Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli presented an action plan for the development of congress tourism today in Zagreb as part of the 5th Forum of the Croatian Congress Industry.The action plan was created on the basis of the Tourism Development Strategy until 2020 in order to determine the steps for the development of one of the key tourism products in the coming years. “Business tourism is one of the most promising tourism products that can significantly contribute to increasing the competitiveness of Croatian tourism. Over the past few years, revenues generated in the business travel segment accounted for only about 3 percent of total revenues in tourism, and this action plan lays the foundations for increasing revenues and creating a recognizable tourist offer that will extend the tourist season. We have set ourselves the goal of realizing revenues in tourism of 14-15 billion euros, in which business tourism can certainly have a great contribution.”Stressed the Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli.According to the Tourism Development Strategy until 2020, the product of business meetings is considered one of the potentially more important tourist products of Croatia. Namely, despite the occasional oscillations, market trends indicate a globally stable growth of this product, which is reflected in the performance in Croatia, according to the Ministry of Tourism.Inputs from the market further indicate the perception of Croatia as an attractive and desirable destination for business meetings. Due to its various characteristics, it is also a product with a positive impact on some of the biggest challenges of Croatian tourism such as extending the tourist season, using hotel capacity and increasing tourist spending, not neglecting opportunities to generate new holiday demand by converting business guests. On the other hand, the further development of a competitive product of business meetings in Croatia necessarily implies overcoming a number of challenges, from strengthening organizational, logistical and human capacities to significant investments in production infrastructure and promotion. “This Action Plan sets a vision that would develop Croatia into one of the most desirable European destinations for small and medium-sized business gatherings of associations and corporations by 2020. Croatia’s positioning on the international market of business meetings will be based on cooperation between the private and public sectors, a modern and creative product embedded in the destination value chain, quality congress management and innovative marketing. ” emphasize from the Ministry of TourismFollowing the set vision, the goals are defined:Strategic goalDouble the number of participants – attract one million participantsIncrease average consumption per participantSub-goalsIncrease the number of gatherings of international associations and corporationsIncrease the recognition and desirability of Croatia as a destination for business meetingsIncrease organizational, lobbying and sales capacity of stakeholdersIncrease product qualityIn accordance with the set umbrella goals, Croatia intends to attract around one million participants in business meetings by 2020 and, by increasing their average spending, have a positive impact on increasing revenues from congress tourism. Such a shift necessarily presupposes a number of sub-goals, which relate to increasing the number of meetings of international associations and corporations to be held in Croatia, increasing the country’s visibility as a congress destination, increasing sales, lobbying and organizational skills and quality of content and services. In the chain of interest, including, above all, congress centers, DMC / PCO agencies and hoteliers. The realization of these goals is defined through 4 programs in the Action Plan, and they include improving the congress infrastructure, strengthening the capacity of congress offices and associations, Croatia on the international congress market.The action plan for the development of congress tourism was created in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the Institute of Tourism, in order to contribute to global recognition in the tourism market, market repositioning from the destination of sun and sea to offer a variety of authentic content and experiences, time expansion and geographical dispersion. enriching the tourism production portfolio in order to increase the number of tourist arrivals and tourist consumption.MINT: CONGRESS TOURISM ACTION PLAN
Scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have identified a unique pattern of immune molecules in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) that provides insights into the basis for cognitive dysfunction–frequently described by patients as “brain fog”–as well as new hope for improvements in diagnosis and treatment.In the study published in Molecular Psychiatry, Mady Hornig, MD, and colleagues used immunoassay testing methods to measure the levels of 51 immune biomarkers called cytokines in the cerebrospinal fluid of 32 people with ME/CFS for an average of seven years, 40 with multiple sclerosis, and 19 non-diseased controls.The researchers found that levels of most cytokines, including the inflammatory immune molecule, interleukin 1, were depressed in individuals with ME/CFS compared with the other two groups, matching what was seen in the blood study in patients who had the disease for more than three years. One cytokine–eotaxin–was elevated in the ME/CFS and MS groups, but not in the control group. Pinterest Share Share on Facebook Email Share on Twitter “We now know that the same changes to the immune system that we recently reported in the blood of people with ME/CFS with long-standing disease are also present in the central nervous system,” says Dr. Hornig, professor of Epidemiology and director of translational research at the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School. “These immune findings may contribute to symptoms in both the peripheral parts of the body and the brain, from muscle weakness to brain fog.”Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment“Diagnosis of ME/CFS is now based on clinical criteria. Our findings offer the hope of objective diagnostic tests for disease as well as the potential for therapies that correct the imbalance in cytokine levels seen in people with ME/CFS at different stages of their disease,” adds W. Ian Lipkin, MD, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity.There is precedent for use of human monoclonal antibodies that regulate the immune response in a wide range of disorders from rheumatoid arthritis to multiple sclerosis. However, the researchers note, additional work will be needed to assess the safety and efficacy of this approach. LinkedIn
Simon, 1, is a rescue and best guess is he’s a poodle, terrier, shitzu and bichon mix doing his best to lift spirits around Los Alamos. Simon is a member of the Katie Herrmann family. Courtesy photo Simon Herrmann reflects on his surroundings as he ponders new ways to lift spirits around Los Alamos. Courtesy photo
By ALLEN McQUISITON The Jemez AgencyMany homeowners often wonder why the limit on their homeowner’s insurance policy is more than the market value of their home. In some cases, there can be a drastic difference between what you recently paid for your home versus how much insurance coverage you have. It’s just a way for the insurance company to get more premium, right?Not quite. Keep in mind that market value and replacement cost value are two completely different things. For instance, a two-story home with 2,000 square feet of living area can have a range of market values contingent on a variety of factors:What neighborhood is the home located in?What school district is the home in?How has the market been for recently sold homes with similar characteristics?How is the current inventory of homes in the area?The answers to these questions, among others, can substantially change the market value of a home.The cost to build a home is more fixed in nature. The cost of brick, lumber, siding, etc. doesn’t vary nearly as much from one neighborhood area to the next. With that in mind, the cost to build a home in an area where the market values aren’t as strong shouldn’t vary much from areas where the values are higher.In many situations, the replacement cost of a home is more than the market value because it simply costs more to build homes from the ground up as opposed to purchasing an existing home. Of course there are exceptions, and in many cases this varies by area of the country, but it is not at all unusual to see your homeowner insurance declarations show a limit of insurance that is higher than the current market value of the property.Having an adequate limit of insurance is crucial in the event of a loss to your home. If you’re still concerned about your limit of insurance, be sure to reach out to your insurance agent to review the replacement cost estimate that has been completed for your home. He or she will make sure that your home is properly protected and that your limit of insurance – which may be more than the market value – is correct.
Lobster Inn Deal InkedSouthampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman has signed off on a roughly $8.3 million deal to purchase about 10 acres of land in Shinnecock Hills that are either part of or adjacent to the shuttered Lobster Grille Inn restaurant with money from the Community Preservation Fund.Included in the deal, which is with owners Peconic Bay Marina LLC and Peconic Bay Residence LLC, are a series of parcels that will be preserved, ensuring the protection of water quality along Cold Spring Pond and Great South Bay, as well as their development rights, which will be used on the property for aquaculture farming. An additional $200,000 will be used from the town’s general fund to purchase a small strip of land near the former inn on County Road 39 in case the town needs to create a roadway for access to the property.“We expect to close by mid-July,” said Schneiderman, who made the announcement at a work session on Thursday, June 28.The property will be used by Manna Fish Farms, which will raise fingerlings, or juvenile fish, in tanks to be placed in an underwater cage along the Atlantic Ocean in East Quogue in a sustainable fish farm, and if the fish farm does not obtain the required permits, it is likely that shrimp and seaweed will be farmed at the site, according to Schneiderman.The purchase of the restaurant itself was carved out of the town’s portion in a private deal deal with Manna Fish Farms. Instead, Manna Fish Farms will undertake a deal with the property owners to purchase the building and it will likely be leased out to a restaurant, a 100-seater smaller than the original Lobster Grille Inn’s 200 seats, Schneiderman said.Southampton Town To Pay Off CPF DebtThe Southampton Town Board has plans to pay off some of its debt on some of the properties purchased under the Community Preservation Fund.Town Comptroller Len Marchese made the recommendation before the board on Thursday, June 28, noting it makes better financial sense for the town to pay off two old bonds, which are for about $11 million apiece, to save money in the long run. The first bond could be paid off as early as January 2019, and the second one, in September 2019, resulting in about $240,000 in initial interest savings and a total of $3 million over 10 years, he said.Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he did not see any reason why the town should not pay off the debt because there is money available to do so and there is no penalty for paying them off early.“It would be nice not to have any CPF debt,” he said.Paying off the debts would also free up the town’s coffers to move forward with new plans to preserve more properties, as well as undertake water quality improvement projects, according to Schneiderman.To date, there is about $95 million available in the CPF with about $60 million in post-commitment, and about $30 million available for use, the town’s Community Preservation Manager Mary Wilson said. The town takes in about $5 million per month in funds that are dedicated to the CPF, Schneiderman said.It is likely that a resolution approving the pay off of the bonds would be prepared for the board’s July 10 firstname.lastname@example.org Share
Art by Yasmina“If I’m who I am because I’m who I am and you’re who you are because you’re who you are, then I’m who I am and you’re who you are. If, on the other hand, I’m who I am because you’re who you are and if you’re who you are because I’m who I am, then I’m not who I am and you’re not who you are.”Oh, the complex simplicity in a line taken directly from the upcoming show “Art,” summing up the play in a single example.Our Fabulous Variety Show, in association with Nimbus Productions, presents a production of the award-winning play depicting the relationship between three friends as they comedically explore the ways individual opinion, desire for status, and an unsteady faith can take their toll on interconnectedness. “Art,” written by Yasmina Reza (“God of Carnage”), will be performed from Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, May 5 at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall in East Hampton.“We are thrilled to be bringing this play back to Guild Hall and have loved seeing this incredible trio bring their roles to life,” said Anita Boyer of OFVS. “This show brings so many universal themes about value and art and friendship to life in a brilliant, beautiful, and comedic way. It is a must see for all.”The production is directed by Jenna Mate and features Edward Kassar, Joe Pallister, and Sawyer Spielberg. Prior to rehearsals, the cast spent time at the Museum of Modern Art, observing the collection and drawing connection to the play at hand.“Whether standing in front of a painting, or witnessing a performance, I always feel I’ve been given a gift. Having the opportunity to breathe in art is a privilege, one that I’m very grateful for,” said Mate.“The piece of art serves as a catalyst that ignited a hilarious yet poignant debate: Can a friendship survive even when the values begin to shift? My hope is that the audience walks away with a lot to discuss.” Mate envisions many audience members will “resonate with the idea of a friend trying” to climb to the top through flashy objects “or a piece of art” using a humorous screenplay.“The play ‘Art’ moves me, because it brings to light the way we shift our personalities depending on who, or what, is around us at any particular moment,” Pallister explained. He and Kassar set up Nimbus Productions in 2017 with the production of “A Steady Gain” at Guild Hall.“Art” is translated from its original French. The original Broadway production featured Alan Alda, Victor Garber, and Alfred Molina, and the play, which premiered in France in 1994, has not only won the Tony Award for Best Play, but also the Lawrence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, the Drama Critics Circle for Best Play, and the Moliere Award.It was translated to English by Christopher Hampton, who is famed for his screenplay of “Dangerous Liaisons,” based on the French novel “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.”OFVS is composed of performers producing eclectic creations, founded by Anita Boyer and Kasia Klimiuk in 2010. The original intention was a one-time show to raise monies towards Crohn’s and Colitis disease, its performances continue to fundraise for local non-profits and the company’s annual performing arts scholarship. Tickets are $28 in advance and $35 at the door, and can be purchased by visiting www.ourfabulousvarietyshow.org, or calling 631-507-4603. email@example.com Share
Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering informed its net profit rose 4.03 percent to RM35 million in the first quarter 2015, when compared to the same period a year ago.MHB posted revenue of RM719 million for the quarter, a rise of 7 percent on year.The company’s offshore business segment achieved a revenue of RM616 million. Among other projects, MHB is currently fabricating the jackets and connecting bridge and the external turret mooring system for the Petronas floating liquefied natural gas 2 project, it said in a statement on Monday. The offshore business segment also secured a Hook Up & Commissioning contract for the Kanowit project valued at RM30.4 million.MHB’s marine business segment posted higher revenue and profit against the corresponding quarter mainly due to higher value of repair works for rigs, floating storage units and general cargo vessels. The marine business segment secured another enbloc repair and refurbishment contract from South Korea’s Pan Ocean, MHB added.1 RM = 0.281603 USD[mappress mapid=”17183″]Image: MHB
Subsea 7, a subsea engineering, construction and services company, announced today results for the second quarter and first half 2015 which ended on June 30, 2015. The company’s net profit for the second quarter has dropped to $88 million from $266 million in the same period last year. In addition, the company’s net income for the first half of 2015 dipped to $239 million from $397 million in the first half of 2014.During the quarter Subsea 7 announced a cost reduction programme to resize the fleet and workforce in line with the declining workload. A $100 million charge related to the resizing was recognised in the second quarter, out of an estimated total charge of $140 million. The Group will reduce its capacity by 2,500 people and 12 vessels by early 2016, delivering expected annualised savings of approximately $400 million in employee related costs and about $150 million in vessel costs.Jean Cahuzac, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Subsea 7 delivered good operational and financial results in the second quarter, driven by strong execution and cost control discipline in a challenging market environment.”Second quarter revenue of $1,352 million was down $553 million on the prior year quarter, reflecting the difficult industry conditions and declining workload. Adjusted EBITDA of $275 million and margin of 20.3% included the $100 million charge related to the cost reduction programme. Excluding this charge Adjusted EBITDA was $375 million and the margin was 27.7%.OutlookAccording to Subsea 7, the sustained downturn in oil company expenditure continues to result in lower industry activity and the timing of new awards to market remains highly uncertain. By balancing the implementation of its cost reduction programme with a focus on maintaining its core in-house expertise and capability, Subsea 7 remains well positioned to continue to deliver its projects in a consistent and efficient manner and capture future business opportunities, the company said in its report.Group revenue is expected to be significantly lower in 2015 compared to the record level reported last year and Adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to decrease compared to 2014.The company concluded the report by stating that the fundamental long-term outlook for deepwater subsea field developments remains intact despite the challenges facing the industry as a result of the lower oil price.
If I were a lawyer faced with planning the future of my business at the same time as carrying out my day job, I think I’d feel exhausted, bewildered and not a little terrified.For some time the pundits have been telling us there are too many lawyers and too many law firms and the majority of legal work can be done without a lawyer anyway. The enormity of the challenges faced by law firms with the increased use of technology, outsourcing and commoditisation, plus competition from non-legal providers entering the legal market following the Legal Services Act, were outlined by three of the country’s foremost law firm advisors at the Law Society’s law management conference last week. Richard Susskind, Stephen Mayson and Alan Hodgart all urged firms not to bury their heads in the sand, but to be proactive in getting to grips with understanding the finances of their firms and to plan for the future. Thankfully, for the legal profession, most lawyers are braver than I – a poll taken at the conference showed 84% of the 150 or so delegates saw the use of technology and commoditisation as an opportunity. And some parts of the profession have already begun to fight back against the prospect of ‘Tesco law’, forming joint branding and marketing initiatives to promote the use of ‘real lawyers’. QualitySolicitors.com launches its campaign officially next week after signing up 100 law firms. But can these self-styled legal brands, like QualitySolicitors.com or The Legal Alliance, really hope to compete in the public’s consciousness with the likes of Tesco, the AA and the Co-op?
LAST year Nigerian Railways Corp took delivery of some spanking new 1067mm gauge rolling stock from China. There were 50 Class 2101 diesel locos rated at 2400hp, coaches that included air-conditioned first-class cars from Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Works, a fleet of railbuses, plus 400 freight wagons. The package was worth around US$500m, and NRC had to put half of this up front. We now hear most locos are no longer working and are stored in sidings awaiting spares and repairs. So apparently are the coaches, with no locos to haul them.Poorer members of the population in Nigeria rely on trains for cheap travel, and it seems they have made their views known about the withdrawal of services in no uncertain terms. The protests have attracted sufficient attention for the Nigerian president to order an inquiry into the affair.NRC’s problems are compounded by its inability to pay the new statutory minimum wage, prompting strike threats from the staff. Fuel shortages do nothing to keep the trains running – reports in December suggested that all four of the country’s oil refineries were out of action. Intending travellers would do well to heed the warning in the last edition of the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable: ’All services liable to suspension.’