Opisthoteuthis borealis: a new species of cirrate octopod from Greenland waters

first_imgA new species of cirrate octopod, Opisthoteuthis borealis sp. nov. is described from specimens caught at depths of 957–1321 m off the coast of Greenland. Opisthoteuthis borealis sp. nov. is the most northerly of the Atlantic species of the genus and can be distinguished from the other species by the form of the digestive gland and the arrangement of enlarged suckers on the arms of mature males.last_img

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

first_imgLike Mike Hodges’ best-known film, the 1971 thriller Get Carter, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’s central premise sees a man out to avenge his brother’s death. Unfortunately thirty years have passed since Get Carterwas made, and the majority of the filmic conceits that Hodges transfers to his more recent film have passed into parody. The noirish touches – the cornball title, the opening credits (black lettering caught in a lamplight glare) – recall postmodern pastiches such as Stephen Frears’ Gumshoe. And the portentous dialogue, which might have rung out like urban poetry in a pulp fable such as Polanski’s Chinatown, sounds plain clumsy when filtered through Cockney dialects as thick as toffee. Worst of all is the film’s protagonist, Will Graham. Clive Owen, arguably one of Britain’s most charismatic leading men, does his best with the role, but even the most nuanced performance fails to save this walking cliché. When Will snarls, dead-pan, “I’m always on the move. I trust nothing, no-one”, it serves only to inspire a kind-of collective eyeroll in the audience. Even if this kind of speech had not been given by Pee-wee Herman (in Peewee’s Big Adventurehe warns: “You don’t want to get mixed up with a guy like me. I’m a loner. A rebel.”) it would deserve to be mocked, along with any narcissistic would-be touch nut who feels the need to describe himself to anyone who will listen. And in fact, the film’s potential strength lies in its undermining of such bravado. The inclusion of a male rape, serves to shake the macho blockades erected, if you’ll pardon the pun, by the film’s innumerable hard men, causing them to question their own masculinity as well as the victim’s. On hearing about the rape from Will, Davey’s friend Mickser splutters, “Davey was… He was not bent! Fuck you!” The choice of profanity is certainly revealing of the close proximity between sex and violence in male culture. But such subtleties are overshadowed by over-explicit explanations and heavy-handed imagery, such as the rested inserts of the gun that, in an image of Freudian clarity, Mickser stows in his glove compartment. Preston seems to have taken whatever research he did on male rape and cut and pasted it into the middle of the movie. Two encounters, one with a coroner, the other with a councillor, abandon dialogue almost entirely, halting the narrative for a extended seminar on the psychology of rape. So while Hodges’ intentions may be honourable, the disappointing result is that I’ll Sleep When I’m Deadends up looking suspiciously like a certain late-night edition of Hollyoaks.ARCHIVE: 6th week TT 2004last_img read more

OUSU homelessness survey measures student attitudes

first_imgThe findings demonstrate an overwhelming discrepancy between reality and students’ perceptions of the causes of homelessness, with thirty-six per cent of students believing drug and alcohol addiction to be the highest factor in causing someone to be on the street. In reality, relationship breakdown was the most common cause at forty-one per cent, which only ten per cent of students assumed to be the largest factor.Meanwhile, only two per cent of respondents thought that leaving prison was the most common cause of homelessness, when in reality it is responsible for a quarter of homeless people living on Oxford’s streets.Former coordinator of the Homeless Action Group Amy Ertan told Cherwell that she is “not too surprised by these discrepancies on the believed causes of homelessness. The fact is homelessness is usually the result of several things going wrong, often out of the control of the person in question. Factors such as poor mental health and relationship isolation are huge contributors to the insecurity that can lead to someone sleeping rough or sleeping without stable housing.”Sixty-five per cent of students thought that at least half of all homeless people were suffering from mental health problems, yet the real figure is closer to one in four. Similarly, sixty-nine per cent of respondents thought that at least half of all homeless people had some sort of addiction problem, while statistics from the charity Homeless Link claim that under two-fifths of homeless people have drug problems.The survey also brought up the issue of giving money to people begging on the street. Forty-five per cent of respondents “never give money to people who are begging”, while thirty-five per cent were “unsure as to whether giving money directly to people who are begging is a good thing.”Almost all of the services in Oxford currently support the campaign ‘Your Kindness Can Kill,’ which advises against giving money, food, or anything else to people who are on the streets. Homeless charity Broadway has said that the biggest thing that students could do to help people who are rough sleeping is to stop giving money to people who are begging.St Hugh’s student Amy Ertan told Cherwell that while ‘Your Kindness Can Kill’ has great intentions, “there needs to be more emphasis on other ways to help… for example, buying a Big Issue from a registered seller is supporting a long-term solution that helps someone stand on their own two feet.”Meanwhile, the survey suggested that more students are volunteering for homeless charities than regularly give money to people begging. Three per cent of students are said to volunteer at least “once a week”, while sixteen per cent volunteer less than once a month. Only one percent of students give money on a weekly basis to people who are begging on the street, a new survey by OUSU has revealed.The survey, part of OUSU’s On Your Doorstep campaign, asked 1192 students about their attitudes towards homeless people in Oxford. Ninety-four per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that homelessness was a big problem in Oxford.However, the survey has revealed an alarming lack of awareness about what students should do if they see someone sleeping rough; ninety-four per cent of respondents said they were unsure or didn’t know who to contact if they saw someone who was sleeping rough.OUSU advice currently states that students should contact the charity StreetLink if they see someone sleeping rough.Accepting that there was a problem with student awareness, OUSU’s Community and Charity rep Emily Silcock told Cherwell that the survey “seems to show that homelessness is really something that students are concerned about, but we’re often not very sure what to do about it.“The aim of OUSU’s ‘On Your Doorstep’ campaign is to allow students to become informed and act on these issues. We aim to ensure that every student in Oxford knows who to contact if they see someone rough sleeping.“We are planning on making this information very obvious to next year’s freshers, as well as organising awareness events and hopefully getting exposure in the student press.”Jesus college student, Aida Alonzo, agreed with the need for more student awareness ofhow to tackle homelessness, “I think it would be good to see information on how to help the homeless made accessible to students. From talking to peers and trying to get them involved in homeless action I get the sense that in a lot of cases the enthusiasm is there but students just don’t know how they should help. I myself remain unsure!”last_img read more

US House Passes Bill To Restrict Legal Claims Against Companies

first_imgUS House Passes Bill To Restrict Legal Claims Against CompaniesIL for www.theindianalawyer.comThe U.S. House has approved a bill that would make it harder for individuals or groups to bring legal claims against companies in consumer disputes, employment discrimination cases and other areas.Lawmakers approved the Republican-sponsored measure, 220-201, Thursday night. The bill heads to the Senate, where its prospects are less clear.The legislation is the latest in a flurry of business-friendly moves by Congress and the Trump administration. Changes mandated in the bill could help reduce legal costs for businesses by putting up more hurdles to bringing class-action lawsuits in federal court.Supporters say the bill is needed to curb abuses in class-action suits that often result in a huge payday for lawyers.“The class-action litigation system has morphed into an expensive enterprise where lawyers are often the only winners, and American businesses and consumers are the losers,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the bill’s primary author. “Trial lawyers often profit at the expense of deserving victims.”The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, representing business interests, also supported the legislation.Consumer groups and civil rights advocates said the bill penalizes those who have been mistreated by corporations.“This devastating Republican attack on our federal and state civil courts will severely restrict the hallowed right of the American people to have their day in court when they are wrongfully injured or defrauded,” said veteran consumer advocate Ralph Nader.The bill would ensure that “judges’ and juries’ hands are tied by absentee politicians in Washington, greased by corporate campaign contributions,” Nader said.Nader and other critics point to a history of cases in which class-action suits enabled consumers to recoup losses and compelled companies to stop selling unsafe products. A recent example: a suit by Volkswagen owners in the U.S. who won about $11 billion in compensation from the German company in its emissions cheating scandal.But it’s also common for consumer victims in class-action settlements to walk away with minimal compensation, such as coupons or gift cards, while law firms receive multimillion-dollar payouts.The bill would require individuals seeking to form a legal class to show that each of them suffered the same type and magnitude of personal injury or economic loss as the group’s leader. Attorneys in winning class-action suits couldn’t collect payment from companies until after the individuals in the class are paid.Republican lawmakers have long cherished the idea of overhauling the legal system. They’ve looked to rein in trial lawyers—key campaign donors as a group to Democrats—whom they portray as greedy and abusing a system tilted toward them. Corporations and businesses, which tend to donate more heavily to Republican candidates, are championed by the GOP lawmakers as bearing excessive legal burdens and costs that raise prices for consumers.“Today, Republicans are championing big corporations with legislation aimed at eroding class actions, an indispensable tool for citizens to hold powerful interests and big corporations accountable for their misdeeds,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a written statement.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Yale University To Host Multi-Day Event Exploring The Legacies Of Davie Bowie And Prince

first_imgYale University has announced a multi-day event, bringing together scholars, musicians, filmmakers, artists, journalists, and students for discussion, critical listening, and musical performance, in examining the music, careers, and lives of David Bowie and Prince. Dubbed Blackstar Rising & The Purple Reign: Celebrating the Legacies of David Bowie and Prince will culminate with a performance by TV On The Radio on the final day.Set to take place from January 25th – 28th, the event “will examine the pathbreaking innovations of these two remarkable musicians, and explore the legacies of two artists who recognized the ways that popular music can create liberating spaces where audacious cultural and social changes and transformations might flourish. Lectures and roundtable discussions will examine how Bowie and Prince each championed aesthetic, social, and cultural freedom and rule-breaking in their respective repertoires and ultimately revolutionized racial, gender, and sexual identity politics in popular music culture.”All events are free and open to the community. Ticketed events are followed by an asterisk. For additional information, click here. Check the full schedule of events below:January 25, 20178:30pm – Sound & Vision: Listening Together to David Bowie & Prince (concert & critical deejay session with Questlove and Kimbra)*January 26, 20174:30pm – Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973) followed by Q&A with D.A. Pennebaker (film & conversation)9:00pm – “Everybody Still Wants to Fly”: Activism in Pop from Prince to Solange (roundtable conversation and keynote conversation with Solange)*January 27, 20178:45am – Welcome by Daphne A. Brooks–To the “Dearly Beloved,” “Gimme Your Hands ‘Cause You’re Wonderful”: On the Importance of (a Rock ‘n’ Roll) Commons9:00am – “Take Me With U”: David Bowie, Prince & the Utopian Pop Universe (conference session)10:30am – “Life On Mars?”: Spirituality & (Im)mortal Imaginaries in Bowie & Prince (conference session)12:00pm – Highlights from the David Bowie Is Exhibition (roundtable conversation)1:00pm – “Hang On to Yourself”: The Making of David Bowie Is (roundtable conversation)2:15pm – “Around the World in a Day”: Traversing Cities & Borders in Bowie & Prince (conference session)3:45pm – “Young Americans”: Prince, Bowie, Funk & the 1970s (conference session)5:30pm – “Housequake”: A Critical Karaoke Tribute (conference session)8:30pm – “Modern Love”: Bowie & Prince & the Art of Collaboration—In Conversation with Donny McCaslin and Sheila E. (roundtable conversation)January 28, 20179:00am – “Watch That Man”: Visual Bowie, Visual Prince—On Art & Film (conference session)10:30am – “The Black Album”: Bowie, Prince & Sonic Experimentalism (conference session)1:30pm – “Oh! You Pretty Things”: Theater, Performance & Spectacular Bowie & Prince (conference session)3:00pm – “Rebirth of the Flesh”: David Bowie & Prince’s (Dis)identifications—On Race, Gender, & Sexuality (conference session)8:00pm – TV On The Radio concert*last_img read more

New adventures in editing

first_imgLast month, George Andreou became the new director of the Harvard University Press, taking over for William P. Sisler, who held the post for nearly 27 years.The son of an American mother and a Greek father, Andreou was born in New York but spent his early childhood in Greece. He graduated from Harvard College in 1987 with a degree in English literature and languages. At Alfred A. Knopf, where he advanced to senior editor and vice president, Andreou founded Vintage Español, an imprint dedicated to publishing fiction and nonfiction in Spanish for the U.S. market, and worked with literary and intellectual stars such as John Ashbery, Junot Díaz, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, and the Nobel laureates V.S. Naipaul and Orhan Pamuk. The Gazette sat down with Andreou in his Garden Street office to talk about learning by example, the power of narrative, and his vision for Harvard University Press. GAZETTE: I am curious about your interest in books. I know you got your bachelor’s degree in English literature and languages here at Harvard. Talk to me about where that interest came from. Is that something that your parents instilled in you? Were you a big reader growing up?ANDREOU: No. I think there were always books around me and I was interested in books but I was not what you would call a voracious reader. And in fact, the bane of my life in publishing has been keeping pace, in one way or another, with people who simply like to read for the sake of reading. Depending on what you are reading, reading can be an extremely boring thing to do. And so I have sympathy for those people who don’t like to read.GAZETTE: So, just to make sure I am clear. Do you enjoy reading?ANDREOU: There’s nothing I enjoy more when it’s gratifying my desire for something great. When it’s less than that, I find myself only wishing I could read faster. When it’s something great …GAZETTE: You don’t want it to end?ANDREOU: I do want it to end. I don’t want “The Book of Sand,” I don’t want that kind of Borgesian nightmare, but I find myself pausing over things, reading them again. As an editor I am fascinated by the way writers accomplish things on the page. And so I find myself pausing with an analytic eye to ask, “How did he do that?” “How did she make that turn?” And at certain times, with a kind of pedagogical interest, because having taught fiction, I like to be able to explain to people how they can do certain things and often to give them useful examples. Learning by example is the easiest way to learn.GAZETTE: Were there any books that were seminal to you, or had a big impact early on?ANDREOU: That’s such an interesting question. Certainly all of Shakespeare I read early on. The King James Bible, I think. These, in a way, were part of acquiring English — it wasn’t my first language — as were American popular songs. But as to particular books, I think I’d say that Dostoevsky was a very early passion. Dickens was a boyhood fascination. And then I think I became attracted to more compact things. But I don’t know that I’d say that particular books were transformative in the way that people mean when they make that claim. It’s an interesting claim, really. I rather wish I could make it of something.GAZETTE: I think the Bible and the Bard are both pretty good. I always liked the way that Lincoln was deeply inspired by both.ANDREOU: Yes. Whenever I read Lincoln … I am always full of admiration for how much of the potentialities of English he learned from what he is said to have read. I think that if you read less and better, well, that’s like eating less and better, your health will be improved. There’s a lot of junk food to be read.GAZETTE: What do you think about books that capture the popular imagination, strike some kind of deep common chord, but that may not be considered necessarily great works of literature?ANDREOU: It’s different in every case, I think. But in general, there are two things at work. There’s the elevation of reading as a democratic virtue. It’s becoming less unacceptable, but still no one likes to say, “I don’t read,” or “I’m not reading anything.” Reading anything at all allows people to participate in the celebration of that democratic virtue, and all the more so when we are reading the same thing as our fellows. So there is a communal dimension. And the other thing is that much of what strikes such a chord satisfies in particular the same sort of, I guess I would say, narrative hunger that television satisfies without the added cognitive demands. Humans are very naturally attracted to narrative. They cannot resist narrative. They find narrative more persuasive than logical argument, so I think it’s a way of being human. We’ve always had narratives of one kind or another, though they weren’t available for popular reading for most of human history. But now they are, and we have a higher degree of literacy — toward what end I am not always sure, but we do. And so there is that.GAZETTE: You taught creative writing at the City University of New York. Do you think being a teacher made you a better editor?ANDREOU: I think being an editor made me a better teacher, because being an editor, except when there is blind faith and obedience — and only occasionally is one blessed with that on the part of an author — except in those cases, one must explain. One must explain why one is doing what one is doing. And often the thing to be explained is a very abstract thing, or a subtle thing, and so editing hones one’s skills for explaining. And a teacher has to be able to explain.GAZETTE: Turning to your new position here: Tell me what your role is. I think of the publisher as the person who makes the final decision about which books get published. What are some of your other responsibilities?ANDREOU: Well, I just got here. So I haven’t been doing much of anything except learning the floor plan and the names of 70-plus people in this building. I’m responsible for the whole thing. I should say that I do decide what is published, but as a formal matter, a university press publishes under the authority of the board of syndics, a collection of eminent faculty who have expertise in the various areas in which we publish. There is a feature of every publication contract that says the manuscript must be acceptable to the publisher. That acceptability, formally, is at the discretion of the syndics. But whether a book is commissioned in the first instance — that is for me to decide. There’s also a rubric called “director’s choice,” so if it’s not something that the syndics might be able to advise us about, it can still be published. But most things, before they are put on a list, they go before the syndics and we discuss them. And they give their blessing.GAZETTE: Are the syndics only from Harvard?ANDREOU: Yes, they are only from Harvard. A university press has a reputation to uphold while the justification in a trade house is ultimately a commercial matter. Whether the book is good or bad, it is for the editors and publishers to decide that it’s publishable. But if a book is venturing into territory where there is right and wrong, we are not experts here, we need to have the judgments of the experts, and they guide us superbly. I am full of admiration at how much work the syndics do to protect us from embarrassment.GAZETTE: Can you talk a bit about your vision for the press?ANDREOU: Well, I think that better taking into account end users, otherwise known as readers, is a worthy goal for any publisher at this time. I think there has been enough of a bifurcation of sensibilities that you really need to be able to publish in two registers. You need to be able to publish for the special constituencies, often relatively small — the people to whom often a very specialized book might be addressed. And yet there are some books that can have a wider audience. This is of course the Holy Grail of all publishing. No one wants a narrow audience as such. It seems to me that the trend line for trade publishers suggests less and less patience and capacity for what are called midlist books, which is to say the books that won’t crash and burn but also don’t hugely affect the bottom line one way or the other. Such books require a great deal of patience and expertise. But there are fewer people with those traits entering trade publishing. So it seems to me there will be more opportunities to compete with trade houses for books that they are publishing less full-heartedly than they might have done at one time. Publishing is all about context. We don’t create a list just to have more books. We create a list to lend context to individual publications, and it’s better to be at the top of a list like HUP’s than to be, as it were, the garnish on the plate at a big-five publishing house. At least I hope people will see that it’s better. We have to show them that we are not lacking for the competencies and most of the resources of the big commercial publishers. I think the idea is that someone who’s come up in the business through that side would better know how to replicate those competencies in a place where they might not be blooming as naturally.GAZETTE: How do you see the work of Harvard University Press in the digital age? There have been some important digitization projects lately. Do you anticipate more?ANDREOU: Well, the digitization of the Loeb Library has been a great success. The great fear with digital is always that you will cannibalize the print side. No one wants print books to go away; even people ambivalent about reading don’t want print books to go away. And they won’t be going away. In general, the reality is that electronic sales have plateaued. A few years ago it seemed they would be heading toward 100 percent of market share. That hasn’t come to pass and it’s not likely to. I think some of that was driven by the fascination with new devices, not any inherent superiority of reading a glowing page. The printed book is still the most agreeable thing to read. In some cases, however, there are advantages to the electronic version. The Loeb Classical Library is searchable and has various other features useful to its scholarly users, quite apart from its being something you could take on the train. I think that the future of electronic formats will depend on the development of functionality. I don’t see any radical change coming in the near term, although I would say I could imagine our publishing certain kinds of content in the form of an app, for instance. There’s no reason that we couldn’t do that. There are some things that exist as books out of a kind of practical necessity but not as the ideal way of arranging the information. Certainly anything that is not a narrative can have an interface better than a book, with its pages that necessarily follow a certain order.GAZETTE: Is there one thing about the job you are most looking forward to?ANDREOU: Well, I’d say, because of the various things that I described, this place will not be quite the same place in five years’ time. That would have been true whether I was here or not, and I guess I am looking forward to being the one who will determine what it will be. It is a great institution attached to a great institution, full of history and achievement. The stewardship of it is, I think, really an immense honor and apart from any anxiety of not doing it justice, I look forward to steering it into some new direction.GAZETTE: What are you reading right now?ANDREOU: I was just finishing up a book I hadn’t read in years, Conrad’s “Under Western Eyes.”GAZETTE: So that’s something you’ve gone back to?ANDREOU: Yes, but it’s virtually like reading a new book.GAZETTE: Why?ANDREOU: No book is ever the same book for two different people and insofar as we are never the same person we were before, the book that — and here I am betraying a little bit of my training in literary studies — a book that we constitute at one point in our lives by our reading it is different from the one that we created in our minds when we were younger. It just has a different set of resonances, a different meaning for us. The sign of a great book is that it still seems to us great upon revisiting it. Lots of things seem impressive to people when they are young, but then one goes back to discover that they were really rather ordinary. I won’t mention one of those.Interview was edited and condensed.last_img read more

Lose Weight (and Friends?) Fast!

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York It’s pretty much bikini season ladies and gentlemen-who-wear-bikinis. You know what that means!You’re probably fatter than you want to be!You’re almost out of time. Just today, the temperature across Long Island is expected to reach Satanic.What will you do?Don’t waste time with insane exercise programs that do nothing more than get you pumped up in extremely motivational ways.Don’t waste your time with fitness workouts that could make you look extremely athletic and well coordinated.Men especially, why waste precious time looking manly, in an attempt to get fit so that you can look manly?Now, for the incredibly low, low price of “What the hell!?” you too can prance your way to extreme(ly ridiculous-looking) fitness.Just in time for beach season!Or embarrassment season!Check it out, as fitness guru Joanna SomethingOrOther shows you how to WORK IT like Beyonce! (if Beyonce was an old, odd, weirdly coordinated prancing white lady.)(Special thanks To Eve for bringing this to my attention. Can’t wait to try this with you. I hear that the couple that prances together, gets-laughed-at-by-the-neighbors together!)Now, let’s stop talkin’ and do some walkin’!last_img read more

Valencia vs Arsenal TV channel, live stream, time, odds and team news for Europa League semi-final

first_img Phil HaighThursday 9 May 2019 2:33 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Valencia vs Arsenal TV channel, live stream, time, odds and team news for Europa League semi-final Advertisement Comment Arsenal are in the driving seat against Valencia (Picture: Getty Images)Valencia have a mountain to climb in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final with Arsenal after losing 3-1 at the Emirates in the first clash.The Spaniards took the lead in north London but two goals from Alexandre Lacazette and another from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave the Gunners a significant leaf to take to the Mestalla.Other than that victory, Arsenal have been in woeful form, picking up just one point from their last four Premier League games, however, Valencia haven’t been up to much either.Marcelino’s side picked up an impressive win over Huesca on Sunday, but lost three on the spin before that.ADVERTISEMENT Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the third goal in the first leg (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)When is Valencia vs Arsenal?AdvertisementAdvertisementThe match is on Thursday 9 May with kick-off at 8pm at the Mestalla.What TV channel is Valencia vs Arsenal on and is there a live stream?BT Sport 2 will be showing the game live with coverage starting at 7.15pm.Subscribers will be able to stream the action on BT Sport Player or watch on the BT Sport app.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityTeam newsArsenal are missing their long-term absentees Aaron Ramsey, Hector Bellerin, Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Denis Suarez.The home side are without Geoffrey Kondogbia and Denis Cheryshev through injury.What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)To win match9/10 Valencia14/5 Draw16/5 ArsenalTo qualify5/2 Valencia2/7 ArsenalMORE: Tottenham star Jan Vertonghen leaves Ajax stadium on crutches after incredible Champions League comebackMORE: David Ginola praises Mauricio Pochettino for Fernando Llorente substitution in Tottenham’s win over Ajax Advertisementlast_img read more

Dutch government abandons plan for National Mortgages Institution

first_imgTwo years ago, the NHI was expected to issue at least €25bn in government-backed mortgage bonds within five years.But now the need for an NHI is far less urgent, according to housing minister Stref Blok.In a letter to Parliament, he noted an improvement in the market, driven by a sharp decline in mortgage rates and a narrowing funding gap at banks through alternative means of financing.At the same time, Dutch pension funds have increased their investments in mortgage funds, in 2014, nearly doubling their holdings to €6.7bn.Despite this increase, mortgage funds – which consist largely of indirect investments by pension funds through asset manager funds, or co-operation with other market players – still account for just 1% of all issued residential mortgages in the Netherlands. After the government’s announcement that the NHI would be scrapped, a spokesman for MN, the €110bn asset manager for the large metal schemes PME and PMT, said the Dutch mortgage market had finally “sorted itself out”.He noted that pension funds had been investing increasingly in mortgage funds, with PMT recently an additional €1bn commitment to the Dutch Mortgage Funding Company (DMFCO).Jeroen van Hessen, managing partner at the DMFCO, said: “We are pleased the market can do its job now. The combination of mortgages, state support and banks in the NHI was not a good idea from the start.”PGGM, which had been involved in the establishment of the NHI, said it was pleased with this “workable” instrument.However, it declined to confirm whether it would have invested in NHI-issued bonds.At present, PGGM does not invest in mortgages. Meanwhile, APG, the €424bn asset manager for ABP, said it understood the banks’ conclusion that complying with the European Commission’s conditions would have meant they would lose money by participating in the NHI. The Dutch government has scrapped plans for a National Mortgages Institution (NHI) after the parties involved in the project failed to agree on how best to address the European Commission’s decision that the NHI would be tantamount to state aid.Jan van Rutte, a former banker who was responsible for setting up the institution, said the European Commission’s conditions for preventing unintended state support – or passing financial benefits on to consumers – were “too stringent”.The Dutch government intended the NHI to stabilise financing in the local residential mortgage market.It was to streamline access to the market and increase competition via the issuance of government-backed mortgage bonds.last_img read more

PDEA-6 holds orientation on drug-clearing in Sipalay

first_img“The city government of Sipalay sawthat there is a need to thoroughly educate our barangay counterparts of theCity Anti-Drug Council,” Lizares said. Meanwhile, a random drug testing of115 local government employees of the city has showed negative results. “This clean random drug testing resultproves that the efforts of the local government are paying off.  We are planning on making these random checksmore frequent as we aim to set example to the locals,” Lizares said.  BACOLOD City – The members of thePhilippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western Visayas (PDEA-6) recentlyconducted an orientation on the drug-clearing efforts of the government inSipalay City, Negros Occidental.    The Sipalay City Anti-Drug AbuseCouncil was implementing the CBRP for the first batch of persons who used drugsfrom the six barangays, as it plans to conduct the second set of CBRP in 2020.(With a report from PIA/PN) Sipalay City mayor Maria Gina Lizaressaid the orientation aims to level off with all the stakeholders to ensure thesuccess of the drug-clearing operations. According to the city government ofSipalay, six of the 17 barangays of the city were up for validation by PDEA-6to ensure that drug dependents in these barangays already underwent thecommunity-based rehabilitation program (CBRP).     last_img read more