Florida Governor Proposes Tax Holidays and Reduced Millage Rate

first_imgFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed the following in his 2019-2020 budget:– a three-day back to school sales tax holiday on clothing up to $60, school supplies up to $15, and the first $1,000 on computers;– a one-week disaster preparedness sales tax holiday on items needed during disasters including generators up to $750; and– a property tax millage rate reduction of 0.157.News Release, Office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, February 1, 2019Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

10 Mobile BI Strategy Questions: Business Processes

first_imgWhen developing a mobile business intelligence (BI) strategy, you can’t ignore the role that business processes may play. In many cases, the introduction of BI content into the portfolio of mobile BI assets provides opportunities to not only eliminate the gaps in your business operations, but to improve the existing processes.Often, the impact is seen in two main ways. First, the current business processes may require you to change your mobile BI approach. Second, the mobile BI solution may highlight gaps that may require a redesign of your business processes to improve your mobile BI assets and your business operations.Business Processes Will Influence Your Mobile BI DesignExisting business processes will have a direct impact on the design of your mobile BI solution. I’m often amazed to discover that the lack of consideration given to identifying business processes stems not from a lack of insight but from wrong assumptions that are made during the requirements and design phases.It’s true that the business processes may not be impacted if the scope of your mobile BI engagement is limited to mobilizing an existing BI asset (like a report or dashboard) without making any changes to the original end-product, including all underlying logic. But in many cases, the opposite is true—the mobile BI end product may be the driver for change, including the update of the existing BI asset as a result of a mobile BI design.Mobile solutions may require different assumptions in many aspects of their design, which range from source data updates to report layout and logic. Advanced capabilities, such as a write-back option, will further complicate things because the integration systems outside the BI platform will require closer scrutiny and a much closer alignment with business processes.Moreover, constraints that surround source data will have a direct influence on the mobile BI design. For example, if you’re dependent on feeds from external data sources, you may need to consider an additional buffer to take into account possible delays or errors in the data feed. Or, perhaps you have a new application that was just built to collect manually-entered data from field operations. If this new application was introduced as part of your mobile BI solution, the process that governs this data collection system will have a direct impact on your design because of its immediate availability. This wouldn’t have been as important before as an operational tool with a limited audience without mobile BI.Mobile BI Solution May Drive Improvements in Your Business OperationsAs part of designing your strategy or developing your mobile BI solution, you may discover either gaps or areas for improvement. Don’t worry. This is a known side effect, and it’s often considered a welcome gift because it gives you a chance to kill two birds with one stone: improve your business operations and increase the value of your mobile BI solution. However, it’s critical here to ensure that your team stays focused on the end goal of delivering on time and on schedule (unless the gaps turn out to be major showstoppers).Typical examples are found in the areas of data quality and business rules. The design of a mobile BI asset—especially if it’s new—may highlight new or known data-quality issues. The visibility factor may be different with mobile. Adoption or visibility by executives often may force additional scrutiny. Moreover, adoption rates (ratio of actual users divided by total users of mobile solutions) may be higher because of the availability and convenience with mobile. As a result, mobile users may be less tolerant about the lack of quality assurance (QA) steps.Business rules offer another example due to the same visibility factor. A proposed change in a business rule or process, which previously failed to get attention due to lack of support, may now have more backers when it’s associated with a mobile BI solution. Strong executive sponsorship may influence the outcome.Bottom Line: Do Not Ignore Business ProcessesIt’s easy to make the wrong assumptions when it comes to business processes. It happens not just in mobile BI but in other technology projects. You cannot take existing processes for granted. What may have worked before may not work for mobile BI. Let your business processes complement your overall mobile BI strategy, and let your mobile BI engagement become a conduit for opportunities to improve your operational efficiencies.Not only will these opportunities improve your business operations, but they will lead to increased adoption by increasing the trust your customers/users have in your mobile BI content.What do you see as the biggest challenge when it comes to business processes in your mobile BI strategy?Stay tuned for my next blog in the Mobile BI Strategy seriesConnect with me on Twitter at @KaanTurnaliOpens in a new window and LinkedInOpens in a new window.This story originally appeared on the SAP Analytics BlogOpens in a new window.last_img read more

Drug, HIV crises hit HHS nominee Price close to home

first_imgRepresentative Tom Price (R–GA), the physician and congressman who is Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), represents a wealthy suburban district just north of Atlanta that is regularly ranked by Forbes and others as one of the best places to live in the country.But Price’s district is also experiencing some public health crises that he will likely be dealing with as HHS secretary: a serious heroin and opioid abuse epidemic, as well as elevated HIV infection rates.The heroin problem was described in great detail in this investigative special by the local NBC affiliate 11Alive, which aired in March.  The narrator introduces the multipart series with the following stark facts:Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) “Just north of Atlanta, heroin is killing more of our young people than violent crime. Atlanta’s most affluent area is dealing with a nearly 4000% increase in heroin-related deaths over the past 5 years.” She names as particular problems towns including Alpharetta, Roswell, and Johns Creek—all in the heart of Price’s district.Data released this week by the Big Cities Health Coalition Project further flesh out the picture. It shows Fulton County—which takes up a chunk of Price’s district, as well as much of the city of Atlanta—with a higher rate of HIV diagnoses in 2013 and of accidental deaths from opioid overdoses in 2014 than all but one of 28 cities studied.The problem has clearly caught the attention of some in the Price household. Price’s wife, Betty Price, an anesthesiologist who since 2015 has represented the couple’s home district in the Georgia House of Representatives, pushed through the Georgia House this last March a bill that would have liberalized state needle exchange programs. (Dirty needles used by injectable drug users are a prime source of HIV and hepatitis C infections.) Betty Price’s bill would have allowed counselors, programs for the homeless, drug treatment centers, and other organizations, in addition to doctors and pharmacists, to distribute sterile syringes to intravenous drug users. However, the bill failed in the state Senate, “due to some controversial aspects,” Betty Price told Georgia Health News.The other Dr. Price, on the other hand, voted to block U.S. funding for needle exchange programs in 2009, several years into his now-12-year stint representing Georgia’s sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also voted in 2007 to prevent the District of Columbia from using its own, nonfederal funds on needle exchange programs.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, and numerous other scientific bodies have found needle exchange programs to be highly effective in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.It’s unclear whether, and to what extent, Tom Price’s experience of the opioid epidemic plaguing his home district will influence his priorities should the Senate confirm him as HHS secretary; neither of the doctors Price was available for comment.At least one advocacy group, however, is not optimistic about the impact of a Tom Price tenure as secretary of the $1 trillion HHS. The Washington, D.C.–based group Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief issued a 30 November statement pronouncing itself “deeply concerned” by Price’s nomination, not least because of his intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has allowed full health insurance coverage for many more people living with HIV.In the meantime, the new U.S. representative from Georgia’s sixth district could end up voting differently on needle exchange than the current occupant of that seat: Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reports this week that Betty Price may be running for her husband’s seat.last_img read more

AIFF suspends Minerva owner Bajaj for a year, fines Rs 10 lakh for racial abuse

first_imgKolkata, May 14 (PTI) I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj was today banned for one year from all football activity and also fined Rs 10 lakh after being found guilty of making racist remarks by AIFF. The All India Football Federation Disclipinary Committee today said this was the fourth offence committed by Bajaj within a span of year. The latest incident happenend during Minervas Under-18 Youth League play-off match against Aizawl FC that ended in a 1-1 draw at JLN Stadium in Shillong on May 12. According to the disciplinary committees finding, Bajaj hurled racial comments and abuses against the referee Pynskhemhame Mawthoh, who is of North East descent. “The Committee holds Bajaj guilty of committing serious gross acts of infringements and imposes with sanction of suspension of 12 months,” the disclipinary committee said in its 11-page report which is in possession with PTI. During the period of suspension, Bajaj will be “banned” from any football-related activities or entry into the stadium during any tournament held under the aegis of AIFF. The fine of Rs 10 lakh has to be paid by Bajaj within a period of 10 days from the date of communication of this decision which was made yesterday. “In default of which, suspension and the ban shall continue for the delayed period over and above 12 months, till payment in full,” said AIFF disciplinary committee, chaired by Ushanath Banerjee, in the report. Match commissioner Biswajit Mitra also gave his account of the details in the disciplinary committee report and concurred that Bajaj had hurled racial abuses, something the Minerva owner has denied.advertisement “Bajaj acted like a criminal indulging in series of hooliganism, abusing the Match Officials in filthy languages, threatening them openly, making racist remarks against the Match Officials. Certainly, none of these can be equated with an educated Guardian of a Sports Club,” it added. PTI TAP ATK ATKlast_img read more

GOV.JM is a Secure Website

first_img Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, is reassuring the public that the newly launched GOV.JM is a secure portal, and users’ personal information will not be compromised. Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on August 23, Dr. Wheatley said persons are being encouraged to use the technology. Story Highlights Services currently available using the portal are tax and traffic fine payments, as well as queries; motor-vehicle registration; bill payments; and applications for passport, birth, death and marriage certificates and a driver’s licence. Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, is reassuring the public that the newly launched GOV.JM is a secure portal, and users’ personal information will not be compromised.Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on August 23, Dr. Wheatley said persons are being encouraged to use the technology.“We are committed to ensuring that all government websites are safe, and that any information used to transact business on these websites is protected,” he said.The Minister noted that a new web security policy was completed recently, which stipulates that all government websites put necessary structures in place to ensure that they have maximum security.Additionally, he said that since 2016, there have been two security audits of Government websites, adding that this is an ongoing process.“We are putting additional measures in place and constantly upgrading the level of cybersecurity,” he pointed out.The portal, which was launched in August, is a ‘one-stop shop’ website that allows persons to conduct business with government agencies.Services currently available using the portal are tax and traffic fine payments, as well as queries; motor-vehicle registration; bill payments; and applications for passport, birth, death and marriage certificates and a driver’s licence.The website also facilitates charitable donations through the National Education Trust (NET), applications for import and export permits and licences, and access to forms and links for doing business and investing in Jamaica.The Minister said that the feedback since the launch of the portal has been very encouraging.In the meantime, Dr. Wheatley said that the Data Protection Bill will be tabled in September, which will further assist in protecting the rights of persons and their information online.The portal is part of the Government’s goal of creating a truly digital society, incorporating ICT in everyday life.last_img read more

Résidence communautaire de langue française pour les handicapés de Clare

first_img POUR DIFFUSION : La région de Clare aura un nouveau petit foyer communautaire de quatre lits pour des Néo-Écossais acadiens et francophones handicapés. Le gouvernement investit environ 400 000 $ par année pour bâtir et exploiter la nouvelle résidence à Meteghan. Le projet en est encore à l’étape de la planification. Il fait partie d’un investissement de 2,1 millions de dollars dans le budget de cette année afin de concevoir, d’aménager et d’ouvrir quatre nouvelles petites maisons à options pour des Néo-Écossais handicapés, et ce, au cours de la prochaine année. -30- La région de Clare aura un nouveau petit foyer communautaire de quatre lits pour les Néo-Écossais acadiens et francophones handicapés. Le gouvernement investit environ 400 000 $ par année pour bâtir et exploiter la nouvelle résidence à Meteghan. « Les Néo-Écossais acadiens et francophones handicapés et leur famille souhaitent obtenir du soutien dans leur langue maternelle dans les localités où ils habitent, de dire le député Gordon Wilson au nom de la ministre des Services communautaires, Joanne Bernard. J’ai le plaisir d’annoncer ce financement pour que ces personnes puissent vivre près de leur famille et de leurs amis et pour qu’elles puissent continuer de s’épanouir dans leur culture dynamique. » « Ces jeunes adultes pourront vivre le plus indépendamment possible dans leur localité, indique Joanne Deveau, un parent de la région de Clare. Un groupe de parents de la région travaille depuis six ans pour concrétiser ce projet. » Le ministère des Services communautaires est très soucieux de fournir aux Néo-Écossais handicapés des endroits sûrs où vivre et travailler dans les localités où ils habitent. Le projet en est encore à l’étape de la planification. Il fait partie d’un investissement de 2,1 millions de dollars dans le budget de cette année pour le Programme de soutien aux personnes handicapées afin de concevoir, d’aménager et d’ouvrir quatre nouvelles petites maisons à options dans la province au cours de la prochaine année.last_img read more

Rs settles 21 paise higher at 6915 to

first_imgMumbai: The Indian rupee Wednesday advanced by 21 paise to close at 69.15 against the US currency in line with uptrend in domestic equities. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 69.40 a dollar and advanced to a high of 69.07 during the day. It finally settled at 69.15, up 21 paise against its previous close of 69.36. Forex dealers said a positive sentiment built up ahead of a scheduled meeting at G20 between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, later this week. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepMeanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comments eased concern over the trade impasse with China to some extent. Besides, traders said, gains in domestic equities, foreign fund inflows and latest news on monsoon progress also helped in reviving domestic currency market sentiment. However, rising crude oil prices and strengthening of the US dollar vis-a-vis other major currencies overseas capped the gains for the rupee. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.38 per cent to USD 65.95 per barrel. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.11 per cent to 96.24. Meanwhile, Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 69.3398 and for rupee/euro at 79.0525.last_img read more

Canadian at centre of Facebook data scandal cut political teeth with Liberals

first_imgOTTAWA – The Canadian whistleblower at the centre of an international scandal that allegedly helped the Trump campaign capitalize politically from private Facebook information got his start in politics with the Liberal Party of Canada.But several senior Liberal officials from that time, about a decade ago, insist they have almost no recollection of then-teenager Christopher Wylie — if any at all.The New York Times and The Observer of London have reported U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign hired a data-analytics company that harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users.Cambridge Analytica, the company named by Wylie as being behind the massive leak, exploited private social media activity to help allow the Trump campaign to better target voters by profiling their behaviour and personalities ahead of the U.S. election, according to the reports. The firm connected with Trump’s political adviser Steve Bannon, whom Wylie also met, the reports said.Wylie, a 28-year-old from British Columbia, is the data scientist who spoke out about controversy. He’s also the man who helped found Cambridge Analytica.“I do feel responsible for it and it’s something that I regret,” Wylie said in a video interview posted on The Observer’s web page.“It was a grossly unethical experiment because you are playing with an entire country, the psychology of an entire country, without their consent or awareness.”The reports provided many details about whistleblower who in 2007 or 2008 landed his first political gig with the federal Liberals.At age 17, he worked in the office of Canada’s opposition leader, who at that time was then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion, said one of the reports. When he was 18 years old, the newspaper said he learned all about data while working for officials on former U.S. president Barack Obama’s campaign team, and later introduced one director to the Liberals.A senior source with the Liberal Party said Sunday that Wylie last worked for the party less than a decade ago, before Justin Trudeau became leader, and was also previously involved in its youth commission. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss staffing details.However, former Liberal officials from that time said they either hadn’t heard of Wylie — or they barely remembered him.“I vaguely recall him,” wrote one former senior official in an email Sunday. “I think that he was a summer intern.”Another former senior Liberal, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he asked former colleagues Sunday and some people remembered Wylie. They say he was “pretty junior” and worked in the data strategy and communications space.One former party official, however, said while they didn’t know Wylie well, they remembered him as a “big advocate of microtargetting.”One of the newspaper reports said Wylie came up with the idea behind Cambridge Analytica at age 24.The article also said Wylie was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia as a teen and left school at 16 years old without any qualifications. After working for the Liberals and Obama’s campaign, the report said he taught himself to code at age 19 and later studied law at the London School of Economics.The reports also said Cambridge Analytica played a major role in the referendum that led to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.Another article published May 2017 by The Guardian quoted a source that connected Wylie to a web analytics company in Victoria, B.C., called AggregateIQ. The firm has come under scrutiny in Britain for its possible role in helping the Leave campaign win the Brexit referendum.Asked about Wylie, Canada’s Liberal Party said in a statement Sunday that protecting the information of Canadians it engages with is a “foremost priority.”The party said it has a clear, stringent policy that protects individuals’ private information. It also said its agreements with campaign partners also include strict requirements.The party insists it doesn’t sell information under any circumstances.A spokeswoman for Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould said Sunday that social-media platforms have a responsibility to help ensure citizens and the democratic processes are protected from “threats like foreign interference, data breaches, hate speech, and misinformation.”“While some social-media platforms have begun to take initial steps to address these issues, it’s clear that much more needs to be done,” Jordan Owens wrote in an email.Owens said the government would work with social-media firms to ensure they respect and help preserve the integrity of Canada’s democracy.Facebook said in a weekend blog post that claims the harvesting of user information was a data breach are “completely false.”The statement said University of Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan accessed the information after he requested it from users who gave their consent when they chose to sign up for his Facebook app.“People knowingly gave their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked,” said the post by Paul Grewal, Facebook’s vice-president and deputy general counsel.Follow @AndyBlatchfordlast_img read more

More kids being abandoned

In the latest incident a three day old child was found abandoned behind a hotel in Matara yesterday. The police say more and more children are being abandoned by their parents over various reasons around the country.According to the police media unit 206 children below the age of 18 were abandoned by their mothers last year while this year the figure was at 26 for January alone. Ants had bitten the baby and the child is now receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of the Matara hospital.Among the reasons behind mothers abandoning their babies is unwanted pregnancies and poverty, the police media unit said. (Colombo Gazette) The police warned that under local laws anyone found guilty of abandoning a child can face up to 20 years in jail. read more

UN transfers 26 billion in oil revenues to development fund for Iraq

This is the fourth such transfer since the Security Council called for the action in May when it adopted resolution 1483. The first transfer of $1 billion was made two days after the resolution passed. As oil-for-food contracts were reviewed and prioritized, a second billion was transferred in October and a third in November.Today’s transfer came after outstanding contracts were completed and letters of credit issued.Once all UN agencies and programmes that participated in the oil-for-food programme have reported their 2003 expenditures, the UN will officially close its books on the scheme for 2003 and present its financial statement to the UN Board of Auditors. At that time a further transfer of funds will be made to the Development Fund for Iraq, which is under the direction of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). read more

General Assembly resumes talks on Human Rights Council

The creation of a new Council is widely seen as an opportunity to open a new chapter in the UN’s human rights work, which, though comprehensive and respected, suffered from the tainted reputation of the Commission.The Secretary-General, who proposed the creation of the Council last March, subsequently explained that the Commission “in its current form has some notable strengths and a proud history, but its ability to perform its tasks has been overtaken by new needs and undermined by the politicization of its sessions and the selectivity of its work.”He envisioned the Human Rights Council as a standing body, able to meet regularly and at any time to deal with imminent crises while conducting timely and in-depth consideration of related issues. National leaders meeting at the 2005 World Summit resolved to create the Council and asked the General Assembly president to conduct negotiations on the issue.In November, Assembly President Jan Eliasson recalled that the Summit had called for dealing more effectively with key issues, including human rights. “We are now challenged to produce multilateral solutions,” he said. “And if we do not pass that test of multilateralism, I think we are facing a very bleak future.”At this critical juncture, governments must hammer out the details of the Council’s workings. Mr. Annan has been actively engaged in diplomacy on the issue, raising the subject whenever possible and pledging to continue advocating for progress.The new Council is one piece of human rights reform. Together with the doubling of regular budget resources for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights over the next five years, officials said the Council signals the revitalization of the Organization’s work in the field of human rights. read more

Are teacher strikes illegal Depends on who you ask

first_imgTeacher strikes are illegal in Washington state, but they still happen. And the reality is, while strikes may be illegal, there’s no law setting penalties against public employees who do strike.In the midst of ongoing contract negotiations between school districts and their unions, members of the Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, Hockinson and Battle Ground districts have overwhelmingly voted to strike. The Evergreen Education Association and Camas Education Association could do the same in the coming days.School districts hold firm to their claim that teacher strikes are illegal in Washington, and it appears the law is on their side. According to the nonpartisan advocacy group, the League of Education Voters, state law prohibits any public employee from striking. Furthermore, a 2006 opinion from then-Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican, said public employees, including teachers, do not have a legally protected right to strike.“There is no murkiness. There is no gray area,” said Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center, a conservative think-tank.Yet historically, strikes still happen. According to that same McKenna opinion, no Washington law establishes penalties against teachers who decide to strike.In short, state law against public employee strikes is toothless. A Superior Court judge can issue an injunction ordering teachers back to work at the request of a school district or community group and level penalties against unions who defy that court order, but fines and punishments aren’t standardized.According to data from the Public Employment Relations Commission, Washington has seen 78 school districts strike since 1976. Injunctions were filed in 25 of those. But in 12 of those historic strikes, teachers defied the injunctions and continued demonstrating.last_img read more

MatSu residents to vote on adding local police officers

first_imgMatanuska-Susitna Borough residents will vote this fall on whether the borough should consider doing its own policing.The Borough Assembly voted last week to put the question of whether the borough should look into providing police services on the Oct. 2nd ballot. The borough cites rising crime in the region and a decline in services from the state.Ideas to solve what some have described as a crisis ranged from expanding the city police departments’ service areas to giving the borough policing responsibilities — possibly even something like a sheriff’s department. Other ideas include contracting with the city police departments or the state to provide more State Troopers.Borough officials – and language in the advisory question itself – acknowledge adding police powers would require higher taxes for police service areas.Assemblyman George McKee has opposed the idea of putting the question to voters. McKee said at Tuesday’s Assembly meeting that he and others want the state to, “do their job” of providing law enforcement to the borough.McKee says the advisory vote will create an expectation that the borough can deal with crime effectively.“We are a rural area. a policeman doesn’t walk a beat here,” McKee said. “A policeman who goes by your house at 55 mph, once a week, doesn’t do a blinkin’ thing about stopping crime.”Despite objections by McKee and Assemblyman Randall Kowalke, the measure passed 5 to 2. Borough Mayor Vern Halter said he did not support it but said he would not veto the measure.The borough election is still set for October 2nd. But last week, the borough clerk certified a ballot initiative that aims to change that.Voters will also be deciding whether to move the borough’s elections from the first Tuesday in October to the first Tuesday in November. That’s when statewide general elections are held and turnout is generally greater.last_img read more

BBCs Thai transmission stopped

first_imgThe BBC World Service has stopped broadcasting from one of its major global transmission stations situated in Thailand, AFP has learned, after talks broke down with a junta riled by its uncensored coverage.Sources with knowledge of the negotiations said the BBC’s Thai-language output impeded discussions about renewing the 20-year lease on the complex, the network’s main shortwave broadcast station for Asia.The centre’s large red and white transmission towers in Nakhon Sawan 150 miles (240 kilometres) north of Bangkok beamed local language news into tightly-controlled countries such as China and North Korea, and into places where many still rely on radio like Pakistan and AfghanistanBut it went off air on January 1 following the expiry of the lease.”Despite extensive negotiations, we have been unable to reach an agreement to re-commence transmissions,” the BBC said in a statement.The BBC World Service produces uncensored news in 29 different languages. It is part-funded by the British government but editorially independent.The Asia transmission station was moved to Thailand from Hong Kong in 1997 after the city was handed back to China.The BBC did not give details of why the talks broke down.But two sources said the network’s Thai-language service had become a sore point.Thailand’s royalist establishment was incensed by a profile of new king Maha Vajiralongkorn which the BBC Thai service published following the October death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej.The monarchy is protected from scrutiny by a ferociously enforced lese majeste law, forcing media inside the kingdom to heavily self-censor.The unflattering profile was published out of the BBC’s London office. It went viral in a country unused to seeing unfiltered reporting of its monarchy.Dissident student leader Jatupat “Pai” Boonpattararaksa, one of more than 8,000 people to share the profile on Facebook, was charged with royal defamation in the first such prosecution under Vajiralongkorn’s reign.Sansern Kaewkumnerd, head of Thailand’s Public Relations Department, confirmed discussions had faltered and said it was “still unclear whether the contract would be extended or not extended”.Thailand’s 2014 coup brought to power a group of ultra-royalist generals who have stamped down on dissent and cramped media freedoms.last_img read more

Scientists say Russian meteor shockwave went twice around globe

first_imgMeteor trail over eastern Russia is seen in this image from the Russian Emergency Ministry. Credit: Russian Emergency Ministry More information: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/grl.50619Planetary and Space Science DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2013.05.003 The 10,000-ton space rock burned up above Chelyabinsk. The BBC said Alexis Le Pichon, Atomic Energy Commission in France, and his research colleagues reported that the explosive energy of the impact was equivalent to 460 kilotons of TNT. Writing in the Geophysical Research Letters journal, their article is titled “Russian Fireball Largest Ever Detected by CTBTO infrasound sensors.” Authors are Alexis Le Pichon, Lars Ceranna, Christoph Pilger, Pierrick Mialle, David Brown, Pascal Herry, and Nicolas Brachet.”On 15 February 2013,” they wrote, “a large Earth-impacting fireball disintegrated over the Ural Mountains. This extraordinary event is, together with the 1908 Tunguska fireball, among the most energetic events ever instrumentally recorded.” The 1908 reference is to the event that occurred that year in Siberia.As for the February event, the authors noted that, after circling the globe, it generated infrasound returns at distances up to ~85,000?km, and was detected at 20 infrasonic stations of the global International Monitoring System. Multiple arrivals involving waves that traveled twice round the globe were identified. “A preliminary estimate of the explosive energy using empirical period-yield scaling relations gives a value of 460 kilotons of TNT equivalent. In the context of the future verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), this event provides a prominent milestone for studying in detail infrasound propagation around the globe for almost three days as well as for calibrating the performance of the IMS network.”Their numbers suggest the February asteroid event is the most energetic event reported since the 1908 Tunguska meteor in Siberia. Turning to Tunguska, another team of scientists published a study offering their evidence of the meteoritic origin of the Tunguska cosmic body. Their discussion of the 1908 fireball is in the journal Planetary and Space Science. Diamond–lonsdaleite–graphite micro-samples collected from peat after the 1908 catastrophic blast in the Tunguska area were studied with scanning (SEM) and transmission electron (TEM) microscopy, NanoSecondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and an X-ray synchrotron technique. © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Scientists say Russian meteor shockwave went twice around globe (2013, June 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-scientists-russian-meteor-shockwave-globe.html (Phys.org) —Scientists have determined that an asteroid that burned up over Russia in February resulted in a shock wave so powerful that it traveled twice around the globe. They made that determination by means of a system of sensors used to detect evidence of nuclear tests. Researchers studied data from the International Monitoring System network operated by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Its stations monitor ultra-low frequency acoustic waves, or infrasound, from nuclear test explosions. The system can also detect blasts from other sources. According to BBC News, it was the most powerful event ever recorded by the network. Russian fireball largest ever detected by CTBTO’s infrasound sensors Explore further , Planetary and Space Science Journal information: Geophysical Research Letters 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.last_img read more

Chatbots Are the Next Big Platform Heres How Entrepreneurs Can Stay on

first_imgOctober 4, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Regardless of the situation, it’s human nature to be seeking out the next big thing. That is how we keep evolving as a species. We’ve even evolved in how we stay connected with each other from mail to telephones to computers. This shift in how we stay connected took a fascinating turn with the widespread adoption of the internet and artificial intelligence.In business, connectedness is everything. It is the basis for how sales are made, customers are satisfied, and how brands develop.In 2017, chatbots are poised to be the next big platform that connects people to businesses. A recent survey conducted by Oracle found that 80 percent of senior marketing and sales professionals expect to be using chatbots for customer interactions by 2020.As wonderful as it sounds, implementing this channel into a business model is not apples to apples. That being said, let’s talk about how entrepreneurs can craft their approach to successfully navigate this connectivity trend, as well as the ones in the future.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessUnderstand the customer journey.Implementing chatbots — or any customer touchpoint — is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every organization has a unique set of customers and discourse between parties. As effective as chatbots may be in terms of cost and interactions, they must be programmed in accordance with the customer journey.For this to work, managers need to have an cognitive, data-backed understanding of the journey from A to Z. Even more, managers need to know the exact points for when and why customers reach out to the business. For instance, what are the types of content you produce that are meant to prompt interactions? What are the customers looking for?This concept is nothing new. Knowing the finer details of the customer journey is the foundation for success in any capacity. As AI is taking a larger role in business operations, it’s not just about understanding it, it’s about having the accurate foresight and experience to program the robots to understand.Related:  Seven Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing StrategyDesign for customer success.Once you’ve pinpointed the areas in the customer journey where chatbots can be put to the best use, you need to grasp how they can advance customers down the sales funnel. Often times, this is the most difficult piece of the puzzle when incorporating an automated system.This is where you need to be examining your customer service and sales data under a microscope. What are the patterns related to the questions people ask?Which patterns and questions occur the most? Even more, how can you program responses to answer all of them? How can you provided all the necessary information to bring people from the awareness stage to a decision?1-800-Flowers.com does a fantastic job of nurturing customer success with a chatbot via Facebook Messenger. As soon as a customer starts a conversation, they are met with choices to view Best-Selling Items and Same-Delivery options. Once the customer makes their selection, the triggered response asks for a delivery address, name, and phone number. Then, the order can be paid for and finalized.In addition to mapping the customer journey, the chatbot’s triggers are designed step-by-step to seamlessly guide the customer through the sales funnel.  Ultimately, the primary objective with AI platforms is to bridge the gap between people and machines. To do this, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the average customer and develop your bots around their path to success.Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing BusinessHumanize it.The “human” element is crucial in business. People generally want to buy from other people, not robots. Using chatbots can quickly complicate this process. Throughout all your marketing and sales efforts, you’ve worked hard to convey your unique brand persona in a way that relates to people on a personal level. Achieving the same effect with a bot can sound contradictory.Related: The Smarter Way to Humanize Your CompanyKeeping this in mind. Programming responses needs to be done in a way that defines the character and personality of your brand.Mailchimp is one of the best examples of this. Their chatbots are carefully programmed to understand the common pain points throughout an email campaign and present answers in an empathetic way. In turn, they are able to connect with users emotionally.For chatbots to truly be effective in customer interactions, they need to be designed with the notion of a genuine human experience with your authentic brand voice. At the end of the day, this is how businesses are able to build strong relationships with customers.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot for Free Without CodingLearn from the data.Customer mindsets and the digital landscape are changing by the day. Your bots should be following suit. The best thing you can do to navigate the trends and stay competitive is to consistently analyze your data and evolve your bots accordingly.As your business grows, you need to be keeping an eye on how the flow of conversations are progressing and pinpoint the common threads. Even more, you should be looking at the big picture to understand the shifts in the users’ intent.Remember, chatbots are still very much in the infancy stage. They don’t (yet) have the same ability to adjust on the spot as humans do. Therefore, examining the key metrics must be your biggest driver in shaping future use of this platform.Related: 10 Facebook Messenger Chatbot Marketing Expert TipsFinal words.Throughout history, we’ve seen so many incredible breakthroughs in how we streamline communication. As advanced and cutting-edge as the means of communication seem, the core aspects have remained the same.The key to these breakthroughs is staying one step ahead of the customer and knowing how to react appropriately in any given situation. Regardless of what the future holds in this category of chatbots, AI and communication — the crucial point will be staying ahead of the next big platform.Building any new source of communication will need to incorporate the basic concept of how customer interactions have been handled in the past. Chatbots will need to use the past information for the new connectedness. The sweeping adoption and adaptation of Chatbots won’t work unless businesses have programmed them to use the way people  communicate.This effort will take the Chatbot responding not only to the way people do now, the customer will expect the touchpoints and connections to be as they always have been for them. They likely will respond best to the up close and personal interaction.Customers likely want to be treated by a Chatbot the way the average, real person believes they alway have been responded to, and the way they always should be. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 6 min read Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Noreika on Seizing Economic Opportunities

first_img On Monday, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith A. Noreika spoke at the second annual Online Lending Policy Summit, which allows industry participants to exchange insights, propose standards, and provide regulators and policymakers with perspectives on the regulation of online lending.In his speech, Noreika explained that he wanted to focus on promoting economic opportunity and growth, a theme of his time as Acting Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).“Some say that if the industry had been sufficiently agile and fully met the need for lending, alternative lenders would not have grown so rapidly. I do not share that view,” Noreika said. “I see the growth of online lending and marketplace lenders as the natural evolution of banking itself.”Noreika updated the Summit on what the OCC has accomplished and doing to promote economic opportunity and responsible innovation.The OCC launched its responsible innovation effort in the summer of 2015. Since then, it has, “published practical guiding principles, held a public forum, and established a framework for supporting responsible innovation,” Noreika said.To implement that framework, the agency established an Office of Innovation that has been up and running since January 2017 to make certain that institutions with federal charters have a regulatory framework.Noreika also touched on current challenges that online lenders are facing including companies believing that regulators—and specifically the OCC is the reason behind the difficulty of, “banks terminating business accounts and other banking services of online lenders and Fintech companies without providing sufficient reason.”Noreika addressed this issue head-on, stating that the OCC’s policy is not to direct banks to open or close individual accounts, nor to encourage banks to terminate entire categories of accounts without assessing the risks presented by individual customer’s.“When banks fail to provide fair access and fair treatment, they cut off economic opportunity for bank customers, whether those customers are individuals or businesses,” he said. “If the system fails to provide fairness to all, it cannot be a source of strength to any.”Noreika concluded his speech by sharing his overall optimism for the industry, and the power of innovation to improve banking, expand access, and deliver better products and services in more affordable and sustainable ways.To read his full speech, click here. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News Noreika on Seizing Economic Opportunities OCC 2017-09-25 Nicole Caspersoncenter_img Share September 25, 2017 503 Views last_img read more

Hellenic interested in Coop bank no bid made yet

first_imgHellenic Bank announced on Friday that it is taking part in the Co-op bank’s process to attract potential investors but has not yet decided on whether it would make a bid.“At present, no decision has been taken by the company as to whether it will submit a bid or not and on what conditions,” the lender said in a statement.It followed rumours that the bank was interested in taking over part of the co-op, in line with the conditions announced by the government.The state, which nationalized the co-ops in 2013 through a €1.7bn injection, is looking to dispose of the bank, or part of its assets in a process that started last month.It also deposited €2.5bn raised from several bonds, worth €2.35, issued to the Cooperative Central Bank and from its cash reserves, in a bid to boost confidence amid rumours that sparked a run on the lender.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly emphasized the importance of showcasing Russia flawlessly to the world during the Olympics. the world has no idea youre getting in shape, the laws of supply and demand mean that the price must recover.

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“There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms ofnot a legitimacy, Ministry of Power,爱上海Bondy," Roger Federer takes a selfie with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup at Government House in Melbourne. Otherwise we fear that crucial evidence may be tampered with. he must serve 90 days in jail and qualifies for work release. budget deficit through 2025, “People say they are using it for evangelism. read more