Pinterest Workplace violence perpetrated by military personnel is a major concern of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Although programs have been implemented to teach violence prevention strategies to all military personnel, such programs are much less intensive than others developed in settings for people judged to be at high risk of violent behavior.But what is the best way to predict who is at high risk for committing violent acts?A new report published online today in Psychological Medicine suggests that big data predictive analytic methods might help provide an answer. The report describes research funded by the DoD and conducted in collaboration with the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS), a multicomponent epidemiological-neurobiological study of Army suicides and related behavioral health outcomes. Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter LinkedIn Email The report describes the development of a machine learning model based on an analysis of administrative data available for all 975,057 Regular U.S. Army soldiers on active duty from 2004 to 2009. The model was constructed to predict which soldiers would subsequently commit a severe physical violent crime.Hundreds of potential predictors were examined using the extensive administrative records available for all soldiers. The 5 percent of soldiers classified by the final model as having the highest predicted risk accounted for 36.2 percent of all major physical violent crimes committed by men and 33.1 percent by women over the six years of study. When the model was applied to a more recent cohort from 2011 to 2013, the 5 percent of soldiers with highest predicted risk accounted for 50.5 percent of all major physical violent crimes.“These numbers are striking,”said Ronald Kessler, the McNeil Family Professor of Health Care Policy at HMS and principal investigator on the project. “They show us that predictive analytic models can pinpoint the soldiers at highest violence risk for preventive interventions. Targeting such interventions might be the best way to bring down the violent crime rate in the Army.”“The fact that the model identifies such a high proportion of violent crimes is especially exciting because the variables used in the model are routinely collected administrative data the Army can use to identify high-risk soldiers without carrying out expensive one-on-one clinical assessments,” said Anthony Rosellini, a postdoctoral fellow at HMS and the lead author of the paper.John Monahan, the John S. Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, another study author, cautioned that “it is important to recognize that severe violent crimes are uncommon even in this high-risk group. This means that implementing intensive high-risk preventive interventions would make sense only if the interventions are shown to be highly efficient–something that has not yet been demonstrated.”
Challenger Institute of Technology and Shell Australia have committed to a multi-year partnership to develop training programs for the technicians who will operate and maintain the energy giant’s revolutionary Prelude Floating LNG facility, off Australia.Challenger and Shell will jointly develop the training programs, which will be rolled out from 2014 as Shell completes the construction and commissioning of the Prelude FLNG facility, to be stationed in the East Browse Basin off WA’s Kimberley coast.Challenger’s Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) at the Australian Marine Complex will be the home base for the delivery of the programs. Challenger will deliver the training, assessment and assurance of process and maintenance technicians so they will be ready to work on the commissioning and startup of the Prelude facility.[mappress]Press Release, September 30, 2013
The UK’s Port of Milford Haven, home of the South Hook and the Dragon LNG terminal, has posted a drop in cargo throughput in 2014.The Port said on Friday that 34 million tonnes of cargo were handled last year, a reduction of almost 7 million tonnes compared with 2013.followed byThis was due to Murco refinery’s closure which led to fewer ship movements and lower LNG volumes.Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven, Alec Don, said that despite the loss of trade from Murco and lower LNG volumes over the last three years, the Port remains busy and has been successful in attracting new business to the area.“We are at the start of a new chapter in the life of this Port. While we continue to invest in order to competitively and safely handle a major part of the UK’s energy needs, global demands affect us deeply. So, the Port is evolving: the rise of marine renewable energy as a viable source of power has the potential to have a great impact on the local economy, and that is why we are investing to attract marine renewable companies to Pembroke Port,” said Alec. LNG World News Staff; Image: Port of Milford Haven
International law firms will no longer be able to pump new lawyers into booming practice areas and expanding international offices, even after the recession ends, according to the head of one of the world’s biggest firms. ‘You will see less of the crazy, untamed growth in many market areas,’ Wim Dejonghe, managing partner at Allen & Overy, told the Gazette in an interview. ‘The growth will be slower. Staff numbers may be lower, and the rush to recruit will not come back.’ Allen & Overy recently completed a restructuring that resulted in a 9% cut in staff worldwide, including partners, associates and support staff. Dejonghe said that from 2011 the firm will recruit 9% fewer graduates – about 12 fewer graduates per year. The era of rapid international expansion is over, he suggested. ‘Emerging markets have been much more volatile than established markets,’ he said. ‘The question is, how much investment do you keep there? Our view is that once we go into a new market, we stay there. But that does not mean we will not modify our staffing there.’ Dejonghe suggested that intellectual property litigation was ‘recession proof’ and an important growth area. The introduction of alternative business structures in 2011 will have little effect on the future of A&O, he predicted.
Sound financial management has become a key issue for law firms as for the first time banks are closely scrutinising lending to these legal companies and implementing new credit policies. It is worth looking at how law firms can effectively demonstrate their financial acumen in a bid to secure bank funding. In order to demonstrate to a bank that your firm can meet its credit policy criteria there are a few basic principles to consider. First, it is vital that the partners of the legal practice understand how the business stands financially. At least one of the partners (with or without the assistance of a practice or financial manager) has to know and understand how the business is performing financially on a day-to-day basis so the business can respond effectively and quickly. That individual should also have the knowledge and be given the time and support to undertake what is effectively one of the most important roles within the firm. Secondly, there are a number of questions and considerations of which partners should take note in order to prepare adequate information for their lenders. For example, do the partners know if the firm is profitable? What is the current position before and after drawings – and do they recognise the difference between profit and cash in the bank? How does this compare to the previous three years’ trading? If there has been a decline or an upturn, what is the reason? Is each department and fee-earner profitable and has a profitability analysis been undertaken for each department and fee-earner within the firm? We have reached a significant crossroads and law firms have to decide strategically what type of firm they will be in the future. If the decision is to offer regulated legal services clients will pay a premium for the attention and knowledge your firm will demonstrate. However, if you choose to deliver commoditised services then your choice is either to adapt a software/web-based solution or employ less qualified (and more affordable) staff to deliver these fixed price services. Can the firm’s existing practice management system produce the information which the bank may require? Does it have the facility to undertake a year-on-year comparison without having to refer to year end printouts? Who within the firm actually knows what information can be extracted from the system – and how? It is essential that you give yourself sufficient time to undertake a realistic review of your budgets and targets and identify if you have the ‘right people in the right seats’. To obtain buy-in from your staff it is essential to deliver your budgets and costs-delivered targets to all personnel in time for the new financial year. Once you have ascertained that your WIP (work in progress) is billable then it is essential that you turn those bills into cash. For many firms, the credit control function has not been considered a priority in the past. Here are some key questions to answer when establishing a credit control policy: Viv Williams is Chief Executive of 360 Legal Group Who is responsible for and undertakes day-to-day management of the firm’s credit control process? Do you have a written credit control policy that has been given to every member of your staff? Is your credit control process automated and linked to your accounts software? What is the split between 30, 60, 90 and 120+ day debtors/disbursements? How much has been written off so far this year and have any further potential bad debts been identified? Who has authority to write off bills and have the reasons been recorded for HMRC purposes? It is equally important to manage your fellow partners’ expectations as well as that of the bank and this can be done by producing regular management accounts in-house on a monthly basis. Understand the information in the reports and if your accountants prepare them, ensure they are discussed openly with all partners. Do your management accounts include a work in progress valuation? If not, this will distort the profit/loss figure. It is recommended that you review actual versus budget figures at least quarterly and record any required amendments. Looking to the future Despite the stringent lending criteria currently being applied, law firms will long be an attractive sector for some of the banks. For example, LloydsTSB is going to great lengths to improve its service with specialist units being established to cater specifically for the legal profession which have an understanding of the problems being encountered. In addition, many bank managers now have a Lexcel qualification and a better understanding of the regulatory and compliance issues facing solicitors. Layering the practice’s finances is an option which has largely been ignored by a legal profession used to the luxury of increasing overdrafts on demand. This situation is rapidly changing and specialist lenders such as Key Business Finance, now part of Wesleyan, can assist in the layering of these finance options. Although some key disbursement funding players have disappeared there will be new entrants into the sector and it is likely that more law firms will consider employing alternative funding rather than their overdraft. Whichever the chosen lending route, having excellent management information available will not only help to manage partners’ expectations but also those of your bank/lender and help towards a long and successful relationship going forward.
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In its meeting on 7 October, the Cargolux Board of Directors appreciated that the negotiation team Akbar al Baker (director), Frank Reimen (president and chief executive officer)) and David Arendt (executive vice president and chief financial officer) and company management took the appropriate actions to ensure that the 747-8 entry into service issues be resolved successfully.Reimen said: “I am pleased that we have reached agreement on the contractual issues. The 747-8 Freighter will be a driver of profitable growth for Cargolux”, which is good news as launch customer Cargolux has 13 Boeing 747-8 Freighter aircraft on firm order.As an enhanced variant of the 747-400 cargo aircraft, the new-generation 747-8 Freighter offers a variety of benefits over its predecessor, including additional payload, less fuel burn and carbon emissions and a considerably lower noise footprint, says Cargolux.
Businesses must start seriously preparing for a no-deal scenario after last night’s historic House of Commons vote rejecting the agreement negotiated between the government and the EU, specialist lawyers have warned. Charles Brasted, head of the Brexit task force at international Hogan Lovells, said the vote left no indication of what sort of deal would gain MPs’ approval. ‘Unless and until a majority coalesces around a deal that the EU will accept, a no-deal exit on 29 March is the default outcome,’ said Brasted. ‘The majority in the house who seek to avoid that outcome must be under no illusions as to what it will take.’ Brasted: ‘The clock keeps ticking’Brasted said that, if a general election were to be called, the logistics of holding the vote would mean any new government would not be in place until March at the earliest He added: ‘In the meantime, the clock keeps ticking to 29 March. Like businesses and citizens in the UK and across Europe, preparations for no deal will have to continue apace, on the part of the UK, the EU and all of the EU27 member states.’ The Law Society said that the vote leaves three possible ways forward: the prime minister could ask for an extension and then seek a new round of negotiations; deadlock in parliament could see the UK moving towards a new referendum or a general election; or the UK could leave on 29 March without a deal.During last night’s debate, Labour MP Kate Hoey, a long-standing opponent of EU membership, appeared to suggest that lawyers in the chamber were behind efforts to thwart the exit process. Hoey said: ‘Had the result been 52% to remain and 48% to leave, does the house think that we, and all the lawyers, QCs and solicitors here, would have been beavering around trying to find a way to get a little bit of Canada or Norway into the remain decision? Let us be honest: there are people here who would do anything to stop us leaving the EU.’
FRANCE: RFF President Hubert du Mesnil and Chief Executive of Vinci Constructions Xavier Huillard signed the PPP concession for construction and operation of LGV Sud-Europe Atlantique on June 16. The ceremony in Paris followed confirmation of the terms by the RFF board on June 9 and approval by the Prime Minister on behalf of the government.Under the 50-year concession, the line will be built and managed by the Vinci-led LISEA consortium. As project manager, LISEA has awarded the construction contract to the COSEA joint venture of Vinci Constructions, Eurovia, BEC, NGE, TSO, Ineo, Inexia, Arcadis and Egis Rail. Tata Steel will supply the rails. The line will then be maintained and operated by MESEA, a subsidiary owned 70% by Vinci and 30% by Inexia.The 302 km high speed line linking Tours, Poitiers and Bordeaux is expected to reduce Paris – Bordeaux journey times to just 2 h 5 min. The LGV SEA package also includes 17 connections to the conventional network, adding a further 38 route-km. Civil works include 400 structures, of which there are 19 viaducts and seven cut-and-cover tunnels. Construction work is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2012 and take 73 months.Capital cost of the work is put at €6·2bn, with the total financing package valued at €7·8bn, making it the largest PPP deal to be awarded in the French railway sector. LISEA will contribute €3·8bn, with the remainder coming from RFF, national and local government. The European Investment Bank will provide €1·2bn, through a mix of government-guaranteed and non-guaranteed loans to the consortium and the French state, plus contributions to the EU’s TEN-T programme. RFF expects to spend a further €1bn on upgrading and modification of its existing network to connect with the new lines, including capacity enhancement works at the main station in Bordeaux.
Burundi has been paralyzed by fuel shortage that is threatening to further damage after years of political turmoil, reports VOA.The East African country’s biggest oil foreign investors, Kenya’s KenolKobil and South Africa’s Engen, a subsidiary of Malaysian parastatal Petronas are the worst hit.The government started rationing on 16h May which has paralyzed commerce and increased food prices by a third. In the capital, queues at empty petrol stations went round blocks.“The oil sector is undermined by favoritism and lack of transparency, because the rare hard currency available in the central bank reserves is given to one oil importer,” said Gabriel Rufyiri, head of anti-graft organization OLUCOME.“These days, fuel importers don’t get enough dollars to bring petroleum products,” said Daniel Mpitabakana, the government’s director of fuel management.These are part of the allegations being made against the shortage. However government officials blame dollar shortages on aid cuts that donors imposed after President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term in 2015, triggering a wave of political violence