Reinsurance firms face up to price pain

first_img REINSURERS are trying to stay confident about pricing prospects for 2011 in the face of a chorus of industry observers predicting price and earnings pain.At their annual Mediterranean meeting, the world’s biggest reinsurance players have once again vowed to maintain discipline in setting prices on the contracts for risk cover they provide to insurers, saying they won’t engage in a competitive race to the bottom.Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer, predicted it would maintain stable prices overall on its portfolio of business to be renewed at the start of the year, and said some prices were even rising following the sinking of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and earthquake in Chile this year.French reinsurer Scor also struck an upbeat tone, even as it acknowledged that clients were driving hard bargains.“We hope by January we can show renewals that are at least stable or slightly up,” Scor chief executive Denis Kessler said. Share But brokers, credit rating agencies and other industry observers, attending the Monte Carlo meeting in force, say 2011 is shaping up to be the third year in a row that property and casualty premiums will fall.Insurance companies, who pay reinsurers to take on their risks of big claims such as for hurricanes or earthquakes, are being flexible about how much reinsurance they are using, buying less of it when it costs more, said James Eck, senior credit officer at Moody’s.“Insurers don’t expect to pay more and there would be significant resistance to higher prices,” said Eck, adding that most insurers surveyed by Moody’s said they planned to buy the same amount or less reinsurance in 2011 than they did in 2010. Monday 13 September 2010 7:33 pm KCS-content Show Comments ▼ Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofTortilla Mango Cups: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofWhat to Know About ‘Loki’ Ahead of Disney+ Premier on June 9Family ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof whatsappcenter_img Supply is another issue. There is a lot of excess capital available to reinsurers to write business with insurance clients, following the recovery of capital markets since 2009.“While excess capital is in the market there is no catalyst to increasing rates,” said Greg Carter of credit ratings agency Fitch. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastNoteabley25 Funny Notes Written By StrangersNoteableyMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBemoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comSenior Living | Search AdsNew Senior Apartments Coming to Scottsdale (Take A Look at The Prices)Senior Living | Search Adsautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comZen HeraldThe Truth About Why ’40s Actor John Wayne Didn’t Serve In WWII Has Come To LightZen Herald Tags: NULL whatsapp Reinsurance firms face up to price pain last_img read more

Violence at student fees demo leads to 35 arrests

first_imgWednesday 10 November 2010 9:01 pm whatsapp Show Comments ▼ whatsapp Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe Wrap’Sex and the City’ Sequel Series at HBO Max Adds 4 More ReturningThe WrapNewsmax Rejected Matt Gaetz When Congressman ‘Reached Out’ for a JobThe Wrap2 HFPA Members Resign Citing a Culture of ‘Corruption and Verbal Abuse’The Wrap KCS-content center_img Violence at student fees demo leads to 35 arrests Tags: NULL Share by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity Timesmoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comTaonga: The Island FarmThe Most Relaxing Farm Game of 2021. No InstallTaonga: The Island FarmAlphaCute30 Rules That All “Hells Angels” Have To FollowAlphaCutethedelite.comNetflix Cancellations And Renewals: The Full List For 2021thedelite.comMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryReporter CenterBrenda Lee: What Is She Doing Now At 76 Years of Age?Reporter CenterBlood Pressure Solution4 Worst Blood Pressure MedsBlood Pressure Solution HUNDREDS of protestors stormed the Conservative party headquarters yesterday after a protest over university tuition fees spiralled out of control, leading to a total of 35 arrests. The Metropolitan Police said last night that 14 people had been taken to hospital, including seven police officers, for injuries picked up during the protests in which 52,000 mostly peaceful activists took to the streets against a hike in fees and cuts to government spending on higher education.Around 200 people barricaded themselves on the roof of Tory HQ on Millbank after what the National Union of Students described as a group of rogue protestors smashed the glass front of the building, while hundreds more built a bonfire made from placards outside. Mayor of London Boris Johnson said police needed to examine how a small minority had “shamefully abused their right to protest”. “This is intolerable and all those involved will be pursued and they will face the full force of the law,” he said. “The Metropolitan Police commissioner has assured me that there will be a vigorous post-incident investigation.”“We did not expect this level of violence,” Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said in a TV interview later. “This was thuggish and loutish behaviour by criminals. It’s not acceptable, it is an embarrassment for London and for us.” last_img read more

Unga Group Limited ( 2013 Annual Report

first_imgUnga Group Limited ( listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Food sector has released it’s 2013 annual report.For more information about Unga Group Limited ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Unga Group Limited ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Unga Group Limited (  2013 annual report.Company ProfileUnga Group Limited is an agricultural holding company in Kenya which mills wheat and maize and processes baked products and animal nutrition and health products. The company is divided in products produced for human consumption and animal consumption. The human consumption division produces a range of wheat flour products which include chapatti, mandazi, brown bread, maize meal, porridge and amana. The animal consumption division manufactures a range of animal food and mineral supplements. Unga Limited is a subsidiary company which produces feeds, minerals, premixes, animal health products and offers technical services to the agricultural sector in Kenya. Other subsidiary companies include Unga Farm Care (EA) Limited, Ennsvalley Bakery Limited and Unga Millers (Uganda) Limited. Over 90% of products are produced for the Kenyan domestic market with some exports to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The company head office is in Nairobi, Kenya. Unga Group Limited is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

Unity Bank Plc ( Q12018 Interim Report

first_imgUnity Bank Plc ( listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2018 interim results for the first quarter.For more information about Unity Bank Plc ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Unity Bank Plc ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Unity Bank Plc (  2018 interim results for the first quarter.Company ProfileUnity Bank Plc is a financial services institution in Nigeria offering banking products and services for the retail, commercial and corporate sectors. The company provides a full-service offering ranging from transactional accounts, deposit accounts and overdrafts to trade finance, treasury services, acceptance and guarantee commercial papers, money market services and international banking services. Unity Bank Plc provides foreign operations which includes home remittance services, mortgages, letters of credit, third party transfer services, invisible transactions, bills for collections and domiciliary transfers. The company supports the agricultural sector through agric products and schemes which includes Unity farmer’s cooperatives finance and leasing, Unity industrial input scheme and general agro-allied farmer’s schemes. Founded in 1987, Unity Bank Plc now operates through an extensive network of some 240 branches in 36 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. Its head office is in Lagos, Nigeria. Unity Bank Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchangelast_img read more

Will Seat #1 be the swing vote in the budget debates?

first_img TAGSThe Budget Debates Previous articleIs the Amphitheater ready for the Gospel Fest?Next articleUpdate: Repairs continuing, pumping initiated to lower floodwaters at Lake Apopka North Shore Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here As Mayor Joe continues to deplete the reserves, Suzanne Kidd will be there to vote for anything Mayor Joe has on his wish list to spend the reserves on.   “The current discussion over what percent of expenditures should be held in reserves is a worthy exercise, but one that must be based on facts. Only through serious research and analysis of actual risks faced by the City, risks that reserves are intended to mitigate, can we arrive at a number that is right for Apopka. Without this step, it would be imprudent to simply propose some arbitrary percentage figure, hoping we hit the right mark. Such an analysis would be an important first step.”Alexander Smith Mama Mia Gene, let me use this space to wish you a very Happy 50th Birthday today! 50 is an important birthday milestone, a half-a- century! Wow! Have a great birthday party tonight! October 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Mama Mia UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Apopka City Hall 3 COMMENTS Lord please, please, please, won’t someone at the city give Sue a certificate of attendance for all those meetings she attended….. Please, I beg you all……. AnalysisBy Reggie Connell/Managing Editor of The Apopka VoiceThe Budget Debates: Part Three – An open seat attracts four diverse candidates to replace Billie Dean. Will their vote tip the balance?“I propose that the City Council develop a strategic plan to obtain a 25% fund in the next five years. We must protect the fiscal integrity of the city.”Those were the words of six-term Commissioner Billie Dean at the October 18th City Council meeting that rekindled a debate about reserves in the City’s general fund. It’s not the first time Dean has been the catalyst of discussions on the Council, but with his retirement in 2018, his voice will not be a part of the next budget process.So who will take his place? And do they share his opinions?There are four candidates running for Seat #1 – Gene Knight, Suzanne Kidd, Theresa Mott, and Alexander Smith. Their views on the budget are almost as diverse as their backgrounds.Gene KnightKnight is the founder of the popular local Facebook page “Apopka Then and Now”, and a longtime Apopka resident. Through the years, he has had his run-ins with the City and wants to make the City Council more accessible to the people of Apopka.“I’ve had to fight to get things done like lighting, sidewalks, and trees taken down in certain areas,” he told The Apopka Voice at the beginning of his campaign in March. “You shouldn’t have to push the issues to get someone to take care of it. I want it to be that everyone matters and everyone’s voice matters. They (the City Council) are listening to us talk, but they’re not hearing us.”He was present at the budget debate, and says he favored Commissioner Doug Bankson’s approach.“Commissioner Bankson’s  plan for the 25% reserve proposal is on the right track,” he said. “It’s something that the city needs, but it will take a few more workshops to work out the details. The reserve should be used for emergency purposes and not used for functions that the city can not afford or to meet in the budget.” Kidd is a 16-year resident of Apopka and former 30-year public school teacher, and has been an active participant in her homeowners’ association and Apopka civic affairs. She attends nearly every City Council meeting, Planning Commission meetings,  budget workshops, and has served on numerous City committees, most recently chairing the City’s Visioning Steering Committee. She currently works with Habitat for Humanity to help provide more affordable housing to Apopka residents and teaches interior design to Habitat homeowners. She too was present at the budget debates, but holds a contrasting opinion to Knight.Suzanne Kidd “The purpose of reserves is to cover the City’s expenses in the event of some unforeseen catastrophic event,” she wrote to The Apopka Voice. “The Government Finance Officers Association in their “Best Practices”, recommends that cities set aside at least 16% of their General Operating Fund budget to cover at least two months’ expenses. Currently, Apopka has 20% in reserves, clearly above the standard. Through prudent spending by staff, and not spending all monies budgeted, the City adds unspent money back into reserves at the end of each fiscal year. Following this year’s audit, we will again be adding to the reserves balance.” Kidd, like Commissioners Kyle Becker and Diane Velazquez, believes more details need to be presented before agreeing to a higher reserve. Michael Heaton October 27, 2017 at 4:38 pm Smith moved to Apopka in 1964 with his family and graduated from Apopka High School. He is a recently retired educator after being employed by Orange County Public Schools. After retirement, he became the Associate Pastor at New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Apopka. Like Knight, he would like to see more participation by the Apopka citizens in the process.“It’s not about me,” he said. “Everyone has their agenda. I hear people in the audience at City Council meetings whispering to each other ‘what about what the people think?’ I want to be the people’s voice on City Council. My goal is to represent all of Apopka. As one person I cannot do it all myself. I would like to see more interest and better attendance at City Council meetings and community events.”He also supports a 25% reserve, but stops short of calling for budget cuts or millage rate increases. “I would support a 25% reserve to occur over the next 5 years,” he said. “It is the right thing to do. With the outlook of growth and development planned for the city of Apopka this can be achieved without cutting services or raising taxes. Staff should be directed to develop a plan to accomplish the reserve and present to the Mayor and City Council for approval.”Note: City Commission Seat #1 candidate Theresa Mott was contacted by The Apopka Voice, but chose not to comment at this time. “I don’t have all the information to make a comment at this point,” she said. “I was not at the meeting.In Part Four of The Budget Debates, The Apopka Voice focuses on the two candidates running for Mayor of Apopka – Joe Kilsheimer and Bryan Nelson. Their agendas will drive the budget debates, and their opinions are polar opposites. Please enter your comment! Reply October 28, 2017 at 9:39 am Please enter your name here Reply Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

YNH / yujin HIRASE

first_imgPhotographs:  Takeshi YamagishiText description provided by the architects. I thought mainly how to connect with time axis of surrounding history of the site that a military commander made a “fort” during the Age of Civil Wars (15-16th century) . The site of north/west is road and south/east is the neighboring house, so the major theme is the way of taking a sunlight. I designed 3-floor void as “light-tube” by analogy of “fort” like Scotish Tower-House. The room on each floor are arranged around “light-tube” like a square in the house and the inner-opening facing the void make a role as linking by one’s eyes between the room. Save this picture!drawingsRecommended ProductsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesIsland Exterior FabricatorsCurtain Wall Facade SystemsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesRodecaRound Facade at Omnisport Arena ApeldoornEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesFranken-SchotterFacade System –  LINEAEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesAlucoilStructural Honeycomb Panels – LarcoreThe facade has “autonomously” opening system grid-like continuous pattern and its size are “heteronomously” translated in relation to views or surrounding environment or interior function. Save this picture!© Takeshi YamagishiBy putting opening continuously in a height of eye-level and designing the details of opening frame close to frame-less, our eyes go through inside and outside although narrow space so we don’t feel the oppression. The room has same specifications that is exchangeable for other functions. I proposed the “prototype” architecture by grasping the delicate differences of surrounding environment. Save this picture!© Takeshi YamagishiIn considering the context with the surrounding environment, in Japan I think the ground is texture or color of the structures for public use (e.g. road) these are remaining almost same in the future more than the form or place of opening of surrounding architecture. I designed this architecture like “fort” in the city continuously from the texture or color of road in front of this site.Project gallerySee allShow lessBEP Baked Earthen Pie / Evgeny DidorenkoArticlesAD Round Up: Best from Flickr Part XXXIIIArticles Share Photographs YNH / yujin HIRASE ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Save this picture!© Takeshi Yamagishi+ 27 Share YNH / yujin HIRASESave this projectSaveYNH / yujin HIRASE ArchDaily 2010 “COPY” ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Projects Architects: yujin HIRASE + yHa architects Area Area of this architecture project Year:  Japan CopyAbout this officeyujin HIRASE + yHa architectsOfficeFollowProductsGlassConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesWoodHousesTokyoJapanPublished on February 11, 2011Cite: “YNH / yujin HIRASE ” 11 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 12 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Read commentsBrowse the CatalogMetal PanelsAurubisMill Finished Copper: Nordic StandardWindowsMitrexSolar WindowAluminium CompositesTechnowoodHow to Design a Façade with AluProfile Vertical ProfilesBulbs / SpotsCocowebLighting – Compact Gallery White TracklightConcreteKrytonCrystalline Waterproofing – KIMSealantsEffisusCrossing Perforations on RoofsWall / Ceiling LightsLouis PoulsenLamp – LP RiplsTiles / Mosaic / GresiteMargresPorcelain Tiles – Linea CosmosWood Boards / HPL PanelsInvestwoodValchromat Panels for Interior DesignWindowspanoramah!®ah! MotorisationHingesSaliceHinges – PactaDrawers / Filing Cabinets / ShelvesBeneStorage Partition – PORTS StorageMore products »Read commentsSave世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream “COPY” Area:  37 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project CopyHouses•Tokyo, Japan Houseslast_img read more

Youth Net UK acquires domain name

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis  26 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 6 October 2004 | News The volunteering site will not change its primary address, but has simply pointed the top-level domain name at the UK address. Third Sector magazine today reports that volunteering resource, set up by Youth Net UK, has bought the domain name for £1,131 after a four-year effort.The domain name, accordig to the magazine, was used by a Saudi businessman for a Web site advertising would-be brides.The top-level domain name version of the UK site’s name was certainly worth acquiring: too often would-be visitors forget to add the .uk suffix, or journalists omit it. Of course, the charity could have saved itself some money by acquiring the key variations on its chosen domain name at the outset, or opting for a different domain name whose variations they could acquire. Advertisementcenter_img About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving. Youth Net UK acquires domain name Tagged with: Digitallast_img read more

Fundraising Regulator opens FPS in Northern Ireland

first_imgFundraising Regulator opens FPS in Northern Ireland  100 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis6 Tagged with: Fundraising Preference Service Northern Ireland AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis6 “The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland enjoys a close and collaborative working relationship with the Fundraising Regulator, as demonstrated by the Memorandum of Understanding we signed last year.“We are delighted to see the Fundraising Preference Service made available in Northern Ireland, supporting the public in making informed choices around the communications they receive from charities and helping to ensure charities are held to high standards.” The Fundraising Regulator launches its Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) in Northern Ireland today (26 March).The launch follows NICVA’s decision to invite the regulator to oversee and regulate fundraising in the country last year.As in England and Wales, the Fundraising Regulator will manage the FPS in Northern Ireland, and will contact charities on behalf of the user and request that the selected methods of communication are stopped until the individual decides otherwise.As elsewhere, the FPS is available both online and by phone in Northern Ireland, and will enable members of the public to block phone, email, text and direct addressed mail communications from named charities. Individuals will also be able to use the service on behalf of someone else, such as a friend or relative.The regulator will continue to work collaboratively with the Charity Commission Northern Ireland and the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure requests to stop communications are implemented by charities.Walter Rader, Fundraising Regulator, Northern Ireland Board member, said:“The launch of the FPS in Northern Ireland today reflects our commitment to ensuring best practice and ethical practices for fundraising.“The service will play a crucial role in allowing members of the public in Northern Ireland to control the communications they receive from charities. This is a vital step in continuing the work the Fundraising Regulator has undertaken to rebuild trust between the public and the sector over the last two years”.Frances McCandless, Chief Executive, Charity Commission Northern Ireland, said: Advertisement Melanie May | 26 March 2018 | News About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via  99 total views,  1 views todaylast_img read more

Stockholm route for Shannon

first_imgNewsBreaking newsStockholm route for ShannonBy Bernie English – October 11, 2016 770 One of the world’s most unusual aircraft arrives at Shannon Airport WhatsApp Linkedin Facebook Advertisement Shannon [email protected] Airport has welcomed the announcement by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) that it is to launch a new service from Shannon to Stockholm in Sweden.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The new service will operate twice a week on Tuesday’s and Saturday’s from August 1 until October 7 2017.Welcoming the announcement Matthew Thomas, CEO, Shannon Group said: “This new service will not only have a positive impact for inbound tourism for the West of Ireland, but will also provide valuable business connectivity as people using the service will be able to connect at the SAS hub at Stockholm Arlanda Airport for flights to over 22 destinations including Copenhagen, Oslo Helsinki, Gothenburg, Billund, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius and a host of domestic airports in Sweden.Further details in this week’s edition of the Limerick Post.  TAGSfeaturedScandanavian AirlinesShannon airportStocklhom Aer Lingus needs to clarify Shannon plans – Crowe Emailcenter_img Urgent action needed to ensure Regional Air Connectivity Shannon Group Focused on Recovery and Rebuilding Previous articleBasketball – UL Eagles lose out to DCU SaintsNext articleCamogie – Granagh Ballingarry secure county title Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Print Sad day for Limerick and Mid-West following Aer Lingus announcement – Mayor Michael Collins Twitter Shannon Airport “has been abandoned” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

In surprise move, Facebook blocks news access in Australia

first_img WhatsApp Facebook Facebook Pinterest By Digital AIM Web Support – February 18, 2021 Pinterest In surprise move, Facebook blocks news access in Australia Twittercenter_img TAGS  Twitter Local NewsBusinessWorld News CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — In a surprise retaliatory move Thursday, Facebook blocked Australians from sharing news stories, escalating a fight with the government over whether powerful tech companies should have to pay news organizations for content. Australia’s government condemned the step, which also blocked some government communications, including messages about emergency services, and some commercial pages. The digital platforms fear that what’s happening in Australia will become an expensive precedent for other countries as governments revamp laws to catch up with the fast changing digital world. Facebook acted after the House of Representatives passed legislation that would make it and Google pay for Australian journalism, said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. He said he was given no warning before Facebook acted. The legislation must be passed by the Senate to become law. Australian news organizations could not post stories and people who tried to share existing news stories got notifications saying they were blocked from doing so . “This post can’t be shared,” the website said. “In response to Australian government legislation, Facebook restricts the posting of news links and all posts from news Pages in Australia. Globally, the posting and sharing of news links from Australian publications is restricted.” The legislation mentioned by the notice has not yet been enacted. “Facebook’s actions were unnecessary, they were heavy-handed and they will damage its reputation here in Australia,” Frydenberg said. Prime Minister Scott Morrison lashed out on his own Facebook page. “Facebook’s actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services, were as arrogant as they were disappointing,” Morrison posted. “These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behavior of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them. They may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they run it,” he added. “We will not be intimidated by BigTech seeking to pressure our Parliament.” Facebook said the proposed Australian law “fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it.” “This is an assault on a sovereign nation,” Health Minster Greg Hunt told Parliament. “It is an assault on people’s freedom and, in particular, it’s an utter abuse of big technologies’ market power and control over technology.” The government contends the proposed News Media Bargaining Code will ensure media businesses will be paid fairly for journalism linked online. Both Google and Facebook had threatened to retaliate. Australia’s proposal requires a negotiation safety net through an arbitration panel. The digital giants would not be able to abuse their dominant negotiating positions by making take-it-or-leave-it payment offers to news businesses for their journalism. In case of a standoff, the panel would make a binding decision on a winning offer. Google had threatened to remove its search functions from Australia because it said the proposed law was unworkable. But that threat has faded as Google has worked out licensing content deals with Australian media companies under its own News Showcase model. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. announced a wide-ranging deal with Google on Wednesday. Major Australian media organization Seven West Media reached a deal earlier in the week. Their rival Nine Entertainment is reportedly close to its own pact, and state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp. is in negotiations. The government accused Facebook of endangering public safety by temporarily blocking state emergency services messaging on a day when there were severe fire and flood warnings in various parts of Australia. The Bureau of Meteorology’s weather warnings, a Hobart women’s shelter and the Betoota Advocate, a satirical website named after an Australian ghost town, were among those surprised to find their content blocked at least temporarily. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said he told Facebook the government expects access to its pages to be restored. “The fact that there are organizations like state health departments, fire and emergency services . . . who have had their Facebook pages blocked, that’s a public safety issue,” Fletcher said. Facebook said in a statement: “Any pages that are inadvertently impacted, we’ll look to reverse.” Health Minster Greg Hunt said the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne still didn’t have its feed fixed after more than eight hours. Some non-Australian outlets also appeared affected, with posts disappearing from Facebook pages belonging to Britain’s Daily Telegraph and Sky News. Both share names with news outlets in Australia. Facebook’s U.K. PR firm didn’t reply to a request for comment. Frydenberg said he had “constructive” discussions with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg after the content blocking began. “He did explain to me that they had concerns with aspects of the code, and it goes to the interpretation of some of its elements. And he will come back to me with some more considered views,” Frydenberg said. He said the government remains committed to the code that is yielding generous payment deals with Google for Australian media. “Other countries are watching, but also Google and Facebook and other digital giants are very focused on what it means, as far as a precedent goes, for other countries,” Frydenberg said. News Corp. said it would receive “significant payments” from Google under the three-year agreement, which includes heavyweight news organizations throughout the English-speaking world such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the U.S., the Times and the Sun in the U.K., and The Australian and Sky News in Australia. The deal spans audio and video and News Corp. also will get an ad revenue share from Google. Frydenberg said after weekend talks with Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google, that he was convinced the platforms “do want to enter into these commercial arrangements.” “It’s a massive step forward we have seen this week,” Frydenberg said of the Google deals. “But if this was easy, every other country in the world would have done it already. But they haven’t,” he said. 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