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British Airways settles six-year dispute with pension fund

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first_imgBritish Airways (BA) has reached a settlement with the trustees of one of its two defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in relation to disputed discretionary benefit increases.The airline has been in dispute with the trustees of the £7.7bn (€8.9bn) Airways Pension Scheme (APS) since 2013 over a 0.2% additional uplift in benefits, which the company had said risked making it harder for the scheme to close its funding deficit.The two parties were scheduled to meet in the UK’s Supreme Court later this year after the trustees appealed against the latest ruling. However, improvements in funding levels and a major de-risking transaction have made the additional payments more palatable for BA, according to a letter to members from the APS trustees.The agreement between BA and APS means the trustees will be permitted to award further discretionary increases from 2021 to ensure benefits keep pace with RPI inflation. The increases will be subject to “some affordability tests”, the trustees said. The APS trustees said they had agreed with BA that the terms of the legal settlement “better serve the interests of the members as a whole than proceeding with the appeal”.Once the settlement is approved by the UK High Court, payments would be made “as soon as practicable, backdated to 8 April 2019”, the trustees added. Source: BABritish Airways first disputed the discretionary payments awarded by the trustees in 2013As well as future discretionary increases, the settlement also includes a one-off lump sum payable to pensioners to compensate for the lack of discretionary increases between 2013 and 2019, the period of the litigation process between BA and APS. This is estimated to be worth about 4.6% of pensions in payment as of 31 March 2019.“Certain increases” would be granted to pensioners and deferred members relating to this period as well, according to the APS trustees. Next year, members will receive a benefit increase equal to 75% of the difference between RPI inflation and CPI inflation.In return for the increases being permitted, BA will stop making deficit recovery contributions to APS. Payments would restart if the scheme’s funding level fell below 100%, the trustees said.The trustees said the discretionary increases were expected to be affordable without additional payments from the sponsor, but BA said it would set aside £40m as a contingency fund.Funding improvementsOne of the main reasons behind the settlement was a £4.4bn insurance buy-in finalised in September 2018, securing more than half of the APS’ liabilities with Legal & General. The deal remains the UK’s largest ‘buy-in’ transaction ever completed.In addition, the funding level of the APS had improved due to a de-risking strategy to shift the scheme out of equities, the trustees said.“Together, these factors have effectively reversed the funding deficit and APS is expected to show a substantial surplus at the next valuation relative to [CPI inflation] increases,” the trustees said. “This surplus would be used to deliver the proposed package of discretionary increases.”The APS entered into a £1.6bn longevity swap transaction with Partner Re and Canada Life Re in September 2017 to insure against increases in members’ life expectancy.The scheme is one of two main DB schemes sponsored by BA. The £16.9bn New Airways Pension Scheme was closed to future accrual from 31 March 2018, and was replaced by a new defined contribution arrangement.last_img read more

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‘If Van Gaal can turn Ron Vlaar into world-beater, imagine what he can do with Chris Smalling’

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first_img1 When football fans discovered Aston Villa centre-back Ron Vlaar was given the job of stopping the likes of Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain in the Netherlands’ World Cup semi-final against Argentina, not many would have predicted the outcome.That outcome was the Villans man, who was part of a team that conceded over 60 goals in last season’s Premier League, absolutely bossing the opposition.But a fairytale ending wasn’t to be for the defender, whose missed spot kick saw the South American’s progress to the final with a penalty shoot-out victory.Nevertheless, there’s no doubt the 29-year-old’s value has skyrocketed following such a performance on the greatest stage.And many fans were left to marvel at manager Louis van Gaal’s coaching mastery, and only wonder what the incoming Manchester United boss can do with the Red Devils’ under-performing squad in the coming seasons. Aston Villa and Netherlands defender kept world star Lionel Messi quiet throughout their World Cup semi-final last_img read more

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Report: Raiders working out Kyler Murray, Ohio State QB this week, but why?

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first_imgA ruse? A trick play? Due diligence? An April fool’s joke?Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer has reported the Raiders are holding a private workout with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray at Oklahoma on Monday. The Raiders’ brief roadie will conclude in Ohio State on Tuesday when they work out quarterback Dwayne Haskins.The question is, why?The Raiders have and apparently like Derek Carr, who has started 78 of the team’s 80 games since he was drafted. Just last week, coach Jon …last_img

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Your Cells Work for You

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first_img(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 At a cellular level, the human body has a dizzying array of workers.  Here are a few recent examples discovered.Most of us are completely unaware of what goes on in each cell of our bodies.  If we knew, we might take better care of our team.A protein rescues cellular factories when they get stuck.  (PhysOrg)Cell repair stops during cell division to keep telomeres from fusing together.  (Medical Xpress)The circadian clock is like a symphony with many conductors.  (PhysOrg)Your walking motors get turbo-charged when they join together.  (PNAS)One of your walking motors can wave its lever arm and get others to cooperate.  (PNAS)Your cellular trash cans go through a series of checks before compacting the trash.  (PNAS)Worried about hypermutation in your antibody genes?  Enhancers take care of it.  (Medical Xpress)Your stomach does spring cleaning by bleaching away its bacteria, but the good bacteria know how to survive.  (Live Science)Surprise: those precious multipotent stem cells scientists want from embryos are already present in many of your body tissues.  (PhysOrg)A student discovered a protein that protects “genomic integrity” during meiosis.  (Medical Xpress)Live Science posted descriptions of “10 Little-Known Body Parts” so that you can “Know Thyself Better.”  Reporter Bahar Gholipour found some interesting tidbits in the knee, eye, chest, voicebox, ear, fingernails, lip, backbone, skeleton, and stomach.  The only one suggested as an “evolutionary leftover” is the philtrum (medial cleft in the lip), but Gholipour ends, “However, scientists are still interested in this little body part because it is formed during specific embryonic ages, and an unusual form of the upper lip area is a clue to disruptions during the development of the fetus.”  Maybe there’s an undiscovered function for this part that is built during specific embryonic stages.The more you know about the Creator’s art, the more you should be grateful.  After all, gratitude reduces costly impatience, Science Daily claims.  Don’t be grateful because it’s less costly, but because it’s right.  Try to fathom how many things the Creator had to design when he created man from the dust.  It’s unfathomable.  We have an omnipotent, omniscient, all-wise Creator, who deserves our love, our gratitude, and our obedience.  Start by turning around.last_img read more

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SA roots in literature: new reviews

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first_img26 November 2004“I am an African . I owe my being to the Khoi and the San . the migrants who left Europe . the Malay slaves from the East . those transported from India and China . the grandchild of the warrior men and women . taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.” – Thabo Mbeki, opening of the new SA Constitution, 1996.The dawn of the new South Africa spawned a new quest for ancestral roots and the “real” story of how the Rainbow Nation got here – topics covered in an increasingly wide range of literature.Here are quick reviews of a selection of new books from South African writers in search of the holistic truth espoused by President Thabo Mbeki.What’s in a (South African) name? – Despite generations of official efforts to keep South Africans apart, racial mingling goes back to the very first years when white and black met at the Cape of Good Hope.Dan Sleigh’s epic tale of the Khoe woman Eva/Krotoa, who grew up in Jan van Riebeeck’s household and married a Danish colleague, is complemented by Theresa Benade’s romantic version of events at the early Cape, seen through the eyes of Anna De Koning, acquaintance of Eva and product of an unsolemnised slave/European union.Jackie Loos gives deeper insight into the unromantic shenanigans of slaves who didn’t make it out of bondage, while Michael Morris puts the course of events and early relationships which shaped the Cape, and later the whole of South Africa, into perspective.Stephen Taylor’s exploration of the 1782 survivors throws a whole new light on “the other side of the frontier” and accounts for some interesting “mixed marriage” origins previously only hinted at. Ingest and enjoy! IslandsBy Dan Sleigh (Secker and Warburg, 2004)Translated from the original Afrikaans version by Andre Brink, this sumptuous testimony to everyday events at the Cape soon after Van Riebeeck’s arrival has been described as “the great South African novel” everyone has been waiting for.Drawing on the early Dutch East Indies Company journals, archival researcher Dan Sleigh reads between the lines of official entries and creates a fictional voice for Krotoa, the Khoe woman who was taken into Van Riebeeck’s employ and married Danish surgeon and explorer Pieter Meerhoff, and her daughter Pieternella.By dissecting Pieternella’s life into the perspectives of seven men closely associated with her, from birth through her education in Mauritius, return to South Africa and marriage to Dutch farmer Daniel Zaaiman, Sleigh also provides an intimate account of the lives of the free burghers, slaves and kingpins at the Castle in the Cape’s formative years.Though hard-core critics are wary of deviating into speculative testimonies, there can be little doubt that Sleigh’s reconstruction of the soap opera of early Cape relationships and politics is firmly rooted in fact. While indulging in his own romantic love affair with Pieternella, he takes great pains, gleaned over years of non-fiction research and writing, to present documented background.Orders, reviews, further information:Amazon.comKalahari.net Exclusive Books Kites of Good FortuneBy Theresa Benade (New Africa Books, 2004)A descendant of Angela of Bengal, a slave in the employ of Jan van Riebeeck, Theresa Benade traces the life of her daughter, Anna de Koning, who married Swede Olof Bergh and experienced comparative luxury for one born into slavery.Using archival and museum research from the reign of the Van der Stels and before, Benade weaves the happenings at the early Cape into a tale of romance and heartbreak, the aim of which is to define an elusive South African identity somewhere between Europe and the East.Besides its poignance for all South Africans with mixed roots, it provides a background of social and political factors at play and an insight into slave/European relations before De Koning’s death in 1734. An easy, fulfilling read.Orders, further information:Kalahari.net  Echoes of SlaveryBy Jackie Loos (New Africa Books, 2004)Timeously published for Unesco Year of the Slave, Cape Town historian Jackie Loos documents intimate accounts of conditions of slaves at the Cape before emancipation in 1834.Using scant testimonies of slaves, who were usually not allowed to testify in court, Loos gets behind the scenes of the forces at work on European estates and the Slave Lodge which played no small part in shaping apartheid.From beatings and sexual exploitation by harsh masters to heinous executions and occasional happy tales, her candid commentary, much of it published in weekly Argus columns, opens the doors for more in-depth research.A veritable feast for anyone with slave ancestors, or those oblivious to the real conditions that didn’t make the text books.Orders, further information:Kalahari.net  Every Step of the WayBy Michael Morris (HSRC Press, 2004)A much-needed textbook for the new SA, Argus reporter and historian Michael Morris’s “Every Step of the Way”, commissioned by the Department of Education, is a far cry from the Great Trek and Anglo-Boer War offerings that 1980s students were force-fed.A balanced look at the real forces that shaped South African politics from the time the Dutch arrived at the Cape in 1652, the book analyses the factors that preceded and created apartheid, with Morris’s philosophical insights into what makes history providing solid groundwork for aspiring historians.It’s refreshing, simple without being over-simplified, and draws on alternative sources which provide a deeper background to early history than the official pre-apartheid version. From the Eva/Krotoa story to Makana and the repatriation of Sara Baartman, there’s food for thought for any South African who’s ever wanted to trace their ancestral roots.Though the Voortrekkers are given their due, their background is placed in a much broader context where it is revealed, among other interesting facts, that the great great granddaughter of Shayk Yusuf, regarded as the founder of Islam in South Africa, married into the family of slain Voortrekker hero Piet Retief.As Morris says, “The real puzzle of our history lies in its apparent ordinariness, in the seemingly habitual way of doing things”. This book makes those realities accessible to all.Orders, further information:HSRC PublishersKalahari.net  The Caliban ShoreBy Stephen Taylor (Faber and Faber, 2004)Though he does not set out specifically with this purpose, South African-born author Stephen Taylor offers a startling insight into undocumented “mixed marriages” in the 19th century along the area known as the Wild Coast because of its notorious ability to lure ships to their grave.Drawing on published records of the ill-fated Grosvenor, which ran aground north of Port St Johns on 4 August 1782, a testimony given by one of its 19 survivors and new research findings, Taylor documents the journey of the ship from India to the trek of the six men who reached a Dutch farm outside Port Elizabeth – and, finally, the discovery of the wreck in 1999.A harrowing account of a sequence of errors, misunderstandings and fraudulent claims by treasure-seekers keen to cash in on the claim that the wreck carried a rare Persian treasure, the book also offers convincing proof that descendants of at least one of the three British women who became a Tshomane chief’s wife still live in the area.While he didn’t get to find anyone who could prove direct descent, Taylor did meet members of the abeLunge, who, with paler complexion and aquiline features, are brought up knowing they are descended from the ship people. Read it and believe!Orders, further information:Amazon.comBarnes&Noble.com Kalahari.net Exclusive Books  Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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South African fathers develop baby ‘survival kit’

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first_img30 April 2014Two South African fathers have adapted a 1930s Finnish design to come up with a box aimed at supporting South African mothers with newborns.The Thula Baba Box will be made out of plastic and will include essential items, such as clothes, sheets, nappies, health products, and toys. The box itself can double up as a cot, a bath or be used to safely store items.Crucially, the box will also contain information targeted at mothers, as well as incentives to encourage expectant mothers to visit antenatal clinics earlier and more frequently.The project is being driven by De Villiers, a marketing executive, and Hertzog, founder of Action Hero Ventures, a “very early-stage angel fund” based in Stellenbosch that invests in creative and technology start-ups.The pair, who are both fathers, say the box aims to improve the overall wellness of mothers and babies.‘Amazing example’The concept is based on a 1938 initiative by the Finnish government that supplied expectant mothers with a similar box. The box is credited with helping to decrease Finland’s infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1 000 children born in 1938 to 3 deaths per 1 000 births in 2013, Action Hero Ventures say on their website.“We thought the Finnish box was an amazing example of design that changed a nation,” said Hertzog. “We hope that, given some tweaks, our product will have just as much of an impact.”The project is being run in partnership with the Western Cape Government Department of Health, the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University, and the J-PAL Africa Incubation Fund, which has provided funding.“We are looking forward to seeing the impact of the study [by health economists at Stellenbosch University] on lower-income families in the Western Cape,” De Villiers said.PotentialIt is expected that the box will be distributed to mothers throughout the Western Cape by 2016 and to the rest of South Africa by 2020.The project has been selected as an official 2014 World Design Capital Cape Town project.“We find it encouraging that two fathers are proactively engaged in a collaborative initiative to improve the lives of both babies and mothers in the Western Cape,” Tracey Naledi, chief director of health programmes, said. “We encourage such initiatives that are particularly aimed to support the first 1 000 days of life, and are excited to see the results of the study.”Ronelle Burger at Stellenbosch University’s Department of Economics, said the project had great potential to improve the lives of mothers and babies as it not only distributed products and information, but also offered incentives to change behaviour.“Similar schemes have been successful in promoting health in other countries and we that this study will provide useful inputs for policy making, but also contribute to ongoing international research on the role that incentives can play in promoting better health choices,” Burger said.SAinfo reporter and World Design Capitallast_img read more

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Seattle’s Green Blocks Project Targets Home Efficiency

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first_imgWith the first allotment of weatherization funds released to the states and, in turn, to the community agencies that hire local contractors, lots of local organizations have come up with plans that will attempt to get the greenest bang out of a weatherization buck.However, for programs whose mission is not necessarily to go right in and make home-performance improvements but rather to encourage homeowners to make the improvements, the process can be more complicated and success a little more elusive.We’ve noted, for example, the strategy of the ClimateSmart program being deployed in Boulder, Colorado, where energy-audit technicians go door-to-door and work directly with homeowners to try to get them to act on audit information.And now a somewhat similar approach is being used by a nonprofit based in Seattle, the Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance, which has developed a pilot program designed to assess not only home energy efficiency but also deficiencies in the use of water and fossil fuels, solid waste removal, and landscaping.Diagnosis and prescriptionCalled the Green Blocks Project, the program is providing free home environmental performance assessments to many of the homeowners who responded to program-application requests posted by EOS Alliance in June. The group says it chose which city blocks to target based on the number of applications received from each block. For this pilot program, whose assessment period began July 6 and runs through August 21, 10 city blocks were selected.Conducted by professionals certified by the Building Performance Institute, the assessments include a report sent to each homeowner that outlines home performance, recommends improvements, and identifies available services and training as well as applicable grants, rebates, and tax incentives.EOS Alliance says recommended remedies for performance deficiencies can include installation of smart meters, programmable thermostats, attic and wall insulation, weather stripping, door sweeps, gap sealant, low-flow water fixtures, compact fluorescent lighting, rain barrels, storm water bioswales, and/or vegetable gardens.For homeowners who do follow through on their Green Blocks assessments by making recommended improvements, EOS Alliance will track their home’s energy, water, and fuel usage for at least a year to note the benefits and changes in consumption. And of course that also will be a good way to measure the success of the Green Blocks program.EOS Alliance’s sustainability program director, Shannon Luoma, told GBA that the organization is still trying to secure funding that would be used to help pay for recommended improvements.“If the funds do not go through,” she says, “then we will be working with homeowners and block captains to pool together the collective purchasing power of their neighbors to get them all better deals on weatherization services. Kind of like buying in bulk, we’ll help to negotiate a better price for services to the homeowners.”last_img read more

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Young Walters murder victim buried

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first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 19 Jan 2015 – Kenley Walters, killed the day after Boxing Day was yesterday laid to rest and the case of the stabbing death of the young man continues to be in need of public information to bring light to what happened and who killed the 20 year old. Walters’ Family, who was in Jamaica at the time of the stabbing, actually burying his uncle who had died in that November traffic accident on eastern Leeward Highway is still shattered by the situation and has come out asking for public help into the murder probe. Remember you can give information on Kenley Walters’ murder or any other police investigation anonymously at Crime Stoppers: 1-800-TIPS; calls are answered in Miami. Related Items:buried, kenley walterscenter_img FIFTH ARREST IN KENLEY WALTERS MURDER TCI Youth Forum to go on the road; poor turnout criticised by Violence victimlast_img read more

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Bahamas Public Forecast for today and tonight Wednesday March 1st 2017

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first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, March 1, 2017 – Nassau – GENERAL SITUATION: A HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM CONTINUES TO CREATE FRESH BREEZES OVER THE BAHAMAS AS A TROF LIES ACROSS THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS.SPECIAL WARNINGS: BEACHGOERS AND MARINERS SHOULD BE ALERT FOR ROUGH SURF CONDITIONS AND DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS ALONG  NORTH AND EAST COAST BEACHES.FOR NORTHWEST AND CENTRAL BAHAMASWEATHER: MOSTLY SUNNY WITH THE CHANCE OF A SHOWER; FAIR AND MILD TONIGHT.ADVISORY: A SMALL CRAFT CAUTION IS IN EFFECT.WINDS: EAST-NORTHEAST TO EAST-SOUTHEAST AT 15 TO 20 KNOTS.SEAS: 4 TO 6 FEET.FOR SOUTHEAST BAHAMASWEATHER: MOSTLY SUNNY AND BREEZY; FAIR TONIGHT.ADVISORY: A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT.WINDS: EAST-NORTHEAST TO EAST-SOUTHEAST AT 15 TO 25 KNOTS.SEAS: 5 TO 8 FEET.DAYTIME HIGH TEMP.:     85°F   29°C       OVERNIGHT LOW TEMP.: 74°F   24°CSUNRISE: 06:32AM WED.           SUNSET: 06:12PM WED.MOONRISE: 08:42AM WED.      MOONSET: 9:27PM WED. ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo FORECAST FOR THURSDAYWEATHER: PARTLY SUNNY AND BREEZY WITH FEW SHOWERS.WINDS: EAST TO SOUTHEAST AT 15 KNOTS.SEAS: 3 TO 5 FEET. Recommended for you HIGH TIDE: 09:35AM WED.       LOW TIDE: 3:53PM WED.EXTENDED FORECAST: A COLD FRONT WILL PUSH INTO THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS ON FRIDAY BRINGING MORE UNSETTLED WEATHER. FORECAST FOR FRIDAYWEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.WINDS: EAST TO SOUTHEAST AT 15 KNOTS.SEAS: 3 TO 5 FEET.   ARMSTRONG/tc/sslast_img read more

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Sweetwater Valley Little League advances to Regional tournament

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first_img KUSI Newsroom Categories: All Sports Report, Local San Diego News, Sports FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Sweetwater Valley Little League team has won the state championship and is now advancing to the Regional tournament. If they win there, the team heads to Williamsport to represent the West Region in the Little League World Series.• Andrew Arnce• Joey Castillo• Alessandro Catano• Ryan Garcia• Josh Hughes• Christian Jimenez• Dante Milan• Leo Mondragon• Kapono Nakenelua• Eathan Otero• Adrik Sanchez• Daniel Sanchez• Nyenati Snoh• Coach Francisco• Coach Arturo Maldonado• Manager Ward Lannom Posted: August 1, 2019 Sweetwater Valley Little League advances to Regional tournament August 1, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more

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