Saturday, June 30, 2012

Motion Graphic Designer Internship - First Class Alliance - Miami FL

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When you should not use loans to pay off debts? - Market Finance ...

Personal loans and off debts are important terms in the banking system. Here you get to know about personal loans and off debts. The terms named as personal loan and off debts. In a sc?ne both are same. The parties who are taking the loan or the benefit are the defaulter. But if he/she is confident and loyal and honest in his life he will not lose himself/herself.

Personal loans and paying off debts:
Personal loan can be described as the amount that is lent or borrowed by some financial institutions or bank. The term personal loan includes many more things, and it includes some variations, purposes of the loan may be different.

Debts are something unusual to someone or the person may have not in the scene of that account.

Usually debt means one person may have been accountable or liable to someone or any company. The person may take something from the company or someone. The debt is a liability, more than a burden. In business word the person who is taking the benefit is called debtor, and who is providing the support is called the creditor.

When not to use personal loans to pay off debts:
the following are the situations when you should not take loans.

For complex loan procedure:
From our practical experience we have experienced that the online payday loans process is much more complex than that of the debt. So it is easier for a person to give debt by other ways than that of taking the loan.

When there is a chance of loss:
For Various reasons people may need some amount of money to fulfill ones desire or wish. But to fulfill ones wish there is no need of lending money or taking loan. People take personal loans for the benefit not for the loss, paying off debts by personal loan is one kind of loss.

When you have the responsibility of paying another personal loan:
Personal loan is a gift through which ones life may full in peace & love. People usually take personal loan for better building & better future. It is one kind of foundation for the upcoming future events. If they are drowned in personal loans for leisure or vacation, then they should avoid taking personal loans for paying off debts.

Avoiding high interest:
There are nine ways to pay off debts. Always take the lowest rate of interest to pay back the loan or debts while personal loans offer higher interest rate.

For paying bills:
Debt can be the tax, house rent, electricity bill etc, so you must pay the debt as soon as possible. Credit card bills can be also a debt to be paid. For this bill payment, never try to adopt personal loans.

When you have savings:
If you have some savings of your own, then it can be useful to pay off debts. Also you can sell some of your wealth to pay off debts. So instead of taking loans for bad credit you use these resources. Taking personal loans will be the last option for you.


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Russia and West tussle at Syria peace talks

GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia and Western powers locked horns over a peace plan for Syria on Saturday as U.N. mediator Kofi Annan warned the conflict could spread across the Middle East and beyond.

Foreign ministers and international diplomats were meeting in Geneva with governments still in dispute over whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, condemned in the West but still backed by Russia, could have any role in a political transition.

"The Russians have set out a series of objections with the current draft. The Russians are stonewalling quite a bit," a Western diplomat told Reuters as the talks paused for lunch.

"A redraft of the text is looking likely," she said, referring to Annan's draft proposal.

Annan, the former U.N. chief and the special international envoy on Syria, is hoping for consensus on a plan for a unity government that would exclude controversial figures from leadership - effectively meaning Assad would step down.

"We are here to agree on guidelines and principles for a Syrian-led political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," he said in opening remarks.

"No one should be in any doubt as to the extreme dangers posed by the conflict - to Syrians, to the region, and to the world."

His appeal gave a note of urgency to the need for world powers to move closer in their positions as the 16-month-old conflict in Syria deepens. His plan for a negotiated solution is the only one on the table.

Moscow objects to any solution imposed on Syria from outside. The United States and its European and Arab allies see no way ahead while power remains in Assad's hands.

As the diplomats gathered at the U.N. complex by the shores of Lake Geneva, the Syrian army rained mortar fire on pro-opposition areas in Deir al-Zor, Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus, opposition activists said.

Government troops were fighting rebels of the Free Syria Army in several places. Syria's border with Turkey was also tense following a Turkish military build-up in response to Syria's shooting down of a Turkish warplane last week.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the anti-Assad uprising broke out and the past few weeks have been among the bloodiest.


Annan said the crisis should never have reached this point.

"Either unite to secure your common interests or divide and surely fail in your own individual way. Without your unity, your common resolve and your action now ... nobody can win and everyone will lose in some way," he said.

The mood of pessimism was reinforced by a senior U.S. official who said the talks might not reach a deal on Saturday.

"Discussions remain challenging," the official said.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Assad and his close associates could not lead any transition. Accountability for war crimes must be part of such a process, he added in his speech to the meeting.

Hague called for the U.N. Security Council to start drafting a resolution next week setting out sanctions against Syria, a move that he noted put him at odds with Russia.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told the talks the solution lay with the Syrian people, not outsiders, but that Beijing fully supported Annan's mediation.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said as she headed for lunch that she was hopeful a good solution would be reached.

The foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Russia, the United States, China, France and Britain - were all attending the talks along with Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and the EU's Ashton.

Also present was Norwegian Major General Robert Mood, who headed a failed U.N. ceasefire monitoring mission to Syria and was witness to some of the violence.

Iran, Syria's closest regional ally, and Saudi Arabia, a foe of both Damascus and Tehran and leading backer of the rebel forces opposing Assad, are not represented. Nor is anyone from the Syrian government or opposition.

According to a draft document from Annan, seen by Reuters, the envoy envisages the setting up a transitional government of national unity which can establish a neutral environment for political change. It would have full executive powers.

"It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups, but would exclude from government those whose continued presence and participation would undermine the credibility of the transition and jeopardize stability and reconciliation," it said.

That proposal is the stumbling block as it effectively means Assad cannot be involved, which Moscow and Beijing views as imposing a solution. The Syrian opposition also demands that he be barred from any role.

United Nations chief Ban, opening the closed-door meeting, underlined the need to reach an agreement "today".


The Syrian conflict has evolved from peaceful protests against the Assad family's four-decade rule to something akin to a civil war with a sectarian dimension.

The world has condemned the ferocity of Assad's forces' crackdown - including military assaults on pro-opposition areas and mass arrests - but has been unable to halt violence which threatens to draw in the region's religious and political rivalries and alliances.

On Sunday, activists reported shelling in Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus. At least 16 people had been killed, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syrian forces reentered Douma, near Damascus, after weeks of siege and shelling. Bodies lay in the street and soldiers were carrying out searches in hospitals, activists said. Electricity and water were cut off.

Abo Abdullah, 50, said he and his five children left Douma on Sunday morning fearing attacks by government forces as they swept through the town in search of dissidents.

"I saw at least three bodies on a street corner, some houses were destroyed, others were on fire. Only a few people remained inside the city. Those who can, leave," he said.

"I saw a body on the side of the street and dogs were gathering around it, it was really horrible."

State news agency SANA said security forces were raiding hideouts in Douma of "armed terrorist groups" and had killed, wounded or arrested scores.

Although the government routinely refers to its enemies as foreign-controlled terrorists, Assad himself conceded this week that the country was now in a state of war.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Quinn, Tom Miles and Emma Farge in Geneva and Oliver Holmes and Mariam Karouny in Beirut; Writing by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Andrew Roche)


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Video: Matthews: Chief Justice Roberts acted with ?high morality? today

Psst: asparagus pee. Are you in the club?

After eating asparagus, about one in five people detects a distinct scent in their urine that, depending on the person, carries a pungent bouquet that?s been compared to a vegetable garden, sulfur, cabbage soup -- or simply cooked asparagus.


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Cheap Server: Cheap Web Hosting Can be Reliable - Internet

Just saying the sentence 'Cheap web hosting can be reliable,' makes you sort of feel some doubt doesn't it? But it is absolutely true. These days you no longer have to pay an arm and a leg for reliable web hosting service. There are many different web hosting companies to choose from and many of them are as cheap as $10 per month or less and the best part is they are just as reliable as the big boys.

Still there are things that you want to be sure that the web hosting company you are considering can offer you before you make up your mind. Of course the most important for reliability include:

* Uptime: This is of course the opposite of downtime. When your site is down, so is your online business. The good news is that many cheap web hosting companies now boast incredible uptimes. When you are looking at your potential web host look for uptime of 99.5% or higher. Don't laugh, you will find many that have up to 99.9% uptime, which means if a problem happens, you'll probably miss it.

* Disk space: It used to be that cheap web hosting meant that you had to put up with a small amount of disk space. What that boils down to is you having nowhere to go when your site begins to expand. This problem was compounded by a bunch of unreliable companies saying that they could handle any load when the fact was they couldn't. Nowadays there are many of the cheap web hosting companies that offer unlimited disk space. These web hosting companies will be a reliable source to turn to and will be able to grow with your website every step of the way.

* Transfer speed: In the web hosting days of old, cheap web hosting meant a very slow and unreliable rate of transfer for your website. That meant slow loading pages and visitors clicking off before they ever even saw a thing. Now it is not unusual to find a web host that is not only cheap enough for your budget and is still reliable, but they will also offer you transfer speeds that will knock your socks off.

* Customer support: This is the ultimate in reliability. A web hosting service that offers shoddy customer support is just not reliable. Here's what you look for; customer service via phone support 24/7, no exceptions. Don't accept anything less because there are many cheap web hosting companies now that do indeed offer 24/7 phone support. Many even go a step further and offer 24/7 online live chat support. This is crucial so that you can tackle a problem head on should one ever occur.

While you may still be skeptical that you can find all of the above in a cheap web hosting service you can see for yourself. Simply do a search for cheap web hosting and take some time to look at the different companies that now offer not just cheap web hosting, but reliable web hosting as well.

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6/29/2012 // // //


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Osha Training Is A crucial A part of Business. | A SHEREEN ...

500 Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Apache Server at Port 80


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Friday, June 29, 2012

Destination Weddings perfect Ashworth College and future wedding

Peachtree Corners, GA (PRWEB) June 5, 2012

Planning a wedding on a budget requires patience, creativity, and sometimes even professionally. For couples who want to combine the ceremony and honeymoon in a cost-effective compromise. And consultant with experience in bridal and wedding, one coming? In an exciting business opportunity.

wedding consultant business, online leader in the school Ashworth College ( is excellent news. With the help of their wedding plans for new certificates to your list of online training, the ability to become a specialist for a destination wedding can be as little as six months away.

The curriculum is designed to provide a wedding with a new in-depth instruction in the basics of a wedding consultant and accredited through a new partnership with the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), it is now possible to graduate to become a certified Sandals Resorts Destination Wedding Specialist.

destination weddings now account for more than $ 16 billion in annual spending and represents the fastest growing sector in the marriage market, said David Wood, president of the Association of Bridal Consultants. Couples wanting a unique and memorable event, and destination weddings offer just that, a wedding had already traveled the length and width can be as easy to export event in exotic locations. ?

20% of today?s event as a wedding destination, the need is greater than ever for professionals who know how to build, he added. It is expected that graduates of Ashworth VP online certification program to become members of ABC are excited to help them build and develop their honeymoon and destination wedding planning careers.

Certificate Program Wedding Planner

Students enrolled in Ashworth

wedding planning programs receive the same instruction is accredited as a popular program Professional Wedding Consulting. Of the 13 hours, participants will learn:

? Basics of a wedding consulting company with success: growing your professional image, build resources, working with clients, setting appropriate tariffs.
? Etiquette, traditions and customs.
? Choosing the right place for different kinds of rituals, how to customize the ceremony to each couple, you should know about how different religions celebrate the marriage.
? Budget.
? Dress the part: How to buy and find the perfect wedding dress, wedding accessories, choose appropriate clothing for the wedding, dress appropriately for the wedding party.
? Parties: how and why the engagement party, bridal shower, wedding, bridesmaids these breakfasts, bachelor party, rehearsal dinner and reception.
? Planning menus, ordering a wedding cake, musicians, rental, and the choice of a qualified florist and photographer.
? Honeymoon.
? Combat wedding stress.
? Implementation and marketing your business.

Furthermore, the ABC partnership, not only to professional wedding Ashworth access to newsletters and industry publications, continuing education, job placement services, advertising, customer reference network, industry research and business services. who have the ability to get new credentials along with ABC Sandals Resorts

certificate can be an important investment in the career of young, said Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, Vice President of Education for Ashworth College. With one in three couples hiring VP for coordinating the most important day of your life, communicates the certification mark of excellence and demonstrated knowledge and skills that planners have not.


Ashworth is an online school, students can start the program at any time, self-paced study and online exams, said Dr. Gargiulo. In fact, it can become a wedding planner Ashworth College Certificate in just six months.

The Association of Bridal Consultants

Association of Bridal Consultants

(ABC) has over 4,000 members throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Association strives to provide its members a wealth of resources and professional educational programs, and promote the entire industry. ABC has a corporate partnership with Sandals Resorts and node, a wish for a wedding, and NH Hotels.

About Ashworth College

Celebrating 25 years of education and awareness to change lives, the leading online schools, Ashworth College has built a tradition of excellence by offering students worldwide a broad range of university degrees online, online certificate programs, professional training schools and online degree options that are affordable and fit the busy schedules of employed adults. Ashworth offers military education and specialized programs for corporate partners and homeschoolers.

based in Peachtree Corners, GA, Ashworth is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council DETC). DETC Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Ashworth is the father of James Madison High School, which is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and school improvement (almost SACS) accreditation of the advanced division, and provided, further, vocational and professional training programs in health, business, technology, education and jobs through the school nurse PCDI Canada, New York Institute of Photography and the Sheffield School.

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Local Red Cross workers headed to Florida

Tropical Storm Debby is expected to continue its downpour in Florida. Experts think that some areas of Florida could see as much as 25 inches of rain over the next few days. This onslaught has prompted the Red Cross to ask for assistance from many branches including the?Finger Lakes.

Shaun Hakiel and Bernadette Bowie from the Finger Lakes Red Cross branch will be sent to help with clean up and to provide shelter for many of the displaced Floridans.

Both Hakiel and Bowie are from the Rochester area: Hakiel is from Webster, and Bowie is from Henrietta.

The Red Cross is?already providing assistance in Florida, and they had?eight shelter open?last night.

The Red Cross says that people can help by donating to its Disaster Relief. To help visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013 or to your local chapter.


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Life Before Baby and Moving Before Baby Arrives | Being Pregnant

292530 428018163875520 1890757746 n 300x300 Saying Farewell to a Home Our Child Will Never Know

The decision to move came somewhat out of left field for us. We knew it was something we should do before the baby arrived. And since we?re not even pregnant yet, we would have likely been fine in our current apartment for quite some time. But, alas, we?re moving in two days.

As I pack what?s collectively become Sara?s and mine over the past two years, as I take down the pictures from the walls, and as I walk around an apartment that?s slowly looking less and less like home, it?s strange to think that our child will never know the home in which she or he first became a twinkle star.

This is the first place Sara and I lived together. Our first home together. It?s where we became moms to the four-legged kind when we rescued our sweet Darla. It?s where we celebrated our first Christmas. Had our first marital fight. Ordered Thai food every Monday night. It?s where we first learned who sucks at washing dishes and who has a terrible habit of not brushing her teeth before bed. This is where we lived when her parents agreed to meet me after two years and ten days of loving their daughter. This is where we lived when I asked Sara to marry me. This is where we lived when we decided to have a baby.

As I look at the becoming-bare walls, I try to remember them as they were ? remembering the first days after we moved in. Sitting in the window seat, looking out on the street, waiting for Sara to come home from work. I remember when the city had to replace a pipeline; they needed to undo the cobblestone street stone by stone. The pile of cobblestones sat on the sidewalk for days while they repaired the pipeline. One evening, while walking our dog, I told Sara how much I?d love one of those cobblestones as a keepsake of our first home together. She laughed at me.

?Babe, it?s just a brick,? she said.

I always have been the sentimental type.

I box up our dishes. Pots. Pans. Boxes of tampons (Yes, we have boxes. Two women in the house, what can I say). I toss clothes I haven?t worn since I met Sara. And I hire a moving company. I?ve moved an outrageous amount of times in my 34 years of life, some by choice, others having been decided for me through breakups ? yes, I?ve been dumped; can you imagine? ? but all moves have always accompanied a constant struggle of becoming who I am.

Except for this move. There is no struggle.

But there is an entirely new feeling that I can?t quite pinpoint. It?s not exactly sadness. Perhaps reflection of the future. Can you do that? Can you reflect from the future? I don?t know, but that?s what it feels like. I think of so many of ?our first? memories in this home while I pack, and it?s a strange ? I do not know what other word to use to describe it ? feeling. To know that these are times and here are memories that our child will never know. Sure, we can share the stories. But this is life without our baby. So much is about to change. And while I so much so look forward to the future with the family we are about to create, I don?t ever want to forget these moments.

I am glad we?re moving before the baby, before the pregnancy even. I?m glad I have all of myself to focus on this time, and don?t have the added stress and emotions of doing any of this while I?m pregnant. I?m glad I can recall everything this home has meant to us over the years, and put each memory in its proper box.

But mostly, I?m glad Sara surprised me one day with a stolen cobblestone from the first street on which we ever called home.


Read more of Aela?s writing at Two Moms Make A Right

And don?t miss a post!
Follow Aela?s Baby-blog Board on Pinterest

Follow Two Moms Make a Right on Twitter and Facebook

More of Aela on Babble!
How We Decided Who Would Carry
Poem for Baby-to-Be
But You Don?t Look Gay, and Other Absurd Things I?ve Been Told

 Saying Farewell to a Home Our Child Will Never Know


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Timeline: Violence in Syria

(Reuters) - Here are the main events in the uprising in Syria since it began:

March 15, 2011 - About 40 people join a protest in Old Damascus, chanting political slogans in a brief first challenge to the ruling Baath Party before dispersing into side streets.

March 18 - Security forces kill three protesters in southern Deraa, residents say. The demonstrators were demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption.

March 22 - Hundreds of people march in Deraa and Nawa demanding freedom in the fifth straight day of demonstrations.

March 24 - President Bashar al-Assad orders the formation of a committee to study scrapping the emergency law in place in Syria for the last 48 years. The emergency law is lifted on April 19.

March 25 - At least 200 people march in Damascus and there are reports of at least 23 dead around the country including, for the first time, in Damascus.

July 31 - Syrian tanks storm Hama, residents say, after a month-long siege. At least 80 people are killed.

September 15 - Syrian opposition activists announce a Syrian National Council to provide an alternative to government.

November 12 - The Arab League suspends Syria.

December 7 - Assad denies ordering troops to kill peaceful demonstrators, telling U.S. television channel ABC only a "crazy" leader kills his own people.

December 19 - Syria signs Arab League peace plan and agrees to let observers into the country to monitor the deal.

December 23 - Twin suicide bombs target two security buildings in Damascus, killing 44 people. Syria blames al Qaeda while the opposition blames the government.

February 4, 2012 - Russia and China veto a resolution in U.N. Security Council, backed by Arab League, calling for Assad to step down. The General Assembly approves a resolution on February 16 endorsing the Arab League plan calling for Assad to step aside.

February 22 - More than 80 people are killed in Homs including two foreign journalists. Hundreds of people have now been killed in daily bombardments of the city by Assad's besieging forces.

February 23 - Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is appointed U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria.

February 24 - Foreign ministers from more than 50 countries meet in Tunis for the inaugural "Friends of Syria" meeting. Russia and China, allies of Syria, do not attend.

February 28 - Assad decrees that a new constitution is in force after officials say nearly 90 percent of voters endorsed it in a February 26 referendum. Opponents and the West dismiss it as a sham.

March 1 - Syrian rebels pull out of the besieged Baba Amr district of Homs after more than three weeks of bombardment.

March 11 - Annan ends talks with Assad and leaves Syria with little sign of progress.

March 27 - Syria accepts the U.N.-sponsored peace plan.

April 12 - U.N.-backed ceasefire comes into effect. Four days later monitors start to monitor the ceasefire in Syria.

May 7 - Syria says voters turned out in large numbers for a parliamentary election. The Opposition denounces it as a sham.

May 10 - Annan condemns attacks in Damascus in which two bomb explosions kill 55 people and wound 372. A week later U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he believes al Qaeda was responsible. He also says 10,000 people have now been killed.

May 25 - At least 108 people are killed, including many children, in attacks in the region of Houla. Two days later the Security Council unanimously condemns the killings.

June 1 - Annan says he is "frustrated and impatient" over the continuing killings and wants faster progress.

June 3 - In a rare address to parliament, Assad condemns the "abominable" massacre in Houla, saying even monsters would not carry out such acts.

June 5 - Syria bans 17 Western diplomats in retaliation for the expulsion of Syrian envoys from their capitals. On the same day Syria agrees to allow the United Nations and international agencies to expand humanitarian operations in Syria.

June 5/6 - Troops and militiamen loyal to Assad are accused of killing at least 78 people at Mazraat al-Qubeir, near Hama.

June 6 - Assad names party stalwart Riyad Hijab to form a new government, signaling no political concessions to the 15-month-old uprising.

June 12 - The uprising has grown into a full-scale civil war U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous says.

June 16 - Escalating violence in Syria forces U.N. observers to suspend operations.

June 22 - Syrian troops shoot down a Turkish warplane in an incident Damascus says is self-defense but which Ankara brands an "act of aggression".

June 26 - Assad says his country is "at war".

June 27 - Gunmen storm Ikhbariya television's offices, headquarters, bombing buildings and shooting dead three journalists and four guards, state media says.

For an Interactive look at Syria click on

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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7 die in attack on Syrian pro-regime TV station

Syria's pro-government television station has been attacked. Seven people were killed. ITV's Bill Neely reports.

By news services

Updated 7:30 a.m. ET: Gunmen raided the headquarters of a pro-government Syrian TV station early Wednesday, killing seven employees, kidnapping others and demolishing buildings, officials said.?

An Associated Press photographer who visited the Al-Ikhbariya station's compound said five portable buildings used for offices and studios had collapsed, with blood on the floor and wooden partitions still on fire. Some walls had bullet holes.?

Al-Ikhbariya is privately-owned but strongly supports President Bashar Assad's regime. Pro-government journalists have been attacked on several previous occasions during the country's 15-month uprising, although such incidents are comparatively rare.?

Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi said the killings were "a massacre against the freedom of the press" in remarks broadcast on state TV.

He later told reporters that it had been carried out by terrorists -- the same word the government uses for rebels. ?Rebels deny they target the media.?

"The terrorists planted explosive devices in the headquarters of al-Ikhbariya following their ransacking of the satellite channel studios, including the newsroom which was entirely destroyed," the state media said.

Restrictions on the media make it difficult to verify accounts of events on the ground.?

An employee at the station said several other staffers were wounded in the attack, which happened just before 4 a.m. local time. He said the gunmen kidnapped him along with several station guards. He was released but the guards were not.?

Turkey to help 'liberate the Syrians from dictatorship'

The employee, who did not give his name for fear of repercussions, said the gunmen drove him about 200 meters (yards) away, and then he heard the explosion of the station being demolished.?


Damage to a TV channel's building in Drousha, outside Damascus on Wednesday.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Picture supplied by the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.

"I was terrified when they blindfolded me and took me away," the man said by telephone.?

'Quickly deteriorating'
Also on Wednesday, Syrian government forces have committed human rights violations, including executions, across the country "on an alarming scale" during military operations in the past three months, United Nations investigators said.?

Syrian President Bashar aAssad told his newly appointed cabinet that a real "state of war" exists in the country and directed them to direct all its efforts toward vanquishing the uprising against him. ITV's Bill Neely reports.

Their report, presented by investigation head Paulo Pinheiro to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, also listed multiple killings and kidnappings by armed opposition groups trying to topple ?Assad.?

"The situation on the ground is dangerously and quickly deteriorating," the 20-page report said.?

NYT: Turkish border a crucial link in Syrian conflict

"In the increasingly militarised context, human rights violations are occuring across the country on an alarming scale during military operations against locations believed to be hosting defectors and/or those perceived as affiliated with anti-government armed groups, including the Free Syrian Army," it said.?

Syria's ambassador dismissed the accusations and threatened to end cooperation with international agencies.?

The investigation's report also said it was unable to determine who carried out a massacre of more than 100 people in Houla in May but that forces loyal to Assad may have carried out many of the killings.?

Tensions between President Barack Obama and Russia President Vladimir Putin are making it more difficult for the two countries to find common ground on issues like Syria and Iran. Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov discusses.

Activists reported violence throughout Syria on Wednesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist network, said at least 10 government soldiers were killed in an ambush in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour.?

In neighboring Turkey, some 30 more Syrian soldiers defected with their families overnight, the country's state-run Anadolu news agency reported Wednesday. It was not clear if the group included any senior officers.?

Assad's regime has suffered an embarrassing string of high-ranking defections this week, with dozens of soldiers, including senior officers, reported to have fled to Turkey.?

Report: Syrian general, dozens of other soldiers defect

Much of the violence that has gripped Syria over the past 15 months has been sanctioned by the government to crush dissent. But rebel fighters are launching increasingly deadly attacks on regime targets, and several massive suicide attacks this year suggest al-Qaida or other extremists are joining the fray.?

Many in the opposition consider the media an arm of the regime. Syria does not have a free press and most news organizations are either state-run or private bodies that carry the government's point of view. Most of the private TV stations and newspapers are owned by politicians or wealthy businessmen who have close links to the regime.?

Assad denies that there is any popular will behind the uprising, saying terrorists are behind a conspiracy to destroy the country.?

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More world news from and NBC News:

Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world


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Health ruling to end campaign mystery, unleash ads

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Barely four months before the nation votes, one of the biggest factors in the fight for the White House still is a mystery. That will change on Thursday.

The Supreme Court's expected ruling on President Barack Obama's sweeping federal health care law will shape the contours of the presidential campaign through the summer and fall. Both Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are primed to use the ruling ? whatever it is ? for political gain.

Obama expresses confidence the court will uphold his signature legislative initiative. But he won't be shocked if a conservative majority overturns the most controversial provision, those familiar with his thinking say. Romney aides say the Republican candidate will get a political boost if the court strikes down the measure. But they don't want celebrations that could alienate voters who could lose health care benefits through the decision.

Neither candidate has any direct influence over the decision. The court may uphold the health care law, strike it down or deem the requirement that most Americans carry health insurance unconstitutional while keeping other aspects in place.

The ruling is expected to be followed almost immediately by a barrage of advertisements and fundraising appeals from Democrats and Republicans, with both sides trying to cast the decision in the most advantageous light for its candidate.

Romney, running on a pledge to repeal Obama's overhaul as a costly federal power grab, has focused more than usual on the Supreme Court ruling this week. In campaign appearances in Virginia, New Jersey and New York, he offered supporters and donors a preview of his likely response to the decision.

At a Tuesday evening New Jersey fundraiser, Romney declared that if the Supreme Court lets the law stand, "it will make it very clear to the American people that they must elect someone who will stop it." If the high court overturns the law, "then the first three and a half years of the Obama administration will have been entirely wasted, because that's where he devoted his energy and passion," the Republican said.

Romney's campaign also is running new ads this week in Virginia, North Carolina and Iowa promising he would move to "repeal Obamacare" on his first day in office.

Obama, while recently avoiding mentioning the impending court ruling directly, has vigorously defended the overhaul as critical to the public's health and well-being in his own campaign events this week.

"I think it was the right thing to do. I know it was the right thing to do," he told supporters in Boston.

The White House also published a blog post Wednesday touting the benefits of the overhaul, including free preventive services for people on Medicare and health insurance rebates for nearly 13 million Americans.

Both Obama and Romney were scheduled to be in Washington on Thursday. Romney planned to comment on the ruling during an event on Capitol Hill, and Obama was certain to address the decision as well.

Obama advisers say the Supreme Court showed reasonableness earlier this week in a ruling on an Arizona immigration case, and they see it as a hopeful sign for how the court might rule on health care.

If the court upholds the law, Obama could get an election year gust of wind at his back, with his vision and leadership validated. If the court strikes down the overhaul, the White House would seek to cast the decision as detrimental to millions of Americans by highlighting popular elements of the law that would disappear, such as preventive care and coverage for young adults on a parent's plan.

Romney, who as Massachusetts governor signed a health care law on which the Obama's federal law was modeled, is expected to use the health care law ? or what remains of it ? as a defining issue going forward in the presidential contest, regardless of which way the court's ruling goes.

Aides say that that Romney will hold up the law either as a symbol of Obama's ineffective leadership or as federal overreach that only the Republican can stop.

The campaign has coordinated its response directly with the Republican National Committee and House Republicans, who have agreed not to "spike the ball" ? as one Republican put it ? should the law be struck down. Romney's campaign worries that an over-celebratory tone may turn off voters affected by the decision.

Still, both sides will use it to raise money and motivate supporters. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a fundraising appeal for a "health care rapid response fund," telling supporters in an email Wednesday that however the court rules, "Democrats are in for a tough fight."

A flood of advertisements is also expected from outside groups. The conservative group called Concerned Women for America pre-emptively launched a six-state, $6 million advertising campaign this week claiming Obama's overhaul results in delayed and denied care, as well as skyrocketing costs.


Associated Press writer Ben Feller contributed to this report.


Follow Julie Pace at and Steve Peoples at

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Incumbent U.S. lawmakers fend off challengers in primaries

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two powerful, incumbent lawmakers, hailing from opposite sides of the country and opposite ends of the political spectrum, fended off primary challenges from within their own parties on Tuesday.

Charles Rangel, a 21-term U.S. congressman and once-towering figure in New York politics whose stature was diminished by an ethics scandal, survived a vigorous challenge on Tuesday to win the Democratic primary.

In solidly Republican Utah, veteran U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch cruised to an easy victory Tuesday night against a Tea Party movement-backed challenger who managed to eke out enough votes at the state's Republican nominating convention to force a primary run-off there.

But a Tea Party favorite in Oklahoma, former Navy pilot and political newcomer Jim Bridenstine, scored an upset victory over the Republican incumbent in that state's 1st Congressional District, Representative John Sullivan.

Bridenstine, who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, won 53.8 percent of the Tulsa-area district's vote, according to unofficial returns. He will face Democratic nominee John Olson and independent candidate Craig Allen in November.

Rangel, who has represented Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1971 and is a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, was running against a crowd of younger politicians in a redrawn district that is now heavily Latino.

In a defiant victory speech in Harlem, he took a swipe at those who endorsed his opponents, especially the media, which he said had been "so hostile at times."

"If they didn't think after 42 years that I was the best qualified, I promise them that in the next two years they'll have no question about the fact that you elected the best," Rangel said.

Meanwhile Hatch, a 78-year-old stalwart of the Republican Party who was first elected to the Senate in 1976, commanded a decisive lead over former state senator Dan Liljenquist, who is 37. With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Hatch drew 66 percent of the vote, compared with 33 percent for Liljenquist, local media reported.

Heavily Republican Utah last elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate more than four decades ago, so the victor in the state's Republican Party contest is usually considered the presumptive winner of the general election in November.


In the New York district that includes Harlem and part of the Bronx, Rangel's opponents included state Senator Adriano Espaillat, a Dominican-American who had strong Latino support, and Clyde Williams, who worked in the White House under former President Bill Clinton and got a boost when he won endorsements from the New York Times and the New York Daily News.

Rangel won 45 percent of the vote, topping Espaillat's 40 percent, while Williams took 10 percent, according to the New York Times.

"We came slightly short this time," Espaillat said, in conceding the race to Rangel.

In an interview earlier in the day, Williams swatted down talk that he might be angling to run in two years, after Rangel's presumed retirement.

"This is not about any time in the future. This is about right now," Williams said, adding that he was the only candidate talking about issues like unemployment, achievement gaps in education and disparities in health care.

On 125th Street, Harlem's commercial spine, many voters approached on Tuesday night - younger people in particular - said they felt it was time for a change.

"He's a legend. But he's everything that the Congress represents, which is complacency, just being too comfortable," said Salim Mhunzi, 27, a marketing strategist. He planned to vote for Williams who "knows how to maneuver with the DC crowd."

But others said they were solidly in Rangel's camp.

"He's been a staple in our community for years and years," said Thomas Berkley, a 53-year-old carpenter. "He's my guy. He's my man."

Once one of the most powerful members of Congress, Rangel now walks slowly through the halls of the Capitol with a cane.

The House censured him in 2010 for ethics violations, including failing to pay some income taxes, and he stepped down as chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means committee. But he retained his seat in the 2010 election.

Elsewhere in New York, primary day brought few surprises.

In a Queens congressional district that is 40 percent Asian, Democratic state Assemblywoman Grace Meng won the primary. Meng will face New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, a Republican, in her bid to become the first Asian-American member of New York's congressional delegation.

And in central Brooklyn, state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries defeated City Councilman Charles Barron, a former Black Panther. The district is solidly Democratic and Jeffries, who touted his legislative achievements, is expected to glide to victory in November.

On the Republican side, Wendy Long, a lawyer who once clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, won the three-person primary to take on Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November.

Long's most formidable opponent was U.S. Representative Bob Turner, who last year won an upset victory in a largely Democratic district to replace liberal Congressman Anthony Weiner, who had resigned in a sex scandal. That district was later eliminated in the once-per-decade redistricting.

In a statement, Turner pledged to work with Long to "unite all Republicans and conservatives" to defeat Gillibrand.

And in South Carolina, both parties held run-off races for the state's newly drawn Seventh U.S. Congressional District

On the Republican side, attorney Tom Rice defeated former South Carolina lieutenant governor Andre Bauer. On the Democratic side, economist and university professor Gloria Bromell Tinubu defeated attorney Preston Brittain.

(Additional reporting by Jennifer Dobner; in Salt Lake City, Utah; and Harriet McLeod in Charleston, South Carolina; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Lisa Shumaker)

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Social Media for Business Listings and Corporate Internet Presence ...

As social media is on the rise, the introduction of plus one and using social networking trends in determining search rankings, you need a business listing that accounts for equally search engine optimisation components as well as enables you to develop discussion starters.

It is vital not to forget about the fact that search engine optimization is really a course of action that may be changing since the internet expands as well as usage developments and patterns change.

The internet is growing as a repository for everything from recipes to views, the actual odds and ends regarding life. As a company leader this kind of buildup presents a large challenge. How can you ensure high value publicity for the enterprise whenever you will find umpteen billion websites.

In the event you hear site owners who?re considered gurus in seo ranking, you will hear a whole lot concerning creating fantastic written content that men and women would want to talk about, that could produce social buzz, as well as backlinks. This can be true, slightly accurate that?s. A kind of future reality. The true simple fact is, however, you need to at least obtain the content in front of enough individuals to kickstart that buzz. Therein is situated the fantastic difficulty. For this, you either need to pull an excellent media stunt, or a few well-versed seo.

The very best optimisation routines require dually a hard look at your own site?s essential on page seo elements. Utilizing a great keyword instrument, you need to accomplish correct evaluation, both of your family businesses keywords, and also of these within your market, especially the direct competitors. Uncover what their secret sauce is. Come across your appropriate long combination keywords and start refining your current header tag words to advertise your products, brands and also providers effectively. You tap your fingers on the desk and wait for the visitors to come. Indeed, occasionally, your service or product may be quite sought after that it will generate instantaneous visitors in your case.

Research computations can be kind to individuals with market organizations. But for everybody else, not simply do you need extended combination keywords, but you need precise backlinks at the same time. There are some solutions to create this top quality coverage. A proven way, will be article directory sites.

Yet another concrete floor as well as easy technique is to find a business directory that let you post xhtml anchor text links using your organization itemizing. Even better is when the organization directory or even content service comes with a free organization listings, which there are a few quality value web directories out there.

Several websites have even a stable starting of site visitors they can refer for your internet site, which means you not just obtain the link juice, but a pleasant word of mouth stream at the same time. Thus be able to operate, find a warm and friendly enterprise directory and initiate your individual search engine strategy to locate boost your website for the long tail keywords that will drive targeted traffic for a company. And be calm, it will take a few months for your linkdust to stay along with your link-building masterpiece to become impactful.

Promoting your own model is crucial on your success in the industrial marketplace. Reaching brand money and subjection with digital programs comes as a result of intensive internet promotion. Search computations might be form for you to include those with specific niche market companies. Except for companies rivalling inside wider marketplaces, a powerful podium to push site visitors aimed at your website is necessary. Thus sign up to your cost-free bank account together with very best brands and begin to market your online business and influence the electricity of next-gen business bookings in a intercontinental business index.

As a business, you need to to create goodwill and exposure through effective marketing. A major way to do this is through the internet. Business listings in a major index convey to product seekers that you are in fact an authority in your class of product or service. Referrals create brand perception that is crucial to digital marketing success. Your site also benefits from enhanced seo value when a high authority domain links to your site. It is important to choose business directories that have meta data and tags, rather than sites that cluster your domain among others. Relevance is crucial to marketing your domain. If the referring page is not relevant to yours, it is worth less to the search engine. So be sure to populate your listings with plenty of well written promotional text that defines your business model and operating objectives. Online business directories are powerfully interactive tools that can be harnessed to create brand campaigns and many more useful promotions to bolster corporate visibility.

This writer regularly contributes articles on business directory & concerning new media features for businesses.

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Hundreds feared buried in mass landslides in Uganda

Isaac Kasamani / AFP - Getty Images

Residents of Bududa mill around an area where 18 people were buried alive following a mudslide in Bunamulembwa village in eastern Uganda.

By Ian Johnston,

At least 18 people were killed and hundreds of people were feared buried after landslides hit villages in Uganda, according to reports.

The Daily Monitor newspaper reported that at least 11 villages in the mountainous Bududa area of eastern Uganda?had been hit and two, Namaaga and Bunakasala, had been completely engulfed.

Witness Rachael Namwono, 29, told the paper that at least 30 homes in Mabaya Village ? containing an estimated 300 people ? had been covered.

"At 2 p.m., the ground trembled, followed by heavy rumbling of soil and stones which covered our home," Namwono told the Monitor.

Two officials in Bunamulembwa Village said about 100 houses were destroyed and 150 people were unaccounted for, the paper added.

It was not immediately possible to verify the report, but officials in Bududa told The Associated Press that they feared that hundreds of people had been killed.

The affected villages are in a coffee-growing area on the slopes of Mount Elgon straddling the Kenyan border.

Red Cross spokeswoman Catherine Ntabadde told Reuters that the latest reports had confirmed 18 people had died "but assessment of the devastation around the area is continuing."

A local member of parliament, David Wakikona -- who said he had initial reports of more than 100 people buried -- said there was an ongoing danger.

"The areas around Bududa district have been experiencing heavy rains for days now," he told Reuters. "I am told the landslides started around midday today [Monday] and that they're still going on and some villagers who survived the early slides are fleeing."

Landslides caused by heavy rains are frequent in eastern Uganda, where at least 23 people were killed last year after mounds of mud buried their homes. Scores of people were buried alive in a similar disaster in March 2010.

Stephen Mallinga, Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, said an emergency response team had left for the area and hoped the situation would become clearer on Tuesday. "We're also mobilizing relief items like food, tents and water containers," he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

More world news from and NBC News:

Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prudential Mortgage Capital closes first U.K. commercial real estate ...


Prudential Mortgage Capital Company has closed a $ 108 million commercial real estate loan in the U.K., the first financing since launching its European business earlier this year. Prudential Mortgage Capital Company is the commercial mortgage lending business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU).

The loan is secured by a portfolio of U.K. properties: four multi-tenanted office properties in central London and a grocery-anchored retail property in the historic town of Bath. The 11-year financing marks Prudential?s first secured commercial real estate debt transaction in Europe since the opening of its London advisory office in January 2012. The portfolio?s sponsor, the O&H Group, is a family run business with considerable real estate holdings and development projects in central London and throughout the U.K.

In 2012 Prudential is targeting $ 500 million (?325 million, ?400 million) of long-term, fixed-rate senior debt transactions in Europe, with the ability to do significantly more than this. The European program is similar to the loan structures the company offers in the U.S., and as in the U.S., there is the ability to fund individual transactions of significant size. All debt will be denominated in local currency and secured by income-producing real estate. Initially the company is focusing on office, logistics, multifamily, and retail properties in and around large population centers such as London, Paris, and the major cities in Germany. On the European continent such financing transactions may also be structured in collaboration with local banks.

?The diversification we can achieve by investing a portion of our portfolio outside of the U.S., whether it?s Europe, Japan, or Mexico, is very valuable,? said Thor Orndahl, a managing director who oversees Prudential Mortgage Capital Company?s non-U.S. mortgage platform. ?The current market dislocation has provided the opening we have been looking for, and our plan is to be active in Europe for many years to come.?

Drew Abernethy, head of European Origination advice, said, ?Prudential is very pleased to have closed this first transaction so soon after introducing their its European program. It illustrates the strength of the Prudential platform globally, a commitment to Europe specifically, and an earnest belief that clients like O&H should have access to the type of long-term financing that they want.?

Established in 1982, the O&H Group is a privately owned business with more than 50 employees and net assets exceeding ?600 million. Headquartered in Mayfair, the key principals have worked together for decades building a large development and core property portfolio. ?We have been extremely impressed by the way the Prudential team understood and accommodated our long term business requirements and we are delighted to be involved in their first European transaction. We look forward to building on this relationship,? said David Gabbay, Chairman of the O&H Group.

Prudential Mortgage Capital Company is a national full-service, commercial and multifamily mortgage finance business with $ 72 billion in assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2012. Leveraging a 135-year history of real estate finance, the company offers one of the most comprehensive lines of real estate finance products and originates loans for Fannie Mae DUS?, Freddie Mac Program Plus? and specialized affordable housing programs; FHA; Conduit; Prudential?s general account and proprietary balance sheet program; and other institutional investors. The company maintains a loan servicing portfolio of approximately $ 68.8 billion, as of March 31, 2012. For more information, please visit

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with approximately $ 943 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2012, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential?s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential?s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit


Prudential Financial, Inc.
John Chartier, 1-973-802-9829

from your own site.

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7 Building Blocks of a Successful Small Business | Noobpreneur ...

Starting a new business is always a very exciting time for any new company. It officially marks their presence in the business world and in the process makes them competitors in the eyes of other companies involved in the same industry. Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you that starting a new business is hard. However that?s just the beginning. Keeping it successful is ten times harder. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and focus. BUT, it?s achievable. By focus, I mean paying attention to key elements related to your industry that can make or break a company. This will be the topic of discussion today as we highlight 7 important building blocks of a successful small business.

1. Targeting of the Target Audience

A company who has not done extensive research on its target audience is setting itself up for failure from the start. This should be done before the company even opens its doors for business. A successful company should have four very important strategies already in place when it comes to their potential clients and customers.

  • Who They Are?
  • How to Reach Them?
  • How to Get Their Business?
  • How to Retain them?

If your message is going to the wrong people or to those who have no interest in what you have to offer to begin with, you are going to end up wasting valuable resources and income. Do your homework. Do you research! Know who your target audience is and how to reach them.

2. Good Marketing Plan

This is another aspect of your business model that should be carefully researched, debated and planned before your company makes its debut. You have a good product. You know you can give better service. You know your pricing is competitive. But how do you inform your audience? For that, a successful company should have an in-depth marketing plan in place. How will they reach their customers and target competitor?s customers? How can they be informed of new items, sales and rebates? Depending on the nature of your business, the answers can vary. Some companies are keen on an extensive email marketing campaign. Others can spend money on advertising in the media. Almost all of them utilize social media to their advantage reaching out to their customers on FaceBook and Twitter and giving them an opportunity to interact with the company.

3. Keeping an Eye On Competitors

Contrary to what many believe, competitors are just as valuable to a new start up as customers. A new start up can learn from the experience of their rivals. They can use it as a reference manual to incorporate the same things in their business model that they are doing. Now obviously no company openly outlines their business model to the world but just by doing research on the company itself (which is free and easy to do via the internet), new businesses can gain very valuable insight on how their competitors are making money, reaching their customers and more importantly, what are some of the things they are doing to keep them loyal and committed. This first-hand knowledge is pure gold for new start ups. It goes without saying an in-depth competitor analysis is an absolute must for new businesses.

4. Have a Good Product or Service

Whether your business revolves around selling various products or services, you will have to make sure it can stand out from the crowd. The main question to ask is how can I give my product or service that one edge that will put it on top or set it apart from the rest of the competition. Be it the price, the quality, the added features, a successful new business should put emphasis on being unique because that?s what?s going to make that compelling impression on the customers.

5. Predict The Future, Today

In my opinion, this is huge. Getting this right can not only have an enormous impact on your company?s revenues, it will also give you a huge boost in the ?trustworthy? rankings. A successful company keeps a sharp eye on the industry as well as the ever changing needs of their customers. They conduct surveys, get clients to participate in questionnaires and organize open sessions to get an idea about what they want. They also watch similar events unfold worldwide with great interest to foresee and predict any change or shift in the industry, or consumer needs. Having such invaluable knowledge beforehand and a competent backup strategy in place in case changes do occur, will make your company look well prepared and trustworthy, the two most essential elements every potential customer or client looks for when doing business.

6. Promotions, Sales, Celebrations

A good product or competent service will only go so far. Companies should also take steps to interact with their customers on a personal level and keep them happy. A great way of doing that is celebrating special occasions and conducting huge sales. For example having a Veteran?s day sale on Veteran?s day or an Independence Day event, gives the impression that your business is patriotic and also celebrating this occasion with millions of American around the country. The same goes for religious occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.

7. Exploring New Opportunities

In my opinion, this should be done around the clock, 24 hours a day, all year long. Successful companies never stop at one point or settle down. They keep on looking for new avenues to explore, new alliances to forge, new opportunities to grab and new markets to penetrate and establish themselves in. If they won?t do it, their competitors will.

These are the 7 essential building blocks of a good, successfully and well prepared business. I stress importance on well prepared because that in my opinion is the only practice that can help keep a business afloat in today?s market. The competition is too fierce and the opportunities are tremendous. Be sure to implement the above points into your business model. They will be instrumental in putting your business on the road to success.

About the Author: Jennifer Mathews is a creative logo design consultant for, helping small businesses create a brand image and grow their online presence. She likes to stay ahead of trends, explore new mediums and blog about her experiences.

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England, Italy exceeding expectations at Euro 2012

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Battleloot Adventure for iPhone and iPad review

Battleloot Adventure was recently made available free for a limited time on iPhone and iPad - what better reason to try out what looks like a great fantasy turn-based combat with a fresh twist? You're in charge of a party of adventurers trying clamoring to win a year without taxes in a tournament spanning the entire kingdom of Kameloot.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Excalibur Almaz wants to offer the first private trip to the Moon -- provided you've got ?100 million

Excalibur Almaz wants to offer the first private trip to the Moon  provided you've got 100 million

Sir Richard Branson might want to look over his shoulder, since Virgin Galactic now has an even more ambitious rival. Britain-based Excalibur Almaz is planning no less than a trip to the Moon using reworked, Soviet-era Salyut space stations and Soyuz capsules as the vehicles for the multi-stage, 500,000-mile total voyage. Accordingly, no one will be living in the lap of luxury on the way there: there's just two habitation modules that will take three people each, and the six-month trip isn't going to leave much room for perks other than an isolated room in the event of a solar radiation blast. Not that there's as much of a rush given the efforts involved in making this look-but-don't-touch Moon orbit a reality. Anyone who travels needs to be in tip-top shape -- and the £100 million ($156 million) ticket will make Virgin's Spaceship Two rides seem downright frugal. Be sure to pack your gym shorts and a briefcase full of cash.

Excalibur Almaz wants to offer the first private trip to the Moon -- provided you've got ?100 million originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 23 Jun 2012 06:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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