Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Force will be with you, always, especially since Disney-controlled Star Wars’ marketing campaign has become the ultimate power in the galaxy. Hype leading up to Episode VII: The Force Awakens, in theaters Dec. 18, covers every parsec of the media. Monday night was no exception as ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live dedicated a full episode to that galaxy far, far away.From a certain point of view, the highlights were few and far between. Ewok-sized bits of information, most of which fanboys probably already knew, were casually mentioned during the hour-long show.The biggest news was from director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Lost). Though reported two days prior, Abrams confirmed with Jimmy Kimmel that The Force Awakens was fully armed and operational as of early Saturday morning.That still left anxious fans to count down 25 days and 10 minutes until the premiere, which may be worse than being slowly digested for over 1,000 years inside a Sarlacc. Kimmel pressed for even a word of new information, which turned out to be the first spoken word in the new film.Here it is.Get ready.“This.”To the roar of the crowd, the mundane pronoun exploded onto a screen in Star Wars’ iconic yellow font, as seen in the film’s opening crawls. Now fans have 25 days to ponder, “’This’ what?”Abrams also brought a never-before-seen 16-second clip, which can be viewed at the end of the Youtube video below.Kimmel and Abrams were later joined by some of the cast members. Daisey Ridley plays Rey, a scavenger living on a desolate planet. John Boyega (Attack the Block) crashes into Rey’s life as Finn, an AWOL stormtrooper. The duo will cross paths with Adam Driver (HBO’s Girls), who wields a three-bladed lightsaber as Kylo Ren. And Carrie Fisher reprises her role as Princess – sorry, General – Leia.The new leads detailed the moments they found out they had been cast in Star Wars.“I was, like, 19,” Carrie Fisher joked, referring to her days of cinnamon-bun hairstyles and underwear-less outfits beginning in 1976.Ridley was at a play, Boyega’s dad didn’t know what Star Wars even was, and Abrams accidentally spoiled Driver’s surprise to his wife, but each shared cute moments that would warm even Darth Vader’s cold, mechanized heart. After all, who wouldn’t be excited to be in a Star Wars film?The cast also emphasized the secrecy surrounding their roles and the film’s production. When asked if it was always him acting beneath his helmeted character, Adam Driver nervously looked at Abrams.The director is known for keeping his projects, especially major productions like Star Trek and now Star Wars, under lock and key. According to Boyega, the cast could only practice their lines at Pinewood Studios in England, where the scripts were not allowed to leave the premises in order to reduce spoiler leaks.Other brief appearances included R2-D2, who whistled and beeped around the set, as well as Harrison Ford, who will return as an aged Han Solo alongside his furry sidekick Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).We would be honored if Mark Hamill would join us, but the one and only Luke Skywalker was yet again absent.“Where’s Luke?” has become one of the latest questions trending among Star Wars fans, opening the blast doors to speculation about the iconic Jedi’s whereabouts in The Force Awakens as well as his allegiance to the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.It’s got fans talking, though, looking to the future, to the horizon. The hype train isn’t stopping. Last week, EA DICE released a rebooted Star Wars Battlefront to video game consoles. HP unveiled an Empire-themed notebook laptop. Google encouraged users to choose between the Light and Dark Side, the decision altering several Google apps. And North American film fans topped it all off with record-breaking advance ticket presales exceeding $50 million, with a month still left to go.Everything is proceeding as Disney has foreseen.
5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr With improved oversight and data analytics.by: Derek BrownFor credit unions nationwide, internal fraud represents a significant and growing problem.The financial services sector has the highest incidence of internal fraud across 23 industries, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2012 Global Fraud Survey: about 17 percent of all insider fraud incidents, vs. just over 10 percent each for government/public administration and manufacturing.The National Credit Union Administration earlier this year said that fraud contributed to the closure of more than 40 percent of the 192 credit unions that have failed in the last 10 years. In a 2014 report, CUES Supplier member CUNA Mutual Group said that almost half (46 percent) of claims paid between 2009 and 2013 under its fidelity bond coverage involved insider fraud — and that 71 percent of claims for losses caused by employee dishonesty were submitted by credit unions that hadn’t had any employee dishonesty claims during the prior three years. Just as disturbing, the CUNA Mutual Group report said that dishonest credit union employee actions are typically not discovered until upwards of $140,000 has been stolen over the course of 18 months. continue reading »
9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In its 2017 Diversity Report, Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) provided an update on its efforts to create a more inclusive financial services industry. Managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co., FinLab seeks to identify, test and bring to scale promising innovations to improve financial health in America. The program is dedicated to supporting and encouraging diversity within the early-stage fintech space.“As an investor and supporter of early-stage startups, we believe that diverse teams simply build better products,” writes CFSI FinLab Senior Manager Maria Lajewski in the report. “By having a more comprehensive understanding of the market, diverse teams are more likely to build products that address the needs of a broad swath of consumers, including those who are historically underserved. And it’s those companies that are much more likely to grow and scale to reach millions of customers.”Below are a couple interesting findings Lajewski shares in the report: continue reading »
The Croatian National Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board, as part of the XXIII. During the Winter Olympic Games in the South Korean city of PyeongChang, she held a business workshop and presentation of the Croatian and Slovenian tourist offer in front of 40 partners from South Korea.Among the domestic entities, the presentation in South Korea was attended by the tourist boards of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Kvarner and the city of Zagreb, as well as Croatia Airlines, Atlas, Uniline and others. The CNTB points out that Croatia is a popular destination on the Korean market, which is confirmed by the extremely high interest expressed by Korean partners and travel agencies such as Any Travel, Expedia Korea, Hana Business, Shoestring Travel, Viagem Tour, Yana Trip and others. , and the workshop also attracted representatives of leading Korean media specializing in tourism and travel.”By establishing a larger number of airlines, we expect significant growth in tourist traffic from distant markets such as South Korea, China, Japan, etc. In 2018, we expect further growth in the arrival of guests from South Korea who especially appreciate natural beauty, cultural and historical sights in Croatia. gastronomy and active holidays. We will strengthen our promotional presence in this market, given that these are guests who visit us in a large percentage outside the summer months and thus stimulate the active business of tourism stakeholders over a longer period of the year. ” said director Stanicic, announcing the recent opening of the Croatian National Tourist Board office in Seoul.Photo: HTZThe presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at the Slovenian House in the Olympic Village in PyeongChang was enhanced by members of the Croatian bobsled team: pilot Dražen Silić from Pula, Benedikt Nikpalj from Zadar, Antonijo Zelić from Drniš and Mate Mezulić, as well as Croatian Charge d’Affaires Hrvoje Cvitanović and honorary Croatian Consul in Korea In-Mo Yang. Simona Leskovar, Ambassador of Slovenia to Japan, which also covers the Republic of Korea, greeted those gathered in front of Slovenia.By the way, 2017 arrivals and 444.000 overnight stays were made from the Korean market in 534.000, which compared to 2016 represents an increase of 20 percent in arrivals and 16 percent in overnight stays. The destinations where Korean tourists spent the most nights are Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Plitvice Lakes. Croatia and Slovenia now traditionally present themselves in distant markets through joint appearances, as this achieves greater promotional visibility, especially among tourists from China, South Korea and Japan, who see Europe as a unique destination.Find out more about the market at “Market profiles”
The budget changes will also cause a delay in several other projects, such as the development of the Way Sekampung Dam in Lampung, the Jragung Dam in Central Java, the Temef Dam in East Nusa Tenggara, the Kuningan East Ring Road in West Java and the construction of the Brebes Ring Road in Central Java. The ministry has also postponed supporting activities, such as project surveys and detailed engineering design plans.“The reallocation is also based on the postponement of nonphysical activities, such as survey work and detailed engineering design work,” said Basuki.The ministry reallocated Rp 44.58 trillion, 37 percent of its 2020 budget, to finance infrastructure for COVID-19 emergency measures, including the construction of Galang Hospital in Riau Islands at the former camp for Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Vietnam War. The hospital, which began operations in early April, is used as a quarantine and medical facility to handle COVID patients.Budget funds were also used to convert the athletes village in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, into a COVID hospital and to transform Gajah Mada University’s academy hospital into a COVID referral hospital in Yogyakarta.The COVID-19 crisis has also affected the construction of other infrastructure projects in Indonesia, including the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project that is expected to be delayed. Railway developer PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) had planned to finish the project and start operations in 2021.Topics : The Public Works and Public Housing Ministry will suspend a number of infrastructure projects following the ministry’s decision to reallocate a large part of its budget funds to efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Public Works and Public Housing Miniser Basuki Hadimuljono said Tuesday said the postponed projects included overhauling the irrigation network in Baro Raya in Pidie, Aceh, revamping the waterfront area in Pariaman, West Sumatra, and building the Sp Tohpati – Tjokroaminoto bridge in Denpasar, Bali.“The postponed projects will become priorities in 2021 and will be put up for auction in October 2020,” said Basuki during a meeting with House of Representative commission V on Tuesday.
Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfRead the press release on rejecting the Republican plan to cut education.Check out the Twitter Collection of the announcement.BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT 12/29 Governor Wolf Remarks on Rejecting Republican Cut to Education; Releasing Emergency Funding December 29, 2015 Budget News, Remarks, Videos Governor’s Reception RoomHarrisburg, PATRANSCRIPT:I am going to exercise my constitutional right to line item veto this ridiculous exercise in budget futility. I’m calling on our legislators to get back to Harrisburg – back to the work they left unfinished last week. In the meantime I’m vetoing their $95 million cut to education. I’m also vetoing other items that they don’t pay for.At the same time, I’m allowing emergency funding for our schools to get out. I’m also letting funding go out to our human service agencies and to our counties. But this is on an emergency basis only.In doing this, I’m expressing the outrage that all of us should feel about the garbage the Republican legislative leaders have tried to dump on us. This budget is wrong for Pennsylvania. And our legislators – the folks we elected to serve us – need to own up to this. They need to do their jobs. This budget is wrong for so many reasons.First, it doesn’t balance. Even with the numbers presented to me by the Republicans before they ran out of town just before the Christmas holiday. This budget doesn’t add up. In fact it leaves a half a billion dollar hole for this year (2015-16). And a $2 billion hole for next year.There’s a reason why the outside rating agencies have downgraded our debt. They’re telling the world what our legislators want to ignore. Our fiscal house is a mess.Second, this pretend budget doesn’t make the investments a prudent state government should make, in things like education.This exercise in stupidity actually cuts education funding by $95 million compared to the draconian Corbett budgets. It does add a modest amount in basic education funding, but then it takes out over $300 million to be used for school construction.By the way, before they left town, our legislators also neglected to provide any funding for Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln University, Temple, Penn School of Veterinary Science. The budget they concocted doesn’t have enough revenue to leave any room for doing anything to increase funding for our state universities over 2014-15 levels.This budget is doubly frustrating because we were so close to a reasonable one. I had worked patiently and persistently with Republican leaders over the past many months to agree on a compromise budget.That compromise budget was in balance. That compromise budget invested in our kids and our schools. That compromise budget also included historic pension reform and historic liquor reform. That compromise budget actually passed the Republican dominated Senate by a vote of 43-7. And it passed the House on a number of preliminary votes.Then, before the final vote, the Republican House leaders told their members to go home. I get it that everyone is tired of this stalemate But we were almost there. And this makes what they did all that much more unconscionable. They simply left town before finishing their jobs.They can deny what they did. They can try to justify what they did. They can throw around all the political nonsense they want, but the fact remains. They ran off – pretty quickly at that – before they finished their job. And they left us with a real holiday mess. Let’s not kid ourselves; we still need a budget.We need one that actually adds up, this year and next. We need one that fully funds the needs of our schools. We need one that really covers the cost of our state. We need to pass the budget that the Senate and House passed – Senate Bill 1073. And that I’m ready to sign.If we don’t get this right, we will face massive cuts to education and human services next year. And we’ll see huge increases in local taxes and massive additional cuts to our local schools. Remember 2011? We need to get this right.So, to the legislators elected to do the people’s business: let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to the work the people of Pennsylvania sent you here to do. Let’s get back to work to finish the job you almost finished last week. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Sustainable pension funds on offer within Sweden’s Premium Pension System (PPM) have had both higher returns and lower fees on average in the last five years than other funds, according to new data from the Swedish Pensions Agency.In its report ’Statistics on sustainable funds within the Premium Pension System’, the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten), the government body which administers and pays national pensions and provides information about pensions, says funds included in the PPM fund marketplace bearing the “M/E” environmental/ethical label had lower fees and higher returns over the five years to the end of December 2015 than other funds.The M/E label is given to funds that take environmental and/or ethical considerations into account in their investment approach.Niklas Näsström, financial analyst at the Swedish Pensions Agency, said: “It is clear that sustainable funds have lower fees than other funds.” This was true regardless of whether the analysis was based on capital-weighted or unweighted average fees, he said.The average return for M/E-labelled funds in the last five years is 5.5% compared with 4.1% for other funds.The outperformance observed applied to all types of fund except bond funds, the agency said, with the same comparative result apparent for equity funds, mixed funds and generation funds, where risk is reduced as the saver gets older. In the case of bond funds, however, which are a small proportion of the overall funds on offer, other funds had performed better over the period than those with the environmental/ethical label.The proportion of sustainable funds among all PPM funds has been increasing gradually since 2009 and reached 23% in 2015, according to the data.
Norwegian firm Storebrand Asset Management said it is divesting some of the world’s largest fossil fuel firms including Exxon, Chevron, Rio Tinto, BASF, shedding $47m (€39.5m) of shareholdings in a blacklisting involving a total of 27 firms.The $91bn division of the Storebrand financial group said it was adopting a “new enhanced climate policy” to speed up its work against climate change, citing firms’ climate lobbying practices as reason for more than half of the exclusions, with involvement in coal and tar sands extraction being the reason for the others.Jan Erik Saugestad, Storebrand Asset Management chief executiveofficer, said: “The Exxons and Chevrons of the world are holding us back.”Describing the fossil fuel portfolio purge as an initial move, he warned it did “not mean that BP, Shell, Equinor and other oil and gas majors can rest easy and continue with business as usual, even though they are performing relatively better than US oil majors.” Saugestad said the world needed to move away from the use of oil and gas, without simply deflecting attention to carbon offsetting, capture and storage, adding that fossil fuel alternatives such as wind and solar power were really available.Storebrand said its new climate policy involved the exclusion of companies that lobbied against the Paris Agreement and those that derived over 5% of revenues from coal or oil sands, as well as increasing capital flows into low-carbon, climate-resilient companies. “We expect that our peers will adopt new policies like this as part of a logical progression in global fossil fuel divestment,” said Saugestad.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.
Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has received an approval for its equitization plan under which it will sell a part of the existing state capital and issue more shares to raise its charter capital.After equitization, the parent company will have a chartered capital of VND 14.04 billion (USD 614,250), including a state capital of VND 11.9 billion.The company informed that the State will hold 65% of charter capital, another 14.8% of charter capital will be sold to strategic investors, while 2% of charter capital will be sold at preferential price for VNL employees and trade union.Additionally, Vinalines was authorizes to implement the plan of selling shares to the public, to choose strategic investors and handle all problems of employees and related content. The lauching of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) will be in September 2018.According to new management model, the international transaction name of Vinalines will be changed to Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC).In 2017, the total of tonnage of shipping market reached nearly 25 million tons, while the capacity throughput reached nearly 90 million tons.
Indiana’s deer population is growing, and with it come concerns about overgrazing forests and increased risk of car-deer collisions on the roadways.(Image: Matt Miller, The Nature Conservancy.)Many Hoosiers consider deer to be majestic creatures in nature, but some conservationists are voicing concerns about the dangers of deer overpopulation. At the turn of the 20th century, there were actually no deer in Indiana, but by the 1980s, expansion efforts had been successful and deer sightings today are common.According to the Southern Indiana program director for the Nature Conservancy, Allen Pursell, the issue now is that feeding all those deer is affecting the ecosystem, and their browsing can be destructive.“They are a natural part of the ecosystem and they belong out in our forests, and it was a great thing to see them return,” he declared. “But like a lot of things, having too much is a bad thing, and we’re getting to the place where there are so many deer now that they exceed the carrying capacity of our forests.”Pursell said people have very strong feelings on the subject: they either want more game animals to hunt, or consider it cruel to kill deer. He added that, in many areas of the country, deer have changed the composition and structure of forests by overgrazing them.There is no easy answer, but Pursell said all sides in the deer population debate will have to compromise to find the best solution.He pointed out that the overpopulation is also affecting suburbia, where the interaction between deer and people becomes much closer and personal, and can affect public safety when the animals get onto the roads.“One estimate is that in Indiana there were about 30,000 of these deer-car accidents every year, and each one of those accidents will cost, to repair, somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000. And that’s big money.”With the loss of wolves and mountain lions in the region, the deer lack natural predators, which Pursell said leaves it up to humans to control the population. And while there are more humane options, he said, the hard reality is that hunting is the most effective.“Many people have looked for other solutions, birth control and other means of doing things, but either they’re not biologically effective or they’re not economically effective,” he said. “And so, hunting is really to be at this point in time the key to managing the deer population.”Indiana is among states that have changed policies to stabilize or reduce the number of deer, and enacted the first modern firearms season targeting female deer in the state’s history.