Category: mpaad

A call for action, and for hope

first_imgWarning that the world is over-armed and peace underfunded, that billions of people live in deplorable conditions, that climate change is happening fast, and that racism, discrimination against women, and genocide are huge problems worldwide, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged Harvard faculty and students to continue research on these global problems and use what they learn to help improve conditions around the world.“A Harvard education is a tremendous gift,” he said. “The world needs you to use what you acquire here, not to perpetuate the status quo, but to be part of the transformation the world so urgently needs,” he told an overflow crowd of more than 1,000 in Memorial Church.Ban was on campus to receive the 2014 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year award. “The United Nations is a ship of hope, and Ban Ki-moon is the captain of this ship,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, in presenting the award. “He has faced tough challenges with courage and prudence.”Sandra Naddaff, director of undergraduate studies, senior lecturer in comparative literature, and dean of Harvard Summer School, joined students Jiwon Kim of the Harvard Korean Association and Kirin Gupta of the Harvard Foundation in paying tribute to Ban. Harvard President Emeritus Derek C. Bok provided welcoming remarks.Mindful that students are in the middle of exam period, Ban wished them luck, and added, “You are not the only ones being tested at this time. People ask me quite often these days: ‘Why is the world facing so many crises at once? What is going wrong?’” He then presented his plans, working with U.N. member nations and partners around the world, to address such problems. They include the 15-year, eight-point Millennium Development Goals “to reduce extreme poverty and hunger; get children, especially girls, in school; ensure access to water and sanitation; improve the health of mothers and children, fight disease and protect the environment, all by the end of 2015. The gains have been remarkable,” he said, “but there is a long way to go.” He said U.N. members are working on plans to tackle these problems that “will take us to 2030.”Ban also talked about the scourge of Ebola. Hard-won progress for peace, human rights, and economic development in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea are “imperiled by the outbreak,” he said. “All three countries are now struggling to contain a complex crisis.” He added, “Over the years, Harvard’s scientists have helped the world to understand the virus. I urge you to continue your pioneering research efforts to understand this virus — and others for which we have neither vaccines nor cures.”On the problem of climate change and the threat of nuclear arms, Ban said nuclear weapons are poised to do great harm to the environment. “Nuclear weapons cannot be used without jeopardizing civilians. Even a limited or regional nuclear war can alter our climate and produce famine conditions“Let us … take our cue from Harvard’s own Professor John Holdren, now serving as President Obama’s science adviser,” who said 19 years ago, “‘Either we will achieve an environmentally sustainable prosperity for all, in a world where weapons of mass destruction have disappeared or become irrelevant, or we will all suffer from the chaos, conflict and destruction resulting from the failure to achieve this.’“I encourage Harvard to be an even bigger part of the transition to a safer, healthier, low-carbon future,” Ban said.Turning to Counter, Ban said, “Let me congratulate you for your long-standing efforts to promote harmony among the many communities at Harvard. People today are more connected than ever before. At its best, this process of interaction leads to interdependence and a recognition of our common humanity.”Addressing the Memorial Church audience, he said, “We cannot ward off earthquakes and other natural disasters. But man-made ills are entirely within our power to prevent. A sustainable world of freedom and dignity for all is entirely within our power to build. I look forward to the imprint you will make in advancing the common good.”last_img read more

Brazilian Army Strategic Project Seeks to Achieve Full Operational Capacity

first_img Brazil’s Army Project Office (EPEx), created in 2012, evaluates, proposes, coordinates, and integrates efforts toward the realization of the Army’s large-scale, technologically and financially complex strategic projects. So far those projects have included Guarani, Cyber Defense, Air Defense, Proteger, Astros 2020, and Sisfron. Modernizing the Army’s fleet of vehicles is just one of OCOP’s 14 projects; providing training and other types of equipment, such as weapons, ships, modernized armor, uniforms, campaign artillery equipment, and electronic warfare and communications gear are also priorities. Among the weapons OCOP is providing are the IMBEL A2 (IA2) assault rifle, a 5.56 mm caliber weapon. The initiative acquired the first lot of 1,500 of these rifles in 2013; it’s a personal firearm for close combat that replaces the FN FAL model (light automatic rifle), adopted by the Army 50 years ago. They’re each one kilogram lighter than the FN FAL model, and have a greater firing capacity, with a 30-round magazine — 10 more than the FN FAL. Troops used IMBEL A2 rifles to provide security during the 2014 World Cup. The ambitions of the Brazilian Army’s Strategic Project OCOP (Achieving Full Operational Capacity) — an initiative to transform Military operational units across the country — have escalated: federal government authorities have tripled the project’s initial budget and given it 13 additional years to accomplish its goals. OCOP is also expecting the delivery of 30 new 120mm-mortar weapons, which will join the 120 units already in the possession of Ground Forces. That equipment is produced by the Rio Battle Arsenal (AGR), an Army manufacturing unit located in Rio de Janeiro. Modernizing the Army’s fleet of vehicles is just one of OCOP’s 14 projects; providing training and other types of equipment, such as weapons, ships, modernized armor, uniforms, campaign artillery equipment, and electronic warfare and communications gear are also priorities. OCOP is also expecting the delivery of 30 new 120mm-mortar weapons, which will join the 120 units already in the possession of Ground Forces. That equipment is produced by the Rio Battle Arsenal (AGR), an Army manufacturing unit located in Rio de Janeiro. Ships, rifles, and mortar weapons Brazil’s Army Project Office (EPEx), created in 2012, evaluates, proposes, coordinates, and integrates efforts toward the realization of the Army’s large-scale, technologically and financially complex strategic projects. So far those projects have included Guarani, Cyber Defense, Air Defense, Proteger, Astros 2020, and Sisfron. Armored vehicles recovered by the Army Acquiring both new, unarmored vehicles and renovating older armored vehicles are important components of the effort to modernize the Army’s fleet under OCOP. Armed Forces personnel update M113B armored vehicles and transform them into M113A2 Mk1 vehicles, which are deployed to transport personnel. Each can carry up to 12 Soldiers and a driver; these vehicles are versatile, capable of operating in rough terrain in amphibious missions, and can reach high speeds on roadways. Troops are conducting the renovations at the 5th Military Region’s Regional Maintenance Park in Curitiba, Paraná. Until 2014, the project was called RECOP (Recovering Operational Capacity) and was scheduled to be in operation from 2012 to 2022; but on January 1, authorities extended the project through 2035 and increased its budget of 30 billion Brazilian reals (about $10 billion). The 120mm-AGR-mortar weapons provide ample firepower and can be transported by three-quarter ton vehicles, by plane or by helicopter. They can also be released with parachutes. Infantry Battalions and Cavalry Regiments will use this weapon. By Dialogo May 05, 2015 “The goal is to move beyond modernization towards a transformation of our Military operational units, providing them with the systems and equipment necessary for modern combat,” said the 4th Army Deputy Chief of Staff. “This initiative is needed because technology is evolving very quickly. The project seeks to keep pace with that.” The 120mm-AGR-mortar weapons provide ample firepower and can be transported by three-quarter ton vehicles, by plane or by helicopter. They can also be released with parachutes. Infantry Battalions and Cavalry Regiments will use this weapon. At that site, Armed Forces personnel reuse existing vehicle hulls, hatches, and ramps, and replace components such as engines, transmissions, and cooling systems. Soldiers have retooled 90 vehicles, and another 60 should be completed by July. In 2015, OCOP has provisions to receive another 2,000 rifles of this 5.56 mm caliber rifle. The Armed Forces also expects delivery of a prototype 7.62 mm caliber rifle, which is made by the Brazilian company, IMBEL. In 2015, OCOP has provisions to receive another 2,000 rifles of this 5.56 mm caliber rifle. The Armed Forces also expects delivery of a prototype 7.62 mm caliber rifle, which is made by the Brazilian company, IMBEL. “These companies train a first group of Military service members, whom we call knowledge multipliers. They are responsible for subsequently providing instruction to Army personnel,” Col. Rossi said. Good! It’s about time… Armored vehicles recovered by the Army Acquiring both new, unarmored vehicles and renovating older armored vehicles are important components of the effort to modernize the Army’s fleet under OCOP. Armed Forces personnel update M113B armored vehicles and transform them into M113A2 Mk1 vehicles, which are deployed to transport personnel. Each can carry up to 12 Soldiers and a driver; these vehicles are versatile, capable of operating in rough terrain in amphibious missions, and can reach high speeds on roadways. Troops are conducting the renovations at the 5th Military Region’s Regional Maintenance Park in Curitiba, Paraná. Diálogo is presenting each of the projects, their objectives and challenges, as well as new developments in a series of weekly reports. This week’s report features the Army Strategic Project OCOP. The ambitions of the Brazilian Army’s Strategic Project OCOP (Achieving Full Operational Capacity) — an initiative to transform Military operational units across the country — have escalated: federal government authorities have tripled the project’s initial budget and given it 13 additional years to accomplish its goals. Diálogo is presenting each of the projects, their objectives and challenges, as well as new developments in a series of weekly reports. This week’s report features the Army Strategic Project OCOP. Until 2014, the project was called RECOP (Recovering Operational Capacity) and was scheduled to be in operation from 2012 to 2022; but on January 1, authorities extended the project through 2035 and increased its budget of 30 billion Brazilian reals (about $10 billion). “Within our list of priorities, the first item is to guarantee the mobility of the Ground Forces…,” clarified the 4th Army Deputy Chief of Staff, who added that the fleet modernization project has already reached 40 percent of its goal. All Brazilian Army Military operational units have been supplied with new vehicles. “Within our list of priorities, the first item is to guarantee the mobility of the Ground Forces…,” clarified the 4th Army Deputy Chief of Staff, who added that the fleet modernization project has already reached 40 percent of its goal. All Brazilian Army Military operational units have been supplied with new vehicles. Each of the vehicles that become part of the Ground Forces fleet were made in Brazil. One was developed specifically at the request of OCOP: A 10-ton 6×6 vehicle to support traction of 155 mm howitzers, in addition to being able to transport engineering material. The company MAN is responsible for delivering 120 of these vehicles, which will help modernize the Army’s fleet. The companies supplying the weapons will provide initial training, said Colonel Elivaldo João Rossi, supervisor of the OCOP strategic project. The Army also purchased and is awaiting arrival of 11 Guardian 25 ships, built in the United States. The ships will be delivered to the Amazônia Military Command and will be used to patrol the border regions. Each ship is equipped with GPS, Sonar and radio, in addition to a post for a .50 machine gun and two posts for a 7.62 machine gun. The mortar weapons and the ships are expected to be delivered by August. Each of the vehicles that become part of the Ground Forces fleet were made in Brazil. One was developed specifically at the request of OCOP: A 10-ton 6×6 vehicle to support traction of 155 mm howitzers, in addition to being able to transport engineering material. The company MAN is responsible for delivering 120 of these vehicles, which will help modernize the Army’s fleet. “The goal is to move beyond modernization towards a transformation of our Military operational units, providing them with the systems and equipment necessary for modern combat,” said the 4th Army Deputy Chief of Staff. “This initiative is needed because technology is evolving very quickly. The project seeks to keep pace with that.” At that site, Armed Forces personnel reuse existing vehicle hulls, hatches, and ramps, and replace components such as engines, transmissions, and cooling systems. Soldiers have retooled 90 vehicles, and another 60 should be completed by July. Since Military authorities created the program in 2012, the federal government has provided OCOP 2 billion reals ($660 million), of which 1.5 billion reals ($500 million) was allocated to the purchase of ground vehicles. These funds were from the federal government’s Accelerated Equipment Growth Program, and facilitated the purchase of 8,500 vehicles in dozens of different models, from tankers to transport fuel to refrigerated vehicles. The Army also purchased and is awaiting arrival of 11 Guardian 25 ships, built in the United States. The ships will be delivered to the Amazônia Military Command and will be used to patrol the border regions. Each ship is equipped with GPS, Sonar and radio, in addition to a post for a .50 machine gun and two posts for a 7.62 machine gun. The mortar weapons and the ships are expected to be delivered by August. Ships, rifles, and mortar weapons Since Military authorities created the program in 2012, the federal government has provided OCOP 2 billion reals ($660 million), of which 1.5 billion reals ($500 million) was allocated to the purchase of ground vehicles. These funds were from the federal government’s Accelerated Equipment Growth Program, and facilitated the purchase of 8,500 vehicles in dozens of different models, from tankers to transport fuel to refrigerated vehicles. The companies supplying the weapons will provide initial training, said Colonel Elivaldo João Rossi, supervisor of the OCOP strategic project. “These companies train a first group of Military service members, whom we call knowledge multipliers. They are responsible for subsequently providing instruction to Army personnel,” Col. Rossi said. Among the weapons OCOP is providing are the IMBEL A2 (IA2) assault rifle, a 5.56 mm caliber weapon. The initiative acquired the first lot of 1,500 of these rifles in 2013; it’s a personal firearm for close combat that replaces the FN FAL model (light automatic rifle), adopted by the Army 50 years ago. They’re each one kilogram lighter than the FN FAL model, and have a greater firing capacity, with a 30-round magazine — 10 more than the FN FAL. Troops used IMBEL A2 rifles to provide security during the 2014 World Cup. last_img read more

New Documentary Takes Standardized Testing, Common Core Battle to Big Screen

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 6-foot-tall pencil joins a life-sized Scantron sheet in thunderous applause when a 9-year-old kid dresses down Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, decrying, “That’s racism!” Cheers erupt at the appearance of a silver-haired man onscreen. In the audience, someone bearing a remarkable resemblance stands to wave at the crowd, the raised fist on his black T-shirt marked with the same letters of the tattoo that covers his bicep: BAT.This isn’t a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, despite all the costumes and raucous characters. This is the auditorium of Rockville Centre’s South Side High School on Jan. 13, where approximately 120 students, teachers and education advocates witnessed the latest front in what has been an all-out war against Common Core, the education reform created by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers and financed with more than $4 billion of “Race to the Top” funds as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.The documentary Standardized: Lies, Money, and Civil Rights: How Testing is Ruining Public Education, the brainchild of producer and former teacher Daniel Hornberger, is a powerful artistic translation of this both cerebral and passionate battle. It stars real-life parents, teachers and experts from across this country testifying as to how schools are being destroyed by this federal education mandate—the Obama Administration’s answer to predecessor George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. The groundswell of protest from parents and teachers is quickly reaching critical mass, causing politicians who had previously dismissed critics of the reform to reconsider their positions. In New York, State Education Commissioner John King faces a vote of “no confidence” by the teachers’ unions for implementing the program. Standardized’s cinematic examination of the effects of high-stakes standardized testing on schoolchildren and the multi-billion-dollar industry perpetuating it comes as the battle here on Long Island is really heating up.The inspiration for the film comes from the book Making the Grade, by author Todd Farley, who spent his career working in the standardized testing industry and confirmed Hornberger’s suspicions that high-stakes testing not only stifles the creativity of teachers and is harmful to students, but it’s ultimately fraudulent, too.“Anyone who’s ever been in a test-scoring center can see that, as the places are filled with characters—people I heard called ‘the uglies’ and ‘un-hirables’—while the work itself is ridiculous and maddening but at times very, very funny,” Farley tells the Press. “Of course, it’s funny only if those tests aren’t being used to make actual decisions about students, teachers, and schools—if those decisions are being made based on the work I used to do, that seems pretty insane to me.”BRINGING THE BIG GUNS: Dr. Mark Naison (L), of BAT (aka Badass Teachers) joined anti-testing advocates at South Side High School in Rockville Centre on Jan. 13 to view the documentary.The book begins with Farley’s first day on the job, when he is asked to give third-grade students pass/fail grades based on their drawings of bicycle safety. The rubric was simple: If they showed a clearly identifiable safety rule, they passed. Farley thought it’d be a breeze.He was wrong.The book describes Farley’s first assessment: a child with a helmet strapped to his chin jumping a fiery pit of lava. Farley quickly clicked the “fail” button. But, because the lava-jumping child wore his helmet, a safety rule was demonstrated. So the student passed, even though Farley felt a helmet wouldn’t save a child’s head from liquid fire. No matter, he was advised. Move onto the next.Farley shrugged at the inconsistency of the grading policy and made a career in the standardized testing industry, where he earned plenty of money. He disagreed with the absurdity by which these tests were graded, but trusted that the elites who were in charge knew what they were doing—and thus spent his career not questioning them.That’s until his conscience could take it no longer. The prevalence of standardized tests and the fact that the entirety of education reform rests on them woke him to the realization that the living he had made so comfortably was hurting a generation of children.“The standardized testing industry is basically a for-profit endeavor with a long, well-documented history of fuck-ups that is completely unregulated, so you should trust it only if you feel good about trusting big businesses being run entirely on the honor system,” he concluded in an interview. “That seems problematic to me, which is why I’ve always thought large-scale assessment was one big (really lucrative for all-involved) scam.”Standardized outlines the details of that scam in unmistakable clarity: from the political origins that began education reform and perpetuated it, crossing both political parties, to the business end of the testing machine. Hornberger entrusted much of his vision to Co-director and Director of Photography Jim Del Conte, without whom he says the film never could have been made.“Jim’s insight as a photographer and skills as an editor made this film solid in terms of visuals and pacing,” he says.Hornberger interviewed teachers and education policy experts, mothers and administrators to uncover the systemic culture pervading education policy, including the racial implications accompanying what many see as the eventuality of this reform: the closing of public schools.Standardized drives this point home in a scene from a Chicago protest rally, where thousands took to the street—capturing the fury and despair of those displaced by the school closings and making it real for viewers.The unchallenged star of the film is 9-year-old Asean Johnson, who took on Mayor Emanuel on the historic closing of more than 50 public schools in Chicago’s mostly black and Hispanic communities.“Rham Emanuel is not caring about our schools. He’s not caring about our safety,” he charges in an electrifying scene. “You should be investing in these school, not closing them. You should be supporting these schools, not closing them. We are not going down without a fight. This is racism,” he accuses.DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: Pro-student advocacy group Lace to the Top co-founders Anthony Griffin (L) and Kevin Glynn show their support for Standardized by arriving at its Long Island premiere at Rockville Centre’s South Side High School Jan. 13 dressed as a Scantron sheet and pencil. (Courtesy of standardizedthefilm.com)Dr. Mark Naison, a professor of history and chair of African and African American studies at Fordham University, concurs. In the film, Naison condemns Race to the Top as so much worse than No Child Left Behind because it “insists that you have to close schools, that you have to rate teachers and schools on the basis of student test scores, and you have to give preference to charters. Barack Obama has done more damage to public education than any president in modern history,” he blasts.At South Side High School, Naison responds to cheers with a grin and a raised fist—like the one emblazoned across his T-shirt—which echoes the sentiment of his “BAT” tattoo. BAT is the acronym for Badass Teachers, a group of more than 36,000 teachers who use the association as an outlet for both the creativity they feel is stifled by Common Core as well as a place to find solace and validation among other professionals who understand how dispiriting teaching has become under the constant threat of the education reform’s harsh penalties against instructors. Naison is co-founder of the movement with Oceanside teacher Marla Kilfoyle. He not only stars in the film, but has also been a vocal opponent in protests from New York to Washington.The audience gasped throughout the testimony of Judge Rick Roach, who is in his fourth four-year term on Florida’s Orange County Board of Education. He subjected himself to the literacy tests that the children were condemned to—and failed, his two Masters degrees notwithstanding. His example speaks to the core of the protest: the invalidity upon which these tests are based. That the entire education system is dependent on these tests is the terrifying verdict Hornberger successfully drives home time and time again in the film.“For me, the process was frustrating and exhilarating at the same time,” Hornberger tells the Press. “The more I learned about the testing industry, the angrier I became. But due to the input of the terrific people in the film, I felt justified in doing what I was doing.”The film ended to robust applause and an emotional question-and-answer session, where parents voiced their frustrations. Though Hornberger had a long drive back to Pennsylvania, he led a discussion for more than an hour afterwards. Yet still, the audience was hesitant to leave.Naison was impressed by the film’s scope, remarking that it would undoubtedly inspire anger among parents who watched it.EYE FOR DETAIL: Documentary filmmaker Daniel Hornberger shoots a scene for Standardized, which exposes the detrimental effects of standardized testing on school children. (Courtesy of standardizedthefilm.com)“I think anyone who watched Standardized, especially parents with children still in public school, came away appalled at what is being done to the nation’s children through uncontrolled testing, and enraged that these policies are supported by leaders of both major parties,” he says. “After the Long Island showing, the discussion among the audience was all about ‘what can we do to stop this?’ ”Anthony Griffin, the life-sized pencil and co-founder of Lace to the Top, a group of advocates who display bright green shoelaces to convey their message that kids are more than test scores, believes that Standardized provides the answer: to opt-out of the tests.“Standardized exposes the damage an education reform based on numbers and profits has on our children and schools,” he tells the Press. “In addition to great interviews about the problems and dangers of high-stakes testing, Standardized offers ‘the answer key’ for families and schools that want education to be about more than cut scores [state-determined passing grades], data points, and scripted lessons.”The last of the audience members trickled out of South Side well after 10 p.m., forming clusters and exchanging ideas. Opt-Out signs were hoisted out of the trunks of cars and shared. Bright green shoelaces changed hands. Friend requests were sent.And BATs took off into the night.South Side High School’s Jan. 13 screening of Standardized was the second stop on a national tour of high schools, colleges and theaters. For future dates, destinations and to learn more, check out standardizedthefilm.com.last_img read more

More than 6,2 million kuna is being invested in the construction of breakwaters and the installation of pontoons in the port of Poreč

first_imgThe Port of Poreč Authority continues to invest in the Poreč waters, and will start the construction of the Barbaran breakwater immediately after the New Year. The plan is to build a pier and set up a pontoon in the port of Poreč, in front of the city administration building with the aim of relieving the port in the season, and this is an investment in the amount of 1.480.000 kuna from the Port Authority’s own funds. Of this amount, 130 kuna is also planned for the installation of electricity and water cabinets in the sports port of Poreč. The deadline for performing the works after obtaining the necessary permits is 000 days.   Photo / Source: Poreč Port Authority The amount of the investment is HRK 4.785.981 without VAT, and the funds are provided from the own revenues of the Port Authority, the County of Istria and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, reports the Port of Poreč and adds that the deadline for completion is 135 days. job.  It is a project that will make a breakwater that will protect the port of Poreč from northwest and west winds, as previously made a breakwater between the cliffs of Sarafel and the mainland. last_img read more

Memorial should be welcomed in Nisky

first_imgRe April 3 letter, “Holocaust memorial should be welcomed”: I agree wholeheartedly with Claudia Fennicks.Regardless of fear mongering, lower property values, vandalism and so on, let’s not forget why the Holocaust memorial is being built —to remember the Holocaust and its millions of victims. Presently, a wave of anti-Semitism throughout our nation and college campuses grows unabated  — more reason why this Holocaust memorial should be built on its planned site.We have our 9/11 memorials, memorials to many other groups, people and causes. No longer shall we give into deniers, revisionists and haters. Sheila and Bob DiSarro, I wouldn’t mind this memorial by my house — I’d be honored. Further, for this memorial to be built on lands owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is a huge step in the right direction. We know that to some degree, some leaders in the church looked the other way and were in many ways complicit in sending Jews to the ovens. The Holocaust is a reminder that will never leave the rest of us either — lest we forget.Gerald PlanteSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcySchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crash Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

​APG wins first appraisal-of-share-value lawsuit against Safeway

first_imgAPG Asset Management, the €424bn asset manager for the Dutch civil service scheme ABP, has won an extra $33m (€29.3m) from the sale of its shares in Safeway after a US court ruled that the original share price agreed for the company’s takeover should be increased.Last January, the Safeway grocery chain was sold to Albertsons, a rival supermarket operator owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, for $9.2bn.Investors were to be paid $32.50 in cash per share, plus a share of proceeds from the sale of ancillary businesses such as joint ventures.The total received by investors to date has been $34.92 per share. However, five institutional investors – including APG and hedge fund companies Merion Capital and Magnetar Capital, which between them owned over 6% of the Safeway shares – launched an appraisal lawsuit challenging the price.The Delaware Court of Chancery has now ordered Safeway to pay $44 per share to the investors who called for an appraisal.For APG, this represents a total uplift of $33m on the original $92.8m cash proceeds of its 2.8m shareholding, which had made up around 1.3% of the total Safeway stock.Merion and Magentar have also accepted the settlement, while the other two litigants are continuing legal action, according to press reports.The number of appraisal cases in the US has surged in recent months.Hedge funds in particular often employ the tactic of purchasing shares just before a takeover, opposing the bid, then suing for a bigger payout.APG says it is the first time it has taken part in an appraisal suit.Harmen Geers, spokesman at APG, told IPE: “This ruling is significant for us in the sense that appraisals were little used until recently.“But we intend to make use of it whenever we think it can help us to make sure our pension funds and their participants receive every euro to which they are entitled.“The fact that in the first instance we have taken this route it has led to a very significant extra payout only emboldens us.”When asked whether there would be a growing trend for European pension funds to file lawsuits for appraisal of share values, Geers said: “It would only be logical for other European pension funds to take an interest in this specific course of legal action.”last_img read more

Ocean Network Express considering LNG as fuel

first_imgImage courtesy of ONESingapore-headquartered Ocean Network Express (ONE) is considering the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel in order to comply with IMO regulations, coming into force on January 1, 2020.The transport company noted the revised IMO regulations will limit sulphur content in fuel oil to less than 0.5 percent, compared to the current limit of 3.5 percent.After conducting studies, ONE noted that adopting low-sulphur compliant hybrid oil (0.5 percent sulphur content) is the most realistic, short-term solution, available in order to be compliant with the revised regulations.The company added it is ‘carefully considering’ other solutions such as exhaust gas cleaning systems and using LNG as fuel which may be adopted in the future.As the first step in its attempt to prepare for the new regulations, ONE plans to implement a revised bunker surcharge mechanism with effect January 1, 2019, which is considered to be more appropriate to the revised cost scenario.Under the new mechanism, fuel price will be calculated based on past three months average bunker price in key bunkering ports.ONE expects to start bunkering hybrid oil from the fourth quarter of 2019.last_img read more

Qatar Airways: Cabin crew can now get pregnant

first_imgQatar airways cabin crewQatar Airways has relaxed its policies and rules that saw cabin crew who would get pregnant be sacked.This is after the airways faced criticism from trade unions and other international organisations for practicing discriminatory labour clauses.The airline’s labour policy stipulated that it could sack female cabin crew employees if they get married or pregnant during the first five years of their employment.But as per the new rules, women who are pregnant are offered temporary ground jobs while staff can get married after notifying the company.The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had criticised Qatar Airways for its treatment of its female cabin crew.An inquiry was set up by the ILO in response to complaints brought forward in June 2014 by the International Transport Workers’ Federation and International Trade Union Confederation, prompted by testimony from serving and former cabin crew.Other policy regulations including the need for close male relatives to pick up women staff from work will continue to remain in place, the airline added.Qatar Airways employs around 9,000 cabin crew, out of which three-quarters are women.Earlier this year, the Gulf carrier was criticised by the International Labour Organisation for its discriminatory polices, especially regarding pregnant women.ILO acknowledged the health risks for pregnant women face when operating as cabin crew but urged the Gulf carrier to put in other policies that will ensure that female staff will retain their jobs.“Protective measures should include action taken to ensure that a woman worker does not lose her job during pregnancy and that maternity is not a source of discrimination in employment and occupation,” a report by ILO said.The committee also noted that the prohibition for women employees to be dropped off or picked up from the company by a man other than their father, brother or husband amounts to “discrimination based on sex.”ILO issued the report following complaints made by the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Transport Workers’ Federation about Qatar Airways’ staff policies.But Qatar Airways has said that the change in employment policies was a result of an internal review and not due to international criticism.last_img read more

San Carlos City buy-bust nets 13 sachets of ‘shabu’

first_imgPrior to the suspects’ apprehension, they sold suspected shabu to an undercover officer around 7:30 p.m. on July 26, it added. BACOLOD City – Thirteen sachets of suspected shabu weighing about 16 grams were seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay 6, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. An antidrug personnel conducts an inventory of items seized from five individuals, who were nabbed in an entrapment operation in Barangay 6, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental on July 26. PDEA Regional Office VI Danilo More, Criz Jean Fernandez, Wilmar Talledo, Joseph Abordo, and Christian Zapanta yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed. They were detained in the lockup facility of the San Carlos City police station. Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against them. (With a report from PDEA Regional Office VI/PN)last_img read more

Ruth Ann Bussell

first_imgRuth Ann Bussell, age 57, of Moores Hill, Indiana passed away on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at High Point Health Care in Lawrenceburg.  She was born on September 12, 1960 the daughter of Roscoe and Thelma (McIntosh) Burns in Manchester, KY.  She was a graduate of Booneville High School.Ruth enjoyed the company of her family and loved to sing and record various songs.She is survived by her father, Roscoe, sons; Jeremiah Rice of Moores Hill, Anthony (Christina) Rice of Moores Hill, and Christopher (Lyndsey) Rice of Morehead, Ky.  She is also survived by grandchildren; Harley, Corey, Tristan, Adalynn, Tenley, and Mason, along with brothers; Rocky (Brenda) Burns, Hobert (Polly) Burns, and Stanley Burns all of Kentucky, and sisters Judy (Gary) Kincer of Milan, Karen (Robert) Rumsey of Aurora, and Mayme Jean (Dewey) Bowling also of Aurora. She was preceded in death by her mother Thelma S. Burns.A visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, from 11:00 am-1:00 pm, with funeral services being held at 1:00 pm following visitation at Neal’s Funeral Home in Osgood.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family in care of the funeral home.last_img read more