Commission Issues Decision Against Stratus Financial Group International

first_imgThe Nova Scotia Securities Commission issued its decision against Stratus and representatives Magnus Torgerson, John Westbrook, Mark Stone and Teddy Stone. Stratus and its representatives violated securities laws by facilitating the purchase or sale of investments without being registered with the commission and by engaging in unfair practice while trying to illegally solicit investments. The commission’s decision orders administrative penalties against: Stratus for $50,000 Mr. Torgerson for $40,000 Mr. Westbrook for $25,000 Mr. Mark Stone for $25,000 Mr. Teddy Stone for $25,000 The company and its representatives are also ordered to pay costs in connection with the commission proceedings of $3,000 “It is important to demonstrate to Stratus, Torgerson, Westbrook, Stone and Stone and others the consequences of their inappropriate conduct. It is also extremely important to deter this type of conduct by others in the future,” said the commission in its decision. The commission urges Nova Scotians to use caution when dealing with firms and people that are not registered in Nova Scotia. It is illegal to solicit investments in Nova Scotia without registering with the commission and complying with Nova Scotia securities laws. To see if a company or person is registered, you can check the Canadian Securities Administrators’ website at http://aretheyregistered.ca/ . The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is the provincial government agency responsible for regulating the investment industry in the province. The decision can be viewed at http://nssc.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/docs/Stratus-Offshore-Torgerson-Westbrook-Stone-Decision-Feb-11-2016.pdf.last_img read more

Nova Scotia to Advance Business Relationships in the Middle East

first_imgPremier Stephen McNeil is travelling to the Middle East, Sunday, June 2, to help promote business relationships, trade and investment for Nova Scotia. He will be joined by Minister of Immigration Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Internal Services, Patricia Arab, senior government officials and leaders from the local business and university communities. Due to security reasons, a briefing outlining other details of the trip will be held after the premier returns on June 15. “We have built successful trading relationships in markets around the world, and further diversification can lead to continued economic growth here at home,” said Premier McNeil. “I will continue to pursue opportunities for Nova Scotia businesses and key sectors to thrive. The Middle East may open more doors to immigration growth, post-secondary education connections and business collaboration.”last_img read more

YouTube Stars To Fundraise On GoFundMe For Special Olympics

first_imgGoFundMe announced today that five top YouTube stars will be part of the first-ever social fundraising collaboration with Special Olympics on the GoFundMe platform: Burnie Burns and Gavin Free of Rooster Teeth, Matt Santoro, Meredith Foster, and Teala Dunn.As part of the effort, the five YouTube stars, who have over 44.7 million subscribers among them, will create GoFundMes, sharing the personal stories of these remarkable athletes headed to Austria to help raise funds and awareness.These YouTubers represent a variety of interests and backgrounds: from Meredith and Teala’s lifestyle and beauty videos to live action series from Rooster Teeth and delving into facts and lists with Matt Santoro. Together, their videos have amassed over 7.2 billion views, and they are ready to introduce their audiences to the incredible accomplishments of Special Olympics athletes.“I’m thrilled that Rooster Teeth is able to support the Special Olympics in a meaningful way through this GoFundMe initiative,” said Burnie Burns, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Rooster Teeth. “Gavin and I are overjoyed to be able to attend the Winter Games and witness these incredible athletes as they fulfill their lifelong dreams.”The YouTubers will attend the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria as guests of Special Olympics to participate in the Opening Ceremony, Unified Talk featuring the Global Youth Leadership Summit, Unified Sports Experiences, and other events that will highlight the abilities of Special Olympics athletes. They will share the experience with their diverse and global audiences.“Both GoFundMe and YouTube provide platforms for storytelling and community building, so it’s only fitting that we should join forces to promote and support Special Olympics,” said Kelly Galvin, Head of Communications at GoFundMe. “We are inspired by the stories of Special Olympics athletes overcoming obstacles to compete, and we are thrilled that these YouTube stars are lending their influence to this important movement.”Nearly 2,700 athletes from over 100 nations will compete in nine sports at the Games in Austria this month. But Special Olympics is more than sports — it’s a global movement that builds inclusive communities where all people are valued.“Every two years our World Games highlight our athletes’ abilities on the fields of competition,” said Kirsten Seckler, Chief Marketing Officer of Special Olympics. “The World Games also provide us a moment in time to raise awareness and change attitudes around the globe about people with intellectual disabilities and the value they bring into communities everywhere. We’re very excited to work with GoFundMe and these YouTubers to help us reach audiences that can support our movement for years to come.”The GoFundMes created for Special Olympics will highlight inspirational stories of athletes on their journey to the Games while supporting expenses related to travel, training, equipment, coaching, and accommodations, in addition to supporting Special Olympics programming around the world.• Rooster Teeth GoFundMe • Matt Santoro GoFundMe • Meredith Foster GoFundMe • Teala Dunn GoFundMe“Special Olympics is near and dear to my heart, and I’m thrilled to use GoFundMe to spread the word to Merebears everywhere and raise money for such a worthy cause,” said YouTube star, Meredith Foster.The Special Olympics World Winter Games will take place March 14 through March 25 in Graz, Schladming, Rohrmoos and Ramsau, Austria. Along with YouTubers, Tubefilter, a leading advocate for the online creator community, and many other Special Olympics guests including Olympians, professional athletes and influencers will be attending the Games to cheer on these amazing athletes from the stands. Additionally, eight Olympic athletes, including Julia Mancuso and Apolo Ohno, shared messages of encouragement to Special Olympic athletes in a video embodying Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s message of hope and victory.To donate and learn more about their stories, and view all Special Olympic GoFundMes, visit: gofundme.com/specialolympics.last_img read more

Media French PM to announce delay to fuel tax hikes

first_imgPARIS — French media say Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will announce a suspension of fuel tax hikes in an effort to appease a protest movement that has radicalized.Both Le Monde newspaper and France Info radio say the planned increase, which has provoked riots, will be suspended for several months. Philippe is also expected to announce other measures aimed at easing tensions.The prime minister is expected to announce the move later Tuesday.The Associated Presslast_img

Morocco elected to AUs Peace and Security Council

Rabat – The 32nd  ordinary session of AU’s Executive Council that opened yesterday in Addis-Ababa elected Morocco, earlier today, to AU’s Peace and Security Council.Morocco, which was North Africa’s sole candidate (Algeria, currently occupying the seat, had announced, earlier this month, that it would not run for renewal), was elected with 39 voices  in favor and 16 abstentions, more than the 3/2 needed to secure the regional seat in AU’s Peace and Security Council.The Peace and Security Council is AU’s body in charge of promoting “peace, security, and stability in Africa.” Today’s election grants Morocco a two-year mandate (2018-2020), which is renewable should the Kingdom decide to run again in 2020.

LEquipe Accuses Ramos of Deliberately Injuring Salah

Rabat – Real Madrid’s captain, Sergio Ramos, has become the “most hated man” for Liverpool fans and Egyptians alike after sending football star Mohamed Salah off the field with a dislocated shoulder during the first half of the Champions League final.French sports news outlet L’Equipe wrote on Sunday that the Spanish player  committed several “highly controversial actions in the final between Real and Liverpool.”According to the French source, Ramos locked Salah’s hand under his armpit “in the manner of a judoka. With all his weight. The arm bends, the shoulder suffers.” The Salah takedown was not among Ramos’s first attempts to deliberately hurt Liverpool’s stars. According to L’Equipe, the Spaniard has also attempted to elbow Liverpool’s goalkeeper in the head.Ramos has been receiving global backlash from Egyptian football fans and Liverpool followers.The English football club, according to L’Equipe, had a successful start in the first 20 minutes of the game ahead of the injury of Salah.Football fans have launched a petition on Change.org, urging FIFA and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to punish Ramos for forcing Salah out of the Champions League final and the 2018 World Cup.The petition also called for the football organizations to punish Ramos for “acting that Liverpool players fouled him falsely, causing the referee to give [Sadio] Mane a yellow card he did not deserve.”The petition calls  Ramos “an awful example to future generations of football players.”International news outlets also reported pictures of Ramos laughing as Salah left the final game due to his injury.Salah’s fans stormed social media, calling on FIFA and UEFA to take measures against Ramos.Ramos couldn’t stop Salah So he intent to injure him ???? pic.twitter.com/MFRlwnqDUI— Aya ? (@ayasaadeldin) May 27, 2018As it stands, fans will have to wait for two to three weeks to see Salah back to the stadium again after x-ray shoulder results.The official account of the European Judo Union mocks Sergio Ramos for injuring Mohamed Salah. pic.twitter.com/ofsfJB43po— Marwan Ahmed (@MarwanAhmed_KF) May 27, 2018Dear Ramos!Maybe for Madrid fans you are a hero, but to majority of football lovers around the world you are a cancer to this beautiful game!Mohamed Salah FANS @SergioRamos pic.twitter.com/3zYnHCJDBB— Liverpool ??????? (@lfc_belaraby) May 27, 2018 read more

Indigo maintains global brand ambitions despite challenging year for bookseller

Companies in this story: (TSX:IDG).The Canadian Press TORONTO — Indigo Books & Music Inc.’s CEO says the company is changing up its strategy after a challenging year for the bookseller, but still maintains its ambition to grow into a global brand.Heather Reisman says a number of negative factors compounded to create disappointing financial results in its most recent year, including a prolonged Canada Post strike, as well as store renovations and relocations.The bookseller opened its first American location in New Jersey’s Short Hills mall, which Reisman says has a long history as a top mall in North America.Reisman says that Indigo has seen declining foot traffic there and is re-evaluating its real estate strategy in an effort to better meet consumers where they want to spend time.She says the company will use this year to advance a number of things it’s working on and will probably be on track to open a couple stores next year as it remains focused on making Indigo a global brand.She made the comments at the company’s annual general meeting of shareholders in Toronto. read more

Archos G9 Android Honeycomb tablets launch September from 299

first_imgIf the initial assortment of Android Honeycomb tablets like the Xoom, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Iconia Tab left you impressed, but still leery to part with quite so much of your hard-earned cash, relief is just around the corner. Archos is nearly ready to unleash its G9 tablets, and the price points are looking very competitive — starting at just $299.Archos will be shipping two models, the 80 (an 8-inch with 1024×768 resolution) and the 101 (a 10.1-inch with 1280×800 resolution). The 80 will ship with a relatively scant 8GB of internal storage and go for $299 while the 101 is $70 more and will include 16GB in its base configuration. Both slates feature dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processors running from 1.0 to 1.5GHz, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR, HDMI output, a front-facing 720P-capable camera, and Android 3.1 Honeycomb. Both models also include an accelerometer, compass, GPS, and vibration motor for haptic response.While the limited amount of storage might be offputting to some, don’t forget that Archos will offer capacities up to 250GB in the G9 series (using Seagate’s 7MM Momentus Thin hard drives). The lack of an internal 3G radio might get you down, but Archos has that covered, too: the Archos G9 3G stick lets you bolt on cellular access.Another important inclusion with these latest Archos tablets is that the company is offering full-on access to the Android Market, something which was lacking with its previous offerings.The G9 80 and 101 have been posted to the Archos website, and they’ll start shipping some time in September.More at Engadget and Archoslast_img read more

A spray of hope for pot addiction

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Drug use preventatives are available to those who are addicted to smoking or those who are heroin addicts, but for pot users the only solution to kick their habit is to go cold turkey. Researchers from the University of New South Wales hope that a cannabis-based mouth spray that is usually prescribed to those who suffer multiple sclerosis, which is not yet available in Australia, could be used to help people fight the battle against marijuana. There are no specific products aimed at easing people off cannabis with the only alternative being a mixture of prescribed drugs used to target withdrawal symptoms. The drug Sativex which is used as a mouth spray contains two of the main cannabinoid which are found in the cannabis plant; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).Jan Copeland who is leading the world-first study through the university’s National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre said “It was a combination of both that gave Sativex potential. The good thing about Sativex is that it returns CBD to the compound, and in treating symptoms of withdrawal it can dampen down the effects of THC on the patient’s receptor systems without them getting stoned”. Sativex mouth spray will be used by the university which has been given authorisation as part of the study and will be given in low doses in a monitored hospital environment every six hours. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include disrupted sleep patterns, difficulty functioning and anger. According to the research published in the medical journal The Lancet, Cannabis is the most favoured drug of choice and Australia and New Zealand were found to share the highest rate of usage per capita in the world. It was estimated that 10 to 15 per cent of people aged between 15 and 64 smoked the drug in Australia and New Zealand in the past year.last_img read more

Le Bunestegos un reptile fossile révèle lexistence dun désert au milieu de

first_imgLe Bunestegos, un reptile fossile révèle l’existence d’un désert au milieu de la PangéeLa Pangée, ce supercontinent, massive parcelle de terre aurait contenu en son centre un désert aride et sec permettant à une biodiversité inédite de se développer. C’est ce que suggère une étude américaine et la découverte de fossiles surprenants de reptiles, inesthétiques mais très utiles à la compréhension du Permien qui a commencé il y a 266 millions d’années.Il n’est pas beau, n’a pas fière allure et ne tient pas comme la plus belle espèce de reptile jamais découverte, cependant, son étude est capitale. En effet, la découverte d’un fossile de Bunostegos, reptile aux excroissances noueuses sur le front et aux bulbes inesthétiques sur tout le corps permet un nouvel éclairage sur l’écosystème du Permien. Une période géologique qui s’est étendu de – 266 à – 252 millions d’années. Le Bunostegos (“toit noueux”) appartient à la famille des Pareiasaurus, des reptiles herbivores proches des tortues actuelles. De la taille d’une vache, l’animal aurait vécu dans l’actuel désert du nord nigérien et partageait l’essentiel des caractéristiques des plus anciens paréiasaures. Cependant, il arborait un crâne bulbeux – une structure connue uniquement chez les formes les plus ‘récentes’ de ce groupe. Loin de s’être plus cogné que les autres, Bunostegos aurait acquis cette particularité grâce à un isolement géographique, selon l’étude publiée dans le Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.Un désert en plein milieu de la pangée Mais où le Bunostegos a t-il bien pu se développer ? Comment une population de reptiles de la taille d’une vache a t-elle pu être isolée ? Il n’existait aucune barrière montagneuse infranchissable à l’époque du Permien, cependant les conditions climatiques ont pu contribuer à rassembler une espèce entière au centre du continent. Ainsi, de nombreux reptiles, amphibiens ou encore plantes auraient constitué l’écosystème du centre de la Pangée. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Une sorte de grand désert inaccessible pour des espèces peu habituées aux conditions qui y régnaient et impossible à quitter pour les espèces acclimatées. “Notre travail suggère que le centre de la Pangée était climatiquement isolé, permettant à une faune relique unique de survivre durant la fin du Permien” explique Christian Sidor, co-auteur de l’étude. Autour de la zone, de nombreux fossiles ont d’ailleurs été découverts, établissant l’évidence d’inter-échanges réguliers pour les espèces environnantes.Le Permien et la plus grosse extinction de masseLa découverte de cette zone est déterminante dans la compréhension du Permien, qui s’est terminé par la plus grosse extinction de masse que la Terre ait connu : 75% des espèces terrestres et 96% des espèces marines se seraient éteintes. Cette extinction aurait eu lieu il y a 251 millions d’années en raison de températures (50 à 60 degrés Celsius) extrêmes rendant la vie impossible, d’une importante activité dans la tectonique des plaques avec activité sismique invivable ou encore d’une collision avec une météorite. Néanmoins, le Bunostegos n’est que la première “bosse” de ces recherches qui vont désormais se poursuivre dans le nord du Niger. Cette zone sous-explorée pour le moment, pourrait ainsi devenir un vivier de recherches intensives pour de nombreux scientifiques qui veulent percer les mystères du Permien. Le 29 juin 2013 à 14:02 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

KevinPrince Boateng set to make Barcelona debut tonight

first_imgNew Barcelona signing Kevin-Prince Boateng could make his debut in tonight’s Copa del Rey clash against SevillaThe 31-year-old forward made a shock loan transfer to Barcelona on Monday from Serie A side Sassuolo until the end of the season with the option of it becoming a permanent deal this summer for €8m.Barcelona’s decision to sign Boateng came in light of Munir El Haddadi’s departure to Sevilla earlier this month with Paco Alcacer leaving Camp Nou last summer for Borussia Dortmund.This had left Ernesto Valverde’s side short of centre-forward options with Luis Suarez bearing most of the workload this season.Now Barcelona have confirmed that Boateng has been named in a 19-man squad for the trip to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.The unsettled Denis Suarez, who has been heavily linked with a loan move to Arsenal this month, has been left out of the team for tonight’s first leg quarter-final clash.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.Also missing is Lionel Messi, who has been handed a rest by manager Valverde in favour of giving some academy stars like Riqui Puig a chance.Speaking ahead to the tie on Tuesday evening, Valverde warned his Barcelona team to not lose their focus as they chase a fifth successive Copa del Rey title this season.“Our analysis was based on the fact that they are a strong rival at home and in the knock-out ties they have always been very solid,” said Valverde in a press conference.“Sevilla are a great team with experience in the qualifying rounds and have the measure of this competition. They will be a tough team in this tie.”The last time these two sides met in the Copa del Rey came in last season’s final, which saw Barcelona thrash Sevilla 5-0 at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano to claim a 30th crown.The Sevilla and Barcelona Copa del Rey match will begin tonight in Andalusia at 21:30 (CET).last_img read more

IHOP celebrates National Pancake Day offers free short stacks

first_imgIHOP’s goal is to raise $3.5 million this year.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. RT if you gonna be out here celebrating National Pancake Day!!! #NATLPancakeDay pic.twitter.com/sFNcRPjF38— IHOP (@IHOP) March 7, 2017The donations will also go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Shriners Hospitals for Children.IHOP requires each guest to dine-in, and limit to one short stack per person.The celebration will last at IHOP locations from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. MIAMI (WSVN) – Flapjacks, silver dollars, short stacks — however you call them, fans of pancakes will be pleased on Tuesday morning.National Pancake Day is being celebrated at IHOP locations across the nation, with a free short stack of pancakes being offered to any patron willing to donate money to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.last_img read more

Fortis owners in the dock for dodging Rs 100cr import duty on

first_imgDirectorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has impounded 6 luxury aircraft from a company owned by the Fortis Group for alleged duty evasion to the tune of  Rs100 crore.  Six aircraft, including beachcraft and others, were being used for private purposes though they were imported for charter services and no duty was paid. All these aircraft are owned by Ligare Aviation, belonging to owners of the Fortis group, Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIDRI issued notices to them for alleged duty evasion but Ligare  secured a stay order from the court which clearly instructed that they could not sell these aircraft in between. Allegedly, Ligare covertly changed the ownership of all these aircraft to a foreign company and got it ratified with the help of officials in the directorate general of civil aviation. DRI saw this as a clear violation of court orders and after that they swooped into action and impounded 6 aircraft. According to top Revenue Ministry officials, DRI will soon call Malvinder and Shivinder Mohan Singh for interrogation. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: Kovind This company has a fleet of 8 aircraft and helicopters, of which three are of king air beachcraft B 200, each coming at price tag of Rs 30 crore, 2 Falcon 2000 each costing Rs150 crore and one Falcon SX priced at Rs 200 crore and can fly non-stop from Delhi to London. Other than that they also have one Bell 430 helicopter and one Augusta 109 helicopter. As per Indian law, if any non scheduled airline brings aircraft to India for charter services, then it is exempt from import duty. But if someone uses it for private purpose, then they have to fork out 19 per cent customs duty.It may be recalled in July 2008, in similar case The air intelligence unit (AIU) of the customs department at Mumbai airport seized and sealed two aircraft – a Falcon 900 Ex and an Airbus 319 – belonging to Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for non-payment of duty.Mukesh Ambani had gifted the A-319 luxury jet to wife Nita on her 44th birthday.last_img read more

State looks to curb indiscriminate extraction with Groundwater Act

first_imgKolkata: The state Water Resource Investigation & Development (WRID) department will soon come out with Groundwater Act for putting a leash on indiscriminate extraction of groundwater, which is depleting by leaps and bounds.”We cannot deny the fact that groundwater level is reducing and we feel that it is high time to take measures to prevent indiscriminate extraction of groundwater. We are in the process of preparing a scientific database, classifying all the 341 blocks in the state into three categories- critical, semi critical and safe and accordingly prepare a roadmap for scientific use of groundwater in near future. Groundwater extraction for drinking will be given top priority,” a senior official of the department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that groundwater is used for drinking, agriculture and by the industry and there are a number of agencies that are responsible for its extraction. Apart from designating blocks based upon the three parameters, the department will also come out with a direction for the agencies about how much water extraction will be allowed for agriculture or industry purposes. “If we feel that drawing groundwater for agriculture or for industry at a particular block needs to be stopped, we will do the needful,” the official maintained. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to the official, the exercise of assessment of extraction of groundwater and recharging of water at a particular block, has been undertaken by State Water Investigation Directorate (SWID)- an independent directorate under the state WRID department, jointly with the Central Groundwater Board. The work will be based on water table data available from the hydrographic stations across the state, as on March 2017. The methodology that will be followed for the assessment, will be based on the guidelines framed by Groundwater Estimation Committee (GEC) in 2015, which is a standard pattern that should be followed across the country for assessing groundwater level. The assessment work has started a month ago and the target set for completion is October this year. The department is also laying emphasis on setting up more hydrographic stations in the state as they ensure accuracy of data. At present, there are 2,500 hydrographic stations in the state and the department is planning to have one such station at every Gram Panchayat in the state. The earlier study that was done around five years ago, had identified only one area -Goghat I in Hooghly as critical, 70 as semi-critical and the rest as safe. The department is hopeful that a notification in this regard will be brought out within the calendar year and will be circulated among all stakeholders to regulate the use of groundwater.last_img read more

Stagnant US exports to Cuba belie fairs optimism

first_imgSo when a plunging global economy pulled Cuba down with it five years ago, Havana had every incentive to hunt for a better deal from friendly nations where government-run companies offer better terms and often won’t complain publicly about rolling over late payments. Even private-sector companies in those countries may be more pliant, counting on guarantees by their governments.“Cuba can still never beat the U.S. for many of the products _ not all, but many,” Kavulich said. “But when you add into the equation the lack of ability to directly have payment terms, the inability to use more efficient transportation systems between the two countries and the lack of political benefit, then the Cuban government will turn elsewhere.”As the fair opened this week, state-run food purchaser Alimport calculated it will spend $105 million more than necessary on U.S. imports due to unfavorable credit terms, currency exchanges and logistical losses in shipping.“Since vessels from other countries that dock in Cuban ports must wait six months to go to the United States, the shippers charge high freights,” Alimport vice president Eidel M. Mussi Velazquez said. “The pattern that we see is it’s just continuing to either be lower each year, or if it does increase, it’s just not a lot at all,” said John Kavulich, senior policy adviser to the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. “No executives should be going to a travel agent and buying a ticket to go down to Havana thinking that there’s going to be a change.”U.S. sales of food and agricultural commodities to the communist-run island began more than a decade ago with the Trade Sanctions Reform Act enacted in 2000 under President Clinton. Modest sales of $138 million the following year rose steadily to a peak of $710 million in 2008, according to statistics calculated by Kavulich’s group.The value of U.S. exports to Cuba has since plummeted to just over half that last year at $358 million. It was $250 million through the first six months of 2012, with no sign of improvement.It’s been a tenuous trade from the beginning, partly due to U.S. rules requiring cash payment before goods can even be shipped. Payments must be made through third-party banking systems that take a hefty cut of each transaction, besides the fees levied on multiple currency swaps. Shipping is complicated by U.S. embargo regulations. Moreover, the PR value of buying Made In America faded for Cuba as it became commonplace to see Coca-Cola in tourist hotels and Miller beer on store shelves. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Associated PressHAVANA (AP) – Kellogg’s. Gatorade. Hormel. Hunt.Many of America’s best-known brands were on display at a Havana exposition center this past week as representatives hawked some of the few U.S. products that can legally be exported to Cuba, thanks to an exception to the U.S. embargo allowing cash-up-front sales of food, agricultural goods and medicine.But cold numbers belie the enthusiasm on the convention center floor. Cuban purchases of U.S. goods have plunged as the island increasingly turns to countries like China, Brazil, Vietnam and Venezuela, which offer cheaper deals, long-term credits and less hassle over payment and shipping. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Todd P. Haymore, secretary of agriculture and forestry for Virginia, which shipped $65 million in agricultural goods to Cuba last year, said the island is a consistent top 15 market.But businesspeople back home see bigger possibilities if embargo rules are simplified.“They feel like you might lose out on a sale or capturing additional sales because of these additional fees, additional turns of currency. … Every time you go from one country to the next there’s always a loss,” Haymore said. “Someone’s gaining a piece of that pie that’s not going into your back pocket.”Those at the fair were also jockeying to be in position for an unknown future date when the U.S. sanctions might disappear altogether.“Cuba is becoming a more and more important market for U.S. companies. … Everybody wants to have some kind of presence,” said Hector Rainey, managing director of Intervision Foods of Atlanta. “If something changes all of a sudden, they have an angle here.”___Peter Orsi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Peter_Orsi (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Still, those doing business with Havana kept up a cheery tone at the fair, which included 500 exhibitors from overseas and ended Saturday.The pavilion that housed U.S. delegations bustled as workers in matching T-shirts dumped fistfuls of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the hands of conventioneers and handed out canvas bags stuffed with Skittles candies. Cubans took turns posing for pictures with a person dressed as an oversize Hershey’s chocolate bar.Conventioneers praised Alimport for professionalism and savvy, and played down the importance of the credit restrictions.Richard N. Waltzer, president of Procurement Systems Inc., said a recent U.S. policy allowing Cuban-Americans to send more money to islanders has increased their ability to purchase the U.S. brand names his company distributes.PSI’s Cuba business has grown 30 percent a year for the last decade, and Waltzer was optimistic about Cuba’s expanding tourism industry and growing small private enterprise under President Raul Castro’s reforms.“They’re modeling their new economic model after Vietnam and China, so in the future it’s opening up for capitalism,” he said. “And bringing in these great American brands, I believe, is going to take it to the next level.” Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The company projected $440 million in U.S. purchases this year, well off the $960 million reported in 2008. The Cuban statistics don’t compare directly to the Trade Council’s since they apparently factor in the extra expenditures, but they trace the same depressed pattern.By comparison, according to Cuban figures for 2010, the most recent year available, commercial trade with Venezuela nearly doubled from the previous year to a little over $6 billion. Chinese trade was still down from pre-crisis levels but trending upward to $1.9 billion in 2010.While purchases of some U.S. goods have held steady, such as poultry and soybeans, others have tanked, including branded processed foods and grains.The Spartan booth manned by Kevin McGilton, vice president for sales of Arkansas-based Riceland, was a case in point.U.S. rice exports to Cuba totaled 20,000 to 30,000 metric tons a year before the economic crisis, but were zero last year, he said. Vietnamese government rice companies have long beat out U.S. suppliers by offering “broken” rice that doesn’t look as pretty as U.S. rice but is cheaper. The country also has been extending multiyear credit terms.Cuba “didn’t have the hard currency to pay cash in advance, which is what they have to do with U.S. companies,” McGilton said, adding that the only promising leads he had during the trade show this week came from other countries, such as Mexico. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

roomsXML – Award Winners at WTM

first_imgroomsXML – Award Winners at WTMIt’s been raining awards at roomsXML in the past month from events across Europe and Asia, but none of them as big as the prestigious World Travel Market 2015 “World Travel Leaders” Award .Every year, WTM jury recognizes a dozen global companies across travel & tourism industry who have made the greatest contributions. Three nominations from each of WTM London’s media partners were judged in September by a panel of three, consisting of an independent body, a representative of WTM and the relevant media partner.After soft-launching in 2007, roomsXML continually developed based on ongoing market needs and feedback.  The judges at the WTM World Travel Leaders Award acknowledged the impressive reviews roomsXML had received and said: “User friendly and with excellent feedback from users, roomsXML does something simple with excellence.Ruchir Bang, Executive Director roomsXML global says ““It’s indeed an awesome feeling to be adjudged amongst the world’s select few from the travel industry. I do believe that this award recognizes the innovations that we introduced over the past few years in making roomsXML a robust, user-friendly and truly a friend of travel agents wanting to book accommodations globally.”His brother, Anuj, the director of product development says “Receiving this global recognition at age 26 leaves me spellbound. It encourages me to strive harder in the years ahead to make roomsXML a reliable source of accommodation inventory.”The proud father and founder of roomsXML, Prakash says “When children are on a roll, it sure makes parents proud. With awards coming in across various categories from around the world, 2015 was indeed an exciting year for us. “Mark Luckey, MD of roomsXML Asia Pacific says “it is so competitive at WTM so to win at this level is tremendous recognition for the company. Combined with other recent awards shows that roomsXML is truly a global market leader in online accommodation. I’ve been here since the start and seen the work, blood, sweat, tears and frustration… Now to get the award success is fantastic.” roomsXML Source = roomsXMLlast_img read more

Mortgage Rates Dig In for Holiday Weekend

first_imgMortgage Rates Dig In for Holiday Weekend Mortgage rates barely budged heading into the Independence Day weekend, keeping them below last year’s levels.According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) product was 4.12 percent (0.5 point) for the week ending July 3, down 2 basis points from the final June survey.Rates remained down year-over-year for the second straight week, “which should provide some help with homebuyer affordability in many markets,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac. Last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.29 percent.The 15-year FRM, meanwhile, was unchanged at 3.22 percent (0.5 point).Adjustable rates followed similar patterns, with the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaging 2.98 percent (0.4 point), flat from last week, and the 1-year ARM averaged 2.38 percent (0.4 point), just down from 2.40 percent previously.Interest rates also firmed up in Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey, with the 30-year fixed staying flat at 4.28 percent and the 15-year fixed dipping just a point to 3.39 percent. The 5/1 ARM remained unchanged in Bankrate’s survey, hovering at 3.33 percent.With an encouraging jobs report also landing on Thursday morning, half of the experts polled for Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index expect interest rates to lift over the next week. July 3, 2014 458 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Bankrate Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Mortgage Rates 2014-07-03 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

House gettogether for past and present MPs

first_imgFormer state pathologist and Diko deputy Marios Matsakis on Wednesday joined current and other former MPs at the House for a meeting followed by a social gathering organised by Speaker Demetris Syllouris who, along with Disy leader Averof Neophtou, cut a vasilopita to mark the new year. Also in attendance was former health minister and ex MP Dina Akkelidou, and former EU Commissioner and deputy Androulla Vassiliou.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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