Oarsome achievement

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Mako Spotted Near Inlet

first_imgIt was just in time for Shark Week.A roughly four-foot-long juvenile Mako shark was unaware that its unusual appearance coincided with the Discovery Channel’s popular annual “Shark Week” programming as it swam along the shoreline near the commercial fishing dock at Shinnecock Inlet in Hampton Bays on Tuesday, August 7, before a pack of gawkers, nevertheless leaving a lasting impression.Video footage of the unusual sighting was forwarded to Greg Metzger of the South Fork Natural History Museum’s Shark Education and Research Project, an alliance of the Long Island Shark Collaborative, for his insight on the species. In the video, which was posted the same day by Joshua Gold on Facebook under the heading “There be sharks in these here waters,” a group of people can be seen watching the shark as it swam along, seemingly unaware of the ruckus it was causing, outside Sundays on the Bay restaurant.Metzger said the footage was shared with a team of biologists, who determined the shark was a young Mako, not a Blue Shark as is suggested by an onlooker in the video.He said it was likely the shark was drawn to the area by the prospect of dining on some ample baitfish along the shoreline, since the area around the South Shore inlets are very productive at this time of year.“It’s almost like waking up to see a deer in Southampton Village,” he said. “It’s a little unusual but not crazy.”By evening on Sunday, August 12, the video footage had 94,000 views on Facebook and was shared 1000 times by fans. The footage also generated 164 responses.Sharks generated a buzz this past month as two people were bitten by them off Fire Island within the span of a couple of hours.Metzger said that according to a study of shark encounters over the past 100 years, there have only been 12 such encounters, including the most recent two. “How many people have been in the water in the last 100 years — it’s probably billions — and it’s only 12 people who have had a negative interaction. Just to put it into perspective, the number of any negative interaction is so infinitesimally small,” he said.In other marine news last week, the head of a whale carcass washed up on a beach in Quogue, also causing tongues to wag. During a necropsy, the partially decomposed head did show evidence that shark teeth had bitten into its flesh, according to Metzger, who saw photos of the remains. Because the full body of the whale was not available for necropsy, it’s unclear how the whale died, though it is unlikely the sharks killed it, since they are known more as opportunistic scavengers.“They definitely would take advantage of it, if they came upon it in the water,” he said, adding that the bite marks could have been attributed to either a Great White, Blue Shark, or Tiger Shark in open water.Metzger urged anyone who might want to report a shark sighting to call the research program at the museum at 631-537-9735. Anyone seeking to identify the species of shark that they have captured photographs or video, can email the footage or image along to sharks@sofo.org.peggy@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

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LSC transfers cases from collapsed immigration advice provider

first_imgThe Legal Services Commission has announced that it has begun transferring urgent files from the collapsed Immigration Advisory Service to other providers. Following a call for existing immigration contract holders to submit expressions of interest to take on IAS cases, current providers indicated they had the capacity to take on 28,145 cases, well in excess of the number required. IAS went into administration on 8 July leaving a caseload of 8,000 files, including 1,242 unaccompanied children seeking asylum and 385 appeals with imminent court dates. The LSC will also make new matter starts available to providers to allow them to take on extra work. The LSC says it has worked with IAS’s administrators Cork Gully to deal with issues since the closure of IAS and it remains completely focused on ensuring clients get the help they need.last_img read more

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Olympian folly

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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A nonsulting request

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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News focus: Councils in need of counselling

first_imgGone are the days when local government lawyers, faced with swingeing budget cuts, could talk about nothing other than alternative business structures and shared service agreements. Now, you would be hard-pressed to find a council that is not part of a shared service agreement.As for ABSs, when I attended the Lawyers in Local Government weekend school a couple of years ago, solicitors were keen to know more about local authority-led ABSs, such as north London’s HB Public Law. Perhaps repeated warnings to think carefully about whether an ABS is the right vehicle to generate income struck a chord. At this year’s weekend school, held at the University of Warwick 10 days ago, there was little if any talk of the model.The financial challenge, meanwhile, remains formidable. A £2.2bn funding gap is forecast in social care by 2020; and the Department for Communities and Local Government budget has been cut by 60% since 2011/12. By 2020 that budget will have been pared to just £3.3bn – an 88% decline in the space of a decade.And then, of course, there is Brexit – what does this mean for councils? In the opening plenary session, Coventry City Council’s legal services manager Helen Lynch laid bare the scale of the challenge.‘How are we going to deal with the lack of opportunities currently being provided by EU funding and grant funding arrangements, which so much of us have benefited from over the last few years?’ she asked. ‘How are we going to continue to support businesses in the way we have done through EU funding?’The ‘cornerstone’ of Coventry’s own support for local small and medium-sized enterprises is the Europe-funded business support programme. Lynch said: ‘We need to think about what happens come December 2018, when the government guarantee for the EU to fund projects is expected to come to an end.’Her own council is establishing the Coventry and Warwickshire Duplex Fund, managed by Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust, a local ‘community bank’ which lends to businesses that struggle to raise finance from banks.Coventry would contribute a loan of up to £2m towards the fund, which is supplemented by £5.4m in grant funding from central government. A cabinet report states that an important benefit of the proposal ‘is that grant funding which under normal circumstances would be used once, would instead form part of a 10-year programme of business support’.Warwickshire County Council is considering joining the fund, which Lynch hopes will support hundreds of SMEs and create more than 1,000 jobs. Any investment carries risks, she acknowledged, but successful businesses increase business rate receipts.Although the project is in its infancy, the fund highlights a move away from a traditional grant-funding model ‘to something that’s a little bit more innovative and longer-term’, Lynch said.Notwithstanding Brexit, local authorities already have to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018.The regulation will replace all data protection legislation in EU member states, including the UK’s Data Protection Act, without the need for further national legislation.After conducting an information governance survey of councils, the Information Commissioner’s Office concluded last month that ‘many have work to do’.A quarter of councils do not have a data protection officer, which public authorities are obliged to appoint under the regulation. More than 15% do not run data protection training for employees who process personal data. And a third do not conduct privacy impact assessments, which will be a legal requirement under the GDPR in certain circumstances.A quick straw poll at the weekend school’s data protection session showed that two-thirds of councils represented were actively planning for the GDPR. One in 10 was just starting to think about a plan.Public law specialist Jackie Gray, a partner at national firm Bond Dickinson, believes the data protection officer role lies within the legal department – not IT.‘Where DPOs have been in the IT team, they tend to look at compliance through the lens of IT. But it’s about everything – having contracts in place on data processors that meet all the conditions, where [the data is being processed], why, what’s our statutory function,’ Gray said. ‘The DPO needs to be someone who is either a lawyer or is well versed in information governance, but not someone who is necessarily in IT.’Wakefield Council has nominated its DPO – the council’s city solicitor, who is also the local authority’s monitoring officer. Legal services manager Liz Ogden told the session that other efforts to be GDPR-ready in Wakefield include conducting an ICO ‘stock-take’, and appointing and training information asset-owners.Areas where the council is doing well include communicating privacy information, Ogden said. Areas for improvement include individuals’ rights. ‘We have to look more closely at what the right to be forgotten really means,’ she said.As the financial noose tightens, meanwhile, the need to improve efficiency remains a top priority for in-house legal teams.Fiona Alderman, former chief legal officer at the London Borough of Brent, talked about achieving the right mix between in-house legal teams and external suppliers. Data from case management systems is crucial to see how much time is spent on various types of work; what the volumes of work are; and the duration of different processes.Alderman, now head of legal and constitutional services at the London Borough of Redbridge, said a lot of work is done in ‘workstreams’, such as debt recovery. At Redbridge, this is currently outsourced to private practice. But it is one area where local authorities may want to grow a team and bring some work back in-house. If the team has a lawyer who does a lot of insolvency work, they could also do the work for other councils, thus generating an income stream. Councils should also look at the Proceeds of Crime Act, including confiscation orders, which brought in £1.3m for Brent. Such orders were used, for instance, in planning enforcement – an ‘area of key political interest’.‘POCA is really worth looking at because it more than covered the costs of what we had to pay out,’ she added. Brent also built up its debt recovery team, which recovered £6m over three years. The message for council solicitors? Where there may be money to be found, go and find it.last_img read more

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Firms merge to create £40m south-east ‘regional powerhouse’

first_imgTwo of the biggest firms operating solely in the south-east have joined forces to create a practice with a combined headcount of nearly 500.Partners at full service firms Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins unanimously approved the merged practice, which will begin trading as Moore Barlow from 1 May.The firms say the deal will create a ‘regional powerhouse with a significant geographic footprint across the south east’. The new entity will have 70 partners and 272 lawyers across six offices, with a combined turnover of almost £40m.Ed Whittington, managing partner of Moore Blatch, said: ‘There is a unique opportunity to bring together the absolute best of our two organisations – both outstanding firms with deep regional roots, strong areas of specialism, and dedicated teams of exceptional talent.‘By combining our respective and highly complementary areas of expertise within a culture of excellence and support, we will be one of very few firms with the breadth, depth and resources to meet all the needs of our core client groups.’The firm combined will have offices in Southampton, Guildford, Woking and Lymington, as well as two locations in London (Richmond and the City). It will also be the sole UK legal adviser within Ecovis, an international network of more than 7,500 lawyers, accountants and consultants with capability around the globe.Barlow Robbins LLP posted turnover of £13m and operating profit of £2.8m for 2018/19. Both had risen year-on-year. According to its 2018/19 annual results, Moore Blatch LLP recorded £25m turnover and £5.5m operating profit, the latter having risen 44% on the previous year.last_img read more

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Movement against Conde’s bid for third term sets date for peaceful…

first_imgProtests in Algeria against president’s bid for 5th term Guinea President Alpha Conde waves at supporters on October 8, 2015 during a presidential election campaign in Conakry. Guinea’s economy is crumbling after months of mass rallies sparked by fears of President Conte’s bid for a third term in office. PHOTO | CELLOU BINANI | AFP FILE PHOTO: Guinea President Alpha Conde waves at supporters during a campaign in Conakry. PHOTO | CELLOU BINANI | AFPA movement against a controversial bid for a third term in office by Guinean President Alpha Conde said it will launch a new round of protests on September 29.One of the movement’s leaders Abdourahmane Sano issued a rallying call to Guineans in and around the capital to turn out in large numbers for peaceful protests against the 82-year-old’s bid.“Our citizens’ movement calls on the population of Conakry and the surrounding area to join a series of peaceful marches, starting on Tuesday September 29, 2020, to demand Mr. Alpha Conde’s departure,” Sano said.Protests in Guinea broke out in mid-October last year amid fears that Conde would try to push an amendment to extend his stay in office after he launched constitutional consultations saying Guinea’s basic law needed reform.A constitutional amendment which lifted a term-limit allowing Conde to run again was pushed through in a referendum in March.He subsequently formally accepted a nomination by the ruling Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) to vie in the election sparking public outcry among a section of citizens.Conde was once a long-time opposition leader whose election into office raised hopes for democratic progress in the West African nation. However, his efforts to stay in power stoked fears that Guinea will head the way of other African countries whose rulers have refused to step down long after their terms in office expired.Veteran opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo is expected to be Conde’s toughest challenger after another opposition leader, Sidya Toure, who came third in the 2010 and 2015 elections, said he would not participate this year.Guinea is scheduled to hold elections on October 18.Related President Nkurunziza confirms third term bidcenter_img Protests in Burundi against the president’s 3rd term bidlast_img read more

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SMA and Convent students excel at CSEC

first_img 85 Views   2 comments Tweet O’Neil LeBlanc of the Saint Mary’s Academy obtained 11 grade onesTwo students from two of Dominica’s Catholic Church schools have excelled at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examinations (CSEC).O’Neil LeBlanc of the Saint Mary’s Academy who obtained 11 grade ones expressed elation at his accomplishments.“I feel great, I’m very happy about it and of course very thankful to God,” Mr Leblanc said in an interview with Dominica Vibes on Wednesday, 14th August.He obtained grade ones in English, Spanish, French, Mathematics, History, Principles of Business, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Building Technology and Literature.He attributed his success to studying, his “God given intelligence” and teachers who were always willing to help.Mr Leblanc intends to enroll at the State College to major in Chemistry and Mathematics. He intends to pursue careers in Architecture and Civil Engineering after his two year stint at the Dominica State College. He also thanked his parents, family and teachers who supported him “and pushed me to do my best”.Jade Alexander, who was the head girl of the Convent High School, obtained 10 grade ones in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, English, Music, Principles of Business, Literature, Spanish and History.“I am who I am today because of the Almighty God. My CSEC results are a shining example of him in my life. I am happy I made my family, school and community proud,” she told Dominica Vibes.Jade Alexander, who was the head girl of the Convent High School, obtained 10 grade onesThe 17 year old who is currently off-island enjoying her summer vacation said “as always, I don’t work hard for my own pleasure but the benefit of everyone else”.She intends to further her education in the field of Chemistry and noted that this is “just the first step to me making a difference for my country”.Ms Alexander explained that the creation of a study calendar was among several initiatives taken in preparing for their exams. She assisted in building her school and community, prayed consistently, remained focused and ignoring all negative energies also assisted her in the final year of high school. “My secret weapon was that I loved what I did. Furthermore, I believe that once someone is passionate about something and set their priorities straight, they will surely succeed,” she said. She named her grandmother, Erica Ambrose as one of her biggest motivator who always reminded her to “Go For It” because she didn’t have the opportunities we had to get a high school education.“I had a tough time balancing my head girl duties and also excelling in school. Nonetheless, I had a lot of support from my parents, family, teachers, friends and Fatima Parish community”.She said they all supported her tremendously and never stopped believing in her abilities even when she was faced loads of animosity. Several other young ladies at the Convent High School excelled at the examinations, including the 2013 valedictorian Alex-Maree Roberts who obtained 10 grade ones and 1 grade two.Dominica Vibes News Share Sharing is caring!center_img EducationLocalNewsSecondary SMA and Convent students excel at CSEC by: – August 14, 2013 Share Sharelast_img read more

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First US Zika-related death in Puerto Rico

first_img 141 Views   no discussions NewsRegional First US Zika-related death in Puerto Rico by: Associated Free Press – April 30, 2016 Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share MIAMI, United States (AFP) – The first death related to the mosquito-borne Zika virus infection on US soil was reported Friday in the US territory of Puerto Rico, health officials said.“The patient died of complications related to severe thrombocytopenia,” a condition related to a low number of platelets in the blood, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.“Although Zika virus–associated deaths are rare, the first identified death in Puerto Rico highlights the possibility of severe cases, as well as the need for continued outreach to raise health care providers’ awareness of complications that might lead to severe disease or death.”Officials provided no further details about the patient who died.The CDC has warned of a potential explosion of Zika cases in Puerto Rico, possibly reaching into the hundreds of thousands.The virus is known to cause the brain defect microcephaly, and is blamed for a recent surge in cases of malformed babies in Brazil.The health authorities urged people in Puerto Rico to “continue to employ mosquito bite avoidance behaviors, including using mosquito repellents, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, and ensuring homes are properly enclosed.”Since Zika is also known to be transmitted by sexual contact, partners of pregnant women are being urged to use condoms or avoid sex until the baby is born.Puerto Rico reported its first Zika case — known as the index patient — in November.“In December 2015, Puerto Rico became the first US jurisdiction to report local transmission of Zika virus, with the index patient reporting symptom onset on November 23, 2015,” the CDC said.The CDC investigated a total of 6,157 suspected Zika cases in Puerto Rico between November 1, 2015 and April 14, 2016.Scientists confirmed that 683 (11 per cent) “had laboratory evidence of current or recent Zika virus infection,” it said.The most common symptoms were rashes, joint and muscle pain, headaches and fever.Sixty-five pregnant women tested positive for Zika.A total of 17 patients required hospitalisation, including five with suspected cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves.last_img read more

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