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Mitsubishi to invest £1.76bn in Indonesia

first_imgMonday 24 January 2011 7:12 pm Show Comments ▼ Tags: NULL by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStorySerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite HeraldSenior Living | Search AdsNew Senior Apartments Coming Nearby Scottsdale (Take a Look at The Prices)Senior Living | Search Ads Share whatsapp Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofThe Truth About Bottled Water – Get the Facts on Drinking Bottled WaterGayotChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proofcenter_img JAPAN’S biggest trading house, Mitsubishi, has decided to invest in a liquefied natural gas project worth $2.8bn (£1.76bn) in Indonesia via a joint venture, shoring up the confidence of investors who once feared the deal might go awry.Securing two million tonnes of LNG a year from 2014 would have little impact on the world’s energy supply, but the new project will supplement a decline in LNG exports from Indonesia, the world’s third biggest exporter of the fuel, and signal multilateral cooperation by sharing the burden of often costly resource development.Mitsubishi will take a 45 per cent stake in the joint venture, instead of 51 per cent earlier planned, the company said in a statement yesterday, in a move that helps brings in another partner, Korea’s state-run Kogas.Korea Gas, the company that is the world’s number one buyer of LNG, will have a 15 per cent stake in the joint venture, PT Donggi-Senoro LNG, underscoring the state-run entity’s push to invest in overseas oil and gas.Mitsubishi and Kogas will set up a special purpose company for the Donggi-Senoro project to produce and sell LNG at a plant in Sulawesi with a capacity of two million tonnes a year. Nearly 72 per cent of the production at the gas fields the joint venture will buy from has been earmarked for export via the LNG plant.The other partners are Indonesian state energy firm Pertamina, with 29 per cent, and PT Medco Energi International of Indonesia, with the remaining 11 per cent. KCS-content Mitsubishi to invest £1.76bn in Indonesia whatsapplast_img read more

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Norway allows online-only bingo to ease Covid-19 impact

first_img18th March 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Bingo Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Norway’s gaming authority will allow bingo halls to operate in an online-only capacity, suspending regulations that require a physical draw to take place, as part of measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the sector. Email Address Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Bingo Norway allows online-only bingo to ease Covid-19 impact Regions: Europe Nordics Norway Tags: Online Gambling Norway’s gaming authority will allow bingo halls to operate in an online-only capacity, suspending regulations that require a physical draw to take place, as part of measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the sector.Norwegian gambling regulations state that consumers can play bingo online, but must be linked to games occurring in a land-based bingo hall. However, Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift) said it had been contacted by a number of bingo hall operators asking for exemptions from this rule.This follows the shut-down of all cultural, sporting and voluntary activies in Norway, including bingo halls, on 12 March, in order to slow the spread of the virus.Bingo operators may now offer games entirely online. However, games may still only be offered from 10AM to 10PM and with each licensee only able to offer one game at a time. In addition, new players no longer need to register for accounts in person and can now do this online.The rules will be in place until 29 March, but the Lotteritilsynet will continue to review the situation and may keep them in place longer.In addition, the Norwegian government has established a compensation scheme to help businesses, teams, associations and individuals running cultural, sporting or voluntary events mitigate the impact of the shut-down. Worth approximately NOK300m (£23.7m/$25.6m$28.0m), it will provide grants to entities that have lost revenue from ticket sales and participation fees on events that were due to take place between 5 March and 5 April. This will be overseen by the country’s Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Abid Q. Raja, and managed by Lottstift and Norway’s Cultural Council.last_img read more

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2017 Stephen Lloyd Awards open for entries

first_img Melanie May | 16 February 2017 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis7 Tagged with: Awards The third annual Stephen Lloyd Awards have opened for entries, with applications welcome until Friday 7th April.The Stephen Lloyd Awards were established in memory of former senior partner of Bates Wells Braithwaite Stephen Lloyd (pictured) to support ideas seen as having the potential to achieve practical and sustainable social change.The Awards Committee is looking for submissions that ‘detail an early stage project that will help to address a social problem in an innovative manner, with a vision for systemic change’.The winning applicant will receive pro bono advice for their idea from the Committee’s network of contacts, and funding of up to £20,000. Shortlisted applicants will also be awarded up to £2,000 to further develop their idea, and will also receive from similar pro bono expertise.Last year’s winners were Campaign Bootcamp, and Canute. More information is available on the Awards website, and applications must be emailed to [email protected] Kirkpatrick, deputy managing partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite and one of the founding members of the Stephen Lloyd Awards Committee, said:“These awards are about recognising and supporting social innovators; the individuals and organisations who use their skills and technical knowledge to address social problems, often in novel ways. Over the last two years we have supported some excellent projects and are looking forward to repeating that this year.  63 total views,  1 views today Advertisement 2017 Stephen Lloyd Awards open for entries  64 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis7 About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.last_img read more

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Survey: Consumers Generally Positive But Still Cautious Toward Housing

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / Survey: Consumers Generally Positive But Still Cautious Toward Housing Previous: House Subcommittee to Hold ‘Dodd-Frank Act and Regulatory Overreach’ Hearing Next: Fannie Mae Reports Net Income of $1.9 Billion for Q1 Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Consumers were generally positive toward the housing market in April, but the improvement in housing sentiment was not enough for analysts to expect any breakout improvements for housing in the coming year, according to Fannie Mae’s April 2015 National Housing Survey released Thursday.Following declines in February and March, the percentage of respondents who said they would prefer to buy a home if they moved rose by three percentage points up to 63 percent, while the share of respondents who said they would rent if they moved dropped to 32 percent. The home price expectation for the next 12 months rose by 2.8 percent, but the share who said now is a good time to buy dropped four percentage points from March to April down to 63 percent. The percentage who said now is a good time to buy held steady from March to April at 46 percent, tying the survey high set in March.Consumer sentiment toward the economy took a slight step backward in April, with the percentage of respondents who said the economy is on the right track fell by one percentage point down to 42 percent. Meanwhile, the share who said the economy is on the wrong track increased by one percentage point up to 49 percent.”The spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a stronger start, reflected in some of the improvement in consumer housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who intend to own rather than rent their next home rebounded after a two-month slide. Meanwhile, home price growth expectations strengthened to the strongest pace since last October. Nevertheless, consumers continue to express concerns about the recent weakening economic conditions and high home prices. These combine to depress the share of consumers believing it is a good time to buy a home.”Sentiment toward personal finances took a step up in April, with the percentage of respondents who said they expect their personal financial situation to get worse over the next 12 months falling to a new survey low of 10 percent. The percentage who said they have a significantly higher household income now than they did 12 months ago increased by two percentage points, up to 24 percent. A new survey low of 29 percent of respondents said their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago.According to Fannie Mae, the information in the April 2015 National Housing Survey for the most part mirrors the findings of Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, “which has remained largely flat since last fall, further suggesting that housing growth may remain subdued in 2015.” Fannie Mae will release its new Home Purchase Sentiment Index this summer.”When we consider both the continued caution of consumers and the positive start to the year, we believe that these results support our expectation that 2015 will be a year of modest growth in housing activity,” Duncan said.Click here for Fannie Mae’s Monthly National Housing Survey page, or click here to see in-depth topic analyses that include detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Survey: Consumers Generally Positive But Still Cautious Toward Housing Share Save The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily center_img May 7, 2015 995 Views About Author: Brian Honea Consumer Sentiment Fannie Mae Housing Market National Housing Survey 2015-05-07 Brian Honea Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Tagged with: Consumer Sentiment Fannie Mae Housing Market National Housing Survey in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, Newslast_img read more

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‘Forced To Prescribe NCERT & CISCE Approved Textbooks’: Punjab And Haryana High Court Issues Notice On CBSE Affiliated Schools’ Petition

first_imgNews Updates’Forced To Prescribe NCERT & CISCE Approved Textbooks’: Punjab And Haryana High Court Issues Notice On CBSE Affiliated Schools’ Petition Sparsh Upadhyay9 May 2021 9:24 PMShare This – xThe Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the Punjab government over an application filed by the CBSE Affiliated Schools Association, submitted that they (along with other private unaided schools) are being forced to prescribe only NCERT and CISCE approved textbooks under the threat of withdrawal of recognition/NOC.Calling this decision ‘totally illegal and high-handed’, the CBSE Affiliated Schools Association has contended that the Punjab State (Director Public Instructions) has no locus in the matter of prescription of textbooks and that the instructions of CBSE are to the contrary.Noting the submission of the petition that the session is in progress and students are likely to suffer in case the threat of withdrawal of recognition/NOC is carried out, the Bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal issued notice to the Punjab Government and Director, Public Instructions.The Bench issued notice for July 9, and directed, “Meanwhile, no coercive steps shall be taken against members of the petitioner.”In related news, the Delhi High Court in 2019 had dismissed a challenge against stipulations in a circular issued Directorate of Education, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, to all the schools under it, to follow the textbooks prescribed by the SCERT, NCERT and CBSE.While examining the contentions raised by the Federation Of Educational Publishers In India, the court noted that the impugned stipulations in the Circular merely requires schools to follow the textbooks prescribed by these statutory bodies, whose authority to prescribe the textbooks to be followed by the schools is conceded even by the petitioners.Click here To Download OrderRead OrderTagsP&H High Court #Punjab and Haryana High Court punjab & haryana high court Schools CBSE Punjab Government Next Storylast_img read more

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Senn to perform at Chuckwagon Races at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch

first_img Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits “People love those old songs, songs like ‘I Saw the Light,’” Senn said. “They like the faster, happier country songs. And the way I sing is like ‘old country.’”Senn said her blessings come from being invited to sing her kind of music in churches, especially Cowboy Churches.Most of the Cowboy Churches are small but well attended Garner said. “They love gospel music and they singing openly and worship openly,” he said. “Linda sings that way.”Senn said whether she sings in a one-room country church or on the big stage at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, she sings to the glory of God.Senn will also appear on Alabama Gospel Roots TV, a one-hour television show that airs at 8 p.m. Saturdays on Alabama Public Television. The date of her  appearance will be announced. Book Nook to reopen Jail architect presents initial schematics to commission The first draft of schematics for a new Pike County jail and judicial complex were presented to the Pike County… read more Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Sponsored Content You Might Like Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Email the author Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2020 Skip But there was a time in Senn’s life when singing was not that important.“I stopped singing for a long time,” she said. “But, then God spoke to me. God tells us if we don’t use the talent He gives us, He will take it away, so I got out there and started singing again.”Mike Garner uplifted his wife in her desire to sing publicly and supported her efforts to get her music before the public.Garner said WTBF in Troy was one of the first radio stations to play his wife’s music. Now, her music is being played on nearly 300 radio stations.center_img “I believe the invitation to bring God’s message in song to such a huge event is in God’s plan for me,” Senn said. “It’s an opportunity to share his love through song.”When she was growing up, Senn’s family would gather on Friday and Saturday nights and play gospel music and sing.“But we didn’t just sing at home; we would go to other houses and other places to sing,” she said. “Singing was just part of our lives.” Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Print Article By The Penny Hoarder The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Senn to perform at Chuckwagon Races at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch Latest Stories By Jaine Treadwell Linda Senn of Brundidge has been invited to sing at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch Spring Chuckwagon Races May 2 and 3.Senn was the featured singer at the 2019 Chuckwagon Races Sunday morning church service and is excited and honored to have been invited back.Although a chuckwagon race is a rather unusual place for the bluegrass/country /gospel singer to perform, Senn said she feels God has blessed her with the opportunity. Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Patriot Health ZoneHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential Health32-second Stretch Ends Back Pain & Sciatica (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

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Officers cleared of wrongdoing in shooting that left firefighter, suspect dead in Wisconsin

first_imgAppleton PD(APPLETON, Wis.) — Two officers involved in a shooting that left the suspect and a firefighter dead have been cleared of any wrongdoing in Wisconsin.Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said Appleton Police Sergeant Christopher Biese and Officer Paul Christensen were justified in shooting a suspect to death nearly a month to the day after the incident.Body camera footage released Thursday shows the chaotic scene that unfolded on the evening of May 15 when police, firefighters and paramedics responded to a man who they believed had a seizure on a bus arriving in the town.Ruben Houston, 47, was traveling back to his home in Wausau, Wisconsin, when he was found unresponsive on the bus.First responders discovered that he had overdosed on opioids and administered two shots of Narcan.In body camera video captured by Biese, Houston can be seen getting up before he begins to walk away, which is when officers noticed “a bulge” on his right side.Houston claimed it was his phone, but then he reached for his .380 semiautomatic weapon and shot at the officers.“I heard like a pow, and I thought it was a lawnmower backfiring,” witness Tori Mourning told ABC News affiliate WBAY-TV. “I heard it again, I looked up because we can see the bus stop from my bedroom window. I looked at the tree, I saw the guy shoot a female, and she went down, and another shot was fired, and there was another male and he went down, and then I saw the shooter flee.”Mitch Lundgaard, a 14-year veteran of the Appleton Fire Department, was shot in the back after offering Houston a cot to lay down on outside of the bus. He later died at the hospital.Christiansen was also shot in the lower body, but immediately returned fire. He was released from the hospital the next day.Authorities believe bystander Brittany L. Schowalter, 30, was used by Houston as a human shield. She was struck by the officer’s gunfire but is now in stable condition.Houston was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.The investigation found that both officers involved had fired at least once.Lungaard was a father of three kids, held the rank of firefighter inspector and was also a relief driver engineer. He drove the firetruck to the scene that night.Biese has been at the police department since 2004. Christiansen had been there for just under 15 months.“It shows the public just how a seemingly insignificant, non-emergency call for a police officer, can quickly turn deadly,” Appleton Police Chief Todd L. Thomas said. “This is why our officers have to always remain vigilant, and why there is no such thing as a routine call.“Sgt. Biese and Officer Christensen acted heroically, moving and repeatedly engaging the suspect as he fired. Even after Officer Christensen was hit, and clearly in extreme pain, he battled on because people’s lives were still in danger,” he added. “They were both guardians and caregivers — and, when needed, they were true warriors — vividly demonstrating the strength of the thin blue line.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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13 arrested, 4 injured at Portland right wing rally: Police

first_imgCopyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019 Early Saturday, Trump criticized antifa in a tweet, and said Portland is “being watched very closely.” iStock(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Thirteen people were arrested and four were injured, as over 1,000 right-wing demonstrators and counter-protesters descended on downtown Portland on Saturday, police said.There were “at least 13 arrests,” in six hours, Portland Police Lieutenant Tina Jones said in a statement. “We are aware of four individuals who have been evaluated by Portland Fire medics,” the statement said.Jones also said that one person had been taken to a hospital and that “Portland Fire medics report that all known injuries are considered to be minor.”However, as the day progressed, tensions seemed to be mounting. At around 4:30 p.m. local time, and the Portland Police tweeted, that “Police are having plastic water bottles thrown at them as they are making an arrest on SW Yamhill and Park.” After that, police began advising people to clear the streets or face arrest.“Police are advising this is now a civil disturbance. Crowd needs to leave the area and go Northbound on Park or any direction eastbound. This means everyone,” Portland Police tweeted.The city has been bracing for several militant right-wing groups to arrive in the city, along with scores of counter-protesters.Enrique Tarrio, national head of the Proud Boys, who describe themselves as an all-male “western chauvinist” group, and former InfoWars personality Joe Biggs, organized the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally on Saturday that started at 11 a.m. local time. Initially, the crowds moved in slowly, and were met by a heavy police presence, in which local police were bolstered by more than a dozen other law enforcement agencies.Members of other far-right extremist groups, including the American Guard, the Three Percenters, and the Daily Stormers, were also expected to attend in the hopes of declaring militant leftists, or anti-fascists known as “anitfa,” a domestic terrorist group.One right-wing militia group, Oath Keepers, disavowed the rally for fears of being associated with white supremacists.“We do not believe the organizers are taking the steps necessary to ensure that white nationalist and suspected white nationalist groups and individuals will be excluded,” said Stewart Rhodes, the group’s founder, in a statement on its website. “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,’” the tweet read. “Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!”The president did not, however, criticize the right-wing organizers.Previous rallies featuring right-wing groups and antifa have turned violent in Portland, prompting a warning from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.Ahead of Saturday’s rallies, Wheeler issued a video message stating, “if you’re planning on coming here on August 17th with the intent to commit violence, we don’t want you here.”It was unclear whether Joey Gibson, the leader of right-wing Patriot Prayer, will attend the rally. He and five other men have been arrested this month, on charges stemming from a violent outburst on May 1 at Cider Riot, a bar that is a haven for the city’s leftists. Videos of the May Day incident show men associated with the group spraying pepper spray, fighting and striking people with batons.He turned himself in to authorities and bailed out on Friday.Local authorities have beefed up security and have been joined by an array of other law enforcement agencies “on a scale that this city hasn’t seen in years,” Wheeler said. A message to anyone who plans on using Portland on August 17th to commit violence and spread hate: We.Don’t.Want.You.Here.Stop using our beautiful city and our home to spread fear and disrupt our lives. https://t.co/CtkoxMz6rQ— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) August 7, 2019 https://t.co/BAUm1eFJWt— Oath Keepers (@Oathkeepers) August 15, 2019last_img read more

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Coldest air of the season is on the way for Eastern US

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — Thirty cities in the eastern U.S. had its warmest October on record and now we go from that to winter-like weather. The next several days will feel like a frigid slap in the face for millions east of the Rockies. Before the arctic blast, we have to watch two storm systems moving east with snow and heavy rain. The first storm system will bring mostly snow to the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest with some areas getting close to 4 inches of snow. On Tuesday morning, four states from Minnesota to Michigan are under a Winter Weather Advisory for the snow to come later Tuesday into Wednesday morning.A second storm system will develop in the southern Plains Wednesday night and will spread heavy rain from Oklahoma to Missouri for Thursday morning. Some flash flooding is possible as some areas could see more than 3 inches of rain. To the north of the rain where the cold air is in place, snow will develop from Chicago to Detroit. It is still uncertain how much snow major Midwestern cities will get but there is a chance for the first accumulating snow in Chicago and Detroit on Thursday.By Thursday evening, the storm system will move quickly into the Northeast bringing the first significant snow to the eastern Great Lakes from Cleveland to Erie, Pennsylvania and into Buffalo, New York and into northern New England. South of there, most major cities along I-95 corridor will be warm enough for just rain.What is certain is that a major cold blast is on the way end of the week into the weekend from the Plains to the Northeast and even into parts of the South.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Selling to the sceptics

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Selling to the scepticsOn 1 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Are Britain’s HR managers ready to implement the new right to requestflexible working? Compiled by Phil BoucherLaurence Collins, general manager, lifeworks, CentrefileFlexible working is the latest piece of employment legislation to loomominously over the heads of UK employers. From 6 April, employers will have astatutory responsibility to consider requests from employees who want to maketheir employment more flexible. Principally, this will involve varying theemployee’s hours or place of work so that they are better able to care for achild under the age of six or a disabled child under 18. In some companies, this may precipitate a cry of ‘that’s unreasonable!’ tobounce around the walls of the boardroom. Particularly if the board believesthe firm’s competitive edge will be undermined by the changes this brings toworking practices. Not for the first time, HR will find itself in the unenviable position ofhaving to champion a cause unlikely to be welcomed with open arms by anyoneother than its target audience – parents. Indeed, it may well cause envy andresentment among the majority who are not eligible. But despite the hauntingfamiliarity of having to sell a people issue to a sceptical management, HRseems to have no option but to pick up the gauntlet if it wishes to becompliant. To succeed, HR must focus on communicating with line management. Let themknow that new legislation is on its way. Inform them it is only a right torequest, rather than a right to be given, a flexible working arrangement. And,that if it is used effectively, the new law could have a positive impact onorganisational performance. HR professionals will also have to equip managers with the skills, systemsand processes needed to evaluate workers’ requests. Too many firms currentlytackle flexible working requests on an hoc basis, usually as a result of the”I’m thinking of leaving unless…” conversation. Obviously, this addslittle from a strategic perspective. Therefore, the real HR challenge is to develop a flexible working strategythat brings employees to a state of compliance and adds to a company’scompetitiveness. And given the increasing demand from the workforce for greaterflexibility and work-life balance, HR should seize this as a golden opportunityto challenge dated perceptions around work design and working patterns. The key to making this transition is to create desirable flexible workingoptions, and introduce a robust, business-oriented process that provides aframework for considering requests in a fair manner. But all this comes with ahealth warning: if line managers don’t have the competence to manage a flexibleworking system, the boardroom fears of a negative impact will be realised.GeraldDawson, principal personnel consultant, RebusHRAswith all new legislation, HR’s first job is to ensure it fully understands thecontent and the new requirements it will place on the employer and employees.For HR staff in organisations that have already adopted family-friendlyinitiatives, the implications may be minimal and restricted to some fine-tuningof existing policies and procedures. Those that aren’t should sit down andthrash out some new policies and procedures. Butbefore these are compiled, it is essential that HR fully understands thebenefits flexible working can bring. It will then have to think about how itcan sell these benefits to senior management, who will understandably want toretain their current working practices. Similarly, employees need to understandthere is no legal entitlement to have their request automatically agreed.RoyBarton, director, RightCouttsThisis an ideal time for employers to consider the wider aspects of work-lifebalance, the needs of employees and the positive enhancements that can beobtained by embedding this within company culture. Thereare a growing number of employees with care responsibilities, and a greaterproportion of working women. And over recent years, there has also been amarked change in attitude away from total dedication to the workplace. Recentsurveys have shown that many employees would prefer to have more work-lifebalance than a salary increase.Thislegislation provides an opportunity for employers to bring bottom line benefitsto a firm through a creative set of flexible policies. Work carried out byRightCoutts with various private and public sector organisations has shown thatthis brings dramatic improvements in retention, absence levels and morale.ShirleyBorrett, HR consultant, TPS ConsultingHRcould find itself in the front line of dealing with disgruntled employees oncethis legislation takes effect. Those with older children, people with elderlyparents or other caring responsibilities, or those who just have otherinterests they would like to fit into their lives, may feel resentment thattheir employer won’t consider flexible working for them too.Ifa good work-life balance is beneficial to businesses as well as employees, andgovernment funding of the DTI WLB Challenge Fund seems to indicate that itthinks it is, why would an organisation restrict flexible working to justparents of young children? Aflexible working scheme open to all, and based on the construction of abusiness case, is likely to lead to better recruitment and retention of valuedemployees. It will also reduce discontent among non-parents.CarolineWaters, director of people networks, BTThelegislation will put employers under a duty to consider requests for flexibleworking – including alternative working patterns, term-time working orannualised hours. It may also include requests to work from home.BT’sexisting policy already provides a range of flexible working solutions for itsstaff and at best, the new legislation simply formalises these arrangements. BThas embraced flexibility as a real means of enhancing the bottom line and canprove it works – its 6,000-plus home workers have sustained an averageproductivity increase of 20 per cent while saving BT £45m a year in real estateand business efficiency savings. Thishas been possible by the creation of an agile and inclusive business culturethat promotes flexibility to everyone on business rationale, rather thanindividual status.last_img read more

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