Embattled US Catholic Cardinal Donald Wuerl to meet with Pope Francis about possible resignation over abuse scandal

first_imgABCNews.com(PITTSBURGH) — The archbishop of Washington plans to meet with the pope in Rome to discuss the possibility of resigning as he confronts accusations that he mismanaged and concealed alleged sex abuse within the church, he wrote to local priests.Cardinal Donald Wuerl said in a letter Tuesday that Pope Francis has asked him too “discern the best course of action” toward helping the church move forward in the wake of the allegations against him, which surfaced last month after a Pennsylvania grand jury accused more than 300 priests of child sex abuse.“I intend, in the very near future, to go to Rome to meet with our Holy Father about the resignation I presented nearly three years ago,” Wuerl wrote, “as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight.”The letter comes as Francis prepares for a Thursday meeting with a delegation of U.S. church leaders — including the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, and Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Vatican’s top adviser on clergy sex abuse — to discuss the best way to handle the clergy abuse scandal.“At issue is how to begin effectively to bring a new level of healing to survivors who have personally suffered so much and to the faithful entrusted to our care who have also been wounded by the shame of these terrible actions and have questions about their bishop’s ability to provide the necessary leadership,” Wuerl wrote.Many have called for Wuerl’s resignation, including Catholic teachers who have protested outside his services, amid allegations he tried to conceal claims child sex abuse.A Pennsylvania grand jury accused Wuerl of helping protect some child-molesting priests during his time as bishop of Pittsburgh between 1988 and 2006. He allegedly mishandled the complaints and reassigned and/or reinstated priests with allegations levied against them, according to the grand jury report.Pennsylvania’s attorney general released the scathing report in August, revealing the results of a two-year investigation into hundreds of sexual abuse allegations. At least 1,000 children have been abused at the hands of Catholic clergy members, dating back to the 1940s, the report stated.Wuerl, 77, apologized for any pain caused to the victims but denied wrongdoing.“While I understand this report may be critical of some of my actions, I believe the report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse,” he said in a statement last month.“I sincerely hope that a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

The changing world of call centers

first_img 117SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tommy Loo As the Director of Business Strategies, Tommy Loo is responsible for providing operations consulting services for LEVEL5 clients. His work develops capacity, and utilization requirements to reach our client’s … Web: www.level5.com Details In today’s multichannel world, the call center is in the midst of a transformation. This transformation is comprehensive and involves rethinking performance metrics, staffing issues, and work space design.In the area of performance metrics, financial institutions are recalibrating to better align in a multichannel world. No longer can institutions look at average talk time, abandonment rates, and after call processing. The call center agent is now responding to customers through several channels – telephone, social media, instant messaging, and live Web chats to name a few. Agents are now perceived as a financial institution’s ambassador, information officer, and mediator. One performance metric that has evolved in some call centers is “one and done” as described by Jennifer Fox, SVP Customer Care Contact Center Operation Manager for Associated Bank in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This philosophy empowers the agent to resolve a customer’s issue in one call. This philosophy lends itself well to the new instant-gratification generation of customers who are reaching out to the bank as part of their busy schedule. As this example illustrates, the traditional metrics by which a call center is measured must be reviewed in light of the new challenges and customers expectations that a multichannel world presents. Further, the call center employee must by “smarter” than ever. Their knowledge base and training must be sufficient to allow them to meet the customer’s expectations of a “one and done” experience.Organizationally, call centers are being transformed by the introduction of Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) as a service distribution channel. ITMs bring the dynamics of retail transactions once associated with retail branches into the call center. The ITM requires both visual and audio communication with the customer, amplifying the emphasis on personal service. This dynamic requires financial institutions to rethink the hiring, training, and staffing models for the call center.   Today’s agent needs to be comfortable conducting video sessions and maintaining eye contact with the customer.   For those institutions with a geographically diverse network, the agents also must be able to relate to the various needs of their customers as well as the diversity of products that may be associated with these regions. In most cases, these agents need to be empowered to resolve the customer’s issues in keeping with the “one and done” philosophy.Beyond the staffing issues, the physical environment in the call center needs to be addressed with the addition of the ITM channel. The agents for the ITMs need to be isolated within the call center space to eliminate any background noise, including any visual background activity. Because ITMs often operate during non-traditional hours, the space needs to include access to the restrooms, breakrooms, and points of ingress/egress without violating other security zones in the facility. The non-traditional hours also require safety considerations regarding ingress/egress into the facility.   These are important steps when designing a new facility to house a call center and doubly important when retrofitting a call center in an existing space.Great results can be achieved by providing ITM agents with the resources and space required to meet customer needs and serve their clients while keeping with the “one and done” attitude. One Southern institution embraced the multichannel approach and weaved it’s on line banking, ITMs and call center into a cohesive strategy, over a three year period its revised multichannel approach generated 1,400 new accounts and $140 million in new deposits.In consideration of the discussion above, the three pillars of customer service in a multichannel world are: Smarter Support, Personalized Service, and Faster Connect and Up-Time.Smarter Support: Agent’s must have at their fingertips a knowledge base that provides them the ability to deal with the majority of customer requests. This knowledge base consists of product information, empowerment guidelines to resolve customer issues, and a decision tree for dispute resolution beyond their authority. All of this geared to the “one and done” philosophy.Personalized Service: This concept connects the knowledge base with the agent’s ability to customize services or products to fit the customer’s request.   Agents must be able to interact with the customer to determine his/her true needs elevating the agent’s role beyond that of an order-taker.Faster Connect and Up Time: This addresses the infrastructure of the call center. The goal is to ensure the center is able to operate even if there are power outages or systems issues.   Continuous system monitoring insures the center can absorb a sudden spike in activity. The worst thing for a customer is the inability to reach the contact center in a timely manner.A call center’s ability to attain these three pillars will enhance its effectiveness and better equip agents to serve customers through multiple channels, leveraging the “one and done” concept which has become the customer’s expectation!last_img read more

Bills sign left tackle Dawkins to 4-year contract extension

first_img COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE First Published: 14th August, 2020 10:26 IST Written Bycenter_img The Buffalo Bills are protecting quarterback Josh Allen’s blindside for the long term after signing left tackle Dion Dawkins to a four-year, $60 million contract extension.The team announced the signing, while a person with direct knowledge of the contract provided the value of the deal to The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team did not release that figure.Dawkins has been a starter in Buffalo since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft out of Temple. He had one year left on his rookie contract, and is now signed through the 2024 season.At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, the 26-year-old Dawkins has 43 career starts, all at left tackle. He also scored a touchdown receiving, in catching a 7-yard pass from backup Matt Barkley in a 41-10 win at the New York Jets on Nov. 11, 2018.Dawkins is part of a starting offensive line that mostly returns intact. Buffalo will have to find a starter at right guard to fill in for Jon Feliciano, who will miss up to three months with a torn pectoral muscle.Dawkins’ deal comes a day after the Bills signed coach Sean McDermott to a four-year contract extension, which locks him up through the 2026 season.Image credits: AP Last Updated: 14th August, 2020 10:26 IST Bills Sign Left Tackle Dawkins To 4-year Contract Extension The Buffalo Bills are protecting quarterback Josh Allen’s blindside for the long term after signing left tackle Dion Dawkins to a four-year, $60 million contract extension LIVE TV Associated Press Television News last_img read more

Kyrillos Introduces Measure Calling for Sandy Hook to Reopen by Summer

first_imgConcerned about the potential impact on the Bayshore region’s economy of a prolonged closure of the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area, Senator Joe Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, has introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to make reopening Sandy Hook a priority.“Sandy Hook sustained enormous damage during Hurricane Sandy along with the homes and businesses of Bayshore residents,” Kyrillos said. “But there is more devastation in store if this economic engine for our region is not restored and reopened in time for the 2013 tourism season.“The Sandy Hook Recrea­tion Area is the source of millions of dollars of economic activity every year and an affordable summer getaway for tourists from near and far who will lose out on a treasured summer tradition if it is not reopened. We cannot afford to lose the economic activity generated by Sandy Hook as we seek to rebuild our shoreline,”

he said.Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area is federally owned property that is maintained and operated by the National Park Service.In the resolution, Kyrillos said: “The enormity of the damage to the area is such that without concerted effort and prioritization of restoration of this national recreation area over the next four to five months, the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area will not reopen for its economically crucial summer season, and potentially tens to hundreds of millions of dollars will be lost to the local and state economies.“At this time when the State was just beginning to crawl out of the depressed economy of the past decade, the continued closure of the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area through the summer of 2013 would newly cripple and devastate the economy of Monmouth County and the surrounding parts of the State and New York State.”last_img read more

The Giants are committed to altering the dimensions of Oracle Park

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — It’s almost time to bid adieu to Triples Alley.The Giants haven’t made any formal decisions to adjust the outfield dimensions of Oracle Park, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday the team is inching closer to finalizing plans to move the bullpens out of foul territory and into right center field.“We’ve made a lot of progress on designs that would have them move out to the outfield and potentially alter some of the dimensions out there,” Zaidi said at …last_img

Is Secular Science Re-Opening the Door to Eugenics?

first_imgDr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 486 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Further Opening the Door to Eugenics:Justice Clarence Thomas’s Brief on Planned Parenthood, Eugenics, and Margaret Sangerby Jerry Bergman, PhDIntroductionOn May 28, 2019, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strong, well-documented opinion detailing how Darwinism logically influenced Planned Parenthood, eugenics, and Margaret Sanger.[1] The pro-abortion secular media aggressively attacked his historical analysis, claiming, among other things, that it was factually incorrect. The critics’ bias was obvious in their choice of words. They referred to human embryos as “cells” or “cellular globules,” “future humans,” and other terms that dehumanized the unborn. They condemned Thomas’s reference to an aborted fetus “as if it were a child.” We should never forget that leading up to the Holocaust, the Nazis dehumanized their victims, calling them “vermin,” “lives not worth living,” and “useless eaters.”Clarence Thomas’s opinion addressed the main aspect of an Indiana law at issue before the Supreme Court, specifically the “Sex Selective and Disability Abortion Ban.”[2] This statute “makes it illegal for an abortion provider to perform an abortion in Indiana when the provider knows that the mother is seeking the abortion solely because of the child’s race, sex, diagnosis of Down syndrome, disability, or related characteristics”[3] (excluding “lethal fetal anomalies” from the definition of disability). The law also requires the mother be advised of this restriction and provided information about financial assistance and adoption alternatives. The law only imposes liability on the abortion provider, not the woman.[4]Some Background on the Supreme Court CaseOn March 2016 Indiana passed a “fetal burial” law, signed by the then-governor Mike Pence, that (1) changed the manner in which fetal remains were to be disposed of, and (2) banned abortions solely based on race, sex, or disability of the embryo or fetus. The Seventh Circuit blocked both previsions of Indiana’s law. The case, called Box v. Planned Parenthood, was then appealed to the Supreme Court. In a three-page unsigned per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court reversed part of the Seventh Circuit’s ruling on the regulation of what is done with fetal remains, without ruling if the law placed an “undue burden” on women who get abortions. The Court declined to review, however, the more important second question, thus leaving the Seventh Circuit’s ban on enforcing the law in place. This means abortions based on race, sex and disability are, for the time being, permissible. Many court watchers are wondering if or when the Supreme Court will make a more expansive ruling about abortion, possibly even reversing Roe v. Wade. Judge Thomas used the occasion of the Indiana law, however, to remind people of the eugenical history of Planned Parenthood— particularly the highly racist beliefs of Margaret Sanger. His opinion can be read here.Heads Explode in the AftermathPro-abortion critics were ruthless in their attacks on Thomas’s historical analysis. Typical of the comments were these by Elie Mystal, who rationalized abortion based on race, sex or disability:It could have been worse. And, as if to prove just how “worse” things could be, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 20-page concurrence advancing the belief that both abortion and even birth control are really decentralized eugenics plots. He essentially argues that giving a woman any kind of reproductive control over her own body means the Nazis win. Everybody gets excited about the first part, because forcing a woman to dispose of an aborted fetus as if it were a child gives the right wing the sick pleasure they derive from shaming women who exercise personal control over their own bodies. But it’s the second part that brings the real attack upon a woman’s right to choose. The race/sex/disability ban is a way of making a woman’s choice invalid, if her choice offends our sensibilities. If you can get people to say “a woman has a right to choose, unless I don’t like the choice,” then you’ve basically won your battle to superimpose state control over a woman’s body.[5]Note the name-calling such as “right wing” and “sick pleasure” as she rationalizes those who oppose abortion. Mystal’s terminology is anti-science, such as “control of a their own bodies”. An unborn baby is inside the women, but biologically is not part of the women’s body. The author of this missive, Elie Mystal, is the Executive Editor of Above the Law and a contributor at the very leftist journal Nation. Mystal’s dismissal of any connection between abortion and eugenics is, on its face, false, such as:[the] Court need not confront the dangers of eugenic manipulation, if it simply respects women as autonomous beings. Every single reproductive choice could be called “eugenics” based on Thomas’s facile logic here. That includes every choice that results in actually having children…. Thomas doesn’t want to stop women from engaging in genetic manipulation. He wants to accrue the power of genetic manipulation unto himself. We can’t let him, or his conservative cabal, have it.[6]Unintended ConsequencesThe Indiana law restricted abortion based on only three criteria: race, sex, and certain disabilities, including Down syndrome. The consequences of abortion based on race and sex can be seen in recent history. Until recently, in China, and to some degree in other countries, social pressure exists to abort females, in preference for males. This helps to explain the enormously disproportionate rate of abortions among different social classes and races. The Court for now elected not to prohibit abortion based on race, sex, and disability. What is revealing, though, is the widespread condemnation of Justice Thomas for his position. Here is a sample of what he explained in his well-thought-out opinion:Each of the immutable characteristics protected by this law can be known relatively early in a pregnancy, and the law prevents them from becoming the sole criterion for deciding whether the child will live or die. Put differently, this law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.[7]Some pro-abortion leftists reacted with fury. Below a terrible picture of Clarence Thomas, Bess Levin raved against “The batshit broadside against abortion …  launched by Justice Clarence Thomas, which serves as a preview for how he might attempt to restrict a woman’s right to choose in the future.”[8] After objecting to calling a fetus a child, she responded that most women “are fully capable of using birth control in a responsible, non-eugenic manner …  just as most people don’t use abortion to further Nazi Germany-esque goals” –  a statement recognizing that some might choose to abort based on race, sex, or disability. As we will document, based on this “right,” some countries brag that women’s right to control their own body have almost complexly eliminated certain classes of people.Another critic irrationally blamed the abortion problem on conservatives, whom she described as just mean, heartless, power hungry misogynists. She wrote:instead of trying to uplift potential mothers and make it economically and professionally easier for them to have children, conservatives are only interested in forcing women, including black and brown women, to bear pregnancies against their will. Thomas and his ilk dislike abortion and birth control because it amplifies the free will of women.”[11]Most of the critics focused on the rights of women, but ignored the rights of the father and the child. According to court decisions on abortion, fathers have no say in the mother’s decision to let his child live or die, even though half the baby’s genes are his. The unborn child, naturally, is unable to express his or her opinion.The Eugenics LinkThe point of the Indiana law was to prevent a woman or organization from using abortion as a tool of modern-day eugenics to abort based on race, sex or perceived disability. Thomas then recounted the history of eugenics with the clear message that we need to close the door on the potential of using abortion to further eugenic goals. He showed how the foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century in the midst of the eugenics craze. He said,The use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth-control movement. That movement developed alongside the American eugenics movement. And significantly, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause. She emphasized and embraced the notion that birth control “opens the way to the eugenist.”Margaret Sanger: Racist, EugenicistThis book includes a whole chapter about Margaret Sanger, plus much more information on the history of eugenics and the sexual revolution.Sanger arrogated to herself the right to decide not only who should live or die, but what populations of people should exist. As a means of reducing the “ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all,” Sanger argued in her book Pivot of Civilization that “Birth Control . . . is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method” of human eugenics.[9]  In Sanger’s view, birth control had been “accepted by the most clear thinking and far seeing of the eugenists themselves as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health.”[10]Justice Thomas is an African American. The importance of this fact should not be lost in the debate on abortion and eugenics, because it was part and parcel of Sanger’s crusade against his race, and thus is of intense personal concern to Thomas and all black people. Thomas writes,[I]n 1939, Sanger initiated the “Negro Project,” an effort to promote birth control in poor, Southern black communities. … . In a report titled “Birth Control and the Negro,” Sanger and her coauthors identified blacks as “‘the great problem of the South’”—“the group with ‘the greatest economic, health, and social problems’ ”—and developed a birth-control program geared toward this population. …  black ministers should be involved in the program, noting, “‘We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.’”[12]Another fact often lost in the debate is the essential role eugenics played in the founding of Planned Parenthood. Sanger was profoundly influenced by Darwin’s Origin of Species. Darwin’s views contributed to her conversion to, and active support of, eugenics. She became consumed with the necessity of reducing the numbers of the “less fit,” including “inferior races” such as “Negroes.” She also openly advocated sexual license, providing much support for the sexual revolution. The rebellion against morality that she helped to create has radically changed Western society, and abortion is one of several fruits of her rebellion.[13] The abortion issue is directly related to the moral collapse in the Western world of which Sanger was a major leader.Sanger’s Anti-Christian, Anti-Capitalist Sexual IndulgenceFew people know about the indulgent lifestyle of Margaret Sanger. Margaret met architect and painter William Sanger at a party. He pursued her with gusto. They married in 1902 and soon had three children. She turned out to be a very difficult woman to live with, even though William tried everything within his power to please his wife. Part of the problem was her anti-Christian ethos, which is still a problem with the anti-pro-life movement. Planned Parenthood biographer George Grant writes that, not long after her initiation into radical causes such as anarchism, Margaret informedher bewildered husband that she needed emancipation from every taint of Christianized capitalism—including the strict bonds of the marriage bed.  She even suggested to him that they seriously consider experimenting with various trysts, infidelities, fornications, and adulteries. Because of her careful tutoring in socialist dogma, she had undergone a sexual liberation—at least intellectually—and she was now ready to test its authenticity physically.[14]Down the Eugenics Road Again in the 21st CenturyEugenics advocates are making inroads via abortion. New laws in Oregon and Illinois allow abortion up to nine months for any reason, even up to the day of birth. As if that were not concerning enough, the laws make these abortions to be financed by taxpayers, many of whom oppose abortion. Other eugenics-tainted abortion policies can be found around the world. In Iceland, women can use ultrasound, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling evaluations to help diagnose genetic disorders, such as trisomy-21, which causes what is commonly called Down Syndrome, before birth. The purpose is to detect potential abnormalities so as to make judgements about aborting the fetus. The goal of such policies is to eliminate genetic diseases, but that was the same rationale first used in Nazi Germany to reduce or eliminate what the Nazis had dehumanized as inferior persons, “imbeciles” and “defectives.” How dare we forget that Germany’s slippery-slope policy was soon extended to the genocide of ethnic groups, including Slavic peoples, Jews, and Romani.If we do not learn from the past, we are condemned to repeat it. The lessons of World Wars I and II are now on the verge of being forgotten. Those familiar with the history of the first half of the 20th Century will appreciate the importance of Justice Thomas’s review of the dark history of eugenics. As Graeme Donald concluded, if “there is one thing that man learns from experience, it is that man does not learn from experience.” Those who claim eugenics is dead need to beware of a  ‘new-genetics’ becoming very popular in the West, with abortion being one of its manifestations. The new genetics are trying to achieve human perfection by ‘de-selection.’ In 2010, “nearly 2,300 abortions of fetuses with mental and physical disabilities were carried out in the UK alone,” demonstrating that it is all too easy to be seduced down the Nazi route again.[15]When politicians decide that some humans are less desirable than others, who will set the criteria? Who will decide who lives or dies? Those who think they are qualified to make such decisions should watch again the videos of the Holocaust, and cringe at the sight of some humans disposing of multi-millions of other humans they considered genetic trash. Graeme Donald reminds us that those abhorrent crimes were carried out a little over seventy years ago on European soil in one of the most educated nations on Earth.[16]Evil can take root and thrive “not because people are powerless to prevent it, but because they fail to take effective action—even to perceive the necessity of doing so—until it is too late.”[17]References[1] https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf[2] Ind. Code §16–34–4–1 et seq[3] §§16–34–4–1 to 16–34–4–8; see §16–34– 4–1(b).[4] See §§16–34–2– 1.1(a)(1)(K), (2)(A)–(C), 16–34–4–9.[5] Elie Mystal, 2019.Thomas Decides Abortion AND Birth Control are Tantamount to Eugenics Conspiracy. Justice Clarence Thomas’s 20-page concurrence is a frightening preview of our dystopian future. May 28. https://abovethelaw.com/2019/05/thomas-decides-abortion-and-birth-control-are-tantamount-to-eugenics-conspiracy/?rf=1[6] Elie Mystal, 2019.[7] https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf[8] Bess Levin, 2019. CLARENCE THOMAS LIKENS BIRTH CONTROL AND ABORTION TO NAZI SCIENCE. The Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday offered a preview of how he’ll go after a woman’s right to choose in the future. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/clarence-thomas-abortion-eugenics[9] Margaret. Sanger, 1922. Pivot of Civilization p. 187, 189.[10] Margaret. Sanger, 1922. Pivot of Civilization p. 187, 189.[11]  Bess Levin, 2019. CLARENCE THOMAS LIKENS BIRTH CONTROL AND ABORTION TO NAZI SCIENCE. The Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday offered a preview of how he’ll go after a woman’s right to choose in the future. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/clarence-thomas-abortion-eugenics[12] https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf Emphasis added.[13] Jerry Bergman, 2017. How Darwinism Corrodes Morality: Darwinism, Immorality, Abortion and the Sexual Revolution. 2017. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Joshua Press.[14] George Grant, 2001.  Killer Angel: A Biography of Planned Parenthoods Founder. Nashville, TN: Highland Books, p. 22.[15] Donald, Graeme, 2012. When the Earth Was Flat. All the Bits of Science We Got Wrong. London, UK: Michael O’Mara Books, 2012, p. 71.[16] Donald, 2012, p. 71.[17]Ball, Philip. 2013. Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler. London: The Bodley Head, p. 6.last_img read more

Beating the baggage fee blues

first_imgAir travellers are embracing a new generation of baggage forwarders catering for people facing high ancillary luggage fees that used to be included in the price of an airline ticket.Airlines now charge economy class travellers high rates for luggage beyond the first bag as a disincentive to free up valuable paid cargo space and, on long-haul routes, the impact can be dramatic.One of the myriad of new baggage shipping specialists to have sprung up since airlines began their so-called ancillary revenue revolution nearly a decade ago has cited the case of a long-haul traveller recently quoted £1193 ($US1563) to fly a 25kg (55lb) second bag from London to Melbourne, Australia – and that is by no means an exception to the rule.The quote, from the world’s biggest international carrier, Emirates, is typical of the rates being quoted by major airlines.Acccording to UK-based SendMyBag.com, another traveller was quoted more than £500 ($US655) to take a second bag weighing up to 23 kilograms from London to Dubai, in the Middle East, while a third was quoted £966 ($US1265) for a second 23kg bag flying from London to Tokyo, Japan.”I don’t think anyone at Emirates who are charging over £1000 for a second suitcase would believe that anyone who wanted to check a second suitcase was actually going to pay that,” says SendMyBag.com founder, Irishman Adam Ewart. “They’ are trying to dissuade people from checking bags.”Well, you can charge and charge and charge and dissuade people, but some people have no choice but to travel with certain amounts of luggage.”Baggage fees are the tip of the iceberg in the airline ancillary revolution. According to Ewart, US airlines in 2007 charged a total of $US400 million in baggage fees, but by 2015 that had ballooned to $US4 billion. At the same time, overall airline ancillary fees soared from $US13.5 billion in 2008 to more than $US59 billion in 2015, according to US ancillary revenue consultancy IdeaWorksCompany.Read: Airfare price revolutionEwart’s business was one of many that saw the opportunity when the user-pays phenomenon began replacing fully inclusive air fares to help airlines recoup the high cost of fuel.”The business was originally established after my girlfriend had trouble travelling from university,” he says. “I would travel over and help her bring a second suitcase from England (to Ireland) and one time we got hit with £50 or £60 excess baggage.”This was back around 2006 when the low-cost airlines were really just starting to introduce bag fees for the first time and increasing them if they did already have them.”So I set up this service handling luggage around the UK for the next couple of years. I left it pretty much as a small business for students, but then, around 2010-11, there was a fairly obvious shift for us with customers landing on the website in terms of what service they were asking us for.”Ewart says he saw the potential for a business servicing everyday flyers when he heard managers from European low-cost carrier Ryanair boasting that they had reduced the number of people checking in bags from 80 per cent of travellers to 20 per cent. That didn’t mean that the 80 per cent who no longer bothered didn’t need the luggage they were foregoing.”Around 2010-11 it became obvious it was a worldwide phenomenon, so I started to scale up the business,” Ewart says.After looking after people travelling around Europe, the operation expanded to include travellers between Europe and America and finally global routes. New subsidiaries were established in the US and Australia.”We’ve always had two sets of customers: our short-haul customers, some of whom are using us just for convenience – they can’t carry the amount of stuff they want to take with them,” Ewart says.”And sometimes they using us to avoid the bag fees – we’re simply cheaper than checking a bag with Ryanair or easyJet. Our long-haul customers have generally been people using us for convenience or that they can’t carry everything – they’re relocating. But in the last six months we’ve seen a real turn there.”There’s more and more customers using us on long-haul routes because they’re saving money.”As an indication of why the luggage forwarding industry is booming, Ewart reveals that his rates are often hundreds of dollars cheaper than the rates being quoted by the airlines themselves.”Our service for the long-haul routes has never been pitched as a service that’s meant to be a lot cheaper than checking your first bag,” Ewart says.”It’s really interesting that airlines now are saying that it could be $US1000 where our fee could be a $100 or $200, so there’s a chance of saving hundreds – huge amounts. It’s pretty crazy.”For the record, the traveller facing a $US1500 bill to fly a second bag from the UK to Australia was quoted £118 ($US155) by the baggage forwarder.SendMyBag.com contracts global express freight carrier DHL, while other luggage forwarders use freight giants Fedex and UPS. Ewart says he has discovered that even though he can save people money, they still expect fast service.”We’ve got customers with super-high expectations and that’s OK – that’s what we expect,” Ewart says. Just like the freight airlines themselves, SendMyBag.com will soon launch a new app that allows customers to track their bags all through its journey. And like tripadvisor.com, the company’s website has a section were customers rate its service and the company plans to publish its on-time performance statistics.The only caution about using a luggage forwarding service is that things can go wrong.”It is possible sometimes that there’ll be a delay on a road – traffic accident, that kind of thing – so we do say to customers aim to receive the bag a  day before you need it,” Ewart says.”We’re finding that hotels are happy to receive bags the day before and put it in their luggage room. It’s a great service for the hotels as well because it allows the hotels to show a bit of customer service for their clients.”With the airlines relying more and more on ancillary charges, Ewart warns that even more baggage charges are on the way.”I wouldn’t be surprised to see further charges on first bags, especially for economy passengers for long-haul flights and I definitely think we’re going to see new hand baggage fees appear across the next couple of years,” he says.last_img read more

‘Disappointed’ Amit says Centeno deserves the gold

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ The two-time World 10-ball champion had two options for the 6-ball on the far end of the table in the 13th and last rack.“I went for the high percentage, mathematically it’s the best choice,” said Amit who pocketed on the corner from right side of the table. She had all the intention of preparing for the 8-ball in back of the table.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I felt that I hit it well. And then I saw it (mother ball) fall on the side pocket,” said Amit, who yelled along with the people watching the match at KLCC Function Hall 4.But she didn’t want to take away the glory from her 18-year-old opponent. “She deserves the gold medal. She came back from 2-5 and played steady,” said Amit. “But I can’t deny I was really disappointed. Give me the whole day to feel bad about it.”Amit said she’s preparing for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games next month.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ PH wins bronze in sepak takraw men’s doubles Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit of the Philippines celebrate after winning gold and silver medals, respectively, in the women’s 9-ball singles event of the 29th Southeast Asian Games billiards competition Sunday at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOLKUALA LUMPUR — It was a heartbreaker for Rubilen Amit in the Southeast Asian Games women’s 9-ball final Sunday.“I asked God, if I lose, does it have to be this painful?,” said the 35-year-old in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Former employee challenging Fraser for mayors chair in Taylor

first_imgIncumbent councillors Betty Ponto, Brent Taillefer, and Dave Lueneberg have officially submitted re-election bids. The trio were all acclaimed in 2014 but will need to campaign in this year’s election after two other candidates officially submitted nomination papers.Sherry Davies and Michelle Turnbull will be looking to get elected to one of the four seats on Taylor Council.This year’s municipal election is taking place on October 20th, with advance voting days on the 10th and 17th. TAYLOR, B.C. – Voters will need to decide who will be the District of Taylor’s next mayor, and the race will be an interesting one.Incumbent mayor Rob Fraser will be looking to get re-elected to a second term in the upcoming election. Fraser served as a councillor in Taylor from 1994 to 2006 before being elected mayor in 2014 to succeed former mayor Fred Jarvis. Jarvis declined to run for re-election that year, after serving as the District’s mayor for 28 years.On Friday, Laura Prosko became the lone other candidate to file nomination papers in the mayoral race. Prosko was, until recently, the District’s Director of Community Services.last_img read more