Greek reforms permit RNG games

first_img14th October 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Regions: Europe Southern Europe Greece Legal & compliance Topics: Legal & compliance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Greek reforms permit RNG games The Greek government has passed a series of reforms to gambling in the country, including continuing the permission of Random Number Generator (RNG) games and the lowering of the country’s licence fee from €5m (£4.4m/$5.5m) to €3m. Tags: Online Gambling The Greek government has passed a series of reforms to gambling in the country, including continuing the permission of Random Number Generator (RNG) games and the lowering of the country’s licence fee from €5m (£4.4m/$5.5m) to €3m.In addition, the Hellenic Gaming Commission will handle relocation requests while corporation tax, of 20%, will now be applied before the 35% on gross gaming revenue, rather than after.Under previous iterations of the bill, RNG games including slots were not permitted, a move that operators strongly opposed and threatened to challenge. However, the current version of the bill features no such rule against the games.Strategic consultancy Regulus Partners labelled the introduction of RNG games a “win-win” for operators and authorities.“Under the old system, with no RNG, licensed betting operators would be denied 10-40% of their revenue,” Regulus Partners said. “Moreover, since play would not stop, the black (or potentially ‘very dark grey’) market would be given a significant cmpetitive advantage, likely using it to win betting business through a broader offer as well as taking (by default) all the RNG play. It would be reasonable to assume, therefore, that [if RNG games were not permitted] the domestically regulated market would shrink by c. 40% due to leakage, with profitability also significantly impaired”“In theory, the Greek government wins by increasing channelling (and so doubling the tax take it would have received), which is also clearly a top-line win for domestically licenced operators.”Regulus Partners also described the re-ordering of tax priorities as a negative, “effectively making material avoidance (even through opex investment) impossible for Greek-domiciled companies.”The 24 online operators who were issued temporary Greek licenses in 2011 will be allowed to continue operating under these licenses until March 31, 2020. However, operators who were placed on the company’s online gambling blacklist in the past year will not be permitted to operate.The initial bill was introduced for public consultation in January and submitted to the European Commission in April. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

France finds its equilibrium

first_imgCasino & games Email Address France finds its equilibrium 20th February 2020 | By Stephen Carter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Europe Western Europe France Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Sports betting Poker Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Mobile Online Gambling As the ten-year anniversary of the opening of the French online gaming market nears, licensees appear to have finally adapted to extremely difficult operating conditions Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter As the ten-year anniversary of the opening of the French online gaming market nears, licensees appear to have finally adapted to extremely difficult operating conditions. By Jake PollardThe French igaming market of 2020 is markedly different from the one that took its first steps as a newly regulated European country nearly 10 years ago.From a regulatory point of view, the key change at the start of 2020 of course is the switch from a taxation system based on turnover to one taxing operators’ gross gaming revenues (GGR).From a broader business perspective, it’s not an understatement to say operators have been through the wringer during the past decade.This refers to the various poker or sports betting sites that closed down shortly after regulation because of an inability (impossibility, some might say) to balance business costs and eye-watering tax rates.The complaints about the market’s harsh regulatory structure in those early years were loud and, in true gallic style, persistent.In retrospect, the high point of disillusionment, what many executives described as a real kick in the gut by the French authorities, was the review clause earmarked to take place 18 months after regulation of the market.The clause was supposed to allow the government to reassess the regulations at the end of 2012 and, as was widely expected, switch to a tax on gross profits, giving operators some breathing space.The switch didn’t happen, mainly due to lobbying by La Française des Jeux (FDJ), and the ‘non-review clause’ had a significant impact on the sector. It deflated many and led to an atmosphere of gloom and pessimism.Yet, in the seven years since, French operators have managed to turn the country into a growth market. This is largely down to sports betting, but the poker and pari mutuel horse racing verticals have also returned to growth in recent quarters.2020 vision The latest figures from French regulator L’Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne (ARJEL) demonstrate this.Revenue for 2019 was up 18.1% to €1.42bn (£1.19bn/$1.53bn). Sports betting stakes were up 30% to €5.06bn, despite 2018 benefiting from the Fifa World Cup – which was won by France – and revenue climbed to €880m.Turning to horse racing, the market is on course to report its third consecutive year of growth, with player stakes rising 5.4% to €1.11bn and revenues increasing to €271m. Poker saw growth in player numbers and revenue for the year. Revenue from cash games grew to €88m, with tournament rake increasing to €184m.Looking ahead, the switch to a GGR tax is the major positive for the sector.Hervé Schlosser, co-founder of sportsbook platform provider Sportnco and vice-president of the French igaming trade body Association Française du Jeu en Ligne (AFJEL), says: “The GGR tax will remain at the same, very high, levels as when it was a turnover tax, in total approximately 55% of GGR for sports betting.“But it is still a positive. It allows operators to plan ahead and have some visibility with regard to forecasts and margins.”Speaking of margins, does Schlosser believe the French regulatory model has proved its worth? After all, French igaming companies are growing despite being in one of, if not the toughest regulatory environment in Europe.“It is true that what we have achieved so far is quite remarkable considering the context,” he says. “But it should also be remembered that it took a lot of work and many difficult decisions to reach this stage.“As a trade body we will continue to call for further reforms to help our sector, but what the past 10 years have shown, from both B2B or B2C angles, is that it is possible to grow in a highly regulated and costly market if you pay close attention to detail, focus on your clients and sportsbook offerings and develop expertise in key skills like trading and risk management.”It should also be pointed out that the majority of the growth has come from the betting vertical and that poker and horse racing’s renaissances much more recent.Still, when compared to the mood among operators back in 2013, there has been a marked change for the better.Betting operators’ respective market share has also undergone drastic changes in recent years. Around 2014-15 the list of leading sports betting brands read something like this: Unibet, PMU, Betclic, Bwin and Parions Sport (FDJ).New(ish) brands on the rise According to a number of industry contacts, in 2019 French bookmakers’ share of market was: Betclic (28%), Unibet (25%), Winamax (20%), ZEbet (6%), PMU (5%), FDJ (5%), Netbet 3.5% and Bwin (2%), with France Pari, Genybet and JOA Groupe making up the rest.These statistics are not 100% accurate, but all the contacts iGaming Business spoke to for this feature echoed the figures. Of note is that Betclic has reclaimed top spot, having fallen down the order between 2012 and 2017 as it missed the mobile wave.The return of founder Nicolas Béraud in early 2017; closing the London and Paris offices and reducing marketing spend to concentrate on mobile; and recruiting Julien Brun, who had spearheaded Unibet’s French activities for many years, all played important roles in turning the tide for the group.The other standouts have been the rise of new(ish) brands Winamax and ZEBet.Winamax has managed its diversification from leading French poker site to online bookmaker very successfully.ZEBet is also a more recent brand, but CEO Emmanuel de Rohan Chabot’s horse racing site ZETurf has been active in the space for many years. Both have succeeded in part thanks to aggressive marketing. On the other of the side of the betting coin PMU and Bwin lag behind and FDJ has still not made up the gap, despite growing online stakes to €1.6bn in H1 2019, the same amount as the whole of its 2017 financial year.FDJ’s successful privatisation last November and the €1.9bn windfall it generated for the state, along with its acquisition of Sporting Solutions and payment solutions provider Bimedia, will see the group focus on a B2B strategy that it hopes will help it grow outside its home market.As ever the elephant in the room when it comes to igaming regulation in France is online casino. The vertical will not be regulated for the foreseeable future.Although criticism of the authorities on this issue has largely died down, there is no denying that a substantial illegal online casino market has flourished in France, untaxed and free of any consumer protection measures.Equilibrium The reasons for this state of affairs are largely historical, and in 2020 land-based casinos would not have major objections to seeing the vertical regulated for fear of it cannibalising their activities, as was the case in 2010.However, Charles Coppolani, president of ARJEL, says: “It is about finding a balance between generating revenues for the state and creating a [large-scale] demand for a product where currently there isn’t one, with the attendant risks it can entail when it comes to problem gambling and addiction.”The other obvious point is that 10 years after France regulated online gaming and betting, the sector has, to a large extent, reached equilibrium and is stable.Of course, the tax levels are still very high and there are major discrepancies in the privileges the PMU and FDJ monopolies continue to enjoy.For example, FDJ’s retail betting monopoly has always been taxed at circa 44% of GGR and H1 2019 stakes totalled €7.9bn throughout its 30,000 high street outlets, which puts some context on the 55% turnover tax the online operators have had to endure for 10 years.However, at a time when talk of advertising and marketing bans is commonplace across many EU markets, and major prescriptive regulatory reform is expected to be initiated in the UK this year, then maybe France has shown that it is possible to have a growth market without a casino vertical and within a tightly controlled regulatory framework.Photo by Martijn Adegeest from Pexelslast_img read more

Should you buy ITV shares with the company set to be kicked out of the FTSE 100?

first_img Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. See all posts by G A Chester Image source: Getty Images It’ll take something close to a miracle for ITV (LSE: ITV) to avoid being kicked out of the FTSE 100 next month. The FTSE index committee will announce the result of its latest quarterly review just a week today. Here, I’ll look at whether ITV shares could be a bargain buy for recovery. And whether the flying FTSE 250 stock set for promotion to the top index could also be a good investment.The slump in ITV sharesITV avoided flirting with demotion from the FTSE 100 in the summer index review when its shares were 84.86p. However, they’ve since slumped to 60.64p, wiping close to 30% off the company’s market value. As a result, it ranks 28 places below the cut-off point for automatic exit from the FTSE 100.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…There was a time, less than five years ago, when the shares were more than 200p higher than today. ITV sat comfortably in the top half of the FTSE 100. My, how things have changed!Could ITV shares be a bargain buy?ITV was a popular dividend stock for a number of years. However, the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to that. In March, the company cancelled its 2019 final dividend. At the same time, it withdrew its previously announced intention to pay an 8p full-year dividend for 2020.Furthermore, following its recent half-year results, investors may not see a dividend until 2022. The company said it has negotiated a relaxation of covenants with its lenders until December 2021, and agreed not to pay a dividend while the relaxation is in place.The half-year results, which included a small profit, weren’t as bad as City analysts had led the market to expect. Importantly, the company is continuing to invest in ITV Hub, BritBox and programmatic advertising platform Planet V, as it pursues its transformation into “a digitally-led media and entertainment company.”Management was unable to provide guidance on the financial outturn this year, but analysts have pencilled-in earnings per share (EPS) of around 8p. At the current share price, ITV’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is a very-cheap-looking 7.6.Legendary investor Warren Buffett has advised investors to “be greedy when others are fearful”. ITV’s recovery may take some time, but I’d be greedy with the shares at their current level. I rate the stock a ‘long-term buy’.A flying FTSE 250 stockThe other part to Buffett’s advice above is to “be fearful when others are greedy”. Unlike ITV, investors have certainly been greedy in recent months for shares of B&M European Value Retail (LSE: BME). From a market-crash low of 264.1p on 1 April, they’ve climbed 80% to 475.2p. Promotion to the FTSE 100 looks nailed on, barring a catastrophe.The company is a retailer of branded products at compelling prices. It sells food and grocery ranges, general merchandise products and seasonal goods. Its principal UK chains are B&M Bargain and B&M Homestores. Its equivalent in France is Babou. If you live in the north of England, you’ll also probably be familiar with its B&M Express and Heron Foods Convenience Stores chains.The performance of this successful and fast-growing ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ group has been strong through the pandemic. I don’t think a P/E of 15.8 on analysts’ forecasts of around 30p EPS for the current year is too pricey. With a prospective dividend yield of 2.2% into the bargain, I’m not fearful of rating the stock a ‘buy’. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Should you buy ITV shares with the company set to be kicked out of the FTSE 100? Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares G A Chester has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended B&M European Value and ITV. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.center_img I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Enter Your Email Address I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. G A Chester | Wednesday, 26th August, 2020 | More on: BME ITV last_img read more

‘Bless’ Friday is about serving, not shopping

first_img Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Rector Hopkinsville, KY Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Press Release Service In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Belleville, IL Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Rector Albany, NY Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Submit a Job Listing Rector Tampa, FL Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI ‘Bless’ Friday is about serving, not shopping Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Pittsburgh, PA By Pat McCaughanPosted Nov 27, 2013 Submit an Event Listing Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Shreveport, LA [Episcopal News Service] Instead of power-shopping the Thanksgiving day-after sales, Robyn LaRocca and her teenage daughters will be doing laundry, and preparing and serving meals to Houston-area homeless.They are teaming up with about 20 members of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Houston for “Bless” Friday, a Nov. 29 alternative to the traditional “Black” Friday’s unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.They will join other volunteers at The Beacon, a ministry of Houston’s Christ Church Cathedral, which serves about 600-800 homeless people daily.She hopes her daughters, Rachel, 18, and Sarah, 14, “will appreciate serving as opposed to shopping and, hopefully, once they get there, they’ll be transformed. It’s a real time to teach a value to them,” said LaRocca, St. John’s executive assistant for outreach and special ministry.And values, not bargains are what “Bless” Friday is all about, says Charles Fox, who founded the event four years ago.Inspired by a Thanksgiving season sermon, he realized that “we’ve got to do something about the way we’re starting our Christmas celebration,” said Fox, 53, an oil and gas engineer.“We’re focusing on buying things and getting things and taking our focus off Jesus,” he said. “I got the idea that we needed to change the day after Thanksgiving from Black Friday to Bless Friday so we could start our season of worship, acknowledging what Jesus would have us do as an alternative to the frenzied shopping.”This year, participation rose from five area churches of varying denominations to seven, and Fox is determined to keep it simple, he said.“What we’re trying to do is to get churches and Christian organizations to schedule service opportunities the day after Thanksgiving in order to help start their season with service to prepare their hearts for a season of worship,” he said.Anyone, anywhere can join in, individually or collectively, he said. “We suggest just keeping it simple,” Fox added.“Just go to a local food bank or soup kitchen, or assist in any place set up to aid the community or where you already volunteer.”John Kenner, and about 15 others from St. Francis Church in Houston heeded the call and signed onto this year’s efforts.Black Fridays usually meant, for Kenner, staying home to watch football on television “while his wife power-shopped,” he said.Instead this year, Bless Friday will mean helping in the clean-up of a local park, he said, during a recent telephone interview with ENS.“We’ll have something to do together and give back, and it’s a better experience for the both of us, to spend some time together,” said Kenner, 48, owner of an electric submersible pump manufacturing business.“I like it because you can go out and give back and do it in a fairly simple fashion,” he said, adding that “if the weather holds up for us, we will go to one of the local schools and clean up there, too, if there’s time. It’s great to get a little momentum and do some good.”Similarly, in Milwaukie, Oregon, St. John’s Church, is doing good on Bless Friday by hosting a blood drive on Nov. 29 with a goal of participation from at least 45 donors, according to a note on the church’s website.“The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations – especially during the winter months and holiday season,” according to the announcement.Jennifer White, administrative and development coordinator for Christ Church Cathedral’s The Beacon outreach ministry, said Bless Friday volunteers “will help with preparing and serving a cafeteria style meal and with cleanup.“They’ll help in the laundry, as far as washing and drying clothes for our clients,” as well as assisting in the intake area, where clients come in to register for daily services.“Volunteers will all have a chance to mingle with clients,” White said. “There will definitely be one-on-one communication,” which will make for a meaningful experience for both volunteer and recipient, she said.“From a client perspective, the homeless are often looked upon as the lowest of the low,” she added. “Many people see a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk and walk right past them as though they don’t exist,” she said during a recent telephone interview with ENS.She expects the day’s blessings to go both ways, she added.“Just on a regular day, not even around the holidays, the thanks we receive from people who get services here, is overwhelming,” White said.“People are so appreciative of how they’re treated because we’re big on dignity and respect. We address everyone by name. We want them to feel they are important when they walk through our doors and that they’re welcome here. We treat them as family,” she said.Those kinds of connections are what LaRocca, of St. John the Divine, hopes to experience with her daughters. “I really enjoying serving others and it’s a wonderful way for my family to connect, a wonderful way to see others connect.”–The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service. She is based in Los Angeles.center_img Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Collierville, TN Curate Diocese of Nebraska Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Martinsville, VA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Featured Jobs & Calls Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Washington, DC Associate Rector Columbus, GA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Smithfield, NC This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Events Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZlast_img read more

Charity Commission advises on Myanmar/Burma disaster appeals

first_img  32 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis The Charity Commission has published advice online about how the public and charities can maximise the amount being raised for the disaster appeals set up in response to the cyclone in Myanmar (Burma).Advice to the public includes making sure they give via Gift Aid, don’t automatically donate blankets and clothes which might not be needed, and “be suspicious of someone who says they’re collecting for ‘victims of the cyclone’ or something equally vague”.Charities are advised to check their charitable objects to make sure they are permitted to collect or handle money for this area of activity. If running an appeal they should set an end date and plan for possible surplus funds and how they would distribute them.The advice includes links to other guidelines on fundraising on the Charity Commission’s website, including the Attorney General’s guidelines on disaster appeals (CC40).Andrew Hind, the Commission’s Chief Executive, said: “The £390 million given to the Disasters Emergency Committee in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami showed we are a nation of givers. Now the people of Burma desperately need our help. We want people to give and we’ve offered some helpful tips on how to maximise the money raised.” Charity Commission advises on Myanmar/Burma disaster appeals Tagged with: Charity Commission Giving/Philanthropy Howard Lake | 12 May 2008 | News About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more encourages local giving

first_img Tagged with: Digital About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving. Howard Lake | 9 February 2011 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 Action for Children has launched an online giving platform that enables people to find the charity’s projects near them and to donate to the project that matters to them.The site was driven by the charity’s belief that people wanted to help locally but weren’t always sure how and where to direct their support.The charity has today published a ComRes poll of 2,000 people which backs up this view. It shows that 77% of people who are concerned about children in their local community either don’t know how to help, or don’t have the time, and 71% would like to have more information about how to help children in their area.The poll also found that 89% prefer to donate money when they have a choice of what they are contributing to, and 86% want to know specifically what their donations buy.Action for Children is asking people to visit, enter their postcode and decide who and where to help. They will find that they can give from as little as £2 for football kit or dancing lessons for young carers, or higher sums to help fund a minibus or washing machine to help disabled children.The new website is being promoted by a range of celebrities including Jessica Hynes, Dakota Blue Richards, Frank Lampard, Annie Lennox, Vanilla Ice and Dame Judi Dench. Duncan Bannatyne is fronting the advertising campaign for the site.Dame Clare Tickell, chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Like most good ideas, is very simple. Our staff work in more than 400 projects across the country and they know the specific things that will make a real difference locally. Anyone can log on and choose to give local children something that many, luckier, children take for granted.”The site was designed and developed by Open Fundraising and built by charity web specialists 9Web.The site is part of a trend towards personalised, project-based online fundraising sites such as Cancer Research UK’s MyProjects and It also builds on the popularity of the virtual gift catalogues of the past five or more years, such as OxfamUnwrapped and the Good Gifts Catalogue where donors get to choose which item they ‘buy’ and  28 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 encourages local givinglast_img read more

A statement from the Durham branch of Workers World Party: On the toppling of Confederate statue

first_img“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” chanted the militant crowd that gathered on Monday, Aug.14, just before toppling a Confederate statue in front of the old Durham County Courthouse in Durham, N.C. Next, on Friday, Aug. 18, the people of Durham rose up in a mini rebellion to stop the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from hosting a public rally. In response, cities, counties and institutions across the country have moved to expeditiously remove Confederate statues; many have been displayed for 100 or more years.  This was a result of mass struggle. Direct action gets the goods.Prior to the Durham demonstration, thousands gathered in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, Aug. 12, to protest the “Unite the Right” rally. American Vanguard member James Fields Jr. intentionally plowed his car into a crowd of protesters, killing Heather Heyer and badly injuring 19 others. The hundreds of activists arrested during the J20 protests at Trump’s Inauguration face charges that carry more jail time than this Nazi who killed Heather Heyer.The nine people so far arrested in the toppling of Durham’s Confederate monument each face two felonies and three misdemeanors. Meanwhile, fascists who beat a young Black man, Deandre Harris, in a Charlottesville parking lot (and were caught in the act on videotape) also committed other heinous acts in that city, but face no charges whatsoever.This has occurred nearly three years since the rebellions in Ferguson, Mo., and across the country in response to a white police officer murdering Black youth Mike Brown in cold blood, and then leaving his body lying in the street for hours to roast in the summer heat. That murder sparked the Black Lives Matter movement that has rocked the foundations of U.S. white supremacy.The Durham branch of Workers World Party responded to the need for direct action, especially after several of our comrades returned from Charlottesville, many still in shock from the traumatic events.  We put out a call for militant action to our close comrades in Black Youth Project 100,  Durham Beyond Policing, Southerners on New Ground, Industrial Workers of the World and local Antifa.We salute the courage of our comrade, Takiyah Thompson, who climbed to the top of the statue as other comrades held the ladder for her. When the rope around the statue fell into the crowd, the people there responded to the failures of politicians to take any meaningful action to remove these monuments to racism. They took matters into their own hands! In a righteous and bold expression of people’s power, the statue was toppled, and history was made.It is crucial at this time of the rise of neo-Confederate forces that our movement not just retreat to defensive measures. The far-right is emboldened by Trump and an entire administration that supports and protects white supremacy, and is also desperate because of the rotten conditions resulting from capitalism at a dead end.We had to have a bold answer to the white supremacists killing an anti-racist protester. Without this bold action — which has now spawned many more offensive actions — there was a serious risk of white supremacist and paramilitary right-wing organizations continuing to snowball and recruit.  We had to stop them in their tracks, and not allow them one inch or one moment to breath without their feeling the power of the people reclaiming our righteous course of history.Resisting genocide and reclaiming public space for the working class Confederate monuments were erected across the U.S. South directly after the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction, an unfinished revolution where Black people fought for their freedom. When the federal government betrayed Black people and pulled out its armed support for their freedom, the white slave owning landowners did everything in their power to recapture Black people and hold them in bondage again. This was the period of enforcement of the Black Codes. During this period, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations were utilized as paramilitary shock troops. The Confederate statues were erected to re-establish white power and were a public expression of white supremacist ideology.The Confederate monument was placed outside of the Durham County Courthouse in 1924 during the Jim Crow era, long after the Civil War and at a time of massive growth of the KKK.  It was a deliberate attempt to intimidate Black people and remind them that their relationship to power had changed very little since “Emancipation.” It was also a clear expression of the purpose of the courts and the prisons: to continue the institution of slavery. As Marxists, we understand the evolution of the repressive institutions of slavery into the prison-industrial complex in today’s stage of capitalism.Durham’s Confederate monument was dedicated “to the boys who wore the grey.”  Comrade Takiyah Thompson commented, “The boys who wore the grey are the boys who wear blue today.” In the U.S. South, the police have their origins in slave patrols sent out to recapture freed Africans. This legacy is deeply embedded in the police today. In fact, many police departments actively recruit from white supremacist organizations and collaborate with them in secrecy. This was documented as having occurred during the 1979 Greensboro Massacre.We understand that Confederate monuments are symbolic structures that represent and reinforce less visible structures of white supremacy and capitalism. They are open expressions of the true nature and intention of  incarceration and disenfranchisement that target Black workers.The existence of these Confederate and white supremacist monuments are open declarations that capitalist institutions are inherently invested in the exploitation and bondage of Black people. This is clearly evidenced by the ways these institutions invest in protecting these monuments and repress those who damage them. Confederate monuments not only symbolize systems of white supremacy, they are essential tools of cultural warfare utilized by the ruling class.North Carolina’s legacy of genocide and sterilization of women of color: Why the threat of white supremacist violence cannot go unchallengedAs members of the Durham community and residents of North Carolina, we know that the concept and fact of genocide did not end at the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. Genocide exists in our communal memory far more recently. Up until 2003, North Carolina was the national capital of eugenics practice, which forcibly sterilized working-class women, especially Black women, but also Indigenous and other women of color, and disabled and poor women.As Nazis, the KKK, and other white supremacist organizations continue broadcasting their racist and anti-Semitic poison, and continue to advocate for eugenics and genocide publicly, they enjoy the support and protection of not only the ruling class and the state, but also liberals.Time and again, liberals and moderates have elevated the abstract concept of “freedom of speech” both to defend the supposed rights of Nazis to organize and to attack those who oppose them. In concrete terms, this values speech over the lives of Black, Brown and other working-class people.It is more important than ever to crush the symbols that legitimize these murderous institutions.We must continue our struggle until all symbols of white supremacy have been destroyed. Just as Durham’s Confederate statue easily crumpled and folded in on itself as it crashed to the ground, so can the systems of white supremacy and the capitalism that it represents, when confronted by organized worker power. When we organize and support one another in direct action, the systems set up by the ruling class don’t stand a chance.Gentrification, colonialism and the people’s right to public spaceThe placement of this and other Confederate monuments in the South was and still is a deliberate and malicious show of white supremacist force on the part of the racist ruling class. Durham’s Confederate monument claims public space — close to North Carolina’s “Black Wall Street” no less — in the same ways that out-of-town wealthy white hipsters claim more space downtown for themselves, displacing oppressed nationalities and working-class people.The city purposely constructs public benches and then prevents those whose land and homes have been snatched up from sleeping on them. As more expensive breweries, hotels, condo complexes and restaurants claim public space in downtown Durham, Black people are increasingly pushed out of our spaces and policed. By taking militant direct action to remove the statue, we took a step towards reclaiming public space for people of color and the working class.On Friday, Aug. 18, when over 1,000 people flooded the streets of Durham to chase the Klan away, police in riot gear did not show up until late afternoon, when they were setting up downtown to get ready for Third Friday Artwalks, a largely white-attended event.Klan and government go hand in handSam Marcy, founding chairperson of Workers World Party, wrote in an important theoretical book, “The Klan and Government: Foes or Allies?”: “The far more important problem is the reciprocal relations between the capitalist government and the Klan. More often than not, the former is made to appear rather hostile to the Klan. The public impression conveyed is that the government is forced under the law (the First or ‘Free Speech’ Amendment to the Constitution) to defend and secure the Klan’s rights.“In reality, however, the capitalist government has covertly encouraged and promoted the Klan over many decades. It is often completely overlooked in current discussions and in the press and media reports that the durability of the Klan rests on solid long-term bonds to the state, and that the two share a common political ideology, for the most part. When the ruling class had the opportunity to wipe out the Klan more than a century ago, it failed to do so. The Northern industrialists and bankers were more interested in reaching a compromise with the ex-slaveowners than with the newly freed slaves.“The U.S. government capitulated to the Southern planters and ex-slaveowners after the period of Reconstruction when it withdrew federal troops from the South without establishing an independent citizens’ militia composed of the Black people and poor whites. It also left them politically defenseless and deprived the Black population of economic power by failing to grant the newly emancipated people the land which they had tilled for centuries.“The violence against Black people which had begun on a minimal scale during Reconstruction began to take a tremendous toll after the U.S. government finally withdrew its troops. It was in this period that lynchings, the most barbarous form of counterrevolutionary terror, became the hallmark of the reactionary attempt to keep the Black people in semi-bondage. As many as 5,000 lynchings took place between the 1880s and 1951.“Nothing so much emphasizes the need for an independent citizens’ militia as what happened immediately after the withdrawal of the federal troops. It is to be noted that only in the 1950s and 1960s, when the question of self-defense was raised in a serious way, did Black communities become freer from the unrestrained terror of the earlier period.“Self-defense actually began during the so-called Tulsa riots of 1921. This attack on the Black community in Oklahoma for the first time in many years found an unexpected response in the form of what we would now call self-defense.” (This book can be read online at self-determination and the right of oppressed people to militant direct action and self-defense!Workers World Party has a proud history of supporting the right of oppressed people, particularly Black people in the South, to defend themselves against the state and white supremacist forces.  WWP historically supported the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, along with the Brown Berets and other organizations of the oppressed.Mae Mallory, a Black militant activist for self-defense, sent letters from prison in 1962, requesting support. In response, WWP formed the Monroe Defense Committee, to build national support for armed Black militants in Monroe, N.C., including Robert F. Williams and Mabel Williams. They were building community self-defense in the tradition of the Deacons for Defense who established chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in 1964-1965. The Williams had formed armed barricades in their house to defend themselves from racists. They eventually had to flee to Cuba, and then later to China.In this period, it is important to note that it was comrade Takiyah Thompson — a young, queer, Black woman — who took militant direct action that helped to bring this statue down. As communists, we believe that self-determination must be supported in practice, not just in theory. This means supporting the leadership of women of color, people of color and gender nonconforming people.  It includes organizing in their defense when their leadership ignites violent state and vigilante repression. The leadership of the most oppressed is paramount. It is the critical and central component of maximizing solidarity and unity — both in the immediate tasks that our movement faces, and on the long road to building a socialist revolution.The events of the last few weeks in Charlottesville and Durham underscore what we face in the new political period. There are several lessons that can be drawn here. The sections of the ruling class which elevated Trump to the presidency have emboldened the most racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, misogynist, male-supremacist, murderous scum in this decaying capitalist society. At the same time, the broad progressive movement that defends workers, oppressed Black, Latinx and Native communities, women, LGBTQ people and immigrants, has also grown rapidly — and it has demonstrated a new willingness to wage a militant fightback against these forces.Organizations of oppressed people, along with the growing Antifa formation, have elevated the issues of self-defense and the need to take bold action to fight the fascists and racists. The Charlottesville police, who allowed Nazis to attack the multinational demonstration, like the cops in Greensboro who colluded with Nazis in carrying out the 1979 Greensboro Massacre, proved once again that they and other repressive forces of the state are squarely on the side of the white supremacists and against the people. It is incumbent upon our movement to be united, self-reliant and combative.The battlefront against these fascist and racist forces in the U.S. is but one front among many others across the globe. U.S. imperialism is waging a bloody war against all those fighting for liberation and self-determination. In Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution, a movement of Black, Indigenous, and other working-class people, is facing heavy attack from far-right and fascist forces that receive political and economic support from the U.S. government.The threat of war against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has recently escalated. The reason? They dared to defy the U.S. and other global powers, and have developed technology and weapons as a bulwark against the most advanced killing machine this planet has ever known. The peoples of Syria and Palestine and elsewhere around the globe have continued to wage a valiant struggle for self-determination and to get imperialism’s boot off their neck. Victory in any of these and other struggles is a victory for the entire working class.TIMELINE OF DURHAM DEVELOPMENTS:August 14: Takiyah Thompson and other Freedom Fighters tore down Confederate statue in Durham.August 15: Following a press conference, Thompson was arrested and charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors. The Durham County Sheriff’s office began conducting raids of local organizers’ homes.August 16: Loan Tran and Dante Strobino were arrested and charged while in court supporting Thompson. Peter Gilbert was arrested at his workplace.  White supremacists appeared in the court’s parking decks, stalking the crowd.August 17: “Arrest Me, Too” solidarity event was held in front of the Durham County Courthouse. Nearly 100 people volunteered to turn themselves in, saying, “If they are guilty of fighting white supremacy, I am guilty too.” The sheriff refused to arrest the masses of people, but took those with warrants: Elena Everett, Raul Jimenez and Zan Caldwell. Later that day, Taylor Cook turned herself in for arrest.August 18: A “#DefendDurham: Pack the Court” event was held in support of the four additional Freedom Fighters who had been arrested and charged.August 18: Reports of a KKK rally were heard in Durham. A mini uprising of nearly 2,000 people, many of them community members, flooded the streets to #DefendDurham. The courthouse, banks, schools and other businesses closed for the day. A small handful of KKK members retreated into the courthouse. Riot cops showed force and arrested one demonstrator.  #DefendDurham formed at a meeting of many left and progressive organizations in unity, vowing to defend and support one another.Looking Ahead: September 12 — Court date in Durham for all organizersWE DEMAND:That the Durham County Commissioners, Durham Sheriff’s office and District Attorney’s office drop all the charges and stop investigating anti-racist activists involved with the Aug. 14 action.That the city of Charlottesville drop all charges against anti-racist protesters from Aug. 12.That North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper expedite the removal of all Confederate statues across the state.That the Durham County Commissioners and City Council members attend public forums to allow the community to speak out on their concerns about public Confederate displays.Abolish the police, prisons, ICE and the Pentagon! Tear down all institutions of white supremacy! Black Lives Matter!Funds are urgently needed!  Donate at   FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Robotic surgery live-streamed from Limerick hospital

first_imgEmail Robotic surgery being live streamed at UHL.Photo: Sean Curtin Twitter Surgeon Ben Challacombe (left) and Professor J. Calvin Coffey discussing the live streaming of robotic surgery at UHL.Photo: Sean Curtin Advertisement WhatsApp Subhasis Giri, Colette Cowan, Calvin Coffey and Austin Stack discussing the live streaming of robotic surgical procedures at UHL.Photo: Sean Curtin. Urologist Rick Catterwell performing robotic surgery at UHL.Photo: Sean Curtin. Linkedin NewsHealthRobotic surgery live-streamed from Limerick hospitalBy Editor – November 27, 2017 7763 center_img Facebook TAGSBen ChallacombecolorectalGuy’s Hospitalgynaecologistskidney surgeryKing’s Collegelimerickoperating roomregistrarsRobotic surgeryUHLurologists Print 1 of 5 Previous articleLimerick hospital visitor restrictions over winter vomiting bugNext articleLimerick suicide crisis service focuses on Travellers Editor Live streaming of a Robotic surgery being live streamed from the operating room in University Hospital Limerick (UHL)Photo: Sean CurtinRobotic surgical procedures are being live-streamed from the operating room at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).The surgery was transmitted to the new Clinical Education and Research Centre (CERC) auditorium at UHL, as part of the educational component of the Group’s robotic surgical programme.More than 100 Consultant Urologists, Colorectal Surgeons, Senior Registrars, Gynaecologists and health professionals from around the country attended the annual South West Urological Meeting at the CERC ,where an inaugural live-stream of a robotic surgical procedure took place.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The surgery was carried out by Consultant Urological Surgeon Ben Challacombe who is Senior Lecturer at Guy’s Hospital and King’s College London. Mr. Challacombe said:  ‘It is a great honour to come to UHL and demonstrate complex robotic kidney surgery using the new live streaming technology. I would like to thank the team at UHL for inviting me, the teamwork and professionalism of the whole surgical team here in Limerick is second to none.“ Surgeons Ben Challacombe (left) and Subhasis Giri after performing robotic surgery at UHL.Photo: Sean Curtinlast_img read more

“Supreme Court Registry Engaging In Unprofessional Activities”: Plea In SC By Judicial Officer Seeks Action Against Erring Officials

first_imgTop Stories”Supreme Court Registry Engaging In Unprofessional Activities”: Plea In SC By Judicial Officer Seeks Action Against Erring Officials Live Law News Network29 Oct 2020 11:06 PMShare This – xA petition has been preferred in the Top Court by a Judicial Officer of Maharashtra alleging unprofessional activities of it’s Registry in terms of unequal treatment to him as well as the common man in terms of listings as well as pointing unnecessary defects.The Judicial Magistrate Syedullah Khaleelullah Khan has narrated the alleged unequal treatment by the Registry stated that he…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA petition has been preferred in the Top Court by a Judicial Officer of Maharashtra alleging unprofessional activities of it’s Registry in terms of unequal treatment to him as well as the common man in terms of listings as well as pointing unnecessary defects.The Judicial Magistrate Syedullah Khaleelullah Khan has narrated the alleged unequal treatment by the Registry stated that he had filed a writ petition in February 2016 in order to reconsider a judgment titled All India Judges Association Vs. Union of India & Ors (2002) 4 SCC 247 & amend the Maharashtra Judicial Service Rules, 2008.Notice was issued on the petition and it was tagged with similar petitions, after which it was dismissed on February 19, 2020, the review to which was dismissed on August 5. The petitioner states that he then filed a Curative Petition through e-filing and 9 defects were pointed out by the Registry, which were cured on the same day. It is stated that even after removing defects and constantly reaching out to the Registry regarding the registration of his petition, the same was not done.In this context, it is averred:”On 17.10.2020, Section X has informed the petitioner by an E-mail vide PID: 103773/2020 that he has removed some defects by filing documents on 03.10.2020. It has stated to the petitioner that he has given Explanation for not removing defect Nos.3 & 4 but the petitioner was informed to remove the following defects ―1. Certificate of Senior Advocate is required to be filed.2. Certificate by Petitioner in person is also required to be filed.3. Refiled Curative petition and application is unsigned.”It has been alleged that acts of the Registry in relation to the Curative Petition of the petitioner are discriminatory, irrational and unreasonable. Registry has deliberately not scrutinized the Curative Petition of the petitioner for 22 days. Such act of the Registry is discriminatory and thus illegal, it is averred.The plea has also laid down a table laying down 19 petitions of which defects were cured and they were listed by the Registry.”Petitioner most humbly submits that he has felt that it is his bounden duty to bring the ground reality to the notice of the Honorable Court so that the corrective action and measures are taken to avoid repetition of unequal treatment to the seekers of JUSTICE which results in violation of ARTICLE 14 of the Constitution of India”Plea in SCThe Judicial Officer states that conduct of the Registry should be such that there shall not be any room for suspicion. “Unfortunately, such is not the case. Someone has said that Words may lie but Actions will always tell the Truth. History shows that not only the Litigants and Lawyers have questioned the Registry but at times this Hon’ble Court has pulled up the Registry for its omission(s) and commission(s). Same has been reported by Online Law Journals from time to time,” it is added.Further the Petitioner seeks striking down of the requirement of filing CERTIFICATE issued by a designated Senior Advocate. He has stated that this practice has only increased the costs of litigation. “A study of the fate of the Curative Petitions filed in this Hon’ble Court along with such certificate would show that it has become empty formality” and that “the time has come to have a fresh look and to reconsider the requirement of filing such certificate along with the Curative Petition”.Additionally, the plea seeks issuance of appropriate directions for taking action against erring officers for allegedly giving unequal treatment to the equals and for the violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.Next Storylast_img read more

Lender threatens to take dog back after saying woman was only leasing him

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — Max has been a part of the Cittadino family for two years. The Long Island natives took the golden retriever on trips, played with him in the park and went for daily walks. And then, the company that financed the purchase of the pup threatened to repossess him.The family’s run-in with pet leasing — an option increasingly coming under government scrutiny — started innocently enough. Max’s owner, Danielle Cittadino, and her sons decided to take a look at the dogs at the local pet store Shake-A-Paw.“To be honest with you, we really were not there to buy a dog, we were just going for a visit, take the boys, let’s go visit the dog store and Max, doing his playful thing, was up there, saying ‘Pet me, pet me, pet me,’” Cittadino told “Good Morning America.” “And that’s when they said, ‘Would like to go in a room with him?’ And I was like, ‘I know how that’s gonna end up.’ But we did and we fell in love right there.” Cittadino says she couldn’t afford to buy the dog outright from the seller 23 months ago, so she signed up for a leasing plan with Wags Lending.“It was offered to us, well you can finance, so my husband and I discussed it for a moment and said, ‘OK, if my credit is good, run it, and we’ll go from there,’” Cittadino said. “It happened to work out. We were approved. … I forget the total dollar amount, I believe it was maybe $2,500 and the first payment was paid there, on the spot, and then it would be consecutive 23 payments after that.” “Did I know it was a lease before I signed it? Absolutely not,” she added. “I was told I was financing. There was no mention of a lease.”But the document she signed, which she acknowledges she didn’t read closely enough at the time.“There’s wording in the paperwork that you are financing ‘X’ amount of dollars, although the top of the paperwork does say, ‘This is important information about your lease’ — which to me financing versus a lease are two different animals, so to speak, no pun intended,” she said. Cittadino says she paid the first 23 installments of $145.19 on time and without issue. But now she is balking after the lender asked for a final payment of $338.07. The final cost would be over $1,000 more than the in-store price.Wags Lending did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.The Federal Trade Commission warned consumers against just such an issue last November.“You sign an agreement to make payments toward ownership — or so you think,” the government agency wrote on its website. “You may unintentionally sign up to make costly, extended lease-to-own payments that add up to about twice the list price of the pet. As you’re paying over what could be years, the company still owns your pet. When the lease is up, you may have to pay additional costs to actually own it.”Libby Post, executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, told “GMA” the state is moving to ban the practice of pet leasing. So far, California and Nevada are the only two states to do so, but it’s likely to happen soon in New York. The State Assembly and Senate have passed the bill, and it’s only awaiting a signature from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Danielle Cittadino said she didnt realize what she was getting into when she signed a payment agreement for her dog, Max. “People get caught up in this and they don’t realize what they are signing because of falling in love with the puppy, and so we just have to be cognizant of that. People need to recognize this and ask the questions,” Post said.“We’re hoping that when this bill comes before Gov. Cuomo he signs it, because it’s a really important piece of legislation that will protect animals and protect consumers,” Post added.In the meantime, Cittadino is off the hook for her final payment. Shake-A-Paw told ABC News that it will make the final payment so Max won’t have to go anywhere.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more