18 Jan

Helen Mirren on the One Thing That Could Derail The Audience

first_img Related Shows The Audience’s Dame Helen Mirren stopped by Late Night on April 21 to talk about reigning over Broadway…and fangirling over Vin Diesel (really). Host Seth Meyers asked how the show, about the Queen’s “audiences” with her Prime Ministers, copes with updates such as the upcoming British General Election. The answer from the Oscar winner was that they take it in their stride, with one caveat. “The terrible thing is that if something really dramatic happens in the royal family I don’t know how we’ll deal with that,” she admitted. Take a look at the clips below, and catch Mirren in The Audience at the Schoenfeld Theatre through June 28. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 28, 2015 The Audience View Commentslast_img read more

1 Jan

Entergy Corp sees profits decline in first quarter

first_img Appendix A: Consolidated Earnings – Reconciliation of GAAP to Non- GAAP Measures First Quarter 2009 vs. 2008 (Per share in U.S. $) First Quarter ————- 2009 2008 Change As-Reported Utility, Parent & Other 0.32 0.48 (0.16) Entergy Nuclear 0.91 1.12 (0.21) Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets (0.03) (0.04) 0.01 Consolidated As-Reported Earnings 1.20 1.56 (0.36) Less Special Items Utility, Parent & Other (0.05) – (0.05) Entergy Nuclear (0.04) – (0.04) Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets – – – Consolidated Special Items (0.09) – (0.09) Operational Utility, Parent & Other 0.37 0.48 (0.11) Entergy Nuclear 0.95 1.12 (0.17) Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets (0.03) (0.04) 0.01 Consolidated Operational Earnings 1.29 1.56 (0.27)  Entergy Corporation Consolidated Income Statement Three Months Ended Mar. 31 (in thousands) 2009 2008 %Inc/(Dec) (unaudited) Operating Revenues: Electric $2,026,916 $2,046,227 (0.9) Natural gas 74,049 89,395 (17.2) Competitive businesses 688,147 729,112 (5.6) Total 2,789,112 2,864,734 (2.6) Operating Expenses: Operation and maintenance: Fuel, fuel-related expenses, and gas purchased for resale 846,332 540,501 56.6 Purchased power 323,255 620,642 (47.9) Nuclear refueling outage expenses 56,779 51,258 10.8 Other operation and maintenance 644,702 611,268 5.5 Decommissioning 48,742 45,996 6.0 Taxes other than income taxes 134,397 108,571 23.8 Depreciation and amortization 257,852 244,985 5.3 Other regulatory charges (credits) – net (29,474) 35,280 (183.5) Total 2,282,585 2,258,501 1.1 Operating Income 506,527 606,233 (16.4) Other Income (Deductions): Allowance for equity funds used during construction 16,947 9,286 82.5 Interest and dividend income 30,650 54,282 (43.5) Equity in earnings (loss) of unconsolidated equity affiliates (3,127) (929) 236.6 Miscellaneous – net (10,172) (11,556) (12.0) Total 34,298 51,083 (32.9) Interest and Other Charges: Interest on long-term debt 127,965 123,144 3.9 Other interest – net 19,293 32,538 (40.7) Allowance for borrowed funds used during construction (9,812) (5,116) 91.8 Total 137,446 150,566 (8.7) Income Before Income Taxes 403,379 506,750 (20.4) Income Taxes 163,046 193,003 (15.5) Consolidated Net Income 240,333 313,747 (23.4) Preferred Dividend Requirements of Subsidiaries 4,998 4,998 – Net Income Attributable to Entergy Corporation $235,335 $308,749 (23.8) Earnings Per Average Common Share Basic $1.22 $1.60 (23.8) Diluted $1.20 $1.56 (23.1) Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding – Basic 192,593,601 192,639,605 Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding – Diluted 198,058,002 198,300,041 Entergy Corporation Utility Electric Energy Sales & Customers Three Months Ended Mar. 31 2009 2008 % % Change Weather- Adjusted (Millions of kwh) Electric Energy Sales: Residential 7,893 8,011 (1.5) (1.8) Commercial 6,194 6,238 (0.7) (1.2) Governmental 562 569 (1.1) (1.6) Industrial 8,139 9,377 (13.2) (13.2) Total to Ultimate Customers 22,788 24,195 (5.8) (6.0) Wholesale 1,387 1,290 7.5 Total Sales 24,175 25,485 (5.1) Mar. 31 2009 2008 % Change Electric Customers (End of period): Residential 2,321,488 2,297,765 1.0 Commercial 328,352 325,905 0.8 Governmental 15,519 15,161 2.4 Industrial 38,892 40,860 (4.8) Total Ultimate Customers 2,704,251 2,679,691 0.9 Wholesale 33 32 3.1 Total Customers 2,704,284 2,679,723 0.9 Source: Entergy.  NEW ORLEANS, May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Northstar Vermont Yankee,Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) today reported first quarter 2009 as-reported earnings of $235.3 million, or $1.20 per share, compared with $308.7 million, or $1.56 per share, for first quarter 2008. On an operational basis, Entergy’s first quarter 2009 earnings were $252.6 million, or $1.29 per share, compared with $308.7 million, or $1.56 per share, in first quarter 2008.  Consolidated Earnings – Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Measures First Quarter 2009 vs. 2008 (Per share in U.S. $) 2009 2008 Change As-Reported Earnings 1.20 1.56 (0.36) Less Special Items (0.09) – (0.09) Operational Earnings 1.29 1.56 (0.27) *GAAP refers to United States generally accepted accounting principles. Operational Earnings Highlights for First Quarter 2009 Utility, Parent & Other results were lower due to higher other taxes and depreciation and amortization expenses.Entergy Nuclear earnings decreased as a result of lower production due to additional planned refueling outage days and impairments recorded on decommissioning trust fund investments.Entergy’s Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets results were essentially flat. “In the current uncertain climate, we have focused significant effort on positioning the company for long-term success while weathering the current economic storm,” said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer. “While we cannot predict what will come next in these times, we will be relentless in seeking value and managing risk, and we are prepared to seize opportunities that add value for our stakeholders.” Other Business Highlights Leonard was named one of the nation’s “Best CEOs” by Institutional Investor magazine, his sixth consecutive year for achieving the honor.Entergy received its 12th and 13th industry awards for restoring power after major storms and is the only company recognized 11 years in a row by Edison Electric Institute for its storm restoration work.Indian Point 3 completed 678 continuous days of operation as it entered its refueling outage in March. This run marked an operating record for Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactors which account for nearly one-fourth of the commercial nuclear power reactors in the U.S. Entergy will host a teleconference to discuss this release at 10 a.m. CDT on Monday, May 4, 2009, with access by telephone, 719-457-2080, confirmation code 8064872. The call and presentation slides can also be accessed via Entergy’s Web site at www.entergy.com(link is external). A replay of the teleconference will be available for seven days thereafter by dialing 719-457-0820, confirmation code 8064872. The replay will also be available on Entergy’s Web site atwww.entergy.com(link is external). Utility, Parent & OtherIn first quarter 2009, Utility, Parent & Other had earnings of $60.0 million, or 32 cents per share, on an as-reported basis and $70.7 million, or 37 cents per share, on an operational basis, compared to earnings of $95.3 million, or 48 cents per share, on as-reported and operational bases in first quarter 2008. Operational results for Utility, Parent & Other in first quarter 2009 reflect higher taxes other than income taxes due to the absence of the benefit associated with favorable resolution of tax audit issues that was included in results in first quarter 2008. Higher depreciation and amortization expense also contributed to lower results in the current quarter. Residential megawatt-hour sales in first quarter 2009, on a weather-adjusted basis, showed a 1.8 percent decrease compared to first quarter 2008, which was also a leap year. Commercial and governmental sales, after adjusting for weather, decreased 1.2 percent year over year. Industrial sales in the first quarter were down 13.2 percent compared to the same quarter of 2008. The residential and commercial and governmental sales sectors reflected a decrease quarter to quarter as the continued weakening in the economy affected customer usage across these sectors. Sales in the industrial sector for first quarter 2009 decreased significantly compared to the same quarter of 2008 primarily due to a weak economic climate that worsened in the current period. Small and mid-sized industrial customers are also being negatively affected by overseas competition. Despite the lower sales volume, net revenue at the Utility was essentially flat, in part due to the fact that a significant portion of the industrial customer bill is based on a fixed charge basis that does not vary linearly with volume changes. Entergy NuclearEntergy Nuclear earned $180.9 million, or 91 cents per share, on an as-reported basis and $187.5 million, or 95 cents per share, on an operational basis in first quarter 2009, compared to $221.7 million, or $1.12 per share, on as-reported and operational bases in first quarter 2008. Entergy Nuclear’s earnings decreased primarily as a result of lower revenue due to lower generation resulting from additional planned refueling outage days and lower revenue amortization for the Palisades below-market Power Purchase Agreement. Impairments recorded in the current period associated with decommissioning trust fund investments also contributed to lower earnings. Non-Nuclear Wholesale AssetsEntergy’s Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets business incurred a loss of $5.6 million, or three cents per share, on both as-reported and operational bases in first quarter 2009 compared to a loss of $8.2 million, or four cents per share, a year ago. OutlookEntergy is reaffirming 2009 earnings guidance in the range of $6.70 to $7.30 per share on an operational basis, assuming a business-as-usual operation for the full year. As-reported guidance ranges from $6.56 to $7.16 and reflects (14) cents per share of projected dis-synergies associated with the spin-off of Entergy’s non-utility nuclear business and plans to enter into a nuclear services joint venture, both discussed below. Guidance for 2009 does not include a special item for expenses, which were incurred beginning in 2008 and continuing in first quarter 2009, anticipated in connection with the outside services provided to pursue the spin-off. Entergy has indicated that should the current economic climate and power prices on Entergy Nuclear’s open position persist for the balance of 2009, earnings could approach the lower end of the guidance ranges. Business SeparationOn Nov. 3, 2007, Entergy’s Board of Directors approved a plan to pursue a separation of the non-utility nuclear business from Entergy’s regulated utility business through a tax-free spin-off of the non-utility nuclear business. Enexus Energy Corporation will be a new, independent publicly traded company. In addition, Entergy and Enexus intend to enter into a nuclear services joint venture, with equal ownership. EquaGen LLC has been selected as the name for the joint venture. Progress achieved since the last quarter update and/or current status includes: An advisory committee of announced members of the Enexus Board has begun to meet periodically.Discussions continue with regulators in Vermont and New YorkIn Vermont, all scheduled procedural matters have been completed and a decision from the Vermont Public Service Board is pending.In New York, settlement discussions are ongoing per the December 2008 notification by the ALJs that the parties intended to conduct a settlement discussion.Entergy and Enexus remain in a rolling readiness posture. The state regulatory decisions and financing continue as the critical path items. The rolling readiness posture enables Entergy to execute the spin-off following receipt of regulatory approvals and once the timing is right to access the credit markets, both on acceptable terms. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $13 billion and approximately 14,700 employees. Additional information regarding Entergy’s quarterly results of operations, regulatory proceedings, and other operations is available in Entergy’s investor news release dated May 4, 2009, a copy of which has been filed today with the Securities Exchange Commission on Form 8-K and is available on Entergy’s investor relations Web site atwww.entergy.com/investor_relations(link is external). In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Corporation makes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in (i) Entergy’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and (ii) Entergy’s other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, (b) the uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the January 2009 Arkansas ice storm and recovery of costs associated with restoration, and (c) the following transactional factors (in addition to others described elsewhere in this news release and in subsequent securities filings): (i) risks inherent in the contemplated spin-off, joint venture and related transactions (including the level of debt to be incurred by Enexus Energy Corporation and the terms and costs related thereto), (ii) legislative and regulatory actions, and (iii) conditions of the capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements. Entergy cannot provide any assurances that the spin-off or any of the proposed transactions related thereto will be completed, nor can it give assurances as to the terms on which such transactions will be consummated. The transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals and the final approval by the Board of Directors of Entergy. Appendix A provides a reconciliation of GAAP as-reported earnings to non-GAAP operational earnings. last_img read more

30 Dec

Wilderness Seeker Wanders Into One of the Few Remaining Dark Spots on the Map

first_imgThere is a storm brewing along the spine of the Snowbird Mountains. Dark purple skies are rolling about us here at 5,000 feet, where our small car sits dwarfed by vast mountains in the Hooper Bald parking lot. We are packing up the last of our items for a three day trip into the headwaters of Big Snowbird Creek and an isolated 9,000 acre chunk of wildness known as the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area.A large caliber bullet hole resides in the center of the trailhead sign, and all of the other signs have been torn off of their posts. Graham County, North Carolina, where the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area is located, is eighty percent federally owned and is flanked on its western sides by one of the largest concentrations of roadless land in the east, surrounded by Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness, Citico Wilderness, and the half-million acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park.We walk to the top of Hooper Bald, searching as we go for the trail to the headwaters of Big Snowbird Creek. Eventually we see an overgrown path that could be our trail, though it is nothing more than a faint break in the forest floor marked with old blue plastic flagging. We pick our way down over fallen birches, losing the trail occasionally, unsure we are even on it. I begin to think that the flagging could be directions for a meth lab or pot field. I don’t worry about wild animals out here; I worry about wild people. However, the more we enter this wild place, the more I relax. People for the most part stay near roads, and given the overall health rating of most Americans, the farther I am from a road, the better I feel.Several piles of fresh coyote scat mark the trail. My neighbors shoot coyotes for sport and because they believe coyotes are out to kill their lap dogs and house cats, are destroying wild game populations, and will soon take over the planet and implement a socialist dictatorship. I, for one, am happy that they are here.Our dog Izzy looks about nervously as we put up the tent and clear a place out for cooking. The fugitive Eric Rudolph claims to have hid out in these woods for a while, and this would seem as likely a spot as any. No one seems to have been here in years.A deep loneliness permeates this place. Some of it has to do with the remoteness and lack of human presence, but something else calls as well. I have always felt an intrinsic melancholy in these mountains, something that is perhaps the result of hundreds of millions of years of birth, death, and decay. This was the last part of western North Carolina to be descended upon by white settlers and is the place where the Cherokee leader, Tsali, and his fellow renegades fled during the Trail of Tears. Their descendants now live in the Snowbird Cherokee Community that borders the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area.Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 11.30.40 AMPhoto by Nicholas A. TonelliAngela tells me that she had no idea that this was such a beautiful place, though I have told her about it for several years. We could move to Graham County, she says, and then we could be close by and have much better chances for success in protecting it. Most Americans are already familiar with Graham County unknowingly; it’s where the movie Nell was filmed; Harrison Ford rappelled down the nearby Cheoah Dam for the movie The Fugitive; and it was featured in the Discovery Channel’s series Moonshiners. It’s also the last dry county in western North Carolina; if we moved here, I tell her, we’d be driving 50 miles for a six-pack of beer.As we are preparing supper, I open up a box of Bandit Brand Merlot, which has “Ten Good Reasons to Buy Wine in a Box” broadcast on its side. Among my favorites: #3: Lower Shipping Weight = Less Fuel Emissions; #7: One truckload of Empty Bandit Boxes = 26 Truckloads of Glass Wine Bottles; #10: You Can Crush it on Your Forehead When Done. We finish the wine after a dinner of Indian rice, along with some wild ramps I picked on the way down, but we have no inclination to smash the box on our foreheads, even after a couple of shots of good local moonshine. Tired, full, and a little drunk, we turn in early, but neither of us can sleep.Izzy squirms about at the end of the tent, dreaming of coyotes, and I lie and talk to Angela about jobs, music, dreams and lost dreams, and the work required to permanently protect a place like this. I’m 52 and I’ve been working to protect wilderness for decades. I am tired of fighting, but still the wilderness calls me on. Wilderness. The word has been so divisive that I sometimes think we need a new word to replace it. Why not? The Cherokees had no word for it, so couldn’t I too learn to treat the whole planet as wildness lost? Forget the categories? Yet the word itself has power, and it still fires my imagination.Wilderness was first used in the eighth century to mean self-willed, uncontrolled terrain. By the 17th century, the word wilderness was a curse to everything civilized. Puritan ministers arriving in the new world railed against the howling wilderness that had to be conquered in the name of Christianity. Yet as the woods were felled and the natives conquered, wilderness became less reviled and more revered, especially by city dwellers. A deep divide about wilderness remains today. Rural Americans stereotype environmentalists as naïve city slickers who know nothing of working and living off the land, while environmentalists stereotype wilderness opponents as insensitive, selfish, and ignorant of the impacts they are making on places that environmentalists are trying to protect.Yet I don’t believe all wilderness advocates can be characterized this way. Even early wilderness advocates like Aldo Leopold saw the landscape in its entirety, and sought to understand the interdependency of all living things. Farming and logging could be done in a way to preserve the long term health of the land. And wilderness could serve as a baseline for understanding how nature worked when protected from the heavy and manipulative hand of modern humans. The word today has become so politicized and culturally polarized, attacked by hunters, fishermen, mountain bikers, trail clubs, off-road vehicle riders, and the very agencies that are supposed to support it, that to be an advocate for it is to place yourself on the margins and at odds with most user groups. It’s an idea that people seem to have fallen out of love with after almost fifty years of its codification into law with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Yet run a Google search on the word ‘wilderness’ and you will see that we use it as a marketing tool for just about any type of consumer product, everything from mustard to off-road vehicles, dog food, soap, and deodorant.Though protecting wild places has never been without some controversy, it wasn’t always as divisive as it is now. When Congress passed the Wilderness Act in 1964, it passed the House and Senate unanimously—an unimaginable legislative scenario here in the early 21st century. What has changed since 1964 that has made permanently protecting a fraction of our public lands from resource extraction, road building, and mechanized recreation and equipment such a controversial action? One shift has been that since 1964, our oil addiction as a nation has been expanded to weedeaters, chainsaws, and other mechanical means of lawn maintenance and woods work. Trail clubs, which supported the Wilderness Act’s passage in 1964, have become dependent upon these tools to care for trails, and the problem is compounded with aging membership and the lack of youth recruitment and interest. Opposition to wilderness from trail clubs has been the hardest pill for me to swallow.Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 11.35.15 AMPhoto by Mary Anne BakerAlso, other trail user groups have emerged since the Wilderness Act’s passage. Mountain bikes, non-existent in 1964, are now as common in the national forest as the dark eyed juncos flitting about our camp. Mountain biking is one of the most highly organized recreational uses in the nation, and many bikers have a hard time accepting that they aren’t allowed in wilderness. Often they do not support any new designations, and they would like to have the act revised to allow bikes.Another user group, riders of off-road vehicles (ORVs), didn’t exist in 1964, so the highly organized opposition they muster on wilderness designations today did not exist then either.A large percentage of hunters feel that wilderness limits the logging they believe will produce more game. Crafters of the Wilderness Act made sure to impose no limits on hunting, and large sportsmen organizations were strong supporters of the act’s passage. Yet state game agencies who manage much of the land that surrounds wilderness have convinced many hunters that wilderness limits their management options, thereby leading to a decrease in game.When Snowbird was declared a Wilderness Study Area by Congress in 1984, it set the stage for a future wilderness designation here, but the Forest Service basically walked away from it. Dwindling recreation budgets have led to the abandonment of many trail systems such as Snowbird’s, and without a local volunteer club to maintain them, they are soon overgrown in an area that can receive a hundred inches of rain a year. The area’s remoteness is also a factor.If I were to ask any of the Graham County locals what they thought of more wilderness, many of them would feel that there is an overabundance of federal land here, and that the best outcome for their economy would be to sell some of it – or to sell it all. One local sawmill owner told me that he had to go to other counties to buy timber. He turned out to be a very respectful and accommodating logger who was willing to talk and seek common ground between wilderness and logging. But I was still an outsider, and it was clear to him and to me that there was an enormous gulf between us in both our historical and current perspectives. Though I have lived in these mountains for most of my life, I will never know what it is like to have grown up in this remote and provincial place with such deep generational ties to the land, where many of the elders still remember the Forest Service buying much of the cutover county in the 1930s.I want to work with Graham County locals to figure out how to protect places like Snowbird, and still get timber off the local National Forest without destroying its last big wild places. But it will be a tough road. Most people here believe that a proposed four lane highway will bring them economic prosperity, though evidence points to the contrary. If Graham Countians don’t like outsiders’ attitudes, the last thing they need is a four lane to cut straight into the heart of their rural landscape, bringing with it low-wage jobs with outside ownership—not to mention the environmental damage done to this last great dark spot on the map.After two days of hiking, we have still seen no one. Big Snowbird Creek will soon be filled by spring rains. We’re walking out ahead of them and listening to a Blackburnian warbler as we go. It’s thin and high pitched, and I can barely hear it above the wind. Angela can’t hear it at all, so maybe I don’t really hear it either. Maybe all that matters is the wanting to hear it.I don’t know when I’ll get back to Big Snowbird again. This barely discernible path will be completely grown over in a few more weeks, and there is a high likelihood that no one will attempt to make this journey down into the Big Snowbird headwaters for the remainder of the spring and summer. Perhaps the coyotes will keep the trails open enough to see where to put my feet the next time I have an opportunity to venture into this largely pathless land. “There, that was a Blackburnian warbler that time,” I say, but Angela shakes her head and walks on up the path towards home.–Brent Martinlast_img read more

18 Dec

#YesAllWomen Demonstrators: Men Are Not Entitled to Women’s Bodies

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York About a dozen protesters—mostly women—stood at the edge of New York City’s Union Square Park Saturday as threatening clouds gave way to a brilliant sun. One by one, they shared similar stories of unwelcome catcalls from groups of males and other highly charged social topics, such as abortion, their voices piercing the air with a sense of urgency and newfound passion as they spoke out against misogyny. “It is a fact that all women, yes all women, experience violence, or the threat of violence by men,” yelled one woman, assisted by other demonstrators taking part in a call-and-response chant. “This is unacceptable. Women are not objects.”The demonstration was just one of several taking part in other cities across the country over the weekend. Protesters were inspired to take to the streets after a social media movement, #YesAllWomen, prompted women nationwide to flood Twitter with personal stories of unwanted jeers from men, and intrusive sexual advances, among other hot-button topics. The incident that inspired women—and men—to sound off on social media and in the streets was the horrific slaying of six people in Santa Barbara, California by a lone gunman who took his own life after the May 23 killing spree. It later come to light that he penned a manifesto detailing his apparent hatred of women, fueled by his own advances toward women that were not reciprocated. The shooting reignited the debate over gun control and ways to better address mental illness, but misogyny has dominated social media discussions ever since. Demonstrators held signs that read, “Men are not entitled to women’s bodies!” and “Misogyny is Madness,” as speakers took turns to address the smaller-than-expected gathering, while some passersby stopped to hear their message. “I’m here for my granddaughter and my granddaughter-to-be and for my younger self who was first grabbed inappropriately at the age of 10 and it really never let up until I turned 50 and got my invisibility cloak, which our culture gives to women when they’re deemed less attractive,” said 60-year-old Elizabeth Oguss, a former Syosset resident who now lives in New Jersey. Oguss felt compelled to join the rally Saturday after she saw the #YesAllWomen hashtag and thought, “my life is in these Tweets.” She added: “I’m here for the young women who have to get an escort or carry Mace (pepper spray) or put their keys in between their fingers in case they have to land a punch, which they know they’re not going to be able to do.”As one woman spoke openly to the growing group of demonstrators, a man sporting a cap and a windbreaker chose to hold a one-man counter protest, displaying a large pink sign that blared: “I deserve hot blonde girls! But I’ll settle for anyone at this point.” Tempers did not flare, but protesters grew tired of his presence and eventually directed their chants in his direction. “All women are entitled to say no, fuck you!” they chanted several times.He later scurried away, and the protest went on. Rafaella Gunz, 20, of the Bronx (middle), speaks about obnoxious catcalls that women frequently hear walking through the streets. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)Rafaella Gunz, 20, of the Bronx, stood in front of the crowd and spoke about the constant catcalls that she and her friends hear. “No woman likes being catcalled,” she said. “No woman has ever responded positively to ‘A-Yo sexy what’s up?’ No one.”Gunz, who said she was “struck” by the killings in California and saddened by the recent rape and hanging of two teen girls in India, added: “I shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable while walking down the streets of my own city.” Not all the demonstrators were women. Christian Malloy, 20, of Staten Island, acknowledged that he was once part of the problem but now is “choosing to be part of the solution.” He said he was unaware of the protest, but saw the demonstrators and decided to join in. “Sexism still exists…I want to be part of the change,” he said. “And I’m doing that every single day in my life. I’m seeing acts of sexism, I’m seeing acts of sexual harassment go on and I’m trying to make micro changes. Micro changes are where it starts. That’s how you build up to things like this.”last_img read more

8 Dec

Organizers of Sunday protests in Binghamton look to future of ending racism in Broome County

first_imgJones told 12 News she wanted to start a protest here because people shouldn’t have to worry about violence associated with skin color. Melisha Jones, a Binghamton High School student, helped organize the protest that started at 1 p.m. at Binghamton High School. Moving forward, both women feel change starts in our own community. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — While Sunday’s protests are over, the organizers of the two marches want their message to be louder than ever. “I would really like for my sons to grow up in a community that they don’t have to be judged by the color of their skin and they dont have to worry when they go outside,” said Stringfield. While both protests were peaceful, she says she knew there was a risk in organizing it. center_img “I did know that there was a risk in it. At one point in time I was really nervous about doing it being five months pregnant and having a child at home and putting others at risk but I just really felt that it was something that needed to be done,” said Stringfield. She doesn’t let how old she is affect how she participates in a nationwide movement. Allyson Stringfield organized the protest that began at 12 p.m. around the Martin Luther King Junior statue in downtown Binghamton. “Everybody was surprised that at my age I’m doing things like this,” said Jones. “And I’m glad to say that I am doing things like this at my age.”last_img read more

18 Nov

Last year, tourism revenues grew by 10 percent, accounting for 19,6 percent of GDP

first_imgLast year’s record tourist season in 2017 is confirmed by the growth of tourism revenues, as well as an even higher share in GDP than in 2016.According to the Croatian National Bank (CNB), in 2017, revenues in tourism from foreign guests amounted to 9 billion and 493 million euros, which compared to 2016 (8 billion and 635 million euros), represents an increase of 10 percent, or 858 million euros. Also, the share of revenues from travel – tourism in total GDP in 2017 was 19,6 percent, which is an increase of 0,7 percentage points compared to 2016.”Along with a favorable external environment and the progress of structural reforms, tourism is one of the main generators of growth in the Croatian economy. Including domestic consumption, tourism revenues in 2017 exceeded 11 billion euros with a growth of 10 percent, which is the best indicator of how much Croatian tourism has progressed. This year, we expect almost a billion euros of investment, which will further improve our offer, and with the planned legislative changes and reform measures of this Government, I am sure that Croatian tourism will be even more successful in the future.” pointed out Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli.In the fourth quarter, ie during October, November and December 2017, revenues from tourism amounted to EUR 807 million, which is an increase of 733 percent compared to the same period last year (EUR 10 million), ie an increase of EUR 74 million. while tourism in total GDP amounted to 6,7 percent, which compared to the same period in 2016 represents an increase in the share of 0,3 percentage points.The problem is not in tourism, but in the poor state of the economy The share of tourism revenues of 19,6 percent of GDP shows the catastrophic economic situation in Croatia. Also, when one country is so dependent on one sector, and especially on tourism where there are factors that we cannot influence, a greater instability puts the whole country in big trouble and threatens its stability.It would be optimal if the share of tourism in GDP is a maximum of 5 percent, but the main problem is not tourism, as all other sectors are not at a much better level. Especially production and exports, which in addition to tourism (year-round) should be one of our main industries. The share of tourism in GDP in Croatia is by far the highest in Europe. For example, one Germany last year had a share of tourism in GDP of 1,1 percent, Italy 2,2 percent, France 1,9, Spain 4,7, Austria 4.9…But, again, this is not a problem of tourism, but of the bad situation in the country, ie all other economic sectors.last_img read more

19 Oct

Indonesia’s COVID-19 stimulus playbook explained

first_imgBudget deficit relaxationThe Perppu relaxes the state budget deficit legal limit from the current 3 percent of GDP, a cap introduced after the 1998 Asian financial crisis that has never been exceeded by the government.Article 2 section 1 (a) of the Perppu stipulates that the government has the authority to set a budget deficit limit beyond 3 percent of GDP during the COVID-19 response period and/or to face threats to the national economy and/or financial stability until the end of 2022.Furthermore, the government will gradually lower the budget deficit until eventually in 2023 the limit would return to 3 percent of GDP.The decision to widen the deficit is the first in history as the country declared a public health emergency involving large-scale social restrictions that disrupt businesses and hit informal workers and vulnerable people. Indonesia’s 2020 state budget originally planned for Rp 2.54 quadrillion in state expenditure with a budget deficit of 1.76 percent of GDP, equal to Rp 307.2 trillion.Read also: Indonesia announces Rp 405 trillion COVID-19 budget, anticipates 5% deficit in historic moveLifeline from Bank Indonesia through direct government bond purchasesArticle 2 section 1 (f) of the Perppu states that the government has the authority to issue state bonds or sharia sovereign bonds with a specific purpose, specifically to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the bonds might be purchased by the central bank, state-owned companies, corporate investors and/or retail investors.Article 16 section 1 (c) allows Bank Indonesia (BI) to purchase the bonds in the primary market to resolve the problems in the financial system that put the national economy in peril.The law on BI prohibits the central bank from buying government bonds except in the secondary market.Article 19 sections 1 and 2 stipulate that the central bank might purchase the bonds in a primary market.Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo (center), Senior Deputy Governor Destry Damayanti (left) and Deputy Governor Erwin Rijanto give press statement in Jakarta on March 2. (Antara/Indrianto Eko Suwarso )The proceeds from the bonds sales are to be used by the government for national economic recovery, including to ensure the sustainability of the state financial management, to provide loans and capital injection for the Deposit Insurance Corporation [LPS] and to finance banks’ restructuring during the crisis.Further regulations on the scheme and the mechanism for bond purchase are to be jointly regulated by the finance minister and the central bank governor.Read also: Explainer: BI to throw lifeline to Indonesia’s economy to fight COVID-19The secretary to the coordinating economic affairs minister, Susiwijono Moegiarso, said previously that the so-called recovery bond can be bought by BI, as well as by exporters and importers.”The government will handle the proceeds of the funds to finance all businesses. This is to awaken business activities,” Susiwijono said during a media briefing on Thursday.Liquidity loans from BI to systemic banksArticle 16 of the Perppu gives BI the authority to disburse sharia short-term liquidity loans or financing for systemic or non-systemic banks that face liquidity problems. The central bank is also allowed to give special liquidity loans to systemic banks that face liquidity issues but are not eligible for the sharia short-term liquidity loans.In the event a systemic bank still faces liquidity problems after getting the short-term loan, it can ask for a special liquidity loan from the BI. The central bank would then coordinate with the Financial Services Authority (OJK) to hold a Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) meeting to decide whether the special loan will be granted.Further schemes and mechanisms for disbursing the special liquidity loans will be jointly regulated by the finance minister and the BI governor.Reduction of capital injections for state companiesArticle 2 section 1 (e) (5) of the Perppu stipulates that the government has the authority to use the funds sourced from a reduction of state capital injections (PMN) for state-owned companies to meet the state budget needs.The 2020 state budget allocated Rp 17.73 trillion worth of PMN to several state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including electricity company PT PLN and construction company PT Hutama Karya.Corporate income taxThe Perppu cuts permanent establishment (BUT) and corporate income tax to 22 percent this year and in 2021 and to 20 percent in 2022 from the current 25 percent, according to the Article 5 section 1.Listed companies that sell more than 40 percent of their shares to the public and meet certain requirements will be eligible for an additional 3 percent cut.The reduction of the corporate income tax was initially proposed in the omnibus bill on taxation, which had been submitted to the House of Representatives for deliberation, in a bid to improve the business climate in the country and attract more investment.Read also: ‘File your tax returns’: Tax office intensifies efforts to collect taxes as budget burdens multiplyFinance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati estimated in February that the cut would lower tax revenues by up to Rp 86 trillion annually but the government would widen the tax base and maximize spending to avoid economic shock. The gradual cut, she added, would allow companies to have more room for expansion.Digital economy taxThe government will be able to charge value added tax (VAT) on taxable intangible goods and/or services sold through e-commerce platforms and charge income tax or electronic transaction tax on e-commerce done by foreign individuals or digital companies that have a significant economic presence, according to Article 6.The significant economic presence will be determined through the companies’ gross circulated product, sales and/or active users in Indonesia. Those with a significant economic presence will be declared permanent establishments and, thus, would be subject to domestic tax regulations.If the government cannot declare a digital company a permanent establishment because of the existence of a tax treaty with a certain country, it will then charge an electronic transaction tax on the company’s sales in Indonesia.Further provisions on the rate, object and calculation of the income tax and the electronic transactions tax will be regulated in a government regulation (PP).A banner shows a message to “file your tax returns” attached to a footbridge in Bumi Serpong Damai, South Tangerang, Banten, on March 11, 2020. (JP/R Berto Wedhatama)Article 7 regulates that digital companies that fail to comply with the rules will face administrative sanctions in accordance to the General Taxation Law’s regulations. Furthermore, the communications minister can cut the companies’ access if they refuse to pay the taxes.The regulations are also mentioned in the omnibus bill on taxation as the government struggles to tax digital giants operating in the country, such as Netflix and Spotify.Crisis protocolThe Perppu’s Article 27 regulates that the funds that have been spent by the government and/or the KSSK’s members in order to implement the state budget policies, including the policies on taxation, on state spending, on regional finance sector, on financial system stability and on the national economic recovery program, are parts of the economic cost intended to save the economy from crisis and not regarded as state losses.The KSSK’s members are the officials of BI, the Finance Ministry, the OJK and the LPS.Officials of the KSSK, the Finance Ministry, the central bank, the OJK and the LPS and other officials related to the implementation of the Perppu cannot be sued in civil proceedings or face criminal charges, if they are conducting their tasks with good intentions and in accordance with the prevailing laws.Furthermore, the Perppu also states that all of the actions, including the decisions taken based on the Perppu, are not objects for disputes in administration courts.The government realized that it had to be extra careful in implementing the Perppu to avoid moral hazards, Sri Mulyani told a teleconferenced press briefing on Wednesday.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati (left) and Deputy Finance Minister Suahasil Nazara (center) gesture during a press briefing on the realization of the 2020 State Budget and Expenditure (APBN) in Jakarta on Feb. 19. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)“We will compose the safeguard rules of the game so that the efforts made by the officials who are working to improve the people’s health, welfare and social economy will not be tainted by some people’s moral hazards that will result in the prosecution of policymakers,” she said. “The implementation still takes into account good corporate governance and transparency.”Regional treasuryThe Perppu gives regional administrations the authority to refocus the use of their budgets on certain activities, alter the allocation and use the regional budget income and spending during the pandemic with further provisions regulated by a home ministerial regulation.Home Minister Tito Karnavian said earlier this month that regional leaders should focus on sustaining the economy and containing COVID-19 when spending their budgets.Read also: Minister gives village, local leaders pep talk on using budget to cushion COVID-19 effects“For village heads, focus on labor-intensive programs. District heads should also streamline the review process,” he said in Bandung, West Java. “Please wrap up the process soon so the village funds could be quickly proposed to the Finance Ministry and immediately transferred.”The government has allocated Rp 72 trillion for village funds and Rp 784.9 trillion for regional transfers in the 2020 state budget.Topics : The government projected the country’s economy could grow significantly slower by 2.3 percent this year and could even contract by 0.4 percent in its worst-case scenario from 5.3 percent stipulated in the 2020 state budget. The World Bank also slashed its projection of Indonesia’s economic growth to a baseline 2.1 percent if the situation starts to normalize by June.Read also: World Bank calls for safety net, drastic action in Indonesia’s fight to contain COVID-19“It is deemed necessary to conduct extraordinary policies and steps regarding the state’s finances, including taxes and regional spending, and the finance sector, which need to be immediately taken by the government and relevant institutions in order to overcome pressing matters, to ensure health aid, national economy,’ reads the Perppu. ‘The focus will be on health spending, the social safety net and recovery of the affected businesses.”Here are some key takeaways to navigate through the new rule. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed on Tuesday a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to legitimize much more state spending and financial relief efforts as Indonesia’s COVID-19 emergency response to cushion the battered economy.The Perppu, which takes effect on Tuesday, gives leeway for the government to afford the COVID-19 battle, which Jokowi said would catapult the state budget deficit to 5.07 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), beyond the legal limit of 3 percent for the first time in history.Indonesia will spend an extra Rp 405.1 trillion (US$24.6 billion) from the 2020 state budget for medical needs, the social safety net and relief for small and medium businesses as the pneumonia-like illness has infected more than 1,500 people and killed 136 as of Tuesday afternoon while disrupting business activities nationwide.last_img read more

19 Oct

PREMIUMFears of repression as police move to repurpose civil security apparatus

first_imgpolicy community-development pam-swakarsa National-Police satpam satkamling YLBHI Log in with your social account LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? Facebook Google The National Police recently moved to regulate the civil security apparatus by issuing National Police Chief Regulation No. 4/2020 on private security (Pam Swakarsa), which critics decry for creating the potential for abuse of power and repression.National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis signed the regulation last month, stipulating that civilian security actors such as private security guards (Satpam) and members of the community watch (Satkamling) can be called upon to help the police maintain security and public order.They are not to be confused with the homonymous paramilitary groups that operated in the last years of the New Order.Private security guards, who previously wore white uniforms for day shifts and navy blue uniforms for night shifts, will also be required to wear brown uniforms with rank badges, bringing them more in line with police officers.According to the… Topics : Linkedinlast_img read more

29 Sep

AAE wants discussions with IFoA to cover MRA legal challenge

first_imgThe AAE’s Valkenburg said the outcome of its recent extraordinary general meeting was positive, as members of the AAE had indicated they wanted the IFoA to remain a full member, and had given the AAE board a formal mandate to have further discussions about the terms and conditions of that membership. The chair of the Actuarial Association of Europe (AAE) has indicated the organisation, which is in discussions with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) about it remaining a full member, “needs to look into” questions of arbitrage surrounding actuarial qualifications.Falco Valkenburg was speaking to IPE following an extraordinary general meeting held earlier this month to discuss the IFoA’s proposal for a new approach to subscriptions to the AAE.The IFoA is seeking a revised relationship with the AAE for reasons including to do with the UK no longer being in the European Union, and a legal challenge in the UK that, according to the IFoA, would mean it could not participate in a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with the AAE.An MRA is a reciprocal agreement that recognises the participating actuarial bodies’ professional qualifications. The legal challenge in question is that the IFoA is awarding its UK fellowship qualification to European actuaries who in some cases qualified up to a lower level via their domestic qualification. “If there is any form of discrimination then we need to solve that”Falco Valkenburg, chair of AAEThe AAE would want those discussions to address the legal challenge the IFoA faces in relation to the MRA, said Valkenburg.“If there is any form of discrimination then we need to solve that,” he said. “The IFoA would like to have that solved and if there are any issues on our end we need to solve that as well of course.”All AAE member associations have to meet the education standards set by the AAE core syllabus, but individual associations are able to do require more.Valkenburg said: “What we need to prevent is that people would go to the country with the lowest bar but still meeting our requirements, and then apply in another country to become a full member there.” Subscriptions discussionThe IFoA wants to remain a full member of the AAE, but would also like to pay less. It has so far not paid the AAE subscription fees for 2020/21 that were due in April, and has asked the AAE to waive any late charge.The Institute has proposed that the AAE’s statutes be amended to introduce a cap on the number of a member association’s individual members that subscription fees can be based on – this was the focus of the extraordinary general meeting.AAE’s Valkenburg said the IFoA had been very “straightforward” in proposing a cap based on a fixed number – 5,500 members – and that AAE would prefer something “more dynamic” although the monetary outcome would be similar.“We are entering into constructive and friendly discussions and hope to find a solution together,” he said.Valkenburg also said the discussions between the AAE and the IFoA would also be about how the organisations could work together, and what roles the IFoA could fill in light of the UK no longer being in the European Union.The IFoA has said that it would not be appropriate for it to comment further until the outcome of discussions with the AAE was reached.last_img read more

24 Sep

Ribeiro: Real Madrid still dream of signing Neymar

first_img Loading… Promoted Content6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone40 Child Actors Who Turned Into Gorgeous AdultsTop 10 Tiniest Phones Ever Made10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Who’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hootWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?The Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her GrandsonYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime Ribeiro worked alongside Neymar in his early years and helped with his move to Barcelona. He told ESPN: “Real Madrid called me on a number of occasions because Florentino dreamed about signing Neymar. I was with him last year, in May, in his office, and he told me then he still dreamed about signing Neymar.” Ribeiro also revealed that PSG have put a price on Neymar’s head.Advertisement “It will cost you €164m to sign Neymar today. That price didn’t exist a year ago.” Although the agent admits there won’t be many deals above €50m due to the current coronavirus outbreak. read also:Neymar desperately longs for football actions “He’s a lot better than Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I’ve never seen Neymar play badly. He always made the difference at Santos, despite getting kicked, as he either scored or assisted. We saw that at both Barcelona and PSG.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Brazilian super-agent, Wagner Ribeiro, has insisted that  Real Madrid remain keen on PSG ace, Neymar.last_img read more