Brexit: UK ‘must not allow itself to be blackmailed’

The UK must not allow itself to be “blackmailed” by the EU over its Brexit settlement bill, the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said.

Talks on the final settlement should begin as soon as possible “because that’s good for business”, he added.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said trade talks are still “quite far” away.

Both he and UK Brexit Secretary David Davis made clear on Thursday that the size of the UK’s Brexit “divorce bill” remained a sticking point in talks.

The UK wants to begin trade talks and discuss the future relationship between Britain and the EU as soon as possible, saying it would benefit both sides.

However, Brussels insists that discussions about the future relationship can only begin once “sufficient progress” has been made on the “divorce bill” – the amount the UK will pay to settle its liabilities when it leaves the EU – citizens’ rights, and the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic.

Mr Barnier said that at the current rate of progress, he was quite far from being able to recommend opening parallel talks on a future trade relationship.

No figure has yet been put on the “divorce” payment, but European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested it could come in at about 60bn euros (£55bn).

Unconfirmed reports have put it as high as 100bn euros (£92bn).

Britain, which voted to leave the EU in June 2016, officially began Brexit talks on 19 June this year and is due to leave the EU on Friday, 29 March 2019.

Speaking in Japan on Friday, Mr Fox said everyone would benefit from Brexit if the outcome was free trade with no tariff barriers.

Asked whether it was time for the UK to name its Brexit price, he told ITV News: “We can’t be blackmailed into paying a price on the first part (the divorce fee).

“We think we should begin discussions on the final settlement because that’s good for business, and it’s good for the prosperity both of the British people and of the rest of the people of the European Union.”

Mr Fox and Prime Minister Theresa May have been holding talks with Japanese leaders about the future of trading relations between the two countries after Brexit.

‘Unlock some tension’

Speaking to the BBC at the end of the three-day visit, Mr Fox said: “It’s very clear that businesses, not just in Europe but investors in places like here in Japan, are getting impatient and want to see what that final shape of that [Brexit] arrangement is going to be.”

He said a willingness by the EU to negotiate on the future trading relationship now would “unlock some of the tension”.

He added that it was a “mistake” for the EU to think a delay in talking about the economy and the trading arrangement would not potentially damage them too.

But writing in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who heads the European Parliament’s Brexit group, said the EU has been “fully transparent” about its negotiating positions and mandates since day one.

“This is not a ploy to derail talks, but an inevitable consequence of the Brexit decision,” he said.

Mr Verhofstadt called on UK politicians to “be more honest” about the complexities of Brexit negotiations, asking them to recognise that “other governments also have obligations to their own taxpayers”.

‘Sabre rattling’

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who works with the pro-EU Open Britain pressure group, said Mr Fox’s comments were “sabre rattling from a trade secretary who is twiddling his thumbs because he cannot do anything until the trade position of the UK has been resolved with the EU”.

“Cabinet ministers like Liam Fox and Boris Johnson have been engaging in overblown rhetoric during the referendum campaign and ever since,” he said.

“Until the government makes progress on the divorce settlement bill there will be no progress on… any kind of trade arrangement.”

The European Council is due to meet in October and will decide whether sufficient progress has been made on key Brexit discussions to allow negotiations to move on to trade and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

‘Duty to taxpayers’

If it has not, as Mr Barnier has suggested, the next opportunity would be the council’s meeting in December – meaning talks about the future relationship would be unlikely to begin before the end of the year.

Speaking on Thursday following talks in Brussels with Brexit Secretary David Davis, Mr Barnier said the UK did not feel “legally obliged to honour its obligations” after Brexit.

He said “no decisive progress” had been made on key issues, following the third round of talks.

Mr Davis said the UK had a “duty to our taxpayers” to “rigorously” examine the EU’s demands.

And he urged the EU to be “more imaginative and flexible” in its approach.

Posted in BBC

4 Ways Vehicle Fleet Maintenance Software Can Ensure Better Management

The automobile industry has grown by leaps and bounds, introducing new designs and models to improve the way we commute and transfer goods. Corporate organizations are always on the lookout for heavy-duty vehicles that are affordable, sturdy and intuitive. However managing a large number of cars, trucks and vehicles at once can be a problem. What you need is a systematic platform to store, track and monitor the status of all your models from one place. The Vehicle fleet maintenance software is the answer to all your prayers

Easy, Flexible and Accessible

A Vehicle fleet management software provided by Chevin Fleet Solutions features an intuitive, reliable and robust interface that is simple, clutter-free and efficient. You usually don’t need any extra technical skills or coding knowledge to operate the software. A basic knowledge of computers is enough. The application features an extensive database where you cans store all the details about every vehicle that you have manufactured or dispatched.

With such a database at your disposal, data retrieval and analysis becomes a piece of cake. You can now divide the information into categories, deploy resources to different departments, outsource the monitoring to other technicians, keep some of the information hidden or encrypted- all without having to write a line of code.

Prevents Accidents and Road Risks

With vehicle management apps, you can access the location, status and live report of the vehicle, by simply entering the model and vehicle number. This allows automobile companies to keep an eye out on their products, get regular reports and updates on where it is and what it is doing. This feature becomes very important if you have a cab service or a public transport business.

Tracking the car or truck also prevents accidents and other road risks as people can predict any untoward event beforehand and take measures to prevent it. There is also a phone or app that connects the company to the driver. GPS integration allows you to check if the vehicle is on the right track or not.

Better Prepared Against Thefts

With a live navigation tracker built into the platform, it becomes easier for companies now to track the vehicle and know where it exactly it anytime of the day. Vehicle management software is compatible with multiple devices and platforms. This allows you to supervise the different vehicles from your phone, laptop, tablet and other gadgets.

Fleet maintenance apps also work wonders in preventing thefts and catching criminals. You can now keep a track of the fuel level, usage and physical condition of the vehicle. This allows companies to keep a record of the amount of fuel consumed by the car and the number of kilometers it has travelled.

With fleet maintenance platforms, you can now check if the driver is efficient and honest in his job or not. Is he using the car for personal errands? Has he been smuggling fuel secretly? Is he exploiting the resources provided for personal use? You can find answers to all these questions with these platforms.

Reduce Vehicle Downtime

Fleet maintenance platforms require little to no maintenance. They are pretty efficient and self-sufficient in their functionality. You can now get regular updates on which vehicles need repairs and what parts have to be replaced. Fleet maintenance apps also inform the driver about the traffic, the obstacles and issues that the route might have, thereby preparing them for the journey.

Accurate weather reports, live traffic alerts, and GPS allows drivers to manage their rides better. This increases the productivity and profits of your business exponentially and also ensure optimum customer satisfaction.

So, if you wish to enhance your vehicle business, now you know how vehicle fleet maintenance software can help you do it.

How Much Time Does It Take To Change Your Name In California?

If you live in California, and you are looking to change your legal name, then one of the questions you may be asking yourself is how long it will take to change your name in California. There are 3 stages involved in changing your name in California. Each of these stages takes a specific amount of time. If you are looking to understand how long it will take and the process of changing your name, read the short article below and get well informed.

The 3 Stages of Changing Your Name in California

If you want to get your Name Change recognized by government authorities and agencies, banks, schools and any other organizations, you have to present these entities with a Court Order from the California Superior Court. Below are the steps to getting a Court Order.

•           Prepare a petition to Change Your Name

•           File your petition in a court of law to get a court order

•           Change your records using a certified copy of a court order

How Long Does the Entire Process Take?

The duration of time spent on each of these stages will depend on the amount of time that you dedicate to each stage. The amount of time that it will take to change your name will therefore depend on you. This is fact is well demonstrated in the discussion on what happens in stage 1 and 3.

1.         Prepare A Petition to Change Your Legal Name

The name change petition is basically a bunch of court mandated forms. You have to fill between 5 to 15 forms during this process. The number of forms that you will need usually depends on your location and the requirements in your location. When applying for a name change petition, IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW LONG YOUR NAMES ARE. You can get the forms that you need for this process from any Superior Court. For an average person, it should take several hours to go through the forms and fill in the required parts. However, this can take longer for some people. If you are preparing the petition without any help, you should budget for additional time to go through the forms that you may not know about. Remember that if the petitions forms are filled inaccurately or wrongly, it can result in the petition being delayed, rejected or denied.

For most people, it can be hard to set aside between 3 to 6 hours uninterrupted hours to fill the petition forms. It can take several days, weeks or even months before you are able to complete these forms correctly. If you contact us online for help on how to fill the petition forms, it can take between 7 and 15 minutes for us to help you get your forms filled properly. After a few days, we will then send you a fully completed petition marked with areas for you to sign that you can then file immediately. We will also provide you with personalized and customized easy to follow instructions to help you complete every part of your petition properly.

2.         File Your Petition, Go for A Hearing and Wait for A Court Order

This part of the Change Name process can take some time. You need to first file your petition with the proper court and then wait to receive a Hearing California Start Now Assignment. After this, you need to post a public notice advertising your name change as required by the California Name Change Laws. (Refer to the California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1277a). Remember that the judge hearing your petition has to see proof that you correctly advertised and published your Name Change before approving your petition. On contacting us, we will guide you through this process and ensure that you do it correctly.

The court handling your petition will then schedule a hearing for your proposed Name Change. This hearing typically comes 6 to 8 weeks after you have filed your petition. In most instances, you are likely to get a Court Order signed by the presiding judge on the day of the hearing. There is not much that you can do to speed things along once you have filed your petition. However, remember that you can slow down the process even further if you file an inaccurate petition or do not do the required advertising properly.

On receiving a signed Name Change Court Order from the judge, you can get A CERTIFIED COPY of the order on the same day from the same court. If you want your important records changed to reflect your change in name, you must have a Certified Copy of the court order.

It usually takes between 6 weeks and 6 months (around 8 weeks) to get a court order.

3.         You Can Now Change Your Records

You cannot get your important records changed for you automatically. There are some inexpensive services that you can use for this process but you will still need to do the bulk of the work. If you follow our CHECKLIST (We include the checklist in our petition package), you can get all your important records changed one by one. In order to get important documents like your social security number, DMV records, passport and birth certificate changed, you will first have to provide a Certified Copy of your Court Order as well as some sort of identification. In some instances, you may be asked to provide your fingerprints.  Many of our clients usually get their school records, bank records, DMV records and social security information changed in one day.

Like in Step 1, the time taken in Step 3 usually depends on how much time you dedicate to the process. In each place that you go to change your details, you will find specific procedures that you have to learn and follow to the letter. If you have a Certified Copy of The Decree Changing Your Name, you can get your DMV records, bank and school records as well as social security information changed within two days of the hearing. However, it can take between 2 and 6 months to get all your accounts changed.

A Summary on How Long You Require to Get Your Name Changed in California

To prepare a Name Change petition, it can take between 3 and 6 hours or even more. However, with our help, this will take 7 to 15 minutes.

To file your petition, it can take between 3 and 6 hours. With our full services, this will take no time at all. It usually takes between 2 and 3 months before you are able to get a hearing in court. You can get a decree allowing you to change your name immediately after the hearing if your petition is approved.

To change your records, it can take between 2 and 3 days to change your most important records and between 2 to 6 months to change everything.

With our help, you can change your name in California within 2 to 3 months. Start the process today and change your current name to your desired name.

5 Tips for Finding a Good Lawyer In 2019

Finding a dependable lawyer is imperative to ensure your legal case doesn’t twist into lawful issues. Litigation and legal matters can arise from any angle of life whether you’re facing a family, criminal, or civil litigation matter – APT212.

Thus, it’s paramount to conduct sufficient research when you’re searching for a good lawyer. Choosing trustworthy legal services nevertheless works the same as selecting other services or products!

How to Choose a Suitable Lawyer

Only choose services from a lawyer who has enough experience in that area. With many practice areas, the majority of lawyers handle cases in particular fields. Besides knowing the potential costs of the case, a dependable lawyer will offer a ballpark estimate of the lawsuit.

Your attorney should be prompt in communication. Don’t hesitate to ask any question. That gives you an opportunity to know your attorney better and more so to get notified of rising issues! The subsequent 5 tips will help you to search for a lawyer that you can trust!

1# Carry Out Research

Start with names of different lawyers. Like other services, begin with personal referrals. Compile a list by asking business associates, neighbors, and friends for recommendations. An example of a helpful resource is State bar associations.

Choose your lawyer from the field you need legal services. Check more resources to get consumer reviews.

2# Conduct a Background Check

Contact lawyer disciplinary agencies in Ontario. It’s a way to confirm your lawyer is in good standing as a bar member. Check for references if you can trace the attorney via the internet.

Peer review ratings give an objective indicator of professional ability and ethical standards of a lawyer. The evaluations come from other bar members and Judiciary in Canada and the United States – APT212.

3# Tour the Law Office

Visiting the lawyer’s office tells more! You should answer the following questions.

  • Is the law office orderly, well-run, efficient, and neat?
  • What type of support staff runs the office?
  • Does the staff appear helpful and friendly?
  • Is the office easily accessible?
  • Is the entire office space occupied?

Look for red flags, for instance, unhappy staff members, empty offices, and mass disarray.

4# Refer to Online Reviews

In 2017, a Bright Local Survey illustrated that 85% of users trust online reviews similarly with personal recommendations.

That’s a big deal, particularly for the legal field. As per Review Trackers, 83% of clients consult internet reviews when searching for qualified lawyers. The study reviewed that consumers trust different online platforms, notably Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Better Business Bureau.

5# Ask Other Attorneys

Lawyers comprehend the reputation and skills of their colleagues! The learned friends will help you with relevant information that you can’t find online or in books. Such information may include practice habits, ethics, competency level, and reputation of specific lawyers.

Have you been charged with an offense and you need a dependable lawyer? Please feel free to contact Shankar Law Office, in Port Elgin or Owen Sound.

We proudly serve Grey and Bruce Counties and especially the cities of Owen Sound, Port Elgin, Southampton, Goderich, Wiarton, Durham, Hanover, Markdale, Meaford, and Kincardine, among others – APT212!

WCS Property Maintenance Services

If you are based in the North East and feel that the general maintenance of your building has begun to get a little neglected as the demands on your time have grown you may want to consider using the services of a professional property maintenance service such as WCS property maintenance.   Not only will they be able to fix any issues that do arise they will also be able to carry out regular checks across your building to make sure everything is in perfect working order.

Property Maintenance
With a choice of packages available no matter the size of your organisation or the type of industry you work within you can be sure you will find a deal that is suited to your company’s needs and that offers excellent value for money.  

As all packages offer regular maintenance checks across your whole site any potential problems are certain to be spotted before they have a chance to get out of hand and any potential hazards can be assessed to help prevent any accidents or damage occurring in the future.

At WBC North East Property Maintenance Services they have a fully trained team of experts on hand who are fully qualified in all aspects of the building trade so regardless of what issues may come up they will be able to send out a specialist to assess the problem and get things fixed.  From small issues such as a quick light bulb change to compete refurbishment projects at WBC Property Maintenance Services they will be able to get the job done with the minimum of disruption to you.

Looking to provide every customer with a top quality service that is value for money as soon as you sign up with WCS Property Maintenance Services they will do an initial assessment of your whole building and highlight with you any areas for concern or immediate action and also provide you with a full report and full details of the working arrangements for the future so you can begin with all the information you need.  They will also keep you up to date with all checks and any issues that arise so you are always well informed.

Specialist property maintenance services available include gas and electric repairs and refits, building works and decorating among many others so any problems can be solved quickly by a reliable professional and if you need help in a hurry they also offer a twenty four hour emergency call out service as well, so you can be sure that whatever happens you will be well looked after and you building will be kept in excellent condition at all times.

So if maintenance issues within your premises are beginning to get you down or you need a bit of help keeping up with all the routine task required and would like someone else to help you keep an eye on your property’s wellbeing get in touch with WCS North East Property Maintenance Services.  They will be able to help you find the package that suits you best and then get to work making sure that your premises is really well looked after.WCS Property Maintenance are a multi-trade property maintenance and repair contractor based in the North East, supporting customers in the North East only enabling us to provide an exceptional level of service and support in the required time frames. For more information please visit our Property Maintenance website today.

commercial cleaning melbourne

7 Signs a Company Is Going Under

Have you read there are thousands of startups created daily, but a few succeed? The business world is cutthroat and competitive. From history, only a few brands have survived for decades.

Especially for startups, there might be worry concerning the upcoming recession – APT212.

The entrepreneurial journey is always full of failures. Every business person seeks to bounce back with dignity and grace. There is a harsh reality: more startups fail than those succeed. 

1# Leaving Of Best Employees

There are fewer chances for a business to survive if all the best workers exit from the firm. Failing infrastructure is among the key reasons best workers exit an organization for another firm.

There should be worry if it takes place in rapid succession. Every moment a key player moves out of the firm, it’s among the signs of a failing business

2# Entry Of Outside Experts

Seeing outside professionals helping in management and costs could be signs of a failing business. The company can hire restructuring experts, consultants, and lawyers in a bid to salvage its business – APT212.

If you notice outsiders taking notes on how your firm works, it could be a sign of a business going under!

3# Are Your Responsibilities Slowing Down Or Loading Up?  

Shifting of responsibilities is one of the signs that your business is going under. You start by doing multiple individuals’ work. That’s a sign of loading up and downsizing the remaining workers with what’s supposed to be done. 

4# Tense And Dark Mood At The Office

Do you know people are empathic creatures and usually depend on instinct? Most humans can notice whenever things are not going right. You can tell when things are rosy within your organization.

With the semblance of job security around you, company officials always feel relaxed and will show natural confidence – APT212.

5# Firm No Longer Hiring People

A thriving company keeps hiring workers as its business grows. They also want to include a new talent. The opposite is also true for a business that’s suffering financial losses.

Statistically, most of the firms experience a hiring freeze before they terminate their businesses. When your firm stops promoting workers, it could be a clear sign of a business that’s about to fail.

6# Closed-Door Meetings Uptick 

Thriving companies rarely hold closed-door conferences. That’s unless they are dealing with a brand new secretive project that could net millions. However, such meetings are considerably rare.

Most bosses want to avoid potential suits regarding sexual harassment. However, closed-door meetings could be part of the signs of a failing business. They usually happen before commencing of layoffs – APT212.

7# Company Stocks And Sales Falling

Do you know continuous falling of company stocks could be a sign of something dreadful? You will notice key investment managers and groups selling off shares like hotcakes. If that’s the case, you should follow suit and start searching for a new job.

Wrapping Up

What next after your startup is showing signs of failing? Worry no more as we offer professional advisory tips. We help you build a better business and give you business consulting advice to plan.

We know you want to reap the fruits of your hard work! Get in touch as our firm reads from afar any signs a company is going under – APT212.

About credit card debt consolidation

The credit card debt consolidation is a process that involves taking all of your outstanding credit card balances and turning them into a single balance with the single payment. The credit card consolidation is a process of taking all your bills and it consolidates them into a one lower interest of monthly payments. A credit card debt consolidation loan is one of the way of consolidating the credit card debts where this type of loan is of regular debt consolidation loan and it is re-engineered to help you to deal with the skyrocketing the credit card debts. Credit card consolidation loans generally combine all your credits and make the repayment at lower interest rates. The main purpose of the credit card debt consolidation loan is to make all the existing debts in to a single one where this makes the user to manage their payments. 

Now a day’s more number of people is getting benefitted because of this credit card debt consolidation loan in which by using this loan amount the user can satisfy all their needs and solve their debts at a time. Credit card debt in Louisiana is found to be the best loan service that helps the people residing in the Louisiana to make use of the loan amount for their financial needs. Moreover the credit card debt consolidation loan is found to be a tool of the person where an individual can use this loan amount to overcome his/her credit card debts. The credit card debt consolidation loans are available in both unsecured and secured forms, with the secured form the credit card consolidation loan is frequently granted to the users which is against a fixed asset that serves as the collateral one. 

Biggest advantage of using the credit card consolidation loan

  • One of the biggest advantages of receiving the credit card consolidation loan is to reduce the interest rate in which the advantage of this loan is that it makes all your credit cards payment as smaller monthly instalments. 
  • The credit card in Louisiana loan allows the user to combine their all credit bills into one where the process of combining the credit card bills into the one the credit card debt consolidation reduces the monthly payment of the credit loans to be lower. In which the monthly payment that you make for the credit card consolidation loan will be much less compared to the other loan interest rates. 
  • Credit card consolidation is the key to the re-establishing the good credits and you no longer need to deal with your individual credit debt companies and not only you are going to do the repayment at lower interest rates but you can also pay the loan for over longer period of time. 

Comparing to other loans the credit card debt consolidation is found to be an excellent opportunity to jump ahead of the highest interest rates and ultimately you can eliminate the credit card for the good where this is a wise man’s idea for consolidating the credit card debts. Reviews Looks at Soft Skills Every Employer Wants


Soft skills are difficult to measure. Examples include written and verbal communication, analytical thinking, and most of all leadership. Research shows that employers are keener on selecting candidates with better soft skills rather than technical abilities. In this article, Reviews has compiled a list of soft skills that employers look for most in the people they want to hire

The Skills

Here are some soft skills that every employer wants –

1. Communication – In the workplace, it is very important to set the tone of how your co-workers perceive you. Various employers have stated that candidates who can communicate well and express the details of their job quite efficiently are given more points. Hence, they are always at their true potential when it comes to working.

Communication skills also boost your performance, as it helps you to extract information from your co-workers and manager as well. If you can speak and write well, you can express what you’re capable of and how much of it you can deliver effectively.

2. Adaptability – Life is full of hurdles and things don’t always go as planned. Instead of brooding over a bad deal, you must be able to adapt to your failures and come up with effective solutions to mitigate the losses. Successful leaders are those who stand in the face of danger and meet it head-on.

The state of an industry can change at any moment. It is up to the workers to witness these alterations and keep themselves updated about the latest developments. Adaptability is a key skill when you’re hunting for jobs. Make it a priority when you’re being interviewed.

3. Teamwork – The office is not a place where you can work solo. It’s a collective environment and requires cooperation from every single member. The success of a company is almost always dependent on all the people working there, rather than on a single individual. Employers are always on the lookout for team players that can promote a friendly office environment, and get work done collaboratively.

If you’re new to teamwork, you must learn to play well with others. Lend a hand, cover for someone else, but don’t make yourself overly available, otherwise, people will take advantage of you.

4. Problem Solving Capabilities – The ability to think on your feet is a skill every employer searches in their employees. A company is bound to face problems sooner or later. To have the ability to think with your head, even during critical situations will make you indispensable to your employer. 

Throughout your career, you will face challenges. Developing the right attitude and skill to face them and resolve them will work wonders for your career.

5. Keen Observational Skills – Working in a company will expose you to the mountains of data. A keen observer will be able to spot certain patterns in that information that benefits the company in unforeseeable ways. Though most companies have dedicated data analysts for the job, smaller organizations can’t afford one. If you can think critically, offer innovative solutions, and bring fresh ideas to the table, your career will take flight in no time whatsoever.


These are just a few of the many soft skills that can help you land the job you’ve always wanted. Some skills cannot be taught in schools and require first-hand experience. Reviews believes that you must hone your soft skills as they will open up new and better opportunities for you in the future.

Matthew Davies Provides You with Reasons That Reading is Important for Your Brain


Books are an archaic form of recording information. Man discovered language which became the ultimate tool for communicating with other individuals around you. Thoughts are fleeting and volatile. It is when they are put down on paper that they become immortal. Our special guest, Matthew Davies has taken up the responsibility to reinstate the necessity of reading in the present era of smartphones and the internet.

At least once in your life, you must have experienced that deep connection with a certain person. Someone who was on the same page as you and talking to who was nothing short of a delightful experience. In a way, books are similar entities. They are the accumulation of thoughts, beliefs, and stories of another individual. They teach us about centuries-old cultures, customs, societal structure and the psychology of people.

The Reasons

The enthusiasm for reading a book is very important and can go a long way in shaping your mind and intellect as you grow up. Here are a few more advantages of reading a book:

1. Mental Stimulation – The brain is a very efficient tool, but only when you make it work to its fullest extent. Studies show that people with bad reading habits have a higher risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Reading stimulates specific parts of the brain and shapes the neural pathways which are responsible for transferring information.

Synaptic pruning is a medical term. It states that behaviors that aren’t used often and rarely accessed information may get completely lost. Mentally straining activities may feel uncomfortable, but they contribute greatly towards maintaining a healthy brain.

2. Social Skills – People prefer interacting with interesting individuals, those that have substantial knowledge. Such information is obtained via real-life experiences and also by reading books. Thus, books can empower you with information, which always comes in handy when you’re starting a conversation.

A recent study revealed that reading fiction allows the reader to develop something known as the ‘theory of mind’. This is the ability to understand the mental state of others around you, simply by talking to them. A unique skill indeed, one that will help you significantly with your social skills.

3. Memory Enhancement – Reading is not just about looking at pictures and deciphering them. When you read, you’re stimulating both the visual(imagination) and language part of your brain. It is an exercise that exerts your brain and improves its memory capabilities.

Mental stimulation is known to enhance thinking and analytical skills, all the while strengthening your memory. As you age, your brain undergoes a steady rate of memory deterioration, one that can be counteracted with regular reading habits. 

Conclusion Reading is a very important skill indeed. We cannot emphasize the value it holds in developing the young and old minds alike. Matthew Davies is also an avid reader and speaking from personal experience, he states that regular reading has enabled him to achieve his present state of intellect. So, if you want to stay sharp, start reading books.

Handy Shares Things to Give Kids Instead of Smartphones


Are you thinking of gifting your child a smartphone? Well, give it a long thought before you finalize the decision. Smartphones may be useful for adults but for kids, they are an object of entertainment. According to Handy, many kids who own a smartphone get addicted to it. Spending all of their time on smartphones makes it difficult for them to focus on other things which are important.

Why not?

If your children spend time with a smartphone before sleeping, it can negatively affect the quality of their sleep and also affect the sleeping patterns. As a result, it can make them sick and energy-less. Your kids may also get access to the internet via a smartphone. Access to the internet can be a good thing for kids if they are under the supervision of an adult. However, if they are left alone, they may browse sensitive adult content or even become the victim of cyberbullying.

Here are some things you may give to your kids instead of giving them smartphones –

1. A normal mobile – If your son or daughter has demanded a smartphone but you don’t want to give them a smartphone just yet, they may become depressed or throw a tantrum. The best way to fix the situation is to offer them something which will be useful to them and will satisfy their needs. So, gifting them a normal flip phone or a dumb phone is not a bad idea. A flip phone is not as feature rich as a smartphone, but they can perform the basic functions of a cell phone quite well.

Your kid may not be satisfied with the offer at first but if you can convince them, they will be happy. Normal cell phones are less costly and also less addictive since they lack a lot of features. However, it is still a gadget for your kids and if they like it, it will be a win-win situation for everybody.

2. An art kit – If your kid has a knack for drawing or painting, it is a good idea to gift them an art kit. An art kit usually contains a pack of crayons, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, a coloring book, artist trading cards, watercolors and much more. It will keep them occupied for some time.

3.  An explorer’s kit – If your kids love to spend time at a park or a playground, why not gift them an explorer’s kit. Adventurous kids will love the idea of owning a pair of binoculars, magnifying glass, special shoes, pocket guides, fundana, etc.

4. A cooking gift basket – If you have a daughter, she will love to own her personal cooking items. Of course, these items are specially made for kids. So, they are safe to own and won’t be a health hazard.


Handy believes it is our duty as parents to take care of our child, keep them away from any kind of harm and help them to grow up to their full potential. So, gift your kids some items which will be useful to them and aid in the development of their minds.

Five best tourist attractions in New York City.

Ever thought of hanging out for a vacation with friends and family; then New York State is among the ideal places for you. The State has serene places that will make your vacation worthy engraving in your memory. With such an idea, it’s crucial to have an excellent apartment that will complement every bit of your vacation and holidaying while in New York. At APT 212, we give visitors and local people the chance to book an apartment that they can stay n throughout the holiday or vacation period.

New York is one of the best destinations due to the several attractions in the State. Some of the notable tourist destinations in New York are:

  1. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The statue of liberty is an iconic monuments in the United States of America. It symbolizes the hope of millions of immigrants going to Ellis Island. Visitors visiting the statue can enjoy the beautiful view of the New York City skyline. At the base of the monument there is a museum, with a deep history of the country and the neighborhood of Manhattan

  • New York Central Park.

This park is located at the heart of Manhattan streets containing enough sites and other activities to do while in New York. It’s home to different attractions ranging from beautiful architectural works to serene and peaceful gardens that tourists relax at while in this garden are Shakespeare Garden, Central Park Zoo, Conservatory Garden and the Historic Carousel.

  • Times Square.

Times Square is known for the bigger than life excitement when in the city. At the heart of Times Square is the excellent junction of 7th Avenue and Broadway, where large screens are mounted everywhere to announce everything from the latest films and movies to major upcoming shows. The square is full of artists, tourists, performers among other people who come to experience the beauty of the city, and the pleasant smell wafting from the food trucks that line every corner of the street. While in the neighborhood, Sardi’s restaurant is commonplace for most visitors. Another iconic structure in Times Square is the Empire State Building, which is open up until the wee hours of the morning. The building’s 86th and 102nd floors allow visitors to have a beautiful view of the city of Manhattan and beyond.

  • Brooklyn Bridge and Park.

This iconic bridge is located in New York’s East River, which links Manhattan and Brooklyn. Built-in 1883, the bridge is made of strong granite towers and steel cables that offer scenic and safe passage for millions of commuters and tourists crossing over the river. The bridge took almost 14 years to be constructed, and it carries a staggering 150,000 pedestrian and vehicles every day.

Around the bridge is a beautiful park that makes the adventure more adventurous.

Niagara Falls is one of the natural wonders of the American continents, drawing millions of visitors every year. The fall is a group of three waterfalls located along the border of Canada and the US. Tourists can view the falls from the observation tower or take the maid of the Mist boat to have a better view of the falls.

In general, New York is home to the world’s best holiday destinations and tourist attraction. So when in New York for a holiday, make your stay memorable by booking an apartment with APT 212 during your stay in this beautiful city. APT 212 gives you access to several yet affordable residential apartments while in New York.