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Factors to Consider Before Picking Quick Loans for Bad Credit

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You’ll Need Money

The first thing you should consider before deciding on an online lending company is how much cash is required. It is contingent on the situation you’re in and the kind of loan you’re receiving. For instance, lenders may be more expensive; consequently, it’s important to make sure you’re able to repay the loan on time prior to receiving it.

The most basic rule is that the larger the amount you require the longer it takes the lender to give it in the shortest amount, but smaller amounts less than $600 can be provided. The interest rate typically is lower for smaller amounts, which means it’s easier to repay, https://www.paydaynow.net/.

The Loan’s Terms and Conditions

When you apply for any type of loan you have the option of choosing the dates for repayment or a schedule. So, it is important to choose the terms and conditions according to your income and your flow of cash.

Lenders provide detailed loan terms and conditions once you are approved to borrow the money. Things like the APR the loan period, loan term, and the total amount are all included in these terms. Consider these terms and ensure you understand what you’re getting into.

APR and Interest Rate

Before choosing a lender, look over the attractive rates available and choose the most suitable one. The APR and the interest rate can be determined by many aspects including your credit rating, the amount required in repayment, repayment duration, income, and more. A bad credit score or a bad credit history generally will result in a higher rate of interest.

Select a lender with an agreed-to interest rate for the entire duration of the repayment term. If you are offered a loan that has different interest rates it could be expensive in the end.

Customer Service

Customer service is an essential factor when selecting the one that provides bad credit loans that are guaranteed approval. While some lenders can provide outstanding customer service, that is available 24/7 every day of the week. However, some firms are unable to respond after the loan is approved. You should instead choose one that can assist in processing, issues, or refunds as well as payments. Utilizing a platform like this can save you lots of time as well as energy if there are any issues.

Payment Time

It is common to bargain with the lender when deciding on a repayment schedule and determine it based on your stability in the financial market as well as income. The lender can provide a variety of repayment plans based on the kind of loan they offer. Furthermore, the borrower can decide to select the type of payment that they prefer, which could be in the form of installments or a complete amount to be paid.

Penalties

The biggest issue when it comes to getting emergency loans for poor credit is the penalty and charges for late payments deadline. Thus, you should choose a firm with flexible payment options and low penalties in the event that there is a problem. In the end, the process of borrowing will be simple and you can repay the loan without no need to pay any additional charges or fees.

Beyond these be sure that the business you are choosing to partner with is dependable and has worked with similar situations. Consider picking one of these companies since they have a wide variety of loans and other financial tools.

3,000 evacuees from Mariupol are believed to be held in a penal colony by the Russian army

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Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman said the Russian military is detaining more than 3,000 civilians from Mariupol in a former penal colony in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

Seven buses carrying an unknown number of Ukrainian soldiers evacuated from the Mariupol steelworks were seen arriving at the former penal colony No. 120 near Olenivka on Tuesday.

Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova said earlier on Telegram that the civilians were being held in the former penal colony No. 52, also near Olenivka.

She said most civilians are detained for a month, but those considered “particularly unreliable”, including former soldiers and police, are detained for two months.

Ukraine has decided to abandon a sprawling steel factory where its soldiers had withstood relentless shelling for months (AP)

Ms Denisova said among the detainees are around 30 volunteers who delivered humanitarian supplies to Mariupol as it was besieged by Russia.

It comes as the fall of Mariupol appears imminent, with Ukraine preparing to abandon a sprawling steelworks where its soldiers had held out under relentless bombardment for months, making it the biggest city to fall to the Russians. .

Much of the steelworks was reduced to rubble.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was working to get its remaining troops safely out of the Azovstal steelworks.

In his nightly video address to the nation, Mr Zelensky said the evacuation mission was overseen by Ukrainian military and intelligence officers and that “the most influential international mediators are involved”.

However, hundreds of Ukrainian fighters left the Azovstal steelworks and surrendered into Russian hands.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian guerrillas reportedly killed several high-ranking Russian officers in the southern town of Melitopol, the regional administration said on Telegram.

Russian forces have occupied the city since the beginning of the war.

FILE - Smoke rises from the Azovstal Metallurgical Combine in Mariupol during a shelling, in Mariupol, in the territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, May 7, 2022
Much of the steel plant has been reduced to rubble (Alexei Alexandrov/AP)

According to the regional administration, the occupiers are trying to cover up the situation but Russian troops were more actively checking private cars in the city on Tuesday, most likely looking for the guerrillas.

No details of the killings were given and the report could not immediately be confirmed.

Throughout the war, the Ukrainians claimed to have killed many generals and other Russian officers. A few of the deaths have been confirmed by the Russians.

DUP promises ‘graduated and cautious’ response to UK government protocol

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The DUP will take a “gradual and cautious” approach to re-engaging with Stormont’s power-sharing – depending on progress on legislation to override parts of the Brexit protocol, party leader Jeffrey Donaldson has said.

Mr Donaldson described the government’s announcement to table legislation that would allow it to act unilaterally to change parts of the Northern Ireland protocol as a ‘welcome step if it is overdue’.

But he stressed that his party, which refused to return to devolved government in Northern Ireland in protest at the Irish Sea trade deals, needed to see actions rather than words from London.

A new executive can only be formed in Belfast after the recent election if the DUP agrees to fill the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson (centre) leaves Hillsborough Castle after speaking to the British Prime Minister on Monday (Liam McBurney/PA)

The party has also refused to back the nomination of a new Speaker of the Assembly, meaning the Parliament Buildings legislature cannot meet.

Donaldson has made it clear that sweeping changes to protocol must be made if the party is to return to power-sharing.

Responding to the announcement made by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday, the DUP leader told the House of Commons: “From the start in this House, the DUP has warned of the consequences of this protocol and that’s why we opposed it from the start, because we recognized the political and economic instability it would cause and the harm it would cause the union itself.

“Today’s statement is a welcome, albeit late, step towards resolving the issues created by the protocol and re-establishing power-sharing based on cross-community consensus.

“Therefore, we hope to see progress on a bill to address these issues in days and weeks, not months, and as the legislation progresses we will take a gradual and cautious approach.

“We want to see the Irish Sea border removed and the government honoring its commitments in the New Decade and New Approach Agreement (the 2020 agreement which restored power-sharing) to protect the place of Northern Ireland in the UK internal market.

“Today’s statement indicates that this will be covered in legislation to bring in further revised provisions.

“Under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, power sharing can only be stable if there is consensus on a cross-community basis. It currently does not exist on the part of the Unionist community.

“We want to see political institutions working properly as soon as possible, but to restore the confidence of trade unionists, decisive action is now needed in the form of legislation to undo the damage done by the Protocol to Acts of Union and put in place reasonable arrangements. which, in the words of the Queen’s Speech, ensure the continued success and integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom, including the internal economic links between all its parts.

“Finally, Mr President, today’s words are a good start, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs will know that actions speak louder than words and I welcome her commitment to such decisive action in this statement at home.”

“Hodgepodge”

Alliance Party MP Sorcha Eastwood said Ms Truss’ comments offered no solution to the problems with the Northern Ireland protocol.

Ms Truss’ comments were being touted as a breakthrough, but that was not the way to go, it was not what companies were asking for, she told RTÉ radio’s News at One.

The issues could be ‘examined and dealt with’, she said, but she did not think a suggestion by Ms Truss of a dual diet was ‘a follower’.

There was a “hodgepodge” of suggestions emerging, she said. “That’s a lot of revamped ideas” combined together like a fig leaf to appease the DUP.

The other parties elected to the new Assembly were ready and willing to get to work, but it appeared that their votes had not counted because of the actions of the DUP. A change was needed.

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“We have a voice and we have the right to speak on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland,” Ms Eastwood said.

It was not enough for one party to resist and stop the work of others.

“Let’s continue the dialogue and make a breakthrough,” she urged.

-Additional reporting by Vivienne Clarke

Somerset win big derby on day three

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Somerset win big derby on day three

SCORECARD

Somerset crushed Gloucestershire to claim a record LV= Insurance County Championship win by one run and 246 runs in three days at Bristol.

It was Somerset’s biggest margin of victory over their rivals, which had previously been by an innings and 170 at Taunton in 1893, a match in which WG Grace featured for the visitors.

Gloucestershire, without injured skipper Graeme van Buuren, were knocked out for 186 in their first innings to 119 overnight for four, with Jack Leach finishing with five for 49 from 25.4 overs.

There was no respite for a home side, including three new loan signings when they trailed 405 behind under cloudless skies. Leach completed game numbers of eight for 90, while teenager Jacob Bethell hit 61 for a total of 159.

Somerset took 23 points from Gloucestershire and have now won back-to-back victories after losing their opening three league matches.

With van Burren nursing a shoulder injury sustained in the field on day two, Somerset needed just five wickets at the start of the day to wrap up their opponents’ opening innings.

Bethell, on a one-game loan to Gloucestershire from Warwickshire, started with a sweet drive for four against Craig Overton and followed with another boundary in the same over.

Somerset were worried when Overton was sent off with a left knee pinch, but the all-around England man was able to return to the bowl at the end of the innings.

Josh Davey made the breakthrough for Somerset with the total of 144, hitting Ryan Higgins on the back cushion and pinning him lbw for 31, before quickly taking Zafar Gofar to the slip.

Lewis Gregory uprooted Zak Chappell’s center stump and the impressive Bethell fell front leg over back foot against Leach for 37 as Gloucestershire tipped to 152 for eight.

Final pairing Matt Taylor and Brad Wheal offered some resistance, taking the tally to 186 for eight at lunch. Taylor finished 24 steps when Wheal fell lbw on a ball from Leach that seemed to stay low.

Gloucestershire’s second innings had reached 24 in the ninth when George Scott edged Peter Siddle straight to James Hildreth at the second slip.

Marcus Harris fell on the same tally, missing a shot from Overton and catching Tom Lammonby halfway. It was 28 for three when Miles Hammond nicked a ball from Davey to wicketkeeper Steve Davies.

Higgins was caught down 16 tries to force Gregory off the back foot and by the tea Gloucestershire were in disarray at 74 for four.

Bethell had again given a lesson in technique to more experienced colleagues. But all hope of recovery was gone in the playoffs after the interval when James Bracey swept Leach and Tom Abell took an exceptional hold, one hand over his head to the back square leg.

Luck continued to desert injury-plagued Gloucestershire as Bethell slipped when called for a quick single against Leach by Zafar Gohar, who was forced to turn around and failed to beat Abell’s throw to the end of the bowler.

Chappell was knocked down on an inside edge for 20 by Overton, who then took a low hold on Leach’s second slip to take out Taylor.

Bethell’s mature batting in a slump earned him a deserved 84-ball half-century, with 8 fours. But when he swept Leach into the hands of deep-squared Lammonby, Somerset celebrated a crushing success.

At the end of the match, Somerset head coach Jason Kerr said: “Jack Leach’s contribution to the win was immense. Not only did he take wickets, but he kept up the pressure at one end while our excellent seam attack minded its business.

“Matt Renshaw and Tom Lammonby set the tone with their opening stand on day one and it was a really good team performance. We wanted to prove that our big win over Warwickshire in the previous game was no fluke. and we will continue to take things game by game.

“We lost our first three league games. But we were understaffed in Hampshire, like Gloucestershire were in this game, and it’s very difficult in the Premier League when that’s the case.

“The other two matches could have gone either way and the most impressive thing was the unity in our dressing room when the results went against us.”

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Ignore child car seat rules and risk £500 fine and penalty points

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Drivers with children in their vehicles who ignore safety rules could face fines of up to £500. Updated Highway Code guidelines for child safety could also see drivers get penalty points for breaching them.

Failure to wear your seatbelt yourself is subject to an automatic £100 fine. However, if the case goes to court, you risk a fine of up to £500.

You could also face civil claims for damages, if (for example) you failed to transport someone else’s child safely, reports North Wales Live. And, in addition to legal penalties, failure to follow these rules could affect any claim against your car insurance coverage.

Experts at CarMats.com urged parents to continue to put their children first, which will save them from hefty fines by ensuring they follow the driving laws surrounding child car seats. Under rules 99 to 102 of the traffic laws, young people must remain in a car seat until they are 12 years old or 135 centimeters, whichever comes first.

A car seat can be chosen according to the height or weight of the child. Here we look at the settings:

Based on height: Size seats are chosen based on a child’s height so that they are the correct size for the seat. Children under 15 months must be placed in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 15 months and can sit in a forward-facing car seat.

Based on weight:

Mass

Group

Seats

0kg to 10kg

0

Extended or “side” carrier, rear-facing carrier or rear-facing infant seat using a harness

0kg to 13kg

0+

Rear-facing infant carrier or rear-facing infant seat with harness

9kg to 18kg

1

Rear-facing or forward-facing infant seat using a harness or safety shield

15kg to 25kg

2

Rear-facing or forward-facing child car seat (high-back booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

22kg to 36kg

3

Rear-facing or forward-facing child car seat (high-back booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

Common mistakes made by parents

1. The car seat is not installed correctly or securely

One indicator that your seat is not installed correctly is if the seat is significantly loose. If it can be moved easily, it may mean that your seat has not been installed correctly or that the car seat is not compatible with the car.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s manual supplied with your car seat and carefully check its fitment in your car each time it is used.

2. The child wears bulky clothes

This well-fitting down jacket can prevent your child from getting cold, but it can also be a safety risk. Added layers can add slack and reduce the defense of the car seat.

Instead, you should buckle your child into the seat first and then, for added warmth, add a blanket over it. This ensures that your child is properly strapped in.

3. Add non-essential toys to the seat

Entertaining a young child is no easy task, but strapping a toy to a child’s seat can pose a safety risk. Unless a toy or accessory is supplied with your seat or recommended by the manufacturer, it should not be used.

When detached from the seat, toys can become a theft hazard and cause a distraction while driving.

4. Straps are too loose or too tight

Your seat could be perfectly installed, but if the straps are not correctly adjusted, your child could be dislodged from the seat, leading to injuries, or worse, in the event of a collision. One way to check that the straps are properly attached is to perform the pinch test.

Simply place your fingers on the harness where it rests on your child’s collarbone. If the webbing material can be pinched and bent, the harness is too loose. Adjust the strap so that the material can no longer be pinched.

5. Switching from back to front too soon

In an effort to keep a watchful eye on children, many parents choose to move their babies into a forward-facing seat as soon as they reach the minimum age and appropriate weight at nine months or 9kg. Since young children are still developing, their necks, heads and spines are fragile and if placed in a forward-facing position too soon, they risk injuring these vulnerable areas.

Youngsters should remain in a rear-facing seat until they reach 13 kg or up to 15 months in an i-Size seat.

6. Forgetting to adjust the height of the strap as your child grows

Adjusting the harness strap height is not a one-time job – as children grow, so should the harness strap height. If the strap height does not match your child’s height, it may increase the amount of movement of your child’s body in a crash. It also increases the risk of injury.

Parents should monitor the height of the harness strap based on their child’s shoulders. In rear-facing seats, the straps should pass through the slots in the car seat below or at the same level as their shoulders. While on forward-facing seats, the straps should be above or at the same level as the shoulders.

7. Switching to a booster seat too soon

Only when a child is mature enough and reaches the height and weight limit for a car seat can they sit in a booster seat. Booster seats will come with weight and height limits and all vary based on the manufacturer’s instructions, however, there is also a maturity requirement for sitting in a booster seat.

The general rule is that children over the age of four can ride in a booster seat, but this is on a case-by-case basis. Even when your child reaches this age, if they can’t sit still in their seat, it may be worth keeping them in a child seat longer.

Two Bridgwater men in court over ‘illegal meat’

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TWO men from Bridgwater appeared in court today (Monday May 16) charged with conspiring to sell illegal meat to the general public.

Company director Anthony Fear, 60, of The Old Ice Cream Factory, Somerset Bridge, Bridgwater, who runs Fears Animal Products Ltd, and Mark Hooper, 61, whose address also appeared as The Old Ice Cream Factory, are both charged with conspiracy to defraud between June 12 and September 22, 2020.

It is alleged that they dishonestly diverted poultry classified as an animal by-product, unfit for consumption, into the human food chain.

They are also accused of breaching or failing to comply with EU food safety and hygiene requirements between those two dates by placing poultry classified as animal by-product unfit for human consumption on the market.

Fears Animal Products Ltd, of The Old Ice Cream Factory, Somerset Bridge, Bridgwater, also faces the same two charges.

Alongside Fear and Hooper at Croydon Magistrates’ Court were Ali Afzal, 42, of East Street, Walworth and Azar Irshad, 36, of High Road, Ilford.

They face the same two charges with Barking Halal Meat and Fish Ltd, of High Road, Ilford.

The four men were released on bail to appear with the two companies at Inner London Crown Court on June 13.

Priti Patel accused of ‘taking power’ over new police proposals | Police

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Police chiefs have accused Priti Patel of a ‘power grab’ which would allow the Home Secretary to intervene in local law enforcement matters and silence chiefs who want to speak out on matters issues deemed politically sensitive.

An extraordinary row erupted behind the scenes, with police bosses accusing Patel of trying to win new powers without parliamentary approval.

The vehement backlash from police chiefs and police and crime commissioners (PCCs) comes after an attempt by the government to redraft a written protocol that attempts to define where policing responsibility lies.

Parts of the plan were called “deeply dangerous” and “a power grab threatening operational independence” by a police chief. Police and crime commissioners, in a private response, described some of the government‘s proposals as “ultra vires”, meaning going beyond the legal authority of the Home Secretary.

Ten years ago, the government handed over local policing powers to PCCs as part of its localism agenda. But one government proposal makes it easier for the interior minister to intervene in such matters, while another increases the pressure on chiefs and PCCs to respond to the interior minister.

A Home Office source with extensive knowledge of Patel’s thinking dismissed the criticism. They said: ‘It’s not a power grab, it’s not a threat to operational independence, but it’s about clarifying who has the duties and responsibilities in the policing world. Shouldn’t the role of the Minister of the Interior be to ask questions? »

The row at the top of the criminal justice system in England and Wales centers on the Home Office’s attempt to overhaul the policing protocol, which was first produced in 2011 and came into force in January 2012.

The Home Office’s draft of its new version, seen by the Guardian, has been sent to police chiefs and PCCs for their input, with the consultation closing on May 2. It sets out how government, police chiefs, police and crime commissioners should work together.

It is widely accepted that after a decade updating the original version is a good idea. But the new draft protocol gives the interior minister the right to demand answers from police chiefs, which the PCCs say impinges on their role.

A police chief said the protocol had “expanded” the role of the Home Secretary beyond what is written in the law.

Another said: ‘Your party gave these powers, if they don’t like it, get them back with legislation in parliament. Many chiefs believe the way it is written now is ultra vires. They are angry.”

Since Patel became Home Secretary, her department has been keen to get more involved in policing under a policy called “lean in.” The police chief said: “They’re using the term lean. For the first time, chiefs lean.”

A Home Office source said the changes made sense and expressed bewilderment at the opposition. “We’re going to write more clearly who owns what, who can request information, and who can do various things,” they said.

The 2012 version of the protocol clearly stated that the introduction of PCCs had “enabled the Home Office to step back from day-to-day policing”.

The new version, according to police chiefs, is trying to claw back power without parliamentary approval, with Patel and his officials keen to expand his “legitimate role in keeping PCCs and CCs”. [chief constables] render accounts”, and thus facilitate the taking to task of the chiefs of police.

The proposed protocol says: “We propose to lower the threshold for intervention by the Home Secretary in appropriate circumstances. This would allow the Home Secretary to intervene earlier if necessary, reducing the risk of not providing effective policing.

The government’s proposals would also increase pressure on police chiefs to provide the Home Secretary with the information she requests, which they are not obliged to do. The document says: “In order to ensure that the Home Secretary has the necessary information to respond to the public and to parliament, PCCs and CCs should expect the Home Secretary to ask chiefs information on police matters.”

In its private response, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said: ‘There is no formal legal power for the Home Secretary to require the police and crime commissioner to provide information…As As such, any attempt to create legal liability for police and crime commissioners to provide information to the Home Secretary through protocol would be ultra vires.

The proposed protocol also contains a requirement that police chiefs act “in a politically neutral manner”, which has been added to the previous restriction that they must be impartial.

This is opposed by police chiefs. One chief said they would be ‘chained’ and unable to comment on public policies they believe could affect tackling crime – such as the effects of austerity. Another leader said he was so vague he could not speak publicly on issues of political conflict – such as tougher penalties or opposing the decriminalization of cannabis, which is backed by some politicians front line.

The elected police and crime commissioners have said such ‘recentralisation’ cannot be done through ‘amendments to protocol’. Instead, they said, “The creation of new strategic oversight powers can only be achieved through primary legislation and must be subject to the scrutiny required by primary legislation.”

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In another section, they say, the “proposed change seeks to alter the constitutional relationship between the police, the people and the central government, which is one of the great forces of British policing”.

The deep apprehensions arise despite the protocol’s foreword which gives this assurance: “The protocol cannot create new laws, give actors powers they do not already have, or take away from any competent body the power discretion to use its existing powers”.

He adds: “By updating the protocol, we intend to clarify the role of the Home Secretary in the policing landscape, as well as the role of chief constables, PCCs and police and crime commissions. .”

Latest planning apps in Sedgemoor

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BELOW are planning applications received by Sedgemoor District Council between April 28 and May 4, 2022.

For more details and to comment on applications, log on to www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/planning.

BREAN

06/22/00002: Erection of a one-storey extension to the rear (west) elevation for the dining room, covered seating area and internal modifications. Erection of a single storey bar extension at the side (west) elevation. Ocean Bar, South Road, Brean, Burnham On Sea, Somerset, TA8 2RD.

22/06/00008: Northam Farm Camping And Caravan Park, South Road, Brean, Burnham On Sea, Somerset, TA8 2SE. Retrospective application for the erection of bar and canopy with associated works.

BRIDGWATER

22/08/00033: Erection of a commercial building (use class E), including changes to access and parking arrangements. Land at Appledore Drive, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5JJ.

BROOM FIELD

22/10/00002: Change of use from office to residential. Barn at Lydeard Farm, Broomfield, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 2EG.

BURNHAM & HIGHBRIDGE

22/11/00010: Installation of 3no. facade panels lit from the outside, 2no. non-illuminated fascia signs, 11no. unlit ACM panels and 4no. unlit windows.

11/22/00034: Crown lift lime (T1) in A3 5.5m above motorway, remove squirrel damaged lower limbs from north and west side. Reduce the extended lower limb to the south by 3-4 m. 9 Gardenhurst, Burnham On Sea, Somerset, TA8 2HQ.

CHEDDAR

17/22/00019: Request to determine if pre-approval is required for a proposed telecommunications upgrade installation: Proposed 15.0m high EE/H3G street pole on New Root C/W Wraparound foundation Cabinet & GPS and associated ancillary works. Quarry Batts Combe, Hanson PLC, Warrens Hill Road, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3LR.

CHILTON POLDEN

19/22/00004: Editing of 1no. accommodation, including parking arrangements. 88 Broadway, Chilton Polden, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7 9EQ.

BISHOP OF COMPTON

21/22/00009: Erection of an independent building with swimming pool, partial transformation of the existing garage into an annex, installation of electric gates, modifications to the perimeter wall and installation of an oil tank. Compton House, Coombe Lane, Compton Bishop, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26 2HE.

BRENT EAST

24/22/00009: Erection of the extension of the single-storey facade (South). The Garden House, Bristol Road, Rooksbridge, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26 2TE.

24/22/00012: Request to determine if pre-approval is required for a project to replace an existing building to house livestock. York House, Rooksbridge Road, Rooksbridge, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26 2UD.

PETHERTON NORTH

37/22/00016: Replacement of freestanding display panel. The Church of St Mary The Virgin, Fore Street, North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 6QA.

37/22/00026: Approval of details of infrastructure provisions, including freeway alignment, pedestrian and cycle routes, drainage and landscaping, for employment purposes (B1 usage classes , B2 and B8), the creation of a new highway service area and uses, including all supporting infrastructure (Phase 1). Notaro Park, land at Junction 24, Huntworth, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7 0DU.

37/22/00028: Erection of a two-storey extension (south) with connecting passage to the main dwelling (partially on the site of the existing veranda, to be demolished). Rydon Combe, Tuckerton Road, North Newton, Bridgwater, TA7 0BY.

37/22/00041: 1no erection. non-illuminated sign (revised diagram). Unit 2, Notaro Business Park, Huntworth Lane, North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7.

OTTERHAMPTON

39/22/00003: Planning permission, with certain reservations, for the construction of up to 60 dwellings, public open spaces and other associated infrastructure.

Land at, Brookside Road, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset.

39/22/00007: Formation of 2no. access the tracks. Manor Farm, Church Lane, Otterhampton, Bridgwater, TA5 2PT.

PAWLETT

41/22/00012: Request for prior approval for the construction of a single-storey extension, extending (5.60 m) from the rear elevation (East) on the site of the existing ( to demolish). 6 Walpole Cottages, Bristol Road, Walpole, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 4TF.

SHAPWICK

43/22/00003: Change of use from a school building (F1) to a residential building (C3) with some minor interior modifications (revised diagram). 2 Church Farm, Church Road, Shapwick, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7 9NE.

43/22/00004: Change of use from a school building (F1) to a residential building (C3) with some minor interior modifications (revised diagram). 2 Church Farm, Church Road, Shapwick, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7 9NE.

STAWELL

46/22/00002: Request for Prior Authorization for the project to change the use of the Agricultural Building at 1no. Housing and associated operational development. Barn East of Stawell Road, Stawell, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7.

WEMBDON

51/22/00006: Erection of a detached garage. 23 Greenacre, Wembdon, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 7RE.

51/22/00008: Erection of a two-storey extension on the side (North) and a rear floor (East) on the existing site (to be demolished). 12 Wembdon Rise, Wembdon, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 7QU.

At least 10 dead in Buffalo supermarket shooting

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At least 10 people were killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, law enforcement officials said. Details on the number of additional people shot at Tops Friendly Market and their conditions were not immediately available.

Buffalo police said earlier Saturday afternoon that the suspected shooter, who has not been identified, is in custody. Police officials and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The shooter entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire, one of the officials said. Investigators believe the man may have livestreamed the shooting and are investigating whether he posted a manifesto online, the official said.

The official warned that the investigation was still in its early stages and that authorities had not yet discerned a clear motive, but were investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated. The supermarket is in a predominantly black neighborhood about three miles north of central Buffalo. Witnesses reported the shooter was wearing military-style clothing and a bulletproof vest, one of the officials said.

Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the shooter was leaving. They described him as a white male in his late teens or early twenties wearing full camouflage, a black helmet, and what appeared to be a rifle.

“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what’s going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face? said Mr. Kephart. He fell to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun and was tackled by the police.”

Police sealed off the block, lined with onlookers, and a yellow police tape surrounded the parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were at the scene late Saturday afternoon, gathered in a parking lot across from the Tops store and were scheduled to address the media.

Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was “closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo,” her hometown. She said state officials have offered assistance to local authorities.

The Erie County Sheriff‘s Office said on social media that it has ordered all available personnel to assist Buffalo police.

For stories of where you live, visit In your region.

Philippe Coutinho determined to take Aston Villa to Europe

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Philippe Coutinho has targeted a return to Europe with Aston Villa following his £17m signing.

The 29-year-old has made a permanent move from Barcelona, ​​having initially been loaned out in January.

He signed a four-year deal ahead of Crystal Palace’s visit on Sunday, with Villa 12th in the Premier League.

They haven’t played in Europe since 2010 – a Europa League play-off loss to Rapid Vienna – but Coutinho is eyeing a return.

“We can do better than we did this year and we want to achieve things like getting into Europe. I believe so much in the team and the work the staff are doing,” he told the site. club official.

“I believe that’s where we need to be, playing in the European games. That’s what we will work hard for.

“I feel good at the club. It’s a good start and I want to achieve good things with the club.

“I’m already looking forward to next year. I believe so much in the team and in the club, and we can do good things next year.

“He (manager Steven Gerrard) believes in me. We’ve known each other for a long time and I was made very welcome by him and his team when I arrived here.

“He’s a great manager, for sure. I’m happy to be led by him and his team. His ambitions are high and I believe in the same things he believes in. I want to work hard to achieve that.

“It’s a top club and I always felt welcome when I came here, from everyone, so for me today is a happy day.

“I felt very welcomed by the fans, by my team-mates and by the staff. As I said, it’s a great club and we want to achieve great things.

“I believe so much in this club and that’s why I signed here. I’m very, very happy.

‘I lied to everyone I met’: How gambling has gripped women in the UK

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In Christmas Day 2018, things came to a head for Bev. By his own admission, it had been “a beautiful day”. “Everything was fine,” she says. “There was no reason why I should have played, but in my head – in a player’s head – it was Christmas, so there was no way to lose. I told myself they wouldn’t do that to you on Christmas day.”

In 90 minutes, the 59-year-old from Newcastle had lost £5,000. “I emptied my husband’s bank account,” she says The Independent. “I even borrowed money from my daughter claiming I had an urgent bill that needed paying. I lost the whole lot – and then I overdosed.”

The UK is home to one of the largest gambling markets in the world, which generated a profit of £14.2 billion in 2020. In the past, gambling has been classified as a problem that mainly affects men, but research by GambleAware in January this year found that the number of women treated for gambling had doubled in five years, with up to a million women were at risk of gambling-related problems. It added that this figure may represent only a small proportion of women who suffer gambling-related harm.

Bev’s gambling problems began around 16 years ago. “I was entering a contest on a popular television website and a gambling pop-up came up and I was like, ‘I’m going to try that,'” she said. She had never played before: “I just didn’t care. It felt like throwing money away.”

After depositing £10, she quickly won £800. “I couldn’t believe the money was mine,” she says. “I then started depositing more and more and that £800 went away very quickly. After that I was hooked.”

An early win was also “the hook” that prompted Derbyshire’s 29-year-old Stacey to return for more when her gambling addiction began. Their poison were slot machines and scratch cards. “It’s fast and totally stunning to stare at the spinning wheels,” she says.



For women, gambling is an escape from overwhelming responsibilities and fears

The numbing effect of gambling is a significant draw for many women who gamble, according to experts. Liz Karter MBE, a leading UK therapist for women’s gambling, says the oblivion that gambling offers can provide a space away from the stresses of everyday life. “You’ll rarely hear women talk about loving the buzz or the excitement of gambling or loving the praise that winning gives them like a lot of men,” she says The Independent.

“For women, gambling is about losing yourself in an experience where you end up thinking and feeling nothing. Complete concentration on gambling is a distraction from stressful thoughts and feelings. It is an escape from overwhelming responsibilities and fears.”

For Tracey, 58, from Berkshire, it’s a familiar story. “My gambling has never been about money,” she says. “It was sketchy. When I was playing, I didn’t worry about anything…playing took me out of my reality.”

Things began to fall apart for Bev long before that fateful Christmas, and have only gotten worse over the years. As the person in charge of household finances, she had easy access to money, but unbeknownst to her loved ones, she had exhausted all her credit cards and taken out loans to pay them off, which went straight back into her gambling fund. She also borrowed money from friends, family and even work colleagues. “I lied to everyone I met,” she said. “I was in a terrible place mentally.

“My husband and I both have good salaries and I have often waited until midnight on payday for the money to come into my account each month. My husband was asleep in bed and within a few hours I screwed everything up.”

All the women talked about the “ease” of online gambling and its 24/7 availability. Tracey describes the internet as “the crack cocaine of gambling”. She says: “As I started playing, places opened and closed. I was the first in and the last out, but it was still the end of the day.”



We have gambling in our homes, offices and purses…it’s everywhere

Before going online, Stacey had traveled back and forth between different bookies to avoid drawing attention to her gambling problem. However, online it was very different. “It was so easy. Nobody knew what I was doing.”

Karter makes a direct connection between the rise of gambling among women and its increasing ubiquity. “We have gambling in our homes, offices and purses,” she says. “However, we must look at any addiction in the context of social and mental health. We are seeing a rise in stress, depression and anxiety in women and this is leading to self-medicating through gambling… it feels all too easy to get lost in the virtual world of online gambling.”

“I don’t want anyone to feel as lonely as I do”

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

All three women found the support they needed through an all women’s retreat Gordon Moody, part of a network of organizations within the National Gambling Treatment Service that offer a range of treatments. “I walked in there a broken woman, but I left feeling like there was hope,” says Bev. “They equipped us with the tools and strategies to stop you in the moment before you place a bet. it’s brilliant Something just clicked and it worked.”

Stacey admits she was initially “very skeptical” that the service would help her, but describes it as “the best thing I’ve ever done.”

While all three women describe themselves as recovering from gambling, some of the consequences are harder to get past.

Payday loans, credit cards—my debt was enormous,” says Stacey. “I was moving from house to house and living with friends because I was getting nowhere with my bad credit. It’s a long-term gambling harm that I’m still working on – it will be a long time before I’ll be able to get a house.”



One of the worst things that happened when I tried to stop gambling was when the companies wrote to you as a ‘VIP customer’ and said: ‘We haven’t seen you in a while – here’s £200 in your account. “

Bev wants major reforms in the gaming sector. “One of the worst things that happened when I tried to stop gambling was when the companies wrote you down as a ‘VIP customer’ and said ‘We haven’t seen you in a while – here’s £200 in your account ‘. . That was so bad.

“I also think they should vet new account holders, like when they apply for a loan,” she adds. “The number of times I’ve deposited thousands of pounds in a very short space of time…they must have noticed I had a problem but they just encouraged it more.”

A government white paper Addressing such issues is long overdue and expected to be released later this month. MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm, has called the need for affordability reviews, spending caps and independent ratings for new users “overwhelming”.

Stacey, Bev and Tracey all want more people to understand that this is a devastating condition that can and does affect women – but that help is available.

“It’s so important to reach out and talk to someone,” says Tracey. “No matter where you come from or how old you are – you will never be alone.”

Stacey agrees. “I don’t want anyone to feel as lonely as I do. If you can overcome the shame, there are so many places you can go that specifically help women where you will not be judged. The first step is scary, but it’s worth it. There is hope.”

For problem gambling information, support and advice, please contact:

Gordon Moody (gordonmoody.org.uk), Gamble Aware (begambleaware.org), Gamblers Anonymous, which runs a series of “women-preferred” online and real-world meetups (gamblersanonymous.org.uk), BetKnowMore (betknowmoreuk.org) and GamCare (www.gamcare.org.uk).

British government suspends engagement with NUS over allegations of anti-Semitism | Students

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Ministers banned official contact with the National Union of Students over long-standing allegations of anti-Semitism within the organization, despite NUS’s commitment to work with Jewish students in an internal investigation.

The allegations have become a priority for the government since the election of Shaima Dallali as the next NUS president, with groups like the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) raising concerns after alleged historical comments resurfaced. surface.

Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, announced the suspension of NUS recognition, saying he was “seriously concerned” about reports of alleged anti-Semitism.

“Jewish students need to trust that this is a body that represents them, and we need to ensure that the student bodies we engage with speak fairly for all students, which is why we are disengaging from the NUS until the issues are resolved. been addressed,” Zahawi said.

“Based on NUS’s initial response to our concerns, I am confident that they are keen to take action and welcome further updates from them.”

Michelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education in England, announced that she had written to the electorate who oversaw this year’s NUS presidential election, requesting information on how the election was conducted.

The NUS represents seven million students in universities and colleges, with 600 affiliated student unions. The suspension only affects his dealings with the Westminster government and not those of other countries.

Matt Western, Labour’s shadow universities minister, said it was important for Jewish students to feel safe and able to participate in student organizations. “It is important that the NUS listens, and I hope that the independent investigation they have rightly put in place will resolve these issues to the satisfaction of all concerned,” he said. declared.

The Department for Education (DfE) said: “Although the NUS has shown its willingness to respond to the concerns expressed by ministers, including by starting to launch a process of independent inquiries, this will need to lead to substantive action. .

“This decision to disengage from NUS will be reviewed as long as the organization demonstrates that it has properly addressed these issues.”

A NUS spokesperson said: ‘We are disappointed that the Minister for Universities has announced in a press release that the DfE will be disengaging from NUS, rather than seeking to engage directly with us.

“Following a complaint of anti-Semitism, we have launched an independent investigation. We will appoint a QC, in consultation with the Union of Jewish Students, next week. We have sought to undertake the investigation in a serious and appropriate manner, and are working with the UJS every step of the way.

“Once the QC is appointed, we can take stock of the process and the schedule. We look forward to working constructively with the government on this issue.

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The DfE said that during the suspension the NUS will be removed from all government groups and replaced by alternative student representatives. The ministry is asking independent bodies, including the Office for Students, the higher education regulator, to take similar action.

Following Dallali’s election earlier this year, the UJS took issue with comments she allegedly made, including a tweet posted 10 years ago that read: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… The Army of Muhammad will return to Gaza,” referring to an AD628 assault on Jews.

Dallali – who is president of the City Students’ Union, University of London – apologized for the tweet, saying she was no longer the same person she was then.

In an interview with the Guardian, Dallali, 27, revealed that since her election she had received a lot of Islamophobic and racist abuse online. “Unfortunately, as a black Muslim woman, this is something I expected because I have seen this happen to other black Muslim women,” she said.

Business secretary says building nuclear power plants could increase energy bills

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The business secretary said the government’s push for nuclear power could initially increase energy bills.

Kwasi Kwarteng said the plan to build new power stations under a new energy strategy could have a “small effect” on bills.

But he told the BBC that “nuclear is back on the table” because the government sees it as a sustainable energy source, adding that it will eventually provide cheaper energy.

The energy strategy was released in April as Western countries grappled with high energy prices, dependence on Russian oil and gas and wider calls to end the age of fossil fuels to fight against climate change.

A fleet of new nuclear power stations is central to the strategy, with the prime minister suggesting a new reactor will be built every year, in a social media video to promote the plan.

As part of a goal to make 95% of electricity low-carbon by 2030, the strategy aims to produce up to 50 GW of offshore wind power by 2030, which will , officials say, would be more than enough to power every home in the UK.

The strategy also includes a goal to double the target of 10 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030, with at least half “green” hydrogen, produced from renewable electricity rather than of natural gas.

A multi-million pound package was then announced to help support the government‘s strategy ‘bold plans’.

Mr Kwarteng said the £375million investment will “unlock the huge potential” of hydrogen and nuclear power.

(PA graphics)

Boris Johnson has sought to defend the new energy strategy in the face of criticism he is doing nothing to help people with skyrocketing bills now.

He said the strategy – which aims to boost new nuclear power, offshore wind and hydrogen – is a long-term plan focused on energy supply, “repairing the mistakes of the past and making the big decisions now. “.

He said the government is “already doing a lot to help people with the immediate cost of living and of course we are going to do more”.

Jet2 offer for a break offering family holidays for pennies – or a £60 discount if you miss out

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Families looking for a cheap holiday this summer will want to try and take advantage of a new offer from Jet2. The company’s “offer for a break” program is back.

The way it works is that bargain hunters can submit offers for week-long vacations in destinations such as Crete, Gran Canaria and Tenerife. In fact, you can even bid as low as 1p for the experience.

There is a catch though – only the lowest unique bidder wins the getaway. Nevertheless, you could end up landing a vacation for pennies.

The Mirror says last year 23 holidaymakers won getaways to the Canary Islands, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and Turkey, with some of the deals starting at just 2p. Different holidays are posted on different days.

At the moment you can bid for a getaway to Bulgaria from May 16, Crete from May 23 and Gran Canaria from May 30. There is a mix of offers for couples and families of four.

“Offer for a break” from Jet2 – how to participate

To place your bid, it’s simple:

  • Download the Jet2holidays app
  • Go to the ‘Offers’ page
  • Select “Bid for a break”
  • Fill out the form with your details
  • Add your lowest unique bid, to the nearest penny

You can find out more about the holidays and get the full terms and conditions on the Jet2 website. But even if you don’t win the bidding war, you can still save money by participating.

Save £60 on a Jet2 holiday

There is a silver lining for all participants. Unsuccessful bidders will still receive a special discount code giving them £60 off their next holiday.

But remember, some vacation spots still have Covid-19 rules in place. For example, if you are hoping to visit Tenerife and Gran Canaria, adults must be vaccinated while unvaccinated children between the ages of 12 and 17 will need a PCR test to be allowed entry.

Entry requirements can change quickly during the pandemic, so always check the latest Foreign Office travel advice for a destination before booking a trip or going abroad. This will include key information – from entry requirements to local Covid rules that you need to know.

Lloyds bank employees will demonstrate outside the annual meeting

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Lloyds staff will stage a protest outside the bank’s annual meeting on Thursday over a pay dispute.

Members of the Unite union will tell attendees at the Edinburgh meeting that low-paid employees cannot afford to heat their homes or they will stop paying their pension contributions.

The union said it would send a message to Lloyds Banking Group – ‘Pay staff, not just shareholders’.

Unite is calling on shareholders and the bank’s board to scale back their share buyback program slightly to increase workers’ financial resources.

Caren Evans, Country Head of Unite, said: “While Lloyds Banking Group makes obscene sums of money year after year, we cannot accept a situation where their employees, the backbone of their business, are struggling. financial.

“The workforce told Unite they would not be able to heat their homes enough. Some even have to sacrifice their future retirement plans by stopping pension contributions, and with many bank employees having to go into debt to pay their bills.

“These employees are not big bankers, but ordinary people who give their all for a company that does not give the same in return.

“Kind words and platitudes from management won’t keep Lloyds workers warm or fed.”

A Lloyds spokesperson said: ‘We understand that the wider economic circumstances are increasingly difficult. We believe our rewards package is fair and competitive, including compensation, bonuses, flex benefits, pensions, and great options for agile and flexible working.

“Overall, the majority of union members who voted voted in favor of the pay offer this year.”

Lloyds said the wage offer this year was worth 3.6%, giving a minimum wage increase of £1,000 for all employees.

For two-thirds of junior staff, increases were 4% or more. The minimum wage has risen to £10.60 per hour (£19,292 per year). Together with other payments, this equates to a minimum starting rate of £20,000 for new entrants.

Shopify, Square among companies hoping to ease e-commerce slowdown by lending money to merchants

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Désirée Kretschmar, owner of the Plant Goals store in Peterborough, Ontario, took part in a beta test of the Square Loans program to buy new inventory in the fall.Ash Nayler/The Globe and Mail

E-commerce companies facing a sudden slowdown are hoping one of their newer lines of business can help bridge the gap: lending money.

Technology companies that provide online sales and transaction services to retailers and small businesses are also increasingly offering these customers loans and cash advances to keep them loyal to their service platforms.

They do so for a fee and a share of future sales, providing small businesses with a ready source of cash in a pinch, with such loans now worth billions of dollars.

It’s often a mutually beneficial arrangement, but like any lending program, it comes with risks — especially when the recent slump in e-commerce spending turns into an extended slump.

E-commerce companies like Shopify Inc. SHOP-T, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN-Q and several others recently released lower-than-expected financial results, sending their share prices plummeting amid signs of rapid online traffic growth Pandemic is no longer sustainable. Rising inflation also raises concerns that consumers are reining in their discretionary spending.

Shopify, for example, announced in its earnings report last week that it had written off $46 million in bad debt last quarter alone, with nearly half a billion dollars still outstanding in advances.

Block Inc. SQ-N, the owner of Square Inc., is the latest company to offer credit to Canadian merchants with the launch of Square Loans last month. It follows similar programs launched by competitors Shopify and Lightspeed Commerce LSPD-T during the pandemic.

Square Banking general manager Luke Voiles says offering credit can be a way of guiding merchants through a difficult time.

“If they’re going through a tough time, and we can keep them in business over time, we can help them survive,” he said. “It feels really good.”

“We try to resolve pain points as best we can to make sure they stay with us.”

Dan Romanoff, a Chicago-based senior analyst for e-commerce and software companies at Morningstar Inc., says offering credit to such companies is becoming increasingly necessary — a tempting incentive for merchants to continue working with e-commerce platforms .

“It’s something that once you start using this software and then start making capital, it’s very hard to stop,” said Mr. Romanoff. “The ability of Shopify or any of their competitors, in all honesty, to offer any sort of capital support is just that they’re more of a one-stop shop.”

The programs offer a certain amount of cash in exchange for an upfront payment. The money is returned by deducting a small amount from the trader’s daily turnover.

In an example provided by Square, a merchant wanting to borrow $10,000 could be charged a fee of $1,300, so a total of $11,300 would be deducted in installments from their sales over 18 months. Square estimates most fees would amount to around 10 to 13 percent of the loan. A cash advance on a credit card would have a higher interest rate, while most bank loans would have lower interest rates.

Both Square and Shopify use algorithms to set the terms of their loans, while Lightspeed says the terms are set through a mix of algorithm and human analysis.

In all cases, however, the loan offers are based on the dealer’s sales documents and, unlike a classic bank loan, do not include a credit check.

Shopify says its automated process allows merchants to avoid filling out lengthy loan applications or writing business plans.

Désirée Kretschmar, the owner of the Plant Goals store in Peterborough, Ontario, took part in a beta test of the Square Loans program to buy new inventory in the fall. She said she found the experience much easier and quicker than applying for a loan from a bank.

“It took about as long as it takes to drink a cup of coffee,” she said.

But not running a credit check adds an element of risk.

David Lewis, a bankruptcy trustee at BDO Canada, said the decision not to conduct credit checks means e-commerce platforms have no idea if merchants have other loans that they may have difficulty repaying. It could also provide a way for struggling companies to delve deeper.

“With no credit check or no collateral, I could just see someone go out and apply for these small loans to help meet their short-term needs,” said Mr. Lewis. “A bit like what people do with payday loans.”

However, he added that e-commerce companies have the benefit of being able to take money directly from a merchant’s earnings, a power most creditors don’t have.

The amount of money provided through these lending programs varies greatly depending on the platform.

Shopify says it has provided more than $3 billion to merchants in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada through Shopify Capital since 2016. The company’s results, released Thursday, said it advanced $347 million in cash and loans in the first quarter of 2022, up 12 percent from the first quarter last year. The company’s most recent quarterly corporate filings indicate that it had $487 million in outstanding loans to dealers as of March 31, after writing off $46 million in bad loans and advances.

Square says it has provided $9 billion in loans in the United States, Australia and Canada. The company did not say how much was paid back. Company filings for fiscal 2021 show it took retailers an average of nine months to repay the loans.

However, Lightspeed Capital hasn’t been used nearly as much. Company records show that as of December 31, 2021, the program had $5.3 million in outstanding debt. An analysis by Credit Suisse researchers last month found fewer than 300 traders would use the program by fiscal 2024.

Still, Mr. Romanoff said he expects other companies to expand their lending offerings. He pointed to Amazon’s efforts to give advances to third-party sellers on the Amazon Marketplace.

“This is something that’s real, and it benefits users,” said Mr. Romanoff. “I think it’s valuable and I don’t think it’s a money loser.”

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Analysis: UK consumer desperation suggests government is mishandling inflation crisis

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  • UK consumers deeply disappointed with finances and economic outlook
  • The slump on the cost of living is the worst among major European economies
  • Economists blame relative lack of household support
  • Data suggests there is an urgent need for the government to change course
  • Targeted household support could have wider benefits

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) – The wave of pessimism sweeping through British households is unmatched elsewhere among major European economies and suggests the government may have misjudged its response to the growing cost of living crisis.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has so far resisted calls to extend support measures for households, saying he would review the situation in the second half of the year when energy prices are expected to rise again.

Some of the economic data, however, suggests that a more urgent approach might be warranted.

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Last month, the closely watched GfK survey showed public confidence in personal finances had fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1985, with sentiment about the economic outlook also approaching historic lows. .

That was before last week’s stern warning from the Bank of England that Britain risked a double hit of inflation above 10% and a possible recession as the BoE hiked interest rates. interest at their highest level since 2009. read more

As people across Europe face their highest inflation rates in decades – reflecting pandemic-damaged supply chains and soaring energy prices – and consumers turn glum in developed economies, an outright collapse of confidence is an acute British problem.

Unadjusted comparable data from the European Commission’s monthly consumer survey – which included the UK‘s GfK survey before Brexit – shows there is more pessimism in Britain about household finances and the economy. economy at large than in any of the 10 largest economies in the EU.

UK consumers among Europe’s darkest

If all EU countries are included, only Greek consumers were more depressed.

The Refinitiv/IPSOS consumer survey paints the same picture: Britain is bottom of the table in Europe for confidence in finances.

Economists say this reflects a relative lack of support from the Conservative government for British households who are this year the hardest hit by their incomes since the mid-1950s.

“If you compare the UK to the other big countries in Western Europe like France, Italy, Germany… they’ve done more to support consumers over the past few months,” said James Smith, an economist for developed markets at ING.

France has pledged to cap an increase in regulated electricity costs at 4% – unlike the 54% increase in its regulatory price cap in Britain which came into force in February, affecting some 22 million of people. The UK cap is set for another sharp rise in October.

Germany has announced two tax relief and subsidy programs worth a total of more than 30 billion euros ($31.6 billion).

Spain cut taxes to lower consumer bills and announced €16 billion in direct aid and subsidized loans to help businesses and households cope with rising energy prices. Read more

Britain says it is providing support worth £22bn ($27.1bn) in the 2022/23 financial year to households – but that ignores previously announced tax increases for workers.

The Resolution Foundation, a living standards think tank, estimates UK support for 2022/23 will be net at just £110 per household, after tax increases.

British consumer confidence now languishes at levels that reliably indicate a recession.

While business surveys and labor market data show a healthier picture of the economy – one of the reasons the BoE raised interest rates – this was also the case in the first half of 2008 when a severe downturn followed.

A repeat could spell trouble for Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of an election due in 2024. On Tuesday he pledged to boost Britain’s economic growth to help those battling the rising cost of living. Read more

More than a third of UK consumers are seeing their finances weaken: Refinitiv/IPSOS

SHOW ME THE MONEY

Sunak stresses the need to restore Britain’s public finances after borrowing the most ever in peacetime during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says he must reduce the debt burden for future generations and make room for future stimulus if needed.

Last month the International Monetary Fund said Britain was on track to record a lower budget deficit in 2023 than most major developed economies – but would also suffer from the weakest economic growth and the highest inflation.

Prime Minister Johnson has warned that doing more now to help households with rising energy bills could further fuel inflation – a proposal which Resolution Foundation chief executive Torsten Bell has called ‘seriously absurd’ .

The government should provide targeted support to the lowest income households, he said.

“(It’s) true that you can’t stop rising gas prices from making us poorer as a country,” Bell said. “But the idea that you can’t make choices about whose standard of living it impacts is ridiculous.”

Economists say this focus on spending restraint could now be at the heart of Britain’s problems, potentially creating a toxic policy mix.

When Britain passed an austerity plan to rein in government borrowing after the 2008-09 financial crisis, it relied on the BoE to keep stimulating the economy – no longer an option with double-digit inflation.

“We’ve been consistent for a while in saying we think the policy mix is ​​wrong and fiscal policy is too tight,” said Rory Macqueen, senior economist at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.

The thinking is this: the government should spend more, especially to help low-income households through the cost of living crisis.

With fewer concerns about the impact of demand and a possible recession averted, the BoE would be able to raise interest rates further, boosting the pound – which has slid to a low nearly two years below. of $1.23 in recent days – and dampening inflation.

“There’s a lot more that could be done within the confines of fiscal policy to support households,” Macqueen said.

But when the government presented its legislative program for the next legislature on Tuesday, there was no sign of changing course – although it said it would not hesitate to take further action to help households if necessary.

“Clearly the government is the best placed agent to ensure that households don’t suffer, and they don’t,” Macqueen said.

($1 = 0.8118 pounds)

($1 = 0.9486 euros)

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Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Wood and Laminate Flooring Market Size and Forecast

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New Jersey, United States – Comprehensive analyzes of the fastest growing companies Wood and Laminate Flooring Market provide information that helps stakeholders identify opportunities and challenges. The 2022 markets could be another big year for wood and laminate flooring. This report provides an overview of the company’s activities and financial situation (a company profile is required if you want to raise capital or attract investors), recent developments (mergers and acquisitions) and recent SWOT analyses. This report focuses on the wood and laminate flooring market over the assessment period 2029. The report also provides growth analysis of the wood and laminate flooring market which includes analysis at Porter’s five factors and supply chain analysis.

It describes the behavior of the industry. It also outlines a future direction that will help companies and other stakeholders make informed decisions that will ensure strong returns for years to come. The report provides a practical overview of the global market and its changing environment to help readers make informed decisions about market projects. This report focuses on growth opportunities that allow the market to expand its operations in existing markets.

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The report helps both major players and new entrants to analyze the market in depth. This helps key players determine their business strategy and set goals. The report provides key market insights including niche growth opportunities along with market size, growth rate and forecast in key regions and countries.

The Wood and Laminate Flooring report contains data based on rigorous studies of primary and secondary schools using best research practices. The report contains comprehensive information which will enable you to evaluate each segment of the wood and laminate flooring market. This report has been prepared considering various aspects of market research and analysis. It includes market size estimates, market dynamics, and company and market best practices. Entry marketing strategy, positioning, segmentation, competitive landscape and economic forecasts. Industry-specific technology solutions, roadmap analysis, alignment to key buying criteria, in-depth vendor product benchmarking

Key Players Mentioned in the Wood and Laminate Flooring Market Research Report:

Mohawk, Armstrong, Shaw, Mullican, Somerset, Mannington Mills, Kronotex USA

Wood and Laminate Flooring Market Segmentation:

By Product Type, the market is primarily split into:

• Parquet
• Laminate flooring

By application, this report covers the following segments:

• Commercial flooring
• Residential flooring

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Scope of the Wood and Laminate Flooring Market Report

ATTRIBUTES DETAILS
ESTIMATED YEAR 2022
YEAR OF REFERENCE 2021
FORECAST YEAR 2029
HISTORICAL YEAR 2020
UNITY Value (million USD/billion)
SECTORS COVERED Types, applications, end users, and more.
REPORT COVER Revenue Forecast, Business Ranking, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors and Trends
BY REGION North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
CUSTOMIZATION SCOPE Free report customization (equivalent to up to 4 analyst business days) with purchase. Added or changed country, region and segment scope.

Geographic segment covered in the report:

The Wood and Laminate Flooring report provides information on the market area, which is further sub-divided into sub-regions and countries/regions. In addition to the market share in each country and sub-region, this chapter of this report also contains information on profit opportunities. This chapter of the report mentions the market share and growth rate of each region, country and sub-region over the estimated period.

• North America (USA and Canada)
• Europe (UK, Germany, France and rest of Europe)
• Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region)
• Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and rest of Latin America)
• Middle East and Africa (GCC and Rest of Middle East and Africa)

Key questions answered in this Wood and Laminate Flooring Market report

  1. How much revenue will the Wood and Laminate Flooring market generate by the end of forecast period?
  2. Which market segment is expected to have the maximum market share?
  3. What are the influencing factors and their impact on the Wood and Laminate Flooring market?
  4. Which regions are currently contributing the maximum share of the global wood and laminate flooring market?
  5. Which indicators are likely to drive the Wood and Laminate Flooring market?
  6. What are the key strategies of the leading Wood and Laminate Flooring market players to expand their geographical presence?
  7. What are the key advancements in the Wood and Laminate Flooring market?
  8. How are regulatory standards affecting the wood and laminate flooring market?

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor reveals why she turned down Eurovision judge role

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The “Murder on The Dancefloor” singer told Radio Times that she was approached to be on the 2019 judging panel, but ultimately declined.

The singer-songwriter explained that there were two reasons she turned down the gig

Ellis Bextor has been an avid fan of the annual pageant since she was a child, but two pageant rules have kept her from going from spectator to judge.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Credit: PA

Why did Sophie Ellis-Bextor refuse to be a judge at Eurovision?

The singer explained in the Radio Times interview that it came down to a combination of having a young child and having to keep quiet during the show.

“I had a very small baby that I was still feeding, and they wouldn’t let me take him,” the 43-year-old said.

“I’m pretty sure the baby would have been unbiased but, you know what, I think part of what I love about Eurovision is that it really does have its rules… it’s mad.

“We also weren’t going to be allowed to talk while we were watching it, and I was like, ‘I can’t watch Eurovision in silence’.”

Eurovision has been a long tradition in her family since she was “little” and watched the program with her parents as a child.

READ MORE: Who will win the Eurovision Song Contest 2022? See Ukraine’s favorites in the UK

READ MORE: Eurovision Song Contest 2022: How will voting work in the Turin contest?

“My parents always watched Eurovision and I remember watching it in the 80s when I was in single digits and was quite fascinated by what I was seeing,” she said.

The “political nuances” of Eurovision and Britain’s notorious lack of success were “part of the fun”, she explained.

“We should probably prepare for another ‘zero point’ score,” she said. “There have always been political nuances (in voting), which, again, is part of the fun. We appreciate that, I think.

“That’s part of the reason Britain treats it in an almost ironic way, and I don’t think they’ll ever lose that, but some of the songs that are good can have a life outside of it. ‘Eurovision and be treated as legitimate hits.’

When is the Eurovision Song Contest semi-final?

The first Eurovision semi-final will take place on Tuesday May 10 where all countries will participate except for the Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom).

Each country will compete in both semi-finals for a chance to claim one of 10 places in Saturday’s final.

The public watches 17 competing songs and you can vote for your favorite song via the official Eurovision Song Contest app.

Full details on how and when to vote will be revealed during the broadcasts.

You can watch the Eurovision semi-finals on BBC Three with Scott Mills and Rylan Clark live from Turin.

The Eurovision semi-final will air at 8 p.m. on BBC Three.

The second semi-final will air on Thursday at the same time and place.

When is the Eurovision Song Contest final?

TikTok star Sam Ryder from Essex is the British entry in the 2022 contest and will represent the country with the pop song Space Man.

The 66th Eurovision Grand Final will take place on Saturday May 14 and will be broadcast live from last year’s winners Italy on BBC One.

Viewers in the UK will be able to watch the program from 8pm on BBC One.

Football rumours: Arsenal circle potential Raheem Sterling transfer

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Arsenal should be in the lead for Rahim Sterling, if the Manchester City striker becomes available this summer. According to The Telegraph, Mikel Arteta intends to strengthen his attacking options when the window opens, with Sterling an ideal candidate. The 27-year-old England forward is set to enter the final year of his contract but has yet to enter any talks over his future as he focuses on City’s title chase.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane could be a target for Bayern Munich (Adam Davy/PA)

Metro say Bayern Munich are planning a summer transfer for the Liverpool striker Sadio Mane. Citing Sky Germany, the newspaper say the Bundesliga giants have already made contact with the 30-year-old’s agent, with Mane frustrated by Liverpool’s willingness to extend Mohamed Salah’s stay at Anfield.

Stay with Liverpool, Alex Oxlade ChamberlainThe time spent with the Reds may be coming to an end. The Daily Mail report that the 28-year-old midfielder has yet to be approached for a new deal, despite his contract expiring next summer. Oxlade-Chamberlain has not played for Liverpool since March 20.

Burton Albion v Newcastle United - Pre-Season Friendly - Pirelli Stadium
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles could be set to leave (Nick Potts/PA)

The Sun says the 28-year-old Newcastle captain Jamal Lascelles will be on the chopping block this summer after falling down the pecking order at the club.

Social media review

Players to watch

Coventry City Squad Photo and Headshots - Coventry Building Society Arena
Jake Clarke-Salter of Coventry (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Jake Clarke Salter: The Sun says the 24-year-old Chelsea defender is wanted by both Leeds and PSV Eindhoven after impressing on loan with Coventry.

Karim Adeyemi: The 20-year-old Red Bull Salzburg striker is set to move to Borussia Dortmund, according to Metro.

Creating a sustainable future through real estate

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Louisa LeRoux, Net Carbon Zero Program Manager for the Government Property Agency, seeks to maximize energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in property portfolios. And how changes and initiatives are enabling offices to play a leading role in creating a sustainable future.

The real estate industry has a huge role to play in reducing carbon emissions and maximizing energy efficiency as the world tackles climate change.

The government has updated its plans to reach Net Zero by 2050, with the UK setting the world’s most ambitious climate change target. In June 2021 the new target was published in legislation which would reduce Scope 1 emissions by 78%, meaning the UK will be more than three quarters of the way to Net Zero by 2035 As the delivery agency for government office and warehouse portfolio strategies, we are committed to achieving the same target for government buildings – those we manage – by 2032, three years ahead of target. of the government.

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions such as those from vehicles and gas boilers, as well as what we use as individuals. To reduce these emissions in buildings, the goal is to decarbonize and move away from fossil fuels to sustainable forms of electricity.

Achieving the required 78% carbon reduction by 2032 will not be easy, and to get there we will need both effort and concerted work to achieve quick wins.

Maximize sustainable and clean technologies

We currently manage over 700,000 square meters of the government office portfolio. This presents us with a huge opportunity to maximize the use of sustainable, clean technologies and low or zero carbon energy wherever possible. For example:

  • By insulating and reducing consumption through the optimization of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology and the technical building management system (BMS), the use of micrometers, sensors and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.
  • Use green energy and switch to carbon-free electricity by switching to a renewable energy supplier.
  • Produce and store renewable energy locally through integrated generation, storage and use.

Across the industry, we are seeing more and more companies focusing on a wider range of green initiatives such as undermetering. This allows for a better understanding of energy usage so that the right metrics can be identified. These measures mainly include switching to suitable green tariffs, and owners installing more electric vehicle charging units and reviewing their heating and cooling units. We are also seeing smarter use of design elements on buildings to allow sustainable solutions to better integrate with the facade and fabric of older buildings.

Retrofit can be done

It has been proven that renovation can be done in heritage buildings to improve sustainability. For example, we are planning to decarbonise our Whitehall district heating system, which will go a long way to reducing carbon emissions on our central London heritage estate.

Workplace Design Guide, Net Zero

In August 2020, we released the Government Workplace Design Guide. This includes the Net Zero and sustainability schedule covering construction and operational energy. The guide was created with flexibility in mind, as we understand that not all buildings are or should be the same. It helps buildings operate in the most sustainable way possible, whether it’s new construction, renovation or refurbishment.

I’m sure we can all agree that the real estate industry faces unique challenges in achieving Net Zero. I bet we have many ways to overcome them. At GPA, we plan to lead by example and encourage every real estate stakeholder not just to achieve a standard, but to innovate and find ways to go further and do better.

Louisa LeRoux
Net Zero Carbon Program Manager
Government real estate agency
Connect with Louisa on LinkedIn

Direct debits doubled after energy boost, some Britons say

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Britons who are with British Gas, Octopus Energy and Shell Energy said their direct debits had doubled since the price hike, despite the price cap being half that, according to Money Saving Expert (MSE).

The website, founded by Martin Lewis, said that at least 30% of the companies’ customers, who were on credit and on a capped rate, reported an increase in their direct debits.

Across all businesses, 25% of customers in this situation said their withdrawals had doubled or more.

Energy prices have skyrocketed over the past year and last month the energy price cap was increased by 54% for the average household.

The results were collected from a survey conducted by MSE between April 26, 2022 and May 3, 2022, with 41,000 responses.

He added that the survey was self-selected, so some people may have responded more frequently.

However, he said that while the proportions are “skewed”, the results show a significant number of people reporting that their direct debits have doubled.

The survey also found that those coming out of fixed agreements saw their direct debits increase the most.

MSE said this was to be expected as they were likely on the cheapest fares and are now moving to price caps.

It will report its findings to the energy market regulator Ofgem, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the House of Commons Business Committee.

Mr Lewis said: ‘The fixed monthly charge is how up to 80 per cent of people in England, Scotland and Wales pay their energy bills.

“The theory is good: your annual cost is divided by 12, so you pay the same amount each month, smoothing out high-use winter costs and low-use summer costs.

“Yet for months I have heard people shocked to learn that their direct debits had doubled or tripled.

“Scary, for some people it’s reasonable.

“Those exiting cheap, moving to expensive, or in energy debt would expect to see their direct debit increase by more than the already hideous 54% increase in the energy price cap.

“So to test what’s really happening, we analyzed responses only from people with credit who were and remain on a price cap, because they should only see increases in line with the price cap, around 45% to 65 % .

“Yet even then, on average, many report higher increases, and a quarter say they have been told to pay double what they were paying before.

“It smells bad to me.

“While a higher direct debit doesn’t mean you pay more in the end, any overpayment eventually has to be repaid, it does mean way too much money coming from accounts now, which is often a nightmare in the middle of the cost of living crisis.

Martin Lewis said the findings would be forwarded to BEIS, the House of Commons Affairs Committee and Ofgem (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“Yet under the companies license terms you are entitled to a fair levy.

“So if you’re in credit, you’ve been on a standard (capped) variable rate for six months or more, and your charge has gone up way too much: submit an up-to-date meter reading first, then talk to your supplier and politely ask him to justify the increase.

“If that’s not possible, ask for it to be lowered.

“If he refuses, file a formal complaint and take it to the energy ombudsman.”

In response, Octopus Energy told MSE that its own analysis of customer accounts data showed that only 0.84% ​​of people on credit who had been on its standard tariff for more than three months saw their monthly payments double, with a median increase of 59%.

Meanwhile, British Gas told the website the above-average increase may be due to it offering customers the option to freeze their direct debits at their existing levels last winter.

A spokesperson for Ofgem said: ‘Protecting energy customers is our top priority – and it has never been more important than now, during Mental Health Awareness Week, because we are all struggling with the cost of living.

“At Ofgem, we regularly engage with all national suppliers to ensure they charge accurately and treat customers fairly.

“We recently wrote to suppliers advising them that we are commissioning a series of market compliance reviews to ensure, among other things, that they are treating direct debits fairly and that, overall, they are required to higher standards of customer service performance and protect vulnerable customers.

“Once Money Saving Expert provides us with this data, we will review it as part of this crucial review.”

‘Ridiculous’ 20mph speed limits criticized for being obstructive rules that don’t work in practice

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PLANS for even more roads to hit with 20mph speed limits have been called ‘ridiculous’.

Transport for London (TfL) announced in February that it would introduce new 20mph speed limits on four routes around London.

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20mph speed limits have been called ‘ridiculous’Credit: iStock-Getty
Jacob Rees-Mogg said the reduced speed limit

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Jacob Rees-Mogg said reduced speed limit ‘just obstructs traffic’Credit: PA

However, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who lives in West Harptree, Somerset, slammed the speed limits.

He told the Sunday Times Magazine: “The 20mph limits are ridiculous.

“They just impede traffic.

“People are supportive of them when they’re offered, only to realize later how boring they are.

Drivers face £1,000 fine for honking in traffic
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“It’s a microcosm of politics in general: opinion polls suggest something would be popular and once you put it into practice, it’s not.

“People should be free to lead their own lives as far as possible without government interference.”

Rees-Mogg, who is the Conservative MP for North East Somerset, said drivers should be able to live their own lives, in reference to speed limits on the roads.

However, by 2024 TfL hopes to expand the scheme in the capital to 127 road miles with 20mph limits.

Currently, there are around 50 miles of road in the capital under a 20mph restriction.

TfL said it wanted to “keep Londoners and visitors safe” by implementing lower speed limits on the road network.

He added that pedestrians and cyclists were much less likely to be killed or seriously injured if hit at 20mph or less than at 30mph.

Areas that have a 20mph speed limit or have a 20mph zone in place have reported reduced pedestrian injuries as well as traffic volumes.

These areas also often use other traffic calming measures such as road narrowing and speed bumps.

Critics say, however, that areas where these traffic calming measures are damaging the vehicle’s suspension by repeatedly going over speed bumps and causing delays in emergency vehicle response times.

Wales plans to lower most national speed limits where street lights are no more than 200 meters apart – mainly residential and built-up areas – to 20mph by April 2023.

Currently, the default speed limit for these areas is 30 mph.

Rees-Mogg’s outburst comes after restaurant critic Giles Coren admitted he was caught speeding 25mph in a 20mph zone on Kentish Town Road in London.

He said: “If you can’t imagine what a speed like 25mph might be like.

“I invite you to remember, at the age of eight or nine, pedaling your new three-speed Raleigh Grifter up a hill.

“It would have been around 25 mph.

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“When Florence Griffith-Joyner ran the 100 meters in 10.49 seconds at the 1988 US Olympic trials, she was averaging 23.5 mph, which means around the 60-70 meter mark she was doing about 27 or 28 mph.

“Horrible to think, isn’t it, that I was driving my car almost as fast as a woman can run?”

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Somerset ranks among the least stressed regions – see the full list

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Many factors can impact a person’s ability to relax, including the environment.

Where we live can have a huge effect on stress levels, pollution, crime rates and even the weather impacting mood.

According to Forbes Advisor79% of UK adults feel stressed at least once a month, so life insurance experts were keen to find out which parts of England have the coldest and least chilly residents.

Each county in England was analyzed to determine how stressed residents were by taking into account searches for terms such as ‘how to reduce stress’, ‘stress relief’ and ‘relaxation techniques’. From there, the experts were able to determine which areas were most in need of de-stressing.


READ MORE: Expert Reveals The One Food That Will Improve Your Sleep

READ MORE: Lidl announces trial of laundry detergent refill station


The least stressed regions of England

Durham ranked first in the list of least stressed regions. Photo: Google Maps

County Durham ranks as the region with the most relaxed residents, based on search data for stress-related terms. Only 670 searches were made for all stress-related terms combined by county residents, or a miniscule 0.0008 searches per resident.

The famous views of Durham city center’s cathedral, prominent university and flowing River Wear may help explain why residents feel at peace. Outside of the city, 57% of the county is classified as “rural”, also providing residents with plenty of green space.

Somerset also did well by appearing in the top 10 least stressed regions, ranking fifth.

Here’s the full list, including the total number of searches and what that equates to per resident:

1. County Durham – 670 searches – 0.00088 per capita

2. Nottinghamshire – 1,230 searches – 0.00117 per capita

3. Gloucestershire – 1,080 searches – 0.00124 per capita

4. Northumberland – 480 searches – 0.00166 per capita

5. Somerset – 1,530 searches – 0.00167 per capita

6. Berkshire – 1,470 searches – 0.0017 per capita

7. East Sussex – 1,390 searches – 0.00173 per capita

8. Herefordshire – 330 searches – 0.00183 per capita

9. Dorset – 1,350 searches – 0.00184 per capita

ten. North Yorkshire – 1,990 searches – 0.00187 per capita

England’s most stressed regions

Somerset County Gazette: Bristol has been ranked as the most stressed region in Britain.  Photo: Google MapsBristol has been ranked as the most stressed region in Britain. Photo: Google Maps

Bristol is the region with the most stressed residents coming out at the bottom of the table in 46th place. Bristol’s crime rate is 20% higher than the average for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which could contribute to this.

Other regions that also performed poorly included Merseyside, West Midlands, Tyne and Wear and Greater Manchester, making up the five most stressed regions.

Here’s the full list, including the total number of searches and what that equates to per resident:

1. Bristol – 1,580 searches – 0.00361 per capita

2. Merseyside – 3,380 searches – 0.00265 per capita

3. West Midlands – 6,570 searches – 0.00247 per capita

4. Tyne and Wear – 2,480 searches – 0.00242 per capita

5. Greater Manchester – 6,080 searches – 0.00234 per capita

6. West Yorkshire – 4,930 searches – 0.00233 per capita

7. Leicestershire – 2,260 searches – 0.00229 per capita

8. Cambridgeshire – 1,700 searches – 0.00218 per capita

9. South Yorkshire – 2,760 searches – 0.00216 per capita

ten. Hertfordshire – 2,310 searches – 0.00213 per capita

Offering advice on how to reduce stress, Forbes Advisor Laura Howard said, “Few of us lead entirely stress-free lives. But for some, stress can be debilitating and harmful to their health and well-being.

“Reducing stress levels can help people be healthier and happier, and the good news is that there are many effective ways to do this that are free and easily accessible.

“For example, we should never underestimate the value of just getting some fresh air, whether it’s a trip to the countryside or just a visit to the local park. Exercise can also be extremely beneficial, even if it’s just a walk around the block. This is to trigger the release of endorphins – the body’s natural stress relievers.

“Making time to chat with friends or family is also likely to make you feel better. Anything that brings a new perspective can put problems into perspective and ease feelings of anxiety.

“Some environments may be more conducive than others to living a stress-free existence. But wherever you are, taking steps to reduce stress levels should be a good idea.

QuickQuid and Pounds to Pocket borrowers get payout updates

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Borrowers who got badly sold loans from two busted companies that they couldn’t afford will get back a little more than they bargained for.

Around 78,500 QuickQuid and Pounds to Pocket borrowers will receive a refund of some of the interest and charges they have been charged over the next few weeks at 53.5p for every pound owed, it has been confirmed.

Joint Administrators at Grant Thornton originally said Borrowers face a payout of between 30p and 50p for every £1 in interest, fees and charges paid on their missold loans, plus eight per cent interest. But this week they have contacted customers to say they are actually being paid 53.5p for every £1 owed plus interest.

Read more: More families are turning to payday loans as cost of living hits crunch

The update comes after CashEuroNet, which owned payday lenders QuickQuid and Onstride.co.uk (formerly known as Pounds to Pocket), went into administration in 2019 and stopped lending.

The claims portal for those who believed they had been missold a loan closed last February, so it’s too late to make a new claim. Customers who previously made a claim should have received a decision on their claim by the end of June 2021 and a further email this week detailing how much they will be getting back. It is also too late to appeal Grant Thornton decisions as borrowers had 21 days from receiving an initial decision on their claim in June 2021 to do so.

If you have submitted a claim you should provide the contact and bank details you used to obtain your loan and this information will be used by Grant Thornton to provide up to date information about your claim. Any payment due will be transferred this or next week.

It is too late to update your details with Grant Thornton now, so a check will be sent to the address you provided when you applied. If your address is no longer correct, contact CashEuroNet Customer Service on 0800 0163 250.

Payday loans and other short term credit loans were made widely missold and dozens of short-term lenders have gone bust, including former Newcastle United sponsor Wonga, leaving customers with legitimate claims with significantly reduced payouts – or even finding it’s too late to lodge a complaint if their lender has gone bust.

If you couldn’t afford to pay off the loan or the lender didn’t screen your finances properly, you may be able to recover money because lenders need to screen your finances to make sure you can afford the loan and the fees. If, as was usual, that wasn’t done right and you shouldn’t have borrowed the money, or the cost or repayment schedule wasn’t clear, you were missold.

Citizens Advice has a guide to making a claim, including a sample letter to send to your lender here.

Continue reading:

2022 London and UK local election results LIVE: Boris under pressure as ‘Brexit legacy’ bites NI

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Oris Johnson is coming under mounting pressure after the Tories lost nearly 500 seats across Britain in the aftermath of the Partygate backlash and the cost of living crisis.

The Prime Minister admitted local elections had been ‘difficult’ as the Tories lost 486 council seats, while some MPs like Aaron Bell – who submitted a letter of no confidence to the Prime Minister – said Ms leadership Johnson needed to be addressed.

As concern rumbled in the party, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi also called on MPs to unite in order to come back from a bruising election performance which saw the party lose strongholds such as Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet for Labour.

While the Conservative Party suffered heavy losses, the DUP also fell in the polls, with Sinn Fein now on course to become Northern Ireland’s largest party for the first time in its history.

Of the 67 seats declared, Sinn Fein won 21 while the DUP took 19, a 6.7% drop in its vote share from 2017, which according to polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice, could be attributed to Brexit-related issues.

Writing for the BBC, Sir John said: “The result in Northern Ireland is also part of the legacy of Brexit.

“The Unionist vote has fragmented due to divisions within the community over whether the Northern Ireland protocol is something that can be satisfactorily changed or should be scrapped.”

He added: ‘So the real question is how the UK government is going to manage to negotiate the protocol issue in such a way that the DUP can be persuaded into the executive and they don’t cause too much trouble. damage to the EU is its most immediate political headache.

Reacting to the results during a visit to a school in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, Mr Johnson told reporters: “It’s halfway through. It’s certainly a mixed set of results.

“We had a rough night in some parts of the country, but on the other hand, in other parts of the country, you still see conservatives stepping forward and making some pretty remarkable gains in places that don’t. have not voted Conservative for a long time, if ever. .”

Follow the results below

Live updates

1651930532

Douglas Ross: Prime Minister must reflect on election results

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the Prime Minister needed to reflect on the election results.

Despite voters showing they were ‘unhappy’ with the party, Mr Ross said Boris Johnson should remain at No 10.

“Voters ‘sent a very clear message that they were unhappy at that time,'” the curator said.

The Conservatives have fallen to third place in Scotland in local elections, with Labor now slipping back to second place in terms of votes and number of councillors.

Mr Ross insisted his change of stance had no impact on what he considered to be “disappointing” results.

The Scottish Conservative leader said: “I don’t think if I hadn’t changed my stance in light of the horrific conflict in Ukraine it would have changed the situation because the voters I spoke to were unhappy with the Prime Minister and party door unhappy.

“If I had maintained my position despite the war in Europe, these voters would have always been unhappy with partygate and always unhappy with the Prime Minister because he remains in office.”

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Sinn Fein success poses ‘big question’ for UK’s future, says Nicola Sturgeon

Sinn Fein’s performance in Northern Ireland showed there were “big questions” about the UK’s future “as a political entity”, Nicola Sturgeon said.

The Nationalist Party appears to be closing in on victory at Stormont, winning the most seats and selecting the country’s next Prime Minister.

And the Scottish First Minister said the result cast doubt on the future, with strong nationalist performances in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland this week.

Speaking to the AP news agency on Saturday, after her party increased its lead in Thursday’s local elections, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘If (Sinn Fein) emerge as the biggest party today’ today in Northern Ireland, which seems very likely, it will be an extraordinary result and something that seemed impossible not so long ago.”

She added: “There’s no doubt that big fundamental questions are being asked in the UK as a political entity at the moment.

“They’re being asked here in Scotland, they’re being asked in Northern Ireland, they’re being asked in Wales and I think we’re going to see fundamental changes in British governance in the years to come and I’m sure one of these changes will be the independence of Scotland.”

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Final results in Scotland

North of the border, the SNP won another 22 council seats, bringing the party’s total to 453. Labor also won a council.

The Conservatives lost 62 seats, their total number falling to 214. Labor won 20 (282), the Liberal Democrats also won 20 (87) and the Greens 16 (35).

1651922637

Final results in Wales

In line with their overall performance, the Conservatives lost 86 (111) seats in Wales and one council.

Labor won 66 (526) seats including a council proper.

Overall Plaid Cymru won three councils to four but lost six seats. The Lib Dems won 10 seats, taking their share to 69.

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Former DUP leader Edwin Poots elected in Belfast South

Former DUP leader Edwin Poots won a seat in Belfast South.

The five members of the assembly are:

Deirdre Hargey (Sinn Fein)

Edwin Poots (DUP)

Matthew O’Toole (SDLP)

Paula Bradshaw (Alliance)

Kate Nicholl (Alliance)

1651918993

The Alliance candidate is the first to be elected today

Paula Bradshaw of the Alliance Party was elected in Belfast South.

Today, she becomes the first person elected.

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Wes Streeting hits out at ‘desperate’ Tories as he defends Sir Keir over Covid inquiry

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has called the Tories ‘desperate’ for accusing Sir Keir Starmer of breaking lockdown rules.

Durham Police announced on Friday that an investigation into allegations that Sir Keir broke Covid rules during last year’s lockdown had been launched.

Asked if Sir Keir would have to resign if he was fined for breaking the rules, Mr Streeting told Sky News: ‘I really don’t think it’s going to come to this because the police have already considered the issue. I see no reason why they would draw any other conclusions than they did the last time they were asked to review this.

Read our story here.

1651913852

Counting resumes in Northern Ireland

The count has resumed in Northern Ireland where Sinn Feinn are set to become Stormont’s biggest party.

Speaking on Friday, party chair Mary Lou McDonald said: “Today is a good day — it’s about change, progress and partnership.

“We want to thank everyone for voting and participating in a democratic process in what we believe is the election of a generation. We are here to serve everyone.

1651910643

Wes Streeting: Labor has made huge strides

Labour’s shadow health secretary hailed his party’s local electoral performance but warned the opposition would not become a “complacency”.

Speaking to Sky News on Labour’s electoral gains, he said: ‘This is remarkable progress with two years of Keir Starmer leading Labour,’ he said.

“Of course there’s more to do. We don’t mean to sound the least bit complacent about it, but I think that’s what Keir’s next period of leadership in the game is all about. ‘opposition.

“It’s about building on the progress that has been made and turning the hostilities against the Conservatives into government, a desire to see them out of government, which I think these results show, in a hunger, an appetite for a Labor government.

1651907549

Boris Johnson remains an asset, says Nadhim Zahawi

Boris Johnson remains an electoral asset for the Conservative Party, a Cabinet minister has insisted, despite the Tories suffering a net loss of almost 400 seats in local elections.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has urged Tory MPs not to act against the Prime Minister.

He told Sky News: “He’s an asset, absolutely… If you look at the way Boris travels through places like Nuneaton, places like Newcastle-under-Lyme, other parts of the country as well – Harrow to London.”

In a message to fellow Tories, he said: “People don’t like to vote for split parties, for split teams.

“We are stronger when we are united, we have a Queen’s Speech next week where we will demonstrate to the nation that the second half of this Parliament is about fixing the economy, recovering from Covid, the backlog of the NHS and national security – here at home, safer streets – and, of course, abroad.

“We have a plan for all of these things.

“We are stronger when we are united and that would be my message to all my colleagues.”

Dump Trucks/Body and Dump Trailer Market Size and Forecast

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New Jersey, United States – Comprehensive analyzes of the fastest growing companies Dump Trucks/Body and Dump Trailers Market provide information that helps stakeholders identify opportunities and challenges. The 2022 markets could be another big year for Dump Truck/Body & Dump Trailer. This report provides an overview of the company’s activities and financial situation (a company profile is required if you want to raise capital or attract investors), recent developments (mergers and acquisitions) and recent SWOT analyses. This report focuses on the Dump Trucks/Body and Dump Trailer Market over the assessment period 2029. The report also provides analysis of the growth of the Dump Trucks/Body and Dump Trailer market. dumpster that includes Porter’s Five Factor Analysis and Supply Chain Analysis.

It describes the behavior of the industry. It also outlines a future direction that will help companies and other stakeholders make informed decisions that will ensure strong returns for years to come. The report provides a practical overview of the global market and its changing environment to help readers make informed decisions about market projects. This report focuses on growth opportunities that allow the market to expand its operations in existing markets.

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The Dump Truck/Body & Dump Trailer report contains data based on rigorous studies of primary and secondary schools using best research practices. The report contains exhaustive information which will enable you to evaluate each segment of the Dump Truck/Body and Dump Trailer market. This report has been prepared considering various aspects of market research and analysis. It includes market size estimates, market dynamics, and company and market best practices. Entry marketing strategy, positioning, segmentation, competitive landscape and economic forecasts. Industry-specific technology solutions, roadmap analysis, alignment to key buying criteria, in-depth vendor product benchmarking

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Stargate Manufacturing, EAST, Somerset Welding and Steel, Berkelmans Welding and Manufacturing, Rhodes, M&K Truck Centers, AIR-FLO, Alum-Line, Amthor International, Caseco Manufacturing, Beau-Roc, Bibeau, Brandon Truck Equipment, BUCKS, Duraclass

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• Articulated dumpers
• Electric dump trucks
• Mechanical dump trucks

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• Mining industry
• Realization
• Municipal services
• Other

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Scope of the Dump Truck/Body and Dump Trailer Market Report

ATTRIBUTES DETAILS
ESTIMATED YEAR 2022
YEAR OF REFERENCE 2021
FORECAST YEAR 2029
HISTORICAL YEAR 2020
UNITY Value (million USD/billion)
SECTORS COVERED Types, applications, end users, and more.
REPORT COVER Revenue Forecast, Business Ranking, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors and Trends
BY REGION North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
CUSTOMIZATION SCOPE Free report customization (equivalent to up to 4 analyst business days) with purchase. Added or changed country, region and segment scope.

Geographic segment covered in the report:

The Dump Truck/Body & Dump Trailer report provides information on the market area, which is subdivided into sub-regions and countries/regions. In addition to the market share in each country and sub-region, this chapter of this report also contains information on profit opportunities. This chapter of the report mentions the market share and growth rate of each region, country and sub-region over the estimated period.

• North America (USA and Canada)
• Europe (UK, Germany, France and rest of Europe)
• Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region)
• Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and rest of Latin America)
• Middle East and Africa (GCC and Rest of Middle East and Africa)

Key questions answered in this Dump Truck/Body and Dump Trailer market report

  1. How much revenue will the Dump Truck / Body & Dump Trailer Market generate by the end of the forecast period?
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  4. Which regions are currently contributing the maximum share of the global Dump Truck/Body & Dump Trailer market?
  5. Which indicators are likely to drive the Dump Truck/Body & Dump Trailer market?
  6. What are the key strategies of the leading Tipper/Body Truck and Tipper Trailer market players to expand their geographical presence?
  7. What are the key advancements in the Tipper/Body Truck and Tipper Trailer market?
  8. How are regulatory standards affecting the dump truck/body and dump trailer market?

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Bath property tycoon charged with ‘crime against wildlife’ at beauty spot

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Trevor Osborne, a property mogul with a home near Bath, has been charged with environmental crimes, after he allegedly demolished a bat roost. The alleged incident happened during clearance works for his new hotel, in Porthleven, Cornwall.

The Combe Hay resident already owns large swaths of Cornish Harbor and is in the process of turning the Fish Warehouse and surrounding land into a Porthleven Arts Hotel, Cornwall Live reports. Work on Breageside Quay is due to start in September.

The Trevor Osborne Property Group applied for planning permission for the project in 2018. Due to the location of the development in front of an ancient excavated cave where bats can roost, the council requested that an impact assessment environmental impact on bats is carried out.

READ MORE: Big ‘panther’-like cat spotted near Frome

The survey revealed the presence of greater and lesser horseshoe bats which are not only protected but have priority status. They are also designated European protected species.

For work to continue in the port, the company – and its subcontractors – would have needed a special license from Natural England. They should also have followed an agreed work schedule with an environmentalist to ensure the bats are not disturbed.

Now the Porthleven Environment Group has claimed the developers broke all the rules and committed a wildlife crime. The real estate group denies these allegations.

READ MORE: Warning as meter-long poisonous snake spotted on beach near Somerset

Trevor Toms, the chairman of the environmental group, said: “You can’t just bulldoze in. That’s exactly what Trevor Osborne Property Group and its contractors have done.

“They used heavy machinery to demolish the workshop, which led to the destruction of a pipistrelle roost which is one of our most common, but nonetheless protected bat species. They drilled anchor points in the cliff to put mesh in and cover the bat cave with an industrial steel netting which is a blatant obstruction of a nesting area.

“We alerted them to what they had done and they quickly punched a hole in the net. And it was certainly very quick because they realized that if they hadn’t breached any planning requirements they had definitely broken the law. All of these, the destruction, disturbance and obstruction of roosts are against the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.”

Mr Toms said the PEG has since reported the property group and its contractors to the Devon and Cornwall Police Wildlife Crime Unit. A police spokeswoman confirmed this, saying an investigation had been opened: “Police have been made aware of reports of disturbance to bat habitat at Porthleven. wildlife crime have been informed and investigations are still ongoing.”

Mr Toms explained that the environmental group’s complaint did not relate to the merits of the Porthleven Arts Hotel and associated development. He said it was about doing things legally so that protected species could remain so.

He added: “We are completely concerned about a developer’s blatant disregard for endangered species which they trample for money. This wildlife crime should not be swept under the rug.

“If the police don’t prosecute, it sets a shocking example for other developers, many of whom are doing things properly and legally. If other developers go through environmental investigations and play by the rules, why can’t the Trevor Osborne Property Group- he not do the same.”




A spokesman for the Trevor Osborne Property Group said that over the past few months the company had prepared for the main contract by completing enabling works, including demolishing an on-site shed and stabilizing the cliff face. behind the site.

He added: “The work excluded any interface with the cave at the rear of the site where bat activity has previously been reported and did not include any work known to obstruct this cave. We emphasize that the cave is currently less obstructed than at any time in its recent history, and our contractor has confirmed that he did not cover or obstruct the cave during his work.

This is the contentious point which the PEG says is not true, claiming that the entrance to the cave was discovered after alerting the contractors that they could not put wire mesh in front of the opening of the cave. cave.

The TOPG spokesperson added: “As part of our development work, our conservationist has highlighted the need to obtain a license from Natural England before the tunnel is blocked and we can confirm that this requirement will be met before In addition, the agreed construction of a new bat roost on the roof of the fish store is expected to be built at the very start of the main contract program We have passed on Porthleven Environment’s concerns Group to our environmentalist and we will comply with any other requirements they deem necessary.”

What are horseshoe bats?

The greater horseshoe bat was traditionally found in caves, but these days it tends to like old buildings, like churches and barns. It is rare in the UK and like many other bats its numbers are dwindling.

You can spot them at night, and only between April and October, as they hibernate during the winter, in abandoned caves, mines and tunnels. One of our largest bats, they are the size of a small pear and catch insects like moths using echolocation.

Greater horseshoe bats in the UK are only found in South West England and South Wales. You can spot them by their plump, horseshoe-shaped noses and reddish-brown fur on their backs and cream below.

The lesser horseshoe is one of our smallest bats and is about the size of a plum. Like its “tall” cousin, it has a characteristic fleshy horseshoe-shaped nose. Its coat is gray-brown on the back and white below.

They are also in decline and – like the greater horseshoe – are a protected European species. Both types are also priority species under the UK’s post-2010 biodiversity framework.

What the law says?

According to Schedule Five of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, “A person is guilty of an offense if, intentionally or recklessly,

  • it damages or destroys any structure or place that any wild animal specified in Schedule Five uses for shelter or protection;
  • it disturbs such an animal while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for shelter or protection; or
  • it obstructs access to any structure or place that such an animal uses for shelter or protection.”

Schedule Five includes “all species of horseshoe bats”. You can find the full law here.

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Frank Lampard accused by FA over Merseyside derby comments

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Everton boss Frank Lampard has been charged by the Football Association following his comments following his side’s defeat in the Merseyside derby last month.

Lampard claimed Liverpool would have been kicked if Mohamed Salah went down like Anthony Gordon did in a challenge that referee Stuart Attwell did not penalise.

Gordon, who had been booked for diving in the first half at Anfield, went down after apparent contact from Joel Matip but Attwell did not award a penalty or show a second yellow card.

The Toffees then contacted the Professional Match Referees Council for the second time this season with concerns over the decision.

Lampard said in his post-match interview: “It’s a penalty for me. You don’t get them here. If it was Mo Salah at the other end, he gets a penalty. I don’t don’t try to create a conflict; it’s just the reality of football.

“I’ve played in teams in the first half of the league – you understand them. It was a penalty for sure. It’s a clear foul.”

The FA objected to the comments, citing an implication of “bias and/or damage to the integrity of the match referee or referees in general”.

An FA statement read: “Frank Lampard has been charged with breaching FA rule E3 in relation to post-match media comments he made following Everton’s Premier League game FC against Liverpool FC on Sunday 24 April.

Frank Lampard was unhappy with the refereeing in Everton’s loss at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

“It is alleged that the manager’s comments constitute inappropriate conduct as they involve bias and/or attack the integrity of the match referee – or referees in general – and/or bring the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1.

“Frank Lampard has until Monday, May 9, 2022 to provide an answer.”

In March, the club received an apology, following another formal complaint, from PGMOL chief Mike Riley following the failure to award a handball to Rodri in the home loss to Man City.

On that occasion, referee Paul Tierney was blindsided and VAR Chris Kavanagh ruled there was not enough evidence to show the ball hit City midfielder in the arm despite TV replays quite conclusive.

Boris Johnson’s UK government ‘mired in foolishness and scandal’ and could face collapse, says Lib Dem leader

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration is “mired in foolishness” and could suffer the same fate as his Tory predecessor John Major 25 years ago, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has warned.

After weeks of damaging stories about culture in Westminster, Mr Davey compared the situation to 1997, when he was first elected and the Tories crumbled against Tony Blair’s Labor Party.

‘The Conservative government had run out of steam, was not listening to people and was mired in foolishness and scandal,’ Mr Davey said.

“And when I talk to people on the doorstep, the biggest issue, actually, is the cost of living. And when you walk out of Westminster and you talk to people from across the country, they are quite alarmed that the Conservatives are so out of touch that they are raising taxes.

Local council elections across the UK tomorrow will follow revelations about anti-lockdown parties in No 10 and Whitehall, the resignation of Conservative MP Neil Parish for watching pornography in the House of Commons and the conviction of MP Imran Ahmad Khan for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Mr. Davey added that, in another echo from 1997, it is the issue of household finances that is raised by voters.

“There were a lot of stealth taxes, remember, and we see that again; we are witnessing 15 tax hikes by the Conservatives, quite unfair hikes, in a period of crisis in the cost of living.

“So I haven’t seen anything like it since I’ve been in Parliament, but it reminds me of that time when the Tories completely lost touch.”

But while in 1997 Mr Blair and then Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown discussed at length the possibility of working together, Mr Davey insisted there was no more pact with Labour, although he welcomed Keir Starmer’s party shift to the centre.

“I welcome politicians from all parties who share similar political positions, who change their political positions to be more aligned with us, of course I welcome that.

“And there is no doubt that Keir Starmer is much more in the center than [former Labour leader and Sir Keir’s predecessor] Jeremy Corbyn. I mean, this is not news. And I think it’s a good thing for British politics if people are more towards what I call the reformist centre.

The Tories have suggested local elections have seen Labor withdraw in areas such as the South West of England, where the Liberal Democrats pose the biggest threat, with Mr Davey’s party returning the favor in the North-east.

But he added: “There is no pact. There will be no pact.

He cited “very clear” evidence, with the Lib Dems taking on Labor in other parts of England and triumphing in by-elections in Chesham, Amersham and North Shropshire.

Mr Davey said he was relishing the prospect of another by-election in Tiverton and Honiton, with the safe Tory seat vacated by Mr Parish.

The Lib Dems will have to overturn a majority of 24,000 but the Lib Dem leader said: ‘It reminds me of the by-election in North Shropshire.

“There was a very rural community where conservatives had taken this for granted for decades. When we started knocking on doors in North Shropshire, people were talking about ambulance wait times, a health service in crisis, farmers feeling betrayed.

“I would expect there to be some in Tiverton and Honiton.”

FCC questions Wahl about radio station WQZS in Meyersdale, PA

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Roger Wahl could almost run out of time to save his station.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted Meyersdale-based radio station WQZS (FM) owner and on-air personality Wahl several breaks in a proceeding to determine whether to revoke his license. But not more.

The fate of WQZS hangs in the balance with Wahl meeting or not meeting two FCC deadlines this month. WQZS, a rock and oldies station, is Somerset County‘s newest independent radio station and one of the few in the whole region.

The FCC’s ongoing investigation into Wahl began when he acquired a criminal record in 2020.

An FCC order issued Friday related to two separate motions filed by the commission’s enforcement office to compel Wahl to send information necessary for its proceedings.

Other:Last chance for WQZS? Hearing set for Roger Wahl to save or lose his radio station.

According to an FCC order dated March 8, Administrative Law Judge Jane Hinckley Halprin was concerned that Wahl was not treating the proceedings with “appropriate seriousness” at the initial status conference. Parties are expected to abide by FCC rules, she said.

“No less than five times the presiding judge has made this clear during the brief duration of these proceedings,” Hinckley Halprin wrote.

Wahl is facing the potential revocation of his FCC license. It is “the most severe sentence the commission imposes on a licensee. Yet when the presiding judge ordered him to do something as simple as forward an email he had already sent, he did nothing,” the judge wrote in the discovery order.

“This procedure will not continue on this trajectory,” Hinckley Halprin wrote. “(Any) further failure to meet a time limit or follow an order of the presiding judge could form a basis for dismissal of this proceeding, which, in turn, will result in the revocation of his FCC license.”

Then she gave him one more opportunity to comply with FCC orders.

Why did the FCC get involved in WQZS?

In September 2019, Wahl was arrested and charged with creating a fake dating profile. He used it to solicit men to rape a woman he knew and was accused of placing a trail camera in the woman’s bathroom without her knowledge or consent.

In March 2020, Wahl filed a request to transfer control of WQZS to his daughter, Wendy Sipple, for $10. The FCC approved the transfer on June 1, 2020.

Wahl pleaded guilty on July 8, 2020 to a felony charge of criminal use of a means of communication and misdemeanor charges of recklessly endangering, unlawfully disseminating an intimate image, tampering with evidence and identity theft. The FCC reversed its decision in an order dated July 13, 2020, returning the application to pending status.

Past:Radio personality receives restricted probation in sex case

Wahl was sentenced on November 17, 2020. He was placed on probation for three years, with four months of electronic monitoring. He was also prohibited from being on the air during electronic surveillance.

On October 19, 2021, the FCC issued a Designation of Hearing Order beginning proceedings to revoke WQZS’s license following his crime. WQZS’ transfer request to Sipple has been put on hold.

The battle for airtime continues

Wahl has until Friday to file information that was first due to be released in March and then extended until Friday. He has until May 25 to respond to the FCC’s request for response to additional questions and documents.

On March 14 of this year, the enforcement office served Wahl with its first request for production of documents and other documents. Commission rules state that a response is due within 10 calendar days.

On March 26, in response to an email sent to him by the office after the due date, Wahl said he emailed the requested documents, but received a message error when he attempted to upload the documents to the Commission’s electronic comments repository. system, a requirement for documents to be considered filed.

After:Meyersdale radio station owner not responding to FCC order

The presiding judge accepted a corrected motion and extended the deadline to April 14. Additionally, Wahl’s document emails to the office were also to be downloaded and emailed to Hinckley Halprin or his special counsel by April 8. who said he was not computer savvy — the extra time in part because he is representing himself, which is allowed in this case, according to the order.

“To date, Mr. Wahl has not responded to the EB’s corrected motion to demand documents, nor has he uploaded the previously provided documents or emailed them to the presiding judge or to his special counsel as instructed,” Hinckley Halprin wrote.

Also on March 14, the enforcement office served interrogatories, a list of 38 questions, for Wahl to answer. On March 26, he filed a response in the commission’s electronic filing system.

In response, bureau officials sent him a detailed email identifying deficiencies in 12 of the questions in his submission, then decided to compel those responses by April 11. He never answered, according to the order.

He has until May 25 to send the requested documents, the judge wrote.

Follow Judy DJ Ellich on Twitter at @dajudye.

John Lewis launches recruiting campaign amid online growth

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The John Lewis Partnership is recruiting for more than 150 engineering and delivery management positions as part of a major investment in its online stores.

The retail giant, which also owns supermarket Waitrose, said its recruitment drive will help grow its online stores, which together see more than 55 million visits per month.

Online sales have exploded in the wake of the home delivery boom caused by the pandemic shutdowns.

They now account for nearly 70% of total John Lewis sales, while Waitrose has seen its online share quadruple, from 5% in 2020 to nearly 20% this year.

It comes after John Lewis said last month he was bringing back his 3% staff bonus after cutting payments last year for the first time since 1953.

But plans to expand the company’s online team follow recent sweeping job cuts at its department stores.

Last July, the group announced that it planned to cut an additional 1,000 jobs after the closure of 16 department stores, representing nearly 4,000 job cuts in total in just over a year.

The overhaul saw John Lewis cut costs by £170m, while reporting a sharp rise in pre-tax profit to £181m in the year to January 29.

The retailer said last week it had repaid a £150million bank loan before it was due to avoid unnecessary interest charges and prepare for a possible recession in the UK.

The head office vacancies announced today include software, cloud platform and data engineers to help innovate the company and develop its purchasing applications.

It also posted more than 70 driver openings across the UK as demand for home deliveries of groceries and household items remains high.

Sandra Christie, Group Engineering Manager, said: “We have an industry-leading team driving the digital growth of our two iconic brands, Waitrose and John Lewis.

“It’s our partners that make the difference and we’re really excited to make this significant investment in growing our engineering talent.”

John Lewis said its employees are eligible for benefits including flexible working, store discounts and equal parental leave.

Charles Franklin, Kirsten Johnson, Mary Triggiano, Melody Harvey

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Wisconsin horseracing polls running months ahead of the Aug. 9 primary show few surprises — but perhaps incongruously — 2022 voter enthusiasm is higher among those least confident about the 2020 election, according to April responses on the Marquette University Law School survey. Nationwide, COVID-19 cases have tripled in the last month, and Milwaukee is seeing its own surge, though hospitalizations and deaths aren’t rising at a similar rate, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said. A pandemic-related backlog in crime cases has prompted courts across the state to dig out, but an infusion of federal money offers hope, said Chief Justice of Milwaukee County Courts Mary Triggiano. A report by Pew Charitable Trusts showed Wisconsin is one of seven states that doesn’t have an interest rate cap on payday loans — Melody Harvey, a professor of consumer science at UW-Madison, described what happens when a borrower fails to repay such loans.

Karl Franklin
Director, Marquette Law School survey

  • Republicans who are the least confident in the accuracy of the 2020 election are more enthusiastic about voting in 2022, while those who are most confident about the election outcome are less enthusiastic about voting accordingly Poll published on April 27th.
  • Franklin: This is within the Republican Party and has real implications for the primary and maybe the general. Those who are the least confident are about 20 points more enthusiastic about voting than Republicans who are confident in the election result. Well, that likely means that the primary voters will be more heavily biased toward the election’s skeptics. And you see that the candidates have to deal with this in their campaigns. But it also means that Republicans who don’t agree the election was stolen might not be enthusiastic enough to back an election-skeptical candidate who carries that into the November election. So it’s something to watch as this split within the party and about a third of Republicans are pretty confident again. Does it hurt you in the fall? , even if it means that the skeptics have the upper hand in the first place?”

Kirsten Johnson
Health Commissioner, City of Milwaukee

  • As is the case throughout Wisconsin, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Milwaukeewhich has seen “significant increases” over the past two weeks.
  • Johnson: “I think the most important thing to recognize is that Covid is here with us, that there is a risk, you have to assess your own risk, but also compare that to what we experienced in December and January. And it’s nothing compared to what we saw mid-wave… But I think the message is that we know how to live with it. We have learned an enormous amount in the last two years. We know that when you are at higher risk you need to be more careful. We know the people and the people know their own risks and how comfortable they are with risks. We know that there are children for whom there is no entitlement [a] Vaccine we expect to arrive later this summer. But I think it’s really about identifying your individual level of risk to your family and then comparing that to the activities you engage in and again knowing that there are many things we can do. I can put on a mask. We can social distance. We can test before we get together with friends or family for a large gathering. So we have tools that we didn’t have before.

Maria Triggiano
chief judge, Milwaukee District Court

  • Wisconsin has a backlog of more than 17,000 felony cases in court as of April 25, 2022, including more than 1,600 in Milwaukee. The pandemic closed courthouses and delayed hearings of cases, and they continued to pile up even as conditions eased. Wisconsin is with more than 30 million dollars into federal pandemic relief funds to hire attorneys, court clerks, and clerks to catch up on those cases. In Milwaukee, more than $14.5 million will be used to staff five new courts, including a night court. The chief justice said that money was welcome.
  • Triggiano: “I think there is a certain level of hope. I mean everyone knows that we want to ensure fair, just and timely justice. And the backlog weighs pretty heavily on everyone. The judges are working as hard as they can to get these cases moving. The prosecutors, the district attorneys, the public defenders, the clerks and the assistant clerks are all pitching in and trying to figure out how we can move the cases forward as quickly as possible. So this investment gives us an opportunity, I think, to restore some balance to our court system so that we can advance justice at a pace that we all think is appropriate. I think everyone really has hope for that money to come in.

Melody Harvey
professorUW-Madison Department of Consumer Sciences

  • A Policy letter from April 2022 of Pew Charitable Trusts found that Wisconsin is one of seven states that do not cap interest rates on payday loans. Pew showed that Wisconsinits pay an average of $395 in fees when paying off a $500 loan over four months — an interest rate of 338%.
  • Harvey: “Payday loans are designed for short-term maturities because proposed “payday” loans are something that would be relied on between payment periods – and the general fact that they are typically small dollar loans, and therefore available for one are less than hundred dollars as opposed to, say, thousands of dollars, as with a personal loan or with a bank or credit union. Given the small dollar amounts, we would like to believe that one would be able to repay them However, given income volatility, numerous other shocks can also occur including potential payday delays resulting in the renewal of this loan… So if you are renewing a payday loan, you are effectively borrowing not only for that initial principal amount, but also the interest on those fees accrued by that initial borrowing.”

Watch new episodes of Now here Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

What Andy Murray said about the UK government’s plan to ban Russian players

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Andy Murray has expressed his disapproval of Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarus players from the tournament.

Murray said he “didn’t support” the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the event, but also said there was no “right answer” to the situation.

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The Scot is donating his entire prize money this 2022 season to humanitarian aid in Ukraine and said government advice, which has also asked sporting bodies to seek written confirmation of players’ neutrality if they had to compete, were ‘useless’.

What did Wimbledon say about the ban?

On Wednesday April 27, 2022, the All England Club said: “We share universal condemnation of Russia’s unlawful actions and have carefully considered the situation as part of our duty to the players, to our community and to the general British public. as a British Sporting Institution.

“If circumstances change materially by June, we will review and react accordingly.”

All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said: “We recognize that this is hard on those affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer from the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev reportedly suffers consequences of Wimbledon ban of Russian players

“We have carefully considered what alternative measures could be taken with the advice of the UK Government but, given the high profile environment of the Championships, the importance of not allowing the sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and out of our wider concerns for the public and the players (including family safety), we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis at the Championships.

What did Andy Murray say about the decision?

Speaking ahead of his match against Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open, Murray said: “I am not in favor of banning players. The advice from the government has not been helpful.

“From what I understand, Russians and Belarusians can play if they sign a declaration that they are against the war and against the Russian regime.

“I don’t know how comfortable I would feel if something happened to one of their family players (as a result). I don’t think there is a right answer.

“I spoke to some of the Russian players. I spoke to some of the Ukrainian players. I feel really bad for the players who are not allowed to play and I understand that it will seem unfair to them.

“But I also know some of the people who work at Wimbledon, and I know how difficult a position they were in. I feel for everyone, I feel for the players who can’t play, and I don’t support a team or the other.”

What have other tennis stars said?

Andy Murray isn’t the only player against the ban. Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev called the move “total discrimination”, while Novak Djokovic called it “crazy” and Victoria Azarenka said it made “no sense”.

Djokovic added to his comments saying: “I still stand by my position that I don’t support the decision. I think it’s just not fair, it’s not fair, but that’s what it’s all about. ‘is.

21-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal said: “I think it’s very unfair to my Russian tennis friends, my colleagues. It’s not their fault what’s happening right now with the war.

When is the Madrid Open?

Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are all featured at the Madrid Open this week, which is available to watch through Amazon Prime.

This is the first tournament in 2022 in which Nadal and Djokovic will play together and the final is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 8, 2022.

Pennsylvania district attorney suspended under house arrest after new assault charge

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SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) — A suspended western Pennsylvania prosecutor has been placed under house arrest pending trial in separate sexual assault and assault charges.

A Somerset County judge on Friday revoked bail for Jeffrey Thomas, 36, the county’s elected district attorney, and ordered him to stay at a relative’s Windber home with an electronic ankle monitor.

Thomas was jailed last week for common assault, reckless endangerment and harassment after state police alleged he was seen on a video call punching a woman while the two were getting into a vehicle in May 2021. He was already facing sexual assault, aggravated indecent charges of assault, unlawful restraint and strangulation in an alleged attack on a woman at his Windber home in September.

Senior deputies in the state attorney general’s office have called for Thomas to be jailed pending trial, accusing him of an ongoing ‘pattern of violent behavior’ seen in the two cases and other incidents not resulting in of criminal charges. Defense attorneys Ryan Tutera and Eric Jackson Lurie said those cases did not argue in favor of bail being revoked. Tutera said Thomas maintains he is innocent of all charges.

Judge Timothy Creany, a senior Cambria County judge appointed by the court to hear the case, ordered Thomas to avoid contact with anyone associated with the charges and to follow probation reporting guidelines, warning that the Failure to follow these rules would mean “immediate incarceration.” ”

Thomas was elected in 2019 but was suspended after charges were filed in the sexual assault case, and his salary was cut several months ago.

READ MORE:

Harrisburg man acquitted in 2016 homicide accused of killing 2 people in his rooming house

Strode College Success at AoC Sport National Championships

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Strode College STUDENTS took part in the AoC Sport National Championships in Nottingham last weekend, coming home with the Wilkinson Sword Trophy as they helped the South West region finish in first place.

Emily Baker competed in table tennis and Alex Lewis in cross country. They traveled to the University of Nottingham where they battled college athletes from England and Wales during the three-day event.

This past weekend, Emily competed in table tennis and Alex in cross country, earning valuable points for the South West region.

In addition to individual glory, teams aimed to rack up points for their region and win the prestigious Wilkinson Sword Trophy.

Mike Cher with the sword.

Mike Dear, head of sports development, said: “This time we were able to beat our main rivals and neighbors to the southeast, and won the Wilkinson Sword Trophy.

“A big achievement for a small area of ​​colleges, but it shows the sport is massively strong in our area, congratulations to Emily Baker and Alex Lewis for helping bring the Wilkinson sword back to Strode College.”

After intense competition, the South West region won the Wilkinson Sword with a total of 140 points, the first time the region has won the coveted title since 2016.

Dean Hardman, Director of Sport and Student Experience at AoC Sport, said: “It goes without saying that the last two years have been extremely difficult for everyone and especially for young people.

“Given all the challenges colleges have faced throughout the pandemic, it is exceptional to see so many people joining us in Nottingham and to see so many students enjoying their sport and its many benefits. It was a privilege to welcome them.

Teach them personal finance in high school. – Twin Cities

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I’m an educator at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in Plymouth, where I teach both introductory and advanced placement (AP) economics. This topic is close to my heart for many reasons. Practical Economics has a direct translation into the real world that my juniors and seniors will soon be partaking in. As a result, I use my class to try and do my best to prepare them for what is to come.

In a personal finance unit, students complete a comprehensive budget project in which they gain experience of “coming of age” by creating a monthly budget. This includes paying rent, insurance, student loans, car loans, and more. The exercise is a real eye opener for the students. Comments like, “Real life is insanely expensive” or “Wow, this compound interest stuff really works” are common.

Students learn that student loans are legally binding and how credit card debt can destroy dreams. You’ll learn about the ever-changing investment landscape, why market time is better than trying to time the market, and how diversified investments in low-cost index funds have outperformed most active traders over time.

As a teacher, it is rewarding to hear from my former students how they have opened an IRA or successfully obtained a business loan based on what they learned in class. One former student was so confident in what he had learned in my class that after graduating from college and establishing himself as a young professional, he began funding scholarships for Personal Finance Students of the Year, which are held each year on June 12th be given to my students.

When I tell parents about the personal finance topics I discuss with my high school seniors (things like budgeting, credit, saving, investing, and IRAs), I can’t tell you how often parents respond with, “I wish I’d learned that in the High School!”

When I show students the power of compound interest, how regularly saving and investing small amounts of money over a lifetime can turn into a small fortune, students often ask why don’t more people know about it. My answer is that it’s not her fault; the simplest were never taught. What a disservice to our future generations!

Personal finance education enables students to learn strategies that break the cycle of poverty and build generational wealth. They’re more likely to invest their savings and less likely to fall for expensive predatory loans (e.g., payday loans). Personal finance teaches practical survival skills—investing for retirement, navigating educational and career decisions, managing credit, budgeting, insuring assets—skills ALL young people need to thrive in modern life. Can we think of anyone who would not benefit from exposure to this material in their lifetime?

A comprehensive personal finance education prepares students to face some of our society’s greatest financial necessities…before meeting them in “the school of hard punches.” These skills are too important and require more than a brief unit in a business class or waiting until individual counties/schools need personal finance. Currently, only 1 in 6 high school students in Minnesota is guaranteed to take a personal finance course before graduation.

Minnesota voters believe the state can do better. In an April 2022 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for the NGPF Mission 2030 Fund, 82% of our state’s voters said they “believe all high school students should be guaranteed a foundation course in… personal finances,” and 86% said lawmakers urgently need to address this.

I urge our lawmakers to review research that conclusively shows that students who receive quality personal finance instruction in school manage their finances better as adults, resulting in less debt, higher credit scores, higher personal income and a overall better quality of life.

After passing the draft law, I am confident that the implementation will also go well. I’ve taken training from the Minnesota Council on Economics Education and Next Gen Personal Finance, both of which are great organizations that take on the challenge of preparing Minnesota teachers for free.

There is growing momentum across the country to make personal finance a degree requirement. Let’s keep Minnesota at the forefront of education and prepare our students for the challenging financial landscape by ensuring that every Minnesota student receives a quality personal finance education.

James Redelsheimer teaches at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in Plymouth. He is an author of Barron’s AP Economics, board member of BestPrep, Master Teacher with the Minnesota Council on Economic Education, and Next Gen Personal Finance Teacher Fellow.

UK government wants to regulate Apple TV+, Netflix and other streaming services

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For the first time, streaming services like Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime could be regulated as linear broadcasters under the UK government’s new plans due to a ‘White Paper’ policy document. .

As reported by Deadline“UK regulator Ofcom, which currently oversees network television content, will be responsible for applying and enforcing guidelines on streaming services, which are currently not subject to the broadcasting code.”

The changes would require video-on-demand services to ensure their audiences are protected from harmful or offensive content, and that the principles of fairness, accuracy and privacy all apply.

The white paper outlines possible fines for breaching the code, with any roaming VoD service liable to pay £250,000 or a figure of up to 5% of the organisation’s revenue, whichever is greater.

From now on, these rules would only apply to larger streaming apps. Although Apple TV+ is not a giant streaming service, it is owned by the most valuable company in the world.

“These changes will mean the UK public will be better protected from harmful content and better able to complain to Ofcom if they see something they are concerned about. Respecting the issues of freedom of expression and proportionality, smaller and lower-risk on-demand services in the UK will continue under existing rules,” the white paper states.

The document also highlights the problem with global players such as Google, Amazon and Apple:

These new global players – the Googles, Amazons and Apples of this world – succeed because they offer convenience and integration. But the growing power of these actors and the data they have at their fingertips will inevitably impact how rights of access, distribution and visibility are negotiated in the future. While the increased range and ownership of distribution platforms generates potential benefits in consumer choice and innovation, there is a risk that the broadcasters we know and love in the UK will be simply ousted.

You can read the full whitepaper document here.

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Wood Flooring Market Size, Trends and Forecast to 2029

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New Jersey, United States – The latest research report provides a comprehensive assessment of the Parquet market for the forecast year 2022-2029, which is beneficial for companies regardless of their size and turnover. This survey report covers key market insights and industry approach to COVID-19 (Omicron) in the coming years. The Wood Flooring market report presents data and information on investment structure development, technological improvements, market trends and developments, abilities and comprehensive information on major players in the market. wood flooring market. The global market strategies undertaken with respect to the current and future scenario of the industry have also been listed in the study.

The study discusses the elements driving the global wood flooring market. Traders and investors can use this data to strategize to increase their market share, and newcomers can use it to locate opportunities and grow in the business. There are also some restrictions on expanding this market. The Wood Flooring market study also provides company biographies, SWOT analysis and business strategies for key players in the industry. Additionally, the research focuses on major industry players, providing details such as company descriptions, skills, current finances, and company advancements.

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Wordle 315 April 30: Wordle Clues and Answer of the Day

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Wordle has taken the world by storm, and if you haven’t given in to the daily game, we can guarantee you’ve seen the elusive squares all over social media.

The game uses the same rules as Scrabble, where only real words are allowed in both the guesses and the outcome.

If you get a letter in the right place and form the correct word, the square turns green.

But if the guessed letter is in the word but not in the right place, the square turns yellow.

Wrong letters turn gray to facilitate the elimination process for the six tries.


Wordle tips and best starting words to keep your streak going


Hint for today’s Wordle Saturday April 30

If you’re still trying to save your streak, don’t scroll down yet, maybe some clues will send you on your way.

Today’s word starts with the letter L and ends with the letter A.

It has two instances of a vowel.

It is the active immature form of an insect, especially one that differs greatly from the adult and forms the stage between egg and nymph.

What is Wordle’s answer for today, Saturday April 30?

If you dropped out of today’s game, we can save you the misery. But those still trying to crack the 5-letter code, look away now.

The word for April 30 is LARVA.

Wordle New York Times

The game was created by software engineer Josh Wardle, who recently announced that he had sold the popular word game to The New York Times.

In a statement on Twitter, he wrote: “Since launching Wordle, I have been impressed with the response from everyone who has played.

“The game has become bigger than I ever imagined (which I guess isn’t much of an achievement considering I made the game for an audience of just one).

“It was amazing to see the game bring so much joy to so many people and I’m so grateful for the personal stories some of you have shared with me – from Wordle uniting estranged family members, to causing friendly rivalries, supporting medical recoveries.

“On the other hand, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t overwhelming.”

Sri Lankan president ‘agrees to replace his brother as prime minister’

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Sri Lanka’s president has agreed to replace his older brother as prime minister in a caretaker government proposed to resolve a political stalemate caused by the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, a prominent politician has said.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has agreed that a national council will be appointed to appoint a new prime minister and an all-party cabinet in parliament, politician Maithripala Sirisena said after meeting the president.

Mr Sirisena, who was president before Mr Rajapaksa, was a ruling party politician before defecting earlier this month along with nearly 40 other lawmakers.

Sri Lanka is on the verge of bankruptcy and has announced that it is suspending payments on its foreign loans.

Sri Lankans representing various government establishments attend a protest rally during a strike demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

It must repay US$7 billion in foreign debt this year and US$25 billion by 2026.

Its foreign exchange reserves amount to less than one billion US dollars.

The shortage of foreign currency has severely limited imports, forcing people to queue to buy basic necessities such as food, fuel, cooking gas and medicine.

Mr. Rajapaksa and his family, including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, have dominated almost every aspect of life in Sri Lanka for most of the past 20 years.

Protesters who have taken to the streets since March hold them responsible for the crisis.

“Buy now, pay later” plans come with costly snags

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Buy now, pay later (BNPL) plans are increasingly being offered as a convenient credit alternative that allows purchases to be made in installments, typically four payments over six weeks. The so-called “fintech” (financial technology) companies that offer these plans often advertise that they offer consumers interest-free payments with no credit impact.

But consumer groups and economic justice organizations are warning that these financial products, which already affect 8.42 million consumers, may be just another explosive form of lending that exploits unsuspecting consumers through a lack of transparency, usually causing confusion about the true terms and consequences carries with the product. Without effective regulation, millions more consumers could be financially fooled by BNPL.

Consumers can take advantage of BNPL offers from companies like Affirm, Klarna, PayPal Pay in 4 and Sizzle, as well as others at brick-and-mortar stores like Macy’s, Footlocker, Target and Walmart and online retailers like Amazon.

BNPL purchases require direct payment deductions from credit or debit cards. Since each BNPL purchase comes with its own due dates – as opposed to the fixed payment date for a credit card bill – these recurring deductions can easily result in consumers incurring additional bank fees charged for insufficient funds and overdrafts. And many BNPL transactions don’t automatically come with product return and/or fraud protection that credit cards offer. Instead, these credit terms are currently at the discretion of BNPL providers. As a result, consumers can end up with no goods while their money is still being withdrawn from debit or credit card accounts.

Complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau have identified several consumer issues, including a lack of information on how to initiate disputes, delays in receiving refunds and ongoing repayment requests from BNPL lenders.

Last November, Marisabel Torres, the Center for Responsible Lending’s director of California policy, testified before Congress that BNPL loans are typically designed to avoid coverage by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).

“This law excludes from the definition of ‘creditor’ someone who makes a loan that does not require a financing fee and is repayable in four or fewer instalments… The fact that it’s a “free credit” product begs the question: what’s the catch?” said Torres. “It turns out there are a number of catches — some detectable, some potential — that require regulatory attention and response.”

Advocates say many adverse effects could be avoided if BNPL lenders were required to verify a consumer’s ability to repay before making the first loan. Instead, each billing cycle tends to worsen rather than improve the borrower’s financial position, dragging them deeper into the debt trap.

Just a month later, in December 2021, consumer and economic justice advocates applauded the CFPB when it announced it would launch an investigation into major BNPL lenders.

“By opening this investigation, the Consumer Protection Agency is taking a great first step in learning more about this industry and preventing harm to consumers,” said Torres of CRL.

Without vigilant oversight and proper regulation, Torres and other advocates warn, products that promise to promote financial inclusion could instead exacerbate financial exclusion.

In March of this year, a coalition of 77 organizations representing national consumer organizations and advocates in 16 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter urging CFPB to treat BNPL as a form of credit and lenders offering the products , subject to regulation by relevant consumer financial protection laws such as TILA. This law requires responsible underwriting, disclosure of fees and the ability to dispute charged items.

Without regulation, the increasing use of BNPL could inflict new financial harm on consumers, especially those with the least financial resources.

Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow at the Center for Responsible Lending.

New approach to import controls to help lower the cost of living

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Remaining import controls on EU goods will no longer be introduced this year, the government announced today.

Instead, traders will continue to ship their goods from the European Union to Britain as they currently do.

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and recent increases in global energy costs have had a significant effect on supply chains still recovering from the pandemic.

The government therefore concluded that it would be wrong to impose new administrative requirements on businesses that could pass the associated costs on to consumers already facing pressure on their finances.

The change in approach is expected to save UK importers at least £1 billion in annual costs.

The government will now consider how to implement these remaining controls in an improved way. The new target operating model will be based on better risk assessment and harness the power of data and technology. It will be published in the fall and the new control regime will come into effect at the end of 2023.

This process will build on existing work already underway under Border Strategy 2025, including the UK’s One Stop Shop – a new digital platform that will help traders move goods across borders more easily. global scale. Our goal is to create a new seamless “digital” frontier, where real-time technologies and data will reduce queues and facilitate exchanges.

The controls introduced in January 2021 on the highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products will continue to apply alongside the customs controls that have already been introduced.

Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

Today’s decision will allow UK businesses to focus on recovering from the pandemic, managing global supply chain issues and ensuring new costs are not passed on to consumers.

It is essential that we have the right import control regime in place, so we will now work with industry to review these remaining controls so that they best meet the interests of the UK.

We want the process of importing goods from the EU to be safe, secure and efficient and we want to leverage innovative new technologies to streamline processes and reduce friction. It is precisely because of Brexit that we are able to build this UK-centric system.

The UK Government is committed to ensuring the process of importing goods remains safe, secure and efficient and will leverage new innovative technologies to streamline future processes and reduce friction.

Our engagement with the industry will be guided by these goals and will build on existing work already underway, including the UK’s One Stop Shop – a new digital gateway that will help traders move goods across the border more easily. global scale.

John Keefe, Director of Public Affairs. Eurotunnel said:

Eurotunnel supports this decision which will ensure the smooth flow of goods to the UK. This is good for traders as it reduces import declaration paperwork on foodstuffs and perishables.

It’s good for carriers because it increases border fluidity and it’s good for consumers because it reduces the cost of living.

Michael Schymik, International Director of SEF Langdon’s said:

Current paper-based SPS processes and procedures are not suited for the digital world of the 21st century.

This policy shift towards a smarter digital border by the UK government will enable the free flow of safe food products in Britain.

The decision could lead to more EU businesses returning to export to the UK market, increasing competition and ultimately lowering prices for the consumer.

Notes to editors:

Watch Hot Fuzz from the iconic Somerset filming location

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Hot Fuzz is perhaps one of the most popular films ever made in Somerset. When it hit theaters in 2007, viewers were thrilled with its genius parody of the well-worn cop movie.

Pair that with some excellent satire of English village life and you’re onto a winner. It’s hard to believe that Hot Fuzz – part of The Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg – is now 15 years old.

However, the storyline has aged well and is perhaps as hilarious today as it was in the 2000s. Outstanding London cop Nicholas Angel is unwittingly moved to a quaint English village and paired with a mindless new partner. . While on the beat, Nicholas suspects a sinister plot is afoot with the residents – spooky.

READ MORE: I went to Bath to watch a play and absolutely nothing went right

As any local fan of the film knows, virtually the entire story was shot in Wells. Places like the Bishop’s Palace, St Cuthbert’s Church, The Crown pub and the Swan Hotel provide the backdrop for Sergeant Angel’s hair-raising stint in Sandford.

Now you can relive the laughter of your youth with a special 15th anniversary screening of Hot Fuzz outside the Bishop’s Palace. The event was organized by Wells Film Theater staff, who said “the show will go on regardless of the weather”.

So this Friday, April 29, pull out a patch of grass for your picnic blanket or deck chair and sit back, relax and prepare to be transported to the idyllic village of Sandford. Tickets cost £25 each and include a pork roast, drink and goody bag.

Due to very strong language and strong comedic bloody violence, you must be 15 years or older to attend. You can find more details and book tickets here.

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NJ Virtual Forum: What is the role of a “funeral attendant?”

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NEW JERSEY- The following press release is courtesy of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Northern New Jersey. Learn more about posting announcements or events to your local Patch site.

New Jersey residents can now choose a funeral attendant to ensure that instructions for the disposition of their remains are carried out after death. The funeral agent has full legal authority to carry out, with the help of funeral directors or cremation professionals, the end-of-life wishes of a spouse, family member, loved one or from a friend.

The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Northern New Jersey will host a virtual program on Sunday, May 1 at 2:15 p.m. on “The Importance of Designating a Funeral Attendant to Fulfill Your End-of-Life Wishes.” The presentation is a practical guide to having a conversation with your loved ones about selecting a funeral agent and what the agent is authorized to do.

The Funeral Officer Lecture will be presented by Warren County Assistant Deputy Thomas K. Thorp, who will share information about funeral officer law and officer responsibilities. It will also explain the painful issues that can arise if a person dies without leaving clear plans for disposing of their remains.

Admission is free, but pre-registration is required.

FCANNJ members, their guests and the public are invited to attend. There are no fees. Participants are requested to pre-register by clicking on the FCANNJ website: https://fcannj.org/.

Thorp will provide the following information about funeral attendants:

  • Brief Summary of Funeral Agent Law in New Jersey
  • Benefits of using a funeral agent
  • Importance of taking the time to share your end-of-life arrangements and wishes with family, loved ones or friends
  • How to download the free “Appointment of an Agent to Supervise Funeral and Disposal of Remains” form (available on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website)
  • Quick details on how to complete the form, where to store (avoid safe deposit boxes) and who should receive copies.

Thorp will also take questions from the audience after the presentation.

Thorp said: “Every year there are stories of families arguing over the funeral, burial or cremation of a deceased loved one. The disputes have led to family members continuing in court and they’ve spent thousands of dollars in legal fees. Eventually, an assistant prosecutor rules on the disposition of the loved one’s body.”

The Assistant Surrogate encourages families to discuss a loved one’s end-of-life plans long before a person dies or becomes chronically ill.

Thomas K. Thorp was called to the bar in 1985. He is licensed to practice law in New Jersey. He was in private practice from 1985 to 2011 and has served as Warren County’s deputy attorney since 2011.

The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Northern New Jersey (FCANNJ) is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization, which is not affiliated with any funeral and cremation service providers, cemetery companies or online counseling companies that advise families about death and dying. FCANNJ’s mission is to provide objective end-of-life planning advice that individuals and families can trust and use to become more informed consumers of funeral services. The organization also recommends that families choose environmentally friendly end-of-life arrangements. FCANNJ, part of the National Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA), serves the communities of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union, Warren and parts of Somerset counties. The New Jersey chapters of the FCA were founded in the 1960s by volunteers from Montclair, Morristown and Paramus, NJ. More information is available by visiting the organization’s website www.fcannj.org.

Send local news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com. Sign up for Patch’s email newsletters.

Elon Musk urged to “clean up” Twitter’s digital public square

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Elon Musk must weed out “coordinated armies of bot accounts” on Twitter that are disrupting genuine debate if he is serious about building the platform on free speech, the chairman of the joint committee on the free speech bill has said. online security.

Tory MP Damian Collins says the billionaire must follow through on his pledge to support free speech on the site and ‘defeat spambots’ after it was confirmed he had reached a 34-year deal £.5 billion to take over the platform.

Mr Collins is a leading figure in the tech sector review, having led a Joint Committee of Parliament to consider the Online Safety Bill, the government’s proposed new internet safety rules.

“Elon Musk calls Twitter the place of the digital city, but it has become a place where free speech is drowned out by coordinated armies of bot accounts that spread misinformation and division,” he said. .

“Twitter is a place where many users feel inhibited from speaking out, due to the hate and abuse they will receive.

“This digital public square is currently not a place of real debate, but a forum where campaigns, sometimes supported by Russian state agencies, seek to outsmart Twitter’s algorithms to promote their worldview and suppress any opposing voice.”

“If Elon Musk really wants to make Twitter a matter of free speech, he’ll have to clean up the digital city square.”

Reaction to Mr. Musk’s takeover proposal has been mixed, with some industry experts, academics and even Twitter users worrying about the Tesla boss’s stance as an “absolutist of freedom of expression” and whether that might mean a relaxation of content moderation rules.

But Twitter founder Jack Dorsey hailed the takeover, calling it a “right way” for the company and welcoming the decision to let Mr Musk take the social media platform into private ownership and away from the advertising model and Wall Street.

“In principle, I don’t think anyone should own or run Twitter,” Dorsey said.

“He wants to be a public good at the protocol level, not a company.

“Solving the problem of being a business though, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to expand the light of consciousness.

Downing Street said “regardless of ownership, all social media platforms must be accountable”.

“This includes protecting users from harm on their sites,” the prime minister’s official spokesperson said, adding that Twitter was an “important tool” and that the government would “continue to work with them to ensure that ‘he continues to improve’.

But online safety campaigners have warned that any changes to content moderation could have a “chilling effect” on children’s safety on the site.

Some internet safety activists are concerned about the move (Yui Mok/PA)

Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy at children’s charity NSPCC, said there was an urgent need to clarify the approach a Musk-led Twitter would take to tackle online abuse. .

“There is a huge difference in results between a platform tackling online sexual abuse and meeting basic legal requirements,” he wrote in a tweet.

“It is too early to draw conclusions, but the headwinds indicate a crippling effect. Proper regulatory guardrails have never seemed more important.

“The tension between libertarian views and the fight against illegal behavior is not new, but it is pressing.

“Would Twitter still look for child abuse in DMs? If the Online Safety Bill prevents Ofcom from proactively requiring it, where are we? »

Elsewhere, actress and The Good Place activist Jameela Jamil was among those who said they would leave the site as a result of the deal.

“I fear this offer of free speech will help this hellish platform to reach its final form of totally anarchic hatred, bigotry and misogyny. Good luck,” she said.

The names of other smaller social media platforms have also been trending on Twitter since the announcement as users debated whether to switch to alternative sites.

Mr Musk tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, saying: ‘The extreme antibody reaction from those fearful of free speech speaks volumes.’

UK government defends bonuses paid to staff at collapsed company Bulb | Energy industry

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The UK government has defended its decision to pay millions of pounds in bonuses to staff at collapsed energy supplier Bulb, despite the fact that it was effectively nationalized as part of a bailout that could cost £2.2 billion pounds to taxpayers.

Quarterly “retention bonuses” were deemed necessary to prevent an exodus of staff that could have sabotaged efforts to keep the business afloat while a buyer is found, multiple sources familiar with the matter said.

“The alternative is that hundreds of people leave and you can’t sell it,” a Whitehall source said. “You can’t provide energy to people if there’s no one working in the business.”

Bulb Energy, which has more than 1.5 million customers, is currently run by consultancy Teneo, appointed under the ‘special administration’ scheme after the energy provider became the world’s biggest 20 to collapse under the weight of exorbitant energy prices.

The arrangement is the first test of a system designed to kick in when an energy supplier is too big for its customers to transfer immediately to a competitor.

As part of the deal, a court appointed Teneo to manage day-to-day operations on behalf of the government, which is funding the costs. Financial advisory firm Interpath has been recruited to run Bulb’s parent company, Simple Energy.

The decision to pay quarterly bonuses, first reported by the Financial Times, appears to be up to Interpath as the payroll is handled by Simple Energy.

A Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: ‘Bulb’s directors have implemented an employee retention program to maintain operational efficiency and customer support.

“Bulb’s special administrator remains legally bound to keep the costs of the administrative process as low as possible – which is what the employee retention program is compatible with.

“The government will seek to recoup the costs at a later date, ensuring that we get the best value for taxpayers.”

The cost of running Bulb could be as high as £2.2bn, the Office for Budget Responsibility has said, while some reports suggest £3bn is not unrealistic.

A government source insisted the costs had yet to reach the £1.7billion originally planned. The cost includes a much criticized £250,000 salary for Bulb boss and co-founder Hayden Wood, who has apologized for the company’s demise.

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An Interpath spokesperson said: ‘The teams at Simple and Bulb have worked incredibly hard since the companies entered bankruptcy last November, ensuring the companies were able to continue trading and ensuring continuity of service. for 1.5 million customers, and all against the context of personal uncertainty that any administration inevitably causes.

British Gas owner Centrica and Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar are said to be the first to buy Bulb Energy, with the government hoping investment bank Lazard can find a buyer by June.

Four other parties have expressed interest, according to a Whitehall source, and could be tapped if Centrica and Masdar drop out.

Top 3 installment loan apps to get you started

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Lending apps are gradually replacing traditional credit agencies or credit unions. Today, traditional lending institutions struggle with the convenience and seamless processes of these apps. Additionally, these apps and online lenders accept applicants regardless of their credit history.

However, it can be difficult to identify trustworthy installment loan apps. There are many lending companies in this industry and while some offer good services, others are opportunistic and deceptive.

That’s why we’ve listed the top three installment loan apps to get you started on the right foot. Let’s dive in!

The top 3 installment loan apps to get you started

1. Heart Paydays

Heart Payday is a popular credit app in the United States. This website offers all of their loan services online, saving you the hassle of in-store loan applications. You can complete the entire application process in five minutes or less.

They offer various loan services such as: bad credit loan guaranteed approval $5000which can help you meet your emergency needs.

This app has a user-friendly interface and practically everyone can maneuver it conveniently and easily. The site is known for accepting applicants who have been rejected by other lenders as their eligibility thresholds are relatively lower than

in most credit institutions. For example, they accept people with bad credit, the unemployed, and recipients of government benefits.

Typically, Heart Payday loans have an APR of between 5.99% and 35.99%.

advantages

  • There is no paperwork
  • Same day payout
  • Easy application process

Disadvantages

2. Viva payday loan

The Viva payday loan app is another great option for paying in installments when you are short on cash. The site offers no-guarantee loans just a few hours after completing your application.

Viva Payday Loan has partnered with direct lenders who can meet your borrowing needs as soon as possible. In addition, these direct lenders offer different loan amounts.

Viva Kredit does not carry out an intensive credit check when checking loan applications and even does so people with bad credit to secure loans from them. Other groups of people, such as the unemployed and beneficiaries of state subsidy programs, can also apply for a Viva Payday Loan.

Their payday APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99%. This is mainly because every direct lender they work with imposes their interest rates. One of their main disadvantages is that their services are not accessible in all states.

advantages

  • Same day payouts
  • The simple and fast application process
  • Flexible loan amounts from $200 to $5,000

Disadvantages

  • Viva Loan services are not available in all US states

3. Credit clock

Credit Clock Loan is considered to be the best for quick loan approvals. They offer a range of credit products to their customers such as:

This is the ideal lender if you are in urgent and urgent need of some quick cash as the quick loan approval process and fast withdrawal time can save you time.

They offer loans to people with bad credit and even to those who receive government benefits. However, you must meet their minimum requirements; You must be over 18 years of age, show proof of earning at least $1,000, and be a US citizen. In some cases, you will need to prove your employment by submitting your pay slip.

advantages

  • Fast application process
  • Same day payouts
  • People with poor credit ratings may also apply

Disadvantages

  • Loans can only be applied for by people earning at least $1,000

Conclusion

Knowing that you have a loan option within reach of your phone can be an amazing feeling. We often find ourselves in a difficult situation, and going through the in-store loan application process can go a long way toward funding an emergency. Therefore, credit apps can make our life much easier.

However, this also exposes us to a great temptation. Unlike the traditional lending system where you have time to think things over before taking out a loan, the new app option gives you the luxury of completing a loan application in just a few clicks. Some people, especially spendthrifts, could get into cycles of debt.

Scream Truck brings on-demand ice cream to your doorstep

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If you see a neon pink ice cream truck driving through your neighborhood with modern tunes, it’s not there by accident.

Each day, Scream Truck visits different towns in Union, Somerset, Essex and Morris counties, with an ever-growing set of routes.

If you signed up on the Scream Truck website, you’ll get a text message in the morning when the truck is in your neighborhood that afternoon or evening. Respond Y to let Scream Truck know you’d like it to stop by, then place your order and prepay for your ice cream so it’s ready when the truck arrives.

Founder Eric Murphy, who has a background in event technology, media and marketing, was inspired to start the company after hearing a traditional ice cream truck cruise near his Basking Ridge home.

“We have this rickety old ice cream truck driving around our neighborhood,” said Murphy, a self-proclaimed ice cream lover. “The product is really bad, it still looks scary and I just thought, ‘Why hasn’t anyone ever done this differently?’ “

This is exactly what his new company does.

“I thought, ‘There’s gotta be a better way to let people know you’re coming than a song playing on the truck,'” Murphy continued. “People are constantly texting the ice cream truck in our town, trying to get him to come to their house, so that’s where the idea of ​​texting came in. I then thought, “How can we organize this better and make it more efficient for the truck so that we can serve everyone?” “

Limited-edition seasonal sundaes are especially popular at Scream Truck.

That works. When Murphy launched the concept in Westfield in June 2020 with a Facebook post, 500 households signed up within the first 24 hours. There are now 22,000 homes on the list, all thanks to word of mouth and without any official advertising.

Coffee and wine:Bliss Coffee Lounge in Somerville will soon be a wine lounge

Scream Truck can’t visit yet every 22,000 households – about 30-40% of them are in towns that have not been added to the routes. But the listings allow Murphy to determine which spots should be added later.

Scream Truck regularly visits twenty cities, including Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford, New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Bridgewater. The truck usually visits each neighborhood once a week.

Currently, Scream Truck regularly visits about twenty cities.

“What really blew me away, and still blew me away every day, is the organic spread of what we do,” Murphy said. “It’s so consistent. Every time we come to a city, all the cities around it start signing up and we start expanding to each of those cities.

The truck works all year round. Customers can also reserve the truck, even if it is not on a regular route. Events cost between $250 and $750.

Last year, Scream Truck held 2,000 events. For these, special messages to the guest of honor are displayed on two 4K LED monitors. Menu items are also named after them and curated music plays. Soon, event patrons will be able to create their own playlists.

Scream Truck sauces are made by Ghiradelli and sprinkles are made by Fancy Sprinkles.

The soft serve ice cream comes from a mix made by Upstate Farms in New York. Limited-edition seasonal sundaes are popular, such as the current NFT (which stands for Nutella, Hazelnuts, also known as Hazelnuts and Toasted Coconut). It also includes vanilla ice cream, a Nutella cookie, and whipped cream for $8.50.

“I can marry you and bake the cake”:Chef David Burke is an ordained minister Non-dairy and vegan ice creams are available, as well as fruit popsicles. All sauces are made by Ghiradelli and vermicelli is made by Fancy Sprinkles.

Eric Murphy was inspired to start Scream Truck after hearing a traditional ice cream truck cruise near his Basking Ridge home one day.

An ice cream truck that comes to your house on demand and can host socially distanced events might seem like a COVID-19 era invention, but Murphy came up with the idea in January 2020.

The pandemic certainly hasn’t hurt his efforts, however.

“COVID certainly helped in the beginning because people were so excited for something like this to come to them while they were stuck at home,” he said. “We did 50-75 events in January 2021. We would go to people’s houses and it would snow, and they would be so happy we were there.”

More information at shouttruck.com.

Jenna Intersimone.

Jenna Intersimone has been a staff member of the USA Today Network New Jersey since 2014, having become a blogger-turned-journalist after founding her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to her food, drink and fun stories, please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Contact: JIntersimone@Gannett.com or @JIntersimone.

NHS waiting list rule that allows patients to avoid queues

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A growing number of people in the UK have turned to private healthcare due to record waiting times for NHS services, according to a new report.

Report author Liz Heath said: “There appears to be a direct correlation between well-publicized and lengthened NHS waiting lists and waiting times for elective procedures and diagnoses and inquiries on self-payment. Since these waiting lists are not falling, we would expect demand to be sustained as people seek to access treatment.”

As it stands, the NHS is currently testing new ways to reduce waiting times, including a monitoring device to speed up the diagnosis of irregular heart rhythms, which has reduced waiting at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital from eight weeks to a few days. , according to the Liverpool Echo. Meanwhile, a ‘life-saving’ phone app has also been launched to detect cancer, removing unnecessary referrals to dermatology. But one program could allow you to skip NHS waiting lists altogether.

The NHS’ “right to choose” is protected and guaranteed by its constitution, which “gives most people living in England the right to choose where to receive treatment”. With a few caveats like catchment area, capacity and cost, patients have the legal right to choose their practice, decide on their NHS care and choose the organization providing the care when they are referred by their GP to a first appointment with a consultant or specialist.

You can even choose to be treated by a clinical team led by a consultant or appointed healthcare professional, and be referred to many private hospitals, as long as they provide services to the NHS and it doesn’t cost more expensive to the NHS than a referral. at a standard NHS hospital. The NHS e-Referral Service, an electronic referral service, allows people living in England to choose from clinics and hospitals, including some private hospitals, across England.

Private organizations accessible under the NHS right to choose are called ‘qualified providers’. These include Psychiatry UK, an online psychiatry service with “contracts to provide adult ADHD diagnosis and treatment services with a number of clinical commissioning groups in England”.

Patients could wait years for a first appointment with the NHS, according to the charity ADHD Action, but they could be seen within weeks and start taking medication within months by going private. However, demand is currently so high that all appointments for Psychiatry UK’s adult ADHD services are fully booked until October 2022, according to its website.

The right to choose applies to both mental health and physical conditions, and covers services ranging from general medicine to specialized tests and treatments. There are certain circumstances in which you do not have the right to choose, including whether you are a prisoner or in the armed forces, whether you use emergency services or need emergency treatment or emergencies such as cancer services where you must be seen within a maximum of two weeks.

But you can ask to be referred to another hospital if you have to wait longer to see a specialist for a suspected cancer, or if you have to wait more than 18 weeks before starting treatment for a physical or mental health problem, if your treatment is not urgent.

The NHS website said: “You should always be given a choice at the time of referral and the opportunity to discuss options with the person referring you. If you believe you have not been offered a choice, you should speak to the person who is referring you in the first place.”

For more stories of where you live, visit In your region.

These areas of Somerset could be underwater by 2030

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The research was conducted by an independent organization of eminent scientists and journalists, collectively known as the Central Climatewho investigate climate change and its impact on the public.

Using current projections, they produced a map showing which areas of the country would be submerged by 2030.

Places in Somerset threatened by rising sea levels

Large swaths of Somerset are at risk from rising sea levels. Image: Climate Central

The Climate Central map reveals that large areas of Somerset are at risk of losing land to sea level rise within less than a decade.

The search results are grim for residents of Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Glastonbury and Weston-super-Mare, showing that most land in these areas is at risk of being lost to the sea.

The risk extends to towns as far inland as Langport, Muchelney and Ilchester

Elsewhere in Somerset, tourist destinations including major sections of Minehead, Blue Anchor, Bossington Beach and Porlock Weir are also in the ‘red zone’.

Towns such as Taunton, Wellington, Ilminster, Chard, Yeovil, Castle Cary and Shepton Mallet are all outside the ‘at risk’ areas.

Datasets include “an error”

Climate Central admits the calculations that raised fears of a nightmare scenario have “a few errors”.

He says: “These maps incorporate large datasets, which always include errors. These maps should be viewed as scouting tools to identify locations that may require further risk investigation.”

The maps were based on “worldwide datasets for elevation, tides and coastal flood probabilities” and “imperfect data is used”.

Somewhat comfortingly, Climate Central adds: “Our approach makes it easy to quickly map any scenario and accurately reflect the threats of future permanent sea level rise.

“However, the accuracy of these maps decreases when assessing extreme flood risk.

“Our maps are not based on physical simulations of storms and floods and do not take into account factors such as erosion, future changes in storm frequency or intensity, inland flooding, or contributions from precipitation or rivers.”

But he adds: “Improved elevation data points to far greater global threats from sea level rise and coastal flooding than previously thought, and therefore greater benefits in reducing their causes. .”

An honest crust? The British government intervenes in the face of the threat of “sourfaux” against artisan bakers | Leaven

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With ingredients consisting of nothing but flour, water, and salt, sourdough bread may seem like one of life’s simplest and most unambiguous pleasures. But it is now coming under scrutiny as part of a government review over long-running claims that a ‘sourfaux’ scandal is undermining traditional authentic bread.

The Real Bread Campaign, a project run by Sustain, the non-profit alliance for better food and farming, says supermarket chains and industrial bakeries are misleading customers, selling breads labeled as “made with sourdough’ for as little as £1.20.

Factory-made breads can contain up to 15 ingredients, including palm oil and commercial yeast.

Real Bread campaign coordinator Chris Young said new bread labeling rules needed to be imposed on supermarkets and major bread companies to protect small-scale traditional bakeries. Activists complained of a “sourfaux each for himself”.

He said: ‘We think a lot of people are being misled when buying their bread. Making sourdough is a slower process. We would like the definition to be “bread made without additives and using a living sourdough culture”.

The government has formed a bread and flour technical task force to review the regulations, and the Real Bread campaign has submitted a series of proposals for a radical overhaul of bread labelling.

Ministers confirmed that the task force was reviewing the use of the word sourdough – “to assess whether providing a definition of sourdough would benefit consumers”.

They are also urged to crack down on supermarkets’ use of the term “freshly baked”. Supermarket bakeries have been accused of being “bread tanning parlors” in which pre-baked and sometimes frozen bread is ironed through an oven shortly before sale.

The UK bread market is worth around £4 billion a year and in recent years the number of independent bakeries has increased. Traditional bakeries still represent only 5% of the bread market in value; large-scale bakeries account for about 75% and in-store bakeries 20%.

Instead of commercial yeast, sourdough bread is made with natural yeast in a fermented mixture of flour and water called the “starter.” It takes much longer to ferment and rise than bread with added yeast. Research has shown that sourdough bread is a much richer source of minerals, including magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Charlotte Nemeth, co-owner of Seasons Bakery in Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales. Photography: Bakery of the Seasons

While a genuine sourdough loaf from a traditional bakery usually costs at least £3.50, supermarkets offer loaves labeled “sourdough” at around a third of that price. Small bakeries say they are undermined by what they consider to be not really sourdough.

Charlotte Nemeth, 24, co-owner with her husband, Dan, 40, of award-winning Seasons Bakery, which operates in a former village school in Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales, said: ‘We want to encourage people to buy sourdough because it’s healthier for them, but they ask about the price and why they can buy it for less than £2 in the supermarket. We need a legal definition that says sourdough bread is just flour, water, and salt.

Dan Nemeth added that their bakery produces around 10,000 sourdough loaves a week, supplying local food distributors, a restaurant and two stores. The loaves sell for £3.85 each.

He said a traditionally baked bread and a factory-made bread were two “totally separate products”, adding: “It can be a cheaper option if you have a product with additives, preservatives and yeast, but it is not true leaven.”

Supermarket shoppers can pick up Sainsbury’s 800g white country loaf ‘with sourdough’ for just £1.30. The bread contains only 3.5% sourdough, as well as rapeseed oil, palm oil, soy flour and a flour treatment agent. An 800g Tesco white bread ‘with sourdough’ costs £1.20 and contains emulsifiers and added yeast.

Campaigners do not believe the term sourdough should be allowed on such products. They support the sale of genuine sourdough breads in supermarkets, but say the products must be properly labelled. A survey by the consumer watchdog Which? in 2018 found that only four out of 19 supermarket sourdough breads tested could be considered authentic. The UK bakery industry came up with a code of practice in 2019 for the labeling of sourdough bread and rolls. He said where “space and skills were lacking” there were a growing number of ingredients that could simplify the process. The proposals were dismissed by the Real Bread Campaign as a “cheater’s charter”.

The Real Bread campaign submission to the government task force says, “When it comes to sourdough, leaving it to the ‘market’ to self-regulate clearly doesn’t work.”

The campaign proposes a new legal definition of bread, a legal definition of sourdough, a requirement to display ingredients for all baked goods, and legal definitions of “fresh”, “freshly baked” and “store baked”.

It says supermarkets and large retailers market freshly baked or in-store baked goods that may have been made, pre-cooked and frozen off-site. The campaign says complaints about the bread’s marketing descriptions to the Advertising Standards Authority and trading standards officials have been dismissed on the grounds that, without legal definitions, they are unable to judge whether the terms are being used in a way misleading. He says the government’s response to date to his proposals suggests he would prefer to see self-regulation and that there is a ‘reluctance to take the necessary action on this issue’.

The government has promised to launch a consultation on potential amendments to the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 over the summer. A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “Food information is strictly regulated in the UK and must not mislead consumers. This includes claims such as “fresh” and “store cooked”.

“There are ongoing discussions about the use of ‘sourdough’ – and while regulation is an option, we encourage further work on the draft industry code of practice which could help achieve better understanding.”

Retailers say they comply with all regulations when it comes to selling and marketing sourdough bread. Sainsbury’s said worried customers buying baked goods in bulk should ask a member of staff for ingredient information or check online.

Letter from Chris Mann, Taunton, regarding Conservative leadership

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Our current two-tier management of municipal services was designed 50 years ago before the commercial advantages of the M5, the Internet, mobile phones and GPS. Adjacent councils have already moved to the less expensive unitary structure with a management team.

The Conservative leadership of Somerset County Council has worked hard over the past four years to bring this normal business reform to the benefit of the citizens of Somerset.

Their One Somerset business plan, saving £18.5million a year, was drawn up by the successful unitary change project manager from neighboring Wiltshire Council. This will end confusion over who does what and eliminate duplication.

The Liberal Democratic Party wanted to replace five existing councils with five new organizations, including a combined authority and a shareholder-owned service delivery organization.

The current management has managed to pay £42,000 a day in interest on the £324m debt left by the latest Somerset LibDem council while improving services, perhaps most visibly the junction that resigns at Paul Street and Rowbarton . These were annoying at the time, but traffic flows have improved. The huge £8.3million upgrades to Creech Castle will soon be complete.

The Somerset Manifesto 2022 lists six plans ranging from managing our money to supporting us and our families.

It also has commitments for each existing district council area, such as a Taunton/Wellington cycleway, two further parks and rides and a new Taunton bus station.

Building the right houses in the right places is also a priority and the new council will ensure developers deliver community infrastructure, as happened 40 years ago with Comeytrowe Centre.

If we want to keep this capacity, this ambition and this low risk, we can elect Conservative councilors on May 5.

Chris Mann, Taunton

A hydrogen ferry service through the Bristol Channel under consideration

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A proposal for a hydrogen ferry service across the Bristol Channel has been discussed between council leaders. Swansea Council have held preliminary discussions with their counterparts in Devon and Cornwall over the service which will link the Welsh city and the South West of England.

Swansea Council has already said it will help provide a hub and early talks suggest hosting ferries to seaside towns in the South West of England could be key to the proposals. Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart is determined to revitalize the South Wales city’s proud maritime history.

He said: “It would be a huge boost for tourism and business – to think you could cut your journey time to Devon and Cornwall in half, and of course it would also have environmental benefits: removing the cars off the road and introduce green energy ferries.”

READ MORE: Covid infections fall across UK countries for first time since January

The pleasure steamer Balmoral and the paddle steamer Waverley have offered occasional summer crossings through the Bristol Channel for many years, stopping at Swansea and Ilfracombe in North Devon, among other places. If the link were to be made, the use of hydrogen from renewables could be a major breakthrough for the transport sector, which emits the most greenhouse gases, by sector, in the UK.

This is not the first time a network service has been offered for the Bristol Channel. A year-round service of 50-minute journeys from Swansea and Ilfracombe was hoped to be launched by 2010 by a company called Severn Link.

At the time of the proposal, Severn Link founder Chris Marrow said: “There’s no doubt a lot of people are holidaying in the UK at the moment and in many ways I think that’s the perfect time to start.”

For more stories of where you live, visit InYourArea.

Lancashire v Gloucestershire, Surrey v Somerset: County cricket – live! | sport

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Even the best racehorses need a little friction. After spending the second half of winter on the sidelines, omitted from England’s West Indies tour, James Anderson flew to Old Trafford to Lancashiresecond game of the season.

He was as nimble as ever, a 39-year-old man with no signs of middle age. But for some reason – the unusual Manchester sun, the brisk breeze rustling the ground, forcing spectators to remove their gloves – it became ticketless. His first seven overs went for 21 runs; its next nine for only nine. Maybe he threw a little short, a little wide at times, maybe the toast just landed butter side down.

Gloucestershire had spent the morning spreading the Lancashire international attack of Anderson, Hasan Ali, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson onto the pitch, the only batting side in the entire Championship not to lose a wicket in the morning session. They then managed to lose six between lunch and tea as Mahmood was rewarded for his accuracy, and Hasan Ali, whose celebrations deserve to be immortalized on stage, played superbly, finishing the day with six wickets.

Another Pakistani international rushed, this time Shaheen Shah Afridi on his middlesex debut against Glamorgan, a day when 16 wickets fell at Sophia Gardens. He finished with three for 35, bowling a bewildered Marnus Labuschagne with a humdinger. Daniel Bell-Drummond made 149 as Kent gradually towards 300 against HampshireZak Crawley out for seven years after dancing unannounced to Mohammad Abbas.

Essex slumped 98 for two to 168 all on a good batting run in Edgbaston, a day made worse when Dan Lawrence limped near the end clutching his hamstring. Tom Westley had been Essex’s last man at 80. Warwickshire were 76 for two at the end, with Alex Davies for an archetypal bish, bang, swish on his Warwickshire debut; Dom Sibley survived to the stumps.

At the County Ground there were more points for Dawid Malan and Harry Brook, who combined 131, but Sri Lanka Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne was dismissed on the cheap. Gareth Berg proved a tricky prospect, finishing with five for 58. yorkshire‘s Jordan Thompson then took two quick Northamptonshire the wickets before the stumps.

At the Riverside, Liam Patterson-White took five wickets as Durham struggled at 230. Haseeb Hameed was not out on the 23rd for Nottinghamshire at the close. Sam Conners took four wickets for derbyshire in the East Midlands derby against Leicestershire, who were fired for 213.

The golden touch of Brett D’Oliveira since its creation Worcestershire captain continued his second century in two games. Dropped on the 19th, he did sussex pay, flourish as the day progresses. Sussex’s main wicket-taker – whose injured list includes winter signings Steven Finn and Ollie Robinson, who are out with a dental infection – was captain and fly-half Tom Haines.

New York State is suing MoneyGram for multiple consumer violations

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New York State is suing international money transfer company MoneyGram for multiple consumer rights violations. New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit on behalf of residents today, Thursday, April 21, 2022. MoneyGram International, Inc. and MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. have allegedly repeatedly violated state consumer protection laws.

The Attorney General is Accusing MoneyGram of failing to deliver the money to recipients on time or refunding consumers when their transfers were delayed. These practices unfairly affected the state’s immigrants, who used the company’s services to send money back to family members and loved ones in their home countries. The lawsuit alleges that MoneyGram failed to notify New York consumers exactly when their money transfers would be delivered and left them in the dark when an error occurred.

New York gubernatorial candidate Letitia James attends a campaign rally in Brooklyn a day after announcing her run

Getty Images

Attorney General James said:

Our immigrant communities trusted MoneyGram to send their hard-earned money home to their loved ones, but MoneyGram let them down. Consumers deserve to know where their money has gone. Businesses have a duty to be transparent with consumers, treat them fairly, and obey the law, but MoneyGram has repeatedly failed to do so. Today we are suing MoneyGram to correct their illegal practices and stop them from causing further harm to consumers. New Yorkers can trust that my office will always protect them from unscrupulous corporations.

MoneyGram has 430,000 locations in the US and worldwide. The service is widely used by immigrants in New York State. In 2020, more than 600,000 New Yorkers sent and received money 3.8 million times at MoneyGram locations across the state.

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If you need to file a consumer complaint, you can do so with the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau on-line or by calling (800) 771-7755.

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Somerset County First Responders – ABC23

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On Wednesday morning, first responders from the Somerset County Department of Emergency Services practiced what they would do in a real-life emergency weather situation.

“It’s a blue sky day when we can meet and it’s not a real script, so we don’t exchange business cards or names when a real event happens.”

That’s what Somerset County Emergency Services Manager Joel Landis said of the biannual simulation.

He said they hold an “emergency weather simulation” every fall and spring, but it was the first in-person simulation since the pandemic began.

“We want to take those scenarios and exercise all of our abilities, as well as our staff, to make sure they’re able to respond to them properly,” Landis continued.

Wednesday’s exercise: a tornado simulation.

First responders rehearsed how they would alert the public, where shelters could be set up and how schools should respond if this were to happen.

“We have worked with all of the hazard vulnerabilities in our county. Floods, tornadoes and winter storms have all been exercised before,” Landis told 6 News.

The county’s emergency operations center would be open in the event of a train derailment, multi-vehicle accident or other major emergency.

County officials and outside agencies could meet there if needed.

“We do this to be better prepared. We want to make sure that, first, our department is prepared for any scenario that could befall us,” Landis said.

These officials remind residents of Somerset County to register with the CodeRED emergency alert system.

As they practice running to the situations we run from.

“We’re taking a period of time off just to make sure that function is better performed, and we’re better prepared if that day ever comes around,”

Heineken warns of beer price hikes as costs bite

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Heineken is set to raise prices for its beer even further as it continues to suffer from soaring production costs.

It came as the Dutch brewer, which also makes Birra Moretti and Amstel, said it sold more beer than expected in the past three months as drinkers returned to pubs and bars after pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Earlier this year, Heineken said it saw its costs soar due to raw material inflation and rising supply chain costs.

More recently, the war in Ukraine has added another challenge to brewers as grain costs have risen further.

The company said it would look to raise prices to rein in soaring costs, with more “significant headwinds” expected later this year.

Dolf van den Brink, Chairman of the company, said: “Looking ahead, we see more macro-economic uncertainty and expect further significant inflationary headwinds which will put additional pressure on our cost base. .

“We will take additional actions, including pricing, to manage these challenges while continuing to invest in superior, balanced growth and sustainable value creation.”

The group said net revenue jumped 24.9% to 5.7bn euros (£4.7bn) for the three months to March as it was boosted by higher prices students.

The company said revenue also benefited from a 5.7% increase in volumes.

Beer sales volumes were up 5.2% from the same period last year as the company saw particularly strong growth in Europe due to relaxed pandemic rules.

Mr. Van den Brink added: “We had a good start to the year, in line with our expectations, benefiting in particular from a solid channel mix thanks to the partial recovery of on-trade in Europe and from strong pricing In every region”.

Five types of bacteria linked to aggressive prostate cancer – study

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Researchers have identified five types of bacteria that are linked to aggressive prostate cancer.

The bacteria was common in urine and tissue samples from men with the disease, according to a new study.

It is hoped that the results could help pave the way for treatments that could target this bacteria and slow or prevent the development of an aggressive disease.

Scientists don’t yet know how people get the bacteria or if they cause the disease.

Professor Colin Cooper, project leader of the project, from Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia (UEA), said: “We already know some strong associations between infections and cancer.

“For example, the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the digestive tract can lead to stomach ulcers and is associated with stomach cancer, and certain types of HPV viruses can cause cervical cancer.

“We wanted to find out if bacteria could be linked to how prostate cancer grows and spreads.”

Dr Jeremy Clark, also from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Although prostate cancer is responsible for a large proportion of all cancer deaths in men, it is more often of a disease from which men rather die than of.

“And little is known about the causes of some prostate cancers becoming more aggressive than others.

“We now have evidence that certain bacteria are involved in this and are part of the puzzle.”

The team worked with researchers from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the Quadram Institute and other collaborators to analyze urine or tissue samples from more than 600 patients with and without prostate cancer.

They have developed methods to find the bacteria associated with aggressive prostate cancer.

Dr Rachel Hurst, first author of this work and also from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “We have found several types of bacteria associated with aggressive prostate cancer, some of which are new types of bacteria never before found before.”

Two of the new species of bacteria discovered by the team are named after two of the study’s funders – Porphyromonas bobii, according to The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, and Varibaculum prostatecancerukia, according to Prostate Cancer UK.

The set of bacteria found by the team includes Anaerococcus, Peptoniphilus, Porphyromonas, Fenollaria and Fusobacterium.

All bacteria like to grow without the presence of oxygen.

Dr Hurst said: ‘When any of these specific anaerobic bacteria were detected in patient samples, it was linked to the presence of higher grades of prostate cancer and more rapid progression to aggressive disease.

“We have also identified potential biological mechanisms of how these bacteria may be linked to cancer.

“Among the things we don’t know yet are how people catch these bacteria, whether they cause cancer, or whether a poor immune response allows the bacteria to grow.

“But we hope our findings and future work can lead to new treatment options that could slow or prevent the development of aggressive prostate cancer.

“Our work could also lay the groundwork for new tests using bacteria to predict the most effective treatment for each man’s cancer.”

The researchers also noted that many bacteria are beneficial to human life, and it is not straightforward to eliminate harmful bacteria without removing the protection provided by good bacteria.

The study, published in European Urology Oncology, was funded by The Bob Champion Cancer Trust and Prostate Cancer UK.

UK government threatened with legal action over offshore wind farms

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Communities in Suffolk are threatening the UK government with legal action after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng last month approved two controversial wind farms off the east coast of England.

Suffolk residents had opposed projects developed by ScottishPower, the UK arm of Spanish utility Iberdrola, because of the design and location of the onshore infrastructure needed to connect them to the UK power grid. This includes a large substation complex in the medieval village of Friston, Suffolk, 22 miles northeast of Ipswich.

Energy leaders and some climate campaigners have warned that if not carefully planned, the amount of onshore infrastructure that will be needed to accelerate the rollout of clean electricity projects in Britain could become a new battlefield with the communities.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister set a target to increase the UK‘s offshore wind power capacity fivefold to 50 gigawatts by the end of the decade, up from a previous target of 40 GW, as part of its new “energy security strategy”, designed to reduce the country’s exposure to volatile fossil fuel markets, including Russian oil and gas supplies.

But campaigners in Suffolk argue the UK government needs to take a more strategic approach to how all expected new projects will connect to the power grid – and where.

Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS), a group organized by county residents, sent a ‘pre-action protocol’ letter to Kwarteng asking to reconsider before seeking permission to seek judicial review of its decision to approve the two ScottishPower projects.

Fiona Gilmore, who runs SEAS, said the approach to planning terrestrial infrastructure such as substations and large cables is currently “very old-fashioned” as each project is treated individually, with no thought given to how the infrastructure could be integrated and reduced.

SEAS would like “hubs” located on brownfield sites, where substations and interconnectors – the cables through which electricity is exchanged with continental Europe – could be grouped together in order to avoid too many buildings and “concrete, monolithic” cables don’t mark the county.

He had proposed that the Business Secretary make a ‘split decision’ on the ScottishPower schemes, known as East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two. Gilmore said this would have allowed construction of the offshore turbines to begin, but would have allowed more time to rethink the placement of cables and substations inland.

“If your strategy [for onshore infrastructure] makes sense, then you’re going to get the communities to support you and approve of you and then you’re not going to be held up by these court reviews,” Gilmore said.

The east of England looks set to become a test bed for determining how much disruption to local landscapes and industries communities will tolerate unsightly inland infrastructure, given the large number of new energy projects, including interconnections, which are planned for the coast.

In 2021, villagers in Norfolk successfully rescinded approval for a large offshore wind farm being developed by Swedish energy group Vattenfall after opposing a new substation needed to connect the project to the network. The same project was approved by the government for the second time earlier this year.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy declined to comment.

Nicola Sturgeon reported to police for apparent violation of face mask law

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Nicola Sturgeon has been reported to police after footage showed her apparently breaking Scotland’s Covid face mask law during the council election campaign.

Video posted on social media appears to show the Scottish Prime Minister not wearing a mask while visiting a barber in East Kilbride, south Lanarkshire, on Saturday.

There is currently a legal requirement to wear a face covering in most indoor public places in Scotland, including shops, public transport and hairdressers.

In the video, Ms Sturgeon appears to be seen without a face covering as she mingles with customers and pats a man’s head in a barber’s chair while mimicking the sound of an electric razor.

The Prime Minister wears a tartan face mask in the video of her visit to Iconic Gents Hair posted on her official Twitter account, in which she can be seen shaving off a man’s beard.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that we have received a complaint which is currently being assessed.

The legal requirement to wear face masks in indoor settings in Scotland becomes directive on Monday, but the Scottish Government has strongly recommended that people continue to wear them where appropriate.

An SNP spokesperson said: ‘The Prime Minister was invited to the barber during an outdoor visit to the street.

“Within seconds she realized she hadn’t put her mask back on and immediately put it on.”

Scottish Conservative health spokesperson Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP said: “The video clearly shows that Nicola Sturgeon is not practicing what she preaches about face masks.

“She is happy to point out Virtue for official photos, but behind closed doors it’s clear she doesn’t believe in her own rules so why should anyone else.

“This is blatant hypocrisy on the part of the Prime Minister who has now shown his true colors.

“The public, who have been under these legal Covid restrictions for over two years, deserve an apology for this breach of the rules. »

A spokesperson for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: “It is incumbent on all politicians to set a good example. It seems that Nicola Sturgeon has lost track of her own rules.

In December 2020, Ms Sturgeon apologized after breaking Covid rules by removing her face mask at a funeral wake.

She described it as “a stupid mistake” and said, “I’m so sorry.”

The Scottish government said Saturday’s incident was a problem for the party.

Foot Anstey has announced five new partners

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FOOT Anstey has announced five new partners from May.

John Catchpole, Rebecca Kibby, Mark Li, Adam McKenna and Christian Silk will be promoted next month, bringing the firm’s total number of partners to 54.

Martin Hirst, who will become the firm’s managing partner on May 1, said: “The number of promotions we are making underscores the firm’s continued strength and the scale of our ambitions for future growth.

“All of these promotions are the result of their track record of providing high quality advice and service to our clients, their reputation and knowledge of their industries, and their outstanding contributions to our firm and our communities. .”

John Catchpole specializes in delivering complex real estate projects for clients, particularly in the energy, infrastructure and developer sectors.

His work as head of the space and satellite team at Foot Anstey helped build a solid reputation for the company in this innovative and highly specialized market.

As Managing Director and Head of Property Transfer Services, Rebecca Kibby oversees a team of 70 people within the firm’s Real Estate Group which provides services to developers, Islamic finance and private wealth clients. .

Mark Li specializes in complex, high-value commercial real estate transactions and the management of operational real estate portfolios. Acting for public and private sector developers and infrastructure owners in the fields of transport and energy, he has played a leading role in Foot Anstey’s work in the energy and infrastructure sector. related to electric vehicles and mobility services.

Adam McKenna was trained and qualified at Foot Anstey and is a founding member of its private equity industry team, which he leads through his experience advising portfolio companies on targeted acquisitions and the implementation of buying and building strategies.

As Head of Strategic Infrastructure Planning at Foot Anstey, Christian Silk specializes in all aspects of environmental planning and law and has expertise in its developer, energy and infrastructure sectors and in its space, satellite and port areas of intervention. He has built a solid reputation as an expert on the issue of nitrates and phosphates impacting developers in many parts of the UK, as well as other key environmental issues including natural capital, net zero and the energy transition.

Why Tax Refund Loans Are Bad: Fees, Interest & Risk

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Last minute applicants are working to ship their returns to the Tax office by the 2021 tax year deadline of Monday 18 April – and are likely looking forward to a hefty check on their tax refund.

Some tax firms or other lenders may offer an opportunity to access these funds earlier, in the form of a tax refund loanalso known as a payback loan.

supervisory authorities etc Interest Groups have warned of the possible downsides of the loans, especially those that come with hefty fees or high interest rates. Personal finance experts generally do not recommend them.

Here’s what you need to know about the loans this tax season.

What is a tax refund loan?

Put simply, a tax refund loan is an advance on your tax refund, said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.

One way to borrow against your tax refund to get instant access to the funds is to borrow the amount from a lender and give them the refund when you get it from the IRS.

“Unlike many loans, it’s not necessarily something to look around for,” Schulz said.

Tax refund loans are typically offered by a tax consulting firm, Schulz said. You won’t find them at your bank.

What are the pros and cons?

The advantage of an upfront loan is pretty simple: you get instant access to the amount of your refund instead of waiting the days or weeks it could take to get the money from the IRS.

The disadvantage? “It can end up costing you,” Schulz said, in the form of interest or fees.

Some tax firms will offer you a no-fee tax refund loan, Schulz said. But you have to pay the company to do your taxes for you.

“Even with a 0% loan, there’s probably still going to be a minimum amount you have to pay to prepare your taxes,” he said. “So if you’re already planning on getting your taxes done, it might not be that big of a deal.”

Teresa Murray, director of the Consumer Watchdog Office at the US Public Interest Research Group, says the costs can outweigh the benefits.

“We really urge people to avoid any type of prepayment loan,” she said. “Anything you rent out for a refund that you haven’t received yet…it’s got bad news on it.”

That North Carolina Consumer Council warns anyone considering a loan against their tax refund to ‘reconsider’

“While it may sound tempting to get a tax advance, these loans are actually tax return payday loans and you should avoid them if possible,” the Council’s Council said on its website. “The full amount must be repaid like any other loan, even if your repayment is less than expected or you end up with no repayment at all.”

When can I expect my refund?

According to the IRS, more than nine out of ten refunds are processed in less than three weeks Website. Taxpayers who filed electronically will receive their refunds faster than those who submitted their tax forms by mail.

And the department is getting faster at issuing refunds, Murray said. Now some electronic filers can expect to see the money in their bank account in just a few days.

“If you’re filing a tax return electronically, you can usually get your money in four to six days,” she said.

North Carolina taxpayers may be slower in receiving their state tax refunds, but the upside is that a delay in accepting tax returns this year was due to a statutory tax cut individual tax rate.

Should I Consider a Tax Refund Loan?

Schulz said if you really need the money — and read the terms carefully — a tax-refund loan can be an alternative to riskier ways to fund your bank account.

“Emergencies happen: job loss, medical emergencies, whatever the case,” he said. “(In this case) there are worse things you could do than a tax refund.”

And assuming you got your taxes right, he said, a tax refund loan is a secured loan with your actual refund serving as collateral. That makes it significantly less risky than, say, an unsecured payday loan with a sky-high interest rate.

Murray, on the other hand, is by no means warning about the loans. She suggests holding out until you get your rebate, especially since it might not take very long if you’ve submitted an e-registration and set up direct deposit.

“If you’re that short on cash… find a friend or relative you can borrow money from for a few days,” she said. “Don’t go down the path of anticipatory refund loans because they’re just ridiculously expensive … You’re paying for your own money.”

While this year’s tax filing season ends without the threat of a government shutdown, it could make those loans even riskier going forward, according to the North Carolina Consumer Council.

“The frequent federal government shutdowns could make this type of loan more attractive if you want your refund quickly, which can complicate matters. Remember that a delay in paying out your refund is not taken into account by the lender and does not relieve you of the obligation to repay the loan on time,” the lender’s website reads.

Schulz added that large tax firms — like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt — only accept tax refund loan applications for a set period of time, often between December and February. For these applicants, the loan application window may already be closed.

And Murray had one piece of advice for those who want to become one: start earlier next year.

“If you’re in a hurry, don’t pay attention,” she said. “Any time you have the words ‘not careful’ and ‘IRS’ in the same sentence, that’s not good.”

This story was originally published Apr 15, 2022 8:36 am.

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Hannah Lang covers banking and corporate equity for The Charlotte Observer. She studied business journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in the same city as her alma mater.

Community of Bristol Secures Funding to Build England’s Tallest Wind Turbine | Energy

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A community group in one of Bristol’s poorest neighborhoods has achieved its funding goal to build England’s tallest wind turbine, despite no central government funding for local wind power generation.

The group of residents of Lawrence Weston, a deprived housing estate on the outskirts of the West Country town, have been awarded £4million and expect to start earthworks for the turbine, which measures 150m from its base at its peak, in June. The wind turbine, with a maximum capacity of 4.2 MW, will sell energy to the grid. The band believe it will bring in at least £100,000 a year.

Mark Pepper, who grew up on the estate and helped found the Ambition Lawrence Weston charity to regenerate the area, said the turbine would bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds for community projects including a new skills training centre. renewable energies and a crisis fund to help local families trapped in fuel poverty.

“The fantastically exciting work begins soon. I am proud of the residents because there have been many challenges along the way and many obstacles have been put in our way,” he said. “Yet the locals remained resolute because they know this could be a game-changer for Lawrence Weston.”

However, he added that the turbine, which will produce enough electricity for 3,000 homes, took eight years to build because the government had made it so difficult to obtain planning permission and had not provided any financial support for communities to produce their own electricity. “Government resistance to more onshore wind has been a problem,” he said. “It’s been a long slog, but hopefully soon the residents will be able to reap the rewards of all their hard work.”

Government research shows that community-owned energy provides 12 to 13 times more social and community benefits than equivalent commercial installations. Proceeds from the Lawrence Weston program will be used in part to help estate families unable to heat their homes and keep lights on as energy prices rise. “A lot of residents here have prepaid meters – if they can’t afford to put in the money, they’re effectively cut off,” Pepper said. “We see a lot of people running out of gas and electricity.”

Other regions are keen to follow Bristol’s lead, with around a third of the 220 local groups linked to Community Energy England interested in developing similar onshore wind projects. But the organization is only aware of a handful of small-scale community turbines that have been erected in England since the Conservative government of David Cameron tightened planning laws, requiring, unlike other projects to infrastructure, proof of local support, as well as the end of financial support. . Although wind projects were allowed to apply for grants again in 2020, only commercial-scale wind farm developers were able to meet the minimum energy threshold.

The government’s new energy strategy, which was released last week, has disappointed many community energy campaigners. There is no earmarked funding for community projects and no targets for increasing onshore wind power generation, even though it is considered the cheapest and fastest way to generate electricity. The strategy only promises to consult “a limited number of communities” to develop turbine projects in exchange for lower energy bills.

The Lawrence Weston turbine, which will be erected on scrubland owned by Bristol City Council in the nearby industrial town of Avonmouth, is due for completion next spring. The electricity it produces will be sold to the national grid. The vast majority of funding comes from Thrive Energy, a renewable energy investment company, which provided £4m for the project. Other funders included Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority.

Andrew Garrad, visiting professor of renewable energy at the University of Bristol, said the turbine would be the “largest in England”. Garrad, who sits on the board of the energy company created by Ambition Lawrence Weston, added that the height and size of the turbine allow it to capture the maximum amount of wind. “The energy collected by a wind turbine increases with the square of the diameter – so if you double the diameter, you get four times the energy,” he said. “And the higher you go, the more energy you get because the wind is blowing harder.”

A shorter turbine would not have been economical. Project Development Manager David Tudgey, who took the turbine through the planning and financing cycles, said: “We had to go for the highest possible turbine for the site as there is no grants available – something smaller wouldn’t have made enough money to benefit the local community.

Tudgey added that ministers should create a national community energy fund to allow others to copy Lawrence Weston: “Communities across the country need help setting up similar programs that tackle energy poverty and climate change”.

Matthew Clayton, managing director of Thrive Renewables, said the funding would allow them to build and commission the turbine. “Local projects like these will play a fundamental role in the future energy system, providing clean electricity that will help lower bills and generate income that can be reconnected to the community,” he said.

Keller Williams Premier Realty ready to help home buyers | Business

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CUMBERLAND — Keller Williams is nationally known for its leading technology in home marketing, recognizing that a person’s home is usually their greatest asset and that marketing requires innovation, integrity and commitment. Imes & Crossland bring Keller Williams to the Tri-State area and believe their core values ​​will serve the community with unparalleled service and a commitment to achieving desirable results when selling or buying a home or property. property.

Because Keller Williams provides ongoing and extensive training to its staff, its agents have access to innovative technologies to maximize exposure when marketing a home. Using these same technologies, agents can help buyers quickly find, locate and secure access to potential properties, which is essential in today’s fast-paced marketplace. As challenges arise and market conditions change, Keller Williams Premier Realty’s Imes & Crossland will have critical information readily available to enable its clients to make an informed decision.

The office is managed by Heather Imes, a local native, an award-winning licensed real estate agent in Maryland and West Virginia, with extensive experience working with homeowners and buyers in the tri-state area.

Imes will lead a team responsible for delivering effective, professional and efficient real estate marketing in Allegany, Garrett, Mineral, Hampshire, Bedford and Somerset counties who can offer a bespoke marketing plan for each property and provide advice honest and skilled in negotiating the best possible outcome.

“With over two decades of experience marketing and selling properties in the Tri-State area, partnering and leading an exceptional group of real estate agents with Keller Williams will absolutely change real estate marketing in our area. “Imes said. . “We are committed to achieving the highest level of professionalism, integrity and positive results. As we rapidly onboard known and proven agents in the coming weeks, I am confident that we will exceed our clients’ expectations.

Imes & Crossland Tri-State Properties of Keller Williams Premier Realty is located at 924 Seton Drive, Suite 1, and can be contacted at 301-722-2020. A grand opening of the office will be planned in the near future.

Closures spread in China as coronavirus infections rise

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Anti-coronavirus controls that have shuttered some of China’s biggest cities and fueled public frustration are spreading as infections rise, hurting a weak economy and sparking warnings of possible global shockwaves.

Shanghai is easing rules that confined most of its 25 million people to their homes after complaints they were struggling to eat. But most of his businesses are still closed.

Access to Guangzhou, an industrial hub of 19 million people near Hong Kong, was suspended this week. Other cities are cutting off access or closing factories and schools.

Meanwhile, spring planting by Chinese farmers who feed 1.4 billion people could be disrupted, economists at Nomura have warned. This could boost demand for imported wheat and other foodstuffs, pushing up already high world prices.

People wearing face masks walk near flowering trees in a Beijing park (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

The closures are an embarrassment to the ruling Communist Party and a setback to official efforts to support sluggish growth in the world’s second-largest economy. They come during a sensitive year when President Xi Jinping is expected to try to break with tradition and grant himself a third five-year term as head.

Beijing has vowed to reduce the human and economic cost of its “zero-Covid” strategy, but on Wednesday Xi ruled out joining the United States and other governments in dropping restrictions and trying to live with the virus.

“The work of prevention and control cannot be relaxed,” he said, according to the official Xinhua news agency. “Perseverance is victory.”

The risk of China falling into recession is increasing, Nomura’s Ting Lu, Jing Wang and Harrison Zhang warned in a report.

“The logistics crisis is getting worse,” they said. “Markets should also worry about the delay in spring planting of cereals in China.”

The government reported 29,411 new cases on Thursday, all but 3,020 without symptoms. Shanghai accounted for 95% of that total, or 27,719 cases. All but 2,573 had no symptoms.

Medical worker conducts Covid tests for Shanghai residents
A medical worker conducts Covid tests for Shanghai residents (Chen Si/AP)

A health official warned on Wednesday that Shanghai does not have the virus under control despite easing restrictions.

Some 6.6 million people have been allowed to leave their homes in areas that have seen no new cases for at least a week. But at least 15 million others still do not have the right to go out.

Most people obeyed despite grumblings about shortages of food, medicine and access to elderly relatives in need of help. But videos on the popular social media service Sina Weibo show the exchange of blows with the police.

Grape Chen, a data analyst in Shanghai, said she was worried about getting medicine for her father, who is recovering from a stroke. She called the police after receiving no response from an official hotline, but was told quarantine rules prohibited officers from helping.

“We are willing to cooperate with the country,” Ms. Chen said. “But we also hope that our lives can be respected.”

The city government of Suzhou, a hub of smartphone manufacturing and other high-tech industries west of Shanghai, has told its 18 million residents to stay at home as much as possible.

Taiyuan, a working-class city of four million in central China, has suspended intercity bus services, according to the official China News Service. Ningde in the southeast banned residents from leaving.

According to Gavekal Dragonomics, a research firm, all but 13 of China’s 100 largest cities by economic output are under some form of restrictions.

“The intensity is increasing,” he said in a report this week.

The volume of cargo handled by the port of Shanghai, the busiest in the world, fell by 40%, according to an estimate by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Automakers have suspended production due to disruption in supply deliveries.

Restrictions on regions that produce smartphones, consumer electronics and other goods globally prompt forecasters to cut expectations for this year’s economic growth to just 5%, down sharply from the expansion from 8.1% last year.

Bound Brook resident charged with explicit contact with teenage girl

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bound stream

Somerset County authorities report the arrest of Mr Carlos B. Deleon-Sis, 42, of Bound Brook, in connection with a sexual assault of a minor that occurred in Bound Brook.

Acting District Attorney Taggart said on March 17, 2022, the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office received information that a 14-year-old victim alleged she was sexually assaulted in the borough of Bound Brook.

The 14-year-old was questioned by a detective from the Somerset County Prosecutor‘s Office, Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit, and the Bound Brook Police Department.

A Somerset County official said the 14-year-old victim said she was sexually assaulted by Carlos B. Deleon-Sis on multiple occasions between June 2021 and February 2022 in Bound Brook.

Detectives investigated the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and detectives from the Bound Brook Police Department.

On April 6, 2022, as a result of this investigation, Defendant Deleon-Sis was arrested without incident and charged with 2nd Degree, Sexual Assault, 3rd Degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, 4th Degree, criminal sexual contact. Defendant Deleon-Sis has been remanded to Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Job #1786: Senior Director, Finance

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Position summary: The Senior Director, Finance is responsible for ensuring the consistency and accuracy of corporate financial reporting and leads the corporate ICFR attestation function in collaboration with the internal audit department by providing guidance , developing and completing internal control models and reviewing IT controls and documentation.

This role serves as an escalation point for ICFR risk and provides guidance to business leaders and executives. The Senior Director, Finance will also support the integration of ICFR and corporate reporting activities for acquired companies. This role guides and works with a combined team of high performing onshore and offshore finance professionals.

Responsibilities

· Serve as the ICFR manager for the company, including serving as an escalation point for issues and overseeing the preparation of company documents and participation in the end-to-end ICFR process and results.

· Participate in quarterly reviews and year-end audits of the company and ensure the interface with external auditors.

· Ensure processes are in place and functioning to produce consistent corporate financial reporting, including timely and accurate review of monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements.

· Lead and conduct research on GAAP/issues. Fully document accounting and financial reporting concerns, including timely follow-up on identified risks and resolution of issues.

· Present the ICFR management process and audit findings or issues to management and the audit committee, as appropriate.

· Serve as the company’s point of contact for various sets of auditors.

· Drive positive results for the department and reinforce the complexion of corporate accounting and financial standards by implementing best practice auditing/reporting processes and troubleshooting tactics; foster a discipline and culture of process improvement; and apply innovative thinking to problem solving

· Participate in M&A activities as required, including due diligence and integration, ensuring scalability for area of ​​responsibility.

· Lead, develop and mentor a team of finance professionals by defining strategy and prioritizing objectives, recruiting, training and developing a high performing global finance team.

Professional experience:

● Minimum of seven (7) years of experience in an accounting firm with progressively increasing responsibilities.

● Demonstrated experience with SEC filings including 10-Q, 10-K and S-1.

● Prepared and reviewed ICFR documentation for a public company, including documentation and review of computer systems.

● Engage and work with external auditors throughout the audit process, including external auditor certifications.

● Experience in the health sector is a plus.

● Mentor and direct junior finance and accounting staff and offshore resources.

Education and Certifications:

● Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance from an accredited college or university

● Current CPA certification essential.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

● Thorough understanding of US GAAP.

● Analytical and process-oriented mind essential.

● Solid understanding of purchase accounting, software capitalization, foreign currency translation and equity compensation.

● Must be able to quickly research and document accounting and financial reporting issues and increase risk.

● Excellent communication and presentation skills to effectively convey complex information and meaningful ideas.

● In-depth knowledge and skills in the use of Microsoft software programs.

● Ability to work independently and demonstrate a high level of initiative and self-motivation.

● Ability to work in a dynamic and fast-paced work environment and demonstrate a roll-up attitude towards all work assignments. Must be able to work and coordinate multiple projects simultaneously and monitor progress.

● Excellent administrative and accounting skills to ensure follow-up engagements are delivered on time and deadlines are met with quality work.

● High level of integrity and ethical decision-making to convey credibility and build trust in work product and actions.

About CareCloud: MTBC (Nasdaq: MTBC), CareCloud, Inc. is a healthcare information technology company that provides a full suite of proprietary cloud-based solutions, along with related business services, to healthcare providers. healthcare and hospitals across the United States. Our Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) platform includes revenue cycle management, practice management, electronic health record, business intelligence, telehealth, patient management solutions patient experience and complementary software tools and business services for successful medical and healthcare groups. systems. Our headquarters are located in Somerset, New Jersey, and we have branches nationwide.

Supervisory responsibility: Team of onshore and offshore finance professionals.

Position classification: Full-time exemption

Travel: minimal

Bonus Eligibility: Yes, up to 20% of the base opportunity.

Workplace: The incumbent may initially work remotely due to the company’s Covid-19 workplace safety practices, then will be based at CareCloud, Inc. headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey or at its Rutherford location, New Jersey.

EEO Statement: CareCloud, Inc. is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. In the performance of the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to speak or hear. The employee is frequently required to stand; to walk; using the hands to finger, manipulate or smell; and reach with hands and arms. Specific vision abilities required by this job include near vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. This position requires the ability to occasionally lift office products, equipment and supplies up to 20 pounds.

ADA Statement: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

Other tasks: Please note that this job description is not designed to cover or contain a complete list of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this position. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Interested members should email their CV to nroth@carecloud.com. Please mention that you are a member of EisnerAmper’s Friends of the Firm program. Be sure to include Job #1786 in the subject line and copy friendsoffirm@eisneramper.com to your email.

Radstock Town looks back on its history

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“I can refer to an old program I have in front of me, which was actually published on November 19, 1937, where the notes say ‘we believe it is a fact that Radstock Football Club was established in 1835”, which is before Sheffield FC and before several others around the world. We have no concrete evidence of this; the first real evidence of games being played dates back to 1880 and something. But it is a program with notes and people who were still alive when they were written from 1835.

So it would be nice to find evidence of playing this early, but our records show the club was actually playing under the name Radstock Sports Association in the early 1880s.

“We have match reports against Shepton Mallet in a match in 1883, which Shepton won from a hotly contested number of corners. The match actually ended with two goals apiece and then it was a four-two corners count in favor of Shepton Mallet, which was apparently part of Football Association rules at the time. Of course at that time we didn’t have one set of rules, I mean there was one set of rules for the north and one set for the south, and the Football Association in London was desperately trying to put it all together. But those were the first games and we certainly played a fairly regular list of matches back then.

The fitting secretaries were very important because although there were no league teams, match fixing and financial commitments were made.

“There is a very good piece of information in one of the press articles from Radstock Town visiting Bradford-on-Avon that they had agreed to compensate Radstock if the crowd did not reach a certain level.

“In 1889 the club changed their name to Radstock Wanderers and began playing Somerset League football in 1890/91. Then in 1895 they became Radstock Town and affiliated with Somerset FA. At the At the time the vice-chairman of the club was Charles Lewin, who of course became the first chairman of Somerset FA, and I think the youth team is still playing for the Lewin Cup So the story is a long one and fascinating in many ways.

As far as the club went through its ups and downs, it went bankrupt for a while in the early 1900s due to a lack of revenue indeed, and of course the mining industry was not as dynamic, shall we say, as it later became. Admittedly, the effects of Lord Carlingford and the Earl of Waldegrave, their demands on miners in terms of hours worked and remuneration granted meant that sport often took a back seat.

“So Radstock Town football club as such, and the football played at Radstock, was probably among the first played in the North Somerset area.”

Next week, Dave will talk about Radstock’s move to the current home, Southfields Recreation Ground.

If anyone has any information, photographs, old programmes, newspaper articles or medals relating to the history of Radstock Town Football Club then Dave would love to hear from you as he continues to compile the history of the club. Dave can be contacted at: [email protected]

Badger cull enforcement costs taxpayers over £540,000

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IT costs police more than half a million pounds each year to enforce the culling of badgers in Somerset, writes local democracy journalist Daniel Mumby.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary is responsible for enforcing the annual cull of badgers, as mandated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to slow the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis (TB ).

Figures released by police show it cost taxpayers more than £540,000 to enforce the cull in 2021 – and more than £5.6million has been spent in total since the introduction of the culled in 2013.

Activists have called for an end to culling, describing it as poor value for money and ineffective in controlling the spread of the disease.

In 2021, £543,987 was spent monitoring the culling of badgers in the Avon and Somerset region.

Since culling began in 2013, the total amount spent in the force zone on badger culling is £5,611,780.27, an average of over £600,000 per year (from 2013 to 2021 included).

All policing costs associated with enforcing the cull are claimed from Defra – meaning none of the culling costs come from the policing of the local council tax precept.

Campaign group Somerset Against the Badger Cull had called for culling to be dropped, arguing there are better uses of police resources and better ways to reduce the spread of disease among livestock.

A spokesperson said: ‘The badger cull is widely opposed as it is ineffective in reducing bovine tuberculosis in cattle and it is cruel.

“Badgers are a legally protected native species. Many people are very fond of badgers.

“We would like the government to focus on effective ways to tackle bovine tuberculosis, such as stricter and improved testing for cattle and higher standards of on-farm biosecurity. The production of a vaccine for livestock is also essential.

“The disease is most commonly transmitted by cattle-to-cattle transmission. As expert scientists have already said, the incidence of bovine tuberculosis can be reduced by focusing only on livestock measures.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary declined to comment on the figures, stating only that “the badger cull is a DEFRA initiative” and confirming that all costs associated with its enforcement are “fully reimbursed”.

In its most recent analysis of the effectiveness of badger culling, published in September 2021, Defra officially concluded that it remains the most cost-effective option.

A spokesperson said: “Currently, no alternative option offers better value for money in the short to medium term, in a situation where the incidence of tuberculosis in cattle continues to increase, as well as the costs for the government and the farmers to deal with it.”

Covid-19: the NHS feels “abandoned” by ministers

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M

Inisters have been accused of abandoning the NHS as it faces mounting pressure from Covid-19.

Here your questions are answered about the current state of affairs in the NHS.

– What was said?

The NHS Confederation has said very high rates of Covid-19 infections are having a ‘major impact’ on the health service, which faces pressures it would see in a ‘bad winter’ until spring .

The member body, which represents health organisations, called on the government to reconsider its Living with Covid plan, as it said ministers risked ‘dropping out’ of the NHS if they did not intervene.

– So how many Covid-19 patients are being treated?

The number of people in hospital in the UK with Covid-19 appears to have stabilized just above the peak reached at the start of the year.

A total of 20,331 patients were registered on April 7, according to the latest government figures.

This figure is broadly unchanged from previous days and is slightly above the January 2022 peak of 20,050.

But that is well below the record of 39,256 reached during the second wave of the virus in January 2021.

There is a similar trend in England, where the number of patients stood at 16,366 on April 8 – again, largely unchanged in recent days and just below the January 2022 peak of 17,120.

Different patterns are evident across regions, with patient levels rising in the Midlands, falling in the South West of England and plateauing elsewhere.

– But are all these people being treated for Covid-19?

Almost three in five hospital patients in England (58%) who have tested positive for Covid-19 are mainly being treated for something else – the highest level yet.

The proportion of patients hospitalized “with” Covid-19 rather than “for” it has steadily increased since the end of last year, when the figure was around 25%.

But any patients who test positive for coronavirus must be treated separately from other people in hospital, adding to the pressures facing NHS staff trying to clear a record backlog of routine treatments.

– What about the situation elsewhere in the hospitals?

Many parts of the NHS are feeling the strain of current pressures.

In addition to treating large volumes of Covid-19 patients, there are high rates of staff absences due to the virus, full hospitals and high demands for emergency care.

Too many ambulances are waiting longer than they should to “hand over” patients to the hospital, leading to ambulance queues outside hospitals and longer wait times for people in the community who called 999 for emergency medical help.

In the week starting March 28, 21,432 delays of half an hour or more were recorded across all hospital trusts in England.

There are also problems inside hospitals, as many A&E departments struggle to see, treat, and admit or discharge patients within the allotted time.

The NHS Confederation said that in the past week alone 20 emergency departments in England have been forced to turn away patients as they issued ‘diversions’ due to being overfull.

Meanwhile, the NHS is set to deal with the backlog of care, with more than six million people awaiting hospital treatment in England alone.

The NHS Confederation questioned whether targets for tackling the record backlog were realistic in the current environment.

– What about NHS workers?

Data released on April 7 showed that staff absences at NHS hospitals in England due to Covid-19 are at their highest level since late January, with numbers continuing to climb in most areas.

Absences averaged 28,560 per day the previous week – the equivalent of 3% of the workforce – compared to 27,571 the previous week, but still below the 45,736 (5% of the workforce) reached at the beginning of January .

– What does the NHS Confederation want the government to do?

He called for stronger messages to the public on how to reduce transmission, including wearing the best face masks possible and urging people to get vaccinated.

Medium-term plans must also be put in place, including better ventilation of public spaces, he added.

The NHS Confederation has also urged ministers to reconsider asking the NHS to foot the bill for Covid-19 testing for staff – which would cost the NHS “several hundred million pounds” that are taken out of patient care.

“Buy now, pay later” outperforms “traditional” debt like a mortgage or car loan

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More Britons have borrowed through Buy Now, Pay Later services than traditional debt such as bank loans or mortgages since the start of 2021, new research shows.

According to a study by lender Creditspring, 10 percent of adults had used BNPL, while 6 percent had taken out a mortgage, 3 percent had taken out a bank loan, and 2 percent had taken out an approved, interest-bearing overdraft.

Despite their rising popularity, around a third of adults were unaware that BNPL programs are a form of borrowing.

BNPL programs are third-party services such as Klarna, Afterpay and ClearPay that appear at online checkouts and give the buyer the option to split their payment into installments.

One in four young adults has used a BNPL scheme in the past 15 months, with credit organizations warning consumers of the dangers of borrowing more than you can afford to pay back

While many offer interest-free options, higher value items or longer loan periods may charge interest.

Fees are usually levied if the borrower is late in repaying, and their details may eventually be shared with collection agencies.

Even so, Creditspring’s poll found that one in seven adults thought it was “impossible” to get into debt with BNPL, rising to one in four for those under 35.

Younger adults are among the most common users, with one in five having used deferred payment schemes in the past 15 months.

These misunderstandings could mean millions of UK borrowers risk corrupting their credit reports or unknowingly getting into debt.

Debt relief agency Stepchange and Citizens Advice have warned that the cost of living crisis could increase BNPL dependency in 2022.

Richard Lane, director of external affairs at StepChange, said: “Because of the way BNPL services are marketed at the checkout, younger consumers – who tend to be less financially savvy – often don’t realize they are taking out a loan in the first place.

“These services are presented as a convenient way to shop and do not allow individuals to stop and think about the implications of borrowing and the financial difficulties that may arise later.

“For someone considering using BNPL, remember that although it is interest-free, it is still a loan and must be repaid.

“It’s important to realize that BNPL is like any other debt and you should never borrow more than you can afford.”

According to Creditspring, four in five adults are said to be unaware that BNPL schemes are unregulated in the UK, while half were unaware that a person can be referred to a debt collector if they miss a BNPL payment.

Another 43 percent said they were unaware that BNPL providers could charge a fee for late payments.

About one in four adults under the age of 35 believed they couldn’t incur “serious” debt using the services, which Citizens Advice said was a worrying mindset.

Matthew Upton, director of policy at Citizens Advice, said: “Buy Now Pay Later loans can be like quicksand – easy to get in and very hard to get out.

“Our real fear is that people won’t understand what they’re signing up for or the consequences if something goes wrong. The government urgently needs to step up regulation of the BNPL sector.’

Debtor organizations urge customers using BNPL to understand the risks of borrowing

Debtor organizations urge customers using BNPL to understand the risks of borrowing

According to the FCA, there were £2.7 billion worth of BNPL transactions in 2020, with research suggesting the market has more than doubled to £5.7 billion in the past year.

Last year, the government announced a consultation to regulate the BNPL industry, but it has yet to be implemented.

Neil Kadagathur, Co-Founder and CEO of Creditspring, said: “Since payday loans were pushed out of the mainstream, BNPL has been seen as the new wild west of the lending industry.

“Regulation is welcome, but the misconceptions among borrowers that BNPL is risk-free or not a form of borrowing that can lead to debt is a much bigger problem.

“Borrowers need to be protected – they are at real risk of falling into yet another credit trap as they continue to rely on BNPL as a crutch to get them through to payday.

BNPL's services have been used more than regular lenders since January 2021, including loans, mortgages and auto financing

BNPL’s services have been used more than regular lenders since January 2021, including loans, mortgages and auto financing

“The worst-case scenario is that borrowers end up having a knock on their door by a collection agency, but currently the vast majority are completely unaware that this is even possible.”

He also said that since it is currently easier to access BNPL than to qualify for a credit card, those in vulnerable financial situations may be most at risk.

Kadagathur added: “Financial literacy is vital and more support is needed to reach those who need affordable credit.

“Currently, up to 15 million people in the UK are struggling to access popular credit options – these are the people most at risk from predatory, high-priced lenders, particularly in the current climate.”

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8 bars (with happy hours) in the CBD for late-night business meetings

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Here’s one thing we all agree on: business meetings suck, especially when they’re scheduled after hours. But with the recent lifting of the ban on late night alcohol consumption in dining venues, we now have the option of taking our meetings outside of the meeting room and chatting in a light setting around food and drink.

Read also : 4 things Singapore businesses need to know about the 2022 revised safe management measures

Here are 8 bars in the CBD (with happy hours) or in centralized locations that will make your late-night business meetings much more enjoyable.

#1 Oriole Cafe + Bar

Source: Oriole Cafe + Bar

Coffee shop by day, lively bar by night, Oriole Coffee + Bar offers a wide selection of delicious food, appetizers and desserts including fish tacos ($20), Gula Melaka lava cake ($12). Happy Hour specials include $8 draft beers, $9 wines, and exclusive 1-for-1 promotions.

The good thing about Oriole Coffee + Bar is that there are many options for you to choose from if you are not a drinker, such as a selection of 0% non-alcoholic wines, cold pressed juices and Japanese Taisho coffee, so there’s no need for you or your co-workers to feel left out even if you’re in alcohol rehab. The extensive all-day dining menu is also helpful!

Happy Hours: Sunday to Thursday (2 p.m. to 8 p.m.), Friday and Saturday (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; 8 p.m. until late)

Address: 96 Somerset Rd, #01-01, Singapore 238163

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday (11am – 10.30pm), Friday (11am – 11.30pm), Saturday (10am – 11.30pm), Sunday (10am – 9.30pm)

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

#2 KPO Cafe Bar

Source: KPO

Located at the junction of Killiney, Penang and Orchard Roads, KPO is a post-war modernist style building that features a cozy interior with sophisticated vibes. The two-story bar offers an international menu that includes hearty eastern and western dishes such as KPO Hokkien Mee ($17), Pizza Yorkshire ($25) among others. The beverage offering includes craft beers on tap, as well as a range of spirits, cocktails and wines. Happy Hour specials include $10 draft beer, $11 house spirits, and 15% off all premium bottles.

If you are a car enthusiast or a Daniel Mac-wannabe, KPO is also a great place to check out the supercars which are usually parked at the cafe/bar entrance.

Happy Hours: Monday to Friday (2pm-8pm), Saturday (4pm-8pm)

Address: 1 Killiney Road, Singapore 239518

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (2:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.), Saturday (4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.), closed on Sunday

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

#3 Exchange

Source: The Stock Exchange

Located in Marina Bay, The Exchange serves modern Australian cuisine including pastas, burgers and desserts. Marble-clad surfaces, Chesterfield sofas, and pendant lights compose the interior of the metropolitan space, giving off elegant yet chill vibes. Happy Hour specials include beers from $10, spirits from $11, and wine from $13.50.

Happy Hours: Monday to Friday (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.)

Address: 8 Marina View, #01-05, Asia Square Tower 1, Singapore 018960

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.), closed on weekends

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

Acid Bar #4

Via the Acid Bar & Restaurant

Located opposite [email protected], Acid Bar offers a tantalizing menu of local dishes, including Harjeong Soft Shell Crab ($24), Lobster Kueh Pie Tee ($26), among others. Happy Hour specials include 1-for-1 draft beers and spirits, plus $15 house whiskeys every Friday.

Happy Hours: Sunday to Thursday (all day)

Address: 180 Orchard Road, Peranakan Place, Singapore 238846

Opening hours: Daily (4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

#5 Jekyll and Hyde

Source: Jekyll & Hyde

One of Singapore’s pioneering cocktail bars, Jekyll and Hyde has been revived as a restaurant that serves jazzed up versions of zi char-inspired menu items such as Wagyu Char Kway Teow ($25), Kurobuta Fried Carrot Cake ($22) among others.

But don’t let the unique menu fool you. It’s still pretty much where you want to go for their collection of curated cocktails inspired by Singapore’s unique flavors. Happy Hour specials include classic cocktails, house beer, $12 red and white wine.

Happy Hours: Tuesday to Friday (6 p.m. to 7 p.m.)

Address: 74 Neil Road, Singapore 088839

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday (6 p.m. – 12 a.m.), Saturday (12 p.m. – 4 p.m.; 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.), Sunday (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

#6 Tess Bar & Kitchen

Source: Tess Bar & Kitchen, Instagram

Tess Bar & Kitchen is an industrial-style establishment that serves an eclectic selection of European dishes and a range of drinks, including bespoke cocktails concocted by award-winning bartender Christyne Lee. Happy Hour specials include $10 beer, wine, and spirits and $12 cocktails.

Happy Hours: Every day (12 p.m. – 7 p.m.)

Address: 38 Seah St, Singapore 188394

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday and Sunday (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.), Friday and Saturday (12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

#7 Emerald Hill #5

Source: 5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar

Housed in a Peranakan-style building along Emerald Hill Road, the bar, adorned with antique carvings and Chinese-style tasselled lanterns, exudes a rustic vibe, providing an intimate and cozy environment for patrons. This is also where you can try their famous Tong Shui OL’School Dessert Martinis such as Qing Teng Martini and Chendol Martini. Great for those of us who love dessert (and drink). Promotions include 1-for-1 martinis with prices starting at 2 for $22.

Happy Hours: Every day (12 p.m. – 8 p.m.)

Address: 5 Emerald Hill Rd, Singapore 229289

Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday (12 p.m. to 2 a.m.), Friday to Saturday (12 p.m. to 3 a.m.)

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

#8 The secret mermaid

Source: The Secret Mermaid

Tucked away in a basement corner of the Ocean Financial Center, The Secret Mermaid has a library of craft American liquors that includes gins, whiskeys, vodkas and tequilas. Accompanying their whimsical concoctions are bar snacks such as Beef Croquette ($14), Napoleon Dynamites ($6) among others. Happy hour specials include $10 draft beers, $12 wines, and $14 cocktails.

Happy Hour: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Address: Ocean Financial Center #B1-09 10 Collyer Quay S049315

Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday to Friday (5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.), Tuesday (5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.), closed on weekends

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Book here

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The eight things you should NOT do on the highway according to the rules of the road

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Driving on the freeway can sometimes be hellish. The stop-start traffic, crashes and diversions are enough to make even seasoned drivers tear their hair out.

In addition to normal traffic rules, highways have additional restrictions that can confuse and irritate motorists who haven’t read their driving theory. Breaking these rules could get you in a lot of trouble, even a traffic accident.

No tractors on the highway, no hitchhiking and no reversing are just some of the rules that drivers who have had their license for a while might not be aware of. We have compiled below a list of traffic rules that drivers “MUST NOT” taking a break or facing a road check by the traffic police.

READ MORE:M5 crash between van and car causes oil spill and nine mile queues

1. Prohibited vehicles

The highway should only be used by specific vehicles such as cars, vans and trucks. Drivers of these vehicles must have a full UK license for the vehicle they are driving.

Tractors and mobility scooters should not be driven on the highway.

Highway Code 253 states: Highways MUST NOT be used by pedestrians, holders of provisional motorcycle or car licences, drivers of motorcycles under 50 cc, cyclists, horse riders, certain slow vehicles and carriers of bulky loads (except with special authorization), agricultural vehicles and electric wheelchairs/electric mobility scooters

2. Disobey freeway signs

Although some highway signs can be advisory, such as an orange traffic warning sign, drivers can get into a lot of trouble if they don’t follow certain highway warning signs. If you see a sign with a flashing red light, you should follow its instructions.

Highway Code 258 states: “Flashing red light signals and a red ‘X’ on a sign identify a closed lane in which people, stopped vehicles or other hazards are present. You

  • MUST follow directions on signs before a closed lane to move safely to an open lane
  • MUST NOT drive in a closed lane. A sign will inform you when the lane is no longer closed by displaying a speed limit or the word ‘END’

“Where flashing red lights and all lanes closed are shown on a sign, the road is closed. You

  • MUST NOT go beyond the sign in any lane or use the hard shoulder to avoid a road closure unless instructed to do so by a police or traffic officer.”

Highway Code 257, which covers amber advisory warnings, states: “Flashing amber lights. These signals warn of danger ahead. You must

  • reduce your speed
  • be ready for danger
  • only increase your speed when passing a non-flashing signal, or a sign displaying a national speed limit or the word ‘END’, and you are sure you can do so safely.


3. Speeding

Every driver knows that exceeding the speed limit is an offense, but some might think that temporary speed signs are just advice. If you see a speed limit in a red circle on the highway, you should follow that speed.

Highway Code 261 states: “You MUST NOT to go past

  • a speed limit displayed in a red circle on a sign
  • the maximum speed limit for the road and for your vehicle (see Rule 124).

“Speed ​​limits are enforced by the police”

4. Illegal road movements

Did you know that you cannot reverse on the highway, even if you are stopped in a rest area or on the hard shoulder? There are a few road movements that are automatically illegal unless directed by a police officer.

Highway Code 264 states: “Unless instructed by a police or traffic officer, you MUST NOT

  • backing up along any part of a highway, including ramps, emergency shoulders, and emergency zones
  • cross the central reservation
  • ride against the tide.

“If you missed your exit, or if you took the wrong route, continue to the next exit”



A screenshot from a video showing the crazy moment a driver uses the hard shoulder to avoid delays
A screenshot from a video showing the crazy moment a driver uses the hard shoulder to avoid delays

5. Vehicles prohibited from using the right lane

Sometimes referred to as the “fast lane”, the rightmost lane of the freeway is reserved for certain vehicles when overtaking. However, there are a number of vehicle types that are not permitted to use this lane.

Highway Code 265 states: “The right lane of a highway with three or more lanes MUST NOT be used (except in prescribed circumstances) if you are driving

  • any vehicle towing a trailer
  • a goods transport vehicle with a maximum laden weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes, which must be equipped with a speed limiter
  • a goods transport vehicle with a maximum laden weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes
  • a passenger vehicle with a maximum laden weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes constructed or adapted to carry more than eight seated passengers in addition to the driver
  • a passenger vehicle with a maximum laden weight not exceeding 7.5 tonnes which is constructed or adapted to carry more than eight seated passengers in addition to the driver, who must be fitted with a speed limiter.”

6. When Can You Use Hard Shoulder

The lane to the left of the “slow lane” on the freeway is known as the hard shoulder and is widely used by emergency vehicles to avoid traffic. It can sometimes be used by other drivers when overhead signage displays a speed limit on that lane

Highway Code 269 states: “You MUST NOT use hard shoulder except in an emergency or when told to do so by police, traffic officers or a traffic sign.

hard shoulder (when used as an additional channel). Hard shoulder is used as an extra lane on some highways during times of congestion. A red “X” or an empty sign above the shoulder means you MUST NOT use the hard shoulder except in an emergency.

“You can only use the hard shoulder as an additional lane when a speed limit is posted above the hard shoulder.”



7. You can’t stop on the freeway

If a call comes in to your phone, it may be tempting to pull over to a curb or hard stop zone to answer it. This is not allowed anywhere on the freeway and you must wait until you have left the freeway to stop your vehicle.

Highway Code 271 states: “You MUST NOT Stop on any carriageway, emergency area, shoulder, ramp, median or hard shoulder, except in an emergency or when police, traffic officers, an emergency sign or red signal lights turn signals warn you.

“Do not stop on any part of a highway to make or receive mobile phone calls, except in an emergency.”

8. Don’t pick up or drop off anyone on the freeway

Although this rule is brief, it clearly states that you should not stop to pick someone up, or even walk on the freeway. So if you see someone trying to hitchhike, you could get in trouble with the law or even cause an accident.

Highway Code 272 states: “You MUST NOT picking up or dropping off someone, or walking on a highway, except in an emergency.”

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Wellington and Mousehole draw in the Toolsstation Western League

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WELLINGTON saved their best home performance until the end with a marvelous fightback to dash the promotion hopes of second-placed Mousehole on the first attempt.

They trailed the highly rated Cornish side 2-0 at the break but controlled the second half to earn a well-earned point.

With manager Tim Legg out, coach Alex Pope named an unchanged starting XI after the fine win over Millbrook.

But they had to ride out an early storm on the Mousehole side that made a huge impression on their first season of Toolstation.

Wellington gradually entered the game only to be stunned by two goals in three minutes from striker Callam Mconie.

He surged past goalkeeper Rob Hall after 36 minutes and then produced an even better finish with a curled shot shortly after.

This put Mousehole – locked in a three-way top fight with Tavistock and Exmouth – in control, but Wellington was far from beaten.

Pope made a tactical substitution at the break, changing things up to introduce Jordan Casey in place of midfielder Glen Wright.

They nearly pulled one out straight away, but Jake Quick’s effort was saved by keeper Ollie Chenoweth with the assistant judging the ball hadn’t crossed the line.

However, they did not contradict themselves and reduced the backlog with a glorious goal on time.

Casey collected the ball outside the box, turned and gave goalkeeper Ollie Chenoweth no chance with a superb shot.

Wellington were in complete control as they cut the wind from the Mousehole sails and deservedly equalized with ten minutes to go.

Man of the match Mark Cornish played an excellent ball over the top and Jake Quick raced past the pressed Chenoweth.

Mousehole had to survive a desperate scramble soon after as Rob Hall in the home goal produced a smart save towards the end of a wonderful Toolstation League football advert.

Wellington, who drew 3-3 at Mousehole on the opening day of the season, showed again that – in their time – they are a match for any team in an incredibly strong division.

Comparing or exceeding is dangerous, and national studies show what each of them entails

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Comparing or exceeding is dangerous, and national studies show what each of them entails

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Prime Minister pledges UK’s unwavering support to Ukraine during visit to Kyiv: 9 April 2022

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  • Prime Minister meets President Zelensky in Kyiv and pledges support for the people of Ukraine
  • Leaders discussed support for Ukraine’s long-term survival as a free and democratic country
  • Prime Minister offers new military aid and an additional $500 million World Bank guarantee to support Ukraine’s economy

The Prime Minister is in Kyiv today [Saturday] demonstrate the UK‘s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine and hold in-depth discussions with President Zelensky on military and economic assistance.

He reiterated that the UK will do everything in its power to support Ukraine’s courageous fight against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion and ensure its long-term security and prosperity.

The Prime Minister announced new military assistance of 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems, to support Ukraine in this crucial phase as Russia’s illegal assault continues. This is on top of the £100million worth of high-quality military equipment announced yesterday, including more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, another 800 anti-tank missiles and high-tech ammunition for precision strikes.

The Prime Minister also confirmed additional economic support, guaranteeing an additional $500 million [£385m] in World Bank loans to Ukraine, bringing our total loan guarantee to $1 billion. This is on top of the £394million the UK has provided in grants and will help ensure the continued operation of vital humanitarian services for Ukrainians.

The UK has responded to the Ukrainian government‘s request by liberalizing all tariffs on imports from Ukraine and granting customs easements, as part of our commitment to the country’s economic stability.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

It is a privilege to be able to travel to Ukraine and to meet President Zelensky in person in Kyiv today.

Ukraine defied odds and pushed Russian forces back from the gates of kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century.

It is thanks to the resolute leadership of President Zelensky and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are thwarted.

I have made it clear today that the UK stands steadfast with them in this ongoing fight, and we are in it for the long haul.

We are strengthening our own military and economic support and convening a global alliance to end this tragedy and ensure Ukraine’s survival and prosperity as a free and sovereign nation.

Wessex Internet installs broadband Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance

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THANKS to Wessex Internet, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can now do their jobs optimally, using a reliable, super-fast and efficient internet connection.

James Gibson Fleming, founder of Wessex Internet, a specialist rural internet provider, was instrumental in bringing a full fiber optic broadband connection to the Henstridge Airfield base in March.

As a skilled pilot and owner of a local rural business, he quickly understood the challenges facing the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team.

A reliable and uninterrupted internet connection is essential for team operations on the ground and in the air. Adverse weather, medical conditions, difficult terrain and remote locations add to the challenges they face on a daily basis.

He said: “As air ambulance is so important to everyone in our Wessex internet coverage area, our civilian team has given up everything to get that link.

“It was no small feat – we were in the heart of winter and had to traverse 5km of the wettest farmland in the Blackmore Valley.

“We took advantage of dry weather and had two plow crews working simultaneously to complete the link in just two days.”

As a registered charity dependent on public funding, the cost of a full fiber optic connection was an important consideration. The team was therefore delighted when Wessex Internet offered to organize the installation for free.

Bill Sivewright, chief executive of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, said: “Having patients quickly, safely and efficiently, without surprises, requires access to the latest information from a number of different sources.

“However, we increasingly depend on fast and reliable Internet communications for all aspects of our operations, from sharing vital clinical or aeronautical information to education, governance and logistics.

“Introducing full fiber to our air base represents a real investment in the future of our communications.

“Wessex Internet have supported us for a number of years and this latest update to our system is a clear demonstration of their enduring support and generosity for which we are extremely grateful.”

Paul Owen, Operations Manager, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, said: “Having a reliable and fast internet connection ensures that any planning required in bad weather and especially overnight can be done quickly and reliably.

“It also saves us time recording and logging incidents after returning to base and allows us to effectively use platforms like Zoom and Teams, which was usually impractical, especially when trying to communicate remotely. as a great team during periods of confinement.

“The entire process of installing this advanced technology, including digging and digging underground, for crews working both inside and outside the building was extremely smooth. .”

Photo caption:

Pictured are Norton Maby (Installation Engineer) and Michael Rose (Apprentice Installation Engineer), alongside the DSAA team of Ben Channon, Kev Rutherford, Jonny Price and Tom Ghee.

Homeless charity brands plan to ‘cruelly’ fine beggars

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Homeless charity campaigners have attacked a government proposal to continue to fine beggars as part of a planned reform of 200-year-old vagrancy laws.

Earlier this year the government pledged to repeal the Vagrancy Act – in force since 1824 – which carries fines of up to £1,000 and a criminal record for sleeping rough or begging. The Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities this week launched a consultation to replace the law, which former Secretary of State Robert Jenrick called “outdated”.

But the chief executive of homeless charity Crisis, Matt Downie, said the government‘s plans “don’t really move us forward”. The proposals include possible fines of £200 for beggars.

Mr Downie said: ‘In our experience it is completely counterproductive and in many cases cruel to fine people for begging. And how are they supposed to find the money to pay such fines? It’s still pretty funny.

“We really don’t think people should be criminalized just for being destitute and begging – and for us the only time it’s appropriate is if there’s additional harassment or behavior antisocial – in which case existing legislation fully covers what is needed. So I think the government’s idea of ​​continuing to fine people doesn’t really move us forward on the vagrancy law that they agreed to abolish.

Mr Downie also said we ‘cannot replace one punitive legislation with another’ and expressed concern that the proposals were far too broad and could lead to people being punished instead of be helped. He said: “Instead of focusing on measures that could further penalize people on the streets, the government instead needs to look at how it can encourage a multi-agency approach.”

The government’s consultation paper highlights two case studies which it says describe how fines are “ineffective deterrents” and can be “counterproductive”, but goes on to propose a lower fine of £200. The fine, he said, could be retained in the new legislation as the maximum penalty for “minor begging offences”, while more serious offences, including those involving exploitation, could require harsher penalties.

Types of harmful begging specified in the consultation include persistent begging, or begging in places such as transport hubs, business entrances and ATMs, or when approaching stopped cars in traffic. They also include fraudulent begging, begging organized by more than one person, or begging involving exploitation and coercion.

Housing and Housing Minister Eddie Hughes MP said: ‘No one should be criminalized just because they have nowhere to live, and it’s right that we repeal the outdated Housing Act vagrancy. We must balance our role of providing essential support to vulnerable people with ensuring that we do not weaken the ability of the police to protect communities. »

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Somerset County 911 Celebrates Public Safety Carriers Week

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SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Somerset County 911 is honoring the thousands of men and women who are responding to emergency calls to help deliver lifesaving assistance to community members next week.

Somerset County 911 celebrates the second full week of April as National Public Safety Carriers Week, the Somerset County Department of Emergency Services writes on Facebook. The week is sponsored by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO) International and celebrated annually.

Recent events have highlighted the work of telecommunications professionals in Somerset County 911. The center has been called upon to serve the community during recent outbreaks of harsh winter conditions. It has been reported that multiple snow squall warnings have been put in place for Somerset County for March 28. Even with those warnings, the Somerset County 911 center handled multiple service calls from citizens and travelers involved in transportation accidents due to poor conditions and limited visibility, according to the department.

“The safety of Somerset County residents and visitors is our primary concern,” said 911 coordinator Brad Lavan. “No matter the emergency, our 911 center and its dedicated staff are ready to answer the call 24/7/365. Each year, the Somerset County 911 center responds to more than 80,000 telephone calls, of which more than 30,000 are emergency calls for the service. We are proud of the professional team we maintain. Without the people behind the helmet, there would be no 911 system. They are truly the first, the first responders.

the Somerset County Board of Commissioners recognized National Public Safety Carriers Week and honored Somerset County 911 personnel by issuing an official proclamation at their official business meeting on March 29.

“Our 911 dispatchers and supervisors are the tip of the spear for emergencies,” said Emergency Services Manager Joel Landis. “Often never seen, but always heard, they are the calm voice during the storm. Our 911 administrative staff supplement them with the fuel needed to keep them running and the skills needed to keep our highly technical systems online. N t forget this week in April the men and women of the Somerset County 911 Center.

Government unveils investment in future energy technologies

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  • The “UK Energy Security Strategy” draws on hundreds of millions of pounds of investment to develop cutting-edge energy technologies.
  • support will unlock investments and opportunities in hydrogen, advanced nuclear and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS)
  • new technologies will boost UK energy security, provide clean, cheap energy to homes and businesses and create thousands of jobs

The Government today (Friday 8th April 2022) launched a massive £375m support package for innovative energy technologies that will power UK homes and businesses for decades and further boost the country’s energy security.

This includes £240m to support hydrogen production as a clean, low-cost energy technology, £2.5m in funding to develop next-generation nuclear technology and a further £5m to carbon capture research.

Today’s investment will support research, development and deployment of these advanced technologies and give the country the energy independence it needs, reducing dependence on expensive fossil fuels. From next-generation nuclear reactors to hydrogen for industry, electricity, transport and potentially heating, the government is revolutionizing the way the UK gets its energy through a range of technologies.

Yesterday’s ‘British Energy Security Strategy’, unveiled by the Prime Minister, outlines how Britain will accelerate the deployment of wind, new nuclear, solar and hydrogen, while supporting the production of short-term domestic oil and gas – which could see 95% of electricity by 2030 being low-carbon.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

This investment will unlock the huge potential of hydrogen, advanced nuclear reactors and carbon capture to improve the UK energy landscape and deliver to businesses and households.

High gas prices and Russian aggression in Ukraine have highlighted the urgent need to produce more energy here in the UK.

That’s why we’ve developed bold plans to harness clean, cutting-edge, local technologies and build the energy security we need for the future.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said:

Harnessing the huge potential of low-carbon technology is at the heart of our plans to boost the UK’s home energy supply, benefiting families and businesses across the country.

This UK government support will accelerate innovation in some of the most promising technologies, including the development of hydrogen power and next-generation nuclear reactors. Funding for vital carbon capture research, including three projects in Scotland, will help us meet our decarbonisation ambitions.

Government support

Government support today includes:

The £240m Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, which funds low-carbon hydrogen generation projects, with the aim of providing funding from the end of 2022. This will advance the ambition of the government to have up to 2 GW of low-carbon hydrogen generation capacity by 2025 and over 10 GW installed by 2030, using electricity to generate electricity by dividing the water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The hydrogen business model, which will support new investment in hydrogen production with £100 million for electrolytic projects to cover the difference between the cost of production (the strike price) and the price of sale of hydrogen (reference price). Funding for this will be launched this summer.

The Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator, a £26m innovation funding scheme to help UK industry adopt hydrogen as a clean and affordable fuel source for sectors like manufacturing by demonstrating the feasibility of hydrogen to businesses and reducing the cost of switching energy systems.

A £2.5m competition for bidders looking to develop an advanced modular reactor in the UK (RAM). These reactors use new and innovative fuels, coolants and technologies to generate high temperature heat for industrial applications as well as electricity to power homes. Industry representatives are invited to apply for a share of this funding to develop their projects. As well as this, the Business and Energy Secretary also announced today that nuclear regulators (the Office for Nuclear Regulations and Environment Agency) have received £830,000 in additional funding to help bring development from the United Kingdom AMR to bear fruit.

Government funding of £5 million to accelerate carbon capture and storage (CCUS) Technologies under the LAW 3 scheme. CCUS involves the capture, transport and storage of greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, meaning that energy can be stored and used. LAW 3 is an international initiative between 14 countries around the world, including the UK, aimed at accelerating CCUS technologies by funding research and innovation projects and the funding will support the commercialization of the technology so that companies right here in the UK can invest in it.

In addition to this funding, the government also publishes a series of important documents and guidelines to support the development of these industries.

Government support for hydrogen is also being complemented by significant private investment, including ITM Power’s announcement of a new electrolyser plant in Sheffield which will support the hydrogen industry and create 500 jobs.

More information

All of these programs are supported through the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

In addition to the investments detailed above, we also publish the following.

the Hydrogen investor roadmap to highlight the many investment opportunities across the hydrogen value chain and boost private hydrogen investment to help boost the UK’s hydrogen industry based on clean and affordable energy. the CCUS Investor roadmap will be published alongside and summarizes current government and industry engagement, outlining further opportunities to provide CCUS and stimulate investment.

the response to our consultation on a low carbon hydrogen standardwith the aim of setting a maximum threshold of greenhouse gas emissions allowed in the production process for hydrogen to be considered low carbon under the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and the business model of the ‘hydrogen.

the Hydrogen business model to advance significant private investment in new low-carbon hydrogen generation, with the government providing initial support of £100m to the income funded by the Industrial Decarbonisation Aid and the revenue from the hydrogen (IDHRS) diet.

the response to our consultation on the Hydrogen Business Model also provides an update on government reviews of hydrogen grid and storage infrastructure needs in the 2020s and beyond, as planned in the Hydrogen Strategy.

The industrial hydrogen accelerator

The Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator is a £26 million innovation funding program to support the demonstration of the end-to-end industrial fuel shift to hydrogen in the UK. It aims to prove the feasibility and reduce the costs and risks of hydrogen fuel switching systems.

The scope will include the entire technological chain, from hydrogen generation and storage to industrial end use, including the integration of components in a single project.

The projects will develop knowledge on the design and implementation of industrial hydrogen systems and present “first-of-its-kind” plans to enable deployment in the late 2020s.

The fund will open for applications the week of April 25, 2022, and demonstration projects must be completed by March 2025. Find more information on the IHA.

LAW 3

LAW 3 is an international initiative between 14 countries around the world, including the UK, to accelerate and mature the capture, use and storage of carbon (CCUS) technologies by financing research and innovation projects. CCUS involves the capture, transport and storage of greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

LAW partners include the Province of Alberta, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, Kingdom United and the United States.

The British element of LAW 3 program is funded by the NZIP and will provide up to £5 million in funding until March 31, 2025 for CCUS developers to do further research. The £5m provided by the UK will contribute to a total funding pot of around £40m (including in-kind and industry funds), of which around £25m is being provided by LAW the partners.

LAW 3 follows LAW 1 and 2 which provided a total of around £58m, where 15 UK projects were funded for a total of £13m from this pot. Key results of the program include international collaboration, dissemination of results and promotion of accelerated CCS technologies to full scale/commercialization. Learn more about LAW.

RAM Demo program

High temperature gas reactors (HTGR) are central to this innovation agenda, as they maximize opportunities for decarbonizing process heat by 2050. This was announced at the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) annual conference on December 2, 2021 by Minister of Energy Greg Hands.

the RAM Research, Development and Demonstration Program: Market engagement was completed in February and March 2022.

Previously, we published a pre-information notice setting out our intention to publish the official competition documents for the initial phase (Phase A) of the program in spring 2022.

We may have found the best empanadas in New Jersey

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One good thing about growing up in an Italian neighborhood in Union City that turned Hispanic was the food. Especially the empanadas. If you’re looking for the best empanadas, look no further than Latin Bites in Manalapan.

Latin Bites has been in business since 2018 serving Puerto Rican and Cuban fusion cuisine and they do this not only with a great restaurant but also with food trucks.

I spoke with the owner Rodolfo Villanueva aka “Roy”:

What’s your background?

“When I was a kid in Puerto Rico and my mom made some of the appetizers we sell now, I would take her around town and sell them and when I turned 50 I sold my business and I decided to get back into the food business and it’s been doing great.”

What can you tell us about your menu?

“Our menu is a fusion of Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine.”

What makes your empanadas so good?

“All of our empanada stuffings are homemade with freshly made Sofrito and 100% meat with no fillers or preservatives! But empanadas aren’t just what we’re known for, our bites are a hit! with very popular meat on the island of Puerto Rico.) But our greatest pride is ‘The BIG PAPI.’ This is our Cuban sandwich, the biggest Cuban sandwich you’ll find in Jersey: a 1 1/2 pound sandwich topped with a 12 hour roast pork topped with garlic mojo, swiss cheese, pickles ham and of course mustard, all on 14 inches of Cuban bread! It’s to die for.”

“You’re still writing posts on your website to communicate with your fellow foodies. This season we’re adding new options, come visit our Manalapan restaurant or visit our own trucks. We attend many NJ festivals and events, but we also have our home bases where we park throughout the week. Visit our website to find a truck near you today.”

What would you like to say to those reading this?

“Come visit us and try our food, you will fall in love… We promise.”

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On demand! Learn more about the personalities of New Jersey and what makes the Garden State interesting. Download Steve Trevelise’s show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen now:

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Municipal tax bill for every city and town in NJ, filed

Just under 30 cents of every $1 of property taxes collected in New Jersey supports municipal services provided by cities, townships, boroughs, and villages. Statewide, the average municipal tax bill alone in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from over $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to the $9.22 billion in taxes for municipal purposes, special tax districts that in some locations provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development collected 323, $8 million in 2021.

Why the Easter airport travel chaos could be even worse this weekend

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Holidaymakers are looking to the weekend’s Easter getaway with a mixture of apprehension and excitement as airport disruption continues. Many flights have been canceled and families have missed vacations despite arriving at airports with plenty of time to spare.

On Wednesday, more than 100 scheduled flights from the UK were canceled. British Airways has canceled at least 78 flights from Heathrow and easyJet has cut at least 30 from Gatwick.

People who hoped to make the most of the relaxed Covid travel rules have seen their trips affected as the airline industry suffers from a surge in coronavirus-related illnesses and a shortage of workers after job cuts jobs during the pandemic. The rate of staff absences at easyJet is around double normal levels.

The situation could worsen this weekend as the airports will be used by travelers returning from trips during the first week of the truce, and those leaving for the second week of the school holidays. Some Easter school holidays also do not start until next Monday.

Manchester Airport was hit hard by the resignation of its chief executive Karen Smart on Tuesday after weeks of disruption to passengers. Passengers also reported long queues at Heathrow and Birmingham airports.

Why so many delays?

Airports are grappling with the combination of staff shortages and increased demand as many families travel abroad for the Easter school holidays, which are the first since Britain’s coronavirus restrictions for international travelers have been discontinued.

What are we doing to reduce the impact on passengers?

To reduce the impact on passengers, most cancellations are made at least one day in advance and on routes with multiple daily flights, so passengers can be offered alternative departures.

British Airways said many of its cancellations include flights cut as part of its decision last month to cut its schedule until the end of May. This was done to increase reliability due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.

Manchester Airport said in a previous statement: “As we continue to recover from the pandemic and passenger numbers increase, security queues can sometimes be longer than normal. If you need to travel in the next few weeks, please arrive at as soon as your airline allows. We apologize to our customers for the disruption.”

What did the people endure?

Travelers faced long delays and chaotic scenes, with queues outside the terminals to reach check-in counters and hordes of people waiting to go through security and collect their luggage .

Piles of suitcases were left in the terminals after travelers gave up waiting to collect their bags and instead left to go home.



Cancellations and delays have created large queues at Manchester Airport

What to do if your flight is delayed or canceled during Easter chaos

When can I get compensation?

The good news is that airlines are obligated to pay if your plane is delayed or canceled through their fault; the bad news is that it depends on where you are flying and who owns the aircraft. If disruption is caused departing from the UK, you are covered. But if a problem arises on the way back, you’ll only get help if you’re flying with a UK or EU airline. All of the information below applies to both of these cases.

For travel with a non-EU airline to a destination outside the UK, you will need to check with the individual airline.

What are you entitled to after a few hours?

Most airlines will offer you tokens for food and drink to redeem at the airport, as well as access to phone calls and emails if you’re overseas. For short-haul flights (less than 1500 km), the delay must be more than two hours; for the mid-course (1500km-3500km) it is three hours; for long haul (more than 3500km) it is four hours. But don’t expect to go crazy – the amounts usually only cover the bare minimum.



Queues at Manchester Airport Terminal 1
Queues at Manchester Airport Terminal 1

What are you entitled to after long delays?

For longer flight delays, you may be entitled to a hotel room (if your flight is delayed overnight) and, in some cases, vouchers for future use. Again, the amount will depend on the delay and the distance of the flight.

If your flight is delayed for more than five hours, you can choose to cancel and receive a full refund, as well as reimbursement for any other parts of the trip that you will not be able to complete. Alternatively, you can claim up to £520 in compensation if the airline is to blame.

What happens if the flight is cancelled?

In this case, you can ask for a full refund or ask the airline to book another flight to get you to your destination. Legally, you can also claim compensation if your replacement flight arrives more than two hours later than originally scheduled, or if you were notified less than 14 days before a cancellation. For less than seven days’ notice, you are entitled to between £110 and £520.

How to make a claim

First, contact your airline. If you don’t have an answer, check if the airline is a member of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body. You can also report the case to the Civil Aviation Authority (caa.co.uk). It’s also worth checking with your travel insurance to see if you’re covered. Other useful bodies include Citizens Advice (citizensadvice.org.uk)

Pay attention to the acts of God

Unfortunately, if weather conditions or natural disasters cause delays or cancellations, it will not be possible to file a claim with an airline. Instead, check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.

Point

If you are taking a multi-hop trip with different airlines for each leg, be sure to include all flights on the same reservation. It will be easier to claim compensation if part of the journey is disrupted.

The deadline is approaching to register to vote in the May elections

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People hoping to have their say in elections taking place across the UK next month have just days left to register to vote.

Contests are held on May 5 in each of the four nations, with every council seat in Scotland, Wales, London and many parts of England up for grabs, as well as the election of a new assembly of ‘North Ireland.

But people who haven’t yet registered to vote or aren’t sure if they’re currently eligible have little time to apply.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the deadline to register to vote is a week away on April 14, while in Scotland the deadline is April 18.

(PA graphics)

Most of the seats in the May 5 election were last contested in 2018, when the UK was still in the European Union, the Prime Minister was Theresa May, Labor was led by Jeremy Corbyn and the leader Liberal Democrat was Vince Cable.

The UK’s political landscape has undergone huge changes over the past four years.

Yet many of the issues that can decide local elections remain the same, such as the timing of trash collection, the state of neighborhood parks and sidewalks, and access to libraries and hospitals.

This year’s elections should also be a verdict on key party leaders and their handling of national issues such as Covid-19 and the cost of living.

This will be the first major electoral test for Prime Minister Boris Johnson since the partygate scandal.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey will be judged on their parties’ ability to make gains at the expense of the Tories.

In Scotland and Wales, the SNP and Plaid Cymru will want to hold their own in the face of challenges from parties across the UK.

And across the country, smaller groups like the Greens, residents’ associations and independents are hoping to cause surprises and upheaval.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: “With only a week until the registration deadline, time is running out to ensure you can participate in the May elections.

“These elections are an important opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say in who represents you on issues that directly affect everyday life.

“It’s quick and easy to register – it only takes five minutes online at www.gov.uk/registertovote. All you need is your name, date of birth and national insurance number.

“If you have recently become eligible to vote or have moved, it is particularly important that you ensure that you are correctly registered. If you were registered to vote in the last election and your contact information has not changed, you do not need to do anything.

POLITICS Elections
(PA graphics)

On Thursday, May 5, the elections will take place for:

– Every local authority in Scotland, Wales and London
– The Regional Mayor of South Yorkshire as well as the Borough Councils of Barnsley and Sheffield
– 60 district councils, 31 metropolitan boroughs and 19 unitary authorities in the rest of England
– North Yorkshire and Somerset County Councils
– The 90 seats of the Northern Ireland Assembly
– Local Mayors of Croydon, Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Watford

There is also a referendum in Bristol on whether to retain or abolish the city’s elected mayor.

Here are the key dates counting down to Election Day on May 5:

– April 12: Deadline in Northern Ireland to request a postal or proxy vote.
– April 14: Deadline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to register to vote.
– April 18: Deadline in Scotland to register to vote.
– April 19: deadline in England, Scotland and Wales to request a postal vote.
– April 26: deadline in England, Scotland and Wales to request a proxy vote.
– May 5: election day. Polling stations open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
– Night 5/6 May: First expected results. The count for the election in Britain is set to run through May 6 and into May 7, while the final results in Northern Ireland may not be announced until May 8.

UK Politics Live: Tories’ two-child policy targeting ‘welfare thieves’ is main driver of child poverty, report finds | Politics

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Financial pressures on many UK households and businesses have intensified today as National Insurance rates are raised to raise funds for the NHS and social services.

Despite the cost of living crisis, the government continued with its 1.25 percentage point hike in National Insurance, announced last September.

The move means millions of workers will start paying higher national insurance contributions from today, the start of the new fiscal year.

Companies will also see their contributions increase, at a time when they are already juggling rising costs. Dividend income tax rates also increase by 1.25 percentage points.

Business groups, unions and some Tory MPs had all pushed the government to delay the increase, given the financial pressures on workers and businesses.

The ‘health and social care tax’ is set to rise by around £12billion a year, to tackle the backlog of cases in the NHS due to the pandemic, and also to reform routine services .

Today’s changes mean those earning over £9,880 will now be liable for 13.25% NI contributions, up from 12% previously. Income over £50,270 will be charged at a rate of 3.25%, down from 2% previously.

But from July National Insurance will only start being charged on earnings over £12,570, because Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £3,000 increase in the NI threshold in the statement last spring. This will take around two million workers out of direct tax in total (if they earn less than £12,570 a year).

According to Resolution Foundationanyone earning less than £32,000 a year will be better off under the combination of these two policies from July.




UK National Insurance changes Photograph: Resolution Foundation

But other changes come into effect for the new tax year, including a freeze on income tax thresholds. This will cause more people to pay taxes, or more taxes, if their salary increases over the next few years.

This will make it harder for households to manage rising costs, such as the spike in energy bills last week.

Resolution Foundation
(@resfoundation)

In April 2022, the UK’s cost of living crisis will intensify as energy prices more than halve overnight, pushing 5 million English households into energy stress, even taking account of the support measures recently announced by the Chancellor: https://t.co/1sL3kMHK30 pic.twitter.com/6O4gOARCCp


April 5, 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended National Insurance increases, saying the health service needs more resources:


We need to be there for our NHS in the same way it is there for us. Covid has led to the longest waiting lists we’ve ever seen, so we’ll be providing millions more tests, checks and surgeries in the biggest catch-up program in NHS history.

We know it won’t be a quick fix and we know we can’t fix waiting lists without fixing social care. Our reforms will end once and for all the cruel lottery of spiraling and unpredictable care costs and bring the NHS and social care closer together. The tax is the necessary, fair and responsible next step, providing our health and care system with the long-term funding it needs as we recover from the pandemic.

The government says the levy means:

  • It will start raising billions to tackle Covid backlogs and reform routine services.
  • £39billion over the next three years will put health and care services on a sustainable footing.
  • It will deliver the biggest catch-up program in NHS history and end spiraling social care costs.

You can follow the company’s liveblog which covers the rise of National Insurance in detail today:

Slick Cash Loan offers instant loans with guaranteed online approval in the USA

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Slick Cash Loan makes it easy for anyone to get a loan with instant loans online with guaranteed approval.

Slick Cash Loan, the leading online lending service known for its fast and reliable lending services, now offers online instant loans with guaranteed approval in the United States. People who are short on cash can get in touch Slick Cash Loans to get a guaranteed instant loan to meet their unexpected financial obligations.

“Our goal is to get you quick financial help that our clients need with guaranteed approval,” says the Slick Cash Loan spokesperson. “Many people prefer our company’s quick service to get instant cash advance. Compared to the classic lending business, you can apply for a loan without any restrictions.”

Those trying to get an instant loan through traditional lenders have to go through several steps and processes. You will also need to submit many types of documents. They also take into account the creditworthiness of borrowers, who in most cases do not meet the qualifying numbers.

With Slick Cash Loan, the applicant’s credit rating doesn’t matter to get the approval as they follow a no credit check rule. They define what easy and fast cash is all about.

Slick Cash Loan is committed to providing quick financial assistance that borrowers need with guaranteed approval. Many people have benefited from their super fast services as they can get an instant cash advance with ease.

According to Slick Cash Loan’s spokesperson, many who sign up for this type of loan don’t have a credit card. You need a loan that comes with guaranteed approval for the borrowed money.

People are also seeking instant loans with no fixed source of income or those who have rented their homes, earn less than the national average wage, or are separated and divorced. These people are forced to take out loans when they need money in an emergency. You’ll pay back the original amount along with any applicable fees and interest.

Slick Cash Loan instant loans must be paid on time and within the due date. Instant loans are usually offered for two weeks. Failure to pay will result in large fines, fees and penalties.

Slick Cash Loan has an extensive network of partner lenders across the country. Borrowers can quickly find a lender near them and get the money they need without delay. Slick Cash Loan instant online payday loans come with guaranteed approval. This means that all applications are guaranteed to be approved and borrowers will receive the money in a short time.

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Press Release Distributed by ABNewswire.com

To view the original version on ABNewswire, visit: Slick Cash Loan offers instant loans with guaranteed online approval in the USA

Wellness festival, sliding sports facility among new tourism offerings

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TOURISM READY FOR A STRONG RECOVERY

Mr. Tan said that the tourism sector is on the verge of a strong recovery, thanks to the many sacrifices and efforts undertaken by the industry over the past two years. This includes retaining important skills, building new capabilities, and updating products and infrastructure.

As many other destinations reopen and step up their inbound tourism campaigns, Mr Tan said Singapore needs to find ways to differentiate itself, in terms of services, experiences and engagement with visitors.

Outlining STB’s plan for the next six to 12 months, Mr Tan said the country was rapidly accelerating its international recovery campaign – SingapoReimagine – around the world, including in Australia, India and Indonesia.

To support in-market efforts, STB will intensify its regional and global partnerships with aviation players such as Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Changi Airport, as well as leading online travel agencies and media partners, to present Singapore.

It will also launch a new incentive program that will provide visitors with a complementary experience when visiting Singapore.

“We want to delight our visitors with hidden surprises so that they experience more of Singapore, in unexpected and delicious ways,” Mr. Tan said.

To do this, he said businesses will need to develop more unique and unusual experiences for visitors, especially repeat visitors who think they know Singapore.

BUSINESS TOURISM

In the medium and long term, Singapore will have to defend and develop its position as a global-Asian hub for business tourism.

“Rumours about the decline of business travel are greatly exaggerated. In the US and Europe, our MICE stakeholders tell us that there is huge demand for face-to-face business meetings, many of them have resumed,” Mr. Tan said.

“Here in Singapore, it’s the same. Most Singapore-anchored trade shows and association conventions are keen to resume full physical events in the coming months,” he added.

The aim is for Singapore to be “a home for the best MICE events”, especially those that can bring together Asian, European and American businesses, he said.

In particular, STB is focused on growing trade events that are relevant to future needs such as sustainability, urban solutions and advanced manufacturing.

“In this way, our MICE sector can support the growth of Singapore-based businesses in these areas, giving them a competitive edge right here in Singapore and enhancing Singapore’s geo-economic relevance at a time when globalization is under serious threat,” did he declare. noted.

From Sublime to Ridiculous: Moments from the Masters of Tiger Woods

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Tiger Woods revealed on Tuesday that he plans to take part in the 86th Masters this week.

His return to one of golf’s biggest stages comes less than 14 months after he was seriously injured in a horrific car accident in February 2021.

Here, the PA News Agency takes a look at five of the top 15 memorable – and not-so-memorable – memorable moments at Augusta National.

Emotional victory in 2019

Two years after believing his career was over, Woods kept his cool on a wonderfully chaotic final day to win his 15th major title, and first in 11 years, at the 83rd Masters. Overnight leader Francesco Molinari was clear two with seven to go but threw his tee shot on 12 into Rae’s Creek, regretfully admitting his return errors had made him ‘some new fans’ as a closing 70 was enough for Woods to claim a fifth green jacket and his first since 2005. It was the first time Woods had won a major after trailing before the final round and an incredible 3,954 days since beating Rocco Mediate during a play-off for the 2008 US Open, despite a double stress fracture and knee injury which required season-ending surgery.

Complete the “Tiger Slam”, 2001

Tiger Woods won the Open Championship in 2000 as part of the ‘Tiger Slam’ to hold all four major titles at the same time (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Woods arrived at Augusta National in 2001 with the need to win to accomplish the unprecedented feat of holding all four major titles at the same time following his victories at the US Open, Open Championship and US PGA in 2000. Five strokes behind after an opening 70 and two behind after a second-round 66, Woods added a 68 on Saturday for a one-stroke lead over Phil Mickelson. A closing 68 saw Woods take on challenges from Mickelson and runner-up David Duval to claim his second Masters title and complete the “Tiger Slam”.

Moment of magic, 16th hole, final round, 2005

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Woods held a one-shot lead over playing partner Chris DiMarco with three holes to play when he fired his tee shot on the par-three 16th left of the green. With the collar of rough tightly behind his ball, Woods was faced with a tough shot – co-TV commentator Lanny Wadkins called it “one of the toughest pitches in the whole place here” – far from the pin, but judged him perfectly and watched as his ball rolled inexorably towards the hole. It momentarily paused on the edge, carefully showing the manufacturer’s logo, before tipping into the cup to spark wild celebrations.

Water Troubles 12th Hole Final Round 2020

Tiger Woods
Defending champion Tiger Woods took 10 out of 12 by three in the final round of the 2020 Masters (PA Graphics)

Defending champion Woods made history in the 84th Masters final, held in November due to the coronavirus pandemic – but for all the wrong reasons. Woods was already out of the game when he ran a 10 on the par three 12th, the highest score on a single hole of his entire career. After hitting his first tee shot into Rae’s Creek, Woods took a penalty before hitting his next shot into the hazard, then another penalty before overcompensating and firing his fifth shot over the green into a bunker. Faced with an awkward position in the sand, Woods thinned his sixth shot across the green into the water and eventually landed his eighth shot before two putts from the fringe. Remarkably, Woods rebounded with five birdies in his final six holes.

Controversial penalty, 2nd round, 2013

Seemingly three from the halfway point in 2013, Woods was given a two-stroke penalty before the third lap. His approach to the 15th hole in the second round hit the pin and bounced in the water and, after choosing not to play from the drop zone, Woods opted to play from the same spot as his initial shot. Under Rule 26-1a he was required to drop “as near as possible to the place from which the original ball was last played”, but said in an interview after the round he chose to go “two meters further”. This should have resulted in a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place, but crucial rules officials reviewed footage of the incident, decided Woods had done nothing wrong and did not inform him of the situation. Woods signed for an incorrect score and that would usually have meant disqualification, but under a recent revision to the 33-7 rule, a tournament committee can waive the disqualification if it “is satisfied that the competitor could not not reasonably know or discover the facts resulting from his offence”. rules “.

Musician admits killing teen Bobbi-Anne McLeod

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A musician has pleaded guilty to the murder of 18-year-old student Bobbi-Anne McLeod.

Cody Ackland, 24, pleaded during a plea preparation and trial hearing at Plymouth Crown Court on Tuesday.

Ackland spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth and admit the murder of the teenager to a date between November 19 and 23.

Prosecutor Richard Posner requested that the sentencing hearing be adjourned due to pending pathology reports to be served.

Close members of the teenager’s family, including her mother, father and brother, sat in the courtroom while friends watched the proceedings on a video link from an adjacent court.

Cody Ackland first appeared at Plymouth Magistrates Court last November charged with the murder of the teenager (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Judge Robert Linford adjourned sentencing until May 19 and remanded the accused from Radcliffe Close, Southway, Plymouth to custody.

The judge told him, “You have pleaded guilty to murder, the penalty for which is fixed by law.

“I will sentence you on May 19. The penalty will be life imprisonment.

“The only issue will be the minimum sentence I have to impose under Schedule 21 of the Sentencing Act 2020.

“You will be taken into custody until that date and you can come down.”

The judge also thanked the audience for the “commendable way in which you once again behaved during the proceedings”.

Student Miss McLeod was last seen waiting at a bus stop in Plymouth on the evening of Saturday November 20 last year as she left to meet friends.

Her body was found three days later near Bovisand Beach, about seven miles from her home.

Police said there was ‘no known connection’ between Miss McLeod and Ackland.

At an opening inquest held last year, no cause of death was given for the teenager.

In the aftermath of Miss McLeod’s disappearance, a friend told the PA news agency she believed the victim ‘had no idea’ who her attacker or attackers were.

She said her Airpod headphones and tobacco were found at the bus stop where she was last seen.

Death of Bobbi-Anne McLeod
Flowers left on Sheepstor Road in Plymouth (Ben Birchall/PA)

“The fact that Bobbi’s Airpods and bin were at the bus stop shows she would have struggled,” the friend said.

A candlelight vigil was also held at the location where the teenager was last seen alive.

Her mother, Donna McLeod, was in attendance and was visibly upset during the vigil, but was able to thank the crowd for all the love and support her family had received.

“Thank you for doing everything to try to find her and bring our baby home,” she said.

A 16-year-old boy from the wake had known Mrs. McLeod when she was still at the same school.

“I hadn’t seen her in ages and I feel really bad about it, but we used to hang out at school together,” he said.

“She was just nice, just nice, I think that’s why it hit me so hard, not that anyone deserves that, but it’s just awful that it happened to her.”

Ackland was lead guitarist for Plymouth-based indie band Rakuda, who released their debut EP in August last year.

The other members of Rakuda announced in November that they would be disbanding “with immediate effect”, but weeks later said they would be taking a “short break from the music scene” with a view to reforming in the spring of 2022. .

Opinion: 3 Viable Policy Ideas for Nevada Employment Reform

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This opinion column was submitted by Jose Vasquez-Maldonado, a Democratic candidate for Assembly District 24.

My name is Jose Vasquez-Maldonado, and I’m running for Assembly District 24 to raise awareness of the unhealthy and unsafe conditions of long, mandatory work hours for Nevadans. Such conditions are not only bad for our mental health, but studies have shown that they can cause long-term health problems. In fact, night work can actually make these health problems worse 40-hour workweeks on night shifts can shorten the lifespan of a worker. Therefore, we must base our labor laws on human health, because no one should risk their priceless health for any reward.

Why do I think labor laws are so important? Because, as a working class person, I know the problems workers face every day that our government seems to ignore. It is for this reason that in recent years I have written down viable political ideas that would benefit the working class. From this I gained insight into how our state government could improve the life of the average worker. Here are three policies our government could implement to help the average Nevadan.

► First, we could improve workers’ finances. Did you know workers are paid weekly instead of bi-weekly? could improve their lives? For decades, wages stagnated while inflation continued to rise and rents skyrocketed. So many workers are now living paycheck to paycheck, and too many of them are taking out high-interest payday loans. We could easily eliminate this poverty trap by requiring large companies to pay their employees on a weekly basis. Like the biggest companies are is currently making record profits, there is no excuse not to do this. So we need to pass a law mandating weekly wages because companies won’t change their employees’ payslips without our asking them to. The State of New York has this in his law bookswhy couldn’t nevada do that?

► Second, we could ease the pain of high gas prices. Did you know that by offering commuter flat rates and providing ride-sharing opportunities, Could Multinationals Help the Working Class? With gas prices currently above $5 a gallon, a single gallon costs Nevadans more than half the state hourly minimum wage, which is currently at $9.75 per hour. Any increase in the price of gasoline reduces the disposable income of low-wage workers. And the cost is even higher for workers who use Uber or Lyft every day because they don’t have a car or access to public transit. How can someone build wealth when they have to spend 25% or more of their monthly wages commuting to work?

Also, we have to consider the personal cost, which is the time it takes someone to travel to work. There was a recent story about an insensitive Applebee and Taco Bell franchise manager writing this in a leaked email high gas prices and inflation are good for your business. Since Americans who work at Walmart or any other large corporation don’t even make enough money to cover their living expenses, how can we expect them to bear the high costs associated with commuting to work? Thankfully, there’s an obvious way to lessen their burden. The least giant corporations could do is pay their employees half an hour’s work to get to work. After all, when workers need to be in a certain place at a certain time, it is only fair that the employer contributes to the cost of their commute. The employee would only have to worry about paying for the trip home. Fortunately, companies have been able to save money when it comes to reimbursement of travel expenses. For example, they could reduce the employee’s workweek from five to four days, offer them remote work, or propose a hybrid working model. Since low-income earners are essential workers, large companies need to cover their commute. Our society simply cannot function without them.

► Finally, companies with 50+ employees need to offer their employees some sort of app-based ridesharing or ridesharing service so workers who don’t own a vehicle can easily find a ride instead of spending oodles of money on Uber rides. Tesla has successfully implemented such a system with the carpooling app Scoop, where the carpooler is paid by the company to pick up a colleague at no cost to the passenger. To make commuting and ride-sharing ubiquitous, we need to legislate, because most big companies won’t, out of heart, do it.

Again, why are labor laws so important? Because we can improve the lives of the working class. Our current system limits social mobility and wages do not keep pace with inflation. While workers work for their employers, employers seem to have forgotten that workers are not just a cost, but an asset. In contrast, employees who have received benefits are considered happy. Employers must show compassion and goodwill to their employees. It is very unfortunate that the working class is treated as second-class citizens by their employers. From the 100 Largest Companies in Nevada, most pay starvation wages. We can do better. If we can’t think of a better system than the one we have now, then we have failed as a society. We must stop complying with the current, worsening situation. We must unite in solidarity because we are all workers and deserve better.

Jose Vasquez-Maldonado is a Democratic nominee for Assembly District 24.

Say with:How to submit an opinion column or a letter to the editor

Channel 4 in the UK should be privatized after the return of the government – TBI Vision

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Alex Mahon (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

Channel 4 in the UK is to be privatized by the UK government, despite strong industry opposition to the move.

C4 CEO Alex Mahon revealed the news in a memo to staff on Monday evening, confirming that Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries would now lead the way to end the organization’s 40-year private ownership.

“We have been advised within the last hour that the government will shortly announce that the Secretary of State has decided to proceed with the proposal to privatize Channel 4,” Mahon told staff.

She added that the broadcaster had “proposed a vision for the next 40 years” which she said would “allow us to build on the successes of the first 40”.

“That vision was rooted in continued public ownership and built on the tremendous public value this model has delivered to date and the potential to deliver so much more in the future.”

Mahon added that “Channel 4’s ownership is with the government to propose and parliament to decide”, suggesting the broadcaster could yet avoid privatization.

History and context

The decision came as a bit of a shock to British industry, after the UK government delayed any decision on privatizing the pubcaster last summer.

In July 2021, the government launched a formal consultation on the privatization of C4, arguing that “the changing media landscape poses significant challenges to the future success and sustainability of Channel 4 under its ownership model and of his current duties”.

A decision was expected soon, but Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries delayed her response after an outpouring of public support for the broadcaster.

More than 60,000 Britons have reportedly submitted their views to the government in favor of its state-owned status, while trade bodies including Pact have warned that production companies will close if privatization continues.

Bankers have estimated the value of C4 at around £650m, with Discovery and ITV among those reportedly interested in an acquisition.

For the broadcaster’s part, Mahon vocally voiced his opposition to a sale. Speaking at RTS Cambridge in September, she said there was “no data or evidence” that taking the UK broadcaster private would create a more diverse ecosystem.

1,000 new homes will be built thanks to a financing partnership with HSBC

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Hundreds of families in Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset will move into brand new homes over the next five years thanks to a multi-million pound funding package from the government’s Leveling Up Home Building Fund and HSBC UK.

The financial package sees Homes England and HSBC UK working in partnership to provide financing that will enable Wyatt Homes to accelerate the delivery of over 1,000 new family homes across multiple sites.

Of the 1,000 new homes being built, around 30% will be affordable, in a bid to address the lack of affordable properties in Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset.

Neil Elliott, Head of Structured Property Finance at Homes England, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with HSBC UK and Wyatt Homes. Our Mezzanine financing once again demonstrates our commitment to supporting SME homebuilders and working with one of the UK’s largest banks to deliver much needed new homes.

Hadyn Beazer, CFO at Wyatt Homes, said, “Getting the right level of financing has been a challenge for SMEs in recent years. We have built a solid land bank over the past 15 years, so securing this funding is a key step in meeting the growth aspirations we want to achieve at Wyatt Homes. We look forward to working with HSBC UK and Homes England to unlock our exciting pipeline projects and then deliver stunning homes over the next five years.

Hugh Taylor, Head of Housing at HSBC UK, said: “Wyatt Homes is an established homebuilder in the South West with a reputation for quality homes. The company has ambitious growth plans supported by a significant land reserve. We are also delighted to be working in conjunction with Homes England, putting in place a financing plan to support the planned growth and accelerate the delivery of new homes in the area. We are delighted to welcome Wyatt Homes as a new customer of HSBC UK.

Wyatt Homes, headquartered in Poole, is a well-established traditional homebuilder, with a track record of delivering award-winning homes in the South West for over 30 years.

Wordle 289 April 4: Wordle Word Clues and Today’s Answer

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Wordle has taken the world by storm, and if you haven’t given in to the daily game, we can guarantee you’ve seen the elusive squares all over social media.

The game uses the same rules as Scrabble, where only real words are allowed in both the guesses and the outcome.

If you get a letter in the right place and form the correct word, the square turns green.

But if the guessed letter is in the word but not in the right place, the square turns yellow.

Wrong letters turn gray to facilitate the elimination process for the six trials.

Hint for today’s Wordle Monday, April 4

If you’re still trying to save your streak, don’t scroll down yet, maybe some clues will send you on your way.

Today’s word starts with the letter S and ends with the letter L.

It has a vowel.

A name for a piece of cloth that is usually worn over the shoulders.

What is Wordle’s answer for today, Monday, April 4?

If you dropped out of today’s game, we can save you the misery. But those still trying to crack the 5-letter code, look away now.

The word for April 4 is SHAWL.

Wordle New York Times

The game was created by software engineer Josh Wardle, who recently announced that he had sold the popular word game to The New York Times.

In a statement on Twitter, he wrote: “Since launching Wordle, I have been impressed with the response from everyone who has played.

“The game has become bigger than I ever imagined (which I guess isn’t much of an achievement considering I made the game for an audience of just one).

“It was amazing to see the game bring so much joy to so many people and I’m so grateful for the personal stories some of you have shared with me – from Wordle uniting estranged family members, to causing friendly rivalries, supporting medical recoveries.

“On the other hand, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t overwhelming.

NJ driver, 22, punches and kills girl on bike, authorities say

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A van driver struck and killed a girl on a bicycle in Bridgewater on Saturday, authorities confirmed.

The Bridgewater Township Police Department said officers responded at the intersection of Fulton Street and 3rd Street in the township around 6:08 p.m. “to a serious motor vehicle accident involving a pedal motor.”

The driver was identified as Maria A. Toribio, 22, of Bridgewater, police said.

Toribio was driving a 2021 GMC Sierra pickup truck northbound on Fulton Street on Saturday night when she hit the girl at the intersection of 3rd Street, police said. The girl, whose identity has not been released as she is a minor, was sent to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Somerset and pronounced dead, police added in a statement.

Bridgewater Police Sgt. Frederick Brittain told NJ Advance Media Sunday morning that the crash was still under investigation by the Bridgewater Township Police Department Traffic Safety Office and the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office.

Brittain did not immediately provide additional information. Police also did not respond when asked about the cause of the incident or whether charges or arrests resulted.

Those with information are asked to contact Bridgewater Police Traffic Bureau Constable Kevin Florczak at (908) 722-4111 ext. 4130 or the Bridgewater TIPS line at 877-660-INFO (4636).

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.

Steven Rodas can be reached at srodas@njadvancemedia.com. follow him @stevenrodasnj.

Protesters gather across the UK to demand the government tackle the cost of living crisis

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Thousands of protesters gathered in protests across the UK on Saturday to demand that the government pass on soaring energy costs to suppliers rather than low-income workers.

A protest in Downing Street today saw around 100 people, including former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, hold signs reading ‘tax the rich’ and ‘freeze energy bills, not the people’.

People took to the streets of London, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Glasgow, Hanley, Hull, Ipswich, Lancaster, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Peterborough, Portsmouth , Preston, Redcar, Sheffield and Southampton.

Demonstrators hold signs during the People’s Assembly protest against the cost of living crisis on Saturday

(Getty Images)

Notably in Belfast, campaigners were demanding that every household in Northern Ireland be given £1,000 to help mitigate the rising cost of fuel and food.

Meanwhile, outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Whitehall, campaigners gave speeches calling on the government to freeze energy bills and increase benefits.

A 17-year-old protester from north London said the rising cost of living was “a huge problem for many people”.

Speaking near No 10, Isabella Fula said: ‘A lot of people I know are suffering from this personally, and a lot of people who used to live in my area have now moved out due to rising rents and utility bills. ‘energy.

Hundreds of people gather outside the prime minister’s residence

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“People are not earning enough to support themselves and buy food, or even pay bills that are increasing by the minute.

“I am here to protest against the rent and its rise, and to try to aim for a better future.”

It comes after a cabinet minister earlier said it was not possible to “completely undo” energy price pressures.

But Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the government is “looking…at all levels at what we are doing with public money”, and “will provide whatever support we can as we go along.” as we can” to ease the sting of rising prices.

A protester holds a placard during Saturday’s protest against the cost of living crisis in London

(Getty Images)

Talk to Sky NewsMr Lewis added: ‘I know even this week where I live we’re on oil heat I’ve seen that change directly in the price of oil and actually the ability to get it.

“At my house, my family went for a few days where we had no oil, just waiting for suppliers and seeing the very big price increase on that.

“We can’t completely negate the impacts of global markets and global pressure, for example, on energy, which is obviously the main focus right now for most people.

“But we’ll give whatever support we can, as we can, as I said, looking at…at all levels what we’re doing with public money.”

Responding to Mr Lewis’s remarks, now Independent MP Mr Corbyn said it showed the Government was ‘out of touch with the reality of people’ facing poverty due to the rising cost of living.

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd outside Downing Street

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

He told the PA news agency: ‘I think it’s a very out of touch statement from a government that is quite out of touch with people’s reality as well.

“I meet people who are terrified of the next bill, so the minimum we need is an energy price cap, and then we have to say, well look at the profits of the energy companies and look at the hardships of the people who lives .

“I was in a food bank this morning and I was talking to people there who don’t want food that they have to cook, because they can’t afford to turn on the gas and electricity to cook it.

“We are in the 21st century and we are the fifth richest country in the world – this is simply not true and the government must intervene.”

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow talks about cycle lane plans in her latest column

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MANY voters have been in contact about the desperate situation in Ukraine and in particular to urge the government to do all it can to support our Ukrainian friends; I constantly share your views in Westminster. Over the past eight years, our armed forces have trained their Ukrainian counterparts and recently the UK has helped to pay salaries and provide high quality equipment to Ukrainian soldiers, pilots and police.

Additionally, in response to calls for additional assistance, the government is providing an additional 6,000 missiles, more than doubling the defensive lethal assistance provided to date.

Back in the constituency many of you will know that it has long been my ambition, along with many other members of the local community, to secure a cycle route between Wellington and Taunton alongside the extremely busy A38.

Such a cycle path would also provide an important link to the proposed Wellington Rail Station, whose plans I am delighted to say have recently taken another step forward following additional funding of £5m to develop detailed designs and a full business case. .

This puts us on track for a potential opening in 2025. I pledged to work to bring a rail station to Wellington when I was first elected to Parliament in 2015; it is so welcome to reflect that it quickly becomes a reality.

So now is the time to push for the cycle path between Taunton and Wellington. I am launching a petition to present to the government to demonstrate its real need and support. If you’re as passionate about the program as I am and can see the great benefits it would bring whether you’re already a cyclist, thinking about becoming one, or just want to put your shoulder to the wheel to support it , I would be grateful if you would add your name to the petition and share it around you.

All the details are on my site. Let’s put the wheels in motion!

Written by Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane

Rules of conduct in 2022: new guidelines that could land you a hefty fine

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It might be time to get out the sponge and the bucket and clean your car. Because driving with a dirty windscreen or number plate could land you in trouble – and a £1,000 fine.

There are certain rules – such as speeding and drink-driving – that motorists know not to obey. But even the most experienced driver may not realize how many other things are illegal to do while driving.

These include having a dirty license plate, smoking while driving, and even selecting a song from your playlist. Motoring offenses and laws in the UK can and do change, reports Wales Online.

Read more: The Highway Traffic Act rule about letting your dog hang its head out of the car window could net you a £5,000 fine

In 2022, a new set of laws and regulations were announced, potentially leaving some drivers in hot water if they haven’t familiarized themselves. Here’s a list of some of the latest regulations — and some lesser-known offenses, according to Newton’s lawyers .

Use your phone as a SatNav in a non-fixed position

Many of us rely on our phone’s SatNav to direct us when driving to places we don’t know. To do this safely, and legally, your phone must be in a fixed position on your dashboard or windshield. This should allow you to see SatNav directions clearly while driving, without needing to hold your phone.

The “cradle” your phone sits in shouldn’t prevent you from seeing clearly through your windshield. If you are caught holding your phone while driving you could be fined £200 and six points on your licence.

If you’ve had your license for less than two years, you could receive a driving ban.

Selecting a new song from your music playlist

New driving laws prohibit touching your phone while driving, which includes using your phone to scroll through playlists. You could be charged £200 for committing this offense and receive a six point penalty on your licence, even when you are in stationary traffic or parked with the engine running.

Do not give priority to pedestrians at intersections

Changes to the Highway Code this year heralded a new “hierarchy of road users”, placing the greatest road liability on road users who pose the greatest risk to others. The new hierarchy is:

1. Pedestrians

2. Cyclists

3. Riders

4. Motorcyclists

5. Cars and taxis

6. Vans and minibuses

7. Large passenger vehicles and heavy goods vehicles

This means that drivers must give priority to pedestrians waiting to cross at a junction and must respect the correct positioning when sharing the road with other road users.

Cross cyclists

With the new hierarchy of road users, drivers have a greater responsibility to protect cyclists. The Highway Code now says drivers “must not cut across cyclists in front of them when turning into or out of a junction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of a ‘another motor vehicle’.

If you turn at a junction and cause a cyclist to stop or swerve, the driver would be held liable if this resulted in an accident.

Checking your smartwatch

While wearing a smartwatch while driving isn’t a crime, using one while driving soon will be – such as checking notifications or reading texts as it can constitute reckless or distracted driving. You could be fined £100 on the spot and three points on your licence.

Driving with a dirty windshield or license plate

The Highway Code clearly states that “windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from any obstruction to vision”. As the driver, the maintenance of the vehicle is your responsibility, and if your vision is obscured due to a dirty windscreen, you are in breach of Regulation 30 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

Likewise, a vehicle’s license plate should be clearly legible while driving. Driving with a dirty number plate that is difficult to read risks a £1,000 fine.

Driving too close to another vehicle

If you drive too close to the vehicle in front of you, otherwise known as tailgating, you can be charged with a careless driving offense. You can end up with a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

Driving with certain prescription drugs

It is illegal to drive if you have taken certain medications, including prescription medications, as side effects may affect your driving. If you have been prescribed any of these government-listed drugs, you should ask your doctor if you should drive while taking the drug before driving.

The police can stop you and assess you if they think you are driving with drugs. If they think you’re unfit to drive because you’re using drugs, you’ll be pulled over and you’ll have to take a blood or urine test at a police station. You risk a minimum one-year driving ban, an unlimited fine, up to six months in jail and a criminal record if you are convicted of impaired driving.



Smoking in a car

Smoking

Smoking while driving is not an offense in itself, but if it distracts you from the road, it can be used to show reckless or dangerous driving. The Children and Families Act 2014 also prohibits smoking in cars with an underage passenger.

So if you smoke or don’t prevent someone else in your car from smoking, and you’re under 18 in your vehicle, you’re breaking the law.

Using your phone in a drive-thru

More and more people pay for goods and services with smartphones, but they cannot be used while driving, unless the vehicle is stationary, the handbrake is on and the engine is running. off. Otherwise you could be fined £200 and six points on your licence.

Driving too slow

Although rare, some UK roads have minimum speed limits. The start of a minimum speed limit zone is indicated by a circular blue traffic sign with a white number on the front. The end of the zone is indicated by the same sign but with a red line through the number. Driving slower than the minimum speed limit is dangerous and may result in a fine.

But even on major roads and highways where there is no legal minimum speed limit, driving too slowly can still be considered dangerous as other road users would find it unexpected. This type of reckless driving can earn you a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

Driving without declaring medical conditions to the DVLA

If you have a worsening or new medical condition which may affect your ability to drive safely, you must notify the DVLA. Reportable conditions may include: diabetes, syncope (fainting), heart problems, sleep apnea, epilepsy, stroke and glaucoma. If you fail to tell the DVLA you could be fined up to £1000 and, if you are involved in an accident, you could be prosecuted.

Abusing hard shoulder

You can only use the hard shoulder if your car breaks down or the hard shoulder is open like a lane on a smart highway when there are clear signs to indicate so . Committing this offense can result in a fine of up to £100 and three points on your licence.

Grab the middle lane

When a vehicle stays in the middle lane of a motorway for longer than necessary, it is classed as a reckless driving offence, and you could be fined £100 and three points on your driving licence.

Using your phone while supervising a learner

Even if you’re not actually driving, if you’re a driver supervising a learner driver, you shouldn’t use your phone in the car. In the eyes of the law, as a supervisor, you are ultimately responsible for the vehicle. If you touch your phone while supervising a learner, you could receive a £200 fine on the spot and six penalty points on your licence.

Flashing headlights to give way

Although seemingly harmless, flashing the headlights to yield to another vehicle is technically illegal. You should only flash your headlights to warn another vehicle of your presence.

According to Rule 110 of the Highway Code, you must not flash your headlights for any other reason or to intimidate other road users. If an accident were to occur, you could be held responsible.

Using the car horn in anger or in a built-up area

According to Rule 112 of the Highway Traffic Act, you must not use your horn aggressively. You should only use your horn when your vehicle is moving and to warn other road users of your presence.

It is also forbidden to use your horn in built-up areas between 11:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., unless another road user represents a danger. Both breaches could result in a fixed penalty notice of £30.

Location of Harry Potter in mind Which? list of the best british walks

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the best walks in Britain have been revealed and it is a Harry Potter filming location taking first place.

Travel experts from Which? curated a long list of 75 of the nation’s favorite and busiest one-day races walks (less than 15 miles).

In December, they then surveyed 1,807 members of their panel to find the crème de la crème. Only markets reaching a minimum sample size were listed.

Britain’s Best Walks According to Which? investigation

Regions with the most quality hikes

The Lake District proved to be the most popular region for high quality walks, claiming six places in the table.

The Peak District, Cornwall and Northumberland each have three of the best walks, while Dorset, Snowdonia, London, Surrey and the North York Moors have two each.

Malham Cove and Gordale Scar scored a stunning 89% walk score in the survey. Visitors were impressed by the cove’s amphitheater-shaped cliffs that lead to a limestone causeway, where a scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was filmed.

Its second striking geological feature, Gordale Scar, is a narrow ravine surrounded by sheer walls 100 meters high. The 7.5 mile walk scored full five stars for scenery and places of interest. It has been rated four out of five for difficulty – where one is easy and five is only suitable for experienced walkers – meaning it is a route for more regular hikers.

Somerset County Gazette: The Lake District appears six times in the Which?  list of the best British walks.  Photo: PAThe Lake District appears six times in the Which? list of the best British walks. Photo: PA

The joint second best walks were both in Cornwall and achieved 88%. The Botallack Mine Short Walk got five stars for peace and quiet and scenery; at a mile long, it’s the shortest of the 51 best walks, alongside Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire.

The more challenging seven-mile Lizard Peninsula circuit around the southernmost tip of mainland Britain has earned five stars for places of interest, scenery and wildlife, with rare birdlife red-billed sharks as well as basking sharks and seals that call it home. .

In which ? survey results, only two other routes – Solva to St Davids and Blakeney Point – equaled this mark for wildlife.

Best walk in Wales

Rhossili Headland kept their record for the best walk in Wales with an overall score of 86%. The undemanding 3.5-mile trail in the Gower received top marks for scenery and a further five four-star scores in the Which? investigation, making it an excellent all-rounder.

Walkers pass an ancient Iron Age fort and can see the remains of a shipwreck rising out of the shimmering sea at low tide.

The best walks in Scotland

Anstruther to Crail on the Fife Coastal Path has been rated the best route in Scotland with an 83% walkability score. The easily navigable four-mile route connects a string of fishing villages whose stone houses have been the subject of many painters.

At 13 miles, Scotland’s second-best route, Loch Katrine in the Trossachs National Park, was the longest walk on offer, which can easily be completed in a day. Walkers can keep an eye out for forests of silver birch, oak, and mountain ash as they traverse the waterfalls on this gentle lakeside walk.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel said: “The UK offers an incredible variety of walks and with its magical connection, the most popular route in our survey was a worthy winner.

“From breathtaking hills and lake loops to historic hikes, clifftop trails and pebble beaches below, there’s a route for every taste and ability.”

London payday lenders targeted by protesters demanding change

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Local members of a national group representing low- and middle-income families protested against payday loans and check-cashing providers on Thursday.

ACORN Canada members conducted an awareness campaign to put pressure on high-yield moneylenders.

The small 5pm protest was one of many across Canada timed to raise awareness for hundreds of thousands struggling across the country to feed themselves and their families.

London-based ACORN Canada member Claire Wittnebel says they are being taken advantage of by so-called “predatory lenders.”

“People don’t come here [payday loan locations] because they want, they come here, because they have no other options. We would like more options to be available. If that’s the only option, we want it to be more controlled and less predatory,” she said.

Members say a federal Liberal pledge to rule high-yield lenders has yet to be fulfilled. They say this must be a priority, especially when pandemic subsidies end.

ACORN says its own survey found that more than 83 percent of people seeking payday and installment loans do so only to meet basic needs, including food and rent.

Londoner Betty Morrison, who has a disability, says she is among them.Londoner Betty Morrison tells CTV News she’s struggling to pay off a payday loan on March 31, 2022. (Sean Irvine / CTV News)“It’s an endless cycle. One always borrows one to pay for another to borrow another. And you get to a point where you just don’t know where to turn,” she says.

It’s the same story for a mother who has been trying to pay off a $300 loan for two years. However, Dezeare Sturgeon says she can only cover the $40 monthly interest.

“I will never be free. I just can’t afford it. I’ll be stuck in it forever,” she explains.

ACORN says payday loans are only part of the problem. The group denies installment loans, which typically start at $1,500 and often carry an interest rate of 60 percent.

MPs are asking the federal government to force high-yield lenders to reduce the number to no more than 30 percent, including fees.

They also want more credit options for those facing financial uncertainty, including Morrison.

She says she is on the verge of losing her apartment as her landlord is selling to take advantage of the booming real estate market.

While Morrison struggles with payday loans to get groceries, she can’t find affordable housing.

“Rejected by landlords, rejected by everyone because of my income. It’s just crazy,” she says.

Government backs away from plans to ban conversion therapy in UK

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Boris Johnson has dramatically dropped government plans to ban so-called LGBT conversion therapy, it has been confirmed.

A leaked Downing Street briefing seen by ITV News said “the Prime Minister has agreed that we should not go ahead with legislation” to ban the practice.

In response, a government spokesman said they had decided to consider how the existing law could be applied more effectively as well as “other non-legislative measures”.

The move was condemned by Liberal Democrats as giving a “green light to a form of torture” and a “total betrayal” of the LGBT community.

The announcement came just a day after Equality Minister Mike Freer told MPs the government was ‘fully committed’ to the legislation and work was ‘moving at pace’.

However, the leaked briefing paper revealed that ministers involved in crafting the legislation – including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is also the Equalities Secretary – were not made aware of the decision. .

“While Liz is not ideologically committed to the legislation, she is likely to be concerned about owning the new position, having been personally committed to delivering the bill,” he said.

He warned that Mr Freer could resign and that the Prime Minister’s special envoy on LGBT issues, Lord Herbert, could also consider his position.

The government has abandoned plans to legislate to ban so-called conversion therapy, it has been confirmed. ITV News has obtained a leaked document stating that ‘the Prime Minister has agreed that we should not go ahead with the legislation’

The U-turn comes after Equality Minister Mike Freer told MPs on Wednesday the government was ‘fully committed’ to the legislation

Conversion therapy refers to the pseudo-scientific practice of trying to change one’s sexual orientation.

The term is used for any form of treatment or psychotherapy that aims to reduce or stop same-sex attraction, but also extends to techniques used to attempt to remove a person’s gender identity.

While violent forms of therapy are already illegal under other offences, the proposed legislation would make all coercive conversion therapy illegal.

The practice of conversion therapy is widely considered unethical, but advocates remain.

Techniques used before the 1980s in conversion therapy included extreme treatments like lobotomies, chemical castration, and hormone therapies.

More recently, treatment has focused on counseling, visualization, social skills training, psychotherapy, and spiritual interventions.

Annelise Dodds, leader of the Labor Party and secretary of Shadow Equality, today said the Government’s U-turn on conversion therapy legislation was an ‘outrageous move’.

“A government that thinks conversion therapy is acceptable in 21st century Britain is no friend to the LGBT+ community,” she tweeted.

Yesterday, Equality Minister Mike Freer told MPs the Government was ‘fully committed’ to bringing forward proposals to ban conversion therapy practices and that work was ‘moving on pace’.

Mr Freer told the Commons: ‘We remain fully committed to bringing forward proposals to ban conversion therapy practices. We recently concluded a period of consultation and these proposals are being analysed, on which we will develop legislation which will be presented later this spring.

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) asked: ‘On the issue of conversion therapy, as he rightly said, it has now been two months since the consultation on the banning of therapy conversion has been completed. It has been almost three years since the government pledged to ban this insidious practice. Why is it taking so long?’

Annelise Dodds, Labor Party leader and secretary of Shadow Equality, today said the government's U-turn on conversion therapy legislation was a

Annelise Dodds, leader of the Labor Party and secretary of Shadow Equality, today said the Government’s U-turn on conversion therapy legislation was an ‘outrageous move’. “A government that believes conversion therapy is acceptable in 21st century Britain is no friend to the LGBT+ community,” she tweeted.

The development of legislation to ban all forms of conversion therapy in the <a class=UK was announced last October by Liz Truss. At the time, Truss said protecting those under the age of 18 was a key priority and promised that future laws will place a strong emphasis on preventing children who undergo practices considered conversion therapy.” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

The development of legislation to ban all forms of conversion therapy in the UK was announced last October by Liz Truss. At the time, Truss said protecting those under the age of 18 was a key priority and promised that future laws will place a strong emphasis on preventing children who undergo practices considered conversion therapy.

Mr Freer replied: ‘I hosted the first Westminster Hall debate on this in 2015 and I have to tell (him) if it was easy governments would have done it before so I took the time to analyze the results.

“We’ve had a meaningful response, it’s important we get it right, and that’s why we’re analyzing the meaningful response and introducing legislation later this spring.”

He added: “The government remains committed to bringing the legislation forward. It’s up to business leaders to know when the exact parliamentary slot is advanced, but a bill team has been assembled and we’re moving along.

Conversion therapy is still legal in the UK, but medical and government bodies here, as well as in the US, have expressed concern about conversion therapy.

Conversion camps include individual therapy and group work where people are asked to change their sexual orientation.

The development of legislation to ban all forms of conversion therapy in the UK was announced last October by Miss Truss.

At the time, the minister said protecting those under the age of 18 was a key priority and promised that future laws will place a strong emphasis on preventing children who undergo practices considered conversion therapy.

Miss Truss said: ‘There should be no place for the heinous practice of coercive conversion therapy in our society.

“I want everyone to be able to love whoever they want and be themselves.”

Proposed plans to open a dental practice in Bridgwater

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A NEW dental practice could soon open in Bridgwater – at the same time as an old dental practice could be converted into several apartments, writes Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter.

Holloway House Dental Surgery in Minehead has requested the opening of a new dental practice in Bridgwater by converting the existing house at 62 Wembdon Road, opposite Quantock Public House.

This comes as JT Retail Properties Ltd. asked to convert the former Brent House Surgery on King Street (which is in the city’s conservation area) into five apartments.

Sedgemoor District Council is expected to make a decision on both sets of plans later in the spring.

The new practice, which will replace the existing five-bedroom house, could create up to five new jobs – although it is unclear how many of these will be filled by existing staff.

A spokesperson for Architectural Studio said: ‘Claimant currently has successful dental surgery in Minehead which attracts patients from across Somerset.

“Many of the existing patients come from the Bridgwater area and have to travel to Minehead for regular checkups and treatment.

“The aim of this application is to provide more surgical treatment rooms to meet growing business demand and to reduce the number of trips for patients based in Bridgwater.

“No changes would be made to the exterior appearance of the building and only minor changes would be made to the interior. The site has enough parking spaces for patients and staff.

If approved, the surgery will end up providing both NHS and private treatment for a major catchment area in West Bridgwater – including over 1,000 new homes to be built either side of the A39 Quantock Road .

Bridgwater currently has a dental access center for patients who cannot access NHS treatment through regular practice – one of only three such facilities operating full-time in the county ( the others being in Taunton and Yeovil, with a part-time establishment in Fromé).

However, the town has been hit hard by the growing shortage of NHS dentists across Somerset, making it harder for people to get routine appointments.

Health bosses admitted in January that persuading dentists to work in the county was “like trying to convince a turkey to vote for Christmas”, blaming a range of factors from growing private sector opportunities to dental contract reforms introduced by the then Labor Government in 2006.

Further downtown, JT Retail Properties Ltd. requested the creation of further apartments in the former Brent House Surgery, which is listed second.

Permission was granted to Cranleigh Gardens Medical Center in May 2018 to convert the building into four apartments; however, the developer now wishes to subdivide one of the upper floor properties into two to create additional accommodation.

A spokesman for Lyndon Brett Chartered Surveyors (representing the claimant) said: ‘The existing building will remain essentially as is, with no form of demolition or extension work being undertaken.

“It will therefore adopt the same built line as the existing one and will therefore not be dominant in terms of overhang and/or eclipse compared to what currently exists.”

The board is expected to make a decision on both sets of proposals before the summer.

The case for reforming the parole system is ‘clear and established’ – Raab

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The Justice Secretary has pledged to ‘enforce public safety’ by drawing up plans to overhaul the parole system.

Dominic Raab said the case for reforming the process was “clear and established” as he proposed taking back power so ministers could prevent the release of dangerous criminals.

The upheaval comes after public outcry over the decision to release double child killer Colin Pitchfork and rapist of London taxi driver John Worboys from prison.

Worboys’ release was later officially overturned after the case was considered by a new panel, while Pitchfork was recalled to prison for breaching license terms in November.

Mr Raab also said on Wednesday that he planned to appeal the decision of the Parole Board which recommends that the mother of Baby P, who died after months of abuse, be released from prison.

Outlining his review of the parole system, Mr Raab told MPs: ‘Our reforms will ensure that offenders who pose the highest risk to public safety are vetted more rigorously with additional ministerial oversight.

“Protecting the public is the government‘s top priority. The proposals in this review will enhance public safety.

He added: “Following the review we have conducted and published today, I believe the case for reform is clear and established.”

Dominic Raab with a prison officer at the opening of HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough (Joe Giddens/PA)

Mr Raab said he believed ‘the focus on this critical decision-making has strayed from its original moorings’, adding: ‘So this government will anchor the decision-making of the Liberation Commission conditional on the cardinal principle of protecting the public.

“With regard to the assessment of risk to victims and public safety, we will introduce a precautionary principle to strengthen public confidence in the system and in cases involving those who have committed the most serious crimes, we will introduce ministerial control over release decisions. exercised by the Secretary of State for Justice.

“The package of reforms released today will reinforce the focus on protecting the public at every stage.”

Offenders who face life sentences, indeterminate sentences for the protection of the public, extended sentences and certain recall cases are all subject to the parole process, which means that their release must be ordered by the parole board.

Release of Colin Pitchfork
Double child killer Colin Pitchfork (PA)

Proposed reforms could see ministers override the Parole Board when it comes to the release of dangerous criminals from prison, aiming to focus on protecting the public rather than the rights of offenders.

These may include cases of murder, rape, terrorism and causing or permitting the death of a child.

The move could leave the government open to legal challenges, but it is understood Mr Raab is confident that separate plans to review human rights laws will counter any claims.

The Justice Secretary, other ministers and senior officials expect to review around 100 cases a year of these so-called “high profile” offenders for whom the parole board has recommended their release.

In 2020/21, the Parole Board released 4,289 prisoners and refused to release 12,154.

Of those released, it is estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 criminals serving life sentences could fall into the “upper tier” category, raising questions about the criteria that will be used to decide which most dangerous offenders requiring ministerial supervision and how all cases will be subject to personal review.

Mr Raab told MPs in the same 20/21 period that 27 offenders had been charged with another serious offense after being ordered released by the Parole Board, adding: ‘It is fair to say this is only a fraction of all cases, but it is still once every fortnight that a released offender commits a serious offense while under supervision.

Victims should also be given the right to attend full parole hearings for the first time, in a nod to the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto.

The Parole Board will now be required to consider submissions made by victims and they will be allowed to ask questions.

The new rules could also see more police officers and others with “law enforcement experience” recruited to sit on parole board decision-making panels.

Mr Raab said it was ‘striking’ that since last year only 5% of all parole board committee members have come from a law enforcement background, saying to MPs that he thought it was a “significant deficit”.

Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed said: “It is crucial that the protection of the public is paramount and that victims are at the heart of the criminal justice system.

“Currently, too many victims feel that their perspective is not sufficiently considered, whether in parole decisions or sentencing, which leads directly to public safety concerns. which need to be taken more seriously.”

The parole board said it would review the proposals and respond in due course. Ahead of the announcement, a spokesperson said the body would like to see the system become “more transparent and operate more efficiently to ensure a better process for everyone involved, while protecting the public remains the number one priority.” .

WESTERN CAPITAL RESOURCES, INC. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF MANAGEMENT’S FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS (Form 10-K)

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The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated
financial statements and related notes that appear elsewhere in this report.
This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve significant
uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated
in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including
those discussed in "Risk Factors" elsewhere in this report. For further
information, see "Forward-Looking Statements" below.



OVERVIEW



Fiscal year 2021 net income attributable to WCR common shareholders increased
23.2% year over year, with our Cellular Retail, Manufacturing and Consumer
Finance segments each outperforming 2020 results. Our Manufacturing segment is
new this year, as described in Part I, Item 1, "Business-Recent
Events-Acquisitions," and prior year information is presented on a restated
basis in accordance with the required presentation of pre-transaction
information for entities under common control.



EARNINGS:

YEAR FINISHED DECEMBER 31, 2021 COMPARED TO THE PAST YEAR DECEMBER 31, 2020




Net income attributable to our common shareholders was $10.31 million, or $1.12
per share in 2021 compared to $8.37 million, or $0.88 per share in 2020.
Revenues increased from $150 million in 2020 to $164 million in 2021, with the
Cellular Retail and Direct to Consumer segments being the largest contributors
to the increase, with 19.6% and 2.9% year-over-year growth, respectively.



                                      20




The following table provides selected financial information attributable to WCR common shareholders by business segment (in thousands):




                      Cellular       Direct to                           Consumer
                       Retail        Consumer        Manufacturing        Finance        Corporate        Total
Year Ended
December 31, 2021
Revenue from
external customers   $  101,887     $    43,335     $        12,963     $     1,793     $         -     $  159,978
Fee and interest
income               $        -     $         -     $             -     $     4,167     $         -     $    4,167
Total revenue        $  101,887     $    43,335     $        12,963     $     5,960     $         -     $  164,145
% of total revenue         62.1 %          26.4 %               7.9 %           3.6 %           0.0 %        100.0 %
Net income (loss)    $    9,117     $     4,648     $           319     $       665     $    (1,511 )   $   13,238
Net income
attributable to
noncontrolling
interests            $    2,931     $         -     $             -     $         -     $         -     $    2,931
Net income (loss)
attributable to
WCR common
shareholders         $    6,186     $     4,648     $           319     $       665     $    (1,511 )   $   10,307

Year Ended
December 31, 2020
Revenue from
external customers   $   85,209     $    42,114     $        14,890     $     1,784     $         -     $  143,997
Fee and interest
income               $        -     $         -     $             -     $     5,959     $         -     $    5,959
Total revenue        $   85,209     $    42,114     $        14,890     $     7,743     $         -     $  149,956
% of total revenue         56.8 %          28.1 %               9.9 %           5.2 %           0.0 %        100.0 %
Net income (loss)    $    5,934     $     4,947     $           154     $       440     $    (1,073 )   $   10,402
Net income
attributable to
noncontrolling
interests            $    2,035     $         -     $             -     $         -     $         -     $    2,035
Net income (loss)
attributable to
WCR common
shareholders         $    3,899     $     4,947     $           154     $  
    440     $    (1,073 )   $    8,367




Cellular Retail


The following table provides selected financial information for our wireless retail segment businesses:



                                           Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)              2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021               2020         Revenues        Revenues
Revenues:
Retail sales and associated fees        $      79,220       $   65,145     
      77.8 %          76.5 %
Other revenue                                  22,667           20,064            22.2 %          23.5 %
                                              101,887           85,209           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                               50,049           39,008            49.1 %          45.8 %
Gross profit                                   51,838           46,201            50.9 %          54.2 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           24,372           22,072            23.9 %          25.9 %
Occupancy expense                               8,695            8,771             8.5 %          10.3 %
Depreciation and amortization expense           1,981            2,014             2.0 %           2.4 %
Other expense                                   5,539            5,936             5.5 %           7.0 %
Provision for income taxes                      2,134            1,474     
       2.1 %           1.6 %
                                               42,721           40,267            42.0 %          47.2 %
Net income                              $       9,117       $    5,934             8.9 %           7.0 %




Segment contribution to net income before noncontrolling interests was $9.12
million in 2021 compared to $5.93 million in 2020. Year-over-year, revenues
increased 19.6% (4.8% from stores added in 2021). We experienced a significant
uptick in upgrade activity in 2021 (existing customers buying a new device),
some of which is attributable to customers upgrading from devices still on the
3G network in anticipation of it being shut off by AT&T on February 22, 2022 and
some attributable to customers moving to the new 5G network.



We were affected, primarily toward the latter part of 2021, by inflationary
pressures and inventory shortages due to the global shortages of chips. The
inflationary pressures have increased cost in most all expense categories. It is
unknown if and to what extent inventory shortages will have on 2022. At the end
of 2021, we were operating 229 locations. We intend to continue looking for
acquisitions in 2022 and expect our store count to increase throughout the
year.



                                      21





Direct to Consumer


The following table contains selected financial information for our business activities in the Direct to Consumer segment:



                                           Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)              2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021              2020          Revenues        Revenues
Revenues                                $     43,335       $    42,114           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                              19,616            19,442            45.3 %          46.2 %
Gross profit                                  23,719            22,672            54.7 %          53.8 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           6,656             5,887            15.4 %          14.0 %
Occupancy expense                                574               565             1.3 %           1.3 %
Depreciation and amortization expense            456               531             1.0 %           1.3 %
Other expense                                  9,964             9,286            23.0 %          22.0 %
Provision for income taxes                     1,421             1,456     
       3.3 %           3.5 %
                                              19,071            17,725            44.0 %          42.1 %
Net income                              $      4,648       $     4,947            10.7 %          11.7 %




The Direct to Consumer segment contributed $4.65 million of net income in 2021
compared to $4.95 million in 2020. Over the past several years, we have focused
on upgrading management and product offerings as well as optimizing marketing
spend. During both 2021 and 2020, the segment experienced an increase in product
sales, benefitting from the industry-wide changes in consumer purchasing methods
and increase in demand for products ordered online, and from increased consumer
interest in gardening and seed-related products. Although revenues increased
year-over-year, they were hampered in 2021 by supply shortages. This segment,
similar to all others, experienced increased labor costs year over year,
impacting both cost of revenues and salaries and wages expense.



Manufacturing



The following table provides select financial information for our Manufacturing
segment operating activity:



                                           Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)              2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021              2020          Revenues        Revenues
Revenues:
Sales                                   $     12,963       $    14,890           100.0 %         100.0 %
Other revenue                                      -                 -               - %             - %
                                              12,963            14,890           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                               9,528            11,235            73.5 %          75.5 %
Gross profit                                   3,435             3,655            26.5 %          24.5 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           1,108             1,139             8.5 %           7.6 %
Occupancy expense                                152               103             1.2 %           0.7 %
Depreciation and amortization expense              5                11     
         - %           0.1 %
Interest expense                                  65               159             0.5 %           1.1 %
Other expense                                  1,666             1,995            12.9 %          13.4 %
Provision for income taxes                       120                94     
       0.9 %           0.6 %
                                               3,116             3,501            24.0 %          23.5 %
Net income                              $        319       $       154             2.5 %           1.0 %



Our manufacturing segment, acquired in January 2021reported an increase in net income on declining sales in a very challenging year characterized by supply chain bottlenecks and increased raw material costs.



                                      22





Consumer Finance


The following table contains selected financial information for the operations of our Consumer Finance segment:



                                            Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)               2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021               2020          Revenues        Revenues
Revenues:
Retail sales                            $      1,477       $      1,438            24.8 %          18.6 %
Financing fees and interest                    4,167              5,959            69.9 %          76.9 %
Other revenue                                    316                347             5.3 %           4.5 %
                                               5,960              7,744           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                                 751              1,114            12.6 %          14.4 %
Gross profit                                   5,209              6,630            87.4 %          85.6 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           2,211              3,076            37.1 %          39.7 %
Occupancy expense                                748              1,148            12.5 %          14.8 %
Depreciation and amortization expense             10                 20             0.2 %           0.3 %
Other expense                                  1,336              1,784            22.4 %          23.0 %
Provision for income taxes                       239                162    
        4.0 %           2.1 %
                                               4,544              6,190            76.2 %          79.9 %
Net income                              $        665       $        440            11.2 %           5.7 %



Consumer Finance segment net income increased to $0.65 million in 2021 from
$0.44 million in 2020 on declining revenues year-over year. The increase in net
income and decrease in cost of revenues both benefited from recoveries of bad
debt, or reduction in net bad debt included in cost of revenues. Collections in
2021 of bad debts previously expensed on closed locations exceeded expectations
and will not be a recurring item in 2022. The decrease in revenues was due the
closure of our payday business in Nebraska in November 2020 due to state
regulatory changes and from the sale, also in November 2020, of five of our six
payday store operations in Iowa. Excluding one payday location that benefited
from the Nebraska law change, all the other payday stores combined had a 4%
reduction in loan originations year-over-year, a continuing trend in the
industry.



Corporate



Net cost of our Corporate segment was ($1.51) million for the year ended
December 31, 2021 compared to ($1.07) million for the year ended December 31,
2020, the increased net cost due primarily to the decrease in investment income
and one-time transaction expenses of $0.2 million associated with the Swisher
transaction that closed in January 2021.



Consolidated income tax expense

Income tax expense was $3.47 million for 2021 compared to $2.88 million for 2020
for an effective rate of 20.8% and 21.7%, respectively. Income attributable to
our noncontrolling interest flows through to the noncontrolling interest and is
not taxable at the Company level. Excluding the non-taxable flow-through income
to the noncontrolling interest, the effective rate for 2021 and 2020 was 25.2%
and 25.6%, respectively. The effective rate decrease year-over-year is due to a
reduction in nondeductible transaction expense year-over-year.



LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

Summary cash flow data is as follows:



                                                  Year Ended December 31,
                                                   2021             2020

Cash flows provided by (used in):
Operating activities                           $ 17,380,816     $ 15,493,544
Investing activities                             (2,788,686 )     (1,659,306 )
Financing activities                             (4,081,838 )     (8,490,426 )
Net increase in cash                             10,510,292        5,343,812

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year 32,504,803 27,160,991 Cash and cash equivalents, year end $43,015,095 $32,504,803





As of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, we had cash and cash equivalents
of $43.0 million and $32.5 million, respectively. We believe that our available
cash, combined with expected cash flows from operations and our held-to-maturity
investments, will be sufficient to fund our liquidity and capital expenditure
requirements through March of 2023. Our expected short-term uses of available
cash include the funding of operating activities, scheduled repayments of debt
and the payment of dividends.



                                      23





In addition to cash and cash equivalents, as of December 31, 2021, we had $12.34
million in US Treasuries and $2.04 million invested in certificates of deposit
(limited to approximately $250,000 per financial institution per entity).



away December 31, 2021 and 2020 we had $3.42 million and $3.11 million outstanding liabilities and no finance lease liabilities.



CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES



Our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes have been prepared
in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States
of America applied on a consistent basis. The preparation of these consolidated
financial statements requires us to make a number of estimates and assumptions
that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of
contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial
statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the
reporting periods. We evaluate these estimates and assumptions on an ongoing
basis. We base these estimates on the information currently available to us and
on various other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the
circumstances. Actual results could vary materially from these estimates under
different assumptions or conditions.



Our significant accounting policies are discussed in Note 1, "Basis of
Presentation, Nature of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting
Policies," of the notes to our consolidated financial statements included in
this report. We believe that the following critical accounting policies affect
the more significant estimates and assumptions used in the preparation of our
consolidated financial statements:



Receivables and allowances



Consumer Finance


Included in loans receivable is $1.65 million of unpaid principal, interest and
fee balances of payday loans that have not reached their maturity date. Payday
loans by their nature are high risk loans and require significant assumptions
when determining a reserve for credit losses, including the default rate and the
amount of subsequent collections on those defaulted loans. These two factors
have remained relatively stable over the past two years and we therefore use
historical rates to assist in determining anticipated future credit losses. In
addition, we must consider future economic factors. Any significant downturn in
the economy which is greater than our assumptions will increase the default
rates and reduce subsequent collections on those defaulted loans. As of December
31, 2021, we have estimated credit losses from the $1.65 million loans
receivable balance to be approximately $42,000.



Inventory



Direct to Consumer



Inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market using the weighted-average
method of determining cost. The Company periodically evaluates the value of
items in inventory and provides write-downs to inventory based on its estimate
of market conditions. Two subcategories of inventory, live plants and
restoration products, are most susceptible to write-downs and the application of
key assumptions.



Live plants have a limited life and any unsold product is disposed of at the end
of a selling season. Should the demand for product not meet expectations, larger
write-downs may occur during interim periods until written off. Management will
assess the need for write-downs based on inventory levels, the length of time
remaining in the live-goods season, and current and expected demand which could
be impacted by many current market and economic factors as discussed in the
Risk
Factors section.



We have a significant number of home hardware products in this segment's
inventory. Due to the uniqueness of many of these items, the sales volume of an
individual SKU may be low. Management evaluates the value of items in inventory
to estimate an allowance against carrying costs. This evaluation includes a
look-back of sales volume of the respective SKU over the prior twelve month
period to estimate the allowance.



Manufacturing



Inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market using the standard costing
method of determining cost. The Company periodically evaluates the value of
items in inventory and provides write-downs to inventory based on its estimate
of market conditions. Key assumptions used are the future quantity to be sold,
the future selling price of an item, and the cost of raw materials, primarily
steel. Unknown economic factors or supply factors could materially affect these
assumptions. A sharp downturn in the economy would negatively impact the future
quantity sold. Dropping steel or other raw materials costs will negatively
impact assumptions used for future sales prices and the underlying cost under
the lower of cost or market methodology. Future sales prices and the underlying
cost under the lower of cost or market methodology could also be negatively
impacted by an unforeseen introduction of comparable products, possibly from
foreign sources or otherwise, at a lower price point.



                                      24





Fair Value Measurements



The fair value of a financial instrument is the amount that could be received
upon the sale of an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly
transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Financial
assets are marked to bid prices and financial liabilities are marked to offer
prices. Fair value measurements do not include transaction costs. A fair value
hierarchy is used to prioritize the quality and reliability of the information
used to determine fair values. Categorization within the fair value hierarchy is
based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value
measurement. The three-level hierarchy is as follows:



Level 1 – Quoted market prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

Level 2 – Observable market-based inputs or inputs that are corroborated by market data.

Level 3 – Unobservable inputs not supported by market date.




The Company believes its valuation methods are appropriate and consistent with
other market participants, however the use of different methodologies or
assumptions to determine the fair value of certain financial instruments could
result in a different fair value measurement at the reporting date.



OFF-BALANCE SHEET AGREEMENTS

We have no off-balance sheet arrangements.

CAUTIONARY NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS




Some of the statements made in this report are "forward-looking statements," as
that term is defined under Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are based
upon our current expectations and projections about future events. Whenever used
in this report, the words "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "estimate,"
"expect," "will" and similar expressions, or the negative of such words and
expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not
all forward-looking statements contain such words or expressions. The
forward-looking statements in this report are primarily located in the material
set forth under the headings "Description of Business," "Risk Factors,"
"Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations," but are found in other parts of this report as well. These
forward-looking statements generally relate to our plans, objectives and
expectations for future operations and are based upon management's current
estimates and projections of future results or trends. Although we believe that
our plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking
statements are reasonable, we may not achieve these plans or objectives. You
should read this report completely and with the understanding that actual future
results may be materially different from what we expect. We are not undertaking
any obligation to update any forward-looking statements even though our
situation may change in the future.



Specific factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations or affect the value of the common stock include, among others:

? supply chain disruptions and delays and associated loss of revenue;

? inflationary pressures on the cost of sales and fluctuations in commodity prices;

? Possible product liability risks related to design, manufacture and sale

and use of our Swisher products;

? Changes in local, state or federal laws and regulations governing lending

practices or changes in interpretation of such laws and regulations;

? Litigation and Regulatory Actions Targeting the Consumer Finance Industry

or us, particularly in certain key countries;

? Our need for additional financing;

? Changes in our approval as a dealer for Cricket wireless;

? changes in the remuneration of authorized cricket dealers;

? Lack of advertising support and sales promotion Cricket wireless by doing

markets in which we operate;

? Our dependence on information systems;

? Direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on our employees, customers, our supply

chain, economy and financial markets; and

? Unpredictability or uncertainty in financing and mergers and acquisitions

Markets that could affect our ability to develop our business

   acquisitions.



Other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those implied by
the forward-looking statements in this report are more fully described in the
"Risk Factors" section and of this report.



Industry data and other statistical information used in this report are based on
independent publications, government publications, reports by market research
firms or other published independent sources. Some data are also based on our
good faith estimates, derived from our review of internal surveys and the
independent sources listed above. Although we believe these sources are
reliable, we have not independently verified the information.

© Edgar Online, source insights

how will he review the pandemic response in Wales?

0

There have been nearly 10,000 dead involving Covid-19 in Wales since March 2020. The pandemic and the response to it has also impacted almost every aspect of our daily lives, from health and education to professional and personal freedoms.

The UK government is setting up an independent public inquiry to examine the response to Covid-19 and the impact of the pandemic, including in Wales. The survey is now consultation on the draft terms of reference.

There have been high-profile calls for a separate inquiry into the decentralized pandemic response in Wales. This article looks at what the UK Inquiry plans to do and how it could approach its work to examine the pandemic response in Wales.

Public inquiries

Public inquiries are independent inquiries set up by government ministers. They can be set up following major accidents, disasters or public failures to examine what happened and why, what went wrong and what can be learned.

Public inquiries can be statutory Where non-statutory. the Inquiries Act 2005 forms the legal basis for legal investigations. This allows such investigations compel witnesses to appear in public hearings and to provide documentary evidence.

The law allows ministers in the UK and devolved governments to set up statutory inquiries. Two or more governments can also hold a joint investigation. the The Welsh Government has commissioned a statutory inquiry to date, in the outbreak of E. coli in 2005.

By law, Welsh Ministers can only open inquiries into matters for which they have office (“Welsh Matters”). Welsh Inquiries can only compel witnesses to give evidence or produce documents relating to Welsh matters, or for the purpose of investigating such matters. They cannot demand evidence or documents from the UK government.

Where a British minister wishes the terms of reference for an inquiry to cover Welsh matters, that minister must first consult the Welsh ministers.

Ministers establish the chair and terms of reference for an inquiry. When an investigation has been set up, the President carries it out independently. Once an investigation has collected and examined evidence, it reports with findings and recommendations. Ministers will generally respond to recommendations, but there is no formal process for following up on recommendations. the The Institute for Government argued that this should become an essential task for parliamentary committees.

The UK Covid-19 investigation

The British government has ordered a judicial inquiry in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In December he announced former Court of Appeal judge Baroness Heather Hallett as a chair.

the president consult now to draft terms of reference for the investigation. The draft terms of reference set out what the inquiry should examine and how it should conduct its work. the president also said that she will travel to the UK to seek views on the draft terms of reference, including from bereaved families.

Once the President has reviewed the responses to the consultation, she may recommend changes to the Prime Minister’s draft mandate.

the the investigation should begin to gather evidence this year and begin holding public hearings in 2023.

The draft mandate

The draft terms of reference specify that the inquiry will aim to examine the Covid-19 response and the impact of the pandemic in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and produce a factual narrative, including:

  • a wide range of aspects of central, decentralized and local decision-making in public health and its consequences;
  • the health and care sector response across the UK; and
  • the economic response to the pandemic and its impact.

They say the survey will aim to identify lessons learned, to inform the UK’s preparations for future pandemics.

The consultation asks whether the draft terms of reference cover all the areas that the inquiry should address. For example, attorney Adam Wagner once said a notable omission from the inquiry’s mandate is the impact of pandemic decision-making on human rights.

The draft terms of reference also specify how the inquiry will be organized to achieve its objectives. As part of this, they say the survey will listen to the experiences of bereaved families and people who have suffered hardship or loss as a result of the pandemic. The consultation asks for opinions on how the survey should be designed and conducted to ensure that these voices are heard.

The draft terms of reference state that the inquiry will produce reports (including interim reports) and recommendations in a timely manner. Complex requests can take a long time. For example, the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War was published seven years after it began to hear evidence. The consultation seeks opinions on what the Inquiry should examine first and whether the Inquiry should set an expected end date for the hearings.

Wales response review

In Wales, responsibility to respond to the pandemic was shared between the Welsh Government and the British Government. For many, diverging approaches to the pandemic across UK countries have put the skills devolved in the spotlight for the first time.

The draft terms of reference state that the UK inquiry will examine reserved and devolved matters across the UK. In doing so, it will try to minimize duplication with any investigations put in place by devolved governments.

There have been long-standing calls for a separate inquiry into the devolved pandemic response in Wales, including from welsh curators, Blanket Cymru, the Commissioner for the Elderly, and the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group (Cymru). Supporters argued a Welsh inquiry could be more effective hold Welsh ministers accountable for their decisions, ensure understanding of decision-making in the decentralized contextand To be accessible for people across Wales.

the The prime minister said that “a UK-wide Covid inquiry is the best option” to examine the decisions made in Wales, as the decision-making of the Welsh Government “has been inextricably linked to the consideration of the scientific landscape and British politics at large”. the Senedd narrowly voted against a motion calling on the Welsh Government to commission an inquiry in December.

In September, the The Prime Minister has written to the British government to set out his view that Wales should not be “an afterthought or footnote” to the UK investigation, saying that:

  • the investigation team should come to Wales to collect evidence;
  • the survey should have Welsh-specific expertise; and
  • there should be a chapter or chapters on Wales in the inquiry report.

In March, the The Prime Minister confirmed that he had been consulted on the draft terms of reference before publication, and that he also intended to respond formally to the consultation “to ensure that the experiences of the people of Wales are properly heard”.

The Scottish Government has commissioned a separate statutory inquiry into the devolved pandemic response, chaired by Senior Justice Lady (Anna) Poole. the Scottish Government consulted turned on and set the Terms of reference for this survey in 2021. The survey was officially set up in February and is should start work this summer.

Next steps

You can respond to the consultation on the terms of reference for the UK Covid-19 inquiry until April 7.


Article by Lucy Valsamidis, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament

Somerset Police seize 400 bags of heroin from hotel guest

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SOMERSET — A Norton man has been arrested after being found in a Somerset hotel with 400 bags of heroin and crack cocaine.

Somerset Police Chief Todd Costa said William Bruce, 63, was arrested on Sunday and charged with trafficking crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Costa said Somerset Police Officer Eli Fishbein learned on Sunday that Bruce – who has three warrants for his arrest in Fall River District Court – was staying at the Riverview Inn and Suites at 1878 Wilbur Ave.

Fishbein and his colleague Brian Dempsey drove to the hotel, where they found Bruce entering the building from the parking lot.

According to police, when he was arrested, officers found approximately 400 prepackaged bags of heroin and 40 grams of suspected crack cocaine in his possession.

Police said Bruce was charged with drug trafficking Monday in Fall River District Court.

New Bedford and Fall River vs. Brockton

Here are five (or six) reasons why New Bedford and Fall River beat Brockton.

The SouthCoast Hot Wing Project

WBSM’s Tim Weisberg and his son Adam spent six months touring the SouthCoast region, from New Bedford to Fall River to Dartmouth, Norton and beyond, trying out some of the supposedly hottest wings – and also tried some other unique wing flavors.

Driving law on how you use phone or sat nav in car as legal ‘loophole’ closes

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Holding a phone or sat-nav while driving is now an offense under a rule change – drivers are warned. The law means motorists – or motorcyclists – must not use a hand-held device for any reason, whether online or offline.

In other words, you should not send text messages, make calls, take photos or videos, or browse the web. The rule change closes a loophole that some drivers could have exploited to avoid being fined or facing penalty points.

Previously, the law only applied to so-called “interactive communications”, such as making a call, as it was written before cell phones could be used for more complicated tasks, such as taking videos. Previously, people caught using their mobile phones while driving have sometimes been able to escape conviction by claiming they were not using them for interactive communication.

Read more:All the Somerset roadworks that could affect your trip this week

And while the rules for using phones while driving are now clearer, some people have wondered what this means for the use of sat nav. Responding to one such motorist on Twitter last week, South Wales Police advised: “If you use a phone or GPS when driving, you must have hands-free access.” The Durham Roads Police Unit has also listed “using your phone as a sat nav if the device is cradled” as permitted use, Bristol Live reports.

The government guidelines add: “You can use devices with hands-free access, as long as you do not hold them at any time during use. Hands-free access means the use of, for example, a Bluetooth headset , voice command, dashboard mount or floor mat, windshield mount or built-in sat nav, but the device must not block your view of the road and traffic in front of you.”

Using a dash- or windshield-mounted sat-nav is still legal, but if someone were to detach the device and hold it – perhaps to change your route or disable navigation – that would not be allowed. The law still applies to you if you are: stopped at traffic lights; queuing in traffic; supervising a learner driver; drive a car that cuts the engine when you stop moving; hold and use a device offline or in airplane mode.

The exceptions only apply if: you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it is unsafe or impossible to stop; you are parked safely; you make a contactless payment in a vehicle that is not in use, for example in a restaurant with drive-through service; or you use the device to park your vehicle remotely. The law states that you must maintain full control of your vehicle at all times.

The police can arrest you if they think you are out of control because you are distracted and you may be prosecuted. You can get six penalty points and a £200 fine if you hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet or any other device capable of sending and receiving data while driving or driving a car. motorbike.

You will also lose your license if you have passed your driving test within the last two years. You can get three penalty points if you don’t have a full view of the road and traffic in front of you or if you don’t control the vehicle properly.

Read more: Crossing on ‘dangerous’ Somerset road branded as ‘waste of money’

You can also be taken to court where you risk a driving or road ban, or a fine of up to £1,000 – up to £2,500 if you drive a lorry or bus.

Priti Patel ‘orders investigation into handling of Cressida Dick’s resignation’

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The row between Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan reignited when the Home Secretary reportedly ordered an inquiry into the handling of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s resignation.

Dame Cressida Dick has resigned after losing the Mayor of London’s backing of his force reform plan amid a series of scandals and allegations of a toxic work culture.

The Mail on Sunday has reported that a review of what has been described as the mayor’s ‘chaotic sacking’ will be led by Sir Tom Windsor, the Constabulary’s Chief Inspector.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is said to have ordered an inquiry (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Home Office was unable to confirm or deny the report, but City Hall responded.

A source said: ‘It is absolutely bizarre that the Home Secretary has decided to waste taxpayers’ money on a politically motivated investigation to defend the Met Commissioner when in the last two weeks alone the commissioner oversaw two other devastating scandals at the Met.

“This is a cynical and childish move by a Home Secretary who is more interested in petty politics than his job of keeping the public safe and fixing his program of refugees for families fleeing Ukraine.”

It was also argued that there was no inquiry process because the commissioner resigned rather than attend a meeting with Mr Khan to discuss the proposals.

Dame Cressida resigned on February 11 after the mayor expressed displeasure at his response to widespread public outrage at offensive messages exchanged by a group of officers based at Charing Cross police station.

Met Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House has written to Ms Patel asking for an inquiry into the handling of her departure.

Resignation of Cressida Dick
Dame Cressida Dick has resigned after losing the confidence of the Mayor of London (Victoria Jones/PA)

In 2008, Sir Ian Blair resigned as commissioner after losing the support of then London mayor, and now Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

A spokeswoman for the mayor defended him in response to reports from Ms Patel’s inquiry, saying public trust in Scotland Yard is ‘at an all-time low, following a series of devastating scandals , including the murder of Sarah Everard by an on-duty police officer and the overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and discrimination on display at Charing Cross Police Station”.

“The mayor is clear that the next Met chief must demonstrate that he understands the depth of the problems faced by the force and that he has a plan to restore the confidence of Londoners,” she added.

Sadiq Khan says UK government’s approach to Ukrainian refugees is ‘appalling’

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Live Updates: Follow the latest news on Russia-Ukraine

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the British government’s bureaucracy regarding visas for Ukrainians was “appalling”.

He spoke on Saturday to people demonstrating in the British capital against the Russian invasion.

“We lobbied [the UK government] for weeks now to do what other countries in mainland Europe have done to make it much easier for people fleeing for their lives to be able to come to London,” he said.

“There is a disconnect between the generosity shown by Londoners… and the actions of our government.

“Complex visa forms, delay, bureaucracy make things very difficult. I spoke to a Londoner yesterday who, after four weeks, was finally able to open his house to a Ukrainian. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

“I speak regularly to leaders in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland. And what I compare and contrast what we as a country have done with our government versus those, I’m embarrassed.

The rally in support of Ukraine was organized at the request of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who a few days ago called on people around the world to take to the streets in solidarity to show their support.

Crowds dressed in blue and yellow marched through central London holding banners reading “Stop Putin’s War”, “No Fly Zone” and “Solidarity with Ukraine”. They sang as the police followed.

Speeches will be delivered by Ukrainian politicians, European leaders and Mr. Khan himself.

The Mayor of London also expressed his gratitude to those offering rooms to refugees and urged them to continue to be generous.

“Well, I am full of admiration for everyone who opens their homes to Ukrainian refugees,” he said.

“I have been incredibly proud of the actions of Londoners over the past few days and weeks. And what is clear is that we are sending a loud and clear message that refugees are welcome here.

Updated: March 26, 2022, 4:07 p.m.

Martin Lewis warns days to get £1,000 free from UK government

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Martin Lewis has issued a warning as time is running out to receive £1,000 free from the Government.

The Money Saving Expert founder has urged people to “use or lose” their ISA allowances before the end of the current tax year. This account is a tax-free savings product. It is capped at up to £20,000 for the 2021/22 tax year. This with a lifetime ISA can save £4,000 and benefit from a 25% bonus on top of the money you save from the government. That means you can get £1,000 free every tax year – or £2,000 free if there are two of you and both have a LISA account, which you can max out.

However, Mr Lewis has warned those looking to benefit from the program as there are only a few days left to participate as the current tax year ends on April 5.

More: Weather forecast for the weekend when Blackpool and the Lake District brace for glorious conditions

This means that in order to receive bonus payments from the government, you must transfer funds before April 6th, the new tax year. In MoneySavingExpert’s latest email, Martin said: “If you’re a first-time buyer, check out the 25% boost Lifetime ISA worth up to £1,000/year for your first home.”

Remember that the amount you pay into a LISA counts towards your total annual ISA allowance of £20,000. But when you’re saving for your first home, you won’t find a regular savings account from a bank or lender that pays 25% interest.

You can open a LISA account between the ages of 18 and 39. You can use this to make a deposit for your first apartment or for retirement provision. If you withdraw your money for reasons other than these, you will lose your bonus and pay a 25% penalty, which is around a 6% loss.

Regarding the ISA rates for cash, Martin made a somber statement that 85% of people are now better off dropping them. This is because cash ISAs currently generally have worse interest rates than regular savings accounts.

Instead of stashing your money in an ISA, you should focus on an account with the highest interest rates, he said. “Now, the personal savings allowance means that most interest on savings does NOT pay taxes,” Martin explained.

“Introduced in 2016, the PSA allows ordinary (20%) taxpayers to earn £1,000/year tax-free from all savings interest and higher (40%) taxpayers £500. At today’s top interest rate of 1%, you would need to save £100,000 to generate £1,000 in interest. Today, most people — over 19 out of 20, in fact — no longer pay taxes on savings.”

The best easy access account right now is Virgin Money, which pays 1% interest on up to £25,000. If you have a smaller sum, it pays 2.02% on £1,000. The second largest payer is Atom Bank, which pays 0.9%. If you can afford to lock away your money for a full year, Shawbrook Bank is the top player, paying 1.6% – but you must deposit at least £1,000.

JN Bank offers you 1.96% on their two-year fixed account if you deposit at least £1,000, or the best five-year fix is ​​Monument at 2.4%. In comparison, the best accessible cash ISA is Paragon and pays 0.8%, while OakNorth Bank’s 1-year fixed cash ISA offers 1.28% interest and a 2-year UBL UK pays 1.6%.

‘These proposals are dangerous’ – Residents slam plans to change waterfront

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Residents have called the changes to the Clevedon seafront ‘stupid’ and ‘dangerous’ and say the changes are unnecessary. A petition to stop the move has garnered over 4,000 signatures.

Plans will see a handful of new one-way systems, cycle lanes and speed limits introduced, with work starting on Hill Road just after Easter. It is hoped this will contribute to North Somerset Council‘s commitment to promoting healthier lifestyles and tackling the climate emergency while helping to complete the 13-mile Pier to Pier path – from Weston to Clevedon.

However, the plans were met with considerable opposition, with MP Liam Fox calling the changes “the craziest plans I’ve seen in my 30 years as an MP”. A banner expressing anger at the changes also appeared on the barriers along the beach.

READ MORE: Work on controversial Clevedon seafront changes set to start after Easter

Residents did not express their anger in person, but have now left comments on the petition. One member, Stephen Knight, said: “These proposals are actually dangerous. Cyclists are not obeying the rules of the road (or anywhere else for that matter). They come at you in silence and they certainly don’t don’t mind pedestrians I know the council has some “free” money to use for this program but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Our beautiful seafront is fine. Leave it alone.

John Trask added: “There is no need for a cycle lane here. The seafront road has existed here with very few problems over the years. The author of this petition understands that. Spend money for something worthwhile that benefits the whole community. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The refurbishment is expected to cost around £500,000 and is part of the £175million Department for Transport (DfT) grant, which will see the construction of new safe routes so people can walk and cycle safely this year .

Work on Hill Road is due to start after the Easter holidays and last up to eight weeks. Beach improvements will begin in the fall, when attendance is lowest. This will avoid all key holiday dates to minimize the impact on local businesses and retain enjoyment of the area over the summer.

The first of the works, which will take place on Hill Road, is expected to start after the Easter holidays and last up to eight weeks. Beach improvements will begin in the fall, when attendance is lowest.

Another user, Andy Chappel, said that despite the need for seaside work, these proposed changes are not the answer. “I strongly disagree with many of the comments made here, the seafront and Clevedon in general needs a lot of work to make it suitable for all rather than cars. The pier and seafront scenic seafront are severely hampered by parking and the lack of useful public space.

“I would say though that this plan is not the answer at all. It is poorly planned, consulted and unsuitable for the future. There is a heavy reliance on car travel here, more than I have seen in many more remote towns and locations – which absolutely need to be addressed and compromises made. But these plans are not for everyone – in the least.”

Tom Lewis-Smith said the money should be distributed elsewhere: “Normally I would be in favor of changes like this, but I really can’t say what problem NSC is trying to solve with this program. If they want make things better for cyclists, fix the potholes! And with the money left over, a new playground and skate park would be nice.”

North Somerset Council has, however, been liaising with local businesses, having changed plans following consultation in 2021. Councilor Mike Solomon, Council’s executive member responsible for sustainable travel, said: “We have largely viewed the draft proposals in April 2021 and the program was modified with local input and insights from residents and businesses.

“This program is supported by local councillors, Clevedon City Council, the Clevedon Business Improvement District (BID) and the Pier Trust. Many other interested parties have also contributed to the development of the program and are supportive of the improvements modified.

“We believe we now have the right program and have modified implementation timelines to minimize any disruption to businesses during peak summer and holiday periods.”

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Derby administrators hope to name preferred bidder early next week

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Derby’s trustees hope to be able to name a preferred bidder who “best secures the club’s long-term future” after discussions with the EFL early next week.

The Sky Bet Championship side went into administration last September and the process of securing a new owner has been protracted.

Quantuma’s directors issued a statement on Friday afternoon noting that offers for the club must be submitted “in their final format by the close of business today”.

The merits of the bids will then be assessed to identify a preferred bidder before discussions take place with the EFL on approving any deal.

The EFL said on March 3 that it had received assurances from the directors that sufficient funds were in place to see out the season.

American businessman Adam Binnie, whose family have made two offers for the club, said earlier this month the directors had rejected their latest offer of £30m and would not speak to them again unless that this offer is not increased.

Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley had shown interest in the club, but it remains to be seen if that is still the case.

A spokesperson on behalf of the co-trustees said on Friday: “Following Team Derby’s statement on Monday March 21 and in the interest of accurate and transparent reporting, the co-trustees of Derby County Football Club wish to clarify the process which we will follow. commitment in order to be able to publicly name our preferred bidder.

“Bidders must submit offers for the club in their final format by close of business today. The joint administrators will assess the merits of all offers received over the weekend of 26/27 March and identify their preferred bidder.

“It will be the bid that we believe best secures the long-term future of the club.

“At the beginning of next week, the co-administrators will begin discussions with the EFL.

“Following their approval to proceed, we will then be able to publicly name the preferred bidder.”

After a 21-point deduction due to going into administration and breaches of EFL financial rules, Derby are bottom of the Championship table, eight points from safety with seven games to go.

Sir David Amess suspects Brass Eye-style ‘prick’, court told

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A suspected terrorist has told police Sir David Amess suspected a Brass Eye-style ‘sting’ before launching a frenzied knife attack.

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, stabbed the veteran Tory MP 21 times after attending a constituency surgery appointment in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on October 15 last year, the Old has learned Bailey.

He allegedly brandished the 12-inch-long bloody knife before being apprehended by two unarmed police officers.

On Friday, jurors viewed police video interviews in which Ali calmly described in detail how he carried out the attack.

He told the police, “I sat down with him. He was quick, but I think he immediately knew something was up.

Ali Harbi Ali, after being arrested on suspicion of the murder of Sir David Amess (Metropolitan Police/PA)

“Well, it looked awkward because I was holding my phone, ready to send, like, a bunch of messages to let my family know what was going on.

“Then he must have thought it was a Labor sting, because he was like, ‘Oh, you must be very political. You’re from the Labor Party, you’re not recording me, are you?

“Because…Brass Eye, they did something to him, 14 years ago.”

Ali poked fun at “Cake,” in apparent reference to a satirical episode about fake medicine.

He continued: “I felt like one minute I was sitting at the table talking to him and the next he was kind of dead.

Ali Harbi Ali case
Ali Harbi Ali at the Old Bailey (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

“But, yeah, this is probably one of the weirdest days…of my life right now, you know?”

After his arrest, Ali confirmed it was a “terrorist attack”, saying: “I mean, I guess so, I killed an MP. I did, so yes.

During the next interview, on October 16, police officer Jody Grogan reminded Ali of what he had said.

Ali replied, “Oh my God, I look stupid there.

“Nah, I just…the way I phrased it.” (laughs) It sounds like an episode of Little Britain. Uh, I just… yeah, that sounded like an act of terrorism.

“I went into a deputy’s surgery and killed him, so with the idea of ​​revenge in a way, so I’m going, I guess we’ll get to that a bit later.”

When asked to describe how he felt after the murder, as he prayed with blood on his fingernails, he said: “It seems a bit, I don’t know, almost satanic, it’s weird. .

“Obviously I killed someone. There’s no doubt about it, but it still doesn’t feel like it.

“Maybe it’s because I feel justified in what I did.”

Death of Sir David Amess
Sir David Amess (Chris McAndrew/PA)

When asked if he thought he did a “good deed,” he replied, “If I didn’t believe it was a good deed, I wouldn’t do it.”

Ali described his previous ambition was to study medicine, but in 2014 he said: “I’ve pretty much radicalized myself already.”

He said he dropped out of college “to consider whether or not I was going to do the Hijrah (trip), which was my preference, or to commit an act of domestic terrorism.”

In 2019 he had decided not to travel to Syria, but 2020 was a “year of no responsibility” because of the coronavirus, he said.

He told police he was “running out of excuses” after seeing there were “a lot of attacks all over the country”.

He decided to target an MP who had voted on the Syrian airstrikes because they were “accessible” and “numerous”.

He said he didn’t choose Sir David because he was a Tory.

“It wasn’t just him – I went to Mike Freer’s surgery at Finchley.”

He also looked at photos of Michael Gove’s home in west London, saying it would be “probably the easiest to get to”.

Michel Gove
Michael Gove (Peter Byrne/PA)

He said: ‘The reason I started going to Parliament at the end was because he (Mr Gove) broke up with his wife so (the) house was sold, he found a new place, and it felt like a door closing.”

Ali told police he bought the knife five years ago and kept it in his bag throughout that summer.

He said officers would find a plan of attack on Mr Gove on his electronic devices.

He added: “But I never followed that plan.”

He used to go to the minister’s speech as he was tipped to replace Theresa May as prime minister and subject to media attention.

He said, “It was laziness. It was…so convenient to go to that address but I don’t know why I didn’t go to that one.

Ali spoke about the so-called Islamic State and al-Qaeda, but said he did not consider himself “extreme” in his Muslim faith.

When asked if he considered himself a member of the Islamic State, he replied: “I say I have allegiance to them. But it feels weird to call me a member. I don’t think I deserve this. »

PC Jody Grogan said: “Now what?”

Ali replied, “After the fact? Yes why not.

“If tomorrow it was on the news ‘it’s an attack perpetrated by an Islamic State militant’, fine. This is how I want to be seen.

Ali, from Kentish Town, north London, denied murder and plotting terrorist acts.

Everything You Need to Know About Payday Loans in the Country – Manila Bulletin

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Most people are familiar with payday loans. They are usually used to solve sudden financial needs, e.g. B. Those with urgent expenses that crop up during the work week. However, you may be wondering if a payday loan is right for you.

payday loan

A payday loan is a form of short-term lending. It’s usually based on your next paycheck. It attracts high interest due to its immediate nature, but can help you cover expenses in an urgent situation as long as you can pay back the full amount borrowed with your next check.

The name “payday loan” contractually derives from the scheduled date when the borrower’s paycheck will be available.

Borrowers write their checks for the amount they wish to borrow, including the financing fee, and receive cash in return. In most cases, this is done with the borrower’s consent to provide electronic bank account access in order to receive or repay the loan over time.

Since this type of loan is unsecured, you do not provide the lender with any additional collateral. With a payday loan, instead of posting collateral, the lender can use an e-transfer to access your bank account and withdraw the amount owed.

Payday loans are usually repaid in full once you get paid through your next paycheck. Therefore, the interest rate of payday loans is fixed and remains the same throughout the loan term. It doesn’t matter if you have a small or large payload – your payday loan always stays the same!

Most lenders allow a maximum loan period of about two weeks. However, some states have introduced laws regarding payday loans that limit the maximum amount that can be borrowed within a certain time frame, e.g. B. 3,000 to 30,000 ₱.

There’s a lot to look forward to when getting a payday loan, but there are things consumers should look out for before committing to a deal.

To start, consumers must have a good bank account, an identity card, and a steady job that pays them regularly or from other regular sources.

Additionally, borrowers need to ensure they are financially responsible and accountable for their actions, as lenders typically do not investigate what borrowers intend to do with that money.

Payday loans can become difficult to manage when borrowers are unprepared for financial commitments that lead to the moment when the loan’s due date suddenly surprises them.

A recent report conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that for nearly 80% of payday loans tracked over a ten-month period, the borrower reborrowed or renewed that type of loan within 30 days.

One in five payday loans defaults, but for those who have had to take installment payday loans online, things are getting worse.

Payday loans are designed to give borrowers quick access to emergency cash at the expense of ridiculously high interest rates. Depending on your state’s maximum loan amount, they will vary in size, and the interest rates you may pay will increase.

The APR of an average payday loan ranges from 390% to 780%. In addition, the financing fee increases to ₱200 or ₱300 to borrow the money needed. For example, if you wanted to borrow ₱1000, that would result in an interest rate of 490%.

Many people have misconceptions about payday loans. They think they are just a way to get cash advances quickly and easily. However, if you are interested in taking out a payday loan, then take the time to learn more about this type of loan to avoid high recurrence rates.

Do your research to ensure you don’t get caught in another cycle when the money you need is more than payday loans can provide.

It is very common for people to use their bank debit card to repay a payday loan. Because when you get the loan, you agree that your lender can withdraw money directly from your checking account whenever a repayment is due. Always read overall agreements carefully before signing anything!

Most of the time, lenders add fees for late payments. There are many checks and balances that protect consumer interests. So if a lender takes more than they are allowed to, whether by mistake or otherwise, they have breached the terms of the agreement.

If it’s difficult to pay off your loan on time, the lender may give you a little extra time to make payments. This can be done by giving you a longer period of time to start paying off the original loan or by extending the loan.

A rollover occurs when the lender agrees to repay all of the borrower’s unpaid payments and a new arrangement to fully repay those payments begins. Be careful when agreeing to either an extension or rollover as it means you have paid more money towards your debt than originally agreed!

A payday loan is a great way to help you find a quick and convenient solution when you are struggling to get out of big financial trouble. However, you have to be careful not to get into more debt.

We hope you can use the information we have provided to help you make the best decision for you and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch Fastloans.ph at any time.

UK government promises 10x increase in electric car chargers by 2030 | transport policy

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The UK government has set a new target of increasing the number of electric car chargers tenfold to 300,000 by 2030 after strong criticism that public infrastructure rollout is too slow to match rapid growth Sales.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has said it will invest an additional £450 million to do this, along with significant amounts of private capital. Sales of new cars and vans with petrol and diesel engines will be banned from 2030.

There were 420,000 purely electric cars on UK roads at the end of February, according to comparison site Next Green Car. There were, however, only 29,600 public charging stations in the UK as of March 1, according to data firm Zap-Map.

The £450m local electric vehicle infrastructure fund would focus on charger hubs and street chargers, the DfT said.

BP has also confirmed it will spend £1bn on new charger infrastructure in the UK as part of its revenue diversification plans. The company relies heavily on fossil fuels for its profits and is under pressure from investors and activists to show how it will achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Boris Johnson has linked the switch to electric cars with a desire to reduce reliance on foreign fossil fuel supplies. Fuel prices have reached record highs with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine set to further aggravate the cost of living crisis due to the world’s dependence on its oil and gas exports.

“Clean transport is not only better for the environment, but it is another way to reduce our dependence on external energy supplies,” said the Prime Minister.

The auto industry has consistently complained that the government is not doing enough to provide chargers, meaning many customers hold back from buying battery electric cars for fear of not being able to charge.

Electric car sales accounted for 18% of new car registrations in February, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a lobby group.

London and the South East of England have better access to public chargers than poorer parts of the UK, although many electric car owners are likely to rely on private chargers in their homes.

Auto industry bosses responded with relief to the government’s pledge, which added to previous plans to invest £950m in fast chargers. However, Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, said he wanted binding targets for the deployment of the Charger.

“Charging infrastructure needs to keep pace with the rapid growth in sales of these cars,” he said. “Rolled out nationally and at pace, this expansion would give drivers confidence that they can recharge as easily as they can refuel, wherever they are.”

Edmund King, the AA’s chairman, said: “While great progress has been made, much more needs to be done to convince drivers of the number and, above all, the reliability of charging stations.”

He said urgent action was also needed to address usability issues with chargers, which may require separate accounts, and that more work was needed in rural areas to make isolated charging stations safer. . Access for disabled drivers was also an issue, he said.

P&O Ferries admits breaking mass layoff law

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P&O Ferries has admitted breaching labor law by firing 800 workers without notice. Chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite told MPs there was ‘absolutely no doubt’ the ferry operator was required to consult with unions.

The company replaced its teams with cheaper temps last week. Mr Hebblethwaite said new crew were paid below the UK minimum wage, except on domestic routes, but insisted this was allowed under international maritime rules.

He also claimed that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps knew of the plan to cut jobs in November last year, although this was strongly denied by the Department for Transport (DfT). Explaining the decision not to consult the unions, Mr Hebblethwaite told a joint session of the Transport and Commons Select Committees: ‘We felt that given the fundamental nature of the change, no union could accept it and therefore we chose not to consult because a consultation process would have been a sham.

“We didn’t want to put anyone through that. We are compensating people in full and in advance for this decision.

Asked whether he feared he had breached his legal duties as a company director, Mr Hebblethwaite said: ‘I put my hands up completely, hands up, which we have chosen to do not consult. We didn’t think there was any other way to do this.

Asked if he would make the same decision again in hindsight, Mr Hebblethwaite said: “We weren’t viable before, and I know that if we hadn’t made radical changes, the business would have closed.” The chief executive also told MPs that Mr Shapps was told on November 22 by P&O Ferries owner DP World that the company would be changing its business model.

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The PA news agency understands that Mr Shapps met DP World chief executive Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem in Dubai on that date, but the DfT insisted the Cabinet Minister had only been told that the ferry operator was facing challenges from competitors. A DfT spokeswoman said: “DP World did not tell the Transport Secretary of any changes it would make to P&O Ferries and there was no indication of the completely unacceptable changes it subsequently made. “

The minimum wage in the UK for people aged 23 and over is £8.91 per hour. Mr Hebblethwaite, whose basic annual salary is £325,000, revealed the average hourly wage for the new crew was just £5.50.

“We pay more than the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) minimum wage,” he said. Works council member Andy McDonald pointed out that it was “below this country’s national minimum wage” and asked “how do you reconcile that?”.

Mr. Hebblethwaite replied: “This is an international maritime model which is consistent with models around the world and our competitors. The ferry company boss remained silent when Mr McDonald asked ‘could you maintain your lifestyle?’ if his salary was so low.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, told MPs that P&O Ferries was guilty of “flagrant breaches of the law”. He said: “They did it deliberately and they factored in what they’re going to have to pay for it.”

He said the company was “threatening and blackmailing” its former employees, telling them they had to sign a document or “you potentially won’t get any rewards and will have to give up all your legal rights.” He added: “It’s absolutely outrageous.”

Mr Lynch described UK employment law as “a shambles”. Andrew Burns QC, solicitor at Devereaux Chambers, told MPs that ‘all employers owning vessels must give 45 days’ notice to the competent authority before dismissal’.

He continued: ‘From what I was told this morning, the notice was given to the relevant authorities of the countries where the vessels are flagged only on the day of the redundancies and not in advance.’ It “appears to be a violation” of employment law, and “it may be that (P&O Ferries) could be subject to legal action”, he said.

Government failed to properly record decisions on Covid contracts – watchdog

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The government has been accused of playing ‘quick’ with public money after a report revealed it failed to ‘adequately’ document key decisions when buying Covid-19 tests.

When the pandemic hit, ministers were forced to act quickly to increase testing capacity, working with the private sector to secure the necessary services and supplies, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

As part of these efforts, between January 2020 and December 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) awarded 22 contracts to healthcare company Randox, or its strategic partner, Qnostics Ltd, with a maximum value of £776.9million, the watchdog said.

By value, almost all contracts were for the supply of Covid testing services, with less than 1 per cent (£6.9m) for the supply of test-related goods, he added.

The NAO found that 60% of the total contract value (£463.5m) had been awarded directly without competitive bidding, under emergency procurement rules.

The watchdog acknowledged in its report, published on Thursday, that these were “exceptional circumstances”, and said it had seen no evidence that the government‘s contracts with Randox had been awarded “out of inappropriate manner”.

But it found that the DHSC had not “adequately” documented key decisions, nor “fully” disclosed departmental meetings with the supplier.

“The gaps in the audit trail mean that it is not possible to provide positive assurance in the normal way,” the report warns.

The NAO said the DHSC first awarded a £132.4 million contract to Randox for testing services on March 30, 2020.

He said the department told him that a competitive tender had been ruled out due to the need to act quickly and that he could not award the contract from an existing framework because its value exceeded the limit.

But the watchdog said “basic information about the emergency procurement process”, including proof of approval, was not recorded in DHSC’s systems.

“The department had to review the email accounts of several officials to find evidence of its decision to award Randox the first test contract,” the report said.

Owen Paterson resigned from Parliament in November last year after being found guilty of breaking lobbying rules (Victoria Jones/PA)

The NAO added that the DHSC had provided it with “incomplete or no documentation” on “other important aspects of the market,” including detailed contract negotiations and consideration of potential conflicts of interest.

It also found that the ministry failed to disclose Randox’s attendance at four ministerial meetings as it should have done in accordance with transparency requirements.

According to the report, minutes were taken for two of the eight test meetings involving ministers and Randox that took place in 2020 and 2021.

In addition, he referred to “certain private exchanges of correspondence” between then Health Secretary Matt Hancock and North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, which he said had “recently been put on hold”. the disposition of the department”.

Mr Paterson resigned from Parliament in November last year after being found guilty of breaking the rules by repeatedly lobbying on behalf of Randox and another company, for which he acted as paid consultant.

“The then-Secretary of State told us that he did not pass all of these messages on to the department at the time because they were not substantive discussions and therefore he was not required to do so,” the report said.

“These messages were not inconsistent with what the then-Secretary of State saw as his ministerial responsibility to get things done, rapidly building testing capacity with Randox and other vendors.”

Messages not forwarded by Mr Hancock at the time were retained by him and made available to Parliament in February 2022, he added.

The watchdog concluded that the pace required at the start of the pandemic to create high-volume testing capacity “required the use of emergency purchases without tenders”.

The NAO said it had seen no evidence that government contracts with Randox had been awarded improperly.

But he said that because the department had failed to adequately document key decisions, disclose full ministerial meetings or keep full records of ministerial discussions involving Randox, he was unable to “provide a positive assurance in the normal way”.

Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: “The dire need to quickly build high-volume testing capacity at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic meant standard public procurement approaches were not appropriate. Even taking into account these exceptional circumstances, the documentation of the decision-making process for such large contracts was insufficient.

“Our previous reports on Covid-19 procurement and those by Nigel Boardman have recommended improvements to ensure an adequate audit trail is maintained even when the priority is speed of action. The government has already started to implement some of these improvements, and we will monitor progress.

Meg Hillier
Meg Hillier is chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA)

Labor MP Meg Hillier, chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said the government had played “fast and loose” in spending public money.

“The government understood the urgent need to increase the scale of testing at the start of the pandemic. But while the procurement was fast, the process was fast and smooth,” she said.

“The Randox contracts illustrate that good government transparency is vital. The government hasn’t properly documented the decisions and the public is right to wonder if he was playing with a straight bat.

Randox said the watchdog’s finding of no evidence of wrongdoing in the awarding of the contracts “justifies” its insistence that the process followed official protocols.

“We welcome the conclusion of the NAO report that there is no evidence of impropriety in the awarding of government contracts to Randox,” a spokesperson said.

“This independent finding confirms what Randox and the government have always said, which is that these contracts were awarded on merit and in accordance with government protocols and regulations during times of acute national emergency.”

He added: “The report indicates that four ministerial meetings took place which were apparently not fully documented by the DHSC.

“Although we cannot comment on the minutes of the government meetings, Randox can state categorically that the award of contracts was not on the agenda of any of these meetings.”

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock was health secretary at the time (Steve Parsons/PA)

Responding to the report, Mr Hancock said it ‘confirms a totally healthy bill of health on ministers’ work with Randox during the pandemic’.

“The report found no evidence of wrongdoing because there was no wrongdoing – just a lot of hard work to expand testing capacity,” he said.

Lord Bethell, who was Minister for Technology, Innovation and Life Sciences at DHSC from March 2020 to September 2021, said the NAO’s finding that there was no irregularity “puts in bed wild speculation and conspiracy theories”.

A government spokesman said: “As the public would expect, at the start of the pandemic, we took every possible step to build quickly and from scratch the largest diagnostics industry in the history of the world. UK – which helped limit the spread of Covid and save lives.

“Building the scale of testing needed at unprecedented speed required working closely with businesses, universities and others, to get the right skills, equipment and logistics in place as quickly as possible – and contracts with Randox and other suppliers have contributed significantly to the UK’s response to Covid.

“Robust rules and processes are in place to ensure there are no conflicts of interest, and all contracts are awarded in accordance with procurement regulations and transparency guidelines. The NAO concludes that there is no evidence that government contracts with Randox were improperly awarded.

Ukrainian orphans on their way to Scotland after arriving in the UK

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A group of 52 children from orphanages in Dnipro, Ukraine, arrived safely in London before heading to their temporary home in Scotland.

The children, aged one to 18, and their guardians were due to leave Poland on Monday but were held up after key documents were not provided in time.

The Virgin flight finally landed at Heathrow on Wednesday evening and the group are on their way to Callander in Stirling, where accommodation has been arranged for them.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted of their arrival: “52 children from Dnipro Kids have arrived in the UK to a safe and warm welcome.

“Many thanks to my team at the UK Home Office, the Ukrainian and Polish authorities, the Scottish Government and Virgin Atlantic who worked urgently on their speedy arrival.

“The care they will receive will contribute in part to healing their suffering.”

The charity Dnipro Kids, formed by supporters of Edinburgh’s Hibernian FC, has enabled many children to flee Ukraine to Poland.

The charity’s Robert Brown said so and Stirling council were ‘committed to giving the children a wonderful time so they can escape the trauma of what they’ve been through, and we can turn their experience into an adventure they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The youngsters are expected to spend several weeks in the Callander area before moving to Edinburgh.

SNP MP Ian Blackford said: ‘The flight from Warsaw to London, before the transfer to Scotland, with the 52 Dnipro orphans, is in the air.

“Bravo to Dnipro Kids and everyone who made this possible.”

How Expensive Loans Affect Black Latino Communities in Memphis

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A new report links the impact of expensive lending deals, mostly focused on Memphis’ minorities, to the widening of the city’s racial wealth gap.

A report from Institute for the Politics of Hope and Black Clergy Collaborative of Memphis While these loans (which include payday loans) are marketed as a “quick financial fix,” they are often designed as “debt traps.” This is attributed to triple digit interest rates on the loans and repayment mechanisms that can cause people to go into debt before taking out the loan.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” said Rev. Darell Harrington, chair of the Black Clergy Collaborative Economic Empowerment and senior pastor of the New Sardis Baptist Church. “This is basically economic slavery. Any time a person borrows a small amount, $400 or $500, and over time gets into a situation where they have to pay back thousands and thousands of dollars, that’s a real trap.”

According to the report, there are 114 high-rate lending businesses in Memphis, most of which are concentrated in densely populated Black and Latino neighborhoods in north and south Memphis.

Here are three takeaways from the Hope and Black Clergy Collaborative report on expensive credit and the impact it is having on minority communities in Memphis.

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Where are the storefronts for bad credit in Memphis?

Of the 114 high-cost loan deals in Memphis, 71 are concentrated in six Memphis ZIP codes, all in densely populated minority areas.

The 38116 zip code, mostly Whitehaven, has the most storefronts at 15, according to the report. The 38115, Hickory Hill ZIP code is second on the list at 12.

Four zip codes have 11 expensive credit stores in Memphis (38111, 38122, 38128, and 38118), respectively in Orange Mound, Jackson/Berclair, Egypt/Raleigh, and Oakhaven.

“These patterns are enabled and reinforced by longstanding racial segregation and exclusionary lending practices such as redlining, predatory mortgage lending and restrictive covenants,” the report says.

A new report says that

The 114 expensive loan stores are more than twice the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined in Memphis.

Of the 114 storefronts, 74 are owned by out-of-state lenders, with 52 (45%) of them owned by two companies. Texas-based Populus Financial Group, Inc./Ace Cash Express owns 29 storefronts and Georgia-based TitleMax/TMX Financing owns 23.

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Impact of Expensive Credit on the Racial Wealth Gap in Memphis

In Memphis, the report found that 60% of Latino households and 50% of black households are cash poor, compared to 20% of white households. Liquidity poverty measures whether someone has sufficient financial cushions to meet basic needs for at least three months after an unexpected loss of income.

The report finds that “expensive credit, through its fee income and economic impact,” perpetuates this wealth gap.

About 15% of white households in Memphis are considered unbanked or unbanked, meaning someone has a bank account but uses other financial services like payday loans or money orders. This compares to 45% of Black households in Memphis and more than 50% of Latino households that are classified as unbanked or underbanked.

High-priced loans can lead to an increased likelihood of overdraft fees, delinquency on other bills, involuntary bank account closures, and bankruptcy. For example, payday loans can result in an APR of up to 460% on a loan that is fully due in 14 days, as permitted by state law.

This could lead the borrower into a cycle of re-lending if the loan is not repaid on time. The typical borrower is usually in 10 payday loans per year. More than 75% of all payday loan fees are generated by borrowers with 10 or more payday loans per year, according to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data cited in the report.

Of Memphis' 114 high-credit convenience stores, including payday loan stores, 71 are concentrated in six Memphis zip codes, all in densely populated minority areas.

Solutions to address expensive loans in Memphis

Last fall, the Black Clergy Collaborative launched an initiative with Hope Credit Union that connects people with financial products to help borrowers save and potentially avoid falling into a cycle of debt.

Once referred by Hope from a participating church, a person can receive a small loan of up to $1,000. The person has immediate access to half of the loan, while the other half goes into a savings account to collect interest.

After the borrower has repaid half of the loan at an interest rate of between 6% and 18%, the amount saved plus the interest accrued becomes availableaccording to a September commercial appeal comment explaining the program.

Harrington said they have worked with about 30 families since the program began.

“We want individuals to understand that there is hope, that there is a better way to manage and maintain a good financial picture even when going through difficult times,” he said.

At the local level, Memphis and Shelby County passed a joint ordinance in 2009 banning the construction of new storefronts for expensive loans within 1,000 feet of people’s homes. In 2020, the Memphis City Council passed a resolution calling on the Tennessee General Assembly to abolish payday loan deals. The city has no authority to enact this change at the local level.

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This decision was taken after coverage by The Commercial Appeal in February 2020 showed it Memphis, Light, Gas & Water raised $22 million from more than 133,000 payments made at 30 ACE Cash Express locations over Shelby County.

The Black Clergy Collaborative and the Hope Policy Institute are calling on state and state lawmakers to reverse some aspects of expensive loans. One proposal is to cap interest rates at 36% or less, a protection that is available at the federal level for active duty military personnel and 18 states, as well as Washington, DC Arkansas, is one of the 18 states that cap interest rates at 17%, per the report.

Omer Yusuf reports on the Ford project in Haywood County, residential real estate, tourism and banking for The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached via email Omer.Yusuf@commercialappeal.com or follow us on Twitter @OmerAYusuf.

UK minister to BVI for urgent talks on sanctioning Russian oligarchs | British Virgin Islands

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A Foreign Office minister has flown to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to hold urgent talks on how sanctions against Russian oligarchs with cash stored in the secret islands can be implemented, in the midst of fears. UK tax havens can be a loophole for those trying to escape international repression.

Amanda Milling’s visit follows news that a succession of oligarchs appeared to have hidden their assets in BVI-based trusts in a bid to shield them from UK sanctions. UK sanctions laws apply in Overseas Territories and enforcement agents are expected to have full access to beneficial ownership records.

It comes after the Guardian published a series of articles tracking the assets held outside Russia by some of the country’s all-powerful oligarchs and officials.

Milling’s four-day visit also came weeks before the publication of the report of a British government-commissioned public inquiry into corruption in the island’s government. The inquiry chaired by a retired Court of Appeal judge, Sir Gary Hickinbottom, is expected to criticize the management of the island’s government by its first minister, Andrew Fahie.

The island’s prime minister claimed the probe failed to uncover the widespread corruption that was planned, but some of the more sensitive aspects of the investigation were carried out in private.

Milling met with Fahie and representatives of the BVI financial services industry to explain that they needed to implement the new sanctions laws passed by the UK government.

The BVIs have promised, as required by UK law, to impose the sanctions imposed by the UK government on sanctioned individual oligarchs in the UK, but there have already been reports of oligarchs transferring large sums to the BVIs in the purpose of preventing their fortunes being frozen.

A Russian oligarch, Alexei Mordashov, reportedly transferred $1.3 billion worth of shares to the BVI on the day he was sanctioned in the UK. The Guardian, in conjunction with other news outlets, has identified that Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov’s £82million London home and Surrey mansion have been placed in BVI-based trusts linked to the oligarch.

A FCDO spokesperson said: “The BVI and other overseas territories already share confidential company beneficial ownership information with UK law enforcement agencies and have agreed to introduce public records. UK sanctions apply in all Overseas Territories and we will continue to support their implementation.

During his visit, Milling urged the government to continue preparations for a publicly accessible central beneficial ownership register, seen by campaigners as a key weapon in the fight against money laundering.

UK ministers have insisted that a public register must be in place by the end of 2023, but some overseas territories are resisting the proposal with plans to insert loopholes so that beneficial owners can continue to keep their identities secret.

In 2018, the UK voted to have these registers installed by 2020, but the Foreign Office reinterpreted the legislation to give overseas territories an additional three years. The Cayman Islands, another British Overseas Territory, has been further along since releasing a consultation paper on how the register will operate in 2023.

The document contains plans to introduce a major potential loophole in the legislation that will allow anyone to request that their name not be publicly available “due to the nature of the associated entity’s business, or due to its characteristics or personal attributes when associated with that entity, which will expose the beneficial owner, or anyone living with them, to a serious risk of harm or intimidation”.

Some of those seeking anonymity say they want to protect their privacy not because of wrongdoing, but to reduce the risk of threats from terrorists, kidnappers or stalkers.

On January 19, the BVI cabinet took its first steps to set up a publicly accessible register by 2023.

Fahie told a press conference on March 11 that he was fully committed to the register coming into force, but later added caveats that he was advocating for a different strategic approach.

The BVI Premier said: “As such, as we continue to monitor developments on the subject of publicly accessible registers as they appear in various international forums, and as we continue to advocate for a slightly different strategic approach, we must, of course, take the appropriate steps to honor our commitment if and when we are asked to do so. »

In 2018, a report by Global Witness, the campaign group for transparency, indicated that £34 billion was currently invested by Russians in UK TOs. The British Virgin Islands have been identified as the second most popular destination for money leaving Russia, behind Cyprus. The BVI was last month on the EU’s gray list for lack of tax transparency.

Anson-Madison water district officials overcome lockdown and gain access to billing and employment records

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MADISON — Anson-Madison Water District officials were granted access to certain district records and data, such as personnel records, so that tax forms such as W-2s could be issued, after stating that a senior manager had changed passwords to district accounts and blocked them from accessing information.

In addition to employment records, the district is now able to obtain meter reading data as well.

Kirsten Hebert, executive director of the Maine Rural Water Association, said Tuesday that as district employees worked to regain control of accounts and software, they discovered a number of issues, including customer counters unusable.

“The meter is the cash register of a utility,” Hebert said. “The utility cannot generate the revenue it needs (without working meters).”

District Superintendent Matt Demers recently told district trustees that earlier this year more than 120 meters were malfunctioning. Repairs brought that number down to about 70.

Demers replaced Michael Corson, the former superintendent who was fired in December and who administrators say in a federal lawsuit changed passwords to harm operations by preventing access to accounts, software and emails. Corson changed passwords while on administrative leave before administrators fired him, according to the lawsuit.

Darrick Banda, a lawyer for Corson, did not comment on the administrators’ allegations.

Separately, Corson is charged with two felony theft charges, which he will face in court at an April 4 arraignment in Skowhegan. Authorities say Corson repeatedly illegally sold old water pipes in the district to a junkyard.

Hebert said Tuesday that many counters that malfunctioned were quickly fixed by reinstalling them or taking other action. But most of those that remain need to be replaced, at a cost of $200 a yard, she said. It is not known how long the meters have been inoperative.

“Utilities should stay on top of meter replacements, so if they have one in two that’s unserviceable, they can be replaced in more manageable amounts than suddenly trying to replace about 70 meters,” Hebert said.

Customers with broken meters were charged the minimum fee, which means the district is not capturing all of the revenue it is owed.

Hebert said another issue that arose was that until last Friday, employees couldn’t open the software used to track and record customer billing history. Although they could view one customer’s information, they were unable to automatically collect data from customer locations and instead had to manually enter information for over 1,700 customers.

“Having access to business-critical systems now should really help us because we’ve been operating in the dark,” Hebert said. “I don’t want to cause panic; we just did everything manually, which slows down our process.

The administrators had previously contracted with the Maine Rural Water Association to take over operations in the district after laying off about half a dozen workers following the announcement of the criminal charges.

At a meeting last week, administrators also discussed an upcoming project with Dirigo Engineering, estimated to be priced at $1 million, to repair an “undersized and obsolete pipe segment.” “, leading to water main breaks in an area. in Madison which serves approximately 100 customers.

Hebert said officials would seek grant opportunities to fund the project, which would begin no earlier than 2024.

The charges against Corson were first filed in December, when the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office announced that he and the former district foreman were each charged with theft.

Then in February, Kennebec and Somerset Counties District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said new evidence had come to light that prompted his office to decline to prosecute Corson or the second man. But later that month, Corson was charged with a class B and class C robbery charge. The other man was not charged.

Corson’s lawyer, Banda, said of the charges: ‘At this point it can only be speculated what actually prompted them to reverse course yet again, but I suspect the decision was politically motivated. due to the public backlash they received following the news announcing the decision not to prosecute. However, this does not change the facts that will eventually emerge as the process progresses. Additionally, I am extremely confident that Mr. Corson will be completely cleared of these charges when we are done.

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Stock PS5 available from BT now – how to buy one

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Consoles are only available to BT Broadband members.

A code is available for certain members who will be able to purchase the desired console via the BT website.

To check if you have a code, log in here and scroll down to claim your code through the “My Offers” section.

The PlayStation 5 is currently the most sought-after gadget on the planet, with gamers desperate to get their hands on a new console.

After its release in November 2020, Britons found it almost impossible to find Sony’s latest game console.

Whenever a new stock lands, it is picked up within seconds and often sells out within a minute.

Demand has been so strong that many retailers have introduced new rules to prevent resellers from taking advantage of the system for profit.

Game said: “PlayStation 5s continue to be in high demand and that demand far exceeds the current supply.

“We have robust measures in place to ensure that our ‘1 per customer’ statement is maintained to enable as many individual customers as possible to purchase successfully.

“All pre-orders are subject to automatic checks.

“Order updates occur after a customer receives a valid order confirmation email.

“At this time, these orders are still pre-orders and as such, no payment has yet been taken from customers.

“Payments will begin once our order verifications have been completed.”