China slams Britain’s comments on Uighurs as ‘slander’

first_imgChina hit back on Monday at comments by Britain’s foreign secretary that accused Beijing of “gross” human rights abuses against ethnic and religious minorities in the northwest region of Xinjiang.Rights groups and experts estimate that more than one million ethnic Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been rounded up into a network of internment camps, which China says are facilities for job-training and to steer people away from extremism.British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC on Sunday that it was “clear that there are gross, egregious human rights abuses going on… it is deeply, deeply troubling.”  Exiled Uighurs this month called for the International Criminal Court in the Hague to investigate China for genocide and crimes against humanity, filing a huge dossier accusing China of rights abuses including forcibly sterilizing women. Tensions between London and China have soared over a number of topics.Britain recently bowed to sustained pressure from Washington and ordered the phased removal of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.The two sides have also clashed over China’s imposition of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong — including offering a possible route to UK citizenship for some Hong Kong residents. But foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called the comments “nothing but rumors and slander”.”The Xinjiang issue is not about human rights, religions or ethnic groups at all, but about combating violence, terrorism and separatism,” he told reporters Monday at a regular press briefing.Raab said reports of forced sterilizations and mass detentions in Xinjiang required international attention, and that Britain “cannot see behavior like that and not call it out”.But Wang said the forced-sterilization reports were “complete nonsense”, and that the Uighur population had more than doubled in the past four decades. center_img Topics :last_img read more

​Netherlands, Denmark first class in Melbourne Mercer pensions index

first_img35Turkey42.2Dn/a 16Malaysia60.6C+58.5 27Indonesia52.2C53.1 36Argentina39.5D39.2 1Netherlands81A80.3 16US60.6C+58.8 26South Africa52.6C52.7 15Hong Kong61.9C+56 24Spain54.7C54.4 13Germany66.1B66.8 37Thailand39.4Dn/a 27Italy52.2C52.8 2Denmark80.3A80.2 10Chile68.7B69.3 6Norway71.2B71.5 7Singapore70.8B70.4 14UK64.4C+62.5 21Poland57.4C54.3 19Peru58.5C62.4 31Japan48.3D48.2 The Dutch pension system has retained its crown as the world’s best in the latest annual Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index (MMGPI), even improving the already high score it was assigned last year.Denmark came second in the 2019 assessment from the consultancy’s Melbourne branch, with both countries maintaining their 2018 positions of first and second, respectively. The countries were the only two to have pension systems make Mercer’s A category, for which qualification requires a “first class and robust retirement income system that delivers good benefits, is sustainable and has a high level of integrity”.The Netherlands scored 81.0 in this year’s edition of the index, up from 80.3 in 2018, with Denmark improving too but by a narrower 0.1 of a point, rising to 80.3 from 80.2.center_img Commenting on the results, the Dutch Pension Fund Federation said a strong point for the Netherlands was the country’s combination of state pension and supplementary pension, with the state pension age also shifting with increasing life expectancy.“According to the study, the Netherlands could score even higher by reducing household debt and increasing labour market participation among the elderly as life expectancy rises,” the association said.Publication of the 2019 Melbourne Mercer ranking comes as Dutch pension stakeholders negotiate the details of a new system due to come into effect in 2022 and underfunded pension funds face the prospect of having to make pension cuts. Meanwhile in Denmark, Karina Ransby, deputy director of lobby group Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD), said: “It is really nice that Denmark’s pension system again this year gets the A grade together with the Netherlands as the only two countries.”The association had expected Denmark to reach the top again this year, she said, but noted that the Netherlands had once again taken the very top position.There had been major improvements in the Danish pension system in recent years, she said.“When the latest changes have been allowed to unfold, we expect it to be reflected more in Mercer’s annual assessment of Denmark”Karina Ransby, deputy director of Insurance & Pension Denmark“When the latest changes have been allowed to unfold, we expect it to be reflected more in Mercer’s annual assessment of Denmark,” said Ransby.European pension systems appearing in the Global Pensions Index’s next categories (B+ and B) are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland Switzerland and Germany. A system making this grade is judged to have “a sound structure, with many good features, but has some areas for improvement that differentiates it from an A-grade system”. UK still in C grade territoryThe UK improved its score to 64.4 in 2019 from 62.5, but this was 0.6 of a point shy of pulling it out of the C+ and C categories. The description for countries falling within this bracket is: “A system that has some good features, but also has major risks and/or shortcomings that should be addressed. Without these improvements, its efficacy and/or long-term sustainability can be questioned.”Benoit Hudon, head of wealth, Mercer UK, said: “The UK retirement system’s strong score for integrity needs to be matched by improving adequacy, in other words what people actually receive in retirement.”He said a lack of understanding of what they will receive and of what they will actually need in retirement has led to a gap in retirement savings for many UK employees.“This begs the question as to whether employers should play a greater role, both in educating and supporting their workforce,” Hudon said.Internationally, Mercer said its research showed that a strong correlation existed between the levels of pension assets and net household debt, with growth in household debt in developed and growth economies paired with the growth in assets held by pension funds.It said the report was the first international study of its kind to document the tendency for spending to increase with rising wealth in relation to pension assets.“The MMGPI’s data suggests as pension assets increase, individuals feel wealthier and therefore are likely to borrow more,” the firm said.The Melbourne Mercer index is supported by Australia’s Victoria government and is a collaborative project between the Monash Centre for Financial Studies – part of Monash University in Melbourne – and Mercer. It can be found here.Full rankings 25Austria53.9C54 22Saudi Arabia57.1C58.9 8New Zealand70.1B68.5 23Brazil55.9C56.5 12Switzerland66.7B67.6 18France60.2C+60.7 11Ireland67.3B66.8 4Finland73.6B74.5 3Australia75.3B+72.6 29Korea49.8D47.3 20Colombia58.4C62.6 30China48.7D46.2 5Sweden72.3B72.5 9Canada69.2B68 34Philippines43.7Dn/a  Country 2019 score and grade 2018 score 32India45.8D44.6 33Mexico45.3D45.3last_img read more

Coronavirus spread pushes Bahamas well drilling to October

first_imgBPC added that the impact of the response to the spread of the coronavirus, both globally and in The Bahamas, also constituted a force majeure event under the terms of the company’s licenses. Due to that fact, BPC expects to receive a corresponding extension to the current term of the licenses from the Government of The Bahamas. “Accordingly, the company has determined to postpone drilling operations until mid-October 2020 onwards, being after the expected peak in the COVID-19 response, and also after the peak risk period for hurricanes in The Bahamas,” BPC stated. London-listed oil company Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has further pushed back the drilling of its first exploration well in The Bahamas, the Perseverance #1. Simon Potter, CEO of BPC, said: “Given the ever-evolving adverse impact of the response to the spread of the Covid-19 virus – which is changing daily and is affecting everyone and all enterprises, around the globe – it has become clear to us that if we continue to push forward with drilling in the first half of 2020, safe and responsible operations would be compromised. All previously agreed financial elements would see total funding availability of around $45 million, and issuance of approximately 1.6 to 1.8 billion new shares of BPC. No change in cost estimate BPC said that the cost estimate for the Perseverance #1 well was in the range of $25 – $30 million, with potential contingencies for up to an extra $5 million. The company does not anticipate the cost estimate to change due to the rescheduled start of operations. As a result of the global COVID-19 crisis, a large number of international drilling programs were canceled or postponed, and a large number of rig contractors are revisiting their work programs. Cost-effective drilling can best be delivered by ensuring continuous operations throughout the entire period of the 45 – 60 day drill plan uninterrupted. BPC said on Wednesday that the delay was a result of the “massive, unprecedented, and adverse impact of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” “We also have an approved environmental authorization from the Government of The Bahamas, farm-in discussions remain on foot, and the current crisis is presenting a number of interesting alternative opportunities for us.center_img National and regional shutdowns are impacting the ability of drilling rigs and other mission-critical equipment to get properly prepared and certified for drilling due to travel bans and border closures. Also, The Bahamas declared a state of emergency with a curfew in place on March 17. “Shareholders should be encouraged, however, that we are in a strong position to resume drilling activities toward the end of 2020, compared to where we were just a year ago. The company has cash reserves, and financial backers intent on flexibly supporting the company. Furthermore, the company will continue to assess options for a farm-out or similar transaction in the coming months, and stated that a number of interested parties, including oil and gas majors and supermajors, have indicated that they would wish for discussions to continue regardless of the coronavirus global crisis and the recent decline in global oil prices. “The spread of the Covid-19 virus represents a global threat to our collective way of life, and we all have to face reality over the coming months – which in the case of our company means pausing our drilling plans for a time, as hard as that may be. We hope that all of our shareholders, stakeholders, employees, and contractors take care, and stay safe and well in this extremely difficult time for all.” “The Board has thus concluded that if the company was to continue to seek to commence drilling in the first half of 2020, there would be an unacceptable level of risk to the company’s ability to operate continuously, responsibly, safely, and within currently established guidelines, timelines and, as a consequence, budgets. This is expected to have knock-on effects on rig availability and potentially lower rig pricing in the revised drilling window. BPC is already revisiting discussions with a range of contractors for securing a suitable drilling rig for the revised drilling window. According to the company, drilling operations planned for the May/June 2020 timeframe can no longer be assured and are rescheduled to October 2020 onwards. This is further compounded given the need to take into account the timing of the traditional hurricane season in The Bahamas which happens between July and mid-October. BPC is also evaluating some potentially value-creating alternative strategic options presented to the company in light of the global COVID-19 crisis.last_img read more

Literacy levels have increased significantly says Nicholas Goldberg

first_img Tweet This year’s top performer of the Grade 6 National Assessment Charice Augustine and her father Amos AugustineHead of the Curriculum Measurement and Evaluation Unit within the Ministry of Education Nicholas Goldberg says literacy level in Dominica has increased significantly.Goldberg made this announcement whilst addressing a press conference to announce the results of the Grade Six National Assessment earlier this week. He says there has been a significant improvement in reading levels of children.“If you look at the primary schools from year to year, over the last ten years, there has been a very significant improvement in the reading levels of students,” he said.Meantime Education Minister Petter St. Jean is commending the boys who excelled in this year’s Grade Six National Assessment Examinations.Of the top five performers, three were males.St. Jean says it is not all lost for boys in Dominica.Dominica Vibes News Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img 53 Views   no discussions EducationLocalNewsPrimary Literacy levels have increased significantly says Nicholas Goldberg by: – June 29, 2011 Sharelast_img read more

Silay drug bust nets P135K worth of ‘shabu’

first_imgBACOLOD City – Suspected shabu weighing about nine grams valued at around P135,000 were seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay 4, Silay City, Negros Occidental. They were detained in the custodial facility of the Silay City police station, facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN Resident Clemdick Mel Dionio, 33; Joel Gancial, 20, of Barangay E. Lopez, Silay City; and Ian Baylon, 43, of Barangay Balaring, Silay City, yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed.center_img The suspects were caught after they sold suspected shabu to an undercover cop for P4,000 around 1 a.m. on June 22, it added.last_img

‘Indiana for the Birds’ offered to limited Indiana classrooms

first_imgConnersville, In. — The Indiana Audubon Society is inviting teachers and educators to explore the birds both in their classroom and around their backyard through the new ‘Indiana for the Birds’ program. In 2018, Indiana for the Birds will provide 50 Hoosier classrooms with a special bird-themed educational kit, bird identification guides, bird feeders, and complimentary bird seed.The educational kit explores the fascinating lives of birds and features hands-on activities that highlight their behavior and survival, the habitats they reside in, and ways to observe them up close through interactive outdoor experiences.To apply for free Indiana for the Birds educational kits, educators can visit the Indiana Audubon website. Additionally, select schools in the Marion County area can apply for free birds of prey programs brought to their classroom.The “Indiana for the Birds” educational program is provided through a generous grant from the Efroymson Family Fund and will provide educational kits to 50 classrooms statewide.  Teachers wishing to extend the educational experience can also schedule field trips to the Audubon’s Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in Connersville.  Live bird programming is available throughout the spring and fall seasons.last_img read more

June 4, 2019 Police Blotter

first_imgJune 4, 2019 Police Blotter060419 Decatur County Fire Report060419 Decatur County EMS Report060419 Decatur County Jail Report060419 Decatur County Law Report060419 Batesville Police Blotterlast_img

The Latest: Portuguese soccer league set to return on June 4

first_imgThe Latest: Portuguese soccer league set to return on June 4 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Portuguese soccer league says it will delay its restart until June 4. May 13, 2020 The players at the 20-time French champions say they told club president Bernard Lemaitre they are willing to accept “a significant decrease” in earnings. They did not give any figures regarding the amount of the proposed decrease.Lemaitre praised his players for their “spontaneous and unanimous” offer amid challenging economic times.He says it “further reinforces our motivation and our desire to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”The French league was canceled after the government called it off late last month. The semifinals of the Top 14 league will not be played.___ Associated Press More AP sports: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The league was expected to resume at the end of May but will wait another week so there is time to “rigorously inspect stadiums and conduct medical tests on all professionals involved” in the matches.The league says it hopes to serve as an example of “good practices” for the rest of the Portuguese society during the coronavirus pandemic.The league was stopped with Porto leading Benfica by one point with 10 rounds to go.___The players at French rugby club Toulouse have offered to take a pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more

Guardiola Explains Why He Left out Mahrez from Clash with Reds

first_imgManchester City forward Riyad Mahrez was left out of Sunday’s Community Shield because of concerns over medicine he was given by the Algeria medical team, says boss Pep Guardiola.Mahrez returned to training on Friday after captaining his country to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations in July.But he missed the penalty-shootout win over Liverpool through fears he could fall foul of doping rules. “The doctors did not have exactly the medicines,” said Guardiola.“Riyad called me just after being (crowned) champion with Algeria and said, ‘I want to come back in 10 days, I want to play against Liverpool’.“I said, ‘You are more than welcome, it’s perfect you come’.“But we don’t have what he took… about the medicine. That’s why, for doping control, today was a risk because the doctors didn’t have it. That’s why he wasn’t in the squad to play some minutes.“Hopefully he will be back next game against West Ham and in the future everything will be normal.”It is unknown what medicine Mahrez, 28, was given and what it was administered for.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Metta World Peace hoping to play professionally for 20 seasons

first_img“We didn’t expect him to make the team last year and he made it,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “The same thing can happen this year.”Last year, the Lakers became concerned with World Peace’s durability after he spent one season playing overseas in Italy and China. As World Peace said, “I just had to show I was in pretty good shape.”Then the Lakers found value that World Peace could provide in a mentorship role.This year, the Lakers acquired several other veterans, including Luol Deng and Jose Calderon. But with Deng sidelined in Friday’s exhibition against Denver at Staples Center with a bruised left knee, Lakers coach Luke Walton started World Peace at small forward instead of rookie forward Brandon Ingram.Walton said he “absolutely” considered starting Ingram before choosing otherwise to ensure the same bench rotation. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Lakers’ fan favorite appears assured of staying on the roster at least through training camp. But for a player that has won an NBA championship, collected defensive accolades and rehabilitated his image, Metta World Peace has higher aspirations.He does not just hope to stay on the Lakers’ roster on a non-guaranteed contract for a second consecutive season. The 36-year-old World Peace enters his 17th NBA season and 18th playing professionally overall hoping he can log at least three more years on the hardwood.“I want to finish off strong,” World Peace said. “It’s not about what it will mean to me. It’s about, ‘Can I get there?’ ”First things first. World Peace must first prove he can survive several rounds of roster cuts before the NBA regular season starts later this month.center_img Despite sitting World Peace in select portions of practice and in the Lakers’ preseason opener, Walton gushed about World Peace’s conditioning and veteran presence.“Metta is very professional,” Walton said. “There’s a lot of help having him around and having him at camp.”Will the Lakers think the same thing for the regular season?“My concern is having a good time. There’s nothing to overcome,” World Peace said. “I’m a hell of a basketball player. That’s the hard part, becoming a good basketball player. Once you do that, you don’t have to worry about nothing else.”Still, World Peace could not resist smiling during the team’s first film session. Then, the reality hit him that World Peace would play for Walton, who is nearly eight months younger than his former teammate.“I zoned out and was smiling. We literally sat next to each other in the film sessions,” World Peace said. “It felt good to see him up there coaching the Lakers.”It will also feel good for World Peace to continue to play for the Lakers this season and beyond. But first things first.“If he goes to the 28 days of camp and we decide not to keep him, he understands,” Kupchak said. “Those 28 days are going to pay huge dividends for this organization.”Bounce backThe Lakers’ loss to Denver featured a controversial finish. Lakers forward Thomas Robinson appeared to make a 3-pointer at the buzzer and drew contact as time expired. Had Robinson made the foul shot, the game would have gone into overtime. But officials determined Robinson did not release the shot before the clock expired. They also did not call a foul.Lakers second-year point guard D’Angelo Russell provided a team-leading 21 points while shooting 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-8 from 3-point range in 24 minutes. Russell also added five assists and four rebounds, though he also committed four turnovers. Russell also held Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay to four points on 2-of-10 shooting.Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson added 15 points, while Larry Nance Jr. had 11 points. Nuggets guard Will Barton led the team with 20 points, while center Jusuf Nurkic added 18.Popularity contestThe compliments have sounded as loud as the music Walton plays during practice. The Lakers endlessly have praised Walton’s laid-back personality, basketball intelligence and teaching style.Yet, Walton sounded aware of an unavoidable reality.“There’s going to be plenty of times where players are not happy with me or happy with the staff,” Walton said. “I know it’s coming. As long as the foundation and relationships are there, you can get through there no problem.”Still, the Lakers believe Walton can build a sturdier foundation than former cocah Byron Scott, whose stern style received mixed feedback in the organization.“I can’t talk about B. Scott other than when I played for him. I really enjoyed playing for Coach Scott,” said Walton, who played for him during his final NBA season in Cleveland (2012-13). “I like the guys to enjoy themselves. I like to get active on defense, get out and run as often as possible and put a value on how much the ball is moving.”Meeting of the mindsTheir presence will never fade with their retired jerseys and endless highlight reels. Lakers Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Gail Goodrich also provided something else, spending time with the Lakers during a film session and imparting wisdom in what Walton called an “intimate setting.”“I loved it,” Walton said. ”They both talked and the players asked questions. It was a good little 15-minute segment we had with some of the all-time greats.”Abdul-Jabbar and Goodrich provided more than just platitudes on the upcoming 2016-17 season. Abdul-Jabbar also demonstrated his skyhook and post-up moves.“That’s unbelievable to have Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, No. 1 scorer in NBA history, teaching you his signature move and his thoughts about the game,” Lakers backup center Tarik Black said. “You can’t buy that.”last_img read more