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first_imgDavid Cooper, 55, from Blyth, Northumberland, was a director of CFM Transport Ltd (CFMT), based in Chester Le Street, Tyne and Wear.Mr Cooper was a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) mechanic and driver for around 30 years before seeing an opportunity to move into the road haulage business, incorporated CFMT and began trading in 2011.The business grew and expanded into European markets and on advice, set up two further companies, CFM Cargo Logistics Ltd and CFM Continental Ltd.In early 2015, however, one of the company’s vehicles was involved in an accident abroad and while waiting for the insurance claim to be settled and the companies’ petroleum tax refund entitlements, Mr Cooper submitted false VAT claims in order to keep the companies afloat.Mr Cooper’s wrongdoing was discovered and with the prospect of criminal proceedings for tax-related fraud, he opted to cease trading.Following the end of the liquidation process, the Insolvency Service looked in to Mr Cooper’s role in the collapse of the companies. Those investigations revealed that Mr Cooper had knowingly created and submitted false returns in order to claim VAT to which the company was not entitled.On 8 October, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from David Cooper, after he admitted knowingly creating and submitting false returns to reclaim Value Added Tax to which the company was not entitled. His ban is effective from 29 October 2018 and lasts for 11 years.Robert Clarke, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, commented: act as a director of a company take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership be a receiver of a company’s property YouTube Media Manager 0303 003 1743 In a separate investigation, Mr Cooper was convicted of “being knowingly concerned in fraudulent evasion of VAT”, totalling £148,228 and on 15 June 2017 he was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months.Notes to editorsDavid Cooper is of Blyth, Northumberland and his date of birth is June 1963.CFM Transport (Company Reg no: 07828520)A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot: Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.Contact Press OfficeMedia enquiries for this press release – 020 7674 6910 or 020 7596 6187 Office currently closed during the coronavirus pandemic. You can also follow the Insolvency Service on: Directors have a firm duty to ensure they deal properly with tax matters and pay what is due. Mr Cooper has paid the price for failing to do that, as he cannot now carry on in business other than at his own risk. Email [email protected] This service is for journalists only. For any other queries, please contact the Insolvency Enquiry Line.For all media enquiries outside normal working hours, please contact the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Press Office on 020 7215 1000. Twitter Press Office LinkedIn The public can be assured that where there have been abuses of public finance provisions which result in losses of this type, the Insolvency Service will investigate the conduct of the parties involved and take action to remove the privilege of limited liability trading for a lengthy period.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Notre Dame student senate gathered to discuss changes to the Executive Programming Board, adjustments concerning the spring 2021 schedule, a formal disapproval of University President Fr. John Jenkins’ actions during his visit to the White House and the adjustment of hall visitation policies in order for the betterment of student mental health during its weekly meeting Thursday evening.The meeting began with an executive announcement surrounding potential changes for the spring semester. The administration is currently working on a creating potential break during the spring semester, acknowledging that the condensed first semester is leading both faculty and students to experience feelings of burnout.Prior to the general orders of the meeting, members of the student senate discussed the University’s improved responses towards the pandemic, specifically on aspects of adaptability, transparency, testing and mental health.The first order was a resolution to amend the constitution of the Undergraduate Student Body to transition the Executive Programming Board from a Student Union Branch to an Article II Board, presented by junior parliamentarian Thomas Davis. Senior and chief of staff Aaron Benavides said that while is not a trivial task to amend the article of the constitution, the new resolution did not align with the vision of the original proposal.“I don’t think that the executive committee was what I had envisioned and originally proposed,” Benavides said. “I think that’s something that the sponsors and I would be very happy to go back to, you know, accept some of them are recommendations of the Committee on the constitution and their wisdom that they offered to us. But again, I think it’s a middle path.”Ultimately, however, the senate rejected this order.The second agenda item was an order to pass a resolution adjusting the spring semester schedule. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent modification of the academic calendar for the spring semester of 2021, this order was passed unanimously by the student senate. This allows for the suspension of class officer elections, election for senators and senate members serving a one-year term beginning on April 1.The calls for the action of the Judicial Council Election committee, which would make petitions available for the student body president and vice president elections on the first day of classes of the spring semester to be due at noon on the Friday of the following week, while completing the elections of class council officers and residence hall senators by March 25 and 30, respectively.The third order followed the previous week’s senate meeting regarding Jenkins’ noncompliance with University health and safety guidelines while attending the nomination of Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court in the White House Rose Garden Sept. 26. The University announced that Jenkins had tested positive for COVID-19 Oct. 2. The order called for a resolution formally denouncing Jenkins’ violations of University health policy and encouraging further action.The issue of whether to pass a formal denouncement of Jenkins drew debate among the senators. Some agreed that while Jenkins should face consequences for failing to abide by health and safety guidelines, the call for him to resign was extreme.“I think everybody knows that actions should have consequences,” sophomore and Stanford Hall senator Patrick Lee said. “And while we did regard the resolution last week as slightly extreme, I thought there was a pretty valid point made — lots of students are going through disciplinary processes right now because they didn’t follow the rules. I think it’s important that we stand by the fact that actions have consequences.”However, during the debate, others disagreed. Some argued that Jenkins threw Notre Dame into an unnecessary controversy. In the end, the order passed, with an estimated 75% of the senate voting “yes” on the resolution.Following up to the vote, Lee suggested some further areas for potential improvement regarding the University’s COVID-19 policies.“It is a really well written resolution — the student government is larger than the senate, and works with a lot of other departments as well and with other public spaces to open up a little bit more as the weather is cold,” Lee said. “Let’s strike while the iron is hot and pool all of the resources together and say, ‘How do we make the last few months of the semester as safe as possible?’”The senate further agreed that the idea of a town hall — where students voice their concerns directly to Jenkins — would be an effective way to foster conversation and offer constructive change.To wrap up the meeting, the senate called a resolution encouraging the further adjustment of current on-campus residence hall visitation policies to promote student well-being while continuing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the weather gets colder, preventing students from socializing safely outside, the senate agreed unanimously that the Division of Student Affairs should further adjust residence hall visitor policies to allow non-resident visitors to be permitted in common spaces, all while observing health and safety guidelines.Tags: COVID-19, Fr. John Jenkins, ND student senate, residence hall policies, spring 2021 academic calendarlast_img read more

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first_imgThe sun is shining, the temperature is perfect, and the stars are lining up for an action-packed day of adventure out in the woods.But as you pull into the trailhead parking lot, you see it: The vehicle bearing an assortment of bumper stickers that push your buttons in all the wrong ways. Oh, no. You’ve argued a million times with people like this on Facebook, and it never ends well. So what happens now? Are you going to cross paths out on the trail?This is a moment that many of us have experienced in some way, at a trailhead or in town. The little computers we carry everywhere have reshaped our perception of the world. In social media discussions, conversations tend to tilt to the extreme ends of the spectrum, and it’s easy to project that dichotomy onto the world.Politics has increasingly become a team sport that overshadows every aspect of culture. Are you a Democrat or Republican? Urban or rural? Extractive or non-extractive user of the outdoors?The polarization seems more severe than ever. However, these divides go back decades and even generations. In the early 1900s, during Teddy Roosevelt’s administration, a divide took shape between Gilford Pinchot, conservationist and founder of the U.S. Forest Service, and John Muir, preservationist and poet. That divide defined much of the 20th century: Are forests important for feeding sawmills or feeding our souls? Answer: Both and neither.In the 21st century, that dichotomy has evolved. Timber interests still exist, but they now share an extractive interest in public lands with oil and gas. Pipelines are cutting gashes across national forests to move natural gas from wells to market. The Sagebrush movement wants the federal government to hand off its land holdings to states and private interests.Even within the outdoor community, conflicts routinely erupt between various user groups. Beside the traditional divide between extractive users—mainly hunters and some anglers—and non-extractive users—most everyone else—we’ve seen narrower disputes, such as in the ongoing political fight over whether mountain bikers should be allowed to ride in federal wilderness areas.And yet, the outdoors community really shares more in common than it realizes.“There’s only one America,” said Audrey Peterman, president and co-founder of Earthwise Productions, Inc., an environmental consulting and publishing firm focused on connecting people with public lands. “The land doesn’t lie. The land is literally the firmament that we inhabit together. It bears the record of everyone and everything that has ever lived on this continent.”That includes the Native Americans, who once inhabited every national park and forest. We often choose to forget that colonists drove Native Americans out of our most celebrated landscapes, including Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and the Smokies.More recently, the United States dictated who got to visit what land under what conditions for decades. The legacy of slavery, lynchings, and Jim Crow laws still overshadow the outdoors today.When I first started mountain biking in the early 1990s, I often rode in Virginia’s Longdale Recreation Area, on the east end of my native Alleghany County. I had a vague knowledge of the site’s history from 1940 to 1963 as Green Pastures Recreation Area, a segregated spot intended for African Americans who were denied access to public wildlands elsewhere. My friends and I rode singletrack with reckless abandon—and with the privilege of white kids who didn’t have to wrestle with the recreation area’s history to enjoy it.People of color don’t have that luxury, though. The historical barriers placed between them and the outdoors linger through oral histories that have preserved ancestral memory. Audrey Peterman tells a story that shows how that history manifests on public lands today.“I’ve had the luxury of visiting 184 units of the National Park System from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Peterman said. She and her husband Frank decided to take a road trip around the country to know its natural wonders. “That journey marked a defining time in our lives, as we saw thousands of foreigners enjoying spectacular lands—and less than a handful of black or brown Americans.”The Petermans work to empower people of color to explore public wildlands. Attending one of the Petermans’ recent lectures was Tamia Dame, an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.“As a woman of color with a love for Mother Earth, I, too, question the racial demographics I’ve observed in most outdoor spaces,” Dame wrote last month in Mountain Xpress. “My favorite outdoor activity is hiking the Appalachian Mountains, and similar to the Petermans, it’s rare for me to see another person of color along any given trail.”Dame grew up near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Lenoir, North Carolina, but she told me it wasn’t until last year that she started to closely examine the relationship between African Americans and the outdoors.“I feel like the outdoor culture is very cohesive, but it’s not necessarily inclusive,” Dame said. “I feel like most of the divide comes from the presumed idea of an outdoor enthusiast. If you go hiking, more than likely everybody you pass on the trail has a specific appearance. You know immediately they’re comfortable with and equipped to be outdoors. It sometimes makes me feel out of place. I can’t afford all the same supplies. I can’t imagine how it makes people feel who have even less than I do.”“The outdoors is an important experience for everyone to have,” Dame continues. “It is an escape from the real world. The real world isn’t especially nice, and for the people whom the real world is most especially not nice to, it’s important for them to have a getaway and feel comfortable and feel like they have the right to be outdoors.”Dame’s essay raised some people’s hackles. Acknowledging race and the cultural barriers that often go unnoticed in the outdoor community can be uncomfortable. And when white supremacists regularly book space in Tennessee state parks—as they regularly have over the last few years—the conversation is an important one.Mention “division in the outdoors community” and many people think immediately of the conflict between extractive and non-extractive users. Through the first half of the 20th century,  “outdoor recreation” was often used as shorthand for sportsmen, mainly hunters and fishermen. That has changed significantly as hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, running, and other non-extractive activities have grown rapidly while the number of hunting and fishing licenses has declined.Many still fall back on the extractive/non-extractive split as the defining division of the outdoors. Longtime Roanoke Times outdoors writer Mark Taylor, who left the paper to work for Trout Unlimited a few years ago, dismisses it as overblown.“Historically and traditionally, it’s been more of a perceived divide than a real divide,” Taylor said. “If we are out there enjoying the outdoors, no matter how we’re doing that, we have more in common than not. A guy whose number-one passion is hunting deer, if he is to boil down what his priorities are and why he enjoys the act of hunting deer, he’s going to get a lot of the same answers as the guy whose number-one priority is mountain biking.”Taylor has always blurred the lines, enjoying hunting and fishing as well as trail running and biking. He notes that in the West, where he grew up, the distinction has become even more blurry, with hunters now frequently using mountain bikes to access backcountry destinations.Experiences in the West also shaped the perceptions of James Revercomb, co-owner of Roanoke Mountain Adventures. He didn’t really hunt while growing up in western Virginia, but after heading west to guide Snake River whitewater trips at age 19, the allure of backcountry western hunts brought him into the culture.Since returning to Roanoke to start his outfitting business in 2015, Revercomb said he’s met a lot of hunters, a lot of non-consumptive recreationalists, and a lot of people who do both.Divides do sometimes arise, especially when talking about how public lands management is funded. Because license fees go back into public lands, hunters and anglers often feel as if they contribute to conservation in a more tangible way than other users who don’t pay into that system.That’s still a fairly narrow difference, especially when measured against an increasingly powerful outdoor recreation industry that represents $373.7 billion, or 2 percent of the entire 2016 U.S. gross domestic product, according to a report by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The outdoor industry now provides more jobs than the oil, coal, or natural gas industries.“That in itself is common ground and a leg to stand on as we move forward,” Revercomb said. “Whether you’re a mountain biker or hunter or someone who likes to ride an ATV, you do that stuff because maybe you love being outside, and you probably love public lands. A lot of people who do this stuff want to preserve it for future generations.”For outdoor enthusiasts, the bigger question might be how, exactly, to best use public land.“The divide is less about what you do outdoors and more about how you view government and things like that,” Revercomb said. “There were plenty of hunting and angling folks who were super fired up and against the Bundys [the Utah ranching family who believes the federal government has no Constitutional authority to own land], and then there’s the more conservative-right crowd that hunts and fishes as well, and inherently thinks less government is better.”That’s where politics comes in, as well as the urban/rural divide. Most outdoor recreation destinations such as national forests are located in rural areas. Most of the population in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic is concentrated in metro areas. And through the 21st century so far, rural areas have voted increasingly more Republican and urban areas more Democratic, even as the parties move further away from one another.Even in politics, however, the perception of division can sometimes diverge from reality. Social media tilts toward the loudest voices, who often represent more extreme ends of the political spectrum, but if you place people in a personal conversation they tend to be more polite and more likely than not to find some common ground.Although Appalachia received scrutiny in national media for its support of Donald Trump in 2016, the region really was no more homogenous in its voting patterns than other parts of the country.If there’s division in these mountains, it’s really no different than the rest of the country, says Elizabeth Catte, whose book What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia serves both as a rejoinder to J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy but also as a powerful reminder of Appalachia’s heterogeneity.“I’m not sure if I see a culture war in Appalachia that is different or unique to the many types of other divisions and conflicts that are happening in the United States,” Catte wrote in an email. “For a variety of reasons, many people outside the region like to think of Appalachia as a monoculture, and that isn’t accurate. But it is often used to give credence to the theory that ideas and beliefs in Appalachia are universally shared and are therefore more enduring.”“Individuals often want history that is compact and tidy,” she continued. “The work I do as a historian is often focused on complicating neat arguments about the past. This is particularly true of history that reflects themes of violence, racism, and exploitation. The past is what it is and not a fantasy of what we wish it might be.”How do these historical divides—real or invented—affect politics and public policy? No one understands it better than Tania Lown-Hecht, communications director at the Outdoor Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group that represents human-powered outdoor recreation activities on Capitol Hill.“The question we get more than any other is, do you support hunting and fishing?” said Lown-Hecht. “Our focus is not hunting and fishing, but we work closely with those groups. We have a ton in common policy-wise and don’t have a lot of conflict there.”A sharper conflict arose in late 2017 when a congressional Republican filed a bill to open federal wilderness areas to mountain bikes. The bill seems to be locked up in committee, with little chance of passing both chambers in an election year, but it exacerbated tensions between mountain bikers and other recreationalists. The Outdoor Alliance is working with another bill to create a new designation that would protect wilderness areas while also providing more access for mountain bikers.But in Lown-Hecht’s work, it’s still the rural/urban split that has the most implications.“The divide between urban and rural populations is perhaps the greatest political divide in this country,” she said. “That maps onto public lands issues pretty strongly. So many of our public lands are in or adjacent to rural communities. The decisions around how to care for and what to do with public lands have a disproportionate impact on folks in rural communities. I think there’s often the sense that distant bureaucrats or elitists on the coasts are making decisions that affect your town and county and land.”In recent decades, it’s been the outdoor community who has led efforts to protect public lands and wild places. It has safeguarded some of America’s most important landscapes, but some parts of rural America have resented or misunderstood these protections.“People in rural communities adjacent to public lands love these lands,” continued Lown-Hecht. “They’re often why they’ve moved to or stayed in these places. We need to answer the question of how we care for public lands in the long run, and make sure there are economic opportunities distributed across the country. I think there are very legitimate grievances on both sides of that particular debate.”Where can we find common ground? I asked that question over and over in reporting this story. And while different people have different ideas, a couple of solutions kept recurring. Get off the internet and get out of your comfort zone. Go outside. Listen to others and to the natural world. And make space for other people, especially those who have been historically marginalized.As Audrey Peterman put it, the land doesn’t lie: “Public lands are the repository of our natural and cultural history, and the bonds of nationhood that we share together.”Together.last_img read more

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first_imgSweden’s AP2 has reduced the carbon footprint of its investments by a third between January and June after overhauling its benchmarks, according to its interim report.Releasing financial results for the first half of this year, the Gothenburg-based pension fund said it made an overall 2.9% return on investments in the period including costs, underperforming its benchmark by 0.1 percentage points.Eva Halvarsson, chief executive of the state pension buffer fund, said: “During the first quarter, the fund implemented extensive changes to its management of foreign equities by introducing new benchmarks for both emerging markets and developed markets.”With the new indices, she said the fund was also getting exposure to a number of sustainability factors, which – apart from improving the portfolio’s sustainability characteristics – also improved the expected return and risk. “Among other things, the new indices entail a considerably lower carbon footprint,” Halvarsson said.The fund said in its report that in relation to the market value of its holdings, the carbon dioxide intensity for its total equity portfolio would be 18 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per million krona as of 30 June, compared with 28 for 2017.The absolute carbon footprint for the portfolio as of 30 June was 1.9m tonnes of carbon dioxide, compared with 2.6m for 2017.AP2’s new indices combined most of the alternative indices it used before to gain exposure in individual sub-portfolios, turning these into one multiple factor index for developed countries and one for emerging countries.The fund said the investment return for the first half exceeded its long-term return assumption of 4.5% a year.Investments were helped to some extent by a weaker Swedish krona, with the currency hit by uncertainty around the central bank’s monetary policy.“The weakening of the krona during the first half of the year has had a positive impact on the return on foreign assets but this has partly been counteracted by the fund’s hedging policy and tactical positions,” AP2 said.Foreign government bonds, for example, made a 7.4% return in absolute terms in the first half, whereas Swedish government bonds returned just 0.9%.In the first half, the pension fund paid out SEK3.3bn (€314m) to the national pension system, lower than the SEK3.7bn it paid out in the same period last year.AP2’s total assets increased to SEK352.4bn by the end of June, up from SEK345.9bn at the end of December.last_img read more

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first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles stars model new national team jersey Osimhen, Chukwueze begin 14-day Isolation in Lagos Chukwueze gets new coach at Villarreal Nigeria’s whizkid, Samuel Chukwueze, starred as his Villarreal side stunned hosts, Celta Vigo, by a lone goal in a Laliga tie at Abanca Balaidos on Saturday.Chukwueze came on for Gerard Moreno in the 59th minute of the encounter. Villarreal’s Manuel Trigueros, who was also awarded the King of the Match award, broke the hearts of the homers when he hit the back of the net in the dot of 90 minutes of the energy sapping tie.Villarreal’s win ended Celta Vigo’s unbeaten run in La Liga and also leaves them one place above the relegation zone in 17th spot, while Villarreal occupies eighth position on the log.Celta survived in Spain’s top flight last season, finishing 17th in the table, and it would be fair to say that the team is involved in another battle to remain at this level of football.Indeed, Celestes have only picked up 26 points from their 28 league matches this season.Villarreal, meanwhile, currently sits eighth in the table, two points behind seventh-placed Valencia and four behind sixth-placed Atletico Madrid. Tags: Celta VigoGerard MorenoSamuel ChukwuezeVillareallast_img read more