Deeper crisis

first_imgBefore Nov. 20, European reaction to the massive flight of refugees from civil war in Syria was often described as polarized — on one side, an inclusive attitude focused on dividends through an influx of hard-working people; on the other, xenophobia centered on unemployment and security.“That was the state of play,” said Jacqueline Bhabha, a professor of the practice of health and human rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, during a discussion Tuesday on the refugee crisis, sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center.But the attack in Paris that left 129 dead has significantly altered views here and in Europe on how the world should respond to the millions of refugees who have fled violence in their homeland, Bhabha noted. She and Michael Ignatieff, the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice at the Kennedy School, spoke on the refugee issue as part of News Flash, a humanities forum focused current events.In the wake of the Paris assault, increased hostility to refugees “is going to make the journey to safety even more flawed that it already is,” Bhabha said.In the United States, at least 25 governors, including Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, have said they will refuse to accept any Syrian refugees. Whether governors are legally able to implement such an order is doubtful. “But of course the political posturing delivers dividends,” Bhabha said. Two Republican candidates for president have said that only Christian Syrian refugees or none at all should be accepted by the United States.This is a “geostrategic disaster” that plays right into the hands of the Islamic State, or ISIS, said Ignatieff.Gesturing at an image showing the states planning to reject Syrian refugees, he said, “Imagine the strategic signal that this is sending to important allies in the wake of the terrorism attack … It simply says the world’s most powerful country is too frightened to take Syrians. It’s a message of fear.”Which is exactly the message ISIS wants the West to send, according to Ignatieff. ISIS wants the West to appear fearful of Islam, confirming their message that Europe hates all Muslims, he said. “Every action we take to confirm that narrative is strategic poison for us.”Moreover, ISIS has a vested interest in stemming the tide of refugees to support its vision, he said. “When people flee en masse from the caliphate, it’s not so good for the caliphate.”Both Bhabha and Ignatieff attempted to put U.S. reluctance to accept refugees in context, noting that Turkey has taken in 2 million refugees and there are large numbers in Jordan and Lebanon.“Those who have fled, paradoxically, are the lucky ones,” Bhabha said. The more vulnerable group is the displaced population within Syria, now convulsed with violence and experiencing outbreaks of cholera and polio.Ignatieff acknowledged the importance of strong security measures to weed out potential sleeper cells and other dangerous elements. However, he said, of the 780,000 refugees admitted to the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks, only three have been indicted for terrorism offenses.“I don’t think you can have an honest, generous, open-hearted refugee policy unless you have very tough control of migration,” he said.James Simpson, the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English, cautioned against the “dangers of rhetoric” that dismisses all those who oppose accepting refugees as merely xenophobic or racist. Many people are “not-unreasonably anxious” and concerned, he said.Ignatieff agreed, responding: “It’s always a mistake to dismiss the fears of fellow citizens.“Where we can counter fear with facts, we should do so,” he said.last_img read more

Data in the 21st Century: Marketing’s new reality

first_imgDataWho knew the name of the lovable android from 24th century Star Trek: The Next Generation would play such an important role in 21st century reality? Three hundred years from now, they evidently take Data for granted, easily interpreting all of its formats and informing every decision. But in our era, “big data” is the newest buzzword, and most companies are finding it challenging to harness and assimilate.It’s easy to see why. Traditional, structured data such as transactions, loan profiles and member-completed forms has been joined by newer sources like social media, website analytics and emails; and it’s growing at near warp speed. One estimate predicts that, by 2020, there will be much more digital data worldwide than grains of sand on earth. And a 2014 report from EMC2 in partnership with International Data Corporation (IDC) claims the amount of global digital data will hit 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, enough for a stack of iPad Air tablets to reach to the moon and back 6.6 times.But unless we can analyze and turn data into the power to make informed decisions, it’s just, well, data. The same EMC-IDC research found that, while almost 25% of data currently being stored could provide valuable insights, only 3% is organized and ready for study; and only half of that is being used analytically. If we get better at using data, it can provide a major competitive edge in marketing financial services while helping to make smart decisions on how to spend marketing dollars.Humanizing DataBig data can bridge the gap between consumers’ self-directed banking and financial institutions’ ability to maintain personal relationships. Just as Star Trek’s Data needed to understand human behavior to be of greater service, we can enhance members’ credit union experience by understanding their banking behavior.Think of it as humanizing data. CEO of Personetics David Sosna says, “Imagine your bank or credit union is smart enough to use what it already knows about your withdrawal and transfer history to keep track of your upcoming commitments. If your financial institution reminds you to transfer those funds before it is too late, Big Data just helped you avoid a painful financial moment – and your bank is suddenly a quiet hero.” (The Financial Brand, Jan. 5, 2015)The same process can apply to marketing messages. CU Realty Services CEO Mike Corn says if we know which members are in the market for a new home, we can help them make smart decisions during the buying process. And at DigitalMailer, our clients tell us that directing marketing offers to consumers’ specific interests has significantly improved their member engagement and conversion rates for products such as mortgages or auto loans.Pinpointing Needs and Interests Today, marketing professionals no longer need to spend hours poring over spreadsheets to match members’ product and service usage with marketing offers. Your credit union already has a wealth of data. After that data is organized and manipulated, you can use data-mining programs and variable-field capabilities to identify a member’s specific pain point or interest to deliver personalized, highly relevant information.Combining various data sources to create more focused marketing strategies creates better campaign results while making better use of budget dollars and staff resources. Consider these tips:Start slowly – Big data is a small word with a large impact, but you can be effective starting with the structured data that’s easily available to you. What’s most important about any data is how you use it to satisfy members’ needs and build relationships.Integrate your touchpoints – Most members will use a variety of channels to interact with your credit union, so test for yourself whether you can move seamlessly from one to another. Then ask for member feedback and incorporate what you learn to ensure consistency, whether they engage with you via branch, website, online and mobile banking, call center, email, ATM, voice, social or any other channel.Break down the walls – You can gain a wealth of information by meeting across disciplines to better understand members’ behavior in real time. The loan department will have good data on loan histories, and collections will know who tends to miss payments. Your front-line staff may be the best source for who’s in the market for a new car. It may not be high-tech, but regularly comparing notes with other departments, can keep you updated on members’ interests and help ensure strong member relationships.Choose a technology partner that can work with you and your data – Make sure your service provider can help you turn the data you have now into marketing strategies that are pinpointed to members’ individual needs. DigitalMailer’s clients make the most of today’s technology using our tools to connect their organized data and CRM systems to drive personal messaging, as well as to automatically gather member feedback and sync it with the CRM system for analysis.Big data lets you learn more and, ultimately, do more to improve your credit union’s member service. But even Star Trek’s Data understood it could be daunting, “I remember every fact I am exposed to but I have not fully assimilated its impact.” The same is true for us; but with the right technical support and taking it a step at a time, marketers can integrate it into their marketing plans and make their own positive impact. 25SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ron Daly Ron Daly is the president and CEO of Virtual StrongBox, a secure, end-to-end member engagement platform that can be integrated into various workflow processes to provide high-risk Enterprise IT firms … Web: www.virtualstrongbox.com Detailslast_img read more

Why print and mail must be part of your business continuity and pandemic plans

first_imgIt’s hard to believe that at the end of 2019, “Pandemic Plan” was just a chapter heading in many credit unions’ disaster recovery and business continuity plans. Then in January, Chinese state media reported the first known death caused by the coronavirus, and six weeks later, every organization worldwide needed to have a pandemic plan in place.Before COVID-19, disaster recovery planning for credit unions typically focused on such weather events as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods and earthquakes, and other natural disasters. The uniqueness of the coronavirus pandemic has impacted businesses across the nation in ways that were never imagined—even in the most comprehensive DR plans.One element of business continuity that may be overlooked, especially when everyone seems to be spending so much time online while social distancing, is the key role print and mail play in credit unions’ critical communications—including statements, loan notices, and other business-critical and regulatory-related documents. If your plan does not include print and mail, this missing link could impact cash flow, member loyalty and compliance. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Jokowi changes 2020 state budget again, with deficit at 6.34% of GDP

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed Wednesday Perpres No. 72/2020, a presidential regulation that regulates an increase in state spending and a widening state budget deficit amid Indonesia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.The government now officially states that the 2020 state budget deficit is expected to reach Rp 1.03 quadrillion (US$73.4 billion) or 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) after several high-ranking officials mentioned the figure in recent days. A previous presidential regulation, Perpres No. 54/2020, which also amended the budget, stipulated a deficit of 5.07 percent.Read also: Indonesia’s debt to swell further in 2021 to finance economic recovery The latest regulation stipulates that state spending, which includes government spending and regional direct transfers and village funds, may reach Rp 2.73 quadrillion this year, an increase of Rp 125.3 trillion from the figure stated in the previous regulation announced in April.State income is expected to reach Rp 1.69 quadrillion, a decrease of Rp 60.9 trillion from the government’s earlier projection due to lower tax collection as the pandemic hit all economic sectors.The speed of the revisions underscores the ferocity with which the virus is moving through the economy.“All economic sectors are now under intense pressure,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said recently. “The situation is developing rapidly, so the stimulus program will change again as we look at economic developments and try to mitigate the downside risks.”Read also: GDP to contract by 3.1% in Q2 on COVID-19 headwindsThe government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion worth of stimulus spending in a bid to prevent a more severe economic downturn and strengthen healthcare systems amid the pandemic. This is the latest increase from around Rp 677 trillion allocated in early June.The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the country’s economy, with government officials expecting an economic contraction of 0.4 percent this year in the worst-case scenario, or growth of 1 percent in the baseline scenario. Indonesia’s economy grew 2.97 percent in the first quarter, the weakest since 2001.Topics :last_img read more

Chelsea to launch £80million transfer bid for Wilfried Zaha in January

first_imgChelsea to launch £80million transfer bid for Wilfried Zaha in January Wilfried Zaha was the subject of failed bids from Arsenal and Everton during the transfer window (Picture: Getty)Chelsea will launch an £80million bid for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha in January if they can get their transfer ban overturned.Frank Lampard has faced a testing start to his managerial career at Stamford Bridge, prevented from adding to the squad he inherited from Maurizio Sarri and opting to sell his most experienced defender in David Luiz to Arsenal on deadline day with the Brazilian said to have become a disruptive influence.According to the Sun, Chelsea are confident they can overturn the punishment they received from FIFA and will look to prise Zaha from Selhurst Park come the turn of the year.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe 26-year-old was coveted by Arsenal earlier this summer but the Gunners failed to tempt Palace with a £40m bid and subsequently turned their attentions to Nicolas Pepe, who ultimately cost a club-record £72m.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityEverton, too, were unable to tempt the Eagles into selling their prize asset, who handed in a transfer request on Wednesday and did not train on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s first game of the season, ironically against the Merseysiders.The Toffees were prepared to put a cash plus players deal together worth around £100m for Zaha and pay the former Manchester United forward £200,000-a-week but Palace refused to budge.Everton signed Alex Iwobi from Arsenal on deadline day for close to £40m and are therefore unlikely to return for Zaha, leaving Chelsea potentially with a free run at the versatile forward. Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 8 Aug 2019 11:41 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kShares Alex Iwobi joined Everton from Arsenal on transfer deadline day (Picture: Getty)Speaking about Zaha’s state of mind, meanwhile, Palace boss Roy Hodgson said on Thursday: ‘He’s staying and we’re pleased about that. I sent him home, it being the last day of the transfer window, because it’s well documented he wanted to leave.‘His beef is with the chairman and the owners, because they didn’t receive an acceptable offer.‘But when you sign long-term contracts, you have to accept this kind of thing and come to terms with that. I certainly don’t have a problem with him.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Sif Receives Order for Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Project

first_imgSif Holding has received an order from Eiffage Métal to deliver 80 monopiles and the primary steel for 80 transition pieces for the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind project in France.Sif will manufacture the monopiles and store them at its MV2 facility, as well as deliver the primary steel for the transition pieces to Smulders Hoboken.The Dutch company plans to deliver the 77KTon of steel in 2020-2021.“The Saint- Nazaire project has been on our radar screen for quite a while. It was already in our orderbook as a project under exclusive negotiations,” said Fred van Beers, CEO of Sif.“We are happy and proud that the project kick-off is finally there and we can start production for this milestone project, which will contribute to the ambitious French offshore wind plans. We thank Eiffage for their trust in Sif and look forward to a fruitful continuation of the cooperation with them and their subsidiary Smulders Hoboken.”The consortium including DEME and Eiffage Métal won an engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) contract for the project’s 80 foundations in August.The Saint-Nazaire project is being developed by Eolien Maritime France (EMF), a consortium of EDF Renouvelables and Enbridge, some 12km off the coast of Loire-Atlantique.The 480MW wind farm will feature 80 GE Haliade 150-6MW turbines scheduled to be operational in 2022.last_img read more

MHI Vestas and CIP Confirm 589MW Order in Taiwan

first_imgChangfang and Xidao will have a joint installed capacity of approximately 589MW on completion, comprising a total of 62 MHI Vestas V174-9.5MW turbines. The projects will be split out over several phases. Changfang Phase 1 will comprise 10 turbines for an installed capacity of 95MW and will be installed in 2022. MHI Vestas and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have finalized the commercial agreements for the Changfang and Xidao offshore wind projects in Taiwan. The orders represent MHI Vestas’ first projects in the Asia Pacific region to reach financial close, which was completed late last week. “We are enormously grateful for the collaboration with CIP and look forward to bringing our trusted V174-9.5 MW, an IEC T classified turbine, along with local, green energy jobs to the people of Taiwan.”center_img “As our first firm orders in Asia Pacific, Changfang and Xidao are landmark contracts for our business and for our market position in Taiwan,” said MHI Vestas CSO, Henrik Jensen. Changfang Phase 2, comprising 47 turbines with an installed capacity of 446.5MW, and Xidao, comprising 5 turbines with an installed capacity of 47.5MW, will be installed in 2023. Ahead of the project, MHI Vestas and CIP collaborated on a comprehensive local supply chain ramp-up. Once complete, the full localization scope promises to create up to 5,300 jobs and NT$ 9.2 billion (circa EUR 264 million) in economic value for Taiwan in localized components alone, which does not include installation, commissioning, and operation and maintenance for the lifetime of the turbines.last_img read more

UTEC Wraps Up Survey Work for McDermott in Middle East

first_imgUTEC, a global surveying company in the Acteon group, has completed consecutive as-built and post-construction, anchor-debris-clearance surveys using remotely operated vehicles (ROV) for McDermott International.UTEC mobilized a DP2 offshore support vessel in early December 2019 with work- and observation-class ROVs and a nearshore survey work boat for the as-built campaign.The anchor debris clearance campaign used the same vessel with a sub-bottom profiler, a side-scan sonar, a multibeam echosounder and a magnetometer.“We are delighted to have completed these surveys,” said Nadir Rahmatullah, UTEC commercial director, Asia Pacific and Middle East. “They are a testament to the success of our 18-month strategy of investing to enter the site characterization market in the Middle East. We have the technology and the operational experience for the successful delivery of projects like these. The work demonstrates our ROV and conventional geophysical survey capabilities in shallow waters, from the surface to depths of 40 meters.”Nadir added, “We are extremely pleased to have worked with McDermott. This project confirms the Acteon group’s position as a trusted survey and site characterization partner. At UTEC, we look forward to continuing to support our clients in the Middle East and worldwide and to working with Acteon group companies whenever they can add value to delivering customer-specific solutions.”last_img read more

Kenya Rejects Korea Request for Embassy

first_img(Daily Nation) An attempt by North Korea to establish a diplomatic mission in Nairobi has been turned down. The rebuff projects the view that Kenya does not want to be seen to be warming up to the world’s pariah state.Diplomatic sources within the United Nations Office in Nairobi have indicated that the UN mounted pressure on Nairobi to reject the move by North Koreans, despite officials from that country visiting Nairobi twice.On Sunday though, the government denied that North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), has made the application.“That is not true. North Korea did not make such a request,” Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho told the Nation.However, our source at the UN says two delegations came to Nairobi in November last year and in early March, seeking favours and, hopefully, start a process of establishing a diplomatic post in Nairobi.“The delegations had very powerful officials in the government of North Korea.“They sought to speak with Foreign Ministry officials over the possibility of establishing an embassy,” the source said.“The UN suggested against it and there was further pressure from other countries who voiced similar concerns,” the diplomat added, while clarifying that North Korea did not put the request in writing.PARIAH STATENorth Korea has been a pariah state for some time, given its nuclear weapons programme and global concerns over its human rights record.In February 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea released a report in which it gave horrendous details of crimes against humanity.The UN experts documented torture, extrajudicial executions, starvation and mass imprisonments, before recommending that North Korea’s leaders be charged at the International Criminal Court.North Korea called the findings a “fuss” but the UN has recommended an imposition of targeted sanctions on Pyongyang.last_img read more