Developers on Mayor Livingstone:

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Primed for action

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China removes pangolin from traditional medicine list

first_imgChina has removed pangolin parts from its official list of traditional medicines, state media reported Tuesday, days after increasing legal protections on the endangered animal.Pangolins were left out of the official Chinese Pharmacopoeia this year, along with substances including a pill formulated with bat faces, the state-owned Health Times reported.The pangolin, the world’s most heavily trafficked mammal, is thought by some scientists to be the possible host of the novel coronavirus that emerged at a market in China’s Wuhan city last year. Topics : The World Wide Fund for Nature on Saturday said it “strongly welcomed” China’s move to upgrade protections for the pangolin, calling it an “important respite” from the illegal pangolin trade.center_img Its body parts fetch a high price on the black market as they are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, although scientists say they have no therapeutic value.China’s forestry authority on Friday gave pangolins the highest level of protection in the country due to its threatened status.”Depleted wild resources” are being withdrawn from the Pharmacopoeia, Health Times reported, although the exact reason for the removal of pangolins was unclear.China has in recent months banned the sale of wild animals for food, citing the risk of diseases spreading to humans, but the trade remains legal for other purposes — including research and traditional medicine.last_img read more

Larger Dutch schemes pay more for asset management, survey shows

first_imgAlthough he acknowledged that returns were not always reported clearly or uniformly, and that the two-year survey period was relatively short, he said he was comfortable in concluding that cost-efficient investment need not come at the expense of performance.LCP found that Dutch pension funds’ asset management costs had increased by 1 basis point to 0.54% last year, whereas transaction costs decreased by 1bps to 0.09% on average.In light of the survey’s results, Koopmans said pension funds’ boards should provide more detailed explanations of their charges, and that they could do more to lower investment charges, either individually or jointly with other pension funds.According to the consultant, administration costs have increase by €4 to €122 per participant on average in 2013, reversing a downward trend.“This is largely due to the implementation of many changes in pension regulations,” Koopmans added.“Because pension funds are facing further major changes this year and next, cost containment will remain high on the agenda for pension funds’ boards.”LCP’s survey also showed that administration costs at ABP and PFZW averaged at €84 per participant.Costs at the other schemes came to €145 on average, but ranged between less than €100 to almost €1,000 per participant.“The next step for pension funds,” Koopmans said, “is to explain why their costs were at an acceptable level, and how they contributed to their goals. It is important to demonstrate that they are cost-effective in relation to their objectives.”LCP claimed many Dutch schemes often ignored the guidelines issued by the Pensions Federation, which are to be enshrined into law through the new financial assessment framework (FTK) and new legislation for pensions communication.The consultancy said pension funds should report investment returns uniformly – preferably as gross investment return, including interest hedge returns – and report total investment costs separately, to improve clarity on their net return. Large Dutch industry-wide pension funds pay considerably more for asset management than smaller company schemes, without achieving a noticeable increase of returns, a survey by actuarial consultant Lane, Clark & Peacock (LCP) has suggested.In its annual survey of more than 230 Dutch schemes, covering 98% of the market, LCP found that the €334bn civil service scheme ABP and the €156bn healthcare scheme PFZW spent 0.69% on average on asset management, whereas the other schemes paid 0.39% on average.LCP partner Jeroen Koopmans said: “However, we haven’t observed a direct link between asset management costs and returns on investments.”Koopmans attributed the differing asset management costs in part to performance-related fees, with industry-wide schemes and company pension funds spending 0.21% and 0.05%, respectively.last_img read more

Real estate holdings boost 2015 returns at Sweden’s AP4

first_imgIts fixed income holdings, accounting for more than one-third of all SEK310bn (€33.8bn) in assets, saw losses of 0.1%, one of two asset classes to see losses over the course of the year.Andersson took pains to emphasise that AP4’s portfolio had once again outperformed its benchmark.“AP4’s experienced managers have outperformed the index for the seventh consecutive year,” he said.“Over the past seven years, the contribution [from active management] has amounted to nearly SEK8bn, which can be set against an annual cost to pursue active management of approximately SEK100m.”During 2015, the percentage of actively managed assets rose to 70%, while externally managed assets were down from 31% to 29%. Its performance in 2015 was slightly behind fellow buffer fund AP3, and asserts under management remained stagnant compared with its 2015 half-yearly results. AP4 returned 6.8% over the course of 2015, boosted by strong results from its real estate and Swedish equity holdings.Chief executive Mats Andersson said it was “gratifying” the fund was delivering good long-term returns, noting its 10-year average performance of 6.7% before inflation.AP4’s direct property holdings, which accounted for 6.6% of its portfolio, saw by far the strongest results, returning 32%, followed by a 14% return from its Swedish equity holdings.However, due to weaker returns on its global equity holdings, the fund’s equity portfolio overall returned 5.5%, behind an 11.3% return from alternatives.last_img read more

UK Offshore Wind Farm Guide Expands to 2025

first_imgThe Crown Estate and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have published an updated and extended version of ‘A Guide to an Offshore Wind Farm’.The guide is intended to help a range of stakeholders and potential new market entrants understand how an offshore wind farm is built, operated and maintained.It is said to help companies develop a greater understanding of the components and processes involved in the development of offshore wind farms, supporting supply chain development and highlighting ways in which businesses can seize opportunities from the growing, global offshore wind sector, expected to be worth an estimated GBP 30 billion per annum by 2030.First published in 2010 and now updated to cover offshore wind farms that will be built out to 2025, the Guide, produced by BVG Associates on behalf of The Crown Estate and ORE Catapult, has been updated to include a focus on operations, maintenance, service activities, decommissioning, floating wind and emerging technologies in data, digital and robotics and autonomous systems.“The pace of innovation in the wind industry has been rapid over the past decade, and opportunities to enter the market are increasing. This guide can be useful to those looking to enter the market,” Will Apps, Head of Energy Development at The Crown Estate, said.The updated Guide has been prepared and published by BVG Associates.Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director, said: “In the UK, a strong, robust supply chain is vital if the sector is to achieve ambitious plans to more than triple installed capacity by 2030, create 27,000 skilled jobs and increase export value five-fold. And with a UK market expected to be worth £4.9 billion annually by 2030, and £30 billion globally, the development of offshore wind farms represents a huge business opportunity to reap the rewards domestically and in new global export markets, creating GVA and high value jobs across the country.”The Guide complements work ongoing on behalf of the Offshore Wind Industry Council by former McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh. Whitmarsh is conducting a review of the UK supply chain to identify opportunities for UK firms to win a greater share of the growing domestic and global offshore wind markets.“The future of offshore wind depends on a healthy, evolving supply chain, top to bottom. We are at the same time maturing and innovating, so we must stay aligned as industrial partners. The Guide to an Offshore Windfarm is essential reading as it provides everyone the blueprint for understanding the offshore wind business. This will be distributed widely throughout our company and to all of our supply chain partners,” Julian Brown, Vice President and UK Country Manager – MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, said.last_img read more

Hidden Costs

first_imgWe know about big time colleges and their coaching salaries.  How about the use of private planes for team transportation and “other things”?Many universities now own their own planes or share them with other universities.  The team travels on them, of course, but so does the coach and his family when they want to go to the islands on spring break.  The coaches, like Urban Meyer, of Ohio State do a lot of traveling for recruiting on team planes.Schools like Purdue have had their own plane since WW II, but they also have an aviation program at Purdue.  However, the Indy Star reported that Purdue used one of their planes to fly a high-profile alum from the East Coast to attend an athletic meeting. The Star claims that they could have flown them commercial for $400 yet spent $15,000 using the school’s plane.  Other universities use their planes to fly their coaches, alums, and executives to meetings and other trips.  We, in many cases, pay for this as taxpayers.last_img read more

PINSTRIPE : In fitting end to SU career, Carter carries Orange to victory en route to Pinstripe MVP

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments UPDATED: Jan. 23, 2011, 11:37 p.m.NEW YORK –– With Rob Long on his back for all 60 yards, Delone Carter hit the A Gap. Finally.Just like Long – Carter’s former roommate and the Syracuse punter who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on Dec. 20 – was all night for Carter’s career-high 198 total yards.‘He came up to me after the game and he said he ran with me on his back,’ said Long, who couldn’t play in his and Carter’s final collegiate game due to recent surgery to remove the cancer.‘I know it didn’t look like it when you rush for 200 yards like that.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor the first time all year Carter hit that A Gap through the SU offensive line. It sent his running backs coach, Tyrone Wheatley, into a euphoric episode. Wheatley’s screams startled SU offensive play-caller Nathaniel Hackett on his headset. It came with 4:50 remaining in SU’s 36-34 Pinstripe Bowl victory and Carter’s collegiate career. With Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park the sole focus through his facemask, Carter carried a friend on his back.He didn’t only carry Long in this game, though. He carried the entire SU team. His career day saw him surpass perhaps the greatest player in football history, Jim Brown, on the all-time SU rushing list. Carter finished his career with 3,104 rushing yards, good enough for third in SU history. He finished his final season with 1,233 yards with his 198-yard effort on the day, earning Pinstripe Bowl MVP honors.He didn’t literally carry Long and the rest of SU, of course. But Carter could sense it. He accepted the duty of playing the role of the bull. And Long provided the inspiration.Carter ran with it.‘It wasn’t just one run, the whole game I ran hard,’ Carter said. ‘And I know Rob wishes he could have been out there. I felt him out there with us.’He could feel Long. Not only on the 60-yard scamper to paydirt which propelled Syracuse to the deciding field goal in the thrilling victory. But also on each of his MVP-garnering 27 carries and two touchdowns, averaging 7.3 yards per touch.The season was a final chance for Carter at redemption after he pled guilty to assaulting a fellow Syracuse student last February. The suspension forced Carter to remove himself from what Hackett described as ‘Carter’s family,’ the SU football team, all summer. But Carter returned stronger, with what Hackett described as a ‘better mind’.The final game at Yankee Stadium was the perfect curtain call for Carter’s second chance. He was the MVP. The hero. The 5-foot-9, 220-pound back from Akron bulldozing Kansas State’s defense. In his last stand he eclipsed Brown’s SU marks, a promise he made in person to Brown five years ago as a high school senior in Ohio. And he was the MVP in front of his mother, April-Carter White, and his little cousin Taliyah, who both made the trek from Akron despite the past week’s horrid weather.Carter’s mother and cousin cherished the opportunity to treasure the MVP trophy with Carter after the game – a trophy Carter’s fellow SU running back Antwon Bailey said had to be Carter’s. There was no other option after a performance of this magnitude. Even if SU wide receiver Marcus Sales hauled in three touchdowns for 172 yards in a breakout performance.‘Not even close,’ Bailey said when asked if Carter warranted the MVP. ‘Marcus had a good game, but when you take in consideration everything, Delone deserves it.’Carter deserved a lot as the main weapon in SU’s season-high 498 total yards of offense. But he also said he felt a lot on this night. Not just the presence and will of Long running as a part of him.There was the feeling of his stepfather, Robert White, and his grandmother, Naomi Carter, watching at home. The feeling of need to call his three-year-old son Caden as soon as he finished speaking with reporters. The feeling of Carter perhaps creeping into the third round of the NFL Draft. Fellow SU senior Derrell Smith said Carter ‘certainly did’ improve his draft stock.Paramount, though, was the feeling of fate, as Carter carried Syracuse to his Promised Land.‘I felt like it was meant to be,’ Carter said. ‘And I went out, and it happened.’aolivero@syr.educenter_img Published on December 30, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

USC blows out UCLA to advance in Pac-12 tournament

first_imgThe No. 7 Trojans defeated the No. 10 Bruins 95-71 on Wednesday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to advance in the Pac-12 tournament.USC finished with a perfect 3-0 record against UCLA this season, the first three-game sweep since the 1941-1942 season.Despite the Bruins’ 96-70 victory over the Trojans just a year ago in the Pac-12 tournament, USC found a way to overcome UCLA thanks to clutch 3-point shooting, strong defensive play, superior rebounding and effective ball distribution.“It was our intensity on defense,” sophomore Jordan McLaughlin said in a post-game interview with the Pac-12 Network. “When we get stops and are able to get in transition … we were able to get easy buckets.”USC was up 14-2 early, opening 4-of-5 from 3-point range. The Bruins closed the lead to just four, but, like the teams’ last two meetings, the small lead would not last for long, as the Men of Troy exploded for 18 points in the last six minutes of the first half, entering halftime with a 48-29 advantage.Junior guard Julian Jacobs was the game’s leading scorer and distributor in the first half, ending the half with 11 points to go along with seven assists, while UCLA’s leading scorer Bryce Alford was held without a field goal in the first half.After 20 minutes of gameplay, freshmen forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu combined for 15 of USC’s 48 points off of 63 percent shooting. Three electrifying dunks from Metu and three deep 3-pointers from Boatwright signaled USC’s control of the first half.Boatwright led the Trojans with 19 points, making 5-of-9 from distance. McLaughlin added 18 points, while junior forward Nikola Jovanovic finished with 16. Metu added 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.“We just wanted to come out and just keep doing what we were doing in those two games [against UCLA],” Metu told the Pac-12 Network. “Coach ran some great plays, and I found a way to drive to the basket.”The Trojans continued to excel in the second half. To start the half, USC extended its lead to 23 points on a free throw by Jovanovic, giving the Trojans a 54-31 advantage.It helped that UCLA sophomore forward Thomas Welsh fouled out with 9:09 left in the game. Before Welsh fouled out, the junior was leading the Bruins with 12 points.Without Welsh’s scoring and rebounding threats, Metu and Boatwright dominated the interior, finishing the contest with a combined 20 rebounds and 29 points.95 points is the most USC has ever scored against UCLA and the Trojans ended the night with seven players with nine points or more.With their historic 24-point win over the Bruins, the Trojans solidified their place in not only the second round of the Pac-12 tournament, but also a likely spot in the subsequent NCAA tournament.The Trojans will go on to face No. 2 Utah in the second round on Thursday night.“Utah’s a really tough team, but we feel we match up really well with them,” Metu said. “We’re just going to watch film and get ready for tomorrow.”The Utes and Trojans are set to tip off at 6:15 p.m.last_img read more

Mixed injury news in Tipp hurling camp

first_imgSeamus Callanan is expected to return to training this week ahead of the Tipperary Senior hurlers’ championship opener against Cork.Speaking at the launch of the Munster GAA championships in Killarney last night manager Michael Ryan is hopeful of a full recovery after the Drum n’Inch clubman missed the league final due to a broken thumb.There are fresh injury concern over Bonner Maher after he pulled a hamstring injury during club action at the weekend and Ryan says he’s seen the physio but the extent of his injury won’t be known for the next 24/48 hours. Niall O’ Meara is also a doubt with back strain Meanwhile Tipperary captain Paudie Maher says the Premier will be out to rectify the result of the league final when they take on Cork in a fortnightlast_img read more