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23 февраля, 15:30

5 Reasons Why CACI Stock is a Solid Buy Now for Investors

CACI currently has a Zacks VGM Score of 'A'. This, along with some other key metrics makes the company a solid choice for investors.

23 февраля, 14:32

Utility Stock Q4 Earnings Slated on Feb 24: PEG, PNW, SJI

The regulated nature of operation and domestic focus keep the utilities insulated from foreign currency fluctuation, which is a serious concern for a few other sectors.

23 февраля, 06:49

Asked about TV absence, Conway cites family commitments

In her first TV interview in over a week, Kellyanne Conway explained her recent lack of broadcast appearances Wednesday by noting President Donald Trump's ability to disseminate his own message and her challenges as a working mother. "I don’t think I have to explain myself if I’m not going on TV if I’m out with four kids for three days looking at houses and schools," the counselor to the president told Fox News' Sean Hannity during an interview taped from the floor of the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor. She added: "A lot of my colleagues aren’t trying to figure out how to be a mother of four kids, I assure you."Conway, who faced credibility issues last week after proclaiming former national security adviser Michael Flynn had Trump's "full confidence" hours before Flynn's resignation, disputed a CNN report that she had been purposefully "sidelined" from appearing in the media. "I'm not [sidelined]," she said. "Somebody's trying to start trouble."Hannity, an avid Trump-supporter in his own right, dismissed the report as "fake news" and agreed that she was not benched.The former Trump campaign manager added that television appearances comprise only a small portion of her responsibilities, and that with President Trump, the messaging often takes care of itself. "About five percent of what what I'm asked to do in this White House counselor role is TV," she said. "I think that's about right because he's the president now. He's his own best messenger."Conway also decried what she described as "presumptive negativity" by the media — what she considers a propensity to find fault where there is none. "I’d just ask people, give us a wide berth," she said. "Actually focus on what he’s doing. He’s keeping all his campaign promises at a quick clip.”

23 февраля, 04:32

GOP to bury House resolution on Trump conflicts

House Republicans next week plan to derail a Democratic resolution that would have forced disclosure of President Donald Trump's potential ties with Russia and any possible business conflicts of interest, according to multiple House sources.Seeking to avoid a full House vote on the so-called “resolution of inquiry” — a roll call that would be particularly embarrassing and divisive for the right — Republicans will send proposal by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on Tuesday, two Democratic sources said. The GOP-controlled committee is expected to kill the resolution. Without committee action, obscure parliamentary procedures would allow Democrats to call the resolution to the floor for a vote by the full House. But rejection by the Judiciary panel all but assures the measure will never see a floor vote.“Unless the resolution is reported by the committee within 14 legislative days, either favorably, unfavorably or without recommendation, then it can be brought up on the House floor immediately thereafter, so the committee plans to address this resolution next week,” said one House Judiciary Committee aide in a statement.The markup has yet to be noticed by the panel. But the Tuesday vote will come just a few hours before Trump will give his first address to Congress. Indeed, Democrats are fuming that Republicans are trying to bury the panel vote by scheduling it on a busy news day.Resolutions of inquiry are rare in Congress and privileged, meaning lawmakers can circumvent leadership and force action on the floor if they’re ignored for 14 legislative days.The resolutions can force presidents and agencies to give Congress private records. Nadler’s, for example, demands that Attorney General Jeff Sessions hand over to the Hill “any document, record, memo, correspondence or other communication” pertaining to “criminal or counterintelligence investigations” related to Trump, White House staff or his business.Democrats have blasted Trump for failing to make a clean break from his real estate empire, accusing him of being vulnerable to conflicts of interest. They also are suspicious of his campaign’s relationship with Russia. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that top Russian officials orchestrated interference into the 2016 presidential election on Trump’s behalf.The mark-up will likely prove awkward for Judiciary Committee Republicans who will have to block the resolution. Judiciary member and Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) just last week, for instance, faced sharp questions from constituents who accused him of steering the Oversight panel's agenda to protect Trump. Though Chaffetz pointed to a letter he wrote around that time, calling out Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway for pitching Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during a televised interview at the White House, there’s little doubt Democrats would use the Judiciary vote against him.

23 февраля, 03:20

'Some Toxins Can Be Deadly in Small Doses'

The U.S. Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, overturns a death-penalty sentence after an expert witness testified the defendant was more likely to commit future crimes because he is black.

23 февраля, 01:48

Remarks by the Vice President to Fabick Cat Employees

Fabick Cat Factory Fenton, Missouri 2:46 P.M. EST   THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Governor Greitens.  Would you give another round of applause for a great, new, dynamic governor here in Missouri inspiring people all across America with his leadership?  (Applause.)    Thank you for that kind introduction, Governor Greitens.  And congratulations on your election last year.  You're already off to the races, and President Trump and I thank you for your great leadership for the people of Missouri.  (Applause.)    Thank you all for coming out today.  It actually gets cold in Indiana in February.  (Laughter.)  But I guess it’s different here in Missouri.  I’m very honored that you all would take time in the middle of a busy week to hear a few words from me and on behalf of our great President.  And I do bring greetings on behalf of the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.  (Applause.)    And on his behalf I’m here, and on his behalf I’m also grateful to see in the audience a number of distinguished leaders.  Your great congresswoman representing Missouri with such great distinction -- Congresswoman Ann Wagner and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer are here.  Give them both a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Thank you, it’s a privilege to have you here.   I also want to thank all the small business owners who are with us today, including our host Doug Fabick and the Fabick family -- 100 years in business here in Missouri creating jobs and opportunities.  (Applause.)  Congratulations.   I enjoyed our discussion earlier today, and I appreciate your candid feedback, Doug, and the candid feedback that we got from other business leaders and job creators all across this region.  And on that note, let me say thank you to all the great employees here at Fabick Cat for coming out today.  Hardworking men and women, you're the ones that make companies like this grow.  You are the strength in the American economy, and you're going to lead an American comeback.  (Applause.)   As President Trump has said so many times, it was too long that we had forgotten men and women in this country.  Well, the forgotten men and women, the men and women who carry this economy on their shoulders everyday are forgotten no more.  And on behalf of President Trump, I thank all the hardworking men and women of Fabick Cat who are here today.  Thanks for doing a great job for this country and this community.  (Applause.)    Now, before we get started I’d like to address something that happened here in St. Louis over the weekend.  On Monday morning, America awoke to discover that nearly 200 tombstones were toppled in a nearby Jewish graveyard.   Speaking just yesterday, President Trump called this a “horrible and painful” act, and so it was.  That along with other recent threats to Jewish community centers around the country -- he declared it all a “sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”   We condemn this vile act of vandalism and those who perpetrate it in the strongest possible terms.  (Applause.)    And let me say it’s been inspiring to people all across this country to see the way the people of Missouri have rallied around the Jewish community with compassion and support.  You have inspired the nation with your kindness and your care.  (Applause.)    It just so happens three days ago, my wife and my daughter were overseas.  We saw firsthand what happens when hatred runs rampant in a society.  We were near Munich, Germany, where we visited the very first Nazi concentration camp ever to be constructed, a place called Dachau. We were accompanied by a survivor of Dachau, a 93-year-old man named Abba Naor, who told me he had arrived there as a 17-year-old boy.  He described, as we walked through that memorial, the hellish life he endured -- toiling away as a slave while those around were taken away, one by one, never to return.    By the grace of God, he survived, and now he tells his story so that the world will never forget.    But before we left, he spoke words that touched my heart and I’ll always carry with me throughout my life, and they resonate with this moment today.  He spoke of that hellish existence in the waning days of the war, and then he looked up at me with a smile, and he said:  “Then the Americans came.”  (Applause.)    He spoke of the kindness of those American soldiers who liberated that camp, and he pointed a finger at me and told me when you go back, you thank every one of those soldiers for what they did for me and for my people and for my country.    Would you join me in a round of applause for every man and woman here who has worn the uniform of a United States of America?  We are proud of you, and we are grateful to you.  (Applause.)    The American solider fought to end the hatred and violence against the Jewish people across Europe then, and as President Trump said yesterday, American will always, in his words, “fight bigotry, intolerance, and hatred in all its ugly forms” -- wherever it will arise.  That's the American way.  (Applause.)    Now, thank you for letting me share that from my heart.  But let me get on to what I came here to talk to you about.  It is great to be back in Missouri.  (Applause.)    I was here last September for a rally, and it was absolutely electric.  Two months later, the Show Me State showed America what it was made of when you helped make Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States of America.  Thank you, Missouri.  (Applause.)    The President and I will always be grateful for what you did for us and what you did for this country.  America’s small businesses were actually some of our biggest supporters.  Small business owners across the land saw in this businessman who would become President someone who had the ideas and the energy and the vision to make America great again.  Hardworking Americans who make small businesses successful, folks like everyone here today, rallied behind this cause, and we brought real change to our nation’s capital.     Fabick Cat is a true American success story.  As I mentioned before, a family-owned business owned and operated since its founding back in 1917.  Today -- thanks to all of you -- Fabick Cat has 1,100 employees at 37 locations throughout the Midwest.  So many people rely on what you do.  And, frankly, Doug, what you and the family has done here for a hundred years has made Missouri great, and it’s going to be a part of making America great again.  (Applause.)     And I want to tell you, to all the small business owners who are here today, just know that President Trump is your biggest fan.  (Applause.)  I’ll make you a promise:  President Trump is the best friend America’s small businesses will ever have.  (Applause.)  He asked me to be here today to tell you how much he appreciates what you do for the country.     Make no mistake about it, America finally has a President who’s going to support and fight for you every single day.  You know, both of us know that small businesses are the engine of our economy.  They’re the beating heart that creates jobs and prosperity and growth.     I grew up in a small business and in a small town, a family-owned business in Columbus, Indiana.  I went to work at one of my dad’s gas stations when I was only 14 years or age.  I was a gas station attendant.  For those of you under 30, just imagine.  (Laughter.)  Just imagine if when you pulled into a gas station, somebody ran out with their name on their shirt, pumped your gas, washed your windows, checked you tires and didn’t charge you any more money for it.  (Laughter.)  That’s what I did for a living, and I was proud to do it, proud to be a part of a family business, proud to be a part of small-business America.     As the world knows, the President grew up in a family business, too.  We both, I can tell you, know the sacrifices that are required to make a family small business work -- the long hours, the hard work.  And we both know this simple fact:  When small business is strong, America is strong, and the American economy thrives.  (Applause.)    That’s why President Trump wants to help you become stronger than ever before.  What he said on the campaign trail about strengthening small business is what we’re already doing in the White House.  On day one, we went right to work on a plan to cut taxes for working families, small businesses and family farms.  He signed legislation to roll back reams of red tape and regulation issued under the Obama administration.  He instructed every agency and department in Washington, D.C., also to identify two regulations to get rid of before they issue another ream of red tape.  We’re rolling back taxes and we’re rolling back red tape already in Washington, D.C., thanks to you.  (Applause.)     The President also knows that the rule of law is the heart of a growing free-market economy and he’s taken decisive action to end illegal immigration, strengthen our borders and uphold the immigration laws of America.  (Applause.)   And I’m glad to say businesses are already reacting to President Trump’s “buy American and hire American” vision with optimism, investment, and a belief in our country again.  Have you noticed it?  I mean, from GM, to U.S. Steel, to IBM, to so many other companies, they’re already announcing their intention to keep jobs here, to create news ones, tens of thousands of them.  As Ford Motor Company’s chief executive put it, even before the President took his oath of office, their investments are a “vote of confidence in the agenda of President Donald Trump.”  (Applause.)     So let’s talk about that agenda.  Let me say, if you take nothing else from what I tell you today, know this:  The nightmare of Obamacare is about to end.  (Applause.)  Despite the best efforts of liberal activists at many town halls around the country, the American people know the truth:  Obamacare has failed, and Obamacare must go.  (Applause.)     This failed law is crippling the American economy and crushing the American worker.  We all know the broken promises of Obamacare; they're almost too many to count.  They told you the cost of insurance would go down.  They told you if you like your doctor, you can keep them.  They told you your health plan -- you could keep that too.  Well, none of it was true.   Americans are now paying $3,000 more a year for health insurance on average.  Last year alone, premiums skyrocketed by a stunning 25 percent, and millions of Americans have lost their plans and their doctors since the outset of the Affordable Care Act.  Higher cost, fewer choices, worse care -- that's Obamacare.  And that's got to end.   Small businesses like those represented here today know exactly what I'm talking about.  The last few years it's been harder to get ahead.  Obamacare has only made it harder still -- if not impossible in some cases.  One of the business leaders I just talked to talked about the weight of Obamacare on his nearly 700 employees, and the difficulty that it's placed on them and on their families.  Obamacare is a job-killer and everybody in America knows it.  And we're about to change all that.  We're going to repeal Obamacare once and for all.  Get rid of its mandates and its taxes and its intrusion on your lives and on your businesses.  (Applause.)   And best of all, at the same time we repeal Obamacare, Obamacare is going to be replaced with something that actually works, something that brings freedom and individual responsibility back to American healthcare.  (Applause.)   Now, President Trump and I want every American to have access to quality and affordable health insurance, which is why we're designing a better law.  A market-driven law that reforms and improves how health care is provided in this country.  We're working right now with leaders in Congress to lower the cost of health insurance by giving Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines the way you purchase life insurance and the way you purchase car insurance.  (Applause.)   We're working with Congress to make sure that Americans with preexisting conditions have health insurance and don't have any fear of losing that health insurance.  And we're working with Congress to give states the flexibility -- Governor Greitens, where'd you go?  We're working with Congress to make sure we give states and governors like your great governor the flexibility they need to care for the least fortunate and their healthcare needs the way it will work in Missouri and the way that will work in each individual state.  (Applause.)   Despite the scare tactics from the liberal left, the President and I are committed -- make it clear here -- we're committed to an orderly transition to a better healthcare system in America -- one that lowers the cost of health insurance, unleashes innovation, and puts the American people first.  In all those concepts -- innovation, putting people first -- those are all the same principles that got Fabick Cat to 100 years.  And it's what actually works in American business.  And we truly do believe those free-market principles -- individual responsibility and a consumer choice -- can make the best healthcare system in America married to the best health insurance system in America, as well.  (Applause.)   If they can work for America's business, they’ll work in American healthcare.   But our agenda doesn't just stop there.  I'll guarantee there isn't anyone here who can make sense of America's tax code, including me.  (Laughter.)  There's an old joke that says the tax code is about 10 times the size of the Bible but with none of the good news.  (Laughter and applause.)   It's a good line, but it's hardly a laughing matter.  Truth is, our country's tax system these days penalizes success.  It makes it far too hard for hardworking people and small businesses to achieve the American Dream.  It takes too much money out of your pockets.  It stifles job growth, wage growth, economic growth, and every other type of growth you need to get ahead.   Now, rest assured, when President Trump and I get done, before we get to this summertime, we're going to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms -- and get this economy moving again.  (Applause.)   We want you to keep more of your hard-earned money, plain and simple.  You know how to spend your paycheck better than any politician in Washington, D.C., ever could.  By the same token, you also know how to run your businesses and your own lives better than any bureaucrat -- that's why, as I mentioned before, we're going to keep on working together, and President Trump and I are going to keep rolling back senseless regulations that are strangling businesses and stifling our country's potential.   Everyone here knows the tremendous burden of red tape and regulation.  Complying with these monstrous costs costs time and money to businesses that would be better spent hiring more good people and growing businesses and improving worker benefits.  Our administration is working with Congress to repeal these job-killing, big-government regulations issued in the last administration in particular.  We're going to rein in unelected bureaucrats so they can't cripple the economy from the comfort of their taxpayer-funded desks in Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)   And before I close, if you haven't noticed it yet, let me remind you that we actually all elected a builder as the 45th President of the United States.  (Applause.)  And under President Donald Trump, we're going to rebuild America.  (Applause.)  President Trump has called attention to our nation's crumbling infrastructure like no contemporary person in public life.  Rest assured, we're going to work with the Congress to make historic investments in infrastructure so that we have the best roads, the best bridges, the best highways, and the best airports in the best nation on Earth.  (Applause.)   Every dollar we invest in infrastructure is a dollar we invest in America's future and in our prosperity.  And when we do that, let's be clear:  We're going to rebuild America, and we're going to hire American, and we're going to buy American when we rebuild this country.  (Applause.)  We're going to rebuild America with American workers and American tools.  (Applause.)   In fact, I'm pleased to announce President Trump has already taken action in this regard.  Some of you may have noticed, just last month, after years of senseless delays, President Trump authorized the construction of the Keystone pipeline and the Dakota pipelines for our energy future and to create American jobs.  (Applause.)  That's what it means to rebuild our infrastructure and put America back to work.   So, ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake about it.  Our economy is going to grow faster than ever before and faster than you can imagine.  We're already hearing from those who oppose these policies, though.  People are out there opposing tax cuts, opposing slashing outdated regulations, opposing repealing Obamacare, and most of all, they seem to want to oppose the President's effort to give power back to the American people.  We're hearing from these people every day, and the national media is more than willing to give them a platform each and every day.   So all I ask of all of you here in Missouri is let America hear from you.  (Applause.)   In the days ahead, I promise you, President Trump and I are going to work with the Congress and we're going to drive forward our best efforts to turn this country around, create good-paying jobs at home, and a safer and more prosperous America.  But America needs to hear from small business, from hardworking Americans who work in small business.  The people who know we can do better.  The people who know we can be more prosperous and know we can get this economy working for every American again.   So let your voice be heard.  Talk to a neighbor over a backyard fence.  Stop somebody at the grocery store.  Get online, on Facebook, send an email to a friend.  But just send them a note and say, I ran into Mike the other day -- (laughter) -- they're doing exactly what they said they were going to do, and I believe it works.  And we need to support this President and this administration.  That's what you've got to tell them.  (Applause.)   So thanks for coming out on this sunny day in February.  (Laughter.)  As my friend and our President likes to say, with boundless faith in the American people and faith in God who has ever watched over this land -- (applause) -- we will make America safe again.  We will make America prosperous again.  And with your help, and with God's help, and with this great new President, we will make America great again.   Let's go get it done.  Thank you.  God bless you, Missouri.  (Applause.) END 3:08 P.M. EST  

23 февраля, 01:34

The List Of Cities That Still Want The 2024 Olympics Is Down To Two

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Budapest will cancel its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, making the Hungarian capital the seventh city to pull out of the final stages of the Olympic bidding process in just the last four years. A pending city council vote that will assuredly pass will make Budapest the fourth city to nix a final bid for the 2024 Games alone, after Boston and Hamburg, Germany, backed out in 2015 and Rome canceled its bid in September. Budapest’s decision will leave just two cities ― Los Angeles and Paris ― competing to host the games. Both LA and Paris are strong candidates that have hosted twice before. The IOC will vote in September to award the 2024 games, and is reportedly considering naming the runner-up as the host city for the next summer games in 2028. But Budapest’s failure followed a path that has become increasingly familiar to the IOC and prospective Olympic organizers, as local residents have rallied against Olympic bids. In Budapest, an opposition group earlier this month gathered more than 260,000 signatures against the bid, forcing a referendum on the games that polling showed would likely defeat the city’s effort to host the games. It is also the latest in a string of embarrassments for the IOC. Only two cities made it to the final round of voting for the 2022 Winter Olympics in 2015, too, after voters in Stockholm; Oslo, Norway; and Krakow, Poland, all rejected proposed bids.  It’s no secret why cities have been running away from the games: The Olympics’ exorbitant costs, destructive effects on poor communities and empty legacies have all been on display at the two most recent games, in Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro last summer.  The cost of the Sochi games ― estimated as the most expensive in Olympic history ― and the debacle of the 2022 bidding process led the IOC to adopt a slate of reforms, known as Agenda 2020, aimed at making the Olympics more cost-conscious and sustainable. But Olympic skeptics have dismissed many of those reforms as public relations ploys, and IOC officials themselves have said they don’t expect major changes to the bidding process. So it’s no surprise that cities ― especially those in democratic countries ― keep looking at the idea of hosting the Olympics and saying no. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 февраля, 01:34

The List Of Cities That Still Want The 2024 Olympics Is Down To Two

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Budapest will cancel its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, making the Hungarian capital the seventh city to pull out of the final stages of the Olympic bidding process in just the last four years. A pending city council vote that will assuredly pass will make Budapest the fourth city to nix a final bid for the 2024 Games alone, after Boston and Hamburg, Germany, backed out in 2015 and Rome canceled its bid in September. Budapest’s decision will leave just two cities ― Los Angeles and Paris ― competing to host the games. Both LA and Paris are strong candidates that have hosted twice before. The IOC will vote in September to award the 2024 games, and is reportedly considering naming the runner-up as the host city for the next summer games in 2028. But Budapest’s failure followed a path that has become increasingly familiar to the IOC and prospective Olympic organizers, as local residents have rallied against Olympic bids. In Budapest, an opposition group earlier this month gathered more than 260,000 signatures against the bid, forcing a referendum on the games that polling showed would likely defeat the city’s effort to host the games. It is also the latest in a string of embarrassments for the IOC. Only two cities made it to the final round of voting for the 2022 Winter Olympics in 2015, too, after voters in Stockholm; Oslo, Norway; and Krakow, Poland, all rejected proposed bids.  It’s no secret why cities have been running away from the games: The Olympics’ exorbitant costs, destructive effects on poor communities and empty legacies have all been on display at the two most recent games, in Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro last summer.  The cost of the Sochi games ― estimated as the most expensive in Olympic history ― and the debacle of the 2022 bidding process led the IOC to adopt a slate of reforms, known as Agenda 2020, aimed at making the Olympics more cost-conscious and sustainable. But Olympic skeptics have dismissed many of those reforms as public relations ploys, and IOC officials themselves have said they don’t expect major changes to the bidding process. So it’s no surprise that cities ― especially those in democratic countries ― keep looking at the idea of hosting the Olympics and saying no. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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23 февраля, 01:22

DHS chief tells Guatemalans US won’t have mass deportations

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said Wednesday on a visit to Guatemala that there won’t be mass deportations by the Unites States, but he strongly discouraged any Guatemalans from considering the journey north.

22 февраля, 20:57

How Anti-Trumpism Is Hijacking the Anti-Brexit Movement

When one cause distracts from another

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22 февраля, 20:24

Airbus says it has received 'oral assurances' on Brexit

Read full story for latest details.

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22 февраля, 20:23

Airbus says it has received 'oral assurances' on Brexit

Read full story for latest details.

22 февраля, 17:30

Zacks.com featured highlights: Applied Materials, General Motors, Citizens Financial Group, Chicago Bridge & Iron and Impax Laboratories

Zacks.com featured highlights: Applied Materials, General Motors, Citizens Financial Group, Chicago Bridge & Iron and Impax Laboratories

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22 февраля, 15:24

Assured Guaranty raises quarterly dividend by 9.6%

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

22 февраля, 14:00

Call Length Is the Worst Way to Measure Customer Service

Practitioners and pundits alike have long debated which metric is best for assessing the performance of a service organization. Is the silver bullet customer satisfaction, net promoter score, customer effort score, or some other measure? While this debate is unlikely to be settled anytime soon, we’d submit that there’s no question what the worst metric is for service: average handle time (AHT), which is principally a measure of call length, or, more simply, talk time. AHT has been around for almost as long as the telephone itself. Given that the service department is a cost center in most companies, service leaders have long relied on AHT as a critical lever for keeping staffing levels, and therefore costs, in check. It’s not surprising that the metric figures prominently on a service rep’s scorecard. It’s not unusual to walk into a contact center and see “leader boards” and stack rankings publicly celebrating those with the lowest AHT and shaming the slowpokes. Why is average handle time such a bad metric for service? Three reasons: AHT is a relic of the old service world. Customer service has changed dramatically since the advent of robust self-serve options for customers. The effect of options like company websites, discussion boards, YouTube videos, and so on is that they siphon off the low-complexity issues. Customer problems that end up making it through to live reps are the complex ones, the ones customers can’t solve on their own. While AHT might have been a fine way to gauge performance on simple issues like address changes, balance inquiries, or delivery tracking, when throughput was the name of the game, it’s a terrible way to assess performance on complex issues that by definition take more time to handle. What matters now is “Did the rep solve the customer’s problem?” not “How fast did the rep get the customer off the phone?” Customers can hear the stopwatch ticking, too. When frontline agents are incentivized to lower AHT — and if they know that they’ll earn a reprimand from their supervisor for taking too much time with customers — they tend to rush their interactions, even if the customer’s issue demands more time. And customers can tell. In focus groups we’ve run, customers report that one of their biggest sources of frustration is the feeling that they’re being treated in a generic, robotic fashion and that the rep is trying to rush them off the phone rather than taking the time required to make sure their issue is resolved. Customers’ sense that they’re being “handled” rather than helped makes the experience feel high-effort to them, which our research (and common sense) shows depresses customer satisfaction. AHT is a culture killer. Leading companies have realized that they get far better results from their service reps when they enable them to exercise more judgment in customer interactions. These companies aren’t asking their reps to figure things out on their own; they’re encouraging them to figure things out together. We call this a climate of “network judgment.” In a study we conducted, only 9% of all reps reported that they worked in this kind of environment — but those who did saw powerful results, performing 50% better according to measures of productivity and customer experience than reps in the average contact center. Enabling this type of climate is hard work. One of the steps to getting it right is to send reps clear signals that leaders trust them to use their judgment. Things like scripts, checklist-oriented quality assurance, and, worst of all, AHT send the exact opposite message to reps, showing that the company wants them to do exactly as they’re told, and quickly. Related Video What People Really Want from Customer Service Results. Save Share See More Videos > See More Videos > Despite these obvious problems with AHT, managers are reluctant to eliminate the metric from rep scorecards. Most fear that doing so would cause call length to skyrocket, increasing costs. But our research suggests this fear is misplaced, as many companies we work with report that eliminating the metric had virtually no detrimental impact on costs. As Jill Stevens, national customer service leader at Westfield Insurance told us, “We thought AHT might rise after we removed it from the reps’ scorecards, and it did initially, but within three months it declined and so did our escalations and callbacks. Our reps tell us that their focus has shifted from watching the clock to focusing on active listening and resolving customers’ issues. AHT is now used only as a forecasting and planning metric.” Sharon Stines, director of operations customer care at LoyaltyOne, echoes the point this way: “Our process and metrics are aimed at delivering the right, rather than the shortest, handle time. As a result, we measure the contact handling process, the steps taken to assess and resolve customers’ issues, which allows our reps to focus on fixing the problem.” Other service leaders have told us that their reps actually became more efficient once they stopped reporting handle time at the agent level. AHT is still a useful measure for assessing organizational performance and understanding cost drivers for the contact center, but putting it on the rep scorecard or publicly rewarding or shaming reps for their call length is a holdover from a time when service organizations focused on the speed, rather than the quality, of the interaction or the outcome. In today’s service world, companies need to hold reps accountable less for being fast and more for being right.

22 февраля, 12:45

Everything We Know About ‘Ocean’s Eight’ (So Far)

An all-female spinoff of the 'Ocean's Eleven' trilogy is heading to theaters soon. Here's everything we know about the film so far.

22 февраля, 02:36

Judge refuses to disclose State records on Clinton’s private email system

Judicial Watch alleged the records were part of a cover-up by Hillary Clinton.

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21 февраля, 23:30

At UN, US envoy stresses ‘commitment’ to European alliances

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday underlined America’s “total commitment” to its European allies, echoing recent assurances by other administration figures to European leaders anxious about President Donald Trump.

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21 февраля, 23:11

Opinion: Gender diversity leads to better science [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]

Pick up any recent policy paper on women’s participation in science and you will find assurances that gender diversity enhances knowledge outcomes. Universities and science-policy stakeholders, including the European Commission and the US National Institutes of Health, readily subscribe to this argument (1–3). But is there, in fact, a gender-diversity...

21 февраля, 21:44

Scott Pruitt Goes After Critics, His Own Staff In First Speech To EPA

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt mentioned a “toxic environment” just once during his first address Tuesday to the embattled agency staff. But he wasn’t talking about industry pollution or conserving nature. He was referring to his critics’ political rhetoric. “Forgive the reference, but it’s a very toxic environment,” the controversial new administrator said in the speech, which lasted under 20 minutes.   “Civility is something I believe in very much,” he added. “We ought to be able to get together and wrestle through some issues in a civil manner.” Then, at last, he began to outline his vision for the EPA. He described an agency that prioritized making it easier for polluters to comply with regulations. He promised to listen intently to companies before saddling them with new regulations. He admonished his new employees, some fearing layoffs amid looming budget cuts, for acting outside the agency’s legal mandate and running roughshod over states’ rights. “Regulations ought to make things regular,” Pruitt said. “Regulations exist to give certainty to those they regulate. Those we regulate ought to know what’s expected of them so they can place and allocate resources to comply.” He did not mention climate change or environmental destruction. Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, was sworn in last Friday after the Senate voted 52-46 to confirm his nomination. His confirmation came a day after Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons of the District Court of Oklahoma County ruled that the Oklahoma attorney general’s office must turn over more than 2,500 emails and correspondence between Pruitt and oil and gas firms. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit from watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy and the American Civil Liberties Union alleging that his office had violated Oklahoma’s open records law. “Scott Pruitt’s going to have a lot of questions to answer,” said Nick Surgey, the director of research at the Madison, Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy, referring to the emails. “The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, on day three, is already talking about putting the interests of the environment against the interests of industry.” Democrats had sought to delay a vote on his confirmation until after those documents were released. Pruitt’s former office is expected to respond by the judge’s Tuesday evening deadline. Pruitt made his reputation suing the EPA 13 times, repeatedly joining oil, gas and coal players ― including Oklahoma Gas & Electric and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, an industry-backed group ― in filing lawsuits to halt regulations. He forged what The New York Times in 2014 called an “unprecedented, secretive alliance” between Republican attorneys general and oil and gas companies to undermine environmental regulations. In 2011, he allowed Devon Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas firm, to write a three-page complaint to the EPA under his letterhead, which he signed. Pruitt also championed the rights of Exxon Mobil Corp. in investigations into whether the oil giant committed fraud by covering up evidence that burning fossil fuels changes the climate. In turn, the fossil fuel industry donated more than $300,000 to Pruitt between 2002 and 2016, and even more money to a political action committee and a super PAC that paid for the former Oklahoma attorney general’s trips to Hawaii and New Orleans.  “I believe we as an agency and we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs and pro-environment,” Pruitt said Tuesday, regurgitating a line he used during his confirmation hearing last month. “We don’t have to choose between the two.” Pruitt’s contentious confirmation drew scorn from a variety of critics. He even plans to request an around-the-clock bodyguard from his agency, according to a report by E&E News. A senior energy official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest trade group with a history of combatting environmental rules, warned the new administration against repealing a 2009 EPA endangerment finding that classified greenhouse gases as a threat to public health and welfare. The comment underscores growing acceptance of the science of man-made global warming, particularly given that the Chamber’s official policy priorities for 2017 “oppose EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gases under the existing Clean Air Act, including the endangerment finding.” “There’s going to be hell to pay from, you know, soccer moms and soccer dads all throughout the country,” Christopher Guith, the energy official, said last month, according to a transcript published by the nonprofit Energy and Policy Institute. “People who probably voted for Donald Trump.” President Donald Trump has made slashing environmental restrictions a top priority, and the EPA is a prime target of his regulatory bushwhacking. He tapped Myron Ebell, a once-fringe contrarian who peddles conspiracy theories about climate change, to lead the EPA transition team. Soon after the inauguration, the White House ordered the EPA to freeze grants, putting a vast array of projects and personnel in limbo. That freeze has been lifted, but the White House is considering gutting the EPA’s budget, which makes up just 0.22 percent of federal spending. A policy memo leaked to Axios proposed deep cuts to the EPA’s budget, including axing hundreds of millions from grants to states and Native American tribes, climate programs, and environmental programs and management. Trump’s transition team also instructed agency employees to halt all press releases, social media, blog posts and external speaking engagements ― giving rise to rogue Twitter accounts claiming to represent the views of the silenced regulators. The team announced plans to review all EPA studies before publication, stoking fears that the new administration might stifle research on issues such as climate change. Inside EPA reported earlier this month that Trump is weighing closing the agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, which handles both civil and criminal enforcement of the country’s core environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The move would be part of a broader attack on regulations, including an executive order signed last month requiring agencies to suggest two rules to be axed for every new one proposed. For some, Trump’s proposed cuts may not go far enough. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced a bill to “completely abolish” the EPA by the end of next year, as HuffPost reported. Now that Pruitt is in place, Trump is expected to issue executive orders undoing Obama-era EPA rules on climate and water pollution as early as this week. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. 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