Category: qitju


HMS Richmond Welcomes onboard Royal Air Force Officers


first_img Share this article View post tag: Naval HMS Richmond Welcomes onboard Royal Air Force Officers View post tag: Officers HMS Richmond was privileged to host the Initial Command and Staff Course (Air) from the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham in early September.The forty Royal Air Force Officers were welcomed onboard HMS Richmond by the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Robert G Pedre RN in Portsmouth Naval Base.The Staff Course Officers were given a capability presentation detailing the critical maritime contribution to UK defence and the Royal Navy’s core roles of warfighting, maritime security and international engagement.The inherent versatility of platforms such as HMS Richmond was discussed together with the high readiness capability provided by the Response Force Task Group (RFTG).Following the presentation, the RAF Officers toured the ship and were given capability briefs by the Ship’s Company.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, October 3, 2012; Image: RN View post tag: Richmond View post tag: Royal View post tag: HMS October 3, 2012 View post tag: air View post tag: Force View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Onboard View post tag: welcomes View post tag: Navy Training & Education Back to overview,Home naval-today HMS Richmond Welcomes onboard Royal Air Force Officers last_img read more


Harvard GSD awards 2013 Wheelwright Prize to architect Gia Wolff


first_img Read Full Story Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, is pleased to announce that Gia Wolff, an architect based in Brooklyn, New York, is the winner of the inaugural Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 traveling fellowship dedicated to fostering new forms of architectural research informed by cross-cultural engagement.The Wheelwright Prize jury—Mostafavi, Yung Ho Chang, Farès el-Dahdah, K. Michael Hays, Farshid Moussavi, Zoe Ryan, and Jorge Silvetti—selected Gia Wolff from among 231 applicants from 45 countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, and Spain. Applicants were asked to submit portfolios along with a research proposal and travel itinerary, outlining an extended field investigation and its anticipated benefits for the field of architecture.Wolff is the first winner of the new Wheelwright Prize, an update of the Arthur Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship, which was established in 1935 and previously available only to GSD alumni. The original prize was conceived at a time when few architects traveled abroad, and for many early recipients—including Paul Rudolph, Eliot Noyes, William Wurster, and I. M. Pei—the fellowship financed travels that followed the tradition of the Grand European Tour.Wolff’s winning proposal, Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats, proposes the study of the tradition of parade floats—elaborate temporary and mobile constructions that are realized annually in carnival festivals in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Goa (India), Nice (France), Santa Cruze de Tenerife (Spain), and Viarreggio (Italy).The $100,000 grant will fund Wolff’s research over the next two years.last_img read more


The future is now for FAS


first_imgFollowing the launch of The Harvard Campaign last month, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) plans in the weeks ahead to outline its own fundraising goals and priorities. Leading the way will be FAS Dean Michael D. Smith, who took office in 2007, shortly before a global financial crisis that had an unprecedented impact on Harvard’s largest School. In the years since, Smith has balanced a projected $350 million combined operating budget deficit, while maintaining the size of the faculty, increasing financial aid, and launching some important initiatives, including renewal of the College’s undergraduate Houses. Late this month, he will launch the Campaign for Arts and Sciences. Smith recently spoke about the priorities for the coming campaign and his vision for the FAS.GAZETTE: It’s been nearly seven years since you took the helm of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Can you describe where you see the FAS as being today, and where it’s headed in coming years?SMITH: I think the FAS is in tremendous shape right now intellectually. Although institutions of higher education as a sector are facing some shared financial pressures, stemming from both global economic instability and a weak federal funding environment, among other things, I think the FAS is managing those fiscal challenges.Intellectually, we have seen a re-emergence of initiatives that are being developed organically through our faculty. The work of researchers like Dan Schrag and Dan Nocera, for example, has generated a great deal of excitement around issues of energy and the environment. With their leadership, we are beginning to pull together the many resources we have — both in the FAS, but in the professional Schools as well — to address very important questions in that space.These efforts, however, aren’t limited to science and engineering. The faculty working groups that [Dean of Arts and Humanities] Diana Sorensen has put together, and the work they have done on the arts and the humanities, have given us a voice on the national and international stage on the future of the humanities. They are rethinking the curriculum and how we should be bringing this thinking to young students as they’re choosing a concentration.Going forward, I hope we will continue to be viewed as we are today: as an institution with broad-based excellence across many scholarship areas. But I also hope we get to the other half of our mission: to be known for our emphasis on teaching and learning, and for helping to answer the question of what higher education should look like in the 21st century. That needs to go beyond just curriculum and into the ways we are interacting with students in the classroom. What should our students be doing before they get to the classroom? How do we understand whether they are learning the material, and ensure they retain it? Those are the sort of questions Harvard can be a leader in answering.GAZETTE: You have made teaching and learning a priority in recent years, and it’s also a central theme of the FAS campaign. How do you see teaching and learning fitting into the FAS mission?SMITH: In my opinion, teaching and learning are central to our mission. We should be putting as much effort into those areas as we put into our research. I have dedicated a great deal of my deanship to supporting teaching and learning efforts.This is a particularly important time for Harvard’s voice to be heard on these subjects. There are a number of questions being raised about higher education’s place in the world today, and I absolutely think Harvard should be a leader in answering those questions. Over its history, Harvard has been a leader in the education “space.” Our faculty’s work on the “Red Book” in the 1940s influenced a large number of institutions across the nation and, eventually, around the world. I think we’re at a moment like that again, where we should be stepping up. It’s a different moment, with different questions being asked, but Harvard has done this in the past, and we should be doing this again.We can bring a range of expertise to the table that is unique compared with our peer institutions, and we have made changes to our institutional support structures to make information about the latest research on pedagogy and neuroscience available to more of our faculty, so those who are interested in doing something new and creative in the classroom know where to start. I have also strengthened the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, so when someone has a creative idea we can measure whether it had an effect on the learning of our students. That kind of assessment needs to be built in from the beginningToday, we’re building on the combined knowledge of what’s happening in this space, but we haven’t had the institutional structures to do that in the past. We can then stand up and say to the world, this is what we’re working on, this is what we have found — you may want to adapt it for your student base or your particular curriculum, and this is how we can help.GAZETTE: Last year saw a major controversy in the FAS regarding academic integrity and other issues. What can the FAS do to recover from that, and what can administrators do to restore trust with the Harvard community?SMITH: On the trust issue, briefly, I think we are addressing that by getting out and talking — through conversations, discussions, and meeting with people. There’s no better antidote than bringing people together for honest, straightforward, face-to-face conversations, and that’s been happening.The larger issue, I believe, is academic integrity, and it’s not new. It’s been bubbling in academia for at least 10 years, with a number of people working on honor codes and similar issues. I’m proud of our community for having the hard discussions, for being willing to say we’re not doing as well as we should be.We need to consider how we can better communicate our standards of academic integrity, and why it’s important, in ways that are effective and that address the relentless change we see in the world today, and the ways technology is changing how people work and collaborate. We have also become a much more international community in recent years, and we know that the concepts of intellectual property and what you can and can’t use without attribution — there are vast cultural differences in the world.We need to dig into this, as our community has always dug into hard problems, and that’s what has happened over the past year. The answers are not always easy, they’re not going to come quickly, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.GAZETTE: House renewal has also been identified as a campaign priority, but it’s something you’ve been working on for some time. How important is House renewal in Harvard’s educational mission?SMITH: I believe strongly that residential education — the kind of education we have happening not only in our classrooms, but outside the classrooms, especially in the Houses — is critical for building the kinds of experiences and learning opportunities that will allow our student body to be successful and outstanding citizens in the 21st century.We started this process officially in 2008, but it was a topic of discussion among the leadership of the FAS as far back as 2007. In fact, when I took office, one of the first things that appeared on my desk was a review of the state of our Houses. One of the reasons this was such a priority for us was that, physically, some parts of the Houses, such as heating systems and electrical systems, needed work.As an eternal optimist, I decided that if we were going to tear some walls out, the right question to ask was where we should put them back that will best support the programs that run through our House system, and support the needs of the students, as well as other issues like safety and accessibility. One challenge for this type of project was how to balance the history of the Houses with modern needs — how could we make this still feel like a Harvard House, but have the conveniences — and support the needs of today’s students, and hopefully generations of students to come.Our first test project, Old Quincy/Stone Hall, opened last month, and has received nothing but glowing feedback. The spaces look wonderful, but more importantly, they are working right for what the students want and need, the programs we’re trying to run, and what the House masters and tutors are trying to accomplish.GAZETTE: One of the other challenges you’ve faced in recent years was the financial crisis. Despite large drops in revenue, you made a point of maintaining financial aid budgets. Why?SMITH: Shortly after I took over in 2007, I put in place a number of initiatives to more strongly direct how we were using our revenues and other resources in support of our academic plans, so when the financial crisis hit, we were already heading in the right direction.The financial crisis was still a major shock to the system. It had a huge effect on our endowment, which at that time provided more than 50 percent of the annual revenue coming to the FAS. We had to put together a plan to deal with reduced revenues, and it was a decision of mine to say everything is on the table except financial aid. I felt strongly that we had to find a way to continue to fund that, and to keep that program headed in the right direction.We had done a tremendous amount to invest in financial aid and have it truly help talented students realize that they could come to Harvard and take advantage of the opportunities we have here, and not be held back because of their family’s particular financial circumstances. It was having such a huge impact on our students and the kinds of talent we were bringing here that it was clear we didn’t want to interrupt that in any way.When you sit with some of the students — every year we have a dinner that brings together students who receive financial aid with the donors who provide the funds for their particular scholarship, and that is one of the most heart-warming events. We ask two students to stand up and talk about their particular circumstances, where they come from, their aspirations, and how financial aid is enabling them to realize their dreams going forward, and it’s just an amazing event. You see those sorts of things, and you know you’re doing the right thing.GAZETTE:  You also kept the size of the faculty stable.SMITH: Yes.  In the years before the crisis, the faculty identified the need to hire more tenure and tenure-track faculty members, in part because we needed to reduce the ratio of students to faculty. At the beginning of the crisis, we had approximately 100 more faculty members than a decade previously.We decided early on that maintaining the size of the faculty was critical, both to support teaching and learning [and] to support the ongoing intellectual enterprise.  As a result, we never stopped searching or hiring.  Although those activities certainly slowed during that period, we are back to precrisis levels.GAZETTE: Can you outline where things stand with the search for the next dean of Harvard College, and how interim Dean Don Pfister has done since stepping into that role?SMITH: First of all, Don is fantastic. Being in an interim position is always difficult, but he’s dug into the situations — both the opportunities and the challenges — in front of the College, so I’m extremely thankful for his service to the College and to our students.Don is a citizen of this institution in so many ways. He is an outstanding teacher in the classroom, but he’s also a former House master, and his experiences as someone who has been part of our community for a long time have been particularly helpful to draw upon.In regards to the search, I spent time this summer talking to faculty, College staff, and some of our alumni leaders. Those conversations are continuing this fall. I have a faculty advisory committee that has already met once to talk about what the opportunities and challenges are for the College, and how those translate into skills we might value in the next College dean.I’m also talking with students. I met with the Undergraduate Council last week. And there are a number of student town halls planned in which I will meet with students across the freshman Yard, the river Houses, and the quad Houses to hear their thoughts on what qualities and characteristics they feel will be important for the next Dean to have.At this point, I have hesitated to specify what characteristics I might be searching for because I want to hear from others. But there are some obvious ones. We want someone who understands the College and who cares deeply about the students’ experiences both in the classroom and outside the classroom, and who enjoys sitting down and talking with them.Right now we have a very clear calendar for the consultation phase of the process, but frankly that’s the easy part. Then the hard work of trying to whittle down the names and do some interviewing will begin, and it will be a very individualized process. So I couldn’t give a timeline for the back end of this type of search.GAZETTE: Are there any lessons you feel you’ve learned since taking over as dean?SMITH: There are a lot of lessons. Every day brings something new. I will say I undertook this job not pretending I would understand all the pieces of it. The FAS is a wonderful organization, but it’s also a very large and complex organization. Over the last 6½ years, I have tried to be a student of the FAS, and spend time exploring parts of it that I have not been to before. Everywhere I go, our faculty and staff are incredibly generous with their time, and are excited about the things they’re working on, and how it will have an impact on the education of our students, or on the generation of new knowledge.One of the other lessons I’ve learned, especially as we enter into this campaign, was about the impact Harvard has had on the world beyond Cambridge. I had known that Harvard has an exceptional alumni base who care about what we do. But when I talk with those individuals and hear their stories about the effect this institution has had on them, or the interactions they’ve had with our faculty, staff, and students, it takes you to a new level of appreciation for the impact the FAS has on so many people.last_img read more


What might COVID cost the U.S.? Try $16 trillion


first_img Despite hardships, U.S. public is ‘firmly opposed’ to reopening the economy immediately A pair of Harvard economists estimates that the coronavirus pandemic will cost the nation at least $16 trillion if it ends by next fall — timing they describe as “optimistic” — and say that a number that large justifies interventions such as a coordinated nationwide program of testing and contact tracing that would save 30 times its cost.“It’s almost hard to understand what a number of that size means,” said David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics. “This is like a hurricane hitting the whole country.”The calculations were done by Cutler and Lawrence Summers, the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and former U.S. Treasury secretary, and published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cutler said they embarked on the project in order to quantify just what is at stake economically as the pandemic grinds on and to evaluate the relative cost of interventions such as congressional bailout programs and public health steps like nationwide testing and contact tracing, which so far have not been implemented.Cutler said the work lends numbers to what has been widely believed: that the coronavirus pandemic is among the greatest economic calamities in the nation’s modern history. The tally, Cutler said, is four times the damage done by 2008’s Great Recession, outstrips the amount spent on all the fighting — in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria — over the 19 years since 9/11, and, according to their analysis, “is the greatest threat to prosperity and well-being the U.S. has encountered since the Great Depression.”While the economy has often been cited in an either/or argument about whether to take restrictive steps to fight the virus’ spread, such as lockdowns and targeted closures of bars and restaurants, Cutler said the argument that economics actually supports taking even costly steps to shorten the pandemic’s course has been drowned out. That’s because people fearful of infection won’t show up to work or spend money in shops if the virus is spreading widely in their communities.,“You’re never going to really get back to work until you deal with the fact that people don’t want to die,” Cutler said.In the work, funded by the National Institute on Aging, Cutler and Summers highlighted the cost-effectiveness of a nationwide testing and tracing program because other efforts, such as vaccine development and a search for new treatments, already have momentum behind them, Cutler said. Deploying 30 million tests per week might cost $75 billion, according to an estimate by The Rockefeller Foundation, and Summers and Cutler said another $25 billion might be needed to trace the contacts of people who test positive. Together that $100 billion would likely head off pandemic-related costs that are 30 times that, the two wrote.“It helps to frame the scale of the intervention that’s appropriate,” Cutler said. “This is just massive, and it requires a massive response.”Cutler and Summers drew on existing data to build their overall estimate. Cutler said they tried to be both transparent about their assumptions and conservative in their estimates. Still, he said, the $16 trillion figure will be affected by the shifting course of the pandemic, increased by things like a major spike in cases and deaths in the coming months and reduced by the release of a safe and effective vaccine widely taken by the population. COVID’s triple whammy for Black students And the survey says, ‘keep it closed’ Expert says health risks can be managed; educational, social, nutritional risks can’t Related Is go-slow schools’ reopening failing kids? More risk of physical, psychological damage, less access to health care unevenly tip scales center_img Kenneth Rogoff looks at current complications and potential pitfalls A fraught season for health care Surveying a landscape of economic uncertainty in COVID era The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. The two started with the Congressional Budget Office’s $7.6 trillion estimate of economic output lost to the pandemic over the next decade. They added to that the cost of premature deaths, estimating that another 250,000 would die in the next year and adding to that an estimate of COVID-related deaths from other causes, such as untreated heart attacks or cancer due to reluctance to seek medical care. The two started with an accepted statistical value for the cost of premature deaths used in health care and environmental analysis of $10 million and reduced it to a more conservative $7 million to estimate the cost of 625,000 premature deaths at $4.4 trillion.Another important pandemic impact is the long-term disability of those who’ve survived serious illness. It is believed that one-third of those who’ve survived serious disease suffer ongoing complications. Using existing estimates of the economic impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a serious lung condition that might be compared to the respiratory effects of COVID-19, they tallied the economic impact of long-term disability to be $2.6 trillion.Finally, they added $1.6 trillion to account for the pandemic’s mental health impacts, using recent estimates that depression and anxiety have risen from 11 percent of the population last year to about 40 percent since the pandemic struck.Though the $16 trillion figure is almost unimaginably large, Cutler said the figure is conservative because it does not include things like the pandemic’s differential impact on women, whose jobs are more seriously impacted by the need to juggle demands of being both remote workers and at-home teachers of children learning via videoconference — and who have been leaving the workforce in increasing numbers.“This is a titanic event, and you just can’t treat it any other way than that,” Cutler said. Chan School economist sees peril in shifting branches of government after election last_img read more


New Clubhouse to Promote Military Partnership at Rio 2016 Olympics


first_imgAt the 5th World Military Games held in 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil earned a total of 114 medals in a field featuring 111 nations and 4,000 athletes. At the Pan-American Games in Toronto, Canada, this past June, 123 Brazilian Military athletes earned 67 medals, accounting for 48 percent of the country’s total. “It will be very important to have such a large space in which to learn of other delegations’ participation and exchange information, knowledge, and build friendships, which is fundamental in competition,” said FAB 3rd Sergeant Bruno da Silveira Mendonça, who plays for Brazil’s Field Hockey Team that will compete in Rio. “What is important is fair play among the participants, leaving any rivalries on the field or in the competition arena.” It is important to have a club for Military athletes, one of the Sergeant’s fellow athletes observed. “I think it’s very relevant to have a place where we can meet friends and share our experiences,” said FAB 3rd Sergeant Gideoni Rodrigues Monteiro, who recently became the first Brazilian in 24 years to qualify for the Olympics in Omnium track cycling. “The CISM Club will provide an opportunity to promote Military sports and camaraderie between countries represented in the Olympics and have athletes that come from their Armed Forces,” explained Army Colonel Walter Jander, executive manager of the Brazilian Military Sports Commission. The agreement on the clubhouse facilities was signed at the beginning of February during the continental meeting of CISM of the Americas, which was held in Bávaro, Dominican Republic. Founded in 1948, the CISM, which has 134 member countries, is a transnational organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, that promotes sports within the Military. Forty-seven of the 93 athletes scheduled to compete for Brazil in the Olympics are service members participating in PAAR. The Military’s goal is to win 10 medals, which would double the number of medals that Brazilian Armed Forces competitors won at the 2012 London Olympics. The Ministry of Defense has set the goal of having around 100 Military athletes with ties to the Armed Forces (Navy, Army, and Air Force) qualify for the Olympic Games. The participation of service members in international sporting competitions has received official support since 2009, when the Military launched the High-Performance Athletes Program (PAAR, for its Portuguese acronym) – a partnership between the ministries of Defense and of Sports, with the goal of strengthening the Brazilian Military team in high-level athletic events. A meeting place Military pride The CISM Club will highlight the participation of Military athletes in the Olympics, Col. Gagliardi said. “We want to make a link here between winning a medal and the fact that the winners are in the Military, thus validating our contribution to the sports efforts in this country.” During the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio this August, the leaders of Military delegations from 100 participating countries will have the opportunity to socialize and share their experiences at a clubhouse set up for the International Military Sports Council (CISM) on the grounds of the Air Force University (UNIFA) in the neighborhood of Campo dos Afonsos. The PAAR The clubhouse will have a media center for press conferences, meetings, and interviews with Military athletes from throughout the world, where officials will also report on the results of the Military Olympians and give them their awards and medals. Officials will renovate UNIFA’s clubhouse as part of a space “where Military athletes participating in the Olympic Games can get together to socialize, meet their team leaders, and where delegation leaders can view performances by their respective athletes,” stated Colonel Pedro Celso Gagliardi Palermo, vice president of the Air Force Sports Commission. Officials will host guests at the facility a week before the Games begin. “I think that Military athletes will have many chances to win a medal,” Col. Gagliardi said. “I’d bet our strongest chances are in judo, swimming, sailing, and the modern pentathlon, both men’s and women’s.” By Dialogo March 18, 2016 The CISM requests that all Olympic host countries share the cost of setting up the clubhouse facility. Brazilian authorities chose the UNIFA site because it is the closest Military facility to the competition venues. UNIFA, which is a Brazilian Air Force (FAB) training center, has modern facilities for track and field, volleyball, and numerous aquatic sports. last_img read more


Holtsville Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash


first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 53-year-old man was killed when he crashed his motorcycle into the back of a tractor-trailer in his hometown of Holtsville on Tuesday night.Suffolk County police said Leonard Mastro was riding a 1976 BMW motorcycle westbound on Long Island Avenue when he hit the back of a tractor-trailer that was turning right into Bissett Nursery shortly after 8 p.m.Mastro was ejected from his bike, which was dragged under the truck and caught on fire, police said.The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he died Wednesday morning.The driver of the tractor-trailer, Rhondle Carlton Day Jr., of North Carolina, was not injured.Sixth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-854-8652.last_img read more


Change the conversation to boost staff engagement


first_imgA key element of developing an environment of engagement for employees is establishing a forum for development and engagement.Peter Myers discussed how to create this environment during a breakout session at the CUNA CFO Council Conference Tuesday in Orlando.“If you have a direct report and you have regular conversation weekly or monthly, how much of that conversation focuses on operations?” Myers asks. “Probably too much. I recommend having a different conversation. Change the dynamic. Create a safe place where those reports can tell you if they’re not good at something, which can be a career-limiting move for some people. That builds trust.”Supervisors can also ask reports what their favorite or least favorite aspects of the job are, and how they can build on those answers.“Everyone has a favorite part about their role and everyone has a least favorite part of their role,” Myers says. “If you’re not seen as understanding that, your development conversations are going to follow suit. If you’re expecting the people behind you to learn, but you haven’t identified what you need to learn, how are you going to develop a culture of learning and growth.” continue reading » 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


Prince William Supports First Responders After Secret COVID-19 Battle


first_imgWilliam’s father, Prince Charles, made his battle with coronavirus public in late March. One week later, a Clarence House spokesperson told Us that the Prince of Wales, 71, was “out of self-isolation” after consulting with a doctor.“I was lucky, in my case, and got away with it quite lightly. I’ve had it and can still understand what other people are going through,” Charles told Sky News in June. “I feel particularly for those, for instance, who’ve lost their loved ones but were unable to be with them at the time. That’s, to me, the most ghastly thing. But in order to prevent this from happening to so many more people, this is why I’m determined to find a way out of this.”Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDC, WHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! A source recently told Us that although he kept it to himself, William’s brush with COVID-19 was far from easy. “William insisted on keeping this low-key,” the insider revealed. “Only a handful of family members, senior royal staff and close friends knew about it at the time.”The insider continued, “He followed all the necessary self-isolation regulations, refused to let it get him down and even managed to work whilst recovering at home in a sectioned-off area. There were rough moments, of course, and William learned firsthand how awful this virus is and how seriously it needs to be taken.”- Advertisement – “[They] have had to adapt to new ways of working whilst continuing to save lives and help those in need, day-in-day-out,” he explained during the ceremony. “This is what makes the achievements that we are celebrating tonight all the more extraordinary.”William continued, “It is more important than ever that those on the frontline know where they can turn to for support. The work of the Fire Fighters Charity, and all of the organizations who support our blue light services, is central to ensuring the long-term health and wellbeing of our emergency responders.”Multiple reports stated on November 1 that William quietly battled coronavirus in April. According to The Sun, the prince struggled to breathe and was subsequently treated by palace doctors. He additionally followed the U.K. government’s guidelines by quarantining inside his Norfolk, England, home.- Advertisement – Showing his gratitude! Prince William knows the challenges of the novel coronavirus first-hand following his secret battle with the illness — and he’s now honoring first responders who have worked to save the lives of those suffering from it.On Wednesday, November 4, the Duke of Cambridge, 38, introduced the virtual edition of the annual Fire Fighter’s Charity Spirit of Fire Awards and presented the Special Recognition Award for Excellence in the Field of Mental Health. While presenting the honor, he noted how the COVID-19 crisis has “presented a unique challenge for all emergency responders” over the last several months.Prince William Honors First Responders After Secret COVID-19 Battle in AprilPrince William Shutterstock- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more


Anglo-American dream


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Falling participant numbers force Unisys pension fund to consider APF


first_imgBecause the pension fund must set aside 58% of its liabilities for its pensioners, its defensive investment policy still comes at the expense of pensions accrual for its younger participants.The scheme also noted that the contract for pensions provision with Unisys was set to expire at the end of 2017.In its annual report, it said it returned 0.36% on investments, due chiefly to a 3% return on its 30% return portfolio.It lost, however, 0.63% on its matching portfolio, consisting for the most part of long-term government bonds.As of the end of June, funding at the Unisys scheme, which granted active participants an indexation of 1.4%, stood at 102.6%.Last year, the pension fund reduced its interest hedge from 70% to 60%, following its decision to introduce a dynamic cover with a range of 60-75%.It pointed out that it uses the 20-year interest rate to set its hedging level.The scheme’s board added that, following an asset-liability management study, it decided against adjusting its investment policy, “as the low funding and low interest rates complicated a proper balancing between the several investment portfolios”.Last year, the Unisys pension fund invested €20m in residential mortgages at the expense of its holdings in long-term government bonds, and replaced one-third of its US high-yield credit with similar holdings in Europe.It also increased its stake in infrastructure to 5.5% after deciding that the minimum allocation to any asset class should be at least 5%. The €453m Dutch pension fund of IT company Unisys is thinking to join one of the six general pension funds (APFs) on offer by commercial players in the market.In its annual report, the scheme’s board said to continue as an independent scheme would be “unrealistic”.It cited the pension fund’s rapidly declining number of participants – 1,280 pensioners and just 285 active members – as a chief problem.As a consequence, annual contributions represent a mere 1% of total pension assets, while administration costs per participant are no less than €529.last_img read more