Blog: Oriental Altona Branch Closed Until Further Notice – St, Thomas Source

Oriental Bank’s Altona Branch on St. Thomas is closed until further notice for COVID-19 security and safety protocols, according to a press release the bank issued Friday. Employees at the branch will be tested and a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the branch will be conducted to ensure employee and customer protection, the release stated.

Customers can use their Oriental debit card at other ATMs to make withdrawals from their accounts. Oriental will reimburse the transaction fee charged for clients who hold their deposit accounts at the branch, which will be reflected on their monthly statements, the release stated.

Also, customers can continue making transactions and accessing their accounts through the following channels:

Online banking — Verify balances and transactions, make payments, and transfer funds online 24/7 account to account and people to people.

Mobile banking — In addition to all the online banking functionalities, mobile banking customers can deposit checks using their smartphone cameras.

Voice Automated System — Operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers can check balances, make payments, transfer funds between accounts, and verify the status of their transactions and paid checks. Call 1-800-981-5554 and select option 4, then 2 for English or 1-866-622-688.

Contact Center — Available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mortgage Service Center — Call 1-855-767-8585 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Commercial Customer Service Center — For assistance with POS or Cash Management call 1-340-693-9741.

Make Loan Payments Online — Customers can make their payments through My Payments for personal loans, car loans and leases, even if they do not have a deposit account with Oriental. Access through orientalbank.com/en/access-your-accounts/my-payments/ or through the Mobile Banking on the menu in the main page.

ATMs — Customers can check balances and make withdrawals and transfer funds between accounts at Havensight Shopping Mall; Nisky Shopping Center; American Yacht Harbor; Tutu Park Mall; Merchants Bank; Waterfront (Kronprindsens Gade).

“Our priority is to guarantee the health and safety of our employees and clients; that is why we decided to close the branch until employees are tested and the branch areas are disinfected. We have notified the Virgin Islands Banking Board about the COVID-19 exposure and have been advised by the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation of steps to take to ensure employee and customer protections, as well as to ensure the continuous availability of cash and other banking services to our customers,” said Attallah Bertrand, manager USVI Region, in the press release.

Blog: UK-EU Brexit spat over N Ireland clouds G7 leaders summit – Minneapolis Star Tribune

FALMOUTH, England — Turbulence from the divorce between the U.K. and the European Union provided an unwanted distraction at the Group of Seven summit taking place in southwest England, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying Saturday that post-Brexit agreements will fail if the EU continues to take a “theologically draconian” approach to the rules.

Johnson held meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and the bloc’s top officials on the sidelines of the summit he is hosting. Afterwards, the prime minister claimed the EU was not taking a “sensible or pragmatic” approach to post-Brexit arrangements, and he threatened to use an emergency clause to suspend agreed upon rules if the bloc did not compromise.

Britain and the EU are locked in an escalating diplomatic feud over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that borders the 27-nation bloc. The EU is angry over the British government’s delay in implementing new checks on some goods coming into Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K., while Britain says the checks are imposing a big burden on businesses and destabilizing Northern Ireland’s hard-won peace.

U.S. President Joe Biden has gotten drawn into the spat, raising concerns about the potential threat to Northern Ireland’s peace accord.

The new arrangements, designed to keep an open border between Ireland and its northern neighbor, have angered Northern Ireland’s British unionists, who say they weaken ties with the rest of the U.K. Tensions over the new trade rules were a contributing factor to a week of street violence in April, largely in unionist areas of Northern Ireland, that saw youths pelt police with bricks, fireworks and firebombs.

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen tweeted after meeting Johnson that Northern Ireland peace was “paramount,” and the binding Brexit agreement protected it.

“We want the best possible relations with the UK. Both sides must implement what we agreed on. There is complete EU unity on this,” she said.

Johnson told Sky News at the summit site in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, that “the treaty we signed, I signed, is perfectly reasonable,” but he added: “I don’t think that the interpretation or application of the protocol (by the EU) is sensible or pragmatic.”

The EU says Britain must fully implement the agreement, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, that the two sides agreed and ratified. It is threatening legal action if the U.K. does not fully bring in the checks, which include a ban on chilled meats such as sausages from England, Scotland and Wales going to Northern Ireland from next month.

Britain accuses the bloc of taking a rigid approach to the rules and urged it to be more flexible in order to avoid what has been dubbed a “sausage war.” U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Saturday that if the EU took a “bloody-minded and purist” approach, Britain would have to act to protect the U.K.’s internal market and ensure that British-produced goods can be sold in every part of the country.

Merkel said she made clear to Johnson at their meeting that nothing could change on the fundamentals of the agreement. But she hinted at compromise, saying that “when it comes to practical questions…one should consider where things can be done better so it helps the citizens of Northern Ireland.”

Johnson said some European leaders seemed not to understand “that the U.K. is a single country, a single territory. I just need to get that into their heads.”

“If the protocol continues to be applied in this way, then we will obviously not hesitate to invoke Article 16,” the British leader said, referring to an emergency brake allowing either side to suspend parts of their agreement. It is intended for use only in extreme situations, but the EU briefly threatened to invoke it in January amid a coronavirus vaccine spat, to stop doses from Ireland crossing the border.

Speaking to Channel 5, Johnson said, “I certainly think that the protocol is capable of being used and interpreted…in a pragmatic way or a theologically draconian way.

“At the moment we are seeing…a lot of unnecessary difficulties,” he said.

Despite the tough talk, Johnson said he was optimistic of reaching a compromise, though British officials say it’s unlikely the issue will be solved during the G-7 summit, which ends Sunday.

___

Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this story.

Blog: UK wants ‘compromise’ over post-Brexit trade in Northern Ireland – Deccan Herald

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday warned Europe he would suspend a deal for post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland unless a solution could be found to a row over border checks.

Brussels has been angered by London’s failure to introduce checks on goods heading across the Irish Sea from the mainland UK — England, Scotland and Wales — to the province of Northern Ireland.

European leaders delivered an ultimatum to Johnson on the sidelines of this weekend’s G7 summit, urging him to keep his word and implement the Northern Ireland “protocol”, which was signed separately from a trade deal between the two sides.

But Johnson defiantly restated his calls for the European Union to compromise, urging a more pragmatic approach after talks on the issue broke down earlier this week.

He said he was not prepared to endanger the territorial integrity of the UK, and would “not hesitate to invoke Article 16” of the protocol, suspending its application.

“We need to sort it out,” he told Sky News. “I think we can sort it out. But it’s up to our EU friends and partners to understand that we will do whatever it takes and there is some misunderstanding.”

Article 16 provides both the UK and EU unilateral powers to take action, if the application of the protocol leads to major social, economic or environmental problems or affects trade.

But there is meant to be an attempt to solve problems first at an oversight committee.

The UK and the European Union signed a last-gasp trade deal in December last year, just weeks before the former’s departure from the European single market and customs union.

The protocol is designed to prevent unchecked goods entering the single market via Northern Ireland’s border with EU member state Ireland — the UK’s only land border with the bloc.

But London has so far failed to implement full checks due to sensitivities over Northern Ireland, which endured a three-decade conflict over the question of British rule, known as The Troubles.

Pro-British unionists maintain that the protocol drives a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK by effectively keeping it in the single market and customs union, and introducing cumbersome checks on arriving goods.

Fears are growing of a repeat of recent violence sparked by the measures, as the so-called “marching season” of hardline unionists begins next month.

London has indicated it will extend a grace period on the delivery of British chilled meat products at the end of this month, prompting EU threats of retaliatory measures, including targeted tariffs.

Johnson held talks Saturday with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the European Commission and the European Council.

All told him directly to abide by the terms of the divorce deal he signed to take the UK out of the EU after nearly 50 years of membership.

“Both sides must implement what we agreed on,” said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council chief Charles Michel.

“There is complete EU unity on this.”

A source in Macron’s office said he told Johnson in no uncertain terms there was a need to “reset” relations, and that the UK should “keep its word”, effectively dismissing UK calls for flexibility.

The director-general of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said separately she hoped a solution could be found as a UK-EU trade war “is not what the world needs right now”.

But Downing Street said afterwards that Johnson had told EU leaders he would not change tack.

The Times newspaper reported this week that President Joe Biden had ordered US diplomats to rebuke London for threatening the peace in Northern Ireland with its stance.

Bill Clinton’s administration was a key player in securing a landmark 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended the Northern Irish conflict.

Biden — a proud Irish-American with distant relatives still in Ireland — has taken a keen interest, with warnings it could threaten a hoped-for UK-US trade deal.

Johnson played down any rift after talks with Biden on Thursday, insisting the US president did not sound the alarm over the issue and there was “absolutely common ground” on all sides in keeping the peace.

Blog: Pounds, inches and pints set for comeback in Brexit freedom overhaul – Daily Express

Today, the only products that can be sold in imperial units are draught beer or cider by pint; milk in “returnable containers” by pint; and precious metals by troy ounce. However, when pushed by Shipley MP Philip Davies to allow goods to be sold in imperial measurements only, business minister Paul Scully said: “Now we have left the EU we will consider whether further limited exemptions can be applied for other traditional uses.” Warwick Cairns, spokesman for the British Weights & Measures Association, said people should be free to use whatever system of measurement they wanted.

He said: “If you go to the supermarket and you want a pound of bananas or a pound of apples or whatever you should be free to ask for it and to receive it.”

Mr Cairns said modern scales which can switch between imperial and metric measurements are now “completely commonplace”.

He looks forward to a renaissance of champagne being sold in pint bottles once again.

Winston Churchill described an imperial pint of champagne as “an ideal size for a man like me”. The wartime PM said a half bottle was “insufficient to tease my brain” but described a pint of champagne as “enough for two at lunch and one at dinner”.

For campaigners such as Mr Cairns, imperial measures are a direct link with ancient history.

He said: “It’s, I think, a living connection with our past… A lot of these measures come from the Romans who in turn took them from other cultures before them.” 

Anyone hoping Brexit will result in the elimination of the metric system in the UK will be disappointed.

Business minister Mr Scully said: “The Government recognises that some people have a preference to use imperial units in their day to day lives.

At the same time, it recognises that many others are not familiar with imperial units and that the use of metric is a necessity for British businesses to compete in markets around the world.”

The UK Metric Association is pushing for the full adoption of the system, calling on its website for Britain to “complete the conversion to metric as soon as possible”.

It argues that Britain lives with a “hodgepodge of metric and imperial” with people using a “confused mixture of units that is not only wasteful but often not in their interest”.

Blog: Do something! Irish fishing panic exposed as urgent letter sent to Dublin – Brexit blamed – Daily Express

Cork fishing protest flotilla heads towards River Lee

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With EU fishermen now limited in terms of the amount they can spend in UK waters boats from , and elsewhere are increasingly fishing in Irish waters instead. Ireland’s fishermen are angry at only being able to catch 16 percent of the fish in their own waters as a result of the post- trade deal signed between the UK and the EU, as well as the reintroduction of an administrative penalty points system.

They also resent EU requirements for catches to be weighted at ports rather than elsewhere as a result of claims that some are failing to be honest in their declarations – requirements which do not apply to EU vessels.

In an open letter to Mr Martin, Aisling Moran, chairwoman of Comhdhail Oilean na hEireann, the Islands’ Federation wrote: “This is a matter of huge importance regarding island community livelihoods and sustainability not to mention heritage and traditions.”

Mrs Moran, writing on behalf of Ireland’s offshore island communities, asked Mr Martin to intervene personally.

She explained: “We implore you to act to prevent the loss of hundreds of jobs, a way of life and a key element to coastal communities, Irish heritage and tradition.

Ireland Micheal Martin

Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin has been urged to step in (Image: GETTY)

Flotilla Cork

The flotilla of ships in Cork’s harbour last month (Image: GETTY)

“Island communities are intimately acquainted with the consequences of changes to fishing rights and regulations inflicted through the years.”

She stressed: “Islanders are by nature people of the sea. To sacrifice their ability to make a living through life-learned skills they are passionate about is beyond unreasonable.”

Mrs Moran warned: “This continued decimation of the Irish fleet has been magnified with the onset of Brexit and the Irish fishing industry is fighting for its life.

“As Taoiseach we consider it appropriate for you to personally intervene in this serious situation.

JUST IN: Brexit plot – Brussels & Dublin briefing against Frost says ex-diplomat

Micheal Martin Ireland

Micheal Martin is Ireland’s Taoiseach (Image: GETTY)

“We ask all involved with the control and regulation of the fishing industry to have a hard look at the consequences of their actions against a proud and respected Irish livelihood. There is a better way.”

The Federation represents a total of 16 offshore island communities, having been created in 1984 with the intention of drawing attention to “the difficulties facing islanders” in socio-economic development which they felt were not being properly addressed at regional or national level.

A spokesman subsequently told Irish fishing news website Afloat: “We don’t know if he read our letter, but his Department sent a reply that it had been forwarded to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”

Charlie McConalogue, Ireland’s fishing minister, was sent a copy of the letter previously.

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Charlie McConalogue

Charlie McConalogue, Ireland’s fishing minister (Image: GETTY)

Fishing Brexit

Fishing was an important issue during the Brexit debate (Image: GETTY)

Fishermen made their point during a demonstration in Cork last month, during which they lined the quays of the port.

Speaking to Cork News at the time, fisherman Patrick Healy said: “The current restrictions in the fishing industry present me with a huge question mark whether I will invest thousands into an industry that is being failed by the Irish Government,.

“I just want to do the job I love. Going out to sea and making a living.

“We are trying to earn an honest living. Fishing is a natural resource and there should be a separate Minister of Fisheries. We are united.

European fisheries mapped

European fisheries mapped (Image: Express)

“All we want is for the government to listen.”

Mr Healy, whose boat had sank earlier in the month after a fire, added: “I had the trawler for three years.

“There is an immediate loss of four jobs. I would love to reinvest. I just want a future.

“The public may find it hard to believe what we will tell them; that things are so bad within the industry, but it is the truth.

Fishermen in the North Sea

Fishermen in the North Sea (Image: GETTY)

“We are not being treated fairly by either the EU or the government who are not protecting the natural resource of Ireland to which Irish people should have the major rights.”

Patrick Murphy, chairman of the South West Fish Producers’ Organisation (SWFPO), added: “We’re down to 16 percent of the fish in our own waters and that is a crazy scenario.

“This the fact. This is what we want to show and tell to the public.

“Fishermen are putting themselves before the public, to show them the boats they have, the huge investment, creating jobs, the families with long traditions who face being forced out of fishing.”

Blog: The Latest: Johnson meets with EU leaders amid Brexit spat – WV News

The Latest on the Group of Seven nations meeting being held in England:

FALMOUTH, England — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has held meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of a G-7 summit, as post-Brexit turbulence strains relations between Britain and the EU.

Johnson also met the bloc’s leaders, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, on Saturday at the Carbis Bay resort where G-7 leaders are gathering.

The two sides are locked in an escalating diplomatic feud over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that has a land border with the bloc. The EU is angry at British delay in implementing new checks on some goods coming into Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K., while Britain says the checks are imposing a big burden on businesses and destabilizing Northern Ireland’s hard-won peace.

The spat has drawn in U.S. President Joe Biden, concerned about the potential threat to Northern Ireland’s peace accord.

The EU is threatening legal action if the U.K. does not fully bring in the checks, which include a ban on chilled meats such as sausages from England, Scotland and Wales going to Northern Ireland from next month.

Britain accuses the bloc of taking a “purist” approach to the rules and urged it to be more flexible in order to avoid what has been dubbed a “sausage war.”

FALMOUTH, England — U.S First Lady Jill Biden and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, have written a joint article on the importance of early childhood education after their visit to a primary school on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in England.

The two women met for the first time Friday at a school in Cornwall, southwestern England, where they visited 4 and 5-year-olds and spoke with experts on early childhood development.

In their article, published on the CNN website Saturday, they said the disruption of the pandemic has helped people focus on the things that matter most, and they have a joint belief that the future must include a “fundamental shift in how our countries approach the earliest years of life.”

“If we care about how children perform at school, how they succeed in their careers when they are older, and about their lifelong mental and physical health, then we have to care about how we are nurturing their brains, their experiences and relationships in the early years before school,” they wrote.

They said business leaders, among others, should give more support to the parents and caregivers in their workforces.

“If we want strong economies and strong societies, we need to make sure that those raising and caring for children get the support they need,” they added.

Biden is a longtime English teacher who focuses on education, a passion she shares with Kate, a mother of three young children.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Blog: Not on the agenda but Brexit threatens unity at G-7 summit – NBC News

LONDON — As President Joe Biden seeks to unite Western democracies to counter China’s increasing global influence at the Group of Seven meeting of world leaders on Saturday, one issue is threatening to divide his European counterparts: Brexit.

Although Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is not officially on the G-7 agenda at the two-day gathering by the sea in Cornwall, England, a diplomatic feud over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that borders the 27-nation bloc, continued to escalate.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson held separate meetings with both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday. He also spoke with E.U. officials.

Afterward, he accused the European bloc of not taking a “sensible or pragmatic” approach to post-Brexit arrangements and threatened to use an emergency clause to suspend agreed-upon rules if the bloc did not compromise.

The E.U. is angry at a British delay in implementing new checks on goods coming into Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K., while Britain says those checks are imposing a big burden on businesses and destabilizing Northern Ireland’s hard-won peace.

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The diplomatic spat — over what is known as the Northern Ireland Protocol — has drawn in Biden, who is concerned about the potential threat to Northern Ireland’s 1998 Good Friday peace deal, which ended three decades of conflict, known as the Troubles.

Ahead of the president’s arrival to England earlier this week, some British newspapers were filled with outrage at the perception that Biden, who has Irish ancestry and has been critical of Brexit in the past, was unsupportive of the U.K. government’s stance.

However, Johnson brushed away such rumors when the two men first met on Thursday, telling media that they were in “complete harmony” over the issues.

“The Good Friday Agreement & peace on the island of Ireland are paramount,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted after meeting Johnson at the G-7 on Saturday. “We want the best possible relations with the UK. Both sides must implement what we agreed on. There is complete EU unity on this.”

The E.U. is threatening legal action if the U.K. does not fully bring in the checks as part of the protocol next month, which include a ban on chilled meats such as sausages from England going into Northern Ireland — an issue British tabloids have irreverently dubbed the “sausage wars.”

“The Prime Minister made it clear that the U.K. is committed to finding practical solutions within the framework of the Protocol which protect the aims of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and minimize the impact on the day-to-day lives of people in Northern Ireland,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday.

It added that the leaders “agreed on the need for continued meaningful engagement to resolve the outstanding issues” and that the matter had been raised in meetings Johnson held with Macron and Merkel, too.

Biden met France’s Macron later on Saturday. He said on Twitter that the two men stood “ready to take on the toughest challenges.”

The issue looks unlikely to be resolved before the G-7 seaside summit concludes on Sunday and shows that Brexit remains an underlying fracture among European allies, even as Biden hopes to strengthen cooperation over China.

Biden has made it a priority to use his first foreign trip as president to showcase the ability of democratic institutions to respond to shared challenges and warned about the global rise of authoritarianism.

Adela Suliman is a London-based reporter for NBC News Digital. 

Blog: UK-EU Brexit spat over N Ireland clouds G7 leaders summit – kwwl.com

FALMOUTH, England (AP) — Turbulence from the divorce between the U.K. and the European Union has provided an unwanted distraction at the Group of Seven summit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that post-Brexit agreements will fail if the European Union continues to take a “theologically draconian” approach to the rules. Johnson has held meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU officials on the sidelines of the summit he is hosting in southwest England. The two sides are wrangling over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that borders the bloc. The spat drew in U.S. President Joe Biden, who said he’s concerned about the potential threat to Northern Ireland’s peace accord.

Blog: The Latest: Johnson meets with EU leaders amid Brexit spat – Madison.com

The spat has drawn in U.S. President Joe Biden, concerned about the potential threat to Northern Ireland’s peace accord.

The EU is threatening legal action if the U.K. does not fully bring in the checks, which include a ban on chilled meats such as sausages from England, Scotland and Wales going to Northern Ireland from next month.

Britain accuses the bloc of taking a “purist” approach to the rules and urged it to be more flexible in order to avoid what has been dubbed a “sausage war.”

FALMOUTH, England — U.S First Lady Jill Biden and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, have written a joint article on the importance of early childhood education after their visit to a primary school on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in England.

The two women met for the first time Friday at a school in Cornwall, southwestern England, where they visited 4 and 5-year-olds and spoke with experts on early childhood development.

In their article, published on the CNN website Saturday, they said the disruption of the pandemic has helped people focus on the things that matter most, and they have a joint belief that the future must include a “fundamental shift in how our countries approach the earliest years of life.”

“If we care about how children perform at school, how they succeed in their careers when they are older, and about their lifelong mental and physical health, then we have to care about how we are nurturing their brains, their experiences and relationships in the early years before school,” they wrote.