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first_imgSierra Boggess, School of Rock The Olympic Games are in full swing, and though we’re obsessed with the competition, viewing party snacks and sparkly gymnastics outfits, we just wish there was a way for some of our stage faves to get in on the action and go for the gold. On top of coming up with five totally random talents that should have their own sporting events, we asked fans to rank their favorite belters on the Great White Way. So, which vocal athletes would you want to see rocking the stage in Rio de Janeiro? Take a peek at your top 10 below! (Photo: Matthew Murphy & Joan Marcus) Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple Leona Lewis, Cats View Comments Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton Jessie Mueller, Waitress Jennifer DiNoia, Wicked Heather Headley, The Color Purple Keala Settle, Waitress Jasmine Cephas-Jones, Hamilton Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purplelast_img read more


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Scott Tong for Marketplace.org:It’s not just a question of mines and jobs – on the chopping block in bankruptcy is money set aside for workers pension and for cleaning up environmental damage from mines.Here’s the difference five years makes. In 2011, Peabody Energy’s stock flew over 1,000. And it bet big on mine purchases in Australia, said analyst Kristoffer Inton at Morningstar.“They paid full price for these, and they used a lot of debt to do so,” said analyst Kristoffer Inton at Morningstar. “That’s basically the debt that they’re dealing with now. You buy something at the peak market, use a lot of debt and the market collapses.”Coal prices have fallen 60 percent. Peabody stock is down to $2 a share.This commodity bust has withered demand. U.S. production could hit a 30-year low, says the Energy Department, which also thinks cheap natural gas will surpass coal for the first year ever.Peter Marsters at the Rhodium Group said there’s a more hidden problem: a shrinking China market for the type of coal that makes steel. It’s more profitable.“It’s just worth a lot more,” he said. “So any decline on that market will have a comparatively greater impact on a lot of these companies’ revenues.”Many analysts think the companies in bankruptcy will shrink but not go away. But some of their financial obligations could.In court, at least one big company has canceled health insurance payments to retirees. Another is trying to do something similar. Andrew Cosgrove is with Bloomberg Intelligence.It’s kind of a back and forth where they say ‘Okay, we’ll chop part of the pension obligations off, and rework the labor contract,” said Andrew Cosgrove of Bloomberg Intelligence. “So you guys can keep jobs. The company can continue to run.’Then there’s a question of cleaning up mines when they shut down. For now, most are still open during bankruptcy. The question is, who holds the bag if a company liquidates.Bankruptcy looms for biggest coal-miner in U.S. Mistakes Were Made: How the U.S. Coal Industry Went Awrylast_img read more


first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Contractors are preparing to rebuild Sandy-flattened dunes on either end of Fire Island in time for summer, but communities in the barrier beach’s middle will remain vulnerable for a third hurricane season.Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation was awarded last month a $23-million contract to pump in 1 million cubic yards of the sand and rebuild 13-foot dunes from Robert Moses State Park in front of the Fire Island Lighthouse to the island’s westernmost hamlet, Kismet. Last fall, Dutra Dredging won a nearly $48-million contract to do similar work at Smith Point County Park on the island’s east end. Negotiations have yet to begin with the 41 property owners in the way of a new 15-foot dune planned for the third leg of the project—meaning that work wouldn’t begin until next fall, at the earliest.“We have just about all the surveys done,” Suffolk County Department of Public Works Commissioner Gil Anderson said of planning the third leg of the project, which he estimated may not start for another two years.The overall work is a part of a $207-million job known as the Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Stabilization Project, an interim plan meant to sure up FI with 7 million cubic yards of sand. That’s part of the $700-million Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point (FIMP) storm mitigation project slated to finally start a half century after being proposed. The larger 83-mile project and the first chunk dedicated to the 32-mile barrier island are funded by Sandy aid.FI, the largest of four barrier islands protecting the South Shore of Long Island from the Atlantic Ocean, was severely eroded during the October 2012 superstorm.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the first two beach-rebuilding contracts after the work was initially stalled when the Audubon Society sued to block the project on the grounds that it would harm the habitat of endangered piping plovers that live on FI. The Smith Point leg of the project includes about 100 acres of habitat enhancement for the birds.But, a similar interim beach replenishment project planned for Montauk has been called into question again by Suffolk County Legis. Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), who represents the North Fork and was the only lawmaker to vote against that plan.“This is a project that one, is sure to fail and cause accelerated erosion to adjacent properties, and two, puts the maintenance on the shoulders of the taxpayers of the entire county,” Krupski wrote in a letter to Gil Anderson, the county’s public works commissioner.Krupski took issue with the Montauk leg of the interim project that uses geo-tubes—giant sand-filled bags that would be buried in the makeshift dune—and the fact that county taxpayers would be billed for half of the repair cost for beach damage after future storms until FIMP is finalized.Chris Gardner, a spokesman for the Army Corps, said a contract has yet to be awarded on the Montauk plan. Work on the east end of Fire Island is underway and the company tasked with replenishing the west end will begin in the coming weeks, he said. Both of those phases have a deadline of mid-April, when piping plover mating season begins.Once the soon-to-be completed surveys are completed in the third leg of the project, property owners will be contacted by Suffolk officials who will send documents requesting easements for most oceanfront property owners. Options for the 41—mostly in Ocean Bay Park and Davis Park—that are in the way of the new dune include relocating their structures away from the dune, taking a buyout or condemnation.A public hearing on the plan is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Van Nostrand Theatre at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.last_img read more


first_imgShop local. Buy local. Think local. No consumer has escaped the grassroots movement encouraging them to support their communities. Community financial institutions (FIs) align with this approach, offering consumers an option to “bank local” as well. In a world where global citizenship is becoming increasingly commonplace, however, taking a local-only approach to business may not be enough to satisfy consumers’ changing needs.Today, the concepts of “local” and “global” are no longer mutually exclusive. Businesses, including FIs, do not have to choose which of these perspectives to focus their efforts on. Instead, the two perspectives form an “AND” conversation, meaning both can be applied simultaneously to strategic planning and development.Taking a global approach to banking does not mean community FIs need to establish branches in foreign locations. Instead, it is a matter of leveraging the trust and relevancy they have in their local environments with the additional learning they can find outside it. Take U.S. Bank, for example. This institution recognized the difficulty U.S. cardholders faced when making purchases in countries that have migrated to EMV technology and became the first FI in the country to offer a dual-interface EMV chip card for international travelers. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


first_imgBINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Binghamton Bulldogs will play in the East Coast Basketball League next season, leaving behind the American Basketball Association. “Just excited to have this progress and see our team moving in another direction. Definitely a step up in talent,” he said. The Binghamton Bulldogs will still host an all-star game next July. “We want to challenge ourselves. We want to challenge ourselves against the best teams in minor league basketball in the United States,” said Evans. “This group, this crop of teams in the ECBL will give us that.” The ECBL season runs from January through June. Evans said they are targeting a January tenth start date. “It’s an everyday process,” said Evans. “We like the direction that it’s going and we hope that something works out in the next couple of months where we can make a big announcement and hopefully, fingers crossed have our own facility.” “Like” Nicole Menner on Facebook and “Follow” her on Twitter. ECBL teams carry former pro players and current pros playing overseas. He said the ECBL works with European players who finish their seasons in March, rather than competing for those players. Evans said the league switch aligns with plans the Bulldogs have to find a facility to call home. Evans says they are looking for court space to run youth programming like clinics and camps, and games. Evans said they are actively searching for places around Broome County to fit what they’re looking for. The ECBL aligns with the NBA’s rules, unlike the ABA. Evans said the ECBL also offers more competition, something he wanted to provide his players and fans. Evan said it is too early to say if something would be ready by January. Team owner Jimmy Evans said the league switch has been in the works for awhile. last_img read more


first_img“If there are forces moving the euro/dollar rate around, that feeds into our global and European forecasts and our monetary policy setting,” Lane said.Indeed, some economists say that the current exchange rate could already deduct 0.2 percent-0.4 percent from euro zone growth and analysts polled by Reuters see more dollar weakness.Normally this would not be too difficult to counter but the ECB and the Bank of Japan are both close to the limits of ultra easy policy.Both have cut rates into negative territory and yields are already negative for much of the curve. Both banks also face some domestic opposition to more easing, making further moves politically complicated.“If the Fed is going to be late in raising interest rates, that would put upward pressure on the yen against the dollar,” said Hideo Kumano, a former BOJ official who is currently chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.“As long as Fed policy makes it harder for the dollar to rise, the BOJ will have to worry about potential yen rises that needs a policy response including a deepening of negative interest rates,” he said.Some economists argue that the ECB should simply shift to a similarly flexible target as part of its own ongoing policy review. But markets price no rate hike at all during Christine Lagarde’s eight-year term atop the bank, so a suggestion that policy tightening would be even further pushed out raises credibility issues.“Emerging market economies, which are largely dollar funded, will benefit, at least initially,” former ECB board member Benoit Coeure said. “Europe may need to find new ways to support its economy in the face of permanently lower US rates.”Social policy? The Fed’s now explicit aim to help low-income families is another complication as it elevates the role of the bank in social policy and could be seen as a sort of reinterpretation of its mandate.“Personally, I feel there is room to consider the idea, voiced by some people, that monetary policy should focus more on job and income conditions,” BOJ Deputy Governor Masazumi Wakatabe said.The ECB also appears keen to reinterpret its mandate with Lagarde arguing that risks created by climate change are so big, the bank could not ignore them.But central bankers are unelected bureaucrats and fighting climate change or inequality is a foray into politics, which risks opening their banks to the sort of political attacks that could undermine independence.The ECB argues that its mandate already requires it to support the “general economic policies” of the European Union, but such an interpretation would still represent a shift given its current focus that is entirely inflation focused.Still, some argue that the Fed’s shift will prove to be benign.Lower dollar rates will cut funding costs in emerging markets, accelerating growth and providing a bigger market for exports. And letting US inflation run higher now, will raise both long term rates and inflation expectations, making it easier to normalize policy after years of extraordinary accommodation.These may prove to be true, but that will not be evident for years to come. And until then, central banks must deal with a weaker dollar.Topics : The United States Federal Reserve’s landmark shift to a more tolerant stance on inflation will be a drag on the dollar for years and will raise hard questions about the role of central banking, challenging policymakers from Frankfurt to Tokyo.On the face of it, the Fed’s policy tweak, unveiled on Aug. 27, appears tailored to giving the US economy a shot in the arm. A shift to average inflation targeting lets the Fed overshoot its target after downturns, indicating that rate hikes will come later and the jobs market will be allowed to run hotter, a boon to low-income families.But this creates two headaches for global central banks. Such a reinterpretation of the Fed’s mandate could be seen as a foray into social policy, a vital precedent for others as they reexamine their own roles after years of unconventional moves that already impact wealth and income distribution.The second, more immediate concern will be the dollar’s weakness, which hurts exporters from Europe to Asia. This is bound to feature prominently at the European Central Bank’s policy meeting on Thursday, as a strong euro will make it more difficult for exporting nations in the euro zone to climb out of their deepest recession in living memory.Countries like Germany and France, or Japan, traditionally generate growth from net exports, which take a hit when their currencies firm. And this firming merely compounds their problem as trade wars between the United States and some of its key trade partners are already weighing on exports.The dollar has already weakened by over 10 percent against a basket of currencies since mid-March to a more than two-year low, prompting ECB chief economist Philip Lane to warn last week that the exchange rate mattered, even if the ECB didn’t target it.last_img read more


first_img National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Safety,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced that 23 members of the Pennsylvania Incident Management Team left for Florida today after the U.S. Forest Service requested aid to help with storm cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Irma.“The men and women who left Harrisburg today represent the spirit that unites all Americans, one that motivates us to help one another,” said Governor Wolf. “Pennsylvania stands ready to provide whatever aid we can to people impacted by this storm.”The team is expected to be deployed for up to two weeks, and is made up of staff from multiple state agencies: PEMA, Corrections, Conservation and Natural Resources, State Fire Academy, Health, and Human Services.Their mission for this deployment is to aid in debris cleanup and supervision of saw crews. September 11, 2017 PA Incident Management Team Receives Federal Mobilization Orders; 23 Members Depart for Floridacenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgShifting from the Dutch pension system’s predominantly defined benefit (DB) arrangements to individual defined contribution (IDC) would make it “much less complicated”, according to Bas Jacobs, a professor of economics and government finances at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University.Speaking at the recent Pensioenforum in Scheveningen, he argued that an IDC approach would solve most of the system’s current problems.Jacobs said the proposals of state secretary Jetta Klijnsma for an updated financial assessment framework (FTK) were an “incomplete and very complex mixture” of a guaranteed nominal pensions contract and a soft contract under real terms.By contrast, a mandatory IDC would deliver a transparent and complete contract, with the paid premium also producing the future benefits, he said. In such an approach, the negative redistribution effects, as a consequence of the current average pension accrual and contribution, would disappear, he said.The same would go for the “subjective” criteria for risk premiums, the discount rate and the ultimate forward rate (UFR).Jacobs noted that the proposed FTK legislation – with an increased threshold for indexation – would leave an unpaid bill of €300bn, and predicted that the conflict over risk sharing between generations and other groups of participants would continue.Referring to the combination of longevity risk, inflation and financial risk that pensions funds currently faced, Jacobs concluded that schemes were trying to “insure something that is actually impossible to insure”.The professor also claimed that the pensions system would remain procyclical following the prescribed “asymmetric” recovery periods, and reminded his audience that the procyclical character of the current system had greatly contributed to the deep recession in the wake of the financial crisis.In his opinion, the nominal guarantee under the new FTK will result in too little investment risk for young participants and too much risk for older participants.He stressed that a mandatory DC system would allow for a correct age-dependent investment mix, without a conflict between generations.“In addition, there won’t be funding shortfalls or a procyclical policy for investments, contributions and benefits,” he said.However, Jacobs acknowledged that the lack of risk-sharing among the generations, such as longevity risk, would be one of the disadvantages of a DC scheme.He said that, under IDC arrangements, participants should be offered longevity insurance, and be protected against “short-sighted” investment decisions.last_img read more


first_imgIn a statement, the pension fund explained the measures had become necessary because of the “massively worsened conditions on the capital markets”.“The historically low interest rates mean that insufficient returns from the capital markets are flowing into Swiss pension funds,” the BLPK said.“This means the Swiss retirement system can not longer rely on the capital markets as third contributor to the system to the same extent as before.”Caisse de prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève, the CHF11.8bn pension fund for employees of the canton of Geneva, has also announced that, despite the fund’s positive estimated performance as at the end of 2016 – of 5.5% -, it is cutting the technical rate in one go from 3% to 2.5%.  In a statement, it said this would significantly reduce the pension fund’s margin relative to the minimum coverage requirement, and that, in the event of significant market fluctuations, it could therefore take temporary sanitation measures on top of structural measures to restore long-term financial equilibrium.However, the board decided it was better not to wait to lower the technical rate if the trend toward lower rates persisted in the coming years.CPEG has also decided to increase the retirement age for its plans, effective 1 January 2018, representing a cut in benefits of around 5%.Other structural measures to ensure the long-term financial equilibrium of the pension fund may be on the cards, with CPEG saying that raising the retirement age only partially compensated for the lowering of the technical rate.It said the board would therefore explore other structural measures, such as lowering the pension target. ‘Painful but necessary’With their adjustments, the BLPK and CPEG follow the lead of other Swiss Pensionskassen that have already cut their rates in recent years.Among them was the BVK, with one of the most drastic cuts in the conversion rate, to below 5%.The pension fund – for the canton of Zurich – faced tough criticism from members, with some companies and authorities opting to leave the scheme. While the average cut in future pension promises was calculated at 8% at the BVK, the average losses at the BLPK are even higher, at 14%.“The cuts are painful but necessary to guarantee the financial sustainability of the BLPK,” the Pensionskasse explained.Each of the 60 affiliated pension plans in the BLPK now has to decide on whether to accept the cuts or leave the BLPK.A third option is for a pension plan within the BLPK to offer better rates, but this would mean higher contributions.The changes only apply to future retirees, as existing pension promises are untouchable under Swiss law.In 2014, the BLPK came under fire because it had to negotiate a financial top-up from the employers and the canton to fill a CHF2.2bn gap that had amassed over the years. From 2018, the pension fund of the Swiss canton of Basel-Landschaft, bordering the city of Basel to the south, will drastically lower its pension promises for future retirees.The pension fund for employees of the canton of Geneva is also making cuts, albeit smaller ones.First, the CHF27bn (€22bn) Basellandschaftliche Pensionskasse (BLPK) will cut the technical rate it applies to active members’ accrued capital (technischer Zins in German, or taux technique in French) from 3% to 1.75% from 2018.Subsequently, the conversion rate (Umwandlungssatz) used to calculate members’ pension payout levels, will be lowered in four steps from 5.8% to 5% between 2019 and 2022.last_img read more


first_img<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>The President of Togo, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, who pays particular attention to the issues of fight against global warming and protection against coastal degradation in Africa, has commended Eko Atlantic City on its technique adopted to provide a permanent solution to coastal erosion. Gnassingbe gave the commendation during a tour of the new city, led by the Chairman of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ronald Chagoury, on September 21, 2018.Coastal erosion, a menace experienced through-out West Africa, including Nigeria and Togo, has been an on-going problem for hundreds of years impacting the lives of millions of African.Commenting these issues, the Chairman of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, the city planners and developers of Eko Atlantic City, Mr. Ronald Chagoury, said: “Eko Atlantic City came up as a solution to address the erosion that was fast destroying the coast of Victoria Island and its environs.”“We recognized that an urgent step had to be taken to protect the shoreline of Victoria Island and reclaim the land that had been lost. As a result, the Eko Atlantic City project came up as a permanent solution to the coastal erosion of Victoria Island and parts of Lekki and we have ensured this through the construction of the ‘Great Wall of Lagos’.”Eko Atlantic City is a planned city of Lagos State, Nigeria, being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.Upon completion, the new peninsula, which is still under development is anticipating at least 250,000 residents and a daily flow of 150,000 commuters.last_img read more