first_imgPurplebricks has been given a £266,973 fine by HM Revenue & Customers for breaches of money laundering rules, the largest ever given to a UK estate agency.This follows the £215,000 fine given to Countrywide in March last year for similar offences.Purplebricks has issued a statement saying the breaches took place in 2018 and that it has reviewed its processes since then and “improved our compliance procedures”.The company is one of ten to have their fines published by HMRC for the period 1st August 2019 to 31st January 2020 although it received by far the largest. Laxmi Jewellers, which received the next biggest fine, received a penalty of £23,142.Purplebricks is the only stock market listed company on the list which includes mostly small accountancy firms, a car dealer and several firms that help set up trusts and companies for clients.BreachesAn HMRC statement says that: “These breaches [by Purplebricks] are failures in having the correct policies, controls and procedures, conducting due diligence and timing of verification.”As a supervisor of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, which came into effect on 26 June 2017, HMRC has a duty to publish details of businesses that do not comply with the regulations and are registered with HMRC for anti-money laundering supervision.An HMRC spokesperson says: “Money laundering funds serious and organised crime and costs the UK economy billions of pounds every year. The money-laundering regulations are a vital line of defence against that.”aml fine Purplebricks fine HM Revenue & Customs HMRC anti money laundering August 18, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Purplebricks given largest ever AML fine for an estate agency previous nextRegulation & LawPurplebricks given largest ever AML fine for an estate agencyThe hybrid’s sloppy compliance procedures are slammed by HMRC who have given the agency a larger fine than even Countrywide’s £215,000 AML penalty of last year.Nigel Lewis18th August 202003,536 Viewslast_img read more

first_imgBy D. Scott NeSmith University of Georgia Volume XXVIII Number 1 Page 10 Our friends to the north may not worry over the amount of winter “chill hours” they get. They get plenty. But here in the Southeast, it’s critical in growing blueberries.What and why?Chill hours is a term for the number of hours required (below 45 degrees from Oct. 1 through Feb. 15 in Georgia) for many fruit crops to bloom “normally.” Neither the temperature nor the accumulation time are exact. They’re just guidelines.Blueberry varieties are classified by the number of chill hours they need to readily bloom. If you plant a high-chill cultivar in a low-chill environment, then spring bud break may be erratic and prolonged. This can lead to poor pollination, especially for rabbiteye blueberries.Likewise, if you grow a low-chill plant in a high-chill area, it’s very likely to bloom prematurely, which can lead to freeze damage to blooms and severe crop losses.In a study of seven rabbiteye blueberry varieties over the past five years near Alapaha, Ga., the five-year average bloom dates were: “Climax,” March 7; “Premier,” March 13; “Austin,” March 16; “Alapaha,” March 18; “Brightwell,” March 21; “Tifblue,” March 23; and “Ochlockonee,” March 27.Study resultsA few things are evident from the study.First, the varieties bloomed on different dates. So they respond differently to the same amount of chilling. This is due to some varieties having a lower chilling requirement than others.It’s critical to recognize the differences in blueberry variety bloom dates and to plant a mixture that will bloom near the same time.Overlapping bloom times are crucial in growing rabbiteye blueberries, since the species requires cross pollination to successfully set fruit.Tifblue, for example, would likely perform much better, in terms of fruit set, if planted with Brightwell than if planted with Climax. The new releases Alapaha and Austin have compatible bloom dates, so they would be good varieties to plant together.If you want three varieties, it might be useful to plant a mix of Alapaha, Brightwell and Premier to provide the most overlap in bloom time.The study shows, too, how greatly the bloom date can vary from year to year, depending on the number of chill hours.Interestingly, the test site had a near-record low number of chill hours (363) in 1999 and a near-record high number (916) in 2001. These two years should represent the extremes for bloom dates for these varieties.The bloom dates in the frigid winter of ’01 and the warm winter of ’99 were: Climax, March 1 and 16; Premier, March 3 and 28; Brightwell, March 5 and 29; Austin, March 6 and 24; Alapaha, March 8 and 23; Tifblue, March 11 and 30; and Ochlockonee, March 14 and April 4.Use these dates to help assess the risks of growing a variety in your area. Those that consistently bloom after your average last frost date would be less at risk than those that bloom earlier.If you still want to plant the risky varieties, try to use higher sites that are less prone to frost damage. Or, if possible, use frost-protection sprinklers on these varieties.Getting the informationIn Georgia, you can get up-to-date weather data, including chill hours, for more than 50 sites across the state from the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network ( can get a general idea of when your blueberries might bloom, based on the chill hours received for the year. (Again, this isn’t exact).It’s hard to do anything about the weather. But this shouldn’t keep us from being learning the effects of year-round weather on the growth of crops like blueberries.It may look like little is going on in those leafless blueberry plants during the winter, but don’t be fooled. Those plants are chilling out, getting prepared to bloom.last_img read more

first_imgTime to clear the deck again.  Here’s a collection of sweet and sour news nuggets readers may wish to munch on.Fossils: big early spider:  An exquisitely preserved spider has been found in Chinese Jurassic strata; see picture on National Geographic News.  This pushes the origin of its genus back 130 million years, according to the article.Early man: waggle dance:  Is the human mind a collective innovation, like the waggle dance of the honeybee?  John Hoffecker [U of Colorado] got free rein to speculate about the “emergence” of the human brain by evolution in a Science Daily article that spoke of evolution six times and emergence three times, but never tied any genetic mutation to the ability to create stone axes, mechanical clocks, music, and space shuttles.Solar system: poisonous Pluto:  According to, Pluto has a “surprisingly high” concentration of poisonous carbon monoxide in its tenuous atmosphere.  Another surprise is that its atmosphere extends not just 60 miles above the surface, but 1,860 miles – one fourth the distance to its large moon Charon.Extrasolar planets: hot Jupiter shock:  How can giant planets orbiting their stars closer than Mercury avoid being stripped of their atmospheres?  Royal Astronomical Society reported that they create bow shocks that stream deadly ions around them.  “The presence of a magnetic field could greatly reduce the amount of stellar wind the planet is exposed to, effectively acting as a shield and helping the atmosphere survive.”  Incidentally, that’s what protects earth from a deadly fate.  The L word life was brought up at the end of the article.Plant evolution: plot change:  The ancestors of land plants were not stonewort-like algae after all.  PhysOrg now tells us that the ancestors were actually conjugating green algae [Zygnematales] such as Spirogyra.  Why the change?  According to a multinational research team,It seems that Zygnematales have lost oogamy and their ability to produce sperm and egg cells, and instead, possibly due to selection pressure in the absence of free water, use conjugation for reproduction.  Investigation of such a large number of genes has shown that, despite their apparent simplicity, Zygnematales have genetic traces of other complex traits also associated with green land plants.Evolutionists must be getting warmer at least; PhysOrg also told its readers, “Researchers pinpoint key events in ancient plant evolution.”  Those clever evolutionists are like magicians: “Researchers from the University of Florida and six other institutions have unlocked some of the key foundations for the evolution of seed and flowering plants.”  Maybe your foundations don’t have locks, but the ones at Down House apparently do.Dinosaurs: mighty mouths:  Artwork of a giant Brontomerus delivering a sharp kick, sending a predator flying, accompanies an article on Live Science, “How dinosaurs got huge.”  But the article is not about dinosaur kickboxing, really; it’s about what the giants had to eat to get so big.  Apparently their teeth just raked in the vegetation without the need to chew it.  Compare your diet with theirs: 100,000 calories a day just to stay slim.Marine evolution: divining plankton:  According to PhysOrg, “Plankton fossils tell tale of evolution and extinction.”  According to a Dr Thomas Ezard [University College London], “if we want to understand evolution fully, we need to acknowledge that not all species are one and the same.  The astonishing abundance and diversity of these foraminifera provides crucial clues in awkward parts of evolution’s puzzle.”Fossils: tooth tales:  In an article about how wear marks on teeth can provide clues to diet, PhysOrg got into all kinds of other subjects: when early man learned to cook, why gorillas prefer fruit with their sharp teeth, 14 hour days in the rainforest removing leeches, and attracting kids who love dinosaurs into careers studying evolution.Fossil politics: oyster climate change:  According to PhysOrg, oyster reefs provide a record of past climate change millions of years ago.  But according to Live Science, teens get a failing grade for not realizing that humans are responsible for climate change.Evolutionary theory: new law:  If you thought evolution was a story of upward progress from simplicity to complexity, consider this new evolutionary law stated by Science Daily: “Successful Blueprints Are Recycled by Evolution.”  This is “evolution with a twist,” said a team of evolutionists looking into “the question whether the gene regulatory programs that control this development have been ‘invented’ only once during evolution or whether they might have arisen anew in different species.”  One odd finding from genetics of fruit flies: “Some of the fly species that we looked at are as closely related as humans are to other primates.  Others are as distant as humans and birds.”Evolution and the human birth canal:  According to a story on Medical Express, “Evolutionary changes that make us uniquely human – such as our large heads and narrow pelvises – may have ‘pushed’ human birth timing earlier and can be used to identify genes associated with preterm birth, a new study suggests.”  It may not be clear to others if they have identified a cause, an effect, or neither.Marine biology: rock eyes:  Chitons are “primitive” mollusks that have an ingenious sense: the ability to use calcium carbonate crystals as lenses.  Live Science has a picture and description.  “Chitons first appeared on Earth more than 500 million years ago,” the article claimed.  “But according to the fossil record, the oldest chitons with eyes didn’t emerge until the last 25 million years, making their eyes among the most recent to evolve in animals.  The eyes likely evolved so chitons could see and defend against predators, [Daniel] Speiser said.”  It is plausible that these highly successful creatures never saw a predator for 475 million years – 97% of their tenure on earth?Solar system: fluffy cosmogony:  How to solve the problem that particles don’t stick when they collide?  Answer: make them fluffy, like cotton candy.  That seems to be what Science Daily is suggesting.  “Our study makes us even more convinced than before that the early carbonaceous chondrite rocks were shaped by the turbulent nebula through which they travelled billions of years ago, in much the same way that pebbles in a river are altered when subjected to high turbulence in the water,” someone from Imperial College London said.  “Our research suggests that the turbulence caused these early particles to compact and harden over time to form the first tiny rocks.”    They appeared to just assume, however, that the rocks would stick together – an idea other studies have contradicted.  But they hedged with the admission, “Our work is another step in the process helping us to see how rocky planets and moons that make up parts of our Solar System came into being.”Origin of life: cultural entertainment:  One would think that an article in Live Science would defend the idea that life emerged in mica sheets at the ocean floor.  But one would be wrong.  One will learn more about Helen Hansma’s taste in music and how her theory provides entertainment for the masses.  The best advice she ever got: “Do an experiment poorly.”    Quotable quote: “My Mica Hypothesis for the origin of life is an entertaining and thought-provoking piece of science that interests a wide audience.  It provides new ways to understand how ‘irremediable complexity’ was not necessary for the origin of life and its evolution.”  Is this misquote of Dr. Michael Behe’s phrase “irreducible complexity” part of the entertainment?Solar system origin: some truth:  PhysOrg discussed “our unlikely solar system” by claiming that only 15-25% of planetary models end up with solar systems like ours – rocky planets on the inside tracks, and gas giants in stable orbits outside.  “While you might be skeptical about the validity of a model that puts our best known planetary system in the unlikely basket, there may be some truth in this finding.”  Whether models are the same thing as findings sounds like a good question for philosophers of science.Health: know thyselves:  Science Daily depicted our normal flora as cheats that worked out a deal with our immune system.  Quotable quote:On a more philosophical level, [Sarkis K.] Mazmanian [Caltech] says, the findings suggest that our concept of “self” should be broadened to include our many trillions of microbial residents.  “These bacteria live inside us for our entire lives, and they’ve evolved to look and act like us, as part of us,” he says.  “As far as our immune system is concerned, the molecules made by gut bacteria should be tolerated similarly to our own molecules.  Except in this case, the bacteria ‘teaches’ us to tolerate them, for both our benefit and theirs.” As an exercise, readers may want to practice writing their own commentaries on some of the above.Real science involves observation and practical application.  Evolutionary theory is a useless appendage, a devil on the shoulder telling the scientist that the intelligent design so clearly evident is really Tinker Bell’s magic.  Evolutionary theory gives MAD scientists* a fun game to play, a charade, a game of pretend, loosening their inhibitions as scientists, helping them feel comfortable that their entertaining myths provide “understanding” of the world.  Or that some day it might.  Hope rings eternal.More, more about Darwin,More, more about Darwin,More of his SHL to see,**More of his myth who set us free.*MAD: Mutual Admiration of Darwin.**SHL: Stuff Happens Law (09/22/2009, 09/15/2008 commentaries).(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more