Archive for May, 2018

Brent-WTI spread breaks above $10 a barrel for first time since 2015

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Electric Buses will be Introduced in Veliko Tarnovo

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

A new line, which will be serviced by electric buses and optimized urban transport system in Veliko Tarnovo. This is what the Mayor of the Old Capital, Daniel Panov, said at today’s meeting of the Municipal Council. The purchase of electric vehicles is envisaged as a measure in an integrated urban transport project, which Veliko Tarnovo municipality prepares under the “Regions for Growth” OP 2014-2020.

Another of the planned activities is related to the construction of buffer parking lots. The planned locations are in the area of ??the former sergeant school and at the foot of the Baldwin tower. The electric buses will connect the two car parks with the main tourist attractions and the central part of the city. “This is the modern European practice of limiting traffic,” said Daniel Panov.

Designing a new transport scheme, creating optimal connections between the different parts of Veliko Tarnovo, considering the consumption of passenger flows, a new configuration of part of the existing routes of the urban lines are also included in the future project. The state-of-the-art information system will provide real-time traffic information for buses and reduce waiting times at stops.

Construction of a pedestrian overpass over “Magistralna” Street, reconstruction of the crossroads near Belyakovsko shosse and the summer theater, changing asphalt of Bulgaria Blvd., modernization of four traffic lights and introduction of a parking information system are also among the envisaged components. “In view of the amount of funding, the possibility of including the junctions at the court and at the entrance of the Buzludja neighborhood in the project is also checked,” Daniel Panov said.

The mayor pointed out that the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo is working on other current projects for improving the organization of the traffic and optimizing the traffic. Among them is the construction of a northern road junction at the foot of the Trapezitsa fortress. The technical design is expected to be commissioned within a month. “I hope that MRDPW will commission construction next year and the facility will reduce traffic in the Old Town with between 4000 and 6000 cars per day,” said Mayor Panov.

The approved investment program of the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo under the Regions for Growth OP 2014-2020 envisages an indicative amount of the financing for integrated urban transport amounting to 10.8 million Leva.

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Romania and Lithuania Helped CIA to Torture Prisoners

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

European judges have ruled that our northern neighbor- Romania and Lithuania have violated the rights of two suspected terrorists from “Al Qaeda” and helped the CIA to abuse them, reports the BBC (BBC).

The United States caught Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashari after the New York attacks of September 11, 2001, and are now in jail at Guantanamo Bay.

CIA operates in a number of secret prisons, including those in Lithuania and Romania.

The European Court of Human Rights has stated that both sides have supported the US torture of the two suspects.

 

The existence of so-called “black spots” for interrogation by the CIA was kept secret for many years after 11th of September.

AbZubaydahda, a Palestinian born in Saudi Arabia, is believed to have been Al Qaeda’s chief recruiter in the 1990s. Later, he became a key figure in the terrorist organization acting as a liaison between Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda cells.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nasriy who was born in Saudi Arabian is in charge of al-Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf, according to US intelligence.

 

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15 Sales Objections Your Small Business Will Face and How to Handle Them

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

15 Tips for Overcoming Sales Objections

Picture this. You’re on the phone with a prospect and your sales pitch is going smoothly. They’re responding positively to everything you say and you think you have this sale locked down. Then comes the dreaded objection. They don’t agree with your pricing, your features, or they just simply don’t have the ability to implement your product or service at the moment. But this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Rather than getting downtrodden and simply hanging up the call, you can navigate those objections and turn them into opportunities.

Tips for Overcoming Sales Objections

Here are 15 common sales objections and some suggestions for handling them so you can continue to grow your business.

Your Services Cost Too Much

The most common objectives that sales professionals tend to get are about price. Some prospects legitimately don’t understand the value of your product or service, while others who have every intention of buying simply want to see if you’ll offer a better deal. So rather than immediately dropping the price, call attention to the features that add value for them.

We Don’t Have the Budget Space

Another objection that’s related to price, this slight difference does require a slightly different approach. Since it has more to do with the prospect’s own cash flow issues rather than a problem with how they perceive the value of your product or service, you can navigate this issue either by working out an alternative payment plan that allows them to balance their budget in the short and long term or by arranging a time to speak again in the next quarter.

We Don’t Have the Time to Implement This Product/Service

Time is another pressing issue for a lot of potential customers. This can be especially relevant for B2B software companies or those that sell systems that need to be implemented throughout an organization. In these instances, it’s best to give a realistic estimation of how long that product takes based on the experience of past buyers — it may be shorter than they think. It can also help to call their attention to the pain points of their current situation. Perhaps they’re wasting a ton of time by not using your product, so that implementation period can easily be made up in the weeks that follow.

It’s Not the Right Time

Vague brush-offs like this one can be difficult to navigate. Try to segue the conversation into a question about their pain points. Perhaps they don’t have the time to speak right now because their organization isn’t running efficiently, which your product or service could help with. However, it’s also important to read the conversation and know when to stop, so you can reach out to them again later without them having formed a negative opinion of your pushy tactics.

I’ve Never Heard of Your Business

In some cases, a prospect might be interested in what you have to offer, but not necessarily sold on getting it from your business in particular. Without getting into a lengthy explanation, provide some quick and valuable information about your company and why they should trust you. You could share how long you’ve been in business, how many products you’ve sold, or even point them to some testimonials on your website, which they might not even check out but feel better knowing they exist.

Your Product/Service Is Missing an Important Feature

If your product doesn’t have a specific feature that a prospect is looking for, you could try suggesting a complementary product that they could use in conjunction with yours. If it’s easy to implement and less expensive than a more fully featured offering, they might consider. If not, they’re probably just not a good fit.

Your Product/Service Doesn’t Work for Our Business Currently

This objection could be another sign that your offering simply isn’t a good fit for a prospect. However, it is a good opportunity for you to ask questions and find out what features or services the company is looking for, or what they might be looking for in the future. This can help you determine if this lead is still worth pursuing, and could help you create a more beneficial pitch down the road.

I Don’t Understand Your Product/Service

If a prospect simply doesn’t understand what you’re selling, it’s a great opportunity for you to explain it in basic terms. Make sure you frame your explanation in a way that details how the experience will look to them and how it can benefit them, rather than focusing on the technical elements.

I Don’t See the Need for This Product/Service

If they aren’t sold on the need for your product or service, call attention to their current pain points and relate the benefits of your offering directly back to them.

I Don’t Want to Make Any Change

Complacency is a pretty common objection, and one that gives you an opportunity to ask questions. Find out why they’re happy with their current setup and why they’re hesitant to make a change. This could lead to an opening for you to really call attention to how your offering could help with their current pain points.

I Don’t Want to Get Stuck in a Contract

Contracts are a major issue for buyers. They don’t want to get stuck with a product or service if they’re not 100 percent sure they’re going to be satisfied. It can also be a sign of cash flow concerns. So if possible, see if they’d be interested in a month-by-month version of your product or even a trial period, rather than locking them into a full year or whatever your lengthy contract period is.

I’m Locked into a Contract with Another Company

If the prospect is already in agreement on a contract with a competitor, you can try to come up with a creative discount that could help them offset the cost of breaking that contract, or call attention to the ROI of using your product over your competitor’s.

It’s Just Not a Priority Right Now

This objection is an opportunity for you to ask questions about what the prospect’s priorities are. Once you get that information, you could use it to formulate a pitch that positions your product to help with those specific priorities. It can also help to create a sense of urgency by referring back to their specific pain points.

I Can’t Sell This to My Boss/Partner

If the objection is a question of authority within an organization. It suggests that the person you’re speaking to is sold, but the higher-ups won’t be. In this case, see if you can set up a time to speak with them directly. If not, ask the prospect what objections they anticipate so that you can address them.

I Need to Run This By My Partner First

A similar objection with slightly more optimistic outlook, this phrase gives you the opportunity to set up a meeting with that third party or schedule a specific time to get back in touch with the prospect. Ask if they need any information or materials from you if they’ll be reaching out, so you can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “15 Sales Objections Your Small Business Will Face and How to Handle Them” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Bulgarian Customs Officers Seized nearly 700,000 Fake Children’s Goods

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Over 675,000 children’s items, including toys, clothes and other goods intended for children, have been detained by customs officers over the past 18 months. In 68% of the objects, the ground for detention is a violation of the legal framework relating to the protection of intellectual property rights. In the remaining 32% of the cases, there are smuggled goods that have not been declared to Bulgarian customs in the relevant order.

Most of the goods detained are toys – nearly 340,000 items, of which 94% of the trademarked firms have claimed to be counterfeit. Secondly, the group of clothes and other textiles – nearly 87,000 pieces, of which 82% were counterfeit. Customs officers most often retain imitation of popular toys – children’s mobile phones, plastic constructions, figurines, dolls and more. Often detained goods are sets of T-shirts and shorts that mimic the ones of famous world players.

Another trend is about any merchandise, including textile towels, lamps, shoes, tents, candy packages, stationery and school supplies, etc., to put the images of popular cartoon characters. In this way, the child is attracted to precisely these products and not to the cheaper alternatives without illustrations.

The detained child counterfeit goods arrive mainly from China and Turkey.

Along with counterfeit and smuggled goods, in recent months, together with the State Agency for Metrology and Technical Surveillance, the Customs Agency has also prevented the realization of over 263,000 non-conforming and dangerous toys. The largest number among them are the spinners (251,900), and softball balls (115,732), as well as smaller quantities of children’s scooters, hoverboards and antistress cubes.

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Bulgarian Foreign Minister Zaharieva Establishes Diplomatic Relations with Vanuatu

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Bulgaria and Vanuatu will establish diplomatic relations – this was agreed in Lom?, Togo, the foreign ministers of the two countries Ekaterina Zaharieva and Ralph Regenvanu, the press center of the MFA announced.

The two diplomats spoke before the EU’s Joint Ministerial Council and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, which will take place in Lom?, the capital of the Republic of Togo, in the next two days. The Forum, which includes delegations from 79 countries, is co-chaired by Ekaterina Zaharieva as Chair of the Council of the European Union.

In 2001, Bulgaria took steps to establish diplomatic relations with a number of Pacific island states, including the Republic of Vanuatu. So far, they have been established with Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Fiji.

This is the first meeting of Bulgaria’s foreign ministers and Vanuatu, both sides concluded that there are no obstacles to the establishment of bilateral relations. Zaharieva and Regenvanu agreed that there is potential for cooperation, especially within the framework of international organizations.

It was pointed out that, as an EU Member State, we attach great importance to the European Union’s relations with developing countries and seek more opportunities for exchange of experience and building closer ties with the small island states in the Pacific. The meeting discussed a number of problems in the Pacific, including the process of decolonization. Despite its small territory, Vanuatu is one of the world’s most linguistic and cultural landscapes – the archipelago is known for 113 different languages ??and dialects. The country is also the first in the world to ban the plastic bags and straws from July 1st.

Source

PM Borisov Informed the Representatives of EU Countries about his Latest Visits

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has informed EU diplomats about the talks he made during his recent visits abroad, the press service of the cabinet said.

Borisov had a meeting with the Permanent Representatives of the governments of the EU member states, where he said that:

“We need to continue the efforts for the integration of the Western Balkan countries, there is now a political will for that.”

He has declared the EU summit Western Balkans in Sofia as a very successful one, because all the member states were convinced of the need for the Euro-Atlantic path of the countries in the region.

The topic of migration has been mentioned by the Bulgarian Prime Minister as a an important matter for Europe which needs flixible reaction. 

“We are in the toughest place in Europe – we have a huge land and sea borders with Turkey. We have a barrier, we spend a lot of money, but we guarantee the EU’s external border, “said Boyko Borissov, stressing that a solution is needed with clear rules for migrants, and that anyone entering Europe must do so on a legal basis way, through a border crossing point Borisov informed the diplomats of the EU countries about the talks during his last visits abroad.

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ShortPixel Image Optimizer Can Speed Up Your Business Site

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

ShortPixel Image Optimizer Can Help Speed Up Your Site

There are plenty of reasons you need a faster website, but the top two include keeping your visitors happy and getting a higher Google page rank.

In fact, starting this July, Google will be using page speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches.

There are lots of ways that you can increase your website’s loading speed, including applying sophisticated caching or even upgrading to a faster server, but one of the easiest and cost-effective way to go about it is to reduce the size of images that are displayed on your website.

And get this right, this doesn’t mean literally reducing the size of the image. You want larger images for better visibility. However, image files contain a lot of unnecessary data that once removed makes file sizes smaller, allowing your website pages to load much quicker, without any visually detectable loss of quality.

Installing the ShortPixel Image Optimizer

The sign-up process is fast and easy. Just go to shortpixel.com and you will receive your API Key and password after signing-up on your email. They have a wide range of pricing plans, ranging from the Free Plan to the $49 per year plan. The free plan includes 100 image optimization credits per month.

How ShortPixel Works

ShortPixel offers image optimization via an API from their cloud. They also plan to add other tools as client libraries for Ruby and Java, plugins for Magento and Joomla and a mobile app.

For a simple image optimization, just click the compress button on your account and you will then be allowed to choose your compression level that ranges from Lossy to Glossy to Lossless. You can as well optimize up to 50 files at once. The acceptable formats include PNG, Jpeg and GIF. You can as well compress PDFs.

Here is the before and after photo. It is safe to say that there is no noticeable loss in quality.

ShortPixel Image Optimizer Can Help Speed Up Your Site

ShortPixel On Your WordPress Site

ShortPixel also has a WordPress plugin that allows you to optimize all your WordPress images with just a push of a button.

To get started, search for ShortPixel on WordPress.org, download and install.

ShortPixel Image Optimizer Can Help Speed Up Your Site

Before you start using the plugin, ShortPixel will ask you for an API key, which would have already been sent to your email upon signing up.

Make sure you choose your compression level, which basically tells ShortPixel how aggressively you want to compress your images. The default Lossy setting is okay, but if you want high-quality photos you might want to choose between the less aggressive Lossless and Glossy options.

ShortPixel Pricing

Besides the free plan that you can use to test out the optimizer, there are a number of other monthly and one-time paid plans.

If you just want to optimize a ton of images (not more than 10,000 images at a go) then you should try the one-time $9.99 plan.

ShortPixel Image Optimizer Can Help Speed Up Your Site

The monthly and one-time plans are adequate for any small business owner that seeks to optimize his/her website images. However, bigger companies can go for the Dedicated Servers option that gives them a dedicated physical server and for $1,000 per month they are able to get up to 16 million optimizations per month.

Conclusion

Overall, ShortPxel offers a solid service and it is easy to use. The optimized images are smaller in size, yet the quality is as good as advertised.

For occasional bloggers, the free plan might just be enough, but a small business owner running an e-commerce site or a blog would still get a decent number of image credits for a fair price. Upload the compressed images to your website and take note of the faster page loading speeds.

Image: ShortPixel

This article, “ShortPixel Image Optimizer Can Speed Up Your Business Site” was first published on Small Business Trends

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UK set to back construction of a new nuclear plant in Wales

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Ministers expected to announce an outline agreement next week

Belgium is Investigating Bulgarian Businesses for Labor Exploitation

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Bulgarian companies offering care for the elderly in Belgium have exploited their workers, local media reported, referring to journalistic investigation data. Nine Bulgarian companies registered at the same address were inspected. They provided care workers for people who did not want to be accommodated in a nursing home. Care for the elderly was done at home, 24 hours a day, by 82 caregivers.

Employees in companies were forced to sign a contract that, if they talk to the Belgian authorities, owed a fine of 1000 euros. It is not known whether carers have been trained for the work they have done. The investigation found that Bulgarian workers received only 350-700 euros per month, half of the minimum wage in Belgium. At the same time, the elderly people who received care paid for the service 2500 euros a month.

The issues of overtime pay have not been settled, and workers have borne their own costs for airline tickets, accommodation, and healthcare. The Bulgarians have been sent for six months, and according to the media they have been victims of modern slave exploitation. Authorities in the northern province of Flanders have undertaken a check for which the Bulgarian companies have transferred the ownership. The Flemish authorities say they will take long-term measures to curb such abuses that harm older people and social workers alike.

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