Outdoor Updates: Earthquakes in NC and TN on Sunday

first_imgDid you feel the earth move beneath your feet in WNC last weekend? You may have experienced one of two small earthquakes that struck the region on Sunday. The first was a 2.2-magnitude quake near Greenville, TN, which struck about 3:30 a.m. Saturday night/ Sunday morning. The second quake, a 2.5-magnitude shakeup, struck the Mars Hill and Weaverville area around 12:23 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Disorder detected in FL panthers and bobcats Quakes below 2.5-magnitude generally are not felt by people, though they do show up on a seismograph, and those below 4.0-magnitude typically cause no damage. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the Eastern Tennessee seismic zone is one of the most active in the Southeast. The zone runs across Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.  Small earthquakes shook the ground in NC and TN on Sunday Join Litter Sweep and help clean up NC roadways Volunteers and NCDOT maintenance crews will devote an entire week to picking up litter on the roadside. If you’d like to participate, NCDOT will provide orange and blue trash bags, gloves and safety vests from your local NCDOT county maintenance yard. Contact a local litter coordinator to learn more: https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/adoptahighway/Pages/coordinators.aspx. A definitive cause has not yet been determined. The FWC is testing for potential toxins, including rat pesticide, as well as infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies. The public can help by submitting trail footage that captures animals that have problems with their hind legs to [email protected]  Does the trash along the roadways take away from your enjoyment of the surrounding natural beauty as you drive down the road to your favorite trailhead? If you want to help make a dent in the litter, join the NC Department of Transportation’s biannual statewide road cleanup, which takes place twice a year in April and September. This year, Litter Sweep will be held September 14-28. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has detected a disorder in some Florida panthers and bobcats that impacts the animal’s ability to walk normally or the degree to which they can control their back legs. As of this month, one bobcat and one panther have been confirmed to have the disorder, but wildlife cameras have caught eight panthers (mostly kittens) and one adult bobcat with the same symptoms on video. last_img read more

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Americans love their credit cards (for now)

first_img continue reading » Whether they swipe or insert, Americans have a proven tendency to reach for their credit cards over all other payment options. And it’s not just tactile appeal–credit cards exceed debit cards in usage whether it’s online or in-store. Together, credit and debit cards dominate the market as preferred payment types in the US. In online purchases, eWallets are still trailing behind debit cards. Bank transfers, cash on delivery, and pre-pay show little growth over last year among Americans. So, if you haven’t implemented chip technology yet in your credit union’s credit cards, it would be a wise investment against fraud. Americans don’t appear to be giving up their plastic for quite a while.Worldpay found that Americans only spent $2,271 per capita using eCommerce, only 20% of which was via mobile wallet. Ecommerce’s compounding annual growth rate is expected to be 9% in the US between 2018 and 2022, aided by a 79% internet penetration rate as of 2018. Point of sale spend per capita, however, was $24,248 with just 3% coming through mobile wallets. POS CAGR is expected to reach 7% between 2018 and 2022.Americans’ payment habits contrast sharply with other countries. Mobile payments in the US are projected to amount to less than half of eCommerce through 2022. In the UK, however, mobile payments will account for more than half of eCommerce by 2022. Densely populated countries like China and Indonesia are already there. In fact, China’s mobile eCommerce is expected to nearly double desktop by 2022. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Do not trust adjusted company earnings, investors warned

first_imgAnalysing the 20 companies in the Swiss Market Index (SMI), the bank found that if these firms had been gradually writing down the value of goodwill, their net profits would have been 10% less than they actually been reported as being in 2013.But while the treatment of goodwill was transparent, the way adjusted profits were reported was out of control, it said in the paper.“Unlike the statutory profit figures, there are no set accounting rules governing the way adjusted earnings figures are reported,” it said, adding that this meant there were effectively no limits on how creative companies could be.Examples of items that could be included or excluded in the adjusted earnings figures were extraordinary income or expenses, extraordinary amortisation of tangible assets, foreign currency gains and losses and restructuring costs, it said.Data showed that 56% of EURO STOXX 50 companies had reported adjusted net profit in 2013 that was higher than the statutory equivalent, and for a further 20% there was no difference between the two types of reported profit.“This suggests that companies are also using the adjusted profits to conceal operating weaknesses or the negative aspects of an aggressive acquisition policy,” it said.These adjusted figures were then often pushed to the fore in press releases and presentations, it said.“Investors are therefore best advised to analyse not only the income statement but also the reported cash flow,” the paper went on.Since free cash flow could fluctuate widely from one year to the next, it made sense to assess it using cumulative figures over several years, the bank said. Investors should pay little attention to adjusted profit figures published by companies, as a large proportion of listed businesses seem to be using the method to make themselves look more profitable, according to Bank J. Safra Sarasin.In a paper on sustainable investment and governance in particular, the bank said that adjusted earnings figures were “tricky to compare”.“A better way to assess a company’s long-term performance is to look at the cumulative free cash flow figures reported over several years,” the paper said.It also said that because goodwill no longer had to be amortised on company balance sheets, starting in 2004, reported net profits had been higher since then.last_img read more

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LAPFF urges FTSE 350 firms to disregard ‘defective’ accounting advice

first_imgThe Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has made a fresh call for FTSE 350 boards to disregard regulatory advice over the application of “defective” accounting standards when deciding the level of dividend.The move by the LAPFF, whose 71 members have £175bn (€205bn) in assets, is the latest development in a long-running row over the interpretation of the Companies Act 2006 in relation to dividend payment based on accounts prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).The LAPFF argues that documents released by the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under the Freedom of Information Act cast further doubt on advice offered by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the regulator with oversight of accounting matters.The letter to FTSE 350 boards, signed by LAPFF chairman Cllr Keiran Quinn, calls on the chairs of UK listed companies to disregard the advice offered by the FRC, and consult with company lawyers about the concerns raised. “We would also encourage you to have a boardroom discussion,” Quinn, also chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, adds.Having taken legal advice on two occasions from George Bompas QC, LAPFF argues that accounts prepared under what it calls “defective” International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), mean companies risk paying dividends out of illusory IFRS profits. It previously warned that FRC guidance was “contrary to the requirements of the law”.The FRC has consistently argued that this is not the case and that companies can safely rely on the figures reported under IFRS, subject to applying the true and fair view override in exceptional circumstances.Sparking the latest furore is the release of 53 pages of partially redacted correspondence between BIS and the FRC.In those exchanges, BIS officials are shown to have restrained as-yet unidentified FRC officials from publicly stating that Bompas and LAPFF were wrong.One unnamed BIS official wrote: “I am concerned by the wording in the first paragraph. We have never said that the views are ‘incorrect and may be disregarded’.“What we have said is that the Companies Act 2006 does not require the disclosure of a separate figure for distributable profits. Ultimately, whether the views of the LAPFF are incorrect would be a matter for the courts.”In a further warning, BIS officials wrote on 3 December last year: “I really think this needs to be kept factual.”The email continues: “If your lawyer was [sic] comfortable, you might include the line: ‘The FRC does not agree with the LAPFF’s interpretation of company law on this matter’ but I couldn’t agree to you including a reference to the [g]overnment.”The author then goes on to explain that BIS staff “haven’t had time to speak with our lawyer on the point (and may not be able to do so quickly as he is not in the office today).”The BIS intervention came in response to a proposed reply to a second Bompas legal Opinion obtained by the LAPFF last year.An FRC representative wrote: “The FRC and the government have confirmed that the views of the LAPFF on this matter of company law are incorrect and may be disregarded.”In response to the disclosures, an FRC spokeswoman told IPE: “The FRC discusses policy issues on a regular basis with central government as this [freedom of information] response shows.“Our position on this issue is clear: the Companies Act 2006 does not require the separate disclosure of a figure for distributable profits.”Crucially, LAPFF writes that neither it nor its legal experts have disputed this point. The FRC has refused to clarify why it has made a reference to a separate disclosure.The FRC’s statement continues: “Ultimately interpretation of the Act is a matter for the courts.“The FRC stands by what it has previously said on this matter. It was aware that the LAPFF had written to company Chairmen in late 2015.“Their letter dealt with a very narrow point of company law in terms which we cannot support and which raises uncertainty unnecessarily.“The LAPFF’s new letter is drawing on emails regarding a draft statement. The final version of the statement was agreed with BIS.”The FRC has declined to identify the individuals involved in the released correspondence.last_img read more

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Police Blotter 06-01-20

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