STATE News:SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials have announced this afternoon 257 additional positive tests for COVID-19.Los Alamos County remains at 8 cases that have tested positive for COVID-19.Today’s update announces 8 additional deaths reported in New Mexico related to COVID-19.The New Mexico Department of Health reported today the most recent cases: 55 new cases in Bernalillo County5 new cases in Chaves County7 new cases in Cibola County4 new cases in Curry County40 new cases in Doña Ana County8 new cases in Eddy County1 new case in Grant County5 new cases in Lea County1 new case in Lincoln County11 new cases in Luna County42 new cases in McKinley County7 new cases in Otero County1 new case in Rio Arriba County6 new cases in Roosevelt County12 new cases in Sandoval County23 new cases in San Juan County7 new cases in Santa Fe County3 new cases in Taos County4 new cases in Valencia County3 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Otero County Prison Facility1 new case among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Processing Center11 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Torrance County Detention FacilityThe 8 additional deaths in New Mexico reported today include:A female in her 90s from Doña Ana County. The individual was a resident of the Jim Wood Home in Hatch.A male in his 40s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized.A male in his 50s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 80s from McKinley County. The individual had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Red Rocks Care Center in Gallup.A male in his 80s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A second male in his 80s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 50s in Otero County. The individual was hospitalized and was being held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility.A male in his 50s from San Juan County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now 511.Previously reported numbers included one case in San Juan County that has been identified as an out-of-state resident – this has now been corrected. Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 12,776 COVID-19 cases:Bernalillo County: 2,331Catron County: 2Chaves County: 105Cibola County: 221Colfax County: 10Curry County: 186Doña Ana County: 1,039Eddy County: 92Grant County: 21Guadalupe County: 20Harding County: 1Hidalgo County: 54Lea County: 147Lincoln County: 13Los Alamos County: 8Luna County: 93McKinley County: 3,450Otero County: 51Quay County: 6Rio Arriba County: 106Roosevelt County: 68Sandoval County: 753San Juan County: 2,494San Miguel County: 22Santa Fe County: 253Sierra County: 13Socorro County: 60Taos County: 46Torrance County: 43Union County: 8Valencia County: 136County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.The Department of Health currently reports the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the following facilities:Cibola County Correctional Center: 2Otero County Prison Facility: 275Otero County Processing Center: 149Torrance County Detention Facility: 43The Department of Health currently reports the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by the New Mexico Corrections Department at the following facilities:Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 6Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 1Otero County Prison Facility: 447Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1As of today, there are 130 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.As of today, there are 12,776 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.The Department of Health has identified at least one positive COVID-19 case in residents and/or staff in the past 28 days at the following long-term care and acute care facilities:Advanced Health Care of Albuquerque in AlbuquerqueAlbuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in AlbuquerqueBeeHive Homes of Farmington in FarmingtonBeeHive Homes of Gallup in GallupBlue Horizon Assisted Living in Las CrucesBonney Family Home in GallupBrookdale Santa Fe in Santa FeCamino Healthcare in AlbuquerqueCamino Retirement Apartments in AlbuquerqueCasa Real in Santa FeDungarvin New Mexico, LLC in GallupGood Samaritan Society in GrantsGood Samaritan Society in Las CrucesThe Jim Wood Home in HatchLaguna Rainbow Elderly Care in Casa BlancaLittle Sisters of the Poor in GallupMimbres Memorial Nursing Home in DemingNamaste House Assisted Living in FarmingtonPrinceton Place in AlbuquerqueRed Rocks Care Center in GallupSandia Ridge Center in AlbuquerqueSouth Valley Care Center in AlbuquerqueThe Village at Alameda in AlbuquerqueThe Village at Northrise in Las CrucesThe Department of Health has detected community spread in the state of New Mexico and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Get tested. Stay home, especially if you are sick. Wear a mask or face covering when in public and around others.New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or loss of taste or smell should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing: Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;Asymptomatic people in congregate settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;Asymptomatic people who are currently working; andSymptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or loss of taste or smell.New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.
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Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd., a crude, product and LNG tanker operator, has closed its successful public offering of 11,000,000 common shares at a price of $7.30 per share.The underwriters also have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,650,000 common shares. The gross proceeds of the offering are $80.3 million.The company plans to use the net proceeds to finance the expansion and modernization of its fleet through its vessel acquisition program, including installment payments on its existing crude oil carrier newbuilding program pursuant to its strategic partner ship with a well-known oil major, and for general corporate purposes.Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, UBS Securities LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as joint book-running managers of the offering. Clarkson Capital Markets LLC, DVB Capital Markets LLC and Brock Securities LLC acted as co-managers for the offering.[mappress]TEN, May 2, 2014 read more
Helsinki-based Wärtsilä Corporation has a strong order intake in the third quarter of this year, according to its Interim report covering January-September 2014.Order intake increased 21% to EUR 1,309 million (1,086) in the third quarter, whereas net sales decreased 7% to EUR 1,117 million (1,199).Other financial highlights include:Book-to-bill 1.17 (0.91) Operating result before non-recurring items EUR 142 million, or 12.7% of net sales (EUR 148 million or 12.3%) Earnings per share EUR 0.43 (0.48)Cash flow from operating activities EUR 68 million (139)” In the marine markets the recent activity in LNG and LPG carriers has supported the ordering of gas handling systems. The 24% increase in Ship Power’s order intake was further enhanced by good activity in the cruise markets. I am confident that the positive trend in order development will continue during the upcoming quarter.Third quarter net sales and profitability developed in line with our expectations. I am especially pleased that Services’ net sales grew by 9%, which shows that our focus on growth is paying off. Profitability reached 12.7% partly thanks to the ongoing efficiency program, which resulted in savings of EUR 10 million in the third quarter. Profitability has developed well thus far in 2014, reaching 11.5% for the period January-September, and consequently we raise our full year profitability guidance to 11.5-12.0%,” Björn Rosengren, President and CEO of Wärtsilä said. According to Wärtsilä, overcapacity continues to affect the demand for traditional merchant vessels.“Vessels are being scrapped at a younger age, which along with a more balanced fleet growth supports a gradual recovery in the freight market. In the offshore segment, the contracting of drilling units and certain support vessels is expected to continue to be at a lower level. The outlook for gas carriers remains positive, although the recent strong ordering volumes may affect activity in the short term. The importance of fuel efficiency and environmental regulations are clearly visible. The regulatory environment is also driving interest in gas as a marine fuel in the wider marine markets, a trend further strengthened in the US by favourable pricing,” the company said in the report.“The outlook for services to offshore and gas fuelled vessels remains favourable. From a regional perspective, the outlook for the Middle East and Asia is positive, and is supported by interest in power plant related services. The outlook is also good in the Americas and in Africa,” the report adds. Press Release read more
Brad Rabone, JDR’s Head of Sales, Renewables – Europe, has been selected to join the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) Offshore Wind Supply Chain special interest group (SIG) steering group.The aim of the recently launched group is to share information and best practice, and to promote offshore wind business opportunities in the Southern North Sea and European waters.The group’s objectives include informing and supporting EEEGR board members regarding its interaction with policy makers, sharing market intelligence, lessons learned and recommending supply chain improvements.Brad joined JDR in 2013 and has over fifteen years’ experience in the high tech cable industry. He has previously held UK sales and key account manager roles for Nexans covering markets including onshore wind, rail and high voltage infrastructure projects.“EEEGR’s role is essential to achieve sustained development of the energy industry in the East of England. JDR has established itself as a world leader in the supply of cables to the offshore wind industry and has an important part to play in developing and maintaining links within the supply chain. I am proud to represent JDR as we work more closely with EEEGR to promote the wealth of expertise and capabilities in the East of England area,” Rabone said. read more
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28 components arrived at the terminal from China on board G2 Ocean’s vessel Merlin Arrow. The heaviest components included pieces for rail-mounted gantry cranes, which measured 83 ft (25.3 m) and weighed 47 tons (42.6 tonnes).At the Lynnterm terminal, Amix mobilised its barge crane Arctic Turk to offload the components. The cargoes were then loaded onto two barges from Amix’s fleet for transportation to the company’s yard in Surrey, where the Arctic Turk was once again used to offload the components. For the oversized units that could not be transported by rail, Amix coordinated with the companies responsible for the road transportation – Loadstar Transportation and Xylan Logistics – to load the parts onto trailers using forklifts.The components were subsequently delivered to their final destination in Regina, Saskatchewan.www.amixgroup.ca www.loadstartransportation.com www.xylanlogistics.com read more
But is competitive tendering really the ideal solution for criminal legal aid? And if not, how can we persuade the government not to go down that road? Superficially, tendering is attractive for the government because it believes it is likely to achieve the best price for the work and ensure value for money. However, there are some real complexities: the government has never satisfactorily identified what is being bid for and many firms simply do not have the expertise to make realistic bids in a complex market. Many of the factors impacting on the cost of undertaking the work are external and beyond the control of practitioners, making it impossible to predict with any certainty the true cost of the work for the purpose of any competitive bid process. There is also no way of guaranteeing the share of the market each firm will get in any competitive bid process. This lack of certainty from the outset would create enormous problems for firms even in coping with a bid process. We can, of course, continue to try to resist whatever the government proposes. There are those who might ask why, when our resistance met with such success last time, it will not succeed again? The answer is quite simply that this time, the political and economic environment is much harsher. The imperative on the MoJ to save money is unequivocal, and it has been made crystal clear to the Law Society that retaining the status quo is not an option. Even if the current system of administrative fees were retained, the cuts that would need to be made to those fees to generate the savings the Treasury is demanding would probably see many firms go out of business. Simple resistance to whatever model of competitive tendering is proposed in the forthcoming consultation would quite likely result in the implementation either of the tendering model or of the fee cuts, either of which would be liable to have very serious adverse consequences for the profession and the justice system. But what if we, as a profession, were able to come up with an alternative proposal – or several proposals – that would enable the MoJ to meet the Treasury’s demand to save money from the criminal legal aid budget, yet would also provide a model that most criminal law firms could live with? Notwithstanding the need to save money, at the same time the government has a duty to ensure that the supplier base remains viable and is able to continue to meet the needs of clients. How it achieves this is yet to be decided. We are thus in a prime position now to influence the government’s thinking about the future of criminal legal aid tendering. As a representative body, the Law Society must seek to represent the views of our members, and so far as possible to protect your interests. In a time of austerity, protecting your interests may well be a question of seeking to minimise damage; and doing so may entail accepting some unpalatable political realities. It is for this reason that the Society is currently asking some difficult questions of itself and of you, in an effort to find an alternative solution for criminal legal aid procurement that will minimise the damage to the future of the profession and the vital work that you do for your clients. The first stage of this work was a short online survey to which over 200 members responded (2). We would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute. Following consideration of the results of this survey, a more extensive consultation with the profession is planned. We intend to consult very shortly on more detailed proposals for alternatives to price competitive tendering, based on the ideas that had the most support in the survey, and other ideas that have been presented to us by our members. The outcome of the consultation will be a key part of our strategy to seek to steer the government away from price competitive tendering as the only future model for criminal legal aid, and will strengthen our arguments in favour of other, alternative models. We therefore encourage as many members as possible who undertake crime work to respond to the consultation. Regular updates can be obtained by signing up to the Society’s ‘Legal Aid E-Alert’. The results of the survey gave us a very helpful snapshot of the views of practitioners about a number of key issues. 5. There are mixed views on single fee The Law Society survey – results 2. There is overwhelming opposition to price competitive tendering Real complexities (1) ‘The main conclusion of this further analysis is that an important group of suppliers who are key to fulfilling the LSC’s statutory obligations in providing a criminal defence service is at risk.’ Otterburn Legal Consulting: ‘The Law Society and Ministry of Justice Impact of the MoJ Green Paper proposals on legal aid firms – further analysis for the Ministry of Justice’ (10 March 2011). (2) There were 220 responses in total to the survey, although not all the questions were answered by each respondent. The idea of clients being required to repay legal aid in similar fashion to student loans generated a very mixed response. Some 25.3% agreed, but the same number strongly disagreed. There was no majority on either side of the fence, with 19% neutral on the question and 42 respondents skipping the question, the highest number of non-responses for any of the suggestions.Several respondents proactively raised the use of frozen assets to pay legal fees as a worthwhile reform. Discussions on this are already ongoing between the Law Society and the MoJ. However, while this would generate some savings, it may well not be sufficient to appease the government in respect of its determination to save as much as possible from the legal aid budget. If the aim is to avert the threat of a disastrous price-tendering scheme, another idea will need to be found. Alice Mutasa is policy adviser (criminal legal aid) at the Law Society. Richard Miller is head of legal aid at the Law Society 1. There is little enthusiasm for the status quo 6. There are mixed views on: the concept of clients being asked to pay more/legal aid as a loan Some 44.5% supported the concept of the single fee, under which a firm would be paid the whole fee for both the litigation and the advocacy element of the case, while 31.6% were opposed. There was clear and strong opposition to the move proposed by the previous government in 2010 to contract with a limited number of firms in each area. Over 60% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this proposal. ‘Competitive tendering’ – two words that strike fear and dread into the hearts of many a hardened criminal legal aid practitioner. But what do they mean, and why, after several failed attempts, is the government so keen to introduce this into a market that is almost unanimously opposed to the very concept? The last attempt by the Legal Services Commission to introduce best value tendering (BVT) in 2009 failed before it had even begun, when in the face of fierce opposition from the Law Society and almost the entire legal profession, the Ministry of Justice asked the LSC to withdraw the proposal. And this after the LSC had already spent thousands of pounds employing consultants to design a surreal online auction in which firms would engage in a suicidal ‘race to the bottom’, trying to submit the lowest possible tender in an attempt to ‘underbid’ other firms for contracts. The phrase ‘competitive tendering’ has become something of a mantra for the current and previous governments. It is trotted out on almost every occasion that a minister is called upon to speak about legal aid, and appears to have been adopted without question as the solution to what is perceived by government as the ‘unacceptable’ spend on criminal legal aid. In these difficult times of belt-tightening, there is no government department or public service that has escaped cuts – many of them painfully severe, as we have seen with the drastic cuts to the scope of civil legal aid. It has been made abundantly clear that criminal legal aid will be no exception, despite the lack of any increase to fees for over 15 years; cuts to fees in some areas; and the acknowledged steady decrease in criminal work. There is no specific figure that ministers want to save – they just want to save as much as they can, as soon as they can. We have pointed to the drop in volumes and the effects of previous cuts, and argued that they have made significant savings. But they expect more to be made, and still believe that competitive tendering is the ‘magic bullet’ that will enable them to assuage the Treasury. The government has promised a consultation paper in April. Until that is published, we will have no idea what form this ‘competitive tendering’ might take, nor how (or indeed whether) it would work. We have not yet seen any data to demonstrate how it would save money from the criminal legal aid budget, while avoiding causing irretrievable damage to a fragile supplier base (1). 4. There are limits to the amount of consolidation that would be supported What next? Let us be clear, whether we stand and fight whatever new incarnation of competitive tendering the government proposes, or whether we try to find a less painful alternative, the future will not be easy. Whatever happens, it is implausible that we will be able to avoid cuts of some kind to the criminal legal aid budget, and whatever emerges at the end, some will be worse affected than others. The Law Society is committed to trying to find a solution which will result in the fewest number of losers possible. It is our intention that any solicitor who wishes to do so and who meets appropriate quality standards should be able to continue undertaking criminal defence work. However, this may not mean that everyone will be able to do so without changes to the way in which they work. We need your help in doing this. This is why we are asking that as many of you as possible engage with this process by sending us your ideas and responding to the consultation. Help us to seize this chance for the profession to shape its own destiny, rather than simply being at the mercy of whatever the MoJ decides to inflict on us next. 3. There is clear support for some consolidation of the market Only 11.9% of respondents strongly agreed that the status quo should be retained. More than half disagreed or were neutral. It was not the most popular of the options presented. Some of those supporting the status quo, on the assumption that there would be further cuts in rates, made the point that this would tend to consolidate the market, which might make the low fees more viable. However, of all the options put forward in the survey, the one that attracted the greatest support was to reduce the number of firms by means of increases in quality standards. Some 57.1% supported consolidation by means of higher minimum standards, on the understanding that all those meeting the standards would be entitled to a contract. Only 24.8% disagreed. Strengthening trade links Some 73.7% of respondents strongly disagreed with the option of a tender based on price after a quality threshold, and a further 15.7% disagreed. Even if the tender included quality criteria as part of the bidding process, almost half strongly disagreed, and a total of 73.1% were opposed. The idea of the LSC tendering with a small number of head contractors did not find favour. Two-thirds of respondents opposed this concept. There was also majority opposition, albeit by a smaller majority, to the concept of block contracting. read more
According to a report published by Strategy Analytics, 4×4 MIMO can effectively improve network performance and user experience. The report predicts 4×4 MIMO will be gaining momentum in 4G infrastructure market and becoming a mainstream configuration of flagship smartphones.Field test results prove that 4×4 MIMO can be an efficient tool for mobile operators to improve network capacity and user experience to meet fast growing mobile data demands. Because 5G coverage will be limited in its early phase, customer’s seamless mobile broadband experience will still rely on the underlay 4G network. The performance of the underlay 4G network will be important for the success of early 5G deployment.Gigabit LTE using 4×4 DL MIMO is at the leading edge today. The ecosystem is developing rapidly, with new phone models supporting 4×4 MIMO, arriving on retail shelves every month. More phone chip suppliers will soon enter the market with LTE radio modems that support 4×4 DL MIMO as well as advanced carrier aggregation with five CCs, LAA / LTE-U and eventually millimeter wave 5G. This will benefit the entire ecosystem from operators to consumers with more availability, lower prices, and new services.Read the report – 4×4 MIMO Boosts 4G and Gives Consumers a Taste of the Gigabit Experience. read more