A ‘Prisoner’ story

first_imgIt was a Kafkaesque nightmare even before Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi was savagely murdered. An American journalist working in Iran, hoping to bridge the gap between the two countries through his reporting, was arrested along with his wife and thrown into the city’s worst prison on charges that were manifestly untrue and levied by powers of unclear identity. It was where he would remain for 18 months, not knowing if he would ever see his family again.In all, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran, spent 544 days in Evin Prison, accused by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of being a CIA operative, convicted in what most called a show trial in October 2015, and sentenced to a prison term that was never made public. Despite the secrecy, calls for Rezaian’s release were quickly taken up by his family and colleagues at the Post, and their #FreeJason campaign spread to journalists around the world. The drive eventually grew into a cause célèbre, with figures from Muhammad Ali and Noam Chomsky to Edward Snowden and a Kardashian sister demanding his release. Finally, on Jan. 16, 2016, Rezaian and three other Americans were freed in a controversial prisoner swap spearheaded by then-Secretary of State John Kerry. Though deeply painful and still raw at times, Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Rezaian, described their experiences, detailed in his new memoir, “Prisoner,” during a talk Thursday at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) with R. Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations. The two studied at Harvard shortly after Jason’s release in fall 2016, he as a Nieman Foundation Fellow and she as a fall fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at HKS.Jason Rezaian said that growing up in Marin County, Calif., just north of San Francisco, as the son of an Iranian immigrant father and an American-born mother was central to his world view and his desire to better understand Iran, a country he eventually moved to in 2009. “I knew from the very first moment … this was not going to go away. And it did not go away for a very long time.” — Yeganeh Rezaian From captivity to classroom “It was a typical American upbringing with these Persian layers infused into the experience,” he said. “And it wasn’t until much later, after Sept. 11, that I ever felt like I was different than anybody else. Not because I felt different, but because people looked at me differently. People judged me because of where my father came from.” Prior to their arrest, the couple had built a nice life for themselves in Tehran. Jason was the Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post, Yeganeh was a reporter for a UAE news outlet, and they lived in a lovely downtown apartment. They were neither dissidents nor “outlaw” reporters, but credentialed journalists who had gone through the laborious process of getting government approval to work. They had even recently appeared on the late Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” speaking effusively about Iran and how Americans misunderstood the country and its people.Then one night in July 2014, as the couple left their building to attend a birthday party, three men in surgical masks, one pointing a gun at Jason, approached them as they got off their elevator and ordered them back upstairs. They were separated and questioned, their apartment ransacked, and then they were blindfolded, taken into custody, and brought to jail. “Jason is always very positive and he has this great optimism. That’s his American way of life,” said Yeganeh. But she had grown up in Iran under theocratic, totalitarian regimes, and, “I knew from the very first moment — I appreciate him trying to calm me down and say ‘Baby, everything is going to be all right. They’re just going to leave our apartment in a few minutes’ — I knew this was not going to go away,” she said. “And it did not go away for a very long time.”Despite her captors’ efforts to convince her that the outside world thought she and Jason had been killed in a car accident, Yeganeh said she remained certain that family, friends, and Jason’s colleagues at the Post were unlikely to have believed that or given up searching for them. And she was right.Amid the complex, multilateral talks that ended with the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal, President Barack Obama was sharply criticized for not making the release of Rezaian and other prisoners a condition of the deal. What few knew at the time was that his administration had been secretly negotiating with Iran to secure his release since November 2014, and the talks were still ongoing when the nuclear deal was signed. The couple were each subjected to solitary confinement, Jason for 49 days, Yeganeh for 72. At Harvard, they spoke of the physical, emotional, and psychological devastation of being deprived of human contact, edible food, bathroom facilities, and even basic information such as the time and the weather. Rezaian lost 40 pounds in the first 40 days, while Yeganeh described her small cell, in which she could barely lie down, as “a grave” where she felt herself dying “a slow death.” They said the trauma of solitary confinement convinced them that such an inhumane practice should be abolished worldwide. There were, however, sparks of gallows humor in their predicament, and Jason Rezaian decided to make the most of them to preserve his wits. His captors were ideologues, but unsophisticated, and their English was rudimentary, though they didn’t know it. When the lead interrogator lectured Rezaian about the world and the strength and nobility of a then-ascendant ISIS, describing its brute power and theocratic might as the “lovechild” of Israel and Saudi Arabia, Rezaian simply enjoyed his captor’s malaprops. “I thought, (a) this will get me through right now, and (b) like so many other experiences in my life, someday this will probably make a hell of a story,” he said. “You have to latch onto whatever can get you through the day.”  Related Freed by Iran, Washington Post reporter and wife settle in as journalism fellows at Harvardlast_img read more

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Tom Hewitt & More Set for Amazing Grace on Broadway

first_img Related Shows Amazing Grace View Comments As the saying goes, one door closes, another opens… Tom Hewitt, who starred in the recent short-lived production of Doctor Zhivago, has been tapped for the role of Captain Newton in Amazing Grace. Tickets are also now available for the musical, which will begin performances at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre on June 25 under the direction of Gabriel Barre. Opening night is set for July 16.Hewitt received a Tony nod for The Rocky Horror Show; additional Great White Way credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago and The Lion King. Rounding out the company will be Leslie Becker (Bonnie & Clyde), Mike Evariste (Hair), Sean Ewing (West Side Story), Christopher Gurr (All the Way), Vince Oddo (Rocky), Oneika Phillips (Fela!), Clifton Samuels (Follies), Dan Sharkey (Bridges of Madison County), Bret Shuford (Little Mermaid), Charles E. Wallace (Miss Saigon), Hollie E. Wright (Hot Feet), with Sara Brophy, Rheaume Crenshaw, Miquel Edson, Savannah Frazier, Allen Kendall, Michael Dean Morgan, Gavriel Savit, Evan Alexander Smith, Uyoata Udi and Toni Elizabeth White making their Broadway debuts.They join the previously announced Josh Young, Erin Mackey, Chuck Cooper, Chris Hoch, Harriett D. Foy, Laiona Michelle, Rachael Ferrera and Elizabeth Ward Land in the cast.Featuring music and lyrics by Christopher Smith and a book by Smith and Arthur Giron, Amazing Grace is based on the true story behind the beloved song. A tale of romance, rebellion and redemption, the show follows one man whose incredible journey ignited a historic wave of change that gave birth to the abolitionist movement. John Newton (Young), a willful and musically talented young Englishman, faces a future as uncertain as the turning tide. Coming of age as Britain sits atop an international empire of slavery, he finds himself torn between following in the footsteps of his father—a slave trader—and embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart (Mackey).Amazing Grace played a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago in fall 2014, in which Hewitt also starred. Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 25, 2015last_img read more

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Medicinal Herbs

first_imgMany gardeners keep an herb garden to stock their kitchens with parsley, thyme and cilantro. That same herb garden can turn out tasty, healthful teas.Noelle Fuller, an herbalist and horticulturist who manages the medicinal herb garden at UGA’s student-run farm, UGArden, is on a quest to demystify medicinal herbs and to help more people grow their own.Fuller, a trained herbalist who received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science and a master’s degree in horticulture from UGA, works with students at UGArden to produce medicinal teas that are sold across campus.She wants gardeners to branch out from the culinary herbs. Gardeners may be familiar with popular herb teas like chamomile and mint, but Fuller encourages them to try growing some other herbs and flowers, like holy basil, passion flower, roses and hibiscus, all of which are known for their calming, immune-boosting and antioxidant properties. They’re easy to grow in Georgia and can provide a more relaxing alternative to coffee when brewed with tea.Fuller and her team of volunteers grow more than 50 medicinal plants in their plot at UGArden, and she has a few pointers for those who want to start propagating their own medicinal plants at home.First, gardeners should talk to their doctors to make sure there are no herbs that could interact with their medications.Second, gardeners should try growing a few different herbs before they invest a lot of effort into growing a particular crop.“Think about what herbs (you) enjoy already,” Fuller said. “It would be a shame if you started to grow something and realized you didn’t really enjoy drinking it.”Hibiscus, which can be grown as annual in Georgia, is known for its high antioxidant content, Fuller said. Gardeners should harvest the calyx, or the covering around the seedpod, for teas.“Hibiscus is a beautiful plant, and it’s a wonderful herb,” Fuller said. “A lot of people have had red zinger tea before, and hibiscus is responsible for that tart flavor and red color, and it’s packed with vitamin C.”You can also eat the hibiscus’s leaves, which are a bit tart, in salads, Fuller said.Roses are another antioxidant plant, but it’s important to remember that many modern hybrid roses do not have the same medicinal value as older varieties. Look for highly fragrant roses that have not been sprayed. Both rose petals and rose hips, the fruit of the plant, have antioxidant properties.Holy basil, the plant Fuller studied for her master’s thesis, grows exactly like culinary basil varieties and helps reduce the negative effects of stress. It has a slight licorice and clove flavor and is Fuller’s top pick for new herb growers.Third, gardeners should skip the sprays. Gardeners should protect their herbs from herbicides and pesticides because any residue left on the herbs will likely be concentrated when it’s brewed into tea.“At the herb garden at UGA, we don’t spray anything, not even pesticides approved for organic use, because we really don’t want any residue on our medicinal plants,” Fuller said. “If it gets a fungus or dies back or isn’t doing well, we’ll move it. If that doesn’t work, we just won’t grow it.”For gardeners growing herbs in suburban or urban environments, this can also mean protecting your herbs from sprays applied by neighbors.“You want to be sure that no one else is spraying your herbs and that there is no runoff of lawn chemicals,” Fuller said.Fourth, herbs benefit from a little neglect. Medicinal herbs produce their healthful compounds in response to plant stress, so plants that are a little water stressed or undergoing some insect pressure will make for more potent herbs.“Plants produce more medicinal compounds in response to stress, and it winds up being more flavorful and medicinal for us,” she said.Fifth, harvest your herbs often and clip about 6 to 8 inches from the ground, allowing the herbs to rebound after each harvest.Finally, harvest and brew tea immediately or dry the harvest for later using a drying rack or a food dehydrator.As a general guideline, Fuller brews her herbal teas by putting 1 to 3 teaspoons of dried herbs or a handful of fresh herbs with 8 ounces of boiling water, then steeps it for 15 minutes. If she wants it stronger, she will let it steep for longer, a few hours or sometimes overnight.“Really, the strength of the tea you brew totally depends on the person,” she said. “Some people like it strong, but I have a friend who dilutes the tea I make with four times the water that I would use.”For more information, visit www.youtube.com/channel/UC0rufIE89uMT6r_2fyjIKMQ to see videos of Fuller working in the UGArden’s medicinal herb garden.last_img read more

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Campus Sexual Assault: What Are Colleges Doing Wrong?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Update July 29: We have updated this article to include the responses universities gave to the stories.During their time at college, the Department of Justice estimates one in five women will be sexually assaulted, and as many as 95 percent of the cases go unreported.So how are colleges failing to protect students from sexual assault? We sorted through the reporting to highlight a few cases that show the system’s greatest shortcomings.When Football Goes on TrialLizzy Seeberg committed suicide ten days after reporting to Notre Dame campus police that she had been sexually assaulted by a Fighting Irish linebacker. As news of the allegations spread, Seeberg was threatened by the player’s teammates. “Don’t do anything you would regret,” one texted her. “Messing with Notre Dame football is a bad idea.” The campus authorities didn’t interview the accused player until 15 days after receiving Seeberg’s statement, five days after she committed suicide. The police declined to bring charges and Notre Dame declined to discuss the case when it was first reported.Since 2010, there have been investigations into rape and sexual assault by football players at the University of Missouri, Baylor College, the US Naval Academy, University of Texas, Vanderbilt, Appalachian State, and numerous others.And officials have frequently faced scrutiny for their response. When a freshman at Florida State University reported that star quarterback Jameis Winston had raped her, the case was kept under wraps until TMZ broke the news. The New York Times later detailed how authorities failed to promptly investigate even though records show that the athletic department knew about it less than a month after the victim came forward.  The university declined to speak to the Times about the case, citing privacy laws.In another case, a panel at Hobart and William Smith colleges in upstate New York quickly cleared three football players of a complaint brought against them by a freshman named Anna. Records of the case obtained by the New York Times showed that the football players lied to campus police at first, and then gave a story that did not align with evidence collected in Anna’s medical examination.  Yet because colleges usually keep those proceedings confidential to protect students’ privacy, the public is kept mostly in the dark about what happens in a sexual assault hearing. Officials at Hobart and William Smith told the Times they have “no tolerance for sexual assault.” They also declined to answer specific questions, citing privacy laws.Only a Slap on the WristIn a case that unfolded at Indiana University in 2006, a disciplinary panel concluded that a student named Margaux had been the victim of “inappropriate sexual contact.” Their chosen punishment? Banning the assailant from campus for the summer. After Margaux appealed the decision, the university eventually extended the suspension to a full year. By that time, Margaux had already dropped out to avoid being on the same campus as her assailant.A joint investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity into Margaux’s case and other college sexual assault hearings across the country found a common pattern. Sexual assault hearings have resulted in one-month suspensions and even essay assignments. Indiana University defended its suspension of the student who assaulted Margaux. “We’d like to think we can always educate and hold accountable the student,” a dean told CPI.Patrick Henry College: A World without Title IXPatrick Henry College, a rural evangelical institution in northern Virginia offers a window into what life is like without the protections of Title IX, which outlaws gender discrimination on college campuses. In order to remain exempt from that law, the college turns down federal funding.In an investigation published in The New Republic, Kiera Feldman looked into the cases of several young women who dropped out of Patrick Henry after reporting being sexually assaulted by fellow students. Title IX requires colleges to have a procedure for handling harassment and sexual violence complaints and to take immediate action to ensure that victims can continue their education free from harassment or retaliation. Instead, Feldman reports, a student named Sarah and her accused assailant both received “growth contracts” which mainly involved weekly counseling sessions during which Sarah read aloud passages from evangelical women’s self-help literature. In response to the story, the college released a detailed statement: “Our foremost concern has always been to protect and nurture all our students.”Taking a University to CourtWhen students believe their cases have been mishandled, they can file a Title IX complaint. That’s what students have done this year at Occidental, University of California at Berkeley, University of North Carolina, Dartmouth, Swarthmore, University of Southern California, and dozens of other schools.So many sexual assault victims have filed complaints that there are now 71 schools under federal investigation for Title IX violations across the country. knowyourix.org, a site set up by advocates, lays out how you can file a complaint.Five University of Connecticut students who believed the school hadn’t properly handled their sexual assault complaints took it a step further and filed a federal lawsuit in October 2013. UConn President Susan Herbst said their allegations 2014 that the university neglected their cases—were “astonishingly misguided and demonstrably untrue.” The case was settled outside of court this month for $1.28 million, UConn did not admit to wrongdoing and says it follows Title IX regulations in handling sexual violence on its campus.last_img read more

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Charged off loans and interest

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The compliance team has heard from several members lately about the rules regarding charged off loans and interest. The questions focus on whether credit unions are permitted to continue charging interest after a loan had been charged off. There are a few different ways to look at this issue, which are covered below.Regulation Z: The Periodic Statement AngleRegulation Z does not provide a prohibition against charging interest after a loan has been charged off, but it does provide an exception to the periodic statement requirements for credit unions who do this. Periodic statements are required under section 1026.5(b)(2) for all open-end credit products and section 1026.41 for closed-end loans secured by a dwelling. Regulation Z does not require periodic statements for other types of closed-end loans, so these are not addressed.Both rules provide an exception to the requirements for charged off loans if certain conditions are met. For open-end credit products, the conditions are:last_img read more

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COVID-19: Jakarta to impose progressive fines for not wearing masks in public

first_imgThe city’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) has been tasked to enforce the regulation, with possible assistance from the National Police and Indonesian Military (TNI).“Satpol PP personnel will record the names, addresses and identification numbers of violators in a database or information system,” the regulation states.Read also: Jokowi orders nationwide enforcement of COVID-19 protocols, sanctionsThe regulation was issued amid rising COVID-19 cases the capital. The national epicenter of the outbreak, Jakarta recorded 657 new cases on Friday, bringing the total to 32,267, according to the central government’s official tally.Despite the increase, many Jakartans are still ignoring health protocols. According to Satpol PP data, the city has collected Rp 1.7 billion in fines from 11,680 violators as of Thursday, based on a previous regulation that fines people Rp 250,000 for not wearing a face mask in public. More than 80,000 people have also been required to do community service as part of the penalty.“We hope that the fine can give a deterrent effect so Jakartans will follow the rules better,” Jakarta Satpol PP chief Arifin told kompas.com on Friday.Topics : The Jakarta administration will start enforcing progressive fines for residents who do not wear a face mask in public as the capital struggles to curb COVID-19 transmissions.The newly issued Gubernatorial Regulation No. 79/2020 states that violators will be fined Rp 250,000 (US$16.92) or required to participate in 60 minutes of community service.The fine will be increased to Rp 500,000 or 120 minutes of community service for those who are caught violating the regulation a second time. Third-time offenders will be required to pay a Rp 750,000 fine or 180 minutes of community service, while the fourth and subsequent violations will result in a Rp 1 million fine or 240 minutes of community service.last_img read more

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery confirms Granit Xhaka not in his plans for Wolves match

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Granit Xhaka Statement The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply.People have said things like, ‘We will break your legs’, ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place. Let’s move forward positively together. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to captain Arsenal in the absence of Ganit Xhaka against Wolves (Picture: Getty)‘In the stadium sometimes it’s normal when we aren’t winning that they respond with some criticism. It’s normal to coach and players.‘Also a lot of players sometimes receive that criticism in the stadium and when you recover with a good performance they forget that and applaud the players and team.‘That’s our objective. To connect with the people, to win and respond the supporters to us, helping us in 90 minutes. This is our target tomorrow.’Should Granit Xhaka remain as Arsenal captain?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Arsenal players openly ‘taking the p***’ out of Unai Emery as pressure on the manager increasesMORE: Mesut Ozil ‘unhappy’ with Arsenal situation, reveals Sead Kolasinac Granit Xhaka issued a statement following his actions during last weekend’s draw against Crystal Palace (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery has confirmed he is not planning to select Granit Xhaka ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League match against Wolves on Saturday.The club captain stormed off the pitch during last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace, throwing the armband to the floor and hurling abuse at his own supporters after they had ironically cheered his substitutionXhaka released a statement on Thursday explaining, rather than apologising for, his actions but Emery intends to keep his skipper out of the firing line for the visit of Wolves to the Emirates Stadium.‘The first is the person,’ said Emery at his pre-match press conference.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘The human, like everyone, feels. Xhaka’s issues last week is one issue that needs time. He needs time to recover the normality in him.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‘He is training. He didn’t play in Liverpool for me he is continuing, above all [we are] focusing on tomorrow.‘He said sorry. He gave apologies to the supporters and everybody. Now is the focus on tomorrow’s match.’ Arsenal boss Unai Emery confirms Granit Xhaka not in his plans for Wolves match Metro Sport ReporterFriday 1 Nov 2019 1:40 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2kShares Comment On the abuse players receive online and how they should look to deal with it, Emery added: ‘Everybody maybe we have some social media on our phone, on our internet, on our web.‘Really to use it is only being intelligent. We can respect the people on social media but we have to separate how much is real. Every supporter is not following that.‘For me the best supporters or the good response is how the supporters respond in our stadium. We have a lot of supporters around the world and we respect them but the real response is in the stadium.last_img read more

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Lucas Torreira’s agent tells Mikel Arteta to make decision on Arsenal star’s future

first_img Mikel Arteta discusses changes at ArsenalTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 3:46FullscreenMikel Arteta discusses changes at Arsenalhttps://metro.co.uk/video/mikel-arteta-discusses-changes-arsenal-2238696/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.AC Milan and Fiorentina have also expressed an interest in bringing the combative former Sampdoria star back to Serie A and Torreira’s representative has asked Arsenal to make their intentions clear. ‘There are many requests for information, but nothing official yet, so there are no written offers on the table,’ Pablo Bentancur told Calciomercato.com.‘The player is training with Arsenal, they own him, he is one of the few cases of athletes who arrive in England and immediately play 50 games in a row.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‘After a nasty injury, he didn’t require surgery, but the recovery process was still tricky and took a while. Now the coach and Arsenal must work out if they need Torreira or not.‘Football has to be divided into two parts, the sporting and the economic areas. In sporting terms, Torreira is perfect for Torino and he’d reunite with Marco Giampaolo after their time at Sampdoria.‘At the same time, we must be realistic and admit Arsenal will have some very big demands, while Lucas’ salary is also a bit too high for Torino.’MORE: Paul Merson urges Arsenal to make ‘big statement’ by completing Gabriel Magalhaes transferMORE: Gabriel Martinelli offers verdict on Arsenal signing WillianFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Comment Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 29 Aug 2020 11:09 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.2kShares Advertisement Advertisement Lucas Torreira’s future at Arsenal remains unclear (Picture: Getty)Lucas Torreira’s agent has urged Mikel Arteta to make a definitive decision on the Arsenal midfielder’s future. The Uruguay international impressed during the early weeks of Arteta’s reign when he was restored to his customary role at the base of Arsenal’s midfield, having been deployed in a more attacking position by Unai Emery.Torreira suffered a serious ankle injury during an FA Cup win at Portsmouth in March and by the time he had recovered he found it hard to force his way back into the starting XI, given the form of Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka.AdvertisementAdvertisementArteta had hoped to strengthen his midfield this summer but with Ceballos having returned to Real Madrid and there being little to no transfer interest in the exiled Matteo Guendouzi, the Spaniard’s plans appear to be on hold.ADVERTISEMENTA deal for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey appears to be beyond Arsenal’s financial means, but the club are said to have explored the option of a swap deal with Roma involving Torreira and Amadou Diawara. Lucas Torreira’s agent tells Mikel Arteta to make decision on Arsenal star’s futurelast_img read more

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Teacher Makes Case For Raising Minimum Salary in Call with Gov. Wolf

first_img Education,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release,  Schools That Teach Governor Tom Wolf called a Washington County teacher to discuss his plan to raise the minimum teacher salary in Pennsylvania from $18,500 to $45,000 per year. The teacher is one of more than 3,200 who would benefit from the salary increase statewide.“Providing high-quality education is one of my priorities, and that includes making sure we can attract and retain talented teachers,” said Gov. Wolf. “Raising the teacher salary to $45,000 would lift financial strain from our teachers, allowing them to direct their attention more fully to educating young Pennsylvanians.”I’m still fighting for an increase in minimum teacher pay to $45,000.Teachers like Joe dedicate their lives to shaping Pennsylvania’s future.But the base salary for teachers has been $18,500 since the 1980s. This is an injustice and it must end. pic.twitter.com/leTFGKtWju— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) February 26, 2020Pennsylvania arbitrarily sets minimum compensation for Pennsylvania teachers and other education professionals, including counselors and school nurses, at a 1980s-level of $18,500 per year, or $8.90. This salary assumes a 40-hour workweek, even though most educators spend many hours out of the classroom preparing lesson plans and reviewing student assignments. Gov. Wolf’s proposal to raise the minimum teacher salary in Pennsylvania to $45,000 per year better aligns the commonwealth with other states and today’s cost of living, helping to attract the best teachers for Pennsylvania’s children.View a video of the call on Facebook or Twitter. Teacher Makes Case For Raising Minimum Salary in Call with Gov. Wolf February 26, 2020center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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PensionsEurope calls on EC to tackle regulatory risk in infrastructure

first_imgNational and EU policymakers should address regulatory constraints and risks, such as subsidy changes, that are deterring or preventing pension funds from investing in alternative assets such as infrastructure and venture capital, according to PensionsEurope. The European pension fund association bemoaned the lack of infrastructure investment opportunities and said political and regulatory risks could be major barriers to pension funds’ investing in infrastructure over the long term.It called on policymakers at the national and EU level to “ensure a stable regulatory and fiscal framework” for infrastructure investment, although it added that pension funds themselves could take matters into their hands.It cited as an example the creation of the Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP) in the UK, which pools investment from a number of pension funds.  The PiP received its UK regulatory authorisation in mid-January, having by then mobilised commitments to invest £1bn (€1.3bn), half of its £2bn target size.PensionsEurope noted that infrastructure investments were often made in the context of public assets, in some cases incorporating state subsidies.Such investments require a “stable” public and legal environment over the long term.“Variability in those areas may significantly reduce investor confidence and willingness to invest,” it said.“Reducing subsidies during the life-time of a project could significantly curtail the advantages of these types of investments.”The illiquid and long-term nature of infrastructure investments underscores the importance of stability, it said.PensionsEurope cited “the many shifts” of tariffs for solar energy projects in the EU as an example of political and regulatory risks that could reduce the appeal of infrastructure investments.It cited the UK government’s current consideration of reducing feed-in tariffs for small installations, changes in Spain in 2012-13 to the policy on a guaranteed price for renewable electricity, and plans in Norway to “drastically” reduce transmission fees for gas pipelines.PensionsEurope also called for a better definition of infrastructure investments “to help to support industry-wide best practices or standards for contractual documentation for long-term project financing”.The association also addressed other non-traditional asset classes in its response to the European Commission’s call for evidence on the EU financial services regulatory framework.It said “unnecessary regulatory constraints on financing” were also affecting pension fund investment in venture capital and European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs).European venture capital funds (EuVECA) have existed since 2013, but there are too few, and the ones that do exist fail to meet pension funds’ basic diversification requirements, said Pensions Europe.The local implementation and promotion of EuVECA should be corrected to allow pension funds to use the vehicles, the association said.The EU ELTIF regulation, meanwhile, has not been fully transposed into local legislation and/or regulation for pension funds, it said, which creates problems.It gave as an example that, in German local pension fund regulation, an ELTIF would be considered an equity vehicle, even if it carried only debt investments.last_img read more

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