Cruise bookings rise on coronavirus vaccine news, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO says

first_imgFrank Del Rio, CEO, Norwegian Cruise LineScott Mlyn | CNBC Pfizer‘s encouraging vaccine news Monday gave some consumers enough comfort to book cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio said Tuesday.Data from Pfizer’s late-stage vaccine trial news sent the U.S. stock markets soaring Monday, along with Norwegian and its peers, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean, which all surged by almost 30%. Del Rio told analysts on the company’s third-quarter earnings call Tuesday that the vaccine news drove higher-than-usual bookings on Monday. Norwegian’s shares were trading down by more than 5% on Tuesday after reporting mixed earnings results and continued uncertainty about when sailing might resume.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “Bookings, the last 24 hours, yesterday, were pretty good, better than the previous four or five Mondays. And that, I think, is attributable to the vaccine news,” he said. “We did not have any particular promotion or did any outsized marketing.”Del Rio touted the Pfizer news as “a significant milestone” and also noted that the Food and Drug Administration authorized Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment on Monday evening. Both of these developments, executives said, along with advances in Covid-19 testing will help cruise travel resume.While most industries have suffered from the pandemic, the cruise industry is among the hardest hit. The industry was brought to a standstill in mid-March when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order after coronavirus outbreaks occurred on several ships. The CDC previously said “that cruise ship travel exacerbates the global spread of Covid-19” in justifying the order.- Advertisement –center_img Last month, the CDC lifted the no-sail order and replaced it with a “Conditional Sailing Order,” which lays out a phased approach to help cruise companies resume operations in U.S. waters.With the replacement of the no-sail order and the advances in Covid-19 vaccines, testing and therapeutics, Del Rio said “the excitement level hasn’t been this high in a long, long time.”The company is in talks with the CDC about how to interpret the conditional sailing order, Del Rio said, and Norwegian hopes to launch some “trial sailings” with the agency in January. Such test cruises would work to review the health protocols that Norwegian and its industry peers put in place to see if they effectively limit the spread of the virus and protect passengers.Norwegian partnered with rival Royal Caribbean back in July to hire a handful of top epidemiologists and former U.S. health officials to craft a public health proposal for the CDC that would let them resume sailing. On the board is Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, who was appointed this week to President-elect Joe Biden‘s Covid task force.Norwegian CFO Mark Kempa said the company has set aside $300 million for investments in health and safety. Del Rio added that the $300 million will likely be spread out over “the next few quarters.”Del Rio said he hopes the company’s full fleet can resume operations in six to nine months, though he added that’s just a “best answer today” and there are many uncertainties.Kempa said the company continues to improve its liquidity and conserve cash. The company currently has $2.3 billion in liquidity, including the money set aside for health and safety investments. However, Kempa cautioned that monthly cash burn is expected to rise going forward as the company begins to mobilize its fleet and staff in preparations for a gradual return to service.Kempa said the company has adequate liquidity to continue to operate, noting that it expects a “cash flywheel” upon resumption of cruising. Back in May, the company issued a going concern warning to investors, saying there was “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue. But the company quickly raised more than $2 billion in fresh debt, shoring up its financials for “well over” a year.“Going forward, we do not expect a straight line recovery,” he said. “So we will take a thoughtful and disciplined approach to reintroducing costs as we resume voyages in order to conserve cash, while at the same time balancing the need to drive new cash bookings.” – Advertisement –last_img read more


first_imgA man charged with false imprisonment and criminal damage at a house in Kilmacrennan is to have his case heard at the circuit court in December.Cathal Dobbin of Canal Quay, Coalisland, Co Tyrone, is also charged with assault causing harm at 6 Chapel View on February 6th last.Letterkenny District Court heard the book of evidence in the case had now ben served on Mr Dobbin, 27. The case was adjourned until the next sitting of the circuit court which begins on December 8th next.MAN CHARGED WITH FALSE IMPRISONMENT AT KILMACRENNAN HOUSE was last modified: September 21st, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Cathal Dobbindonegalkilmacrennanlast_img read more


first_imgMET Eireann has issued a weather warning for Donegal this weekend.Forecasters say winds could reach speeds of up to or more than 100km/hr.That’s strong enough to cause damage. The warning comes after a miserable Saturday morning in which torrential rain once again hit the county.A Met Eireann spokesman told Donegal Daily this evening: “Sunday will be a very windy, blustery day with strong to gale force southwest to west winds gusting 90 to 100 km/hr.“These will be strongest in the North West and could be higher than 100km/hr.“Showers will become widespread too, many heavy and some possibly thundery.” Winds will reduce into Sunday night.At the moment a storm threatening to hit southern parts of Ireland and Britain on Monday aren’t expected to reach Donegal.However the forecast for the next few days is for more wet weather.MET EIREANN Wind Warning for Ireland issued at 6pm SaturdayStrong to gale force southwest to westerly winds will gust 80 to 90 km/h., at times during Sunday. Winds may occasionally gust up to 100 km/h., along parts of the West and Northwest coasts.  Issued:Saturday 26 October 2013 18:00Valid:Sunday 27 October 2013 06:00 to Sunday 27 October 2013 15:00 WEATHER WARNING AS 100KM/HR STORM SET TO BATTER DONEGAL was last modified: October 26th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:damagedonegaldonegal daily weatherWarningweatherwindslast_img read more

Timbuktu manuscripts get new home

first_imgSouth Africa handed over the brand new library for the Timbuktu Manuscripts to the Malian government in May. South Africa was instrumental in the building of the facility and the training of archival staff.Abdel Kader Haidara is a leading manuscript expert in Timbuktu. His collection includes an ancient Koran previously owned by several Moroccan kings. (Image: Mental Floss, Most ErasmusOn 29 May 2010 South Africa officially handed over the brand new library for the Timbuktu Manuscripts to the Malian government. South Africa was instrumental in the building of the climate-controlled facility and the training of archival staff.The facility will be known as the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research. It can house between 200 000 and 300 000 documents, and has space for exhibitions too.South Africa, represented by Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, transferred the building to the Malian minister of higher education and scientific research, Siby Ginette Bellegarde.The construction of the library was instigated by former president Thabo Mbeki, who visited Timbuktu in 2001.Mbeki later said he had been “moved” to see the dedicated staff at the Ahmed Baba Centre struggling to preserve the priceless documents with very little resources or funding. At that time there were about 18 000 manuscripts in the building. The centre is Timbuktu’s only public library.Without properly sealed rooms and climate control, the manuscripts were in danger of being irreversibly damaged by insects, the dry air and the abrasive Sahara sand.After seeing this Mbeki resolved to do something to intervene, and he declared the library’s construction an official Presidential project.On Africa Day in 2003 the project was initiated under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Fittingly, Africa Day in 2010 was celebrated on 25 May, just four days before the handover ceremony.The entire project was managed through a trust fund, which helped to raise funds through various activities, such as public exhibitions in South Africa of some of the manuscripts in 2006 and 2008.The project had a threefold aim: to build the new library to cutting-edge specifications; to train Malian staff in the proper techniques of preservation and restoration; and to raise public awareness of the need to preserve this valuable part of Africa’s heritage.The South African National Archives was closely involved in the training process, both in South Africa and Mali.The existing Ahmed Baba Centre also underwent an extensive upgrade.Ancient hub of learningThe historic city of Timbuktu, which lies about 15km north of the Niger River in Mali, was founded around 1100 by Tuareg nomads, but it was only in the 11th century that a permanent settlement was established.Timbuktu was inscribed on Unesco’s World Heritage list in 1988. In its heyday, in the 15th and 16th centuries, the city was renowned as a centre for learning and Islamic studies. Scholars came from all over Africa to study at the many prestigious institutions which flourished there.Although many of its people are now impoverished, modern Timbuktu still evokes a sense of the golden days, not only in the historical buildings scattered all around, but in the many private libraries that still exist. These family-run libraries sprang up all over Timbuktu as more and more Muslim scholars passed through the city, leaving behind them a written legacy in subjects ranging from astronomy, mathematics and geography to religion and legal matters.Although nobody knows exactly how many manuscripts still exist, it is estimated that between 300 000 and 700 000 of the priceless tomes are preserved, most of them in private homes.Three imposing, ancient mosques – Djingareyber, Sankoré and Sidi Yahia – stand in the city as a reminder that the University of Sankoré once housed the largest collection of books since the one found in the ancient Library of Alexandria. The university still functions today, and accommodates about 15 000 scholars.While Africa is most often associated with an oral tradition of passing down learning and culture, the Tumbuktu manuscripts are proof that it also has a substantial written heritage – that was much greater than that found in Europe during the same era.The legendary Ahmed Baba was a scholar at Sankoré – he is honoured in the name of the current facility, built in the 1970s by the Malian government with the assistance of Unesco, which has tried to preserve, restore and digitise the documents.Sources: Unesco’s World Heritage Convention, and New Partnership for Africa’s Development.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

WHO uses Mxit, JamiiX to tackle disasters

first_img1 February 2011The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) South-East Asia regional office has teamed up with popular mobile social networks MXit and JamiiX – both developed in South Africa – to bring emergency preparedness information to chat users in disaster-prone Indonesia.This new approach is part of WHO’s wider effort to strengthen disaster preparedness in the region and build public awareness of the urgent need for safe hospitals in disaster zones.“The WHO campaign illustrates the value and power of social networking in assisting communities that need help most,” Mxit founder and CEO Herman Heunis said in a statement last week.“As climate change and severe weather variations take a hold of many locations around the world, it makes sense to develop ways for communities and countries to receive life-saving information and assistance in a reliable and affordable way.“We commend WHO for initiating this important project.”Leveraging new technologyIndonesians using MXit chat will be able to access personal preparedness information, including what to do in the case of natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and cyclones, how to prepare an emergency kit, and how to plan for possible evacuation.This information is teamed up with facts on safe hospitals in disaster zones and ways, as an individual, to support WHO’s drive for safe health facilities.“We are leveraging new communication technology in order to ease the availability, accessibility, and effectiveness of health information and services,” said Dr Roderico Ofrin, regional adviser for WHO’s emergency and humanitarian action. “Through this campaign we will continue to explore innovative means of bringing critical information in times of emergencies.”Power of social mediaOver the last decade, more than half-a-million people in South-East Asia have died in devastating floods, cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis. People living in the region can support the campaign by adding their voice and signing up on MXit to assist WHO to reach its one-million supporter target.“Being able to access life-saving information at your fingertips is an empowering initiative by WHO, and we are excited to be part of this campaign, which displays the power of social media,” said Marlon Parker, CEO of JamiiX and founder of RLabs.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Getting a Grip on Green-Home Appraisals and Insurance

first_imgOne of green residential construction’s growing pains has been the disconnect between what an appraiser might declare a new, energy efficient house is worth and what it actually costs to build.It’s certainly not a new problem, and, fortunately, it continues to attract attention. Back in December, GBA Advisor Michael Chandler, founder Chandler Design-Build in North Carolina, wrote about his experience with the issue – an appraisal on a $400,000 project whose high-performance foam insulation and solar technology were valued at 50 cents on the dollar – and the need to educate Realtors, appraisers, and bankers about green building, and do it on a nationwide scale. RELATED ARTICLES Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 3Green Building Appraisal and Financing IssuesGreen Home Appraisal WoesA Step Toward Fairer Green Home ValuationsWhen Green Poses an Appraisal ProblemQ&A: Bad Appraisal on a New Green HomeQ&A: Refinance and Appraisal of Net-Zero Home We also noted that the appraisal problem can be particularly onerous when new or recently upgraded homes are located in rural areas, where MLS listings with comparable green features can be scarce or nonexistent.Force-fitting for a loanAbout two weeks ago, Chandler’s experience with the $400,000 home – and the green-home appraisal issue in general – was reprised in an article published by the Christian Science Monitor.“We had to go back and strip out some energy features like the solar water heaters and cut back on insulation and add square footage, making it bigger and less (energy-)efficient to get to the $400,000 appraisal,” he told the paper. “Houses that are dramatically more efficient than normal, on average cost $15,000 to $20,000 more than houses built to code standard, but that’s not being reflected in the appraisals.”Since green-home construction is nowadays one of the few sectors showing signs of life for residential builders, there’s added urgency to the push for education programs that can help appraisers measure the value of green-home features and more quickly build a database of relevant data, conventions, and guidelines.The CSM story notes that progress in that area might get a boost from some lenders in the banking community, who have begun to offer $1,000 off closing costs for homes that qualify as energy efficient. The Department of Energy points out on its website that there are several green mortgage products on market, but acknowledges that they’re not yet widely adopted. However, the DOE also notes that programs being developed in Maine, New York, and Colorado are designed to inject capital into mortgage products to “buy down” the interest rate that is charged to borrowers as an incentive to finance energy retrofits.The fledgling nature of green-product insuranceAnother actuarially measured component to green-home ownership, insurance, also has been trying to find its way in the emerging market. In a story published April 7, Insurance Journal presented an overview of the concerns that accompany some of the new insurance products being written to protect green construction components, including wind turbines, fuel cells, and garden roofs.The basic issue, some insurers say, is that many green-construction products are still too new to have a well-understood risk profile. Documentation on risks associated with vegetation on roofs is starting build, in part from claims pegged to leaking roofs, for example, but the deployment of wind and fuel cell energy sources in green buildings has not been the focus of many claims so far.David Cohen, senior director of real estate for Commercial Insurance at Fireman’s Fund Insurance, told Insurance Journal that insurers also are homing in on green-construction defect issues.“What everyone always historically or traditionally associates with construction risk is construction defects. Down the road, will there be any construction defect?” Cohen asked.“I think it really depends on exactly what you’re doing in terms of your building,” Cohen said. “If you’re building to the more basic level of LEED certification, for example LEED certified or Silver level, you’re probably not doing anything exotic in terms of the building’s system or technology” and the building would pose no more risk for construction defect than a traditional building. But as builders move up in LEED certification to Gold or Platinum, Cohen added, more unproven technologies are likely to come into play. “Certainly any time you have new technology,” he said, “you’ve got that unknown potential risk or construction defect risk.”last_img read more

The future of tokenization and blockchain is not just ICOs

first_imgClayton Jacobs Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Related Posts Blockchain business case variety seems secondary in the conversation around blockchain hype. Tokenization on a blockchain system has received attention around the world with the increasing prevalence of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).For those who continue to see “ICO”, but have no firm understanding of the definition, here’s an over simplified version. An ICO is a way a company can raise funding through using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. This works by the company creating its own coin, perhaps the ClaytonCoin, and those interested in purchasing shares in the company can trade their Bitcoins for ClaytonCoins. A ClaytonCoin then supposedly represents a share in the company, but, to quote Smith + Crown:“Most ICOs today are marketed as ‘software presale tokens’ akin to giving early access to an online game to early supporters. In order to try to avoid legal requirements that come with any form of a security sale, many ICOs today use language such as ‘crowdsale’ or ‘donation’ instead of ICOs.”The unregulated nature of ICOs caused China and South Korea to ban them. On the other hand, ICOs in the US have found much success such as in the case of Tezos raising $230 million.See Also: LAToken raises millions in ICO to create “the first asset-backed token exchange”Beyond ICOsEven with successful ICOs happening in the US, tokenization built on blockchain is under utilized in terms of its potential. I ran into a start-up called, FundersToken, at an after party for RISE 2017 that is trying to fix this. FundersToken is a CRM software-based company, with the backbone of tokenization. Their software with blockchain technology offers business augmentation and digitalization. Their goal is to allow business with no blockchain experts to use tokenization for various business functions. These include exchange of goods/services, voting, equity transfer (ICOs), and dividends.Voting and governance through tokenization has been done through Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). While in an ideal world the voting rights would work very similar to standard governance in companies, but there are again no regulations. This may prove to be an issue in specific scenarios. Yet, many VCs point to tokenization as the future of governance in addition to funding. Another article from Smith + Crown contains great comparisons of the Pros v. Cons.For this technology to be industry changing, more companies like FundersToken must come forward and include the nontechnical. As a technology evangelist, there is a duty to be patient with the ignorant and help encourage productive uses of new technology. The worst thing that could happen for the future of blockchain is association with only ICOs. That is not to say ICOs don’t promote blockchain properly, in fact, it’s the exact opposite. But, imagine if when the Internet was gaining popularity, the only thing the Internet was known for was digital media. Sure, people would be thrilled to hang on my every word, but it would miss the greater potential.Live AMAThe founding team of FundersToken will be joining myself and the rest of the ReadWrite team on WeChat to do a live AMA about both their product and tokenization within a week. If you would like to participate, feel free to connect with me on WeChat: What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Tags:#bitcoin#Blockchain#dividends#equity#featured#funderstoken#ICO#token#Tokenization#top#voting last_img read more

Bharat Bandh: Over a dozen injured in Bihar clash

first_imgOver a dozen of people were injured on Tuesday in a violent clash in Bihar during the “Bharat Bandh” called by various groups to protest against reservation policies, police said.Supporters, mostly upper castes youths, blocked roads and forcibly enforced the nationwide shut down in Ara town, Bhojpur district.“More than a dozen people were injured in the clash between supporters of the Bandh and a pro-reservation group comprising OBCs and Dalits,” a district police official said. Additional security have been deployed in Ara.According to reports, hundreds of youths opposing reservation to SC/ST and OBCs and supporting the Bandh, have blocked roads at several places, halted trains and forcibly closed markets in Patna, Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Muzafffarpur, Bhojpur, Sheikhpura and Darbhanga districts.The clash comes a day after the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to all states to take precautionary measures in view of calls on social media for the “Bharat Bandh” by various anti-reservation groups to protest clashes during the April 2 SC/ST shut down.The Bharat Bandh on April 2 by Dalit groups against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by a Supreme Court order had led to violence and arson in many parts of the country which claimed several lives and left hundreds of civilians and policemen injured.last_img read more