear a mask. …The European Commission is likely to give final authorization for the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines days after the European Medicines Agency issues approvals, Reuters tells us. The EMA plans to decide on whether to approve the vaccine being developed by Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) by Dec. 29, and the shot being developed by Moderna (MRNA) by Jan. 12. Under EU rules, EMA recommends the authorization of a drug or vaccine and the EU Commission authorizes them on the basis of EMA scientific advice. Pharmalittle: Serum Institute threatens to sue Covid-19 vaccine trial participant; U.S. agency prepares for Covid-19 vaccine fraud Alex Hogan/STAT GET STARTED [email protected] @Pharmalot Log In | Learn More Ed Silverman By Ed Silverman Dec. 1, 2020 Reprints Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTEDcenter_img About the Author Reprints Tags STAT+ Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Pharma What’s included? What is it?last_img read more

June 19, 2021

Onsung Speaks of Re-defector NSA Link

first_imgNewsEconomy SHARE By Kang Mi Jin – 2013.05.20 9:16pm Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] News 60-year old Kang Kyong Suk, one of three “re-defectors” involved in a press conference held in Pyongyang on May 17th stated, “Returning defectors live well so I came back.” However, an inside source has since told Daily NK that Kang was probably working in South Korea as a spy for the National Security Agency (NSA).The source from Onsung County in North Hamkyung Province, where Kang lived prior to travelling to the South, explained, “Kang, who had been a missing person, reappeared in Namyang on or around April 23rd. From before that, people who looked like NSA agents had been coming and going to her home.”“Her family did not get punished at all even though she had defected,” the source noted. “On the contrary, her son-in-law and son were both promoted. That’s why a lot of people in Namyang assume she was an NSA spy. People think she got orders to go to South Korea for espionage and just came back.”According to the source, Kang’s son-in-law had been working at a military base in Jagang Province, but following her re-defection he moved to a better position in Chongjin, whilst her eldest son had been working at an office dealing with fuel distribution in Onsung County, but is now working for a Chinese joint venture construction company.The source said that Kang also has a long history of aiding in the activities of the security forces in the area, by both reporting on the “anti-socialist” acts of others and seeking out new informants for the NSA. However, there are other interpretations of the situation, the source acknowledged, saying, “Some people think there was no punishment because she had a love child with a Namyang NSA officer who had received the Labor Hero award.” But, the source went on, “Life had been easy for her thanks to her work, so most people struggle to believe that she really defected.”Reporting on the press conference, the North Korean media asserted that South Korean agents had lured the three re-defectors to enter the South under false pretences. This was the same claim made in previous cases of re-defection. The participants claimed that South Korean interrogators told them of their aim, which is to force North Korea’s collapse and impose liberal democracy on it.In November last year, Daily NK revealed inside source testimony alleging that another “re-defector” had been working for the NSA in South Korea (see linked article). Sources also assert that an increasing number of espionage agents have been entering South Korea disguised as defectors since Kim Jong Eun came to power in late 2011, and that the NSA is simultaneously working to bring people back to North Korea in order to feed into propaganda on the superiority of the North Korean system. There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img News Onsung Speaks of Re-defector NSA Link Facebook Twitter North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once againlast_img read more

June 18, 2021

Quadrus reduces fees across multiple series

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Mackenzie Financial Corp. and mutual fund dealer Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. on Wednesday announced reduced fees to several mutual funds within the Quadrus Group of Funds mutual fund suite.“These reductions are in response to market trends and ongoing efforts to find efficiencies to benefit our clients,” the companies say in a news release. HSBC changes strategy, lowers fees for global equities fund Related news Funds across multiple series experienced fee reductions between 0.05% and 0.30%Today’s reductions arrive on top of last year’s introduction of a fee rebate program for clients with consolidated assets of $100,000 in Quadrus Group of Funds. As clients continue to grow their assets, fees decrease again when they reach $500,000 of consolidated assets.Also readQuadrus introduces rebate program for clientsA complete list of the affected funds is available in the companies’ news release. Keywords MERs and management feesCompanies Quadrus Investment Services Ltd., Mackenzie Financial Corp. center_img Unitholders approve changes to NEI funds Financial accounting business sheet calculator awrangler/123RF Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Desjardins to close four ETFslast_img read more

June 18, 2021

Innovation and consolidation boosts credit union performance

first_imghand drawing creative business strategy with light bulb as concept everythingpossible/123RF Keywords Credit unionsCompanies DBRS A combination of consolidation and technology investment is helping Canada’s credit unions increase operating profits and leverage, DBRS Ltd. says.In a new report, the Toronto-based rating agency says that, since 2016, credit unions have been growing their revenues faster than expenses, generating improved bottom line performance and positive operating leverage. James Langton Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news Credit unions shine on ESG risks: DBRS Big banks fail to inhale lucrative pot sector DBRS says that some of this performance improvement is due to ongoing consolidation, which has driven increased economies of scale.The number of credit unions in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan has dropped from 306 in 2008 to 177 at the end of 2017, the firm notes. Yet, despite the consolidation, the number of credit union branches has not changed, DBRS says, sustaining their ability to service remote communities.“Though the total number of branches did not change, over time, less-productive branches were closed or consolidated and new branches were opened in higher-activity urban areas. In this way, branch rationalization has also contributed to credit union efficiency,” it says.At the same time, the increasing adoption of digital technologies is also contributing to improved operating efficiency, DBRS reports.“Credit unions have been early adopters of technology and continue to invest in technology to enhance operational capacity,” it says, noting that they were first to introduce online banking back in 1995.And, in 2018, credit unions led the way in enabling voice-activated banking through Amazon’s Alexa.While technology spending has boosted costs, it also provides credit unions with scale that “helps generate marginal revenues without incurring significantly higher costs once technology investments have been made.” Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Margins rise at Canada’s credit unions: DBRSlast_img read more

June 16, 2021

Proposed Transition of some Aged & Disability Services

first_imgProposed Transition of some Aged & Disability Services Council will consider a proposal to transition some of its aged and disability services to external local providers at its upcoming Council Meeting on Tuesday 8 December.The proposal is in response to Federal Government reforms for the aged and disability sector, which have had a major impact on many services that Council delivers or organises for its residents.The Federal Government currently provides funding for Council to deliver a number of services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).Reforms are currently underway to create a simplified, national and integrated aged care system, in an effort to provide older Australians with quality, choice and control over the way services are delivered for them.They are also being designed to better support older people, who prefer to live at home, with a fuller range of services.Further reform is expected to significantly affect Council’s ability to provide some of these services in the future.Council is also funded by the Victorian Government to provide similar services for younger residents.Council is also likely to also cease to be a provider of many of these services and will work with the Victorian Government to ensure a new provider is in place.The proposal being considered by Council on 8 December includes the following recommendations:Transferring delivery of the following services to an alternative sustainable provider at a future point in time:Domestic assistancePersonal careRespite careSocial support individualProperty maintenance and home modificationsUnder the proposal, Council would continue to deliver of the following services:Food servicesTransport servicesSocial support groupHealthy Active Ageing ProgramThe Council Meeting will be streamed live from 7pm and can be viewed through this link: here to read the full report within the agenda item. /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:aged care, commonwealth, council, disability, disability sector, Federal, federal government, future, Government, Impact, local council, older people, property, quality, reform, sustainable, Transport, Victoria, Yarra Ranges, Yarra Ranges Shire Councillast_img read more

June 12, 2021

Senate Passes Omnibus Tax Legislation

first_imgThe Senate on Friday, December 6, passed the Omnibus legislation which seeks to establish a transparent and coherent regime to govern all tax incentives.The Bills passed are the Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act; and the Income Tax Relief (Large Scale Projects and Pioneer Industries) Act 2013.The Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 sets out the reforms to be carried out to corporate tax including the introduction of an Employment Tax Credit (ETC), changes to the capital allowance regime, and revision of provisions governing the utilisation of tax losses.The Bill also deals with “grandfathering” and transitional arrangements relating to change from the old to the new incentives regime.In terms of the Income Tax Relief (Large-scale Projects and Pioneer Industries) Act, it sets out provision for the designation of large scale projects and pioneer industries that would qualify for tax credit under the Income Tax Act.Other elements of the framework for the new Omnibus Incentive Regime namely, the Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) Resolution 2013; and Stamp Duty (Amendments of Schedule) Order 2013, were approved in the House of Representatives.In his remarks, Minster of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, noted that the Omnibus legislation represents the most far reaching set of revisions of Jamaica’s tax incentive systems.“The principal philosophy behind the Government’s tax reform in relation to incentives is based on the view that a comprehensive reform of Jamaica’s many tax incentive regimes requires implementation of a more accessible, broad based competitive tax regime, which can act both as a catalyst for investment and economic growth and which applies across all economic sectors,”  Senator Golding said. “We are working and I don’t think it’s helpful to make this particular legislative exercise as being the totality of tax reform whether of substantive tax law or of administrative issues. That is not what this is about. But it is a very major piece of the tax reform, the incentive system,” Senator Golding added.The passage of the Bills forms part of the Government’s economic reform programme, and is one of the pivotal structural benchmarks of the administration’s four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), aimed at reducing the country’s debt and spurring economic growth. RelatedDebate on CCJ Bills Begins December 3 RelatedHouse Passes Bill to Provide Easier Access to Loans for Businesses Advertisements Story HighlightsThe Senate on Friday, December 6, passed the Omnibus legislation which seeks to establish a transparent and coherent regime to govern all tax incentives.Minster of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, noted that the Omnibus legislation represents the most far reaching set of revisions of Jamaica’s tax incentive systems.He noted that a new tax incentive scheme is being designed to eliminate the existing sector based incentive programme and to transition to a generally competitive business tax regime.center_img Senate Passes Omnibus Tax Legislation ParliamentDecember 7, 2013Written by: Latonya Linton He noted that a new tax incentive scheme is being designed to eliminate the existing sector based incentive programme and to transition to a generally competitive business tax regime.“The Jamaican economy has not been well served by the existing regime of sector based incentives.  The consensus is that such incentives may have been partly responsible for Jamaica’s lacklustre record of growth by encouraging the misallocation of limited economic resources in our country,” Senator Golding said.“The fundamental shift in policy direction calls for a general competitive regime of corporate taxation, in other words, one that provides broad base incentives for investments and employment creation,” he added.He also explained that the Omnibus Tax legislation will ensure that an equitable rules-based system is created for all players within the industry and not just those who have “access to ministerial decision-makers.”For her part, Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns welcomed the passage of the legislation. “I believe that the implementation of these legislations coupled with the tangible encouragement that the government has been giving to the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, that we can only have and experience more growth and development so that generations to come will be much better off,” Senator Frazer Binns said.Opposition Senator, Dr. Nigel Clarke noted that while the bill may improve on the current tax incentive system “it certainly does not transform” the tax system.“The tax incentive regime is not complete until the administrative weakness and complexes are addressed,” he stated.In his response, Senator Golding agreed that “there was more work to be done” to improve the system. RelatedSenate to Offer Sign Language Interpretation Come January FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail last_img read more

June 4, 2021

Jasper CEO urges operators to do more with Internet of Things

first_imgHome Jasper CEO urges operators to do more with Internet of Things Related Telenor targets IoT boost through unification Bharti Airtel makes enterprise IoT play Satellite IoT network provider bags €26M funding Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight…More Read more VIDEO INTERVIEW: Mobile operators can play a more central role in the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market if they play their cards right on networks and partnerships, according to Jahangir Mohammed, chief executive of Jasper, a cloud-based IoT software platform provider.“Operators could make their networks more useful and easy to use, as well as package software [on top of the network] to help enterprises transform,” he told Mobile World Live in a recent interview. “The true power of [the] Internet of Things is that it can help enterprises transform from a product business to a connected services business.”A bigger role will involve partnerships with the likes of Jasper, which plays in the service software space. Operators, he added, could do more in marketing and selling applications that enterprises might find useful.One of the IoT areas Mohammed sees holding out much promise is remote services, which can help enterprises make the transition he talks about. He gave the example of a copier machine manufacturer who can move from a business model based on a one-time equipment fee to one based on a charge per page.Another growing IoT category is the connected car. “In the next five years, pretty much every car sold will be connected,” said the Jasper boss. He sees home automation and security, and smart grids for more efficient energy distribution, as other hot IoT areas.“IoT is in early stages but momentum is growing and it’s going mainstream,” said Mohammed. “The growth we’ve seen in the last two years and what we’re seeing in the next two years is really amazing.”Watch the full video interview here. Author Previous ArticleTelkom Indonesia looks to buy stake in NZ’s Spark — reportNext ArticleBT delays consumer 4G because of Wi-Fi handover glitch – report Ken Wieland Tags AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 06 OCT 2014 IoTJasperServicesTechnologylast_img read more

June 4, 2021

T-Mobile, Sprint win merger battle with US states

first_img Previous ArticleSenegal MVNO plots mobile money launchNext ArticleApple Pay tipped to cement mobile payment leadership A group of US state attorney generals vowed to continue exploring options to prevent a merger of T-Mobile US with Sprint, after the operators beat their legal challenge to the proposed $26 billion deal.A coalition of 14 state attorney generals argued in court the deal would harm competition and raise prices for consumers. However, a judge today (11 February) ruled the transaction “is not reasonably likely to substantially lessen competition”.Indeed, he stated the deal would “allow the merged company to continue T-Mobile’s undeniably successful business strategy for the foreseeable future”.The judge also noted he was not convinced “Sprint possesses the financial and operational means to survive in the near term as a national wireless carrier” without the merger.T-Mobile COO and CEO-elect Mike Sievert in a statement hailed the decision as a “big win”. The deal could be closed as early as 1 April, he said adding the companies were now “laser-focused on finishing the few open items that remain, but our eye is on the prize”.The operators previously secured approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice.However, New York Attorney General Letitia James, who helped lead the state campaign against the deal, indicated the attorney generals could still seek ways to stymie the deal, with an appeal of the court ruling one possibility.James declared the ruling “a loss for every American”, insisting “there is no doubt that reducing the mobile market from four to three will be bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation”.In addition to a potential reaction from attorney generals, T-Mobile and Sprint must still secure approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, the last of 19 state-level regulators not to have a say on the merger. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Tags Diana Goovaerts Deutsche Telekom, SoftBank tipped for T-Mobile trade mergerSprintT-Mobile US Diana is Mobile World Live’s US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only… Read more Related T-Mobile US chief predicts market rebound Amazon reels in MGM Home T-Mobile, Sprint win merger battle with US states AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 11 FEB 2020 Authorlast_img read more

May 25, 2021

News / Box trade demand will finally surpass supply growth in 2020, says Danaos

first_imgThe Danaos-owned CMA CGM Rabelais © Atgimages Athens-based non-operating containership owner Danaos Corporation said today it expected container trade demand would surpass supply growth next year.During its third-quarter results presentation, chief executive John Coustas was bullish on the sector’s outlook, attributing the improving prospects to a combination of low orderbooks and the indirect windfalls for shipowners from the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap on marine fuel that comes into effect on 1 January.“We are aligned with the shipping analyst reports, and our expectation is that container trade demand growth will outpace supply growth for the first time in almost 10 years,” said Dr Coustas.He noted that the IMF was currently forecasting global GDP growth at 3.5% for next year, while analysts predict container trade expansion slightly higher, at 4%, compared with the growth in capacity, which is not expected to exceed 3%. By Mike Wackett 05/11/2019center_img “Market participants, mainly liner companies, have generally remained reluctant to place newbuilding orders until the US-China trade talks are settled and the IMO regulations come into effect,” he said.The lack of newbuild deliveries next year, together with the decrease in the containership fleet due to the retrofitting of scrubbers, would, according to Dr Coustas, continue to underpin the charter market next year.NYSE-listed Danaos reported that the containership charter market had “strengthened considerably during the last six months”, particularly for vessels over 5,500 teu – albeit, it said, there had also been an improvement in charter rates for panamax vessels.“Larger vessel classes have seen the greatest downtime (due to scrubber retrofitting) and we expect this to continue through 2020 and help to contribute to a healthy charter market. This coincides with improving underlying market demand supply fundaments,” said Danaos.During Q3, Danaos operated an average of 55 ships, ranging from 2,200 teu to 13,100 teu, which were generally fixed long-term with liner shipping companies.Fleet utilisation during the quarter stood at 98.7%, which compares with 97.4% for the same period the previous year.Net income for Q3 was $37.9m from operating revenue of $111.8m, and $110.7m for the nine-month period from $337m of revenue. As at 30 September, the total contracted revenue covered by charter parties stood at $1.4bn.As a consequence of improved daily hire rates, the asset value of Danaos’s fleet has increased from $1.1bn in January to $1.38bn, according to the latest data from As an example, the asset value of the 13,100 teu Maersk Exeter, on long-term charter to Maersk, has jumped from $75m to $85m.In terms of adding ships to its fleet, on 2 October, Danaos completed the purchase of the 2005-built 8,100 teu Conti Champion from German shipowner Reederei NSB for a price of $25m. The vessel is expected to be delivered by the end of May and it is understood that a long-term charter has already been agreed with a major container line.last_img read more