Carol Kruse Elected To Valvoline Board Of Directors

first_imgValvoline has announced the election of Carol Kruse, chief marketing officer of Cambia Health Solutions, to its board of directors, effective Dec. 4.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“Carol is an extremely accomplished marketing professional, excelling in consumer brand marketing, sports and entertainment marketing, technology platform design and development, and consumer acquisition, retention and engagement through digital, mobile and social channels,” said Stephen Kirk, chairman of the board at Valvoline. “She is as equally comfortable with consumer insights and creative delivery as she is with data and technology. Carol’s deep knowledge and experience in these areas will be invaluable to Valvoline and we are excited to have her join our board.”Kruse has been senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Cambia Health Solutions since 2014. Cambia Health Solutions is a nonprofit total health solutions company consisting of 20 companies reaching more than 70 million Americans nationwide. Before assuming this role, she served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at ESPN. Prior to that, she spent nearly 10 years at The Coca-Cola Co., moving from vice president of interactive marketing to vice president, global digital marketing.She holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Pomona College.Kruse will serve as a member of the board’s Compensation and Governance & Nominating committees.Additional information about Valvoline’s board of directors can be found at valvoline.com.last_img read more

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‘Difficult’ year ahead for ABS hopeful

first_imgOne of the UK’s leading legal expenses insurers has predicted a ‘difficult’ coming year despite an impending move into the legal profession. Abbey Protection today reported 2011 pre-tax profits of £10.1m – 5% up on the previous year. The company had expected by now to have obtained a licence to become an alternative business structure (ABS) and to have expanded its in-house service and bought an equity stake in a law firm. Chief executive Colin Davison admitted he was ‘disappointed’ to be one of dozens of companies still waiting on the Solicitors Regulation Authority to grant its licence. Chairman Tony Shearer said it will be important to take advantage of new opportunities when they come, as the outlook for Abbey’s small business customers was not improving. He said: ‘UK-based small businesses have faced pressures on their employment levels and taxable income for two consecutive years and we anticipate that these pressures will be present throughout 2012.’ The company increased total revenue from £34.9m in 2010 to £36.2m in 2011, during which time its share price rose by 10%. Meanwhile, the SRA today confirmed it is not yet ready to announce the first successful ABS application almost three months after the process opened.last_img read more

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The Friday Flyer – August 16th 2013

first_imgTax is never simple to understand, but Beijing seems to have made the subject of VAT on transportation even more difficult to grasp. Information regarding the imposition of Chinese VAT remains unclear. In China, a VAT charge has been imposed on domestic shipping, logistics and forwarding but there remains uncertainty as to how it might apply internationally, creating uncertainty for shipping managers, shipping lines, airlines and forwarders.It might seem a dry topic, but forwarders are crying foul with claims that airlines are introducing chargeable weight methodology on all surcharges. Airlines cite the costs relating to tightened security and fuel prices as being behind the switch from charging on actual weight to chargeable weight.Nurminen Logistics alerted HLPFI to some changes that are happening at the Russian border, which will impact on road services into and out of that country. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has welcomed the postponement of a move by Russian Customs not to honour the TIR guarantee until mid-September. Despite the delay, the IRU has slammed what it still maintains is a “unilateral and illegitimate decision.” The Union considers that if Russia refuses to acknowledge the TIR guarantee, no one wins – the move will hurt the economies of all countries involved in international trade with Russia and the Russian economy itself.This week’s Friday Flyer is sponsored by Broekman Project Services, located in the Port of Rotterdam, which offers a total solution for handling and assembly of project cargoes – www.broekman-group.com/bpsIn the corporate worldSTX Pan Ocean reported a Q2 2013 net loss of USD24.7 million – down from USD84.3 million 12 months ago – on revenues of USD855.8 million in the quarter, down 32 percent on Q2 2012. A STX semi-submersible can be seen right.Imperial Logistics has entered into a joint venture with international advisory and procurement firm, The Beijing Axis to offer its clients an end-to-end supply chain solution between Asia and Africa.Entrec Corporation’s results for the three months ending June 30, 2013 (Q2 2013) saw revenue grow by 72 percent year-on-year to USD 47.77 million.Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding’s results for Q2 2013, show operating profit for the quarter totalled USD106 million based on a total income of USD903 million, up 37 percent, while the revenue increased 4 percent.Kerry Logistics has acquired a majority stake in Mexico’s Cargo Master’s Group, whilst Rickmers-Linie has named Ben Line Agencies (HK) as its sales agent in Southern China. Last year, Rickmers-Linie transported three LPG storage tanks from Malaysia to Kuwait, pictured second right.According to maritime research agency Drewry, cargo no-shows and phantom bookings are a major headache for ocean carriers. With the peak season now well underway, cargo rollovers are more likely. Whilst freight booked from Asia to Europe was being rolled onto later vessels at the beginning of July, some ships still sailed under-capacity as a result of last minute booking cancellations.Royal Boskalis Westminster has issued its H1 2013 performance figures reporting a net profit of EUR123 million (USD164 million), up from EUR102 million (USD136.11 million) in H1 2012, with the results of the recently acquired Dockwise business being fully consolidated from the second quarter (pictured third right above).Capacity developmentsIn association with Kasgro Inc, Fracht USA has designed and built a new 16-axle, 11 m railcar, capable of carrying 400 tonne loads, for use in the North American market (pictured right).Modulift has designed and built its first-ever modular spreader frame, the CMOD, in response to customer demand and what Modulift calls a gap in the market for an adaptable spreader frame (pictured second right).PSC has unveiled its brand new self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) 600 trailer (pictured third right) that can carry 67.5 tonnes, aimed at heavy transport requirements inside nuclear facilities.Liebherr is to supply six heavy lift vessel cranes to China for ships being built for Rickmers-Linie. Four of the cranes have a capacity of 450 tonnes, while two have a capacity of 120 tonnes each (pictured bottom right).Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is set to offer two or three sailings per month from Veracruz, Mexico to the US East Coast, before voyaging to Western Europe, calling at  Veracruz, Galveston, Brunswick, Charleston and Baltimore; then proceeding to Europe calling at Antwerp, Bremerhaven and Southampton.Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (K Line) is to launch a new business unit focused exclusively on the sales and marketing of ro-ro cargoes, targeted at construction machinery, agricultural equipment, static cargoes, as well as used automobiles and construction gear.NEAS has taken delivery of its newest multipurpose vessel, Mitiq. The 137 m vessel was built in 1995 and is ice class 1 certified and has three onboard 60-tonne lifting capacity cranes.Network newsXLProjects (XLP) has named Fiza Logistics Pvt Ltd as its new representative in Pakistan and Afghanistan. XLProjects (XLP) has also added Columbia Pro-rail Transport Services Limited (CPTS) as a representative in the cities of Qingdao and Tianjin, China.Project Cargo Network (PCN) has added Westlink Logistics as a new member, representing Australia.Reshamsingh & Co has become the exclusive member for the Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) network in New Delhi, India in the heavy haulage, cranes and barge categories.The Air and Ocean Partners (AOP) network has welcomed Alpha Maritime Services, Genoa, Italy as a new member.People and placesEric Thompson has become vp transportation engineering, rail and heavy haul department at Fracht USA.Kaj Lindvig (pictured top right), senior advisor at A2SEA, has hit the road after his resignation, though he will remain on the books as a consultant.US congresswoman Betty Sutton (pictured second right) has been sworn in as the tenth administrator of the US Department of Transportation’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC).UTi Worldwide has opened its new London facility in Heathrow, UK, to act as the company’s main air and road base in the UK.C.H. Robinson has appointed Ivo Aris as director of European global forwarding tasked with setting and executing the company’s European global forwarding strategy.DB Schenker Logistics has opened its brand new EUR13 million (USD17.35 million) logistics centre in Zwevegem, Belgium.All about EvieEvie applauds the charitable efforts of USA headquartered Ceres Barge Line. The company has recently taken delivery of a ‘hot pink’ barge named Big Hope 1 and will contribute a percentage of the vessel’s net earnings for a minimum of five years to Mary Crowley Cancer Research in Dallas.Of late, Evie has taken to starting her working week by checking out the latest opinions of XLProjects founder, Gary Dale Cearley, who is now posting thought-provoking articles on the project forwarder network’s website every Monday.David Cheslin – R.I.P.A memorial service for freight PR man, David Cheslin, who passed away recently has been organised. It will take place on Friday September 27 at 2pm at St Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Lane, London EC4. At David’s request, this will not be a religious service but the venue is a consecrated Church so there is the option for private prayer if you wish.last_img read more

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SCA extends Rotterdam terminal

first_imgWith an extra 208 m of quay length, the extension will lie adjacent to SCA’s existing terminal at the port.As well as the yard expansion, SCA and the Port of Rotterdam reached an agreement on a renewed contract, which extends it until 2050.The extension will provide SCA with a 23 ha terminal with a 720 m long quay and a 160 m ro-ro berth. The terminal also has 75,000 sq m of warehouse space, with the oppritnity for both breakbulk and container handling.  www.sca.comwww.portofrotterdam.comlast_img read more

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Seville prepares for more project cargo

first_imgThe port will invest in a 17,000 sq m area in the port that will be able to accommodate project loads. Rafael Carmona, president of the Port Authority of Seville (APS), said the investments would reinforce the port’s role as a strategic location in Andalusia for industrial logistics.The berth of the dock will be expanded in a second-phase development, said the port.Meanwhile, the Guadalquivir digitalisation project is progressing. Speaking at the port’s logistics conference on October 3, Ángel Pulido, director of APS, said that the project, which involves the installation of sensors along the estuary, is expected to be operational in the first half of next year.This technology will be able to offer precise information about the position of the ship and its surroundings, said the port.During the event, Carmona added: “We have a large area, not only to coordinate loading and unloading operations, but also for the implementation of manufacturing centres that reduce logistics costs due to the proximity to the pier.“We have logistics operators that offer customised services from door to door, from the production centre to its final destination,” he added.According to Carmona, the port has handled ABB transformers, wind turbine towers for large wind farms, components for a bridge project in Canada, and beer tanks for a Heineken factory, among other heavy and oversized loads.portal.apsevilla.comlast_img read more

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Case management; murder; and costs

first_img the defendant’s acts and omissions must result from the defendant’s loss of control; the loss of control must have a qualifying trigger; and a person of the defendant’s sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint, in the circumstances might have reacted in the same or similar way to the defendant. Murder The Criminal Defence Service (Funding) (Amendment) Order 2012 has come into force for representation orders dated on or after 1 April 2012. This redefines magistrates’ court cases that would fall into category 1. There are now two categories: category 1A earning the higher series of fees; and category 1B earning the lower series of fees. All fees in the magistrates’ court are capable of enhancement in appropriate cases. In the higher category 1A are either-way guilty pleas, indictable only in cases heard in the youth court, and proceedings other than committal proceedings in relation to either-way offences which are discontinued, withdrawn, no evidence offered or result in a bindover. It also appears that, although omitted from the order, either-way offences in the youth court which can only be tried summarily are to be paid within this category. In the lower category 1B are summary only guilty pleas, and also uncontested proceedings arising out of a breach of an order of the magistrates’ court, whatever the original offence. This category applies to proceedings other than committal proceedings relating to summary offences which have been discontinued or withdrawn and no evidence offered, or where there is a bindover. In addition, proceedings arising from the deferment of a sentence for whatever offences are in this lower category, as are prescribed proceedings such as anti-social behaviour order applications and proceedings relating to low-value criminal damage. The order also seeks to clarify the law in relation to page count for the purposes of graduated fees. Witness statements and records of interview, however served, documentary or pictorial exhibits served on paper and documentary or pictorial exhibits served only electronically which previously existed in paper form count towards pages of prosecution evidence (PPE). In addition, although not included within the order, it would appear that ABEs (achieving best evidence interviews) will be dealt with in this way. The difficulties arise over documentary or pictorial exhibits which are served only electronically and which have never existed on paper. Here, special preparation requiring good time-recording and the identification of the fee-earner concerned will be payable unless the appropriate officer decides it would be appropriate to include it in PPE, taking into account the nature of the documents and any other relevant circumstances. Although there is no definition of this phrase, the Legal Services Commission is suggesting that it means PPE will be paid if such a document would until now have been served in paper form, notwithstanding it is now only served electronically. However, the costs judges are at liberty to give such interpretation as they consider appropriate to this phrase. No fee is payable for the consideration of unused material or audio or video tapes. The position in relation to audio tapes was confirmed by Lord Chancellor v McLarty & Co [2011] EWHC V185 (QB), which also confirmed that enhancement cannot be claimed on special preparation but only in relation to confiscation proceedings. A series of cases before the costs judges confirm that the number of cases to be paid graduated fees is an entirely mechanistic process. In R v Bowen [2011] Costs Law Reports 693, there had been a ‘sending’ for murder and a ‘sending’ separately for sexual assault. A purported joinder of those two indictments was in fact in a misjoinder and the trial proceeded on a voluntary bill of indictment. In these circumstances, there had been three indictments and three fees were therefore payable. However, where advocacy fees are concerned it is important to recognise the effect of paragraph 22(2) of schedule 1 to the Criminal Defence Service (Funding) Order 2007. Whatever the number of indictments, only one fee will be payable if they are heard concurrently with mark-ups for each additional indictment. However, where a guilty plea is accepted in one case and no evidence then offered on a separate indictment, the court held in R v Fury [2011] Costs LR 919 that the cases had been heard consecutively and separate fees were therefore payable. The meaning of a trial has been substantially reinterpreted in two key decisions of R v Wembo [2011] Costs LR 926 and Lord Chancellor v Ian Henery Solicitors (2011) EWHC 3246 (QB). In essence the court will now have regard to the substance and not the form. If, in days before the CPR, a hearing would have taken place after the empanelment of a jury then the court will indicate that a trial has begun. On the other hand, the mere empanelment of a jury will not of itself be enough to commence the trial. The meaning of a retrial has also been redefined. In R v Forsyth SCCO 155/10 and R v Cato SCCO 9 March 2012, the judge confirmed that there could only be a retrial when a judge made an order to that effect. This only happens when a jury disagrees and cannot reach a verdict, or when there is an appeal or retrial. Stopping a case part-heard is not enough. In those circumstances the days of the aborted trial will be added to the days of the effective trial often to the advantage of the profession. If two potential defendants are firing guns at each other intending to kill or cause serious injury, not only is the first defendant who actually kills the victim guilty of murder, but so also is the second defendant, either because he aided and abetted the first defendant, or because he was himself a principal as a direct participant engaged with his agreement in unlawful violence specifically designed to cause and in fact causing death (R v Gnango [2011] UKSC 59). There have been two important decisions in relation to the defences to murder available by the amendments made by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. The defence of loss of control was considered in R v Clinton, Parker and Evans [2012] EWCA Crim 2. Under the statutory requirements: The decision in R v Newell [2012] EWCA Crim 650 will do much to ease solicitor concerns about incriminating their clients when completing case management forms, whether in the magistrates’ court or at a plea and case management hearing in the Crown court. While the answers solicitors give on behalf of a client are admissible hearsay, the court indicated that, provided the lawyers are seeking to comply with the Criminal Procedure Rules (CPR), no answer provided by them should be admitted as evidence against the defendant. The discretion under section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 should be exercised to exclude the evidence. This decision is timely because, under a change to the CPR made on 2 April, the court may require that the matters in issue should be identified in writing. In Drinkwater v Solihull Magistrates’ Court [2012] EWHC 765 (Admin), the court confirmed the desirability of a court setting time limits for the examination and cross-examination of witnesses. Solicitors will need to be careful that they estimate sufficient time effectively to undertake their role. However, Drinkwater has a greater importance. While the courts now deprecate the granting of adjournments, a different situation prevails when it is the absence of the defendant that is causing the need for one. Referring to the House of Lords decision in R v Jones [2002] UK HL 5, the court pointed out that discretion to try a person in their absence must be exercised with very great care, and it is only in exceptional cases that it should be exercised. This will obviously include where the absence is a deliberate absconding to slow down the court process. The court was also referred to the decision in Nadour v Chester Magistrates’ Court [2009] EWHC 1505 (Admin), where a defence witness, for good reason, was not able to attend the trial and an adjournment should have been allowed. The decision in R v SVS Solicitors [2012] EWCA Crim causes great concern. There is to be no appeal. The court allowed a wasted costs order against solicitors because they had failed to respond to a hearsay notice. This was despite the fact that the Crown could easily have obtained an order for the giving of the evidence because of a lack of a response. While there was no sanction, other than the inference under section 11 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 in relation to a failure to serve a defence case statement, the court indicated that, if solicitors are not otherwise able to comply with their duties under the rules, they should apply to the court for directions. The court actually suggested that solicitors should withdraw, but this is unlikely to be welcome at any Crown court.center_img However, section 55 of the act, which defines the qualifying triggers, explicitly states that sexual infidelity must be disregarded. But the court has indicated that this will only apply when sexual infidelity is the only reason for the killing. Where other considerations apply the court must look at all aspects of the case so that all the circumstances of the defendant, including the effect of sexual infidelity, are taken into account. In R v Dowds [2012] EWCA Crim 281, the court confirmed that, notwithstanding the new statute, voluntary acute intoxication is not capable of founding diminished responsibility. The presence of a recognised medical condition is a necessary, but not always sufficient, condition to raise that defence. Costs Anthony Edwards, TV Edwardslast_img read more

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Bar: legal aid plans will ‘irreversibly undermine access’

first_img Meanwhile, any savings will be outweighed by the costs of having inexperienced providers offering legal services at the lowest price, with a consequent increase in appeals and miscarriages of justice. The paper says the cuts faced by legal aid lawyers have been the ‘harshest’ anywhere in public services, driving the best lawyers away from public service law, with the greatest impact on female and black and minority lawyers. Further cuts to civil legal aid, the introduction of a residence test and limiting judicial review will ‘severely weaken the fundamental principle of equality before the law’, hitting the most vulnerable, particularly in housing and immigration cases, the Bar Council says. Read the full paper. The Bar Council has also started a petition against the changes with campaigning group 38 Degrees. Another petition, started by Exeter solicitor Rachel Bentley, is on the Number 10 website. If it receives 100,000 signatures, it may lead to a debate in House of Commons. The Bar Council has called on the Ministry of Justice to reconsider its ‘discriminatory’ legal aid cuts that it warns will ‘irreversibly undermine access to justice’ and create a two-tier service. It is urging all barristers to write to their MPs alerting them to the dangers of the plans to make further legal aid cuts and introduce price-competitive tendering (PCT) for criminal cases. In a paper published today, the Bar Council says the proposals will ‘irreversibly undermine access to justice and damage the reputation of the justice system worldwide’. In forthright language, the paper warns that: Removing a suspect’s ability to choose their lawyer will mean that quality disappears. ‘Instead of having equal access to justice regardless of means, we will have a two-tier system: one for those who can afford high-quality representation and one for those who can’t.’ PCT will inhibit competition and make suppliers into ‘processors’ of justice and incentivise them to do the ‘minimum work at the lowest acceptable standard’. Reducing the number of suppliers from 1,600 to a maximum of 400 will create advice deserts, making it harder for millions to get appropriate advice, especially in rural areas.center_img Join our LinkedIn Legal Aid sub-grouplast_img read more

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Phyllis Wins Top Award For Work Around Serious Sleep Condition

first_img“Until now there wasn’t a sleep medicine template anywhere in the world – this is the first that’s been developed globally.“The template sets out how to conduct a structured clinical review of a patient with Sleep Apnea, covering key topics including the wishes of the patient, the acceptance of treatment, how willing they are to continue the treatment, side effects and whether symptoms have resolved.” And she believes there is a definite role for technology in helping people with conditions such as Sleep Apnea. Phyllis said: “Telemedicine really lends itself well to review of Sleep Apnea patients, because you don’t need to be physically handling these patients – you can do a full discussion and consultation without actually seeing them face-to-face.“If a patient comes to Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer I can carry out a consultation with them from Dumfries using a secure system.“And we’re also now exploring the use of the NHS Attend Anywhere system for home use.“Meanwhile, with Telemonitoring we can actually remotely monitor patients at home.“I can send a patient home with a machine which will upload the data from the previous night’s treatment and then I can actually analyse that patient data.” “It’s great that it helps to draw attention to what is a serious medical condition, and it offers a real boost as I near the end of the work I’ve been undertaking in this area.” People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. Phyllis Murphie has been awarded a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Foundation Impact Award for what she has achieved over the last five years around the condition ‘Sleep apnea’, as part of her work towards a PhD in Respiratory Medicine. And on March 21 2019, Phyllis attended an awards event held at the RCN headquarters in Cavendish Square, London, where she collected an award presented for papers she published on her research in 2017 and 2018.RCN Foundation Director Deepa Korea said: “It is vital that nursing staff are supported to develop the skills and expertise to provide the best patient care. Reacting to the award, Phyllis, from Dumfries, said: “I was very excited to learn I was being presented with the Impact Award. Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.center_img She said: “We’ll be looking at numbers, and quantitative and qualitative data.“It’ll be a case of seeing what the clinicians think about the template and if it’s something they will want to use beyond the clinical trial.” In 2016 Phyllis was awarded a bursary to complete the third year of her PhD in Respiratory Medicine through the RCN Foundation’s Professional Bursary Scheme. The scheme offers career development grants that will enhance patient care and development in nursing practice. Dumfries and Galloway Nurse Consultant Phyllis Murphie has been presented with an award by the RCN Foundation for world-first research focused on a serious sleep condition AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInA  NURSE Consultant in Dumfries and Galloway has been honoured with a top award for a world-first project focused on a serious sleep condition. Phyllis’ template can be used either in face-to-face consultations or those conducted remotely using technology. Phyllis’ template is now set to be tested in real-life clinical settings – at clinics taking place in Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness. And this means the brain, and the rest of the body, may not get enough oxygen.Phyllis said: “This is my 22nd year as a respiratory nurse, and I’ve always had an interest in the research side, as well as the clinical side.“Since 2014 I’ve been taking forward research in the areas of Telemedicine, Teleconsultation, Telemonitoring and the use of structured clinical review templates for people with Sleep Apnoea. “Access to high quality education and learning opportunities is central to this, and the RCN Foundation is committed to investing in the nursing workforce in this way.“I am delighted that we can support nursing staff to make an impact on themselves and their patients.”last_img read more

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Every single cent collected, spent on Barbuda says PM

first_img Tweet Share Share NewsRegional Every single cent collected, spent on Barbuda says PM by: – July 10, 2018 Sharing is caring!center_img 24 Views   no discussions Share (Antigua Observer) Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, has denied claims that the government has been slow in spending pledged funds on the restoration of Barbuda.Browne spoke to OBSERVER media over the weekend about an allegation that there has been slow recovery effort on the sister isle, despite the money pledged by foreign governments and individuals.The Prime Minister asserted that every pledge collected so far was spent on Barbuda and he has blamed the Barbuda people for not taking more responsibility for their affairs.“Every single cent that was collected has been spent in Barbuda and more. What needs to happen is Barbudans need to take responsibility to fix their homes. Government cannot resolve all of their financial problems,” Browne said.“We have repaired public institutions and the reality is that Barbuda is significantly better today than it was several months ago, so I do not know what they are complaining about,” he said.The Prime Minister said that the government has received US $10 million, and it still awaiting fulfilment of pledges totalling approximately EC $32 million from foreign governments.“We still have about three million Canadian from the Canadian government, five million euros from the European Union to follow and three million pounds from the United Kingdom (UK) government,” he said.He added that once the money has been collected, it will be spent on repairing critical infrastructure on the sister isle.“It will be going into different projects – housing is one of the most critical projects. We also need to repair the infrastructure as well, especially the river dock that has been severely damaged and not just repair it but upgrade it,” he said.last_img read more

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Barcelona relaxed, fresh ahead of final La Liga push —Valverde

first_imgBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has said his players are not feeling the pressure as they close in on a fourth Liga title in five years.Barca will lift the trophy if they beat Alaves on Tuesday night and Levante on Saturday, although they could wrap up the title on Wednesday if Atletico Madrid loses at home to Valencia.Sitting nine points clear of Atletico with five games left, it appears only a matter of time before Valverde’s side are crowned Spanish champions for the 26th time.“They are used to pressure,” Valverde said at a press conference on Monday night.“The team have always responded in difficult games. We are calm but we know we are in the final stretch now and that always encourages you, it helps you push through to the end.”Winning the league early would allow Barcelona to rest players and focus on their Champions League semi-final against Liverpool. The first leg is at Camp Nou on May 1.They are in contention to win the treble too, with a Copa del Rey final to come against Valencia in Seville on May 25.“The players look fine to me,” Valverde said. “It is normal that at this point you notice a bit of fatigue but we let ourselves be spurred on by our motivation. When you have challenges ahead, your legs always feel fresh.”Barcelona have been La Liga’s frontrunners for months, with Atletico Madrid struggling to exert any real pressure and Real Madrid languishing 13 points behind in third.“It is true that when you win something surprisingly, the joy is greater,” Valverde said.“And when you have a big lead, it becomes predictable. But a predictable victory can also be a great victory.“Last year we were top with a big advantage and this year it is the same.”last_img read more

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