Displaying 1 - 10 of 260 entries.

Commerce Commission fines BNZ $5 million

  • Posted on April 23, 2018 at 1:28 am

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The New Zealand Commerce Commission has fined the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). It has been forced to pay NZ$5 million in compensation to its customers, $500,000 in fines and $80,000 in costs to the Commerce Commission. The money will be placed into a bank account to be monitored by an auditor, and if there is any money left over it will be donated to a consumer organization.

BNZ has been forced to pay these fines for failing to disclose that they were charging their customers for the exchange of foreign currency during February, 2002 until May, 2004 on its credit and debit cards, which is a breach of the Fair Trading Act. They pleaded guilty to 21 counts of breaching the act. The BNZ say that they will contact their affected customers and that they should get their compensation by November this year. The bank is responsible for contacting all their customers.

The BNZ is the third bank to be charged, the two others were ANZ and the National Bank, which were charged $11.325 million combined as they had since become a single company.

There are still other ongoing prosecutions on these other financial services: Westpac, ASB, TSB, American Express, Diners Club and The Warehouse Financial Services. The Commission would not comment on these cases.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Paula Rebsotck, Commerce Commission Chairperson, said “the result was a victory for New Zealand consumers, many of whom would have unknowingly paid the currency transaction charges. While fees like these remain hidden, banks have no incentive to offer lower fees.”

Commerce Commission fines BNZ $5 million
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G7 announce debt relief plan

  • Posted on April 23, 2018 at 1:20 am

Saturday, February 5, 2005

London, UK –The quarterly G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting at Lancaster House concluded on February 5, 2005, with the G7 failing to agree on a plan to reduce debt in developing countries. According to the Los Angeles Times, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announced that he believes, “this summit will be remembered as the summit for 100% debt relief” for the 27 countries involved in the Enhanced HIPC Initiative. Ministers from other G7 countries disagreed. Brown’s so-called International Financial Facility proposal, or IFF, “would not work for the U.S,” Undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury John Taylor said to the Los Angeles Times.

The joint statement issued by the ministers in the wake of the conference stated that, “We are agreed on a case-by-case analysis of HIPC countries, based on our willingness to provide as much as 100 per cent multilateral debt relief.” The ministers did not cite a figure for the minimum amount of debt relief that would be provided.

The conference was preceded by a demonstration in Trafalgar Square on the theme of “Make Poverty History.” Nelson Mandela spoke at the demonstration, attended by an estimated 20,000 people, according to World Development Movement, an organization involved in the planning of the event. Chancellor Brown invited Mandela to address the G7 on February 4, 2005, which he did in a “fireside chat,” according to Larry Elliott of The Guardian.

The G7, or ‘Group of Seven,’ is a coalition of seven major industrial democracies: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and Canada. They hold quarterly meetings to discuss financial matters.

G7 announce debt relief plan
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Google launches Google Spreadsheets

  • Posted on April 23, 2018 at 1:14 am

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Google has launched an online spreadsheet site, in a private beta.

The site will allow spreadsheets to be shared between up to 10 users, which is aimed to be useful to teams and small businesses. “Many people already organise information into spreadsheets. Where they are struggling is to share it” said the product manager, Jonathan Rochelle.

Google recently bought the online word-processor Writely, launched a calendar product, as well as a desktop search tool. Many see this as them straying into Microsoft‘s markets.

Google Spreadsheets uses very advanced AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And Xml) and Client Side Scripting to mimic very effectively it’s desktop counterparts’ functions.

It is surprisingly fast, has very good formatting and advanced formula support, but best of all it has complete support for Microsoft Excel .xls files, and very good collaboration: just enter the e-mail address and you can share easily.

Google launches Google Spreadsheets
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News briefs:July 14, 2010

  • Posted on April 23, 2018 at 1:12 am
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Kinds Of Meditation: Two Main Divisions

  • Posted on April 23, 2018 at 1:07 am

By Jane Michael

Meditation enhances creativity, intelligence, and increases memory. It improves the ability to learn. It increases energy and engenders calm. Our body gathers the tension from fears and pain, but meditation helps to alleviate tenseness and to clear the mind, which helps to lessen fear.

There are two basic divisions in meditation as far as technique. One is insight meditation; it teaches you to concentrate on one point as a method for cultivating quietness and peace. The other is concentration meditation. It involves a relaxation response. One form of concentration meditation is transcendental meditation.

There is a difference between meditation as a practice and a meditative state. The meditative practice has methods, ways, and rules and is purposed and is intended. While meditative states occur naturally. Sometimes when someone is very relaxed this will occur without meditative practice. It can occur during meditative practice and also spontaneously.

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There are two forms of meditative practice. One form tries to quiet the mind. Some call it the monkey mind because this refers to the hopping from one random thought to another that often happens. The idea is to make the mind be still. The means used to do this are chanting, staring at a candle, and breathing exercises. The other form watches the mind racing along without judgment as to whether the thoughts are good or bad, but they just are; they exist. It is a method of not approving or disapproving, only viewing the action of the mind.

The first type of meditation according some experts should not be practiced without supervision because it can be deceptive and make you feel like you have had an unusual experience when you have not. The reason is that it is a self-induced state of hypnosis and this encourages the ego to get wound up and imagine other things that arent correct. It is best done with supervision because the mind becomes so open.

The second kind of meditation is considered insight meditation. It isnt as strong of a meditation; it emphasizes being calm. It doesnt need a particular sitting position. It can be done anywhere. The concept is to just notice what is happening around you and stay calm or become calm. Once you have learned to do this, you dont need it any longer. Some experts think you should stop once you have learned to be calm. They consider this meditation a type of medicine that should be stopped once the disease of agitation and nervousness or anxiousness has been cured.

It is good advice to seek professional help, knowledge, experience, and insight before you start any serious meditation. After all, this is your mind that you are dealing with and as with any other treatment you want a competent professional to help you. It makes sense to be just as careful about what you do with your mind as it does being careful about what you do with your body. Guided self-help through meditation is your best avenue to fruitful meditation.

About the Author: Jane Michael is the head writer at the Center for Meditation.

Kriya Meditation Technique

is her practice and her passion.

Goals of Kriya Meditation

is a great way to start your meditation practice.

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isnare.com

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U.S. Senate approves revised bailout package after controversial additions

  • Posted on April 22, 2018 at 1:12 am

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The U.S. Senate passed a revised bailout bill designed to help the struggling U.S. financial economy, which has measures nearly identical to the bill rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday.

“Senate Democrats and Republicans believe it is essential that we work quickly on this important legislation to restore confidence to our financial system and strengthen the economy,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The new revisions include raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000, a move designed to please progressives. However, the $110 billion in tax breaks, earmarks and what has been called pork barrel spending is not offset by any increases in revenues and has added opposition to the bill from some Representatives in the House.

Earmarks added into the bailout bill included $192 million in tax rebates for the Virgin Islands rum industry, $148 million in tax cuts for the wool industry, $100 million tax cuts to the auto racing industry, and $48 million in Hollywood tax incentives.

Vice President of Taxpayers for Common Sense, Steve Ellis, offered his explanation for the pork and earmarks added in. “People who support some of these provisions will forget about the $700 billion and concerns they may have on that, and say, ‘If you give me a few million in tax breaks for my constituents, I’ll go along'”.

The tactic seems to have worked, however, managing to flip enough votes to pass the bill.

“The inclusion of parity, tax extenders and the FDIC increases has caused me to reconsider my position,” said Representative Jim Ramstad (R Minnesota), who voted against the previous bill on Monday. “All three additions have greatly improved the bill.”

But Representative Marcy Kaptur (D Ohio) was not changing her no vote. “I will not support this legislation because it’s the wrong medicine,” she said.

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The Senate took H.R.1424, a bill originating in the House concerning “equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment,” and extended it with the bailout provisions.

H.R.1424 was introduced on March 9, 2007, by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (RI-1) and had the support of First Lady Rosalind Carter. It is noted on the Congressional Website that “On 10/1/2008, the Senate passed H.R.1424 as the vehicle for the economic rescue legislation. In the EAS version of the bill (Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by the Senate), Division A (pp.1-110) is referred to as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008; Division B (pp. 110-255) is referred to as the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008; and Division C (pp. 255-441) is referred to as the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008.” It was not treated as an appropriations bill in the House.

There were two votes in the Senate. The first was to amend H.R.1424, which required 3/5 to be accepted, which it was. The second was a vote on the bill. Passage of the Bill required only a 1/2 majority. It was passed with 74 yeas and 25 nays. Senator Kennedy did not vote.

U.S. Senate approves revised bailout package after controversial additions
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Massachusetts lawmakers enact plan for universal health coverage

  • Posted on April 22, 2018 at 1:08 am

Friday, April 7, 2006Legislators in the Massachusetts General Court, their name for the state legislature, approved legislation on Tuesday, April 4, that would make it the first state in the United States to require all residents to have health insurance and impose penalties for non-compliance. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican who is expected to run for U.S. President in 2008, is expected to sign the bill.

The bill passed the lower house, the Massachusetts House of Representatives by a vote of 155-2, and unanimously by the state senate. The Democratic Party holds supermajorities in both houses of the legislature.

Among the bill’s provisions are these:

  1. Businesses that employ more than 10 people are required to provide health insurance for all staff or face fines of $295 per year per uninsured worker.
  2. Individuals will be required to enroll in a health plan by July 1, 2007, or face tax penalties.
  3. Health insurers will provide partially to fully subsidized coverage for low-income residents.

At least one other state (Hawaii) requires employers to provide employee health insurance, but no other state holds individuals accountable for coverage.

Massachusetts lawmakers enact plan for universal health coverage
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Che Guevara’s ”Motorcycle Diaries” companion dies

  • Posted on April 22, 2018 at 1:07 am

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Alberto Granado Jiménez, the Argentinian biochemist who was Che Guevara’s companion on his transformative motorcycle trip through South America, died in Havana on Saturday, reported Cuban state television. He was 88 and died of natural causes.

The politically active Jiménez met Ernesto “Che” Guevara, then a medical student, in Hernando, Argentina where Guevara had gone to play rugby. Both were intellectually curious and interested in exploration. In 1951 they set out on an eight-month motorcycle trip through South American that exposed them to the poverty in which most South Americans lived. The pair worked in a leprosy colony and met wtih destitute miners and indigenous people. Both men kept diaries which served as the basis for the 2004 film, The Motorcycle Diaries, produced by Robert Redford and directed by Walter Salles.

According to the Guardian, “Their road trip awoke in Guevara a social consciousness and political convictions that would turn him into one of the iconic revolutionaries of the 20th century.” The trip is widely believed to have inspired Guevara to go to Cuba and join Fidel Castro in his 1959 revolt against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

By the time the two men met again eight years later, Guevara was a revolutionary hero and chief of Cuba’s central bank. Jiménez, who had remained in Argentina working in a clinic, accepted Guevara’s invitation to move to Cuba in 1961 and founded a medical facility in Santiago. Later he moved to Havana where he continued his medical work. The two remained friends although they did not always agree. Jiménez rejected Guevara’s belief that social reform in Latin America had to be accomplished through guerrilla warfare.

The book The Motorcycle Diaries was published in the 1990’s. Jiménez said of the book that it inspired the image of the young Che as a romantic figure.

Jiménez authored the book Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary, published in 2003.

Che Guevara’s ”Motorcycle Diaries” companion dies
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Wicker Shades For Sunrooms

  • Posted on April 22, 2018 at 1:05 am

By A.Caxton

When you install a sunroom in your home. the desire to do so normally comes from the urge to spend time in the sun. but on your own terms. The enclosure allows you to avoid the bugs and pests of the outdoors and to control the environment’s temperature. Tinted or glazed windows will reduce the strength of the sunlight that comes through. and often the majority of the sun’s harmful rays as well. However. they don’t give you as many options for controlling the light that enters the room as sunroom shades do. And after a few weeks or months of enjoying your new sunroom. you may discover that you would like to be able to control the amount of light that actually enters the room at different points in the day. Just as you have curtains or window treatments on the other windows in your home. you can find ceiling shades. sunroom light control for the skylights in your room. a number of options to create a curtain for sunroom windows. sunroom window blinds or other sunroom window treatment options. These various shades and window treatments will give you the ability to control the light and heat that enters the room exactly to your comfort level and specifications.

Getting Ceiling Shades Sunroom Style

If you have skylights in your sunroom. then ceiling shades. sunroom style. are designed to fit into the existing frame of your window. If you purchase the shades from the same company that created your sunroom. then the sunroom window treatment that you choose should already be available in the size and shape that you need. If not. or if you had your sunroom custom-designed to your own specifications. don’t worry. You will still be able to find shades to meet your needs. In these cases. you might find that there are no pre-built tracks to accommodate the shades. This isn’t a problem. It just means that the company that installs the shades will need to install stripping to act as tracks for the shades.

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The fabric that is used for these kind of ceiling shades will be important in the resulting ability to control the amount of heat and light that is allowed to pass into the room. You will want to ask the manufacturer about the different fabrics that they have available. Certain fabrics will stop different levels of light and heat. For example. if you just want to cut down on the amount of glare in the room. you’ll want a fabric that stops 20 to 30% of the light. But if you want to be able to totally block out the sunlight coming through your skylights. ask about midnight shades. When paired with windows that have the right kind of glazing. these shades can block up to 99% of the light entering through the skylight.

If you have a solarium type of sunroom. such that the entire ceiling is made of windows. some of which are oddly shaped or curved instead of flat. you can still find the shades that you need. The shades will likely need to be custom-fit to your particular windows. creating the right shade for each individual window shape. The shades are designed to have tension so that they will stay flat against the glass and not droop down. However. you will need to decide when designing your sunroom window blinds. which ones you will want to be moveable and which ones can be stationary.

Control Options for Sunroom Window Blinds

Sunroom window blinds can be moved and controlled by a number of different methods. The simplest and least expensive method is by manually manipulating them by a cord pull. handle. or a telescopic pole that you use to reach the track in order to push them open or pull them closed. However. you can also have the shades motorized. If you choose to motorize them. you have a variety of options for controlling them. They can either be hardwired into the power supply of your home or powered by individual batteries. They can be controlled by switches mounted to the wall or by a remote control device. There are also some automatic motorized options. such as blinds that have a sensor in order to open or close automatically at dusk and dawn. Of course. the more complex your shade system gets. the more expensive it will be. And if you do select motorized shades. you will need to account for the eventual costs associated with servicing or replacing the motor.

However. not every sunroom window treatment needs to be so complex. For the lower windows that do not receive direct sunlight throughout the day. you may find that a curtain for sunroom windows is enough light control. If you want to keep the look airy and light. be sure that you select fabrics that are lightweight and give a ‘breezy’ feel. But if you are concerned about privacy or being able to block more light from coming in. you will want to consider sunroom window blinds. That way you can lower and raise them as needed to keep your sunroom feeling comfortable and private.

About the Author: Andrew Caxton publishes articles at http://www.allsunrooms.com .For additional information on wicker furniture subjects follow this link wicker sunroom shades

Source: isnare.com

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

  • Posted on April 21, 2018 at 1:29 am

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal
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