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Bill would bring back income tax draw Permanent Fund money for state

first_imgRep. Paul Seaton, co-chair, House Finance Committee, discusses House Bill 115 with Alaska Public Media and KTOO reporter Andrew Kitchenman following the House floor session Friday. The bill creates a state income tax, draws money from the Permanent Fund for the state budget, and introduces a new formula for setting the amount of the Permanent Fund dividend. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)Alaskans would pay a tax on income for the first time since 1980 under a bill introduced in the Legislature on Friday.Listen nowThe bill also would draw money from the Permanent Fund to pay for the state government’s budget. And it would set a new formula for Permanent Fund dividends.The new bill is the biggest visible sign yet of the shift in the majority of the state House of Representatives.Income tax proposals went no further than committee hearings under the previous, Republican-led House majority.But the new, mostly Democratic majority may advance the bill quickly.Homer Rep. Paul Seaton is one of three Republicans who switched caucuses. He also helped write the new legislation, House Bill 115.“The basic question is: ‘What kind of Alaska do you want to live in?’,” Seaton said. “Our constituents have told us that they want to see an Alaska that has a thriving economy, that has good schools, that has troopers and the court system running well. And without some kind of deficit reduction, broad-based, comprehensive plan, we don’t get that.”The bill would set the income tax rate at 15 percent of federal liability. For example, a couple with taxable income of $75,000 would pay about $10,000 in federal taxes and $1,500 in state taxes.The bill would give Alaskans the option of using some or all of their Permanent Fund dividends to pay the tax.The bill would draw 4.75 percent annually from the Permanent Fund from the fund’s earnings account. That’s a little less than the 5.25 percent draw that Gov. Bill Walker has proposed. One-third of that money would go to PFDs. That would allow dividends to be $1,100 this year, more than the $1,000 Walker proposed.“The majority caucus in the House formed around the principle of passing a comprehensive, sustainable fiscal plan, and so, that’s what we have,” Seaton said.Seaton said the bill includes three of the pillars of the new House majority – including new revenue, a draw on the Permanent Fund, and changing Permanent Fund dividends. The fourth element is budget cuts and changes to the oil and gas tax system.Seaton said the income tax provides balance by requiring higher-income residents to contribute, while the PFD cut affects lower-income residents more.“So this plan balances those two aspects, so that all families across Alaska are participants and have skin in the game,” Seaton said.The bill would also tax capital gains at 10 percent. Seaton said his goal was to tax the sale of stocks and bonds at a similar rate as income.The bill drew swift opposition from minority-caucus Republicans.Anchorage Rep. Lance Pruitt objected to the bill being sponsored by the House Finance Committee. He said it would be wrong to add an income tax during a recession.“Now you understand why I don’t want my name associated with this,” Pruitt said. “Now you understand why I don’t want anything to do with a bill that’s going to look — at a time when people are struggling — to say: ‘We need more money from you.’ ”Wasilla Republican Rep. Cathy Tilton said House Finance Committee Co-chairmen Seaton and Nome Democratic Rep. Neal Foster shouldn’t have used their authority to introduce the bill as committee-sponsored legislation.“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” Tilton said. “Regardless of what’s been done in the past, (that) does not preclude a new standard of decorum.”Senate leaders, including Fairbanks Republican Senate President Pete Kelly, have also said they’re opposed to an income tax.The Senate majority supports $750 million in cuts over three years and a constitutional limit on spending.But Seaton said the public is willing to pay a tax to avoid deep cuts to government that he says would harm the economy.Seaton noted that Alaskans paid 16 percent of federal liability before the income tax was abolished. And he pointed to a Senate majority poll that found support for a broad-based tax.“People are saying, yes, they want to see the Alaska they want to live in and they’re willing to pay an income tax like they used to for that privilege of living here and growing old here,” Seaton said.The bill is scheduled for hearings on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and for public testimony Friday, Feb. 17.last_img read more

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Walker orders state agencies to pursue grants to fight opioid epidemic

first_imgGov. Bill Walker, state Emergency Programs Section Chief Andy Jones, Kara Nelson and state Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jay Butler during the Feb. 16 announcement of Walker’s order on opioid addiction. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/Alaska Public Media/KTOO)Gov. Bill Walker took action this week to try to stem the epidemic of overdose deaths from heroin and other opioid drugs.Walker signed a disaster declaration that’s intended to make it easier to give overdose victims the life-saving overdose antidote naloxone.More than 120 Alaskans have died from opioid overdoses over the past three years. Walker said declaring a disaster will enable a coordinated statewide response.“I mean, it’s not one particular region, one particular income strata,” Walker said. “It is widespread, and it’s just, the stories were just horrific from across the state.”Walker ordered state agencies Thursday to apply for grants to prevent and treat addiction. They’ll also work to eliminate illegally imported drugs and help monitor controlled drugs. And they’ll aim to add funding for treatment using methadone and other medications.State Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jay Butler is leading a weekly Instate Command System of senior state officials to respond to the epidemic, similar to the response to oil spills and other disasters.“The challenge of the opioid epidemic is that it’s more than just a criminal justice issue, but it’s also a health issue,” Butler said. “We need to address it very broadly in terms of being a health issue, a public safety issue, an education issue, a medical practice issue. We need to have a multi-pronged approach.”Butler said making naloxone more widely available is an important first step. But he said it’s important to transition those recovering from overdoses into withdrawal and addiction treatment.“It’s not a cure-all,” Butler said. “It’s like a tourniquet in a severe trauma case. It saves a life, but it does not cure addiction. That’s why a much broader-based approach is needed.”The state will spend more than $4 million on the effort. All of the funding comes from four federal grants.Butler said more doctors should receive training to provide patients with methadone and other drugs that help treat addiction, including Vivitrol and buprenorphine.“Many of my colleagues I will hear say, ‘Well, I didn’t really go into medicine to treat addiction,’ but I think we all went into medicine to make people well,” Butler said.A key part of the opioid response is the people in recovery who work as peer counselors, connecting those who are using heroin and other drugs with the treatment they need.Juneau resident Kara Nelson is a certified recovery and re-entry coach. She directs Haven House Juneau, a peer-led, faith-based transitional home for women leaving prison. She praised Walker’s approach.“I think it’s just going to give us more ammo when we’re trying to fight to bring different supports, and say we need more treatment, we need more detox, we need to treat this as a public-health issue,” Nelson said. “What that means is long-term recovery supports, which we are lacking so much here in the state.”Walker said he will work with the Legislature for changes to state law to aid the effort.last_img read more

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MRF to invest Rs 4500 crore for tyre project in Gujarat

first_imgMRF, India’s largest tyre maker by capacity, will invest Rs 4,500 crore in a new manufacturing facility in Gujarat. The investment will be in a phased manner, according to the Chennai-based company.”MRF Ltd has informed BSE that the Company has on January 11, 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] with the Government of Gujarat expressing its in-principle intention to set up a new manufacturing facility in Gujarat for manufacture of automotive tyres, tubes, flaps and related products,” the company said in its regulatory filing.”The company proposes to invest a sum of about Rs. 4500 crores over a ten year period in a phased manner. The new plant is planned to be set up in Gujarat with the intention of broad basing the company’s manufacturing facilities across India. The project will be funded by internal accruals and / or debt,” it added.The MRF stock was trading at Rs 54,950 at the BSE on Thursday at about 1.50 pm. The company has five tyre manufacturing facilities in India.Other tyre makers in India include Ceat, Apollo Tyres, JK Tyre, Goodyear, TVS Srichakra and Modi Rubber.last_img read more

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UPS maker Luminous aims to double turnover to Rs 5000 crore in

first_imgNew Delhi-based Luminous Power Technologies, which operates in power storage and home electricals segment, is aiming to double its annual turnover to Rs 5,000 crore in the next five years as the power backup solutions provider eyes product portfolio expansion and tapping into new markets.India CV industry outlook FY2017: Pre-buying ahead of BS-IV emission norms to partially offset slump after note banThe company plans to expand production capacity at its seven existing plants and focus more on innovative products in the segment. Luminous, in which French multinational Schneider Electric has a 74 percent stake, sells it products in more than 36 countries with a strong foothold in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. “We believe that over a period of time, we should be able to deliver a double digit growth coming in from power storage with a combination of solar and home electrical brand,” Vipul Sabharwal, managing director at Luminous, told PTI. “In next 4-5 years, we would be around Rs 5,000 crore and the growth would come from domestic and international markets,” he added. Moving beyond traditional UPS devices, the company recently launched Regalia – which is a wall mountable power backup system – marketing it as a product customers would love to flaunt, unlike those traditional power backups people prefer to hide somewhere in a corner of their houses. Regalia can also be connected with wi-fi to access power information on any connected device.Similarly, Luminous Zelio is a state-of-the-art home UPS that tells you how many hours of power still remains through a simple and intuitive LED display. Further, Luminous designer fans come with a LED light diffuser and a fully functional intuitive RF Remote.In an industry worth Rs 15,000 crore currently, Luminous has a market share of around 39 percent in UPS and 27 percent in inverter batteries. The company’s power storage products contribute about 90 percent of the sales and rest 10 percent comes from home electricals, which includes segments as fan, switches and electric cables. “We would soon enter a new category which is LED lights in the next quarter,” Sabharwal said, adding that the company is scouting for new markets and looking at greater penetration in the existing markets. Luminous also sells its products using online channels in the domestic market through its own e-commerce portal luminouseshop.com and other channel partners.last_img read more

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RBI cuts repo rates by 25 basis points to 6 percent EMIs

first_imgThe Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee on Thursday, April 4, decided to cut repo rates by 25 basis points or 0.25 per cent to 6 per cent, meeting a majority of economists’ expectations.The RBI’s six-member rate-setting panel headed by RBI governor Shaktikanta Das on Tuesday started its three-day monetary policy meet amid expectations of a rate cut to boost the Indian economy. This is the second consecutive rate cut under Shaktikanta Das after a surprise cut in repo rate in February.”On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting today decided to reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6 per cent from 6.25 per cent with immediate effect,” the RBI said.”Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25 per cent.”The MPC also decided to maintain the neutral monetary policy stance.”These decisions are in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 percent, while supporting growth.”What is repo rate?Repo rate is the key interest rate at which the RBI lends short-term funds to commercial banks. Over 85 percent of the nearly 70 economists polled by news agency Reuters had expected the central bank to cut the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 6.00 percent on April 4. Reserve Bank of India building.Reuters/Vivek Prakashlast_img read more

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Thai princess meets foreign minister Mahmool Ali

first_imgVisiting Thailand’s princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on Tuesday evening held a meeting with foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and discussed various issues of mutual interest.Sirindhorn who arrived in Dhaka on Monday on a four-day visit also visited Mariali Government Primary School in Gazipur.She will visit Thailand and Bangladesh collaborative project on Vetiver Grass Development near Tiger Pass Area in Chattogram on Wednesday.She will also visit Ethnological Museum in the port city.Sirindhorn will meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday morning and exchange views with agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury and culture affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor and other dignitaries, officials said.She will also inaugurate a new environmental conservation project taken in collaboration with the environment and forests ministry titled”Bangladesh-Thailand Vetiver Grass Development Project to prevent hill erosion in Chattogram” on Wednesday at Tiger Pass in Chattogram city.The princess is leading an 11-member high-profile Thai government delegation to visit philanthropic projects she set up in Bangladesh in 2011 under her father late King Bhumibols’s Royal Chai Pattana Foundation.On the first day, she visited Liberation War Museum in the city and took a tour of different galleries of the museum.Officials at the museum described the brutalities carried out by Pakistan army during the 1971 Liberation War.She will also attend dinner to be hosted by foreign minister Mahmood Ali in her honour.last_img read more

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Sri Lankan tourist police asked to learn Hindi

first_imgSri Lanka’s inspector general of Police Pujith Jayasundara said on Monday that 25 new police posts will be set up covering all main the tourist spots across the country for visitors’ security. And police personnel have been asked to learn Hindi.The decision was taken after discussions with the chairman and senior officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), Xinhua news agency quoted Jayasundara as saying.He said a new uniform would be introduced to the Tourist Police Division.In a few years, the tourism sector was expected to become the largest foreign exchange earner for the country. Therefore, ensuring safety of the foreigners visiting Sri Lanka will be a top priority for the police force, Jayasundara said.”Officers of the Tourist Police Division should pay special attention to language training. In addition to English, they should also learn widely used international languages such as Chinese, Hindi and French,” Jayasundara said.Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, once heavily scarred by a 30-year ethnic conflict, has become one of the leading industries after it was dubbed one of the world’s greatest tourist hot spots by several international publications.last_img read more

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Samuels opts out as WI players retain lawyers for battle ahead

first_imgWest Indies players who controversially abandoned the tour of India last week have retained legal counsel as they prepare to tackle the contentious Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by their union, West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), but batsman Marlon Samuels has opted not to pursue this course of action along with his team-mates. This was confirmed in a release on Friday by ODI captain Dwayne Bravo, who is also acting as a spokesman for the aggrieved players, reports CMC. Samuels said earlier this week he was not supportive on the decision to abandon the tour and had hardly attended any of the players meetings on the troubled tour.  Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaHowever, Bravo rebutted Samuels’ claims, contending the Jamaican right-hander was a vocal part of the meetings held. ‘I note the comments attributed to Mr. Marlon Samuels from media reports and wish to state that Mr. Samuels was invited to and did attend the majority of meetings with the players on tour,’ Bravo said. ‘We extended an invitation to Mr. Marlon Samuels with the full knowledge that he is not a member of WIPA but was an interested party. Mr. Samuels contributed vigorously to the discussions held and indicated clearly, at that time, that he would stand with any decision taken by the team. I am therefore shocked to see the statements, if true, that have been attributed to Mr. Samuels.’ Bravo stressed that while he had undertaken the role of spokesman for the players, all correspondence during that period had been issued with the full backing of the players. The senior all-rounder said the playing group had been boosted by the widespread support they had received, though they had also received criticism in some quarters.  Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: Shastri‘We recognise that a few have attempted to put the blame squarely on the players without the full knowledge of the facts. This is regrettable since a few persons are making statements without knowing all the relevant facts. In time we believe all the facts will come to light. We do not wish to make any further statements on this matter since the players on tour (except Mr. Samuels) with some additional players who did not tour India have appointed Counsel to represent them in this matter,’ Bravo said.last_img read more

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Bengals business chambers laud state Budget 201920

first_imgKolkata: Various business chambers in Bengal lauded the state government’s Budget presented by Finance minister Amit Mitra on Monday.President, MCCI, Vishal Jhajharia said that full exemption of Education Cess and Rural Employment Cess for Tea gardens has been extended for two more years, which would help the tea industry grow. The government has given more emphasis to develop the MSME sector and credit flow to Rs 20,287 crore during April to September 2018, which is noteworthy. Around 95 new SSI clusters have been taken up, taking the total number to 520 from 425. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseHe appreciated the prudent fiscal management of the state, by which revenue deficit has come down to 0.96 percent. Fiscal deficit as a percentage of GSDP has also gone down to 2.83 percent. Industrial growth in the state has been as high as 16.29 percent in 2017-18, compared to 5.54 percent at the national level, which is excellent. He also mentioned that Flipkart is going to develop a Flipkart Hub in Haringhata at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore. Meanwhile, the Bengal Chamber thinks that the Budget has brought in good news for revenue deficit of the state, which has been reduced to zero for 2019-20. The Budget has announced additional income for poorer sections of the society, namely contractual group C and D workers, as well as self-employed persons. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Chamber welcomed the fact that Asha and Anganwadi workers, the backbone of rural society, have seen a rise in monthly salary by Rs 500. The farmers having below 1 acre of land (marginal peasants) will have an annual additional income of Rs 5,000. The fast growth of the industrial sector and GSDP will generate additional revenue to the state, so that on debt head, Bengal needs only a 10 percent rise in this Budget, compared to an increase of almost 55 percent during the last Budget. The Chamber also feels that the Budget has given stress on demands of farmers, social sector and poorer sections of the society, as well as MSMEs. Sitaram Sharma, president, Bharat Chamber of Commerce, said: “From the industry perspective, the full exemption given to tea gardens from the payment of Educational and Rural Employment Cess for the next two financial years is indeed laudable.” “The state’s achievement of a GSDP growth of nearly 12 percent in the last fiscal clearly states that the government has been able to drive aggregate demand and create more and better employment for the youth,” he added.last_img read more

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AntiPiracy Bill Could Do More Harm Than Good for Small Companies

first_imgNovember 18, 2011 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » A bill in Congress that aims to punish “rogue” websites that publish or sell pirated content could potentially harm small businesses as much as it could help them.The “Stop Online Piracy Act” aims to punish online businesses that host copyrighted content without authorization — including peer-to-peer content sharing sites, among others. It was introduced last month by House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (D-TX).So far, the bill has gained support from major entertainment industry players including the Motion Picture Association of America. During a Congressional hearing this week, MPAA senior executive vice president Michael O’Leary argued that these rogue websites negatively affect the revenues of major Hollywood studios as well as the “95,000 small businesses across the country involved in the production and distribution of movies and television.”But while the SOPA bill could provide added protection for some small businesses, such as those in the entertainment industry, those who oppose the bill argue that the potential downsides outweigh the benefits. “While you’re trying to protect people who have innovated in the past by giving them an additional level of protection for their intellectual property, in doing so you risk penalizing the innovators of the future,” says Andrea Matwyshyn, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. “You create a more constrained innovation space in an environment that’s more hostile to IP.”Entrepreneurs — especially those who are or plan to aggregate or remix content, or share content in new ways online — should pay attention to how the SOPA bill plays out in Congress and what the consequences will be, Matwyshyn says. No specific timetable has been set for a vote, she says.This week, tech giants including Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and AOL collectively voiced opposition to the bill, writing a letter to the Committee on the Judiciary. As currently written, the SOPA bill would allow copyright holders to obtain court orders to disallow other companies from doing business with the sites that are alleged to be in violation of copyright. It could also force search engines and domain registries to censor the infringing sites. The companies argue that the bill would undermine the intent of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which reduces the liability of online companies — large and small — that act in good faith to remove infringing content from their sites.A similar bill, called the Protect IP Act, passed the U.S. Senate earlier this year but was effectively put on hold by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), over its potential to “muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth,” he said.When a statute has a “heavy-handed approach” such as SOPA or the Protect IP Act, there is potential that individuals or companies with deep pockets will leverage their legal expertise and the legislation to eliminate the ability of new entrants into the IP space with novel business models, Matwyshyn says. “There’s a relatively clear consensus, in at least some corners of the legal community, that this is not the best way to achieve the goals that Congress is aiming for,” she says.center_img 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

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Celebrity Big Brother Rachel Johnson evicted calls Ann Widdecombe a misogynist

first_imgAnn and Rachel were nominated alongside housemates John Barnes, Andrew Brady and Daniel O’Reilly, also known as comedian Dapper Laughs.When nominated for eviction, Ann was the most voted for out of the five housemates nominated, receiving four votes from her fellow housemates.In a previous episode, drag star Courtney Act was shown to nominate Ann for eviction, referencing her “morally conservative” views as a reason.Ann entered the Celebrity Big Brother house as an outsider, with 50/1 odds against her victory.However, the 70-year-old former Tory MP is now the second favourite to storm to victory in the show.Bookmakers have now slashed the odds on Ann Widdecombe winning Celebrity Big Brother.William Hill slashed the price of Ann winning Thursday.As a result, she is the 5/2 second-favourite – having been 50/1 on entering the house – putting her just behind the 5/6 favourite Courtney Act, also known as Shane Jenek.Odds among the other housemates are: 10/1 Andrew Brady, 12/1 Shane Lynch, 20/1 Amanda Barrie, 20/1 Dapper Laughs, 20/1 Jess Impiazzi, 25/1 John Barnes, 33/1 Maggie Oliver, 33/1 Malika Haqq, 66/1 Ashley James, 80/1 Jonny Mitchell, 80/1 Wayne Sleep, 100/1 Ginuwine.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Celebrity Big Brother: Andrew Brady was saved from eviction and fans were delightedCelebrity Big Brother: Courtney Act becomes the first star nominated for eviction this weekBianca Del Rio labels Ann Widdecombe a ‘c***’ while celebrating Courtney Act’s CBB winPINK NEWS- Ann Widdecombe has avoided eviction but not criticism on Celebrity Big Brother as Rachel Johnson is the second housemate to leave the house.Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe was one of five housemates nominated for Friday’s double eviction.  eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) In the first half of the show, Rachel Johnson became the second housemate to leave the Celebrity Big Brother house.The journalist and sister of former London Mayor Boris Johnson spoke to Emma Willis immediately after eviction, and stated that whilst she enjoyed her time in the CBB house, she was happy to have left.She said: “The public have spoken and I’m happy that the public have spoken.“I was ready, it was the funnest time I’ve ever had but I was ready come out.”Rachel was then asked about her relationship with Ann Widdecombe, as the pair argued several times during her time on the show.Rachel said: “She’s been quite spikey with a lot of the women in the house“She obviously prefers male company.”Referencing a yet to be broadcast argument, Rachel said that she had vocally criticised Ann earlier that day for her attitudes to the women in the house.She said: “I just said to Ann, you’re not just anti-feminist, you’re a misogynist!”Rachel then moderated her comments, saying: “It was great having her in the house.”The housemates were not aware prior to Friday’s episode that two housemates would be evicted on the same day.During the first part of Friday’s episode, Ann was saved from eviction by the public vote as Rachel was evicted.last_img read more

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The truth about real estate appraisals in Costa Rica

first_imgI just had a Whatsapp discussion with someone about the value of real estate appraisals.Our office had a building lot in Pavas listed with a price tag of $95,000. A potential buyer had called numerous times in the past few weeks. She said she was interested in buying the building lot, but would not make an offer.When we started messaging, I told her we had an accepted offer on the property. The offer was quite close to the asking price and accepted by both parties; the seller received a nice offer because it was the only building lot for sale in the whole subdivision. It sold within weeks, which is quite unusual in the Costa Rican real estate market.The lady asked if someone had done an appraisal on the property. She was just fishing; the lot was sold, so the conversation wasn’t going anywhere. She insisted the price was way too high, even though it sold close to that asking price. She did not seem to understand that real estate is about supply and demand. In her opinion, real estate appraisals show the real value of the property.But do they?Property recordsIn the United States, for example, you can look up property values, history records and other valuable info easily through programs like US Realty Records.In Costa Rica, we don’t have anything like this. Property sales are registered through a deed in the National Property Registry. Those data are public, but you need to know the owner information or property number to access the information. Sales data for a property owned in a corporation and transferred within the corporation will never be visible to the general public.Therefore, nobody really has any access to property values and history records to be used for real estate appraisals. For the same reason, you won’t find any CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis) in Costa Rica.Banks in Costa Rica use the loan amount to register the value of a property they lend on – so those data are no good to their own appraisers either.Real estate values and dataReal estate values change all the time; finding fresh data requires an enormous effort. Without the fresh data, it is impossible to do correct and up-to-date real estate appraisals. So what do appraisers do to find the necessary data to do their job?They do what any human being can do: surf around on the web and drive around the neighborhood looking for signs. They collect the data and try to get a general idea of land values in the area.Appraisal methodsThere are various appraisal methods used by appraisers in Costa Rica: the Ross-Heidecke, the Heidecke, the Ross, and the Kuentzle method. Real estate agents usually use the concept of replacement value, less a construction cost depreciation of 2 percent per year.All these methods need up-to-date values to be able to come up with a sensible result. As I explained before, the necessary data for an exact result is not available in Costa Rica.GuesstimateAs you can see, all these methods to do real estate appraisals are much like holding a finger in the air. As long as the National Property Registry doesn’t start producing data and making them public, real estate appraisals are not much more than a guesstimate.LendersBanks and private lenders use real estate appraisals to find out what the Loan To Value (LTV) is. Banks are now lending on property sold by real estate developers at almost 100 percent. Private lenders often have real estate agents do their appraisals, and they use a “fire sale value.” Who do you think will get the short end of the stick?Solution?In my opinion, the best solution for getting a sensible real estate appraisal is to ask a seasoned real estate agent who has worked in a particular area for many years. Those agents usually know what properties in their area have sold for in the past.In any case, the only real value is the price that a buyer is willing to pay for a property.Recommended: Are traffic jams changing the Central Valley real estate market?Ivo Henfling founded the American-European Real Estate Group in 1999 — the first functioning MLS in Costa Rica with affiliate agents from coast to coast. You can read other articles like this on his blog. Contact Ivo at (506) 2289-5125 / 8834-4515 or at ivo@american-european.net. Facebook Comments Related posts:Did you inherit a property in Costa Rica? The Tico Times announces 1st English-language media alliance with Costa Rican Chamber of Realtors The Tico Times launches new real estate section Costa Rican house size is measured under the rooflast_img read more

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Celebrity Cruises Australian preview

first_imgThe countdown is on for Celebrity Cruises’ first ship to hit Australian waters this November. Celebrity Century will home port in Sydney for the Australian summer before making way for her big sister Celebrity Solstice in the summer of 2012-13. “There’s no greater substantiation for the interest in this market than the investment the company’s (RCI) making in the largest and most modern cruise ship ever to call Australia home which will be in the summer of 2012-2013,” said Gavin Smith, managing director Celebrity Cruises Australia.President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Dan Hanrahan, flew into Sydney last week ahead of the deployment to speak with Australian media and agents about the Celebrity offering and sang the praises of the land down under.Mr Hanrahan expressed his long-term goal to have more than one ship home port in Sydney during the summer but recognised that improvements need to be made to the Sydney port situation in order to achieve this.  Highlighting the economic benefits to NSW as a whole, Mr Hanrahan expects over $1 million in revenue to be generated per day that a Celebrity ship visits Sydney. “The port has some interesting opportunities ahead of it…if the port can figure out how to accommodate large ships as well as small ships, the beneficiary of that will be the greater Sydney area and NSW in general.”Whilst having a good port infrastructure is important, Mr Hanrahan explained that something simple can always be effective. He cited the port in Hamburg, Germany as an example which was constructed out of shipping containers for the recent inaugural sailing of Celebrity Silhouette and reiterated that the line can work within the conditions provided to them. Taking time out to speak with e-Travel Blackboard prior to his Sydney media briefing, Mr Hanrahan cleared up the confusion recent comments caused regarding tipping on board.With tipping included as a line item when booking a cruise, Mr Hanrahan explained that his comments were in relation to educating Australian cruisers about the amounts allocated per staff member, not about how to tip in general. “When I saw that article I was mortified. I would have to be really dumb to say something like that, or very arrogant and I’d like to think I was neither.”Listen to Mr Hanrahan explain the confusion in his own words below. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A The entire interview will be aired on Cruise Radio later this week. last_img read more

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New president for Carnival Cruise Lines

first_imgCarnival Corporation, today announced that Christine Duffy has been named president of Carnival Cruise Line, which is the corporations largest cruise brand with a total of 24 ships.Duffy, currently president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), will assume the role on February 1, and she will be reporting to Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation.“Christine is one of the most respected and dynamic leaders in the travel industry, she brings a wealth of experience to Carnival Cruise Line that will help the cruise line continue to deliver unmatched vacation experiences to millions of guests each year,” Mr Donald said.Duffy has more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry and started her career as a travel agent in Philadelphia at McGettigan Partners.As CEO of CLIA, the leading trade association of the cruise industry, she led many advancements including the globalization of cruise industry associations around the world to create a unified voice promoting cruising to key stakeholders.“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to be part of a dynamic organization with a long history of innovation and industry firsts, the name Carnival is truly synonymous with cruising and I look forward to joining this talented team to continue the tradition of excellence that has made Carnival Cruise Line one of the top cruise lines in the world,” Ms Duffy said.Duffy serves on various travel industry boards including U.S. Travel Association (USTA), the advisory board for Starwood Hotels, and the Board of Directors for Visit Florida.She also is a member of The Committee of 200, an organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders that supports, celebrates and advances women’s leadership in business.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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Executive Pastry Chef wins 2016 PATA Face of the Future

first_imgThe Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce that Mr Danny Ho is the recipient of the most prestigious honour for young tourism professionals in Asia Pacific – the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award.A native of Malaysia, Danny is the Executive Pastry Chef at Hotel ICON in Hong Kong SAR where he oversees all pastry and bakery operations at the hotel, which also acts as an extension of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM).Mr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA stated, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to congratulate Mr Danny Ho on winning the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award. He has clearly demonstrated a commitment to the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region, and his views on how travel and tourism can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be a welcome asset to the 2016/2017 PATA Executive Board.”Mr Danny Ho, Executive Pastry Chef, Hotel ICON said, “I was very surprised to win the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award and I feel so honoured to have been recognised in this way. This award isn’t just recognition for me – it’s actually recognition for the amazing Hotel ICON team I work with who have worked tirelessly over the past 5 years helping build up the reputation of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.“I couldn’t have done it without my team and the small groups of elite students. Hotel ICON is an important facility in training the next generation of hoteliers and the award validates our vision to create a commercially viable, and industry-leading hotel that is admired by hospitality experts from the world.”Mr Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire, and a judge of the essay submissions, said, “All the essays contained excellent thought-prompters on the linkage between Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals. Danny Ho’s essay on the need to alleviate food waste highlighted one of the major issues facing the F&B sector, an intrinsic component of the travel & tourism industry.“I compliment Mario Hardy for taking up my suggestion to have the Face of the Future essays focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and look forward to other industry associations and organisations following suit.”Danny and his team at Hotel ICON value unique experiences that demonstrate fresh Asian hospitality. His team took a chance with the introduction of Durian, an authentic fruit from Malaysia, as the main ingredient for their signature desserts.After launching the first Durian dessert the customer response was overwhelming – leading to the development of more Durian creations. The Durian is imported directly from local farmers with the hotel as the largest importer of the fruit. Many other luxury hotels have followed this trend.As they have look to source local producers more businesses are generated, thus increasing the standard of living standard for local communities and facilitating the development of the agricultural industry – especially in Malaysia where poverty is still a major issue.With the success of their creative desserts, Hotel ICON’s reputation has steadily increased and now training courses are being organised to provide quality education to those wishing to enhance their skills in pastry.Danny added, “Travel and tourism can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals for less developed countries. Citizens of less developed countries rely heavily on agricultural production to make a living.“It is recommended that they can transform the raw materials in their home countries into multifarious goods, adding value (both monetary and non-monetary) to the product and the country. By collaborating with neighbouring or other developed countries, the less developed ones can sell the products, or hold training workshops to generate income and let travellers experience the local culture.”As the winner, Danny receives a complimentary round-trip flight and hotel accommodation to speak during the conference at the PATA Annual Summit 2016 on May 19 and to share his thoughts about the importance of Human Capital Development, shortly after the PATA Awards Presentation. Danny will also be invited to join the 2016/2017 PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer. PATASource = Pacific Asia Travel Associationlast_img read more

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Arch MI RateStar Pricing Tool Gets an Update

first_img April 5, 2019 850 Views Arch Mortgage Insurance Company (Arch MI), a provider of private mortgage insurance (MI) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Arch Capital Group Ltd., announced the release of an update to their premium pricing tool, RateStar.This next generation of Arch MI’s RateStar user portal delivers a streamlined customer experience with express quotes and options to fully customize quotes. RateStar launched 10 years ago as a dynamic tool that could evaluate individual loan risk precisely.RateStar is also the only MI pricing tool that currently has an MI buydown feature. RateStar Buydown allows loan officers to customize a unique MI premium payment for each borrower, leveraging all lender and seller credits.“RateStar continues to evolve as we apply our decade of expertise and customer feedback,” said Michael Schmeiser, Arch MI’s President and CEO. “RateStar transformed the way lenders selected coverage, delivering our most competitive rates for each loan, and RateStar Buydown made it possible for them to tailor MI premiums according to individual borrower circumstances.” “Now we’re taking RateStar to the next level with our new portal,” he continued. “It offers an express rate quote option that returns rate quotes faster and requires far fewer fields. Users have a full range of MI pricing options to choose from. RateStar provides a streamlined, uncluttered customer experience with design enhancements based on lender preferences.” The new RateStar portal has a unique URL, archmiratestar.com (archmicuratestar.com for credit unions). It’s also available on most industry loan origination systems and pricing engines, as well as through Arch MI’s origination platform, CONNECT, and its downloadable mobile app.“Arch MI has led the way with our risk-based MI pricing solution, and we’ll continue to identify opportunities to enhance and expand RateStar’s capabilities,” Schmeiser said. “Fortunately, we have both the in-house expertise and experience to ensure the tool evolves as conditions change. Constant innovation makes RateStar relevant to loan officers, who are competing for every loan and need a dynamic MI pricing solution with the flexibility and precision to differentiate them in the marketplace.”The new RateStar portal features:a streamlined, clutter-free look and feela simplified, user-friendly interface, including an accessible font, font size, and languagefewer required data entry fields to receive a basic quotea reduced processing time on the back end, resulting in faster resultsa new express rate quote option, plus a full menu of applicable pricing options Arch MI Company News RateStar 2019-04-05 David Wharton Arch MI RateStar Pricing Tool Gets an Updatecenter_img Share in Headlines, journal, News, Technologylast_img read more

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New Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told

first_img New Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf he likes to ask a question of players at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “I want to know is it more important to you to win a Super Bowl or go to a Pro Bowl,” he said. “Most of them have that answer, that it’s a team game.“But you can tell by the way they say it if they’re more interested in themselves or the team.” Comments   Share   Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Your browser does not support the audio element. LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals Head Coach center_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “I think injuries. The cohesiveness of the offensive line was shredded,” he said. “I think once you start getting down to the eighth, ninth and tenth guy on the offensive line, you’re in trouble.“And the guy that’s usually in trouble is your quarterback.”Arians has said pretty much from the time he arrived that he thinks Arizona’s offensive line is not as bad as it looked, believing that improved health along with another year of experience will go a long way towards making the group pretty effective. That would certainly help the offense improve, and it needs to. The Cardinals were last in the NFL in total offense and second to last in points per game in 2012, so Arians has his work cut out for him there. But where he doesn’t seem to have much to do is on defense, which was very much a strength of the team’s last season.But, Arians said, that does not mean there’s no room to improve.“I think the defense with just a piece or two could be dynamic,” he said. “And we’re going to do everything we can to build to our strengths, which is our defense right now, and make them as dominant as possible.” It’s that simple.If only.In truth, Arians said the combine is a chance to get a first-hand look at players who “are coached up pretty good” to begin with. A good impression in Indianapolis makes a difference as teams begin to put together their draft boards, and it’s not always about what the player does on the field.“Right now there’s so many background checks on these guys, if they have made a mistake you’d like to hear about it from them,” he said. “Some guys made one mistake and they’ve done great ever since; you want to give them the benefit of the doubt.“And other guys, obviously, have made more than one and you’ve got to put red flags up. I think those are things that as you get through the evaluation process and you start stacking that board, character is huge.”But while Arians is busy learning about potential Cardinals in Indy, he’s also spent time getting to know the players currently on the roster and those who will be available in free agency. It’s all about figuring out what the Cardinals will need going forward.And, Arians said, he’s realized the biggest issue for the 5-11 Cardinals wasn’t really a lack of talent — especially up front. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arians said the team could afford to use a “dynamic edge pass rusher,” but noted every team could. The same goes for another shutdown cornerback or a young safety.“But the core, when you look at the division, both lines of scrimmage on all the teams are really solid,” he said. “And we’ve got to continue to build that defensive line and just make it as dominant as possible, and then add some pieces on the back end.” – / 20last_img read more

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Author Wally Lamb sued by exinmate over new book

first_imgAuthor Wally Lamb sued by ex-inmate over new book by Dave Collins, The Associated Press Posted May 29, 2019 1:46 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this May 30, 2013 file photo, author Wally Lamb speaks at Book Expo America in New York. A former Connecticut prison inmate has filed a lawsuit alleging she hasn’t been paid for her contribution to a new book by Lamb and accusing Lamb of harassing and intimidating her when she sought compensation. Chandra Bozelko, of Orange, Conn., says in a state lawsuit filed last week of May 20, 2019, that she wrote an essay Lamb included in a compilation of writings by women inmates. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) HARTFORD, Conn. — A former Connecticut prison inmate has filed a lawsuit alleging she hasn’t been paid for her contribution to a new book by author Wally Lamb and accusing Lamb of harassing and intimidating her when she sought compensation.Chandra Bozelko, of Orange, Connecticut, says in a state lawsuit filed last week that she wrote an essay Lamb included in a compilation of writings by female inmates. The book, which is in advance release publication and set for formal release next year, is titled “You Don’t Know Me: The Incarcerated Women of York Prison Voice Their Truths.”Bozelko, who served more than six years in prison for identity theft and other crimes, says Lamb promised inmates $1,400 apiece for their writings but she hasn’t been paid.Lamb’s lawyer declined to comment Wednesday.Dave Collins, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Roaddeath taxi driver had suffered heart attack at the wheel

first_imgA taxi driver aged 64, who was killed on an airport run on Saturday when he crashed on the Nicosia-Larnaca highway had suffered a heart attack at the wheel, a post mortem on Sunday revealed.Around 7am on Saturday, Demetris Christoforou from Lakatamia in Nicosia, had been driving a woman customer, 22, the taxi veered to the left of the motorway and fell into a shallow ditch, but kept going for 250 metres.The car then returned to the motorway and crashed sideways into the concrete median barrier.The driver had to be removed from the car by the Fire Service, while the passenger was taken to the Larnaca general hospital, where she was treated and discharged.You May LikeClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Are Leading The Pack. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Authorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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got the better of her higher-rated rival, on Nov. but must they be so obnoxious about it?In a prepared statement Thursday,mncourts. “I dont want a knife in the back, may face off in the short and free programs in ice dance; they are the reigning silver and gold medalists respectively from Vancouver Contact us at editors@timecom Here are the full remarks from Obamas speech on Miami Dade Colleges campus in Miami Florida in 2011 THE PRESIDENT: Thank you Miami Dade (Applause) Thank you (Applause) Please everyone be seated Hafeeza thank you for that wonderful introduction (Applause) To Dr Padrón Dr Vicente to the board of trustees the faculty parents family friends and most important the class of 2011 congratulations — (applause) — congratulations on reaching this day And thank you for allowing me the profound honor of being a part of it And thank you for my first honorary associate degree (Laughter) One of the perks of this job is that degrees come free these days (Laughter) Not that it impresses anybody at home Now Michelle just says "Hey Doctor go take that dog for a walk" (Laughter) It is such a thrill to be at one of the largest most diverse institutions of higher learning in America — one that just this week was named one of the top community colleges in the nation (Applause) More than 170000 students study across your eight campuses You come from 181 countries represented by the flags that just marched across this stage You speak 94 languages About 90 percent of you are minorities And because more than 90 percent of you find a job in your field of study its fitting that your motto is "Opportunity changes everything" As someone whos only here because of the chances my education gave me I couldnt agree more Opportunity changes everything America will only be as strong in this new century as the opportunities that we provide you — the opportunities that we provide to all our young people — Latino black white Asian Native American everybody America will only be as strong as our pursuit of scientific research and our leadership in technology and innovation And I believe that community colleges like this one are critical pathways to the middle class that equip students with the skills and the education necessary to compete and win in this 21st-century economy And thats why Ive made community colleges a centerpiece of my education agenda along with helping more students afford college I couldnt be prouder of the work weve done in community colleges And your accomplishment today is vital to America reclaiming the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 So I am proud of you (Applause) I am proud of you I know that for many of you reaching this day wasnt easy AUDIENCE: No THE PRESIDENT: See I got some amens there (Applause) Perhaps youre the first in your family to go to college (Applause) Some of you have had to overcome big obstacles defeat your own doubts prove yourself to everyone who ever believed that you couldnt make it because of what you look like or where you came from (Applause) And of course — of course for so many of you this day represents the fulfillment of your familys dreams when you were born This is their achievement as well so give it up for your parents and your grandparents your cousins and your uncles and your aunties (Applause) This is their day too This is their day too See the diploma youre about to receive stands for something more than the investment you made in yourselves Its the result of an investment made by generations before you; an investment in that radical yet simple idea that America is a place — the place — where you can make it if you try (Applause) Thats the ideal that has made this country — thats the idea thats represented by that one flag that all of you cheered for; thats what has made us a shining light to the world And preserving this idea — keeping the American Dream alive from one generation to the next — thats never been an easy task Its an even greater test in times of rapid change And all of you are graduating at a moment when change is coming faster than ever before Were emerging from an economic downturn like we havent seen since the 1930s Massive shifts in technology have shifted profoundly what our economy looks like Massive shifts abroad geopolitically have swift and dramatic impacts not only overseas but also here at home from markets on Wall Street to wallets on Main Street Just as advances in technology have the power to make our lives better they also force us to compete with other nations like never before Tackling big challenges like terrorism and climate change require sustained national effort and yet too often our politics seems as broken as divided as ever So I know that for many of you its an intimidating time to be marching out into the world Everything seems so unsettled The future may seem unclear But as you make your way in this ever changing world you should take comfort in knowing that as a country weve navigated tougher times before Weve sailed stormier seas Earlier today I spent some time in Tuscaloosa Alabama And some of you have seen what happened there as a consequence of the tornadoes that struck The mayor and I visited a community where the devastation from this storm was simply heartbreaking — entire homes and blocks just gone wiped away Some families lost everything Some families lost family But what was striking is the way that damaged community has come together how theyve rallied around one another The mayor there young man doing wonderful work Mayor Maddox he put it best He told me that when disasters like this strike all our grievances seem to go away All our differences dont seem to matter All our political disagreements seem so petty We help each other we support one another as one country as one people Thats the American spirit No matter how hard we are tested we look to our faith and our faith in one another No matter what the challenge weve always carried the American Dream forward Thats been true throughout our history When bombs fell on Pearl Harbor when an Iron Curtain fell over Europe when the threat of nuclear war loomed just 90 miles from this city when a brilliant September morning was darkened by terror — in none of those instances did we falter We endured We carried the dream forward Weve gone through periods of great economic turmoil from an economy where most people worked on farms to one where most people worked in factories to now one fueled by information and technology Through it all weve persevered Weve adapted Weve prospered Workers found their voice and the right to organize for fair wages and safe working conditions We carried forward When waves of Irish and Italian immigrants were derided as criminals and outcasts; when Catholics were discriminated against or Jews had to succumb to quotas or Muslims were blamed for societys ills; when blacks were treated as second-class citizens and marriages like my own parents were illegal in much of the country — we didnt stop We didnt accept inequality We fought We overcame We carried the dream forward We have carried this dream forward through times when our politics seemed broken This is not the first time where it looked like politicians were going crazy (Laughter) In heated debates over our founding some warned independence would doom America to "a scene of bloody discord and desolation for ages" That was the warning about independence One of our greatest Presidents Thomas Jefferson was labeled an "infidel" and a "howling atheist" with "fangs" Think about that Even I havent gotten that one yet (Laughter) Lincoln — Lincoln FDR they were both vilified in their own times as tyrants power hungry bent on destroying democracy And of course this state has seen its fair share of tightly contested elections (Laughter) And weve made it through those moments None of it was easy A lot of it was messy Sometimes there was violence Sometimes it took years even decades for us to find our way through But heres the thing We made it through We made it through because in each of those moments we made a choice Rather than turn inward and wall off America from the rest of the world weve chosen to stand up forcefully for the ideals and the rights we believe are universal for all men and women Rather than settle for an America where everybody is left to fend for themselves where we think only about our own short-term needs instead of the country that were leaving to our children we have chosen to build a nation where everybody has a shot at opportunity where everyone can succeed Weve chosen to invest in our people and in their future — building public schools sending a generation to college on the GI Bill laying highways and railroads building ports all across the country Rather than turn on each other in times of cultural upheaval weve chosen to march to organize to sit-in to turn out to petition our government for womens rights and voting rights and civil rights — even in the face of fierce resistance — because we are Americans; and no matter who we are or what we look like we believe that in this country all are equal all are free (Applause) Rather than give in to the voices suggesting we set our sights lower downsize our dreams or settle for something less weve chosen again and again to make America bigger bolder more diverse more generous more hopeful Because throughout our history what has distinguished us from all other nations is not just our wealth its not just our power Its been our deep commitment to individual freedom and personal responsibility but also our unshakeable commitment to one another — a recognition that we share a future; that we rise or fall together; that we are part of a common enterprise that is greater somehow than the sum of its parts So yes class of 2011 change will be a constant in your lives And that can be scary That can be hard And sometimes youll be tempted to turn inward; to say "Whats good enough for me is good enough" Sometimes youll be tempted to turn on one another; to say "My problems are the fault of those who dont look like me or sound like me" Sometime youll be tempted to give into those voices that warn: "too hard" "dont try" "no you cant" But I have faith you will reject those voices I have faith you will reject those impulses Your generation was born into a world with fewer walls; a world educated in an era of information tempered by war and economic turmoil And as our globe has grown smaller and more connected youve shed the heavy weights of earlier generations Your generation has grown up more accepting and tolerant of people for who they are regardless of race or gender or religious belief; regardless of creed or sexual orientation Thats how youve grown up You see our diversity as a strength not a weakness And I believe those life experiences have fortified you as earlier generations were fortified to meet the tests of our time Everything I have seen of your generation has shown me that you believe as deeply as any previous generation that America can always change for the better Class of 2011 you and your generation are now responsible for our future Im only going to be President a little bit longer You are going to be leaders for many years to come You will have to make choices to keep our dream alive for the next generation Choices about whether well stack the deck against workers and the middle class or whether we make sure America remains a place where if you work hard you can get ahead Youre going to have to make a choice about whether well say we cant afford to educate our young people and send them to college or whether we continue to be a country that makes investments that are necessary to keep those young people competitive in this new century It will be up to you to choose whether well remain vulnerable to swings in oil prices or whether we invest in the clean energy that can break our dependence on oil and protect our planet (Applause) It will be your choice as to whether we break our promise to seniors and the poor and the disabled and tell them to fend for themselves or whether we keep strengthening our social safety net and our health care system (Applause) And it will be up to you whether well turn on one another or whether we stay true to our values of fairness and opportunity understanding that we are a nation of immigrants — immigrants that built this country into an economic powerhouse and a beacon of hope around the world (Applause) I know this last issue generates some passion I know that several young people here have recently identified themselves as undocumented Some were brought here as young children and discovered the truth only as adults And theyve put their futures on the line in hopes it will spur the rest of us to live up to our most cherished values I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system (Applause) Fix it so that it meets our 21st-century economic and security needs And I want to work with Democrats and Republicans yes to protect our borders and enforce our laws and address the status of millions of undocumented workers (Applause) And I will keep fighting alongside many of you to make the DREAM Act the law of the land (Applause) Like all of this countrys movements towards justice it will be difficult and it will take time I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself (Applause) But thats not how democracy works See democracy is hard But its right Changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes one by one And I am convinced we can change the laws because we should all be able to agree that it makes no sense to expel talented young people from our country They grew up as Americans They pledge allegiance to our flag And if they are trying to serve in our military or earn a degree they are contributing to our future — and we welcome those contributions (Applause) We didnt raise the Statue of Liberty with its back to the world; we raised it with its light to the world (Applause) Whether your ancestors came here on the Mayflower or a slave ship; whether they signed in at Ellis Island or they crossed the Rio Grande — we are one people We need one another Our patriotism is not rooted in ethnicity but in a shared belief of the enduring and permanent promise of this country (Applause) Thats the promise redeemed by your graduation today Thats the promise that drew so many of you to this college and your parents to this country And thats the promise that drew my own father here I didnt know him well my father — and he lived a troubled life But I know that when he was around your age he dreamed of something more than his lot in life He dreamed of that magical place; he dreamed of coming to study in America And when I was around your age I traveled back to his home country of Kenya for the first time to learn his story And I went to a tiny village called Alego where his stepmother still lives in the house where he grew up and I visited his grave And I asked her if there was anything left for me to know him by And she opened a trunk and she took out a stack of letters — and this is an elderly woman who doesnt read or write — but she had saved these letters more than 30 of them written in his hand and addressed to colleges and universities all across America They werent that different from the letters that I wrote when I was trying to get into college or the ones that you wrote when you were hoping to come here They were written in the simple sometimes awkward sometimes grammatically incorrect unmistakably hopeful voice of somebody who is just desperate for a chance — just desperate to live his unlikely dream And somebody at the University of Hawaii — halfway around the world — chose to give him that chance And because that person gave a young man a chance he met a young woman from Kansas; they had a son in the land where all things are possible (Applause) And one of my earliest memories from growing up in Hawaii is of sitting on my grandfathers shoulders to see the astronauts from one of the Apollo space missions come ashore after a successful splashdown You remember that no matter how young you are as a child Its one of those unforgettable moments when you first realize the miracle that is what this country is capable of And I remember waving a little American flag on top of my grandfathers shoulders thinking about those astronauts and thinking about space And today on this day more than 40 years later I took my daughters to the Kennedy Space Center And even though we didnt get to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour launch we met some of the astronauts and we toured the Space Shuttle Atlantis And looking at my daughters I thought of how things come full circle I thought of all that weve achieved as a nation since I was their age a little brown boy sitting on my grandfathers shoulders — and I thought about all I want us to achieve by the time they have children of their own Thats my proof that the idea of America endures Thats my evidence that our brave endeavor on this Earth continues And every single day I walk into the Oval Office and for all the days of my life I will always remember that in no other nation on Earth could my story be possible could your stories be possible That is something I celebrate That is something that drives every decision I make (Applause) So what I ask of you graduates as you walk out of here today is this: Pursue success Do not falter When you make it pull somebody else up (Applause) Preserve our dream Remember your life is richer when people around you have a shot at opportunity as well Strive to widen that circle of possibility; strive to forge that big generous optimistic vision of America that we inherited; strive to carry that dream forward to future generations Thank you Congratulations May God bless you May God bless the United States of America (Applause) Contact us at editors@timecomIDEAS Eisenstat has spent 16 years working on global security and international affairs including as a Special Advisor to Vice President Biden on national security a Senior Intelligence Officer and a US diplomat The tragedy in Orlando will undoubtedly divide our nation even further as the loudest voices shout their political opinions about gun control immigration and Islamic radicalism pitting Americans against each other and further exploiting our anger and fear As American society sinks further and further into this angry polarized society I fear not for the economic collapse of our country nor for defeat at the hands of terrorists or enemies I fear for the implosion of our country at the hands of our own citizens who have become so embittered and so divided that they hate their neighbors more than they love their nation The notion of having an in-depth discussion about political and social differences with a suspected foreign terrorist or anti-Western cleric gives me less heartburn than the idea of discussing hot-button issues with my fellow American on the far right or left Ive done both and the latter leaves me far more angry and embittered almost every time I consider myself open-minded analytic able to see multiple sides of most arguments and most important willing to consider new or different viewpoints I have had tea with outspoken anti-Western clerics talked with accused terrorists and shared meals with shrouded women who before meeting me thought Jews had horns under their hats Yes I was a US government official and therefore could be perceived as being in a position of power Regardless in my own pursuit of global understanding as well as my official role of "winning hearts and minds" in our countrys global counterterrorism efforts I have had scores of civil discussions with people who have fundamentally different opinions about some of the most core values I hold dear; all without raising my voice or my blood pressure And yet I shudder at the idea of discussing the second amendment abortion LGBT rights the role of the federal government Barack Obama race or religion with Americans who dont share my views I would rather sit across from a sworn enemy of the United States and talk about the history of our foreign policy than discuss a womans right to choose with a steadfast anti-abortion rights advocate next door The rise of Donald Trump has slapped many of us in the face with the reality that our divisions are more ominous than we want to admit We can claim well move to Canada or make other outlandish statements about the end of our great American dream As someone who self-identifies as a global citizen I too itch to flee to bury my head in the sand to distance myself from a country that I have defended but no longer recognize But shouldnt I be focused on how I can help fix this instead of how I can run away from it In many parts of the world people arent self-selecting into communities of like-minded individuals; they are merely born into communities that are more homogenous or less exposed to other viewpoints In the US,上海贵族宝贝VZ,Acknowledging the scope for improvement Trudeau said many of the Canadian delegation were in talks with interested parties “We want to make sure that people realise there is a tremendous unrealised potential between the two countries” said Trudeau The Canadian government has planned to invest in Innovation Superclusters to help Indian companies (as well as other global companies) network with the right kind of partners in Canada so as to assist with areas which have immense potential for growth These according to Trudeau would enable the creation of a multiplier effect on innovation and growth ‘Wanted to highlight India’s extraordinary diversity’ Even before Trudeau’s visit it is safe to say that he is in India counted among the most popular world leaders He has been engaging with the Indian-Canadian community at many forums andhas even done the bhangra On this week-long visit Trudeau has visited prominent Indian monuments such as the Taj Mahal in Agra Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad and is expected to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar He also addressed students at the IIM Ahmedabad Trudeau reminisced about his first visit to India with his father 35 years ago and said it was a pleasure to see the Taj Mahal again this time through the eyes of his children Trudeau also lauded India’s diversity? 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they suggested. This was disclosed by the Chairman of PIDAN, assistant secretary-general for human rights Andrew Gilmour wrote "reports suggest Rohingya women and girls were raped on a systematic and possibly massive scale. “It is a clear conflict of interest for the Director of the Park Service to be charged with conducting the Department’s investigation into misuse of the Brinkerhoff Lodge when he and his family members were reportedly among the VIPs allowed to use the lodge, The president has not yet nominated a director of the National Park Service. and a Bluetooth-enabled device that is clipped to the visor. providing commentary on events in news. read more

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