Costa turns in positive sales

first_imgCosta Coffee’s sales were up by 22.1% and 6.7% like-for-like in the 50 weeks to 15 February 2007, parent Whitbread said last week.In a trading update, Alan Parker, chief executive said a rapid expansion was continuing at Costa and sister company Premier Travel Inn. He said: “The food offer has been improved and 185 new stores have been opened, including 78 equity and 107 franchise stores, 64 of which were overseas.”Overall sales for the group, which also includes David Lloyd Leisure, during the same period grew by 10.3% and like-for-like by 4.3%.Whitbread will announce its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 1 March 2007 on 24 April.last_img read more

News story: SpaceX delivers UK missions to International Space Station

first_imgIn the cargo hold is a UK-built satellite that will test different approaches to removing space junk from the Earth’s orbit, as well as an international science package to study powerful lightning from space.Led by the University of Surrey, built by the world’s leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, and with technology on board designed by Airbus, the RemoveDEBRIS mission will experiment with cost effective technologies that could be used to tackle the problem of space junk.Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:“Space debris is one of the key challenges we face and it’s great to see a British university and some of our innovative space companies leading the way on the search for solutions. It’s also a fantastic example of the unique expertise found in the UK’s growing space sector and the value that it adds to international projects.“The UK Space Agency continues to work closely with industry to develop new technologies and infrastructure to grow our share of the global space market as part of the Government’s industrial strategy.”The RemoveDEBRIS satellite will be deployed from the International Space Station and attempt to capture simulated space debris using a net and a harpoon, while also testing advanced cameras and radar systems. Once those experiments are complete, it will unfurl a drag sail to bring itself and the debris out of orbit, where it will burn up as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.The experiment is important as there are thousands of pieces of space debris circulating the planet – many travelling faster than a speeding bullet – posing a risk to valuable satellites and even the International Space Station itself.Professor Guglielmo Aglietti, Director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, said:“It is important to remember that a few significant collisions have already happened. Therefore, to maintain the safety of current and future space assets, the issue of the control and reduction of the space debris has to be addressed.“We believe the technologies we will be demonstrating with RemoveDEBRIS could provide feasible answers to the space junk problem – answers that could be used on future space missions in the very near future.”Also on board the SpaceX Dragon capsule is a science experiment known as the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM), which will study high-altitude lightning above severe thunder storms. Scientists are interested in these electrical discharges which can produce bright colours – sometimes called red sprites and blue jets – as they can alter the chemistry of the stratosphere and potentially affect the Earth’s climate. ASIM is travelling to the International Space Station in the trunk compartment of the Dragon capsule. Once it arrives, the station’s robotic arm will transfer the payload from the capsule to the external payload facility on the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Columbus module.Dr Martin Fullekrug, the lead UK scientist on the project based at the University of Bath, said:“I have been researching and investigating space and lightning events for over 15 years and the launch of ASIM feels like the pinnacle of my journey into understanding this phenomenon.“This is the first time such a detailed and technologically-advanced measurement device will be flown into space to observe lightning and will hopefully provide us with new knowledge about how lightning is initiated and how the properties of lightning can affect our daily lives in so many different ways.”The experiment, part funded by the UK Space Agency through our investment in ESA and built by the Danish company Terma, will be operated by ESA with involvement from scientists in the UK.Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency said:“This experiment will give scientists all over the world the opportunity to study the effects of powerful lightning storms from the unique vantage point of the International Space Station. It’s another exciting moment for international space collaboration and commercial spaceflight, which the UK Space Agency supports through the Government’s Industrial Strategy.”last_img read more

Chiltern bread competition

first_imgEnvironmental charity The Chiltern Society has begun the search for the region’s best artisan bread producers.The Chiltern Society Real Bread Award 2016 is currently taking nominations from the public for the best bread stalls and artisan bakeries in the area.A judging panel made up of Chiltern Society members will visit nominees over the summer, ahead of an awards ceremony planned for September, though the location and date are yet to be decided.The awards categories are also to be decided, but Elaine Mason, Chiltern Society volunteer and competition founder, said: “We’re trying to have three or four winners, so we might do different loaves or sections of the Chilterns.”Real Bread CampaignMason was inspired to launch the competition after finding out about the work of the Real Bread Campaign and its members.She said: “Near where I live we’ve got an absolutely wonderful artisan bakery and I looked on their website and found out all about the Real Bread Campaign and got really into it.“Seeing the website really inspired me. I was very interested to hear about the difference between supermarket bread and traditionally produced bread.”The Chiltern Society is a charity aiming to preserve the countryside around the Chiltern Hills and encourage public awareness of the area.last_img read more

Harvard Allston Partnership Fund marks decade

first_imgDespite a chilly and torrential rain, the mood was warm and celebratory at the 10th annual Harvard Allston Partnership Fund (HAPF) grant awards ceremony at Raymond V. Mellone Park in Allston on April 25.Since its creation in 2008, HAPF has provided $1 million in grants to dozens of local organizations, supporting programs for thousands of Allston-Brighton residents.HAPF, established by Harvard University and the city of Boston, in collaboration with the Allston community, was created to support nonprofit organizations providing neighborhood improvement projects, cultural enrichment, and educational programming for residents living in North Allston-Brighton. The awards support a wide range of programs from educational and enrichment activities, to arts and family engagement programming.Allison Brodney-McDevitt (from left), Pablo Avila, and Jennifer Gamez of the Boston String Academy perform at the celebration. Photo by Tony Rinaldo“Hundreds of people in Allston and Brighton benefit from the work of the nonprofit organizations that have been awarded grants this year,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “They bring to their work an extraordinary amount of energy and creativity, and we are honored to partner with them to bring more opportunities to residents throughout the community.”“I want to thank Harvard for their commitment to Allston-Brighton. Boston’s identity is forged by the union of great global leadership with great local community,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We have the best universities in the world and the best neighborhoods in the world. That’s an unbeatable combination and what this partnership and these grants are about.”Listed among the 32 organizations to have received the annual $100,000 funding are its newest recipients. It’s estimated that more than 5,000 Allston-Brighton residents and families have been supported by the critical — and diverse — work being done by these groups.Some of the organizations have provided public performance opportunities for young musicians; others have brought poetry programming into the Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA); while another has supported the creation of an intergenerational and culturally diverse sewing community.The Boston String Academy, which performed at the event, is based out of the Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston and is composed of students in grades one through six.“Many of our students are immigrants, or low income, and the [HAPF] funding helps us to provide scholarships — opportunities they might otherwise not have access to,” said Mariesther Alvarez, one of the directors of the Boston String Academy.Among some of the other contributions are teaching literacy skills; offering citizenship preparation; providing financial security training to low-income adults; and supporting job placement services for North Allston-Brighton residents with disabilities. Some grant recipients have even provided home-cooked meals and diapers to North Allston-Brighton families.“We are grateful to the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund for the support and generosity that helps us do the work that we do connecting with families, with young children here in Allston Brighton,” said Colleen McGuire, director of Allston Brighton Community Programs for the Family Nurturing Center. “This grant is enabling us to grow our programs and play groups, and ultimately serve more families. … One of the reasons why our partnership with HAPF is so strong is that we have a common goal: supporting families in Allston and Brighton. We’re all neighbors and we all benefit from the varied and diverse families that reside here.”Youth programming opportunities such as ice skating, boxing, swimming, fishing, filmmaking, and community organizing were offered to more than 1,000 local youth, and more than 200 scholarships were provided for sleep-away summer camp, fishing instruction, and swim lessons.“Youth hockey is traditionally not as affordable as other youth sports,” said Craig Cashman, president of Allston Brighton Youth Hockey. “The Harvard [Allston] Partnership Fund helps us keep it affordable for local families who wouldn’t necessarily be able to play hockey because of that cost. We’ve been fortunate enough to receive this grant a few times, and it’s really made a difference in our program. We’ve been able to engage more kids because of it.”,Other organizations offered health and wellness education programs, including free bicycle workshops.“We are very grateful for the partnership, and the support from Harvard. The funding allows us to expand and offer our services to more of our community,” said Galen Mook, president and founder of CommonWheels, a nonprofit that provides free bicycle workshops and resources to residents. CommonWheels “is not just about riding a bike. It’s about giving someone an opportunity to ride to work. To be independent. To be healthier. To empower. We’re really grateful to be able to expand in the neighborhood and reach all sorts of new folks.”The ceremony, which was also attended by Boston City Councilor Mark Ciommo and Boston Planning and Development Agency Director Brian Golden, was a celebration of the grant recipients, recognizing the impact of the work they do. Yet it was also a celebration of the partnerships and friendships that have formed since HAPF’s inception.One particular partnership was emphasized by Walsh, as he took the opportunity to recognize and thank Faust for her leadership and service. Faust, who’s been Harvard’s president since 2007, is stepping down this June. Walsh acknowledged her work over the past decade, and thanked her for her unwavering friendship.“During her time as president of Harvard, President Faust has brought the University to new heights, particularly in terms of its relationship with the community, and with the city,” said Walsh. “She’s helped open the doors of this historic institution to many people from across the city and all around the world, and Boston looks forward to continuing its relationship with Harvard through the years ahead.”Faust too highlighted her relationship with Walsh, saying she was proud to call him a “good friend.”In their remarks, both Faust and Walsh took the opportunity to recognize Raymond V. Mellone, in attendance at the event at the park named for him in a 2011 dedication ceremony. The 1.75-acre public park was designed through a community process, with construction costs and ongoing maintenance provided by Harvard University as a community benefit related to the University’s Science and Engineering Complex project.Faust also spoke fondly of her years taking part in HAPF celebrations.“When I became president of Harvard in 2007,” said Faust, “I could never have imagined all of the wonderful moments I would share with you, and how I have enjoyed watching this partnership grow. I have been so fortunate to meet so many engaged citizens, to see such a vibrant and caring community, and so many people who hold this very special place in their hearts and work tirelessly to see that it changes in ways that strengthen it for everyone. Your work — and our partnership — give me hope for everything that Allston and Harvard will undertake together in the future. So thank you for helping me along my journey as president and for being such a wonderful ally.”A full list of recipients since 2008 can be found at or decisions are made by a volunteer board of community members following careful review of all applications received. For more information, please visit or email [email protected]last_img read more

Record-breaking number of students prepare to ‘March for Life‘ in D.C.

first_imgOver 1,000 Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College students and community members will be marching in Washington, D.C. on Friday as part of the 45th March for Life.Founded in 1974 to peacefully protest the Roe v. Wade decision — a Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States — the March for Life is an annual organized march to the Supreme Court building held on or around the anniversary of the 1973 decision. Observer File Photo Students rally for March for Life in front of Main Building in January 2016, as the trip was cancelled due to weather that year. A record number of students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross are taking buses to participate in this year’s march this weekend.The Notre Dame Right to Life club has organized trips to D.C. to allow students and faculty to march alongside hundreds of thousands of attendees from across the nation. The club’s president, senior Sarah Drumm, said attending the march revitalizes the pro-life movement by showing students they are not alone in their beliefs.“The March for Life is a unique event in the sense that it allows us to take part in the national movement for life and really take a step outside of South Bend,” she said. “Having the opportunity to go and march with thousands of other individuals who are just as passionate as we are about supporting and protecting life, especially the most vulnerable, is just a really powerful and inspiring thing.”According to the March for Life website, the two-hour march starts at the National Mall and will feature a rally, a musical performance and speeches by President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, various members of Congress and Pamela Tebow, the mother of NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, amongst others.With support from sponsors such as Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, Drumm said the March for Life commission within Notre Dame Right to Life sent 19 charter buses carrying an approximated, record-breaking 1,050 students and faculty to D.C. Thursday evening to participate in today’s march.“I think the fact that Notre Dame sends hundreds of students every year really does make a statement,” she said. “I know the media doesn’t talk about the march a lot, but the more students we send the more likely we are to get noticed. I think it shows that this an issue that Notre Dame really does care about.”One of the March for Life head commissioners, junior Nick Gabriele, said the trip includes putting rosaries on the buses, attending a mass with University President Fr. John Jenkins before the march and a Saturday morning mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C.”[The trip] is really a pilgrimage,” Gabriele said. “We’re going in a spirit of prayer and respect for life so it’s going to be a fun trip; everyone’s getting prepared and offering it up for a greater respect for life.”Beginning last spring, Gabriele said, the commission focused on hitting the 1,000 mark of attendees this year by putting “a lot of ground effort” into advertising the event across campus with posters, dorm representatives and through the use of other outlets to reach people. Both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s participants will be granted excused absences from Friday classes.“We know that the Notre Dame community is just so excited about it,” Gabriele said. “Because we hit that four-digit number, it’s now more than 10 percent of the undergraduate population going which is unbelievable. It really speaks to the importance of the issue to people here on campus.”Gabriele said this will be his fourth year participating in the march and the atmosphere is always comprised of a joyful, happy crowd of people from all kinds of backgrounds.“I’m excited for all the people I’m going to meet and all the people that everyone’s going to meet,” Gabriele said. “To just be a part of the energy that is there — it’s really something that you can’t explain; you can’t describe until you go and it’s something so special. I get the chills every year just being a part of it and I can’t wait to do it again.”Tags: Abortion, March for Life, ND Right to Life, Roe v. Wadelast_img read more Summer Camp, Day 3! Unbutton Your Heart with Rita Moreno!

first_img View Comments We’re gonna be honest: Things around the offices have gotten really boring the last few weeks. It’s sweltering, it’s humid, and worst of all, no new Broadway shows open until after Labor Day. But never fear, dear readers, we’ve got a great way to spice up the month of August: Summer Camp! Each day for 31 days, we’re highlighting the campiest, craziest, wildest—and did we mention campiest?—videos we can find. Put on your gaudy bathing suit and dive in! LOOK OUT FOR… A pre-Fame Irene Cara! First one on the left behind Moreno. Before singing the body electric, the Oscar winner got her start as a member of the Short Circus on the PBS program. WHY WE LOVE IT Who doesn’t want a lesson in prefixes from a Tony, Oscar and Emmy winner? Rita Moreno was a regular on The Electric Company from 1971 to 1977, and in this crazy clip, she channels her inner Tina Turner in a song that teaches us all about using “un.” We’d be lying if we said we weren’t flailing our arms around along with these girls (seriously, though, that “America” choreography has nothing on this.)center_img MOST GIF-ABLE MOMENT OVERALL CAMP FACTOR 100 out of 100 hair flips. No wait, ALL the hair flips. Infinity hair flips.last_img read more

6 reasons to pay attention to politics this week

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The 100 day milestone of the experiment called the Trump Presidency combined with a Saturday deadline for the country to either expand its borrowing authority or default on the credit card payment called the national debt is conspiring to make this one of the most intriguing political weeks since the election.Back from its two week Spring break, the House of Representatives will begin to focus in earnest on the roll-out ofCHOICE Act 2.0, the radical blueprint for regulatory reform.  A Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26th at 10:00 am. While I am somewhat skeptical that the Senate will have the ability to grapple seriously with the issues raised by this Legislation any time soon, it will provide a wonderful opportunity for credit unions to continue to make the case that Dodd-Frank has done more harm than good when it comes to credit unions and true community banks.Part 2 of the State Legislative Session kicks off as Assemblymembers and Senators reconvene after their break.  Not coincidentally, this coincides with our Annual State Governmental Affairs Conference.  The Executive and Legislature have each signaled an interest in taking a fresh look at some old classics. Whether you like politics or find it more distasteful than a glass of orange juice after brushing your teeth, we participate in the most highly regulated financial industry in the country.  Everyone reading this blog has an obligation to engage policy makers at the state and federal level in our efforts to provide relief.  Besides, on Tuesday morning, you’ll hear a presentation from E.J. McMahon, the Research Director of the Empire Center for Public Policy.  I’ve always been a big fan of his since he’s the only man I know in Albany who has been able to make a living being an unabashed Conservative. continue reading »last_img read more

Gov. Wolf Orders Flags to Half-Staff to Honor El Paso and Dayton Victims

first_imgGov. Wolf Orders Flags to Half-Staff to Honor El Paso and Dayton Victims August 05, 2019 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Flag Order Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf has ordered the commonwealth flag on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds to half-staff to honor the victims of the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.“Frances and I are mourning an especially horrific 24 hours of gun violence in America. We’re praying for the victims of El Paso and Dayton, and the two young women shot in Philadelphia over the weekend. Many ills contribute to this rising violence. We can and must take action.“We can ban assault weapons and institute stricter background checks. We can make communities safer. We can target white nationalism and promote tolerance. We can invest in mental health care and help those struggling. We cannot accept this violence as normal. We must act.”The commonwealth flag shall be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Thursday, August 8, 2019. The United States flag has already been ordered to half-staff during this time.All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.last_img read more

Developer offers Melbourne-inspired townhouses without the price tag

first_imgAscot SilverRay White New Farm marketing agent Hamish Bowman said the Melbourne-inspired townhomes were located in the heart of Ascot.“This is your chance to own your piece of land in one of the best suburbs of Brisbane for under $800,000.00, and that is great level buying of a high-end product,” he said.A quick glance at shows only a handful of four-bedroom properties on the market, with a house listed for $1.2 million.New buyer Rob Steer, 28, ended a three-year search when he found Ascot Silver.“Almost everyone I know who is my age has been looking for at least three years and due to unaffordable prices it has made it impossible to get into the market.It wasn’t until I found Ascot Silver that I knew I had found something very rare,” Mr Steer said.“It is a brand new architecturally designed townhouse . . . to find a four-bedroom house in Ascot it would cost you over a million dollars. I am not a fan of apartments for a variety of reasons – so the intermediary is a townhouse.Mr Steer said his partner was drawn to the “modern cool look” of the kitchen and bathroom, and the wooden finishes that made the rooms look spacious and light.He said the location and the ongoing infrastructure upgrades in the area were selling points.“The floorplan provides a number of different spaces. The courtyard gives some space for kids so you could definitely start a family here. In terms of transport it is close to the airport and train station,” he said.Ascot Silver is expected to be completed early next year. Ascot SilverA DEVELOPER couple who started their careers in regional NSW before moving on to luxury developments in Sydney are about to break ground on their latest project in one of Brisbane’s most exclusive and expensive suburbs.But the terrace-like homes do not come with the suburb’s usual high price tag.Ascot Silver is a boutique townhome development by AZARA Projects, with 14 four-bedroom residences to be built by Hutchinson Builders by the end of the year. The 205sq m to 253sq m townhomes will cost between $790,000 and $845,000 each, well below the current median house sales price of $1.5 million.Four townhomes have already sold off-the-plan.Ascot SilverJason Byron and Amy Tang, who moved to Brisbane from Sydney four years ago to raise their family, are the couple behind AZARA Projects, which has two other projects currently in the works in Brisbane – Diamond on Deviney at Morningside and Luxe at Bulimba.Nine other projects have been completed across the city.“Our latest project in Ascot is different, unique and we are not copying anyone else. If anything we are copying Melbourne’s terraces,” Mr Byron said.“To get a four-bedroom home in Ascot you would have to pay (upwards of) $1.4 million, so to get your own townhome with land and outdoors space for $800,000 is incredibly rare.”Mr Byron said the nearby Brisbane Racing Club development was set to transform Ascot, and the Ascot Silver site was just 150m from Doomben.“The school district is sought after with parents of young children and there’s such a short supply of stock in Ascot,” he said.Ms Tang, a designer, said buyers craved outdoor space for entertaining.“Our design is very flexible and intelligent. We promise to deliver a product that will suit a high-end client in a high-growth area,” she said.“For an investor, we want to deliver a beautiful product that is in an area that will always go up.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours ago“Downsizers are used to being in bigger houses too and they don’t want to sacrifice space. So for that reason, we never build anything with only one-car garages. Everything we deliver to market always has two carparks.”last_img read more

Higher Cargo Volumes Push Finnlines’ Earnings Up

first_imgFinnish RoRo and passenger shipping company Finnlines reported an increase in its earnings in the third quarter of 2017, mainly driven by higher cargo volumes.The company’s revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was at EUR 145.2 million, rising by 11.4 percent from the EUR 130.4 million reported in the same quarter a year earlier.Cargo volumes improved during the third quarter increasing the revenue. Also, cargo-related bunker surcharge has been higher since respective fuel costs have remained on a higher level.Shipping and Sea Transport Services generated revenue amounting to EUR 140.1 million, up from EUR 125.1 million, while Port Operations’ revenue reached EUR 10.6 million, up from EUR 9.7 million.The company’s result for the quarter ended September 30 reached EUR 32.5 million, up from EUR 30.3 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier.“The third quarter of 2017 was the best ever quarter of Finnlines’ history,” Emanuele Grimaldi, President and CEO of Finnlines, said, adding that the recovery of Finland’s economy “is reflected in our export and import volumes which have continued to grow over 10 per cent.”For the first nine months of 2017, the company’s revenue increased by 12 percent to EUR 404.5 million, from a revenue of EUR 361.1 million reported in the nine months ended September 30, 2016.The result for the period was at EUR 67.9 million, against a result of EUR 60.9 million seen a year earlier.Shipping and Sea Transport Services’s revenue was at EUR 389.6 million, mainly due to higher cargo volumes in most trades, while Port Operations’ revenue reached EUR 31.5 million due to increased external and internal cargo handling activities.“Finnlines has continued to invest in its fleet to become a more environmentally friendly and a more sustainable shipping company,” Grimaldi informed.As the company completed its EUR 100 million Environmental Technology Investment Programme to reduce the sulphur emissions by over 90 percent since the start of the programme, Finnlines launched a new investment programme, the Energy Efficiency and Emission Reduction Investment Programme.Through the new EUR 70 million investment programme, the company will lengthen four of its Breeze series ro-ro vessels with options for two more ships.last_img read more