Vote with your trolleys

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

Obamacare is the law of the land

first_imgAfter seven years attempting to repeal it; after campaigning against it in four election cycles from 2010 to 2016; after the incumbent president promised repeatedly to replace it on “Day one” of his administration; and despite owning the presidency and majorities in the US House and Senate, Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act so aptly nicknamed ObamaCare. Obama-care remains the law of the land.It remains the law of the land because in the hasty attempt to repeal and replace this law signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, Republicans drafted a replacement bill that was blatantly cruel. It was a bill this newspaper predicted would fail because of its inhumane cruelty. It was a bill that increased the cost of insurance to seniors who need health insurance most. It would have removed insurance to millions of low-income Americans, who can hardly afford to feed their families much more healthcare. It would have removed access to healthcare for pregnant mothers, the mentally ill, among other benefits.The Republican bill was created in arrogance. It’s authors did so in relative secret, without the knowledge of some of their own members. The arrogance of Republican leaders convinced them the bill would be passed in the US House, without the support of Democrats just seventeen days after it was released, and subsequently by the Senate in another two weeks. This arrogance extended to the White House where President Trump who prides himself as the negotiator-in-chief, and master-deal-closer, was confident he could use his influence to get this bill approved in record time.The bill failed because Americans were not ready to have this bill pushed down their throat like bad medicine. Americans protested repealing and replacing Obama-care even before being aware of the Republican bill. Republicans and Democrats pressured their congressional representatives, and protested at rallies across the country not to take away something they never had prior to 2010 – affordable healthcare. It’s evident there are Republican congressional representatives who heeded these protests.Although the failed attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare is a sweet victory for proponents of that law, the victory is far from complete. A battle has been won but the war still rages.Speaking from the White House moments after the Republican’s healthcare bill was pulled, Trump predicted “Obamacare will explode.” Americans must now remain vigilant to ensure clandestine moves are not taken to influence the “explosion” of Obamacare.Admittedly, there are aspects of Obamacare that needs improving. Most social programs take years to perfect as   they adjust to changing characteristics of the society. The Social Security law continues to be tweaked some 82-years after it was signed. With Obamacare being the healthcare law of the land, like Social Security, there’s need to keep on fixing the flaws in the law.Despite the flaws in Obamacare, it does meet a national demand for affordable healthcare. It should be the responsibility of Republicans, instead of trying to repeal Obamacare, to work in a bi-partisan manner with Democrats to improve this law of the land.The Republican healthcare bill also failed because of the factions among Republicans. Since neither the Republican nor Democratic Parties are monolithic, it’s often difficult for the factions within the parties to reach consensus and pass critical legislation. However, it’s possible for a faction within one party with similarities to a faction within the other to reach agreement through skillful bi-partisan maneuvering.  For example, moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats may be more likely to reach bi-partisan agreement, than different factions within each party.In order to fix the flaws in Obamacare and pass pending legislation like the federal budget and immigration reform, bi-partisan compromise will be needed. Failure to pass immigration reform under Obama, and replace Obama-care, proved it’s difficult to succeed without bi-partisan compromise. This should be an important lesson to Congressional leaders and President Trump.last_img read more

Petrobras Signs Agreement in Principle to Settle Class Action in the…

first_img Author: Priyanka Ann Saini Petrobras announced yesterday that it has signed an agreement in principle to settle the securities class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.The agreement, which is subject to approval by the court, is intended to resolve all pending and prospective claims by purchasers of Petrobras securities in the United States and by purchasers of Petrobras securities that are listed for trading in the United States. It eliminates the risk of an adverse judgment which, as Petrobras has previously reported, could have a material adverse effect on the company and its financial situation, and puts an end to the uncertainties, burdens and costs of protracted litigation.Under the proposed settlement, Petrobras has agreed to pay USD 2.95 billion to resolve claims in two installments of USD 983 million and a last installment of USD 984 million. The first installment will be paid within 10 days of preliminary approval of the settlement by the court. The second installment will be paid within 10 days of final approval of the settlement. The third installment will be paid by the later of (i) six months after final approval, or (ii) January 15, 2019.  The total settlement amount will be recognised in the fourth quarter of 2017.The agreement does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing or misconduct by Petrobras. In the agreement, Petrobras expressly denies liability. This reflects its status as a victim of the acts uncovered by Operation Car Wash, as recognised by Brazilian authorities including the Brazilian Supreme Court.  As a victim of the scheme, Petrobras has already recovered R$1.475 billion in restitution in Brazil and will continue to pursue all available legal remedies from culpable companies and individuals.The agreement is in the company’s best interest and that of its shareholders, given the risks of a verdict advised by a jury, particularities of US procedure and securities laws, as well its assessment of the status of the class action and the nature of such litigation in the United States, where only approximately 0.3% of securities-related class actions proceed to trial.The agreement will now be submitted to the district court in the SDNY for review. If preliminary approval is granted, the court will notify the members of the class of the terms of the proposed settlement. After considering any objections and a hearing on the fairness of the proposed settlement, the court will decide whether to grant final approval.As a result of the agreement, the parties will ask the United States Supreme Court to defer consideration of Petrobras’s petition for a writ of certiorari, which was scheduled for January 5, 2018, pending final approval of the proposed settlement.Sea News, January 4last_img read more

Jordan ‘sitio’ on 14-day lockdown

first_imgLocal authorities locked down a sitio (hamlet) in Barangay Hoskynin, Jordan, Guimaras for two weeks due to confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019. WIRE PHOTO As of Sept. 18, the sitio has three confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). All residents are not allowed to go out from thier respective households and direct contact shall have undergo strict home quarantine for 14 days. Here’s the breakdown of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sitio Sambag.  According to the mayor, the lockdown took effect around 12 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 2. Meanwhile, frontliners such as health personnel and employees are allowed to leave and stay outside of the barangay in the duration of the lockdown, given that they are not identified as direct contact of the COVID-19 positive patients ILOILO City – Local authorities locked down a sitio (hamlet) in Barangay Hoskynin, Jordan, Guimaras for two weeks.   The mayor also implement a liquor ban shall in the duration of the lockdown to secure that there will be no gatherings in the respective households and other related activities. * 41-year-old male (asymptomatic and quarantined at the Isolation Area of the Rural Health Unit). * 72-year-old male (recovered) Under Corpuz’s EO, barriers/checkpoints in the boundaries of Sitio Sambag, Barangay Hoskyn were set up to ensure that there shall no inbound or outbound movement in the area. * 76-year-old male (isolated at a quarantine facility in Jordan).  “Upon the recommendation of the Municipal Health Team on the management of COVID-19 in Municipality of Jordan, it is deemed necessary that Sitio Sambag, Hoskyn should be put on lockdown” read part of Corpuz’s directive released on Sept. 18. Town mayor Ruben Corpuz issued Executive Order (EO) No. 50 Series of 2020 enforcing stringent quarantine measure in Sitio Sambag. As of Sept. 18, Jordan recorded 15 COVID-19 cases, two of which are active and 13 already recovered./PNlast_img read more

Bulls stuns top-seeded Celtics to take 2-0 playoffs series lead

first_img[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’Bulls stuns top-seeded Celtics to take 2-0 playoffs series lead’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=”]Thursday, April 20, 2017[/av_textblock][av_image src=’’ attachment=’103591′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’]APChicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) hustles against the Boston Celtics to banner his squad to victory and claim a 2-0 playoffs series lead on Tuesday.[/av_image] BOSTON – The Chicago Bulls talked often during the regular season about believing they had the personnel to play as a physically imposing team.Their output has caught up to those desires so far during the postseason.Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Rajon Rondo finished one rebound shy of a triple-double and the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics, 111-97, on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their series against the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.While some might be shocked by how Chicago has played as a No. 8 seed that was just 41-41, Butler made it clear he’s not one of those folks.”I’m not surprised because everybody’s so locked in right now,” said Butler, who added eight rebounds and eight assists.Rondo had 11 points and 14 assists on a night when all five Bulls starters reached double figures. Dwyane Wade had 22 points, including 16 in the second half, and Robin Lopez added 18 points and eight points.”Everybody’s putting in each work, watching film, working on their game,” Butler said. ”That’s where your confidence always comes from.”Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston.Thomas did not speak to the media afterward and will now head to Tacoma, Washington to be with his family to finalize funeral arrangements for his sister, Chyna Thomas. But Avery Bradley said while the team continues to grieve for him, it can’t be a distraction when they are on the court.”We have to play hard no matter what,” Bradley said. ”You go through a lot throughout a season. You’re going to face a lot of adversity. The best teams overcome any type of adversity.” (AP)[/av_textblock][/av_one_full]last_img read more

Spanish is the happiest language Chinese not so much

first_imgPeople tend to remember and describe things in positive terms, even when the reality doesn’t justify it. Psychologists call it the Pollyanna principle, and according to one hypothesis, this “positivity bias” is baked into language itself. It’s not just that people choose positive rather than negative words when they talk, but there may simply be fewer negative words to choose from. Rigorously testing that idea has been difficult because of a shortage of data. To map out the positive bias, you need an enormous corpus of digitized text from multiple languages, not just European ones. And then you need native speakers of each language—thousands of them—to rate how those words make them feel, using a standard numerical scale. The Internet has solved both problems: first by generating a torrent of digitized text from sources such as Twitter, Google Books, and online news media, and second by making it possible to cheaply hire thousands of people for large-scale psychology experiments online. A study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences put those two resources together to measure the positivity bias in the 100,000 most frequently used words from 10 different languages, including English, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. Every word was scored for its emotional resonance by 50 different native speakers. Graphs of the data show that the Pollyanna principle is indeed part of language itself. If there were no bias, then the median emotional values of the words (red lines) would fall in the middle of the emotional scale. But instead, the median emotional resonance of words falls well into positive territory for every corpus from every language tested. Spanish was the most positively biased language overall, while Chinese had the smallest “positivity bias” of all the languages, at least for digitized books in Chinese. Clearly, our Pollyanna brains have shaped our languages. What remains to be seen is whether using a different language, Spanish rather than Chinese, for example, can actually make you happier.(Credit for linked graphs: Peter Dodds)last_img read more