Toronto-Dominion Bank is closing all 81 of its branches in South Florida in preparation for the arrival of hurricane Irma.The bank said today the decision was made for the safety of its employees and customers based on the severity of storm forecasts. A spokesman said in a statement that TD Bank is monitoring Irma’s path and timing, and will make a decision on whether to close other TD Bank locations in Florida based on the storm’s projections throughout the state.Based on current projections, the affected branches are expected to reopen by Sunday.TD Bank said it is preparing branches in the anticipated path of the hurricane by ensuring they are stocked with needed supplies, such as sandbags and back-up generators.CIBC, meanwhile, confirms it has closed its offices on three islands in the Caribbean and will also shut operations in Florida on Friday.The bank said it has two offices in Florida. CIBC FirstCaribbean operates in 17 countries in the Caribbean.Florida officials ordered thousands of metropolitan Miami’s 6 million residents to leave today before hurricane Irma hits the state this weekend. The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for the Florida Keys and parts of South Florida, the first of what is likely many watches and warnings throughout Florida over the next few days.While people in the state anxiously watched the massive storm, Irma battered the northern Caribbean, killing at least six people and leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees.At least 31,000 people fled the Florida Keys, which could begin seeing wind and rain from Irma as early as Friday night, Gov. Rick Scott said. He noted the size of the powerful Category 5 storm, and told residents not to become complacent.
In Katibougou, outside Bamako, Mali, workers carefully clip plants in a greenhouse where watermelons, sweet peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables are grown. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez VIDEO: Head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, spotlights importance of facilitating a more conducive environment for women in the workplace, noting that the international community should strive to make “the world of work” work for women. She called for construing a different world of work for women: “As they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science,” This change needs to start at home and in the first days of school, and include adjustments in parenting, curricula, educational settings and cultural stereotypes propagated in entertainment and advertising. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said women and girls must be ready to be part of a digital revolution and study science, technology and math if they are to compete successfully for high-paying new jobs. In messages for the Day and events around the world, senior UN officials reflected on the significant impact of women’s participation and contribution to the global economy, and international goal of reaching 50-50 equality in employment around the world by 2030. Secretary-General António Guterres noted that leadership positions are predominantly held by men, and “outdated attitudes and entrenched male chauvinism” are widening the economic gender gap. “Around the world, tradition, cultural values and religion are being misused to curtail women’s rights, to entrench sexism and defend misogynistic practices,” the Secretary-General said. He underscored that denying women and girls their rights “is not only wrong in itself; it has serious social and economic impacts that hold us all back.” Closing the gender gap, for example, would add $12 trillion to global gross domestic production (GDP) by 2025. In her message, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, decried the lack of opportunities for women and girls, saying “too many women and girls spend too many hours on household responsibilities.” In her message, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said equality lies in destroying stereotypes. It “lies in ridding the media and collective imagination of prejudice by highlighting the women scientists, artists and politicians who are moving humanity forward in all fields,” Irina Bokova said. She called on governments to invest in education and training, and allowing women to exercise their own choices when it comes to their bodies and their lives – just as men do. “Everywhere, women and men are determined to change things, to denounce discrimination and demand genuine equality, and we must support and accompany them,” said Ms. Bokova.“Join me today in celebrating the courageous and memorable contribution of women in all sectors of our society,” said Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of the UN Economic and Social Council, in his message on the Day. Quiz yourself