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Posted by: | Posted on: October 20, 2020

Space odyssey

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Posted by: | Posted on: September 29, 2020

Germany should embrace auto-enrolment, OECD says

first_img“There is considerable scope to reform and expand supplementary private pensions,” said the organisation, noting that insights from behavioural economics and evidence from other countries suggest automatic enrolment improves pensions coverage.“Such automatic enrolment could be complemented with the introduction of a fall-back pension fund, which offers a low-cost investment instrument to those firms and individuals that do not wish to make their own arrangements to save for complementary private pensions,” said the organisation.It flagged the government’s plans to promote occupational pensions through collective agreements among social partners but said automatic enrolment was a broader approach and one the German government should consider.“Automatic enrolment would boost occupational pensions, especially among workers in small firms,” said the OECD.“The small firms could co-ordinate and provide occupational pension schemes collectively – for instance, at sector level, as is done in Switzerland and in some sectors of the German economy.”The OECD’s recommendation for auto-enrolment has some parallels with a reform proposal by three ministers in the state of Hesse, for a “Deutschland-Rente”, although the OECD does not refer to this proposal.The OECD also called for supervision of book reserve schemes (Direktzusage) “to better understand the macroeconomic and microeconomic risks they entail”, saying the systemic risk from direct commitments could be reduced by requiring companies to invest part of employees’ pension contributions externally.It suggested making contributions to what it referred to as “the mutualisation scheme” risk-sensitive.The “mutualisation scheme” refers to Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein, an association that insures corporate pensions against insolvency.A company’s equity could determine the level of risk, the OECD said.It recommended cutting the operating costs of the Riester-Rente, by improving comparability among providers.Another suggestion was to amend the pension system for civil servants to extend rules limiting losses in pension claims civil servants incur if they move to a private sector job.An old-age payment (Altersgeld) designed to do this is only available to federal civil servants – the OECD has recommended this also apply to civil servants in the Länder, the federal states.“In the long run,” it added, “barriers to the portability of civil servant pensions could be eliminated by merging or harmonising the pension scheme for civil servants and the general public pension system, as most OECD countries have done.” Germany should introduce auto-enrolment in occupational pension funds and make voluntary private pension plans more attractive to improve pension coverage in the country, the OECD has said.Other recommendations, made in a Germany economic survey report, include indexing the statutory retirement age to life expectancy, removing barriers to the portability of civil servant pensions and strengthening the supervision of employers’ direct pension commitments.Occupational pension plans already exist in Germany as a means to supplement public pensions, but employees have to choose to participate rather than being enrolled by default, as is the case in Italy and now also the UK, for example.The OECD said “substantial” coverage gaps remained despite the German government’s having introduced the Riester-Rente, state-subsidised voluntary individual private pension plans, and encouraged the expansion of occupational pensions.last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 29, 2020

Macron names new pensions chief, officials seek to defuse tensions

first_imgFrench president Emmanuel Macron has appointed Laurent Pietraszewski as pensions minister to replace Jean-Paul Delevoye, whose work laid the foundation for the French government’s reform plan.Pietraszewski’s appointment was announced on the same day as officials in Macron’s entourage reportedly indicated the president would be “willing to improve” the proposed reform, with reference made to the contested introduction of a “pivot age” of 64, two years later than the official retirement age of 62.Prime minister Edouard Philippe met with trade unions yesterday, but according to the head of the CFDT union, deemed more moderate than others, a solution to the disagreements had not yet been found.The more hardline CGT said it remained “firmly determined” to fight for another pensions reform project. Pietraszewski is a member of parliament from France’s North district, and has been spokesperson for Macron’s La République en Marche party in the National Assembly. He was named secretary of state in charge of pensions, attached to Agnès Buzyn’s ministry for solidary and health.Delevoye, whose official position was high commissioner for pensions, resigned on Monday amid commotion linked to his having failed to disclose other roles.France has been in the grip of public transport strikes over the planned pension reform, with large protests having taken place for several days as well.last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 27, 2020

CEDAW Harms Families

first_imgConcerned Women for America 7 May 2010The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a United Nations (U.N.) treaty that compels countries to change their laws and culture to abolish distinctions between men and women. If the U.S. ratifies CEDAW, it would impact every aspect of life and place Americans under the supervision of a U.N. committee of “gender experts.”Under the guise of “eliminating discrimination against women,” CEDAW would limit Americans’ freedom to make personal, professional and political decisions – such as family duties, parental rights, religious exercise, education, employment, and political representation. Government agents and an unaccountable U.N. Committee would be free to impose a radical vision of restructuring society according to “gender experts.”America’s Founding Fathers trusted that the U.S. would not adopt a treaty that violates our Constitution. CEDAW is a direct threat to the hard-fought American right of self-determination. It would radically alter the U.S. by handing over the right of “we the people” to decide our laws and culture – even family decisions – to a U.N. committee of foreign representatives.How CEDAW impacts families:CEDAW undermines the traditional family. The treaty states, “A change in the traditional role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the family is needed to achieve full equality between men and women.” Article 5a requires countries to: “Modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women .” CEDAW is a global Equal Rights Amendment, a tool for radical feminists to impose their views upon all of society. It forbids recognizing the wonderful differences between men and women, even in the most personal relationships – family, marriage, and religious. CEDAW defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of sex,” in “any field.” This would invite an avalanche of frivolous lawsuits in the United States. CEDAW undercuts the role of parents in child rearing. Articles 5 and 16 affirm that in family matters “the interests of the children shall be paramount.” Who decides what is in a child’s “best interest”? What penalty would result from violating a child’s “best interest”? This superficial, feel-good statement places children in the hands of “experts” who follow the latest fads or believe governments can raise children better than parents. CEDAW would globalize abortion policy. Articles 12 and 14, section 2b, seek “to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care services, including those related to family planning” – rhetoric which can lead to open access to abortion. CEDAW seeks to indoctrinate children. The treaty requires that textbooks and teaching methods comply with CEDAW. Single-sex schools are prohibited because their “perspective” on gender is not acceptable. Taxpayers are forced to pay the cost of “gender neutralizing” textbooks and school programs to eliminate mentions of women as mothers. CEDAW encourages decriminalizing prostitution. Article 11, section 1(c), upholds “the right to free choice of profession and employment.” The Committee has included prostitution in that “free choice” – to the detriment of needy women around the world. Twenty-three international “experts” would govern U.S. policy. CEDAW Part V (Articles 17-22) creates a Committee of 23 “gender experts” to oversee the implementation of CEDAW. This places the welfare and well-being of American women and families at the mercy of foreign opinions. This committee includes representatives from China (which forcibly aborts women) and Cuba (which murders women who attempt to escape the island). Other representatives that have been on the committee, and could be again, are North Korea and Saudi Arabia.Examples of CEDAW Committee’s rulings:It “recommends the decriminalization of prostitution in China.” It criticized Belarus for “such symbols as a Mothers’ Day.” It criticized Mexico for a “lack of accessto easy and swift abortion.” It urged Finland to promote equal sharing of domestic and family tasks between women and men. It derided Slovenia because “less than 30 percent of children under three years of age were in formal day care.” It “expressed concern that women’s motherhood role was taking precedence over their professional and individual development” in Uzbekistan. It told Romania and Austria to integrate gender studies in schools. It criticized Croatia for not requiring hospitals and doctors to commit abortions. It criticized Ireland for “the influence of the Church in attitudes and stereotypes but also in official state policy.” It told Mexico it “would welcome a more equitable redistribution of wealth.”http://www.cwfa.org/cedaw-harms-families/last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 27, 2020

Sex education in Poland faces legal challenge

first_imgCurrently a draft law under discussion in the Polish parliament aims to make the “promotion of paedophile behaviour” punishable with two years in prison. Fundacja Pro, the organisers of the petition, want a clause added to the law which would make “the same penalty apply to anybody who promotes sexual behaviour in minors aged under 15 or facilitates their involvement in such behaviour”. Although Mariusz Dzierzawski, the head of Fundacja Pro, claims the proposal will not lead to the end of sex education in Polish schools, its opponents state that the wording is so broad that anybody talking about such matters as sexual development and contraception could face prosecution. The Telegraph 11 September 2014Anybody teaching sex education in Poland could face up to two years behind bars under draft legislation proposed by anti-paedophile campaigners.Backed by a petition boasting some 250,000 signatures, supporters of the proposal argue that sex education in school can promote sexual behaviour in minors and undermine their morality.center_img “It is hard to believe that in the 21st century they want to punish teachers, educators and carers who want to inform children about their development and the nature of sexual relationships, and put them in the same boat as paedophiles,” said Monika Sajkowska, president of Nobody’s Children, an organisation fighting child abuse.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/11087423/Sex-education-in-Poland-faces-legal-challenge.htmllast_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 23, 2020

Argos in Command at GSC Championship

first_img Share Argos in Command at GSC Championship April 22, 2007HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The fourth ranked West Florida Argonauts have repeat on their mind at the GSC Women’s Golf Championships. The Argonauts are in complete control in the nine team field through 18 holes of the 36 hole championship at the par 72, 5,834 yard Hot Springs Country Club course in Hot Springs, Ark.West Florida has a dominating 25 stroke lead half way through this year’s tournament. The Argos shot a 297 in round one. Arkansas Tech shot a 322 for a second place finish after the first round.Sarah Nicholson hopes to capture the individual title. She is in a good position to medal through 18 holes. She shot a 70, -2 (35-35), which puts her in first place. Nicholson leads teammate Vicky Jackson who shot a 72, E (38-34). Jackson is in second place. Natalia Espinola is fourth with a 77, +5 (37-40). Clara Fornella is in a tie for fifth with a 78, +6 (38-40). Rachel Christ rounds out the UWF roster with an 88, +16 (42-46). She is in 23rd place.The final round gets underway Monday morning. For full results, click on the “Round 1” and “Stats” link on the schedule pagePrint Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 21, 2020

Pardew backed to take Toon forward

first_img The 51-year-old met the sportswear magnate with managing director Derek Llambias on Wednesday to review a desperately disappointing season and discuss the way forward, but Press Association Sport understands that Pardew’s position as manager was never on the agenda amid fevered speculation that he could lose his job. That said, Pardew will be expected to improve significantly on last season’s 16th-place finish if he is to justify the faith placed in him when he was handed an eight-year contract in September last year, and Llambias said: “Everyone connected with the club was disappointed to finish where we did last season, particularly on the back of such a fantastic year prior to that.” He added: “Our discussions on Wednesday were very constructive and we pinpointed a number of factors that contributed to a season which fell below expectations. “We are now looking forward and are entirely focused on the forthcoming campaign, with the expectation of at least a top-10 finish in the Premier League. There has been a great deal of speculation in recent weeks but our desire, as we announced back in September, is to bring long-term stability to this club. “It’s up to us all now to work closely as a team to ensure next season sees us competing in the top half of the table again. “We would all like to thank the fans for their continued support and assure them we remain committed to providing affordable football at St James’ Park.” Llambias’ comments may not satisfy Pardew’s critics, who grew in both number and volume as Newcastle found themselves plunged into a fight for top-flight survival. However, the indications have been all along that his job was not under threat after a series of factors, many of them out of his control, contributed to a dreadful campaign. There is an acceptance by all parties that the squad with which the club went into battle at the start of the season was inadequate for purpose with the demands of the Europa League – something with which they will not have to contend this time around – and injuries cruelly exposing its lack of depth. It will be depleted further at the end of the next month when veteran keeper Steve Harper and full-back Danny Simpson leave the club when their contracts expire, and while Pardew is desperate to retain the services of skipper Fabricio Coloccini, his continued presence is by no means certain four months after he asked to be allowed to return to his native Argentina for personal reasons. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has been handed the task of dragging the club back into the top half of the Barclays Premier League after holding talks with owner Mike Ashley.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 21, 2020

Samaras signs for Baggies

first_imgWest Brom have completed the signing of Greece international Georgios Samaras on a two-year deal. “That’s great for us, because we need to have flexibility, the option to approach games in different ways and cover for injuries. “I’m absolutely delighted with the four strikers we have.” Samaras made 249 appearances for Celtic, scoring 73 goals, and won four Scottish Premier League titles with the club. He helped Greece to the last 16 at the World Cup this summer and has 78 caps, and nine goals, for the national side. Samaras cost City £6million in 2006 but scored just 12 goals in 65 games before moving to Scotland. The striker has joined the Baggies on a free transfer but will not play in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Southampton. He was available after leaving Celtic in the summer following six years in Glasgow. Press Association Malaga and Southampton were interested in the 29-year-old, who joined Celtic from Manchester City in 2008, but the Baggies were Samaras’ first choice. “We’ve signed a player with vast experience and I’m delighted to welcome Sami to the club,” head coach Alan Irvine told the club’s official website. “He has played a lot of football at the highest levels – Champions League, European Championships and World Cups – and the feedback we’ve got on him, from people like Neil Lennon, states he thrives on the big occasion. “He will certainly play in plenty of those in the Barclays Premier League. “Georgios has played in big games for a Celtic team that have often had a lot of the ball and have had to work hard to break the opposition down. “But he has also shown another side to his game in other matches when they haven’t seen as much of the ball.” Samaras joins £10million club-record signing Brown Ideye at The Hawthorns this summer and, with Saido Berahino and Victor Anichebe available, Irvine is pleased with his attacking options. “We have now got four strikers with different qualities who can be used in different ways,” added the Scot. last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 19, 2020

Cricket News ICC Test Player Rankings: Virat Kohli, Kagiso Rabada end 2018 on top spots

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi : It turned out to be a glorious 2018 for India captain Virat Kohli and South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada as both maintained their respective pole positions in the year-end ICC Test Player Rankings. Kohli dropped three points despite a first innings score of 82 in the third Test against Australia in Melbourne, but still enjoys a 34-point lead over nearest rival Kane Williamson of New Zealand. Kohli, who attained a career-high 937 points during the year, which is the highest ever by an India batsman, scored 1322 runs in all. He overtook Steven Smith in August and has now held the top position for 135 days.Rabada, who split the top ranking with England’s seasoned fast bowler James Anderson during the year, is just six points ahead of his adversary. Rabada, who became the youngest to take top position among bowlers during the year and held the spot for 178 days during the year, grabbed six wickets in the opening match at Centurion that South Africa won by six wickets to finish with 52 wickets in 10 Tests in 2018.Kohli’s compatriot Cheteshwar Pujara has also maintained his fourth position after a first-innings century in Melbourne, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has gained 10 slots to reach a career-best 38th position.Debutant opener Mayank Agarwal has also entered the batsmen’s list at an impressive 67th place after scores of 76 and 42 helped his side win by 137 runs for a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.Jasprit Bumrah has moved from 28th to 12th after his match haul of nine for 86, the best-ever by an India seam bowler in Australia. He is now the highest-ranked India fast bowler in the format with Mohammed Shami is next in 23rd position.For Australia, Pat Cummins has been the pick, gaining five slots to reach a career-best third position after finishing with nine wickets in the match. He has also gained 13 slots to reach 91st place among batsmen with some useful runs down the order.Travis Head (up seven places to 56th) has also benefitted in the latest rankings update. New Zealand fast bowlers have a lot to cheer about following their record 423-run win over Sri Lanka in Christchurch.Trent Boult’s nine wickets in the match have helped him gain seven slots to reach the seventh position while Tim Southee (up two places to ninth) and Neil Wagner (up one place to 15th) have also moved up.Century-makers at Christchurch, Henry Nicholls (up two places to seventh) and Tom Latham (up eight places to 14th), and Jeet Raval (up two places to 35th) have also gained in the latest rankings update. Nicholls scored an unbeaten 162 to move up to the seventh place.For South Africa, former captain Hashim Amla (up three places to 11th place) and Temba Bavuma (up four places to 31st) have gained among batsmen while fast bowler Duanne Olivier has gained 17 places to reach 36th position after his player of the match effort of 11 wickets.Pakistan’s Babar Azam has gained nine slots to reach 27th position after innings of 71 and six while left-arm fast bowlers Mohammad Amir (up two places to 34th) and Shaheen Afridi (up 38 places to 73rd) have advanced after taking four and five wickets in Centurion.Meanwhile, New Zealand have leapfrogged South Africa to take third place in the ICC Test Team Rankings after starting the series against Sri Lanka with a chance of going up to the second position with a 2-0 win. last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 19, 2020

CAS upholds life bans of three officials

first_imgTHREE athletics officials have had their life bans over an alleged doping cover-up upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (CAS)Papa Massata Diack, son of ex-IAAF president Lamine Diack, and Russians Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov had their appeals dismissed.They were charged in December with multiple breaches of anti-doping rules relating to Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova.CAS are yet to publish the grounds for upholding the sanctions.A statement released yesterday said: “The panel concluded that on the evidence adduced, the charges were established beyond reasonable doubt and that the sanctions imposed should be upheld.“The full award with grounds will be published as soon as possible.”In a 170-page report, the independent International Association of Athletics Federations ethics commission panel ruled Diack, Balakhnichev and Melnikov conspired to “blackmail” Shobukhova to cover up her doping violations by her paying them “bribes” of about £435 000.Diack and Balakhnichev, a former president of the Russian athletics federation and IAAF treasurer, were fined £17 000 while Russian coach Melnikov was fined £10 000.In December, Diack told the BBC he “totally rejects” the blackmail allegations, saying: “There was no extortion of funds from any athlete.” (BBC Sport)last_img read more