Finland’s VER sees ultra-low ECB rates as positive for investments

first_imgThe European Central Bank’s policy of ultra-low and negative interest rates is generally positive for the investment prospects of Finland’s State Pension Fund (VER), according to the fund’s managing director, though he warned the central bank’s stance could become a major problem for some pension funds in the longer term.Timo Löyttyniemi, managing director of the €16.5bn pension fund, told IPE: “My approach is that, for a short period of time, it is OK to have low rates, as long as there are no negative shocks in the macroeconomy.“But in the longer term it could turn out to be a real challenge for pension funds’ fixed income investments.”Earlier this month, the ECB became the first major central bank to set negative interest rates. It cut its deposit rate for banks from 0% to -0.1% and its benchmark interest rate to 0.15% from 0.25%, as measures to stimulate the euro-zone economy.Half of VER’s assets are not directly invested in fixed income, Löyttyniemi said, because the fund has an equity weighting of 40%, while alternatives make up another 10%.So far this year, however, even though the ECB policy has weighed on interest rates for fixed income, VER’s fixed income portfolio has produced a return of 3-4% in the first five months of the year, which Loyttyniemi described as splendid.“This will become challenging for the future returns, especially on government bond and credit bond rates,” he said.Löyttyniemi said he very much understood the ECB’s efforts to get money moving from the banking system to the real economy.“That is why they have to take these various measures, and they have room to do that as long as inflation remains at a low level,” he said.However, he pointed to the sudden increase in 10-year US government bond yields seen in May 2013, which had strong side-effects for emerging markets, as an example of how a situation can change unexpectedly.“That’s a warning for the future, that the change could come quite quickly,” he said, but he added that, for the time being, the pressure was limited as long as inflation rates remained low.While he said a steady, low-yield environment would not be problem for pension funds that had enough equities in their portfolios – assuming there were no macroeconomic global shocks – Löyttyniemi warned that if it continued for too long there was a risk to the value of assets.“It is always the case that when a trend continues for too long – especially when it is affected by policy issues – it might become destabilising,” he said.However, right now, what is lacking in European and other economies is the momentum of growth, and precisely this aspect is being targeted by the ECB, he said.However, if time suggested the policy was proving ineffective, there would then be an expectation of additional measures, as sufficient growth is the ultimate goal, he said.last_img read more

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NZMA – End of Life Choice Act Referendum What New Zealanders need to think about

first_imgNZMA September 2020Family First Comment: An important document from the medical profession that you should read before voting in the euthanasia referendum.Key points:Who will be able to end their life under the End of Life Choice Act?What are some of the problems with the eligibility criteria?Are there safeguards for vulnerable people in the Act?If the Act comes into force, will misuse be detected?What has happened in Canada after it enacted laws to enable euthanasia?At the 2020 General Election on 17 October, New Zealanders will be asked whether they support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force. It is important that voters are well informed before making their choice. If a majority support the End of Life Choice Act coming into force, euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide will become legal in New Zealand. This would have profound impacts on the doctor-patient relationship, risks for vulnerable people, and could result in wrongful deaths. We are concerned that there is limited awareness of some of the issues relating to this Act, ambiguity in some of the wording in the Act, and confusion about euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, generally. We also believe there are important lessons to be learned from other jurisdictions where euthanasia has been legalised, such as Canada.Who is NZMA? NZMA is New Zealand’s largest medical organisation, with over 5,000 members from all areas of medicine. What is our position on the End of Life Choice Act? We do not support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force. This reflects our opposition to euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide on the grounds they are unethical, but also our belief that the Act has serious shortcomings that put vulnerable people at risk of wrongful death. In addition, experience from Canada shows that what starts out as narrow eligibility criteria for accessing euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide can widen over time. While we acknowledge that there is a range of opinions within the medical community, our position represents the views of a strong majority of our membership.Key points:Who will be able to end their life under the End of Life Choice Act?What are some of the problems with the eligibility criteria?Are there safeguards for vulnerable people in the Act?If the Act comes into force, will misuse be detected?What has happened in Canada after it enacted laws to enable euthanasia?READ MORE: https://www.nzma.org.nz/documents/end-of-life-choice-act-referendum-fact-sheethttps://www.nzma.org.nz/documents/end-of-life-choice-act-referendum-fact-sheetlast_img read more

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Nelson Agholor makes the most of his opportunities

first_imgSomehow, like a hot knife  through butter, senior quarterback Matt Barkley’s pass sliced  two Oregon defensive backs and landed in the hands of Nelson Agholor.Five star · Despite playing alongside superstars Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, Nelson Agholor has 14 receptions for 269 yards this season. – Sean Roth | Daily TrojanThe freshman wide receiver held on as Ducks cornerback Avery Patterson screamed in for a pummeling hit.“I was standing on the sideline,” wide receivers coach Tee Martin said, “thinking he was going to get his helmet knocked off.”His helmet stayed on — Agholor slipped the incoming Patterson and in a flash sprinted into the end zone to cap a 76-yard touchdown haul, the first scoring play of his short nine-game college career.“He made a great catch, great concentration, caught it and kept running with it,” Martin added.The highlight reel play served as the exclamation point on Agholor’s breakout performance versus Oregon last Saturday, a game where he finished with six receptions for 162 yards and one touchdown.“It felt good to just help my teammates out,” Agholor said. “There’s an opportunity given to me every week, and whether the ball comes to me or not, I just have to make plays.”His first big play came in mid-September at Stanford on a 49-yard reception. This time, though, he punched it in for six points.And should he continue making plays, USC’s opponents will have a third dynamic wideout to worry about in the Tampa, Fla. native.On the season, Agholor has caught 14 passes for 269 yards, including his touchdown Saturday.And his latest performance suggests some sort of a late-season rise similar to that of his predecessors, sophomore Marqise Lee and junior Robert Woods, who notched impressive freshman campaigns of their own — each was named the conference’s offensive freshman of the year.“He’s starting to catch on, right around the same time as Marqise and Robert did,” Barkley said. “It’s taken him a couple games to get into that rhythm and to get that confidence. He’s known what to do for a while now, but he finally got a chance on some of those deeper balls.”Agholor, though, hasn’t been thinking about those deep balls, not that much anyway. Oddly enough, he’s been thinking about a botched onside kick during the waning minutes against Oregon — when he had a chance to recover the ball but took the wrong angle of pursuit.“That’s discipline, that’s something I can control,” Agholor said. “We’ve actually coached that up many times, and I let emotions take me away from my fundamentals. I tried to chase the ball, rather than hug the sidelines.”Discipline and fundamentals, combined with talent, is what has allowed Agholor, a five-star recruit coming from Berkeley Prep, to make an impact through nine games with the No. 19 Trojans thus far.In the words of Martin, his position coach, it’s because of the “formula.”“When you’re talented, you work hard, and you’re prepared on Saturday, you’re going to produce,” Martin said. “That’s the formula. He has those three attributes. … He cares about knowing what to do and he wants to be great.”So his latest effort wasn’t all that surprising. It was expected.Asked if Aghlor’s touchdown reception was a pass most freshmen could make, Martin just smiled.“I’m glad that one made it.”last_img read more

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Kessler, Heidari named Pac-12 Players of the Week

first_imgFollow us on Twitter @dailytrojan Redshirt sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler and junior kicker Andre Heidari were named the Pac-12’s Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively, on Monday following their impressive performances in USC’s 20-17 upset victory over Stanford.Heidari connected on a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining to clinch USC’s win. Prior to Saturday’s game, the Bakersfield, Calif. native had come under scrutiny after missing several field goals in USC losses this season, but Heidari was able to redeem himself against Stanford.Interim head coach Ed Orgeron surprisingly decided to play for the field goal late in the game and showed an unexpected amount of trust for his struggling kicker by sending him onto the field in the biggest game of the year for the Trojans.Heidari also made a short field goal that gave the Trojans a 10-point lead in the second quarter.Kessler was 25-for-37 for 288 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. He controlled the offense from start to finish, and was able to keep his composure in the face of the mounting Stanford pressure from their vaunted front seven.On the season, Kessler has now thrown for 2,265 yards with 13 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. His completion percentage of 64.7 percent is the fourth-best in the Pac-12.Redshirt junior safety Dion Bailey was also nominated for defensive player of the week. Bailey had a critical interception in the fourth quarter after Stanford had advanced the ball to the USC 10-yard line. Bailey picked off Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan’s pass and returned it to the USC 34-yard line. It was Bailey’s fourth interception of the season, tying him for the team lead with freshman safety Su’a Cravens.The Trojans continue play this weekend against the Colorado Buffaloes, and are still in contention for the Pac-12 South title.last_img read more

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Kenny Lassiter grows into offensive weapon for Syracuse

first_img Published on September 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm Contact Chris: cjlibona@syr.edu | @ChrisLibonati Kenny Lassiter’s position switch was only supposed to last for a couple tournaments. At least that’s what his then-club coach told him. “I just tried it out because my coach really wanted me to be a defender,” Lassiter said. “So I was like, OK, I’ll just try it even though I didn’t like it, and I played decently.”Syracuse’s coaching staff saw him in his defensive cameo and recruited him to play defense at SU. The problem was that it was only time he played as a defender in his career. After being listed as a defender and redshirting in his first season at SU, Lassiter switched positions in the spring of his freshman year and now has found a role in the Orange’s offense. His 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame ties him as the third-tallest and eighth-heaviest player, size SU’s forwards have rarely had in past seasons. But Lassiter has just one goal on five shots and has started only one game. His frame holds potential, SU head coach Ian McIntyre said, but it’s just tough to see until he gets moving. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He’s a potential enigma for this team,” McIntyre said. “When he turns it on, he can be unplayable; he’s got that physical strength, that power and he’s adding more of a consistency this year.”Lassiter is the only 6-foot-plus forward the Orange has had in the last two years. McIntyre joked that Lassiter looks even bigger standing next to forward Chris Nanco, almost like two of him. Size is a quality mostly found in SU’s back line this season and in past years with players like Skylar Thomas, Oskar Sewerin and Alex Bono. Nanco, a fellow forward and also Lassiter’s roommate, said Emil Ekblom was the team’s biggest forward that would hold the ball for SU last season. Ekblom stood just 5 feet 11 inches and weighed 170 pounds. “He’s a presence to hold up the ball for us up top so other smaller forwards can run off of him,” Nanco said.Although Lassiter hasn’t started much this season, that’s just one of the potential roles he could fill. Losing three of its top five scoring options has put SU in a bind offensively this season. The Orange has scored multiple goals just twice in six games this season. Four of its goals came in one game against UC Riverside. Lassiter’s size makes him a potential target when SU is on the run and puts another option in the box on set pieces, one place the Orange lost some of its key options, like Thomas, after last season. “If I can give him a little shove, get him off balance,” Lassiter said of how his size and speed help on set pieces, “or just like move around and just get him out of the way so I can hopefully score a goal.”But his potential and ability have only matched up and shown on the scoreboard once this season. Lassiter pushed a backheel from Nanco forward and to his left before ripping a shot to the low, right side of the net from just a few yards out. Although Bucknell goalie Mike Lansing dove and got part his hand on the ball, the ball bounced and its backspin carried it into the net. The forward has already played in more games this season than in the rest of his career and scored a goal, but his potential is still largely waiting to be fulfilled. “He’s just awkward, he’s bumbling, he looks like Bambi on ice sometimes,” McIntyre said. “… It’s when that body gets in motion he’s a real handful.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Betfred & GVC forgo platform partnership

first_img Submit Betfred extends World Snooker Championship deal until 2022 August 17, 2020 Betfred counters Oppenheimer bid in race to rescue Phumelela August 26, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Share GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile  August 25, 2020 Industry news sources have reported that Betfred and GVC Holdings (GVC) have terminated their planned platform partnership, just months before Betfred was due to begin its platform migration to GVC systems.EGR Magazine reports that the both Betfred and GVC governance have agreed by ‘mutual consent’ to terminate the partnership, first agreed in May 2016.Entering the partnership, Betfred had agreed for GVC to provide its online sports betting and igaming platform on a 10-year exclusive basis replacing its current provider GTECH (IGT Group).It has been reported that Betfred and GVC will end the partnership ‘amicably’ with the companies not seeking to trigger any penalty clauses.Both operators confirmed the decision to terminate the partnership via a joint statement, however the operators would not detail further specifics regarding the cancellation of provisions.Having won a competitive tender, the Betfred platform partnership was labelled as a ‘transformational B2B agreement’ by GVC governance last year, as the newly FTSE-listed enterprise moved to create new business channels.At present, it remains unknown whether Betfred governance will seek a new online platform provider.last_img read more

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Gyan gets fourth goal in six games in Shanghai SIPG win

first_imgAsamoah Gyan has now scored four goals in six games since moving to the Chinese Super League.His latest came on Sunday as his Shanghai SIPG beat Shanghai Greenland Shenhua 2-1 with the Ghana captain scoring after 65 minutes. The goal was a leveler as former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill netted with a penalty. Seven minutes after Gyan’s goal, his teammate Ke Shi got the winner.Gyan’s strike is his second this week after he scored against the same side in the Chinese Cup but his team lost on that occasion.  SIPG lead the Chinese Super League table with 52 points while Guanzhou Evergrande are a point behind.– Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img

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Dodgers’ organist Dieter Ruehle works overtime when Cubs take batting practice

first_imgFrom his bench on the fifth floor, Ruehle has all the song titles he needs stored in the Notes app on an iPad. He starts a new file for every game. The set list from a recent Kings game was high up on the list Thursday; Ruehle will shift full time to Staples Center once the Dodgers’ season is over.Scroll through the notes, and Ruehle can pull up the set list for any Dodgers home game this season. A random July game against the Tampa Bay Rays yields “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” at the top — “it must have been a morning game,” Ruehle said — followed by “I Am The Walrus” by the Beatles.The songs usually run the generational gamut. Among the hundreds of tunes in his repertoire, Ruehle began Thursday with a classic: “It’s a Beautiful Day For a Ballgame.” The song has been around since Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. He progressed to Pearl Jam, the Eagles, and Rodgers and Hammerstein before ending with “Green Onions,” the 19th song of the set.The soundtrack would have been familiar to anyone who’s attended a game this season, Ruehle’s first with the Dodgers. His predecessor, Nancy Bea Hefley, started in 1988 and retired after the 2015 season. The big difference Thursday was the length of his set. Ruehle usually plays 15 minutes or less before each game, then off and on for the next nine innings. So why was he playing throughout the Cubs’ batting practice this week? Said one denizen of the Dodger Stadium control room: “To ice the Cubs.”Lineup changesFacing Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester for the second time in less than a week, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought back the same starting nine from Game 1. However, he configured the lineup in an entirely new manner. Catcher Carlos Ruiz batted cleanup for the first time since May. Adrian Gonzalez batted sixth for the first time since June 16, 2012 — when he started in right field for the Boston Red Sox. “It’s the same eight guys, but as far as where to put guys, it’s a little bit of a Lester thing, a little bit of a left-handed thing,” Roberts said prior to the game.Showing spiritThe third Thursday of October is Spirit Day, and former Dodgers outfielder Billy Bean — now MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion — was at Dodger Stadium to promote the occasion.According to the website for the gay rights organization GLAAD, Spirit Day began in 2010 as a way to show support for LGBTQ youth and take a stand against bullying. Bean said “all 30 clubs are on board” with the cause.“We decided to come out and support not only Game 5 of the NLCS,” Bean said, “but to use the platform that baseball provides us with all of our socially responsible messaging.”Twitter marked the occasion by inserting a purple flag after tweets that included the hashtag #SpiritDay. Bean and others wore purple shirts to the ballpark to commemorate the day.Also For the first time since he retired after the Dodgers’ final regular-season game, Vin Scully attended the game with his wife Sandi. … Former Dodgers first basemen Eric Karros and Steve Garvey ceded the traditional pregame announcement of “it’s time for Dodger baseball” to Scully. … Former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire had jaw surgery at City of Hope last Friday. According to the club, he is resting at home. … Justin Turner has reached base in 15 consecutive postseason games, a franchise record. LOS ANGELES >> The Dodger Stadium grounds crew broke down the batting cage as the final notes of “Green Onions” fell on the ears of early-arriving fans Thursday.Finally, Dieter Ruehle had a moment to breathe. He removed his headset and soaked in the breeze from a small fan that sits by the Dodger Stadium organ — a necessity with temperatures in the mid-90s as the 5 p.m. game approached.If Ruehle was getting paid by the note this week, he would be a rich man. Before Games 3, 4 and 5 of the National League Championship Series, the organ has been the sole soundtrack while the Cubs took batting practice on the field. Ruehle said that adds up to an extra half-hour or more of organ music compared to a typical regular-season game, when batting practice is accompanied by pre-recorded music.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Dubs FN denies Fortnite World Cup cheating allegations

first_imgDr. Lupo brought the topic up after seeing Tfue’s tweet about it. Ninja said that although nothing is official, he thought it looked like an aimbot. Ninja said it looked like there some “hardcore tracking” on Dubs FN’s gameplay during the first weekend of qualifying. Ninja also brought up JonnyK who was kicked out of Team Kaliber for installing cheats in preparation for the Fortnite World Cup. So this has happened in the past, and it’s not surprising given how much money is at stake.But as it stands, Dubs FN has not been officially found to be cheating. The only “proof” is from screenshots (which can be manipulated) that a username that looks similar to Dubs FN. Given that Epic Games provided a response to the accuser’s report, we should know in the near future whether he was cheating or not. It seems unlikely he’d remain in the World Cup if Epic Games finds evidence he was cheating. The Discord messages are more damaging, but there’s not really solid proof that the screenshots are real. It’s fairly easy to make that look like the real thing through tools on Chrome, or through Photoshop.You guys wanted proof…. pic.twitter.com/vjkojQlDqF— Aspectdolphin (@Aspectdolphin1) April 16, 2019MORE: 2019 Fortnite World Cup leaderboardDubs FN obviously caught word of these allegations and denied them on Twitter.”All I have to say is f— all the [people] that don’t believe. I’m not cheating. And I’ll see you guys at the World Cup,” he said. “I understand there’s been a lot of accusations about me cheating, but I’m not, and I’m willing to stream future solo qualifiers to show you that.”The Fortnite World Cup has $40 million worth of prizes, including $30 million in the Finals alone. It’s the largest payout in an e-sports competition ever.The majority of the accusations against Dubs FN comes from Aspectdolphin, a cheat provider. They tweeted on April 14 they were “leaking names of pro players who have bought cheats off my seller or me soon.” The next day, Aspectdolphin started to post messages allegedly from Dubs FN.Aspectdolphin also apparently contacted Epic Games with his findings and received a response (which reads like it’s automated).Update on the Report From Epic Games. pic.twitter.com/KL08VSxMZV— Aspectdolphin (@Aspectdolphin1) April 16, 2019Other Fortnite players caught wind of the allegations and started providing their own responses.Tfue joked about it, asking Dubs FN to team up with him for Duos next week.Wanna partner with me for duos next week @Dubsfn— Tfue (@TTfue) April 16, 2019Nina also reacted to the allegations during his Monday night stream. Dubs FN earned one of six qualifcations spot in the North American East region of the 2019 World Cup qualifiers, although some are alleging he earned that spot illegally.A video started spreading around claiming to have proof that Dubs FN was cheating. The video shows DMs on Discord (a messaging platform) as well as a post from a message board for hackers from a user “Ruedubs14” asking for cheats. Obviously the “dubs” in the username is a similarity, and Dubs FN plays with No. 14 on his soccer skin.last_img read more

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The roads of the future could be made of millions of cigarette butts

first_imgIf we strive to count the cigarette butts we can see in one day, we would surely lose the account shortly after we started. This waste not only ends up being thrown out by the environment, but is technically the worst toxic waste. Now a new way to get rid of cigarette butts in a safe way has been found: turn them into asphalt.Cigarette butts are one of the most common waste of current life, with an estimate of 1.3 million tons generated each year. Like a normal cigar, cigarette butts have many toxic chemicals that seep into the water, threatening all aquatic organisms. Leaving them in one of the ashtrays that can be found in the street does not solve the problem, since the filters of the cigars are not biodegradable. Stub. Image: Pixabay Luckily, researchers at the RMIT University of Australia have found a way to take advantage of the butt chemicals; a recipe based on cigarette butts and asphalt to seal roads. The main author, Abbas Mohajerani, knows that it is impossible to eradicate tobacco consumption, but he can incorporate cigarette butts in different construction materials to demonstrate that waste can be reused.Stub. Image: PixabayThe mixture was able to resist as traditional asphalt doesIn the study they mixed the butts with paraffin wax, oil-based bitumen and finally added asphalt blends. Then they simulated the same paving processes of a road to check the strength of the mixture. Depending on the density of cigarette ends in each sample and the quality of the asphalt used; The new recipe was able to withstand all expected expectations. Starting by supporting light and heavy traffic, and continuing to have a lower thermal conductivity than traditional asphalt. It is very important to emphasize that the asphalt mixture they achieved was able to withstand great efforts and flow under permanent loads, presenting ideal and ecological properties for construction. This research can demonstrate that a new building material can be created while the environment is rid of a huge waste problem. It is difficult to estimate when cigarette butts will be a common ingredient in asphalt mixtures, but what is certain is that it is estimated that in the coming years tobacco consumption will be reduced.center_img They have used cigarette butts as an ingredient to create asphaltAn ecological method that turns waste into something usefulThe mixture is able to withstand all road conditionslast_img read more

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