Colombia Rejects Guerrilla Chief’s Call for Talks

first_img Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on January 10 rejected a call by the new FARC rebel leader to revive failed peace talks from a decade ago, and instead called on the guerrillas to take real steps toward peace. Latin America’s oldest insurgency movement is at its weakest point in years after a U.S.-funded crackdown, and Santos has made clear he will not open talks unless the rebels first give up arms, release hostages and halt attacks. Guerrilla chief Timoleón Jimenez, or “Timochenko,” said his Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) “would be interested in a hypothetical negotiating table.” It was the latest of periodic overtures from the FARC and came in a letter published late on January 9 on their website. But Timochenko did not explain what he meant by “hypothetical” or give signs that the FARC would meet Santos’s conditions. “We don’t want more rhetoric. The country asks for clear acts of peace,” Santos wrote in a message on Twitter on January 10. Timochenko urged Santos – who was Finance Minister during the failed 1999-2002 El Caguán peace process where Colombia created a demilitarized zone (DMZ) for rebels – to take up the agenda from those talks. Santos and his predecessor President Álvaro Uribe have pushed the FARC back thanks to improved intelligence, mobility and training of Colombian security forces. That has led to the killing or capture of senior rebels. By Dialogo January 11, 2012last_img read more

Stadium kick starts city fringe

first_img1/44A Hubert St, South Townsville.CITY fringe suburbs near the under-construction North Queensland stadium are experiencing price growth and homes are selling quicker as the project progresses.According to the latest Core Logic figures median prices have increased in South Townsville, Railway Estate and West End while all properties in all three suburbs are selling much quicker than the Townsville average of 63 days.Agents are reporting that as the stadium begins to take shape, it’s driving interest in the surrounding homes and house hunters are wanting to buy within walking distance. Explore Property sales associate Annette Rowlings specialises in Townsville’s city fringe suburbs and said the project was driving buyer interest and sales.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“People are starting to realise that the stadium is coming to fruition and number at open houses have increased over the last 12 months,” she said. “We are usually getting multiple bidders at auctions and we’re also getting properties selling prior to auction.“Those areas around the stadium have definitely become more desirable because buyers know more infrastructure is coming once the stadium is built.”In South Townsville CoreLogic figures show that in the three months up until April 2018 the median house price has risen 1.5 per cent to $345,000 while units have gone up 9.6 per cent to $307,000. During the same period prices in Railway Estate have gone up 4.11 per cent and are taking an average of 34 days to sell while in West End median house prices grew 4.5 per cent in the last 12 months and are taking 53 days to sell.Ray White Julie Mahoney owner Julie Mahoney recently sold a three bedroom home at 1/44A Hubert St in South Townsville in 11 days for $360,000.She said buyers were not just wanting to buy in suburbs like South Townsville and Railway Estate for the stadium, but the likely future development it would bring.“We’ve noticed in South Townsville young buyers are looking around the stadium but it’s not solely about the stadium but the continued infrastructure it will bring and the potential for capital growth,” Ms Mahoney said.“There has been some movement in units as well. We’ve sold five units in Railway Estate in very quick succession and that would indicate there is interest in and around that area.last_img read more

Former LVR Bomber Sean Denison lights it up in in EuroChallenge tournament

first_imgFormer L.V. Rogers Bomber and Santa Clara Broncos star Sean Denison is having a breakout season playing for CSM Oradea in the Romania League (Liga Nationala).The 6’11”, 245-pound forward/center is averaging 10 points and just under six rebounds and two assists per game for the 17-6 CSM Oradea squad.CSM Oradea, which finished the EuroChallenge with a 3-3 record, is currently in third spot in Liga Nationala standings with a 17-6 record. It was at the EuroChallenge that a producer put together a highlight package of the 28-year-old Denison on the court.Check out the YouTube video and a past article from The Nelson Daily.last_img read more

Switzerland put six past Iceland in Nations League

first_img0Shares0000Shaqiri was one of six different scorers for Switzerland in their rout of Iceland © AFP / Fabrice COFFRINIST. GALLEN, Switzerland, Sep 8 – Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri was among the scorers as Switzerland routed Iceland 6-0 in their opening game of the UEFA Nations League in St Gallen on Saturday.Steven Zuber and Denis Zakaria gave Switzerland a two-goal lead before Shaqiri fired in a free-kick from a tight angle out on the right on 53 minutes. Goals from Haris Seferovic, Albian Ajeti and Admir Mehmedi completed the resounding win as Switzerland made a dream start to a group that also includes World Cup semi-finalists Belgium.Iceland host Italy in Reykjavik on Tuesday, while Switzerland play England in a friendly in Leicester.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

To lease or to buy?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Equipment is the lifeblood of any farming operation. Luckily, there are many different ways for farmers to obtain the machinery they need, with an operating lease and purchasing being two of the most popular options. But which option is right for you? There are pros and cons associated with each route and here we take a look at just a few of them. Pros for operating leasesLess cost. You can acquire the equipment you need with little to no initial investment. Once the lease begins, your payments will most likely be lower than they would be if you were purchasing the equipment. These are positive things if cash flow is a current concern.Balance sheet bonus: an operating equipment lease does not show up on your balance sheet and consequent leases do not impact your balance sheet ratio.Flexibility: you enter into the lease, typically for three to five years, and when it ends, you can upgrade and have access to the most current technology. Cons for operating leasesNo Equity: with a lease, you are not building equity and won’t have the option to sell and receive any of your money back when you done using the equipment.Limitations: often, the lease will limit the number of hours/miles you can use the equipment and you could be penalized when the lease is up for using it more than contractually permitted.Commitment: what if the equipment you have leased no longer serves its purpose on the farm? Depending on the terms of your lease, you could be stuck making the payments until the lease is up. Even if an option to cancel the lease is in place, you could be facing large termination fees to do so. Pros to buyingYou own it: with each payment you could build equity, which looks good on a balance sheet. Owning opens the doors to other financial gains down the line. For example, selling the equipment when it is no longer needed and recouping some of your investment or using it as collateral against other loans would be options.Service as needed: you won’t have to follow a lease company’s service schedule and can maintain the machine as you see fit. Needed repairs can be made immediately.Long term relationship: if you are investing in a piece of equipment that will be a mainstay on the farm, purchasing is the way to go. There are fewer boundaries than leasing it, and you have the peace of mind that it’s there to stay. Cons to buyingUpfront funds: putting the money down that is needed up front can be bothersome. Even with financing in place, you could be looking at needing 10% to 20% as a down payment.Cash flow impact: while the first year depreciation (Section 179 or potential 50% bonus depreciation) is a pro to buying, subsequent years could create a cash flow pinch. That is, depreciation will primarily be claimed in the first year of ownership and depreciation amounts are not available in subsequent years to reduce taxes. Thus if you finance equipment, in the subsequent years you will be paying on the loan and may also need cash to pay for increased taxes (due to less depreciation expense). You’ll want to budget cash flow accordingly.Old equipment: if a new way of performing a certain farm task comes to pass, or new equipment/technology hits the market, you could be stuck working with an aging piece of machinery. Sure, you can sell it and upgrade to something new, but will the timing be right for maximum return on investment? Also be aware that selling a piece of depreciated equipment will generate depreciation recapture at ordinary tax rates and not capital gain rates.The above lists don’t even begin to touch on how tax benefits play into each option. While we don’t have enough space to cover all the elements, here are some general key points to consider.Consider Section 179 expense or bonus depreciation, especially for higher tax brackets. Remember Ohio does not allow for full accelerated depreciation (179/Bonus) benefits.You’ll want to see how the Ohio Small Business Deduction (75% of first $250,000 in pass-through or schedule C or F income) will come into play for you precise situation.You’ll want to maximize the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD)Make sure to fully maximize fuel tax credits.Plan for potential section 1411 tax impact (Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) of 3.8% to fund the Affordable Care Act).Partnering with an accounting firm with experience in Agribusiness will be your best bet when it comes to making decisions about how to obtain equipment. And, whether you lease or buy, an accountant can help you reap the most tax benefits once you make the equipment a part of your operation.Robert has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1979. His areas of expertise include agribusiness and encompasses corporate strategy, corporate finance, business planning, personal financial planning, corporate tax planning, compliance as well as estate and trust planning. Robert works with a variety of farmers and other agribusiness professionals, including those that have enjoyed long-term success and those who have decided to start new ventures. Robert can be reached at (614) 494-5300 or HolbrookManter.com. Holbrook & Manter originated in 1919 and has offices in Columbus, Dublin, Marion and Marysville.last_img read more

11 stunning EarthCaches and how to find them

first_img11. GC1JY47 at Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, WyomingRainbow’s End: Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming, GC1JY47 2. GC20010 at Lake Baikal, RussiaLake Baikal, Russia GC20010 4.  GC25643 at the Blue Lagoon, IcelandBláa lónið – Blue lagoon – Blaue Lagunem, Iceland GC25643 3. GC14W63 in Namib Desert, NamibiaNamib Desert, Namibia GC14W63 Share with your Friends:More 10. GC23HNZ near Darvaza, TurkmenistanThe Door to Hell, Turkmenistan, GC23HNZ 6. GC2PFGZ at Iguazu Falls, ArgentinaFallas do Iguaçu / IGUAZU Fault, Argentina GC2PFGZ Which EarthCaches are on your bucket list? 7. GC4CNMG in Western AustraliaKooling off in Karijini, Australia GC4CNMG Namib Desert, Namibia GC14W63EarthCaching is the magical combination of geocaching and geological discovery. EarthCaches are meant to teach geocachers about particular (and typically jaw-dropping) geological features. EarthCaches do not contain physical containers like most geocaches. They do, however, carry a piece of geological history that can date back millions and millions of years… which is certainly a treasure of sorts.How to Find an EarthCacheCustomize your geocache search. Select Filters to see advanced search options. Under Geocache Types, select EarthCache only.Premium Members can search for EarthCaches using the Geocaching® app.Navigate to the posted coordinates of the EarthCache site. Bring a camera since EarthCaches tend to be photogenic!Once at the EarthCache site, take in the scenery, the geological marvels or oddities, and read the cache description. The cache owner will likely ask you to answer some questions about the site. You can email the cache owner or use the Message Center to send answers to the required questions.Now that you know how to find an EarthCache, check out these 11 stunning EarthCache locations to add to your geocaching bucket list.  1. GC111XM in Pamukkale, TurkeyPamukkale, Turkey GC111XM 8. GC13D90 near Monsanto, PortugalCruziana [Penha Garcia], Portugal GC13D909. GCPCPX in Northern IrelandThe Giant’s Causeway Earthcache, Ireland GCPCPX 5. GC11A56 at Jellyfish Lake, Ongeim’l Tketau, in PalauJellyfish Lake – Ongeim’l Tketau, Palau GC11A56 SharePrint RelatedDiscover EarthCaching and 11 Stunning LocationsAugust 5, 2014In “Community”Geocaching Bucket List: Greatest Hits EditionMarch 6, 2016In “Community”Tips on Developing EarthCaches in U.S. National ParksSeptember 14, 2012In “Community”last_img read more

Location Efficiency Trumps Home Energy Efficiency

first_imgMy last article here at Green Building Advisor was about my perception that the USGBC is out of touch. Apparently, quite a few others feel similarly, including many who work in the program.But there was also some valid criticism of my article, including this comment by Tristan Roberts: “LEED correctly recognizes that a large proportion of a building’s overall environmental benefits (or harms) are related to its location, and it gives quite a few points for buildings in transit-friendly locations.” Indeed, location turns out to be very important, and LEED wisely promotes locating buildings in places where the people who live in, work in, or use those buildings can reduce their transportation impact. The New Construction, Homes, and Neighborhood Development LEED rating systems all recognize this in their Location and Linkages and Sustainable Sites categories. Location EfficiencyHouses Versus CarsGetting Around Without Fossil FuelsResilient CommunitiesReduce the Need for DrivingDriving Our SUVs to the BP ProtestsGetting Off Fossil Fuels He was discussing the mortgage crisis that has gripped the US since 2008 and wanted to put the cost of buying a house in perspective. At the time he wrote the book, the median price of an existing home in the US was around $175,000. If the buyer put down 20% and financed $140,000 over 30 years, here’s about what they’d pay over the life of the mortgage:$350,000 in loan payments (PITI)*$300,000 commuting from suburbia$75,000 for utilitiesI don’t know about you, but that middle number is shocking to me. I knew that those folks who were spending hours a day driving were were paying with more than just time and frustration, but for the cost of commuting to be nearly as much as they’re paying for the house stunned me.Also, I’d never really thought about these numbers before, so if he’d have asked the audience that day, I think I would’ve guessed that utilities would add up to more than the cost of commuting. Now that I’ve thought about it, though, it makes perfect sense. Cars are dang expensive, and the more you drive ’em, the more expensive they are.This is an example of how cheap and plentiful oil over the past century and a half has reduced our location efficiency. Those who do long commutes from the suburbs to the city are impoverishing themselves, but they’ve done it for what seemed like a good reason: The further outside the big city you go, the less expensive the housing gets. There’s even a name for this: the drive-till-you-qualify housing market. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is an energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard * Actually, Goldstein just gave the cost of the house ($175,000), not the sum of their loan payments. Putting transportation costs in perspectiveAt the 2010 RESNET conference, I heard David Goldstein speak on some of the issues he’d written about in his book, Invisible Energy. Goldstein is the Energy Program Co-Director at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and past-president of RESNET, and in one part of his talk, he threw out some numbers that floored me. RELATED ARTICLES Location efficiency affects mortgage security, tooIn the book, Goldstein gives other measures of location efficiency, too. For example, when he looked at the most location-efficient places in the San Francisco Bay Area, he found that the mortgage default rate was less than 0.1%, whereas out in the Bay Area sprawl, it was 2.5%. Whoa! Save all that money on reduced driving expenses, and you get to keep your house. What a concept!Not only have you been more likely to keep your location-efficient house, should you have one, you’ve also suffered much less in lost value over the past few years of declining house prices. Goldstein found this to be true in major metropolitan areas across the US in addition to San Francisco.Getting back to the main point, it turns out that location efficiency can be much more important than home energy efficiency. With peak oil, expect the cost of poor location efficiency to cause more and more financial pain. The drive-till-you-qualify housing market, which reduces our energy security, will come to an end.last_img read more

ReadWrite Survey Results: Most Folks Are Actually Happy With Their Mobile Carrier

first_imgMoney TalksSo, what would make you switch? Money, mostly.65% said they’d dump their carrier for a better deal, and 24% were looking for more inclusive Network Coverage. Note that those are also the top two factors helping to keep people from switching as well. Obviously, those two factors trump everything else when choosing a mobile carrier.Perhaps because the iPhone 5 and most of the top Android models are now avialable at a variety of carriers, only 4.5% said they’d consider moving for a better selection of mobile devices.Finally, fewer than 1% were interested in sharing a carrier with others – I guess those family plans and free calling to other users of the same carrier don’t carry much weight.Ultimately, it seems, only network coverage and cost really make a difference. And a surprisingly high percentage of survey respondents are relatively happy with what they’ve already got in both areas.(For more surveys, see ReadWrite Survey Results: What A Typical BYOD Program Really Looks Like)Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Depending on where you live, using the wrong mobile carrier can be an expensive, frustrating nightmare. And if you listen to the anecdotal evidence, it seems like a whole lot of mobile users live in crappy-service hell.But there’s more to the story than all those complaints. To find out what’s really going on, ReadWrite recently ran a survey of our readers to see how they really felt about their mobile carriers, and how open they were to change.(See ReadWrite Mobile Carrier Survey: What Would It Take For You To Switch?)The 179 responses we got do not represent a scientific sampling, but they painted a clear picture of a world where most people are surprisingly okay with their mobile carriers, and not inclined to jump ship without a good reason.Undeserved Bad Reputations?Despite the sketchy reputation enjoyed by many mobile carriers, the vast majority of respondents were either Very Satisfied (23%) or Somewhat Satisfied with their service. Only 13% were Somewhat Unsatisfied, and a paltry 4% were Very Unsatisfied. fredric paul Related Posts Tags:#Carriers#Survey Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement And they had lots of reasons for staying put – ironically, the very same reasons that mobile users seem to complain about the most.Just over half (50.3%) actually cited Network Coverage as a reason not to switch carriers, followed by Service Rates and Plans (45%). Some 27% were convinced to stay by their carrier’s device selection, and 21% cited the benefits of sharing a carrier with family, friends and co-workers. A significant minority (37%), though, said they weren’t switching because of the hassles involved. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Grassroots Liberals pressuring Trudeau government to be more progressive

first_imgHALIFAX – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is being pushed by backbenchers and grassroots Liberals to take a more progressive stance on issues such as pharmacare, prostitution and illegal drugs.The pressure came Friday during the first full day of the Liberals’ national convention and it was motivated, at least in part, by a determination not to be outflanked by the NDP in the battle for progressive voters in next year’s federal election.At the same time, however, Trudeau’s ministers were applying some pressure of their own —urging party faithful to get out and sell the government’s support for the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in the face of opposition from environmentalists, some Indigenous groups and British Columbia’s NDP government.One resolution, proposed by the national caucus, calls for the country’s universal health-care system to be expanded to include coverage of prescription drugs, echoing a call by the Commons health committee last week.Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s most recent federal budget announced the creation of an advisory committee, headed by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, to study the implementation of national pharmacare.But Oakville MP John Oliver, a member of the health committee, warned that the fight for pharmacare is not a done deal and he urged delegates to support the resolution to send a message to the Prime Minister’s Office.“I think it’s so important that Liberals own this issue, we don’t let the NDP own it. We need to own it as Liberals, it’s got to come out of this convention as the No. 1 priority.”New Democrats approved a resolution on national pharmacare at their recent convention.Oliver warned that “very powerful lobby groups”, including the big pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies, will fight a universal pharmacare plan. And he said there will be “all kinds of other people resisting it” — not mentioning that Morneau himself initially talked about strictly providing drug coverage for Canadians who aren’t already covered by private drug plans.Another resolution proposed by the caucus calls on the government to decriminalize simple possession and consumption of all illicit drugs, adopting a model similar to that used in Portugal where the emphasis is on getting drug users into treatment.New Democrats have adopted a similar resolution.Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor reiterated Friday that Canada and Portugal are very different countries. And she noted that Trudeau has been clear that legalizing recreational marijuana is as far as he’s prepared to go in removing the criminal prohibition on drug use.But Toronto MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith urged grassroots Liberals not to take no for an answer.“The government is committed to the grassroots, the government is committed to evidence and if we come out of this supporting (this resolution) I think the government will change its mind,” he told the workshop.At another workshop, there was little evidence of support for a resolution calling for the decriminalization of prostitution, proposed by the party’s youth commission.But Young Liberal president Mira Ahmad said it’s very popular among youth delegates, who make up almost one third of the roughly 3,000 Liberals at the convention.“Youth have a history of challenging the party status quo and pushing for progressive policies,” she said after the workshop, conceding that “Some Liberals may not like it.”Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said the government is already considering decriminalization, among other options, for dealing with the sex trade.Wilson-Raybould also indicated that she’s open to listening to arguments about decriminalizing all drugs, although she stressed her priority is cannabis, which is to be legalized this summer. However, she later clarified that “we are focused on cannabis and we are not moving forward on any other decriminalization.”The clarification was in line with Petitpas Taylor, the lead minister on the drug file who was decidedly cool to the idea. She warned that decriminalization “is not the silver-bullet solution” to the opioid crisis.During a panel discussion on the environment and the economy, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna appealed to delegates to back the government’s determination to see the Trans Mountain pipeline expanded. Getting bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to tidewater in B.C. is part of the balance the government is trying to strike, protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions while still growing the economy, she argued.“We have to stop the polarization,” McKenna said.“That’s why I need you to stand up and support what we are doing to take action on climate change and also support projects that make sense in getting resources to market.”Outside the convention, a handful of protesters denounced the pipeline and the government’s environmental policy in general. And inside, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr acknowledged that some Liberals are also likely uneasy about the pipeline.“Within our party there will be those who think pipelines are not a great idea, but when they hear the arguments about the alternatives of moving the product by rail or by pipeline … I think they will see the position that we have taken.”Carr said he’s not comfortable watching the Alberta and B.C. governments duke it out in public over the pipeline. But while he understands they’re standing up for their provincial interests, he said the federal government has another priority.“There is only one government of Canada. We will be accountable for protecting the interests of the entire nation.”last_img read more