Rockefeller Descendants Sell Exxon Stock, Plan Divestment From Other Fossil-Fuel Holdings

first_imgRockefeller Descendants Sell Exxon Stock, Plan Divestment From Other Fossil-Fuel Holdings FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Joe Carroll for Bloomberg News:Descendants of John D. Rockefeller sold their Exxon Mobil Corp. stock and plan to dump all other fossil-fuel investments in the latest move against the industry that made their fortune.The Rockefeller Family Fund concluded there’s “no sane rationale” for companies to explore for oil as governments contemplate cracking down on carbon emissions, according to a statement on the website of the New York-based philanthropic foundation Wednesday.The fund singled out Exxon, the world’s biggest oil explorer by market value, for what it called “morally reprehensible conduct,” a reference to a series of articles last year by InsideClimate News that alleged the oil titan knew about global warming as far back as the 1970s and sought to hide what it knew from investors, policymakers and the public. The Rockefeller Family Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund both are listed as financial backers of InsideClimate News on its website.“It’s not surprising that they’re divesting from the company since they’re already funding a conspiracy against us,” Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for Irving, Texas-based Exxon, said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.Exxon, which traces its roots to the 1880s and John D. Rockefeller’s integration of refineries and Pennsylvania oilfields, has dismissed the InsideClimate News allegations as products of “anti-oil and gas activists who cherry-picked documents” to distort the company’s role in climate research.Fossil-fuel investments represent about 6 percent of the Rockefeller Family Fund’s $130 million in holdings, Lee Wasserman, director of the foundation, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.Rockefellers Dump Exxon Holdings That Made Family’s Fortunelast_img read more

Top 4 Off-the-Beaten-Path Memorial Day Destinations

first_imgPhoto by Travis HallMemorial Day Weekend is one of the most popular weekends of the year for outdoor activity. While this is good news for outdoor industry folks and lovers of the outdoors in general, it can make for crowded trails and packed out campgrounds. Use this list from our Editor in Chief Will Harlan to ditch the crowds and find some solitude this weekend.Middle Prong Wilderness, North Carolina“This gem of a wilderness area is right next to the Shining Rock Wilderness. While Shining Rock seems to get all the love and attention, the mountains, creeks, and trails of Middle Prong are just as powerful with far fewer crowds.”Santeetlah Lake Trail, North Carolina“This brand new trail system is similar to Tsali: purpose-built trails that roll along the shores of a lake. But unlike Tsali, which is so crowded that it requires user fees and alternating bike/equestrian days, nobody uses Santeetlah. You’ll have the trail all to yourself.”Cherohala Skyway, Tenn.“Forget the Parkway. The Cherohala Skyway is just as breathtaking but without the traffic. Hike to balds and waterfalls from scenic overlooks.”Upper Bald River Gorge, Tenn.“It’s probably the wildest and remotest section of southern Appalachia, and it’s been proposed for wilderness designation. The waterfall here is massive and jaw dropping, but few people venture this deep into east Tennessee to experience it.”last_img read more

Brazilian Army Tightens Control over Explosives in Preparation for 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

first_imgBy Dialogo November 04, 2015 We can’t let our country remain in the hands of corruption. As part of this effort, they’re closely monitoring the chain of production, sale, storage, and transportation of explosives and other controlled substances that can be lethal when used by criminals, according to the Army’s Social Communication Center (CCOMSEx). About 400 products, including firearms, rockets, explosives, and chemical weapons are officially classified as controlled substances. The Brazilian Army will continue to surveil such materials throughout the competition, which is scheduled to take place August 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro and the capitals of five other Brazilian states – Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Salvador, São Paulo, and Manaus. Rio will also host the Paralympic Games from September 7-18. Operation Short Fuse was the first undertaking coordinated by the Controlled Substances Action Center (COPCON), which the Directorate for the Surveillance of Controlled Substances inaugurated on September 8. Two successful operations The Army “has also been performing specific tests and training exercises beyond the normal seminars and planning sessions,” said General Luiz Felipe Linhares, the Defense Ministry’s Special Advisory Chief for Large Events, in an interview with Diálogo. As part of this effort, security forces recently conducted two operations to monitor controlled substances: Operation Rastilho (Short Fuse) and Operation Alta Pressão (High Pressure). Troops carried out Operation Short Fuse from September 23-25, with inspection teams traveling 37,000 kilometers throughout the states of Bahia, Sergipe, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Tocantins, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, and the Federal District of Brasília. Soldiers visited factories, armories, quarries, warehouses, and mines, in addition to meeting with couriers and miners, in their search for illegal controlled substances. Canine units also helped in the inspection and surveillance process, sniffing along highways used by trucks that transport goods, including controlled substances. Overall, they conducted 342 searches and seized 103 tons of ammonium nitrate (a fertilizer that can be used to produce explosives); 25,401 kilograms of explosives; 821 percussion caps; 65,153 meters of detonator cord; and 400 meters of fuses. Soldiers also arrested two suspects and issued fines or warnings to 64 businesses. One month after Troops carried out Operation Short Fuse, Soldiers executed Operation High Pressure, which focused on pre-selected targets. Those inspection teams seized 15 AIRSOFT guns (pressure weapons that have both permitted and restricted uses, depending on the gun’s specific classification), 24 other weapons, 45 scopes, and 10,291 rounds of ammunition of various calibers, in addition to issuing fines or warnings to 24 businesses and arresting two suspects during 227 inspections at businesses nationwide. “Brazil has never really had a tradition of terrorism, but the Olympic Games do,” he said in an interview with Brazilian newspaper Zero Hora published October 10. “What has to happen is not a human-against-human matter. We must prevent acts of terrorism from ever occurring and not combat the terrorists themselves. We are taking all possible security measures and using all intelligence. We have a tough road ahead of us at the border areas, but we are prepared. The Army alone will deploy between 18,000 and 20,000 service members.” The possible use of explosives and other controlled materials for potential attacks during the Olympics is a grave concern for the Commander of the Army, General Eduardo Dias da Costa Villas Bôas. Preventing terrorism The intensification of the surveillance of controlled products shows that public security forces are on the right path to preventing acts of terrorism at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said Vinícius D. Cavalcante, director of the Southeastern Region of the Brazilian Association of Security Professionals (ABSEG). It’s not just athletes who are intensively training for the world’s largest sporting event, the upcoming 2016 Rio Summer Olympics: the Brazilian Armed Forces are also ramping up their preparation efforts ahead of the Games with the goal of providing security worthy of a gold medal. The planning process also includes the creation of the Integrated Center for Counter-Terrorism Defense (CIET), an agency that will bring together representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defense, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, and Interpol (International Police). CIET’s sole mission will be to prevent and combat acts of terrorism. The center is in the last phase of implementation, as protocols establishing the jurisdictions of each institution and how each will use its unique capabilities are being finalized. “The Armed Forces have an enormous responsibility regarding the planning, coordination, and execution of measures that will ensure safety at an event as large as the 2016 Olympics. Although no event is 100% safe, we must not allow gaps and faults in the system to be exploited by such ruthless and cowardly enemies as terrorists.” “COPCON allows for better coordination of operations and better dissemination of the results of these operations,” the CCOMSEx stated. “For example, a video conference is held every day in a secure location so more interaction and integration can take place within the system.” last_img read more

Personal loans can be profitable loans with digital technology

first_img 45SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Trevor Knott Trevor Knott is a strategic marketing veteran who has spent much of his 20-year career developing marketing and distribution products and services for top-tier banks and suppliers to the banking … Web: Details “The personal loan is hip again…” or so says Laura Alix in her recent American Banker article, “We’re not kidding: the personal loan is back.” The article explains that use of unsecured personal loans is on an uptick, especially among millennials, who in 2015 “took out fewer mortgages and credit cards and relied more heavily on personal loans and auto loans.” The writer’s conclusions are based on a study by TransUnion, which also recently revealed that consumers tend to pay their unsecured personal loans first, even before mortgages and car loans.  TransUnion included unsecured personal loans in its study for the first time since it began analyzing payment behaviors in 2010. The reason? The meteoric growth in the number of these types of unsecured loans, facilitated largely by the influx of online lenders and Fintech firms.Many financial institutions—ranging from large institutions like Suntrust, TD Bank and Fifth Third to community institutions like Pinnacle Bank in Georgia, The Fauquier Bank in Virginia and FMB Bank in Florida—have capitalized on the favorable market conditions by offering unsecured personal loans from their company websites.While many financial institutions have given up on smaller consumer credit due to lack of efficiencies, compliance risks and the cost of adverse action denials, financial institutions that have embraced digital lending technology have seen positive loan growth according to a Moebs Services study… and here’s why:Digital technology—which allows members to apply for and be approved for loans in just minutes, any time, from their computers or smart devices—makes the lending process efficient, profitable and a highly appealing way for members to interact with your credit union. The experience. Mobile-focused consumers, especially millennials, demand a positive digital experience in dealing with their financial institutions. According to TransUnion, consumers like the anonymity of applying for a loan online, not to mention the ease of uploading documents and e-signing. This digital connection is so important, in fact, that 38% of consumers say they have reduced how often they bank somewhere due to a poor digital experience, according to an MX Consumer Survey.Existing member base. More than seventy percent of consumers at the average financial institution have no non-mortgage loans at the institution, yet they hold nearly $10K in unsecured credit elsewhere. Credit unions can re-capture this lost loan revenue by appealing to their established member base–using the credit union’s own documented compliance standards–with digital personal loans. Efficiency. Credit unions can compete with online lenders and other credit sources by adopting an end-to-end technology solution that automates the entire loan process, from application and underwriting to set up, review and renewal. This automation can reduce the cost of processing and managing a loan from approximately $2,400 to $200 or less. A Banking Exchange article reported that institutions using this technology “have seen what nonbank lenders are doing and adopted it—namely moving away from traditional underwriting methods to using decisioning software.” Is your credit union ‘hip’ to offering personal digital loans? Watch the video, “Digital Lending 101” to learn more.last_img read more

Embrace change for 2020 to experience greater outcomes

first_imgA quick peek into what lies ahead for credit unions in 2020 reveals some formidable challenges, but also exciting opportunities for institutions that embrace change and remain focused on putting members first. By keeping an eye on the internal and external conditions that impact your service delivery capabilities and utilizing proven resources to implement consumer-friendly, compliant services, you can make the most of the opportunities that exist and improve the overall service experience for your members. 1. Know your member service needs Though the economy remains stable, 41 percent of households in America would struggle if faced with an unexpected expense of just $400. What’s surprising is that many respondents to a research study indicated that they have the money in their checking or savings account. But it is already allocated for other expenses. In these situations, where do consumers turn for help?Implementing programs that assist members with accomplishing their financial goals has always been part and parcel to the credit union movement. For Plus4 Credit Union, this includes providing a responsible option to help members cover occasional overdrafts. While managing their program in-house, credit union leadership began to notice that member outreach efforts were lacking consistency. They were concerned about whether they were providing all members with options to meet their individual needs. To address this concern, leadership upgraded to a fully disclosed overdraft solution. And by committing to a strategy that was supported by program implementation and maintenance experts, the credit union achieved a better level of across-the-board service consistency.2. Make effective technology decisionsGoing up against the big banks and fintech companies can seem overwhelming for community credit unions. But in today’s tech-driven world, effective utilization of cloud-based software and intelligent analytics is a major component for driving growth and creating a satisfactory member experience.  Another reason Plus4 management reached out to a professional overdraft provider was their inability to track overdraft program use and results effectively. Consequently, they weren’t able to precisely identify which members had opted into coverage for POS and ATM transactions. After updating their overdraft program—powered by next generation software—they gained access to important program tracking and analytics in an easy-to-use format. This allowed program administrators to see who was participating in the program and helped identify which members they hadn’t spoken to about the service—or who might need a follow-up to help them use it more effectively.3. Know when it’s time to ask for helpConsumer preference for mobile and online banking options is on the rise. But that doesn’t mean they are ready to give up the opportunity for face-to-face service when they have a question about their account or need financial advice.In these situations, it is incumbent on credit unions to have knowledgeable staff members who can address member concerns and confidently explain the services that are available to meet their financial needs. Plus4 employees gained insight into what makes an overdraft program valuable to members through professional training resources. They learned what elements had been missing from their program, as well as where they needed to focus in order to improve processes and procedures.The credit union also took advantage of compliance expertise and advice to ensure they were fully compliant regarding consumer protection regulations or other oversight related to their overdraft strategy. Expert reviews of their member disclosures sealed their confidence that their program would avoid examiner scrutiny or possible civil litigation.As technology and evolving consumer service trends continue to drive the way our industry operates, being open to change, and seeking expert advice and resources in order to retool outdated and obsolete solutions is essential for optimal performance. For Plus4 Credit Union, gaining professional insight into how to maintain a socially responsible, compliance-guaranteed overdraft program was in line with its mission “to invest in people to improve lives” and led to stronger member relationships and growth opportunities. >> Read the full Plus4 Credit Union case study. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Roe Prior to joining JMFA, Mark was a sales manager in the Texas market for a major bank with headquarters on the West coast. His experience also includes managing the accounting, … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Court ruling again stops anthrax shots for US soldiers

first_img See also: US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington, DC, ruled yesterday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to follow proper procedures in approving use of the anthrax vaccine to prevent inhalational anthrax. According to a Washington Post report today, Mark Zaid, a lawyer for the six plaintiffs, said he would take steps to reverse all penalties inflicted on soldiers who refused to take the vaccine. He also promised to seek compensation for those who claim they were harmed by the vaccine. The judge said the FDA took no further action until December 2003, shortly after his initial ruling in the lawsuit. In confirming the vaccine’s license at that time, and saying it was effective for all forms of anthrax disease, the FDA relied partly on post-1986 research findings, on which the public never had a chance to comment, according to Sullivan. “By refusing to give the American public an opportunity to submit meaningful comments on the anthrax vaccine’s classification, the agency violated the Administrative Procedure Act,” Sullivan wrote in the conclusion of a 41-page opinion. In 1985, the expert panel recommended confirming the approval of the anthrax vaccine and certain other products, saying the vaccine was effective against cutaneous anthrax in at-risk workers. The FDA then proposed to issue the approval and called for public comments, Sullivan wrote. Only four comments were received by the 1986 deadline, none of them specific to the anthrax vaccine. In the latest ruling, Sullivan said the FDA failed to follow its own rules in approving use of the vaccine for inhalational anthrax. He explained that the agency took over licensing of drugs and vaccines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1972. The FDA subsequently set up formal procedures for reviewing products that had been licensed by the NIH. The procedures included reviews by an expert panel and soliciting public comments before confirming the product approvals. Sullivan’s ruling came in a suit filed by six military members and civilian contractor employees. In an initial ruling in December 2003, the judge ordered DoD to stop requiring the shots on the ground that the FDA had never specifically approved the vaccine for inhalational anthrax, as distinguished from cutaneous anthrax. The FDA quickly responded with a statement, based on the findings of an expert panel in 1985 and on subsequent research, that the vaccine is safe and effective for all forms of anthrax. Sullivan then lifted his injunction in January 2004, little more then 2 weeks after he had issued it.center_img More than 1 million military personnel, mostly those serving in the Middle East, have had to receive anthrax shots since 1998. Because of worries about side effects, some troops have refused the shots and been punished or forced out of the military. Oct 28, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Defense (DoD) has suspended its anthrax vaccination program in response to a federal court ruling that military personnel should not have to accept the shots against their will unless the president orders them to do so. “This court will not permit the government to circumvent this requirement,” the judge wrote. “The men and women of our armed forces deserve the assurance that the vaccines our government compels them to take into their bodies have been tested by the greatest scrutiny of all—public scrutiny. This is the process the FDA in its expert judgment has outlined, and this is the course this Court shall compel FDA to follow.” As in his previous ruling, Sullivan cited a 1998 law barring DoD from forcing its personnel to take investigational new drugs or drugs not approved for their intended use. Under the law, only the president can waive the requirement for informed consent. In response, DoD issued a statement yesterday saying it would “pause giving anthrax vaccinations until the legal situation is clarified.” The statement added, “DoD remains convinced that the anthrax immunization program complies with all the legal requirements and that the anthrax vaccine is safe.” Asserting that the vaccine amounts to “either a drug unapproved for its intended use or an investigational new drug,” Sullivan said the vaccination program is illegal unless the shots are voluntary or the president waives the requirement for informed consent. DoD news release read more

Marketing: Driving ambitions

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Nine foreign students at East Java boarding school test positive for COVID-19

first_imgThe East Java and Magetan COVID-19 task forces traced the people Al Fatah students had been in contact with early last week after Malaysian health authorities announced on April 19 that 43 Malaysian students who had returned from the boarding school had tested positive for COVID-19.The Malaysian embassy in Jakarta has said it will repatriate the remaining Malaysian students in Temboro village. Read also: East Java boarding school undergoes rapid COVID-19 testing after Malaysia reports imported casesMuchlissun said the task force performed rapid testing on 305 students and that 31 of them had tested positive. In order to obtain more reliable results, the task force then took swab samples for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which confirmed that 16 of the students had the virus.   The foreign students, aged 16 to 28, are not able to leave Magetan yet, as they need to recover from the virus.The remaining seven students are from Lampung; Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara; Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi; Makasar, South Sulawesi; Temanggung, Central Java, and two are from Magetan itself. Muchlissun said surveillance for COVID-19 was still underway for Al Fatah students amid the quarantine and that recent rapid testing had found another eight students positive for COVID-19. He declined to give further details on the students.Al Fatah boarding school has more than 22,000 students, 2,000 of whom are foreigners, mostly from Southeast Asian countries. Al Fatah is also known as the local base for an Islamic group known as Jamaah Tabligh, whose members regularly travel far from their homes for months to preach Islamic teachings at mosques. The group has held events in Malaysia, India and South Sulawesi that have been linked to several COVID-19 cases in the areas.The provincial task force has said Al Fatah Islamic boarding school constitutes a severe red zone as it is a new transmission cluster in Magetan. Temboro village has been under strict quarantine since last week to contain the virus.The secretary of the East Java provincial administration, Heru Tjahjono, said on Saturday that 164 students from Al Fatah would be repatriated to Malaysia on Monday. “We will help transport them from Magetan to Juanda Airport in Surabaya,” he said. Magetan regency is the now fourth-hardest-hit region in East Java, after Surabaya, Sidoarjo and Lamongan.East Java has the third-most cases of any province in Indonesia with 785 confirmed cases and 87 fatalities as of Sunday.Topics : Eight Malaysian students and one Thai student from Al Fatah Islamic boarding school in Temboro village, Magetan regency, East Java, have tested positive for COVID-19 after contact tracing and quarantine measures were instated in the village following reports of dozens of students infected with the virus.The nine foreign santri (Islamic boarding school students) were among 16 students whose swab samples tested positive for COVID-19, Magetan COVID-19 task force spokesman Saif Muchlissun said.”This is the result of the first phase of contact tracing in Al Fatah pesantren [Islamic boarding school], which we ran after the Malaysian government announced a new cluster originated here,” he told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. last_img read more

UK risks twice-as-big second COVID wave without better testing, study finds

first_img“However, we also predict that in the absence of sufficiently broad test–trace–isolate coverage, reopening of schools combined with accompanied reopening of society across all scenarios might induce a second COVID-19 wave,” said the study, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.”Our modeling results suggest that full school reopening in September 2020 without an effective test-trace-isolate strategy would result in R rising above 1 and a resulting second wave of infections that would peak in December 2020 and be 2.0-2·3 times the size of the original COVID-19 wave.”The lead author of the study, Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths, said the test-and-trace system in England was currently reaching only about 50% of contacts of all those testing positive for COVID-19.Panovska-Griffiths, lecturer in mathematical modeling at University College London, told BBC radio that the worst scenarios could still be avoided. Britain faces a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as widespread as the initial outbreak if it reopens schools without a more effective test-and-trace system in place, according to a study published on Tuesday.Researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine modeled the impact of reopening schools either on a full- or part-time basis, thus allowing parents to return to work, on the potential spread of the virus.They concluded a second wave could be prevented if 75% of those with symptoms were found and tested and 68% of their contacts were traced, or if 87% of people with symptoms were found and 40% of their contacts tested. “Importantly, what we find is that it is possible to avoid a second epidemic wave if enough people with symptomatic infections can be diagnosed. Their contacts can then be traced and effectively isolated,” she said.”We are the first study that has quantified this, how much this needs to be for the UK.”Schools in Britain closed in March during the national lockdown, except for the children of key workers, and reopened for a small number of pupils in June.However, the government says all pupils will return to school across the United Kingdom by early September with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it is a national priority.”I think we all accept that test-and-trace is a program which needs to continue to improve. There is total humility in government about that,” junior local government minister Simon Clarke told BBC radio.”We fully accept that we need to keep driving those numbers up,” he said. center_img Topics :last_img read more