Financial affairs – Scottish Ultramarathon Series Thu, 31 Mar 2022 00:50:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Financial affairs – Scottish Ultramarathon Series 32 32 Japanese community of ‘Little Yangon’ demands action against Myanmar Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:35 +0000

TOKYO – Members of Tokyo’s growing Burmese immigrant community met with civil society groups in the capital on Thursday to demand stronger action from the Japanese government against the military regime.

Outside the Foreign Ministry building, around 200 people held candles and pictures of State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi.

“She is like my mother. Every morning I pray for her when I wake up,” said Pyae Pyae Win, 25, a refugee from near Yangon.

A petition drawn by Mekong Watch, a non-profit organization, called for an investigation to find out whether public funds the Japanese government gave to Myanmar in the form of grants and loans benefited the junta. Protesters called on Tokyo to halt new and current funding during the investigation.

The protest comes two months after the Burmese army, known as the tatmadaw, toppled the democratic government, preventing a newly elected parliament from sitting and arresting dozens of civilian leaders, including Suu Kyi. Last weekend, a parade celebrating Armed Forces Day in the capital, Naypyidaw, turned into the deadliest day of anti-coup protests, with 107 dead across the country.

Eleven military leaders, including the commander-in-chief, General Min Aung Hlaing, were sanctioned last week by the United States, the European Union and Canada. The United Kingdom on Thursday sanctioned a conglomerate linked to the tatmadaw.

But as Myanmar’s second-largest source of development assistance, Japan has a great influence on the country’s economic future.

Keen not to be left behind by China, Japan sent 189.3 billion yen ($ 1.8 billion) in official development assistance to Myanmar in 2019, according to MOFA figures.

The Japanese government has refused to join its allies in targeted sanctions, officials including Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, alluding to Japan’s “unique role” in maintaining communication – and influence – with the tatmadaw.

“We are doing our best to achieve goals such as stopping the violence and freeing detainees and quickly restoring the democratic political system,” a foreign ministry official told Nikkei Asia. When asked if Japan had filed a complaint about the violence against protesters last weekend, the official said: “So far we have not received any kind of positive reaction from Tatmadaw.” .

Yuka Kiguchi, executive director of Mekong Watch, said in a statement that the group did not want Japan’s “unique role” to be that of providing funds for projects that potentially finance bullets that kill civilians in Myanmar. “

Japan announced in February that it would cease all new official development assistance to Myanmar. Ongoing ODA funded projects as well as loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are ongoing.

Tokyo’s cautious stance was in part aimed at protecting Japanese trade interests in Myanmar. In the weeks following the February 1 coup, a few Japanese companies publicly denounced the coup. Beverage giant Kirin has said it will seek a new business partner to replace Myanma Economic Holding Ltd., the military’s investment vehicle, in two jointly owned breweries.

“We want to show the concern of Japanese civil society to the Burmese people,” Kiguchi told Nikkei Asia. “We think our government is ignoring our demands. It looks very bad in this situation.”

The Burmese population in Japan has grown to more than 20,000, according to the Justice Department.

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Longest-serving Bay County jail inmate convicted of murder in 2016 Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:26 +0000

BAY CITY, MI – Over four years ago, a teenager choked and stabbed a Bay City man to death, then set his house on fire on Thanksgiving morning in hopes of covering up his crime.

Now of full age, the convicted killer has learned of his prison sentence.

And while his victim’s grieving brother expressed a desire for the young killer to be sexually assaulted in prison and desperate to end his life, the sentencing judge offered the defendant empathy. and words of encouragement.

Rodrick D. Williams appeared before Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran for sentencing on the morning of Tuesday, February 16.

In May 2018, a jury found Williams guilty of second degree murder, felony murder, building theft, armed robbery and carjacking in the death of Steven A. Bouza, 59, who was killed in inside his home at 205 18th St. on the night of November 22, 2016.

Williams was 16 at the time of the murder and 17 when the jury found him guilty. Williams turned 21 on January 17 and has been in custody since police arrested him on November 30, 2016.

Originally held at Bay County Juvenile Home, Williams was transferred to Bay County Jail on Jan. 18, 2017, making him the longest serving inmate currently at the facility, according to prison administrator Captain Troy A. Stewart.

The long delay between Williams’ conviction and impending sentence stems from his young age when he committed the murder.

In Michigan, a murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. However, the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that such a sanction for convicted youths was unconstitutional. The country’s highest court in 2016 clarified that the ruling was retroactive, affecting current prisoners.

The prosecution and defense have agreed to postpone Williams’ conviction until they receive advice from the Michigan Supreme Court and the state legislature, both of which have promulgated laws and procedures. In the years since his conviction, Williams repeatedly waived his right to be sentenced within a year of his conviction. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further delayed Williams’ conviction.

Before sentencing, Sheeran allowed Williams to speak.

“I stay awake every night thinking about Mr. Bouza and how bad his family could feel,” Williams said. “I would like to say that I am sorry for the family of the victim for the horrible tragedy that took place. And also sorry for my family for putting them through this emotional wreckage too, because I know they had high expectations for me and I really, really tried to meet those expectations by going to school, coming out of the foster care system, and becoming a great role model for my siblings, but it’s hard when the odds are stacked against you.

He went on to say that he wanted to prepare for his own future and become a US Navy SEAL. He said he now plans to spend his time in jail to get a GED and take courses in business management.

“If I’m lucky enough to come home, I can start my own business and become a productive member of society,” Williams said.

Two brothers and sisters of Steven Bouza then took the floor. The first, brother Mike Bouza, praised his brother, praising his inherent kindness.

“One of his special characteristics was his generosity, his benevolent and caring heart, his sincere concern for others and all he could to help this person to cope with the difficulties that he was enduring,” he said. declared. “His calm demeanor gave you a sense of comfort when you were in his presence. He had a unique ability to recognize when someone needed a friend, young or old. He could sense when a person was feeling lonely and defeated. He offered hope, a shoulder to lean on and, many times, some kind of gift to help them. “

He described his brother’s murder as “an unprovoked, senseless, unnecessary, calculated, well thought out, cold-blooded, premeditated, outright murder”. He further stated that his attitude towards Williams was one of revenge.

“The living hell that awaits him in prison, he deserves it,” said Mike Bouza. “He has nothing to bring to society. “

Sister Laura L. Krueger also commemorated the generous and compassionate nature of her late brother.

An image of Steven A. Bouza used in the trial of Rodrick D. Williams, as shown in the courtroom of Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran during the verdict on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 .

“My brother Steve was simply the best person I have ever known,” she said. “I was blessed and honored to have it for my brother. He was someone I turned to often for help, advice or support, and he never let me down. He always took time for me and for everyone who needed him. I miss him terribly and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.

Krueger asked the judge to hand down the maximum sentence allowed.

Defense lawyer Andrea J. LaBean asked the judge to consider Williams to be a minor when he committed the crime, while Demarckeon co-defendant Mr. “Marcus” Jackson was an adult. Jackson, 24, is currently incarcerated at Carson City Correctional Facility. Its first possible release date is November 30, 2051; its maximum release date is November 30, 2076.

“I think a good question would be, ‘But for the co-defendant, has this happened before? “I think the answer is no,” LaBean said.

Bay County District Attorney Nancy E. Borushko also called for Williams to receive the maximum sentence.

“I’m done talking about the accused,” she said. “Steven Bouza is the victim. Steven Bouza was a son, he was a brother, an uncle and he was a friend. Her mom can’t call her when she needs something. His siblings cannot share their joys and sorrows with their lives and there will be more inviting Steven for birthdays, holidays and weddings. The loss of Steven Bouza is really deep.

Judge Sheeran sentenced Williams to 35 to 60 years on the murder conviction, which was merged with the second degree murder conviction. He sentenced him to concurrent terms of 32 months to five years and two periods of 20 to 30 years.

Sheeran gave Williams credit for 1,538 days already spent in the county jail.

Rodrick D. Williams and defense lawyer Andrea J. LaBean

Defendant Rodrick D. Williams listens to defense attorney Andrea J. LaBean as his verdict is revealed in the courtroom of Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran as verdicts are delivered on Tuesday May 22, 2018. Henry Taylor | MLive |

Before Williams left the courtroom, Sheeran condemned Williams’ crime.

“Human life is precious; that’s what makes the crime of murder so horrible, ”he said. “The victim in this case, from everything I heard, was a kind and generous person who went out of her way to help those in need. He was rewarded by being killed for no reason. This crime was particularly heinous because it was committed without any provocation, without any reason which made the slightest sense. “

Sheeran then said he wanted to disassociate himself from some of Mike Bouza’s comments, offering Williams compassion instead.

“You are not an animal, nothing like that,” he told Williams. “You shouldn’t be hurt while you’re in detention. You shouldn’t end your own life. Your life is precious. What you need to do is make the most of your life. You are young and you can still do something with your life. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to be nice to people and somehow try to make up for what you’ve been doing here.

“Don’t listen to those words about you being worthless,” he continued. “They are not real. I understand where they come from, from someone who has suffered indescribable loss.

Demarckeon M.

Demarckeon M. “Marcus” Jackson sits next to lawyer Sally B. Warren during her sentencing hearing on June 20, 2018. (Jacob Hamilton | MLive)

Read more:

Suspects Arrested in “Brutal” Homicide in Bay City on Thanksgiving

Teenager convicted of murdering Bay City man

Man pleads guilty to second degree murder in Thanksgiving murder in 2016

Man Calls Brother’s Killer “Immature and Greedy Human Feces” in Sentencing

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The ECB has done well, the EU has been poor and the Irish scoreboard is mixed one year after the Covid crisis Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:15 +0000 PASSING the one year anniversary of the Covid-linked Irish economy and society lockdown, it has been an extremely difficult year on many fronts. However, the damage to the economy, the national psyche and the lives of people has been immense.

At the time of writing, there have been around 4,715 Covid-related deaths in the Republic and 2,116 deaths in Northern Ireland. The legacy of the pandemic will last a long time to come.

There is a lot of criticism of how the government has handled the crisis over the past year, to which this author has contributed.

Some criticisms are justified, others less.

However, if we put ourselves in the shoes of the government, facing such an unprecedented crisis was always going to be a nightmare.

There is no real model available for dealing with such an unusual and dangerous situation. In many ways, this has been a case of learning as you go and largely a trial and error approach.

Of course, the dysfunctional healthcare system was totally unable to cope.

If it gives you any comfort, most governments around the world are being pilloried for their handling of the crisis and, in particular, for the management of the vaccine rollout.

The US and UK handled the initial health crisis very poorly, but these countries have dramatically reversed the situation with their handling of the vaccine rollout.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has handed over control to venture capital firm Kate Bingham, and the results have been spectacular.

The UK became the first country in the world to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in early December and, according to the British medical journal, his health ministry began planning a mass vaccination program before the first infection was confirmed.

Mr Johnson has managed to turn his political fortunes in dramatic fashion and is definitely in the spotlight, right now.

In the United States, President Joe Biden has prioritized the vaccination program and is expected to experience spectacular success in his first 100 days in office. Indeed, my 32 year old nephew in California was contacted to make a vaccination appointment, while my 70 year old neighbor here did not hear a word.

Meanwhile, across the EU, the handling of Covid-19 itself has varied tremendously from country to country, as has the vaccination schedule –
although the latter is linked more to the incompetence of the EU than to the incompetence of individual countries.

Nonetheless, the responsibility for the vaccine rests on the shoulders of individual governments, with Emmanuel Macron, the French president, now appearing very vulnerable to the threat from the political right in France ahead of the presidential election in April next year.

The German Chancellor’s CDU party is in serious trouble ahead of the federal elections in September. The Financial Time made headlines this week citing a German business leader as saying ‘we’re the laughing stock’, while Angela Merkel launched an attack on the leaders of Germany’s 16 states for easing their lockdowns as infection rates were increasing.

Germany was said to have handled the crisis very well at the start, but that is only a distant memory.

In a nutshell, the management of Covid and the vaccination program is causing serious political ripples across the world, and it will be interesting to see how this could change the global political complexion over the next few years.

In contrast, the economic policy response to the crisis has been quite aggressive and coordinated.

The EU immediately eased tax and state aid rules, and essentially encouraged governments to borrow as much as needed to support households and businesses in the face of a severe crisis.

The European Central Bank (ECB) launched a € 1.9 billion bond buying program, or quantitative easing, which aimed to keep long-term interest rates low, thus facilitating massive borrowing by courses by EU governments.

This general policy response has been strong but, at the EU level itself, there has been a marked reluctance to implement the budgetary approach which is undoubtedly necessary.

As is always the case, the agreement on an EU bailout has been slow, laborious and, ultimately, insufficient. It is likely to be less than half that of the United States. As a result, the resumption of growth in the United States will far exceed that of the EU.

Overall, the ECB handled the crisis well, but the European Commission has been very disappointing at all stages, but particularly when it comes to the procurement and delivery of vaccines.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen did not inspire confidence.

In Ireland, the government’s scoreboard appears mixed.

On the one hand, the government did not hesitate to borrow and ran up a big deficit.

Before the pandemic, it was expected that there would be a general government budget surplus of up to 2.5 billion euros in 2020. In this case, a deficit of almost 19.5 billion euros materialized.

The deficit this year could exceed € 20 billion, depending on how long strict restrictions remain in place.

The government quickly recognized that households would need to be supported and that the economic recovery would ultimately depend on having as many viable businesses as possible still there to pick up the pieces and stimulate the recovery.

The supports include the unemployment payment in the event of a pandemic, the wage subsidy for employment scheme (formerly the temporary wage subsidy scheme), a credit guarantee scheme, rate exemptions, business loans and various subsidies. . There have also been specific sectoral initiatives, such as for the tourism sector.

Many businesses affected by the restrictions in sectors such as hospitality, non-essential retail, private transportation and personal services, rightly argue that payments have not been enough to keep them going and to come back to life once the pandemic has passed in certain senses of the word.

Data collected by the European Commission suggests that in 2020 Ireland ranked last in the EU for the amount of state aid granted to businesses expressed as a percentage of GDP. Measured by GDP, he estimates that Ireland distributed the equivalent of 0.26% of GDP, compared to 7.3% in Spain and 6.4% in France. This despite the fact that the Oxford Austerity Index shows Ireland has had one of the most restrictive diets in the developed world over the past year.

Communications and leadership have been very poor in Ireland over the past year, but especially since the current government took office. Confusion, frustration and disillusion have been sown with conflicting messages, leaks, conflicting information, hesitation and the lack of a coherent strategy or direction for the tightly restricted sectors.

Government policy has been dictated by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), for the most part.

This organization has been given a very specific and limited mandate. Unfortunately, he was not required to take into account the economic, social and wider health consequences of a policy which was based on continuous and strict restrictions and nothing else.

Of course, the members of Nphet don’t contain anyone with an understanding even distant from business owners.

There has also been a dismal failure in implementing an appropriate system of testing, tracing and isolation, and rapid antigen testing. No consideration appears to have been given to the importance of ventilation either.

In addition, no proper attempt has been made to assess the various risks, for example, a person on the side of an isolated mountain or on a golf course being considered to be exposed to the same risks as a pub. . Thousands of people crammed into a public park are considered safer than two people on a golf course. It defies logic.

At the onset of the crisis, it seems clear that the health services were totally ill-equipped to deal with a pandemic and, therefore, the only viable option for the government appears to have been a continuing series of continued lockdowns until the end of the crisis. ‘a vaccine can be delivered.

Unfortunately, this is what we are living with now, and it will be for some time to come.

No attempt has been made to perform a cost benefit analysis of this approach.

The economic, fiscal, health and social legacy of the approach advocated by Nphet and generally accepted by the government will have repercussions in the years to come.

Hopefully some valuable lessons have been learned for the next health crisis, because the cost of failure is horrendous – as we are finding out.

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One of the last flowers to bloom is tall and showy: George’s Plant Pick of the Week Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:00 +0000

Here is PennLive Garden writer George Weigel’s Plant of the Week pick for this week:

* Common name: Marguerite de Montauk (Marguerite Nippon)

* Botanical name: Nipponanthemum nipponicum

* What it is: A perennial flower almost 3 feet tall that is one of the last of the season to bloom, usually starting in late summer and continuing after the first light fall frost.

The flowers resemble daisies with white petals and yellow centers. Montauk daisies are very similar to big moms and were once classified in the chrysanthemum family.

Originally from China and Japan, they have naturalized much of the eastern United States.

* Cut: 3 feet high. Space 2 to 2 ½ feet apart.

* Where to use: Perennial borders, cut flower gardens, foundations facing south or west, pollinator gardens (they are a source of late season food for butterflies) or any sunny bed or bank. Full sun gives the best flowering.

* Care: Keep moist the first season, then water is usually not needed, except in prolonged drought. Avoid planting in moist soil or in the shade.

Scatter an organic granular fertilizer formulated for flowers on the bed in early spring.

To prevent plants from falling under the weight of the flowers in the fall, cut whole plants in half at the end of May. A second, lighter mowing can also be done at the end of June. Or consider staking the plants if you like them tall.

Cut the foliage down to the ground at the end of winter. The clumps can be dug, divided and replanted in early spring.

* Major partners: Other late-blooming fall perennials combine to make a lovely fall garden, including asters, mums, and goldenrods. Switchgrass and Indian grass make a good textural contrast between the native grass. Interplant with golden daffodils for some early spring color until Montauk’s daisies sprout.

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Home help bill deals with the solvency of the unemployment fund Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:42 +0000

BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts House unanimously approved sweeping tax relief, paid emergency sick leave and an unemployment system funding bill that would moderate increases in UI premiums on Thursday that are expected to hit businesses in the coming weeks.

Laid-off workers and employers both have access to tax breaks under the Bill (H 89), which is based on a proposal by Governor Charlie Baker to stabilize the state’s unemployment system and also includes provisions such as creating a paid sick leave program for employees affected by COVID-19 and tax breaks on any paycheck protection program loans canceled from 2020.

The bill would freeze a rate schedule, imposing smaller increases in unemployment taxes that businesses pay in 2021 and 2022. It would also allow $ 7 billion in borrowing to maintain the solvency of the depleted unemployment fund and repay federal loans; and impose a separate surtax on businesses. to cover federal interests.

House Speaker Ron Mariano told reporters after the bill was passed that “the thrust of the bill is still to get people back to work.”

“We are trying to help small businesses get back on their feet,” Mariano said. “The more money we can keep in and under the control of small business owners, the better off we’ll all be. This allows them to hire more people with the rate freeze, the P3 stuff forgiveness allows them to conserve capital. All of this is used to rehire employees. “

The House vote 155-0 in favor of the bill. Four lawmakers – Republican Representatives F. Jay Barrows of Mansfield, Angelo D’Emilia of Bridgewater and Donald Wong of Saugus as well as Independent Representative Susannah Whipps of Athol – voted present.

Senate leaders expect to consider the bill next week and have already indicated their support.

The state’s unemployment system is funded by contributions from companies, which can increase depending on how often an employer’s workers seek help.

COVID-19 and the widespread changes in public life it brought about created a tidal wave of unemployment, reaching an unemployment rate of 17.7% statewide last June. The demand wiped out the UI trust fund, which fell from a balance of $ 1.6 billion in February 2020 to $ 2.2 billion in the red by the end of the year.

In his most recent monthly report, the State Department of Unemployment Assistance has forecast that the trust fund will show year-end deficits of $ 4.7 billion in 2021, nearly $ 5 billion in 2022, $ 4 billion in 2023 and $ 2.9 billion in 2024.

The dire outlook is expected to trigger a change in the tax rate schedule that, without action, would push companies’ average cost per employee from $ 544 in 2020 to $ 866 in 2021, a jump of nearly 60%.

The legislation would freeze the rate schedule in 2021 and 2022, setting the average cost per employee at $ 635 in 2021 and $ 665 in 2022, according to the Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

It would also allow the state to bond up to $ 7 billion to maintain benefits and repay the more than $ 2.2 billion available to the state. borrowed federal government for unemployment so far.

Interest rates on municipal bonds are lower than the 2.27% rate that will be due on federal loans, and supporters say the move will save Massachusetts money in the long run.

“Although unemployment has declined, certainly from what it was in June of last year, we still have challenges to face, and backing this money will give us some flexibility not to have it all. put it on business immediately, ”said Aaron Michlewitz, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Businesses would also face a new surtax, in the form of an excise tax on employee wages, until December 2022 to help pay off interest owed in September on federal loans. Representative Josh Cutler, co-chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, told the News Service that the supplement will result in an average cost of $ 57 per employee in 2021 and $ 66 per employee in 2022.

“Even with this additional surcharge for employers, Massachusetts businesses will save money with our action today,” Cutler, a Democrat from Duxbury, told the House.

The bill also includes several other important articles.

It would create a tax credit available to those who have received unemployment benefits and whose household incomes are below 200% of the federal poverty line, and remove penalties for any missed tax payments on those benefits. last year. The total tax credit is $ 30 million for the 2020 tax year and $ 20 million for 2021.

Businesses would also be exempt from paying state taxes on canceled federal paycheck protection program loans, a step Republican lawmakers have highlighted in recent weeks as a significant relief.

“When many companies applied for PPP loans, they were surviving. They weren’t thinking about next year, ”Michlewitz, a Democrat from the North End, told reporters. “They weren’t thinking about the tax decision they would have to make in the future. They were thinking about how they would stay open in the midst of an economic shutdown. In order to protect these small businesses and get them back to where they were, in the short and long term, loan forgiveness here and tax relief here is an appropriate step to take.

A year after the start of the pandemic, the House included language creating a COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave program in the bill, providing benefits to employees who contract COVID-19, to be implemented. quarantine or have to care for a family member affected by the disease.

Full-time workers could access 40 hours of paid time off, while time off for part-time workers would vary according to their schedules. Employers with fewer than 500 workers can access federal tax credits to help cover costs.

Before approving the bill, the House rejected an amendment proposed by Representative Erika Uyterhoeven of Somerville that would have offered two weeks of COVID-19 leave to affected employees.

Members also voted 152-4 to tear down another Uyterhoeven amendment aimed at what she described as preventing “double dip” tax breaks for companies that have received PPP loans.

Baker first tabled a version of the bill that included only UI changes in December, then resubmitted his proposal in January with the start of the new session. Large business groups such as AIM and the National Federation of Independent Businesses supported This measure.

“By passing this law, we will be able to use a much cheaper funding mechanism to borrow money and repay the fund,” Baker said of the bill on Wednesday.

The Republican governor has not taken a public position on the sections that Democratic leaders have added to the package, such as COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave or tax credits for the unemployed.

The House vote came after Senate Republicans delayed action on a revamped climate bill, saying passage of the relief bill to prevent the taxation of PPP loans should ” take place immediately ”before any further questions.

“In the absence of action by the legislature, these businesses will be forced to pay substantial amounts of additional taxes through tax returns now due on March 15, rather than putting those dollars to work in their fight for survive and continue to employ the thousands of Massachusetts residents. The payroll protection program was designed to protect, ”wrote Sen. Bruce Tarr of Gloucester, Ryan Fattman of Sutton and Patrick O’Connor of Weymouth. “Failure to act in a timely manner will cause untold hardship for Massachusetts employers and employees. “

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Cash visibility that supports global growth Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:20 +0000

BDP International is a global logistics company in the midst of an incredible journey. Founded in 1966 as a freight forwarder and funded by a $ 1,200 home improvement loan, BDP is today one of the world’s leading logistics supply chain management companies, with more than $ 2.7 billion. dollars in annual sales. It is present in 136 offices and 38 countries, providing support to organizations doing business in these markets through transport services; import, export and national facilitation; support for regulatory compliance; warehousing and distribution; and much more.

The company’s rapid growth has resulted in a similar increase in the volume of its transactions and outgoing payments. “We don’t just make payments to our suppliers; we also make payments on behalf of our customers, such as customs duties, freight charges due to the arrival of a shipment and similar expenses ”, explains Lilian Burke, vice president and treasurer of the company . “Timing is very important, both for these payments themselves and for the delivery of payment confirmations to our counterparties, in order to facilitate the release of urgent shipments.”

BDP executes around 3 million transactions each year. A delay in any of them could have a negative impact on the reputation of the company and, possibly, on its position in the market.

However, when Burke joined the company two and a half years ago, it did not have a treasury department or extensive automation of financial processes. “All of the treasury functions were handled by the local finance and accounting teams, and they were largely manual,” she says. “The automation of payment processes would have been complex to implement as it would have had to take into account not only local practices and staff, but also country-specific banking protocols required to facilitate two-way communication with banks. “

That said, the lack of centralization, standardization or automation of payment processes has created a risk that payments, or payment confirmations, will be delayed. BDP’s local finance and accounting teams managed over 450 bank accounts worldwide and over 56 bank relationships. The path to streamlining some processes, such as global payment disbursements, was fraught with both technological and operational complexities.

One of Burke’s first projects as BDP’s new treasurer was to streamline the structure of bank accounts. “The number of accounts was amazing,” she says. “I spent a lot of time familiarizing myself with how the business works. I wanted to understand all the cash flow from invoicing to invoices to receivables and then on the disbursement side, I needed to know how the payments were executed. She eliminated excess bank accounts; centralized the company’s banking relationships with three major global banks, instead of the 56 it previously used; and drastically reduces costs. Then she turned to process automation.

“Several months after I started, BDP was taken over by a private equity firm,” Burke explains. “I had worked with private equity firms before and understood that they would expect efficiency and lower costs.” As a result, she set out to develop a standardized and straightforward payment process that BDP could use in all jurisdictions around the world.

“I wanted BDP to execute bulk payments from the ERP [enterprise resource planning] system and deliver the corresponding payment files to banking partners around the world with straight-through processing, ”she said. “Likewise, I wanted to automate the cash application processes: collecting payment confirmations from our banking partners, posting transactions to the ERP system and reconciling bank accounts.

To establish two-way communication with banks, BDP decided to deploy a cloud-based solution from German provider Treasury Intelligence Solutions (TIS). Offloading the management of country-specific banking protocols to the service provider relieved BDP’s in-house developers of a complex component of the project, allowing them to focus on configuring the solution to work like Burke’s. had considered.

Today, payments created in BDP’s ERP system are automatically sent first to the TIS platform and then to the appropriate banking partner. In the other direction, TIS automatically receives payment confirmations and other transaction information from banks around the world in MT940 format. From TIS, an application programming interface (API) brings the payment data directly into BDP’s ERP system, which updates the ERP system and generates an email notification to the appropriate counterparties with a payment advice. These emails include the details needed to prove payment has been executed, such as transaction reference numbers, so that counterparties can immediately release shipments on behalf of the BDP customer.

The new process has dramatically reduced the amount of manual work required of the company’s local finance teams, while improving and accelerating the visibility of payment flows. “If someone with the appropriate permissions wants to see our payments, they can do so in the TIS solution,” says Burke. “They can see the details of the transaction, as well as the A / P [accounts payable] invoices have been paid – with payment confirmations on hand – and what incoming accounts receivable [accounts receivable] the payments were cleared. Shipments are no longer delayed due to failures in human-driven processes, improving relationships throughout our supply chain. “

Another advantage of the direct process for banking communications is that BDP has eliminated most of the security risks inherent in its traditional approach. The launch of payments is standardized and centralized on all sites and entities of the company, which increases controls and adds visibility to all outgoing flows. And the new method of delivering batch payment files to banks prevents the interception or manipulation of those files and eliminates the need to use local bank portals.

In addition to the greatly improved payment technology infrastructure, Burke has also assembled a treasury team consisting of herself and three other people. “We have a treasury director for Asia, a treasury director for Europe and the Middle East, and a treasury director for the Americas,” she said. “They are responsible for managing liquidity to meet the needs of the business. In this area of ​​responsibility, they are involved in cash flow forecasting, managing banking relationships and intercompany settlements, monitoring our compliance with debt and credit agreements, and mitigating currency effects. [foreign exchange] exhibitions.

Because the company now has a specialized treasury team, and because this team has better visibility on cash flow thanks to the technology project, “on the A / P side, we are able to control our DPO [days payables outstanding] and manage working capital between DSOs [days sales outstanding] and DPO more efficiently, ”says Burke. “We now have a lot more discipline around these processes. “

The new treasury group is also supporting conversations around cash repatriation. “A lot of businesses are focused on getting their money back to the United States,” Burke adds. “We now have visibility into our global cash positions, which allows us to see where we have excess cash. We can then find ways to use those funds more efficiently, instead of leaving unused cash in some areas. “

Burke attributes the success of the treasury transformation, in part, to his early efforts to build both understanding and relationships with teams across the business. “This project was much bigger than the cash group alone,” she says. “It involved a lot, a lot of people. So it was very important for me to involve as many people as possible, to sell them the idea, to get their buy-in.

“Treasurers need to spend time with people at different levels of the organization, to really understand how processes work,” she adds. “The payment processes that we have automated are actually areas that are beyond my control. If I hadn’t spent time with the accounts payable team and the treasury applications team and accountants, understanding BDP’s cash flow schedule, I would not have been able to make this initiative happen.

See also:

And join Cash flow and risk for a webcast celebrating the winners of our Alexander Hamilton Award 2021 in Working Capital Management: Impact of Partners! The live virtual event will take place on May 5 at 12 p.m. ET. register today.

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Consider taking time off – The Daily Aztec Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:36:20 +0000

As the semester draws to a close, there is one thing all the students can agree on: learning online has been a challenge.

I am easily distracted and sometimes find it difficult to participate verbally in class. I’m more exhausted at the end of the day than I’ve ever been with face-to-face classes and the motivation to enroll in class on Zoom has long since been exhausted. Also, the lack of physical social interaction had a huge impact on me, to say the least.

Students cannot learn effectively online or justify taking student loans or paying full tuition fees to learn from home, especially if they live out of state or live in another country like a large part of the student body of the State of San Diego.

It’s not worth the shot.

Following California State University announcement September 10 that the majority of courses will be held online next semester in addition to the decision of SDSU officials to to cancel spring break and schedule four “rest and recovery days” spread throughout the semester to avoid a new wave of COVID-19 cases, the university should also have reminded students of the option to take time off, as well as the steps necessary to do so. This can be of interest to students, especially if they are not getting the education they intended to receive at the start of their academic career.

Leave of absence means that you are not currently enrolled, but intend to re-enroll and come back. Individuals will need to speak with their advisors and the registrar, but there is usually no penalty involved. Students can take a leave of absence for up to four consecutive semesters at the SDSU without having to re-apply and they must submit a leave request on the SDSU web portal.

When students unsubscribe from courses, their financial aid is suspended and they are not required to pay tuition. Their financial aid will reactivate upon re-enrollment, which can be a sigh of relief for the students who benefit from it. Scholarship policies vary, but some may require constant enrollment and may be withdrawn for students taking time off.

If students are having difficulty, for whatever reason, they should be encouraged by the university to take time off and return in more optimal circumstances, as well as to stress the psychological value that leave can have for them. to bring.

A senior graduate, who prefers to remain anonymous, who took time off last spring and plans to graduate from SDSU in December, believes taking time off may improve a student’s mental health.

“Before I took my leave, I was mentally and physically exhausted from having a full-time job and a full-time school,” she said. “I tried several times to go to therapy in and out of school to help relieve anxiety and depression, but SDSU had limited resources that could allow me to get help while staying. on the campus. In addition, without a car, it has become more difficult. However, once I was on leave I was able to find time to ask for help. I found that my biggest benefit in taking my leave was that my mental health improved. It took me all the leave and even the summer to mentally prepare myself for the stress of school on my own.

While taking time off may be beneficial, it may not be financially feasible for some students. The oldest graduate said money was a concern she had to weigh before making her decision.

“Back then my main concern about taking time off was whether I could afford to take time off. At the time, I was working on campus, and if you’re not a student, you can’t work on campus, even on leave, ”she explained. “Not only did I have to find another job to pay the bills, but I also had to make sure the job was financially stable.

Another concern that students may have when considering time off is to graduate later than originally planned. However, the senior graduate explained that this was something she didn’t dwell on for long as she understood that everyone had a different schedule for graduation and still had took a leave of absence.

Personally, I had a hard time seeing friends graduate before me because I took time off. Other than that, you never stand out the way you would in high school, ”she explains. “You start to realize by the time you graduate that there are more people who are ‘late’ graduating like you. Something a professor told me at the start of my undergraduate years that impressed me, it is that “the university is made to be appreciated, why rush”. “

Students have been urged to compromise their education and mental health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With online learning going to be the new normal for the foreseeable future, students should consider whether the value of getting a four-year degree is worth giving up on the college experience temporarily.

The college experience will not go back to “the way it was before” and for some it can be a tough pill to swallow. Higher education, given the varying complications created by the pandemic, should be more vigilant towards students and their valid distressing circumstances.

Ultimately, the older graduate is happy with her decision to take time off and how more rejuvenated she is as a student as a result.

“Being someone who has never quit smoking, I was mentally torn as to whether it was a good idea, but after all, I’m happy to have taken charge of my health,” says t -she. “I think if I hadn’t taken time off I would have failed and I would never have gone back.”

When you are able to perform optimally, this is the best time to be a student. If you decide to take a semester off from college, or more, for whatever reason, that’s okay. Take precautionary measures to stay safe, listen to your body, and keep your sanity up. We are surviving a global pandemic and will not be enjoying spring break next semester. Taking a semester out of school has never hurt anyone and is very worthwhile under pressing circumstances.

Trinity Bland is a junior student studying television, film and media. Follow her on Twitter @trinityaliciaa.

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MarketSpark Raises $ 7 Million in Series B Funding Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:44 +0000

MarketSpark, a San Diego, Calif., managed wireless service provider for the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) replacement, has completed a $ 7 million Series B round of funding.

The round was led by IDT Corporation with participation from existing and new investors, Goldie Group and Klein Enterprises. The company also announced the arrival of Shmuel Jonas, CEO of IDT Corporation, and Daniel Klein, CEO of Klein Enterprises, to the Board of Directors of MarketSpark.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate its growth and step up its sales, marketing and platform development efforts.

In partnership with major carriers, MarketSpark already serves 35 Fortune 500 companies as they upgrade their telecommunications equipment to deliver new wireless connectivity across their national footprint.

Led by Jeff Gower, CEO, and Jake Jacoby, CTO and Co-Founder, MarketSpark is a provider of POTS alternatives for the business. Its cloud-enabled platform helps businesses replace static copper telephone lines (POTS) with a managed 5G-capable wireless solution.

The main features include:

  • Cloud PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  • Hardware as a Service Offering (HaaS)
  • Proactive system alerts and notifications
  • Remote diagnostics and resolutions
  • Routing equipment optimized for 4G and ready for 5G
  • UL and FCC approved material
  • Secure redundancy

Additionally, the transition from POTS lines to the MarketSpark solution simplifies connectivity issues for large businesses that often have to manage multiple operators in multiple states and jurisdictions. With MarketSpark, the company deals with one vendor responsible for end-to-end solutions, from planning and installation to ongoing operation and maintenance.



[ad_2] ]]> 0 European and Turkish banks grant loan to leading producer of wet wipes Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:42 +0000

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) jointly granted a € 21 million ($ 25 million) loan to Turkey’s largest producer of wet wipes Sapro on Monday for supporting business growth and improving sustainability.

The loan, split equally between the EBRD and TSKB, will finance Sapro’s increased working capital needs and a new line of biodegradable wet wipes, according to an EBRD statement.

As demand for wet wipes increased due to the coronavirus outbreak, Sapro’s production facility has been operating at near full capacity.

The company has already invested in measures to increase production and now plans to invest in greater sustainability by “designing waste” and thereby exceeding European environmental standards.

“The EBRD and TSKB are working together to improve and simplify access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises across Turkey,” the statement said.

Under a risk-sharing agreement, the two lenders provide loans to jointly identified eligible businesses, he noted, adding that clients can use the loans to finance working capital, capital expenditures or refinance existing loans.

Sapro is part of the EBRD’s Blue Ribbon program, which combines advisory and financing services to give a significant boost to high potential companies.

Founded by Ceyhun Zincirkıran and Mehmet Gündoğdu in 1997, Sapro has since grown into Turkey’s largest producer of wet wipes in terms of capacity.

Some 75% of its sales are made in European markets, mainly as private label products for large European retail chains. In Turkey, Sapro produces wet wipes under the Hops brand.

“The EBRD is one of the most important international financial institutions in Europe. His contribution and support will help us achieve our goal of becoming the most important player in our sector, ”said Zincirkıran, co-owner and chairman of the board.

Frédéric Lucenet, EBRD Director for Manufacturing and Services, said: “We are impressed with the story of this Turkish exporter. We see great potential and are happy to support Sapro’s growth as the wet wipes market continues to grow in Turkey and beyond.

As a leading institutional investor in Turkey, the EBRD has invested 12.4 billion euros in more than 300 projects in the country since 2009, with almost all investments in the private sector.

The EBRD’s EUR 7 billion portfolio in Turkey is the largest of the 38 economies in which the bank invests.

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Aton announces bridge loan and operations update Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:40 +0000

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Aton Resources Inc. (AAN: TSX-V) (“Aton” or the “Company”) announces that it has entered into an additional bridge loan (the “To lend“) with OR Moonrider (“Moonrider“), a significant shareholder of the Company.

A loan

The Company has borrowed CA $ 2,000,000 from Moonrider, which loan is repayable no earlier than six months after closing, upon the occurrence of various ongoing events of default or upon the closing of any debt or equity financing of the Company. in an amount greater than C $ 5.0 million. The Loan will bear interest at the rate of 12% per year, payable on maturity of the Loan.

Moonrider will be issued 8,510,638 warrants with an exercise price of $ 0.235 per share and an expiration date of March 31, 2022.

Bonus warrants are subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Update of operations

The Company has started the process of evaluating drilling contractors and civil engineering contractors for the start of drilling at Hamama and Rodruin. The proceeds of the loan enabled the Company to finalize and sign commitments with these contractors and to resume drilling before the completion of an equity financing.

The proceeds of the loan will be used by the Company for current working capital expenses, finalization of a drilling contract, acquisition of essential capital items required, completion of civil works in preparation for commencement drilling, such as the construction of roads, drilling platforms, the construction of a new exploration camp at the Company’s Rodruin project and the resumption of the drilling program.

I would like to thank OU Moonrider for their continued support to Aton ”, said Bill Koutsouras, chairman of the board of directors of Aten. “This bridge loan strengthens our capital to continue all of the work required to begin our next drilling program, as we continue our ongoing discussions with potential strategic investors to assess other financing alternatives available to the Company. This also prevents significantly dilutive equity financing from being carried out at this stage ”.

About Aton Resources Inc.

Aton Resources Inc. (AAN: TSX-V) focuses on its 100% owned Abu Marawat concession (“Abu Marawat”), located in the Arab-Nubian Shield of Egypt, approximately 200 km north of the gold mine world-class Sukari from Centamin. Aton has identified numerous gold and base metal exploration targets at Abu Marawat, including the Hamama deposit to the west, the Abu Marawat deposit to the northeast, and the Rodruin advanced exploration prospect to the south of the Concession. Two historic British gold mines are also located on the concession at Sir Bakis and Semna. Aton has identified several distinct geological trends within Abu Marawat, which have potential for the development of a variety of styles of precious and base metal mineralization. Abu Marawat is 447.7 km away2 in size and is located in an area of ​​excellent infrastructure; a four-lane motorway, a 220 kV power line and a water pipeline are in the immediate vicinity, as are the international airports of Hurghada and Luxor.

For more information on Aton Resources Inc., please visit us at or contact:


President of the council
Phone. : +1 345 525 2512

Note regarding forward-looking statements

Some of the statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Since forward-looking statements deal with future events and conditions; by their nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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