ABIM says industry cannot absorb further cost rises

first_imgThe Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) has said it is not possible for its members to absorb further unprecedented price increases on raw materials.ABIM, with members including Cereform, Dawn Foods, Puratos and Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients, said grain prices had gone up more than 50%, flour 15-20%, starches 30%, wheat starch 45%, dextrose 30%, milk powder 35-85%, lactose 100%, butter 50-80% and vegetable oil by more than 30%.”The impact on margins of these raw material price increases is further compounded by the inflated energy costs facing the manufacturing industry,” according to a position statement it put out this week.”It is now very likely that manufacturers will have to reflect these increases in flour, vegetable oil and dairy products,” said Steven Birrell on behalf of ABIM’s members.He said ABIM would continue to work with members to reduce costs through reformulation and by maximising efficiencies, but that there are not enough cost minimisation opportunities to balance the industry’s major cost increases.last_img read more

Colombian Cocaine Traffic Now Carried by Homemade Submarines

first_imgBy Dialogo June 11, 2009 BOGOTA, June 9, 2009 (AFP) – Colombian drug traffickers seem to have found an effective means of transporting drugs to U.S. and Central American destinations: homemade submarines, as evidenced by the seizure of a total of 46 such devices since 1993, 13 of which were captured in 2009 alone. “About two years ago this method of drug transportation was revived because, in general terms, these ships are harder to detect once under way, and they can transport huge cargos,” Admiral Hernando Wills, of the Coast Guards of the Navy (War Navy), told AFP. According to the Navy, the seizure of semi-submersible ships, seven of which were captured by American authorities and another one by the Mexican Navy, may have impeded the distribution of more than 414 tons of drugs, which would sell for up to $10.35 billion in the American black market. The construction of each semi submersible ship, mostly made of Fiberglas, can cost $1,500 to 2,000 million pesos ($725,000 to 969,000 USD), and their design has evolved over time, especially the hull. “They are basic vehicles built of Fiberglas – which give it very good hydrodynamic features – and the hull shape has been improved to allow them to pass smoothly through the water,” the officer explained. He added that the builders of these vehicles have a good knowledge of engineering, because the engines “are very well located, as is the propeller, which is well connected to the generator.” Besides, he said that “the compartments for storing illicit materials are, most of the time, separated from the engines and the command centre.” Nevertheless, according to Wills, their crews, composed of professional sailors, have to work in appalling conditions during the eight or ten days that the journey to their final destination can take. The officer remarked that each semi-submarine has a system of “bottom valves,” which can be opened by the crew to sink the semi-submersible and its cargo, when they realize that they might be captured; this has already happened on several occasions. The first “semi-submersibles,” so named because they travelled barely below the water surface, transported only two tons of cocaine and the same number of crew members. However, some of the most recently seized semi-submarines could reach any country in Central America from the Colombian Pacific coast, transporting five crew members and up to 15 tons of drugs. Of the 37 semi-submersibles seized by the Navy, 30 were captured in the Pacific and 7 off the Atlantic coast. Curiously, one of the most sophisticated vehicles – Wills said that it was very similar to a real submarine – was found by the Colombian police in September 2000, in the town of Facatativá, only 40 km away from Bogotá, in the central part of the country. It is the only semi-submarine whose characteristics evidenced that its construction featured foreign technology, specifically Russian, while the naval steel sheets of the hull came from Europe.last_img read more

Revisions to certification appeal process being discussed

first_imgRevisions to certification appeal process being discussed September 15, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Revisions to certification appeal process being discussed Senior EditorA proposed revision of the certification appeal process has been referred to the Program Evaluation Committee, but several Bar Board of Governors members have questioned a premise of the change – keeping peer reviews confidential.The board’s Certification Plan Appeals Committee (CPAC) and the Board of Legal Specialization and Education have proposed doing away with CPAC (which takes appeals from BLSE decisions) and subsequent appeals to the board. Instead, a new committee would be created and appeals would go directly from it to the Supreme Court.The sticking point between the two is CPAC proposed that the new committee be composed entirely of board members, a majority of whom are certified. BLSE proposed that a majority of the committee be nonboard members. The board considered the plans at its August 22 meeting in Clearwater Beach.CPAC Chair David Rothman said the committee has had problems handling appeals where certification or recertification was denied because of peer reviews.The committee found it difficult to determine if the denial was arbitrary or capricious, as set out in Bar rules, because it could not see the confidential reviews. BLSE balked when CPAC suggested making the confidential peer reviews available to both the committee and the board when they get peer review appeals.The compromise, he said, was to create the new committee, ending appeals to the board, and give the new panel access to the peer reviews.But some board members said they were troubled that no change would be made to the rule that prohibits appealing lawyers from seeing the peer reviews that caused the denial of their certification.“How is an applicant expected to prosecute an appeal without looking at the reasons for the appeal?” board member Frank Angones asked.Board member Louis Kwall questioned how the board could consider a procedural change without looking at the underlying confidentiality. “How can we send them [to the new committee] without giving the applicants the right to see them and to defend themselves?” he asked.Board member Hank Coxe rejected the suggestion the only issue before the board was the makeup of the proposed new appellate committee. “The whole train is driven by the revelation of peer review and the failure to disclose,” he said. “So why is Lou Kwall’s question and Frank Angones’ question not the real issue?”BLSE Chair Jeff Cohen and Tallahassee attorney Tom Ervin, who represents the BLSE on appeals, said peer review confidentiality has always been part of the process, and that the confidentiality is important to the certification system.BLSE has been reluctant to share any peer reviews above the BLSE level because those appeals are supposed to focus only on procedural issues, Cohen said, and the proposed new committee is a compromise so peer reviews won’t have to be shown to the entire board when it gets a peer review-based appeal.“Effective peer review is just critical to certification. . . and peer review can only be effective if confidentiality is maintained,” Ervin said.He also argued that if someone loses an appeal, the loss of certification does not affect their right to practice, nor is it a disciplinary sanction. In addition, when a certification committee is considering rejecting certification because of negative peer reviews, it contacts the attorney first to allow him or her to submit more names for peer review, Ervin said.Bar President Miles McGrane said since the board did not have the proposed rule necessary to make the change, it was best to send the proposal to the Program Evaluation Committee for more study. That included the dispute over the new appellate committee’s makeup.Rothman said CPAC favored having only board members, since they are elected by Bar members and CPAC is entirely made up of board members. If the majority is not board members, the meetings would be unlikely to be held in conjunction with board meetings which would place additional time demands on the minority board members, he said.Ervin said the BLSE thought it was better to separate the adjudicative function of appeals from the board’s legislative functions. He also said it could be difficult with some board members getting confidential information not available to all board members, and that handling the appeals could be a significant additional burden to board work.Bar Executive Director John F. Harkness, Jr., noted that the Bar’s annual rule amendment package, which would include the change in the certification appellate process, won’t be submitted to the Supreme Court until at least January.last_img read more

Identify, develop your next leaders

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Finding the next leaders in your credit union doesn’t always require looking outside the credit union.Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis., created a leadership development program that focuses on each employee’s current performance and leadership potential to identify those who may have the qualities and skills to be future leaders.“We want to bring people up and give them opportunities,” Amy Bauer, Royal’s vice president of shared project services for the $1.7 billion asset credit union, told a breakout session at CUNA’s HR & Organizational Development Council Conference Tuesday.Team leaders assess each employee and rate their current performance and leadership potential during a talent review. Individuals identified as having high levels of current performance and leadership qualities are then classified as “high potentials.” continue reading »last_img read more

3 questions with CUCollaborate’s Sam Brownell

first_imgCUInsight CO-Founder Randy Smith is joined by Sam Brownell, Founder and CEO of CUCollaborate for a quick interview with just 3 questions:(0:30) What is your company doing to support credit unions and their members during the COVID-19 crisis?(4:30) How do you think that COVID-19 might affect credit unions and the way that we do business in the long-term?(7:36) What tips do you have for staying sane during trying times?For more information about Balanced Wallet, click here or email [email protected] here to learn more about CUCollaborate! 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randall Smith Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust.As one of the co-founders of CUInsight.com he … Web: www.CUInsight.com Detailslast_img read more

Colombia imposes life sentence for rape, child murder

first_imgAccording to forensic authorities, more than 22,000 children under 18 were victims of sexual crimes in 2019, while 708 died violently.Almost 6,500 minors were allegedly sexually assaulted between January and May, the Medicina Legal body said.Until now, the maximum prison sentence in Colombia was 60 years, as the constitution banned “the penalties of exile, life imprisonment and confiscation,” although that clause has now been modified.The abuse of minors has also been a feature of the near six-decade-old conflict pitting government forces against left-wing rebels. Topics : Colombian president Ivan Duque enacted a constitutional reform Wednesday that sets a life sentence for those found guilty of rape or child murder.”Today Colombia has said no to those thugs that try to usurp the tenderness, innocence and principles of our children,” said Duque.On average, almost two children under the age of 18 are murdered every day in Colombia.center_img The top leaders of the now dissolved Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which laid down its arms and signed a historic peace deal in 2016, face accusations of recruitment and sexual violence against children at a special court set up to try those suspected of crimes committed during the conflict.The army also recently fired 31 soldiers implicated in sexual aggressions since 2016, some against indigenous girls.The new law will not be applied retroactively, though.The law has been criticized by opposition politicians, academics and experts that claim an increase in punishments will not result in a reduction of crimes.last_img read more

Indonesia brings graft fugitive Djoko Tjandra back from Malaysia

first_imgThe National Police has brought Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra, a fugitive and graft convict who had been on the run for 11 years, back to Indonesia after arresting him in Malaysia on Thursday.Guarded by personnel of the police’s Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim), Djoko landed at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in East Jakarta on Thursday evening.Bareskrim head Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo said the arrest had been made possible through cooperation between Indonesian police and their Malaysian counterparts. Djoko was first arrested in September 1999 for his involvement in the high-profile Bank Bali corruption case. He was acquitted by the South Jakarta District Court in 2000.After the AGO filed a request for review, the Supreme Court sentenced Djoko to two years of imprisonment in 2009 and ordered him to pay Rp 546 billion (US$54 million) in restitution. However, Djoko fled to Papua New Guinea a day before the court ruling and had remained at large ever since.Djoko recently made headlines as he managed to return to the country undetected and request a case review over his conviction with the South Jakarta District Court in early June. He reportedly filed his plea after obtaining a new electronic ID card and passport, in addition to having his Interpol red notice status lifted.The court, however, dropped his case review plea on Tuesday after Djoko, who was reported to be residing in Malaysia, failed to show up for the hearing four times. Djoko’s legal team said that the fugitive was not able to attend trial due to his poor health.Topics : “The National Police chief sent a letter to the Malaysian police to help with searching the fugitive and, Alhamdulillah [thank God], we managed to locate him [on Thursday] afternoon,” he said in a televised statement after arriving at the airport.“This is also the answer to public doubts as to whether the police could catch [the fugitive], and today we have [delivered on] our commitment to arrest Djoko Tjandra,” Listyo said as he thanked the Malaysian police for cooperating with the arrest.Read also: Cop accused of issuing travel letters for fugitive Djoko Tjandra faces multiple chargesFollowing his arrival, Djoko was immediately taken to the Bareskrim headquarters for further questioning.last_img read more

Bitcoin backed by four in five experts as Aussies trade white picket fences for cryptocurrency

first_imgDavid and Sandra Jenkins were last week reportedly willing to trade thier Sovereign (Islands home) for 500 bitcoin. Picture: Richard GoslingBITCOIN could become the Uber of the financial world, after winning the support of four out of five Aussie experts and economists — and driving some homeowners to consider trading in their white picket fence for a bit of coin.The latest finder.com.au survey of 33 experts and economists has found that 79 per cent do not believe bitcoin is a “foolish” investment.The backing comes amid a surge in the value of bitcoin to over $10,000 last month, which triggered a rise in Australian homeowners willing to give up their piece of the Australian real estate dream for cryptocurrency.Logan Lincoln of property research firm CoreLogic said the 75 to 80 per cent surge in value of bitcoin in the last month had created a major stir that savvy sellers were piggybacking to lift property profiles.“It’s not just Australia, there’s a lot of interest outside of Australia, I’ve even seen properties marketed in Fiji with bitcoin value,” he said. The owner of 1411 Mountain Highway, The Basin, will accept payment in bitcoin.Mr Lincoln said standard settlement periods would have to go out the window in such a scenario.“What would become more common would be the ability to immediately settle. If they have a smart contract based on blockchain, within five minutes of knocking down hammer, both parties would be ready. I don’t believe you can have same day settlement … but in terms of what we’re going to see with blockchain is the ability to create that kind of transaction.”He said “for all this to become normal, it will actually have to get involvement from banks or lenders” allowing buyers to leverage their bitcoin holding.Among those calling for calm was financial expert Peter Switzer.“While I suspect cryptocurrencies are like most things modern and seemingly illegal, think Uber, Airbnb, etc. (which seemingly break laws that incumbent rivals have to adhere to) they will be here to stay. But the bigger question is: at what price? To buy bitcoin now is a punt and you could do okay but I’m more an expert on investment and that’s why I won’t invest in bitcoin at these prices,” was how he described his trepidation in a column.If you’re still determined to swap your slice of the Australian dream for bitcoin, ATO demands you record four things: Date of transaction, value in AUD (from reputable site), purpose of the deal, and “who the other party was even if it’s just their bitcoin address”. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK FREE: GET THE COURIER-MAIL’S REALESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO INBOX This six bedroom home in Mount Macedon, Victoria, is on the market for $2.5m or its equivalent in bitcoin.The Australian Taxation Office has been eyeing off bitcoin for a while and labelled it “akin to a barter arrangement, with similar tax consequences”.“Our view is that bitcoin is neither money nor a foreign currency, and the supply of bitcoin is not a financial supply for goods and services tax (GST) purposes. Bitcoin is, however, an asset for capital gains tax purposes,” according to an ATO statement.Finder.com.au insights manager Graham Cooke believes there’s no doubting the potential behind bitcoin — “unhackable” technology could revolutionise property and finance.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus23 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market23 hours ago“The blockchain essentially works as an unhackable record of transactions and interactions,” he said. “Blockchains are being developed today to keep track of property ownership records and to allow expatriates and immigrants to send funds home to their families faster and cheaper than ever before — this could have far wider implications than the cryptocurrency itself.”The fly in the ointment for real estate, according to Mr Lincoln, was that the risk would be on the buyer.“If you consider a price for a 30-day settlement, bitcoin on November 1 was worth $8,000 and if settling (at month end), it would have been valued at $12,000 to $14,000 depending on what time of day. You may value property at $800,000 on day one (100 bitcoin) and in 30 days that bitcoin value goes to $1.3m. If you’ve lost a 10 per cent deposit on an $800,000 investment that’s gone up to $1.3m, you’re going to walk way.” last_img read more

Feel the tranquillity in this Gold Coast property

first_imgWhat a pool! From the front. 55 Simpsons Rd, Elanora has hit the market.WELCOME to your own private oasis.Vendors Clint and Danielle Barends bought their slice of paradise in Elanora in 2010.“We moved from a small block in Palm Beach wanting space, privacy and quietness,” Mrs Barends said. The indoors flows outside to the deck and pool.“It’s like living in the bush as we look down to a nature reserve. It’s a big strip where we get all sorts of animals including koalas and wallabies.”Since owning it, the pair have completely modernised the house.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa18 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“The house was only seven years old but it had terracotta and blue tiles everywhere,” the mother-of-three said.“It wasn’t rundown as such, it was a just brick house that we basically modernised.”These changes included partially renovating the bathrooms and kitchen and installing new carpet in the bedrooms. There’s plenty for the kids to do.Mrs Barends said the property was a great family home or entertainer’s haven.“Once you come down the driveway it is a really flat, single-storey residence,” she said.“We’ve retained the backyard, landscaped it and put plants in so it’s a very low-maintenance property. “You can really just live here and enjoy it.”Billy Jaz and Jason Monk, McGrath — Palm Beach are taking the property to auction on April 21. Relax in the lounge.Outside, the pair installed a spectacular pool and covered the entertaining area.“The outdoors is really brought inside in the way the kitchen, lounge and deck area all flow,” she said. “It’s a lovely easy layout to live in.”The pair also rendered the outside of the house and restored the roof and driveway.” The kitchen has been modernised.last_img read more

Pension funds ‘have purest approach to long-term investment’: PensionsEurope

first_imgEuropean pension funds have provided some straight-talking feedback on recommendations made by an advisory body to the European Commission on sustainable finance.In trade body PensionsEurope’s submission to the consultation by the High Level Expert Group (HLEG), it said “pension funds have the purest approach to long term/sustainable investment”.“Sustainability is already and by definition has been an integral part of pension funds’ risk-return decisions,” the organisation added, voicing support for the Commission’s “ambitious” agenda on sustainable finance.The consultation asked respondents about various aspects of the HLEG’s recommendations. On green bonds, PensionsEurope advocated that standardisation should be based on the Green Bond Principles, an industry initiative. It said that an explicit connection between the proceeds of a green bond and the environmental, social and governance policies of the issuer was needed.Regarding infrastructure, PensionsEurope pushed back somewhat on the HLEG’s idea of creating an organisation for developing infrastructure projects and matching them with investors. The focus should be less on match-making and more on building out on the European Investment Advisory Hub, an investment support service formed by the Commission and the European Investment Bank.On the much-discussed issue of long-term investment, the trade body said policy horizons needed to be longer.“The EU and the member states should provide for a good investment climate, stable pricing/tariffing (on pricing and subsidies) and a stable policy framework in order to provide long term investors with certainty,” it said.Securitisation got PensionsEurope’s support as a means of gaining long-term exposure to, for example, European project finance, including wind and solar projects, thereby helping institutional investors support green energy.Regulators could promote a concept of green securitisation, said the organisation, in keeping with the HLEG’s recommendations.A theme running through PensionsEurope’s submission was that sustainable finance also needed to recognise the importance of social stability, and not just environmental issues.last_img read more