The following is the speech from the throne read today, March 29, 2012, by Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis at the opening of the fourth session of the 61st General Assembly of Nova Scotia: THE FUTURE STARTS HERE: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE 2012 Mr. Speaker, Members of the Legislature, ladies and gentlemen, Nova Scotians. Welcome to the Fourth Session of this, the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature. As this is my final opportunity to speak as her Majesty’s representative in this historic chamber, I want to wish all Nova Scotians well and thank them for their kindness to me over the past five-and-a-half years. This year is an auspicious one for Nova Scotians, as it is for our fellow citizens in every part of our great worldwide Commonwealth. In 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. Throughout the year, Nova Scotians will join others all over the Commonwealth in celebrating Her Majesty’s 60-year reign. Long may she reign over us. In July, as the Council of the Federation’s incoming chair, the Premier will proudly host his colleagues from across Canada and lead the provinces in discussions about sustaining and strengthening the growth of our national economy. And, Canada’s premiers and the national aboriginal leaders will hold their annual meetings in Nova Scotia this year. In the year that has passed since I last spoke in this Chamber, Nova Scotians have lost fellow citizens who gave much and freely of themselves. We take time now to remember these Nova Scotians whose contributions have fundamentally shaped this province across a wide variety of sectors: Our province can move forward in confidence because of the contributions of people such as these. In 2009, Nova Scotians voted for a new approach to government, rejecting an approach that had become stale, short-sighted and unable to learn from mistakes. Nova Scotians, seeking to make life better for families, provided a strong mandate for change. The priorities of Nova Scotians are as clear today as they were three years ago: good jobs and a strong economy, health care, education, and affordability. Nova Scotia needs a strong, vibrant economy to pay for important services like health care and education. A strong, vibrant economy will enable our children and grandchildren to find meaningful employment and raise their families. Here. At home. My government has been relentless in pursuit of economic opportunities that will propel the province forward. At the same time, it recognizes that the fiscal capacity of the government is driven by the way public resources are managed. With the help of thousands of Nova Scotians, business and labour leaders, public servants, and organizations, my government has taken on the difficult task of ensuring once and for all that the province’s spending is kept in line with its ability to pay. Getting back to balance — and staying there — is critical for making sure the public services that families rely on will be there when they need them, now and for generations to come. My government is one year away from bringing Nova Scotia back to balance. To ensure that the province continues to live within its means every year, my government will make even more improvements to the way it operates and delivers public services. My government is finding ways to deliver services much more cost-effectively, while maintaining or improving quality. In the coming year, it will focus further on procurement. The province spends $1 billion a year on goods and services, and Nova Scotians rightly expect their government to make wise spending decisions. My government will seek savings while ensuring quality and value for taxpayers. Previous governments have failed to find lasting savings in the administration of government, school boards and health authorities, municipalities and universities. My government is committed to providing services Nova Scotians want and need, while at the same time making the improvements necessary to deliver those programs and services more effectively. Just this month the province, the nine district health authorities, and the IWK announced the merger of several administrative services, including the elimination of up to 20 vice-president and senior executive positions. Once fully implemented, my government forecasts to save up to $55 million annually. Any service or program that is funded, either wholly or in part, by the taxpayers of Nova Scotia must be delivered in the most efficient way possible. Savings through shared services must be part of the solution. Continued duplication of services at public expense is something Nova Scotia cannot afford. My government is focused on the future. Its effort to secure a better life for families is supported by careful preparation and a strong, focused plan. My government is sticking to it’s plan. The plan is on track. The plan is working. Even as it has had to build a sustainable, balanced financial foundation for the province from the structural deficit it inherited, my government is also implementing significant change that is making life better for families now and into the future. Change to bring Nova Scotians better health care sooner. Change to put kids and learning first. Change to make life more affordable for Nova Scotian families. Change to create good jobs and grow the economy. Nova Scotia is positioned to succeed. Our time is now. CREATING GOOD JOBS AND GROWING THE ECONOMY In the past, poor economic performance was the norm. For 20 years, Nova Scotia’s economic growth was the worst in Canada. Previous governments were, at best, overwhelmed by the challenge, and failed to spur a more prosperous trend. Without change, Nova Scotia will not have a better future. My government is working with businesses, universities, and other partners to ensure that the province is strategically positioned to innovate, learn, and compete. Nova Scotia is heading into an era of what promises to be great prosperity — a time when good jobs are the norm, a time when young people who left the province looking for work can come home and build a life here in Nova Scotia. A strong, vibrant economy provides the foundation for the important programs and services Nova Scotians want and need.But opportunity rarely just drops into our laps. It must be pursued, planned for, and seized. Opportunities like the shipbuilding contract, the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project, and Shell Oil’s commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in exploration off our coast are going to significantly boost our economy. Much careful work and planning went into promoting and landing such opportunities. From Yarmouth to Cape Breton you can see and feel the optimism for the future, even before any direct impact has hit. This is truly a case of opportunity meeting preparedness. In Nova Scotia, right now, there are more people working than at any other time in our history. In the past few months, this province has turned an important corner: employment is higher now than before the recession hit in 2008. This is great news, but my government recognizes there is much more to be done. That’s where jobsHere comes in. A year after launching the jobsHere plan, the province has already supported the start-up and growth of hundreds of companies in all parts of Nova Scotia. My government lowered the small business tax two years in a row, creating the most competitive tax environment for businesses in decades, and expanded the Credit Union Small Business Loan Program, ensuring that small businesses in every part of the province have access to larger loans with more time to pay them back. jobsHere investments in workplace training help Nova Scotia employers grow their business. With funding through the Productivity Investment Program and the Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive, more businesses can adapt to new technology and new ways of operating. To date, the province has made 149 productivity training investments, totaling $2.5 million, with 6,325 Nova Scotian employees receiving workplace productivity training. An additional 48 applications are now being processed. Workplace Education Initiatives will continue to help workers increase essential skills. By the end of this year, 3,600 Nova Scotians will have moved into workplace education programs. This year, my government will improve the apprenticeship programs that teach young people the skills and trades they’ll need to make the most of their work lives in Nova Scotia’s bright future. Across Nova Scotia, demand for training in the workplace is massive. My government is expanding programs to meet that demand, and has brought all of its resources together under one virtual roof at careers.novascotia.ca. In recent years, generations of Nova Scotians have looked west for opportunity. Soon all of Canada — and eyes around the world — will turn toward Nova Scotia as this province steps up to take its rightful place leading the country in growth and productivity. In case anyone missed the announcement, Irving Shipyards was the successful bidder for the 30-year, $25-billion naval ships contract. This will have a profound and positive effect on Nova Scotia’s economy and on the lives of thousands of Nova Scotians and their families in all parts of the province. It is one of the “game changers” that are becoming economic reality in Nova Scotia. The shipbuilding contract will generate millions of dollars in economic spinoffs for the region, and create more than 11,000 good jobs during peak production. The province, through the Ships Start Here partnership, has already taken significant steps to help prepare businesses for participation. Last September, Shelburne Ship Repair reopened with the help of an $8.8-million provincial investment. Electricians, metal fabricators, sheet metal workers, welders, carpenters, steamfitters and pipefitters, and millwrights will be needed for the Irving contract. For those positions that cannot be staffed here at home, the best and the brightest from around the world will be attracted to share in our good fortune. Two generations of Nova Scotians will have chances that their parents and grandparents lacked. They will have choices. My government is putting tools in place to help them make choices that work for them, and is fully focused on ensuring that young Nova Scotians are trained and ready to benefit so that this opportunity means as much to Nova Scotia as it should. Through Kids and Learning First, the number of schools offering skilled trades will double over the next four years to 18 and a new manufacturing course connected to shipbuilding will be introduced in September 2013. These courses link learning to real-life jobs and help get young people thinking early about the opportunities out there and how they can seize them. In addition to the “factory floor” opportunities the ships contract offers, our universities will develop the engineers, the business leaders, the innovators needed to turn contracts and concepts into Canada’s next-generation naval fleet and build lasting economic legacies. A new $190,000 provincial investment will help high school graduates interested in shipbuilding enrol in a new metal fabrication program at the Nova Scotia Community College. And, my government will make a significant new investment in expanding trades training in our high schools. This investment in state-of-the-art trades training will ensure that young people from across the province are ready to take the leap into a fulfilling and rewarding career when they graduate. The province’s workforce strategy is helping Nova Scotians acquire the right skills for good jobs. While everyone can benefit, the strategy specifically and appropriately targets groups that are under-represented in the workforce, including women, African and Aboriginal Nova Scotians, people with disabilities, older workers, and income assistance recipients. Recently, the premier announced $640,000 for workforce training programs offered through the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office in Membertou. Mi’kmaw workers are a brilliant, untapped resource, and the investment will increase the number of Mi’kmaw ready to go to work in industries that need workers. That will help strengthen the economy and better prepare them and the province for a brighter future. Communities that have suffered discrimination and limited access to good jobs, particularly African Nova Scotians, have a new opportunity for training that is directly linked to worthwhile jobs. Skills Up offers financial assistance for participants to obtain new skills in areas such as carpentry, electronics technology, and operating heavy equipment, thereby enhancing their ability to obtain good jobs. New, immigrant Nova Scotians are another resource the province hopes will help meet the growing workforce demands. Welcome Home to Nova Scotia, the province’s new immigration strategy, is among the most comprehensive in Canada, internationally targeting workers who have the technical skills and global contacts the province needs to become more innovative, productive, and competitive. Nova Scotia will continue its efforts to persuade Ottawa to increase the overall cap on immigration to Canada, and continue to work with private industry to recruit new, skilled workers to this province. In May, Nova Scotia hosts the federal/provincial/territorial Status of Women meeting, and also the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology Policy Forum, which will highlight the need for the inclusion of women and Aboriginal people in non-traditional trades and technology for the shipbuilding industry. In this International Year of Co-operatives, Nova Scotians are proud of the Antigonish Movement that created the province’s first housing co-operatives and first credit unions, and countless good jobs. The Antigonish Movement, perhaps the world’s greatest adult education project, is an inspiration as Nova Scotians again take charge of their own destiny and use adult education, apprenticeship, and other skills training to ensure that as the future starts here, each family and community is ready to be part of that future. Through jobsHere, the province is supporting businesses to become more productive and globally competitive. jobsHere is enabling Nova Scotia businesses to win in an increasingly competitive global market. We have no better example of a long-standing, globally competitive business in this province than Michelin Tire. The Waterville plant, which makes truck tires, is marking 30 years of production this year. My government celebrates the commitment of Michelin and its employees to growing the economy of our province, and we look forward to continued growth in the years ahead. My government also recognizes the great economic opportunities that exist in regions across the province. We look forward to the launch of the Cape Breton Strategic Framework Advancement project, which will tap into the amazing potential the Island holds. The province also welcomes the new economic council in South West Nova Scotia, and looks forward to working with the council to establish a regional development agency. JobsHere also recognizes the important role played by the creative sector in Nova Scotia. My government is working with the members of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council to explore opportunities to enhance our creative economy and strengthen our support for arts and culture. Just this week my government appointed the first board of Arts Nova Scotia, underscoring the importance of independence and artistic merit in decisions about funding for individual artists and the organizations that support them. In this spring session, my government will introduce Status of the Artist legislation to reflect the importance of arts and culture to Nova Scotians. The province will also undertake research to measure the profound impact of the creative economy across Nova Scotia. My government takes a great interest in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the largest one of its kind in Atlantic Canada. Just over a year ago, my government and the federal government announced support for a feasibility study to help the Art Gallery determine whether it will move into a bigger location. We look forward to the results of the study later this year. My government recognizes that this province’s tourism sector is an important economic driver and has taken important steps to ensure the sector is reaching its potential through the establishment of a Special Operating Agency, which will involve tourism operators and experts in developing and implementing a long-term tourism strategy. The agency will hit the ground running at the start of what promises to be an exciting tourism season. Nova Scotia is the place to be this year — international media have named our province one of the top global destinations for 2012. With the eyes of the world upon us this year for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, we will be commemorating and proudly reflecting on Nova Scotia’s important role in this tragic story. We’re also getting ready to host amazing festivals and events across the province this year, including the return of the majestic Tall Ships to Nova Scotian ports, the TELUS World Skins Game, the Celtic Colours International Festival, and the much-anticipated relaunch of a Canadian icon, Bluenose II. The Bluenose II restoration is the result of world-class innovation and collaboration among three former rival companies to rebuild an important piece of our shared history. In the coming months, Bluenose II will return to the sea to carry on the proud legacy that connects our seafaring past with an exciting future. During the coming year, Nova Scotia’s diverse culture and heritage will attract global attention. The province anxiously awaits the outcome of the nomination of Grand Pré as our third UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation will entrench the important role the Acadians played in our history, for the entire world to know and see. And, through an investment of $750,000, Nova Scotia leveraged federal and private donors’ support to develop the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown, Shelburne County. The centre, opening in 2013 as the newest addition to the Nova Scotia Museum family, will ensure that the story of the courage and survival of Nova Scotia’s Black Loyalists will be known by generations to come. More Nova Scotian businesses than ever before are succeeding in international markets. My government is committed to helping businesses build capacity to succeed globally and increase their international activity. This spring, the International Commerce Strategy will be released. The strategy will better align programs and services directly with the needs of businesses engaged in the global economy. The new Jobs Fund pursues investment opportunities that support and retain industry, assist small businesses, invest in infrastructure, fund regional economic initiatives, and provide community economic stability where needed. As Nova Scotia stands on the verge of some of the largest economic projects this province has ever seen, my government is determined to maximize the opportunities and support innovation across all sectors, including our traditional mainstay industries. Strong rural communities will be protected and enhanced through a partnership between the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Dalhousie University, in Truro–Bible Hill. The merger will position the NSAC as a centre of excellence for applied research and a national leader in agriculture education, which will benefit students, improve the local economy, and maintain a focus on agricultural research and innovation. The fishery continues as a source of employment for many Nova Scotians, and is one of the most innovative sectors of the economy. My government will soon announce a new Commercial Fisheries Strategy that will address emerging challenges in the marketplace and will help strengthen the industry. The new Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Act will allow for the establishment of an industry-run board that will register and certify fish harvesters based on their knowledge and experience. It will also support skills and safety training opportunities. Early this summer, the province will release a Coastal Strategy to guide efforts to improve coastal management in Nova Scotia. My government has taken a leadership role to protect the future of this valuable resource. My government will soon announce a comprehensive Aquaculture Strategy that balances significant economic development potential with the need for regulation within this industry. And while some of our long-standing industries are sharpening their focus to grab larger shares of growing markets, others are forced to retrench, refocus, and retrain in order to maintain a competitive position in static or shrinking world markets. Nova Scotia’s forestry sector has supported tens of thousands of families since the founding of our province. As world markets change, my government has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the communities, businesses, and workers and their families who are focused on retaining Nova Scotia’s position in the world market.In year two of the Natural Resources Strategy, the province will continue to focus on innovation in this key sector. Growing quality trees, and gaining the maximum value from each tree, will generate wealth in the years to come. My government is committed to sustaining the ability of Nova Scotia’s forests to produce wealth, water, wildlife and timber for the benefit of future generations. Through the Natural Resources Strategy, we will continue to focus on innovation in this key sector, so that our children and grandchildren can look forward to enjoying, in a sustainable manner, the same kind of good jobs this important natural resource has provided over the years. Mining is an important job creator in Nova Scotia. New gold and coal projects are moving towards production, and the interest in exploration for rare-earth metals is increasing. My government will move forward with a new mineral incentive program, fulfilling a commitment in the new natural resources strategy to provide financial assistance to prospectors to attract exploration and development. Nova Scotia will be more competitive thanks to the creation of an on-line Mineral and Petroleum Rights Registry System for Nova Scotia that will allow businesses anywhere in the world to register their interest and claims. This will modernize the management of our mineral and petroleum resources and be of benefit to business. My government is taking decisive steps to secure clean energy and lower, more stable power rates for Nova Scotians. Former governments chose a high-cost, high-emission energy path that killed jobs. They felt it was safer and more comfortable to cling to past mistakes, despite rapid rises in fuel costs. Like some current opponents, they preferred to curse the darkness rather than light a candle. There is no change and no future for Nova Scotia in that high-cost path to which some still cling. Securing a 35-year price for clean Atlantic Canadian hydroelectricity, becoming a centre for world-leading clean energy developments, such as wind and tidal, and enabling Nova Scotian communities to be part of the clean energy future, with a globally admired community feed-in tariff, are all steps in the right direction. Escaping the fossil-fuel trap by setting and achieving renewable energy targets that will moderate the effects of decades of cost pressure on ratepayers, and continuing plans for the opening of the Donkin mine while creating more Cape Breton jobs will move Nova Scotia closer to the secure energy future we need and deserve. Fostering renewed interest and unprecedented investment in offshore resources, promoting energy efficiency and reducing harmful emissions in a well-planned manner with minimized cost are steps in the right direction. My government is achieving the opportunities for Nova Scotia to be an energy leader and to leave this province a better place for the next generation, with a cleaner environment, secure energy supplies, and a better economic foundation. Each step in this remarkable turnaround is subject to careful planning and public review whenever ratepayers’ interests or the environment are at stake; each step taken has passed those tests and reviews. In the next year my government will continue to develop the regulatory framework for cleaner and more affordable energy. There will be fully independent public reviews of the next steps in the electricity plans. My government will release the Cleaner Energy Framework to guide a prudent and timely transition. It will release the Marine Renewable Energy strategy to guide the development of this emerging industry. You, the representatives of the people of Nova Scotia, will be asked to approve further energy legislation to ensure that a modern legal framework is in place for the future. My government will also continue to work with the federal government to make offshore regulation more efficient and effective, and to ensure that regulatory best practices for safety and environmental protection are in place. Members of the legislature, Nova Scotia has shown that it can set and meet renewable energy targets, that it can meet and exceed federal greenhouse gas emission targets, and that it can be a partner with neighbouring provinces and the federal government in regional co-operation. These partnerships are critical for building enduring economic strength in Atlantic Canada, with the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project as the linchpin in a new era for our region of Canada. Plans and commitments already made mean more than $3 billion of new energy investments. Wind, tidal, wave, hydro, biomass, solar, and geothermal opportunities will all help Nova Scotia continue its energy breakthrough. Although provincial government offices are located in every corner of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotians think of their government as being located mainly in Halifax. To show clearly that provincial departments and agencies serve all of the people, regardless of location, my government will seek locations outside this immediate area for new and consolidated agencies and offices of government. Communities throughout Nova Scotia are good places to live, work, and raise a family, for civil servants as well as for hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens. The first details of this new approach will be released in the spring to the employees affected, then to all Nova Scotians. Modern, safe, and reliable infrastructure is vital to sustainable economic growth. In Nova Scotia that means highways. In 2011–12, the province invested some $265 million to improve Nova Scotian highways. Even with these improvements, road safety remains a priority. To that end, legislation governing the maximum speed limits in school zones will come into force in September 2012. My government continues to work on the Towns Task Force in collaboration with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to address the challenges being faced by Nova Scotia’s towns. For the first time in more than a decade, work is also underway on a collaborative review of the financial arrangement between the Province and municipalities, which will result in recommendations for improvements. Nova Scotia’s community museums and the Nova Scotia Museum are unique and valuable contributors to the strength of every region of the province. This year, once again, government is maintaining funding for the innovative Community Museum Assistance Program, an example of support for museum programming unlike any in Canada. In the coming year, my government will focus its attention on investing in communities throughout the province. The quality of life enjoyed by Nova Scotian families in every region will improve through strategic, smart investment that recognizes the unique strengths and advantages of this province — from Cape Breton to Yarmouth. BETTER HEALTH CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY My government is keeping emergency rooms open and delivering better care sooner. It has taken decisive steps to fundamentally improve the way emergency health care is delivered in Nova Scotia. Emergency care was hit-or-miss in communities across the province just three years ago. But today, Collaborative Emergency Centres are delivering 24/7 emergency care while ensuring that patients get appointments the same day or the next to see the care provider they need. These centres have opened in two communities. And there are more on the way. Nova Scotia is working on a physician resource plan that will help ensure an adequate supply of family physicians across the province. My government has consulted extensively with Nova Scotians living with mental health and addictions issues, their family members, health care workers, and community leaders. Later this year, the province will release the first strategy to improve mental health and addictions care. For years, thoughtful Nova Scotians have expressed concerns about the cost of health care overwhelming all other public services. Previous governments failed to manage health-care costs, allowing administrative costs, inefficiencies, and other expenses to drive up health-care spending by 8.4 per cent on average prior to 2009. That unsustainable rate of growth has been stopped. My government is leading the country in the effective management of health-care spending, ensuring that precious dollars are spent where they are most needed. Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada to do so. The province is accomplishing this, not through arbitrary budget reductions, but by working in partnership with District Health Authorities, the IWK, doctors, nurses, and other front-line providers to find better, more efficient ways to provide the care Nova Scotians need. Helping Nova Scotians stay healthy is a vital part of the health-care solution for today and tomorrow. Nova Scotia was the first province to mandate the use of helmets for skiers and snowboarders. Medical associations across the country are encouraging others to follow our lead. After consulting more than 1,100 individuals, groups, and organizations, my government will bring in a plan that will help make Nova Scotia a place where children are supported to eat well, move more, and grow up healthy. Nova Scotia seniors will be able to access more home care services and there will be new options to assist people with managing their mobility issues and medications in the home. This year, my government will consult with Nova Scotian families to develop an approach to early childhood development that ensures our children get the best possible start in life. This innovative and integrated approach will bring together resources from health, community services and education to best align programs and supports for Nova Scotia’s families and children. The early years are among the most important in a child’s development. Research suggests that early childhood services and programs return society’s investment seven times over. In the past several years, an investment of some $50 million has increased capacity in Nova Scotia’s licensed child-care facilities. But more can and will be done. Members of the legislature, I wonder how many of you are aware that right now there are more than 1,000 Nova Scotian children without a permanent home, and therefore in the care of the province. Surely, every child needs and deserves a loving and secure environment in which to grow and thrive with a forever family. This year my government, working with partners across the province, will develop and begin to implement a new Adoption Strategy to significantly increase adoption rates in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotian families in distress frequently find themselves in Family Court. Our body of Family Law has, over the years, been allowed to fall behind that of other Canadian jurisdictions. My government will correct that through legislation this spring. Protection of children will be the priority. Always. Domestic violence reduction will be the focus of concerted efforts this year, as implementation of the Domestic Violence Action Plan begins in earnest. The plan involves 16 departments and agencies of government working together to raise awareness, increase support for victims, and ultimately prevent incidents of violence in the home. My government continues to support and applaud the work of Project Lifesaver — a search-and-rescue tracking system that makes it easier to find people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and other cognitive challenges when they stray from their homes. Since government launched the program in 2011, approximately fifty 911 dispatchers and fifteen Ground Search and Rescue teams have been trained in this technique. Another nine Ground Search and Rescue teams will be trained this year. KIDS AND LEARNING FIRST No government in Nova Scotia’s history has shown a deeper commitment to children and education than has my government. This year, my government will invest more dollars in public education, per student, than ever before. Kids and Learning First was developed after listening to hundreds of parents, teachers, students, school boards, employers, and community members. The plan reflects their priorities. It builds on what is working well, while identifying the challenges that must be addressed. Student enrolment keeps going down, while education costs go up. Student test results are not improving, and they are declining in some key subjects. My government, along with parents and teachers, wants better results for every student. The plan will help children get off to a better start by strengthening links among day care, other early childhood development programs, and Grade Primary. It gives students at all levels more support in critical subjects and through transition years. The establishment of the Africentric Learning Institute was a key recommendation of the Black Learners Advisory Committee on Education. In the coming months, a board will be fully operational and steps will be taken to secure a location for the Institute. Kids and Learning First protects the quality of education in rural communities, where enrolment declines are sharpest. More students will soon have access to more high school courses through Nova Scotia’s virtual school. Teachers need support too. Everyone remembers a great teacher, and what a difference he or she made in their lives. Teachers should be able to spend less time on paperwork and more time with students. My government’s plan will make that happen. Average class sizes are smaller than ever. Kids and Learning First will keep them that way. Junior high school can be difficult for many, making the transition to high school that much more challenging. A new Discovering Opportunities program will help struggling Grade 9 students get excited about school again, make up lost learning, and prepare them for high school. Protecting arts education and helping students develop French-language and information and communications technology skills will continue to be priorities. SchoolsPlus — the program that brings needed services for children and their families into schools — will soon be available in every county. SchoolsPlus works. Where it is available, discipline problems have declined, teachers and parents feel more supported, and student test results have improved. The province has introduced a grants program to encourage community use of schools. This program will enable more people to use school facilities for physical activity and educational and cultural programs. By putting kids and learning first, my government will ensure children have the best opportunities to learn and develop into caring, responsible adults ready to live happy and productive lives here in Nova Scotia. MAKING LIFE MORE AFFORDABLE FO NOVA SCOTIAN FAMILIES Making life more affordable for Nova Scotian families is a priority of my government. My government has taken steps to put more money back into the hands of families, low-income Nova Scotians, students, and seniors. Keeping post-secondary education affordable for Nova Scotians is a commitment of my government. Universities are essential to the success of our province. University graduates are ready to innovate, create, and improve their world. They can enter the job market confident that they have the tools they need to adapt to the demands of today and tomorrow. Through a new Memorandum of Understanding my government has formed a partnership with Nova Scotia’s 11 universities to promote academic excellence, expand research and development, and invest $25 million to help them become more sustainable. My government has also taken steps to ensure tuition remains at, or below, the national average. Last year, the province made its single largest investment ever in accessibility to higher education, $42.5 million. The province kept tuition fees below the national average, reduced student debt, and improved student aid with more and better needs-based grants. For the first time, there is an absolute cap on Nova Scotia students’ debt, lowering maximum debt by more than $16,000. In addition my government introduced the Graduate Retention Rebate so that eligible graduates can reduce their provincial income taxes by up to $15,000 over six years. Community college students, who pay lower tuition, can reduce their taxes by up to $7,500. Low-income seniors can get assistance to adapt their homes so they can live there longer. And now, thanks to an initiative by the Premier himself, 18,000 seniors who are in receipt of the Guaranteed Income Supplement pay no provincial income tax.Social enterprises ensure that society thinks more broadly about good jobs, sustainable livelihoods, and economic stability, especially for rural communities and for minority groups throughout the province. Access to capital for social enterprises has been improved, and jobsHere offers support for more non-profits to engage in social enterprise. Barriers to social enterprise will be removed from provincial legislation and policies. The Poverty Reduction Tax Credit and the Affordable Living Tax Credit will continue. These are excellent examples of how my government is reducing the burden for those most in need. Members of the legislature, in this session legislation will be introduced to enact a new regulatory regime governing mortgage brokers and lenders, and a code of conduct and updated legislation and regulations for the funeral sector will be introduced in the fall. Nova Scotians in need of prescription medicine can now get the generic form at the same price or less than that paid by most other Canadians. My government’s fair drug-pricing plan ensures that savings on generic medicine is available to every Nova Scotian family, whether their prescriptions are covered by an insurance plan or not. Generic prescriptions in Nova Scotia now cost just 40 per cent of the name brand; this summer that will be reduced further, to 35 per cent. Members of the legislature, it is a sad reality that the most disadvantaged in our society too often suffer poor health, and inferior housing can be a large part of the problem. Healthy families live in healthy, sustainable homes. Historically, government housing programs, while well intentioned, have had the unintended consequence of stigmatizing the very people they intended to help. This year, my government will bring forward new ways to manage and diversify public and affordable housing that will support seniors, people living with disabilities, and low-income Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians care deeply about their communities and each other, and it shows: our volunteers devoted 207 hours on average to volunteer work in 2010, the highest average in Canada. My government recognizes the valuable work these dedicated individuals provide and is investing in the sector. Through the establishment of an $800,000 trust, 43 human resource management–related projects within non-profit and voluntary sector organizations across the province have been funded. As a part of jobsHere, $200,000 will be allocated each year to further strengthen the capacity of the non-profit and voluntary sector. There are few professions where men and women are asked to put their lives on the line every day for the good of their fellow citizens. But for those who do, government needs to be there to support them during –and after — their service. Nova Scotia has been a leader in extending benefits to those from our fire services who find themselves beset by cancers resulting from their work. In recent years, however, we have not kept pace with other jurisdictions as they extended further protections to these valued community members. In the year ahead, my government will bring Nova Scotia’s benefits for firefighters back in line with our neighbours across Canada. These 2012 changes will be part of a multi-year package of regulatory improvements developed by the Workers’ Compensation Board and its stakeholders. And, my government will take additional steps to safeguard and protect pensions and benefits for Nova Scotians in the year ahead. Nova Scotia is changing in a positive and significant way.My government has worked hard with our partners to secure solid, long-lasting opportunities that will keep families together and bring Nova Scotians home. My government is creating good jobs and growing the economy. My government is delivering better care to Nova Scotians. My government is making life more affordable for Nova Scotian families. And, my government is living within its means. God bless Nova Scotia. God bless Canada. God save the Queen. Graham W. Dennis, perhaps the greatest champion of Nova Scotia of his generation and publisher of Nova Scotia’s fiercely independent daily newspaper, who ensured that the power of his press was used in the service of that which is best in this province Senator Fred Dickson, who, as loyal as he was to his political party, never put the interests of anything ahead of the legitimate and honourable interests of his fellow Nova Scotians Joyce Carman Barkhouse, of Bridgewater, who wrote beautiful children’s literature, including the Nova Scotian classic Pit Pony Dr. Peter Aucoin and Dr. James Murray Beck, two of Nova Scotia’s most distinguished and quoted political scientists, who were academic and teaching giants at Dalhousie University Allan Blakeney, the first Nova Scotia–born NDP Premier in Canada, who provided leadership to the province of Saskatchewan for many, many years Dr. Willard Sterling Boyle, of Wallace, who was the co-inventor of an imaging semiconductor circuit known as the charge-coupled device (CCD sensor) and shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention The Most Reverend Colin Campbell, Bishop and Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Antigonish, a leader in his church and in his community Cape Breton Regional Police Service Chief Myles Burke, a community leader who worked his way up through the ranks and served the people of Cape Breton with distinction John J. Jodrey, an entrepreneur and community leader who served, among other capacities, as president of Scotia Investments Paul O’Regan, who built one of the province’s most successful automobile companies, and never lost his loyalty for or pride in his hometown of Parrsboro Ken Spinney, who grew, donated, and was justifiably proud of the Nova Scotia Christmas tree in Boston in 2011 Dr. Marie B. Elwood, who served as the Chief Curator of History for the Nova Scotia Museum and made an extraordinary contribution to this province, drawing Nova Scotians into a better understanding and appreciation of our cultural history. two former members of this House, Richie Hubbard and Harold Huskilson, both of whom served their constituents and Nova Scotia proudly and Peter Underwood, a dedicated and long-serving deputy minister with the provincial government
BRUMADINHO, Brazil — The Latest on the mining waste dam collapse in Brazil (all times local):7:15 p.m.A German company that last year inspected the dam in Brazil that collapsed Friday says it’s working with authorities investigating the deadly disaster in which at least 58 people died.TUEV Sued, based in Munich, confirmed Monday that it had conducted a periodic review of dams for Brazilian mining company Vale in July 2018 and a regular inspection of dam safety in September last year.The company declined to provide further details about the reviews, which were commissioned by Vale. But TUEV Sued said it was “fully supporting the investigations and making all required documents available to the investigating authorities.”Brazilian authorities say up to 300 people are still missing after iron ore waste from a mine that flooded the mine complex and nearby neighbourhoods in the southeastern city of Brumadinho.___2 a.m.Firefighters in Brazil are carefully moving over treacherous mud, sometimes even crawling, in search of survivors or bodies left by a dam collapse that buried mine buildings and surrounding neighbourhoods with iron ore waste.The confirmed death toll rose to 58 late Sunday, with up to 300 people still missing, according to authorities. In an ominous sign, nobody was recovered alive Sunday, a stark difference from the first two days of the disaster, when helicopters were whisking people from the mud.A treacherous sea of reddish-brown mud that surged out when the mine’s dam breached Friday afternoon is up to 24 feet (8 metres) deep in some places.Search efforts were suspended about 10 hours Sunday because of fears that a second mine dam in the southeastern city of Brumadinho was at risk of failing. An estimated 24,000 people were told to get to higher ground.The Associated Press
Audible.com bestsellers for week ending February 8:Fiction1. Killer by Nature: An Audible Original Drama by Jan Smith, narrated by Angela Griffin, Robert James-Collier, Katherine Kelly, Will Mellor & Thomas Turgoose (Audible Studios)2. Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Zachary Webber & Andi Arndt (Audible Studios)3. Sovereign by Jeff Hirsch, narrated by Jesse Einstein (Audible Studios)4. Dodge & Twist: An Audible Original Drama by Tony Lee, narrated by Matt Lucas, Stephen Mangan, Michael Socha & Kara Tointon (Audible Studios)5. Connections in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel: In Death, Book 48 by J. D. Robb, narrated by Susan Ericksen (Macmillan Audio)6. Mala by Melinda Lopez, narrated by the author (Audible Studios)7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell (Penguin Audio)8. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, narrated by Peter Kenny (Hachette Audio)9. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, narrated by Jack Hawkins & Louise Brealey (Macmillan Audio)10. Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter, narrated by Kathleen Early (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)Nonfiction1. Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash’s Greatest Album: An Audible Original Drama by Danny Robins, narrated by the author (Audible Studios)2. Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by the author (Random House Audio)3. Morning Meditations for Daily Magic by MoveWith, narrated by Jeremy Falk (MoveWith)4. 21 Days of Meditation by Aaptiv, narrated by Jess Ray (Aaptiv)5. Take Control of Your Life: How to Silence Fear and Win the Mental Game by Mel Robbins, narrated by the author (Audible Studios)6. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins, narrated by the author & Adam Skolnick (Lioncrest Publishing)7. Sleep Better by Aaptiv, narrated by Jade Alexis (Aaptiv)8. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, narrated by the author (Thomas Nelson Publishers)9. Crashes and Crises: Lessons from a History of Financial Disasters by Connel Fullenkamp & The Great Courses, narrated by Connel Fullenkamp (The Great Courses)10. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover, narrated by Julia Whelan (Random House Audio)—–The Associated Press
Photos by Jeff Barrett By Traci BishopThe USU Eastern Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center (BDAC) played host to a very exciting event on Wednesday evening as the Harlem Wizards cast a spell on the Price community.This event, brought to the area by AJB Broadcasting and USU Eastern, saw a plethora of the community flock to the BDAC to enjoy basketball, performances, photo opportunities and more. The team also made its way to local school earlier in the day, giving students a sneak peek at what would take place that evening.Sponsors for this event included Sutherlands, Castle Country Hobby & Pawn, Castleview Hospital, the C.A.R.E Coalition and Pine Top Medical.
OSU sophomore midfielder Nikki Walts (4) makes a corner kick during a game against Purdue on Oct. 9 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Anbo Yao | Lantern PhotographerThe Ohio State women’s soccer team is set to host the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday evening in the first round of the NCAA tournament after receiving an at-large bid on Monday.OSU enters the tournament with an 11-6-3 overall record, which included a 5-4-2 mark in the Big Ten conference. This is the Buckeyes’ 10th all-time appearance in the NCAA tournament and sixth in the last seven seasons.OSU coach Lori Walker is in her 19th season at the helm of the women’s soccer program, and the Buckeyes are 9-8-2 all-time in NCAA play under Walker.Butler enters Saturday’s match as the Big East champions after defeating Providence last Sunday, ending its regular season 16-6-1. This will be the Bulldogs’ first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament.The Buckeyes and Bulldogs have met twice in history, with OSU winning both of the matches.OSU’s offense is led by a strong pack, including senior defender/midfielder/forward Michela Paradiso, junior forward Nichelle Prince, junior forward Lindsay Agnew and sophomore midfielder Nikki Walts.Prince and Paradiso share the team high of six goals scored and Agnew leads the team with seven assists.For the Bulldogs, freshman forward Halle Stelbasky leads the team with nine goals. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Madison Card has posted 0.92 goals-against average with nine clean sheets in 21 starts.Five Big Ten teams have qualified for NCAA play, including Penn State, Northwestern, Minnesota and Rutgers. Two more opponents of the 2015 Buckeyes have entered the tournament as well in West Virginia and Florida. The ACC put the most teams of any conference in the tournament with 10.The match between OSU and Butler is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.The winner of Saturday’s match is then slated to play the winner of the Cincinnati vs. No. 4-seeded Virginia Tech game.
Andrew Tracey was a teacher and Scout master for around 20-yearsCredit:NCA Police have appealed for child abuse victims to come forward after one of Britain’s most calculating and prolific paedophiles was brought to justice after a 30-year reign of terror.Andrew Tracey, a former teacher, is feared to have molested and raped dozens of boys in Britain and overseas, dating back to the 1980s.He was extradited from Spain last year where he had been in hiding, and has now admitted 45 offences of rape and indecent assault against children as young as 10. Tracey in police custodyCredit: But the case has raised disturbing questions over the ease with which Tracey was able to gain access to young boys in schools and through his work as a senior Scout leader.In 1992 Tracey was convicted of possessing indecent images of children, but he was not formally banned from teaching by the Department for Education (DfE) until four years later.The one time English teacher has now admitted raping two of his former pupils including one in a storage cupboard in one of his classrooms.Despite the fact Tracey worked in teaching over a period spanning 20-years, officials at the DfE claimed they were unable to provide details of which schools he had been employed at, because the data was not collected centrally. But he was finally arrested in Alicante and extradited back to the UK in March last year after Dutch police found evidence of his abuse on the computer of another paedophile they were investigating.That evidence gave the National Crime Agency (NCA) enough evidence to get a European Arrest Warrant.Tracey initially admitted 22 offences including rape and sexual activity with a child under 13 and today has pleaded guilty to a further 23 offences.His victims include nine boys from Thailand, aged between 10 and 14, who were extremely poor and whom he bribed with sweets, food and money.Officers from the NCA who helped bring Tracey to justice, described him as one of the worst paedophiles they had encountered.While Tracey has been convicted of 45 offences, police believe there may be many more historic victims who have not yet come forward.He joined the Scout movement in 1967 and during a 25-year association worked his way up to a senior position giving him access to thousands of young boys.A spokesman said: “The Scout Association is aware of case of Andrew Tracey AKA Mark Frost. The Scout Association is co-operating fully with the statutory agencies in this historic investigation.Tracey resigned from the Movement in November 1991 when he was first arrested for sexual offences against children.“If he had not resigned we would have suspended him immediately. The Scout Association permanently barred him from any future involvement with the movement when he was convicted in 1992. There were no previous concerns about his conduct recorded prior to his arrest. He has had no involvement with the Scout Movement since 1991.”Tracey also spent many years as a teacher working in Hertfordshire, Worcestershire and east London.Only two of his former pupils have so far made allegations against him, but the police and NSPCC have launched a confidential helpline 0800 3280904 for victims to report any concerns.Former neighbours in Hatfield also recall how Tracey would invite local children into his home and buy them alcohol.One said: “He lived here with his son for a few years but there was always something a bit unusual about him. His was a bit of an open house for all the local kids who used to go there and hang out. He would buy them cider from the shop and let them drink and take drugs there. There was was one incident when a young boy was stood outside the house crying and shouting to the son: ‘Your dad is a f****** freak. I don’t know what had gone on but he was very upset.“We used to see him going off in his Scout uniform and I think he also worked as a coach driver. I also recall him appearing on a documentary promoting adoption, but there was always something not quite right about him.”Tracey was convicted of possessing indecent images of a child in 1992 at Evesham Magistrates Court and fined £200.The following year he was jailed for 12 months after permitting his premises to be used for unlawful sex with a child and drug taking.In 1998 he was convicted of indecent assault on a male under 16 after abusing one of his adopted son’s friends.He received a 12 month prison sentence and was also added to the Sex Offender’s Register, which had come into being three years earlier in 1995.But these convictions are thought to be the tip of the iceberg in terms of his offending in the 1990s and the National Crime Agency are now appealing for anyone affected by Tracey’s activities to come forward. In another extraordinary blunder it has emerged he was allowed to adopt a vulnerable young boy in the 1980s, despite being a single man who was known to have subscribed to the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).The local authority involved in the adoption has not been identified are there are no allegations of sexual abuse involving his son at this stage, however Tracey has admitted abusing friends of the boy, including when he was present.The 70-year-old was arrested in 2013 in Thailand on suspicion of abusing young boys, but he skipped bail and fled the country before he could be prosecuted.Tracey – who changed his name to Mark Frost – returned to the UK, but despite being wanted by the Thai authorities, could not be detained as no international arrest warrant had been issued.Fearing he might be charged anyway he subsequently fled Britain for Europe, spending time in Sweden, Holland and Spain. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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Sick of music videos with glaringly obvious product placement? You might want to stay away from Frank Ocean’s surprise visual album Endless.Not that it’s easy to see or listen to it- it’s currently streaming exclusively on Apple Music, and there are no plans to release it elsewhere as of yet. But those of you that do get a chance to check the album out might be surprised by the track “Device Control,” which has Ocean talking nonstop about about gadgets. It starts off right from the intro of the song:With this Apple appliance, you can capture live videos/Still motion pictures shot at high frequency/Blurring, blurring the line. So it’s official- Frank Ocean loves iPhones and can’t wait for the iPhone 7, even if there won’t be a headphone jack! Small details like that don’t bother Frank. But wait, what’s next?With this Sony Telephone 4K video is in your palm. It is in your palm, in your palm. In your hand, in your hand. With your eyes, with your eyes. You can capture real 4K. Ok, so we should buy a Sony? Really? Is the video quality that much superior?The new Samsung Galaxy allows you to livestream your life/Livestream your life, livestream your life/You can blur the border between still and motion pictures. Now we’re just completely confused, Frank. Can we get a rating system or something on this?Apple Music subscribers, you know what to do. The rest of us can only hope to catch a YouTube stream of Endless, although those are constantly being pulled down. Or we can just read the lyrics on Genius and hope to one day know which phone Frank Ocean thinks is worth our time.Those waiting for the incredible singer’s follow-up to Channel Orange, tentatively titled Boys Don’t Cry, may only have to wait till this weekend. Call your friends.
When looking across other media, time spent versus ad spend gap is considerably tighter—especially on desktop, where the gap is 1 percent in favor of ad spend. Likewise, TV and radio have 3 percent gaps in either direction, which further illustrates that mobile is not yet attracting the ad spend it perhaps should be and, likewise, print may be overachieving. That said, time spent is by no means the only metric to consider when it comes to investment priorities. While mobile may be occupying a lot of consumer time, it doesn’t mean it’s the best environment for advertisers. Likewise, while print may account for the least amount of time spent, it has proven to be an effective platform for advertising for well over a century. When it comes to ad spend, common sense would suggest that investments should funnel into the platforms consumers spend the most time with. However, that is not necessarily the case. A recent report by KPCB indicates that there is a significant gap between time spent and ad spend on mobile, despite the fact only TV ranks higher when it comes to engaging consumers. And, conversely, the opposite is true of print, where consumers spend the least amount of time. KPCB found that consumers spend 25 percent of their time engaging with mobile devices, but advertisers are only investing 12 percent of their budget in mobile. And on print, consumers are only spending 4 percent of their time, yet advertisers are investing 16 percent of their budget there.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Maryland and Connecticut this year enacted legislation exempting some or all of military pensions from state income tax, furthering a keen competition among states to attract military retirees.Military retirees are highly desirable, as they typically seek civilian employment, generating income taxes and bolstering the economies of the states they live in, reported Stateline.org.The legislation signed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) exempts the first $10,000 of retirement pay from state taxation. Only retirees’ first $5,000 of pay had been exempt previously. The change will cost Maryland $2.7 million in fiscal 2016 and about $3 million annually in subsequent years, according to state estimates. Local taxes, which are tied to the state tax, would drop by $2 million annually.The Connecticut Legislature increased the state’s exemption for military pensions from 50 to 100 percent.The expanded benefit will cost the state $10 million over the next two fiscal years, officials estimated. The loss, however, will be more than offset by an increase in business taxes expected to bring in $1 billion.“It’s a no-brainer,” said state Rep. Bob Dettmer (R), chairman of Minnesota’s House Veterans Affairs Committee. “Most of them [military retirees] are in their 40s. They are going to buy homes, they are going to buy vehicles and buy groceries. They bring economic value to your state. The skills they have learned through 20-plus years in the military can be transferred into civilian jobs,” Dettmer said.Dettmer successfully advanced a measure exempting military pensions from state income tax through the Republican House, but the Democratic Senate has not yet approved the change. Lawmakers need to expand the benefit for retirees to compete with neighboring states, he said.“The states that border us don’t have that tax,” Dettmer said, “and I know a lot of retired military live just across the river in Wisconsin — and they work in Minnesota.”
Despite the lack of an official announcement, the LG Nexus 5 is as good as revealed. The plethora of leaks have detailed the hardware and even some of the software. Now we’re getting a look at what it can do in the benchmark department. According to the Rightware Basemark X device benchmark, the LG Nexus 5 is the second most powerful phone in terms of gaming performance, only narrowly losing out to the iPhone 5s.Basemark X is a cross-platform gaming benchmark for mobile devices that tries to give some estimate of real world capabilities. It’s built on the Unity 4 engine, which is at the heart of many mobile games. Like many device benchmarks, Rightware aggregates the data users collect and puts it in some handy charts. It is this gaming chart which lists the Nexus 5 in the number two slot — the most powerful Android device, and second overall phone.The device information allegedly gathered from the Nexus 5 falls in line with the leaks. It has a quad-core Snapdragon 800 with an Adreno 330 GPU, a 1080p screen, and runs Android 4.4. The Nexus 5’s position on the list is the product of an admittedly small sample size of two devices The software build numbers are both the same as several previous leaks and indicate build dates around the end of September. Additionally, they both still bear the “KeyLimePie” identifier Google has been using as a ruse internally.These results are definitely believable considering the Snapdragon 800 is the fastest ARM chip currently used in Android phones, and Android 4.4 likely provides some improvements on the software side. We might get a chance to test this out soon — Google is rumored to be announcing the device very soon.
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Mt. Gox has flatlined, just as we predicted. The apparently now-extinct Bitcoin exchange, which grew from a humble trading post for Magic: The Gathering cards into what was for a time the world’s mightiest cryptocurrency powerhouse, has gone offline. Its website is now nothing more than a blank white slate beneath a URL, showing zero content, its Twitter feed stripped eerily bare.Worse, it appears that trading on the enfeebled exchange has come to a screeching halt as well, as revealed by an incriminating screenshot reportedly shared by a Reddit user. Some 744,408 BTC — which add up to about $375 million at today’s exchange rate — were likely lost in the aftermath of Mt. Gox’s implosion, according to a copy of the Tokyo-based company’s alleged Crisis Strategy Draft, leaked Monday night by Ryan Galt, a venture capitalist and Bitcoin blogger also known as “The Two-Bit Idiot.” The allegedly vanished Bitcoins are reportedly equal to approximately 6 percent of the 12.4 million Bitcoins in circulation.Galt claims that the purported crisis strategy document is from “an otherwise reliable source” and “appears to be authentic,” stating that multiple sources “close to Mt. Gox” have confirmed the staggering admissions and numbers within it.Related: Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Apologizes About Crippling Hack, Says Withdrawals to Resume SoonThe unverified alleged crisis plan reads:“For several weeks MtGox customers have been affected by bitcoin withdrawal issues that compounded on themselves. Publicly, MtGox declared that “transaction malleability” caused the system to be subject to theft, and that something needed to be done by the core devs to fix it. Gox’s own workaround solution was criticized, and eventually a fix was provided by Blockchain.info.The truth, it turns out, is that the damage had already been done.At this point 744,408 BTC are missing due to malleability-related theft which went unnoticed for several years. The cold storage has been wiped out due to a leak in the hot wallet.The reality is that MtGox can go bankrupt at any moment, and certainly deserves to as a company. However, with Bitcoin/crypto just recently gaining acceptance in the public eye, the likely damage in public perception to this class of technology could put it back 5~10 years, and cause governments to react swiftly and harshly. At the risk of appearing hyperbolic, this could be the end of Bitcoin, at least for most of the public.We believe in the value of Bitcoin, its potential to change the world, and its principles of transparency. Most importantly we care about the customers of MtGox and other bitcoin-based businesses who will be affected.The likely consequences will be larger than this localized financial damage, and we believe that the benefits of keeping MtGox stable and running outweigh the risks. This isn’t about saving MtGox anymore.”Related: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Blocks WithdrawalsReacting to the news of Bitcoin’s apparent collapse, top officials from six major Bitcoin companies together issued a joint statement on Coinbase:”This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry,” reads the statement, which was officially endorsed by the co-founders of Coinbase and the chief executives of Kraken, Bitstamp.net, BTC China, Blockchain.info and Circle.Mark Karpelès, CEO of the now apparently defunct Mt. Gox trading post, recently stepped down from the Bitcoin Foundation’s board of directors. The Tokyo-headquartered trade organization, which “standardizes, protects and promotes” the use of the digital currency, announced Karpelès’ resignation on its blog in a short, unceremonious statement last Sunday, some two weeks after Mt. Gox halted customer withdrawals on February 7.Mt. Gox issued an official apology for the freeze of external Bitcoin transfers due to what it called a “massive and concerted” denial-of-service attack. The apology pledged that withdrawals would resume again soon, though with certain limits. Yeah, make that never.Karpelès’ withdrawal of his board seat comes on the heels of Mt. Gox’s recent falling out with the foundation over how Bitcoin wallet transactions are handled. The exchange claimed its recent transaction malleability woes were due to a “fundamental flaw” in the Bitcoin protocol that it reportedly put pressure on the foundation to confront. The foundation fired back, saying that Mt. Gox’s issues stemmed from its own “wallet, lack of flexibility and customer support,” according to ZDNet.Bitcoin Foundation members again issued a statement regarding Mt. Gox Monday night after learning of the exchange’s alleged imminent bankruptcy, this time attempting to bolster public confidence in the volatile digital currency.”We are shocked to learn about Mt. Gox’s alleged insolvency,” the foundation said in a statement emailed to Business Insider. “While we are unable to comment on whether or not Mt. Gox’s business operations employed operational best practices and reasonable accounting procedures, we can assure the public that the Bitcoin protocol is functioning properly.”Meanwhile, as of 2:41 a.m. ET, Bitcoin prices fell below $437.67, the lowest level since the middle of last November. Related: Winklevoss Twins Launch Winkdex Bitcoin Index Register Now » 5 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. February 25, 2014
Thailand launches nine new routes to promote universal accessibility and tourism for allPhuket Tasty Fest 2018 promotes gastronomy for the Green SeasonThailand records 7.5% growth in visitor arrivals Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Bangkok, 26 June, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will spearhead the marketing push of the area with the focus on generating tourism revenue for the residents, communities and local businesses in four coastal provinces also known as the “Thailand Riviera.”Under a comprehensive Master Plan prepared by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the provinces of Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Ranong will be upgraded to tap their full potential for natural, cultural, historical, gastronomic, sports and community-based tourism.The Thai government and related agencies will be closely involved in all aspects of tourism management, conservation and restoration eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) You can read full article here: https://www.tatnews.org/thailand-set-to-fast-track-riviera-project-to-promote-coastal-provinces/ SAWASDEE:
Related posts:4 things you need to know before investing in a local startup The different flavors of starting a business Want to launch an app startup in Costa Rica? Read this first Social Entrepreneurship: how you can do good and make money at the same time See also: How investors and entrepreneurs can find common groundWhatever business you’re in, your company or project is only as good as the people working on it. This is as true now as it has always been. However, it was not until quite recently the business community has realized that we can’t keep recruiting talent the way we always have.In the old days, a company needing to fill a position would run an ad in the local paper or on a job site, and then sit tight. Applications would pour in, some filtering would take place, and the best possible candidate out of available applicants would be hired. Somehow that did the trick, and therefore many companies didn’t even bother to have a human resources department.But times have changed. At some point, perhaps connected to the evolution of service industries and the rise of tech companies whose value creation depended almost exclusively on the quality of their workforce, firms started thinking that maybe there was a source of competitive advantage in HR. Companies that reacted to this insight got the upper hand, while for others, the news has taken longer to sink in, and they’re starting to pay the price.The workforce has also changed. I don’t completely buy into the hype of tags like Generation X and Millennials, but without a doubt the professionals who have joined the workforce during the past 15 years have other values and sets of priorities than their elders. While workers in previous generations craved stability and were delighted at the prospect of working for a company their entire lives, nowadays flexibility, challenge and overall purpose are the main factors driving job-seekers. Mobility, or “job-hopping,” has become a reality as the average tenure has dropped from 4.4 years to about half that among young professionals. The talent shortage, much discussed in the US, is just as real in Costa Rica; having led many recruitment processes and worked with many HR managers here, I can tell you that it is palpable how increasingly difficult it is becoming to find the right people.Still, in spite of all these changes, many local companies are still using the same bag of tricks to attract the best and brightest. If we were to frame talent as being for sale, we are – and have been for a while – on a seller’s market, though not everybody’s acting like it.If your current company or your future startup wants to make its people a competitive advantage, there are a couple of things you might need to change. Here are three you can start with:1. Let HR sit with the big boysWhile it is easy to argue the importance of talent attraction, retention, management and development, most local organizations still make HR more an administrative function than a strategic one. In an article on the subject, Jack Welch, GE’s CEO for two decades, pointed that this problem is even more pervasive in Latin America, where less than 1% of HR professionals thought their company gave them an equal saying at the table as a CFO. In a local software company I did some HR consulting for, the second-class citizen status of the department was obvious: “HR can implement any initiative, as long as it doesn’t require a budget,” was the message coming from the top ranks. Under these circumstances, no wonder many HR departments end up being the planners of the monthly party, but not much more.2. Find new ways to spot talentWe love to take mental shortcuts. It is embedded in our nature and helps us cope with the complexity of life. These shortcuts are often useful, and we rely on the techniques that have served us well in the past to solve the present’s challenges. The problem is that they also are the source of biases or blind spots that can make us overlook the fact that the context or the situation has changed, as is the case with the workforce. The best example of this is some recruiter’s insistence on valuing experience and consistency above all.In a mobile talent market it is hard to find candidates who have stayed with the same company for years. What’s more, in a service or tech industry where many of today’s jobs didn’t even exist five years ago, it is tough to argue for experience as a hiring criterion. Think instead of transferable skills. What has this candidate done in the past (even if it’s in a completely different industry) that has helped her develop skills useful in the present position? According to Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, the key trait you should be looking for is precisely “portability,” or the ability to effectively transition from one role, company, industry or country to the next, bringing unique strengths to each. This requires some out-of-the-box thinking that I have yet to encounter in most local recruitment teams.3. Have a long term approachMost companies think about talent when they have a position to fill. As a result, they usually find themselves without processes or tools to manage the inflow, filtering, testing, communicating, hiring, and developing of candidates. Old CVs not suited for the present needs get tossed or filed in a such way that they can’t be found when needed for future openings; interview processes tend to be unstructured and informal; and feedback and test results are not systematically filled.To start controlling the process, a good place to start is with one of the many recruiting management solutions out there, especially if you hire frequently. You also should think about what makes your company or project a great place to work – and since building those capabilities take time, the sooner you start, the better. Given that today’s potential employees are increasingly more drawn by the mission of the company, how interesting and challenging the job will be and what kind of impact they will have on society, the values you build your company culture around and how you communicate that to the job market is the basis of your attractiveness as an employer. That, however, must be managed with the same care you would the positioning towards your customers.There’s no doubt that the talent shortage is a reality worldwide. But we can make it a lot easier if we adjust to the changes and start improving our old ways to tackle the challenge.Read more “Doing Business columns” here. Randall Trejos works as a business developer, helping startups and medium-sized companies grow. He’s the co-director of the Founder Institute in Costa Rica and a strategy consultant at Grupo Impulso. You can follow his blog La Catapulta or contact him through LinkedIn. Stay tuned for the next edition of “Doing Business,” published twice-monthly. Facebook Comments
JK Huey Appointed to Aspen Grove Solutions’ Advisory Board Aspen Grove Solutions, a Maryland-based mortgage technology solutions provider, has appointed JK Huey to its Advisory Board. Huey brings over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. Recently retired from Wells Fargo, Huey will offer her expertise to assist Aspen Grove in providing technology solutions to the mortgage industry. “JK’s extensive knowledge, industry experience, and exemplary reputation will help guide Aspen’s business to ensure we are providing the right solutions to the industry,” said Sean Ryan, CEO at Aspen Grove Solutions. “We are delighted to welcome JK onto our Advisory Board and we look forward to many years working together to improve the outcomes for everyone including the borrower.”Throughout her career, Huey has demonstrated her passion for excellent service to customers and communities. Before joining Wells Fargo, she held senior management positions at other large companies where she oversaw a variety of areas, including customer service, default management, retail production, and acquisitions.“I am honored to be asked to serve on Aspen Grove’s Advisory Board. Knowing the challenges, the industry is faced with and having worked with many technology solutions; I know the team at Aspen Grove is ready to provide the support and solutions needed for companies to be successful. I’m looking forward to assisting them in the development of tools and solutions to better serve their clients,” Huey said.As well as being a certified mortgage banker, an accredited mortgage professional, and a member of MORPAC and loan administration committees, Huey was recently appointed as the Chairman Emeritus of the National Mortgage Service Organization. She has received the 2014 Five Star Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2012 Larry E. Temple Distinguished Service Award, and the 1992 Young Mortgage Banker of the Year Award. In the past, she served as President of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association and served on the Black Knight Mortgage Advisory Board, the Fannie Mae Customer Advisory Board, and the Freddie Mac Servicer Advisory Board. February 27, 2018 572 Views Aspen Grove Solutions JK Huey mortgage Mortgage Solutions technology 2018-02-27 Radhika Ojha in News, Technology Share
A favorite of Cameron Diaz and Reese Witherspoon, New York-based jeweler Mimi So’s namesake brand is now available from the comfort of your home. Launched last Thursday, Mimi So jewelry can be purchased through its website, mimiso.com.The e-commerce site showcases Ms. So’s personal picks of the season, including her praised Jackson Collection, fashion-forward Gate B9, Lula, and Ludlow collections, and darling Charms. Known for jewelry styled for the modern woman, Ms. So designs contemporary and architectural pieces with hints of femininity, sophistication, and attitude.“I am so excited to extend the breadth and reach of the brand, and to share my creations with a wide audience of collectors,” So said in a press release. “The collections are facets of my personality that translate into true, quality fine jewelry.”The site, however, only showcases an edited selection of the entire brand. That leaves some of the best pieces for personal, in-store purchases at one of its many retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Lane Crawford. Visit mimiso.com
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" he said. acknowledging his passion for the creature with a tweet responding to Cockburn’s accusations. "Things are going to be on track from now on, tend to be especially susceptible. and that too, That’s not all It should be noted that his is hardly an exhaustive list a number of House members have been accused of sexual misconduct, so much so that Mizoram Boxing Association took her under their wings and decided to sponsor her. He also anchors Post Nation, LUCY NICHOLSON—REUTERS Voters fill out their ballots in a gym on election day at St.party’s nominee.
In two appearances last Friday on Fox News Channel,com.
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