first_imgREPRO DIGITAL/ CHAMPLAIN VALLEY PRINTING ACQUIRES NEW HASSELBLAD CAMERA SYSTEMWinooski, Vermont- Repro Digital/Champlain Valley Printing today announced the purchase of the new Hasselblad H3D II 31 megapixel medium format camera for its Photographic Studio located at 450 Weaver Street in Winooski, Vermont.John Goodman, with more than 30 years experience, has been the resident Photographer at Repro/Champlain Valley Printing for over 14 years and was one of the first digital Photographers in New England. “The large 31 megapixel CCD Sensor provides a sharper, cleaner, more accurate image than any other DSLR type camera” noted Goodman. He continued. “This all means less time and money spent doing color corrections and other post production cleanup. Skin tones appear natural and color gradients are smooth and noise free.” Goodman also stated that “the fully integrated Hasselblad system allows us to shoot in even the most challenging lighting environments like mixing available light with studio flash to make natural looking room settings.”Goodman believes that the new Hasselblad camera system, combined with his 30 years of experience, provides the best photography value in Vermont.Repro Digital/Champlain Valley Printing, in addition to their state-of-the-art Photography Studio, provides their customers turn-key services including pre-press, one-color to four-color digital and offset printing with binding and finishing servicesFor more information contact John Goodman (ext. 18) or Roger Moylan (ext. 27) at 802-655-2800 or visit the Repro Digital/ Champlain Valley Printing website at www.Reprografx.com(link is external)last_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ABC Australia:Battle lines have been drawn between the gas industry and its critics over whether allowing fracking to resume in the Northern Territory could help solve the east coast energy price crisis.The industry is using the idea of NT gas being a solution rather a problem to persuade the NT Government to lift its fracking moratorium by the end of this year.Gas companies are arguing that bringing more supply into the domestic market will bring down prices.But analyst Bruce Robertson from the green-tinged Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis points out that the Territory is a remote, high-cost location, with high pipeline transport costs.“Producing high cost Northern Territory gas, which is very high cost gas, about $7.50 a gigajoule, is no way to bring down the cost of gas on the east coast of Australia,” he said.He blames the big companies for high prices, because they have committed to selling most of their gas overseas under long term contracts.Under those contracts the companies are getting paid less because, ironically, international oil and gas prices have fallen due to a global glut.“They simply cannot produce the gas cheaply enough to make money on their export business,” Mr Robertson said.“But what they’re doing is they’re making that up by gouging the east coast consumer.”More: Cartel accusations fly over gas industry’s assertion it would reduce power prices Australia’s Gas Cartellast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Queensland has the potential to draw all of its electricity from renewable sources in a 15-year transition away from fossil fuels that would generate almost 10,000 jobs, according to analysis commissioned by the Queensland Conservation Council.Almost 11,000 ongoing jobs would then operate and maintain a suite of energy sources either existing or proposed in the state, including wind and solar and farms, hydro plants and battery projects.The state government has targets to cut emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 and have half of the state’s electricity generated from renewables by the same year. The government aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.Tristan Edis, a renewable energy analyst who was commissioned by QCC to look at existing and planned renewable projects, said the state had “world-class” opportunities in renewables simply because of the amount of sunshine and land available.Edis examined all the existing, planned and proposed projects across the state, finding a transition to renewables for domestic electricity supply within 15 years would generate 9,400 jobs in construction and almost 11,000 to maintain. A key step would be increasing investment in electricity transmission infrastructure, he said.Solar, wind, bioenergy and solar thermal would take up the bulk of the supply, with energy storage provided through batteries, pumped hydro and hydrogen produced from wind or solar power.[Graham Readfearn]More: Queensland transition to renewables would generate almost 10,000 jobs, analysis shows Australian state of Queensland could transition to 100% green electricity in 15 years—reportlast_img read more

first_imgBy Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo December 21, 2017 Brazil hosted the first Ibero-American Cyber Defense Exercise, October 23rd–27th, 2017, at the Electronic Warfare Training Center (CIGE, in Portuguese) in Brasília. The Cyber Defense Command (ComDCiber, in Portuguese) of the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) organized the exercise that brought together service members from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain, as well as observers from Peru—55 participants in all. “The objective of this exercise was to foster collaboration among the nations of the Ibero-American Cyber Defense Forum,” said to Diálogo EB Lieutenant General Angelo Kawakami Okamura, commander of ComDCiber. Brazil and Spain co-directed the training according to terms agreed at the first Ibero-American Cyber Defense Forum held in Madrid on May 27th, 2016. “Participants trained on identification techniques and vulnerability exploitation of data systems in simulated environments,” Lt. Gen. Okamura explained. “In addition, they shared information on security measures in systems and networks.” According to Lt. Gen. Okamura, all nations had the opportunity to share technical information and strengthen their relations. “We understand that mutual trust and knowledge are precepts that sustain cyber defense,” he said. Combat operations “Cyber defense is defined as actions taken in cyberspace that the Ministry of Defense coordinates and integrates within the context of strategic-level national planning,” EB Colonel Francisco Tarcísio Damasceno Filho, head of Media Communications for ComDCiber, told Diálogo. “Such operations are intended to protect information assets of interest to the National Defense, gather data to produce knowledge, and seek superiority over an adversary’s information systems.” Such measures gained importance in recent years. “Cyber defense became a combat operation,” General Juarez Aparecido de Paula Cunha, head of the EB’s Department of Science and Technology, said at the exercise’s opening ceremony. “That’s why we need to hold events like this, which promote progress and exchange of experiences among partner nations.” According to Col. Tarcísio, today, virtual networks are part of the battlefield. “Therefore, effective operations in cyberspace are necessary,” he said. “Service members are trained to know this operational environment and acquire the ability to respond to this scenario in simulated environments.” Virtual attacks The exercise was conducted in three phases. Participants learned about the administrative and operational features of the National Cyber Operations Simulator (SIMOC, in Portuguese) in the initial phase. SIMOC is a scenario-generating machine for cyber defense and attack training in the virtual world. In the active defense phase, service members identified technical vulnerabilities in information technology systems introduced by exercise administrators. In the third phase of collaboration through mitigation, each nation prepared a report on all problems encountered. “Then, each team shared possible solutions to mitigate the vulnerabilities found,” Lt. Gen. Okamura said. Electronic warfare pioneers EB is at the forefront of cyber defense. CIGE, established in 1984, was among the first institutions of its kind in Latin America. CIGE instructors offered training courses in England, France, Germany, and the United States, setting the foundations for Brazilian cyber defense. The Brazilian Armed Forces also acquired a Basic Electronic Warfare Experimentation Module, which was used to qualify personnel in the exercise. In 1989, Brazil’s first specialists in electronic warfare received their diplomas. The group of 28 service members was known as the “Pioneer Class,” and it included Army and Marine Corps officers and noncommissioned officers. At the same time, authorities of the Ministry of Defense formulated an electronic warfare doctrine. The result was the Cyber Defense Policy adopted in 2012. Its objective: jointly ensure the Armed Forces’ effective use of cyberspace (operational readiness and use), and prevent or hinder its use against Brazil’s national defense interests. In 2013, EB unveiled SIMOC to train service members for potential cyber warfare. At the time, Colonel Marcio Fava of the EB’s Communications and Electronic Warfare Center, told Agência Brasil (the national public news) that attacks against Brazil were “imminent.” Potential threats against organizations and citizens—although less lethal than against the government—could be just as harmful to the nation, Col. Fava then said. During the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Cyber Defense Command, made up of service members from the Brazilian Army, Navy, and Air Force, coordinated with the public and private sectors to prevent potential attacks. Since then, Brazilian service members have availed themselves of lessons learned at the games to improve technological battles and strengthen ties with partner nations. “We currently face the challenge of expanding participation for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations in the Ibero-American Cyber Defense Forum,” Lt. Gen. Okamura said. “The model applied in this exercise proved to be highly efficient for the discussion and operational actions in this field,” he concluded.last_img read more

first_img How to prepare for a hearing in state court July 15, 2003 Regular News Tips for the Young Lawyercenter_img Francisco Ramos, Jr.As a new lawyer, you often feel like the underdog, especially when it comes to arguing motions in state court. More often than not, your opponent is more experienced, more suave, more in control. He knows everyone in the courthouse by their first name, whether they are attorneys, judicial assistants or bailiffs. Even the judges go out of their way to say hello to him. How can you compete? Preparation can go a long way toward leveling the playing field. The following are some tips to consider: 1. Pick your fights wisely. Is it wise to file the motion? Is the law on your side? What are the odds the judge will grant your motion? Does the motion really serve my client’s interests? Having a winning track record at arguing motions begins with knowing what battles to fight and which ones to walk away from. 2. Try to work it out with opposing counsel. Before you draft a motion, call opposing counsel and try to work it out. You may save yourself the time and expense of the motion. If not, you can let the Court know that you tried to work things out. 3. Keep the motion simple. In state court, particularly during motion calender, courts are swamped with dozens of motions. Make your motion short, simple, and to the point. In my motions, I tell the judge up front the relief I am seeking and why I am entitled to it. 4. Learn everything you can about your judge. Ask around your office about your judge. Is she plaintiff- or defense- oriented? Is she slow to impose sanctions? Also, obtain a copy of the judge’s protocols for setting and arguing motions. In addition, do a search on Westlaw for all the cases where your judge has been upheld or overturned. One of these cases may address the same issue you raise in your motion. 5. Learn everything you can about opposing counsel. Look up your opponent on Martindale-Hubble. Also, look at the attorney’s Web page to learn about his area of expertise, years of experience, whether he’s been published and anything else to get a sense of his strengths and weaknesses. 6. Be courteous when setting the motion. Before you set a motion for hearing, clear the date with opposing counsel. Also, be courteous to the judge by not setting motions on motion calender that will take more than five minutes to argue. Some judges have a list of the type of motions they refuse to hear on motion calender. 7. Send the court a courtesy copy. Send the court a courtesy copy of the motion and a copy of all the cases cited in the motion, with a cover letter informing the judge the date and time of the hearing. 8. Order a court reporter. Consider ordering a court reporter. Sometimes, opposing counsel or the judge will address issues you were not expecting. It is good to have a transcript of these digressions. Also, parties cannot always agree to the language of an order, claiming the judge said one thing or another. A transcript often resolves these disputes. 9. Make sure you made the calender. A day or two before the hearing, check to make sure you made the judge’s calender. Also, confirm with opposing counsel and the court reporter that they will be attending the hearing. 10. Prepare a hearing file. Prepare a hearing file containing the following: (1) notice of hearing; (2) two copies of the motion (the second copy for the judge if the courtesy copy you previously sent is not at arm’s length); (3) three copies of all the cases, with the relevant portions highlighted; and (4) a blank order (most judges prefer the form orders with the carbon paper). 11. Introduce yourself and your case. At the hearing, say your name, your client’s name and the title of your motion. Give a brief description of the facts of the case and present your argument clearly and succinctly. 12. Be professional. Don’t interrupt opposing counsel or the judge. Don’t raise your voice or become upset. Don’t allow yourself to be baited by opposing counsel. And don’t argue after the Court has ruled. 13. Make a record. Have the judge make a ruling on the record, and try to have the judge address all the issues you raised in your motion. If you filed a motion to compel and for sanctions, have the judge address both issues. If the judge rules against you, do your best to have her limit her ruling. For example, if she denies your motion, have her do so without prejudice. 14. Prepare the order before leaving the courthouse. If possible, prepare the order at the conclusion of the hearing. That way, if a dispute arises over the language, you can go back to the judge and ask her to resolve the dispute.Hearings can be stressful experiences for new lawyers. However, preparation can go a long way toward quieting the butterflies and increasing your chances for success. Francisco Ramos, Jr. is a senior associate with Clarke Silverglate Campbell Williams & Montgomery in Miami, practicing in the areas of commercial and personal injury litigation. He can be reached at (305) 377-0700 or framos@cswm.com.last_img read more

first_imgChanging the legislation through the introduction of vouchers was crucial for the survival of travel agencies, and at the same time allowed travelers to postpone travel or refund, Fain said, adding that in an effort to address travel agencies and this meeting made concrete proposals for tourism recovery. Also, the UHPA points out that controversial and epidemiological recommendations that prevent regular business travel agencies, congress organizers and providers of tourist transport, and measures that restrict the entry of passenger ships with more than 200 passengers certainly do not contribute to the normalization of tourist traffic.  In the short term, these are: ensuring the continuation of CES support for the preservation of jobs in the amount of HRK 4.000 per worker, write-off or deferral of most fiscal and parafiscal benefits te ensuring the liquidity of travel agencies through special-purpose loans. The current course of the tourist season, the situation in tourism and further measures and plans due to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic were discussed, as the UHPA points out.  “According to the latest survey, travel agencies recorded a drop in traffic of almost 90% compared to the same period last year. Although we currently have a larger number of arrivals of individual guests, there are no organized, group arrivals, as a result of the drop in traffic at agencies. This confirms the crucial importance of continuing support measures for the survival of travel agencies”, Said the President of UHPA Tomislav Fain and added that the relevant ministry and UHPA have had excellent cooperation for many years, which was especially evident in these times of crisis.center_img The recent moves by the European Commission to revise the legal framework for the application of the Special Procedure for the Taxation of Travel Agencies, as indicated by the UHPA for years, were also discussed.   “In these most difficult moments of the tourism sector, UHPA literally fought for the salvation of all travel agencies. We are glad that we informed Minister Brnjac about our problems at the meeting and that we can continue to count on the support of the Ministry in solving them. We also welcome the proposals of other colleagues from professional associations that will contribute to a faster recovery and strengthening the competitiveness of all stakeholders in tourism, such as the reduction of VAT, which has already been resorted to by some EU countries.“Concludes Fain. Representatives of the tourism sector and the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac met yesterday in Zagreb at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. last_img read more

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first_imgInterest among employers in the Pensionsfonds structure has increased in the wake of the introduction of the Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG) reforms, which took effect at the start of last year and brought some changes to subsidies for smaller companies setting up pension plans.“The BRSG has given an unexpected boost to the subject,” said Heribert Karch, managing director of Metallrente. Additional tax advantages are granted for pension plans set up for lower earners, while employers have to pass on savings made from employees transferring part of their wages into pension plans.With 72,000 new members joining last year, Metallrente said it had achieved a “true surprise record”, as this marked an increase of almost 50% compared to 2017.The provider said products with lower guarantees and higher exposure to return-seeking assets were chosen more frequently now as they were “more attractive than classic guarantees”.Social partner co-operation yet to take offAnother feature of the BRSG law – which is so far still unused – is the ability for employers and employees to jointly negotiate the creation of new industry-wide pension funds.So far, Metallrente is one of the few occupational pension plans to have been set up as a result of co-operation between employers and employees. “Our results show that pension plans set up by social partners are seen as very trustworthy,” said Karch. He argued that collective pension funds set up by the social partners were the best form of retirement saving for solidarity between cohorts, as well as being “the most effective form”. Karch – who is also chairman of the German pension fund association aba – also called on politicians to do away with inequalities relating to taxes and social contributions that were still in force for some forms of occupational pension savings. German industry-wide pension fund Metallrente has lowered the interest it will grant on members’ assets in the insurance part of its multi-employer plan. Members in the metal and electrical industry scheme’s insurance-based plans with the highest guarantees have been granted an uplift of 3.45%, down from 3.65% last year. Average annualised performance of the Metallrente Pensionsfonds since inception in 2002 fell slightly last year to 5.2%, compared to 5.9% in 2016 when the figure was last reported.The Pensionsfonds is one of the products offered by Metallrente for companies to implement an occupational pension. last_img read more

first_imgAon’s Dutch business is planning a fresh attempt to transfer its own pension fund to its Belgium-based vehicle United Pensions, after a failed effort in 2014.However, it needs the approval of at least two thirds of its members and pensioners, following new rules brought in with the introduction of the EU pensions directive IORP II.In a letter to its 3,600 participants, the €767m Pensioenfonds Aon Groep Nederland and the employer said it was necessary to liquidate the scheme.Although the pension fund was healthy, it was also vulnerable because of relatively high costs and increasing difficulties finding new trustees, the letter said. Credit: Waldo MiguezThe Atomium in BrusselsAon and its pension fund said they had concluded that Aon’s Belgian multi-client scheme United Pensions offered the best opportunity, adding that it would be a better option than transferring the scheme to an insurer or general pension fund.They explained that, under Belgian rules, indexation would be possible earlier and the employer’s obligation to plug funding shortfalls – for pension promises with a guaranteed inflation link – would remain.René Mandos, the Aon scheme’s chairman, highlighted that benefit cuts would not be possible in the Belgian arrangements, which he added were “very good for the participants”.Although the pension fund, with a coverage ratio of 123%, had been able to grant full indexation under the Dutch FTK this year, this reflected merely a single year, Mandos said.“Long-term scenarios for Belgium looked better and would enable us to also pay the 7.5% indexation in arrears sooner,” he said.The members’ vote to approve the move is meant as an additional guarantee for cross-border transfers, as participants will become subject to a different supervisory regime.The condition was introduced when Aon moved another of its company schemes – the €40m pension fund of Hewitt – to Belgium last August. As a result of the transfer, its funding rose from 114% under the Dutch FTK to 125% under Belgian regulation.At the time, Pieter Omtzigt, MP for the Christian Democrats, argued that this amounted to “pure supervisory arbitrage”. His parliamentary questions contributed to social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees introducing the approval threshold.In 2017, Aon transferred four of its own Ireland-based pension schemes to United Pensions. Aon’s initial effort to migrate its pension fund to Belgium in 2014 led to a media storm. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, then the Netherlands’ finance minister, voiced concerns about schemes “dodging” the Dutch financial assessment framework (FTK) through the Belgium route.Subsequently, the company’s works council raised questions about the Belgian assessment framework as well as how much say members would have over their pensions if transferred to Belgium.The council also launched – and ultimately lost – a court case concerning whether the employer would be allowed to cease its obligation to fill funding gaps under the Dutch contract for pensions provision.In a “reset” in 2016, a working group under Marc van Nuland, Aon’s chief executive, had started looking at all options again.Better in Belgium?last_img read more

first_imgVan Olphen told IPE in May the main goal of the cooperation plans between the three pension providers – representing €833bn of assets and 8.7 million workers and pensioners – was to cut costs through increased efficiency and scale as well as by setting standards that could be applied by the entire sector.The APG spokesperson said cost cuts were indeed achievable, but the efforts required to realise these were deemed too large for the project to be feasible.The idea of a shared service centre was initated by the five large clients of the three pension providers – ABP, PFZW, PMT, PME and BpfBouw – and considerations had been on-going since September.Interestingly, three smaller pension providers Pensioenfonds PGB, Achmea and ICT service provider CGI announced plans for a similar cooperation last week.Achmea stated that it acquired part of IT company InAdmin RiskCo along with PGB and are in line to set up an administration platform.APG did not exclude the cooperation talks with PGGM and MN will be resumed in the future. The spokesperson stressed the possible loss of the pension providers’ VAT exemption that could result from the establishment of a shared service centre – this was mentioned in May as a possible obstacle – did not play a role in the decision to abandon the plans.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Pension providers and asset managers APG, PGGM and MN, which manage the assets of the largest five pension funds in the Netherlands, have decided not to follow through with plans to set up a shared service centre.APG chief executive officer Gerard van Olphen told IPE in May the three pension providers had explored the possibility to set common standards for collecting pension contributions as well as paying benefits. He cited banks and insurers as examples.However, an APG spokesperson told Pensioen Pro the trio had concluded last month that setting up a new shared service centre would take too much time and attention, at a time when the introduction of the new pensions contract will increase the workload of the three pension providers anyway.‘The providers have chosen to fully focus on the implementation of the new pensions contract instead,’ the spokesperson said.last_img read more