It comes as government buildings, including 10 Downing Street and the Home Office, prepare to light up red to show their support for Anti-Slavery Day 2018.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Health and Social Care will also be turning red this evening (Thursday 17 October) to mark the day.Businesses and landmarks across the UK – including London’s BT Tower, Manchester’s Co-Op HQ, Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre and Nottingham Trent’s Cricket Ground – are lined up to follow suit.Earlier this year, Frank Field MP, Maria Miller MP and Baroness Butler-Sloss were asked to independently review the ground-breaking Modern Slavery Act, brought in by Prime Minister Theresa May as Home Secretary.To ensure we continue to tackle this evolving crime they will consider whether laws should be further strengthened to ensure companies take action to address forced labour from supply chains at home and abroad.The review will consider a full range of options to drive compliance including tougher sanctions. The Home Office intends to publish a list of non-compliant companies failing to publish a Modern Slavery Statement at the end of the financial year.In addition, the Home Office has published the Modern Slavery Annual Report 2018. The Home Office is writing directly to chief executives of 17,000 businesses telling them to open up about modern slavery in their supply chains, or risk being named as in breach of the law.Businesses with a turnover of more than £36 million must publish annual transparency statements, known as a Modern Slavery Statement, setting out what they are doing to stop modern slavery and forced labour practices occurring in their business and supply chains.At the moment, it is estimated that 60% of companies in scope have published a statement. Whilst there are many examples of good practice, some of these statements are poor in quality or fail to even meet the basic legal requirements.Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: It is horrible to think some of the goods and services we buy could have been produced by someone forced into modern slavery. This is abhorrent and as global leaders in the fight against modern slavery, we will not tolerate it. Some businesses are already leading the way in taking action by being open and transparent about what they are doing to identify, tackle and prevent forced labour in their supply chains, but too many are still failing to meet their basic legal obligations. That’s why the Home Office is sending letters to businesses today with a clear message that continued non-compliance will not be tolerated.
Thank you for that kind introduction Louis and thank you all for joining us here today to mark 100 years of UK Export Finance. While today is certainly a day for celebration, I’m afraid that it does come with something of a health-warning. The last few years have seen a rise of barriers to trade across the world.Since the end of the Financial Crisis, G20 countries have imposed 70% of all new non-tariff barriers to trade globally.The result of these – and the imposition of unilateral and retaliatory tariffs – has seen trade growth slow dramatically from 5.4% in 2017 to a projected 3.4% this year.We in the UK are lucky in that we start from a fortunate position. The fundamentals of our economy are strong and I have faith in its resilience.Unemployment is at a 45-year low, wages are growing faster than inflation and both exports and inward foreign direct investment are at record levels.But the economic headwinds are against us and we are going to have to brace ourselves for a period of increased difficulty. Forecasts for some of the major economies, such as Germany and the Eurozone more widely, have been downgraded, significantly and this may well have an impact on the 44% of our exports which currentlygo to the EU.UKEF’s work to help British firms break into new markets and deepen existing trade links will be essential in helping us weather potential storm ahead.Louis, las night at the Mansion House, talked about the counter-cyclical function of UKEF, and that may well be tested in the times ahead.UKEF has for 100 years been innovating and helping UK businesses win, fulfil and get paid for export contracts. Last year my department launched its Export Strategy in a bid to turn Britain into a 21st century exporting powerhouse, and UKEF has a pivotal role to play in achieving this.Through the Export Strategy we are encouraging, informing, connecting and financing UK businesses to take advantage of the increasing international demand for British goods and services. Just as it was when it was founded as the Export Credits Department 100 years ago – UKEF remains at the heart of the government’s trade and finance policies. One of UKEF’s most important innovations has been to make accessing government-backed export finance faster and easier for small and medium-sized companies than ever before. These efforts are bearing fruit; 77% of the businesses that we supported in 2017/18 were small and medium-sized enterprises.And, recognising that it takes more than one business to deliver an export contract, I am proud to announce that UKEF has extended eligibility for its support to companies in exporters’ supply chains. This will enable firms, from car parts suppliers to food packagers – who play a crucial role in supply chains but do not directly sell goods or services overseas themselves – to access the support they need to thrive.Afterall, without their vital contribution Britain’s giant export machine would grind to a shuddering halt.But we want to do more. A fifth of all UK registered businesses tell us that they have never exported, despite believing that they have goods or services which would sell overseas.This translates to more than 400,000 UK businesses who could be exporting but are not. We need to do more to open the way for these businesses, large or small, to take their first step into selling overseas. That’s why I am pleased to unveil our new Small Deal Initiative, which will enhance support for the smaller export contracts. Through this, companies of all sizes will be able to access buyer finance support, with UKEF guaranteeing the loans that their potential customers abroad take out in order to buy British. We will also simplify the processes involved in obtaining finance, allowing banks and other institutions to work more easily with UKEF to support smaller transactions.And just as importantly, this will enable UK companies to get paid up front for their exports, while their buyers can benefit from deferred payment terms. These announcements are potential gamechangers for our export industry, and will help us tap a fresh vein of growth from within our own economy.But still, many firms which are already eligible for export finance simply don’trealise it. And that needs to change. To truly maximise our trading potential, we need to ensure that firms that can export, do export, and that means making them aware of the full range of support available. And we’re taking further steps to ensure that our support is better than ever. Our new General Export Facility, which the Prime Minister mentioned in her video, will allow UKEF to support exporters’ overall working capital requirements, rather than supporting where it’s linked to the needs of a specific export contract. And this more flexible approach will be of particular help for smaller businesses and companies with shorter manufacturing cycles. So we’re taking major strides to ensure that all UK firms have access to the help they need to succeed abroad. And while it’s important for Britain to celebrate our current export success, we’ve only really just started to realise our true potential for growth. As you know, the government’s aim is to increase UK exports from 30% to 35% of Britain’s GDP moving us towards the top of the G7.And there’s never really been a better time to become an exporter or to invest in UK exports. UKEF’s expertise and resources are an invaluable asset as we prepare to leave the European Union and become a truly outward looking, global, trading nation. And while the UK will continue building upon our business links with our valued trading partners in the EU, there are now unprecedented opportunities for growth in emerging markets which our firms are well-placed to take.Now the IMF estimates that 90% of global GDP growth in the next five to ten years will come outside of continental Europe.That’s why the work of UKEF – at the heart of the government’s export strategy – to help British firms establish themselves in some of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets is so vital to our future prosperity.This includes introducing a range of measures to boost much-needed investment in businesses, in infrastructure across Africa and in other parts of the developing world. An example of this was the recent UK-West Africa Agritech Summit that we helped organise in Lagos, Nigeria. The summit was part of our mission to nurture, with the help of UKEF, a strong network of prospective partners in finance, technology, innovation and knowledge between Britain and West African nations. And our commitment to helping UK firms thrive in Africa and other developing markets is made up of more than just warm words. UKEF is also playing an active part in our Prosperity Agenda ensuring development and global prosperity are at the heart of our trade and investment strategy. Trade is an important part of our efforts to support countries in developing critical infrastructure while creating our own trading partners for the future.And that’s why UKEF has, for example, provided £49 million in terms of support for the Darlington-based firm Cleveland Bridge to construct 250 bridges for rural communities in Sri Lanka.This project will help accelerate Sri Lanka’s development through significantly improving its rural transport infrastructure.Another example is the more than £130 million worth of support UKEF provided for British firms that are helping develop critical infrastructure in Ghana.Around £70 million of this has gone towards backing a contract for Contracta Construction UK to develop and modernise Kumasi Central Market in southern Ghana – which you may never have heard of – but which is a major trading centre visited by up to 800,000 people every single day.A guarantee for a £43.8 million loan will also be provided by UKEF to Ghana’s Ministry of Finance to support a contract with QG Construction UK for the modernisation of Tamale Airport in the north of the country.This expansion will help fuel economic growth in the region and will also benefit Muslim Hajj pilgrims, with the airport serving as a terminal building during the Hajj Season.In addition, UKEF has backed a £17.6 million loan to support a contract for two British firms – Ellipse UK and the Eurofinsa group – to complete the building of a new 120-bed hospital in the town of Bekwai, in the Ashanti region.These projects will help improve the critical infrastructure and lives of the citizens in Sri Lanka and Ghana, showing the positive role that British expertise, combined with UKEF’s backing, is playing in communities around the world. And we do this for good reason. Spreading prosperity helps underpin social cohesion. Social cohesion in its turn, underpins political stability. And that political stability is the building block of our collective security. It is a continuum that cannot be interrupted without very unwanted consequences.Now, over the last year the government has set out our ambition for the United Kingdom to become the number one G7 investor in Africa by 2022.And I spent all of last week in the northern part of Africa.For the first time we set a clear goal to mobilise an additional £4 billion of private sector investment into the African continent by working more closely with the City of London. This will help British firms to invest in what promises to be one of the world’s largest import markets for goods and services over the coming decades. Many African nations and other developing markets are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. And we’re determined to support British firms that specialise in helping communities adapt to this change in delivering their expertise across the globe.UKEF is also working with the Environment Agency to help UK firms to deliver climate adaptation infrastructure and services across the globe. This means that UK firms – from specialist environment consultants to water sanitation businesses – will benefit from UKEF providing the finance support, while the EA will offer their expertise.In addition, AECOM, the firm behind some of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects, has today committed to work with UKEF to increase procurement from UK businesses when delivering its work.And UKEF’s work across the globe is as varied as it is vital in helping UK exporters gain a foothold in different markets.The agency is working to increase its scope its accessibility, both by expanding its risk appetite in key markets and ensuring that qualifying to access its finance facilities is made as straightforward as possible for British firms.Indeed, since the referendum we have increased our risk appetite in more than 100 markets.But given the returns that UKEF provides to the Treasury, it’s not unreasonable to ask whether or not we should be looking at taking on increased risk appetite, while of course noting the importance of responsible and prudent use of taxpayers’ money.Earlier this year, for example, I announced that UKEF will provide an additional £1 billion in UK support to Iraq – and that’s on top of the £1 billion backing we have already given for critical infrastructure projects in that country.And this additional capacity will enable UKEF to increase its risk appetite in Iraq’s growing market subject to our established lending standards.After all, it is in our own national interest to support economic development, promote nation-building and back additional UK exports.And the work that the Department for International Trade and UKEF is doing is already working for the British economy.In the year to March, British exports of goods increased by 4.2% while total UK exports have now reached a record £640 billion.And we want all British firms large and small, that are able to export, to be part of this success in the future.That’s why over the past decade UKEF has provided over £30 billion-worth of support helping over 600 UK exporters to grow their businesses in overseas markets.Building a truly Global Britain takes real investment. It cannot be done, quite obviously, on the cheap.If we want to become an exporting superpower, with greater influence, selling more goods and services abroad and encouraging more British investment overseas, then we will have to invest in the capabilities required.UKEF’s work will be at the very forefront of this investment strategy.The agency has gone from strength to strength in the 100 years since it was launched as the world’s first export credit agency.And, 100 years from now, I believe it will still be supporting British businesses, opening up new markets, creating new trading partners and supporting other countries out of poverty.But if there is one message that I want you to take away today it is this: If you are considering exporting for the first time, or want to take on a new project abroad, and need some help to do so, look no further than UKEF. From the smallest family business to the largest multinational, UKEF has the expertise and resources you need to turn your export potential into profitable reality. And as the sun rises on our future as an ambitious, creative, and truly global independent trading nation outside the European Union, we are determined that all our firms, both large and small, have the opportunity to share in Britain’s export success story.The only thing that will limit us is the scale of our own ambition.
Another pollution problem from the landscape is leaves. It seems strange that something as natural as tree leaves can be a pollutant. But it makes more sense when you consider that storm drains can funnel organic debris from all over your community to one small stream. It will eventually join organic debris from countless other communities on its way to our lakes, streams and rivers. One way excessive organic matter in our water can act as a pollutant is by creating high nutrient levels. This results in algae blooms and low oxygen, suffocating aquatic life. Besides helping you protect water quality, good landscaping techniques will give you healthier plants and a more attractive yard. The University of Georgia Extension Service agent in your county can give you further tips on how to reduce erosion and protect the environment. Most of us don’t think of soil as a pollutant. But it is. In fact, sediment deposited by storm runoff is a major source of surface water pollution. How many times have you ridden by a construction site on a rainy day and seen red streams running off the area? Pollution like this is defined as nonpoint-source, since it arises from many small, dispersed sources. In Georgia, we all live in watersheds. If you manage any land — a small, urban yard or 100 acres — you can reduce such nonpoint-source pollution by stemming soil erosion on your property. Soil erodes when water or wind carries off soil particles and deposits them somewhere else, such as in a stream, river or at the bottom of a bay. Often these particles are carried by runoff — water that doesn’t soak into the ground, but flows instead over the surface and runs into storm drains, streams or lakes. Besides soil sediment, runoff can wash fertilizer and other pollutants along with it. Sediment makes up most of the pollutant carried by runoff. And most of the phosphate and pesticides entering Georgia’s waters are attached to these soil particles. Erosion in the home landscape also creates unsightly bare areas. It deposits mud and dust on driveways and walkways. Then you track it into the house. It all starts when rain or irrigation water loosens soil particles. When there is too much water to soak into the soil, it fills surface depressions and begins to flow. With enough speed, this surface runoff carries away the loosened soil. Runoff from roofs and paved areas can also add to erosion by directing large amounts of water quickly to nearby areas that can’t absorb it fast enough. To reduce erosion, protect the soil surface from rain. For example, a cover of plants, such as a well-maintained lawn or other groundcover or a combination of mulch and plants, will effectively protect the soil surface from rain. Plants’ roots help lessen erosion, too, by holding soil in place. In some cases, though, you may have to control or redirect the runoff, too, to effectively control erosion. Bare soil is the most obvious source of erosion. By mulching or planting bare areas, you can reduce erosion. Seed your vegetable garden with a cover crop such as rye or hairy vetch for the winter. Promptly seed and mulch bare patches in your lawn. Mulch around trees and shrubs, too, will absorb water and direct it to the root systems. Other indications of erosion on your property include: Tree roots, small stones or rocks becoming exposed. Small rills or gullies beginning to show. Soil splashes on windows and outside walls. Stream channels widening or deepening. Sediment collecting in low areas or on pavement.
The shortage of affordable and healthy housing is nothing new for communities across the South, but trends in gentrification and infill building, the redevelopment of urban spaces as new construction, have exacerbated these shortages in many cities and towns in Georgia.Jermaine Durham, the new housing and community development specialist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and assistant professor of housing and community development in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS), grew up in Georgia watching these trends impact his hometown of Hartwell and his adopted hometown of Savannah.He’s spent his career working with families to build stronger, more stable communities around the state. He joined UGA Extension and FACS this spring to study the housing problems Georgians face and to help find answers.Durham plans to focus on developing partnerships with housing groups around Georgia and working with county Extension agents to increase the amount of housing programming they offer in their communities. He also serves as director for the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, which partners with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia Power and the Georgia Municipal Association.“Extension agents on the ground have to be pretty flexible,” Durham said. “They may be focused on nutrition but find out, ‘Hey we have this huge housing problem.’ I want to help them be ready to tackle a wide range of issues pertaining to housing.”Durham says UGA Extension plays a prominent role in outreach and working with communities on local issues. As UGA’s sole community development Extension specialist, he feels responsible for helping spread awareness through his knowledge on the issues that many Georgians face.“In urbanized areas, we see that affordability is the preeminent issue where there’s not enough housing for the lower income groups, and this oftentimes has a racial component to it as well,” Durham said. “In some of the more rural areas, we see a combination of housing affordability issues and a growing epidemic of blighted homes.”Housing affordability in rural areas is tied directly to the declining stock of houses, while in urban areas, more investment and development lead to gentrification and the outpricing of lower-income residents, Durham said.Durham started his career in community development early as a youth program manager at Goodwill of the Coastal Empire, working on workforce development and mentoring. He also worked as a microbusiness coordinator at Savannah State University and with the Housing Authority of Savannah before returning to school at Clemson University, where he will receive his doctorate in planning, design and the built environment this spring. His research focuses on the foreclosure crisis in the South and race and economic inequality and their impact on neighborhoods and communities.Durham is eager to put what he has learned to work in the Extension setting and expand on his research into Southern communities.Next fall and spring he will begin teaching courses in subsidized housing and housing and community development at FACS.“UGA has always been a force in the community, so it’s great to be a part of the UGA family in this capacity,” he said.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) announced today that construction on the Danville Village reconstruction project will resume on Wednesday, July 27th. ‘We are getting back to work on our Danville project this week,’ said Richard Tetreault, VTrans Director of Program Development. The announcement comes nearly two weeks after the Agency issued a stop work order following concerns over traffic management challenges for the project. Beginning Wednesday, project work will begin along US Route 2 east of the village green. Limited work is also expected to take place on and around the village green. The traveling public can expect up to 10-minute delays through the project from the hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Two lanes of traffic will be open during peak times of the early morning (7:00 ~ 9:00) and late afternoon (4:00 ~ 6:00). Traffic will be managed by flaggers at each end of the work zone and where needed at driveways and side roads. According to Tetreault, VTrans had issued the stop work order following the discovery of several unanticipated factors and traffic challenges. During the past two weeks the VTrans project team has met daily with the contractors to re-assess and redevelop a project plan and schedule, including an improved traffic management plan. VTrans has also held meetings with area residents and businesses to better understand public concerns. The contractor, Pike Industries, Inc. is being advised of the changes and will work to update their schedule of operations. Moving forward, VTrans will also step-up its efforts to communicate with the public on project updates and activities, including hosting periodic meetings with the area residents. The meetings will include the contractor and the VTrans inspection team. ‘We want to make sure folks understand what the contractor’s schedule of operations will be and also provide a forum for the public to ask questions and become informed,’ Director Tetreault explained.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享MPR News:A group of utilities, state regulators and environmental groups released a report Tuesday showing it’s possible — with existing technology — for electricity generation in the midcontinent to be carbon-free by 2050.Relatively speaking, the electricity sector has done better than other parts of the economy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Still, in 13 states looked at by the Great Plains Institute, 77 percent of the electricity comes from coal and natural gas. So, how do you get from 77 percent to zero?“Essentially that means more wind, more solar, more energy efficiency,” said Franz Litz, a program consultant with the Great Plains Institute. “It also means really thinking hard about those existing nuclear plants, which don’t have air emissions and could be an important part of the mix when we get out to 2050 and need to be generating our electricity without putting carbon into the air.”Litz says the models the group used didn’t try to guess on what types of new technology might be available by midcentury. The point was to show that decarbonizing is possible with existing technology.But the economics of transitioning away from fossil fuels for electricity generation is where it gets complicated and uncertain. For example, the report says the system will probably need to keep using natural gas — only with carbon capture technology, in which waste carbon is stored and prevented from escaping into the atmosphere.But James Gignac of the Union of Concerned Scientists, one of the groups that participated in the report, says we shouldn’t start building a bunch of natural gas plants. “It’s really critical right now that the power companies, utilities and stakeholders take a hard look at the economics of investing in natural gas, especially compared to the cost decline in what we’re seeing with renewables and storage,” he said.More: Study: Carbon-free electricity possible by 2050 Study: Midwest generation can be carbon-free by 2050
Avoid these three common pitfalls when selling your house.FOR as long as I can remember the weak agents in a real estate market have spruiked the benefits of an ‘off market’ sale.An ‘off market’ sale is when an agent takes a buyer through a property that is not for sale and they buy it.No annoying open homes, no expensive marketing and a quick peaceful sale.Sounds perfect, right?I think the expression is, when it sounds to good to be true, it generally is.Like in politics it’s easy to tell people what they want to hear to get chosen and then once appointed it’s a whole new game.Now these sales can occur, but their success rate is very low and the damage if not sold can be irreparable. Consider the buyer for a moment. When you are shown a property that is not publicly available you like it because the pressure of competition dissipates.The chance of a bargain is presented. Obviously an unwilling seller will hold firm on their price and if the buyer will jump, then a sale is made. But a willing seller must engage – if not the property sits on the market in the dark, psychologically depreciating to all those buyers who have rejected it.When an owner is considering a sale there a few traps and seeing past them can be difficult.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoAuctioneer Haesley Cush reckons there are a few traps for owners wanting to sell.There are three main ones…The first is predicting the price you’ll achieve, this is a minefield for agents. The weak agents just shoot high. But keep in mind a high price from an agent doesn’t mean you’ll achieve a high price. Price from an agent is a terrible way to chose, because it’s too easy for a bad agent to seem good. Develop your own opinions, avoid asking them until you’ve worked them out, then ask them for the evidence they have gathered. These comparable sales in no way mean you will achieve that price, so don’t use the number as a yard stick for the agent you chose.Next is where the buyer who will pay the most money will see your property. Agents who don’t present you cross media marketing options are more than likely just telling you what they think you want to hear.No agent knows where your buyer will come from. When you don’t use marketing options like a sign, internet or newspaper (to name a few) you are ruling out the possibility of any buyer enquiring from that medium. Too risky! Ask your agent for the marketing campaign they believe will get you the highest possible price.Finally, agents are free if they don’t sell your property. Commission is payable on settlement. So choosing an agent based purely on the price they charge defies logic. You will become completely reliant on this person to update you on market feedback on your property. This information will influence your decisions and ultimately affect the price you take. When you consider that they only get paid, when you get paid, you should back the person you believe will get you the highest price.The cheese is free in the trap, according to Haesley Cush, just watch out for the end result.If you are considering engaging an agent then enquire on their listings and attend their open houses. Get a feel for how they treat their buyers. When interviewing ask them to give you their strategies to get the best price, not their strategy to get your business. The free cheese is in the trap and with the market moving an agent with a buyer is not enough when a record price could be on the table.
An institutional investor based in the Middle East has used IPE’s Discovery* platform to announce it is conducting research on global REITs through an open-ended pooled fund.According to search DS-2621, the investor – which has earmarked $120m (€100m) for a potential investment – is calling for interested parties to submit different strategies by 22 September, 5pm UK time.Participating asset management firms will need a minimum track record of five years and will need to respond directly via the Discovery to register interest.*Definition of Discovery: Pre-RFI tool which enables institutional asset owners to carry out a preliminary search for managers active in a particular asset class or region. Asset owners can also use this tool to research an asset class they are looking at for the first time. Discovery is free-to-view so payment only applies if you decide to respond. The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest, Discovery, or Innovation tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email [email protected] scheme calls for bids for three mandatesFondo di Previdenza “Mario Negri”, the Italian pension fund for executives of commercial, haulage and transport companies, is calling for fund managers to bid for three mandates it is tendering: US convertible bonds, European equity and global equity.According to an announcement, the Roma-based scheme is asking that participating managers request further mandate details via email and submit their interest by 22 September, 2pm local time.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
At least 1.5 million Zimbabweans are getting food aid during the lean period between planting and harvesting, which runs between October to March next year.Much like her neighbour to the South, Zimbabwe is plagued by drought and it needs 1.4 million tonnes of imported maize to bridge its food deficit.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CALJjFo6wvg
HealthInternationalLifestyleNewsPrintRegional Doctors Without Borders closing Haiti hospital for women by: Associated Press – July 21, 2018 Sharing is caring! 58 Views no discussions Share Share Tweet PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — Aid group Doctors Without Borders is closing an obstetrics hospital in the Haitian capital that it opened in the aftermath of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.Chief of mission Michelle Chouinard says the hospital will close in coming days as the last patients are discharged. Another urgent care facility will close next year.Chouinard said Friday both facilities were never intended to be permanent, but the organization set them up in 2011 and kept them open longer than anticipated because conditions were so dire in the country following the quake.The 176-bed obstetrics hospital treats about 500 patients per month. About 40,000 babies have been born there since it opened.Doctors Without Borders will operate four clinics in Haiti after the closures. Share