I’ve lived long enough to remember when “taking a knee” could have meant genuflecting in a profound act of respect before a high altar or the cross, as well as an act of humility and seeking redress from a supreme power. Thus, POTUS 45 could be criticizing a quiet act of religious supplication. To trample the right to pray would be hypocritical, since he ran on a Christian platform with much ballyhoo about his religious convictions. He would do himself and his nation a service to consider that there are other possible interpretations. Some of us hope that stating our goal in public supports its scope. In this vein, I noted and accepted that some professional athletes were “taking a knee” during our National Anthem and patriotic displays. It surprised me to hear our president characterize the act as disrespectful and abhorrent and to make a prolonged public issue of it. I admit to being naïve on football, but no one can be so naïve that they believe that there is, in the United States, “liberty and justice for all” at all times and places. Many of us proudly repeat those words with our hands over our hearts as a hope and a promise and a commitment to the value of a communal goal. We also feel pride and gratitude that the opportunities for liberty and justice are manifold in our lives and in our nation. What I dislike the most is the fact that average Americas are being asked to regard this peaceful and quiet act as unpatriotic or even civil disobedience. This is language perversion and madness promoted by, no surprise, our chief perverter and divider. ScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation BETTY PIEPER Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion
Four of the nine Indonesian citizens who tested positive for COVID-19 in Japan have since recovered, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Tuesday.“Four out of nine positive Indonesians have been declared negative [recovered] and the remaining five are still undergoing treatment in the hospitals and they are in a stable condition,” Retno told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday.The nine Indonesians are crew members of the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship that had been docked in the port of Yokohama, Japan. Sixty-nine of their fellow crew members who tested negative for the disease have been evacuated from the ship and are currently quarantined in Sebaru Island, Thousand Islands regency, Jakarta. Retno said the Foreign Ministry was closely monitoring the well-being of Indonesians in countries that were hardest hit by the virus. “Our focus is on the countries that have had a significant increase of [confirmed] cases […] We are intensively communicating with our missions abroad in Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan [as countries with significant surges in cases],” she said.“Our embassies are also consistently showing support for the [governments] of the affected countries,” Retno added.Read also: Jakarta steps up efforts to tackle COVID-19 following two confirmed casesSeparately, the ministry’s director for citizen protection, Judha Nugraha, said on Wednesday that the recovered Indonesian crew members were still hospitalized to undergo a second test – except for one who has already taken the two tests and had been evacuated along with the other crew members who tested negative.As of Wednesday, real-time data from the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) recorded 93,158 confirmed cases worldwide, with a total death toll of 3,198. South Korea bears the second-highest number of cases, second only to China, with 5,328 confirmed cases. Meanwhile, Italy has 2,502 cases, Iran has 2,336 cases and Japan has 293 cases so far.More than 50,600 people worldwide have recovered from the disease.Topics :
Investors will need to adjust to more frequent periods of market uncertainty, the head of PIMCO’s European operation has warned.Andrew Balls, a deputy CIO at the Allianz Global Investors-owned asset manager, said he believed the recent market uncertainty caused by the tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) was simply a sign of things to come.“We had this [market turbulence] last year around the taper[ing], we had it around emerging markets,” he said at a briefing summing up PIMCO’s longer-term market views. “We think you’re just going to get more bouts of market turbulence – we should get used to it.“This is the natural thing to happen if the market makers aren’t making markets.” Balls noted that the instability would also be triggered by market participants re-thinking their investments, or events such as hedge funds speculating – which was last week believed to be behind an increase in Italian government yields.He added: “Fixed income markets, in a way, look a bit more like equity markets. So, over time, there should be good opportunities for us to absorb risk, when you get these temporary dislocations.”The deputy CIO also predicted the European Central Bank (ECB) would eventually undertake its own QE programme.He said ECB president Mario Draghi had made clear how the bank viewed its role in reacting to immediate liquidity concerns versus inflationary pressures.“If they take the inflation target seriously, it seems there is a pretty good chance they’ll do quantitative easing,” Balls said. “Maybe they’ll try to do it via private sector assets, but that seems pretty impractical, so it’s likely they’d do government bonds.”Balls’s colleague Mike Amey, a managing director and portfolio manager in the firm’s London office, also expressed concerns about the low levels of inflation seen within the euro-zone.“We’ve been stuck at below 1% inflation for some time,” he said. “We think it would drift up over time, particularly if the ECB does QE. But there is real risk of expectations becoming entrenched for lower inflation.”Amey later added that the low inflationary rate would pose a problem if a shock to the euro-zone were to occur.“We think we’ll eventually get back above 1.5, but having the probability of inflation getting stuck at about 1% is non-trivial.”According to the most recent data from Eurostat, euro-zone annual inflation stood at 0.7% in April, an increase from 0.5% in March – both well below the ECB’s stated target of 2%. Amey said: “In terms of the credibility of the [ECB’s inflation] target, respectful of the difficulty of managing a committee, if you take seriously a target of close to 2% inflation, you should be responding if three years out you still have inflation so low.”
SPMS, the €9bn pension fund for medical consultants, has reduced its risk exposure by decreasing its strategic equity portfolio from 34% to 26%, as well as by increasing the interest hedge of its liabilities. In a newsletter to its participants, the pension fund said that an asset-liability management study has shown that it could also achieve its indexation target of at least 3% with less risk.SPMS, which reported a funding level of 123.8% at July-end, said it had replaced its divested equity holdings with government bonds. As a result, its strategic fixed income portfolio increased to 53% of assets.In addition, the scheme’s CIO Marcel Roberts had also raised its interest hedge from 70% to 78%. “As a consequence, interest rates changes can hardly affect the funding ratio, increasing the probability that our participants are to receive the pension they expect,” Roberts said.A reduction in risk by Dutch pension funds is currently quite rare, as many schemes are keen to increase their investment risk to boost returns.According to Roberts, the pension fund’s ample funding was the drivinf factor behind its decision to reduce risk.“Because interest changes are difficult to predict, whereas their impact can be significant, we have opted to increase the interest hedge,” he said.In contrast, many other pension funds have lowered the interest hedge, as they expected that interest rates were more likely to increase.The pension fund posted a 25.3% return over the course of 2014, including 13.1 percentage points attributed to its interest hedge through long-duration swaps.The scheme’s fixed income holdings produced an overall result of 19.4%, with inflation-linked bonds and euro-denominated government bonds yielding 23.2% and 27%, respectively.Emerging market debt delivered no more than 11%, thanks to the depreciation of local currencies relative to the euro, according to SPMS.Equity holdings in the US, Europe and emerging countries generated 25.5%, 7.4% and 10% respectively, it said.The scheme’s 9% hedge funds allocated returned 2.9%.The medical consultants’ scheme said it had introduced real estate debt as a sub asset class within its 10% property portfolio.Jeroen Steenvoorden, the pension fund’s director, said that the new investment – of 1 percentage point of its real estate holdings – was meant to stabilise returns and as a diversifyer.He declined to provide details about expected returns, but indicated that the yield was supposed to match the overall benchmark for its property portfolio of 6.5%.The pension fund for medical consultants said it incurred administration costs of €544 per participant and spent 0.72% on asset management, including 0.16% for transactions.SPMS has more than 8,000 active participants, 1,170 deferred members and 6,590 pensioners.
Image courtesy of GloryholderEPC provider Gloryholder has been awarded the contract to supply LNG fuel gas systems to be installed in four LNG-powered platform supply vessels (PSVs).Gloryholder said on Monday that the contract was signed with Dalian Liaonan Shipyard and the systems would be delivered during 2020.The four PSVs will be built for China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) and will be classified by the China classification society (CCS).The company added that it would be responsible for the development and delivery of the complete LNG systems including engineering and delivery of one type C LNG storage tank with a capacity of 170 cbm with integrated tank connection space, LNG bunkering station modules, water-glycol system, commission, crew training, and on-site services.Liu Guoman, CEO at Gloryholder, said: “With this prestigious order, we enter a new segment within the shipping industry and appreciate the great trust and support received from shipowner and shipyard.“
Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia has admitted this season has been a let-down from a personal point of view. He went on: “But I hope I get the chance to be involved in as many games as possible and if I’m picked I’m determined to grab my opportunities and do my best for my team-mates, the manager and the fans.” A Premier League title winner during his second season at United, Valencia looks like picking up yet another medal in May. It is certainly hard to imagine the Red Devils tossing away their present 15-point advantage over the final nine games, even if Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are still to be faced in the run-in. Skipper Nemanja Vidic has already pointed out how keen United are to reclaim the championship after last season’s agonising last-day drama. It explains why Sir Alex Ferguson put such pressure on Rio Ferdinand to ignore his unexpected England call. And Valencia’s words merely emphasise that stance. “The desire amongst the lads to win the league is huge,” he said. “We really couldn’t be any more determined. We do not want a repeat of last season. Every game is like a cup final for us – we have to fight in every minute of every match. We know it’s in our hands and we have to make sure we make the advantage we have count.” Press Association Valencia won United’s player-of-the-year award last term after some outstanding displays for the Red Devils but has struggled for consistency this time around and has appeared just 21 times in the Barclays Premier League. “It’s not been quite the season I would have hoped for on a personal front,” Valencia told United Review. “The injuries I’ve had have held me back a bit and I still get the odd twinge in my leg. That has perhaps affected my progress slightly.”
TEAM Coco’s Hamza Eastman on Saturday eased past his teammate, Paul DeNobrega to clinch the Banks DIH’s sponsored feature event of the 11-race cycle programmme which was conducted by cycling coach Hassan Mohamed around the inner circuit of the National Park yesterday under the sponsors’ Malta Supreme brand.Eastman, who is currently based in the United States of America where he is training and competing on the US circuit, returned one hour, 21 minutes in winning the 35-lap race and at the same time won seven of the eight prime prizes that were up for grabs. The other prime went to Jamal John who finished third in the event.Paul DeNobrega placed second in a close finish, while Raul Leaul, Briton John and Silvio Iniss finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.After the fifth lap of the event, Eastman took up the front position and was trailed by DeNobrega, Jamal John, Leaul, Briton John and Iniss in that order and it remained the same for almost the entire race until Jamal John broke from the pack to win the fourth prime prize; this was after Eastman had already won the first three prime prizes.The leading pack continued to dominate and was never caught.Prize winners of the various categories of the Malta Supreme cycling programme strike a pose for photographer Delano Williams.After the race, Eastman told Chronicle Sport he did not have much competition since most of the top local riders were not a part of the event, which made it easy for him to win.He said after realizing that there was not any sort of competition, he decided to take a position at the front of the bunch and dominated the event after the sixth lap.Eastman said his immediate intention is to go back to the USA and improve his bar on that country’s circuit.Meanwhile, in other results, Nigel Duguid won the 10-lap race for juveniles in 23 minutes 59.53 seconds ahead of Marcus Keiler and Briton John, respectively.Jonathan Ramsuchit won the three-lap race for boys 12-14 years of age. He was the only competitor.The five-lap race for veterans under 50 years of age was won by Semin Green. Second was Keith Fernandes while Leer Nunes placed third.Ryan Canterbury won the five-lap race for mountain bikers ahead of Shewayne Forde. Jared Barrington was the winner of the BMX boys 6-9 years old two-lap event
Serbia has released the list of â€Žplayers who will be in action when they take on Nigeria in a friendly game later this month in Barnet.Head coach Mladen Krstajic named Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic in the squad released earlier yesterday ahead of the March 27th game.The list consists of three goalkeepers, 10 defenders, nine midfielders and two forwards lead by Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic with Aleksandar Prijovic of PAOK Salonica, the other forward named in the squad. Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic who now plays for Russian side Zenith St. Petersburg tops the list of defenders which also has Dusan Basta of Lazio and Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov, who was once on the books of English Premier League leaders Manchester City.Bar Matic, Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic was also listed alongside the likes of Sergei Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio, Adem Ljajic of Torino and on loan Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic who is with Cardiff City temporarily.SERBIA SQUADGOALKEEPERS: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar);DEFENDERS: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Dusan Basta (Lazio), Nikola Maksimovic (Spartak Moscow), Vujadin Savic (Red Star), Matija Nastasic (Schalke), Dusko Tosic (Besiktas), Milos Veljkovic ), Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma), Ivan Obradovic (Anderlecht)MIDFIELDERS: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Kristal Palas), Sergei Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Mijat Gacinovic (Eintracht), Marko Grujic (Cardiff), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica)FORWARDS: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
A pedestrian was struck in a hit and run accident on the intersection of W. 23rd Street and Portland Street on Tuesday night. He succumbed to his injuries early Wednesday morning, according to police.The victim was identified by LAPD Officer Joseph Cha as 58-year-old Elias Aceves, who lived near the site with his elderly mother. Aceves was crossing northbound at 23rd Street when he was struck by a white sedan headed westbound at approximately 9:10 p.m.. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Officials originally stated that he suffered a fractured femur and a fractured arm, but police later confirmed that the victim died from the injuries.At 9:53 p.m., the Dept. of Public Safety issued a Trojan Alert that said police activity at 23rd Street and Portland Street was underway. Student eyewitnesses reported a backpack, mug and shoes to be found lying in the street at the intersection. According to the LAPD, the man was thrown 70 feet away following the impact. The victim’s shoes were also found on the scene about 20 feet or two bus lengths away from the crossing.LAPD is currently investigating the crime using surveillance cameras to identify the driver of the vehicle that struck the victim.A second Trojan Alert was sent to USC students at 11:17 p.m. stating that police activity in the area was still ongoing.As of 11:30 p.m., 23rd Street from Oak Street to Portland Street still remained closed as the investigation is still taking place. The area was then cleared just before midnight and open to traffic.Joseph Chen contributed to this report.Editors Note:11:57 p.m. This post has been updated to note that the area has reopened for regular operation. 2:20 a.m. This post has been updated to reflect that the hit and run victim died from his injuries.2:29 p.m. This post has been updated to note the identity of the pedestrian.
Lane Kiffin and USC will not only be forced to contend with limited scholarship players stemming from NCAA sanctions next season, but also the departures of current underclassmen to the professional ranks.Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and offensive tackle Tyron Smith, both first-team All-Pac-10 selections, will each forgo their final season of eligibility and declare for April’s NFL Draft, according to reports appearing in multiple media outlets.“We wish Jurrell and Tyron the best as they move on to a professional career and we thank them for their great contributions to the Trojan football program,” said Kiffin in a statement. “We realize there are many factors that go into a player’s decision to leave early or stay in school, and we’ll always support the decision that he and his family make.”The decisions, however, do not come as a major surprise.Casey was projected as an NFL prospect before the season began, and presently, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranks the former Long Beach Poly High standout as the No. 4 defensive tackle among underclassmen. In 2010, Casey recorded 67 tackles, including 41/2 sacks, and was announced Sunday as the Trojans’ most valuable player at the team’s annual awards banquet held at Galen Center.“I think I’m ready to go to the next level and play against the best,” Casey told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times Tuesday.Smith, who is also projected to be selected early in April’s draft, is currently ranked as the No. 5 overall underclassmen offensive tackle prospect according to Kiper.“Seeing great players leave early for the NFL is something we’re very accustomed to at USC and it’s something that will continue to happen in the future,” Kiffin added. “We’ll continue to bring in great players like Jurrell and Tyron who will have opportunities to leave early for the NFL.”For more information on USC athletics, follow Daily Trojan sports on twitter @DT_Sports