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HK protests: Trump says it’s between HK and China while PM Lee condemns protestors

It was reported that a US senator on Fri (15 Nov) condemned Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for allegedly prioritizing his economic and political deals with Beijing at the expense of “human rights” in Hong Kong.

Rick Scott, a representative of the State of Florida, wrote in a tweet, “Singapore’s Prime Minister is so concerned with his deals with Communist China that he is shaming the brave people of #HongKong for fighting for their human rights.”

“This is shameful! The global community should stand together against human rights violator President Xi,” said Senator Scott, who is a known vocal critic of China.

The Senator’s comments came after PM Lee told about 500 global CEOs, tycoons, entrepreneurs and investors at the Forbes Global CEO Conference last month that the five demands put forth by the Hong Kong anti-government protestors serve to “humiliate” the city’s administration.

Responding to questions from Forbes Media editor-in-chief Steve Forbes regarding the Hong Kong crisis, PM Lee said, “I don’t see any easy way forward because the demonstrators, they say they have five major demands, and not one can be compromised … But those are not demands which are meant to be a programme to solve Hong Kong’s problems.”

“Those are demands which are intended to humiliate and bring down the government,” he said.

PM Lee’s comments on the current unrest in Hong Kong have also triggered displeasure among some of the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.

A DBS Bank branch in Hong Kong was recently vandalised with vulgarities aimed at PM Lee, his family and the People’s Action Party (PAP). Apparently, the graffiti was removed very quickly by the bank staff upon its discovery.

Festival Walk, a shopping mall in Hong Kong owned by Temasek-linked Mapletree, has also suffered “extensive damage” last week during a protest. Bloomberg reported that protestors had “smashed” glass panels at the mall’s entrance, and that they had also “damaged the office lobby and balustrades on various levels” of the centre.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has described the protests in Hong Kong as “riots” that China would have to deal with itself, suggesting the US would stay out of the biggest political crisis seen in Hong Kong in decades.

President Trump said this in Ohio in August during a campaign event when he was asked if he was concerned by media reports that Beijing might intervene in Hong Kong. He said the city had experienced “riots for a long period of time”.

“And I don’t know what China’s attitude is. Somebody said that at some point they’re going to want to stop that. But that’s between Hong Kong and that’s between China,” he said. “Hong Kong is a part of China, they’ll have to deal with that themselves.”

The post HK protests: Trump says it’s between HK and China while PM Lee condemns protestors appeared first on The Online Citizen.

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Bar Harbor Bank & Trust $100 Checking Bonus November 2019 (ME, NH, VT)

Bar Harbor $100 Find the most up-to-date Bar Harbor Bank & Trust promotions, bonuses and offers here.

Currently, they have a $100 bonus for a new checking account.

About Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Promotions

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust has been serving your banking needs since 1887. This bank is a true community bank offering a full-range of financial services for individuals, families, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Featuring 14 convenient branches along the coast of Maine, as well as 35 branches in New Hampshire and Vermont, visit a local branch to get started with their promotions. If you aren’t a resident in these areas, take a look at our list of bank bonuses found nationwide for more fitting offers.

  • Availability: ME, NH, VT (Bank Locator)
  • Routing Number: 011201759
  • Customer Service: 1 (888) 853-7100

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust can offer you fantastic resources to better your banking experience, however they do not provide the best Savings or CD rates. Take advantage of our full list of some of the best Bank Rates and CD Rates to get the best deal for you!

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Bar Harbor Bank & Trust $100 Checking Bonus

Get a $100 Bonus with this offer from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is offering a $100 bonus when you open a qualifying checking account and meet certain requirements.

  • Account Type: eChoice or Simple Checking Account
  • Credit Inquiry: Unknown
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Opening Deposit: $25
  • Credit Card Funding: Unknown
  • Direct Deposit Requirement: Yes
  • Monthly Fee: Varies by account, see below on how to avoid
  • Household Limit: 1
  • Closing Account Fee: None

(Offer expires December 31, 2019)

If you are interested in this promotion, be sure to act soon because it expires soon! Also feel free to take advantage of these other great deals offered by the following banks: HSBC Bank, Chase Bank, Huntington Bank, Discover Bank, TD BankBBVA Compass Bank or CIT Bank.

How To Earn $100 Checking Bonus

  • Request the coupon by filling out the form and click on ‘Email Me My Coupon’.
  • Open up a new Checking account with Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
  • Have a $250 direct deposit into the account.
  • Once all of the requirements are met, you will earn a $100 Bonus!
  • No monthly service fee, whatever your balance
  • Mobile banking with mobile check deposit
  • Free Bar Harbor online banking and bill pay
  • Paper statements, eStatements available
  • Free Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Debit Mastercard
  • E-Choice Checking: $6, can be waived with eStatements
  • Simple Checking: There are no monthly service fees
  • Offer cannot be transferred.
  • Only one offer per household.
  • Open a new E-Choice Checking or Simple Checking account ($25 minimum opening deposit for either account)
  • Have at least one direct deposit of $250 or more deposited into account to receive the bonus
  • The bonus is considered interest and will be reported to the IRS on form 1099-INT.
  • Member FDIC.

Hat Tip to Lindsay

Bottom Line

If you are interested, be sure you check out Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. I would check with CSR to find out if this offer triggers a hard or soft pull before signing up. In my opinion, $100 isn’t too convincing. There are definitely better offers out there so check them out here on HustlerMoneyBlog!

Feel free to comment below! We value your feedback and we will continue to keep you guys updated on all the deals nationwide.

*Check back at this page for updated Bar Harbor Bank & Trust promotions, bonuses and offers.

Other Bank Bonuses You May Like
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Chase Bank Bonuses. Read about several offers for their Checking, Savings and Business accounts. Chase usually offers the most sign-up bonuses of all the big banks.
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The post Bar Harbor Bank & Trust $100 Checking Bonus November 2019 (ME, NH, VT) appeared first on Hustler Money Blog.

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TFSA Investors: This Real Estate Value Stock Is Extremely Cheap

Business people standing near houses models

Mainstreet Equity (TSX:MEQ) is a Canadian real estate company based in Calgary, Alberta. The company is focused on the acquiring, re-developing, re-positioning, and managing mid-market rental apartment buildings in five major Canadian cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Regina.

The company is extremely cheap and has a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.62, price-to-book ratio of 0.80, and market capitalization of $616 million. Low-cost debt is aggressively used at Mainstreet Equity, as evidenced by a debt-to-equity ratio of just 1.4. The company has excellent performance metrics with an operating margin of 52.10% and a return on equity of 8.47%.

Mainstreet’s goal is to become Canada’s top provider of affordable mid-sized, mid-market rental accommodations, which typically includes properties with fewer than 100 units. In pursuit of this vision, the company pursues six steps to build long-term shareholder value: acquisitions, capital improvements, operational efficiencies, value enhancement, financing, and divestitures.

The value creation process includes acquisition deals — identifying and purchasing underperforming rental units at prices well below replacement costs; capital improvements deals — increasing the asset value of Mainstreet’s portfolio by renovating acquired properties; and operational efficiencies — minimizing operating costs through professional management, efficient technology, and energy-saving equipment.

The next stage of the value-creation process includes value enhancement — re-positioning renovated properties in the market as Mainstreet-branded products for higher rents and building and sustaining customer loyalty through high levels of service; financing deals — maintaining a sound capital structure with access to low-cost, long-term Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) insured mortgage loans; and divestitures — occasionally selling mature real estate properties to redirect capital into newer, higher-potential properties.

The company has reported excellent results over the last two years. In 2018, Mainstreet stabilized 705 units, a company all-time high, and also raised $76 million in 10-year, long-term CMHC insured mortgages at an average interest rate of 3%. The company took advantage of low interest rates and locked in 91% of the mortgages portfolio, as CMHC-insured mortgages at an average interest rate of a record low 3.01% with an average maturity period of six years, which significantly reduced exposure to interest rate risk.

The company achieved 100% organic, non-dilutive growth by acquiring 1,717 units for over $200 million and significantly improved occupancy rate to 93.6% at the end of 2018, up from 89.3% a year earlier. Mainstreet also has been making cost-effective investments in new technology, including a five-year, $2-$3 million investment in a leading software technology firm, Yardi System Inc., which will automate company systems and improve operational efficiencies.

Mainstreet has engaged in huge share buybacks when Bob Dhillion, the company’s CEO and Indian-born immigrant, believed that shares were trading below the net asset value. The company plans to continue to buy back common shares on an opportunistic basis.

With the ongoing stress in Alberta’s economy, Mainstreet has huge potential to build long-term shareholder value by opportunistically buying apartment buildings. The stock has compounded in excess of 17% per year over the last 20 years under the leadership of Bob Dhillon, who owns 40% of the company.

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Fool contributor Nikhil Kumar owns shares of MAINSTREET EQ J.

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TFSA Users: 1 Artificial Intelligence ETF to Own for Decades

Wireless technology

We sit less than two months away from the new year. This will also usher in a new decade. Investors should have already started to think about what sectors are positioned for big growth in the 2020s. Back in August, I’d discussed some of the sectors I’m excited for, including biopharmaceuticals and sports and nutrition supplements.

Today, we are going to focus on the artificial intelligence (AI) market. The application of AI has drawn interest across a broad variety of sectors. In fact, investors would be hard pressed to find an emerging industry that is not dipping its toe into some of the exciting technologies that encompass AI. Last week, I’d focused on one super stock that had shown a commitment to investing in AI technology. In this article, I’m going to switch gears and zero in on an ETF.

Growth of AI in the future

It is worth reflecting on why investment in AI is a smart move today. A November report from Kenneth Research, a New York-based market research and consulting firm, had some promising projections for AI in the manufacturing sector. The report forecasts that the global AI in the manufacturing market would reach $14.77 billion by 2024 compared to a value of $1.59 billion in 2018. This represents a CAGR of 47% over this time span.

Allied Market Research recently projected that the global AI market is expected to reach $169 billion in 2025. It estimated that it sat at roughly $4 billion in 2016. This would represent a CAGR of 55% from 2018 to 2025.

Look to this ETF for broad exposure to AI

Horizons Robotics and Automation ETF (TSX:RBOT) launched on November 28, 2017, so it is just approaching its two-year anniversary since its inception. It seeks to replicate the performance of the Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index. That index aims for exposure to companies that are involved in the development of robotics and/or AI.

Investors in this ETF will be getting heavy exposure to the industrial and information technology sectors. Together they make up over 80% weighting in the fund. The top two countries by exposure in the fund are Japan and the United States, which sit at 49% and 30%, respectively.

Some of the top holdings in the ETF include Nvidia, a Santa Clara-based company that designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets. It also designs system on a chip units for the mobile computing and automotive market. Keyence is the second-largest holding. This company is based in Osaka, Japan, and develops and manufactures automation sensors, vision systems, barcode readers, and other tech.

Shares of Horizons Robotics and Automation ETF have climbed 25.4% in 2019 as of close on November 13. This comes after a 26% drop in 2018. Investors will be paying a premium right now, as the ETF last had an RSI of 66, putting it just outside technically overbought territory. However, I love this ETF as a long-term hold. TFSA investors with a distant time horizon should look to make this a target right now.

This tiny TSX stock could be the next Shopify

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Fool contributor Ambrose O’Callaghan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends NVIDIA.

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Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai claims accountability for lapses in fire safety, two JCTC staff to be disciplined for locking hose reel cabinets

Following the issuance of two Fire Hazard Abatement Notices by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to the Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JCTC) last Fri, Bukit Batok SMC Member of Parliament (MP) Murali Pillai has claimed accountability for lapses in fire safety at the affected block.

In a Facebook post on Fri (15 Nov), Mr Murali said that he had learnt about the issues surrounding the access and deployment of firehose on the 13th floor while walking with the SCDF officers, and was “naturally concerned about both matters”.

He said he had “immediately” urged the SCDF officers to investigate these issues, and stressed that SCDF “took notice of the matter on the day of the fire incident itself” without “later owing to anyone else drawing attention to this matter”.

Mr Murali confirmed that JKeart Pte Ltd, the contractor responsible for maintaining the hose reels, had claimed that water supply was available to the hose reel in question at the time of the fire.

“They provided to Town Council a video of the hose reel in question in working condition on the same day of the fire incident. This led to Town Council meeting SCDF officers earlier this week to provide what JKeart showed.

“After consulting SCDF, Town Council issued a statement accepting SCDF’s position on the matter. It is now investigating JKeart’s assertions,” Mr Murali elaborated.

Touching on the issue of the padlocked hose reel compartments, Mr Murali said that two JCTC officers were identified as responsible for instructing the padlocking of the fire hose compartments “by using small padlocks that can be dislodged using force”.

“As mentioned in Town Council’s statement issued yesterday, these officers decided to do so to prevent misuse of the firehoses. This was a mistake on their part. They have admitted to their mistakes. The Town Council management will pursue disciplinary action against them,” he stressed.

“I am clear in my mind that, as your elected representative, I am accountable to you for both issues. These incidents should not have happened and, for that, I must apologise,” said Mr Murali.

The MP assured that he will be working with his elected and appointed Town Councillors on a review of the present case, in addition to ensuring that the fire safety system is strengthened to ensure its reliability.

“I expect the Town Council to make a separate statement on the steps taken separately,” he said.

Mr Murali also stressed that while he “did not make any reference” to the issue in his previous Facebook post, he insisted that he was actually at the fire scene on the same day itself “just before 8 am”, and had mostly focused on assisting the residents who were affected by the fire.

“By that time, the 3 fire victims from the 13th floor unit at Blk 210A, Mdm Goh, her son and husband were transported by ambulance to hospital. My focus fell on residents affected by the fire and see how we can help them. I also met and thanked several residents who helped with the evacuation during the firefight.

“I then channelled our energies to help the affected families staying on the 14th and the 15th floors of the block. They were not able to use their toilets, draw water, etc because the service pipes were damaged by the fire on the 13th floor. Through the coordination of our community volunteers, HDB & Town Council, we managed to restore services in record time. We distributed emergency relief packages for affected families,” he said.

Padlocked hose reel compartment issue “a prime example” of how opposition parties should “put pressure on those in positions of authority” to be accountable to the people: SDP chief Chee Soon Juan

Responding to Mr Murali’s statement today via a Facebook post of his own, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan said that the issue is “a prime example of how the opposition should work: to put pressure on those in positions of authority to account to the people”.

While he commended Mr Murali’s effort to be accountable for the issue at hand, Dr Chee suggested that it was his SDP team that had laid the groundwork in the process of investigating the root of the lapse in the relevant fire safety equipment.

“Taking the time and effort to do our homework (in this instance, talking to the BB residents, inspecting the fire equipment, and gathering feedback) allowed us to establish facts that the JCTC could not ignore or deny.

“Then came the probing and persistent questioning of the PAP MP and town council officials which resulted in the initial piecemeal release of information by JCTC but, finally, a full accounting by Mr Murali,” he said.

“This is the work of a responsible and effective opposition. Ultimately, it is the people who benefit,” he said, adding that it was crucial to hold Mr Murali’s “feet to the fire because of the gravity of the situation” without allowing the issue to “degenerate into a personal attack”.

“That’s how politics should be conducted, without fear but always in a professional and principled manner devoid of character assassination and personal ruin. That’s how the SDP will conduct itself in Parliament,” said Dr Chee.

SDP chief alleges that JCTC did not reveal inspection on the morning after the fire, questions why “a misleading report” was made

Dr Chee, in a Facebook post on Tue (12 Nov), pointed out that JCTC did not reveal that “an inspection was made on the morning right after the fire and hosereel was certified to be working”.

Stating that JCTC’s claim contradicted SCDF’s report, Dr Chee questioned the town council as to why “such a misleading report” was made.

“The JCTC has responded to the fire incident at BB Blk 210A saying that the hose reels at the block “last underwent maintenance and testing by the appointed contractor on Oct 14, and certified to be in working condition.”

“But it accepted the SCDF’s finding that the hosereel in question was not working during the fire.

“Time of the report: 9:30 am. (The fire occurred at about 4:30 am that day.) Action taken: “Check and found Hosereel pump system normal working condition.” This contradicts SCDF’s report.

“Can JCTC confirm this Job Sheet and, if this is true, why was such a misleading report made? In the interest of full transparency, why did it not reveal this fact?” said Dr Chee.

SCDF earlier issued warning to JCTC for non-compliance

Earlier on 5 Nov, SCDF responded to Dr Chee’s feedback regarding the non-functioning hose reel, stating that its officers “have done a follow up” with the Jurong Town Council, under which the Bukit Batok is managed.

“Town Councils are responsible for the maintenance of their estate’s fire safety measures and ensuring that they are functioning and well-maintained.

“SCDF officers will be inspecting the premises to ensure the Town Council’s compliance with the fire safety requirement. Enforcement action will be taken in the event of non-compliance,” said SCDF.

Dr Chee, who had earlier visited the unit on 3 Nov following the fire incident, pointed out that he was informed that the Fire Hose Reel on the floor was not functioning at the time the fire broke out – despite having been certified for inspection last month – due to an absence of water.

JCTC was subsequently issued a warning by SCDF after it was found that firefighters who were attending to a fire at Bukit Batok discovered that there was no water supply from the fire hose reels at the block.

According to a statement issued to the media, several of the hose reel cabinets had been padlocked. Even after firefighters broke one of the padlocks, they were still unable to use the fire hose reel because there was no water supply, said SCDF.

Following the fire incident, SCDF notified JCTC about the padlocked cabinets and the malfunctioning fire hose reels, and subsequently performed an inspection with town council representatives.

JCTC was then issued Fire Hazard Abatement Notices, which serve as warnings to rectify the non-compliance. In this instance, it would mean ensuring that the hose reels are functioning and are not locked, said SCDF.

Should non-compliances of the same nature be detected during a re-inspection by SCDF, the Town Council could be liable for a composition fine or even prosecution, warned SCDF.

“SCDF has since verified through onsite inspections that the fire hose reels at the block are now accessible and in working order,” added the Force.

Three rescued from fire at Bukit Batok flat via aerial ladder; cause of fire under investigation

Firefighters from Bukit Batok Fire Station and Jurong Fire Station responded to an alert regarding the fire at around 4.31 a.m, and that a Combined Platform Ladder 60m (CPL60) was deployed to conduct an aerial rescue, SCDF said last Fri.

“A man in his 60’s and another man in his 30’s were found standing on the ledge outside the kitchen’s window. A vast accumulation of items in the kitchen limited the working space for the firefighters. This, coupled with the two men being highly exhausted, prevented the firefighters from pulling them safely into the unit.

“From within the unit, firefighters used ropes to secure the two men. Thereafter, rescuers from SCDF’s elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) rapelled from the unit above and brought the two men into the CPL60’s rescue cage. The men were brought down to the ground floor and were attended to by SCDF paramedics,” said SCDF.

The men were brought down to the ground floor and were attended to by SCDF paramedics.

Dr Chee called the SCDF rescue via aerial ladder a “dangerous mission” that was “executed expertly”.

The three casualties were conveyed to Singapore General Hospital for burn injuries and smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The post Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai claims accountability for lapses in fire safety, two JCTC staff to be disciplined for locking hose reel cabinets appeared first on The Online Citizen.

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