Hong Kong leader accuses US of ‘double standards’ over protests

first_imgLast week, China’s rubber-stamp parliament approved the plans for a law that would punish secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and acts that endanger national security — as well as allow Chinese security agencies to operate openly in Hong Kong.Beijing says the anti-subversion law — which will bypass Hong Kong’s legislature — is needed to tackle “terrorism” and “separatism”.Opponents fear it will bring mainland-style political oppression to a business hub supposedly guaranteed freedoms and autonomy for 50 years after its 1997 handover from Britain to China. Topics : Hong Kong’s leader accused the United States on Tuesday of applying “double standards” in its response to violent protests as she warned Washington’s plan to place trade restrictions on the financial hub would “only hurt themselves”.Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been rocked by months of huge and often violent pro-democracy over the past year, which riot police have stamped out with more than 9,000 arrests.Washington has been critical of Hong Kong’s response to the protests with US President Donald Trump last week vowing to end the city’s special trading status after Beijing announced plans to impose a sweeping national security law on the business hub.center_img On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said such a move would be self-defeating as she took aim at the Trump administration for its own response to violent racial justice protests sweeping the United States.”We have seen most clearly in recent weeks the double standards that are around,” Lam, who was selected as city leader by a pro-Beijing committee, told reporters.”You know there are riots in the United States and we see how local governments reacted. And then in Hong Kong, when we had similar riots, we saw what position they adopted then.”Both Chinese and Hong Kong officials have seized on the unrest gripping the United States in their propaganda drive to justify their own crackdown on pro-democracy protests and the national security law plans.last_img read more

Continue reading

National Grid UK pension scheme de-risks further with £1.6bn buy-in

first_imgThe £20bn (€23bn) National Grid UK Pension Scheme has further protected its future funding by entering into a £1.6bn buy-in with Legal & General.Announced today, the transaction covers more than 6,000 pensioner members, including spouses from section B of the scheme, which is primarily for former employees of the gas industry.The deal was funded with UK fixed interest securities held within the section. It comes on top of a recently disclosed £2.8bn buy-in that the pension scheme completed with Rothesay Life with respect to some pensioner and dependent members of Section A.In a similar vein to their comments about the deal with Rothesay, the pension scheme and sponsor respectively welcomed the transaction with Legal & General as “another step in our de-risking journey” and “a further step in our long-term pensions strategy”. Nearly £40bn of bulk annuity deals have been announced this year as improved pension scheme funding levels and better-than-ever insurer pricing have paved the way for record activity.Martin Bird, senior partner at Aon, which advised the trustees, said they and the employer had “navigated through a busy bulk annuity market”.Laura Mason, chief executive officer of Legal & General Retirement Institutional, highlighted that Legal & General had been able to leverage its asset management mandate with the pension scheme.Aerion Fund Management, the then in-house manager for the National Grid Pension Scheme, was sold to Legal & General Investment Management in late 2015.last_img read more

Continue reading

​Krona dip lifts returns on Icelandic pension funds’ foreign assets

first_img“Despite news in international affairs such as the US-China trade war and the UK’s exit from the European Union, the global stock index returned 25.2% in US dollar terms, which translates to 30.2% in Icelandic krona due to the weakening of the krona,” the pension fund said.Almenni said the MSCI Global Equity Index rose by 32.9% in Icelandic krónur terms, with the Icelandic unit having depreciated by 4.1% against the US dollar during the year.“There were also good returns on the domestic stock market, with the total index of the main list rising by 27.8% during the year,” the fund said, adding that on average over the last 10 years the domestic equities index had risen by 13.6% per year.The return on the domestic bond market was also very good in 2019, Frjálsi said, citing falling real interest rates and a drop in the inflation premium as the main drivers.Icelandic pension funds have been in the process of increasing their allocations to foreign assets in the last few years, particularly since the capital controls – which were imposed after the 2008 economic collapse – were lifted in 2017.The funds held an average of 28% of their total assets in foreign investments at the end of 2018, and were targeting a 31% allocation for 2019, according to the figures released last year from the Icelandic FSA, which has since merged with the Iceland central bank. Releasing early reports of their 2019 investment returns, Icelandic pension funds Frjálsi and Almenni both point to last year’s depreciation of the krona against the dollar as a factor giving an extra fillip to the funds’ growing foreign portfolios.Frjálsi announced its highest-returning pension investment option – Frjálsi Risk – produced a 13.7% real return in 2019, while Almenni reported its Portfolio 1 option returned 14.5% in the year.Frjálsi said its Frjálsi 1 option, by far its largest sub-fund, ended the year with a 12.4% return, which was the highest the fund had generated since 2003.The year had been an “eventful” one in financial markets, it said, with foreign equities being the strongest performing asset group.last_img read more

Continue reading

Mounting evidence TV shows bad for babies

first_imgStuff co.nz 13 July 2011Like many babies, 11-month-old Maya Rouse watches one to three hours of television each day – but there is mounting evidence that even so-called educational programmes may cause problems in later life.The Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Brainwave Trust have collated overseas research on the subject in response to the growing presence of television in babies’ lives. The full report will be issued by Brainwave in the next week.Mum Aleisha Franklin lets Maya watch the Disney channel in the mornings before daycare and about an hour of television when she comes home in the evenings. Maya also watches two or three hours a day in the weekends.“It is probably more than she should be watching and sometimes I get a bit worried. When she is watching Disney Junior it seems to be vaguely educational so I think in the long run it probably helps.”Ms Franklin said she often watched television with her daughter. “She loves anything with colours and movement. When we watch the rugby she watches it with us, and she also likes fishing shows.”Children’s Commissioner and paediatrician Russell Wills said there was no evidence that television had any positive value for a baby, but there was mounting evidence of the negative effects.http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/life-style/5268118/Mounting-evidence-TV-shows-bad-for-babieslast_img read more

Continue reading

Fairfield Causeway Bridge set for 2019 rehabilitation

first_imgBrookville, In. — Franklin County commissioners have entered into an agreement with the Franklin County Water Association to repair the waterline running under the Fairfield Causeway Bridge.The Franklin County Water Association will pay the $296,300 to repair the 700-foot water main during construction in 2019.Officials say the estimated 20-percent municipal-share of the cost to repair the Fairfield Causeway Bridge will be about $320,000.The total cost of the project will be about $1.6 million, the state will pick up about $1 million.The bridge was built in 1972 and was determined to be fair to satisfactory following the most recent documented state inspection in October of 2016.last_img read more

Continue reading

Coloccini worry for Newcastle

first_img The 31-year-old central defender broke two bones in his back after landing awkwardly as he made a spectacular overhead clearance during his side’s 4-2 Barclays Premier League victory over Southampton on February 24. Pardew said: “Colo has gone back to Argentina. There’s no treatment he can have – he’s broken two of the bones in his back. We think it’s going to be anything between three and seven weeks. He’s gone back for a week.” Press Association Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has been dealt a major blow by the news skipper Fabricio Coloccini could be out of action for up to seven weeks.center_img Should Coloccini’s absence extend to the upper limit of the prognosis, he would miss most of the remainder of the season, and with his future still up in the air – his desire to return to South America in January because of personal problems was much-publicised – the Toon Army may not see very much more of him in a black and white shirt. Just a few weeks ago, his loss would have been catastrophic for the Magpies, whose need to retain his services was all too apparent during the winter transfer window. However, the recruitment of Montpellier’s Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has provided Pardew with a ready-made replacement, although should either he or Steven Taylor break down during the remaining weeks of the campaign, the 51-year-old’s defensive resources would be stretched once again. last_img read more

Continue reading

Real Madrid Flags off Football Academy in Port Harcourt

first_imgOfficials of Real Madrid at the occasion include: Manager, Real Madrid Foundation, Africa/Middle East, Inigo Arenillas; and Real Madrid Fund-Raising Officer, Oscar Diaz.While laying the foundation for the academy, President of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad, said the academy is not only for Port Harcourt or Nigeria, but for the entire continent.He said the Real Madrid Football Academy would promote international football best practices in the continent as well as raise future stars.Ahmad noted that the timing of the construction of the academy was a proof that it was ordained by God.Initiator of the Real Madrid Football Academy and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who spoke at an international press conference and during the foundation laying ceremony, said the academy would help in building a new crop of International stars across the countryHe said the academy would be open to all kids, but with special preference for children from Rivers State, whose resources would fund the project.He said: “When we initiated this laudable project, people doubted it, making different cynical comments. However, today, this project has come to fruition. It will be a solid foundation for our children“We are proud to be associated with the best club in the world. Therefore, we will groom the best set of footballers “.Wike said the project would be completed in seven months and inaugurated for use by members of the public. He said children to be admitted into the school would be between eight and 16 years.“Sports is a catalyst for development. What we are doing is for the interest of everybody. To tell our footballers, we will do everything to support you,” he said.In his remarks, President of International Sports Press Association, Mr Gianni Merlo, said Real Madrid, as the best club in the world, would develop a new set of stars from the Academy in Rivers State.He said: “This is an important project for the whole world. It will mould international stars who will shape the game in the future”.NFF President, Pinnick, said with the Real Madrid Football Academy, Nigeria would ensure the emergence of another generation that would keep the nation’s flag flying in the international football circle.Rivers State Sports Commissioner, Mr Boma Iyaye, said with the establishment of the academy, Wike had shown unprecedented love for soccer.He said the academy would contain a club house, classrooms, conference centre, training pitches and 1,000 capacity spectator stand among other facilities.General Manager of the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, Tareh el-Hajj, said the academy was already in full swing as the management of Real Madrid in liaison with the Rivers State Government had set in motion modalities to ensure it succeeds.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ernest Chinwo in Port HarcourtOfficials of Real Madrid Football Club and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) yesterday flagged off the construction of the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, initiated by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.Sports dignitaries who attended the foundation laying ceremony at the precincts of Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, included the President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick; President of International Sports Press Association, Gianni Merlo; President, International Sports Press Association Africa, Mitchell Obi; foreign sports writers, ex-internationals and top officials of Real Madrid Football Club.last_img read more

Continue reading

Steve Wulf was denied his apology to Michael Jordan for the ‘Bag It, Michael’ SI cover

first_imgOne of the main talking points from Episode 7 of ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” was Michael Jordan’s time playing baseball.A real “wow” moment came when a Sports Illustrated cover was featured in the documentary. The cover read “Bag It, Michael! Jordan and the White Sox are embarrassing baseball.” The headline was extremely harsh, and upset Jordan to the point that he never talked to Sports Illustrated again. pic.twitter.com/ov17qGzDqr— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) May 11, 2020MORE: Michael Jordan’s best and worst baseball momentsThe article was written by author Steve Wulf with the editorial headline being “Err Jordan.” You can read the full 1994 column via the SI archives. Throughout, Wulf calls Jordan’s dream of playing baseball a “delusion” and blames the White Sox for their “exploitation of his quest” to play the sport.Jordan was clearly frustrated by Wulf’s words. He was asked by “The Last Dance” producers, “Did you feel betrayed by that SI cover?” Jordan replied, “Definitely.””I never was interviewed for that,” Jordan says in the documentary. “They came out to critique me. Without understanding what my passion was at the time. If you had a question, ask. And then if you want to write it, then you write it. That’s fine, no problem, that’s your opinion. But I can care less what people do. This is what I want to do. I’m not doing what they think I should be doing. My father already told me I was doing the right thing, and I did it.”Wulf was eventually hired by ESPN, and he’s since talked about that cover and his column on Jordan. In 2001, Wulf wrote a column for ESPN titled, “Bag it, skeptics” (a play on the SI cover). In there, he said he wrote an apology for Jordan in Sports Illustrated, but they didn’t publish it.From Wulf:I was working for Sports Illustrated back in ’94, and that spring I was asked to do a quickie story on Michael’s attempt to become a baseball player. I fell in step with all the skeptics in Florida, baseball people who thought it was a folly that was depriving some legitimate prospect of a chance to show what he could do.I had nothing to do with the incendiary Bag It, Michael cover billing, but my name was on the story, and I became persona non grata in Chicago, in the Bulls and White Sox camps, in MJ’s circle.When I went down to Orlando later that summer, I knew he wasn’t going to talk to me, but I had to see for myself. And I was at once mortified and exhilarated. He was a ballplayer. His manager, Terry Francona, thought so, and he wasn’t blowing smoke. I actually wrote a piece apologizing for my premature judgment, but SI chose not to run it.Wulf even added, “I’m convinced that with just a little more time, he could’ve made the majors on merit.”The author discussed the article in more detail in the ESPN Daily podcast with Mina Kimes. He again took issue with the headline created by editors. “The minute I saw that headline, I realized I’d probably be doing a podcast about it 21 years later,” Wulf joked. “I still cringe every time I see it, and I see it often. I wish they had run the headline by me.”Wulf also understands why Jordan was so frustrated.”I think he was rightly insulted,” Wulf told Kimes. “He wasn’t out to embarass baseball. He was out to pursue a dream that we thought at the time was delusional, but we should not have come down on him that hard.”last_img read more

Continue reading

Onyango’s Sundowns fails test, Mexicans face real Madrid

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango of Uganda (C) tries to clear the ball during the Club World Cup football match between Kashima Antlers and Mamelodi Sundowns in Suita, Osaka . AFP PHOTOOsaka, Japan | AFP | Silvio Romero struck twice as Mexican side Club America beat Asian champions Jeonbuk Motors 2-1 on Sunday to set up a dream Club World Cup semi-final with Real Madrid.Local favourites Kashima Antlers salvaged some pride for Asia, however, when the Japanese title holders toppled South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the day’s second quarter-final in Osaka.In the early kickoff, Kim Bo-kyung swept Korean powerhouse Jeonbuk in front after 23 minutes before Romero pounced twice to send the CONCACAF representatives through to the last four.“The players showed character, attitude and heart,” America coach Ricardo la Volpe told reporters.“We made some changes and tweaked the system a bit in the second half and got the goals.“We passed a test today and we will play Real Madrid with no fear,” he added. “We will have to work twice as hard but everyone expects us to lose so there will be no pressure on us.”Romero equalised with a clinical header just before the hour mark and the Argentine striker volleyed home the winner via a slight deflection off Jeonbuk forward Kim Shin-Wook after 74 minutes as the K-League side wilted under the mounting pressure.Club America, who also beat Jeonbuk in the quarter-finals of the FIFA tournament 10 years ago, will face European champions Real Madrid, led by talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, in Yokohama on Thursday.The hulking Kim Shin-Wook, instantly recognisable with his peppermint green mohican, was a constant menace but well shackled by markers in a tense finish as the Mexicans clung on for the win. Kashima, who came from behind to beat part-timers Auckland City 2-1 in the tournament’s curtain raiser on Thursday, were gifted their opening goal by Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango in the 63rd minute.Latching on to a knock-down from Shoma Doi, Yasushi Endo scuffed his left-foot shot which somehow squeezed under Onyango, bobbling out of his despairing grasp and over the line almost in slow motion.Substitute Mu Kanazaki killed the game off by smashing home from close range with two minutes left after more sloppy defending from the Africans.Kashima, fresh from clinching their eighth J-League crown last weekend, will face South American Libertadores Cup holders Atletico Nacional of Colombia in the competition’s first semi-final on Wednesday.“We struggled at the start to deal with their spirit,” said Kashima coach Masatada Ishii.“But we settled down in the second half, found a nice balance and scored two good goals. It was important to stay calm and we will have to be just as patient against Nacional.”Spanish giants Real are scheduled to arrive in Japan early Monday morning local time.last_img read more

Continue reading

Cheptegei’s father unhappy, Maj Seiko cries

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The father of Uganda’s double gold medal winner at the just ended Commonwealth Games has expressed his unhappiness on how the government treats family and friends of medal winners.Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei won gold for Uganda in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Games that climaxed on Sunday in Gold Coast, Australia.The team returned on Thursday afternoon and members from the Sebei Community, where Cheptegei comes from, were unfortunately first denied access to Entebbe International Airport and later the Old Airport VVIP Section to receive the team.“This is very unfortunate because we travelled from Kapchorwa to receive our children and now we have been denied chance to welcome them because the government wants to run the show. This is very bad,” Cheptegi’s father Stephenson Munerya Kwalya told URN. They had first been denied access at the Old Airport VVIP Section where the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataaha Museveni, was welcoming the team.Kwalya said there was no way him and his wife would enter the building unless the relatives who also travelled from Kapchorwa were allowed in. When State House staff Norah Nassimbwa arrived at the gate asking for Cheptegei’s mother, security then allowed all Sebei community members to enter, but were again denied entry to the Hall where a press conference was held. Only Cheptegei’s parents were allowed inside the Hall. The arrival of the team and planning was obviously not well coordinated as many members including some from the National Council of Sports (NCS) were bounced at the entrance.Major Juma Seiko, an aide of Gen Salim Saleh, the head of Operation Wealth Creation, was also a victim as he was seen crying after he was denied entrance to the Hall where the press conference took place. Seiko was heard abusing some security officers whom he said accused him of stopping Cheptegei’s parents from entering without other members from the Sebei community.“How can a junior officer accuse me of something I have not done and tarnishing my name in-front of the First Lady. I have served the army for 39 years and you cannot spoil my name like this,” said Seiko as his tears rolls down the face.Major Seiko is also a member from the Sebei community and occasionally comes to Entebbe International Airport to welcome athletes from Kapchorwa who win medals. Some of the athletes including Mose Kipsiro occasionally stay at his house in Nakasero when they are in Kampala.last_img read more

Continue reading