Viking Ocean Cruises and Fincantieri have signed a memorandum of agreement for the construction of two additional cruise ships, with an option for another two. The two new ships will enter Viking’s fleet in 2021 and 2022 respectively, and will follow delivery of Viking Sun in late 2017, Viking Spirit in 2018, and a sixth, yet-to-be-named, ship to be delivered in 2019.The new ships will follow the same successful and award-winning design as the current ships ordered and in operation. The entire fleet is comprised of all-veranda staterooms; each ship has a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons and accommodates 930 guests in 465 cabins. As with the other sister ships, the new ships will be built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the “safe return to port” system.Viking is forecasted to have a dominant market share of the luxury ocean industry in 2020 of 23.9% (on a per berth basis according to Cruise Industry News). The agreement will be effective subject to financing and other customary closing conditions.IMAGE: Viking Star Viking Cruises
Marriott International announced yesterday its plans to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, across the Group’s The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari brands. Marriott has more than 200 properties in the development pipeline, representing 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.“Our eight unique luxury brands provide distinct experiences that appeal to different types of luxury travellers, no matter if your priority is residing at the best address in town, completely immersing yourself in your destination, or prioritising your wellbeing,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International.“From the world’s most iconic destinations to the ultimate undiscovered gems, we are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualised, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth.”IMAGE: The Ritz-Carlton Perth resorts
11Nov Rep. McCready’s sinking fund legislation signed into law State Rep. Mike McCready’s bill allowing school districts to seek sinking fund levies for important security and technology upgrades was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Rick Snyder.“It’s important that we ensure our students have a safe learning environment, and that they have access to modern technology so they’re acquiring the skills they need to succeed in the future,” said Rep. McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills. “This legislation gives our local schools the flexibility to fund technology and security upgrades in a fiscally responsible way.”Under current law, voters can approve a sinking fund levy of up to 5 mills for a maximum of 20 years, but schools are limited to using the revenue for real estate purchases, construction costs and building repairs. House Bill 4388, now Public Act 319 of 2016, grants school districts the option to seek sinking fund levies for security upgrades and technology purchases. It also limits future sinking fund requests to 3 mills for a maximum of 10 years.### Categories: McCready News
Share2TweetShare7Email9 Shares“Rosa Parks being fingerprinted by Deputy Sheriff D.H. Lackey after being arrested for boycotting public transportation” by Associated Press [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsJanuary 20, 2017; VogueOn the morning of the women’s march, Vogue published an article by Marjon Carlos that discussed the looks that one might strive for in protesting human and civil rights abuses. At the top of the article, as the first picture in a slideshow of images, was a photograph of activist Ella Baker, beautifully dressed and made up. As Carlos pointed out, that was the Sunday-best look that civil rights protestors aspired to at the time.By reframing the very idea of what a disrupter looked like, the civil rights movement was able to control its messaging. Presentation and, subsequently, dress came to be used as a tool of resistance across the movement—one that some of its most renowned female leaders employed with dexterity. Striking and often jarring optics such as this dignified woman being manhandled by the police revealed the daily horrors that many African Americans confronted, and worked to shame the government into action.But, of course, styles change.Effective and vigilant, these smartly attired leaders helped usher in major legislative victories—from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the Civil Rights Act of 1968—that largely struck down the Jim Crow laws. But in the late ’60s, a major shift in politics—and style—occurred, during which a much more militant group responded to a younger generation’s call for swifter action and feistier leadership. Enter the Black Panther Party…Which brought its own signature looks.No doubt, it was a looser, bolder time, but the look was still purposeful and had a trickle-down effect on all of black culture. Creatives like singer Nina Simone, actress Ruby Dee, and writer Maya Angelou were strongly influenced by the party’s pro-black doctrine. From protest songs to films to Afrocentric clothing, there was a constant production of revolutionary black visual culture. As for the BPP’s foes—those in conservative America who wished to snuff out the party’s growing influence—the defiant look was interpreted as a threat to the state. Even to this day, the image of a black turtleneck, a raised fist, and an Afro can inspire controversy—just look to Beyoncé’s subversive Super Bowl performance last year (which paid homage to the BPP) for proof of the movement’s enduring visual impact.Then, of course, for something more recent, we have the Pussy Riot look, with brightly colored dresses and tights and balaclavas. It’s worth a thought. (Those pink pussy hats just did not do it for me. I’d hate to think of them becoming our signature image.)—Ruth McCambridgeShare2TweetShare7Email9 Shares
Share9TweetShareEmail9 Shares“North Carolina Potty Patrol” by Mike LichtMarch 29, 2017; New York TimesThe University of North Carolina men’s basketball team has reached the NCAA tournament’s Final Four and will be squaring off against the University of Oregon on Saturday night.The Atlantic Coast Conference also moved its neutral-site championships out of North Carolina this year in response to House Bill 2, and the National Basketball Association moved its All-Star game to New Orleans from Charlotte.Some local news outlets reported this week the NCAA had set a Thursday deadline for the state to address the bill. Officials at the association could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A league statement last week stated, “Absent any change in the law, our position remains the same regarding hosting current or future events in the state.”Yesterday, the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature announced an agreement to repeal House Bill 2 (HB2), but LGBT advocates are pushing for greater protections before they would support the calling off of a boycott that the Associated Press estimates will cost North Carolina more than $3.7 billion over the next 12 years. Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, which led the advocacy effort there, said that even if this particular compromise were accepted, it would still leave lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with no statewide antidiscrimination ordinance, leaving them “boxed out of nondiscrimination protections.” Chris Sgro of Equality North Carolina said the repeal “keeps North Carolina as the only state in the country obsessed with where trans people use the restroom through law.”Luckily, the state’s residents are also obsessed with college basketball, and the NCAA is on the precipice of deciding that North Carolina could lose its right to host championship sporting events through 2022.—Ruth McCambridgeShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shares
Share29Tweet4Share11Email44 Shares“Facebook” by Mambembe Arts & CraftsJuly 10, 2017; HousingWireNPQ writes often about affordable housing, addressing advocacy and policy, city and state (and here) issues, typically in the context of how this type of housing benefits low-income households, such as struggling artists. NPQ also writes about homeless residents in San Francisco. This is a story about a different candidate for “affordable housing.”In 2011, before its IPO in 2012, Facebook moved its headquarters to Menlo Park, a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Menlo Park has some 32,026 residents. By 2014, Facebook employed 6,818 people worldwide; by 2017, that number rose to 18,770. Last May, Facebook said it was hiring 3,000 additional employees just to monitor content. Facebook and Menlo Park have a gigantic affordable housing problem. Here is a five-minute video explaining Facebook’s newest vision to help address this community and company need for housing.According to the Rental Affordability Index, which tracks the costs of renting, the world’s highest rents are in and around San Francisco. SmartAsset.com reports that the Council for Community and Economic Research estimates that “the total cost of living in San Francisco is 62.6 percent higher than the U.S. average—and housing is nearly three times more expensive than in other U.S. cities.” The average cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $4,650, $1,000 more than the number two US city (New York City) and $2,000 more than any of the other largest cities in the country. Last year, SmartAsset.com estimated that an annual household income of at least $216,129 would be required to afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment. However, the median household income in San Francisco is only $78,378. To rent an apartment close to work, Bay Area professionals can expect to pay 40 to 50 percent of their salary. Commuting is not necessarily the answer, as just a 20-mile distance at the wrong time and in the wrong direction can often take more than two hours to traverse.The Guardian interviewed a number of tech industry professionals earlier this year about their housing challenges.One Apple employee was recently living in a Santa Cruz garage, using a compost bucket as a toilet. Another tech worker, enrolled in a coding bootcamp, described how he lived with 12 other engineers in a two-bedroom apartment rented via Airbnb. “It was $1,100 for a fucking bunk bed and five people in the same room. One guy was living in a closet, paying $1,400 for a ‘private room’.”“We make over $1m between us, but we can’t afford a house,” said a woman in her 50s who works in digital marketing for a major telecoms corporation, while her partner works as an engineer at a digital media company. “This is part of where the American dream is not working out here.”In a blog post last Friday, Facebook declared its intention to create a new “Willow Campus” on the former 56-acre Menlo Science & Technology Park property it now owns. The new Willow Campus will be located adjacent to Facebook’s headquarters and will be designed by OMA. It will include apartments, a grocery store, a pharmacy, a shopping center, and much more. Facebook will file its plan with the city of Menlo Park later this month, to be followed by at least two years of “formal conversations” with local government authorities and community organizations. Facebook expects the first phases of Willow Campus (retail space and 1,500 units of housing, of which 15 percent will be priced below the market rate) to be completed by 2021. Facebook plans to open this planned community to both its employees and the wider population.Working with the community, our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space. Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services.Last December, Facebook invested $20 million to help create a coalition of local partners to help address the pressing issues of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and legal support. Youth United for Community Action, Faith in Action Bay Area, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, Comité de Vecinos del Lado Oeste—East Palo Alto, and the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park were the first to join. Of that initial investment, $18.5 million created the Catalyst Housing Fund to specifically pursue the production of affordable housing. According to this memo, only 2,148 new housing units were created in San Mateo County over the past six years to meet housing needs created by 54,000 new jobs. Facebook’s announcement about the creation of the Willow Campus is meant to complement the work set forth by the Catalyst Housing Fund. To address traffic congestions, Facebook will invest “tens of millions of dollars to improve US101.”Googleplex, headquarters for Google and its parent company Alphabet, is located in Mountain View, population 74,066, bordering Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area. In separate recent news, Alphabet announced plans to spend $30 million on temporary, prefab housing for 300 of its employees. Alphabet did not yet make clear whether it will follow Facebook’s lead in setting aside a percentage of units at below-market rates.—James SchafferShare29Tweet4Share11Email44 Shares
German cable operator Kabel Deutschland has launched a new HD set-top box using various technologies from NDS.The new Sagemcom box includes NDS MediaHighway software, VideoGuard conditional access, an NDS VOD solution and a customised electronic programme guide.Yves Padrines, vice-president of sales Europe and general manager NDS said: “Through this new offering, Kabel Deutschland is enhancing the user experience for its subscribers and providing an all round higher quality of viewing, not only with HD as standard, but also with access to on-demand for all levels of subscriber.”
New research conducted among UK consumers suggests that price is the factor given the most consideration when deciding whether to pay for an IPTV service. The respondents put price ahead of “good content” and “service performance” in their list of priorities. The study, conducted by ISPreview, found that 57% of respondent were actively interested in new IPTV services, with 47% already having some form of pay TV. 36% said affordable price was the most important element for a new service to get right with 28% pinpointing good content and 18% saying service performance and video quality were the most important factors.
French service provider Bouygues Télécom has introduced an option allowing subscribers to increase the capacity of their Bbox TV DVRs from 40GB to 100GB.Subscribers can extend the capacity of their DVRs via the Extension 60Go option for €12. The upgrade is available to ADSL subscribers only, as Bbox Fibre customers receive a DVR with a 120GB capacity by default.
Liberty Global wants to migrate as much of its TV platform as possible to the cloud as this becomes increasingly practical, according to Mourand Veeneman, vice-president, technology at Liberty Global.Delivering the second keynote presentation on day two of TV Connect, Veeneman said that cloud-based systems were becoming more practical, and that teething problems such as latency would ultimately disappear.“We want to bring everything that we can to the cloud,” said Veeneman. “There is talk about latency [and other problems] but that all will go away,” he said. Liberty Global wants to move “everything to the cloud” ultimately, he added.Veeneman said LG was investing a lot in its own cloud infrastructure. “We still like to control things ourselves,” he said.More generally, Veeneman told attendees that IP is the key to convergence and multiplatform user engagement. “IP is the only thing that really brings everything together. All devices are now IP. We have mobile phones and tablets and they are all IP-based,” he said.Veeneman said Liberty Global would look to develop mobile products this year. He said that WiFi was becoming more important both within the home and outside it as a means to deliver video services to multiple devices.“WiFi is becoming a very important way of distributing multimedia in the house,” he said.However, WiFi remains problematic and there will likely be a need for more spectrum in the future to delvier video service wirelessly, he said. While offloading mobile video to WiFi is currently widespread, the rollout of LTE could ultimately provide a better distribution platform, said Veeneman.Veeneman also said that microprocessors were becoming smaller and the reduction in power required for improved performance would continue. “Less is the new more,” said Veeneman. This meant that set-tops would continue to get smaller, while mprovements in Flash memory meant that liberty Global had achieved a 50% reducion in standard storage rack space and a 78% reduction in power consumption, he said.
Al Jazeera has launched a new Turkish-language channel, Al Jazeera Türk, on the web, targeted at Turkey and Turkish speaking audiences around the world.The channel is currently available via by a dedicated portal – Aljazeera.coom.tr – with accompanying mobile applications and a digital magazine.“Al Jazeera Turk is an important new member to the Al Jazeera Network, serving an important geopolitical market. To launch on digital first continues Al Jazeera’s tradition of innovation,” said Al Jazeera executive director, strategy and business Yaser Bishr.“We have defined our target audience as any geography where Turkish is spoken – Turkey in particular. This means roughly 130-140 million people in Europe, Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East,” said the channel’s managing director, İsmail Kizilbay.Gürkan Zengin will serve as news editor of the new channel.
Swedish broadcaster TV4 has made its first talent sign up for Talengnätverk – Talent Network – the starting point for its new MCN initiative.The broadcaster has signed up local music and comedy outfit De Vet Du as part of an initiative to bring Sweden’s top content creators on digital platforms together under the TV4 umbrella and offer advertisers a way of targeting a younger audience.TV4 Group head of business development described the creation of the Talent Network as a “natural step” that fitted with the advertising business’s need for new creative solutions to talk to younger audiences.
Shopping channel Pearl.tv will start broadcasting in Ultra High Definition (UHD) via satellite and the web this September, in what it claims will be a first for a European free-to-air channel.The launch will coincide with the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, which runs from September 4-9, with SES Platform Services to provide HEVC encoding of the UHD live signal, uplink to the Astra satellites at the orbital position 19.2 degrees East, and internet streaming.“With the launch of Pearl.tv UHD, we’re seeking to raise the quality of our product worlds to a whole new level. SES Platform Services is the ideal partner for the preparation and playout of our TV signal, as it provides us with top-quality UHD services and maximum transmission security,” said Michael Sichler, managing director of Pearl.tv parent firm Enstyle.SES Platform Services’ chief product officer, Sophie Lersch, added: “We’re delighted to be launching Europe’s first free-to-air UHD channel both via satellite and the internet. UHD places specific demands on workflows in the content management, playout and encoding sectors, an area in which we’ve gained a lot of know-how over the past few years. As a result, we can now offer all services that broadcasters and content providers need in order to market and distribute their content in UHD – linear or on-demand, and via satellite or the internet.”
Matthias KurthCable Europe has said that new telecoms competition rules are not justified or proportionate, after the European Parliament adopted amendments to the Electronic Communications Code.The industry body – which represents broadband cable TV operators – commended the Industry and Research and Energy Committee (ITRE)’s work to date, but warned against introducing “legal uncertainties” that could affect companies investing in gigaspeed networks.“The ITRE Committee has made a remarkable effort on this complex piece of legislation. However, competition rules applying to joint dominance need to be strictly aligned with European Union case law,” said Cable Europe executive chairman, Matthias Kurth.“The introduction of additional competition rules which are specific to the telecommunications sector simply isn’t justified and is not proportionate, specifically when you consider the wider competitive landscape and the presence of over-the-top players.”The comments came after the ITRE Committee adopted a number of amendments in a vote on the long-debated report on a European Electronic Communications Code.The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) – a body that promotes market liberalisation and competition – welcomed the “overall pro-competitive compromise reached between the different political groups”, but said that the future of competition “remains a major concern in the ongoing reform”.“Only a fully pro-competitive framework will release the full innovation and investment potential of Europe and deliver benefits for end-users,” said ECTA executive director, Luc Hindryckx.
French commercial broadcaster TF1 Group has continued its recovery from a difficult 2016 by posting increased revenues and a net profit for the third quarter, boosted by a strong performance in non-advertising revenues.TF1 posted revenues of €1.467 billion for the first nine months of the year, up 2.8%, and Q3 revenues of €429.9 million, up 7.1%. A Q3 net profit of €10.1 million – up from a loss of €13.2 million for the same period in 2016 – helped boost the nine-months profit figure to €84.7 million, compared with a loss of €13.8 million for the same period last year.Non-advertising revenues jumped by 21.4% in the quarter to €129.9 million, while advertising sales grew by 1.9% to €300 million.TF1 said that the non-advertising segment had been boosted by a strong performance from its digital activities and its studio arm.On-demand platform MYTF1 saw a 10% increase in the number videos viewed to over 930 million for the first nine months, boosted by the popularity of top-rated shows The Voice, Quotidien and Demain Nous Appartient. TF1 implemented a system of user authentication in April for multi-screen viewing, which the broadcaster said had resulted in 16 million registrations to date, including three million in the third quarter.TF1’s studios and entertainment division saw its revenues grow by 5.7% or €15.2 million, thanks to the integration of Tuvalu Media Group and Blue Spirit and a strong third quarter for Newen Studios.Improving advertising revenues are down for the most part to a strong performance by the company’s digital channels. While the main TF1 channel’s ratings continued a slow decline in its target audience range, digital channels including TMC, NT1 HD1 and LCI saw their share grow.TF1 said the fourth quarter would see the launch of Studio 71 France, the fruit of its collaboration with ProSiebenSat.1 and Mediaset, a slight delay from the September launch of the MCN trailed in June.Q4 will also see the launch of localised advertising for the Belgian market and a firming up of agreements around EBX, the European Broadcasting Exchange for the commercialisation of digital advertising inventory agreed with the broadcaster’s European partners earlier this year.
OTT content distribution platform provider Airbeem has named Miles Weaver as its marketing director. The new role was created following Airbeem securing Series A funding in May to enable it to scale its product R&D sales and marketing and customer success teams worldwide.Miles WeaverWeaver, who will be in charge of the company’s global marketing including product marketing, brand development and PR, previously held a number of positions at Piksel, most recently as director of product marketing where he was in charge of go-to market strategies, as well as creating and evolving brand messaging.He also co-founded Virorum, an iOS app development outfit where he was in charge of external outreach delivering bespoke iOS apps for major UK brands including Metro Newspapers and Teletext.Neil Berry, chief revenue officer, Airbeem, said: “Miles has an in-depth understanding of how to market OTT products and services to various markets. Having worked together before, I have seen first-hand his strategic insight and dynamic communication style. I look forward to working with him as we take Airbeem through its next stages of growth.”Weaver said: “The speed of change and growth within the OTT space is incredibly exciting as it continues to influence global viewing habits and behaviours. I am excited to be joining Airbeem at this early stage as we position the business to support the ever-expanding pool of content owners seeking to directly engage with their audience. I am looking forward to developing engaging and bespoke marketing strategies to reach these markets.”
ShareTweet TINY TOTS AT THE TOWER MUSEUM “These activities will keep young children entertained while providing educational value and will provide parents and carers with an opportunity to enjoy the museum.“All the programmes on offer are designed to encourage early years learning and development, but most of all its fun. ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’ is a chance for children to interact with other children and use their imagination in a fun environment.“Baby Yoga’ is an excellent programme for new mums.“There is many benefits for both mums and babies at this class. THE Tower Museum has organised a four week ‘Tiny Tots’ programme for children aged 0-5 years, which will begin on Thursday 10th August.The selection of specially tailored events and activities for young children will include; a teddy bears picnic, baby yoga, jo jingles music classes and dinosaur based activities.Betty Doherty, Assistant Education and Access Officer at the Tower Museum said it will be an exciting and educating programme of activities for children and their parents/carers.Speaking about what’s on offer, she added, “Museums can be an enjoyable and fun learning space, especially for the younger visitor. “Yoga provides many advances; it provides a great bonding experience with your baby, it provides a gentle exercise for both mum and baby, great for emotional well-being, it can aid digestion for babies, help babies sleep better, keeps them happy by learning techniques for repetitive, soothing motions and it establishes long-term exercise habits for babies.“This is also a great way for new parents to meet other new parents in a safe welcoming environment.“Doreen Laird from ‘Jo Jingles’ will offer a fun, interactive music, singing and movement class for preschool children which will be both educational and fun.“Following the success of ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ event which ran during the Playful Museums Programme in February, we have decided to include in this summer programme.“During the event, children will be given the opportunity to take part in lots of dinosaur based activities within the museum, providing something for everyone in the ‘Tiny Tots’ programme.”The Teddy Bears Picnic, for children aged 3-5 years, takes place on Thursday 10th August, from 10.30 until 11.30am. Baby Yoga, for children aged 0-1 years, takes place on Thursday 17th August from 12.15 until 1.00pm. Jo Jingles, for children aged 2-5 years, will take place on Thursday 24th August from 10.30 until 11.30am. Walking with Dinosaurs, for children aged 2-5 years, will take place on Thursday 31st August from 10.30 – 11.30am.Each event costs £2.50 per child. Spaces will be limited, to secure a place on any Tiny Tot classes please contact Tower Museum Reception on 028 7137 2411.All children must be supervised by a parent or adult.For further details on the Tower Museum visit www.derrystrabane.com.TINY TOTS AT THE TOWER MUSEUM was last modified: August 7th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags:
ShareTweet “We are delighted to have achieved £1,000 sales through the gift card scheme and to see more and more local people coming into our store and supporting our business. “We have been seeing the benefits of the Gift Card. It has encouraged people to return to traditional shopping, visiting the town centre and calling into our shop.“We believe it is really important for all of the small local businesses to work together to promote Strabane’s retail offering and support the work being done on the ground by all businesses, the chamber of commerce and the Strabane BID Company to encourage spend in Strabane town centre and help build the economy. “We are fully supportive of any initiative that promotes Strabane and raises its profile as a great place to visit and shop,” she said.Sinead Lynch who is responsible for rolling out the Gift Card as part of the Strabane BID programme explains: “The In Strabane Gift Card is a Mastercard-based gift card that can be used as part of a full payment for purchases across a network of businesses in Strabane. “The card works in the same way as any department store or shopping centre gift card and can be spent in any of the 60 businesses across Strabane that are signed up. “We are delighted at the success of the scheme to date and are really pleased to see shops such as BeJeweled at Soul benefiting from being part of it.“The scheme is geared towards promoting the town’s unique retail offering and provides a boost for independent retailers throughout the year. “It doesn’t cost businesses anything to join the programme and the BID Company is encouraging as many local retailers as possible to join up. “With over 60 retailers already on board – both independents and nationals – the Gift Card offers shoppers more brand choice with its wide array of products and services, all located within the local area.”This is just one of a number of initiatives to be rolled out by the BID company, who have been working closely with traders in Strabane on a range of initiatives aimed at increasing retail and tourism footfall.The company was created in 2016 after Strabane businesses voted in favour of becoming a Business Improvement District, where local businesses pay a 1.5% levy and work in partnership to raise funds to improve the town centre and the surrounding environment.Louise added that Council is very keen to step up efforts to encourage more companies who want to reward staff to use the Gift Card. Not only is it a good staff incentive but it is a great way of supporting local business. The gift cards can be purchased in bulk at a discounted rate, and the cards can be valued from £5 right up to £500.The ‘In Strabane’ cards are available to buy in Café Fresco and the Alley Theatre as well as online via www.instrabanegiftcard.comBusinesses who want to sign up can contact the BID team at the Strabane Council offices. Email – email@example.com – Tel: 02871 253 253.BeJeweled at Soul ‘In Strabane’ Gift Card sales hit £1k mark was last modified: July 10th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: BeJeweled at Soul ‘In Strabane’ Gift Card sales hit £1k markDerry and Strabane CouncilSinead LynchstrabaneStrabane BID programme THE BID sponsored In Strabane gift card scheme is proving hugely popular with shoppers in Strabane with one local retailer recently reaching the £1,000 sales milestone.BeJeweled at Soul, located on Strabane’s Main Street, is one of the local businesses seeing the benefits of the gift card having secured over £1,000 in gift card sales since the scheme was launched in November last year.According to Ursula O’Neill, joint owner of BeJeweled at Soul, the store is reaping the benefits of being part of the In Strabane Gift Card scheme and she is encouraging other local businesses to sign up, as she believes it helps encourage more shoppers to shop local. Ursula says she is supportive of any initiative aimed at encouraging people to spend their money in Strabane and support the local economy.BeJeweled at Soul is located on the Main Street and is owned and managed by Ursula and her sister Tracy. They stock unique footwear, jewellery and fashion accessories and work hard to source their products throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe in order to cater for every age and budget.Retailing in a town centre environment can be challenging in the current economic climate but Ursula says efforts such as the In Strabane Gift Card are definitely helping in terms of encouraging people to support the small, local town centre businesses.
Google+ Next PostWest Virginia children’s reading group receives award FeaturedLocal NewsNewsWatch West Virginia Natural Resource Police Warning People About Walking On Ice By Tyler BarkerJan 30, 2019, 14:31 pm 528 0 Linkedin Twitter Facebook Mail Tumblr Previous PostWarming Stations Open In Southern West Virginia This week, frigid temperatures are expected all over the Mountain State. With many areas receiving trout stockings, anglers are heading out on frozen lakes and ponds to fish. Any time you venture on the ice, caution should be used. Remember, it is not recommended to be on ice less than 4” in depth. State law requires that holes cut in ice to fish be no larger than 10 inches in diameter.There are some things outside of state law that you can do to minimize your risk as well. Dress in layers, keeping your hands, feet, and head as warm as possible and pack the right equipment to help you out in the worst-case scenario.Bring a pick and rope with you, and remember to always wear a life-jacket when on the ice. Don’t fish on the ice alone. Bring a friend and let him/her, and your family, know where you are planning to fish and when you plan to return.While ice-fishing can be a fun activity to do in the winter months, injury or death can occur if safe practices are not followed. Pinterest Home NewsWatch Featured West Virginia Natural Resource Police Warning People About Walking On Ice Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I hear about strategies that purport to legally allow US citizens to avoid having to pay income taxes, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that it is some sort of dodgy cockamamie scheme. This is because the US government is no slouch when it comes to shaking down its citizens for every penny it can get away with. The mind-boggling spending on welfare and warfare policies necessitates this. It would be dangerously foolish in the extreme to think you could slip one past them. There really was no sure way to legally escape the suffocating grip of US taxes besides death and renouncing your US citizenship… until recently. Every other country in the world (besides the US and Eritrea) practices a system of residence-based taxation. This means that citizens are not liable for paying income taxes to their home country if they become a legal resident of another country and earn their income there. Take, for example, an American expat and a Canadian expat who both live and earn income in Singapore. The Canadian would only be responsible for paying the much lower Singapore income taxes, while the American would be responsible for paying Singapore income taxes AND American income taxes (though the IRS does allow for around $100k of foreign earned income to be excluded from income taxes if certain conditions are met). This is because the US taxes its citizens by virtue of their citizenship (citizenship-based taxation), regardless of where they live and earn their money. Even leaving the US permanently does not absolve you from paying US income taxes. Though Eritrea also practices citizenship-based taxation, it is an impoverished African country and has no ability to effectively enforce it. That’s the key difference. The US government can effectively enforce its citizenship-based taxation policies thanks to its massive economic, political, and military weight and the fact that it does not recognize any limit to its jurisdiction (consider FATCA and Edward Snowden). American expats are therefore in the uniquely unfavorable position of having arguably the worst tax policies and a government that can effectively enforce them. For many, it is a tight and suffocating tax leash. It is no wonder, then, that a record number of Americans gave up their citizenship last quarter to escape these onerous requirements. (You can find more about citizenship-based taxation versus residence-based taxation in this article.) There is, however, another way besides death and renunciation to legally escape US income taxes, thanks to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Of course, the US government could always pressure Puerto Rico to change its policies, but people in the know view that as unlikely. For now, Puerto Rico and its special tax situation definitely deserve consideration for Americans. Puerto Rico may be the best internationalization option for Americans at present, but its conditions may be unworkable for many. Fortunately, many other options exist for internationalizing at least part of your wealth—and your life, should you want to leave your home country and live elsewhere. And honestly, with the global economy in the state it’s in, just about everyone would benefit from internationalizing… it isn’t just for Americans. But how to get started? What are the best ways to move wealth offshore, and what are the best destinations for it? Should you internationalize in the same countries that you move your wealth to? All these questions, and many more, can be answered in one convenient, trustworthy resource. This resource has its roots deeply intertwined with the original “International Man”—legendary contrarian and speculator Doug Casey himself. So you can be confident that every detail has been thoroughly vetted, to not just maintain your wealth and lifestyle… but in many cases, to improve them. Get all the details and get started on your path to internationalization right now. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory (commonwealth) of the US, and this allows it to have a special tax arrangement. Namely, legal residents of Puerto Rico who earn their income in Puerto Rico do not pay US federal income taxes (though they still have to file a federal tax return). All Puerto Ricans are already US citizens, and since it is a commonwealth of the US, Americans are generally free to stay on the island without restriction and do not even need a passport to travel there. In order to obtain legal residency status in Puerto Rico and the associated tax benefits, one would have to be physically present on the island for at least 183 days a year. While US citizens who become legal Puerto Rican residents do not have to pay US federal income taxes on income earned on the island, they still have to pay local Puerto Rican taxes. This only amounts to 4% in certain cases, a pittance in comparison to combined US federal, state, and sometimes city income taxes. This low 4% rate only applies if the services are performed in Puerto Rico for clients outside of Puerto Rico—otherwise a local income tax of as much as 33% is applicable. For example, an investment manager based in Puerto Rico who performs services for US-based clients would be eligible for the lower income tax rate. Consult a tax expert to discuss individual cases and circumstances. In addition, Puerto Rico recently slashed its taxes on dividends and interest to ZERO, and capital gains taxes to as low as zero (maximum of 10%).This is part of a recent program over the past year or so in which Puerto Rico has been promoting itself as a tax-friendly jurisdiction open to Americans, in order to compete with its better-known Caribbean neighbors like the Cayman Islands. Taken together, Puerto Rico is an attractive destination for American companies and individuals who have portable incomes, such as software developers, writers, Internet businesses, and especially those dealing with investments, like hedge funds, in which the majority of the earnings are derived from investment income like dividends, interest, or capital gains. Spending half the year in Puerto Rico, with its beautiful white sand beaches, Caribbean climate, and close proximity to the US is not a bad proposition. In short, thanks to a system of citizenship-based taxation, becoming a legal resident of Puerto Rico is the only way for Americans to keep their US citizenship and legally avoid US federal income taxes. There have been at least 40 Americans who have taken advantage of this special arrangement with Puerto Rico and moved there during the past year. Earlier this year billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson was said to have been exploring this option. Check out the short clip below from Bloomberg about an American who has moved to Puerto Rico for exactly these reasons.