High Five: June 2012

first_img1. Climbing Wunderkind Sets Record in RedRed River Gorge, Ky.At age 10, Brooke Raboutou recently became the youngest female and American to send a 5.14a when she scaled the steep grade of “God’s Own Stone” at Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. While no small feat, the Colorado-based climbing wunderkind has been raised on rock, as her mother Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou was a four-time world-cup winner who now runs a kids’ climbing program in Boulder.2. Bears on BroadcastScranton, Pa.In northeastern Pennsylvania, a mama bear and three cubs wandered into the backyard of a Scranton news station where meteorologist Kurt Aaron was delivering a weather segment. When Aaron turned around, one of the bears was only 10 feet away from him, so he darted inside as a safety precaution. The live cameras continued to roll, showing bears rooting for trash instead of the latest weather maps.3. What is art?Martinsburg, W.Va. West Virginia-based artist David Heatwole wasn’t pleased by the city of Martinsburg’s plans to raise a sculpture of the town founder, Revolutionary War Major General Adam Stephen. So in what he’s calling a symbolic request for more public art, Heatwole placed a toilet on the pedestal that was intended for the sculpture and attached a fake bill of sale that read “crappy work of art.” He was charged with littering.4. Rabid Bear AttackAlbemarle County, Va. A rabid black bear attacked two men who were moving stones using a utility vehicle. The 120-pound female bear first charged the vehicle and then came after the two workers. After climbing on to the roof of the vehicle, one of the men killed the bear with a shotgun. Officials said it was the first bear with rabies ever reported in Virginia and only the second on the East Coast—the other in Maryland.5. Bo Knows BikesHenagar, Ala. In addition to Major League Baseball Player, National Football League star, and Heisman Trophy winner, Bo Jackson can now add endurance cyclist to his resume. In April, the professional sports hero led a 300-mile bike ride across Northern Alabama to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the region in 2011, leaving an estimated 250 people dead. Pedaling a rig painted the colors of his Auburn alma mater and bearing the names of those killed by the storm, Jackson was joined on the ride by a cast of celebrity friends including fellow MLB star Ken Griffey, Jr., Lance Armstrong, and pro skier Picabo Street.SkywalkingMoscow, RussiaForget planking. A new, much more dangerous cyber craze is taking off thanks to the viral photos of a risk-taking Russian teen. Marat Dupri, 19, and his friends call themselves skywalkers—a label derived from climbing to the top of skyscrapers and television towers and snapping photos from ledges, sans harness.No Tweet for YouPro cycling team Omega Pharma Quickstep’s sporting director has banned his riders from using Twitter within an hour after finishing races. The policy is aiming to prevent hot-headed post-race remarks from being posted: “It will give team members time to think before tweeting thoughts brimming with finish-line emotion that are often regretted.”Guv Too Quick for Black BearVermont Governor Pete Shumlin had a close call with a group of black bears back in April. Shumlin first tried to yell at the bears scavenging from bird feeders on his property. Then when he went to take them down, one of the bears charged him, coming within three feet of the governor who made it back inside his house unharmed.last_img read more

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3 must-have training courses for your collections staff

first_imgCompliance is a major point of contention for many lenders—particularly when it comes to their collection operations. Many of the laws that were enacted decades ago to protect consumers have components that are almost irrelevant to the collections industry. For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was initially enacted to protect consumers from excessive telemarketing calls. However, the standards of this law are also applied to debt collection, which frankly, was never the intent of the law. While the laws that govern collection operations will most likely continue to evolve with changing technology and consumer behavior, it’s important for lenders to implement regular and relevant training courses for their collection staff. The cost of non-compliance—even when due to ignorance of the law—is high. For example, collection operations that are found in violation of TCPA rules could face fines of $500 to $1,500 per violation! So, as you can see, it’s critical that your collections staff is thoroughly trained to compliantly do their jobs. Here are the three must-have training courses that you should ensure your staff is up-to-speed on: Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)Signed into law on July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act created more focused regulatory scrutiny over the financial services industry.  One of the major intentions of the Act was to prevent unfair business practices or other predatory behaviors by lenders which caused confusion or otherwise deceived consumers. The result of this was UDAAP. UDAAP prohibits firms offering financial services from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. However, the challenge for collection firms is that those terms are vague, undefined, and unclear. Likewise, they are essentially determined by the consumer.Collection operations don’t necessarily know, with certainty, what actions violate UDAAP, making compliance that much more problematic. According to the CFPB, an unfair act or practice:Causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers;The injury is not reasonably avoidable by consumers; andThe injury is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competitionWhile complying with UDAAP may not be a perfect science, the important thing to remember is that you should have a well-documented manual that includes what you expect from your staff when they are interacting with debtors, and what behavior is unacceptable. Your staff should be trained on the policies and procedures included in your manual, and have easy access to the document. Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)Enacted in 1978 to eliminate abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices, particularly from third-party debt collection agencies, the FDCPA restricts the time and frequency of collection calls, and provides guidelines for acceptable, and not acceptable, behaviors by debt collectors. However, since the CFPB has become a major player in the regulatory landscape, the former list of specific “don’ts” that previously encompassed FDCPA directives, has become more of an ambiguous model, much like UDAAP.Proper training should cover the guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, define rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribe penalties and remedies for violations of the Act. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)The original intent of the TCPA was to protect consumers from excessive telemarketing calls; however, the FCC and CFPB swept debt collection under the same umbrella as telemarketing calls, causing major contention for lenders and collection agencies. In 2012, after much push back from collection operations, the FCC addressed their concerns by providing guidance on what constitutes consent for calls made to wireless lines, as well as other elements of the act.To prevent or reduce TCPA violations, your staff should be thoroughly trained on all aspects of the law, and continuously monitored to catch and correct violations.Remaining compliant takes diligence, awareness, and monetary and time resources. However, investing in compliance is critical to avoid potential scrutiny from regulators and/or violations. The ins and outs of the aforementioned collections laws can be complex and overwhelming, so we created our latest ebook, Compliance in the Collections Industry, as a guide to gain a better understanding of the three Acts discussed in this article as they relate to collections operations, and achieve and maintain compliance. Download your free copy today! 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Chris Cote Chris Cote has been with SWBC since 2011 and has more than 12 years of experience in the financial services industry. As the Compliance Officer for the SWBC Financial Institution … Web: https://www.swbc.com Detailslast_img read more

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NAFCU urges disclosure exemption for credit unions ahead of today’s CFPB hearing

first_img continue reading » NAFCU, noting the uniqueness of credit unions and their limited authority for member business lending, urged ahead of a CFPB public field hearing today that the CFPB exempt the industry from any future rulemaking that would require further disclosure of business loan information.Today’s hearing, slated for 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern) in Los Angeles, will review a Dodd-Frank Act small business lending requirement that the CFPB collect information on small business loans made to women- and minority-owned business.NAFCU will monitor the hearing for any potential impact on the credit union industry.“Credit unions serve distinct fields of membership, and as a result, institution-level data related to women-owned, minority-owned, and small business lending substantially differs in relation to other lenders,” wrote NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Andrew Morris in a letter to the bureau on Tuesday. “Given the unique characteristics of credit unions and the limits placed on member business loans (MBLs), the CFPB should seek to exempt credit unions from any future rulemaking that compels disclosure of business loan information.” 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Clump Point Mission Beach Infrastructure Project Starts Soon

first_imgThe Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) recently awarded MGN Civil Pty Ltd a contract for the delivery of element one of the Clump Point Mission Beach Safe Boating project.Element Two of the Clump Point Mission Beach boating infrastructure project is still under tender evaluation, with a contract expected to be awarded in the coming months.According to the contractor, the scheme is a significant undertaking including new breakwater construction, upgrade of existing breakwater, boat ramp upgrade, reclamation, etc.The main aim of this undertaking is to upgrade the public boating facilities at Mission Beach Clump Point, Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia.On-site works are planned to begin in February 2019, weather permitting, and will be complete by Christmas, MGN Civil said in the release.The government officials announced that the Clump Point public boat ramp will be closed for public use during construction. Access for the small number of commercial users will be maintained throughout construction.last_img read more

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Better Collective advances US profile following strong H1 2019

first_img Related Articles StumbleUpon Virtuals and esports – what’s legal for the US market? May 1, 2020 Share Stockholm-listed affiliate marketing publisher Better Collective AB has declared that its boost in exposure across the US market has put the company in ‘pole position for market leadership’ as explained in its Q2 interim report. Publishing its Q2 2019 trading update (period ending 31 June 2019), Better Collective has reported a 64% increase in revenues up to €15.8m (£14.7m) which is a jump from the €9.7m reported in Q2 2018.The growth, according to Better Collective, ‘was supported by the strong NDC-performance in recent quarters’, with the number of new depositing customers reported to be exceeding 111,000 in the quarter, demonstrating a growth of 60%.Detailing corporate highlights.  Better Collective governance attributes its acquisition of Swedish sports publisher Ribacka Group (effective from the start of 2019) as a having secured the firm a ‘top three position’ within the reregulated Swedish online gambling marketplace.Expanding in Sweden, Better Collective details confidence in long term growth within a marketplace that is proving difficult for online gambling incumbents to adjust to new regulatory conditions.Jesper Søgaard – Better CollectiveCommenting on the results, Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard said: “Growth in Q2 was strong compared to the same quarter last year, even with tough comparison to last year with the World Cup in football as a big revenue driver.”“We continue to see the effect of the strong NDC intake throughout 2018 and in the beginning of 2019. Revenue grew by 64%, including organic growth of 18% and operational earnings almost doubled compared to the same period in 2018.”EBITDA has jumped from €3.88m in Q2 2018 up to €6.96m in Q2 2019, with figures for the year to date equating to €13.6m. Acquisition activity has played a significant role in boosting figures for Better Collective also, as the group notably purchased a 60% share in the RotoGrinders Network earlier this quarter with further plans to acquire the remaining 40%. Søgaard added: “Better Collective has had US-focused products up and running for some time, leading to revenue streams from online sports betting since last year. Building a presence and taking part in this new big market opportunity was boosted by the acquisition of the RotoGrinders Network in Q2, adding strong products and dedicated people with insight into the US market.“After the end of Q2, we acquired two US market-leading sports betting brands; VegasInsider.com and ScoresandOdds.com. These two websites have since many years been the platforms preferred by millions of visitors and have the potential of becoming the largest revenue-generating assets in Better Collective in coming years. Furthermore, they have significant synergy effects with other US-facing assets, not least with the Rotogrinders Network.“I am confident that we, by way of these acquisitions, have put Better Collective in pole position for a market-leading position in the US states where online sports betting will be regulated and available.” Market leaders headline SBC Digital Summit’s Digital Marketing Day April 22, 2020 Share Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020 Submitlast_img read more

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Axne says she’s worried about on-going Middle East turbulence

first_imgWASHINGTON — Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, says lawmakers need to know the backstory of why President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike that killed an Iranian military general.“There’s no mourning over the fact that a bad guy’s been taken out,” Axne says. “It’s the issue of making sure that the the actions that we take are the right actions to protect our country against on-going turbulence.”Trump Administration officials say Qassem Soleimani was killed to stop an imminent threat. Democratic leaders in the U.S. House have drafted a resolution that would limit President Trump’s ability to continue to order strikes in Iraq without congressional approval.Axne says she needs to see the resolution before deciding how she’ll vote, but Axne says she’s concerned the U.S. is moving toward a dangerous situation.last_img read more

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DHS Issues Hacking Alert to Small Plane Owners

first_imgThe Department of Homeland Security has issued a security alert for small plane owners, warning them that modern flight systems remain vulnerable to hacking if someone manages to gain physical access to an aircraft.An alert from the DHS critical infrastructure computer emergency response team recommends that plane owners restrict unauthorized physical access to their aircraft until the industry comes up with safeguards to address the issue, which was discovered by Boston-based cybersecurity company Rapid7.The agency adds there is no evidence that anyone has exploited the vulnerability at this point, but that officials had confirmed the security flaw and decided that it was necessary to issue the alert.Rapid7’s tests showed that an attacker could possibly disrupt electronic messages from being transmitted across a small plane’s network by attaching a small device to the aircraft’s wiring. Subsequently, engine readings, compass data, altitude and other readings “could all be manipulated to provide false measurements to the pilot,” states the DHS alert.Large aircraft typically use more complex systems and are required to meet additional security requirements. The DHS alert also does not apply to older small planes, which use mechanical control systems.Jeffrey Troy, president of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, echoes the need to improve security in networked operating systems, but adds that hacking depends on being able to bypass physical security controls that are mandated by law. He concludes that with access, “you have hundreds of possibilities to disrupt any system or part of an aircraft.”The Federal Aviation Administration said in its own statement that a hacking scenario is unlikely, but that the Rapid7 report is “an important reminder to remain vigilant” regarding physical and cybersecurity aircraft procedures.last_img read more

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