Working together to give credit unions a stronger voice

first_img 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dean Young Dean Young leads PSCU’s strategic direction on how to best leverage the cooperative’s scale to advocate on behalf of the credit union industry. He works collaboratively with key … Web: pscu.com Details The credit union industry is a large group of people with a shared belief in the benefits of community and cooperation. And with that shared mission, all credit unions, affiliated state and federal associations, and the credit union service organizations (CUSOs) that serve them must work together to protect and advance the wellbeing of over 100 million credit union members. As the credit union movement grew, leaders offered their time and expertise to advocate for fair regulations and access to new technology. That support from leaders throughout the credit union landscape has helped push our cooperative mission to ever-greater levels of success.To further expand the voice of credit unions, CUSO senior executives participate on boards and advisory groups throughout the financial services industry, in disciplines including payment services, lending, risk management, insurance, investment services, business continuity and more. Cybersecurity and EMV, for example, are two areas in which credit unions benefit from a CUSO’s deep resources and partnerships. Through this participation, CUSOs can represent the credit unions they serve, keep them informed about the latest information and drive growth throughout the industry. This commitment ensures that their organizations and credit unions are positioned at the forefront of the financial services industry.While CUSOs like PSCU and others don’t employ lobbyists to advance the concerns of the credit unions they serve, they do maintain strong relationships with CUNA and NAFCU, which are responsible for lobbying the national government on behalf of the credit union industry. By participating on the advisory groups of official lobbying partners and bringing payments expertise, CUSOs can help insure that credit unions’ interests are well represented.The importance of maintaining a strong presence in credit union associations and advisory groups is more important than ever. That is why PSCU and other CUSOs have made it a priority to increase their participation throughout the credit union industry. One of the first steps they take to achieve this objective is to create the position of Senior Vice President of Industry Engagement, to lead their strategic direction to advocate on behalf of the credit union industry. These leaders work collaboratively with key national partners to ensure alignment on important topics. CUSOs support critical parts of a credit union’s operations and provide vital leadership for the industry.Since 1977, PSCU has been a key partner for hundreds of credit unions, enabling each to offer new services and grow their business. Along with all the services and technology credit unions receive from their membership, one of the biggest benefits is a much stronger voice on credit union topics. With the purchasing power of many credit unions behind them, CUSOs have a huge amount of influence with leading financial services partners.Industry engagement is an ongoing process for credit union organizations, not a short-term solution. Only by being continually engaged with all facets of the credit union industry can organizations effectively provide the appropriate guidance and collaborate on solutions that deliver an unparalleled member experience.last_img read more

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Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch

first_imgThe inaugural ‘Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch’ tournament sees 16 teams from around the globe fight it out over two days to kick off the HSBC Sevens World Series 2011/12. The ‘Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch’ tournament will be held on Saturday, 25 November and Sunday, 26 November 2011 at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast. Tickets start from $39, and you’ve got the opportunity to purchase your ticket the public sale begins. Get in quick to be there when Rugby meets party.A collaborative relationship between TFA and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has enabled the opportunity for TFA members to take advantage of an exclusive pre-sale opportunity. To take advantage of the pre-sale period, log on to www.ticketek.com.au between Monday, 10 October 9am and Tuesday, 11 October 5pm (AEST) and enter the password ‘GOLDIE’.  You can also call Ticketek on 132 849 or visit any Ticketek agency.last_img read more

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Prosperity mine resurrection

first_imgAPTN National NewsBritish Columbia Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark says if chosen leader she would resurrect Taseko Mine’s controversial Prosperity mine project which would drain a lake sacred to area First Nations.Her pledge has again stirred up controversy among B.C.’s First Nations leaders.last_img

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Maduros cryptocurrency genius once pushed US sanctions

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela – A chief strategist of Venezuela’s government-backed cryptocurrency is a former U.S. congressional intern who once organized protests against the same socialist administration he’s now helping to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions.Gabriel Jimenez, 27, was catapulted to something of tech stardom in Venezuela last month when he stood alongside President Nicolas Maduro and two Russian businessmen on national TV signing a contract to position the petro, as the fledgling currency is known, among international investors.“It’s a company founded and led by young Venezuelan geniuses, boys and girls of Venezuela, who have one of the most technologically advanced blockchain companies in the world,” a beaming Maduro said at the petro’s unveiling, referring to Jimenez’s company, The Social Us.It was a remarkable reinvention for Jimenez.Maduro has repeatedly hailed the petro, the world’s first state-backed digital currency, as a way to “overcome the financial blockade” by the Trump administration that prevents his cash-strapped government from issuing new debt. On Monday, the Trump administration banned Americans from dealing in Venezuelan cyrptocurrencies benefiting the government.But Jimenez until recently had been agitating for the very same actions to punish Venezuela’s leader for jailing his opponents and destroying the oil-rich economy.A lawyer by training who describes himself as an “innovation enthusiast,” Jimenez spent several years working at a Dominican Republic-based bank where his father was a top manager. The bank collapsed in 2014 and his father was among several Venezuelan executives charged by the Caribbean nation with defrauding depositors of $30 million.After college Jimenez also started travelling to the U.S. for English and summer graduate classes at Harvard and George Mason Universities. In 2013, he started The Social Us, registering the company in Florida, as a webpage and app developer.In 2014, Jimenez worked five months as an intern in Washington for Miami Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of Maduro’s fiercest critics. A handwritten survey he filled out upon being hired, a copy of which was provided by her office, listed in broken English that his goals for the internship were gaining “knowledge and experience about the defence of democracy.”Colleagues remember him as a spirited anti-government crusader who helped organize a caravan, known as the Trip For Freedom, in which thousands of Venezuelan exiles travelled by bus to Washington to pressure the Obama administration to slap sanctions on Maduro’s government. In photos of the event, he can be seen standing on a podium with Ros-Lehtinen at the Capitol addressing supporters in front of an American flag and photos of Venezuelan students allegedly tortured by security forces.Now his former boss thinks he or anyone else behind the petro should be considered for sanctions too.“Gabriel came to our office and said he wanted to learn how to support freedom and democracy,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “Instead, it appears he is using the freedoms that the United States provided him in order to help advance the Maduro regime’s attempts to consolidate power and destroy Venezuela’s democratic institutions. Those who work to support the Maduro regime and provide it a financial lifeline have chosen their lot and should expect to face the full consequences of turning against their people.”Jimenez in an interview defended his work for the government as serving a greater, non-political purpose: to empower Venezuelans struggling to feed themselves amid four-digit inflation.He said his work on what would become the petro began when he returned to Venezuela in 2015 and banded together with other tech entrepreneurs to design a digital currency. The group then looked to partner with the government in the hopes of bringing Venezuelans’ underground trading in cryptocurrencies out from the shadows and into legal circulation. At the time, bitcoin miners faced the threat of arrest or extortion by government agents.If the petro takes off, he says, Venezuelans will be able to freely exchange their worthless bolivars for a more stable currency, giving them a chance to raise capital and save. Currently the only way for the majority of Venezuelans to get around strict currency controls imposed in 2003 is to buy hard currency in the illegal black market.“This is about providing oxygen to people, not a government,” Jimenez said in an interview at the bustling Caracas office of The Social Us, where a dozen young programmers scrawled code in pink markers on glass windows overlooking a verdant valley and busily designed promotional materials for the petro.It’s a trade-off that many in Venezuela’s burgeoning blockchain community — almost all of them ideologically opposed to the government — are willing to accept.Still, there’s no denying the government will be the first and perhaps biggest beneficiary.This month, Maduro said the government had received commitments from investors to purchase $5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency during the pre-sale phase that culminates this week. If those materialize into actual sales, it would be a windfall equivalent to more than half of Venezuela’s dollar reserves — money the government is desperately clutching onto as it juggles re-paying billions in defaulted bonds while trying to eradicate widespread shortages.However, members of the U.S. Congress are pushing for a robust response, fearing that other nations under U.S. sanctions such as Iran and Russia could emulate Venezuela’s example, or that the petro could be used by criminal networks or corrupt officials to launder money.Of the two Russians who also signed agreements with the government to help develop the petro one, Denis Druzhkov, CEO of a company called Zeus Trading, was fined $31,000 and barred from trading for three years by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for fraudulent trading in futures’ contracts. The other, Fedor Bogorodskiy, lives in Uruguay and was described by the government as director of a company, Aerotrading, whose website consists of a single home page with no company information.Neither would comment on their work with the Venezuelan government. But in response to the request for comment, an email signed by “Zeus Team” said that Druzkhov had been invited to Venezuela as an expert and Zeus is not working on the project. It also said that as part of Druzhkov’s settlement with the Mercantile Exchange in 2014, he did not admit to any rule violations.On Monday, President Trump signed an executive order immediately banning all use by Americans of Venezuelan digital currencies, coins or token issued on behalf of the Venezuelan government.A senior administration official told journalists Monday that while the U.S. can’t block Venezuela from developing the petro, the global reach of the American financial system means its ban will have far-reaching consequences around the world and may force other countries to follow suit.Sen. Bob Menendez, who as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has led the effort to combat Venezuela’s use of cryptocurrencies, applauded the move.“Beyond sanctions evasion, the Petro was hand-tailored to perpetuate the money laundering and plundering of public resources that has tragically led Venezuela to economic ruin.” He said in a statement.Jimenez, whose preference for sneakers and jeans exude a sort of nerd esthetic not unlike his entrepreneurial role models in Silicon Valley, said he never intended to help circumvent U.S. sanctions. He also argues that the petro — a financial product that doesn’t generate interest or have a payback schedule like a bond — doesn’t qualify as the sort of debt instrument the Trump administration had been targeting.Instead, he talks of “democratizing” access to global financial system for struggling entrepreneurs and decentralizing Venezuela’s government-run foreign exchange system, which many blame for the economy’s depressed state.“We can’t just sit here with our arms crossed, with all that we, our friends and our family are going through,” he said. “Doing nothing would be irresponsible.”—Follow Goodman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APjoshgoodmanlast_img read more

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2 held with 52 illegal firearms in Rohini

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Police Special Cell arrested two persons with 52 illegal firearms in Sector-15, Rohini, police said on Wednesday.Police identified the accused Amarikan (25) and Sheetal Singh (22) both from Badwani in Madhya Pradesh. The duo was arrested after a brief chase on March 31 in Sector-15, Rohini. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said that accused are indulged in manufacturing and supplying of illegal firearms for more than 10 years. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccused Amarikan disclosed that he himself used to send the consignments of illegal firearms to Delhi, UP, MP, Maharashtra. “Amarikan and Sheetal Singh have the expertise to prepare any weapon including sophisticated pistols. They sell these pistols in bulk. Pistols supplied by them in Delhi/NCR finally reaches to dreaded criminals/gangsters of Delhi and adjoining states,” said DCP Yadav. DCP further said that this is their ancestral profession, probably more than 80 years old, which they continued for want of livelihood. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsMost of the village families are indulged in this illegal trade of manufacturing and supplying of firearms in various parts of the country including Delhi. Police said that the Special Cell of Delhi Police is persistently after the notorious arms syndicates active in Delhi/NCR areas. In this crusade, the discreet surveillance transpired that illegal weapons are pumped into Delhi mainly from the areas of Khargaon, Dhar & Burhanpur in M.P and from Munger in Bihar. Concerted efforts made so far, yielded in busting several interstate firearm syndicates in recent past too.last_img read more

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100 per cent unity among United India forces Mamata

first_imgKolkata: With the world’s biggest democracy all set to begin the 40-day election process in which an eighth of the world’s population will cast their franchise, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee reiterated with renewed vigour and conviction that there is 100 percent unity among the United India allies and that Bengal will play a major role in the formation of the new government at the Centre.”All the regional parties will do well in the election and a national party will have to join the United India forces. Bengal will play a leading role in the formation of the new government in Delhi,” she said. In the same breath, she said her party will get 42 out of 42 seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. In an interview to a vernacular television channel on Monday evening, the Chief Minister said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls me a ‘speed breaker’. As far as I know, speed breakers are installed to control speed and save lives.” She further added that never in the past, India has seen such an arrogant Prime Minister whose language does not suit the post of a Prime Minister. “I have worked with great leaders like Atalji, Advaniji, Gujralji, Rajivji, Deve Gowdaji, Narasimha Raoji but never have I come across such arrogance. The only thing he wants is publicity.” Asked about giving tickets to film stars like Mimi Chakraborty from Jadavpur, Nusrat Jahan from Basirhat and Moon Moon Sen from Asansol, she said: “All of them will win. Mimi will do great work. The CPI(M) candidate in Jadavpur is former Mayor of Kolkata who could not be traced during severe waterlogging in the city. Nusrat will win from Basirhat while Moon Moon will win from Asansol. Besides being the daughter of matinee idol Suchitra Sen, Moon Moon is a highly accomplished lady.” Asked whether the Trinamool Congress will win in Alipurduar, Cooch Behar and Darjeeling, she said: “Our candidates will win from these seats. In Darjeeling, BJP had won in 2014 by dividing the people. But this time this trick will not work. There are four Assembly constituencies in the plains and another three constituencies in the Hills. Our candidate Amar Singh Rai is a localite and is respected by all. He will win the election.” Banerjee said a probe should be conducted into the source of BJP’s money. “They are spending crores of rupees on meetings. They are paying money to the voters — Rs 1,000 and at times Rs 5,000 to the voters to cast votes in their favour.” Asked about the fight between the TMC and Congress in the state, Banerjee said: “There is a pact between BJP, CPI(M) and Congress. In Murshidabad, RSS is helping a Congress candidate while BJP is helping the CPI(M) candidate in Jadavpur. But despite these unofficial pacts, Mausam Noor will win from Malda North and Moazzem Hossain from Malda South seats respectively. Apurba Sarkar and Abu Taher will win from Berhampore and Murshidabad as well.” Talking on the arbitrary surveys by several media houses, the TMC supremo said: “Most of them are bogus and are paid surveys. Most of the national television channels have been sold out and are showing concocted news. I have stopped watching television because of conflicting news. The top brass in the media has been purchased by the BJP.” Referring to Modi as a fake ‘chowkidar’, she said: “I have challenged him to sit for an open debate. I know it is difficult for him to accept it as he has lied throughout these five years and hasn’t done anything constructive.” She also maintained: “Modi is talking shamelessly about the air strike in his election campaigns. But there will be a strike by the voters and on May 23, he will be ousted from Delhi.”last_img read more

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Pet dog saves farmer from cobra in TN

first_imgThanjavur: In a heroic battle exemplifying its loyalty, a pet dog saved its master from a cobra, killing the venomous reptile and laying down its own life in the process at a village near here.Seeing the five-foot long cobra about to attack Natarajan (50), a farmerof Vengarayankudikaadu village while on his way to his field, the dog ‘Puppy’ jumped to his rescue Saturday. While the dog and the snake fought a pitched battle, the farmer rushed to his nearby house to fetch a stick to chase the reptile away. But, by the time he could return, Puppy killed the snake, but tragically died due to bites suffered earlier, the farmer said. News of Puppy fighting off a venomous reptile spread and residents gathered at the farmer’s house to pay homage to his pet. Natarajan, who turned emotional, picked up the dead dog, and held it close to his chest before giving it a tearful burial near his house, neighbours said.last_img read more

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Voting starts in second round of Mauritania elections

first_imgNOUAKCHOTT – Voting started on Saturday in the second round of Mauritania’s legislative and council elections.Some 56 seats are up for grabs in the runoff voting, which is being contested by eight parties, including the ruling Union for the Republic Party.Around 67 political parties contested 147 legislature seats in the first round of the elections on November 23.The runoff pits the ruling party against the seven other parties in a heated contest over the seats of the nine constituencies of Nouakchott as well as seats in other major Mauritanian cities. The leftist Popular Progressive Alliance, the National Assembly for Reform and Development, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Mauritania, and Al-Wiam Democratic and Social Party have hammered an agreement to coordinate together in the runoff, according to a statement by the three parties, a copy of which was attained by Anadolu Agency.The ruling Union for the Republic and allied parties won 60 seats of the 147-member parliament in the first round of the vote, while the opposition grabbed only 31 seats.The 11-party Coordination of Democratic Opposition had boycotted the vote, citing the use of state resources to campaign for the ruling party.By Sidi Ould Abdel-Maleklast_img read more

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Save Cinemas in Morocco founder Tarik Mounim on the fight to

first_imgPhiladelphia- Tarik Mounim is the founder of Save Cinemas in Morocco, an organization dedicated to preserving traditional theaters to promote public cinema in Morocco.Tarik Mounim first learned of the derelict state of Moroccan cinemas when he returned to his home country from Paris in 2006 for a role in the film Goodbye Mothers, which included scenes shot in an old theater in Tetouan. “When I saw how amazing the cinema was, and how run down it had become, I met with the theater owner to ask what had happened. He explained to me that as less and less people were visiting cinemas, many were in disrepair or closed,” Tarik says. Other cinema buildings were purchased and repurposed for other businesses. Internet piracy and the rise of movie multiplexes have each played a role in the decline of traditional cinemas in Morocco. “Now you can buy a pirated movie on any street corner in Casablanca for 4 or 6 dirham,” Tarik explains. “It kills creation, it kills culture, it kills cinema.”The Moroccan Cinematographic Center, in charge of funding and regulating film projects and institutions, put money into producing movies while neglecting to restore old cinemas; instead, they built multiplexes, and stopped sending new releases to the old theaters. At 60 dirham per ticket, the multiplexes are unaffordable for many Moroccans.The young actor knew that to lose the historic cinemas would mean a loss of vital cultural venues for Moroccans. “It is the only place for people to share the experience of watching a movie,” Tarik says. “If you watch a movie on a big screen, you are in the movie. Cinema is a mirror to society, a way to understand society and to broach formerly taboo topics.”Mounim founded Save Cinemas in Morocco in 2007 to raise awareness and funds for the preservation and promotion of traditional movie theaters. Without funding or publicity, the organizers began by selling t-shirts at an international film festival in Marrakech to make money and garner media attention, and by sharing stories and pictures of the cinemas on social media. The Cine Theatre Palace Marrakech, pictured above, is one of the oldest theaters in Marrakech, and was the subject of one of Save Cinemas in Morocco’s first organizing events.From the beginning, SCIM received enthusiastic support from students and young professionals. “We made an active campaign to mobilize people and convince the authorities that they should not destroy the theaters. Some investors were interested in buying the cinemas to make supermarkets, so we got in front of this, and the more we communicated about the story of the cinemas, the more people joined our cause.”Eventually, more than twenty old cinemas were declared historic landmarks thanks to the efforts of Save Cinemas in Morocco.SCIM recently developed an exhibition with English artists for the Biennale heritage month to push authorities to buy a theater for renovation that could then be made more accessible with lower ticket prices.Tarik hopes that restoring old cinemas will pique interest in subsidizing theater tickets to encourage public engagement with art. He sees the buildings as the symbolic heart of visual art. “Cinemas are temples of culture,” he says. “Making cinema affordable will encourage people to share movies, their culture and their hearts.”Without major donors or public funds, Save Cinemas in Morocco has managed to gain the support of the Minister of Communications for the preservation of cinemas as historic monuments. Now, SCIM is looking for funding for their newest project. “We want to put cinemas where there are none – El Jadida, Ouazazate, Essaouira, Agadir, and many other cities,” Mounim says.Tarik, who is also the director of development at Sandman Productions, says that starting an NGO in Morocco can be challenging. “It is difficult to find funding, and there is little existing structure.” However, he advises aspiring organizers to learn by doing. “It is the best school,” he says. “When you work for someone else, you have to sacrifice your passion; when you work for yourself, you are surrounded by people who believe in your project.” The SCIM founder sees broader significance in preserving traditional cinema. “The language of cinema is the language of dialogue between people; it is about peace and understanding – an international language. A country where there is no cinema is missing something.”“We will not save all the cinemas, but we know one thing: there is less and less space in our cities for cultural events. For us, it is vital to explain to the authorities that there is a demand for this kind of place, for people to have a place where they can express their creativity, especially young people,” Mounim says.“The more people who join us, the more we will change the mentality of authorities and engage them in issues of cultural politics in Morocco. We are happy to organize partnerships with artists or anyone who is interested in supporting our efforts, and we invite them to join us.”For more information about Save Cinemas in Morocco, visit their website, www.savecinemasinmarocco.com, follow them on Facebook, or email inquiries directly to savecinemasinmarocco[at]gmail.com.This article is part of a series on young artists, creators and organizers pursuing unconventional paths. Read about Off-the-Wall Pilgrimage, the first Palestinian-Israeli arts festival in Paris, and an interview with rapper Soultana.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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Randy Moss Says His Time With 49ers Is Over

Wide receiver Randy Moss said his time with the San Francisco 49ers has come to an end.“Wished we could’ve finished the job!! Thanks for the opportunity an good luck in the future 9ers,” Moss tweeted Saturday evening.There was no specific reason of given for why the 49ers did not wish to retain the services of the future Hall of Famer, but comments made by Moss before the Super Bowl may have added to the organizations decision to go their separate ways.Moss said then that he was dissatisfied with his role on the team.“I don’t like my role. I don’t,” Moss said. “I like to be out there playing football.”San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke gave a slight hint during the NFL Combine that the team had already reached a conclusion about Moss not returning to the team for the 2013 season.“We’re certainly happy that he was in [in San Francisco],” Baalke responded when he was asked about Moss’ future with the team. “Is he going to return this? I don’t know that yet.”Apparently, the 36-year-old Moss, who signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last March after returning from a one-year retirement, received word that he will not be back.Moss played in all 16 games and 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, making two starts. In the 49ers Super Bowl loss to the Ravens, he caught two passes for 41 yards.Despite Moss and the San Francisco parting ways, he told some of his 49ers teammates that he still can play at a high level, according to CBSSports.com.Moss had become a fixture in the 49ers locker room, even for starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.“He was great to me,” Kaapernick said in an interview with the NFL Network on Feb. 28. “He made sure I knew what the defense was doing. He was someone that helped me a great deal and I hope he’s back with us.”Now that it is clear that Moss will not return, he will hit the free agent market on March 12, with the hopes of finding a suitor.Moss will be looking to add to his 982 catches for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns, but hopefully with a Super Bowl contender. read more

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