Category: ozntkthm

Hot Shot! Rita Moreno’s Lesson in Being Awesome Is in Session

first_imgListen, Rita Moreno is an EGOT winner with a heart of gold, so we were more than thrilled to tail her to P.S. 212 in Hell’s Kitchen for a good cause. The actress extraordinaire was there to read to young students in Spanish and promote her new animated Latino children’s series, Nina’s World, airing on the Sprout Network. How lucky are these first graders to have a private audience with Ms. Rita?! View Commentslast_img

New Sorghum Disease

first_imgPreliminary reports from Australia include several detrimental affects on animals fedinfected sorghum grain. Dairy and hog producers report poor weight gain, feed refusal andreduced milk production in their animals. Wilson said this is the first time he has seen a disease progress from “insignificant to globalimpact” in just two years. Also known as honeydew disease, ergot attacks sorghum florets before the seeds areformed. The infected flowers don’t produce grain, which reduces the grain yield. “It most likely won’t affect this year’s crop,” Wilson said. “I’d be surprised if any farmerseven see it this year.” Ten days later, the disease had spread across the entire field. “This is evidence of thedisease’s tremendous capability of spreading,” he said. Researchers expect the disease to spread through Georgia. But it’s unlikely to greatlyaffect meat prices here, said George Shumaker, an Extension Service economist with theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Jeff Wilson, a USDA plant pathologist, has found the disease in sorghum fields at theUniversity of Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, Ga. “They’ve been spraying with fungicides which have added $20 to the grower’s cost of a50-pound bag of seed,” Wilson said. Georgia farmers grow sorghum mainly as a hog, poultry and wild bird feed. Each yearthey harvest an average of 30,000 acres of sorghum for grain. In future years, however, Wilson said farmers may have harvesting problems with theirlate-planted sorghum due to the disease’s sticky nature. Ergot is spread by wind, rain, insects and humans. It can be transferred from field to fieldon clothing and farm equipment.center_img Ergot, a fast-spreading disease that recently caused million-dollar losses in Australia, isnow in Georgia, says a U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist. Wilson identified the first report of ergot in Georgia on Sept. 8 in a Tifton field. The firstsighting consisted of “a few isolated seed-heads.” The obvious external sign of the disease, Wilson said, is a sweet, sticky fluid exuding fromthe flowers. As the disease progresses, the sticky honeydew drops onto the seeds, leavesand ground, making the grain hard to harvest. The good news for Georgia growers is the disease’s timing. Today, after living with the disease for two seasons, Australian sorghum growers arereporting losses from 10 percent to 100 percent in hybrid seed production. The disease was first found on the Western Hemisphere in 1995 in Brazil. By ’96 it hadentered Mexico. Ergot was found in Texas in March ’97. One month ago, it was reportedin Kansas. Ergot was found in Australian sorghum fields in 1996. Less than a year later the diseasehas spread across the continent into all sorghum-producing areas. “When it costs more to produce grain,” Wilson said, “it costs more to feed animals andbuy meat products.” “Georgia sorghum is no more than 1 percent of the grain used for feed in the state,”Shumaker said. “It is hardly fed to cattle at all. Georgia farmers grow sorghum grainmainly as a feed for hogs and poultry.”last_img read more

Governor Wolf Orders Flags at Half-Staff to Honor the Victims of the San Bernardino Shootings

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Flag Order,  National Issues,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – In accordance with the President’s proclamation, Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all United States and Pennsylvania flags at the Capitol Complex, Commonwealth facilities and all public buildings and grounds throughout the state lowered to half-staff effective immediately. This is a mark of respect for the victims of gun violence that took place on December 2, 2015, in San Bernardino, California.“Pennsylvanians thoughts are with the victims, their families, and the entire San Bernardino community following tragic mass shooting there,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This violence is absolutely senseless.”Flags will return to full-staff at 12:00 am between December 7th and December 8th per the President’s order.All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Wolf Orders Flags at Half-Staff to Honor the Victims of the San Bernardino Shootingscenter_img December 03, 2015last_img read more

Environmental lobby group backs creation of ex-fossil fuel index

first_imgKevin Bourne, managing director at FTSE, told IPE that, while it was not for FTSE to dictate for customers, including pension schemes, to divest, it would provide solutions to do so.“Institutions are either engaging with fossil fuel companies, tilting away from carbon or in some cases divesting,” Bourne said.“It is not for us to say whether our customers should divest, but if there are those that wish to, we have made sure we have a product in that space.”Bourne said that while some customers may use the index to divest from fossil companies, others might use it to measure and model the index over time to use within risk-management processes for overall portfolios.The idea of divestment over moral and ESG issues has sparked debate throughout the industry.The UK’s Law Commission explained environmental factors could be taken into consideration for divestment, overruling previous requirements focusing solely on financial return.However, the Environment Agency Pension Fund, a £2.2bn (€2.7bn) scheme, was recently urged not to divest from fossil-fuel stocks held passively and told to engage with companies over their carbon exposures.A senior legal figure also recently said UK local government schemes may divest but only if members are not financially affected.FTSE’s index works on an exclusion basis and will remove any company that conducts exploration or production in oil, gas and coal, has revenues from coal mining, crude petroleum or gas production, or is proved to have reserves in coal, oil or gas.Gordon Morrison, also managing director at the index firm, said that, due to the nature of the index, it would remain sensitive to the performance of the excluded stocks.“We are not managing the risk of these companies,” he said.“We have tracking error in the portfolio, so we would not expect to track the main indices closely, but it is not a variable we are looking for. So we will get the resulting performance and are sensitive to resulting performance of the excluded stocks, and will never avoid that.“There will be a trade-off between the expected risk and expected reward.”ShareAction, a UK lobby group, welcomed the launch of the index.Chief executive Catherine Howarth said: “We will be bringing them to the attention of UK pension funds whose beneficiaries are demanding stronger attention to the financial risks presented by climate change and climate regulation.” The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has funded the creation of FTSE Group’s ex-fossil fuel index, for global passive investments excluding exploring, mining and reserve holding companies.FTSE created the index at the request of the NRDC, a US-based lobby group, which will also provide a seed investment.The pair also worked jointly with asset manager BlackRock, which will launch a fund matching the new index using seed finance from the lobby group.FTSE said the request from the NRDC was not to create a bespoke index for its own equity investments but one that could be used as an industry benchmark.last_img read more

UK roundup: £43bn asset pool hires Robeco for engagement mandate

first_imgSource: Pension Protection FundThe UK’s private sector funding shortfall has shrunk significantly in the past few yearsEngineering institute strikes £50m de-risking dealThe UK’s Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) has sealed a £50m pension fund buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation.The transaction covered 300 previously uninsured members of the IET Superannuation and Assurance Scheme.According to Hymans Robertson, which advised the scheme’s trustees, the deal was struck at “favourable” pricing in the second quarter of this year. This led to “a material improvement” in the scheme’s funding position.The IET fund previously completed a £30m medically underwritten buy-in in 2015. “We were really keen to find a partner that would be able to help us develop our voice, to deliver the things that both our partner funds and central government had asked us to do,” she added.Although the voting and engagement mandate was predominantly focused on equities, Elwell said the pool expected it would work with Robeco “to think about how we embed responsible investment in some of the other asset classes”.Border to Coast has 12 partner local authority pension funds and is in the process of creating a regulated investment company to manage their assets.It recently joined the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and became a signatory to Climate Action 100+. It is also a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the 30% Club Investor Group, which seeks to increase gender diversity.UK DB deficit falls below £90bnThe combined funding shortfall of the UK’s private sector defined benefit (DB) pension schemes fell to £86bn at the end of June, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).The DB lifeboat scheme’s 7800 index showed a reduction of £8bn, or 8.5%, during the month. However, this was still significantly higher than January’s £51bn figure, which was the lowest total deficit recorded by the 7800 index since April 2014.The aggregate funding ratio across the 5,588 schemes tracked by the PPF was 95% at the end of June.Andy Tunningley, head of UK strategic clients at BlackRock, warned that equity market gains that had helped raise funding levels might not last: “Schemes should make the most of the sunny outlook while it lasts – while equity markets remained buoyant in June, escalating geopolitical tensions and uncertainty over the viability of the latest Brexit proposal could cause unexpected downpours in the shape of equity market volatility which may remove funding level gains over the last year.He added that the potential for an increase in the UK’s base interest rate meant there was a risk of increased funding costs for UK schemes exposed to floating rate derivatives. “Financing costs are set to increase and trustees should ensure they have prepared adequately for the change in season by giving thought to using their spare collateral to earn additional return, such as through absolute return bond funds or securitised assets,” Tunningley said.Boris Mikhailov, investment strategist at Aviva Investors, agreed that pension schemes should “brace themselves for an even choppier ride”.“Without a clear game-plan, most schemes will be none the wiser if markets start moving against them,” he warned.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The Border to Coast Pensions Partnership has hired Robeco to perform voting and engagement services.Through its “active ownership” service Robeco will provide voting advice and support for the £43bn (€48.7bn) public sector asset pool’s actively managed equity holdings – both for internally managed and externally managed assets – and engage on the pool’s behalf.Border to Coast CEO Rachel Elwell told IPE Robeco’s approach appealed because “for us responsible investment isn’t pink and fluffy, it’s about improving partner fund outcomes”.Another draw was that the research and analysis Robeco carried out for its voting recommendations could be embedded into Border to Coast’s own investment processes, she said.last_img read more

​Velliv gets tough on aggressive tax planning by asset managers

first_imgIn practice, Velliv said this meant it would run more checks on its unlisted investments and participate in schemes such as the United Nations’ (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which works to promote fair taxation.“We are in dialogue with the initiators of the Danish Tax Code (ATP, PFA, Pension Denmark and Industriens Pension), which we fully support. It is a strong initiative for the unlisted investments, and we would also like to help focus on the listed investments – and the international aspect,” said Kjærgaard.The four Danish pension funds he mentioned formed the agreement on tax practices by external managers this summer, after ATP, PFA and PKA moved to distance themselves in 2018 from Australia’s Macquarie when the bank was named as part of an international tax scandal last year.The funds agreed on principles to stamp out aggressive tax planning, such as a call for transparency in the field of tax and for external managers to adopt their own tax policy.Earlier this year, Danish labour market pension fund PenSam also added tax as a special area in its responsible investment policy following a number of high-profile scandals.The fund said it would investigate any companies it invested in if they paid less than 10% tax on their total earnings, or if a firm had placed all its profits in a country with a low tax rate, for example, adding it would extend this to include companies that issue equities and corporate bonds. Danish pension fund Velliv — formerly Nordea Liv & Pension Denmark — says it is cracking down on aggressive tax planning among its asset managers in listed and unlisted investments.The move follows action by four of Denmark’s largest pension funds to lay down a set of common principles on responsible tax behaviour in August.Thomas Kjærgaard, Velliv’s head of investment governance, said: “We want to ensure that our partners pay a fair tax and avoid using aggressive tax planning.”The DKK255bn (€34.1bn) pension provider said it is introducing new tax practices for its investments, under which it will actively work to avoid aggressive tax planning among the company’s managers for unlisted investments in future, increase efforts in relation to listed investments and enter into cooperation with other investors to promote responsible tax practices.last_img read more

Behnzin calls for a ban on the issuing of Dominica’s passports

first_imgDominican passport. Photo credit:thedominican.netFormer Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin is calling for a ban on the sale of Dominican passports by the Roosevelt Skerrit Administration.According  to Behanzin, apart from the ongoing investigations into a passport scam on the island -in which three persons were charged-Dominican passports are being sold by government under the Economic Citizenship Program.He said the issue with the passport its that, “essentially you could put it in the hands of would be terrorists”.He further explained that the reckless way in which the birth certificates are being issued also puts the country at risk.Dominica Economic Citizenship Program is a legal program based on the law and guaranteed by the Government. Your Dominica citizenship is for the lifetime and may not be revoked, no matter of changes of officials or the governmental policy.Dominica Vibes News 15 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Tweetcenter_img Share LocalNews Behnzin calls for a ban on the issuing of Dominica’s passports by: – July 11, 2011 Sharelast_img read more

Kalibo SP OKs use of street for makeshift stalls

first_imgKALIBO, Aklan – The SangguniangPanlalawigan (SP) here penned a Special Ordinance which allowed public marketvendors to occupy half of the street’s lane.  He added the other half should stillbe used by motorists and pedestrians to minimize traffic congestion in the areaespecially during the Holiday season. In the Ordinance, the SP has allowedvendors – who were affected by the fire at the Kalibo Public Market last month– to momentarily use Toting Reyes Street here across the public market to selltheir goods.    The same Ordinance also mandates thelocal government here to monitor the traffic situation in the said street andto implement measures to ensure safety, health and sanitation in the occupiedstretch. Gov. Joeben Miraflores, however, saidthe Ordinance specifically allowed affected vendors to only occupy half of thestreet’s lane starting from Roxas Avenue Extension to F. Quimpo StreetExtension which spreads to 220 meters.   The use of the street to house themakeshift stalls will last for three months – the deadline given by theprovincial government for the local government here to find a relocation sitefor the affected vendors.  The SP declared that junctions alongthe area of the said street should not be used by vendors or should not bebarricaded by them to avoid traffic congestion. An estimated 35 million worth ofproperties went up in smoke after fire gutted around 276 stalls at the marketon Sept. 15, which made the way for the declaration of the State of Calamityhere.   Miraflores is set to releaseadditional fund support to the affected vendors following the approval of theSP.(Radyo Todo/PN)last_img read more

Batesville Spring Sports

first_imgBatesville High School’s tradition of winning athletic programs continues with spring sports.  Yesterday’s article chronicled the track program which is near and dear to my heart since I have been involved in that program over 50 years.  However, the girls tennis team, the boys golf team, and baseball team are all enjoying winning seasons.I will individually report on these sports after their seasons have concluded.  The girls tennis program is led by Bryan Helvie who will be leaving this program to become the school’s athletic director in July.  Alex Davis is the head coach of the baseball team.  Bryan Hoeing has already verbally agreed to continue this sport at the University of Louisville after he graduates next year.  He is considered one of the top pitchers in the state of Indiana.  The golf team is coached by _____ and Ben Siefert.  The golf team is led by a veteran group of senior golfers. Unfortunately, the girls softball team this spring lost their starting pitcher to an injury and has struggled because of that.  As most of you know, pitching is everything in girls softball.  This program has been very successful in past years.last_img read more

Franklin County Recruit Graduates From Law Academy Training

first_imgFrom left to right: Sheriff Kenneth A. Murphy, Deputy Jeffrey B. Staat, and Sgt. Gregory M. Mehlbuaer.BROOKVILLE – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department will soon have a new officer on patrol.Deputy Jeffrey B. Staat, Jr. graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Basic Training Course. Staat graduated from the 202nd Session of the I.L.E.A on Friday July 11th and began his Field Training Program on July 13th.The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Basic Training Course consists of over 600 hours of training in all areas of Law Enforcement.  This training provides students with working knowledge of criminal and traffic laws, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, physical tactics, EMS awareness and human behavior.  Deputy Staat also received extensive training in accident investigation, criminal investigation, domestic violence, and sexual assault, as well as other areas of basic law enforcement.Deputy Staat was asked about the most challenging part of the Basic Training Course. He explained getting into the daily para-military routine that the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy operates under proved to be the biggest change.Deputy Staat is currently completing his final step in his training by entering the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department Field Training Officer (F.T.O) program.  This F.T.O. program consists of three months of on-the-job supervised training.    Completion of this program will allow Deputy Staat to execute all law enforcement duties.last_img read more