1 Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes Premier League champions Chelsea could be a better team than last season despite their poor start.Chelsea have four points from their opening three games and play Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in Jose Mourinho’s 100th Premier League home game and 200th league match as boss.Pardew said: “They have a side that looks to me like it could be better than the one last year and that one won them the league.“They have some new players. They’re integrating those.“It would be fair to say Chelsea are not quite in the groove (they were in) when we played them last time.”Chelsea clinched the title on May 3 with a 1-0 defeat of Palace at Stamford Bridge.History is also against Palace – it is 33 years since the Eagles won away at the Blues.“We performed last year almost to our maximum and still got beat. It’s one of those places,” Pardew added.“You have to go there and play your best game and hope that you get a result.” Alan Pardew
Celtic assistant manager John Collins is hopeful the club can fight off interest from Arsenal and Sunderland to keep hold of Nir Bitton.The defensive midfielder has been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent weeks ahead of the January transfer window.Both Arsenal and Sunderland are light on defensive midfielders and the duo have scouted the Israeli.However on Monday, Bitton’s agent, Dudu Dahan, claimed his client was happy at Celtic.And now the club’s assistant manager, Collins, is remaining hopefully that the 24-year-old will stay with the Scottish champions.“Nir signed a five-year contract. He has been a terrific player for us,” said Collins.“He has had a fantastic 12 months and hopefully he will have many more for Celtic.” Nir Bitton 1
Concerned that Angelenos selling their condos have been hit with a $150 fee under an old, unused affordable-housing ordinance, the City Council voted Wednesday to study whether to update or repeal the law. Under the 33-year-old ordinance, the city has the right of first refusal to buy condos built after 1974. But with little extra money, the city has almost always waived its right to purchase units. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Housing Authority enacted a $150 fee to process the waivers. But Realtors and some builders have questioned why the city would choose to keep – and charge a fee – under a useless law. [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Councilwoman Janice Hahn said she wants the fee stopped and the law repealed. “We get a lot of complaints about fees and taxes on residents. This, in my opinion, is just one more of those unjustified fees we place on people. It causes more of that anger toward City Hall,” she said. Housing Department General Manager Mercedes Marquez said she will study whether the law can be changed to help middle-class families afford to buy a condo with city-sponsored, low-interest loans. “Given the way the market is dropping now, there may be a way to take advantage of it,” Marquez said. “Is it possible to modify the law? If not, we would come back and probably recommend that it be repealed. If you’re not going to use it, it makes no sense for it to exist.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.STAFF WRITER A couple supporting their family on minimum-wage jobs may be able to pay for rent, food and perhaps clothing. But what about child care and transportation for their four-person family? Add the need for health care, and that family may be unable to sustain itself. Los Angeles County families must earn two to four times the minimum wage just to make ends meet, according to a study to be released today by the California Budget Project. A family of four living in the county with each parent working a 40-hour job must make $17.80 an hour per parent to “earn the basic family budget,” according to the study titled “Making Ends Meet: How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Family in California?” That would translate to $74,044 a year in income. “It does point to the fact that even if you put in your 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, there still is a significant gap between what people make and what they need,” Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. The study, by the independent public policy center, also demonstrates the inadequacy of the federal poverty line when applied to California’s high cost of living, Ross said. Of the four household types noted in the study, a single parent raising two children faced the highest hourly wage need of $30 in Los Angeles County. That’s exactly four times the minimum wage. California’s minimum wage is $7.50, with a 2006 wage median of $17.42. The median is the midpoint where half of wages were higher and half lower. County residents’ income requirements generally were somewhat greater than the statewide average but were less than other regions with higher housing costs such as the San Francisco Bay Area. At Harbor Interfaith Services, a San Pedro social services agency for the homeless and working poor, 14,000 people received food, shelter or other services offered, said Caroline Brady-Sinco, the group’s director of development. “Especially with the holidays coming up, every year we register families that don’t have enough money to put a holiday meal on the table, and every year the number of families just grows and grows and grows,” Brady-Sinco said. “Minimum-wage jobs are just not enough to survive, especially if you have children.” The minimum pay needs outlined in the study are based on full-time employment for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks per year. There is no allowance for unpaid days off during a year. The report assumes that families have two children each. Part-time workers or those working only part of the year need to earn a higher hourly wage to make up the difference. A two-parent family with only one parent working can live on less than a single-parent family or a two-parent family with both as wage earners, since one parent can stay home with the children. The basic family budgets also assume that families use home-based child care rather than more expensive center-based care. The report’s calculations also assumes that families rent rather than own a home, and live in housing that “many would consider overcrowded for a three- or four-person household.” The report also assumes that families buy private individual health coverage rather than receive health insurance from an employer. Saving for later is excluded from the report’s calculations. “These estimates allow very little to no room for savings toward retirement or a child’s college education,” the report says. Families that fall short of the report’s minimum income levels can still get by. They may use friends or family for child care, receive health insurance from an employer, use public or private handouts, or dip into their personal credit, the report says. Economist Jack Kyser acknowledged that California’s cost of living makes life difficult for minimum-wage workers. Yet Kyser cautioned against assuming that raising the minimum wage would solve the problem. “You don’t have a massive job loss if you raise the minimum wage. But over a period of time, business may start to look at ways to maybe reduce their reliance on minimum-wage workers,” said Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “If you increase (the minimum wage) by two to three times minimum-wage workers would be competing with more skilled workers. So you have to be careful because not only would you be hurting the people who earn minimum wage, but you’d be hurting the businesses, too.” Kyser suggested that gaining more education and skills can help such workers raise their standard of living while also filling a need in the economy. The report’s stated goal is to inform public policies that promote financial self-sufficiency by “boosting incomes or by providing help with access to necessities, such as child care and health coverage.” The report suggests that more funding can go into training and economic development to help minimum-wage employees gain higher-paying jobs. “We hope our basic family budgets provide a benchmark that policy makers, politicians and researchers can use to assess whether our public policies are appropriate to serve our working families,” Ross said. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! STUDY: That means two adults have to make $17.80 hourly for this basic budget to work. State’s minimum wage is $7.50. By Muhammed El-Hasan
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Morrell said the half-hour meeting was “very warm and productive,” coming nearly two months after Gates joined President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a one-day visit to Anbar province for talks with provincial leaders, including the slain Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha. Morrell said the Anbar leaders told Gates they hoped that the improved security they helped achieve in predominantly Sunni Anbar could be replicated elsewhere in Iraq. They also asked for U.S. help in expanding and equipping the provincial police force. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Sunni Arab leaders from Iraq’s Anbar province asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday for U.S. help in expanding their police forces. They included Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, older brother of Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the leader of a Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq who was assassinated near the provincial capital of Ramadi in September. The slain sheik had organized Sunni Arab clans into an alliance to drive al-Qaida from sanctuaries in Anbar province where the terror movement had flourished since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Also attending Wednesday’s meeting at the Pentagon were the chairman of the Anbar provincial council, the governor of Anbar and the mayor of the city of Ramadi, said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.
The October figure was the lowest since September 2005, he said. Simmons said the decline included all types of roadside bombs, including highly lethal “explosively formed penetrators” – the signature weapon of Shiite extremists – which can hurl a fist-size chunk of molten copper through the heaviest armor on U.S. vehicles. U.S. authorities insist penetrator bombs come from Iran, despite Iranian denials. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Iranians had apparently assured the Iraqi government that it would stop the flow into Iraq of bomb-making materials and other weaponry. “We believe that the commitments that the Iranians have made appear to be holding up,” Simmons said, adding that Iranian-made weaponry still found in Iraq appeared to have been smuggled in months ago. After the news conference, Simmons told The AP that the Iranian move followed “a significant amount of negotiations.” Last week, the Americans freed nine Iranians detained in Iraq for months on suspicion of smuggling weapons to Iraqi Shiite groups. The release was seen as a possible response to Iran’s move to curb weapons shipments. Nevertheless, Shiite militants remain a major threat to U.S. forces in the Baghdad area, despite recent improvements in security in the capital. Shiite extremists were believed responsible for a deadly attack Wednesday against a U.S. Stryker vehicle, which was hit by what Simmons called “an array” of penetrator bombs near an entrance to the Green Zone. One American soldier was killed and five were wounded, the military said. Iraqi police said two Iraqi civilians also were killed.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BAGHDAD – Iran seems to be honoring a commitment to stem the flow of deadly weapons into Iraq, contributing to a more than 50percent drop in the number of roadside bombs that kill and maim American troops, a U.S. general said Thursday. The comments by Maj. Gen. James Simmons marked rare U.S. praise for Iranian cooperation in efforts to stabilize Iraq. Washington has repeatedly accused the Islamic republic of aiding Shiite militias and trying to foil U.S. goals in Iraq and the region. But it remains unclear why Iran may have decided to choke off the suspected weapons pipeline. One possibility is that Iran – the most populous Shiite nation – is seeking to shore up the struggling government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, in the belief it will help Tehran’s long-term interests. Simmons, a deputy commander of Multinational Corps-Iraq, told reporters that the number of roadside bombs either found or exploded nationwide had fallen from 3,239 in March to 1,560 last month.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings “I am grateful that I work with supportive, thoughtful, intelligent people who like to have fun.” “I totally believe in focusing on the positive, and that’s why I enjoy so much my volunteer work. Giving without expecting anything in return is so fulfilling and gratifying, and it always comes back multiplied.” “I am very grateful to have a great job working for a terrific company that truly cares about my well-being, my professional growth and my overall happiness. I am grateful to work with a wonderful team, and grateful that the rest of the people in our office are wonderful, too. I truly enjoy coming to work every day.” “I’m thankful because the people I work with have become like a second family.” “My job allows me to help others, and that’s truly gratifying. I am thankful to be able to make a living being of service.” Today is a day to spend time with friends and family, to eat a bountiful feast, and maybe watch some football. It’s also a day to give thanks. While most of us are grateful for having a day off, we also should take the time to be thankful for the job we are privileged to have. I asked people I know to think about what they are thankful for when it comes to their jobs. Here’s what they had to say: “I am fortunate to work from a home office and not have to commute. I give thanks for that every time I have to venture out on the freeway!” “I have to be honest – my job pays really well, so I am thankful for that. And gratefully, I enjoy it, too.” “I spent a lot of time in college (and paid a lot in student loans) so I am thankful to finally be working in my chosen career, and thankful that it’s as fun as I’d hoped it would be.” “I’m thankful to have a job! Truthfully, whenever I pass the homeless on the street, I am appreciative that someone has put their faith in me as an employee and given me the chance to make an honest living.” As for me, I am thankful for the opportunity to get paid for doing what I love to do. And I’m grateful to you, my readers, for enabling me to keep it going. Happy Thanksgiving! Dawn Anfuso is a Southern California business writer and former managing editor of Workforce magazine. If you have workplace or job-search questions, e-mail Dawn at [email protected] Writers will remain anonymous.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The U.S. Trustee has launched an inquiry into Countrywide Financial Corp.’s claims against two South Florida borrorers seeking bankruptcy protection to determine whether actions of the nation’s largest mortgage lender “threatened an abuse of the bankruptcy system.” The federal agency, which is part of the Department of Justice and oversees bankruptcy cases, filed subpoenas in at least a dozen cases in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas asking Countrywide for information about questionable claims, demanding the company turn over internal documents and provide sworn testimony in the cases, according to the Associated Press. Calabasas-based Countrywide filed objections to the subpoenas in Florida earlier this month, arguing the U.S. Trustee was exceeding its authority and engaging in “an impermissible fishing expedition.” Last week, a judge in Miami overseeing the Florida case ruled in favor of the U.S. Trustee, and an order was being prepared for the agency to proceed with its request for documents.
AER Arann may pull its Derry to Dublin air route after the Government today confirmed it will not subsidise the route from June.Donegal North East Sinn Féin Deputy, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has angrily responded to news that the FG/ Labour Government will not return the Public Service Obligation (PSO) subsidy for the Derry to Dublin air-link.In response to Deputy Mac Lochlainn’s parliamentary question, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport,Leo Varadkar, confirmed that he and his Government will not reverse the decision of the previous Government to cut the route. Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “The decision of the previous Government to remove the PSO subsidy for the Derry to Dublin air-link was shocking. This subsidy is very important to make the route sustainable. Their defence of the cut that rail and road infrastructure connecting the two cities and regions is at the required standard was beyond belief.“There is no rail link connecting Dublin to Derry and North Donegal and the A5 dual carriageway will not be constructed till 2015. To compare Derry to Galway in terms of links to Dublin is mind boggling. There is both a railway and motorway connecting these two cities”.“I had hoped for a new approach from this Government to the needs of North Donegal and the North West. The response from Minister Varadkar appears to herald more of the same. I will continue to challenge this unjust and illogical decision. I invite local FG and Labour TDs and councillors to join me in that effort.”ends WILL AER ARANN PULL DERRY-DUBLIN AIR ROUTE AFTER GOVERNMENT CUTS FUNDING? was last modified: April 7th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Aer Aranndonegal
Donegal entrepreneur and Finn Harps fanatic Ian Harkin disclosed the details of his incredible success with his company LOTTIE on TV3 last night.Donegal entrepreneur Ian Harkin made his TV debut last night as the incredible success of his toy company LOTTIE continues to gain recognition globally!The Ballybofey based businessman appeared on TV3 programme The Seven O’ Clock Show in which he discussed in-depth the success the business has generated over the last few years.Harkin disclosed how he and his business partner Lucie Follett boldly decided to take on the famous worldwide doll brand BARBIE. In a fascinating interview Harkin revealed that after extensive market research they realised there was a gap in the industry for a specific type of doll like LOTTIE that resonated with both parents and children.The success of his product has been evidenced by the fact LOTTIE is now being exported to over THIRTY countries from all over the world.Harkin said, “We launched LOTTIE just over two years ago, we spoke with a lot of parents when we conducted our research and also spoke to child psychologists, play experts and child nutritionists, we also done focus groups with kids and parents.“What we found was that kids were missing out on their childhood and were trying to be adults from a very young age, we found that they were already developing body image issues. “We based LOTTIE on a nine year-old, LOTTIE doesn’t wear make-up, doesn’t wear jewellery and she doesn’t wear high heels.“With LOTTIE were trying to let kids do everything they do in their own age group, and well never do an adult themed doll with LOTTIE.Harkin also discussed how he’d secured a deal with the European Space Agency to produce a LOTTIE doll that travels into space and this enables kids to learn about the solar system.Harkin told presenters Lucy Kennedy and Martin King that the risk of selling his home to invest in the business is now paying off.“We’ve really taken off and we’re now selling in THIRTY countries all over the world, this time last year there was just me and my business partner Lucie, but we now we’re employing eight people in Donegal. “I was living in London at the time we started the business, and I got support from Enterprise Ireland to move the company back here.“I sold my home, put everything into the business and Lucie re-mortgaged her home, so there was a lot at risk but thankfully it has paid off.“Our social media and PR has really brought us into the homes of many families right around the world.DONEGAL ENTREPRENEUR APPEARS ON TV3 SHOW AS HIS TOY COMPANY GOES GLOBAL! was last modified: June 16th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessdollsFeaturesIan HarkinLottienewsToyTV3