The latest casualties bring to 53 the number of Turkish soldiers killed in Syria this month alone.The flare-up came after Turkish-backed rebels reentered the key crossroads town of Saraqeb in Idlib province.The town had been one of the most significant gains of the government offensive earlier in February because it lies along the M5 highway that connects Syria’s four largest cities.A Syrian military source quoted by the state news agency SANA had accused Ankara on Thursday of actively supporting the groups that retook Saraqeb.The Observatory said that Turkish artillery fire was helping the rebel factions in Saraqeb resist regime efforts to wrest back the town on Friday.Topics : There was no immediate confirmation from Damascus of the 16 deaths or any comment on the flare-up with Ankara that prompted NATO to call an urgent meeting of its ruling council for later Friday.”Sixteen regime fighters were killed in Turkish bombardment,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.Turkey had said it retaliated “from the air and ground” for the deaths of 33 soldiers, Ankara’s biggest single loss of personnel by far since it launched its intervention in Syria in 2016.The deadly strike comes after weeks of growing tension between Turkey and Russia — the main foreign brokers in the Syrian conflict. Turkish reprisals killed 16 Syrian soldiers in the battleground northwestern province of Idlib on Friday after a bombardment Ankara blamed on Damascus killed 33 Turkish soldiers, a monitor said.The retaliatory drone and artillery strikes hit Syria army positions in southern and eastern parts of the province which were recaptured by the government in a nearly three-month-old offensive against the rebel enclave, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.Also on Friday in Idlib, four members of a single family, two of them children, were killed in air strikes, the Britain-based monitoring group said.
Share David Clifton, Licensing Expert: Has the die already been cast? July 15, 2020 Related Articles Share David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Puzzle upon puzzle marks the path ahead June 4, 2020 StumbleUpon David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Better the devil you know… May 1, 2020 David CliftonSome of you may remember “The Enforcer”, the third in the Dirty Harry film series, starring Clint Eastwood as Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan. The critic’s reviews were initially poor – Eastwood was named “Worst Actor of the Year” by the Harvard Lampoon – but the film was a major commercial success.Now, 41 years later, Sarah Harrison, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, steps forward to make the role of “Enforcer” very much her own, albeit in a style, I should make clear, that bears no resemblance whatsoever to that adopted by Dirty Harry! You have an opportunity to publish your own critical review by responding to the Commission’s latest consultation “Changes to our enforcement strategy: putting the consumer first”, that was published on 26 January.Both the consultation paper and the Commission’s consultation responses template can be accessed via our website at http://cliftondavies.com/gambling-commission-publishes-enforcement-strategy-consultation/ Responses should be sent by post to the Commission or by email to [email protected] so that they are received by 21 April 2017.According to the Commission, the consultation paper sets out the its proposals for “a new vision for [its] enforcement action which will guide how [it uses its] powers” and “emphasises [its] expectations that gambling businesses put consumers first, and sets out proposals for credible deterrence”.It is driven by the Commission’s new enforcement mission statement, that sets out its reinforced focus on protection of consumers and the general public and Its intention to improve standards across the industry by:driving a consumer-first culture,improving compliance with the licensing objectives,reducing gambling related harm anddeterring operators from behaving in a way which is inconsistent with these goals.Sarah Harrison gave due warning of all of this in her “Raising Standards” conference speech in November 2016, when she said: “One of the principles in the Commission’s existing statement for licensing and regulation is a preference for pursuing compliance through means that stop short of a licence review, in favour of a regulatory settlement. We propose to remove this bias in favour of settlement. We will put access to all tools, including licence review (both of the operator and personal management licences), on an equal footing”.What is abundantly clear from the consultation is that the Commission has completely reappraised its approach to enforcement in line with its intention to:place a renewed focus on consumers,put access to all of its enforcement tools on the same footing,emphasise to licensees the importance of timeliness and speed on their part during enforcement proceedings,impose higher penalties for breaches, particularly where the Commission sees systemic and repeated failings,give credit, in the form of reduced financial penalties, where licensees co-operate and make early admissions andtreat repeat behaviour by licensees and within the industry, as a significant aggravating factor at the enforcement stage.Included as annexes to the consultation document are the key changes that the Commission proposes to make to its:Statement of principles for licensing and regulation,Licensing, compliance and enforcement, policy statement andStatement of principle for determining financial penalties.and it has also produced a new document called “Indicative sanctions guidance”, in which it sets out a framework for decision-making about regulatory enforcement and the sanctions that might follow.It’s quite clear that Sarah Harrison is prepared to come out with all guns blazing. Describing the consultation to delegates at the World Regulatory Briefing on 7 February, she said that the new enforcement strategy “represents the strongest message from the Commission of our determination to use all our powers, as Parliament intended, to protect consumers and safeguard the integrity of the market”.However, she also said in her “Raising Standards” speech that “operators who spot an issue, declare it to [the Commission], implement a quick and effective improvement plan, focussed on preventing reoccurrence, and who make redress to consumers, should be credited. In this instance, we would certainly consider resolution through settlement rather than licence review”.Such an approach was adopted last month by Isle of Man based (but Gambling Commission licensed) betting operators TGP Europe Limited and Fesuge Limited who:promoted bonus offers during the Cheltenham festival last March for new sign-ups and for existing customers,assessed that a large number of bets had been placed in contravention of clause 15.2 of their terms that provided that “in the event that we suspect that you or any other player is abusing or attempting to abuse a bonus or other promotion, or is likely to benefit through such abuse we may block, deny or suspend, withhold or cancel the account of any such player, including your account if we determine that you are involved in such”,decided to suspend over 5,000 accounts (resulting in a very large number of complaints to both the Commission and IBAS) andnotified the Commission, via a key event submission, of their concerns relating to suspected bonus abuse and that they had suspended players accounts.TGP and Fesuge co-operated with the Commission, acknowledging that their handling of the matter had been inefficient and accepting that their terms were unfair (being unclear and ambiguous) and did not provide a clear definition of bonus abuse. They identified serious shortcomings in their original assessment and acted promptly, after the initial suspension on withdrawals, and began to release funds to affected customers on a case-by-case basis.Accordingly, although the Commission found that there had been breaches of licence condition 7.1.1B (General ‘fair and open’ provisions) as well as Social Responsibility code provision 18.104.22.168a (Rewards and bonuses), it agreed to conclude the matter by way of a voluntary settlement, pre-empting the need for commencement of a formal licence review.The settlement was on the following terms:agreement by the operators to the publication of a public statement outlining their failings for industry and wider learning,changes to their terms in order to address the failings identified, including providing clearer information about the definition of “bonus abuse”,implementation of a wide package of measures to improve compliance in this area including, but not limited to:engaging a firm of solicitors to undertake a full review of terms to ensure compliance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015,appointing an Operations Manager based in the Isle of Man to oversee changes to their processes and controls,improving anti-fraud processes and staff training andchanges in their business structures, Submit agreement to contribute £7,000 to the Commission’s costs of investigating the matter.The Commission has said that it considers that operators should learn from this case and:take a proactive approach in assessing their policies and procedures to ensure that the terms and conditions of their bonus promotions are fair and that consumers can easily understand those terms, andact quickly when evidence of consumer detriment is identified, especially in response to complaints.Operators should take note before The Enforcer comes calling!________________David Clifton – Director – Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited
DES MOINES — Officials are advising Iowa nursing homes to take additional steps to protect residents and staff. COVID-19 outbreaks have been confirmed in nursing homes in Linn, Washington, and Tama Counties.Sarah Reisetter, the deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, says all Iowa nursing homes have been encouraged to screen every resident for fever and cough or breathing problems daily.“If residents do become ill, those residents may worsen on day 7 to 8 of their symptoms,” Reisetter says.Every Iowa nursing home is urged to have a plan for who to call and how to transfer a resident who needs hospital care. Reisetter says there are new guidelines for nursing home staff, too.“We are asking employees to use face masks and eye protection at all times for all resident care,” Reisetter says. “…We’ve asked them to consider gown and glove use at all times for all resident care to the extent the (personal protective equipment) is available, but certainly at facilities where outbreaks are being experienced.”No visitors have been allowed inside Iowa nursing homes since March 10th, unless it’s an ‘end of life’ circumstance for a resident that’s not related to COVID-19. All staff must have their temperature taken at the beginning and end of their shifts.“We’ve asked them to identify any other health care facilities where staff work, including recommendations that staff not work in other facilities, if possible,” Reisetter says, “and, at a minimum if they do need to work, to use a face mask and eye protection for all patient care in any health care setting where they may be working.”State officials are making other recommendations, like moving residents who have COVID-19 symptoms to a single room and ensuring staff who care for them are not interacting with other nursing home residents, “so that dedicated staff are working with ill residents and not with health residents,” Reisetter says.There are more than 440 long term care facilities in Iowa. Ten percent of all the Iowans who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are either a nursing home resident or employee and nearly half of the Iowans who have died of COVID-19 have been nursing home residents.