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BlackRock Canada extends fee waiver

first_img BlackRock Asset Management Canada Ltd. said Monday evening that it has agreed to extend a partial waiver of the annual management fee that would otherwise be payable by each of iShares MSCI EAFE Minimum Volatility Index ETF (TSX:XMI) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility Index ETF (TSX:XMM). After giving effect to the waiver, BlackRock Canada is entitled to receive an annual management fee from XMI equal to 0.35% of the net asset value of XMI and an annual management fee from XMM equal to 0.40% of the net asset value of XMM. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media IE Staff Facebook LinkedIn Twittercenter_img Companies BlackRock Canada The waiver will expire on Nov. 30, 2015 for XMI, and on Dec. 31, 2015 for XMM. BlackRock Canada say it may discontinue, amend or extend the Waiver at any time without giving notice to (other than by press release) or seeking approval from unitholders of XMI or XMM. Without the waiver, XMI’s annual management fee would be 0.45% of the fund’s net asset value and XMM’s annual management fee would be 0.79% of the fund’s net asset value.last_img read more

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Boomers’ visions of retirement off the mark

first_img Tessie Sanci Baby boomers who are approaching retirement may be surprised at the realities they will face regarding the timing of their retirement and how they will actually spend their retirement, according to a study conducted for Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). The 2015 RBC Retirement Myths and Realities poll surveyed pre-retirement baby boomers and retired boomers to see if the expectations of those pre-retirees are consistent with the experience of actual retirees. The results indicate that expectations are often not in line with reality. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Earnings surge for Great-West Lifeco in Q4 Related news Snowbirds win legal battle to reinstate out-of-province medical coverage Survey finds Canadians aren’t sure how much they’ll need for retirement One of the reasons that boomers’ intentions do not always materialize is because they tend to think in set dollar terms of what retirement will cost as opposed to understanding how they are going to spend their time retirement, says Sandra Abdool, regional financial planning consultant with RBC in Burlington, Ont. Thus, financial advisors with boomer clients approaching retirement should go beyond these clients’ set dollar figures and get them to talk about how they see their time in retirement unfolding, she says, which will, in turn, help advisors create an appropriate retirement strategy. “Until we understand what [retirement] represents for each client, it’s really difficult to truly plan for the future of that client,” says Abdool. This also presents an opportunity for advisors to help clients understand that their retirement can unfold in a completely different manner than what they expected, as the recent RBC poll demonstrates. A striking difference exists, for example, in the issue of choosing when to retire. Eighty percent of pre-retirees say they expect to choose their retirement date themselves, but 43% of retirees say they did not make that choice. The reasons they gave include health, the need to be a caregiver to someone else and an employer’s request. The possibility of a more sudden retirement date needs to be approached with each client individually, Abdool says: “[Advisors] and clients don’t know which of our clients will fall into that 43%, but if we plan for it, it provides clients with the flexibility if it were to happen to them.” As well, when pre-retirees were asked how they believe they will spend their time in retirement, the most popular answer, from 70% of respondents, is “travel”; 64% say they will take time for themselves. However, the reverse is true for retirees: 72% say they are taking time for themselves and 62% say they are travelling. Respondents were also asked about what they would miss about their working days. Forty-nine per-cent of pre-retirees feel they will miss their paycheque the most. But that is a concern for only 26% of those already in retirement. The most popular response to this question for retirees (51%) was “socializing/interacting with colleagues.” Helping clients understand that their social network will change is not only a wake-up call to those who think money is the most important change, but also an important way to determine the financial resources clients will need, Abdool says. For example, a client who sees a simple lifestyle of staying in his or her community and volunteering will require different funding than a client who would like to keep up with friends at a golf course. RBC also looked into retirement income expectations for pre-retirement single women who are unmarried, widowed, separated or divorced; as well as business owners. In a separate study, RBC examined the same issue among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The poll found that the single women and business owners were equally worried (41%) that they would not have enough money to support their lifestyle when they retire. Almost one-third (30%) of LGBT pre-retirees shared similar concerns that their funds would be inadequate for them to experience the retirement they envision. Ipsos Reid conducted the sixth annual RBC Retirement Myths and Realities poll through online interviews between Mar. 16 and Mar. 24. The survey used a national sample of 2,223 adults aged 50 or older who have household assets of at least $100,000. Keywords RetirementCompanies Royal Bank of Canada Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more

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Fed advisors call for higher retirement age and, possibly, national child care

first_img Feds to post deficits $8 billion bigger than expected over next two years: PBO report The Trudeau government’s economic advisory council is recommending Ottawa raise the age of retirement eligibility and explore a national child-care program to boost much-needed participation in the country’s workforce. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords Ottawa Ottawa to release competitiveness plan in fall economic statement Highlights of the federal government’s fall fiscal update Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter The proposals were among a collection of new suggestions released Monday by the government’s hand-picked growth council. The ideas are widely expected to help the government frame parts of the upcoming federal budget. The advisors zeroed in on what they called a need to increase labour-force participation from under-represented groups such as indigenous people, lower-income earners, women with kids and older workers. To encourage older Canadians to work longer, the council recommended the ages of eligibility for old age security and the Canada Pension Plan be “recalibrated and increased” to address the impacts of the country’s aging society and longer life expectancies. The idea contrasts with the Liberal government’s move, based on a 2015 campaign vow, to reverse a controversial decision taken by the former Conservative government and return old age security eligibility to 65 from 67. Raising the eligibility age so that it closes the gap between Canada and industrialized countries with the highest labour participation rate among workers 55 and over could add $56 billion to the gross domestic product, the council’s report said. The document also suggested Ottawa allow old age security and the CPP deferrals beyond age 70 and ensure that deferrals past 65 are more attractive. The council’s chair stressed Monday that any policy changes should take into consideration the differing abilities of some groups of older Canadians to continue working, particularly those in physically demanding jobs. “We are for more able-bodied Canadians to work longer in the system,” said Dominic Barton, who is the managing director of global consulting giant McKinsey & Co. “For those who can, we do think we should look at incentives to try and encourage them to be able to work.” Indeed, later Monday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government is looking at ways to encourage people to stay in the labour force, if they choose to keep working and are able to do so. He added Ottawa would consider the council’s recommendation to increase participation among people who are able to keep working. “We moved the age of the old age security system to age 65 recognizing that a significant number of Canadians are very challenged to work past that time,” Morneau told reporters. “We also want to be sure that we think about the demographic challenges that are to come.” As it maps out future plans, he said the government would also consider the council’s other recommendations, which he noted were partially based on 29,000 formal submissions from Canadians. The report also proposed boosting the economy by raising labour-force participation for women with children through the possible creation of a subsidized national child-care program similar to the Quebec model. Ottawa is already in talks with the provinces about expanding early childhood education. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the other recommendations in Monday’s report: Ensuring workers upgrade their skills to better match the rapidly changing needs of the labour market with help from a new, arm’s-length national organization. The report recommended Ottawa invest $100 million in each of the next five years to establish an agency that would develop new approaches to retrain workers. It warned that nearly half of Canadian jobs are at high risk of being affected by future technological change, such as automation. Taking steps to make Canada more productive, such as improving access to capital for promising firms and ensuring procurement policies help support fast-growing businesses. Developing strategies to make the most of what it sees as vast untapped potential in up to eight key Canadian sectors by identifying and removing obstacles such as regulatory hurdles. The report recommended a pilot project for the agriculture and food industry, where it said there is still room for material economic gains to be made. Expanding trade to deepen the relationships with the United States and Mexico as well as forging closer ties with China, Japan and India. It suggested making greater investments in trade-related infrastructure, such as ports and highways. “Much like ‘tools in a tool kit,’ these recommendations can be used in concert and with strategic intent to dramatically accelerate growth,” the group said in its report. “Realizing such an ambitious aspiration, amid rapid economic and societal change, will require focused, persistent and concerted action.” The experts reaffirmed their long-term objective to help add $15,000 to the annual pre-tax incomes of Canadian households, above their current projections, by 2030. Their prescriptions come as the economy struggles to crawl out of a prolonged slow-growth rut. The Trudeau government is widely expected to implement at least some — and perhaps many — of the council’s suggestions in its spring budget, which will be tabled in the coming weeks. Last fall, the council provided prescriptions for Ottawa on attracting more talent through immigration, increasing infrastructure investments and luring more foreign investment. Ottawa appeared to agree with many of the group’s suggestions. About two weeks later, Morneau tabled a fall economic statement that contained new policy directions featuring many elements of the council’s proposals. Photo coprighty: jiawangkun/123RF Andy Blatchford Canada could be facing significant “tax gap,” report finds last_img read more

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$2.7 million to help support and rebuild Australia’s volunteer workforce

first_img$2.7 million to help support and rebuild Australia’s volunteer workforce The Morrison Government will deliver $2.7 million across 779 local community organisations to support the work of the Australia’s volunteers.This funding is in addition to the $9.2 million distributed nationally to 2,699 community organisations this year as part of the 2019-20 Volunteer Grants round.Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services, Luke Howarth, said the funding will provide a much needed boost for charity and community organisations who play an essential role in helping, supporting and uniting Australian communities.“The Morrison Government recognises the vital work of organisations who have supported communities through a very difficult year,” Assistant Minister Howarth said.“While the work of volunteers may be unpaid, it is not unrecognised and we understand that volunteer organisations will continue to have an enormous challenge in the year ahead.“This extra support could not come at a better time and will help more organisations re-connect with their volunteers as restrictions ease and the economy strengthens.”Grants of up to $5000 are being provided to community organisations across the country. The 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants funding round was open to organisations that had not received funding in the 2019-20 Volunteer Grants round earlier this year. This helped ensure a wide distribution of funds across community organisations.As we mark International Volunteer Day this weekend on 5 December Mark Pearce, the Chief Executive Officer of the national volunteering peak body, Volunteering Australia, said the funding will be used to purchase small equipment, pay for fuel, transport and training costs.“In the wake of COVID-19, community organisations are in need of funds to support and enable their volunteering programs to continue delivering the important work they do across Australia. This grant round assists them in their mission”, Mr Pearce said.Volunteer peak bodies across all states and territories are distributing the funding based on the needs of the sector in each state or territory.The next Volunteer Grants round is expected to open mid-2021. Subscribe to the Community Grants Hub for alerts on this and other grant opportunities. /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:AusPol, Australia, Australian, charity, community, community services, covid-19, Economy, fuel, Government, homelessness, housing, International Volunteer Day, Minister, Morrison, Morrison Government, purchase, social serviceslast_img read more

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Western Australia coronovirus update as at 27 April 2021

first_imgWestern Australia coronovirus update as at 27 April 2021 The Department of Health has reported four new cases of COVID-19 overnight.They are three males ­– two in their 30s, one in his 50s – and a female in her 30s, all returned from overseas travel and in hotel quarantine.The State’s total number now stands at 990.WA Health is monitoring 28 active cases of COVID-19 and 953 people have recovered from the virus in WA.To date, the WA Department of Health has administered 89,671 COVID-19 vaccinations, including 21,159 people who have received both doses. Yesterday, 1311 people were vaccinated.The Commonwealth Government vaccination national roll-out figures can be found on the Australian Department of Health website (external site).Yesterday, 1736 were tested at WA Health COVID clinics. In addition, 8150 people were also tested at private pathology clinics.There have been 1,041,740 COVID-19 tests performed in WA. Of those, 140,174 were from regional WA.To date, 64 cases of variant strains of concern have been detected in Western Australia – including 48 of the B.1.1.7 strain, 15 of the B.1.351 strain and one of the P1 variant (Brazilian variant).Visit WA Health’s HealthyWA website for the latest information on COVID-19. /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:Australia, Australian, commonwealth, covid-19, Department of Health, Government, health, hotel, pathology, quarantine, travel, vaccination, WA, WA Health, website, Western Australialast_img read more

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Washougal teacher finds a fun way to make the most of remote learning

first_imgMarvina Bugajski’s first grade class at Gause Elementary adopted a newborn Holstein calfWASHOUGAL — Class pets are often a favorite part of an elementary classroom community.  First grade students of Marvina Bugajski at Gause Elementary already enjoyed two hamsters, but now, they also have a newborn Holstein calf.Pearl is a Holstein calf that was adopted by Marvina Bugajski’s first grade class at Gause Elementary School in Washougal. Photo courtesy of the Washougal School DistrictPearl is a Holstein calf that was adopted by Marvina Bugajski’s first grade class at Gause Elementary School in Washougal. Photo courtesy of the Washougal School District“I heard about the program to adopt a calf this summer and I just had to do it,” said Bugajski.  “In early November we were assigned our family farm, Tauer Dairy in Hanska, Minnesota, and just recently were introduced to our adopted calf, Pearl.”Over the next six months, the Tauer’s will send periodic updates, images, and videos to view plus activity sheets. The students will write letters to ask the family questions and to send caring messages to the calf. The session culminates with a live session at the farm with Pearl in April or May.“Most children have never lived on or even been to a farm,” said Bugajski. “They are so excited to have this experience and see, in a vertical way, how the farm is operated.  They will learn about feeding and caring for cows and basically what goes on at a farm.”  Many of these special activities the class will work on also match common CORE curriculum.  For instance, they will incorporate language arts with letter writing, science as they learn the parts of the cow and math as they chart Pearl’s growth.  They will even learn some geography.  “You can show kids on a map where Minnesota is but we will be able to see in photos how it looks differently there, such as trees and landscape, and even how different the weather is from ours,” said Bugajski.   “It is important to students to know there are different places out there.  We get stuck in our own world of Washougal. This will be fabulous for them!”According to Bugajski, the Discover Dairy Adopt a Calf program is perfectly suited to remote learning.  “We might not have considered this opportunity if we were not already in a virtual classroom,” she said.“I so appreciate the energy and commitment from our teachers to make this challenging situation into a positive experience for our students,” said WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton.  “I am proud of everyone’s efforts and the wonderful successes we are seeing as teachers offer new, unexpected opportunities in this remote environment.”David and Angie Tauer and their family own and operate Tauer Dairy in Hanska, Minnesota with 250 milking cows on 480-acres. Photo courtesy Washougal School DistrictDavid and Angie Tauer and their family own and operate Tauer Dairy in Hanska, Minnesota with 250 milking cows on 480-acres. Photo courtesy Washougal School District David and Angie Tauer and their family own and operate Tauer Dairy with 250 milking cows on 480-acres.  Established in 1923, they are the third generation to live on and manage the dairy farm.  The Tauers also work with the local college (University of Minnesota) to give interns an opportunity to work and live on a dairy. In the past 10 years, they have hosted 23 students from 12 different countries.“These farm families in the program dedicate a lot of time to this project and it is so nice of them,” said Bugajski.  “They do not get paid but get the satisfaction of knowing they have reached these kids and given them a farm experience.” Information provided by Washougal School District.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Clark CountyLatestWashougalshare 0 Previous : Battle Ground City Council opts for no property tax levy increase in 2021 Next : Giving: Blanket parade surprises familyAdvertisementThis is placeholder text Washougal teacher finds a fun way to make the most of remote learningPosted by ClarkCountyToday.comDate: Monday, November 30, 2020in: Youthshare 0 last_img read more

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Rolls-Royce drops final Cullinan teaser ahead of official reveal

first_imgTrending in Canada A 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 will sit under the hood, putting out 563 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. That will be sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS It doesn’t seem too long ago that Rolls-Royce announced it would be jumping on the SUV bandwagon. But after the project was announced in 2015, the Cullinan is now just days away from its official reveal.The final teaser showcases the Cullinan’s tail light – and it certainly does look like a tail light, whose primary purpose is to notify other motorists when the vehicle is braking, reversing or about to initiate a turn.Thus far, Rolls-Royce has actually been fairly forthcoming with details. Although the body has been kept camouflaged, we do have a good idea of the proportions and general styling. The automaker also said the Cullinan will share its aluminum-intensive platform with the recently revealed Phantom. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Rolls-Royce’s final Cullinan teaser shows off the SUV’s tail light. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever RELATED TAGSCullinanRolls-RoyceNews The Cullinan will make its official debut this Thursday. And although it’s basically an SUV, don’t call it one – Rolls-Royce wants you to think of the Cullinan as an “all-terrain, high-sided vehicle.” ‹ Previous Next › We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Trending Videos See More Videos Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” advertisementlast_img read more

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50 More Farm Workers for Washington D.C.

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Fifty farm workers are to leave the island Tuesday (May 4) for Washington D.C., having received a charge from the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, that they pave the way for more Jamaicans to begin going to that city for work.The 50 men are part of a group of 300 that will be dispatched to Gebbers Farm in Washington D.C. during May. This is the first time that the farm is taking part in Jamaica’s Overseas Agricultural Programme.Mr. Charles told the workers that the farm currently employs 900 Mexicans, and that he was hoping that, through their hard work and discipline, Jamaicans will become the employees of choice on that farm. He also noted that it was their conduct and performance which would determine whether their contracts are renewed at the end of the six-month period.“So anybody who is in this room, going on this trip, who cannot honour that commitment of discipline and hard work, don’t go,” he warned.Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon Pearnel Charles (left), gives a pep talk to a group of 50 farm workers who depart for Washington D.C, USA today (May 4), during a sending off ceremony at the Ministry’s Overseas Employment Centre, East Street, Kingston, Monday (May 3).Mr. Charles explained to them that it was the discipline of one farm worker, Mr. Lester Cohen, which encouraged the owners of Gebbers Farm to seek out Jamaican workers. He said, based on the reports of Mr. Cohen’s work ethic, he would be requesting that the Government honour him with an award.“If one man, through hard work and discipline and good home training, can let 300 (Jamaican) men get jobs abroad, we need to honour him,” he reasoned.The Labour and Social Security Minister also encouraged the men to ensure that their families are taken care of while they are gone, and informed that a team of social workers from his Ministry would make routine checks on their families to ensure their well-being, while the men are away.The Government’s Overseas Representative from Florida East Coast Travel Service, Mr. Robert Morrison, encouraged the men to look at ways in which they could improve their families and communities, when they return at the end of the six months.Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon Pearnel Charles (left) speaking with the Ministry’s overseas representative from the Florida East Coast Travel Service, Robert Morrison, during a sending off ceremony for 50 farm workers who depart to work in Washington D.C. in the United States on Tuesday (May 4), at the Ministry’s Overseas Employment Centre, East Street, Kingston, on Monday (May 3).He noted that it was important that the workers think of ways to maximise their earnings through investments, so as to ensure they can have a stable future even when their days of working overseas come to an end.Gebbers Farm is one of the largest holdings in the United States, with over 5,000 acres of apples and more than 2,000 acres of cherry. Related50 More Farm Workers for Washington D.C. 50 More Farm Workers for Washington D.C. AgricultureMay 4, 2010 Advertisementscenter_img Related50 More Farm Workers for Washington D.C. Related50 More Farm Workers for Washington D.C.last_img read more

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Sony mobile unit turns a profit despite unit sales slip

first_img KDDI leans heavily on Samsung in expanded 5G range Sony shipped just 14.6 million smartphones in the year to 31 March, after a “significant downsizing” of its sales in unprofitable regions.This compares with shipments of 24.9 million units in the year to end-March 2016.However, the consumer electronics giant’s Mobile Communications unit reported a JPY10.2 billion ($91 million) operating profit in the recent 12 month period, compared with a JPY61.4 billion loss in the prior year.Sales decreased 32.7 per cent year-on-year to JPY759.1 billion, due to unit sales declines in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, as well as its refocus on profitable markets.Costs were reduced following restructuring, and profitability benefited from the focus on fewer geographic areas and on high value-added models. There was also a JPY26.1 billion gain from foreign exchange.For fiscal Q4, the mobile business reported a loss of JPY15.2 billion, compared with a prior-year loss of JPY42.1 billion, on sales of JPY155.9 billion, down 14.9 per cent.The company anticipates an 8 per cent increase in sales in the current financial year, but with its profit halved to JPY5 billion due to foreign exchange changes and component price increases, partially offset by reduced operating costs.Unit shipments are expected to increase to 16.5 million.Sony already unveiled a new flagship device for 2017, its Xperia XZ Premium, which picked up plaudits at Mobile World Congress 2017.On a group level, the company reported a fiscal year profit of JPY73.3 billion, halved compared with the prior year, on revenue of JPY7.6 trillion, down 6.2 per cent.The sales decline was attributed to foreign exchange rates: at constant currency sales were flat, with growth in Game & Network Services and Semiconductor offsetting the mobile shrinkage.Profitability was also impacted by an impairment charge in the Pictures segment, offset by gains in mobile and Game & Network Services. Sony launches compact 5G Xperia Tags Sony optimistic of mobile gains Steve Costello Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist…More Read more HomeDevicesNews Sony mobile unit turns a profit despite unit sales slipcenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 28 APR 2017 Author Devices Previous ArticleSmartphone market shows Q1 strengthNext ArticleApple turns up heat in Qualcomm royalty spat earningsSony Relatedlast_img read more

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Eminent Domain Battle Heats Up in Montana

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email HELENA – The battle over eminent domain remains mired in a dispute between landowners and industry groups, with utilities arguing they need new laws to make sure they have the authority while ranching groups and others say they need more power in order to get fair value during the condemnation negotiations.Industry interests led by those building electrical transmission lines are seeking a proposal, known as House Bill 198, currently languishing in a Senate committee that would clarify that their projects qualify to have private land condemned. They argue a court order last year threatens to scuttle the Montana Alberta Tie Line unless the bill passes.Property owners led by ranchers are suspicious of that bill, and are seeking another one that would give landowners more power in eminent domain negotiations. It is opposed by the utilities and companies such as TransCanada, which is trying to build an oil pipeline through the state.Landowners re-crafted their House Bill 240 and brought it to a new House committee Wednesday — trying to get support for their plan. It faces a key vote next week in the House Taxation Committee.Rep. Kelly Flynn, a Townsend Republican carrying the bill, said many in the GOP majority have only agreed to support the industry eminent domain bill if they are able to get new protections of their own. The landowners argue they need to get more money for their land when it is condemned as “just compensation” required by the Montana Constitution.“It encourages folks to come together and give landowners just compensation,” Flynn said.The House approved that utility bill last month but only after many Republicans begrudgingly went along with the plan with assurances that Flynn’s proposal would also be coming forward. The Senate has been sitting on that pro-utility bill for weeks while they watch lengthy negotiations over Flynn’s pro-landowner bill.The issue was brought into the spotlight when backers of the Mountain States Transmission Intertie line asked the Legislature and Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s administration for help after a court ruled late last year that such utility lines don’t have eminent domain authority, as most previously believed. NorthWestern Energy, backing a separate $1 billion MATL in southwestern Montana, say it also needs assurances its projects can use eminent domain.Landowners argue the powers granted in House Bill 198 could be abused to steamroll landowners who get in the way — unless they get more sway in negotiations as outlined in House Bill 240.Clint McRae, who ranches south of Colstrip, said he does not currently have a way to force a good deal with backers of a proposed railroad that would haul coal though his land. He feels there is nothing he can do to make sure he gets just compensation because the company can simply condemn his land if he doesn’t take its offer.“Eminent domain should be used as a last resort — not as a threat or a club,” said McRae. “The bottom line is they were not willing to negotiate. It was an ultimatum, not a negotiation.”Utilities argued Flynn’s bill goes too far by using a tax incentive as a method to entice builders to reach a deal suitable to each landowner. But they held out hope a deal on the package of eminent domain bills can be reached.last_img read more

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