Reading Offices Meeting demand halfway

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Iraq announces first coronavirus death

first_imgTopics : Schools, universities, cinemas, cafes and other public places in Iraq have been ordered shut until March 7 to further contain the outbreak, but many continue to operate normally.Responding to Wednesday’s death, Sulaimaniyah Governor Haval Abu Bakr told reporters that all rallies in the province will be banned and that all football matches will now be held behind closed doors. Local religious authorities for their part announced a ban on mass prayers, including on Fridays, until further notice.The outbreak has fuelled public panic among Iraqis who say the war-ravaged country’s healthcare system cannot handle the epidemic. Many hospitals in Iraq are poorly equipped or in disrepair after successive waves of conflict. According to the World Health Organization, there are fewer than 10 doctors for every 10,000 people. Iraq said a 70-year-old Muslim cleric died on Wednesday from the novel coronavirus, the first death from the outbreak in a country where 31 people have been infected.The Iraqi preacher had been quarantined in the northeastern city of Sulaimaniyah before his death, a spokesman for the Kurdish autonomous region’s health authority said.According to local sources, he had recently met with Iraqis returning from neighboring Iran, which has recorded the third deadliest outbreak outside China, the epidemic’s epicenter. center_img Across the world, 3,155 people have died from the virus, with China recording 2,943 deaths, Italy 79 while 77 people have died in Iran from the disease.Iraq is one of Iran’s largest export markets and a popular destination for Iranian pilgrims visiting the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.Many Iraqis also cross the frontier for business, tourism, medical treatment and religious studies.Iraqi authorities have closed land borders with Iran and banned the entry of foreign nationals travelling from there and other badly affected countries.last_img read more

UK government bows to internal pressure on DC fees disclosure

first_imgThe UK government will table an amendment to its own pensions reform legislation forcing providers to provide transparency on charges in defined contribution (DC) pension schemes, amid pressure from party hierarchy.An amendment to the Pensions Bill 2013, which is entering its final stages of the parliamentary process, before becoming law, will call for the introduction of measures requiring transparency in transaction charges.The government said this was the latest step in wider plans to ensure savers and consumers received value for money. It added that the extra information provided, as a result of the amendment, would help those running DC schemes see exactly how much they paid for asset management services. The amended Bill moves into the report stage, the penultimate formality of parliamentary processes, this week.It forces the Secretary of State to make regulations that require greater transparency around transaction costs within occupational DC schemes.Current pensions minister and Liberal Democrat Steve Webb will table the amendment.In his written ministerial statement, Webb said the increased transparency enacted by the amendment would ensure fairer charges for those entering workplace DC schemes via auto-enrolment.“We’re taking action to ensure consumers have access to good-quality pension schemes,” Webb added.“A lack of transparency around the true costs of trading can prevent schemes from securing value for money for their members.”The move comes after the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition came under a scathing attack from former Conservative heavyweight and chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson.Lawson, who sits in the House of Lords, the UK’s second parliamentary chamber, had called for the government to do more on transparency, suggesting full disclosure was the only way to avoid industry mischief.The amendment has been made to appease Lawson’s calls and ensure the Pensions Bill, which includes legislation on the new single-tier state pension, passes through Parliament on schedule.As the cross-party debate over DC scheme charges, specifically within auto-enrolment schemes, intensifies, this is the second amendment to the Bill in as many weeks.On Thursday, opposition Labour peers tabled an amendment to the Bill, which would force the secretary of state to implement a cap of charges in DC schemes by the end of April 2015.This was in reaction to the UK government’s postponement of plans to cap charges, which were due to be enforced on providers by April this year.The opposition reaction to the cap postponement resulted in accusations that the government was avoiding the cap altogether, as it pushed it too close to the next general election.Reacting to the latest government amendment, opposition and Labour spokesman for pensions, Gregg McClymont, claimed credit for the move, suggesting Webb had given in to Labour pressure.“The government appears to have finally backed down under Labour pressure on transparency over costs and charges,” McClymont said, “but ministers are only implementing half of Labour’s reform agenda. The government’s headlong retreat on bringing in a pensions cap has left savers at real risk of rip-off charges.”last_img read more

WindEurope: Investments in new offshore wind projects slide in 2019

first_img€ 6.1 billion was invested in four European offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of around 1.4 GW in 2019, marking the lowest amount invested and the capacity financed in a year since 2012, according to a report by WindEurope. Capital expenditure per MW for new offshore wind, which decreased between 2015 and 2018, increased in 2019, according to the report, with three of the four projects reaching FID being financed with a CAPEX of € 5 million per MW or more. These projects are Hywind Tampen, Neart na Gaoithe, and Saint Nazaire. According to the report, “Financing and Investment Trends: The European wind industry in 2019”, non-recourse debt accounted for 77% of all investment in the new offshore wind farms, highlighting the importance of banks in wind energy financing. Offshore wind farms reaching an FID in 2019 required a relatively high capital expenditure (CAPEX) leading to a slightly lower capacity financed compared with the previous three years, the report said. The four wind farms that reached the Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2019 are the 480 MW Saint Nazaire in France, the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm; the 88 MW Hywind Tampen floating wind farm in Norway; the 382.7 MW Windpark Fryslân nearshore wind farm in the IJsselmeer, the Netherlands; and the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland.center_img The CAPEX is expected to revert to levels seen in previous years, the report said. 2019 saw a slide of over 40 percent in investments compared to 2018 when € 10.2 billion was invested into new offshore wind farms in Europe. The last year’s result is more than three times lower compared to the record € 20 billion invested in new offshore wind projects in 2016. Possible reasons for an increase in CAPEX per MW in 2019 are the new technology used (Hywind Tampen), installation depths of over 50 metres and the use of jacket foundations (Neart na Gaoithe), and in the case of the Saint Nazaire project the proviso that wind turbine factories for the project had to be built on French territory, according to the report.last_img read more

Kalibo drug bust nets 2 suspects

first_imgTyrone Yves Amante and Arnel MaximoRetino yielded the suspected illegal drugs, according to the Philippine DrugEnforcement Agency in Western Visayas. Tyrone Yves Amante and Arnel Maximo Retino were arrested in an entrapment operation staged by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 6 in Barangay Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan on Dec. 19. PDEA REGION VI-WESTERN VISAYAS KALIBO, Aklan – Suspected marijuanaleaves valued around P3,000 was seized in a buy-bust operation in BarangayEstancia, Kalibo, Aklan. The suspects were nabbed after theysold suspected marijuana leaves to an undercover officer around 3:30 p.m. onDec. 19, it added.    Amante and Retino were detained andcharged with violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive DangerousDrugs Act of 2002.(With a report fromPDEA-6/PN)last_img read more

Indiana State Track Coach Dies

first_imgRecently John McNichols, the long-time Indiana State track coach passed away because of a stroke.  He was attending a track clinic in Florida at the time.  To many in the state of Indiana John was a colleague, mentor, and a friend.  This includes yours truly.Three of Batesville’s female track stars ran for John at Indiana State.  They were Angie Menser, Carly Asher, and Jillian Yorn.  They all excelled under his tutelage.  On an ironic note, Angie became John’s boss as a member of Indiana’s state athletic department.John’s expertise in hurdle events was well known not only in Indiana but in the track world in general.  At the age of 66, John was still leading Indiana State to many conference track championships.last_img read more

President Trump thanks Parade of Hundreds of Boaters in PBC

first_imgHundreds of boaters took to the intracoastal waterway from the Jupiter inlet south past the president’s Palm Beach residence, Mar-a-Lago on Sunday to show their support for President Trump.The president took to twitter to thank them.Thank you very much to our beautiful “boaters.” I will never let you down!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2020 A Facebook page set up for the event dubbed it the “TRUMP Boat Parade.” It asked boaters participating to fly their “favorite TRUMP flag and USA Flag.”“Don’t miss this event it’s going to be ‘HUGE.’ Lets honor President Trump for all he is doing to ‘Keep America Great!’” the event page also said, referring to the president’s 2016 campaign slogan.Trump thanked the boaters in a tweet later on Sunday and vowed to “never let” them down.last_img read more

WTA Tour Live on Kwesé TV

first_imgAs top professional women tennis players compete for cash and rankings in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, Kwesé TV has promised to broadcast action live actions for its subscribers.In a statement issued wednesday, Kwesé TV said its subscribers will be able to watch the Qatar Total Open taking place in Doha which kicked-off yesterday 12 February and runs through until 18 February.Kwesé TV will also air the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, holding at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre, Dubai, UAE from 19 – 24 February. From Dubai, the WTA Tour moves to Acapulco, Mexico for the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC which is scheduled for 25 February to 3 March.This tournament coincides with the 25th anniversary of Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC, the most important tennis tournament in Latin America.Kwesé is also the exclusive home of ESPN and the WTA tournaments will be live on ESPN, channel 310 on Kwesé TV as well as on Kwesé Sports 2, channel 305.Kwesé Sports is Econet Media’s exclusive sports content platform available on the Kwesé TV network.Kwesé Sports holds rights to some of the most popular sporting leagues such as the NBA, the Carabao Cup, NFL, and Copa del Rey. It is also the official broadcaster of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

UW looks to rebound after first home defeat

first_imgUW redshirt freshman forward Ryan Evans and the Badgers suffered their first home loss to an unranked Big Ten team Tuesday. They get a chance to get back on track against struggling Indiana.[/media-credit]After suffering a home loss for the first time this season, this week has been a different experience for No. 11 Wisconsin as the Badgers look to avoid losing consecutive games, something they have not done in 2009-10.UW welcomes the Indiana Hoosiers to the Kohl Center for a Saturday afternoon matchup the Badgers cannot afford to lose. With only six games remaining, Wisconsin will likely have to win all six to earn even a share of the Big Ten title.Still, forward Ryan Evans insists it has, for the most part, been business as usual the past two days in practice.“It’s the same old, we stick to the same routine,” he said. “We’re just preparing for Indiana.”As a redshirt freshman, Evans had a courtside view of the Badgers six-game losing streak a year ago. Based on what he’s seen, though, the 6-foot-6 forward does not expect a similar result following the Badgers’ first home loss since Jan. 27, 2009.For true freshman Mike Bruesewitz, on the other hand, losing at the Kohl Center is an entirely new concept after the Badgers went 13-for-13 to open the season at home.According to Wisconsin’s other 6-foot-6 freshman forward, the team’s reaction was much like that which he experienced as a member of his high school basketball team.“What I’ve noticed, like in high school, a lot of times when we’ve lost, usually the next day practice is pretty good, pretty competitive, people got after it,” Bruesewitz said after practice Thursday. “And that’s kind of what happened here again today.”After losing to unranked Illinois, the Badgers will face another unranked opponent in the Hoosiers, who currently sit ninth in the Big Ten conference standings.Much as they were a year ago, the Hoosiers are an athletic, yet young and inexperienced team in head coach Tom Crean’s second year at the helm.Last year, Wisconsin struggled early against Indiana on the road before dominating the second half en route to a 17-point victory at Assembly Hall. When the “Crean and Crimson” came to the Kohl Center, UW dominated throughout, cruising to an 85-61 win.Indiana enters the game with the Badgers having lost 69-52 at home to No. 13 Ohio State with Wisconsin being the second of three straight games for the Hoosiers against ranked opponents.The Badgers will have another tough guard-forward combination to deal with Saturday, albeit one with far less experience than that of Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale.IU sophomore guard Verdell Jones III, who scored 39 points in two games against UW a year ago, ranks second among second-year players in the Big Ten with 14.7 points per game. Alongside the 6-foot-5 Jones is 6-foot-9 freshman forward Christian Watford.A native of Birmingham, Ala., Watford leads Big Ten freshmen in scoring with 12.5 points per game, while also pulling down a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game.According to Bruesewitz, keeping IU off the glass will be a key factor in the game.“They’re the second-best offensive rebounding team in the Big Ten,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we keep people off the glass, because second opportunities just kill teams. It deflates you defensively and inflates them. So we’ve just got to make sure we keep them off the glass, that’s probably the biggest thing.”In nine career matchups, UW head coach Bo Ryan owns a 6-3 record against Crean, with seven of those decisions coming while Crean was at the helm of in-state rival Marquette.Though the contest with Indiana lacks the marquee-nature of many of the Badgers’ recent games, Ryan’s squad recognizes the importance of getting back on the right track following a tough home loss to the Illini.“We have to get ready for the next game,” senior guard Jason Bohannon said following the Illinois loss. “We have to put this behind us and realize there is another very good team coming in on Saturday. We have to be ready to play.“It’s just the nature of the Big Ten; if you lose a game and you are still focusing on that game, you will lose the next game down the road. We have to look ahead and come ready to play.”last_img read more

Trojans head north to end regular season

first_imgThe USC men’s basketball team might have played its last game at the Galen Center in its victory over Arizona State last Sunday, but the season isn’t over. The Trojans (14-15, 9-7 Pac-12) will travel to Washington to face the Huskies on Wednesday and the Washington State Cougars on Saturday to finish the regular season before entering the Pac-12 championship next week.Last shot · Junior guard J.T. Terrell (above) and the Trojans have an outside shot at passing Arizona and Colorado in the Pac-12 standings. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan Senior guard Jio Fontan sprained his wrist in the victory over the Sun Devils last Sunday but was cleared to play Wednesday. Fontan admitted that the wrist was still sore but that he hoped to be ready for tipoff. In preparing for the Huskies, the floor general was emphatic about starting strong, as the Trojans have done in big wins over Arizona and UCLA.“First and foremost, just get stops,” Fontan said. “Whenever we get stops and get out in transition, we’re very effective. If we can get stops early on in the game, we’ll put ourselves in a position to win later on. If we give up too many points in the first half, a lot of the baskets will have to come in the half court and [that will] slow everything down.”The importance of pace was echoed in practice by assistant coach Dieter Horton, who at one point stopped a drill to emphasize how opting for a bounce pass instead of a standard swing pass at the wings could interrupt rhythm and slow the delicately timed pacing of the half-court set.For veterans like senior forward Eric Wise, keeping up with the pace of the offense is just a matter of preparation. Wise, who is coming off a season-high 22 point outing in last week’s win over Arizona, will look to continue his strong play in finishing the season.“We just have to come out ready to play and warm up hard,” Wise said. “I know for me, I just try to come into every game focused. Hopefully [last week’s success] can carry over into this weekend.”Junior Dewayne Dedmon emphasized the importance of defensive intensity in facing the Huskies’ own brand of fast-paced offense.“We have to come out with the same intensity that we had the first time we played them,” Dedmon said. “We have to come out with energy and make sure that we get stops on the defensive end.”The Huskies (16-13, 8-8 Pac-12) are led by sharpshooting senior guard Scott Suggs and junior guard C.J. Wilcox. Wilcox leads Washington in scoring at 17.3 points per game, good for sixth in the Pac-12, and Suggs is shooting a respectable 38 percent from beyond the arc on the season. When asked what the Trojans must do to limit the Huskies’ tandem of wings offensively, USC interim head coach Bob Cantu started on the other side of the court.“Transition defense — they’re very good at home, they have a great crowd and a great environment,” Cantu said. “They like to push the ball and do a good job of getting out in the open court. We have to get back and defend the three-point line against Wilcox and Suggs, [and] we have to be able to take good shots on offense that don’t lead to long rebounds and easy baskets for them. If we can control tempo and execute, then I like our chances.”Despite a season filled with trials and difficulties, the Trojans have been surprisingly stellar in conference play, and they have an outside shot at securing a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament. USC owns the tiebreaker over No. 18 Arizona (23-6, 11-6 Pac-12) and is tied with Colorado (19-9, 9-7 Pac-12) who plays host to No. 19 Oregon (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12) Thursday. A loss from Colorado and Arizona would open the door to the No. 4 seed for the Trojans, who can then secure the bye with two wins to finish the season. When asked if the thought of the first round bye was on the Trojans’ mind, Fontan eschewed bravado in favor of perspective.“At this time, I think it’s just a matter of getting better,” Fontan said. “A lot of our veteran guys like Eric Wise and Dewayne Dedmon are starting to get more comfortable in the offense, and defensively getting more accustomed to what we’re trying to do.”The Trojans have steadily improved since Cantu took over for former head coach Kevin O’Neill, and they are starting to play up to the expectations that had prefaced their season. The Pac-12 has yet to see one outright dominant team, as the top-six teams in the Pac-12 are separated by three losses. All of this considered, the prospect of missing the first-round bye didn’t fluster floor leader Fontan in the least.“If we have to play four games out in Vegas, we’ll take it,” Fontan said.last_img read more