Editorial: Wall Street’s Retreat From King Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the New York Times:The grave environmental damage from coal-fired power plants has done nothing to deter the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, from decrying a “war on coal” and orchestrating his own war against the Obama administration’s climate change agenda. But he and other coal-state Republicans would be foolish to ignore the growing consensus on Wall Street that King Coal, for all its legendary political power, has turned into a decidedly bad investment.JPMorgan Chase announced this month that it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants in the United States or other advanced nations, joining Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley in retreating from a fuel that provides about one-third of the nation’s electricity and accounts for about one-quarter of the carbon emissions that feed global warming.Cleaner and cheaper natural gas is fast becoming the preferred investment, a blunt marketplace reality that is sure to weaken coal’s grip on the planet as much as moral and environmental concerns. Last week’s announcement by Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, that it may have to seek bankruptcy protection, just as three other major coal producers have done recently, provided a dramatic confirmation of this trend.Main Street also seems to be getting the message. Two weeks ago, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon signed ambitious legislation — agreed to by environmentalists, consumer groups and power producers — that requires the state’s two largest utilities to stop importing out-of-state coal-generated power by 2030 and to use renewable energy to meet half of the demand of their customers by 2040. Oregon’s only in-state coal-fired plant will close by 2020.Even so, Mr. McConnell persists in his campaign to block the administration’s clean power rule, the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by steering power producers away from dirty coal-fired plants to cleaner sources of energy. Ever ready with new and more mischievous strategies, Mr. McConnell has encouraged court challenges to the rule and has gone so far as to tell Republican-led states to ignore it, further deepening his party’s sorry retreat into science denial.Though reeling now, the coal industry insists it will rebound by selling more to markets like China. But this is little comfort to workers who can read the markets better than Mr. McConnell can. Rather than encouraging obstruction, the senator, who received $273,850 in campaign contributions from the coal industry for his 2014 re-election, should be taking the lead in crafting government programs to help the industry, miners and communities as they face a hard period of inevitable transition.Even as the administration cracks down on coal — in recent weeks it has also suspended new coal leasing on federal lands — it has called for job training and other assistance to ease the pain. These are the types of creative adjustments that Mr. McConnell and his colleagues should be tackling, instead of clinging to King Coal’s fading past.Wall Street’s Retreat From King Coal Editorial: Wall Street’s Retreat From King Coallast_img read more

The Fight against Drug Trafficking is a Fight for Democracy

first_img Interview with Mr. Mario Zamora, Costa Rican Minister of Public Security When Mr. Mario Zamora took office as Costa Rica’s Minister of Public Security on May 1, 2011, he said that his goal was to restrain increased crime rates, as well as to reduce the level of violence exerted in crimes throughout the country. Due to the coordinated efforts from different police units and increased international cooperation, Zamora appears to be achieving very positive results in Costa Rica. Close to two years after assuming this position, Mr. Zamora met with Diálogo to talk about these and other issues. DIÁLOGO: What are the current challenges in terms of safety for Costa Rica? Mr. Mario Zamora, Costa Rican Minister of Public Security: The regional situation entails modifying the strategic partnership used under the counterdrug policy. Currently, we need to adapt to the reality that Central America is becoming more and more global, more interconnected with the world. Costa Rica and other Central American countries now have free trade agreements. This increases the flow of products that not only originate in Central America but also pass through Central America, trade routes are expanding. Each Central American nation has also experienced an increase in tourism. In other words, human mobility has also increased in the region. The scenario I am describing is where control activities and police patrol take place, where routes have been multiplied, as well as the containers that we must check every day. This has caused a significant increase in our national or regional vulnerabilities. However, we also believe that the challenge is to respond to this new scenario with policies that will add professionalism to our police forces, as well as better interaction between law enforcement and criminal justice. I believe the challenge is no longer the amount of drugs we manage to seize. That was what it used to be like traditionally; the average given by each country about their victories and the efficiency of their systems. I believe that the current new element is the arrests, especially of drug trafficking leaders. In my opinion, this is the new element that determines victories and efficiency in this matter, to be capable of disrupting the organizations that use Central America and Costa Rica to smuggle drugs. We also have a new scenario, where the inflow of cash is generated by drug trafficking and by passing through Central America in large quantities. This provides an opportunity for corruption among government officials, which is a major threat against democracy. Drug trafficking has never been such a menace to the validity of democracy as it is today. In addition to how drug smuggling impacted the region previously, currently it is evident that money is used to influence public institutions to weaken our country. DIÁLOGO: What is the importance of a meeting such as CANSEC 2013? Minister Zamora: This type of meetings gather decision makers, but it is necessary to take further steps to move forward, as we have done in Costa Rica with the United States for over ten years, where U.S. Coast Guard vessels have law enforcement authority, granted by the Costa Rican government, in order to patrol our national waters. I remember ten years ago this was seen as a loss of sovereignty. We almost said “well, now you become a sort of U.S. protectorate; you are renouncing your sovereignty.” It was seen as an example of international submission, and not as an example of a sovereign country that has to establish frank and direct dialogue with others. After ten years of the joint patrol agreement with the United States, I only see great victories in this situation, which would not have happened without the support and solidarity of the U.S. I believe that one of the best safeguards of the country is to have re-interpreted the concept of sovereignty, not to see it as an attack; on the contrary, to see it as international support where other governments join the Costa Rican government with their efforts to counter drug trafficking in our territory. DIÁLOGO: There are about 500,000 square kilometers of Costa Rican sea, right? Minister Zamora: It is more than ten times the size of our surface. Nevertheless, our Castillian culture, not only in Costa Rica, but also in Central America, makes us only see land. We are countries that do not project much towards the sea, the more we do that , the more we renounce it. And this implied renunciation has allowed drug traffickers to use our Pacific and Atlantic coasts as transit routes for drug smuggling. It is important to mention that we also need to adopt a new culture, where we don’t only think about what happens on our soil, but also what happens at sea. In addition to countering drug trafficking, Costa Rica is also fighting for the environmental protection of its ecological heritage. Generally, someone from the outside would see these as two totally different fights. How is environmental protection connected to the fight against drug trafficking? When we realize that supporters of drug trafficking usually practice illegal fishing, masking their drug related activities with fishing, it is also when we realize that we need to integrate this type of effort. On several occasions when we are looking for illegal fishing, we end up finding drugs, or busting supporters of drug traffickers. DIÁLOGO: Are these fishermen an example of families similar to drug cartels? Minister Zamora: That would be an example. Likewise, we have detected that drug trafficking is also doing intelligence in the area. How do they do it? Someone who visits fishers’ bars know who has been economically unsuccessful, who is about to lose their boat, which will be taken by the bank. Perhaps a person who would have never agreed to collaborate with drug traffickers is now willing to do so under these circumstances. DIÁLOGO: What is your opinion on the question asked by many: “Why is the government of the Costa Rica devoting resources to interdiction? That’s a problem in the United States …” Minister Zamora: There is a cause-effect relationship. It is untrue that drug trafficking occurs through that area without making an impact on our territory. Maybe that was true in the first stage. Currently, there is an interconnection. They [drug traffickers] have secondary markets, and the market has simply expanded. There is more opportunity to deliver drugs where the market is bigger. Basically, they are led by commercial logic, and within that business logic they would like to be able to sell to more markets. This forces them to produce more, for a higher profit. They are not forced to sell only in Euros or Dollars. If Costa Rican purchasing power suddenly allows the business in Colones to be profitable as well, they will resort to it. We have to think of drug trafficking as a transnational enterprise that maximizes its dividends. We should also incorporate the consumer’s attention into this strategy. When we detect a drug-dependent person, that person has to do something to obtain money in order to buy their daily doses, and this problem is solved by stealing parts of street lights or snatching a lady’s purse or the cell phone from a child, to squander and have the money available, well, that is not only a public health issue, but also a law enforcement issue. Therefore, the goal of including detoxification policies for these people as part of the general strategy is something we consider crucially important, because we should not only fight against the big drug lord. DIÁLOGO: There are many poor people willing to sell their souls to the devil because of their drug addiction, correct? Minister Zamora: Exactly. It is important not to encourage consumption; on the contrary, we must ensure that consumers free themselves from the bondage that is their drug addiction. So, we have a huge fight ahead; however, all this puts a risk on the validity of the democratic system. I insist on this a lot. It is not just about fighting against another crime; it is a drug addiction suffered by certain parts of society in our countries that undermines democracy because it allows drug traffickers to impose their rules, to substitute the rule of government by imposing their own laws, their exchange system and obligations, hence affecting citizens of a democracy by restricting their rights and freedom. DIÁLOGO: Minister Zamora, the issue is that many people adopt a sense of defeat. They say: “Well, this problem will go on forever …” Minister Zamora: Well, the fight for freedom has been going on since humankind exists. So we are not going to say that today we will give up on the fight for freedom because there have been individuals that have attempted to violate it throughout history. If you say, “well, the fight against drug trafficking has not been able to be extinguished…” Well, neither has the fight against slavery. In the past, slavery was the issue; now it is human trafficking. It is the new way. In other words, you can realize that the worst scourges are still there, but it does not mean we should stop fighting against them. So, I think there are people who want this to turn into a soccer match where the referee whistles and we have to win in 90 minutes, otherwise they will. If we do not win, well, the victory is theirs. No, no. We are engaged in a long, tedious struggle. In memory of so many people that have died for the State and its institutions, in order to defend democracy and fight against drug trafficking, to forget that effort would be wrong and giving up is the easy solution of saying well, “they win because they still exist.” By Dialogo May 20, 2013last_img read more

An inside view of the CFPB review process on the new payday lending rule

first_imgIt was in late 2014 that the email came in from a member who works for a consumer protection group in DC – “Would North Side like to participate in the CFPB rulemaking process on the new payday lending regulations they plan to introduce?” The answer was a resounding ‘yes!’ North Side Community Federal Credit Union was founded in the 70s to combat redlining in its community, and has remained committed to its mission of serving underserved groups throughout its history. In 1994, we developed a small dollar loan to help combat predatory lending, and went through many iterations of the product before we landed on the current $500-$1000 loan product that we offer today, with very low charge-off rates. Since product inception, we have underwritten over 14,000 small dollar loans, and on an annual basis write about 1,000 non-credit based, small dollar loans. Members repeatedly have expressed their appreciation to our credit union for providing a viable alternative to payday lenders who trap borrowers in egregious cycles of debt. The CFPB agreed that North Side Community FCU was a strong contributor to the rulemaking process.  I was invited to fly to DC to contribute to the CFPB Small Business Review Panel on Payday, Vehicle Title, and Similar Loans.There were several interim phone calls between the invitation and the convening. It was on April 29th, 2015 that the panel was convened at the US Treasury Building. We were each invited to bring one guest, and a member of a credit union trade association attended with me. Approximately thirty small businesses were invited to this process, and the panel consisted largely of payday lenders, a handful of community banks, and two other community development credit unions. We were seated at tables in a U-formation, with representatives from the CFPB, the US Small Business Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget in the center.  During the eight-hour process, participants were given cards to raise when they wished to comment on a particular part of the rule. Perhaps the most eye-opening part of the process personally was listening to comments made by payday lenders; concerns were very similar to the ones raised by the credit union industry. The payday lenders claimed to meet a market need for a particular segment of consumers. While it is true that there is a market demand for very small amounts of capital, particularly by borrowers with poor credit, there are fair and reasonable ways to meet the market demand. Credit unions in particular play a significant role, and can to live up to their mission of people helping people by meeting this need in underserved communities.Our credit union’s small-loan borrowers also have low credit scores and incomes, like payday loan borrowers. But because our loans have affordable payments, reasonable terms, and usually have electronic repayment from a checking account, our delinquency rate has historically been very low over the 20+ years we have been originating these loans. At the same time, individuals have the ability to improve and increase their credit score while repaying the loan (and many do). We also make sure every borrower has the option to access free, individualized credit counseling that may include budget preparation.If we could not issue these loans quickly, using simple underwriting standards, our borrowers would be very likely to instead turn to payday lenders, who get them money fast with few questions asked. If we had to check borrowers’ credit score or spend additional time underwriting these loans, our already-slim margins would disappear entirely, and we would have to raise prices or discontinue the loans.So having weighed on in on the CFPB’s initial framework, what do I think of the new rules published on June 2? On the one hand, the CFPB made some important accommodations for credit unions offering loans under NCUA’s PAL program, like not imposing a new real-time payday loan database on them, and allowing up to three loans per six months instead of two. On the other hand, the CFPB removed the 5%-payment standard from its framework (allowing loans where the monthly installment payment is no more than 5% of monthly income). Without that standard, it will be difficult for credit unions operating outside the PAL program, and frankly for banks, to offer small-dollar loans. That’s bad news for consumers, because the PAL program is probably not in a position to replace the 100 million payday loans issued annually.More credit unions are needed to enter the small dollar loan market to fill the current need and collectively save borrowers billions of dollars annually. Borrowers who are treated well are often loyal customers, and if the industry can re-appropriate those interest savings from high-cost payday lenders and back into the local economy, we all win.  If regulators make it too difficult for credit unions to offer these loans, borrowers would only have high-cost payday and auto title loans as an option, with their accompanying interest rates of more than 200 percent. The comment period for the rule ends September 14th. Please consider adding your voice. 59SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall is a consultant in the credit union industry, and can be reached for partnership and speaking opportunities through Your Credit Union Partner. Her background in community development includes … Web: https://yourcupartner.org Detailslast_img read more

CDC expands bug repellent roster to fight West Nile

first_img While they still affirm the safety of DEET, officials acknowledged that some people just don’t like the product. Alternatives have existed—picaridin was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for US use years ago, a CDC official said—but there was little commercial interest. With the advent of WNV, mosquito repellents are getting more attention. In two recent studies, oil of lemon eucalyptus provided about the same protection as low concentrations of DEET against mosquitoes found in the United States, according to the CDC. The substance, also known as PMD, is available in several products in the United States. The product has not been tested against mosquitoes that spread malaria and some other diseases that occur internationally, the agency says. CDC WNV pageshttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm “These additional repellents will help prepare people to prevent mosquito bites this summer,” Petersen said. Apr 28 CDC news releasehttp://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r050428.htm CDC’s “Updated information regarding insect repellents”http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/RepellentUpdates.htm Most people who contract WNV experience no symptoms, but about 20 percent can have symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting. About 1 in 150 people can suffer a severe illness, which may involve high fever, stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, vision loss, and paralysis, the CDC said. In 2004, 2,470 Americans fell ill with WNV and 88 of them died. However, milder cases are believed to be underreported, Petersen said. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials held a teleconference to announce they have endorsed the repellents picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus as effective tools for fending off mosquitoes that can carry WNV and other pathogens. “There are a great many people who are unprotected against mosquito bites,” she said. “West Nile Virus can be a terrible disease. It’s worthwhile to take those few seconds to reduce your risk of becoming infected.” Dec 29, 2004, CIDRAP News report on WNV activity in 2004http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/other/wnv/news/dec2904wnv.html Zielinski-Gutierrez said only about 40% of people reported using mosquito repellent when surveyed late last year. Use in the Pacific Northwest and among Latinos is particularly low, she added. Both picaridin and the plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus are EPA-approved for use as directed, said Dr. Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez, a behavioral scientist with the CDC’s VID division. Picaridin, also known as KBR 3023, will be sold as “Cutter Advanced.” The substance provides protection that is “often comparable with DEET products of similar concentration,” a CDC news release says. See also: Both chemicals have been used successfully in other countries, said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of CDC’s division of Vectorborne Infectious Diseases (VID). They are comparable to varying levels of DEET, the chief repellent that has been used in the United States. And both have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. A CDC fact sheet on insect repellents says DEET and picaridin have shown a higher level of efficacy in peer-reviewed studies than other repellents the EPA has approved for safety and efficacy. CDC’s new advice reflects a concern that more people need to take precautions against WNV, a mosquito-borne disease that has spread to 47 of the 48 contiguous states since first appearing on US soil in New York City in 1999. Washington state is the holdout, but Petersen said he wouldn’t be surprised to see WNV appear there this year. April 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Just in time for mosquito season, federal health officials today heralded the addition of new defensive weapons against West Nile Virus (WNV): two non-DEET mosquito repellents. Today’s recommendation marks a policy shift for CDC, which has long recommended DEET-containing products to repel mosquitoes. In fact, the CDC’s WNV page still contained a graphic of DEET this afternoon with the words, “Remember to use repellent with DEET when spending time outdoors.” Petersen said localized outbreaks of WNV are hard to predict and may depend on weather and other factors. That’s one reason personal vigilance is the key to good protection. The CDC recommends that people use insect repellent anytime they go outside during mosquito season, especially at night, when mosquitoes are most active.last_img read more

Secret behind Plateau United’s dominance – Maikaba

first_img Maikaba told brila.net that the players and staff have all their entitlement at the proper time without delay. “When you talk of a club that pays as at when due, It is Plateau United, we always get our salaries as at when due not only that, even the match bonuses are also paid immediately every game is played and that alone makes us special,” he said.Maikaba: I’m not bothered by pre-season results read also: Plateau united has had consistent form in the league and is rewarded with a spot at the apex of the NPFL table before the coronavirus outbreak. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Coach Abdul Maikaba has revealed the secret behind his side’s consistent run in the Nigerian Professional Football League in the current campaign before the COVID19 induced break. Maikaba told brila.net that the management of Plateau United are always consistent with the payment of players’ salaries, and match bonuses, As such, it is the reason why the players are doing well in the domestic league of the NPFL.Advertisement Loading… Promoted Content8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our PlanetCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Who Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?8 Weird Facts About Coffee That Will Surprise You2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Waylast_img read more

Iona looks to extend streak vs Siena

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditIona (9-12, 7-7) vs. Siena (13-10, 9-5)Times Union Center, Albany, New York; Wednesday, 7 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Iona looks for its fifth straight conference win against Siena. Iona’s last MAAC loss came against the Manhattan Jaspers 72-49 on Feb. 2. Siena is coming off a 65-52 win over Manhattan in its most recent game. February 18, 2020 Associated Press SAVVY SENIORS: Siena’s Jalen Pickett, Manny Camper and Elijah Burns have combined to account for 58 percent of the team’s scoring this season and have scored 56 percent of all Saints points over the last five games.FUELING THE OFFENSE: Pickett has directly created 56 percent of all Siena field goals over the last three games. The sophomore guard has 21 field goals and 23 assists in those games.SLIPPING AT 72: Iona is 0-10 when it allows at least 72 points and 9-2 when it holds opponents to less than 72.UNDEFEATED WHEN: The Saints are 6-0 when holding opponents to 40 percent or worse from the field, and 7-10 when opponents shoot better than that. The Gaels are 8-0 when they hold opponents to 66 points or fewer and 1-12 when opponents exceed 66 points.DID YOU KNOW: Siena is ranked first among MAAC teams with an average of 73 points per game.center_img Iona looks to extend streak vs Siena ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

Kindred challenges Spelinspektionen penalty on player incentives

first_img Related Articles StumbleUpon Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Submit Soft2Bet continues new market drive with Irokobet launch August 26, 2020 Share Share Stockholm-listed Kindred Group Plc has become the latest to fall foul of Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen’s rules on customer bonusing and incentives.Spelinspektionen has confirmed that it has issued Kindred a fine totalling SEK 100 million (€9m) following an inspection undertaken across its Swedish brand portfolio.The regulator stated that Kindred’s flagship Unibet brand, as well as subsidiaries Maria Casino, bingo.com, Storspelare and iGame, had sanctioned a number of ‘unauthorised bonuses’. Current Swedish Gambling Act provisions limit online incumbents to offer just one bonus incentive per customer on sign-up.The Spelinspektionen penalty relates to Kindred brands breaching its incentive codes by offering bonus rewards through in-game mechanics, poker/casino tournament rewards, prize draws and loyalty programmes.During 2019, Kindred subsidiaries had been previously warned about breaching Spelinspektionen rules related to player incentives. Following its warnings, Kindred management moved to eliminate a number of in-game features such as free spins and free plays across its online bingo and casino portfolio.The operator maintained that the incentives offered to customers could not be recognised as a like-for-like player bonuses, as the rewards held no direct cash value. Kindred also stated that the company had undertaken a wholesale review of its Swedish player rewards programme, assessing its approach to player promotions.Despite Kindred’s pleas, Spelinspektionen has moved to sanction the hefty SEK 100 million fine, enforcing its penalty clause of 10% of a licensee turnover. Kindred governance has issued a response, stating that it will challenge Spelinspektionen’s actions and how Gambling Act provisions have been interpreted.The online group said that its Swedish loyalty programmes and reward mechanism have been independently tested by consumer agencies, who have not flagged any issues.  A statement read: “Kindred will appeal the SGA’s decision to obtain judicial guidance on how the new legislation should be interpreted. Until recently issued warnings and fines issued to other licence holders are tried in court and enforced, Kindred will continue to adopt a strict interpretation.“Kindred is of the opinion that the Swedish Gambling Act adopted on 1 January 2019 has been vague in areas related to commercial activities and thereby creating unnecessary ambiguity. Kindred welcomes more clarity in these areas and continues to improve its operations to ensure full compliance.” Global Gaming adds sportsbook extension to Ninja property August 25, 2020last_img read more