danchooalex/iStock(ALBANY, New York) — New York state has banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes amid growing national concern about the safety of the products.The ban went into effect after being approved by the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council Tuesday afternoon.New York is the first state to enact such a ban, although Michigan lawmakers have approved a similar ban but are working out details.This comes days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an emergency executive order banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.“It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes — it’s a public health crisis and it ends today,” Cuomo said in a statement issued after the panel’s decision.“New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits,” he added.The governor made his intentions known earlier, calling for people to stop smoking e-cigarettes until more is known about their ingredients after a number of hospitalizations and deaths in recent weeks.At a news conference earlier this month, Cuomo said “common sense” would suggest that “if you don’t know what you are smoking, don’t smoke it, and right now we don’t know.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Water samples from a range of fresh-water Antarctic lakes on Signy Island (South Orkney Islands: 60°45′S, 45 °38′W) were examined for the presence of virus-like particles (VLPs) during the 1998/1999 field season. It was discovered that VLPs were ubiquitous, morphologically diverse and abundant, with high concentrations ranging from 4.9 × 106 ml−1 to 3.1 × 107 ml−1. Likely hosts include bacteria, cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae. In addition, an unusually large virus morphotype was observed with a head diameter 370 × 330 nm and a tail 1.3 μm long.
3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Danielle Havlicek As Senior Creative Director, Danielle’s 15 years of interdisciplinary design experience in the financial industry make her an asset to the La Macchia Group team. Her resume reflects a … Web: www.lamacchiagroup.com Details Today’s digitally savvy consumers have high expectations, and retail brands are racing to design new ways to meet and exceed those expectations. To win the race, retailers are focused on driving activity and differentiating themselves across an increasing span of channels. Mobile apps, conveniently-located stores, social media outlets, and more, all need to have a consistent message and provide ways for consumers to enjoy every touchpoint they choose. Whether they are in-person or self-service, how does a credit union best connect with their current and future members while maintaining a consistent user experience? The branch network plays a critical role in building trust and credibility, facilitating higher quality financial interactions that lead to higher margin products and services. Reimaging the branch network for the digital era should be viewed as an opportunity to reduce cost, increase revenue and enhance the user financial experience. Here are five steps to tackle a branch network transformation.Step 1: Leverage Data to Gain Strategic InsightsIn order to support brand loyalty and craft a meaningful user experience across a branch network, market research and analyzing member demographics is essential. The consumer mindset is the single biggest driver of change. The best way to decipher your membership and market needs is by analyzing some key areas that will provide the framework needed to attract, retain and achieve brand loyalty for every generation. From socioeconomic profiles of your membership to analyzing the competitive landscape of your market, the data uncovered from this research will provide the insights into your future success. Step 2: Craft the Member Journey Today’s consumer choices are driven by experience. They want an experience that is comfortable, user-friendly and dynamic; one that resonates with them on a personal level. That means that whether they are visiting the flagship location, a small local branch or engaging through a walk-up or drive-thru service they have a consistent and memorable brand experience. When considering a branch network transformation, the design development process considers strategies for achieving brand consistency. What is the member’s purpose, motivation, preferred medium and expectation along their journey through a branch? Being able to design with the answers to these questions in mind, allows engaging touchpoints to be created, moments that enhance member relationships. Step 3: Establish a Distinct BrandDifferentiation begins with a unique brand. A brand is an expression of your organization’s DNA. It communicates who you are, and by infusing your brand into every financial touchpoint you create a memorable experience for your members. Your brand doesn’t stop at your door or after a member leaves the drive-thru. Creating a strong brand presence in your community and membership drives brand loyalty and brand awareness. Your brand should stand out from your competitors and convey a message that is unique to your business.Step 4: Integrate Technology Technology is a powerful tool that when integrated properly can maximize member engagement. It should be seamlessly integrated into the structural environment in a multifunctional way so that it offers a means of entertaining, communicating, connecting, educating and transforming. We believe in an artful, strategic blend of technology and architecture. It should be branded, strategic and engaging. And the integration of the right technological platforms should be traceable back to the market and member research. Weaving in the right digital platforms will increase engagement and enhance the member experience. Digital content within a space can influence user behavior and also be a resource for your members to interact with your brand. Whether a member is logging in to your mobile app from miles and miles away or while entering the space and viewing a display with the latest events in the branch, that digital content experience should be reflected across all delivery platforms at your credit union. Step 5: Develop a Scalable Kit-of-Parts Establishing interior and exterior elements that can be leveraged across a branch network, no matter what the existing building looks like or when it was acquired, are important for a consistent member experience. These options can be scaled for consideration of a light cosmetic update for an existing space, tackling a more extensive remodel or new construction. The welcoming feel of the entry, the general ambiance, the ease of use, the helpfulness of staff, the accessibility of the drive-up, all of these touchpoints effect the user experience. Impactful design elements and subtle details work together to achieve a consistent User Financial Experience no matter the location. Consider the brand elements, member-facing finishes and materials, and the technology as examples of a meaningful kit-of-parts. Consideration of the entire branch network collectively with your team across departmental silos will aid in a successful overall strategy that will differentiate you from the competition. Utilizing data and performance metrics to identify areas of focus, developing member journeys based on what current behaviors are of interest, living the brand, infusing technology and communicating a toolkit that can be site specifically adapted all play a major role in the success of a branch transformation strategy.With decades of collective experience in the financial industry, La Macchia Group provides turnkey solutions, including project management to orchestrate the most cost-effective and seamless approach to your branch transformation journey.
Economy, Press Release Governor Tom Wolf announced today the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is improving the COVID Relief Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program to help more renters and homeowners remain in their homes. Effective Oct. 17, landlords and mortgagees will have a new option to reach agreements with renters and homeowners for repayment of rent and mortgage payments above the program’s $750 monthly cap. The program previously required them to forgive the balance of the payment.Earlier this week the governor signed an executive order extending the application deadline to Nov. 4.“We cannot allow thousands of families to become homeless because of the pandemic,” said Gov. Wolf. “Improving the program and giving people more time to apply will help families to stay in their homes. That will reduce the strain on social services and help landlords to pay their mortgages.“These are positive steps, but we still need a larger solution. I continue to urge the legislature to fix the program’s other flaws so more struggling families have a place to live.”The program has been helping fewer renters and homeowners than intended. Under the new guidance, landlords can still forgive the balance of rent and mortgage payment above $750, but creating the option to enter into repayment agreements with tenants and homeowners, and therefore recoup balance of payments, should encourage more participation in the relief program.The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in March, provided $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania. As part of Pennsylvanian’s response to the pandemic, the governor signed legislation in May directing $175 million of the CARES funds to PHFA to provide $150 million for rental assistance and $25 million for mortgage assistance.Governor Tom Wolf has repeatedly urged the General Assembly to remove the barriers so more Pennsylvanians can qualify.The governor’s proposal would:Raise the $750 monthly cap on rent relief to at least 130% of HUD limits – In some parts of the state rent payments exceed $750 a month, therefore landlords decline to participate, leaving tenants without payment assistance.Eliminate the requirement that households be 30 days behind on rent to be eligible for assistance – The requirement creates an unfair burden on applicants who prioritize rent and mortgage payments over paying for food, medicine or other bills.Eliminate verification that applicants applied for unemployment compensation – The added administrative step creates unnecessary processing delays of applications and availability of assistance.“Program changes are still needed to keep people in their homes, but in the meantime, these changes will let more people get rental assistance and avoid eviction,” said Gov. Wolf. “I continue to urge the General Assembly to make changes to allow more affected residents to qualify because, now more than ever, all Pennsylvanians need and deserve an affordable and safe place to live.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention halted some rental evictions nationwide until Dec. 31; however, some tenants and all homeowners are still at risk. October 13, 2020 Gov. Wolf: More Pennsylvanians to Benefit from Rental and Mortgage Relief Programs SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The Management of Ecobank Liberia Limited (ELL) has reiterated that the Bank’s mandate is to build Africa and develop Africans, and that ELL will not depart from this core mandate.Ecobank Managing Director Kola Adeleke was speaking Thursday at the grand finale of the Ecobank Deposit Mobilization Campaign (EDMC) in Sinkor where a customer of Ecobank’s Zwedru Branch emerged as the lucky winner of a brand new four-door Chevrolet valued at US$15,000.Madam Cecelia Harris Jolo is a resident of Zwedru, the provincial capital of Grand Gedeh County.She current works at the Zwedru airstrip. Speaking with Ecobank officials via mobile phone, Madam Jolo said she was surprised.“I can’t believe it. What did I do to emerge winner of the car?” she asked. Responding to Madam Jolo’s inquest, the head of marketing & Communications at Ecobank, Madam Ivy Fairley added “you won because you regularly deposited money in your United States dollars savings account at our Zwedru Branch.”The brand new vehicle is the Ecobank Giant Prize Giveaway. The draw was held at the Ecobank Branch in Sinkor in the presence of the Board of Directors of the Bank.On June 12, 2013 the campaign started with the Ecobank Management encouraging USD savings account holders to regularly deposit US$100.00 to allow them to form part of the draw.About 31,000 customers’ account numbers were qualified for the grand prize, which Madam Cecelia H. Jolo won. Supervised by the Liberia National Lotteries, the over 31,000 account numbers were placed in a rolling drum by three Ecobank Board of Directors.Madam Jolo’s account number was picked by a male customer who had gone to conduct a transaction at the Sinkor branch. The drum was rolled over and again before the customer, named withheld, turned his back and picked the winner.Many bystanders were amazed that the winner of the grand prize was from rural Liberia.Madam Jolo was expected to arrive in Monrovia Friday to take delivery of her brand new Chevrolet. The promotion, analysts observed, was a win-win for customers and Ecobank.A bystander noted that while it is true that only one person is taking delivery of the car, the rest of the customers that make up the 31,000 regular depositors now have savings accounts that they can refer to. The bystander also noted that Ecobank benefitted because the Bank was able to mobilize more deposits, thereby increasing its assets base.The Ecobank MD told the public that Ecobank is here to fulfill its founding objective of “helping with the rebuilding process of Liberia and improving the livelihoods of ordinary Liberians.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
4:10: Warriors unveil … Beat writers Dieter Kurtenbach and Mark Medina review how the Warriors can “bounce back” from losing a stunning 31-point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their first round NBA playoffs series on Monday at Oracle Arena in Oakland.Here’s what you’ll hear in their latest podcast:1:00: Warriors have “made a habit of taking their foot off the accelerator.”2:10: Dubs lose DeMarcus Cousins to an injury, and lost the game because “they just imploded.”
There’s been a rapid rise in transgender cases lately, and researchers at an ivy-league college can’t figure out why.The latest PC craze, bouncing off identity politics, is transgenderism. According to the leftist totalitarians in the media, denying your biology is cool, and nobody is allowed to question it. Big Science and Big Media—slaves to political correctness—are caught in a dilemma. On the one hand is scientific objectivity and common sense. On the other hand is the wrath of the PC enforcers, who must not be challenged. This can lead to ridiculous, even humorous, lapses in logic.Case in point: there has been a rapid rise in “gender dysphoria” cases, where individuals express confusion about what gender they are. The answer could be as simple as looking inside their pants, but PC enforcers have severed the common sense bonds between biological sex and gender “feelings,” leading to dozens of new kinds of genders. Each new gender comes with obligatory pronouns that compliant PC followers are supposed to learn under penalty of discipline— even to the point of being fired.Accompanying the confusion usually comes new PC terminology. For instance, we notice that scientific papers about ‘gay sex’ (yes, there are researchers who dig into this) have dropped the word “homosexual” entirely, using the convoluted mouthful, “men who have sex with men.” In the transgender world, new terminology has also arisen. Science Daily reports an alarming rise in “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” This refers to teens who are suddenly switching genders with no prior evidence of gender discomfort. Scientists at Brown University are completely baffled by this trend, because the need to be politically correct has put blinders on their common sense.Until recently, it was unusual for a teen to report initial feelings of gender dysphoria during or after puberty without childhood symptoms. Clinicians have reported that this kind of gender dysphoria is on the rise, particularly for patients whose sex was observed to be female at birth. Additionally, the numbers of adolescents seeking care for gender dysphoria has increased dramatically. It is unknown why these changes are occurring.This month, a Brown University researcher published the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.Image by Nikolay LammThe reasons for this trend become obvious as one continues reading— obvious, that is, to all but PC scientists, who could not reason about facts that were staring them in the face if their careers depended on it:Among the noteworthy patterns Littman found in the survey data: 21 percent of parents reported their child had one or more friends become transgender-identified at around the same time; 20 percent reported an increase in their child’s social media use around the same time as experiencing gender dysphoria symptoms; and 45 percent reported both.Clearly, the media have laid the groundwork for this trend, which the article says is “a rate that is more [than] 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults.” Do these researchers, most of them Darwinians, believe that teens are evolving that fast? They should hope not, or else the human race is bound for extinction.Conveniently for Big Science, the situation may lead to more research opportunities.Littman added that more research is needed to determine the prevalence of rapid-onset gender dysphoria, whether adolescent-onset gender dysphoria and rapid-onset gender dysphoria are temporary or likely to be long term, and how to best to support individuals with rapid-onset gender dysphoria and their families.Funding is bound to forbid common sense so that any conclusions can appear scientific. You can be sure that the conclusions will never dare suggest that transgenders should go back to their biological reality.You, dear common-sense reader, have undoubtedly figured out what’s going on. Transgenderism has become trendy! The PC culture of our day has glorified the brave souls who switch genders, giving them all kinds of new attention and praise. It’s easy to visualize teens gathering about the latest star in class who transitioned and is now getting all the attention. She tells how easy it was to become a boy, or a whatzit, and how she/he/zhe/it is getting offers for TV and radio to tell how victimized it felt being trapped in another person’s body. Everybody bows down to it now, careful to use the right pronoun, apologizing for any slip. It is now a celebrity! It explains to all its non-transitioned friends on Facebook how to do it, and all its friends imagine themselves as something else, thinking of the times they have felt victimized by their biological gender expectations. The boy athlete who kept losing against his peers envisions himself winning all the girls’ athletic events, knowing that nobody will dare complain.Big Media and Big Education put fuel on the fire, glorifying the T in LGBT. How bad is it? Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio program recently told about a library that was offering readings to 3-to-6-year-olds by drag queens. Schools bring in T celebrities to talk about their experiences as victims, and how they were liberated by transitioning. Teachers warn their students against using wrong pronouns for the new class royalty, the T’s. Infractions are punished severely. High schools let biological boys be prom queens and biological girls be class kings. Lusty boys learn how to enter the girls’ bathrooms. T is trendy. Glorify transitioning, and you will find a sudden rush of “sudden onset gender dysphoria” supported by Big Media, Big Education, Big Law, social media and student gossip.That was easy, wasn’t it? Don’t ask the Science Experts. They will say, “It is unknown why these changes are occurring.”If you are struggling with gender identity, please read Nancy Pearcey’s new book, Love Thy Body. There is hope. 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4 May 2011 As the 21st World Economic Forum on Africa kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa’s message to the world is moving beyond an emphasis on the country’s rich cultural diversity, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. “We are now highlighting our achievements in the fields of science, technological innovation, financial services and our recognition as a systemically important member of the international community,” Gordhan said on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the meeting. “In our hosting of WEF Africa, we will confidently say that South Africa is indeed responding to the new reality.” The three-day meeting, starting on Wednesday, will discuss how sub-Saharan Africa can sustain its growth path and become one of the pillars of global growth and demand. To be held under the theme, “Shaping Africa’s Role in the New Reality”, the meeting will take place against the backdrop of the increasing global recognition of Africa’s growth potential. Gordhan, South Africa’s lead minister for the WEF on Africa, said the country was ideally placed in the shifting poles of power and economic growth, not only as an emerging market, but also as a leading economy on a continent that has become an indispensible partner in the global economy and is home to approximately 15% of the world’s population. “We are strong promoters of inclusive growth, job creation, and the diversification of the economy,” the minister said. He added that South Africa was actively participating and contributing to positions formulated in global policy making. “We are also assuming an increasingly important position in the international arena. We are one of the non-permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, the only African country to be a member of the G20, and now most recently, we have taken a seat at the table of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa forum (BRICS), which, with its population of over 3-billion people, serves as a major platform for global dialogue and cooperation.” Among issues to be discussed at the WEF Africa are how African economies can mitigate their exposure to the volatility in commodity prices, and how the continent can strengthen its voice in multilateral forums such as the G20 and the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17). The COP 17 conference will take place in Durban in December. Source: BuaNews
27 August 2013 For one week in September, South Africans will once again be allowed to enjoy their natural heritage free of charge, with day visitors getting free access to the Kruger National Park and almost all other national parks in the country. The eighth annual South African National Parks (SANParks) Week runs from 9 to 13 September, and offers South African citizens free entry into almost all 19 national parks, with the exception of the Namaqua National Park and the Boulders Penguin Colony in Table Mountain National Park. “A number of events have been lined up to encourage South African citizens to visit the park and experience the beauty,” Kruger National Park spokesperson William Mabasa said this week. Mabasa said the aim was to encourage South Africans to take care of the country’s conservation areas. South African day visitors who present their green bar-coded identity documents will be allowed free entry that week. Children under the age of 12 will not need proof of identity. Groups regarded as commercial ventures, such as private open safari vehicle operators, tourists who come to the park on tour buses, and overnight visitors will not qualify for free access. “The normal daily quota at the gates will still apply during that week, and preference will be given based on first come, first served basis,” Mabasa said. As part of the week, Kruger Park management will be engaging with neighbouring communities in Limpopo and Mpumalanga province. “We will be visiting sick children at Maphutha L Malatji Hospital in Phalaborwa and hosting a group of individuals with visual disabilities, affording them an opportunity to touch and feel the bush.” Mabasa said that nature conservation should not be out of anyone’s reach as it formed part their culture and heritage.Table Mountain National Park For Capetonians, there’s the opportunity to visit Cape Point – part of the Table Mountain National Park – and spend the day exploring the majestic most south-westerly point in Africa. Free guided walks along the coast of the Cape of Good Hope will be available from Tuesday, 10 September to Thursday, 12 September on a first come, first served basis. Walks are scheduled for 10h00, 11h00 and 12h00 from Tuesday to Thursday and are two to three hours in length. Early registration is essential, as there is only space for 20 people per walk – email [email protected] before Thursday, 5 September to sign up. Metrorail and their preferred bus-service provider, HGTS Tours, are offering daily return train-trips from Cape Town to Simons Town, followed by a luxury coach journey to Cape Point for the duration of SA National Parks Week (including Saturday 14 September). The cost for this transport package is R120 per adult and R60 for children up to the age of 12, students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Meghan Horne of Metrorail’s Rail Tourism Promotions Department on 021 449 3018 / 2366 or email [email protected] SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest CornBrazil’s corn production loss estimates are fluctuating between 200 to 400 million bushels. While this may sound high, it is actually helping to ease some large carryout concerns. Estimates are showing the U.S. will likely have the largest corn carryout in the last 10 years come August. This hasn’t happened since before the 2007 ethanol mandate, which coincides with the last time corn traded below $3 for an extended period.Adding to the mix, China continues to be a wildcard in terms of storage and carryout. Estimates of China’s corn storage levels range between 4 billion by the USDA to 9 billion bushels by some Chinese firms. Also, there continues to be rumors of quality issues with the stored corn. China may have to export some to blend off lower quality corn and replace with fresh inventory this fall. All these unknowns make it difficult to be bullish corn without a weather issue.BeansBeans continue to trade wildly as questions regarding production issues in Argentina circulate. Regardless, Argentina is sitting on the largest bean supply carryout in the world, so there isn’t a supply problem on paper. These production issues only represent about 20% of last year’s beans in storage in that country. The U.S. bean supply is still burdensome. We face the largest carryout in over a decade. Even with fewer acres than predicted a month ago, trend-line yields would create a situation that doesn’t warrant current prices.Funds have been on a buying spree, which may be what is supporting higher prices right now. This seems similar to last July when corn prices rallied quickly on fears that didn’t match the bigger picture. The $10 beans of today may be the $4.50 corn of last summer, where only 4 months later corn was trading at $3.50. Time will tell.Market ActionEarly this week I was concerned this recent bean rally may be short-lived (similar to last year’s corn rally), so I purchased 9 Nov puts for 10 cents on 40% of my anticipated 2017 production. These expire in late Oct, but I’m using them for the 2017 crop. This position provides unlimited upside potential (less 10 cents) and peace of mind that I won’t take less than $9 for some of my 2017 beans (again for 10 cents).While I hope I lose all the money I paid for these puts (because that means values stayed high), I wanted to be sure to put protections in place to reduce my farm operation’s risk.While farmers have a tendency to be optimists (i.e. prices will go higher), It’s important to remember things can always get worse. Right now the best outcome for prices would be a drought. Unfortunately, a drought usually hits southeast Nebraska (where my farm is) the hardest. So, for me it’s a catch-22 (price vs. yield). That’s why it’s important to put protections in place against all scenarios because no one can predict the future.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]