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George Floyd protest live updates: States of emergency declared in multiple locations

first_imgiStock/ChiccoDodiFCBy: JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News  (NEW YORK) — The death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white Minnesota police officer, has sparked outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the United States.The National Guard has been activated in Washington, D.C., and 17 states: Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Utah, North Dakota, California, Missouri, Virginia, Kansas, Illinois and Nevada. Police have made over 1,000 arrests across 22 U.S. cities since Thursday.Curfews are in effect in cities from San Francisco to Portland to Atlanta to Kansas City.In the wake of Floyd’s death, murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, the officer who prosecutors say held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin and the other three officers at the scene have been fired. The Department of Justice is investigating.Latest news:– At least 155 arrested overnight in Minnesota– Denver police looking for driver who struck cop car, injuring 4– ‘State of Disaster’ declared in TexasThis story will be updated throughout the day. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern.3:53 p.m.: Philadelphia mayor says destruction ‘disappointed me beyond words’Protests in Philadelphia turned violent on Saturday. Fires were set — including on police cars — and stores were looted through the night.Mayor Jim Kenney said Saturday night’s “destruction” “disappointed me beyond words.”“I’m sure it saddened every Philadelphian who takes pride in our city — especially the thousands of Philadelphians who came out earlier in the day yesterday to peacefully yet forcefully protest,” he said Sunday. “They made a tremendous statement about their decades of anger over a system that degrades black Americans because of the color of their skin. That statement was important. And it in no way should be diminished by other organized groups of people who tried to cause chaos in our city.”“Those vandals in Center City did a great disservice to the many others who chose to speak out forcefully against institutional racism and violence at the hands of police,” Kenney continued. “In looting downtown, these individuals not only desecrated private businesses, they also desecrated the important message that was heard in the earlier, peaceful protests.”The Ben Franklin Bridge and all streets in Center City Philadelphia have been shut down for cleaning, officials said, according to ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV. A citywide curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., during which time residents can only leave their homes to go to work at an essential business, get medical attention or get police help.Retail businesses have been ordered to close immediately and any business owners or residents cleaning up vandalized stores must finish by 5 p.m., officials said.3:30 p.m.: At least 155 arrested overnight in MinnesotaAt least 155 people were arrested Saturday and overnight in Minnesota, the epicenter of the protests — and that number is expected to rise as jails book suspects, authorities said.Arrests ranged from rioting to weapons violations to curfew violations.AR-15s were among the 12 guns confiscated from protesters, officials said.Cars without any license plates or lights drove through communities, and when they were pulled over, drivers fled on foot, officials said.One officer was shot at but was not hit, officials said. The two people in the car from which the shot was fired were arrested and an AR-15 was recovered in that case, officials said.Authorities shutdown major freeways in the city and closed off key routes between Minneapolis and St. Paul to prevent groups from moving between the two cities. A police line blocked the Ford Parkway Bridge.About 40 minutes after Saturday’s 8 p.m. curfew began, riot police seemed to appear from every direction, dozens coming off of city buses and deploying flashbangs and tear gas.But unlike the violent protests in Minneapolis earlier in the week, Saturday night did not see fires set, looting or destruction of property, police said.The curfew and freeway closings will be extended into Sunday night, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said. All transit service in Minneapolis is suspended through at least Monday.At a Sunday press conference, Walz said he’s proud of Minnesota’s accomplishments, and that the state ranks second to Hawaii for happiness — but only for Minnesota’s white residents.“You cannot continue to say you’re a great place to live if your neighbor, because of the color of their skin, doesn’t have that same opportunity,” Walz said.Floyd’s family has asked Walz to let Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison prosecute the case, the governor said. No decision has been made, he added.Walz said rapper Jay-Z called him to discuss the protests and brought up his concern about hoping the prosecution will move forward fairly.“It wasn’t Jay-Z, international, you know, celebrity … it was a dad, and quite honestly, a black man whose visceral pain” was clear, the governor said.“He was passionate, he was gracious,” Walz said. “He knows that the world is watching how Minnesota handles this” and that that’ll have “an impact across the country.”3 p.m.: DC mayor pleads, ‘we do not want our city to be destroyed’Seventeen people were arrested overnight in Washington, D.C., police said. The U.S. Secret Service said it made one arrest overnight after protesters tried to knock over security barriers and vandalized six Secret Service cars. The National Park Service is reporting vandalism to historic sites around the National Mall.The night prior, more than 60 Secret Service personnel were injured from thrown bricks, rocks, bottles and fireworks, officials said.“Secret Service personnel were also directly physically assaulted as they were kicked, punched, and exposed to bodily fluids,” the Secret Service said. “A total of 11 injured employees were transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.”“No individuals crossed the White House Fence and no Secret Service protectees were ever in any danger,” the Secret Service added.D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday pleaded with residents, “we do not want our city to be destroyed.”“We certainly recognize and empathize with the outrage that people feel … and we certainly empathize that the killing of George Floyd wasn’t the first,” she said. “Our police, and firefighters, and members of the public safety team for Washington, D.C., along with our federal partners, have been working to make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights, while not destroying Washington, D.C.”2 p.m.: ‘State of Disaster’ declared in TexasTexas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a statewide “State of Disaster” amid the protests.“Violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive,” Abbott stressed. “As protests have turned violent in various areas across the state, it is crucial that we maintain order, uphold public safety, and protect against property damage or loss.”“By authorizing additional federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers we will help protect people’s safety while ensuring that peaceful protesters can continue to make their voices heard,” he said.The body of George Floyd, who was a native of Houston, will be returned to the city, Mayor Sylvester Turner said.Floyd’s family and attorneys have yet to confirm funeral arrangements for the 46-year-old.“The focus needs to be on supporting and uplifting his family,” Turner said. “And that’s what I want to keep bringing this conversation to. George Floyd. It’s not about these other individuals, who won’t be a moment. It’s about George Floyd, and justice for George Floyd.”1:45 p.m.: Protests reach US Embassies in Europe, 5 arrested in London The protests over Floyd’s death have also gone international, with crowds gathering at U.S. Embassies in Dublin, Berlin and London.In London, several hundred people sat in the street outside the embassy on Sunday, The Associated Press reported. The Metropolitan Police said officers were sent to the scene to engage with those in attendance.Five people were arrested: three for violating COVID-19 rules and two for assaulting police, authorities said.They were between the ages of 17 and 25, police said, and have been taken into custody.Woody Johnson, U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, tweeted, “Freedom of Speech and Assembly are cornerstones of a healthy democracy. I thank those peacefully making their views heard today outside the US Embassy in London and the Met police for ensuring everyone’s safety.”1:30 p.m.: Illinois National Guard activated after request from Chicago mayorAfter “multiple public safety incidents and property damage” during protests overnight, Chicago officials on Sunday announced new precautionary measures for the city.Access to Chicago’s Central Business District and Loop will only be available for people who live in the area, work in the area and who are there to engage in essential activities, the city said.Train and bus service will also be suspended for the Loop area “for public safety reasons.”“Following today’s announcement, the City is working closely with the organizers of rallies and protests scheduled to take place within the area this afternoon to provide an alternative, optional route for marches to peacefully and safely return in Chicago,” city officials said.A citywide curfew is effective from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily until further notice.Gov. JB Pritzker said he is activating the Illinois National Guard after a request from the mayor.“To those peacefully expressing the pain, fear, and rage of this moment, I hear you,” the governor said in a statement. “Your voices matter. We must address the profound injustices in our society and bring about real and meaningful change.”1:15 p.m.: Denver police looking for driver who struck cop car, injuring 4Denver authorities are looking for a driver who they say hit a police car, severely injuring three officers and a citizen, during the protests.One officer remains in the hospital but all three are expected to make a full recovery, police said. The condition of the injured citizen was not clear.Denver police say they arrested 83 people for curfew violations. Some protesters are facing additional charges for allegedly throwing missiles (any object or substance), damaging property and having prohibited weapons, said police.12:44 p.m.: LA County declares state of emergencyA state of emergency has been declared in Los Angeles County in the wake of the widespread protests overnight, which included looting and spray painting.The proclamation said the numerous acts of violence pose “extreme peril” to people and property.“This is a time for us to come together to stand against injustice in ways that will make us stronger as a County and as a nation,” Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger said in a statement. “If you are assembling to protest, please do so peacefully and with respect for all those who are suffering.”The Los Angeles Police Department earlier issued a mandatory curfew from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. for the entire city.12 p.m.: NYC police cars plow through crowd, mayor calls for investigationIn New York City, mostly peaceful daytime marches on Saturday turned violent overnight, with people throwing projectiles and torching police cars.At least 345 people were arrested, according to police sources.At least 33 officers were injured, including some seriously, police sources said, and dozens police cars were damaged or destroyed.But police are also facing criticism after NYPD SUVs drove through a Brooklyn crowd where people were holding a metal barricade.There was no loss of life and no major injuries.Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for an investigation which will be led by the city’s corporation counsel and Department of Investigation commissioner.“There were many things done right by the NYPD,” he said, but “there were also mistakes that must be investigated.”Overall, he said the NYPD demonstrated “tremendous restraint.”10:12 a.m.: Richmond police investigating shooting incident during protestsPolice in Richmond, Virginia, are investigating a shooting that took place around 1 a.m. during the overnight protests.A man suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound when the car he was riding in came in contact with a group of protesters.Detectives have determined the gunshots came from behind the car. There is no suspect description at this time and the investigation is ongoing.Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he’s authorized a curfew in Richmond and has placed the Virginia National Guard on alert.“They stand ready to assist in protecting our residents, businesses, especially small and black-owned businesses, and the capital city,” Northam said in a statement Sunday,“I acknowledge each of the voices crying out for justice and healing across the United States and in our Commonwealth. I affirm the deep concerns from the black community,” he said. “As Governor of Virginia, I call on all Virginians to join together and build a renewed commitment to working for justice and fair treatment.”5:57 a.m.: At least 1 killed in shooting during Indianapolis protestsPolice Chief Randal Taylor of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department held a press conference late last night confirming that at least one person has been shot and killed and three more people had been shot throughout the day as protests engulfed the city.“Earlier this evening our officers worked to protect our residents’ right to peaceful protests. Most of those protesters cooperated and did a fine job. For that, we’re thankful. However, there was a small group of people that escalated to violent acts, including throwing projectiles at officers and breaking windows of government buildings,” Taylor said. “Since then, we have seen continued and escalating incidents of violence. This includes shots fired and loss of life. This is not acceptable in this community. This behavior will not be tolerated by IMPD.”“We’re asking that residents who do not live in the downtown area go home. Enough is enough. Indianapolis, we are better than this. Downtown is not safe at this time. Residents who do not live in the downtown area, we’re asking to please vacate the area,” Taylor added.The IMPD did not give any further details on the circumstances around the death of the individual involved in the shooting and said that they had “lost count” of the number of reported shots being fired across the city.4:32 a.m.: 28 arrested in Nashville; horses used to back crowd away from precinctA total of 28 people have been arrested by the Metro Nashville Police Department after the 10 p.m. curfew took effect.Earlier in the day, protesters marched down Broadway and 1st Avenue North arriving at 1 Public Square to continue protesting outside of the Metropolitan Nashville Courthouse.Protesters could be seen shouting “no peace” and “don’t shoot’ as they gathered on the steps of Public Square Park.Protesters reportedly broke out windows of Metro courthouse and spray-painted obscenities against law enforcement on the walls and sidewalk.A group of people also managed to break into the Metro courthouse and set fire to the outside and inside of the building before authorities were able to disperse the crowd using fireworks and a smoke bomb. Protesters could also be seen outside the front of the courthouse burning an American flag.3:39 a.m.: Target temporarily closes 175 stores in 13 states due to protestsTarget said Saturday night it will be temporarily closing 175 stores due to ongoing protests.Target closed 71 stores in Minnesota; 49 stores in California; four stores in Colorado; two stores in Georgia; seven stores in Illinois; one store in Michigan; five stores in Missouri; 12 stores in New York; one store in Nebraska; eight stores in Oregon; four stores in Pennsylvania; nine stores in Texas; and two stores in Wisconsin.Team members impacted by store closures will be paid for up to 14 days of scheduled hours during store closures, including COVID-19 premium pay.2:02 a.m.: Atlanta police arrest 70 people, majority of protesters have now dispersedAtlanta Police have issued a statement saying that they are no longer working any major incidents and the vast majority of protesters have dispersed.A total of 70 people have been arrested Saturday night into Sunday morning.1:12 a.m.: Protests mount in Ferguson, MissouriFerguson, Missouri, took violent turn when protesters have vandalized the police department.Ferguson was the center of civil of unrest in 2014 after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man.All non-essential personnel were evacuated at the Ferguson Police Department.Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency late Saturday and activated the Missouri National Guard to stand ready to assist.Two officers were injured and transported to the hospital while two others were treated on the scene for minor injuries.12:53 a.m.: Miami-Dade Police arrest 38 people, suspends all transit services on SundayThe Miami-Dade Police Department have announced that 38 people have been arrested so far after Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed a local state of emergency declaration, ordering a curfew that took place at 10 p.m. last night until 6 a.m. on Sunday after some protesters began to burn police cars at the Miami Police Station.The Department of Transportation and Public Works also has suspended all Miami-Dade Transit services on Sunday, May 31, including Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus. This decision was made in an abundance of caution, and to ensure the safety of all passengers and employees, according to a statement released by Miami-Dade County.12:46 a.m.: Biden releases statement on protests, urges understanding but cautions against ‘needless destruction’Former vice president Joe Biden released a paper statement just after midnight eastern on the ongoing unrest and protests currently gripping several major American cities, urging an understanding of the trauma many people of color in America are facing in the wake of George Floyd’s death, but also speaking out against the “needless destruction,” that is playing out as a result of the protests.“These last few days have laid bare that we are a nation furious at injustice. Every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd,” Biden wrote.“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not,” he added.The presumptive Democratic nominee also added that the protests going on tonight should not overshadow the cause they are trying to advance.“The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance,” Biden wrote.Biden also acknowledged the widespread pain across the country, not only from the pain of Floyd’s death, but from coronavirus as well, relating to the feeling of grief, but implored the country to use the current anger to “compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy.”“I know that there are people all across this country who are suffering tonight. Suffering the loss of a loved one to intolerable circumstances, like the Floyd family, or to the virus that is still gripping our nation. Suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system. And I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear,” Biden said.“I know.”“And I also know that the only way to bear it is to turn all that anguish to purpose. So tonight, I ask all of America to join me — not in denying our pain or covering it over– but using it to compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy.”“We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us,” the statement said.Biden also pledged, if elected, to help lead a conversation on the issues that have caused the current unrest, and referenced again his recent conversation with George Floyd’s family and a promise he made to ensure his death will not just be a “hashtag.”“As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen. I will keep the commitment I made to George’s brother, Philonise, that George will not just be a hashtag. We must and will get to a place where everyone, regardless of race, believes that ‘to protect and serve’ means to protect and serve them,” Biden wrote.“Please stay safe. Please take care of each other,” he added, ending his statement.ABC News’ Whitney Lloyd, Aaron Katersky, Jeff Cook, Christine Theodorou, Ahmad Hemingway, Josh Hoyos, Alexandra Faul, Marcus Moore, Clayton Sandell, Bonnie McLean, Sarah Shales, Luis Martinez, Jake Date, and John Verhovek contributed to this report.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Open for business

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Is open learning more influential than the Internet? This is one view that will be debated at this year’s World Open Learning Conference and Exhibition. We take a sneak preview of this fast-growing eventNow in its seventh year, the World Open Learning Conference and Exhibition 2000 (WOLCE), organised by Venture Marketing Group, aims to be at the epicentre of contemporary practice and debate in open learning products and services.The conference, sponsored by Saba and supported by the British Association for Open Learning (BAOL), the Forum for Technology in Training and Personnel Today, has earned a great reputation over its relatively short lifespan, and this year has attracted speakers and companies at the forefront of the training revolution.Last year’s conference was attended by 3,000 visitors and delegates, 19 per cent of whom were company chairmen or directors, 46 per cent senior managers and 27 per cent responsible for training budgets of over £500,000. It is easy to understand why the event has this kind of pulling power. “Open learning is becoming the most important issue in the world,” says Dr Ronnie Singer. “It could even be more influential than the Internet itself.” Singer is one of the speakers contributing to the Online in Action session on the second day of the conference. As a learning and multimedia specialist from BusinessLab in Aberdeen, he has a unique view on the future of open learning and in particular how corporate learning will develop. “Today’s organisations face the same problem,” he says. “They want to retrain their employees but they need to do that without the cost of sending them to university. “Also, many universities do not supply the skills organisations need, so the only logical step to take is to set up a corporate university with in-house training.”Singer feels such learning provision is now challenging the status quo of traditional education centres. While the public sector continues to face cuts, the corporate sector is able to finance cutting-edge vocational and strategic learning facilities. “Corporate learning will change the way people operate. Such universities are about inculcating certain values among employees and not only will those values exist in their jobs, they’ll live those values outside their jobs too.”Singer’s vision may be a little way in the future but the required technologies and systems are already available. Importantly, the conference will discuss how organisations can realise the full potential of a learning culture, enabling training to impact on the bottom line. In his opening keynote presentation to WOLCE on the first day, the Canadian corporate development expert Ian Rose will present his ideas on how corporate training can gain executive commitment and thereby generate the kind of impact Singer describes. “To get to the table where key business decisions are made, you need to ask. You will never just be invited,” says Rose. He acknowledges this is something of a Catch 22 situation for training professionals. “You are not going to be invited unless someone thinks you can significantly affect the business, and you are not going to be able to do that unless you are summoned to the table to contribute to key business decisions about organisational performance.”To break this vicious circle, Rose proposes a number of proactive initiatives for corporate trainers. He argues that training professionals must always use the language of business, not the language of training, addressing business issues directly rather than focusing on the importance of good leadership or communication skills. “The senior training professional must think and act as the chief development officer and not simply as a technical expert,” says Rose. In this way, corporate training can become a positive force for future growth and development, for identifying and adapting to future trends rather than simply being a support function, ready to respond to the perceived needs of a company. “It is now the responsibility of learning professionals to analyse competitive disadvantages and to determine how training can help overcome them,” says Rose.The keynote presentation on day two is shared by Dr Anne Wright, chief executive of the University for Industry, and Dr Paul Taylor, lecturer in the Sociology of Technology at the University of Salford. This session could prove the most controversial of the conference. Wright will begin by describing Learndirect, an innovative e-learning network for individuals and businesses developed by the UfI, which she hopes will make a significant contribution to staff development. “It is likely that 40 per cent of staff development will be delivered on-line by 2002,” says Wright. “Even in these early stages of the e-learning revolution, it is clear new technologies are set to transform access to learning at work.”Dr Taylor, on the other hand, holds some very strong views on the effects technology is having on educational provision, and while he half-expects his presentation to go down as well as Tony Blair’s at the WI, his views may sound a necessary note of caution. “Education is under siege, not so much from a sea of troubles but from a flood of inappropriate technology,” he says. “Information technologies exist, so we are under pressure to use them in as many contexts as possible. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”Taylor’s primary concern is that the technology appears to be dictating the way individuals learn rather than contributing and supporting an effective educational process. Deep knowledge gained by wide reading and long reflection has been all but lost to the popularity of the modular course and the quick de-contextualised nugget of information. “The Internet liberates information from the constraint of dusty book covers, but simultaneously drags the browser into a quagmire of unverified data,” he says. “It is an inherently fragmented source of information and, as Clifford Stoll points out, data isn’t information, any more than 50 tonnes of cement is a skyscraper.”Seminars on both days of the conference split into three areas: Online Learning, Effective Implementation and Challenges for Training and Development. Under these general headings, topics include learning resource centre management and employability skills for training and development managers. Judith Christine-Carter, director of Effective Learning Solutions, is contributing to the Online Learning session on day one – a beginners’ guide to e-learning and related technology – and to the Challenges session the following day, this time focusing on the need for developing the skills of instructional designers.The beginners’ guide to e-learning offers a chance for everyone to catch up on what precisely is what in the field of on-line learning. “We need to sort out the current mess with regard to definitions, because people are using terms such as open learning, distance learning, flexible learning, TBT, CBT and e-learning either to mean the same thing or something completely different,” says Christine-Carter. “It’s no small wonder that the average customer or potential customer is confused.” She believes that while organisations can regard on-line learning as a good way to slash training budgets, care and attention has to be given to the quality of the learning experience. “Eventually, people will wake up to the fact that garbage in means garbage out, and unless those who supply Web-enabled learning systems ensure that what is made available in terms of content is all high quality stuff, on-line learning will fall into disrepute as the real effects on the bottom line become obvious.”The concurrent WOLCE exhibition is the biggest yet, with some 110 exhibitors on display. Visitors will be able to view state-of-the-art technologies available to support open learning and view product demonstrations. One such technology will be interactive distance learning technology from Crystal Media, which has been installed at the Royal Bank of Scotland. For the conference, Crystal plans to establish a live open learning link with RBS’s training centre in Edinburgh. According to Brian McLaren, head of training and on-line learning at RBS, the system enables up to 200 participants to link to a single presenter in order to receive training in an interactive environment, regardless of their geographical situation. “We have been able to use the system for product training, as well as for senior briefings and discussions,” explains McLaren. RBS has developed a multi-channel approach to delivering training which McLaren will be outlining in the Building Successful Training Organisations seminar. RBS has invested heavily in technology and now has an electronic communications channel operating throughout the organisation. While this has had benefits for other departments – notably the corporate communications team – McLaren confirms that the justification for the investment came solely from the training department. “The business case has been based on the savings we can make through using the technology,” he says. “At the same time there have been benefits in creating a quicker induction programme and improving staff retention.” Open for businessOn 3 Oct 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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HR ignorance blocking mental health policies

first_img Comments are closed. HR ignorance blocking mental health policiesOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article HR managers have a lack of understanding about mental health issues,according to research commissioned by the Department of Health. Attitudes to Mental Health at Work – Interim Report claims that HR policiesdo not take into account mental health issues as effectively as they should. It also states there is a lack of training in companies’ responsibilitiesunder the Disability Discrimination Act when it comes to dealing with theproblem. The report finds that HR managers have a lack of understanding and sympathytowards mental illness and that this attitude is silencing managers andblocking the development of policies. Patrick Burns, policy director at The Industrial Society, which carried outthe research, said HR could improve the way it tackles mental health issues. He said, “HR needs to improve the awareness of mental health withinorganisations. HR have the tools to do this as they do it in other areas ofdiscrimination.” Burns said the approach to training on mental health issues must beimproved. “HR needs to specialise in mental health by encouraging the use ofinternal or external counsellors so they can tell employees what to do,”he said. The report was based on responses from 14 HR managers split into two focusgroups. www.indsoc.co.uk Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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What last year’s biggest real estate lawsuits mean for 2021

first_img Commercial Real EstateReal Estate FinanceReal Estate Lawsuits Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Tags Getty ImagesPartnerships crumbled, billion-dollar condo plans collapsed and commercial bankruptcies climbed.While there’s never a shortage of conflicts in a business built on big money and bigger egos, the pandemic made 2020 exceptionally catastrophic when it came to real estate litigation.Of course, even in a good year, the industry is renowned for dramatic lawsuits.But stay-at-home orders and social distancing brought a flood of new and unexpected legal problems for landlords, developers and their investors and lenders.For many of the projects and partnerships on the edge prior to March — whether because of softness in the luxury condo market, long-running headwinds in retail or business relationships gone sour — the pandemic was a complicating factor, if not a nail in the coffin.In other cases, the rapid spread of Covid was the direct cause of legal confrontations. And more disputes are likely on the way, as the full extent of the fallout becomes more clear and moratoriums and other temporary fixes run their course.“Nobody ever imagined that the whole world would be under this pestilence, where nothing is normal,” said commercial real estate attorney Joshua Stein. “You thought you had done an allocation of risks — and all of a sudden along comes this risk that nobody had ever thought of.”With the start of the new year, The Real Deal looked at some of the largest and most intriguing lawsuits to come out of the real estate world in 2020.Here’s what we found:Condo crunch timeMany were pointing to Manhattan’s oversaturated condo market as a sector that was particularly vulnerable to distress in the event of a downturn even before the coronavirus took its toll. So perhaps it’s no surprise that many of last year’s biggest lawsuits involved luxury condo developers and their lenders. The most glaring legal mess of all surrounds HFZ Capital Group, Ziel Feldman’s high-flying development firm. As TRD has extensively covered in recent months, HFZ’s investors and lenders have sued to collect hundreds of millions of dollars. The recent flood of lawsuits includes one this month from the Children’s Investment Fund, which provided a $1.25 billion construction loan on HFZ’s XI condo and hotel project in West Chelsea.Disputes over several other New York City condo projects — though perhaps less talked about, given the enormous stakes at the XI — could prove to be even more complex.At RFR Holding’s 100 East 53rd Street, for example, Aby Rosen’s firm has accused partner Vanke US of orchestrating an improper “backdoor deal” that put it “on both sides of the borrower-lender relationship.” In 2014, RFR teamed up with Vanke US, a subsidiary of China’s biggest residential developer, with the goal of leveraging its “sales and marketing channels overseas” to attract buyers. But that foreign buyer pipeline has since dried up due to capital controls and geopolitical turmoil, and a $360 million loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is now in default. Vanke, for its part, claims Rosen is seeking an exorbitant buyout for its 7 percent stake in a scheme that had allegedly begun before the pandemic. RFR has moved to dismiss Vanke’s counterclaims, and the motion is set to be heard in court in late January.Meanwhile, at the former “Ground Zero mosque” site in Lower Manhattan, Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties is fighting off a consortium of overseas lenders for his 43-story condo project at 45 Park Place. In a seemingly bizarre twist of events, the lenders allege that the developer threatened to undo a 2016 zoning lot merger — a move that would shave 40,000 square feet of development rights from the nearly completed tower and drastically reduce its value. El-Gamal has denied this, saying his firm no longer controls both parcels of land. The foreclosure suit, brought by Malayan Banking Berhad and other lenders this past March, is ongoing.Christopher Delson, a partner at the global law firm Morrison & Foerster based in New York, said the status of projects and their finances pre-pandemic will play a big part in determining their fate.“With projects that were in trouble before Covid, lenders are going to say: ‘Unless you have a new solution, we need to move on,’” he noted in a recent interview. “With projects that are hurting just because of Covid, I think lenders are going to be much more willing to try and work those out.”The reason, as Delson put it: “Who’s to say the lender’s really going to do any better?”With luxury condo developments, specifically, the laws of supply and demand are causing major ripple effects when it comes to pricing in the New York market. And not all sponsors can afford to take the hit.“If someone has owned a site for 20 years, had a parking lot on it and finally decided to develop it, their cost basis is so much lower than someone across the street who bought their site in 2015,” Delson said. “The developer across the street can’t lower their prices because then it gets into their profits and then their equity.”Rattled retailThe Covid era’s new normal has also led to the rise of entirely new genres of lawsuits. Since the start of the crisis, countless commercial tenants — from apparel retailers like the Gap to rock-climbing gyms like Brooklyn Boulders — have come to the legal conclusion that the pandemic “frustrated” the purpose of their leases, allowing them to walk away without penalty. For the most part, the courts have not shared this view.“The way leases traditionally are drafted, tenants unfortunately have an uphill battle,” said Delson. “There certainly are exceptions, and there’s a million leases out there, and there are cases where you read the litigation and go, wow, that’s a very tenant-friendly clause.”Along with their leases, business operators have also been taking a closer look at their business interruption insurance policies, in hopes of finding something to persuade courts to rule in their favor. “You have these sporadic cases where the insured wins, whether it’s because of unusual terms in their policy, or they got lucky in their choice of a judge, or there’s just some special circumstance,” said Stein. But those cases are almost always exceptions.“The general view is that business interruption insurance doesn’t cover Covid risks, and if it did, it would probably put the insurance industry out of business,” Stein noted.Others have their grievances with the city and state governments for imposing what they view as unreasonable restrictions. These began to pile up in the fall as some businesses were forced to remain closed while others began reopening. In one suit, a Brooklyn ale house lampooned Covid curfews, observing that the virus “does not behave as a vampire, infecting others only when the moon is out.” Religious groups in second-wave hot spots also filed several suits last year challenging new city and state restrictions.The pandemic has also given rise to more novel disputes, including an Upper East Side clothing store suing over a neighbor’s outdoor dining setup and developer SL Green alleging that picketers from Local 79 risked spreading the virus with their “saliva-spewing whistles” and lack of masks.At the same time, many landlords and commercial tenants in precarious situations have held off on going to court for now.“The smart landlords are working with their tenants to the extent that they can,” Delson said. “They’re being realistic and saying if I throw this tenant out — which in New York you can’t do right now anyway — what’s the reality of me getting a new tenant?”Still, a growing number of property owners have to make high-pressure decisions on when to pull the trigger and go to court. “There’s [commercial] tenants that can pay, and they’re just choosing not to — they’re trying to beat the system,” said industry attorney Adam Leitman Bailey. “There’s tenants that can’t pay, and have no shot of keeping the lease. And then there’s tenants in the middle that want to stay and are having a tough time,” Bailey added. “Those are the tenants we want to work with.”Mezz maneuversWith government constraints on commercial evictions and foreclosures still in effect in New York, some of the most heated disputes between borrowers and lenders have been at the mezzanine level. Uniform Commercial Code foreclosures, which can usually bypass the courts, are not subject to the same restrictions given that the collateral at stake consists of the rights to an entity that owns the real estate, rather than the real estate itself. And the rising number of cases are just “the tip of the iceberg,” auctioneer Matthew Mannion — who has conducted at least eight public sales tied to UCC foreclosures since March — told TRD last month.Soon after New York courts reopened in May, for instance, Hidrock Properties accused Henry Silverman’s 54 Madison Partners of trying to take over its Midtown hotel development at 12 East 48th Street, for which Silverman’s firm lent $30 million. Hidrock referred to the foreclosure effort as an “improper and shameless attempt to capitalize on the Covid-19 pandemic.”Silverman’s firm announced an in-person “public” auction of the entity that controls the property at the MetLife Building on May 1 despite the ban on nonessential gatherings in effect at the time, according to the suit. Two weeks later, a judge ruled that mezz loans were not subject to the state ban on foreclosures. The auction went forward soon after, but Hidrock filed a new suit in July, arguing that it was a “sham” and “commercially unreasonable.”Indeed, the requirement that UCC foreclosure sales be “commercially reasonable” has proven to be a key factor in these disputes.“In theory if you’re very ‘commercially reasonable,’ there will be other bidders coming out of the woodwork,” Stein said. “But in the real world, the lender is probably going to end up taking the collateral, so it’s all sort of silly.” Partnership pressuresIn other disputes, the Covid crisis fueled bad blood among business partners in more complicated ways.The Gindis, the family that founded department store chain Century 21, are passive investors in seven of Ben Ashkenazy’s North American properties, according to two recent lawsuits.Ashkenazy alleges that the family refused to meet a contractual obligation to invest millions in the properties to stave off a bankruptcy. He further claims the Gindis damaged his reputation by telling other real estate players that he stole money from them. The Gindis, for their part, say Ashkenazy threatened to “go nuclear if I need to because you destroyed my business.”At the same time, several of last year’s biggest lawsuits would have likely occurred even if the pandemic had not, though it certainly didn’t help matters.The long-running legal feud between Alex Sapir and Rotem Rosen saw some new twists in 2020, for example, as the former business partners and brothers-in-law traded lawsuits a week apart in late July. Sapir and his family firm first brought a $100 million suit against Rosen and his brother Omer, accusing them of conspiring to steal documents and trade secrets from the family. Rosen responded with a suit alleging that Sapir defaulted on a $60 million promissory note.“For over a decade, Rotem Rosen rode the Sapir Organization’s coattails, taking advantage of the Sapirs’ trust and generosity to siphon tens of millions of dollars, misappropriate proprietary information and violate the contractual terms of his ouster from the Sapir family and its business,” Sapir’s attorney said in reference to the new suit.But Rosen’s attorney has dismissed the Sapir suit as “a meritless retaliatory action” and part of “a campaign of personal destruction” meant to distract from Rosen’s claims against his former partner.Michael Shvo and his former business partner and best friend, Turkish real estate mogul Serdar Bilgili, had their own legal battle this fall. Bilgili claims Shvo and another partner cut him out of their $3 billion spending spree on trophy properties in New York, California, Chicago and South Florida.Far from over?That evokes some of the big legal showdowns from previous years, prior to Covid, as disputes and partnership splits have long been par for the course in the real estate world.Many in the industry are holding their breath for a return to those times — when it was more enjoyable to be a spectator — and with multiple vaccines now approved in the U.S. and other countries, there may finally be a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Ongoing infection surges, vaccine distribution hiccups and reports of even more contagious Covid variants could complicate things, however. And as far as legal fallout from the crisis is concerned, the worst is yet to come, legal sources say.“As a practical matter, a lot of foreclosures and evictions are just on hold whether they technically qualify for a moratorium or not,” Stein noted. “Then the trend is going to be a massive flood of this sort of litigation, and it’s going to be a disaster — but we’re not there yet.”The lingering uncertainty in the U.S. economy may be encouraging some potential litigants to hold off for a bit longer.“We’re still in the middle of this,” Delson said. “To some extent you need to wait until there’s an end or almost an end, just to be able to see where things are going to shake out.”“Once you hit bottom,” he added, “you can figure out exactly what you’re suing over.”last_img read more

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Chemical cycling and deposition of atmospheric mercury in Polar Regions: review of recent measurements and comparison with models

first_imgMercury (Hg) is a worldwide contaminant that can cause adverse health effects to wildlife and humans. While atmospheric modeling traces the link from emissions to deposition of Hg onto environmental surfaces, large uncertainties arise from our incomplete understanding of atmospheric processes (oxidation pathways, deposition, and re-emission). Atmospheric Hg reactivity is exacerbated in high latitudes and there is still much to be learned from polar regions in terms of atmospheric processes. This paper provides a synthesis of the atmospheric Hg monitoring data available in recent years (2011–2015) in the Arctic and in Antarctica along with a comparison of these observations with numerical simulations using four cutting-edge global models. The cycle of atmospheric Hg in the Arctic and in Antarctica presents both similarities and differences. Coastal sites in the two regions are both influenced by springtime atmospheric Hg depletion events and by summertime snowpack re-emission and oceanic evasion of Hg. The cycle of atmospheric Hg differs between the two regions primarily because of their different geography. While Arctic sites are significantly influenced by northern hemispheric Hg emissions especially in winter, coastal Antarctic sites are significantly influenced by the reactivity observed on the East Antarctic ice sheet due to katabatic winds. Based on the comparison of multi-model simulations with observations, this paper discusses whether the processes that affect atmospheric Hg seasonality and interannual variability are appropriately represented in the models and identifies research gaps in our understanding of the atmospheric Hg cycling in high latitudes.last_img read more

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HMAS Anzac Starts Harbour Acceptance Trials

first_img View post tag: harbour View post tag: Acceptance Share this article View post tag: Australia View post tag: Asia-Pacific Authorities The Australian Navy’s lead Anzac Class Frigate, HMAS Anzac is commencing the harbour acceptance trials phase of her Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade and has achieved a significant milestone along her journey of returning to sea – returning to HMAS Stirling. View post tag: starts View post tag: News by topic July 15, 2014 View post tag: trials Back to overview,Home naval-today HMAS Anzac Starts Harbour Acceptance Trials View post tag: Navy View post tag: Naval View post tag: HMAS Anzac Aided by tugs in what is called a ‘cold move’ as no engines are started, the ship transited Cockburn Sound from the complex at Henderson to Fleet Base West, early in the morning.The new crew closed up to their respective parts of ship and the ship was loaded into the lift, an exciting moment for the crew said Commanding Officer, Commander Matthew Doornbos.“After the months of upgrade work which included installation of the phased array radar and fire control system, upgraded combat system including Link 16 tactical data link and new navigation radar and electro-optical surveillance system, it was such a pleasure to see the ship in the water.“She sits fairly high in the water but once we load all of the equipment and stores back on in the coming weeks and months, she will settle to the usual level,” Commander Doornbos said.“Although Anzac has been in ASMD for the past 12 months, we have worked closely with the Anzac Ship Project Office and Frigate Group since May to assist in delivering the package safely and in a timely manner,” he said.The ASMD upgrade program significantly enhances the capability of the ship’s weapons and sensors systems. In addition to this a substantial maintenance package was also completed to ensure compliance with the tenets of seaworthiness.The move across to Fleet Base West will allow Anzac to commence the harbour acceptance trials.“During the harbour acceptance trials the ship’s company and contractors will work to integrate the legacy and new sensors into the upgraded combat system as well as restoring the ship’s engineering plant.“A key milestone has already been achieved when the ship’s company of HMAS Ballarat changed platform to become HMAS Anzac ship’s company.“Our goal is to get to sea as directed by Chief of Navy and get the Fleet Base East based personnel home. We have an demanding program for the remainder of 2014 in preparing Anzac to deploy for participation in the 2015 Anzac Day activities in Anzac Cove and we are looking forward to achieving the third successful ASMD Upgrade in the Fleet,” Commander Doornbos said.[mappress]Press Release, July 15, 2014; Image: Australian Navy HMAS Anzac Starts Harbour Acceptance Trialslast_img read more

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Combined Maritime Forces hold Commanders Conference

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today Combined Maritime Forces hold Commanders Conference The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Commander’s Conference took place in Bahrain on February 2 2016.The bi-annual conference brings together senior military representatives from CMF members, to update them on CMF’s achievements, assess operational effectiveness and discuss, in an open forum, ways of improving and developing CMF capabilities.In his opening remarks, the Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral Donegan USN, highlighted the unique nature of CMF as a coalition and the complexities of the operating area. He stressed the importance of maintaining the free flow of commerce, enabled by maintaining freedom of navigation through the strategically important choke points of the Bab el Mandeb Strait, the Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal.Vice Admiral Donegan reinforced the importance of carrying out Maritime Security Operations and highlighted the fact that, whilst acts of terrorism in the maritime environment are rare, a number of terrorist groups have both publically declared an intention to carry out such acts and have previously demonstrated an ability to do so. Furthermore, he underlined the fact that whilst Somali Piracy had been effectively suppressed by the actions of CMF, the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and NATO, the threat remained and could not be ignored.In keeping with the nature of CMF, as a coalition of willing nations, welcoming prospective members and new members is key to its long term success. This year, the highlight of the conference saw Admiral Donegan formally welcome Iraq as a full member of CMF.In a short speech, Admiral Amad, the head of the Iraqi Navy, said: “It’s an honour to be part of CMF. Our country has suffered greatly from terrorism in the past. We now look forward to fighting terrorism in the maritime area and to sharing the lessons we have drawn from past experiences with our CMF partners in order to enhance the exchange of information with CMF.”In concluding the conference, Vice Admiral Donegan rounded up by stressing the unique nature of CMF: “CMF has three Combined Task Forces (CTFs) which it uses to achieve its objectives through actions and operations. Every member is an integral part of what CMF will achieve in the next 12 months. The CTFs are here to carry out the work which is being discussed and laid out during this conference.”Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multi-national naval partnership, which is established to promote security and stability in international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment.[mappress mapid=”17683″] Authorities February 8, 2016 Share this article Combined Maritime Forces hold Commanders Conference View post tag: combined maritime forceslast_img read more

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Keeping Sports Injuries Out Of The Game

first_imgKicking off a new school year also means the start to the fall sports season. As a softball coach for 27 years and a father of children who participated in athletics, I know that safety always comes first. Sports should be fun, but in order to maintain that fun, safety must be put before anything else, including winning.After sustaining a head injury, it is important athletes are healthy before they start physical activity again. Hoosiers also need to be well informed on precautions, symptoms and the proper steps to take once an injury occurs. Concussions are a serious threat, which can have long-lasting effects on the brain. Symptoms may not become apparent until days or weeks after the injury, which is why concussions are known as the “invisible injury.” Once an athlete sustains a concussion, they have a higher likelihood of experiencing more concussions down the road. Through education, we can help decrease the number of injuries.As a lawmaker, I worked with fellow policymakers to increase safety for our student athletes. This year we passed a law requiring coaches to complete a safety education course to better prevent and identify head injuries in student athletes. The head coach or assistant coach of an interscholastic sport must be certified in a player safety education course by July of next year.Currently, athletes who are suspected of having a concussion are not able to return to play until they have been evaluated by and received clearance from a qualified health-care provider. This new law takes an additional step in keeping our athletes safe by ensuring coaches can detect warning signs of a concussion and prevent further, more serious injuries. Coaches who complete the required training will be protected under this law unless there is evidence of gross negligence.As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9833 or by email at [email protected] I appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district. Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/75.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Council to Vote on Upgrades for Ninth Street Corridor and Boardwalk

first_imgNow demolished, the blighted old Getty gas station once stood at the corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue. By Donald WittkowskiOcean City’s main entryway and its top tourist attraction are both in line for major upgrades as part of separate projects scheduled for a vote by City Council at its meeting Thursday.The Ninth Street corridor, the principal artery into town, will be spruced up when the city acquires a blighted former Getty gas station and redevelops the site into green space.Council is expected to approve a $650,000 funding package to buy the old gas station at the highly visible corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue.Plans call for tearing down the abandoned Getty building to rid the Ninth Street corridor of one of its most notorious eyesores.The Getty property will be combined with a former BP gas station site next door to create a landscaped park that is a centerpiece of the city’s strategy to turn Ninth Street into a more inviting gateway for visitors.The old BP site, another former eyesore marring the appearance of Ninth Street, was bought by the city last year for $475,000. The old BP building and gas pumps have already been demolished.Barring any delays with the city’s proposed purchase of the Getty property, the new park that will replace the two old gas stations is expected to be ready by Memorial Day weekend, city officials say.In another vote scheduled by Council at its meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, bids will be sought for the final stage of a multiyear reconstruction of the Boardwalk, the city’s No. 1 tourist attraction.Bids are expected to be opened on April 18 and awarded April 27 for the project. The work includes adding a new deck and substructure to the Boardwalk between 10th and 12th streets. Construction will begin immediately after Columbus Day.Bids will be sought for the last phase of the Boardwalk’s multiyear reconstruction.Already, the city has rebuilt the Boardwalk between Fifth and 10th streets. The last phase between 10th and 12th streets will wrap up the entire, estimated $10 million project within five years, two years ahead of the original schedule.“The city’s most valuable and iconic resource will be safe and strong for years to come,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in a statement posted on the city’s website.Council is also scheduled Thursday to hold a public hearing and take a final vote on new regulations for the singers, musicians and other Boardwalk performers who entertain the crowds during the peak summer tourism season.Gillian had proposed two other versions of the Boardwalk performers ordinance, but yanked them following complaints from the public, including a number of entertainers. The mayor said it was important to take as much time as needed to craft a compromise that would acceptable to both the performers and the Boardwalk merchants.The Boardwalk Merchants Association, a group representing store owners, requested the ordinance to prevent large crowds from milling around the entertainers and blocking access to their shops.The newest version of the ordinance drops Gillian’s former proposal for fingerprinting and criminal background checks of adult-age performers, a plan that critics had labeled heavy-handed.The ordinance would require performers to pay $50 for a license. However, they could be denied a license if they have a criminal history of “dishonesty” or have been convicted of a fourth-degree crime or higher.Under the plan, performers would be allowed on the ocean side of the Boardwalk at Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th streets. They could also perform at the Boardwalk’s oceanfront pavilions between Fifth and 14th streets. In addition, they would be allowed on the ocean side of the Boardwalk between Fifth and Sixth streets.They would be permitted to perform on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The hours would be between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. each of those nights except for Sunday, which would be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.Gillian explained that the performers would not be allowed on the Boardwalk on Tuesday and Thursday to avoid conflicts with the professional entertainment on those nights arranged by the merchants.Council’s agenda Thursday also includes the introduction of the proposed 2017 municipal budget.In another key vote Thursday, Council is expected to introduce the 2017 municipal budget. The proposed $79.7 million spending plan is up about 5 percent compared to last year, largely due to an increase in debt payments for new construction projects and higher health insurance costs.The budget would increase the local tax rate by nearly 3 cents, adding an extra $143 in local taxes per year to a home assessed at $500,000. The figure does not include county and school taxes, which are assessed separately.Frank Donato, the city’s finance director, said higher taxes will help pay for $33 million worth of new projects this year in the mayor’s proposed capital plan – a blueprint for road work, drainage upgrades, dredging projects, the Boardwalk’s reconstruction and other improvements.last_img read more

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Irwin’s finds success with new Joeys brand

first_imgIrwin’s Bakery has been increasing listings for its new brand Joeys, with plans also in place to develop the product range.Howell House, the cakes and biscuits division of Irish company Irwin’s Bakery, had seen its Joeys buns become so popular, that it launched a standalone brand under the same name in December last year.Asda and Morrisons have recently confirmed listings in more than 750 stores across England, Scotland and Wales, for its new nine-pack Joeys Bites – versions of the firm’s existing ‘Jammy’ and ‘Snowy’ bun lines – and for four- and six-packs of the new Joeys ‘Lemon Buns’. Hannah Robinson, marketing manager, Irwin’s, said: “The new brand is designed to appeal to British mums who want a tasty tea break treat to enjoy with friends or family.“Consumers have responded extremely positively since launch. And we are planning to develop the range to include a variety of buns and biscuits under the Joeys brand later this year.”The growth of the new brand will be supported with experiential marketing events and sampling at stores across Great Britain, appearances at food shows such as the BBC Good Food Show and an integrated social media campaign.last_img read more