Competition watchdog latest to back Virgin bid for Tokyo service

first_imgAustralia’s competition watchdog has become the latest organization to back Virgin Australia in its battle against Qantas to gain a scarce landing and take-off slot at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission joined tourism authorities in backing Virgin’s push to be allocated one of two daily slots available to Australian carriers.Australia’s No. 2 carrier proposes to start nonstop Brisbane-Haneda flights using an A330-200 from March 29.READ: KLM still going strong at 100.Virgin would also enter into a partnership in Japan with All Nippon Airways (ANA)  to create a passenger feed for its new flights.Qantas is seeking both slots and has questioned its competitor’s ability to sustain services on the routes.The submission to the International Air Services Commission by the ACCC adds to support for Virgin by Tourism Australia, Brisbane Airport and Queensland’s Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (DITID).It said it considered allocating the airlines one slot each would promote competition “to a much greater extent” than handing both to Qantas.“The ACCC considers that allocating one frequency to each of Virgin Australia and Qantas would facilitate greater competition between Virgin Australia and Qantas, and other foreign carriers, on routes between Australia and Japan (including Brisbane and Tokyo),’’ the ACCC said.“Virgin Australia does not currently operate flights to Japan in its own right, so Virgin Australia commencing flights on any route to Japan would naturally enable it to be a more effective competitor than at present.”The Queensland DITID said Brisbane had seen no new capacity from Japan since Qantas started Tokyo-Narita services in July 2015.It that time, it noted, Sydney’s capacity from Japan had been boosted by a daily ANA Tokyo-Narita service and Melbourne capacity had been increased through new daily services to Narita from both Qantas and Japan Airlines.However, the submission referenced a bigger A330-300 rather than A330-200 mentioned in Virgin’s application when it talked about freight capacity.“Queensland is ready to welcome additional services from Japan and I believe the Virgin Australia application will maximize the opportunity to boost tourism and trade flows between Australia and Japan,’’ DITID director-general Damien Walker said in the department’s submission.Qantas urged the IASC to satisfy itself that Virgin meets the “reasonable capability” requirement of its policy statement.It asked the commission to rigorously examine the extent to which Virgin was capable of obtaining licenses, permits or other approvals to operate the service and whether it could use the allocated capacity.The bigger airline also argued it would be able to put more capacity into Haneda with an extra 16,000 seats a year, or 8 percent more than Virgin.last_img read more

5 Ways Employees Are Stealing from Your Stores Right Now

first_imgWhat is the latest employee theft scam putting a dent in the profits of your retail organization?Think about any recent changes. Maybe you’ve implemented a new cash management protocol, or a new loyalty program, or a new tabletop payment system.Regardless of what your stores have recently done to boost revenue, it’s likely that some employees are figuring out a way to personally enrich themselves with it.- Sponsor – The hottest employee theft schemes are, by nature, very personal. They are specific to each retailer depending on its business and existing security measures, such as whether or not it’s using inventory management software, as well as a host of other unique factors.That’s why a universal best practice for countering employee theft schemes is to identify, track, and analyze incidents of internal theft across the organization. Implementing targeted theft-deterrent strategies depends on consistent record-keeping, organization, and pattern recognition. A data-driven incident management process is the only way to keep pace with an extremely adaptable foe.That is all to say that the employee theft scams listed here may not currently be a significant cause of loss in your retail organization. However, when we ask retailers about the ways in which employees are trying to steal from them right now, these five methods keep coming up. Retailers have caught employees stealing…By taking advantage of customer convenience tools. Mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) devices—such as smartphones equipped with credit-card readers—are increasingly popular tools for checking out customers. They offer retailers an opportunity to accelerate checkout, accept credit card payments anywhere, and enhance the customer experience. But some employees are taking advantage of that mobility to conduct theft that might be more difficult to do in a structured checkout environment with cameras watching. At one clothing store, for example, employees recently conducted a string of bogus MPOS transactions in the men’s room, including processing false returns and putting the money on depleted gift cards that had been handed in by customers. MPOS frauds aren’t different than the popular ones listed below, but crooked store workers are trying to use checkout mobility to provide some cover to those schemes.By bridging the real and virtual worlds. Some of the new online fraud schemes require a physical “insider” to pull off. Whether that person is doing reconnaissance for an organized retail crime group, mapping out a retailer’s processes to look for exploits, or whether an employee applied for a job specifically to carry out a fraud plan, internal avenues of attack need to be top of mind for LP as it tries to combat online fraud.Some employee fraud is straightforward. One fraud occurring today is collusion between online buyers and employees readying packages for shipment: insider thieves simply pack the box with extra products. Weight data is key to stop this type of fraud. If you know the weight of all your SKUs, you know what to expect an online order to weigh. So if the shipping company reports back an unexpected weight, you can check the reported weight against the expected weight. These schemes are being carried out at distribution centers but also at brick-and-mortar stores that double as mini-fulfillment centers and ship to customers’ homes or to other stores. Upon recognizing an instance of process exploitation on the part of an employee, a data-driven LP team can quickly enact safeguards to protect against the type of insider fraud that was just uncovered.With the same old tricks. Though not the most costly, the most frequently cited employee theft is the old trick of colluding with a “customer” to steal merchandise. For example, cashiers sometimes void large transactions but still place merchandise in shopping bags for customers. Others ring up only portions of an order to let accomplices walk away with stolen merchandise. Such scams dominate local news reports of arrests of store employees.At a Dollar General store in Elloree, SC, employees would wait until near the close of business, bring pre-loaded shopping carts to the register, pretend to scan most items, and leave with the carts of merchandise. Seven employees stole $56,000 over eight months, according to police.At a Walmart in Philadelphia, a four-person employee theft ring allegedly stole $60,000 worth of merchandise by only ringing up inexpensive items from large orders of merchandise, leaving the rest to go unpaid.Strategies to reduce theft at the point-of-sale include use of electronic article surveillance; RFID technology; CCTV at POS, specifically the use of video analytics with overhead surveillance of sales counters; and maintaining hiring and employee-screening standards. By integrating high-definition video with point-of-sale transaction data, retail investigation units can quickly and successfully review video surveillance footage associated with a specific transaction to identify individuals in a sweetheartening scheme.With gift cards and pre-paid credit cards. In another type of collusion, employees issue pre-paid store credit cards without paying for them. Friends, family, or accomplices bring the pre-paid credit cards to the crooked cashiers at registers, where they load them up with hundreds of dollars.In a gift card scam at a retailer in the Midwest a few months ago, an investigation found that that company software allowed employees to add funds to a gift card in a cash transaction and then void the cash transaction, leaving the funds on the card. In addition, the transactions could be completed without re-swiping the physical gift card. One employee’s alleged theft totaled nearly $60,000 over a 10-month period. Employee training is an integral part of curbing this type of theft.In December 2016, police said thieves were soliciting Target and Walmart employees throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area to participate in gift card scams, approaching them in parking lots, on social media, and elsewhere. In exchange for fraudulently loading money onto prepaid visa gift cards, the employees were being promised a small cut. Typically, thieves are telling these employees that they have jamming devices on their cell phones that will prevent the transactions from being recorded. They don’t, of course, so employees are being caught and prosecuted while thieves make off with loaded gift cards—in one case, worth $29,000. In all these cases, employees are never paid for their participation but are the only ones who get caught and face prosecution.With some help from above. Finally, several retailers say that strict loss prevention controls are being thwarted in some cases because supervisors are helping to cover up employee theft schemes. In one new case, for example, members of an overnight cleaning crew were stealing thousands of dollars worth of tools during breaks in their shifts. Surveillance video was capturing the activity, but a shift manager was intentionally overlooking the evidence to facilitate the crime. In that case, an audit finally uncovered the year-long fraud.Finally, employee crooks continue to show that they don’t lack imagination. In September, employees of a Radio Shack in Laurel, MD, turned off the electricity on the store’s breaker panel, cut the store’s surveillance DVR system, and made a holdup alarm activation call to police. “We’ve been robbed,” they falsely claimed—twice—stealing more than $55,000 in cash and merchandise.And the latest employee theft scam at Apple stores doesn’t even involve employees. Crooks are simply dressing the part, donning a blue shirt that passes for the store uniform, and making their way into repair or storage areas to collect an armful of devices.This post touched on a few of the employee theft scams of the moment, but keep collecting and analyzing your incident data. It’s the best chance to learn, as your technology and retail processes change, how crooked employees are trying to exploit them.This post originally appeared on the Resolver blog in 2017. It was updated November 6, 2018.  Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Turning the Unemployed Into Entrepreneurs

first_imgRelated Posts rieva lesonsky 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Government#Gritty Entrepreneurs#start#startups#Statistics Big Government – or Small Business?There are, of course, those who say SEA won’t work, that it’s just another “big government” program. Gerber counters that argument this way: “Government can’t cure all woes. But there are certain things the government can do, like remove barriers.” More to the point, he continues, “It’s obvious that long-term unemployment solutions like sending resumes isn’t working.”Actually there’s more fodder to support SEA, which isn’t exactly a new idea. Wyden first wrote legislation to “empower states to provide unemployment compensation to individuals for the purpose of funding self-employment” back in 1985.And just a few years later – in the early 1990s – two demonstration projects (allowing people to start businesses with their unemployment benefits) were created in Massachusetts and Washington state. The results? Researchers concluded SEA projects “increased the likelihood of self-employment and the amount of time participants were employed.”Additional research looked at SEA programs established in the late 1990s in Maine, New Jersey and New York. That study showed SEA participants “were 19 times more likely than non-participants to be self-employed at any point after their period of unemployment, and were four times more likely to have obtained any type of employment.”There’s more. Oregon has been operating an SEA program since 1995, and a survey shows nearly half of its program’s participants have created an average of 3.12 new jobs. SEA programs, says Senator Wyden, turn unemployment insurance into “job multipliers.”Who Qualifies?You can’t just say you’re starting a business to qualify for the SEA program. Those eligible to collect unemployment must have a “viable business plan” and “be working full-time” to launch “a sustainable business.” If you qualify, you will be able to collect your unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks, even though you are not searching for full-time employment.To further help startup entrepreneurs, the Department of Labor is calling on the resources of the Small Business Administration, SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers to provide technical assistance and training in the participating states.To some startups an unemployment check may seem too small and trivial to make a difference. But during startup, every dollar counts. And as Gerber says, “A lot of little somethings will help move the economy forward.”The White House and the Department of Labor want to encourage other states to adopt SEA as soon as possible. States must apply for the grants by June 30, 2013. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The dreaded pink slip – it’s still an all-too-common occurrence in America today. Despite an economy that appears to be on the road to recovery, there are still too many Americans being laid off every day. So what are we going to do about it?Most unemployed Americans have only a few options. Most spend their days applying for jobs, not just because they need the opportunity to work and earn a living, but also because job searching is a prerequisite for collecting unemployment compensation.Get a Job – or Start a Business?But thanks to Senator Ron Wyden (D – Ore.) and several other U.S. senators, Americans in some states have another option. Self-Employment Assistance (SEA), a provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in February, allows the states to “empower unemployed workers to start their own businesses.”Although the U.S. Department of Labor just announced that $35 million in funds were available to “develop, enhance and promote SEA programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” five states – Delaware, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon – already have active SEA programs.To entrepreneurial types this seems like a no-brainer. Scott Gerber – ReadWriteWeb contributor, founder and president of the Young Entrepreneur Council, and a leader in the movement to #Fix Young America (Senator Wyden, in fact, wrote a chapter in Gerber’s #Fix Young America book addressing this topic) – says SEA is “just common sense… and a simple realization of the new reality of the startup economy.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Introduction: Pete Downing

first_imgHello!  My name is Pete Downing!I joined Citrix in December 2006 with over 10 years of experience in technology.  With a diverse background in IT, desktop management, networking, virtualization, server based computing, application deployment, profile management, Microsoft Active Directory and systems administration, I bring a vast knowledge of the industry to my role as Principal Product Manager.Starting out in IT, I worked a full time job while in college as a systems administrator for a Boys and Girls Club located in Fall River, Massachusetts.  Also while in college I worked various jobs with the campus networking team.  Post college I worked for a medium size biotechnology company TKT (now Shire) as an IT systems administrator.  From IT, I decided to enter the software world, joining ManageSoft (now Flexera Software) as a Pre-Sales Engineer.  After almost three years with ManageSoft, I decided to move on and join Ardence as a Senior Pre-Sales Engineer.  In December of 2006, Ardence, Inc. was acquired by Citrix and during the transition I took on the role as a Senior Product Manager thus beginning my career as a product manager.Currently I am involved with Citrix’s cloud computing initiatives working specifically on the Citrix OpenCloud Bridge, the Citrix OpenCloud On-Boarding Solution stack and other key strategic cloud initiatives.last_img read more

Indian Stocks Plunge After RBI Keeps Key Rates Unchanged Lowers Growth Estimate

first_imgIndian stock markets ended lower for the fifth straight session on Tuesday after the central bank left its key rates unchanged in its first quarter monetary policy review and cut its growth forecast for the fiscal year.The benchmark BSE Sensex plunged 1.20 percent, or 235.85 points, to 19,357.43. The 50 share NSE Nifty declined 1.21 percent, or 70.75 points, to 5,760.90.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its policy repo rate and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged as widely expected at 7.25 percent and 4 percent, respectively. The central bank also revised the Asia’s third largest economy’s growth projection for 2013-14 to 5.5 percent, down from its prior estimate of 5.7 percent provided in May, citing global growth concerns. RBI also said that the recent liquidity tightening measures will be rolled back in a calibrated manner.”The policy statement is slightly more dovish than what we had expected. We expect that within two months, the cash tightening steps will be faded out, and monetary easing will resume. We are expecting another 50 basis points cut in the repo rate in 2013,” Sujan Hajra, chief economist at Anand Rathi in Mumbai, told Reuters.All the 13 BSE sectoral indices, except IT, ended with losses. Realty, oil and gas, power and PSU sectors experienced selling pressure.Realty sector plunged 3.84 percent to 1344.52. DLF tumbled 7.22 percent and HDIL plunged 4.36 percent while Unitech declined 3.79 percent.In the Midcap space, Havells India tumbled 13.31 percent and Punj Lloyd slumped 9.96 percent while Raymond declined 9.48 percent.The overall market breadth is negative with 1542 declines against 724 advanced on the BSE.Meanwhile, Asian markets mostly advanced on Tuesday as investors’ exercised caution ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision later this week. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 1.53 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.70 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.48 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.90 percent.last_img read more

Metro Is Considering Park and Ride Bus for Conroe

first_imgGail Delaughter/Houston Public MediaA METRO commuter bus in downtown Houston.The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Metro) is funded by a one-cent sales tax collected by cities in its service area.Last year Metro approved a new policy that would allow the agency to operate buses outside of its service area if another entity agrees to pay for it. A Conroe park and ride bus would be Metro’s first venture under that new initiative.Metro Vice President of Planning Kurt Luhrsen outlined plans for the Conroe bus before the Capital and Strategic Planning Committee. He said the bus would leave from a park and ride lot under I-45 in Conroe.It would make stops in downtown and midtown Houston before proceeding to the Texas Medical Center and the V.A. Medical Center. There would be three buses running on weekday mornings and afternoons.“This is a service that is somewhat provided right now by The Woodlands,” explained Luhrsen. “Obviously that starts further south than where Conroe is. They have a number of folks on that service that are actually originating in Conroe and believe there is an opportunity to really expand the market.”Luhrsen said Metro is hoping to soon draft an interlocal agreement that would allow the service to start early next year. Funding for the new commuter service would come from the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the City of Conroe. Sharelast_img read more

Creating magic with classics

first_imgCelebrating Indian classic cinema, a five-month long film festival titled Best of Indian Cinemas is being organised in the Capital that will screen movies every alternate Saturday. The festival, in association with Doordarshan will kick off on 25 October at National Museum Auditorium. Eleven movies in different languages which are Indian classics will feature in the event. The opening day of the festival will screen the English movie For Real. Directed by Sona Jain, the movie throws light on the point of view of a six-year-old girl caught in a family discord. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’English movie Stumble (directed by Prakash Belawadi) will be screened on 8 November. The film won the Indian National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English in 2003. Nishad, a Malayali movie directed by Shaji N Karun will be shown on 22 November. The movie plot is on the tensed atmosphere of 1971 when the war broke out between India and Pakistan.Marathi movie, Maala Aai Vhhaychy, directed by Samruoddhi Porey and Bengali movie Elar Char Adhyay directed by Bappaditya Bandopadhyay will be screened on 13 and 27 December respectively. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTamil movie Kanchivaram by Priya Darshan; Marathi movie Deool, directed by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni will be screened on 10 and 24 January respectively. English movie Mr & Mrs Iyer, directed by Aparna Sen; Hindi movie Khargosh directed by by Parseh Kamdar will feature in the month of February on 14 and 28.The last month of the festival will screen the English movie The Last Lear directed by Rituparno Ghosh and Bengali movie Herbert directed by Suman Mukhopadhyay on 14 and 28 March  respectively.When: 25 October – 28 March Where: National Museum, Janpathlast_img read more

Kolkata Police yet to give permission for Amit Shah rally BJP Yuva

first_imgKolkata: The BJP Yuva Morcha today said they are yet to receive any communication from the Kolkata Police regarding permission for BJP President Amit Shah’s proposed rally here on August 11. Yuva Morcha state president Debjit Sarkar told PTI that they have submitted a formal application to police, seeking permission for Shah’s rally. He said they will move court if police deny permission. “We submitted an application to police yesterday, seeking permission for the rally. We have mentioned five venues in Kolkata for the meeting, but police are yet to give us permission. We need time to prepare for the rally,” he said. Police’s reaction was not available immediately.last_img read more

35yearold woman killed in accident

first_imgKolkata: A chaos broke out on Purulia-Raghunathpur State Highway on Sunday morning following a road accident in which a 35-year-old woman was killed.An irate mob went on rampage, ransacking a police vehicle following the accident.Locals staged a demonstration and put a road block at Padalara village in Purulia at around 6 am protesting against the reckless driving of vehicles.The victim has been identified as Bisakha Mahata (35). She was walking along the road to get drinking water from a nearby area at the time of the accident. According to police, the woman was hit by a pickup van at Padalara village on Purulia-Raghunathpur State Highway. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAnother woman Pranati Mahata, who was accompanying the victim, also received injuries in the accident.Eyewitnesses told police that the Raghunathpur-bound pickup van was running at a high speed when the driver lost control over the vehicle and it knocked down the victim.Bisakha Mahata died on the spot as she received critical injuries on various parts of her body. The accused driver fled the spot along with the vehicle. Locals rushed the injured victim to a local hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAfter being informed police reached the spot and recovered the body of the deceased. A heated altercation broke out between the police and the villagers, some of whom ransacked a police jeep.The incident caused traffic jam in the area for nearly an hour. A huge contingent of police later rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control.Senior police officers assured the villagers that the accused driver would soon be arrested and action would be taken against vehicles flouting traffic norms.last_img read more