£60m Trinity Square sale shelved as Willis stays put

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US Navy carriers conduct South China Sea drills as Chinese ships watch

first_imgChina has built island bases atop atolls in the region but says its intentions are peaceful.Contacts with Chinese ships had been without incident, Kirk said.”We have the expectation that we will always have interactions that are professional and safe,” he said. “We are operating in some pretty congested waters, lots of maritime traffic of all sorts.” Two US Navy aircraft carriers are conducting exercises in the contested South China Sea within sight of Chinese naval vessels spotted near the flotilla, the commander of one of the carriers, the USS Nimitz, told Reuters on Monday.”They have seen us and we have seen them,” Rear Admiral James Kirk said in a telephone interview from the Nimitz, which has been conducting flight drills in the waterway with the Seventh Fleet carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, that began on the US Independence Day holiday of July 4.The US Navy has brought carriers together for such shows of force in the region in the past, but this year’s drill comes amid heightened tension as the United States criticizes China over its novel coronavirus response and accuses it of taking advantage of the pandemic to push territorial claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere. Topics :center_img China’s foreign ministry said the United States had deliberately sent its ships to the South China Sea to flex its muscles and accused it of trying to drive a wedge between countries in the region.The Pentagon, when it announced the dual carrier exercise, said it wanted to “stand up for the right of all nations to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows”, describing its 100,000-ton ships and the 90 or so aircraft they each carry as a “symbol of resolve”.About 12,000 sailors are on ships in the combined carrier strike groups.China’s claims nine tenths of in the resource-rich South China Sea, through which some $3 trillion of trade passes a year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims.last_img read more

Ministry to expand public employment scheme in Q3 infrastructure projects

first_imgRead also: Administrative issues hamper COVID-19 budget disbursement: Sri MulyaniMeanwhile, Basuki said the ministry would “transform” a number of regular infrastructure projects this year to employ 80,000 workers in labor intensive industries, in addition to its regular cash for work (PKT) program that targets absorbing more than 600,000 workers. The minister planned to disburse Rp 11.5 trillion for the PKT and Rp 654 billion for its labor-intensive public employment scheme.“Through the labor-intensive scheme [sic], we can reduce the use of heavy machinery and use more manpower. We want infrastructure projects to provide jobs during the pandemic,” he said.Separately on Monday, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said in a statement: “The government, through the state budget, will keep on fighting using the allocated budget to restore purchasing power toward recovering household consumption.”Earlier this month, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati pledged to spend Rp 1.4 quadrillion in the second half of 2020 to boost growth while promising to accelerate stimulus spending.Topics : Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono announced on Monday a plan to accelerate infrastructure spending in the third quarter while ramping up the ministry’s employment scheme for labor intensive industries to spur economic recovery amid the ongoing health crisis.“The PUPR will expedite all of its work programs in the third quarter, and even [commence] programs that are set for the fourth quarter. We hope that the infrastructure development projects will help our economic recovery efforts,” Basuki said on Aug. 17 during an interview with public broadcaster TVRI, referring to the ministry by its abbreviation.To date, the ministry has spent 44 percent of its 2020 budget of Rp 83.97 trillion, or Rp 36.47 trillion (US$2.4 billion). The ministry’s annual budget has already been cut from its initial Rp 120.2 trillion to reallocate resources to the government’s COVID-19 response. Data at the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) shows that at least 3.7 million individuals have been left jobless, with unemployment projected to reach around 10 million people by the yearend.The Indonesian economy suffered its sharpest downturn since the 1998 Asian financial crisis in the second quarter of 2020, when its gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 5.32 percent according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Government spending, which is expected to anchor the economy and increase purchasing power amid cooling private sector activity, plunged 6.9 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter.The government has allocated a Rp 695.2 trillion stimulus package to revive the economy and strengthen its COVID-19 response, but slow disbursement due to red tape and the continuing rise in COVID-19 infections have hampered economic recovery efforts.last_img read more

Gov. Wolf Announces $14 Million in Shale Impact Fee Funding

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Gov. Wolf Announces $14 Million in Shale Impact Fee Funding Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) approved $14 million in funding to support 94 projects through six Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund programs designed to support conservation projects and environmental protection measures throughout Pennsylvania.“Using fee revenue collected from unconventional gas wells, Act 13 supports statewide environmental projects – from flood control, to sewage treatment, to greenways, trails and recreation – that help improve, protect, and conserve Pennsylvania’s natural beauty and well-being,” said Governor Wolf. “We anticipate a tremendous, positive impact that can be witnessed and shared by communities across the state as a result of these investments.”The 94 projects approved today are located in 38 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Westmoreland, countiesThe Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund programs are administered by the CFA and include Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment; Baseline Water Quality Data; Flood Mitigation; Greenways, Trails and Recreation; Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging; and Watershed Restoration and Protection programs.The CFA approved the following for six of the Marcellus Legacy Fund programs at the October meeting:Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment: 2 projects approved; $563,191 totalFlood Mitigation: 8 projects approved; $1,821,325 totalGreenways, Trails and Recreation: 68 projects approved; $9,182,299 totalOrphan or Abandoned Well Plugging: 1 project approved; $130,00 totalSewage Facilities: 4 projects approved; $141,647 totalWatershed Restoration and Protection: 11 projects approved; $2,161,538 totalThe Marcellus Legacy Fund was created by Act 13 of 2012 to provide for the distribution of unconventional gas well impact fees to counties, municipalities, and commonwealth agencies.To date, the fee has generated more than $1 billion to support local community initiatives.The programs are administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Department of Environmental Protection, under the direction of the CFA.For more information about the Commonwealth Financing Authority and to view a complete list of approved projects, visit dced.pa.gov.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img October 24, 2016last_img read more

Switzerland’s BVK opens to employers outside of Zurich

first_imgBVK, the CHF31.8bn (€27.8bn) pension fund for the canton of Zurich, has opened itself up to manage pension plans for employers across the rest of Switzerland.Taking on new schemes would benefit BVK’s risk profile and member structure, it said.It would only accept new joiners if this were in the collective interest of BVK’s existing members and affiliated employers.Until it was recently changed, BVK’s legal foundation meant the pension fund could only take on new companies if they had a close financial or economic connection to the canton of Zurich. BVK said it was particularly well set up for large groups in the health, education and administration sectors, but is open to other employers.BVK is the biggest Pensionskasse in Switzerland based on member numbers. It currently operates pension plans for more than 450 employers, covering 115,000 employees.It lost some employers after making changes in 2015 that exposed members to pension reductions, and had to warn others from being lured away by rival providers.According to BVK’s annual report for 2016, 17 sponsors cancelled their contract with BVK during the year and had left the pension provider as at January 2017. No employers joined in 2016.Bruno Zanella, president of the BVK board of trustees, said BVK was attractive because it had an advantageous member structure, above-average performance and state-of-the-art technical infrastructure.BVK’s investments gained 5.7% in 2016, according to its annual report. It has outperformed its benchmark for the past five years. Separately, BVK has added two pension solutions to its existing product range, meaning affiliated employers can now supplement existing pension plans with additional benefits.Under the “comprehensive provision” solution, employers can insure the part of an employee’s salary that is deducted to coordinate payments between the first and second pillar.The add-on plan, meanwhile, is geared towards employees aged 43 or older and earning on wages of at least CHF126,900 (€109,700).Thomas Schönbächler, chairman of the BVK executive board, said: “With the two new pension plans, we are offering our already affiliated employers the opportunity to make their employment conditions even more attractive and to tailor the provision to their needs.“Generous supplementary pension plans are becoming increasingly important in the competition for talent.”last_img read more

Canadian Daycare Research: A study the media ignored

first_imgCardus 13 April 2017Family First Comment: Fascinating study. Big study. Rich data. 10’s of 1,000’s of parents. Over many years. Significant findings. Ignored by the media.What did the study find?“The research says the creation of Quebec’s daycare system first increases the amount of time boys spend in institutional care, and then shows boys experience MORE hyperactivity, inattention and physical aggression relative to girls. For girls, on the other hand, there were INCREASES in emotional and separation anxiety…. Yet, perhaps more interesting is that the study shows parenting behaviours changed significantly the result of using daycare, particularly for girls. “…[I]n general, families with girls increasingly experience worse home environments… following the introduction of subsidized child care, on average, girls face significantly lower levels of parent consistency and lower levels of positive interactions with their parents relative to boys.”That’s significant. But here’s the best line.“Biasing parents’ choices toward entering the formal work force rather than staying home during their kids’ infancy and providing buckets of TLC and intimacy is not obviously the best way to maximize well-being, even if it were great for GDP or the public finances. “Exactly! So where’s the public debate about ‘best interests of children’?In March 2017, two Canadian economists, Steven Lehrer of Queen’s University and Michael Kottelenberg at Huron University College in London published, “Does Quebec’s subsidized child care policy give boys and girls an equal start?” in the prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research working series. (Short answer: No.)The study uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, a long-term and reliable database collected by Statistics Canada, to examine the impacts on children of the provincial daycare plan in Quebec. To remind: Quebec is the only jurisdiction in Canada to have a provincial daycare plan, which uses tax dollars to significantly lower the direct costs of daycare to parents. This type of subsidy incentivizes the use of institutional daycare. As the study explains: “Some parents will change the manner in which their children receive care when the costs of child care are lowered.” The research says the creation of Quebec’s daycare system first increases the amount of time boys spend in institutional care, and then shows boys experience more hyperactivity, inattention and physical aggression relative to girls. The authors write: “Once subsidized child care is made available, only boys face statistically significant reductions in motor social development and increased hyperactivity and inattention scores.” For girls, on the other hand, there were increases in emotional and separation anxiety.This is not good news. Yet, perhaps more interesting is that the study shows parenting behaviours changed significantly as a result of using daycare, particularly for girls. “…[I]n general, families with girls increasingly experience worse home environments… following the introduction of subsidized child care, on average, girls face significantly lower levels of parent consistency and lower levels of positive interactions with their parents relative to boys.” The question then is whether it’s the daycare or the subsequent changes in parenting that are the problem for child outcomes, or both. The authors muse that the change in parenting could be the cause for the poorer child outcomes writing, “…behavioural responses in the home related to child investments are likely one of the main mechanisms through which this child care reform negatively affected many child outcomes.” The authors identify a plausible reason to explain the increased acting out among children: rising cortisol levels, which is a hormone associated with stress. Previous studies have shown higher levels of this stress hormone in children in institutional care.READ MORE: https://www.cardus.ca/research/family/5055/all-the-daycare-research-thats-fit-to-print/William Watson: Quebec’s subsidized daycare costs a whopping $2.6 billion and the children may not be better offFinancialPost.com 30 March 2017A new study of the effects of Quebec’s heavily subsidized daycare system — it costs $2.6 billion a year, a new Fraser Institute report tells us — bears an important lesson for Quebec and everywhere else. It’s not a new lesson. It’s probably the second most important lesson in economics, after “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” but it bears repeating. It is: “Things are complicated. You never know what unintended consequences you’ll produce once you start tinkering.”Lehrer and Kottelenberg’s study is based on detailed, one-to-two-hour, face-to-face interviews StatCan does every two years with tens of thousands of parents, so the data are pretty rich. And they’re linked with kids’ scores on tests of motor skills, social development, vocabulary, hyperactivity, attention, separation anxiety and so on. What are the apparent effects of Quebec’s daycare policy? Moms do end up working outside the home more. Kids get more of their care outside the home, with boys getting more care in institutional daycare centres than girls do. And, as mentioned, parents’ interaction with their kids changes. In fact, girls are most hard done by as a result. As the authors write, “Following the policy introduction parents of children aged 0-3 significantly decreased the amount of time spent doing activities with their child, focusing on their child, reading to their child, and laughing with their child. [Quebec discourages laughter! You read it here first.] These estimated declines are approximately twice as large for girls relative to boys.”Biasing parents’ choices toward entering the formal work force rather than staying home during their kids’ infancy and providing buckets of TLC and intimacy is not obviously the best way to maximize well-being, even if it were great for GDP or the public finances.READ MORE: http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/william-watson-quebecs-subsidized-daycare-costs-a-whopping-2-6-billion-and-the-children-may-not-be-better-offKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Coronavirus: Footballers treated as ‘guinea pigs’ — Rooney

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: US intelligence community probing Wuhan lab theory 43% of Americans turn to ‘comfort buying’ in pandemic – Study Rooney picks Messi over Ronaldo Wayne Rooney has slammed the government and football authorities have treated footballers as “guinea pigs” during the coronavirus outbreak. Elite football in Britain has been suspended until at least April 3, with the Premier League saying “conditions at the time” will determine its return. “For players, staff and their families it has been a worrying week,” Rooney said. “One in which you felt a lack of leadership from the government and from the FA and Premier League.” Writing in his column in the Sunday Times, the former England captain said: “The rest of sport – tennis, Formula 1, rugby, golf, football in other countries – was closing down and we were being told to carry on. “I think a lot of footballers were wondering, ‘Is it something to do with money being involved in this?’. Why did we wait until Friday? Why did it take Mikel Arteta [Arsenal manager] to get ill for the game in England to do the right thing? “After the emergency meeting, at last the right decision was made – until then it almost felt like footballers in England were being treated like guinea pigs. “I know how I feel. If any of my family get infected through me because I’ve had to play when it’s not safe, and they get seriously ill, I’d have to think hard about ever playing again. I would never forgive the authorities.” Now 34, the former Everton and Manchester United player is just over two months into his time as a player-coach at Championship club Derby. The Rams are currently five points off a play-off berth in the second tier with nine games of the season remaining, and Rooney believes there will have to be a radical restructure of the football calendar to allow fixtures to be fulfilled. “We’re happy to play until September if the season extends to then, if that’s how it has to be. That’s our job,” Rooney added. “As long as we know we’re safe to play and it’s a safe environment for spectators, we’ll play. “The next World Cup is in November and December 2022, so you could actually use this situation as an opportunity and say we’re going to finish the 2019-20 season later this year, then prepare for 2022 by having the next two seasons starting in winter.”Tags: Coronavirus outbreakGuinea pigsWayne Rooneylast_img read more

Parika Defenders capture Ramesh Sunich birthday celebration softball

first_imgPARIKA Defenders continued their rich vein of form when they captured a softball tournament, played in excellent conditions for cricket, under lights at the famous Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) ground, in honour of the birth anniversary of Ramesh Sunich of Trophy Stall. They defeated Mike’s Wellman in a five-over final.In semi-final number one, Wellman got the better of Floodlights by 27 runs. Wellman won the toss and batted first amassing a challenging 182 all out in their 20 overs.Sheldon Purch led the way with a solid 67 and got support from Greg DeFranca with 32 and E. Lovell 24. Bowling for Floodlights, Uniss Yusuf took 2 for 31 and birthday boy Sunich 2 for 41 off 4. In reply, Floodlights finished on 155 all out with Patrick Khan 45, Khalid Baksh 31 and Anil Beharry 23. Doing the damage for Wellman was R. Ganesh with 2 wickets. In semi-final number two, Parika Defenders made a challenging 195 to defeat a Canadian-sponsored team with former Essequibo senior cricketer Ucil Armstrong leading the way with 66, Kabash 38 and Anthony Arjune 25. Bowling for the visitors, Ramo Malone and Anand took two wickets apiece. In reply, they made 122 all out with Malone returning to top-score with 63 – the only score of substance.In a reduced five-over final, Parika Defenders won by 20 runs. Bheesham Persaud and Ucil Armstrong were the outstanding batsmen for Parika Defenders while Rawl Reid took 4 wickets for Wellman. Several trophies donated by Trophy Stall were shared out as incentives.last_img read more

AAG National Senior Championships| Archibald, Gustave 100m champions on day one

first_imgYOUNG upcoming track star Emmanuel Archibald dismissed veterans Winston George and Rupert Perry in the Men’s 100m to become the sprint champion of Guyana yesterday, at the National Track and Field Centre (NTFC), Leonora, while Barbados-based Guyanese Jovanna Gustave outclassed Junior champion Kenisha Phillips to become the 2019 female 100m champion in an action-packed day one of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) National Senior Championships.Archibald produced one of the finest runs of his career so far with an explosive start, a smooth cruise through the middle and a powerful finish down the back stretch, to cross the finish line ahead of Olympian Winston George in a time of 10.26 seconds to establish his dominance on the national scene.Meanwhile, George had to settle for silver with a time of 10.36 secs, while GDFG athlete Rupert Perry made a welcome return to the podium grabbing bronze with a time of 10.45 secs.On the distaff side, guest athlete Gustave showed her class and power to finish with the gold medal in a time of 11.61 secs ahead of junior champion Phillips who had to settle for second this time around in 11.73 secs. GDF’s Tonya Rawlins claimed bronze in a pedestrian time of 12.02 secs to round out the podium spots.Barbados-based Guyanese Jovanna Gustave (left) crosses the finish line ahead of Kenisha Phillips to win gold in the Women’s 100m event.In the field, there was an unusual upset as University of Guyana student-athlete Ruth Sanmoogan beat last year’s female long jump champion Chantoba Bright; Sanmoogan had a best leap of 6.02m to cop gold ahead of Bright, who recorded a best try of 5.86m, with Keliza Smith claiming third place with a best effort of 5.59m.Bright had her second silver of the day when Natrena Hooper outjumped her in the women’s high jump event by some height; Hooper’s gold came courtesy of a 1.75m best effort while Bright had 1.65m with Shantel Browne settling for bronze with 1.60m.Meanwhile, in the middle distance events, the Men’s 1500m Police athlete Anfernee Headecker reigned supreme with a gold medal time of 4 minutes 01.7 secs with Marlon Nicholson coming in second in 4 minutes 09.81 secs while Ronell Newton copped bronze in 4 minutes 22.53 secs.In the females 1500m, Aaliyah Moore grabbed gold in 4 minutes 56.45 secs as Kissana Glen finished second (5 minutes 02.88 secs) and Tia Azore (5 mins 34.10 secs) claimed third place.Action continues today at the same venue from 10:00hrs with the 200m events timed to run off from 14:00hrs. Admission is just $300 per person.last_img read more