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Gov. Wolf Vetoes Unnecessary Bill, Provisions Would Risk Spreading COVID-19

first_imgGov. Wolf Vetoes Unnecessary Bill, Provisions Would Risk Spreading COVID-19 September 21, 2020 Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf today vetoed House Bill 2787, which would have mandated that school fall activities be under the sole jurisdiction of local school districts. This bill is superfluous given that local school governing bodies already have authority but it restricts state and local officials’ ability to respond to health concerns and potential outbreaks as we enter this year’s particularly risky flu season.The bill would have done nothing more than create legislation for something that already exists. Instead of drafting bills such as this the legislature should be focused on bills that protect the health and safety of our children in their learning environments, minimize exposure to COVID-19 and prevent the spread of this deadly virus.Gov. Wolf’s HB 2787 veto message:“We have been confronting extraordinary challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we need to continue to prioritize the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians and minimize public health risks. However, this bill does nothing to promote public health or ensure that our children have a safe learning environment. As we reopen our schools, we need to continue to be vigilant and take precautions to keep ourselves, our communities, and our children healthy. These mitigation efforts not only help keep our children, teachers, and staff healthy, they also help keep our schools open.“This bill is entirely unnecessary. While I recommended against holding school sports before January 2021, it was a recommendation and neither an order nor a mandate. Local school governing bodies have maintained the authority to decide how extracurricular activities, including school sports, proceed at the local level. Furthermore, to the extent COVID-19 cases may rise and spread during the fall and through the upcoming cold and flu season, the Department of Health must maintain the critical authority to limit exposure to COVID-19. Minimizing this exposure is paramount.“This bill also has constitutional infirmities as it attempts to take away executive authority during the 2020-2021 school year. Instead of unnecessary legislation, we need to focus on providing schools the tools and resources they need to be successful in educating our children and we need to help people impacted by the pandemic with legislation such as funding for small businesses and child care, and paid sick leave for employees.”center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

UK travel firm TUI adds to Dutch closure with PIE, shift to DC

first_imgIn the UK, the company’s three DB schemes – which were acquired through takeovers – began offering pensioner members a pension increase exchange.The incentive exercise, which is strictly controlled by a mandatory industry-led code of conduct, see retiring members receive a higher starting pension, in exchange for no, or limited, increase in the payable pension.TUI schemes will now only offer statutory increases to members that opted for the increase, which reduced liabilities by £33m.In a statement, the company said: “The level of acceptances reduced the present value of future pension liabilities. The credit is taken to the income statement under IAS 19 (revised), as it represents a change in plan benefits.”TUI and its schemes had previously taken measures to plug the deficit among its three funds by holding its sponsor’s brand names as collateral value.In an innovative arrangement in 2011, the scheme was the first in the UK to hold intangible assets as collateral over its sponsor aimed at deficit reduction.At the time, the scheme had deficit of more than £400m, but used the Thomson and First Choice travel brands to generate an annual £33m payment into scheme via royalties. TUI Leisure has continued its push to de-risk its European pension schemes by conducting a pension increase exchange in the UK, and closing its defined benefit (DB) offering in Norway.The UK-based leisure company, with operations across Europe, had previously closed its DB scheme in the Netherlands.It was replaced by a defined contribution (DC) vehicle and reduced balance sheet liabilities by £14m (€17m).It has now confirmed the closure of its Norwegian DB offering, adding another £4m in saved liabilities, and a replacement DC offering.last_img read more

Varma retains top spot in Finland as Ilmarinen-Etera merger nears

first_imgVarma and Ilmarinen, the two largest pension insurance companies in Finland, are almost neck-and-neck in terms of assets under management following the latter firm’s acquisition of Etera, third-quarter results have shown.Ilmarinen is to merge with the smaller pensions insurer Etera at the beginning of next year, in a move which is closing the gap between the two earnings-related pension giants.At the end of September, Varma reported its investment portfolio had reached a market value of €45.4bn, while Ilmarinen revealed its assets had grown to €38.9bn.Interim figures released by Etera, meanwhile, showed its investments were worth €6.3bn at the end of the third quarter reporting period. This means the combined assets of Ilmarinen and Etera were €45.2bn – just €200m less than Varma’s total pot.In the third-quarter results, Varma reported an investment return of 6.2% between January and September – gaining €2.7bn – up from 3.1% in the same period in 2016.Meanwhile, Ilmarinen generated a return of 5.5% on its investments. Etera reported a 4.4% return on its investment portfolio, up from 3.6% in the same period last year.Varma said in its interim report that it had done well in the latest round of account transfers between earnings-related pension companies, concluded at the end of September.According to the statistics of the Finnish Pension Alliance TELA, the contributions to be transferred to Varma totalled €48m.The figures published by TELA showed that Ilmarinen and Etera both suffered net transfers out in the period, of €17.5m and €15.5m respectively.Risto Murto, Varma’s president and chief executive, said: “Varma’s financial situation has further improved this year. Our solvency and investment assets are at a record high level.”He said the successful transfer round had supported an increase in premium income, amounting to €200m in the past five years.However, Ilmarinen said its customer acquisition had been “excellent” in the third quarter of this year.“Measured in premiums written, net customer acquisition was €96m since the beginning of the year,” the company said.last_img read more

SeaBird, MCG join forces for multi-client 2D campaign

first_imgOslo-listed SeaBird Exploration has signed a partnership agreement with Norway’s MultiClient Geophysical (MCG) to conduct a 6,000km multi-client 2D Deep Imaging Campaign on the Norwegian continental shelf, including cross-border lines to UK continental shelf.Harrier Explorer; Source: SeaBirdSeaBird informed on Monday that the acquiring vessel will tow a single 12,000-meter streamer with a powerful source, to image the oceanic and continental crust, for new conceptual geological understanding and improved interpretation of large-scale tectonics.For this survey, which is estimated to have a duration of approximately two months, the Harrier Explorer vessel will be used. With this, Seabird has three vessels booked for most of the third quarter.This leads to an enhanced understanding of the regional geology and may reveal new play models, the company explained.According to SeaBird, the survey is cash neutral through pre-funding and cost recovery. SeaBird will be entitled to 50% of all future revenue stemming from sales of the acquired data.last_img read more

Orola quits as Bacolod city administrator

first_imgMayor Evelio Leonardia accepted Orola’s resignationletter in the presence of the members of the media. Leonardia meanwhile said he haverequested Orola to serve as the city consultant for trade industry,tourism and other field of special concerns. “I strongly feel that I will be able togive more of myself to the city, if I focus and devote my time helping you andyour administration in the areas of tourism, housing investments, jobgeneration and other special concerns of the Mayor in my private capacity,” headded. Orola, for his part, said his job as theCity Administrator has been very fulfilling. BACOLOD City – City Administrator and lawyerJohn Orola has resigned from his post city effective yesterday.   Leonardia appointed former city councilorEm Ang to assume Orola’s post effective today. “We feel that his expertise and experiencein this field can still be of great value in this administration, and we areworking to process his appointment,” the mayor added./PNlast_img read more

First Lady commends role of community health workers in combating COVID-19

first_imgFirst Lady Margaret Kenyatta has commended community health workers for the frontline role they play in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.The First Lady pointed out that community education on health matters can save lives and it is critical especially at this time of the Coronavirus crisis.“I applaud your selfless commitment to your work and your courage and compassion for people and for the community. I acknowledge the sacrifice you give of your time towards the demanding role of being community health workers,” the First Lady told community health volunteers. The First Lady was speaking today when she presided over the virtual graduation of the first cohort of the 5100 community health volunteers who have completed a one-month training on COVID-19 response sponsored by the Beyond Zero initiative at a cost of Kshs 4.5 million.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153 The community health volunteers training curriculum developed by the Ministry of Health was delivered virtually by the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) through a digital learning platform called “Leap mhealth”.Also Read  Women leaders welcome CJ’s decision to dissolve ParliamentThe First Lady expressed optimism that the training the community health volunteers received will ramp up their contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.“Through the COVID-19 curriculum and guide developed by the Ministry of Health, you are now empowered and equipped with knowledge, skills and competence to protect yourselves, your families and the community,” the First Lady told the community health workers.Congratulating the community health volunteers for successfully completing the training, the First Lady assured them of her support.“The work you are doing is for all of us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I just want to say how proud I am with each and every one of you. Please continue with this work because we need you,” she praised the community health volunteers.Also Read  COVID-19: Kenya records 139 new cases, 198 recoveries and 9 fatalitiesFirst Lady Margaret Kenyatta, at the same time, spoke against the stigmatization of individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.She emphasized that those affected by the global pandemic should be offered compassion and comfort instead of discrimination.“We are all affected and we will require all of us to support each other in any way we can to ease the disruption this pandemic has caused to our lives,” the First Lady said.The First Lady noted that the support to families and communities has now become more urgent than ever before given the fact that jobs have been lost and household resources stretched beyond limits.She encouraged all Kenyans to play their part in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by strictly observing the Ministry of health guidelines that include washing hands with soap, wearing masks and social distancing.Also Read  Relief for families as MOH revises Covid-19 burial protocols“We have learnt that more effort will be required from all of us to eliminate the risks that make us more vulnerable, especially amongst the elderly and those facing other multiple health issues like heart disease, diabetes and cancer,” the First Lady said.The First Lady also acknowledged the role and bravery of all frontline health workers in the fight against the pandemic.“You have been actively involved in contributing towards national efforts in tackling health issues facing communities. Your work keeps us safe especially during this pandemic,” the First Lady said.Other speakers included Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director of Health Dr Josephine Kibaru and AMREF Enterprise CEO Caroline Mbindyo.Dr Kibaru and Ms Mbindyo applauded the partnership between Beyond Zero, Nairobi Metropolitan Services and AMREF in training community health workers to help in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus.last_img read more

Bayern Munich Beat Lyon to Set up Final Showdown with PSG

first_imgCHAMPIONS LEAGUEBayern Munich’s relentless march through this season’s Champions League continued last night as they brushed aside Lyon to book an 11th appearance in the final of the competition and a showdown with Paris St-Germain.The German champions have barely had a glove laid on them in Europe this season, with this their 10th straight Champions League win as part of a 28-game unbeaten run stretching back to December. And Lyon simply did not have ability or approach over the 90 minutes to buck that trend.The French side will be left to rue two missed opportunities in the opening quarter, though, with Memphis Depay shooting wide after running clear before Karl Toko Ekambi struck the upright from close range after cutting in from the right.Moments after the latter effort, Serge Gnabry moved infield and fired a stunning opener for Bayern, who never looked back.Gnabry also scored the second, with a much simpler finish, following up to tap in after Anthony Lopes had blocked Robert Lewandowski’s scuffed effort from point-blank range.Ekambi could have made matters interesting had he been able to find a way past Manuel Neuer after being set up by Houssem Aouar, but the chance went begging and Lyon’s belief with it.Philippe Coutinho saw a finish ruled out for offside before Lewandowski had the final word, scoring for the ninth European game on the bounce with a header – his 15th in the competition this season.Bayern’s win ends their run of having lost the previous four Champions League semi-finals in which they had appeared. It also keeps them on course for a treble of trophies in Hansi Flick’s stellar debut campaign as coach.Sunday’s final promises to be a thriller, pitting arguably the best side in world football against one of the planet’s finest forward lines.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Republic of Ireland to find out Euro 2016 fate

first_imgMartin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland are in Pot 4, meaning they could be drawn to face England in the group stages of the tournament.First-time qualifiers Northern Ireland and Wales are in Pot 4 as well.The tournament kicks-off in June of next year.last_img

Strong support for Gillum, Nelson and Shaw among Caribbean-Americans

first_imgSenator Bill NelsonIn the race for US Senate, 69 percent of those polled support  the reelection of Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, 21 percent the election of Republican governor Rick Scott, and 10 percent still undecided.Shaw in front for attorney generalDemocrat Sean Shaw, also an Africa American, is competing against Republican Ashley Moodie to succeed Republican Pam Bondi as Florida’s Attorney General. According to the polls, Shaw  has the support of 64 percent of those polled, with Moodie Receiving 22 percent and 14 percent undecided.An overwhelming 96 percent of those polled said “they are definitely” voting in the general elections. “I have learned the consequences of not voting from the 2016 general elections” said a Haitian-American resident of Miami Shores. “I will be among the first to cast a ballot when early voting commences on October 22,”Boost from Puerto Rico’s governor for Gillum and Nelson Gillum also received a strong boost from another Caribbean source on Monday when Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rossello endorsed him for governor. Rossello also endorsed Nelson to be reelected to the US Senate.Rossello’s endorsement of Gillum is supported by the region’s large Puerto Rican community. “We welcome his endorsement for Gillum,” said Marianna Lopez of West Kendall. “Desantis is supported by Trump, who has basically neglected Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria hit the island last year. We cant trust Desantis.”Lopez, however, is conflicted over Rossello’s endorsement of Nelson. “Scott has been a good supporter of Puerto Rico since the hurricane. He has visited often. But I think I will vote for Nelson as he has been in the Senate for years,”Rossello admitted it was tough deciding whom to endorse for the US Senate race. He told the Orlando Sentinel “I really respect and value Gov. Rick Scott and everything he’s done for Puerto Rico,” but he also said, “I believe in Sen. Bill Nelson.”In endorsing Gillum, Rossello cited Gillum’s support for Puerto Rico’s quest to become a US state. The Caribbean American voting bloc, including English-speaking Caribbean immigrants, Haitians and Puerto Ricans are traditional registered Democrats. However, in past elections, the turn-out of this bloc have not been up to expectation. If, as the CNW poll indicates, the turn-out among Caribbean-Americans is high in the upcoming elections it augers well for Democratic candidates on Florida’s ballot. In a few days Florida voters will begin receiving mail-in ballots for the November 6 general elections, and on October 22 early voting begins in most counties, but several Caribbean American voters have already made up their minds, and are ready to cast their votes.Based on a recently (September 27 to 30) conducted poll on behalf of CNW, there’s evidence of strong support among South Florida Caribbean American voters for the campaigns of Democrats Andrew Gillum for state governor, Bill Nelson’s reelection to the US Senate, and Sean Shaw as the next state attorney general.The survey conducted among 618 registered voters residing in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade Counties indicated 82 percent (507) of these voters have “firmly” made up their minds whom to vote for in state races in the upcoming general elections.Strong lead for GillumIn the race for governor between Democrat Andrew Gillum, and Republican Ron Desantis, 74 percent indicated support for Gillum, 13 percent for Desantis, and 13 percent undecided.Although Gillum is African American, who could become Florida’s first black governor, only 23 percent of those who indicated support for Gillum admitted they are supporting him because of his race. Rather, the majority (55 percent) said they are voting for Gillum because he has put forward arguments that supports their social and economic concerns. “My entire household, and several other friends and relatives, supports Gillum because he seems to understand the basic need of the majority of the people. I like that he wants to increase minimum wage, improve healthcare with a comprehensive plan, and improve education and the safety of our students,” said a Caribbean American in Boca Raton.On the other hand, among those supporting Desantis, one Miramar voter believes Gillum’s proposals are “Unrealistic pipe dreams. If he’s elected his policies will mean higher taxes for Floridians.”last_img read more