A Brexit-fuelled fall in sterling that benefited UK equities helped boost pension funding levels at Swiss companies in the third quarter, according to Willis Towers Watson.The consultancy’s quarterly pension index for Swiss occupational pension schemes showed that funding levels rose from 88.4% as at the end of the first half of the year to 90.2% as at the end of September.Willis Towers Watson said the increase was predominately due to positive returns from equities during the third quarter, with bond yields and hence pension liabilities largely unchanged.Adam Casey, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said central banks’ low-interest-rate policies were continuing to stimulate equity markets, and that Swiss pension funds were able to benefit from this in the third quarter and get a bit of “breathing space” in the short term. He singled out UK equities, saying these were supported by the fall in sterling after the Bank of England cut interest rates given worries about Brexit.The Bank of England cut interest rates to 0.25% in early August, and also re-launched and expanded its quantitative easing programme to include corporate bonds.In the UK, this was met with concern given the impact of lower Gilt yields on scheme deficits. Casey’s colleague, Peter Zanella, head of retirement solutions, said Swiss Pensionskassen remained under pressure, however, given the persistent low-interest-rate environment, and that they needed to assess their asset allocation and benefit structure carefully to avoid breaking under that pressure.Asset-liability modelling is one way pension funds can test their resilience to stress situations, he added.The consultancy’s calculations are based on the returns of Pictet’s BVG-40 pension index with a 40% equity exposure.
Image courtesy of K LineA brand new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier to be chartered by Japan’s LNG importing giant JERA was named on Tuesday at Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Sakaide. The 164,700-cbm LNG carrier named Enshu Maru is owned by Trans Pacific Shipping 4 S.A, a joint venture consisting of K Line and Tokyo Century.According to a K Line statement, the newbuild LNG carrier is powered by a reheat steam turbine.It is a “next-generation LNG carrier propulsion plant of high thermal efficiency and high reliability, incorporating the most advanced materials and control technologies including improvements in steam conditions to raise the thermal efficiency,” the statement said.The 293m-long vessel is expected to mainly serve the transportation route between the Freeport LNG export project in the US and Japan.JERA, a joint venture comprising of two major Japanese electric companies Tepco and Chubu, has a 25 percent stake in the Freeport LNG export project expected to start operations next year.
3News 22 August 2014Miley Cyrus’ show is porn and the promotion of substance abuse dressed up as pop music, says a family advocacy group.Family First’s Bob McCoskrie is urging parents to protect their kids from the 21-year-old singer following an announcement she’ll play an Auckland show in October.Cyrus’ show features a hotdog and a tongue slide – but there have also been reports of her wearing an outfit covered with pictures of cannabis leaves and of her miming oral sex on a dancer wearing a Bill Clinton mask.Reviews of the Bangerz tour she’s bringing Down Under showed featured foul language, highly sexualised imagery, and normalised drug use, Mr McCoskrie said.He said part of the former Disney star’s show advised parental guidance – and he thought parents should take the guidance in advance before buying tickets.“Parents should save their money, protect their children and expose them to the far more positive messages of celebrating their achievements, their personality and their uniqueness.”http://www.3news.co.nz/Protect-kids-from-Mileys-porn–Family-First/tabid/423/articleID/357904/Default.aspx
The rules of social distancing are indeed changing, and not just because we are close to the national guidelines expiring on April 30.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention issued new guidelines this week suggesting that pet owners follow the same social-distancing rules with their furry family members as with everyone else during the COVID-19 pandemic.“Treat pets as you would other human family members — do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household,” the agency said in an advisory. “If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.”The agency is also advising pet owners to avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs typically gather.The change comes after reports of animals becoming infected after having contact with a person with the virus.Last week, two pet cats in New York state tested positive for coronavirus, marking the first diagnoses of domestic animals in the country. In addition, last Monday, a North Carolina pug became the first dog in the nation to test positive for the virus.Protect your pets if you are sick with #COVID19. Limit exposure to pets and have someone else care for them if possible. If you must be around animals while sick, wash your hands before and after interacting with them. Learn more: https://t.co/H8NS2GBCcZ. pic.twitter.com/atkGH4fT3D— CDC (@CDCgov) April 28, 2020 The first known case of any animal catching the virus in the U.S. was a 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo named Nadia. She is believed to have been infected by a zookeeper, according to reports.Additionally, seven more big cats at that zoo also tested positive, the Wildlife Conservation Society says. All of them are now recovering.Still, the CDC stresses there is no evidence that animals play a major role in spreading the virus to humans.“The first infections were thought to be linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now primarily spreading from person to person … Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low,” the CDC said.
BARBADOS Tridents captain Kieron Pollard has backed the team to recover from a disappointing 2016 campaign that saw them achieve their lowest finish in the competition’s history.The Tridents finished in sixth place last season, missing out on the competition’s playoff round for the first time in four editions. Pollard, however, believes last season’s campaign was heavily impacted by injuries to key players and the loss of South African batsman AB de Villiers as the team pushed to secure a place in the next round.“Last year we struggled with multiple injuries and the departure of key players at inopportune times for the team. In 2017, we intend to return to our winning ways with the team we feel will win it all,” Pollard told Nation News.The all-rounder, who has hit a purple patch of form with Indian Premier League’s Mumbai Indians, has also encouraged the home fans to come out in full support of the team.“The CPL may be the biggest party in sport, but with the support of the Bajan fans, the Tridents will be the only ones partying after the matches this year. The Tridents intend to play a fierce brand of cricket which will be make it very uncomfortable for anyone we face, especially at The Mecca.” (Sportsmax)
This weekend, the 11th-ranked Wisconsin wrestling team gets itsfirst test of the season as they head off to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on the 8th-rankedCornell Big Red Friday night. Following that match the Badgers will partake inthe annual Body Bar Invitational Saturday morning, also at Cornell.Despite only having three lackluster matches under theirbelts, head coach Barry Davis thinks his squad is ready for an early-seasonchallenge.”I told the guys to look forward to it,” Davis said. “It’san early test. I’m looking forward to it.”Cornell returns three All-Americans to its squad as well asseven 2007 NCAA qualifiers. While the Badgers return nine of their startersfrom last year’s team, there are still some questions.After losing All-American Tyler Turner to graduation at 149pounds, Davis has used Mike Metzger to replace Turner. However, true freshmen KendallVogel and Dan Rivers, along with Gabe Stoppelmoor, have been vying for thespot. The 174-pound weight class is also an issue for the Badgers. Davis willgo with junior Justin Peterson this weekend, but it’s been a tough battle withsenior and returning NCAA qualifier, Matt Maciag.”Right now 174 is a struggle for us,” Davis said. “Neitherguy is really stepping up there. Someone’s got to take initiative in thatweight class, and if they don’t then I may bring Ben Sarbacker out of [his]redshirt in January.”They’ve got time yet here before Christmas here to provethemselves, and we’ll see what happens in the next three to four competitions.”Sarbacker, a true freshman who grew up just outside ofMadison in Verona, competed unattached at last weekend’s Pointer Open and tookfirst place honors, defeating Maciag along the way. He pinned his teammate in1:59.While those two weight classes are still up for grabs, onethat isn’t is 125 pounds, where senior and three-time NCAA qualifier CollinCudd returns. The ninth-ranked Cudd faces off against second-rankedAll-American Troy Nickerson. “Me and Barry have talked about it a little bit,” Cudd said.”I have to work on the little things, the little techniques that will help meout. I just really need to slow the pace down and wrestle my style of thematch.”After Friday’s tough dual, the Badgers turn right around tojoin the 10-team field of the annual Body Bar Invitational. “Even though wehave Friday night, if we pull out the victory Friday night we can’t be happywith that because we have to turn around Saturday too,” Davis said. “We’ll goin there and prepare for Friday and take Saturday when Saturday comes and gofrom there. I think the guys are looking forward to it. We’ve got a chance toopen some eyes and I hope that happens.In addition to Wisconsin, Army, Binghampton, Buffalo, IthacaCollege, Kent State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Sacred Heart and the host Cornellwill be competing. With the Big Ten portion of their schedule still monthsaway, this match should provide some early-season thrill for the Badgers,according to junior Zach Tanelli. “It’s exciting going into Cornell,” he said. “Those guys areranked ahead of us, so it’s a big opportunity for this team and especially forsome of the other guys on the team facing ranked opponents higher than them tosee where they stand. “It’s early, but itwill be a good sign to see where we’re at so far this season.”
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The Wisconsin men’s tennis team looks to bounce back from their slump this weekend on a road trip out east to Ohio State and Penn State. The team has dropped five straight meets and will need back-to-back wins to climb back into the Big Ten conference race.Wisconsin (10-7, 1-4 Big Ten) will face No. 5 Ohio State (20-2, 5-0 Big Ten) Friday and Penn State (7-11, 1-4 Big Ten) Sunday.Standing in the way Friday is an Ohio State program that hasn’t lost a home meet since 2003. The Buckeyes team will be ranked fifth in the nation going into this weekend while riding an 11-match win streak.“We just got to go out there and play loose, play confident and hopefully be able to compete,” head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. “That is the biggest thing we have been working on as of late.”Picking up a single point in this matchup will be no easy feat, however. The Badgers have been struggling in recent weeks and with five nationally-ranked opponents on the Ohio State roster – Peter Kobelt, Blaz Rola, Connor Smith, Chris Diaz and Devin McCarthy – Wisconsin could be in for a long day. However, the coaches seem confident that if the players focus, they can play well and maybe pick up a win or two.“As far as singles goes,” assistant coach Joe Bates explained, “they just have to focus on themselves and the task at hand. If they can keep it close early and find a way to get into the match they will always have a chance.”As long as the Badgers singles play continues to struggle, the doubles point becomes even more important. However, this is a tall order for a young UW team as all three of Ohio State’s doubles pairs are nationally ranked – with Peter Kobelt/Connor Smith No. 13, Devin McCarthy/Ille Van Engelen No. 27 and Blaz Rola/Kevin Metka No. 57.“It is going to be important for us to get the doubles point,” Bates said. “I think we realistically can, it is going to be difficult, but there is no reason if we play the way we have been that we couldn’t get the point.”On top of difficult doubles matchups, the Badger number one doubles team could be missing senior Billy Bertha who is struggling with a flare up of his reoccurring back injury. Bertha didn’t practice Tuesday and his return to the court this weekend is questionable. The 6-foot-5 senior is 8-7 this year in doubles play with three different partners.“I am going in for some cortisone shots later in the week,” Bertha said. “Hopefully I will be able to play this weekend, but it is really still up in the air right now.”The last time Bertha missed a doubles match was March 9 against Western Illinois.Wisconsin’s best chance for a win this weekend comes when they visit Penn State on Sunday. Penn State is 1-4 in Big Ten play this season and has struggled in doubles play all year. The team is also coming off a close 4-3 loss to No. 57 Nebraska.“What we really want to do is go out there and try to get some momentum,” Van Emburgh said. “We are going to be looking to play a good match against Ohio State, and we want to take the positives from there and bring that into Penn State.”Despite the recent slump in singles play, the Badgers seem fairly confident that they can get back on track this weekend with a win at Penn State. The team has had historical success against the Nittany Lions, taking home victories the last few years and is hoping to continue that run with hard work and good tennis.“They have a better team than ever this year,” Bates said. “But we seem to play pretty well against them. All we have to do is start with the doubles point and fight and grit for a couple singles wins.”
With two injured USC quarterbacks, redshirt freshman Jack Sears may start under center against Arizona State on Saturday. (Emily Smith | Daily Trojan)The Trojans’ quarterback situation may be in a state of crisis coming out of their loss against Utah on Saturday, with freshman starting quarterback JT Daniels forced to leave the game with a possible concussion and redshirt sophomore backup quarterback Matt Fink diagnosed with broken ribs. Daniels had been struggling in the game before a hard hit during a late third quarter intercepted throw knocked him out of the game. Fink played well in his place, completing six of seven passes for 43 yards and a touchdown, along with rushing for 21 yards. So, he took a number of tough shots on those carries, leading to a postgame diagnosis of broken ribs that ruled him out for next week.Reports from Monday indicate that Daniels has cleared the first part of concussion protocol; he’s expected to be available to play in Saturday’s game against Arizona State. He’s still going through concussion protocol and has not yet been cleared to practice.With Fink out for the foreseeable future, redshirt freshman Jack Sears will be handling first team responsibilities in practice this week. Sears has been third on the quarterback depth chart all season and has yet to throw a pass in a game as a Trojan. If an unexpected turn holds Daniels out for Saturday, he will get his chance.Sears’ style of play is very different from that of Daniels and Fink, and he easily has the biggest arm on the team. He was responsible for some of the Trojans’ biggest plays downfield throughout training camp. He is less mobile than both Daniels and Fink and has a tendency to leave the pocket quickly in the face of pressure. His accuracy can be inconsistent at times, and he’s displayed a habit of occasionally holding on to the ball too long. But because Sears has only played in practice and camp, there’s no way to tell what a Sears-led offense will look like until he starts throwing passes in a live game.As of now, all signs still point to Daniels starting against ASU. However, if he can’t play or gets injured again, Sears will step in. It’s a situation worth monitoring throughout the remainder of the week as the Trojans look to rebound from Saturday’s loss and keep their 19-game home win streak intact.
Paris Saint-Germain forward, Kylian Mbappe, has been crowned French Player of the Year for the first time.The 20-year-old forward who was pivotal to France winning the World Cup in Russia last summer enjoyed a remarkable 2018.After bursting onto the scene as a precociously-gifted teenager at Monaco, a big-money transfer had taken him to Parc des Princes. Kylian Mbappe, Another Ligue 1 title triumph was enjoyed in 2017-18, as PSG swept the board in terms of domestic honours.Mbappe helped Les Bleus to go all the way, with a fine individual effort netted in a 4-2 final triumph over Croatia.His efforts were recognised with the Young Player Award, and his game has continued to go from strength to strength.Mbappe has hit 16 goals in 19 appearances for PSG this season, as they continue to chase down more trophies at home and abroad.Alongside those heroics, he has also become the inaugural winner of the Kopa Trophy – the prize bestowed upon the finest under-21 player on the planet.He finished fourth in the vote for the 2018 Ballon d’Or, with that lofty standing placing him above five-time winner Lionel Messi.Those in his native France have now recognised him as the country’s finest performer.Mbappe was awarded that gong by France Football, having edged out Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.He inherits the title from Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, who came out on top in 2017.While this is the first time that he has scooped the award, it is unlikely to be the last.More is expected of Mbappe in the years to come, with many tipping him to become the world’s best player and be involved in more high-profile transfers.For the time being, though, a humble performer is merely seeking to remain on an upward career curve that has already carried him a long way in a very short space of time.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram