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Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the nation s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services, today announced that consumers switching to Comcast s Digital Voice service have made Comcast the third-largest residential phone service provider in the country. Consumers are continuing to select Comcast s low cost and rich features for phone service throughout its 39-state service area.The news marks a major milestone for the company and reinforces its commitment to reinvent home phone service and offer consumers a way to cut household expenses during a difficult economic climate.Comcast Digital Voice® now serves 6.47 million customers, which exceeds Qwest s reported residential subscriber base. The popularity of Comcast s innovative offerings with consumers has enabled Comcast to add residential subscribers in each of the last twelve quarters. Consumers are switching to Comcast s Digital Voice Service because of our low prices, reliable service and innovative features, said Pam Mackenzie, Area Vice President for Comcast in Vermont. Comcast Digital Voice is reinventing home phone service for the 21st Century and we are thrilled that millions of consumers today are choosing Comcast for home phone service. We now offer features that integrate with our video and high speed internet products and we re deploying a next generation cordless phone that lets customers do more than just make phone calls. Best of all, we can do all this with a service that is rated number one in call clarity and that helps consumers cut their home phone expenses by 20 to 30 percent or more.In addition to offering a high-quality, reliable and value-added home phone service, Comcast Digital Voice customers benefit from a number of new, innovative home phone products and features, including SmartZone ¢ Communications Center, a feature-rich online portal that enables customers to manage their emails and voice mails in one easy place, and to sync contact information from multiple sources into one universal address book. Additional products and features that are expected to launch this year in Vermont include Universal Caller ID, a free service for Comcast Digital Voice customers that allows them to view incoming caller information on their TV or PC while watching a movie or surfing the Web; and Enhanced Cordless Telephone, an innovative home phone that offers all of the popular features that come with Comcast Digital Voice® plus integrated services and advanced functionality such as the ability to view email, view/forward/manage voice mail from the phone or PC, read news, sports and horoscopes, access a universal address book and search the Yellow Pages all on the enhanced cordless phone. The competitive entrants in the residential phone market are saving consumers billions of dollars every year. A study by economic consulting firm MiCRA found that consumers saved $13 billion alone in 2007 because of phone competition from companies like Comcast. The savings for consumers is proof of the success of pro-competitive policies that ensure choice for consumers. While Comcast s Digital Voice service continues to grow and redefines home phone service, it continues to compete for customers and remains a new entrant into a market that is dominated by legacy providers AT&T, Verizon and Qwest. Since entering Vermont in November 2006, Comcast has aggressively expanded its services across the Green Mountain State, investing in its advanced fiber-optic network to bring broadband services to previously unserved homes and businesses and partnering with local communities. The company has launched a number of its advanced services in just over two years, including Digital Cable with On Demand, High-Definition Television Service, Digital Video Recorders, Comcast High-Speed Internet service and Comcast Digital Voice. In addition, Comcast has offered programming of special interest to Vermonters. Comcast also assists local non-profit organizations in Vermont with financial, in-kind and employee volunteer support. Comcast serves more than 100,000 customers in Vermont and employs approximately 300 individuals.For more information about Comcast Digital Voice visit www.comcast.com/comcastdigitalvoice/(link is external)About Comcast CorporationComcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com(link is external)) is the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 24.2 million cable customers, 14.9 million high-speed Internet customers, and 6.5 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.Comcast’s content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten Comcast SportsNet networks and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast’s Internet businesses, including Comcast.net (www.comcast.net(link is external)). Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.*Number one in call clarity based upon an independent study preformed by Keynote dated November 2008, Wave 6 Study.
April 1, 2002 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Board sets out advance funding guidelines Senior EditorAfter months of debate, the Bar Board of Governors has adopted a proposed ethics opinion on advance funding schemes, including telling lawyers that the Bar doesn’t like those financial arrangements.The board made two changes — one of them technical — to a draft opinion proposed by the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics and then approved it during its March 15 meeting in Tallahassee. Board members also said the Bar should explore various means, either in the courts or the legislature, to regulate or ban advance funding deals.“What we’ve been trying to do here is generate some ethical guidance for attorneys with clients who approach them with an advance funding proposition,” said BRCPE Chair Richard Tanner. “What we tried to do is focus our thinking to come up with an ethical opinion that is consistent with the sense of this body.”The board has been grappling since last fall over what to tell lawyers whose clients ask them about advance funding contracts — defined as third parties that seek to loan the clients money in exchange for part of the expected winnings in the case. Interest rates are typically high, sometimes 100 to 200 percent or more.Some board members have argued the Bar should have nothing to do with the practice. Others have said although the loans may be repugnant it is ultimately the decision of clients — who may be in desperate financial straits — whether to take the loans.An intermediate appellate court in Ohio has ruled that the transactions are loans (some industry representatives have said they are buying part of the winnings, not making a loan, since there is no repayment unless there is a recovery) and the interest rates usurious. But that has been appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which has accepted the case.The approved opinion says that whether the loans are legal is outside the scope of an ethics opinion, but that if the loans are held to be illegal, then the attorney may not participate in any way.While the committee’s draft said that attorneys could tell clients about the funding companies and supply company names to clients, the board added language to that section saying: “The Florida Bar discourages the use of non-recourse advance funding companies.”That language was added at the suggestion of board member Chobee Ebbets. He criticized the original draft as tacitly involving lawyers in the loans. “When it says a lawyer may advise a client about the existence of the companies and may provide the names of the company, you’re in the game,” Ebbets said. “These are never in the best interest of the client. It’s an inherent conflict. I cannot agree with it as long as we are any part of the process.”He did support the draft after the language was added.Other parts of the opinion provided that the attorney must carefully discuss the pros and cons with the client of any advance funding loan, including problems that can arise. The attorney may not co-sign the loan, guarantee the transaction, or issue a letter of credit to the lending company, although the attorney may honor an assignment executed by the client. At the client’s request, the attorney may provide information about the case to the company, but must discuss with the client implications of that action including the possible loss of confidentiality on otherwise confidential matters.If the client decides to share the information anyway, the attorney is not obligated to “provide work product material, such as the attorney’s personal notes,” the opinion says. A final version of the opinion, Ethics Opinion 00-3, is on the Bar’s Web site and can be accessed by clicking here. Board member Steve Chaykin, a member of the BRCPE, said even if all members weren’t happy with the opinion, it was important for the board to take some action because of the growth of the advance funding industry.“The argument against this opinion is we’d rather give no opinion and give no advice than engage in the process and perhaps help the client,” he said.“I think we need to pass this because our constituents are asking for advice,” board member Ervin Gonzalez said. “This particular ethics opinion is giving great advice on what they can do at this time.”He added, though, that he agreed with a call by President-elect Tod Aronovitz for the Bar to do more to prevent clients from being harmed by advance funding schemes.“These companies are in the business of charging huge fees to unsophisticated people,” said Aronovitz, who opposed the opinion before it was amended. “There are ways that we can encourage our courts to rule on this, and that’s what should be done.”He also said the board should explore a way to “support meaningful consumer-oriented legislation” during next year’s legislative session. Board sets out advance funding guidelines
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An accused drugged driver died after allegedly causing a crash that killed a 26-year-old woman in Northampton on Friday afternoon, Southampton Town Police said.Brendon McKee, 24, of Center Moriches, was driving a Toyota Scion northbound on Lake Avenue when he crossed over the double yellow lines, sideswiped a GMC SUV and then crashed head on into a Nissan Altima at 2:23 p.m., police said.The driver of the Nissan, Courtney Pivirotto, of Eastport, was pronounced dead at the scene.McKee was airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital, where he died of his injuries. He was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs before he died.Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crash to call them at 631-702-2230.
There has been a lot of buzz lately about the updates to the rules for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The Act has been around since 1991, but it suddenly has new teeth, thanks to the FCC’s adoption of the new rules in June. And while the vote on the updates was passed by the FCC, it was a split 3-2 vote, showing that it wasn’t a slam dunk, even for them.So, what are the main components of this new rule?1. There is a new definition of “autodialer” which now includes equipment which has the potential for autodialing capabilities in the future. Basically, any system that is not a rotary-dial phone could be considered an autodialer. This includes virtually any smartphone, tablet and apps that may store a phone number.2. If a number has been reassigned to someone other than your member, you get ONE call to that number before further contact is prohibited. There is no allowance for situations where the call was not answered and you didn’t know it was reassigned. And, let’s not forget about situations where someone sees dollar signs when receiving your call on his/her reassigned number and doesn’t tell you it has been reassigned. They then turn around and file a lawsuit against your credit union for violating the TCPA. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Credit unions that engage in strategic planning are committing time and valuable resources towards planning for the future. Your leadership team will likely spend hours at the table hammering out the details of your strategic plan for the next several years.One of the most important ground rules about strategic planning (and a compelling reason to use an outside facilitator to help conduct the session) is keeping the discussion at a strategic rather than a tactical level. Your strategic planning session must be geared towards discussing, understanding and deciding on a course of action that concentrates on strategic initiatives — big-picture items.It’s all too easy for a strategic planning discussion to jump the rails and plunge into the high weeds of tactical discussions. By tactical, we mean the daily tasks and jobs, the nuts and bolts of operations at your bank or credit union, that keep things moving. These are certainly important and, if not in place, can sabotage larger strategic initiatives. However, your time at the strategic planning table simply cannot be spent debating and discussing tactical issues. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The former executive director of Village of Hempstead Housing Authority (VHHA) and three contractors have been arrested for allegedly stealing $500,000 in federal funds in a bid-rigging and kickback scheme, authorities said.Stacey Stackhouse, 51, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to commit wire fraud along with 51-year-old James Alimonos of Bethpage, 47-Year-Old Demetrios Kaouris of Plainview and Michael Lambros, 48, of Queens.“The defendants here were entrusted to use federal funds to provide safe and affordable housing to senior citizens and low income residents,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “Instead, as alleged, they bypassed the rules in order to siphon taxpayer dollars into their own pockets.”Prosecutors said Stackhouse, of Westchester, bypassed the bidding process and awarded construction contracts to companies owned or controlled by Alimonos, Lambros and Kaouris at prices several times greater than the true cost in exchange for kickbacks.In one instance, Stackhouse awarded a $273,900 roof repair contract to a construction company controlled by her alleged co-conspirators, who did the work for $23,000, pocketed the rest and gave Stackhouse and others $25,900, authorities said.Stackhouse was responsible for obtaining competitive bids on work funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Requests for bids on such government contracts are required to be published. Stackhouse was responsible for awarding contracts to the most qualified lowest bidder.The foursome is scheduled to appear Tuesday before U.S. Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson in Central Islip federal court. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison.
Though Epitopix is the first company to win conditional USDA approval, other groups are working on E coli vaccines for cattle. In February 2008, Bioniche, a Canadian company that developed Canada’s first E coli vaccine for cattle, said it received word from the USDA that it was in a good position to secure conditional licensure. A conditional license would allow Bioniche to sell the vaccine in the United States if at least one step in the manufacturing process takes place on US soil and the company doesn’t use a trademark name for the vaccine. “We had a decrease in cattle shedding E coli by 54% in our first study,” Thompson said in the press release. “However, we increased the amount of SRP exposure in the second field study and decreased the rate of shedding by 85%.” The large-pen studies involved 20 pens and more than 1,200 head of cattle. Thompson said researchers conducted a challenge study, a natural infection trial, and two large-pen field studies of the SRP E coli vaccine at commercial feedlots. He said the trials demonstrated that the vaccine decreased the number of cattle shedding the bacteria, the concentration of the bacteria that was shed, and the number of “super shedder” cattle. Feb 2, 2008, CIDRAP News story “E coli cattle vaccine nearing US approval” See also: Dan Thompson, associate professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University, said in a March 27, 2008, press release from the university that foodborne pathogens use siderophore receptors and porin proteins to acquire iron. “Iron is to bacteria as oxygen is to humans. Without iron consumption, the bacteria suffocate and can’t grow or replicate,” he said, adding that the vaccine keeps the pathogen from taking up iron. The company will conduct more potency and efficacy studies to gain full approval for the vaccine, which was developed by the company’s scientists along with researchers from Kansas State University and West Texas A&M University. The vaccine uses “siderophore receptor and porin” (SRP) technology developed by Epitopix. Also, GeneThera, Inc., based in Wheat Ridge, Colo., said in November 2008 that it had signed an agreement to license and distribute an E coli vaccine developed at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, according to a previous report. A representative from the company said that the company would launch phase 2 clinical trials soon and take the vaccine to market as soon as possible. E coli O157:H7 doesn’t sicken cattle but is potentially fatal to humans. It produces a toxin that causes diarrhea, often bloody, but usually without fever. Though most patients with E coli O157:H7 infections recover in 5 to 10 days, 2% to 7% develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal form of kidney failure. Epitopix announced the granting of the conditional license on Mar 5 at the Beef Industry Food Safety Council annual meeting in San Diego, according to a company press release. “It represents a significant breakthrough in the beef industry’s ongoing effort to reduce E coli O157,” said Jim Sandstrom, Epitopix’ general manager, in the press release. Nov 3, 2008, CIDRAP News story “Canada approves E coli vaccine for cattle” Because the pathogen doesn’t sicken cattle, it’s unclear how vigorously cattle producers will embrace the vaccine, some industry experts have said. Sandstrom told CIDRAP News that Epitopix has not yet set a price for a course of its vaccine. Bioniche has said its vaccine would likely cost less than $10 per head of cattle. Mar 27, 2008, K-State press release Sandstrom credited the USDA and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for supporting several public and private E coli preharvest and postharvest interventions. “We are confident that our E coli O157:H7 SRP vaccine will play an important role for beef producers and packers as they work together to implement E coli O157:H7 control efforts,” he said. Mar 11, 2009 (CIDRAP News) The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently granted a conditional license for the nation’s first Escherichia coli O157:H7 vaccine for cattle, allowing Epitopix LLC, a Willmar, Minn., company, to immediately offer the vaccine to the beef industry.
Topics : Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina will increase its oil imports to take advantage of the fall in oil prices in the global market as part of the company’s strategy in securing the domestic fuel supply amid a projected drop in local oil production.Pertamina president director Nicke Widyawati said the oil giant planned to gradually import up to 10 million barrels of crude oil and 9.3 million barrels of gasoline this year, mostly from the Middle East and Africa.“We are not just planning to meet demand for this year,” said Nicke at a House of Representative (DPR) hearing on Tuesday (21/4). “We see an opportunity, while prices are low, to build up stocks,” Nicke said in the meeting, which was conducted by video call.Pertamina earlier said it had revised down its oil and gas production target by 3 percent to 894,000 barrels of oil per day (mbopd… Linkedin Google Log in with your social account Facebook Indonesia pertamina imports crude-oil-price plunge DPR hearing production
‘The crisis will pass’Fatima al-Dakhil got her big break as a sales manager at a French company in the Saudi city of Khobar after months of job hunting, but just weeks later Saudi Arabia took strict measures to combat coronavirus.The kingdom has so far recorded the highest number of cases in the Gulf with more than 17,000 infections and 139 deaths.Despite being frustrated by the lockdown, which has forced her and hundreds of thousands of others to abandon their offices and work from home, Dakhil is confident that women across the country will continue to pursue careers.”All my girlfriends have joined the labor market,” the 25-year-old told AFP, solemnly expressing hope the virus “crisis will pass”. Saudi women have now penetrated professional spheres at all levels — they are bankers, business owners, heads of financial institutions, border crossing officers, civil defense members, food cart vendors and shoe sellers.Male employees report that their workplaces have changed dramatically — among the many small revolutions are women’s toilets which have been introduced for the first time in some places.Saudi saleswoman Sarah Al-Dosari, 23, works at a clothing store run by three women at the Panorama Mall in the center of Riyadh.”People’s perspective towards working women was bad,” said Al-Dosari. But this attitude has been consigned to history, she said. “Now customers say they are proud of us.”The number of working women in Saudi Arabia reached 1.03 million in the third quarter of 2019, 35 percent of the total workforce, compared to 816,000 in 2015, according to official figures.Rodina Maamoun has been tasked by the owner of five stores selling women’s accessories with introducing women onto a formerly all-male staff. “Customers, especially women, feel more comfortable with female assistants — sales and profits have risen,” said the Saudi who employed 19 young women, almost entirely replacing the men. For decades, straitlaced Saudi society offered limited opportunities for women seeking a paid job and the few who did find work were mostly restricted to the health and education sectors.An oppressive “guardianship” system also gave male relatives the right to object to the women’s professional aspirations. But change came in mid-2016 when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled his “Vision 2030″ plan aimed at diversifying the kingdom’s economy and ending its addiction to oil.The national blueprint promotes the tourism and entertainment sectors, while opening wide the doors of the labor market to millions of women by paring back the restrictions that had constrained them. Like thousands of Saudi women, Rouaa al-Mousa entered the workforce as reforms sweep the ultra-conservative kingdom and is certain that neither grumbling male bosses nor the coronavirus will change that.Armed with a college degree but bound by conservative Saudi attitudes to women working, the 25-year-old was expecting to wait years before finding a suitable job.But Mousa graduated in the midst of changes in the kingdom that have seen women flood the labor market. A woman’s world? Since the rise of Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia has witnessed major social and economic changes.Women are now allowed to drive cars, cinemas have reopened and genders are permitted to mix at events, including concerts, and in public places.The reforms have also been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent that has drawn widespread criticism. Some of those detained and allegedly tortured in custody are women’s rights activists who were prominent in the campaign to end the driving ban.Although the changes have been uneven, they have emboldened Saudi women to address decades of discrimination and marginalization, including graduates who are returning from Europe and the United States to seek jobs at home.”Empowering Saudi women means empowering the Saudi family,” said Rania Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group, the first Saudi woman to hold such a senior position.Saudi women “are ambitious and passionate about playing a role in shaping the future of their country”, she said Topics : She got a job working the evening shift as a receptionist at a government institution in Riyadh — part of a mixed team of 10 women and six men. And although the coronavirus has threatened a global recession and put Mousa in lockdown for now, she is confident the long-term trend of getting women into the workforce is here to stay.”I wanted to do my best during my studies so that I could get a job in academia afterwards, because that was the best option available for us. But big changes happened during the past four years,” she told AFP. “Almost all of my friends are now working, and when one of them doesn’t get a job, it seems strange.”
Why are you such an advocate for discipline?I am a great believer that discipline and standards underpin success in society across sport, business, families, and our schools. Children need boundaries. It’s become too easy to let kids do what they want to do rather than what they should do. If I have a concern it is that we have become too politically correct in New Zealand. We’ve got the best country in the world and I don’t think we understand how lucky we are and how good New Zealand is.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11132486