Niche market

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India overtakes Brazil with second-highest virus cases

first_imgIndia overtook Brazil on Monday to become the second-worst affected country in terms of coronavirus cases behind the United States, according to an AFP tally.The South Asian nation has recorded 4.20 million infections since the pandemic began, health ministry data showed, compared with 4.12 million in Brazil and 6.25 million in the US.India has also recorded 71,642 deaths, fewer than the 126,203 in Brazil and 188,540 in the US. Topics : Many experts, however, say it is not testing enough people and not properly recording many deaths, meaning the real numbers may be much higher.Since August the country of 1.3 billion people, home to some of the world’s most densely populated cities, has been reporting the highest single-day rises in the world. On Monday it reported an increase of more than 90,000 cases.Its caseload moved past four million on Saturday, only 13 days after hitting three million.Virologist Shahid Jameel, who heads the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance, said the key factor to watch is the growth rate in infections, which he called “quite alarming”.center_img “Over the past two weeks, the… average has moved from about 65,000 cases per day to about 83,000 cases per day, that is about a 27-percent increase over two weeks or about two percent per day,” Jameel told AFP.India has been testing more than 10 million people per day on average, with plans to ramp it up further.The Indian Council of Medical Research, the scientific agency leading the government’s response, on Friday revised the testing criteria, allowing anyone to undergo a test without a doctor’s letter.Jameel said the move was overdue.”This will uncover more asymptomatic people, who are the real source of this expansion in India. There should also be more testing in rural districts and villages, since over two-thirds of the cases are coming from there,” he said.Despite warnings that it could eventually overtake the US to become the world’s most-infected country, India has been steadily reopening its pandemic-battered economy.Economic output contracted a historic 23.9 percent between April and June.On Monday, metro trains in major cities, including the capital New Delhi — one of the most badly hit cities along with financial hub Mumbai — reopened after a hiatus of nearly six months.Early morning images showed masked commuters sitting in nearly empty coaches and flashing victory signs to journalists.Passengers can only sit on alternate seats, and after undergoing thermal screening.Delhi, a city teeming with 20 million people, recorded 3,256 new infections on Sunday — its highest single day spike in 73 days. It was also the first time cases crossed the 3,000 mark during this period.last_img read more

Cheers and concerns over DWP climate amendments to pension bill

first_img“We’ve already introduced regulations that require pension trustees to set out their policy on climate change, but now we’re taking things a step further”Therese Coffey, work and pensions secretaryCoffey said: “We’ve already introduced regulations that require pension trustees to set out their policy on climate change, but now we’re taking things a step further.“I want the UK to continue leading the way on the climate emergency defining the twenty first century.”The government flagged the possibility of mandatory TCFD-based reporting for large asset owners in its green finance strategy announcement last summer. It said large asset owners – and UK-listed companies – would be expected to report on climate change risk by 2022, that the reporting should be in line with the recommendations made by TCFD, and could become mandatory depending on the view of a joint task force of UK regulators.The DWP has been involved in an industry group working on guidance for pension scheme trustees about how they can identify and address climate risk, building on the TCFD recommendations. A consultation on the draft guidance is due to be launched next month.Fergus Moffatt, head of UK policy at ShareAction, said the responsible investment campaign group was “delighted that the UK government is taking steps to implement TCFD on a mandatory basis”.“ShareAction has been working closely with DWP on guidance for pension schemes, and we’re very hopeful these world-first reforms will accelerate climate action,” he added.Vassos Vassou, a professional pension trustee at Dalriada Trustees, argued that making climate change reporting for pension funds compulsory “helps trustees to meet their duties to savers”.“It will help to ensure savers’ assets are invested in the way they want them to be and give trustees a better metric to deliver against.”Some large UK pension funds already report in line with the TCFD recommendations.In 2015 France became the first country to introduce mandatory climate change-related reporting for institutional investors, but this was not on the basis of the TCFD framework, as it had not yet been developed.In the UK, since October last year defined contribution pension schemes with more than 100 members have been obliged to have published a policy on their approach to financially material considerations, including those related to factors such as climate change.Last week advocacy group UKSIF published a report flagging “large-scale non-compliance” with this requirement as well as poor quality policies by those schemes that did publish a policy. “We urge the government to redraft the amendments and clarify its intent and respect for this principle.”“The resulting obligations on trustees could extend far beyond the disclosure that is the main focus of the current statutory regime”Carolyn Saunders, head of pensions and long term savings at Pinsent MasonsCarolyn Saunders, head of pensions and long term savings at Pinsent Masons, said the amendments were “a potential game changer for trustees”.“The resulting obligations on trustees could extend far beyond the disclosure that is the main focus of the current statutory regime to require trustees to place climate change risk and opportunity at the heart of their investment strategies. And the need to publish information relating to the effects of climate change on a scheme will increase reputational risk for trustees and scheme sponsors.”One of the amendments, which have been tabled in the House of Lords, states that “the requirements which may be imposed by the regulations include, in particular, requirements about … (c) determining, reviewing and (if necessary) revising a strategy for managing the scheme’s exposure to risks of a prescribed description”.Stuart O’Brien, partner at law firm Sackers, said he did not read this as “a statement of intent” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to take action such as requiring certain investment allocations from private pension schemes, but that he could understand concerns about the wording.“It’s possibly a bit of an overreach and it will be interesting to see if that gets tweaked or reined in,” he said.Mandatory TCFD disclosure?The text of the amendments does not name-check the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), but several observers view their tabling as the government teeing up mandatory reporting based on this framework.In a statement revealing the amendments’ proposal, the DWP said the Work and Pensions secretary Therese Coffey and governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney met last week to discuss how to take forward the work of the TCFD.According to the DWP, they discussed “pushing pension schemes to do more on climate change”. Climate change-related amendments to draft pension fund legislation tabled by the UK government have prompted words of welcome as well as concern from those in and around the pension industry.The amendments to the Pension Schemes Bill, which has had its second reading in the House of Lords, reserve powers for the government to pass regulations mandating climate change-related reporting by certain pension funds and to impose requirements “securing effective governance” of pension schemes with respect to the effects of climate change.At the Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) there are concerns that parts of the new amendments “would give unprecedented new powers to government bodies to interfere and request changes to private sector schemes’ investment strategies”.“If that’s the case it would set a dangerous precedent and be wholly inappropriate,” said Joe Dabrowski, head of DB, LGPS and standards at the pension fund lobby group. “Nothing should cut across schemes’ fiduciary duty and freedom to invest in members’ best interests – and this will vary scheme by scheme.last_img read more

New over-50s community ticks boxes for couples

first_imgAffinity Sheep Station, Morayfield.For Brisbane’s Jenny and Wayne Dare, location, outlook and quality of homes at Affinity Sheep Station Creek ticked their boxes.It was a series of “little signs” that led the couple, married 41 years, to make the decision to purchase an off-the-plan home in the new Morayfield community.Affinity Sheep Station Creek, a new over-50s community, will feature 134 homes when completed.Residents in the pet-friendly community will enjoy the on-site convenience of a country clubhouse, heated swimming pool, bowling green, communal barbecues, commercial kitchen and bar, gymnasium and fitness room, arts and crafts centre, caravan and boat parking, library, creekside walkway, hall and cinema.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoMrs Dare said they had been living in Bracken Ridge for 20 years in a house they built, which gave them some insight into the new home design process.“Then I came across an ad for Affinity Sheep Station Creek and it caught my eye, not least because of the name and the fact that Wayne’s dad was a shearer. It was a sign,” Mrs Dare said.“We had already decided the time was right to downsize, so we visited on an open day and spoke to the sales manager. We knew what we were looking for and the home designs and location appealed to us immediately.”Mrs Dare said they were most interested in two designs and sat down with the sales manager who passed on their ideas to the project’s architect. “The design blend we talked about became a reality,” she said. The couple paid $383,000 for their new home, which included some extras.Now they can’t wait to move in mid-year.last_img read more

Kokusai Cable Ship Readies for Asia’s Offshore Wind Farms with New Vessel

first_imgJapan’s Kokusai Cable Ship will add a new Vard-designed cable laying vessel to its fleet in 2019. The vessel, currently being built at Colombo Dockyard in Sri Lanka, will be capable of carrying out cable installation for future offshore wind projects in Asia. According to Vard, Kokusai Cable Ship’s new vessel of VARD 9 01 design is tailor-made for efficient installation and repair of subsea telecom cables and, in addition, it is prepared for the expanding power cable installation market by incorporating a high capacity below-deck cable carousel.On 14 November, UK-based MAATS Tech informed it had signed a contract with Colombo Dockyard to design and install a 2,000t carousel on the vessel. MAATS said it worked closely with Vard, Colombo Dockyard and their client during the design phase to achieve the required capability based on the future subsea power cable market in Asia.The vessel will feature diesel electric propulsion, DP2 positioning and large cable tanks combined with a 2,000t capacity carousel. The total cable carrying capacity is 5,000t. The outfitting also comprises a dual cable lay system, A-frame, hydro plough and trenching ROV.The new cable layer is being built in accordance with ClassNK and Japanese flag regulations as well as all relevant international safety and environmental standards, Vard pointed out.last_img read more

‘Rebel’ with slay rap falls

first_imgThe suspect was detained in the lockup facility of the San Carlos City police station. Thirty-year-old resident Rodem Berangberang was caught around 5:45 p.m. on July 30, a police report showed. Berangberang’s apprehension was staged on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Reymar Lacaya of the Regional Trial in Sindangan, Zamboanga Del Norte on Feb. 2, 2018 yet. The court recommended no bail for his temporary liberty./PN BACOLOD City – Charged with murder, a suspected New People’s Army member was arrested in Barangay Palampas, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.last_img

Roger Stone to be sentenced despite controversy

first_imgJudge Amy Berman Jackson will still give Stone time to make challenges in his case after he is sentenced. That means that even if the judge sentences him to jail this week, he won’t be detained right away. Judge Amy Berman Jackson declared Roger Stone to be sentenced on Thursday as scheduled, after rejecting requests from the defense for a delay over concerns of jury misconduct.Roger Stone, ex-Trump advisor, was convicted last year on 7 charges of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress on charges that stemmed from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.Jackson’s decision comes after Stone’s defense made a second request for a new trial last Friday.Judge Holds Special Hearing in Roger Stone Case Todaylast_img

Joshua Retains IBF Heavyweight Title with 7th Round Knockout over Breazeale

first_imgStars of sport and showbiz including golfer Rory McIlroy, England cricket captain Alastair Cook, former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno, chef Gordon Ramsey and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts were among those at London’s O2 Arena who paid a wonderful tribute to The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, ahead of the first world heavyweight contest since his death earlier this month.Joshua looked relaxed at the beginning of the fight and, despite his height disadvantage, when the two men stripped down to ther shorts and took to the centre of the ring it was the Brit who looked bigger. And it was Joshua who found his rhythm quickest, too, an early left warning Breazeale of the sort of power he could expect before a couple of rights found their way through.It was soon apparent that Breazeale couldn’t match Joshua’s speed and early in round two the right again found its target a couple of times, marking the challenger to the side of his right eye. By the end of the round that eye was black and puffed up as Joshua stepped up the pace.He had said in the build-up to this fight that he wouldn’t have minded it going at least six or seven rounds and when Breazeale did find his way through with one right hand Joshua’s response was pleasing, a lightning two-shot reply.The American stood firm though but as Joshua jabbed away he wasn’t going to stay there and finally he crumbled in the seventh.EURO 2016 Results & FixturesPoland 1-1 Switzerland(Poland win 5-4 penalties)Wales 1-0 N.IrelandPortugal 1-0 Croatia(Portugal win AET)France v Ireland 2pmGermany v Slovakia 5pmHungary v Belgium 8pmShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram British-Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua, yesterday at the O2 Arena in London, produced a classy display to knockout tough American Dominic Breazeale and make a successful first defence of his IBF world heavyweight crown.Joshua dropped Breazeale – only the second man to take him past three rounds – in the seventh round with a huge left, right combination. He got up that time but soon after, at 1min 01secs into the round, a barrage of blows rained in on the American and ensured his fight was over.It was an impressive, gutsy display from the challenger and an even more impressive performance from the 26-year-old Olympic champion. He needed someone who could take him into the middle rounds and he showed he could handle the extra distance.Joshua will take a couple of weeks out and then look at a fight with New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, the IBF’s mandatory challenger.last_img read more

Mainz 05 Set for Bayern Clash on StarTimes

first_imgMainz 05 winter signing Anthony Ujah may be given the nod from the start alongside Yoshinori Muto, though, with Robin Quaison dropping to the bench.As for Bayern, they were boosted this week by the return to training of midfielder Thiago following the Spaniard’s torn thigh muscle against Anderlecht in November. He will, however, not be available for this weekend’s tie while Mats Hummels has also continued to train after injury and illness have prevented him from featuring yet in 2018.Brands and Marketing Director at StarTimes, Qasim Elegbede expressed his delight saying  “We are pleased to bring the Match day 21 experience to our subscriber as Bayern Munich trashes it down with Mainz 05 to retain its place as the number one on the Bundesliga table this weekend on StarTimes”, he said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram  In its usual manner of treating subscribers to an awesome football experience, StarTimes subscribers will this weekend continue to enjoy live matches from the Bundesliga season as Mainz 05 slugs it out with Bayern Munich at the Coface-Arena today by 2:30pm African Time on StarTimes (Channel 254 and 245).Bayern Munich is presently dominating the league table with 50 points from 20 matches and they have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to 53 points when they visit Mainz05 that is just three points clear of the relegation play-off position on the back of a 2-0 loss at Bayern LeverkusenThe Head coach of Mainz 05 Sandro Schwarz has no new injury concerns from the side that played in Leverkusen and may opt for the same starting XI against the champions. The 05ers have a decent record against the record champions of late, but not at home where they are without a win in five.last_img read more

Giving back

first_imgFormer Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart returned to USC on Wednesday to discuss his experiences in the NFL and the importance of giving on and off the field. Many students turned out to the USC Catholic Center to hear the former Heisman Trophy winner discuss philanthropy and athletics. The event was sponsored by the Catholic Center and the Office of Religious Life.Heather Lee | Daily Trojanlast_img