Don’t mention the w-word

first_imgMixed messages for the grim North from the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung. A travel piece on the east coast of England from the Wash upwards is juxtaposed against a special feature on “catastrophe tourism” — holidaying in war-torn regions. Perhaps cycling in Bosnia (not available online) or trekking through Afghanistan are as unbearable as the beaches of Skegness.Better news though is the glowing report the region gets. After making jibes at the “out of order” signs on loos, the petrol stations perennially “out of service” and the caravans clogging up the A4, the writer depicts the North as some sort of tourist’s paradise, a rural idyll:Along this dual carriageway [the A4] … you enjoy an endless line of wooden-fenced fields that mark out the the scenery from Hertfordshire to Cambridgeshire, the names of unheard-of places hidden behind oak trees, intruding rugby posts and road signs. Letchworth, Biggleswade, Sandy, Godmanchester, Ramsey: life here is provincial from here all the way to Newcastle.Then comes a bizarre claim thatScarborough isn’t as posh now as it used to be,as though it was once a competitor with Miami and Dubai. And apparentlyfurther north, small, introspective villages nestle like jewels against the sea: Sandsend, Kettleness, Runswick, Staithes.The Middlesbrough and Sunderland region gets the treatment it deserves (“beauty takes a copious break”), but the picture is overwhelmingly positive. Britain’s expensive and nothing works but it’s still quite quaint, the author concludes.But the glaring omission from the piece is the one factor that would prevent anyone from choosing to spend their holiday in the north of England: the weather. Brits often don’t realise quite how pro-English the Germans have been throughout history (Goethe and Schiller were both raving Anglophiles), and the Germans have always found pathetic England a bit sweet: I once read an article in the same paper by a German who’d lived in south-west London reminiscing about the quaint chaos of Kingston Hospital and the NHS. Maybe the writer’s another closet Anglophile.I apologise for catching the writer out and mentioning the w-word. As Basil Fawlty once said, I think I got away with it.Cherwell 24 is not responsible for the content of external linkslast_img read more

Massapequa Preserve Homicide Victim Identified as Valley Stream Man

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Julio Cesar Gonzales-Espantzay, 19, of Valley Stream was identified as the homicide victim whose body was found in Massapequa Preserve last month, Nassau County police said.The victim’s body was discovered near Seaview Avenue and Ocean Avenue in Massapequa Preserve on March 23.Police have ruled his death a homicide and released a sketch, which the department distributed with the hope that someone could identify him.His body was taken to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s office to help determine a cause of death.Police did not release any other details on Wednesday.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.last_img read more

€11bn Dutch medical consultant scheme not keen on system reform

first_img“But of course, we will keep on adjusting to a changing environment,” said Jeroen Steenvoorden, SPMS’s director. “We will base our assessment of new arrangements on the ultimate details.”In order to increase the sustainability of its existing pension plan, the medical consultants’ scheme has decided to raise its annual contribution of €28,380 by up to 6% while reducing the accrual by 5.1%. It said this would enable its participants to keep on retiring at 65.Equity overweighting, currency hedge hitsSPMS made a loss of 1.7% on its investments last year, and attributed this in particular to badly performing equities as well as the negative contribution of its currency hedge.It explained that the 7.4% loss on equities had been boosted by its tactical overweighting of almost three percentage points at the end of September.Steenvoorden said that the overweighting of equity had been reduced to 0.4% this May, when its equity portfolio comprised 26.9% of its assets.As a result of its full hedge of the dollar, sterling, and the yen, SPMS lost 4.2% on its currency cover, in particular due to the strong appreciation of the dollar relative to the euro in 2018. In the previous year, the hedge had generated a profit of 5.5%.Also as a consequence of currency losses, the return of both real estate and hedge funds did not exceed 0.5%, according to the pension fund.Its 58% fixed income holdings generated 3%. Dutch and German government bonds were the best performing investments, gaining 6.2%.The pension fund’s infrastructure loans produced 3.5%, said SPMS, adding that it aimed to extend its holdings from 4% to 5%.Thanks to a 78% cover, the pension fund gained almost 5% on the interest hedge of its liabilities, due to the falling interest rates.SPMS noted that the interest hedge had even generated a 1% outperformance, as the interest rates on Dutch and German government bonds had dropped faster than the swap rates.Steenvoorden attributed a 14% drop in asset management costs, to 0.43%, to lower performance fees.“Last year’s return fell 94 bps short of the benchmark, whereas the outperformance in 2017 was 105 bps,” he explained.SPMS reported administration costs of €434 per member and transaction costs of 0.21%. The scheme has 8,230 active members, 1,745 deferred members and 7,160 pensioners.At the end of last May, its funding stood at 125%. SPMS, the €11bn occupational pension fund for self-employed medical consultants, is not desperate for a new pensions contract as part of the reform of the Dutch pensions system, it has said.In its annual report for 2018, it said that “the ideal pensions contract doesn’t exist” and that, with its fixed inflation compensation of 3%, it already had “excellent pension arrangements”.In its opinion, replacing average accrual with an age-related degressive one would also not be an improvement, as it considered its fixed indexation already as a form of degressive accrual.The pension fund said that it would therefore like the option of continuing its existing pension plan alongside any new arrangements. last_img read more

Ronald Koeman keeps Southampton criticism behind closed doors

first_img The Dutchman faces predecessor Mauricio Pochettino on Saturday, when Tottenham visit a Saints side without a win in five matches. Koeman is wary of his side slipping towards the Barclays Premier League relegation battle, but has remained a consistently calm presence despite their declining form. And, in the same week in which Chelsea parted company with the decorated Jose Mourinho soon after he accused his team of “betrayal”, Koeman spoke of the importance of keeping his criticism private. “I always protect my players on the outside but on the inside I am very critical of my players,” the Southampton boss said. “My job is if I am unhappy at the performance of a player I tell the player and show the player the clips why. “Everyone in this club knows their position and knows his quality and knows what the manager expects. “It is all about being honest. Outside, I always try to protect my players.” Koeman used a more defensive shape in last week’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, but is expected to play a more familiar starting XI against Spurs, with striker Graziano Pelle fully fit after a knock. “The main reason was the way Crystal Palace played,” the Dutchman said. “You can change maybe and it’s true, but I expect more from our front players and the performance but also about being more clinical and to score more goals. That is the pressure for them. “If we are still struggling in the next couple of weeks I think it is normal to think about changes to the team. “They are close to winning the game and getting more out of the game, but it is more difficult.” Press Associationcenter_img Ronald Koeman has stressed the importance of keeping criticism behind closed doors, despite Southampton’s recent poor form. last_img read more

Taekwondo Grandmaster Storms Nigeria

first_imgThe great athlete in an interview last week sees the visit as an opportunity to re-engineer the sport in the country.A bigger reception is being planned for the Great Grandmaster by the Nigeria Taekwondo family that invited him on Saturday April, 15th 2017.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Almost all the Grandmasters of Taekwondo in Nigeria converged at the National Stadium, Lagos from today to welcome and officially receive the originator of Taekwondo in Nigeria Great Grandmaster Aikpa Aime from Côte d’ Ivoire.They include, Grandmaster Dominic Bassey, GM Koffi Anam, GM Nasiru Bello, GM Tony Alakija, GM George Ope GM Akinola GM Tayo Popoola (the only prominent woman Taekwondo Grandmaster in Nigeria), Dr. Fergusan Oluigbo, Tayo Max Adewolure, Uzoama Onwuchekwa, the President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College, Yemi Adeyemi and Pastor Collins among others.Among the athletes brought up by the Great Grandmaster in the last 40 years are Dominic Bassey, Koffi Anani and Nasiru Bello, the 72 years old Great, Grandmaster of Taekwondo who introduced Taekwondo sports in Nigeria in 1974 with only 12 athletes, said he was indeed excited coming back to Nigeria.last_img read more

Koala rescued from Australian brushfire in viral video dies

first_imgWarning: Explicit VideoThe Koala, who received attention worldwide after a video emerged of a woman rescuing him from an Australia bushfire, has died.In recent weeks, deadly bushfires have spread throughout eastern Australia.Wildlife officials estimated the blazes had killed hundreds of koalas in the New South Wales state alone.On Nov. 20, a video of a woman walking into a bushfire to save a severely burnt koala went viral.The Koala, named Ellenborough Lewis, was found on a road before it was given water and wrapped in a blanket and then taken to the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for treatment.The animal was being treated for severe burns to his feet, chest and stomach.However, the hospital confirmed Tuesday that it decided to put Lewis to sleep because his burns were not going to get better.“We placed him under general anesthesia this morning to assess his burn injuries and change the bandages,” the hospital said in a post on Facebook.“We recently posted that ‘burn injuries can get worse before they get better,’ but in Ellenborough Lewis’s case, the burns did get worse, and unfortunately would not have gotten better,” the Facebook post added. “The Koala Hospital’s number one goal is animal welfare, so it was on those grounds that this decision was made.”Before his death, Lewis the Koala was reunited with his rescuer, Toni Doherty, who said it was her “natural instinct” to save the Koala from the fire.The Koala Hospital Port Macquarie is still working to save the lives of many animals affected by the fire.Click here to visit their Facebook page for more information.last_img read more

Get Ready for the Big Game with Super Clematis By Night!

first_imgGet the family charged up for the big game at the official Palm Beach County Miami Super Bowl celebration event on Thursday, January 30 from 6 – 9 p.m. in Downtown West Palm Beach at the Waterfront. Super Clematis by Night will include a variety of free entertainment and activities for people of all ages.The event will be held on the Waterfront at 101 N. Clematis Street from 6 – 9 p.m. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite football jerseys and team colors in anticipation of one of the biggest nights in American sports.The special-edition of the popular free weekly concert series will focus on Super Bowl LIV! The celebration includes themed football activities, a turf playing field, marching bands, bouncy obstacle courses, NFL players and mascots, giveaways, and more. Musical group Smash Mouth is slated to perform at the party.The City of West Palm Beach will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to formally recognize the re-opening of the 100 block. The ribbon cutting will take place at on January 30 at 5:30 p.m. on South Clematis Street.“We are thrilled that the Super Bowl Host Committee has selected Clematis by Night as the venue for its largest Palm Beach County event,” said City of West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “As the NFL celebrates its 100th season and we celebrate the 125th anniversary of our City, I can think of no better way to mark these milestones. We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to the West Palm Beach Waterfront in advance of the big game.”Super Bowl LIV is scheduled to be played on February 2, 2020 and will air on WFLX FOX 29. This will be the sixth Super Bowl hosted in Miami Gardens, and the first since Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.For more information about Super Clematis by Night, or the City of West Palm Beach’s other free community events, visit www.wpb.org/events.last_img read more

Rotchford OT Goal Sends RFH to First Dowd Cup Final

first_imgBy Brian DeakyneRED BANK — In the midst of the madness around them, Rumson-Fair Haven forwards Hunter Rotchford and Brian Robinson didn’t take note at who scored the game-winning overtime goal.“I was hacking and hacking at it and eventually it went in,” Rotchford said. “Robinson said he hit it in, I said I hit it in, I really don’t know who got the better piece of it.”The goal, which was credited to Rotchford, came with 3:45 remaining in overtime to lift the second-seeded Bulldogs to their first Dowd Cup final in school history, topping Red Bank Regional, 3-2 Wednesday afternoon in the semi-finals of the Dowd Cup.RFH scored a short-handed goal in the early stages of the second period, and a goal late in the period to take a 2-1 lead over sixth-seeded Red Bank Regional, but the Bucs’ came back in the third period, sending the teams to overtime.Rotchford’s goal was the only shot registered on RBR goalie Charlie Fox, who finished with 36 saves on the game.“Charlie’s a great goalie. He never lets the first one in,” Rotchford said.Rotchford took a pass from Robinson, short-handed, and after being stopped by Fox, he slipped in his own rebound inside the right post, drawing even with the Bucs with 8:44 remaining in the second period.“Brian made a nice pass to me and I was able to finish,” Rotchford said.Gary Cali fed Robinson later in the period, who was left alone in the slot, and he lifted the puck top-shelf, giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the game.“They [Red Bank Regional] were coming off a good win against St. Rose and we knew it was going to be a tight battle,” Rumson-Fair Haven coach Chris McCafferty said. “They kept coming. They fought, they stuck with their gameplan it was a good game and well-matched.”The Bucs took the early lead when Sam Marascio blasted a power play goal past Bulldogs’ goalie Dominic Padula with 4:21 left in the first period. Joe Franco looked to squeak a puck into the net from the side, and the rebound kicked out to Marascio, who put it away.Padula stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced, but Fox faced much more pressure on the other end of the ice throughout the game.“I told Charlie that, for the past four years, it’s been nice to know that we’ve had the better goalie every single night,” Red Bank Regional head coach Tim Hall said.Josh Saboyu tied the game at two with 8:22 left in the game, grabbing possession of the loose puck in front of the net, and beating Padula to his right.“I told the boys in the locker room that tonight is who we are,” Hall said. “It’s been a challenge for us to play up to our potential. RBR has traditionally not had a hockey culture, but we are building on next year.”After a back-and-forth minute of play in overtime, Rotchford put home a net-mouth scramble after Fox appeared close to covering it.“I was told that he didn’t have a solid glove on it, and the puck was constantly loose, so it couldn’t be whistled dead, and that’s fine with me,” Hall said.Red Bank Regional converted on their opening power play, but couldn’t capitalize on their following three.The Bulldogs didn’t have a single power play for the second game in a row.Charlie Fox of RBR making one of his 36 saves against RFH in the Dowd Cup Semifinal WednesdayRotchford nearly added a second short-handed goal, on the same penalty kill, in the second period, but Fox turned away his breakaway attempt.Saboyu had a breakaway attempt of his own, six minutes into the game, but he was stopped by Padula.“Dominic has had the nickname “The Dominator” since he was 8 years old, and that’s because he makes the big saves when he has to,” McCafferty said.The Bulldogs will take on fifth-seeded Marlboro in the Dowd Cup final on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Red Bank Armory. RFH will be looking for their first ever Dowd Cup championship and Marlboro will be hoping to repeat from last year’s championship.last_img read more

Let Nitish Kumar make way for BJP CM, says Sanjay Paswan

first_imgSenior Bihar BJP leader and party MLC Sanjay Paswan on Monday said Nitish Kumar should now step down as chief minister and make way for the BJP.Mr. Paswan said the BJP entrusted him with the CM’s post for 15 long years and now he should reciprocate the gesture.“Yes, Nitish Kumar should now step down from the post of chief minister for BJP…we trusted him for 15-long years and he should now reciprocate the same for the BJP for at least one term”, the BJP leader Sanjay Paswan said. The BJP is a ruling alliance partner of the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) in the State. Mr. Paswan further said that Mr. Kumar “should now do politics at the Centre as people vote for PM Narendra Modi, not for the Nitish model.”Speaking to The Hindu the BJP leader, who was Human Resources Minister for State in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet, said, “When people are supporting the Modi government on all issues like abrogation of Article 370, Ram Mandir and NRC why should Nitish Kumar not relinquish his post for the BJP for one term in Bihar? The BJP should get a chance for the development of the State with the Modi model.” Sources in the BJP also said that while addressing State BJP leaders recently at the party headquarters in Patna, a senior leader formerly associated with the RSS had said that “the political atmosphere has never been conducive like today for the BJP in Bihar and we should seize it.” Recently, the Bihar in-charge of the BJP Bhupendra Yadav visited the State and also had a closed-door meeting with Mr. Kumar. Party sources said Mr. Yadav apprised party leaders about the BJP’s stand on NRC in Bihar, a Cabinet reshuffle, and asserted that the party would emerge as the single largest party in the State Assembly elections scheduled to be held in October-November 2020.Reacting to Mr. Paswan’s remark, JD(U) leader and party spokesperson Nikhil Mandal said, “Only Nitish Kumar will be the face of the NDA in the next Assembly elections in the State and it has been accepted even by the top BJP leaders.” Party leader and chief spokesperson Sanjay Singh too asked Mr. Paswan, “Where were you during the 2015 Assembly poll when the people of Bihar had voted for Nitish Kumar and not the BJP?…Nitish Kumar will be the Chief Minister as long as the people want.” Days back projecting Mr. Kumar as the CM candidate in the next Assembly polls, JD(U) had released its revised slogan “Kyon kare vichar, jab hain hi Nitish Kumar (Why should we mull over, when there is Nitish Kumar).” Earlier, the slogan was “kyon kare vichar, thike to hain Nitish Kumar (why should we discuss over when it’s okay to have Nitish Kumar) but they revised it when the media raised questions over the word “Thike” (just okay). However, no other senior BJP or JD(U) leader came on record to make any comment on Mr. Paswan’s remarks. But, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Tejashwi Yadav dared Mr. Kumar to “contradict” what BJP leaders are saying. “Is it not true that honourable Nitish Kumar got votes in the name of PM Modi without releasing his party’s manifesto and got 16 of his party leaders elected as MPs on BJP manifesto (in the 2019 LS poll)…Is it not true that he has been supporting the BJP on every Bill?…then how come he is different,” tweeted the RJD leader.last_img read more

2013 Super Trans Tasman Series Announcement

first_imgSeveral years ago TNZ and TFA formed a joint venture under the banner of Trans Tasman Test Series and committed to play Open grades each year and Youth and Masters grades every other year. For the first time all three will fall in the same year. There will be 24 international teams from the two countries delivering an exciting display of Touch at its best in the world to a lucky NZ crowd. The venue will again be at the spectacular Trusts Stadium in Henderson, Auckland and will be run from Tuesday, 5 February to Sunday, 10 February 2013.For more information, please click on the attached media release. Related Filessuper_trans_tasman_2013_media_release-pdflast_img