Financial credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has revised Cygnus Business Media’s credit rating outlook from stable to negative because of concerns over Cygnus’ significant debt due in 2009.According to S&P, the new rating—a “CCC+”—reflects several financial factors, including Cygnus’ limited liquidity, high debt leverage, small EBITDA base and what it calls “difficult business fundamentals.” In a release, S&P called Cygnus’ margin of compliance with covenants “very thin,” and said they will be a significant hurdle for the company moving forward. For the first quarter, Cygnus’ revenues were down 1.5 percent while EBITDA was flat, S&P said, although it didn’t offer specific figures. After adjusting for closed publications and timing shifts, revenue was up 3.4 percent and EBITDA was up 5 percent.A S&P analyst was not immediately available for comment. A key challenge for Cygnus, according to S&P, will be refinancing its $157 million in debt that’s due next year, including its senior secured term loan that matures July 13, 2009.”The main reason for the outlook change is that the majority of the company’s debt is maturing next year,” a Cygnus spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. “Adjusting the outlook is commonly done by the rating agencies until they get a clear view of what a company will do with the maturing debt. Obviously, we are aware of it. At the appropriate time the company will evaluate its options and we are confident in a successful outcome.”The revised credit rating comes as the ABRY-owned b-to-b publisher is exploring a possible sale. Cygnus co-CEOs Carr Davis and Tony O’Brien said in an interview with FOLIO: last week that Cygnus has been approached with inquiries, and carefully described the potential divestment as “a process.” During the interview, Davis said Cygnus increased e-media revenue by 60 percent from 2006 to 2007, and from 4.5 percent of total revenue in 2006 to 10 percent of total revenue in 2007.Cygnus went on the block in 2006 but subsequently pulled off the market that year.Earlier this year, S&P revised its outlook of Hanley Wood from stable to negative, citing the soft housing market and “weaker than expected” 2007 operating results.
Post a comment Share your voice Senators want an annual report on cyberattacks affecting the governing body. Angela Lang / CNET When a company is hacked, you’ll likely get an email warning you that your information might have been stolen. But when your senator is hacked, it could remain a secret forever. Two senators are hoping to change that.Unlike companies and federal agencies, Congress has no legal obligation to disclose breaches, meaning that the public has no idea when elected officials are hit by cyberattacks. Senators are some of the most popular targets for hackers.In 2017, then-Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank Larkin said “the Senate is considered a prime target for cybersecurity breaches” during a Senate hearing. He said that in 2016, the Senate’s secure web gateway blocked more than 273 million connections to over 54,000 malicious websites targeting their internal network. Politicians in general are frequent targets for hacks on both their professional and personal accounts. If the attacks are successful, you usually only find out about it through media reports or leaked documents. The last time a Congressional computer breach was publicly disclosed was in 2009, when then-Florida Sen. Bill Nelson announced his personal computers were compromised. In a letter signed by Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, the senators ask Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger to provide an annual report on the number of times Senate computers have been hacked, and incidents where hackers were able to access sensitive Senate data.The letter also calls for Stenger to inform the Senate committees on Rules and Intelligence about any breaches within five days of discovery. The hope is that if this information is regularly disclosed, senators would start taking their cybersecurity more seriously.”Each US senator deserves to know and has a responsibility to know, if and how many times Senate computers have been hacked, and whether the Senate’s existing cybersecurity measures are sufficient to protect both the integrity of this institution and the sensitive data with which it has been entrusted,” the letter reads. You can read the full letter here: Tags 0 Politics Security
In this file photo taken on January 14, 2015 an armed police officer walks past the Cumhuriyet daily newpaper building Istanbul. Photo: AFPAmnesty International on Thursday accused the Turkish government of creating a “chilling climate of fear” across society and curtailing the work of human rights activists since a failed 2016 coup.The rights group said freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial have been “decimated” under the state of emergency introduced five days after the attempted putsch on 15 July 2016.More than 1,300 associations and foundations have been shut down under the measures.In addition, more than 140,000 public sector employees have been sacked or suspended including judges over alleged links to putschists or Kurdish militants.Meanwhile, some 50,000 people have been taken into custody on terror charges.Last week parliament approved the seventh extension of the emergency laws which Amnesty said had undermined the country’s “once vibrant independent civil society”.The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) staged nationwide rallies to protest the extension, with demonstrators in Istanbul shouting “No to emergency rule” and “Rights, law and justice”.Ankara insists that it faces multiple terror threats and that the measures do not affect citizens’ everyday lives.In a report titled “Weathering the storm: Defending human rights in Turkey’s climate of fear”, Amnesty lambasted the authorities’ attacks on rights activists and their “abusive” use of the criminal justice system.“A chilling climate of fear is sweeping across Turkish society,” the report said.The group cited examples of individuals it believes were being targeted and unfairly imprisoned including that of civil society activist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison since October.Amnesty has come under pressure itself since Taner Kilic, then the group’s chairman in Turkey, was taken into custody last June.Kilic denies charges of belonging to the movement led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of ordering the 2016 coup bid.“Under the cloak of the state of emergency, Turkish authorities have deliberately and methodically set about dismantling civil society, locking up human rights defenders, shutting down organisations and creating a suffocating climate of fear,” Amnesty’s Europe director, Gauri van Gulik, said in a statement.Amnesty also highlighted “unfair” restrictions on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) events in Turkey, with a ban in effect in the capital Ankara since November.“The blanket bans on activities threaten the very existence of these organisations and reverse these recent progressive steps to counter prevailing homophobia and transphobia,” Amnesty wrote.
Jute mill workers put barricade on the rail tracks of Khulna for the second consecutive day of their strike. UNB file photoFor the third consecutive day on Thursday, workers of the state owned jute mills in Khulna are continuing the 72-hour strike to press home their nine-point demand including implementation of the wage commission, reports UNB.The agitating workers took positions on several places including Natun Rasta, Shonadanga Bus Stand and Atra industrial area around 6:00am, halting traffic movement on Khulna-Jashore road.Productions in nine state-owned jute mills remained suspended following the strike since Tuesday morning.However, they also put up barricade on the rail tracks, halting train services of Khulna with other part of the country creating immense suffering to commuters.Manik Chandra Sarkar, station master of Khulna Railway Station, said, “No train left the city or arrived here since 6:00am Thursday.”No long route buses left from the district.Earlier on Tuesday, the jute mill workers started their 72-hour strike by blocking roads and rail routes from 8:00am-12:00pm to press home their nine-point demand.Production at nine jute mills in the region remain suspended from Tuesday following the strike.The workers resumed protests from 31 March as their demands were not fulfilled by the government within their stipulated time.
Share Photo: NASA/Bill IngallsVeteran astronaut Ellen Ochoa is retiring as director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). This photo shows her accompanying Vice President Mike Pence during a tour of the JSC in 2017.Veteran astronaut Ellen Ochoa is retiring on Friday as director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) after a five year tenure that has included improvements in how the JSC works in more adaptive ways, an increase of diversity in the workforce and involvement in missions to the International Space Station.Ochoa joined NASA in 1988 as a research engineer at Ames Research Center and moved to the JSC in 1990 when she was selected as an astronaut. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993.Ochoa started as JSC director in January 2013, becoming the center’s first Hispanic director and its second female director. She helped maximize use of the International Space Station and develop the Orion spacecraft for future missions.Ochoa also emphasized the importance of the JSC workforce including initiatives on diversity and inclusion.Under her leadership, the JSC started the so-called JSC 2.0, with the goal of advancing human space flight by being lean, agile, and adaptive to change.JSC 2.0 resulted in the Class 1-E Certification Process, which allows employees to move very quickly through the flight certification process and deliver custom-built hardware only 10 months after receiving project approval.This process has allowed astronauts to benefit from hardware flown to the space station within months instead of years.The first one-year mission on the International Space Station of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko was completed in March 2016. The mission provided valuable information for future human space exploration.Additionally, with support from the JSC, Space Center Houston opened Independence Plaza in January 2016, showcasing the original Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, NASA 905, carrying the space shuttle replica Independence.Veteran NASA engineer Mark Geyer will replace Ochoa.
This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. The San Francisco Bay area is a popular place to call home, with its thriving industry and reputation as one of the happiest and healthiest places to live in the country. Yet a new report reveals that residents are leaving the Silicon Valley for more affordable places. Many of these departing residents are American-born technology professionals, who take their knowledge and expertise to other markets. While San Francisco and the Valley have no shortage of talented newcomers, the increase in workers looking for jobs in other areas has left many wondering what the region needs to change to keep them.The fact is it’s just too hard to live in the world’s center of technological innovation, so thousands of professionals are getting out. Here are a few of the biggest reasons why.Not enough affordable housing.Much has been written about housing shortages in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and it doesn’t look like the situation will greatly improve soon. Despite a bit of a tech contraction, unemployment is miniscule and hundreds of jobs are added each month to a region with an already severely limited housing supply. As a result, home prices are at all-time highs and furnished apartment rentals average nearly $3,500 a month for a unit in a moderately-priced part of San Francisco.For a young professional trying to start a family while launching a career, the high cost of living can make Silicon Valley an impossibility. There are some signs that this is getting slightly better. Facebook recently offered employees $10,000 to live closer to its Menlo Park headquarters. Mountain View recently voted in several pro-growth candidates and gave its thumbs up to building more than 10,000 new units of high density housing. San Francisco now has a record 62,000 housing units in its pipeline (although many are luxury units). All of this sounds good but probably won’t change the housing ecosystem all that much for several more years. It’s a rough environment for young entrepreneurs who are often told they must be in the Valley to be near the money and talent needed to launch and scale companies.Professionals can instead choose to relocate to Austin, Seattle and similar cities that have thriving tech industries. A similarly-sized furnished apartment in Austin costs only $1,300 a month, rising to just over $1,900 a month if professionals want to live in more expensive parts of town. This is in addition to less expensive utilities, groceries, restaurant prices and transportation.Related: 6 Global Alternative Cities to Silicon Valley to Start Your CompanyFamily life.San Francisco has an exciting nightlife, shopping and culture. All of these are things that appeal to young, single professionals as they begin their careers, as well as older single people who don’t plan on having children. However, families more often choose to live outside of the city, as proven by a 2012 report that San Francisco had the lowest percentage of children of any major metropolitan area. Finding a home suitable to raising children is one challenge, as is the cost of those homes. According to the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the percentage of children in the highest and lowest income brackets has grown, while middle-class families appear to to be raising their families elsewhere. Oakland and other East Bay locations have often been the immediate recipient of this migration.Tech hubs further afield are reaping the benefit of this migration as well. When it’s time to raise a family, Durham, North Carolina, and Huntsville, Alabama are both considered among the top cities for technology jobs and both have significantly lower costs of living than Silicon Valley. As professionals research opportunities in other areas of the U.S., they factor in the quality of schools, cost of homes and proximity of those homes to the areas where they’ll be working.Related: How to Launch a Thriving Startup Without the Silicon Valley HassleLess competition for jobs.All of the cost-of-living and lifestyle factors aside, one of the biggest benefits of leaving Silicon Valley for other tech hubs relates to the big fish, small pond theory. So much competition exists in Silicon Valley, it is difficult to stand out. In a smaller city with newer businesses, however, a Silicon Valley native may rise to the top of a pile of resumes, especially for those who choose cities that are considered emerging tech hubs, such as Denver or Miami.Related: 7 Surprising Ways Atlanta Competes With Silicon ValleyFor professionals interested in launching a new startup, these markets are especially attractive. Instead of toiling alongside the hundreds of other innovative new businesses scattered around Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs can launch their ideas in an area where there are fewer startups. Resources may not be stretched as thin in these areas, making it potentially easier for them to quickly scale their new businesses.Silicon Valley is an exceptional place to build a career, but it presents difficult challenges for even the toughest worker. However, with so many up-and-coming tech hubs in the U.S. and across the globe, professionals are realizing they are not limited to one region to be successful. As American-born tech workers leave the Valley faster than they arrive, this net loss is turning into gain for dozens of other regions. Ultimately, this is a good sign for the health of technology in the U.S. as a whole. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. March 22, 2016 5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free