There’s something terribly unnerving about having your smartphone stolen or lost. Even more worrying: A savvy saboteur may be able to hack into your bank accounts, mobile payment apps and credit card applications. Once inside, he could drain your bank accounts, use them for a shopping spree or even steal your identity, wreaking havoc on your credit and finances. continue reading » If your phone falls into the wrong hands, a smart thief can gain access to your professional, social and other personal information. “It’s very daunting when you realize that we leave an enormous trail of breadcrumbs [on our phones],” says Adam Levin, chairman and founder of IDT911, an identify theft solutions company, and author of “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.” 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU tomorrow will monitor the House Financial Services Committee mark-up of the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10), slated for 10 a.m. Eastern, and will make credit unions aware of any legislative updates to the bill affecting the industry.The CHOICE Act contains numerous NAFCU-sought measures, including Durbin interchange amendment repeal and other Dodd-Frank Act reforms. Two separate hearings were held on the bill last week; one which often cited the Dodd-Frank’s impact on the current regulatory environment and credit unions.NAFCU encourages credit unions to reach out to their members of Congress and seek support for repealing the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin amendment through NAFCU’s Grassroots Action Center.In hearings this week:The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will examine the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Slated for 10 a.m. Eastern, the hearing includes witnesses from the Association for State Floodplain Managers and others. continue reading »
17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Amanda Reed Web: www.CUInsight.com Details “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt DisneyWhen you start thinking about digital transformation, it can be easy to go down the rabbit hole and feel overwhelmed with all the details that might entail. To start, take a step back and look at the job that needs to be done instead. When you look at the big picture, and you ask the right questions, it’s not scary at all. It’s exhilarating.Today at THiNK17, we focused on determining what exactly what is it that we are trying to accomplish – for ourselves, for our employees, for our members. If we don’t know what it is that we are trying to solve, what our real job is, then we are never going to be able to transform. To help you through the process let’s take a cue from Disney…A few years ago Disney released the now iconic Magic Bands. They have a variety of purposes but it all started when they began listening to guest complaints. They didn’t like waiting in line or keeping up with hotel keys, things like that. Now it would’ve been easy(ier) to solve these problems individually, but instead Disney took a step back to look at the big picture. What was causing friction in an otherwise “Magical Experience”? But it isn’t just about accomplishing a task for a guest or a member, it’s about creating a better overall experience that helps employees as well. What they found was that moving to this system allowed their employees to focus on the interaction and creating a special moment, instead of just making one transaction with them.Today as you go about your work day, take a moment to think about the deeper needs of your members. Why is it that they are looking to you to complete a specific task and how can you help ease the friction in their daily lives so that you can move them from feeling ordinary to extraordinary. Once you start that thinking process, then you’re already on the path to digital transformation.
10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Rep. Paul Cook, R-Calif., along with several fellow representatives, sent a letter Wednesday to the Department of Defense urging the department to exempt credit unions from the July 2015 amendments to the Military Lending Act.“It has come to my attention that the July 2015 amendments have caused numerous financial institutions to eliminate products and services, many of which have been relied on by servicemembers and their families,” the letter states. “Of great concern, I have heard from credit unions that they are being forced to cut back on, or eliminate, products that help find solutions for credit for servicemembers and their families that may have few, or much worse, other options.”The letter acknowledges that while the MLA changes “have proven effective in broadening the scope of products and services targeted by … lenders, it has also had the unintended effect of creating barriers for good actors seeking to serve the military with highly regulated and safe products and services. Particularly, I am concerned about the unintended consequences on the thousands of credit unions, serving 110 million consumers including servicemembers.” continue reading »
9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » $1.6 billion Sunova Credit Union, Selkirk, Manitoba, boasts one of the youngest, most energized (and top performing) credit union teams in North America. Year after year, they’re leaders in sales generation and member satisfaction. Turnover is low (9.43 percent in 2016), and the CU’s work environment conducive to growth and collaboration.Unlike models built around the C-suite, success stems from a business model that recognizes and rewards front-line staff first and eliminates unintended barriers (perceived or otherwise) between the corporate office and branches.“You can choose to compete in price, product or service delivery, but not all three,” reflects CEO Edward Bergen, CCD, CCE, a CUES member. “Being the lowest in price is difficult, and since associates are often the first point of contact with members, we wouldn’t want them to be the lowest paid. We recognize their value and have built a business model focused on fostering long-term, mutually beneficial relationships and delivering exceptional service.”
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » FDIC Board Member Martin Gruenberg this week made clear that relief language in S. 2155 regarding the Volcker rule is intended for community banks – not all banks regardless of asset size as some have argued. Gruenberg’s conclusion on the intent of the language supports NAFCU’s view, which was shared with the FDIC and other bank regulators earlier this month.“There has been some discussion that the new statute can be read in a way that would allow any bank, regardless of asset size, to be exempt from the Volcker Rule if its trading assets and liabilities are five percent or less of its total consolidated assets … This was not the intent of the new statute as I understand it … I believe it is clear that this statutory exemption … appl[ies] only to banking organizations with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets and that the limitation on trading assets and liabilities is an additional limitation placed on this defined group of banking organizations,” Gruenberg said.In a letter to the OCC, FDIC, Federal Reserve, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission, NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt gave a similar explanation to the intent of this portion of S. 2155. She further noted that the Volcker rule is a “critical reform that emerged from the financial crisis which addresses, among other things, the riskiest of all investment behaviors – investing in private equity or hedge funds using a bank’s own accounts for the bank’s own benefit.”
At the end of the day, if I had to list everyone that has made an impact on my life, my list could be endless. I’m constantly longing to make a positive impact in the world and I hope those around me are too. No matter where you are in life, it’s important that we work to be the best people we can, with a purpose in mind. If we do that, we’ll truly make an impact. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Katie Nehl A born and raised ranch girl from small town North Dakota, Katie started her credit union journey six years ago, with First Community Credit Union (FCCU). After working three years … Web: myFCCU.com Details A few weeks ago, I was visiting with a coworker and she told me I was the reason she stayed at her job. Confused and shocked, I asked for more details. “What do you mean I’m the reason you’re still working here?”, I asked. She went on to tell me, an article I wrote at my former job two years prior, about never giving up, was the reason she stayed at her job. After a streak of bad luck at that credit union and a tough few months due to an upcoming merger, she had her office all packed up, ready to quit that day. After hearing her tell this story, I was stunned. How could my words really make such a lasting impression? What are the odds that now we both work for the same credit union and are coworkers? If you’re like me, somedays you wonder if what you’re doing is worthwhile. I love my job and I truly feel like I’m making an impact, but on occasion, even outside the office, doubt can set it. With work duties, home responsibilities, spousal responsibilities and more, somedays life is just hard. I’m usually a glass half full type person, with a positive mindset, but we all have our bad days. However, in that moment, after hearing my coworkers’ story, I had no doubt life had led me to the place I am supposed to be. I think we all need those reminders now and then, that we are making an impact. Whether it’s an impact on our family, a positive impact in the lives of friends, strangers or even our credit union members. Here’s a few tips how you can live a life, making an impact at your credit union.Listen: Listening to the needs of those around you, to your members and co-workers can play a huge role in making an impact. Without takin the time to listen, how will you ever know what that member needs? How will you ever know your spouses or kids dreams and goals? Listening is a simple, yet crucial aspect. When we take time to sit, listen and get to know those around us, we can learn what makes them happy, what goals they have and how we can help impact their life. It’s a simple thing, that takes time, patience and practice to be a good listener. I encourage you to put the phone down, engage with those around you and listen to what knowledge others have to offer.Be Real: Being true to yourself sounds so simple, yet so hard. Do you wake up every day with passion and the fire under you to do what you love? Or do you wish for something different? When you’re not true to yourself, you abandon your goals, desires and dreams. You pass off bad emotions or vibes you get when being around certain people because you want them to like you, therefore, sometimes not acting like yourself. Being your real, true, genuine self is what can help you be happier and keep your integrity for what you believe. Being real and authentic can be a life-long practice, where you know and understand your strengths, don’t worry about the mistakes and dream big—not to mention you’re not afraid to laugh at yourself. This authentic self, can be contagious and make a positive impact for those around you.Work for a Cause, not Applause: We all know or have that one person in our lives that works for the glory, the applause and to add another achievement to their list, which is just fine. Har worker are good workers. However, sometimes, remember to work hard for a cause and not just the applause, is better. The hard part, might be finding your cause and what you want to work for. Is it your job? Your members? Your family? It’s important to remember, nothing in life comes easy, especially not without you giving it your all. When you’re questioning how to give more and work for a cause, try starting small. Give more of your time, give more of your love, give more of the money you spend going out on weekends to charity instead- the list goes on. You were put here on this earth for a reason, don’t forget to give more and use every ounce of that wonderful talent you were given, for a positive cause.Remain Positive: Growing up, if I missed a calf in breakaway or tipped a barrel, I’d often not only be mad at myself, but my horse, as well. Nonetheless, I got a reality check quite often when I was constantly reminded by my father to have more of a positive attitude. When I left the trailer, he explained that I needed to have a positive attitude, focus on my next task at hand and ultimately focus on my job at the time, rodeo. If I let my negative thoughts get to me, I often did poorly in the rest of my events. The same is in life or at your office. If you think negatively, your actions will be negative. Garbage in-garbage out. Conversely, if you think positively, your actions most times will be positive. Positive attitudes in the workplace can lead to improved communications, better teamwork, increased morale and high productivity. In addition, having a positive attitude, can make you more approachable and can be more impactful on those around you. Be Thankful: A simple thank you can go a long way. I’ve witnessed it, I’ve felt it and been impacted by the power of both getting and not getting a thank you. When we go through life expecting things, without being grateful and thankful, that’s when life can take a turn for the worse. I’ll be honest, there’s many days when a thank you, means more to me than the action I did to receive the thank you. A thank you can truly impact someone’s life, far beyond that moment, for many years, in fact. The point is, be kind to everyone you meet. You never know what they might be going through. A thank you, a congratulations to your coworker, an uplifting note and even a kind heart can make the biggest impact on someone’s life.
2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details Social media came on the scene around 20 years ago and it changed the world forever. That’s especially true with members and the way they deal with having a bad experience. It used to be that “Karen” would just walk right up and ask to speak to a manager (that of course still happens), but now they can use their Facebook and Instagram accounts to blast their complaints out to anyone who will listen.So, what can you do about it? Honestly, there’s not a whole lot you can do if someone decides they want to vent their frustrations to all 127 of their Facebook friends, but you can try to stop those frustrations before they start. One place you can begin to look is your member service department. Here are three reasons people hate member service…They feel like they’re having to wait forever: Obviously call volume can be a lot busier at certain times of day, but if a member doesn’t feel like you’re prioritizing their problem, you may see their loyalty start to slip away. If you’re understaffed or just unusually swamped, it’s okay, but make sure to keep callers informed so they can prepare themselves to wait.They feel like nobody wants to help: When you have a problem and you’re trying to get help solving it over the phone, it really stinks to be passed around. We’ve all seen Home Alone. When Kevin’s mom tries to call their local police department from Paris, her call gets passed around like a White Elephant gift. Playing hot potato with a member’s concerns won’t make anyone feel like a priority. Think about a time this has happened to you. It gets really frustrating when you’re telling your story for the third time.They feel like you’re not prepared: People who call you for help actually need help. If a member doesn’t feel like you’re ready to go to battle for them when it comes to fixing their problems, they’re not going to feel very supported. That kind of defeats the purpose of a member support line.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Long Beach teenager has admitted to fatally beating and strangling an 18-year-old Lynbrook woman who was found dead in Rockville Centre nearly two years ago.Maxwell Sherman pleaded guilty Friday at Nassau County court to second-degree murder. A charge of sex abuse was dropped in exchange for his plea.Authorities have said that the 19-year-old killed Lauren Daverin, who was found by witnesses on the Mill Pond footbridge between Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road in August 2013.Sherman later told Rockville Centre village police that he had been assaulted on the footbridge that night and confirmed that he was the last person on the bridge with the victim after a group of other people left, prosecutors said.A witness also told investigators that he saw Sherman on top of Daverin on the bridge, authorities said. The witness later identified Sherman in a photo array.Judge Meryl Berkowitz is expected to sentence Sherman to 18 years to life in prison on June 11.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A New York City police officer from Farmingdale and his wife have been arrested for allegedly violating a court order banning them from owning animals after they were convicted of fatally neglecting a dog, Nassau County prosecutors said.Danny Neira, 43, and his 34-year-old wife, Rose, were charged Thursday with criminal contempt. Judge James Darcy set their bail at $500.Prosecutors said a judge had signed an order in February banning the couple from owning animals for five years after they were convicted of animal cruelty in 2012.In that case, the couple had failed to provide food or veterinarian care to their emaciated pet Great Dane, which died after being removed from their home in 2010, prosecutors said.Despite the ban, investigators found a dog, a cockatoo and a tarantula in the couple’s home, authorities said.If convicted, the Neiras’ face up to one year in jail. They are due back in court June 4.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By NY Auto GiantThe hottest crossover/SUV on the market has gotten even hotter.Honda has made several improvements to its CR-V—2014’s highest-selling crossover/SUV—elevating the United States’ most popular hybrid and creating a whole new automotive driving wonder in the process.Updated with a direct-injected 2.4-liter engine with CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission), innovative new safety features, improved occupant protection, new projector-beam headlights, daytime LED running lamps, brighter trim and upgraded electronics, among other additions, the jazzed-up 2015 Honda CR-V has been wowing both drivers and critics alike.“It remains the finest jacked-up Civic hatchback you can buy,” gushes Car and Driver. “It’s just that modern car-based crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V, with its elevated driving position; 70-plus cubic feet of cargo space (with the rear seats down); friendly fuel economy, ride, and handling; and available four-wheel drive, offer pretty much everything today’s buyer needs in such a vehicle.” Head down to NY Auto Giant and get behind the wheel of your own 2015 Honda CR-V!Expert reviewers at Kelley Blue Book are equally impressed.“Against the Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and others, the CR-V is the best-selling SUV of the decade and, for 2015, it has even more to like,” one writes. “There’s attractive new styling, appealing features and noteworthy technology, and the 2.4-liter direct-injection engine with continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) delivers more power, performance and fuel economy.“The new CR-V is available in multiple trim levels and with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD),” the review continues. “Safety features are class-leading, there’s a new Touring upper trim level and, if that isn’t enough, the new CR-V represents an exceptional value for the money. No wonder owners love it.”Click Here To Learn More About NY Auto GiantThe 2015 CR-V has more power under the hood and boasts smoother, quieter, more responsive performance. Some say she sings like a bird! It also has better fuel economy than its predecessor, advanced safety features, and an overall enhanced appearance!Don’t take our word for it, though—head in to NY Auto Giant’s Atlantic Honda, Millennium Honda or Advantage Honda, fall in love, and drive home one of your own today!
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 54-year-old woman drowned in the pool in the backyard of her Miller Place home on Tuesday night, Suffolk County police said.A family member found Erin Attard unresponsive in the semi-in-ground pool at 8 p.m., police said.She was taken to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where she died.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation but believe the incident is non-criminal.
“Lastly, we want to thank the greatest fans in the world. Your support this season was unbelievable from start to finish. We know that support would have continued as we were making a historic run towards the playoffs. Be safe, be healthy, and we’re already looking forward to the 2020-21 season!” “The Binghamton Devils fully support the decision made by the American Hockey League to cancel the rest of the 2019-20 season. The health and safety of our fans, players, partners, and staff are the top priority.” The Binghamton Devils released the following statement: After a remarkable season which ended with the Binghamton Devils going on a seven-game win streak, the franchise also thanked fans in Binghamton. “Like” Nicole Menner on Facebook and “Follow” her on Twitter. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The American Hockey League has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-2020 season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This cancellation includes the Calder Cup playoffs. The Binghamton Devils finished with a 34-24-4-0 record. For more information on the cancellation of the season, you can visit the Binghamton Devils website.
JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — The Johnson City Fire Marshall says the fire at 67 Albert St. was accidental in nature. No injuries were reported. The Fire Marshall says the fire was caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials” on the second floor front porch. Five adults were displaced from the fire but are able to stay with friends and family.
(WBNG) — While the talk of the town may be the beginning of the reopening process, one Binghamton financial advisor is urging everyone to proceed with caution. Sydlansky stresses that many lenders understand the current situation and will be willing to work with borrowers to adjust their repayment plan. He says believe it or not, you and your lender actually have a common goal. Sydlansky says that since the crisis has meant people are staying at home more many are saving money on things like gas, trips to restaurants, and recreational activities. He says this is not only an opportunity to save money but to take a look at where you can make cuts. If you do end up with an excess amount of cash because you’re spending less money during the crisis, Sydlansky says resist the urge to spend or invest it. With recent talk of a possible second wave of the virus, Sydlansky says the best thing you can do to prepare for the remainder of the crisis is to create and maintain an emergency account. He says the goal should be to have funds to cover three to six months of expenses. If you are unable to set aside that extra cash and find yourself struggling due to the crisis, he says to take a look at ways to reduce your biggest expenses such as car payments, mortgage bills and student loans. “Refill your emergency account. there could be a second wave and we could be doing this all over again in three or four months where the service industry is shut down so I would say prepare for this to happen again,” he says. “Start with something even if it’s 5, 10, 20, dollars out of a paycheck, you’ve got to start somewhere” he says. “Once you get into the habit it will be a lot easier to keep that going.” “I would encourage people to see where their spending has been the last month or two and say ‘wow I’ve been without that cup of coffee and I’ve been without that trip to the movies if I needed to I can cut back on this.'” “You want to learn from a situation like this if you weren’t prepared this time learn what you can do differently in the future,” said Paul Sydlansky of Lake Road Advisors. “Reach out to some of your lenders and see if you can negotiate, see if you can get rates lowered and see if you can get payments skipped,” he says. “Ultimately they’re going to want to work with you to help you out in the short term because they don’t want you to default on that loan or have problems in the long term.”
In Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold and home to most of Atlanta, Mr. Biden narrowed the margin by more than 18,000 votes between 5 p.m. and midnight as the work of processing and tabulating the votes continued. In DeKalb County, also part of the metropolitan region, Mr. Biden narrowed it by an additional 5,000. The next update from Georgia’s secretary of state is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday.Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, said that as of 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, about 90,735 ballots still needed to be counted. More than a third of them were in Fulton and DeKalb counties. ATLANTA — The presidential race in Georgia appeared headed for a photo finish as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. steadily gained ground on President Trump. The victor will be awarded 16 electoral votes.Mr. Biden began Wednesday morning approximately 100,000 votes behind Mr. Trump, but as county elections workers around the state continued the laborious tabulation of absentee ballots into Thursday morning, Mr. Trump’s lead narrowed to 23,000 votes, or 0.5 percent. Under Georgia election law, a candidate may request a recount if the margin is 0.5 or less.- Advertisement – Republicans in Georgia were nervously assessing the vote count and promised to file lawsuits in a dozen or more counties aimed at knocking off votes here and there. The first case, filed in Savannah on Wednesday, was an effort to chisel away 53 ballots that Georgia Republicans said had arrived too late to be counted. If the trajectory of Mr. Biden’s gains continued, it appeared he could overtake Mr. Trump in Georgia by the final tally on Thursday. The question was whether additional absentee votes from rural and more Republican areas would offset enough of Mr. Biden’s gains to preserve Mr. Trump’s lead.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
BioNTech reported on Monday that the vaccine efficacy rate – above 90% – had been reached a week after the second dose. Protection would be achieved 28 days after the first vaccine dose. Out of 43,538 participants in the trial, 94 Covid-19 cases were confirmed.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
In addition to the new enhancement, Zoom now allows meeting participants to report a disruptive user by clicking the top-left Security badge. This is in line with how hosts and co-hosts have the ability to report disruptive users and trolls from the Security icon. Moreover, account owners and admins can enable reporting capabilities for non-hosts.Zoom has enabled both the Suspend Participant Activities feature as well as the ability for meeting participants to report a disruptive user on its desktop clients for macOS, PC, Linux, and mobile apps. The features will also reach its Web client and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) later this year.Zoom has also brought its At-Risk Meeting Notifier that scans public social media posts and other websites to look for publicly shared Zoom Meeting links. It automatically alerts the account owner by email on detecting a meeting that appears to be at high risk of being disrupted. Meeting hosts will also receive advice on steps that could include deleting the vulnerable meeting and creating a new one with a fresh meeting ID, enabling enhanced security settings, and using solutions like Zoom Video Webinars or OnZoom.- Advertisement – Zoom has added new security features to help prevent disruptions during virtual meetings and allow users to remove and report disruptive participants. The video conferencing app is also bringing a tool called At-Risk Meeting Notifier that helps alert hosts about the meetings that are at high risk of being disrupted and getting trolled by some individuals. Zoom meetings are still quite popular as people continue to work from home due to the pandemic. However, online disruptors and trolls are actively impacting virtual conversations and causing what is commonly known as Zoombombing.One of the latest security enhancements implemented by Zoom is the ability to let hosts and co-hosts temporarily pause their meeting and remove a disruptive participant. All you need to do is click on the Security icon and then select Suspend Participant Activities. This will stop all video, audio, in-meeting chat, annotation, screen sharing, and recording. It will also end Breakout Rooms.- Advertisement – Zoom already has over 300 million users, with a large number of people using it as their daily communication tool. This makes it necessary for the platform to help eradicate Zoombombing and allow users to safely communicate with their peers.Apart from limiting trolls, Zoom is also busy uplifting security by rolling out end-to-end encryption and working with regulators on addressing user privacy concerns.How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. Zoom will also ask the host or co-host if they want to report a user from their meeting and share their details. This will remove the reported user from the ongoing meeting and will notify Zoom’s Trust and Safety team.“Hosts and co-hosts may resume their meeting by individually re-enabling the features they’d like to use. Zoom will also send them an email after the meeting to gather more information,” the company said in a blog post.Zoom has by default enabled the Suspend Participant Activities feature for both free and paid users.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Shaping tee shots from right to left on the second, eighth, 10th and 13th holes means shorter approaches, often from flatter lies than the rest of the field. This requires a level of confidence that even the best golfers can’t conjure every week. But those who find it here end up playing a simpler golf course than those who do not.Consistent contactMost elite professional golfers hone their swings on the practice tee, hitting tens of thousands of shots from perfect, flat lies. Augusta National confronts them with multiple variables, the primary one being the sidehill lies they must contend with on practically every non-tee-shot full swing.What’s more, the tendency of the setup staff to groom the fairway grass toward the tee box means the players face a preponderance of into-the-grain lies, which demand absolutely solid contact not just on full shots, but on greenside pitches and chips as well.Course managementTiger Woods’ combination of prodigious power and sublime skill in executing golf shots has caused many fans of the game to overlook what might be the greatest asset in his career at the Masters: his mind, and particularly his ability to dissect a golf course. Tiger Woods is a five-time winner at The Masters
Jan 5, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A 9-year-old boy from southern Vietnam died of H5N1 avian influenza yesterday, according to news services.The death of Thach Phung marks the first reported fatality due to avian flu since late October, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) tally, which has stood at 32 deaths and 44 total cases since then.The boy was from Cang Long district of the southern province of Tra Vinh, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. He had been in contact with infected poultry, developed a high fever and was taken to a local hospital, according to the AFP report of comments by the deputy director of Tra Vinh provincial hospital. The boy was transferred to the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City on Jan 3, where he tested positive for avian flu.A 16-year-old girl from southern Vietnam’s Tay Ninh province was diagnosed with the H5N1 flu last week; she remains hospitalized in Ho Chi Minh City on a respirator, AFP reported today. (Her case has not yet been included in the WHO’s case count.)The two latest cases may herald a long winter in a region buffeted in 2004 by human deaths and the loss of millions of poultry from disease and culling. Six provinces in Vietnam have reported new outbreaks of H5N1 in poultry in recent weeks, according to data from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). At least 22,000 birds have been culled since early December to stop the disease from spreading, officials said in an AFP report.The resurgence of avian flu in Vietnam comes at a time when many Vietnamese are looking forward to a traditional festival that includes eating poultry.“The demand for poultry consumption always booms when Vietnamese people prepare for the traditional lunar new year festival in early February,” Bui Quang Anh, animal health department director, said in comments reported by AFP.The government is stepping up control measures, according to a Jan 5 online story by Kyodo News of Japan. Ha Tay province, for example, is giving money to people who discover outbreaks early. Prime Minister Phan Van Khai banned movement of sick poultry from affected areas and is seeking increased monitoring, especially along the Chinese border, AFP reported.Poultry movement is also being closely watched in Malaysia. Officials there today declared the country free of avian flu, emphasizing that internal and external movement of poultry would be strictly supervised, according to a story by Bernama, Malaysia’s national news service.Malaysia will maintain its ban on importing chickens, ducks, and eggs from affected countries, officials were reported as saying.“The threat is still high as neighboring countries are still grappling with the disease,” said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, with the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry. The last report of a case was on Nov 22, 2004.Movement of fighting cocks from Kelantan state remains prohibited, he added. The H5N1 outbreak, which began last August in Kelantan, was attributed to fighting cocks smuggled from Thailand.Movement of poultry in Kelantan will now be allowed, but exporting from there requires a permit, the story noted.
Aug 9, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Reports from Vietnam say a 35-year-old man who died Jul 31 had H5N1 avian influenza, although official confirmation from the Ministry of Health is still to come.Pham Van Lu, of the Ben Tre province in the Mekong Delta, is reported to have slaughtered and eaten two chickens with H5N1 and to have fallen ill with a high fever thereafter, according to a story in Thanh Nien News. Verification of his case as H5N1 came from the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Ming City, the story says. This represents the first human case in Ben Tre.In other developments, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) received a report yesterday from Mongolia of dead migratory birds. The report came from Dr. Ravdan Sanjaatogtokh, Director of the State Veterinary Services. The birds affected were migratory ducks, geese, and swans in the Erhel Lake area in the Kovsgol province near the Russian border.The OIE report puts the number of dead birds at 80 and says they died of an A-type influenza, with subtyping in progress. An Agence France-Presse (AFP) today says 86 birds are dead at Erhel Lake and more wild birds have died at Khunt Lake in central Mongolia and in the south Gobi Desert. More than 100 people living near Erhel Lake have been quarantined, and tourists have been asked to stay away.Meanwhile, the European Union has banned imports of live birds and feathers from Russia and Kazakhstan, both of which have had avian flu outbreaks in domestic poultry recently. Eggs and poultry meat have also been banned, although the two affected countries do not export these to the EU, Reuters reported.The avian flu circulating in Khasakhstan has been confirmed as H5N1, but whether the infection in the Novosibirsk, Altai, and Omsk regions of Siberia has been confirmed as H5N1 remains unclear from reports.Russia’s chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, seems convinced it is. He is quoted in a second AFP story today as saying, “There is every reason to believe that . . . the H5N1 strain of bird flu has been transferred by wild birds from Southeast Asia. . . . The sub-type circulating among animals can reasonably be expected to cause sickness among humans.” He also said avian flu was carried by wild fowl in the previously unreported regions of Tyumen and Kurgan, although he did not specify the viral subtype there.See also:CIDRAP case count table for human cases of H5N1
Von Eschenbach commented that Acheson’s experience and scientific expertise will help the FDA keep pace with the “rapid transformation of the food safety system due to advances in production technology, rapid methods of distribution, and the globalization of food sources.” In his new job, Acheson will work with the FDA product centers and its Office of Regulatory Affairs to coordinate the agency’s food safety and defense assignments and commitments, officials said. May 1 FDA news releasehttp://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01622.html Von Eschenbach said Acheson will advise him on “strategic and substantive food safety and food defense matters,” an FDA news release states. One of Acheson’s first jobs will be to develop an “agency-wide, visionary strategy for food safety and defense.” In a comment he qualified as highly speculative, Hedberg added, “Dr. Acheson is certainly developing the credentials of someone who might be chosen to lead such an agency.” Craig Hedberg, a foodborne disease expert at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, said the FDA action suggests that the agency is focusing more attention on food protection. David Acheson, MD, will be assigned to the new job, said FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach. Acheson is chief medical officer and director of the Office of Food Defense, Communication and Emergency Response at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). At CFSAN, Acheson has had the lead role in emergency response and in communication with industry, states, and consumers. Acheson will assume his new position immediately. He will report to Dr. Murray Lumpkin, deputy commissioner for international and special programs, who reports to von Eschenbach, according to FDA officials. May 1, 2007 (CIDRAP News) The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the creation of a new assistant commissioner position to provide guidance on food safety and defense strategies. In 2006, Acheson often served as a spokesman for the FDA during the investigation of a widespread Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak related to bagged fresh spinach and similar outbreaks linked to lettuce served by taco restaurant chains. Faye Feldstein, who has been Acheson’s deputy director at CFSAN, will now serve as acting director of the CFSAN Office of Food Defense, according to an FDA spokesman. “The strategy will identify and characterize changes in the global food safety and defense system, and identify current and future challenges and opportunities,” the FDA said. “It will also name potential barriers, gaps, and most critical needs in a food safety and defense system. The strategy will serve as the framework in helping the agency prioritize and address food safety and defense challenges.” “It seems to be elevating the importance of food protection (both food safety and food defense) within the FDA,” he told CIDRAP News by e-mail. “By pulling this position out of CFSAN and putting it up at an assistant commissioner level, it establishes it as a priority concern of the commissioner.” The move also establishes Acheson as “a key national leader for food protection,” he added. See also: Hedberg, who is an associate professor of environmental and occupational health, also commented, “I think this is certainly a response to the recent [foodborne disease] outbreaks and the congressional attention they are getting. I think Dr. Acheson has done a good job in public appearances, and if talk continues to develop about the need for a single food safety agency, this move could lead to an administration attempt to coordinate food safety through FDA.” (The FDA shares food safety responsibilities with the US Department of Agriculture; the USDA generally regulates meat and poultry, and the FDA oversees other foods.)
In the period from 18 to 23 January 2018, the largest and most visited camping fair in the Netherlands will be held. It is a fair “Caravan“, Which will be held in the city of Leeuwarden and where, among others, camping equipment companies offer their offer, as well as more than 200 campsites from all over Europe. The Croatian National Tourist Board will also perform at the 66 m2 stand, during which six co-exhibitors will present their offer: Cresanka – Camp Kovačine Cres, Valalta Rovinj, Jadranka Camps Mali Lošinj, Vranjica Belvedere, Camping Association of Croatia and Hadria Camp Straško, report from the CNTBIn 2017, this fair was visited by more than 47.000 people and was attended by more than 400 exhibitors on an area of over 45.000 m2 of exhibition space. We add that the camping segment in the Netherlands is richer this year for another award that focuses on experiences during your stay at the camp. This is the award “The Ultimate Holiday Feeling”. There is also the “Camping Experience of the Year” award, which is jointly awarded by the online camping platform Campingnavigator.com and the “Caravan” fair. Thus, the winning camps will be announced in the following 6 categories: Wellness-Spa, Sport & Activities, Culinary, Nature, Silence and CyclingCroatian National Tourist Board for the first time at the fair in IndiaThe CNTB points out that for the first time they are organizing a performance at the OTM fair, which will be held in Mumbai from 18 to 20 January 2018. The performance will be realized in cooperation with the tourist boards of the city of Zagreb, Dubrovnik-Neretva and Zadar counties. It is a business fair, and the Croatian offer will be presented at a stand of 30 m2.
After the establishment of summer flights of KLM aircraft to Split, i Air France got involved in opening new summer air routes.For 2018, they have prepared flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Bari in Italy, Cagliari in Sicily, Ibiza in Spain and Perpignan in France. But the most important thing for us is certainly the decision of this airline to establish new flights in the summer season and for Dubrovnik – the pearl of the Adriatic, a city of unique cultural and political history, part UNESCOof this World Heritage List since 1979.With the establishment of Air France’s seasonal flights, both domestic tourists and passengers have the opportunity to travel by Air France planes to Paris, and then to other world destinations. Air France aircraft will fly from June 19 to September 1, 2018, twice a week with Airbus A2 aircraft.Air France – KLM is a world leader in international transport with departures from Europe. In collaboration with its partners, Transavia and HOP! in 2016 they offered their travelers 320 destinations in 114 countries around the world. With a fleet of 534 aircraft and 93,4 million passengers carried in 2016. Air France-KLM from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and Charles de Gaulle in Paris have 2200 flights a day.The Flying Blue frequent flyer loyalty program is the leader in Europe with 27 million users. Air France – KLM is also a member of the Skyteam group of 20 airlines offering access to a global flight network with more than 16270 flights a day to 1057 destinations in 179 countries.
Four years ago, in 2014, the first integral hotel ZigZag was opened, and today, after successful growth and positioning, ZigZag changes its name to Irundo.ZigZag, a domestic company, a pioneer in the segment of professional management of apartments for short-term rent, will now operate under the name Irundo. It is a top tourist service that offers its guests the best of private and hotel accommodation. Apart from the guests, the advantages of this business were also recognized by the apartment owners, so under the Irundo brand, in six cities and three countries, over 200 apartments found their place.By changing the name ZigZag to Irundo, it wants to position itself as a modern company for all adventurers who expect top-class accommodation, but with a sense of home. The branding agency Fabular is responsible for the development of the new brand strategy, new name, slogan and brand concept, while the Manasteriotti DS studio has created a new visual identity.“Based on the new brand strategy, we realized that a name change was necessary to communicate our new story more strongly. Our brand is named after the swallow (lat.hirundo) migratory bird that always returns home to its nest, and can also be read I-run-do because we always want to encourage guests to go out and get to know the city through the eyes of its inhabitants. Our guests are looking for a warm feeling of home, to which they return with pleasure after an exciting day spent in the adventure of exploring a new city. We have united exactly these wishes of the guests in our new slogan “Be adventurous. Feel at home. ” explained Igor Kordić, COO Irundo.Urban adventure Irundo, at the moment, has about 70 employees, but it will not stop there. Since 2011, when the company started operating, until now, over 10 million kuna has been invested in the company. New accommodation capacities and the creation of new jobs are also planned. The success of this business model is confirmed by the fact that they are filled almost all year round, with an average of over 75 percent, and are visited annually by people from all over the world.Services of this type of accommodation are used by different profiles of people. Irundo guests are families, groups of friends, business people, musicians, directors, young and old. They all have one thing in common, they want to have the feeling of home on the trip, and still be located in the city center and know that they will get a standardized and quality service.Owners of the integral hotel Irundo (ZigZag Apartments) Igor Kordic and Tomislav Zovko.Photo: Petar Glebov / PIXSELL”Through our access to the apartments, we have created a “golden mean” between typical private accommodation and a hotel. This is what more and more guests are looking for. This is exactly what Irundo presents and offers to all its guests. This year, in addition to rebranding, we also introduced other news. We have improved and standardized internal processes. We provide our guests with top customer service support that offers all useful information and support 0-24. We are also expanding our accommodation capacities. Irundo dictates the industry standards in Croatia, which put us alongside similar foreign companies in Western markets and world capitals”Said Tomislav Zovko, CEO of Irundo, adding that the interest in this type of accommodation is growing every year, which confirms the continuous growth.In just seven years of operation, the young company has confirmed continuous growth and prospects for all employees and partners, as well as confirmation of the success of the business model. The plan is to continuously invest in the quality and development of the company in order to further strengthen its organizational structure and be ready for new expansions and acquisitions in the future, concludes Zovko.
LIST OF NEW DIRECTORS OF THE CNTB REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE ABROAD On that occasion, the Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli pointed out: “The new director of the CNTB office in London is expected to do a challenging job of further positioning our country in the British market, from which we have achieved a 35 percent growth in tourist traffic over the past two years, and where we continuously carry out various promotional activities.” RELATED NEWS: The director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, said that he believed that the newly elected director of the CNTB Representation in London would justify the trust in the UK market with her work and engagement, which increasingly participates in the overall results of Croatian tourism. Agencije Hills Balfour u popisu svojih klijenata navodi razne globalne turistike destinacije, od USA, Čile, Dubai, Qatar, Beč, Las Vegas itd… In order to better promote the Croatian tourist offer in domestic and foreign markets, great attention is paid to communication with key publics, while the work of the Croatian Tourist Board is supported by authorized PR agencies, the CNTB said. The British agency Hills Balfour is in charge of drafting and implementing the CNTB’s PR strategy Thus, in the next four years, he will manage the promotion of Croatia on the territory of Great Britain Darija Reić who gained part of her professional experience working in the Hong Kong Tourist Board and TUI, one of the world’s largest tour operators. By the end of the year, the UK agency will be responsible for the development and implementation of the PR strategy and the implementation of international PR activities in the field of media relations, social media and online communication, as well as events and PR projects for the CNTB in thirteen emitting markets. Hills Balfour. At the 50th session of the Tourist Board, decisions were made on the selection of a PR agency for cooperation in 2019, and a new director of the representations of the Croatian Tourist Board in Great Britain, based in London, was appointed.
Let’s tell stories, our authentic stories. That is the very essence of tourism. The main star of this largest vineyard in the Croatian south is plavac mali, a variety that has been planted in almost 90 percent of Pelješac vineyards. Although the wine cellars are scattered along the entire rural part of Pelješac, you will experience one of the most beautiful Pelješac oenological stories in the wider area of Ston. In the settlement of Putniković, surrounded by vineyards that rise above the most beautiful Adriatic beaches, visit the first Croatian Museum of Viticulture and Enology and the House of Wine Tradition. Thus, every guest of the Pelješac peninsula can find out and experience how wine on Pelješac has become a way of life. Da li neka destinacija može tražiti više od toga? Kada tome pridodamo cijeli poluotok Pelješac, blizinu Dubrovnika ( inače za gradnju Stonskih zidina zaslužna je upravo Dubrovačka Republika ) , otoke Mljet i Korčulu, kao i dolina Neretve – možemo svakako zaključiti kako je Ston i cijeli taj prostor vrhunska destinacija. Da vam ispričam jednu priču – priču o “malom”, ali velikom Stonu kao vrhunskoj top destinaciji. #We live it. You will love it! Visit Ston Solana Ston enjoys status the oldest active saltworks u Europi, moguće i u svijetu, te najveće sačuvane u povijesti Sredozemlja. Tzv. bijelo zlato na tom su području počeli eksploatirati i brati još i stari Rimljani, a na podjednak se, prirodan i tradicionalan način – uz pomoć mora, sunca i vjetra, morska sol i cvijet soli tamo proizvode i danas. Nevjerojatno, zar ne? Did you know that oysters have long been known as an aphrodisiac? The longest walls and the oldest saltworks in Europe, the best oysters in the world, the empire of Plavac mali, a traditional way of life and indescribable peace. It is all Ston, a destination of great values and authentic stories. Just as oysters celebrated Ston on the gourmet map of the world, so quality Pelješac wines have positioned the entire Pelješac peninsula at the very top of the oenological scene of the world. „Zaštitnik znak” Stona su monumentalne zidine koje su, s dužinom od 5,5 km i visinom između pet i deset metara, uvjerljivo najduže zidine u Europi i others by length in the world (right after the famous Great Wall of China!). Doživjeti šetnju među najdužim zidinama na svijetu, okusiti morsku sol iz najstarije aktivne solane u Europi, kušati najukusnije kamenice na planeti, nazdraviti životu proslavljenim vinima, plivati u čistom tirkiznom moru – treba li nam više od toga? A destination that Dubrovnik must sell and every Dubrovnik guest must experience Ston and this destination in a broader sense. Just to remind everyone of their wealth, the Ston Tourist Board presented new videos with which it continues its #We live it campaign. You will love it! Visit Ston The gastronomic delicacy that celebrated Ston and put it on the gourmet map of the world is oyster. Nije tajna da za tom morskom školjkom iz Malostonskog zaljeva uzdišu gurmani diljem svijeta, tvrdeći da je upravo stonska kamenica najukusnija i najsočnija na svijetu. Stonska kamenica nepresušna je inspiracija za chefove koji je u tamošnjim restoranima i konobama pripremaju na niz kreativnih načina. Ipak, svi su suglasni da je najukusnija kada je svježe izvađena iz mora, dakle sirova, te pokapana s tek nekoliko kapi limunovog soka.
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Topics : Log in with your social account Indonesian-forests mobile-application satellite-imagery forestry land-use LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? Facebook Linkedin Youths in South Sumatra have been encouraged to take part in efforts to replant degraded forests through a mobile application that crowdsources data on land use change across the country.Hidayah Hamzah, the project manager of RESTRORE+, the organization behind the initiative, said the app, called Urundata, was available on the Google Play store.Hidayah said the project had started in November and would run until March. Participants, she said, would receive a status as #PahlawanData (data heroes).“At the moment, we are aiming for 1.8 million participants, especially youths or university students,” she said, adding that the activity was conducted in four other provinces as well.The data collected, she said, would form the basis for a land and forest restoration map that the government and other parties could use for restoration efforts.She… Google
Linkedin Topics : Facebook The government plans to install rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on at least 800 public buildings across the country this year as it steps up its renewable energy push to lessen reliance on fossil fuels.The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has allocated Rp 175 billion (US$12.76 million) to install the solar PV panels on, among others, boarding schools, clinics, orphanages, government offices and police stations in 17 provinces. All of the buildings are owned by regional administrations, which are to cover the panels’ maintenance costs.“We need to show these administrations that solar panels are worth it,” the program’s head, Puspa Dewi, who is also the energy ministry’s renewables infrastructure director, said in Jakarta on Wednesday.She said the allocated funds would not include the cost of the batteries for the PV panels because of b… LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? Google Log in with your social account Indonesia renewable-energy rooftop-solar-panels Energy-Mineral-Resources-Ministry regions eastern-Indonesia
“Meanwhile, other hospital staff are still using the regular surgical masks provided by the Maluku Health Agency. More special masks for hospital staff might arrive soon,” he added.BN, who is studying international relations, arrived in Ambon on Feb. 7 in poor health following a visit to Malaysia, which had at least 19 confirmed coronavirus cases at the time of publishing.Read also: Health Ministry maintains it follows WHO procedures to test for coronavirusMagretty Saumlaki hospital director Fulfully Nuniary said earlier on Thursday that a physical examination showed that the patient was in stable condition and had not exhibited any additional symptoms.Indonesia has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date. (dpk)Topics : The family of the 19-year-old student with suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been prevented from visiting the patient at Magretty Saumlaki Regional General Hospital in Tanimbar Islands regency, Maluku, which has placed the student in isolation.The student from Sifnana village, identified only as BN, was placed in the recommended 14-day isolation from Wednesday, when DN was admitted complaining of a fever and difficulty breathing after returning from Malaysia on Feb. 7. The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.Read also: University student becomes first suspected case of coronavirus in Maluku “Starting today, we have put the patient in full quarantine. Therefore, contact with relatives is prohibited,” Tanimbar Islands Health Agency head Edwin Tomasoa told The Jakarta Post on Saturday, adding that he had suggested that the family check the BN’s condition by phone or WhatsApp.Edwin said the hospital was following the Health Ministry’s standard operating procedure in managing suspected COVID-19 cases, and that the medical workers assigned to the patient had been equipped with special masks.
Lithuania reported its first coronavirus infection on Friday, in a woman who returned this week from a visit to Italy’s northern city of Verona, the government said, as the disease spreads rapidly worldwide.Hopes that the virus would be contained to China vanished, with countries beginning to stockpile medical equipment and investors taking flight in expectation of a global recession.In a statement, the Lithuanian government said the woman had been isolated in hospital in the northern town of Siauliai following her return on Monday.She has been under observation since, and is showing only slight symptoms, with no elevated temperature at the moment, it added. Topics :
Topics : The third reopening phase would only take place if the number of infected and hospitalizations did not “increase more than expected,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.Night clubs, music venues and gyms would remain shut until the fourth phase of the reopening which is expected to start by the beginning of August, it added.Denmark was among the first countries to restrict public gatherings and close schools, restaurants and bars in a lockdown that quickly helped curb the spread of the virus, meaning it was also one of the first European countries to open up again.So far, 10,083 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Denmark, a country of 5.8 million people, and 514 have died of the disease, according to data from health authorities. Danish museums, amusement parks and cinemas will be allowed to reopen from June 8, the government said on Friday, after it struck a deal with parliament on how restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 could be eased further.In the third phase of its reopening plan, Denmark will also increase the maximum number of people allowed to meet in public to between 30 and 50, up from a 10-person limit, it said.Danish shopping malls, schools for the oldest students and restaurants will be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks said the government late on Thursday as it enters the second phase of reopening after curbing the spread of the virus.
Topics : It was the first time that Cuba was not certified since 2015. It joined the ranks of four other US adversaries — Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.”Cuba’s refusal to productively engage with the Colombian government demonstrates that it is not cooperating with US work to support Colombia’s efforts to secure a just and lasting peace, security and opportunity for its people,” the State Department said.Colombian President Ivan Duque, a conservative ally of the United States, broke off talks with the ELN after a January car bomb attack on a Bogota police academy killed 21 recruits.The militants have been demanding, unsuccessfully, that Colombia grant safe passage for its negotiators to come back from Cuba. ‘Victim of terrorism’ In Havana, a foreign ministry official in charge of relations with the United States responded that Cuba was in fact “a victim of terrorism.””There is a long history of terrorist acts committed by the US government vs. Cuba and complicity of US authorities with individuals and organizations that have organized, financed and executed such actions from US territory,” Carlos F. de Cossio wrote on Twitter.Cuba on Tuesday demanded an “exhaustive investigation” into terrorism over the April 30 early-morning shooting incident at its embassy in Washington. Police arrested Alexander Alazo, who is originally from Cuba, for firing 32 rounds at the embassy, which suffered bullet damage. No one was injured. Havana said Alazo frequented an evangelical church in Florida popular among conservative US politicians.”I call upon the United States to explain these links” between Alazo and people or groups “who support the current US administration but are inciting hatred and violence against Cuba,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said. In a court filing, the Secret Service said that Alazo had been prescribed psychiatric drugs after complaining of hearing voices and had been living in his car for nine months, saying he feared Cuban organized crime figures.The 42-year-old unsuccessfully tried to set ablaze a Cuban flag and instead waved a US flag and “yelled towards the Cuban embassy that he was a Yankee,” the Secret Service said.Referring to the purported mental health issues, Rodriguez said, “If there was hatred in Alazo’s actions, it was hatred induced by the aggressive language of the US administration.”The State Department earlier condemned the shooting and said the United States was committed to protecting diplomatic missions.Rodriguez linked the shooter to a church in the Miami suburb of Doral, a hub of Venezuelans who have fled their country’s crumbling economy. Cuba is a key ally of Venezuela’s leftist leader, Nicolas Maduro, whom the United States is trying to remove. Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech last year at the church, the Doral Jesus Worship Center, where he called Cuba’s leaders “the real imperialists in the Western Hemisphere.” The State Department certification falls under the Arms Export Control Act and will have little practical effect on Cuba, which does not buy weapons from its long-time foe.But the step is the latest by Trump to increase pressure on Cuba and move away from the reconciliation efforts undertaken by his predecessor Barack Obama.The move is separate from a US designation of state sponsorship of terrorism, which has far-reaching legal effects.The Obama administration removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2015, although Trump’s State Department has flirted with putting it back on.The ELN is said to operate in about 10 percent of Colombia but is a smaller player than the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which reached a landmark peace agreement with the government in 2016. The United States and Cuba traded accusations of support for terrorism as President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday blacklisted the communist island, saying it had not fully cooperated on counterterrorism.Washington increased the pressure on Havana just one day after Cuba urged a terrorism probe over gunfire that hit its embassy in the US capital.The State Department faulted Cuba over the presence of Colombia’s leftist ELN rebels, who traveled to Havana in 2017 to negotiate with the Bogota government but have not returned.
Topics : The Turkish government and businesspeople have expressed their interest in building infrastructure in Indonesia, including for the new capital city to be developed in East Kalimantan.Turkish Ambassador to Indonesia Mahmut Erol Kilic said only a few dozen Turkish companies were operating in Indonesia despite the latter being the world’s 16th biggest economy and the largest in Southeast Asia.“Of course, we have more capacity than this, especially in the field of constructon, as Turkey had really successful projects in Astana, in Doha and in many other [places],” he said during the Turkey-Indonesia contracting sector business forum, which was held online on Tuesday. “We are eager to enter the Indonesian market.” Indonesia’s infrastructure development has captivated Turkish contractors as they are eager to expand their market in Asia after being involved in many projects in Eurasia and the Middle East.“We would like to diversify our market; we would like to find new markets, and we are more focused on Indonesia and the Phillipines,” Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said in the same event.Turkish Contractor Association (TCA) data show that South Asia and Far East countries contributed only 3 percent to the more than 10,000 projects worth $403 billion in 127 countries that the association’s members have had from 1972 up until May.“We hope our contractors can take part in [more Indonesian projects], especially with regard to moving the capital city. Our engineers and constructing companies are very much willing to take part in such projects,” said Pekcan. In addition, Turkish companies were interested in toll roads, energy facilities, waterworks and transportation-related infrastructure, he added.Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuldjono encouraged both countries to have follow-up working groups to talk further about possible cooperation, such as on the trans-Sumatra toll road and water dam projects. “This is the opportunity for Turkish contractors to come and participate in constructing the toll road, either as contractors or as investors through public-private partnerships,” said Basuki.He also invited Turkish architects to see the new capital’s urban planning design and welcomed future discussions.Indonesian Ambassador to Turkey Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said it was the right moment to tighten bilateral ties as the Indonesia-Turkey trade volume was quite small at only $1.6 billion in 2019.Meanwhile, Investment Coordinating Board (BPKM) data show that Turkey’s total direct investment to Indonesia amounted to $24.8 million last year, placing Turkey 29th on the list of foreign direct investors. Indonesia has been extensively developing infrastructure in the last five years to help support its economic growth. Public Works and Housing Ministry data show that the government has built 1,500 kilometers of new toll roads, 3,867 km of other roads, 58,346 meters of new bridges and 61 water reservoirs during the period of 2015 to 2019.According to the ministry, Indonesia plans to add 2,500 km of toll roads, 3,000 km of other roads, 60,000 m of bridges and 35,000 m of overpasses and underpasses from 2020 to 2024.Indonesia currently has 223 key national projects worth around Rp 4.2 quadrillion (US$295.25 billion) on its priority list, ranging from seaports and airports to special economic zones and priority tourist destinations. Recently, the government announced a plan to add another 89 projects to the list for the next five years. It also plans to move its capital city from Jakarta to North Penajam Paser in East Kalimantan, with construction to begin in 2021 and estimated to cost Rp 466 trillion.
A South Korean court ordered Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong Un to compensate two former prisoners of war who spent decades as forced laborers in the North, in a move that could set a far-reaching legal precedent on the divided peninsula.The ruling was the first time a South Korean court claimed jurisdiction over Pyongyang or issued a compensation order against its leader, according to a campaign group backing the plaintiffs.The two men — one surnamed Han, 87, and the other Ro, 90 — say they were captured during the 1950-53 Korean War, but were never repatriated after the armistice that brought hostilities to a close. Instead, they say they were forced to work at coal mines and other facilities for decades until they escaped the North via China. Ro returned to the South in 2000, and Han a year later.They filed the suit in 2016, saying they had suffered “enormous mental and physical damage” in the North.The Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday ordered the North and leader Kim to pay each of them 21 million won ($17,500), a court spokeswoman told AFP.Following the ruling, a civic group supporting the two said they would take legal steps to seize North Korean assets under Seoul’s control, such as copyright fees for Pyongyang’s state TV. Topics : By the end of the war, there were 170,000 North Korean and Chinese prisoners in the US-led UN forces’ POW camps, while 100,000 South Korean and UN troops were held in the North, according to data by the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul.Pyongyang repatriated only 8,343 South Koreans after the armistice, according to the Seoul government.The South has since raised the issue many times, but the North maintained no former soldiers from the South were being held against their will.Civic groups say some 80 South Korean POWs escaped the North and returned to the South in 2000 and 2001.Lawyers representing the two men welcomed the ruling, saying a South Korean court for the first time “exercised jurisdiction” against “illegal acts committed by Kim Jong Un”.”This is a milestone ruling,” said lawyer Koo Chung-seo, adding it paved the way for further legal action by other individuals against Kim and his regime.Inter-Korean relations have been in a deep freeze following the collapse of a summit in Hanoi between Kim and US President Donald Trump early last year over what the nuclear-armed North would be willing to give up in exchange for a loosening of sanctions.
The Paris Olympics might be scheduled for 2024, but they are already feeling the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic that has seen this year’s Tokyo Games postponed by a year to 2021.”There will be better days to come, that’s for sure,” says Denis Masseglia, president of the French National Olympic Committee.Masseglia has acknowledged that the outlook for organizing committee head Tony Estanguet is “not looking good”, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the subsequent postponement of the Tokyo Games and “concern over the economic recovery coupled with a possible second wave” of coronavirus cases. More expensive? The current economic reality is that the organizing committee will have to make some cuts as key revenues from sponsors are expected to be smaller that initially forecast.Paris’ first Olympics since 1924 are set to have a budget of 6.8 billion euros ($7.71 billion) with Estanguet’s local body covering 3.8 billion euros of the cost of which some 1.1 billion euros is to come from sponsors.”We know this was an ambition that was fairly cautious. Today, it becomes a real ambition that we will have to seek,” acknowledged Estanguet, adding that “between 30-40 percent of the target had already been met”.Construction has also been hit, with Solideo, the public company expected to start work in 2021 on big projects such as the Olympic Village, which will house 10,500 competitors, expected to raise its bill due to related building costs.A prime example is the Aquatic Centre, which will be constructed just opposite the Stade de France, the existing main stadium for the Games north of Paris. The cost of the swimming venue had risen sharply from 113 million euros to 174.7 million euros by the end of April.Given the long history of Olympic budgets going well beyond their initial estimations, one source was clear about what had to happen.”Either we increase the budget” for Solideo, which amounts to 3.0 billion euros (including 1.5 billion euros of public funds from the state) “or it will be necessary to make some cuts to the projects”, the source said. But four years out from the opening ceremony in Paris, Estanguet refuses to be pessimistic.”This project presents the possibility of showing off an enthusiastic France which will welcome the world,” the three-time Olympic gold medalist in canoeing said Tuesday. Northern legacyOne of the most telling announcements for Paris organizers came in December, when the Pacific island of Tahiti was unveiled as host of the surfing competition and the iconic Place de la Concorde in Paris revealed as the venue for “urban sports” such as sport climbing, three-on-three basketball, BMX freestyle, breakdance and skateboard, guaranteeing broadcasters some dream images.But now, Estanguet is warning that the whole of the project is under review and “there will maybe be a game of musical chairs” when it comes to venues.With that game, however, comes potential political drama between the organizers and the Seine-Saint-Denis department, the poorest in metropolitan France but around which much of the Olympic legacy planning has been based — and promised — echoing the approach that the 2012 organizers took with Stratford in east London.”The heart of the Olympic Games is in Seine-Saint-Denis, and it’s a condition of the commitment of Seine-Saint-Denis in this project,” Stephane Troussel, head of the department’s council, told AFP.”There is no question of stripping our area of the tangible and intangible legacy of the Games.” Topics :
Simon Wong, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants, said the sector would lose HK$5 billion ($645 million) in revenue in July if the government were to shut down dine-in services for the month.”Even if we take subsidies from the government relief measures, we may not be able to survive this wave,” he said. A new Hong Kong ban on dining at restaurants and food stalls aimed at reining in a spike in coronavirus cases threatens to complicate life for the many people in the city who depend on eating out for daily meals.Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers live in subdivided tiny apartments, shared by multiple families and which often do not have kitchen facilities or even if they do, are too cramped to be used often.”Many people don’t cook or cannot cook. Lots of old people cannot cook. Most of my friends don’t have kitchens – they eat out for every meal,” said a car driver who gave his surname as Chong as he walked through the bustling Wan Chai district where food stalls line the streets. For the seven-day duration of the ban, people without a kitchen will have to make do with takeout or food purchased at supermarkets.The ban on restaurant dining is one of several new restrictions imposed to curb the virus – tightening a rule put in place earlier this month which forbade dining at restaurants after 6 p.m. Other restrictions announced on Monday include mandatory face masks in all public places and a ban on gatherings of more than two people.The former British colony has seen a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the past three weeks, with 145 cases reported on Monday, a daily record and the sixth consecutive day of triple digit infection figures. Since late January, more than 2,700 people have been infected in Hong Kong, 20 of whom have died.For the city’s beleaguered restaurant sector already grappling with exorbitant rents and lost business due to anti-government protests last year, the new ban only promises more pain. Topics :
The sales growth is in line with an indicative figure provided by the publicly listed company last week.“The second quarter was a challenging period particularly for the Unilever Foods Solution (UFS) unit, whose consumers are hotel, restaurant and café (Horeca),” the company wrote in a statement on July 24.The company recorded a 1.6 percent drop in net sales in the second quarter after a 4.58 percent annual increase booked in the first quarter, it said in the statement.The COVID-19 pandemic has forced customers to stay at home to help curb the coronavirus spread, resulting in drops in visits to hotels, restaurants and cafés. Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) data show that around 2,000 hotels and 8,000 restaurants closed during the first three months of the outbreak in Indonesia, which started in March. As a result, the hotel and restaurant industry lost nearly Rp 70 trillion in revenue as leisure travel came to a complete halt.“Given the challenging conditions in the second quarter, we still consider this achievement to be in line [with expectations], as we expect the economic condition to get better in the next quarters,” Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia analyst Mimi Halimin wrote in a research note on Unilever’s performance on Thursday.She expected consumer companies, including Unilever, to record further efficiencies at operating level to support their bottom line in the event the economic situation remained sluggish.Indonesia’s economic growth cooled to 2.97 percent in the first half, the slowest since 2001, as the expansion of household spending slowed to 2.84 percent from around 5 percent in the last few quarters.The government expects the economy to contract 0.4 percent at worst or grow 1 percent at best this year as it slowly reopens the economy despite the continued rise of COVID-19 cases.“As economic activities have gradually resumed since June, we still believe that there will be improvement in the third and fourth quarters,” Mimi said.The stocks of Unilever, traded at the IDX with the code UNVR, jumped 1.82 percent on Thursday as the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), gained 0.75 percent. (prm)Topics : Consumer goods giant PT Unilever Indonesia booked a slight decrease in its net profit during this year’s first half as the coronavirus pandemic hit demand.The local arm of Anglo-Dutch company Unilever pocketed Rp 3.62 trillion (US$246.46 million) in net profit during the period, a 2.2 percent decline compared to the corresponding period last year.Its net sales, meanwhile, climbed 1.4 percent annually to Rp 21.77 trillion while costs increased 0.8 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 10.59 trillion, according to its financial report filed with the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) on Thursday.
The Jakarta administration has launched a free WiFi program, dubbed JakWifi, to facilitate online learning and support the provision of government services. The program aims to optimize internet connections at 2,619 hotspots and provide 1,200 more hotspots in densely populated residential areas in North Jakarta, Central Jakarta, West Jakarta, East Jakarta and South Jakarta and Thousand Islands regency. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said internet access had become a daily necessity for all households, especially during the pandemic when people have been forced to work and study remotely.Read also: Bogor city to provide free WiFi to support online learning“The crisis has given us an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation. We hope people will not only use the free internet access to access information but also to create information, or become content creators,” Anies said during the launch on Friday.He also expressed his hope that the free WiFi program would help address the issues presented by online learning, including unequal access to internet access.JakWifi is a collaboration between the city administration, telecommunication infrastructure provider PT Bali Towerindo and the Telecommunications Network Providers Association (APJATEL).Topics :
Murray will then take to the famous court to try to progress into round three at the expense of 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.The Scotsman came back from two sets down to win a thrilling five-set match first-round match against Japan’s 49th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka on Tuesday.Murray is playing in the singles at a Grand Slam for the first time since a first-round exit at the Australian Open in 2019.The 33-year-old is trying to rebuild his injury-ravaged career with a new metal hip that was installed last year. Serena Williams and Andy Murray are back in action on day four at the US Open in New York on Thursday.Williams, the tournament’s third seed, continues her bid for a record-equaling 24th singles Grand Slam against unseeded Russian Margarita Gasparyan.The second-round match kicks off the evening session inside the main Arthur Ashe Stadium. Topics : Williams’ chances of matching Margaret Court’s record for the all-time number of Grand Slam singles titles were handed a boost on Wednesday when top seed Karolina Pliskova tumbled out of the tournament.The Czech was stunned in straight sets by France’s world number 50 Caroline Garcia.The women’s draw is missing a host of top players, either because of coronavirus fears or through injury, including top-ranked Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep.It has been more than three years since Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open — when she was already pregnant with daughter Olympia.The 38-year-old has come close since, reaching four major finals only to come away empty handed.Also on court Thursday is second seed Sofia Kenin who plays Canada’s Leylah Fernandez for a place in the third round.In the men’s draw second seed Dominic Thiem of Austria goes up against Sumit Nagal, who is the first Indian man since 2013 to reach the second round of a Grand Slam.Third see Daniil Medvedev is also gunning for a spot in the third round Thursday, taking on Australia’s 116th-ranked Christoper O’Connell.
The State Palace has maintained that Indonesia will hold the 2020 regional elections on Dec. 9, amid mounting calls from various parties for the race to be postponed as the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of letting up.Presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said the elections must be held in order to “guarantee the constitutional rights of the people, the right to vote and to be elected.”“President Joko Widodo has asserted that the regional elections cannot wait until the pandemic is over because no country can predict the end of the pandemic,” he said in a statement on Monday.“Thus, regional elections must be held under strict health protocols to ensure that they are safe and democratic.”Fadjroel cited some foreign countries, including Singapore, Germany, France and South Korea, as examples of those that had decided to go forward with their elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic and managed to hold them successfully.“Elections during the pandemic are not impossible,” Fadjroel added.He also ensured that all ministerial and related offices had prepared the regional elections thoroughly with adherence to the health protocols and law enforcement.His statement came amid calls from prominent figures asking for the government to postpone the regional elections — set to take place in 270 regions, covering nine provinces, 224 regencies and 37 cities — due to concerns over public health and coronavirus transmission.Read also: NU, Muhammadiyah call for postponement of regional elections over COVID-19 concernsJusuf Kalla, former vice president and chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross, expressed his disagreement with the Dec. 9 election plan in an opinion piece written in Kompas daily, calling it a “fatal” decision.“Forcing something that clearly endangers the lives of citizens is not only reckless, but also fatal. All political processes are supposed to be for the good of the people, not to harm them,” Kalla writes in the piece.He also voiced concerns over the high potential for widespread virus transmission during the election, as candidates would try to gain as many votes as possible through various ways, including gathering crowds.”Besides, crowds are inevitable on voting day as voters will have to stand in line for their turn,” Kalla argued.Indonesia’s two largest Islamic organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, have also called for the postponement of the 2020 simultaneous regional races, joining numerous election watchdogs, activists and health experts who have cited risks to public health and a possible low voter turnout if the elections were to be held on Dec. 9.Concerns heightened as the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) reported 243 violations of health protocols during the registration phase for the elections from Sept. 4 to 6, with many candidates taking along crowds and entourages.Three General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioners, including KPU chairman Arief Budiman, also tested positive for COVID-19 in the middle of election preparations.Topics :
Sterling extended its overnight gains on optimism about a Brexit trade deal as the European Union and Britain kicked off a decisive week of talks.The British pound edged 0.18 percent higher, fetching $1.2856 in Asian trade, having touched $1.2930 overnight.Against the euro, sterling changed hands at 90.77 pence .While both the EU and Britain said a post-Brexit agreement was still some way off, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said a deal was still possible.Separately, the pound also found support overnight as Bank of England Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said he thought the floor for the central bank’s key interest rate was 0.1 percent. Ramsden however said the BoE was “duty-bound” to consider pushing the rates below zero.The euro steadied at $1.1674, with its recovery capped by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde’s remarks that the external value of the shared currency has an impact on inflation, and that policymakers will monitor currency movements.As Europe grapples with a surge in new coronavirus infections, traders will be looking out for euro zone consumer confidence and industrial sentiment data for September for signs of any impact on the region’s economic recovery.Elsewhere, the dollar was little changed against the yen at 105.52 yen.”The problem right now is that political risks in both sides of the world are neutralising the yen momentum,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp.”I think ultimately, if we go through the inflation area impacts, the US real yields dropping more – the markets gravitate back more frequently into the yen,” he said.Data on Tuesday showed Tokyo’s core consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in September, the latest evidence of the lingering impact of the coronavirus on business activity.The risk-sensitive Australian dollar gained moderately as economists pushed back expectations for a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia to November from next week, with support also coming from the broad rise in risk appetite.The Aussie bounced off its two-month low to last trade at $0.7084, while the kiwi sat at $0.6568.Topics : The dollar held steady against a basket of currencies on Tuesday as financial markets braced for the first US presidential debate, while traders also tracked developments on the US stimulus bill.The dollar index was unchanged at 94.209, drifting away from a two-month high of 94.745 reached last week, as stock markets made solid gains partly on upbeat China data with Wall Street rebounding following last week’s selloff.All eyes are on the first US presidential election debate where Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump will square off later on Tuesday (0100 GMT on Wednesday). “If the debate puts Trump on the back foot and Biden keeps his lead, I think it could lead people to let go of their dollars,” said Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank.“The dollar market has been broadly bottoming out from low prices since mid-September. The question is what would be the trend in October,” Karakama said, adding that market participants are also keeping a close watch on any stimulus package plans.House speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday the Democratic lawmakers were unveiling a new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, a compromise measure that reduces the costs of the economic aid.Markets are also braced for a slew of data to gauge the health of the world’s biggest economy ahead of the election, analysts say, including Tuesday’s consumer confidence, a manufacturing survey and consumer data on Thursday as well as jobs report on Friday.
It has been over two years since the government set a moratorium on new palm oil development, but environmentalists say the move has failed to bring about much-needed change in the governance of the lucrative export commodity.A coalition of civil society groups said recently that the plantation ban had not resulted in significant improvements in the sustainability of the palm oil business or its impact on the environment.In September 2018, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued an executive order to suspend the granting of new licenses for oil palm concessions and ordered a review of existing plantations. “These two regulations are closely related to one another. The latter could not be implemented correctly because of the lacking implementation of the former. Meanwhile, being sustainable is vital for palm oil to be able to compete in the global market,” Teguh told The Jakarta Post this week.With the expansion of plantations starting in the 1990s, palm oil has been blamed for deforestation and loss of biodiversity. The crop is Indonesia’s second-biggest export and the most efficiently produced vegetable oil.As the world’s top palm oil producer, Indonesia has regularly touted the commodity as a solution to the country’s gaping trade deficit, as well as a livelihood for millions of smallholders.Read also: Indonesia’s palm oil sector relies on domestic demand as exports dropAccording to official data, there were 16.38 million hectares of palm oil concessions in the country as of 2019.However, Teguh said the actual number might be higher and that the state had only managed to provide data from the Agriculture Ministry in the two years since the moratorium.Data compiled by Madani from various sources shows that there could be up to 31.1 million ha of palm oil concessions and that 8.4 million hectares are unaccounted for by valid permits.Forest Watch Indonesia campaign lead Agung Ady Setyawan also criticized the lack of comparative and actual data on oil palm concessions.“The state only wants to publish the total area of oil palm concessions without indicating other attributes [such as ownership and status]. This has made it difficult for us to supervise,” Agung told the Post earlier this week.Without the proper attribution and mapping of plantations, it is difficult for observers to determine the locations of plantations and identify possible overlap.The lack of transparency in oil palm plantation data, Agung said, made it hard for environmentalists to determine whether the moratorium had contributed to deforestation amid recent findings that deforestation rates had slowed.The government is finalizing its highly anticipated One Map Policy, an integrated data map that aims to eliminate overlapping data and unify disparate mapping methods from various institutions. The project is expected to be complete by December 2020.Read also: Concerns of transparency, inclusivity raised as One Map nears completionMeanwhile, deliberations between the government and the House of Representatives over the omnibus bill on job creation may complicate the goal of palm oil sustainability, given proposals in the bill that would loosen environmental protections.Indonesian Center for Environmental Law researcher Adrianus Eryan said the government should instead try to improve business practices in the palm oil industry by making sense of the available data, evaluating all existing permits and accurately measuring palm oil productivity.“The good initiative [of the moratorium] has barely run its course and the government is already trying to pass an omnibus bill that doesn’t fix the core problem [with palm oil],” Adrianus said.Palm oil productivity has not improved by much despite an ambitious target set by palm oil companies in 2011 to produce 9 tons per hectare per year by 2020. According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), productivity was only 3.2 tons per hectare per year in 2019.Topics : If the ban and the reviews were carried out in accordance with Presidential Instruction (Inpres) No. 8/2018, the process was expected to help clear up uncertainty about the rights of smallholders and boost productivity on existing plantations.But more than two years later, the order has yet to be properly implemented, despite signs that the government wants the palm oil industry to be more sustainable, said Teguh Surya, chairman of the Madani Foundation, an environmental NGO.Based on an analysis by Madani, only one provincial and three regency administrations have issued follow-up regulations; five provinces and five regencies have shown clear commitments to implementing the ban; and another 19 provinces and 239 regencies have yet to take any action.This has contributed to slow progress in implementing the Inpres and other relevant provisions, including Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 44/2020 on the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil certification.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been told his three priority signings (Picture: Getty)Nigel Winterburn says Arsenal manager Unai Emery needs to bolster his squad with a wide player, a central midfielder and a top-class defender this summer.The Gunners failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season after only winning one of their last five league fixtures.Arsenal can still qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League, however, and face domestic rivals Chelsea in the final at the end of the month.Emery was desperate to sign a defender in January and Gunners hero Winterburn says that is one of the three areas the Arsenal boss must target in the summer transfer window.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: 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‘I’d like to see a pacy attacking wide player come to the club, potentially another midfield player and there is a lot being said about the need to restrengthen in defence,’ he told Love Sport Radio.‘But I think Unai Emery may be looking at the likes of Rob Holding, who had a fantastic six months and then picked up a serious knee injury.‘He was coming through and looking very, very consistent. It’s just a case of where Unai Emery feels he needs to strengthen.‘Everyone will say that defensively Arsenal haven’t been great again this season but it’s not just about the defence. It’s about when Arsenal do concede how quickly they get played through the lines. Advertisement Arsenal hero Nigel Winterburn tells Unai Emery his three priority signings this summer Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 14 May 2019 11:14 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.7kShares The Gunners will face Chelsea in the Europa League final (Picture: Getty)‘I’m quite excited about what’s going to happen to Arsenal next season and I’m very intrigued to see where Emery thinks Arsenal need strengthening.‘But my own thoughts are a wide player, another midfielder and potentially another centre-half.‘But I can’t see much more than that coming into the club because we’re hearing that Arsenal haven’t got a vast amount of money to spend.’Winterburn also says Emery’s first season at the Emirates has been a success. The Spaniard replaced French veteran Arsene Wenger as manager last summer.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‘It’s already been a successful season for Arsenal in terms of changing manager and Unai Emery coming in,’ Winterburn added.‘This season for me was more about setting the squad. Yes, you want to try and qualify for the Champions League through league position but Arsenal have got to the Europa League final now.‘They really need to go and win that to secure the Champions League. But it’s been a success in terms of the change in management – that needed to happen – and it’s been an assessment season for Unai Emery.‘Then it’s about looking forward to what happens in the summer in terms of players leaving and players coming into the football club.’MORE: Sessegnon wants to work with Pochettino as Man Utd enter transfer race Comment Advertisement
Arsenal eyeing up move for German goalkeeper Markus Schubert to replace the retiring Petr Cech Phil HaighTuesday 21 May 2019 10:55 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Markus Schubert has been linked with a switch to Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal are in the hunt for a new back-up goalkeeper and have identified German stopper Markus Schubert as a possibly replacement for the retiring Petr Cech.37-year-old Cech is calling time on his career after the Europa League final against Chelsea next week, leaving Gunners boss Unai Emery needing a new alternative to Bernd Leno in goal.According to Bild, Schubert could be that man, with the 20-year-old available on a free transfer as his contract at Dynamo Dresden comes to an end this summer.The Germany under-21 international made 31 appearances for Dresden in the 2. Bundesliga this season, but informed the club in April that he intends to leave when his contract expires in June.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHaving become the youngest goalkeeper in the club’s history when he made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2015, Dynamo Dresden sporting director Ralf Minge is disappointed to see the keeper leave.‘Unfortunately, we have not been able to persuade this talented goalkeeper and his advisers over the past 12 months with our arguments to extend the expiring contract,’ said Minge.‘It feels like a defeat when you train as a club player for almost ten years and then lose him at the very beginning of his professional career.’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 CitySchubert, who is reported at standing 6ft 1in, has appeared for Germany at all youth levels from under-17 upwards, but has not won a full international cap yet.Bild also report that another Arsenal keeper, Dejan Iliev, is set to leave as well, so Schubert could be targeted along with another stopper to fill both voids at the Emirates.The keeper has remained coy on his future, simply replying with ‘no comment’ when asked about his next move.MORE: Matthijs de Ligt hints he would favour Barcelona move ahead of Manchester UnitedMORE: Juventus contact Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri over replacing Max Allegri as manager Comment Advertisement Advertisement
Premier League restart: Provisional fixtures revealed for Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterThursday 4 Jun 2020 5:40 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link249Shares The 2019-20 Premier League season is set to restart later this month (Picture: Getty)Liverpool could secure the Premier League title on June 21 after the provisional fixtures for the restart of the season were revealed.On Thursday, the 20 Premier League clubs were given a list of provisional kick-off times for the first three rounds of matches, with the season set to resume on June 17.Between four and six of the 32 matches on the provisional list may yet change, but Brighton v Arsenal looks set to be the first-ever Premier League game to be shown live at Saturday 3pm.Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side had moved 25 points clear of their Premier League rivals before the coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be suspended.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTThey will almost certainly clinch their first title in 30 years over the coming weeks, however, and could lift the title when they travel across Merseyside to face Everton on June 21. Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news liveDefending champions Manchester City host Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in their first game back, while Manchester United will take on Tottenham and their former manager Jose Mourinho on Friday, June 19.Third-placed Leicester City and fourth-placed Chelsea will play relegation-battlers Watford and Aston Villa respectively on the weekend of June 20-21.All matches will be played behind closed doors and broadcast on TV, with the top-flight clubs agreeing to the use of neutral venues if necessary. Advertisement Provisional Premier League fixtures Wednesday, June 17Aston Villa v Sheffield United 6pm (Sky)Manchester City v Arsenal 8pm (Sky)Friday, June 19Norwich v Southampton 6pm (Sky)Tottenham v Manchester United 8pm (Sky)Saturday, June 20Watford v Leicester 12.30pm (BT)Brighton v Arsenal 3pm (BT)West Ham v Wolves 5.30pm (Sky)Bournemouth v Crystal Palace 7.45pm (BBC)Sunday, June 21Newcastle v Sheffield United 2pm (Sky)Aston Villa v Chelsea 4.30pm (Sky)Everton v Liverpool 7pm (Sky)Monday, June 22Manchester City v Burnley 8pm (Sky)Tuesday, June 23Southampton v Arsenal 6pm (Sky)Tottenham v West Ham 8.15pm (Sky)Wednesday, June 24Manchester United v Sheffield United 6pm (Sky)Newcastle v Aston Villa 6pm (Sky)Norwich v Everton 6pm (BBC)Liverpool v Crystal Palace 8.15pm (Sky)Thursday, June 25Burnley v Watford 6pm (Sky)Leicester v Brighton 6pm (Sky)Chelsea v Manchester City 8.15pm (BT)Wolves v Bournemouth 8.15pm (BT)Saturday, June 27FA Cup QF: Sheffield United v Arsenal 5pm (BT)FA CUP QF: Norwich v Manchester United 8.15pm (BBC)Sunday, June 28Aston Villa v Wolves 12pm (BT)FA Cup QF: Leicester v Chelsea 2.30pm (BT)Watford v Southampton 4.30pm (Sky)FA Cup QF: Newcastle v Manchester City 6pm (BT)Monday June, 29Crystal Palace v Burnley 8pm (Amazon)Tuesday June, 30Brighton v Manchester United 6pm (Sky)Sheffield United v Tottenham 8.15pm (Sky)Wednesday, July 1Bournemouth v Newcastle 6pm (Sky)Everton v Leicester 6pm (Sky)West Ham v Chelsea 8.15pm (Sky)Thursday, July 2Arsenal v Norwich 6pm (BT)Manchester City v Liverpool 8.15pm (Sky) Comment Advertisement Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Arsenal’s provisional fixtures for Premier League restart announcedMORE: Liverpool’s provisional fixtures for Premier League restart announced
Comment I am really sorry for #BerndLeno. He did great for #Arsenal and I hope his injury is not too bad and will recover soon.— Jens Lehmann (@jenslehmann) June 20, 2020 Jens Lehmann and Marc-Andre ter Stegen send messages to Bernd Leno after Arsenal’s defeat at Brighton Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSunday 21 Jun 2020 10:03 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link478Shares Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta admitted he feared the worst regarding Leno’s injury when speaking to BT Sport after Saturday’s clash. ‘It doesn’t look good, but we don’t know anything yet,’ the Spaniard said. 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 ArsenalAsked about the way his players surrounded Maupay after the final whistle, Arteta replied: ‘I don’t know. It’s too far from me. I haven’t seen the action. ‘I always believe players never mean to hurt anybody.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: ‘We need to be showing that fight!’ – Arsenal legend Ian Wright defends Matteo Guendouzi over Neal Maupay clashMORE: Rio Ferdinand slams Alexandre Lacazette and blames Arsenal striker for Brighton equaliser Leno was furious with Maupay as he was helped off the pitch (Picture: Getty)The 28-year-old shot-stopper vented his anger at Maupay as he was stretchered off the pitch and his Arsenal team-mates followed suit immediately after the final whistle, with Matteo Guendouzi grabbing the striker by the neck.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTArsenal are yet to reveal the severity of the injury but it’s expected Leno will be out for some time, meaning Emiliano Martinez – who came on to replace the Germany international on the south coast – looks set for an extended run in the side. Manchester United’s David De Gea put club differences to one side to send a message of support to the Arsenal ‘keeper after the match.And fellow countryman Marc-Andre ter Stegen, widely regarded to be the best goalkeeper on the planet, had some kind words for his Germany team-mate.‘I wish you a lot of strength and a good recovery! @berndleno1 💪👊,’ the Barcelona ace posted on Instagram. Former Arsenal star Jens Lehmann, who later worked as an assistant coach under Unai Emery, also passed on his support to his compatriot. ‘I am really sorry for Bernd Leno,’ the Arsenal ‘Invincible’ tweeted. ‘He did great for Arsenal and I hope his injury is not too bad and will recover soon.’ Bernd Leno is expected to be sidelined for some time after his injury at Brighton (Picture: Getty)The goalkeepers’ union came out in full force to support Bernd Leno after the German suffered a horrendous-looking injury during Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton.Lewis Dunk’s scrambled effort with 15 minutes remaining cancelled out Nicolas Pepe’s superb earlier strike and Neal Maupay secured all three points for the hosts with a cool finish at the death.However, much of the post-match discussion centred around Maupay’s involvement in Leno’s injury towards the end of the first half after he nudged the Arsenal man in the air at an empty Amex Stadium.
But what started as a way for fans to focus, fall asleep or even combat anxiety is now making a foray into the realm of fmcg.It’s a logical progression. After all, ASMR sounds are already everywhere in the world of food and drink. Just think of a Coca-Cola fizzing softly as it is poured into a glass of tinkling ice cubes, or the oozing and bubbling of the food in those famous M&S ads. Spotting this potential, more and more companies are now capitalising on the craze as a way to market their brands. There are various ways that food goes hand in hand with ASMR. Such as videos that rank food on its AMSR credentials. “The taste isn’t the real factor, it’s the ASMR of the biscuit,” says Angel, who hosts a snack review series on her channel called Biscuits of Britain & Beyond. “If I don’t particularly like the taste but it has a really good-sounding wrapper, it would actually score higher overall.”Then there are ASMR cooking videos, with channels such as Emojoie Cuisine also becoming increasingly popular. One of the channel’s most-watched videos (currently at seven million views) is of a New York cheesecake being made, laden with the satisfying sounds of biscuits being crushed, tin foil being rustled and creamy ingredients beaten together.“The best way to describe ASMR is that it’s like positive goosebumps”And it’s not just sound. The internet is awash with ASMR videos that provide visually satisfying shots of fmcg-related goods, such as mirror-glazed cakes and even Crocs sandals full of shaving foam.Within each of these approaches, brands are emerging on-screen too. For example, in one series of ASMR recipe videos by YouTube channel The Vegan Corner, the likes of Alpro yoghurt, Tiptree jam, Morrisons own-label breadcrumbs, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference wild mushrooms and Jus-Rol pastry can all be seen.One brand capitalising on the trend in a big way is Fuze Tea, which last year approached top UK ASMRtist Emma Smith, aka WhispersRed, to collaborate on a pop-up event in London’s Soho.The ASMR Experience Rooms were an immersive event, part of Fuze Tea’s ‘Calm the Commute’ campaign, which encouraged visitors to take some time to relax via ASMR. “[The brand] sits really well with ASMR as we’re about meditation practices and being calm and less anxious,” says Smith, whose YouTube channel has more than 700k subscribers and just shy of 200 million total views.Since the event in November last year, WhispersRed has featured a Fuze Tea-sponsored video on her channel and hosted an ASMR podcast for the brand in which she interviewed celebrities, including model Daisy Lowe, rapper Professor Green and Radio 1’s Clara Amfo.Full screen in popup Source: ReeseReeseIn May, Canadian confectioner Reese launched a feature-length ASMR-style film, titled ‘Reese Ritual’. Featuring five top ASMRtists, it highlights the sensory experience of eating a Reese cup, says the brand.The five steps of the ‘ritual’ include interacting with the packaging, opening the packaging, sliding out the cup, unwrapping the cup and, finally, indulging in the cup, it says. Source: Fuze Tea Previous Read more of our influencer seriesThis look at ASMR is the first in a three-part series on emerging digital trends of which food and drink brands should be aware. For our next two instalments we’ll be looking into the emerging world of CGI influencers and the Korean Mukbang trend. Keep an eye on The Grocer to ensure you don’t miss out. Source: Coca-ColaCoca-ColaAs well as launching immersive events and pop-ups alongside AMSRtists for its Fuze Tea brand, Coca-Cola has played with the trend for its core range too.In April, the company launched a new marketing campaign across Europe that featured a series of close-up shots of Coke in a glass, an opener prying the cap off a Coke bottle, and a finger lifting the tab off a can. The copy reads: ‘Try not to hear this.’ 1/7 show caption This report is part of our three-part influencer series where we’re diving beyond the polished surface of influencer marketing to look at some weird and wonderful new ways brands can connect with consumers. Other reports include a community who love to watch people eat and the too good to be true world of CGI influencers.,Do you experience a tingling sensation in your scalp when someone whispers? Or a feeling of calm as paper is crinkled? If so the chances are you’re receptive to ASMR, or automated sensory meridian response. A term coined in 2010, it describes those people – thought to number in the millions – that experience pleasurable sensations or relaxation in response to certain visual or auditory triggers.It might sound a niche trend, but there are now millions of videos uploaded to YouTube and Instagram aimed at those receptive to ASMR, watched by tens of millions of viewers. In these videos, some of which go on for up to four hours, hosts create sounds into binaural microphones: whispering, running their fingers along toothbrushes and eating foods, in order to create a surround-sound effect that allows viewers to immerse themselves and experience a more intense response.“The best way to describe ASMR is that it’s like positive goosebumps,” says “ASMRtist” and YouTuber Charlotte Angel – better known to her 100,000-plus subscribers as ASMR Angel. “There are thousands upon thousands of triggers out there and each person experiences it a little bit differently.” Source: Fuze Tea Source: Fuze Tea Emma Smith interviews rapper Professor Green for Fuze Tea’s Mind Tingles podcastSource: Fuze Tea Next Source: KFCKFCIn January, KFC launched a series of ASMR audio based on its menu. The KFChill series included three separate tracks – relax, unwind and de-stress – featuring the sounds of frying chicken, simmering gravy and falling fries.Created as a way to promote its new Gravy Mega Box, KFC encouraged listeners to ‘free your mind and immerse yourself in the actual sounds of the KFC Gravy Mega Box’. Source: Fuze Tea Source: IkeaIkeaIn 2017, Ikea launched its ‘Oddly Ikea’ campaign, for which it created six ASMR videos.With a whispering narrator, the ads feature tactile student essentials, such as bedsheets being stroked, pillows squished and hangers delicately jangled.It was a huge hit, with more than 2.5 million views on YouTube. During the campaign, Ikea said it saw a 4.5% increase in sales in store and a 5.1% increase online. Other brands take a more straightforward approach, including ASMR content in their traditional advertising. A notable example is US beer brand Michelob Ultra, which aired an ad in the style of an ASMR video during last year’s Super Bowl. It featured actress Zoë Kravitz whispering into binaural mics as she tapped on a glass bottle of beer, before twisting off the cap and pouring it into a glass with a fizz. The ad has since received almost 17 million views on YouTube.There are boundaries to mixing advertising with ASMR though. For instance, when it comes to advertising through their own channels, ASMRtists like Smith and Angel agree any partnerships must be carefully thought through as viewers could be “more susceptible” to advertising in their relaxed state. “I’m not there to indoctrinate anybody and I’m not there to sell things to people,” says Smith. For that reason, Smith turned down an opportunity to work with a wine company – “because alcohol’s linked with anxiety and that’s what I fight against” – and Angel ruled out approaches from cheap clothing brands due to her views on ‘fast fashion’ and its environmental impact. But Smith – a passionate vegan – says she’d be “quite happy” to feature advertising for products that share her ethos, such as cruelty-free make-up.All partnerships must be “mutually beneficial,” sums up Smith. “It’s great to work with brands with ASMR but it has to enhance the ASMR experience in some way,” she says. Although she doesn’t see a direct spike in views as a result of events such as this, Smith believes that “in the long run they are really good for ASMR”, because they raise awareness of the community.That community is now growing phenomenally fast. A quick search brings up just shy of 91 million ASMR videos, with top ASMRtists boasting half a million and more subscribers. It’s clear that for digitally savvy food and drink brands that can get to grips with the trend, it’s a channel with more than a whisper of potential.Five brands that have incorporated ASMR into their advertising Source: LynxLynxLynx jumped on the ASMR brand bandwagon in February with the launch of its Shower & Shave video tutorials.The three videos, with the tagline ‘Feel as Smooth as it Sounds,’ feature a whispering man talking viewers through how to shave different areas of their body. He rustles his robe into the microphone, trims his chest hair, lathers Lynx shaving gel and finally runs the razor through the foam. Source: Fuze Tea Emma Smith, aka WhispersRed, at the Fuze Tea pop-upSource: Fuze Tea
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Bike to Work Day, 2015 May 04, 2015 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Proclamations Governor Wolf Proclamation — Bike to Work Day, 2015 by Governor Tom Wolf
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Healthcare, Public Health, Seniors, Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement regarding the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling in the UPMC and Highmark Medicare Advantage case.“From the start of my administration, I have worked tirelessly to protect the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens, especially seniors.“I have also made very clear that the decision to cancel Medicare Advantage for over 180,000 seniors was wrong, and I vowed to fight that decision by any means necessary, including through legal action.“Today, I am pleased the Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting seniors. This is a huge victory for seniors across western Pennsylvania.“My administration will always work tirelessly to protect consumers, especially seniors and our most vulnerable populations.”# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf November 30, 2015 Governor Wolf Statement on UPMC and Highmark Medicare Advantage Ruling
November 15, 2016 By: Liz Roderick, Advocate SHARE TWEET Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Clark’s Story (VIDEO) Substance Use Disorder, The Blog, Videos On November 2, 2016, Governor Wolf signed legislation to battle Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic. This legislation will strengthen the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, restrict the number of pills that can be prescribed to minors or in emergency rooms, establish education curriculum on safe prescribing, and create more locations for the drop-off of prescription drugs. During this press conference, we heard from Liz Roderick who shared her personal story.As we discuss the opioid epidemic, two words we hear constantly now, an epidemic that is taking almost 100 Americans a day, it’s easy to think of it in abstract terms and as something that happens to other people and other families. It is easy to think “that’s horrible” and change the channel or click to another article. No one thinks it’ll happen to their family. Until it does. You’re then thrown into a club you never wanted to join, with hundreds of thousands of other families who are equally shocked, angry and heartbroken.My name is Liz Roderick and I’m here with my father, David, and daughter Penny to personalize this public health emergency and put a face on the important work that we celebrate today. I am honored to be standing here this afternoon, albeit for sad circumstances, and thank the Governor and his staff again for the chance to share this story. Clark Roderick was my brother. This is his picture. The opioid epidemic happened to Clark.Clark was a true Pennsylvania boy. Grew up in Radnor. Went to Valley Forge Military Academy. Went to the University of Pittsburgh. Clark loved and I mean LOVED the Steelers. He was a friend to so many. He loved animals, had an incredible sense of humor and a contagious chuckle that pulled you in. He stood up for the bullied. He loved drinking tea and building fires. His 6’2 build and loving demeanor made him a real gentle giant.When Clark was 25 he was in an accident that severely hurt his back. And so begins a tale that represents the vast majority of these tragedies. He was prescribed powerful painkillers, got hooked and was never the same. The next 6 years was an endless chase for more drugs and higher highs. He was a heroin addict in less than 18 months. Our family rallied together, we attended family counseling sessions on how to best support him, my parents sent him to rehab three times. The periods of sobriety were heaven for everyone and always gave us hope that he’d pull through and that he’d beat his demons. We let him know at every opportunity that we loved him. We did everything we could to help him with the information we had.Ten months ago, on December 16th, my brother texted me late that night asking me to please call him at 6am the next morning so he wouldn’t miss his shuttle to the airport. He was happy and excited to be coming home for Christmas. He was discussing what movies he was going to watch on his layover and what the schedule would be for the holidays.On December 17th my father drove to the Philly airport to get him and he wasn’t on his flight. The nightmare started then and within hours we all got “the call”. I’d always imagined where I’d be when I got it and had prepared for it for six years. I don’t really remember exactly what was said but his landlord had been able to break the door down with the help of the police and they found my brother on the floor of his bedroom with a tourniquet around his arm. There was melted ice-cream on his nightstand. That detail always stands out to me. He died a few hours after sending me that text message and taking a lethal amount of Xanax and Heroin. My 31-year-old baby brother. Dead.How did we get here? How does a child from a loving home with endless resources and love at his fingertips turn to heroin? This drug and this epidemic and this disease (and it IS a disease) does not discriminate. I’m here to tell you that if you haven’t been personally affected by this plague then you will be if we don’t all fight back. If it can happen to Clark it can happen to anyone. He got sick and lost his way and we as a society ultimately failed him because so much is still left unknown about how to best address these thousands and thousands of cases. No one is safe. We need to improve our policies, our laws and our systems and what we’ve seen here today is a step in the right direction. Please continue to support leaders and programs like the ones celebrated today.The statistic is that this takes 100 Americans a day. These are not junkies. These are not bad people. These are the sick friends and family members of all of us who need our help. My parents lost their son. A pain I cannot even begin to fathom. I lost my brother. He did not deserve to die nor did he want to die.My daughter was born 6 weeks after Clark died and she’ll never know her uncle. I brought her here today to be part of this fight so she can begin to know the dangers of addiction and opioids. It makes me sad that she’ll grow up in a world that he’s not in. I’ll take her to his grave and tell her stories. He’s buried in his Steelers jersey at St. Vincent’s, a cemetery that overlooks where the Steelers hold their training camp. There’s a Terrible Towel on his headstone. I know he’d love that.Clark is your neighbor, your parent, your teacher, your son, your daughter, your friend. His lost battle represents so many others who followed almost identical paths. Let us learn from their lives and let their deaths mean something to the generations that follow. 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Wolf Administration Outlines State Preparations for Winter Storm March 13, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release, Proclamations, PSA, Weather Safety READ LATEST NEWS ON TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf joined members of his Cabinet to discuss steps his administration is taking to be ready to respond to a significant snowstorm that will impact most of the state overnight tonight and through tomorrow.Speaking from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency headquarters outside Harrisburg, Governor Wolf urged citizens to take the threat of this story seriously by preparing their own emergency supplies and delaying all unnecessary travel so plow crews can safely and quickly clear roadways.“This is a major snowstorm that will produce significant amounts of snow throughout the commonwealth, so we are asking Pennsylvanians to avoid travel on Tuesday unless absolutely necessary,” Governor Wolf said. “We are also urging everyone to take necessary precautions in the event of widespread power outages, and to check on elderly neighbors in the event of an emergency.”It is important to note that the proclamation does not restrict vehicular travel on commonwealth roads, but motorists are strongly encouraged to delay all unnecessary travel and heed local road closures that may be in place.Wolf said nearly 700 Pennsylvania National Guard troops will be put on state active duty at various armories across the state by 7:00 p.m. Monday. PA National Guard missions during the storm could include: transportation of emergency management personnel, stranded motorist welfare checks, traffic control support, commodity delivery, and vehicle recovery.Starting at 10 p.m. tonight, the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center at PEMA will be activated with personnel from the following agencies: PEMA, Public Utility Commission, PA State Police, American Red Cross, PA Turnpike Commission, Office of Administration, and the departments of Health, Human Services, and Military and Veterans Affairs.To help PennDOT and PA Turnpike crews get the optimum access to the interstates and expressways during the storm, beginning at 10 p.m. Monday, these restrictions will be in place on all interstates and expressways east of Interstate 99 and including Interstate 99:45 mph speed limitBan on tandem truck trailers, empty trailers, towed trailers, buses, recreational vehicles and motorcyclesThese restrictions will be in place on Interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 95, 283, 176, 180, 476, 380 and all expressways not on the interstate system. The Turnpike will have the same restrictions beginning at 10 p.m. Monday from the Bedford Interchange east to NJ and on the entire Northeastern extension. PennDOT is also cancelling all superload permits for movement on Tuesday.PennDOT has 4,800 equipment operators, more than 2,000 plow trucks, 49 snow blowers. All of PennDOT’s 11 regions will go on round-the-clock duty beginning Monday evening. PennDOT’s goal is to keep roadways passable and interstates and expressways take priority over lower volume routes.In the event travel is absolutely necessary, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles by visiting http://www.511PA.com. PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Locator plow tracking tool is available for all of the more than 2,200 PennDOT-owned and rented plow trucks, with vehicle locations viewable on 511PA.Also today, PEMA activated the situational awareness unit of the PA Business Operations Center. As the storm unfolds, the PA Business Operations Center will provide information to businesses regarding impacts of the event including road restrictions, Commonwealth Response Coordination Center situation reports, and updated weather forecasts. The information is intended to help businesses plan for and recover from anticipated severe weather.Governor Wolf Proclamation — Disaster Emergency, 2017 by Office of Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Denies Latest Trump Administration Request for Pennsylvania Voter Information July 28, 2017 National Issues, Press Release, Statement, Voting & Elections Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement in response to a letter sent yesterday from Kris Kobach, the Vice Chair of the Trump Administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.“This does not satisfactorily address my serious reservations about the real intentions of the committee and its possible use of voter information, considering the false statements this administration has made about voter integrity.“I still have grave concerns the commission intends to pursue restrictions on the rights of Pennsylvanians to vote. The right to vote is absolute and I will not assist any effort to create unnecessary and unfair burdens on voters.“My administration has partnered with the PEW Charitable Trusts and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to ensure the accuracy of our voter rolls. The integrity of the vote is of utmost importance to me and I am satisfied with ERIC.“As I have said previously, publicly available voter file information can be purchased for $20 from the Department of State and the Secretary Kobach is welcome to purchase the data like any other citizen.”The full text of the letter is below:Dear Vice Chair Kobach:I have received your renewed request for the registration information of every voter in Pennsylvania. Your original letter requested the private information of all registered voters, including their partial Social Security Numbers, birth dates and driver license numbers. The commonwealth did not provide the information then and my position has not changed. Your updated letter does not satisfy my serious concerns that the real intention of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is to pursue restrictions on the rights of Pennsylvanians to vote.For many months, candidate Trump and now the president’s administration have repeatedly made false and misleading claims about our nation’s voting process, and without proof, questioned the accuracy of the election results. Furthermore, despite offering no evidence, accusations of voter fraud have been leveled against Pennsylvania.I will not participate in a process that seeks to restrict the fundamental right of citizens to vote or questions the integrity of the commonwealth’s voting system and by extension the elections officials and thousands of volunteers at polling places who make our elections possible.As I indicated in my original letter to you on June 30, any citizen, including the commission, can obtain the publicly available voter file information by contacting the Pennsylvania Department of State. The fee is $20. If you intend to pursue this course of action than I must insist that you strictly adhere to Pennsylvania law with the use of the data. Pennsylvania statute prohibits the use of the data for commercial purposes, except as required by 25 Pa.C.S. sections 1207(b) & 1404(c)(2).The freedom we cherish was built on the absolute right to vote and generations have fought to remove unfair barriers to this right. We must not create new and unnecessary restrictions to the ballot box and Pennsylvania will not participate in any attempt to do so.Sincerely,TOM WOLFGovernor07.28.17 Letter to Vice Chair Kobach by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd
Healthcare, Press Release, Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf announced today that the Department of Insurance will launch a statewide media campaign to help Pennsylvanians as they shop for health insurance during the open enrollment period, November 1 through December 15. The media campaign will be announced at a press conference today at 1:30 p.m. in the Capitol Media Center with Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman.“I’ve made it a priority to do everything in my power to be sure Pennsylvanians have access to affordable health insurance,” Governor Wolf said. “As part of a group governors, I’ve written to leaders in Washington to voice support of bi-partisan health care reform and to reject policies that increase costs for insurance, sabotage health care and cause chaos for Pennsylvanians.“The Affordable Care Act, while not perfect, is allowing more Pennsylvanians access to health care and we want to be sure people using the exchange have all the information they need at the ready to help them make the right choice for them and their families.“That’s why the Insurance Department is launching a media campaign to help educate people on the individual market health insurance options during open enrollment.”The campaign will help fill the void left by Trump Administration cuts to outreach and advertising budgets and was created to ensure that consumers understand changes to the open enrollment period, which is now six weeks shorter than in previous years.The Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s open enrollment tools for consumers, include a plan comparison tool and an Affordable Care Act fact sheet. Governor Wolf Announces Public Awareness Campaign Launch to Help Pennsylvanians Shop for Health Insurance SHARE Email Facebook Twitter October 26, 2017
July 30, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Wolf Administration Awards $5 Million in Fresh Food Grants to Pennsylvania Elementary Schools Education, Press Release, Public Health, Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that nearly 200 elementary schools across the commonwealth have been selected for grants totaling almost $5 million to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day.“Good nutrition is a building block for a child’s health and well-being,” Governor Wolf said. “Making healthy food accessible by students, whether through expanded breakfast programs or making local produce available during the day, helps keep students nourished so they are prepared to learn in our classrooms.”The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). The program’s goals are to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables students experience, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and positively impact students’ present and future health. FFVP was first implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and expanded to all 50 states in 2008.“Providing fresh fruits and vegetables helps keep students healthy, while also providing an opportunity to teach them about health, and how to make smart and nutritious food choices,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said.To qualify for a grant, a school must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more. Grantees are required to spend a majority of their grant on the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetable and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs. Schools are also required to provide nutrition education to students but cannot use FFVP funding to purchase nutrition education materials.During his tenure, Governor Wolf has made combating hunger a priority. In 2015 he established the Food Security Partnership, a group comprised of the secretaries of the departments of Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health, and Human Services; unveiled the commonwealth’s food security plan – Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA 2016; and introduced the Governor’s School Breakfast Initiative 2017.For a list of the 2018 grant recipients visit here.
John Longhurst put the home on the market in January last year. There is a lift in the three storey home too.The grounds were so extensive that the property has its own rainforest and waterfalls, dams, a horse facility and a caretaker’s cottage, according to listing information by Lucy Cole Prestige Property. The fully kitted out home cinema.Mr Longhurst told The Gold Coast Bulletin that he had considered building a “Dreamworld-style steam train” on the site. “I did make a bit of a track around and bulldozed a bit of dirt where I was going to put it because I love steam trains, but I didn’t end up building it.” The home has stunning views, including looking out of one of its five bathrooms.The home has everything you’d expect from the property of a Queensland richlister, including five guest suites, a home cinema, elevator and a panic room. The home has stunning views of the Gold Coast.Real estate agent Nick Zhang of Amir-Mian Prestige Property Agents confirmed the property had settled a week ago to a Chinese buyer who did not wish to comment. Mr Longhurst spent about $5m upgrading the property.The 85-year-old Mr Longhurst told News Corp when the home first hit the market that he had “pulled the place apart” to make it “pretty magnificent”.“I built it so my kids could go up there and enjoy it, but no one lives there, I haven’t lived there at all besides visiting on a weekend and taking my dogs for a run.” More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor6 hours agoNo expense was spared making the home ready for his family.He had bought the property off former Gold Coast councillor Eddy Sarroff for $2.3m in 2010, and spent a further $5m upgrading it to the designer 926sq m home it is now. The home is an A-frame shape and has one of Mr Longhurst’s favourite features — an antler chandelier.Mr Longhurst is believed to have agreed to a “huge price reduction” and was prepared to look at offers over $5.5m in February last year after the property failed to sell by tender. John Longhurst’s Tamborine Mountain retreat settled last week for an undisclosed sum.It had been on the market for a year when it sold in February for an undisclosed sum. DREAMWORLD founder John Longhurst has sold the 15-car space hinterland retreat he spent $7.3 million on but never lived in.The 7.11 hectare Tamborine Mountain estate, designed as a holiday home for his children and to house his vintage car collection, has its own panic room and personal rainforest complete with waterfalls.
A stunning “waterfall home”, listed for sale through LJ Hooker Cairns South, is one of many nice Babinda properties.SIX years after the closure of Babinda Mill led to lost jobs and hurt community spirit, hopes are now high for the scenic Far North town.Just a 50-minute drive south of Cairns, Babinda has a median house selling price of just $228,000 – compared to the Cairns average of about $407,000.But Roger Barnett, 72, who moved to the community about 14 months ago to head up the new Babinda Springs water bottling plant, believes the completion of the Bruce Highway upgrades will herald the start of a new era for Babinda.“I watched it happen on the Gold Coast, there was a time when people would not consider living there and driving to Brisbane for work every day,” he said. “But now so many people do it, and the same is going to happen in Cairns, it will eventually be just a 30-minute drive to the city from Babinda.”Next to a major highway, the picturesque mountainside town also features generous block sizes and tourism drawcards like the famous Babinda Boulders. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoMr Barnett, who has lived across Australia during his business career, said he had “fallen in love” with Babinda, adding it was a perfect spot for budding first homeowners and investors.“Within three of four years, regardless of whether there is a property market dip in the capital cities, this place will start to be recognised,” he said. “So many things are coming to pass that will influence the desirability of living at Babinda, which I think is great.”In January this year a two-bedroom Queenslander at 7 Clyde Rd, Babinda, sold for just $100,000.The house was set on a 1012sq m block and, although dubbed a “renovator’s dream”, is an example of the value for money currently on offer.A three-bedroom house on Stanwell St, set on 2652sq m, is currently listed for just $250,000. Real estate agent Cheyenne Morrison, of LJ Hooker Cairns South, described Babinda property prices as “crazy cheap”.“Babinda has all the things the Daintree has, but instead of having to drive for hours and cross the river on a ferry, it is only 45 minutes from Cairns,” he said.
Auctioneer Nick Penklis calls for opening bids.A $1.5 million opening bid looked like it would stand until Mr Burgoine came in at $1.8 million. From there it was a tussle between the two bidders until at $2.35 million, Mr Penklis sought instruction from the vendor.The auctioneer then reopened proceedings and declared the home “on the market.”An extraordinary scene unfolded as Mr Burgoine and his competitor traded bids of $5000 to $15000 increments until the figure hit $2.405 million.Mr Burgoine then blew away the competition with a call of $2.5 million — a staggering $95,000 increment that halted any chance of a counter.Speaking after the auction, the auctioneer said it was a great example of a two bidder duel with the knockout blow bringing a definitive end to proceedings.“Absolutely! It just overrode any potential increments of $5000 by going up that much,” Mr Penklis said.Sitting in the sunshine on the deck of their new winter home after the auction, the Burgoines declared they were already enjoying the climatic spoils of the day. The new owners can’t wait to start relaxing on the deck. every angle was a winner at 71 Ormadale Rd, YerongaBut it was the integration of indoor and outdoor space that was the major selling point for the eventual buyers, Paul and Dawn Burgoine.Speaking before the auction, Mr Burgoine said they’d spent the past three weeks looking for a Brisbane base.“Our children have grown up now so we’re not having to be stuck in one location with schooling or anything like that. We have a business up here as well.”Mr Burgoine said they established their Brisbane outlet some years ago, so they’ve been familiar with our forgiving cold season.“Brisbane winters are just the best, so the plan is to basically run two homes — six month of the year up here and six months back home in Melbourne,” Mr Burgoine said.Prior to the auction, Mrs Burgoine was philosophical about how things might play out.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago“We saw this (house) first up and just loved it. If we get it today we get it. If we don’t — we’re in no hurry. It’s no stress for us,” she said.Auctioneer Nick Penklis opened proceeding by telling buyers even the cushions were included in the sale. New owners, Paul and Dawn Burgoine, blew away the competition at todays auction event.Mr Burgoine said, in the end, he was pleased with how things went.“I just had a number in my head and said, ‘We’ll play the game and see what happens,’” he said.Mrs Burgoine still had butterflies, and was excited about what lay ahead.“I can’t believe it — I’m in shock actually. We’ve got so much going on in our lives (but) obviously, it was meant to be,” she said. Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair 71 Ormadale Rd, Yeronga is a stunning example of contemporary architecture.Set on a private 959sq m hatchet lot with parkland separating its back boundary and a sandy river shoreline, the five-bed, three-and-a-half bath house offered an exceptional standard of modern finish. 71 Ormadale Rd, Yeronga has new southern-state owner set to enjoy our winter sun.Today’s auction of 71 Ormadale Rd, Yeronga was another demonstration of competitive southern-state buyers finding value in our prestige market.The five-year-old home was an architecturally stunning use of timber and glass features that framed its clean lines, quality fittings and river views.
This acreage property at 12 Sovereign Way, Samford Valley, has sold for $2.05m.An acreage lifestyle property in Samford Valley has also sold for a large sum.The five-bedroom home on 9000 sqm at 12 Sovereign Way sold for $2.05 million through Brett Crompton and Angela Galvin of Ray White Samford.Records show it last sold for $1.75 million in 2009. Tony and Mary Ann Beresford-Smith at their home, which has sold for $1.63m. Pic: Mark Calleja.And in another big sale, a four-bedroom double-brick home on 1214 sqm in Indooroopilly has fetched $1.5 million. Lenders slash home loan rates Competition heats up for cottage Home slashed for half a million This property at 12 Sovereign Way, Samford Valley, has sold.The sale of a four-bedroom home on a quarter acre block at 33 Goodwood St, Hendra, has been finalised for $1.63 million.The property, marketed by Leigh Kortlang of Ray White Ascot, had been held by the same owners for more than 30 years. This home at 11 Czar St, Hamilton, has sold for $2.58 million.A FIVE-BEDROOM beauty on Hamilton Hill has fetched the highest price for a home in Queensland in the past week, according to property research firm CoreLogic.The big, triple gabled family home on 607 sqm at 11 Czar St, Hamilton, sold for $2.58 million at auction at the weekend.It’s one of only six residences in the street and was designed by architect Derek Trebilcock and interior designer Mary Durack. The living room at 11 Czar St, Hamilton. Picture: realestate.com.au.The second biggest sale in the state in the past week, according to CoreLogic, was a three-bedroom, waterfront home on the Gold Coast.The property at 3106 Riverleigh Dr, Hope Island, sold for $2.26 million.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor1 hour agoThe Mediterranean-style house is sprawled across a 1611 sqm block of north facing land on the water in Hope Island Resort. This home at 11 Czar St, Hamilton, has sold for $2.58m. Picture: realestate.com.au.The property was marketed by Matt Lancashire of Ray White New Farm, who said family homes of that size and quality were rarely available.Features include a gourmet marble kitchen and butler’s pantry, commercial grade cold room, marble-encased gas fireplace, solar heated pool and climate-controlled wine cellar.Character has been retained in the restoration of the 1930s home with VJ walls, high ceilings, polished American oak flooring and custom joinery. This home at 23 Goldieslie Rd, Indooroopilly, has sold for $1.5m. Picture; realestate.com.auThe property at 23 Goldieslie Rd was sold by Alex Jordan of McGrath Estate Agents Paddington.The elegant home is perched above native brush and only a short walk to schools, transport and Indooroopilly shopping centre. This home at 23 Goldieslie Road, Indooroopilly, has sold.
177 Banks Street, Alderley.The property, on a 756sq m block, sits high on the ridge, bordering Newmarket, Ashgrove and Alderley.Original art deco features include glass bricks, ocean liner inspired recessed lighting, metal windows, stunning curved ceiling detailing, pendants and integrated window pelmets.Even the bespoke art deco inspired front gate was designed by a well-known Maleny artist. 177 Banks Street, Alderley.For the first time in 30 years this art deco Brisbane home has hit the market.The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is at 177 Banks St, Alderley and one of Brisbane’s most iconic and architecturally awarded homes. 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 2019The single-level home at 177 Banks Street, Alderley.The property has featured in magazines and books and was used for the backdrop for fashion shoot and television commercials.Belle Property – Wilston selling agent Daniel McGahan said the property was designed by architect Paul Owen (formerly Owen and Vokes).“This home has won the state’s top architecture award in 2005 and went on to be a runner up at the National Awards,” he said.“This one level home offers a flexible, family friendly layout with amazing entertaining options.”
Pool with a view. 23 Fowler Ct, Bonogin.The third highest sale was the result of a family choosing to sell their island home after fifty decades.The traditional timber house on South Stradbroke Island, or ‘South Straddie’ if you’re a local, has changed hands for the first time in 55 years, selling for $1.23 million. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa20 hours agoThe water slide flows into the pool, which is built underneath the house. 74 River Links Bvd E, Helensvale 5 South Esplanade, Stradbroke Island just sold for the first time in 55 years. 45 Conifer Cr, Broadbeach Waters was the biggest sale on the Gold Coast this week. It changed hands for $3.125 millionFROM a waterfront mansion to a multi-generational island shack, the top five sales on the Gold Coast were varied but had one element in common with all hitting the million-dollar mark this week. According to CoreLogic data, the biggest sale was a Broadbeach Waters waterfront home that changed hands for $3.125 million. 45 Conifer Cr features stunning river views.The five-bedroom, five-bathroom house features resort-style living, a home cinema, upstairs retreat and expansive pool and deck setting overlooking a pontoon, outdoor shower and boat ramp. The sale was handled by Eddie Wardale and Josh Longhitano of Kollosche Prestige Agents.A modern residence tucked in bushland at Bonogin just pipped a Stradbroke Island abode, an apartment in Broadbeach and a designer home in Helensvale to the post for second place.Selling for $1.285 million, 23 Fowler Crt, Bonogin was marketed by Remax Regency agent Stuart Legg. It’s one of 61 tightly-held freehold properties in South Currigee.The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on South Esplanade is one of 61 tightly-held freehold properties in South Currigee and faces east to overlook the Broadwater.The sale was handled by Stephen Cone of LJ Hooker Broadwater.A luxury Surfers Paradise apartment changed hands for $1.2 million.Ray White Surfers Paradise handled the sale of 101/1 Oracle Blvd — the Oracle tower apartment featured two bedrooms and two bathrooms.Rounding out the top five was the sale of a contemporary designer home at Riverlinks Estate in Helensvale for $1.175 million. You need to be a resident to drive a car on this island. 23 Fowler Ct, Bonogin sold for $1.285 million.The property was described as a “private resort in the bush” and was a design blend of polished concrete, wooden floorboards, and cedar framed glass doors and windows. The bushland residence’s pool was a standout with the unique design cutting under the house and flowing to a water slide on the other side. The interior features a mix of materials.A media room, generous master suite, central courtyard and private pontoon helped the listing change hands under the guidance of Evan Molloy and Dana Gotlieb of Hope Island Resort Realty.
Habitat on Kersley is a residential development in Kenmore that will include townhouses, due to be built this year. Arcadia Village is a residential project that will include townhouses in Calamvale.Mr Solano said townhouse investors should be cautious in the current market, with some of his clients having to pay the difference between the purchase price and the valuation of their townhouse.“These properties are being sold at overinflated prices and then not valuing up to contract price” he said.“Be cautious about the length of settlement, speak to your bank about your finance situation and if there is a discrepancy with the valuation, see if it is something they can withdraw from the contract.”But PRDnationwide national research manager Diaswati Mardiasmo said she was not concerned about the expected increase in supply because of the spread of proposed townhouse projects across the city — from Carina to Calamvale in the south and Albion to Aspley in the north.“A lot of apartments have been focused on inner Brisbane, whereas if you look at the townhouse projects due to commence in 2018, they’re more spread out,” Dr Mardiasmo said. PRDnationwide national research manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo.“I’m seeing a lot of developers focusing on townhouse projects within walking distance to schools, shops and family-friendly amenities as opposed to being concentrated in the city.”Dr Mardiasmo said the townhouse market was also more insulated than the apartment sector because of the change in family composition in Brisbane since the 2011 and 2016 Censuses.She said the number of couple families with children had increased and that demographic would generally choose a townhouse over an apartment because of livability factors such as increased room and yard space.AREAS OF HOUSING SURPLUS IN QUEENSLAND Region Surplus dwellings % stock 1. Brisbane Inner 4,537 12.7%2. Townsville 4,259 5.3%3. Cairns — South 3,516 8.1%4. Gladstone — Biloela 3,384 9.4%5. Surfers Paradise 2,878 12.3%(Source: Australian National University)Follow @liztilley84 on Twitter Construction is scheduled to start on more than 5400 townhouses in Brisbane this year, according to PRDnationwide research.FORGET apartments, Brisbane is about to be swamped with a different type of attached dwelling — prompting fresh oversupply fears. As the inner-city unit sector flounders, industry experts say developers are turning their attention to townhouses, with a new wave of residential projects set to saturate the market in 2018. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE New research by PRDNationwide reveals the number of townhouses in greater Brisbane is set to surge by nearly 250 per cent this year, with construction scheduled to start on more than 5400 new townhouses.In comparison, there is set to be a 170 per cent increase in the number of new apartments predicted to hit the market this year. A townhouse development on Brinawa Street, Camp Hill.It comes as recent building approvals figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed townhouse approvals are at their highest level in 20 years, as the country’s ageing population seeks to downsize.Real Estate Buyers Association of Australia Queensland representative Zoran Solano predicts Brisbane is facing a townhouse glut over the next two to three years.Mr Solano, who is a buyer’s agent with Hot Property Buyers Agency, said he had been dealing first-hand with many developers who had been snapping up sites around the city for townhouse developments. Habitat on Kersley is a residential development in Kenmore, with townhouses due to be built this year.“We’ve seen an unprecedented amount of apartment settlements in recent years, so it’s getting harder and harder for developers to sell that product,” he said. Mr Solano said he had noticed a trend in developers shifting to lower-density development opportunities such as townhouses and house-and-land subdivisions, particularly within a 20km radius of the CBD.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours ago“There’s been a lot of transactions over the last 18 months and a lot of development applications and approvals of this lower density style product, which I believe has the potential to oversupply some pockets of our market,” he said. TRIPLE M’S MARTO SELLING UP CATS PHOTOBOMB HOME PHOTOSHOOT PAT RAFTER’S $18M PAYDAY Mr Solano said pockets of Brisbane around McDowall, Doolandella, Ellen Grove and Pallara were experiencing high rates of housing development and had the potential to become oversupplied markets.“There are arguments to show this is already happening, but now we’re seeing it even more as developers move away from units,” he said. Berge Street Townhouses is a residential project due to start construction in Mount Gravatt this year.
Inside the Broadbeach Waters home that House Rules winners Aaron and Daniella Winter have renovated. Picture: Nigel Hallett. One of the bedrooms in the Broadbeach Waters home that House Rules winners Aaron and Daniella Winter have renovated. Picture: Nigel Hallett.There is a “huge” master suite with a double shower, gorgeous stone bathrooms and black fixtures including the window frames, to add a contemporary edge.“We have floating stairs and Aaron built a feature wall to hold the stairs up, and there’s also a big bay window seat in the master bedroom,” Mrs Winter said of her favourite features. One of the bathrooms in the Broadbeach Waters house that House Rules winners Aaron and Daniella Winter have renovated. Picture: Nigel Hallett.The now rendered residence is resplendent in timeless grey and white, with matching muted tones inside, accentuated by timber floorboards and Caesarstone throughout.“It’s a two-storey modern coastal home, we raised the ceilings up to three metres high, and put a rake on them as well as a feature panel,” Inside the Broadbeach Waters home that House Rules winners Aaron and Daniella Winter have renovated. Picture: Nigel Hallett.“A build never runs smoothly, even if you’re working in a kitchen space you are dealing with the stone supplier, stone masonry, the cabinet-maker and then installing mirror splashbacks so it’s a lot of people,” Mrs Winter said.The couple has now set its sights on another project. The Broadbeach Waters home that House Rules winners Aaron and Daniella Winter have renovated. Picture: Nigel Hallett.It took the couple just three months to complete their project, while juggling family life with their two young sons at their nearby home.“Some of the work had already been pre-done and had council approval which is what we wanted, but we discovered the whole house was pretty much riddled with termites,” Mrs Winter said.“It took three days to demolish the house and another eight days to rebuild it again. We pretty much rebuilt a house in three months.” PERFECT HOME FOR BOOKWORMS BRISBANE ‘GHOST HOUSES’ ON THE RISE FAMILY SNAPS UP A WATERSLIDE WONDER More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours ago Last year’s House Rules winners Aaron and Daniella Winter have finished their first solo house flip in Broadbeach Waters. Picture: Nigel Hallett.HOUSE Rules stars Aaron and Daniella Winter’s latest renovation Gold Coast project has hit the market.The pair snapped up a two-storey Broadbeach Waters renovator for $1.015 million in September, 2017 just a few months after collecting $200,000 prize money on House Rules, with the intention to “flip and sell”. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Inside the Broadbeach Waters home that House Rules winners Aaron and Daniella Winter have renovated. Picture: Nigel Hallett.“I think we’ve got one of the biggest pools on the Gold Coast, it’s really deep with blue mosaic tiles and a retro feel, plus a big entertainment area.”Despite weather delaying the finishing touches to the exterior, the couple were happy with the end result.
Drinks anyone?More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoOver on the Gold Coast this waterfront mansion is perfectly set up for a good party.With polished timber floorboards, the stylish room has more than enough room to store your drinks, as well as space for a pool table and video game machine. 70 Woodlark Crescent, Parkinson Old school style.What is not to like about the this? The billiards room in this Parkinson home has two wet bars, and if you need more the home also comes with a wine cellar that can store 2500 bottles. 72 Macdonald Steet, Norman Park FANCY: Take a look at the wet bars in these impressive Queensland homes.THERE would never be an excuse to not bring the party back to your place with these amazing wet bars.We found some of the most impressive wet bars in Queensland properties that are currently on the market. 31-33 Clear Water Bay Avenue, Clear Island Waters Laid-back comfort.This stylish Brisbane home over in Norman Park has this spacious wet bar on the ground floor. Includes a bar fridge and plenty of space for a pool table. Although all these homes are currently on the market, sadly the alcohol is not included.
INTRO: Almaty Railway and West Kazakstan Railway are acquiring 32 repowering kits from Erie to upgrade unreliable dieselsAgeing Type 2TE10 locomotives in Kazakstan are suffering poor availability, mainly due to engine and associated parts performance. General Electric of Erie, Pennsylvania, is providing 32 kits of 7FDL12 engines, plus traction alternator, rectifiers, and all auxiliaries associated with the engine and alternator. The existing DC traction motors will continue in use.The first locomotive was sent to Erie for development of the kit installation process, and complete testing of the modernised unit (above). A railway team from both customers was present during installation and test, and will manage the installation and test process at each site in Kazakstan. GE will continue to assist on site as necessary.The engine, alternator and connected parts are assembled and mounted on a sub-frame which includes an air distribution duct (below). This is ready to be inserted into the locomotive on site. Other components such as the radiator, radiator fan and compressor are included in the kit for separate mounting.The modernisation process will greatly improve reliability and availability, reduce the repair resources needed, improve fuel efficiency, and cut environmental pollution. o
The true average volatility level for real estate across Europe is no more than 15%, he said.According to the agreed text of the directive, the standard model charge can be substituted by an internal model based on the actual volatility of an insurer’s property portfolio after approval by national regulators.But in practice, devising this tailored solvency requirement is a very expensive option only open for big insurers, according to Rupp.“Large companies can do that to avoid the 25%, but smaller companies find that quite hard to do, and the cost is a deal breaker,” he said.However, negotiators from the European Parliament, member states and the European Commission did strike a compromise that provides some flexibility in calculating how much capital insurers must hold to protect against market swings, INREV said.The final agreement included a 65% across-the-board volatility dampener that takes account of the cash insurers need to set aside to meet their liquidity needs in case their portfolio value decreases.The cash needed for the whole portfolio is calculated and then multiplied by 65%.This dampener effectively reduces the 25% standard model charge for real estate, but Rupp pointed out it would also apply to other asset classes.“At the end of the day, real estate is still in a relatively disadvantaged position,” he said.John Forbes, an independent consultant specialising in real estate, said following the tripartite agreement on Omnibus II, there were still significant areas of uncertainty to be resolved in the Solvency II regime.The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) now has the task of finalising the level 2 regulations that will implement Solvency II, he said.“Apart from the uncertainty in the regulation itself, the real estate industry faces a lack of clarity as to how individual insurance companies will implement the changes necessary,” Forbes said. Investment managers now also need to establish what information their insurance clients need for their capital charge modelling, he said, adding that insurers were only just beginning to work out the answer to this question.Melville Rodrigues, partner at CMS Cameron McKenna, said there were elements of the announcements that real estate fund managers would not welcome, and they should continue to monitor Solvency II developments.“For instance, managers may need to adjust their reporting practices and comply with the look-through principle,” he said. Real estate has been disadvantaged compared with other asset classes in the Omnibus II agreement reached by EU institutions on Wednesday night because the solvency capital charge for insurers on property holdings is too high, according to INREV.The Omnibus II directive, which updates and makes changes to the EU’s Solvency II risk-based regulatory regime for the union’s insurers, retains the standard model 25% charge for real estate holdings, said INREV, the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles.Jeff Rupp, director of public affairs at INREV, said: “The bad news is the 25% standard change, which is supposed to reflect the volatility of portfolios across Europe – but which, research has shown, overstates it.”The association has argued that the data used to come up with the figure of 25% to represent the volatility of real estate – the IPD UK monthly index – does not include data from Continental Europe or residential property, and so overstates the volatility of the asset class for Europe as a whole.
European investors were also positive on real estate, with 48.9% expecting to increase allocations, compared with 26.9% of North American investors.INREV, the real estate fund association for Europe, has been carrying out its Investment Intentions survey since 2007, but has teamed up with ANREV and PREA – its counterparts in Asia and the US, respectively – to provide a more global perspective.The results were revealed at the INREV Winter Seminar in London on Wednesday evening, where delegates heard that Germany was the top target market in Europe when including domestic investors, and the UK was the most popular market for international investors.UK offices was the most popular country-sector combination, preferred by 45% of investors, followed by French offices (44%) and German offices (43%).It was also revealed that ‘investment style’ preferences in European real estate funds remained consistent with 12 months ago, with approximately half of investors preferring core investments, around 42% preferring value-added strategies and roughly 7% preferring opportunistic investments.But Hesp revealed that the numbers for value-added and opportunistic would be lower if not for North American investors, which typically look for higher returns when investing outside their domestic market.The majority (70%) of Americans prefer value-add and the remaining 30% prefer opportunistic, while 66.7% of Asian investors prefer core and the remaining 33.3% are split evenly between value-add and opportunistic.Most European investors prefer core, especially Dutch (76.5%) and Swiss (75%) investors, although the majority of German investors (66.7%) also showed a preference for value-add strategies.Matthias Thomas, chief executive at INREV, said: “The global ‘Investment Intentions Survey’ reflects a generally positive sentiment across the industry as we enter 2014.“And while we see some familiar anticipated behaviours – such as European investors adopting a mostly defensive strategy and their US and Asian counterparts being more opportunistic – in Europe, there are also interesting shifts in attitude with a growing appetite for risk.” Institutional investors across the globe are increasing their allocations to real estate and intend to plough €35bn into the asset class in 2014, according to research by INREV, ANREV and PREA.The Investment Intentions Survey, a joint project between the three associations, surveyed 142 investors and found that, on average, they intend to increase their allocations from 9.5% to 10.3%.According to Casper Hesp, director of research and market information at INREV, greater confidence among investors, a more stable economic picture and perceived diversification benefits were the main factors behind the trend.Investors from Asia-Pacific were responsible for much of the growth, with 53.8% of those surveyed expecting to increase their allocations over the next two years.
The Merseyside Pension Fund has appointed four transition managers as it looks to implement a drastic overhall of its asset allocation – and managers – over the next four years.The £5bn (€6bn) fund, one of the largest local government funds in the UK, announced its intention to appoint a raft of transition managers late last year.It has since appointed BlackRock, State Street, Citigroup Global Markets and Japanese bank Nomura.The managers have been appointed on a four-year contract, running under a framework agreement to be utilised as and when the fund requires transition services. Merseyside said it would be reviewing its investment arrangements and expects to make amendments to its asset allocation and investment managers over the next four years.It added that, because its asset allocation contains a diverse range of assets and asset managers, it will require different transition managers for differing situations.The four appointed transition managers, chosen from a compeititve tender of eight, will now be subject to a “mini-competition exercise” whenever the fund requires transition services.The appointment will come as a boost to State Street in particular, given recent turmoil at the bank over its transition management services.Its transition management arm was recently handed a £23m fine from the UK financial regulator over “significant failings” in the business.State Street had been deliberately overcharging six institutions – to the tune of £20m in revenue – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said, as it criticised the bank’s internal controls.Further to this, a long-standing client, the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) of Ireland, terminated all of its contracts in the aftermath of the fine.The NPRF, one of the clients to be overcharged by State Street’s UK transition management business, had previously reclaimed €2.65m in non-contractual fees imposed by the bank.
During the first quarter, when interest rates also decreased, the pension fund’s holdings of fixed income and interest swaps, delivered more than 3%, it said.Equity (26.7%), property (2.5%) and infrastructure (0.9%) returned 0.71%, 0.67% and 2% respectively during the first three months.Vervoer noted that its funding at March-end would have been 109.3% without applying the three-month average, which has been the official discount rate during the past few years.The transport scheme manages the pensions of 624,000 participants in total. The €15.8bn Dutch transport pension fund, Vervoer, returned 1.6% in April, following a 6% yield during the first quarter of 2014. In the wake of a further drop in interest rates in April, the scheme’s 64.3% fixed income portfolio contributed 0.4 percentage points to the monthly result, the scheme said.Its hedge of the interest risk on its liabilities and currency added 1 percentage point and 0.2 percentage points to the April return.As the fall of interest rates caused an increase of liabilities, Vervoer’s coverage ratio dropped 0.4 percentage points to 112.3% in April.
The €125m pension fund of fashion chain Peek & Cloppenburg has decided to liquidate itself to join the €12bn industry-wide scheme for the Dutch retail sector, Detailhandel. Chairman Jos van Noort told IPE that demands from regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) to increase the level of expertise among its trustees had also been a factor in its decision, adding that the pension fund felt the DNB’s demands could jeopardise its “continuity”.Currently, the Pensioenfonds Peek & Cloppenburg boasts a funding ratio of 120% – although Van Noort acknowledged this was partly due to savings on admin costs following its decision to merge.He added that any funding surplus at the P&C scheme at the time of the merger – scheduled for 1 January 2015 – would be added to the pension rights of “his” participants and pensioners. As of the end of August, Detailhandel reported a funding ratio of 119.6%. Van Noort said the P&C scheme had refrained from placing its pensions arrangements with an insurer largely due to the risk that “insurers can go bust”.This would hit younger participants in particular, according to the board.The chairman also said the consolidation had come at the request of the employer.The liquidation of the P&C scheme – and its subsequent merger with Detailhandel – is still subject to DNB approval, according to Van Noort, who also said arrangements still needed to be fleshed out with the industry-wide scheme.The Pensioenfonds Peek & Cloppenburg has approximately 3,000 participants, of which 600 are active. In January, it granted its participants an 0.5% indexation.It increased the annual pensions accrual from 1.47% to 1.62% last year.
A spokeswoman for AP2 confirmed that the buffer fund had filled the vacancy with an internal appointment but declined to name the replacement.The fund has more than SEK280bn (€30.5bn) in assets and employs external managers for global equity and credit strategies, emerging market sovereign debt and some of its alternative mandates – including its holdings in Chinese A shares.In 2014, it overhauled the way in which it manages its emerging market holdings, bringing a majority of the mandates in-house.CAR, which was established in 2011, conducts primary and secondary search projects spanning several years.It has partnerships with the Boston University Center for Finance, Law & Policy and Tufts University, which is home to the Fletcher Network for Sovereign Wealth and Global Capital.Read about how AP2 and other leading investors are lowering the carbon footprint of their portfolios The head of external equity managers at AP2 has departed the Swedish buffer fund for a US-based think tank.Mimmi Kheddache-Jendeby joined the Center for Applied Research (CAR), State Street’s think tank, earlier this month and will be vice-president and senior research strategist. She graduated from the University of Gothenburg in 2003 with a masters in industrial and financial economics and was hired immediately by AP2, only leaving in early January.Kheddache-Jendeby spent several years at the fund as portfolio manager for external mandates and was most recently head of equity for external managers.
Assets at the end of 2014 accounted for 84% of global GDP, compared with just 54% six years earlier.Global investment director at Towers Watson, Roger Urwin, said the 84% figure still showed poor value for pensioner populations.“While there has been a significant improvement in various pension balance sheets around the world since the financial crisis, many DB pension funds are still in very weak solvency positions,” he said.“The acid test for national pension systems should be to get assets to at least 150% of GDP. If that were combined with an improving recognition of good governance as a return driver and sustainable investing as genuinely value adding, it would put the pensions world in much better shape.”Only the Netherlands (166%) surpassed the 150% figured cited by Urwin, with the US, Switzerland, the UK and Australia joining the Dutch in surpassing the 100% mark.Towers Watson also said the seven largest pensions markets tinkered with asset allocation over the course of 2014, with 42.3% in equities, 30.6% in bonds and 24.8% in alternatives.Allocations to bonds increased over the year, alternatives decreased and equities remained level.Last year’s report highlighted the UK’s overtaking Japan as the second-largest pensions market. Pensions assets across the globe surpassed $36trn (€32trn) in 2014 after a strong surge in Australia, Mexico and Hong Kong offset slower growth in Europe.The average growth rate of pension assets in the 16 largest markets was 8% on an annualised basis between 2004 and 2014, research from Towers Watson showed.Its annual ‘Global Pensions Assets Study’ showed a 6.1% rise in global pension assets, in US dollar terms, with the US, the UK and Japan still accounting for more than 75% of that figure.Rising assets in Mexico (19%), South Africa (13%) and Hong Kong (10%) supported the growth of the overall industry, calculated on an annualised basis in local currency between 2004 and 2014. Source: Towers WatsonPension asset growth over one, five and 10-year periods in local currency terms Australia, the world’s fourth-largest pensions market, had 11.2% growth.The UK saw 9% growth, the Netherlands 8.2% and Germany 7.4%, while pension assets in Switzerland, France and Ireland grew by 3.1%, 2.5% and 5.6%, respectively, over the 10-year period.Towers Watson said the Netherlands led the way over the course of the year, with more than 20% growth in assets, closely followed by France, Germany and Ireland.Switzerland and the UK both saw more than 10% growth in assets, with Brazil the only major pensions country to experience a fall, with close to negative 5%.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#
“But pension funds are reacting – they are looking at plan design and de-risking adjustments and choosing more conservative technical parameters.”One example of this is the PKSBB, the pension fund for Switzerland’s federal railways, which announced in recent months that it would lower its discount and conversion rates and shift to generation tables for its longevity calculations.But Markus Hübscher, managing director at PKSBB, warned that interest rates were “falling faster than we can adjust our technical parameters”.He added that the PKSBB had rejected plans to increase investment risk or risk budget, as the company feared it might have to pay more money into the scheme. However, the SBB has decided to buffer losses suffered by members through cuts in the conversion rate and will help the Pensionskasse to top up pension payouts.This way, pensions will be kept at the level promised under the 5.8% conversion rate, despite the rate’s being cut to 5.22%.Hübscher said the current debate on negative interest rates and the difficult market environment in Switzerland had helped make plain these measures to members.“Before, many members did not understand the link between low interest rates and low expected returns of a pension fund,” he said.“But, with a negative interest rate, now they understand.”Peter Zanella, managing director at Towers Watson Switzerland, speculated that the debate might actually help sway public opinion on a number of contentious changes planned under the Altersvorsorge 2020 reform proposal.In 2010, the voters rejected a cut in the conversion rate to 6.4%, but now the proposed cut to 6% might be “easier to achieve”, he said.And Lukas Riesen, a partner at PPCmetrics, said the situation regarding pension payouts was actually better than expected, because, at the time the payout levels were guaranteed, providers had actually factored inflation into their calculations, which has not occurred.“The system in itself remains good,” he said. “It just needs to be adjusted to reality.” Swiss pension funds are trying to look on the bright side of their new-found situation, brought about after the issuance of 10-year government bonds with negative interest rates.Christoph Ryter, president at the Swiss pension fund association ASIP, said a number of changes to technical parameters had already been accounted for, particularly at pension funds managing above-mandatory assets, which is currently the majority.“I do not see vultures circling over the Pensionskassen yet,” he said. “They can adapt to the situation.”Responding to media reports warning of possible funding problems in the Swiss second pillar, Olivier Vaccaro, a consulting partner at Aon Hewitt, said: “Of course, if the current environment remains the same, there will be a big problem.
The cost of doing this was negligible, NBIM said, countering arguments that cost was a reason for gathering board candidates into just one voting item.“In cases were votes are effectively bundled, we may need to vote against the board slate if we have serious concerns with individual board candidates,” NBIM said.Although this ran contrary to usual practice in certain markets, the asset manager said proper recording and reporting of shareholder votes in board elections would support the integrity of the board election process. It outlined many different ways that boards are elected and votes counted across different markets, including the practice of votes being given by show of hands, which allows no vote count by share.“We encourage all stakeholders in the proxy voting chain, including companies and regulators, to contribute to an individual-vote count market standard,” it said.It said that its conclusion was backed by the trend to move away from bundling and towards individual votes in markets such as France, Germany and Spain.Sweden and Finland were among the few remaining advanced markets that had bundled board elections, it said.Bundled elections are also usual practice in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Luxembourg and Turkey, and are common in Greece, Italy, Mexico and South Korea, according to NBIM.The manager has recently changed its approach to engagement, and will now disclose select voting positions ahead of AGMs. Norway’s NOK6.9trn (€812bn) sovereign wealth fund has spoken out against shareholder voting practices that stop asset owners from being able to single out individual company directors when they are unhappy with them.In a paper on the issue, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), warned it may vote against whole boards if the system means it cannot express dissatisfaction with an individual member of that board.NBIM said: “We find that the balance of arguments are clearly in favour of a policy requiring each board candidate to be a separate voting item, with individual count at the shareholder meeting and subsequent disclosure of vote statistics.”Board elections were a mechanism for making boards accountable to shareholders, and having an individual vote count of each board member seemed to work well in markets where this was the normal practice, it said.
“Accordingly,” the document states, “the Council were advised that the fund would not be requesting them to set up a Scottish Limited Partnership to hold its private rented residential investments.”The Scottish parliament currently has limited tax-raising powers and is able to vary the rate of income tax charged by 3 percentage points.Under legislation currently being debated, the devolved assembly would be granted more significant powers, including over income tax rates and air passenger duties.The decision has not halted Berkshire’s acquisition of PRS assets.Greenwood confirmed in the same report that the fund bought a 70% stake in an apartment block in the town of Wokingham for £5.7m.Greenwood’s report said the building consisted of 40 flats, all of which were rented, and that the fund was expecting to yield 4% from its investment by next year. The fund was recently involved in talks with two neighbouring boroughs that would have seen the merger of the three local government pension funds (LGPS).However, Berkshire’s most recent business plan said it still hoped to reduce costs through “co-operative working with other LGPS funds” over the course of 2015-16. The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has shelved plans for a wholly owned property subsidiary over the devolution of greater tax powers to Scotland.The £1.6bn (€1.9bn) local authority fund was previously considering the launch of a Scottish Limited Partnership to hold its private rented sector (PRS) housing assets as it built up a portfolio, but it abandoned the idea earlier this month.Nick Greenwood, pension fund manager for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said the limited partnership idea was dropped after the UK government promised the Scottish parliament greater tax-raising powers in the wake of 2014’s unsuccessful independence referendum.In a document tabled at the fund’s most recent pensions committee, Greenwood said representatives for the pension fund and the council’s head of finance agreed that the “small risk” of loss of tax transparency for the limited partnership – “the possibility the income received in a Scottish Limited Partnership would be taxed in Scotland” – outweighed any benefits Berkshire might gain from setting up the company.
Bpf Landbouw, the €15bn industry-wide scheme for agricultural workers in the Netherlands, has taken in four pension funds with combined assets of €880m last year.The pension fund now covers a broad spectrum of industries, including horticulturists and agricultural contractors.Last year, the pension funds of Givaudan, a fragrance and food-flavouring specialist, and Dairy Trading, a dairy producer, joined Landbouw after they were liquidated and transferred their pension assets.Groenten en Fruit, the sector scheme for the vegetables and fruit processing industry, and the company pension fund of Heinz also merged with Landbouw in 2015. Merging with the pension funds raised the total number of participants in Landbouw by more than 19,000 to approximately 620,000.Because Landbouw outsourced its pensions provision to Aegon subsidiary TKP, the pension funds of Givaudan and Dairy Trading terminated contracts in place with Aon Hewitt.Groenten en Fruit and the Heinz scheme had to leave Syntrus Achmea and NN subsidiary AZL, respectively.Bpf Landbouw has outsourced its asset management to Achmea Investment Management.As a result of the four pension funds joining the agricultural scheme, the asset managers BMO (Groenten en Fruit), Robeco (Heinz), SEI Investments (Givaudan) and Aegon Asset Management (Dairy Trading) lost clients.Because all joining schemes had a higher funding than Landbouw, they could benefit from the surplus assets through one-off increases of pension rights, with the participants of Dairy Trading and Groenten en Fruit receiving improvements of 7% and 12%, respectively.At November-end, Bpf Landbouw’s policy funding ratio – the criterion for rights cuts and indexation – stood at 100.9%.
In a statement he said: “Mercer’s broad range of services enables us to provide a holistic approach to serving our clients, giving us and our clients access to an international network of specialists.” Vontobel restructuringVontobel Asset Management has combined its multi-asset class and Vescore businesses to form a single CHF40bn (€35bn) multi-asset boutique.Christophe Bernard, chief strategist and head of the existing multi-asset business, is departing in connection with the move, with Daniel Seiler, Vescore’s chief investment officer, set to lead the combined team.Bernard had decided to leave Vontobel after the transfer of responsibilities was complete, according to a statement from the manager.Investors could now choose between systematic, fundamental or combined strategies “based on a state-of-the-art risk management setup”, it added.Systematic solutions would continue to be offered under the Vescore brand, while more fundamental solutions would be offered under the Vontobel Asset Management brand.“Markets change all the time, so investors and we must adapt continuously,” said Seiler. “By combining skill-based and systematic expertise in one platform, Vontobel can access a wider range of alpha sources.”compenswiss legal status switchGovernment ministers have approved the final arrangements for compenswiss to become a federal institution with its own legal status with effect from 1 January.The three social security funds whose assets (totalling €30.9bn) it manages will be transferred to the new entity. They were previously legally independent.Christophe Schaer, the funds’ chief investment strategist, talked to IPE about the benefits of the new arrangement earlier this year. Mercer’s Swiss business has officially partnered with independent domestic pension fund consultancy CMP Egliada after a year-long pilot phase.The organisations said they wanted to deepen their collaboration in the long term.“We have seen that the collaboration works well and our customers are very satisfied,” said Samuel Lisse, CEO for Mercer Switzerland.Three-person consulting company CMP Egliada was founded in September 2017. The word ‘egliada’, according to the company, means overview, perspective or insight, as well as far-sighted in Switzerland’s Romansch language. The ‘CMP’ stands for the names of the founding partners: Livio Cathomen, Ursula May, and Matthias Pfiffner, Cathomen told IPE.
Swiss pension providers are unlikely to be permitted to alter pension payouts to retirees after a committee of MPs rejected a proposal to allow flexibility around existing payments.The group of 22 politicians – known as the SGK-NR commission – narrowly voted down the proposal, making it unlikely that parliament would approve it.The motion was put forward by Green Party MP Thomas Weibel in December 2017 to help ease the mounting pressure on Pensionskassen from fixed pension payouts. The pressure has increased due to high conversion rates and low interest rates.In Switzerland pension levels are promised when a contract with a Pensionskasse is signed, meaning adding variable elements to existing pension promises is almost unprecedented. In their reasoning, the committee argued that variable pension payments would “bring great uncertainty” to members of Pensionskassen.Additionally, the committee said that introducing such a fundamental change to the second pillar could interfere with other pension reforms currently under discussion.Those who voted in favour of the motion cited the “unfair” use of active members’ accrued assets to pay existing pensioners’ benefits, as was the case with a number of Pensionskassen in Switzerland.A small number of companies have introduced a form of top-up element that can vary with time, while 1e plans for high earners also have variability for payouts – but in most cases this only applies to new members.Overall, the concept – even for new contracts – is regarded with scepticism by the Swiss pensions industry. Variable pension payments were the subject of a heated debate at a conference in Zurich organised by regional supervisor BVS. Pension funds welcome decisionAfter the vote, the Swiss pension fund association Asip welcomed the commission’s decision.“Without a minimum guarantee the reliability of the occupational pension system and people’s trust in it would be strained,” Asip warned.Rather than introducing a variable element to existing pensions, the lobby group called on Pensionskassen to “issue much more cautiously defined guarantees today to allow for possible surpluses to be shared with pensioners in the future”.Under current regulations, inflation-linked pension increases have to be granted by individual funds and do not happen automatically. Payouts can be increased but cannot be cut, even when a pension fund is in financial trouble.Lower levels of guarantees in future contracts could still prove insufficient to help Pensionskassen that are struggling with keeping promises made when interest rates were higher.Weibel has brought forward several motions over the past few years to reform the occupational pension sector, including one aimed at making infrastructure investments more attractive for Pensionskassen.This was approved by both chambers of parliament last year but has yet to make it into legislation.
The Philips fund also reduced the strategic allocation of its combined equity and property holdings to 35-45%, following an asset-liability management study. Its fixed income allocation was to range from 55% to 65%, the scheme said.At year-end, the pension fund held 42.5% in equity and property, and 57.5% in fixed income.The pension fund said its passively managed government bond portfolio gained 2.9% “following high demand as a result of worries about the economy”. Source: PhilipsPhilips’ Dutch pension fund lost 2.4% in 2018Mortgages delivered 0.3% as a result of a new valuation method, based on individual housing loans and an interest rate based on consumer tariffs. Without these changes, the gain would have been 2.7%.It lost 1.6% on its holdings of emerging market debt. Of this, the majority was due to “strong volatility of government bonds of Turkey and Argentina”, the Philips scheme said.High-yield credit delivered 2.4% – an outperformance of 40 basis points – due to a defensive position aimed at a higher creditworthiness, it said.The Philips Pensioenfonds credited high returns from property funds for its 3.1% overall gain from real estate. This was 1.7 percentage points short of its benchmark, Philips said, but its portfolio was still under construction and in part invested in cash. The pension fund planned to fill the allocation with indirect non-listed property investments.Roel Wijmenga, the scheme’s chairman, said the board was concerned about the costs of a transition from average pensions accrual to degressive accrual, planned as part of wide-ranging Dutch pension reforms.He estimated that costs for his pension fund would be “hundreds of millions”, and urged the government to thoroughly look into the effects of the change in case “the remedy turns out to be worse than the problem”.Wijmenga said that the Philips Pensioenfonds was soon to begin the selection process for a pensions administrator to take over from PGGM, its current provider, from 2022. The provider would also have to ensure the scheme was optimally prepared for the introduction of a new pensions system.He added that PGGM would also participate in the selection process and that a decision should be finalised before the end of 2019. The €18.5bn Dutch pension fund of electronics giant Philips said its 2.4% loss last year was entirely due to its currency hedge.In its annual report for 2018, the scheme said that the US dollar and the Japanese yen had both appreciated relative to the euro, but its hedge was positioned for depreciation.Despite the negative contribution to its overall result, the pension fund insisted that it was sensible to keep on hedging currency risk given that its liabilities were in euros. In addition, it said research had shown that running currency risk didn’t pay off in the long term.However, the scheme said it had decided to halve the full currency hedge in its equity portfolio “for strategic reasons”.
Europe’s largest asset manager has launched a $500m (€453m) climate bond fund in partnership with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).The organisations are aiming to raise an additional $500m from other institutional investors for the Asia Climate Bond Portfolio before starting to deploy capital from January 2020, according to a press release published today.Amundi and AIIB have developed an analysis framework for securities aimed at assessing “issuers’ ability to cope with climate change”, taking into account each company’s “green business”, climate mitigation efforts and resilience to the effects of climate change.Using this framework, Amundi’s global emerging market debt team will allocate to “labelled green bonds and unlabelled climate bonds” and engage with issuers to improve their resilience to climate change. The investors also said they wanted to engage with companies to “support the emergence of climate champions” in sectors such as infrastructure. NN IP claimed the fund was in a position to save 547,505 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, based on the impact of its investments in environmental assets.In addition, NN IP reported that the funded had outperformed its benchmark – the Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Euro Green Bond index – by 63 basis points a year since launch, before deducting fees.Bram Bos, lead portfolio manager for green bonds at NN IP, said the fund’s focus on “dark green” assets meant investors were able to reduce their carbon footprints and protect against climate risk “without sacrificing liquidity and returns”.“Dark green” bonds, according to NN IP, are linked to projects making a “measurable positive contribution” to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on “climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.“In addition, we observe that these bonds offer better governance and greater transparency due to a higher level of engagement with issuers and stricter reporting requirements,” Bos addedThe global green bond market was worth €440bn at the end of June 2019, according to NN IP. Credit: Peggy and Marco Lachmann-Anke Air pollution in Shanghai, ChinaLord Nicholas Stern – an economist and professor at the London School of Economics who also sits on AIIB’s advisory board – said the fund would “help support the emergence of green leaders in Asia” and mobilise “very large amounts of money for climate action and the energy transition in critical regions of the world”.He added: “We should expect strong performance – more responsible investment and more modern techniques offer better returns.”DJ Pandian, the AIIB’s chief investment officer, said: “We expect this investment will demonstrate how international financial institutions can approach development finance differently to support the Paris Agreement and adoption of climate finance principles.”The investors said a portion of investment proceeds would be allocated to “market education, engagement and issuer support”.AXA IM launches impact fundAXA Investment Managers plans to launch an impact investing fund targeting companies serving consumers in Latin America, Asia and southern Africa.The French investment house is aiming to raise $300-$400m to allocate to private companies operating in sectors such as healthcare and finance.In a statement announcing the launch, AXA IM specifically highlighted companies seeking to improve access to drugs and vaccines, and those seeking to improve financial coverage to new groups of people.Earlier this year, the asset manager launched an impact fund focused on climate and biodiversity, raising $175m. AXA IM’s impact investing team runs $600m in total.NN IP green bond fund hits €1bnDutch asset manager NN Investment Partners’ (NN IP) green bond fund has reached €1bn in assets under management in three years since its launch in 2016.
Packaging material manufacturer Smurfit Kappa and the unions have reached an agreement on the firm’s plan to place pensions accrual for its Dutch staff with a single pension fund.The employer will pay an additional contribution of €2.4m to its €772m pension fund.In addition, the 300 active participants of the €142m Pensioenfonds Smurfit Nederland, who are to join the larger scheme, will now pay the same premium as their Smurfit Kappa colleague members and will join the same pension plan.Under the initial plan, the transferring participants would have to pay a higher contribution, while their accrued pension – reinsured by Nationale Nederlanden – would no longer be raised for inflation compensation. The parties have agreed that the €2.4m would be paid into a separate deposit, to be managed by the remaining pension fund for all (former) participants of Pensioenfonds Smurfit Nederland, which is to be liquidated.The employer had already promised to pay €550,000 in total for the transfer of defined contribution plans to Smurfit Kappa pension fund, as well as the transfer of defined benefit pensions to Nationale Nederlanden.Any assets remaining after the liquidation of the Pensioenfonds Smurfit Nederland would be used for a one-off indexation of pension rights at the insurer, according to the parties.At the end of November, the funding ratio at Smurfit Kappa stood at 101.4%.Van Lanschot scheme closes to new entrantsThe €1.1bn pension fund of Dutch boutique investor Van Lanschot Kempen has closed to new entrants as of 1 January.On its website, it said it was assessing possible scenarios for its future, while highlighting that it was able to continue independently for the time being.It announced it had sufficient financial means to pay for pensions provision without affecting its funding ratio, and that its governance was up-to-date.According to the pension fund, 2020 was a “logical moment” to look at new pension arrangements, as the contract for pensions provision between the employer and the scheme expired at the end of 2019.Currently, the pension fund implements a defined benefit plan for employees with a salary up to €52,807, and defined contribution arrangements for any surplus salary.A spokesman for the company said new pensions accrual – in a DC plan – was placed with ASR, adding that the employer intended to collectively transfer the accrued DC capital for the salary part exceeding €52,807 to ASR.At the end of November, the scheme’s coverage ratio stood at 107.8%. The pension fund has approximately 1,120 active participants, 2,355 deferred members and 795 pensioners.
It said the return on emerging market equities was -3.4% in January, to which the firm alsp blames the virus for.As interest rates dropped considerably, the 30-year swap rate – Dutch schemes’ main standard for discounting liabilities – fell by 29bps to 0.34%, both firms said.As a consequence, pension funds’ liabilities rose by approximately 5% under the official discount rate, which is boosted by the application of an ultimate forward rate (UFR), according to Mercer.Were the pure market rate to be used, liabilities had risen even higher, by 6%, it added.Aon warned that Dutch pension funds remain vulnerable because of the sector’s widely shared expectation of lower returns in the coming years.It said that investment results ranging from 3-4%, including volatility, threatens to limit pension funds’ recovery potential.Although social affairs’ minister Wouter Koolmees has granted a temporary reprieve last November from the minimum funding requirements, the minimum required coverage ratio will be back from 90% to the official level of 104.3% at year-end.‘Stay calm’Aaron Costello, regional head for Asia, at Cambridge Associates, said: “Investors should stay calm.” While the Wuhan coronavirus is still spreading, the virus remains less deadly and more contained than the SARS outbreak of 2002–03.“Looking at other epidemics, history suggests that after an initial sharp hit, economies and markets typically recover quickly,” he added.He said the economic and human impact of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is still increasing, and markets may decline further in the coming weeks.However, investors should not overreact. “Indeed, further downside in Asian and Chinese equities may provide a compelling buying opportunity once the fear subsides,” he said.StyleAnalytics, a factor analysis expert company, said the biggest economic risk at this point is fear of a Chinese market collapse and a drop in Chinese productivity/supply chain to the rest of the world.It agrees that investors “shouldn’t worry much about factor tilts if the virus remains contained to China”.But it suggests that if the contagion results in a fear-scenario, investors might want to tilt towards low-volatility and away from small-cap equity.It said: ”Since the biggest impact of this virus will almost certainly be to the Chinese economy, the protection that low-vol and yield provided during the last  Chinese equity crisis suggests a defensive strategy for factor investors as the world watches this latest crises unfold.” The negative economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China last month has slightly affected the funding positions of Dutch pension funds, undoing the improvement achieved in December, Aon said.Aon, as well as Mercer, said Dutch schemes’ coverage ratio dropped to 101% on average in January. This is a decrease of two percentage points according to Aon, and three percentage points according to Mercer. Both consultants use slightly different calculation methods.Aon said the coverage ratio had increased in December to 103%. According to both firms, the average policy funding ratio at the end of January for Dutch pension funds was 102%.Due to global fears of the coronavirus, equity returns declined and there was a flight to safe investments, which lowered interest rates, Aon explained.
After having agreed to the text of the pensions accord, the parliament members’ voted in favour of a motion requiring the trade union to devote maximum efforts to speeding up the transition to the new DC arrangements, which the FNV board agreed to.Many union members fear pensions cuts during the so-called transition phase to the new system, which is supposed to last until 2026. During this period, current rules on required minimum funding ratios will remain in place.A second motion by the parliament called for additional indexation for pensioners to make up for the many years of lost indexation for most Dutch pensioners since the geat financial crisis.In response, the trade union board said it will pay attention to the “justified demand” for balanced indexation for all generations during the transition phase.Happy ministerReacting to the FNV decision to agree with the pensions accord, Social Affairs Minister Wouter Koolmees spoke of a “huge step towards a more personal and more transparent pensions system.”“It’s great there is now broad support among both employers and employees. There’s a very happy minister standing in front of you,” he told journalists in The Hague.Dutch parliament’s Second Chamber, the country’s main legislative body, will debate the pensions accord on 14 July and will then design a new pensions law which is supposed to come into force in January 2021. Pension funds will then have until 2026 to implement the changes.Mr Koolmees said pension funds do not need to wait till next year to make a start on this, however. “They can already start preparing for the transition, for example by modernising their pensions arrangements and IT structure,” he said.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. The members of parliament for the largest Dutch trade union, FNV, have at last agreed to the pensions accord cementing a switch to defined contribution (DC) arrangements. On Saturday, the 105-member parliament voted to endorse the accord by a 62% majority.The FNV was supposed to have given its approval two weeks ago, but postponed the vote to 4 July because of strong opposition to an online meeting among members, many of whom refused to log on to the online meeting in June so it could not be held.Since 1 July, physical meetings have been once again allowed in the Netherlands provided social distancing is being observed.The meeting dragged on almost the entire day because of fierce opposition to the pension plans from some radical union members. Technical issues also caused delays, as some members took part by video link.
“I have therefore informed the Ministry of Trade and Industry that I am resigning from the board,” said Ørting, who is currently chair of the advisory board of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity.Ørting’s appointment was one of four Danish FSA board hires announced last week, which filled a number of vacancies.Following the appointment, citing unnamed sources Danish financial news service FinansWatch reported that during the time between 2015 and 2018 when Ørting was employed as head of security at Barclays, he had been a key figure in a hunt for a whistleblower.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. One of the Danish FSA’s four new board members appointed last Wednesday, Troels Ørting Jørgensen, has already quit following news reports about his role in a whistleblower scandal at UK bank Barclays, according to a statement from the authority (Finanstilsynet).The FSA announced today: “Troels Ørting has notified the Ministry of Business Affairs that he is resigning from the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority’s board.”In the statement, Ørting (also spelled as Oerting) is quoted as saying: “I have taken note of the latest mention in the press.“Although there is no substance for the criticism that is being raised, I have come to the conclusion that this should not stand in the way of the important work of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority in the coming years,” he said.
The backyard has loads of room to run.Place Bulimba lead agent Matthew Hackett said the home would be well suited to a young family.“It’s a very low maintenance home and it’s got five big bedrooms,” Mr Hackett said.“There’s a big rumpus room upstairs, open-plan living downstairs, as well as a great backyard.The residence will go under the hammer at 11am on Saturday. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 10:02Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -10:02 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p270p270p180p180pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenJune, 2018: Liz Tilley talks prestige property10:02 The alfresco dining area at 34 Childs St.There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms across the two levels, and the house is on a 607sq m block.There is also something for the wine lovers, with a wine cellar capable of housing about 250 bottles of wine. One of the bedrooms at 172 Morehead Ave.Downstairs is tiled, while the upstairs hallway and rumpus room has polished timber floorboards. The gas fireplace will keep you toasty through the colder months.The fireplace is gas, and attached is a chimney which extends above the two floors of the home on the outside. The Hamptons style home at 36 Morley St, Chelmer, will go under the hammer on Saturday.YOU would be forgiven for thinking this hamptons estate-style home at Chelmer was decades old.In fact, it was only built three years ago but was done so with the old feel of the suburb in mind. This home also has a fireplace.Ray White Ascot sales and marketing consultant Ian Cuneo said the home was turnkey, but if someone wanted to make improvements in the future, it would be a good investment.“It’s not a cookie cutter product if you’re looking for something a little bit different, but you would have confidence to do improvements in the future,” Mr Cuneo said. A tuscan home at 34 Childs St, Clayfield, will go under the hammer.Built in the 1930s the 34 Childs St home has maintained its character while gaining a modern kitchen and bathrooms. The kitchen opens through bi-fold doors to an alfresco entertaining area.Adcock Prestige riverfront specialist Jason Adcock said the 36 Morley St residence, which is going to auction on Saturday, was one of the best hamptons homes he had seen in his career.“It’s only a three-year-old home which is very rare in that area with most being 70 to 100 years old but it has been so well finished that it doesn’t look out of place,” “It’s probably one of the best hamptons style homes I’ve seen in more than 20 years of selling real estate.” There is an inground swimming pool.It is in exposed brick and was built by family run business Warwick Brick Works.The home will go to auction at 11am, June 16.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoIn Clayfield a tuscan inspired property named Del-Rio is set to go under the hammer. The home has open plan living.Imagine entertaining outside in the alfresco dining area, which has a kitchenette, complete with a in-built barbecue, sink, stainless steel bench and a bar fridge. Arched french doors surrounded by brick are a feature of the home.French doors to the entry of the home and out to the an alfresco dining area are set in large arches, surrounded by brick features. The kitchen has an extra-large marble island bench.The home has polished timber floors, 5m ceilings, and the kitchen has an extra-large marble topped island bench.There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms over two levels, and the drawcard of the property is the fireplace. One of the bedrooms at 34 Childs St, Clayfield.The property will go to auction at 11am on June 16. The house at 172 Morehead Ave, Norman Park, is set to go to auction.On the south side of the river, a modern Norman Park home will go to auction.The two-level home at 172 Morehead Ave has five bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as multiple living areas.
The Russos sold their home at 1 Leopard St, Kangaroo Point, for a record $18.48m.Their new pad isn’t bad either.The brand new Hamptons style home on 810 sqm has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a double lockup garage, set among manicured gardens behind a private front gate. GOVERNMENT’S $8M LAND WINDFALL Inside the house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot.Inside is adorned with the highest quality finishes such as French oak flooring, French doors and sandstone walls. OVERSEAS BUYER SAYS ‘I DO’ TO WHITSUNDAYS WEDDING VENUE Angelo and Sandra Russo have bought a home in Ascot. The open plan living and dining area in the house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot The formal sitting room in the house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot.Features include a study, a full security system, an inground pool, two outdoor entertaining zones, an additional powder room and room for a wine cellar. This house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, has sold for $4.25m.Angelos and Sandra Russo last made headlines when they sold a clifftop house at Kangaroo Point for $18.48 million in early 2017.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoThe sale of the 1445sq m split-level house with five bedrooms and six bathrooms at 1 Leopard Street set a new record for a Brisbane residential property. MILLION-DOLLAR BREAKTHROUGH A STEAL Angelo and Sandra Russo. Picture: Adam Smith.THE buyer of a luxurious, trophy home in Ascot’s dress circle has been revealed as City Motor Auction Group boss Angelos Russo and wife Sandra.Records show the five-bedroom property in Ascot Street sold for $4.25 million. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE
The facade of 40 Oakfield St, Mount Gravatt East, is picturesque.A WEATHERBOARD house lies behind a white fence in a picture perfect scene at Mount Gravatt East.The 40 Oakfield St residence has been home to Rachelle Donaldson and her two daughters for the past five years. The kitchen is modern and tidy.Ms Donaldson was drawn to the low maintenance lifestyle the property offered, as well as the potential for some additions.“There was potential for me to do a few things to make it more suitable for me,” Ms Donaldson said.“I added a carport on the front and added the ensuite … as well as a bit of landscaping.“The house has been fully painted and in one of the girls’ rooms I’ve added a study nook and a robe.” The backyard is low-maintenance and the shed on the left has been converted into living spaces.“Every weekend we walk up to a little coffee shop, Badminton Brew, which is about 500m away in the backstreets,” she said.“One of the girls’ requirements was that we were still near the coffee shop.“One of them always gets a raspberry and white chocolate muffin, while the other gets a bacon and egg muffin.“The community is also amazing, everyone knows everybody.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51 One of the bedrooms in the house.In the back yard is a shed which had been converted into three multipurpose living spaces, and there is another powder room.Ms Donaldson said the area provided a number of great schooling options, and she would not be moving far as she had fallen in love with the location. More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 2019There are polished timber floorboards and a fireplace.The entry to the home is off a small front deck and into an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room.All three bedrooms run down the left side of the house, along with the bathrooms and walk-in wardrobe.Behind the kitchen is a separate toilet, and laundry.
It’s the highest priced notched for an apartment on the Gold Coast. Kollosche director Michael Kollosche said a couple from Paradise Waters secured the keys, and the sale was the highest price paid for an apartment on the Gold Coast. “Luxury penthouses and boutique prestige apartments have become highly sought after,” Mr Kollosche said. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa12 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“There’s not a lot that would compare to it at the moment, but it doesn’t mean we won’t see something of that calibre built in the near term.” 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. 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 location is everything in real estate01:59 It sold for $9.5 million. A palatial Surfers Paradise penthouse at 3250/23 Ferny Ave fetched the highest sale, selling for $9.5 million in March.It was sold by property development company owner Ron Bakir. MORE NEWS: Luxury Gold Coast penthouse sells for $4.45 million The penthouse shell at Soul in Surfers Paradise sold for $6.5 million. Taking fourth place was the $6.5 million sale of one of Australia’s largest and highest penthouses, owned by Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung. Atop the beachfront Soul building, 7001/4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, was a concrete shell sold at a loss by Mr Fung who purchased it for $7 million in 2015. It’s neighbour, No. 6 sold for $5.6 million in March. An apartment within an exclusive Main Beach seaside development was another of the Gold Coast’s top sales. Lot 6/3533 Main Beach Pde sold for $5.6 million in March but isn’t the development’s priciest, with the penthouse on the market for $8.95 million.Two further sales above the $5 million mark in Main Beach and one in Mermaid Beach also featured on the highest sales list. 1.3250/23 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise $9.5m2.11/37 Hastings St, Noosa Heads $7.2m3.5/81 Moray St, New Farm $6.5m4.7001/4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise $6.5m5. 4/63 River Esplanade, Mooloolaba $5.85m6. Lot 6/3533 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach $5.6m7.3/63 River Esplanade, Mooloolaba $5.58m8. 4/3565 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach $5.5m9.150/59 Pacific St, Main Beach $5.3m10.702/252 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $5.25mSource: CoreLogic The four-bedroom apartment spanned the 39th and 40th floors of the Towers of Chevron Renaissance and featured five bathrooms, 20 car spaces, a gym, bar, steam room, home cinema and panoramic beach views. MORE NEWS: Champion hurdler Sally Pearson sells Gold Coast home The Penthouse at 3533 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach, is currently on the market for $8.95 million. Queensland’s top 10 apartment sales in 2018 Six Gold Coast pads were among Queensland’s top 10 apartment sales from 2018. The Glitter Strip’s lavish skyhomes have dominated Queensland’s top apartment sales, with buyers willing to splash millions on residences that offer a slice of the high life.Six Gold Coast pads were among the state’s top 10 apartment sales last year. A palatial penthouse at 3250/23 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise, was the state’s priciest apartment sale.
More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoWith $36.5 million in sales and completion due in a matter of months, buyers are snapping up Di Carlo Property Group’s TriBeCa Terraces in Bulimba. Photo: SuppliedFeaturing large living and kitchen areas, multiple balconies, generous third bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, ground-floor courtyards, double garages, extensive landscaping and recreation areas, the development has proven popular with families.Among the recent purchasers are Skye and Simon Whyte who are eagerly awaiting their move to TriBeCa Terraces with their daughter Chelsea. The family purchased a three-storey, three-bedroom terrace featuring three bathrooms with a powder room.Mrs Whyte said they had not been house hunting long when they came across TriBeCa Terraces. Skye and Simon Whyte with daughter Chelsea. A lifestyle of convenience is proving a hit with families buying apartments at TriBeCa Terraces, Bulimba.With $36.5 million in sales and completion due within months, buyers have snapped up 38 of the 53 terraces by Di Carlo Property Group in the tightly held inner city suburb.Di Carlo Property Group director Joshua Di Carlo said buyers in the first stage could expect to be living in their new homes by June while the second stage is due for completion in August.“We’ve certainly garnered a lot of interest from buyers who are excited at the prospect of moving into a brand-new home so quickly,” Mr Di Carlo said.“The terraces are in a prime position giving homeowners access to a range of different amenities which is set to be enhanced with the Bulimba Barracks redevelopment offering an entertainment precinct with riverfront restaurants and parks within walking distance.“TriBeCa Terraces really offers a well-rounded lifestyle where buyers can secure a modern, well-appointed home in a sought-after location and the market has had a strong response to this,” he said. It had immediate appeal because of its location, build quality, high-end specifications and design layout.“Having lived in Bulimba and the surrounding area for the past six years we have become very familiar with the area and the lifestyle it offers which is second to none in our opinion, so being able to buy locally was a major drawcard,” Mrs Whyte said.“Working busy corporate jobs means the time we have at home is minimal, so we wanted a lifestyle of convenience.“We love that we’re only a short ferry ride to Teneriffe or Portside and it’s a very relaxing way to travel to work. A lot is to be said for the calmness that commuting to work via the river brings into your life,” she said.Mrs Whyte said the freehold aspect of the terraces which had given them the unique opportunity to own the land that their terrace home sits on, together with the quality of the terraces, was also a selling point.“The architecturally designed terraces offering an exclusive and high-end finish was the exact product that we were looking for,” she said. “Having the third bedroom located on the ground floor instead of the first has really maximised the living and dining space. “Also knowing a high percentage of other local owner-occupiers had purchased into the development really solidified our decision.’’
One of the new display homes currently under construction at Sanctuary Point — the latest residential stage at Sanctuary Cove.It would not have been the first destination to come to mind for a family holiday.With two young kids, our holidays tend to be to places with hardy, washable walls, a playground of some sort and an extensive kids menu.So when I was asked if I wanted to take my family on a staycation to Sanctuary Cove, my immediate thought was, where is the magic eraser?We checked into the Queenslander Suite at the Intercontinental Hotel on April 12. It had a flashy foyer and reception area, and lots of sparkly things that made my nerves jangle as Miss 2 moved around the space pretending she could fly.But the staff quickly allayed my fears of total toddler destruction, handing the two cherubs a kids pack full of goodies. Phew, I thought, they have done this before.After checking in, a lovely chap in a golf buggy transported us to our suite, with Master 8 asking, “so how fast do these things really go?”The room itself was spacious, with a king bed for the adults, a sofa bed for Master 8 and a cot for Miss 2. Meanwhile, five new display homes are currently under construction at Sanctuary Point — the latest residential stage at Sanctuary Cove.Now 30 years old, the development is home to more than 3000 residents, with only five more releases expected before its completion in the next five to 10 years.To help home buyers see the vast options available, developer Mulpha Group has enlisted several prestige builders to construct and complete the display homes by mid-year.Those builders include Ausview Constructions Group, Kalka Homes, Gallery Homes and HomeCorp Constructions.The Ausview display home will be located on a 367sq m with marina views, and will features a gatehous, buggy parking, zen-style courtyard and a spa in the backyard.The Kalka Homes house will be a Hamptons-inspired, two-storey residence on a 420sq m marina-frontage allotment.Gallery Homes will showcase a single-level house, while HomeCorp Constructions will focus on indoor and outdoor living on its 782sq m lot.Lots in the current stage range in price from $525,000 to $2.6 million. Sanctuary Cove is home to a number of celebrities, and hosted some of Hollywood’s biggest names. It is currently home to real estate TV personality Andrew Winter, golfer Adam Scott and V8 Supercars champion, Jamie Whincup.Self-proclaimed billionaire and controversial political candidate Cliev Palmer also has homes in the exclusive gated community, which features the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village, the Sanctuary Cove Country Club and two championship golf courses. For hubby and I, it was the signature Black Angus eye fillet steak cooked on a hot rock and the braised beef cheeks with cauliflower puree, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and duck-fat potatoes. You know a meal is good when two adults and two boisterous kids are completely silent at the dinner table.We followed this up with dessert, which for me was a heavenly espresso martini.The following day started with breakfast at The Grange, a buffet of goodness that saw Master 8 put away four man-sized helpings. This was followed by an exclusive tour of Marine Village and Sanctuary Cove development, a haven for southeast celebs and well-heeled business types.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoAgain, Master 8 was suitably impressed by the number of Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other flash cars, so much so he queried why we drove standard automobiles.That turned into a great life lesson — stay in school, work hard and maybe, just maybe, you can buy your own Lambo!Lunch for the day was courtesy of Anchor Buoy Cafe and Bar. Still stuffed from breakfast, we ordered a range of tapas and they were delicious, if only there was room for more.That afternoon, we were free to roam the resort, with the kids frothing at the chance to get wet. So it was off to the pool for a few hours of water wrestling, ball games and then a dip in the heated spa. There was also a few competitive games of oversized chess.Dinner that night was at The Verandah Restaurant and Bar, which was good but better suited to couples. Full to the brim with food, we retired to our suite, checking out the next morning after another hearty breakfast.Overall, the Intercontinental Hotel and the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village surprised me. Given its location and luxury homes, it could be easy to assume that this is not a place for families with boisterous and energetic kids, but we had a ball.The staff were fantastic, the location spectacular, the food delicious, and the amenities and natural setting offered a great opportunity to switch off from technology and enjoy some family time.So much so Master 8 remarked: “So are we going to buy a house here?” Maybe one day, mate. The kangaroos chilling on site. Five new display homes are currently under construction at Sanctuary Point — the latest residential stage at Sanctuary Cove. The balcony overlooked the parklands, the canal and the pool area, which includes a pool house, spa, an oversized chess board and a mob of kangaroos that like to sunbake and occasionally mow (chew) the lawn.That night, we were transported by buggy to the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village where we dined at the Black Angus Bar and Grill.Located on the water overlooking multimillion dollar yachts, we were seated at a table with a paper tablecloth and crayons. Hallelujah!The kids had pasta and hubby and I were treated to a menu chosen by the chef, Jun.That pasta! Master 8 demolished it faster than a footy team doing carb loading ahead of a big game. The signature Black Angus eye fillet steak cooked on a hot rock,
The patio overlooks the inground swimming pool. Picture: supplied.There are also formal lounge and dining spaces, a balcony, a laundry and two bedrooms, with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite to the master bedroom, on this level. Downstairs there is a family bathroom and two more bedrooms with built-in wardrobes to both and a balcony to one. The property has a double garage, a storage room, a water tank and airconditioning. The open-plan living space flows out to the outdoor entertaining areas. Picture: supplied.“During the summer our children are always in the pool and we’re out on the back patio, entertaining and enjoying meals,” he said. On the main level of the home there is an open-plan kitchen, meals and living area flowing out to the poolside patio through sliding doors. The kitchen has stone benchtops, a breakfast bar, a servery window and an electric cooktop.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market12 hours ago The home at 32 Banksia Pl, Mount Gravatt East. Picture: Supplied.THIS spacious, split-level home is tucked away on a large block at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Owners Jimmy Chow and Cindy Chan have called the four-bedroom property home at 32 Banksia Pl, Mount Gravatt East for the past 10 years, along with their two children. Mr Chow said the patio and inground swimming pool were the family’s favourite parts of the home, especially during the warmer months. The balcony has bushland views. Picture: supplied.Sitting on an elevated 1,019sq m block, the home is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac and backs onto bushland. “The home is in a good location and the neighbourhood is friendly,” Mr Chow said. “All the properties in this little pocket of Mount Gravatt East are sought after and you don’t see many houses for sale.“Also every block on the street is about 1,000sq m so the houses aren’t close together.” The home is close to schools, major shopping centres and university campuses. The property is on the market through Will Torres and Amir Shamsi of Torres Property.
“They just wanted it off the market,” Mr Adcock said. “They put down a cash, unconditional offer, waiving the cooling off period.“It was sold within three days and hadn’t even hit the official market yet. It was just two hours off being listed online.” Mr Adcock said the sale of the renovated and extended, 1950s Hamptons-style residence, was a “good one” for Tennyson.He said the suburb was attracting buyers as it was “flood-free”, and one of only two stretches of the Brisbane River that was north-facing and has both city and golf course views. Mr Adcock said riverfront properties in Brisbane were proving to be a hot commodity.“I have sold three in two and a half weeks, with the other two north of $3 million,” he said.“At the moment we have far more buyers than riverfront properties listed for sale.”He said those buyers were roughly “70 per cent locals, 30 per cent interstate or overseas”.“There is still a strong Chinese component,” he said. “We are seeing a lot of interest coming from Hong Kong-based expats and Chinese looking to buy here.”Hong Kong has been the scene of ongoing mass demonstrations and unrest since earlier this year.The protests began over plans — since shelved — to allow extradition from Hong Kong to China, but have now morphed in to wider demands for reform. First-home buyers have the upper hand There is also a guest/nanny bedroom with ensuite, bathroom and laundry, while outside there are landscaped gardens, a private pontoon with an undercover boat shed, an undercover entertainment pavilion with outdoor kitchen, fridge, 10 person dining space and TV, and a children’s playground. Where to find southeast’s most affordable land “The couple who bought it had been renting in the area and had been looking for awhile,” he said. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago“They loved it as soon as they saw it.”This luxurious north-facing family homesits on a 1154sq m block with 20m of river frontage. It has five bedrooms including a master retreat with floor-to-ceiling to capture the views, a dressing room with its own chandelier and an ensuite.There are multiple living areas located on the ground level and an additional rumpus/bedroom.The open plan kitchen and living room overlooks the pool outside and connects directly to the outdoor entertaining area, while the kitchen features quality appliances, a central island bench, breakfast bar, and a side door to the pool area.In the living room there is a fireplace, and there is a home officeat the front of the home. Brisbane’s million-dollar suburb boom Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:27Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:27 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, 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 Spring 2019 is a good time to sell01:27A LOCAL family was so desperate to get their hands on a riverfront property that they put down an immediate unconditional cash offer of $4.7 million to keep it off the market.They spotted the property at 23 King Arthur Terrace at Tennyson, which was being marketed by Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige, on a database, and the sold sticker went up just three days after that first post. MORE NEWS: Brisbane best place to invest $500k
Housing Industry Association senior economist, Geordan Murray, said there had been market improvements lately which has not yet transferred to new housing.“The recent uptick in the market for established homes should allay concerns that further falls in home prices and the housing wealth effect could continue to apply a brake on household spending.”This as CBA Economics predicted RBA would cut again by 25 basis points in February 2020, if not sooner if unemployment figures did not pick up, to an unprecedented 0.5 per cent.“Any desire for monetary stimulus beyond that point would require a much worse economic outlook and probably manifest itself through unconventional policies and QE.” FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Economists warn the only thing rising is dwelling prices, again.CBA Economics chief economist Michael Blythe said “certainly some economic commentators and business leaders question the effectiveness of rate cuts in the current environment”.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago“Our view for a while now has been that interest rate cuts are of limited use: households tend to leave their home loan repayments unchanged, so little additional spending power is unleashed; the potential boost from a lower AUD is limited by still high commodity prices and the move to a current account surplus; and the negative impact on business and consumer confidence. Income tax cuts are a better response to the pressures in the household sector and the weakness in consumer spending.” RBA Governor Philip Lowe has indicated that the RBA board is prepared to cut again. Picture: Amos Aikman/The AustralianPressure is mounting for the Federal Government to step up with income tax handouts for families as economists warn the RBA racing to the bottom on interest rates will only increase dwelling prices, not jump-start spending. Number of homes sold for profit set to rise Beach house hits market with jawdropping price MORE: Housing set for fresh record highs Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 The RBA board yesterday cut its policy rate to a historic low 0.75 per cent, with Governor Philip Lowe confirming they were prepared to cut further “if needed”.RBA’s hand was forced by a global trend to lower interest rates, and its desire to support employment, income growth and keep the dollar steady.CBA Economics warned “debate about the desirability of the move has heated up”, with one area — dwelling prices — getting a boost especially in Sydney and Melbourne. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:40Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:40 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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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 Rate1xFullscreenQuestions for Millennial home buyers01:41
Imagine waking up to this view every morning.Mr Fasalavu, who shares the home with family, says you can’t truly appreciate the gift of beachfront living until you’re there.“I’ve lived on the Gold Coast my whole life, minutes away from the beaches, but it’s not until the beach is right there that my gratitude has gone to a whole new level,” he said.“I’m down on the beach in the mornings and back there again after work in the afternoons.“When it’s right on your doorstep, you appreciate it a whole lot more.” Step straight onto the beach at 165 Jefferson Lane, Palm Beach.Watching the sun rise over the ocean is arguably the biggest perk of living on one of the Gold Coast’s premier beachfront streets.So much so that Mason Fasalavu has only missed one sunrise since moving into the three-storey residence at 165 Jefferson Lane — and only then because he wasn’t at home.“Being able to wake up early and see the sun crack over the horizon line is really breathtaking,” he said.“It’s definitely a huge highlight of living in this house.” The rooftop retreat is an ideal place to sit and think… about which Palm Beach restaurant to choose for dinner.But for the ultimate breezes and first class views, the enclosed rooftop terrace – complete with barbecue, kitchenette and powder room – is the place to be. “It’s an amazing space to sit and enjoy the view, uninterrupted,” Mr Fasalavu said. “All you can see is the ocean and the waves rolling in. It’s almost hypnotic and a great place to sit and think.“We’ve sat up there to watch storms rolling in over the ocean. It’s brilliant.”Four bedrooms occupy the second floor including a luxury master retreat with walk-in robe, ensuite and a beachfront balcony.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago Bi-fold doors open to allow those sea breezes to flow right on through.Beachfront living is a rare treat on the Gold Coast with Jefferson Lane one of only a few streets that are absolute beachfront. Built in 2018, the as-new house features light timbers, a cool colour palette and a spacious open plan design which maximises the oceanfront position. “The sliding doors at the back allow you to open up the kitchen area and the living space to the backyard,” said Mr Fasalavu.“Even though you’ve got the fans and ducted airconditioning, you really don’t need it because the sea breezes are so good.” Jump into the jacuzzi at the end of a long day. Even the bathroom boasts a eye-popping ocean vista.A private jacuzzi deck adds a touch of luxury as does the freestanding tub in the main bathroom where a well-placed window opens up another ocean vista. When you’re not soaking in the tub or swimming at the beach, the uber popular Palm Beach restaurant strip has plenty to tempt you a short distance away. “The social elements in the area are incredible,” Mr Fasalavu said.“Being so close to so many amazing restaurants and bars is ideal – we spend almost as much time out as we do at home.“There’s a real sense of community among those who live in Palm Beach too.”Katrina Walsh, Harcourts Coastal – Broadbeach is marketing the 371sq m property which is scheduled for auction on Wednesday 3 June at 11am. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58
Tritech International, a Moog Inc. company, has welcomed Gordon Nelson to its team.Gordon will be based in the company’s Edinburgh office, Tritech informed through social media.Gordon, who holds a University of Glasgow Bachelor’s Degree, Avionics, and Bachelor of Science with Merit, has experience in sonar technology.His experience is well suited with the company’s business which is dedicated to providing the reliable imaging and ancillary equipment for use in underwater applications.Tritech also provides sensors and tools for ROVs and AUVs.The company has three UK sites; in Ulverston, Cumbria, Westhill, Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh, Scotland and an office in Katy, Texas, USA.
Statoil, Masdar and Statkraft are ready to officially open their Dudgeon offshore wind farm in the UK tomorrow, 22 November.Image source: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Statoil.The 402MW project, located some 32 kilometres off the coast of Norfolk, saw the last of its 67 Siemens 6MW wind turbines being installed in early September, with the entire wind farm producing electricity shortly after.Following the testing of the last turbines, the Dudgeon wind farm was fully commissioned and started delivering power to the grid in October. On 4 October, Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) announced that the final phase of the offshore wind farm had passed all of its Operational Conditions Precedent and started to receive Contracts for Difference (CfD) payments.The Dudgeon offshore wind farm was completed below the budget of GBP 1.5 billion that was set when the investment decision was made in 2014.Statoil and Masdar each hold a 35% share in the Dudgeon wind farm, with the remaining 30% being owned by Statkraft. This summer, Statktraft commenced the formal divestment processes for its share in the offshore wind farm, with the aim to complete the transaction early next year.Offshore WIND Staff
Calm seas seem to be ahead for coal carrier owners in the upcoming five years as global demand for coal should remain nearly flat between 2017 and 2022, according to the International Energy Agency’s annual coal market report.By 2022, global coal demand is expected to reach 5,530 Mtce, the same as the average of the last five-year period, and meaning that coal use will have had a decade-long period of stagnation, IEA said.Global coal consumption fell 1.9 percent to 5,357 million tonnes of coal equivalent (Mtce) last year, the second year of decline, because of lower gas prices, a surge in renewables and improvements in energy efficiency, according to Coal 2017.Coal demand is down 4.2 percent over the last two years, nearly matching the two-year decline in the early 1990s, which remains the biggest recorded drop since the IEA started compiling statistics more than 40 years ago.The share of coal in the global energy mix is forecast to decline to 26 percent in 2022, from 27 percent in 2016 because of sluggish demand compared with other fuels. Although coal-fired power generation increases by 1.2 percent per year through 2016-22, its share of the power mix falls to just below 36 percent by 2022, which would be the lowest level since IEA statistics began.“The energy system is evolving at a rapid pace all around us, with a more diversifying fuel mix, and the cost of technologies going down,” said Keisuke Sadamori, IEA’s director for energy markets and security. “But while everything else is changing, global coal demand remains the same.”Coal demand dropped in China, the United States and the European Union in 2016, but increased in India and across many parts of Southeast Asia, and shows no signs of slowing down.For instance, despite the rapid growth in renewables, Indian coal-fired power generation is expected to grow almost 4 pct a year through 2022.While India will be increasingly important to global coal markets, China will remain the key driver, according to the IEA.“The potential for coal demand growth in China is limited, but the country’s supply-side reforms will be critical factors for coal prices in the coming years. Meanwhile, the European Union, accounting today for just 6 pct of global demand, is set to become an increasingly marginal player,” the agency said.