Onboard Facilities – Timor Sea Justice http://timorseajustice.org/ Thu, 19 May 2022 02:11:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://timorseajustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-1.png Onboard Facilities – Timor Sea Justice http://timorseajustice.org/ 32 32 Navy desertions have more than doubled due to suicide risks as sailors feel trapped by contracts https://timorseajustice.org/navy-desertions-have-more-than-doubled-due-to-suicide-risks-as-sailors-feel-trapped-by-contracts/ Thu, 19 May 2022 00:27:00 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/navy-desertions-have-more-than-doubled-due-to-suicide-risks-as-sailors-feel-trapped-by-contracts/ ‘Get in line’ In 2020, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 580 service members died by suicide, a 16% increase from 2019, when 498 died by suicide, according to the Department of Defense. Nineteen out of 100,000 sailors died by suicide in 2020, compared to members of the military, which had […]]]>

‘Get in line’

In 2020, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 580 service members died by suicide, a 16% increase from 2019, when 498 died by suicide, according to the Department of Defense. Nineteen out of 100,000 sailors died by suicide in 2020, compared to members of the military, which had the highest rate at around 36 per 100,000, according to Pentagon statistics.

Navy suicides fell slightly from 74 in 2019 to 66 in 2020, according to Pentagon statistics. But Karns said that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mental health issue. It could mean more sailors are choosing to desert rather than kill themselves, he said, or it could indicate more sailors are receiving successful hospital treatment.

Meanwhile, desertions from the army have steadily declined since 2019 as its numbers have grown. There were 174 desertions from the military last year — down from 291 in 2020 and 238 in 2019, Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Hewitt, Army Spokesman.

The Marine Corps said it had 442 deserters; it did not provide an annual comparison of data. The Coast Guard said there were no deserters from 2017 to 2021 and the Air Force did not provide requested data as of Wednesday evening.

Navy officials struggled to explain the rise in desertions, saying sailors may be exposed to “many different stressors.” Arneson said the reasons people choose to take extreme measures are personal. “We don’t want to guess anyone’s motives,” she said.

But military law experts said the increase was unsurprising, given how mental health often plays a role when service members leave their posts.

Karns said mental health issues factored into nearly every one of the 1,000 unauthorized absence or desertion cases he handled, including more than 150 from the Navy. The average age of its clients in these cases is 25 and under.

“The military can be a great place,” he said. “But if you don’t like it for some reason it can be a very stuffy and miserable place.”

Unlike the civilian world, where people can seek mental health care without the knowledge of their employer and get faster consultations, sailors must inform their superiors and wait for the next available appointments with military medical providers, which which can take several weeks.

Prior to the April suicides, there had been only one psychologist on the George Washington to serve approximately 2,700 people.

“In the military, it’s queuing,” Karns said. “They have no problem telling you, well, you can’t get in until next month, and guess what? Your follow-up appointment isn’t for another month either.

The graduating class from the Naval Academy enters Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland in 2019.File Alex Wong/Getty Images

Yarger said many of the calls she answered to the GI Rights hotline came from sailors who were deserting because they needed mental health care that they weren’t getting. “Either I go back to the ship and risk injury or go to UA,” Yarger said, recalling the sailors’ comments. “It’s something we get too many calls for.”

The Navy said sailors experiencing mental difficulties caused by external issues, such as the health of family members, may separate early under voluntary administrative options.

Experts said it was a long and nearly impossible remedy to get out early for being mentally unfit, due to a ‘wolf cry’ effect on ships. Karns said that because so many sailors claim to be leaving, military medical providers on base have the difficult task of determining which sailors are truly in need and which may be abusing the system.

For those who desert and are discharged to face the consequences, several attorneys and military law advisers said, the Navy routinely uses administrative or non-criminal procedures to separate them on dishonorable terms, which is less serious than a dishonorable discharge.

Such procedures are more convenient for command and less punitive for sailors, but other than honorable discharges could hinder future employment in law enforcement or the federal government and affect service members’ ability to retain medical benefits, disability compensation and other privileges granted. to veterans.

If a service member deserts or is absent without official leave for a continuous period of at least 180 days, the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot provide benefits unless it is determined that the service member was insane at the time, according to the agency.

“It may seem like the right thing to do right now because you are in desperate need of care,” Yarger said. “But it can really have a long-lasting effect on a person and their family.”

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Emirates shines at Business Traveler Middle East Awards 2022 – The Island https://timorseajustice.org/emirates-shines-at-business-traveler-middle-east-awards-2022-the-island/ Sat, 14 May 2022 23:58:28 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/emirates-shines-at-business-traveler-middle-east-awards-2022-the-island/ The Commercial Banks Group posted a balanced financial performance for the first quarter of 2022, strongly influenced by the strong devaluation of the rupee which had a positive and negative impact on the key performance indicators. The group, comprising Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, its subsidiaries and an associated company, reported gross income of Rs […]]]>

The Commercial Banks Group posted a balanced financial performance for the first quarter of 2022, strongly influenced by the strong devaluation of the rupee which had a positive and negative impact on the key performance indicators.

The group, comprising Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, its subsidiaries and an associated company, reported gross income of Rs 54.573 billion, total operating income of Rs 34.244 billion and net operating income of Rs 28.284 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2022, recording improvements of 33.41%, 41.74% and 66.33% respectively.

The year-on-year growth of the loan portfolio, coupled with the positive impact of the unprecedented depreciation of the rupee observed in March 2022 on the interest income of the portfolio of foreign currency denominated assets, saw interest income for the three months increase by 19.41% to reach 37.847 billion rupees. Interest expense also increased by 17.30% to Rs 19.024 billion due to year-on-year growth in the deposit portfolio as well as a substantial increase in interest expense recorded on deposits and borrowings denominated in foreign currencies due to the sharp depreciation of the rupee. As a result, the Group recorded net interest income of Rs 18.823 billion for the quarter, an improvement of 21.62%.

Commenting on the quarter in review, Commercial Bank Chairman, Prof. Ananda Jayawardane said, “These are extraordinary times for business in Sri Lanka and for banks in particular. It takes a lot of exceptional financial acumen and maturity to meet the prevailing mercurial challenges. Our first quarter results reflect the depth of managerial skills available to the Bank.

The Bank’s new Managing Director and CEO, Sanath Manatunge, said: “The unprecedented depreciation of the rupee is impacting revenue and earnings as well as key balance sheet indicators. This can have a distorting effect on performance. Nevertheless, we have shown strong results and are constantly taking prompt and necessary action to minimize the negative impacts of rapid changes occurring in external factors.

According to interim financial statements filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the group’s other operating income more than doubled to Rs 11.333 billion in the three months under review, while income net of fees and commissions improved by 35.21% to Rs 4.088 billion, and combined with net interest income, contributed to the growth of the Group’s total operating profit.

Meanwhile, the growth in net operating income was helped by impairment charges and other losses down 16.71% to Rs 5.961 billion. The foreign exchange impact on impairment charges on loans and advances and government securities denominated in foreign currencies has been recognized in other net operating income where the corresponding foreign exchange gains are recognized.

The Group recorded a net gain of Rs 23.542 billion from trading via realized and unrealized foreign exchange gains resulting from the sharp depreciation of the rupee, offsetting the impact of reduced capital gains on securities. Statement compared to the corresponding quarter of 2021, which led to a net gains from the derecognition of financial assets reduced to 15.143 million rupees in the three months under review, compared to 1.776 billion rupees reported for the period corresponding last year. However, a net loss of Rs 12.223 billion was recorded in other operating income due to foreign exchange losses on revaluation of foreign currency assets and liabilities and foreign exchange impact on impairment charges of loans and advances and government securities denominated in foreign currencies.

Consequently, the net operating profit increased to Rs. 28.284 billion from Rs. 17.005 billion reported for the corresponding quarter of 2021, an improvement of 66.33%.

With operating expenses of Rs 8.721 billion for the three months reflecting a lower rate of increase of 23.66% compared to the 66.33% growth achieved in net operating profit, the Group reported a Financial services pre-tax operating profit of Rs 19.563 billion, registering a higher growth of 96.56%.

VAT on financial services for the quarter more than doubled to Rs 3.155 billion due to the increase in profits subject to VAT as well as the upward revision of the VAT rate from 15% to 18% effective from January 1, 2022. Profit before income tax for the three months increased by 95.21% to Rs 16.406 billion.

The Group’s income tax expense for the reporting period amounted to Rs 4.631 billion, an increase of 188.2% due to the increase in taxable profits and the figure for the corresponding quarter of 2021 being reduced by the cancellation of the overprovision for 2020 resulting from the reduction of the tax rate from 28% to 24%.

Following the extraordinary increase in income tax for the quarter under review, the Group recorded an after-tax profit of Rs 11.775 billion for the three months, an improvement of 73.23%.

Taken separately, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC posted a pre-tax profit of Rs 16.089 billion for the three months, achieving a growth of 96.61% and a post-tax profit of Rs 11.548 billion, recording an improvement of 73.44%.

The total assets of the Group and the Bank passed the Rs 2 trillion milestone during the quarter, making Commercial Bank the first private sector bank in the country to achieve this milestone. The Group’s total assets stood at 2,287 billion rupees as of March 31, 2022, an increase of 304 billion rupees or 15.28% since December 2021, with gains from the depreciation of the rupee in March 2022 contributing also to growth. Growth in assets over the previous 12 months was Rs 462.259 billion or 25.34%.

The Group’s gross loans and advances increased by Rs 133 billion or 12.16% to reach Rs 1.228 trillion, while the growth of the Group’s loan portfolio compared to the previous year was 24.47%.

The Group’s total deposits recorded a growth of Rs 233 billion or 15.88% during the quarter under review and stood at Rs 1.706 trillion as of March 31, 2022, while the year-on-year deposit growth was 26, 73%.

In other key indicators, the Bank’s basic and diluted earnings per share improved by 66.85% from Rs 5.58 to Rs 9.31. The total equity attributed to shareholders of the Bank increased by Rs 4.122 billion or 2.5% to reach Rs 169.016 billion. With the increase in the number of shares due to the stock dividend for 2021, the Bank’s net asset value per share has been reduced to Rs 136.33 from Rs 138.08 at the end of 2021.

The Bank’s Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio (CAR) stood at 9.835% as at March 31, 2022, and its total capital ratio at 13.087%, both slightly above the revised minimum requirements of 9 % and 13% respectively imposed by the regulator following the covid19 pandemic. Capital adequacy ratios were impacted by an increase in risk-weighted assets due to growth in foreign currency-denominated assets due to the unprecedented depreciation of the rupee and market value losses on government securities at fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI) due to the unprecedented rise in market interest rates during the quarter under review.

In terms of liquidity, the Bank’s statutory liquidity ratios for its domestic banking unit and offshore banking unit stood at 39.68% and 31.90% respectively, well above the minimum requirement of 20%. . In terms of asset quality, the Bank’s ratio of impaired loans (stage 3) stands at 3.58% while its ratio of stage 3 impairments to stage 3 loans stands at 43.51% at March 31, 2022, against reported ratios of 3.85% and 42.76%. at the end of 2021.

In key profitability indicators, the Bank’s net interest margin, return on assets (pre-tax) and return on equity improved to 3.55%, 3.12% and 28.05% respectively for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared to 3.51%, 1.74% and 14.66. % respectively for 2021. Meanwhile, the Bank’s cost to income ratio (CIR) before VAT on financial services improved to 25.33% for the quarter under review, compared to 31.61% for 2021 and 33 95% for 2020. The operating ratio, including VAT on financial services, fell from 37.97% in 2021 to 34.67% and from 39.96% in 2020 to 34.67%.

The Bank’s CASA ratio, a sector benchmark, stood at 48.10% at the end of the three months under review, compared to 47.83% and 42.72% respectively at the end of 2021 and 2020.

The Commercial Bank is Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the world’s top 1000 banks and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 11 consecutive years. It is the largest lender to the SME sector in Sri Lanka and a leader in digital innovation in the country’s banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations include Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I bank with a majority stake, and Myanmar, where it has a microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw.

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Holland America and the City of Rotterdam extend the Volendam Refugee Charter https://timorseajustice.org/holland-america-and-the-city-of-rotterdam-extend-the-volendam-refugee-charter/ Fri, 13 May 2022 00:52:25 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/holland-america-and-the-city-of-rotterdam-extend-the-volendam-refugee-charter/ Holland America Line and the City of Rotterdam have extended the charter of the cruise ship Volendam. Since chartering began in early April, the ship has taken in some 1,200 Ukrainian refugees. Originally scheduled to end at the end of June, the local government of Rotterdam asked Holland America Line and Carnival Corporation to extend […]]]>

Holland America Line and the City of Rotterdam have extended the charter of the cruise ship Volendam. Since chartering began in early April, the ship has taken in some 1,200 Ukrainian refugees.

Originally scheduled to end at the end of June, the local government of Rotterdam asked Holland America Line and Carnival Corporation to extend the charter for another ten weeks. This also means that the original return to service date of July 3 will no longer be respected.

Volendam remains in Rotterdam as a home for refugees

The Dutch city of Rotterdam has extended the charter of the cruise ship Volendam of Holland America Line. Since April, the city has chartered the ship from the Seattle-based cruise line to house those displaced by the war in Ukraine.

The first guests arrived on April 6; the ship is currently hosting some 1,200 refugees and will house up to 1,500 refugees through the extended charter.

The agreement is part of a commitment by the Dutch government to welcome up to 50,000 refugees who have fled war in their home country.

Volendam cruise ship

Holland America chairman Gus Antorcha said last month that Holland America was founded in 1873 in Rotterdam. to help those trying to find a better life elsewhereso it made sense to help those in need now:

“We are in a unique position to meet immediate food and shelter needs, so we felt it was very important to work with the City of Rotterdam and charter this vessel. Our company was founded in Rotterdam around the mission of helping immigrants find a better life. So today we are proud to be part of a similar mission for Ukrainians who have been tragically displaced.

The charter was due to last until June but will now be extended for ten weeks. The agreement stipulates that Holland America provides hot meals, private cabins, housekeeping services, laundry, use of public areas, fitness facilities, Internet access and other necessities.

Ukrainian guests are supported by some 650 Volendam crew members and social workers from the Dutch government and the Salvation Army. The refugees also receive free health care, while the children on board are educated.

Holland America Line will cancel additional trips

The charter extension means Holland America Line will cancel further cruises to meet Dutch demand.

Six additional trips on board Volendam have been cancelled, which include a 14-night cruise to Norway on July 3, a 14-night Northern Europe Exploration on July 17, a 14-night UK and Scandinavia cruise on July 31 and three more cruises to to September 24 in the UK, Western Europe and the Mediterranean.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience this will cause to customers who have booked through Volendam during the summer,” said Beth Bodensteiner, commercial director of Holland America Line. “We appreciate their continued understanding as we work with the City of Rotterdam on this important assignment.”

The first re-commissioned cruise is now scheduled for a 14-day trip to the Holy Land and the Ancient Kingdoms from Venice, Italy on September 24, 2022.

Almost all Holland America ships are currently in service; the only ship that is not yet sailing with guests is Westerdamdeparting June 12 from Seattle with 7-night sailings from Alaska

Holland America Volendam

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Ukraine-Russia War Breaking News: Live Updates from Mariupol https://timorseajustice.org/ukraine-russia-war-breaking-news-live-updates-from-mariupol/ Wed, 04 May 2022 22:05:00 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/ukraine-russia-war-breaking-news-live-updates-from-mariupol/ With Russia’s military still struggling, Western officials and traumatized residents of Ukraine are watching with heightened concern Russia’s Victory Day holiday on May 9 – a celebration of the Soviet triumph over Germany. – which President Vladimir V. Putin could exploit as a grand stage to step up attacks and mobilize his citizens for all-out […]]]>

With Russia’s military still struggling, Western officials and traumatized residents of Ukraine are watching with heightened concern Russia’s Victory Day holiday on May 9 – a celebration of the Soviet triumph over Germany. – which President Vladimir V. Putin could exploit as a grand stage to step up attacks and mobilize his citizens for all-out war.

While Russia has inflicted death and destruction across Ukraine and made some progress in the east and south over the past 10 weeks, fierce Ukrainian resistance, heavy weaponry supplied by the West and the Russian military incompetence robbed Mr. Putin of the quick victory he had initially seemed. having anticipated, including the initial goal of decapitating the government in Kyiv.

Now, however, with Russia about to be hit by a European Union oil embargo, and with VE Day just five days away, Mr Putin may see the need to shake up the West with further escalation. Concern is growing that Mr Putin will use the event, when he traditionally presides over a parade and delivers a militaristic speech, to go after perceived enemies of Russia and widen the scope of the conflict.

In a sign of those concerns, Ben Wallace, Britain’s defense secretary, predicted last week that Mr Putin would take the opportunity to redefine what the Russian leader called a “special military operation” into a war, calling to a massive mobilization of the Russian people.

Credit…Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Such a statement would present a new challenge to war-battered Ukraine, as well as to Washington and its NATO allies as they attempt to counter Russian aggression without directly becoming entangled in the conflict. However, the Kremlin on Wednesday denied that Putin would declare war on May 9, calling it “nonsense”, and Russian analysts noted that announcing a military plan could provoke a domestic backlash.

Yet the Russian hierarchy has also denied for months that it intended to invade Ukraine, only to do so on February 24. Thus, the conjecture about Mr. Putin’s intention on VE Day is only getting worse.

“That’s a question everyone is asking,” Valery Dzutsati, a visiting assistant professor at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas, said Wednesday, adding that the “short answer is that no one knows what is will take place on May 9th.

Professor Dzutsati said declaring mass mobilization or all-out war could prove deeply unpopular among Russians. He predicted that Mr Putin would take the “safest possible option” and point to territory Russia has already seized in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine to declare a “preliminary victory”.

Preparations for May 9 are well underway in Russia, as the country prepares to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Soviet army’s victory over the Nazis as it wages another war against what Mr Putin claims , wrongly, to be the modern-day Nazis who rule Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Russian state media reported that fighter jets and helicopters practiced flying in formations over Moscow’s Red Square – a show of military might that included eight MiG-29 jets flying below the shape of the letter “Z”, which has become an ubiquitous symbol of Russian Nationalism and support for the war.

Credit…Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Other warplanes flew over Moscow while releasing trails of white, blue and red – the colors of the Russian flag.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu said on Wednesday that the May 9 military parades would take place in 28 Russian cities and involve around 65,000 people and more than 460 aircraft.

Ukraine has warned that Russia also plans to hold events on May 9 in occupied Ukrainian cities, including the devastated southern port of Mariupol, where Ukrainian officials say more than 20,000 civilians have been killed and those that remain struggle to survive without adequate food, warmth and water.

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Agency said the Russians were clearing Mariupol’s central streets of corpses and debris in a bid to make the city presentable as “the center of celebrations”.

Ukrainian civilians who have been hammered by weeks of Russian strikes are increasingly concerned that Russia could use VE Day to subject them to even deadlier attacks.

In the western city of Lviv, which lost power on Wednesday after Russian missiles hit power stations, Yurji Horal, 43, a government office official, said he planned to leave with his wife and young children to stay with relatives in a village about 40 miles away to escape what he feared was an extension of the war on May 9.

“I’m worried for them – and for myself,” he said. “A lot of people I know are talking about it.”

In years past, Mr Putin has used May 9 – a quasi-sacred holiday for Russians, as 27 million Soviets died in World War II – to mobilize the nation for the possibility of a new battle to come. .

Credit…Alexander Zemlianitchenko/Associated Press

When he addressed the nation from his rostrum in Red Square on May 9 last year, he warned that Russia’s enemies were once again deploying “much of the ideology of the Nazis “.

Now, with Russian state media describing the fight in Ukraine as the unfinished business of World War II, it seems almost certain that Mr Putin will use his May 9 speech to evoke the heroism of Soviet soldiers in an attempt to encourage the Russians to make new sacrifices. .

But mass mobilization – potentially involving military conscription and a ban on Russian men of military age leaving the country – could bring the reality of war back to much larger parts of Russian society, causing unrest.

For many Russians, the “special military operation” in Ukraine still looks like a distant conflict. Independent pollster Levada found last month that 39% of Russians pay little or no attention.

“When you watch it on TV, that’s one thing,” Andrei Kortunov, director general of the Russian Council for International Affairs, a research body close to the Russian government, said in a phone interview from Moscow. “When you get notice from the enrollment office, that’s another thing. There would probably be some difficulty for the leaders to make such a decision.

Credit…Sergei Ponomarev for The New York Times

Mr Kortunov predicted that the fighting in eastern Ukraine would eventually stop, at which point Russia and Ukraine could broker a deal – or rearm and regroup for a new stage of the war.

He noted that while some senior Russian officials and state television commentators have called for the destruction of Ukraine, Mr. Putin has been more vague recently in his war aims, at least in public comments.

Mr Kortunov said Mr Putin could still declare the mission accomplished once Russia captured most of the Donbass region. Russia has greatly expanded its control over this region since the start of the war, but Ukraine still holds several key towns and villages.

“If it all ends with Donbass, there would probably be a way to explain that this was always the plan,” Mr Kortunov said. “Putin left this option open for himself.”

With no resolution to the conflict in sight, the European Union on Wednesday took a major step aimed at weakening Putin’s ability to finance the war, proposing a total embargo on Russian oil. The measure, which is expected to be approved within days, would ban imports of Russian crude oil from almost the entire European Union for the next six months and ban refined petroleum products by the end of the year.

“Let’s be clear, it won’t be easy,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, where the announcement was greeted with applause. “Some member states are heavily dependent on Russian oil. But we just have to work on it.

The European Union also pledged on Wednesday to provide additional military support to Moldova, a former Soviet republic on Ukraine’s southwestern border that Western officials say could be used by Russia as a launching pad for new attacks.

Security fears in Moldova grew last week as mysterious explosions rocked Transnistria, a Kremlin-backed breakaway region of the country where Russia has kept troops since 1992.

Although European officials said they would “significantly increase” military support for Moldova, providing additional military equipment, as well as instruments to counter disinformation and cyberattacks, they did not provide details.

The report was provided by Jane Arraf, Neil MacFarquhar, Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Monika Pronczuk.

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Anambra airport joins 15 others with inoperable runway lights – https://timorseajustice.org/anambra-airport-joins-15-others-with-inoperable-runway-lights/ Mon, 02 May 2022 21:49:21 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/anambra-airport-joins-15-others-with-inoperable-runway-lights/ Just six months after the inauguration of the new $2 billion Anambra International Cargo/Passenger Airport, the airfield has joined the list of 15 other airports with inoperable runway lights. BusinessDay investigations show that the lights at Anambra Airport are currently unusable, preventing airlines from landing and taking off at any time after 6 p.m. Of […]]]>

Just six months after the inauguration of the new $2 billion Anambra International Cargo/Passenger Airport, the airfield has joined the list of 15 other airports with inoperable runway lights.

BusinessDay investigations show that the lights at Anambra Airport are currently unusable, preventing airlines from landing and taking off at any time after 6 p.m.

Of the 22 airports managed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), only the airports of Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna have airfield lighting for allow flights to land and take off at or after 6:30 p.m. while others are referred to as “Day Light” airports.

Lagos, Maiduguri, Calabar, Owerri, Jos, Sokoto, Yola, Minna, Ibadan, Akure, Makurdi, Katsina, Ilorin, Zaria and Osubi airports also do not have airfield lights for night operations.

Airline operators have notably complained that the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, located in Nigeria’s commercial capital, does not have airfield lighting for night flights, thus forcing airlines to land at the international terminal and then to drive for 20 to 30 minutes to the domestic terminal to disembark passengers. .

Airline operators have continued to lament the loss of billions of naira every year due to the absence of runway lights at the majority of Nigerian airports, preventing them from landing or operating at airports at night.

Airline operators have said that when planes develop technical problems or there is a weather problem that forces airlines to operate late, flight time to those airports can be delayed, which means outright cancellations. simple since the airlines cannot operate in these airports at a certain time.

Passengers on board Air Peace airline P47336 were on Saturday April 30, reportedly returned to Lagos 15 minutes to land at Anambra Airport located at Umueri in Anambra East Local Government Area.

The return air is said to be due to the darkness that has engulfed the airport.

Read also: Activate the red alert on aeronautical infrastructure, the president of NANTA urges FG

According to the pilot, the runway was dark at 6 p.m., making the landing unsafe for the aircraft.

An Air Peace source who confirmed the development said his plane could not land at the Anambra State airport as the runway lights were not operational at the time. The plane had to fly back to Lagos and was rescheduled for a morning flight

Obiora Okonkwo, Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, lamented that one of the main challenges of the daytime airport is that it forces airlines to limit their operations at these airports to 6:30 p.m.

Okonkwo said that no airline likes to delay or cancel flights, but the inability to land and take off from these airports at or after 6:30 p.m. results in huge revenue for airlines as they have to cancel flights. flights more frequently.

“About 80% of Nigerian airports are day airports. This timing regime puts a lot of pressure on our operations and schedule, as you need to plan ahead to ensure you start your business and finish it before the sun goes down. You may not believe that all the local airports here in Lagos are in sunset operation, this needs to be looked into.

“There has to be a proper extension, those airports are there and if you don’t have the facilities to operate until a certain time like 11pm-12pm and that costs the operators huge sums of money. If the airlines airlines operate until 11 p.m. or 12 p.m., they will be free to stagger flight intervals and this will increase punctuality and customer confidence,” he said.

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Interswitch: repairing the infrastructure for inclusion https://timorseajustice.org/interswitch-repairing-the-infrastructure-for-inclusion/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 05:00:55 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/interswitch-repairing-the-infrastructure-for-inclusion/ Accelerating financial inclusion and integrating unbanked and underbanked populations into the formal financial sector are increasingly on the agenda of many governments and policymakers in emerging markets. In Nigeria, where an estimated 38 million people, or 36% of adults, remain financially excluded, the government has set a financial inclusion target of 95% by 2024 – […]]]>

Accelerating financial inclusion and integrating unbanked and underbanked populations into the formal financial sector are increasingly on the agenda of many governments and policymakers in emerging markets.

In Nigeria, where an estimated 38 million people, or 36% of adults, remain financially excluded, the government has set a financial inclusion target of 95% by 2024 – an ambitious target that will require institutions to redefine initiatives and policies to accelerate the delivery of financial inclusion services.

Interswitch, the Lagos-based FinTech unicorn, seems to have answered that call, leveraging its position as the market leader in digital payment services to bridge that gap and help bring as many people into the financial and economic fold as possible.

Through its online payment platform Quickteller Paypoint, a service of Interswitch Financial Inclusion Services (IFIS), the Africa-focused company has created a strong network of banking agents – often referred to as “human ATMs” – in all 36 states of Nigeria. , offering bill payment, airtime recharge, funds transfer and remittance services to customers.

Titilola Shogaolu, head of financial inclusion at Interswitch, said the branch banking model – which is now hugely popular across the West African country – has played a key role in driving the financial inclusion program, transforming the lives of these agents due to the increase in foot traffic to their retail store and the positive impact it has on their revenue and bottom line.

“They have become socially relevant within their community because they are now the go-to person for all financial service needs of people in their local communities,” Shogaolu told PYMNTS in an interview. “And beyond financial services transactions, they also tend to offer other non-financial services transactions on their site, so invariably they become a one-stop-shop [for all their customers’ needs].”

Partnerships are key

As infrastructure can be a challenge for companies like Interswitch that depend on connectivity to operate effectively, Shogaolu said working with industry stakeholders to build telecommunications infrastructure or partnering with other organizations to set up offline payment solutions, for example, is essential to foster financial inclusion. .

When it comes to finding and onboarding new agents, ensuring Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures can be difficult to manage alone, but a partner can help make this process more seamless.

“We are able to bridge this gap and have discussions [with partners] to see where agent locations could also serve as points or where people could check in, [and in some cases] national ID can be used as a means of identification to onboard an agent,” she added.

Blockchain: not yet

In an interview with PYMNTS last December, Interswitch CEO Mitchell Elegbe spoke about the potential of blockchain technology to disrupt industries and solve many of Africa’s challenges, including in payments and other adjacent industries.

Read the Interswitch CEO interview: Blockchain Technology Could Solve Many Challenges in the African Payments Space

This is why the Lagos-based company has partnered with Interstellar, an Africa-focused blockchain organization, to develop blockchain-based infrastructure services and solutions in the region.

See also: Microsoft and Interswitch Introduce Blockchain Trade Finance in Nigeria

Previously, the pan-African digital payments and commerce company worked with Microsoft to develop a blockchain-powered supply chain finance solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

Asked if blockchain technology would play a role in accelerating and deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria, Shogaolu said it is something they are looking at but it will take time to materialize.

She explained that while billers and the companies they work with could use blockchain-based solutions, getting their products and services into the hands of consumers will still have to go through the agent network, which is currently not suitable. to these new technologies.

“So, will blockchain be relevant? Definitely, and that’s something we’re looking at in the future,” Shogaolu said.

Register here for daily updates on all of PYMNTS’ Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) coverage.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS SUPPLIER INNOVATION STUDY – APRIL 2022

Plastiq - The Future Of Business Payables Innovation: How New B2B Payment Options Can Transform The SMB Back Office - April 2022 - Find out how all-in-one payment solutions can help businesses streamline B2B transactions and eliminate transaction friction. AP and AR management

On: While more than half of SMBs believe an all-in-one payment platform can save them time and improve cash flow visibility, 56% believe the solution could be difficult to integrate with AP systems and existing ARs. The Future Of Business Payables innovation report, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Plastiq, surveyed 500 SMBs with revenues between $500,000 and $100 million to explore how all-in-one solutions can exceed customer expectations. SMEs and help sustain their activities.

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Indian travelers prioritize health and safety as top priority: IntrCity survey https://timorseajustice.org/indian-travelers-prioritize-health-and-safety-as-top-priority-intrcity-survey/ Wed, 27 Apr 2022 11:56:34 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/indian-travelers-prioritize-health-and-safety-as-top-priority-intrcity-survey/ IntrCity, has released the results of a travel study exploring consumer behavior and travel preferences. The study reveals that 65% of commuters prefer trips with toilets on board, while 60% prefer buses equipped with GPS tracking. IntrCity, has released the results of a travel study, exploring the consumer behavior and travel preferences of Indian adults. […]]]>

IntrCity, has released the results of a travel study exploring consumer behavior and travel preferences. The study reveals that 65% of commuters prefer trips with toilets on board, while 60% prefer buses equipped with GPS tracking.

IntrCity, has released the results of a travel study, exploring the consumer behavior and travel preferences of Indian adults. The results show that with long vacations, family reunions and work trips, Indians are enthusiastic but cautious about traveling again, especially as restrictions begin to ease in the country.

The results show that the focus on hygiene and safety has increased exponentially. 65% of commuters prefer trips with toilets on board, while 60% prefer buses equipped with GPS tracking. Indian travelers prefer SmartBus and are willing to pay more for their additional services.

Women commuters prefer safety, while men prefer punctuality in choosing the mode of travel. This survey was conducted among more than 3,000 travelers with a focus on bus travel.

The vast majority of travelers focus on safety and hygiene

In the survey, hygiene emerged as the top priority for intercity travelers, followed by safety and punctuality in that order, very similar to last year’s survey. The bias in favor of hygiene and disinfection points to a more eternal shift to the “new normal”, even as the pandemic begins to wane.

Among the factors that influence the choice of travel mode, health and safety occupy the first 2 places, followed by pricing and punctuality as the third important factor.

Nearly 2/3 of all respondents declared a clear preference for a Smart Bus over a regular bus, given the various advantages it offers relatively. More encouragingly, even more respondents (75%) are willing to pay more for these benefits, compared to a regular bus. Among these benefits, automated GPS and on-board restrooms are two of the most popular features for commuters, according to the survey.

Intercity travelers generally have a positive opinion of GPS tracking on their buses, with 60% agreeing that it will make their trip more convenient and hassle-free. Those unsure of its usefulness or downright uncomfortable with GPS tracking make up less than a third of all respondents, regardless of gender, age group and background. Similarly, a private bathroom receives approval from over 65% of all respondents across all genders and age groups.

Recovery on the back of functional trips/recreational trips

Of all respondents, more than 70% are long-distance functional travelers, with 31% traveling for work, 32% to meet family or loved ones, while 8% are students traveling to schools or colleges .

However, one-fifth of all intercity trips are for vacation and leisure purposes, in stark contrast to last year’s IntrCity survey which showed a drop in planned vacations by more than 70% of respondents. This highlights the upsurge in travel to the country, especially at the start of the pandemic.

Speaking about the survey, Kapil Raizada, co-founder of IntrCity, said: “In a post-pandemic world, as travel and tourism recovers at an unprecedented rate and major restrictions on trips are relaxed, trips seem to have made a huge come back. We are constantly striving to deliver best-in-class service to our passengers by adopting the right technology to deliver maximum profitability and stay ahead of the curve with innovative transport solutions.

He added: “We are delighted to share the results of our survey which highlights the priorities of intercity travelers via Smart Bus. The new normal demands brand affinity towards Smart Bus by prioritizing various factors. Given the strong demand for intercity bus travel, it appears that traveler confidence has returned to pre-pandemic levels for both leisure and non-leisure travel. We look forward to our continued involvement in making these offerings a class of their own in this competitive era.

IntrCity also recently launched its first-ever digital campaign, “It’s not a bus, it’s a smart bus,” highlighting the importance of on-board restrooms for intercity travellers.

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MSC Cruises announces summer 2023 schedule https://timorseajustice.org/msc-cruises-announces-summer-2023-schedule/ Mon, 25 Apr 2022 13:14:13 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/msc-cruises-announces-summer-2023-schedule/ MSC Cruises has announced that it will sail to more than 140 destinations around the world as part of the cruise line’s summer 2023 schedule. Available to book now on the MSC website or through travel agents, the cruise line offers dream itineraries on its beautifully designed ships, which feature entertainment and activities, original theatrical […]]]>

MSC Cruises has announced that it will sail to more than 140 destinations around the world as part of the cruise line’s summer 2023 schedule.

Available to book now on the MSC website or through travel agents, the cruise line offers dream itineraries on its beautifully designed ships, which feature entertainment and activities, original theatrical productions, music live, international restaurants, family offers, spa and wellness facilities, shops and Suite.

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In the US market, MSC Seascape will be the cruise line‘s next US flagship and will offer alternate seven-night Caribbean sailings from Miami to MSC’s private island in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

Additionally, MSC Meraviglia will inaugurate year-round service on a variety of routes from New York, covering the Caribbean, Bermuda, New England and Canada. MSC Seaside will take Caribbean cruising to the next level with cruises departing from Port Canaveral, while MSC Magnifica will offer shorter Caribbean itineraries departing from PortMiami.

“We remain committed to growing in North America and the Caribbean, which is why we will have more options here next summer than ever before: more ships, more homeports and more amazing destinations. “said MSC President Ruben Rodríguez.

“We want our guests to relax and enjoy an unforgettable vacation at sea, whether discovering the unparalleled natural beauty of the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve on our Caribbean itineraries or exploring the North Atlantic with a breathtaking cruise through New England and Canada,” continued Rodríguez.

MSC’s first LNG-powered ship, MSC World Europa, will spend its first summer season in the Mediterranean, offering seven-night itineraries that include popular destinations like Genoa, Naples and Messina in Italy, Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseilles in France.

The cruise line also offers a range of long and mini itineraries in some of the world’s most popular regions, including the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

Last week, MSC opened sales for its MSC World Cruise 2024, departing January 4, 2024. Ready to sail aboard MSC Poesia, passengers will be treated to a voyage that includes 52 incredible destinations in 31 different countries.

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Suicide Watch, Navy investigating 7 deaths aboard USS George Washington in past year https://timorseajustice.org/suicide-watch-navy-investigating-7-deaths-aboard-uss-george-washington-in-past-year/ Sat, 23 Apr 2022 14:31:19 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/suicide-watch-navy-investigating-7-deaths-aboard-uss-george-washington-in-past-year/ The US Navy has launched an investigation into the climate and leadership culture aboard the USS George Washington after seven sailors have been confirmed dead in the past 12 months, four of whom are suspected of suicide. On April 11, the carrier’s commanding officer, Captain Brent Gaut, announced over the ship’s intercom that sailors should […]]]>

The US Navy has launched an investigation into the climate and leadership culture aboard the USS George Washington after seven sailors have been confirmed dead in the past 12 months, four of whom are suspected of suicide.

On April 11, the carrier’s commanding officer, Captain Brent Gaut, announced over the ship’s intercom that sailors should call for assistance if needed and that resources were available to assist them.

The announcement came after two sailors were found dead on April 9 and 10 due to suicide. Anonymous sailors who heard Gaut’s announcement said that’s what they “say after killing themselves every time”.

Four days later, another sailor was found unconscious aboard the aircraft carrier. The ship’s crew sent the sailor to the base hospital but sadly died there. The Navy identified the most recent fatality as rookie Coxswain Xavier Hunter Mitchell-Sandor.

Mitchell-Sandor “was treated by the onboard medical team before being transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News where the serviceman died,” the Navy said. They added that his death was an apparent suicide.

The USS George Washington (United States Naval Institute/Twitter)

The Navy also identified the other two deaths in April. Retail Services Specialist 3rd Class Mika’il Sharp died April 9 and Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Natasha Huffman died April 10. Again, both deaths were marked as suicides. Sharp is believed to have died at an undisclosed off-base location in Hampton, Virginia, while Huffman was also found dead off base in Virginia.

The cases of Mitchell-Sandor, Sharp and Huffman are among 7 Navy personnel sent to the USS George Washington who have died in the past 12 months.

“We can confirm seven total deaths of service members assigned to the USS George Washington over the past 12 months – 4 in 2021 and 3 in 2022. Circumstances surrounding these incidents vary and it is premature to make assumptions as some incidents remain under investigation,” Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Lt. Cmdr. said Robert Myers.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said investigations were still ongoing, but added they saw no indication the suicides were linked. He also offered his condolences to the families of the deceased sailors.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families for those Sailors who are no longer in the ranks… These will now be families who will receive the worst possible news and face untold grief,” Kirby said.

Poor living conditions aboard the USS George Washington

The USS George Washington has been undergoing an overhaul in Newport News, Va. since 2017. Maintenance on Nimitz-class aircraft carriers like the George typically lasts four years and is done after 25 years in service. This is done to perform repairs, upgrades, and refuel the nuclear reactor that powers the massive ship.

The ship was due to complete maintenance in 2021, but the pandemic and other disruptions pushed the date back to 2022. This meant that crew members who had not received housing allowance or were living offboard were forced to live on the carrier while it was being repaired in port.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Sept. 27, 2019) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departs dry dock to moor at a nearby waterfront pier at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS ) in Newport News, Va. George Washington is undergoing refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at the NNS ((US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cory Daut). Source: https://www.dvidshub. net/image/5791056/uss-george-washington-departures
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Sept. 27, 2019) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departs dry dock to moor at a nearby waterfront pier at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS ) in Newport News, Va. George Washington undergoes a refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at the NNS (DVIDS, US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cory Daut)

“They live in a construction zone,” said one sailor. “There’s grinding, there’s always needle-punching, there’s always ventilation issues, there’s always hot water issues.”

Fellow sailors recalled that the lack of ventilation would cause the ship’s floor to creak during the winter months.

“It’s not like a big glaring problem, it’s just a bunch of little things that add up and add up and add up, but it never goes away,” they added.

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington to help with hurricane relief

Read more : The aircraft carrier USS George Washington to help with hurricane relief

Dealing with rising cases

Suicide rates in the military have risen sharply in recent years. In 2020, 580 soldiers committed suicide, according to the Ministry of Defense. This year, 15 military suicides have been recorded in the Navy alone. That doesn’t include April’s three new cases, bringing the total to 18 before we’re even halfway through the year.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has stressed the need to tackle the rise in suicide cases in the military. Last month, the Department of Defense established the Independent Review Panel on Suicide Prevention and Response, which intends to monitor and reassess Pentagon programs to deal with suicides.

The Committee is expected to begin visiting military installations in May and is expected to produce a first set of recommendations by the first quarter of 2023.

“One death by suicide is one too many,” Austin wrote in a memo announcing the formation of the Committee. “And suicide rates among our Service members are still too high. So clearly we still have work to do.

If you enjoyed this article, consider supporting our veteran editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to join SOFREP now for only $0.50/week.

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Stoush asleep in Qantas flight: Airline turns to Kiwis to replace angry Australian cabin crew https://timorseajustice.org/stoush-asleep-in-qantas-flight-airline-turns-to-kiwis-to-replace-angry-australian-cabin-crew/ Fri, 22 Apr 2022 05:37:30 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/stoush-asleep-in-qantas-flight-airline-turns-to-kiwis-to-replace-angry-australian-cabin-crew/ TravelUpdate April 22, 2022 12:31 a.m.4 minute read Arina Bloom said she received no warning from United Airlines and asked to resign immediately. Video / Arina Bloom via TikTok Qantas has turned to New Zealanders for use as cabin crew on some long-haul international flights after angry Australian flight attendants were forced to build themselves […]]]>
Travel

Arina Bloom said she received no warning from United Airlines and asked to resign immediately. Video / Arina Bloom via TikTok

Qantas has turned to New Zealanders for use as cabin crew on some long-haul international flights after angry Australian flight attendants were forced to build themselves special sleeping areas in the economy cabin.

Australian cabin crew were reportedly forced to make blanket “forts” and sleep in economy class passenger seats on Qantas long-haul flights.

A photo taken on board a Qantas Airbus A330 flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles shows blankets spread over the seats as makeshift shelters – apparently for privacy for flight attendants while they sleep underneath.

A330 aircraft are used for flights of less than 14 hours and are not equipped with private sleeping cabins for the crew as on other long-haul aircraft.

“I was shocked, a lot of people have published reports questioning the safety,” an anonymous Qantas employee told Australian network Nine Network. “I feel like they hate us, I feel like they don’t understand what the stewardess role is.”

Flight Attendants Association of Australia spokeswoman Teri O’Toole said the issue had created a tense situation between the union and Qantas over working conditions, according to Daily Mail Australia.

“The crew tried to get some privacy by making a fort like little kids with blankets to give themselves privacy, which is just a shame,” she said.

“It’s not proper rest in the workplace. It’s not proper rest for anyone.”

She claimed that while the union demanded an extra day off for employees to make up for the lack of sleeping accommodation on A330 planes, Qantas had instead replaced Australian crews with New Zealand crews, leaving many Australians out of work.

The airline has been accused of using its UK and New Zealand-based crew on international flights instead of its Australian workforce, leaving many local workers on extended reserve rosters, in order to ‘to save money.

However, Qantas denied that it outsources jobs or that any of these decisions were made based on cost.

Qantas executive director of cabin crew, Rachel Yangoyan, said the airline was working on a long-term solution that would create a private space for flight attendants to rest.

“A small amount of flying is being done by New Zealand based crew because the union was not prepared to support Australian based crew working on longer routes with some of our A330 aircraft including the Brisbane route -Los Angeles, on terms we were able to agree on,” Yangoyan told Australian Aviation.

“We wanted our Australian-based crew to fly this flight, but without union support for this to happen, we instead had to use New Zealand-based crew on some of these flights.”

According to the publication, official Airbus A330 crew rest areas are usually reserved for the four pilots on board, while cabin crew are often assigned designated areas in the passenger cabin to take their breaks. Aviation fatigue management rules state that the A330 crew must have a flat-lying option during their rest time on board.

“It’s really important to note that what you’ve seen now is actually not what the long-term solution will be,” Yangoyan said.

“What they will have installed in about six weeks is a full curtain that wraps around this elongated sleeping area.

“But in the meantime, while we were operating without this curtain, we have changed the schedules of these flights so that they operate during the day. [and] our crew don’t need as much sleep time as they normally would if we were to operate these flights in the evening.

“We also looked at a bit of extra rest that we give these crews in Los Angeles and also when they return home.

“Once we put that curtain up, we’re really confident it will be a private space with an extended bed, where our crew can really get enough rest from those longer tasks.”

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