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British Airways cancels nearly 100% flights as pilots begin strike over pay

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British Airways (BA) has cancelled nearly 100 percent of flights from UK airports as its pilots embark on first-ever strike over pay.

The airline and its pilots have been locked in a nine-month pay dispute that could disrupt the travel plans of nearly 300,000 people.

Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) commenced the strike on Sunday night, leading to the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

In a statement on its website on Monday, BA apologised to its customers for the disruption in their travel plans.

“We understand the frustration and disruption BALPA’s strike action has caused you. After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this,” the statement read.

“Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 per cent our flights.”

BA said its team is working on refunding flight fees or re-booking flight schedules for affected customers.

“Our customer teams – supported by additional colleagues – have been working tirelessly to help as many of you as possible and to provide options, including a full refund or re-booking to a different date of travel or alternative airline,” it said.

“We are offering all affected customers full refunds or the option to re-book to another date of travel or alternative airline.”

The pilots said they will continue their strike on Tuesday and are threatening to down tools for one more day on September 27, and possibly at a time closer to the winter should the dispute continue.

In July, BA offered an 11.5 percent pay rise over three years, which it said would take the pay of some captains to more than £200,000 ($246,000 or 220,000 euros) a year. BALPA rejected the pay increase.

The airline said two other unions representing 90 percent of its workers have accepted the 11.5-percent increase.

But BALPA countered, saying that co-pilots’ salaries average around £70,000 , and that of the junior ones drops down to just £26,000.

The association also pointed to a nearly 10-percent jump in pre-tax profits reported by BA’s parent firm, IAG, last year.

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Facebook employee reportedly commits suicide by jumping from office building

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A Facebook employee has reportedly committed suicide by jumping from the fourth floor of Facebook’s headquarters in California.

According to TIME, the unnamed Facebook employee reportedly jumped from the fourth floor of one of the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. He was found unresponsive and declared deceased at the scene shortly after 11:30 a.m. Thursday, September 19, according to the Menlo Park police department.

A spokesperson for Facebook confirmed the devastating incident, as the company plans to contact the victim’s family before releasing the identity to the public.

“We were saddened to learn that one of our employees passed away at our Menlo Park headquarters earlier today,” the company said. “We’re cooperating with police in their investigation and providing support to employees. While the family is being notified, we have no information to share.”

Facebook employee reportedly commits suicide by jumping from office building

The City of Menlo Park confirmed that there was “no foul play involved in this apparent suicide.” 

The employee is currently only identified as a full-time software engineer at Facebook

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Glo Recognizes Brilliant Students At UNIBEN

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Five best-performing students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) have been appreciated and presented with smart phones by Nigeria’s digital transformation leader, Globacom, in conjunction with its technology partner, Huawei.

The gesture was part of the corporate social responsibility initiative of the two companies, wherein outstanding students of Nigerian universities are rewarded with ICT solutions. The companies said the initiative is part of their commitment to promoting scholarship among the youth.

Apart from the five UNIBEN undergraduates who received the smartphones, the institution also got internet routers complete with data bundles.

In a brief ceremony, UNIBEN Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Ikponwonso Omoruyi, noted that the gadgets, namely five routers for the school and smartphones fully loaded with Glo data for five final year students of the University with best CGPA points, would encourage the students and the staff of the institution to continue to pursue academic excellence.

 “What you have done will encourage the pursuit of academic excellence and ease the data needs of the university community. The gesture will also strengthen the bond of friendship between Globacom and the University of Benin,” he said.

The student beneficiaries were also full of appreciation to Globacom for the gesture. One of them, Promise Ekpo Osaine of the Department of Computer Engineering, said, “I feel amazed, dumbfounded, in fact I don’t know the adjective to describe how I am feeling right now. All through my five years in school, I have never experienced an event such as this where students are rewarded for academic excellence. This has really encouraged me in pushing myself further in my academic pursuit and ensuring that I graduate in flying colours. I will encourage those who are not Glo subscribers to join the network”.

Another student beneficiary, Kelvin Okoawo, of the Department of Business Administration, spoke in the same vein, stating, “I only see things of this nature on television and I am glad I am a beneficiary today. I am so happy. Big shout out to Globacom for encouraging me to work harder in my studies”.

The other beneficiaries of the largesse are Igbo Emmanuel Chibizor of the Computer Science Department, Chioma Faith Onuchukwu of the Faculty of Law and Emmanuella Uche Chuwueta of Animal Science department.

In his own remarks, Globacom’s Regional Manager, Activation, Mr. Obiora Ezeora, expressed appreciation to the University of Benin officials for the warm reception accorded to Globacom and its partner. He called on the university community to continue to support Globacom, pledging that the company would continue to strive for excellence

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FirstBank Supports Educational Institutions With FirstEdu

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Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced its educational solution – FirstEdu – specifically designed to enhance the educational facilities in schools. The FirstEdu product includes FirstEdu loan and FirstEdu portal.

FirstEdu loan is targeted at private Nursery & Primary and Secondary schools to assist the schools in achieving their desired growth in the medium and long-term. The product provides funding to replace old furniture and equipment, pay staff salaries, purchase brand new or fairly-used buses as well as refurbish dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks. With this product, school owners/proprietors can stay ahead of competition at all times.

The product enables the schools to access facility with no tangible collateral, apart from domiciliation of school fees account with the Bank.

In addition, FirstEdu portal is a modular and robust web-based enterprise portal that enables Tertiary educational institutions manage academic, administrative, professional, logistics and payment challenges. The basis for its robustness is to take the stress of logistics, administrative and payment challenges off the institutions, as they focus on meeting their year-long, medium and long-term objectives.

The product features and benefits include; e-Learning, virtual library and facilitation of exchange programmes with foreign educational institutions; academic & student events/time-table/calendar management; school fees payment via the internet; online information and result checking; interactive community forum between students and teachers. It also affords applicants the opportunity of enrolling from the comfort of their homes or any location around the world; no licensing, installation and maintenance cost and plugs avenues for revenue leakages amongst others.

According to Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “with FirstEdu, private schools across the various tiers of education in Nigeria; elementary, secondary and tertiary, have the right tool to boost their business to the level they desire. With over N5 billion loans already disbursed to schools this year alone, we are committed to supporting growth in this key sector of our economy.”’

For further information on FirstEdu, visit the FirstBank branch nearest to you or contact us on our social media channels.

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