Leading Irish artisan bakery My Own bakery in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, has been sold by Siobhan Walsh, the woman who started the business five years ago, writes Hugh Oram.Walsh sold the business for an undisclosed sum to a Dublin-based food processing company, CWK Food Processing of Baldoyle, Dublin. The owner of CWK Jim Kilbride said he intends to run the bakery along its present lines,without making major changes. The business was set up by Walsh on her 150-year-old family farm, where she had a bakery built. The bakery employs six full-time and eight part-time workers and has a turnover of approximately E500,000. My Own produces baked goods mainly for the Christmas market, hand-mixing all products. Under the My Own label, four varieties of Christmas puddings are produced, as well as Christmas cakes and brandy butter. The bakery also makes gluten-free and diabetic versions and catering sizes. My Own bakery services the multiple and convenience grocery market as well as deli and health food shops, catering outlets and hamper companies. The firm has won a number of accolades for its products, including five Great Taste awards.
Full Name* Andrew Cuomogreen buildingslabor unionsLocal Law 97 Tags Share via Shortlink The groups also proposed limiting the number of renewable energy credits that could be purchased, based on a percentage of the building’s greenhouse emissions that are above the annual limit.John Mandyck, CEO of the Urban Green Council, said “renegotiating Local Law 97 in the state budget won’t work,” and the proposal on the table fails to deliver a direct environmental benefit in the city, since the energy credits would go toward maintaining existing renewable energy facilities in other parts of the state. But the groups acknowledge that changes are needed to the local law.“We get it. There are buildings that no matter what they do, can’t comply,” Mandyck said. “The worst thing we can do is just issue fines. Fines are just a lose-lose proposition.”“We don’t need fines; we need carbon reduction,” he added.Building service workers’ union 32BJ SEIU and the construction union umbrella organization, the Building and Construction Trades Council, have also put forward their own compromise, but one that would be part of the state budget. In a February memo, the groups voiced support for the option to buy energy credits elsewhere in the state, citing the lack of credits available within the city.The groups, however, suggest what they see as “sensible amendments” to the governor’s proposal, floating a cap on the number of energy credits that can be used to offset emissions, limiting the application of the credits to building emissions related to electricity or finding other ways to invest in energy efficiency onsite. The groups also suggest only permitting the use of out-of-state credits until an “adequate amount of renewable power” is flowing into the city.“While the grid is on its journey to becoming less carbon intensive, we need to give buildings every incentive that there is to become efficient and [to] electrify,” Kyle Bragg, president of 32BJ, said in a statement. “But it’s very hard to hold them accountable on the grid when buildings cannot control the grid’s efficiency, and need more flexibility.”Gary LaBarbera, president of the BCTC, said the governor’s proposal helps ensure that the goals of Local Law 97 are met.“Good middle-class careers will be central to New York’s sustainable economy and to advancing our climate goals, and these thoughtful and practical amendments to Local Law 97 help ensure just that,” he said.The state Assembly and Senate are working on their own budget proposals. Some state and city elected officials have criticized the governor’s proposal, saying it would wrongfully circumvent city law at the behest of the real estate industry.Contact Kathryn Brenzel Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Email Address* Urban Green Council’s John Mandyck, BCTC’s Gary LaBarbera and 32BJ’s Kyle Bragg (Twitter, Getty, 32BJ SEIU, iStock)Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to make it easier for owners to comply with New York City’s building emission caps. But as budget negotiations heat up, labor groups are suggesting tweaks, while others are calling for a completely alternative path.As part of his proposed budget, the governor wants to allow property owners to buy renewable energy credits generated outside New York City to help meet new carbon emission caps put in place by the city’s Local Law 97.But nine groups are instead calling on the city to create another option for compliance, such as the ability for property owners to invest in a fund that would pay for energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in affordable housing. The groups, including the Urban Green Council, the Alliance for a Greater New York and the Regional Plan Association, don’t want this issue handled in the state budget.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreReal estate seeks changes to city’s green buildings billGoing green has some city landlords seeing redFive key real estate proposals in Cuomo’s budget
Harvard College Thursday night sent admission notifications to 977 prospective students through its Early Action program. The students, who represent a broad range of economic, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds, will have the opportunity to join the Harvard College Class of 2019.“These 977 individuals present an exceptional array of academic, extracurricular, and personal accomplishments,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “Whatever institution they choose to attend, we are certain they will leave a lasting mark on the world.”Last year, Harvard’s Early Action program admitted 992 students to the Class of 2018. The year before, 892 were admitted, while 774 were admitted the year prior to that, when the program was restored following a four-year hiatus. While the number of students admitted through the program dropped slightly this year, Fitzsimmons said that early admission has become the “new normal” in many communities, and that many of the top students across the nation and around the globe continue to apply to colleges early.First instituted in the mid-’70s, when Harvard and other peer institutions had significantly smaller application pools, Early Action was suspended with the Class of 2012 amid concerns that students were making premature college choices and that the program gave an advantage to students who attended secondary schools with greater resources and better college counseling. The program was restored for the Class of 2016 following the global financial crisis, when it became clear that many students from low-income backgrounds were interested in the certainty its early financial aid awards provided.“Increasing pressure on secondary school students, especially in early admission, has also long concerned us,” said Fitzsimmons. “For this reason, we make it clear that whether a student applies early or regular has no bearing on our ultimate admission decision.“We continue to recommend that students focus on which college would be the best fit and worry less about the timing,” he added. “Under Harvard’s Early Action program, students are not obligated to attend, and they are given the entire senior year to consider all their admissions and financial aid offers before making their final college choice.”Fitzsimmons also pointed to a paper, “Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation,” that has been available for more than a decade on the Harvard admissions website. Written by Harvard officials, it offers strategies for coping with these pressures and advocates a gap year before college or taking time off during or after college.This year, 5,919 students applied for early admission, compared with 4,692 last year. Harvard College Connection (HCC), a new initiative announced in October 2013, appears to have played a major role in this year’s early results. Bolstered by Harvard’s enhanced website and video capabilities along with a new social media program and traditional outreach, HCC was cited by many students in their applications.“We are pleased to see such promising results in just the first year of HCC,” said Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath. “We will continue to study the effect of these new recruiting efforts over the next few years.”This year also saw a continued increase in minority admissions, with Asian-Americans making up 22.7 percent of early admits for the Class of 2019, compared with 21 percent last year. The percentage of African-American students also rose, from 9.9 to 10.3 percent, as did the percentage of Latinos, from 10.5 to 11.4 percent; Native Americans, from 0.9 to 1.2 percent; and Native Hawaiians, from 0.2 to 0.3 percent.And women make up 49.7 percent of those admitted early this year, up from 45 percent of the Class of 2018. “We trust that recruiting efforts for women through HCC and other outreach had a significant effect,” said McGrath.“Harvard’s revolutionary financial aid program once again provided the foundation for recruiting the majority of our applicants,” said Sally C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “While most students have yet to submit financial information, preliminary staff estimates of financial need indicate a higher percentage of students this year come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.”Families with annual incomes of $65,000 or less are not required to contribute to their children’s educational expenses. Those with incomes from $65,000 to $150,000 pay on a sliding scale up to 10 percent of annual income, and need-based aid is also available to families with incomes greater than $150,000. Families with significant assets in all income categories are asked to contribute more. Home equity and retirement funds are not considered in the calculations, and students are no longer required to take out loans. Close to 60 percent of Harvard students receive need-based financial aid, with grants averaging more than $40,000.“Harvard’s new Net Price Calculator, a simple one-page application available on both the admissions and financial aid websites, provides families with an estimate of their eligibility for assistance under Harvard’s generous need-based financial aid program,” said Donahue.In addition to the 977 admitted students, 4,292 were deferred and will be considered again in the Regular Action process, while 541 were denied, 19 withdrew, and 90 were incomplete. The Regular Action process concludes in March, with notification to students on March 31.Over the months ahead, faculty, staff, undergraduate recruiters, and alumni will use personal notes, phone calls, emails, regular mailings, and social media to reach out to admitted students with information about Harvard. Many Harvard clubs will host information sessions during the winter holidays and in April. All admitted students will be invited to Cambridge on April 25-27 for Visitas, a comprehensive program that enables students to experience life at Harvard firsthand.
Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared on ndsmcobserver.com early Saturday morning. It has been updated with facts that have emerged since then. A tumultuous 48 hours of questions, rumors and speculation temporarily halted early Saturday morning when former Irish linebacker Manti Te’o ended his silence and denied any involvement in concocting the fake life of Lennay Kekua in an interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. “No, never,” Te’o told Schaap when asked if he was involved in the hoax. “Never, not ever.” In fact, Te’o told Schaap he was not fully convinced he had been hoaxed until Roniah Tuiasosopo, the man accused of perpetrating the scheme, contacted him to admit his involvement in the scheme Wednesday, the same day a report from Deadspin.com broke the story. Schaap said Te’o showed him Twitter messages from Tuiasosopo from two days ago in which he apologized. While he maintained his full innocence in the interview, Te’o did admit he made mistakes along the way, including lying to his parents about meeting Kekua. When the story of Kekua’s death unfolded in the midst of an undefeated Notre Dame season and Heisman Trophy campaign for Te’o, the linebacker said he “kind of tailored my stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away.” “That goes back to what I did with my dad,” Te’o said. “I knew that – I even knew that it was crazy that I was with somebody I didn’t meet.” “When [Te’o] described her as the love of his life, he meant it 100 percent, although they had never met,” Schaap said. “He did mislead people by saying he met her. He did so because he knew how crazy it would sound that he felt this deeply about someone he had never met.” Te’o told Schaap the relationship allegedly started on Facebook during Te’o’s sophomore year at Notre Dame, but that it was not until around the Oct. 1, 2011 Purdue game that it grew. He said the relationship started to become more intense in late April 2012, when Te’o was told Kekua was in a car accident. Te’o told Schaap that he began to sleep with the phone on the line with who he believed to be Kekua once she was in the hospital recovering from the fake car accident and leukemia. ESPN also reported Te’o supposedly had attempted to video-chat with Kekua multiple times before she purportedly passed, but each time had been unable to see her face in the chat. Additionally, Te’o told Schaap about a four-way text message conversation before Kekua’s death involving Scripture messages between himself, his parents and the person he believed to have been Kekua. Schaap reported Te’o even showed him the messages during their interview. Te’o said he never doubted Kekua’s existence or death until early December, nearly three months after he believed she had died. Corroborating the statements made by Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick on Wednesday, Te’o said he received communication from the woman whom he believed to be Kekua on Dec. 6, but was not initially convinced it was a hoax. “After he gets this phone call on Dec. 6 … he’s utterly confused,” Schaap said. “He doesn’t know whether to believe this person or not. She tells some story about how she’s been hiding from drug dealers.” Te’o told Schaap he asked the person purporting to be Te’o to provide a photo with a date stamp, but even after receiving that, continued to be suspicious of the conversation. In addition, Te’o said people associated with Tuiasosopo showed up at Notre Dame’s team hotel during preparations for the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship Game. Notre Dame did not arrive in South Florida until Jan. 2. Schaap said Te’o “wanted to get his story out there because he did know what people say to some extent” after a 48-hour period during which he was criticized for his silence. “He disputed the theory out there that he was completely naive about romantic relationships,” Schaap said. “He said he got sucked into this because he thought he was talking to someone who he shared a lot with. Background, Samoan background, she understood the culture, she understood the language, spoke it better than he did. … It was an intense relationship over a couple months.” ESPN publicist Mike Humes said on his Twitter account that ESPN “had no parameters on questions. While no TV cameras were permitted and use of audio was limited, we can use anything from the interview across our outlets.” Schaap said he thought the no-camera setting made Te’o more comfortable, and the arrangement was at the linebacker’s request. On Friday, ESPN’s Shelley Smith published a report in which an unidentified woman close to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged mastermind of the operation, claimed Tuiasosopo told her that Te’o is a victim of the hoax. In the report, Smith talked to two California residents who claim Tuiasosopo duped their cousin in 2008. The two claim Tuiasosopo supposedly used the same name and photos in that hoax. Late Friday, USA Today reported that three elements of Kekua’s story parallel that of the Tuiasosopo family: a case of leukemia, a car accident and a quote from Tuiasosopo’s father’s Facebook page that Te’o told the team Kekua said prior to the faked death. The two-and-a-half-hour off-camera interview with Schaap took place in Bradenton, Fla., where Te’o is currently training in anticipation for the NFL Draft. This week, Katie Couric will conduct the first on-camera interview of Te’o, who will be accompanied by his parents. Segments will be shown during Couric’s syndicated television show Thursday. Contact Andrew Owens at [email protected]
Measures Governments are Taking The term “money laundering” is said to have originated from the Mafia ownership of laundromats in the United States during the 1930s. Today, however, targeting the illicit proceeds of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) has gained the attention of governments around the world. While money laundering itself is quite complex, it consists of three basic steps: 1. Placement, where the money is most vulnerable to detection because it is considered dirty money. Some of the more prominent examples are making multiple cash deposits less than $10,000, purchasing multiple money orders below the reporting threshold, and using close associates to make multiple bank deposits. 2. Layering is the second stage in which the perpetrators attempt to disassociate the money from its original source. This is where money begins to be transferred to and from multiple accounts in an effort to make these transactions difficult to detect. 3. Finally, integration is the process of using funds for legitimate purposes because the funds essentially have been cleaned. Some of the methods used to further disguise these funds include real estate purchases, investments in front companies, stocks and foreign businesses. While many people unwittingly participate in money laundering, there are also many participants who are fully aware of the crime being committed. In 2007 the Costa Rican National Police dismantled a large drug trafficking organization in a sting titled Operation Border. Costa Rican newspaper reporter Otto Vargas, quotes the Costa Rican National Police as saying, “…behind these people exist a large number of collaborators (…), also pilots, air traffic controllers, owners of clandestine landing strips, drug transporters, laboratory owners, and other people dedicated to money laundering,” he wrote in Costa Rican daily, La Nación. Vargas’ remark is extremely poignant in that it highlights the complexity of money laundering by distinguishing the fact that is it not an individual act. Notable Cash Seizures By Dialogo July 01, 2011 According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, the International Monetary Fund believes that money laundering may account for 2% to 5% of the world’s gross domestic product, estimated to be as high as $3.61 trillion. The Tax Justice Network, an independent organization launched in the British Houses of Parliament in 2003 dedicated to analysis and advocacy in the field of tax and regulation, reported that developing countries lose an estimated $858.6 billion – $1.06 trillion annually in illicit financial outflows. Money laundering also has an effect on national policy because of mistakes in measurement errors on national account statistics and it also threatens monetary instability due to unsound asset structures in commodities, according to the United Nations Department of Public Information. The accumulation of wealth by DTOs poses a grave threat to the security of nations in this hemisphere. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated, “Where crime and corruption reign and drug money perverts the economy, the state no longer has a monopoly on the use of force and its citizens no longer trust their leaders and public institutions.” The BBC reported that Mexican drug cartels have so much cash at their disposal that they have managed to consistently infiltrate police, from the grassroots level to the very top. The U.S. Congressional Research Service reports that according to the United Nations Office of Drug Control, homicide rates have increased in Latin America “from 19.9 per 100,000 people in 2003 to 32.6 per 100,000 people in 2008.” While the exact correlation to drug trafficking is unknown, it is almost certain that the illicit narcotics trade plays a major role in the significant increase in homicides in this hemisphere. It is important to note that Latin America and the Caribbean has some of the highest homicide rates in the entire world. These regions serve as transit zones for drugs bound for North America. A further analysis indicates homicide rates are extreme in the transit zone countries. In the United States, the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 is the cornerstone of the nation’s effort to combat money laundering. It requires U.S. financial institutions to maintain records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments, file reports of cash transactions exceeding $10,000, and also report other suspicious activities that may signify money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities. Mexico has made significant progress in the past year in its efforts to combat illicit financial flows by implementing tough anti-money laundering laws. As a result of these stringent new laws, Mexico has seen an astonishing 75% reduction in U.S. currency deposits. Some of the key provisions of the new law impose a limit on cash deposits by Mexican individuals of $4,000 per month; foreign tourists are allowed to exchange only up to $1,500 per month; no more than $7,700 may be used as cash towards the purchase of vehicles, boats or planes; and making it illegal to purchase real estate in cash, reported The Washington Post. What are the results when governments undertake similar measures? A telling example is the case of Pablo Escobar, one of the most well-known drug traffickers in history, who at one point had an estimated net worth of $25 billion. In a documentary about his life, “Sins of my Father,” his son, Sebastian Marroquín, formerly Juan Pablo Escobar, stated the following: “Why am I not a drug trafficker? Because I was with my father, hiding next to him surrounded by millions of dollars and we were starving, where we’d been hiding for a week and ran out of food. That’s when I understood that the money from drug trafficking is absolutely worthless.” *Anthony Williams is a Doctoral candidate in Homeland Security and Defense at the National Graduate School, Falmouth, MA, and is a member of a Joint Staff within the U.S. Department of Defense. In March, 2007, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and Mexican law enforcement made the largest single drug cash seizure in history, totaling $207 million dollars, in what was a front for a Mexican pharmaceutical company. In September, 2009, United States Immigration Customs and Enforcements (ICE) agents along with Colombian and Mexican authorities seized over $41 million in shipping containers. “We recognize both the U.S. government and Mexican authorities as our best allies in the fight against organized crime and thank and congratulate ICE for their support and collaboration,” said General Oscar Naranjo Trujillo, director general of the Colombian National Police. The Impact of Money Laundering Future Efforts to Curtail Money Laundering The United States National Drug Control Strategy states, “undermining the financial infrastructure of trafficking organizations has proven to be one of the most effective means to disrupt the market for illegal drugs.” This statement is significant because when a government captures a high value target or head of a DTO, that individual is quickly replaced by the next in line and so the cycle of organized crime will continue to function. However, if the funding stream is broken, these organizations lack the means to purchase materials necessary to produce and distribute illicit narcotics. By dismantling the financial infrastructure, the capability exists to bankrupt these criminal organizations. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and its associated nation-states set the year 2019 as their target date to significantly reduce or eliminate money laundering related to illicit drugs. To tackle the growing threats posed by the transfers of funds from illicit proceeds, the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental policy-making body on financial crimes, urges transnational cooperation to meet the objectives established by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.