President Donald Trump says Germany “owes vast sums” to Nato after saying he had a “great meeting” with Angela Merkel

“They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited a report by a pundit on Fox News that the UK’s government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had spied on Trump after he was elected.Read more: McDonald’s goes rogue with ‘tiny hands’ tweet @realDonaldTrumpThe US later made an apology to Britain, though Trump went on to seem unrepentant.He said the White House shouldn’t be blamed for quoting a Fox News analyst. “All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television,” Trump said in a press conference with Angela Merkel yesterday. “You shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.” Read more: GCHQ denies wire-tapping US President Donald TrumpDespite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2017…vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2017 President Donald Trump says Germany “owes vast sums” to Nato after saying he had a “great meeting” with Angela Merkel Saturday 18 March 2017 2:15 pm whatsapp The leaders met for the first time yesterday, after spending the past months trading criticism of each other on the likes of immigration and trade.Before his inauguration, Trump had called Nato obsolete, though he has since mellowed that stance, telling leaders in Europe it remains of strategic importance.Five members including the US and the UK currently reach Nato’s benchmark of spending two per cent of GDP on defence; Germany spends 1.23 per cent though this is set to increase.Trump’s latest outburst comes after his team caused a stir with unsubstantiated claims that GCHQ had carried out surveillance on the President.​A GCHQ spokesperson said: “Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President- elect are nonsense. Rebecca Smith Share President Donald Trump has said Germany “owes vast sums of money” to Nato and should also pay the US more for defending it.He made the remarks on Twitter, saying he had a “great meeting” with German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday. A video of the meeting showed him appearing to deny Merkel a handshake during a photo opportunity. whatsapp read more

Sludge, scum and grit take toll on Sitka’s aging wastewater facility

first_imgEnvironment | Local Government | Oceans | Science & Tech | SoutheastSludge, scum and grit take toll on Sitka’s aging wastewater facilityMarch 15, 2019 by Katherine Rose, KCAW-Sitka Share:Both the interior and exterior of Sitka’s wastewater treatment plant are in need of a revamp after environmental factors caused deterioration. (Photo by Katherine Rose/KCAW)Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2019/03/20190307_WASTEWATER_mixdown.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In the Disney classic “Finding Nemo,” a clownfish escapes the clutches of a dangerous child by flinging itself into a sink. Washed down the drain, his aquarium buddies wave goodbye, but they’re not worried. All drains lead to the ocean, after all, right?Well, in Sitka that’s true. But first they lead to the wastewater treatment plant.“So that’s your raw wastewater. And this is what I would call a low-flow time of day,” said Shilo Williams, environmental superintendent for the City and Borough of Sitka, as she strolled through Sitka’s wastewater treatment plant.The plant is a huge building on Japonski Island, and it houses some of the biggest infrastructure in Sitka. Williams and her team deal with the three key stages of waste: sludge, scum and grit. Oh, and all of the detritus they capture that Sitkans shouldn’t flush.“This rack that you see right there?” Williams said, pointing to a grate that a small river of raw wastewater runs through as it enters the plant. “That’s a bar screen. What we’re collecting there are all of those things that people shouldn’t flush.”Williams said things like flushable wipes and feminine hygiene products are common catches.“We have to actually manually rake that every single day.”Raw wastewater enters the treatment facility. The water is strained through a rack first, to catch any “non-flushables.” (Photo by Katherine Rose/KCAW)After they strain all of the big junk out of the raw wastewater, they slow down the water, separating the heavy grit. Then the water is pumped to clarifiers — big pools where the “sludge” settles to the bottom and the “scum” is scraped off the top. The remaining water is pumped back into the ocean. Then the sludge goes to the “thickening” room.“This is one of the stinkier areas of the treatment plant,” Williams said as she walked over to a big circular tank where they remove more water from the sludge.After the thickening process is complete, they pump the dehydrated sludge to the “belt filter press.” Williams said they run the press once a week“What happens is literally squishing the sludge and getting all the water out,” Williams said. “One final squish right here and it’s going to fall into this hopper.”Then that dehydrated, flattened and rolled-up sludge is doused with lime and dropped 20 feet into a big box that they roll out to the landfill once a week.Each piece of equipment involved in the process is huge, expensive and aging. But it’s the more invisible parts of the wastewater treatment plant that Williams said are in desperate need of an upgrade: the ventilation system and key electrical wiring that powers all of the systems. Here’s why: Waste produces a gas called hydrogen sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide is highly corrosive.Back in her office, Williams keeps a science experiment on her desk to show just how corrosive the environment is.“This is the money that was in my desk drawer here,” Williams said as she held out a handful of blackened pennies and half dollars. “You can see a lot of it is unrecognizable, due to the corrosive environment.”She took out a piece of copper pipe that she pulled out of the ground in last September. She said it was shiny several months ago, but it’s unrecognizable as copper today.Environmental Superintendent Shilo Williams displays a handful of coins that are corroding, exposed to the hydrogen sulfide gas that permeates the facility. (Photo by Katherine Rose/KCAW)Williams said the ventilation system has been funneling some gases from the treatment plant back into their office space, making a lot of office equipment obsolete fast. Computers have to be encased in protective gear. Lab equipment has a shorter shelf life. And they have to use home printers instead of expensive, heavy-duty office printers, because they break so often.“Some of them will last a few months,” Williams said. “Mine I think I’ve had for about eight months. It doesn’t always function.”Williams said she and staff often blame the “wastewater gremlins” when a piece of office equipment suddenly stops working.It doesn’t just impact the hardware. Williams said it affects humans too. Worst case scenario, hydrogen sulfide exposure can be deadly. She said the levels aren’t that bad, but they’re noticeable, often causing nausea, along with burning of the throat and eyes.But the project to revamp the wastewater treatment plant is costly. When speaking to the Sitka Assembly last month, it was clear that in order to fund the $10 million dollar project, the Assembly would be required to move ahead with a plan to raise rates. But Assembly member Aaron Bean wondered if they couldn’t figure out a way to patch things up at the plant without spending so much money.“We need to do what we have to do to make what we have work. If we’re making the environment safe, that should be an alternative. It shouldn’t be, ‘Bulldoze it and replace it,’ is my point.”Sitka Public Works Director Michael Harmon said they’d already figured out how to make the project as cost-efficient as possible.“This is by no means bulldozing the project and starting over. You’d be looking at probably 60 million (dollars) to do that,” he said.Williams said it isn’t about making the plant glamorous — just safe.“The wastewater plant isn’t ever going to smell pretty, because it is a wastewater plant. But it will be much better. It won’t be as terrible as it is now.”Just like the filter in Nemo’s scuzzy aquarium, Williams hopes the renovations will help the wastewater team continue to keep Sitka’s scum and sludge and grit at bay.Share this story:last_img read more

Sinuiju and customer service shape 2016 market strategy

first_imgNews RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter SHARE North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] By Daily NK – 2016.12.31 4:30pm News center_img News Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store Sinuiju and customer service shape 2016 market strategy Although 2016 was a tumultuous time both inside North Korea and in the outside world, its markets have survived relatively unscathed. In fact, the markets are now more stable than ever, notwithstanding the earning losses incurred by multiple nationwide labor mobilizations and a volley of international sanctions following the North’s long-range rocket launch and fourth nuclear test.North Korea’s propaganda apparatus has been working in overdrive to tout this newfound stability as the product of government policies. However, the residents themselves are quick to disregard such claims, knowing full well that the power of the markets has allowed them to weather the storm.Contributions from the newly affluent middle class (donju) to the grasshopper merchants hawking their wares in the alleyways adjacent to the official marketplaces, have continued to develop and transform the market landscape.In the final piece of Daily NK’s three-part series on new industries appearing in the markets in 2016, we look at the increasing importance of the city of Sinuiju, bathhouse culture trends, customer service, and the coal industry.⑦ Sinuiju as a smuggling hubUnlike border provinces such as North Hamgyong Province, in Sinuiju the smuggling network is in full operation in broad daylight. The volley of international sanctions levied against North Korea in early 2016 has evidently had little impact, with hundreds of tons of goods coursing through this artery into the country by boat alone. This has coined the phrase ‘smuggling trade’ amongst those in the industry, indicating the facility with which it is done. ‘If the water’s deep, you might as well put a huge ship on it,” a source in North Pyongan Province told Daily NK, offering an aphorism to explain the current smuggling environment in the area.“Obviously there are no tariffs with smuggling, so the Amrok River is teeming with boats [moving goods], even during the day. Offer 500 USD to the head at each checkpoint you pass along the river and you’re guaranteed safe, hassle-free passage.”  In other words, one can buy and sell anything, provided they have the cash. Marine products, pharmaceuticals, gold, and even piglets were some of the most popular products moving through backdoor channels this year. “Chinese demand for North Korean pigs rose upon news that they are purebreds [rather than crossbred]. To provide some scale, the average smuggling ring [typically 2-5 people] sold around 300 piglets, each fetching between 500-1,000 RMB this year. The profits are staggering,” she said.⑧ Bringing public bathhouse culture to the homePrivate steam baths and public bathhouses are popular when the temperature dips. These facilities are known to offer better facilities, amenities, and customer service than their state-run equivalents. But the entry fees remain burdensome to those living hand to mouth, with a single entry to a state run facility costing 2,000 KPW, and a private bath entry going for 5,000-10,000 KPW. This has increased the popularity of bath pouches at the nation’s proliferating markets. In North Korea, bath pouches are not the micromesh pouches often seen carried by bathhouse patrons in Seoul which hold their various shower products, but rather vinyl fashioned into a type of tent which is fixed to the ceiling, allowing a person to bathe inside with the structure trapping the steam.This is one of the hottest items in the markets this winter, with newer brands that lock in the steam better constantly streaming in across the border from China.In markets across South Pyongan Province, 1-person colorless bathing enclosures sell for 2,000 KPW; colored equivalents go for 3,000 KPW. 2-person capacity variants fetch approximately 5,000 KPW. A source in the region told DailyNK that these bathing bubbles generally last a year, which greatly contributes to their popularity, with residents opting to create a makeshift sauna at home rather than pay a premium at formal facilities. ⑨ The rise of customer serviceCustomer service is an increasingly important facet of business in North Korea these days. As more North Korean consumers show a preference for quality over price and/or quantity, the intuition for customer satisfaction grew and is rapidly spreading. Accordingly, this trend includes careful packing and wrapping of goods to protect them, as well as boxing them up for the customer to easily transfer to their destination.This becomes extremely important when it comes to undergarments, which serve as a sort of litmus test for customers to evaluate a given vendor. If a purveyor of intimates were to tell a customer to ‘just carry it [as is]’, as was common practice in the past, the client would be unlikely to return. In addition, more producers and purveyors of candy, snacks, tofu, and other consumables seek out plastic bags imported from China in which to place their goods for customers – a once entirely absent practice at the marketplace.“As a seller at the market now you’ve absolutely got to put the customer first, being as agreeable as possible and making sure everything is wrapped up and/or placed in a paper [or plastic] bag. If people buy nice clothes and cosmetics and the seller does not place the items in a bag, the customer will walk away from the stall and go somewhere else,” another source in North Pyongan Province told Daily NK.  “Plastic bags for foodstuffs and vegetables of all shapes and sizes come in from China, and now there are wholesalers specializing in professional wrapping material for that purpose.” ⑩ Coal industry continues to thriveDespite international sanctions – which include restrictions on coal – levied at North Korea following its fourth and fifth nuclear tests and long-range rocket launch this year, the volume of coal China imported from North Korea actually increased. The rapid increase in demand from China and the relaxed supervision over the quality of the coal coming in occurred as Chinese traders saw an opportunity to profit from comparatively cheap North Korean coal.Foreign-currency earning enterprises tethered to the coal industry were quick to meet the demand. A market emerged for cement mining posts that replaced the old wooden equivalents, which frequently snapped, resulting in terrible accidents.“As the price for cement mining pillars rose, entrepreneurs began to purchase the raw materials to produce them themselves. Because the cement posts outperform the wooden ones and can be used so much longer, their popularity is spreading rapidly,” a source in South Pyongan Province with ties to the coal industry said. News Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April last_img read more

Policymakers continue to examine incorporation

Keywords IncorporationCompanies Council of Ministers of Securities Regulation Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter IIROC extends white paper comment deadline Work is continuing on a model that would allow individual reps to incorporate, according to a report from a group of provincial ministers that oversee securities regulation. In its latest update report, the Provincial/Territorial Council of Ministers of Securities Regulation indicates that a working group of government officials continues to examine the issue of incorporation. IFIC comes out against IIROC’s white paper proposals Share this article and your comments with peers on social media IIROC white paper presents opportunity for discussion: head of MFDA The working group published a consultation paper on the issue in December 2010, which proposed several options for possible regulatory models to allow individual reps to incorporate. That paper received 63 written responses from a variety of reps, firms, lobby groups and others, and it notes that the majority of commenters were supportive of the incorporation concept. Industry supports advisor incorporation, policymakers say Since then, the working group was directed to develop an acceptable incorporation model and supporting draft legislative amendments. And, the council reports that, in December, Saskatchewan introduced amendments to its securities legislation to provide individual reps with an option to provide securities-related services through a professional corporation. “The working group plans for further consultation with stakeholders on key elements of the incorporation model and supporting draft legislative amendments capable of being adopted across Canada,” the report notes. In addition to the incorporation issue, the council’s report also details the status of the securities regulators efforts to address Canada’s G20 commitments, such as a new regulatory regime for credit rating agencies and over-the-counter derivatives; along with other initiatives such as empowering the Canadian Public Accountability Board in all provinces, harmonized securities transfer legislation, point of sale disclosure, and investor restitution. “The council remains committed to on-going reform of Canada’s securities regulatory system to ensure it remains fair, efficient and stable,” it says. James Langton read more

Missing payments highlight need for seniors to prepare financial plans

first_img “Light planning” could expand access to financial advice When an annuity of almost a thousand dollars a month stopped coming in to Neil Hewton’s 94-year-old mother, she just thought it was supposed to end.It was only months later, when her son had to take over her finances after a health scare, that he caught the strange cutoff in payments. stressed senior couple calculating budget at home andreypopov/123RF Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Canadian Press Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Keywords Financial planning “It’s kind of flukey that I even caught it,” said Hewton, who noticed it while trying to get a handle of her accounts.He said he followed up with Desjardins Insurance and was told they had sent a letter that his mother hadn’t replied to, so they assumed she had died.As Canada’s population ages, more children will be thrust into a reversed role of looking out for their parents and their finances, and will have to be on guard for a wide range of issues like missing payments.Hewton said he’s angry that more wasn’t done to follow up with his mother, and wonders how many others have had payments cutoff that they haven’t noticed.“These companies don’t follow up, because they don’t want to.”Desjardins said it doesn’t comment on individual cases, but said its process is to send letters to annuitants every two years to confirm information.If it doesn’t hear back after 60 days, Desjardins policy is reach out by other means including email and phone, as well as potentially to the person’s financial representative or someone else they know, said spokesman Jacques Bouchard. If it can’t reach anyone, payments are suspended.While Hewton’s issue was resolved, Canada is only starting to grapple with the wider issue of financial management as the country ages, said Stuart Small, a financial security adviser at Continuum II Inc.“The front wave of the baby boomers just turned 75, so we haven’t seen anything yet…This is just the tip of the iceberg, this is just the beginning.”Adults worried about their aging parents should keep an eye out for things like missed bills or confusion about finances as warning signs that their parents may need help, said Small.He said any conversations about managing finances should be approached delicately.“Aging parents, no matter what issue they’ve got, they still have feelings, no one wants to be walked all over, no one wants to feel like they’re being told what to do or taken charge of.”When potentially taking over someone’s finances it’s important to build a support team with legal, financial and others to provide advice, said Small.It’s also crucial for family, including siblings, to keep open conversations throughout the process, he said.“Communication and transparency go a long, long way to thwarting issues and concerns later.”When taking over finances, the person with power of attorney should have a full understanding of expenses, income, accounts, and mortgages to make sure items aren’t missed, he said.Early planning is crucial, said Marissa Lennox, chief policy officer at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, not only to avoid problems with banks, but to safeguard from the financial elder abuse that is most often perpetrated by adult children.“While a senior is still in charge of their finances, it is so critical that they make sure they choose a person to be their power of attorney that they can trust beyond any doubt.”An aging parent can assign power of attorney to a trusted child and still go on managing all their finances independently, with the backup in place and ready to go, she said.Hewton had asked his mother to prepare her financial affairs, but like many she had put it off, making for a stressful process when he needed power of attorney to look into issues like the missing payments.“When the time came and I thought she was going to die, and I’m looking at this stuff, it was like pulling teeth.”He urges aging parents to make sure their finances, will, and power of attorney are settled long before it’s needed.“You’re leaving your loved ones in a state of shock, for one, and then they have to deal with this mess, and it can be overwhelming.”Fortunately his mother recovered, and the payments were restored, but he’s still angry that the payment was cut off after so little.“That’s what gets my back up, is that this is not just done by mistake,” said Hewton.“To just cut someone off from their money, and they don’t even know it.” FP Canada, IQPF update projection assumption guidelines amid pandemic FSRA updates title reg proposallast_img read more

Cabinet Approves Contracts for Infrastructure Works

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Cabinet has given approval for the award of two contracts with a combined value of $315,918,116 million for infrastructure works on phase 2 of the Whitehall housing project in Westmoreland and the Jones Town Integrated Infrastructure Project in St. Andrew.Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, told yesterday’s (Oct. 21) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, that Y.P. Seaton and Associates Company Limited will undertake construction works on Whitehall phase 2 for a sum of $283,737,461 million.“Whitehall 2 is the second phase in the Whitehall property being developed by the Housing Agency of Jamaica limited. Whitehall 1 has been completed with the provision of approximately 515 housing solutions and Whitehall phase 2 proposes a further 800 housing solutions,” Minister Vaz informed.He noted that infrastructure works at Whitehall 2, which entails construction of roadways, water supply, storm water drainage and sewerage, had previously commenced under a contract between Black Brothers Inc. and the Whitehall Provident Society. “However, Black Brothers abandoned the site in 2007 and a contract for the completion of the project was subsequently re-tendered,” the Minister explained.The contract for the Jones Town Integrated Infrastructure Project was awarded to Alcar Construction and Haulage Company Limited in the sum of $32,180,655 million. “The project will facilitate the upgrading and improvement of the water supply and distribution system and reinstatement of 12 roads in the community,” the Minister noted.The works will be executed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) with funding from the World Bank and will include excavation and earthworks, laying of approximately 3,000 metres of water supply pipes, construction of concrete pavements and rehabilitation of storm drains, Mr. Vaz further informed. RelatedCabinet Approves Contracts for Infrastructure Works RelatedCabinet Approves Contracts for Infrastructure Works Cabinet Approves Contracts for Infrastructure Works ParliamentOctober 22, 2009center_img RelatedCabinet Approves Contracts for Infrastructure Works Advertisementslast_img read more

Government’s solution to housing crisis? State sponsored couch surfing

first_imgGovernment’s solution to housing crisis? State sponsored couch surfing Tasmanian LaborJaensch plan kicks families off housing wait lists by forcing them to live with relatives“Housing Connect Reform” is a giant con by a government and Minister with no answersGutwein Government incapable of fixing the housing crisis it createdFailed Housing Minister Roger Jaensch has delivered yet another cruel blow to Tasmanians looking for a roof over their head by ordering them to turn to their families for help.Shadow Housing Minister Alison Standen said the government had deviously distributed reforms to the Housing Connect program which would confuse and anger Tasmanians seeking social housing and falsely keep the housing wait list from growing by outsourcing the problem.Ms Standen said the most shocking change the Liberal Government and Mr Jaensch were imposing was a bid to reduce the housing waiting list by recommending:“Where possible, divert people from the Housing Connect system into familial/community level supports if they have minimal service needs and high capability.”“That’s weasel language that means the government is now telling people if you are waiting on a house, give up and go and knock on a relative’s door,” Ms Standen said.“That means the government is now clear that it will not look after you if you have nowhere to live and are at risk of homelessness – they want you to find a relative who might have some space in the lounge room.“It’s a shonky move. Roger Jaensch will point to a housing waitlist that isn’t getting longer, simply because he’s kicking people off that list.“It’s state sponsored couch surfing as the answer to people who are already facing a bleak future.“This is a Minister who has built just five social housing properties in the past year and who is presiding over a housing wait list of 3,373 and counting. This is a Minister who doesn’t deliver.“This is a Minister who has no right running this crucial area of government because he doesn’t care, he has no answer to a crisis of his own making and his solution to a growing waitlist is to force people off it.”Alison Standen MPShadow Minister for Housing /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:crisis, Force, future, Government, homelessness, house, housing, language, lounge, Minister, reform, running, space, surfing, Tasmania, Tasmanian Labor, Tassielast_img read more

Chancellor extends permit for Los Seis de Boulder sculpture

first_img Published: March 6, 2020 Chancellor Phil DiStefano is extending the Campus Use of University Facilities (CUUF) permit for the Los Seis de Boulder sculpture, per the recommendation of faculty who will be part of the Art in Public Space Committee. Faculty who will be part of the Art in Public Space Committee asked for the extension until it has developed a policy and procedures for art in public space. The committee will be meeting over the coming months to recommend a policy and procedures for public art on the Boulder campus.The sculpture has significant meaning to the student artist who created it, as well as the many community stakeholders who participated in its creation and voiced support for it. The extension allows the sculpture to remain visible and part of our campus dialogue while the committee pursues its work.Categories:Deadlines & AnnouncementsCampus Community Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Tourism Talks – Santa Monica Travel & Tourism Honors The Spirit Of Travel

first_imgHomeBusinessTourism Talks – Santa Monica Travel & Tourism Honors The Spirit Of Travel May. 16, 2020 at 6:00 amBusinessColumnsFeaturedNewsTourism TalksTourism Talks – Santa Monica Travel & Tourism Honors The Spirit Of TravelGuest Author1 year agolocal businessessanta monica travel & tourismSpirit of Traveltourism talks While we all spend more time at home to do our part in fighting the pandemic, for this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) is rallying with the U.S. Travel Association to honor the Spirit of Travel in recognition of the industry’s strength, selflessness and resiliency.Tourism has long been a major economic driver in our local community. In 2019, visitor spending injected nearly $2.2 billion into the local economy and overnight hotel visitors contributed $58 million to the city’s general fund through the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).“The current global health crisis has been devastating in many ways, from the loss of lives of loved ones to the loss of jobs and economic stability for our local businesses,” said Misti Kerns, President/CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism. “The uncertainty of this crisis has decimated travel demand both internationally and domestically, having a profoundly negative impact on our hotels, restaurants, attractions and all tourist-serving businesses. The lack of visitor spending in our destination has also led to a budget deficit for the City of Santa Monica, where our local leaders are being forced to make very difficult decisions.”In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Tourism Economics projects California will lose $72.1 billion in statewide travel-related spending in 2020, nearly half of what was generated last year. The study also showed the pandemic will wipe out 613,000 California jobs by the end of May, more than half the tourism industry’s workforce.Statewide, 2019 marked a record 10 years of travel-related economic growth for the state, further signaling the steady influence tourism has had on California’s economy for the past decade. Visitors to California spent $144.9 billion in 2019, a 3.2 percent increase over 2018. The number of travel and tourism jobs increased to 1.2 million last year, an additional 13,000 jobs. Travel-generated tax revenue also grew for the 10th straight year, providing $12.2 billion to state and local governments, a 3.4 percent increase over 2018.“The data shows just how vital tourism is to the California economy and why it must be restored when we control and ultimately overcome this deadly outbreak,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, the state’s tourism marketing non-profit organization.“When that time arrives, we’ll be calling on Californians to become the main drivers of recovery by traveling in the state, shopping locally and visiting local restaurants, wineries and attractions. California has led the nation in its response to the health crisis, and it will lead the economic comeback.”To ensure the tourism industry rebounds in Santa Monica, SMTT is working with Visit California on initiatives to inspire community support and begin safe and responsible travel when the time is right.When times are uncertain, the only certainty is that the spirit of our community and that of the travel industry will not be shattered. The spirit of travel is what brings joy and memorable experiences to us all. Although we can’t meet in person, we can stay connected, unified and supportive of each other from afar, rallying around the Spirit Of Travel.Communities benefit from the spirit of travel, which permeates through small businesses, unique landmarks and all those who welcome residents and visitors alike with a smile and gracious hospitality. Santa Monica is defined for many by the opportunity it presents to live and experience thequintessential Southern California lifestyle and a come as you are with such a welcoming, inclusive, free spirited vibe. From the gorgeous beach, public parks and beloved Santa Monica Pier to the world-class hotels, attractions, diverse shopping offerings and abundance of restaurants that draw from our weekly farmers markets, there’s plenty to love about our special city.To help all of us who love Santa Monica experience the destination from the safety of our homes, SMTT has launched a feature on SantaMonica.com dedicated to supporting local businesses that remain open as well as virtual experiences offered by many. To help support our struggling businesses resources on where to eat, shopping local and online family activities, arts & culture experiences and ways to experience the beach virtually can be found at santamonica.com/smcares.The spirit of travel isn’t only found in far-off places. When we as residents embrace the spirit of travel by supporting local businesses and helping neighbors, we play a critically key role in rebuilding our own community, California and America.Our city has long shown great care and pride in welcoming visitors from around the world to our iconic shores. In these troubling times, it is inspiring to see the number of ways our community has come together – if from a social distance – to lend support where needed. From individual residents making masks for healthcare workers and delivering food to their elderly neighbors to the courage displayed by the healthcare professionals, police & fire departments and essential workers during this time, thecamaraderie and care this community has shown is something to be very proud of.When the time is right, the travel and tourism industry will be integral to our city and nation’s recovery—for the economy and jobs. But it is the spirit of travel that will heal our country’s morale. Until that time, join us by posting you favorite Santa Monica memory on social media using #SpiritofTravel.Tags :local businessessanta monica travel & tourismSpirit of Traveltourism talksshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCity Council Extends Shared Mobility Pilot Through May 2021   Los Angeles County considers individual opening plans for citiesYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall6 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author12 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press17 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson17 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter17 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor17 hours agolast_img read more

Dagens reveals identity of new 4G entrant in Norway

first_img Author Vodafone ups diversity efforts IFA Berlin to get fresh format Home Dagens reveals identity of new 4G entrant in Norway Telco Data, the mystery new entrant that won 4G spectrum in Norway, was identified by Dagens IT as having the same backer as existing Nordic service provider ice.net.By checking the company registration papers of Telco Data, Dagens IT discovered that AINMT Holding is its parent.AINMT Holding is controlled by privately-held Access Industries, which was founded by billionaire businessman Leonard Blavatnik (he bought Warner Music in 2011).Access Industries bolstered its telecoms interests in 2009 when it acquired mobile data and voice services provider ice.net in Norway and Sweden (and a controlling stake in Denmark), which is now part of AINMT HoldingThe mobile business is based on CDMA2000 3G technology running on 450MHz and 410MHz frequency bands.According to Q3 2013 figures from GSMA Intelligence, ice.net in Norway had around 110,000 subscribers, which is well behind rivals.Market-leader Telenor has 3.2 million subscribers, followed by TeliaSonera (1.6 million) and Tele2 (1.1 million).It’s not yet clear how Telco Data and ice.net might work together. CTA, Trump push for tech skills training Related AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 06 DEC 2013 Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight…More Read more Previous ArticleTwitter aims for entry-level phones in emerging marketsNext ArticleComScore: Little change in US smartphone/OS shares ice.netNorwayRegulatoryTechnologyTelco Data Ken Wieland Tags last_img read more