Brewers are finally getting a break, from an unlikey source. Trump’s newly signed tax bill cuts the excise tax on small brewers in half. With dozens of small brewers in Alaska and growing, this will make a positive impact on not only producers but also consumers. In 2017, Alaska had the seventh highest alcohol tax in the nation, according data compiled by the Tax Foundation. According to the Alaska Tax Division the current alcohol tax amounts to about 10 cents per drink — defined as 1 ounce of spirits, 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine. The federal government lives a different universe than the State of Alaska. Just this last session, Governor Bill Walker introduced Senate Bill 131, which would double the wholesale tax rate of beer, wine and liquor to raise $40 million a year in revenue. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享It is a difficult thing to run a brewery in Alaska. The greatest expense is glass, which has to be barged up from stateside, and back again if venturing into deeper market penetration. Hours are so tightly regulated that there is no way to maximize the return of square foot of your operation by using it for events where alcohol isn’t consumed during the time block the State mandates the doors are closed. No After Hour Escape Rooms or yoga at the Brewery Tasting Room. No happy hours, slow night drink specials, or discounts – even if the proceeds go to charity. Small brewers, which include all Alaska breweries, already have an exemption that allows them to pay 35 cents per gallon, or about 3 cents per beer. Their rate would also double under the proposed bill. Story as aired:Audio PlayerDorene-on-local-brewers-raise-a-toast-to-the-new-tax-bill.mp3VmDorene-on-local-brewers-raise-a-toast-to-the-new-tax-bill.mp300:00RPd
WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington resident Tony Marra, a firefighter for the city of Watertown, is being heralded for his off-duty heroism in response to a serious rollover car accident on Route 38, near the Wilmington Plaza, on the morning of Wednesday, July 18.Around 8:20am, a 38-year-old woman was driving a 2012 Nissan Rogue northbound on Main Street when she reportedly veered to avoid a vehicle pulling out of the Speedway parking lot. Her vehicle rolled over multiple times, landing on its roof.Tony Marra, an off-duty Watertown firefighter, witnessed the accident and quickly jumped into action to assist the driver.“Marra gained entry into the overturned vehicle, helped extricate the patient, and removed the patient from the immediate danger of the running overturned vehicle in an active roadway,” according to Wilmington Fire Lieutenant Robert Varney. “When I reached the patient, Marra had already given the patient a rapid trauma assessment, and had successfully calmed the patient down from an excitable state due to the severity of the accident.”The driver was transported to a local medical facility with non-life threatening injuries. Her vehicle suffered major damage and was towed. Mass Highway was contacted to remove a significant amount of shattered glass from the roadway. Traffic was backed up in the area, with northbound traffic rerouted through the Wilmington Plaza paring lot and one of the two southbound lanes temporarily closed.“Firefighter Marra did not have to stop and help, yet he did not hesitate to jump into action and provide lifesaving care by removing the patient from immediate danger,” Varney wrote in a letter to Watertown Fire Chief Robert Quinn. “Firefighter Marra provided himself an exemplary model of a civil servant, and a Firefighter that you and the town of Watertown should be proud of.”“In a time where the media sometimes only focuses on the negative actions of firefighters, they miss out on the day-to-day heroic actions of firefighters,” added Varney.Rollover crash on July 18 (courtesy of WPD)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Firefighter Praised For Help He Provided To An Injured Woman While Off-DutyIn “Police Log”Wilmington’s Top Public Safety Stories Of 2018In “Police Log”SELECTMEN NEWS: Board Supports Fire & Police Substation In North Wilmington; Town To Vote On Project In April 2020?In “Government”
A view of Arrahma Mosque where a shooting incident occured, in this still image from video, in Avignon. ReutersEight people including a girl were lightly wounded late Sunday in a shooting in front of a mosque in the southeast French city of Avignon, the prosecutor’s office said, ruling out terrorism.According to initial accounts taken on the spot, at least two men got out of a car around 10:30 pm near the mosque and opened fire, including with a shotgun, the prosecutor’s office said.None of the wounded had life-threatening injuries, it said.”From what we know this evening, the mosque was not targeted. The fact that it happened in the street of the religious establishment was unconnected with it,” the prosecutor said, ruling out terrorism.Witness accounts mentioned four men in the car, all hooded.The criminal investigation department has taken charge of the case.The shooting comes a few days after a man on Thursday attempted to drive his car into worshippers outside the Creteil mosque in southeast Paris.The driver, a 43-year-old Armenian who suffered from schizophrenia, hit barriers and pillars outside the mosque with his 4×4 without causing any injuries before crashing into a traffic island.According to a source close to the investigation, the suspect had made “confused remarks in relation” to a string of jihadist attacks that have struck France, killing 239 people since 2015.Following a van attack against worshippers leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London on June 19 which left one dead and 11 injured, France’s Muslim community has also felt threatened.Some Muslim officials have described the Paris incident as an attack and called on the authorities to “strengthen protection of places of worship”.The Paris police commissioner reiterated his orders for vigilance in protecting Muslim places of worship.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUTGov. Greg Abbott plans to appeal to the Supreme Court a ruling that invalidated two of the state’s congressional districts.Texas Governor Greg Abbott told a radio program on Wednesday that he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court a federal ruling that could force state lawmakers to redraw two congressional districts in Texas before the 2018 elections.A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled Tuesday that two districts drawn by state lawmakers in 2013 intentionally diluted the voting power of minorities.The state has been using interim maps since 2013, because the original maps put into place in 2011 were also struck down by federal courts.Michael Li, a lawyer with the Brennan Center for Justice, said it’s hard to tell whether an appeal to the Supreme Court would affect impending changes to the congressional maps before the 2018 elections.“It’s possible that everything gets put on hold until the Supreme Court decides, but it’s also possible that the court lets that go forward,” said Li, who is part of a team representing plaintiffs in the cases. “I think everyone is sensitive with the close timing of the election and everything that it may make sense to go ahead and redraw the maps now.”Li said there are a lot of variables that could change how this plays out.“The question now is who redraws the maps,” he said.The court has asked state lawmakers to go into another special session to redraw the two districts that were invalidated: District 27, which is represented by Republican Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi, and District 35, which is represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Austin.“So the normal practice is that a Legislature gets the first shot at redrawing maps,” Li said, “and the court has given the Legislature that shot.” If they don’t agree to hold a special session to redraw the maps, then the state and plaintiffs go back to court for a hearing in September to hash it out.The court also still has to rule on the statehouse maps, which could also delay a special session.Li said legislators will probably want to wait to see if they have to redraw both sets of maps before going into another session. He said it is possible, however, that all this could be sorted out in time for the 2018 elections.“If all the cards align, and the changes aren’t that massive, then it’s possible that maps could be in place by September or early October,” he said. “But right now everything is up in the air.” Share
Share Andrew Harnik/APPresident Trump, with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, speaks to reporters after a retreat where GOP leaders made plans for 2018.It may be a new year, but Congress plans to spend most of January wrapping up old business left over from 2017.Congressional leaders are promising to head off any chance of a government shutdown well before the Jan. 19 deadline, but a nearly yearlong fight over President Trump’s demands to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border could threaten those plans.Democrats want the upcoming spending bill to also permanently protect the roughly 700,000 immigrants who are in the country illegally after being brought to the U.S. as children. They stand to lose the protected status they were given under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.Trump rescinded that program last year, setting an expiration date in March, and congressional Republicans have agreed to work with Democrats on a new law to grant rights to those immigrants. Those talks appeared to be progressing over the holidays, but Trump’s demands that the deal include money to build a border wall could prevent an agreement.Trump repeated his demands Saturday during a news conference held during a weekend planning retreat with congressional leaders at Camp David.“We want the wall,” Trump said. “The wall is going to happen, or we’re not going to have DACA.”But Democrats are threatening to block any spending bill that includes funding for a wall — even if that means shutting down the government. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said Friday that Democrats would not accept the latest offer from Republicans because it included $18 billion to build a wall. “President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall,” Durbin said. “With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction.”Alabama Democrat Doug Jones was sworn in last week, which leaves Republicans with just 51 votes in the Senate. GOP leaders will need votes from at least nine Senate Democrats to pass any spending or immigration legislation. To do that, negotiators will have to balance Democrats’ calls for citizenship for all people protected under DACA against Trump’s demands for border security and the construction of a border wall.That standoff comes at a critical moment in the talks. Lawmakers are set to return to Washington on Monday with hopes of finalizing an immigration and spending bill while continuing talks to reauthorize a controversial wiretapping program, fully fund children’s health insurance and send billions in disaster aid to roughly half a dozen states and U.S. territories.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Thursday that he is confident that negotiators will reach a deal without the risk of a shutdown.“Nobody wants to shut the government down on either side,” McConnell said. “I’m optimistic we’ll get a resolution to many of those issues before Jan. 19.”Finishing that work in just two weeks would be ambitious under any circumstances, but the talks come as Congress is also gearing up for the start of an election season that will determine which party controls both the House and the Senate.Congressional negotiators were nearing an agreement in late December on the spending portion of the talks, but leaders have been unwilling to finalize any single portion of the deal until all other elements are complete.That strategy is based on a political bet that a big, broad deal will include so many elements that nearly every lawmaker will be able to find something in the bill that they can support. That plan is particularly risky if lawmakers on either side try to add in politically motivated provisions — like abortion funding restrictions or means testing for government aid programs — known as poison pills.The House plans to kickstart action on some parts of the broader agreement early next week with a vote to extend a controversial wiretapping program authorized by Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.Leaders are also in talks over plans to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is set to expire in March, though some states may run out of funding sooner. The program generally enjoys bipartisan support and could be added to a big spending bill in hopes of making it more appealing to lawmakers who might be skittish about other parts of the deal.One group that may need some extra convincing are conservatives who are frustrated with Democrats’ demands to increase funding for domestic programs as part of any eventual spending deal. Democrats want the upcoming spending agreement to uphold a recent pattern of funding domestic programs at the same rate as military expenditures.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters that cutting domestic funding would starve programs including health insurance for veterans and newly created initiatives to combat the opioid crisis. Schumer said there are a number of issues that have yet to be resolved, but like McConnell said he believes a deal is within reach.“Democrats are hopeful we can get this all done,” Schumer said. “We had very serious discussions with the Republican leadership in those areas, and now there will be staff discussions in the next few days trying to get those things done.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
It’s all about connections for Transat as it launches its 2018/2019 winter Sun lineup << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, June 14, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group Tags: Princess Cruises, Transat Share TORONTO — Transat is ramping up its domestic network with a 187% capacity increase. “We’re not gunning for Air Canada or WestJet,” says Transat’s Chief Distribution Officer, Joe Adamo. Rather the big boost in seats comes as Transat focuses on its feeder program as a crucial part of its strategy for a successful winter Sun season.At Transat’s 2018/2019 Sun program launch yesterday in Toronto, Adamo said Transat’s feeder program from cities across Canada (into Toronto and Montreal for connecting flights) has been so successful that the company is taking things up a notch for the upcoming winter season.The feeder program “will be critical for the coming winter,” said Adamo. “It will make a material difference to us going forward.”He reiterated that Transat is not looking to go head to head with the domestic reach of Air Canada or WestJet. “We simply want to optimize our network. I have every confidence that our point-to-point program will be successful.”Adamo added that Transat is also keenly focused on its relationships with its travel agency partners. “We want to hit the ground running for 2019. We want these [agency chain] discussions to happen now. We want to put these agreements to bed much earlier than in years past. We want to get out there and talk about what we need to be successful for this winter, and those talks need to happen this summer.”On a national basis Transat’s sun capacity is about the same as last year, keeping in mind that from 2017 to 2018 Transat increased its Sun capacity by about 20%. The company is also essentially replicating last year’s winter transatlantic program with a bit less capacity.Transat’s domestic routes “are mostly about feeding our South and transatlantic flights. Three years into the program, we can offer greater flexibility and greater choice. The biggest increases are the feeder flights coming in from B.C. and Alberta into Toronto.”Transat is gearing up for the introduction of its A321neo LR aircraft, with the first delivery scheduled for spring 2019. Transat will be the first North American carrier to fly these new long-range aircraft. The company is also in the process of introducing new A321 short-haul aircraft into its fleet. The aircraft “will be a real game changer for the economics of our company.” The new aircraft are earmarked for select Europe routes “and any and all Sun routes.”More news: Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaOn the hotels side Transat is busy too, with Jordi Solé heading up the company’s new hotels division. “We’re aggressively out to acquire land and/or hotels,” said Adamo. Key destinations include Mexico and the D. R., with Transat’s own line of hotels expected in the next five years.This year’s ‘Sun & Fun’ 2018/2019 brochure includes, for the first time, Transat’s winter Europe product in Spain and Portugal in the same book as the company’s southern Sun packages, guided tours and Duos and Florida.Transat’s Commercial Director Nicole Bursey outlined the highlights of the 2018/2019 lineup at yesterday’s launch, covering 34 destinations in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico and Florida with 635 hotels, including 30 or so new properties, some 40 properties that are exclusive to Transat, and four collections (Luxury, Distinction, Solo and Family).The winter Europe program also includes vacation options to Costa del Sol, Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve. There are also daily flights into London and Paris. Air Transat flies to Europe year-round with direct flights to Lisbon, Portugal, from Toronto and Montreal, flights between Toronto and Faro, Portugal (from January to April) and between Montreal and Malaga, Spain (all winter long, starting in January). Air Transat also flies to other European cities year-round as well, including Paris, London, Glasgow and Manchester.Here’s a quick look at the 2018/2019 winter Sun news:From Atlantic Canada, winter Sun flights will begin earlier than usual, with a mid-February 2019 start up. Transat has increased capacity out of Atlantic Canada to Florida (MCO and FLL) and also added an extra flight to Punta Cana.From Quebec, Transat will be resuming service into both San Juan and St. Maarten. There will be 10 flights a week into Punta Cana and increased capacity into Cartagena, Honduras, Haiti and Martinique out of Montreal as well as increased capacity out of Quebec City to Cancun.From Ontario Transat will also resume service into San Juan and St. Maarten, plus add 10 flights to Punta Cana and Cancun, increase capacity to Costa Rica and Florida and increase capacity from Hamilton and Ottawa.From the West highlights include increased capacity to Puerto Vallarta from several Western gateways and also increased capacity from Vancouver to Cancun.More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckTransat’s Early Booking Promotion, originally set to expire June 30, has been extended to July 13 and offers everything from Transat’s Price Drop Guarantee, to flexible change options for travel plans, to Option Plus upgrades for Luxury and Distinction collection passengers, to a $50 voucher for future travel.Transat’s Groups promo also expires July 13 offering clients $100 per couple savings at select top all-inclusive hotel chains.Groups continue to be a big part of Transat’s strategy and with Groups Max bookings agents can earn $10 in Transat Bonbon and get free group seating assignment and more for their clients.Meanwhile Transat’s cruise packages “are as easy to book as a one-week stay at a Decameron resort,” says Bursey.Transat now has 46 cruise packages on 16 ships, with departures from seven ports of call including, new this year, the return of San Juan as well as Cartagena. Packages include roundtrip flights with Air Transat, transfers and the cruise.Transat’s newest cruise partner is Princess Cruises. “This is a real coup for us because they don’t typically work through tour operators in Canada,” said Bursey. “They like Transat’s package concept.”
Travelweek Group Share Wednesday, June 20, 2018 Tags: Canada Jetlines Posted by TORONTO — Canada Jetlines Ltd. says it has hired an ultra-low-cost carrier expert as its new Chief Commercial Officer.Javier Suarez takes over the post effective July 30.Most recently he was Vice President, Network Planning, Revenue Management, E-Commerce with Mexican low-cost carrier VivaAerobus, part of the senior management team that improved profitability from a break-even in 2014 to becoming the most profitable airline in Mexico in 2017.During his tenure Suarez was responsible for growing the LCC’s fleet from 13 to 32 aircraft between 2014 and 2018, managing the majority of commercial functions, including the online commercial distribution and negotiations with various third-party vendors. Jetlines adds that during the last four years he launched 55 routes with a 98% success rate.Suarez’s previous experience includes senior roles with Spanish LCC Vueling Airlines from 2010 to 2014. He managed the network of the airline, growing the fleet size from 38 to 105 aircraft in a four-year span, and defined the Vueling network strategy that operated close to 400 routes that generated over US$2 billion in revenue, according to Jetlines. He was also responsible for launching more than 200 routes over three years, achieving a 92% success rate.More news: Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksPrior to Vueling, Suarez was with Qatar Airways from 2008 to 2010 as Senior Strategist.Jetlines CEO Lukas Johnson says: “I am excited to bring Javier to the Jetlines team. Javier’s ultra-low-cost carrier expertise in network planning and revenue management gained with many years of experience at VivaAerobus and Vueling will be invaluable as we continue to develop and deliver on the Jetlines strategy. I look forward to working closely with Javier to build Canada’s first true ultra-low-cost air carrier.”Jetlines announced in May that Johnson, a former SVP with U.S. LCC Allegiant Air, was taking over this month as CEO.Then last week Jetlines announced it had signed a definitive lease agreement for two Airbus A320 aircraft, with delivery scheduled for the first half of 2019.Back in March Jetlines said it was delaying its launch, originally scheduled for this month, and said it wouldn’t have a new launch date confirmed until the second quarter of this year.More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsIf Canada Jetlines does get off the ground it faces competition from LCCs including Flair Airlines and WestJet’s Swoop. << Previous PostNext Post >> Jetlines appoints Chief Commercial Officer; still no word on launch date
Related posts:New venomous snake species discovered in Costa Rica Expansion of monoculture farming could mean extinction for some tropical birds Costa Rica legislature to hear bill allowing ‘green’ geothermal projects in national parks The mysteries of the tinker bell wasp, one of smallest bugs ever discovered HUACAS, Guanacaste — Twenty Costa Rican schoolchildren drew their way into the (natural) history books this year and became the first kids in Costa Rica — and probably anywhere — to have wasp species named in their honor. The students, who are 4th, 5th and 6th graders from a handful of small communities in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, were the winners of a drawing contest calledComparto mi nombre con una especie (I share my name with a species). At a heartwarming ceremony on Dec. 4, each student received a plaque bearing their species’ name, photo and a description along with a map showing where in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste (Guanacaste Conservation Area, ACG) it was first collected.This distinct honor came as a result of a donation that retired U.S. expats Richard and Rita Ashley made in August in support of ACG’s parataxonomy program, which works to collect and identify new species of butterflies and their parasites (including certain wasps) in the conservation area. The donation will go toward the purchase of a bucket truck, which will allow the parataxonomists to collect specimens from the canopy of the rain forest and dry forest. When Dr. Daniel Janzen, technical adviser to ACG, expressed his wish to dedicate a group of 20 new species to friends of the Ashleys in recognition of their support, the Ashleys asked that the species instead be dedicated to local children.“My thought is, if some of these kids — maybe just one — pursues a career in natural science, they’ll understand how important biodiversity is and pass that on to family and friends,” Richard said before the ceremony. “You’ve got to plant a seed.” One of the winning drawings, by Naomi Duarte Cerdas, shows the landscape and creatures of the tropical dry forest. Courtesy of Área de Conservación GuanacasteTo choose the children the species would be named for, environmental educators from ACG and Área de Conservación Tempisque (Tempisque Conservation Area, ACT) organized the drawing contest for students at a school in Colonia Bolaños, along the highway from Liberia to La Cruz. The school participates in ACG’s Biological Education Program. Four other schools were chosen from the Santa Cruz area, where the Ashleys live.During September and October, educators from both conservation areas met with students at the participating schools to teach them about the characteristics and importance of the tropical dry forest found in the province of Guanacaste, and explain the rules of the contest.“[The students] studied the tropical dry forest and then drew their concept of it,” explained Rita Ashley, who volunteers as an English teacher at one of the participating schools.Related: World, meet Pseudapanteles luisguillermosolisi, a new wasp species named after Costa Rica’s presidentAbout 127 students participated in the contest, and the Ashleys, along with teachers from the schools and educators from the conservation areas, selected the 20 winning drawings. Ten winning students came from Escuela Colonia Bolaños, five from Escuela Huacas, two from Escuela La Garita Vieja, two from Escuela Santa Rosa, and one from Centro Educativo Educarte de Costa Rica. Richard Ashley gives a speech as Roberto Castro (center) interprets for him, and Rita Ashley looks on. Ashley addressed the children, stressing the importance of learning about and preserving biodiversity. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesThe contest award ceremony was held on a breezy poolside patio amid colorful bunches of flowers and the chatter of birds at the Best Western Camino a Tamarindo, which the Ashleys own. Despite the buzz of excitement among students and adults alike, education and conservation remained the focus of the event.Gabriela Gutiérrez Ruiz, coordinator of the ACG’s Biological Education Program, led the students through a presentation explaining the life cycle of the tiny parasitoid wasps that now bear their names. She explained the long process of identifying these new species, which began when the parataxonomists collected the insects from the forests of ACG and later required genetic and morphological analysis of the specimens by the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph.Richard Ashley spoke about biodiversity, likening it to a machine whose parts all depend on the success of the others, and emphasizing the importance of understanding all parts — and species — of the earth.“A very wise man once said that curiosity and imagination are two of the most important human traits. Curiosity may take many paths, but at the end of those paths is a reward. That reward is knowledge. The honors you receive today are symbolic of that curiosity,” Richard Ashley remarked.“By having a species that bears your name, you have begun down the path to being curious about your species and now you have the responsibility to help it survive, and survive, and survive,” Richard told the children. The plaque describing Exoryza ritaashleyae, the wasp species named in honor of donor Rita Ashley. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesIn total, 25 species were dedicated at the ceremony: 20 for winners of the drawing contest, one each for Richard and Rita Ashley, one each for the directors of Escuela Colonia Bolaños and Escuela La Garita Vieja, and one for an environmental educator from ACT.The final phase of the contest comes in late January, when the 20 contest winners will be invited on an educational tour of the rain forest in ACG’s San Cristóbal sector led by the Biological Education Program, Drs. Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs and four ACG parataxonomists. With any luck, the kids will see some wasps they know by name. Facebook Comments
The first ultra luxury resort of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in Mainland ChinaRosewood Hotels & Resorts® is delighted to announce the ultra-luxury brand’s first mainland Chinese resort, Rosewood Sanya, on the paradise island of Sanya, on August 21, 2017.All 246 guestrooms at Rosewood Sanya are ocean facing and 45 guestrooms include balcony plunge pools. Guestrooms measure from 68 to 680 square meters.In keeping with the brand’s A Sense of Place philosophy, the resort’s design incorporates wood, tribal totems and aquatic elements to create a serene and contemporary space, celebrating the beauty of nature and the serenity of the ocean, for all Rosewood guests to discover.Rosewood Sanya is part of an integrated resort set within 40 acres (16 hectares) of landscaped gardens surrounding the Sanya Forum, the largest convention center in Haitang Bay. The hotel’s 3,425 square meters of meeting space include a 1,500 square-meter pillar less grand ballroom and six function spaces. It also offers The Pavilion, a sophisticated residential-style venue with a spacious outdoor terrace offering full sea views.State-of-the-art facilities and impeccable service supports a range of personal and business events from exclusive board meetings, to product launches, to red carpet galas and legendary weddings.There are a multitude of activities for all to enjoy, from families, to watersports enthusiasts, to golfing aficionados. Hotel recreational options include Sense, A Rosewood Spa offering two double treatment rooms, four single treatment rooms and one VIP treatment room. A fully equipped fitness studio, and an indoor yoga studio and outdoor yoga platform are also available for those who wish to exercise and unwind in privacy.A dramatic 110-meter infinity-edge sky pool on the 13th floor offers sweeping South China Sea views. An additional outdoor swimming pool and Breakers kids’ club further complements, the family recreation room designed to be fun and educational, and to be enjoyed by all ages.Source = Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
State Rep. Rob VerHeulen of Walker today criticized a decision by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board allowing a steelmaker to inherit a tax credit previously awarded to another company.The board awarded AK Steel a transfer of a tax credit originally awarded to Severstal Dearborn more than a decade ago. AK Steel, based in Ohio, bought Severstal Dearborn in 2014.“I am deeply disappointed in this decision,” VerHeulen said. “The Michigan Strategic Fund Board should not have made this decision without the Legislature’s involvement and oversight.”The tax credit would be worth up to $20.3 million for AK Steel.VerHeulen has included language in budget proposals moving through the Michigan House that would require legislative approval for this type of tax credit transaction. VerHeulen is chair of the House Appropriations General Government Subcommittee.“I am very disappointed this action was taken today, circumventing the involvement of legislators,” VerHeulen said.Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers had requested that the Michigan Strategic Fund Board delay a decision, saying an agreement with AK Steel could set a dangerous precedent in future cases. 25Apr Rep. VerHeulen criticizes decision to award tax incentives to AK Steel Categories: News,VerHeulen News
Connected sets are expected to account for over 80% of global TV shipments by 2015, up from 27% in 2011, according to forecasts from Futuresource Consulting.Japan is leading the way in the adoption of connected TVs, with 59% of shipments in 2011 integrating connectivity as a standard. Some 29% of sets shipped in the US and China were of connected TV sets, while Europe is trailing at 24%.According to Futuresource, the major TV manufacturers are now making connectivity a standard feature in between 60% and 80% of their product portfolio. Embedded Wi-Fi is expected to be a significant factor in driving usage upwards, according to the group.Some 16 million 3D TV sets are believed to have been shipped last year. 3D-capable sets are expected to account for 50% of the market by 2015, according to Futuresource.LED sets are expected to account for 90% of TV shipments by 2015, with LCD, plasma screens and CRT sets expected to decline. The OLED technology used by smartphone manufacturers is expected to grow in popularity for TVs as well, with Samsung and LG expected to launch OLED sets later this year.
The Walt Disney Company is looking to cut around 10% of annual costs at its Disney-ABC Television arm, potentially affecting 300 jobs.The ABC US broadcast network, production arm ABC Studios and ABC News are expected to take the biggest hits, with cable channels ABC News, Freeform and Disney Channel also affected.The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, claims as many as 300 jobs are at risk out of Disney-ABC’s 10,000-strong staff.It is thought plans are still at an early stage, and final decisions on where the axe willDisney reps didn’t comment on the report, but TBI understands staff reductions will come through redundancies and attrition.According to the WSJ, Disney-ABC president Ben Sherwood is behind the cost saving drive, reportedly having promised Disney CEO Bob Iger he could make up to US$300 million (€250 million) in savings.Disney’s TV division, which houses ABC and ABC Studios, has been revenues fall more than 20% so far this year, though operating income is up.Disney is also gearing up for the launch of its own globally focused SVOD service, which will launch in 2019 when its movies come off Netflix.Disney-owned sports cable business ESPN has already made cuts this year. It is also planning a direct-to-consumer service.
TV App Agency and set-top box maker Humax have partnered to deliver an Android TV Operator Tier solution for an unnamed major telco.TV App Agency leveraged its TV App Engine and TV App Template solutions to build operator apps across multiple smart TV devices, then used the TV App Engine to generate the Google Android TV Operator Tier launcher.“It has been a pleasure working with Humax, their outstanding hardware matched the quality of our launcher to deliver an amazing product,” said Bruno Pereira, co-founder TV App Agency.
POLICE in Derry are continuing to appeal for the public’s help in relation to the investigation into the serious and malicious assault on a teenager at Gartan Square.;The paramilitary style attack happened in the early hours of last Saturday, June 10.As part of the investigation, police have recovered a metal bar which they believe was used in the attack. Chief Inspector Ivor Morton said: “The attack, carried out by a number of masked assailants armed with iron bars, was a terrifying ordeal for the vulnerable 15 year old boy who was heard to have cried out for his ‘Mammy’ whilst the attack was taking place.“The young victim sustained a number of broken bones as a result of the assault.“He is now recovering from his physical injuries, and I hope that he will also recover from the psychological impact of this incident.Chief Inspector Morton added: “There can be no place in our society for this type of barbarity. 15-YEAR-OLDCHIEF INSPECTOR IVOR MORTONDerryGARTAN SQUAREMETAL BAR RECOVERED IN HUNT FOR GANG WHO BEAT VULNERABLE TEEN IN DERRY PARAMILITARY STYLE ATTACKPSNI “All right minded people must turn their backs on those responsible for such incidents and do the right thing by giving police any information they have about their activities.”“Anyone who has information that could help with our investigation should contact detectives at Strand Road, using the non-emergency number 101 and quoting reference number 28 of 10/6/17.”“Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”VULNERABLE DERRY TEEN CRIED OUT ‘MAMMY’ AS GANG MERCILESSLY BEAT HIM IN PARAMILITARY STYLE ATTACK was last modified: June 13th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet
In This Issue. * Currencies are mixed today. * Ruble is crashing despite the rate hike. * Silver Eagles reach 43 million in 2014. * krone reaches parity with krona. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. CBR Hikes Rates to 17%!!!! Good Day!… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, my first day of Christmas shopping worked out just fine, no hassles, and I accomplished a lot! The stores weren’t too busy, and most things I looked at to buy, had a discounted price (or so they say) and if you bought, you also got a gift card, based on how much you spent. Immediately, my thoughts went to, that the retailers are having to stretch to get things sold. The workers at one store said they were busy, but mostly answering questions.. When I inquired about something and said I wanted to buy, you should have seen them fall all over themselves to accommodate me! And that’s how it should be! HA! Front and Center this morning is Russia. Well. the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) hiked rates yesterday afternoon from 10.5% to 17%… No that isn’t a typo, nor did my fat fingers make a mistake. They really hiked rates to 17%!!! That’s crazy stuff folks! Last night, I attended a year-end party that focuses on old Mark Twain Bank people, and one of my old colleagues in the bond Division, and longtime friend, Dean, mentioned that he thought he saw that Russia raised rates to 17%… I thought he had probably made one too many visits to the bar area, but then realized he had just gotten there! So, I got home fired up the laptop, and there it was, a notice from the WSJ about the rate hike. YIKES. Things have gotten totally out of control in Russian finances folks. Like I said the other day, I find it disgusting that the ruble is being treated like this. The initial reaction in the ruble to the rate hike announcement was good, but that quickly changed and the currency has lost about 8 full figures overnight and this morning. 17% interest apparently doesn’t offset the drop in the price of Oil, which fell again overnight to a $54 handle. The ruble is in deep trouble folks. and that brings me to the point I want to make here, that’s on my mind this morning. Russian President, Putin, is being backed into a corner, and we all know what happens when you back a bear into a corner. It comes out meaner than a skillet full of rattlesnakes! And that scares me that we could be picking a fight with a bear. Our military is so stretched thin at this point after 11 years of fighting wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in Iraq again. History from the Romans tells us that stretching your military thin all over the world (to them at that time) played a major part in the collapse of the Roman Empire. Of course there is a long list of things that caused the fall of the Roman Empire. Debasing their currency is another, but that list could go on and then I would sound like a history professor, and I don’t think I would be your last choice for someone like that! But seriously, we as a country need to realize this before it’s too late! Any non-U.S. dollar currency that doesn’t have anything to do with producing Oil, is enjoying a rally this morning, except the Chinese renminbi, which is seeing the PBOC (Peoples Bank of China) play games with the currency. The euro is trading above 1.25 this morning, on news that Eurozone flash PMI’s (manufacturing index) were better than expected, with the composite printing at 51.7 (consensus was for 51.5), and in Germany, the Eurozone’s largest economy, the latest think tank, ZEW, survey on current situation showed an improvement, and the Survey of Expectations were much stronger, with the print at 34.9, while expectations were for a 20 print. I find this data from the think tank, ZEW, to be quite interesting, and tells me that there might be some light ahead for the Eurozone, and Germany. And the currency traders are liking it too, marking the euro up almost 1 full cent this morning. On the flip side of the good stuff going on in the Eurozone and euro this morning, the Norwegian krone is getting whacked once again from the drop in the price of Oil. Last week I told you that the krone was so weak that it appeared that it might trade alongside the Swedish krona, which traditionally is much weaker than the krone. Well, this morning, the krone traded to parity with the krona, and unfortunately, that’s not a good thing. UGH! And after trading to parity, the krone went ahead and is actually weaker than the krona right now. That’s the first time since 2000 that this has happened. A kid could have been born and ending their first semester in High School, and never would have seen the krone trade alongside or even weaker than the krona. This drop in the price of Oil has so many things experiencing damaging collateral damage. Speaking of Sweden. The central bank there, The Riksbank, left rates unchanged this morning, and revised down their forward guidance from the first rate hike in mid-2016, to the second half of 2016. Recall that the Riksbank cut rates at their last meeting to zero, zilch, nada, nothing, a big fat goose egg, and so on, so they didn’t have anything to cut here. But that didn’t stop the Riksbank members from talking about how they are “preparing further measures that can be used to make monetary policy more expansionary, and that such measures could be presented at the next monetary policy meeting.” Uh-Oh. we all know what that means right? It means that bond buying, money printing, debt monetization, or otherwise known as Quantitative Easing/ QE, could be discussed when the Riksbank next meets in February. I think the Riksbank 1. Would be making a HUGE mistake playing with fire / QE. and 2. That their decision will hinge on what the European Central Bank (ECB) does at their January meeting. Remember, the ECB has run into a HUGE roadblock to all-out QE in the form of Germany. And Germany’s Bundesbank member Weidmann reminded the ECB that the roadblock remains in place this morning, saying in an interview that deflationary pressures aren’t strong enough for the ECB to implement QE. OK. I told you above that the Chinese renminbi was weaker this morning and apparently the PBOC decided to weaken the renminbi because the Chinese flash PMI fell to a seven-month low below the line in the sand at 50, falling to 49.5. I DO want to point out here that this data was taken in a two week period instead of the normal 3 week period, so that probably accounts for some of the weakness in the index, which takes the pulse of manufacturing. You know, I’m sitting at my old computer desk in the basement. this is where I did the groundwork in creating EverTrade Direct Brokerage. I came down here to write this week, so that I don’t disturb Kathy. We have all kinds of pictures hanging on the back wall of the desk, and staring right at me, is a picture of me when I was probably about 8. I’m sitting on the back porch of our house, with my dad, and younger brother, David, who we lost a few years ago to a heart attack. the picture is good if you just look at the faces of us three. But if you look further, at how we’re dressed, the condition of the porch, and even the transistor radio that we used to listen to Cardinals baseball games is held together with white tape, you get the feeling that we were poor but it didn’t matter! OK. that’s a changeup. But each day this week, I’ll stop and tell you a story about a different picture on the back wall of the desk. And the reason for that is things out there in the world are getting quite scary to me, and I prefer to talk about these pictures than that stuff! But the scary stuff is why the so-called “safe havens” are in like Flint this morning. Yes, even the Japanese yen is back, gaining two full figures overnight to a 115 handle. The Swiss franc is stronger, but so too is the euro. That euro / franc cross is still dangerously close to the 1.20 cross floor that the Swiss National Bank (SNB) put in place a few years ago. The cross is 1.2009 this morning. with the move to the so-called “safe havens” the franc needs the euro to move stronger along with the franc, or this could get ugly. One true safe haven, Gold, is up $24 this morning, after getting whacked yesterday and falling below $1,200 once again. But that was yesterday for Gold, and today is totally different! I saw this morning that India imported 150 tonnes of Gold in November. I also saw on Google+ yesterday, as I sat at the car dealership waiting for my car to have scheduled maintenance, that Silver Eagle Coins set a new annual record of over 43 million ounces sold in 2014. That’s a lot of physical metal, and yet, it was still not enough to break the back of the price manipulators, so that just tells me we need more buyers of physical metals! NY Times bestselling author, Robert Ringer said in an interview that investors should be aggressive in buying physical Gold. moving their allocation to 50%! Now that’s what I would call aggressive alright! 50% allocation? WOW! I have a feeling that Mr. Ringer believes that there’s going to be some major problems forthcoming, otherwise he wouldn’t be so aggressive in this call! And don’t forget, Silver isn’t just used to make Eagle Coins! Silver, as I told you last week, is used in industrial uses, such as solar panels. Platinum and Palladium are used in things like catalytic converters for new cars, and judging from the car sales component in the Retail Sales report last week, new cars are still hot! The U.S. Data Cupboard yesterday had a strong Industrial Production print, like I thought it would be. November IP rose 1.3% following a revised .1% gain Rocktober, and beat expectations which were for a rise of .7%… There was a 1.1% gain in manufacturing production, and a 5.1% increase in utilities output. So, the components of the report were good, and there was nothing here to really fuss about negatively. I was really impressed with the rise to 80.1% in Capacity Utilization. Capacity Utilization is one of the few forward looking pieces of data that we look at for indications, and this is the first time Capacity Utilization has been back to 80% since the roaring times of the early 2000’s. Today’s Data Cupboard has some lesser prints in Housing Starts and Building Permits for November. Mortgage rates have dropped yet again, so if you have the chutzpah to put down a down payment and are able to repay the loan, why not? Rates are low, and that really is a HUGE determinate of the monthly payment. Of course as long as you don’t need a McMansion! For What it’s Worth. I’ve written a lot lately about the drop in the price of Oil and how it could mean an end to the Oil Shale producers here in the U.S. (which I believe was Saudi Arabia’s original goal to begin with) and here’s a story that I found on Bloomberg last night when I got home from my gala event. You can read the whole article here or just the snippets below. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-12/oil-rot-spreading-in-credit-.html “Credit investors are preparing for the worst. They’re cleaning up their portfolios, selling riskier debt that’s harder to trade in bad times and hoarding longer-term government bonds that do best in souring markets. While investors have pruned energy-related holdings in particular as oil prices plunge, they’re also getting rid of other types of corporate bonds, causing yields to surge to the highest in more than a year. “We believe the pervasive nature of the sell-off is more reflective of overall liquidity concerns in the cash market than of fundamental deterioration,” Barclays Plc analysts Jeffrey Meli and Bradley Rogoff wrote in a report today. “The weakness, while certainly most pronounced in the energy sector, has been broad based.” Rather than waiting around for a trigger to escalate this month’s sell off, investors are pulling out of dollar-denominated corporate debt now, causing a 0.8 percent decline in the notes this month, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch index that includes investment-grade and junk-rated securities. This would be the first month of losses since September.” Chuck again. yes, like I said above the collateral damage from this drop is going to be far and wide. And yes, gas prices have dropped, but have they really dropped as much as they should give the price drop in Oil? I still paid $2.51 yesterday. And yes the low grade gas that people use in smart cars, and the other squirrel powered vehicles on the road (there’s nothing wrong with them, just making a point) is priced around $2.00 But, that doesn’t help me, or the millions of vans, trucks, SUV’s, and regular sedans (are there such things any longer?) .. To recap. The currencies are mixed today, with the Oil producing currencies dropping like rocks from the cliff, and the non-oil producing currencies rallying, except the Chinese renminbi. the euro leads the way higher after stronger flash PMI’s and a very strong ZEW report. The Norwegian krone has traded through parity with the krona, for the first time since 2000. UGH! And the U.S. data yesterday was good. for once, I might add! Gold is up $24 this morning, and Silver Eagle Coins reached a record 43 million sold this year. WOW! Currencies today 12/16/14. American Style: A$ .8235, kiwi .7805, C$ .8580, euro 1.2515, sterling 1.5735, Swiss $1.0420, . European Style: rand 11.3015, krone 7.6075, SEK 7.6140, forint 249.75, zloty 3.3640, koruna 22.0395, RUB 72.96, yen 116.50, sing 1.3015, HKD 7.7535, INR 63.53, China 6.1182, pesos 14.78, BRL 2.7280, Dollar Index 87.93, Oil $54.59, 10-year 2.07%, Silver $16.32, Platinum $1,214.38, Palladium $800.95, and Gold. $1,213.00. That’s it for today. It was great seeing a lot of my old colleagues from Mark Twain Bank last night. One of my fave people is the wily old veteran of right field, Jack Milner! I only see some of these people once a year at this event hosted by John Dubinsky, Frank Trotter, and Chris Lissner. So kudos to them for a nice evening! My old, old boss, Frank Szofran and I talked for a very long time, funny, after all these years, we seem to think alike! He must have seen the light! HAHAHAHAHA! Eric Burdon and the Animals are playing their song: We gotta get out of this place on the iPod right now. A great 60’s song. I’ve been listening to the Christmas station on XM radio in my car, they play Christmas songs from the 40’s, 50’s, & 60’s.. Every hear Dean Martin sing It’s a Marsh Mellow world? Or Ann Margaret and Al Hirt sing Baby it’s cold outside? Great stuff! I was just taking a look at the collection of books I have on just this desk. The Death of Money, Economics in one Lesson, Family Fortunes, Letters to a young Progressive, and Panderer to Power. I’ve read them all, and refer back to them all the time. Oh, and there’s the one James Patterson book here too! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today, and hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
North Carolina and federal health officials want to test whether neighbors of a chemical company are carrying little-understood industrial compounds in their bodies.The state Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday it is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bladen and Cumberland county health departments to test dozens of volunteers living around a Chemours Co. plant south of Fayetteville.Officials plan to check the blood and urine of up to 30 residents for GenX and 16 related chemicals.GenX is used to make non-stick cookware and other products.The state health agency says the results will allow better comparisons to levels detected in people elsewhere, but won’t clarify whether GenX and related chemicals have specific health effects.Test results will be shared with the adults and children who participate.
It’s one of the great achievements of oncology: with advances in treatment, cure rates for children with cancer in North America now exceed 80%, up from 10% in the 1960s.Yet for kids across the developing world, the fruits of that progress remain largely out of reach. In low- and middle-income countries, restrictive access to affordable treatment, a shortage of cancer specialists and late diagnosis dooms more than 80% of pediatric patients to die of the same illnesses.That’s one measure of what’s known as the “global cancer divide”— the vast and growing gap in access to quality cancer care between wealthy and poorer countries, and the suffering and death that occurs disproportionately in the latter.Nowhere is that divide more pronounced than among children, and it’s driven in large part, experts say, by perceptions of pediatric cancer care as too costly and too complicated to deliver in low-resource settings. Those assumptions, they say, prevent policymakers from even considering pediatric oncology when setting national health priorities.But one hospital in Rwanda is rewriting that narrative.Built and operated by the Ministry of Health and the Boston-based charity Partners In Health, the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence is unique in the region: a state-of-the-art medical facility providing the rural poor with access to comprehensive cancer care. And a new study shows that Butaro’s pediatric cancer patients can be cared for, and cured, at a fraction of the cost in high-income countries.”There’s this myth that treating cancer is expensive,” says Christian Rusangwa, a Rwandan physician with Partners In Health who worked on the study. “And that’s because the data is almost all from high-income countries.”Published in 2018 in the Journal of Global Oncology, the study showed that for patients at Butaro with nephroblastoma and Hodgkin lymphoma, two common childhood cancers, a full course of treatment, follow-up and social support runs as little as $1,490 and $1,140, respectively.Much of the savings, the authors report, comes from the low cost of labor, which for the entire cancer center amounted to less than the average annual salary for one oncologist in the United States. They also cite strong partnerships with Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, whose Boston-based specialists volunteer their expertise on difficult patient cases via weekly video conferences with Butaro’s general practitioners.”Most people don’t think about childhood cancer in terms of return on investment,” says Nickhill Bhakta, a pediatric oncologist with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, which has put in place similar partnerships with institutions in Singapore and China. “But there’s a growing body of literature showing that, for governments, treatment is surprisingly cost-effective.”Bhakta says some of the most compelling evidence for the cost-effectiveness of care in poor countries comes from Uganda, where in March, researchers reported remarkably low costs of treating Burkitt’s lymphoma, or BL. The most common childhood cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, BL is rapidly fatal, often within weeks. Yet when treated promptly, intensively and with supportive care, more than 90% of children survive the disease.Worldwide, childhood cancers are relatively rare. But as Bhakta and colleagues reported in February in The Lancet Oncology, they’re a far bigger problem than previously believed. Close to half of all children with cancer go undiagnosed and untreated, they found, suggesting that the already low survival for these cancers in low- and middle-income countries “is probably even lower.””The naysayers will say, ‘we don’t have pediatric oncologists in Africa, how would we possibly address this problem?’ ” says Felicia Knaul, a professor of public health at the University of Miami. “And that’s why partnership models, like those supported by Dana Farber and St. Jude, are so important — they’ve shown that you can bridge that gap and have a tremendous impact.”In 2009, Knaul, then director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, led a push to expand cancer care across the developing world, where a growing burden of disease had garnered little attention globally. “We challenge the public health community’s assumption that cancers will remain untreated in poor countries,” she and colleagues wrote in a 2010 “call to action” published in The Lancet, noting “similarly unfounded arguments” against the provision of HIV treatment.In the early 2000s, more than 20 million people were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, yet fewer than 50,000 had access to antiretroviral therapy. Though the life-saving drugs were, by then, widely available in the U.S., skeptics warned that treatment in Africa wouldn’t be cost-effective.Prevention, they asserted, was the only feasible way forward. “The two most important interventions are monogamy and abstinence,” Andrew Natsios, then head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, told reporters in 2001. “The best thing to do is behave yourself.”Two decades later, echoes of that attitude reverberate in the global cancer divide; even as cancer rates continue to climb across the developing world, low and middle-income countries account for just 5% of global spending on the disease.Still, recent years have seen important gains.In 2017, the World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization’s decision-making body, adopted a resolution on cancer that for the first time urged its member states to address childhood cancers. And in 2018, St. Jude and the WHO launched the Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer, a five-year, $15 million partnership aimed at aimed at ensuring that all children with cancer can access high-quality medicines. Their goal: to cure at least 60% of children with the six most common types of cancer by 2030.”Here in the U.S., it was the suffering of children with acute leukemia that drove Sidney Farber to develop our first real chemotherapy drug,” said Meg O’Brien, vice president for global cancer treatment at the American Cancer Society. “I don’t think Dr. Farber or any of the tens of thousands of oncologists, nurses or scientists who have worked in cancer research or treatment in the years since would be content to see that what we consider one of our greatest triumphs in the battle against cancer has yet to reach children in low- and middle-income countries.”Patrick Adams is a freelance journalist based in Atlanta, GA. Find him on Twitter at @jpatadams Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
By Mario Magaz, UPF SpainSpain has been greatly blessed this past week. While we had Dr Michael and Fumiko Balcomb for the blessing ceremony in Barcelona, Dr Otsuka and Jacques Marion visited Madrid.They arrived on Friday 8th and one of their main purpose was to meet with Miguel Cano, who is Ph D. In Philosophy and Education Sciences.He wrote a few books about “Philosophical Foundations for Peace”, which is a good material we can use to educate our Ambassadors for Peace in Europe. They could spend time with him.They also meet with Armando Lozano (UPF) and Marcia de Abreu (WFWP). On Saturday afternoon they could visit Prado Museum.On Sunday morning they spoke in our Sunday service. Jacques Marion spoke about ten minutes about the development of IAPP and the inter- religious organization that Mother is asking to educate the parliamentarians concerning moral values in Europe.Then Dr. Otsuka gave the main sermon. For most members it was the first time to meet him. He was very close and made a lot of jokes. He gave us his personal testimony about how he joined our movement and how he was matched and blessed to his wife. He spoke about how God prepares everything beforehand. Of course, we have to fulfill our part of responsibility, but God has already prepared 95% beforehand. After he ended his sermon, wetoke a picture with him.