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A love letter to the crazy ProD2

first_imgThis lineout drive in France’s #ProD2 match between Beziers and Biarrits does not quite go how you think it willpic.twitter.com/I73dkEXz4J— James Harrington (@Jamesonrugby) March 26, 2021Because nine seconds is sometimes all it takes… Biarritz rugby fans at a match against Perpignan this season (Getty Images) “If you want to watch the ProD2, you have to watch the whole competition because it’s like a series,” says Perpignan back-rower Damien Chouly. “It’s like Game of Thrones. Every episode, there’s something happening, and this year was something like that.”Is the French second tier the craziest league in rugby? It certainly feels like every weekend there is at least one clip from the ProD2 that has outsiders typing out Whisky Tango Foxtrot. And if the make-up of the latest European Champions Cup semis and final had pundits pondering if the Top 14 would go on to enjoy an era of continental dominance, the division just below generates storylines every bit as arresting. There are grand old names on the wane; regathering powers; smalltown clubs weaponising synergy; at-the-death winners from rank unfancied sides; more than a smidge of political chaos off the field.  #PROD2 – J21 “Quand ton maul va dans l’en-but aussi vite qu’un ailier” @UsmSapiacRugby pic.twitter.com/KYlvJTe4Be— Rugby PRO D2 (@rugbyprod2) March 1, 2021Because… well, forget the Ash Splash… And on Saturday 5 June, two household names from the South-west, Perpignan and Biarritz, will wrestle their way towards promotion. The winner of the ProD2 final will gain automatic promotion to the Top 14 and the loser goes on to a play-off with the 13th team in the Top 14. The last-placed team in the top division is automatically relegated. But what sets this league apart?Television presenter Cecile Gres, who cut her teeth covering the ProD2, offers a view: “It has always been more authentic and the stakes have never killed the games. The atmosphere around this competition is cooler and more spontaneous. “There are a lot of young players who want to be spotted, former Top 14 stars who want to end their career on a good note, brillant players who know this championship by heart. Thomas Ramos, Demba Bamba, Anthony Bouthier, Vincent Rattez, Kilian Geraci were all in ProD2 a few years ago. And you can find famous profiles in the staff teams, like Christian Labit, David Aucagne, Perry Freshwater, Remi Talès, Stéphane Glas…“Finally, the playing level across the teams makes the ProD2 a hotly-contested competition.”Perpignan facing Carcassonne this season (Getty Images)The finest talents in the competition don’t just ascend into the Top 14. After a five-year stint in Béziers, back-row Karl Wilkins will be returning to the UK, after signing with Northampton Saints. And he has seen some of the more… traditional elements of the division. “This was actually our first season with TMO,” he says, wryly. “There used to be more punch-ups and a lot more amateur-era stuff, when I first joined Béziers, on the discipline front, because people could get away with stuff. “That was a big change, and obviously there were no fans this year, but you’d get massive crowds for particular games. They could make big influences on the game, on refereeing decisions. It did make playing away from home a nightmare and playing at home – not easier, but maybe a little more comfortable, with some decisions.”Asked whether there was a deluge of madcap moments, as the stream of highlight clips would have you believe, Wilkins adds: “In the winter months it can be a bit slower, but if you look at the (league’s) Twitter page, there’s always at least one try a week that’s just mad.Related: The life of a Journeyman – a Rugby World special report“It’s normally because the games are so close, so one team’s got to go for it towards the end. One slipped ball (and things can change). Especially this year, I think, there’s been more good play from the backs, some really good moves that have gone the length of the field. I couldn’t tell you why, but this year it feels like the whole level has stepped up.”Wilkins knows the reputation set in stone: that the league should just be a place to turn young puppy-fat plodders into hardened forwards. Chouly says the pace is very often slower than the Top 14 where he carved out such a successful career. He and Wilkins both make a point of mentioning the long, arduous nature of a 30-game season. Remember, that is purely league-focussed, as there are no European commitments, no domestic cup on top of that. But Chouly also says that while eight to ten teams are capable of competing for promotion, the others can still pull off sensational results. The 46-cap Frenchman remembers last season, when freshly demoted Perpignan were bushwacked by Rouen, who had just come up from the Nationale league, losing to them 12-10.  #PROD2 – L’image de la J19 : Top chrono Comme le dit si bien @Dupont9A : “On ne va pas y passer la journée non plus” Il a fallu 9 secondes à @OyonnaxRugby pour marquer l’essai le plus rapide de l’histoire de la @rugbyprod2 et du @top14rugby confondus pic.twitter.com/eR7CXfMXR3— Rugby PRO D2 (@rugbyprod2) February 11, 2021Because the ball can turn into a bar of soap… Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door. The Craziest ProD2 moments in 2020-21Sometimes France’s second tier is portrayed as the Wild West, writes James Harrington. A lawless, crazy, anything-goes place where sometimes, if you’re lucky, rugby may happen.We tried to disprove this calumny. We really did. But, well, we couldn’t. Here are just a few reasons from this season alone that show the ProD2 is the craziest place on the pro rugby planet – except for, possibly, France’s third-tier Nationale…Because even apparently successful 5m lineout moves can suddenly turn unexpected. #PROD2 – #MondayMotivation𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙫𝙚𝙘 𝙪𝙣 𝙩𝙚𝙚 ? 𝘽𝙞𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙥 𝙛𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙡𝙚… Selponi nous régale avec un drop en coin pour passer la transformation @FCGrugby pic.twitter.com/Bh9fg0KpC8— Rugby PRO D2 (@rugbyprod2) January 25, 2021Because hookers dummy and flankers think they’re Phil Bennett… #PROD2 – L’image de la J26 : Les déménageurs jouent du piano Les feintes d’un talonneur et les crochets d’un flanker ! Les trois-quarts d’@OyonnaxRugby vont certainement être jaloux des avants après ce mouvement tout en technique et en légèreté ! 🪶 pic.twitter.com/a4qsfZ2k8K— Rugby PRO D2 (@rugbyprod2) April 8, 2021Because, sometimes – quite often actually – it’s simply magnificent…center_img #PROD2 – #MondayMotivationQuand la ballon se transforme en savonnette et joue un mauvais tour à Carcassonne pic.twitter.com/p3lYauAruG— Rugby PRO D2 (@rugbyprod2) May 10, 2021Because mauls can achieve escape velocity… LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Biarritz and Perpignan face off for automatic promotion to the Top 14 this weekend Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #PROD2 – #MondayMotivationQuand tu commences ta semaine en 𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗲 libre @SArugbyofficiel pic.twitter.com/r3wag5PFJK— Rugby PRO D2 (@rugbyprod2) May 17, 2021Because quick thinking… #PROD2 #EssaiDuJour – J16Quel essai de l’@usonneversrugby ! De la continuité avec des superbes passes après-contact puis la vitesse et les raffuts de Romaric Camou pour terminer en beauté pic.twitter.com/4so6AtCf1D— Rugby PRO D2 (@rugbyprod2) January 21, 2021What do you make of the ProD2? How does the English Championship compare? Let us know your views via [email protected] or hit us up on social media. Asked for her favourite moments of this season, Gres calls up the semi-final over the weekend, when Biarritz beat Vannes with a try at the death. She recalls a classic between Perpignan and Oyonnax, while Aurillac ensured their future in the division with a last-second kick against Colomiers. And of course there was that Lion King moment, when Josaia Raisuqe lifted the referee at the end of a Beziers game at Nevers.One other try viewers may recall was the round 18 mind-bender between Colomiers and Biarritz. In the centre for the visitors that day was All Black Francis Saili. “That was most definitely different, man!” the Kiwi tells Rugby World. “We were down (on the scoreboard) and they caught the ball and could have just run down the time and just kicked the ball out, but for some reason the half-back just gave us the ball. “If you give a team an edge, we’ll take that. With the team we have, with the players and personnel we have, we’ll definitely take the opportunity. I definitely experienced that for the first time and it was awesome. The whole game felt like a bit of a grudge match and I’d heard they were a team who would try to grind you out, they had some dirty plays, and I thought, ‘Okay.’“For us to score at the death made it all the sweeter. How we scored the try was just ridiculous. It felt like the whole team touched the ball, cross-kicks, throwing it around like it’s a basketball. They missed the kick, one of our boys tackled their player, one of our boys pounced on the ball to score the try. It was one of those ones where you look back and say, ‘Jeez, how did we pull that off?!’“That’s what happens when you let the shackles loose and just let boys play. There’s a bit of fluidity. I was surprised with the skill level, from the French boys especially (after leaving Harlequins to join the ProD2). There is so much skill and they’ve just got raw talent. I’ve obviously been able to see that first hand and it’s been awesome.”Saili agrees with Wilkins that there is a growing narrative that the skill level is rising. Perhaps growing budgets help, and some tell you there is obviously an arms race going on. This doesn’t always work out for players either, and there are many from outside of France with tales to tell of aborted stints on the continent. Then there was the wild story earlier in the season about team owners looking to move the famed Biarritz side to… Lille. That one soon fizzled out, as did the tale of a takeover in Beziers.Related: Biarritz take on Grindr as inclusivity sponsorBut if you are to make the most of time in the second division, you have to embrace the madness. As Saili says: “When I first came in, I had a moment of self-reflection and was like, ‘Look, I can’t come in and reinvent the way these guys play. Because this is probably what they do, probably what’s been implemented for such a long time.’ “I guess the only way is to just make small influences or players or coaches, sit down and just get onto the same page. Obviously there are times when I have been frustrated but at the same time, you just have to let the Frenchies do their thing and make small influences where you can.”Don’t be mad that the roller coaster doesn’t have any harnesses; just hope you are going fast enough to enjoy the loop-de-loop. In the opening round of the season, Biarritz beat Perpignan 21-12 and Saili scored the first try. In April, Perpignan beat Biarritz 29-27. What odds would you give for a truly bats*** ProD2 final between the two? TAGS: Highlight last_img read more

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Empereur / architectesassoc.

first_img Projects ArchDaily Empereur / architectesassoc.Save this projectSaveEmpereur / architectesassoc. Photographs 2015 Mixed Use Architecture Empereur / architectesassoc. Belgium “COPY” ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/625324/empereur-architectes-associes Clipboard Save this picture!© Renaud Callebaut+ 21 Sharecenter_img “COPY” 2015 Architects: architectesassoc. Year Completion year of this architecture project photographs:  Renaud Callebaut, Corina PiticPhotographs:  Renaud Callebaut, Corina PiticSave this picture!© Renaud CallebautRecommended ProductsWoodEGGERWood-based materials in EGGER HeadquartersWoodHESS TIMBERTimber – GLT HybridWoodAccoyaAccoya® CanalsWoodBlumer LehmannFree Form Structures for Wood ProjectsText description provided by the architects. Construction of a mixed-use housing and office building boulevard de l’Empereur in Brussels.Save this picture!© Renaud CallebautWork here concentrates on the impact of built and un-built volumes on the existing urban landscape, leading to the first obvious option not to occupy the entire terrain (as does the existing 1950s office block promised to demolition) but instead step back, re-aligning with the back-side of the left-hand neighbor. Secondly, option is taken to develop a bona fide 3-facade end-piece, finishing off an existing alignment of imposing boulevard architecture punctuated by the restored Tour Anneessens. This is therefore a strategic site articulating 19th-century-scale buildings and medieval-scale vestiges, no gestures wanted, only pertinent responses.Save this picture!ImplantationA neutral white ensemble serving as ” fond-de-scène ” for the medieval Tour is imagined, characterized by a rhythmic un-identical series of steps back, on all three sides, molding and qualifying as such the open space crystallizing between the new building and the Tour. Built and un-built space folds and un-folds, deforms then reforms, morphs, taking its cue from immediate context as well as from the ergonomics of the resulting interiors and terraces.Save this picture!© Renaud CallebautThe outcome brings added value to the small planted garden next to the project on which the Tour once forlornly stood, with fresh and inviting perspectives to and from the vestiges, and secure and convivial public/semi-public space where tourists and passers-by can stop and admire them. A winding concrete serpentine serves as a welcoming bench, winding its way right up to the last fragment of medieval arch upheld.Save this picture!© Renaud CallebautProject gallerySee allShow lessEileen Gray’s Restored E1027 Opens to the PublicArchitecture NewsBIG and Heatherwick’s Google HQ to be Built with RobotsArchitecture NewsProject locationAddress:Boulevard de l’Empereur, 1000 Bruxelles, BelgiumLocation to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Share Year:  Year:  ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/625324/empereur-architectes-associes Clipboard CopyAbout this officearchitectesassoc.OfficeFollowProductsGlassSteelConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsMixed Use ArchitectureResidential ArchitectureHousingApartmentsOfficesOffice buildingsBruxellesBrusselResidentialOfficesHousingMixed UseOffice BuildingsBelgiumPublished on May 05, 2015Cite: “Empereur / architectesassoc.” 05 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogVentilated / Double Skin FacadeTechnowoodClick Façade SystemWindowsMitrexSolar WindowMetal PanelsAurubisOxidized Copper: Nordic BrownAcousticKvadrat AcousticsAcoustic Panel System in AMOREPACIFIC HeadquartersStonesCosentinoSilestone® Surfaces – Loft SeriesWoodLunawoodThermo Timber and Industrial ThermowoodLightsLouis PoulsenOutdoor Lighting – Flindt PlazaTiles / Mosaic / GresiteLove TilesPorcelain Tiles – NestAluminium CompositesMetawellAluminum Panels for Interior DesignMetallicsRHEINZINKZinc Roof Systems – Double Lock Standing SeamStoolsWilkhahnOffice Stool – Aline-SBulbs / Spots / Wall LightsUniosHorticultural Luminaire – Kobe FloMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream CopyMixed Use Architecture, Apartments, Office Buildings•Bruxelles, Belgiumlast_img read more

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J.K. Rowling donates £15.3m to MS research centre

first_img Melanie May | 12 September 2019 | News Tagged with: Celebrity Major gift About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. J.K. Rowling donates £15.3m to MS research centre  516 total views,  3 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis9center_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis9 “Our research is shaped by listening to, and involving, individuals who are living with these tough conditions. The Anne Rowling Clinic’s vision is to offer everyone with MS or neurodegenerative diseases such as MND, the opportunity to participate in a suite of clinical studies and trials.“This incredibly far-sighted and generous donation will unlock the potential of personalised medicine for people with MS in Scotland and further afield.”  515 total views,  2 views today Author J.K. Rowling has donated £15.3m to the University of Edinburgh to help create new facilities and support vital research at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic.The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic was founded by Rowling with a £10m donation in 2010, when she reached the age at which her mother had died from complications related to multiple sclerosis. It was officially opened in January 2013, by HRH the Princess Royal.This latest donation, which includes Gift Aid, will also be used to support research projects focusing on invisible disabilities experienced by people living with MS – such as cognitive impairment and pain.J.K. Rowling said:“When the Anne Rowling Clinic was first founded, none of us could have predicted the incredible progress that would be made in the field of Regenerative Neurology, with the Clinic leading the charge.“I am delighted to now support the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic into a new phase of discovery and achievement, as it realises its ambition to create a legacy of better outcomes for generations of people with MS and non-MS neurodegenerative diseases.”Professor Siddharthan Chandran, Director, Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic said: Advertisementlast_img read more

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US sanctions on Iranian and Syrian entities and individuals for monitoring and tracking dissidents online

first_imgNews United StatesAmericas Help by sharing this information April 26, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 US sanctions on Iranian and Syrian entities and individuals for monitoring and tracking dissidents online to go further News RSF_en April 28, 2021 Find out more Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says News Organisation center_img June 3, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on United States United StatesAmericas News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders welcomes the executive order that President Barack Obama signed on 23 April imposing new sanctions on those who provide the Syrian and Iranian regimes with “information and communications technology that facilitates computer or network disruption, monitoring, or tracking that could assist in or enable grave rights abuses.”The sanctions, which are to include financial penalties and bans on entering the United States, have been prompted by the use of mobile phone tracking and Internet surveillance in Syria and Iran to identify dissidents, human rights activists and citizen journalists.“These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them,” President Obama said, announcing the measures. Reporters Without Borders believes that human rights should be a priority in all negotiations between the US authorities and the Syrian and Iranian regimes.For the time being, only firms, organizations and individuals within Iran and Syria will be sanctioned. But, according to the Washington Post, the US government is also considering sanctions on entities in other countries that provide the two regimes with technology.The US administration has already issued an initial list of targets. They include Syria’s intelligence service and its director, Ali Mamluk, and Iran’s law enforcement organizations, Revolutionary Guard, and intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi. The Iranian Internet service provider Datak Telecom and the Syrian communications company Syriatel have also been sanctioned.Reporters Without Borders calls on the US authorities to continue to consult with human rights groups and civil society organization in the countries concerned in order to identify countries, entities or individuals that should be targeted. Western companies, including US and European ones, which are complicit in these activities, should not escape the sanctions.In Iran, why not also sanction the communication minister or members of the Supreme Council for Cyber-Space which the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, created in March? In Syria, the mobile operator MTN-Syria should also be targeted.Although this executive order is a step in the right direction, Reporters Without Borders points out that these two countries are not the only ones to use new technology to violate human rights. The sanctions should also apply to other countries that commit this kind of abuse such as Bahrain, a perfect example of a crackdown that succeed thanks to a news blackout made possible by a range of repressive measures, censorship and surveillance.Reporters Without Borders publishes a list of “Enemies of the Internet” each year. As well as Iran and Syria, they include Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The surveillance and censorship mechanism established by some of these regimes deserve similar sanctions. At the same time, the United States should continue efforts to provide badly needed censorship circumvention and anonymization tools to Internet users and human rights activists in the countries concerned.Reporters Without Borders urges other governments that care about human rights to take similar measures.Finally, Reporters Without Borders reiterates its opposition to the proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), with its risks of disproportionate online monitoring, and welcomes the White House’s recent threat of a presidential veto if it is adopted by the US congress. NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say June 7, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Donegal TD questions economic recovery claims

first_img Donegal TD questions economic recovery claims RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 70% of Cllrs nationwide threatened, harassed and intimidated over past 3 years – Report Facebook HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week Pinterest Google+ Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers WhatsApp Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released Twitter By News Highland – October 26, 2012 center_img Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Twitter Previous articleNorthwest MEP backs late ferry compensation proposalsNext articleOccasional ‘Garda Clinics’ to replace closed stations News Highland News WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest Sinn Feins Finance spokesperson has said that meeting the Troika programme targets will not guarantee economic recovery.Yesterday the Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Ireland had taken the first steps towards exiting the bailout deal.He said they opened a discussion with the I-M-F, E-C-B and E-C and it’ll form part of the next review in January.But Donegal South West Deputy Pearse Doherty says without a deal on Ireland’s banking debt, the ability to exit the programme will be much harder:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/pdoc830KENNY.mp3[/podcast] Facebook PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegallast_img read more

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Councillor calls for debate on emergency services call out charge

first_img By News Highland – July 26, 2010 Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Councillor calls for debate on emergency services call out charge WhatsApp Twitter Google+ WhatsApp 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Twitter 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Facebook Pinterestcenter_img Pinterest Facebook Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Newsx Adverts Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th A Donegal County Council is calling for a debate on the local authority’s policy of charging people for using the emergency services.Councillor Thomas Pringle fears that people may try to tackle emergency’s themselves rather than calling 999 and subsequently receiving a significant bill.Councillor Pringle, who is against the charge, says that many people who call the likes of the fire service can incur hefty bills for doing so:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/26pring1pm.mp3[/podcast] Google+ Previous articleConcerns grow for 100 jobs at Letterkenny GeneralNext articleGAA- Donegal Senior Championship News Highland last_img read more

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Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged recruiter, under investigation in US Virgin Islands

first_imgDNY59/iStockBy JAMES HILL and PETE MADDEN, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and longtime companion of infamous sex offender Jeffrey Epstein who was recently arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, is under investigation by authorities in the U.S. Virgin Islands in connection with a civil case the government is pursuing against Epstein’s estate, according to court documents filed last week.“The Government is and has been actively investigating Maxwell’s participation in the criminal sex-trafficking and sexual abuse conduct of the Epstein Enterprise,” wrote prosecutors from the office of Denise George, the island territory’s attorney general.Prosecutors are attempting to intervene in the lawsuit Maxwell filed against Epstein’s estate earlier this year, seeking to block her demand for reimbursement of the legal, security and relocation expenses that she says she incurred as a result of what she claims were wrongful accusations of her alleged involvement in Epstein’s alleged crimes.“If Maxwell succeeds on her undocumented and suspect claims for indemnification by the Epstein Estate,” prosecutors wrote, “that will threaten the availability of Estate funds to satisfy the Government’s potential judgment in its lawsuit against the estate.”Attorney General George, through a spokesperson, declined to comment for this report, but she previously told ABC News that her office’s investigation focuses “not only the criminal activity, but also the assets [and] persons who have been involved in that.”David Cattie, a Virgin Islands-based attorney for Maxwell, did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.Maxwell was arrested by federal authorities in New Hampshire earlier this month and is facing a six-count federal indictment alleging that she conspired with Epstein in a multi-state sex trafficking scheme involving three unnamed minor victims between 1994 and 1997. She has not yet entered a plea to the criminal charges, but her defense attorneys wrote in a court filing in New York federal court that Maxwell “vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”She is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in New York on Tuesday.Epstein first acquired property in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1997, purchasing Little St. James, an island off the east coast of St. Thomas, for $7 million. He then spent millions of dollars developing an elaborate estate, with a main house, swimming pool, helipad and guest villas overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Starting in 2010, Epstein made the island his permanent residence and established a host of vaguely-named corporations in the territory to run his business, charitable and personal affairs. He would later, through a series of separate transactions totaling more than $20 million, complete the purchase of a larger, neighboring island called Great St. James.In January, Attorney General George filed a civil enforcement action against Epstein’s estate, its co-executors and several of his corporate entities, alleging that Epstein, through his network of companies and associates, “trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted and held captive underage girls and young women at his properties in the Virgin Islands.” The government also filed criminal activity liens against all of Epstein’s properties and companies, which had the effect of freezing virtually all of the estate’s assets worldwide while the case is ongoing.In these latest filings, prosecutors allege that both Maxwell and the Epstein estate have taken steps to impede what the attorney general has described as a far-reaching probe into Epstein’s operation.“Mr. Epstein had a lot of companies, a web of companies that worked together in different ways … but it was in such a way that concealed a lot of his criminal activity,” George told ABC News in an interview in St. Thomas in February. “And so it is a rather complex case, and we are continuously investigating to get the full picture.”The Epstein estate’s latest response also reveals details about the scope of the inquiry.“The Government has demanded extensive discovery not just from the named Defendants, but from at least nine third-parties,” attorneys for the estate wrote. “In each case, the Government’s discovery demands reach back decades.”In last week’s filing, prosecutors describe Maxwell as a “critical fact witness” in their lawsuit against the estate. But attempts to serve Maxwell with a subpoena for documents have failed, prosecutors said, because she “resisted and evaded service of the subpoena during the three and a half months after its issuance.”Epstein’s estate and its co-executors, Darren Indyke and Richard Kahn, who are named as defendants in the government’s suit, are showing “no inclination to be anything but adversarial to the Government’s interests,” prosecutors said.“They are refusing to comply with discovery,” prosecutors wrote, “and even are seeking to prevent the Government from issuing subpoenas to key fact witnesses, such as the house managers for Little St. James, where Epstein (and likely Maxwell) sexually abused girls and women in the Virgin Islands.”Christopher Kroblin, a Virgin Islands-based attorney for the estate, did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News. In March, the estate filed a motion to dismiss the government’s lawsuit. The court has yet to rule in the estate’s motion.Prosecutors asked the court to issue letters rogatory, a request for judicial assistance to a foreign court, to subpoena Miles and Cathy Alexander, a South African couple who served as house managers on Little St. James from 1999 to 2007, for documents and testimony.The Alexanders have, over the years, denied interview requests from ABC News, but the couple told the Daily Mail in 2011 that Maxwell had made it clear when she hired them for the position that discretion was part of the job description.“She said we had to keep quiet about what we saw or heard on the island,” Cathy Alexander said.Miles Alexander reportedly said he refused several requests from Epstein to smuggle female guests onto the island by boat, so as to avoid certain immigration requirements that would have created a record of everyone entering and leaving the island, though he and Cathy suspect he found other ways to circumvent those policies.“I saw some girls who I thought were very young-looking — about 16 or 17 easily,” Cathy Alexander said.Attorneys for Epstein’s estate, however, have sought to block the move to question the Alexanders, claiming that a five-year statute of limitations on the government’s claims renders documents and testimony related to their time in Epstein’s employ irrelevant.“The letters rogatory reflect the Government’s aggressive and misguided discovery campaign against the Estate and third-parties alike,” the estate’s attorneys wrote. “No amount of discovery can salvage the Government’s defective claims.”Attorney General George, meanwhile, has said that she is determined to “hold persons accountable” for any criminal activity her investigation uncovers.“We follow the evidence,” George told ABC News in February. “And where the evidence leads us, that’s where we’ll go.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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London employers forced to take second-best staff

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article A skills shortage among London’s workforce is increasing the number of hard-to-fill vacancies, forcing employers to accept less experienced and under-qualified recruits, according to a new report by Focus Central London. The survey of more than 1,200 London companies and recruitment agencies shows that 32 per cent reported difficulties in filling vacancies, an increase of 7 per cent on last year. Report author Dominic Hanley said, “This is the highest figure for hard-to-fill vacancies we’ve seen, and reflects how tight the labour market has become because of low unemployment. “Unless companies learn to deal with skills gaps, they may become unable to compete.”A lack of skilled applicants was by far the main reason given for hard-to-fill positions, accounting for 42 per cent of the total, according to the report. The same problem accounted for less than one-third of the reasons given last year. One in eight managers said there is already a shortage in their own workforce. The hardest hit sector is the construction industry, with more than half of employers reporting difficulties in recruitment. One-third of hard-to-fill vacancies are for clerical and secretarial positions, affecting the business services and finance sectors in particular.Don Ward, chief executive of Construction Industry Board, said, “There is a real problem. Basically, there is more work in other areas of the country. On top of this there are the long-running problems of offering people the right career structures and rewards to get them and keep them in the industry. We have a massive job to do to change the reality of the industry.” Hanley advises employers to be proactive in solving the skills gap problem, or face the consequences. He said, “Companies need to implement effective work training programmes, such as Modern Apprenticeships and In- vestors in People, or things will continue to get worse. “They must also be able to identify the skills they require, and not just look to replace the person that has left.”The shortage of skills is also causing employers to place less emphasis on experience. Previously, employers were specifying an average minimum of two years’ experience, but the research suggests that 18 months is now usual.By Matthew Adey London employers forced to take second-best staffOn 16 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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‘No difference’ defence accepted

first_img‘No difference’ defence acceptedOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. The employment appeal tribunal limits compensation after accepting theemployer’s argument that a proper procedure would still have resulted indismissalCompensatory award not too low Oderinde v Datapact Ltd EAT, unreported January 2002 Oderinde was accused of stealing software from Datapact after she was seenacting suspiciously on a CCTV video recording. She was summoned to an interviewwith two hours’ notice and not given a chance to see the video or anystatements given to the company during its investigation. Following herdismissal, she brought a successful unfair dismissal claim but the tribunalawarded her only six weeks’ pay (about £1,800) on the basis she would have beendismissed fairly at the end of that time. She appealed. The EAT held that where a person had been unfairly dismissedfollowing an unsatisfactory disciplinary procedure, if the employer could showthat following a proper procedure would have resulted in the same outcome, thiswould limit the amount of compensation payable. While such evidence from theemployer would necessitate extremely close scrutiny (because of the likelihoodthat it would be self-serving) it was not impossible for such evidence to begiven and accepted. The appeal was dismissed. Key points – It is open to an employer defending an unfair dismissal claim to giveevidence to show that the outcome would have been the same if a properprocedure had been adopted and that the ensuing dismissal would have been fair.This will not be a complete defence but might lead to a much lower compensatoryaward. – Until the case of Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd [1988] ICR 142, it wasthought that an employment tribunal could find a dismissal fair if the resultwould have been the same had a correct procedure been followed. – The Government has proposed to reintroduce this pre-Polkey “nodifference” defence for unfair dismissal in its Employment Bill. Two-year restrictive covenant excessive Barry Allsuch & Co v Harris High Court, IRLB 680 Harris was employed by Barry Allsuch estate agents from 1998 as a salesmanager in its Radlett and Elstree office. In October 2000 he was dismissed andin February 2001 it was discovered he was working for a rival firm in the sametown. His former contract of employment contained a restrictive covenant to theeffect that he could not work in any estate agents in the Radlett area for aperiod of two years. Barry Allsuch sought an injunction to restrain him fromcontinuing in his new post. The Court accepted that Allsuch relied on trade connections and it was notnecessary to prove they were exclusive or long-established. Covenants have toprotect legitimate business interests but should extend no further than isreasonably necessary, otherwise they will be void for illegality. Harris hadbeen employed for two years and five months, albeit as a manager, but onlyabout 5 per cent of Barry Allsuch’s customers re-entered the housing market withina two-year period. The Court observed that non-competition covenants imposed byother estate agents were for a maximum period of six months. Although notconclusive, this was evidence of what is usual in the trade. Taking allrelevant factors into account, a restricted period of two years wasunreasonably long and the injunction was refused. Key points – Employers should take great care when drafting non-competition covenantsto ensure they last no longer than is absolutely necessary to protect trade. – Covenants have to protect legitimate business interests but the courtswill not allow them to extend further or for longer than is reasonablynecessary. – If the courts find them unreasonable, they will be unenforceable. Two weeks’ pay for failure to consult inappropriate Elkouil v Coney Island Ltd EAT, unreported December 2001 Elkouil was made redundant after his duties were gradually transferredelsewhere. The tribunal found he was genuinely redundant, but awarded him twoweeks’ pay for lack of consultation. Elkouil appealed to the EAT on the basis that his employers were aware ofthe risk of redundancy seven months in advance of the dismissal and should havewarned him. The EAT rejected the argument that an employer has two separateduties, first to warn and then to consult. Warnings are part of theconsultation process. However, the tribunal allowed itself to be forced into astraitjacket by what has become a conventional method of expressingcompensation payable for non-consultation in redundancy cases, namely twoweeks’ pay. This was inappropriate in Elkouil’s case. Based on the specific facts, Coney Island had known at least 10 weeks inadvance that Elkouil would be made redundant and he therefore lost the chanceof looking for alternative employment during that period. The EAT substitutedan award of 10 weeks’ pay. Key points – Compensation for failure to warn and consult under section 123 of theEmployment Rights Act 1996 is what the tribunal considers “just andequitable” in all the circumstances having regard to the loss sustained asa result of the dismissal in so far as that loss was attributable to action (oromission) by the employer. – If there was a lack of warning or consultation but the employersuccessfully argues dismissal would still have taken place, the tribunal maywell consider it just and equitable to limit the award to the period duringwhich consultation should have taken place or the period after a warning shouldhave been given. While this could be as low as one or two weeks’ pay, employersshould not be lulled into thinking this will always be the case. The tribunalwill look at the particular facts of the case to decide what is just andequitable. No discrimination in appointing personal acquaintances Coker and Osamor v Lord Chancellor and another Court of Appeal [2002] IRLR 31 The Court of Appeal has upheld the EAT’s decision that the Lord Chancellorwas not in breach of the Sex Discrimination or Race Relations Acts when heappointed a person personally known to him, Garry Hart, as his special adviser,without advertising the post. The case turned on whether it could be said thatthe application of a requirement that an applicant should be personally knownto the Lord Chancellor could be said to have a disproportionate effect onpersons of one sex or racial group and therefore be indirect discrimination. The Court said the test for indirect discrimination focused on the effect ofthe requirement in question on the pool of potential candidates. There couldonly be a discriminatory effect if a significant proportion of the pool wasable to satisfy the condition. It followed, said the Court, that where therequirement excluded almost the whole pool, it could not constitute indirectdiscrimination. Key points – While employment tribunals are usually anxious to prevent employersrelying on technicalities to avoid liability for mistreating their staff, thiscase shows the ‘technical ruse’ is alive and well. – Making an appointment from within a circle of family, friends and personalacquaintances is unlikely to constitute indirect discrimination, because thepeople known to the employer are likely to represent a tiny proportion of thosewho would otherwise be qualified to fill the post. The requirement of personalknowledge “will exclude the vast proportion of the pool, be they men,women, white or another racial group.” However, employers should still avoid conducting recruitment exercises byword of mouth, personal recommendation or other informal methods, as these maywell constitute indirect sex or race discrimination. Condition for part-time working discriminatory Chief Constable for Avon & Somerset Constabulary v Chew AT, IDS Brief 701 In August 1994 the Avon & Somerset Constabulary introduced a part-timeworking policy and officers wishing to work part-time had to conform withspecified regional and departmental shift patterns. Chew’s request forpart-time working was turned down as she was unable to comply with the policyrequirements and shift patterns because of looking after her two children. She brought a claim of indirect sex discrimination on the basis that theneed to comply with the shift patterns was a condition with which fewer womenthan men could comply. Of the 3,000 officers in that constabulary to whom thecondition applied, 435 were women and of the 11 officers who could not comply,all but one were women. Statistically, however, this was a percentage difference between men andwomen of just 2.26 per cent. Nevertheless, the tribunal adopted a flexibleapproach and specifically took into account the fact that the majority ofofficers who could not comply with the condition were women with childcareresponsibilities. Chew’s claim was allowed. On appeal, the EAT accepted the percentage difference of 2.26 per cent didnot, on the face of it, amount to a sufficiently disparate effect. However, thetribunal was correct to adopt a flexible approach and to have regard to factorsother than the percentage difference. Key points – Employers are likely to be found in breach of the Sex Discrimination Act1975 if they fail to consider seriously requests by women for flexible – or inthis case, regular – working patterns. – Indirect discrimination can occur when any provision, criterion orpractice subjects a disproportionate number of one sex to the detriment of theother. The tribunal will not base its assessment of whether there is indirectdiscrimination on bald statistics alone, but will take a flexible approach,looking at the reality of the situation. – Employers will be under a duty to give serious consideration to requestsfor changes in working patterns from women wishing to balance work and familylife when the Government introduces legislation in April 2003. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Eichner’s Crown Heights rezoning delayed once again

first_img Message* Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Bill de BlasioCommercial Real Estatecontinuum companyDevelopmentPoliticsRezonings Continuum Company founder Ian Bruce Eichner and the former Spice Factory at 960 Franklin Street (Getty, Google Maps)A controversial high-rise development in Crown Heights has been halted once again.A proposal by Ian Bruce Eichner’s Continuum Company to rezone a former spice factory at 960 Franklin Avenue has been delayed by a lawsuit from a neighborhood activist over the virtual hearing process. Kings County Supreme Court Judge Katherine Levine authorized a temporary restraining order last week, putting a hold on the rezoning process for now.Opponents of the project claim that its two towers, which could top out at more than 30 stories, will cast plant-harming shadows over the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.The lawsuit was brought by a group of activists led by Alicia Boyd, who argued that the virtual hearings violate the city’s rules for conducting its public land use review process. Boyd said the hearings are prohibitive to community members without internet access.ADVERTISEMENTContinuum Company and Eichner did not return requests for comment.Read moreDe Blasio’s Crown Heights flip-flop was no Garden-variety reversalApartment Project Near Brooklyn Botanic Garden Is ShortenedIn stunning reversal, de Blasio opposes Eichner’s Crown Heights towers Tags Full Name* Email Address* Brooklyn Paper first reported the news.This is the second time a rezoning in Brooklyn has been delayed due to concerns over virtual hearings.The city’s plan to rezone 80 blocks in Gowanus was held up after Justice Levine authorized a temporary restraining order in January after opponents lodged a similar complaint regarding virtual hearings. The judge partially lifted the TRO later that month, allowing the city to file its application for the project.In Crown Heights, Eichner is seeking to build two 39-story towers with 1,578 rentals, half of which would be affordable. That plan was nixed after Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would oppose the developer’s proposal, calling it “grossly out of scale with the neighborhood” and would inhibit plant growth at the garden. It was a reversal for de Blasio, who previously supported the project.The City recently reported that the developer is now pitching a project that tops out at 17 stories, but with far fewer affordable apartments. Either way, the rezoning would need to go through the city’s lengthy ULURP process and would need to get approval from the City Council and, ultimately, the mayor.The developer also suggested that it could simply move forward with an as-of-right project, which would have 518 condominiums and no affordable housing. That development would not require going through the land use review process.Contact Keith Larsenlast_img read more

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