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Fiscal Fitness 2004

first_imgHere’s when making the minimum works best By Michael RupuredUniversity of GeorgiaAsk the experts how to get out of debt and one of the firstthings they’ll say is to always pay more than the minimum onmonthly credit card payments. It’s good advice.If you owe $1,000 on a credit card with 21 percent interest andpay only $25 per month, it could take nearly six years to pay itoff along with more than $735 in interest.Increase that payment to $50 and you’ll avoid almost $500 ininterest charges and cut the time to pay off the debt to just twoyears.Scrape up extra to applyIf you carry a balance, put every dollar you can scrape up towardyour credit cards each month. Get out of debt as fast as you can.Then use that money to save for things you want in the futureinstead of paying for things you did in the past.It’s worth giving up a few meals out, a movie, some snacks andother little things. Devote the money you save toward reducingyour time in debt.If you only have one credit card, plow every extra penny you cantoward paying it off. Stop using the card. Don’t even carry itwith you.You may even want to give your credit card to a trusted familymember or friend for safekeeping. This is especially good ifyou’re prone to overspending or sometimes shop or eat out as areward or to make yourself feel better.Once you’re out of debt you can enjoy these activities free fromthe guilt that often results from credit card abuse. The largerthe payment you make, the sooner you can be debt and guilt-free. If you have more than one credit card, how you apply those extradollars makes a difference. In this situation, making only theminimum payment can help you to get out of debt faster and saveyou money.Make only the minimum payment for all your debts but one. Applyall your extra dollars to the payment for the remaining creditcard. This simple strategy helps you get faster results fromthose extra dollars.Take a look at your credit card debt. Write down the amount youowe, the minimum payment and the interest rate for each of yourcredit cards.First look at the total monthly minimum payment. Take a hard lookat your spending. Find ways to add as much as you can to theamount you can pay toward your credit cards each month.To save the most in interest, focus all these extra dollars oneliminating the debt with the highest interest rate first.For example, you owe $1,000 on three credit cards, each with a$25 per month minimum payment but all with different interestrates (21 percent, 18 percent and 15 percent). It will take youfive years and 10 months to pay them off, along with more than$1,660 in interest.Increase the payment on each card to $50 and you’ll pay less than$500 in interest in less than half the time. Or focus that extra$75 each month instead on the credit card with the highestinterest rate and you’ll get out of debt a month sooner and saveanother $40 in interest.Making only the minimum payment on credit cards is a good idea,but only when part of a total debt reduction plan that focusesall your extra dollars on your high-rate credit card.Put your credit cards away, plow every penny you can spare intogetting out of debt. Then follow your debt reduction plan,knowing it’s the fastest way to get out of debt.last_img read more

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New executive director named for Lamoille Economic Development Corporation

first_imgJohn Mandeville of East Hardwick has been appointed Executive Director for the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation based in Morrisville. He replaces Art Sanborn who is retiring effective April 1, 2010. Mandeville moved to Vermont in 2000 having spent the previous 7 years as the Managing Director of the European subsidiary of an American company based in southern England. Since moving to Vermont he has worked for the New England Culinary Institute, has been an Area Business Advisor for the Vermont Small Business Development Center covering the Northeast Kingdom, Lamoille County and, briefly, Franklin County, and has most recently been the Director of the Incubator Without Walls program at Lyndon State College. The Incubator is a joint effort between the college and the VtSBDC. Mandeville is also a Peer Counselor for the Peer to Peer Collaborative, a part of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and has served on the Boards of the Hardwick Electric Department and Northern Counties Health Care for many years. His wife, Joyce, is the Executive Director of the T.W. Wood Gallery and Art Center on the campus of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.The LEDC is one of 12 Regional Development Corporations covering all of Vermont. The RDCs are tasked with facilitating economic and business development as well as work force development within their assigned regions. Mandeville says, “I look forward to working with existing businesses, new businesses, stakeholders and government officials to continue the terrific work the LEDC has done through the years in maximizing development opportunities throughout all of Lamoille County. The challenging times through which we are all now living present opportunities which the LEDC Board and I intend to exploit to the fullest extent possible. “The LEDC may be reached at 888-5640 or john@lamoilleeconomy.org(link sends e-mail)last_img read more

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The Phenomenon of Suicide Bombers in Asia and the Middle East

first_img *Andre Luís Woloszyn, strategic affairs analyst However, the use of suicide bombers became popular with radical terrorist groups in the Middle East, particularly Hamas and Hezbollah. In 1983, a member of Hezbollah performed a suicide attack against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, resulting in the death of 241 people. In 1994, it was Hamas who acted in retaliation after the death of 29 Palestinians at Hebron’s mosque, attributed to a Jewish settler. The expression is purely symbolic, because there are children and women willing to perform such actions. By Dialogo March 22, 2013 Although there have been physiological studies dedicated to this phenomenon for a long time, the fact is that it is extremely difficult to find a balanced argument between those who despite fulfilling their duties see death as an ideal to be pursued. From a western viewpoint, such attitudes may only be justified as a desperate solution motivated by a constant psychological induction. In any case, it is a growing practice in these regions which, unfortunately, has been victimizing an increasing number of innocent people, including children, who have nothing to do with the conflicts in which their protagonists are involved. They really are a significant threat to the world. One of the major paradigms for us in the western world is the willingness of some people to serve as suicide bombers, or the so-called suicidal terrorism, a lethal weapon of extreme precision that not only hits the specified targets, but also victimizes randomly. This practice is not new, as it dates back to the biblical scriptures that mention the destruction of the Philistine temple by Samson and the Zealot against the Romans, seeking the release of Judea. In the 14th and 16th centuries, during the Turkish-Ottoman Empire, these actions were once more performed by suicidal soldiers known as bashi-bazouks. More recently, during World War II, Japanese pilots known as “Kamikazes” started the practice again. After these events, other extremist groups such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda started to perform this practice on a large scale in Afghanistan and Iraq, and not only against the coalition troops, but specifically against their own population, hitting public buildings, stores, and mosques, places with large numbers of people. The event of greatest magnitude regarding such activity took place on September 11, which left deep scars and widespread feelings of insecurity. last_img read more

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Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine Regrets Vacation in Blizzard Aftermath

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine responds to criticism regarding his town’s lackluster blizzard response at a press conference Thursday, Feb. 14.Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine emerged from his vacation Thursday amid fury over the town’s mishandling of last week’s blizzard, apologizing to media outlets for his absence during the storm while blaming its highway department for the lackluster response.“I want to say to the people of Brookhaven that I’m sorry that the storm happened and I’m particularly sorry that I wasn’t here when it occurred,” Romaine said to more than a dozen media outlets packing Brookhaven Town Hall, reading from a prepared statement.“This is devastating for a lot of people,” he continued. “I understand their frustration and their anger, please accept my apologies.”Characterizing the town’s response as a “failure of [a] branch of town government to adequately respond to this storm,” he added that it is “something that weighs heavy on me, something that I do not take lightly.”The blizzard struck Friday night into Saturday morning, leaving many roads impassable until Monday or later. Many residents complained their roads weren’t plowed until Tuesday morning, with entire neighborhoods stranded in their homes into the workweek. Some parts of Suffolk County saw up to 30 inches of snow from the powerful storm, a Nor’easter. It shut down several major throughways, including Middle Country Road, Sunrise Highway and the Long Island Expressway, which was closed for three days as crews maneuvered around more than 150 abandoned vehicles left during Friday’s commute home. More than 1,000 abandoned cars littered the roads in Brookhaven, officials said.The supervisor’s statements Thursday were his first public remarks about the weather emergency since leaving for warmer climes a week earlier.Romaine’s staff prohibited reporters from asking the supervisor open questions during a press conference at Brookhaven Town Hall following his official statement. Instead, subsequent one-on-one interviews were permitted inside his office.“My role here is to give you the basic ground rules for this conference and let you know how things are going to run,” announced Romaine’s Chief of Staff Garrett Swenson. “[The] supervisor is going to make a few brief remarks, I would ask that there be no interruptions and allow him the courtesy of making his remarks without interruption.”A town spokesperson then emerged with a list of at least 14 outlets that would interview the supervisor. Romaine justified the unorthodox measures during a phone interview with the Press later in the day, saying it was in the interest of fairness.“I met with everyone and I answered everyone’s questions, which I know I aggravated some people but we originally thought it would be better rather than answer five or six questions and then leave to meet with everyone so no one felt that there questions weren’t getting answered,” he said.His staff ultimately relented when it became apparent that system was overly time-consuming.Romaine has taken heat for not only remaining on vacation throughout the crisis, but for the town’s failure in dealing with it.Romaine explained that under New York State law, the supervisor, nor the town council, has authority to issue directives to the highway department, which was headed by acting-highway superintendent Mike Murphy, whom resigned Tuesday at the Romaine’s request.“It is an independent entity,” Romaine said of the highway department. “The people elect a highway superintendent who reports directly to the people, not to the supervisor, not to the town board. The only thing that the supervisor and town board does is vote on their budget in November.”“Nevertheless,” he continued, “they are part of town government and it concerns me that they failed. And I cannot tell the people of Brookhaven how sorry I am personally that that failure took place.”Other observers agreed with Romaine’s explanation.“Traditionally, I think with what you’ll find all over the place where there are elected highway superintendents that they tend to think of themselves as kings of the road and they like to operate independent,” said a source familiar with town operations who asked not to be named. “And they do because they’re independently elected to operate independent of any other parts of town government that not subject to the supervision of anybody on the town board.”Still, the top levels of government should be able to step in during a moment of crisis, one Brookhaven town official said.“The highway department has their own elected official but in light of the fact that we have an interim highway department, our job [is] as public servants that are elected and we should have been there to support the acting superintendent of highways and the staff over at highway, we should have been there to assist them,” Brookhaven Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh, an Independent running for the highway superintendent position on the Democratic line, told the Press.As the criticism mounted and residents desperately called out for help, change in the power structure became necessary, officials said.“Eventually it got to the point where we asked for the acting superintendent’s resignation,” Romaine said. “He didn’t have to give it to us, he did, and we are appreciative for that.”Romaine has repeatedly declined to reveal where he was vacationing last week. The Press reported on Wednesday that Romaine was in Jamaica, according to a town source.The supervisor said he regretted his time in the sun when so many of his residents were swamped with unforgiving cold, snow and ice—saying, “Absolutely, I would’ve loved to had been here”—yet insisted he was receiving constant updates from town officials, and believes response efforts wouldn’t have been different if he was receiving updates in his office rather than over the phone, anyway.“I don’t think it would’ve made much of a difference because all the decisions I made, when I made them, would not have changed one iota,” he contended, “but you know what, I would’ve loved to be here because you always want to show a presence, particularly to the constituents in Brookhaven Town.”“I don’t want to talk about the fog of war,” he continued, “but I would be getting the same information. I mean people aren’t telling me one thing on the phone that would tell me something differently if they were sitting in my office, so I’m getting the same information, I’m giving the same directives. Do I think there would be much difference? No I don’t think there would be much difference at all.”When Romaine left town hall Wednesday night to prepare for a Thursday flight, he said the weather predictions Wednesday called for “rain and then moving to snow, but it wasn’t said that there would be [a] blizzard.”When notified that the National Weather Service Wednesday issued a statement predicting “significant snowfall and strong winds with near-blizzard conditions,” Romaine responded that he wasn’t aware a possible blizzard was on its way.“I didn’t see that, honestly,” he said, “I didn’t see that, whatever news I got, I got out of TV news and I didn’t get that there was a blizzard coming.”The National Weather Service then issued a blizzard watch for Suffolk County on Thursday and predicted eight to 12 inches of snow.When the supervisor called his office Friday for an update on the storm he said the highway department assured him that they had “it under control,” and that it wasn’t until Saturday that “we were told that they had lost control of the storm in certain areas of the town and we began a frantic call to get other equipment in.”Before departing for his island getaway, Romaine said he was notified of the department’s plan and was assured that they had the necessary equipment to clean up the snow.Departments that the town does control—parks and waste management, specifically—had plows at the ready and were sent out to clean roadways Friday afternoon, he added.Romaine continued making calls throughout the weekend, he said, and was notified that 95 percent of roads would be passable by Monday. Briefed on the hundreds of abandoned cars in the area, he tells the Press, he was surprised to learn that most of them were either on state or county roads, but still advised the town to assist in snow removal for those areas.“People complained bitterly about Brookhaven Town and I’m like, ‘Wow, most of those cars were abandoned on either the [Long Island] expressway or Sunrise [Highway] or [Route] 25 or County Road 83 or [Route] 112 or Nicolls Road, they weren’t abandoned on town roads,’ but the town had to help in that effort and we all worked together,” he said.Romaine now says that he intends to work with the acting highway superintendent and whoever is elected March 5 at a special election for the position. The supervisor will conduct a “top-to-bottom review” of the storm, he said, including a review of the equipment, how staff was deployed and the town’s communication system. He will also push for a computerized tracking system for the entire highway department, something that council members have opposed in the past, he said.As for the criticism from residents frustrated with the town’s leadership, Romaine admitted that they have a right to be upset but promised that the town would use the storm as a learning experience.“I would be too,” he said of residents’ frustration. “Unfortunately for me it was like the perfect storm, because there was a lot of things that needed to be done in highway that hadn’t been done. I was out of town, the storm was far more severe, and there’s a lot of things happening, we didn’t have a highway superintendent, we had an acting [superintendent] that didn’t have as much management experience as you had hoped. So many things seemed to go wrong that even if I was here, the only thing that we can do is try and learn from this.”last_img read more

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Entire organizations can develop an abundant mindset and realize success

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lorraine Ranalli Lorraine Ranalli is Chief Storyteller & Communications Director, as well as published author. Her most recent work, Impact: Deliver Effective, Meaningful, and Memorable Presentations, is a pocket book of public … Web: LorraineRanalli.com Details As individuals, most of us operate to some degree of either an abundancy or scarcity mentality. Our mindset alone can mean the difference between massive success, abject failure, or something in between. Entire organizations function under one or the other approach, too. Likewise, the approach can mean the difference between massive success and endless mediocrity. In her article, Seven Ways a Scarcity Mindset Holds You Back, Lucy Smith methodically explains things we do as individuals that keep us from reaching our full potential. Consider what happens when those with a scarcity outlook advance to leadership positions.Leaders who operate in a state of scarcity can stifle entire organizations, discourage their teams, and deflate morale. Worse yet, they tend to attract people with the same mindset, creating a cycle of negativity and underperformance. If negativity persists inside your organization regardless of the incentives you offer, it could be time to shuffle the deck. Take inventory of leadership styles from top down.Are members of your leadership team truly open to new ideas? Paying lip service to employees is not a winning strategy. Regularly soliciting input without ever implementing suggestions or giving associates the latitude to explore their ideas will eventually leave employees demoralized and distrustful.Rather than responding “no” reflexively to suggestions, try asking “what does that look like?” or “how can we make that work?” Employees who have to dance around an idea until their managers make it their own will eventually grow weary of managing up and either become unproductive or leave the organization.Leaders with a scarcity mindset aim to make themselves look good at the expense of their team. Under the guise of authority, they devote an inordinate amount of energy on blame, projection, and manipulation. They have constant turnover on their teams because they tread water rather than coach. Instead of celebrating teamwork, they fear it and may even mock it. They take credit for the work of the team and only share recognition when the accolades reflect upon them. Fear is their primary motivator, making them defensive and self-centered.Team players, on the contrary, tend to have an abundance mindset. They are confident about the contributions of each team member to the overall goal and they seek to share in the effort and reward. They are positive and motivated by common goals, operating under the mantra “a rising tide lifts all boats.” When looking to promote from within, look first at teams with members who are loyal, committed, and operate with a sense of purpose. Look at those who go out of their way to help coworkers succeed, even at the expense of their own reward and recognition. Sales guru and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “You’ll get everything you want out of life if you help enough people get what they want.” Identify individuals in your organization who put others first; they are your future leaders.Think you can’t infuse an abundant mindset into employee development? Think abundantly! Begin with one individual at a time. Introduce the topic, reminding valued employees that developing an abundant mindset is not difficult, but it takes commitment. The trick is to heed the advice of grandma—count your blessings. Zig Ziglar demonstrates a form of this in his talk “I hate my job,” where he challenges a disgruntled employee to make a list of all the things she loves about her job and then read, morning and night, each item on the list in the sentence, “I love my job because ….”Another version of this gratitude exercise is to make a conscious effort at the end of every day to identify at least three things that went well that day and for which you are grateful. Keeping these in a journal is recommended and there are gratitude apps to assist. Why not encourage and challenge employees to do this? Perhaps hold daily stand-up meetings devoted to pointing out workplace positives. We hold meetings around some of the most mundane topics. How motivational and fun would it be to throw into the mix an alternate type of meeting?Given the state of society in 2020, it appears too many have been lulled into a scarcity mindset. In extreme cases, negativity has morphed into victimhood mentality. It seems most of us have stopped counting our blessings, smelling the roses, and seeing the forest for the trees. Recently, I came across a blog by Alyssa Ahlgren, “My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us.” While I agree with the premise, I do not agree that this blindness is limited to her generation. Rather, the lack of gratitude for that which we as a society have accomplished on many fronts is an unfortunate phenomenon gripping all generations.Just as individuals will realize success by adopting a mindset of abundance and an attitude of gratitude, entire organizations can do the same. It starts with strong leaders. Choose and develop leaders wisely, and if the ship is headed toward high ground, steer it in another direction. Take a page out of Jim Collins’s famous work and go from Good to Great by putting the right people in the right seats on the bus.last_img read more

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Disney (DIS) Q4 2020 earnings

first_imgLast month, California advised Disney and other theme park operators that they could not reopen until daily coronavirus cases fell below 1 in 100,000 in the surrounding county. Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock called the guidelines “unworkable” in a statement following the announcement.The executive director of California Attractions and Parks Association indicated the group would explore legal action in light of the restrictions. The trade group represents Disneyland Resorts and other parks including Universal Studios, which is owned by CNBC parent-company NBCUniversal.The closures have forced Disney to cut back on costs. In September, Disney announced that the parks, experiences and consumer products division would lay off 28,000 workers. Disney has been able to reopen its theme parks in Florida, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong with limited capacity. However, Paris Disneyland was forced to close in late October and will not reopen until 2021.- Advertisement – Disney is set to report earnings for its fourth quarter of 2020 after the bell on Thursday.Here are the key numbers:Loss per share: 71 cents expected, according to Refinitiv survey of analystsRevenue: $14.20 billion expected, according to RefinitivThe company continues to feel the strain of public health restrictions on its theme parks business and recently reorganized the company to prioritize streaming video.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Meanwhile, Disney announced a restructure of its media and entertainment divisions in October. Disney said it would centralize its media businesses into one organization tasked with content distribution, ad sales and its Disney+ streaming service.CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin at the time that Disney was “tilting the scale pretty dramatically” toward streaming.But, he said, the change was not “a response to Covid.”“I would say Covid accelerated the rate at which we made this transition, but this transition was going to happen anyway,” Chapek said at the time.Analysts will also be eagerly awaiting details about how the company’s film “Mulan” fared on the streaming platform during the quarter. The $200 million film was slated for release in March, but was postponed several times before being dropped on Disney+ as a premium $30 rental. Disney is expected to provide more information about the film’s performance during its earnings call.Disney has shuffled a number of film releases into 2021 following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the U.S., as well as lackluster audience traffic and ticket sales. While most of its planned theatrical releases remain poised for runs in theaters, the company’s Pixar feature “Soul” will arrive on Disney+ in December for free.Top tier releases like “Soul” could help bolster subscription numbers, further supporting Disney’s streaming push.This story is developing. Check back for updates.Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Studios and CNBC.Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.WATCH: Shanghai Disneyland reopens for first time since coronavirus pandemiccenter_img – Advertisement – A Disney cast member welcomes guests to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, 2020.(Photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)last_img read more

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Japan slides into recession, with forecasts of worse to come

first_img“We expect the worst is yet to come, with the state of emergency in Japan and the severity of the pandemic among Western nations continuing to derail the Japanese economy,” said Naoya Oshikubo, senior economist at SuMi TRUST.Nevertheless, the first-quarter result was slightly better than economists had forecast, with expectations for a 1.1-percent decline.Japan has been hit less hard than most advanced economies by the coronavirus, with just over 16,000 cases in the whole country and around 750 deaths.However, authorities were concerned there could be an explosive spike — especially in the densely populated capital Tokyo — and urged people to stay indoors and businesses to shut down. Topics : Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency that was lifted last week for most of the country but kept in place for economic powerhouse regions Tokyo and Osaka.”Personal consumption has been the main casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic as consumer spending has been greatly affected by this due to people staying at home,” Oshikubo said. “But uncertainty stemming from the spread of the virus has also hit private capital investment as companies curtail their expenditure programs,” added the expert. ‘Significantly worse’In an attempt to mitigate the worst effects of the crisis, Abe has pledged to give every citizen a cash handout of 100,000 yen ($930).The handout was part of a package of stimulus measures worth around $1 trillion to protect jobs, bolster the medical sector and ease the pain for working families.Tourism has dropped by as much as 90 percent, industry and trade have ground to a halt and the virus also forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that was seen as providing a boost to the economy.According to the details of the GDP report, private consumption dropped 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter, with both household consumption and corporate investment slipping 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.But as the coronavirus pandemic battered the global economy, Japanese exports were the hardest hit, falling by six percent compared to the previous quarter.The full impact of the coronavirus on Japan’s economy has still to be felt and economists are bracing for a catastrophic second quarter.Oshikubo said his organization was forecasting an eyewatering 10.2-percent plunge in the second quarter, which would be the worst since the 2008 financial crisis.Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, told AFP the second quarter would be “significantly worse”, forecasting a decline of around six to seven percent.”As to the question of when the economy will pick up, it all depends on the number of infected and when the virus fades out.” Japan dived into its first recession since 2015, according to official data Monday, with the world’s third-largest economy shrinking by 0.9 percent in the first quarter as it wrestles with the fallout from the coronavirus.The drop in gross domestic product followed a 1.9-percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2019 as a tax hike and typhoons hit Japan hard — even before the pandemic shut down much of the economy.A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth and some analysts predicted the Japanese economy would suffer worse as the effects of the coronavirus become clear.last_img read more

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ESG roundup: Japan’s giant pension selects S&P for ESG indices

first_imgThe world’s biggest pension fund, Japan’s JPY158.6trn (€1.2trn) Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), has chosen Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to provide ESG indices for its growing equity portfolio.For Japanese equities, the fund will use the S&P/JPX Carbon Efficient index, and for non-Japanese equities the fund will use the S&P Global Ex-Japan LargeMid Carbon Efficient index. JPY1.2trn of the fund’s portfolio will track the indices, GPIF said.“GPIF hopes that the selected global environmental stock indices will provide an opportunity for companies to work on carbon efficiency and disclosure,” Norihiro Takahashi, president of the pension fund, said in a press release.According to S&P, the indices “are designed to reduce exposure to high-carbon companies in a systematic way, while maintaining a risk/return profile similar to that of their benchmarks”. Takahashi said GPIF had selected the S&P indices because they were not based on divestment and included smaller companies not covered by other ESG indices.The S&P indices are part of the GPIF’s “themed indices” strategy, which also includes the MSCI Japan Empowering Women index. For the rest of its domestic equity exposure it uses “integrated ESG indices”, including the MSCI Japan ESG Select Leaders index and the FTSE Blossom Japan index.The S&P Global Ex-Japan LargeMid Carbon Efficient index is the first to be applied to non-domestic equities.In October last year the pension fund amended its investment principles adding that “ESG factors should be taken into consideration in stewardship activities”. According to its annual report, the fund has also joined “a research program to incorporate ESG factors in fixed income investment”.iShares launches inclusion and diversity ETF BlackRock’s London officeBlackRock and Thomson Reuters have joined forces to offer an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focusing on inclusion and diversity.The iShares Thomson Reuters Inclusion & Diversity UCITS ETF is based on an index assessing more than 2,000 publicly-traded companies worldwide.From those, the top 100 are selected according to 24 metrics assessing companies’ diversity, inclusion and development qualities. The assessment also takes into account news and controversies.“The increasing availability of corporate sustainability data, as well as advancement in technology, has made it possible to better measure and understand metrics, such as inclusion and diversity, from an investment perspective,” said Brian Deese, head of sustainable investing at BlackRock.Investment professionals introduce ESG guideIn Germany, the association of investment professionals DVFA has issued a glossary on terms and strategies around ESG investing.The definitions and explanations should be seen “as contribution to the discussion surrounding the work of the EU Commission’s technical expert group on sustainable finance”, the DVFA said.The association said it wanted to make it easier for German investors to identify suitable ESG investment products and “help avoid greenwashing”.However, it did not want to judge the quality of funds or their suitability for certain investors.“The quality of sustainability factors cannot suitably be standardised given the very different needs of investors,” the DVFA said.The glossary and guidelines explain many aspects of ESG, from exclusion to divestment, best-in-class and critical viewpoints.They also list possible ESG-related investments for each asset class, accompanied with critical notes.The guidelines (available here in German) were compiled by Dirk Söhnholz, managing director of strategic advisory firm Diversifikator, and Ralf Frank, managing director of the DVFA.last_img read more

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World leaders arrive in Jakarta for the Africa-Asia summit

first_imgWorld Leaders expected to attend the Asia Africa Conference 60th Anniversary Commemoration (AACC) events have begun arriving in Jakarta where the summit will be held.The summit to be held under the theme: ”Strengthening South to South Cooperation to promote World Peace and Prosperity” is aimed at bridging Asia and African countries into stronger partnerships and to share experiences in enhancing both regions’ economic development.Leaders of Angola and Russia, arrived  on Sunday. The president of Angola was accompanied by a delegation of Angolan officials who will also be part of the summit.Uganda’s vice president  Edward Ssekandi  left on Monday for the summit expected to be joined by other  African leaders at the summit taking place in the South Eastern capital of Jakarta.South African president Jacob Zuma who was expected to attend the summit which officially begins on 21 Tuesday will miss the event following events back home where Xenophobic attacks have rocked the country. However the The South African delegation arrived on Sunday. The five-day summit is aimed at re-energising economic activities between the two continents and further consolidate the spirit of the cold war era gathering that gave birth to the Non- Aligned Movement.The state guests are scheduled to attend the AACC opening ceremony, which will take place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Monday.Heads of state and representatives34 heads of state and heads of government, as well as representatives from 77 countries have confirmed their attendance at the conference, set to be held in Jakarta and Bandung.Among the heads of state and government who are confirmed include those of Brunei Darussalam, China, Iran, Jordan, Madagascar, Malawi and Swaziland, according to the Foreign Ministry.Other leaders confirming their presence are from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Gabon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.Six countries confirming the presence of deputy heads of state or government are Algeria, Angola, Liberia, Seychelles the Philippines and Zambia.Representatives of six international organizations, namely the African Union, the Arab League, ASEAN, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations and the South Center, will also be present. The theme of the summit is : ”Strengthening South to South Cooperation to promote World Peace and Prosperity”last_img read more

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Michael “Mike” James Struckman

first_imgMichael “Mike” James Struckman, 49, of Milan passed away Monday, January 28, 2019 at his residence.  Mike was born Sunday, January 4, 1970 in Batesville, the son of Cletus and Rena Mae (Johnson) Struckman.  He worked for Sydney Printing in Cincinnati, OH as a printing press operator.  He served his country in the Air-Force and enjoyed fishing, talking with family, shooting guns, liked feeding chickens and playing on the computer.Mike is survived by his step-mother Marilyn Struckman of Milan; brothers Richard (Michelle) Struckman of Westport, Johnny (Becky) Struckman of Osgood and David Struckman of Milan; sister Lisa Nethery of Wisconsin; many nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents and great nephew Jayce Struckman.A service celebrating his life will be held Saturday 11 AM February 2, 2019 at Laws-Carr-Moore Funeral Home in Milan with Pastor Harris Long officiating. Military Rites will follow after the service at the funeral home.  Family and friends may gather to honor and remember him Saturday 9 – 11 AM also at the funeral home.  Memorials may be given in honor of Mike to the family. Laws-Carr-Moore Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements, 707 S. Main Street, Box 243, Milan, IN 47031, (812) 654-2141.  You may go to www.lawscarrmoore.com to leave an online condolence message for the family.last_img read more

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