Nine Harvard faculty members are among 72 newly elected National Academy of Sciences members and 18 foreign associates chosen in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.The mission of the National Academy of Sciences, a private organization of scientists and engineers, is to further science and its contribution to general welfare. The academy was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls it to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.The nine newly elected members from Harvard are:Porter W. Anderson, senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School (HMS)Michael J. Hopkins, professor of mathematics in the Department of MathematicsWilliam G. Kaelin, investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and HMSGary King, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor in the Department of GovernmentKenneth S. Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics in the Department of EconomicsDonald B. Rubin, John L. Loeb Professor of Statistics in the Department of StatisticsKevin Struhl, David Wesley Gaiser Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at HMSMary C. Waters, M.E. Zuckerman Professor of Sociology in the Department of SociologyDavid A. Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics in the Department of Physics
By Dialogo July 17, 2013 PANAMA CITY, Panama – Panama on July 16 called for United Nations investigators to inspect a shipment of suspected weapons parts found aboard a North Korean-flagged vessel as it tried to enter the Panama Canal last week. Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli tweeted a photo of the contraband haul, which experts have identified as an aging Soviet-built radar control system for surface-to-air missiles. The government said the contraband munitions were hidden underneath thousands of bags of sugar aboard the Chong Chon Gang, which was stopped on suspicion it was transporting narcotics. Officials said if the shipment is indeed determined to contain missile components, it would likely be a violation of tough UN sanctions against North Korea. Panamanian Security Minister José Raúl Mulino told RPC Radio the affair is a matter for UN investigators. “The Security Council will have to send experts,” he said. The United States hailed the Panamanian action. “We stand ready to cooperate with Panama should they request our assistance,” Patrick Ventrell, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said, reiterating that any shipments or “arms or related material” would violate several UN Security Council resolutions. Meantime, authorities in Panama City said they were continuing to unload thousands of bags of sugar that had concealed the suspected weapons shipment. Panamanian officials said the crew resisted and the ship’s captain attempted to commit suicide after the vessel was stopped, which made the shipment even more suspicious, according to experts. Martinelli said the ship, which was sailing from Cuba with a crew of 35, was targeted on July 12 by drug enforcement officials as it approached the canal and was taken into port in Manzanillo. After a search, officials found the contraband missiles hidden in a shipment of 100,698 kilograms of sugar. “The world needs to sit up and take note: you cannot go around shipping undeclared weapons of war through the Panama Canal,” Martinelli told Radio Panama on July 16. The vessel was being held in a restricted zone, and the crew was being detained, officials said. So far, no drugs have been found on board. Luis Eduardo Camacho, a spokesperson for Martinelli, said an examination of the ship by weapons specialists may take as long as a week. North Korea defiantly carried out its third nuclear weapons test in February, triggering even tighter UN sanctions. Experts said it is unclear whether North Korea has the technology to build a nuclear warhead for a missile. UN sanctions bar the transport of all weapons to or from North Korea apart from the import of small arms. Several of the country’s ships have been searched in recent years. In July 2009, a North Korean ship heading to Myanmar, the Kang Nam 1, was followed by the U.S. Navy due to suspicions it was carrying weapons. It turned around and headed back home. There has been, as yet, no reaction from North Korean officials over the quarantining of the ship in Panama, officials in the Central American nation said. Cuba acknowledged it sent the weapon system to North Korea to be repaired, according to a prepared statement by the Cuban Foreign Ministry on July 16. A total of 5% of the world’s commerce travels through the century-old Panama Canal, and that’s expected to increase, posing challenges for policing it. [AFP (Panama), 17/06/2013; La Estrella (Panama), 16/07/2013; BBC Mundo (Panama), 16/07/2013]
The League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Tallahassee and numerous credit unions said today they will close their branches and offices at noon or 1 p.m. Tuesday and will remain closed through Thursday because of the state of emergency that has been declared for Alabama and Florida as Hurricane Michael continues to gather strength and is expected to be life threatening, cause flooding and widespread power outages.Credit unions that have announced branch and office closures starting at noon or 1 p.m. today are Tyndall FCU, Panhandle Educators FCU, Flag CU, Innovations FCU, Bay CU, Emerald Coast FCU, FAMU FCU, Tallahassee-Leon FCU, TMH FCU, Florida Department of Transportation CU, Florida A&M University FCU, Florida Rural Electric CU, Envision CU, and First Commerce CU. They all will remain closed through Wednesday but may reopen by Thursday or Friday depending on conditions.It was just over a year ago in September 2017 when Hurricane Irma poured more than a foot of rain in several areas of South Florida, whipped up winds of 130 to 142 mph, knocked out power at more than 6.5 million Florida homes and businesses and forced many of the state’s credit unions to shut down. Hurricane Matthew ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
continue reading » In March, Preferred Credit Union awarded to members its first-ever patronage dividend, a total of $200,000 to 18,330 members—or roughly 75% of its 24,500 members.“We had a terrific year, and [because of] that, along with the money we received back from the NCUA Share Insurance Fund, we felt it was only fair we share the rewards with our members,” says CUES member John Yeomans, CEO of the $170 million CU in Grand Rapids, Michigan.The credit union, a client of CU*Answers, a CUSO in Grand Rapids, used the company’s software to calculate various possible payouts.“This was particularly helpful, knowing that we could tweak the payout,” explains Yeomans. “We ended up selecting the parameters so that any member who had earned interest on the deposit side or paid interest on the loan side would receive a dividend. We decided on awarding 2.25% of the interest paid on a member’s loan balances and 2.25% of the interest received on their deposits. The minimum payout was $5, capped at $250 per member. We also paid a minimum of $5 to all of our youth members.” The payout was accompanied by an explanation of the program. Members loved it, says Yeomans. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index also surged, led by insurers and industrial companies, even as data began to show the extent of economic damage to the region from the coronavirus pandemic. Benchmarks across Asia jumped, with Korea’s index soaring almost 9% after the government announced measures to stabilize markets.The dollar slumped against developed and emerging currencies alike, in a tentative sign of reduced stress after the greenback’s steepest appreciation since the global financial crisis and longest winning streak since 2012. European bonds tracked Treasuries lower.About $26 trillion has evaporated from equity markets since mid-February, and investors have been left sifting the wreckage and weigh the chances of a lasting rebound. On the one hand, Wall Street has begun to argue that liquidations are nearing an end with real-money investors like pension funds ready to step in, and there are signs of improvement in some of world’s regions that were hardest-hit by the virus. On the other, the number of infections globally continues to accelerate and many of the largest economies are grinding to a halt.Tuesday’s gain in risk assets follows an unprecedented move by the Federal Reserve to backstop large swaths of the financial system. Still, key gauges of US manufacturing and services in March fell the most on record, suggesting the deep toll the pandemic has already taken.“Sentiment has improved, but to call it a turning point is too strong a word for now,” said James McCormick, global head of desk strategy at NatWest Markets. “It is more of a tug-of-war. Policy bazooka is in place, but will be fighting against very weak data and still worrying trends on Covid-19 data. We are more neutral on risk assets now.”Elsewhere, emerging-market stocks jumped alongside their currencies. Gold extended recent a recent surge and industrial metals rallied.Topics : US stocks rallied, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up as much as 9.9 percent for the first time since 2008, as investors rediscovered some appetite for risk with Congress looking close to an unprecedented spending bill to prop up the slumping economy. The dollar halted a 10-day rally.The S&P 500 rebounded from the lowest level since 2016, poised to notch a third straight Tuesday turnaround after starting the week with a rout. Senators are negotiating the final sticking points in a roughly $2 trillion stimulus bill to help the US economy get through the coronavirus pandemic, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was hopeful a deal could be reached today.“Any sign of positive news coming out of Washington or the different sides coming together creates a bit of positive sentiment across markets,” said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network.
In return for the increased risk of investing in them, the borrower promises the lender a higher rate of interest on their money. But with some central banks now even agreeing to buy junk-grade bonds as part of a barrage of measures to keep credit flowing in their financial systems, investors are having fewer qualms about taking on such risk.Central bank aidAs part of its pandemic-fighting strategy, the US Federal Reserve is supporting companies that have seen their credit ratings downgraded recently, such as Ford and Occidental Petroleum, by buying their bonds directly. The European Central Bank is not quite at that point yet, but has agreed to accept them as collateral when banks borrow from it. Over the summer, aluminium can maker Ball Corporation raised eyebrows by securing the lowest-ever borrowing costs for a US junk-rated company, paying an annual coupon of 2.875 percent on a 10-year bond. By comparison, pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson, which enjoys a top-notch triple-A rating, issued a 10-year bond with a coupon of 1.3 percent. Zombies and fallen angelsWith terms such as “zombies” and “fallen angels” appearing increasingly frequently in the financial press, readers could be forgiven for feeling as if they have wandered onto a dystopian fiction during these coronavirus-ridden days.”Fallen angel” is the term used for a company that has seen its normally solid — or investment-grade — credit rating slashed to junk because its business has been brought to a standstill by the virus lockdowns. French hotel chain Accor is one such example and was relegated to junk status by S&P in August. For asset managers, the key question is how much risk to continue taking on while the economic cost of the pandemic is still being counted. “Companies which were already in a bit of difficulty before are even more so now,” said Alain Krief, head of fixed income at Rothschild Asset Management. “That’s our job, identifying them and not necessarily investing at all cost,” he said, pointing to ailing companies in sectors such as car rentals or auto parts supply.Dawn of the corporate deadThe huge concern is that so-called “zombie” companies could make the downturn still worse.These are businesses whose interest costs exceed their annual earnings and have been kept alive by years of cheap borrowing costs, not least thanks to state and central bank rescue programmes. According to rating agency S&P Global, Europe’s speculative-grade corporate default rate is expected to more than treble to 8.5 percent by the middle of next year, and in a more pessimistic scenario it could leap as far as 11.5 percent.”Expansive monetary and fiscal support could lessen defaults over the near term, but, with basic revenues flagging, the proportion of ‘CCC’/’C’ issuers has risen sharply, raising default risk,” S&P wrote in a recent study.Marina Cohen, head of high yield Europe at Amundi Asset Management, said the risk of corporate defaults would merely be delayed, but not allayed completely.”It’s the specific risk of this crisis that has led the authorities to act so quickly. But instead of seeing an immediate wave of bankruptcies, we will probably now see a lag in corporate failures,” she said. “There is liquidity in the short term, but companies that don’t have good capital structures will logically default” later. The increase in the numbers of “living dead” companies is also setting off alarm bells in some financial circles. “If one company out of every six in Germany becomes a ‘zombie’ because of rescue funds and delayed insolvency applications, then that will have serious consequences on the productivity of the (German) economy,” said Deutsche Bank chief executive Christan Sewing last week.Topics : When the economic seas become stormy, investors usually tend to seek out “safe haven” assets — low-risk, low-yielding financial vessels — in which to place their money. But, as in other areas of society, the coronavirus pandemic has skewed long-held ways of thinking. Yield-hungry investors are venturing into ever riskier assets in their search for rapidly diminishing returns, their appetites whetted by the vast safety nets central banks have placed under their national economies. Demand for so-called “junk” or non-investment grade bonds is booming.By mid-August, a total US$274 billion in junk bonds had been issued in the US, exceeding the total for the whole of 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Europe, too, where the junk bond market is much less developed than on the other side of the Atlantic, saw an “acceleration” in the issuance of non-investment grade debt at the end of first half of this year, according to ratings agency Fitch. A “junk” bond is the rather derogatory sounding term used where there is an increased likelihood of the issuer defaulting on their loan repayment.
Overmars is reluctant to let Tagliafico and Neres go in what promises to be a busy summer (Getty)Ajax have already lost Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona and Overmars is resigned to losing Hakim Ziyech and Matthijs de Ligt this summer too, so he is reluctant to let any more of the club’s stars leave.‘Losing three or four players is quite a lot,’ he continued. ‘But you also have to accept it. We do everything we can to keep players, but you know you have to rebuild. A good example is two years ago after the European success under Peter Bosz.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterMonday 1 Apr 2019 10:52 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link230Shares Comment The left-back has attracted interest from the Premier League (Picture: Getty)Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars insists the club will try everything to keep hold of defender Nicolas Tagliafico amid mounting interest from Arsenal.The Argentine full-back is attracting plenty of suitors thanks to his sensational performances for Ajax this season, playing a starring role in the Champions League win over Real Madrid.He is believed to be one of the top names on Unai Emery’s summer transfer wish list, while his agent opened the door to a move after revealing that Tagliafico had rejected a contract extension. Marc Overmars confident of keeping Arsenal target Nicolas Tagliafico at Ajax Advertisement Tagliafico has impressed enormously since moving to Europe (Picture: Getty)But Overmars is still hopefully that the 26-year-old can be convinced to remain in Amsterdam despite interest from Arsenal and others and intends to open fresh contract talks imminently.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘We also want to keep Nico Tagliafico and David Neres here,’ Overmars told NOC when asked if any more players would join Andre Onana in signing new deals.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘If you start reading the news on sports sites every time, you will continue to give your question and answer.‘In the end, we provide the answer ourselves, because of course we are working with Nico to keep him here for another year. Let’s see that in the coming weeks.’ Advertisement
According to DR, the scandal has cost Denmark’s public purse at least DKK12.7bn (€1.6bn).In Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France and Italy, the activity – reportedly carried out by a network of international financiers and involving some of the world’s biggest banks – may have cost these countries’ treasuries a collective €55bn, according to German non-profit newsroom Correctiv, which coordinated the investigation. “A picture is being painted of blatant crimes that must be pursued by the authorities with toughness” – Torsten Fels, PenSamFels posted his comments after speaking in a news report on Denmark’s TV2 channel in the last few days.He said that PenSam had a responsible investment approach that was based on credibility and decency.“We screen for undesirable elements, but we are also dependent on trustworthy cooperation partners,” he said. “A picture is being painted of blatant crimes that must be pursued by the authorities with toughness.”Fels described the investigation as “a wakeup call for the international financial sector”.Reuters, one of the news agencies involved in the investigation, reported last week that authorities in Germany, Denmark, Austria and Belgium had all opened their own investigations into the fraud.According to Reuters, the fraud involved shares being traded between banks, investors and hedge funds to create the illusion of multiple owners, each entitled to a refund on withholding tax charged on stock dividends. The head of one of Denmark’s biggest pension funds has spoken out to condemn a wide-scale tax fraud uncovered by a media investigation.Danish national broadcaster DR, newspaper Politiken and other European media outlets in the last three months have published articles detailing a withholding tax scam – dubbed ‘Cum-Ex’ – said to have cost European governments €55bn.In a comment on social media network LinkedIn, Torsten Fels, chief executive of labour market scheme PenSam, said: “What we see described in the media is the expression of a sick culture and business ethic in a broad swathe of the international financial sector, to which we are deeply opposed.”Fels added: “We will focus even more on accountability and the screening of our investments and partners.”
Euthanasia campaigner ‘Dr Death’ sells ‘home brew’ suicide kits disguised as equipment for making beerDaily Mail 7 May 2017Family First Comment: Disturbing. Promoting suicide. All at a time when we are doing everything possible (and urgently!) to REDUCE suicide rates. #rejectassistedsuicideA euthanasia campaigner nicknamed Dr Death is selling suicide kits disguised as equipment for home-brewing beer.Dr Philip Nitschke, who calls for the legalisation of assisted suicide, sells the £257 kit on his brewing company’s website.It can be used for brewing beer but Dr Nitschke has written a guidebook, also available online, that explains how people can use it to take their own lives.Last night, anti-assisted suicide group Care Not Killing described the sale of the kits as ‘utterly deplorable’, and spokesman Alistair Thompson called for the police to investigate Dr Nitschke.‘It’s deeply worrying because one suspects there will be no formal controls over who this kit is being sold to apart from the limit of needing a credit card to purchase it online,’ he said.‘So this could be going to very vulnerable adults, some of them still teenagers, who are depressed for whatever reason and see this as a way of ending their lives.’READ MORE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4480926/Dr-Death-sells-home-brew-suicide-kits.html
Tweet LifestyleRelationships 5 Perfectly Good Reasons You Might Be Single. by: – May 27, 2011 by Scott Alden for HowAboutWeFor us single folks, it can get a little tiresome having our relationship status constantly framed as a problem. Sure, some may have issues that they’re unaware of that are keeping them out of the relationship they want, but, on the other hand many of us are just fine where we are.I recently spoke with writer, experienced dater and all-around-bad-ass Rachel Khona about the misconceptions that many people have about the unattached masses.“Single women are often portrayed as marriage/baby hungry predators who are just looking to sink their claws into a man. Single men are often seen as non-committal and only out for some poon. The reality is there are men and women on both sides of the spectrum and in-between,” Khona says. “These days more women are interested in having a good time and I actually find a lot of men who do want commitment. I think people have a few bad experiences and they start to stereotype the opposite sex, but that’s just kookoo for cocoa puffs.”Indeed.These misconceptions often affect the way that singles view themselves, too. They come to believe that their relationship status reflects poorly on them: They must be too desperate, too immature, or just too screwed up for relationships.Take heart. You might be single for perfectly good reasons. Here’s 5.1. You’re Not Looking For Just Any Relationship. You’re Looking For The Right One.There are those people who get married right out of college and are 100 percent sure of that choice and live happily ever after. The rest of us might need to figure out what we’re really looking for before taking that next step. What you actually want may be very different from what you imagine, and it helps to know what’s really out there. According to Khona, casual dating is an excellent way to learn about your needs, desires and deal-breakers:“You might think you’re OK dating a starving artist until you realize you’re tired of hanging out with someone who’s broke. Or you may start dating someone who’s really amazing personality-wise, but sucks in bed — and realize that bad bedroom skills is a deal-breaker. Or you may realize you no longer want to date a guy who doesn’t share the same political views as you. Dating is a learning experience. You trip, you fall, you make mistakes, and you learn from them. Once you learn a lesson, your point of view shifts, and you start attracting different people.”2. You’re Totally Traumatized By Your Last RelationshipIn which case, OWN that. It’s really important that you don’t jump into anything you’re not ready for before you’ve put in some real time processing that loss. If you can keep one foot in the dating game, have some fun and build up your confidence? Power to you.3. You’re Enjoying Dating Multiple PeopleAbsolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s better to be upfront about it, but if that’s what’s working for you and no one else has a problem with it, why not? 4. You’re BusyRelationships are time consuming and you’ve got stuff to do. Maybe you’re focusing on your career, or your art, or school, or you’re a detective who’s this close to cracking that big case. Sure, it’s worth it for the right relationship, but if you’re someone who has a hard time balancing your work life, your love life and your social life (which is pretty much everyone, right?) then casual dating might just work better for you until you’re on more solid ground career-wise. Just be aware that if a relationship is something you want in your life, at some point you’ll have to put some energy into that.5. You Have Things To Be Learned From Being SingleOften, you’ll hear single folks say that they’re “taking a break from relationships to work on themselves.” It’s become something of a cliche, but there is a lot of truth to it. I asked Khona for her take on what can be learned from being single that can’t be learned from a relationship:“How to be independent. How to take care of yourself. It’s nice because you know that when you meet someone, it’s because you want to be with them and not because you need to be with them. Personally, I feel like I can be my own person rather than swaying to the will of a guy. Kind of like an oak tree, instead of a palm tree.”Agreed. If you’re using your single time to get solid in yourself, you’re just going to be that much more solid in a relationship when the time is right.Whether it’s a means to an end, a phase, or a lifestyle choice, being single should never be a source of shame. Dating can be enjoyed for what it is, whether you’re actively seeking a relationship, or not. Share Share 38 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Share