The Government remains committed to ongoing policy and programme implementation, aimed at maintaining Jamaica’s stable macroeconomic environment, thereby facilitating the requisite growth for sustainable and inclusive development.Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says the indicators of several measures initiated have, to date, spurred vibrancy in the economy and optimism among key stakeholders.He was delivering the Throne Speech at the 2019/20 Ceremonial Opening of Parliament, on Thursday (February 14), under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’.The Governor-General said the indicators include 15 consecutive quarters of economic growth; low inflation; strong investment inflows; record job growth; robust net international reserves; and a debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio on course to fall below 100 per cent by the end of the 2018/19 fiscal year on March 31.He said that in keeping with the thrust to improve corporate governance, Cabinet approved the Policy Guidelines for nominating, selecting and appointing the Boards of Public Bodies, and the issuance of drafting instructions for the accompanying Regulations to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.Additionally, he said Cabinet approved the establishment of an Independent Fiscal Council as part of measures to strengthen Jamaica’s Fiscal Responsibility Framework.“The Fiscal Council will be an independent, non-partisan institution with the responsibility of helping to promote economically sustainable fiscal policies, monitoring the Government’s compliance with the fiscal rules and informing the public on economic matters,” he added.Meanwhile, the Governor-General advised that the Bill to modernise the Bank of Jamaica and make inflation targeting the “cornerstone” of monetary policy is before a Joint Select Parliamentary Committee.“A modernised and strengthened Central Bank will institutionalise and entrench low, stable and predictable inflation, which is a critical platform for any modern economy,” he emphasised.The Governor-General said ensuring access to finance and deepening financial inclusion are key Government objectives.As such, the proposed Micro Credit Act will be tabled to provide the legislative framework for the private microcredit lending sector.Additionally, proposed legislation to amend the Cooperative Societies Act and introduce a prudential regulatory credit union regime, will strengthen deposit insurance and reduce risk.The Governor-General advised that the Customs Act will be modernised by repealing the existing Act. The new Act is slated for tabling during 2019/20.He said that the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) will, this year, bolster its Non-Intrusive Inspection Programme (NIIP) by expanding and utilising more modern cargo imaging scanners at marine ports and warehouses in Kingston and Montego Bay.“The Jamaica Customs Agency plays a crucial role in revenue collection and border activities. Tax Administration Jamaica and the Jamaica Customs Agency continue technology enhancements as part of measures to make revenue collection efficient and effective,” he noted.The Governor-General also informed that the Administration will be prioritising public financial management.This, he indicated, encompasses disaster risk management, border security and sound policies “that will result in greater savings [through debt reduction], faster economic growth, and better social protection.The Governor-General said Jamaica has been commended, on several counts, on the resulting out-turns to date by its International Development Partners.Notable, he pointed out, is Fitch Rating Agency’s recent upgrade of the Government’s Long-Term Foreign Issuer and Local Currency Issuer Default Rating to ‘B+’ from ‘B’, while revising its outlook to ‘Stable’ from ‘Positive’.The agency also upgraded Jamaica’s credit rating ceiling to ‘BB-’ from ‘B’, the highest in over 10 years.“These are positive signs on which to build a firm foundation for a prosperous and new Jamaica for all. Indeed, Jamaica is on a path to economic independence,” the Governor-General said. Story Highlights He was delivering the Throne Speech at the 2019/20 Ceremonial Opening of Parliament, on Thursday (February 14), under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’. Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says the indicators of several measures initiated have, to date, spurred vibrancy in the economy and optimism among key stakeholders. The Government remains committed to ongoing policy and programme implementation, aimed at maintaining Jamaica’s stable macroeconomic environment, thereby facilitating the requisite growth for sustainable and inclusive development.
On Friday, I noted that the Florida Gators had seen a decline in their chances of winning the NCAA men’s basketball tournament despite beating Albany in their opening game. What hurt the Gators’ prospects? They defeated No. 16 Albany by an underwhelming 12 points, and they drew a tough Round of 32 matchup against Pittsburgh and a looming regional final matchup against either Kansas or Syracuse.But the Gators had a terrific weekend. They thrashed Pittsburgh by 16 points. And they were helped by upsets in the other half of the South region, with No. 3 Syracuse and No. 2 Kansas both losing to opponents with double-digit seeds.The Gators’ game against UCLA on Thursday is no gimme — they have a 72 percent chance of winning it, according to our model. But conditional upon winning that game, they have an 83 percent chance of winning the regional final against either No. 10 Stanford or No. 11 Dayton and advancing to the Final Four.All in all, the Gators benefited more than any other team from the opening week of the tournament. Their chances of winning the national title are 18.4 percent, up from 14.5 percent before the tournament began.
WILMINGTON, MA — Rocco’s Restaurant (193 Main Street) is hosting Mrs. Claus this Saturday, December 15, 2018, from noon to 3pm.Join in some craft fun and pictures with Ms.Claus. Ms. Claus will then read a Christmas story to the children while one of Santa’s helpers serves the children hot chocolates and cookies. Before you leave, don’t forget to stop at the Santa Station and write a Letter to Santa and put it in the North Pole Mailbox.The cost of this event is FREE. Attendees are encouraged to bring an unused, unopened toy to donate to the local kids in need.(NOTE: The above information is from Rocco’s Facebook page.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Saturday, December 15, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”Santa Claus To Visit Wilmington Dunkin Donuts (Next To RMV) On December 15In “Business”12 Things You Need To Know In Wilmington Today (December 3)In “5 Things To Do Today”
Las Hoyas, Spain is known for spectacular fossils preserved in 126 million-year-old rocks deposited in a lake environment /HKUHKU MOOC / HKU Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratory.HKU Vertebrate Palaeontology LaboratoryThe ancient hatchling of birds like chickens and ducks came out of the egg running, according to latest fidnings from the 125 million-year-old Early Cretaceous fossil beds of Los Hoyas, Spain, which have long been known for producing thousands of petrified fish and reptiles. The paleontologists found one special fossil — a nearly complete skeleton of a hatchling bird — that was unique and is one of the rarest of fossils. The lifestyle of this 3-cm long hatchling bird was studied by examining previously unknown feathering of the preserved fossil specimen.”Previous studies searched for but failed to find any hints of feathers on the Los Hoyas hatchling. This meant that its original lifestyle was a mystery,” says Michael Pittman from the University of Hong Kong who led the study along with Thomas G. Kaye from the Foundation for Scientific Advancement in the USA. Feathers revealed in a ~125 million-year-old fossil of a bird hatchling shows it came “out of the egg running”. Specimen MPCM-LH-26189 from Los Hoyas, Spain is preserved between two slabs of rock: (a) ‘counter’ slab under normal light (b) Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence (LSF) image combining the results from both rock slabs. This reveals brown patches around the specimen that include clumps of elongate feathers associated with the neck and wings and a single long vaned feather associated with the left wing. (c) Normal light image of the main slab. Scale is 5mm. Image Credit: Kaye et al. 2019@Kaye et al. 2019Within hours of hatching, chickens and ducks are up and running as they are “precocial” unlike pigeons and eagles which are “altricial”. The latter require parental cover to keep themselves warm till they develop feathers. When precocial birds hatch, they have developed down feathers and partly developed large feathers and can keep warm themselves and get around without mum’s help.Previous attempts using UV lights failed to detect the feathers. Pittman and Kaye used a high power laser to study tiny chemical differences in the fossils in different colours, to make out previously unseen anatomical details. The new results on the hatchling bird revealed that they had feathers at birth and was thus precocial and out of the egg running.The latest laser technology demonstrates that some early birds adopted a precocial breeding strategy just like modern birds, said researchers. Even during the time of dinosaurs, some enantiornithine bird babies had the means to avoid the dangers of Mesozoic life by following their parents or moving around themselves, they said.”One of the feathers discovered was of a substantial size and preserves features seen in other hatchlings. It indicates that our hatchling had reasonably well-developed flight feathers at the time of birth”, says Jesús Marugán-Lobón, another author of the study from the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, Spain. Las Hoyas, Spain is known for spectacular fossils preserved in 126 million-year-old rocks deposited in a lake environment HKU MOOC / HKU Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratory
US President Donald Trump speaks during a lunch with House and Senate leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPDonald Trump’s muted prime-time address to Congress got positive reviews on Wednesday, but numerous questions remained about the details and costs of his ambitious agenda.Americans reacted warmly to Trump’s lengthy speech, in which he ditched the most bellicose of his rhetoric in favor of a call for national unity and a more presidential timber.A CBS News/YouGov poll showed that 76 percent of those who watched the speech approved of what they saw.Wall Street also voiced its appreciation, with the Dow topping 21,000 for the first time.It was a substantial and much needed boost for the 70-year-old Republican president, whose approval rating is at a historic low for presidents after a month in office, and his embattled White House.Trump—ever-aware of his image and popularity—fired a triumphant “THANK YOU!” message to his 25 million Twitter followers Wednesday morning.To keep the momentum, the White House postponed the unveiling of a controversial new ban on travelers from mostly Muslim countries, which would have dominated news coverage.It also pared back Trump’s public remarks and held its daily press briefing off-camera.The speech—staunchly nationalist, but delivered in a more measured tone—may help soothe a deeply divided country.In the nearly six weeks since Trump took office, political polarization in America has reached fever pitch.Trump’s supporters have flung themselves into the cause, hoping the election of an outsider will shake up the elites and insider politics in Washington.But among opponents, there is still a sense of disbelief that a billionaire with what they see as authoritarian tendencies and no political experience is in charge of the world’s pre-eminent superpower.According to Gallup, there has been a steady increase since November’s election in the number of Americans experiencing worry on any given day.‘Really pleased’An estimated 48 million people tuned in to watch Trump’s speech, according to the Nielsen ratings firm, lower than the some 53 million who watched former president Barack Obama’s first joint address in 2009.Trump’s speech was welcomed by the hundreds of mostly Republican lawmakers who witnessed it firsthand in Congress.“I think we were all really pleased last night to hear the president’s unifying message. It was refreshing for everyone after such a difficult election season,” Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.Americans, he said, are “ready for a new start.”Trump brought Republicans and Democrats together by strongly criticizing recent threats against Jewish community centers and condemning the seemingly racially motivated killing of an Indian immigrant.He also reached out to opposition Democrats, reprising his call for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and expressing support for paid family leave and affordable child care.Attention will now turn to how Trump can meet those pledges—along with goals to “restart” the US economy, boost defense spending and reduce violent crime.While he promised to replace his predecessor’s landmark health care reforms with a plan that would broaden choice, lower costs and improve access, he offered little in terms of how that would be achieved.Words and deedsDemocrats expressed skepticism about whether the change in tone would last.White House spokesman Sean Spicer reinforced the fear by insisting, “It was not a reset speech.”“With Donald Trump, the speeches don’t mean very much,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told CBS News.“His speeches are populist. They’re aimed at the working folks who supported him. But his governing and what he does is hard right, favoring special interests over the working class.”Trump’s plans on infrastructure, health care, and high-stakes tax reform will likely run afoul of fiscal conservatives, who are intent on bringing down the national debt, which will hit $20 trillion on Trump’s watch.He also wants to hike defense spending by $54 billion, offsetting it with cuts to foreign assistance and other non-military spending.That issue is likely to be front and center as Trump visits military shipyards in Virginia on Thursday.The “deficit spending” that Trump would likely employ set off alarm bells for lawmaker Dana Rohrabacher, who said he was dumbfounded at the lack of opposition from his fellow Republicans at the potential for ballooning spending.“The emphasis that Republicans have placed on (shrinking) the deficit is now going to be something that we will remember in the past,” he said.Some Democrats were also dismissive: “This plan doesn’t add up,” Senator Chris Van Hollen told AFP.“A third-grade math student can see that you’re going to blow a huge hole in the deficit if you do the things the president is talking about.”To square the circle, Trump—the consummate political outsider—may have to embrace Washington deal making.
April 14, 2016 Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Visit an app marketplace and search for parenting or management apps, you will find hundreds of clone apps reiterating the same benefits and features. The point is, why make same types of apps when there are so many niche gaps to fill. In this article, we have summed up four niche apps that cater to very specific but real needs of users. Take a cue from these apps, and find ideas for your own niche apps.Related: Want to Defeat Stress, Anxiety and Worry? Exercise, Say ‘Thank You’ a Lot and Use The Calm App.1. pCloudIn the wake of the recent Apple-FBI battle, one message was loud and clear — if you want to keep your data secure, use the most sophisticated data storage services. This is where pCloud differs from other cloud storage players like Dropbox and Box. Whether you want to keep your data safe from prying employees or from, erm, government officials, you can use the Crypto Folder in pCloud that is encrypted locally on your device.pCloud uses 256-bit AES encryption for files and folders while the encryption key uses 4096-bit RSA, which means only people who have the key can access your files or folders. Dropbox offers 256-bit AES but not the 4096-bit RSA, which means encryption happens from Dropbox’s side rather than yours, so your data is at risk.What’s more, pCloud offers flexible encryption solutions, so you can keep both encrypted as well as non-encrypted files on pCloud depending on the level of security needed. This way, you won’t have to go through the trouble of creating password keys for all your files and folders. pCloud is a perfect example that even if the existing market is cluttered, there might be a gap you can fill with your niche solution.2. CCO CompanionCCO Companion is a compliance repository cum regulatory app that is geared towards investment advisers. It is designed to meet 15 most-common investment compliance challenges. It helps investment companies by providing information and resources to stay up-to-date with all their compliance obligations. Even though there are many compliance apps in the market, this app caters to the specific niche of investment regulatory compliance.It combines a number of things including a reference library which gathers all the compliance-related information curated by experts. This information can be searched by topic, type and Advisers Act rule to make information easily accessible.It also alerts you about laws and news from the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities, so you don’t miss out on any important information. It comes with a number of professional compliance tools such as monthly compliance training material, compliance checklists, risk assessment and compliance testing templates and model documents. You can also import and organize your own compliance documents.Related: These 10 Tools for Remote Workers Will Make Office Life a Permanent Thing of the Past3. PensterDocsPensterDocs is a document management app for pets — or you can call it a pet-information repository. It allows you to keep all the important information about your pet including vaccinations, vet appointments and papers neatly organized and accessible. You can set reminders for everything from vaccination appointments to small tasks like taking your dog for a walk.We have tons of document management apps, but this one breaks through the clutter by bringing forth a well-designed and well-rounded pet document and task management app. You can store all your pet documents and show them at pet salons, boarding facilities, etc. without carrying them everywhere.If you have more than one pet (because you just can’t have one), you can store multiple profiles and access all the information including allergies, vet information, shot verifications, check-up summaries, etc. just by clicking on the profile. You can easily share these profiles with people in your family, caretakers, dog-walkers and boarders to ensure no one misses out on any important information.You can even keep special notes and phone numbers, so you can call your veterinarian, find nearby animal rescue centers and kennels in a jiffy. The best part is their community is thriving, and you can find a wealth of knowledge, stories and funny anecdotes from other people using this app.4. VoicoVoico is a free communication app with many features such as audio calling, group chatting and image sharing. If you are living outside the U.S., Canada and Mexico, you can create a virtual local number and connect with people in these countries without paying the exorbitant long-distance call rates.Again, we have many voice messaging apps that offer these feature,s but Voico cuts through the noise with its unique translation feature. You can choose from over 100 languages to type and translate. For instance, if you want to connect with a seller from China or France, but you don’t know Mandarin or French, Voico app comes to your rescue. It allows you to send text in English and automatically converts it to Mandarin, Chinese or any other language you want.And guess what — the translator is absolutely free. Whether you are looking to connect with your friends and family overseas or collaborate with your team members spread across the world, Voico provides a great communication and collaboration platform.Related: 3 Mobile Apps for Converting Voice to TextNiche apps cater to the pain-points of users and hence have more viability and success rate than other me-too apps. If your app looks too much like a clone, try to find the grievances addressed against the existing apps, address those issues in your app, and you will have a successful app. With the app marketplace getting more crowded by the day — this might be the best decision ever. 5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now