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24
Aug
2021

Microgaming launches independent game studio

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Tech & innovation Email Address 19th June 2018 | By contenteditor Microgaming has today (Tuesday) announced the launch of Stormcraft Studios, a new independent game studio Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Microgaming launches independent game studio Tech & innovation Microgaming has today (Tuesday) announced the launch of Stormcraft Studios, a new independent game studio. Stormcraft will now supply exclusive content to Microgaming and its network of operators. The team at Stormcraft has previously created a range of successful Microgaming titles such as ‘Mega Moolah’ and Immortal Romance. ‘Fortunium’, a steampunk-themed online slot, is the first game to come out of the new studio and will officially launch tomorrow. “It is exciting to be working with some of the industry legends behind a number of Microgaming’s biggest titles to deliver a fresh wave of content under the new Stormcraft Studios brand,” Microgaming’s game publisher David Reynolds said. “The team’s passion for quality and creating premium gaming experiences is distinctive in everything they do. “We cannot wait to unveil the exclusive content they have in store in the next few months.” Terence Igesund, creative director at Stormcraft Studios, added: “Entertainment and craftsmanship are at the core of everything we do at Stormcraft Studios. “The careful consideration we give the user experience will be unmistakable in all the upcoming games that we are developing exclusively for Microgaming.”Related article: Microgaming backs All-In Diversity Project Tags: Mobile Online Gamblinglast_img read more

24
Aug
2021

Revising the Wire Act: What does it mean for you? Part 1

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Social responsibility Sports betting Poker Slots Tribal gaming Video gaming CSR DFS Horse racing Casino & games Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Charitable Gaming Fantasy Sports Mobile Online Gambling Payments Race Track and Racino Slot Machines Video Gaming The Department of Justice’s decision to revise its interpretation of the Wire Act could have a major impact on the nascent US iGaming industry. Or, as some suggest, its impact could be felt in gaming verticals that are well-established and generating money for operators and states alike. A selection of speakers from ICE Sports Betting USA discuss the DoJ’s about-turn. 29th January 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US Earlier this month the Department of Justice (DoJ) threw the future of igaming in the US into doubt by announcing that the 1961 Wire Act applies to all forms of gambling. This opinion, issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and updating a 2011 ruling that stated the legislation only applied to sports betting, has withdrawn the legal certainty that has prompted a number of states to regulate online gaming.But how exactly it will impact regulated igaming and wagering is hard to discern. The Wire Act, which prohibits the use of wire communication technology for facilitating wagering across state or national borders, was believed to apply to sports betting, states were able to push for (and win) the right to regulate the vertical.Furthermore, the Wire Act only prohibits wagering across state lines. While that may indeed put 888’s All-American Poker Network, which links players in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, at risk, igaming and sports betting are regulated on an intrastate, rather than interstate, basis.Gaming and sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach argues there is not likely to be any discernible impact on sports betting, online gaming or poker.Even daily fantasy sports (DFS), which some have suggested may bear the brunt of the ruling, are unlikely to be hit, Wallach adds.“[Daily fantasy sports] should not be impacted since courts have held that DFS entry fees are not ‘bets’ or ‘wagers’,” he says. “And only ‘bets’ or ‘wagers’ are actionable under the Wire Act.”New Jersey congressman Bill Pascrell agrees, but warns that established verticals such as lottery may bear the brunt of the impact: “This DOJ memo and subsequent clarification letter will ultimately have limited impact on licensed operators in states that have legalized online gaming and sports betting although pooled interstate lotteries and interstate poker compacts will be tested,” he says.Therefore multi-state lottery jackpots, wildly successful in driving sales for state lotteries, are most likely to be hit. Rather than stem the tide of igaming regulation, the new opinion may instead hit efforts to raise funds for state education and infrastructure.“You may see these activities [in these verticals] curtailed for now, or more likely, the stakeholders in that space will seek to challenge the DoJ opinion in federal court since prior cases have held that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting,” Wallach adds.This is echoed by Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency director Gordon Medenica. He describes the ruling as a “significant step backwards”.Others argue that whether or not the fine print actually transpires to work in the betting and gaming industry’s favour, the uncertainty the ruling will create could be damaging.“It certainly doesn’t help sports betting’s cause across the States and will no doubt serve to create further uncertainty,” KMigaming chief executive Keith McDonnell says. “[At] this point it’s an opinion and how the courts interpret that will be interesting to see.“But as we know with Brexit, and other non-sector-related hot topics, uncertainty is the main barrier to positive progress and in that regard this development can’t be good,” he adds. “Investors will get nervous, deals will slow down and the real ones to benefit will be those doing business from hammocks on sandy beaches.”Catena Media’s Michael Daly says simply that the ultimate result of the revised ruling will be more angst for the industry. While it does not seem to affect igaming and sports betting, he says, it could still be exploited by opponents of each sector.“The opinion is just that, an opinion; it is how it is to be interpreted and acted upon that remains the great unknown,” he explains. “It opens up a number of doors that could be pursued depending on what forces wish to do to disrupt some very profitable businesses for the states.“That includes not just online sports, casino, DFS but lottery, online and land based, as well as Wide Area Progressives which are high earning products in all American land-based casinos,” Daily continues. “Until some of this enforcement, or premeditative legal actions come, it will just leave a state of uncertainty, a state which is poor for all business. That will last through a long, multi-tier legal fight which will be months if not years in resolving.”This makes the need for some sort of certainty vital.Art Manteris, vice president of race and sports operations for Station Casinos’ Red Rock Resorts, says it is “vitally important” for casino operators to be advised by the DoJ on what the ruling will actually mean for them.GLMS’ Ludovico Calvi says a follow-up memo from the DoJ on how licensed operators should conduct their businesses would be welcome.Calvi says that in the coming months, the key focus must be on the systems used by licensees in states to facilitate online betting and gaming. He says that the Wire Act opinion could be used to argue that any unintentional routing of digital gaming data across state borders could constitute a breach.“The argument here is that digital gaming transactions infringes the Wire Act simply because it is difficult to guarantee the routing of internet traffic within a given state,” he explains.“In the next weeks, the debate will definitely focus on the question of internet traffic monitoring and control within state borders and how to guarantee that transactions do not route out-of-state along the way because of network switching.”In the second part of iGB’s investigation into the Wire Act ruling, we will discuss how operators and suppliers are preparing to cope with the regulatory uncertainty, and the need for further clarity from the DoJ. Revising the Wire Act: What does it mean for you? Part 1 Email Addresslast_img read more

24
Aug
2021

Tabcorp scores sports betting partnership with NBA

first_img Australian lotteries and betting operator Tabcorp has entered into a partnership with North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA).Under the multi-year agreement, Tabcorp will now serve as an authorised sports betting operator of the NBA in Australia and use official NBA league marks on its various platforms.The partnership will also bring NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour television network, to Tabcorp’s Sky Channel in more than 4,400 TAB retail and entertainment sites across Australia.Sky Channel will feature various NBA TV programming such as live NBA games, highlights and original content. In addition, Tabcorp will create its own NBA content and experiences for fans at its venues. “Our goal is to support the growing appetite in Australia for the NBA, which currently features the strongest contingent of Australian players we have ever seen,” Tabcorp’s managing director for wagering and media, Adam Rytenskild, said.“The NBA is popular with our customers, and we are proud to establish this partnership to bring fans of the competition a wide range of action in pubs, clubs and TABs. This creates an expanded sports offering, gives fans and our venue partners more value, and complements Sky’s unrivalled coverage of Australian and international racing.”Scott Levy, executive vice president, managing director of NBA Asia, added: “Tabcorp’s extensive retail network will bring NBA TV to millions of fans throughout Australia. “We also look forward to working with Tabcorp on integrity monitoring in their new role as an authorised sports betting operator.”The new partnership comes after Tabcorp last month also agreed a similar deal to become the official wagering partner of the National Football League (NFL) in Australia.The agreement allows Tabcorp to create NFL content and experiences for Australian fans across its digital platforms and venues. In addition, TAB and the NFL will combine to promote the NFL’s official ‘Pick’em’ free-to-play football game.Image: Chensiyuan AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Oceania US Australia Sports betting Australian lotteries and betting operator Tabcorp has entered into a partnership with North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA). Tabcorp will now serve as an authorised sports betting operator of the NBA in Australia. Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Topics: Sports betting 22nd October 2019 | By contenteditor Tabcorp scores sports betting partnership with NBA Email Addresslast_img read more

24
Aug
2021

Gauselmann reports 6.7% revenue growth in FY19

first_img Gauselmann reports 6.7% revenue growth in FY19 Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Slot Machines Casino & games Email Address German gaming giant Gauselmann Group has reported a 6.7% year-on-year rise in revenue for its 2019 financial year, despite its business being impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter German gaming giant Gauselmann Group has reported a 6.7% year-on-year rise in revenue for its 2019 financial year, despite its business being impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.Revenue for the 12-month period amounted to €2.56bn (£2.31bn/$3.04bn), up from €2.41bn in the previous year.International markets were the primary source of income for Gauselmann during the year, with revenue in this segment rising 14.4% to €1.58bn. However, the group saw revenue from Germany decline 3.7% to €998.0m.The group said that the international growth, and decline in German revenue, followed a trend that had been observed over a number of years.Gauselmann founder and chief executive Paul Gauselmann added that sales from outside Germany increased continuously before the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), with 60% of all sales in FY19 generated outside of its native Germany.“This reduced our dependency on our core market of Germany, where the legal framework has unfortunately deteriorated for years,” Gauselmann said.Gauselmann did not publish a full breakdown of figures for the year, but did reveal that it was able to expand its global workforce by 451 employees to a total of 13,846.According to CEO Gauselmann, the steps taken by the group during the height of Covid-19 in Germany enabled it to keep all staff in work. This included shutting down all production and sales activities across its business.In total, 13,500 employees were put on furlough, while all board members and company managers – around 60 people – agreed to waive 50% of their salary for the duration of the shutdown.Development departments around the world continued to operate on a part-time basis so that staff could focus efforts on products for the future. Employees then started going back to work on a full-time basis from late April.“This enabled us to focus on maintaining the almost 14,000 jobs in full, despite the Europe-wide closure of our 800 gaming venues, the many hundreds of sports betting shops and the 10 German casino locations and the casinos on cruise ships in the company,” Gauselmann said.Other key developments included Gauselmann consolidating the management of all global sales activities from its Merkur Gaming headquarters site in Lübbecke, Germany.More recently, Gauselmann’s Merkur Sportwetten subsidiary last month boosted its stake in Belgian sports betting operator Betcenter Group to 74.9%, as part of plans to grow its omni-channel business in the country. 7th September 2020 | By contenteditor Topics: Casino & games Finance Strategy Slotslast_img read more

20
Jun
2021

El Salvador: Ecumenical election observers oversee presidential vote

first_img Featured Events By Lynette WilsonPosted Feb 4, 2014 Rector Pittsburgh, PA Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Ecumenical & Interreligious, Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Press Release Service In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Albany, NY Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Tags Rector Washington, DC Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Belleville, IL Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Tampa, FL Submit a Press Release The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Shreveport, LA Carlos Duran Flores, a national observer, and David James of Grace Church of West Lorne, Ontario, phone in the first of three reports from the voting station at San Martin. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceEditor’s note: On March 16, El Salvador’s electoral tribunal proclaimed Salvador Sánchez Cerén as the winner of the presidential elections. Sánchez Cerén, of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), received 50.1 percent of the votes, while his opponent Norman Quijano, of the Nationalist Republican Alliance, or ARENA, received 49.9 percent. For ENS video interviews with El Salvador election observers, click here.[Episcopal News Service – San Salvador, El Salvador] By 5 a.m. on Feb. 2, international and national election observers began arriving at voting stations, two hours before the start of El Salvador’s presidential elections.Their job was to keep watch: to attend the unpacking and cataloging of the election packets and the setup of the voting stations; impartially to observe voters casting ballots throughout the day, vigilant for signs of irregularity, evidence of fraud or misconduct, or citizens being denied their vote.Votantes esperan de pie ante la puerta del centro de votación de San Martín después de las 7:00 A.M. hora en que comenzaban las elecciones.At 7:35 a.m., as the National Police held voters outside the gate at San Martin, a municipality located a 25-minute drive east of San Salvador, David James, an Anglican observer from Canada, and Carlos Duran Flores, a national observer, called in the first of three reports they were required to file throughout the 14-plus-hour day. The report included the fact that one of the center’s nine voting stations hadn’t received its election packet until after 6:30 a.m., delaying the opening of the polls — a common observation across voting centers countrywide.Besides the late start, a bit of confusion and an overall sense that some election workers were ill-trained, “things seemed to be going reasonably well,” said James, speaking just after 7 a.m. from his post in San Martin.To win in the first round of elections, the president and vice president needed 50 percent of the vote, plus one vote. As of Feb. 3 in the evening, the two major parties, the left-leaning Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, or FMLN, and the right-leaning Nationalist Republican Alliance, or ARENA, had received 48.93 and 38.95 percent of the vote, respectively. El Salvador’s electoral tribunal plans to release official figures on Feb. 5. A runoff likely will occur on March 9. The next five-year presidential term begins on June 1.El Salvador’s electorate votes for a party by paper ballot. At the close of the polls, election workers representing the ARENA, FMLN and UNIDAD parties, counted the ballots. Each individual voting station handled up to 500 voters. At 7 p.m., when observers filed their third report, some stations still were counting.Three vigilantes, or “watchmen,” representing each of three major political parties served at each individual voting station, in addition to the election workers. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceIncluded among some 3,000 international and national election observers, 26 Anglicans from Canada arrived in El Salvador on Jan. 29. They came in advance of the election to gain a better understanding of the country’s electoral process by participating in a Foundation Cristosal Global School course providing historical context and perspective on the building of democracy in a post-conflict society, and to learn about their observer responsibilities. Foundation Cristosal is a San Salvador-based human rights and community development organization.“I think it’s been going really, really well so far. I’m glad to be part of a group that is behaving professionally and taking the task very seriously,” said Olivia Amadon, global school coordinator, after the polls closed and final reports were filed.This year, the local ecumenical chapter of the Latin America Council of Churches, or FECLAI, which has 20 years of election observer experience in El Salvador, and Cristosal participated in a National Observation Network. It is using statistical data about election observations to create a report tracking anomalies and to provide a statistically accurate sample of the voting-station counts that can be compared alongside official electoral tribunal accounts to verify accuracy.“That’s something that is really important because, for instance, I was in Honduras recently, and we saw a lot of anomalies in the elections there,” Amadon said. “We saw a lot of vote-buying, voter intimidation, acts of violence, people getting kidnapped so they couldn’t join the voting tables … but in the end, the biggest fraud actually happened on the part of the electoral tribunal.”A delegation of Anglican-Episcopal election observers from Canada and the United States traveled to El Salvador to help ensure the transparency and legitimacy of the Feb. 2 presidential elections. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceIn Honduras, the electoral tribunal’s vote count didn’t match the election workers’ count. Both major candidates claimed victory. The country swore in conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez as president on Jan. 27.“I think that speaks to the importance of election observation: verifying and legitimizing election results because these institutions are still very young and have their own weaknesses,” Amadon added. “Democracy in El Salvador has only been around for 20 years; it’s still very young, and after what I’ve seen today, it’s probably one of the most successful election processes that I’ve ever seen.”A woman dips her finger in paint after casting her vote in El Salvador’s Feb. 2 presidential elections. Sears offered a 20 percent discount for voters with paint-stained fingers on Feb. 2 Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceFraud, corruption and voter irregularity often have gone hand-in-hand with elections in Latin America. But in the immediate aftermath of the Feb. 2 elections, both the observers and the media described the El Salvador voting as “tranquil” and “ordered.”Civil warFrom 1980-1992, El Salvador suffered a brutal civil war fought between its U.S.-backed, military led-government and a coalition of guerrilla groups, organized as the FMLN, which later became a political party. The war was fueled mostly by the gross inequalities that existed between a small group of wealthy elites who controlled the government and the economy and the majority of the population that lived in extreme poverty.“The church went with the people because it can’t serve two masters,” said Diocese of El Salvador Bishop Martín Barahona during a Jan. 30 welcoming of the observer delegation.“The U.S. government supported the government and the military, but the people in the United States supported the people, as did the Episcopal Church.”The revolution that began in El Salvador in 1980 as an armed struggle continues today as civic society and human rights and social justice organizations work to build, educate and empower the country’s citizenry, according to civic and human rights organizations.When the war started, the church decided to join the revolution; the bishop is the bishop of the people, Barahona said. That is why it’s important to keep working for a functioning democracy, “and that is why you are here as observers,” he said. “Because we ask people to testify to what is working and what isn’t … no human model is perfect, but we have to keep working at it.”The solidarity movement in El Salvador had its beginnings in the Second Vatican Council. During the civil war, Roman Catholic and historic Protestant churches played a major role in exposing human rights violations including mass murders and forced disappearances.“The churches’ effort in bringing these violations to light is what prevented an escalation of violence in El Salvador,” said Noah Bullock, Foundation Cristosal executive director. “So those relationships of solidarity mattered, and they continue to matter today as the country continues to struggle as a democracy.”Angela Smith, right, and six other election observers from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago traveled to El Salvador for the Feb. 2 presidential elections. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceThe day before the elections, observers, including the group from the Anglican Church of Canada and seven Episcopalians from the Diocese of Chicago, gathered at San Juan Evangelista, an Anglican-Episcopal Church in San Salvador that during the war served as a camp for internally displaced people. There, they learned about the country’s electoral context, past and present, and their role as observers, with respect to the law, nonintervention, neutrality, objectivity and impartiality. The training was coordinated by FECLAI and the ISD (the Social Initiative for Democracy).The National Observation Network was composed of more than 20 churches and civil society organizations encompassing more than 1,100 international and national observers, half of the total. The partner organizations shared resources that allowed the network to conduct a systematic observation including reports and a statistical representation of total votes cast, a media campaign to inform the electorate and legal resources to make formal denouncements of any illegal activities.El Salvador has held six “democratic and free” post-military-controlled elections, said Eduardo Escobar, who led the observer training on behalf of ISD.“We’re still in the process of letting the dust settle and understanding democracy,” Escobar said. “Sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back, and sometimes we take a step to the side and stay the same.”In 1931, the people of El Salvador elected by popular majority President Arturo Aranjo, who began implementing social programs. A year later, during a coup d’état, General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez became president. From 1932 to 1979, a military regime governed El Salvador – the president was a military figure serving a five- to-six-year term – in the fashion typical of Latin America’s hardline, rightist military governments aligned with the U.S. Government in its Cold War fight against communism.Unlike in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, where a single president governed, sometimes for decades, regular “elections” in El Salvador gave the impression of democracy, though fraud persisted throughout the 1970s and in the elections held during the civil war.Noah Bullock, executive director of Foundation Cristosal, and Saul Geller, an 84-year-old observer from Vancouver, British Columbia, go over one of three reports observers were expected to file at various stages of the election process. It was the second time Geller had traveled to El Salvador to observe elections. The first time was in 2009 for municipal elections. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceRecent elections have been characterized as imperfect but substantially improved, said Bullock.The FMLN won the presidency for the first time in 2009, and there has been a lot of speculation in the media surrounding what a second win for the FMLN would mean; speculation that has included fear-mongering both locally and internationally.“A victory and second consecutive administration for the FMLN would be an affirmation of the left’s social programs and policy agenda and would be an opportunity to deepen that agenda with a greater mandate from the electorate,” said Bullock. “Because the election is likely to go into a second round, the addition of a third contender in the UNIDAD party signifies that in order to govern either the FMLN or ARENA will have to negotiate alliances.“In theory, this type of check is good for democratic governance. In reality, the quality of the political offering is not much improved by UNIDAD. The campaign has been more of competition between populist promises than a serious policy debate.”Out of a field of five candidates, three dominated the presidential race: current Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the FMLN; San Salvador Mayor Norman Quijano of ARENA; and former ARENA President Antonio Saca, representing a coalition under the umbrella of UNIDAD. (El Salvador’s constitution prohibits presidents from serving consecutive terms; this election marked the first time a former president stood for election with a different party.)Chris Pilon, a seminarian at the Anglican seminary at Huron College in London, Ontario, oversees the final election paperwork at a voting center in an elementary school in Ilopango. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceSecurity and economic development top concernsSecurity in a country that has been terrorized by gang violence related to global narcotics trafficking and crippled economic expansion were the topics of a Jan. 31 presidential forum attended by the election observers and the vice-presidential candidates at the Sheraton Hotel. The vice-presidential candidates representing the three major parties clarified their party platforms related to these issues in five-minute presentations, then answered three, identical questions related to security and economic development before taking questions from the audience.Although election observers were to remain neutral and impartial, attending the forum allowed them to get a better understanding of the country’s everyday realities. Though it has dropped in the last year, the homicide rate in El Salvador is among the world’s highest. Most of the working population is unemployed, underemployed or working in the informal economy, and one in four families relies on remittances from relatives working abroad to pay monthly expenses. A majority of the estimated 2 million Salvadorans abroad live in the United States. Two of three Salvadorans who have gotten jobs in the last 30 years found them in the United States, according to the United Nations 2013 Development Report.El Salvador is in its third year of a five-year U.S.-supported effort to enhance democracy, safety and economic growth through a Partnership for Growth Joint Country Action Plan that was signed in 2011, two years into the current Salvadoran administration.Concerned that the United States might influence the elections, human rights and social justice groups joined forces in writing a series of letters to Secretary of State John Kerry and held press conferences asking the United States to take a neutral position. On Dec. 16, U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte said the United States “would not be an actor” in the Feb. 2 elections.Elliott Abrams, a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration and assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs in the Ronald Reagan administration, weighed in in the Washington Post in support of El Salvador’s conservatives. The New York Times published an op-ed by William G. Walker, a retired career diplomat, who served as the United States ambassador to El Salvador from 1988 to 1992, in response to Abrams suggesting the left was not to be feared.Changes to the voting systemThere are 6.3 million Salvadorans living in 14 departments, or states, in a country the size of Massachusetts. As in the United States and Canada, voters must be at least 18 years old. And in El Salvador, they must present a valid photo ID, and the photo must match the photo alongside their name on the voter registration manifest posted at their designated voting station.Volunteers work the phones at the headquarters of the Social Initiative for Democracy, taking calls from election observers filing reports and information for the rapid count that followed the close of the polls. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News ServiceMajor changes in the electoral system took place in advance of the Feb. 2 elections. A residential voting system was implemented, whereby the country’s 4.8 million registered voters vote in their communities, rather than travel to regional voting centers organized alphabetically. This increased the number of voting centers from 460 to 1,591, with some 10,000 individual voting stations. And members of the Salvadoran diaspora, the majority living in the United States and Canada, were eligible to vote.At a voting center in a soccer field in Soyapango, one of the most densely populated and dangerous municipalities in the country, observers said that despite a “general suspicion of the parties” the voting took on a festive air and that it was obvious that the people wanted transparency in the election process and their voices to be heard.“They really believe their vote makes a difference; in Canada, we don’t see our vote as counting anymore,” said observer Anne Kessler, 21, a member of St. Mary’s Kerrisdale in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Maybe they are building a better democracy than we are.”The day following the elections, in a press conference, FECLAI and the National Observation Network presented the results of the previous day’s work. Based on their data collection and observation, the leadership declared electoral fraud in El Salvador a thing of the past.— Lynette Wilson is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. She served as an election observer among the Anglican-Episcopal delegation. Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit an Event Listing Rector Bath, NC Featured Jobs & Calls TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Submit a Job Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Collierville, TN Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Martinsville, VA Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Curate Diocese of Nebraska Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Anglican Communion, Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Faith & Politics, Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Knoxville, TN Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Latin America El Salvador: Ecumenical election observers oversee presidential vote Working to ensure transparency, legitimacy in elections Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem last_img read more

19
Jun
2021

City launches new website for water bill payments

first_img You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here 1 COMMENT TAGSCity of Apopka Previous articleShop with a Cop in ApopkaNext articleBreaking: Orange County Library in Apopka evacuated Dale Fenwick RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Joyce Brocker December 8, 2016 at 6:12 am Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replycenter_img If you pay your Apopka water bill online be prepared for some changes.The City of Apopka launched a new payment website this week for water bills.  Some residents have reported problems.The site was unavailable for at least part of the day on Tuesday.Some residents reported problems trying to use their old account numbers and PINs.  But today the website had a new message:PLEASE NOTE: YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER AND PIN HAVE CHANGED.YOUR PREVIOUS ACCOUNT NUMBER AND PIN WILL CONTINUE TO WORK,BUT WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO NOTE YOUR NEW ACCOUNTAND PIN FOR FUTURE ACCESS TO THIS SYSTEM.The account number and PIN can be found near the top of the water bill. UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Please enter your name here Please enter your comment! Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Thank you for the public service information. I pay my utilities bill on line & you have reduced my anguish by alerting me. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

16
Jun
2021

SMS Aid to claim Gift Aid on behalf of charity clients

first_imgSMS Aid to claim Gift Aid on behalf of charity clients Tagged with: Digital About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Phone owners can either be paid 5p to receive each message, or they can choose to donate that payment, under the Gift Aid Scheme where appropriate.“We are one of just a handful of companies that are allowed to reclaim the tax rebates on behalf of charities”, said Tony Price, founder and Managing Director of SMS Aid. “It has taken us some time to achieve this, but it demonstrates our commitment to offering UK registered charities an additional revenue stream, free of charge”. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThiscenter_img  33 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 26 November 2003 | News SMS Aid Limited has been granted permission by the Inland Revenue to claim the tax rebates on donations made under the Gift Aid scheme on behalf of charities using their mobile phone fundraising initiative.SMS Aid Limited is a private company that owns an opt-in, profiled database of UK mobile phone owners. Their income comes from advertisers who pay them to send relevant SMS text messages promoting their products and services to those phone owners.In return for bringing new mobile owners to their database, charities are paid 10p for each new mobile owner introduced and 5pfor every message SMS Aid send to each of those phones. Advertisementlast_img read more

16
Jun
2021

Fundraisers quizzed on likely impact of Scottish independence on income

first_img Scottish fundraisers are concerned that Scottish independence could have a negative impact on their charities’ income, according to a telephone survey by the Institute of Fundraising Scotland.The majority (74%) saw disadvantages for the income of their charity if Scotland chooses indepedence, with many expressing concern about continued funding from UK-wide grantmaking trusts and companies. One large charity told the Institute: “Major UK Trusts and Foundations are already phoning and have told us not to apply until after the Referendum”.Another added: “Potential legacies and donors south of the border have already stated they will not give until the situation is clear”. Advertisement Fundraisers quizzed on likely impact of Scottish independence on income Howard Lake | 8 May 2013 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis On the other hand, 56% of those surveyed saw advantages for their fundraising if independence went ahead. Most were confident that community and events fundraising would hold up well, together with statutory funding from the Scottish government.Only a small proportion thought that independence would have no impact on their income. Cross-border charities were more likely to have negative views about the impact of independence.What was most striking about the survey, the first on possible impacts of Scottish independence on fundraising, was that many charities had not discussed or planned ahead for independence. For example, In most areas of fundraising, more anticipated “no impact at all” than any positive or negative impacts. Over a fifth did not know if independence would affect their fundraising. About the surveyThe Institute of Fundraising Scotland surveyed 135 member organisations, of which the majority (67%) worked in Scotland only. the total voluntary income of the respondents’ organisations was at least an estimated £550 million. All of them were larger charities, a small number of which make up 98% of the sector’s income in Scotland.Institute of Fundraising Scotland Manager Gregor McNie acknowledged that the survey was preliminary research, saying: “A large degree of uncertainty about impacts underpinned the research”. He added: “Although the survey is relatively small, this project is the first of its kind and I hope it will encourage more work around this topic.”John Brady, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland, said the research had been designed to assist charities in future strategic planning, particularly around funding and fundraising. He said that the survey would be repeated in 2014 to “see to what extent, if any, the uncertainty has diminished”.The report, Scottish Independence and Fundraising: The potential impacts of Scottish independence on fundraising in Scotland, can be downloaded as a PDF from the Institute of Fundraising Scotland.  9 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

15
Jun
2021

NYC subway protest demands: No cops, no fares, full access, full service

first_imgAs New York City ends “stop and frisk” police harassment, the city implements another program to target Black and Brown people — the “fare evasion” campaign. Throughout subways and buses, commuters are seeing ads calling for people to pay the $2.75 fare or get ticketed $100. At Metropolitan Transit Authority stations, commuters saw 500 new police last year to make sure people were not “fare beating.” Now New York Gov. Cuomo has a plan to add 20 percent more cops in the subway system.Brooklyn, Nov. 1. (WW photo: Henry Luna)The MTA claims that it is hundreds of millions in debt. Yet it would cost $663 million to put those 500 extra cops on the subway to catch “fare beaters.” Cops target Black and Brown people, as shown in statistics released by the New York Police Department itself. Some 682 arrests were made in the second quarter of 2019 for “fare evasion.” Of those arrested, 414 were Black people and 175 were Latinx. All this is a way to police poverty. As the NYPD and the MTA crack down on policing poverty, various instances of resulting cop brutality have been posted on social media. One video shows the NYPD pulling a gun on 19-year-old Adrian Napier in the MTA as commuters run to take cover. Another video shows the NYPD tackling and punching children at the Jay Street Metrotech stop. Other videos show cops harassing, tasering and brutalizing people over their use of subway cards or because of playing music or just looking wary about being in the subway. These videos were upsetting to many New Yorkers, who on Friday, Nov. 1, took to the streets of Brooklyn. They called together NYC Shut It Down, the People’s Power Assemblies/NYC, Why Accountability, Take Back the Bronx, Decolonize This Place and the South Asia Solidarity Initiative.As 2,000 people marched, their rage could be felt in the chants: “No justice, no peace, f–k these racist police” and “How do you spell racist? NYPD.” They called for “NO NYPD in the MTA” and “From the A to the Z, the subway should be free.”As people continued marching, they ended up at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station, where people jumped over turnstiles on an already packed platform to show the NYPD that they were not afraid and that they will fight back. As the march ended, people wanted to do more, as shown at a packed People’s Power Assembly/NYC meeting on Nov. 6 in Manhattan. In response to questions on what to do next, the PPA answered that it is backing a campaign for “Full access, full service, no cops, no fare,” and will continue this fight until that is won through peoples’ power. PPA and other groups are planning another action for Nov. 22. For more information, go to peoplespowerassemblies.org/new-york-city-ppa/ or Facebook.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

04
Jun
2021

Call to become ambassador for Limerick during Heritage Week

first_imgEmail Previous articleGrabbers will snatch your attentionNext articleEleven deaths on farms this year lead to call for vigilance admin Twitter Linkedin NewsLocal NewsCall to become ambassador for Limerick during Heritage WeekBy admin – August 8, 2012 609 WhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Print ‘We are looking for people with an interest in their local area and heritage…’MEMBERS of the public are invited by the Heritage Council to become involved in Heritage Week in their own county by becoming a County Ambassador. Heritage Week runs from August 18 to 26 and anyone interested in becoming a County Ambassador for the week should log on to www.heritageweek.ie – deadline to apply is Friday, August 10.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “Training and support will be provided by the Heritage Council and Failte Ireland to all volunteers, week commencing August 13. “The role of the County Ambassadors will be to provide tourists with information on what is happening in the local areas as part of National Heritage Week,” says Isabell Smyth, Heritage Council Communications Manager “The diversity of events taking place is what makes the week unique. “In addition to the thousands of Irish people who enjoy Heritage Week each year, the reality is that Ireland’s heritage is also a key attraction for overseas visitors. “Recognising the opportunity to engage with tourists while they are here on holidays, we have developed the County Ambassador Volunteer Programme. ‘This year our aim is to recruit more volunteers and spread the word about National Heritage Week. Ideally we are looking for people with an interest in their local area and heritage who are keen to share this interest with others. With over 1,400 events already registered to take place during the week, 2012 looks set to be one of the most successful to date.”Information on National Heritage Week is available in the National Heritage Week Event Guide which is available free in Failte Ireland Tourist Offices throughout the country, as well as in libraries, OPW sites, Bus Eireann Stations, City and County Council offices etc. Complete event listings are also available on the National Heritage Week website, www.heritageweek.ie or on the FREE iPhone / Android Heritage Week App. The Heritage Council is the statutory body charged with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland’s national heritage, which includes  Monuments, Archaeological objects, Heritage objects, Architectural heritage, Flora, Fauna, Wildlife habitats, Landscapes, Seascapes, Wrecks, Geology, Heritage gardens and parks, and Inland waterways. Advertisementlast_img read more