Aer Lingus and the Irish state may be facing a €174m High Court case over the decision to reduce pensioner benefits paid by the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme (IASS).The Retired Aviation Staff Association (RASA), representing pensioners affected by the changes to the IASS, met earlier this week and were unanimous in their support for a legal challenge, according to a statement.The RASA said pensions in payment had been cut after the Pensions Authority accepted the funding proposal put forward by the IASS trustee board, submitted after years of negotiation over the €715m deficit.The IASS – a multi-employer fund sponsored by the Irish flag carrier and the Dublin Airport Authority – cut benefits by an estimated €174m as part of the proposal, with the RASA alleging that the liability had been transferred to pensioners. In its statement, the association only said that the probable High Court case would be brought “against a number of potential defendants”, which could include the sponsoring companies and the government.Both the RASA and L K Shields, the law firm representing the IASS pensioners, declined to comment further.Cuts to pensions in payment were made possible after the Department of Social Protection changed the priority order of assets on wind-up, which previously offered complete protection to a pensioner’s accrued rights.The previous regime was considered inequitable by many critics, including parliamentarians, as it would necessitate deeper cuts to active and deferred members’ pensions where a scheme was in deficit on wind-up. In other news, the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) has implemented a new web-based fund information portal aimed at institutional investors.The portal, named ISE FundHub, offers detailed information on funds listed on the ISE.It displays the current net asset values (NAVs) and NAV histories of each listed fund, as well as key fund documents, and provides profiles of investment managers.Other functionalities are categorisation of funds, comparisons versus peers and analytics.At the launch of the platform in November last year, 20 investment managers had agreed to use the service.Among the fund managers already using the service are J O Hambro, Neuberger Berman and Dragon Capital.The ISE is currently in discussions with other fund managers that already list their funds on the exchange, including Goldman Sachs and US money manager Lord Abbett.It hopes to have 100 fund managers using the service by the end of this year.The ISE Fund Hub was developed in partnership with FundConnect, the Danish fund infrastructure provider.Rose Ward, vice-president for international primary markets at the ISE, said: “A consistent theme was that both investors and managers wanted more information on funds. By providing NAV histories, peer comparisons, access to key fund documents and investment manager profiles, we are addressing that requirement.”For more on the DC reforms facing the Irish pensions industry, see the current issue of IPE magazine
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QPR have made an offer to Blackburn for defender Chris Samba.Rangers have tabled a bid of around £5m for the 27-year-old centre-back, who has made 160 league appearances for Rovers since joining them from German side Hertha Berlin in 2007.Samba is one of a number of defenders the R’s have shown an interest in as they look to strengthen their squad during the transfer window.AdChoices广告He is also a target for Tottenham, who were hoping to sign Gary Cahill from Bolton but look likely to miss out.A move to White Hart Lane for Samba could pave the way for QPR to sign Sebastien Bassong from Spurs.Rangers thought they were getting Bassong on loan during the previous transfer window but the deal was called off when Tottenham failed to land Cahill.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
JOHNSTON — The governor’s proclamation keeping businesses like amusement parks and movie theaters closed statewide is set to expire May 27th. Since March, Governor Reynolds has also asked Iowans not to gather in groups of more than 10.Reynolds says, “We know that it’s important that we continue in a very responsible, safe, measured, phased in manner to continue to open up,” Reynolds says, “and what wee’re seeing from businesses and from Iowans — they also are being very responsible.”Reynolds says she’s been hearing from closed businesses about how they’d plan to reopen, if given the opportunity. On Tuesday, Reynolds hinted she might make some announcements on business closures today, but she’s planning to make others next week.Memorial Day is Monday. The governor’s business closures and other restrictions are currently scheduled to expire next Wednesday.
Recently planted young citrus trees at MrsMtembu’s farm, Ntlaza. The Is’Bayaproject has helped plant over 50 000high-value fruit trees in over 1 500homesteads in 50 villages in the Transkei. Is’Baya director Peter Jones in a youngrosemary planting at Ncora. An Is’Baya herb-planting demonstration.High-value crops such as herbs take muchlonger to establish than ordinary cropssuch as vegetables and maize, but theyhave a long production life span and a farhigher return per volume.(Image: Is’Baya)Lusanda NgcaweniWhen food costs rise, the poor suffer most. The recent surge in global food prices is no exception, and highlights the need for sustainable local production as a buffer against food inflation, particularly in impoverished areas. In South Africa, an organisation called the Is’Baya Development Trust is helping some 50 rural villages on the outskirts of the Transkei region on their way to self-sustainability.Is’Baya, isiXhosa for “homestead”, is a rural development organisation working with villagers in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape. It helps improve communities’ farming techniques to make productive land from the unproductive, and to provide them with the necessary basic services and support structures.A former apartheid-era “homeland”, the Transkei is one of the country’s most impoverished areas. Is’Baya was formed in 1989 by Monelo Bongo and Moshe Schwartz, who saw the agricultural potential of the region.“They wanted to show that the entire Transkei was capable of producing sufficient agricultural products, and even become the breadbasket of the country,” says Is’Baya director Peter Jones. “And the best place for development to happen is within the family home or homestead.”Over the years there has been major degradation of the land with no development from previous or current governments. “What Is’Baya aims to do is to solve that problem and remove the heavy weight of underdevelopment from the economy and society of the country as a whole,” sociologist and Africa development expert, Professor Herbert Vilakazi.“Rural poverty is now directly affecting the entirety of the South African economy and society. The failure of development in these areas is now forcing millions of people to leave rural areas and come to the cities.”High-value cropsThe project began with research by Is’Baya and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), one of South Africa’s parastatal science councils, into the Transkei’s potential for the cultivation of high-value crops. “High-value crops take much longer to establish than ordinary crops such as vegetables and maize,” says Jones, “but they have a long production life span and a far higher return per volume.” The study overwhelmingly supported the viability of cultivating citrus and tropical fruit, as well as herbs and essential oils.In 2000, Jones was approached to lead the project. With over 30 years’ experience, he comes from a rich tradition of self-reliance practice, working in the 1970s with activists such as Steve Biko and Dr Mampele Rampele for the Black Community Programmes, major community self-help schemes in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. In fact, all of Is’Baya’s trustees and the professionals they work with have been involved in community development since the 1970s.Working with the ARC, Is’Baya’s helped introduce the high-value crops over a wide area along the coast of the Transkei and further inland. “Currently, a total of over 50 000 fruit trees have been planted in over 1 500 homesteads in 50 villages in the Transkei,” says Jones.Training in new technologyThe ARC’s role has been mainly technical, as well as ensuring that the necessary technology available for agricultural production is passed on through ongoing training. “We concentrate on high-value crops, mainly fruit trees, which most of the farmers in the rural areas do have, but not the necessary technologies and necessary cultivars to use them commercially,” says the ARC’s Rosemary de Preez.“It’s really about an integrated farming system where high-value crops can play a role in that farming system, but still include vegetable production. And more recently we introduced herbs specifically for essential oils production. South Africa is an importer of essential oils, yet it is a crop that could be produced in rural areas.”Each farmer pays 50% of the cost of a tree. Is’Baya and the ARC’s costs, as well as the remaining 50% for the trees, are contributed by various government and non-government sources.Is’Baya helps communities achieve increased production for food security purposes, introduce and achieve high levels of production of the high-value crops, and underscore all of this with appropriate organisation, such as cooperatives.Before going into any rural villages, Is’Baya has to get buy-in from traditional leaders. “It’s a necessity and we’ve been hugely successful,” says Jones, “more so than any other government structure, including municipalities. We become involved mainly by specific invitation from the communities. At the moment we are involved quite deeply with the villages, all with their own functioning committees and management responsibilities.”Merging the modern and traditional“We believe our success lies in understanding people in the rural areas and making sure that we develop methodologies that are attached to their way of life and their traditional way of looking at development,” Is’Baya chairperson Pandelani Nefolovhodwe.“We merge the modern and the traditional and they understand the methods because these methods are worked out with them. Because we have been working together for many years, we understand each other. It is no longer a ‘we’ and ‘them’ situation, it is just us working together and making sure that development work must go forward.”Using their experience of working in rural areas, Is’Baya always gets consent to participate from traditional leaders and ensures there is interaction with all the participating homesteads. A village committee is formed of and liaison person appointed.Each committee must attend at least two training sessions per year manages its own financial affairs, including the collection and depositing of monies for the trees.This method of working together towards sustainability has obviously been popular in the villages of the Eastern Cape. A Mrs Mavithana from Hluleka village said: “This programme will continue being successful because the people from Is’Baya and the ARC are always available. They don’t just bring the trees and disappear, they check up on us at appropriate times. When something needs to be done at a certain time, they inform us. For example, even if your trees have got ants, you are able to ask them for advice.”“Before Is’Baya and the ARC taught how to farm, I was just farming using an old method, which did not progress that much,” said Andile Sondlaba, also from Hluleka village. “I think they are experts because ever since I started farming as a young man, I have never come across an organisation that works with people like this. The other organisations don’t even come to the outskirts, yet this one is able to come to the people and show them practically by using their hands. And that is how we learned to farm.“In our region there have been great changes. We didn’t even know that we could produce fruit juice with our bare hands, but they taught us how to and we are able to produce juice. I hope they never forget or abandon us.”Mrs Mthembu from Libode was also impressed: “Is’Baya and the ARC helped me in many ways, including farming these oranges. I ordered from them, they delivered to me, they even taught me the process and the do’s and don’t of digging a whole.” While Mr Nonqana from Noqwekwana said, “The one thing that impressed me about Is’Baya is that they helped to test the soil before I planted. I had to give them the soil sample to see if my plants match the soil, and also to see which fertilizer is suitable. There have been some great changes since their arrival. Even here on my land where I have built, there are now many households that grow oranges thanks to Is’Baya and the ARC.”Challenges include lack of waterWorking in the rural areas, there are bound to be many challenges. “One of our main challenges is that we don’t have water in this area,” says Mr Nonqana, who is almost 80 years old. “We have to fetch water from very far away using wheelbarrows.”“There is no plant material available because all the trees that have been planted by the farmers up until now are part of our programme,” says Du Preez. “Which means about 50 000 trees have been brought in from other parts of the Eastern Cape and as far as Limpopo and Mpumalanga. A lot of topsoil is lost annually into the rivers and down to the sea through soil erosion. Also, people don’t have access to the water. There are perennial rivers but there’s no access to that water.”Is’Baya has been awarded a key planning grant by the Eastern Cape provincial government. “The objective of the grant is to design a holistic and comprehensive rural development programme – the Integrated Village Renewal Programme (IVRP) – based on the work of Is’Baya and the ARC, which can be applied on a mass scale in the Eastern Cape and beyond, and is due for completion at the end of May,” says Jones.“We are hoping that once the IVRP is ready for implementation, it will be applied to these 50 villages that Is’Baya has already mobilised. We also hope that the national government will become involved in a major way to ensure that the IVRP becomes a national programme.”“Our future aims and objectives are to make sure that this programme is understood by national government and all the various departments that deal with rural development so that this can be replicated nationally,” says Nefolovhodwe, “and become a national programme that can assist rural communities.”Useful linksIs’Baya Development TrustAgricultural Research Council
The organizers of the BrightBuilt Retrofit contest plan to award $10,000 to a New England nonprofit organization that commits to a deep-energy retrofit project.The public is invited to vote on which of four proposals is most deserving of the award. The proposals have been submitted by Community Partners of Biddeford, Maine; Farm & Wilderness of Plymouth, Vermont; Freeport Community Services of Freeport, Maine; and Yestermorrow Design/Build of Warren, Vermont. The online voting will continue through November 2, 2010.The winning project will receive:A $10,000 cash awardA $90,000 interest-free loanDiscounted design servicesAccess to an award-winning team of expertsA reduced carbon footprint and lower energy billsA more comfortable, livable, beautiful spaceThe goals of the BrightBuilt Retrofit award are to highlight the affordability and accessibility of deep-energy retrofit projects and to help complete an energy-conserving building renovation for a deserving New England nonprofit organization.Full disclosure: GBA editor Martin Holladay is on the project’s Board of Advisors. Also serving on the board are Tedd Benson, president of Bensonwood Homes; Keith Collins, owner of BrightBuilt Barn; Gunnar Hubbard, principal of Fore Solutions; Allison Zuchman, project manager at Fore Solutions; Phil Kaplan, principal of Kaplan Thompson Architects (an a Podcaster for GBA); Robin Tannenbaum, architectural designer at Kaplan Thompson Architects; Dan Kolbert, owner of Kolbert Building & Renovations; Jessica Lantos, membership manager at the Maine Association of Non-Profits; Jennifer Marapese, interim executive director at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association; Naomi Mermin, Chair of the Maine chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council; Jim Newman, director of strategy at BuildingGreen; John Rooks, president of the SOAP Group; and Alissa Conroy, vice-president of the SOAP Group.For more information, or to register your vote, visit BrightBuilt Retrofit.
QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Sunday’s loss to Atlanta was particularly galling given the Hawks were missing five first-choice players, Lue said.“Teams that we’re playing, having guys out, key guys out and still not being able to win,” Lue said. “We all have to continue to keep searching and continue to keep fighting and continue to play hard.”Yet Lue was reluctant to point the finger of blame at the Cavs starting lineup, saying problems existed throughout the roster.“It’s not just the starters, it’s all of us,” Lue said. “We all have to get better and we have to put in the work to get out of this hole. Starters understand they have to play better. They know that. But it’s all of us.”ADVERTISEMENT Lue was at a loss to explain the Cavaliers’ sluggish beginning to the season which has left the 2016 NBA champions languishing in the bottom half of the table.The Cavs coach said the team had pored over footage of their losses in an attempt to pinpoint their faults.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Have to keep showing film and continue to keep talking about it,” Lue said. “Make sure we’re aware of it, and I think guys are embarrassed and should be embarrassed of how we’re getting beat.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion 76ers start West Coast road trip with Embiid on the bench Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READ LATEST STORIES Head coach Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers while playing the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena on November 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Indiana won the game 124-107. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFPCleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said Monday his players were “embarrassed” by their start to the season as they prepared to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.The Cavs slipped to 4-6 on Sunday after losing at home to the under-strength Atlanta Hawks, who are propping up the Eastern Conference standings at 2-8.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View comments
AC Milan coach Gattuso concedes Higuain now closer to Chelseaby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan coach Rino Gattuso has hinted Gonzalo Higuain is leaving for Chelsea this week.Gattuso was speaking after the Coppa Italia win over Sampdoria.He said, “We have a very honest relationship, we say things to people’s faces. There is great honesty. When a player makes certain choices, it becomes difficult to convince him otherwise. One can try.“At this moment, he is a Milan player and we’re holding on tight. I don’t know what will happen. We are honest with each other and I want him to maintain this attitude, which has never been lacking thus far.”Gattuso continued: “I’ve talked to him a great deal, but it’s hard to give advice, because the career of a player only lasts 13-14 years. It’s his mind, not mine. The most important thing is to talk as men, look each other in the eyes and speak the truth.“I haven’t figured out what Higuain is unhappy with, because I see him look content and involved in the locker room atmosphere. We’ll see what happens. If it was up to me, I’d keep him at my house and feed him my dinner.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
The Kentucky Wildcats are the first 36-0 team in college basketball history, and everyone in the state – including one grocery store owner – is trying to get in on the action. The Pikeville Walmart apparently has an incredible Kentucky soda display, complete with the team’s record. In the below photo, taken by a Wildcats fan named Brian Daniels, UK’s logo is made out of Sprite Zero cases, while the W/L columns are made out of Coke Zero cases. Diet Coke cases provide the backdrop. It’s well done.Pikeville Walmart yesterday! @ACassady_KSR @KySportsRadio pic.twitter.com/uwzopMhX6W— Brian Daniels (@bdanie01) March 22, 2015Kentucky will take on the winner of Maryland vs. West Virginia next week in the Sweet 16.
Ohio State Scarlet and Gray DaysUpdate: We’ve got another Scarlet and Gray Days preview to show you. This one features Braxton Miller, wide receiver. Like what you see, @OhioStAthletics fans? Don’t miss “Scarlet & Gray Days” at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday. #InsideOSU http://t.co/CYarPB7qKE— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 18, 2015Earlier: The Ohio State football program is the subject of a new Big Ten Network show that’s focusing on the Buckeyes’ 2015 training camp. The show, Scarlet and Gray Days, is set to debut Wednesday at 7 p.m. E.T. on BTN. Thanks to Land Grant Holy Land, we’ve gotten a sneak peek at one of the scenes from the first show. In this scene, Urban Meyer is addressing his players. “We will not go into Game 1 in Blacksburg, Va., not nine strong,” he says. Urban Meyer: “We will not go into Game 1 in Blacksburg, VA not ‘nine strong’ … That’s absolutely not negotiable.” http://t.co/y39urFk7T6— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) August 17, 2015Ready for the fall, Buckeye fans? Ohio State opens its season Sept. 7 against Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. E.T. The game will be televised on ESPN.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license Maersk Line’s containership, which picked up 113 migrants in international waters between Libya and Malta on Friday, has berthed at Pozzallo, Italy, disembarking distressed people.Following the instructions by the Maritime Response Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome, Alexander Maersk reached the Sicilian port on June 26 at 1:20 AM CET.On Saturday evening, MRCC disembarked five persons from the vessel, mainly children and one pregnant woman.The remaining 108 migrants have now been successfully disembarked from the 1,068 TEU ship, Maersk Line confirmed.“The crew on Alexander Maersk has done a heroic job in the past days, and we are very proud of the way they handled this difficult situation. It has been a stressful time for the crew and we will focus on providing them time to rest and recover as well as offer any needed crisis counselling,” Maersk Line said in a statement.The 1998-built boxship was en route from Al Khoms, Libya to Malta when it received a request from MRCC to change its course and assist in search and rescue operation on June 21. After rescuing the migrants, the vessel was waiting for further instructions from the Italian authorities.The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) urged European authorities to disembark people on board Alexander Maersk as merchant vessels are not equipped to have migrants on board for a longer period of time. What is more, the crew on board such ships is not trained to carry out large-scale rescue operations, according to ECSA.“It is not acceptable that a merchant vessel, saving migrants on its own or called upon to assist in search and rescue activities, is confronted with this kind of problems. Problems that potentially affect the safety and well-being of the migrants and the crew,” Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary General, said.