Book sales soar as French lockdown eases

first_imgEven so, overall, sales were 60 percent down compared the corresponding period in 2019.Despite the proliferation of online reading groups during the lockdown, the French publishing industry has been badly hit, with publishers claiming that revenues have dropped by 80 percent. France has more independent bookshops than almost any other European country, with a fixed price system protecting them from discounting by online giants like Amazon. But with publishing reeling in the wake of the virus, Culture Minister Franck Riester said Friday that he was working on an aid package for the industry. Topics : Book sales in France have soared since the country began to ease its lockdown, rocketing more than 230 percent in a week, a survey showed Monday.A study for the trade weekly Livres Hebdo found that from May 11 to 17 bookshops did a roaring trade, with readers desperate to stock up while public libraries remained shut.Many French bookshops had partially reopened in the last weeks of the country’s strict eight-week confinement for takeaway or click and collect sales.last_img read more

Wolf Administration Announces First Approvals of Loans for the Diverse Business Financing Initiative, Promoting Economic Growth Through Diversity

first_imgWolf Administration Announces First Approvals of Loans for the Diverse Business Financing Initiative, Promoting Economic Growth Through Diversity September 25, 2017 Economy,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) recently announced the first approvals of loans for the Diverse Business Financing Initiative, designed to empower minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, disabled-owned, and LGBT-owned businesses to grow and thrive. This initiative is in keeping with Governor Wolf’s Executive Order 2015-11, “Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania’s Economy.”“Diversity, inclusion and small business opportunities are essential to ensuring Pennsylvanians have jobs and our economy is thriving,” Governor Wolf said. “All economic indicators right now point more and more toward the fact that strong economic growth is tied to the success of diverse businesses and I’m especially proud to see my executive order carried out by DCED and its local partners in such a way to make diversity and inclusion a local economic initiative.”DCED solicited proposals from its local economic development partners throughout the state to determine how best to meet the goal of supporting diverse business owners in the various geographic regions of the commonwealth. The department determined that the best approach to deliver growth capital to small diverse businesses is to administer portions of revolving loan funds to local economic development organizations, which will then dedicate those funds solely for relending to small diverse businesses that they interact with every day.“The Diverse Business Financing Initiative is about more than just being the right thing to do,” DCED Secretary Dennis Davin said. “It’s about giving Pennsylvania the competitive edge we need in an increasingly competitive marketplace by ensuring access to crucial resources for all business owners, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and disabled or veteran status.”The initiative will capitalize local revolving loan funds with funding provided by the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority (PMBDA), the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority (PEDFA) and the Pennsylvania Community Development Bank (PCD Bank). In addition, partners will have access to accounts to initiate loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) to diverse businesses targeted by this initiative.The first Diverse Business Financing Initiative investments to local development organizations for relending to local diverse businesses, made at PMBDA, PCD Bank, and PEDFA board meetings last week, were as follows::The Allentown Economic Development Corporation in Lehigh County, approved for a $300,000 PMBDA loan;The Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland, approved for a $125,000 PMBDA loan and a $125,000 PEDFA loan;The Progress Fund in Westmoreland County, approved for a $250,000 PMBDA loan and a $250,000 PCD Bank loan;Bridgeway Capital in Allegheny County, approved for a $250,000 PCD Bank loan and a $125,000 PEDFA loan;Community First Fund in Lancaster County, approved for a $250,000 PCD Bank loan;FINANTA in Philadelphia County, approved for a $250,000 PCD Bank loan;Greater Berks Development Fund in Berks County, approved for a $250,000 PCD Bank loan;JARI Growth Fund in Cambria County, approved for a $250,000 PCD Bank loan;MetroAction in Lackawanna County, approved for a $250,000 PCD Bank loan; andBucks County Economic Development Corporation, approved for $250,000 PEDFA loan.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Swiss to vote on pension reform in September

first_imgNext, Switzerland’s population will decide on the reform package in a binding referendum on 24 September.A public vote is necessary because part of the reform requires an amendment to the country’s constitution. Through an increase in VAT, every person retiring from the day the reform comes into effect is to be granted a CHF70 (€57) top-up payment to compensate for cuts under the new pension framework.The Green party, GLP, changed its mind at the last minute to accept the reform package in parliament.They remained critical of the top-up payment to first pillar pensions, but said it should be up to the people to decide this question.In a vote on a similar general pension top-up in autumn last year, the people had rejected the left-wing initiative “AHVplus”.However, on 24 September Swiss people will not only be able to vote for or against the increase in VAT for pension payments, but also on the whole package.This means the reform package as a whole could still be toppled as unions, employer representatives, and parties have already started to campaign ahead of the referendum.Major points of the reform – apart from the top-up – are a lower conversion rate for second pillar Pensionskassen, and an increase to the retirement age for women. By a very narrow margin the Swiss parliament voted “yes” to the pension reform package ‘Altersvorsorge 2020’ (AV2020).The law was passed by the lower chamber, the Nationalrat, in the final vote today. There were 100 votes in favour, 93 against, and one abstention.At the same time the upper chamber, the Ständerat, also accepted the law with votes of 27 in favour to 18 against.Yesterday in a preliminary vote 101 MPs voted in favour of the changes, meaning the necessary majority was only just reached. In the final vote, just a simple majority was needed.last_img read more

New York under curfew as looters hit luxury stores

first_imgGroups of young people moved from block to block around the district, usually bustling with tourists but deserted due to the coronavirus, with entire streets blocked by police. (AFP) NEW YORK was under a curfew that would last until early Tuesday morning, officials said, after looters raided stores in central Manhattan, targeting some of the city’s top retailers. Upmarket fashion store Michael Kors on Fifth Avenue was among the luxury outlets hit, along with Nike, Lego and electronics shops across Midtown, before the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew came into effect, AFP journalists said.center_img Looters hit stores in New York where the mayor has imposed an overnight curfew. AFPlast_img read more

Boys Golf Sectionals At Madison

first_imgThe Boys Golf Sectionals took place at The Sunrise Golf Course in Madison on Monday (6-9).The host Cubs was the Team Champs.  Jennings County placed 2nd and Rising Sun finished 3rd to qualify for The Regionals.Madison Boys Golf SectionalsSouthwestern was 6th, Switzerland County 7th, Shawe Memorial 12th, and South Ripley 13th.The Regionals will take place Thursday (6-12) at Providence starting at 8 AM.Courtesy of The IHSAA.last_img

Ighalo to wear customised boots at Man U

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Odion Ighalo has revealed a touching tribute to his late sister following his loan move to Manchester United. Ighalo took to Instagram last December to mourn his sister Mary Atole’s passing, posting pictures of them both with the message: “R.I.P sister @blackboldbeautifull 12-12-19.” The 30-year-old striker has since secured a move to his childhood club United to boost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack and is determined to make the most of his time at Old Trafford. But Ighalo has provided a timely reminder that there are more important things in life than football, revealing how he intends to honour his sister’s memory while he is on the pitch. Ighalo posted a photo of a pair of Nike bootball boots with “Mary Atole” inscribed on them, along with the Nigerian flag. The forward added the caption: “MARY ATOLE (nee ighalo) lives forever 12-12-19.” Ighalo’s post received over 30,000 likes in three hours, and the striker reposted a number of well-wishers’ messages in his Instagram story.Tags: Manchester UnitedMary AtoleOdion Ighalolast_img read more

Mother of missing 5-year-old arrested

first_imgThe Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has announced that they have arrested Brianna Williams, the mother of a 5-year-old girl who was reported missing on November 6th.Williams was arrested Tuesday afternoon, several hours after officials located human remains in a wooded area in Alabama.The remains were found between Demopolis and Linden, Alabama, where Williams is known to have family and friends.Officials say Williams initially told them that she woke up in their home in Jacksonville around 7:00 am on the 6th and found the backdoor was unlocked and that her daughter, Taylor was nowhere to be found.Shortly after giving her statement, Williams stopped cooperating with investigators and eventually was named a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance.While the human remains have not yet been identified as the 5-year-old girl, authorities say there are many clues that lead them to believe it is her.Human remains found in search for missing 5-year-old Jacksonville girl During the press conference, it was announced that Williams has been arrested for child neglect and making false statements.Williams is currently being held at a hospital after an overdose. She is said to be in serious condition.Officials say it appears that the 27-year-old ingested something, however, it is unclear if it was intentional.last_img read more

Badgers pull victory out of hat–almost

first_imgAfter Friday night’s debacle — an ugly 3-1 loss to Minnesota State — UW men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves admitted to nearly pulling his lineup out of a goalie mask for Saturday night’s game.”Almost,” Eaves conceded. “When I went to bed last night, I was thinking about putting names in a hat.”At the very least, it seemed like the sixth-year coach did just that. Out of 12 forwards, eight found themselves in either a new position or on a different line Saturday evening. Additionally, Davis Drewiske had a new defensive partner on the second unit, as freshman Jamie McBain replaced junior Josh Engel in Saturday’s game.But perhaps the most stirring shakeup was between the pipes. For the fourth time this season — and the third time following a loss — Shane Connelly got the nod ahead of Hobey Baker finalist Brian Elliott (8-13-1). And for the third consecutive time, Connelly (3-0-1) followed up an Elliott loss with a victory.As much as Friday’s game was filled with embarrassment for Wisconsin (11-13-2, 8-9-1 WCHA), Saturday’s impressive 4-1 win over Minnesota State (9-15-4, 6-11-3) was a proud night for the Badgers. Did the roster shake-up have any effect?Sort of, according to Eaves.”We saw some things in the third period [Friday], we moved Ben Street on the wing in the third period last night between [Aaron] Bendickson and [Tom] Gorowsky, and we saw some good things,” he said. “So we shook it up a little bit, and I think that stimulated some things as well.”Senior forward Jake Dowell, who remained with senior center Andrew Joudrey on the top line, didn’t seem to believe this particular plethora of line changes made a great deal of difference in UW’s play from one night to another.”There’s been a whole lot of shakeups all year, and so some nights things click and they’re different than next week,” Dowell said. “But I think it was just a matter of everybody playing hard, no matter who they were with, trying to get the puck in the zone and keep possession of the puck and score some goals.”The top two lines did just that, at least with the adjusted lines. The Badgers’ best five forwards (Dowell, Joudrey, senior Ross Carlson, sophomore Jack Skille and freshman Michael Davies) combined for just eight shots Friday, but exploded for 17 shots on net the next night, helping Wisconsin win the shots battle 35-18 in the series finale.And on that night, the shots finally translated to goals for a team starved for offense. Davies scored his first goal since Nov. 24, with the assists to McBain — back after being scratched Friday — and new linemate Carlson.Then, in the second and third periods, Skille’s promotion to the first line with Dowell and Joudrey paid instant dividends, as the young scorer earned his first hat trick as a Badger. Joudrey assisted on the third goal, and while Dowell was credited with no points, it was his defensive clear of the puck that set up Skille’s first goal on the night. Most notably, those three forwards combined for a plus-10 rating on the night.Meanwhile, it would be unfair to say Elliott is being outplayed by his backup this year. But in the Badgers’ victory, Connelly did his part in ensuring Wisconsin got back on the right track, turning away all but one of the 18 shots he faced on the night while remaining undefeated in net this season.Whether it was instant chemistry the Badgers were able to create with new linemates and a backup netminder, or simply the urgency of trying to avoid a home sweep to the cellar-dwelling Mavericks, Wisconsin was able to put together one of its better hockey efforts of the season, and it was done without the usual lines in place.”I don’t think it really makes a difference who’s playing with who right now,” Dowell said.Game Notes: With just under a minute remaining in the second period, MSU’s Zach Harrison shoved UW’s Blake Geoffrion into the Maverick bench well after the whistle, which sparked an on-ice pushing match that lasted several minutes. When all was said and done, 74 penalty minutes were assessed, including 12 to MSU star Travis Morin. The Maverick captain didn’t appear to be involved in any shoving during the melee. … Morin, Minnesota State’s top point-getter and the WCHA’s third-place scorer with 31 points, had nine shots in the series but was held without a goal or assist in either game. … Skille’s hat trick was the first for Wisconsin since Mar. 25, 2006, when Joe Pavelski hung up three goals on Bemidji State in the first round of the NCAA playoffs. … The Badgers went 0-for-11 on the power play in the two games, though Davies’ first-period goal on Saturday came just 5 seconds after a Maverick penalty ended. … Minnesota State goaltender Mike Zacharias assisted on the first goal of the series.last_img read more

Free agent frenzy underway for newly uncapped NFL

first_imgWhat were you doing last night?While your Thirsty Thursday hijinks may have you struggling to remember the night’s activities, NFL teams and agents surely know what they were doing — kick-starting the free agency period.At midnight, the NFL offseason officially entered free agency, as it does every year once the scouting combine ends. However, unlike other years, the 2010 free agency promises to be much different.This year, for the first time since 1993, the NFL will have no salary cap. Although the methodology and reasoning behind the elimination of the cap could by itself warrant its own column by someone with actual legal knowledge, here’s the jist of the situation.Every Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between the NFL and the players’ union in recent memory has included a final year in which the salary cap will be removed. The goal of the scheduled disappearance of the cap was to encourage the league and the union to work out a new CBA one year before the current one expires.However, the two sides have failed to do so. With no deal in place and the owners unanimously having voted back in May 2008 to end the agreement two years early, the 2010 league year is left without a salary cap.With owners like Al Davis, Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder still roaming the NFL landscape, some believe teams will be unable to resist the urge to break open their piggybanks and splurge this offseason. However, more conventional wisdom indicates that teams will instead implement self-imposed budgets to control their spending.Furthermore, the removal of the salary cap also brings about the absence of a salary floor, meaning teams can spend as little as they want (while still adhering to minimum salary regulations). As a result, look for typically frugal franchises like the Buccaneers to continue to hide their checkbooks.Tired of this boring legal stuff? Just one more thing. In an uncapped year such as 2010, the CBA indicates players must have six years of playing experience to become unrestricted free agents, rather than the usual four. As a result, players like Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman who have four or five years under their belts are forced into restricted free agency, allowing their teams to apply RFA tenders in an attempt to keep them on the roster. As a result, the 2010 unrestricted free agent class has been diluted, further pushing teams to demonstrate financial restraint.Enough of that legal stuff; I’ve probably already lost most of my readers anyway. Let’s get into the stuff people actually care about.Eight years ago, Julius Peppers entered the NFL as a super-athletic defensive end from UNC. The 6-foot-7, 293 pound Peppers also exhibited his athletic prowess on the hardwood, playing a significant reserve role for the Tar Heels. After eight seasons in the NFL, Peppers has averaged more than 10 sacks per season, recording only two seasons with less than double-digit sack numbers.Last offseason, though, Peppers announced his refusal to sign a long-term deal with Carolina, stating his desire to play for a 3-4 defense and switch to outside linebacker. After rampant rumors of a trade in the works, potentially with New England, Peppers was given the franchise tag and remained in a Panthers uniform for the 2009-10 season, notching 10.5 sacks and 40 tackles.In February, the Panthers announced they would not tag Peppers again, making the defensive end this year’s biggest free agent prize. While there’s a chance Peppers could already be signed by the time this column is printed — with a midnight signing, ? la Albert Haynesworth a year ago — look for a few teams to enter the fray for Peppers and potentially instigating a bidding war.While Snyder’s Redskins were initially viewed as potential candidates, new GM Bruce Allen likely will push for more savvy, lower-scale moves. Instead, Chicago seems to be a possible destination, as the Bears look to rebound from last year’s 7-9 campaign. Out west, the Seahawks could prove to be Peppers’ landing spot, as deep pockets owner Paul Allen might look to make a big splash, especially with superstar college coach Pete Carroll joining the franchise.Joining Peppers as highlights of the free agent class is a collection of aging, recently released running backs in LaDanian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook and Thomas Jones, as well a larger list of intriguing defensive players, such as linebacker Karlos Dansby and defensive lineman Aaron Kampman.Tomlinson may be the most attractive of the bunch, as the former MVP’s tearful farewell press conference in San Diego proved he still has the passion to play. Despite passing the proverbial running back hill that comes at 30 years of age — Tomlinson will be 31 by the time the season starts — LT has been the running back of the decade, and could find success again in a secondary role in a two-back system, such as in Pittsburgh behind incumbent Rashard Mendenhall.Again, this free agency period will be unlike any other in recent history. Along with the uncertainty regarding how much spending to expect, there could be an increase in trades, as cap penalties will no longer come into play. Either way, there will be much to follow as free agency kicks into gear, and among March Madness and baseball spring training heating up, the NFL will still find itself stealing a bit of the national sports spotlight — great news for football fans across the nation.Mike is a sophomore planning on majoring in journalism. Enticed by free agency? Let him know at read more

Trotter brothers stay close

first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)It’s been four years since Michael and Marcus Trotter’s brother committed suicide. Aleksas Trotter was a state-champion high school gymnast, training for college and a shot at the Olympics before a shoulder injury put an end to his career. At the age of 21, on April 19, 2008, after a long bout with depression, Aleksas took his own life.The twins – Michael and Marcus – were still in high school at the time and were given the news as their father picked them up for their routine, 40-plus minute car ride from Marquette High School in Milwaukee to their home in Racine, Wis.“When it happened, it was such a nightmare,” Marcus said. “I still remember the day like it was yesterday when I sat down in the car. My dad told me when he picked me up from high school. I just remember sitting there on the car ride home. … It was a tragedy, but I definitely see it as motivation.”Marcus, a linebacker, and Michael, a safety, can often be seen at practice sporting shirts with “Fly High” hand-written on the front – just one of the few ways the duo continues to honor and remember their brother.In fact, simply playing football and pushing each other to work hard is another tribute in itself.“I think not only football, but everything in life,” Marcus said. “Ever since he died, I always felt like I could attribute something to him, just not only in football but also how I interact with people, how I treat my parents and how I treat my siblings. … Everything I do in life, I just want to work as hard as I can and be the best person I can be just for my brother because that’s who he was and that’s what he would want me to do.”In a family gifted with athleticism, the twins’ older sister Alana also pursued a collegiate basketball career, first with Ohio State and then transferring to Wisconsin after one year. Alana suffered a season-ending injury and missed the 2008-09 season before retiring from the game in 2010 to focus on her studies.For Michael and Marcus, they’re just trying to stay healthy and make an impact on the sport they love and make their family proud.“[Aleksas] was a gymnast; he was training for the Olympics before he stopped doing his thing,” Michael said. “Also for our sister, too. She had a bad knee injury playing here, which stopped here. It’s like the ‘Trotter Curse’ with the injuries stopping us. Marcus and I are trying to do it for our sister, trying to break the curse. Now we’ve each had our hamstring injuries, but we have three more years to make them proud, make our family proud.”When it came to playing football at Wisconsin, only Michael was guaranteed a scholarship, and Marcus still maintains his walk-on status.During their recruiting process, Michael admits he fully expected his brother to be the one to get a scholarship, not himself, simply because Marcus was more outgoing and talked about it. But when the offers rolled in, the Badgers offered Michael a spot, not Marcus.Marcus chose to forego his scholarship offer from Wofford to walk on at Wisconsin to play for the team he grew up with and continue to play alongside his brother.“It’s just so normal for me because we’ve always been on the same team,” Marcus said. “There was one instance when we weren’t and that was in like the eighth grade city all-star game or something like that when we were on separate teams. That was the only time. We’ve always been together. It’d be different if you asked me what it would be like not being with him because I’m always with him.”The Trotters – both redshirt sophomores – have yet to make a strong name for themselves on the Badger squad.Marcus, a 6-foot, 222-pound linebacker, sits on the depth chart behind redshirt junior and defensive anchor Chris Borland. Trotter only played in five games last season – mostly on special teams and notched a total of four tackles over those five games – but Marcus was also sidelined for part of the season due to a hamstring injury.Michael, a 6-foot, 210-pound safety, saw more action than his brother, playing in 12 of the Badgers’ 14 games, missing only the Northern Illinois game and the Big Ten Championship Game. He recorded just one tackle on the season, which came against South Dakota.Defensive coordinator Chris Ash said the two need to show they can be consistent, trustworthy players, but they have an unparalleled enthusiasm for the game.“They’re both very passionate about football,” Ash said. “They’re students of the game. They’re constantly watching film, trying to improve their game. They play hard, they’ve got great motors and they keep getting better every single day.”It’s a passion they hope will one day translate into their own success, a success they can’t wait to share together.“We’re just waiting for our shot,” Michael said. “When it happens, I’ll be happy to be right next to you.”last_img read more