Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fall Tennis Clinics announced - The Informer Community News

Two Tennis RacquetsRegistration Begins Monday, July 15


The Athletics Division of the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department announces registration on July 15, 2013 for ten-week fall sessions of indoor and outdoor tennis clinics. Registration for all Franklin and Brentwood clinics starts at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 15 at the Indoor Sports Complex, 920 Heritage Way in Brentwood or by phone at (615) 370-3471, ext. 2010. To register for clinics at Longview Recreation Center, 2909 Commonwealth Dr. in Spring Hill, call (615) 302-0971, ext. 2210 after July 15.

Clinics start the week of August 12 and will be offered at these locations: the Indoor Sports Complex in Brentwood; Crockett Park, 1500 Volunteer Pkwy. in Brentwood; Ravenwood High School, 1724 Wilson Pike; Granny White Park, 610 Granny White Pike; Grassland Park, 6759 Manley Ln. in Franklin; the Franklin Recreation Complex, 1120 Hillsboro Rd.; and the Longview Recreation Center at Spring Hill. Adult and junior clinics (age 5 and older) in beginner through advanced skill levels are offered Monday(s) through Saturday(s).? Prices vary depending on the duration of clinic. A full class schedule and fees are available at

All fees must be paid in order to secure placement in a class. Space is limited!? Contact Mike Martin, ext. 2116 or Ann Marie Flynn, ext. 2113 at (615) 370-3471 for more information.



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Miesha Tate bares all in ESPN the Magazine (Photo)

UFC women's bantamweight contender Miesha Tate bared it all in ESPN the Magazine's annual body issue. She said in an interview with the magazine that she wanted to show that fighters are feminine.

I want to show that you can be a cage fighter and still be feminine. I hate the stereotype that women who fight are "butch" or "wannabe men." It's nice to be able to embrace being a beautiful, strong woman.

Tate isn't the first UFC fighter to pose in ESPN's annual issue that celebrates an athlete's form. Ronda Rousey, the UFC bantamweight champ and Tate's opponent in December, was on the cover of last year's body issue. Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was featured in it as well.

She told USA Today she doesn't have a problem embracing her beauty and sexuality.

"It's a fine line to walk, and I think that everyone has a different line to walk. My goal is to be respected first and foremost as an athlete. However, I don't see any problem with a woman embracing her beauty. Sexuality is fine. I'm proud of myself that I'm able to compete in a sport that's mainly driven by men and testosterone. It's not typically something you would picture a woman doing. So I think it's a really healthy balance to have, and it's something that I'm comfortable with and proud of."

In the UFC, there are 13 women in the bantamweight division. Sara McMann and Cat Zingano, who both already have wins, are mothers. Rosi Sexton is nicknamed "The Surgeon" because she has a Ph.D in theoretical computer science and is also an osteopath. This weekend at Invicta, an-female promotion, an even more diverse cast of women will fight. Along with Tate and before her, Rousey, they show the many ways to embrace femininity as a fighter.


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Intelligence agents may be prone to irrational decision making

[unable to retrieve full-text content]U.S. intelligence agents may be more prone to irrational inconsistencies in decision making compared to college students and post-college adults, according to a new study.


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Microsoft issues partners Windows XP phase-out marching orders

As Microsoft officials reminded the company's reseller partners on July 8, there are only 273 more days until the Redmondians drop all support for Windows XP.



Starting April 8, 2014, there will be no more patches or updates -- including security ones -- issued for Windows XP. This is despite the fact that Windows XP still had an estimated 37 percent share of all desktop operating systems as of June 2013.

Microsoft and its partners have a lot of work to do between now and then to try to get more businesses off Windows XP. During the first day of the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, officials reminded resellers and systems integrators of their marching orders around the 11-year-old operating system.

Microsoft's top Windows priorities for its fiscal year 2014 (which began on July 1, 2013) are to move all businesses off XP and to become the number one business tablet in the market, said Erwin visser, General Manager of Windows Commercial, during a breakout session at the show.

Microsoft and its partners would need to migrate 586,000 PCs per day over the next 273 days in order to get rid of all PCs running Windows XP, Visser said. Microsoft's actual goal is to get the XP base below 10 percent of the total Windows installed base by that time, he said.

Visser told partners that there's an estimated $32 billion service opportunity for them in moving users off XP, given that companies are spending an average of $200 per PC to move off XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Microsoft is making available new programs, offers, tools and partnerships to help encourage more users to abandon XP, Visser said. He noted that Microsoft will be spending $40 million in fiscal 2014 to continue its Windows Accelerate Program, which is its pre-sales program for moving more of its customers to a "modern environment." As part of Accelerate, Microsoft pays some of its reseller and integrator partners to create "proof of concept" Metro-Style apps to show customers what's possible if they move to Windows 8.

Microsoft also is extending its??program called "Get to Modern," which is aimed primarily at small/mid-size business (SMB) users. Visser said these kinds of users typically don't plan two to three years ahead for major migrations. As a result, many of these SMBs who still may be running Windows XP, will need partners to help them institute a quick-turnaround XP migration program.

HP and Microsoft also are working together on a new joint XP migration campaign. Details of that program -- which include specially priced HP ElitePads preloaded with Windows 8 for those agreeing to move off XP to Windows 8, are available on the site.

Microsoft officials also touted at the partner conference another new program known as TouchWins, which is a new channel incentive for featured Windows devices. Authorized distributors and resellers who sell PCs and tablets with Windows 8 Pro and touch will qualify for additional benefits, as outlined here.


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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Explosion rocks Hezbollah stronghold in Lebanon

(AP) ? A large explosion rocked a stronghold of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group south of the Lebanese capital Tuesday, setting several cars on fire and causing an unknown number of casualties, security officials said.

The powerful blast came as many among Lebanon Shiites began observing the holy month of Ramadan, and is the worst explosion to hit the area in years ? direct fallout of the civil war raging in neighboring Syria.

With skirmishes between Shiites and Sunnis on the rise around the country, religiously mixed and highly fragile Lebanon is increasingly buffeted by powerful forces that are dividing the Arab world along sectarian lines. Some Syrian rebel groups, which are predominantly Sunni, have threatened to strike in Lebanon after Hezbollah joined Syrian President Bashar Assad's troops in their battle against opposition fighters.

Tuesday's explosion struck the suburb of Beir el-Abed, but it was unclear whether it was caused by a car bomb, officials said. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the blast was near a gas station.

Ambulances and fire engines, their sirens wailing, raced to the area and witnesses said casualties were rushed to the nearby Bahman and Rasoul al-Atham hospitals. People were seen running in the street away from the site of the explosion which set several cars on fire.

The power of the blast shattered windows and damaged several buildings in the busy residential and commercial area.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said the blast was a car bomb inside a parking lot near an Islamic center. The station broadcast footage of a thick plume of smoke rising into the sky at the site of the blast as people rushed to take casualties to the hospital.

In May, two rockets slammed into a Hezbollah stronghold in south Beirut, wounding four people. The rockets struck hours after Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah vowed in a speech to help propel Assad to victory in Syria's civil war.

In June, a rocket slammed into the same area, causing no casualties.

Hezbollah has openly joined the fight in Syria, and the group's fighters were instrumental in a recent regime victory when government forces regained control of the strategic town of Qusair near the Lebanese border.

Lebanon's Sunni Muslims mostly back the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels in Syria, while many Shiites support Assad, who is a member of Syria's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Associated Press


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

World's Largest Debt Collection Operation Settles FTC Charges, Will Pay $3.2 Million Penalty

Washington, DC - The world?s largest debt collection operation, Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries, has agreed to stop harassing consumers with allegedly illegal debt collection calls and to pay a $3.2 million civil penalty ? the largest ever obtained by the Federal Trade Commission against a third-party debt collector.

In its complaint, the FTC charged that the companies violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the FTC Act by using tactics such as calling consumers multiple times per day, calling even after being asked to stop, calling early in the morning or late at night, calling consumers? workplaces despite knowing that the employers prohibited such calls, and leaving phone messages that disclosed the debtor?s name, and the existence of the debt, to third parties.? According to the FTC?s complaint, the companies also continued collection efforts without verifying the debt, even after consumers said they did not owe it.

Under the proposed order, whenever a consumer disputes the validity or the amount of the debt, the defendants must either close the account and end collection efforts, or suspend collection until they have conducted a reasonable investigation and verified that their information about the debt is accurate and complete. ?The proposed order also restricts situations in which the defendants can leave voicemails that disclose the alleged debtor?s name and the fact that he or she may owe a debt.?

Also under the proposed order, the defendants must: ?stop falsely representing that they will not call a number to collect a debt; not harass, oppress, or abuse a consumer while attempting to collect a debt; not communicate with third parties about a consumer?s debt; not communicate with a consumer at his or her workplace if it is clearly inconvenient or prohibited by the consumer?s employer; except in limited circumstances, cease communications if a consumer has requested no further contact or if a consumer refuses to pay a debt; and not violate any provision of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.? The defendants also are required to record at least 75 percent of all their debt collection calls beginning one year after the date of the order, and retain the recordings for 90 days after they are made.

With more than 32,000 employees and revenues in 2011 of more than $1.2 billion, the Texas-based Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries ? ALW Sourcing, LLC; NCO Financial Systems, Inc.; and Transworld Systems, Inc., which also does business as North Shore Agency, Inc. ? collectively are the largest debt collector in the world.? In addition to their U.S. offices, the companies operate in Canada, Barbados, India, the Philippines, and Panama.

For consumer information about dealing with debt collectors, see Debt Collection.

The Commission vote to authorize the staff to refer the complaint to the Department of Justice and to approve the proposed consent decree, was 4-0.? The DOJ filed the complaint and proposed consent decree on behalf of the Commission in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on July 8, 2013.? The proposed consent decree is subject to court approval.


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Insurance in areas of flood risk | Community Lincs

This consultation is seeking views on the government?s preferred approach to address the future availability and affordability of flood insurance.

The government?s preference is to work with the insurance industry to secure the affordability and availability of flood insurance. ?An initial agreement has been reached on a way forward which would enable people living in the most flood-prone areas to get affordable flood insurance. ?This would replace the current voluntary agreement (the Statement of Principles).

Government will also seek powers in reserve to regulate for affordable cover. ?Having a fallback means customers can have confidence in this issue being addressed one way or another.

The government is seeking powers in the Water Bill to implement these proposals.

The consultation closes on 8 August 2013. You can find out more about the consultation and how to respond by using the link below.

Consultation ? Insurance in areas of flood risk



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