“If we are the ‘main business representative body’ [as Byrne described them] then we are surprised that the Commissioner keeps reporting that there is ‘broad support’ for the plan,” said Chauvin.“That is because, from the very outset, UNICE has expressed high scepticism and has asked, from the very beginning, for clarification. “Maybe it’s time to get that clarification. The reform Byrne is proposing is far-reaching and could have an impact not only on consumers but the whole internal market. But we have not had a satisfactory response and we are not in a position to support it.”Chauvin admitted that industry was encouraged by Byrne’s initial promise to replace some of a patchwork of EU consumer protection laws covering many sectors with a single framework directive that would force companies to trade fairly with their customers.But he said this plan appears to have been scaled back and that the new directive might be an extra layer of red tape that will make life more complicated for companies – particularly small firms. “Now they [Byrne and his officials] are saying the broad framework could co-exist…it is changing, and moving like an amoeba – but the contours are not shaped,” added Chauvin. The linchpin of Byrne’s plan – to be in place when he leaves the Commission in 2004 – is a framework directive that would force businesses from plumbers to e-commerce bookstores to abide by common levels of ‘fairness’ in their dealings with customers. In an interview with European Voice last week, Byrne said a green paper outlining his proposals had received “a very good response” from business groups. However Jérôme Chauvin, head of company affairs at Brussels-based EU employers’ federation UNICE, suggested the Irish Commissioner’s statement was overly positive. The business group said it also has concerns over the way the Byrne blueprint will fit in with other pressing areas of EU policy.These include Commission President Romano Prodi’s proposals on European governance, the Convention on the future of Europe and a separate initiative on sales promotions, launched by Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein.At the same time, UNICE said it was unclear how Byrne’s plans would affect industry’s efforts to police itself.
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Oil company Eni Norge has resumed production from the Goliat field in the Barents Sea offshore Norway.The output from the field was stopped in December after a routine inspection of the offloading hose found some damage on segments of the hose.According to the company’s spokesperson the production of crude oil has resumed following completion of offloading after replacing three segments of the offloading hose.“Work was carried out safely, without any unforeseen incidents,” the spokesperson said.Final acceptance tests and third party verification of hose have been carried out, confirming the integrity of the offloading system.The Goliat field is located in PL 229 in the south west Barents Sea, 80 km north-west of Hammerfest, Northern Norway. Production from the field started on March 12, 2016.Eni Norge is operator of the field with 65 pct interest. The remaining 35 pct interest is held by Statoil.Subsea World News Staff
Law firms and solicitors could see their regulatory fees slashed by almost a fifth this year. However, there is likely to be an increase in contributions to the compensation fund. Under SRA plans to be put before its board tomorrow, the individual practising certificate fee would fall from £428 to £350. The amount collected through the firm-based fee would also fall by about 18%, although actual amounts paid by firms will vary depending on turnover. Firms are likely to provide 60% of the total cost of regulation, with 40% paid by individual solicitors, in line with last year’s proportion. If approved by the SRA board tomorrow, the new fee level will also need to be passed by the Law Society Council at a meeting on 13 July. The SRA has also introduced an online renewal process this year. An online fees calculator is available on its website. Contributions to the compensation fund are likely to rise from what the SRA described as the ‘exceptionally low’ rates last year. The costs of the fund will be met on a 50/50 basis by firms and individuals, charged a flat-rate fee. The level of fee is still to be decided. Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: ‘The Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are continuing to manage the Law Society Group’s finances in the best interests of the profession. ‘We are targeting a reduction in our annual funding requirement and thus the practising certificate fee of 15%. In doing so, savings will be passed on to the profession. ‘The Law Society Council will set the final figure on 13 July. However, the level of contributions to the compensation fund have not yet been finalised. ‘Central to setting these levels is the need to ensure there is financial stability for the Law Society and the SRA to fulfil their respective statutory duties on behalf of the profession.’ SRA chief executive Antony Townsend said: ‘The SRA and Law Society have worked hard to get costs down and set fees in a way that is fair to both individuals and firms. ‘We are also expecting our online renewal system to speed up the process and make it more efficient for firms.’
ABC’s new flights will operate every Thursday and Sunday using CLA’s air operator certificate (AOC) and flight numbers.The routing will start at London Stansted before heading to Libreville via Frankfurt, onto Johannesburg and returning to Stansted via Nairobi.”The introduction of services to Africa is a big step for our company,” said ABC senior vice president for sales and marketing, Robert van de Weg.”New points of destination and origin in Africa will provide our customers with direct service via ABC’s stations in Europe, Asia and the US.” www.airbridgecargo.comwww.cargologicair.com
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Published: May 16, 2017 5:29 AM EDT DENVER (AP) As a Colorado community mourns the loss of seven students who recently killed themselves, a school district official ordered librarians to temporarily stop circulating a book that’s the basis for Netflix’s popular new series “13 Reasons Why,” which some critics say romanticizes suicide.The order rankled some librarians who called it censorship, and it appears to be a rare instance in which the book has been removed from circulation – albeit briefly.It also has highlighted the debate about balancing freedom of speech with concerns about students.“It would be hard for anybody who has dealt with suicide to not have a heightened awareness of things, to perhaps be a little more cautious about things,” said Leigh Grasso, the curriculum director for the 22,000-student Mesa County Valley School District who decided to pull the book.The young adult novel, published in 2007, follows a high school girl who kills herself after creating a series of tapes for her classmates to play after her death. She gave the tapes to people who influenced her decision.Her death in the Netflix series is depicted in the final episode of the first season, and the graphic scene has prompted schools across the country to send letters to parents and guardians with tips on how to prevent suicide.From upstate New York to the Midwest and California, school administrators have warned that the series sensationalizes suicide and does not provide a good roadmap for people struggling with mental illness. There is no evidence that any of the Mesa County students who killed themselves since the beginning of the school year were inspired by the series or the book.Grasso, who has not read the book or watched the series, appears to be one of only a few school leaders in the country who has taken the book out of circulation. Another school district in Minnesota temporarily pulled the book after a parent complained that it referenced sex.Grasso cited media attention and recent events in an April 28 email to district librarians letting them know about her decision.Of the 20 copies available in the school district, 19 were checked out at the time and were not affected by the directive. Still, several librarians protested, and the order was rescinded about three hours after it was issued.Grasso said the book was made available again after librarians and school counselors determined it did not include scenes as graphic as those depicted in the Netflix series.“I think we were just being cautious until we had the opportunity to look at the book and see how closely related to the movie it was,” she told The Associated Press.Grasso said her decision did not amount to censorship because the book was not permanently banned – an argument that drew some pushback in the school district.The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel cited one librarian saying there is a formal, board-approved process to challenge books in the district.“I believe it is our duty to follow that process, because censorship is a slippery slope,” the librarian wrote.The newspaper, which obtained the feedback through an open records request and did not name the librarians, reported that a middle school librarian wrote, “Once we start pulling and censoring books for all students as a reactive measure there is no line to which we follow.”The show’s creators remain unapologetic, saying their frank depiction of suicide needs to be unflinching and raw.“Many people are accusing the show of glamorizing suicide and I feel strongly – and I think everyone who made the show – feel very strongly that we did the exact opposite,” writer Brian Yorkey said. “What we did was portray suicide and we portrayed it as very ugly and very damaging.”Jay Asher, who wrote the bestselling book after a close relative attempted suicide as a teenager, said he has spoken at schools in all 50 states and tells students he would not be there if it weren’t for teachers who were not afraid to talk about uncomfortable topics.“Over and over, readers describe ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ as the first time they felt understood,” Asher said. “Recognizing that people will understand is the first step toward asking for help.”James LaRue, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association, said he understands why Grasso wanted to review the book, but “instead of just reacting to a moment, you get people together and make a sensible decision.”“Sometimes the world is a dangerous place, but reading about it isn’t,” he said. Related Articles:’13 Reasons Why’: Addressing the controversy as a parent’13 Reasons Why’ sparks conversation on suicide’13 Reasons’ sparks criticism of teen suicide depiction Author: AP Teen activists score mental health days for Oregon students Recommended School district pulls suicide book ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ Apparent suicide by 20-year-old Robinhood trader prompts app to make changes SHARE