NY AG Sues To Dissolve NRA

first_imgStock Image.NEW YORK – The New York Attorney General is suing to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest and most influential pro-gun organization in the nation. Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she is charging the organization with illegal conduct because of their diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty.The suit specifically charges the NRA as a whole, as well as Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer with failing to manage the NRA’s funds and failing to follow numerous state and federal laws, contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years for the NRA.In the complaint, Attorney General James lays out dozens of examples where the four individual defendants failed to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the NRA and used millions upon millions from NRA reserves for personal use, including trips for them and their families to the Bahamas, private jets, expensive meals, and other private travel. In addition to shuttering the NRA’s doors, Attorney General James seeks to recoup millions in lost assets and to stop the four individual defendants from serving on the board of any not-for-profit charitable organization in the state of New York again. “The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” said Attorney General James. “The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law.”Since 1871, the NRA has operated as a New York-registered 501(c)(4) not-for-profit, charitable corporation. Under state law not-for-profit, charitable corporations are required to register and file annual financial reports with the Charities Bureau in the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The assets are required to be used in a way that serves the interests of NRA membership and that advance the organization’s charitable mission. However, as today’s complaint lays out, the NRA is alleged to have fostered a culture of noncompliance and disregard for internal controls that led to the waste and loss of millions in assets and contributed to the NRA reaching its current deteriorated financial state. The NRA’s internal policies were repeatedly not followed and were even blatantly ignored by senior leaders. Furthermore, the NRA board’s audit committee was negligent in its duty to ensure appropriate, competent, and judicious stewardship of assets by NRA leadership. Specifically, the committee failed to assure standard fiscal controls, failed to respond adequately to whistleblowers, affirmatively took steps to conceal the nature and scope of whistleblower concerns from external auditors, and failed to review potential conflicts of interest for employees.NRA’s Culture of Self-Dealing, Mismanagement, and NegligenceThe lawsuit alleges that the four men instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight at the NRA that was illegal, oppressive, and fraudulent. They overrode and evaded internal controls to allow themselves, their families, favored board members, employees, and vendors to benefit through reimbursed expenses, related party transactions, excess compensation, side deals, and waste of charitable assets without regard to the NRA’s best interests.When board members challenged LaPierre and others over their financial governance and leadership of the NRA, LaPierre retaliated and turned the board against those who attempted to challenge the illegal behavior.The complaint lays out numerous other instances in which LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, Frazer, and other executives and board members at the NRA abused their power and illegally diverted or facilitated the diversion of tens of millions of dollars from the NRA. These funds were in addition to millions of dollars the four individual defendants were already receiving in grossly excessive salaries and bonuses that were not in line with the best practices and prudent standards for evaluating and determining compensation.Wayne LaPierre – Executive Vice-PresidentIn his nearly three decades as executive vice-president, Wayne LaPierre ran the day-to-day operations of the NRA and exploited the organization for his and his family’s financial benefit, and the benefit of a close circle of NRA staff, board members, and vendors. Of note, LaPierre:Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the NRA’s charitable assets for private plane trips for himself and his family, including extended family when he was not present.Visited the Bahamas by private air charter at least eight times in an approximate three-year period with his family, at a cost of more than $500,000 to the NRA. On many of those trips, LaPierre and his family were gifted the use of a 107-foot yacht owned by an NRA vendor.Traveled to Africa with his wife for all-expense paid safaris, gifted by an NRA vendor.Spent millions on unwarranted travel consultants for decades, including for the booking of luxury black car services — spending more than $3.6 million in the last two years alone.Secured a post-employment contract for himself with the NRA, without board approval, currently valued at more than $17 million.Allotted several millions of dollars annually in NRA funds for private security costs for himself and his family without sufficient oversight on their use.Received more than $1.2 million in expense reimbursements in just a four-year period for expenditures that included gifts for favored friends and vendors; travel expenses for himself and his family; and membership fees at golf clubs, hotels, and other member clubs.Secured lucrative consulting contracts for ex-employees and board members worth millions.The complaint alleges that as executive vice-president, LaPierre handpicked individuals in senior staff positions at the NRA that have shown themselves to be loyal to LaPierre as an individual, rather than to the organization. Time and time again, LaPierre has shown that loyalty, more than competence and responsibility, is integral to his staffing picks, which led him to personally hire Phillips, Powell, and Frazer — some chosen despite failing to meet the necessary skills or experience for their respective roles and responsibilities.Wilson “Woody” Phillips – Former Treasurer and Chief Financial OfficerWoody Phillips — the former treasurer and CFO, who was responsible for managing the books and financial operations of the NRA — engaged in practices that violated NRA policy, lied on financial disclosure forms, and set up a deal worth more than $1 million that benefitted his girlfriend. Just before his retirement in 2018, Phillips obtained a contract for himself worth $1.8 million, purportedly for monthly consulting services to the incoming treasurer, even though the current treasurer knew nothing about this contract and has confirmed that “Woody [Phillips] never consulted for me.” Phillips, having served in the capacity as the chief steward of the organization’s finances, also oversaw the financial practices that allowed millions of dollars in entertainment and travel expenses incurred by NRA executives to be fraudulently billed to the NRA as disbursements by the NRA’s largest vendor: Ackerman McQueen, an Oklahoma-based advertising and public relations firm. Furthermore, the complaint asserts that Phillips consistently eschewed his fiduciary duties time and time again, as evidenced by his failure to seriously respond to whistleblower complaints about alleged fiscal improprieties and his readiness to unilaterally authorize payments and contracts outside of the NRA adopted purchasing and contracting policies and procedures.Joshua Powell – Former Chief of Staff and Executive Director of General OperationsJoshua Powell, the chief of staff to LaPierre, was terminated after just 3.5 years for, among other things, misappropriating NRA funds during his tenure. Powell, who is known as a LaPierre loyalist, received sudden and substantial salary increases almost immediately after starting his position. Within a month, his salary was doubled retroactively to the beginning of his tenure with the NRA to $500,000. After less than a year, Powell’s salary increased to $650,000. A little over two years into the job, Powell’s salary more than tripled from the original $250,000 to $800,000, despite numerous complaints of abusive behavior and evidence of illegal conduct and inappropriate spending. Further, Powell abused the NRA’s policy on housing and relocation reimbursements, pocketing in excess of $100,000 more than NRA rules allowed.Powell’s tenure was marked by nepotism. LaPierre, Phillips, and Powell also signed off on the hiring of fundraising consultant McKenna & Associates outside of the NRA’s contract process and without going through any approval process. The NRA paid the company more than $5 million over the course of five years. For all of 2018, Powell’s wife was hired as a consultant by McKenna & Associates, and her entire $30,000 monthly consulting fee was passed through the NRA. The hiring of Powell’s wife was hidden from the NRA’s general counsel, in an effort to not draw attention to and affirmatively hide the conflict of interest, and her role was not pre-approved by the NRA board, as the organization’s policy requires. Additionally, Powell requested an NRA vendor to add his father to a rotation of paid photographers, resulting in more than $90,000 in compensation for his father, an expense which was completely passed through to the NRA.John Frazer – Corporate Secretary and General CounselJohn Frazer was chosen by LaPierre to serve as general counsel and also served as corporate secretary at the NRA. Between 2014 and 2018, Frazer repeatedly failed to comply with board governance procedures, make necessary changes, or advise others that governance changes needed to be made; failed to ensure that financial transactions were being addressed by NRA officers and directors in accordance with law; failed to enforce compliance with the NRA’s conflict of interest policy; and failed to ensure that the NRA was in compliance with laws and policies governing whistleblowers. Additionally, Frazer repeatedly certified false or misleading annual statements.Ackerman McQueen – NRA’s Public Relations and Advertising FirmA practice decades-old between LaPierre and Ackerman McQueen’s co-founder — that would continue until the two companies severed ties in 2019 — ensured that Ackerman McQueen would pay for a variety of non-contractual, out-of-pocket expenses for LaPierre and other NRA executives and pass those expenses through to the NRA. The NRA leadership regularly used this pass-through arrangement — where expenses would be paid for by the NRA without written approvals, receipts, or supporting business purpose documentation — to conceal private travel and other costs that were largely personal in nature. Ackerman McQueen would aggregate the expenses into a lump sum amount and provide no details on the nature or purpose of the expenses when billing the NRA for them. The invoices only typically included a one-line description that read “out-of-pocket expenses” and included an invoice total amount. The expenses billed to the NRA for out-of-pocket expenses did not comply with IRS requirements, and, as a result, all such expenses should have been included by the NRA in taxable personal income for LaPierre and other recipients.Ackerman McQueen was paid more than $70 million in just 2017 and 2018 for “public relations and advertising” services and for “out-of-pocket expenditures” that really went to entertainment and travel incurred by NRA executives and associates without scrutiny from within the organization, including millions for private planes, luxury hotels, memberships to private clubs, special events, fancy meals, and even personal hair and makeup services for LaPierre’s wife.NRA Audit Committee’s Failure to AuditUnder New York law, the NRA’s audit committee is responsible for overseeing the accounting and financial reporting processes of the organization and the audit of its financial statements, but the culture of noncompliance and disregard for the internal controls is evident within the audit committee. The committee failed to serve as an independent check on LaPierre, his senior staff, and the NRA as a whole, and basically served as a rubber stamp for the organization’s illicit behavior, when it did review finances.For example, the audit committee is charged with reviewing any contract that has the appearance of a conflict of interest, such as a contracts with insiders referred to as related-party transactions, and must not only perform certain considerations, but also document its deliberations. The committee routinely approved related-party transactions after LaPierre or senior staff entered into such agreements. In fact, in 2018, the audit committee approved seven related-party transactions after the fact, including a contract between the NRA’s then incoming president and Ackerman McQueen. At the time this contract was executed, the terms were known to LaPierre and Phillips, but the audit committee had no knowledge of it. Then, again in 2019 and 2020, the audit committee purportedly approved, retroactively, many other existing NRA contracts, some of which dated back 15 years.The audit committee’s chair testified during a deposition with the OAG that he had no knowledge of New York law governing audit committees, whistleblowers, or conflicts of interest, and that he could not recall the last time he had seen the audit committee charter that specifically states the audit committee “overs[ees] the integrity of financial information” at the NRA. In fact, the committee chair testified that, in his view and contrary to the charter, the audit committee had no role in oversight of internal controls and that “there is no internal auditing” within the NRA and there hadn’t been one in the whole 19 years he served on the NRA board.Unsurprisingly, during numerous occasions, the audit committee failed to respond adequately to whistleblowers, failed to appropriately review and approve related-party transactions and conflicts of interest, and failed to adequately oversee external auditors.Extensive Violations of Fundamental Not-for-Profit LawAttorney General James alleges in her complaint that the NRA violated multiple laws, including the laws governing the NRA’s charitable status, false reporting on annual filings with the IRS and with the OAG’s Charities Bureau, improper expense documentation, improper wage reporting, improper income tax withholding, failure to make required excise tax reporting and payments, payments in excess of reasonable compensation to disqualified persons, and waste of NRA assets; in direct violation of New York’s Estates, Powers & Trusts Laws; New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law; the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act; and New York’s Executive Law. The illegal nature of the four individual defendants’ action also violated multiple rules of the NRA’s bylaws, the NRA’s employee handbook, and the NRA’s policy manual.The failure of the NRA to comply with multiple fiduciary responsibilities and state and federal laws resulted in the NRA seeing substantial losses on its balance sheet: going from a surplus of $27,802,714 in 2015 to a net deficit of $36,276,779 in 2018 — contributing to a total loss of more than $64 million in just three years.Proposed ResolutionAs a result of all the allegations mentioned above, Attorney General James seeks to dissolve the NRA; asks the court to order LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, and Frazer to make full restitution for funds they unlawfully profited and salaries earned while employees; pay penalties; recover illegal and unauthorized payments to the four individuals; remove LaPierre and Frazer from the NRA’s leadership (Phillips and Powell are no longer employed by the NRA); and ensure none of the four individual defendants can ever again serve on the board of a charity in New York.Attorney General James began her inquiry into the NRA in February 2019.The matter was led by Bureau Chief James Sheehan and Bureau Co-Chief of the Enforcement Section Emily Stern, with a team of attorneys, legal assistants, and accountants, including Assistant Attorney General and Special Counsel of the Litigation Bureau Monica Connell; Assistant Attorneys General William Wang, Sharon Sash, Jonathan Conley, Stephen Thompson, and Erica James — all of the Charities Bureau; with additional assistance from Chief Accountant Judith Welsh-Liebross, Associate Accountant Darren Beauchamp, and Associate Accountant Charles Aganu; in addition to numerous other individuals at the OAG. The Charities Bureau is part of the Division for Social Justice, which is supervised by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux and First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UPPs Drive Criminals From Rio’s Favelas Ahead of 2014 FIFA World Cup

first_img RIO DE JANEIRO — Residents of the sprawling shantytowns known as favelas that surround Rio de Janeiro have benefitted from a dramatic drop in drug-related violence and street crime since the establishment of a comprehensive policing program known as Police Pacification Units [Unidades de Policia Pacificadora, or UPP] five years ago, authorities said. “There’s no possibility of a backlash now from criminals. We work to improve services to provide security for the population,” said Pedro Dantas, a spokesman for Rio de Janeiro’s public safety department. The UPP program, now operating in 221 communities throughout Rio, has benefitted 1.5 million inhabitants with the goal of restoring control in urban areas that not long ago were gripped by drug-trafficking gangs. The idea is also to gain the trust of local residents as Brazil prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. The program may soon be extended to cover an additional 860,000 residents living in favelas north and west of the city, as well as in Baixada Fluminense and in towns with a high urban concentration, said the Public Security Secretary’s press office. As recently as 2008, inhabitants of Rio’s favelas were trapped by crossfire on a daily basis, living in fear as drug lords ruled their neighborhoods and gangs took to the streets to fight for territory. No sense of order seemed to exist. UPPs could involve 12,500 officers by 2014 Looking for answers, José Mariano Beltrame — secretary of Rio’s public security department — and Rio de Janeiro’s state governor, Sergio Cabral, turned to Colombia. That country’s success in bringing down the incidence of crime in big cities like Bogotá and Medellín convinced Beltrame and Cabral to introduce a similar system for Rio de Janeiro. In late 2008, authorities established the first UPP in Santa Marta, gradually expanding to 33 other communities such as Complexo do Alemão, which at one point was considered the epicentre of criminal activity. The peacekeeping initiative follows a series of stages that begins with the elite force known as Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE). Sweeping the favela, BOPE troops arrest criminals, seizing weapons and drugs in the process. Once the favela is “pacified,” authorities then establish a permanent community policing force in the area. The decision to set up a UPP is based on information as well as an investigation into the criminal profile of gangs that run a specific favela, Dante said. Officers are selected from the Military Police Academy and receive specialized training such as conflict prevention. As of the end of April, the UPP has involved 8,360 police officers — a figure expected to climb to 12,500 by 2014, said the public security office. Favela residents now more ‘trustful’ So far, police have established 32 UPPs; another eight more are planned by next year. These, along with the modernization and integration of civil and military police, have helped bring down Rio’s homicide rate by 32.2 percent since 2006. “The single most important change associated with life under the UPP is that residents can now move about the favela much more freely,” said a World Bank report issued in January. The introduction of UPPs has opened up a “space for the imagination of daily life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro that is not dictated by the powers of the drug trade,” the report said. Dantas agreed, noting that favela residents now feel more “trustful” — and in some cases are even offering the UPPs tips on where to find stashes of drugs or firearms. At the same time, he said, police have noticed an increasing acceptance of their presence by local residents. “The goal of the Public Security Secretary is to occupy every area controlled by gangs that use war weapons to control residents’ lives,” Dantas said. “In places where the UPPs have been around for a longer period of time, the general mood among residents is that life has improved a lot … A new virtuous cycle has gained strength.” What the Press Liaison for the State Secretary of Security did not say is that this occupation did not lead to the arrest of a single criminal. All of the communities were forewarned days in advance of the occupation and the implementation of the UPPs (Pacifying Police Units). The criminals had time to move into the shantytowns controlled by the same factions. Life has become a veritable hell for residents of these peripheral areas. The idea that the violence is over is a lie. Trafficking continues in the occupied areas and just a few days ago a German was shot in ROCINHA, as he was “visiting”. We need to feel sorry for the tourists who come to this Cup. The government (regardless of color) creates the police entity “that performs miracles”. The “fantastic results” are measured through another entity also of the government and then the media is used to spread the results. At the end, crime has virtually decreased, but the reality is that the country is a disaster. The roots of the problem, such as social decomposition, lack of education, family disintegration, irresponsible parenthood, police corruption, drug trafficking….will remain there, because you cannot order change, you have to work on it for many years. the intelligent men’s games are almost ready, we should wait to play A great civilization is not destroyed from the outside until it destroys itself from the inside By Dialogo June 17, 2013last_img read more

3 things to avoid when confronting an employee

first_img 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details If a member of your team is falling down on the job, approaching them with your concerns can be challenging. Despite your hesitations, it’s important that as their leader, you step up and confront them directly. Below are three things to avoid when addressing an employee to help make that awkward encounter just a bit easier.Making it about youThe key to a successful encounter with the employee is to view the situation from their perspective. Remember that a sit-down with their superior is understandably a nerve-wracking experience for them. Helping them to feel at ease will allow them to feel more comfortable opening up to you which will make the experience more productive.Being meanNo matter how serious the confrontation may be, how many concerns you have, or how frustrated you are, take time before the discussion begins to collect yourself. Do not go into the encounter with a temper or with strong emotion. Being a leader means that even if tough situations arise, it’s up to you to remain professional and encouraging.Being secretiveMake sure that all parties involved are fully aware of the reason for the encounter and what will be specifically discussed. That leaves no room for unrealistic expectations and also gives everyone involved the opportunity to be fully prepared.last_img read more

MINT: The Law on Catering Activity has been developed and will not require radical interventions in accommodation facilities such as demolition of walls

first_imgA lot of dust has been raised about the announcement of a new categorization in family accommodation, which is great, because only through argumentative, open and constructive discussion can we grow as individuals and as a society, ie a market. However, due to poor communication and little concrete information, discussions are conducted in different directions, depending on speculation and various interpretations, which is bad, because with quality communication we can and must direct the discussion in the right direction – and that is quality and strategic development of our tourism.Currently, the following new Laws are announced by the Ministry of Tourism; The Law on Hospitality, the Law on Tourist Boards, the Law on Sojourn Tax and the Law on Membership Fees in Tourist Membership Fees and the Ordinance on Classification and Categorization of Facilities, and a public debate on eConference will be opened soon. Before the final draft of all changes, I tried to find out from the Ministry of Tourism in which direction to think about the current development of our tourism and get specific information about the harmonization of standards of accommodation in private and family accommodation and the microcredit program of private renters.As they point out from MINT, new The Law on Catering Activity as well as the Ordinance on Classification and Categorization of Facilities is primarily developed and in no way will in any part impose radical interventions in accommodation facilities such as the demolition of walls and the like. It is this counter-argument that is often highlighted through various conversations within the profession. So no tearing down the walls!”The conditions that will be prescribed by the new Rulebook will not be more restrictive in relation to the Rulebook from 2007, ie 2016. Moreover, the new Ordinance for all categories of all types of apartments reduced the required square footage compared to the 1995 Ordinance. So far, it has been possible for two different apartments of the same categorization to offer different quality of service due to the different regulations by which they are categorized. Therefore, family accommodation in Croatia is still not a homogeneous category – there are differences in quality that guests do not expect. In other words, on the one hand we have renters who are in an unequal position with each other, and on the other hand guests are deprived of the right to equal service in facilities of the same category. All this is a consequence of regulation from 11 years ago – those landlords who obtained a decision to provide services until September 1, 2007 under the Law on Hospitality were not obliged to harmonize conditions in facilities in accordance with the current Ordinance on classification and categorization of facilities. For comparison, hoteliers have to prove every four years that they deserve a certain number of stars for their quality and offer. ”Point out the Ministry of Tourism.It was from the above that it was decided to harmonize the standards of all renters on the market with the ultimate goal of harmonizing all renters categorized by September 1.9.2007, XNUMX. with the current ordinance, Minister Cappelli points out and adds that this will lead to the improvement of the quality of catering services and standards, ensuring the equal position of renters and caterers in the market and greater consumer protection. “Indirectly, this will result in the extension of the tourist season and an increase in the competitiveness and income of private renters. The intention is by no means to reduce the number of beds or demolish buildings, but to rebuild existing ones in accordance with market requirements. Quite a number of complaints arrived at the address of the ministry precisely at the expense of the uneven offer. Dissatisfied guests rightly complain and ask for explanations as to how it is possible that three stars in one facility does not mean the same quality in another facility with the same number of stars.  With this harmonization the rules become the same for all renters. In the field, we have a situation where some facilities operate according to the standards of 20 or more years ago, which certainly needs to change in terms of competitiveness and market uniformity. It should be noted that the harmonization required is not in conflict with the already established standards on the market, no new rules are imposed as the required standards have been in force since 2007. The basic standards of the 21st century are prescribed, such as that the rooms to be rented have a bathroom, that bed linen is provided for each bed, or that the facilities for rent also have heating in winter. ” pointed out Minister Cappelli.Important information is that the harmonization of family accommodation with the provisions of the Act will not be required for renters who received a solution after 2007, but only for those who previously registered their accommodation under the old 1995 Ordinance. Even those renters who have old solutions from 1995, and do not want to invest and harmonize quality with regulations, will not be left without registration of accommodation. Everyone will have the right to stay in the market and they will not be ordered to close, they will simply get as many stars as they really deserve according to the regulations.On the other hand, for buildings located in the old city centers or protected as cultural monuments or urban units, the Minister will make mitigating decisions with the Ordinance, as these are buildings that are unable to harmonize due to space constraints or protection.According to the available data of the Croatian National Tourist Board from the eVisitor system, the number of facilities in the household, as well as the number of accommodation units, beds, but also taxpayers, is constantly growing. For example, the number of facilities in 2017 increased by 12% compared to the year before, while in the first two months of this year alone, 700 more were registered, which makes a total of 93.194 facilities.Favorable HBOR loans for hosts in family accommodationIn the second half of the year, HBOR’s long-announced favorable loans for hosts in family accommodation will start, where interest rates will not exceed 3 percent, probably 2.3 to 2.5 percent, with a grace period of one year and a period of 10 years and a maximum amount of 50.000 Euros, announced in early February by Minister Cappelli at the Family Accommodation Forum in Zagreb. The goal of more favorable loans through HBOR is to support family accommodation to develop better and better through the harmonization of standards, increasing the quality and additional offer of facilities in the household.Rural House Kod Slapa, Bogatic / Booking.comFavorable HBOR loans will be intended to improve the offer to all other existing private renters for the purpose of renovation, construction and equipping of indoor or outdoor pools, wellness, construction and equipping of the necessary infrastructure for cycling, sports and recreation, theme parks, and development and the promotion of other additional facilities that contribute to greater occupancy and extension of the season. “The credit line will be available to natural persons – renters who have a decision on approval for the provision of catering services in the household relating to accommodation in a room, apartment, holiday home, campsite or camping rest area. The purpose of the loan is to obtain a new decision on the provision of catering services in the household and / or the realization of an additional offer of facilities in the household. It includes the implementation of activities related to the renovation, adaptation, reconstruction and equipping of household facilities, whether rooms, apartments or holiday homes, subject to obtaining a new decision on the provision of catering services in the household in accordance with the applicable Ordinance on classification and categorization of catering household facilities. ” emphasize from the Ministry of Tourism and add that with a favorable offer of microcredit will achieve faster implementation of the planned harmonization of standards of accommodation facilities of private renters and raise the quality and additional offer of private accommodation, which will contribute to higher occupancy, longer season, increased revenue .eConsulting – a place and opportunity for constructive criticism and suggestionsSoon, more precisely during April or early May, the final draft of the new Law on Hospitality and the Ordinance on Classification and Categorization of Facilities, will be published on eConference, and I hereby invite all associations, entrepreneurs and tourism workers in tourism to get involved and participate in the final draft of all Laws.Unfortunately, so far the profession has not been involved enough through eConference and there have been too few comments and suggestions. One is social networks, and eConsulting is a tool where the voice of the profession must be heard and where we can and must, give our argumentative and constructive proposals, positive and negative criticism and ultimately participate in the final drafting of all new regulations and laws.Once the Laws are passed, it’s too late to be smart and whine, it’s all up to us. We must care about strategic and quality development. Get involved, the responsibility is on all of us.Related news:VIDEO: HGK RELEASES VIDEOS OF EDUCATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW LAW ON PROVISION OF SERVICES IN TOURISM</p>
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Austria lifts lockdown of hotel over coronavirus

first_imgThe couple, both 24 and from the virus-hit Italian region of Lombardy, had travelled by car to Innsbruck last week. Italy has seen a huge jump in cases in recent days, including 11 deaths.According to the World Health Organization, the epidemic has peaked at its epicenter in China, where it has killed more than 2,600 people and infected over 77,000 others. Sixty-two people who had contact with the woman were tested at the Grand Hotel Europa in Innsbruck — a tourist hub surrounded by mountains that host major Alpine skiing competitions.All of them were in good health but nine were put under quarantine for two weeks “as a precaution”, a state government spokesman said.Three other people who had close contact with the Italian receptionist were also placed under isolation for two weeks, he said.The woman and her partner, who were quarantined in an Innsbruck hospital after developing a fever, tested positive for the new coronavirus on Tuesday but are now said to be free of fever. Dozens of guests at an Austrian hotel hit by the new coronavirus have been allowed to leave after a lockdown was lifted, officials said on Wednesday.Nine people were quarantined following medical tests at the hotel in the Alpine city of Innsbruck, where an Italian receptionist tested positive for the virus, the Tyrol state government said.The woman and her partner, also from Italy, became Austria’s first confirmed cases following an outbreak in neighboring Italy.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Iran plans to reopen mosques in areas free of coronavirus, president says

first_imgSeeking a balance between protecting public health and shielding an economy already battered by sanctions, the government has refrained from imposing the kind of wholesale lockdowns on cities seen in many other countries.But it has extended closures of schools and universities and banned cultural, religious and sports gatherings.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had a phone call with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday and discussed the battle against the spread of the coronavirus and regional developments along with passing on a congratulatory message for the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. He said the label given to any region in the Islamic Republic could change and he did not specify when the color-coding program would come into force.Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said in an interview with state TV on Sunday that 116 counties in the country could be considered white at the moment and 134 yellow.Iranians have returned to shops, bazaars and parks over the past week as the country eases coronavirus restrictions, with the daily increase in the death toll below 100 since April 14.The toll rose by 60 over the past 24 hours to 5,710, with 90,481 confirmed cases, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Sunday. Iran plans to reopen mosques in parts of the country that have been consistently free of the coronavirus outbreak as restrictions on Iranians gradually ease, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the pandemic, will be divided up into white, yellow and red regions based on the number of infections and deaths, Rouhani said, according to the presidency’s website.Activities in each region will be restricted accordingly, so an area that has been consistently free of infections or deaths will be labeled white and mosques could be reopened and Friday prayers resumed, Rouhani said.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Rape Victim: Transgender Agenda Creates “Rape Culture”

first_imgThe New American 1 July 2016Kaeley Triller Haver is a 33 year old mother of two young children. She is also a survivor of sexual trauma. Her abuse — at the hands of a man close to her family — began when she was still in diapers and lasted the first 10 years of her life, so she is aware of the need to protect women and girls from the types of men who would prey on them.Last year, she found herself on the politically incorrect side of the issue of transgender access to bathrooms and locker rooms in Washington State. And what she found is that her feelings, her fears, her experiences — like those of so many women and girls — do not matter where this issue is concerned. Everyone is equal; some are just more equal than others. Before it was over, she was fired from her job for not going along with the agenda of the transgender lobby.Kaeley began working at the YMCA as a locker room monitor when she was 15. Over the past 17 years, she had continued working for the organization while going to high school and then college and beyond. In her last position there — communications director — her job was to oversee all communications for nine branch locations covering 120,000 members. Then the YMCA decided to open up its locker rooms and showers on the basis of gender identity. Men would be allowed to use the women’s facilities and no one could stop them or even question them about it.She told The New American that she could not go along with that policy and tried — unsuccessfully — to convince the organization of the dangers:Before this even became a matter of law in Washington, I was working at the YMCA here as a communications director and my boss came to me one day and said, “We’re doing this new policy and it might be controversial and I need you to take this stuff home and go over it and start helping me with the talking points.” What she was talking about was transgender locker room access. And so, I pushed back and I got fired.We asked Kaeley how she “pushed back” and she explained:I said this is not something I can do in good conscience, and here’s why. And for the first time in my life — because it’s not something you talk about at work — I expressed my experience as a survivor of sexual trauma. My abuser liked to watch me in the shower and laugh, and so I was keenly aware of what happens in our locker rooms, and wanting to protect our members. And because of my past experiences, I was hyper-vigilant at the Y. I would regularly conduct sex offender screening — on my own time — to make sure that someone wasn’t getting through that shouldn’t. And every time I would run one of these screenings, I would catch somebody — in November I found three sex offenders who were actively using our YMCA facilities. One of them had a free shower pass, actually. I have sat with parents after their children have been harmed, so I know [how] predators work, so this policy was just not something I could get behind. And I told them all of this stuff and said, “This is why we can’t do this.”One would expect the feelings, experiences, and reasonable observations of a woman who had survived the ordeal of having her most formative years marked by sexual abuse to be taken into account. But this is not how the YMCA responded, according to Kaeley. “My boss looked at me and told me, ‘You know Kaeley, any time I find myself feeling the way that you’re feeling right now, I convince myself that I am being closed-minded,’” she told The New American.Ignoring her warnings, Kaeley recounted, the YMCA decided to instate the policy — without informing members of the change. “That’s when I really began to struggle,” she said, “because I realized that I have friends and family who use those locker rooms and showers and they could end up being confined with a naked male. So I ended up writing a blog post about the transgeneder bathroom issue and I got it published in The Federalist.” The blog post — which has seen nearly viral distribution — was not about the policy at the YMCA. It was about Kaeley’s own traumatic experiences as a child. But it did address the transgender bathroom issue. “I didn’t use the YMCA’s name, but I was fired a week later for inappropriate communication with members,” she told The New American. While no one at the YMCA mentioned the blog post directly, Kaeley said, the timing of her termination made the point clear.What she did not realize at first was that she was caught up in a larger battle. The Human Rights Commission was planning to push through a rule that would essentially open all “public accommodations” across the state on the basis of gender identity. It didn’t take her long to put the pieces together once the new rule was announced. She told The New American:I realized the reason the YMCA was doing this was because they had been clued into the fact that the Human Rights Commission here in Washington — which is a group of five unelected bureaucrats — was going to instate this state-wide mandate — basically a rule functioning as law for the entire state of Washington — and they did this on December 26, 2015 — they quietly enacted a new rule that would require all places with public accommodations in the entire state to open their bathrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity. They didn’t tell anyone about this [ahead of time]. Five people decided for seven million.READ MORE: http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/23541-rape-victim-transgender-agenda-creates-rape-culturelast_img read more

Allegation: Arsenal want us out of Europe – Man City

first_imgManchester City are convinced Arsenal are behind the plot to have their European ban upheld if the Covid-19 crisis prevents an appeal. Loading… “These allegations are simply not true,” Soriano said in an interview on the club’s official website. In a statement CAS said: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City football club against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).” Earlier in the week a “bombshell disclosure” by the Daily Mail claimed that the entire Premier League top 10, bar City and Sheffield United, had submitted a joint application to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Now it has reportedly emerged that Arsenal have led the appeal with Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United, Wolves, Leicester, Burnley and Chelsea all separately writing to the same law firm, which has then sent an application backed by all the clubs named to CAS. The clubs strongly object to City’s plan to play on in the tournament while the appeal is ongoing and they request that City’s punishment is ‘stayed’ while their case is resolved. Read Also:Klopp says Liverpool spirits are high despite virus lockdown The coronavirus pandemic means CAS are now unlikely to be in a position to hear all the evidence until late in the summer, meaning City are likely to ask for their ban to be suspended while their appeal is heard. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 The Sunday Mirror report that City boss believe that Arsenal have instigated the appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to make sure that Pep Guardiola’s men do not play in Europe next season. Apparently Etihad officials “have information from a number of trusted sources” that the Gunners have led the movement of top English clubs pleading for City’s appeal to be upheld. The report claims “Arsenal refused to comment on the suggestion,” as expected, and will deny the claims if they are questioned about the matters by City officials. City are also understood to be upset with Liverpool, who are also one of the clubs involved, given Jurgen Klopp’s men have already secured a place in next season’s Champions League. City were given a two-season ban from European football and fined £24.9million for breaching financial regulations, but have vowed to fight the verdict of a UEFA investigation into accounts submitted by the club between 2012 and 2016. City chief executive Ferran Soriano immediately denied claims that the Premier League champions broke the rules over Financial Fair Play regulations. Promoted ContentLook At Something Beautiful That Wasn’t Made By A Human Being10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimeIs Cristiano Ronaldo Converting His Hotels To Hospitals?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World7 Famous And Incredibly Unique Places In ThailandThe Network’s Greatest Shows On HBOlast_img read more

Report: Almost 1 Million Hoosiers at Risk for Online Fraud

first_imgA new AARP study finds that more than 978 thousand have demonstrated at least seven key factors that put them at high risk of being a victim of an online scam. Photo credit: morgue file.Close to 1 million Hoosiers may be putting themselves at risk of becoming a victim of a fraud on the Internet.A new survey from AARP found it’s a combination of online behaviors and life experiences that put a person at the greatest risk of being scammed.It’s a situation Melvin Armstrong of Carmel knows all too well.He says he did what he thought was the safe thing and used a credit card with a low limit to purchase a gift online.The $40 gift turned into a $4,000 fraudulent charge.“Someone intercepted my online purchase,” he explains. “They were out of Texas and somehow they were able to call the credit card company and get an increase in my credit card, and I didn’t know about this until after I received my credit card statement.”The AARP report found people who feel lonely or are facing a financial hardship may be prone to one of the 15 behaviors that increase their risk of being victimized, such as clicking on a pop-up ad, opening an email from an unknown source or signing up for free trial offers.The AARP Fraud Watch Network connects people to free resources to avoid being scammed.It’s available at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.According to the survey, 72 percent of web users in Indiana faced an online attack in 2013.Armstrong says it took several months of work with federal and several state governments before getting his problem resolved.He’s participated in one of AARP’s Fraud Watch Network trainings and has some advice for Hoosiers.“Have a lower credit card limit and only use that for purchasing online,” he stresses. “Make certain you follow up on your purchase, and watch your bills from that time on.”According to the Federal Trade Commission, reports of consumer fraud have increased by more than 60 percent since 2008 and online scams doubled from slightly more than 20 percent of all fraud in 2007 to nearly 40 percent of all fraud in 2011.last_img read more

Five new winners at Hancock County

first_imgBy Greg GrabianowskiBRITT, Iowa (May 2) – There were five new winners at Hancock County Speedway on Saturday, May 2.Nate Hughes grabbed the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified his first win, ahead of Jeremy Mills and Jeff Dolphin.Dan Hanselman took full advantage of his pole start to capture the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car check­ers. Kevin Opheim placed second and Ned Kalis was third.George Nordman crossed the finish line first in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod headliner. Nick Meyer was runner-up and third was Greg Sidles.Drew Barglof bagged the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock win with 10th starting Cody Nielsen and Scott Dobel in tow.Megan Sandvig raced from inside row three to top the Mach-1 Sport Compact main event. Jay DeVries was runner-up and his wife Kaytee finished third.last_img read more