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Giroud finds his ‘perfect club’ in Chelsea

first_imgChelsea Giroud has found his ‘perfect club’ after trading Arsenal for Chelsea Chris Burton 16:35 2/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Olivier Giroud, Chelsea Glyn Kirk Chelsea Olivier Giroud Premier League The France international striker was allowed to cross London on transfer deadline day and claims to already be feeling at home at a “massive club” Olivier Giroud believes he found the “perfect club” when he made a deadline day move from Arsenal to Chelsea.The France international striker was forced to wait until late in the winter transfer window before seeing his future resolved.A move away from Emirates Stadium had been mooted for some time, and eventually all of the pieces fell into place as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang linked up with the Gunners and Michy Batshuayi departed Stamford Bridge for Borussia Dortmund. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Giroud is delighted to have joined a team of proven winners and has vowed to give his all to the ongoing pursuit of more major honours.The 31-year-old frontman told the Blues’ official website: “Chelsea was the perfect team for me, the perfect club.“It’s the Premier League, it’s the club which has won the most titles in the last 10 years, it’s a massive club. I’m very proud and happy to be here.“People want you to wear the shirt and give the maximum. I know I will have to be efficient, assist sometimes, score sometimes.“We don’t have too much time for integration but I feel very good and the boys have been very good to me.”Defending champions Chelsea have seen their Premier League crown slip, with Manchester City dominating the battle for domestic supremacy in 2017-18.Olivier Giroud Chelsea perfect clubAntonio Conte’s side are, however, still in the hunt for FA Cup glory, a top four finish and another Champions League triumph – with a heavyweight tie against La Liga giants Barcelona awaiting at the last-16 stage of that competition.“We’re going to take the games step by step,” added Giroud.“Firstly we want to qualify in the FA Cup and then we have three big games to come, Barcelona in the Champions League and then the two Manchester clubs away, that’s why we need the confidence high. We need to keep it up and build momentum.”Chelsea returned to winning ways in their last outing against West Brom, with Giroud contributing his first assist as the Blues got back on track after a recent wobble.last_img read more

Serious Incident Response Team Lays Assault Charges

first_imgThe Serious Incident Response Team has laid two assault charges against a member of the Bridgewater Police Service today, Aug. 24. The charges are related to a domestic violence complaint received by the Bridgewater Police Service on Aug. 1, which was then referred to the Serious Incident Response Team for investigation. Christine Bonnell, 46, of Bridgewater, faces two charges of assaulting a man. The charges are for alleged incidents in July. Ms. Bonnell was not on active duty with the Bridgewater Police Service at the time of the alleged assaults. Ms. Bonnell is scheduled to appear in Bridgewater Provincial Court on Wednesday, Aug. 29. The Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald. The Serious Incident Response Team can independently launch an investigation or begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public. The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the results of the investigation within three months after it is finished.last_img read more

Five former Michigan Catholic priests charged with sex crimes

first_imgDetroit: Michigan prosecutors announced Friday that five former Catholic priests are facing sexual abuse charges as part of the state attorney general’s ongoing investigation into clergy abuse going back decades. Attorney General Dana Nessel said the priests served in dioceses in Detroit, Lansing and Kalamazoo, and that they’ve been charged with various counts of criminal sexual conduct. Four of them were arrested this week in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, and the fifth awaits extradition from India. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’A sixth priest faces an administrative complaint and has had his counseling license suspended by the state, officials said. Nearly all of the charges, which involve victims who were as young as 5 years old when they were abused, came from roughly 450 calls to a tip line and were corroborated by files seized from dioceses last fall and interviews with multiple victims, Nessel said. She added that the cases are just the “tip of the iceberg,” as investigators have only gone through at most 10% of the information they have obtained. They also found many cases in which they could not bring charges because statutes of limitation had expired, priests had died or victims wouldn’t come forward. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”We’re holding people accountable in this case, some of those clergy who preyed on young children and vulnerable adults,” Nessel said at a news conference. “Unfortunately, they were hiding in plain sight … and taking advantage of their position of faith and authority.” Those charged were Timothy Crowley, 69, of Tempe, Arizona; Neil Kalina, 63, of Littlerock, California; Vincent DeLorenzo, 80, of Lantana, Florida; Patrick Casey, 55, of Bellaire, Michigan; and Jacob Vellian, 84, of Kerala, India. It wasn’t immediately clear if they have attorneys. DeLorenzo was charged Thursday with three counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. DeLorenzo, who served several Michigan churches, admitted when he resigned from a Flint-area parish in 2002 that he had sexually abused a child. He wasn’t charged at the time, but the Diocese of Lansing recently said a total of eight people had accused him of sexual abuse and that he was being defrocked. Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea issued a statement welcoming the actions of prosecutors, saying this way “the truth can come out and justice may be served.”last_img read more

Ukraine proposes new UN body tasked with ecological protection

24 September 2008A new United Nations entity that has authority for ecological protection around the world should be set up, Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko told the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly today. Ukraine puts forward an initiative to develop a framework binding agreement – [the] World Environmental Constitution – and to establish a system of a single structure for ecological protection with relevant authority and mechanisms of work in the UN,” Mr. Yushchenko said.He told world leaders gathered for the debate at UN Headquarters in New York that the initiative is part of Ukraine’s call “for a more active global cooperation in the sphere of ecology.”The President noted that strategies for protecting the environment should be linked to international attempts to resolve the global food crisis caused by the recent spike in the price of many staples and also to efforts to develop a more “effective and just energy policy.”Turning to the recent conflict in Georgia between Georgian, Russian and South Ossetian forces, he said that Ukraine “vigorously denounces violation of the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Georgian borders and armed annexation of its territory.“Ukraine does not recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” he added.Mr. Yushchenko called for the Security Council’s role, stressing that “we need its balanced decisions and effective actions.” read more

Get ready for subUS50 a barrel oil for the next 12 months

CALGARY — Oil companies are in for at least another year of pain, according to Scotiabank’s latest commodity price index.West Texas Intermediate crude is expected to stay below US$50 a barrel for the next 12 months, vice-president and commodity market specialist Patricia Mohr said in the report Monday.She sees some recovery to around US$55 a barrel by the end of next year.“Global oil demand in 2015 has advanced at the fastest pace in five years… but a supply-side adjustment — necessary to bring global supplies down in line with demand and rebalance world oil markets — has not yet occurred,” she wrote.Oil jumps to 1-month high as OPEC says its ready to talk to producers about ‘fair prices’Keystone XL’s final blow from Barack Obama could come by Labour Day weekendCrude prices have had a volatile year, dropping to US$43.46 a barrel on March 17, running up to a high of US$61.43 on June 10 and then plunging to a new six-year low of US$38.24 a week ago.On Monday, oil was back above US$47 a barrel.Mohr cited three factors behind the turbulence in crude prices:— Traders and investors have been disappointed the rate of production decline in the U.S., needed to bring supply and demand back into balance. It’s unclear whether Texas producers will stay resilient with crude in the US$40- to US$45-a-barrel range.— The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is increasing its output to build market share in Asia as Saudi Arabia braces for a long battle with U.S. shale producers, Russia and Iran.—On the demand side of the equation, Mohr notes that the China growth story has been called into question, but cautions against overreacting to the current jitters.The Canadian Press read more

Malaysian activist to enter defence over screening Lanka film

In a brief oral ruling today, High Court judicial commissioner Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah said that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against Lena.“The (High) Court orders Lena Hendry Rasathi to enter her defence on the charge,” said Shariff, and ordered the matter be reverted to the Magistrate’s Court. Human rights activist Lena Rasathi Hendry in Malaysia is to enter her defence to a charge of screening a documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war without prior approval from the Film Censorship Board, the New Straits Times reported.Lena was calm in the dock this afternoon when the High Court issued the ruling that overturned her acquittal in relation to the unapproved screening of the documentary “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”. She was freed at the end of the prosecution’s case by the Magistrate’s Court on March 10. After proceedings, Lena was seen conferring with her lead counsel Edmund Bon Tai Soon. Deputy public prosecutor Nurakmal Farhan Aziz prosecuted. On Sept 19, 2013, Lena claimed trial to the offence which is punishable with a maximum RM30,000 fine, imprisonment up to three years, or both, under Section 6(2)(a) of the Film Censorship Act 2002.Lena is a Programme Manager with Pusat Komas, a human rights communications centre based in 8 Avenue, Jalan Sungai Jernih 8/1, Section 8, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. (Colombo Gazette) The 31-year-old was accused of committing the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Malaysia, at 9pm on July 3. read more

UN environment agency team examines fallout from Chinas chemical plant blast

“We accepted an invitation from the Chinese authorities to lend our assistance during this difficult time and we have come with an open mind and fully committed to cooperate and offer any help deemed necessary,” UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said.The team said it will end its seven-day mission on Friday.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it had received the reports that the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration sent to the UN Resident Coordinator’s office in China and an update from the Russian Ministry of Emergencies.“The explosion led to the release of organic pollutants including benzene, phenylamine and nitrobenzene, with nitrobenzene and benzene released in quantities exceeding levels permissible in China,” OCHA said, basing itself on those reports.Pollutants from the explosion entered the nearby Songhua River, principally through an eastern route controlled by the Jilin Petrochemical Corporation, which is affiliated with the China National Petroleum Corporation. The pollutants that entered the river started to move downstream in a plume of contaminated water recently estimated to be about 110 kilometres long, the reports said.The pollution plume would dissipate more quickly as it met the higher volume of water in the Hulan, Tangwang and Mudan rivers, resulting in a lower concentration of pollutants.The area within the Russian Federation that was likely to be affected by the plume contains 70 settlements with a total population of approximately 1 million people. According to the Russian Far East Emergency Department, the plume was expected to be fed into the Amur River later this week and reach the mouth of that river by 25 to 27 December. read more

Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in Somalia through March 2017

The 15 members of the Council unanimously adopted an extension of UNSOM’s work, underscoring the provision of UN good offices to support the Federal Government’s peace and reconciliation process, including preparation for an inclusive, free, fair and transparent electoral process in 2016 and universal elections by 2020. Last month, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Somalia Michael Keating, met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Mr. Feltman reiterated the UN’s support to the Somali people for agreeing on an electoral process for this year. In its resolution, the Council encourages UNSOM to enhance its interaction with Somali civil society, including women, youth, business and religious leaders to ensure that different points of view are incorporated in the political process. UNSOM is also asked to conduct a review of the UN presence in Somalia after the elections, to ensure that the UN is properly configured to support the next phase of state-building in the Horn of Africa nation and to present options and recommendations to the Council by the end of January 2017.Included in today’s resolution is strong condemnation of recent terrorist attacks by the group Al-Shabaab, and support for a comprehensive approach to reduce the group’s threat in accordance with international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law. The Council also paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifices made by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army personnel fighting against Al-Shabaab. read more

High octane fun for last few days of Motor Show

Public Days 25 Oct – 2 Nov 9.30 am to 7.00 pm 3 Nov 9.30 am to 5.30 pm The British International Motor Show looks set to go out with a bang this weekend, as the cars and stars from the world of motor sport take over the NEC for the last few days of the Show.Along with all the features and models already on display, car makers are taking the opportunity to pack their stands with the latest racing and rally machines, shipped in especially for the final three days. Visitors can also expect to see some of the talents behind the steering wheels, with appearances from many of the star drivers.Since opening to the public on 24 October, thousands of motoring fans, families and children have been wowed by the action at the UK’s biggest motoring event. Some of the most popular features include MINI Adventure Live!, Vauxhall’s 4×4 experience ‘The Edge’ and the Daihatsu paint box – car painting for kids!However, for many the thrill is still all about getting the chance to slip into the driver’s seat of their favourite new car and with more then 70 models being seen for the first time in the UK there are plenty to choose from.Described last week in the motoring press as ‘Quite a package – quite a show’, and with the industry preparing for a final fling, excited visitors continue to arrive at the NEC, mindful of the fact that if they miss this one, it will be 2004 before we’ll get the chance to see anything of this scale again.The show runs until 5.30pm on Sunday 3 November, so there’s still time to catch a slice of the action.Notes to editors: Opening hours and dates for British International Motor Show 2002: Prices on the door Adult £15 Child/senior citizen £7.50 Tickets available via or by calling the Motor Show hotline on 0870 906 2002 Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Big Ten announces football division alignments nine game schedule set for 2016

The Big Ten Conference office announced new football division alignments on Sunday that are set to begin in 2014 and a nine-game conference schedule for 2016. According to the conference’s website, the changes to the division names were unanimously recommended by the directors of athletics at each school and supported by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors.“Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of East/West geography,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany released in a statement. “The directors of athletics also relied on the results of a fan survey commissioned by BTN last December to arrive at their recommendation, which is consistent with the public sentiment expressed in the poll.”Ohio State will be joined by Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East division, while the West will house Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin. Each school is scheduled to play the other six in its division in addition to two teams from the other division in transitional years 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the addition of a third game against a team from the other division will be part of the nine-game schedule that has one protected annual matchup between Purdue and Indiana.“Big Ten directors of athletics met in person or by conference call six times from December to March to discuss a new Big Ten football model,” Delany said. “The level of cooperation and collaboration was reflective of what we’ve come to expect from this group of administrators who have worked extremely well together on a number of complex matters over the past several years. We are all looking forward to ushering in this new era of Big Ten football.”OSU is scheduled to take on Buffalo in the season opener on Aug. 31 in Columbus. read more

Randgold CEOs epic bike ride raises 16 million for Africas poor

first_imgRandgold Resources Chief Executive Mark Bristow and his Boyz on Bikes team have arrived at Cape Point 26 days and 10,000 km after leaving Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire on a motorbike ride aimed at raising funds for Africa’s poorest people and increasing international awareness of their plight. The trans-continent ride –  the fourth of its kind Bristow has undertaken – took in 12 African countries and raised some $1.6 million from sponsors and supporters, well in excess of its $1 million target.With the riders paying their own way, all this money is going to beneficiaries ranging from a girls’ orphanage in Côte d’Ivoire to South Africa’s Compass project which cares for abandoned children.The ride took place under the aegis of Randgold’s recently established charitable foundation Nos Vies en Partage (Sharing Prosperity), which supports poverty relief, education advancement, primary health care improvement, food safety and security, and the creation of employment and training opportunities.Bristow said on arrival that the fact that the ride could be completed on schedule, despite the many challenges associated with travelling by bike through some of the continent’s least developed countries, was a tribute to the team’s approach, which mirrored Randgold’s business philosophy.“Whether you’re developing a mine or embarking on a safari, you need a clear goal and a carefully calculated, practicable plan to get there. You also need to engage with the local people and make sure that they benefit from your presence and activities,” he said.“It says much for Africa that along the road we met many incidences of support and hospitality. When we reached the Lufu River between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, for example, we found that the bridge had been washed away. A group of local men helped us to achieve the near impossible task of digging steps down the steep river bank, ferrying the bikes across in small boats and hauling them up the other side.”Bristow said a special vote of thanks was due to the donors whose generous support had enabled the ride to exceed its ambitious fund-raising target. Almost 200 companies and individuals from as far afield as Austria, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, France, Italy, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, UK, Uganda and USA have already made donations in support of the trip.He noted that the foundation still had more to do. “I will be continuing handing out donations during my annual review of Randgold’s West African exploration sites which begins in Senegal later this week. This way we will be able to reach more people who have been left behind by society in the West African countries in which we operate – namely Senegal, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire.” Isiro – Construction of an educational and nutritional rehabilitation centreCentre catering for pregnant and breastfeeding women with children aged 0 – 5 years, plus nutritional rehabilitation for severely malnourished children DRC – Kinshasa Ilushi Secondary SchoolProject providing educational facilities for children receiving classes in the open DRC – Province Orientale Caring 4 Kids with CancerFoundation dealing with the needs of children with cancer, their siblings and their parents Cameroon – la Chaine des Foyers Saint Nicodeme at DoualaOrganisation placing homeless children into orphanages – run by Sister Marie Roumy who has assisted more than 6 000 children to date Benin-Togo Casa do rapazes86 boys living in 2 rooms with 2 bathrooms – they are self-funding and are renovating the house to provide accommodation for all age groups Orphanage Maman SuzanneOpen to selected girls – clothing, sewing machines, mosquito nets etc. Special School in BrazzavilleServing children with mental and physical disabilities Côte d’Ivoire Orphanage run by Father Franck ORPEROpen to all girls – furniture and supplies Don Orione CentreCentre for the physical and mentally-handicapped children of Bonoua Republic of Congo Cameroon-Gabon Nigeria Mercy FoundationAn NGO dedicated to improving the lives of women and children – counselling abused women and children, victims of trafficking and street children Orphanage Maman KokoA 95 year old woman caring for 435 children aged 0 – 17 years, especially with HIV/Aids or disabilities National Girls Orphanage of Grand BassamPublic primary boarding school for orphaned girls and social cases Beneficiaries to date of the motorbike ride: Ghana Angola 3 orphanages in Watsa district near KibaliSchool stationery, bedding, food etc. South Africa CEP Project, BeninSponsorship of examination materials for 2 villages Etvoci ProjectUnemployed women have formed a successful sewing cooperative – support for lessons in business development Oronsaye OrphanageNGO alleviating suffering of orphans, abandoned and neglected children Old age home in KabindaConstruction and repair of buildings Compass Community Provision and Social ServicesNGO sponsorship project caring for 103 babies and children, aged from newborn to 17 years who are from abused and abandoned, terminally ill and impoverished and previously disadvantaged backgrounds Purchase of footballsDonated to children along the route in celebration of the Soccer World Cup competitionlast_img read more

Greek voice rings loud in Federal Parliament

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A petition with over twenty two thousand signatures gathered by Neos Kosmos in support of Modern Greek with the help of community organisations and businesses were tabled in Federal Parliament last week. The petition was tabled by the Greek Federal members of Parliament, Ms Maria Vamvakinou from Victoria and Steve Georganas from Adelaide.Ms Vamvakinou used her speech to inform the House of Representatives about the campaign waged by the Greek community to have Modern Greek included in the national curriculum for languages.The petitions are only the second bilingual petitions ever presented to the federal parliament and the 22 405 signatures are part of an ongoing nationwide campaign ensure the importance of Modern Greek as a language of cultural, historical and economic importance to the broader Australian community was recognised. “The number of signatures gathered for the petition I present this evening are the first of more to come and are a strong indicator that in this case the Modern Greek language has become not only a relevant working language and resource for the 365,000 people who identify with Greek ancestry but also a linguistic means for future generations of Australians to connect with the global community,” Ms Vamavakinou said.The Victorian Federal MP went on to say: “The petition to include the Modern Greek language in the national curriculum is also about giving the wider community the choice to get involved and benefit from a culture that forms a large sector of the Australian population. The sheer volume of signatures in this petition is testament to how genuine the community is in giving the Australian nation the opportunity to embark on a journey to experience and learn more about the Greek language and culture. Community languages are, after all, about the journey of sharing with others what is uniquely important and relevant to the multicultural fabric that makes up our nation of Australia.”Ms Vamvakinou also thanked Neos Kosmos for its initiative to gather signatures with the support of Greek community organisations and motivated individuals.The Modern Greek Teachers Association of Victoria, La Trobe University’s department of Modern Greek language, and the other Greek departments in schools and universities across Australia, the Greek Orthodox community of Melbourne and Victoria, the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, the Australian Hellenic Council, SBS, 3ZZZ community radio, other media outlets were thanked for their support fo the campaign to have Modern Greek included into the national curriculum.last_img read more

Opening of Crawfish season delayed for two weeks

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, July 22, 2016 – Crawfish season will not open on the first day of August… it will open on the 15th day of August and officials issued notice today for restaurants and fishermen and the residents to be aware of the legal start time.DECR Director, Dr John Claydon calls the two week change a benefit to the country’s number three industry, fisheries.   “This has proven successful in reducing the quantity of egg-bearing lobsters landed, and is believed to have contributed to increased abundance and landings of crawfish. The last day of the Crawfish season will be 15th March, 2017.  Last season the fishing community of the Turks and Caicos benefited from an increase in crawfish landings. This appears to be the result of the stock starting to rebuild, and as long as we continue to implement the measures we have in place we are confident that this rebuilding will continue…”last_img read more

Security to increase at CM YS Jagans helipad in Tadepalli

first_imgAmaravati: The more security to increase at the helipad area which is arranged near AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s camp office in Tadepalli. Guntur RDO Bhaskar Reddy, R&B Deputy Engineer Cheliah, Assistant Engineer Rajasekhar, and police officials have visited the helipad premises and discussed over the security measures. At present, the police picketing is continuing with the iron barricades protection at the helipad. Recently, the officials have decided to strengthen the compound wall around and install the fencing on the west side of the helipad. They also decided to install a gate to the entry point of the helipad area. Also Read – Former Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao put on house arrest Advertise With Us Also, they are planning to prepare a road from the backside of CM camp office towards Krishan west canal Karakatta. In this context, the officials have discussed with the building owners to clear the three houses which come on the opposite side of the road. The authorities have made proposals to provide them with compensation in addition to giving them space elsewhere. Earlier, the main opposition TDP has criticized CM YS Jagan for sanctioning Rs 1.89 crore for the construction of the helipad at his residence. The road widening works of 1.3km are also going on for the smooth movement of CM convoy from his residence.last_img read more

In Reliably Red Texas Cannabis Entrepreneurs Hope For Green

first_img Share As state after state loosens laws on the sale of marijuana, a whole industry has sprung up to serve the fast-growing market for cannabis and related products. Even in Texas, which hasn’t legalized marijuana, some entrepreneurs are planting their flags early, wagering that the Lone Star State will one day have its own “green rush.” For legal reasons, they operate mainly on the periphery of the industry. But there’s plenty of business to be had — selling everything from cannabis oil tinctures to the flooring used in greenhouses that grow marijuana. Along with the typical challenges of any business, companies that work in the cannabis industry in Texas must navigate conflicting state and federal laws, risk backlash from banks and state agencies, and overcome the stigma of selling a product that some consider dangerous or taboo. But being a part of a young and thriving industry also comes with a shot of adrenaline, said Peter Ricca, executive chairman of Ricca Chemical. In the late 1970s, Ricca’s father founded the Arlington company, which makes industrial testing kits used for quality control by Fortune 500 food and beverage companies. About two years ago, it began getting phone calls from West Coast cannabis companies looking for products they could use for extracting cannabis oil and testing the quality of their products. Now the company sells testing kits for the cannabis industry and blends terpenes — organic compounds found in plants like basil, lemons and rose petals — that can be added to cannabis products to create unique flavors and aromas. “If you buy into this and say cannabis is a miracle drug, it’s exciting as all hell because you sense you’re changing the world,” Ricca told The Dallas Morning News . And, he said, by developing its brand and selling in other states, the company will have an edge when Texas changes its laws. The market for cannabis is growing as more states legalize the use of medical marijuana and open up the market to recreational use. Twenty-nine states and D.C. have legalized the sale of medical marijuana, and some, including California and Colorado, allow the sale of marijuana to adults at retail shops, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even in Texas, a reliably red state, public opinion is changing. Eighty-three percent of Texans support the legalization of marijuana for some uses, such as medical use, according to a 2017 poll by University of Texas/Texas Tribune. More than half of Texans polled in 2017 said they’d allow possession of marijuana for any type of use. But prominent Texas politicians have voiced strong objections, with U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican who represents Dallas, describing marijuana as a gateway drug and calling those who grow it “merchants of addiction.” And in January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions opened the door to new enforcement by rolling back an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from targeting the marijuana industry in states where sales are legal. The federal government classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, putting it in the same category as heroin and ecstasy. The growers In 2015, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that permits some Texas companies to grow cannabis, but only for a narrow use. The law created a license for companies to grow, process and distribute a type of cannabis oil to Texans with intractable epilepsy. So far, only three companies have received licenses under the Texas Compassionate Use Act. They grow cannabis that’s low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound associated with the plant’s high, but rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound used as a treatment for epilepsy and other medical conditions. But regulations don’t make it easy or inexpensive to cultivate cannabis in Texas. Long before planting a seed, the companies had to make a pricey bet. They put together thick applications for state officials, demonstrating they had the capital to finance a business and comply with strict safety and security requirements. Once approved, each company had to pay the state nearly a half-million dollars for a license. The license will have to be renewed every two years at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Compassionate Cultivation’s application for the state license was more than 300 pages, CEO Morris Denton said. It opened the state’s first dispensary in February and has had 40 customers so far, with some making multiple purchases, he said. In its corrugated steel building about 12 miles southwest of Austin, row after row of marijuana plants stretch to the ceiling. The plants hang upside down and dry out next door in a chilly room that’s a wine cellar equivalent for cannabis before churning through an extraction machine and becoming a specific kind of cannabis oil. Across the state, Miami-based Knox Medical, licensed as Cansortium Texas, is cultivating cannabis in modular units in the small town of Schulenberg, about 100 miles west of Houston and 100 miles east of San Antonio. The company sells drops of cannabis oil and plans to roll out suppositories, said Jose Hidalgo, the company’s founder and CEO. A third company with a license, Surterra Texas, is starting up its business in the Austin area. For now, at least, the companies have a small market. The cannabis products they make can’t cross state lines. Only Texans with intractable epilepsy — a population estimated between 102,000 and 136,000, according to the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas — are allowed to legally purchase their products. That shrinks further after subtracting Texans who don’t have the two legally required doctors’ recommendations and those who object to using cannabis as medicine. But Denton and Hidalgo take the long view. Knox Medical began in Florida, which initially had a law similar to Texas’ but has added more eligible medical conditions over time. Hidalgo said he expects Texas to follow the same path. Knox Medical sells in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and Puerto Rico. Before starting the company, Denton said, he and his four Austin business partners thought long and hard about the downsides of starting a cannabis business in Texas, from political uncertainties to personal risks. He said he worried about how the career choice might make life harder for his spouse and two teenagers. “We spent the better part of a year trying to talk ourselves out of doing it,” he said. But he said he couldn’t resist the business opportunity and the chance to be part of an industry that he believes will transform Texas’ politics, economy and view of medicine. He said phone calls and emails from people with intractable epilepsy and their families cemented his decision. “I don’t spend my days worrying about things I can’t control,” he said. “I can’t control what our federal administration does or doesn’t do. I can’t control what Jeff Sessions may or may not do. The only thing that I can control is the performance of this business.” Once the company got the state’s approval, Denton had new challenges: raising money to fund the business and finding a bank. The company raised more than $6 million from 13 high net-worth individuals who live in Texas. He said the company struggled to find a bank, since most are insured through the federal government, but found a Texas bank “that was willing to take the leap with us.” Another major challenge, Denton said, is educating physicians. He visits neurologists around the state. When Austin hosted a conference for the Texas Neurological Society, he sent luxury buses to drive about 30 doctors and their spouses out to the facility for a tour. “The best way I know how to address whatever questions they have is show them what we do,” he said. Other uses When Dallas-based Roots Juices began stocking its shelves with cannabis oil, its smoothie and juice shops in Oak Lawn and Lakewood attracted a loyal clientele and also some unwanted attention from law enforcement. In October, health department officials seized about $5,000 or $6,000 of products from the juice shop. Owner Brent Rodgers watched as state officials carted it away in cardboard boxes wrapped in yellow caution tape. “You would have thought I was running a meth lab,” he said. “I thought it was kind of silly.” State health officials haven’t yet decided what to do with the products, said spokesman Chris Van Deusen. He said the state detained them because cannabidiol, also known as CBD, hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a food or food additive. The shops stopped making drinks with the cannabis oil, but Rodgers shrugged off the run-in with state officials and restocked shelves. He said it’s just part of being on the leading edge of a new market. Rodgers said he’s had to overcome other obstacles, such as finding another point-of-sale system for credit card payments after the one the shops used flagged his sale of CBD oil and sent him a letter saying it violated their bank’s policies. Roots Juices sells a range of cannabis oil products, including brownies and muffins made by the shop and prepackaged drops, capsules and salves from Colorado, Oregon and California. They range in price from $3.50 for a muffin to $260 for a bottle of cannabis oil. The products have an even smaller trace of the psychoactive compound of THC than those sold by Texas cultivators, so they are classified as hemp. Sales of the cannabis oil products have become about half of the shops’ business since sales began last summer, Rodgers said. White- and gray-haired customers looking for relief from arthritis and joint pain started coming to the shops, which usually cater to health-conscious 20- and 30-somethings. He said customers have driven from as far as Weatherford, Waxahachie and Oklahoma City. “When I came to Dallas (in 2012), no one was juicing,” he said. “Now there’s a juice bar on every corner … It was a lot of work to educate people on the benefits of juicing. Now I am finding the same thing. I’m educating people about the benefits of CBD.” The suppliers GrowLife, a Seattle-area company that makes potting plants, lighting and other supplies to grow marijuana and other plants indoors, opened a facility in Grand Prairie in January. The company will manufacture FreeFit Floors, flooring that reflects light and saves energy. Its flooring has become popular among cannabis companies. It plans to expand to 50 employees over the next 18 months, GrowLife chief executive Marco Hegyi said. The state’s central location and low cost made it an ideal logistics hub, said Keith Pocock, general manager of operations for GrowLife Innovations. He said the company will use the facility to test new products, too, such as a ready-made grow kit that resembles a camping tent and comes with supplies like lighting and fans. There’s one catch, though, he said: The company will have to test its new products by growing salad greens or herbs instead of marijuana. In Arlington, Ricca Chemical mixes clear liquids in giant flasks in a room that’s a cross between a chemistry lab and an industrial kitchen. It sells terpenes that it filters of impurities, blends together and bottles to create unique flavors and aromas. Companies add them to cannabis products stripped of their natural flavors during the oil extraction process or use them to enhance flavors and stand out from other brands. Linda Hurley, the company’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said she gets interesting reactions from friends and family when she talks about her latest work project and her business trips to marijuana trade shows. But she sees Ricca Chemical’s new division, Cannabis Solutions, as just another way the 43-year-old chemical company can break into an emerging market. Cannabis Solutions sells 21 strains that range in flavor from dead leaf to strawberry cheesecake. It also works with companies that want their own unique flavors. Since it can’t test on cannabis products in Arlington, Hurley said the company goes back and forth with its clients, shipping multiple versions until the flavor profile they’d like is just right. About 15 percent of business comes from the cannabis industry, Ricca said. He said terpenes brought in $4 million of revenue in its first 15 months of sales. Companies have bought the terpenes to use in vape pens and e-cigarettes, gummy bears and gourmet cannabis cooking oils. Patrick Moran sees the cannabis business as a natural extension of Texas’ history of wildcatters and cowboys. Moran, who lives in McKinney, helped start the Texas Cannabis Industry Association in 2014. The trade group advocates for policy change and acts as a voice for the small but growing number of cannabis-related companies in the state. It’s made up of about a dozen companies and has 32 supporting members, he said. Moran started Aquiflow, which advises cannabis companies in California and Canada on products from soil and lighting to plotting systems. His application for a license under the Texas Compassionate Use Act is pending, so for now, he’s turned his facility in Gunter — a town of 1,500 about 60 miles north of Dallas in Grayson County — into a laboratory to test different technologies. He’s using basil and tomatoes. “We dug in because I’m not giving up Texas,” he said. “This is the right thing. It may not be easy, but it’s the right thing and the right side of history.” ___By MELISSA REPKO, The Dallas Morning NewsInformation from: The Dallas Morning News, Eric Gay/APMarijuana plants named for state Rep. Stephanie Klick, are seen in a flowering room under sodium grow lights at Compassionate Cultivation, a licensed medical cannabis cultivator and dispensary, on Dec. 14, 2017, in Manchaca, Texas.last_img read more

Microsoft open sources Trill a streaming engine that employs algorithms to process

first_imgYesterday, Microsoft open sourced Trill, previously an internal project used for processing “a trillion events per day”. It was the first streaming engine to incorporate algorithms that process events in small batches of data based on latency on the user side. It powers services like Financial Fabric, Bing ads, Azure stream analytics, Halo, etc. With the increasing flow of data, the ability to process huge amounts of data each millisecond is a necessity. Microsoft has open sourced Trill for processing a trillion events per day to ‘address this growing trend’. Microsoft Trill features Trill is a single-node engine library and any .NET application, service, or platform can readily use Trill to start processing queries. It has a temporal query language which allows users to use complex queries over real-time and offline data sets. Trill has high performance which allows users to get results with great speed and low latency. How did Trill start? Trill was a research project at Microsoft Research in 2012. It has been described in various research papers like VLDB and the IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin. Trill is based on a former Microsoft service called StreamInsight—a platform that allowed developers to develop and deploy event processing applications. Both of these systems are based on an extended query and data model which extends the relational model with a component for time. Systems before Trill could only achieve a part of the benefits. All these advantages come in one package with Trill. Trill was the very first streaming engine that incorporated algorithms to process events in data batches based on the latency tolerated by users. It was also the first engine that organized data batches in a columnar format. This enabled queries to execute with much higher efficiency. Using Trill is similar to working with any .NET library. Trill has the same performance for real-time and offline datasets. Trill allows users to perform advanced time-oriented analytics and also look for complex patterns over streaming datasets. Open-sourcing Trill Microsoft believes there Trill is the best available tool in this domain in the developer community. By open sourcing it, they want to offer the features of IStreamable abstraction to all customers. There are opportunities for community involvement for future development of Trill. It allows users to write custom aggregates. There are also research projects built on Trill where the code is present but is not yet ready to use. For more details on Trill, visit the Microsoft website. Read next Microsoft announces Windows DNS Server Heap Overflow Vulnerability, users dissatisfied with patch details Microsoft confirms replacing EdgeHTML with Chromium in Edge Microsoft Connect(); 2018: .NET foundation open membership, .NET Core 2.2, .NET Core 3 Preview 1 released, WPF, WinUI, Windows forms open sourcedlast_img read more

ALFNs CEO Resigns Starts Consulting Group

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-01-31 Abby Gregory in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology ALFN’s CEO Resigns, Starts Consulting Group January 31, 2012 466 Views center_img Share The “”American Legal & Financial Network”” (ALFN) recently released a brief statement announcing the resignation of the organization’s current president and CEO, William LeRoy. [IMAGE]The Missouri-based group extended few details surrounding LeRoy’s departure, but the ALFN did indicate that LeRoy’s resignation would be effective immediately.Co-founder and chairman of the board of directors for the ALFN, Wesley T. Kozeny, was named as interim president and CEO. The organization said it has already begun the search for a permanent replacement for LeRoy, who served the ALFN for over nine years. The ALFN’s official press documents noted that LeRoy had resigned to “”in order to pursue other opportunities,”” and in[COLUMN_BREAK]conducting research for this story, _MReport_ found that “”LeRoy’s LinkedIn””: page now lists him as the founder and principal of PHOENIX Consulting, LLC, as of January 2012.As recently as last October, LeRoy’s position at the ALFN appeared firm, and various press materials covering the group’s activities gave no indication that LeRoy would be stepping down as the leader of the ALFN. During October of last year, for example, the ALFN released a personal message written by LeRoy that was widely distributed. In the open letter, LeRoy expressed his thanks to the ALFN’s members and others following the organization’s actions related to the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency’s”” Loan Servicing and Delinquency Management Alignment Initiative.In the statement, LeRoy wrote in part, “”Folks, I am 60 years ‘young’├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª I have never witnessed any group take any such action that resulted in such a dramatic national policy turnaround involving such behemoth industry players, as we have done in the five days that make up the beginning and ending of these events. If you have ever asked yourself what the true value of this organization is, or if you can truly make a difference within this industry, we have just demonstrated that the answer to that question is a resounding YES! We truly are a force for good within our industry and we can, and do make a difference.””The ALFN has already updated its website to reflect Kozeny’s position as interim president and CEO. As of press time, there was no additional information available regarding LeRoy’s permanent replacement.last_img read more

Quarles Lending Growth Fewer Nonperforming Loans

first_img November 14, 2018 576 Views Quarles: “Lending Growth, Fewer Nonperforming Loans” in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Banks Dodd-Frank Federal Reserve Financial Services Committee House Liquidity 2018-11-14 Radhika Ojhacenter_img Improving regulatory transparency and the Fed’s progress in making the post-crisis regulatory framework simpler and more efficient were the two main topics of discussion during The Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision, Randal Quarles’, semiannual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.Opening the proceedings, Hensarling said that the Dodd-Frank Act had dramatically increased the Fed’s powers “way beyond its traditional monetary policy responsibilities.” “Through so-called “heightened prudential standards,” the Fed can functionally now control the largest financial institutions in our economy, which is most disconcerting,” Hensarling said. “Increased capital and liquidity standards, as long as they are not counter-productive or duplicative, add to stability; regulatory complexity and micro-management do not. If not properly tailored and calibrated, both hinder economic growth.”   However, during his testimony, Quarles said that the Fed was making progress in making the post-crisis “regulatory framework simpler and more efficient.”Outlining the Fed’s initiatives, Quarles said, “I am mindful that this semiannual testimony—like my position as Vice Chairman for Supervision—is grounded in Congress’s efforts to strengthen and improve the nation’s regulatory framework following the financial crisis. “The motivations are clear: supervisory resources are not limitless, and supervision is not costless, either to the public or to supervised institutions. Activities and firms that pose the greatest risk should receive the most scrutiny, and where the risk is lower, the regulatory burden should be lower as well,” Quarles said.He pointed out that this principal had also guided the Fed’s implementation of the Dodd-Frank modifications or the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act  (EGRRCPA). He said that the Fed had already expanded the eligibility of community banking firms for the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement, and for longer, 18-month examination cycles; given bank holding companies below $100 billion in assets immediate relief from supervisory assessments, stress testing requirements, and some additional Dodd-Frank Act prudential measures; and implemented changes to liquidity regulation of municipal securities and capital regulation of high-volatility commercial real estate exposures.Speaking about the improvements in the regulatory framework that the Fed had made, Quarles told the committee that tailoring regulation and supervision to risk was a programmatic goal of the Federal Reserve policy and had been so for more than two decades. He told the committee that the Fed had taken a number of steps to further increase transparency and provide more information about its supervisory activity to the institutions it regulated as well as the general public.Giving the example of its recent improvising of supervisory rating systems for large financial institutions, he said that The new rating system would “better align ratings for these firms with the supervisory feedback they receive and will focus firms on the capital, liquidity, and governance issues most likely to affect safety and soundness.”Quarles told the committee that the Fed would make final a set of measures to increase visibility into the Board’s supervisory stress testing program. “The enhanced disclosures will include more granular descriptions of our models; more information about the design of our scenarios; and more detail about the outcomes we project, including a range of loss rates for loans held by firms subject to the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review,” Quarles explained. Giving a report on the safety and soundness of the U.S. Banking System, he said that the banking sector remained in strong condition and was in line with the strong performance of the U.S. economy, with “lending growth, fewer nonperforming loans, and strong overall profitability.”“Large institutions are well capitalized and liquid, and their capital planning and liquidity risk-management processes are improving. Ninety-nine percent of regional and community banks are currently well capitalized, and supervisory recommendations made to smaller firms during the financial crisis have largely been closed,” Quarles said. Starting the proceedings by acknowledging that he would be retiring as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee soon, Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the Committee congratulated the Democrats on their midterm win and ensured an efficient and peaceful transfer of power. “I don’t know who will chair the committee, although I have a pretty good idea,” he said in a clear indication towards Ranking Member Maxine Waters who is most likely to succeed him as the Chairperson.Before his opening statement, Hensarling acknowledged Waters’ longtime participation in the House Financial Committee. “I certainly would congratulate her on her accomplishment and congratulate her on all the times we have been able to work on a bipartisan basis,” he said.Thanking Hensarling for his offer to be of assistance in the transition, Waters, however, said that while it was thought that “I would chair this committee we haven’t gone through our formal process as yet. And I welcome and appreciate the opportunity to certainly have the support from my colleagues on this side of the aisle to chair this committee and I look forward to working with you in any and every way that I can,” she said.To view, the complete testimony click here. Sharelast_img read more

How does he keep his composure and not let his fru

first_imgHow does he keep his composure and not let his frustration boil over? “I’m human. I know that my teammates look to me as a captain to be a leader,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s easy to be a leader when things are always going your way and you got a hundred yard games and a lot of wins and scoring touchdowns, it’s easy to lead. It’s much more difficult to lead when things aren’t going your way.”In 2010, he had 90 receptions and was targeted 174 times. He saw that number drop in 2011 to 80 receptions and 153 targets. In 2012, the numbers will likely decline again. With just four games remaining, Fitzgerald has just 56 receptions and has only been targeted 120 times during the first 12 weeks of play. “This has been a learning experience for me,” Fitzgerald stated. “Patience my dad use to always tell me that patience is a virtue and definitely my patience has been tested.”On Thursday Fitzgerald was asked about his ability to keep his composure this season as balls continuously sail wide and high throughout each and every game. He showed his leadership once again by turning the focus from himself to his team. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires It’s been a tough season for the Arizona Cardinals. They got off to a hot start at 4-0 but have stalled ever since, losing eight straight games. If it’s been a challenge for the team, the fans and the organization, just imagine what it’s been like for perennial Pro-Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Since 2009, Fitzgerald has played with six different starting quarterbacks and he’s since seen his production and the amount of times he’s targeted drop each of the past couple seasons. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories “I’m not the only one,” Fitzgerald said. “A lot of guys on this team are having to deal with the adversity that we’re having to face so I’m not in it by myself.”This weekend the Cardinals head to Seattle to face a Seahawks team that is 5-0 at home this season. It’s also a place that Fitzgerald said is the toughest place he’s ever played at any level. Arizona is going back to John Skelton and his 64.4 passer rating and 54.7 completion percentage to try and find Fitzgerald on the field and get the “W” they so desperately need. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Venetian Macao i

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >The Venetian Macao is embracing the festive season and welcoming 2016 with Seasons of Wonder in addition to  a range of New Year’ s Eve activities for all the family.The outdoor lagoon area of The Venetian Macao will be transformed into a winter fairyland, complete with artificial snow, when Seasons of Wonder returns to The Venetian Macao this December. The 3-D light and sound spectacular will project seasonal images on the 43,000-square-feet façade of The Venetian Macao. Powered by digital video mapping technology, the free-admission show will run every half an hour from 6 pm-10 pmOn 31 December The Venetian Macao will welcome guests and visitors to ring in the New Year in style with a free outdoor countdown celebration. The New Year’s Eve Countdown will take place at the outdoor lagoon area of The Venetian Macao with festivities beginning at 8:30 pm with live music from Andy Frasco and the UN and Blue Note who will entertain visitors with their lively blues rock tunes.For the final minutes of 2015, the Venetian Macao will transform into a New Year’s Eve special 3-D light and sound spectacular countdown so everyone can count down together.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

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