China has published a short animation titled “Once Upon a Virus” mocking the US response to the new coronavirus using Lego-like figures to represent the two countries.Washington and Beijing are locked in a war of words over the origins of the disease, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has grown into a global pandemic.US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but declined to describe the evidence. In the animation posted online by China’s official Xinhua news agency, red curtains open to reveal a stage featuring Lego-like figures in the form of a terracotta warrior wearing a face mask and the Statue of Liberty.”We discovered a new virus,” says the warrior.”So what?” replies the Statue of Liberty. “It’s only a flu.” As the warrior issues warnings about the virus and counts off the grim milestones in China’s outbreak, the Statue of Liberty replies dismissively with echoes of Trump’s press conferences in which he played down the severity of the illness.Read also: Trump says China could have stopped coronavirus, Beijing decries shifting of blame”Are you listening to yourselves?” asks the warrior as the statue begins to turn red with fever and gets hooked up to an intravenous drip.”We are always correct, even though we contradict ourselves,” the statue replies.”That’s what I love about you Americans, your consistency,” says the warrior.The United States and other countries have accused China of misleading the world about the severity of the outbreak, and there are growing calls for an international inquiry into the origins of the virus.In an interview with Reuters, Trump said he believes China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is proof that Beijing “will do anything they can” to make him lose his re-election bid in November.Lego’s press office wrote in an emailed statement on Saturday: “We weren’t involved in making the animation in any way.”Topics :
January 17, 2020 Press Release Governor Tom Wolf today announced that he has completed his review of the Recommendation for the Closure of the State Correctional Institution at Retreat final report and is calling for the full closure of SCI Retreat.“The SCI Retreat closure report was developed through a transparent, inclusive process and provides a thorough, straightforward, facts-based review of the realities surrounding the facility’s financial needs and the effects a closure could have on the staff, inmates, and the community in regard to public safety. These factors indicate to me that closure is the right decision,” Gov. Wolf said. “I understand that a closure is tough on the employees, the community and the inmates and their families. The DOC staff will work to ensure a smooth transition for all involved and I will be in touch with DOC executive staff throughout the closure process.”DOC staff will be on site to help employees with relocation to a DOC facility within a 65-mile radius of SCI Retreat, which is in Hunlock Creek, Luzerne County. There are six DOC facilities within the 65-mile radius.Gov. Wolf pointed to several factors inherent in his decision to order the closure:The DOC continues to experience a significant decrease in the inmate population. In fact, a reduction of 1,900 inmates in fiscal year 2018-19 was the largest one-year decrease in the department’s history – all at a time when crime rates continue to fall.Current projections anticipate a continued decline in the prison population over the next five years while DOC is also faced with the challenge of a projected budget deficit of approximately $140 million for fiscal year 2019-20.All employees will be offered continued employment at another SCI within 65 miles of SCI Retreat.All employees are provided support through the utilization of SEAP, COVER, and POWER.The closure will not affect the safety or security of the staff, inmates, and public.The DOC can continue to prioritize the safety of staff, inmates and the community in addition to remaining a good steward of taxpayer money.“As a result of the significant budget deficit and continued decrease in the inmate population, among other factors, it would be fiscally irresponsible to not close the prison,” Gov. Wolf said.Full annual net savings will not be realized until after a full year of closure. Under Act 133 there is a minimum four-month closure process so SCI retreat will close no earlier than May 17th. After the facility closes, it is expected that the DOC will save approximately $40 million annually.Department of Corrections Executive Deputy Secretary Tabb Bickell, who oversaw the implementation of the closure review process outlined in Act 133, noted that the next step in the process involves negotiations with labor unions. When those are completed, SCI Retreat employees will be given a survey to indicate their first and second relocation choices. Employees will have 60 days to return the survey to department officials. After completed surveys are received, employee relocation will begin and is likely to continue up to the final closure date.Prior to employee relocation, the prison’s inmate population will be gradually relocated to other DOC facilities. Inmate relocation decisions will be based on each inmate’s custody level and treatment and medical needs.The DOC has created a dedicated email account (email@example.com) and a toll-free number (888-316-8950) for staff, inmate families and others seeking additional information.For additional information, including the full closure report here. Gov. Wolf Announces Decision to Close SCI Retreat SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
ISS ESG has become the latest provider to anticipate the publication of final rules for new EU climate benchmark labels, having today said it has created a family of indices that stand ready to meet the specifications.The index names will be labelled as provisional pending the publication of the detailed rules – so-called delegated acts – consistent with requirements set out by the technical expert group (TEG) that has been advising the European Commission on sustainable finance.ISS ESG, which is the responsible investment arm of US proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services, claimed its new family of indices, which were created in partnership wth Solactive, “exceed TEG requirements by incorporating Scope 3 emissions from inception, ahead of the four-year phase in”.ISS ESG’s announcement comes after S&P Dow Jones Indices last week outlined a concept index aligned with the more stringent of the two EU climate benchmark categories, the Paris-Aligned Benchmark (PAB). It said it was on track to launch an index series that will align with the pending detailed rules and also said its product would “go beyond” them.This would be by way of using multiple approaches, including using backward and forward-looking Trucost analytics, and incorporating transition pathway models endorsed by the Science Based Targets initiative.MSCI was the first index provider to make a public move towards the new EU climate benchmarks, having in November announced the creation of two series of provisional indices.Read moreClimate benchmarks: Brown to greenIndex providers are making the first steps towards adoption of the new EU climate benchmarksMSCI puts its stamp on Carbon Delta risk modelMSCI has followed up on its recent acquisition of climate change scenario analysis specialist Carbon Delta with the launch of its version of a tool to help investors assess their exposure to climate risk.The MSCI Climate Value-At-Risk tool measures the impact of climate change on company valuations. It builds on Carbon Delta’s model of the same name with the addition of information contained in MSCI’s data sets.“The model took a big step forward,” David Lunsford, co-founder of Carbon Delta and now head of climate strategy and policy at MSCI in Zurich, told IPE.“We’ve taken data sets that are important and critical to the model and on top of that we’ve also improved some of our physical risk modelling.”According to MSCI, the new tool has four main applications for investors:how current and future climate policies will affect companies (policy transition scenarios);the strategic low carbon investments companies are making (innovation transition scenarios);the impact and financial risk relating to several extreme weather hazards;exact temperature value signifying what future temperature a company’s activities are aligned with.MSCI completed the acquisition of Carbon Delta in October. The focal point of its development of climate change risk analytics and tools is its climate risk centre in Zurich, which was the home of the then-Carbon Delta team.BMO engagement to prioritise climate change BMO Global Asset Management will be working with systemically important global financial institutions that are significantly exposed, through their loan book and underwriting portfolio, to climate change-related risks to encourage them to adopt stronger mitigation strategies.Climate change is its key engagement priority for this year in light of the COP26 meetings in Glasgow later this year, it announced this week.As part of this it will also focus on the phase-out of coal, marine transport, and sustainable food systems.Vicki Bakhshi, director in the responsible investment team at BMO GAM, said: “The next decade is absolutely critical to meeting this ambition. Global emissions need to peak and decline to keep the chances of meeting the Paris goals alive.“Waiting for action by governments is not enough – investors and corporates need to take bold and ambitious action.”The asset manager’s engagement programme for 2020 also includes responsible drug pricing, setting the appropriate living wage, and managing antimicrobial resistance.
Buy one of these houses and be known as the person who threw the best New Year’s Eve party.STOCK up on the glow sticks and get ready for a big night, it’s almost time to celebrate the start of a new year.Heading to the beach or the heart of the city on New Year’s Eve can be great fun, but navigating the big crowds and fighting for a spot to watch the fireworks can ruin the night.While it’s too late for this year, there are plenty of luxury Gold Coast’s homes that would easily double as a party house to bring in 2021. Party like the rich and famous in this house.Party the night away in old school luxury style at this lavish house.Gold fixtures and fittings, marble and polished concrete as well as feature lighting give it a sense of Hollywood glamour.Its glass wine display, double-sided fireplace and extravagant dressing room will make you feel like you’re living the life of the rich and famous.It has five bedrooms so there is plenty of space for everyone to crash in the early hours of the morning while the large kitchen will make it easy to cook up a greasy hangover breakfast.The best part is, it’s being sold as a display home until November 2020 so it’ll be as good as new when you move in. Retreat to an island for the night.Splash out for the biggest party night of the year and invite all your friends to an island retreat.Arrive by boat, which is just one of the many impressive inclusions that come with the house, and get ready to relax and unwind.It has an expansive outdoor entertainment area with private beach and has an indoor/outdoor pool.It will also be sold fully furnished with plenty of items to make the most of the island life, including a Pajero 4WD, jetski, boat, wakeboarding and tube riding gear and bikes. 16 Clover Way, Helensvale 15 Cleland Cres, Broadbeach Waters 42/11 Peak Ave, Main Beach RELATED: Gold Coast mansion sets a benchmark for luxury living Enjoy the fireworks and twinkling lights of the city skyline.Who are we kidding, anyone who loves entertaining year-round will enjoy this waterfront home.Whether it be a lavish soiree, summer pool party or the ultimate New Year’s Eve gathering with champagne and front seat views of the fireworks, it is suitable for any occasion.The modern industrial-style home blends indoor and outdoor living seamlessly and offers unparalleled views of the city skyline.The 2000-bottle wine cellar will mean you’ll never run out of alcohol either. 14 King James Court, Sovereign Islands 21 Casuarina Court, South Stradbroke RELATED: Ultimate island getaway hits the market on South Stradbroke You won’t even need to be outside to see the fireworks from this house.No need to panic if you’re topping up your glass as the countdown begins.This waterfront mansions’s wall of wide windows, which frame envious Broadwater views, will ensure you still get to watch the fireworks go off.It is just one of the standout features inside the mansion, which epitomises opulence.There are also two additional balconies upstairs if you can’t fit all your guests on the terrace.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago You can’t beat the views of the fireworks from this penthouse.Don’t strain your neck to watch the fireworks when you can enjoy them at eye level from this four-level penthouse.The extravagant apartment topping the Marquis on Main building has 360 degree views of the ocean, Broadwater, Hinterland and skyline so you won’t miss anything.Party the night away on the top-floor terrace or sip a cocktail by the pool on the third level, which also has a wraparound terrace.You’ll have the best seats in the house to see in the new year.
As Social Security marks its 79 year anniversary, a report finds it is providing great benefits to Indiana families and the economy. (Image: Zimmytws/iStockphoto.com)INDIANAPOLIS — A report highlights the ways, at the ripe old age of 79, Social Security is helping neighbors in Indiana and the economy. While pensions have changed, jobs have been lost and homes have lost equity. Eric Kingson, co-director with Social Security Works says the program is still strong and lifted 500,000 Indiana residents out of poverty in 2012.“Social Security is not about financing,” says Kingson. “The end is the well-being of the American people and the kind of society we want. We want a system where we all work together and provide this kind of protection.”According to the report, one-in-five Hoosiers received Security Security benefits in 2013, totaling over $18 billion. Despite concerns about the program’s solvency, Kingson says it is actually only facing a modest shortfall in the future. This year’s Social Security Trustees report projects the program can pay all benefits in full for nearly two decades. After that, Kingson says, it could still pay 77 cents on every dollar of earned benefits.“It’s important Social Security keep all its commitments without cutting benefits,” he says. “Instead of believing the hype the program is sinking and needs to be dismantled, the discussion should focus on ways to strengthen it. Like our highway system occasionally, it has to be adjusted,” Kingston says. “You run into some bumps into the road, but you don’t start talk about ripping up the system. But the folks who want to destroy it, who want to rip it up piece by piece, they do start talking about, ‘The sky is falling.’”Millionaires and billionaires only make Social Security payroll contributions on their first $117,000 of earnings. Kingson says having everyone pay the same rate would help close Social Security’s entire projected 75-year funding gap.Mary Kuhlman
The midfielder has backed the striker to terrorise the Gunners ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final. Benteke has 12 goals in his last 12 games heading into the Wembley showdown, including one in their 2-1 semi-final win over Liverpool in April to fire Villa into their first FA Cup final for 15 years. “He’s a Villa fan, Villa through and through, he said he used to stand on the Holte End, to have a fan in your team, that’s what you’d want on FA Cup final day. But he does need to forget he’s a fan, he’s a professional player now. “In training, as soon as you saw him you knew he had something. On that FA Cup semi-final the whole world was watching him, and I thought he was man of the match. “He believes in his ability and so he should, he’s a special talent and he’s got the world at his feet. If he can keep playing like that, he can go anywhere.” Press Association And Westwood believes Benteke has his fear factor back after struggling for form and fitness before Tim Sherwood’s arrival, following an Achilles injury over a year ago. He said: “I’m sure he does. I think he’s back to full fitness now, he was struggling with his Achilles early on and people didn’t see that, they just expected him to walk back in and fire in the goals. “But he’s back to his best now, bullying defenders and I’m sure they’ll have sleepless nights, they won’t want to be playing against him. “We know how good we are, if we play like we can do we can match anyone. We’ve got internationals throughout the team, Fabs (Fabian Delph) and Clevs (Tom Cleverley) are on form, Christian is a real handful for anyone, I’m sure they’ll be having sleepless nights about him.” Benteke spearheaded Villa’s recovery under Sherwood as they survived in the Barclays Premier League, eventually finishing 17th following Sunday’s 1-0 final-day defeat to Burnley. He and Jack Grealish were trusted by Sherwood to keep Villa up with academy product Grealish becoming a regular. He shone during Villa’s semi-final at Wembley, setting up Delph’s winner, and Westwood believes the 19-year-old is in line for stardom. “He’s a special talent, the way he just glides past you in training, you feel like whacking him, he floats past you with his hair,” said the 25-year-old. “He’s a great lad, I’m sure he could be our match winner at the end of the day. Ashley Westwood has warned Arsenal they should be having sleepless nights before facing Christian Benteke.
Demi Lovato will sing the national anthem at next month’s Super Bowl in south Florida. Demi Lovato will perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl https://t.co/vevAOryGVa pic.twitter.com/FUd2iw5zDu— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 16, 2020 The NFL and FOX said today the Grammy-nominated singer songwriter will take the stage in Miami on February 2nd to sing in front of a global television audience.The news comes after Lovato went to rehab in 2018 for a drug overdose.Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will provide the halftime entertainment on Super Bowl Sunday. 3 weeks until the Super Bowl so I’m giving you a sneak peak into my half time performance. Head over to my TikTok to check it out. Dance to On The Floor with me!!! I’ll reshare some of my favorites. #JLoSuperBowlChallenge https://t.co/zmYLllY0hO— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) January 12, 2020
(BBC) – THE Indian cricket board should lift its ban on players competing in overseas Twenty20 tournaments, says former India batsman Robin Uthappa.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) bars its men’s players from joining franchise leagues other than the Indian Premier League (IPL).“Please let us go, honest to God,” Uthappa, who won the World T20 in 2007, told the BBC’s Doosra podcast.“It does hurt when we’re not allowed to go and play.”The BCCI rules mean Indian players cannot take part in lucrative competitions such as Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) or the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) while no Indians have yet been signed for the new Hundred competition in the UK.However, female players Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur have played in the Women’s Big Bash in Australia and the Super League in England.“It would be so nice if we could go and play at least a couple of others because as a student of the game you want to learn and grow as much as you can,” said 34-year-old Uthappa, who has played in all 12 seasons of the IPL since it was launched in 2008.Earlier this month, India batsman Suresh Raina said the BCCI should change its rules on overseas T20 competitions.Former India captain Sourav Ganguly took over as president of the BCCI in October, and Uthappa is hoping the board will now be open to change.“Ganguly is a very progressive thinking human being, someone who has always looked to take India to the next level. He actually laid the foundation for where India cricket is now,” said Uthappa.“We’re hoping that he will look at this at some point.”This season’s IPL, due to run from March 29 until May 24, was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ahmed Usman, a former Almajiri (street kids) who won the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Day 24 VAT Wonder Goal award has nominated a Youth Rehabilitation Center in Bauchi as his preferred Charity and went on to describe the award as the high point of his season at Wikki Tourists. The player popularly called Manu expressed the hope that the recognition will motivate him to achieve more in his career.In line with the charity theme of the award instituted by the League Management Company (LMC) the player nominated Mallam Kawu Youth Rehabilitation and Orphanage Centre in Bauchi to be the beneficiary of 50 percent of the prize money.“I chose Mallam Kawu because it is a centre that gives the orphans the Almajiri system of education. I was an Almajiri myself and this is why I still identify with them. I hope my donation will help take care of those orphans”, Ahmed told www.npfl.ng It has been a long lane to honours for Ahmed whose football path has led him through local clubs in Bauchi including Zabgai FC and Yankari FC but he reserved a huge appreciation for Wikkiâ€™s new coach, Bala Nikiyu for granting him more playing time on the pitch than he had ever had previously.Ahmed has four goals to his name so far this term but the Match Day 24 goal against Niger Tornadoes in a 3-1 win for the Tourists has had him in national focus and the player said shortly after the ceremonial presentation of the N150, 000 prize money the goal which was his second of the season will mark the beginning for more.“I feel so happy for winning the VAT Wonder goal award. That was my second goal of the season and I hope it will be the beginning of good things to come for me as a playerâ€ said Usman who had since doubled that tally in four other games.While dedicating the award to his team mates and club supporters, the forward promised to do more to help the team strengthen their quest to retain a place in the NPFL. And to his coach, he expressed gratitude for allowing him a free role to express himself and providing the tutorial that has boosted his confidence on the pitch and improved his game.“I wouldn’t have achieved this award without the support of my teammates and our fans. I dedicate this award to them.“I also thank coach Nikiyu. He has always told me to be adventurous especially whenever I am in the box, that I should try and penetrate and that if my effort does not go inside the net, somebody will be there to finish it.“I am enjoying this moment. It is my high point of the season so far and I hope to do more”, he promised.The VAT Wonder Goal is supported by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to promote tax education and enrich club-community engagement.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram