Mortar shell hits Iraq embassy in Syria, kills 1

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) ? A mortar shell has slammed into the Iraqi embassy in central Damascus in an attack that Iraqi state TV says killed one person and wounded five.

The Iraqiya TV says three Iraqi women were among those wounded in Thursday’s attack.

Syrian anti-regime activists say the attack struck the building that houses the consulate section within the Iraqi embassy complex in the upscale Abu Roumanneh district of Damascus.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory says there are casualties but did not provide a figure.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime often fire mortar rounds into the Syrian capital, the seat of his power.


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NCAA President: change is coming

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) ? President Mark Emmert said Monday he expects “a lot of change” for the governance structure of Division I sports over the next year.

“I’ve said publicly on a number of occasions the only thing everybody agrees on with Division I governance is that it doesn’t work,” Emmert said during his opening remarks at a meeting of more than 100 Division I faculty athletics representatives. He later said NCAA directors are looking at the next six to eight months in particular.

“I think the board anticipates a lot of change,” he said. “They’re going into their October and January meetings expecting to look at a whole different governance model for Division I. So it will be significantly different.”

The NCAA’s annual convention is in January. The board hopes to adopt proposals at its meeting next April, and then have a special meeting for the full membership next summer.

The discussion focused on transparency and the public perception of the NCAA.

Emmert has received sharp criticism for months, for everything from the unprecedented sanctions handed to Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal to the botched investigation of alleged misconduct in University of Miami athletics. He, and the NCAA in general, have been singled out by conference commissioners, professional athletes and even current college football players.

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who says in an upcoming documentary he accepted money while at Tennessee, recently called the NCAA a bully. Some college players wore patches Saturday with the letters APU, standing for All Players United, to call for NCAA reform.

Additionally, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive suggested last week that the NCAA’s rules on governing agents are part of the problem amid reports of possible problems at Alabama and Tennessee.

“I haven’t talked to Mike about it, so I can’t speak for him,” Emmert said Monday.

The third-year president is fully aware of the public’s perception of the NCAA. Emmert said the board and other NCAA officials have concerns about that. The public sees him as more of a commissioner of a professional sport, which Emmert said is not the case.

He said getting people to understand the NCAA is more than just him or the board of directors ? decisions are driven by the hundreds of member schools ? is a difficult task.

“To think that the president of the NCAA has ever been anything like the commissioner of baseball is ludicrous,” Emmert said, “but yet that would be the most popular perception I suspect that people have of what my job is.”

The discussion did touch briefly on whether the NCAA would consider creating a new big-school Bowl Division ? in essence, splitting up the current Division I. A packet distributed at the session called “Principles and Model for New Governance Structure” suggests that FBS institutions and conferences that are more closely aligned in issues and athletics resources form a new division.

“The simpler the governance structure, the better,” the packet states.


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Website Terms, Contract Law and Consumer Rights – Bermuda …

Originally published by Digital News Asia

  • Website terms create a binding contract between the buyer and the seller

  • Although the terms are drafted to secure seller?s interest, consumer rights shouldn?t be ignored


CONSUMERS have been switching to digital channels for buying products and with every purchase, the retail sites are accomplishing greater market penetration. Every site is trying hard to win this fight by getting more visitors than their competitors and convincing them to spend their dollars.

In Asia Pacific, the rapidly expanding middle class and their access to the Internet is the largest factor for e-commerce growth as consumer demands are increasing with the latest technology.

However, while executing their business plans, most companies ignore a very crucial aspect of online business: The website terms and conditions of use. Since the transactions happen online, such terms and conditions govern the purchase between the consumers and the businesses.

Effectively, such terms and conditions are governed by Contract Law. The terms are generally drafted to create a binding contract on the buyer that protects the seller, but while doing so, many companies miss the basic rights of the consumers.

For example, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart announced its marketplace in April, wherein it opened up the platform for various third-party sellers to sell their products. However, as per user terms, all commercial/ contractual terms are offered by and agreed to between Buyers and Sellers alone, and Flipkart states that it does not have any control of such commercial/ contractual terms between the Buyers and Sellers. Detailed terms may be seen here.

But while stating that the company has no control over transactions between buyers and sellers, companies like Flipkart forget that consumers have basic legal rights, and since buyers are paying money to sellers through Flipkart, they are equally responsible towards buyers.

But it does not end here, Flipkart goes one step ahead in arm-twisting its consumers by stating that it is not responsible for any non-performance or breach of any contract entered into between Buyers and Sellers; Flipkart cannot and does not guarantee that the concerned Buyers and/ or Sellers will perform any transaction concluded on the website; and Flipkart shall not and is not required to mediate or resolve any dispute or disagreement between Buyers and Sellers.

In simpler terms, if a seller sends a wrong item, it is the sole responsibility of the buyer to handle this. Although it offers a 30-day replacement guarantee, this does not allow Flipkart to be oblivious to the rights of consumer in accordance with Indian consumer laws. Since sellers sell through Flipkart?s marketplace, they need to strictly regulate and monitor all the transactions and take full responsibility for resolving consumer?s issues, rather than blatantly ignoring those.

Comparing this approach with that of Amazon, which sells in India through a marketplace model, the terms are very well balanced, consider basic consumer rights, and offer detailed provisions for every step of the transaction.

In case any seller fails to abide by his commitment towards the buyer, the buyer can request for a refund. Subsequently, if a seller does not refund within three business days, Amazon states that the buyer can make an A-to-Z Guarantee claim to Amazon whereby Amazon will stand by the claim and help the buyer recover the payments made to the seller if the claim is valid.

In addition to the above, Amazon clearly states Conditions Of Sale (between Sellers and the Customer), wherein it is interesting to note that the entire terms are drafted to bind sellers and buyers with a legal agreement.

Effectively, Amazon specifies its role as a marketplace and strictly regulates both sellers and buyers, which is in stark contrast to Flipkart?s approach of not regulating the marketplace, leading to a desquamation of its responsibility of honouring the basic rights of the consumer.

Similarly, eBay India offers buyer protection programmes whereby it states a clear procedure to assist consumers in case of any issues they face due to a seller?s non-performance. Apart from this, eBay plays an active role to solve the problems faced by both buyers and sellers, thereby providing a marketplace that is well regulated to respect consumer rights and protect sellers? interest at the same time.

eBay offers similar user agreements for other countries like Singapore and Malaysia, thereby setting an international standard.

In the case of content-aggregating sites, such as AllDealsAsia, which is a Singapore-based daily deals aggregator and group buying site, the terms of use are slightly different as the site is allowing merchants to offer deals to the buyers on an online platform.

Referring to the terms of AllDealsAsia, the site provides distinct terms of sale that are categorised into three categories, including terms of sale for restaurant specific vouchers, terms of sale for non-restaurant merchant vouchers, and terms of sale for all deals including redemption of voucher for cash value.

While specifying all such terms, AllDealsAsia clearly mentions applicable laws in all the provisions, thereby drawing a distinct line while absolving its responsibility in case of direct dealings between merchants and buyers.

AllDealsAsia further defines responsibilities of the merchants succinctly whereby it is clearly stated that since the deals (vouchers) are offered by the merchants (and not AllDealsAsia), the merchant is solely responsible for redeeming the same. Detailed terms may be seen here.

From the perspective of business owners, a number of legal issues should be considered before the e-commerce site goes live. The general terms and conditions of use should be clearly defined, giving due consideration to contract law and consumer rights.

The terms governing online transactions between buyers and sellers should include provisions to limit transaction risk and protect the business by specifying limitations of liability, indemnities, returns policy and favourable legal jurisdiction.

The terms related to security, privacy and best trade practices should be defined in light of the laws of the jurisdiction.

It should also be ensured that the website does not host defamatory material, infringe third party intellectual property rights, and should further operate in accordance with the data storage and data protection laws of the country.

Businesses should also take strict measures to protect their own intellectual property rights by filing appropriate copyrights, trademarks, patents and design protections both domestically and internationally, which ensures strong brand protection in the digital world.

If you need business advisory services, you can refer to our Business Accelerator (TechCorpCapital), our law firm (TechCorpLegal) and our tech business consultancy (Tech Corp International Consultants, Singapore).

For technology specific advisory, you can refer to our premium service offerings for Mobile Applications, Social Media & Cyber Laws (CyberCorpLegal) and Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Food & Healthcare (BioCorpLegal).?

To know more about us, get connected with us on?LinkedIn?or mail us at?info [at] techcorplegal [dot] com

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On September 26, 2013 ? / ? Asia, Brand Licensing, Business, Business Idea, Business Management, Business Plan, China, Cloud, Consumer Goods, Copyrights, Creative Works, Cyber Corp Legal, Cyber Laws, e-commerce, Electronics & IT Industry, Entrepreneurs, Funding, India, Intellectual Property Rights, International Business, Jurisdiction, Law, Legal Research, Lifestyle, Malaysia, Market Entry Strategy, Patents, Publications, Singapore, Social Media, Startups, Technology, Trademarks ? / ? 1 Comment


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Gazebo Lighting – Home Architecture and Interior Design Ideas

There are two (2) kinds of gazebos. The first one is a permanent structure, while the second kind is the pop up gazebo. But for both kinds of gazebos, you are going to need lighting for when it gets too dark. There are factors to take into consideration when looking for the right lighting. The first factor is knowing what kind of gazebo you have. The other is knowing what the lights are for.

For a pop up gazebo, you have a choice between an outdoor chandelier and outdoor string lights. Patio gazebos are portable and are therefore not intended to support a traditional heavy chandelier. A traditional chandelier can be made of wrought iron, a material that has a lot of weight. They can have a maximum weight of sixty pounds or even more and are not safe to hang in a non-permanent structure. Because of this, you can say that weight is an important consideration in choosing an outdoor chandelier for an outdoor portable gazebo. In addition, there are outdoor chandeliers that need to be attached to a solid structure using a hardwire. It is advisable to select or opt for an outdoor chandelier that has a lighter weight for this purpose. One that has only a number of lights with a cord and plug is a smart choice.


Outdoor string lights

The other kind of light fit for a movable or pop up gazebo are outdoor string lights. If you are wondering how or what they look like, just think of your Christmas lights that are used to decorate or light up your Christmas tree by hanging them around it. They are characterized by a string of bulbs that are small. Instead of giving a bright light, these give out diffused brightness.? They serve the purpose of accentuating an object or a place, rather than being the center of a design. These can be attached to the structure of your portable gazebo by using tiny plastic ties.


Unlike pop up gazebos, non-portable or fixed gazebos have more lighting options that are available. Because fixed gazebos can accommodate wiring, an outdoor chandelier or one that weighs a little heavier can be used.? As an added protection, outdoor weather covers can be utilized for the chandelier outlets.? If a chandelier is not your type of lighting fixture for your outdoor permanent gazebo, you can opt for a flush mount ceiling kind of lighting. Together with this, railing lights and sconces that can be mounted on walls can make your gazebo brighter. Relaxation is usually the purpose of a gazebo, but some people consider reading or solving crossword puzzles as relaxation activities. Depending on what the users of the gazebo prefer, it is better to have more than one lighting option to suit your mood. So, you might want to consider having lighting provisions that can be turned dimmer or brighter.


Both the pop up and the permanent gazebos can be decorated with or lighted with small outdoor lights. Just a word of caution, should you opt for them, make sure to check that the wire insulation or wiring is in good condition. You can choose to entwine them around the posts and railings of the gazebo, or they can be neatly and securely attached wherever you wish by tiny brackets and screws.

Remember that you have a lighting type whatever your gazebo kind is. There are outdoor chandeliers, lighting fixtures meant to be mounted on walls, and of course the string lights. All of these can bring life and functionality to your gazebo.


There are numerous gazebo lighting options. As with anything, it is best that you plan ahead then narrow down your smart choices to the ones that meet the requirements of your gazebo. Outdoor chandeliers that can be used for gazebos are definitely a classy alternative.

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Some Delano Business Owners Glad City Dropped Oil Plans

Saturday, September 21, 2013

As the City of Wichita backs off plans to drill for oil downtown, Delano business owners are glad to hear about the change.

However, the neighborhood is also hoping to move forward with development plans of its own.

The city had applied for a conditional use permit to drill on a piece of city-owned property near Sycamore and McLean in order to reach oil that may be under Century II. However, City Councilman Jeff Longwell told KAKE News Friday that plan has now been scrapped.

A busy Saturday afternoon in Delano is something some business owners feared would become less common if oil production had moved into the neighborhood.

“(It’s) probably not the most appealing thing when visitors come down to see that right in the middle of our downtown neighborhood,” Julie Craft, owner of Sweet Cheeks Baby Boutique, said.

The Delano area has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, Don Cary, owner of All Things Barbecue, said.

“We’ve been in the area for four years and every year it’s a little bit busier and you see that the investment and the interest in the area just continues to grow,” Cary said.

Some Delano business owners and residents worried oil drilling would have hurt that momentum.

“Even if the oil was perfectly silent and even if it had zero odor, it would still scare away business,” Delano Neighborhood Association President Karen Cravens said. “It would still have an economic impact, even in the absolute best case.”

Now the neighborhood hopes to move forward with a decade-old plan to develop the site where the city no longer wants to drill into a park.

“We had just started fundraising for the architectural plans to be drawn up when this issue came up,” Cravens said. “So it’s kind of knocked us out for about two or three months of our fundraising, but now we’re getting back into it.”


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2013 Fall Arts & Entertainment Guide | News | Gambit – New Orleans …

For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, the Saenger Theatre reopens this week after a complete renovation ? with two nights of standup comedy by Jerry Seinfeld, and the entertainment calendar is packed for the rest of fall. With busy schedules at the Saenger, Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, The Civic Theatre and Joy Theater, New Orleans has a wide array of options.

??Gambit‘s fall entertainment guide highlights movies, concerts, comedy and dance, touring Broadway productions and alternative theater, music and cultural festivals, football and basketball and much more. There also are family-friendly shows and galas and fundraising events that support worthy causes.

Mark your calendars, reserve your tickets and enjoy.







Classical Concerts


Festivals and Events


Galas & Fundraisers

Nathan Mattise on the New Orleans Film Festival

Will Coviello on the Contemporary Arts Center?s season

Interview: Jane Krakowski

Alex Woodward on fall music festivals

Will Coviello on downtown theaters

Venues and box office information for New Orleans theaters

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Kings of clubs: the men who run London’s posh party scene are expanding their empires

Ruski?s arrival follows the launch this year of Guy Pelly?s Sloane Square nightspot Tonteria, the recent opening of Soho Sloane-magnet Disco and last winter?s big arrival, Bodo?s Schloss. Anyone who thought the posh clubbing phenomenon would fade as the social lives of the princes settled down only needs to look at the queues those venues attract on weekend nights for evidence that quite the opposite is happening. And the clubbing kingpins who once partied with William and Harry are now selling expensive drinks to the armies of girls who still hold out hope of a royal dance.

In fact, when the Standard called around, both Guy Pelly and his former business partner Howard Spooner revealed that they are opening new clubs in the near future. Here’s the latest from the chaps who rule posh London by night.


Ruski ravers

Diego Bivero-Volpe and Antoin Commane

Tonight this new pair of club owners will be nervously awaiting their first guests as Ruski?s opens for business on the easterly edge of High Street Kensington. It is marketed as a ?caviar and vodka tavern? and sits opposite Bodo?s Schloss where Bivero-Volpe, 30, and Commane, 28, properly made their name as promoters last year.

?We don?t have a guest list, but what we have is a door picker, a guy called Bruno who essentially curates the door,? says Bivero-Volpe, who is aiming for a 25-plus crowd. ?There are no set criteria, it?s more about your vibe and how he thinks you will fit in to the party,? he says.

Bruno is a model in his mid-twenties who Bivero-Volpe says ?knows what a good party is?. And is he expecting visits from the residents of nearby Kensington Palace? ?I can?t really release who is coming, but I can tell you that a few of our very close neighbours are popping in,? he says. Harry Hunters, form an orderly queue.


Party princes

Guy Pelly and Marc Burton

Described by one of his competitors as ?the Pied Piper of the young in Chelsea?, Pelly came to national attention as one of Prince William?s best friends and the marketing manager of Mayfair hotspot Mahiki. That?s where he met 29-year-old Marc Burton, and now the two are in business together as co-owners of Sloane Square bar/club Tonteria, having sold their stakes in Whisky Mist.

?We knew we had to create something really interesting and unique, and hopefully we have kind of achieved that,? Pelly tells me, taking delight in describing Tonteria?s eccentric Mexican-inspired aesthetic. ?We want it to feel like an old Mexican hacienda. We?ve got old wooden beams reclaimed from a wood yard and we went to a mascot company and got these massive wrestler masque heads that the girls put on when they bring out drinks. There?s a lot of theatre going on.?

A mini-train runs around the ceiling delivering shots, and the place turns from a relaxed tapas and cocktail bar into a bouncing club at about 10 o?clock. Pelly reveals that we can expect another venue from the pair in the next year as well. ?We work really well together. Tonteria has been a success, and we?re about the same age and we definitely want to work as a pair on other projects,? he says.

Pelly says the pair have two nightclub ideas, one that suits a Chelsea venue and one suits a Mayfair venue, and they are now searching for locations for an opening next year.


Schlossy posse

David Phelps, Piers Adam and Nick House

The godfathers of posh London clubbing, Phelps, Adam and House jointly own Mahiki?s, Bodo?s Schloss and Canaloa, and they all have other interests too (Adam and House own Whisky Mist, and Adam owns the private members Brompton Club, for example). Austrian-themed Bodo?s is their most recent hit, filling up with a young west London crowd as soon as it opened last year and taking a million pounds in its first five weeks.

?It is one of the most successful clubs we?ve ever launched,? says the media-shy Phelps, and he forecasts that it can take another million this December when its wintry theme comes into its own again.

?I think one of the reasons we?ve continued to succeed is that we have never sort of bought other people?s clubs, we have always created our own thing,? he says, ?Mahiki was very different from anything anyone had done for years, and Bodo?s Schloss is a completely different concept to anything I?ve ever seen in London.?

A big Mahiki outpost in Dubai is already working well for the trio and four more international sites are lined up, including New York. ?It has now been running in Mayfair successfully for seven years, and it?s still at the pinnacle which is quite rare for a nightclub. So all our efforts the past two years have been doing these international deals to roll Mahiki out,? says Phelps, who started doing events with Adam when they were 19-year-old students at Oxford polytechnic.

Posh club godfathers: Nick House and Piers Adams (Picture: Matt Writtle) ?

Duke of clubs

Howard Spooner

When the Chelsea super-club Public went up in flames last year after a very brief life, it was a big blow for the tall, friendly Spooner and his co-owners Pelly and Phelps. When he was forced to close Public by a restricted council licence he went up the road and opened DukeBox, a very expensive and very small venue that has become a firm favourite among twentysomething Fulhamites. Now we can reveal that Spooner ? who also owns much bigger and less posh Clapham Grand which he describes as ?a mid-twenties snogathon? ? is moving south of the river to Battersea.

?I literally just sold my stake in DukeBox,? he says, confirming he has sold out to his co-founder Dipak Panchal, and at a profit. ?It was fun for a year but after a year I thought: he?s got his own ideas, I?ve definitely got my own ideas, so before we started pulling in different directions we sort of almost tossed a coin as to who was going to buy who out.?

His new venture in Battersea is ?a Masonic hall that hasn?t been touched since 1940,? he says, promising a venue that will give the armies of well-wheeled young people in the area a place to go after Bunga Bunga. ?There?s nowhere like it in this area.?

It will open just before Christmas, he says: ?No-one knows about it, the ink?s not even dry.?


Bouji knight

Matt Hermer

This year Hermer celebrated the 10th anniversary of Boujis ? the club which launched when Prince Harry was 19 and William was 21 and began the Sloaney nightlife revolution. The former City boy, who also owns the Eclipse cocktails bars, is now married with a child, and says he only pops in to Boujis once a month these days.

?Of course it didn?t hinder business,? Hermer says when I ask him how important the royal connection was, ?but these things cause problems too. I would love for them to come in every night, but the place becomes a bit different ? you get security in there, you get people coming in who want to take pictures.?

Hermer?s staying power has had a lot do with maintaining his club?s slightly ?Sloane Mark 1? atmosphere. ?Europeans and public school Brits have been our crowd,? he says, ?that?s who we had from the onset and that was part of the appeal. We were never aiming for the massive high spenders ? the Russians, the Arabs ? we never went after them, which means our regulars still feel comfortable.?


Bunga boys

Duncan Stirling and Charlie Gilkes

Known as the ?Bunga Bunga boys? after the success of their Battersea karaoke bar of that name, Gilkes and Stirling are now opening clubs at an alarming rate, with Seventies-themed Soho den Disco their latest venture. If it turns out as well as Bunga Bunga or their Fulham Road club Maggie?s, the pair will join the posh club elite.

Gilkes is close to Pippa and has holidayed with the Middletons on the island of Mustique, but his venues get most of their appeal from being more laid back than clubs like Whisky Mist or Boujis.

?For me,? Gilkes tells the Standard, ?this industry encompasses everything I love: food, travel, drink and property.

Club skippers: Duncan Stirling and Charlie Gilkes (Picture: Rebecca Reid) ?


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