RussiaEurope – Central Asia to go further Organisation Reporters Without Borders is appalled that a court in the northwestern city of Murmansk today ordered that Denis Sinyakov (Денис Синяков), a well-known Russian freelance photographer who was aboard a Greenpeace vessel intercepted in Russian Arctic waters on 19 September, be placed in preventive detention for two months.“Sinyakov was arrested while working as a journalist and his detention constitutes an unacceptable violation of freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders said. “By investigating this photographer and the Greenpeace activists he was accompanying on such an absurd accusation as piracy, the Russian Investigative Committee is criminalizing both journalists and environmental activism.“If Russia’s constitutional guarantees have any meaning, neither Greenpeace’s peaceful protest nor, even more so, Sinyakov’s journalistic coverage of the protest constitute a crime. We urge the authorities to release this photographer at once and to drop this investigation.”The Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise set off in late August for Russian Arctic waters to draw attention to the potential environmental consequences of oil exploration in the region. On 18 September, members of its crew tried to scale the Prirazlomnaya offshore drilling platform, which is owned by the Russian gas company Gazprom.The next day, Russian special forces seized control of the Arctic Sunrise and began towing it to Murmansk. On 24 September, all 30 people aboard were placed in police custody in the Murmansk area and the authorities announced that they were being investigated for “piracy,” which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.Sinyakov was one of the first to appear in court today. Noting that he “often travels abroad” and might try to elude the authorities, the court ruled that he should be held for two months pending the outcome of the investigation.Sinyakov told the court: “This ‘criminal activity’ is journalism and I will continue to practice it (…) Greenpeace is an organization with a 40-year history and is well known for its activities. But I don’t work for it. I am a journalist. You can see my photos in the media in Russia and all over the world. All my equipment has been seized. My only weapon is my camera.”Employed on a freelance basis by such news agencies as Reuters and AFP, Sinyakov also does occasional reporting assignments for Greenpeace and it was in this capacity that he was aboard the Arctic Sunrise. He took most of the photos of the Arctic Sunrise being boarded by Russian special forces that have appeared in the press.Reporters Without Borders supports the call issued by Russian journalists for a demonstration at 5 p.m. today outside Investigative Committee headquarters in Moscow to protest against Sinyakov’s detention.To go further: Sign Greenpeace petition to demand the release of all who were aboard the Arctic Sunrise.Main photo: Denis Sinyakov / Greenpeace Courtroom photo: Blogger51 RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown News Follow the news on Russia September 26, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two months detention for Russian photographer on Greenpeace vessel Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption Help by sharing this information News May 5, 2021 Find out more Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing May 21, 2021 Find out more News RussiaEurope – Central Asia News
8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mike Tanner Mike Tanner is director of card compliance for PolicyWorks. As such, Mike is responsible for advising on various compliance concerns related to card products offered by PolicyWorks clients. His diverse … Web: www.policyworksllc.com Details While the term may suggest otherwise, variable-rate loans have been far from variable for nearly a decade. Month after month, year after year, variable rates remained unchanged – until December 2015, that is.For the first time in eight years, the Federal Reserve made the decision to increase the Fed funding rate at the end of 2015. The increase resulted in an upped prime rate, an index commonly used to determine the rate on a range of variable-rate loans, from home equity lines to credit cards.I imagine alarms bells and sirens sounded at lenders across the nation when the Fed made their announcement back in December. Why wouldn’t they? With so much time between rate changes, the event likely triggered a great deal of questions from lending staff who had never dealt with the like.By now, lenders – both novice and tenured – have survived the first rate change. However, the recent hike is just the first of what is predicted to be several changes to the prime rate in the coming months and years.The past eight years of rate stability were far from normal. Historically, the prime rate has not been consistent. If you look at the 10 years prior to December 2008, you get a clear picture of the fluctuation. During that particular decade, the prime rate changed 46 times. In 2001 alone, it changed 11 times. Go back even farther in time, and the peaks and valleys of the prime rate graph look like the Rocky Mountains.With history as a reference, it’s clear rate changes will occur more frequently in the future. How can your credit union prepare? Four critical areas of focus should be reviewed immediately: Procedures, marketing materials, UDAAP concerns and training.First, review your procedures to ensure you have a good process for managing future rate changes. There are quite a few details that, if overlooked, could leave you out of compliance and generate exam findings.Second, review any and everything you put in front of a member to understand whether or not it includes a rate. This may include advertising, disclosures, web banners, websites, signs, pamphlets and/or billboards. Regulations do give some leeway to update rates after a change. However, they are short-lived and vary based on the item and how it is delivered.Another area of focus for your credit union involves Unfair, Deceptive or Abuse act or Practices (UDAAP). Is your cooperative changing rates in a timely and consistent manner? An example of a practice that could raise the eyebrows of regulators is rate increases implemented in shorter timeframes than rate decreases. Consistency is the key to ensuring you are treating members fairly.Training is another area of focus. Are all staff members who will be answering member questions about rate changes prepared to provide thorough and accurate answers? Well-trained staff increases the chance of provide clear and consistent information. A well-intentioned, but untrained employee can easily give inaccurate or confusing details that set the credit union up for trouble.These are just a few of the items that need to be considered in your variable rate process. When you are designing the plan for how your credit union will process these changes, be sure to include your trusted compliance professional.Rate changes are going to occur on a more consistent basis than we’ve become accustomed. A well-thought out plan on how to address the inevitable ups and downs around the bend will be a crucial step to ensuring they are traversed smoothly and correctly for all involved parties.
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