first_imgThe end of the year is usually a time seniors scramble to make decisions on post-graduation opportunities, but Saint Mary’s senior and accounting major Meghan Flanagan finally knows what awaits her.Flanagan was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Germany and an acceptance into the U.S. Teaching Assistant Program of the Austrian Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs. After comparing the two opportunities, she confirmed her acceptance to the Austrian Program over the weekend.“I chose the one in Austria because the location is better [and] there’s less of a risk,” Flanagan said. “For the program in Germany, I wouldn’t have known where I was living until after I committed. People that I have talked to said to go with the Austria program because the one in Germany could either be in a university city or in the middle of nowhere, and I wouldn’t know that until I was already in.“The dates work out a lot better too because I have to take the CPA exam this summer,” Flanagan said. “My orientation for the Germany program would have begun September 12th. … It just seemed like everything was pointing to Austria as the better option.”Flanagan said many students are chosen as alternates for the program and do not find out if they can teach until late summer. She said she believes her eight years of learning German benefited her in gaining acceptance into not one, but two language related programs.“I was pretty proud of myself when I found out,” Flanagan said. “It’s really rewarding because I feel like the past four years I’ve been working really hard and now it’s finally starting to pay off. It was really nice to have the option between the two countries. I’m really thankful that I heard right away, and that I was accepted as a candidate for both rather than an alternate.”During her time at Saint Mary’s, Flanagan studied abroad in Innsbruck, Austria. She said this time she is excited to return as a teacher rather than a student.“It’s not so much about teaching English, but it’s more so a really good way to spend time abroad long term,” Flanagan said. “I’m not just traveling and I’m not just seeing a big city for a few days but I’m actually living there, and I’ll be immersed into the culture. It’s kind of like a post grad study abroad, but I’m not the one studying.“It’s more about pushing myself out of my comfort zone.”Tags: Austria, foreign language, fulbright program, germany, post-graduation, saint mary’slast_img read more


first_img View Comments Paul Ritter was a 2009 Tony nominee for his superb performance in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests and now the British stage and TV stalwart is appearing with Rufus Sewell and Tim Key in the 20th-anniversary revival of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play Art, the dark comedy about a friendship rent asunder by a painting is at the Old Vic Theatre. A veteran of other London hits like The Audience and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Ritter spoke one recent afternoon about being in a contemporary classic and what it’s like to get drenched in paint.Was this offer a no-brainer when [director] Matthew Warchus brought it to you?It was great, actually. I got a message from Matthew sort of late summer asking how I felt about doing this, and I thought it would be good to get back in the ring with Matthew, having had such an extraordinary time with him on The Norman Conquests.Had you seen the play during its lengthy original West End run?I’d seen the second cast with David Haig, Anton Lesser, and Mark Williams, who were all tremendous. I remember being bowled over by them and by the play. I was scratching around London at the time trying to be an actor, and it had a big emotional pull for me. I remember seeing it and thinking how riveting it was and wouldn’t it be great to be inside it.Does it feel odd that Matthew Warchus has directed so many different trios of actors in this particular play?I think this is the 11th cast that Matthew has himself directed in this play, and the way he works is not to have a copy book of what he expects people to do. He allows the cast to create what they think the play is, so rehearsals are very relaxed. He’s the most organic of directors.How did you end up playing the catalytic role of Marc, who goes on the offensive against a blank canvas purchased by his friend Serge (played by Rufus Sewell), while Yvan (Tim Key) acts as the middleman?Matthew did say who do you fancy playing, and I said Marc. I don’t often get offered roles like Marc and most directors would have me down as a Yvan: the hapless one of the trio. So, what was great was that I was able to stake out my territory; that was another nice thing about the offer.What was the photoshoot like for the ad campaign for the play, which shows you and your two fellow actors doused in paint?The idea of pots of paint came about very swiftly. We arrived at the shoot and were each presented with a cheap suit and tie and told to get dressed and after about half an hour of us standing next to one another and looking at each other with attitude, Matthew said, “Do you want to grab some paint?” We had probably half an hour of drenching one another.Was that as much fun as it sounds?It felt rather good, I must say, though we were absolutely sopping wet at the end. But we were given nice shampoo and other products and a towel and were sent off to the showers, so I think I came out fairly clean. I did find that the paint had drenched through to my underwear, which I hadn’t anticipated; it made for a rather uncomfortable trip home.Was it all worth it?Oh, yes, it made for a very engaging image. I’ve put in a request to keep one of the posters for myself.Do you agree with playwright Yasmina Reza, who says that she thought she had written a tragedy, no matter how much people respond to Art as a comedy?All three of us are with her on that. The thing I feel about Marc is that for all his animosity toward the painting, the fact is that he is himself at this terrible point in late middle age, where every day is just another step along this circuitous route to death and it’s terrifying.Does that lead the play into genuinely dark terrain?I articulated this to Matthew and he says that, yes, Marc has woken up screaming in the night consumed by an essential terror, and, of course, that’s linked to what Marc talks about in the play. He’s being replaced in Serge’s life by a new circle of friends: Serge is peeling off into new social circles, and that only emphasizes Marc’s feelings of obsolescence.Do you feel that the painting could be anything: it’s what it represents, not what it is?Sure, anything from a vintage car to a person. The painting is the Trojan horse, the MacGuffin or whatever you want to call it that comes between Serge and Marc, though there are lots of people who do feel very strongly that the piece of art is fundamental to [the play]. People relate to it in their own individual ways, which is a testament to the robustness and subtlety of the play that people can have these reactions: it’s a big little play. How do you feel about art itself—that’s to say, not as Marc but as Paul?I’m largely an ignoramus about art but am nonetheless an enthusiastic observer of it and I do visit galleries—what I particularly love are portraits and contemporary portraiture. I can’t pretend to have any deep knowledge of art, but it is something that I regard with envy and admiration and fascination.Do you sometimes feel like defending the painting from Marc’s aspersions?You know, I love the painting! I love the texturing of it and one of my favorite moments is after the cleaning operation towards the end of the play when the men mount it on the wall and gather round it. Maybe I’ll have to buy it once the run is over so I can be terrified by it every day.Art has been a much-produced phenomenon but did you feel that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would become a different kind of one when you first opened in it in 2012?Yes, I had absolutely no doubt about that. It’s a wonderful novel, and I just think Simon Stephens has done such a truthful and clear and simple adaptation of it. Then the artistic team represented such an incredible pooling of talent—right from the very beginning, it just had the most extraordinary effect on audiences.What are your memories of Tony night in 2009, when you were nominated for The Norman Conquests, which itself won the Tony for Best Revival?It was pretty hard to take in for me. My wife and I were given a car and driver—this wonderful man who drove us around all day and then afterward until dawn. The bit I always remember is that after we got our award [for Best Revival], we had to get escorted out of the back of the building up to the Rainbow Room for all the press, and there we were following Elton John.What was that like? We were aware that Elton was crossing the road in front of us and walking through this tunnel of screaming fans. It was mayhem, and then we walked out and instantly it was silent and people sat down and got out their sandwiches. We felt that was fitting, somehow. Paul Ritter in ‘Art'(Photo: Manuel Harlan)last_img read more


first_imgThe following statement is being issued today by Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell and the Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group:”It has recently come to light that a number of mortgage loan servicers havesubmitted affidavits or signed other documents in support of either ajudicial or non-judicial foreclosure that appear to have procedural defects.In particular, it appears affidavits and other documents have been signed bypersons who did not have personal knowledge of the facts asserted in thedocuments. In addition, it appears that many affidavits were signed outsideof the presence of a notary public, contrary to state law. This process ofsigning documents without confirming their accuracy has come to beknown as “robo-signing.” We believe such a process may constitute adeceptive act and/or an unfair practice or otherwise violate state laws.In order to handle this issue in the most efficient and consistent mannerpossible, the states have formed a bi-partisan multistate group to addressissues common to a large number of states. The group is comprised of bothstate Attorneys General and the state bank and mortgage regulators.”Currently 49 state Attorneys General have joined this coordinatedmultistate effort. State bank and mortgage regulators are participating bothindividually and through their Multistate Mortgage Committee, whichrepresents mortgage regulators from all 50 states. Through this process, thestates will attempt to speak with one voice to the greatest extent possible.”At the end of this statement is a list of the participating states.Our multistate group has begun inquiring whether or not individualmortgage servicers have improperly submitted affidavits or otherdocuments in support of foreclosures in our states. The facts uncovered inour review will dictate the scope of our inquiry.”The Executive Committeeis comprised of the following Attorneys General Offices: Arizona,California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New York, NorthCarolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington; and the following state bankingregulators: Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation,New York State Banking Department, and the Pennsylvania Department ofBanking.”Source: Vermont AG. 10.12.2010.Participating Attorneys GeneralAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaii Department of the Attorney General / Hawaii Office of Consumer ProtectionIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingParticipating State Bank and Mortgage RegulatorsArizona Department of Financial InstitutionsArkansas Securities DepartmentConnecticut Department of BankingD.C. Department of Insurance Securities and BankingFlorida Office of Financial RegulationIdaho Department of FinanceIllinois Secretary of Financial and Professional RegulationIndiana Department of Financial InstitutionsIowa Division of BankingKentucky Department of Financial InstitutionsLouisiana Office of Financial InstitutionsMaine Bureau of Consumer Credit ProtectionMaine Bureau of Financial InstitutionsMaryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial RegulationDivision of Banks, Commonwealth of MassachusettsMichigan Office of Financial & Insurance RegulationMinnesota Department of CommerceMississippi Department of Banking and Consumer FinanceMontana Division of Banking and Financial InstitutionsNebraska Department of Banking and FinanceNevada Financial Institutions Division and Mortgage Lending DivisionNew Hampshire Banking DepartmentNew Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance – Office of Consumer FinanceNew York State Banking DepartmentNorth Carolina Commissioner of BanksNorth Dakota Department of Financial InstitutionsOhio Division of Financial InstitutionsOregon Department of Consumer and Business Services – Division of Financeand Corporate SecuritiesPennsylvania Department of BankingRhode Island Department of Business Regulation – Division of BankingSouth Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Tennessee Department ofFinancial Institutions Texas Department of BankingTexas Finance Commission and Consumer Credit Commissioner VermontDepartment of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health CareAdministrationWashington State Department of Financial InstitutionsWest Virginia Division of Banking WisconsinDepartment of Banking Wyoming Division of Bankinglast_img read more


first_imgA sharp increase in the use of online rental applications since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has caused a consequent jump in red flags for fraud. The percentage of so-called fraud triggers detected by TransUnion increased nearly 30% from March to August, according to the credit reporting agency. TransUnion defines fraud triggers as applicant statuses with failed authentication and/or identified as high risk. They reached a high of 15.2% in August, compared with 10.3% over the same period last year.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –  “What Covid has done is accelerated the rental industry’s adoption of technologies in the digital environment to become contactless,” said Maitri Johnson, vice president of TransUnion’s tenant and employment business. “As this acceleration into the digital environment has occurred, it also has opened up the prevalence of fraud much more so.” As a result, the multifamily rental industry is now at higher risk. Since the pandemic began, the frequency of actual fraud incidents has jumped by nearly 50%, according to TransUnion’s survey of 82 multifamily executives. Another quarter saw up to 100 instances of fraud in their portfolios in the past year. While many were able to flag fraudsters before they moved in, 41% said they missed it, and the applicant moved in. These fraud cases are largely about faking the identity of the tenant. They include using someone else’s driver’s license, stealing someone else’s Social Security number from the dark web or inventing a new identity entirely, known as synthetic fraud.- Advertisement – Sign advertising apartments for rent in the Upper East Side in New York City.Adam Jeffery | CNBCcenter_img – Advertisement –  Synthetic fraud involves building a credit profile for a person who doesn’t exist and then using that profile to open credit cards to buy merchandise. The rental home then becomes a part of the crime. “Taking this fictitious persona, applying for apartment home, it all checks out, and they get access to an apartment home, and they eventually use it as a drop zone for all their spend. Then they will skip out in the middle of the night,” Johnson said. It all leaves the landlord holding the bag. Two in 3 executives told TransUnion they were concerned about fraud growth within their communities. With thousands of valid tenants now behind on their rent because of the pandemic, this only adds to the burdens of property management companies and adds to the losses of property owners.“If you’re trying to evict someone, but that someone doesn’t exist, how do you do that?” Johnson said.last_img read more


first_imgAn interesting workshop on the sustainable development of cultural tourism was held in the Museum of Vučedol Culture, organized by the Croatian Tourist Board. The workshop was held within the project “European Destinations of Excellence” (EDEN), and part of the entire program included a two-day study trip of journalists who got to know the beauties of Ilok, Vučedol and Vukovar. These are the destinations that are this year’s winner of the national EDEN election for 2016/2017. year, which was held on the topic of “Cultural Tourism”.On behalf of the Croatian National Tourist Board, the workshop was attended by Slavija Jačan Obratov, Director of the Sector for Destination Management and Offer Development Support, who stressed the importance of promoting cultural tourism. “Communicating emotions and creating experiences play a key role in promoting the offer of cultural tourism. The promotion of lesser-known and non-traditional tourist destinations, the creation of a European network of destinations that develop sustainable forms of tourism and the reduction of seasonality are the basic goals of the EDEN project, launched in 2006 by the European Commission.”, Pointed out Jačan Obratov.The director of the Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board, Rujana Bušić Srpak, emphasized that the basic tourist identity of this county is based on cultural attractions. Lidija Komes, EDEN Ambassador to Croatia, Mirela Hutinec, Director of the Museum of Vučedol Culture, Ružica Marić, Director of the Museum of Vučedol Vukovar City Museum, Jasna Babić, director of the Tourist Board of the City of Vukovar and Ivica Miličević, director of the Tourist Board of the City of Ilok.Museum of Vučedol Culture, VukovarIn order to show the participants good examples from practice, Gorana Barišić Bačelić, director of the Fortress of Culture, spoke from Šibenik, emphasizing the excellent results of visits to the two city fortresses, which have been visited by more than 550 visitors since the opening. She also added that in their case it was important not only to successfully implement the reconstruction projects of the fortresses in Šibenik, but also to effectively manage the post-project period. The conclusion of the workshop is that creative, modern and innovative models of cultural heritage management are increasingly in trend and that they need to be offered to foreign and domestic guests because Croatia is truly a country of rich cultural heritage.Unfortunately, this very interesting workshop was not announced, at least to the media, nor to the general public, which is a great pity and omission, because the general public was not aware of its holding, and accordingly could neither educate nor join the workshop.last_img read more


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first_imgThe home at 56 Victoria Ave, Chelmer“We anticipated it would be an impressive sale.”The home was originally built in 1905 and sits on 2704sq m of land.It has traditional period features such as high ceilings, timber floors, fretwork and VJ walls.Mr Adcock said the home had been in the same family for over 27 years. Inside 56 Victoria Ave, ChelmerMr Adcock said the new owners were a local family from the western suburbs.“They loved the character and charm of the home as much as the functionality of it,” he said. Inside 56 Victoria Ave, Chelmer“When people buy these homes, they hold on to them for a generation or more,” he said. “Homes like this are lifelong investments.” REAL ESTATE: Victoria Ave, ChelmerThis grand Queenslander home has sold four hours after auction for $3.3 million. The home at 56 Victoria Ave, ChelmerMarketing agent Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige said the sale of 56 Victoria Ave, Chelmer, was a street record.“Given the size of the land and the condition and calibre of the home, it’s not surprising,” he said.“Homes like this don’t come along too often.“It’s a big house with a tennis court and swimming pool on a huge piece of land in one of Chelmer’s most desirable streets.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agolast_img read more


first_imgB.offshore GmbH has completed maintenance work on the offshore substation of the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm in Germany.Source: b.offshoreB.offshore’s scope of work in the 12-month project included the installation of two new tank containers on the platform of the offshore substation, as well as the design and installation of new solutions for the emergency power system.According to the German company, the original steel tanks were replaced with plastic tanks made of polyethylene (LLD-PE). The two offshore containers are each fitted with three CUBE tanks and have a combined capacity of 15,000 liters.The company was also in charge of developing and implementing a solution to integrate the new system with the existing substation control technology, managed by EWE OSS Offshore Service & Solutions, who coordinated the work.Deutsche Offshore-Testfeld- und Infrastruktur GmbH & Co. KG (DOTI), the operator of the wind farm, recently completed acceptance tests for the new solution, b.offshore said.The Alpha Ventus wind farm comprises six Adwen M5000 turbines and six Senvion 5M turbines located some 45km north of the island of Borkum.The 60MW project was commissioned in April 2010, when it became Germany’s first offshore wind farm.last_img read more


first_imgIf you thought Amnesty International Aotearoa NZ were about human rights, you’d be totally wrong. You just need to read their submission supporting the decriminalisation of abortion.They start by saying“Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.”Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3, says that “Everyone has the right to life…“, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, Preamble, says “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth“…Good start – but what follows is completely the opposite message from this so-called human rights group…“We recognise that legal protection of human rights, including the right to life, commences at birth.”(Might as well scrap all those prenatal guidelines about mothers not drinking or smoking or singing to their unborn child or eating healthy etc)“We believe [Model A] will best ensure that access to safe abortions is effectively available to pregnant people (!!) to make their own decisions, free from barriers, delays or restrictions that could violate their human rights, including their reproductive autonomy.”Model A is abortion any time, for any reason, up to birth.“Criminalisation of abortion in any circumstances and denial of access to safe abortion services is a manifestation, cause and consequence of social systems that discriminate, deny personal and bodily autonomy and impose unequal burdens on the basis of individuals’ reproductive capacities and their pregnancy status, among other related factors.”Too bad about the ‘personal and bodily autonomy’ of unborn children, ‘discrimination’ against them, or ‘denial of access’ to life!And just to show how ‘woke’ Amnesty International is –“AIANZ therefore recommends that the Bill be clarified further and that it is made explicit that services should be available also to transgender people and people of other gender identities capable of becoming pregnant.”Um, if they can become pregnant, they’re a ‘woman’. We checked. It’s still a biological truth.Interestingly, the only highlight of their submission is their advocacy for the disabled community…“We affirm that the only way of supporting all prospective parents to make informed decisions about continuing or terminating their pregnancies is through affirmative measures, such as combating ableism in prenatal testing and counselling processes, ensuring all parents are operating in an enabling environment and have the social and economic supports they need to raise any child, including a child with disabilities or who is otherwise socially excluded, and promoting the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all spheres of public and private life.” That’s, of course, if they are actually allowed to be born.Ironically, they’re against the death penalty. Go figure.last_img read more


first_imgSouth Sudan on Tuesday rejected a United Nations appeal to halt the planned expulsion of the world body’s top humanitarian aid official in the country, saying he had regularly spoken out against the government.The United Nations announced Monday that South Sudan decided to expel Deputy Chief of the UN Mission and coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs Toby Lanzer.“We cannot withdraw our decision to expel Toby Lanzer,” elaborated South Sudan’s Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Tuesday. He clarified that the move “is a sovereign decision taken by the cabinet due to statements made by the UN official which were deemed to be anti-establishment.”U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned the move to expel Toby Lanzer, deputy head of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, and said the British-born envoy had been “instrumental in addressing the increasing humanitarian needs of conflict-affected communities” in South Sudan.More than 2 million people have fled their homes, with 555,000 departing for neighbouring states. About a third of the nation’s 11 million people rely on food aid and other assistance.“He (Lanzer) has echoed the views of many members of the international community who believe it is time that the leaders of South Sudan pay heed to the suffering of their people,” the European Union delegation in South Sudan said in a statement.Lanzer’s expulsion was “an affront to the international community” that showed “a callous disregard for the suffering of the South Sudanese people,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Tuesday.Fighting has pitted soldiers backing President Salva Kiir, the country’s leader since independence from Sudan in 2011, against those loyal to his former deputy Riek Machar, who was sacked from his post in mid-2013.last_img read more