New US-Cuba travel and trade rules come into effect – BBC

#cuba travel
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New US-Cuba travel and trade rules come into effect

16 January 2015

Media caption Cubans hope that with the lifting of trade restrictions they will be able to import rare commodities such as car parts, as Will Grant reports

New travel and trade rules between the US and Cuba have come into effect in the biggest policy shift between the two countries in more than 50 years.

Measures include allowing US citizens to use credit cards in Cuba and for US businesses to export some technologies.

Americans will be able to take home up to $100 (£66) in alcohol and tobacco from Cuba.

The move implements last month’s agreement to re-establish ties severed since 1961.

Although the latest moves put a large dent in the US trade embargo against Cuba’s communist government, only Congress can lift it completely.

Earlier this week, US officials said Cuba had completed the release of 53 political prisoners agreed as part of the historic deal.

Policies ‘out of date’

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the changes would “immediately enable the American people to provide more resources to empower the Cuban population to become less dependent upon the state-driven economy”.

Media caption Tomas Bilbao: “Failed policy of isolation and confrontation”

While ordinary tourism is still banned, the new regulations will allow US citizens to travel to Cuba for any of a dozen specific reasons without first obtaining a special licence from the government.

United Airlines announced on Thursday plans to begin flying to Cuba from its terminals in Houston and Newark.

US credit and debit cards can be used there and there will be no more limits on how much money US citizens can spend in Cuba each day.

About 170,000 authorised US travellers went to Cuba last year, according to the US Department of Commerce.

US firms will also find it easier to export mobile phones and software to Cuba, as well as provide internet services there.

Cuba currently has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world – estimated at about 5% by the White House.

A change in the regulations will also allow US investments in some small businesses and agricultural operations.

‘Repression against Cubans’

The thaw in relations between the two countries was announced last month in simultaneous televised speeches by President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro.

Image caption Americans will be able to bring home small numbers of Cuban cigars after a ban of more than 50 years

Image caption Some of the 53 prisoners released by the Cuban authorities last week gathered to celebrate in Havana

Next week, US Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson will lead a delegation to Cuba to discuss migration issues.

They will be the first high-level talks since the easing of relations was announced.

President Obama used his executive powers to ease the embargo, defying hardline critics. Analysts say Congress is unlikely to agree to lift the embargo completely any time soon.

Cuban-American Republican Senator Marco Rubio said Mr Obama’s policy would harm ordinary Cubans.

“This is a windfall for the Castro regime that will be used to fund its repression against Cubans,” he said in a statement.





06/12/2017

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5 Rules To Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets #william #shatner #travel

#where can i get cheap airline tickets
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5 Rules To Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets

Sick and tired of paying a fortune for air travel? The easiest solution would be to skip the plane and take a road trip instead, but many of us don’t have the time or energy to do that. Plus, with gas prices on the rise, the road trip might end up costing more than air fare. And that’s assuming you aren’t traveling across an ocean in the first place.

Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can make use of in order to maximize your savings when purchasing airline tickets — in fact, you might even be able to save a few hundred dollars per ticket in some cases. That’s a lot of extra spending money you can use while away from home!

The next time you’re planning a flight, keep the following guidelines in mind.

The Right Time to Buy

Did you know that there’s a right time to make your ticket purchases? It’s hard to pinpoint an exact rule of thumb since the industry is always adapting to variations in demand, but there are two important factors always in play.

Don’t buy too late. If you’re flying out next week and you don’t have a ticket yet, then you’re out of luck. The unfortunate truth is that you aren’t the only one who needs a ticket and airlines know this. With so little time flexibility, airlines know that they can raise the price and you pretty much have no choice but to buy the ticket. Thus, don’t wait too long before you secure your flight.

Yet, paradoxically, last minute flights are another matter altogether. Prices will actually drop for last minute tickets! Airlines hate empty seats because empty seats don’t earn them money, so it’s better to have the seat filled cheaply. Use this to your advantage when you can, but don’t rely on it since there’s no way to guarantee that a flight will have last minute spots available.

Don’t buy too early, either. You might think that prices would be dirt cheap if you purchased your tickets 6 months in advance, but that’s unfortunately not how it works. The optimal time to buy a ticket, then, is between 3 and 12 weeks before the flight.

Also, consider using Bing’s Price Predictor. Bing might still be lagging behind Google in the field of search, but they have some cool tools that come in handy every once in a while. The Price Predictor is one of them.

The Right Time to Fly

Not only does it matter when you click the “Buy” button, it also matters when the flight departs. If you pick a time when everyone else wants to fly — for example, during the Christmas holidays — then you’ll be competing with a lot of people for limited seats, which ultimately raises the price.

Fly during off-peak seasons. Throughout the year, there are five periods when people tend not to fly that often. These “dead zones” are:

  • January, after the 7th
  • February, excluding Valentine’s Day
  • September
  • November, first two weeks
  • December, first two weeks

Fly middle of the week. The actual day of your flight can influence the price greatly. Most people tend to travel on the weekends with a tendency to fly out on Friday and fly back home on Sunday, making those two days the most expensive. Tuesday and Wednesday, on the other hand, tend to be the least expensive days.

Fly early in the day. Have you ever flown at 4am? It’s a miserable experience and most people will actively avoid flying at such times, which means there’s less demand for those flights and, consequently, lower prices.

Always Compare Prices

There are many websites that offer the lowest airline prices and there are even search engines for cheap flights. The best thing you can do is visit all of them and compare carefully. Will it take a lot of time? It might. The decision is yours whether the savings in price is worth that extra effort.

First, check all available airports. You might be lucky and have a big airport near you with a few smaller ones scattered about. The bigger ones tend to be cheaper but not always, so check the other ones and compare.

Then, check all available airlines. Some airlines are naturally cheaper than others. Keep in mind that you’ll definitely notice the difference in price when it comes to seat comfort, flight attendant service, accommodations, etc. But depending on how long the flight is, the price cut may be worth it.

Lastly, check all available routes. Direct flights between point A and B are fast and convenient, but you might be able to find cheaper prices if you can stomach the hassle of a layover and connected flights. With the latest rulings, at least you’ll be able to use electronics on these flights .

Note that some airfare websites employ price discrimination based on your browser activity and search history. When comparing prices, always use your browser’s private browsing mode to avoid this practice.

Split Groups Into Separate Purchases

Even on the same flight, different seats will often have different costs. For example, back seats near the plane’s engine can be uncomfortable and distracting, thus resulting in a lower seat price. While it’s nice that some seats are cheaper, this can prove troublesome when buying tickets as a group.

Let’s say a particular flight has 3 seats available for $100 and you’re traveling as a family of 5. If you search as a group of 5, you’ll never see the $100 seats because airlines typically show you the lowest priced tickets available to the whole group. In this case, the flight might have enough $200 seats for 5 people, thus you’d see the lowest price as $200.

Here’s how you get around that.

First, search as a full group to find all of the flights that have enough total seats to accommodate your whole group. Once you have a list of these flights, go back and search through them for one ticket at a time. Instead of being stuck with 5 $200 tickets, you could end up buying 3 $100 tickets and 2 $200 tickets.

Research Those Sneaky Fees

Most air fares will include all taxes and fees in the ticket price, but the included fees are only those that are directly related to flight. There are plenty of other services that may incur hidden charges. The most common fees relate to checked bags, seat selection, snacks, blankets, and other on-board services.

Research ahead of time and avoid these pesky fees as best as you can.

Conclusion

Do you fly a lot? What sorts of tips and tricks have you picked up to maximize your airline savings? Share them with us in the comments!





16/11/2017

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Continuing Education Providers #tdlr, #texas, #ce #provider, #continuing #education, #ce, #ceus,


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Continuing Education Providers

Rule Review – TDLR is reviewing the Continuing Education Requirements located at Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 59 for re-adoption, revision, or repeal. Read the Notice of Intent to Review

Reduced Fees for Continuing Education Providers – On November 21, 2013, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation approved a reduction in the application fees for Continuing Education Providers. The initial and renewal application fees were reduced from $250 to $200, a savings of 20%. The fee reductions are effective March 1, 2014 for initial applications and April 1, 2014 for renewals. The Commission also changed CE provider registrations so that they are no longer required to register for each occupation. One provider registration covers all TDLR programs. TDLR estimates these fee reductions and changes will result in a savings of $34,450 annually, with an estimated five-year savings of $172,250.

These savings result from the fee review we conduct each year, as part of our vision of Smaller, Smarter Government , said TDLR Executive Director William Kuntz. TDLR license fees must be reasonable and necessary only to cover the costs of administering its programs. With these fee reductions, our licensees and the public will receive the same high level of service but now at a lower cost.

At their November 21st meeting, the commission lowered fees for more than 400,000 TDLR licensees. TDLR estimates the total savings for all licensees will amount to nearly $6 million each year, with an estimated five-year savings of $29,661,245 .

I m proud that TDLR is leading the way to lower economic barriers for entry into the Texas workforce while helping businesses grow and keep more money in their pockets, said Commission Chairman Mike Arismendez. With these fee reductions, TDLR licensees will save real money now and for years to come.

TDLR continuing education providers use a web-based system enabling them to submit course completion documentation on the TDLR web site. Visit the Continuing Education Completion Reporting Site .

The roster system allows licensees to obtain credit almost immediately once a course has been completed. It also reduces data entry requirements for providers and allows for quick verification that the information provided to TDLR is accurate.


01/10/2017

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Divorce – Civil Division, Queens Supreme Court – N #court, #courts,


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Divorce

Preliminary Conference

Counsel and Litigants are encouraged to refer to the Divorce Resources site for forms.

Effective immediately, the Queens Supreme Matrimonial Department shall utilize the Preliminary Conference form listed under General Forms .

Notice

All orders to show cause containing an application for the issuance of an Order of Protection will be treated as an emergency and emergency procedures must be followed. The court is required to conduct a hearing before issuance of an order of protection, and the applying party and their attorney, if any, must be present.

Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act

In accordance with the Family Protection and Domestic violence intervention Act of 1994, an automated statewide registry will be operative effective October 1, 1995. The legislation requires that the registry contain information involving orders of protection and warrants issued statewide in connection with criminal, Family Court and matrimonial cases involving family violence. Effective October 1, 1995, all requests for an order of protection must be submitted with a completed Family Protection Registry information sheet. These forms are available in the matrimonial office, Room 140 in Jamaica.

General Information

Telephone inquiries regarding decisions on motions will no longer be accepted. This information, as in the past, will be published in the New York Law Journal. Counsel may appear personally and obtain the pertinent information required from the computer terminals made available to the public for that purpose. Any Request to expedite the signing of an uncontested Judgment of Divorce must be done by Notice of Motion filed and made returnable in accordance with matrimonial motion rules.

Motions must be filed with the matrimonial office at least 5 working days before the return date.

Effective immediately. the filing of all post-judgment matrimonial motions and orders to show cause must include:
(a) copy of the judgment;
(b) calendar number of the said matrimonial action;
(c) date of the note of issue.

Additionally, all applications for writs of habeas corpus must indicate, below the present index number, the index number of any previously assigned action and the assigned judge, or state that no other matrimonial actions have been filed.


27/08/2017

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VA Loan Documents: Checklist for VA Mortgage Loans #va #funding #fee,


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VA Mortgage Documents Checklist

In addition to your DD214 or Statement of Service and your Certificate of Eligibility. your lender will require several personal documents in order to process and underwrite your VAMortgage. Typically these include the following personal documents for all borrowers:

  • W-2 Statements for the past two years from all employers
  • Most recent pay stubs or LES covering one full month
  • Most recent bank and asset statements covering two full months
  • Copy of your drivers license or military ID and social security card

Other required items, if applicable to your personal situation, will include the following:

  • 1099 s for retirement income and a recent retirement statement
  • Social Security Awards Letter or current statement
  • Child support orders and/or divorce decree to document child support or alimony received
  • All schedules and discharge paperwork for any bankruptcies filed in the past 7 years

Every Veteran borrower is unique and may require additional documentation specific to their situations. The best thing to do is to fill out the Pre-Qualification Form. and a VA Specialist will contact you to pre-qualify you. They will be able to provide you with a documents checklist specific to you and your individual profile.

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25/08/2017

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Uncontested Divorce – DIY Forms #court, #courts, #new #york, #new #york


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Uncontested Divorce Program

Aviso: Este programa es en ingl s, pero obtendr su traducci n al pulsar sobre ESPA OL. Deber responder en ingl s o el tribunal rechazar sus documentos.

An “uncontested” divorce is where both you and the person you want to divorce agree to divorce and there is an agreement about what will happen to your finances and property after the divorce. [Learn more about Divorce ]

You can use this program if:

  • You and the person you want to divorce are over 18 years of age,
  • You and the person you want to divorce have no “children” under 21 years of age ,
  • Your marriage has been over for at least 6 months and your relationship can’t be saved, AND
  • All marital property issues, including debt, have been settled.

Information Checklist

You will need the following information with you when you use this program:

  • The name, previous last names (if any), current address, social security number, and phone number of the person you want to divorce.
  • A copy of your marriage certificate.
  • If you have any of the following: Settlement Agreement, Order of Protection, etc.
  • If you have an extreme financial hardship and can’t afford the court fees: information about your income, the things you own, and how much you spend a month on utilities and rent.

Download and print the checklist of information you will need to complete this program.

Start

Note: You will be taken to our partner website called LawHelp Interactive.

You can Sign Up to Save Your Work or go directly to the program without signing up by clicking on Get Started or Go . Then check to agree to the Terms of Use and click on Continue to begin the program.

About DIY Forms

Who Can Use These Programs?
You can use DIY Forms if:

  • you’re a court user and you don’t have a lawyer;
  • you’re a legal services provider;
  • you’re a pro bono lawyer. Pro bono lawyers filing a DIY Form must submit thispro bono affirmation .
  • you’re from a low-bono (reduced fee) program recognized and authorized to use the DIY Form programs by the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program. You must submit this low-bono affirmation with the filing.

Commercial use is prohibited and no one may charge for using these programs. When you begin the program, you will be asked to accept these terms of use.

Computer Requirements
In order to use DIY Form programs, make sure you have the following:

Note: If you’re on a Mac and do not have Microsoft Word, this program will not work for you.

Help Using DIY Forms
See Frequently Asked Questions for help using DIY Form programs.

Related Information:


04/08/2017

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Department of Labor – OFCCP – How to File a Complaint


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Because of temporary technical difficulties, the online complaint form cannot be electronically submitted. Please complete the form and submit it by mail or fax to the appropriate OFCCP regional office, or deliver it in person to any OFCCP district or field office.

How to File a Complaint

Do you believe that an employer doing business with the Federal Government has discriminated against you in hiring or employment? Do you believe that the reason for the discrimination was based on your race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran? Did you ask about or discuss your pay or that of a co worker and you were fired, demoted, or disciplined because of it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can file a complaint with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). An individual, organization, or group can even file a complaint on your behalf, or for anyone who may be the victim of employment discrimination by an employer doing business with the Federal Government.

You must file a complaint alleging discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or based on compensation inquiries, discussions, or disclosures, within 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended for good cause shown. Some examples of what might be good cause include, the existence of some extraordinary circumstance that prohibited you from filing before the deadline such as a significant health issue, military deployment, incarceration, or possibly being unaware of the discrimination. These are only a few of the possible examples of good cause. If your complaint alleges a violation based on disability or status as a protected veteran, it must be filed within 300 days unless the time for filing is extended for good cause shown. Extensions of the filing time require approval by the Director of OFCCP.

You should include a description of the alleged discrimination and any other related information that would help OFCCP investigate your complaint. OFCCP will be revising its complaint form and instructions because of recent regulatory changes. Until that process is completed, please mark the box next to sex to allege discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If you are alleging discrimination based on discussing pay, please write pay secrecy in the place where the other bases for an OFCCP violation are listed and indicate that pay secrecy is the basis of the complaint clearly in the narrative section of the complaint form. As is always the case, you should describe the actions that you believe resulted in the discrimination in the narrative section.

Complete and File the Complaint Form

Step 1:

Download the electronic Complaint of Discrimination in Employment Under Federal Government Contracts form. If you have difficulty downloading the form you may need to install free software that converts PDF files to viewable documents. For your convenience, we have provided a link to software provided by Adobe Systems Incorporated . This link is in no way an endorsement of either Adobe Systems Incorporated or Adobe Software.

Step 2:

Complete the Complaint of Discrimination in Employment Under Federal Government Contracts form and submit it by:

  • filing the complaint form electronically with the appropriate OFCCP Regional Office ; or
  • mailing or faxing the complaint form to the appropriate OFCCP Regional Office ; or
  • filing the complaint form in person with any OFCCP District or Area office .

The appropriate OFCCP regional office location is the office that covers the location where the alleged discrimination occurred. Your signature is required on the complaint form, if it is not on the form when you submit it, we will ask you to sign your form later. You may also submit a complaint by letter that includes all the information requested on the complaint form.

We will review your complaint form, or letter of complaint, and contact you if we need more information.

Step 3:

Call or visit any OFCCP District Area office if you have questions about the complaint process, want to discuss your complaint, or would like to learn where to file a complaint.

We Want to Know What You Think

OFCCP continues to be interested in improving its relationship with its customers, improving the technical assistance and outreach materials we provide to the public. If you have interacted with OFCCP through any of the ways listed below and you see areas where we can improve, please let us know by sending an email with your comments and suggestions to OFCCP s public mailbox .

  • Compliance evaluation
  • Complaint investigation
  • Technical assistance event
  • Outreach event
  • Telephone/help desk inquiry/email inquiry
  • Used, reviewed, or received technical assistance or outreach materials

29/07/2017

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Backgammon Online #backgammon, #backgammon #rule, #play #backgammon, #backgammon #game, #online #backgammon,


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Play backgammon at the most famous WWW Backgammon page on the net. Backgammon Masters is your starting place, find thousands of players from all over the world. Start playing backgammon at the first home of online backgammon. Get backgammon info you need: backgammon rules, backgammon strategy. Become a world champ in the most lucrative Backgammon Events and tournaments.
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For more references: www.poker .ca

Copyright BackgammonMasters.com Group 2007. All rights reserved.


12/07/2017

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5 Rules To Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets #graco #travel #system

#where can i get cheap airline tickets
#

5 Rules To Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets

Sick and tired of paying a fortune for air travel? The easiest solution would be to skip the plane and take a road trip instead, but many of us don’t have the time or energy to do that. Plus, with gas prices on the rise, the road trip might end up costing more than air fare. And that’s assuming you aren’t traveling across an ocean in the first place.

Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can make use of in order to maximize your savings when purchasing airline tickets — in fact, you might even be able to save a few hundred dollars per ticket in some cases. That’s a lot of extra spending money you can use while away from home!

The next time you’re planning a flight, keep the following guidelines in mind.

The Right Time to Buy

Did you know that there’s a right time to make your ticket purchases? It’s hard to pinpoint an exact rule of thumb since the industry is always adapting to variations in demand, but there are two important factors always in play.

Don’t buy too late. If you’re flying out next week and you don’t have a ticket yet, then you’re out of luck. The unfortunate truth is that you aren’t the only one who needs a ticket and airlines know this. With so little time flexibility, airlines know that they can raise the price and you pretty much have no choice but to buy the ticket. Thus, don’t wait too long before you secure your flight.

Yet, paradoxically, last minute flights are another matter altogether. Prices will actually drop for last minute tickets! Airlines hate empty seats because empty seats don’t earn them money, so it’s better to have the seat filled cheaply. Use this to your advantage when you can, but don’t rely on it since there’s no way to guarantee that a flight will have last minute spots available.

Don’t buy too early, either. You might think that prices would be dirt cheap if you purchased your tickets 6 months in advance, but that’s unfortunately not how it works. The optimal time to buy a ticket, then, is between 3 and 12 weeks before the flight.

Also, consider using Bing’s Price Predictor. Bing might still be lagging behind Google in the field of search, but they have some cool tools that come in handy every once in a while. The Price Predictor is one of them.

The Right Time to Fly

Not only does it matter when you click the “Buy” button, it also matters when the flight departs. If you pick a time when everyone else wants to fly — for example, during the Christmas holidays — then you’ll be competing with a lot of people for limited seats, which ultimately raises the price.

Fly during off-peak seasons. Throughout the year, there are five periods when people tend not to fly that often. These “dead zones” are:

  • January, after the 7th
  • February, excluding Valentine’s Day
  • September
  • November, first two weeks
  • December, first two weeks

Fly middle of the week. The actual day of your flight can influence the price greatly. Most people tend to travel on the weekends with a tendency to fly out on Friday and fly back home on Sunday, making those two days the most expensive. Tuesday and Wednesday, on the other hand, tend to be the least expensive days.

Fly early in the day. Have you ever flown at 4am? It’s a miserable experience and most people will actively avoid flying at such times, which means there’s less demand for those flights and, consequently, lower prices.

Always Compare Prices

There are many websites that offer the lowest airline prices and there are even search engines for cheap flights. The best thing you can do is visit all of them and compare carefully. Will it take a lot of time? It might. The decision is yours whether the savings in price is worth that extra effort.

First, check all available airports. You might be lucky and have a big airport near you with a few smaller ones scattered about. The bigger ones tend to be cheaper but not always, so check the other ones and compare.

Then, check all available airlines. Some airlines are naturally cheaper than others. Keep in mind that you’ll definitely notice the difference in price when it comes to seat comfort, flight attendant service, accommodations, etc. But depending on how long the flight is, the price cut may be worth it.

Lastly, check all available routes. Direct flights between point A and B are fast and convenient, but you might be able to find cheaper prices if you can stomach the hassle of a layover and connected flights. With the latest rulings, at least you’ll be able to use electronics on these flights .

Note that some airfare websites employ price discrimination based on your browser activity and search history. When comparing prices, always use your browser’s private browsing mode to avoid this practice.

Split Groups Into Separate Purchases

Even on the same flight, different seats will often have different costs. For example, back seats near the plane’s engine can be uncomfortable and distracting, thus resulting in a lower seat price. While it’s nice that some seats are cheaper, this can prove troublesome when buying tickets as a group.

Let’s say a particular flight has 3 seats available for $100 and you’re traveling as a family of 5. If you search as a group of 5, you’ll never see the $100 seats because airlines typically show you the lowest priced tickets available to the whole group. In this case, the flight might have enough $200 seats for 5 people, thus you’d see the lowest price as $200.

Here’s how you get around that.

First, search as a full group to find all of the flights that have enough total seats to accommodate your whole group. Once you have a list of these flights, go back and search through them for one ticket at a time. Instead of being stuck with 5 $200 tickets, you could end up buying 3 $100 tickets and 2 $200 tickets.

Research Those Sneaky Fees

Most air fares will include all taxes and fees in the ticket price, but the included fees are only those that are directly related to flight. There are plenty of other services that may incur hidden charges. The most common fees relate to checked bags, seat selection, snacks, blankets, and other on-board services.

Research ahead of time and avoid these pesky fees as best as you can.

Conclusion

Do you fly a lot? What sorts of tips and tricks have you picked up to maximize your airline savings? Share them with us in the comments!





09/07/2017

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