Comments Share Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories TOKYO (AP) – The world’s tallest tower and Japan’s biggest new landmark, the Tokyo Skytree, opened to the public on Tuesday.Nearly 8,000 visitors were expected to take high-speed elevators up to the observation decks of the 634-meter (2,080-foot) tower to mark its opening. Some reportedly waited in line more than a week to get the coveted tickets for a panoramic view, though Tuesday ended up being cloudy in Tokyo. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The vital role family plays in society Skytree is recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest tower, beating out the Canton Tower in China, which is 600 meters (1,968 1/2 feet).The world’s tallest structure is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 meters (2,717 feet). That’s in a different category because it’s a skyscraper, not a tower.The Skytree will serve as a broadcast tower for television and radio, along with being a tourist attraction. It replaces the 333-meter-tall (1,092 1/2-foot-tall) Tokyo Tower _ a symbol of Japan’s capital since 1958 _ as the broadcast hub.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation
AccorHotelsThe Rooster rules at AccorHotels this Chinese New YearAs Chinese tourists flock to Australian shores, the Year of the Rooster will be celebrated at over 50 AccorHotels across the country from 28 January 2017.The two week festival will see AccorHotels, from ibis to Sofitel, decorated with red lanterns, tea stations, and bright floral displays. Upon check-in, guests can expect to see front office staff dressed in traditional costumes at many hotels, while Lion Dancers will be a highlight at some. A Mandarin tree with hanging red lanterns and red envelopes will be on display in the lobby at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, while a light projection emblazoned Year of the Rooster will feature on wall panels. The hotel’s Bistro On3 breakfast buffet will include a selection of Chinese food including pork and cabbage wonton soup, steamed dim sum, pork buns and gyoza as well as a daily noodle or rice special dish.Traditional Chinese Dragon Dancers will be a drawcard at the newly renovated Pullman Reef Casino in Cairns and the Mayor of Cairns will be officially welcoming Chinese New Year at the hotel and launching CADAI (Cairns and District Chinese Association Incorporated). The hotel lobby will feature cherry blossom trees and Chinese lanterns and the exterior of the hotel will be illuminated red at night. The 5-star hotel has just completed a $6.5m renovation of all its level one public areas.Novotel Melbourne St Kilda will be flying the Chinese New Year flag outside the hotel and will host a special Chinese New Year dinner with staff dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, while Chinese music and karaoke will be playing. The lobby will be decked with Chinese lanterns and red envelopes with chocolate gold coins placed in guestrooms.In Sydney, Novotel Brighton Beach will be serving Peking Duck pancakes while whole Peking Ducks will be on display at a live action station in Bay Garden Restaurant. Chocolate gold coins, fortune cookies and a candy tray of assorted Chinese treats will also feature.Chief Operating Officer AccorHotels Pacific, Simon McGrath, said: “Chinese New Year is always a special time of year for hotels and our guests, and it is pleasing to see so many of our hotels going to great lengths to celebrate 2017’s Year of the Rooster.“Chinese New Year celebrations are an extension of our Optimum Service Standards program Hao Ke Ya Gao in partnership with China Ready & Accredited, which enables our hotels to better cater for the growing Chinese inbound travel market. Pleasingly we now have 53 hotels which are accredited in this program and bringing greater services and benefits to our Chinese guests.“The trend of strong inbound growth from Greater China continues to have impact on our hotels and we’ve experienced a 19.7% increase in bookings made by Chinese travellers via our online systems in 2016. The growth through these channels reflects the latest trends from the Chinese market as we experience a surge in FIT travelers and a shift away from the traditional shopping tour groups. This is exciting news for our hotels particularly out in regional areas of Australia as the FIT traveller is more confident to venture off the beaten track and go to places not frequented by large numbers of tourists.”The Optimum Service Standards program Hao Ke Ya Gao includes training for AccorHotels staff in cultural differences, Mandarin speaking staff, translated welcome kits, Chinese dishes included on menus and mini-bar products, Chinese location maps, newspapers and television channels. UnionPay is also accepted at over 30 AccorHotels which enables guests to conveniently settle their room account with their domestic debit banking card.Source = AccorHotels
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Senate Democrats Urge Reappointment of CFPB Leader February 18, 2013 433 Views Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Barack Obama Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Processing Richard Cordray Service Providers 2013-02-18 Seth Welborn Fifty-four Senate Democrats and Independents issued a letter to the president last week defending the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) and pledging to support the re-appointment of current director Richard Cordray.[IMAGE]Cordray’s initial appointment to head the agency was mired in controversy: Faced with the prospect of a Republican filibuster that would stop Cordray’s appointment, President Obama installed the director early last year as a “”recess appointment””–a move that drew criticism and debate over whether the Senate was actually in a recess at the time.Obama announced last month his intent to renominate Cordray for the position, reigniting criticism and the threat of another filibuster. Adding to the controversy is a “”recent appeals court ruling””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-leadership-uncertain-as-appeals-court-invalidates-recess-appointments-2013-01-25 invalidating the appointments of several National Labor Relations Board members who were appointed at the same time as the CFPB leader.In their letter, Cordray’s Senate supporters decried the opposition’s efforts as an attempt to “”weaken the CFPB through structural changes”” from “”a minority of Senators [who] do not support the existence of the agency.””””[I]t is clear from their public comments that many of our Senate colleagues on the other side of the aisle who oppose his nomination–and even many representatives of the financial services industry who were originally skeptical of his appointment–agree that he is well qualified and has prudently exercised the authorities of the CFPB,”” the letter reads.The letter adds that “”[a]ttempts to force relitigation of issues related to CFPB’s funding and organization by filibustering Director Cordray’s renomination … are irresponsible and inconsistent with our democratic values.””The Democrats’ letter is reminiscent of a similar message sent to the president from Senate Republicans in May last year. Signers of that letter vowed not to consider any nominee for director until greater checks and balances could be put in place. The issue of Cordray’s nomination comes at a pivotal time for CFPB, which recently unveiled a series of new rules and guidelines designed to reform housing finance and protect consumers.Senators “”Jack Reed””:http://www.reed.senate.gov/ (D-Rhode Island), “”Sherrod Brown””:http://www.brown.senate.gov/ (D-Ohio), and “”Elizabeth Warren””:http://www.warren.senate.gov/index.cfm (D-Massachusetts) took the issue a step further, calling on Senate Republicans to allow an up or down vote for the appointment.””After two years, it is time for the Senate to give Rich Cordray a vote–up or down–and remove the uncertainty that is costly to families, to community banks and credit unions, and to everyone in financial services,”” said Warren, the original architect who worked to create the consumer agency. According to a blog on “”_The Hill_””:http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/283211-senate-dems-hold-the-line-on-consumer-bureau, the letter was signed by all Democratic senators except “”Mark Pryor””:http://www.pryor.senate.gov/public/ (D-Arkansas). The two Independents who signed were “”Angus King””:http://www.king.senate.gov/index.cfm (Maine) and “”Bernie Sanders””:http://www.sanders.senate.gov/ (Vermont).
“Faced San Francisco twice a year, faced Arizona twice a year, faced St. Louis twice a year already the last two years,” he said in a press conference following his interview with the team Wednesday. “So there’s some familiarity there.“I know a lot about the defenses, obviously, that I’ve been facing more than I do the offenses, and that’s something I’ll be able to get up to speed on, but I think that helps.”What would also help is the coach’s experience working with quarterbacks. Having worked with Brett Favre and Russell Wilson, among others, it is apparent he knows how to get the most out of his passers.The Cardinals could certainly use improved play from the position.“I haven’t sat down and got to watch each and every one of the quarterbacks,” Bevell said, noting he has seen a little bit of Arizona’s signal callers. “I know it’s been a tough situation.”The Cardinals turned to John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer, and while Kolb was the best of the bunch, none were both effective and consistent. “That’ll be, if something happens that I’m the head coach, that will be something that I’ve got to rectify that, got to figure out what will be the best thing for the Arizona Cardinals and go from there.” Bevell said it’s been about waiting for an opportunity that has finally come.“I definitely feel that I’m ready,” he said. “I’ve put a lot of time in, I work really hard, and someone’s going to have to take a chance but I’m real excited about it.” The latest head coaching candidate to walk through the Arizona Cardinals’ Tempe training facility is somewhat familiar with the area.Though the team wasn’t in the Valley while Darrell Bevell was growing up, the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator — a Chaparral High School product — said his familiarity with the NFC West, where he’s coached the last two seasons, could be advantageous. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments Share Bevell, though, said regardless of position, it’s just important to cater things to a player’s strengths while minimizing the impact of their weaknesses. “That’s what I’ve tried to do, and there’s no better example than Russell Wilson this year.”Russell Wilson may be Bevell’s trump card. A third-round pick out of Wisconsin, Wilson earned the starting job out of training camp and went on to post one of the most impressive rookie seasons in history. Wilson completed 64.1 percent of his passes and threw for 26 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions. He led the Seahawks to the second round of the playoffs and left the field with a lead before the defense allowed the Falcons to kick a game-winning field goal in the final seconds.So yeah, what Bevell accomplished with Wilson is rather impressive.“It was my job to figure out what he did well,” the coach said. “You can see, if you watched us play the first game here in Arizona to the last game that we played there in Atlanta, we evolved and we changed.“It was all changing to do what was best for him, but then also to do what was best for the other guys that are around him to all be successful.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories One of the few times Wilson was not successful was that Week 1 matchup with Arizona. The Cardinals’ defense left an impression on Bevell.“The first thing that I think about is the pressure that they bring, the confusion that they create,” he said. “They’ve done a great job of that; they get turnovers. “They like to really wreak havoc on the offense.”Bevell said the Cardinals “made a mess of things”, and complimented how fast and hard they play. Coincidentally, some would say the team has also made a bit of a mess of their coaching search, which has gone on for more than two weeks and has seen more than a half-dozen names linked to the post. Of course, the team is doing its due diligence, and it makes no sense to rush into a hire.So Wednesday was about Bevell, who may have been brought in rather late in the process but believes he has learned a lot over the course of more than 15 years as a coach.“All throughout the process of becoming a coach in my career I think you prepare yourself to do something like this one day, and you never know when you may have a chance to do that,” he said. “All along the way I’ve been watching the coaches that I’ve been around, I’ve kind of been taking in the things that they do well, watching the things that I think ‘OK, I would do that differently.’”
RelatedBargains of the Week: Perth | New York | MaltaBargains of the Week: Perth | New York | MaltaBargains of the week: Menorca | Dubrovnik | MadeiraSkyscanner’s bargains of the week feature some of the best beaches in Europe and North Africa.Bargains of the week: Faro | Malta | AlicanteBargains of the week: Faro | Malta | Alicante Kerry, Ireland (from £3 return)This is my favourite corner of Ireland, which I’m lucky enough to have visited several times. An extremely picturesque region of the Emerald Isle, county Kerry is a land of green mountains, sandy beaches, long peninsulas, narrow inlets and colourful towns – a lovely part of the world to explore for a long weekend – or longer.Find cheap flights to Kerry from London Stansted and London Luton. Cork and Shannon are also viable entry points. Find cheap flights to Cork from more than ten airports, and find cheap flights to Shannon from nine.Malta (from £45 return)Malta has the lowest rate of smokers in Europe according to the World Health Organisation, so ideal for non-smokers’ holidays. If that’s not enough to tempt you to visit this small Mediterranean island nation, perhaps Malta’s excellent beaches, child-friendly attitude and year-round good weather will be?Find cheap flights to Luqa Malta from 14 UK airports including Edinburgh, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Glasgow and Birmingham.Helsinki (from £58 return)A favourite with Skyscanner staff, Finland’s cool capital is surrounded by sea and a vast archipelago, creating a city that blends Nordic urban chic with outstanding natural beauty. June is the time to see the summer solstice fire festival, and even though Helsinki is one of the world’s most northern capitals, the summers are extraordinary pleasant, with temperatures in the high 20s and the beautiful people taking to the city’s green parks and beaches to enjoy the sun.Find cheap flights to Helsinki from London Gatwick, Stansted, Heathrow and Manchester.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Want a bargain flight? Skyscanner travel editor, Sam Baldwin, uses Skyscanner’s popular “cheap flights from the UK to Everywhere” search feature to handpick three cheap destinations.
15Jan Rep. Cole takes ceremonial oath in Lansing Categories: Cole News,Cole Photos State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, takes the ceremonial oath of office administered by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 14. Joining the new lawmaker for the event were his wife, Stacy, and their daughters Etta, Adalynne and Ruby. Cole was elected last November to serve the 105th House District of Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency and Oscoda counties. Residents are invited to contact Cole and his staff by phone toll free (855) DIST-105; by email, firstname.lastname@example.org; through is office website, Reptristoncole.com; or by mail at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.
Lawmaker: Service animals fill a critical need for veterans impacted by PTSI and other service-related injuries Gov. Rick Snyder today signed into law House Bill 4521, a bill introduced by state Rep. Tom Barrett to provide tags and vest patches for service animals that accompany veterans into public. This bill was part of a bi-partisan package aimed at increasing access to veterans with service dogs.Under the new law, the Department of Civil Rights will provide voluntary tags and vest patches for service animals of all disabled persons.“This will help businesses clearly identify service animals to avoid misunderstandings which have resulted in individuals with disabilities being asked to leave restaurants and stores in the past,” said Rep. Barrett.Rep. Barrett said the law addresses the need for veterans to be accompanied by their trained service dogs in all social situations where they may be needed.“Service dogs fill a critical need for returning veterans who are experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries or other service-connected injury,” said Rep. Barrett, the only post-9/11 Iraq War veteran serving in the Michigan House of Representatives. “Current law grants protection to those with physical disabilities, and this addition delivers similar relief for our veterans with invisible wounds of war.”The new law defines a person of disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that limits life activity, has a history or record of impairment, or is perceived by others as having an impairment. If you have any questions regarding state government, please contact Rep. Barrett’s office by phone at 1-855-328-6671 or my email at TomBarrett@house.mi.gov.### 20Oct Rep. Barrett veteran service animal bill signed into law Categories: Barrett News
Categories: Hoitenga News The Michigan House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Michele Hoitenga to give law-abiding citizens back their fundamental right to bear arms without a government-issued permit.Hoitenga’s legislation is part of a four-bill package that removes the penalties for carrying a concealed handgun without first obtaining a concealed pistol license.“People who can legally own a gun should have every right to carry a concealed pistol without jumping through bureaucratic hoops and landing on a list,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “We all know criminals are not paying fees, taking classes and waiting for approval to come in the mail before they begin carrying guns. Our legislation levels the playing field for honest people who want nothing more than to carry a gun for their personal protection.”Hoitenga said her legislation does not give criminals more access to pistols because a background check would still be required when purchasing a handgun.Under the plan, the current CPL permitting structure will remain in place to allow Michigan residents an option to obtain a CPL to continue to carry and receive reciprocity in states that recognize Michigan’s permit. A CPL will also continue to allow people to carry openly in certain restricted zones.House Bills 4416-19 now move to the Senate for consideration.“I’d like to thank my colleagues in the House for moving these common-sense reforms forward,” Hoitenga said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate and the governor to support the Constitution by supporting these bills.”### 07Jun Michigan House approves Hoitenga’s ‘right to carry’ legislation
State Rep. Triston Cole today reminds residents of the multiple road closures on I-75 during the Mackinac Bridge Walk on Monday, Sep. 4.For safety and security, the bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to noon.“ There will be an increase in volume of travelers,” said Rep. Cole, of Mancelona. “Communities need to be prepared for these road closings.”A complete closure at I-75 northbound Exit 282 in Gaylord is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Traffic will be directed off the exit where travelers can get food, water and gas for the duration of the bridge closure. A closure of the northbound entrance ramp 282 from M-32 in Gaylord is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Other closures on I-75 include:· A complete closure at Exit 310 northbound in Indian River from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Traffic will be directed off the exit where travelers can get food, gas and water.· Northbound entrance ramp 326 from Levering Road from 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.· Northbound entrance ramp 322 from Riggsville Road from 9:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.· Northbound entrance ramp 313 from Old US-27 in Topinabee from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.· Northbound entrance ramp 310 from M-69 in Indian River from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.· Northbound entrance ramp 301 from Wolverine Road from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.· Northbound entrance ramp 290 from Old Mill Street from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Gaylord State Police Post Commander, 1st Lt. Mark Harris has been communicating with local businesses and community leaders about the traffic plans.### Categories: Cole News 25Aug Rep. Cole reminds communities of Mackinac Bridge Walk road closures along I-75
18Dec Rep. Calley supports bills to expand skilled trade opportunities State Rep. Julie Calley recently voted for a bipartisan five-bill package to enhance skilled trade education in Michigan’s public schools.“This legislation gives more opportunity to Michigan children,” said Calley, of Portland. “Our local school districts will have more course flexibility, better access to experienced instructors, and be able to work closely with local business owners. That will ultimately help our state’s students, while giving them improved access to post-high school programs.”The legislation was developed from the recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which includes state K-12 educators and local employment leaders working together to help strengthen Michigan’s future.“We need to encourage students in the classroom while increasing their educational opportunities because that will prepare them for a successful life,” Calley said. “Michigan has more vocational prospects today than it did five years ago. Our local communities have many skilled trades careers available, and giving students exposure to those professions is critical.”The legislation:Creates a K-12 model program that emphasizes career learning and themes for each gradelevel, while focusing on engaging with parents, community businesses and industryinterests;Provides continuing education and professional development credit for teachers whospend time engaging with local employers and professional trade centers;Allows proprietary schools, community colleges and skilled trade employers access – withparental consent – to high school pupil directory information for the purposes of recruitmentand career opportunities;Permits schools to more readily hire professional trade instructors to teach classes thatalign with their expertise.House Bills 5139, 5140, 5141, 5142 and 5145 advance to the Senate for its consideration.##### Categories: Calley News,News
24May State Rep. Sue Allor: House sends guaranteed savings for Michigan drivers to Governor’s desk Categories: Allor News State Rep. Sue Allor, of Wolverine, today joined her House colleagues in approving a bipartisan plan to deliver significant rate relief for drivers across the state.It’s been forty years since Michigan’s no-fault insurance law was enacted in Michigan, but today the Michigan House approved a landmark plan to fix the state’s auto insurance system, Allor said. The bill, which passed with bi-partisan support, will reduce rates for all Michigan drivers.“The costs associated with auto insurance have skyrocketed since the inception of no-fault and are negatively impacting insureds throughout the state. Insureds have told me that quite often they forgo medication, food, or propane to have money needed for auto insurance,” Allor said after the vote. “Passage of this plan is a step in the right direction to make car insurance more affordable for Michigan families.”The reform plan allows insureds to better determine what they can afford by providing wider variety of options, including choosing the degree of health care coverage that best fits their needs. The options range from as low as fifty thousand dollars coverage to the current, unlimited coverage option. The plan also implements cost controls by requiring a fee schedule for medical costs and greater emphasis on identifying and preventing fraud.“Michigan currently ranks as the state with the costliest car insurance in the country, but these changes will bring relief to thousands of Michiganders,” Allor said.The House overwhelmingly voted to approve legislation guaranteeing lower rates, 94-15, and will soon be headed to the governor’s desk and is expected to receive her signature.
20Jun Alexander leads coalition urging USDA to extend protections for Michigan’s farmers Amid one of the worst growing seasons on record for Michigan’s farmers, state Rep. Julie Alexander, chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, today led a coalition of 63 lawmakers in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased flexibility under the Federal Crop Insurance rules.“Our farm families have been struggling with the instability of commodity prices, rising input costs, the implications from changing national trade policies and, now, the wettest 12-month period on record in the continental U.S.,” said Alexander, of Hanover. “Without assistance, the stories of family farms being sold will continue to rise and the increased rural mental health and opioid issues triggered by stress will continue to change to the makeup of our farm communities.”According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, agriculture is Michigan’s second-largest economic sector, contributing roughly $104.7 billion in economic activity.The coalition of lawmakers led by Alexander signed a letter of support that will be sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We encourage you to help ensure this planting season is not a total loss by providing increased flexibility under Federal Crop Insurance rules for utilizing forage and cover crops, including corn silage, on prevented plant acres,” the letter reads. “Time is of the essence in enacting these changes. . . waiting much longer will remove the option for farmers to plant at all because the seed will no longer be available.”Increased flexibility would allow farmers to plant on land normally prohibited by federal crop insurance rules, allowing for more crops to get to market and be raised for feed for a farmer’s livestock.As of June 12, Michigan farmers had only planted 63 percent of planned corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds, according to the Michigan Farm Bureau. From May 2018 to May 2019, this year has been the 12-month period wettest on record, preventing many farmers from planting before the June deadlines elapsed. The deadline for full coverage of crop insurance was June 5 for corn and June 15 for soybeans.Full text of the letter and its signatories can be found here. Categories: Alexander News
Share44TweetShareEmail44 SharesDecember 13, 2016; The HillLast week, NPQ reported on a legal and strategic resource center established to allow disenchanted electors to consider voting their consciences. Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard University constitutional law professor and former candidate for president, has claimed that (as of Tuesday) he knows of 20 Republican members of the Electoral College are now considering their options. (This has not been independently confirmed because the project offers complete confidentiality to those who approach it.)Electors Trust has been offering pro bono legal counsel to “conscientious electors” and also is helping them measure before they go public whether they have enough colleagues to make a difference in the vote.“Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same,” Lessig said. “We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote.” Meanwhile, sources at the Republican National Committee say that only one has come forward: Chris Suprun of Texas.At the same time, twenty-nine electors asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to disclose more information about the Russian hacks and the data related to the election. Ten of these electors wrote an open letter to Clapper expressing the urgency of the situation. In part, it reads:The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations. […] We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.The CIA has publicly concluded that Russian interference helped Trump win the election. When you add the selection of Exxon’s Rex Tillerson who has close ties to Russia as Trump’s Secretary of State, we can certainly see why there might be a call for a briefing. We leave it to the intelligence community to figure out how to arrange such a briefing on short notice for 538 electors, most presumably without security clearances, in 51 separate locations.If efforts to have at least 37 electors change their votes succeed (or if they abstain from voting), and no candidate receives the required majority of votes (at least 270) in the Electoral College, the election of the president falls to the states, acting through the U.S. House of Representatives. The House would be restricted to voting for one of the top three candidates (Trump, Clinton, or Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, who received just over 3 percent of the popular vote).Contrary to typical House procedure, each state would be allotted one vote for president, so the votes of 26 states would be required for a candidate to be elected. With three candidates from which to choose, there is a theoretical possibility that no candidate would receive that 26-state majority.The U.S. Senate would elect the next vice president, with choices being limited to the two top candidates—either Trump or Clinton. Each state is represented with two votes in the Senate, so each senator is eligible to cast a vote.If the House fails to elect a president by Inauguration Day, the Senate’s vice presidential pick (either Trump or Clinton) would serve as acting president until a president is elected by the House.—Ruth McCambridgeShare44TweetShareEmail44 Shares
Share5TweetShareEmail5 SharesBy Milliped [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia CommonsAugust 14, 2018; New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington PostIn trying to protect its reputation and stature, the Catholic Church has failed its mission and those it serves, as a new report on continuing and systemic child sexual abuse in the Church reveals.The details are horrifying. In a 1,400-page report released earlier this week, a Pennsylvania grand jury detailed a pervasive pattern of child sexual abuse and institutional coverup that permeated the Catholic Church across six dioceses for decades. Page by page, the harm done by over 300 perpetrators to more than 1,000 victims is spelled out in shattering detail. Beyond the criminal implications of the report’s details, it is also a lesson in crisis management that an organization can use when faced with staff and leadership doing serious wrong.Accusations of sexual misconduct by priests have long plagued the church. According to Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman at the New York Times, “The sexual abuse scandal has shaken the Catholic Church for more than 15 years, ever since explosive allegations emerged out of Boston in 2002. But even after paying billions of dollars in settlements and adding new prevention programs, the church has been dogged by a scandal that is now reaching its highest ranks.” In fact, earlier this year, the entire bishopric of Chile offered to resign at once after a 2,300-page report revealed the depth of the problem there. Amid a crisis, the Church’s leadership needed a strategy that balanced the needs of victims and the prevention of ongoing harm against the Church’s image and stature. The strategy they chose, from the grand jury’s perspective, was a path that should never be followed.The Church kept children at risk while it focused on avoiding organizational risks and protecting its stature. Rather than deal openly and forcefully to stop the harm and fix their organizational weaknesses, the report described the strategy as “a playbook for concealing the truth”:First, make sure to use euphemisms rather than real words…Never say “rape”; say “inappropriate contact” or “boundary issues.”Second, don’t conduct genuine investigations with properly trained personnel. Instead, assign fellow clergy members to ask inadequate questions and then make credibility determinations about the colleagues with whom they live and work.Third, for an appearance of integrity, send priests for “evaluation” at church-run psychiatric treatment centers. Allow these experts to “diagnose” whether the priest was a pedophile, based largely on the priest’s “self-reports,” and regardless of whether the priest had engaged in sexual contact with a child.Fourth, when a priest does have to be removed, don’t say why. Tell his parishioners that he is on “sick leave,” or suffering from “nervous exhaustion.” Or say nothing at all.Fifth, even if a priest is raping children, keep providing him housing and living expenses, although he may be using these resources to facilitate more sexual assaults.Sixth, if a predator’s conduct becomes known to the community, don’t remove him from the priesthood to ensure that no more children will be victimized. Instead, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a child abuser.Finally, and above all, don’t tell the police. Child sexual abuse, even short of actual penetration, is and has for all relevant times been a crime. But don’t treat it that way; handle it like a personnel matter, “in house.”Some leaders saw their actions very differently and disagreed with the report’s conclusions. At a news conference following the report’s release, Bishop David A. Zubin of Pittsburgh rejected the idea the church had concealed abuse. “There was no cover-up going on. I think that it’s important to be able to state that. We have over the course of the last 30 years, for sure, been transparent about everything that has in fact been transpiring.”Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the current archbishop of Washington, DC, was cited as one of the Church officials who had covered up a priest’s abusive behaviors. He also saw his actions differently. According to Matt Pearce at the Los Angeles Times, “he acknowledged the church’s failings but defended himself by saying that societal standards for handling sexual assault cases had ‘evolved’ over time.” He wrote,[I] sought to implement child-protection policies that kept pace with or were ahead of that evolution. While I expect that this report will be critical of some of my actions…I acted with diligence, with concern for the survivors and to prevent future acts of abuse.At a moment when accusations of sexual abuse are daily headlines, organizations of all types and sizes find themselves facing the same challenges the Church has faced. Whether or not the grand jury is correct in its conclusions, the ability of any organization to keep difficult situations private and out of the public arena is very limited. Going public may be risky, but being caught having failed to deal with misbehavior when it does come to light is even riskier.Just this week, the University of Maryland has faced harsh criticism for its delayed response to the organizational failures that resulted in the tragic death of an athlete. Barry Svrluga, writing for the Washington Post, noted that the university’s delayed public response was a serious organizational problem.The purpose of Tuesday’s news conference, which came four days after ESPN published a searing report about the culture of the football program, was ostensibly for university officials to lay out—again, 63 days after McNair’s death—pieces of what it has learned, and to take responsibility for having in place a methodology that allowed a player who should have lived to die…A global leader in anything wouldn’t have waited that long…A preeminent university would then have spent every moment asking the most basic questions with urgency. Sixty-three days after Jordan McNair died, the University of Maryland is still pondering it all—its football coach, its training staff, its direction—and the entire school is diminished because of it.How quickly and publicly do you respond? Do you gather facts internally, out of the public spotlight, or do you step aside and let law enforcement or other outside authorities take over? Organizations need to set policies to govern these moments long before they find themselves in crisis. When accusations fly, leaders must know how they are expected to respond. Under the gun is not the time to make sound policy decisions.—Martin LevineShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
Swiss telco Sunrise is to launch an IPTV service on Monday. The service will offer 160 TV and radio channels including 29 HD services.A basic package will be available for CHF125 (€103) a month, including 20Mbps broadband and free fixed-line calls as well as TV. HD channels in the package include Nat Geo HD, TNT Serie HD, TNT Film HD, History HD, AXN HD, Sport1 HD, MTV Live HD and Fashion TV HD.Sunrise is making catch-up a key differentiator. The company is offering Comeback TV, with the ability to watch selected programmes from over 40 channels up to 28 hours after their initial broadcast, as well as a pause live TV function.Sunrise is attempting to compete with rivals Swisscom and Cablecom on functionality and he quality of its offering rather than price.Sunrise was acquired from Danish telco TDC by private equity group Cinven in 2010.
Frank Esser is stepping down as CEO of French telco SFR, a decade after taking the position.Jean-Bernard Lévy, the CEO of SFR’s owner Vivendi, will take control of France’s second-largest telco. Last year Vivendi acquired Vodafone’s 44% stake in SFR for €7.7 billion.In a statement, Vivendi said: “Frank Esser was chief operating officer of SFR from 2000 to 2002, and has been Chairman and CEO since 2002. He successfully led the development of SFR in a very competitive environment, both in the mobile, fixed and Internet access markets. The outstanding work performed by Frank Esser and his teams have enabled SFR to become the largest alternative telecoms operator in France and even in Europe.”
Belarusian pay TV operator Cosmos TV has added two new channels to its line up.Success is a channel aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners. Country Living airs programming based on life in the countryside, covering areas including agriculture, livestock and construction.Both channels have been added to Cosmos TV’s basic package.
BBC Worldwide has relaunched its BBCGoodFood.com website, with more video content, better search and navigation options and improved cross-device access. The BBC’s commercial arm said the revamped site, designed with a global audience in mind, “underpins BBC Worldwide’s commitment to deliver one unified experience for its international fan base.”BBCGoodFood.com launched back in 2006 and now attracts up to 40.9 million page views per month. The UKTV-owned GoodFood TV channel claims some 3 million viewers and is available on the Sky and Virgin pay TV platforms.
Belarus telco Beltelecom has added pay TV channel NTV+ Premiere to its digital-terrestrial pay offering.The Russian movie channel is being broadcast in trial mode and replaces another movie channel, Kinolyuks, and will be aired as part of the Zala TV movie package.
Emma ScottUK free-to-air satellite service Freesat now reaches over four million viewers a week, with 32,000 new homes having added the service in the first nine months of the year. Freesat said that its service is now available in 1.9 million UK households and that it has maintained momentum throughout the year, adding 8,000 in its most recent quarter – the three months to the end of September.Freesat’s connected TV service, Freetime, now accounts for 48% of all Freesat set-top-box sales and a third of all new Freesat sales.The satellite service said that Panasonic, which launched a range of televisions in May with Freetime built-in, is also helping to drive Freetime growth with “even higher than expected connection rates.”The Freesat mobile app, which first launched in January and is now available on both iOS and Android, has now been downloaded more than 350,000 times.“It is fantastic to be able to report another solid quarter of growth that demonstrates the ongoing appeal of free TV over pay,” said Freesat’s outgoing managing director Emma Scott.“We have enhanced our offering with our hugely successful mobile app, now available on both Android and iOS, and with our popular Showcase recommendation service, which is helping to drive viewer engagement. I am delighted to see the enduring success of Freesat with consumers.”