highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Baku: Eden Hazard scored twice and then admitted it was his parting gift as the Belgian’s brace helped Chelsea sweep away Arsenal to win 4-1 in the Europa League final in Baku. This match started at 11 pm local time on Wednesday in Azerbaijan, but it was Thursday by the time it came to life with a flood of second-half goals started by Olivier Giroud’s 49th-minute opener against his old club. Hazard then set up Pedro Rodriguez for Chelsea’s second before grabbing a double of his own — including a penalty — either side of Alex Iwobi’s consolation for Arsenal. The Belgian is widely expected to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid after seven years in England, and this was the perfect way for him to bow out. “I think it is a goodbye, but in football, you never know,” the 28-year-old told BT Sport. “My dream was to play in the Premier League and I have done that for one of the biggest clubs so maybe now it is the time for a new challenge.”RELATED It is his, and Chelsea’s, second Europa League this decade, while it is Maurizio Sarri’s first major trophy as a coach. “I am really very happy but the trophy is very important for the club,” Sarri said. “In the Europa League we played 15 matches, won 12 and drew three, so I think we deserved to win it.” Chelsea will be back in the Champions League next season, but there will be no return to Europe’s top table for Arsenal. Unai Emery’s side had to win here to qualify, yet they were not good enough on a bizarre night. Emery was hoping to win this competition for the fourth time. He will get another chance next season, but for now, Arsenal’s 25-year wait to bring back a European trophy to north London goes on. “We tried and we worked but Chelsea were better than us and congratulations to them,” Emery said. Chelsea will remember their evening with fondness, as will Sarri, who 24 hours earlier had stolen the headlines when he angrily stormed off the pitch here during a training session in front of the television cameras. “Sarri is a great guy, a great coach and he deserves this,” said David Luiz of his coach. Empty seats The few Chelsea supporters who came will not forget their night, but the fact there were reportedly only around 1,300 in Azerbaijan will be a source of regret for the club. UEFA’s decision to play the game here had been heavily criticised, with the difficulty and cost of coming to the shores of the Caspian Sea preventing many fans from travelling and meaning Arsenal’s Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was controversially absent. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev was in the crowd, but there were thousands of empty seats in a stadium which holds almost 70,000. That meant that, far away from the blood and thunder of a typical derby fixture, this had the feel of an end-of-season exhibition match on a foreign tour, for much of the first half anyway. The players seemed short of rhythm in a match played two and a half weeks after the Premier League season ended. It came to life though, with a moment of controversy when referee Gianluca Rocchi dismissed Arsenal appeals for a penalty as Alexandre Lacazette went down under goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s challenge. Giroud strikes again Granit Xhaka then saw his powerful strike from 25 yards graze the crossbar as the half-hour approached. Only after that did Chelsea stir, but Petr Cech — in his final match before retiring — blocked Emerson Palmieri’s shot and denied Giroud at the end of a fine move. However, as the clock ticked past midnight after a goalless first half, Chelsea went ahead when Giroud stole in front of Laurent Koscielny and stooped to head home Emerson’s cross. It was his 11th goal in this season’s competition, and there was to be no comeback from Arsenal, with Chelsea quickly putting this final beyond their opponents’ reach as Hazard took over. He set up Pedro for a clipped finish beyond Cech and into the far corner on the hour mark, and five minutes later Hazard calmly rolled in a penalty awarded after Ainsley Maitland-Niles barged into Giroud. Substitute Iwobi’s sublime volleyed reply followed, but Arsenal had left themselves with too much to do, and Giroud and Hazard combined brilliantly for the latter to get his second and Chelsea’s fourth in the 72nd minute. Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud scored for Chelsea against Arsenal.Chelsea has qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League.Arsenal has not qualified for the UEFA Champions League.
OAKLAND — Bruce Bochy looked crushed.As the Giants manager sat in the visitor’s dugout at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, he lamented how disappointed he was to lose infielder Pablo Sandoval to season-ending Tommy John surgery.His expression in the midst of his team’s eight-run, eighth-inning rally was quite different.Bochy was all smiles as the Giants (64-65) overcame a two-run deficit with their biggest inning of the season in a 10-5 victory over the hottest team in baseball. …
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-coins-1288483/ Return to article. Long DescriptionPhoto by rawpixel.com from PexelsSo, what do financial experts actually recommend to people who experience an inflow of money that’s more than they’re used to? Whether the source is a military bonus or Aunt Myrtle’s will, here are some guidelines.Slow down. If you haven’t got a plan, consider just “parking” the money in a simple and unglamorous savings fund while you figure out what to do with it. You have time. (But don’t leave it there forever!)Consider allocating some percentage of the windfall to a fun or “splurge” purchase, but be modest. Depending on the amount and your personal money situation, 5-20% of the amount may be reasonable. Stay at the low end if you have debt or little savings.If you have any high-interest consumer debt, such as credit card debt, a car loan, or medical bills, pay that off first.Your next priority should probably be creating or plumping up your emergency fund, though you can skip this step if you already have 3-6 months of living expense stashed away.Third on the list: max out your retirement savings for the year. For service members, contribute the max to TSP!Anything left? Homeowners could consider making any needed repairs or home improvements, but be cautious: not all will actually increase the value of your home.Although it may seem freeing, it’s probably not necessary to rush to pay off student loans or mortgages. These particular obligations are typically considered “good debt”: they are low interest and low risk. Your money is likely to be better used elsewhere. For instance, investing the same amount of money in a retirement fund will most likely yield you more interest than the interest you will pay on either of those type of loans.Depending on the amount of money, your personal financial situation, and your level of financial knowledge, it may be a very good idea to consult a financial planner or other financial professional. Of course, service members have access to financial assistance on base. If this is not sufficient or not available, consider hiring a certified financial planner. Many experts advise using a fee-only planner. To find one, search the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).Watch Wealth Building with Saving, Investing & Windfalls: https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/event/28146/References:Dratch, D.(2011). 8 smart ways to approach a hefty windfall. Retrieved from http://www.bankrate.com/retirement/8-smart-ways-to-spend-a-hefty-windfall/McGurran, B. (2017). https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/student-loans/ask-brianna-financial-windfall/ By Carol ChurchAs far as financial issues go, experiencing an unexpected windfall or a sudden infusion of cash may sound like a solution in search of a problem. But as anyone who’s experienced something like this (at least on a large scale) can testify, it can be destabilizing to have your financial situation change quickly, even if the change is for the better.Why Jackpots Aren’t Always Great NewsFor one thing, many people really might not know what to do with a lot of extra funds, especially if their typical way of handling money is just to try to make it to the end of the month. As a result, they might feel paralyzed or anxious, or make bad decisions. Friends and family may start asking for financial help, which can be hard.The situation is tricky enough that many find it difficult to handle well. In fact, when the amount of money is really large, it often goes quite poorly. One study showed that 70 percent of lottery winners go bankrupt within a few years.Of course, not every financial windfall is as large or dramatic as a lottery win. Members of the military receive extra-large infusions of pay on a regular basis, due to combat pay, hazardous duty pay, and a slew of available bonuses. These large checks may not be as dramatic as an unexpected inheritance or a winning Powerball ticket, but experience shows that some of the same behaviors can occur, with service members tending to spend their earnings quickly on new cars, electronics, and the like.
Bipartisan legislation that would change IRA rules on contributions and distributions, known as the SECURE Act and RESA, has cleared both the Senate Finance and the House Ways and Means Committees. The House bill is called Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Bill of 2019 (HR 1994), and the identical Senate bill is called the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA).This post discusses significant changes in this retirement saving legislation that are important for IRA planning.Changes in the legislation for 401(k)s will be discussed in a later post.Most Significant IRA Changes under New Retirement Savings BillsThree changes in these bills stand out for IRA financial planning purposes:Moving the start date for Requirement Minimum Distributions (RMDs) to the year the owner turns 72;Ending the 70 ½ age limit for contributing to an IRA; andShortening the distribution period for nonspouse inherited IRAs to a 10 year maximum.Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Beginning Date Would be Age 72If the legislation is passed, the RMD beginning date for employer plans and for IRAs is moved from year owner reaches age 71 ½ to the year the owner reaches age 72.Example. Jerry and Joyce are married with IRAs. Jerry’s date of birth is May 11, 1950, and Joyce’s is July 19, 1949. They both turn 70 ½ in 2020, and under the existing rule they must both begin to take RMDs for that year. Under the SECURE Act and RESA, however, they each begin the year they reach age 72. Jerry would have to begin RMDs in 2022, and Joyce would have to start in 2021.Benefits of Later Start DateRetirement distributions, including RMDs, are generally taxed at ordinary rates. Individuals with income opportunities from more lightly taxed sources, such as long-term capital gains, might prefer to postpone taking retirement distributions as long as they can and extending the RMD beginning date a year or two into the future will help.The delay would also help individuals who have no trouble living on their social security or monthly pension income and who would prefer to delay taxation as long as possible. Or perhaps they are concerned about “living too long” and outlasting their money. The delay would help preserve their balance.IRA Contribution Age Limit Would EndAnother positive change is the age 70 ½ age limit for contributing to a traditional IRA is eliminated. Many retirees do not earn compensation in those years, but some do. Even in years when the owner must take RMDs, contributing to the IRA in the same year would cushion the effect.Example. Shelley’s birth date is March 1, 1950. She has been working for an accounting firm during tax season, and annually makes a traditional IRA contribution based on that compensation. Under the existing rule, she cannot make her IRA contribution for 2020 because she turns age 70 ½ in that year. Under the new rule, she could continue to make IRA contributions for any year in which she has compensation.Later-in-Life IRA Contributions Can Still Make SenseOne might wonder why someone what to continue making retirement contributions deep into retirement. One perhaps obvious reason is that if the individual is still earning compensation, the individual may not actually be retired. But even for someone who is mostly retired, there’s no reason the same considerations that spur us on to make contributions at age 30 or 60 don’t apply at 80. We avoid current tax, and save for our future (or at least somebody’s future).Another reason to contribute later in life is to blunt the effect of RMDs. Unlike 401(k)s which postpone RMDs until retirement, the beginning date for IRAs is same age for all – whether it’s the current rule — the year the individual turns age 70 1/2, or the new rule — the year the individual turns age 72.Example. Karen is age 72 and works part-time. She has funds in her IRA, which she prefers not to touch for as long as she can. Under the new rule, she would be able to make an IRA contribution that would effectively offset any RMD up to the IRA contribution limit.Maximum Stretch for Non-Spouse Inherited IRAs Shortened to 10 YearsUnder the new legislation, the distribution period for nonspouse designated beneficiaries would be limited to 10 year rather than the beneficiary’s lifetime. This limit does not apply to designated beneficiaries who are disabled or chronically ill. For any child of the owner who has yet to reach the age of majority as of the date of the owner’s death, the 10 year clock does not start running until the child reaches the age of majority.This change provides the government with a revenue offset to help pay for the delay in beginning RMDs. Looked at in that light, the change would provide flexibility to almost every retiree at the cost of eliminating a planning technique for those lucky enough to have clever advisors. In any case, it would provide a reason to review a client’s financial and estate plans.By James Solheim, J.D.Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
401(k) plans may go through several changes if the bills known as the SECURE Act and RESA make it through Congress. The retirement savings legislation has cleared both the Senate Finance and the House Ways and Means Committees.If passed, the bills would expand 401(k) coverage to long-term employees who work as few as 500 hours annually. Additional changes include a new penalty-free distribution for birth or adoption, support for auto-enrollment programs, and streamlined safe harbor rules.The House bill is called Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Bill of 2019 (HR 1994), and the identical Senate bill is called the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA). Changes for IRAs were discussed in an earlier post.401(k) Changes under New Retirement Savings BillsThese changes stand out for 401(k) plans:plans would have to include 3 year / 500-1000 hour per year employees;plans could allow qualified birth or adoption distributions that do not incur 10 percent early distribution tax;the maximum auto-enrollment contribution percentage would be increased;the non-elective contribution nondiscrimination safe-harbor would be streamlined.New 3-Year / 500-1,000 Hour Per Year Track to 401(k) ParticipationUnder current law, employers that maintain a 401(k) plan are not required to offer it to part-time employees who work less than 1,000 hours per year. The rules require only that that employers offer the plan to any employee who has both attained age 21 and has completed at least one year of service. A “year of service” is defined as a 12-month period during which the employee has worked at least 1,000 hours. Someone who works a bare 1,000 hours would be averaging 19.2 hours per week.The new law requires employers to offer employees who work between 500 and 1000 hours year a different track to 401(k) participation. Employers would have to have two eligibility requirements under which an employee must complete either:a one year of service requirement (with the 1,000-hour rule), orthree consecutive years of service where the employee completes at least 500 hours of service.Employers with collectively bargained plans are not subject to this requirement. Presumably, if the employees are represented by a union and wanted this kind of benefit, the union would negotiate for it.Broader Effects on EmployersNondiscrimination. Individuals who would qualify for participation under the 500 hour rule are likely to be low paid employees which could cause nondiscrimination headaches for the employer. However, the new law provides that for employees who are eligible solely by reason of working at least 500 hours for three consecutive years, the employer may elect to exclude such employees from testing under the nondiscrimination and coverage rules, and from the application of the top-heavy rules.Spill over to other plans. The rule change would only affect 401(k) cash or deferral arrangements. It would not mandate a similar 500-1,000 hour track for other defined contribution plans such as profit sharing plans, 403(b) plans, or SEP plans. Of course, employers who adopt the 500-1,000 track for 401(k) plans might go ahead and do it for their other plans too.Gendered participation disparity. In addition, as noted in the press release for the House bill, women are more likely than men to work part-time. So this rule change should reduce any 401(k) participation disparity based on full or part-time status.Why Would 500-1,000 Hour Employees Want to Participate in a 401(k)?What benefit would this change provide given that a part-time employee could already contribute to an IRA? There are several considerations:A 401(k) might include a match or nonelective payment by the employer so the employer can qualify for a nondiscrimination safe harbor. Although 500-1,000 hour employees would be excluded from nondiscrimination rules, the law change would not alter the general safe harbor requirements to exclude such employees from receiving matching or nonelective contributions.The 401(k) might include distributions from other defined contributions plans maintained by the employer. For example, many employers maintain profit sharing plans that distribute employer contributions to employee 401(k) accounts. Although an employer would not be required to include 500-1,000 hour employees in its profit sharing plan, an employer might not go to the bother of excluding such employees in practice.Lower paid employees would not be prevented from contributing to both an IRA and 401(k) since the phase out for deductible IRA contributions for those with retirement plans would not apply to them (spouses count too, so one would have to check this).Under existing law, an individual cannot contribute to an IRA starting in the year they attaining age 70 ½. Even under existing law, however, individuals who are still employees can contribute to their employer’s 401(k) plan.The required minimum distribution rules do not apply to non-owner employees until they cease employment. IRA owners, in contrast, have no choice but to start required minimum distributions the year they turn age 70 ½ (under existing law) or age 72 (if the new law passes).401(k) Auto-Enrollment Safe Harbor Cap Raised and New CreditOne of the problems with the transition away from traditional defined benefit pension plans to a voluntary employee retirement savings program, such as 401(k)s, is that rank and file employees tend to under-save. One remedy that has been around since the 2006 Pension Protection Act is automatic enrollment. Under that system, the default position for employees is to set aside at least some retirement savings in their 401(k) account. They can always opt out, or change their contribution rates.Under existing law, the deferral amount for the automatic enrollment safe harbor is capped at 10 percent of compensation. The new bills would raise that to 15 percent.In addition, the new law would create a tax credit for small employers of up to $500 per year to employers to defray startup costs for new 401(k) plans and SIMPLE IRA plans that include automatic enrollment. The credit could also be available to employers that convert an existing plan to an automatic enrollment design.401(k) Non-Elective Contribution Safe Harbor Made EasierEmployers must abide by nondiscrimination rules for their qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) plans. Employers must conduct testing, and be prepared to alter contributions if the plans do not pass rules designed to ensure that highly compensated employees do not benefit substantially more than other employees. That’s why employers like safe harbor plans, even if it requires them to make contributions.The non-elective contribution safe harbor requires employers to contribute three percent of compensation to all non-highly compensated employees. The employer must notify its employees of their rights and obligations, and give them a chance to enroll. The regulations contemplate that an employer that elects to use this safe harbor will stick with it for the year. “Mid-year” changes in nonelective status can only be made in limited circumstances, and employees must be notified.Notice and Status AmendmentsThe new law would eliminate the notice requirement. It would also allow amendments to nonelective status at any time before the 30th day before the close of the plan year. Amendments after that time would be allowed if the amendment provides: a nonelective contribution of at least four percent of compensation (rather than at least three percent) for all eligible employees for that plan year, and the plan is amended no later than the last day for distributing excess contributions for the plan year, that is, by the close of following plan year.Qualified Birth or Adoption DistributionsEmployers may offer penalty-free withdrawals from retirement plans for childbirth and adoptions of up to $5,000. Employees would have up to a year after the date of birth or adoption to take the distribution. IRA owners may take similar distributions penalty free from their IRA. Note that even though the 10 percent additional tax would not apply, the distribution amount would be taxed as income. Distributed amounts could be re-contributed back to the plan.By James Solheim, J.D.Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? 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Step 2. If the employee checks the box on line 2, indicating that there are only two jobs in the household, the employer will calculate withholding using the special “higher rate” Percentage Method or Wage Bracket Method tables provided in Publication 15-T. This will mean higher withholding for the employee.If the employee chooses one of the other two alternatives in Step 2 (using either the IRS calculator at www.irs.gov/W4App, or Worksheet 1 in the Form W-4 instructions), the additional withholding will be included, per pay period, in Step 4, line 4c of Form W-4, along with any other additional tax amounts. Step 3. Steps 1 and 5 only. Step 4, line 4c. Step 4, lines 4a and 4b. Line 4a asks about additional income other than wages, and line 4b asks about additional deductions other than the standard deduction. Employers will increase the annual amount of wages subject to income tax withholding by the annual amount entered on line 4a, and reduce the annual amount of wages subject to income tax withholding by the annual amount entered on line 4b. New IRS Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods, provides employer procedures for withholding for wages on revised Form W-4. The IRS has released a draft version of the publication to offer employers a first look at the new procedures.Form W-4 RedesignedThe IRS has redesigned the 2020 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Beginning with the 2020 form:employees will no longer be able to request adjustments to their withholding using withholding allowances; andusing the new Form W-4, employees will provide employers with dollar amounts to increase or reduce taxes or to increase or decrease the amount of wage income subject to income tax withholding.The draft 2020 Form W-4 is broken up into five steps:enter personal information;account for multiple jobs;claim dependents;other adjustments (optional); andsignature and date.Comment: An employee will complete Steps 2, 3, and/or 4 only if relevant to his or her personal or financial situation. For these steps, the employee shows adjustments that will affect the withholding calculations.Employer Withholding Based on W-4 StepsEmployers will determine withholding based on the steps listed on Form W-4. All employees must complete Steps 1 and 5 (filling in their personal information, filing status, and dated signature). For employees who complete only Step 1 and Step 5, the employer will withhold using the appropriate method based on the employee’s filing status and wage amounts. Step 3 of Form W-4 asks the employee to multiply the number of qualifying children under age 17 by $2,000; and multiply the number of other dependents by $500. The employee adds these, and includes the total amount on line 3.Employers will use the amount on line 3 as an annual reduction of tax. Employers will use the amount that the employee entered on line 3 even if it does not equal the sum of any qualifying children and dependent amounts entered on the left in Step 3, because line 3 may be used to take into account other tax credits.Comment: If line 3 is blank, but there are amounts entered on the left in Step 3, the employer should ask the employee to enter an amount on line 3 (even if zero). Line 4c asks the employee if he or she wants any additional amount withheld each pay period. Employers will increase per pay period withholding by this amount.Employer Withholding WorksheetPublication 15-T includes an Employer Withholding Worksheet that will be used for Forms W-4 that employees submit for 2020 or later, as well as adjustments for an employer to calculate withholding for Forms W-4 that employees submitted in an earlier year. Revised Percentage Method and Wage Bracket Method tables will be used for both prior year Forms W-4 and for Forms W-4 for 2020 and later.Caution: The Percentage Method and Wage Bracket Method Tables in the draft Publication 15-T are based on the 2019 inflation adjustments. The IRS will provide the 2020 inflation-adjusted amounts in Notice 1036 and the final Publication 15-T for 2020 when they are available.Purpose and Frequently Asked QuestionsThe IRS expects the redesigned Form W-4 to reduce the form’s complexity and increase transparency and accuracy in the withholding system.The IRS has made available a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on its web site for answers to questions employers and employees may have about the changes in the Form W-4 and determining withholding.By Robert Recchia, J.D., M.B.A., C.P.A.Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
Van Dijk appreciates ‘bond’ with Liverpool fansby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk admits he feels a close “bond” with the fans.Thursday marks the first anniversary of the Reds agreeing a record-breaking £75million deal with Southampton for the Dutch centre-back.“I definitely feel the bond we have with the supporters,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.“It’s about being normal. We’re not better than anyone else. We are all human beings and the manager is also putting that out as well.“He has been loved by everyone and I think it is because he has been himself. As a player, he will give you his honest opinion and be straight with you. It’s who he is.“I’m obviously aware of my song the fans have created for me. It’s brilliant. Like everyone else, I first saw it on Twitter. Now I’ve heard it in the last few games.“It means a lot to me and to have such a great song already is fantastic. It’s recognition of how things have been going and I am very proud to have a song. I can’t tell you how great it is to hear my name being sung in the stadium.“I have a good relationship with the fans and I see their comments on social media from time to time. For a club like Liverpool, you need to give your blood, sweat and tears on the pitch and if you do that then I think you will be adored because you’ve done everything possible to win the game.“It feels like it is an exciting time at Liverpool. Since I have been here, I have had some fantastic moments with this team.“With the help of all my team-mates, the staff and the fans, I believe it can only get better and hopefully we are going to achieve amazing things with the group for all the fans supporting us throughout the world.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
LSU OL Jevonte DomondUpdate: LSU has suspended offensive lineman Jevonte Domond following his domestic violence arrest. #LSU has suspended OL Jevonte Domond. Les Miles has reached out to Domond but has yet to speak with him, Michael Bonnette says.— Ross Dellenger (@DellengerAdv) May 26, 2015Earlier: LSU offensive lineman Jevonte Domond has been arrested for an alleged felony domestic violence abuse battery with strangulation, according to police reports obtained by The Advocate. Domond, who transferred into the Tigers’ program from Glendale Community College (Arizona) last summer, played in one game last season. The details of the alleged incident are ugly. BREAKING: Booking records show #LSU OT Jevonte Domond was booked into EBR Prison on charges of Felony Domestic Abuse Battery w/Strangulation— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) May 26, 2015From the report: According to a Sheriff’s Office report, an argument occurred Monday afternoon between Domond and his fiancée. During the dispute, while she was leaning over the crib of their “newborn baby,” Domond allegedly “grabbed her from behind by the neck,” lifted her off the ground and dropped her, the report says.The woman told deputies she “began to lose consciousness,” the report says, and she “almost blacked out.” At some point during the argument, Domond allegedly grabbed a bandana from his fiancées head. In response, she sprayed him with pepper spray, the report says.The woman told deputies Domond then picked her up and “slammed her on the couch,” the report says. She also told them Domond bit her on her hip, prompting her to spray him again with pepper spray, the report says.You can read the rest of the report here. An LSU spokesman confirmed to The Advocate that the program is aware of the situation, though they have yet to officially comment on the matter. Domond, who is currently in East Baton Rouge Parish Jail, is reportedy scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Ahead of International Day of the Girl (October 11), Disney launched a new global video series offering advice and inspiration on achieving success for the next generation of young leaders around the globe.The #DreamBigPrincess video series, produced and directed by young women from the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative, shares the stories of 20 trailblazing women across technology, entertainment, medicine, law, sports, arts, science, fashion and politics to show the next generation what’s possible if you dream big.“Dreaming big is one of the most important things any of us can do – to keep aiming higher,” says Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, who was interviewed for the series by Maud Webster, age 16, from the UK. “The #DreamBigPrincess series is giving a voice to a group of talented young women, helping them tell stories that kids can learn from, whatever their ambition.”Disney provided mentorship support for the 21 Girl Up leaders from different corners of the globe as they captured the stories of a diverse group of role models in digital shorts. Each video will be shared across Disney’s global media platforms (www.disney.com/dreambigprincess) as part of a campaign to unlock up to a $1 million donation to Girl Up, an initiative of the UN Foundation to support girls’ leadership.“We have the responsibility to hand that baton of self-belief and positivity to the next generation,” says Jo Malone CBE, Entrepreneur and Founder of Jo Loves, who was interviewed by Bethel Kyeza, age 16. “Storytelling can help us believe that no matter who we are or where we come from, we have every right to write the story of our own life and fulfill it.”“There’s a line in Mary Poppins where she says anything is possible, even the impossible. I think that really symbolizes what dreaming big is all about, the idea if you want something big enough that the universe is going to conspire to give it to you,” says Emily Blunt, Golden Globe Award-winning actress who was interviewed by Marisa Torre, age 17.Spanning a host of professions, an accomplished roster of women share their tips for success in the 20-part series: Asmaa Boujibar – Research scientist and the first Moroccan woman in history to join NASA Johnson Space Center. Ashima Narain – Photographer, filmmaker and former photo editor for National Geographic Traveler India. Blanca Treviño – President and CEO of Softtek, the leading IT services company in Latin America, champion for entrepreneurialism, IT and the role of women in business. Emily Blunt – Golden Globe Award-winning actress and star of upcoming Disney movies Mary Poppins Returns and Jungle Cruise. Celina Caesar-Chavannes – Canadian member of Parliament who served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister of Canada. Jennifer Lee – Chief creative officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, writer and co-director of Disney’s Frozen for which she won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Jo Malone CBE – Founder and creative director of Jo Loves, responsible for creating some of the world’s most-loved fragrances, awarded a CBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honors List for her services to the British Economy and the GREAT Britain campaign. Karen Jonz – Brazilian skateboarder, designer and musician who won the 2008 X Games women’s vertical and the World Cup Skateboarding Championship four times, first Brazilian to win the title of World Champion. Karen Walker – Designer with a global, multimillion-dollar eponymous fashion label,awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Meritfor her services to fashion design in 2014. Kathleen Kennedy – Film producer and president of Lucasfilm, has produced more than 60 films, including three of the highest-grossing movies in motion picture history. Leia Mi – Art director for Shanghai Disneyland who creates concept designs and provides art direction for Shanghai Disney Resort, was a creative designer at Walt Disney Imagineering. Maria Teresa Ruiz – Chilean astronomer, the first woman to study astronomy at the University of Chile, the first female scientist to receive a PhD in astrophysics from Princeton University and the first woman to receive Chile’s National Prize for Exact Sciences. Martina Stoessel – Actress and singer who played the leading role on the internationally successful Disney Channel telenovela Violetta, first Argentine singer to reach one million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours for her single “Te Quiero Mas.” Monica Lopez Hidalgo – Accomplished professor and researcher of neuroscience, one of the winners of the L’Oréal Unesco Conacyt AMC 2017 Scholarships for Women in Science for her research on the deterioration of cognitive functions related to age. Dr. Ndifanji Namacha – Medical doctor and assistant lecturer of public health, Malaria No More UK youth ambassador, delivered a keynote speech at the 2018 Malaria Summit in London. Paola Carosella -Award-winning chef and restaurateur, opened her first restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2001, has appeared as a judge on MasterChef Brazil since 2014. Robin Roberts – Award-winning broadcaster and co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. Susan Prescott – Vice president of product marketing at Apple with more than 25 years of experience in the computing industry. Virginie Delalande – Founder of Handicapower, first deaf person to become a lawyer in France. Victoria Arlen – Accomplished motivational speaker, actress, model and swimmer, won three Silver medals and a Gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, joined ESPN as one of the company’s youngest on-air talents.“The #DreamBigPrincess series documents a host of inspiring stories and diverse experiences, but the common message is clear,” says Zenia Mucha, Senior Executive Vice President, Communications, The Walt Disney Company. “Having a big dream is the first step on the path to success, and positive role models are critical in helping you continue on that journey – whether that’s a fictional entrepreneur like Tiana or a real-world success story like any of the women in this series.”The aspiring filmmakers embarked on their creative journeys back in July, with ongoing mentorship from Disney, Apple and female-led production company Summerjax ahead of the series debut. Each video was shot on iPhone X and edited using Final Cut Pro X running on MacBook Pro.“It’s important to have role models – and by role models I mean the 21 girls that are part of the ‘Dream Big, Princess’ project – out there to inspire other girls,” says Susan Prescott, Vice President of Product Marketing at Apple, who was interviewed by Jessica Zhang, age 16. “I think it’s important to recognize their talents, let them have a voice and show the great things they can do.”Through Disney’s collaboration with Girl Up, the #DreamBigPrincess campaign aims to make a tangible difference for girls who face challenges in achieving their dreams. For each like or share of a video or photo posted publicly with #DreamBigPrincess on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Disney Worldwide Services will donate US $1 to Girl Up in support of girls’ leadership and empowerment (minimum donation: $500,000/maximum donation: $1 million). This charitable initiative kicks off today and runs until November 20, 2018.“Last year’s donation from Disney has already had a huge impact, allowing us to extend our network of Girl Up clubs outside the US by more than 50%, giving more girls the leadership skills they need to advocate for themselves and others,” says Girl Up Co-Executive Director, Melissa Kilby. “We’re so proud of the series that our young Girl Up leaders have created and hope people around the world will play their part in supporting the rights of girls by liking and sharing them on social media.”This year’s video series builds on the success of the #DreamBigPrincess Global Photography series, which saw 19 female photographers from 15 countries capture inspiring stories of real-world women and girls to encourage kids to reach for their goals. The campaign reached millions of families around the world unlocking a $1 million donation to Girl Up in less than five days. The images from the multi-award-winning campaign were also honored with an exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.The initiative is part of Disney’s ongoing Dream Big, Princess campaign that encourages kids everywhere to dream big by highlighting key story moments and inspiring qualities that each Disney Princess showcases through her adventures, such as Merida’s bravery, Cinderella’s kindness or Tiana’s perseverance. Disney is committed to helping today’s youth create the future they imagine by providing them with inspiration and opportunity through transformative programming, of which this campaign is an example.
Air France is to install fully flat seats without direct aisle access on its Airbus A330 fleet, with the first of the refurbished 36-passenger cabins in a 2-2-2 configuration now flying and more on the way through the end of next year.The seat, confirms vice president of customer experience Carole Peytavin to Runway Girl Network, is Stelia Aerospace’s Equinox 2D, a surprising choice for a wide variety of destinations, including some premium-heavy markets. Air France operates the A330 to several African destinations (Accra, Ouagadougou, Cotonou, Lagos, and Niamey), Bengaluru and Delhi, plus Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Seattle.Yet this is not the 3D version of Equinox, where the aisle-side passenger’s seat reclines to a lower level than the window-side passenger, Peytavin tells RGN. “After numerous tests and evaluations, both in-house and with our customers, Stelia [Equinox] 2D seemed to us to be more relevant in terms of comfort, ergonomics and accessibility.”The cabin is laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration. Image: Air FranceAir France and its design partners, says Peytavin, “have indeed worked a lot on the modularity of this seat. A sliding partition allows customers to isolate themselves and fully enjoy their privacy. On the other hand, for passengers traveling together, when the partition is open there is a real feeling of conviviality and sharing.”A small self-service bar area spruces up the door space. Image: Air FranceConviviality and sharing is not, however, a priority for most business travelers, who will be unimpressed by this seat and in particular the complexity of the maneuver required to climb from the window seat across the aisle passenger. The depth of Equinox’s large footwell space indeed makes this more difficult than some competing products.The overlap at foot level means that aisle access is more difficult than in some other fully flat beds. Image: Air FranceResponding to questions from RGN about aisle access, Peytavin explains that “the ergonomics and in particular accessibility have been permanent optimization criteria taken into account in the development of this seat. Aisle access is made easier by a relatively low seat, which is easy to ‘step over’ even when in the full-flat position.”Previous non-aisle-access seats on the Air France fleet have been angled lie-flat sloping sleepers, which have few benefits, but one is that feet close to the ground are easier to step over.Straddling a sleeping neighbor at mid-thigh is likely to prove less than satisfactory.Air France worked with Mark Collins at the Swiss design consultancy Design Investment on the seat, as part of its ongoing decade-long partnership with the company across business, premium economy and economy.The aesthetic of the cabin is a positive evolutionary update of previous generations, with grey fabric seat moquette, a fully dark blue seatback containing the inflight entertainment system (confirmed to be the RAVE system from Safran, formerly Zodiac) in front, and touches of a light beige in leather that brings a touch of warmth to what might otherwise feel somewhat sterile.The touches of dark blue and beige are an improvement on the previous generation of seat. Image: Air FranceWith key cabin refurbishments looming for a large part of the Air France fleet, Peytavin confirms that the airline has no plans to refine the existing Zodiac Cirrus seating on its 787 and 777 aircraft, declining to discuss either the A380 refurbishment that is scheduled for a 2020-2022 time window or the remaining aircraft in the longhaul fleet.However, alongside the Boeing 777 subfleet for the Caribbean and Indian Ocean routes the airline refers to as “14J” and uses primarily on leisure routes, “the 350 will be equipped with Safran’s Optima seat and we maintain the highest standards of quality and comfort,” Peytavin says, confirming to RGN that the 14J retrofit will take place this year and next.On balance, however, it seems surprising that the airline’s leisure and visiting-friends-and-relatives routes on the 777 14J fleet would be offered direct aisle access while the destinations served by the A330 — which are in some cases major business routes — sees a product that many business travelers will find sub-par.Related Articles:In Conversation: Goodbye to the A380 and hello to airplane mealsOp-Ed: Cathay Pacific finally vindicated for its A380 decisionAirbus ends A380 production with Emirates swap to A330neo & A350Air France promises premium #PaxEx, wifi and power upgradesAir France plumps for wildly diverse future business class seatsWhy premium economy on 787 is sweet spot for Air France, passengersAir France 787 business class dabbles with eleganceAir France rolling out restaurant style service in biz on more routesPaxEx 2017: Premium economy options move strength to strengthSeat certification bites as luxury-rebranded Stelia pauses CometPress Release: Air France selects Zodiac’s RAVE IFE for 15 A330s