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Low interest rates drive Dutch schemes’ funding to drop by up to 3.7%

first_imgA drop in January’s interest rates in the Netherlands has lead to a fall of up to 3.7% in the country’s large pension schemes’ funding ratios.The €465bn civil service scheme ABP and the €238bn healthcare pension fund PFZW reported a fall of 3.7% to 94.1% and a 3.5% decrease to 95.7%, respectively.Both PMT and PME, the large pension funds for the metal sector, posted a drop of 2.5%.The €29bn multi-sector scheme PGB said its coverage ratio had decreased by 3.6%, but still stood at 101.8% at the end of last month. Investment consultancies Aon and Mercer had estimated that the funding ratio of Dutch pension funds had dropped between 2-3% on average.The firms attributed the drop largely to market volatility as a consequence of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. However, they also cited shriking equity markets.In January, the 30-year swap rate – the main criterion for discounting liabilities – dropped to 33bps from 60.The fact that large schemes had been hit harder than estimated has been caused by their lower than average interest hedge levels.Whereas the consultancies based their calculations on an imaginary “average pension fund” with a 50% interest cover, ABP and PFZW for example, had hedged no more than 21% and 30% of the interest risk on their liabilities, respectively.As part of their dynamic hedging policy aimed at benefiting from rising rates, some pension funds had even reduced their cover last year following plummeting interest rates.By contrast, PMT (€86bn) and PME (€50bn) had a higher hedging level, with PME sticking to its existing 40%, while PMT increased its interest cover to 45% from 40%.At the end of January, the funding ratio of the metal schemes stood at 96.4% for PMT and 96.2% for PME.Interest rate levels haven’t shown any sign of improvement so far this month, with the 30-year swap rate standing at 0.34% on 16 February.last_img read more

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House sells at auction after FaceTime

first_imgThe house sold to interstate buyers.RE/MAX United Vision agent Tracey Ashley said she had received a call from the couple last week, as they had been inspecting property in Brisbane the previous weekend but had not had the chance to visit the Winstanley St address.“When (the bidder) called me last week saying they wanted to bid at auction I said, ‘I can FaceTime you,’” Ms Ashley said.“Rather than send her a video, I could walk her through the property, and she could request to open up the wardrobes, the oven and even the dishwasher.” The house at 309 Winstanley St, Carindale, sold after a bidder viewed it on FaceTime.An interstate buyer bought a Brisbane property at auction yesterday after only inspecting it over FaceTime.The phone-bidders, a couple from Sydney, outbid two other parties for the title of the 309 Winstanley St, Carindale, despite having never set foot in the property. The property sold for $650,000.Bidding for 309 Winstanley St kicked off at $600,000, and moved swiftly in $10,000 bids, before selling under the hammer for $650,000.According to CoreLogic Data, the three bedroom, one bathroom house last changed hands in 2010 for $505,000, but it had undergone a renovation since.Ms Ashley said the buyer had been drawn to the location, being close to the Gateway Motorway and Westfield Carindale, as well as having walking tracks next to the house.However, Ms Ashley also credited her sidekick Tiffany — an eight-year-old Shih tzu cross cavalier King Charles spaniel — for the sale of the property. Shih Tzu x Cavalier King Charles spaniel is the key to selling properties.Tiffany features in pictures of all properties marketed by Ms Ashley, and has done so for five years.“The buyer (of 309 Winstanley St) said she was the reason we bought the house,” Ms Ashley said.“People come to inspections just to see her (and) she has sold 100 per cent of homes that she has been in the pictures for.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:44Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:44 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow to bid at auction for your dream home? 01:45 They had never set foot in the property.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoMs Ashley said it was not the first time she had sold a property by using FaceTime.“I had a unit at Albion (for sale) last year and the buyer really wanted to see it,” she said.“So I FaceTimed her, for the first inspection, the building and pest inspection, and the settlement, so I could open cupboards and wipe my hand over the shelves to show her nothing was dirty.“She came up about a month after settlement and she said it was exactly what she thought it would be.”last_img read more

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John Roughan: Abortion – a topic giving the PM nightmares

first_imgNZ Herald 15 July 2019Family First Comment: “This is a subject that could put the Government’s survival at risk.”Correct. Sign our petition @ www.chooselife.nzAbortion is one of those subjects on which a wise man keeps quiet. I wish I was wise. We don’t have equal rights on this one. Women carry the load and their wishes should prevail.When a problematic pregnancy occurs, in my experience women discuss it in delicate language and only to the extent necessary.Nobody really wants to talk about abortion. Nobody, it seems to me, except a few gender warriors who want to fight another battle in a war they have already won.I think they will be giving Jacinda Ardern nightmares. I wonder if she is regretting her endorsement of their call to remove abortion from the Crimes Act. Now it is on the Government’s agenda though not exactly an urgent item.Justice Minister Andrew Little got a report from the Law Commission nine months ago giving him decriminalisation options.Last week he said he expects to make an announcement soon. He said the same in May.I’d be surprised if either Labour or NZ First will be keen to proceed. This is a subject that could put the Government’s survival at risk. If any single issue is capable of creating a new political party – a potential coalition partner for National – I think it is abortion.https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12249041 (behind a paywall)last_img read more

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Ken Orr: End of Life Choice Act legalising euthanasia is a licence to kill

first_imgNZ Herald 15 September 2020Family First Comment: A well summed up argument by Ken Orr“This Act would exacerbate elder abuse, which is difficult to detect and which is already rampant. The reality is that some individuals or families do not always have the best interests of their parents and others at heart. This Act does not protect vulnerable New Zealanders from being manipulated or pressured into requesting euthanasia. Through subtle pressures, difficult to detect, the right to die will become a duty to die.”Protect.org.nzAn article by Matt Vickers promoting the End of Life Choice Act (NZ Herald, September 4) attempts to denigrate those who understand the threat that this Act represents to the vulnerable in our community.Totally ignored in his article is that the majority of our medical professionals oppose it, including; The New Zealand Medical Association, the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, and Hospice NZ.For the most part, Vickers resorted to ad hominem attacks, peripheral to the real issue, and on the points where he talks about the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide, he fails to address any of the real concerns many have expressed.The EOLC Act is dangerous in that it seeks to establish two principles. The first is that Parliament has the authority to decide who may be killed and the second that doctors have the right to kill their patients.This Act coming into force would represent an unprecedented change to the current total prohibition against taking the life of another innocent human being. Our current statutes, established by the 1961 Crimes Act, are there to protect the vulnerable in our society and are foundational to our laws and the practice of medicine. We change these statues at our peril.This Act has many significant flaws, not addressed during its passage through Parliament. These include that no independent witnesses are required at any stage of the process; there is no requirement for a person to be mentally competent at the time of the lethal dose; there is no cooling-off period before the lethal dose. Unlike other countries, which have a significant safety time-frame, this Act means the patient can be dead 48 hours after a prescription is written.Richard McLeod, the spokesperson for a group of 200 lawyers has this to say. “It gives the illusion of choice and that while there will be choice for the powerful and the privileged, it is not the same for the poor, the weak, the defenceless and the vulnerable.”– Ken Orr is the spokesperson for Right to Life NZ.READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12364691last_img read more

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Japanese PM Abe cancels India visit amid Assam unrest

first_imgPeople stand next to vehicles that were set ablaze by demonstrators during a protest on Thursday, after the parliament passed a Citizenship Amendment Bill, in Guwahati, India on Dec. 13. REUTERS/ANUWAR HAZARIKA Modi had planned to host Abe in Assambeginning Sunday as part of a campaign to move high-profile diplomatic eventsoutside Delhi to showcase India’s diversity.(Reuters) NEW DELHI – Japanese Prime MinisterShinzo Abe canceled a visit to India, the Indian foreign ministry said onFriday, amid tensions in a northeast region where he was due to hold summittalks with counterpart Narendra Modi. Two people were killed in Assam stateon Thursday in a protest against new citizenship rules signed into law onThursday. The new law lays out a path of Indiancitizenship for six minority religious groups from neighboring Bangladesh,Pakistan and Afghanistan, which protesters in Assam said would convertthousands of illegal immigrants into legal residents.last_img read more

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Traffic Discipline Zone: 26 ‘jeepney stops’ along Diversion Road mulled

first_img“We want to demonstrate that here inIloilo City we follow traffic rules and regulations,” said Treñas. The mayor wanted the Sen. BenignoAquino Jr. Avenue to be a showcase of transport and pedestrian discipline. According to Engineer SalvadorPedregosa, officer-in-charge of the City Engineer’s Office, the waiting shedswould be built within this year. “Mayor Treñas already directed thePublic Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) to identify thelocations,” said Pedregosa. “We need jeepney passengers to orderlyline up for a ride,” said Treñas.  “The apprehension of undisciplineddrivers and pedestrians would start after the three-day information drive,”said Treñas. The plan is part of the TrafficDiscipline Zone being piloted on the avenue and launched on Jan. 17. PSTMO is augmented by personnel fromthe Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).center_img During the launching of the TrafficDiscipline Zone, Treñas announced that for three days beginning with thelaunch, the PSTMO would be conducting a massive information drive on what theTraffic Discipline Zone is all about – the strict enforcement of all trafficrules and regulations, both local and national. PSTMO chief Jeck Conlu said his officehas five speed guns to catch overspeeding vehicles, another one from the LTO,and five breath analyzers to detect if drivers have too much alcohol intake. The sheds will serve as jeepney stops– points where jeepneys can pick up and unload passengers, said Mayor JerryTreñas. ILOILO City – The city governmentplans to build 26 waiting sheds along the 14-kilometer Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.Avenue (Diversion Road) in Mandurriao District. He lamented that as the city progressed,the traffic situation was becoming unmanageable primarily because drivers andpedestrians were disobeying traffic laws. These included the speed limitordinance, the ordinance against modified mufflers, points where to load andunload passengers, the law on the use of helmets and other body protectivegears by motorcycle riders and the maximum number of back riders allowed, thelaw on the use of seatbelts, the law on the non-use of cellphones while drivingand clearing of windshields from gadgets that directly distract the driver’sline of sight, among others. After the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.Avenue, next to be made a “traffic discipline zone” is McArthur Drive fromBarangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro district to Barangay Balantang./PNlast_img read more

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Puppies-Lost

first_imgWe are looking for our puppies, Tucker-White Male and Nellie- Black Female w very thin white strip going down chest and white tips on paws.They went missing yesterday (5/2). They were home at 1030a but gone by 3p. Mollie (Jack Russell) came back early evening from the woods. They look like Lab puppies but are Mutts. We are on North Delaware Road, Batesville. Late last night, we were told that they had been picked up by somebody. Someone saw them on 129 near 1100 N in Batesville, IN after 3 pm matching my description of all 3 and the people had the pups. They did not have collars on. It would have been hard to catch Mollie but she came back early evening. If anyone sees/hears of someone having them, please let me know so I can reach out.My phone number is 363-3763 if anyone sees/hears anything. Call or text. Day or night. Thanks!!last_img read more

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Poyet: Now build on derby win

first_img Press Association He said: “We always talk about confidence – there is no more confidence you can get than beating your biggest rivals in the last minute. If somebody thinks differently, they have never played football, never played a derby. “Now next week, there are no excuses. Confidence should be high, so we are able to create chances against Hull. We need to put the ball in the net. That’s the good thing, no excuses. These are the games I really like.” Even if Johnson had not snatched the points at the death, Sunderland would have made the short trip back to Wearside with plenty of positives to take after enjoying the better of a game in which they had passed up a series of earlier chances. But had it not been for the excellence of keeper Costel Pantilimon, they might have been trailing with the Romanian keeping out goal-bound efforts from Ayoze Perez and Moussa Sissoko. However, Johnson, who Poyet later revealed was on the verge of being replaced with nine minutes remaining, popped up at the death to convert substitute Will Buckley’s lay-off from close range to spark mass celebrations in the away dug-out and among the travelling fans. The Uruguayan said: “If you ask me right now – it’s difficult for me because of the feelings I have got – if it’s better to win 3-0 or to win a game scoring in the last minute, I don’t know which one to pick.” For opposite number Alan Pardew, the emotions were strikingly different as he surveyed a third successive defeat inside a nine-day period which has dispelled much of the optimism which had been fostered during an improved run of form. Pardew said: “Today was a key game because the two fixtures we had, Arsenal and Spurs, were difficult. But this game now compounds that and we have to lick our wounds and prepare quickly for Manchester United. “We have a tough run of games – we knew that – over this period, and this was always going to be a critical fixture, so losing it is very disappointing. “We still find ourselves in a healthy place in the league, and the job now it to try to build on that.” Adam Johnson’s 90th-minute strike – his third goal in as many trips to St James’ Park – secured a 1-0 victory over Newcastle, who have now lost four times on the trot to their arch-rivals for the first time. It was just the Black Cats’ third Barclays Premier League win of the campaign and while Poyet was thrilled by it, he is adamant it must be the start of a concerted push up the table as he prepares for Hull’s Boxing Day visit to the Stadium of Light. center_img Gus Poyet has urged his Sunderland players to use their derby success as a platform to belatedly kick-start their season.last_img read more

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Benteke targets return to form

first_img The Aston Villa striker scored just his fourth goal of the season with a last-minute penalty to beat West Brom 2-1 on Tuesday. Benteke missed last year’s World Cup with a ruptured Achilles and has struggled since returning as Villa battle relegation this term. Christian Benteke insists he is ready to show he can return to the top and move on from his World Cup heartbreak. “He speaks with a lot of confidence. He’s a very cool guy. I think, for us, he is the right manager. “I am grateful to Paul Lambert for what he did for me. He brought me over here from Belgium and I had a successful time under him.” Ben Foster had brought down Matt Lowton for Benteke’s penalty, after Saido Berahino looked to have rescued a point following Gabby Agbonlahor’s opener. And the England keeper issued an apology to the Baggies and their fans via Twitter after the game. He wrote: “Sorry to let the lads and fans down tonight, I love you all.” Boss Tony Pulis believes they were unfortunate to lose after creating several chances in the second half. He said: “If you have a look at the chances Craig Dawson should have scored from two yards out, then we got the goal from a corner and then from (James) Morrison’s pass to Brown Ideye – if he had played it earlier Browny would have had a tap-in on the back post. They were most probably the three best chances of the second half. “They had a shot from long range that again Ben has spilled but apart from that I can’t remember then doing too much second half.” And the Belgium international wants to prove he can recapture the form which turned him into one of the Barclays Premier League’s most feared strikers. He said: “People have to remember that being injured was a bad time for me. I missed the World Cup. I wanted to show the world that I am a good player but that’s gone now so I have to move on. Hopefully I will be scoring quite a few more goals now. “Every game I look forward to more and more. I don’t know why it hasn’t gone so well for me. I haven’t changed anything but people have to remember I had a bad injury and it has taken quite some time to get back from that. “I was out for six months so I needed to get some games in to get back to my level. I’m not feeling any effects of the injury now.” Victory was Tim Sherwood’s first win as Villa manager since he replaced Paul Lambert last month. Benteke and Sherwood embraced on the pitch after the final whistle and he believes the ex-Tottenham boss can help revive his form like he did with Emmanuel Adebayor at White Hart Lane last season. “I think the new manager understands my situation. I think he understands that I have to be given more chances and then maybe I will start scoring more goals,” said the 24-year-old. “I saw what he did with Adebayor and maybe it is a similar situation and I hope to do the same. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Shastri to apply for India coaching job

first_imgRAVI Shastri, the former India all-rounder and team director, will apply for the role of the India’s head coach, according to the New Indian Express.“Yes, I have decided to apply for the job,” Shastri told the newspaper from London, while denying reports that he would apply for the role only if he was assured of getting it.The coach’s position has been vacant after Anil Kumble resigned last week, stating his partnership with India captain Virat Kohli had become “untenable”. Kumble’s original one-year contract ended with the Champions Trophy, but he was to continue with the team for the ongoing West Indies tour.In the wake of Kumble’s resignation, who had reapplied for the job in May, the BCCI decided to invite fresh applications for the post to add to the five shortlisted candidates – Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Richard Pybus and Dodda Ganesh.The last date for submissions is July 9. The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee – comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – has been tasked with selecting the team’s coach.Shastri had applied for the role in 2016 too, and was disappointed he had missed out since the team had done well during his tenure as director.Shastri took over as team director in August 2014 and under him, India made it to semi-finals of successive global events – the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World T20, and also climbed to No. 1 on the Test rankings for a period of eight weeks until Australia took over in February 2016.During that period, India also won their first limited-overs bilateral series in Australia, whitewashing the hosts 3-0 in a T20I series. While he worked alongside Duncan Fletcher in the early part of his tenure, Shastri had sole responsibility after the 2015 World Cup.(ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

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