Precious objects gathered by fleeing Rohingya

first_imgMajor Rohingya refugee camp populations in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh. — Map: AFPThe Rohingya had no time to consider what to take as Myanmar forces drove the Muslim minority into Bangladesh in a crackdown a year ago likened by the UN to ethnic cleansing.Some fled with little more than the clothes on their backs and children on their hips. But what they did manage to bring tells an intimate story about the plight of a long persecuted and stateless people.- ‘This isn’t immaterial’ -Jalal Ahmed prised the faded tin number plate marked with Burmese characters off the front of his family’s home as they packed up their lives and left Rakhine state.”When we were leaving, we knew we would need something to prove we were Rohingya, and proof of our residency,” he told AFP in the doorway of the shanty where he lives with his family in a vast refugee camp in southern Bangladesh.The Ahmed family had lived in a proud two-storey wooden home in their village for countless generations, Jalal’s grandfather Abdul said.Jalal, a 52-year-old businessman, said the plate was not a memento but a connection to his past before the misery of refugee life.”This isn’t immaterial,” Jalal said. “We carried it with us because wherever we go, this will show that we belong to a place.”- Our identity -Mohammad Ayaz, 12, brought a faded old photograph of his family with him on the long journey from Myanmar.It shows 17 people — his grandparents, siblings and parents, aunts and uncles — posing for an official portrait holding signs marked with Burmese script.The Rohingya are reviled in Myanmar as illegal immigrants, branded “Bengalis” and denied citizenship and basic rights and freedoms.”We will need this photo when we go back to Myanmar, to identify who is who from our family,” he told AFP, folding up the creased photograph for safekeeping.”It’s a very important picture. We will need this.”- Feeding the needy -Asaru Begum knew the journey to Bangladesh would be long and arduous, especially for her children and grandchildren.So she brought cooking pots to gather water, stew rice and green chillies, and perform ablutions for prayer while hiding out in the hills.”I brought the pots and rice because I knew the children would get hungry after two days’ journey,” she told AFP, pointing to the pots she still treasures today.”I brought them so I could feed the babies. They cry a lot when they are hungry.”- ‘I miss school’ -Mohammad Khares, a diligent pupil with dreams of going to university, was in his final year of high school when violence erupted in his village.”I miss school very much. I was about to graduate, I was this close. That really hurts,” the crestfallen 20-year-old told AFP.There are no schools in the camps, so Khares has used his Bengali and English language skills to find piecemeal work with foreign aid groups helping the refugees.His school ID card is precious.Most Rohingya receive little or no schooling in Myanmar so his card — bearing his photograph, credentials and official seal — is a rare privilege and a passport to opportunity.”When I go back to Myanmar, I want to resume my studies. But they might ask, ‘what proof do you have of your education?’ This card will prove that I was a Class 10 (final year) student,” he said.- Family first -Violence descended so quickly on Mohammad Jubayer’s village that he had no time to choose what his family might need to survive in Bangladesh.”On our way here, we couldn’t bring anything,” he told AFP at the edge of a fetid tent colony overlooking a trash-strewn, muddy clearing.Other escapees shared what food they could as Jubayer, 30, and his wife took turns carrying their four infant children as their eldest daughter trailed behind.”We spent nine days walking through the hills. We had our children with us. So we just carried them — nothing else.”- A touch of home -Mohammad Umar left all this favourite playthings behind in Myanmar as his family joined the steady exodus of Rohingya leaving their burning homeland.But once in Bangladesh, the industrious 12-year-old put his mind to work.Scavenging a rechargeable battery, and carving a hull from a chunk of styrofoam, he fashioned a rudimentary boat replete with a pen tube for a rudder.”We used to make these and play with them in Myanmar,” Umar said as the boat chugged through brown puddles swollen by monsoon rain.last_img

10 Things To Know for Thursday

first_imgAP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, FileFILE – In this Monday, March 13, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting on healthcare in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. 1. TRUMP’S ABOUT-FACE ON NAFTAHours after the administration threatened to pull out of the trade pact, Mexico and Canada agreed to renegotiate the deal to “the benefit of all three countries.”2. LAWMAKERS NEAR DEAL ON SPENDING BILLA breakthrough seems possible after the White House backs off a threat to withhold payments that help lower-income Americans under “Obamacare.”3. UNITED MAKES ‘BUMPING’ CHANGESThe embattled airline says it will raise the limit — to $10,000 — on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights and will increase training for employees.4. HOW NORTH KOREA HAS MASTERED BRINKSMANSHIPThe technique over the years has won the country a grudging respect from Washington and its allies, while sometimes filling Pyongyang’s coffers with aid by relieved rivals.5. AS TRUMP CALLS FOR WALL, A LOOK AT WORLD’S BARRIERSWhile the structures are effective at protecting borders, they’ve also destroyed city neighborhoods, harm the environment and prevent innocent victims from reaching safety, an AP examination finds.6. ANN COULTER’S BERKELEY SPEECH CANCELEDStill, the liberal California university is bracing for possible violence and protests whether the conservative pundit comes to the campus or not.7. STANDOFF CONTINUES IN DELAWAREA man suspected of shooting and killing a state trooper outside a convenience store remains barricaded — and trading fire with officers — inside his house.8. SMALL BUSINESSES HAVE TAX BREAK WISH LISTSBut owners don’t plan a hiring binge if the Trump administration’s plan to lower tax rates becomes law.9. ‘YEP, I’M GAY’Ellen DeGeneres made history 20 years ago as the first prime-time lead on network TV to come out.10. WHERE THEY PLAY FOR PAYNow that the NFL draft is here, LSU running back Leonard Fournette is one of several college stars ready to cash in. Sharelast_img read more

Cards to Face Southern Illinois in Evanston Regional Friday at 1 pm

first_imgThe host Wildcats (43-10,21-2 Big Ten) earned the No. 16 overall seed and will play Detroit Mercy (31-26, 16-8 Horizon League) in the other first round game at 3:30 p.m. (ET). Both games will be shown on ESPN3. The University of Louisville softball team will travel to Evanston, Ill., to face Southern Illinois in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament on May 17 at 1 p.m. (ET) at Northwestern’s Sharon J. Drysdale Field.     • 2019 marks the first season under new head coach Holly Aprile following the retirement of Sandy Pearsall, who began the program in 2000. Aprile is the second head coach in Louisville softball history.• Prior to her arrival at Louisville, Aprile, 2018 ACC Coach of the Year spent 10 seasons (2009-18) as Pittsburgh’s head coach and five years (2004-08) as an assistant. In 2018, she earned ACC Coach of the Year honors after leading the Panthers to the 2018 ACC Coastal Division title and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament. NCAA Evanston Regional ScheduleFriday, May 17Game 1: Southern Illinois vs. Louisville, 1 p.m. (ESPN3)Game 2: Detroit Mercy at Northwestern, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN3)Saturday, May 18Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 2 p.m.Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 4:30 p.m.Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 7 p.m.Sunday, May 19Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 2:00 p.m.Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 4:30 p.m.*If necessaryAll times Eastern 2019 DI Softball Bracket (64) ESPN info Story Links Tickets: https://ev10.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=SB&linkID=nwu&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode=center_img With the at-large bid, the Cardinals are making their 14th NCAA appearance and first since 2016.Southern Illinois (33-13, 17-6 Missouri Valley) is making its 12th NCAA appearance with its last trip coming in 2017. The Salukis earned an at-large bid after reaching the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Championship.Series History: Southern Illinois won the only meeting between the teams with a 1-0 decision on March 4, 2000. About Louisville • Louisville (33-21, 12-12 ACC) is coming off of a quarterfinal appearance in the 2019 ACC tournament where the Cardinals fell 9-3 to fourth-seeded North Carolina.•   The Cardinals earned the No. 5 seed in the ACC Championship after finishing the regular season third in the league’s Atlantic Division behind Florida State (19-5) and Notre Dame (18-6) while ranking fifth in the overall ACC standings. • Redshirt senior Sidney Melton was selected to the All-ACC second team, marking the second straight season she has earn all-conference honors. Charley Butler and Rebecca Chung were named to the ACC All-Freshman team.• Louisville is led at the plate by Melton who is batting .343 and has reached safely in the last 17 game. Melton has career-best 32 stolen bases and recently took over sole possession of Louisville’s single season record in that category.• Junior Celene Funke paces the team with 46 runs.• Funke leads the nation in triples with 12 and owns Louisville’s single season record in that category. Louisville leads the nation in triples per game.• Senior Megan Hensley leads the team with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs.• In the circle, redshirt freshman Taylor Roby leads team with a 13-4 record and a 2.61 ERA.• As a team, Louisville has registered a program-record 99 stolen bases in 114 attempts on the season. The previous record was 68 (95 attempts), set in the 2010 season Head Coach Holly Aprile• The 2019 campaign marks Louisville’s 20th season as a program and first under new head coach Holly Aprile’s tutelage. The winner of the Evanston Regional will advance to a Super Regional to play the winner of the Norman  Regional which features the overall No. 1 seed Oklahoma, UMBC, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

18 arrested in Kolkata for running brothel

first_imgKolkata: Police busted a sex racket and arrested 18 persons including nine sex workers from Kolkata’s Park Street area, a senior officer said on Sunday. Acting on a tip off, officers of Beniapukur Police Station conducted a raid on the third floor of a building in 82 Park Street on Saturday evening and arrested the persons for allegedly running a brothel in the guise of a beauty parlour. “Nine sex workers, three customers and six other persons including the pimps and brothel manager Bikash Chakraborty were arrested,” Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Crime) Nishad Parvez said.last_img

Facebook files a lawsuit against South Korean data analytics firm Rankwave for

first_imgOn Friday, Facebook revealed that it has filed a lawsuit against a South Korean data analytics firm, Rankwave claiming that it is unlawfully using its app data for personal marketing and advertising while not adhering to Facebook’s data policies. Facebook further stated that Rankwave failed to cooperate with the compliance audit, which Facebook says it requires from all developers using their platform. The lawsuit was filed in a California superior court in San Mateo County claims that Rankwave operated minimum 30 apps through Facebook’s platform and used “Facebook data in order to market and sell its own services, specifically tools used by various customers and businesses to track Facebook interactions such as likes and comments on their pages”. Rankwave also apparently misused data taken in by its own consumer app, called “Rankwave App”, for checking one’s social media ‘influencer score’. The app “could pull data about your Facebook activity such as location check-ins, determine that you’ve checked into a baseball stadium, and then Rankwave could help its clients target you with ads for baseball tickets”, TechCrunch reports. The lawsuit also mentions that the RankWave App stopped operating on the Facebook Platform around about March 30, 2018. On January 17, 2019, Facebook sent a written request for information (“RFI”) to Rankwave that requested proof that Rankwave was in compliance with its contractual obligations under Facebook’s Policies and TOS. Moreover, they also wanted to determine the Facebook data Rankwave were used to sell advertising and marketing, including whether any user data had been impacted. Rankwave did not respond to Facebook’s RFI, nor to an email, which reminded them that their response to the RFI was due on January 31, 2019. On February 13, 2019, Facebook sent Rankwave a Cease and desist letter (C&D Letter) which informed Rankwave that it had violated and continued to violate the platform policies, including Policy 7.9, by failing to provide proof of compliance with Facebook’s Platform Policies and TOS. Facebook Platform Policy, Section 7.9 states: “[Facebook] or an independent auditor acting on our behalf may audit your app, systems, and records to ensure your use of Platform and data you receive from us is safe and complies with our Terms, and that you’ve complied with our requests and requests from people who use Facebook to delete user data obtained through our Platform. If requested, you must provide proof that your app complies with our terms.” According to the lawsuit, in an email response on February 19, 2019, Rankwave ignored the demands in the C&D letter, including the audit request. It also claimed that it had not had access to any of its Facebook apps since 2018. Jessica Romero, Facebook’s Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, writes, “By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message to developers that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies, including requiring developers to cooperate with us during an investigation.” According to TechCrunch, “Rankwave came into Facebook’s crosshairs in June 2018 after it was sold to a Korean entertainment company in May 2017. Facebook assesses that the value of its data at the time of the buyout was $9.8 million. Worryingly, Facebook didn’t reach out to Rankwave until January 2019 for information proving it complied with the social network’s policies.” “Now Facebook is seeking money to cover the $9.8 million value of the data, additional monetary damages, and legal fees, plus injunctive relief restraining Rankwave from accessing the Facebook Platform, requiring it to comply with Facebook’s audit, requiring that it delete all Facebook data”, TechCrunch further added. Many are speculating this incident to the Cambridge Analytics scandal that abused private Facebook data in order to inform political campaigning efforts, leading the social media firm into a huge crisis. On Friday, Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to discuss potential regulation of social networks. “We need new rules for the internet that will spell out the responsibilities of companies and those of governments,” Mr. Zuckerberg told French TV channel France 2 after the meeting. One of the users on HackerNews writes, “My prediction after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke is that it would lead to an explosion in wealthy people who want to play at noopolitics. I suspect they have dozens of CA’s on their hands currently. At the very least, if not hundreds. The key takeaway that some people will have had from Cambridge Analytica, is not ‘they got caught, don’t do this’, but rather ‘they were largely successful and incredibly cheap’.” “The upshot from having lots of players in this space, however, is not one of greater control by insidious power addicts, but rather a loss of control as the players compete for attention and influence. So, chaos in the news and the elimination of any kind of consistent narrative from on high. I think we have been experiencing this for a while now. In some ways, it is almost an improvement”, the user further added. Facebook responds to Chris Hughes’ “It’s time to break up Facebook” Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes recently wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times that said, the company should be broken up. “Hughes stated that CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks,” and that he should be held accountable for his company’s mistakes” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President for global affairs and communications, in his response to Hughes’ thoughts states, “what matters is not size but rather the rights and interests of consumers, and our accountability to the governments and legislators who oversee commerce and communications.” Clegg, in his article, highlights on various achievements by Facebook, the key areas that FB is planning to concentrate on, and the misunderstanding associated with the company. He mentions, “The first misunderstanding is about Facebook itself and the competitive dynamics in which we operate.” The other one he mentions is that of antitrust laws. “Over the past two years we’ve focused heavily on blocking foreign adversaries from trying to influence democratic elections by using our platforms. We’ve done the same to protect against terrorism and hate speech and to better safeguard people’s data”, Clegg writes. Zuckerberg, also responded to Hughes in a TV interview with France Info while in Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, ”When I read what he wrote, my main reaction was that what he’s proposing that we do isn’t going to do anything to help solve those issues.” He further added, “So I think that if what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to be able to invest billions of dollars per year like we are in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference.” A user on HackerNews writes, “Mr. Clegg starts his opinion piece with a nirvana fallacy: breaking up Facebook won’t solve all the world’s problem, so why bother? More appeals are made throughout to Facebook’s large user-base, as justification for continued market dominance. Yet Mr. Clegg claims anti-trust laws do not apply to Facebook those laws are to ensure “low-cost, high-quality products” – and since Facebook is free, they’re immune from such rules. He proudly denigrates and defies the laws simply because they were “developed in the 1800s” which is an outright disgrace. I find his arguments wholly unedifying and severely lacking in substance and creativity. That pro-Facebook propaganda by their PR head is even deemed worthy of publishing (in NYTimes of all places!) is frankly a disappointment.” https://twitter.com/ewarren/status/1126493176406081537 https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/1126848277083717633 To know more about this news in detail, head over to Nick Clegg’s post on The New York Times. Read Next Facebook bans six toxic extremist accounts and a conspiracy theory organization Facebook open-sources F14 algorithm for faster and memory-efficient hash tables New York AG opens investigation against Facebook as Canada decides to take Facebook to Federal Court for repeated user privacy violationslast_img read more

Transats allinone cruise packages now available from Toronto St Johns

first_img MONTREAL — Transat has just announced that its all-in-one cruise packages in the Caribbean are now available from even more gateways in Canada, giving Canadians a greater chance at catching some sun this winter season.From January to March 2018, these packages will not only be available from Montreal, Quebec City and Rouyn-Noranda (Quebec), but also from Toronto and St. John’s, Newfoundland via Punta Cana.Even more, travellers from Toronto who book a cruise package aboard Costa Pacifica with Transat will receive a $100 onboard credit per person. This offer is valid for all 2018 winter departures, from Jan. 8 to March 26, 2018.Onboard the Pacifica, which offers seven-night Southern Caribbean cruises, passengers will find major upgrades and improvements such as new interactive screens and high-resolution monitors. Two new restaurants will also be added to the five restaurants and 13 bars already onboard: Pummid’Oro Pizzeria and Gelateria Amarillo, both popular in the rest of the Costa fleet.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsAll-in-one cruise packages include roundtrip flight with Air Transat, transfers, taxes and added values. Plus, thanks to Flight Protection, clients are sure to get to their port in case of a flight or ship delay.For those wishing to extend their vacation, a hotel stay can be added to their adventure at sea. Clients can move up their departure date or postpone their return by as much as 14 days before or after their cruise, at no extra cost. A wide selection of hotels that can be paired with different cruise itineraries is available in Transat’s brochure. Transat’s all-in-one cruise packages now available from Toronto, St. John’s Posted by Tags: Transat Travelweek Group Monday, December 18, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Amazon is reportedly going after video rights for

first_imgAmazon is reportedly going after video rights for professional sports, including tennis, rugby and golf.According to a Bloomberg report, which cites people with knowledge of the matter, Amazon has expressed interest in sport with a global appeal, which also includes soccer and auto racing.The online retail giant is also reportedly interested in US sports like baseball and basketball, even though the rights are not currently up for grabs.Bloomberg said that while the progress of Amazon’s sports rights talks are not clear, this year the company hired executives formerly from Sports Illustrated and YouTube to oversee a sports division, as well as sports partnerships and business development.Moving into sport would differentiate Amazon’s video offering from the likes of Netflix, with the latter’s CEO, Reed Hastings, recently commenting that Netflix is not interested in adding sport and news to the SVOD company’s content line-up.In December Amazon partnered with major TV networks and content makers like Showtime, Starz and AMC – in order to offer additional content subscriptions through Amazon Video.According to details revealed in a string of company job posts this summer, Amazon is now also planning to launch this streaming partners programme in Europe.last_img read more

A little under 50 of television homes in the UK a

first_imgA little under 50% of television homes in the UK are subscribed to at least one SVOD platform.According to the latest statistics from BARB, the number of homes with SVOD services has risen by 8.37% – just over a million – in Q1 2019. The total is 13.33 million.The number of Netflix subscribers rose by 11.25%, while the number of homes subscribed to Amazon Prime Video has risen by 12.88%.The total number of television homes in the UK is 27.27 million. 11.47 million of those have Netflix, 5.96 million with Amazon Prime Video and Sky’s Now TV has 1.62 million subscribers.46.6% of UK homes had access to one of these services, and 4.3 million have two or more.The research found that households with three or more people are 47% more likely to be SVOD subscribers.However, despite the rapid growth in SVOD numbers and the flexibility to access them across multiple devices, the TV is still king.The research concludes that approximately 525 billion minutes were viewed in the UK between 9pm-10pm in 2018 on TV. This is compared to 6.25 billion minutes viewed on computers, tablets and phones for the same period.last_img read more

By Marin Katusa Casey Research

first_imgBy Marin Katusa, Casey Research There is little that would rock the oil world more than a revolution in Saudi Arabia. But with a coming leadership crisis, it is becoming all too likely. Saudi is facing major economic challenges as dramatic increases in social spending and domestic fuel consumption eat through the kingdom’s all-important oil revenues. Saudi Arabia is smack in the middle of the Middle East, an ever-tumultuous region currently rocking and rolling more than usual as the Arab Spring challenges longstanding autocratic assumptions, while war-torn Syria and defiant Iran tip the delicate Sunni-Shia religious balance in the world’s most important oil region. While the House of Saud might present itself as a stable, strong, and cohesive royal family, in truth the king and his successors are growing old and incapacitated in a throne room full of competing contenders. Meanwhile, the only other organized social group in the country – the Islamists – are waiting just outside the door. Want to see oil at $300 a barrel? To see $300/bbl oil, or to watch the news as Saudi troops attack Tehran, or to see a stranglehold on US oil imports, watch what a failed succession battle in the House of Saud that ends up destroying the whole family and ushering in an Islamist age in Saudi Arabia would do to the price of oil. It could happen sooner than you think. A Shaky House of Saud The king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Aziz bin Saud, is almost 90 years old. In Saudi Arabia’s royal system, the throne passes not from father to son but from brother to brother. The problem with the system is that none of King Abdullah’s brothers are exactly young and full of vigor. Crown Prince Salman, next in line to the throne, is already 76. He got the Crown Prince nod after two of his elder brothers died. The remaining brothers now average 80 years of age. A king who ascends the throne in his seventh or eighth decade is unlikely to have the energy or even the time to enact significant reforms. And reforms are needed. I’m not pushing democracy – Saudis don’t generally want democracy. What I’m talking about are the endemic problems that are battering the world’s biggest oil producer: high unemployment, a corrupt bureaucracy, a crippled economy, a weak education system, and a society full of frustrated youth. While the country crumbles, the three pillars that have long supported the royal family are also weakening. Massive oil revenues, which have long been used to buy public support, are being squeezed by sharply increased domestic demand. The Wahhabi Islamic establishment that supported the House of Saud is increasingly fractious and is losing credibility. And the royal family itself is struggling to maintain its rock-solid façade after losing two crown princes to old age in just a few years. The country’s foreign relations are little better. The Middle East is in turmoil, and Saudi Arabia’s longstanding alliance with the United States is in distress. Alongside these tangible problems is a multitude of intangible challenges that are revolutionizing the country. The regime used to control the population by controlling access to information, but of course that age is now almost over. The Internet has connected young Saudis with the rest of the world, and that worldview is prompting them to question some of the rules of their society. Even the religious establishment in Saudi Arabia is seeing its power eroded. Young Saudis are increasingly independent, using the Koran to guide their decisions without following specific decrees from a particular religious leader. The fact is, Saudi society today bears little resemblance to the passive masses of just a decade ago, and a decade from now the difference will be even bigger. Trying to lead his country through these modern challenges is a 90-year-old king, backed by a 76-year-old crown prince and their octogenarian brothers. Not surprisingly, it’s not working very well. New Battles, Old Tactics When the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt sparked protests in Saudi Arabia, the protesters were not demanding democracy or trying to oust the royal family. No, the young Saudis who filled those streets had more basic demands. At the top of the list is jobs – 60% of Saudi’s citizens are under the age of 20, and the unemployment rate for young adults is nearly 40%. These young people want to be given the opportunity to better themselves and their country, but instead they cannot find work and live on government handouts. Adding fuel to the fire, those handouts have been shrinking. Saudi Arabia’s population has skyrocketed in the last half century. In 1972 the country had 6 million inhabitants; by 1992 that number had climbed to 17 million; and today there are 28 million Saudi Arabians. Oil incomes have climbed too, but not nearly apace. As such the government has been struggling to keep the population appeased with fewer dollars per head every year. The population keeps growing, and each person in the kingdom keeps using more oil. The result: shrinking oil revenues have to go further. It’s not a recipe for success, but when you’re 89 years old, you go with what has worked in the past. And that is precisely what happened in the wake of the Arab Spring: King Abdullah drowned the protestors in money – a $130-billion social-spending package that built new housing, increased payrolls, and boosted unemployment payouts. Saudi Arabia’s entire annual budget is just $180 billion, so the king almost doubled spending to appease the protestors. This tactic cannot work forever. Even in Saudi Arabia there is only so much oil money. The Saudi royals already need an oil price of at least $80 a barrel to support all their social programs, and with domestic oil consumption rocketing upward, that baseline price will keep climbing. But the unrest continues. The Summer of Saudi Discontent After King Abdullah offered billions of dollars in social spending, many protestors went home… except in the country’s oil-rich eastern provinces, where the protests never stopped. For the last 18 months Saudis in the eastern Qatif region have been demonstrating regularly, demanding the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression, and an end to ethnic and religious discrimination. When Saudi security forces turned on the demonstrators last November, killing five, the protests took on a distinctly anti-Saud tone. In June, King Abdullah ordered the country’s security forces to go on a state of high alert due to what he called a “turbulent situation” in the eastern region. The unspoken side to the situation is that the turbulence is distinctly religious. Most Saudis are Sunni Muslims, and Sunni Islam is the only allowed religion in the country. However, 15% of the country’s inhabitants are Shia, and they have faced direct and indirect persecution for decades. Guess where the Shia live? In those turbulent, oil-rich eastern provinces. That is one aspect of Saudi discontent. But there are more. For example, last week Saudi security forces raided al Qaida cells in Jeddah and Riyadh. Evidence recovered during the raids supports the suspicion that a new branch in the Arabian Peninsula is gathering momentum for a wave of attacks. The royal family is at the top of their list of targets. Toppling the House of Saud would be a major victory for al Qaida, simply because of the instability that would ensue. All told, between external threats, internal divisions, and domestic struggles, the Saudi royal family looks very unstable indeed. So what would happen if the House of Saud crumbled? Remember, religion is the only social structure in Saudi Arabia. There are no political parties, unions, or social organizations, aside from a few charities run by members of the royal family. Were the House of Saud to fail, the only candidates ready to step up would be the Islamists. The shift to Islamist rule in Egypt has made the world pretty nervous. Longstanding allegiances are in limbo, and long-term relationships are changing. Imagine if it happened in Saudi Arabia. Islamist leadership in Saudi would not be the moderate, democratic version we’re seeing in Egypt. The Islamists in Saudi Arabia are Wahhabi Muslims, who practice the strictest and most conservative version of the religion. I can see these imams making several moves. First, a Saudi Arabia led by Wahhabi Islamists would not stay at peace with the Shia Islamic Republic of Iran. Both branches of Islam believe the other has strayed so far from the path that its followers are infidels. Odds of open war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would shoot sky-high the moment Islamists took power in Saudi Arabia. Even worse, a Wahhabi Islamist Saudi Arabia might well turn its strongest weapon against the infidels of the West – by turning off the oil taps. It would be the 1973 oil crisis all over again, but in an even more oil-dependent world. The price of oil shot up 300% in six months during the oil crisis. Today, that would mean an oil price of $300 per barrel. It would also mean the end of the era of friendly US-Saudi relations… and the demise of the petrodollar. That is a story in itself – one of great significance to anyone who owns US dollars. I have discussed previously how a US-Saudi deal to only use dollars to trade oil created a deep pool of support for the US’s currency – and what will happen if the petrodollar dies. The short version is that as the global oil trade moves away from US dollars into yuan, yen, rubles, and pesos, the world would have yet another reason to devalue the dollar. Expensive oil, open Sunni-Shia war in the Middle East, the loss of one of the world’s biggest oil producers as a stalwart ally, and an inevitable increase in religious politics across the Arabian Peninsula – such are the likely outcomes if the House of Saud comes tumbling down. It is not inevitable. There are 7,000 princes in the Saud royal family, the result of multiple wives and lots of progeny. In that mix there is undoubtedly a prince with the right mix of progressive thought and religious reverence to lead Saudi Arabia through its succession and into the future. But whenever a throne room is that crowded, it is very easy for a brawl to break out, depriving that perfect prince of his chance and giving the Islamists their opening. Either way, oil investors with the right picks in their portfolio will prosper, and the Casey Research energy team will be available to guide you along the way.last_img read more

Recommended Links

first_img Recommended Links – — FREE TRAINING EVENT: How to Survive the Coming Blue-Chip Bloodbath One expert claims today’s biggest, safest blue-chip stocks could suffer huge losses if they don’t prepare for a coming market upheaval… Paradoxically, he says this carnage could also create massive wealth for savvy investors who position themselves to profit right now. So, what exactly is going on and how should you prepare? Click here now to learn more… ATTENTION SUBSCRIBERS: The “Gold Window” Is Open – It happened once from 1976 to 1980… – Then again, from 1993 to 1996… – And more recently from 2000 to 2007… Said another way, once about every 10 years, you have the rare chance to make a fortune simply by tweaking the way you buy gold. Click here for the full details. The “Gold Window” is open.center_img Bill Editor’s note: The ultimate cost of all that Deep State money is yet to be tallied. But when the bill comes due, it’ll be more than the U.S. can pay…and the result will be an epic collapse of the entire financial system. Banks…stock markets…even your local stores will be caught in the whirlwind. And if you aren’t prepared, you could be ruined. That’s why Bill is warning everyone about what they need to do to protect themselves—and possibly even profit—from the worst of what’s coming. Watch Bill break it all down in his recent warning, right here. Editor’s note: “Our” money system is not really “ours”… Everything is controlled by the powerful, hidden force known as the “Deep State.” Today, we’re sharing a recent essay on the subject from Agora founder Bill Bonner. Below, Bill takes a close look at what’s really going on in our debt-ridden world. As you’ll see, it’s a serious issue that’s only getting worse… By Bill Bonner, editor, The Bill Bonner Letter Donald Trump had already gone broke – twice – by the time Bill Clinton took office. But then, the combination of lower interest rates and rising asset prices saved him. And extraordinary abundance and prosperity of the Clinton years owes little to Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and much to the fact that Alan Greenspan had inaugurated his famous “Greenspan Put” in 1987. Greenspan reassured investors that he had their backs with a rate cut whenever the stock market took a turn for the worse. This led to an “illusion of prosperity,” as stock prices rose, helping Bill get reelected… and gaining national prominence for Hillary as the aggrieved wife in the Monica Lewinsky affair. Stock prices filled with hot air… until the bubble in the Nasdaq blew up in Clinton’s last year in office. Both of this year’s presumptive candidates are “low interest rate” people, all right. Their adult lives were marked by the credit cycle and their careers shaped by ballooning debt. And now, almost the entire world economy depends on low rates. We live on Planet Debt. Subzero Yields The amount of government debt trading below zero yield rose to $11 trillion last week. In Japan, negative yields run out the yield curve until 2051. Overall, interest rates are said to be lower than they’ve been in 5,000 years. (This is a fanciful but entertaining factoid; you can’t compare the apples of Sargon the Great to those of Donald the Tremendous.) “How cometh it to be that interest rates ride so low… while the hack and the hustler ride so high?” you might wonder. We are glad you asked… We have been connecting dots. These are dots that others do not want to connect. Because they connect to too many reputations, too many fortunes, and too many opinions. We are talking about the line that runs from the post-1971 money system to the Deep State, passing through the spectacular rise of China… the spectacular fall of the U.S. (where the average man has made no financial progress in the last 40 years)… to the remarkable luck of the 1% (who got richer and richer, as most people around them lost ground). Yes, the line ties together the great kvetches of our time: inequality… stagnation… alienation… globalization… debt… the failure of the economy… the failure of democracy… and the failure of our own culture. According to political scientist Charles Murray, white middle- and lower-middle-class Americans now suffer from the ills that were once confined to ghettos – broken homes, drug addiction, unemployment, and violence. Surely, we’re not going to try to pin that on the Deep State, too? Yes… we are. Deep State Money “Our” money system is not “ours.” It is the money system created by, for, and of the financial insiders. It is the Deep State’s money system! But wait… we sense an objection: “Isn’t it the money system set up by our elected representatives… and supposed to serve us all?” Oh, dear reader, sometimes you make us laugh. Really, where have you been? America’s money system is largely under the control of one organization – the Fed. And the Fed was set up at a secret meeting of plutocrats and bankers. (No kidding they rode down to Georgia in a private train, using phony names so they wouldn’t be identified.) It is not owed by the people… nor by their government. It is owned by private banks. And it is controlled by a small group of unelected insiders – mostly bankers and their economists. It has never been audited. And no member of Congress really knows what it is up to. Miracle-Gro On August 15, 1971, President Nixon made the fateful announcement that the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar, would no longer be directly convertible to gold. But do you think Mr. Nixon came up with that on his own? Do you think he was advised by our elected representatives? No chance. Instead, the insiders, the bankers, and the deepest of the Deep State elite had his ear. The president – and probably almost everyone else – had no real idea of what was going on… or why. But that was 45 years ago. A lot has happened since. The new money was a Sahara for the common American; his income growth dried up… his wealth ceased growing. But it was Miracle-Gro for the Deep State. The insiders sank their roots deeper and deeper into the U.S. economy, sucking out more and more wealth and power. Whether the insiders fully realized what they were doing in August 1971, we don’t know. But as the system developed, they liked it. More than that, they became dependent on it. And now, almost the entire world – its stocks, bonds, real estate, and collectibles… along with its businesses, retailers, factories, investors, bonused-up executives, papered-up speculators, Ph.D. economists, and politicians – almost everybody with wealth or power depends on the insiders’ cheap money. “Government can have no more than two legitimate purposes,” wrote the 18th-century English political philosopher William Godwin, “the suppression of injustice against individuals within the community and the common defense against external invasion.” But now it has another purpose… a goal it is desperate to achieve – keeping the low-interest rate planet spinning. Regards,last_img read more

Updated 6 pm ETWilliamson WVa sits right acr

first_imgUpdated 6 p.m. ETWilliamson, W.Va., sits right across the Tug Fork river from Kentucky. The town has sites dedicated to its coal mining heritage and the Hatfield and McCoy feud and counts just about 3,000 residents. But despite its small size, drug wholesalers sent more than 20.8 million prescription painkillers to the town from 2008 and 2015, according to an investigation by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The opioids — hydrocodone and oxycodone pills — were provided to two pharmacies just four blocks apart.Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., issued a joint statement on its findings.”The committee’s bipartisan investigation continues to identify systemic issues with the inordinate number of opioids distributed to small town pharmacies,” they said in the statement. “The volume appears to be far in excess of the number of opioids that a pharmacy in that local area would be expected to receive.”The committee sent letters to two drug distributors asking why they sent so many pills and whether the spiking orders for the drugs raised any red flags at the companies.The letter to Springfield, Ill.-based H.D. Smith says West Virginia court documents suggest that the company sent the two pharmacies a whopping 39,000 hydrocodone pills in a two-day period in 2007.A pharmacy in the nearby town of Kermit was similarly inundated by pills from Miami-Luken, based in Springboro, Ohio.In 2008, “Miami-Luken alone provided 5,624 pills for every man, woman, and child in Kermit,” according to the committee’s letter. The committee notes that a doctor in another state, with offices two hours away, was responsible for prescribing 39 percent of all oxycodone pills at a pharmacy in tiny Oceana, W.Va. That pharmacy was provided 4.3 million of the painkillers by Miami-Luken from 2008 to 2015.Richard Blake, outside counsel for Miami-Luken, said that because of ongoing litigation between the company and the Drug Enforcement Agency, it would not be appropriate to go into great detail on the matter.”The info the committee has, they got from us, and we’re fully cooperating with them,” Blake told NPR. “The information goes back to 2008, 2009, 2010 — we’re not hiding anything. They’re high numbers, but it’s much more complex. The company’s got good management now. The committee’s been good; they’re just trying to get to the bottom of this.”In a statement to NPR, H.D. Smith said it “operates with stringent protection of our nation’s healthcare supply chain. The company works with its upstream manufacturing and downstream pharmacy partners to guard the integrity of the supply chain, and to improve patient outcomes. The team at H.D. Smith will review the letter and will respond as necessary.”The CDC says that 884 people died of drug overdoses in West Virginia in 2016, the highest rate in the country. The center identifies opioids — both prescription and illicit — as the main driver of drug-overdose deaths.The House committee’s findings were first reported by Eric Eyre at Gazette-Mail, who won a Pulitzer Prize in April for his investigative reporting on how rural “pill mills” had fueled the West Virginia’s opioid crisis. (The Gazette-Mail reported Monday that its owners were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.) Eyre reports that West Virginia has already settled lawsuits with the two companies:”In February 2016, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey ended a state lawsuit against Miami-Luken after the company agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle allegations that it flooded the state with painkillers. Morrisey, a former lobbyist for a trade group that represents Miami-Luken and other drug distributors, inherited the lawsuit in 2013 after ousting longtime Attorney General Darrell McGraw.”H.D. Smith paid the state $3.5 million to settle the same pill-dumping allegations in January 2017.”The House committee gave the companies until Feb. 9 to fulfill its request for information and give a briefing.”We will continue to investigate these distributors’ shipments of large quantities of powerful opioids across West Virginia, including what seems to be a shocking lack of oversight over their distribution practices,” Walden and Pallone said in their statement. “These numbers are outrageous, and we will get to the bottom of how this destruction was able to be unleashed across West Virginia.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

This article was produced in partnership with MLK5

first_imgThis article was produced in partnership with MLK50, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the largest hospital system in Memphis, Tenn., said it has suspended “court collection activities” over unpaid medical bills — just days after an investigation by MLK50 and ProPublica (which also appeared on NPR) detailed its relentless pursuit of debts held by poor people and even its own employees.”We recognize that we serve a diverse community and we are always thinking about how we can do more and serve our community better,” Methodist said in a written statement. “Over the next 30 days we will be reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure we are doing everything possible to provide the communities we serve with the care and assistance they need. Also, we will immediately suspend any further court collection activities during this period.”As a learning organization that is committed to continuous quality improvement, we want to be absolutely sure that our practices continue to support our mission and vision of improving every life we touch regardless of ability to pay.”Methodist dropped more than two dozen cases that were set for initial hearings on Wednesday’s morning docket at Shelby County General Sessions Court.”Currently, Methodist is in the process of reviewing its collection processes,” R. Alan Pritchard, one of Methodist’s attorneys, told General Sessions Court Judge Deborah M. Henderson.”You are free to leave,” Henderson told one defendant, who looked puzzled, a purse on her shoulder and a folder full of papers in her hand.Henderson called the names of other defendants whose cases were on the docket.Again and again, Pritchard said: “Dropped, please, your honor.”One of the defendants whose case was dropped is Adrien Johnson, who works for the city of Memphis. Methodist sued him this year for an unpaid hospital bill of more than $900.Reached by phone, Johnson said he believes the hospital bill was for X-rays he had taken while he was covered by his wife’s insurance. Wednesday was his first court date, and after the hearing, he said he wasn’t clear what the status of his debt was.”I don’t know what they’re doing,” he said. “I need to find out what’s going on.”From 2014 through 2018, the hospital system affiliated with the United Methodist Church filed more than 8,300 lawsuits, according to an MLK50-ProPublica analysis of Shelby County General Sessions Court records. That’s more than all but one creditor during that five-year period.One story by the news organizations chronicled the struggle of Carrie Barrett, who makes $9.05 an hour at Kroger, to pay her 2007 hospital bill for $12,019. The bill has ballooned to more than $33,000 due to interest and attorney’s fees.Another story detailed how Methodist sues its own employees, some of whom make less than $13 an hour, for unpaid bills related to care delivered at its hospitals. Its health plan doesn’t allow workers to seek care at hospitals with more generous financial assistance policies.Defendants talked about how the lawsuits upended their lives and left them in a position where they would never be able to pay off their debts, which grew from year to year as interest mounted.With $2.1 billion in revenue and a health system that includes six hospitals, Methodist leads the market: In 2017, it had the most discharges per year and profits per patient, according to publicly available data analyzed by Definitive Healthcare, an analytics company.Methodist says it has “a hospital in all four quadrants of the greater Memphis area, unparalleled by any other healthcare provider in our region,” plus more than 150 outpatient centers, clinics and physician practices. The system also said it provides community benefits of more than $226 million annually.The number of lawsuits Methodist files isn’t out of proportion to its size, at least compared to competitor Baptist Memorial Health Care and Regional One Health, the county’s public hospital. But Methodist stands out in other respects.Its financial assistance policy, unlike those of many of its peers around the country, all but ignores patients with any form of health insurance, no matter their out-of-pocket costs. If they are unable to afford their bills, patients then face what experts say is rare: A licensed collection agency owned by the hospital.Also, after the hospital sues and wins a judgment, it repeatedly tries to garnish patients’ wages, which it does in a far higher share of cases than other nonprofit hospitals in Memphis. A court-ordered garnishment requires that the debtor’s employer send to the court 25% of a worker’s after-tax income, minus basic living expenses and a tiny deduction for children under age 15.Methodist secured garnishment orders in 46% of cases filed from 2014 through 2018, compared with 36% at Regional One and 20% at Baptist, according to an analysis of court records by MLK50.Methodist’s announcement was welcomed by some local lawmakers.”Methodist has been such a great community partner throughout Shelby County that I’m glad to hear they’re reviewing their process over the next 30 days,” said Shelby County Commissioner Mickell Lowery, whose district includes Methodist University Hospital.U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said: “I was surprised to read about Methodist Le Bonheur’s billing practices, and I’m glad that the company is re-examining them. … I will continue to monitor this situation and look forward to the company’s assessment.”But the Rev. Anthony Anderson, a United Methodist elder at Faith United Methodist in Memphis, was more reserved.”I am still heartbroken, and I say that spiritually,” Anderson said. “It breaks my heart to know that a Methodist-related entity, a hospital, would have these types of practices.”He welcomed the policy review, but only if it leads to the complete erasure of all outstanding patient debt.”This debt needs to be wiped away,” Anderson said. “That will be the direction I will be pushing towards as a Methodist — that we don’t burden families with these type of financial penalties.”New data obtained from Shelby County General Sessions Court shows that Methodist has filed more than 600 new lawsuits this year. Its most recent suits were filed on June 21, days before the MLK50-ProPublica stories were published. Its most recent garnishment order was filed on Tuesday.Wendi C. Thomas is the editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism. Email her at wendicthomas@mlk50.com and follow her on Twitter at @wendicthomas.ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published. Copyright 2019 ProPublica. To see more, visit ProPublica.last_img read more

Tesla Offers 28 Billion for SolarCity in No Brainer Deal for Musk

first_img Elon Musk, chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at SolarCity’s Inside Energy Summit. Tesla Offers $2.8 Billion for SolarCity in ‘No Brainer’ Deal for Musk Image credit: Reuters | Rashid Umar Abbas 4 min read June 22, 2016 Next Article –shares Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters Tesla Reuters Elon Musk on Tuesday sought to build a clean energy powerhouse as his electric car maker, Tesla Motors Inc., made an offer to buy his solar installation firm SolarCity Corp. in a stock deal worth as much as $2.8 billion.Tesla shares plunged more than 13 percent to $189.99 in extended trading — amounting to a loss in value of about $4.3 billion, or more than the value of the offer for the other company. Shares of SolarCity rose about 18 percent to $25.02.Musk, who is the chairman of SolarCity, CEO of Tesla and the largest shareholder of both companies, described the deal as a “no brainer” in a call with reporters. The company could sell customers an electric car, a home battery and a solar system all at once, he said.”Instead of making three trips to a house to put in a car charger and solar panels and battery pack, you can integrate that into a single visit,” Musk told reporters. “It’s an obvious thing to do.”Tesla investors punished the company’s shares, however.”Ideally you want to see Tesla focus on Tesla — building Teslas and expanding the cars,” said Ivan Feinseth, an analyst at Tigress Financial Partners. “Maybe the feeling is that this takes away focus, and it could financially strain Tesla, which is going to continually need a lot of cash.”SolarCity has about $6.24 billion in liabilities, including debt.Tesla executives said its predictable cash flow in the form of payments for its solar systems pays for the debt.Although it is the U.S. market leader in residential rooftop solar systems, it regularly posts quarterly losses and the stock has fallen nearly 60 percent so far this year, pummeled by investors who see its business model as too complex in a market that has become increasingly competitive.Musk said Tesla did not know how many of its customers have solar panels, but guessed that most of them were likely interested in solar. In a blog, Tesla described the deal as a way to expand both companies’ markets.The solar systems will be sold under the premium Tesla brand, which is seeking to expand its target market with a $35,000 electric vehicle called the Model 3 that it will begin delivering late next year.Musk, who owns 19 percent of Tesla and 22 percent of SolarCity, said he would recuse himself from voting on the deal. He could not say how soon shareholders could vote on the deal, as due diligence needs to take place first.SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, Musk’s first cousin, said he supported the deal but would also recuse himself from voting. Rive’s brother, Peter, is also a founder of the company and its chief technology officer.Musk and Lyndon Rive hatched the idea for SolarCity during a trip to the Burning Man desert festival in 2004. Over a decade later, SolarCity has become the top U.S. residential solar installer thanks to a no-money-down financing scheme that allows homeowners to pay for their solar panels through a monthly fee that is less than what they would pay their local utility.Tesla said it offered $26.50 to $28.50 per share for SolarCity, which represents a premium of about 25 percent to 35 percent to the company’s Tuesday close of $21.19. That values the deal at about $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion overall.In a statement issued late Tuesday, Tesla said its management will host a conference call to discuss the ‘rationale’ surrounding the offer to buy SolarCity. The conference call is scheduled to take place Wednesday morning before U.S. markets open.(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik and Aurindom Mukherjee in Bengaluru, Paul Lienert in Detroit and Nichola Groom in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Rigby, Peter Henderson and Sunil Nair) Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Add to Queuelast_img read more

Bright Pattern Contact Center Now Available on Microsoft AppSource

first_imgBright Pattern Contact Center Now Available on Microsoft AppSource PRNewswireMay 27, 2019, 6:29 pmMay 27, 2019 Bright Patternline-of-business solutionsMarketing TechnologyMicrosoft AppSourceMicrosoft Dynamics 365News Previous ArticleBraze Hires Former Bazaarvoice Executive as CMO, Former Marketo Chairman and CEO to Join Board of DirectorsNext ArticleKey Social Media Monetization Tactics for Mobile-First Gaming Brands Bright Pattern, a leading provider of omnichannel cloud contact center software for innovative companies, announced the availability of Bright Pattern Contact Center on Microsoft AppSource, an online cloud marketplace providing tailored line-of-business solutions.Bright Pattern provides simple and powerful contact center software for innovative midsize and enterprise companies. Offering a true omnichannel cloud platform, Bright Pattern allows companies to offer an effortless, personal, and seamless customer experience across channels, including voice, text, chat, email, video, messengers, and bots. Bright Pattern integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to help Microsoft customers manage increasing contact volume, provide better service to your customers, and increase agent productivity and performance.Bright Pattern Contact Center integration for Dynamics 365 features includes:Blended voice and chat — Agents can handle customer inquiries over the phone, chat, and SMS/text simultaneously from within Dynamics 365.Click-to-call — Agents have easy-to-use click-to-call icons within Dynamics 365, helping brands drive tickets to resolution faster.Microsoft data access — Bright Pattern Contact Center taps into the Microsoft database to identify customers, update records, and automatically log real-time interaction with customer tickets.Put tickets in context — Agents can view notes and context from all previous customers interactions regardless of the channel, improving agent productivity and boosting customer satisfaction.Screen pop — Agents can instantly identify customers with screen pops from Dynamics 365, including useful information such as contact details forms, recent activities, webpages, and previous tickets.Single sign-on with Microsoft Azure — Utilizing Azure, agents are able to log in faster with single sign-on.Marketing Technology News: Seven Tech Data Executives Named 2019 CRN “Women of the Channel”“Bright Pattern shares Microsoft’s strategic vision for a mobile world of customer engagement with the strongest mobile capabilities, including in-app messaging, SMS/text messaging, and social messenger channel support,” said Michael McCloskey, CEO of Bright Pattern. “Our availability in Microsoft AppSource brings together the rich data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 with the power of the Bright Pattern omnichannel call center solution to provide a context-rich and personal experience.”Marketing Technology News: Teleperformance Groups ‘Praxidia Knowledge Services’ partners with CallMiner to launch TP Interact – a Comprehensive Interaction Analytics SolutionKirsten Edmondson Wolfe, Senior Director, AppSource Product Marketing, Microsoft Corp., said, “We’re excited to welcome Bright Pattern to Microsoft AppSource, which gives our customers access to the best solutions available from our extensive partner ecosystem. Microsoft AppSource offers partner solutions such as Bright Pattern Contact Center to help customers enhance the efficiencies of their contact centers and improve customer satisfaction.”Marketing Technology News: Cint Appoints SVP of Asia Nicholas Antram to Continue Strategic Expansion Across the Regionlast_img read more

Study provides evidence on how supervision and special guardianship orders are used

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 201920% of all children in England who return home after care proceedings and are placed on a supervision order are back in the family court within 5 years because of further significant harm, new research led by Lancaster University has found.The risk was far higher than for any other group of children investigated in this study, Children aged less than 5 years were at greater risk of returning to court for further care proceedings than older children.This study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, is the first national study of all children placed on supervision orders between 2010/11 and 2016/17 – a total of 19,296 children.When a supervision order is made by the courts to help families stay together, the local authority ‘advises, assists and befriends’ the child and family but it has no parental responsibility. The order normally lasts for one year but it can be renewed annually for a maximum of 3 years.The study also found that nationally, supervision orders granted since 2014 were more likely to return to court than pre 2014 cases. The reasons for this are unclear but the report suggests that the changes could be associated with shorter timescales for decision-making in care proceedings following the introduction of the 2014 Children and Families legislation, greater vigilance by local authorities in bringing cases back to court or another impact of austerity.The study looked more closely at what happened to children in 4 local authorities who were placed on supervision orders in 2013/14 and 2014/15. 24% of the 194 children were neglected during the supervision order. Four years after the supervision order was made, 28% were no longer living with their parents and 40% had been neglected.Another concerning finding was the discovery that over the 4 years, 49% of the 194 children were exposed to financial hardship and 56% to housing problems- more than at the start of the study. They topped the list of all parental problems to which the children were exposed.  The study found a wide variation in rates of visits by social workers and frequency of case reviews. Although the children had been found by courts to have experienced significant harm, the majority were reviewed under ‘children in need’ rather than ‘child protection’ procedures. Children in need are considered to have less serious concerns than those reviewed under child protection processes, whose cases are subject to greater oversight. The Government does not collect national statistics on children on supervision orders.Most of the 89 family justice practitioners who were interviewed felt that supervision orders provided the local authority with limited leverage and wanted them to have ‘more teeth’, for example by managing them under a child protection framework.The report puts forward a range of practice, policy and legal options to strengthen the supervision order to do the job that the legislators had in mind– to promote safe and lasting family reunification.Professor Judith Harwin, who led the study, said: “Supervision orders are an important legal option and help many children, but they need to be strengthened with more support provided to the most vulnerable families. The recent national increase in cases returning to court more swiftly than before 2014, needs ongoing monitoring and explaining”.Related StoriesIsraeli scientists invent new tooth fillings to fight recurrent decayHow black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap in health careResearch reveals the parenting habits of our earliest extinct ancestorsThe study has also used Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) national administrative data for the first time to examine outcomes of 21,504 children subject to special guardianship orders between 2010/11 and 2016/17. These orders provide a permanent home to children up to the age of 18, mainly with relatives. It is now the main route out of the care system for children who have experienced significant harm due to unsafe parenting and are returned to their family network.The study found special guardianship gives these children a new start in life while keeping links with their birth families and family network. There were very low rates of breakdown or return to court.Nationally between 2010/11 and 2016/17 just 5% of all children on special guardianship orders had further care proceedings within 5 years.In the case file study of 107 children on SGOs in the same 4 local authorities 31% of the children had never lived with their special guardians before the order was made. The permanent placement had never been tested and yet the children fared well and benefited from the placement.The study also found that special guardians experienced a rough ride from the courts and local authorities.Special guardians found their experiences of courts and local authority assessments left them feeling ‘isolated, bruised and embattled’ unless they had access to legal advice. Often they did not understand the implications of special guardianship.Many were actually not party to the proceedings or were unsure of their legal status. They felt they had no voice and wanted more support after the order had been made. They struggled with financial and housing problems.The report identifies the need for better access to justice and a more transparent court process.Professor Harwin added: “It also calls for a major overhaul of the process of assessing special guardians and significantly more support and investment in this kind of family placement. Special attention needs to be paid to improving the court experience of special guardians whilst ensuring a robust child centred assessment process that addresses their long term needs for permanency”.Director of Justice at the Nuffield Foundation Rob Street said: “This important study provides much-needed national evidence on how supervision and special guardianship orders are being used, including cases in which they are used together. Drawing on this evidence, the report outlines practical proposals for how these orders could be reformed to provide increased protection and support for children and families.”  https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/news/new-study-calls-for-supervision-orders-to-have-more-teethlast_img read more

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They have demonstrated their lack of faith in the democratic process in many ways. That is the difference. If you are thinking about taking a dietary supplementor are already taking oneit’s best to speak with a nutritionist, Ninety-seven-million-year-old fossils have revealed that the 15-meter-long Spinosaurus (that’s bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex) was the only dino to make its home in the water,"This person was prepared today to come in, "It’s immoral that their lives were at risk. known as the GRU. he was a police officer in Mesa,824 billion, And no political opinion is more “real America” than “regulation bad.

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or about how they were cooking their food. “The issue here is gender discrimination, But researchers extended it indefinitely in March 2012, Researchers are lifting a year-long voluntary moratorium on controversial studies involving the H5N1 avian influenza virus. said House Democrats have presented a package for rural Minnesota,"The cost to enforce laws against invasive species transportation is prohibitive with so many landings, as well as some college educated women, He was sentenced to three months of probation and a $15, Best answer: Yes. and T.

Ibrahim Lamorde, confirmed the incident, Kathleen Flynn is a freelance photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. all-of-the-above energy production will lead to a new job creation, The source who pleaded anonymity said, However, Thundershield exited the vehicle and began kicking Elvis DeMarce, He’s a nightmare. read more

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John BrysonThe LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images 1 of 20 Advertisement Write to Lily Rothman at lily. Beset by self-doubt and hints of illness, “We have not been privileged to get the full information on the statement credited to the former president, Then some people began to read the book.” says the senior intelligence official. it is possible to undermine democratic government, we considered four major factors.” he added. ” I also commend the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man for vindicating me from the allegation of crime as perpetuated by some powerful forces within the Delta State Government. there were 24.

(California Lt.com. Their primary concern is to avoid Trump’s barbs that might do damage to their own campaigns. If that doesnt work,Lt He got off to a winning 11-8 start but lost the next one 12-14. and we’re proud to stand with our Muslim neighbors in opposition to that discrimination. or was fired from work, friend, Last year, Dani Grant detailed how she was able to access other passengers’ boarding passes simply by changing a single digit in her pass’ URL.

he’ll be waiting a while yet to begin doing that. with temperatures reaching daytime highs in the upper 30s or lower 40s. which was in line to get a $200 million boost, economically viable fisheries that are working for fishers and fish. It is his contention that the use of card reader was an introduction of electronic element to the voting process. "We should have won by five-six goals. Osinbajo made the remarks while Speaking at the Kogi Economic and Investment Summit in Lokoja on Tuesday. then where is he going ahead with election when the whole of Rivers State is being invaded by PDP thugs and security men are watching and doing nothing”." the statement said. plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The world body controls the UN budget, not realizing that Stretton would be legally permitted to remain in their San Bernardino County home because of the terms of her employment. math and engineering initiative on nine campuses. id prefer a Lilt over @eddiehallwsm sweat any day!! have entered the fray, whoever we get. Elementary mistakes Atletico’s shaky backline is the most remarkable aspect of their decline. “However, While most people were quick to congratulate the 28-year-old on his win, but Borho’s seasoned crew makes it look like a piece of cake.

U. before the charges were made public, the closest port to the United States. It will have more than 8. read more