Pope honors Notre Dame priest

first_imgAt an Ash Wednesday Mass in Vatican City, Pope Francis commissioned more than 700 priests — including Notre Dame’s Fr. Joseph Corpora — as Missionaries of Mercy.Corpora, who serves as director of University-school partnerships for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), said the Missionaries of Mercy are granted the authority to forgive sins usually reserved to the pope.“There are certain sins that if a priest does, he’s automatically excommunicated from the Church,” he said. “There are other sins that lay people commit that are reserved to the Holy See. We have the faculty to forgive those sins for the year’s length.“The real work is trying to help in one’s own way to help people more fully accept and believe in God’s mercy.”Corpora, a 1976 Notre Dame graduate, was ordained a Holy Cross priest in 1984, according to the ACE website. He served as the pastor of two churches over the course of two decades — a primarily Latino parish in Arizona and a parish in Oregon. He founded the first Catholic school to be opened in the Diocese of Phoenix in 30 years.According to the ACE website, Corpora returned to Notre Dame in 2009. He currently serves as associate director of Latino student ministry within the office of Campus Ministry. He also directs the Catholic School Advantage Campaign, an ACE initiative seeking to double to percentage of Latino families who enroll their children in Catholic schools.Corpora traveled to Rome on Feb. 7 at the invitation of Pope Francis, who designated this liturgical year as a Jubilee Year of Mercy last April.“I think that when the Holy Father came up with this idea, part of what he was thinking was a way of getting a whole world to think about mercy,” he said. “He seems to have an extraordinary grace of knowing what the world needs.”Corpora said he had the chance to meet Pope Francis for a brief second, as he was greeting members of the crowd. He kissed the pope’s hand, although he did not get to speak with him.“Sometimes you meet famous people, and they’re not who they seem like,” he said. “But that’s not at all with him. He is who you see on TV.”The hundreds of missionaries hailed from countries around the world, Corpora said.“After the Father spoke to us, we all sang the ‘Hail Holy Queen’ in Latin,” he said. “It was interesting to hear 700 people singing that song, from all over the world, in the same language. … There was a sense of commonality amongst us. It struck me.”The commission of the missionaries was scheduled for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Corpora said seeing a cardinal put ashes, a symbol of penitence, on the pope’s forehead was particularly impactful.“He always says he’s a sinner, so I shouldn’t have been surprised,” he said. “But he got ashes like everyone else.”Corpora said he does not know how he was selected to be a Missionary of Mercy. He received an email from the Vatican on Dec. 22, saying his name had been submitted and the pope had accepted it.“As far as I am aware, this has never happened for a Jubilee Year before,” he said. “That the pope would select certain people to be part of this whole endeavor — it fits him perfectly. He hasn’t involved ‘on the ground’ priests before.”Corpora’s new role requires him to suspend his regular pastoral duties for a year. He has plans to travel to Catholic dioceses across the country to offer penance services and speak with priests and bishops.“I’m supposed to just make myself available, and what that’s going to mean is hearing confessions and talking about this whole idea of what God’s mercy is,” he said.Corpora said he was grateful, surprised and humbled to be a Missionary of Mercy.“All you need to be a Missionary of Mercy is to be a big sinner and know a lot about forgiveness,” he said. “I’m a big sinner and know a lot about forgiveness. It’s not like it’s something to be proud of. I do think that I have received a lifetime of mercy and forgiveness, and I want to be able to pass that on in any way that I can.”Tags: ACE, Fr. Copora, Jubilee Year, Jubilee Year of Mercy, Missionary of Mercy, Pope Francislast_img read more

The Wiz Live! Looks Flashier (& Greener) than Ever

first_imgSo you wanted to meet the Wizard? Here she is! December 3 will be a brand new day as The Wiz Live! finally airs on NBC. And while 2013’s The Sound of Music had a house opening up to reveal a church and last year’s Peter Pan had a flying Marnie Michaels, this year’s musical telecast looks to be flashier, grander and more electrifying than ever. Take a look below at the latest promo, which features glimpses of a positively emerald Queen Latifah and Common, some fabulous Winkies, a literally radiant Uzo Aduba as Glinda and more. With those sets and those powerhouse vocals that we’ve already gotten a taste of, we’re more than ready to ease on down the road. View Commentslast_img read more

Guatemala Ratifies Commitment to Outlaw Nuclear Testing

first_imgBy Dialogo January 17, 2012 Guatemala has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), suspended for 15 years, the head of the Vienna-based organization said on January 13. “Guatemala’s ratification of the CTBT is an important building block towards a world free of nuclear weapons,” said the executive secretary of the CTBT organization. “It underlines Guatemala’s commitment to outlaw nuclear testing and to enhance non-proliferation and disarmament worldwide.” Guatemala signed the treaty in 1999, and its Foreign Minister Rodas Melgar, ratified it at UN headquarters in New York late on January 12. The treaty, which bans nuclear explosions for either military or civilian purposes, has been signed by 182 countries and ratified by 156 states. The treaty will not take force until ratified by the United States, China, Egypt, Iran and Israel (which have signed but not ratified it) as well as North Korea, India and Pakistan (which have not signed it) — all countries with nuclear technology. In April 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama raised hopes when he said he would seek U.S. Senate ratification of the CTBT, but Washington, D.C. has since put the treaty on hold.last_img read more

Recording available of CUNA’s faster payments webinar

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA members can register for free to access a recording of Wednesday’s webinar on the Federal Reserve’s development of faster payments, designed to answer member questions and solicit feedback for CUNA’s comments. The recording will be posted within the next 24-48 hours, and it features a discussion of faster payments as CUNA prepares its comments for the Fed, due Dec. 14.The webinar featured a summary of the Federal Reserve’s recent request for comment on two possible actions to develop faster payments in the U.S., a look at credit union concerns about the proposals and how stakeholders can provide feedback to CUNA and directly to the Fed.Specifically, the possible actions by the Fed are:The development of a service for real-time interbank settlement of faster payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (24x7x365); andThe creation of a liquidity management tool that would enable transfers between Federal Reserve accounts on a 24x7x365 basis to support services for real-time interbank settlement of faster payments.Fed representatives have hosted a series of town halls detailing potential actions, one of which CUNA attended. League representatives attended several as well. continue reading »last_img read more

The CUInsight Experience podcast: Neen James – Listen with your eyes (#31)

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randall Smith Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust.As one of the co-founders of CUInsight.com he … Web: www.CUInsight.com Details Welcome to episode 31 of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Hosted by Randy Smith, co-founder and publisher of CUInsight.com. Today Randy is chatting with Neen James, the author of Folding Time and Attention Pays. She is also a top leadership expert and motivational speaker who challenges those she works with to leverage their focus and pay attention to what matters in work and life. Randy and Neen discuss the evolution of her philosophies on time and attention management and why she doesn’t believe time management exists. They dig deep into what great leaders need in their toolbox to inspire and serve their teams. Neen also shares why she believes that work and life are not separate facets of your life, but instead create a whole you.This conversation is a fast-paced gold mine of actionable advice and thought-provoking ideas. If you have thought to yourself that you need an inspiring conversation to get you out of your leadership funk, this is the episode for you. Listen in and then comment with your favorite tip.Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher How to find Neen:Neen JamesAuthor, Leadership Expert, Keynote Speakerwww.neenjames.com Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTubeShow notes from this episode:Neen’s books: Attention Pays, Folding TimeCheck out Neen’s blog here. I’m a huge fan of this.See all Neen’s articles in the Community.Shout out: Pro Dive Cairns – If you’re looking for a liveaboard to dive the Great Barrier Reef.Book mentioned: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New RichShout out: The National Speakers AssociationAlbums mentioned: The Greatest Showman SoundtrackBook mentioned: The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, Exactly What to Say by Phil JonesPrevious guests mentioned in this episode: Jill Nowacki (Ep. 4 & Ep. 18)You can find all past episodes of The CUInsight Experience here.In This Episode:[00:28] – Welcome back to the show! This week’s guest is Neen James, a top leadership speaker, and author.[03:31] – What does it mean to need attention to get results?[04:59] – Work and life are inseparable, learn how to change your thinking on these topics.[06:07] – Learn the keys to productivity and attention management with the 15-minute rule.[09:11] – Why “no” is such a productive word! (and how it makes a complete sentence!)[11:05] – What makes a good leader great?[13:39] – Neen shares why she doesn’t believe in time management.[16:47] – Why are we are the enemy of our attention, not technology?[20:36] – Learn how paying attention results in ROI for a business, including in talent management.[23:00] – Neen talks about the path she took to become this version of herself.[25:25] – How has the inspiration changed as she has developed as a speaker?[27:29] – Evolution has been the key to keeping her message fresh over time.[29:47] – Listen to Neen’s reaction to the phrase, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”[32:43] – “Listen with your eyes.” — Neen’s most tweeted line and most used phrase.[36:33] – What does Neen do to get past problems she faces or walls that drop in her path?[39:21] – Learn how Neen recharges and spends her downtime.[41:10] – Neen shares the first time she got into memorable trouble.[42:34] – How matcha tea has made it into Neen’s daily routines.[43:45] – Best album of all time… The Greatest Showman Soundtrack![44:45] – The two books Neen gifts are, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Exactly What to Say by Phil Jones[46:12] – What has become more and less important as Neen has gotten older?[48:12] – When Neen hears the work success, she thinks of…[49:47] – Neens final thought and ask is to challenge everyone to listen with their eyes.last_img read more

Get Ready NYCB Theatre at Westbury, J. Geils Band Will Rock!

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The J. Geils Band really needs no introduction. Since their formation in the hazy, crazy time of 1967, they’ve sold more than 10 million records, racked up five gold records, a double-platinum record, a Grammy nomination and toured with the Stones and the Allman Brothers.Although they’re regarded as a Boston band, that’s only part of the story. It all began in New York City, where Jay Geils was born before moving to New Jersey and then studying engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. That’s where the great guitarist met the funky bass-man Danny Klein and the bearded blues harp master known to us today only as Magic Dick. Then the young men moved to Beantown and joined forces later with Peter Wolf on vocals, Stephen Jo Bladd on drums and Seth Justman on keyboards.For their first gigs around New England they were called the J. Geils Blues Band and that’s who they were when I saw them play a mind-blowing outdoor summer concert in Portland, Maine. Soon they dropped the “Blues” from their name but not their repertoire as their wonderful first album, self-titled, came out in 1970 on Atlantic Records thanks to the perspicacious music-business acumen of Jerry Wexler.Their premiere release included lots of great covers like John Lee Hooker’s “Serves You Right to Suffer;” blues great Albert Collins’ “Sno-Cone,” and Otis Rush and the Contours’ “Homework,” with its great refrain: “I can’t do my homework anymore!”—the song that always opened my college FM radio show. But my favorite was their version of Smokey Robinson’s “First I Look at the Purse,” which is one of the songs that Nick Hornby features in his literary tribute to pop music called 31 Songs.Before becoming the front man of the band known for his Cab Calloway-like vocalizing, Wolf was the fast-talking disc jockey (as well as the program and music director) on Boston’s best rock radio station, WBCN, where his moniker was the “Wolfa Goofa Mama Toofa.” Years later, Wolf was the voice for the audio version of the memoir of the great Fillmore East & West promoter Bill Graham, which was recorded after he’d died in a helicopter crash. Also worth noting, Wolfe was once married to the actress Faye Dunaway of Bonnie and Clyde fame and was a roommate of future Hollywood filmmaker David Lynch.It’s ironic that Seth Justman and Peter Wolf could combine their writing talents when the band was in the 1970s and getting hot but couldn’t keep it together in the 1980s when their tastes went off in different directions, ultimately tearing the band apart. At first the band fittingly toured extensively with blues legends like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells and James Cotton. But then they got a little slicker, adopting a more new-wavey sound in the 1980s.The band’s romantic numbers range from “Looking for a Love,” which is a super fast paean to frustration, to “Love Stinks,” the ultimate downside of disappointment. Their tune “Centerfold,” about the shock an old boyfriend experiences when he finds out that his former girlfriend has been letting it all hang out, got so much air play (if not foreplay) in 1981 it went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and remained there for about six weeks. It’s a quirky song, not typical of their musical prowess or their R&B roots, but it struck a chord in pop culture and had enough charm to avoid the wrath of the growing religious right wing, which had begun to hound rock radio in the reactionary age of Ronald Reagan.The band’s last studio album was You’re Getting’ Even While I’m Getting’ Odd, which came out in 1984 after Wolf had left. All told, the band did nine albums for Atlantic Records and five albums for EMI America. There’s been great live albums and two “best of” compilations, one in 1979, the second in 2006.Wolf went solo in 1983 but he’s rejoined the band every so often since the late ’90s. He’s got a new solo album coming out next summer, reportedly. His 2010 Midnight Souvenirs effort featured Merle Haggard, Shelby Lynne and Neko Case; his 2002 album Sleepless borrowed the talents of Steve Earle and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Wolf will be doing an acoustic show with his Midnight Travelers later this winter at the Winery in Manhattan.But first up in our area is the J. Geils Band blowing the lid off the NYCB Theatre in Westbury on Tuesday, Dec. 16, then shuffling off to Buffalo for a night before coming back to Madison Square Garden as the opening act for Bob Seger, who’s been a long-time friend of theirs. If you want to see them in their full glory—just them and there’s nobody like them—then the Westbury venue is the place to go to hear them perform their classics like “House Party” or “Give It to Me” or “Freeze Frame.” You know when they whip out their “whammer jammer” you’re in for a freakin’ good time.For more mind-blowing gigs and performances at NYCB Theatre at Westbury, check out their page in The Island Ear!NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $59.50, $79.50. 8 p.m. December 16Watch J. Geils Band’s immortal “Love Stinks” video below!last_img read more

Andrew Aley, TripAdvisor: Online booking should be simplified as much as possible, as currently only 20 percent of customers book services outside the hotel online

first_imgThe only conference on hotel operations in Europe, HOW Festival, is held in Porec on the island of Sv. Nikola at the Valamar Collection Isabella Island Resort.The conference brought together more than 450 participants, mostly hotel directors, heads of operations and hotel departments, and eminent domestic and foreign panelists. The focus of the second edition of this festival, which has turned Poreč into the center of the European hotel industry, is to present the latest global trends and raise the quality of hotel operations.The first presentation on “Talking about the experience – do you know what kind of experience modern tourists are looking for” was given by Andrew Aley, Regional Director for EMEA from TripAdvisor Experiences. He spoke about guest reviews and ratings, noting that the hospitality industry is an industry of experiences, and how their platform can help hoteliers attract more guests and their travelers feel more secure. “We all want the same thing, and that is for guests to experience the best experience. Our platform is large and very influential, as most when planning a trip look at the reviews and ratings of the hotels, restaurants and attractions they want to visit. It is not true that a guest gives reviews only when he is angry or dissatisfied, but he wants to share his positive experiences with others“, Said Aley and added that they offer new tools useful to hoteliers who are trying to get more reviews. He then mentioned that research has shown that when guests are offered various new experiences, then guest satisfaction increases, and that online booking should be simplified as much as possible, because currently only 20 percent of total customers book services outside the hotel online.The panel discussion “Global Trends in Hotel Operations” was moderated by the Director of HOW Festival and HESA Group Marina Franolić, and was attended by Sabina Bartyzel, Director of AccorHotels for Hungary and Srđan Mileković, Senior Vice President for Hotel Operations for EAME region at Hyatt International. They agreed that the main drivers of business in the hotel industry are experiences and experiences. “Our business is subject to the greatest changes due to the expectations and needs of new generations. We have to adapt to them, and first of all introduce digitalization. We strive to make our guests feel welcome and our employees appreciatedSaid Bartyzel. Mileković pointed out that over the years they had to reduce the standards of their brands in order to speed up the processes, and at the same time all other experiences remained in line with the brand.They talked about the need to reduce or increase the interaction of employees with customers, or to educate staff to recognize what the guest wants at a given time. Therefore, some processes have been accelerated by the introduction of new technologies, such as shortening check-in time  options for customers to choose whether to check in with hotel staff or automatically. Namely, the younger generations who are more technologically aware expect online check-in and check-out, mobile keys and direct entry into the room. They also talked about the hotels of the future where guests will be served by robots, but the general conclusion of the panel is that technology can change some operations, but it can hardly replace the warmth and smile of staff. Srđan also pointed out a number of examples from the industry, ie how it has changed in recent years.”What kind of leaders will the hospitality industry of the future need?” Was the topic of Susan Farnie, talent development director for the EMEA region at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “The advent of millennials is changing the hotel industry globally, and in addition, the situation in the world is unstable, and technology is constantly changing. Leaders in this industry must therefore be able to function in such an unstable environment and have the ability to learn constantly, because what they are doing now in five years will be completely different. It is known that 60 percent of children who now start school will do jobs that do not exist today”, Explained Farnie. The skills that the industry should look for in its leaders in its opinion are the ability to manage change, creativity, credibility, agility in learning, cultural intelligence and critical thinking.Gregor Jamnik, director of Slovenia’s Best Western Premier Hotel Slon, spoke with Gustaf Pilebje, food and beverage director for Europe at Marriot International. At the opening of the hotel and / or restaurant, the behavior of the guests,  culinary trends, changes in eating habits, and the fact that restaurants are becoming places to eat, socialize and meet. Also important is the design of the space. “There may not be a reception or help desk in the future, but the restaurant will always remain a place where guests will sit and where staff will have the greatest interaction with them,” Pilebjer said, stressing the importance of everyone being attentive to guests. The global problem of labor shortage in the F&B sector was also mentioned, to which Pilebjer said that they solve it through internal marketing. Employees have skills and in his company they want them to be proud of what they do.John Bartlett, head of results reporting at InterContinental Hotels Group, spoke on how to use the data to better know guests. There is a lot of data, they come from various sources, so they need to be well analyzed and processed in order to make the right decisions, in order for a hotel to improve its services and make a higher profit. He showed an example of how the hotel in the United Kingdom was one of the worst in terms of results and guests’ opinions, and internal data and development brought the hotel to an almost leading position. Just because they used the data to find out what guests expect from the hotel and make changes accordingly.Mirjana Matešić, head coach of the CSR of the UNICEF Academy in Croatia and director of HP PSOR, spoke about children’s rights and tourism. She stated that business responsibility for the protection of children’s rights is a topic that is insufficiently talked about in our country. Children are a vulnerable group. They must be taken into account by the business sector, whether they are the children of employees and suppliers, children who are guests or workers. It often happens that students who come to practice are exploited. Therefore, codes of conduct are important in companies, as well as educating employees to know how to treat children who are guests. UNICEF has developed ten principles on children’s rights and business.Luka Berger, founder and CEO of Flexkeeping, moderated the panel discussion “Technology for Communication Within a Hotel: Which Management is Right? Higher ROI or better quality of service? What technology is applicable? Should we invest or not? ” Speakers were Alfred Eeltink, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hotel Facility Concepts, Peter Lösch, Director of the Luxury Segment of Rovinj’s Maistra and Liutauras Vaitkevicius, Director of the Good Hotel in London. They pointed out that technology is changing rapidly, as well as that hotels are lagging behind in the introduction of new technologies, and it is not known whether there will always be a refund. Tools that speed up processes, such as shortening check-in and check-out times, are mostly used.As one of the reasons for the slow application of new technologies, they stated that hoteliers are educated in the traditional way. Everyone today has smartphones and tablets, and hotels primarily offer accommodation. The innovations will be introduced in the future, usually in the next two to three years, like voice tools in rooms, but it will depend on whether the technology is one hundred percent good and applicable, because there are currently shortcomings, the panel concluded.Dalibor Šumiga, director of Promosapeins, a behavioral marketing agency, presented how research is conducted in order to get the correct answers to the questions asked by the guests. Namely, through classic surveys it has been shown that guests / customers lie because they do not know the answer and do not want to look stupid, or they hesitate between several answers, ie they want to give a socially acceptable answer. His research company uses priming, an alternative persuasion tactic. Such research is conducted in order to find out the right opinion of the guests and to know which elements of the service / experience should be influenced in order to change the opinion, if necessary.last_img read more

One click away: You can now pay tuition for some 180 schools with GoPay

first_imgForget traditional payment methods or bank transfers; users of Gojek’s digital wallet platform GoPay, now have the option to pay for school tuition and other bills for students and student activities with just one click through the GoPay app.The homegrown decacorn has struck a partnership with around 180 education institutions — including pesantren (Islamic boarding schools), madrasah (Islamic religious schools) and learning centers across the country — making payment options for them available on the app’s GoBills feature. “This latest feature enables parents and guardians to pay for their children’s tuition anywhere they want, without having to physically go to the school. Busy parents should no longer worry about missing tuition deadlines,” GoPay senior vice president of sales Arno Tse said in a statement on Monday.  He went on to say that schools would also benefit from digital payments made through GoPay, as every transaction would be automatically recorded and organized for posterity.So far, schools and institutions that have joined with GoPay and are featured in the app’s GoBills include, among others, the IPMI International Business School in Jakarta, UNICEF (Universal Central English Foundation) Kampung Inggris in Kediri, East Java and Al Hidayah boarding school in Depok, West Java.“We hope to be able to reach out to more educational institutions in Indonesia to implement digital payments,” Arno said.GoPay has previously cooperated with Tarumanegara University in Jakarta; Bunda Mulia University in Tangerang, Banten; and Madrasah Miftahul Akhlaqiyah in Semarang, Central Java, on the implementation of the Quick Response Indonesia Standard (QRIS). The company also provided electronic payment infrastructure for over 50 vocational high schools (SMK) in North Jakarta, early last year. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

As Spain cases soar, school return comes too soon for some

first_img“This is an absurd safety risk.” Topics : ‘Let them fine me’ Others fear the economic impact if a child falls ill. “If we have to confine ourselves at home for 15 days because of the school, my husband would not earn anything,” Miranda said.The social security ministry has raised the possibility of extending a furlough scheme for parents forced to observe a period of preventative quarantine.But reluctant families could technically face much heavier sanctions of “between one and three years in jail”, the Madrid region’s education chief warned last month.It remains unclear to what extent the authorities will follow the letter of the law.”That is the question everyone is asking now,” said Pedro Caballero, head of a Catholic parents’ association looking into the situation, which is fraught with legal uncertainties.The education minister has also requested a study on the use of sanctions, without ruling them out. “I must remind families that education is a human right for pupils, not for their parents. And the authorities are obliged to see this is respected between the ages of six and 16,” she told El Pais newspaper.Miranda is not deterred.”If they want to come to my home to fine me, then they fine me, my children are what is most important to me,” she said. ‘Risk-free doesn’t exist’ For weeks now, there have been a growing number of protests and petitions across Spain to demand better health and safety measures in schools. An international Ipsos poll in July found most Spanish parents would back limiting the number of days children are in school, with one in four preferring to wait four to six months before sending them back.In the face of the concerns, the authorities have swung between assurances of safety and threats of sanctions. “Going back to school is safe,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Tuesday.”It’s clear that ‘risk-free’ does not exist during an epidemic but there is a risk that we can avoid: that of social exclusion through not going to school.”Fernando Simon, the health ministry’s emergencies coordinator, said nowhere was risk-free and that children could catch the virus in the park, from their cousins or through an adult who caught it at work. “We can’t keep our children in a bubble,” he said, in remarks echoed this weekend by Education Minister Isabel Celaa.”The safest place to be is in school and the benefits of being there are far greater than the possible risks,” she told Spain’s RNE public radio.Many fear sending their children to school will put older family members at risk in a country where one in four families live with a relative who is over 65.”I want to respect the law but if I have to choose between saving their lives or the lives of my parents, and sending my children back to school, it’s a no-brainer,” father-of-five Pablo Sanchez told AFP.center_img With coronavirus cases surging as a new school year begins, many Spanish parents are refusing to send their children back to class despite the threat of sanctions.”You have your whole life to learn, but if you lose your health, that’s it,” says Aroa Miranda, a 37-year-old mother-of-two who won’t send her boys to school this week when term resumes in the coastal town of Castellon de la Plana.Like its European neighbors, Spain is reopening schools this month despite the rapid spread of the virus, with the country counting the highest number of new infections on the continent. “Going back to school is being treated like an experiment, we’re like guinea pigs,” said Miranda, who is about to take her three-year-old off the nursery school list, which is voluntary at his age.”For my eight-year-old, I will pretend he’s ill so I don’t have to send him to school.”Although masks are obligatory in school for anyone aged six and over and social distancing measures have been put in place, she doesn’t think it’s enough. “If I can’t meet with more than 10 people in my home, I don’t understand why my son has to be in class with 25 children,” she railed. last_img read more

TOP Ships Secures Loan for One MR2 Vessel

first_imgGreek tanker owner and operator TOP Ships has concluded a financing agreement with an undisclosed Chinese financier to refinance one of its MR2 tankers.As informed, the gross proceeds from the new financing amount to USD 25.6 million and will be used mainly to refinance the facility of the 49,700 dwt Stenaweco Excellence with Nord LB.The tenor of the new facility is ten years.The company also revealed that it intends to enter into two additional financing agreements with the same financier at similar terms in order to exercise its purchase options for the Stenaweco Energy and Stenaweco Evolution.These acquisitions are expected to be concluded during the fourth quarter of 2019.“We are very pleased to have concluded this financing with a very high quality financier and look forward to concluding the two additional financings. These new financings will lead to a lower cost of debt for the 3 vessels overall,” Evangelos Pistiolis, the President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company, commented.TOP Ships has a fleet of a total of fourteen tankers including Suezmaxes, MR2 and MR1 ships.last_img read more