Monthly Archives: January 2023

local

Fund UK’s local news outlets or they won’t survive, MPs warn government

Struggling local media outlets should be helped to survive with government funding, a report by a committee of MPs has advised, warning of the damage to democracy and society from a decline in the quality of local reporting.카지노사이트

The report calls on the BBC to reconsider plans for its local radio stations to share more content across regions as part of its digital-first strategy, which the MPs say would “dilute the sense of localness” that sets the corporation’s stations apart from commercial rivals.

Other recommendations include making it easier for local news publishers to achieve charitable status and for the government to encourage more philanthropic funding of local journalism.

The report on the sustainability of local journalism, published by the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, outlines how many local publishers have struggled to adapt to the shift from print towards an online world. More than 300 local newspaper titles closed between 2009 and 2019.

It highlights what the MPs described as “the harmful impact on communities” from the decline in access to local news. This included a decrease in participation in civic life, less scrutiny of local government decisions and increasing levels of polarisation and misinformation.

“The disappearance of local news providers, which have always acted as the eyes and ears of their readers and held local decision makers to account, has ripped a hole in the heart of many communities,” said Damian Green MP, acting chair of the committee.

“Worryingly, it is the most deprived areas of the country that are most likely to miss out on coverage, compounding the disadvantages they already face.”바카라사이트

A key aspect of the report is its backing for an independent report by Dame Frances Cairncross on the future of the British media, which said in 2019 that local news coverage could disappear, which could pose a threat to the “long-term sustainability of democracy” unless the government provided direct financial support.

The MPs praised the BBC-funded local democracy reporter service (LDRS), which supports a network of journalists covering local news, while adding that more could be done to expand it across different platforms and calling for it to be protected during forthcoming BBC charter negotiations.

The report added that the BBC had written to MPs since the agreement on the report, which called for the corporation to reconsider proposed changes to local radio provision that would involve the greater sharing of news as part of regional hubs.

While the BBC said it had adopted a number of proposals, the MPs were still concerned that the main changes of concern to them would go ahead.

Addressing the role of social media and big digital firms, the report said that long-awaited digital markets legislation must enable news sites to negotiate a fair commercial relationship with online companies hosting their stories, such as Google and Meta.

Despite local news publishers’ collapse in revenues, the MPs highlighted what they described as encouraging examples of innovation and said that, with the right support, the sector could be revived and have a sustainable future.온라인카지노

Indigenous

Brazil’s New Government Works to Reverse Amazon Deforestation

RIO DE JANEIRO —Shaking a traditional rattle, Brazil’s incoming head of Indigenous affairs recently walked through every corner of the agency’s headquarters — even its coffee room — as she invoked help from ancestors during a ritual cleansing.카지노사이트

The ritual carried extra meaning for Joenia Wapichana, Brazil’s first Indigenous woman to command the agency charged with protecting the Amazon rainforest and its people. Once she is sworn in next month under newly inaugurated President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Wapichana promises to clean house at an agency that critics say has allowed the Amazon’s resources to be exploited at the expense of the environment.

As Wapichana performed the ritual, Indigenous people and government officials enthusiastically chanted “Yoohoo! Funai is ours!’’ — a reference to the agency she will lead.

Environmentalists, Indigenous people and voters sympathetic to their causes were important to Lula’s narrow victory over former President Jair Bolsonaro. Now Lula is seeking to fulfill campaign pledges he made to them on a wide range of issues, from expanding Indigenous territories to halting a surge in illegal deforestation.

To carry out these goals, Lula is appointing well-known environmentalists and Indigenous people to key positions at Funai and other agencies that Bolsonaro had filled with allies of agribusiness and military officers.

In Lula’s previous two terms as president, he had a mixed record on environmental and Indigenous issues. And he is certain to face obstacles from pro-Bolsonaro state governors who still control swaths of the Amazon. But experts say Lula is taking the right first steps.

The federal officials Lula has already named to key posts “have the national and international prestige to reverse all the environmental destruction that we have suffered over these four years of the Bolsonaro government,” said George Porto Ferreira, an analyst at Ibama, Brazil’s environmental law-enforcement agency.

Bolsonaro’s supporters, meanwhile, fear that Lula’s promise of stronger environmental protections will hurt the economy by reducing the amount of land open for development and punish people for activities that had previously been allowed. Some supporters with ties to agribusiness have been accused of providing financial and logistical assistance to rioters who earlier this month stormed Brazil’s presidential palace, Congress and Supreme Court.

When Bolsonaro was president, he defanged Funai and other agencies responsible for environmental oversight. This enabled deforestation to soar to its highest level since 2006, as developers and miners who took land from Indigenous people faced few consequences.

Between 2019 and 2022, the number of fines handed out for illegal activities in the Amazon declined by 38% compared with the previous four years, according to an analysis of Brazilian government data by the Climate Observatory, a network of environmental nonprofit groups.

One of the strongest signs yet of Lula’s intentions to reverse these trends was his decision to return Marina Silva to lead the country’s environmental ministry. Silva formerly held the job between 2003 and 2008, a period when deforestation declined by 53%. A former rubber-tapper from Acre state, Silva resigned after clashing with government and agribusiness leaders over environmental policies she deemed to be too lenient.바카라사이트

Silva strikes a strong contrast with Bolsonaro’s first environment minister, Ricardo Salles, who had never set foot in the Amazon when he took office in 2019 and resigned two years later following allegations that he had facilitated the export of illegally felled timber.

Other measures Lula has taken in support of the Amazon and its people include:

— Signing a decree that would rejuvenate the most significant international effort to preserve the rainforest — the Amazon Fund. The fund, which Bolsonaro had gutted, has received more than $1.2 billion, mostly from Norway, to help pay for sustainable development of the Amazon.

— Revoking a Bolsonaro decree that allowed mining in Indigenous and environmental protection areas.

— Creating a Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, which will oversee everything from land boundaries to education. This ministry will be led by Sônia Guajajara, the country’s first Indigenous woman in such a high government post.

“It won’t be easy to overcome 504 years in only four years. But we are willing to use this moment to promote a take-back of Brazil’s spiritual force,” Guajajara said during her induction ceremony, which was delayed by the damage pro-Bolsonaro rioters caused to the presidential palace.

The Amazon rainforest, which covers an area twice the size of India, acts as a buffer against climate change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide. But Bolsonaro viewed management of the Amazon as an internal affair, causing Brazil’s global reputation to take a hit. Lula is trying to undo that damage.

During the U.N.’s climate summit in Egypt in November, Lula pledged to end all deforestation by 2030 and announced his country’s intention to host the COP30 climate conference in 2025. Brazil had been scheduled to host the event in 2019, but Bolsonaro canceled it in 2018 right after he was elected.

While Lula has ambitious environmental goals, the fight to protect the Amazon faces complex hurdles. For example, getting cooperation from local officials won’t be easy.

Six out of nine Amazonian states are run by Bolsonaro allies. Those include Rondonia, where settlers of European descent control local power and have dismantled environmental legislation through the state assembly; and Acre, where a lack of economic opportunities is driving rubber-tappers who had long fought to preserve the rainforest to take up cattle grazing instead.

The Amazon has also been plagued for decades by illegal gold mining, which employs tens of thousands of people in Brazil and other countries, such as Peru and Venezuela. The illegal mining causes mercury contamination of rivers that Indigenous peoples rely on for fishing and drinking.

One area where Lula has more control is in designating Indigenous territories, which are the best-preserved regions in the Amazon.

Lula is under pressure to create 13 new Indigenous territories — a process that had stalled under Bolsonaro, who kept his promise not to grant “one more inch” of land to Indigenous peoples.온라인카지노

casinos

Can you Play Casino Around the World

If you want to know whether you can play casino games in a particular country, read this article. You will learn about the age requirements, number of casinos in a particular country, and the culture. You can also learn about the gambling regulations in each country and how you can stay away from the pitfalls. 카지노사이트

Age requirements to play casino games

The age requirements for playing casino games around the world vary slightly, but in most cases, they are 18 or older. However, there are some countries that do not allow gambling at all. For example, Brazil has made gambling illegal since 1948. There are also certain countries in Asia that do allow gambling, including Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.

The age requirements for gambling vary by country, but they tend to follow the trends within the continent. For instance, countries in the European Union are generally consistent in their stance, while African countries are still developing markets and show less uniformity. In the United States, the laws vary a bit depending on the location.

While online casinos can’t enforce an age limit, land-based casinos usually have one. Casinos in Canada, for example, require a player to be at least 18 years old to enter. In addition, they often require a valid ID before allowing anyone under the age of 21 to play.

Locations of casinos

When it comes to gambling, the world is full of exciting choices. Many countries have casinos, and there are many ways to experience the thrill of casino gambling. Some countries have more than one casino, while others have only a handful of them. Some of the most well-known casinos in the world are located in Europe.

China, India, and the United States are among the countries with the most casinos. In the United States, Las Vegas and Macau are the most popular. In the Philippines, Entertainment City in Paranaque is sort of a miniature Macau. However, you should be responsible when gambling in any casino.

Macau is a gambling haven and is home to some of the largest casinos in the world. The Venetian, for instance, features 376,000 square feet of gaming space and 1,760 slot machines. It is also a popular destination for travelers who wish to experience the thrill of gambling.

Number of casinos in a country

The US is one of the world’s leading gambling countries, with over 900,000 slots and more than a half million jobs directly generated by the industry. In addition to Las Vegas, US casinos generate over $70 billion in revenue annually. While the US is still in its early stages of online gambling development, the country boasts hundreds of land-based casinos, many of them concentrated in Las Vegas and nearby regions.바카라사이트

In addition to the US, Canada has 216 casinos. Despite its small size, the country has many popular gambling destinations, including Niagara Falls. Canada is also home to many smaller casinos and Indian-run casinos. While there are fewer casinos per capita in the US, Canadians have plenty to choose from.

France is the third-largest country for casinos, but the country has a completely different gambling scene than North America. Many of the casinos are old and gilded in gold, making them very different from the more modern gambling establishments in North America. Some of the country’s oldest venues date back to 1912. Other famous French casinos are the Casino Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice, which opened in 1929. The Casino Partouche des Evaux-les-Bains was opened in 1912. And the Casino Barriere deauville opened in 1912.온라인카지노

travel

5 ways to travel better in 2023 — and maybe save some money doing it

The start of a new year brings fresh opportunities, and that includes travel.카지노사이트

People are figuring out where they’d like to go and what they need to do in order to make successful trips happen.

Now is a good time to apply for or renew a passport and sign up for a Trusted Traveler program such as Global Entry or TSA PreCheck — or check to make sure your enrollment isn’t expiring soon. It’s also a good time to consider whether visiting must-see Arizona destinations in off-peak times or getting a credit card with improved travel perks is right for you.

Here are five things to do right now to enjoy traveling more in 2023.

  1. Apply for or renew your passport right away

Demand for international travel is apparent as airlines add more flights from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. American Airlines will introduce new service to Monterrey, Mexico, in January and ultra-low-cost carrier Lynx Air will enter the market with flights between Sky Harbor and Calgary, the largest city in Alberta, Canada, starting in February.

If you’ve booked an international trip or are planning one for the not-so-distant future, get your passport as soon as possible if you don’t already have it. The U.S. Department of State estimates travelers can expect to wait six to nine weeks for routine passport processing and three to five weeks for expedited processing. These times may increase if demand surges.

If you have a passport, check the expiration date. Passports are valid for 10 years. If yours is expired or close to expiring, renew it as soon as possible. Some countries won’t let you enter if your passport is near expiration. That window varies by country, so check the travel requirements of your destination if your passport has less than one year remaining.

  1. Make sure your PreCheck or Global Entry is current

Passports aren’t the only travel tools that can expire. Now is good time to check how much time remains on your Trusted Traveler program enrollment.

These programs help speed you through security and immigration lines. Enrollment, which requires going through an interview, lasts five years and can be renewed the year before it expires.

The Transportation Security Administration offers PreCheck ($85). U.S. Customs and Border Protection administers Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI. Global Entry ($100) allows expedited entry into the U.S. from international destinations. SENTRI ($122.25) expedites entry to the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. NEXUS ($50) allows expedited entry to the U.S. from Canada.

Applying or renewing well in advance is key. PreCheck processing can take up to two months in some cases, though most applicants receive their Known Traveler Number within three to five days. The process for the CPB programs could take as long as six to 18 months, and interview availability is limited.

Arizona has eight PreCheck enrollment centers, at Sky Harbor Airport, Staples locations at Camelback Colonnade in Phoenix and Arrowhead Crossing in Peoria, and IdentoGo locations in Gilbert, Sun City, Casa Grande, Tucson and Flagstaff.

Arizona has five enrollment centers for the CPB programs: Sky Harbor Airport, Tucson International Airport and the port of entry offices in Douglas, Nogales and San Luis. You can check interview appointment availability before applying; to do so, visit https://ttp.dhs.gov.

If your Global Entry is close to expiration and you have a filed your renewal application, you can use it past the expiration date for up to two years, according to Homeland Security.

  1. Consider getting a credit card with travel perks

Credit cards with perks like airline miles, hotel points or cash back for purchases can supplement your travel budget.바카라사이트

The Capital One Venture Rewards card, for example, offers 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One travel, and an introductory offer of 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of the account. Other cards have different combinations of benefits that may suit your needs.

Be aware that many of these credit cards have annual fees, like Venture Rewards’ $95 per year. Some cards have no enrollment fees, like Chase Freedom Unlimited, which currently has an introductory offer of 6.5% cash back on travel purchases made with the card in the user’s first year.

  1. Visit Arizona’s hottest destinations in the offseason

It might feel like Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon are always crowded. But a comfortable experience is possible if you travel when people are less likely to go.

The spring and fall months tend to be the busiest times to visit Sedona, while fewer tourists are likely in summer and winter. Data from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce confirms this — bed tax collections in the 2021-22 fiscal year were highest in spring and fall, peaking at just over $1 million in May 2022.

The Grand Canyon is busiest from the late spring to the early fall, with this past summer averaging around 500,000 visitors in each peak-season month, according to the National Park Service. October through March typically is less busy, though people who visit during the winter months should be aware of winter weather hazards and plan for snowy and icy conditions.

  1. Consider flying from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport instead of Sky Harbor

As the main airport serving metro Phoenix, Sky Harbor International is where most of the region’s leisure and business travelers fly.

But for residents of the eastern part of Phoenix and cities including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Apache Junction and Queen Creek, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport may win out over Sky Harbor for its convenient location and smaller, easily navigable size.

The east Mesa airport continues to experience record-setting passenger growth, and October 2022’s passenger count of 150,846 people marked a 15% increase from the same month in 2021.

Gateway Airport continues to evolve to keep pace with airline industry and regional growth. It recently began work on a 30,000-square-foot terminal extension that will add new gates, a glass walkway, a tech lounge and restaurants and shops upon its expected completion in 2024.

Gateway Airport is targeted toward leisure travelers. Be aware that its airlines — the biggest one is Allegiant Air — offer flights only on certain days, not every day. Parking is cheaper than at Sky Harbor — $13 per day in the main daily lot just south of the terminal, $11 in a covered economy lot and $9 in an uncovered economy lot — but travelers should still give themselves plenty of time to find a spot and get to the terminal.온라인카지노

smartpay

SMARTPAY LAUNCHES CONSUMER FINANCE SERVICE IN JAPAN, SAUDI ARABIA, AND UAE

Through a network of 67 partner banks across Japan, Smartpay Bank Direct delivers convenience and security for the consumer by using Japan’s open banking system.카지노사이트

Founded in June 2021 by former executives of Instagram, Standard Chartered Bank, Facebook, Stripe, Adyen, and Mastercard across the Asia Pacific, and Middle East, and North Africa (MENA) regions, Smartpay seeks to transform the digital consumer landscape with reliable financial products and payment solutions.

Japan is the third wealthiest country in the world and has one of the highest credit card penetration rates in Asia, with over 60% of transactions completed in cash.

Smartpay to bring about paperless payment system in Japan
Smartpay’s application supports the transformation of a cash-based society into a digital one. The company’s strategy was built in two phases. The first phase was focused on financial inclusion, and helping those that don’t have access to credit, to join the digital BNPL economy. It also solved the issue of cash usage and created a platform and an ecosystem to move towards a paperless payment system.

Smartpay is moving into the next phase of its digital consumer finance journey, which is focused on targeting middle and high-income users and offering them smart financial solutions that are safe, convenient, fast and create real value for the entire ecosystem. These are low-risk and high-value customers with average transaction value of USD200, non-performing loan (NPL) rates of less than 1%, and who want to avoid a bad credit rating and nonpayment on debt obligations. The monthly repeat rate of these consumers has already reached approximately 20%.

Sam Ahmed, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Smartpay, said: “We believe we are driving digital consumer finance to the next phase of its maturity. ‘Buy now, pay later’ has had to grow up from the prospective of a business model, profitability, and consumer value proposition.

Tai Iguchi, Chief Executive of TRiCERA, said: “We knew we were on the right track when our key merchant. You are the Apple of digital consumer finance, your UX is beautifully designed and makes the consumer feel like you trust them, and respect who they are. This is in a market where other consumer finance companies have made customers feel they are not trusted and undervalued.”

Smartpay to focus on Japan, Saudi Arabia, and UAE
Smartpay will first focus on Japan, Saudi Arabia and UAE markets, but over the medium term the firm will look towards Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and other markets in Southeast Asia and MENA.

Smartpay’s business model features:바카라사이트

Specific consumer psychographics which include a tech savvy population, smartphone and internet access, high disposable income, increased consumption, and high rates of tech adaption
An economy that is undergoing a digital transformation
Merchants that need help to accelerate a successful digital transformation
Legacy banks that have been disrupted by digital first solutions which have taken away their relevance and limited access to key consumer data
Governments and regulators that want to work with established digital financial solutions that have existing global partnerships (proof of quality and security) and credible local partners (proof of local interests)
Smartpay has realized that the ideal customer is a high-income consumer that wants control of their monthly budgeting and wants to extend the monthly cash flow without paying fees and interest. These customers want to engage with a brand that is custom built for their usage instead of a one-size-fits-all approach that is for consumers who actually want to borrow money. Instead, Smartpay a brand that is designed for their income group, and designed for smart money management, versus “non-savings” money management.

Japan’s first BNPL solution payable by credit card
Smartpay is backed by Global Founders Capital (Europe), Matrix Partners (Silicon Valley), and SMBC VC (Japan) as it prepares global expansion with its solution powered by open banking.

“We have begun discussions with potential banking partners in other similar markets, such as KSA and Korea, to roll out our learnings and robust business model”, chief executive Sam Ahmed continued.

“We are delighted to be the first in Japan to provide digital consumer finance services which supports both credit cards and direct debit through a fully automated, single-click UX at the point of purchase. Our passion is helping consumers manage their cash flow in a smarter way, in a fast, safe and secure click. There are no additional fees or interest for the consumers. Since the launch of Smartpay just over a year ago, as Japan’s first BNPL solution payable by credit card, we have continued to expand our partner ecosystem with new retailers and an expanding customer base with revenue growth over 200% in the last three months. It’s interesting that we have lifted merchant average order value more than 30% in four different merchant categories. We attract higher value consumers for the merchant through our eKYC process.”온라인카지노