10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Get ready for another “fintech” adventure, as our friend and financial technology expert John Best, president and founder of Best Innovation Group (BIG), crashes our virtual studio — guitar and all. John is actually a very good guitar player being in a band for many years and says he plays everyday as an outlet from his intense focus on financial technology trends, issues, and breakthroughs for credit unions.In part 1 of our chat (after our brief Van Halen tangent), John talks about how holograms may be the MSRs of the future — along with 5G high-def video playing a similar role for credit unions, Minecraft being the new digital Legos, Hololens demo at E3 2015, and the latest updates at CU Wallet. There’s so much more in this episode, as there always is with John — adding Apple Pay and PayPal perspectives to the discussion, as well.Always a mind-bending experience with John. So enjoy — and stay tuned for part 2 next week when we address Apple Watch potential, why CUs are the “ring to rule them all,” MCX, and more on CU Wallet and holograms. continue reading »
With one week to go before the end of the congressional recess, President Barack Obama warned lawmakers via Twitter to not “kill” the “growing economy” through another government shutdown or austerity measures.Obama’s warning came after reports that the U.S. gross domestic product grew by 3.7 percent during the second quarter, exceeding expectations.During the last week of recess, NAFCU continues to urge credit unions across the country to contact their U.S. senators and representatives in person to advocate for regulatory relief, a national data security standard for retailers and other top industry needs.Among the measures Congress is expected to take up soon after recess is S. 754, the “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act,” a NAFCU-supported measure that would promote quicker, more efficient sharing of cyber-threat information between business and government. The Senate has unanimous consent to proceed, but further action won’t occur until at least September due to the August recess. continue reading » 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The number of federal legislators calling for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to use its authority to protect credit unions hit 330 as of Wednesday, with a final count likely to come by the end of the week. This effort has been fully led by credit unions.The letter, composed by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), has garnered support from both sides of the aisle.“With major rules already being implemented and new regulations on the horizon, our letter reminds the CFPB that Congress intentionally provided for regulatory flexibility to mitigate collateral damage on smaller financial institutions,” Schiff and Stivers noted in their call for signers.The letter itself cites the section of the Dodd-Frank Act that states the CFPB has the authority to adapt regulations by allowing it to exempt “any class” of entity from its rulemaking.The creation of the letter, and the widespread support it has garnered, represents a successful deployment of the “fierce, 360-degree advocacy” Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle has touted, including recently at the recent CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
This is the fourth of the 12-part series on our blog highlighting the 12 major development issues. In case you missed it, last month we discussed education, which can be found here. This month we are focusing on access to credit.Access to credit seems to be an easy development issue for credit unions to solve – as we are in the loan business. Yet millions of Americans are paying obscenely high interest rates on loans to buy a new car, fund school clothes or even purchase a week’s groceries. Credit unions need to build business models that are mutually beneficial –affordable rates and attractive terms and conditions for members and a product that presents a good business opportunity for the credit union. Seems easy but unfortunately credit unions struggle to find the right balance between business and social values. In my work, I have run across many credit unions that offer some great lending products that could be done in most credit unions. I’m going to focus on three different credit unions who provide good examples of lending products:University Federal Credit Union in Austin, Texas gets it. More than 10 years ago, the credit union began offering non-prime auto loans to members with credit scores below 640. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Credit union membership growth slowed slightly to 3.7% in April, NAFCU reported in its Economic and CU Monitor, which was released Tuesday.At the same time, share growth remained strong, reaching 7.1% in April, NAFCU said.The trade association reported, however, that the credit union community continues to lose an average of one institution per day through merger or liquidation. continue reading » 0SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
A fascinating new report by McKinsey & Company highlights that credit unions can drive organizational value by creating an analytics culture.The report recognizes that financial services analytics has reached a point where marketing was in the 1970’s for the banking sector. Prior to that time, sales and marketing initiatives for credit unions and banks were rare. In 2017, a credit union would find it difficult to survive without some level of marketing effort.Credit unions today are beginning to acknowledge the potential benefits of analytics. Some brave pioneers in the industry have already gained experience in this area. Now, analytics is poised to be a mainstream activity. To this point the authors admonish credit unions and banks to, “establish analytics as a business discipline”. The implication is organizations must make a serious commitment to building an analytics culture.What can a credit union do to support such a commitment? The report lists 10 essential guidelines. continue reading » 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr With both chambers of Congress back in Washington, D.C. this week, CUNA is heavily engaged with activities this week while looking ahead to proposals to fund the government past Sept. 30. CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said CUNA is paying particularly close attention to the appropriations legislation on the floor this week, a large bill that includes 8 appropriations, including the financial services and general government (FSGG) appropriations bill.“The key things we’re looking at and paying attention to is funding levels for [Treasury’s] community Development Financial Institutions Fund, [NCUA’s] Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, regulatory relief provisions included in committee’s markup of FSGG and then the CUNA-opposed language that would subject NCUA to appropriations,” Donovan said. “We’ll be working with members of the House as they proceed through this legislation to ensure the things we support remain in the bill.”CUNA expects the Senate Appropriations FSGG subcommittee to pass its fiscal year 2018 spending bill next week, and the full committee is expected to pass the bill next week as week.
Credit unions continue to experience tight margins due to many factors, including low interest rates, a flattening of the yield curve, growth of share accounts, shrinking loan portfolios and a shift in balance sheet structures. Even with a recent uptick in net interest margin for the overall credit union industry (up to 3 percent for Q1 2017), credit unions continue to operate in a historically low NIM environment. As net interest margin typically represents 50 to 85 percent of an institution’s bottom-line income, finance teams need an accurate and consistent methodology for calculating and analyzing NIM to truly measure profitability and performance. Although credit union mission statements are geared toward serving members, profitability is nonetheless an important factor in determining institutional health and viability and needs to be considered strategically in your organization.In an environment of tight margins, employing matched-term funds transfer pricing as a tool for proactive margin management provides an opportunity to improve bottom-line results. Funds transfer pricing is an internal management information system designed to allocate NIM across all segments of the credit union, including branches, products and members. FTP is often used for historical analysis and measurement, but should also be an integral part of strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting to ensure alignment with organizational goals and strategies. Let’s examine the use of FTP throughout the enterprise performance management cycle. 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
continue reading » There are few situations more fraught with peril or packed with possibilities for credit unions than a core conversion.The data processing system is the hub of the wheel that makes the modern financial cooperative go ’round, and the conversion process can be bumpy. Then, when it’s over, credit unions must figure out how to harvest the potential of their new system.But credit unions don’t have to go it alone. Vendors provide guidance during and after the conversion process, and consultants weigh in with expert opinion. Plus, credit unions themselves are happy to share best practices emerging from their own experience. Here are five. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Two watch phrases guide compliance officers as their credit unions navigate a steady stream of regulatory guidance and changes in serving members during the COVID-19 pandemic:Stay tuned.Document everything.Federal and state agencies are rolling out updates at a sometimes-dizzying pace as credit unions work through operational changes to protect the health of employees and members in the wake of the coronavirus; develop temporary loan products, policies and procedures for members in need; and plan alternatives for in-person board and annual meetings. And that’s just a partial to-do list.“All of this guidance is really helpful to credit unions and their members, but at the same time, you have to be able to process and use it,” says CUES member Bernard G. McLaughlin, president/CEO of Point Breeze Credit Union. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Like many of you, I have been busy, busy, busy attending NAFCU’s Virtual Regulatory Compliance School. The virtual experience was new for me (and I bet most of you), but the conference was a great success. I learned so many new things, but studying to be an NCCO is no easy task. However, after many long evenings of studying, I get to update my signature line to: Janice Ringler, NCCO!Congratulations and welcome to all the new NCCOs!On July 28, 2020, CFPB released its fourth update to its HMDA FAQs, updating question #7 in the Ethnicity, Race, and Sex section, and questions #1 and #2 in the Multiple Data Points section. The FAQ’s attempt to clarify when combined loan-to-value (CLTV), debt-to-income ratio (DTI), income, and property value needs to be reported on the LAR. The FAQs state that all of these fields must be reported “if they were a factor relied on in making a credit decision—even if the data was not the dispositive factor.” The FAQs set a “relied on” standard to determine when the credit union must report the data for income, credit score, DTI, CLTV, and property value. However, Regulation C allows credit unions to report these data points, along with credit score and credit score model, as “not applicable.” A frequent question we get from credit unions is:If these data points must be reported if they are “relied on in making a credit decision”, in what instances would these fields be reported as “not applicable?” I have explored some possible scenarios below. continue reading »
RELATED: Two people tested for coronavirus in Broome County The health department told 12 News in a press release Monday that two people in Broome County were being tested for the virus after they returned from China in separate flights. They also say they are no confirmed cases of the virus either. BROOME COUNTY (WBNG) — The Broome County Health Department says the results of the coronavirus test for both patients are negative. The health department says there are no other people in the county being tested.
Garnar says the county is still working on a plan, but it will be a long and slow implementation. Broome County officials say New York City may be seeing a flattened curve, but opening too early may be ineffective for the county. “I think the apex is going to happen, I think we’re probably a couple weeks behind what the city is,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “Not just focusing on economic recovery, we’ve already heard from The Agency on economic recovery, but all types of recovery,” said Garnar. “We’re always re-evaluation, what are our emergency orders, every five days we evaluate whether or not we should keep an emergency order. A lot of what we do is dependent on what the state says,” said Garnar. (WBNG) — Governor Cuomo says it’s time to start thinking about life after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Broome County officials say they’re already working on a plan for the transition. Garnar says the process of transitioning back will be slow to prevent the virus from spreading rapidly again. “We have to understand on the reopening, as much as we have this emotion that we want it to happen, we want it to happen now, we can’t take this anymore, everyone feels the same. It’s a delicate balance, remember what we have to do on reopening, remember this has never been done before,” said Governor Cuomo. The Recovery Task Force, Garnar says, will take a holistic approach to recovering from the pandemic. From mental health issues to unemployment, he says his plan is constantly evolving.
(WBNG) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Broome County has an infection rate of 3.1%, making it a hot spot in the state. County officials linked the elevated cases to bars and restaurants in the city’s west side. As of Monday, there are 413 active cases of COVID-19 in Broome County. Over 150 are located in Binghamton. To see where cases are located in Broome County click here. Cuomo says local governments need to do a better job at enforcing virus safety.
Apple iPhone XR (Rs. 39,999)iPhone XR is still selling at a discounted price during Flipkart’s Big Diwali 2020 sale today. Even though it’s not as low as the previous festive season sale, you can still make use of the bundled exchange and payment offers to get it at a decent price. iPhone XR 64GB is currently down to Rs. 39,999 (MRP Rs. 52,500) on Flipkart. An exchange offer can fetch you another instant discount worth up to Rs. 14,360. Paying with an Axis Bank card will sweeten the deal further by 10 percent.Buy now for: Rs. 39,999 (MRP Rs. 52,500)iPhone SE (Rs. 32,999)If you missed the last Flipkart sale, Apple’s iPhone SE 64GB is again down to Rs. 32,999 (MRP Rs. 42,500). This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the iPhone SE 2020 since it launched in India. Axis Bank credit card customers can avail a further discount worth up to Rs. 3,000 on this purchase (includes extra Rs. 1,500 discount on transactions above Rs. 30,000). It seems like a great deal if you were on the fence all this while.- Advertisement – Flipkart Big Diwali 2020 sale is ending at midnight tonight. The Walmart-owned company’s Diwali special sale kicked off last week with hundreds of deals and bundled offers on popular smartphones, laptops, headphones, and other electronics. In case you missed it, you still have a little less than 12 hours to do all your last-minute Diwali 2020 shopping for electronics. We’ve handpicked the best deals and offers available on the last day of Flipkart’s Big Diwali 2020 sale.Flipkart Big Diwali sale 2020 – Best deals on smartphones today- Advertisement – Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (Rs. 59,999) Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is still selling at its Big Billion Days sale prices. You can grab one for as low as Rs. 59,999 during the Big Diwali sale 2020 on Flipkart this week. You can also avail a no-cost EMI option, and the bundled exchange offer to further lower the effective price. Galaxy Note 10+ comes with a massive 6.8-inch Super AMOLED display, and a quad rear camera setup.Buy now for Rs. 59,999 (MRP Rs. 85,000)iPhone 11 Pro (Rs. 79,999)iPhone 11 Pro is currently selling at Rs. 79,999 (MRP Rs. 1,06,600) during Flipkart’s Big Diwali 2020 sale. You can also avail another instant discount worth up to Rs. 3,000 when you pay using an Axis Bank credit card. This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the iPhone 11 Pro during the festive sale season this year.Buy now for: Rs. 79,999 (MRP Rs. 1,06,600))Poco M2 Pro (Rs. 12,999)Poco M2 Pro is available at Rs. 12,999 (MRP Rs. 16,999) during the Big Diwali sale on Flipkart right now. That’s around Rs. 2,000 lower than its usual selling price online. With the bundled exchange offer, you can knock off another Rs. 12,450 (maximum) from the discounted price. Poco M2 Pro comes with a 6.67-inch full-HD+ display and a 48-megapixel quad rear camera setup. The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset, supported by 6GB of RAM.Buy now for: Rs. 12,999 (MRP Rs. 16,999)Moto G9 (Rs. 9,999)Moto G9 is still down to Rs. 9,999 (MRP Rs. 14,999) during the Big Diwali sale on Flipkart. The phone comes with a large 5,000mAh battery and a 48-megapixel triple rear camera setup. Moto G9 is powered by Snapdragon 662, supported by 4GB of RAM. If you’re eyeing a new budget phone with stock Android, the Moto G9 seems like a pretty decent choice at this price.Buy now for: Rs. 9,999 (MRP Rs. 14,999)Flipkart Big Diwali sale – Best offers on electronics on last dayApple AirPods Pro (Rs. 17,999)Apple’s premium AirPods Pro TWS earphones with active noise cancellation are down to Rs. 17,999 (MRP Rs. 24,900). This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the AirPods Pro this year. Combine it with the Axis Bank cards payment offer, and you’ll end up with a great overall deal.Buy now for: Rs. 17,999 (MRP Rs. 24,900)JBL Moviebar 80 soundbar (Rs. 6,999)If you got yourself a big-screen TV this festive season, and are worried about the awful sound experience, get the JBL Moviebar 80 soundbar as an affordable add-on to your setup. The soundbar is currently down to Rs. 6,999 (MRP Rs. 13,999) on Flipkart’s Big Diwali sale 2020.Buy now for: Rs. 6,999 (MRP Rs. 13,999)Avita Liber 14-inch laptop (Rs. 62,990)If you’re eyeing a powerful yet inexpensive laptop with no preference for a particular brand, the Avita Liber 14-inch laptop could the one for you. The laptop is currently selling at a discounted price of Rs. 62,990 (MRP Rs. 83,390) during Flipkart’s Big Diwali sale 2020. It is powered by the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, supported by 16GB of RAM. It comes with a 1TB SSD, and runs Windows 10 Home out-of-the-box. You can swap your old laptop and get up to RS. 15,650 as an additional instant discount.Buy now for: Rs. 62,990 (MRP Rs. 83,390)Philips 70-inch 4K smart LED TV (Rs. 69,999)Flipkart Big Diwali sale 2020 is offering the Philips 70-inch 4K smart LED TV at a discounted price of Rs. 69,999 (MRP Rs. 1,99,990) for a limited period. You can swap your old TV, and get up to Rs. 11,000 off as an additional instant discount. The TV comes with three HDMI ports, two USB ports, and is a 2019 model.Buy now for: Rs. 69,999 (MRP Rs. 1,99,990)HP Pavilion x360 14-inch laptop (Rs. 52,490)If a 2-in-1 can make working and learning from home better for you, the HP Pavilion x360 14-inch laptop is going at Rs. 52,490 (MRP Rs. 63,179) during Flipkart’s Big Diwali sale this week. The laptop is powered by Intel’s 10th generation Core i3 CPU, supported by 8GB of RAM. It comes with a 512GB SSD, and runs Windows 10 Home out-of-the-box. HP is also bundling MS Office with the laptop.Buy now for: Rs. 52,490 (MRP Rs. 63,179)MSI GF63 15.6-inch gaming laptop (Rs.66,990)For those eyeing a gaming laptop, the MSI GF63 is down to Rs. 66,990 (MRP Rs. 1,04,990) on Flipkart during the Big Diwali sale this week. The laptop comes with a big 15.6-inch display and is powered by the 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor, supported by 8GB of RAM. It comes with a 512GB SSD, and runs Windows 10 Home. For graphics, there’s Nvidia’s GeForce GTZ 1650 Max-Q graphics card, supported by 4GB of video RAM.Buy now for: Rs. 66,990 (MRP Rs. 1,04,990)Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details. Buy now for: Rs. 32,999 (MRP Rs. 42,500)Samsung Galaxy S20+ (Rs. 49,999) Another great deal that’s still available during the Flipkart Big Diwali sale 2020 today is the discount on Samsung’s Galaxy S20+. The phone is again selling at Rs. 49,999 (MRP Rs. 83,000) during Flipkart’s third round of festive season sales. The Walmart-owned company is also running a bundled exchange offer with up to Rs. 14,850 as an additional discount.Buy now for: Rs. 49,999 (MRP Rs. 83,000)- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
OAKLAND, Calif. — For months, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube prepared to clamp down on misinformation on Election Day.On Tuesday, most of their plans went off without a hitch. The social platforms added labels to misleading posts by President Trump and notified their users that there was no immediate outcome to the presidential race. On television, news anchors even cited fact-checks similar to those made by Twitter and Facebook.- Advertisement – Then came Wednesday. With ballots still being counted and the absence of a clear result, the flow of misinformation shifted away from seeding doubts about the vote to false claims of victory. Twitter rapidly labeled several tweets by Mr. Trump over the course of the day as being misleading about the result of his race, and also did the same to tweets from others in his circle, such as Eric Trump and the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. And Facebook and YouTube used their home pages to show people accurate information about the election.The actions reinforced how even a smooth performance on Election Day did not mean that the social media companies could relax, fighting a relentless flow of toxic content. In fact, the biggest tests for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are still looming, misinformation researchers said, as false narratives may surge until a final result in the presidential race is certified. “What we actually saw on Election Day from the companies is that they were extremely responsive and faster than they’ve ever been,” said Graham Brookie, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. But now, he said, misinformation was solely focused on the results and undermining them.- Advertisement – “Platforms need to quickly expand their efforts before the country is plunged into further chaos and confusion,” he said. “It is a democratic emergency.” On Tuesday night, Facebook had to do just that. Shortly after Mr. Trump posted about the election’s being stolen from him, Facebook officials added labels to his posts. The labels noted that “no winner of the presidential election had been projected.”After the polls closed, Facebook also sent users a notification that if they were waiting to vote at a polling place, they could still vote if they were already standing in line.On Wednesday, Facebook added more labels to new posts from Mr. Trump, checking his claims by noting that “as expected, election results will take longer this year.” On Tuesday, as Americans voted across the country, falsehoods about broken voting machines and biased poll workers popped up repeatedly. But the companies weren’t tested until Mr. Trump — with early results showing how tight the race was — posted on Twitter and Facebook just before 1 a.m. Eastern time to baselessly lash out at the electoral process. “They are trying to STEAL the Election,” Mr. Trump posted on the sites, without being specific about who he meant.Twitter moved quickly, hiding Mr. Trump’s inaccurate tweet behind a label that cautioned people that the claim was “disputed” and “might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” Twitter, which had started labeling Mr. Trump’s tweets for the first time in May, also restricted users’ ability to like and share the post.On Wednesday morning, Twitter added more labels to posts from Mr. Trump. In one, he tweeted that his early leads in Democratic states “started to magically disappear.” In another message, Mr. Trump said unnamed people were working to make his lead in the battleground state of Pennsylvania “disappear.”Twitter also applied other labels to posts that falsely asserted victory. One was added to a post by Ben Wikler, head of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, in which he asserted prematurely that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had won the state. The Associated Press and other news outlets later called Wisconsin for Mr. Biden, though Mr. Trump called for a recount.On Wednesday afternoon, Twitter also affixed context to tweets from Eric Trump, one of Mr. Trump’s sons, and Ms. McEnany when they preemptively claimed that Mr. Trump had won in Pennsylvania, even though the race there had not been called. The company also fact-checked other assertions from Mr. Trump claiming victory in several battleground states such as North Carolina and Georgia, where the race has not been called, and restricted his false statements about voter fraud from being shared.“As votes are still being counted across the country, our teams continue to take enforcement action on tweets that prematurely declare victory or contain misleading information about the election broadly,” Twitter said. But the site did encounter a problem early on Tuesday night when several YouTube channels, one with more than a million subscribers, said they were livestreaming election results. What the live streams actually showed was a graphic of a projection of an election outcome with Mr. Biden leading. They were also among the first results that appeared when users searched for election results.After media reports pointed out the issue, YouTube removed the video streams, citing its policy prohibiting spam, deceptive practices and scams.On Wednesday, One America News Network, a conservative cable news network with nearly a million subscribers on YouTube, also posted a video commentary to the site claiming that Mr. Trump had already won the election and that Democrats were “tossing Republican ballots, harvesting fake ballots and delaying results” to cause confusion. The video has been viewed more than 280,000 times.Farshad Shadloo, a YouTube spokesman, said the video did not violate the company’s policy regarding misleading claims about voting. He said the video carried a label that the election results were not final. YouTube added that it had removed ads from the video because it did not allow creators to make money off content that undermined “confidence in elections with demonstrably false information.”Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, said the tech companies still had a fight ahead against election misinformation, but were prepared for it.“There will always be a long tail of disinformation, but it will become less impactful,” he said. “They are still working, for sure, and will try to maintain this staffing level and focus until the outcome is generally accepted.”But Fadi Quran, campaign director at Avaaz, a progressive nonprofit that tracks misinformation, said Facebook, Twitter and YouTube needed to do more. “You have a hyperfocused audience and a moment in time where there is a huge amount of uncertainty, and bad actors can use that opportunistically,” he said.Twitter said it was continuing to monitor for misinformation. Facebook said, “Our work isn’t done — we’ll stay vigilant and promote reliable information on Facebook as votes continue to be counted.” YouTube said it also was on alert for “election-related content” in the coming days.The companies had all braced for a chaotic Election Day, working to avoid a repeat of 2016, when their platforms were misused by Russians to spread divisive disinformation. In recent months, the companies had rolled out numerous anti-misinformation measures, including suspending or banning political ads, slowing down the flow of information and highlighting accurate information and context. – Advertisement – Updated Nov. 4, 2020, 5:23 p.m. ET Unlike Twitter, Facebook did not restrict users from sharing or commenting on Mr. Trump’s posts. But it was the first time Facebook had used such labels, part of the company’s plan to add context to posts about the election. A spokesman said the company “planned and prepared for these scenarios and built the essential systems and tools.”YouTube, which is not used regularly by Mr. Trump, faced fewer high-profile problems than Twitter and Facebook. All YouTube videos about election results included a label that said the election might not be over and linked to a Google page with results from The Associated Press. Facebook took a more cautious approach. Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, has said he has no desire to fact-check the president or other political figures because he believes in free speech. Yet to prevent itself from being misused in the election, Facebook said it would couch premature claims of victory with a notification that the election had yet to be called for a candidate, if necessary. – Advertisement –
– Advertisement – The Aidusgun intuitive VR game controller is so easy to use: all you have to do is attach it to an air gun. Comfortable to play with, this gadget just connects to the rails. You don’t have to modify your air gun at all. Thanks to this design, it works great for first-person-shooter games. And it’s so much better than using your mouse. Though this gadget can connect to your PC, smartphone, tablet, or VR game, it doesn’t require Wi-Fi connectivity. That means you can enjoy your games wherever you want. Make natural movements by turning quickly left and right thanks to its 180º to 360º range of movement. It’ll feel so intuitive to use the Aidusgun. In fact, this intuitive VR game controller actually transmits your motions wirelessly in real time—all without the internet. Use this virtual reality game controller to navigate through VR worlds like never before.
Updated Nov. 7, 2020, 7:37 p.m. ET And although it took days to learn who had won and the race was quite close, Pennsylvania indeed proved critical to the outcome. As expected, Mr. Trump jumped out to an early lead, thanks to ballots cast on Election Day, but Mr. Biden clawed back slowly and eventually overtook Mr. Trump as more and more absentee ballots were counted.- Advertisement – Florida (29 Electoral College votes)Perhaps no state was more closely watched this cycle than Florida, and the results there almost immediately dashed Democrats’ hopes of a blue landslide. Mr. Trump won the state by a significantly wider margin than he did in 2016, despite polling averages that showed him trailing before Election Day.More than half of the counties in Florida swung further right than they did four years ago. And although Mr. Biden did make gains in some areas of the state, he vastly underperformed in Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, especially in precincts with a majority Hispanic population.Iowa (six votes), Ohio (18 votes) and Texas (38 votes)Optimistic Democrats hopeful for a blue wave saw Iowa, Ohio and Texas as potentially in play this cycle, but that proved to be wishful thinking. Mr. Trump thumped Mr. Biden by significant margins in all three conservative-leaning states, winning them for a second time.Of the three, Texas, where the president won by roughly six percentage points, ended up being the closest. Even as some white voters in urban and suburban areas moved in large numbers toward Democrats, many Hispanic voters in the Rio Grande Valley shifted decisively toward Mr. Trump.Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting. An initial look at county-level data suggests that Mr. Biden ran ahead of Mrs. Clinton’s performance in 2016 in most parts of the state. He showed particular strength in the suburbs around Philadelphia, an area that had been trending blue in 2016 and has only grown bluer since. He flipped the state back into the Democratic column with 37,000 more votes than Mr. Trump.Michigan (16 votes) and Wisconsin (10 votes)Four years ago, Mr. Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win either Michigan or Wisconsin in decades when he defeated Mrs. Clinton by roughly 33,000 votes in both states combined.From the start of Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign all the way to Election Day, he and his team believed that rebuilding the Democratic “blue wall” in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would perhaps be the clearest and cleanest path to winning the White House. Mr. Biden also believed that the Democratic Party had to garner support from working-class and middle-class voters in Northern industrial states — those from families like the one he grew up in.- Advertisement – After days of vote counting, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has amassed the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to secure the presidency.All along, it was clear that Mr. Biden’s path to victory involved flipping a handful of states that then-candidate Donald J. Trump won in 2016 while also retaining the states that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in 2016, won in that cycle.- Advertisement – In Michigan, a spike in turnout in Detroit and its wealthy suburbs, along with shrinking support for Mr. Trump among middle-class voters, helped secure the state for Mr. Biden. About two-thirds of the predominately white counties that backed Mr. Trump in 2016 moved somewhat left four years later, and a greater share of voters in those counties backed Mr. Biden than they supported Mrs. Clinton in 2016.Battleground States Biden Kept That strategy paid off, as Mr. Biden rode the support in Wisconsin’s cities and suburbs to victory. He was aided particularly by massive turnout in Dane County (home to Madison) and he ate into Mr. Trump’s margins in the Milwaukee suburbs. New Hampshire (14 votes)The Cook Political Report considered New Hampshire competitive with a Democratic lean, and it was tightly contested in 2016. But Mr. Biden won handily, by seven percentage points, and the race was called relatively quickly. Though there were many twists and turns, Mr. Biden appears to have done exactly that. Here is a quick look at the key states he won, and what we know about why he won them.States Biden FlippedPennsylvania (20 Electoral College votes)Pennsylvania has been in the spotlight for months, and it was long considered a potential “tipping-point state” — the state where victory could determine the outcome of the entire presidential contest. Elections officials had signaled all along that it would take time to count the votes there, and that a final tally would not be available on election night. Mr. Trump won the state by less than one percentage point in 2016, but polls had Mr. Biden ahead in the run-up to Election Day. Noteworthy States Biden Lost Minnesota (10 Electoral College votes)Mr. Trump came surprisingly close to a victory in Minnesota four years ago, and his campaign poured significant resources into the state this cycle in hopes of flipping it. Nonetheless, Mr. Biden maintained a comfortable if not insurmountable lead in Minnesota throughout much of the race, and polling there ended up being pretty spot on.Mr. Biden won comfortably, by about seven percentage points. He ran up the margins in densely populated urban counties and made significant inroads in the suburban counties that Mr. Trump won in 2016.Nevada (Six votes)Mr. Biden managed to hang onto Nevada, a state Mrs. Clinton won in 2016, but it was a nail-biter that took days to decide. Like Mrs. Clinton, he did it by winning Clark and Washoe Counties, home to Las Vegas and Reno, which account for over 85 percent of the state’s total votes. His margin of victory in Clark County was down slightly from the margin in 2016, but it was up in Washoe. – Advertisement –
The Federal Aviation Administration is wrapping up its evaluation of changes Boeing made to the planes after two 737 Max crashes killed 346 people and prompted a worldwide grounding of the jetliners in March 2019.That review will wrap up in the “coming days,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement late Monday. The process has been expected to finish in mid-November and an order to end the grounding would be followed by pilot training, which is expected to take weeks.“Even though we are near the finish line, I will lift the grounding order only after our safety experts are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards,” Dickson said.- Advertisement – An employee walks past a Boeing 737 Max aircraft seen parked at the Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Washington, January 10, 2020.Lindsey Wasson | Reuters – Advertisement – Boeing on Tuesday reported more cancellations of its beleaguered 737 Max jets, just as regulators wrap up their review of the planes following two fatal crashes.The aircraft manufacturer is facing dual crises of the 737 Max grounding, now in its 20th month, and the coronavirus pandemic, which as devastated air travel and the market for new aircraft.Boeing customers canceled 12 orders for the 737 Max in October and the company posted no new ones. Including aircraft Boeing removed from its official backlog, its outstanding orders shrunk to 4,275 from 4,325 last month.- Advertisement – American Airlines has scheduled the planes to fly commercially at the end of December, the earliest of the U.S. carriers that have purchased them. The airline is also planning to allow customers to tour the planes and have its pilots and mechanics answer their questions in an effort to boost confidence in the jets, CNBC reported last month.Boeing said it delivered 13 aircraft to customers in October. – Advertisement –
Also yesterday, Latina Prensa (Latin American News Agency) quoted an Angolan official as saying the disease has killed more than 400 people. The story said Health Minister Sebastiao Veloso told reporters “that the infection still inflicts fatalities every five or six days, and that the death toll already exceeds 400 in four months, affecting seven provinces.” See also: MSF said the epidemic “seems to be grinding to a halt,” with only a few new cases confirmed in the past few weeks. “MSF has ended its emergency intervention and handed over its activities,” the article said. After a review of data on the epidemic, the Angolan Ministry of Health reported a total of 351 cases, 312 of them fatal, the WHO said today. In a Jun 17 update, the WHO had listed the Ministry of Health’s tally as 422 cases with 356 deaths. The WHO offered no explanation for the change in the numbers. However, the WHO statement said the outbreak response team in Angola “is currently following up 64 contacts in Uige Province,” where the vast majority of cases have occurred. “The team continues to receive and investigate alerts to potential cases,” the WHO said. “Clinical specimens from alerts are being transported to the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory.” Jun 17 WHO report on Marburg epidemichttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_06_17/en/index.html The story says that 16 staff members in Uige’s main hospital died of Marburg as a result of inadequate infection control measures. The MSF article describes the difficulties that medical workers faced as they worked to control the epidemic by quickly burying bodies and isolating patients while trying not to alienate the population. People suspected of being infected were often reluctant to go to health facilities for diagnosis and possible isolation, mainly because there is no cure for the disease. The medical aid group Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), or Doctors without Borders, in an article published online yesterday, put the size of the outbreak at 391 cases with 350 deaths. Dr. Armand Sprecher, a public health specialist who has dealt with both Ebola fever and Marburg, called Marburg “even scarier” than Ebola. “A person can feel a bit weak and look slightly ill but drop dead the next day,” he was quoted as saying. Jul 13 WHO statement on Marburg epidemichttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_07_13/en/index.html Jul 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) The latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Marburg hemorrhagic fever epidemic in Angola gives significantly lower numbers of cases and deaths than previous reports. Meanwhile, still other numbers have been reported by other sources this week. The report says Marburg is hard to detect, with symptomshigh fever, diarrhea, and vomitingthat resemble those of other common tropical diseases such as malaria. “The disease is not as dramatic and ‘gory’ as media reports portray it to be,” the story says.
May 27, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Sanofi Pasteur announced today that it has received a novel H1N1 influenza vaccine virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moving the company a step closer to starting production of a vaccine.CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said this afternoon that the agency is also sending the vaccine virus to other manufacturers, located overseas, who should receive the samples within a few days.Jeff McLaughlin, a spokesman for vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said today he couldn’t confirm GSK’s receipt of the vaccine strain, but added, “We understand that the CDC is in the process of shipping the strain to all the relevant manufacturers.”CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) officials had predicted that the CDC would release H1N1 vaccine viruses to manufacturers by the end of May. WHO officials have said that production of H1N1 vaccines is most likely to begin in July.The preparation of a vaccine strain involves combining a clinical sample of the target virus with another influenza virus that grows in eggs. This process creates a new virus that has some of the properties of the target virus and the ability to grow in eggs, the US Department of Health and Human Services noted today in a fact sheet on vaccine development activities. Most flu vaccines are still produced by growing them in eggs.Wayne Pisano, president of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a news release, “As a company committed to protecting human health, Sanofi Pasteur looks forward to quickly understanding how this virus performs in a vaccine manufacturing environment and developing a working seed that will enable large-scale production.”Sanofi will now begin “passaging” the virus, referring to “the process for acclimating virus to grow in a production environment at optimum yield,” the company said. The process will take about 2 weeks.”Following quality controls, Sanofi Pasteur will be prepared to begin industrial production as soon as directed by public health agencies,” the statement added.Health officials have estimated it would take manufacturers 4 to 6 months from when they receive the vaccine strain to start producing a vaccine in quantity. But a Sanofi spokeswoman said last week that the company may be able to start producing its first doses in 3 to 4 months.Sanofi and GSK both announced within the past few days that they had received US government orders for novel H1N1 vaccines.In related news, the WHO has recommended that vaccines for the novel H1N1 influenza virus be based on an isolate from California, saying most H1N1 viruses isolated so far are very similar to it.A majority of the novel H1N1 viruses isolated so far are antigenically and genetically related to the isolate known as A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), the WHO said in a statement posted online yesterday.The WHO said that its collaborating laboratories, certain regulatory agency laboratories, and other partners are developing reassortant viruses antigenically similar to the California strain for use in vaccines.Skinner, of the CDC, said the agency used the California strain in making the vaccine virus now being released to manufacturers.WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said several other WHO collaborating centers and regulatory laboratories are developing novel H1N1 vaccine viruses. He said they include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, a US Food and Drug Administration lab, and facilities in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia.See also: May 27 Sanofi press releaseMay 26 CIDRAP News story “Companies receive HHS orders for novel flu vaccine”WHO recommendation on strain for vaccine development
Oct 27, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The pandemic H1N1 vaccine supply is increasing significantly, and over the next 2 weeks Americans will have an easier time finding and receiving the doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.At a media briefing today, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, said 22.4 million doses are available to ship to states now, which is 8 million doses more than the 14 million available a week ago. “We wish we had more vaccine now, but we’re beginning to get a significant increase in availability,” he said.Though polling shows many Americans are ambivalent about getting the vaccine, people have faced long lines to receive doses for themselves or their children, and some providers have had to turn people away. For example, yesterday officials in Jackson Township, N.J., turned away 1,000 people from a vaccine clinic after the facility exhausted its 1,500 doses, according to a report from the Associated Press.As states wait for more doses, flu activity is still widespread throughout the United States, Frieden said. Flu cases have decreased in some areas, such as Georgia, but are increasing in a patchwork pattern of focal points—typical for influenza—throughout the country, he reported.Though Frieden said federal health officials are frustrated by the slow trickle of vaccine coming out, they are pleased by other aspects of the vaccine. The vaccine closely matches the circulating H1N1 virus and is likely to be very effective, he said. He added that federal officials have high levels of confidence in the vaccine’s safety because it is produced by the same manufacturers using the same methods as the seasonal flu vaccine, which has an excellent safety record.The CDC is observing the different ways states are distributing their vaccine doses and is working to identify best practices to ensure that available vaccine is given to priority groups as soon as possible, Frieden said.He added that school-based immunization clinics are likely to be one of the most efficient distribution methods, and he lauded districts that are distributing vaccination consent forms ahead of time. He urged state and local officials to make it as easy as possible for people to receive the vaccine.
In the first quarter of this year, traffic on 10.014.976 vehicles was recorded on all HAC and ARZ motorways, and tolls were collected in the amount of HRK 455.636.108,00 without VAT, reports Croatian Motorways (HAC).Compared to last year, the number of vehicles increased by 3,56%, and the amount of tolls collected was higher by 9,62%. “The trend of increasing traffic and inflows from tolls in the first quarter is visible on all highways and, what is significant, in all categories of vehicles, despite the very unfavorable weather conditions that prevailed in February.“They point out from Hrvatske autoceste.The highest traffic of 3.631.886 vehicles was recorded on the A3 Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac motorway, compared to the same period last year, an increase of 5,5%, as well as the largest inflow of tolls collected in the first quarter in the amount of 190.769.521,60. HRK 13,58 without VAT, which is XNUMX% more than last year.Considering the upcoming tourist season as well as the announcements about the daily growth of tourist arrivals, further growth of both revenue and traffic can be expected.</p>
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How to start the story of Istra Inspirit, one of the world’s best tourist stories, confirmed and U, than with one story.A book is a book, a brochure is a brochure, an information board is a board, and no matter how many written words describe an event, it can become a real and striking experience only if we experience it live. On the other hand, we all know the power of stories, which accompany us from a young age to youth, work, and eventually we ourselves become storytellers when we become parents and tell the same stories to our children. The power of the story has always followed and will always follow the human race. Why? Because stories evoke strong emotions and experiences in us, and thus are strongly positioned. Pure biology.That is why the world of marketing has long accepted the storytelling concept in promotion, and for a long time big brands do not sell products but emotions, experiences and products are identified with human characteristics. So Nike doesn’t sell sneakers, Harley Davidson doesn’t sell motorcycles, while Coca-Cola doesn’t sell drinks.And tourism is the best of all – stories, emotions and experiences. Here’s a “trick” question: What do you remember from your last vacation? Accommodation or some special moments with the family? The answer is surely some experience, moment, emotion, not a hotel or accommodation. It was the power of the story that took me to Vrsar, the love destination of Giacomo Casanova, an adventurer and the world’s most famous seducer, who in 1743 stayed in Vrsar for a year. But this information, no matter how interesting, would not have any value without interpretation and would certainly not be remembered for long.And this is where storytelling and Istra Inspirit come into play, a multi-award winning experience tourism project that enriches the cultural and tourist offer of the peninsula by reviving historical events in authentic locations, through staged Istrian legends and myths.Thus, Istra Inspirit actors introduced tourists to ancient times or time travel, through the authentic streets and locations of Vrsar when Casanova walked and stayed in Vrsar, all through a storytelling concept or an interactive costumed walk. ‘In addition to numerous cultural and entertainment events that are traditionally organized during the summer months, Vrsar will try to provide its guests with a unique experience of traveling into history this summer. In addition to the Old Samnja, which revives Vrsar in the time of the Vrsar County and which will have two editions this year, we also started the Casanova Tour. Like the previous Casanovafest, this new interactive tour has the character of Giacomo Casanova and the description of his stay in Vrsar from the famous Memoirs.”Said Natalija Vugrinec, director of the Tourist Board of Vrsar and added that this event is a continuation of the story at Casanovafest, which was organized over the past nine years, and which through lectures, plays, film screenings, exhibitions and concerts presented the theme of love and eroticism in various forms. art.In cooperation with Istra Inspirit, a new concept has been designed for this tourist season – a guided interactive tour in six terms, in order to enable as many guests as possible to get acquainted with the interesting rich history of our place. “For the next season, Casanova Tour is planned to be supplemented with a gastronomic experience, in accordance with the EU project “I enjoy tradition” in which TZO Vrsar is one of the partners, and whose theme is the preservation and tourist valorization of indigenous foods and dishes. We are sure that such an event will be extremely attractive to guests in our destination, but also that it will have a significant promotional effect.. ‘ Vugrinec emphasized.Casanova Tour is a great example of the promotion of a destination through cultural and historical heritage and its interpretation in the manner of storytelling through theatrical expression in performance. A performance that is at least more than impressive, in the manner of legendary and striking Hollywood actors, without any exaggeration. You know the feeling when a movie scene becomes legendary, that’s exactly what the performance was like. By the way, over 200 different artists, performers and actors are participating in the Istra Inspirit project under the artistic direction of director Petra B. Blašković.Thus, the professional actors of Istra Inspirit, as part of the ‘Casanova Tour’, took all visitors on an unforgettable journey to the time of the Vrsar County when the seducer and adventurer, Giacomo Casanova, stayed in Vrsar twice. The first time, as he states in his ‘Memoirs’, which served as a source for the script of this innovative tour, he visited Vrsar for three days in August 1743, still as a poor and infamous priest, while the second time he came to Vrsar as a soldier during a voyage from the Venetian island of Malamocco, when his ship anchored at night in the port of Vrsar. Giacomo Casanova, accompanied by the voice of the greatest lover in history, was returning to Vrsar, allegedly because of the beautiful women from Vrsar. Through entertaining and educational content, visitors were able to discover the more intimate side of Casanovina Vrsar, and all the interesting events that characterized his stay in Vrsar, and among other things, visited the lookout under the palm tree near the church of St. Anton, the lookout of Casanova, the main city gate, and Casanova’s refuge within the city walls, ie we met Vrsar in a different way and I am sure an unforgettable way. The cast that participates in the Casanova tour consists of Frano Novljan, Šandor Slacki, Luka Barešić, Sedina Cerovac and Ivona Bulešić, who with their striking and above all impressive interpretation met, laughed and intrigued everyone present, and through interaction drew the audience into the story. and the tourists themselves became part of the story.As I was familiar with the Istra inspirit story, I had high expectations and a clear idea of what awaited me, but to be honest, my expectations were not only met, but were completely exceeded. I was delighted with the level of acting and how the actors immersed themselves in the roles. With the old town backdrop of Vrsar, the costumed actors and the striking interpretation of the story was more than credible, and I can say for sure that the visitors of the Casanova Tour felt as if they were really in that time and space. At times, we were brought back to reality by random passers-by who visually “interrupted” the sense of history and time travel.Surely he would never have known Vrsar so well, nor would he have remained in such a strong memory that I walked the streets of the city alone. That is why the storytelling concept is so important in tourism, because it is precisely about strong emotions and experience.But, as I mentioned at the beginning of this story, the word is the word, and no matter how powerful the words may be and trigger an avalanche of reactions, you can only understand the true experience and value of this story if you experience it. That is why Istra Inspirit interpretations should be one of the compulsory subjects for all tourism students.In any case, if you want to find out what a storytelling concept is, I definitely recommend that you experience one of the 13 Istra Inspirit stories, whether you are from the world of tourism or marketing. Ultimately, as is usually the case in Lijepa naša, everything that is ours is wrong, or if you think I have gone too far with the use of superlatives in the description, I challenge you to see for yourself.
In 2017, 43% of the Croatian population went on private tripsThus, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in 2017, 1,6 million people or 43,1% of the Croatian population aged 15 and over were on at least one private multi-day trip.A total of 4,1 million private trips were made, of which 2,6 million (62,9%) were in Croatia and 1,5 million (37,1%) abroad. Most people traveled abroad to Bosnia and Herzegovina (20,8%), Italy (11,6%), Germany (10,9%), Austria (9,6%) and Slovenia (9,5%). The most common motives for going on a private multi-day trip are a vacation at sea (1,3 million trips or 32,1%) and a visit to relatives and friends (1,1 million trips or 28,3%).Most nights spent in non-commercial accommodation The population of Croatia made a total of 26,6 million overnight stays on private multi-day trips, of which 17,4 million overnight stays (65,2%) were realized in Croatia and 9,3 million (34,8%) on trips abroad. An average of 6,6 overnight stays were made per trip. On average, 6,8 nights were spent on trips in Croatia and 6,2 nights on trips abroad.According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were realized in non-commercial accommodation facilities (18,2 million overnight stays or 68,3%), of which 9,5 million overnight stays were with relatives and friends, and 8,3 million with own houses and holiday flats million overnight stays.Source: CBSThe average cost per trip was 1 kuna Total expenditures on private multi-day trips amounted to HRK 8,0 billion, of which HRK 3,5 billion (43,7%) in Croatia and HRK 4,5 billion (56,3%) abroad. The average cost per trip was 1 kuna.In 2017, 57% of the Croatian population did not travel, mostly for financial reasons In 2017, 2,1 million or 56,9% of the Croatian population aged 15 and over did not travel on private multi-day trips. The most common reasons for not going on private multi-day trips (possibility of multiple answers) were: lack of financial resources (55,2%), health reasons (25,6%) and lack of free time due to family obligations (19,9%).In 2017, 8% of the Croatian population went on business trips In 2017, 301 thousand people or 8,3% of the population of Croatia aged 15 and over were on at least one business multi-day trip. A total of 842 thousand business trips were made, of which 424 thousand trips (50,4%) were in Croatia and 418 thousand (49,6%) abroad.Source: CBS4,3 million day trips made In 2017, the population of Croatia aged 15 and over made 4,3 million one-day trips, of which 3,8 million (88,8%) were private and 485 thousand (11,2%) business.
RELATED NEWS: In addition to guaranteeing quality for guests, “Holiday Homes with a Story” has also shown resilience to the crisis situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and thus its sustainability. After a field visit and the implementation of the evaluation procedure according to several criteria, the existing holders of standards, as part of the 3rd certification round, were joined by 12 new holiday homes. Thus, the number of holders of the quality label “Holiday houses with a story” rose to 46 with a total of 223 beds. Top Hill Nest After launching the official website called MyVarazdinHoliday which in one place represents all holders of standards, cataloging and promotional campaigns, primarily on the German market, “Holiday homes with a story” have already become a recognizable brand and synonym for the quality of private accommodation in Varaždin County, point out the Tourist Board of Varaždin County. Thus, by the end of August, 34 facilities with the standard “Holiday houses with a story” realized more than 90% of last year’s overnight stays observed in the same period, and more than 70% of overnight stays were realized by foreign guests. In order to offer the demanding market a better and different experience, the Tourist Board of Varaždin County is developing the project “Holiday houses with a story” whose main goal is to develop quality accommodation in the rural area of Varaždin. / / / HOLIDAY HOMES WITH A STORY – EXCELLENT RURAL ACCOMMODATION BRANDING PROJECT IN VARAŽDIN COUNTY Holiday house Pavličević LUXURY HOLIDAY HOMES ARE NOT JUST A CURRENT TREND, BUT THEY WILL BECOME THE FIRST CHOICE. MARRIOTT CONFIRMS THIS AS WELL
tax administration However, a certain recovery was achieved in September, so the decline is much smaller. Comparing the second week of September 2020 (07.09.-13.09.2020), with the third week of September 2020 (14.09.-20.09.2020), the data show that for all activities it is visible 2% account reduction, while the invoice amount is lower by 3%. In activity I – providing accommodation and food preparation and serving is visible reduction of the number of accounts by 4%, and reduction of the amount of invoices by 8%. For all activities in the period from 24.02. to 20.09.2020. in relation to the period from 23.02.- 20.09.2019. it’s visible 26% reduction in the number of accounts, i 18% invoice reduction, say data from the Tax Administration. But the data also reveals a big drop in the tourism sector. Namely, in activity I – providing accommodation and food preparation and serving is visible 40% reduction in the number of invoices and 47% in the amount of the invoice. Turned into numbers, it is about ten billion kuna less turnover. For all activities in the period from 14.09. to 20.09.2020. year compared to the same period in 2019 is visible 19% reduction in the number of accounts, i 18% invoice amount reduction. In activity I – providing accommodation and food preparation and serving is visible 27% account reduction, and invoice amount of 48%. Also, comparing the period of 14.09. to 20.09.2020. in relation to the same period in 2019, the following is visible:
I’m referring to attitude of guardians, the lifestyle kids see and hear, day in and day out. Kids having no discipline or encouragement at home. It’s like Groundhog Day: same thing over, and over, same report, year in, and year out. Tell kids the truth. Everyone is not made for college. With all the trades begging for good people, that’s where their future lies. It takes hard work, no drugs, dressing right, talking right, you get it. Until the real truth is told, nothing will change but the deceivers. Al Marvell Scotia Warren perfect for Dems’ mentalityDemocrats, you can stop looking for your 2020 presidential candidate.All you believe in has been identified in the perfect candidate. Elizabeth Warren, liar, mentally ill, deceitful, devious, self-promoting and quick to jump on the diversity bandwagon.Geraldine KrawitzSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Change culture by telling kids the truthFirst, you were spot on in the editorial about Cuomo and, most important to me and many others, Schenectady County education and graduation rates.All the money in the world isn’t going to change things unless the “culture” does. Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump policies are hurting middle classDave Edwards’ Jan. 26 letter opposing raising taxes on the very rich makes assertions that require examination.When the rich paid their fair share, the United States was prosperous. The middle class was built during the 1950s when the top tax rate was above 90 percent; in the 1960s, a decade of unsurpassed economic prosperity, the top rate ranged between 70 and 91 percent. Today, as the middle class shrinks, the wealthiest one percent, according to the Tax Foundation, earn over 20 percent of all income, but pay taxes at a rate of about 27 percent, far less than the 50 plus percent Edwards suggests.The richest 0.001 percent of Americans earn over $160 million annually, but pay taxes at a 3.5 percent rate. The recent Trump tax cuts, most of which benefit the wealthy, have created a huge budget deficit that will eventually justify cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.Despite Edwards’ claim to the contrary, the American economy did better under Obama than under Trump. First, Obama started and sustained the 100-plus months of economic expansion that Trump brags aboutSecond, during Obama’s first two years in office, job growth was better, and the unemployment rate fell faster.Finally, the economy grew more rapidly in 2014 and 2015 than it did during Trump’s first two years.Unfortunately, the Obama recovery is now showing signs of a slow-down thanks to Trump’s unpredictable behavior and his ill-advised tariffs that have triggered a trade war.William ScheuermanScotia
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRegulate location of stores selling CBDThe Nov. 20 Gazette article on the proposed CBD oil store in Niskayuna should raise some real concerns. The article pointed out that the difference between hemp and marijuana is the percentage of THC.Ms. Sosnow articulated all the concerns every parent should have regarding this shop being so close to the high school. You can be sure that when the governor gets recreational marijuana legalized in New York state that these CBD distributors will be selling it.Unfortunately most of the towns in Schenectady County do not have regulations where these CBD or marijuana shops can be located. The only town in the Capital District that does is Clifton Park.I brought this issue to the Rotterdam Town Board earlier this year, but they have taken no action to control these shops. These shops have no place near schools, parks or any place young children are. CBD by any other name, is still marijuana.Robert J. GodlewskiSchenectadySupport moratorium on D’burg solar sitesAt the Nov. 14 Duanesburg Town Board meeting, Supervisor Rodger Tidball provided residents with an opportunity to protect their property values when he announced the possibility of a six-month moratorium on utility-scale solar power plants.I have been requesting this assistance since July, when inadequacies in the town of Duanesburg solar law became apparent during the planning review of two 5 MW solar plants to be sited at 13590 Duanesburg Road.This site is less than one mile from a third approved solar facility. If all three power plants are built, my home will be adjacent to 75 acres of solar panels for the next 30 years.Other residents need to be aware that our solar laws do not prohibit this density of solar development.The best way to protect your investment in Duanesburg is to attend the Town Board meeting on Dec. 12. We must demand that the town enact the moratorium so that stronger solar laws can be written that will protect our property values. Join the Facebook group Duanesburg Neighbors to keep informed.Lynne BruningDuanesburgFind better ways to help cities in needGloversville residents should be indignant again for being ignored by the governor’s $10 million downtown revitalization award, this time to Utica.Gloversville is still trying to dig out of the depression left by the glove industry departure. While its charming old-time downtown architecture survives, roofless buildings remain to be removed, while sewage infrastructure is in need of replacement.Rather than one large, grandiose award, struggling upstate cities would be better served by handing out million-dollar awards to 10 cities, even if annually.It seems the governor is using this pot of gold for political purposes rather than to help the needy.David ChildsJohnstownMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists
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The statement did not explicitly rule out a visit to China by the patient, and KCDC Director Jeong Eun-kyeong declined to comment further.Tanarak Plipat, deputy director-general of the Thai Department of Disease Control, said the woman could have contracted the virus in Thailand.”It’s possible because the virus is already spreading domestically in Thailand,” Tanarak said.Thailand has reported 19 cases of coronavirus, among the highest number of infections outside of China. It confirmed the first case of human-to-human transmission of the virus inside the country on Friday, when a taxi driver tested positive.Topics : A South Korean woman has tested positive for coronavirus after visiting Thailand, South Korean officials said on Tuesday, the first foreign tourist reported to have been infected after a visit to the Southeast Asian nation.The 42-year-old, identified only as Patient 16, flew back to South Korea on Jan. 19 after traveling in Thailand, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement.Treated since developing chills and other symptoms from Jan. 25, the woman did not improve until Sunday, the KCDC added in a statement, and was confirmed positive on Tuesday.
The minister urged regional leaders not to repatriate citizens without coordinating with the central government.“At least notify the central government through the Health Ministry or the National Disaster Mitigation Agency [BNPB] because emergencies are a part of the BNPB’s job,” he said.The government has evacuated 236 Indonesians and two foreigners from Wuhan, China. They are currently under observation in a quarantine facility on Natuna Island, Riau Islands, where they must stay for 14 days to ensure they do not have the new coronavirus. (gis)Topics : Several regional administrations have repatriated Indonesians living in China because of the coronavirus outbreak without coordinating with the central government, a top official has said.“As far as I know, there are four [regional administrations],” Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com, but declined to name them.He said most of the returnees were students on local government-funded scholarships.
Topics : A man killed his ex-wife and wounded another person at a shopping center in Bangkok on Tuesday, police said, just 10 days after a mass shooting at another mall in Thailand’s northeast.The man had gone into a beauty clinic at Century The Movie Plaza mall where his ex-wife worked and opened fire, killing her and wounding a bystander, Colonel Kissana Pattanacharoen said.The gunman was arrested while on the run in another province, police said on Wednesday morning. He was charged with premeditated murder and illegal gun possession, and three other charges.The shooting came with Thailand on edge after the shooting rampage earlier in the month.On Feb. 8 and 9, a soldier killed at least a dozen people at the Terminal 21 shopping center in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima. He had earlier killed his commanding officer, other soldiers at his base and several people at a Buddhist temple.Gun ownership is relatively common in Thailand, with about 10 million privately owned firearms in the country in 2016, according to Gunpolicy.org, or one for about every seven citizens.Gun violence killed 1,729 people in 2016, about 10 times the rate per 100,000 as in neighboring Malaysia, the organization said.Most violence involving firearms stem from personal disputes or robberies. Mass shootings or killings in public spaces are rare other than in the far south, where a decades-old insurgency persists.
“The situation is quite serious,” Jeong said.The two countries have significantly scaled back traditional joint military exercises so as to facilitate US nuclear talks with North Korea.This spring they planned to hold a command coordination exercise.Topics : The United States and South Korea said Monday they were considering scaling back a military exercise planned for this spring because of the coronavirus epidemic.The commander of US forces in South Korea, General Robert Abrams, and the head of that country’s joint chiefs of staff, General Park Han-ki, “are looking at scaling back the command post training due to concerns about the coronavirus,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a news conference.His South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, said at the same briefing that 13 servicemen from his country have become infected with the virus and that all leave for the military has been cancelled nationwide so as to limit soldiers’ movements.
Topics : Forgot Password ? Indonesia employment compensation laid-off-workers omnibus-bill-on-job-creation BPJS-Ketenagakerjaan premium-income ILO LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here The Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) needs financial help from the government to pay for the social security schemes of laid-off workers (JKP), one of workers’ benefits proposed under the omnibus bill on job creation. the agency’s senior executive has said.BPJS Ketenagakerjaan’s strategic planning and information technology director, Sumarjono, said in Jakarta on Monday the agency proposed that workers and employers share the responsibility for paying premiums for the compensation scheme for laid-off workers as stipulated in the proposed bill, which is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives.“All social security concepts are based on premium payments. How could we pay the benefits without them?” Sumarjono told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the National Conference on Workers Social Security that was organize… Log in with your social account Google Facebook Linkedin
A patient at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Saroso) in North Jakarta who was suspected to have contracted COVID-19, but eventually tested negative, died on Thursday.The hospital president director, Mohammad Syahril, said the patient’s body had been taken by his family and laid to rest.”The 65-year-old patient was in contact with people who came from a country that has had the coronavirus outbreak,” Syahril said Friday as reported by kompas.com.He explained that the patient was already suffering an underlying medical condition. “The patient was old and had high blood pressure,” he said.Read also: BREAKING: Indonesia confirms two new COVID-19 casesThe patient was transferred from a private hospital to RSPI Sulianti Saroso two days ago.”His [health] condition was quite bad. He had to use breathing support from the moment he was transferred to our hospital,” he said.Later in the day, the secretary of the Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Directorate General, Achmad Yurianto, said the deceased patient tested negative for COVID-19.Yurianto added that the patient was infected by bacterial sepsis that sprang from pneumonia.”[His death] was not caused by COVID-19, but from other infections,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.As of Friday, Indonesia had four confirmed cases of COVID-19. (nal)Topics :
Facebook LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Indonesia and the Netherlands have signed business deals worth €1.5 billion ($US 1.7 billion) as the countries pledge to boost their bilateral economic relations.Indonesian Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto expressed hope the business deals, which cover agriculture, life science and health, water management, maritime affairs and energy, among other sectors, could come to fruition within the next six to nine months.Memorandum of understanding (MOU) documents on economic cooperation were signed in Jakarta on Tuesday during a business forum held as part of a four-day state visit by Dutch King Willem-Alexander and high-ranking Dutch officials.”With such deals, our trade transactions will increase, our exports will continue and investments will come [to Indonesia]. These [partnerships] are really beneficial,” Agus said.In his opening speech, he also … Google Topics : Forgot Password ? Linkedin Log in with your social account Indonesia Netherlands King-Willem-Alexander state-visit business-forum cooperation MoU Trade-Minister-Agus-Suparmanto
As of 4:59 p.m. in Jakarta on Friday, the rupiah had weakened more than 15 percent against the US dollar this year. It broke the Rp 16,000 mark during the day, a level unseen since the 1998 crisis. The benchmark stock index, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), has lost a third of its value this year.As of Thursday, a Rp 105.1 trillion capital outflow had been recorded this year as foreign investors dumped Rp 92.8 trillion worth of government bonds and Rp 8.3 trillion in stocks, BI data shows.“Our foreign exchange reserves are more than enough,” Perry said when asked about the impact of the market rout on the central bank’s dollar reserves. At $130.4 billion in February, Indonesia’s dollar reserves represent 7.7 months of imports, well above the 3-month international adequacy standard.Bahana Sekuritas economist Satria Sambijantoro said the potential rebound of the rupiah would depend on the government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The rupiah breached Rp 16,000 against the US dollar on Friday, the weakest since the 1998 crisis, taking its toll on central bank reserves, corporate debt obligations and import-reliant industries as the COVID-19 pandemic prompts an Indonesian asset selloff.Bank Indonesia (BI) Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Friday that the central bank had spent Rp 163 trillion (US$10.1 billion) to buy government bonds in the secondary market to stabilize the rupiah as foreign investors exited the market.“The stabilization efforts that we’ve taken focus on providing a supply of dollars, which we will continue doing through intervention […],” Perry told a teleconferenced press briefing, referring to the central bank’s bond buying and intervention in spot and non-deliverable forward markets. “We think most of the rupiah’s weakness was driven by psychological – not fundamental – factors due to the ‘two-tier pricing’ in the forex market that discourages exporters and bonds investors from holding on to their rupiah-denominated assets, fearing further depreciation,” he wrote.The government has pledged to allocate Rp 120 trillion (US$7.5 billion) from the 2020 state budget to stimulate the economy, which may grow at the lowest level in 15 years, just above 4 percent, Finance Minsiter Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said the weakening of the rupiah against the US dollar could also impact state firms’ debts, including flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.“We have been negotiating regarding the airline’s [condition] for more than a month,” Erick said in a teleconferenced press briefing on Friday. Garuda may need to restructure its foreign-denominated debts as it has struggled to pay its obligations as the pandemic hits the travel industry hard, he added.Garuda Indonesia issued US$496.8 million in global sukuk (sharia-compliant financial assets) on June 3, 2015. They are due to mature on June 3 with an annual return of 5.95 percent, according to the company’s financial report released in September of last year.For import-reliant producers, the rupiah depreciation would increase costs in a sector already hit by supply chain shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.“If manufacturers want to keep their products competitive in the market, they have to pick a factor of their costs that they can cut, which is their workforce,” said Indef Center of Industry, Trade and Investment researcher Andry Satrio Nugroho.Andry predicted that the factory activity benchmark, the IHS Markit Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), would fall drastically in March. The index managed to climb to expansion for the first time since June at 51.9 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, and one below 50 indicates contraction.“We have to finish the virus problems first, and then industries can catch up, just like what China is doing right now,” said Andry, adding that the recent stimulus should focus on healthcare instead.Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Kadin) vice chairman for industrial affairs Johnny Darmawan said on Thursday that the depreciating rupiah would be a further drag on already sluggish business activities due to social distancing measures taken by consumers and enterprises.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Sunday urged Indonesians to practice social distancing, a public health measure to slow the transmission of an infectious disease by staying 1 meter away from other people in the case of COVID-19. It involves “working from home, studying from home and praying from home”, the President said.“Production has declined because of social distancing measures to slow down the coronavirus. Business has already been lethargic,” said Johnny.Manufacturing industry players have complained about the disruption in the supply of raw materials as measures to contain COVID-19 bind factory production across Indonesia. Between 20 and 50 percent of raw materials for domestic industry are sourced from China, Indonesia’s biggest trade partner.The government previously announced two rounds of stimulus packages including a package worth Rp 22.9 trillion that includes individual and corporate tax breaks. The first package, worth Rp 10.3 trillion and announced on Feb. 25, provides for staple needs and mortgage subsidies for low-income families and fiscal incentives for travel-related businesses.Indonesia had 369 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 32 deaths as of Friday. Globally, the pneumonia-like illness has infected over 240,000 people and has claimed at least 10,000 lives. (mpr)Topics :
In the first quarter of the year, the country booked a total of $41.79 billion in exports, a 2.91 percent increase from last year’s figure, while imports were $39.17 billion from January to March, a 2.69 percent decrease from the same period last year.Indonesia recorded a trade surplus of $2.62 billion during the first three months of the year, compared to a deficit of 62.8 million in the same period last year.BPS recorded $2.98 billion in imports from China in March, an increase of $1 billion from February’s figure, as Indonesia’s largest trading partner had started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.Exports to China, meanwhile, were $1.98 billion, up by $7 million compared to the same period last year. This made for a trade deficit of $1 billion with China in March, lower than the $1.24 billion deficit in March of last year.The World Trade Organization (WTO) projected that global trade would shrink by between 13 and 32 percent as the economic impact of the health crisis remained uncertain.The WTO forecasted a rebound in the 2021 global goods trade of between 21 and 24 percent, depending largely on the duration of the outbreak and the effectiveness of policy responses.Topics : Indonesia booked a US$743 million trade surplus in March as export and import activities contracted slightly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has announced.Southeast Asia’s largest economy recorded $14.09 billion in exports in March, a 0.2 percent decrease year-on-year (yoy), while total imports fell 0.75 percent yoy to $13.35 billion driven by decreased imports of capital goods.“This figure is encouraging amid the uncertain global situation,” BPS chairman Suhariyanto said at a media briefing on Wednesday. Indonesia’s manufacturing exports grew by 7.41 percent yoy to $11.12 billion, driven by a significant increase in the exports of machines and electric appliances, as well as of iron and steel. Agricultural exports rose 17.82 percent yoy to $320 million.However, the country’s oil and gas exports declined by 40.91 percent yoy to $670 million as a result of falling oil prices, while exports of products of mining also fell by 16 percent yoy to $1.98 billion.Imports of consumption goods rose 10.66 percent to $1.27 billion as a result of Indonesia’s recent, huge purchase of guns and ammunition. Imports of raw materials increased by 1.72 percent to $10.28 billion, while imports of capital goods shrank by 18 percent to $1.8 billion.“We must, however, be aware of the decline in capital goods and raw materials, which may have a huge impact on trade and investment,” Suhariyanto added.
Amelia Adiputri Diansari, a student at SMA 1 state high school in Sragen, said the apparent lack of digital literacy among teachers had become a major issue as the entire classroom moved into the virtual space as a result of physical-distancing measures.“Many teachers, especially the senior ones, are tech-illiterate. Since the study-from-home policy was issued, these teachers have had difficulty adjusting [to digital platforms],” Amelia said on Wednesday.Amelia, who serves as the head of Central Java Children’s Forum, was among the students from over 35 cities and regencies across the province who were invited to share their remote-learning experiences with Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo on Wednesday.The 150-minute online forum, which was held virtually via video conference, aimed to address issues that students have experienced since they started studying from home. Ganjar encouraged teachers to be more creative in designing learning modules to spark students’ interest.“The point is that [students] need . They need to see their teachers’ faces. Teachers may even assign students projects that they like, such as vlogs,” Ganjar said.According to a recent online survey conducted by the Central Java Children’s Forum in collaboration with the Central Java Child Protection and Empowerment and Population Control Agency, the majority of students are “bored” by the current learning method, Amelia said.“The survey found that 80 percent of students were bored,” she said.She went on to say that, in an unusual display of role-reversal, students have often initiated video conferences themselves to maintain interactivity in the classroom.Read also: Studying from home: Seven online learning platforms for studentsIn a bid to improve the remote-learning experience amid the COVID-19 pandemic, public television broadcaster TVRI regularly airs a full-day education program called Belajar dari Rumah (Study from Home) in cooperation with the Education and Culture Ministry.The programs, for all levels of education from pre-kindergarten to high school, focus on developing student literacy, numeracy and character and life skills.Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim said the program was the ministry’s effort to help students who faced hindrances in remote internet learning.”This program can help students who have limited internet access for economic or geographic reasons,” Nadiem said. (rfa)Topics : Under normal circumstances, teachers usually have the authority to decide how to deliver their lessons on various subjects to their students in the classroom.But the current COVID-19 pandemic has overhauled the old study process as teachers now find themselves under constant pressure to become tech-savvy with the current study-from-home policy. The scheme requires knowledge about the ins and outs of digital communication platforms – largely uncharted territory, especially for older members of the faculty who have been accustomed to markers and whiteboards.In Semarang, Central Java, some students have taken it upon themselves to spice up their remote learning experience, claiming that their teachers have failed to fully adjust to the all-digital reality amid the ongoing public health crisis.
Hospitals across the country are in dire need of additional medical equipment and supplies as doctors and nurses scramble to handle the surge in the number of patients with COVID-19, ranging from those with mild symptoms to severe cases.The lack of protective gear has taken its toll on medical workers in Indonesia, as dozens of those working on the front line have reportedly been infected by the contagious disease.In Jakarta alone — the country’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak — for instance, at least 174 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19.Tirta Mandira Hudhi, a doctor who has volunteered to treat coronavirus cases with the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said that it was very important for patients not to cover up their condition or travel and contact history when they saw doctors and nurses at hospitals.”Asymptomatic patients are the most dangerous in the case of COVID-19 because they don’t show any symptoms but are actually infected. That’s why honesty is very important,” Tirta said.”If [patients] cover up their conditions, it will endanger everyone around them as well as medical workers,” he added.As of Friday, Central Java had recorded 304 cases of COVID-19 out of the nationwide official tally of 5,923. The nationwide death toll from the disease is 520, with 41 fatalities reported in Central Java. (dpk)Topics : Forty-six medical workers at Dr. Kariadi General Hospital (RSUP) in Semarang, Central Java, have contracted COVID-19 after reportedly treating patients who had covered up their travel history to virus-hit regions.The Central Java administration confirmed on Thursday that the healthcare workers who tested positive had been isolated at the province-owned Kesambi Hijau Hotel, which now serves as a quarantine center for COVID-19 patients.Governor Ganjar Pranowo said some patients who went to the COVID-19 referral hospital had not revealed their travel history to coronavirus red zones to healthcare workers, who presumably contracted the virus from them. “What happened at Kariadi Hospital is unbelievable. It serves as a lesson for us that doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are very vulnerable,” Ganjar said on Friday, “Once again, I remind all patients to provide thorough information about their conditions.”The 46 medical workers in quarantine are currently in a healthy condition, he said, adding that they had sent him a video, in which they all “look cheerful and in high spirits”.The governor said that he had contacted the management of the hospital to improve its protocols to prevent medical workers from getting infected by the contagious virus, adding that the Central Java administration was ready to ensure supplies of medical equipment and protective gear.Read also: Indonesia now leads Southeast Asia in confirmed coronavirus cases
Despite the slowdown — which came at a weekend when the toll has often been lower — Environment Secretary George Eustice said now was not the time to relax strict social distancing rules.”There are encouraging signs of progress,” he said at the daily Downing Street press briefing. “But before we consider it safe to adjust any of the current system distancing measures, we must be satisfied that we have met the five tests set last week.”These included making sure the British health service NHS was able to cope, and a “sustained and consistent” fall in the daily death rate. Britain on Sunday reported its lowest daily rise in coronavirus deaths in nearly four weeks as the government resisted calls for an early easing of countrywide lockdown rules.The number of people who have died from the virus has risen by 413 to 20,732, officials said Sunday, the lowest reported daily increase in fatalities in all of April.The last time the health department recorded a smaller increase was on March 31, at 381 deaths. Influence row Meanwhile a row continues over the role played by Johnson’s chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, after it emerged he attended meetings of the main scientific group-advising ministers on the coronavirus pandemic. Downing Street denied that Cummings and another advisor, Ben Warner, were members of what is supposed to be the politically independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) but said they attended so as to “understand better” the scientific debates concerning this emergency”.A former Conservative frontbencher, David Davis, tweeted: “We should publish the membership of SAGE: remove any non-scientist members”. Johnson returning Raab told Sky News that Johnson would be back in his Downing Street office on Monday after recovering and was in “good spirits” and “raring to go”.He has been recuperating at the British prime ministerial retreat, Chequers, outside London since his release from hospital on April 12.Despite Sunday’s lower death toll Britain remains one of the worst-hit countries in the world by the virus.The government has been under scrutiny, especially over shortages in personal protective equipment and a lack of widespread testing, particularly of frontline health and social care workers. Topics : The UK was initially placed into lockdown on March 23. This was extended on April 16 and a review is due on May 7.Eustice echoed statements made by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab — who has been deputizing for Boris Johnson as the prime minister recovers from contracting the virus — earlier on Sunday that the lockdown rules would “be with us for some time” and were the “new normal”.Raab told the BBC: “We do want to look at when it’s safe, when it’s responsible, at ways to allow more outside activities to take place but, again, we have got to have the evidence that it’s a surefooted step and doesn’t allow the coronavirus to get a grip back on the country.”There have been calls for the rules to be relaxed from within the ruling Conservative Party.The new opposition Labor party leader Keir Starmer meanwhile wrote to Johnson on Sunday asking for details on a potential lifting of restrictions.He accused the government of “mistakes” at the beginning of the crisis and added: “The government cannot fall short in its preparations for what happens when the time is right for lockdown measures to be lifted.”Sunday’s figures also showed another 4,463 people had tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to almost 153,000.
Yemen is divided between the internationally recognized government based in the south and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement headquartered in the north. The Houthis ousted the government from power in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.The World Health Organization says it fears COVID-19 could rip through Yemen as the population has some of the lowest levels of immunity to disease compared with other countries. Minimal testing capacity has added to concerns.The five-year war has shattered Yemen’s health system and left its population weakened by hunger and disease. Around 80% of the population, or 24 million people, rely on humanitarian aid and 10 million are at risk of starvation.The Aden government has now reported infections in seven provinces under its control, stretching from the Red Sea in the west to the Omani border in the country’s east. Yemen’s Saudi-backed government reported outbreaks of the new coronavirus in three more southern provinces on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in areas under its control to 65, with 10 deaths.The Aden-based government’s coronavirus committee said nine new COVID-19 cases had been confirmed, including for the first time in the provinces of Abyan, al-Mahra and Shabwa, where one person died.Four more infections were reported in Aden, the government’s interim seat, taking the total there to 39. Topics : The Houthis have so far reported only two infections, with one death, from the novel coronavirus, both in Sanaa.The Aden government reported Yemen’s first case on April 10 in a southern port town and there have been almost daily announcements of new cases over the past 12 days.The United Nations said on Monday the recent sharp rise in cases indicated the virus had been circulating undetected for weeks, increasing the likelihood of a surge in cases.
The Indonesian Embassy in Tehran has released 15 Indonesian crewmen who had been detained at a penitentiary in Bandar Lengeh – a port city in the south of Iran – and has repatriated them to Indonesia. Indonesian Ambassador to Iran Octavino Alimudin said the well-established bilateral relationship between Iran and Indonesia had been a key factor in the process of releasing the citizens.“We have given legal assistance and provided a shelter that could expedite their release and their medical examination before they went home,” Octavino said.He called on future Indonesian workers who aimed to work as crewmen around the Persian Gulf to ensure the credibility of their employers so that such cases would not happen again in the future.In addition, they need to report their whereabouts to the embassy upon their arrival to Iran and not commit violations that could jeopardize their safety, Octavino added. As of Monday, according to the Foreign Ministry, more than 14,200 Indonesian crew members had arrived in the country through four points of entry: Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta and Benoa Port in Bali.Topics : According to a release from the embassy, the crewmen had been jailed for the past four months for an illegal oil shipment and had been neglected by their employer, the shipowner who is residing in Singapore, until their release.“After they were released, the embassy also asked the shipowner to pay their salaries. The owner has agreed to pay [their salaries] gradually,” the release read.The crewmen tested negative for COVID-19 and arrived in Jakarta on Tuesday.Read also: Sailors’ deaths highlight lack of legal protections for migrant workers
Topics : The association includes a number of nonprofit and e-commerce firms but has lost some high-profile initial members including Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe and PayPal. Libra, a high-profile project launched by social network giant Facebook, is tentatively scheduled to launch this year but has been battered by severe criticism from some of the world’s most influential financial authorities.Backers of Libra argue it can help people outside the banking system by lowering transaction costs for many kinds of payments and transactions; critics say it could disrupt the global monetary system and currency markets.In its latest update, the association said it is seeking seek approval for digital coins in individual currencies, revamping its cryptocurrency initiative in a move aimed at minimizing disruption to the global monetary system.Under the new plan, separate “stablecoins” would be created and pegged to real-world money such as the US dollar and the euro. The Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek has joined the Facebook-backed Libra project seeking to create a worldwide digital payments network, the Swiss-based Libra Association said Thursday.Temasek was among three new members announced for the association, including the cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm and the private equity group Slow Ventures, both based in California.”The addition of these three new members to the Libra Association shows our commitment to building a diverse group of organizations that will contribute to the governance, technological roadmap and launch readiness of for the Libra payment system,” said association vice chairman Dante Disparte.
Topics : Chelsea and England winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was arrested at the weekend after police responded to a report of an “unwell woman”, British media reported on Monday.Police officers and an ambulance attended Hudson-Odoi’s London home in the early hours of Sunday.The 19-year-old was arrested and taken into custody before being released and bailed. “Police and London ambulance service were called at 03:53hrs on Sunday, 17 May to a report of an unwell woman,” a police spokesman said, adding that the woman was taken to hospital.The reports said Hudson-Odoi was in breach of coronavirus lockdown guidelines.Chelsea have declined to comment, according to the reports.Hudson-Odoi made a full recovery after becoming the first Premier League player to test positive for COVID-19 in March.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that women held a central role in UN peacekeeping operations because they had greater access to local communities, improved the protection of civilians and promoted human rights in the line of duty.But the outbreak threatens to upend their most vital work.As a civil military coordination (CIMIC) officer embedded with UNIFIL, First Lt. Rima Eka Tiara Sari is used to interacting with the local community, but now she is mostly coordinating remotely with local authorities and nongovernmental organizations because of the pandemic.“We still do [border patrols] while following protocols like wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and gloves,” Rima told reporters in a virtual briefing on Wednesday, hosted by the UN Information Center in Jakarta. In many of the world’s conflict regions where health may be one of the first casualties, the coronavirus poses a discernible threat to the local population.This is largely the case in south Lebanon, where sporadic skirmishes still occur at the border with Israel, and the only medical facilities are located at the compound of the United Nations peacekeeping mission.The COVID-19 outbreak has had the unintended consequence of putting an end to all direct contact with the Lebanese people, a vital aspect to the work female peacekeepers do, according to Indonesian peacekeepers with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). “But other activities like the various [civilian] training programs are postponed until the COVID-19 outbreak ends,” added the 37-year-old psychology graduate from Semarang, Central Java.UNIFIL was formed in 1978 to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and to assist the Lebanese government in restoring its authority. Among its operational activities is patrolling along the “Blue Line” border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel, established by the UN in 2000.Another Indonesian UNIFIL operative, Second Sgt. Yazella Agustin, also lamented that the outbreak had greatly reduced her interaction with civilians.“We can only contact them by phone to ask them about the latest situation, whether it is a problem caused by the coronavirus, an economic situation or other things,” Yazella said at Wednesday’s press briefing.Many medical workers on the forefront of the COVID-19 response are putting their own health at risk to protect the Lebanese people and the UN peacekeepers stationed there. But even such crucial services had been forced to stop, said First Sgt. Imakulata Ngamel, an Indonesian Air Force nurse stationed with the UNIFIL’s Indonesian battalion. “We can no longer accept local patients,” she told the briefing.Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday reiterated the nation’s concerns about the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on countries in conflict, that Indonesia was committed to upholding any and all efforts to resolve conflict and build peace.Earlier this month, the minister noted that the already vulnerable situation in conflict countries had “now worsened […] due to limited health infrastructure, fragile security, challenging economic situations and humanitarian conditions”.According to data on May 29 compiled by statistics site Worldometer, 1,168 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lebanon, with 26 total deaths. While 699 people have recovered, the country’s economy has been hit hard, with businesses closing down and people losing their jobs.Separately, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for multilateral cooperation, Febrian Ruddyard, said that the safety and security of Indonesian peacekeepers were of utmost priority.“During Indonesia’s presidency of the UN Security Council last year, we specifically raised the issue of the safety and security of peacekeepers through training and capacity building,” he said.Febrian, who leads Indonesia’s Peace Maintenance Mission Coordination Team (TKMPP), said that the government was closely monitoring the latest developments in the field while ensuring that all missions followed the UN’s COVID-19 health protocols.He said that Indonesia was also deliberating a draft UN Security Council resolution on managing the pandemic amid the challenging conditions in conflict areas.“We are paying very close attention to our peacekeepers because they are our assets that we lend to the world, in this case to the UN,” said Febrian.Friday is the 20th anniversary of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. The day is paying special tribute to female peacekeepers with this year’s theme, “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace”.UN Undersecretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said in a statement that “ensuring women’s meaningful, equal and full participation in peace operations, as well as in peace and political processes, is key to protecting civilians and building durable peace”.However, women represent just 6 percent of all uniformed military, police, justice and corrections personnel in field missions, according to the UN.As a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council, Indonesia has advocated for women’s participation in peace processes with an aim to increase the deployment of female peacekeepers to more than 3 percent at present.Out of the 2,852 military and police officers Indonesia has deployed to nine UN peacekeeping operations around the world, only 159 are women.Topics :
The figure was similar to last year’s investment allocation of $100 million, according to a previous report by Kontan.The investment firm, backed by former Jakarta deputy governor and 2019 vice presidential contender Sandiaga Uno, currently has 15 companies in its portfolio.They including publicly listed companies like coal miner PT Adaro Energy, telecommunication tower firm PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure and automotive firm PT Mitra Pinashtika Mustika (MPM), stocks of which also took a severe hit in the pandemic.Since the beginning of this year, Adaro lost 33.76 percent of its value as of Thursday, while Tower Bersama and MPM share prices declined by 4.88 percent and 24.06 percent, respectively.Saratoga’s portfolio also includes several privately-owned companies like hospital firm PT Famon Awal Bros Sedaya and pharmaceutical firm PT Deltomed Laboratories.The firm’s finance director, Lany D. Wong, stated that the company remained confident on its investees’ stock performance this year, as some of those share prices had regained strength amid the gradual market recovery in April and May.“We are also confident about our investees’ financial performance, as they have good underlying,” said Lany.Meanwhile, Saratoga received approval from its shareholders to disburse Rp 149.2 billion in dividends this year, equal to Rp 55 per share, from its 2019 profit, she continued.The company pocketed Rp 7.37 trillion in net profit in 2019 as it booked Rp 6.23 trillion in net gains on investments. It also booked Rp 2.84 billion on dividends, interest and investment income last year. Saratoga Investama recorded investment losses at Rp 5.9 trillion (US$418.8 million) in this year’s first quarter, a turnaround from Rp 1.39 trillion in profit it booked in the same period last year, as mark-to-market share prices plunged. The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), the main gauge of Indonesian share prices, has dropped more than 21 percent since the beginning of the year, fuelled by investors’ fear over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.The company’s natural resources stocks portfolio recorded the steepest fall in the first quarter this year with Rp 3 trillion in losses against Rp 509.8 billion in the same period in 2019. In general, it focuses its investment on infrastructure, natural resources and consumer sectors.The company would continue investing in the three sectors, while it expected to score the new investment deals in the next six to 12 months, as it was currently conducting due diligence, Devin said.“We are allocating around $50 million to $100 million for this year’s investments,” said Devin. Publicly listed investment firm PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya plans to expand its investment portfolio after losses sustained in the stock market crash induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.The company’s investment director, Devin Wirawan, said on Wednesday that Saratoga had been assessing several companies and was determining the timing to purchase the stocks.“As an active investment company, we will actively buy new stocks when share prices fall as many of them become more affordable for us,” he told the press during a virtual press briefing, adding that the company would also remain cautious in expanding its portfolio. Topics :
“I gave the task force three tasks, namely detecting firms planning to relocate, analyzing the ease [of doing business] offered by other countries and, importantly, making a decision in a negotiation,” Bahlil stated in a press release on June 19.The establishment of the task force was part of the government’s efforts to minimize the economic impact of COVID-19 on foreign direct investment, which fell 9.2 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 98 trillion (US$6.9 billion) in the first quarter of 2020.The coronavirus outbreak, which was first detected in China, has strained Indonesia’s foreign direct investment as projects have been delayed as a result of social restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. The pandemic has also disrupted global supply chains and has made some companies question their heavy reliance on China.Bahlil, who formerly led the Association of Young Indonesian Entrepreneurs (HIPMI), declined to provide details of the businesses planning to relocate to the country, saying that he was “waiting for the President himself to announce them”.BKPM data shows that Japanese firms invested $604 million in the first three months of this year, making it the fourth-largest country of origin for foreign direct investment in the period. South Korean firms were the eighth largest, investing $130.4 million, followed by the United States with $114.1 million.Topics : The government has established a special task force to attract businesses leaving China and facilitate their relocation to Indonesia.American, Japanese and South Korean companies are reportedly in discussions with the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) over their potential relocation to the Batang and Brebes industrial districts in Central Java, which are currently under development.According to BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia, the agency has completed 60 percent of the relocation process for some firms.
Six over-the-top (OTT) technology firms are ready to collect value-added tax (VAT) from consumers as the government ramps up collection efforts to fund the country’s fight against COVID-19, a government official said Thursday.Tax office chief Suryo Utomo said six OTT companies with “significant economic presence” would collect VAT from consumers in August, adding that the government was also in talks with several other firms to collect VAT.Suryo, however, declined to name the companies. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has repeatedly mentioned the government is targeting Netflix, Spotify and Zoom. “We will announce the firms that will collect VAT on digital goods and services in early July,” Suryo told reporters during a streamed news conference. Consumers who buy the platforms’ products or services will have to pay taxes starting Aug. 1, a month after the policy comes into effect on July 1, he added.Suryo said the six internet firms were preparing infrastructure to implement the government regulation, adding that the government would need to reach an agreement first before announcing the companies.The government is pressing ahead with collecting digital tax despite an announcement by the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) to investigate such policy, which the US said was aimed squarely at its technology giants.Read also: Indonesia defends digital tax policy despite US scrutiny However, the government has maintained that the VAT was not the subject of investigation by the US, which is focusing more on corporate income tax plans for technology companies, a topic of discussion led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).“We are trying to impose the VAT first as we’re still waiting for the OECD’s consensus on how to impose corporate tax to find a long-term solution,” said Suryo.The government has been struggling to collect more revenue to fund its cash-strapped budget as the COVID-19 pandemic hits almost all business sectors. Ministry data shows state revenue reached Rp 664.3 trillion (US$47.41 billion) as of May, down 9 percent year-on-year (yoy), as tax income dropped 10.8 percent yoy to Rp 444.6 trillion.Law No. 2/2020 stipulates that the government is able to charge VAT on taxable intangible goods and/or services sold through e-commerce platforms. It can also charge income tax or electronic transaction tax on e-commerce operated by foreign individuals or digital companies that have a significant economic presence.Netflix did not immediately respond to an inquiry by The Jakarta Post.Topics :
More than four million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, half of them in Brazil, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.The region passed the bleak milestone as Brazil reported a daily record of 67,860 new coronavirus cases Wednesday.Latin America is one of the hardest-hit regions in the world, with 4,040,925 recorded cases and 172,886 people killed by COVID-19. Mexico’s death toll has surged to become the fourth-highest in the world, at 40,400.The country surpassed Italy on Sunday, and now has more victims than anywhere but the United States, Brazil and Britain.Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 15 million people and killed nearly 625,000 since it emerged in China late last year.Brazil in particular has struggled to set a strategy for responding to the pandemic.President Jair Bolsonaro faces criticism for downplaying the virus and attacking social distancing measures adopted by state and local authorities.The far-right leader, who has regularly hit the streets mask-less for rallies by his supporters, has been in quarantine at the presidential palace since July 7 after contracting the virus himself.His office announced Wednesday he had again tested positive, saying he would continue his quarantine and suspend his upcoming travel plans.Bolsonaro, 65, argues the economic fallout from stay-at-home measures could be worse than the virus itself, and is instead pushing the unproven malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as remedies, following in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump.Margareth Dalcomo, an expert at Brazil’s leading public-health institute, Fiocruz, said Bolsonaro’s hydroxychloroquine-pushing was “deplorable.””This politicization of the drug by the US and Brazilian presidents for murky reasons has no justification, and it deceives people,” she told AFP.”It has been proven this drug has no effect against COVID-19.”Bolsonaro is on his third health minister since the pandemic reached Brazil five months ago, after falling out with two doctors who previously held the post over their recommendations on containing the virus.The current minister, an interim, is Eduardo Pazuello, an army general with no prior medical experience.The World Health Organization voiced optimism last week that the outbreak in Brazil had finally reached a plateau, urging the country to use the opportunity to “take control.”But though the level of daily infections and deaths has stabilized, it remains high.The country has recorded an average of more than 37,000 infections and 1,050 deaths a day over the past week. Topics : That is the highest caseload of any region except North America, and the highest death toll of any region except Europe.Brazil alone has registered 2.2 million cases and 82,771 deaths, the second-biggest outbreak in the world after the United States.Although many Latin American countries have begun relaxing stay-at-home measures, the virus is still spreading quickly across much of the region.Peru, Mexico and Chile are also on the list of the top 10 countries by total cases, with well over 300,000 each.
Paris St Germain reached their first ever Champions League final with a convincing 3-0 win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday, finally delivering the reward of the biggest game in European football for their Qatari backers.Goals from Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria put PSG 2-0 up at the interval and Juan Bernat added the third in the 56th minute for what was a comfortable victory at the Estadio da Luz.The French club, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their founding in 1970, will meet the winner of Wednesday’s other semi between Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais after ending what some felt was a mental block in the knockout stages. With French World Cup winning forward Kylian Mbappe back in the starting line-up after fully recovering from his ankle injury, Tuchel was able to field his preferred attacking trident with Brazilian Neymar and Di Maria.Right from the outset, PSG looked a threat to the Leipzig defense with Neymar clipping the post after he was slipped in by Mbappe in the sixth minute.Seven minutes later though, PSG had the lead — Neymar and Di Maria lined up to take a free kick on the left and it was the Argentine who floated in a lovely cross which was nodded home by Marquinhos.Former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger Di Maria was in fine form, constantly probing, while Neymar created from deep and Mbappe pushed on to the last defender looking to use his pace.The Germans were struggling but did threaten in the 25th minute when Konrad Laimer burst down the right and found Yussuf Poulsen but the forward’s shot was just off target.Neymar then went close with an audacious free kick from deep and wide on the right, the former Barcelona man going for Peter Gulacsi’s near post and striking the post as the Hungarian keeper scrambled.It was a poor clearance from the keeper which led to PSG’s second. Leandro Paredes collected the ball and then found Neymar who cleverly flicked it with the back of his heel into the path of Di Maria who made no mistake.Beyond doubtLeipzig’s 33-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann needed to find some way to shift the momentum of the game and made two changes at the break but after a bright start, PSG put the outcome beyond doubt.Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele slipped while attempting to clear, allowing Di Maria to cross the ball back in to the box and Bernat’s glancing header floated into the far corner.Mbappe forced a good save out of Gulacsi as PSG pushed for a fourth while PSG keeper Sergio Rico had his hands warmed by a fierce drive from fellow Spaniard Angelino.”After the second goal, the belief of our players went down a little bit,” said Nagelsmann.”That’s normal. It’s not that easy right now to think about the good season we’ve had in the Champions League but in one week it will be ok. We know that it was a good season for a young team and we will try to do it again next season,” he said.The French club have played 110 games in the competition – the most played by a side before reaching their first final, overtaking Arsenal’s record of 90 between 1971-2006.PSG’s only other appearances in the final of a European competition came with their UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup victory in 1996 and their runners-up spot in the following season.Olympique Marseille are the only French team to win the European Cup, triumphing over AC Milan in 1993. PSG have gone out in the last 16 for the past three years, but they proved a step too far for Leipzig, who were playing in the regional leagues just 11 years ago.The Germans, financed by the Red Bull energy drink company, have outperformed all expectations by reaching the last four, knocking out Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid en route.”We showed quality and determination. A good mix. We deserved to win,” said Tuchel, who had faced a heavy expectation to deliver in Europe this season.”I felt the pressure, it was not easy. I have players who are used to playing with this pressure, who like this pressure and these decisive matches.” Topics :
The pollster surveyed 304 “opinion leaders”, including academics, NGO members, journalists and businesspeople, to evaluate the leaders’ COVID-19 responses.“[This is] because this group is expected to have quality information to be more critical of authority,” Indikator Politik Indonesia executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said during the release of the survey on Thursday.According to the survey, which was conducted in July, Anies had the greatest “sense of crisis” and Ridwan had the best public communication. Ganjar trailed close behind his fellow governors, Burhanuddin said. Read also: Public trust in Jokowi’s COVID-19 response declines, survey findsThe pollster chose seven governors considered potential candidates for the 2024 presidential election, namely Anies, Ridwan, Ganjar, Banten Governor Wahidin Halim, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa, North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi and South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah.Anies earned a score of 72.9 out of 100 in the “sense of crisis” category, followed by Ridwan (72.1), Ganjar (72.0), Khofifah (64.5), Nurdin (64.4), Wahidin (63.5) and Edy (62.6).Ridwan earned a score of 73.4 out of 100 in “public communication”, followed by Ganjar (73.2), Anies (72.1), Khofifah (65.7), Nurdin (64.1), Wahidin (62.4) and Edy (62.4).Ridwan also earned the highest score in “coordination”, which involved maintaining communication among different parts of the state apparatus and business sectors, with a score of 72.4. He was followed by Ganjar (71.9), Anies (71.6), Khofifah (64.5), Nurdin (64.0), Wahidin (63.6) and Edy (63.1).Topics : A recent survey of “opinion leaders” has named three popular governors the best regional respondents to the COVID-19 crisis within a limited group of candidates.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo emerged prominent among the seven governors in the survey, which was conducted by Indikator Politik Indonesia.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that the planned return of spectators to sports venues in England could be on hold for six months due to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.A number of pilot test events, in which capacities have been capped at 1,000, have taken place and it was hoped venues would be allowed to welcome more spectators from the start of October.But Johnson set out a range of tough new restrictions for England designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. “We have to acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events,” he told the House of Commons.”So we will not be able to do this from October 1 and I recognize the implications for our sports clubs which are the life and soul of our communities, and… the Chancellor and the Culture Secretary are working urgently on what we can do now to support them.”He said the measures being announced on Tuesday would remain in place for “perhaps six months”.It is a devastating blow to sporting organizations, many of whom rely heavily on match-day revenue for survival, and there have already been calls from governing bodies for the government to provide emergency funding. Topics : Professional sport, including the Premier League and Test cricket, has largely been played behind closed doors since it returned following the coronavirus shutdown earlier this year.The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed all pilot events scheduled for September had now been cancelled. They will now take place with no fans. Stark warning The English Football League has estimated its clubs will lose a collective £200 million ($255 million) without fans in stadiums for the whole of the 2020/21 season.The Premier League warned of the “devastating impact” the continued absence of supporters was beginning to have on its clubs and communities.”Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them,” the league said in a statement.”Last season, Premier League clubs suffered £700 million in losses and at present, our national game is losing more than £100 million per month. This is starting to have a devastating impact on clubs and their communities.”We are confident that Premier League clubs, using innovative ways to get supporters safely back into grounds, will enable revenues to return to all levels of the game, as well as maintain solidarity arrangements, current tax contributions and financial support for local and national economies.”The Football Supporters’ Association said it was “crucial” to the survival of clubs to get spectators back into grounds as soon as it was safe to do so.Bristol Bears boss Pat Lam said a ban on fans for up to six months would have a “huge impact” on rugby clubs in the English PremiershipThe Jockey Club called for direct government support.”Without paying spectators, the largest revenue streams for many sports have been cut off for six months to date,” said group chief executive Nevin Truesdale.”And, with no prospect of a change soon, this threatens the survival of sports organizations and the many livelihoods they support.”
Bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and France remains strong amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The two countries will finalize several bilateral cooperations in the energy sector, Indonesian Ambassador to France Arrmanatha Nasir says.Arrmanatha said in a statement on Wednesday that the embassy with the French Business Confederation (MEDEF) had held an investor gathering for the energy sector in Indonesia on Tuesday. Sixty French companies participated in the virtual forum, at which Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif was the guest speaker.”Potential French energy investors showed their interest in Indonesia’s energy sector potential. In the question and answer session, prospective French investors questioned the minister about many things, especially Indonesia’s future plans in renewable energy,” he said.They also discussed the B40 national biofuel production program, divestment plans in the energy sector, emission reduction commitments, the Mining Law amendment and its impact, and the ease of doing business in the energy sector.Arrmanatha asserted that Indonesia had a strong commitment to move toward a clean and sustainable energy system as reflected in the country’s General National Energy Plan (RUEN). Read also: Geologic time: Indonesia’s geothermal dreams deferred for 5 yearsIndonesia is also one of the countries with the largest gas and geothermal reserves in the world, as well as other energy sources such as wind, ocean waves, solar heat and biomass.”Another important thing is our political stability and the government’s commitment to create a conducive investment climate and increase the ease of doing business.”In his Tuesday presentation, Minister Arifin conveyed the opportunities and challenges of energy development, especially renewable energy in Indonesia.The minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a decline in global demand for oil and gas, which in turn made it harder for the country to achieve its target of a new and renewable energy mix.On the other hand, the pandemic had presented an opportunity for the country to start implementing low-carbon development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, he added.Topics :
Aubameyang is a goal off Aguero in the race for the Golden Boot (Picture: Getty)‘It’s not easy. We have great strikers in this league. I stay focused most important is Champions League first and If I can get that, great,’ he said.‘I think we have [top four] in our hands, but we know it will be tough to finish in the top four.‘We are confident. We did well this week. It was important to win this game.’More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves Comment Coral BarrySunday 10 Mar 2019 10:30 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link321Shares Aubameyang scored Arsenal’s second from the spot (Picture: Getty)Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed he made one small adjustment in his penalty technique after his successful spot-kick against Manchester United.The Arsenal striker helped his side beat United 2-0 at the Emirates, but was the surprise choice to take a 69th minute penalty against the Red Devils at the Emirates.Aubameyang had missed his previous effort against Tottenham, meaning Unai Emery’s side had to settle for a point in the north London derby. Advertisement (Picture: Getty)Lacazette won the penalty for Arsenal, but immediately told Aubameyang the spot-kick was his, much to the delight of his fellow frontman and his manager.The 2-0 victory saw Arsenal leapfrog United into fourth place in the Premier League table, and the Gunners are now the favourites to claim the final Champions League spot.Aubameyang’s strike against United is his 17th league goal of the season. The Arsenal star is now just a goal behind Golden Boot leader Sergio Aguero, but Aubameyang insists top four is his main objective.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang corrected penalty technique before Manchester United game Aubameyang said he looked down at the crucial moment against Spurs (Picture: Getty)He added: ‘The last moment I remember I was looking down and that was my mistake.‘The spirit of the team is really great. That’s why I’m feeling good today.’Aubameyang was given the chance to redeem himself by his strike partner Alexander Lacazette, who insisted his team-mate take the penalty. Advertisement (Picture: Getty)But after questions were raised about the forward’s form from the spot, Aubameyang revealed after the United game it was a minor fix.ADVERTISEMENT‘I was confident. All my teammates gave me a lot of confidence. Laca gave me the penalty and that was cool from him,’ Aubameyang said.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I was really focused. I looked down at the last moment and I missed [the penalty against Tottenham]. Being focused, you score a penalty.’
Kepa has had a largely positive first season at Chelsea since arriving from Athletic Bilbao in the summer for £71m.He has played in 54 games across all competitions, conceding 50 goals and keeping 23 clean sheets, seven of which came in their unbeaten run to the Europa League title.Only Liverpool and Manchester City conceded fewer goals than Chelsea in the Premier League this campaign, during which Kepa played 36 of 38 matches.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityGiven he is only 24-years-old, the criticism from Neville could be construed as a bit harsh, although he did admit that the keeper could turn things around after his criticism early in the match by adding: ‘P.s probably man of the match now !’Goals from Olivier Giroud, Pedro and a brace from Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the comfortable 4-1 victory over the Gunners in Baku, despite a brilliant late consolation from Alex Iwobi.MORE: Cesc Fabregas criticises Maurizio Sarri for not bringing on Chelsea captain Gary Cahill in Europa League finalMORE: Cesc Fabregas hits out at Chelsea board as Maurizio Sarri secures Europa League win over Arsenal Advertisement Phil HaighThursday 30 May 2019 7:47 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link133Shares Kepa Arrizabalaga came in for some criticism from Gary Neville (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)Chelsea might have hammered Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final on Wednesday night, but Gary Neville still says he ‘can’t accept’ their goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.The Spaniard was certainly not to blame for Arsenal’s only goal of the game but he did look a bit nervy early on in the match in Baku, with a poor punch from a cross which nearly gifted the Gunners the lead.There was also a close call when Alexandre Lacazette appealed for a penalty against him, but nothing was given, rightfully so.However, despite these errors being fairly minor and Kepa being on the winning side, former Manchester United and England defender Neville was extremely critical of the keeper.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTNeville tweeted: ‘Nothing personal but I just can’t accept a keeper like Kepa. He would make every defence a nervous wreck.’Nothing personal but I just can’t accept a keeper like Kepa. He would make every defence a nervous wreck. P.s probably man of the match now ! 🤷🏻♂️— Gary Neville (@GNev2) May 29, 2019 Comment Gary Neville ‘can’t accept a keeper like Kepa’ despite his Chelsea side thrashing Arsenal in Europa League final Advertisement
by Metro Mathieu Flamini defends Laurent Koscielny after Arsenal captain refuses to travel on club’s US tour 1 min. story Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Full Screen PLAY 1/1 Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling Manchester United captain Harry Maguire SPONSORED / Coming Next Read More Comment Mathieu Flamini played alongside Laurent Koscielny for three years (Picture: Getty)Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has defended Laurent Koscielny’s refusal to travel on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.Koscielny stunned the club last Thursday by stating his intention to stay in England until his future was solved instead of travelling with the rest of the squad.The 33-year-old is believed to be angry at a supposed broken promise from Arsenal that would have allowed him to leave for free this summer.Instead, the Frenchman has another 12 months to run on his deal at the Emirates and the Gunners have set a price tag of around £8.8m for his services.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT Top articles Metro Sport ReporterMonday 15 Jul 2019 8:06 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.5kShares Read More Read More Read More About Connatix V67539 Skip Flamini formed a strong friendship with his compatriot during his time in north London and he says there can be a ‘positive’ outcome.‘Lolo, my thoughts and support are with you,’ said Flamini.‘First and foremost, I know how committed and true to the Arsenal badge you have been all these years.‘Furthermore, I know how hard it must be for you to face this difficult situation.‘Emotions run high so sometimes with reflection, one can look at things from a different perspective. Given all of the above, I’m sure a positive solution will be found.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalArsenal begin their pre-season tour against the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday.The Rapids are owned by Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.MORE: Ashley Giles reacts to claims England were wrongly awarded extra run against New Zealand Advertisement Video Settings Skip Ad Read More Advertisement
Advertisement Advertisement Bayern are willing to let Boateng leave on loan (TF-Images/Getty Images)Boateng is on Arsenal’s radar and reports in Germany last week claimed that Bayern Munich are open to offloading the 31-year-old for no transfer fee, as long as the defender’s contract, worth around €230,000 (£196,000) a week, is paid.AdvertisementAdvertisementBut Goal report that Arsenal’s hierarchy have reservations over signing Boateng due to concerns over his fitness issues and his lack of playing time this season.Arsenal are keen to avoid a repeat of Denis Suarez’s situation last season after the Spaniard joined on loan from Barcelona in January but was forced to return to Camp Nou early due to injury having made just six appearances under Unai Emery.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityBoateng has made 15 appearances for Bayern Munich this season but the German champions were willing to allow him to leave on loan last summer.Juventus had reached an agreement with Bayern over a no-fee loan before Maurizio Sarri rejected the arrival of the German, preferring to work with Italian defender Daniele RuganiWhen asked about potential transfers after Arsenal’s win over Leeds United’s in the FA Cup on Monday evening, Arteta said: ‘We don’t talk about any transfers, but we are working on a few things.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 7 Jan 2020 1:36 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.7kShares Comment Arsenal board concerned over Jerome Boateng signing from Bayern Munich Arsenal have reservations over a move for Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng (TF-Images/Getty Images)Arsenal’s hierarchy have concerns over signing Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng in the January transfer window, according to reports.Mikel Arteta is looking to strengthen his defensive options this month as Calum Chambers is ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, while Kieran Tierney is sidelined for two months with a dislocated shoulder.Dayot Upamecano remains one of Arsenal’s top targets but RB Leipzig are reportedly holding out for a £70 million transfer fee for the 21-year-old.According to Goal, Arsenal are working with a limited budget in January which means the club will likely wait until the summer before making a move for Upamecano, while Arteta will focus more on players who can arrive on loan this month.ADVERTISEMENT
Dani Ceballos aiming for Real Madrid stay after Arsenal loan ends Advertisement Comment Arsenal are reportedly not planning to extend Dani Ceballos’ loan spell from Real Madrid (Getty Images)‘Now I feel much more a player and I am prepared for any challenge that comes my way.’Ceballos also hit out at suggestions that Gareth Bale should be sold as the Wales international has been linked with a move to Newcastle United.‘It is a league that would be quite good for him, but he is a fundamental player for Madrid,’ said Ceballos.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Let us not forget everything he has given the club. Whoever does not trust him, watch the Champions League final.‘He has given enough to the club.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterThursday 14 May 2020 10:24 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link624Shares Dani Ceballos has spent the season on loan at Arsenal (Getty Images)Dani Ceballos has told Real Madrid he wants to challenge for a first-team place following his loan spell at Arsenal.The 23-year-old has spent the campaign on loan with the Gunners and had worked his way back into Mikel Arteta’s plans before the coronavirus outbreak halted the Premier League season.Earlier this week, reports in Spain claimed that Arsenal are not planning to extend Ceballos’ loan for a second season.And Ceballos has now indicated that he wants to convince Zinedine Zidane that he is worthy of a regular role at Madrid.ADVERTISEMENT‘I am happy and I have a contract with Real Madrid,’ Ceballos told Deportes Cuatro.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I am 23 years old, I’m not over the hill yet. Advertisement
The Blog House and Senate Republican leaders yesterday abandoned the bi-partisan budget agreement they made with Governor Wolf that makes historic investments in education – including an additional $485 million for pre-K through 12 education – and is also balanced, paid for and begins to fix our deficit.After Tuesday, when Republican rank-and-file members joined Democrats to buck their leaders, the House was one vote of the chamber away on Wednesday from passing a bi-partisan, compromise budget. Instead Speaker Turzai sent everyone home for the holidays with no action and the Senate Republicans, who caved to Speaker Turzai and tea party extremists, passed Speaker Turzai’s budget that cuts $95 million from Pennsylvania schools.Abandoning all pretenses of compromise, Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg went back to the future… Wednesday had opened with hope of a House vote on the Senate’s compromise $30.8 billion budget. With increased funding for education, Wolf had agreed to sign that compromise bill, but when Democrats claimed they had the votes to pass it and send it to the governor, House Republican leaders would not allow a vote. [KDKA, 12/23/15]We always knew it would be difficult to change the Harrisburg status quo, especially with entrenched Republican insiders beholden to special interests and right-wing extremists, but we never imagined Republican leaders would once again turn their backs on Pennsylvania’s schools and our children. By: Jeff Sheridan, Press Secretary BLOG: Speaker Turzai’s Extremist Budget Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf December 24, 2015 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
January 24, 2018 GO-TIME: DCED Collaboration Saves $140,000 per Year, Reduces Local Government Paperwork Efficiency, GO-TIME, Government That Works, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – A new system developed by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for the Department of the Auditor General (AG) is making it easier for municipalities to receive state aid, according to the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME).“The new system allows municipalities to cut through the red tape when they apply and provides the auditor general with a faster, more streamlined process for distributing aid,” Secretary Davin said. “Governor Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative consistently encourages departments to share information and work together to solve problems, which ultimately means better customer service. The municipal reporting system in one of several new technologies that DCED is sharing with other agencies and governments to reduce duplication and provide a better return for taxpayers”Pennsylvania saves taxpayers $140,000 annually since implementing the new tool, according to the Auditor General’s Office.“Going from a paper-based to electronic filing system streamlined submissions, improved efficiencies within my department and provided better customer service for municipal staff,” said Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. “We’ve heard from municipalities about the ease of the new system which simplifies the process while cutting down on data entry errors.Under Pennsylvania law, municipalities that wish to receive state aid for pensions and volunteer firefighter funding must apply to the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office by March 31 each year. Prior to 2017, all forms were submitted on paper. The new system streamlines reporting for municipalities and cuts processing time for the Office of Auditor General, which administers the program. The new online process is available on DCED’s Municipal Statistics website.Last year, over 2,500 municipalities in 66 out of 67 Pennsylvania counties received over $60 million in aid for their local volunteer firefighters’ relief associations in their communities. Additionally, over 1,400 municipalities received almost $290 million for their pension plans covering police officers, paid firefighters and non-uniformed employees. A 2 percent tax on out-of-state casualty and fire insurance premiums funds the program. More information about the Municipal Pension Reporting Program is available online at the Auditor General’s website.GO-TIME is working to modernize government operations to reduce costs and improve services. GO-TIME works with agencies to identify opportunities to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation. Over the past three years, state agencies have achieved over $373 million in savings while also improving efficiency and customer service as part of GO-TIME. To learn more, go to www.governor.pa.gov/go-time. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Governor Wolf Continues Push for Statewide Broadband in Centre County April 24, 2019 Press Release, Restore Pennsylvania State College, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf continued his push to expand broadband access to all Pennsylvanians by joining the PA Priorities Summit to highlight how Restore Pennsylvania would help address the rural broadband crisis.“Broadband is as essential in today’s society as electricity and water. Not having broadband limits your ability to do business, find a job, access information, and so much more,” said Governor Wolf. “Our lack of broadband access keeps children from accessing online assignments, prevents businesses from marketing themselves, and health care facilities can’t share information. We can and should be doing more to tackle this issue and Restore Pennsylvania is the answer.”Restore Pennsylvania will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure. The massive rebuilding plan funded through a commonsense severance tax will help commonwealth communities address blight, expand broadband access, mitigate the effects of localized flooding, and expand green infrastructure.Later today, the governor will visit Penns Valley School District to hear from students and faculty about how the lack of reliable, high-speed internet is impacting their education and everyday lives. At least 8 percent of students in Penns Valley School District have only dial-up internet access at home.“Lack of quality internet access means our children miss out on learning opportunities and their parents lack easy access to important school information,” Governor Wolf said. “Our students, parents, and our teachers deserve better, and we can provide that through Restore Pennsylvania.”“If we intend to have our rural students be prepared to learn online, collaborate, and create in a truly personalized way, then they need the tools to do so,” said Dr. Brian Griffith, Superintendent, Penns Valley School District. “Access to affordable and reliable broadband internet service is imperative to equity across the commonwealth and nation.”Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding to completely bridge the digital divide in every community in Pennsylvania, making Pennsylvania a better place to work, do business, and live. Grants will be available to support installation of infrastructure to bring high speed internet to every corner of the commonwealth. Funding will support every phase of the process from feasibility testing to connection.View the full Restore Pennsylvania plan. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
18a Charles Street Kalbar Qld 4309. Picture: Realestate.com.au 18a Charles Street Kalbar Qld 4309. Picture: Realestate.com.auAmong the property’s features was its access to both town water and a dam, plus a large six-bay shed, a machinery shed, round cattle yard, loading ramp and many features of working properties.It also has a large cinema room with a 120 inch fixed projector screen and built in entertainment unit, plus an inground pool and rustic entertainment shed with wood fired pizza oven. 18a Charles Street Kalbar Qld 4309. Picture: Realestate.com.auQUEENSLAND’S most popular property this week is off the beaten track, according to latest viewing information from Realestate.com.au.The 1.6 hectare home at 18a Charles Street, Kalbar, was listed at $875,000 for sale by the owner.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours ago18a Charles Street Kalbar Qld 4309. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe five bedroom, two bathroom, five car space property was just two years old according to listing information, and has been on the market for under two weeks.This past week saw it beat out all properties listed on Realestate.com.au in the popularity stakes, with the home now listed as having gone under contract.
Danny StanleyDON’T be surprised if you bump into former Gold Coast Suns forward Danny Stanley at an open-house this weekend.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoThe tough forward has his first multi-million listing at 4 Cheval Court in Benowa Waters and will be walking buyers through from 10am to 10.30am this Saturday and Sunday.The 1553sq m waterfront mansion is on the market for $1.699 million and has an observation deck with built-in seating, a private beach and a pontoon. After spending 11 years on the footy field, finishing his final season in 2011 with 20 goals, the 29-year-old said he is now looking forward to kicking goals in real estate.“I’ve had about 40 groups through this property already and I’m finding it is predominantly buyers who are wanting to relocate from their hinterland acreage properties to larger coastal blocks,” he said.
11 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island.IT IS no surprise that this four-level mega mansion was designed by none other than Gold Coast architect Bayden Goddard.Goddard, renowned for creating some of the most luxurious properties on the Gold Coast, did not shy away when it came to 11 Southern Cross Drive.11 Southern Cross Drive, Surfers Paradise.Homeowners Brendan and Natasha Rutherford said it all started at a friend’s barbecue with the Goddard family.“We were having lunch and at this point Bayden was just a good friend,” Mr Rutherford said.“Natasha and I knew him socially because our children went to school with his children. We were telling him about our future plan for our house and then he got out a piece of wax-proof paper, like baking paper, and started drawing down the home I had imagined.”11 Southern Cross Drive, Surfers Paradise.“We never intended him to design our house for us because we don’t like the idea of mixing business and friends but he said he would just sketch an idea down and see how it went.“It turned out to be exactly what we wanted and the builder he recommended, Gavin Boyle, had a daughter who was best friends with our daughter.“It’s a small world.”11 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoMr Rutherford said he and Natasha bought the block on Cronin Island in 2000 with a property on it.“We lived in that home for years before we decided to knock it down and build something we really liked,” he said.“Natasha and I have four kids so we needed the basics — four bedrooms and a main bedroom — but we also needed a gym, a lap pool and a big basement for our family.“All of our kids are national champions in cross country.”11 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island.Mr Rutherford said while the gym was essential, he wanted to add a touch of luxury to the zone.“Bayden designed the space with water views so it is probably one of the best home gyms,” he said.“The island itself has been great for the kids because they do a lot of running and there is quite a big park space in the centre of the island, which they use.“They do laps around Southern Cross Drive and it is a really safe area.”11 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island.The mansion comes with six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a basement and garage big enough for seven cars.Exuding an earthy, industrial style, the home features timber throughout.“We changed a few things after it was built, like the exposed concrete ceilings, which we filled in with timber,” Mr Rutherford said.11 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island.“We trusted Bayden on his design, he said it would look good and it really does.“It is by far the biggest house we have ever lived in and we have had some cherished memories here.”11 Southern Cross Drive, Surfers Paradise.The home is quintessential Gold Coast luxury living with chandeliers, a sleek gas fireplace and an open-plan dining room which overlooks the water with an impressive 19m water frontage.
Emily and Ben Gawley and their three children used social media to research Gainsborough Greens at Pimpama on the Gold Coast.The couple and their three children were living in Melbourne when Ms Gawley put out a call through Facebook for recommendations of family-friendly communities on the Gold Coast — that is when Gainsborough Greens resident and mother of four, Michelle Drummond, stepped in and offered her advice and contact details. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoFast-forward three months, and the two families now live just one street away from each other.“I joined the Gainsborough Greens Community Group on Facebook to hear more about whether it was a family-friendly location and Michelle contacted me to let me know the ins and outs of the community,” Ms Gawley said. “I had never met her before but the response we received via Facebook was extremely helpful and informative. It can be quite difficult to grasp the feel of a community from a different state, so the advice was really invaluable to us. “Michelle’s insight and support made the move here so much easier and from there a friendship between our families formed.”Ms Gawley said since the move their two sons have ended up in the same class and become best friends and all of the two families children play together.Ms Drummond, husband Aaron, and their four children moved to Gainsborough Greens in June last year. Social media is becoming the platform of choice for land estate buyers to research communities before buying in.SOCIAL media is becoming the new driving force behind land estate sales as an increasing number of home buyers research the livability of communities before committing to a purchase.Mirvac Queensland residential general manager Warwick Bible said a growing number of purchasers at their Gainsborough Greens masterplanned community in Pimpama, were reporting the use of social media as a decision making tool.“It is no secret that buyers and prospective residents often do the research online at home, before visiting a new community,” Mr Bible said.“But we are finding what and how they are searching for this information is evolving.“They are no longer just looking for property analysis in terms of the fundamentals like property values and access to amenities, but the more intangible benefits, such as community atmosphere and whether an area is ‘family-friendly’.”Gainsborough Greens residents Ben and Emily Gawley reached out via an online community group to find out about life in the estate, before making the move from interstate. Aaron and Michelle Drummond and their four children befriended the Gawley family through the Gainsborough Greens Facebook page.“We have lived at Gainsborough Greens for almost a year and we love it. When I saw that Emily was interested in moving here, I knew I had to let her know how great it is, as I can imagine it would be quite a stressful experience moving interstate with a family in tow,” she said. “The minute I spoke to her, I knew she would love the community and how family-friendly it is. They are such a lovely family and now that our kids are at the same school, we catch up with them socially.” Gainsborough Greens community engagement manager, Suzanne Guastini, said it was heartwarming to hear that members of the community were so happy living in Gainsborough Greens that they were spreading the word online. “Something that sets Gainsborough Greens apart from other communities is our regular social activities that are designed to create an engaging and welcoming environment where everyone knows each other’s names.”Gainsborough Greens will eventually have more than 2200 homes, along with retail and recreational amenities.
Fewer Queenslanders are applying for mortgages according to new research.Mr Luffman said the figures could indicate people were turning to credit to support their household and discretionary spending.“Given the current subdued growth in household incomes, and below-neutral consumer sentiment, it is understandable that Australians may be becoming more circumspect in their use of consumer credit products,” he said.Mortgage applications are a good indicator of homebuyer demand and housing turnover.It comes as Brisbane home prices recorded their slowest rate of growth in four years over the past financial year, rising just two per cent, according to CoreLogic. Fewer Queenslanders are applying for home loans according to new data. Picture: Chris PavlichThe finding comes after CoreLogic data revealed the number of homes up for auction across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth fell for the fourth straight week in the seven days to July 16.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoGET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERENationally, consumer credit demand rose 10.3 per cent in the June quarter, driven mainly by a surge in personal loan applications, according to Equifax’s latest Quarterly Consumer Credit Demand Index.Credit card applications in Queensland rose 4.5 per cent in the three months to June, the second largest increase after Tasmania.Personal loan applications also picked up strongly in Queensland — jumping 19.6 per cent during the quarter.Extreme inner-city renovationDo these five things before you make an offerBuyers with a bad case of FOMO Fewer Queenslanders are applying for home loans, according to new research. Picture: Brendan Radke.FEWER Queenslanders are applying for home loans in another sign the state’s housing market is beginning to cool.Mortgage applications fell 3.4 per cent in Queensland during the June quarter, according to credit reporting agency Equifax.Nationally, home loan applications were down nearly one per cent during the quarter.Equifax senior general manager Angus Luffman said it marks the second consecutive quarter of declining mortgage applications, signalling the start of a “downward trend” in all states.“Any debate about whether the housing market is softening should now be put to rest,” Mr Luffman said.“We can clearly see that, even in the historically strong geographies on the eastern seaboard, mortgage application demand is slowing or already in decline.”
304/18-24 Mermaid St, ChermsideThe rooftop terrace has uninterrupted 360 degree views of the Brisbane skyline, hinterland and Moreton Bay.There is also an undercover barbecue area, sky garden and oversized seating.It is listed through Simon Carling of McAndrew Property Group – Brisbane.At nearby Hamilton, a five-bedroom home at 20 Grays Rd is seeking offers of more than $2.5 million.The home, on Hamilton Hill, is recently completed. It is spread across three levels and includes a rooftop terrace. 20 Grays Rd, Hamilton. Picture: realestate.com.auAn external side staircase allows direct access to an indoor heated pool, snooker room and bar.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 13:43Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -13:43 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels576p576p480p480p256p256p228p228pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenPrestige property with Elizabeth Tilley13:44There are polished hardwood floors inside as well as carpets and imported tiles.Three of the bedrooms have walk-in wardrobes and ensuites.It is listed through Patrick McKinnon and Will Churchill of Place – Ascot. 18/215 Wellington Rd, Kangaroo PointThe double-storey penthouse has panoramic views over the Brisbane CBD and a private rooftop terrace which can accommodate more than 100 guests.All four bedrooms have access to their own balconies. The rooftop terrace has a kitchen and built-in barbecue.Inside the penthouse, the main bedroom has an ensuite, including a freestanding bath and walk-in robe.The penthouse is in a complex of only 18 apartments. It is listed through Christine Rudolph of Ray White – New Farm.At Chermside, residents in a complex also have access to a rooftop terrace.The two-bedroom apartment at 304/18-24 Mermaid St, Chermside, is in the Evoke building.Both bedrooms have built-in wardrobes and there is floor to ceiling storage and separate laundry.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoThe complex has secure basement parking with direct lift access to the apartment levels and video intercom. 18/215 Wellington Rd, Kangaroo PointWhile views from decks may be pretty special, rooftop terraces offer something even more substantial.We’ve scoured the Brisbane property market to find the best properties with rooftop terraces on the market now.A four-bedroom unit at 18/215 Wellington Rd, Kangaroo Point, has a rooftop terrace and is seeking offers over $1.5 million.
WITH the aim of making Thalys services more accessible to passengers travelling between the Netherlands and Belgium, a Flexi Supplement valid for two months is available until December 13. With the new product, passengers holding full-fare international tickets can board a Thalys service where the train manager will allocate them a seat, although purchasing the supplement does not guarantee a place. The Thalys Flexi Supplement is priced at 10 guilders for Comfort 1, used in conjunction with a first class ticket, and costs 6 guilders for Comfort 2. o
Vera Kupper Staub – former chief executive of the Pensionskasse for Zurich and now vice-president of Switzerland’s top supervisor, the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) – told delegates at the 2014 Swiss Pension Conference (SPC) that pension funds’ investment risks remained “the most difficult to assess”.She said the data on investment risk collected for the OAK’s annual report was “too rudimentary”, with only a “rough breakdown” of the portfolio into equities, bonds, real estate, alternatives, liquidity and unhedged FX-exposure.“But, based on this, it is difficult to really assess the investment risk of a pension fund,” she said.She confirmed that supervisors, pension fund representatives and experts were now discussing new parameters for assessing the risk of pension fund investments, adding that the debate was still “completely open”. Kupper Staub stressed that the OAK was not aiming for a Swiss solvency test for pension funds along the lines of what the Finma, the supervisor for insurers, has put in place for its institutions.For her, the OAK’s main challenges are to “establish a risk dialogue with pension funds”, advance the risk assessment and “establish an understanding that mistakes do happen”.In a personal statement unrelated to her position at the OAK, she noted that the government’s proposal to cap investment in alternatives – as part of the Altersvorsorge 2020 reform – according to a maximum fee level for each pension fund “might not be a good idea”.She pointed out that this would be “a major infringement” on the autonomy of pension fund boards.She added that, under the current system, with trustee boards comprising representatives from both social partners as well as experts, “we have to leave the responsibility for the investment strategy with them”.Kupper Staub noted there was an alternative recommendation by the government to prohibit investments in “opaque” alternative investments, “which is something I can understand”.She also argued that trends towards the individualisation of choices for members within the second pillar were “not in line with the system” or the purposes for which it was created.She said this related particularly to a proposal brought forward by an MP to create tax incentives for pension funds to allow people with higher incomes to take on responsibility to choose their own asset allocation.To date, only a handful of Swiss pension funds have introduced these so-called 1e-plans.Kupper Staub said most people had been shown to make “irrational” choices when it came to long-term savings.“I am not sure whether all these tendencies towards individualisation are really helping the idea behind a Pensionskassen system as a whole,” she said.
Uijen also plays a supervisory role at Schilders, the industry-wide scheme for painters and decorators, and the company pension fund of custodian Kas Bank.Meanwhile, SBZ also appointed Jobert Koomans and Reiniera van der Feltz-Doude as independent executive board members.Koomans has been working as managing consultant/partner at pensions adviser Towers Watson Netherlands.He is also an expert trustee at the large industry-wide scheme for the building sector BpfBouw.Van der Feltz has been working in several banking positions at Van Lanschot Bankiers and Rabobank International.The trustees will be part of a new board model, consisting of an independent chair, two executive board members and eight non-executive trustees.SBZ is a non-mandatory industry-wide pension fund with approximately 12,500 participants. Eric Uijen, director of the €1.2bn pension fund for notaries (SNPF) in the Netherlands, has been appointed independent chairman at SBZ, the €3.7bn pension fund for care insurers.Uijen succeeds Ruben Wenselaar, who will continue as a trustee.Uijen is a veteran of the pensions and financial services sector, and has served as director of the notaries scheme since 2012.He has also served as director at Horeca, the pension fund for the Dutch hospitality industry, as well as the pension fund for industrial conglomerate Stork, which has now joined the metal scheme PME.
ERAFP, the €16bn French public sector pension fund, is to lower the carbon output of a €750m equity portfolio by more than one-third.The scheme – a signatory to the Montreal Carbon Pledge together with PGGM, the UK’s Environment Agency Pension Fund and AP4 – said it would be working with French manager Amundi to lower the carbon intensity of one of its portfolios by 40%.It said the portfolio’s index would employ a ‘best in class’ approach, additionally excluding the 5% of companies deemed most polluting and the bottom 20% of companies in each sector.“While monitoring this mandate closely, ERAFP will continue its work on measuring carbon and climate risks with a particular focus on supporting research and development initiatives aimed at assessing the alignment of investments with climate objectives,” the fund added in a statement. Julian Poulter, executive director of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, said the main argument for reducing the carbon footprint was not about morals or ethics but financial risk.Philippe Desfossés, chief executive at ERAFP, added: “It is hard to dispute that carbon is a risk. So how can we fulfil our duty of trust if we don’t implement the systems necessary to assess this risk to reduce it? And worse still, having measured the risk, we don’t disclose it to stakeholders?”The Montreal Carbon Pledge hopes to attract institutions worth $3trn to the initiative in time for the Paris climate change talks.Swedish buffer fund AP4 and France’s Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites previously committed €1bn each to low-carbon indices designed with Amundi.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to homepage of Montreal Carbon Pledge
European Commission, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Newton Investment Management, Nykredit Asset Management, BankInvest, AP1, Westchester Group, La FrançaiseEuropean Commission – Jonathan Hill has been confirmed as the next commissioner for Financial Services, winning over doubters in his second hearing. The former leader of the UK House of Lords won the vote to be confirmed in the College of Commissioners by 45 votes to 13. An additional vote by members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee backed him as commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union by 42 to 16.BNP Paribas Investment Partners – Susan Gostick has been appointed head of the pension fund segment at the French asset manager. Based in London, she will focus of adding to the company’s pensions business. She joins from Newton Investment Management, where she was head of institutional relations. She has also worked at Lazard Asset Management.BankInvest –Lars Bo Bertram has been appointed as the new chief executive of Danish investment manager BankInvest. He will take on the role at both BI Holding and the BankInvest Group. Bo Bertram is currently bank executive board member and head of Nykredit Asset Management. At Nykredit, he is responsible for investment management and investment fund administration. Before that, he worked for Danske Bank. He is also chairman of the CFA Society Denmark. Bo Bertram will leave Nykredit’s executive board with effect from today. Following his departure, the board will comprise managing directors Bjørn Mortensen, Georg Andersen and Jesper Berg. Bo Bertram will be stepping into the shoes of BankInvest’s current chief executive Bo Foged, who – as reported by IPE in May – has been appointed group finance director at Danish statutory pension fund ATP. The two will change roles on 1 January 2015. AP1 – Kaj Martensen has been appointed COO at the Swedish buffer fund, replacing Anders Rahmn, who is set to retire. Martensen will also join the fund’s management board. He will begin his new role at the start of 2015, with Rahmn stepping down at the end of February. Martensen joins from Shell Asset Management in the Netherlands.Westchester Group – Martin Davies has joined the farmland investment specialist as executive vice-president and chief executive of its Europe office. Westchester is majority owned by US pension provider TIAA-CREF, whose asset management arm recently opened a UK office. He joins from Insight Investment and was behind its farmland investment business for the past five years. He will now manage the company’s business in Europe and build its European farmland investment business.La Française – Pierre Schoeffler has joined the French asset manager as a senior global asset allocation adviser, working across the group’s entire asset offering. He remains chairman of S&Partners, an asset allocation consultancy he founded in 2004, and is a senior adviser at IEIF, a real estate investment research centre and consultancy.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has divested one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies over allegations of corruption and bribery.The NOK7.1trn (€742bn) Government Pension Fund Global’s Council on Ethics last year investigated ZTE Corporation, listed on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges, over concerns it was responsible for gross corruption, as defined by the fund’s own exclusion guidelines.In a statement, the fund’s manager, Norges Bank Investment Management, said its executive committee felt it was inappropriate to exercise its ownership rights to bring about change and instead opted to divest its stake worth NOK85m, accounting for just 0.15% in voting rights.The Council’s report from June last year noted the company had been sent a draft version of its report but had not commented in the findings, which listed allegations of corruption in 18 countries. The report adds: “All corruption allegations against ZTE of which the Council is aware relate to the payment of bribes to public officials to secure the award of contracts.“In 2012, ZTE’s representative in Algeria was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for corruption in connection with a contract won by ZTE in the country.”The report points out that, following the sentencing of the representative in Algeria, the company was barred from bidding for public contracts for two years.It also cites allegations of corruption in Zambia, Kenya, the Philippines, Myanmar, Nigeria and Liberia, and claims “large” commission payments were passed to the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.The decision to exclude ZTE from the sovereign fund’s investment universe comes only a month after it decided to remove Alstom from its observation list after previous concerns over corruption.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to recommendation by Council on Ethics
Many people are only slowly beginning to realise the harm low to negative interest rates are causing and, without a lobby, the concerns of savers and pension funds are hardly taken seriously, the head of the board of trustees at Swiss multi-employer pension fund Profond told delegates at a trade fair in Zurich yesterday.All of Swiss pension funds’ assets have been affected by the low to negative rates environment, said Olaf Meyer, criticising central banks’ monetary policy as “politically motivated redistribution” of financing from the private sector to governments.Prices have become political prices rather than market prices, he said, adding: “We’re no longer operating in a market system.”He said Swiss Pensionskassen were faced with low yields in listed and unlisted assets, a domestic currency that had become a burden and a large gap between members’ pension expectations and the yields attainable via traditional investment strategies. Picking up a point made earlier by Dewet Moser, alternate member of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), that real interest rates were still positive, Meyer said it was very difficult to explain this to individuals who tend to think in nominal terms.“That’s something we have to live with,” he said.As to how Pensionskassen can respond to the rates environment, there are two main choices, according to Meyer – adjusting investment activity (by buying real assets and hedging exchange rates, for example) or adjusting benefits.The latter is already happening in Switzerland to an extent that has not been seen for a long time, he said.By way of conclusion, Meyer noted that unlisted assets had become more attractive and that a failure to change investment strategy would entail lower benefits at most Pensionskassen.Monetary policy needs to become a more substantial part of Pensionkassen’s new investment strategies, he added.Meyer’s presentation came after the SNB’s Moser acknowledged that negative rates were a burden for Pensionskassen but also argued that the direct negative effect was limited.He defended the removal of the cap on the Swiss franc/euro exchange rate in January 2015 and the introduction of a -0.75% deposit rate the following month, saying the negative rate was working even though it is “not a magic cure”. As for the impact on Pensionskassen, he said he understood negative rates were a burden but that he could not offer any prospect of relief, as they were unlikely to disappear any time soon.When the Swiss central bank set interest rates at -0.75% in February last year, the country’s pension funds called for an exemption, asking to be granted accounts at 0% interest with the SNB instead – the request was denied.Moser yesterday said the international low-rate environment was the bigger challenge for Pensionskassen than the domestic situation but that, together, these still only represented “the tip of the iceberg”.Far more important, according to Moser, are aspects such as increasing life expectancy, investment regulations and the conversation rate applied by pension funds (Umwandlungssatz).He called for political solutions, saying Swiss occupational pension provision needed to be reformed.He declined to comment on the nature of such reform, however, saying later that, although he deliberately mentioned the need for reform, he could not elaborate, as this was not a matter for the central bank.The call for reform is by no means new in Switzerland, and the topic is the subject of much debate – and some concrete action.A reform package is in the midst of going through Parliament, with Altersvorsorge 2020 (AV 2020), as the package is known, having most recently been part of a three-day debate in the lower chamber earlier this month. The relevant committee, the commission for social security and health, is due to discuss AV 2020 again on 12-13 May.
The £11.6bn (€15.7bn) West Midlands Pension Fund outperformed its benchmark by 1.7 percentage points last year, citing strong performance from its private equity and other alternatives holdings.The UK local government pension scheme (LGPS), however, reported losses across nearly all equity holdings, the notable exception being its North American portfolio, reflecting an overall decline in stock markets during the 2015-16 financial year.The fund’s equity portfolio overall underperformed its benchmark by 2 basis points, losing 2.67% in value over the course of the year, with particularly steep losses of 7.5% from emerging market holdings.The scheme’s global equity portfolio, which grew by £500m last year after it decided to actively manage a portfolio internally, lost 2.2% compared with a benchmark loss of just 0.49%. West Midlands hailed the in-house move as part of an attempt to be more cost-effective.In the forward of the scheme’s draft annual report, Geik Drever, head of the pension fund, said: “[The] restructuring of our portfolio has continued during the last year, including the introduction of an in-house, actively managed global equities portfolio.“This, along with other changes to the portfolio over the last few years, has yielded ongoing savings of almost £25m per year.”The remaining developed-market equity holdings were largely passively managed.The best performing asset class was private equity, which returned 15.8%, followed by an 11.3% return on property and a 9.9% return on real assets and equity holdings.The fund’s 2.4% return was significantly down from the 2014-15 return of 15.5% and also below its 10-year annualised return of 5.6%.Because inflation stood at 1.5% last financial year, however, the fund still managed an absolute return of 0.90%.
Belgium’s council of ministers has approved a bill that will exempt cross-border pension funds from fiscal and administrative levies and said the new law would underline the country’s position as a top location for pan-European schemes.The draft bill was put forward by the finance minister Johan Van Overtfeldt and approved by the Cabinet on Friday.It proposes that Belgium’s tax code not apply to second-pillar pensions provided by a Belgium-domiciled pension fund or insurance company to a non-resident as long as there is no further connection to Belgium – for example, no taxable revenue is incurred in Belgium by the work the pension is linked to.The proposed reform of the tax code would impose an obligation on the pension funds to provide the authorities annually with certain information in relation to the pensions for which the tax exemption was applied. The measure is applicable as of 1 January 2017.It is being passed to the council of states, the country’s highest administrative court.A government statement said Belgium would “confirm its position as the country of first choice for the establishment of pan-European pension funds”.PensioPlus, the Belgian pension fund association, said it was delighted the government had confirmed it would not be taxing cross-border funds.“This decision,” it said, “represents an important stimulus for the further development of pension funds and additional pensions in Belgium.”At present, 15 multinational companies – including Johnson & Johnson, Euroclear, BP and Alcon – have established pan-European pension funds in Belgium, and several other companies are looking to follow suit.The financial supervisory authority in Belgium recently approved a pan-European pension fund for General Electric. The European Commission has also decided to set up a cross-border scheme in Belgium for researchers who work in different EU countries.PensioPlus said many companies were choosing pan-European schemes because they provided a better overview for governance and greater transparency. “The joint management structure can also contribute to a higher pension through costs-saving and simplified management as a result of benefits of scale,” it said.Dutch pension funds that have relocated to Belgium in recent months have also argued that supervision in Belgium is more flexible than it is in the Netherlands.
Construction and engineering firm Fluor has indicated it wants to terminate the contract for pensions provision with its €460m Dutch pension fund, as it wishes to offload the liabilities from its balance sheet.The employer – a subsidiary of US parent company Fluor – wanted to place pensions provision with an insurer, according to the pension fund’s annual report for 2016.The pension fund, which implements a defined benefit plan, has already been closed to new entrants since 2014.Its current pension plan is reinsured under a contract with Aegon, based on a separated investment depot, invested in Aegon funds and managed by Aegon Asset Management. Aegon is also pensions provider for the Fluor Pensioenfonds. The scheme’s board said that, following its closure, the pension fund was expecting decreasing returns, as it had to reduce its risk profile as a consequence of its shortened investment horizon.It added that administration costs – currently €674 per participant – would also rise.Although the board made clear that it expected that the pension fund would ultimately cease to exist in its current set-up, it said it wanted to carry out an asset-liability management study in order to get clarity about the impact of a buy-out for its participants for the short term.It made clear that new pensions accrual was likely to take place under defined contribution arrangements, and that this decision would be up to the employer and the works council.The board said it had hired consultancy Triple A to support it in its negotiations with the employer and the works council.The pension fund reported a net return of 10%, including almost 4 percentage points thanks to a 70% interest hedge.With a return of 12.1% – an outperformance of almost 2.5 percentage points – commodities was its best returning asset class.Worldwide equity generated 8.8% under a full currency hedge of dollar, pound and yen.The scheme said that fixed income had yielded 5.6%, with Dutch residential mortgages producing almost 9%. Listed property gained 4.9%.Global Tactical Asset Allocation returned almost 3.5%, falling 0.6 percentage points short of its benchmark.As at the end of July, the Fluor Pensioenfonds was 108.8% funded.
The €215bn Dutch asset manager PGGM is to invest $1bn (€880m) in a new reinsurer to be established in cooperation with Bermuda-based RenaissanceRe.The joint venture, named VermeerRe and also based in Bermuda, will reinsure US properties against natural disasters such as flooding, storms, tornadoes and earthquakes.In a joint statement, PGGM and RenaissanceRe said the Dutch firm would be the sole investor, taking an initial stake of €528m. This will be extended with an additional €352m “to pursue growth opportunities” next year.PGGM is the asset manager for the €206bn Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW. According to Eveline Takken-Somers, senior director of credit and insurance-linked investments at PGGM, the investment would increase PFZW’s current 2% allocation to insurance-linked securities to almost in line with its strategic allocation target of 2.5%.She added that the insurance investment contributed to the desired diversification within PFZW’s entire investment portfolio, and would also have an attractive risk-return profile, “as a financial crisis is no natural disaster”. Flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. VermeerRe will provide reinsurance to US properties for natural disasters.In a position paper, PGGM said that the risk exposure of the investment could be assessed in detail because of the “short contracts, sophisticated models and abundant data available”.Aditya Dutt, president of Renaissance Underwriting Managers, said the deal “continues our 20-year track record of creating and managing joint ventures that match well-underwritten portfolios of risk to diverse sources of capital”.PGGM and RenaissanceRe said that VermeerRe had received an A-rating for financial strength from US ratings agency AM Best, and had obtained approval in principle to be licensed and regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority as a Class 3B reinsurer.VermeerRe will be managed by Renaissance Underwriting Managers. RenaissanceRe – founded in 1993 – also has offices in the US, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Singapore.PGGM’s insurance track recordPFZW started investing in insurance in 2006. According to PGGM’s Takken-Somers, the holdings generated an annual return of 7% on average since then, even delivering a positive result in 2008.Takken-Somers highlighted that the portfolio’s purpose was also to accrue financial buffers for unpredictable events, and explained that PGGM’s risk exposure was comparable with that of its catastrophe bonds allocation.She said PGGM has focused on building strategic partnerships with top-tier reinsurance companies to improve access to and selection of risk since 2014.“We seek efficient implementation of our investments as we believe this leads to superior returns,” she added.Earlier this year, PGGM invested €352m in LeoRe, in a private transaction with reinsurer MunichRe. LeoRe insures the financial impact of natural disasters in America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.According to Maurice Wilbrink, spokesman for PGGM, the structure of LeoRe was different from VermeerRe as it involved a catastrophe bond issued in a partnership with MunichRe.
UK defined benefit (DB) schemes have reduced investment risk in the last nine years as they have matured, but for some sponsors this process has still not gone far enough, according to a new report.Research by consultancy Barnett Waddingham showed that, as FTSE 350 DB pension schemes have matured, asset allocation has ratcheted down to 31% growth assets in 2019 – from 51% in 2010.However, schemes approaching buyout in the next five years had an average of 27% allocated to growth assets, which exposed companies to unnecessary risk, the firm said.Nick Griggs, head of corporate consulting at the firm, said: “As schemes have matured, a general de-risking has been inevitable, but corporates need to seriously consider whether they have gone far enough. “Especially for those close to the endgame, being proactive with your strategy is crucial in ensuring the level of investment risk matches the agreed objective, whether that’s an insurance company buyout or a run-off.”The consultancy said it would expect to see companies aiming for a buyout within two years typically holding 10-15% or less in growth assets. Those that were two to five years away should hold no more than 15-25% – although the recommendation depended on the individual scheme.UK DB schemes’ funding positions were still under threat from falls in long-term interest rates, according to the consultancy.“With economic and political uncertainty driving global bond yields lower, as investors look to move into safe haven assets, schemes can do more to neutralise the impact of this and reduce the volatility of funding levels,” it said.Some firms looking to buyout in the next five years were also holding illiquid assets, with 4% of their assets on average being property investments, the firm said.“These take time to dispose of, and are unlikely to be accepted by insurers as part of a premium payment for buyout,” it warned.Barnett Waddingham also said overexposure to growth assets – particularly illiquid investments – could cause cashflow issues. It said 90% of schemes were already cashflow negative, and one in eight FTSE 350 schemes had a cashflow burden above 5% of total assets.UK private sector pension deficit hits two-year highThe combined funding shortfall of UK private sector DB schemes hit £163bn (€182.6bn) at the end August, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), as stock market volatility increased and bond yields fell sharply.According to the PPF’s 7800 Index, which tracks the net funding position of UK DB schemes, the figure marked the biggest deficit recorded since May 2017, when the deficit was £168bn.Total assets increased during August by 1.5%, from £1,730bn to £1,756bn, but aggregate liabilities rose by 5.4%, from £1,821bn to £1,919bn.Data from Mercer released last week showed the aggregate funding position of DB funds linked to FTSE 350 companies declined, from a £51bn deficit to £67bn.Funding position of UK private sector pension schemesChart MakerSion Cole, Head of UK fiduciary business at BlackRock, said: “Whether a scheme is in surplus or deficit will largely have decided how schemes have fared in August.“Generally speaking, better-funded schemes have more hedging and are taking less investment risk so will have coped better with the market turbulence in August. Conversely, their underfunded counterparts who need to chase returns will have been hit hardest.” Nick Reeve
Luke Henderson and Andrew Henderson of John Henderson Professionals Mermaid Beach. Picture: Jerad WilliamsMore from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa15 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoMr Henderson said the range in sold prices varied significantly depending on the location and type of property within Mermaid Beach.“I think that one of the major appeals of Mermaid Beach is that property buyers at all stages can find a property suitable for them,’’ he said.“At the top of the market we sold a beachfront mansion on Hedges Avenue for $16.45 million while the least expensive property we sold was a unit at 2340 Gold Coast Highway, which changed hands for just $231,000.” View of the Gold Coast Highway from Hellenika at Nobbys Beach. Picture: Richard Gosling However, Mermaid Beach, which has the highest median property price of all Gold Coast suburbs at more than $1.6 million, is bucking the trend.John Henderson Professionals Mermaid Beach director Luke Henderson said while buyer demand was now showing the first signs of easing in years, sales had still not slowed over the past six months.“When we examine our internal sales data, our agency sold 85 properties in Mermaid Beach alone during the past year, of which 44 were sold in the past six months,’’ Mr Henderson said.“So, we can see that sales have not slowed at all during the past six months.“Meanwhile, the number of sales of properties that we have sold for above the $1 million mark has remained pretty constant between 35 per cent and 39 per cent over that time.” Property along Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach. A family enjoying the beach, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast. Picture: Regi Varghese He said the entry level prices for older-style detached homes east of the Gold Coast Highway now sat at around the $1.2 million mark and buyers are snapping them up to build new homes.However, buyers could find homes for significantly less on the western side of the highway. Mr Henderson said Mermaid Beach has undergone a major period of gentrification over the past five years.“While the suburb has always been considered one of the Gold Coast’s most desirable addresses, there are a number of factors which have made it a stand out performer in recent years,’’ said Mr Henderson.“Firstly, the council saw the wisdom in protecting the three-storey height limits in the residential areas while allowing for higher developments along the Gold Coast Highway. People enjoy a swim on the beach, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast. Picture: Regi Varghese Cashed-up buyers are continuing to dive into the Mermaid Beach property market.CASHED-UP buyers are continuing to dive into the Mermaid Beach property market despite the slowdown in top end markets in Australia’s southern states.Global investment bank Morgan Stanley this week released research which revealed the nation’s most expensive homes in Sydney and Melbourne were falling at an annual rate of about eight per cent. Cyclists along Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast. Picture: Regi Varghese THE FAST AND THE LUXURIOUS: V8 STAR’S MANSION NEW ERA FOR COAST PROPERTY “I think the that one of the major appeals of Mermaid Beach is that property buyers at all stages can find a property suitable for them,” Luke Henderson says. “The height restrictions in the residential areas have helped maintain that strong community feel in the suburb and have encouraged property owners to upgrade their homes without the fear that a high-rise apartment will be built next door.“At the same time developments along the highway have revitalised what was becoming a tired strip of shops.“The suburb has benefited majorly from the growth of the cafe culture and the area now is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, cafes and bars.“Then you have the knowledge that the light rail is coming plus all the developments that are occurring along the Gold Coast Highway.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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It was too good to refuse the first time. Will 79 Molle Rd, Ransome sell at auction again?IT IS possible to buy this house at auction without telling your spouse and still live happily ever after.Just ask the Spurrs.Twenty years ago, Sabrina and Steven Spurr were about to start building on a block of land they had purchased when Mr Spurr took himself off to the auction of 79 Molle Rd, Ransome and came home with a big surprise. Will it be toasted marshmallows or s’mores before Friday night movie night in the theatre room?“I have great memories with the fireplace and the kids and grandkids, toasting marshmallows, and then grabbing doonas and pillows and hunkering down in the theatre room to watch a movie,” Mrs Spurr said.The Tasmanian oak staircase leads to the upper level with three bedrooms and a master bedroom with separate parents retreat and ensuite. CHECK OUT BRISBANE AUCTIONS THIS WEEKEND Get comfortable, this house could be yours for the next 20 years.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoThe Spurrs are downsizing now their two children have moved away and will take their English-style Tudor house to auction on November 3. <<
The Courier-Mail previously reported that it took “four or five” people about 10 days to remove almost 100 cubic metres of “hoarder’s junk” from the property. Almost 100 cubic metres of hoarder’s junk was removed from 140 Annie St, New Farm. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoThe kitchen had seen better days.Mr Liddy said the winning bid was placed by a friend who was acting on behalf of an interstate buyer.“The buyers are a young couple who are not originally from Queensland but looking to turn it into their own family home,” Mr Liddy said. The house at 140 Annie St, New Farm, sold at auction for $1.3 million.AN INNER-city hoarder’s house has sold for almost 60 times what it was originally bought for.The two-level house at 140 Annie St changed hands for the first time in 45 years at an auction yesterday. There was a DIY staircase.More than 40 spectators and nine registered bidders spilt out onto the street in front of the New Farm property at 9am and bidding for the pre-war dwelling kicked off at $1 million, with Belle Property Bulimba agent and auctioneer Paul Liddy leading the way.Mr Liddy coaxed bidding upward, taking two $100,000 bids, before it broke down to bids as small as $5000.After just nine bids, the house was sold under the hammer for $1.3 million dollars.According to CoreLogic data, the property last sold for $22,000 in 1973. However, Mr Liddy said the house was built before 1946 and could not be demolished under current heritage protection legislation.“It certainly is an interesting piece of property to say the least, but it bears great bare bones,” he said. Some of the property had VJ walls and timber floorboards that could be restored.Mr Liddy said the sellers, who were understood to have inherited the property, were “delighted” with the result.“It’s a family home, so there is a lot of emotion involved, but their expectations have been well and truly exceeded,” he said.The agent said the auction was an example of the strength in the New Farm market at present.“We had an extraordinarily big crowd and nine registered bidders … and the land holding of 582sq m in this location in New Farm is extraordinary,” Mr Liddy said.“We’ve seen the market speak today about the land values in New Farm, without a doubt.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:34Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy The Block has been such a success00:35
The open-plan kitchen, dining and living space. Picture: Supplied.“I think the fabulous kitchen area is my favourite part of the home,” Mrs St Baker said. “The house flows beautifully and it has lovely indoor-outdoor living. More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019“You can open the doors and the entertainment areas seem to just spread out further and further.” A separate living area at the front of the home flows out to a patio and plunge pool with water feature. There is also an office, bedroom, powder room and laundry on this level.Upstairs, the master suite has a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite, and there is a family bathroom and two more bedrooms with built-in wardrobes. The home at 9 Walsh St, Redcliffe, has a private plunge pool. Picture: Supplied.THIS private two-storey family home is on the market in the Newport Quays Estate. Owners Greg and Jo St Baker bought the home at 9 Walsh St, Redcliffe seven years ago and are reluctantly selling to relocate for work. Mrs St Baker said they were sad to be leaving the peninsular and their much-loved home.“Our daughters grew up there. It was a great family home. It’s like a little oasis,” she said. “It’s very private and enclosed but it’s got great space and great light. It just has a lovely feel to it.” On the ground floor the home has an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area that opens to the large timber deck. The back deck and backyard at 9 Walsh St, Redcliffe. Picture: Supplied.Mrs St Baker said while the home had plenty of space for a growing family, it was also easy to look after.“It would suit anybody from young couples and families to older couples,” she said..“You can move straight in and enjoy easy living.”Mrs St Baker said the home was in a quiet neighbourhood, close to the canals, shops and schools.“We love the home, we’re looking forward to someone else enjoying it as much as we have,” she said.The property is being marketed by Simone De Raadt and Frank De Raadt of Kindred Redcliffe.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson (right) and her political advisor James Ashby (left) set up camp in Birdsville (AAP Image/Darren England)CONTROVERSIAL political advisor James Ashby has listed his Yeppoon investment property for rent.One of four units within the complex owned by Mr Ashby, who is One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s right hand man, has recently been listed. The block of units has been on the market for over a year, with Ashby seeking offers over $465,000. MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS: Buy your slice of Australia’s celebrity playground The unit complex in YeppoonBut median unit values have been seesawing in Yeppoon over the past five years, with values down 18.5 per cent in five years. However, values have increased 17.8 per cent in 12 months, according to CoreLogic.Yeppoon is about 40km northeast of Rockhampton, and is the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and Keppel Bay Islands. An increase in mining activity and several major company and infrastructure announcements have given a boost the region as a whole, according to the latest REIQ Market Monitor.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market12 hours agoHarcourts Yeppoon agent Daniel Spyve, who is marketing Ashby’s unit complex for sale, said the focus was now on renting the individual units.He said vacancy rates were tight, boosting rentals yields for owners.“The mood is really positive in the resources sector and they have been in a good place, regardless of Adani,” he said.“Our rental market has gone up, and with every lease coming up for renewal rent has been increased.“Vacancy rates are really tight so renters are willing to pay the extra.“We recently had eight groups through one property, and they were all competitive … one bloke asked if he could pay extra (to secure the property).” Property turnaround: Home values on the way up again Pauline Hanson with the One Nation plane that is flown by James Ashby — Supplied One NationAshby was also involved in further controversy after a meeting with a fake gun lobbyist working undercover for Al Jazeera, a meeting where he and Queensland One Nation leader Steve Dickson were caught on camera allegedly soliciting donations. Queensland Senator and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson (centre), flanked by party officials James Ashby (left) and Steve Dickson, speaks during a press conference in Brisbane in March. Mr Ashby and Mr Dickson were caught in an Al Jazeera investigation which used hidden cameras and a journalist posing as a gun campaigner to expose the far-right party’s extraordinary efforts to obtain funding in Washington DC in September. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) The kitchen inside the unit for rentAshby’s block of units in Yeppoon is the only property still in his name, according to property data.He sold a block of land near Tully in 2009, and offloaded another Yeppoon unit back in 2002, well before entering public life.Ashby, a former radio presenter, started his political career as an advisor to Federal Member for Fisher, Peter Slipper, and has been a human headline ever since entering the political arena seven years ago.The Ashby-Slipper relationship soured in 2012 when Ashby made allegations that he was sexually harassed by the former Speaker, a scandal dubbed “Ashbygate”.He ultimately dropped the lawsuit but the whole saga created a quagmire for the government.At the time, Ashby reportedly retreated back to his safe haven in Yeppoon, but the trained pilot made a comeback as a media advisor to Ms Hanson in 2015.Since then, the media spotlight has continued to shine on Ashby, who was fined for failing to promptly answer questions about the ownership of the aircraft used by One Nation, and had his parliamentary pass revoked and then reinstated following allegations of a physical altercation with former UAP senator Brian Burston. Senator Pauline Hanson holds a press conference with chief of staff James Ashby, Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, Brisbane. Photographer: Liam KidstonThe unit listed for rent is on the market for $230 a week, up from $220 last year.Property data shows the median sales price for a unit in Yeppoon is $297,500, making the sale of Ashby’s block of four a relative bargain. Australia’s first homebuyer hotspot revealed
Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference brought together over 550 exhibitors and 12,145 visitors in halls 1, 2 & 5 of Amsterdam RAI.While the number of exhibitors slightly decreased compared to 2016, the visitor number increased. The conference attracted over 1,300 delegates who attended 20 sessions.Next year Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference takes place on (22), 23 and 24 October 2018.“This year marked our tenth anniversary and we look back on a great event,” says Annemieke den Otter, who bears overall responsibility for Offshore Energy. “Never before has the gathering of all players in offshore, from oil and gas to offshore wind and marine energy, been more apparent than this year and never before have we attracted so many international visitors.” This year’s theme was ‘Transformation through collaboration’. Topics that dominated the conversation ranged from decommissioning and future gas and wind energy production at the North Sea, to upstream investments in the Middle East, West-Africa, Latin-America and Asia.This year’s theme was ‘Transformation through collaboration’. Topics that dominated the conversation ranged from decommissioning and future gas and wind energy production at the North Sea, to upstream investments in the Middle East, West-Africa, Latin-America and Asia.The event brought together industry leaders and (young) professionals during a high-quality conference program, at the many networking opportunities, and in the exhibition halls. For three days – starting on Monday with the first day of Offshore WIND Conference – Amsterdam was a meeting place for a host of international clients, OEMs, EPC companies and suppliers active in oil and gas exploration and production as well as renewable energy development.OEEC 2017 again had a spectacular kick-off with Offshore Energy Opening Gala Dinner and Awards Show on Monday 9 October. Guests were treated to dinner and drinks and musical interludes by the Junior Jazz Unlimited at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. A special congratulation to the award winners: Dries Lammens (winner of the Offshore Energy Young Engineer Award), Our Oceans Challenge (winner of the Offshore Energy Public Outreach Award) and Next Ocean with the Next Ocean Wave Predictor (winner of the Best Innovation in Offshore Energy Award).ExhibitionThis year over 550 exhibitors covered halls 1, 2, 5 and Amtrium of the Amsterdam RAI. During the exhibition days it was also possible to attend matchmaking sessions headed by Europe Enterprise Network, from bagpipes to robots, there were some great sights on the exhibition floor. The latest addition to the exhibition floor was the Startup Zone where upcoming talent was able to present themselves and showcase their innovations and products. Back again was the Offshore WIND Expertise Hub where companies were interviewed on film. These videos will be published on OffshoreWIND.biz in the coming weeks. In the different pavilions, such as Iran, Scotland, Italy, Amsterdam IJmuiden Offshore Ports, North Sea Energy Gateway, Marine Energy and the Holland pavilion, people came together in an energetic environment to meet up and/or network.ConferenceThe high-quality conference program at OEEC contained seven Technical Sessions on topics ranging from Asset Integrity, Global Business Opportunities and Decommissioning. The Launch of the National Platform for Re-use and Decommissioning also took place during the conference. This year’s Industry Panel addressed the transition to a low carbon energy mix. Featured speakers distinguished facts and fiction on both fossil and renewable energy sources, their deployment and what it takes for societies to switch to a new energy system. Within renewables, Offshore WIND Conference (OWC) took place with speakers from Dong, Siemens, European Committee of the Regions and Ziton. Marine Energy Event took place on Wednesday 11 October and focused on the Conditions for Commercial Success of the industry with speakers from EMEC, Twin Valleys, Tidal Lagoon BV and Bureau Veritas. Last but not least, several side events took place and young professionals could attend special Master Classes with masters from OOS International and Schlumberger.Offshore Energy 2018Next year Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference takes place on (22), 23 and 24 October 2018. Information on next year’s edition will be published online on www.offshore-energy.biz shortly.
GCE Subsea informed that Statoil has come onboard as a new industry partner in the GCE Subsea Cluster.“Being the largest company in Norway and one of the most capable and competent subsea companies in the world it is of great importance, and a great pleasure, to announce our partnership,” said Owe Hagesæther, CEO of GCE Subsea.“Statoil values the clusters national and international network and their driving role in industry driven R&D and innovation processes,” said Stein Olav Drange, vice president Technology Management in Statoil. “We also focus on building relations with the Oceans Industries Incubator and the Startup and ScaleUp programmes and companies in GCE Subsea, and believe that GCE Subsea will prove to be a useful arena for innovation relevant to our value chain.”GCE Subsea has 23 partners within industry, R&D, academia and public offices.The cluster’s main hub is located at the Coast Center Base at Ågotnes west of Bergen, one of the largests bases for subsea aftermarket activities.“GCE Subsea is one of Norway’s three Global Centres of Expertise representing most professional and important industry. We are excited to have Statoil onboard as a partner. This will strengthen the cluster significantly, and add force to our effort implementing our strategy for the Norwegian subsea industry,” Hagesæther said.
EGS Survey has started a hydrographic and geophysical survey for Anadarko’s Mozambique Area 1 (AMA1) LNG development. The survey is expected to last up to three months and involves deploying a range of hydrographic and geophysical survey tools in a remote environment.Offshore operations include shallow and deep water high resolution geophysical and hydrographic surveys, utilizing EGS’ vessel RV Ridley Thomas and the recently acquired shallow daughter craft. The surveys will support onshore development of two liquefaction trains to be constructed by Anadarko-led Area 1.EGS VP Chris Dougherty stated that EGS has worked closely with Anadarko in the time leading up to the start of field operations so that the team of 15 offshore geophysicists, surveyors and engineers can be as well prepared and safe as possible for the variety of survey tasks to be performed at the remote site.
Petrofac’s Engineering and Production Services (EPS) business has added to its well engineering portfolio with the award of a contract from an independent exploration and production company, Siccar Point Energy.The three-year agreement, which includes options to extend, is estimated to be worth up to $95 million over the term, Petrofac said on Monday.The contract includes provision of well operator and well engineering project management services including supply chain management, for Siccar Point’s operated assets West of Shetland. Under these terms, Petrofac will be responsible for all new well work and the ongoing integrity management of existing well stock.Petrofac will also deploy its well project management software WellAtlas, which supports the entire well management and delivery agenda.Commenting on the award, Nick Shorten, Managing Director for Petrofac Engineering and Production Services in the Western Hemisphere, said: “We are delighted to have secured this significant new scope with Siccar Point Energy and very much look forward to supporting them in successfully delivering their ambitious exploration, appraisal and development plans, safely and cost efficiently over the next three years.“This award builds on our existing track record for delivering Well Operator and Project Management services for clients across the globe, but specifically West of Shetland, where we have significant exploration, appraisal and development experience.”
Image source: Jan De NulJan De Nul has just released the latest update on their underwater breakwater project in Benin, saying that the season’s goal was successfully completed.“Our vessel Pompei installed a total of 440,000 tonnes of rock in 132 days. Now getting ready for another 400,000 tonnes,” said Jan De Nul in its announcement.The stone installation works were kicked off in December 2018 in Avlékété.During the first phase, a submerged dike of 2 kilometers will be installed. Another two rock installation campaigns of 2 kilometers each will follow, one in Avlékété and another in Djégbadji.After the installation of the submerged dikes, Jan De Nul’s trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHDs) will reclaim sand to restore the affected beaches.Works will be completed in 2021.BackgroundThe Beninese Ministry of Living Environment and Sustainable Development recently kicked off the coastal protection works near the mentioned coastal villages – part of the town called Ouidah.At the beginning of 2018, the Ministry awarded Jan De Nul Group for its in-house developed design of a submerged dike installed off the coast to protect the coastline against the impact of the Atlantic Ocean.Jan De Nul’s design includes a submerged dike at about 150 meters off the coast. The dike has a wave damping effect, which means that the waves of the Atlantic Ocean are broken before they reach the coast.A wave-free climate develops between the submerged dike and the coast. This will significantly reduce the impact on the beaches, as a result of which the sand will move less and the erosion will decrease.
Image courtesy of MHPAThe United Kingdom has booked a couple of Qatari liquefied natural gas cargoes for its two import facilities at the Milford Haven waterway. The 210.110-cbm LNG carrier, Duhail is scheduled to dock at the Dragon LNG terminal at Waterston, Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire on April 20.The second cargo is heading to the South Hook liquefied natural gas terminal onboard the Al Sadd LNG carrier. The vessel with 210,000-cbm cargo capacity is scheduled to arrive at the facility on April 23.Both cargoes have been lifted at the Ras Laffan liquefied natural gas complex in Qatar the shipping data from the Milford Haven Port Authority shows.The South Hook LNG terminal, owned by Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total, can provide around 20 percent of Britain’s natural gas requirements.The Dragon LNG terminal at Waterston, Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, is owned by Shell (50 percent) and Petronas (50 percent).The facility has a maximum gas send out rate to the NTS of 7.6 billion cubic meters of gas per annum. The terminal can supply up to 10 percent of the UK’s energy needs. LNG World News Staff
Technology firm ABB has signed a contract with Singaporean shipyard Keppel Offshore & Marine to enable autonomous tug operation at the Port of Singapore by the end of 2020.As informed, ABB, in collaboration with Keppel O&M’s Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology (KMDTech), will jointly develop the technology for autonomous vessels and retrofit a 32-meter harbor tugboat with digital solutions.Upon project completion, the vessel is anticipated to be South Asia’s first autonomous tug.During the initial phase of the project, the vessel, operated by Keppel O&M’s joint-venture company Keppel Smit Towage, will complete a series of navigational tasks in a designated test area in the Port of Singapore, steered from an onshore control center. The second phase of the project will see the vessel perform autonomous collision avoidance tasks while under remote supervision.“The intent of our technology is not to entirely remove the crew, but rather to relieve the crew from the tasks than can be automated and thus enable them to perform at their best during critical operations,” Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports, explained.With this project, ABB takes the next step towards autonomous shipping, building on the insights gained from the groundbreaking trial of a remotely operated passenger ferry Suomenlinna II, carried out in Helsinki harbor in November 2018. The Port of Singapore, which sees over 130,000 vessels calling annually, has exponentially denser shipping patterns, which will add another layer of complexity to the trials.The trials aim to validate the increased safety and efficiency of tug operations by utilizing digital solutions that are already available today for nearly any kind of vessel. Integral to the trials will be ABB Ability Marine Pilot portfolio of solutions, which enable the ‘sense-decide-act’ loop required for any form of autonomy. ABB Ability Marine Pilot Vision will provide the sensor fusion from existing and new systems to generate a digital situational awareness while ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control will execute the necessary conning commands.According to ABB, performing the transit autonomously and under remote supervision would enable the onboard crew to rest and be alert when they are needed in the actual work of the tug.KMDTech will work with the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) to develop various technologies and be the system integrator for the autonomous solutions.American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) will provide the approval in principle for the novel features such as remote navigation control and autonomous control system.
Norway’s oil-services investment company Akastor has named a new chief financial officer of the company.Øyvind Paaske; Image source: AkastorAkastor said on Friday that its investment manager Øyvind Paaske was promoted to the CFO role, effective from March 1, 2020.He replaces Leif H. Borge, who will remain in the position up to this date, after which he will assume a new position in a company outside the Aker group.Paaske joined the investment team in Akastor in 2014. Before this, he held the position as Investment Manager in Aker ASA.Akastor CEO Karl Erik Kjelstad said: “I am very pleased that Øyvind has accepted the CFO position. During his time at Akastor, he has played an important role in executing our M&A projects and has gained considerable knowledge of all our portfolio companies, in particular, MHWirth.“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Leif for more than 17 years, from when he started his career in the Aker group as CFO in Aker Yards in 2002, thereafter as CFO in Aker Solutions from 2008 and finally as CFO and Investment Director in Akastor since its incorporation in 2014. Leif has throughout this been a highly valuable team member, and we sincerely thank him for his strong contributions and wish him all the best and success in his new position.”Regarding his appointment, Paaske stated: “I am excited to take on the CFO role in Akastor. I very much look forward to contributing in my new position, with a focus on developing and realizing the values in Akastor’s portfolio.”Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.
ONE News 26 Sep 2011Family First says a call by Act Party leader Don Brash to decriminalise cannabis sends the wrong message. Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying prohibition of the drug has not worked. Brash told TVNZ’s Q + A programme policing cannabis costs millions of taxpayer dollars and clogs up the court system. But Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said decriminalisation tells the public, especially younger people, that small amounts of drug use is no big deal. “Brash also misunderstands the real harm that personal consumption of the drug actually does,” McCoskrie said. He said Act should instead be calling for better treatment facilities for addiction and mental illness. McCoskrie says a zero-tolerance approach to the use of drugs combined with treatment options is a far better solution.http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/brash-s-call-cannabis-dopey-and-dangerous-4419091ALSO – ACT leader questions marijuana lawsNZ Herald 25 Sep 2011Act Party leader Don Brash is calling for thought to be given to decriminalising marijuana. In a speech on law and order to supporters in Auckland on Sunday Dr Brash said he had some serious questions about current marijuana laws.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10754275Bob Clarkson joins call to legalise cannabisBay of Plenty Times 27 Sep 2011Former Tauranga MP Bob Clarkson has supported calls for the decriminalisation of cannabis.http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/clarkson-joins-call-to-legalise-drug/1117303/
New York Times 25 Oct 2011Boys and young men should be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, or HPV, to protect against anal and throat cancers that can result from sexual activity, a federal advisory committee said Tuesday. The recommendation by the panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is likely to transform the use of the HPV vaccine, since most private insurers pay for vaccines once the committee recommends them for routine use.…The vaccine has been controversial because the disease it prevents results from sexual activity, and that controversy is likely to intensify with the committee’s latest recommendation since many of the cancers in men result from homosexual sex. …Parents of boys face some uncomfortable realities when choosing whether to have their child vaccinated. The burden of disease in males results mostly from oral or anal sex, but vaccinating boys will also benefit female partners since cervical cancer in women results mostly from vaginal sex with infected males. …Vaccinating homosexual boys would be far more cost effective than vaccinating all boys, since the burden of disease is far higher in homosexuals. “But it’s not necessarily effective or perhaps even appropriate to be making those determinations at the 11- to 12-year-old age,” said Kristen R. Ehresmann of the Minnesota Department of Health and a committee member.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/health/policy/26vaccine.html?ref=healthFamily First Comment: We quote directly from the US-based Family Research CouncilThe public health case for boys to receive the vaccine is weaker than it is for girls. When a man contracts HPV, the result is usually genital warts (a much less serious symptom than cervical cancer), so it is questionable if the benefit is worth the cost (almost $400 for the three shots). The CDC is quick to point out that the vaccine also protects against anal, mouth, and throat cancer–but they downplay the fact that these cancers are almost entirely the result of men having homosexual sex!Apart from the cost of the shots (upwards of $140 million a year), perhaps the most infuriating aspect of all this is the government’s insistence that we look for ways to minimize the impact of promiscuity instead of working to encourage the end of it. Rather than asking young people to change their behavior, society is scrambling to enable it. It’s like trying to address the problem of drunk driving by making better airbags. We can’t tackle long-term safety with short-term solutions. And unfortunately, tiptoeing around the fundamental problem–premarital sex and homosexual sex–shows how far off course we are.Vaccinating against HPV, while important, won’t inoculate people from the other negative consequences of promiscuous sex–many of which are just as destructive. Some people have argued that it’s “ethical” for boys to be vaccinated to protect their future sexual partners, but the most ethical answer of all is focusing on abstinence, which is the only 100% effective way to prevent all of the dangerous side-effects of sex outside of marriage. Of course, we’re all told that it’s unrealistic to think young people can abstain. But it’s only unrealistic to the degree that we fail to challenge them to do so!
New York Times 31 May 2014Five months after Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales, the battle over legalization is still raging.Law enforcement officers in Colorado and neighboring states, emergency room doctors and legalization opponents increasingly are highlighting a series of recent problems as cautionary lessons for other states flirting with loosening marijuana laws.There is the Denver man who, hours after buying a package of marijuana-infused Karma Kandy from one of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana shops, began raving about the end of the world and then pulled a handgun from the family safe and killed his wife, the authorities say. Some hospital officials say they are treating growing numbers of children and adults sickened by potent doses of edible marijuana. Sheriffs in neighboring states complain about stoned drivers streaming out of Colorado and through their towns.“I think, by any measure, the experience of Colorado has not been a good one unless you’re in the marijuana business,” said Kevin A. Sabet, executive director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which opposes legalization. “We’ve seen lives damaged. We’ve seen deaths directly attributed to marijuana legalization. We’ve seen marijuana slipping through Colorado’s borders. We’ve seen marijuana getting into the hands of kids.”http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/after-5-months-of-sales-colorado-sees-the-downside-of-a-legal-high.html?_r=1&referrer
NZ Herald 27 June 2014War hero Willie Apiata drew on his own experiences as a fatherless child to help launch a foundation close to his heart.New Zealand’s only living recipient of the Victoria Cross helped to launch the Big Buddy Foundation in Auckland last night, with Prime Minister John Key and All Black great Grant Fox.The foundation will secure funding for the existing Big Buddy mentoring programme, which matches fatherless boys with adult buddies on the philosophy that boys need positive male role models in their lives in order to become good men.Mr Apiata spoke of growing up without a father.“I was just lucky to live in a small community where there were male role models there for me to be able to seek support, advice and … finish off my training to become a man.”He felt privileged to be part of an organisation helping to build good young men, including 17-year-old Teraia Whatuira-Henderson, who gave a poignant speech about how much his buddy had helped him when his father committed suicide when he was 10.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11282559
Medical News Today 9 August 2017Family First Comment: So much for it being a “harmless substance that just makes you feel good and doesn’t harm anyone….”www.saynopetodope.nzPeople who use marijuana may be three times more likely to die from high blood pressure than non-users of the drug, a new study finds.The researchers say that their findings indicate that marijuana use is a greater risk factor for poor cardiovascular health than cigarette smoking.Lead study author Barbara A. Yankey, of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University in Atlanta, and her team recently reported their results in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.High blood pressure, or hypertension, arises when the force of blood pushing against the blood vessel walls becomes too high.Around 75 million people in the United States – or 32 percent of the U.S. population – have high blood pressure.High blood pressure can increase the likelihood of stroke and heart disease, and in 2014, the condition was the main or contributing factor in more than 410,000 deaths in the U.S.Cigarette smoking is a well-established risk factor for high blood pressure and poor cardiovascular health, but according to the new study from Yankey and team, marijuana use may be even more harmful.Death from hypertension increased threefoldThe researchers came to their findings by analyzing the data of 1,213 adults aged 20 and older, all of whom had participated in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.As part of the survey, subjects were asked whether they had ever used marijuana, and if so, the age at which they first used the drug. Information on cigarette use was also collected.In order to calculate the duration of marijuana use among participants, the researchers subtracted the age at first marijuana use from subjects’ current age.Using 2011 data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the researchers assessed whether or not marijuana use might influence the risk of death from hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease.READ MORE: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318854.php
Stuff co.nz 23 June 2020Family First Comment: South Cantabrians are against a groundbreaking proposal to change New Zealand’s cannabis laws, include a former senior sergeant, youth worker and bereaved father – and they’re hoping their experiences may help inform others ahead of September’s referendum.Former police officer Mark Offen points out that alcohol reform has not protected youth, and he sees the proposed new bill in the same light. “The alcohol age limit is 18, but the defacto limit is 12 or 13. It will be the same with cannabis, the limit of 20 will see 14 and 15 year-olds trying it.”South Cantabrians against a groundbreaking proposal to change New Zealand’s cannabis laws, include a former senior sergeant, youth worker and bereaved father – and they’re hoping their experiences may help inform others ahead of September’s referendum.Voters will get the opportunity to decide for or against the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill at the general election in September. The bill, which aims to regulate production, supply and consumption of cannabis to those aged 20 and over, has already drawn mixed reactions.One of those who opposes the changes, is former senior sergeant Mark Offen – who spent 30 years working on the front line and has seen the impact of drug use first hand.“Once the genie is out of the bottle you can’t put it back,” warns Offen.Offen, who left the police force four years ago, is concerned that there was no evidence that the legislation was the best thing to do as academic experts on both sides of the argument presented equally compelling points of view.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/121420223/former-cop-youth-worker-and-bereaved-father-against-cannabis-legislation
Britain’s first legally-approved HIV self-testing kit went on sale online on Monday, promising a result in just 15 minutes with a 99.7 percent accuracy rate.Developers hope the BioSure HIV Self Test will help identify the estimated 26,000 people in Britain who have HIV but do not yet know.“Knowing your HIV status is critical and the launch of this product will empower people to discreetly test themselves when it is convenient to them and in a place where they feel comfortable,” explained BioSure founder Brigette Bard.Early diagnosis reduces the risk of passing the disease on to other people and also raises the success rate of modern treatments, which now make the disease manageable.“Over 40 percent of people living with HIV are diagnosed late, meaning they have been living with HIV for at least four years,” said Deborah Gold, chief executive of the National Aids Trust (NAT).“People diagnosed late are 11 times more likely to die in the first year after diagnosis,” she added.The kit reacts to antibodies — proteins made in response to the virus — in a drop of the person’s blood, producing two purple lines in the event of a positive diagnosis.The self-test, which is only available via the Internet, can only detect antibodies three months after the patient has become infected, and is not effective during this initial period, and all positive results must be confirmed by professional health workers, experts said.Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive at HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said it was “great to see the first self-test kits being approved.“However, it is important to make sure people can get quick access to support when they get their result.”Currently, those who fear they may have been infected have to collect a blood sample at home and send it to a laboratory, waiting five days for the result.There are almost 110,000 people in Britain living with HIV, which can lead to AIDS if the sufferer’s immune system becomes badly damaged.A similar test in the US has been available since 2012, giving a result in around 30 minutes from a sample of the person’s saliva or blood.–AFPRelated Bountiful harvest makes Zimbabwe self-sufficient Zimbabwe launches HIV/AIDS treatment manual Uganda to introduce oral HIV self-test kit
IAAF Athletics World Championships 2015: The night for African Athletes The IAAF has initiated disciplinary action against 28 athletes after they retested samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships with new technology that can uncover previously undetectable substances and found 32 adverse doping cases.The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Tuesday announced that it would be initiating disciplinary action against 28 as-yet unnamed athletes after retesting samples from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.Eastern Europeans, including Russians, make up a large number of the 28, sources familiar with the testing told Reuters on Tuesday.They were not aware of any Americans on the list and the BBC reported there were no British athletes.In a statement posted on the federation’s website, the IAAF states that the results yielded 32 adverse findings and that the 28 athletes could not yet be named due to the legal process.It was also revealed that most of the athletes named have since retired with some already having been sanctioned. Only a few remain active in the sport. The 2005 World Championships were staged in Helsinki, with Osaka, Japan hosting two years later.Officials at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) would not comment on the cases, saying they would await the conclusion of the testing process.If violations are confirmed, the IAAF said it would correct the record books for the 2005 and 2007 world championships, which were held in Osaka, and re-allocate medals as necessary.Related Kenyan athletes, IAAF dismiss doping allegations Athletes banned from changing nationalities
Tweet Recipe source:Better Homes and Gardens Share Sharing is caring! 26 Views no discussions Apple-Cranberry Dessert.This recipe for a delicious apple and cranberry casserole has layers of flavor. A sweet batter tops the fresh apples and cranberries. Unsweetened cherries can be substituted for the cranberries, if fresh cranberries are not available, or frozen ones work well too. Top with a scoop of ice cream.Ingredients:2 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries or 2 16-ounces packages frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries*2 cups chopped, peeled cooking apples2 tablespoons butter, cut up1-1/4 cups sugar3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans2 eggs, slightly beaten3/4 cup butter, melted1 cup sugar3/4 cup all-purpose flourVanilla ice cream Share Food & DiningLifestyle Apple-Cranberry Dessert. by: – July 20, 2011 Directions:Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Grease the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Toss the cranberries and apples together in the pan. Dot cranberry mixture with the 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle evenly with the 1-1/4 cups sugar and the chopped nuts.In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, melted butter, the 1 cup sugar, and the flour until well combined. Pour evenly over top of cranberry mixture.Bake, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until top is golden brown. Serve warm (cool about 30 minutes) or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream. Makes 15 servings.*Note: If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw before tossing with apples. If using frozen cherries, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before tossing with apples. Share