Bobby Hidy / CC BY-SA 2.0BUFFALO – Restrictions that barred non-essential travel between the U.S. and Canada border due to the COVID-19 public health crisis have been extended.Sunday was supposed to be the first day of non-essential travel between the two countries, however, officials announced at the last minute that the border will stay closed until the end of July.The restrictions first went into place in March.Supply chain services, including trucking, are not impacted by the measure. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
U.S. Lawmakers Devise Legislation to Require Coal Companies to Honor Employee Pensions and Benefits FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Naomi Jagoda for TheHill.com:The leader of a union for coal industry workers on Tuesday urged senators to act quickly on legislation that would help retired miners and their families who are in danger of losing their pension and healthcare benefits.“I think the coal miners in this country have been promised these benefits, these coal miners in this country have earned these benefits,” Cecil Roberts, international president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing.Coal industry employees and their beneficiaries are provided retirement, disability and survivors benefits through the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, which is federally guaranteed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Retired coal miners can receive retiree health benefits through one of three multi-employer plans.But the program is approaching insolvency due to losses during the financial crisis and the wave of bankruptcies in the coal industry. Roberts said that 21,000 people could lose their health benefits by the end of the year if Congress doesn’t act.A bill introduced last year by West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R) would transfer excess funds from the Abandoned Land Mine Fund to the pension plan. It would also allow some retirees who lose health benefits because their former employer have become bankrupt or insolvent to join one of the multi-employer health plans. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House.The legislation has bipartisan support. Both Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are in favor of it.Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who is a co-sponsor of the bill, said coal miners are “hard working guys who deserve better than their getting from their pensions.”The Washington Post reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) prevented a fix for the pension and health benefits issue from being included in the spending package enacted in December.“Senator McConnell has been and remains committed to helping ensure the retirement security of our nation’s coal miners as well as other retirees, and discussions are ongoing on how best to address this challenge,” McConnell’s office told The Hill.“He continues to believe this is a very important issue that deserves open, transparent debate through regular order. To that end, he appreciates the Senate Finance Committee holding a public hearing today to examine a number of challenges in the multi-employer pension world, including how to help current and retired coal miners.”The problems facing the miners are part of a broader trend of multi-employer pension plans being severely underfunded.When multi-employer plans default, the PBGC pays pensions to retirees up to a certain amount. But a default from the UMWA plan and others could lead to the PBGC itself to go bankrupt.In 2014, Congress passed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA), which was included in a spending bill. The MPRA allows plans that are headed toward insolvency to reduce benefits if they get approval from the Treasury Department. These cuts would still allow retirees to receive more than they would from the PBGC.Already, the Central States Pension Fund, which benefits Teamsters, has applied to Treasury to make cuts. Rita Lewis, a widow of a retired Teamster from Ohio, testified that the proposed cuts to the Central States plan could reduce pension benefits by as much as 40 to 70 percent.Full article: Miners union pleads with senators for pension fix
Douglas Tompkins, co-founder of The North Face outdoor apparel line and noted conservationist, died yesterday after suffering severe hypothermia sustained during a kayak outing in Patagonia. He was 72 years old.According to Outside Online, Tompkins was kayaking with a group of outdoor industry professionals, including Patagonia founder and Tompkin’s long-time friend Yvon Chouinard, when powerful winds producing waves up to nine feet caused six of the boaters to capsize.Some sought refuge by swimming to a nearby island, but Tompkins was life flighted to a Chilean hospital before ultimately succumbing to hypothermia.Tompkins founded The North Face in 1968 not long after his infamous accent of Patagonia’s Cerro Fitzroy, a journey that was memorialized in the popular adventure documentary 180° South. The experience, which Tompkins enjoyed alongside Yvon Chouinard, inspired the two men to create their respective outdoor gear companies and launch them both on a quest of protecting Patagonia’s natural beauty forever.Patagonia’s Fundo Vodudahue in the Tompkins-owned conservation area.Since retiring from The North Face in 1989, Tompkins, an avid climber, paddler, and mountaineer, worked tirelessly to preserve and protect natural lands around the world, particularly the stunning stretch of Patagonia that he called home.In 1990 he began purchasing millions of acres in this remote and rugged section of South America and had hopes to protect it permanently by forming 12 national parks.“Doug was a passionate advocate for the environment,” said The North Face in a statement. “His legacy of conservation will help ensure that there are outdoor spaces to be explored for generations to come.”Tompkins’ mission will live on with his wife Kristin Tompkins, a former Patagonia CEO who founded Conservacion Patagonia, an organization with the express mission of creating national parks in Patagonia while saving and restoring its wildlands and wildlife.
—- The mayor’s news conference will be held at 2 p.m. and it will be streamed on the 12 News Facebook page. Police say no one was hurt, but one shot was fired. A weapon was recovered from the scene. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Binghamton Mayor Rich David will hold a news conference Wednesday regarding an attempted murder arrest. 12 News will be live from the press conference on its Facebook page. Mayor David’s office says the arrest is a part of a Sept. 11 investigation in Johnson City. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Binghamton officials have confirmed the news conference is directly related to the arrest made in Johnson City on Sept. 11. On that day, at the intersection of Hudson Street and Park Place, the Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force made an arrest with the help of a K9 unit. UPDATE: The task force is made up of officers from the Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott police departments as well as the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.
– Advertisement – U.S President Donald Trump returns to the White House after news media declared Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden to be the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2020.Carlos Barria | Reuters Still, analysts say that the outlook for the yuan isn’t purely strength gained on optimism for the Biden administration, but includes a myriad of factors, including geopolitical motivations, a weaker dollar and China’s economy. The Trump effectEven before Biden’s win, China has been advocating for greater use of the yuan globally.ANZ Research’s Raymond Yeung, chief economist for greater China, attributed that to the Trump effect.“The Trump administration has taught China a lesson in economic security,” he said in a report late last week. “This concern covers not only the supply of chips for Huawei but also the ability of some entities to transact in the USD-centric financial system.”The trade spat between both countries has expanded into technology, as Washington increasingly targets Chinese tech giants, from phone maker Huawei to video-sharing app TikTok. The attitude toward China in Washington is unlikely to change much with a Biden administration. While Biden has slammed Trump’s trade war with China for hurting businesses, he has also said that the U.S. must “get tough on China.” Under the Trump administration, the U.S. moved to restrict Chinese companies from listing on American exchanges, fueling concerns about financial decoupling as tensions continue to rise.Analysts have said China has been seeking to reduce its reliance on the dollar to manage its risk. Many companies have corporate debt denominated in the dollar, making them highly exposed to the greenback. Beijing has gradually reduced its purchase of U.S. Treasurys and pushed for much of its trade and other cross-border settlements to be conducted in the yuan — using its Belt and Road vehicle to do that.Yeung noted that the share of global trade that’s being settled in the yuan has gradually increased since Trump took office. Around the beginning of 2017, more than 16% of global trade was denominated in yuan and by the middle of this year, that figure jumped to nearly 22%, according to Yeung.With more U.S.-listed Chinese companies flocking back home to Shanghai or Hong Kong to launch secondary listings, a “significant portion” of those flows have been conducted in the yuan rather than the dollar, according to ANZ Research.Overall, cross-border settlements using the renminbi (RMB) — another name for the yuan — amounted to 19.67 trillion yuan ($2.97 trillion) in 2019, increasing 24.1% from the previous year, according to a 2020 report by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). In 2019, the RMB settlement between China and countries in its mammoth Belt and Road initiative accounted for 13.9% of total global settlement – a year-on-year jump of 32%.The report said that, by the end of 2019, China had signed bilateral local currency swap agreements with 21 countries as part of its Belt and Road initiative. The ambitious project aims to build a complex network of rail, road and sea routes stretching from China to Central Asia, Africa and Europe. It is also aimed at boosting trade.Yuan strength will depend on weaker dollarThe strength of the yuan will also depend on the performance of the dollar, which has weakened in the past few months.“This is very much going to be determined by how the U.S. dollar behaves over the next 6 to 12 months,” said Wayne Gordon, senior investment analyst at UBS Global Wealth Management. The Chinese yuan, which has steadily strengthened this year, spiked even further in the days leading up to and after Joe Biden’s projected election victory.Analysts have flagged that a Biden win is likely to be more bullish for the Chinese currency. And indeed, investors seem to think so.As Biden’s victory seemed to grow increasingly likely last week, the offshore yuan rallied to below the 6.60 mark. It hit a 28-month peak on Monday after he became the projected winner and appreciated even further after.- Advertisement – “Generally speaking, you would expect the dollar would start to weaken on the back of stronger global growth, and emerging market growth begins to recover. Obviously, people start to look for higher yields elsewhere,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.The record spreads between Chinese and U.S. treasury yields have been flagged as bullish for the yuan. With Chinese treasury yields higher as compared to those in other major markets. That could draw investors to Chinese government bonds, leading to an inflow into the yuan, which would bode well for the exchange rate.But volatility from uncertainty may linger after the U.S. election, and the dollar — a safe-haven currency — could reverse direction, according to Mizuho Bank’s Varathan.“So it stands to reason that despite the conditions for an underlying weak USD trend lining up, the potential for outbursts of USD strength from haven demand cannot be dismissed lightly; especially as US political uncertainty takes time to unpack,” he said. The Trump administration has taught China a lesson in economic security.Raymond YeungANZ Research’s chief economist for greater China “Ostensibly, (offshore yuan) reactions suggest that a Trump victory is deemed to be far more negative for China, in contrast to a Biden Presidency, seen to lend some semblance of stability and interim relief,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note late last week.He noted U.S. President Donald Trump takes a “unilateral, zero-sum game approach that has turned increasingly antagonistic and unpredictable.”While Biden shares concerns about the geopolitical and technological threat that China poses, the former vice president is “likely to adopt multilateral and rules-based engagement,” Varathan wrote.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Jan 10, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in the United Kingdom today announced that samples from three mute swans found dead at a swan sanctuary in Dorset County on England’s southwest coast tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza.The birds were found and tested as part of a routine surveillance program, according to a statement today from the UK Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The site where the birds were found, Abbotsbury Swannery, is home to about 600 swans, according to a report today from BBC News.Established by Benedictine monks in the 1040s, the swannery is a tourist attraction that boasts the world’s only managed colony of mute swans, according to the Abbotsbury Tourism Web site.A wild bird control and monitoring area that has been established around the swannery includes Chesil Beach, an 18-mile stretch of English Channel coastline, and a nearby island called Portland Bill, according to the DEFRA statement. Bird keepers in the area are required to house their birds or isolate them from contact with wild birds. Officials have also restricted bird movements and banned bird gatherings in the area.The H5N1 virus has not been found in domestic birds, and a wild bird surveillance program is underway. “There will be no culling of wild birds because such action may disperse birds further and would not aid control,” DEFRA said.”While this is obviously unwelcome news, we have always said that Britain is at a constant low level of risk of introduction of avian influenza,” said Fred Landeg, DEFRA’s acting chief veterinary officer.John Houston, a representative of Abbotsbury Swannery, said the establishment is working with the UK Health Protection agency to ensure that the staff and public are protected, the BBC reported.In March 2006, a dead bird that was first reported to be a mute swan washed up on a beach in Scotland and was found to be infected with H5N1, signaling the UK’s first H5N1 finding, according to previous reports. The bird was later identified as a wild whooper swan, according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus has also turned up in mute swans in other European countries, including France and Hungary.Last year England had two H5N1 outbreaks in Suffolk turkey farms, one at the Bernard Matthews farm in February and another at two Redgrave Farms sites in November.See also:Jan 10 DEFRA statementhttp://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100401103043/http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/latest/2008/animal-1001.htmAbbotsbury Swannery sitehttp://www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk/swannery.htmNov 29, 2007, CIDRAP news story “UK: H5N1 outbreak may be linked to wild birds, lax biosecurity”
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Jobs That Pay, Press Release, Workforce Development Philadelphia, PA – Governor Wolf today toured Adaptimmune Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, and participated in a roundtable discussion with employees focused on expanding job creation and workforce training in the commonwealth.“I am thrilled to see a company like Adaptiummune creating new, high-paying jobs, and thriving in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “We need to continue to do what we can to help set the table for robust private sector growth. The important work being done at the company’s new headquarters and manufacturing site transcends state borders, and I’m proud to support Pennsylvania’s life science companies.”Coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, in October 2015, Adaptimmune announced its plans expand and create 110 new, high-paying jobs in Philadelphia. Today, the governor toured the company’s newly constructed, 47,400-square-foot U.S. headquarters and base for clinical and manufacturing operations at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.“The Philadelphia Navy Yard is fast becoming a vibrant hub for biotechnology in the region, and at Adaptimmune we are very proud to be leaders in this space,” commented William Bertrand, Adaptimmune’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are committed to the Navy Yard, and we have confidence in Pennsylvania as a powerhouse for scientific and medical achievement. We were honored to host Governor Wolf today, and we thank him for his outstanding commitment to making Pennsylvania a great place to create new businesses and jobs.”Founded in 2008, Adaptimmune is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on novel cancer immunotherapy products based on its T-cell receptor platform. Adaptimmune launched its U.S. operations in Philadelphia in 2011, operating out of the University City Science Center, Philadelphia. On ‘Jobs That Pay’ Tour, Governor Wolf Visits Adaptimmune Therapeutics July 24, 2017
Unlike several other of the AP funds, AP1 has to date largely limited investments to the traditional asset classes of real estate, equity and fixed income, with small stakes in private equity and hedge funds. In comparison.The pension fund generated an investment return after expenses of 14.6% last year, up from 11.3% in 2013, which compared favourably to the returns of fellow buffer fund AP3, which saw returns of 13.7% after expenses.In absolute terms, AP1’s net investment income after expenses was SEK36.4bn (€3.8bn) compared with SEK25.7bn the year before.Net assets rose by SEK31bn to SEK284bn – behind both AP2, at SEK293.9bn, and AP3, with assets of SEK288.3bn.Magnusson said all asset classes had given a “healthy” return.Administrative expenses rose to 0.17% last year from 0.14% the year before.The fund paid a net SEK5.1bn to the Swedish pension system in 2014, down from SEK6.9bn, according to the published data.AP3 chief executive Kerstin Hessius praised the support the AP funds were able to offer Sweden’s pension system, having paid out SEK100bn across the four funds.”At the same time, the AP funds have made a growing contribution to the pension system’s long-term financing. Our combined fund capital now exceeds 13% of total pension system assets, compared to 10% at inception.”AP1’s exposure to both equities and bonds decreased over the year, while the amount of assets in hedge funds and private equity funds increased, figures showed.Shares dipped to 48.9% of total assets from 49.2%, and fixed income securities fell to 30.9% from 31.2%.Meanwhile hedge fund exposure rose to 5.9% from 4.9%, and private equities accounted for 4.4% of overall assets at the end of the year after taking up 3.3% a year before.The property allocation remained unchanged year-on-year at 8.8%.For more on the investment strategy of Sweden’s AP funds, see IPE’s coverage of the Nordic pensions market Sweden’s buffer fund AP1 said it was now preparing to make its first investments in infrastructure as part of a shift in its long-term investment strategy.Releasing its annual report for 2014, the pension fund said it was continuing to develop its long-term strategy, through its focus on unlisted, illiquid assets such as private equity funds and infrastructure.Johan Magnusson, chief executive of AP1, said: “Our investments in private equity funds have proven successful, and the organisation is now getting set for investments in different types of infrastructure.”Last September, Magnusson said the fund had taken a decision to increase investment risk as part of its strategic approach to create a portfolio that was robust to major changes in value.
Versailles, In. — The Ripley County Community Foundation has awarded a Sally Morris Community Impact Grant.This year these grants are being proactively granted by the Board of Directors to allow the Community Foundation the flexibility and creativity to assist communities in times of need (when the project would fall outside of our normal grant timeline) in a thoughtful and unique way. Each year the Board of Directors evaluates the work of the Community Foundation and selects areas of interest to target in the upcoming year. This year, one issue the Board wanted to address was downtown revitalization.To reignite the community pride through collaboration, they recently granted $5,000 to the Versailles Main Street Program for the commission of a mural to be painted on the Lions Club building. “There are many projects taking place all over Ripley County which are aimed at bringing life back to our town squares. Over the last several years, Versailles Main Street has made strides in making the Versailles town square a center of activity. They have introduced a weekly farmer’s market, weekly community exercise programs, 5K events, a Christmas Parade and a Taste of Versailles. Additionally, the Town is moving its Town Hall back onto the town square.” Stated Chris Nichols, RCCF Board Member. 2018 is Versailles’ Bicentennial which will be celebrated on July 28th with an all-day event on the square. The Board of Directors wants to support Versailles Main Street and the Town of Versailles in its revitalizations efforts and will do so by commissioning a capstone project that will memorialize the Town’s Bicentennial while inspiring new energy. “One necessity in downtown revitalization is to create a charming space that people want to visit. It is the hope of the Board of Directors that a piece of community art will draw people to the town square and spark conversation among families, friends and former residents,” Stated Amy Streator, RCCF Executive Director.The community is invited to assist in the painting of this mural on July 28 at the Versailles Bicentennial Celebration.
Hazel Svatba, 57, of Cross Plains passed away Friday, July 6, 2018 at Norton’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital in St. Matthews, Kentucky. She was born at Richmond, Kentucky on December 17, 1960 the daughter of Jesse and Delphia Bishop Barrett. She was married to Alvin Svatba on August 17, 1976 and he survives. Other survivors include her mother Delphia Barrett of Beattyville, Kentucky; three sons Kevin (Kelly) Svatba of Aurora, Landon (April) Svatba of Versailles, and Justin (Alyssa) of Muncie; two daughters Jessica Kay Svatba of Cross Plains and Heather (Zachary Hillman) Svatba of Hartford City; 15 grandchildren; four brothers Mitchell (Goldie) Barrett, Calvin Barrett, and Billy Ray Barrett all of Beattyville, Kentucky, and Gordon (Amy) Barrett of Versailles; two sisters Debbie Bowling of Booneville, Kentucky and Kim (Chuck Gullion) of Holton. She was preceded in death by her father and her brother Alvin Barrett. Hazel was a former assistant manager at the Dollar General store in Versailles. She enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren and working on puzzles. Hazel was a member of the North Vernon Church of Christ. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, July 11th at 12pm at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with Brian Oliver officiating. Burial will be in the Holton Cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 10am until time of services. Memorials may be given to the donor’s choice in care of the funeral home.