Caregiver benefit for parents of ill children misunderstood federal review says

first_imgOTTAWA — An evaluation of a federal benefit to help parents take time off work to care for critically ill children says fewer people have used it than expected because they didn’t know about it or didn’t understand how it worked.Annual applications for the benefit have been well below the 6,000 anticipated when the previous Conservative government introduced it in 2013.The evaluation posted online details months-late applications, call-centre agents who didn’t always understand all facets of the benefit themselves, and rejected applicants who tended to have lower levels of education and earnings.The Liberals morphed the benefit into a new program designed to be easier to apply for and receive.Employment and Social Development Canada, which oversees the program, says there were 4,900 claims for the new benefit between its introduction in December 2017 and December 2018.The department has also worked since November 2017 to improve understanding of the new benefit through social-media posts, online videos and rewriting a federal website.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Wilmington School Lunch Menus Week of September 16 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are the Wilmington Public Schools lunch menus for the week of September 16, 2018.Wilmington High School & Wilmington Middle SchoolMonday, September 17Steak & Cheese on a Wholegrain Roll; Seasoned Wedges; Fresh AppleTuesday, September 18Ultimate Nachos with Seasoned Meat, Cheese Sauce, Lettuce & Tomato, Black Bean Salsa, Salsa, Brown Rice; PineapplesWednesday, September 19Low-Sodium Low-Fat Mozzarella Sticks; Marinara Sauce; Green Beans; Wholegrain Breadstick; AppleslicesThursday, September 20Rotisserie Chicken or BBQ Chicken; Wholewheat Roll; Whipped Potatoes; Farm Fresh Corn On The CobFriday, September 21Wholegrain Individual Pizza Topped With Buffalo Chicken or BBQ Chicken; Tossed Salad; OrangesLunch ($2.65-$2.85) includes: Entree (main or alternative); Vegetable, Fruit or Juice and 8 oz. Assorted Lowfat Milk or Skim MilkAlternate Daily Lunch Choices at High School: Salad Bar, Pizza, Soup & Choice of SandwichAlternate Daily Lunch Choices at Middle School: Pre-made SaladAlso Available Daily: Variety of Fresh Fruit, Side Caesar salad or Baby Carrots, WG Bagel with Cheese StickMenus Subject To Occasional ChangeParticipates in The Farm-To-School ProgramWest Intermediate, North Intermediate, Shawsheen Elementary, Woburn Street ElementaryMonday, September 17Wholegrain Mini Pancakes; Syrup; Sausage Links; Hashbrown; 100% JuiceTuesday, September 18Ultimate Nachos with Seasoned Meat, Cheese Sauce, Lettuce & Tomato, Black Bean Salsa, Salsa, Brown Rice; PineapplesWednesday, September 19Low-Sodium Low-Fat Mozzarella Sticks; Marinara Sauce; Green Beans; Wholegrain Breadstick; AppleslicesThursday, September 20Chicken Nuggets; Wholewheat Roll; Whipped Potatoes; Farm Fresh Corn On The CobFriday, September 21Wholegrain Pizza Slice; Tossed Salad; OrangesLunch ($2.40) includes: Entree (Main or alternative); Vegetable, Fruit or Justice and MilkAlternate Daily Lunch Choices: Ham & Cheese, Turkey & Cheese, Tuna, Salad Bar (Woburn St. only), Premade Salads (North, West & Shawsheen only), Pizza (Mon & Wed only), Bagels (Tues & Thurs only)Also Available Daily: Assorted Lowfat Milk or Skim Milk; Assorted Fresh Fruit; Assorted Juice; DessertMenus Subject To Occasional ChangeParticipates in The Farm-To-School ProgramBoutwell Early Childhood Center & Wildwood Early Childhood CenterMonday, September 17Wholegrain Mini Pancakes; Syrup; Sausage Links; Hashbrown; 100% JuiceTuesday, September 18Ultimate Nachos with Seasoned Meat, Cheese Sauce, Lettuce & Tomato, Black Bean Salsa, Salsa, Brown Rice; PineapplesWednesday, September 19Low-Sodium Low-Fat Mozzarella Sticks; Marinara Sauce; Green Beans; Wholegrain Breadstick; AppleslicesThursday, September 20Chicken Nuggets; Wholewheat Roll; Whipped Potatoes; Farm Fresh Corn On The CobFriday, September 21Wholegrain Pizza Slice; Tossed Salad; OrangesLunch ($2.40) includes: Entree (main or alternative); Vegetable, Fruit or Juice and assorted lowfat or skim milkAlternate Daily Lunch Choices: WG Pizza (Mon. & Wed. only); Whole Wheat Bagel & Cheese Stick (Tues. & Thurs. only); Turkey & Cheese sandwich on WG bread (Mon., Wed., Fri. only); Ham & Cheese sandwich on WG bread (Tues. & Thurs. only)Also Available Daily: Assorted snacks and baked goods ($0.50-$0.60)Menus Subject To Occasional ChangeParticipates in The Farm-To-School Program(NOTE: View these menus, plus the Gluten Free menus, online HERE.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington School Lunch Menus (Week of September 9, 2019)In “Education”Wilmington School Lunch Menus (Week of September 2, 2019)In “Education”Wilmington School Lunch Menus (Week of June 2, 2019)In “Education”last_img read more

Sensex gains touch twomonth high

first_imgWhile it should have been a week of heavy selling in the domestic stock markets, given the interest rate hike in the US for the first time in over a decade, the benchmark indices, instead, posted biggest weekly gains in more than two-months.The markets had factored-in the US Federal Reserve rate hike and as a result there was no panic selling.For the week ended 18 December, the BSE S&P Sensex rose 474 points or 1.90% to end at 25,519 points, while the 50-share Nifty index gained 151 points or 1.99% to close at 7,761 points.As expected, the US central raised the interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) for the first time in nearly a decade at its two-day meeting on 15-16 December, bringing an end to speculation that persisted across the global markets over the past two years.”After being under pressure for two consecutive weeks and falling over 5%, the Indian equity markets have staged a strong come back during the week only to come tumbling down on Friday​. The world and its market seem to have rejoiced after the Fed moved on expected lines,” said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.Meanwhile, domestic markets were also partly underpinned by positive economic data releases earlier this week. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for October released last week showed that the industrial output surged 9.8% in the month, reaching its highest level since October 2010. A recovery in the rupee against the US dollar also supported the markets.On the sectoral front, IT index came under selling pressure during early sessions of the week, as the US government proposed to double the fee on work permit visas offered to other countries. IT companies are among the top users of H-1B and L-1 visas.Share prices of domestic IT major like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) witnessed a sell-off, as analyst raised concerns over the fee hike hitting their margins. Warning on Q3 earnings issued by TCS and Wipro in the wake of recent floods in Chennai also weighed on their stocks.Another notable event for the markets this week is the ban imposed by the Supreme Court on sale on luxury diesel cars with over 2,000 cc engine capacity in Delhi till 31 March, 2016, in a bid to reduce pollution levels in the national capital city.Following the ban, stock prices of Mahindra & Mahindra fell sharply, as its entire range of utility vehicles have more than 2,000 cc engine capacity. Responding to the SC ruling, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted that the company will comply with the order.But the investor optimism seen in the four traded session of the week turned negative in the last trading day after the government sharply reduced its growth forecast for the current fiscal year, while presenting mid-year economic review.The government slashed its India’s GDP growth forecast to 7-7.5% in 2015-16 from a earlier estimate of 8.1-8.5%.”The weather may be getting pleasant but the market tantrums seem to be on the upswing as Friday’s sharp correction broke the winning streak of last four sessions. Despite recent correction, investors appear ready to bet even on counters that are fairly valued given the long-term growth potential of stable companies. Trend in global markets, movement of rupee against the dollar, and crude oil price will dictate near-term trend,” said Ambani.last_img read more

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of air strikes

first_imgAn Afghan child receives treatment at a hospital after Monday`s airstrike in Kunduz province, Afghanistan 3 April, 2018. Photo: ReutersAfghanistan on Thursday accused Pakistan of air strikes causing “huge financial damages” in its province of Kunar bordering Pakistan, highlighting long-standing mistrust between the neighbours, even as both seek ways to improve security.The incident came ahead of a visit to Kabul on Friday by Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on cooperation to halt militant attacks.Pakistani jets dropped four bombs on Wednesday evening in Kunar’s Dangam district, Afghanistan’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement, without elaborating on the damage or making any mention of casualties.”Afghanistan warns that continuing violations of international norms … will have further consequences on the relations between the two countries,” the ministry added.Pakistan rejected as “baseless” the allegation that it violated Afghan airspace, however.In a statement, its foreign affairs ministry said Pakistan’s security forces were countering militant groups based in Afghanistan that launch attacks across the border.Military officials of the two countries met on Thursday in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, where Pakistan shared details of the operations with Afghanistan, it added. The operations took place on the Pakistani side of the border, Pakistan said.Afghanistan should focus on plugging gaps on its side of the border and refrain from the “blame game”, the ministry said.Afghanistan’s Western-backed government has long accused Pakistan of harbouring Afghan Taliban insurgents, a charge that Islamabad denies.Islamabad, in turn, accuses Afghanistan of not doing enough to eradicate Pakistani Taliban militants, many of whom are based in Afghanistan and mostly carry out attacks inside Pakistan.last_img

Delhi to host Indian Languages Festival

first_imgThe theme of the third edition of this annual festival is Jodti Zubanein, Judti Zubanein, and will deliberate on connections between languages and the connections languages make. ‘This year’s theme goes beyond the literary and cultural connections across languages and encompasses the connections between divergent media of expression, like literature, cinema, music, between various ideologies and between languages and dialects,’ said Satyanand Nirupam, festival’s creative director. Acclaimed personalities from diverse fields like Gulzar, Jerry Pinto, Ketan Mehta, and Mahesh Bhatt will be holding discussions on various subjects about literature, Bollywood, music and literature.They will cover issues ranging from Dalit and women writing, alternative voices from literature, cinema, radio, publishing, gender violence, aspirations, dreams and voices of the marginalised.Sessions titled Language into Language, Civil Society and its Activism among other will also take place.last_img read more

Should You Lease or Buy Your Tech Equipment

first_imgOpinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Ultimately, a few simple rules of thumb may help you decide to lease or buy. If your equipment requirements are relatively small and you have the money–or can get a low-interest loan–then just buy it. You’ll save money in the long run. However, if you require a substantial amount of equipment, such as computers for your new company’s 10 employees, leasing may be a better option. After all, why tie up a large amount of cash–especially when you could use that money to establish or grow your business? Leasing keeps your equipment up-to-date. Computers and other tech equipment eventually become obsolete. With a lease, you pass the financial burden of obsolescence to the equipment leasing company. For example, let’s say you have a two-year lease on a copy machine. After that lease expires, you’re free to lease whatever equipment is newer, faster and cheaper. (This is also a reason some people prefer to lease their cars.) In fact, 65 percent of respondents to a 2005 Equipment Leasing Association survey said the ability to have the latest equipment was leasing’s number-one perceived benefit. You’ll have predictable monthly expenses. With a lease, you have a pre-determined monthly line item, which can help you budget more effectively. Thirty-five percent of respondents to the Equipment Leasing Association’s survey said this was leasing’s second-highest benefit. You pay nothing up front. Many small businesses struggle with cash flow and must keep their coffers as full as possible. Because leases rarely require a down payment, you can acquire new equipment without tapping much-needed funds. You’re able to more easily keep up with your competitors. Leasing can enable your small business to acquire sophisticated technology, such as a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone system, that might be otherwise unaffordable. The result: You’re better able to keep up with your larger competitors without draining your financial resources. Register Now » Asking the Right QuestionsIf you’re thinking about leasing equipment, you’ll need to do your homework to ensure you get the most favorable terms. Here are a few questions that’ll help you get started: Buying: The Benefits Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals It’s easier than leasing. Buying equipment is easy–you decide what you need, then go out and buy it. Taking out a lease, however, involves at least some paperwork, as leasing companies often ask for detailed, updated financial information. They may also ask how and where the leased equipment will be used. Also, lease terms can be complicated to negotiate. And if you don’t negotiate properly, you could end up paying more than you should or receiving unfavorable terms. You call the shots regarding maintenance. Equipment leases often require you to maintain equipment according to the leasing company’s specifications, and that can get expensive. When you buy the equipment outright, you determine the maintenance schedule yourself. Your equipment is deductible. Section 179 of the IRS code lets you deduct the full cost of newly purchased assets, such as computer equipment, in the first year. With most leases favored by small businesses–called operating leases–you can only deduct the monthly payment. Leasing: The Downsides Buying: The Downsides Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. The next time your business needs new computers, networking equipment or other technology, should you buy it or lease it? If you don’t know, read on. This month we’ll take a look at the benefits–and downsides–of both leasing and buying technology equipment, plus the questions you should ask to ensure you get the best deal.Leasing: The Benefits The initial outlay for needed equipment may be too much. Your business may have to tie up lines of credit or cough up a hefty sum to acquire the equipment it needs. Those lines of credit and funds could be used elsewhere for marketing, advertising or other functions that can help grow your business. Eventually, you’re stuck with outdated equipment. As I mentioned earlier, computer technology becomes outdated quickly. A growing small business may need to refresh its technology in some areas every 18 months. That means you’re eventually stuck with outdated equipment that you must donate, sell or recycle. You’ll pay more in the long run. Ultimately, leasing is almost always more expensive than purchasing. For example, a $4,000 computer would cost a total of $5,760 if leased for three years at $160 per month but only $4,000 (plus sales tax) if purchased outright. You’re obligated to keep paying even if you stop using the equipment. Depending on the lease terms, you may have to make payments for the entire lease period, even if you no longer need the equipment, which can happen if your business changes. What type of lease are you being asked to sign–a capital lease or an operating lease? A capital lease is similar to a loan. With this type of lease, the equipment is considered an asset on your balance sheet, and you get the benefits–such as tax depreciation–and risks–including obsolescence–of ownership. Capital leases are often for as long as five years. With an operating lease , the leasing company retains ownership, and for tax purposes, the equipment is considered a monthly operating expense rather than a depreciable asset. Operating leases are generally more popular among small businesses because they don’t tie up funds and are usually short-term–three years or less. Is there a buyout option? You may have a choice between a fair-market value (FMV) option and a $1 buyout option. FMV means you can buy the equipment at the lease’s end for its fair-market value, which could be hundreds of dollars. In contrast, a $1 buyout option means the equipment is yours for $1 when the lease expires. And while that sounds like the best option, keep in mind that monthly payments on FMV leases are usually lower than $1 buyout leases. If you’re fairly certain you’ll want to upgrade to new technology when your lease expires, go with the FMV option. How long is the lease for? Usually, leases for computer equipment run 24, 36 or 48 months. The longer your lease, the lower your monthly payments–but you’re also likely to pay more over time with a longer lease. Does the equipment have to be insured? Some leasing companies require you to insure the leased equipment. If you don’t, fees may be added to your monthly payment to cover insurance. Can I add to the lease? Most leasing companies don’t mind if you add equipment to an existing lease. Your lease payment will be recalculated accordingly; lease terms don’t usually change. Can I terminate the lease early? What if you no longer need the equipment you’re leasing or you want to upgrade to newer technology sooner than you expected? Find out in advance if you can pay off your lease early, and if there’s a prepayment penalty (and if so, how much?).last_img read more

AlgorithmWatch report 7 key recommendations for improving Automated DecisionMaking in the EU

first_imgAlgorithmWatch, non-profit research, and advocacy organization released its report titled ‘Automating Society: Taking Stock of Automated Decision-Making in the EU’, in cooperation with Bertelsmann Stiftung ( a private operating foundation) supported by the Open Society Foundations, yesterday. The report includes findings compiled from 12 EU member states and the level of the EU surrounding the development and application of automated decision-making systems in all the countries. The report is based upon these findings and makes certain recommendations for policymakers in the EU and the Member States parliaments, the EU Commission, national governments, researchers, civil society organizations, and the private sector (companies and business associations). Let’s have a look at some of the key recommendations mentioned in the report. Focus on the application of ADMs that impact society The report states that given the popularity of ‘ Artificial Intelligence’ right now, it is important to understand the real current challenges and impact of this tech on our societies. It gives an example of how ‘Predictive analytics’ that is used for determining the maintenance issues on production lines for yogurt, should not be the real concern rather predictive analytics used for tracking human behavior is where the real focus should be. The report states that there is a need for these systems to be democratically controlled in our society using a combination of regulatory tools, oversight mechanisms, and technology. Automated decision-making systems aren’t just a technology The report mentions that considering automated decision-making systems as just a technology while not considering it as a whole shift the debate surrounding questions of accuracy, and data quality. All parts of the framework should be considered while discussing the pros and cons of using a specific ADM application. What this means is that more questions should be asked around: What data does the system use? Is the use of that data legal? what decision-making model is applied to the data? Is there an issue of bias? why do governments even use specific ADM systems? Is automation being used as an option to save money? Empower citizens to adapt to new challenges As per the report, more focus should be put on enhancing citizens’ expertise to help them better determine the consequences of automated decision making. An example presented in the report is that of an English online course called “Elements of Artificial Intelligence” created to support the goal of helping Finnish people understand the challenges in ADM. The course was developed as a private-public partnership but has now become an integral part of the Finnish AI programme. This free course teaches citizens about basic concepts and applications of AI and machine learning with about 100,000 Finns enrolled in the course. Empower public administration to adapt to new challenges Just like empowering citizens is important, there’s also a need to empower the Public administration to ensure a high level of expertise inside its own institutions. This can help them either develop new systems or to oversee outsourced development. The report recommends creating public research institutions in cooperation with universities or public research centers to teach, train, and advise civil servants. Moreover, these institutions should also be created at the EU level to help the member states. Strengthen civil society’s involvement in ADM The report states that there is a lack of civil society engagement and expertise in the field of automated decision making even in some large Member States. As per the report, civil society organizations should assess the consequences of ADM as a specific and relevant policy field in their countries and strategies to address these challenges.  Also, grant-making organizations should develop funding calls and facilitate networking opportunities, along with governments making public funds available to civil society interventions. Don’t look at only data protection for regulatory ideas The report mentions how Article 22 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been under a lot of controversies. According to Article 22, Automated individual decision-making, including profiling, “the data subject shall have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her”. Many people have developed a consensus around it, saying that it’s limited and that the use cases of ADM systems cannot be regulated by data protection. It talks about the importance of discussion around developing governance tools and states that stakeholders should look at creative applications of existing regulatory frameworks such as equal-pay regulation. This would further help them address new challenges such as algorithmically controlled platform work (Gig Economy) and explore the new avenues for regulation of the effects of ADM. Need for a wide range of stakeholders (including civil liberty firms) to develop criteria for good design processes and audits The report mentions that on surveying some of the countries, they found out that governments claim that their strategies involve civil society stakeholders just to bring “diverse voices” to the table. But, the term civil society is not well defined and includes academia, groups of computer scientists or lawyers, think tanks, etc. This leads to important viewpoints getting missed since governments use this broad definition to show that ‘civil society’ is included despite them not being a part of the conversation. This is why it is critical that the organizations focused on rights be included in the debate. For more coverage, check out the official AlgorithmWatch report. Read Next 2019 Deloitte tech trends predictions: AI-fueled firms, NoOps, DevSecOps, intelligent interfaces, and more IEEE Computer Society predicts top ten tech trends for 2019: assisted transportation, chatbots, and deep learning accelerators among others Unity introduces guiding Principles for ethical AI to promote responsible use of AIlast_img read more