Lothian backs merger of Scottish local authority funds

first_imgFalkirk Council Pension Fund2,289 Total44,256 Orkney Islands Council Pension Fund366 Scotland’s second largest local authority pension fund has voiced support for a full merger of the country’s 11 local government pension schemes (LGPS).The £6.7bn (€7.5bn) Lothian Pension Fund backed the option in its response to a consultation launched by the Scottish LGPS Advisory Board in June, a view at odds with that of Scotland’s biggest public sector fund, Strathclyde .Lothian’s pension committee chair Alasdair Rankin said: “We acknowledge that merger is not a panacea and will involve significant change, particularly in relation to governance, which may not be palatable to some stakeholders and merger to a single fund could be difficult.“Therefore, [Lothian’s] preferred option would be to work with like-minded partners on a voluntary basis to develop a mutually beneficial merger solution.” North East Scotland Pension Fund4,118 Scottish Borders Council Pension Fund685 Lothian Pension Fund Group6,666 FundAUM (£m) Fife Pension Fund2,421center_img Lothian said it had made “significant inroads” into collaboration with other funds, primarily through setting up a fully authorised internal asset management function, which it shares with the schemes for Falkirk and Fife.The setup allowed funds to work together, address key person risks and develop trust within the current structure, the fund said, with costs being shared across participants in the collaboration.There had not yet been any significant impact on any of Lothian’s investments through the collaboration, the pension fund stated, but the arrangement was expected to evolve to bring benefits from greater overlap in investments.However, it warned that the governance of the collaborative arrangements were not straightforward.“While other funds rely on advice from Lothian, they need to continue to be resourced appropriately to make decisions for their respective funds,” the scheme said. “Further, there are practical constraints to the expansion of this type of collaboration.”The advisory board presented Scotland’s LGPS funds with four options: retaining the current structure; promoting greater co-operation in administration and investments; pooling investments in a manner similar to the LGPS funds in England and Wales; or merging into one or more larger funds.Lothian’s preference was completely different to that expressed by the £21.5bn Strathclyde Pension Fund earlier this month.The Glasgow-based fund told the advisory board there was no evidence to suggest the current model was fundamentally flawed, and that no major change was necessary.Scotland’s LGPS system Strathclyde Pension Fund20,806 Highland Council Pension Fund1,884 Shetland Islands Council Pension Fund460 Tayside Pension Fund3,704 Dumfries & Galloway Council Pension Fund856 Source: 2017-18 annual reports. Data correct to 31 March 2018.last_img read more

Tellurian to buy Haynesville shale assets

first_imgTellurian, the US company developing the 26-mtpa Driftwood LNG export facility, has entered into a deal to buy a package of natural gas assets in the Haynesville shale play in northern Louisiana.A wholly-owned unit of Tellurian signed the deal worth $85.1 million with an unnamed private seller.The assets are located in Red River, DeSoto and Natchitoches Parishes, and include 9,200 net acres with up to 138 operated Haynesville and Bossier drilling location and about 1.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of total natural gas resource potential.The deal also includes 19 producing operated wells with net current production of four million cubic feet per day and associated natural gas gathering and processing facilities with substantial additional capacity, according to a Tellurian statement.The assets are 100% held by production and 92% operated, allowing Tellurian to control the pace of development for its multi-year drilling inventory.Covering more than five million acres, the Haynesville shale is one of the most prolific resource plays in the United States with over 13 Tcf of historical production, more than 44 active drilling rigs, access to multiple pipelines and close proximity to Gulf Coast consumers and exporters.“Acquisition of natural gas producing assets is integral to our growing business. We expect our full cycle cost of production and transport to markets will be approximately $2.25 per MMBtu, which represents a significant savings to natural gas we will purchase at Henry Hub and other regional liquidity points,” said Chief Executive Meg Gentle.The transaction is expected to close by the end of November 2017 subject to customary closing conditions.last_img read more

UK Free schools and academies must promote marriage

first_imgTelegraph 3 Dec 2011The importance of marriage is to be taught to every pupil at the Government’s flagship free schools and academies. The schools will be made to sign up to strict new rules introduced by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, setting out what pupils must learn about sex and relationships. Headteachers will be told that children must be “protected from inappropriate teaching materials and learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and for bringing up children”. But the decision to spell out an explicit endorsement of marriage in the curriculum for tens of thousands of children is highly politically significant, and likely to be welcomed by Conservative traditionalists who have been concerned at a perceived failure by David Cameron’s Government to deliver on pledges to support married life.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8933237/Free-schools-and-academies-must-promote-marriage.htmllast_img read more

The Art of Drafting Baseball Players

first_imgIt is not hard for any pro baseball scout to judge talent.  If you are a pitcher, they use a radar gun to see how hard you throw.  If you are a position player, they check how you handle the bat and what type of power you have.  The key to drafting players who make the big leagues is the ability to judge the inner quality of the individual.They want to know what kind of desire you have to win, how your skills were attained, and what are your goals.  One way to do this is to visit the athlete in his home environment.  As you can see from the things mentioned above, there is really no quantitative way to evaluate these.  Here is where the true skill of a scout comes into play.The scout wants to know what kind of talent this athlete has compared to others his age, what kind of desire he shows to win, and how he cooperates with the members of his team. They like someone who is sure of themselves but not overly cocky.  Many times the final decision on drafting someone is what that team needs immediately or down the road.last_img read more

Malmo to relocate vandalized Zlatan statue

first_imgRelatedPosts AC Milan coach brushes off Ibrahimovic’s angry reaction to substitution AC Milan produce another fightback to sink Parma AC Milan hit back with three goals in five minutes to floor Juventus The city of Malmo has had enough of repeated acts of vandalism on soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s statue outside the local football club’s stadium and is set to move it to a new location, according to media reports.The Sydsvenskan newspaper said Saturday that the municipal council in Sweden’s third largest city is poised to make a decision on Monday and is seeking suggestions from top-flight team Malmo FF as to where the statue should be moved later in the year. However, the club’s CEO Niclas Carlnen told the newspaper he wasn’t aware of the city’s plans and wouldn’t comment on the matter.The 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) bronze statue of Ibrahimovic, who now plays for AC Milan, was unveiled in October to much fanfare outside Malmo FF’s stadium, commemorating one of Sweden’s greatest sportsmen.Created by sculptor Peter Linde, the statue is three meters (9-feet-10) tall and shows the football star standing bare chested with open arms.It cost 500,000 Swedish kronor ($50,000) to build, with estimated annual maintenance costs of 15,000 kronor paid by the city of Malmo.The statue has been vandalised numerous times. It has been sprayed with paint and messages, been overturned and had its nose and ankles sawn off.The vandalism began after it was revealed that Ibrahimovic had become a part-owner in Hammarby IF, a Stockholm-based club and a rival to Malmo FF.Ibrahimovic, 38, began his career with Malmo FF in the late 1990s in the city where he was born.The statue, excluding its red granite feet, was removed in early January for repairs and has been kept in a secret location ever since.Fans and foes have suggested it should be relocated to Stockholm, where Ibrahimovic owns property and where the Swedish soccer association, which commissioned the statue, is based. Tags: Malmo FFNiclas CarlnenZlatan Ibrahimoviclast_img read more

Dunne’s the leading amateur

first_img The only other amateur still to finish his second round on Saturday was former Tranmere Rovers trainee Paul Kinnear, but he failed to make the cut. The 21-year-old, who had been six under after 11 holes on Thursday, fell away further from his overnight position of level par to finish two over and sign for a 76. Two other amateurs in with a chance of winning the Silver Medal over the final two days were Shrewsbury’s Ashley Chesters and American Oliver Schniederjans, one under and two under respectively. Ireland’s Paul Dunne remained the leading amateur at the Open Championship after the second round finally drew to a close at St Andrews. The 22-year-old from Greystones shot 69 on Friday to reach six under at the halfway stage, two ahead of American Jordan Niebrugge in the race for the Silver Medal, and – impressively – tied 10th overall. Dunne’s lead might have been cut by Frenchman Romaine Langasque, who was four under with five holes remaining when play was suspended on Friday, but he dropped back to three under after carding a 72. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

England bask in Headingley heroics once again

first_imgIT was during another one-sided Australian Ashes victory on English soil that Steve Waugh expressed his biggest frustrations about Test rain delays: “those bloody Headingley ’81 re-runs on TV”.Between 1989 and 2003 England won just eight Tests in as many series and were frequently humiliated on home soil by Waugh, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and co.But whenever the heavens opened during a day’s play, the vacant TV air time seemed to be perennially filled with replays of Ian Botham and Bob Willis inspiring England to a remarkable 18-run win after following-on.Well the good news for Australian fans and players who’ll tour England again in 2022 is those Leeds heroics have been put to the back of the cupboard.The bad news is they’ve been replaced by the new miracle of Headingley from last August when Ben Stokes broke Australian hearts with one of the greatest Test innings of all time.With the UK in coronavirus lockdown, TV and radio stations have been digging into the archives for content in a bid to give sports-starved fans some kind of daily fix.This week BBC radio repeated in ‘live’ fashion all four days of that third Ashes Test at Leeds.Australia had memorably skittled England out for 67 on day two – only for Stokes to deny them victory with an unbeaten 135 – as the hosts chased down a record 359 two days later to seal a nerve-shredding one-wicket win.“We’ve had the most fantastic feedback with many telling us the commentary has provided a welcome distraction at a difficult time,” BBC’s Test Match Special producer Adam Mountford told AAP.“We’ve had messages for example from nurses and doctors listening to help unwind from stressful shifts.“We don’t have confirmed audience figures, but we know over 100,000 people listened just online to day three and we’d expect many more for day four.”On Saturday, Sky Sports jumped on board by streaming the last two hours of the match on TV and online for non-subscribers with ball by ball insights via their lounge rooms from Joe Root and Stokes.“It’s the first time I’ve watched it ball by ball. It’s always going to be great memories, isn’t it? One of the great days,” Stokes said.“Not just on the field, but the memories we’ll always have together as a group. The changing room is sacred as a cricketer and that evening, after this day’s play, was just sensational.“We’ll always be able to look back on what happened that day and the memories we created.”With people forced to stay at home on an Easter weekend where the mercury nudged 25C, Twitter was alight with people reminiscing about an incredible day of cricket.It made for fascinating viewing for any neutral and of course England fans, but the inevitable re-runs will be painful for any Australian who will have to get used to trying to avoid it whenever they come to play in the UK.Needless to say, Sky and the BBC say there are no plans to show the fourth Test which saw Australia retain the Ashes two weeks later.(AAP).last_img read more

Man City’s De Bruyne Suffers Knee Injury

first_imgManchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne is having tests on a right knee injury suffered in training on Wednesday.City said the extent of the injury suffered by the 27-year-old Belgium midfielder is “not yet known”. In 2016, he missed 12 games after injuring his right knee during an EFL Cup semi-final victory over Everton.De Bruyne was City’s player of the season last term, scoring 12 goals and providing 21 assists as his side won the Premier League and EFL Cup.City, who began their title defence with a 2-0 victory at Arsenal, next play Huddersfield at home on Sunday.They then face matches away to Wolves and at home to Newcastle before an international break.Their fifth match of the season is at home to Fulham on 15 September, with their first Champions League group game to take place on 18 or 19 September.City broke several records in 2017-18, including reaching 100 points, winning 32 matches and scoring 106 goals.Speaking to BBC Sport in a wide-ranging interview to be broadcast during Football Focus on Saturday, De Bruyne said City “will never have a season like last year” as they attempt to become the first Premier League champions since 2009 to retain the title.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Getting to know California

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After beating No. 13-seed Montana in the Round of 64, Syracuse moves on to face No. 12-seed California. Though the Golden Bears have fallen from the elite in recent years, they are one of the Pacific-12 Conference’s most storied programs with a history of NCAA Tournament success.How they got here:California finished fourth in the Pac-12 this season and earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The Golden Bears fell in overtime against Utah in their conference-tournament opener, but earned an at-large berth. Cal then upset No. 5-seed UNLV 64-61 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.Home court:Haas PavilionAdvertisementThis is placeholder textNCAA Tournament appearances (18):1946, 1957-1960, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001-2003, 2006, 2009- 2013Best NCAA Tournament finish:1959, national champions. California knocked off Utah in the Sweet 16, then St. Mary’s in the Elite Eight. The Golden Bears then defeated Cincinnati in the Final Four before beating Jerry West’s West Virginia team in the national championship game to give Cal its first-ever national title. California reached the Final Four the next season, too, for another of its three appearances in the national semifinals.The Golden Bears have reached the Elite Eight three times and the Sweet 16 four times.Winningest Coach (1924-1954):Nibs Price449-294Pacific-12 tournament titles (0):California has never won a Pac-12 tournament, though it won the 2009-10 regular season title.Highest NBA draft pick:Jason Kidd, 2nd overall 1994, Dallas MavericksKidd currently is a guard for the New York Knicks. The guard is a 10-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA first teamer. He was the starting point guard for the Mavericks during their 2011 championship run, but is most notable for his time with the New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns. He rose to prominence with the Suns before guiding the Nets to a pair of NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. Comments Published on March 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2last_img read more

Chattanooga’s Tuoyo plays with single mother in mind, ranks 3rd nationally in blocks

first_imgJanina Tuoyo would say she had a headache. She’d claim she wasn’t feeling well. She’d even tell her bosses that an emergency required her to go pick up one of her sons.But they were all excuses to get out of work.And each one she gave was so her youngest son, Justin Tuoyo, would be on time to his AAU basketball practice an hour and a half away. “She used to have to leave work two hours early to bring me to practice,” Tuoyo said. “That’s what she would do once out of the week.”When Tuoyo, now a sophomore forward for Chattanooga, was 9 years old, his father, Anthony, was killed in a car accident. Janina Tuoyo raised her three sons on her own with help from her sister. But growing up in a single-parent home brought its struggles for Tuoyo, and his mother maintained three jobs when he was in high school so he could get an education and go to college to play basketball.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow, the 6-foot-10 Tuoyo ranks third in the country in total blocks and is a driving force down low for a Chattanooga (18-9, 11-3 Southern). Tuoyo perseveres through every challenge basketball brings him with his mother in mind and his ultimate goal is to make a living where he can give back what she has given to him. “I know he wants to retire me, that’s his dream,” Janina Tuoyo said. “He doesn’t want me to be working so hard.”When he was a kid, Tuoyo not only played basketball, but was great at baseball too, he said. His father wasn’t at Tuoyo’s basketball games that often, but made almost every single baseball one.But when Anthony Tuoyo passed away, playing baseball just didn’t feel right anymore.“I tried to go back out and it wasn’t the same no more,” Tuoyo said. “I didn’t love it no more so I just gave it up.”Tuoyo even stopped playing basketball for four or five months, but was eventually drawn back in by a former coach.Meanwhile, his mother worked as a real estate agent, at a car dealership and at Wal-Mart. When Tuoyo returned home from school, his mother wouldn’t be there, and it wouldn’t be until 10 p.m. that she got back.“The way she worked, I knew it was hard for her, she didn’t want to do it all the time,” Tuoyo said. “She did everything with money expenses that we needed to travel for AAU or make a game in high school. Whatever she could do, she’d try and do it.”After one year of college at Virginia Commonwealth, Tuoyo wanted to transfer. Will Wade — a former assistant with the Rams who recruited Tuoyo — happened to take the head coaching job at Chattanooga at the time. On the first day of his new job, Wade said, Tuoyo signed the papers to transfer there.Wade had, and still has, a thriving relationship with both Tuoyo and his mother that has roots five years back. He estimated that around 70 percent of the players he recruits come from single-parent homes, and knew that Tuoyo would be a perfect fit for his new team.“A lot of our kids come from rougher backgrounds. I’m a blue-collar guy. I’m drawn to those types of kids,” Wade said. “Our program’s set up to help those guys who do a lot of things off the court with life lessons and different other activities that are set up to help those guys grow and become really good people once they graduate.”Now that he’s found a fit at Chattanooga, Tuoyo says his goal is to graduate, get a degree and help his mother once he gets out of school. There will be times when Tuoyo hits a roadblock at practice, but Wade reminds his big man of one thing, that his mom overcame tough times as well. Today, the Tuoyo’s financial situation has improved, Janina Tuoyo said, since she doesn’t have to fly to games after her son transferred closer to home. That, and he doesn’t ask her to send him money every week, she joked.She only has to maintain a Wal-Mart cashier job now and while she admits that her knees and spine aren’t in great heath, she knows the family will be OK.“That’s what made it OK to work so hard, was Justin’s determination to excel in basketball,” Janina Tuoyo said. “Sometimes I can’t believe we’ve come a long way like this.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 17, 2015 at 12:15 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more