Governor Wolf Signs Two Bills into Law

first_imgGovernor Wolf Signs Two Bills into Law Bill Signing,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed the following bills passed by the General Assembly: House Bill 863 and Senate Bill 530. June 29, 2018center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img

Lothian Pension Fund seeks approval to run investments in-house

first_imgThe South Yorkshire Pension Fund (SYPF), another public fund to do so, fully received authorisation last year for its estimated £4.6bn in assets.The Lothian Fund manages around 60% of its assets in-house, under the guidance of its nine permanent staff members, who run the regional and global equity mandates, and alternatives.FCA authorisation would also allow the fund to manage investments for third-party clients. When asked, the fund did not deny any plans to do so, but said it was not its motive.“The decision to seek FCA authorisation is focused on improving governance for the benefit of the Lothian Pension Fund, Lothian Buses Pension Fund and Scottish Homes Pension Fund,” a spokesman told IPE.The fund said the decision to apply came after an external review of its in-house investment team to ensure it complied with regulation and industry best practice.“We want to make sure our investment management operations are comparable with those in the private sector,” it added.Alastair Maclean, director of corporate governance for Edinburgh Council, said the move was an important step for the fund to ensure it is responsive and prepared for the challenges for public sector pensions.The fund is part of Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Scotland, which includes all funded public pensions in Scotland.The structure of 89 LGPS funds in England and Wales is currently under review by the government.In the coming weeks, the minister responsible for local government pensions is expected to publish his proposal for the future of the LGPS.Changes include the merging of pension funds by geography, or the creation of collective investment vehicles, to reduce costs and improve efficiency.Maclean added: “The review has provided comfort that our internal investment operations are well structured and effective. It has also provided direction to further improvement in our controls if we are to gain authorisation from the FCA.” The Lothian Pension Fund is to apply for authorisation from the UK financial regulator for its in-house management to be recognised, removing the requirement for external consultant approval.The £4.1bn (€5bn) fund currently manages £2.8bn of its portfolio in-house, but investment decisions still require a sign-off from approved consultants.However, after its application to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for authorisation, the fund said the move would allow it to improve the governance of its in-house management.Lothian, which includes the pensions for the staff of Edinburgh council, and manages the Lothian Buses Pension Fund and Scottish Homes Pension Fund, is one of very few public sector funds to obtain FCA status.last_img read more

Van Persie fit to face City

first_img Van Persie has missed Manchester United’s last six games following an ankle injury he suffered in the 2-1 defeat at Swansea on February 21. Manager Louis van Gaal said last week he did not expect the striker to be fit enough to return for Sunday’s game against Manchester City at Old Trafford, but Van Persie reported good news for United fans on Wednesday. The 31-year-old tweeted: “Back to training with the group today. Was a great session. Happy to be fit and able to play again. Looking forward to my next game!” Even if Van Gaal considers Van Persie to be fit to take part in the derby, it is hard to see how the former Arsenal front man would fit into the starting XI. United have hardly missed the Dutchman, who has scored just 10 goals this term. During his absence, the Red Devils have only lost once – against his former employers Arsenal in the FA Cup. United have recorded creditable victories over Tottenham and Liverpool and last Saturday they moved above City into third with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa. Wayne Rooney scored a stunning volley during the win. The United skipper has performed well up front in a 4-3-3 formation alongside Ashley Young and Juan Mata, who scored both goals in the 2-1 win at Anfield two-and-a-half weeks ago. Marouane Fellaini has also provided able and robust support from midfield. Victory for United this weekend would pile more misery on out-of-form City and improve Van Gaal’s chances of achieving his target of Champions League qualification. Once he returns from his summer break, he is likely to take United on a shortened pre-season tour, with the most likely destination the United States, it has emerged. Van Gaal made no secret of his annoyance at United’s pre-season schedule last summer. United had already committed themselves to a three-week long tour that took in five matches across five American cities by the time Van Gaal took over as manager. United travelled almost 13,500 miles on the trip, which included games in Los Angeles, Denver, Detroit, Washington DC and Miami – all against high-profile opposition. This summer’s tour is expected to see United take on fewer opponents and undertake less travel. The trip will have to be over a shorter period of time too as the Premier League season begins on August 8 – just eight weeks after the end of the international break. It is understood that Van Gaal will sign off plans for the tour in the coming weeks. Press Association Robin van Persie has declared himself fit for Sunday’s Manchester derby. last_img read more

Latest: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0 (Agg: 1-1)

first_imgChelsea face extra time in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, where if the score remains the same they will progress to the final on the away goals rule.The Blues have twice been denied a penalty – and they lost Cesc Fabregas after he picked up an injury soon after the interval.With the tie finely poised after a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the first leg, they looked to attack from the start and might have had a penalty as early as the fifth minute.Diego Costa got the better of Mamadou Sakho on the right-hand side and picked out Willian, whose shot was blocked by Lucas with the ball hitting the Liverpool man’s hand as he threw himself in the way.At the other end, Raheem Sterling scampered towards goal after Kurt Zouma had misjudged a long ball, but the centre-back recovered to tackle him after Sterling had gone past Chelsea skipper John Terry.The hosts were soon back on the attack and Costa appeared to be fouled in the box by Martin Skrtel, but again referee Michael Oliver ignored appeals for a spot-kick.With Terry back in the side after being rested for Saturday’s FA Cup debacle against Bradford, Blues boss Jose Mourinho made a bold decision by retaining youngster Zouma and instead dropping Gary Cahill to the bench.And Chelsea were caused some problems at the back in the first half, twice relying on keeper Thibaut Courtois to prevent Liverpool going ahead.The Belgian saved superbly from Alberto Moreno following a clever pass from Steven Gerrard.Soon afterwards Courtois was called into action again, this time saving with his legs to keep out an effort from Philippe Coutinho, who showed great skill to get himself into a shooting position but ought to have then scored.Chelsea were dealt a blow four minutes into the second half when Fabregas was hurt after colliding with Terry as both went for the ball. The Spaniard was replaced by Ramires.But they stayed on the front foot and Eden Hazard fired wide after a brilliant run saw him ride three challenges near the edge of the area.Costa then saw a deflected shot stopped by keeper Simon Mignolet, who also saved at his feet after a ricochet led to the ball dropping to the Chelsea forward.Tonight’s winners will face Tottenham or Sheffield United in the final.Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Filipe Luis (Azpilicueta 78); Matic, Fabregas (Ramires 50); Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Costa. Subs: Cech, Cahill, Ake, Remy, Drogba.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Notable Vertebrate Fossils

first_imgVertebrate fossils are only a tiny fraction of the record, but they are usually the most interesting to us.Underwater Fossil Graveyard Reveals Toll of Human-Caused Extinction (Live Science): “If humans had never set foot in the Bahamas, the islands today might be teeming with Cuban crocodiles, Albury’s tortoises and rock iguanas,” this article says. Remains of these creatures have been found in a flooded sinkhole, providing evidence they survived the ice age. They should have been there except for the arrival of humans later, the article argues.  PhysOrg‘s coverage suggests this is still a theory being tested.Meet Jane, the Most Complete Adolescent T. Rex Ever Found (Live Science): The authors of a study of “Jane” the teen-age T. rex have called into question the status of Nanotyrannus. Some are now arguing that Nanotyrannus is just a juvenile T. rex. Old dino digger Robert Bakker is not backing down on his claim it’s a separate species; he discovered it and named it, after all. Meanwhile, PhysOrg offers a new theory that dinosaur nasal passages kept the animals cool, and a Live Science video shares the exciting suggestion that the tail of Apatosaurus, cracking like the whip of Indiana Jones, may have broken the speed of sound.Treasure trove of late Triassic fossils discovered in Utah (PhysOrg): This “fantastic site” has creatures like pterosaurs, crocodile-like reptiles and dinosaurs. Brigham Young University is excavating the site, dubbed “Saints and Sinners” because one is a Mormon and two others are not.  Some 11,500 bones have been found so far, some of them remarkably well preserved:“It is absurdly rare to find delicate, small skeletons from anywhere in time, anywhere in the world,” said Adam Pritchard, a Yale paleontologist not part of the discovery team. “To have them from the Triassic period, which is the very beginning of the age of reptiles, is really unprecedented, especially in western north America.”76-million-year-old extinct species of pig-snouted turtle unearthed in Utah (Science Daily): The Miss Piggy of fossil turtles turned up in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Two feet long from head to tail, this “weird turtle” that walked with dinosaurs. “The new specimen includes not only the skull and the shell, but also a nearly complete forelimb, partial hindlimbs, and vertebrae from the neck and tail,” the article says. While this turtle is unlike any other ever found, “those fossil beds also hold the remains of many crocodilians, turtles, lizards and amphibians that don’t look much different from their modern relatives” in spite of being over 75 million Darwin years old.Dilophosaurus – less of a frilly, venom-spitting lizard than we thought (PhysOrg): Time to revise Jurassic Park I. The scary, frilly poison-spitter Dilophosaurus wasn’t what the filmmakers portrayed, paleontologist Robert Gay explains in a lengthy article from a PLoS blog. Three individuals are known from the Kayenta formation in Utah. Conclusions drawn from earlier studies are now in doubt. “So where does this leave the state of early theropod evolution? Pretty unsettled.”Everything’s Bigger in Texas: Ancient Supersize Shark Fossils Unearthed (Live Science): An enormous “supershark” has been found in Texas, some 25% longer than a great white. “Supershark lived before the age of the dinosaurs, which emerged about 230 million years ago. Until now, the oldest giant shark was found in rocks dating to 130 million years ago,” meaning that evolutionists have to dial back the origin of giant sharks to “much further in the fossil record than previously thought,” the article admits.Evolution: An avian explosion (Nature): This is another paper claiming that the fossil record of bird evolution can be reconciled with molecular evidence. The solution, however, requires near stasis for millions of years till after the extinction of the dinosaurs, then an explosion of diversification afterward. “Indeed, the early diversification of birds may have been so rapid that it resembles a network, or bush, rather than a beautifully bifurcating tree of life.” The latest solution requires “hopeful caution” while calling for more fossils. “In the absence of a perfect fossil record, the best we can do is experiment with different calibration dates and levels of uncertainty around those dates.” See also Current Biology‘s lengthy entry, “The Origin and Diversification of Birds,” which puts a more confident macroevolutionary face on the confusing picture. Confident, that is, if one is willing to accept bursts of evolution at arbitrary junctures, and poof-spoof excursions like, “although early birds and even some non-bird dinosaurs had volant capabilities, powered flight as we know it in modern birds most certainly developed after the origin of birds themselves.” (See Flight: The Genius of Birds for challenges to the origin of powered flight by Darwinian processes.)The horse series 3.0 (Current Biology): This primer by Ludovic Orlando describes Equids, both fossil and living horses, donkeys, and zebras. He takes the old museum line that “The evolutionary transition from multiple-toed to one-toed animals can be followed in great detail in the fossil record and represents one of the most popular textbook examples of macroevolution.” He shows the old four-toed to one-toed illustration. His tale, though, requires multiple migrations:The Old World was colonized several times by distinct equid groups, including Hipparions 12 million years ago, which, except for their three toes (Figure 2), resembled modern horses. It was not until two million years ago that the most recent common ancestor of present-day asses and zebras crossed Beringia. Within the following 500,000 years, their ancestors rapidly expanded across Eurasia and entered Africa at least twice independently. The descendants of the first migration later radiated into a diversity of zebras while those of the second migration gave rise to modern donkeys and African wild asses (Equus africanus; Figure 1).Horses entered the Old World in a separate migration, probably no earlier than 700,000 years ago, and expanded into Eurasia throughout a territory already populated by ancestors of Asiatic Wild asses. Their demographic history was punctuated by major cycles of expansions and collapses, probably related to the major glacial and interglacial cycles of the Pleistocene. Reduction in grassland cover during the Last Glacial Maximum led to a massive horse population crash in Eurasia, and to a total extinction in the Americas about 10,000 years ago. Therefore, all present-day American horses, including the free-roaming Mustangs, living symbols of the American West pioneering spirit, descend from European horses brought in after the Spanish conquest.Yet he talks very little about actual fossils. This scenario seems highly contrived to fit the dating scheme that evolutionists need to maintain against the fossil evidence. In addition to multiple migrations, the story requires seemingly reckless tales of interbreeding and hybridization. And surely there must be a lot more to macroevolution than losing toes or changing body size; what about all the organs and internal systems? Each one is clearly an Equid. Even young-Earth creationists accept that today’s horses look different from the original created kind.Sound familiar? Everything appears earlier than thought, exceptionally preserved, often just like modern representatives, buried instantly in flood conditions. Evolution is a highly-contrived “scenario” twisted and contorted to fit preconceived notions. See the process in “How not to work a puzzle” in the 5/01/2008 commentary.(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

It’s goodbye Bafana at Afcon 15

first_img28 January 2015Bafana Bafana lost 2-1 to the Black Stars of Ghana on the night of 27 January, eliminating Shakes Mashaba’s side from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament taking place in Equatorial Guinea.As has been the case throughout the competition, Bafana Bafana took the lead but allowed the opposition to come back and steal the show.Mandla Masango gave the South Africans the first half lead with a sublime strike in the 17th minute, but late strikes by John Boye and Andre Ayew, son of legendary Abedi Pele, put paid to any chances South Africa had of making it into the last eight as Ghana, who lost the opening game to Senegal topped the group.It was a sad end for Bafana Bafana, who had entered into the finals in Equatorial Guinea on the back of an unbeaten run. After Masango’s goal, the match immediately turned into war of attrition, becoming a ding-dong affair.With news that Algeria was winning by a single goal, it meant South Africa had to push forward for another goal to proceed to the next round. But instead of going into the second half hard, it was the Black Stars who started on the offensive.Despite this, Brilliant Khuzhwayo and his back four kept things tight. Khuzhwayo was in the thick of action, again punching the ball clear in the 55th minute from a good cross as Ghana threw every man upfront.Meanwhile, Erick “Tower” Mathoho cleared all the high balls as Ghana continued to pump long balls into the box. In the 70th minute, Ghana made a double substitution in a bid to add some bite upfront and immediately equalised when substitute John Boye scored after he collected a loose ball inside the box and his strike gave Khuzhwayo no chance to make it 1-1.Kwesi Appiah then hit the upright moments later as the double substitution started to pay dividends. It was at this juncture that South Africa needed to regroup as they were constantly pushed on the back foot. They Black Stars forced one corner after the other as they searched for the winner.In the 82nd minute, Ghana took the lead through Andre Ayew whose perfect header gave Khuzhwayo no chance as Bafana Bafana again gave away yet another lead, as was the case in their previous two games.It is not all doom and gloom for Mashaba and his rising charges, and they will have to pick up the pieces in the forthcoming competitions as the rebuilding exercise continues.Source: Safalast_img read more

Madison-Plains FFA members awarded highest honor

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Four graduated members from the Madison-Plains FFA chapter received the highest degree attainable in the FFA, the American Degree.The three were recognized at the 89th annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Indiana. The Degree requires the recipients to meet specific extensive requirements. This year’s recipients included Satch Davison, Garrett Davison, David Hodge and Kayla Thornsberry. As part of the requirements to earn their degree, they had to earn over $10,000 in their SAE projects and participate in at least 50 hours of community service. On average, only .5% of the 629,367 members of the National FFA earn the American FFA Degree. This year Madison Plains had 4 of the 3,780 American FFA degree recipients. The Madison-Plains FFA Chapter is very proud to see it’s members go so far and would like to congratulate them on their hard work.These four alumni members give the chapter hope in knowing anything is possible and hard work pays off.last_img read more

Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer: The Nature Conservancy

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentOhio Farm Bureau’s Director of Water Quality and Research Jordan Hoewischer talked with Dr. Jessica D’Ambrosio of The Nature Conservancy earlier this summer. On this edition of Field Day, Hoewischer and D’Ambrosio discussed the role of The Nature Conservancy and how the organization works with farmers to help make positive impacts on water quality.Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer is an ongoing series of conversations with experts and leaders who are helping to shape and secure the future of Ohio’s ag industry for generations to come.Following are some highlights from Episode 8.  Complete transcript  Q: Give us an overview of The Nature Conservancy and how farmers and environmentalists can work together.A: The Nature Conservancy is the largest conservation organization in the world. We’ve got offices in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 60 countries across the world. It’s our mission to preserve the land and water upon which all life depends. We probably got our start and are probably most famously known for purchasing and protecting rare and unique places all over the world. In this area of the world the, the Western Lake Erie Basin, we learned early on we are trying to protect a endangered mussel species in the St. Joseph River and we realized really early on that we weren’t able to do the work we needed to do to protect that species without involving the landowners, and the landowners in that watershed were predominantly farmers. Once we started talking to them instead of ignoring them or not incorporating them in the solutions, we found that they were many times more interested and more excited about what we were doing, sometimes more than we were.Q: We’ve talked about a combination of voluntary and regulatory nutrient management practices. What’s your opinion on proposed or rumored future legislation on water quality or farming as a whole?A: If you read the mass balance study that was recently done by Ohio EPA, you’ll see that it does state that the voluntary measures that are in place now, and continue to be in place, have done a really good job of – I am going to use an analogy here – stabilizing the patient. So we have a patient, Lake Erie and Lake Erie watershed, who’s sick and those voluntary practices, without those in play, we wouldn’t be able to debate these ideas and these decisions about what we should do next and who we should involve. I think regulatory measures and policies need to be on the table as part of the solutions. Continued voluntary action does too. So, can we take next steps, voluntary or regulatory, that help treat the root causes and then can that lead us towards really getting rid of the disease that Lake Erie has which is these chronic algal blooms.Q: It’s easy to generalize a whole segment of people (farmers) as the main culprit in the water quality issue, but I wish we could focus on solutions and not so much who’s at fault or who’s to blame because the issue is the issue.A: I think that’s where The Nature Conservancy has had a lot of success in working with the ag community as we’ve sat down and we’ve said, ‘Hey let’s talk about how we can work on this together and what are real solutions you can implement as an industry’ rather than saying it your ‘It’s your fault; you better fix it or else.’ So, again catching more flies with honey than with vinegar and real solutions that are practicable and that are cost effective that makes sense.  Leave a Commentlast_img read more