Pandemic drill for financial sector finds planning gaps

first_img School closings as a community mitigation tactic during a pandemic would significantly or moderately affect about 72% of participating financial institutions. Nearly 99% of respondents thought the exercise was useful for assessing pandemic preparedness. Oct 26, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of the Treasury this week announced the results of a recent exercise to test the resiliency of the nation’s financial services sector in an influenza pandemic, revealing that few firms were well prepared and most needed to improve their all-hazards plans. The simulation began with the World Health Organization announcing that human-to-human cases of H5N1 avian influenza had been reported in five major US cities, probably because of infected travelers arriving from Lagos, Nigeria. Most (91%) said they would refine their business continuity plans on the basis of what they learned from the exercise. As the simulated outbreak spread across the country, companies were asked a series of preparedness questions on topics such as predicted absenteeism, the status of human resources plans for a pandemic, and plans for educating employees. Questions specifically relating to financial operations, for example, included detailed questions about predicted automatic teller machine (ATM) availability and how the companies would respond if daily security trading hours were shortened. At the end of the exercise, the groups were asked how effective their business continuity plans were. Nearly 12% said their plans were very effective, 56% reported they were moderately effective, 28% rated them as minimally effective, and 4% said the plans were “not at all” effective. As the planners analyze more of the exercise data in the coming months, they will release more detailed information on the pandemic’s impact and the industry’s response, officials said. Of the participating organizations, 64% reported they had a business continuity plan for use in a pandemic, but only 42% said they had human resources policies in place to respond to employees’ needs during a pandemic.center_img Among other findings, Treasury Department officials learned that: Establishing a telecommuting system and dividing and dispersing work units were the two most common steps companies said they would take to maintain business operations during a pandemic. In May 2006 the White House directed the Treasury Department to work with banking and financial services companies to boost their pandemic preparedness, according to an Oct 24 department press release. As the exercise progressed, the companies responded to fluctuating market indicators and varying absenteeism rates. At the peak of the pandemic, the exercise simulated a 49% absenteeism rate. The last phase of the exercise centered on the nation’s recovery from a pandemic, with preparation for a possible next wave of illnesses. “The strong public-private coordination on this exercise allowed us to reach more institutions than we ever expected,” said Valerie Abend, the department’s assistant secretary for critical infrastructure protection, in a press release. “And by allowing almost all participants to find critical gaps in their planning, this exercise was an unquestionable success in helping the industry prepare for such a crisis.” As the pandemic progressed, the exercise described emerging impacts on supply chains, worker absentee rates, healthcare systems, schools, transportation, financial market indicators, and market reactions. The Treasury Department said 2,775 organizations registered for the exercise; 65% were banks and credit unions, 23% security firms, 11% insurance companies, and 4% other groups (utilities, industry associations, and regulators). The exercise was conducted Sep 24 through Oct 12 and consisted of an online program of weekly scenarios and preparedness questions. The exercise was organized by two Treasury divisions: the Financial Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC) and the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC).last_img read more


House OKs divorce bill

first_imgAbsolute divorce validates theseparation between married couples as total and final, allowing the husband andwife to return to their status of being single with the right to contractmarriage. House panel chair Ma. Lucille Nava ofGuimaras immediately approved the motion of for the divorce bill’s approvalwith no abstentions as she appointed Lagman to head the TWG. MANILA – A measure instituting divorcein the Philippines has been approved by a House of Representatives committee asa technical working group has been formed to consolidate all the proposals. The House committee on population andfamily relations on Wednesday approved House Bill No. 100 or the AbsoluteDivorce Bill of 2019, which was authored by Albay 5th District Rep. EdcelLagman. “Itongtechnical working group, I will convene it most probably by next week,depending on the availability of the members, or [the] week after next.  But definitely within the month of February,this will be approved already, with a corresponding committee report,” Lagmansaid.center_img “The members are Rep. Arlene Brosas,Rep. (Juliet Marie) Ferrer, and Rep. (Ma. Victoria) Umali.  We are going to convene as soon as possible,”he added. The TWG is tasked to combine HB 100 withother divorce bills authored by Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas, andDavao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez. Before the 17th Congress adjourned, theHouse approved on third and final reading its previous version of the absolutedivorce bill. However, this measure was rejected by the Senate./PNlast_img read more


Vargas cameo impresses Redknapp

first_imgHarry Redknapp believes Eduardo Vargas can fire the goals to guide QPR to Premier League safety. Former Spurs striker Zamora seized on poor positioning from Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren and holding midfielder Emre Can to dictate QPR’s play. Zamora teed up both gilt-edged chances for Fer, with Redknapp hailing his 33-year-old forward’s astute play. Should the QPR boss opt to move Vargas into the starting line-up then his praise of Zamora hints at Charlie Austin dropping to the bench. “They couldn’t play Bobby could they? That was our plan,” said Redknapp. “I thought we played good football when we had to, dropped it up to Bobby and joined him when we had to. “He was unplayable I thought for 70 minutes. “They are a good group of lads, and they deserved something out of that game. “I just feel sorry for them, they gave everything.” A frustrated Redknapp bemoaned QPR’s injury run, with Rio Ferdinand picking up a groin issue and Sandro suffering a recurrence of his original groin strain too. “Jordon Mutch came in, who I think is going to be a top player, but we can’t get him fit at the moment, he’s got a hamstring, so he can’t play,” said Redknapp. “Sandro’s got a groin (problem) again, he came off on Sunday; it’s been difficult to get a settled team. “Joey Barton’s out, has been for six, seven weeks, it’s been difficult getting people fit. “Rio had a groin problem as well, he had an injection in the week and hadn’t trained.” Press Association Chile striker Vargas twice thought he had rescued a point for Rangers in Sunday’s clash with Liverpool, only for Steven Caulker’s own goal to hand the Reds a 3-2 victory. Rangers boss Redknapp admitted he will be hard pressed to leave Napoli loan recruit Vargas out of his starting line-up after his two-goal cameo at Loftus Road. “I’ve got no doubts we’ll be okay and that we’ll stay up,” said Redknapp, despite QPR remaining rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. “And the little boy Vargas has given me even more confidence. “To see him come on and get two goals, when he got two for Chile as well in midweek: he’s a goalscorer. “And he nearly scored another at the end with Skrtel, when he was coming in to dive in and head it. “He’ll score goals and he’s going to be a big asset for us. It’s going to be difficult to leave him out of the team.” Former Tottenham boss Redknapp has shrugged off speculation linking the likes of Tim Sherwood to a Loftus Road takeover. Les Ferdinand has arrived as head of football operations, but Redknapp remains in overall senior control. Holland midfielder Leroy Fer struck the crossbar twice in Sunday’s first half where QPR were almost totally dominant, with Bobby Zamora causing untold headaches for Liverpool’s defence. last_img read more


Ryan Scarratt – Front Runner – Giving niche sports the airtime they deserve

first_img Submit David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Gambling faces a pivotal moment March 31, 2020 Share Aspire builds Q1 momentum through regulated market focus May 5, 2020 Share Maxima Compliance – ‘Mastering technical compliance to grow your global footprint’ June 9, 2020 Related Articles Following Front Runner’s sponsorship deal with the bookmaker Mr Green, we had a chat with Ryan Scarratt of niche sports channel Front Runner.The new free to view sports channel has taken an interesting approach to broadcasting in 2017 when the bulk of similar companies are reflecting the paid subscription model. From showing ice hockey to poker and MMA it’s focused on the ‘other sports’ that don’t get the level of mainstream coverage that the likes of football and tennis enjoy. SBC: With many replicating the Netflix model and approach, Front Runner has gone the opposite way by offering a free channel on traditional TV. Why?Ryan: When we launched Front Runner, we wanted to offer a platform for niche sports that were struggling to get their voices heard to the wider public. Mainstream sporting events get the coverage, but there are still many others – with a massive UK following – that were getting no television airtime. For example, the Elite Ice Hockey League, poker, MMA and specialist motorsports.TV still provides the simplest interface to get pictures in front of an audience, and it is understood whether you are aged seven or 77. Putting our service behind a paywall, for the majority of viewers, puts a barrier in the way when the fundamental principle of our channel is to be inclusive, of all sports and all fans.So we’re really pleased to say that Front Runner is a free channel for sport fans to enjoy – and our approach is working. From day one, we’ve reached 19 million homes across the UK, niche sports are getting the broadcast hours they rightly deserve and fans are really welcoming the free television coverage. We don’t think there is a better platform out there than what we have provided, and we are working hard to expand this further.SBC: Who’ve you looked to as inspiration for Front Runner’s sports content? Is it aimed at being a something of a crossover between Red Bull and Sky Sports?Ryan: Again, our inspiration for launching Front Runner has always been to give niche sports the television airtime and also the recognition they rightly deserve.A substantial element of the channel’s success so far has been down to each sport’s strong fan base who value watching the action for free. We certainly value their following because without the fans, we wouldn’t have the viewers, and they’ve all been massively supportive so far.The channel is still very young, we only started in October and so you will see it evolve, particularly as the new seasons start from March onwards. Red Bull are using their channel as a marketing tool, they are a phenomenon and their extreme sport content is fantastic. Sky has focussed primarily on the Premiership, while we are trying to create something broader than both of these.We think there is an opportunity to provide a marketing tool for underrepresented sports. That is our focus, we are trying to do the right thing by our content partners and their fans, so they succeed and so do we.SBC: You’ve embraced the betting world but with an arrangement with a partner outside of the ones normally chucked at us at halftime of matches…why did you go for the sponsorship by Mr Green?Ryan: We like partners who understand what we are trying to achieve and Mr Green recognised the opportunity to come on board early.  I personally think they are an ideal partner in terms of supporting us in what we want to achieve and also delivers us some interest from an audience that, as you say, sits outside of the norm. Mr Green is also able to reinforce themselves as a market leader by getting in front of 19 million homes each day, so I think this is working well for them too.With all this in mind, and our plans for the future, our hope is that Mr Green will become a long term partner for Front Runner.SBC: What are the regulations with certain partners such as bookmakers for broadcast TV channels?Ryan: You could expect this to be a lengthy answer! In reality we haven’t found this to be a big deal.  We have very reliable partners who understand the constraints we need to impose and they follow them. Along with Front Runner, its parent company Information TV has also launched six channels in 12 months, so we know the regulatory landscape well.SBC: There has been talk of live sporting content coming to Frontrunner.. Can you divulge any more information?Ryan: Front Runner started broadcasting live motorsport in January with the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook race from Dubai. Moving forwards, live sport is going to be an important aspect of the channel and we will be showing the first live broadcast from the Isle of Man when we air the British Darts League next month.We have a great history showing the live greyhound racing most evenings and we know that ‘Live’ is something our viewers want and we will try to accommodate. A lot of the seasons are going to kick off in the next month or so and we will be making more announcements about our summer schedule soon.We’ll certainly be keeping everyone updated through our website, and our social media channels. StumbleUponlast_img read more


Art in the Loft preparing to open in June

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisWith Governor Gretchen Whitmer beginning to ease restrictions of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, businesses across Michigan are beginning to open up. That includes some right here in Alpena.Art in the Loft is planning to get back in the swing of things, bringing staff back to work at the art gallery after being off for 10 weeks.Executive Director of the gallery, Justin Christensen–Cooper, says the first order of business is making sure community members will have a safe experience when they return.“It’s going to take us a good week just to get the space ready, meaning having adequate signage that’s related to the coronavirus, sanitizing all the surfaces, cleaning, organizing, and then we’re going to use that time to get our artists back up there to start to setting up their displays of all their new artwork that they have.”One of the major concerns as the gallery prepares to reopen its doors is getting back on track financially. Like many other businesses, Art in the Loft has taken a significant hit due to the coronavirus response.“We’ve seen a 60% cut in what our revenue would’ve been up to this point. And that’s revenue that goes toward things such as administration and staffing, to paying the rent, to allowing artists the space to come up and use as a means to sell their artwork. So the biggest thing that I can really do to help not only our mission but to help arts in our community is to become a member of Art in the Loft. And they can do that through Art in the Loft’s website and those funds are going to be going to so many things that we want to start back up.”When the gallery does reopen, social distancing guidelines will still be in place and events will be limited to attendees who RSVP. A number of programs will also be available online. Art in the Loft is scheduled to reopen june 11.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Art in the Loft, coronavirus, reopeningContinue ReadingPrevious COVID-19 cases for Wednesday, May 27Next Michigan Secretary of State branch offices to reopen June 1 by appointment onlylast_img read more


TNT stops skid, outlasts winless Columbian in OT

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTNT returned to winning form but not after surviving a winless Columbian side, 118-114, in overtime in the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The KaTropa, who played without head coach Nash Racela who was reportedly put on leave after the team’s poor start this conference, stopped a three-game losing skid to improve their record to 2-3 while the Dyip slid to 0-5.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal LATEST STORIES Jayson Castro was the first to perform his heroic act for the KaTropa hitting a long three-pointer from the top of the key for TNT’s 115-112 lead with 2:22 left in overtime.Romeo then had his own clutch play scoring a layup against the defense of Rashawn McCarthy, whom he proceeded to taunt, for TNT’s 117-114 lead with 57.2 seconds remaining in the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’TNT assistant coach Eric Gonzales, who did not talk too much about the game, said the team is in the middle of fixing itself in the middle of this bumpy start.“I was just surprised with what happened and I was still with coach Nash last night and he didn’t know what was about to happen,” said Gonzales in Filipino. “After the things that happened I just hoped for the best and I dedicate this win to coach Nash.” Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “There are still things to be done for TNT, it will be hard but I’m thankful for this opportunity.”Castro finished with 25 points, six rebonds, and seven assists for the KaTropa while Romeo had 22 points and six dimes.Roger Pogoy played bigger than his listed 6’2” height and put up a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double for TNT.Jerramy King finished with 26 points and nine rebounds for the Dyip who have yet to win a game in the Governors’ Cup since 2016, a time when Manny Pacquiao was still in their roster.ADVERTISEMENT ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ MOST READ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? View comments Beef, sushi on menu as Japan’s Ikee named Asian Games MVP Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more