Beaverlodge RCMP investigate armed robbery

first_imgHYTHE, A.B. – The Beaverlodge RCMP are currently investigating an armed robbery that occurred during the early morning hours of August 12 in Hythe.According to RCMP, the incident took place at around 3:20 a.m. at the Grand Marshall Inn in Hythe.Police say two male suspects entered in disguise wearing ski masks, jeans and dark hoodies and stole an undisclosed amount of money. The suspects then fled the Inn before police arrived.- Advertisement -There are no other descriptions of the suspects available at this time.Anyone with information is being asked to call the Beaverlodge RCMP at 780-354-2955 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.last_img read more

Millions benefit from social grants

first_img6 July 2009 Over 13-million South Africans, 9-million of whom are children, are currently receiving social assistance benefits, says Social Development Minister Edna Molewa, adding that grants remain the most effective form of poverty alleviation. Speaking in Parliament in Cape Town last week, Molewa said South Africa’s old age and disability grants were recently increased from R960 to R1 010, child support grants from R230 to R240, foster care grants from R650 to R680, and care dependency grants from R960 to R1 010. In tackling adult poverty, Molewa said the government would continue to implement its plan of achieving parity between men and women who qualified for old age grants. The government extended the child support grant to children up to 15 years in January 2009, meaning that the grant could benefit an additional 300 000 children, Molewa said, adding that her department aimed to register an additional 200 000 children under 15 years by the end of August. “We recognise that despite all these efforts, over two million children over the age of 15 years remain trapped in poverty and, in response to this, we will soon table a plan for the phased extension of the child support grant to this category of children, to be implemented over the medium term expenditure framework cycle,” she said. Adult poverty Child support Since July 2008, over 70 000 men aged 63 and 64 received grants as a result of the age equalisation policy. As of April 2009, the grant was extended to all men over 61 years.center_img Molewa added that changes would be made to the South African Social Security Agency to enable it to improve turnaround times for processing grant applications, while the department was also working with the Post Office on measures to reduce the cost of grant payments and improve accessibility. Food price relief In response to rising food prices, the department increased the social relief budget from R124-million to R624-million, distributed from November 2008 to April 2009. Molewa said that in the context of the global recession, the department would maintain the expenditure necessary to ensure that those who suffered destitution were able to access social relief. The department would also explore working with faith-based organisations and non-governmental organisations to assist in the distribution of social relief, in order to speed up delivery. “We expect to register 55 000 elderly men by the end of August this year,” she said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

The new air battle

first_imgFrequent-flyer programs and global airline alliances have become front-line weapons in the fight by the world’s oldest airlines to stave off unprecedented market disruption and price competition from new competitors.Despite predictions that ballooning contingent liabilities would kill off frequent flyer programs, they’re still going strong four decades after their invention and global alliances have cemented them at the heart of the relationship between airlines and their customers.The world’s oldest alliance, Oneworld, will this year celebrate its 20th birthday as the networks of frequent flyer programs it stitches together hold the line against new long-haul low-cost competitors and market disruptors like the three Persian Gulf-based hub-and-spoke carriers, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.Of the three, only Qatar Airways belongs to an alliance (Oneworld): the other two, including the world’s biggest international carrier, Emirates, have declared their independence from alliances and instead have pursued bilateral relationships – like the Qantas-Emirates joint venture, which was launched in 2012, and this week’s co-operation agreement between Etihad and Lufthansa.Each of the three major alliances – Oneworld, Star and Sky Team – carries 550-650 million passengers a year, in total about half of the 3.6 billion passenger trips by air globally in 2016.Nowhere is the battle of the alliances more hard fought than in Europe between one of Oneworld’s founding members, British Airways, and Star Alliance mega-carrier Lufthansa.Though their frequent flyer programs are dwarfed by the 100 million members who belong to Oneworld giant American Airlines’ AAdvantage after the merger with US Airways, they’re still among the biggest in the world outside of America.In 2014, it was claimed that Lufthansa’s loyalty program, Miles & More, had 25 million members, but Lufthansa Manager of Program Marketing, Bastian Neumann-Semerow, told Miles & More now has 10 million active members. (“We don’t talk about our members in total,” he says.)That’s considerably more than the seven million members claimed by British Airways’ loyalty program Executive Club – headquartered at London Heathrow airport, just 650 kilometres (less than an hour’ flying) from Lufthansa’s fortress, Frankfurt Main airport – though fewer than the 11.4 million frequent flyer members, for example, at Oneworldcarrier Qantas’s Qantas Frequent Flyer, which has extensive retail inter-relationships.Most of the world’s frequent-flyer program have been overhauled in the past five years to give more benefits to travellers according to the amount they spend rather than the volume of miles or kilometres they fly.That has led to a backlash from once-a-year travellers whose points buying power has been reduced.But airlines like British Airways have been listening to their Executive Club members – in particular, to the long-standing, widespread gripe among frequent travellers everywhere that award seats in the past have been too hard to obtain.“Reward seats are extremely popular with customers and we guarantee that at least nine million reward seats are offered across BA operated flights every year,” a BA spokesman told“Some of the changes we have made to our loyalty program include guaranteeing a minimum number of seats available on every flight  (and) ensuring that customers who have paid more for their ticket … collect more Avios (points).”Customers flying on the cheapest economy class tickets now collect 25 per cent Avios per mile flown; customers on mid-range economy class tickets collect 50 per cent Avios per mile flown; and customers on flexible economy class tickets receive one Avios per mile flown. For Club World business class/Club Europe business class and First, the spokesman says, Avios earned now either stay the same or increase by up to 300 per cent, depending on the cabin and type of ticket purchased, the BA spokesman says.Introducing off-peak pricing means that for two thirds of the year, customers need fewer Avios for their reward flights. On average, a customer would need 26 per cent fewer Avios for an off-peak booking in economy. “The key to frequent flyer programs is ensuring that benefits are easily accessible to members,” the spokesman says. “In recent years we have seen a change in how loyalty schemes are run. We’ve made changes to provide more opportunities for members to spend Avios on reward flights as well as to ensure that the Executive Club continues to deliver a competitive and rewarding loyalty program for the future.”Like other airlines loyalty plans, Lufthansa’s Bastian Neumann-Semerow says Miles & More is no longer just a frequent-flyer program but a multi-partner program that can deliver many benefits beyond flight redemptions.“We are continuously working on further improving the attractiveness of Miles & More for our sophisticated members,” he says.In the past two years, he says, Miles & More has added new partners in the premium segment and continually expanded premium offers for earning and redeeming award miles “in all key areas of life”.Crucially, the program has reduced surcharge prices for award flights within Europe operated by Lufthansa and its subsidiaries, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS.In addition, a new option, “Cash and Miles”, allows members to pay for any flight booked with a Lufthansa Group airline at using miles, either wholly or in part. Neumann-Semerow says Miles & More is adding new members every day.“Miles & More is the expert in successful customer retention,” he says. “Due to its easy handling, the attractive incentives for earning and redeeming award miles and its award flights there are Miles & More members all over the world.” Indeed, the geographical spread of Miles & More members is impressive: while a third live in Germany, Austria or Switzerland and the next most popular catchment is the rest of Europe, Americans are the third-largest group and Asians the fourth largest. “Customer retention is important and will be as important in the future,” Neumann-Semerow says. “It will always be essential to provide relevant and attractive offerings. Miles & More is working continuously to achieve these objectives. We have our eye on our members’ needs.”last_img read more

Can We Use Public Data to Save the Economy?

first_imgklint finley Yesterday we reported that and several other Web-based public data outlets may be closed as a result of proposed budget cuts. The Sunlight Foundation is trying to save these sites you can learn more about that here.But as Clive Thompson points out in an article for Wired, these public data sites were never living up to their promise or potential in the first place. “Bureaucrats still snooze atop mountains of public data, with no political imperative to release it,” Thompson writes. “It’s not something senators and congresspeople fret about while nursing martinis with lobbyists.”What could both save and make it more useful? Thompson suggests that we hammer home the potential open data has for job creation.Thompson cites startups such as BrightScope and MyCityWay that use public data. “BrightScope did more than $2 million in business in 2010 and now employs 30 people,” Thompson says.I’m intrigued by the notion. I’ve written before about how information technology is reducing the total number of jobs available and not creating enough jobs to offset the ones it automates makes obsolete. I’ve wondered if there’s anything IT can do to stimulate, instead of depress, the job market.Is public data the answer I’ve been looking for? There is of a course a strong market for people with data mining skills. But what about everyone else? Earlier this year, Samasource founded Leila Chirayath Janah wrote a post for TechCrunch about how online work could save America.Samasource connects people in Kenya with what it calls “microwork” – simple online tasks. Samasource workers are paid per task. According to Chirayath, “Big companies use microwork to improve and enrich large sets of data, to train computer algorithms, and to handle many other routine business processes.”Data munging can be a boring, labor intensive process. Could public data + startups + data munging microwork = real jobs for Americans?I’m not so sure. Even if there were a boom in businesses powered by public information (which assumes companies are able to generate real, non-commodified value out of public data), would the these microjobs pay enough to provide a decent standard of living? Considering that workers will in competition with people throughout the world, it sounds like the answer is probably no. And keeping the global competition in mind, I’m not sure there will even be that many jobs to go around.It would be nice if Mechanical Turk was used for something other than spamming. But I just can’t see public data being the thing that fuels the U.S.’s economic engine.So how about hackers? Do you need public data and a fleet of paid data mungers to make your startup a reality? Is public data what will save the U.S. job market? Apologies to international readers who aren’t interested in saving the U.S. job market.Photo by Daniel Lobo. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img Tags:#APIs#hack Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Be The Whos Roadie For A Day

first_imgThis is a one of a kind, once in a lifetime experience for a fan of The Who – get up in the morning and join the road crew as they assemble and prepare the stage and the venue for the band’s performance.A new online auction is giving a fan the chance to spend the day working with the crew as a “roadie”, helping assemble the stage, organising and preparing for The Who Quadrophenia show on Saturday, June 15 at O2 in London.

The winner will have a bird’s-eye view of how a huge rock show is assembled from that unique vantage point: not just behind the stage, but actually right there in the middle of it.The winner will be given a videotape of the day’s activities to keep as a memento, and have a chance to interact with band members. The winner will be given some souvenir special guitar picks, and have a photograph taken with Roger Daltrey or Pete Townshend — or if they are around, both together!No singing required!Winner needs to be over 18, physically fit, and is expected to conduct themselves in a discreet fashion as a member of the road crew from morning until after the show and all of the gear is loaded up in the trucks. The winner will be insured along with the crew and any info needed by the insurance company will be required.The auction supports the Brain Tumour Research Campaign, and kicks off May 9 and runs until May 19. It can be accessed here.The Brain Tumour Research Campaign was started in 2004 by Wendy Fulcher who lost her husband to a brain tumour. Their vision is to raise public awareness of the urgent need for brain tumour research, to lead a fundraising campaign to support research into and treatment of brain tumours, and to assist the emergence of the UK’s first multi-disciplinary Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Charing Cross Hospital in West London. Find out more here.last_img read more

Idina Menzel And USO Help Military Families Kick Off Holiday Season

first_imgBefore they trimmed the tree or carved the turkey, three military families kicked off the holiday season with songs, smiles and laughter at a USO meet-and-greet with broadway superstar Idina Menzel recently.Video: Broadway Star Idina Menzel and the USO Help Military Families Kick Off the Holiday Season“Each family had the most adorable children,” Menzel said. “I got to get to know them a little bit and tell them how much I appreciate the sacrifices they make.“I also recognize how difficult the holidays can be when they’re apart, so any kind of laughter or joy I could bring to the situation was nice.”In addition to meeting Menzel and getting VIP access to her Bloomingdale’s Holiday Concert and Window Unveiling show, the families enjoyed a day full of food and fun in New York City, including a pizza lunch and a trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar.“It’s been great that I’ve been able to experience these things,” said Michelle Moore, a military spouse attending the day’s events. “My husband’s in Bahrain and all my kids, especially my son, he says he misses his dad a lot. And it’s really nice when we can do other things that are cool and interesting to make the time go faster.”Source:USO.orglast_img read more

Progressive theologian Jim Wallis to discuss faith and politics at Rices Baker

first_imgShareFranz [email protected] theologian Jim Wallis to discuss faith and politics at Rice’s Baker Institute Sept. 29The Rev. Jim Wallis, president and CEO of the progressive Christian organization Sojourners, will discuss faith and politics at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Sept. 29.His lecture, “Forging a More Civil Democracy: A Discussion of Faith, Values and Politics,” will begin at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.Who: Author and theologian Jim Wallis.What: Free public lecture on “Forging a More Civil Democracy: A Discussion of Faith, Values and Politics.”When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.Where: Rice University, Baker Hall’s Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.The event, which is organized by the Baker Institute Student Forum, will be webcast at of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Franz Brotzen at [email protected] or 713-348-6775. AddThislast_img read more