Judges accused of not using powers to cut employment tribunal backlog

first_img whatsapp “The fact that judges are not using their powers to dismiss claims early may reflect their sympathy towards claimants in wanting to give their case a chance rather than dismissing them out of hand. Understandably, judges will not want to restrict access to justice. (Getty Images) Also Read: Judges accused of not using powers to cut employment tribunal backlog A spokesperson for the judiciary said: “Claims that have been struck out where the tribunal has no jurisdiction or where the claim has no reasonable prospect of success can be captured in the statistics in a number of ways. For example a claimant, when receiving notice under rule 27 may withdraw their claim. The fact that these outcomes are not recorded as ‘dismissed under rule 27’ does not signify that judges are not using their powers. Only an approximate 15 per cent of claims within the employment tribunal proceed to a hearing.” A courts spokesperson said: “We understand that delays can be stressful and have recently recruited 58 additional salaried tribunal judges to tackle this increase. We are continuing to recruit further judges and work with the judiciary to increase capacity and improve performance.” Judges have the power to dismiss a claim or a response which they believe has no reasonable prospect of success before it reaches a court hearing. (Getty Images) Also Read: Judges accused of not using powers to cut employment tribunal backlog “However, the high volume of claims reaching a first hearing is contributing to the worsening backlog. This backlog of cases is prolonging the process for both employees and employers, who are being left in the dark over when their case will be resolved.  “If the backlog and waiting times continue to grow, employment tribunals will cease to be an effective body for employees or employers.” Over the last year, judges did not use their power of early dismissal in any of the 94,330 new cases received by employment tribunals. whatsapp James Booth center_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBleacherBreaker4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!BleacherBreakerMedical MattersThis Picture Shows Who Prince Harry’s Father Really IsMedical Mattersbonvoyaged.comTotal Jerks: These Stars Are Horrible People.bonvoyaged.comMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStoryNoteableyAirport Security Couldn’t Believe These Jaw-Dropping MomentsNoteableyDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyDefinitionThe Funniest Yard Signs EVER WrittenDefinitionzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comGloriousaDrone Captures What No One Was Supposed to SeeGloriousa (Getty Images) “There is an urgent need to address the lack of resources at tribunals, through new funding for front line judicial staff as well as administrative staff. In the meantime, it is important to find ways of improving efficiency.  The backlog of cases increased 39 per cent to 26,664 in the year to 31 March 2019, up from 19,116 the previous year. Monday 17 February 2020 12:01 am The employment tribunal has experienced a major spike in claims since fees were abolished in 2017. Share Judges are not exercising their power to dismiss claims early at employment tribunals, despite a growing backlog, a law firm said. Judges accused of not using powers to cut employment tribunal backlog Raoul Parekh, partner at law firm GQ Littler, said: “Why go to the trouble of creating a power, and then not use it? With the backlog of claims ever worsening and limited resources, tribunal judges should use every option to stem the tide. Show Comments ▼last_img read more

Calls for reform of Serious Fraud Office after ex-Barclays execs acquitted

first_img“Time and again individuals are being acquitted where egregious fraud and corruption has been alleged. There needs to be an urgent independent review as to whether poor resourcing of law enforcement, the composition of juries or the lack of judges with specialist commercial and criminal expertise is the root cause”. The SFO had alleged that the three used phoney advisory services agreements to hide undeclared payments made to Qatar to induce two investments in the bank. Jeremy Summers, head of business crime, at Osborne Clarke said: “Although the director, Lisa Osofsky, recused herself from this case, this decision is yet another significant reversal that has occurred during her tenure. Sign up to City A.M.’s Midday Update newsletter, delivered to your inbox every lunchtime Legal firms call for reform of Serious Fraud Office after ex-Barclays execs acquitted Also Read: Legal firms call for reform of Serious Fraud Office after ex-Barclays execs acquitted Show Comments ▼ Law firms have called for reform of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today after three former Barclays executives were cleared of financial crisis-era fraud to save the bank. Also Read: Legal firms call for reform of Serious Fraud Office after ex-Barclays execs acquitted The legal profession was damning of the fraud watchdog, which has been investigating the deal for the past seven years. Ross Dixon, partner at Hickman & Rose solicitors, said the verdict “once again brings into question the decision making of the SFO when it comes to individuals”: by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBleacherBreaker4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!BleacherBreakerMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStorybonvoyaged.comTotal Jerks: These Stars Are Horrible People.bonvoyaged.comPost FunThe Deadliest Snakes Ever Found On The PlanetPost Funzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyBeach RaiderMom Belly Keeps Growing, Doctor Sees Scan And Calls CopsBeach RaiderDefinitionThe Funniest Yard Signs EVER WrittenDefinition whatsappcenter_img “While it would be wrong for the SFO to only prosecute matters where it is certain of success; time after time allegations against individuals have been dismissed by the Court or been rejected by a jury”. Sam Tate, head of white collar crime at RPC, agreed that today’s decision showed that “the law on criminal corporate liability is old and outdated and ripe for reform”. “Our prosecution decisions are always based on the evidence that is available, and we are determined to bring perpetrators of serious financial crime to justice. Wherever our evidential and public interest tests are met, we will always endeavour to bring this before a court.” Friday 28 February 2020 3:32 pm Edward Thicknesse Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath were all acquitted of charges of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in connection with the 2008 Qatar fundraisings. A spokesperson for campaign group Spotlight on Corruption said that “the UK has a serious problem prosecuting white collar crime”: Share “The SFO’s failure to secure any convictions in this important and high profile case raises serious questions about the agency’s treatment of individuals in these matters. whatsapp “We may now be at the stage that, if the agency is to survive in the long term, a radical root and branch review of the way it investigates and prosecutes cases is urgently required. The list of high profile failed cases is at risk of becoming dangerously uncomfortable.” The SFO did not comment on the reform calls, but issued the following statement on the verdict:last_img read more

Weekly published Unalaska Police Blotter, which gained national attention, goes offline

first_imgAleutians | Public SafetyWeekly published Unalaska Police Blotter, which gained national attention, goes offlineFebruary 6, 2017 by Avery Lill, KDLG-Dillingham Share:FBI counselor Michael Siegling presents Unalaska’s Jennifer Shockley with her new deputy police chief badge at the FBI National Academy in Virginia. (Photo by FBI National Academy)Audio Playerhttps://cpa.ds.npr.org/kdlg/audio/2017/02/06_blotter.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Many police stations have a way of communicating their whodunits to the public, but few of them have gained as much worldwide attention as the Unalaska Police Blotter.Soon after the Unalaska police department began publishing their weekly activities, they put Jennifer Shockley, then a staff sergeant, in charge.“It was something that our department decided we wanted to do to basically let the public know what their police officers were busy doing on a day-to-day basis,” Shockley said.Early on, the blotter began making waves.Shockley received fan mail from around the country. Readers appreciated her blotter’s dry humor. It gave them a window into the lives of police officers in bustling international fishing port in the faraway Aleutians.Aside from being published often verbatim in local weeklies like the Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman, The Unalaska Police Blotter gained national attention with articles in the LA Times, Washington Post and NPR.Writing the blotter was time consuming.So exercising her expansive vocabulary and comically understating the absurd situations law enforcement handles was Shockley’s way to make the chore more palatable.“It wasn’t really so much a conscious decision. It was more just a style that developed over the years,” she said. “I enjoy creative use of words, so I peppered the blotter with a couple of interesting words. I tried to put some humor in situations where I could.”By way of example, these are some of the records that appeared in the Bristol Bay Times over the years:AssaultOfficers investigated a report of an assault that occurred between two besotted individuals. The two had a disagreement concerning one of the sots consuming the alcohol of the other sot. Sot one, the owner of the alcohol, chased sot two, the consumer of the alcohol, down the hallway of the bunkhouse. None involved wished to pursue charges.Suspicious Person/ActivityA drunken man phoned police and said he was naked, cold and exposing himself to passing vehicles and in need of assistance. He was unable to name or describe his location. Officers searched the common and not-so-common haunts of naked drunks but did not find the man in question.AnimalCaller reported that someone was feeding the eagles causing a hazard as one of the eagles had flown into her truck. Officers investigated and discovered that the eagles were not being fed, but were congregating, as eagles are known to do.Shockley was promoted to deputy chief about a year ago, and putting her witty spin on calls for service is no longer in her wheel house.The department doesn’t have the staff to keep up the blotter, she said.“It was something that takes about 8 to 10 hours a week to do. We’re operating at about 60 to 70 percent capacity with our staffing right now, and we just really need to spend our time focusing on law enforcement activities.”As this staff sergeant-turned-author with an international following reflects on her years maintaining the blotter, a couple of the stories have stuck with her.In one instance, she said, police rendered assistance to a cyclist being chased by a herd of feral horses. In another case, also involving a cyclist, police stopped a young man riding a bicycle downtown late at night.“He had blood on himself,” she said. “When he was stopped by an officer, he told the officer that his girlfriend had turned him on to vampirism, but he wanted to get out of it. He was on his way to the Catholic church to be exorcized.”Shockley will miss writing up the week’s shenanigans, and she knows the readers miss it too.Calls for Unalaska Police to respond to drunken sailors, sinister eagles, and unruly horses won’t stop, but writing about them will. At least for now.Share this story:last_img read more

Budget deal in limbo amid scramble to avoid partial shutdown at midnight

first_imgFederal Government | Nation & World | NPR NewsBudget deal in limbo amid scramble to avoid partial shutdown at midnightFebruary 8, 2018 by Kelsey Snell and Jessica Taylor, NPR Share:Updated at 9:57 p.m. ETThe fate of a bipartisan budget agreement remains in limbo just hours before a Thursday night deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government, with Republicans and Democrats still at odds over spending levels and immigration.Now, it seems likely that the non-essential operations of the government could shutter for at least a few hours overnight, with the Senate not set to vote on a spending compromise until at least 3 a.m. Friday and the House set to vote somewhere between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., according to guidance from the House majority whip’s office.Optimism about the $300 billion, two-year budget agreement began to falter earlier Thursday as some House Democrats threatened to vote against the bill because it does not address immigration. Some conservatives are also threatening to vote against the measure because it would increase spending and add billions to the deficit.Senate leaders had hoped to pass the bill early in the day but were forced to wait after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., objected to the plan. Paul said he planned to force the Senate to wait until the early hours of Friday morning — after the midnight shutdown deadline — when debate time would expire and the Senate would be allowed to override his objection.“I’m not advocating for shutting down the government,” Paul said in an interview on Fox News. “I’m also not advocating for keeping the damn thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute.”Paul took to the Senate floor Thursday evening, armed with charts and graphs that pointed to what he says is wasteful government spending.“I just can’t, in all honestly, look the other way just because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” Paul said.Congressional leaders still have several options to avoid a partial shutdown at midnight. They could extend government funding through the end of the day Friday or into the weekend — through a short-term measure known as a continuing resolution — as long as there are no objections in the House or the Senate, including from Paul. No final decisions have been made about whether such an extension would be necessary, but leaders are considering their options, according to several congressional aides.The Senate is expected to easily pass the bill if Paul relents. Paul refused throughout the evening to say how he plans to proceed. But separate concerns grew in the House as his protest wore on.A growing number of House Democrats, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are threatening to vote against the bill, raising concerns that House leaders may not have the votes to pass the spending bill in that chamber.“We cannot allow our success in one part of the discussion to diminish our leverage in another,” Pelosi said in a letter to Democrats. “Speaker Ryan’s refusal to allow a bipartisan process for a DACA proposal demeans the dignity of the House of Representatives. It is also an insult to the American people, who overwhelmingly support the Dreamers.”Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in an interview on All Things Considered Thursday that he also wouldn’t vote for the current budget agreement because it doesn’t reflect his party’s values. Republicans, he said, should be doing more to make overtures to Democrats if they need their votes to keep the government open.“What I am suggesting is they control the House, the Senate and the presidency. I don’t know why, for crying out loud; why they can’t actually govern, is beyond me,” Crowley lamented. “And the notional idea to blame Democrats in the House when they have the Oval and the majority — it’s really incumbent upon them to pass their budget. It’s not our responsibility to do that. It’s the responsibility of the governing party to do that, and they have failed miserably. We’ve gone from week to week, or month to month with continuing [resolutions] and that’s no way to govern.”House Republicans have always expected that they would need some Democrats to help pass the spending bill, and the growing revolt has sparked serious anxiety that the spending agreement could fail, especially since House Republican leadership appears unsure how many Republicans will vote for the bill. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus already announced that their roughly 30 members will vote against the pact.Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., a member of that fiscally conservative caucus, told All Things Considered Thursday that he is not confident the House has the votes to pass the spending bill and hopes enough House Republicans will oppose the idea “that we’re going to spend away our future.”“The problem is the American people have elected so many debt junkies that they’re ecstatic with borrowing money today so they can get elected tomorrow [without] worrying about someone paying for it after the elections,” Brooks said. “And that’s very unfortunate that so many people are putting their self-interest, their elections before their country.”The two factions are angry about dramatically different issues but their combined frustration could be enough to make sure the bill can’t pass.House Democrats huddled for more than an hour Thursday night to decide how they should vote. Members emerged conflicted.House Democrats are particularly worried that they will lose any leverage on immigration once a spending bill is enacted. Spending bills are among the few areas where Republicans need Democratic votes in the House. Pelosi and other top Democrats say they want to force Republicans to agree to legal protections for DREAMers, including the roughly 700,000 immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally after being brought to the country as children and who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.Democrats decided to take advantage of that leverage and merge immigration talks and spending negotiations after President Trump last September announced his plan to wind down DACA. The program ends on March 5 according to terms set by the administration but is the subject of litigation in the federal courts.Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., says Democrats’ power would disappear if the budget bill passes because it would lift the spending pressure created by mandatory budget caps that have forced Congress to revisit spending fights since the caps were enacted in 2011.“Once you’ve lifted the caps and you’ve done this, do you really believe that anybody is going to take us seriously?” Gutierrez asked reporters. “They have decoupled the budgetary process from anything where we needed leverage.”The Congressional Hispanic Caucus officially announced their opposition to the budget bill, with the group urging members to vote against the measure in a statement released Thursday evening.“CHC cannot support this budget caps bill that leaves Dreamers behind,” they said. “We stand with nearly 90% of Americans that agree Dreamers should be protected.”An official with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget told NPR that OMB is currently preparing for a lapse in appropriations funding for the government. The official also urged Congress to send the funding bill to the president’s desk “without delay.”The deal was announced Wednesday as a bipartisan breakthrough that could free Congress from an endless cycle of spending fights.The agreement was negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to increase military and domestic spending for two years.Under the pact, the Pentagon would get an additional $80 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $85 billion in fiscal year 2019, while domestic spending would grow by $63 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $68 billion the following fiscal year.“No one would suggest it’s perfect, but we worked hard to find common ground,” McConnell said in a speech announcing the deal.Schumer echoed the support, saying the agreement would give the federal government certainty after years of bickering.“This budget deal is a genuine breakthrough,” Schumer said, adding the agreement would “break the long cycle of spending crises.”The agreement also has the support of the White House, where press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders praised the plan to hike military spending.“This deal achieves our top priority, a much needed increase in funding for our national defense,” Sanders said Wednesday. “The bottom line is that, thanks to President Trump, we can now have the strongest military we have ever had.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.Share this story:last_img read more

Democrat Begich turns to Alaska voters one more time in governor’s race

first_imgElection Coverage | State GovernmentDemocrat Begich turns to Alaska voters one more time in governor’s raceOctober 22, 2018 by Becky Bohrer, Associated Press Share:U.S. Sen Mark Begich talks to reporters after speaking to a joint session of the 28th Alaska Legislature, March, 3, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)For months, Mark Begich faced pressure from fellow Democrats to drop out of the Alaska governor’s race. Now, he’s their best shot at winning the seat.The race was upended last week when independent Gov. Bill Walker dropped his re-election bid. He said he concluded that he had no chance of winning against Begich and Republican Mike Dunleavy and thought Begich would be better for Alaska than Dunleavy. Walker’s announcement came days after his lieutenant governor, Democrat Byron Mallott, resigned over what Walked described as an inappropriate overture to a woman.Walker, a former Republican who was elected with Democratic support in 2014, said he and Begich don’t agree on a lot of things. But Walker said he fears Dunleavy will unravel some of his major policies and “hurt” Alaska. Dunleavy’s campaign manager criticized Walker for a “bitter, partisan” attack on Dunleavy.Begich, the former Anchorage mayor and one-term U.S. senator, entered the race late, worried about the direction the state was headed. Alaska fell into a recession in 2015 amid slumping oil prices. Crime rates are up. Student test scores are lagging. But his decision to run riled some Democrats and independents who believed Walker deserved a second term. They worried Begich and Walker would split the vote and hand the race to Republicans.Begich said his campaign was “inundated” with calls after Walker’s announcement Friday, “a sign that people have been waiting for the governor’s race to firm up in one way or another, and now they see it.” He called Walker’s action courageous.“I think this is the moment,” he said, adding: “I believe we can move the dial and win this election.”State Rep. David Guttenberg was among the Democrats who backed Walker and wanted Begich to quit. Now, he said, “you just take one pin off and put on the other.”“I would have hoped that it would have reconciled itself earlier,” he said of race dynamics. “But it is what it is.”Begich, he said, is now the clear choice for him.Libertarian Billy Toien also is running.It was amid intense pressure this summer that Begich said the focus of his campaign became clear.Then, speaking to a women’s group in Anchorage, his voice hoarse from laryngitis, he embraced his Democratic roots. He talked about wage inequality, fighting for working families who struggle with costs like day care and the need to speak out when President Donald Trump, who easily won the state in 2016, is wrong. “You cannot be silent,” he told them. “You cannot sit there and hope it’s all going to work out.”The women applauded. But he said the positive response after video of the speech was posted online, from people previously on the fence, was like “the Big Bang.”“It crystallized in my mind … all these people I’ve talked to on the campaign trail, ‘This is why I’m in.’ I don’t need the office,” he said, adding: “But I do believe there’s a lot of people who have been just excluded from the process.”Begich knows he has to earn every vote and has been traveling the state, sometimes meeting people when they can make time for him.Wife Deborah Bonito said Begich prefers working to recreating but might allow himself an hour of Netflix with her or playing cards with their son, Jacob, after dinner. Begich, who plays poker, said that game and other experiences he’s had — as a bartender, in business — taught him useful skills for being in office: patience, listening to people, taking calculated risks.Growing up, public service was instilled in the Begich kids. That pull that Begich feels isn’t about ego — it’s engrained, said state Sen. Tom Begich, one of Begich’s brothers.“Maybe that’s a consequence of a parent dying young who’s been involved in public service and has only been involved in it in a way that’s pretty idealistic. You end up feeling it’s an unfinished thing that needs to be finished, and so you’re driven by that for the rest of your life,” Tom Begich said. “You’re always engaging, you’re always involved, you’re always reaching out.”For a long time, Begich blamed politics for taking his father. In 1972, a plane carrying U.S. Rep. Nick Begich and House Majority Leader Hale Boggs went missing during a campaign trip in Alaska. They were never found.Nick Begich left behind six children; Mark was 10 years old.Begich told supporters he came to understand his father’s commitment.“He understood that you can’t wait for someone else to speak up or speak out or do the right thing,” Begich said. “If there is work to be done, you must get in there and do it.”Tom Begich said some told his brother that if he waited four years he could “walk” into the governor’s office.“If that’s what it’s about, if it’s about waiting for your time, then what’s the point of public service anyway? And he’s said those very words to me before,” Tom Begich said of his brother.Mark Begich has emphasized his support of abortion rights. He has proposed constitutionally protecting the annual check Alaskans receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund and suggested Alaska’s Medicaid rolls are so high in part because some big companies aren’t paying their workers a livable wage. His running mate is Debra Call.Dunleavy’s campaign has sought to portray Begich as a career politician who wants to grow the size of government. Begich has said he wants to stabilize the budget and is open to new revenues.Begich has had tough races before. He eked out a win over longtime Republican U.S. Sen Ted Stevens in 2008 but lost re-election in 2014 to Republican Dan Sullivan in the most expensive race in state history.Bonito said Begich wasted no time thinking about returning to work. He became CEO of a consulting firm.“That’s kind of what he brings to the table, like, there’s setbacks but there’s also, ‘Hey, folks, here’s how we’re going to move forward,’” she said. “… There’s no moping.”Former U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat who worked with Begich, called Begich independent minded and “relentlessly bipartisan.”He is nice but not a doormat and stands up for what he believes, Pryor said.“He is what is right about politics,” Pryor said.Share this story:last_img read more

News / Good news and bad news for a bullish TNT in Q1 as merger with FedEx closes in

first_img TNT and FedEx are set to become one by June 6, with approval by Chinese authorities the last obstacle to the merger. In a call announcing TNT’s first-quarter results, CFO Maarten de Vries said integration planning was progressing well.“We are confident of getting approval from China,” he said. The merger has already been approved in North America, Europe and Brazil. TNT reported revenue of €1.58bn for Q1, a 2.2% fall,  and noted that when adjusted for currency effects, fewer working days and lower fuel surcharges, the underlying revenue growth was 4.2%. Operating income was down €1m, but, excluding one-off charges, TNT’s adjusted operating income was €9m, up €8m year-on-year. The company said the acquisition process brought a €4m one-off cost. TNT appeared most pleased by its rise in SME business. Revenue from small customers grew 6.5% year-on-year. Mr de Vries said he was “particularly pleased” with a “very encouraging return to revenue and volume growth in China, mainly from SMEs”.SME revenue growth in AMEA was 12.1%, and 8.4% in Europe. Mr de Vries said: “In general, the margins with SME customers are higher than with bigger customers.”All the operating units posted underlying revenue growth – with the exception of North America, blamed on the merger.“In anticipation of the FedEx acquisition, we are losing customers,” said Mr de Vries. “They have either moved over to FedEx or made other decisions. “It has impacted the top and bottom lines. There has been a pretty steep drop in the numbers in North America.”The international Europe segment saw revenues grew 2.4% to €679m, or 7.8% when adjusted for currency, working days and lower fuel surcharges. International AMEA saw currency-comparable revenue growth of 4.3%, or 8.3% once adjusted. Operating income grew 87% to €15m. In the domestics segment, revenue fell 7.4% to €575m, with only marginally positive underlying revenue growth of 0.7%. But, noted TNT, “underlying revenue growth in Europe more than offset the revenue declines in Australia and Brazil, where trading conditions remain challenging”.Source: TNTMr de Vries said Brazil was particularly volatile, but that TNT had implemented “very strong cost measures”.TNT pointed to improvements in sales, marketing and service, which resulted in customer satisfaction being at an all-time high, as well as investment in its Lieges hub. Mr de Vries added: “We continued to simplify and transform our IT structure.“Our outlook strategy is clearly delivering results,” he said. You can see the full results here. By Alex Lennane 25/04/2016last_img read more

News / Westports the first shipping hub to suffer a downside from alliance reshuffle

first_imgBy Mike Wackett 06/06/2017 Malaysia’s Westports facilities at Port Klang has lost out to nearby competitors in the ocean carrier alliance reshuffle.Westport saw an overall volume decline of 3% for the first five months of the year – the first major global hub to reveal the impact of the alliance changes.In an announcement to the Malaysian stock exchange, Westports disclosed that its throughput for April and May had been “lower than originally expected”, at 1.55m teu.After reporting a 1% growth for the first three months, compared with the same period last year, at 2.4m teu, Westports said in its quarterly financial report that it was targeting “similar container throughput as that achieved in 2016”.In full-year 2016, container volumes at Westports surged 10% to 9.95m teu, boosted by growth from its major customers, CMA CGM and UASC.Westports said: “We had originally expected to grow our volume this quarter due to increased amounts of transitional moves or ad-hoc calls as a result of the changes in shipping alliances. However, these did not materialise as planned, due to the fact that competition for these volumes was intense.”But more importantly, Westports described the 12 services in the restructured Ocean and THE alliance networks that will be calling at its facilities as “more eastbound-focused than westbound” and will thus call at Port Klang “only on the backhaul segment of their voyage”. Those vessels likely to be carrying far more empty containers.Therefore, it said, “with the more moderate container throughput”, it now expected the container volume for the year to be “lower than the previous year by a single-digit percentage”.The biggest alliance restructure in the history of container liner shipping will result in winners and losers among the global port hubs, which will be seen when they post the results of their first quarter of trading under the new arrangement.Many of these ports have been obliged to invest heavily in upgrading landside facilities to accommodate the higher peaks associated with the huge roll-out of ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) by the alliances.A Linked-In post by Neil Davidson, senior analyst ports & terminals at Drewry, wonders how many terminals around the world now have a lower capacity than before, due to the introduction of ULCVs and the resulting volume peaks, even though they have the same infrastructure and equipment.He explains that the “pain of these peaks is felt most acutely in the yard”; in that more landside space is required to handle the same annual volume.“If you can’t, or don’t want to expand your yard,” said Mr Davidson, “and all other factors remain unchanged (especially dwell time), then the capacity of your terminal shrinks, quite possibly by a significant amount.”last_img read more

German ethics council expresses openness to eventual embryo editing

first_img [email protected] Sharon Begley Germline editing, the council wrote, is not “in principle, ethically reprehensible.” But because it faces “numerous major [technical] obstacles,” before it is used for reproduction “the risks would have to be reduced to an acceptable level.” A panel of government-appointed experts in Germany agreed unanimously that the human germline — DNA that is inherited by children from their parents — “is not inviolable,” rejecting one objection to using genome editing technologies such as CRISPR to make heritable changes in the DNA of human embryos, sperm, or eggs.In a 47-page report made public on Monday, the independent German Ethics Council concluded that the power of CRISPR, and the announcement last November that a scientist in China had used it to edit two IVF embryos that resulted in the birth of twin girls, means that “the possibility of intervening more easily and precisely in the human germline is drawing closer and closer.”Although the council’s 26 ethicists, legal scholars, scientists, and other experts agreed unanimously that there are no compelling philosophical arguments against altering human germlines, they also concluded that it is ethically irresponsible to do so now.advertisement By Sharon Begley May 13, 2019 Reprints STAT+: The report called for a moratorium on creating pregnancies with gene-edited IVF embryos — as numerous scientists and others have in the wake of the “CRISPR babies” announcement — and recommended that Germany work toward a binding international agreement on the circumstances under which it might ever be acceptable and to develop guidelines for germline editing. The question of whether an international moratorium should be voluntary or binding is controversial, so the council’s call for the latter is “a major take-home,” said bioethicist George Annas of Boston University.advertisement A human embryo Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images It also called for more basic research on germline editing, stopping short of pregnancies, in order to “improve the level of knowledge about [its] safety and efficacy.”The German council’s report comes a week after researchers in the U.S. presented a study showing that the objections many ethicists and scientists have to germline editing are not widely shared by those who would be first in line for it: couples undergoing IVF.Researchers led by Dr. Siwon Lee of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach asked 587 such would-be parents about their views on genome editing. Three-quarters said they did not object to genome editing of embryos, and a majority said they would be interested in utilizing it for their own embryos “to improve the likelihood of having a child unaffected by a heritable, genetic mutation,” Lee and colleagues reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The council’s openness to human germline editing was notable, however. Because of the Nazis’ eugenics programs and horrific human medical experiments, Germany has historically been even warier than other Western countries of medical technologies that might violate human dignity or could be exploited for eugenic purposes. The country’s 1990 Embryo Protection Act prohibits germline modifications for the purpose of reproduction.“Germany has been very reluctant to get involved with anything that could lead to a re-introduction of eugenic practices in their society,” Annas said.Despite that history, a large majority of the council called further development and possible use of germline editing “a legitimate ethical goal when aimed at avoiding or reducing genetically determined disease risks,” it said in a statement. If the procedure can be shown not to harm embryos or the children they become, it added, then altering a gene that otherwise causes a devastating illness such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell is acceptable.While some ethicists and others argue against embryo editing on the ground that it violates the embryos’ dignity, the German council wrote, “the question also arises as to whether the renunciation of germline intervention, which could spare the people concerned severe suffering, would not violate their human dignity, too.” Similarly, failing to intervene in order to spare a future child pain and suffering “would at least have to be justified,” the council said, echoing arguments that some families with a history of inherited diseases have.center_img Exclusive analysis of biopharma, health policy, and the life sciences. As calls mount to ban embryo editing with CRISPR, families hit by inherited diseases say, not so fast Senior Writer, Science and Discovery (1956-2021) Sharon covered science and discovery. HealthGerman ethics council expresses openness to eventual embryo editing About the Author Reprints Related: @sxbegle Tags CRISPRethicsgeneticslast_img read more

Alzheimer’s advocates are swarming the Iowa State Fair, pushing politicians to consider policies to fight the disease

first_img Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED [email protected] Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer talks with one Alzheimer’s advocate at the Iowa State Fair. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Tags campaignsdrug developmentneurologypolicyresearch Alzheimer’s advocates are swarming the Iowa State Fair, pushing politicians to consider policies to fight the disease  About the Author Reprints Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Log In | Learn More Politics What’s included?center_img By Nicholas Florko Aug. 13, 2019 Reprints GET STARTED What is it? Nicholas Florko @NicholasFlorko Washington Correspondent Nicholas Florko reports on the the intersection of politics and health policy. He is the author the newsletter “D.C. Diagnosis.” STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. A version of this story first appeared in D.C. Diagnosis, STAT’s weekly newsletter about the politics and policy of health and medicine. Sign up here to receive it in your inbox.The Iowa State Fair is a rite of passage for presidential candidates — they eat weird fried food, kiss babies, and answer question after question about their vision for America. But this year the candidates got a different sort of question, over and over again: What’s your plan for fighting Alzheimer’s?last_img read more

Economic uncertainty sends TSX lower

TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March Share this article and your comments with peers on social media David Friend The Canadian dollar was up 0.08 to 102.61 cents US. The TSX information technology sector led gainers, up 1.21%, with Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) shares gaining 17 cents to $7.24. RIM signed a patent licensing agreement Tuesday with Microsoft Corp. to use the software company’s latest file system technology on its smartphones, making the handling of large files easier. Metals and mining stocks were the biggest decliners, off 1.2%, as Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) shares fell 52 cents to $31.26. “I think it’s a little bit of a pause after what’s been a very strong run in equity markets,” said Gary Aitken, chief investment officer at Bissett Investment Management. “You saw that last week with a lot more willingness for investors to be taking risk. We’ve had a big run – markets don’t go straight up – so I think some sort of pause is inevitable.” Commodity prices were lower with October crude ending the session off US$1.33 to US$95.29 a barrel. December copper was down less than a cent at US$3.79 a pound while December bullion rose 60 cents to US$1,771.20 an ounce. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials rose 11.54 points to 13,564.64, the Nasdaq composite index backed off 0.87 of a point to 3,177.80, while the S&P 500 index slid 1.87 points to 1,459.32. Top of mind are concerns about the global economy, and a delay in Spain’s acceptance of a financial aid package. The country’s markets have improved in recent weeks on expectations that the government will get some form of rescue loan from the 16 other eurozone countries. But, Madrid has not made any formal request yet, likely wary of the conditions that would come attached. The delay pushed the country’s bond yields sharply higher on Monday, suggesting an increase in investor concern about the government’s finances. The yields eased back somewhat on Tuesday after a bond auction was well-received. The sale of 12- and 18-month debt saw strong demand and resulted in lower interest rates than in the previous such auctions. Meanwhile, U.S shipping giant FedEx, often considered a barometer of the global economy because it serves a broad slate of industries, added to the tensions after it said the global economy is worsening and cut its forecast again. A report from TD Bank (TSX:TD) suggested the Canadian economy has hit a “soft patch” and growth will come in below two per cent for the rest of the year. The new forecast estimates growth has slowed to about 1% during the current third quarter that ends on Sept. 30, making it the weakest three months of 2012. Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that the current account deficit dropped 12.1% in the second quarter. That’s down from a record high in the January-March quarter. The deficit shrank because of an increase in American exports and cheaper oil. But economists are predicting it will grow again because of the global slowdown. U.S. hedge fund Mason Capital Management said the B.C. Court of Appeal will hear its challenge of a ruling in favour of Telus (TSX:T, TSX:T.A). A lower court decision prevents Mason from holding a meeting for only Telus voting shareholders on Oct. 17, the same day that the telecom company plans a meeting for both classes of shareholders. Mason is opposed to Telus’s plan for eliminating its dual-class share structure without paying a premium to voting shareholders, including itself, to reflect the higher value of their shares on the market. Telus’ voting shares rose 73 cents to $61.92, while the non-voting shares were up 71 cents at $61.50. Apple’s stock climbed to US$700 for the first time on Tuesday, setting a record for the company. The rise came a day after the technology firm announced that orders for its iPhone 5 topped two million in the first 24 hours. Apple closed up $2.13 at $701.91. Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Related news S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector The Toronto stock market ended lower on Tuesday as a renewed sense of caution swept over traders concerned about the global economy. The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 24.15 points to 12,422.71, following a slate of new reasons to be cautious, including signs of slower economic growth. The TSX Venture Exchange was up 5.48 points to 1,322.64. Keywords Marketwatch Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more