Whole Foods opens doors to London

first_imgAmerican giant Whole Foods Market opened its UK flagship superstore on Kensington High Street, London, last week, with bakery a key attraction.A working bakery and bakery display section are the centrepiece in the entrance area of the store, with point of sale boasting that breads are: “made from scratch in house by our artisan bread bakers”.In total, 35 varieties are offered, baked throughout the day, using unbleached flour.The bakery range in this area includes teacakes, cookies, muffins, and products sourced from upmarket suppliers including Honeyrose Bakery and Popina. The offer also includes chilled cakes and large ambient ’coffee cakes’, to eat with coffee.In total, the new Whole Foods Market food store occupies an 80,000sq ft three-storey premises, with an eating area on the top level, takeaway foods on the ground floor and groceries in the basement.The takeaway area includes hot and cold foods to go. Unlike the company’s stores in the United States, sandwiches are not made to order. A small range of prepared sandwiches and filled croissants are sold from a chiller area at the back, priced from £2.99 for a filled croissant to £4.99 for a large bloomer or baguette sandwich.The grocery area in the basement has counters including a sweets counter, with select your own chocolates and a ’pies, pastries and quiche’ counter, selling items such as chicken spinach and old spot ham seven-inch pies at £34.99.Whole Foods plans to open around 40 stores in the UK. It currently operates 189 stores in the United States and Canada, as well as five Fresh & Wild shops in the UK.last_img read more

Juan Manuel Santos, Kennedy School alumnus and Nieman fellow, wins Nobel Peace Prize

first_imgColombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for his work to end the 52-year civil war between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a Marxist guerilla group also known as FARC. The war, which has left 220,000 dead and displaced nearly 6 million people, is the longest-running remaining major armed conflict in the Americas.Santos, 65, earned a mid-career/master’s in public administration in 1981 from Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and was a 1988 Nieman Fellow for his award-winning work as a columnist and reporter for the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.Santos, who pledged to end the war when first elected president in 2010, “has brought the bloody conflict significantly closer to a peaceful solution, and much of the groundwork has been laid for both the verifiable disarmament of the FARC guerrillas and a historic process of national fraternity and reconciliation,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement Friday.In late September, the two sides reached a landmark peace accord that was narrowly rejected by voters in a nationwide referendum last week.Despite that setback, the committee said it hoped the award would encourage Colombians to respect the current ceasefire and cause peace talks to continue. “The fact that a majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead. The referendum was not a vote for or against peace. What the ‘no’ side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement.”Although Santos was selected for his individual efforts, the committee said “the award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process. This tribute is paid, not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war.”“I was very proud to hear this morning of President Juan Manuel Santos’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize,” said HKS Dean Douglas Elmendorf. “This incredible recognition speaks to the tremendous leadership and vision he has shown in negotiating a peaceful solution to his country’s long and difficult civil war. His courage should be an inspiration to the Colombian people and to the rest of the world.”Santos returned to speak at the Kennedy School in 2010 and 2013. During his 2013 address, he described the great strides Colombia had made in the recent years in education, infrastructure, in erasing the country’s deficit, and in narrowing the nation’s wide income gap between rich and poor.“We broke a trend,” he said. describing the inequality gap that has persisted in Colombia for centuries. Income for the poor, he said, was rising six times faster than it has for those in Colombia’s upper strata.Before entering politics, Santos was a celebrated journalist. Two of his Nieman colleagues lauded his choice as Nobel winner and recalled some of their times with him.Rosental Alves, now the director of Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, said, “He was a journalist, but somehow he was different from us. Sometimes we joked this guy one day will become president of Colombia. It was kind of the class joke. A couple of decades later, sure enough he was and is the president of Colombia. I told him this when we met … in the presidential office there, and of course he laughed.”Another former colleague, Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at the Washington Post, said that “Juan Manuel became a great friend during our year at Harvard, and our friendship continued uninterrupted right after the Nieman year when he went back to El Tiempo, and I went to Buenos Aires as the Post’s South America correspondent. This was the era of the Colombian drug lords, so I had to go to Bogota a lot. Juan Manuel had some executive position at the paper. On one of my first trips to Colombia, he arranged a lunch in the countryside for me and invited all the young movers and shakers in Colombian politics, along with the U.S. ambassador. It was one-stop shopping. In one trip I knew all the important up-and-comers from all sides of the political spectrum.”Colombian President Santos on Rebel Negotiations and the War on Drugs | PolicyCastColombian President Juan Manuel Santos, a Kennedy School alumnus, speaks about the importance of negotiating with rebel groups that have been fighting the Colombian government for more than 50 years; what progress has been made in those negotiations; whether FARC could become a legitimate political party; if the international community has forgotten about the war on drugs; and if that war is winnable. You can hear more from  Santos in his address at the JFK Jr. Forum, sponsored by the Institute of Politics.last_img read more

Viewing the solar eclipse? There’s an app for that

first_imgThousands of years ago, human beings reacted to solar eclipses with dismay, flooding the streets with pots and pans to scare away whatever had blotted out the sun with a cacophony of banging and shouting.When a total solar eclipse crosses the United States on Aug. 21 people will once again take to the streets with a great deal of anxiety, but most will be concerned primarily with getting a good view.With solar safety glasses available at every counter and an expected 2–7 million Americans traveling to the path of totality — the nearly 3,000-mile-long arc from the coast near Salem, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., in which a view of the total eclipse is possible — it is clear that eclipse fever has swept the country. Seeing an opportunity to educate and inspire a new wave of astronomers, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has released a smartphone app, Eclipse 2017, available on iOS and Android.“We haven’t had an eclipse cross the United States like this in nearly 100 years,” says CfA spokesperson Tyler Jump. “Because it’s such a rare and exciting event, we wanted to create an interactive guide that everyone could enjoy. Even if you’re not in the path of totality, our app allows you to calculate exactly how much of an eclipse you’ll be able to see and get a preview with our eclipse simulation. It’s also a great opportunity to highlight some of Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s (SAO) solar research. SAO was founded in large part to study the sun, and we’ve been doing so now for more than a century.”The free app comes with a host of resources for the amateur astronomer. A comprehensive viewing guide offers a crash course in the science behind eclipses and instructions on how to safely observe the celestial phenomenon. Videos from the Solar Dynamics Observatory show the sun in different wavelengths, revealing the many layers of solar activity. Users can also access an interactive eclipse map, which gives lunar transit times and simulated views for any location in the United States.The sun’s corona is visible to the naked eye during a total solar eclipse. Credit: Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.beIn Cambridge, a partial eclipse covering most of the sun will be visible in the afternoon from about 1:30 to 4. But along the path of totality, for up to 2 minutes, viewers will enjoy one of astronomy’s most extraordinary sights: the sun’s ethereal corona. Normally invisible due to the amount of light emanating from the sun’s surface, the “crown” of magnetized plasma reaches temperatures over a million degrees Kelvin — nearly 2 million Fahrenheit — and is best known as the site of the sun’s awesome and violent flares.Monday’s will be the first total eclipse to be visible from the United States since 1991, and the first to be visible from every state since 1918. Though this is the first total eclipse to cross the United States in nearly 40 years, there is a total eclipse visible from Earth about every 18 months.For those who will not have a chance to view the eclipse with their own eyes, the app will provide a live stream of the eclipse as it travels across the country. But if it has to be the real thing, in April 2024 the United States is due for a total eclipse that will travel from Texas to Maine. A lucky stretch of land along the Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky borders will see two total eclipses in just seven years.The Smithsonian Eclipse app was made possible by a grant through the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, with content from the SAO, and is powered by SkySafari 5.John Michael Baglione is a writer and author residing in Boston. His work can be found at johnmichaeltxt.com.last_img read more

Michael Cerveris Will Move Into Fun Home on Broadway

first_imgBroadway.com has confirmed that Michael Cerveris, who starred in the 2013 off-Broadway hit Fun Home, will move with the property to the Great White Way. The Tony winner will play Bruce Bechdel in Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s new musical. As previously announced, the Pulitzer finalist will begin previews on April 4, 2015 at Circle in the Square Theater. Directed by Sam Gold, opening night is set for April 22. Further casting will be announced later. The off-Broadway company also included Judy Kuhn as Helen, Griffin Birney as John Bechdel, Roberta Colindrez as Joan, Noah Hinsdale as Christian Bechdel, Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, Beth Malone as Alison, Joel Perez as Roy and Emily Skeggs as Medium Alison. Related Shows Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home charts a girl’s quest to come to terms with her father’s unexpected death. As she moves between past and present, Alison dives into the story of her volatile, brilliant father and relives her unique childhood at her family’s funeral home. View Commentscenter_img Fun Home Cerveris took home a Tony Award in 2004 for his performance as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. He was also nominated for his 1993 Broadway debut in Tommy, Sweeney Todd, Lovemusik and his most recent stint on the Great White Way: Evita. His additional stage credits include Titanic, Cymbeline, Hedda Gabler and In the Next Room. On screen, he has appeared in The Good Wife, Fringe and The Mexican. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 10, 2016last_img read more

Court hears arguments on capital appeals rules

first_img July 1, 2000 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Court hears arguments on capital appeals rules Court hears arguments on capital appeals rules Associate Editor Launching oral arguments on proposed rules in capital appeals June 9, Chief Justice Major Harding began with wry understatement: “It appears that no one is ultimately happy with what the court did.” The torrent of words to follow from lawyers on all sides expressed a dizzying array of problems and perspectives, as the Florida Supreme Court continues to wrestle with the balancing act of speeding up death penalty appeals without stripping away defendants’ rights. Defense counsel argued the new rules should not be implemented until the court is confident its mandates can be carried out, and that can’t happen unless they can get public records sooner and the system is funded adequately. Solicitor General Tom Warner argued: Never mind changing Chapter 119 public records exemptions that keep investigative files tied up until direct appeal; the court can create a new rule. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement cautioned that changing public records exemptions would have “devastating consequences,” because it could jeopardize related ongoing investigations or the lives of confidential informants. The past chair of the Bar’s Criminal Procedures Rules Committee suggested real-time reporting in capital cases would certainly save a lot of time and that’s a study the committee would like to do. The lawyer for the state attorneys agreed real-time reporting would sure streamline appeals, but asked who’s going to pay for it? The financial burden of bringing all circuits, where some records are still kept by hand, into the high-tech real-reporting world would fall first on counties until the Article V revisions shift the costs to the state. The Governor’s lawyer argued there must be reasonable limits on successive motions and initial motions should be “fully pled and timely filed;” and how about going back to consider what the legislature passed in its special session in January but the court rejected four months later? Eighth Circuit Judge Stan Morris and 18th Circuit Judge O.H. Eaton, who both served on the court-appointed Morris Committee, had different definitions of what “fully pled” means. Justice Barbara Pariente wondered if there would ever be a definition of “fully pled” that all judges would agree to. The Attorney General’s lawyer argued there have to be sanctions imposed against lawyers who fail to comply with the rules and create delays, and the high court needs to take stronger control of case management. A trial judge suggested case management would be easier if there was a special group of trial judges handling capital cases. The American Bar Association urged the court not to adopt proposed amendments to Rules 3.851, 3.852 and 3.993 at this time, citing a list of concerns that included “the exacerbated shortage of qualified, adequately funded counsel for individuals facing the death penalty.” The backdrop to it all is that, in April, the high court struck down much of the Death Penalty Reform Act 2000 pushed by the Governor, saying it violated equal protection and due process rights, as well as separation of powers. The court came up with its own rules for a dual-track appeals system with the immediate appointment of a post-conviction lawyer to handle the collateral appeal. But then the legislature failed to fully fund the capital appeals process and retool Chapter 119 records law that exempts criminal investigative information until the sentence is final or after direct appeal. That made it difficult for defense counsel to meet strict new deadlines. So, on May 17, the Supreme Court issued yet another order extending the time for filing an initial motion for post-conviction relief from 180 days to one year. And the court invited comments. “The rules themselves cannot work, as this court has recognized, unless certain vital actions take place,” said Michael Minerva, representing the Florida Public Defenders Association. “The court focused on the public records exemption, which the legislature did not fix.. . . The other problem, which is adequate funding, has not been addressed.” If the rule were made to apply to all capital cases currently in the pipeline, Minerva said, there would be a need for 85 lawyers to be appointed immediately. “Where are these lawyers coming from? Who are they? What are their qualifications?” he asked. And that’s what concerns Elisabeth Semel, director of the ABA’s Death Penalty Representation Project. “It is our understanding that close to 100 additional Florida capital appeals are pending and may shortly be in a post-conviction posture. Although the Capital Collateral Regional Counsels will be the original appointed counsel for these new cases, we have been informed that they do not have the funding or staff positions to accept these assignments,” Semel said in comments filed with the court. “The burden of this enormous volume of cases, therefore, will be expected to fall upon the Registry [a state-maintained list of private attorneys willing to handle capital appeals] lawyers, many of whom lack the resources, skill, experience and qualifications to provide effective representation. These lawyers, including those who are able and willing to provide competent legal services, operate under a statutorily mandated contract that imposes conditions limiting compensable hours and costs and restricts the scope of their advocacy.” Semel said the statute limits Registry lawyers to a total of 840 hours for the entire post-conviction proceeding, which is less than one-quarter of the average amount of attorney hours required to handle a Florida capital post-conviction case. “In short, the Registry statute and mandated contract have created a system in which indigent death-sentenced prisoners who are assigned Registry counsel may receive effective representation only if those lawyers work hundreds of hours without pay.” And that, Semel argued, “creates a conflict of interest between a Registry lawyer’s own financial interest and the duty of loyalty to one’s client.” As for improving the trial judges’ piece of the puzzle, Judge Eaton suggested that the Morris Committee get back together to advise the court about how to better handle case management and judicial assignments of cases. “You’re talking about a cadre of judges statewide that would be assigned by the chief justice to try these cases around the state?” Chief Justice Harding asked. “Yes, sir. And there are several ways to do it,” Eaton answered, adding that when he taught a capital cases course at the Advanced Judicial College, there was a lot of interest among judges about the concept. Lawyers for both the Governor and Attorney General stressed someone has to take a firmer hand with lawyers on both sides to move the cases, if the court is really serious about reducing years of delays. “Set an example. Hold prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges accountable to reasonable time frames and limit the successive [motions],” urged Martin McDonnell, assistant general counsel for Gov. Jeb Bush. Assistant Attorney General Carolyn Snurkowski put it even stronger: “I don’t think we’re paying attention to case management,” she said. I think there’s nothing in a rule that allows while trial courts may have the inherent ability to do that, there’s nothing that’s forcing them to do that,” Snurkowski said. “Truthfully, they have a lot on their minds. They have cases, speedy trial or whatever coming up to churn that docket and get it out. And so when they have cases come back to them post-conviction, they’re waiting for parties to do something. In any other kind of litigation, the moving party is the entity that gets the case moving along. And if they fail to do that, they may suffer consequences. But we have never imposed that kind of sanction with regard to post-conviction litigation. The reason given is death is different. But that’s not a good answer,” Snurkowski said. It’s the defendant who has the issues to raise and therefore the responsibility to make sure the case is heard, Snurkowski said. “You say it should be the responsibility of the defense attorney to get this matter moving once it’s been filed,” Chief Justice Harding said. “But the state attorney represents the victims, represents the people. And in discussions of these matters in times gone by, the state attorneys have not indicated a significant interest in getting these matters heard. Why should they not bear some responsibility in seeing that these matters are placed on the docket for the trial judge?” Snurkowski answered: “I would suggest to the court that if that’s what is mandated, that is what will be done. But in the past, the burden always has been upon the defendant. I cannot create the issues the defendant is going to raise.. . . “In truth, when I was looking at the court’s rule, I sorely was tempted to say: `Throw out all 3.850 motions. The heck with it. Just let the defendant come up and say what he wants to say, if you want to have an evidentiary hearing.’ But the more I thought about that, that would be as equally useless. You have to have a starting point. He has to have a vehicle by which he can assert what claims he thinks are important.. . I don’t care when you all decide when he has to file his 3.850 — but make the motion meaningful. Because everything that follows afterwards is going to be riding on what he files. And that’s important, and it’s germane to why we’re having this process. At one point during oral arguments, Justice Charles Wells asked: “What is your view, as to whether what we’d be better doing would be to leave the 3.851 rule as it is and work on case management of these cases in the circuits, rather than further tinkering with the rules?” And Judge Eaton, who appeared in his capacity as vice chair of the Bar’s Criminal Procedure Rules Committee, answered: “We’ve spent a year and a half discussing all of this. And out of all of these discussions, there has got to have been something that is productive. And I feel to just leave it like it is, without making an effort to make it better, is a mistake. We’ve all put too much time and effort into it. And I think everybody agrees that this process can be improved. I don’t think it’s a good idea to just abandon what we’ve done.”last_img

Solar stocks drop as election dims prospects for pro-climate policies

first_imgSearch quotes, news & videos Solar stocks drop as election dims prospects for pro-climate policieslast_img

Project of the information system of the cultural and historical ensemble of Šibenik “Geonculeus Si” presented

first_img“We thank the Juraj Dalmatinac Society for recognizing us as a partner who is ready and able to create such an application that we believe will be useful to both citizens and other interested parties. The goal was to design a system that would solve real problems while improving existing processes. We also wanted to create a solid foundation for future expansions given the great potential for example in tourism. Span is happy to participate in such and similar projects because they are good examples of digital transformation in cities, ”Said Nikola Dujmović, President of the Management Board of Span. The aim of the project is to join each building of the old town of Šibenik with an appropriate information card with basic information and conservation guidelines in order to revive the historic city center and preserve cultural heritage. The Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage “Juraj Dalmatinac”, the IT company Microsoft Croatia and Spain signed yesterday in Zagreb, an agreement on cooperation in the project of the information system of the cultural and historical ensemble of Šibenik “Geonculeus Si”. The technologies, knowledge and readiness we possess make us one of the leaders in digital transformation in Croatia, said Tatjana Skoko, Director of Microsoft Croatia, and added: “Šibenik is the first city in Croatia, and probably in the region, where such a project has been implemented. I believe that its value will be recognized by other cities and they will embark on similar projects of their own. We are especially glad that we have registered the Juraj Dalmatinac Company in this project through the Microsoft Philantropies program, which means that the company is in the process of approving the donation of the Azure solution by Microsoft. In this way, as a company, we want to encourage the Juraj Dalmatinac Company – but also all other non-profit organizations operating in Croatia – to use the best technology, while reducing the operating costs of projects, through which savings can realize additional activities within their projects, ”Concludes Skoko. Photo: Association of Citizens Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac RELATED NEWS: ŠIBENIK FIRST IN CROATIA GETS A BUILDING RECORDING SYSTEM Juraj Dalmatinac, the Sibenik Citizens’ Association for the Preservation of Sibenik Heritage, has been working intensively on the project for the last two years, and the first and most difficult step was carefully recording all buildings in the city center, and now the whole story continues – digitization. center_img The information system of the cultural and historical ensemble of Šibenik is based on the Microsoft Azure cloud solution, which is in the process of approving a donation through the Microsoft Philantropies program, and the development, adaptation and implementation is carried out by Span. When the work on programming and creating the portal is completely completed, the Geonucleus.Si project will achieve numerous benefits. The need for the Geonucleus.Si project arose from long-standing city problems: too slow and inadequate renovations, and the consequent reduction of monumental properties of buildings, points out Nikola Grubić, president of the Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac, and adds: “Šibenik’s historic center is one of the most valuable and best preserved on the Adriatic. With the Geonucleus.Si project, we want to enable the historic core to live and for people to stay in it, and with the help of this project it will be easier to renovate their buildings under conservation conditions. I emphasize that the initiative for the information system comes from the local community, from our association that operates at the local level and wants to contribute to the protection of its cultural heritage. This is our contribution to the revitalization of the city center, which will enable citizens to get basic conservation information and guidelines before going to the conservation office, a kind of ‘identity card’ of the old core buildings. We coordinate all guidelines with the competent conservation department. ” About 330 facilities have been processed within the project so far. Ultimately, the system will be publicly available in the form of an internet portal, through which information will be offered transparently, quickly and accurately that will facilitate the maintenance of facilities or investment in the old city center. Having in mind the problems and defined goals of the project, the Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac decided to implement a solution based on Microsoft’s cloud computing system Azure, which will be adapted to the needs of the project and fully implemented by Span. Microsoft Azure was chosen as the ideal platform for project execution because of its productivity, adaptability, intelligent applications, and the trust placed in it by the business community. Each of the more than 2.000 buildings located in the protected city center of Šibenik will soon have its own public access. ‘ID card’with all important data, photographs, and guidelines for restoration. It is a unique project, not only in Croatia, but also in the world. last_img read more

LinkAja credits SOE collaboration, COVID-19 for extreme growth

first_img“Now everyone is using e-wallets because physical money is deemed dangerous as a [vector of] virus transmission,” she said. Digital banking senior vice president Sunarto Xie of Bank Mandiri said the bank had recorded 2 million top-up transactions totaling around Rp 600 billion in May. He added that Mandiri’s collaboration with LinkAja was helping it reach a new customer segment. “We used to say, ‘This is the unbankable segment’. Why? Because the cost of serving them was greater than the revenue we [made]. Digital [payment] platforms have now transformed that by making the cost to serve very low,” Sunarto said.“Transactions through MyPertamina and LinkAja consistently rose along with the completion of digital infrastructure at all gas stations,” Pertamina retail marketing director Mas’ud Khamid said during the same event. He added that Pertamina was pursuing a digitization program for over 7,000 petrol stations and 160,000 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) outlets to offer the LinkAja payment facility, planned for completion by the end of this month PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI), meanwhile, had introduced its own noncash payment facility in 2013 and added LinkAja just last year.“By ecosystem, up to 70 percent of our service users use the e-money [payment facility]. [Some] of these users use the LinkAja service,” noted KCI commercial vice president Karina Amanda . She added that in normal times, the Commuter Line transported over 1 million passengers per day. The train service was currently averaging 400,000 passengers per day. The switch to digital payment systems among the Indonesian public was projected to become a long-lasting trend, said LinkAja’s Edward. Entering June, he had seen “quite a significant increase” in e-commerce transactions and utility payments on the platform.CEO Andi Kristianto of Telkomsel Mitra Inovasi, Telkomsel’s venture arm, said that it had been strengthening its technology infrastructure to better cater to fintech payment services like LinkAja.University of Indonesia economics professor Mohamad Ikhsan, who is also an expert staffer at the SOEs Ministry, pointed out that digitalization would not only help during a crisis, but it would also drive productivity and economic growth. He noted, however, that the implementation of a digitalization policy would depend on whether access and infrastructure, as well as the bureaucracy, were in ready to support a cashless system.“It is possible that digitalization will create greater inequality,” Ikhsan also cautioned, as people with a higher level of education would be quicker to adapt to a digital ecosystem.Topics : LinkAja is a product of PT Fintek Karya Nusantara (Finarya), a subsidiary of state-owned telecommunications giant PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) that was founded on Jan. 21, 2019. LinkAja is now co-owned by seven other SOEs: Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), Pertamina, PT Asuransi Jiwasraya and PT Danareksa. According to the 2020 financial report of parent company PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Finarya was not yet profitable and booked a net loss of Rp 821 billion at the end of last year.The platform’s ties to SOEs have proven a vantage point as the firms help propel LinkAja to the forefront of e-payment players in Indonesia’s fintech sector, particularly as the COVID-19 health crisis has pushed customers, businesses and markets across the country to switch to cashless transactions. BRI consumer director Handayani said at Wednesday’s press conference that top-up transactions among LinkAja users had grown twofold since the outbreak emerged in Indonesia. In terms of transaction volume, the platform had recorded 700 percent growth.  A year and a half since it started doing business, state-backed digital payment platform LinkAja has reported strong growth propelled by robust collaboration with state-owned enterprises (SOEs).LinkAja chief marketing officer Edward Kilian Suwignyo said the platform had assisted 466 traditional markets in 22 Indonesian cities transition to a digital system, as well as connected over 234,000 merchants to its noncash payment platform. “Cooperation between sectors is very important to reach all [levels] of society in Indonesia,” Edward said at a virtual press conference on Wednesday. To stimulate the accelerated adoption of digital technology, LinkAja was not charging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to join the platform, he added.last_img read more

Governors Wolf, Corbett, Legislators, Stakeholders Host Roundtable to Discuss Economic Impact of New Shell Plant

first_imgGovernors Wolf, Corbett, Legislators, Stakeholders Host Roundtable to Discuss Economic Impact of New Shell Plant July 22, 2016 Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Pittsburgh, PA — Governor Tom Wolf today met with former Governor Tom Corbett, legislators, local government officials, businesses, and other stakeholders in Pittsburgh to discuss downstream economic opportunities and workforce needs following the recent announcement by Royal Dutch Shell that the company plans to build a new ethane cracker plant in Beaver County.“It’s important to recognize what this project will do for the revitalization of Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry,” Governor Wolf said. “This facility will serve as the center piece in the region for the creation of new markets for polyethylene with added potential of attracting additional manufacturing investments that will lead to even more business attraction and job creation for generations to come.”“I’m proud to be part of the team that was able to bring the ethane cracker plant to Pennsylvania,” said former Governor Tom Corbett. “This project will bring economic growth to Western Pennsylvania, and also proves that the commonwealth is an ideal location to grow a business and create jobs.”The discussion, which was held at JLL Center in downtown Pittsburgh, focused on the project’s demand for at least 6,000 full-time construction jobs and 600 full-time permanent jobs, as well as the estimated $6 billion economic impact on the region.“This project will have a truly positive impact on our region, and it further reinforces western Pennsylvania as a key player in the energy industry,” said JC Pelusi, Market Leader, JLL. “Our firm is proud to have been part of this collaborative effort from the beginning as we helped Shell throughout the site selection process, and today’s discussion with key stakeholders really underscores the importance of this private-public partnership.”Shell’s Cracker Plant will be one of the largest of its kind in North America, and the largest single ‘from-the-ground-up’ industrial investment in the Pittsburgh region in a generation. The company is expected to break ground in late 2017, with commercial production expected to begin early next decade.“Contrary to reports, manufacturing still has a strong presence in our region. The announcement by Shell ensures that we will continue to see the growth of factory and manufacturing jobs for years to come,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We know that there will be a significant down-stream impact due to the building of the petrochemical plant. I commend the Governor, not only for his leadership in securing this announcement, but also for his foresight in talking about workforce and other future needs.”The complex will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tons of polyethylene per year. Polyethylene is used in many products, from food packaging and containers to automotive components.“The establishment of the cracker plant is an excellent step forward for Beaver County and Southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Senator Jay Costa. This project will serve as a regional economic engine and be a catalyst for further development not only in shale but in associated industries. The new facility has the potential to create jobs and economic energy for generations to come.“When combined with our ample shale gas reserves, the plant positions Pennsylvania to be a leader in energy development among all states. I’m grateful for the commitment from the business to work together to grow jobs, develop our regional infrastructure and invest in our communities.”“This exciting development of a new industry is being helped by state tax credits and we all have an interest in the jobs and economic benefits it will provide,” said Rep. Frank Dermody. “I’m grateful to Governor Wolf for getting personally involved in making sure that the project will be done in the right way to benefit all of western Pennsylvania.”For more information on the Shell Cracker Plant’s impact on Pennsylvania’s economy, go to http://www.newpa.com/key-industries/naturalgas/.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Quirky castle with hydro plant firing on all cylinders

first_imgThe castle and its gravity-fed fountain are heritage listed. Source: Paronella Park. “We are still receiving quite a few guests, and as the monsoon moves away we expect a few more; so we’re hoping for a fairly immediate response after the weather. The Park is still open, and looks as beautiful and green as ever, with the waterfall a spectacular sight.”.Mr Evans and his family began a major operation to restore Paronella Park over a decade ago, with the Queensland Government giving $45,000 toward the cost of restoring North Queensland’s first hydro-electric generator, with donations from the public coming in over $20,000 and the estate borrowing $300,000 from the bank. Queenslander borrowed, still true blue MORE: Rare $250,000 houses hit market How the picnic area normally is with the hydro operation in the background. Source: Paronella Park. Tourists Wen Zhong and her daughter Laurena Ding from China at Paronella Park in Mena Creek during a wet season several years ago. Picture: Anna Rogers. The castle is a stunning sight surrounded by greenery and was the centre of Jose Paronella’s dream on the five hectare site. He built the castle, picnic area by the falls which holds the overflow during flood periods, tennis courts, bridges, a tunnel, and planted over 7,000 trees. He opened it to the public in 1935 with the site abandoned for some time before the Evans began restoring it in 1993. They continue to operate the heritage site as not just a park but an accommodation venue that’s popular for weddings.Paronella Park — open every day but Christmas — is 120km south of Cairns, about halfway between Innisfail and Silkwood on the Old Bruce Highway.center_img Costly fallout of V8 star’s split from wife Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:50Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:50 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenParonella Park with falls in full flood January 201900:51 A file picture of Mena Creek Falls at Paronella Park in full flow with the hydro-electric plant to the side.Australia’s quirkiest private estate, which has its own castle and hydro-electric plant, is one of the few places making the most of Queensland’s wet season. The lush Paronella Park — whose creator Jose Paronella commissioned the Far North’s first-ever hydro-electric plant on the estate in 1933 — had been facing the waterfall running dry just six weeks ago.Mark Evans, the current owner whose passion for the site reignited Paronella’s dream — to award-winning effect — told The Courier-Mail that the deluge was “a sight to behold”.“In the Mena Creek region, where Paronella Park is located, we did not receive the heaviest of the deluge, so for us it has actually been a wonderful bonus,” he told The Courier-Mail.“Wind the clock back six weeks, and we were praying for rain as the waterfall had almost stopped altogether. Now, it is a sight to behold.” More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago“The rain is critical for Paronella Park as the property is made up of lush green gardens and grounds, and we receive the majority of our power from the hydro-electric system, which is running beautifully at the moment.”Mr Evans said there was a short period when the rain got too heavy and the hydro plant had to be shut down.But he said, “at the moment it is running like a dream”. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOKlast_img read more