Fees ban is already driving more independents out of industry, says Countrywide MD

first_imgCountrywide has revealed that a day rarely passes without a letting agent getting in contact to sell the company their lettings book.The admission has been made by its Managing Director Paul Creffield during a webcast with investors, one of whom asked him whether the tenant fees ban is likely to prompt independent agents to exit the sector in significant numbers.Creffield said the ban, which is due to come into force on June 1st this year, was putting smaller letting agents under a lot of pressure because many are dependent on tenant fees for a majority of their income.Independent exodusHe also claimed that the exodus has already begun and that Rightmove’s recent results revealing a reduction in member agent numbers was  proof of how much the looming tenant fees ban is denting agent confidence.But during the webcast Executive Chairman Peter Long said independent agents are more resilient than many might assume, and that experts who have predicted a 50% cull of independent were wrong.Countrywide also revealed during the presentation that it had introduced a ‘minimum cash fee’ system for branches, a reaction to the UK’s difficult sales market, and falling prices.He also revealed that the company had no plans to close any branches for the moment, although a dedicated team was reviewing branch performance on a regular basis.“Broadly we’re at the estate size that we’re comfortable with and we have no plans to close branches on massive scale,” said CFO Himanshu Raja.       Himanshu raja Paul Creffield Countrywide March 8, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Fees ban is already driving more independents out of industry, says Countrywide MD previous nextAgencies & PeopleFees ban is already driving more independents out of industry, says Countrywide MDRevelation is made during webcast Q&A by MD Paul Creffield who also said company had no plans to cull branches.Nigel Lewis8th March 201902,207 Viewslast_img read more

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Dutch Ambassador Calls on Commander of Sri Lanka Navy

first_img Dutch Ambassador Calls on Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today Dutch Ambassador Calls on Commander of Sri Lanka Navy December 2, 2013 Authoritiescenter_img Ambassador of the kingdom of Netherlands in Sri Lanka, His Excellency Louis Piet called on Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage at the Naval Headquarters on 29th November 2013.He introduced the newly appointed Netherlands Defence attach, Mr. Allard Wagemaker, who is based in New Delhi, to the Navy Commander. They held cordial discussions on matters of mutual interests and exchanged mementoes to mark the occasion.[mappress]Press Release, December 02, 2013; Image: Sri Lanka Navy Share this articlelast_img

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Filming with the Devil

first_imgIt’s an old story: wife has affair, husband catches pair ‘in flagrante delicto’ and violently murders them, before fleeing for his life. Perhaps not. For this cuckolded husband and double murderer was also one of the greatest composers in Renaissance Italy, and is soon to hit our screens as the subject of a no-expensespared biopic by the controversial Italian film director, Bernado Bertolucci. Don Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, enjoyed huge notoriety in his time due to his scandalous love life and his radical musical style which, sensuous and wild, changed the face of the previously restrained Italian madrigal. In a recent interview with L a RepubblicaBertolucci himself commented, “Gesualdo, with his prophetic fury, confused me from the first time I heard him. I experienced a carrier of emotions that was almost expressionist.” The great Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, long a fan of Gesualdo, stated in the same article, “Gesualdo knew how to transfigure suffering with previously unheard harmonies. He exalted dissonance, rendering it an instrument of expression of the strongest and saddest emotions. And in this way, he thrust past the boundaries of his time”. And yet, until now, both Gesualdo and his works have been almost completely forgotten. But not for long: Bernado Bertolucci, of Last Tango in Paris and Stealing Beauty fame, has finally admitted that he plans to complete what sources close to him say is a tenyear project, that will reveal the life and music of the unjustly forgotten Prince. The film is to be called Inferno e Paradiso, or Heaven and Hell. The release date is still under wraps, but reports in the Italian press suggest that the first scenes, or “ciaks” as they are called in his native Italy, are expected to be shot this month. So, what can we expect from the famoso Italian? Like his subjectto- be, Bertolucci is no conservative; his notorious film La Luna shocked the world with its theme of mother-son incest set in the world of opera. Last Tango in Paris, the story of two people who meet anonymously for sex in a Paris apartment, was no less stunning or provocative. And his latest release, The Dreamers, caused yet more headlines in September last year by famously including an incestuous relationship between a young boy and his virgin twin sister. When Twentieth Century Fox announced that they wanted to cut some scenes involving sex and nudity in preparation for The Dreamers’ release in America, Bertolucci was outraged, allegedly accusing Fox of having “amputated and mutilated” the film, and suggesting wryly that, “some people obviously think the American public is immature”. Will Heaven and Hell be as controversial as the Italian’s previous efforts? It certainly seems that the combination of Gesualdo’s colourful love life and Bertolucci’s track record will give ample opportunities for sparks to fly. Gesualdo’s unfaithful wife, Maria of Avalos, was reputedly one of the most beautiful women in Italy, and when the Prince killed both her and her courtly lover it caused shock-waves in Neapolitan society which were recorded in many a lamenting madrigal. However, his crime passionellewas forgotten astonishingly quickly, and in 1594, a mere four years after the dirty deed, he was married to Eleonora d’Este, of the powerful Ferrarese Este family. His return to grace coincided with a very fruitful period of madrigal writing which, with their deeply pained, repentant texts, seem to mirror his anguished guilt. Bertolucci,as ever, has a different and juicier interpretation: “It really distresses me that, from which ever way you look at events, you can’t escape the fact that Gesualdo’s most beautiful music was composed after he murdered his wife. It is as if his works were fertilized in the blood of his wife. Gesualdo loved music too much, Maria loved love too much. I am convinced that Gesualdo killed his wife because she stopped him from being creative, deep down, and that he found the pretext of adultery to free himself.” There’s clearly a lot more to the Prince of Venosa than meets the eye, and anyone wishing to find out more could do worse than to dig into either the second edition of Glenn Watkins’ masterly Gesualdo, or Dennis Arnold’s BBC Music Guidewhich somehow manages to compress most of the content of the Watkins’ tome into about fifty very readable pages. Those not wishing to burden themselves with literature can always skip straight to the real thing and put on a CD; Gesualdo: Madrigals, sung by the peerless French early-music group Arts Florissants and conducted by William Christie, is one of the best. As for Inferno e Paradiso: box office heaven or hell? Watch this space.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more

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Oxford professor disinvited from conference

first_imgA spokesperson for Exeter College wrote in a statement on Saturday “In May 2019, Exeter College, Oxford, agreed to provide the venue for the Women’s Liberation at Fifty conference, in enthusiastic celebration of all that the feminist movement stands for, and in recognition of the symbolic importance of the former Ruskin College site, which now houses Exeter College Cohen Quad. Exeter College has played no role at any stage in the taking of decisions about the programme or its speakers.” Neither Oxford International Women’s Festival nor the conference appears to have issued any public statement on Todd’s disinvitation, and she is still listed as a speaker on the programme published online. A photograph circulated online seems to show a programme used at the event with Todd’s name covered by tape. “The claim that some people ‘naturally’ feel feminine is ahistorical, since it overlooks that what is understood as ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ has changed over time.” The 1970 Women’s Liberation meeting is regarded as an important landmark in feminist history, which kickstarted the second wave of feminism.  However, trans rights organisations as well as many others regard this concern as transphobic and WPUK as a transphobic group. The student advocacy group Trans Action Oxford told Cherwell: “Trans Action Oxford had no role in the decision to disinvite Selina Todd, and did not call for it. Our stance on giving platforms to bigots like Todd is clear: at a time when trans people are under vicious attack in the press, it is dangerous and irresponsible. Todd is a transphobe, and she is regularly given a platform by the press to spread her hatred. To claim she is being ‘silenced’ is laughable, and we call for trans voices to be uplifted and our oppression highlighted in place of her hatred.” Lola Olufemi, a feminist writer, had posted on Twitter on the previous afternoon that she was withdrawing from the conference “because of their clear links with Woman’s Place UK […] They have no place in my vision or understanding of the political possibilities that feminism offers us.” A statement from Olufemi was read at the event, which said that she had withdrawn because “the organisers had clearly not done enough to investigate speakers’ links to Woman’s Place UK— a clearly transphobic organisation— or to ensure that members of this group would not be in attendance.” In another tweet, referencing a trans man who said he was happy after transitioning, Todd wrote: “Here are lots of success stories as we #transawaythegay. Emmett wasn’t allowed to be a lesbian and had to wear skirts and makeup. But when he realised he was supposed to be a boy and started taking testosterone, his church accepted him. All better now!” In a statement for Cherwell, Todd said “ I am shocked to have been no-platformed by this event, organised by Oxford International Women’s Festival and hosted at Exeter College. I was asked to participate in October 2019, and I explained to the organisers that some trans activists may object to my being there. In fact, trans activists had already tried to shut the conference down because they claimed second-wave feminism was inherently trans-exclusionary.” The protection accorded to Todd comes after attacks on other feminists who oppose the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. Julie Bindel was attacked by a protestor after giving a talk on violence against women at the University of Edinburgh last year.  “Exeter College is committed to the open and respectful discussion of ideas and to providing a supportive and inclusive environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected and valued, and in which people can work and study, without fear of discrimination or harassment.” Cherwell has previously reported on remarks made by Todd that were criticised for being transphobic. She has previously retweeted a parody account called ‘British Gay Eugenics’, which claims that young people are being pushed towards transgender identities as an alternative to being gay or gender non-conforming. She retweeted a tweet from the account which joked: “Please join our MASSIVE thanks to @stonewalluk, @ruth_hunt, Gendered Intelligence, & Mermaids UK for helping #transawaythegay. Parents, there is an alternative to having an embarrassing gay son or lesbian daughter! All it takes is timely intervention!” In footage of the event posted anonymously on YouTube, one of the event organisers is seen explaining that they were forced to disinvite Selina Todd due to threats from other speakers to pull out if she was involved. Prior to this, the organisers are seen reading out a statement from John Watts, Chair of the History Faculty Board, in response to Todd’s disinvitation. He said: “We cannot accept the exclusion of our respected colleague Selina Todd from speaking at this event. As an academic department we simply cannot accept the no platforming of people who hold and express lawful views.” In this same footage, audience members including prominent feminist Julie Bindel are seen questioning the decision to de-platform Selina Todd, and asking for a show of hands to gauge support for her. Samira Ahmed, the presenter who recently won a pay discrimination case against the BBC, also reportedly criticised the decision to no-platform Todd during her scheduled talk at the same event. “Between October 2019 and February 2020 I helped the organisers to get support from Oxford History Faculty and to find media contacts. I was stunned to receive a phone call at 6pm on the evening before the conference telling me that I had been no-platformed because of pressure from trans activists and Feminist Fightback.”  The event organisers did not respond to our request for comment. The event, which took place at Exeter College as part of Oxford International Women’s Festival, marks 50 years since the first Women’s Liberation meeting was held at Ruskin College, Oxford. Todd, whose work specialises in the history of feminism and class relations in Britain, had helped to organise the event and was due to give a brief introductory address. Bindel told The Independent in June that the attacker had screamed at her “saying that I was scum, I was a c***, I was filth,” before attempting “to punch me in the face but was dragged away by security.” “I believe that UK law should remain as it is, with sex a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act, against the claim of some trans activists that people should be able to define themselves as men or as women simply by describing themselves as such.”  Outlining her perspective on trans rights, Todd wrote on her website: “As a gender critical feminist, I have seen my views misrepresented on social media and elsewhere. So here, I explain my views. By ‘gender critical’, I mean that I believe that men and women are defined by their sex, not by culturally constructed gender norms. You can’t change sex – biologically, that is impossible.” “I refute the allegation that I am transphobic.”   Selina Todd has attracted controversy for her involvement with Woman’s Place UK (WPUK), an organisation set up in 2017 to highlight women’s concerns about proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. These changes would make any person’s legally recognised sex a matter of self-declaration, and some feminists are concerned that this would undermine legal protections based on sex as a protected characteristic. Selina Todd, who teaches modern history St Hilda’s college, had her invitation rescinded from a feminist conference where she was due to speak on Saturday 29th February. In January this year, Cherwell and other news outlets reported that the University had issued Selina Todd with security personnel at her lectures, after she received a tip off from two students that threats had been made against her.  The event organisers explain themselves first by arguing that Selina Todd’s talk wasn’t important anyway, and then saying that they had proposed a “compromise”: Todd was “welcome” to attend the event as an audience member but not to give her scheduled address. “However, the organisers decided that as a historian of feminism and working-class women, they would like to invite me, and were open to many different points of view being expressed at their event. I was delighted. I am deeply interested in the history of the WLM [Women’s Liberation Movement]— my first academic article focused on it— and my parents met at Ruskin shortly before the first conference was held there.”  In December 2018, Rosa Freedman, a law professor at the University of Reading, said that she had received phone calls making death and rape threats and had urine poured under the door of her office, in retaliation for her public views on gender issues. “The notion that people can ‘feel’ like a woman or like a man is highly socially conservative, implying as it does that being a woman rests on dressing or behaving in a ‘feminine’ way. Being a woman rests both on certain biological facts and on the experience of living in the world as a woman, from birth, an experience that is shaped by particular kinds of oppressions. A movement that claims to be advocating a liberating kind of ‘fluidity’ is in fact reinforcing and promoting highly conservative gendered stereotypes.” After around fifteen minutes of heckling from the audience, one of the event organisers ends up saying that she would invite Todd back to the conference, except that “I don’t have her phone number.”last_img read more

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The First City-County Observer “OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD” Winner For 2016 Is Anne Audain

first_imgWe are pleased and excited to announce that Anne Audain has been selected as the first CCO “OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD” Winner For 2016.Few Evansvillians, even enthusiastic distance runners, are aware that there is a world-class pioneer in professional distance running living right here among us, in the person of Anne Audain. The native New Zealander has traveled a long road both geographically and metaphorically from her native land to Southern Indiana.She chronicles her journey in her biography, “Uncommon Heart” from Cedarwinds Publishing and is the subject of the documentary film “Anne Audain: Running Her Way.” Her life is traced from meeting challenges as a child born with deformed feet, to a teen-aged running phenom after painful surgery to correct the foot problems, to a career as a teacher. From her teaching career, she stepped onto the world stage to make a name for herself as a three time Olympian, World record holder, Gold medalist and the first woman to become a professional distance runner in the US. Ms. Audain is now a motivational speaker who has spoken at institutions of higher learning such as Indiana and Purdue Universities and in the corporate world for companies like her former running sponsor, Nike.We are struck by Anne’s philosophy as a teacher, which is to endeavor “to give children the self-esteem necessary to reach their goals and dreams.” She is a living example of just what determination and belief in oneself can accomplish, which makes her as much of a “natural” as a motivational speaker as she is as a distance runner. Her discussion of her father’s influence on her success offers some wisdom to all parents who are dedicated to helping their children accomplish exceptional goals. His extraordinary adopted daughter credits him with teaching her the attitudes that led her to being inducted into three Halls of Fame in two countries and recognition from Queen Elizabeth II as a Member of the British Empire.The City-County Observer is pleased to spread the news of this renowned resident’s accomplishments by awarding two autographed copies of “ Uncommon Heart” to our readers weekly for the next several months. One copy will go to the most notable posters, one on this site and our Facebook page. Monday, March 14 is the first day of the first contest and the winners will be announced at the end of the week. Good luck, everybody! Winning this prize is worth your efforts, as the book is a “great read.”Accomplishments Of Anne AudainQualified for Six Olympic Games –1972 to 1992 in every distance from 800m to marathon.Pioneered professionalism for female track and field competitors by accepting prize money at the first professional event in 1981 which resulted in a “temporary” lifetime ban from the sport.Set a World Record for 5000 meters, Auckland, New Zealand 1982.Awarded the New Zealand Medal of Honor, 1990.Honored by Queen Elizabeth II of England with a Member of the British Empire award in1995.Inducted into the Running USA Hall of Fame, 2008. www.runningusa.orgInducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, 2009. www.halloffame.co.nzInducted into Road Runner Clubs of America Distance Hall of Fame 2014 www.rrca.orgFounded the “St Luke’s Women’s Celebration 5K” in Boise, Idaho (1993) that became the largest run /walk for women and children in the USA. Now called FitOne (2013) www.FitOneBoise.orgPhilosophyFew know that before Anne Audain was a household name in running, she was a household name in the homes of her grade school students in the Auckland School District. Anne always wanted to teach because she believed in giving children the self-esteem necessary to reach their goals and dreams. Today she relies on her running experiences and other accomplishments to teach through her motivational speaking and other activities. Her speaking engagements include those at Indiana University, Purdue University, U of Evansville, Vincennes University, Case Western University, Delta Airlines, KeyBank, Pepsi Co., Nike Concept Stores and the Women’s Sports Foundation.HistoryBorn 1955 in Auckland, New Zealand, with severe bone deformities of both feet. Adopted at birth.Did not walk correctly until re-constructive surgery at age 13. Three years later qualified for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the 1500m.Graduated from Auckland Teachers College with honors (1975). Taught at the elementary level for 4 years before arriving in the USA to further her sporting career (March 1981).Won more USA road races (75) than any other male or female runner in the 1980’s.Won Gold (3000m) and Silver (10,000m) medals at the Commonwealth Games – Australia 1982, Scotland 1986.Founded the Anne Audain Charitable Trust (1991) to support “at risk” youth in Auckland,New Zealand.She became USA Citizen, in 1995.Her many and supporters friends launched the Anne Audain Scholarship Awards which fund college scholarships for young women balancing academics, sports, leadership and community endeavors- Idaho, 2000.This years awards luncheon will be held at Tropicana-Evansville Walnut rooms A and B. The registration begin at 11:30 am, the event officially starts at 12 noon on October 26, 2015.  Last years event was a sellout.Last years winners of the “Outstanding Community Services Awards” are: Vanderburgh County Commissioner Joe Kifer, well respected local attorney Joe Harrison, Jr, Indiana State Auditor Suzanne Crouch and former Vanderburgh County Sheriff and 8th District Congressmen Brad Ellsworth, Dr. Dan Adams, Dr Steven Becker MD, Tracy Zeller-President of Tracy Zeller Jewelry Holly Dunn-National Movation Speaker on Domestic Violence, Cheryl Musgrave who sits on the Vanderburgh County Board of Zoning Appeals  and  retired political icon Betty Hermann. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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News story: UK Government reaction to GERS

first_img Scotland’s geographical share of North Sea revenues increased from £266 million in 2016-17 to £1.3 billion in 2017/18. This is up from a low of £50 million in 2015-16 and down from a peak in 2008-09 of £8.9 billion. Non-North Sea revenue in Scotland grew by 3.6% in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17, just marginally higher than the figure for the UK as a whole, at 3.5% (excluding reclassification of English housing association). This growth is driven by increased national insurance contributions and corporate tax revenues. Scotland’s tax contributions, at £11,052, continue to be around £300 per head less than the UK average, at £11,358. These Scottish Government figures show that at more than £13 billion, Scotland’s deficit at 7.9% as a share of GDP is four times that of the UK’s 1.9% as a whole. This is concerning. However these figures also confirm that being part of a strong United Kingdom – the 5th largest economy in the world – is worth nearly £1,900 for every single person in Scotland, which supports vital public services. Simply put, Scotland contributed eight per cent of UK tax, and received more than nine per cent of UK spending for the benefit of families across the country. The UK Government is investing directly in Scotland, including more than £1 billion in city and growth deals, and we are ready to work with the Scottish Government to boost the economy. Scotland’s share of UK total revenue has fallen over recent years. Since its peak at 9.7% in 2008-09, Scotland’s contribution to UK revenues has been on a downward trend in subsequent years and is currently at 8.0% of the UK total. Key points Scotland’s net fiscal balance as a share of GDP was -7.9%, compared to -1.9% for the UK overall. This decreased from -8.9% in 2016-17, compared to the UK overall, which came down from -2.3%. In absolute terms, Scotland’s deficit was £13.4 billion in 2017-18, down from £14.5 billion in 2016-17.center_img Using the Scottish Government’s own data, public spending in Scotland was nearly £1,600 per head higher than that of the UK average. In other words, in 2017-18 it was 13.2% higher than the UK average. Over the last five years, this gap has been between 10.6% in 2014-15 and 13.2% in the latest full financial year. Scotland’s deficit [or borrowing] was nearly £1,900 per person larger than the UK average in 2017-18. Commenting on the Scottish Government’s GERS figures, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: Scotland contributed 8.0% of UK tax and received 9.3% of UK spending in 2017-18 (Scotland’s population share was 8.2% in mid-2017), demonstrating how Scotland receives secure and stable levels of spending irrespective of the volatile tax revenues from the North Sea. While Scotland’s overall fiscal position improved in 2017-18, Scotland’s deficit as a share of its economy is over 4 times higher than that of the UK.last_img read more

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Research to lose sleep over

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.It’s not uncommon to hear of undergraduates pulling all-nighters to prepare for exams or finish papers. Even though a number of studies have shown that sleep deprivation is unhealthy and can actually be counterproductive, that does little to sway the average student when deadlines loom.So Will Clerx ’14 set out to dig deeper, specifically to study the physiological effects that irregular sleep patterns have on college students. Having served as an undergraduate researcher in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a Harvard affiliate, Clerx designed and ran an experiment involving 61 of his fellow students. His research helped provide insight into how irregular sleep patterns affect undergraduate performance. And his work is included in the documentary “The Great American Sleep Project,” which will air on the National Geographic network.“There are always competing priorities that arise, and college students don’t always make regular sleep their highest priority,” said Clerx. “But when you do the research, you see that irregular sleep patterns are associated with lower academic performance. So really, it appears to be counterproductive. It’s one of those things where people don’t necessarily realize what they’re doing to their bodies.”A molecular and cellular biology concentrator, Clerx said his interest in science began when he was a small child looking for insects in his Seekonk, Mass., backyard.“I was always fascinated by the natural world and exploring why things are the way they are. But while it’s something that has always interested me, I’ve found that it’s one thing to read about science, about biology, and another thing to ‘do science,’ ” said the Cabot House resident. “I’ve always been a passionate consumer of knowledge, as is everyone at Harvard; that’s how we got here, that’s why we’re graduating. But once you’re here at Harvard, you have a very special opportunity to become a creator of knowledge.”In addition to his work in the lab, Clerx was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, and is a former Cabot House Committee member and a member of the Harvard Catholic Student Association. Those who know him say he is a natural leader.“Will brings intellect, passion, and humor to everything he does.  He takes on challenging questions that impact the quality of life on a societal level while also caring deeply for those around him. He has contributed to both Cabot House and the broader College community through his intellectual, social, and personal leadership in immeasurable ways.  He is truly a gem of a person,” Rakesh and Stephanie Khurana, co-masters of Cabot House, said in a joint statement. Rakesh Khurana is the incoming dean of Harvard College.Entering his freshman year, Clerx took courses that fueled his interest in biology, but he wasn’t sure where his focus should be within the field. In the summer after his first year, he participated in the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, a program that engages students in synthetic-biology research by having them collaborate on a research project of their own design, with the aim of creating biological systems that perform new functions.Clerx called this a “formative experience,” but said it wasn’t quite what he was seeking.“I realized that this kind of research could have far-reaching and important impacts, but it was pretty far removed from the clinical side, from people. I took a step back and realized I really wanted to work more directly with people,” he said.That’s when he took a class taught by Charles Czeisler ’74, the Frank Baldino Jr., Ph.D. Professor of Sleep Medicine. Clerx learned about the circadian clock, the biomechanism that guides sleep patterns, and how environmental time cues such as light can alter that internal clock and affect sleep.“I was hooked,” he said. “Sleep is very tangible. It is something everyone experiences, everyone knows, and we think we understand it so well, but there is really so much more we can learn.”In the fall of 2012, Clerx began working in the sleep lab. He continued to learn about how lack or disruption of sleep over time can unsettle the body, affecting important hormones such as melatonin and cortisol and increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And he saw how light exposure can influence the body’s internal clock. Yet he didn’t think that enough was being done to see how all of this was affecting undergraduates, whose exposure to light from smartphones and computer screens late into the evening has increased tremendously in the 21st century.For his experiment conducted in the fall semester, he recruited fellow Harvard undergraduates and compared students with regular sleep schedules to those with irregular sleep patterns. His work evolved into his senior thesis.“Will’s creativity and talent enabled him to make an important discovery linking irregular sleep-wake schedules with changes in the brain’s circadian clock. His thesis research was truly exemplary,” Czeisler said.“What I found was an effect similar to what some have called ‘social jet lag.’ Exposure to nocturnal light was associated with setting the circadian clock of the irregular sleepers back nearly three hours. This means that, on average, these students are in Boston, geographically speaking, but are essentially living in California, biologically speaking.” Clerx said. “I could tell college students they could sleep more. But if I could tell them that if they slept more regularly it might be the difference between a B+ and an A-, that has very tangible meaning.”After graduation, Clerx will continue to work in the sleep lab, but eventually plans to go to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist.“When you have children who are sick, young kids just at the beginning of their lives, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with that. You’re fighting for the life ahead of them. There’s no doubt that it can be a tough environment when things don’t work out, but at the same time I think there’s a lot of room there to bring hope to people, and that’s what interests me,” he said.As for his own sleep patterns, does Clerx practice what his research teaches?“I am by no means a perfect human,” he said with a laugh, “but I am certainly aware of it. But there have been times when I stay up late writing a paper, look at the clock, and say to myself, ‘My risk of diabetes is going up.’ ”last_img read more

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Chorale to perform Handel’s ‘Messiah’

first_img“Messiah” is an oratorio that contains three movements, Bishop said. The Chorale will be singing most of the first two movements, for a performance that will be around two and a half hours. “It depends on how many solos we do,” she said. “We don’t do the entire piece, we kind of pick and choose.” This year’s performance is unique in that the Chorale will be accompanied by a Baroque orchestra, Bishop said. The orchestra is comprised of Notre Dame students and other musicians. “A lot of the people play with us for ‘Messiah‘ every year,” she said. “The string instruments have a different feel. We still sing with a harpsichord, but it’s really cool because it’s more historically accurate.”Director Alexander Blachly said in an email the Baroque instruments have a several advantages as accompaniment for works like “Messiah.”“Most notably, they make the phrases easier to play and easier to shape. Modern strings don’t let in enough lightness and air, and as a result the phrases tend to sound heavy and labored, even when played softly,” he said. “Certain effects, like sudden strong notes, also project better with Baroque instruments. The older instruments are not as loud as modern ones, and this has one advantage and one disadvantage: the advantage is that the sound is gentler, more voice-like.”The downside is that the Baroque instruments do not project as easily in a large hall, Blachly said, “and the players therefore have to take that into account and play with a little more projection than would be necessary on modern instruments.”“Perhaps the greatest advantage is that the Baroque instruments are pitched a half-step lower than modern instruments, with the result that the highest notes for the sopranos are easier to sing,” he said.‘Messiah’ is intended to retell the history of early Christianity, Blachly said, from the prophecies of Jesus’ birth, through the host of angels singing of his glory to the shepherds, then his Passion and suffering, and finally, the arrival of Christianity, with the anticipation of the Day of Judgment.“The Chorale sings virtually all of part one, the prophecies and birth, most of part two, Jesus’ Passion, and several numbers from part three, which looks forward to a future day in heaven when the souls will be united with Christ,” he said.  “The Chorale ends its performance with the final number of part two, the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, which, with its trumpets, foretells the Day of Judgment.”Bishop said the piece is performed a lot at Easter time, as well, because parts of the second and third movements deal with the death of Jesus.“One of my favorite songs is a passage from the Bible that is commonly read at Christmas time, where angel comes down from heaven and there’s the shepherds watching over the flock and she announces the birth of Jesus,” Bishop said. “So there are a lot of those classic Christmas messages in it.”The Chorale has been rehearsing for the performances since November, she said. “Because we sing it every year, we normally learn it pretty fast,” she said. “The old members help carry the new members. … and it generally requires some outside time, especially for the new people.”Bishop said Chorale has a large number of new members this year. “It was really exciting to see them on Monday for the first time, get to hear us perform our choruses with the orchestra, and seeing it all start to come together,” she said. “This is my favorite thing we perform. I love it, I smile through the whole thing. I’m not normally a huge classical music person, but Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is something else.”Bishop said it has been “extra special” to sing ‘Messiah’ for the last time, especially as president of a group she loves.“I’ll probably tear up during my last ‘Hallelujah’ chorus,” Bishop said. “It’s a special group, full of my best friends. … We’re a really different group of people that are all brought together by our love of music, and I think that brings a lot of unique aspects to our group. … It’s one of those places where I always feel so comfortable, and welcomed and loved.”In addition to performing Handel’s “Messiah,” the official concert choir of the University has fall and spring concerts, Bishop said. On the last week of winter break, Chorale will tour the Midwest. “We’ll sing the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus at all our stops. I wish we got to sing more, but it’s not quite the same with just the piano. It’s when you add in the orchestra is when it really becomes something else.”Tags: chorale, DPAC, Messiah Courtesy of Mimi Michuda The Notre Dame Chorale performs Handel’s “Messiah” last year at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The Notre Dame Chorale’s annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” will take place at Leighton Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3 for students, $2 if they are bought from Chorale members.“One of the reasons I decided to try out for Chorale is because I saw we were singing Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ And I just love the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ and I’ve really fallen in love with all of ‘Messiah,’” senior and chorale president Erin Bishop said.last_img read more

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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters declares three-for-two stock split

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a three-for-two stock split to be effected in the form of a stock dividend. The Company will distribute one additional share of its common stock to all shareholders of record at the close of business on May 29, 2009 for every two shares of common stock held on that date. The shares will be distributed on June 8, 2009 by the Company’s transfer agent, Continental Stock Transfer so that the new shares issued will equal 1.5 times the pre-split number (rounded down as necessary) with fractional shares paid in cash. The Company’s common stock will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 9, 2009 at the June 8th closing price divided by 1.5.“This stock dividend allows us to share our success with our loyal stockholders to the extent of our authorized stock and underscores our confidence in the strength of our Company and its prospects for the future,” said Larry Blanford, GMCR’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We remain committed to building stockholder value by providing consumers with an extraordinary coffee experience while helping to make a positive difference in the world.”About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR’s operations are managed through two business units. The Specialty Coffee business unit produces coffee, tea and hot cocoa from its family of brands, including Tully’s Coffee®, Green Mountain Coffee® and Newman’s Own® Organics coffee. The Keurig business unit is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers are produced by a variety of licensed brands, including Green Mountain Coffee and Tully’s Coffee. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects. Visit www.GreenMountainCoffee.com(link is external) and www.Keurig.com(link is external) for more information.Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact on sales and profitability of consumer sentiment in this difficult economic environment, the Company’s success in efficiently expanding operations and capacity to meet growth, the Company’s success in efficiently and effectively integrating Tully’s wholesale operations and capacity into its Specialty Coffee business unit, the ability of our lenders to honor their commitments under our credit facility, competition and other business conditions in the coffee industry and food industry in general, fluctuations in availability and cost of high-quality green coffee, any other increases in costs including fuel, Keurig’s ability to continue to grow and build profits with its roaster partners in the office and at home businesses, the impact of the loss of major customers for the Company or reduction in the volume of purchases by major customers, delays in the timing of adding new locations with existing customers, the Company’s level of success in continuing to attract new customers, sales mix variances, weather and special or unusual events, as well as other risks described more fully in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s analysis as of the date of this press release. The Company does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, other than in its regular, quarterly earnings releases. WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–last_img read more

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MSBs – Too hot to handle?

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Many credit unions have become concerned recently about having money services businesses (MSBs) as members. It’s no secret that regulators are looking at MSBs through a newly enhanced risk lens.Does that mean that you should not have MSBs as members? The answer is a resounding NO! It is possible to have MSBs as members while still managing the potential risk that may be associated with these businesses.So, how do you do it? First, you will need to establish a special monitoring program for these accounts that starts at account opening. Think “enhanced due diligence” when you open these accounts. In addition to typical CIP procedures, you’ll want to gather additional information such as what type of MSB they are, what MSB activities they engage in, whether they are registered with FinCEN, whether they have a BSA/AML program and establishing what typical transactions for them will be, to name a few.Then you need to conduct a risk assessment of the MSB and their activity. Areas to include in the assessment would be typical transactions, services offered, ownership, office locations, level of revenues produced by financial activities, as well as other considerations. Be sure to include traditional BSA/AML activities in the risk assessment. The results of the risk assessment will determine whether additional due diligence is required such as a review of their AML program, conducting an on-site visit, review of their training and written procedures, etc. continue reading »last_img read more

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