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September, 2017

Friday, September 15th, 2017

The Summer Palace Of Beijing In China}

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The Summer Palace of Beijing in China

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There are numerous interesting places to explore Beijing, the Chinese capital to the extent that it would be a hard task to explore everything just in one trip. However, like any other large city around the world, there are some major historical sites that tourists who travel to China should never miss during their visit to Beijing.

Among the most wonderful monuments of Beijing, the Summer Palace is one of the most distinctive. That is why tourists spending their holidays in China are usually advised to explore this magnificent monument. The Summer Palace was where the Emperors of China spend their summer holidays from the 15th till the 19th century.

Today this once wonderful set of palaces mainly consist of three gardens. The Western is called the Garden of Light and Perfection, the Southern is called the Garden of 10,000 Springs, and the Eastern was named the Garden of Everlasting Spring. This garden still hosts the many of the remaining parts of the palaces. The Summer Palace receive a large number of travelers who tour China.

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The most remarkable sections of the Summer Palace of Beijing include the wall maze, nicknamed as the Yellow Flower. This section consists of twists and turns around a pavilion constructed according to the European outlines of architecture and design. This section of the Summer Palace grabs the attention of many tourists who spend their vacations in China, especially children and youngsters.

The West gate of the Eastern Garden, the Garden of Everlasting Spring, is also imposing. Passing through it, guests enjoying their holidays in China, can view the ruins of wonderful carved columns that are beautifully decorated and ornamented. This is in addition to a group of statues of lions.

Generally speaking, a walk in the gardens of the Summer Palace is really romantic and may present a wonderful idea for an afternoon outing. Guests walk in the garden enjoying the wonderful natural scenes and exploring the historical buildings.

The Summer Palace is renowned to be one of the places where tourists enjoying their vacations in China

may learn about the history of the country. This is one of the main reasons why UNESCO included the Summer Palace of Beijing to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1998.

Another remarkable thing to do during a visit to the Summer Palace in Beijing is to explore some of the hills around the complex. For example, there is the Longevity Hill that hosts many wonderful Pagodas and temples. The monuments in this hill includes the Glazed Tile Pagoda, the Tower of Buddha.

Located near the hills, there is the wonderful Kunming Lake that is around 3 kilometers of surface area. The lake is featured with many several bridges, dikes, and gazebos. One of the impressive sections of the Summer Palace is the famous Long Corridor, featured with its richly colored and decorated ceilings and walls. The Long Corridor is among the sections tourists who tour China are often keen to explore.

Right Travel is an organized travel agency which provides various packages for tours to China, vacations in China and travel to China. For more detail please visit here: www.righttravel.info/country/china-17.html

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Friday, September 15th, 2017

Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The interview below was conducted by Pingswept over the phone with Emily Levan on April 21, 2005. Levan lives in Wiscasset, Maine, with her husband and daughter, and she ran in the Boston Marathon women’s race on April 18, 2005.

To summarize for our readers, you recently came in 12th in the Boston Marathon, right?

That is correct.

You were the first American finisher.

Yes.

There was also a Russian woman who lives in the US who finished ahead of you.

You know, I believe it is, I’m not actually positive, but I think you’re right. There’s often a lot of foreign runners that live and train in different parts of the US for a variety of reasons. Some live in Colorado and might train at high altitude, or they might have coaches in the US.

OK, but as far as you know, for straight up Americans, people who were born here, who have lived here for long periods of time and are not going anywhere special to train, you were the first finisher.

That is correct.

So congratulations, that’s very impressive. In the rest of your life, my understanding is that you are going to nursing school.

I am. I’m at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. and I have been going to nursing school for a couple years now. I’m just going part time right now because of the baby and other things going on in my world.

Your baby is currently one and a half?

She’s fifteen months.

Fifteen months, so one and one quarter. 1.25, sure.

Hopefully I’ll finish up nursing school in December. That is the tentative plan.

So you’re almost done.

I just have a couple classes left. I’ll take one class this summer and two classes in the fall.

You ran the Boston Marathon originally two years ago?

Actually, I ran it for the first time in 99. I’ve run it four times. I did run it two years ago as well.

You ran it two years ago, and you also came in twelfth then, if not the top American finisher then. You were the fourth?

I think third or fourth. I can’t remember exactly.

How long were you actually training for this marathon in particular?

I’d say about 4 months. I typically try to train about four months for each race. It depends a little bit on what kind of shape I’m in leading up to the training. Four months is usually the time frame I shoot for.

And how many miles a week were you doing–I assume you peaked somewhere right before the marathon.

At the peak, I have a month or six week period where I’ve built up to my peak training, and I was probably doing between 90 to 100 miles a week.

Was there a lot of variation in your day to day mileage, or was it pretty much you’re doing 1/7th of that mileage every day?

There’s definitely variation, probably more so in the type of workout that i did each day. For example two days a week I would do a speed workout, so I might be doing mile repeats, which just means that I do a mile in a specific time, and then I might jog for a couple minutes and then another one and another one. I’d do a series of eight mile repeats on that specific workout day. My other speed workout would be a marathon pace run, so I might run 8 or 10 miles at my marathon pace. If my marathon pace is 6 minute miles, I’d do a two mile jog warm up, and then I might do 8 or 10 miles at a six minute pace, and then a two mile cool down.

So you maybe end up running 14?

Sometimes what I would do on those speed workout days– on those days I might end up with about 14 miles. On some other days, I might run twice during the course of the day. Say in the morning, I might run eight miles, and then in the afternoon I might do six or eight more miles.

Wow.

Those days tend to be a little bit more mellow. More of kind of a maintenance run, a little bit of a recovery day. I try to have a recovery day after every hard workout.

Do you think that all of your training could fit into four hours a day? Do you think that’s true?

You mean the workouts for a specific day? Probably even less than that. Depending on the day a little bit, probably between 2 or 3 hours. Usually on Sunday I would go out and do a long run, and that would be a 20 or 22 mile run, all in one fell swoop and that usually takes two and a half hours.

So that explains how you’re able to do this, as well as go to nursing school, as well as have an extremely young child. I assume you talk to your friends occasionally.

I try to at least– have some sort of social life. This is not a job, so it’s not something that I do 8 hours a day. It’s something that I fit in with all the other obligations, things that I like to do too. I like to be able to pursue other interests as well.

You live on a road with no one else near by. Do you pretty much just run from your house every day?

The winter is harder because with the baby, I often end up running with a treadmill down in the basement. Brad, my husband, has pretty long hours at the farm, and especially in the winter months, it’s hard to find daylight when he’s able to watch Maddy, so I ended up running a lot on the treadmill this winter, as opposed to last summer, I would take her with me. I have one of those baby joggers, and that was great. I could just leave right from the house, and I could take her. She would be pretty happy to go eight or ten miles with me. Typically what I do when I go outside, I just go right from the house. The roads are so pretty around here. We’re pretty secluded, so I don’t have to worry too much about crazy drivers.

Do you ever try to go find big hills to run up and down?

I do. In the past, I have done a hill workout as a part of my training, usually early on in the training during the first six weeks or 2 months of the training I do a hill workout and I would find some place close by that I could find a warm up jog and run to and then do a hill workout. If I couldn’t find one within a couple miles, I would drive to it. It’s a little bit harder now with Maddy because I don’t have as much leeway and freedom with when I go running and where I go running. I’m a little more limited.

You’d have to load up the cart, er, the carriage into the car.

I’ve done that sometimes. Sometimes it’s easier to go straight from home. Running with the jogger up hills is not an easy thing to do.

When you’re in the race, you feel like, “Hey, I’m not even pushing a kid anymore.” Heartbreak Hill without the kid is substantially easier, I suppose.

Yeah.

Do you know most of the elite runners in the race? You know who they are, but are you friends with them, or not really?

It’s funny–I know who people are, but I don’t run that many races to really get to know that many of the runners. If you’re a professional runner, and that’s your job, a lot of those people travel in the same circles. They run the same races and they have the same schedules in terms of when they compete. I pick out a couple of races each year to focus on and because of that, I don’t get to know as many of the runners. As time goes on, you do get a little bit you do get a little more familiar with people.

During the race, do you talk to the other runners, or do you just run along and think things like, “I wish I were at the end right now”?

I think that really depends I find that if I’m feeling good and the run is going well, then it’s easier for me to talk to people, just because you’re feeling strong, and you’re not focusing so much on “I’m not doing so great.” I might talk to some folks along the way. Sometimes if someone passes me, I’ll encourage them and say “Good job, go get them,” and just stuff like that. I certainly find I’m not carrying on lengthy conversations with people because you’re expending energy that should be focused on the race itself. I enjoy getting to know folks along the way and knowing what pace they’re hoping to run.

In races other than the Boston Marathon do you find that you have good competition? I don’t really know what the running scene in Wiscasset, Maine, is like at all, but I imagine that being the fastest female marathon runner in the United States, you might not find a whole lot of competition. You say that you encourage people when they pass you, but having read some of the other interviews with you on the web, it doesn’t seem like people pass you very often.

It definitely depends on the race. Like I said before, I don’t run that many races. At this point, what I’m trying to do is to find races that are competitive so I can be pushed by competition. For example, when I ran the Maine Marathon last fall, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. That just gets hard. I ran alone for most of the race. Running 26 miles at a fast pace all by yourself without anyone around you to help push you and motivate you, can be pretty hard. Because of that, as I’ve been looking toward the future and thinking about which races I want to do, I’ve been targeting races that will have a little more competition. That’s why Boston was one that I wanted to shoot for and I’m thinking about in the fall going to Chicago because they’ve got a pretty competitive marathon. It’s also a pretty flat course, so people tend to run pretty fast times there.

Most people run a couple of minutes faster in Chicago, right?

Yeah, exactly. And I’ve heard good things about the race too, so I’m looking forward to that.

Have you thought about running internationally?

Not at this point, no. It’s hard to find the time to travel to races, and It gets expensive too. A lot of my family members say, “Wouldn’t it be great to do the London Marathon or the Paris Marathon,” because they like coming to watch. At this point, I think I’m going to stick closer to home. I’ve got a few races, like I was mentioning Chicago, here in the States that I’d really like to do. Maybe once I’ve done those, I might think about something else, it really just depends. A lot of it’s a time issue, because I have other things that I’m pursuing and it gets hard to spend too much time traveling off doing different races.

Do you know Alan Culpepper?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

You at least know of him, right?

Yes, exactly.

Have you ever been in any races against him?

This was the first race that I had run in that he ran in. He was the fourth overall male finisher. That’s a really good showing for an American male. I’ve read a lot about him in different running magazines and just heard a lot about him through running circles. But this was the first time that I’ve actually seen him run. It was neat because in this particular race, they start the women’s elite group about 25 minutes ahead of the rest of the start.

29 minutes actually, I believe.

That’s right, 29 minutes. So, I didn’t see a male runner until pretty close to the end, so it was really neat to see–I think I saw the top five male finishers because they passed me in the last couple miles. It was really interesting–there’s all these cars and press and motorcycles, policemen, so I could tell when the first male was coming up behind me because there was a lot more going on on the course. Alan Culpepper was one of the ones that passed me in the last mile or two. It was pretty neat to see him finishing strong.

You might not be able to beat him in a race but do you think you could maybe, I don’t know, beat him in a fist fight? He’s pretty skinny, right? He only weighs 130 pounds.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I wouldn’t make any bets on it at this point.

No?

No.

OK. Have you thought about doing things longer than a marathon? Like a 50 K or a 100 K?

At this point, I haven’t because I’ve gotten into the marathon, and I’ve really been enjoying that so far. I feel like I still have some room to improve and grow in the marathon, but I think at some point I’d really like to do one of those ultra-type races. For the next several years, I’ll stick towards the marathon distances. Once that competitive part of my life is over, I might move on to something different.

Based on your age, are you likely to peak around now, or you maybe have a few years to go before your legs start to fall off?

Before I can’t walk anymore? I don’t know. It’s really interesting because for marathoning you’ve got a longer life span than in a lot of competitive sports. The fifth place female finisher in Boston this year was over forty. You can still be competitive into your forties. I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it that long– at least another 3 years or so. One thing in the back of my mind looking at is the Olympic Trials for 2008. I’m looking at that time frame right now. If I want to keep running competitively after that, then I’ll assess things from there.

That sounds good. When you came in as the first American finisher, did you get any certificates or cash or a medal or anything like that?

Yeah, actually, I won $2100.

Oh, great– two thousand bucks!

Which is pretty nice.

That’s a lot of baby clothes.

I know– or a lot of shoes. The shoe expense is pretty expensive, and I’ve been trying to find a shoe company that might give me some shoes.

I would think–couldn’t you just call up New Balance and say, “Hey, look, I’m pretty good, why don’t you give me some shoes?”

Well, this past November, after I ran New York– I usually wear Asics or New Balance– I wrote to both of those companies. I sent them a little running resume. I said I’d be interested in pursuing some sort of sponsorship opportunity, and they both wrote back and said, “Sorry, we don’t have any space or funds available at this time.” I was a little disappointed by that, because I was hoping to at least get someone to help me out with my shoes.

Yeah, at least some sneakers.

But in addition at Boston, they do have these crystal vases that they give out for the top 15 finishers, so I got a little piece of hardware there too.

So you get to put flowers in that.

I had some flowers in it; they’ve wilted so I decided to compost them.

Oh, that’s good.

Yeah, send them back to the earth, you know.

Has anyone else tried to interview you? Local paparazzi following you?

I hide in my car for most of the day. I did some local interviews–with the local NBC affiliate, and I’m going to do an interview tomorrow with the ABC affiliate in Portland, and some affiliated newspaper interviews as well.

You’re officially famous, then.

I don’t know. I guess. It’s been pretty busy.

Has anyone asked you for an autograph yet?

No. No autograph seekers yet, no.

Maybe in the Yellowfront Grocery in Wiscasset? “Hey, I know you!”

“I saw you on TV!” No, not yet.

That’s surely coming. The Chewonki Foundation, which is where you live, recently had Eaton Farm donated to it.

Yes.

And they’re planning on making a 12 mile long trail that runs from approximately your house to Wiscasset.

Oh, you know more about this than I do, that’s great.

I don’t know if it’s going to start right at your front door; you might have to cut through the woods a little bit.

That’s OK, I can do that.

Have you run on trails at all, or is it just, “I want to run on the pavement because I don’t want to twist an ankle”?

I’m not a big trail runner. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to running on trails. Now it would be much more difficult, because I have the baby with me. The baby jogger has some nice wheels on it, but I don’t know if it could handle trail running.

Yeah.

It’s a nice change of pace every once in a while. I don’t worry too much about twisting an ankle–you just have to be careful. I figure I can walk out my door and step in a pothole and twist my ankle, so I don’t worry too much about that. That goes along with being alive in our world. We’ll see. I’m going to have to look into that 12 mile trail.

Because 12 miles, you do that there and back, you’ve got a marathon on your hands.

There you go.

What’s your next target? Can you walk right now?

If I train well, I’m usually not sore. Especially on the long runs, my body gets used to running for that length of time and sure, I’m running faster during the marathon than I do on my long runs, but I think my body tends to adjust to the rigors. It’s usually a good sign if a few days afterwards I don’t have any major soreness. I certainly feel like I’ve done something significant.

Yeah, I can imagine feeling too.

No major aches or pains.

That’s great. What’s your next race? Do you have one targeted? Is it Chicago?

Yeah, I think the next marathon will be Chicago in the fall. there’s a 10 K race, the Beach to Beacon, you may have heard of it.

In Portland?

It’s actually in Cape Elizabeth. It’s put on by Joan Benoit Samuelson. It’s in August, so I’ll probably do that one and then shoot for the fall marathon.

Well, I think that’s all my questions.

Nice, well, thanks for calling. I appreciate it.

Sure, well, thanks for running so fast.

No problem.

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Nc Cash 5 Lottery Tips Learn How To Win Today

By Donaldson. Matthew

Don’t assume that you’re never going to win in the Cash 5 lottery. By applying effective strategies and tips into your game plan, you can actually win the jackpot without having to waste thousands of dollars on lotto pay slips. There are different kinds of lottery games, and this article is going to talk about the most effective NC cash 5 lottery tips for lotto players residing in North Carolina.

The rules of the Cash 5 lottery are simple: buy a lottery ticket and pick 5 numbers to bet on. If one or two of the numbers you picked become the winning numbers, then you win the prizes corresponding to them. The more numbers chosen, the higher your chances are for winning the lottery. If there aren’t any winners at all for the day, then the grand jackpot prize increases making it even more exciting those who are playing. Normally you would have to pick numbers within the range of 1-30, but this varies depending on what state you are playing in. North Carolina, for instance, focuses more on the cash 5 lottery games so definitely you have to play by the rules and focus your strategy more on this type of lottery instead of the usual pick 3 or big time lottery games.

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There are NC cash 5 lottery tips online that will give you some ideas and even hone your own strategy on how to increase your chances of winning. Though they may or may not work for you, it is important that you get these ideas from NC cash 5 lottery players who have already experienced winning the big prize through careful planning and strategizing whenever they play. Here are some NC cash 5 lottery tips that can boost your chances of winning:

-Always remember that even in the Cash 5 lottery, the numbers are drawn randomly, so one way of choosing particular winning numbers is to use the potential of probabilities. For example, choosing a good mix of odd and even numbers using probability is a good strategy to use. You can choose at least 3 even numbers and 2 odd numbers, or the other way around. This way, your chances of getting a winning set of lotto numbers is high as compared to only picking odd or even numbers.

-Avoid using arithmetic sequences when picking out the lotto numbers. A lot of NC cash 5 lottery tips will tell you that this isn’t going to improve your chances at winning simply because the numbers are drawn randomly and cannot be predicted as such. So if you really want to win in this game, avoid picking numbers that come in sequences like 3, 6, 9, 12, etc.

-Believe it or not, the sum of the chosen 5 numbers in your lotto ticket can also be a basis for the winning combination. According to some of the NC cash 5 lottery tips, numbers that add up to a range of 75 – 125 have a good chance at winning since normally 60-70% of the lottery winning numbers add up to a number within that range.

About the Author: Want to win $357 tonight using Lottery Pick

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Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Clickn Shop Best Online Retail Store In Sri Lanka}

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ClicknShop Best online Retail Store In Sri Lanka

by

Dimantha

As Sri lanka is gallivanting through a technological rearrangement from analogue to digital habitat, the mediocre lifestyle of regular Sri Lankan is evolving into new statures and this context is influencing their day to day liveliness reconstructing fundamental activities such as shopping,traveling and communicating to new altitudes

As these new needs are occurring in the world the sharp-witted businesses must alter, in order to cater to these unfulfilled desires by carefully grasping the necessity of the consumers to cook it up with the sweet ingredient called technology

Laugfs holdings as a business giant in Sri Lanka has distinguished these distinctive requirements of modern day consumer and has generated a radius of online services starting from a online retail store called ClicknShop which is one of the rapidly blooming online retail platforms in the island

ClicknShop stands out from variant online retail stores due to its novel potentials of furnishing the consumer with an outspread span of product categories extending from kitchen appliances, home appliances office appliances electronics and automobile accessories are just to name a few, Trustworthy nature and product quality combination aid us to provide a superlative service to our customer and to preserve an authentic relationship with them

Island wide delivery network with branded products such as

LG 32 inch LED Tvs

Sony Bravia

Apple Iphone 7

Innovex 6kg fully automatic top load washing machine

Philips Vacuum cleaners

Toshiba portable radio

Samsung double door inventer refrigerator

Range 18’ Stand fans

Microsoft Surface

And much more , Makes Clicknshop the best online shopping site in Sri Lanka

As the competition in the Sri Lankan market is getting intense day by day , it is vital to carefully create our game plan to get ahead and provide a premium service to the customers, so in order to achieve this relevant task Clicknshop has decided to follow certain methods, which will entirely makes us unique in the market,

ClicknShop has decided to lay our utmost focus on all the aspects of the extended marketing mix in order to furnish satisfaction to the customers to the pinnacle, elaborating on that further Price, Place,Product,Promotion, People, Processors and Physical are our primal focus areas on the mix. We decided to acquire the extended marketing mix due to that fact that we have recently opened up an actual retail store in Colombo catering our customers first hand and since many customers have number of inquiries before purchasing a product, our service and people must be top notch so that

we can deliver our message through to the customers clearly and quickly. Also the online retail market is at a price war so keeping the prices low and very competitive, constantly checking the competitors prices will definitely hell to increase our reach to the website. Meanwhile we are always encouraging promotions flash sales and offers large margins of discounts to the customers which will further increase the attraction to the website.

When we focus on the place mix, we have created a very welcoming attractive website and a showroom located in the city of Colombo

Laugfs holdings as a business giant in Sri Lanka has distinguished these distinctive requirements of modern day consumer and has generated a radius of online services starting from a online retail store called ClicknShop which is one of the rapidly blooming online retail platforms in the island

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Friday, September 8th, 2017

Calculating Earnings Per Share

By Joel Teo

Earnings per share is one method that is used by investors to decide whether their trades are successful or not. Earnings per share are just one part of the financial puzzle concerning stock trading investments, and knowing how to calculate the earnings per share is important for any investor in the stock market or other trading markets. Earnings per share is a financial tool that is frequently used by investors and businesses alike.

Earnings per share is not a complex formula that is extremely complicated. Earnings per share are calculated by dividing the consolidated net income of the company by the number of shares of stock the company has issued. This seems very simple, but there are factors that can affect the earnings per share formula. If there is a capital increase, if the number of shares changes during the reporting period, from a stock split for example, or if certain other occurrences happen then this will affect the formula and the earnings per share.

Diluted earnings per share is another financial tool that is used frequently by companies and investors. The calculation for this formula is to divide net income for the company by the average number of shares that are outstanding minus treasury stock and then adjusted for the outstanding options effect while considering the share price on the balance sheet date. First the total number of shares without consideration, or bonus shares, are calculated. Then this number is divided into the net income for the company to give a diluted earnings per share price.

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Calculating the earnings per share and the diluted earnings per share is important for the financial success of stock traders as well as businesses. These numbers are reflective of the overall success of the company and the trader. These figures represent whether a share of stock has increased or decreased in value. Earnings per share is also reflected in the dividend payments that are made by the company.

The formula that is used to calculate earnings per share is not real complicated, but there is a formula that must be followed. The formula used to calculate diluted earnings per share has more involved and more steps to follow, because this formula takes into consideration factors such as treasury stock and outstanding options effect. Learning how to do the calculations and figure out the earnings per share and diluted earnings per share is important for any investor or trader who deals with stocks at all.

Copyright 2007 Joel Teo. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Joel Teo writes on various financial topics including

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Friday, September 8th, 2017

UK retailers MFI and Woolworths collapse

Friday, November 28, 2008

Two major retail chains in the United Kingdom — general retailer Woolworths Group and furniture vendor MFI Group — have entered administration. Entertainment UK — which distributes videos and DVDs to retailers and are owned by Woolworths — have also entered administration.

“The boards of Woolworths PLC and Entertainment UK Ltd have concluded that there is no longer any prospect of those businesses being able to operate as a going concern,” said a Woolworths statement.

Woolworths, who sells household goods, music and other items, owns 815 stores nationwide, and MFI owns 111. MFI CEO Gary Favell said he had “secured the future of the MFI business” in September when he led a management buyout, but cracks rapidly appeared. Favell revealed administrator Kroll were to take control of the property division and half the stores were surrendered to the administrators. He also asked landlords to grant a three-month period of no rent for the ‘new’ MFI, which only some agreed to, leaving Kroll to seek payment for the rest.

Now the entirety of MFI is in administration, with MCR as the administrator. “Closing down sales” have been announced by MCR. Analysts predict that while in the short term consumer confidence will be damaged by the collapse, in the middle term it will help the situation as excess competition and capacity are removed. MFI employs 1,500 people.

The administrators for Woolworths and Entertainment UK are consultancy firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. “In the last 24 hours we have received expressions of interest from a number of parties for both the retail and wholesale businesses,” said Deloitte partner Dan Butters. “We are working hard to ensure that any sale of the business, in whole or part, will preserve jobs.” The 25,000 Woolworths employees have their positions safe until Christmas.

Shares in Woolworths have been suspended at just over a penny each. The firm also owns 2Entertain, a DVD publishing joint venture with BBC Worldwide, and book wholesalers Bertram Books. Both are currently operating as usual, although Woolworths is seeking to sell 40% of 2Entertain to the BBC.

“The important thing is in the long run that employees in this company – where the businesses and the shops are not going to stay open in the longer term – can get other jobs quickly,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said. “That’s why we’re going to move in immediately to give advice to employees.”

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Friday, September 8th, 2017

U.S. classifies record number of documents in 2004

Monday, September 5, 2005

OpenTheGovernment.Org, a coalition of conservative and liberal nonprofit groups, released a 2005 report (PDF, 12 pages) saying that all branches of the U.S. Federal Government are being significantly more secretive, and spending significantly more money on document secrecy. In 2004, federal officials classified 15.6 million new documents, which is 81 percent more than in 2001. Over the same period, the cost of classifying those new documents rose from $4.7 billion to $7.2 billion. These figures do not include documents classified by the CIA, as that agency’s information is itself secret.

The report is also critical of the fact that only $48.3 million was spent on declassifying old documents in 2004. They concluded that for every dollar spent on declassification, the federal officials spent $148 creating and storing new secrets, more than in any previous year. It is estimated to cost $460 to classify one document.

The state secrets privilege allows the executive branch to classify federal court hearings and documents. On average, the Bush administration has used this privilege 33 times more per year than cold war administrations (1953-1976), and nearly three times the 1977-2001 average. The report sees other measures of government secrecy, such as the number of secret patents on the rise as well.

The report does not explore the larger economic impact of the increase in secrecy per se. However, it observes that taxpayer savings due to whistleblower activity is on the rise despite the elimination of traditional whistleblower protections.

It also notes that 64% of advisory meetings were closed to the public. Such meetings provide lawmakers with advice on scientific and technical matters which are supposed to be free of special interest. Legislation covering such meetings states or assumes that they are open to the public, but some agencies, like the Department of Defense, have traditionally been permitted to hold closed meetings. Once such agencies are excluded, the report finds a threefold increase in closed meetings since 2001.

The report is critical of poor funding for processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, with which the majority of federal agencies surveyed can not keep up. There is concern that more of the financial burden for such requests may be being born by those organizations making the requests, instead of the agencies holding the classified documents. FOIA requests increased by 25% between 2003 and 2004, to 4 million, while funding for processing such requests increased by only 5%.

How much of this secrecy directly relates to various current events, such as the War in Iraq or terrorism, is unclear. In 2004, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved 1,754 requests from law enforcement officials last year to conduct surveillance on foreign nationals within the United States, double the number issued four years ago.

The report is also critical of the rise of “sensitive but unclassified” information, as well as new state based secrecy initiatives.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Violence at Cronulla Beach as 5000 people gather

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cronulla Beach in Sydney, New South Wales was the scene of racist mob-violence yesterday. In what has been described as disgusting, un-Australian and shameful behaviour, participants in a 5000-strong mob assaulted people suspected of being of Lebanese origin. The angry, alcohol-fuelled crowd also turned on anyone who tried to help the victims, including police, security guards and ambulance officers.

Following an attack on two lifeguards earlier in the week, allegedly by men of Lebanese descent, a protest had been organised via text messages and a small number of usenet postings.

Sutherland Shire Mayor Kevin Schreiber says inflammatory text messages calling for revenge attacks fueled the violence. Mr Schreiber said the heavily-circulated messages ensured troublemakers went to the southern Sydney beach looking for a fight. Police had patrolled the area all weekend after text messages began circulating among the community calling for vigilante responses to unwelcome visitors on the beach.

“The sending out of that text message was foolish and irresponsible and ensured that people from all over Sydney came to Cronulla looking to cause trouble and this was further fueled by alcohol,” said Mr Schreiber.

Sydney’s popular talk-back radio station 2GB also promoted Sunday’s event. Breakfast announcer Alan Jones has been accused of “fanning the flames.” Callers who recommended vigilante action were not discouraged to take the law into their own hands. Mr Jones, notorious for inflammatory comments, repeated the text message for Cronulla residents to defend their territory several times.

As the crowd marched along the beach and foreshore area, waving Australian flags, the crowd chanted racist slogans, with many wearing clothes bearing racist sentiment.

Middle Eastern men were openly targeted and assaulted. A young Muslim woman wearing a veil was chased into a kiosk on Cronulla beach. Police tried to move her away from the chanting crowd but were unable to reach the security of the command post. While the woman and police officers hid in the kiosk, a crowd surrounded the kiosk and shouted “Kill the Lebs”, while others climbed on top of the kiosk.

As police horses and special operations officers formed a line and pushed the crowd away, they were bombarded with beer bottles. After half an hour, an ambulance arrived at the kiosk and people were loaded into it. The ambulance, transporting six injured youths, escorted by police and police horses, was also bombarded with beer bottles. One struck an ambulance officer on the head. His colleague suffered lacerations to the arm.

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

The Need For Dentists In Plano Service}

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The Need for Dentists in Plano Service

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