Australia promises sweeping reform to address rampant industry misconduct

first_imgGavel and legal books olegdudko/123RF Volcker Rule revisions meet with U.S. industry approval Big banks bolstered by reforms: FSB Pandemic at top of global regulators’ agenda James Langton Australia’s government is promising action to restore confidence in the financial industry, following a Royal Commission inquiry, which found widespread misconduct by the industry at the expense of customers.The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry published its final report today, which sets out a series of 76 recommendations for reform to address the pervasive exploitation of the industry’s customers. Related news “Saying sorry and promising not to do it again has not prevented recurrence. The time has come to decide what is to be done in response to what has happened,” the report says, in setting out a series of recommendations that aim to bolster consumer protections; increase accountability and governance standards; enhance the effectiveness of regulators; and improve access to remediation for victims of industry misconduct.Among other things, the report points to compensation schemes that solely reward sales, the lack of best interest standards, and an absence of accountability for misconduct as some of the core issues identified in the review.“Rewarding misconduct is wrong. Yet incentive, bonus and commission schemes throughout the financial services industry have measured sales and profit, but not compliance with the law and proper standards,” the report says.It points out that customers have little to no ability to negotiate the terms of transactions with the industry, due to the huge imbalance in market power and knowledge. The report also highlights the prevalence of conflicts of interest. “The interests of client, intermediary and provider of a product or service are not only different, they are opposed,” it says. “An intermediary who seeks to ‘stand in more than one canoe’ cannot.”Moreover, it says that efforts to manage those conflicts invariably fail. “[E]xperience shows that conflicts between duty and interest can seldom be managed; self-interest will almost always trump duty,” it says, adding that it heard evidence that conflicts are almost always resolved in favour of the industry, and against clients’ interests.Additionally, when industry firms violate the law, they are not properly held accountable, the report concludes. “Misconduct will be deterred only if entities believe that misconduct will be detected, denounced and justly punished. Misconduct, especially misconduct that yields profit, is not deterred by requiring those who are found to have done wrong to do no more than pay compensation. And wrongdoing is not denounced by issuing a media release,” it says.In response to the report, Australia’s treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, pledged that the government will take action on all of the report’s recommendations.“In outlining the government’s response to the Royal Commission, the government’s principal focus is on restoring trust in our financial system and delivering better consumer outcomes, while maintaining the flow of credit and continuing to promote competition,” he said.The report follows 68 days of public hearings and more than 10,000 public submissions into financial industry conduct.“My message to the financial sector is that misconduct must end and the interests of consumers must now come first. From today the sector must change, and change forever,” Frydenberg added.To test whether that happens, the government also pledged to launch an independent inquiry in three years to assess whether industry practices have changed following the Royal Commission and are producing better consumer outcomes. Keywords Financial services reform,  Australia Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Learn more →

Fidelity launches new ETFs

first_img Ninepoint launches three ETFs on NEO Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter BMO InvestorLine launches commission-free trading for ETFs Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords ETFs IE Staff Schmehl seeks to invest in companies that will benefit from innovative emerging technologies or business models, while Moore and Plage aim to generate income through global investment-grade bonds and higher-yielding, lower-quality fixed income securities.Fidelity has also launched two single-ticket asset allocation ETFs, both of which are subadvised by Geode Capital Management.The Fidelity All-in-One Balanced ETF invests primarily in other Fidelity ETFs to generate a diversified portfolio of global securities, with a 60% allocation to equities and a 40% allocation to fixed income.The Fidelity All-in-One Growth ETF also invests in other Fidelity ETFs to create a global portfolio with an 85% allocation to equities and a 15% allocation to fixed income.The funds began trading Tuesday on the NEO exchange. stage curtain dvarg/123RF Fidelity Investments Canada ULC has launched three new ETFs.The Fidelity Multi-Asset Innovation Fund offers investors a global balanced portfolio of equity and fixed income securities. The fund is managed Mark Schmehl, who is responsible for equities, and Jeff Moore and Michael Plage, who are responsible for fixed income. Desjardins to close four ETFslast_img read more

Learn more →

Calling on all parts of society to increase climate ambition

first_imgCalling on all parts of society to increase climate ambition Thank you for that introduction, John.Very shortly after being appointed to my COP26 role, I visited the United Nations in New York to speak to Permanent Representatives alongside the Secretary General. And on this trip, one meeting struck a particular chord.It was an informal discussion with Permanent Representatives from developing nations, and we were going round the table, with everyone explaining what climate change meant for their country.And when we got to the representative from one of the small island developing states. She said quite simply ‘Unless we tackle climate change urgently, I won’t have a place to call home.’Now for many people across the world, the situation is literally as stark as that.And that is why we need to work with the greatest urgency to tackle climate change. And ultimately this will require a joint effort on the part of governments, businesses, investors, cities, and regions working in partnership.To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, we must decarbonise the global economy up to five times faster over the next 10 years than we have over the past 20 years.And that is why I am calling on all parts of society to increase their ambition, and to focus efforts on five critical areas: restoring nature, adaptation and resilience, clean energy, clean transport, and finance.Businesses realise that going green is not just the right thing to do, but it is also what their customers want, and increasingly what drives shareholder value.Analysis suggests, and many of you will know this, that investments in renewables create more jobs than the equivalent in coal, oil, and gas. Over the past decade we know that the cost of solar power has fallen by 85% and that of wind power by almost 50%. Both are now cheaper than new coal and gas plants in two-thirds of countries.And that is why the likes of ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and NAB – all major investors – have said they will stop investing in coal power.Globally, finance is also turning to clean sectors.Last month, for example, iron ore giant, Fortescue announced plans to build more than 235 gigawatts of renewable capacity.Our green global future creates enormous opportunities for countries and companies.And here in the United Kingdom we are seizing those opportunities.We have developed the world’s largest offshore wind sector, and we will accelerate that success with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new plan for a green industrial revolution, which was announced last month, and this includes a commitment to quadruple our offshore wind capacity within a decade, supporting many thousands of jobs.And in the UK, we’ve demonstrated that green growth is absolutely possible. Over the last 30 years, we’ve managed to grow our economy by 75%, and cut our emissions by 43%.In our experience, setting targets provides investors with confidence and clarity. We were the first major economy to legislate for net-zero emissions by 2050.And the momentum is now building behind similar targets around the world. Globally more than 120 countries have made carbon neutrality or net zero announcements. And this includes recent examples of targets from Japan, from South Korea, from China, and I urge all other countries to join them.On 12th December the UK, the UN and France will co-host a summit, in partnership with Italy and Chile, to mark the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement.And we are calling on leaders from across the world to use this moment to announce ambitious climate commitments.On emissions reductions, on climate finance, and on adaptation.And we need everyone to play their part. The Race to Zero campaign is a coalition of cities, regions, businesses, and investors which have committed, through science-based targets, to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. They already collectively account for 50% of the world’s economy, and 25% of its emissions.And I would like to thank Australia’s States and Territories which have all made commitments to reach net-zero by 2050. And I urge all of you who have not already done so to join the Race to Zero Campaign.I also ask investors to sign up to disclose climate risk in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.This will become mandatory in the UK by 2025 and we need investors around the world to join us.The world we live in is changing. Growth is increasingly green. And by working together, we can bring about the change that we need, and ultimately help preserveour planet for future generations.Thank you. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:ANZ, Australia, Chile, China, France, future generation, Government, industrial revolution, Italy, Japan, NAB, New York, Paris, South Korea, UK, UK Government, United Kingdomlast_img read more

Learn more →

Civil news changes to mortgage debt in eligibility calculations

first_imgCivil news changes to mortgage debt in eligibility calculations An important change to the eligibility criteria is happening with the removal of the mortgage cap as part of the means test for civil legal aid.Recent legislation has removed the existing cap on the amount of mortgage debt that can be deducted from a property’s value, so that all mortgage debt will be deducted.This means that more individuals will pass the financial eligibility criteria for civil legal aid.We are in the process of implementing the necessary changes made to the regulations to make sure that claimants with a mortgage over a specific value are not disadvantaged in applying for legal aid.Legal Aid Agency (LAA) Chief Executive, Jane Harbottle said:The LAA is working to implement these important changes as quickly as possible and I would like to acknowledge this work to support families experiencing difficult circumstances.This change, together with specific compensation schemes being excluded from our calculations for legal aid will help to widen access to justice in civil cases of law.CCMS updateOur system is going through a process of transition to accommodate the latest changes.While this is taking place, if you have an application for a client with a mortgage, submit the application and caseworkers will make any necessary amendments to ensure the full amount of any outstanding mortgage/secured loan is taken into account.Forms updateThe changes to eligibility regulations have been reflected in the civil legal aid application forms.Previous versions of the application forms will continue to be accepted until 31 March 2021.However, the previous forms will still refer to the mortgage cap and providers must ensure that the correct regulations are applied in the calculation of an individual’s means and therefore the full mortgage/secured loan must be deducted.Please make use of the new forms as soon as possible. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:compensation, disadvantaged, Government, justice, law, legislation, loan, mortgage, property, UK, UK Governmentlast_img read more

Learn more →

Colorado oil and gas study concludes with energy insights

first_imgThe $12 million AirWaterGas project was funded by the National Science Foundation to study the environmental, economic, and social tradeoffs of oil and gas development and their relation to public policies and regulations.A massive research and education effort on energy and environmental issues led by CU Boulder engineering faculty is ending after a five-year run with significant results relevant to Colorado’s growing energy industry.The $12 million AirWaterGas project was funded by the National Science Foundation to study the environmental, economic, and social tradeoffs of oil and gas development and their relation to public policies and regulations.The broad project included detailed scientific research into air and water quality and sponsored many public outreach events along the Front Range. Researchers from a variety of disciplines and institutions, including regional universities (Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University) and research organizations (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Renewable Energy Laboratory) participated in the network. CU Boulder Professor Joe Ryan served as the faculty director for the project. He said his team’s goal was to have more science considered in decisions about oil and gas regulation. Overall, there were several important findings from the project to that end: Studies from the AWG air quality team show that fugitive emissions of methane to the atmosphere are as much as three times higher than previous estimates. They also examined the potential economic and environmental trade-offs of limiting those emissions.The AWG water quality team screened hundreds of ingredients of hydraulic fracturing fluid for the most mobile, persistent, and toxic, and identified 19 that would be most likely to contaminate groundwater if released.  The City and County of Broomfield used this research to demand that oil and gas operators not use those 19 ingredients in future hydraulic fracturing in their county.The AWG water quality team also looked into conditions leading to methane in well water in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin. Their research showed that oil and gas drilling is the likely cause in about 5 percent of the cases of methane occurrence and that these occurrences all involved old oil and gas wells.  The AWG regulations team created a national database of state oil and gas regulations to facilitate comparison of the states’ varied approaches to regulation and a Colorado database of memoranda of understanding between local governments and oil and gas operators. The goal was to provide stakeholders with information to improve upon these alternatives to state regulation.Ryan said Colorado served as a fertile testbed for much of the work thanks to fast growth of oil and gas development here, the presence of three different kinds of oil and gas basins, the availability of data collected by the state, and recently, the ballot initiatives about oil and gas drilling setbacks.“We recognized that those affected by the rush of oil and gas development happening right now, particularly in Colorado, were getting info from two opposing sides – the oil and gas industry and environment groups,” he said. “They didn’t have a way to reconcile that information and make judgements. Hopefully, the research of the AirWaterGas network does that and helps people recognize that there are pros and cons to a lot of these decisions and no easy answers.”Ryan said he was especially proud of the outreach the project did along the Front Range including programs at local schools and participating in public forums, which was supported through the Office of Outreach and Engagement. Several of these efforts included small community grants to help fund continuing education for students, particularly in small cities like Paonia in western Colorado that are dealing with energy development.“That was something we will look back on and say ‘we made an impact on a small scale with those individuals,’” Ryan said of the school grants. “If you can get them thinking about these things in high school, it’s something they will be better prepared to make decisions about as adults.” Published: Oct. 10, 2018 • By Josh Rhoten CU Boulder Professor Joe Ryan said he was especially proud of the outreach the project did along the Front Range including programs at local schools and participating in public forums like this one on air quality.The research network was made up of 27 funded investigators from 10 institutions on 12 topic-focused research teams. Other CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty involved in the project were Professors Mike Hannigan and Jana Milford, both in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Professors Karl Linden, Joe Kasprzyk and Harihar Rajaram in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering.Ryan, who serves in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, said one of the benefits of a project this large and long was the expertise each researcher would be taking with them to the next project, which are likely to be smaller and more focused, but still often requiring a multidisciplinary approach.“Trying to address these different elements was challenging, not only because of the normal organizational problems that come with a group this large, but also because of the political nature of the problem as well,” he said. “But there’s now a lot of expertise to build on.”  Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via E-maillast_img read more

Learn more →

Jamaican Assistant Professor Gets UNIA Award

first_imgAdvertisements Story HighlightsAssistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University, Jamaica born Dr. Basil Morgan, is the recipient of the 2014 Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Award.It was presented to him by the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM), at its annual Independence Ball commemorating the country’s 52nd year of independence, on Saturday, August 9.Dr. Morgan has given much to Jamaica and the Caribbean Diaspora in the areas of general health and eye care. Jamaican Assistant Professor Gets UNIA AwardJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay RelatedService of Thanksgiving for Vin Martin Photo: JIS PhotographerMaryland House of Delegates Representative and founding member of the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM), Shirley Natham-Pulliam (2nd left), presents the 2014 Marcus Garvey UNIA award to Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University, Jamaican born Dr. Basil Morgan (3rd left), at JAM’s annual Independence Ball commemorating the country’s 52nd year of independence on Saturday, August 9, at the Martin West Ballroom in Baltimore, Maryland. Sharing in the occasion (from left) are: President of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), Rick Nugent and President of (JAM), Mr. Noel Godfrey. RelatedGovernment Committed to Strengthening Ties With Diaspora – PMcenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Jamaican Assistant Professor Gets UNIA Award Foreign AffairsAugust 11, 2014Written by: Derrick Scott, Information Attache (Jamaican Embassy, USA) RelatedAmbassador Vasciannie to Chair OAS Committee Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University, Jamaica born Dr. Basil Morgan, is the recipient of the 2014 Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Award.It was presented to him by the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM), at its annual Independence Ball commemorating the country’s 52nd year of independence, on Saturday, August 9, at the Martin West Ballroom in Baltimore, Maryland.Presenting the award, Maryland House of Delegates Representative and founding member of JAM, Shirley Natham-Pulliam, said Dr. Morgan has given much to Jamaica and the Caribbean Diaspora in the areas of general health and eye care.She noted that the award was presented for Dr. Morgan’s outstanding achievement in medicine and that he was a well-deserved recipient.Accepting the award, Dr. Morgan, who hails from the parish of Clarendon, said he was honoured to be recognized in this way and was committed to serving the people of Jamaica as well as the Caribbean.The Marcus Garvey Award is presented annually by JAM to a Jamaican who has distinguished him or herself in his or her chosen career.In his message, Lieutenant Governor for the state of Maryland, Anthony Brown, called on Jamaicans to take the opportunity to reflect on the struggles of independence and how that journey and the 52 years of freedom have shaped the story of the people.“For so many of us, it is a reminder of our own family’s journey to the United States.  It is a celebration of freedom that allows us to share our rich culture and heritage with our friends and neighbours, both here in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.  It was this freedom along with the chance to obtain an education and pursue the American dream that assured my father when he left Kingston and came to the USA so many years ago,” said Mr. Brown, who is of Jamaican heritage.Meanwhile, President of JAM, Mr. Noel Godfrey, said that, “as we celebrate Jamaica’s independence this year, it is important for us to reflect on the past achievements while looking towards the future.”He argued that if JAM is to survive as an association, it must now turn its attention to attracting the younger generation.For his part, President of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), Rick Nugent, commended the association for the deep commitment it continues to demonstrate in seeking to provide scholarships for needy students in the USA and Jamaica.The final curtain will come down on Independence celebrations in Washington on Friday, August 16, when the Washington based Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA) will host its Annual Independence Ball, under the distinguished patronage of Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie.last_img read more

Learn more →

Na takes 1-shot lead into final round at Colonial

first_imgFORT WORTH, Texas – The last time Kevin Na took the lead into the final round of a tournament, he faltered badly. For Ian Poulter, though he laughs about it, there is that anonymous survey of PGA Tour players done by Sports Illustrated where he and Rickie Fowler tied as the most overrated player on tour. Na and Poulter both have a chance to change perceptions at Colonial. With a birdie on the 17th hole Saturday, after the pair played from almost the same spot, Na regained the outright lead for a one-stroke advantage over Poulter going into the final round at a very damp Hogan’s Alley. “When it comes to crunch time, you’ve got to trust your stroke and just stay in the moment,” Na said when asked about a chance for his second PGA Tour victory Sunday. At The Players Championship three years ago, Na led after 54 holes before closing with a 76. He shared the second-round lead there this month before Fowler’s victory that Poulter alluded to this week. “Rickie went out there and obviously made amends,” Poulter said, referring to the SI survey. Na shot a 1-under 69 on Saturday, a round that included a couple of bogeys, to reach 11-under 199. Poulter had a 68. Poulter made a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 7 for a share of the lead at 10 under. He was still part of the lead after a sand save at No. 9, where he blasted to 6 feet from a bunker to save par. Crowne Plaza Invitational: Articles, videos and photos But he dropped out of the lead after starting the back nine with a four-putt double bogey from 16 feet at No. 10. A 3-footer on his third putt doing a U-turn around the cup without going in, though he got one of those strokes back with a 6-foot birdie putt at the 635-yard 11th. Poulter got even again with a 32-foot birdie putt at No. 15, the same hole Na two-putted from 6 feet after his approach missed the green. “Pleased with how I played, just a little mishap there on 10,” Poulter said. “It didn’t break, and then a few more putts it took to get in the hole.” With their golf balls close to each other on the 17th green, Poulter had a 15-foot birdie try that slid by the hole. But Na then made his 14-footer after watching no break in Poulter’s putt. “I trusted my read, a little outside right and it turned nicely into the hole,” Na said. “It was nice because I was under par going into the last hole.” With the leaders teeing off at 9:10 a.m., and playing in threesomes instead of the normal weekend twosomes, play was completed about 2 p.m. Saturday. That was about 3 1/2 hours earlier than usual for a weekend round for Colonial leaders. PGA Tour officials moved up play because of the threat of severe afternoon storms. There were overcast and muggy conditions, with some light rain but no delays. Heavy rain was forecast overnight and into Sunday, with plans again for threesomes and early tee times off both Nos. 1 and 10 for the final round. Charley Hoffman has third at 9 under after a 66. Chris Kirk, a two-time PGA Tour winner last season, had a 65 for the best round of the day and was tied for fourth at 8 under with Brandt Snedeker (66). Defending champion Adam Scott carded his second consecutive 66 since an opening 72. He was tied for 10th at 6 under in a group that included Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old Masters champion from Dallas playing the first of consecutive weeks at home in North Texas. Spieth, the first-round co-leader after a 64, followed his second-round 73 with a 67. George McNeill got off to a fast start, with four birdies on the first six holes, matching Na at 10 under after the second-round leader had already given back the stroke he earned with his 16-foot birdie putt at No. 3. Na had a bogey at No. 5, the par 4 along the Trinity River that is the hardest hole on the course. Na hit a tee shot into the hazard and had to take a penalty drop. McNeill, playing in the group directly ahead of Na, rolled in a 16-foot birdie putt at No. 5 and an 11-footer at No. 6 to get to 10 under. But McNeill hit his drive at No. 12 into the rough and wound up with the first of three bogeys in five holes. He was 7 under after a 69.last_img read more

Learn more →

Doctors appeal against assault conviction adjourned

first_imgHomepage BannerNews Google+ By News Highland – May 5, 2015 WhatsApp Donegal hoteliers enjoy morale boost as bookings increase Facebook Pinterest Today is the 30th anniversary of Eddie Fullerton’s murder Twitter WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Hospitalisations rise as Donnelly suggests masks will stay ’til autumn center_img 45 new social homes to be built in Dungloe Google+ Previous articleNational cancer study shows levels in Donegal were below the national averageNext articleGovernment cannot wash its hands of the repossession crisis – Doherty News Highland Doctors appeal against assault conviction adjourned Facebook Disruption to cancer service will increase mortality – Oncologist Pinterest Consultation launched on proposal to limit HGV traffic in Clady An anesthetist who was convicted last month of assaulting police after a Christmas night out has had her appeal against conviction and sentence adjourned at today’s sitting of Derry Crown Court.Dr Eireann Kerr, 32 from Marlborough Park South in Belfast, was convicted of committing the four offences inside Derry’s Strand Road Police Headquarters following a Christmas works party night out with medical colleagues on 13 December, 2013.She was convicted of the offences even though the court was told that there were traces of the date rape drug GHB in her system and that it was believed her drink had been spiked.Following her conviction a defence solicitor Mr. Derwin Harvey said his client would be appealing against conviction and sentence.At today’s sitting of the Crown Court Mr. Eoghan Devlin said that he had written to the PPS and the Crown would need two to three weeks ‘to consider all the matters I intend to raise.’A barrister for the PPS said that the Crown had an obligation to review all matters relevant to a case.He said in this case the public interest aspect had been reviewed since the conviction in April.He added that the PPS had not yet received the formal letter relating to this matter.Granting the application to adjourn the case Judge Philip Babington said he wanted the case to proceed as quickly as possible as ‘justice delayed is often justice denied.’Setting a review date of June 5 the judge said if the case was to go ahead he wanted it to take place before the summer break.Eireann Kerr sat in the dock during the brief hearing but did not speak.During the original hearing the court had been told that a conviction could have implications for the doctor’s career.Deputy District Judge Peter King who heard the original case said that Kerr was a woman of good character and he accepted that GHB had been “surreptitiously administered into her drink with no doubt nefarious motives. The administration of this date rape drug was the cause of her gross change in character”.However, Mr King said involuntary intoxication was not a defence to a criminal charge.”It does not give me any pleasure at all in finding you guilty. I believe that the person responsible probably intended to commit more serious crimes against you. Any sanction which falls on you in this court will be felt more heavily outside of this court,” he said.Dr Kerr had been sentenced to a conditional discharge of two months. Twitterlast_img read more

Learn more →

News / Sub-continent faces severe congestion as strikes and rules delay shipments

first_img A three-day freight forwarder shutdown in Pakistan has just ended after the government agreed to listen to the demands of the shipping community and re-examine an 8% tax on turnover which had been imposed.More than 700 freight forwarders, including the local offices of many multinationals, shut their operations on Tuesday claiming the new tax would force them to work at a loss. The shutdown affected airports and ports, although, according to one source, some 50% of shipping lines were continuing to ship goods after negotiating directly with exporters.This afternoon, local time, the forwarders association, PIFFA, and the air cargo agents association, ACAAP, met with the Ministry of Commerce. The three-day shutdown was estimated to have cost the country $300m in lost exports, and it is expected it will take three weeks to clear the backlog. The parties have formed a committee, which will meet in one week’s time to negotiate further. If the government does not agree to a climb-down on the controversial tax, the forwarders will close again.“We cannot pay more tax than we earn,” Mohsin Dharsi, chief executive of Karachi Cargo Services and former chair of ACAAP, told The Loadstar. “It’s better not to work at all than work at a loss. We could consider a lower percentage than 8% but it must be adjustable [against income tax].” Mr Dharsi said that exporters had been supportive of the shutdown. “It’s the perishable shippers I feel sorry for, but we have been doing this for the exporters. If the government does not agree we have to put up our costs and Pakistan’s exporters will be the losers. Bangladesh, China and India will benefit and they will get the business.”However, congestion has been building up at other cargo gateways in the Indian sub-continent, especially at Bangladesh’s only container terminal Chittagong, where vessels are being delayed by days before berthing, with forwarders and carriers seemingly at a loss at how to prevent it, or circumvent it.The main cause appears to be the insistence of the port authority – which also operates the container terminal – that laden import containers be unstuffed within the confines of the box terminal rather than at an inland depot, which has led to a build-up of empty boxes in the terminal.According to Chittagong Port Authority’s own statistics, vessel turnaround time in July declined from three days to five and half per container vessel, and anecdotal evidence suggested that some feeder ship operators were being forced by the port authority to load empty import boxes out of the terminal rather than laden export boxes as a way of clearing the terminal, but further throwing vessels off schedules.One major European retailer told The Loadstar that it had effectively had to add a week to its supply chain, as the unreliability of feeder schedules meant that cargo often missed transhipment connections at Colombo, Port Klang or Singapore.And for retailers eager to begin the pre-Christmas stockpiling process, air freight out of the country is unlikely to offer much relief, with forwarders reporting delays on cargo of between five and six days, mainly due to congestion within its cargo terminal, as well as a lack of uplift capacity on the narrowbody passenger planes that serve Bangladesh.Meanwhile, a wave of general strikes in India this week have also hit the port sector, with workers in Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Chennai and other government-run gateways joining workers across a host of industries in launching industrial action in protest against proposed labour reforms in the country. Karachi port: Muhammad Ameencenter_img By Alex Lennane and Gavin van Marle 03/09/2015last_img read more

Learn more →

News / Hanjin Shipping postpones first meeting with creditors claiming $26 billion

first_imgBy Mike Wackett 09/01/2017 Hanjin Shipping has postponed its first meeting with creditors – owed around $26 billion – until 31 March.The meeting was scheduled to be held at the Seoul Central District Court on Friday.According to South Korean media reports, quoting court sources, claims registered so far have totalled more than five times the $5bn of debt Hanjin apparently had when it filed for court protection on 31 August last year.Not all have been verified, and some could be duplications, but Hanjin Shipping is by far the biggest container bankruptcy in the industry’s 60-year history, dwarfing the crash of United States Lines in 1986. By 10 October 2016, 3,000 creditors had lodged claims for some $800m, but this figure represented only the amount approved by the bankruptcy court at that time. Indeed, Greek containership owner Danaos, which had eight vessels chartered to Hanjin on a fixed-rate, long-term basis, said in its third-quarter filing it had submitted a claim of $598m, representing contracted revenue.Shipowners, ship mortgage providers and container leasing companies head the list of creditors, but the sudden crash of the world’s seventh-biggest container line will leave thousands of counterparties around the world facing the prospect of seeing next to nothing back from the minimal assets of the bankrupt carrier, potentially put some out of business.Conversely, millions of dollars of freight revenue due to Hanjin remains unpaid as shippers try to set these amounts against additional charges and delays they have suffered as a result of the sudden cessation of services.Around 500,000 teu of cargo, valued at some $12bn, on 100 ships was stranded around the world when a stand-off between Hanjin’s main creditor, the state-owned Korean Development Bank, and parent Hanjin Group over additional funding resulted in the carrier seeking court protection.The company is expected to be liquidated after an audit from PriceWaterhouseCoopers said Hanjin had no value as a going concern.Meanwhile, confirmation is still awaited on the sale of its Asia-US transpacific business to South Korea’s SM Group.Last week the SM Group said its board of directors had turned down a proposal for its subsidiary, bulk carrier Korean Line, to acquire the business from receivers, citing a “lack of experience” in the container industry and a possible “cash shortage” from the heavy investment needed.However, a spokesperson for the SM Group said the deal could still go through.“There is a clause stipulating that a separate corporate body can still acquire the asset when the proposal is turned down at a stakeholders meeting.”He added that the company would “proceed with related procedures” to acquire the route.last_img read more

Learn more →