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Concern over police harassment of Tamil journalists

first_imgFour Tamil journalists based in the northern cities of Mannar and Vavuniya were summoned for questioning by the police in Colombo yesterday, just days after another journalist received a similar summons that resulted in his being charged with publishing false information. April 29, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Concern over police harassment of Tamil journalists Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists Organisation RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) are concerned that the Sri Lankan authorities are resuming practices designed to intimidate Tamil journalists.No reason was given for the summonses that the Colombo Crime Division issued yesterday to Anthony Thevarajan Mark of the Rupavahini Corporation, Jude Pelistis of ITN, freelancer Lambert Rosairo and Ponnaia Manikkavasagam, who works for the BBC and the Tamil daily Veerakesari.But harassment of the Tamil media has been growing in recent days. Journalist James Joseph Fernando was summoned by the police on 26 April and questioned about articles published in 2009 in Veerakesari that criticized actions carried out by the government as part of its policy of resettling the north.The then resettlement minister is the current government’s trade and industry minister.Police in the northern city of Jaffna arrested N. Logathayalan, a freelance journalist working for the newspaper Uthayan, on 8 April because of an article implicating Jaffna-based officers in a case of police violence. He is to appear before a judge on 29 May. Two other journalists have reported being the victims of police aggression.“This increase in acts of intimidation against Tamil journalists is disturbing,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. “President Maithiripala Sirisena’s first 100 days in office have just ended without any attempt to keep promises to improve respect for media freedom. We urge this government not to repeat the authoritarian errors of the previous government led by the Rajapaksa family, and to refrain from harassing independent news media and Tamil journalists in particular.”Sri Lanka is ranked 165th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.After the 8 January election, RSF and JDS asked the newly-elected President Sirisena to end the policy of violence against journalists that had been pursued by his predecessor, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and to combat impunity for this kind violence. Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial News Help by sharing this information Sri LankaAsia – Pacific July 15, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts News to go further January 13, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Sri Lanka News News July 29, 2020 Find out more Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism chargelast_img read more

Chittenden Bank parent reports earnings of 4 cents per share, 62-cent dividend

first_imgPeople’s United Financial, Inc.(PBCT 16.64, -0.01, -0.08%) today announced net income of $13.6 million, or $0.04 per share, for the first quarter of 2010, compared to $24.9 million, or $0.07 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009, and $24.2 million, or $0.07 per share, for the first quarter of 2009. Included in this quarter’s results are $23.4 million of merger-related and system conversion expenses. The net impact of these items reduced first quarter 2010 net income by $15.6 million, or $0.04 per share. Excluding the effect of these items, net income would have been $29.2 million, or $0.08 per share, for the first quarter of 2010. As previously reported, People’s United Financial completed its acquisition of Financial Federal Corporation on February 19, 2010. Accordingly, Financial Federal’s results of operations are included as of the acquisition date, and prior period results have not been restated to include Financial Federal Corporation.The Board of Directors of People’s United Financial voted to increase the annual common stock dividend by $0.01 per share, resulting in an annual dividend rate of $0.62 per share. The quarterly dividend of $0.1550 per share is payable May 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on May 1, 2010. Based on the closing stock price on April 14, 2010, the dividend yield on People’s United Financial common stock is 3.8 percent.For the first quarter of 2010, return on average tangible assets was 0.28 percent and return on average tangible stockholders’ equity was 1.5 percent, compared to 0.51 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2009. At March 31, 2010, People’s United Financial’s tangible equity ratio stood at 18.6 percent.”During the first quarter of 2010, we completed our acquisition of Financial Federal, a leader in equipment financing, providing a valuable complement to our existing equipment financing company, People’s Capital and Leasing,” stated Philip R. Sherringham, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As anticipated, the transaction was immediately accretive to earnings, though our results will not reflect a full quarter’s benefit until the second quarter. We also successfully completed the first phase of our core systems conversion and are now focused on the final phase, which is slated for July.”Sherringham added, “We continue to diligently pursue acquisition opportunities for both FDIC-assisted and open bank transactions. As we have previously stated, we are evaluating our current market as well as non-contiguous, attractive high-growth markets for acquisitions.”Sherringham concluded, “We are pleased to reward our shareholders with an 18th consecutive annual dividend increase. The strength of our capital and liquidity, asset quality and earnings, as well as the fact that our balance sheet remains funded almost entirely by deposits and stockholders’ equity, continue to set us apart from most in the industry.””On an operating basis, excluding merger-related and system conversion costs, earnings were $29.2 million, or 8 cents per share this quarter,” said Paul D. Burner, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Significant drivers of the company’s performance this quarter were an improvement in the net interest margin, modest loan growth across our strategic lending businesses, and lower net loan charge-offs for the second consecutive quarter. The net interest margin improved 28 basis points to 3.47 percent, reflecting the combined benefit of Financial Federal and a 16 basis point reduction in our cost of deposits this quarter.”Commenting on asset quality, Burner stated, “Loans acquired in connection with the Financial Federal acquisition were recorded at fair value, including a reduction for estimated credit losses, and without carryover of that portfolio’s historical allowance for loan losses. As such, selected asset quality metrics have been highlighted to distinguish between the ‘originated’ portfolio and the ‘acquired’ portfolio. For the originated loan portfolio, representing all loans other than those acquired in the Financial Federal transaction, non-performing loans totaled $192.3 million at March 31, 2010, and the ratio of non-performing loans to originated loans was 1.36 percent, compared to $168.8 million and 1.19 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2009. Non-performing loans in the acquired loan portfolio, which represent those loans acquired in the Financial Federal transaction that meet our definition of non-performing but for which the risk of loss has already been considered in connection with our estimate of acquisition-date fair value, totaled $51.7 million at March 31, 2010.”Non-performing assets totaled $247.5 million at March 31, 2010, a $41.9 million increase from December 31, 2009, of which $19.8 million is attributable to repossessed assets acquired in connection with the Financial Federal acquisition. Non-performing assets equaled 1.74 percent of originated loans, REO and repossessed assets at March 31, 2010 compared to 1.44 percent at December 31, 2009. At March 31, 2010, the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of originated loans was 1.22 percent and as a percentage of non-performing originated loans was 90 percent, compared to 1.21 percent and 102 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2009.First quarter net loan charge-offs totaled $9.5 million compared to $13.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Net loan charge-offs as a percent of average loans on an annualized basis were 0.26 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 0.38 percent in the prior year’s fourth quarter. The level of the allowance for loan losses is unchanged from December 31, 2009.Selected Financial TermsIn addition to evaluating People’s United Financial’s results of operations in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), management routinely supplements this evaluation with an analysis of certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as the efficiency and tangible equity ratios, and tangible book value per share. Management believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide information useful to investors in understanding People’s United Financial’s underlying operating performance and trends, and facilitates comparisons with the performance of other banks and thrifts. Further, the efficiency ratio is used by management in its assessment of financial performance specifically as it relates to non-interest expense control, while the tangible equity ratio and tangible book value per share are used to analyze the relative strength of People’s United Financial’s capital position.The efficiency ratio, which represents an approximate measure of the cost required by People’s United Financial to generate a dollar of revenue, is the ratio of (i) total non-interest expense (excluding goodwill impairment charges, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles and fair value adjustments, losses on real estate assets and nonrecurring expenses) (the numerator) to (ii) net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis (excluding fair value adjustments) plus total non-interest income (including the fully taxable equivalent adjustment on bank-owned life insurance income, and excluding gains and losses on sales of assets, other than residential mortgage loans, and nonrecurring income) (the denominator). People’s United Financial generally considers an item of income or expense to be nonrecurring if it is not similar to an item of income or expense of a type incurred within the last two years and is not similar to an item of income or expense of a type reasonably expected to be incurred within the following two years.The tangible equity ratio is the ratio of (i) tangible stockholders’ equity (total stockholders’ equity less goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles) (the numerator) to (ii) tangible assets (total assets less goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles) (the denominator). Tangible book value per share is calculated by dividing tangible stockholders’ equity by common shares outstanding (total common shares issued, less common shares classified as treasury shares and unallocated ESOP common shares).1Q 2010 Financial HighlightsSummaryNet income totaled $13.6 million, or $0.04 per share.Operating earnings were $29.2 million, or $0.08 per share.Net interest income totaled $159.6 million.Net interest margin increased 28 basis points from 4Q09 to 3.47%.Average short-term investments and securities purchased under agreements to resell totaled $2.9 billion, or 16% of average earning assets, and yielded 0.25% in 1Q10.Average deposits decreased $71 million and the interest cost on deposits declined 16 basis points from 4Q09.Provision for loan losses totaled $9.5 million.Net loan charge-offs totaled $9.5 million in 1Q10.Non-interest income totaled $70.6 million in 1Q10 compared to $71.7 million in 4Q09.Non-interest expense totaled $200.3 million in 1Q10 compared to $172.2 million in 4Q09.1Q10 and 4Q09 include $23.4 million and $4.5 million, respectively, of merger-related and system conversion costs.Effective income tax rate was 33.2% in 1Q10.Commercial BankingAverage commercial banking loans, excluding shared national credits and acquired loans, increased $66 million from 4Q09 to $8.8 billion.Loans acquired on February 19, 2010 in the Financial Federal transaction averaged $543 million in 1Q10.Shared national credits totaled $526.9 million (3% of total loans) at March 31, 2010, a $41.0 million decrease from December 31, 2009.Non-performing commercial banking assets, excluding non-performing acquired loans, totaled $168.3 million at March 31, 2010, a $25.9 million increase from December 31, 2009.Repossessed assets acquired in the Financial Federal transaction accounted for $19.8 million of the increase.Includes two previously disclosed non-performing shared national credits ($13.8 million in non-performing loans and $9.4 million in real estate owned).The ratio of non-performing commercial banking loans, excluding non-performing acquired loans, to originated commercial banking loans was 1.25% at March 31, 2010 compared to 1.17% at December 31, 2009.Net loan charge-offs totaled $7.5 million, or 0.30% annualized, of average commercial banking loans in 1Q10, compared to $9.8 million, or 0.42% annualized, in 4Q09.Wealth ManagementWealth Management income increased $0.2 million from 4Q09.Insurance revenue increased $0.3 million, reflecting the seasonal nature of insurance renewals.Assets managed and administered, which are not reported as assets of People’s United Financial, totaled $16.8 billion at March 31, 2010 compared to $16.1 billion at December 31, 2009, primarily reflecting the improvement in equity markets.Retail & Small Business BankingAverage residential mortgage loans totaled $2.5 billion, a $103 million decrease from 4Q09, reflecting People’s United Financial’s strategy to sell essentially all newly-originated loans.Net loan charge-offs totaled $0.1 million, or 0.01% annualized, of average residential mortgage loans.The ratio of non-performing residential mortgage loans to total residential mortgage loans was 2.70% at March 31, 2010 compared to 2.07% at December 31, 2009.Average home equity loans totaled $2.0 billion, unchanged from 4Q09.Net loan charge-offs totaled $0.9 million, or 0.17% annualized, of average home equity loans.Average indirect auto loans totaled $0.2 billion, unchanged from 4Q09.Net loan charge-offs totaled $0.6 million, or 1.19% annualized, of average indirect auto loans.People’s United Financial, a diversified financial services company with $22 billion in assets, provides commercial banking, retail and small business banking, and wealth management services through a network of nearly 300 branches in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and New York. Through its subsidiaries, People’s United Financial provides equipment financing, asset management, brokerage and financial advisory services, and insurance services.Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking in nature. These include all statements about People’s United Financial’s plans, objectives, expectations and other statements that are not historical facts, and usually use words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe” and similar expressions. Such statements represent management’s current beliefs, based upon information available at the time the statements are made, with regard to the matters addressed. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause People’s United Financial’s actual results or financial condition to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such statements. Factors of particular importance to People’s United Financial include, but are not limited to: (1) changes in general, national or regional economic conditions; (2) changes in interest rates; (3) changes in loan default and charge-off rates; (4) changes in deposit levels; (5) changes in levels of income and expense in non-interest income and expense related activities; (6) residential mortgage and secondary market activity; (7) changes in accounting and regulatory guidance applicable to banks; (8) price levels and conditions in the public securities markets generally; (9) competition and its effect on pricing, spending, third-party relationships and revenues; and (10) the successful integration of acquired companies. People’s United Financial does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.Access Information About People’s United Financial on the World Wide Web at www.peoples.com(link is external).Source: BRIDGEPORT, Conn., April 15, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — People’s United Financial, Inc.last_img read more

Niners ‘aggressively pursuing multiple options’ at WR, including A.J. Green: report

first_imgThe undefeated 49ers could use a little wide receiver help, and they’re reportedly looking at some big-name options.CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday morning that the Niners are “aggressively pursuing several options” at the position, and they’re among several teams interested in A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals. His report also mentioned Denver’s Emmanuel Sanders, Atlanta’s Mohamed Sanu and Chicago’s Taylor Gabriel as options on the wide receiver market, though he didn’t say …last_img read more

EPA’s proposed RFS small refinery measures under fire

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On Oct. 15, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, signed the supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking for the Renewable Fuels Standard.The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.Specifically, the EPA is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way renewable fuel percentages are calculated.The EPA said the proposed adjustments are designed to help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation’s fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. According to the EPA, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.Ethanol proponents, however, are not pleased.“The White House’s Oct. 4 announcement acknowledged Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) would continue in the future but promised EPA would ensure that 15 billion gallons of ethanol be blended in 2020. Further, in an Oct. 3 phone call, Trump Administration officials told us the approach they would take to ensure at least 15 billion gallons for 2020 would be to prospectively account for the three-year rolling average of actual SRE volume from 2016-2018. In other words, EPA would apply the three-year rolling average of SREs for the 2016-2018 compliance years, approximately 1.34 billion gallons, and prospectively reallocate the volume to the 2020 RVO,” said Brian Jennings, with the American Coalition for Ethanol. “Instead, EPA is proposing to ‘consider the exempt volumes of gasoline (and diesel) in previous years had EPA followed the Department of Energy (DoE) recommendations without deviation’ in determining the 2020 RVO. If this is confusing, I would suggest that’s EPA’s goal. The Agency hopes farmers and biofuel producers will overlook the fact EPA is not planning to ensure 15 billion gallons for the 2020 RVO. Instead of using the approach suggested in the Oct. 3 phone call, EPA is planning to begin issuing ‘partial’ SREs for 2020, something DoE has recommended in the past only to be rejected by EPA. Next, EPA is going to ignore the fact it granted 85 full SREs for the 2016-2018 compliance years, representing 4 billion gallons it never intends to reallocate, and instead assume it had followed DoE’s advice to issue partial SREs during that time frame. Then, it is going to calculate the average of those imaginary partial SREs and apply that volume, approximately 770 million gallons, to the 2020 RVO.”These measures will effectively continue to reduce the biofuel use intended by the RFS, Jennings said.“The ongoing insanity over EPA’s mismanagement of the RFS would be bizarrely humorous if not for the sobering fact that it, along with the trade war and weather-related disasters, has taken a terrible economic toll on the livelihoods of corn growers and biofuel producers across rural America,” he said. “We urge farmers, biofuel producers, elected leaders and other industry stakeholders to participate in the comment period following this proposal to get EPA to finally follow the rule of law with the RFS.”Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before Nov. 29, 2019 and a public hearing will be held on October 30, 2019 in Ypsilanti, Mich. The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers intend to comment on the proposal.“President Trump has promised, repeatedly, to support homegrown biofuels. Ohio is home to seven ethanol plants and make no mistake, they are hurting because of EPA’s actions. These plants are the customers for nearly 40% of the corn grown in the Buckeye State. Strong biofuel policies support rural jobs, bolster our communities, and give consumers more choices at the pump,” said Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association executive director. “The EPA proposal is not what was promised by the Trump Administration and it fails to answer President Trump’s directive for a stronger conventional biofuel requirement of more than 15 billion gallons per year. President Trump needs to personally intervene again to get the RFS back on track and ensure his EPA follows the law and honors his commitment to our nation’s corn farmers and ethanol industry.”last_img read more

PLDT scores Grand Prix stunner over F2 Logistics

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPLDT Home Fibr pulled the rug from under F2 Logistics, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, Saturday night in a stunning result that underscored its intention in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.Kendra Dahlke and Grace Lazard finally got the hang of their teammates and joined hands to lift the Power Hitters, who registered their sixth win in 10 games and moved third in the standings.ADVERTISEMENT PLDT setter Jasmine Nabor said her teammates have started to blend well, especially the two imports, after struggling early in the conference.“I think now we are starting to trust each other and that makes us execute our game plans better,” said Nabor in Filipino. “That’s the difference in this game; we knew that we could rely on each other.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsDahlke had 19 points, while Lazard had 18, but they were far from the sole contributors for the squad. Aiko Urdas and Joyce Sta. Rita contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, for PLDT.F2 Logistics relied on Lindsay Stalzer, who had 21 points and Ara Galang and Becky Perry who made 11 and 10, respectively. But a lethargic start prevented the Cargo Movers from getting their rhythm as the Power Hitters dealt them their second defeat in nine matches.Tied at one set apiece, PLDT regrouped and regained composure to take an 8-0 lead en route to a key third set victory.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Google Philippines names new country director PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Lakay’s Loman wipes out foe’s smile; Dy triumphs View commentslast_img read more

KCC Brings Its Newbuilding Tally to Five

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Klaveness Norwegian shipping company Klaveness Combination Carriers (KCC) has declared an option for the construction of a combination carrier with Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co. in China. The delivery date is scheduled for the second quarter 2020.KCC already has four sister vessels under construction at the same yard with delivery in 2018-2020.Following the declaration, the KCC fleet will grow to 14 vessels by 2020. The company holds options for further vessels.KCC was established in April 2018 by its majority Klaveness Ship Holding AS, which holds around 70 pct, and the minority shareholders that hold 30 pct stake in the company.The company is pursuing a climate friendly transportation strategy through its unique design and trade, the ultimate goal being reduction of the CO2 emissions from shipping in line with the IMO’s ambitious climate strategy.last_img read more