Jerry Garcia And Merl Saunders Cover “(I’m A) Road Runner” In This Newly Released Recording

first_imgOn July 28th, the two-disc Garcia Live Volume Nine will be released, featuring previously unheard recordings from Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders during a performance on August 11th, 1974 at the Keystone in Berkeley, California. With Jerry Garcia on guitar and vocals, and Merl Saunders on keys and vocals, the band was rounded out by Martin Fierro on sax and flute, John Kahn on bass, and Bill Kreutzmann on drums—a group that later became Legion of Mary sans Kreutzmann and with Ron Tutt on drums instead.Jerry Garcia 75th Birthday Concert Series AnnouncedAhead of Garcia Live Volume Nine‘s release, tracks off the upcoming album have been slowly rolled out to preview the record. Yesterday, “(I’m A) Road Runner” was officially released to the public and premiered via Grateful Web. “(I’m A) Road Runner” is a cover of Junior Walker’s 1966 Motown classic and was regularly performed over the years by Garcia with his various solo projects. This latest track off Garcia Live Volume Nine comes after the release of performances of Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” and “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got)” from the August 11th, 1974 Keystone show.You can listen to all three tracks below. You can also pre-order Garcia Live Volume Nine here ahead of its official release later in the month. Garcia Live Volume Nine Track ListingDisc One/Set OneThat’s What Love Will Make You DoLa LaIt Ain’t No UseMystery TrainDisc Two/Set TwoThe Harder They ComeAin’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got)It’s Too Late(I’m A) Road RunnerThe Night They Drove Old Dixie Down[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

Widespread Panic Debuts New Original, Welcomes Marcus King For Night 4 In Mexico [Photos]

first_imgWidespread Panic resumed their four-night run at the Hard Rock Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico with a “1986” theme. The band certainly kicked it off in old school fashion with Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”, marking the first time the song opened a WSP show since 1992, with Dave Schools performing lead vocals. JoJo Hermann then took lead vocals on his humorous tale of joining the band in “One Arm Steve”, which opened last year’s Panic en la Playa. Another original “Pleas” followed with John Bell singing lead, while Jimmy Herring and Schools weaved rhythms around each other like world-class opponents in a prestigious boxing match. The band then skillfully segued into “Christmas Katie” with the transition jam being especially noteworthy. Keeping the fire burning, the boys performed an extended rendition of “Junior”, a fan-favorite for its simple yet rough and aggressive tones.“Contentment Blues” from the album Space Wrangler came next, delivering all the most badass components; outrageous lyrics, heavy bass lines, and several jarring tempo changes. It will be hard to beat John Bell rappin’ about how the “the air smells sweet; the chicken tastes GOOD!” Jimmy Herring polished off another smooth solo in his off-the-cuff style, before Schools, Duane Trucks, and Sonny Ortiz grounded the rhythm to end the jam. Maintaining the intensity appropriate for the last night of music, the band dove into an absolutely ripping version of “Thought Sausage”. A cover of J.J. Cale’s song “Travelin’ Light” finished the first set of music with the lyrical reminder that “Travelin’ light… is the only way to fly” with Dave Schools hammering the abbreviated bass line nearly crushing his guitar into dust with every note.The second set kicked off with a cover of the Talking Head’s “Swamp”, which had not been played since Wanee 2016. Keeping the grit in the music, the band followed with an always raucous version of “Fishwater” which eventually segued right into the opening licks of “Surprise Valley”. The continuous flow of heaters persisted with the original “Rock”, another swampy song describing fishy water and laying at the bottom of a pool. Another heavy jam “Saint Ex” followed with Dave Schools absolutely ripping apart his bass once again. Another original, the lengthy jam, “Pilgrims”, came next, as John Bell comically improvised lyrics while Jimmy Herring soared through the inner workings of the cosmos.Widespread Panic debuted a new original song “Sundown Betty”, ultimately hinting at new material from the band and possibly the arrival of an upcoming album. The song had some suave riffs and John Bell delivered some trademark vocals in his signature style of crooning. Jimmy Herring iced the cake with a sizzling solo to finish this tune’s debut. The band then reverted back to the notorious psychedelic jam “Pigeons” which speculates the profound, philosophical conundrum: “What it’s like washing windows when you know that there are pigeons on the roof.” For the third night in a row, Widespread Panic invited a musical guest to make an appearance, this time in the form of Marcus King, who was omnipresent all weekend.Marcus King alternated lead guitar and lead vocals with Jimmy Herring and John Bell, respectively, on the old blue standard “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” which is accredited to Joseph ‘Blind Willie’ Johnson. The first time the band covered this song was in 1986 with the most recent time being in 2016. The band and Marcus then paid respect to fellow Georgian brethren Allman Brothers Band with an outstanding 20-minute version of “Mountain Jam” to finish the second set.The band returned to the stage to demolish a rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s classic blues song “Tail Dragger”. John Bell sings suggestively that “he gits what he wants, and don’t come sneakin’ back” and eventually hints that “they just might come sneakin’ back”. Hopefully, this means that the band will be returning next year to continue this tropical paradise festival. To conclude the final night of music and to close out the jubilee, the boys played a bittersweet and beautiful version of Joe Cocker’s “High Time We Went” which they haven’t performed since 2016.Watch “Mountain Jam” below, courtesy of MrTopDogger:As always, the band executed each song with style, precision, and utmost professionalism. The mannerisms and facial expressions, especially with the guest musicians, are a quintessential example of the immense enjoyment that was shared by the band and the audience alike. The audience especially were very friendly, displaying nothing but love and comradery for the band and music in general. The venue once again hosted nearly three thousand lunatics, who’s zeal and enthusiasm was nearly uncontrollable. As long as the band continues playing, I will gladly return until I am physically unable to come back. Good job, ladies and gentlemen, until we dance again, stay happy and healthy.You can check out photos from Panic En La Playa below, courtesy of  Dave Vann.Setlist: Widespread Panic | Hard Rock Resort | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 1/26/2018I: Werewolves of London, One Arm Steve, Pleas > Jam > Christmas Katie > Junior, Contentment Blues, Thought Sausage, Travelin’ Light (58 mins)II: Swamp, Fishwater > Surprise Valley > Rock, Saint Ex, Pilgrims, Sundown Betty^, Pigeons, Nobody’s Fault But Mine* > Mountain Jam** (110 minutes)E: Tail Dragger, High Time We Went (15 mins)Notes ^ FTP – New Original – JB lead vocals* w/ Marcus King on guitar and vocals** Marcus King on guitar‘Werewolves of London’ LTP 9/17/16 Asheville (50 shows) – First opener since 10/31/92 Athens (a lotta shows)‘Swamp’ LTP 4/16/16 Wanee 92 shows)‘Pilgrims’ with inverted intro‘High Time We Went’ LTP 9/23/16 St Augustine (47 shows)Widespread Panic | Hard Rock Resort | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 1/26/2018 | Photo: Dave Vann Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Parents visit SMC campus

first_imgSaint Mary’s kicked off its premiere First Year Parents’ Weekend, hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) and Student Affairs, Friday evening.Freshman class president Caroline Koenig said the weekend was arranged for freshmen and their parents in order to bring families together sooner in the school year.“A lot of people felt as though it was too long to wait until Sophomore Parents’ Weekend to see students’ parents,” she said.Saint Mary’s president Carol Ann Mooney addressed attendees at dinner, which Koenig said was exciting for the student body. Mooney called the transition between first year and sophomore year a critical one, filled with a lot of important decisions, Koenig said.“This is the first time Saint Mary’s has hosted a weekend like this for first year parents,” Mooney said. “We were talking about the fact that we had events for parents every year, and we thought the first year parents’ event was orientation.“But then we realized that a lot happens between the date of orientation and the time we host Sophomore Parents’ [Weekend]. … It was a long time between seeing you and welcoming you to campus, so we decided to make a change.”The events scheduled for the weekend included different programs for parents and students to attend, Koenig said.“We decided to keep the events simple because it is the first First Year Parents’ Weekend,” she said. “We started off with check-in on Friday, and then on Saturday there were a number of information sessions as well as Riedinger House tours.”Programming included presentations on study abroad and the various programs offered at Saint Mary’s, Koenig said. Panel sessions featured professors and alumnae speaking about their experiences at the College and after graduation.“The main event of the weekend was a big dinner at the Hilton on Saturday night,” she said. “This included a DJ, a photo booth for students and parents to take pictures and the president of the College.”Koenig said the ultimate purpose of the event was to give parents the opportunity to get involved with the students after the completion of their first semester.“I hope that everyone had fun with their parents, and [their parents] got to see campus a little differently,” she said. “We’ve been here six months, and a lot has changed.”Tags: First Year Parents’ Weekend, freshman year, Student Government Associationlast_img read more

Renowned Director and Actor Nicholas Martin Has Died

first_imgDistinguished director and actor Nicholas Martin died on April 30 at Beth Israel Hospital after a long illness. The Tony nominee was 75 years old. Martin’s Broadway directing credits included Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, for which he received a Tony nomination, Present Laughter, Mauritius, Butley, Match, Hedda Gabler and The Rehearsal. He appeared on the Great White Way in productions including Alice in Wonderland, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Pantagleize, Exit the King, You Can’t Take It With You, The Wild Duck, Right You are If You Think You Are and The School for Scandal. Off-Broadway directing credits included Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, Saturn Returns, The New Century, Observe the Sons of Ulster, The Time of the Cuckoo, Chaucer in Rome, Fully Committed, Full Gallop, You Never Can Tell, Betty’s Summer Vacation, Sophistry and Bosoms and Neglect. Martin served as the artistic director of Williamstown Theatre Festival 2008 through 2010, where his directing credits included Knickerbocker, She Loves Me, The Corn Is Green, Where’s Charley?, Camino Real, Dead End and The Royal Family among others. As artistic director of the Huntington Theatre Company from 2000 through 2008 he directed Bus Stop, The Corn Is Green, She Loves Me, Present Laughter, Persephone, The Cherry Orchard, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Sisters Rosensweig, Laughing Wild, The Rivals, Sonia Flew, The Rose Tattooo, Butley, Springtime for Henry, A Month in the Country, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Betty’s Summer Vacation, Hedda Gabler, Fully Committed and Dead End. Martin recently withdrew from a production of The Seagull at Huntington, citing personal reasons. He had been set to direct a production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the venue in January 2015.center_img View Commentslast_img read more

Burlington police chief to testify about smart law enforcement

first_img# # # # # Burlington Police Chief Michael E. Schirling will testify Wednesday before the US Senate Judiciary Committee at the invitation of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).  Leahy, who chairs the panel, scheduled the hearing to explore Encouraging Innovative and Cost-Effective Crime Reduction Strategies. Leahy has made state and local law enforcement issues a priority for the Judiciary Committee this Congress.  He dedicated the first hearing of the 111th Congress to examining the needs of state and local law enforcement.  In 2008, Leahy twice brought the Judiciary Committee to Vermont to hear testimony about community efforts to address crime.Chief Schirling will offer testimony about the Burlington Police Department s success in developing and enhancing community policing through partnership and problem solving.  Police departments across the country are facing cutbacks in resources and funding during difficult economic times, and are increasingly looking to local business and community organizations to help identify and implement innovative strategies to address violence and crime.The hearing will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3, at 2:15 p.m., in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington.  A live webcast will be available online. Source: Leahy’s office. WASHINGTON (Tuesday, March 2)last_img read more

9 Ways to #OptOutside this Black Friday

first_imgChances are you’ve already heard all about REI’s bold Thanksgiving campaign #OptOutside—which encourages shoppers to abandon the retail madness of Black Friday for the tranquility of an outdoor setting.In doing this, REI is putting their money where there mouth is, closing every one of its 143 locations across the nation and awarding their employees with holiday pay in the process.unnamed-2-759x500This unprecedented move shows that REI is willing to sacrifice profits for the good of its employees and the advancement of its core principles as a company. Here at BRO we are 100 percent on board with the #OptOutside campaign and will be happily ditching the hustle and bustle of crowded stores this Friday for the peace and quiet of our Blue Ridge backyard. Will you join us?9 Tips and Ideas for #OptOutside 2015Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.The AT sprawls throughout 2,000 plus miles of the Appalachian Mountain range. Make the most of your post turkey day escapades by hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail near you. More info here.MG_4324-web (1)Hit the dirt on two wheels.One of the advantages of living below the Mason Dixon line is the extended mountain biking season, which continues well into autumn and in some places even remains open into the winter months. As you probably know, the Blue Ridge is blessed with mile upon mile of top notch single track, so grab your bike and hit a the trail this Black Friday.Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 2.25.45 PMFine tune your winter gear.Winter is upon us! Instead of rushing out to the chaotic lines of a gear store in the throws of a Black Friday invasion, take some time to maintain the gear you already have. Tune up the skis that have been collecting dust all season or test out the old -15 degree sleeping bag so you’re not caught in the cold during that annual winter backpacking excursion.winteriscomingClimb atop a fire tower.Some of the best views in all of Appalachia can be found atop the regions many abandoned fire towers. These structures have long served as essential lookout posts for fire-wary watchmen, but today many of them are open and accessible to everyday hikers like you.Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 2.45.14 PMHead for the coast.Can you say sunny and 70, because we can, and believe it or not that’s the current weather projection for Charleston, South Carolina on Black Friday. Sure, you could layer up in your finest Patagonia puff jacket just to go stand in line in front of Best Buy all day, but may we suggest SUPing your way through Shem Creek instead?Screen-shot-2015-06-10-at-1.01.34-PMHit the slopes!Thanksgiving weekend almost always coincides with the opening of a handful of Southeastern ski resorts. This Black Friday you’ll be able to choose from Beech Mountain, Cataloochee Ski Area, and Sugar Mountain Resort just to name a few. More info at skisoutheast.com.Fly fish a delayed harvest stream.For novice anglers the delayed harvest season can be one of the best times to get out on the water and test your skills in an environment where fish are plentiful and competition from bait fisherman is nonexistent. Learn more about the delayed harvest here.steve5-1024x684Explore a new a town.One of the best things about calling the Blue Ridge your basecamp is the plethora of travel options within a stones throw of home. Use our extensive collection of 48 Hours travel guides to find the right town for you.Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 2.42.00 PMWatch a sunrise or sunset.On a clear day, the Blue Ridge is of the best places in the country to catch a sunrise or a sunset. While the rest of the country is camped out in front of Target, you can #OptOutside by soaking in an amazing view like this. More details here.sunsetlast_img read more

Flu immunizations for children will pose big challenge

first_imgMar 5, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Starting next fall, how will the healthcare system get influenza vaccine into the arms (or noses) of tens of millions of additional children each year, given that the vaccination season is limited and many children don’t have regular medical checkups?That’s probably the central—though not the only—question raised by last week’s recommendation by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to vaccinate all school-aged children against influenza.”I think it will be difficult,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director of the Immunization Action Coalition, a St. Paul–based nonprofit group that campaigned for the ACIP recommendation.Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is advised by the ACIP, recommended flu vaccination for children from 6 through 59 months old. The new ACIP recommendation expands the target groups to include children from ages 5 through 18 years. That adds about 30 million children to the groups targeted for flu shots, the CDC estimates.The advisory group endorsed the change on the grounds that it will reduce flu and related medical needs in children and may limit spread of the disease in the community. In a nod to uncertainties about the adequacy of the vaccine supply next fall and winter, the CDC said the recommendation “is to take effect as soon as feasible, but no later than the 2009-2010 influenza season.”Immunization advocates and primary care physician groups say it will be a challenge to immunize millions more children, because many of them rarely visit a doctor and because the timing of flu vaccination season doesn’t mesh well with the timing of routine checkups for the children that do have them. Some experts say vaccines will have to be offered in settings other than physicians’ offices.In addition, one primary care group, the American Academy of Family Physicians, worries that providers may not have enough vaccine next season and has questions about the cost-effectiveness of the new policy.How much of a demand surge?Although an additional 30 million children are now advised to get flu shuts, the CDC expects only a fraction of that number will seek vaccination next season. “It takes a while for uptake to reach levels we’d like, but based on experience with childhood vaccines, we estimate about 7 million [more] doses will be used next year,” said Curtis Allen, a spokesman for the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD).Allen said vaccine company representatives who were at the ACIP meeting all promised to do “everything possible” to produce adequate supplies for next season. He said their major concern was their ability to change all three flu strains in the vaccine, as recommended recently by the World Health Organization in light of suboptimal matches between this year’s vaccine and the viral strains in circulation.Even assuming the doses are available, Allen acknowledged that immunizing 7 million additional children will be a challenge. “One reason is that vaccine typically reaches the market in late September or early October. Most children start school earlier, and many will have visited their pediatrician or family physician in August,” he said.Allen added that children and adolescents are “notoriously difficult to reach in that, once a child reaches a certain age, they rarely see a physician unless they’re sick. So this is a whole new cohort we’ll have to reach with information about the importance of flu vaccination.”Lance Rodewald, MD, head of the immunization services division in the NCIRD, said the need for flu immunization might be seen as a tool to push for annual medical exams for children. But that may not be practical, because the flu immunization season runs only about 3 to 4 months. “For pediatricians to see all their patients once a year, they are going to have to be scheduled throughout the year,” he said.Alternative vaccination venues”Pediatricians and family physicians are probably going to do a fair amount of vaccination, but this would really stress the office capacity to vaccinate everyone in this narrow time frame,” Rodewald said. “Probably a lot of the adolescents and school children will have to get their vaccines at places other than a provider office.”One way pediatricians might meet an increased demand for flu shots would be to offer special Saturday or evening clinics where children would be immunized without undergoing a full medical checkup, Rodewald suggested.Another possible option is school-based immunization, a topic that was discussed at the ACIP meeting, he said. Schools, like medical clinics, face limitations because many of them no longer have a staff nurse, but they could work with public health agencies or other partners to vaccinate students, he said.”We’re looking for sustainable methods to use schools and community vaccinators to partner together to reach schoolchildren, because it’s a promising working venue,” Rodewald commented.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which supported the ACIP recommendation, is open to the idea of children receiving flu shots elsewhere than their regular clinic if need be, said Henry Bernstein, DO, a member of the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases and chief of general academic pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth in Lebanon, N.H.”Certainly the AAP supports the concept of a medical home, so we’d like children to be immunized in their medical home,” he said. “But if there are other opportunities or places for people to get flu vaccine in a given season, that’s good. What’s critically important is that if they get it outside their medical home, it gets into their medical record with their primary care provider.”Bernstein said pediatricians feel there is “huge value” in expanding the flu immunization to all children. “But everyone is certainly aware of the fact that implementation and logistics need to be closely examined to really make this happen,” he added.AAFP leader concernedJim King, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), voiced concern about the cost-effectiveness of the ACIP recommendation and its possible impact on family physicians next season.King, who practices in Selmer, Tenn., said the AAFP has long recommended voluntary flu shots for children older than 6 months. However, he said, “It’s already past the point for physicians to order flu vaccine [for next fall], so getting the amount of vaccine is going to be difficult for most family physician offices.”Commenting that about 76 million children nationwide will now be covered by flu vaccination recommendations, King said manufacturers may not be able to make enough vaccine to meet the increased demand.”Are we going to do this on an annual basis, and how much money is this going to cost the healthcare system?” he said. “We haven’t seen the outcome data to show that it’s cost-effective for us to do this.” He added that he has seen many patients this year who contracted flu even though they had been vaccinated.King said he also expects some parental concerns about the cost of immunization and whether insurance will cover it, though he doesn’t expect a big backlash so long as the vaccination is not required.He said the AAFP would reexamine its policy on flu immunizations for children in light of the ACIP recommendation.Modest expectationsWexler, of the Immunization Action Coalition, counseled modest expectations about the early impact of the ACIP recommendation.”I don’t think we should expect that we’re going to be reaching the kinds of rates we achieve with other vaccines, because there’s no catch-up period—this is a year-after-year thing. It’s going to be different,” she said. “I think the goal is to do the best you can and every year you do a little better.””We’re never going to achieve 90% [coverage], and I don’t think we should expect to,” she said, adding, “We have to think about alternate venues, not just the practitioner’s office.”Wexler said anti-vaccine groups have already begun expressing opposition to the new recommendation. “I think because flu vaccine is the only one other than Japanese encephalitis that has some thimerosal [a mercury compound] in it, that’s a big issue for anti-vacciners. This has been going on for many years now, and I don’t’ know that it’s going to be any more difficult than it’s already been.”She said she doesn’t expect much opposition from parents—”not with children dying of influenza. Parents want to protect their children, and they hear the stories, and they mostly trust their physicians.”Wexler also said the effort to immunize more children offers a good opportunity to prepare for a flu pandemic—a view also voiced by Bernstein. “How do we mobilize, how do we reach the most people in the least time?” she said. “It’s going to be a learning curve, but it’s not too soon to start.”Numerical perspectivesBernstein said that, while the move to immunize school children is a major step, it doesn’t add as many children to the target groups as may appear at first glance.”Medically I think this is an important step to take; it really adds a number of children to the ranks,” he said. “But to be perfectly honest, essentially half of them should already be getting the flu vaccine every year, because 10% of them have conditions that warrant it, and another 40% of them are household contacts of someone who would not do well if flu was brought into the home.” The CDC currently recommends flu immunization for close contacts of people at risk for serious complications of flu.Wexler observed that the ACIP recommendation pushes the country closer to embracing universal flu vaccination. Previously, flu immunization recommendations covered groups constituting about 74% of the US population, she said. Now, “it’s probably up to 90%, or at least up to 85%.”In light of those numbers, she said, “I think it would be better to recommend vaccination for everyone. It’s much simpler. . . . It’s going to save clinicians a lot of time, instead of having to wade through and figure out who’s supposed to be vaccinated. It’ll be much easier for [insurance] coverage to be ascertained. . . . And I think it’ll reduce influenza in circulation.”See also: Feb 27 CIDRAP News story “ACIP recommends flu shots for all school children”last_img read more

Moped mugger who tried to rob Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil jailed for 10 years

first_imgThe Bosnian defender doesn’t even flinch as the robbers threaten him (Picture: PA)The judge described Smith, of Islington, north London, as a ‘career criminal’ who was well known to police.He was out on licence for a 42 month burglary sentence in 2017 when he tried to carry out the street robbery.Jailing him, the judge said: ‘It’s fair to say they planned this attack with great care, armed themselves with pointed weapons capable of causing significant injury one said to be a knitting needle one said to be a screwdriver.‘They had stolen a moped and they were disguised in dark clothing and helmets so they could not be recognised.‘It is clear they had been looking for candidates to rob and they can be seen driving up and down the road in the period before this attempt took place.‘It is said and it is obvious that both of these defendants are prolific career criminals.‘They recognised an opportunity to rob both victims and Mr Ozil who was in the vehicle with his newlywed wife and they moved in armed and dangerous. Sead Kolasinac fought off the pair who were armed with knives, a screwdriver and a large knitting needle (Picture: PA)Ozil’s newlywed wife watched in terror from inside the £165,000 car, which then sped away down the wrong side of a mansion-lined road before the targets took refuge at a Turkish restaurant.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe pair followed them on the moped and threw stones at the car in an attempt to stop the vehicle and caused a significant amount of damage.The robbers had ambushed the two players as Ozil was picking up a luxury watch which had been delivered to a teammate’s home.They both admitted attempting to rob the two players at Harrow Crown Court.Appearing before judge Ian Bourne via video link today with his face masked with a blue scarf, Smith was handed a 10 year jail sentence.He remained expressionless but his mother sobbed in the public galley. Sign Up for News UpdatesGet your need-to-know latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and moreSign upNot convinced? Find out more » Ashley Smith (left) was jailed for 10 years and his accomplice Jordan Northover is due to be sentenced (Picture: PA)An armed mugger who tried to rob two Arsenal stars of their £200,000 watches has been jailed for 10 years.Ashley Smith, 30, ambushed the players with the help of accomplice Jordan Northover, 26, in Hampstead, northwest London on July 25.The pair were armed with a screwdriver, knives and a knitting needle, but they didn’t count on the bravery of burly Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac.The footballer, known as ‘The Tank’, jumped out of the passenger seat of Mesut Ozil’s 4X4 and threw punches at the assailants.ADVERTISEMENTHe barely even flinched despite having a sharp knitting needle and knives pointed at him. Jordan Northover is due to be sentenced at a later date (Picture: Enterprise News and Pictures)‘It is clear the two of them hadn’t counted on Mr Kolasinac fighting back and he behaved incredibly bravely with knives pointed in his direction at a time when he knew he was in possession of extremely valuable items which men might use whatever they needed to obtain the watches.’The defender was seen moving around the car to confront the robbers before getting back inside as Ozil sped off.A member of the public spotted the moped left near a park close to Borehamwood and contacted the police, who were able to trace CCTV footage showing the two men walk into a pub.AdvertisementAdvertisementJudge Bourne added: ‘This is a high culpability offence, using weapons to threaten and indeed to cause violence, thrusting the weapon towards Mr Kolasinac who must have been terrified at the events taking place immediately outside his house.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalThe court heard how Smith has 30 convictions dating back to 2008 including burglary, robbery, ABH and theft.Michael Bisgrove, prosecuting, said: ‘The attempt as you will see from the CCTV was quick and violent.‘Both are prolific offenders and they saw this opportunity shortly before 5pm and took it.‘They hadn’t counted in one of the victims fighting back.’Both players escaped without any injuries but the robbery meant they had to miss several matches at the start of the Premier League due to security concerns.Northover, who is being held at HMP Wealstun, West Yorkshire, will be sentenced for attempted armed robbery at a later date.More: UKScotland outlines tier system as millions face new restrictions across UKLondoners ‘should be paid a Universal Basic Income if circuit-breaker comes in’Queen criticised for not wearing face mask in first appearance since lockdown Got a story for Metro.co.uk? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk. For more stories like this, check our news page. Moped mugger who tried to rob Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil jailed for 10 yearscenter_img Advertisement Comment Ashley Smith’s mother sobbed in the gallery as he was jailed (Picture: PA) James HockadayFriday 8 Nov 2019 10:39 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link202Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

Swiss pension funds, actuaries at loggerheads over proposed reforms

first_imgThe actuarial society also warned that the compensatory measures suggested to soften the blow of the cut to the conversion rate would lead to “massive increases” in benefits for some people and thereby generate “considerably higher costs”.According to the reform plans, the rate by which salaries are discounted to calculate contributions into the second pillar is to be slashed.This rate – the Koordinationsabzug – is used to coordinate expected payments from the first pillar and those from the second pillar to make up 60% of the final salary before retirement.The Swiss pensions industry has been debating for several years now whether a higher compensation rate might be fairer for lower incomes.However, according to calculations by the SAV, slashing the Koordinationsabzug could increase costs in the second pillar by up to 50%.Asip, on the other hand, has welcomed the reform proposal as a much-needed improvement for people on lower incomes.To simplify calculations, the pension fund association suggested doing away with the Koordinationsabzug altogether and instead capping payouts from the second pillar at a certain maximum.One reform proposal Asip has challenged is changing the mode in which the second-pillar minimum interest rate is calculated.Currently, the minimum rate is set at the end of a given year for the next year based on bond returns.The government wants to change this to an ex-post calculation based on actual returns in pension fund portfolios for the year in which the minimum rate had to be achieved.However, Asip said this change did “not bring any added value” for pension funds and their members, and argued that Pensionskassen needed to know “the rules of the game” in advance. The debate over Switzerland’s reform plans, Altersvorsorge 2020, look set to continue after Asip, the Swiss pension fund association, approved the government’s plans to lower the conversion rate just days into the consultation phase.Asip agreed that the conversion rate – used to calculate pension payouts from accrued assets – should be cut from 6.8% to 6% in the second pillar, yet Swiss actuaries still consider this level to be too high.In a statement, the Swiss actuarial society SAV said “a rate of 5.6% at the most is justifiable”.The SAV cites the country’s largest pension fund Publica, which is to lower its conversion rate to 5.65% from 2015, similar to other pension funds managing above-mandatory contributions.last_img read more

Shell schemes join forces with college on training of board members

first_imgThe Shell pensions bureau (SPN) has entered into a unique partnership with SPO, the college for pensions education in the Netherlands, to improve the competence of the board members at Shell’s two pension funds, SSPF and SNPS. Both schemes said they wanted to “set an example” on pensions and governance expertise.Since 2012, SPN’s Academy has provided a mix of educational instruments and know-how to board members and candidates of the pension funds, their accountability organs (VO), supervisory boards (RvT) and SPN staff.The Academy will serve as the focal point for all schooling, training and reference material, and support the entire process, while SPO will offer services to increase competence, carry out expertise projects and set up the annual curriculum. Mark de Wijs, SPO’s director, said: “We will think along with the pension funds about boosting competence during the whole cycle. With the aid of new educational instruments, monitoring and maintenance, and based on individual assessments, we will be in control.”In his opinion, the cooperation between SPO and the Shell schemes is unique in the Netherlands. The SPN Academy already provides external schooling, in addition to courses by its own specialists and skills training by the sponsoring company.These will continue under the new set-up, SPN said. In the opinion of the Shell schemes, the mix of internal and external competence-boosting will add value to overall pensions education.In July 2013, Shell Netherlands set up a second pension fund – offering an individual defined contribution plan for new employees – while closing its existing final salary scheme for new entrants.SPN is responsible for the daily management of the pension funds, and supports and advises their boards on governance, actuarial issues, asset and risk management and pensions strategy. SPO was founded in 1989 by the pensions sector and focuses on maintaining standards for people in governing positions at pension funds.last_img read more