SMC first-generation students comment on lack of resources, diversity on campus

first_img“I wasn’t surprised.”That was the typical response from many of the low-income, DACA and first-generation students at Saint Mary’s when asked their thoughts on the college admissions cheating scandal. While Saint Mary’s was not implicated, many Belles have strong opinions on the admissions process and the greater significance of the scandal.Saint Mary’s senior Teresa Brickey, a first-generation and low-income student, said the issue of the cheating scandal is relevant to the tri-campus community and that some wealthy students are “allotted certain privileges.”“Honestly, this college acceptance scandal is nothing new —  people just got publicly caught,” she said. “The college scandal reaffirms the fact that higher institutions are created and sustained for a certain class of people. What the scandal highlights is the fact that a student can be mediocre, but if their parents’ bank account is big enough, then that doesn’t matter.”Damariz Olguin, a Saint Mary’s first-year, said she agrees.“It’s been happening for years — even in politics it happens,” she said.Olguin, a first-generation and low-income student, said it was interesting that most of the institutions implicated in the scandal were PWIs.“PWI” stands for “predominantly white institution” — an accurate descriptor for Saint Mary’s, Olguin said.“I wasn’t surprised that there were so few first-generation students here, but I was surprised that Saint Mary’s was a PWI,” she said.Junior Genesis Vasquez, a first-generation student, said she feels similarly. She said the history of higher institutional learning is entrenched in the exclusion of underrepresented populations, as most colleges were initially created for upper-middle-class, white students.“I was shocked at the scandal, but at the same time, I really wasn’t,” she said. “Higher institutions were not made for students of color, or first-generation students or students living in poverty.”Nevertheless, the College’s population of first-generation students continues to grow. Gloria Jenkins, dean of students, said in an email Saint Mary’s is continuously trying to create more opportunities to support first-generation students.“Currently, 27% of our student population is first-generation and 34% of our first-year students are first-generation, so we recognize the need to continue to support our students,” she said.Yet, Olguin said it was hard, at first, to find fellow first-generation students on campus. Although the College offers the “Belles Connect” program for first-generation, underrepresented, home-schooled and international students, Olguin said it was not explicitly advertised.“First-generation freshmen are allowed to come to campus a week earlier than everyone else for ‘Belles Connect,’” she said. “Except they’re not great at telling students how to sign up for it.”Olguin said living on campus early would have been beneficial, as she said she chose to attend Saint Mary’s without ever having seen the campus before. Since she is a first-generation student, she did not know what college life would be like and if she would fit in on campus, she said.Vasquez said she did participate in “Belles Connect,” but it was only by chance that she stumbled upon the website.“In high school, I was very active in looking for resources that would help me and I stumbled upon a website for it,” she said. “But, I don’t think it was advertised at all. I know a lot of people who would’ve applied had they known about ‘Belles Connect.’”Jenkins said only some students are eligible for “Belles Connect,” and there are many reasons why students may not know of, or want to participate in the program.“Some students miss out on the opportunity for many reasons. For instance, they may have been admitted after the deadline to register for the program was closed or it had reached its capacity,” she said. “Furthermore, I’ve had students tell me they didn’t want to participate because they didn’t want to move in a week earlier and leave home. Finally, some students informed me that their parents did not want them to come or [did not] forward the opportunity to them as they were the ones dealing with all SMC communication.”And fitting in on campus is not the only struggle these students face; for low-income students, Brickey said, there are some resources that she, and others, are never afforded.“We, myself included, were never afforded testing prep, tutoring or even the resources to understand admission processes,” she said. “Every year is a constant battle with financial aid offices and balancing an array of issues that our wealthier peers do not have to face. There is a resource gap between the two demographics on campus.”Vasquez said her biggest challenge has been affording Saint Mary’s.“Saint Mary’s recruits diverse students, but what are they going to do to ensure that students like me will finish college?” she said. “My biggest challenge has been financially paying for school. I don’t have to pay a lot, but it’s too much money for my parents to afford.”Like Brickey, Vasquez said finding resources that help her understand the financial aid process has been an uphill battle.“I’ve definitely asked friends about financial aid and they can’t answer me because their family does their financial aid for them,” she said. “I have to physically go to the financial aid office, and it’s not a problem, but sometimes you don’t want to go out of your way to find an answer.”While legacy students can fall back on their parents’ assistance when it comes to navigating the application process, Olguin said she had to do everything on her own because her parents, and even her academic counselors, were no help.“Admissions counselors should help first-generation students with the Common App,” she said. “Certain colleges should notice that if you’re first-generation you might be confused on certain things, so they should reach out directly to those first-generation students.”Vasquez said sometimes, there are so many challenges stacked against her she feels like dropping out of college entirely.“I wanted to drop out my sophomore year,” she said. “It was a constant thought in my head and it was something that I did not talk about with anyone. I think that’s often something that students with similar backgrounds to me think about. There are students who are in college and they’ll drop out because their family will need help and they feel like it’s their obligation to go back home and help.”But, to those students who feel like Vasquez, she said she recommends they seek out help in the form of mentorship and resources. Vasquez said the campus community should also address the emotional need of underrepresented students, as many first-generation students and students of color are often stigmatized for seeking counseling to treat their mental health needs.“Counseling has helped me so much,” she said. “I’ve had difficulty with mental health and I didn’t start getting help until I got here. Particularly in black and Hispanic communities, mental health is so stigmatized that you’re looked down upon if you have a mental health issue. We need to destigmatize that. Mental health only gets worse when coupled with the stress of academics.”Olguin said the College community should recognize some students have more privileges than others and that legacy students are “blessed” with an easier college experience.“It’s hard for us to do it all on our own,” she said.Tags: admissions scandal series, college admissions scandal, first generation, legacy, low incomelast_img read more

Major insurers back away from Adani’s planned Carmichael mine in Australia

first_imgMajor insurers back away from Adani’s planned Carmichael mine in Australia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):A group aggressively working across the globe to push insurance companies away from the coal sector say some of the world’s largest insurers will not be covering Adani Mining Pty Ltd’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia.Ten of the world’s top insurance companies have explicitly refused to insure the mine or have previously pledged not to provide cover for new coal projects, the Unfriend Coal campaign announced Dec. 19. The revelation followed the Adani Enterprises Ltd. unit’s recent announcement the company would be self-financing the project after revising its mining plan to simplify construction and reduce the initial capital requirements for the mine and associated infrastructure.“If insurance companies are serious about combatting climate change and aligning their business with the Paris climate agreement, this is an important test case for them,” said Peter Bosshard, director of the finance program for The Sunrise Project and a coordinator of the Unfriend Coal campaign. “There’s a large enough number of insurers who haven’t committed one way or the other so it’s not impossible [the Carmichael mine project] can go further, but I think there’s a decent chance they can’t get insurance for the project. They didn’t manage to secure finance because I think everybody realizes this is a really toxic project.”The list of insurance companies includes what the campaign said was the first major U.S. insurer to take action on coal, Factory Mutual Insurance Co. One company, London-based Beazley Group Ltd wrote back to the campaign that it has no direct involvement with the project “having declined the risk when it was presented earlier this year.”Similarly, Australia-based QBE Insurance Group Ltd.’s chief risk officer Peter Grewal responded to the campaign with a letter saying that while it will not discuss specific customer relationships, it can confirm that it does not provide services to the proposed Carmichael project and will not do so in the future.More than 37 global financial institutions, including all of Australia’s major banks, had publicly turned down involvement with the $1.5 billion project, the campaign said in its announcement. Still, Adani recently said it would immediately begin to work on developing the mine and is working with regulators to finalize hurdles to breaking ground on the project.More ($): Major insurers tell campaign they will not be backing large Australian coal minelast_img read more

What to Listen to: Outdoor Podcasts

first_img However, she did listen to a few podcast episodes while on her A.T. thru hike in 2014. In 1851, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal about the sounds of the telegraph that had just come to his home of Concord: “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.”   She also listens to She Explores and The Joy Trip Project. Both podcasts cover a wide range of outdoor activities and tell the stories of some “seriously inspiring people getting outside.” Dan Mantena and his Charlotte Running Club team outran 200 teams to win the 208-mile Blue Ridge Relay last year.  Mantena prefers the mountain ascents, where “climbing builds toughness, teaches you how to suffer and to embrace the grind.” A.T. THRU-HIKER Ellen Kanzinger Charlotte Running Club / Blue Ridge Relay 2018 team champion Zach Davis Specifically, she listens to The Outdoor Biz Podcast because “it inspires my work in outdoor development with our regional economic development organization,” and Outdoor Industry Association’s Audio Outdoorist, which is an organization “committed to the outdoor industry and tracking its contributions to our nation’s economic viability, with the podcast focusing on politics surrounding the outdoor industry.” A.T. THRU-HIKER “But, that’s understandable when you’re on a six month journey to hike 2,000+ miles, right?” she said.   His favorite is Joe Budden, whom he described as “more conversational than most podcasts… with three friends musing about navigating through life, critical reviews of the latest releases, hip-hop culture, and news in an unfiltered and deadpan format that is raw, real and hilarious.”  Kayla Carter Here is a short list of favorite podcasts selected by outdoor-minded adventurers in the Blue Ridge: Dan Mantena “I’m developing a podcast that will cover outdoor recreation, music, and environmental issues.” “I’ve recently taken up running as a hobby and workout routine, so I’ll listen to them when I have an easy goal set for the day or on a walk by myself.” Gerry James “Beer interviews some of the top athletes, coaches, and experts in the endurance world. His podcast aims to inspire the pursuit of your physical best performance, how the world’s top physical performers achieve their success as well as the highs, the lows, and the journey of getting there.” Carter was instrumental in creating her own podcast, too: the Appalachian Trail Tennessee Network Podcast launched last spring and recorded 21 episodes in an effort to “document the trail’s positive impact on our economy while also highlighting the natural beauty here in Northeast Tennessee.”   Zach Davis became an avid podcast listener after stumbling upon the Joe Rogan Experience while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011.  “Boredom on trail is very real, and podcasts are my ideal solution,” said Davis, founder and editor-in-chief of The Trek, a platform for long distance backpacking enthusiasts. But he also adds,  “There’s immense value in practicing mindfulness, for which extended periods in nature without distraction is the perfect scenario for this pursuit.”  Thoreau would have never fathomed how the dots and dashes of the telegraph he disliked have evolved into our ability today to bring the music and stories of the world directly to our ears wherever we may be.   Blue Ridge Outdoors Travel Editor Ellen Kanzinger listens to podcasts on her 30-minute walk to work every day, She also listens when driving to outdoor destinations around the region while on assignment for BRO.  Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting is one of her favorites. “It covers a wide range of topics including environmental issues like deadly wildfires, shark fishing, and lead in water sources.” “I curate playlists to drive me as I glide through the water,” he says.  “When you’re out there on the water for three-plus hours marathon-paddling alone, it’s nice to have a companion,” said James, the American Canoe Association Volunteer of the Year in 2017 and one of BRO’s 30 under 30 last year for his work founding the Explore Kentucky Initiative and Kentucky Waterman Series. James has even begun exploring the production side of podcasting.    He doesn’t listen to podcasts or music when training. “There is a lot of noise in the world, so I prefer to either be with my own thoughts or talk to others if running in a pack. Quietness also helps build mental toughness and train the inner voice.”  However, the Australian-born Mantena travels a lot for work, which led him to becoming an avid podcast-listener. His favorite, the weekly The Physical Performance Show by Australian physiotherapist Brad Beer.     29-year-old Kayla Carter doesn’t listen to podcasts outdoors for the most part, where she would rather be making connections to the natural environment and also building relationships with the people she’s with.  Athletes and Experts Reveal Their Favorite Podcasts Music has become a fundamental part of experiencing the outdoors for many, including paddler Gerry James. PADDLER  Along with Juliana Chauncey, he co-hosts Backpacker Radio, a bi-weekly show featuring interviews with prominent long distance backpackers and adventurers, one of three active podcasts on The Trek. HIKER Over 48 million Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, up 6 million from 2017.  One third of Americans age 25-54 listen to podcasts at least once a month. last_img read more

Venezuela extradites suspected narcotics traffickers to U.S.

first_img Panama: More than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine seized CARACAS, Venezuela – Suspected narcotics traffickers Jaime Alberto Marín Zamora and Omar Guzmán Martínez have been extradited to the United States by Venezuelan authorities, Tarek El Aissami, Venezuela’s Interior Minister, said. “We view the arrest and transfer to the United States of two major narco-traffickers, Jaime Alberto Marín and Omar Guzmán Martínez, by Venezuelan authorities as a valuable and positive development,” the U.S. Embassy in Caracas said in a statement. “These are very dangerous, violent individuals with outstanding warrants in the United States. The Venezuelan police officers who made these arrests demonstrated excellent police work in bringing these two drug traffickers to justice.” The suspects were placed in the custody of U.S. officials at the International Airport of Maiquetía Simón Bolívar. Marín, who goes by the alias “Beto Marín,” is suspected of being a member of the Norte del Valle cartel. The 48-year-old Colombian, who was arrested in Venezuela on Sept. 17, has been accused of drug trafficking, money laundering and criminal conspiracy in the U.S., El Aissami said. Guzmán, a 38-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, was apprehended in Caracas on Aug. 25. “He has been wanted by the United States since March 19, 2009,” El Aissami said. Guzmán is expected to be tried in New York on cocaine-trafficking charges. BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Phanor Arizabaleta Arzayús and Mario Germán Satizábal, two major suspected narcotics traffickers, were arrested in the southwestern city of Cali, Gen. Óscar Naranjo, the national police director, said. Arizabaleta, 72, has already served jail time in Colombia for drug trafficking, but he spent most of his sentence under house arrest because of his failing health. U.S. officials want Arizabaleta extradited because he’s suspected of playing a major role in helping the Cali cartel supply about 80% of the cocaine consumed in the U.S. during the 1990s, according to EFE. The Cali cartel’s initial leaders, brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, are incarcerated in the U.S. Meantime, Mario Germán Satizábal, is suspected of being a high-ranking leader of the Norte del Valle cartel, Naranjo said, according to EFE. BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian authorities recently seized 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of cocaine being transported on a truck in the nation’s capital, officials said. The narcotics, which had a street value of about US$30.8 million, is suspected of belonging to trafficker Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, also known as “Cuchillo,” one of the five most wanted drug traffickers in Colombia, according to the Department of Administrative Security (DAS). Police arrested two in connection with the truck and handed them over to the National Antinarcotics Unit, according to the DAS statement, as reported by the Colombian news website Semana.com. Colombian authorities seize 400 kilograms of cocaine BOGOTÁ, Colombia – The army, navy and air force destroyed a drug laboratory and seized an array of weapons that are suspected of belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the department of Cauca. Officials discovered weapons, explosives and more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition – many of which had been injected with cyanide – in a deposit near the municipality of El Tambo. “This ammunition will no longer harm the security forces or civilians,” Jairo Herazo, chief of the Joint Command of the Pacific, told reporters, according to the Colombian daily El Espectador. “It is a heavy blow. They can have guns, but they can’t shoot.” Meantime, in a rural area of the municipality of Argelia, officials destroyed a drug laboratory after seizing 666 kilograms (1,465 pounds) of cocaine, chemicals and laboratory equipment. Herazo said officials faced no resistance but made no arrests during the operations, according to El Espectador. BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Naval officials said they seized about 2 billion pesos (US$1.1 million) they suspect belonged to narcotics traffickers at the southwestern port of Buenaventura. The cash, which was separated into bundles of bills worth 50,000 pesos (US$27.80) each, was discovered during an inspection of a passenger boat destined for the municipality of López de Micay, in the department of Cauca, the navy said in a statement. Coast Guard officials arrested two crew members who, along with the money, were turned over to prosecutors in Buenaventura, according to the Colombian daily El Colombiano. The seizure marks another major victory for President Juan Manuel Santos. Last week, the National Police confiscated about 43 billion pesos (US$24 million) discovered in a vehicle suspected of being owned by narcotics traffickers. Earlier this month, officials confiscated US$28 million in suspected drug money that was collectively found inside three cars in the nation’s capital, according to EFE.center_img PANAMA CITY, Panama – The National Police said it confiscated an SUV filled with 527 kilograms (1,159 pounds) of cocaine near the Bridge of the Americas, which crosses the Panama Canal, officials said. The police also confiscated 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of the narcotic during an operation with the country’s Aeronaval Service and the counternarcotics prosecutor’s office in the province of Colón, according to the Panamanian daily La Prensa. Officials are searching for the traffickers who owned the cocaine, which is expected to be destroyed. Panamanian officials have incinerated more than 25 tons of drugs so far this year, according to EFE. This past weekend, police destroyed 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) of cocaine and 890 kilograms (1,958 pounds) of marijuana that had been confiscated. Colombian authorities destroy drug lab Colombia: Navy seizes more than US$1.1 million in suspected drug money Colombian police apprehend suspected narcotics traffickers sought by U.S. By Dialogo September 22, 2010 The Mexican Federal Police detained five people involved in a money-laundering network for a Mexican drug cartel, and also accused of being a member is a cousin of the president of Panama. The Ministry of Public Safety and Security (PSS) announced on Thursday in a statement that the three men and two women were detained in various areas in the center of the country accused of joining an organization dedicated in the transport of dollars from Mexico to Panama for the Beltran Leyva brothers cartel. Since the end of 2009 17 suspected members of that network have been detained, including Ramon Ricardo Martinelli Corro, second cousin of the current President of Panama. Martinelli Corro faces proceedings from a Mexican prison for organized crime and money-laundering. The authorities have said that the trafficked money by the network allegedly comes from criminal activities of the Beltran Leyva brothers cartel who in the past years have received huge setbacks including the death of its leader Arturo. last_img read more

Cuomo Obscura: Shady Moments During New York’s ‘Most Transparent’ Administration

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office, he promised to operate “the most transparent” administration in history. The night of his victory, he said, “The people want a government of competence and performance and integrity.”But just last week, New York State instituted a new email deletion policy that automatically purges government emails after 90 days. It’s the latest in a long line of decisions that seem to contradict Cuomo’s promise.August 15, 2011 – Cuomo responds to a request for flight records with black ink.The administration’s FOIL Lawyer meets a reporter’s request for information on the use of the State’s Police Aviation unit with documents so full of redactions that the Albany Times-Union wrote it is ” impossible to understand why someone used planes or helicopters during the governor’s first six months in office.”August 15, 2011 – Governor signs a toothless ethics reform Act.The Public Integrity Reform Act, previously named the Clean Up Albany Act, requires greater disclosures of campaign and business finances as well as meetings between firms and any elected officials. But its new Governor and lawmaker-appointed enforcement panel created as part of the law called the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is criticized in a New York Times editorial as ” so deeply flawed in its structure as to be wholly ineffective.”July 16, 2012 – Gov. Cuomo uses BlackBerry messaging system to avoid a paper trail.The New York Daily News reports on the Governor’s use of Blackberry’s messaging system to communicate with his “inner circle” as to avoid a paper trail that comes with using email.June 30, 2013 – Governor adopts a new email retention policy that erases correspondence after 90 days.The Albany Times-Union reports the state’s new email system would purge all messages after 90 days unless they are individually marked to be saved.May 5, 2014 – Cuomo aides are using personal email accounts for government business.ProPublica reports that aides to Gov. Cuomo are using private email accounts to conduct government business, including Howard Glaser, a top Cuomo adviser at the time. This may violate a state policy which prohibits state employees from using “a personal email account to conduct State business unless explicitly authorized.” The administration later denies using private emails for government business.July 23, 2014 – Cuomo hinders Moreland Commission’s efforts to root out misconduct.A New York Times investigation finds that the governor’s office scuttled the ethics commission’s pursuits of corruption when they involved entities with close ties to Cuomo. The Commission had been established in July 2013 to aggressively investigate cases of government misconduct that could reach litigation by the Attorney General.August 11, 2014 – State issues 118-page policy on how to save emails.  As ProPublica writes, the 118-page long email policy is so “bewilderingly complex” that it leads to ” further concern that emails may not be saved at all.”October 14, 2014 – Cuomo administration refuses to share further details on fundraising.The Cuomo administration delays its response to a public records request from Capital New York for documents detailing some of the governor’s fundraising efforts. The administration denies the request six months after it was submitted arguing that any documents not posted online to the Governor’s pre-edited public schedule “are simply drafts meant for internal use” and exempt from disclosure under Freedom of Information laws, according to a report by Capital New York.February 25, 2015 – The administration begins purging emails under new policy.The State fully implements its email deletion policy that automatically deletes all emails at several state agencies older than 90 days.February 27, 2015 – Cuomo’s Chief Information Officer grilled over email deletion policy.Lawmakers at a budget hearing grill Maggie Miller, the State’s Chief Information Officer, over its new policy. When asked pointed questions about the policy’s impact on litigation and Freedom of Information laws, Miller answered, “I, uh, all I can say is I fully support the policy.”ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

How to really file your taxes for free

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr American taxpayers spend 6.1 billion hours and $31.7 billion complying with tax-filing requirements. When decrying the complexity of the American tax system, politicians on both sides of the aisle like to claim—inaccurately it turns out—that the U.S. Tax Code is a whopping 70,000 pages long.  Turns out, it’s more like 2,600 pages, since the 70,000 number includes a lot of regulations and case law. But no matter, 2,600 pages is daunting enough, and so each year American taxpayers spend 6.1 billion hours and $31.7 billion complying with tax-filing requirements. About 90% of us either hire a tax pro or buy preparation software.  “Taxpayers must spend money just to figure out how much money they owe,”  complained IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, in a 2013 report laying out many of these facts Congress.Nevertheless, if you turn on the television or browse the internet at this time of year, you are likely to see an ad claiming that you can file your taxes for free. The advertisers aren’t necessarily lying, but they aren’t being entirely candid either. Free filing options do exist, but not all free software is free for every taxpayer and figuring out the software that will be free for you can be absurdly complicated.This is due in part to the fact that most software providers start users with the cheapest product they offer. You then work through questions designed to determine the deductions and credits you’re eligible for and ultimately what forms you’ll need to send the IRS. As the software sees the need for more complex forms or advice they prompt you to upgrade. Many people—me included—don’t realize how costly preparation will be until they’ve invested more time and thought into their tax returns than they can stand to waste. continue reading »last_img read more

Survey: Payments fraud increasing

first_imgA survey revealed that more than 80 percent of organizations – including financial institutions and other businesses – suffered from payments fraud in 2018. Fraud was also more common among larger institutions: 87 percent of those with revenue more than $1 billion experienced fraud compared to 69 percent of those with less revenue.In addition, business email compromise (BEC) scams increased last year, with more than half reporting financial losses as a result. BEC scams are used to gain access to a business email account and imitate the owner’s identity in an effort to defraud a company.While checks are most likely to be impacted by fraud, organizations reporting check fraud continues to decline. Fraud activity related to ACH debit and credit is on the rise.The report, released by the Association for Financial Professionals and sponsored by J.P. Morgan, included responses from more than 600 treasury and finance professionals. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Hotel Medora Auri in Podgora won the prestigious TUI Nordic Blue Star award

first_imgOnly a year after the opening, the Medora Auri Hotel in Podgora was awarded the TUI Nordic Blue Star 2017 Gold Award for the best rated hotel by a guest of this prestigious market concept.The Blue Star concept is part of TUI Nordic’s offer, as well as its longest-lived and most popular brand. All 34 hotels in Europe, as well as 22 hotels in other world destinations, have common characteristics in this concept – a variety of facilities and services for families and couples in facilities of categories 4 and 5 *, especially sustainability, environmental protection and modern technological solutions. . “The Gold Award, based on the ratings of the guests who stayed at the Medora Auri Hotel, is extremely important for the hotel and the Society as a whole and because the Medora Auri Hotel is the first facility from Croatia to win the Gold Award, ie first place in one of the TUI’s market concepts. This is especially important for us because of the construction of a positive image of Croatia as a destination of excellence and high quality tourist product. In the same competition, the hotel won a silver award for the quality of WiFi and a bronze award for the overall maintenance and cleanliness of the hotel. These awards represent an additional incentive to all employees of the Company to further improve the quality and create an exceptional experience of staying in our facilities.Said the President of the Management Board Zrinko Kamber.Medora repaid debts from pre-bankruptcy prematurelyAt the beginning of the month, Medora hotels from Podgora prematurely settled all their obligations of the Company from the pre-bankruptcy settlement, both to the Ministry of Finance and to all other creditors in full, and the early payment achieved the preconditions for concluding the pre-bankruptcy settlement.According to the Medora Hotel, the early repayment of liabilities was made partly from own funds and partly from a special-purpose loan of Zagrebačka banka dd in the amount of EUR 4,53 million, with a currency clause in kuna equivalent at the middle exchange rate of the CNB. The loan repayment period is 10 years, and no later than October 31.10.2027, 4,20. year, with a variable regular interest rate of XNUMX% per annum.After last year’s renovation of the Medora Auri Family Beach Resort hotel, in which they invested more than 15 million euros, in 2018 Medora plans to continue investing in the two remaining hotels and camps.last_img read more

Smiths Group secures £176m buy-in with Canada Life

first_imgThe transaction was “well-timed to capture strong pricing opportunities”, Aon added.Dominic Grimley, risk settlement adviser at Aon, said: “This transaction followed a period of careful market monitoring, where we waited for the right opportunities to emerge. All parties involved have considerable market experience and this encouraged a swift conclusion once pricing was accessible.”Smiths Group’s pension funds had £3.8bn in combined assets at the end of 2018, according to the company’s annual report. FTSE 100-listed engineering company Smiths Group has struck a £176m bulk annuity deal with insurer Canada Life.The transaction covered more than 2,000 pensioners and dependents, according to a statement from the company.Smiths Group said roughly £800m of the Smiths Industries Pension Scheme’s liabilities had now been insured, and £1.6bn across two schemes.The latest deal forms part of a long-term de-risking plan for the company. Consultancy group Aon, adviser to the pension schemes, said the series of buy-in deals formed “one of the market’s longest-established programmes of phased de-risking”.last_img read more

Insane Brisbane houses on the market right now

first_imgWhoa!Marble floors, classical columns, high ceilings and expansive living spaces feature throughout the house, which also has a billiards room, 1200-bottle underground wine cellar, a commercial-sized kitchen with a cool room, and an electric heated swimming pool. The master suite occupies almost half the upper floor and incorporates two separate dressing rooms, a kitchenette, a gymnasium and a palatial bathroom with emerald green marble. And that turret!There is also 60m of river frontage and the property has its own private rainforest. The Emerald City!A huge balcony off the master bedroom overlooks the walled grounds of the estate which include a private orchard, an al fresco gazebo with full kitchen facilities, a resort-style pool and garaging for 12 vehicles. This would look right at home in MalibuSituated on 26ha of hinterland, this Asian inspired, Dion Seminara-designed masterpiece has one of the best infinity pools we have ever seen. Brisbane designer home costs year’s private school fees to rent a month It has incredible river views!The Victorian style mansion is spread over three storeys and includes two fully self contained guest quarters, multiple living areas leading out on to its timber decks, surrounded by ornate aluminium powder-coated cast decorative panels. On the entry level of the house, a formal dining room which houses one of three fireplaces, a circular kitchen with granite counter tops and designer appliances and finishes, a family room with its own deck and atrium, a library, and there is a statement timber staircase. Star Brisbane builder’s forever home sells for dream price First up is 303 Archer Street at Chandler, a landmark property offering a “privileged lifestyle”.Owned by Domenico Casagrande and his wife Lucia, the five bedroom, architect-designed, iconic mansion sits on 2.5 acres of manicured grounds. Bigger than your apartment, right? And has a pool with a helluva view!The entertaining terrace also has a barbecue, teppanyaki grill and a wood fired pizza oven. RELATED: Take a look inside Brisbane’s $18m trophy home at Kangaroo Point This house sold for over $18 millionIt was bought by Chinese buyers and has 71m of uninterrupted city and river views and spans three storeys, with 1445sq m of internal living space. Sure, why not!More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market12 hours agoIt is listed with Queensland Sotheby’s International realty agents Joseph Lordi and Tyson Clarke.Also on the market is 50 Dauphin Terrace at Highgate Hill — a sprawling 3923sq m riverfront estate that could be straight out of Downton Abbey.center_img Just one of the verandasThere is also provision for a temperature controlled 2000 bottle wine cellar, piped music throughout, a five-storey viewing tower with a roof dome which opens up to the night sky, manicured gardens, a 23m gas-heated swimming pool, a garden shed, boathouse, two workshops and an area suitable for use as a gym or a man cave. 303 Archer Street, Chandler is decadent and luxurious.They would not look out of place in the French Bordeaux, on an English estate or on the hilltops overlooking Hollywood. Adorned with luxurious features, they have million-dollar inclusions more commonly seen in luxurious mega mansions owned by aristocrats and A-list celebrities. It is not as old as it looks!The master bedroom opens out on to a veranda and has a luxurious marble ensuite with spa bath. Other features include Carrara marble tiles, ornate ceilings and cornices, and polished timber features that were sourced and recycled from the old Bretts Wharf. And the pool cleans itself!It is owned by two Brisbane doctors and is listed for sale by negotiation with Ray White New Farm agents Christine Rudolph and Matt Lancashire.At Jolly’s Lookout, 948 Mount Nebo Road is back on the market with Sotheby’s agent Joseph Lordi. To infinity … and beyond!It has uninterrupted views across the valley, and comes with a separate pavilion housing a sauna, spa bath and a bathroom.Features include four king sized bedrooms, four bathrooms, walls of glass to maximise the views, and 140-year-old teak floors.The most expensive house ever sold in Brisbane is also on the market with Place New Farm agents Heath Williams and Judy Goodger.The sprawling clifftop house at 1 Leopard Street sold for a whopping $18,488,888 back in January 2017, smashing the Brisbane price record for a single sale. Well la di da!Beyond the remote-controlled entry gates, tiled driveways lead to a porte cochere and a stunning water feature. The foyer opens into a central domed gallery with a massive Swarovski crystal chandelier soaring over above the ornate double staircase. Inside a Palazzo Versace condo Thor’s haven Australia’s most expensive town Nope, it is not in France. This one is at Chandler.But these luxurious — and palatial — pads are right here in Brisbane. MORE PLUSH PADS: Ellen DeGeneres buys Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine’s $64.7 million Beverly Hills mansion NarekeBut the mansion, known as Nareke , has a secret. Despite its old world charm, the impressive property was actually built in 1996, and was constructed on a site which once hosted General Douglas MacArthur’s home during the Pacific campaign. Helloooooo city views!There is an infinity pool with spa that runs along the length of the cliff that is framed by glass balustrades to ensure uninterrupted views of the river below.last_img read more