Pixies Announce Behind-The-Scenes Podcast Ahead Of Forthcoming Studio LP [Watch]

first_imgAlternative rock outfit Pixies will release their forthcoming studio LP in September. On Wednesday, the band announced they have documented the album’s lengthy recording process with a new, behind-the-scenes podcast to be titled, “Past Is Prologue, Pixies.” The band recorded the as-yet-untitled seventh studio album with producer Tom Dalgety, who was also behind 2016’s Head Carrier.Pixies recorded their forthcoming record at Dreamland Recordings near Woodstock, New York, after devoting the entirety of 2018 to writing new material. In conjunction with Signal Co. No1, the forthcoming “Past Is Prologue, Pixies” podcast will be available each week beginning on June 27th, and should help the band build up to the album’s September release.As Rolling Stone reports, “music journalist Tony Fletcher, the author of popular biographies of R.E.M. and The Who’s Keith Moon, will host and narrate the weekly, 12-episode podcast. The writer guides listeners through time spent in the studio control room, main room and a special ‘video booth’ where band members shared their observations throughout the recording; Fletcher also interviewed the Pixies and Dalgety individually.”Watch a preview of Pixies’ upcoming podcast below:“Past Is Prologue, Pixies” Podcast Preview[Video: Signal Co No1]After touring with Weezer last summer, Pixies announced that the two bands are joining forces again this spring. The new spring tour will start out with a pair of southern shows on March 8th and 10th, before moving through Montreal; Albany, NY; Mashantucket, CT; and Baltimore, MD from March 13th–17th. The bands will then head west, making stops in Columbus, OH; Grand Rapids, MI; Memphis, TN; St. Louis, MO; Kansas City, MO; Tulsa, OK; Des Moines, IA; St. Paul, MN; and Madison, WI from March 19th–31st. The tour ends with a run through the Pacific Coast, with stops in Nampa, ID; Portland, OR; Vancouver, BC; Sacramento, CA; Oakland, CA; and Las Vegas, NV from April 5th–12th.Head to Pixies’ website for ticketing and more information.Upcoming Pixies/Weezer Tour Dates:March 8th – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! CenterMarch 10th – Columbia, SC @ Colonial Life ArenaMarch 13th – Montreal, QC @ Bell CentreMarch 14th – Albany, NY @ Times Union CenterMarch 16th – Mashantucket, CT @ Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand TheaterMarch 17th – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms ArenaMarch 19th – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein CenterMarch 20th – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel ArenaMarch 22nd – Memphis, TN @ FedEx ForumMarch 24th – St. Louis, MO @ Enterprise CenterMarch 26th – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint CenterMarch 27th – Tulsa, OK @ BOK CenterMarch 28th – Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo ArenaMarch 30th – Saint Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy CenterMarch 31st – Madison, WI @ Alliant Energy Center – Veterans Memorial ColiseumApril 5th – Nampa, ID @ Ford Idaho Center ArenaApril 6th – Portland, OR @ Moda CenterApril 7th – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers ArenaApril 9th – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 CenterApril 10th – Oakland, CA @ Oracle ArenaApril 12th – Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay Events CenterView All Tour Dates[H/T Rolling Stone]last_img read more

It’s 1946, all over again

first_imgThe members of the Harvard men’s basketball team held their heads high as they exited the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship on March 15, and with good reason. In their first trip to the tournament since 1946, the Crimson gave heralded Vanderbilt a scare, cutting an 18-point deficit to 5 before falling to the Commodores, 79-70. Despite the loss, Harvard showed that it deserved a place at the “Big Dance.”“I think we battled very hard,” said forward Kyle Casey ’13 after the game. “We didn’t just give in when we could have given in. We feel like we belong here.”Although the loss was disappointing, the Crimson and their fans can look back on a remarkable season. The team won the Ivy League championship outright for the first time in program history, beating out longtime rivals Penn and Princeton. Harvard’s 26 wins broke the record the men’s team set last year. Along the way the Crimson won the Battle 4 Atlantis (B4A) tournament, beat nationally ranked Florida State University, ran their home winning streak to 28 games, and rose as high as No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press ranking.“We won our conference,” said coach Tommy Amaker at the tournament’s Media Day. “We’re very excited about how we were able to do that and certainly be in this position to be 12-2 in the Ivy League and 26-4. We had a sensational year.”Amaker said that the Crimson’s season can only help him and his staff to build a stronger program. While co-captains Oliver McNally and Keith Wright graduate this year, starters Casey and Brandyn Curry will return next season. The loss of the team’s seniors also will open up playing time, including for highly touted freshmen Wesley Saunders and Kenyatta Smith. The Crimson’s recent success brings the team closer to its aim of joining Stanford and Vanderbilt as one of the top basketball programs in the country.“That’s kind of a goal of ours, to see if we can get involved in those circles,” Amaker said. “We’ve been able to do it. Our staff has worked incredibly hard to identify those prospects and try to build relationships with those kids and the various individuals around them. Certainly, having some success here with our program, I think, has allowed us to gain some traction and a foothold to make our way and to identify the kids who fit the profile for Harvard. That’s a neat thing for us, to be in those circles with Vandy and Northwestern and Stanford and those schools with the kids that we’re trying to compete for.”last_img read more

DNV GL charts three technology disruptions that will speed global decarbonization efforts

first_imgDNV GL charts three technology disruptions that will speed global decarbonization efforts FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Economic Times:DNV GL, a global quality assurance and risk management company has predicted that technologies like new battery storage chemistries, high-temperature heat pumps and green hydrogen will significantly accelerate decarbonization of energy, transport and heating sectors in the next 10 years.In batteries, solid-state varieties are predicted to take the lead, driven by demand to decarbonize the transport sector. Next generation heat pumps are predicted to reach temperatures of 200°C degrees, which can support industrial heat demand. Green hydrogen can compete against blue hydrogen by 2030, creating new applications for decarbonizing the heat and transport sectors.“The driver for this phase of energy transition is the global need to limit carbon emissions, leading to more than doubling the share of electricity powered by wind and solar energy in the final energy demand mix, compared to today’s level,” DNV GL said in a recent statement.“In its first phase, the energy transition was focused on decarbonizing the power sector, which was effectively done by creating market incentives to promote uptake of solar and wind energy. Twenty years later, these forms of green power generation are not only safe and reliable but also have become cost-competitive,” said Lucy Craig, vice president of technology and Innovation at DNV GL-Energy.“The second phase of the energy transition is shifting towards CO2-intensive industries which are much harder to decarbonize, such as the transport and heating sectors. Therefore, we require equally decisive and binding policy actions to get emerging technologies, such as green hydrogen, high-temperature heat pumps and new types of battery storage chemistries, off the ground and build momentum for a similar success to that of core decarbonization technologies,” Craig said.DNV GL anticipates that green hydrogen can compete against blue hydrogen by 2030. With growing demand to scale up the production of green hydrogen, DNV GL expects that capital costs for electrolysers will reduce significantly and they will operate mainly when electricity prices are low. In this scenario, electrolysers operate intermittently, in step with fluctuating power prices, and hydrogen storage or complementary blue hydrogen production is available to ensure hydrogen supply. DNV GL predicts that electrolysis will become a common part of hydrogen supply somewhere between 2030 and 2035.[Debjoy Sengupta]More: Solid-state batteries, High-temperature heat pumps and green hydrogen to lead in the next 10 years: DNV GLlast_img read more

Fall’s The Time To Get Your Home Ready For Winter With Alure Home Improvements

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsAll homeowners should know the drill by now: You end up waiting until the first autumn chill is in the air before you start making sure your house is ready for winter.Sure, you might have put off these easy maintenance projects all summer, but now that Labor Day has come and gone, it’s time to prepare your place to be in peak condition—long before the cold weather arrives. Think of it as saving on your fuel bill and putting the money in the bank—or in your holiday fun fund.It’s understandable why you might want to procrastinate when it’s hot outdoors. That’s natural. Or you might believe the tasks are just too demanding and complicated for the weekend warrior to tackle. That’s a mistake you don’t need to make. It’s much simpler than you think to follow these easy tips from Alure Home Improvements. If your house could speak, it’d probably thank you when you’re done.First, check the outside of your house for cracks in the exposed foundation, especially where pipes or wires enter the house. Look around the windows and door frames for gaps that could prove costly when the winter energy bills are added up as your warm air inside starts flowing out. All you need to do is caulk and seal the openings with water-resistant material.If you see any paint peeling off or blistering on the outside of your house, that’s a sign that the siding is losing protection. Left untreated, it will eventually deteriorate, and that will definitely be an expensive repair job. See if you can add another coat of a tough exterior paint to prevent that from happening.Make sure your gutters and downspouts can do what they’re meant to do—before the heavy rains and winter snows come and it’s too late. Now is the time to remove all the leaves and debris. Flush the gutters with water from your garden hose to ensure that the downspouts aren’t clogged. A free-flowing downspout helps prevent ice dams from forming on your roof and damaging it. Replace your old and leaky gutters with new models that come with built-in leaf guards. Just be sure no yellow jackets or wasps have chosen to build their nests in there before you start repairing your gutters!Now, take a good look at your roof. If shingles are loose or missing, bad weather could do some serious damage to your home. If the situation looks bad, you should have a licensed professional inspect the roof closer. Of course, Allure Home Improvements is always ready to help you.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsHere’s another tip. Make sure the gap where your garage door meets the ground isn’t large enough to allow in a small animal, or, worse, winter snow and ice. Add weather-stripping to the door and make the seal tight. Your job isn’t done until you’ve organized your garage and thrown out everything you no longer need. Then put your winter shovels and snow blowers where you can access them easily. If it’s been a while since you ran your blower, now’s the time to test it out.Inspect your outdoor railings and your front and back outdoor steps. If the handrails remain loose, they won’t support someone coming up your stoop who is suddenly slipping on the ice and needs them for support. Also check your porches, patios and decks to make sure they’re in good shape. Store your outdoor furniture and cover your barbecue grill securely. Better yet: Move it into the garage.Now, this is really important: Drain all your garden hoses and store them inside your garage so they won’t be exposed to the elements all winter. Shut off all your outdoor water valves before the first frost comes and drain any leftover water from them. If you don’t do that, the faucets could freeze and break the pipes.As for your lawn, don’t think that because it’s autumn, you don’t have anything to do but rake the leaves. You should add fertilizer with a high phosphorous mix to make sure your grass is healthy once winter is over. Also, take the time to reseed those dry patches and plant flower bulbs that will bloom in the spring. You’ll be glad you did!And that’s what it’s all about: keeping up with the seasons, rather than letting them beat you!last_img read more

Acambis hopes to build a flu vaccine that lasts

first_imgAug 25, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The British biotechnology firm Acambis recently announced its launching of a quest for the Holy Grail of influenza prevention: a vaccine that would protect people from the virus for many years and perhaps even stave off future pandemic strains.With current technology, flu vaccines have to be retooled every year in a time-consuming effort to cope with minor mutations that enable the flu virus to avoid quick detection by the immune system. But a vaccine based on parts of the virus that stay the same, instead of those that often change, could eliminate the need to bring out a new model every year.Acambis announced early this month that it was collaborating with Belgium’s Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (known as VIB) to replace the annual flu vaccine with a perennial one.”The aim of the research collaboration would be to generate a ‘universal’ vaccine candidate that would protect against both A and B strains of influenza and, more importantly, would not require annual changes to the formulation,” the company said in its Aug 4 announcement.The company hopes that such a vaccine could also protect people from a pandemic flu virus, which can arise from a major change, or “antigenic shift,” in viral components. With disease experts warning that the H5N1 avian flu virus could turn into a pandemic strain any day, that prospect is doubly attractive. However, availability of such a vaccine is, at best, years away—too far in the future to help combat any near-term pandemic.The frequent minor changes in flu viruses involve two of the virus’s surface proteins, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, represented by the H and N in names like “H5N1.” Hemagglutinin and neuraminidase enable flu viruses to enter host cells and then exit them after replicating. Current vaccines target these highly mutable proteins, making it necessary to adjust the vaccines each year to match the circulating strains.Acambis’s vaccine effort focuses on a far less shifty viral protein, called M2. “A major component of the new [vaccine] candidates,” the company said, “will be M2e, the extracellular domain of the ion channel protein M2, which is specific to influenza A. Being highly conserved, M2e is intended to elicit protective immune responses against all strains of influenza A. M2e is incorporated in a unique carrier system that forms highly immunogenic virus-like particles.”Ashley Birkett, Acambis’s director of viral immunology in Cambridge, Mass., said the company is working on a separate technology for type B influenza. If the type A and B vaccines both prove effective, combining the two into one shot “would give us a truly universal vaccine,” he told CIDRAP News.The A type vaccine would potentially protect people against pandemic flu, since previous known pandemic strains were type A and future ones are expected to follow suit, Birkett said.”The advantage of this approach is that the manufacturing relative to the vaccine would be much easier,” he said. “It would be the same vaccine year after year.”Since the vaccine wouldn’t have to be changed each year, manufacturing could be continuous, instead of occurring each spring and summer after health officials pick the flu strains they think will prevail the following winter. With year-round manufacturing, people could be immunized any time of year, not just in the fall or winter, and vaccine could be stockpiled, Birkett said.Conventional production of flu vaccine involves growing whole copies of a weakened virus in chicken eggs (though several companies are working on growing flu viruses in cell culture). Acambis’s experimental vaccine is manufactured with a “recombinant bacterial fermentation technology,” in which bacteria are used to make selected viral proteins, rather than whole virus. “The bacteria can make single proteins for us,” Birkett said.With this technique, the production time for a batch of vaccine is “a matter of weeks,” as compared with about 6 months for egg-based vaccine, he said. “But the main difference is you’re going to be making the virus year-round. It really comes down to the fact that we don’t have to change the product,” he added.Acambis said its initial vaccine candidate is “in pre-clinical development” and has been tested successfully in animals. Two recent journal articles describe successful tests of various versions of the vaccine in mice.The reports, published in Virus Research and Virology, say that M2e generates only a weak immune response during flu infection and when used in a conventional vaccine. But when it is linked to an appropriate carrier, such as hepatitis B virus core (HBc) particles, it induces a strong antibody response. When various versions of the M2e-HBc combination were used with an adjuvant (a chemical that stimulates the immune system), they fully protected mice from a potentially lethal flu infection, the reports say.Work on the vaccine has already been going on for several years. Acambis said it acquired the vaccine from Apovia, a US biotechnology firm, earlier this year. Apovia started developing the vaccine in 2000, after licensing the technology from VIB, where Walter Fiers led the research on which the vaccine is based.Birkett said he couldn’t predict when the firm might launch clinical trials or how long it might take to bring the vaccine to licensing, but indications are it will be a lengthy effort.Theoretically, a perennial flu vaccine is a great concept, said Gregory Poland, MD, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.”One of the real problems we have is that each year, the vaccine is an educated guess,” Poland told CIDRAP News, referring to the problem of predicting which flu strains will predominate in a given season. “The other problem is getting large numbers of people to get a vaccine every year.”A single vaccine that would reliably fend off the shifty virus for years would eliminate both of those difficulties. “A flu vaccine that could be given once, twice, or periodically would be a grand slam,” said Poland, who is a professor of medicine in infectious diseases at the Mayo College of Medicine and directs the Mayo Vaccine Research Group and Program in Translational Immunovirology.But Poland was cautious in assessing the likelihood of success.”We need a proof of principle at this point,” he said. “There are a number of entities trying to develop a similar vaccine. I do think it’s theoretically possible. From an immunologic point of view, the key will be choosing the right antigen [viral protein] and knowing that the antigen is displayed early in the infection, so that an immune response can be generated early enough to abort the infection. My concern is if you find antigens that are displayed late in the infection, you may generate an immune response too late to do much good.”Birkett acknowledged that the experimental vaccine targets the virus later in its life cycle than conventional vaccines do. “But if you want a universal vaccine, you have to target a component that develops later in the life cycle,” he said.”It’s a totally new vaccine approach,” he said. “We’re confident, we’re hopeful, but until we do the [clinical] studies, we won’t know for sure [if the vaccine will work]. If it does work, it’ll be the Holy Grail. It could meet the need for influenza [protection] year after year.”Acambis is not the only organization pursuing a universal flu vaccine. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is supporting efforts by several other researchers on the same problem.Andrew Pekosz of Washington University in St. Louis and David Milich of the Vaccine Research Institute in San Diego are working on a vaccine that, like Acambis’s, targets the M2 protein of the influenza A virus, according to an article on the NIAID’s influenza Web site.Because relatively few copies of the M2 protein are present on the outer coat of the virus, an M2-based vaccine made from a normal flu strain generates only a weak immune response, the article notes. Milich is addressing this problem by developing a “bulked up” M2 vaccine that contains 240 copies of the protein, which stimulates the production of more antibodies.Other researchers working on similar vaccines include Walter Gerhard at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Gary Van Nest at the biotechnology company Dynavax, according to the NIAID. Gerhard’s vaccine targets the M2 protein, while Van Nest is using another viral protein, called NP.Poland predicts it will take years to bring a universal flu vaccine to market, if it can be done at all. “I wouldn’t hold my breath that we’re going to have a vaccine like this in the next couple of years,” he said. “I think proof of principle you could get in a couple of years. For licensure of a vaccine like that, the typical cycle is going to be somewhere in the 7- to 10-year horizon.” But he added that it might be possible to speed up the process, especially if the vaccine would be effective against a pandemic virus.See also:Aug 5 Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology releasePubMed abstracts with links to full text of reports on M2e influenza vaccine:A ‘universal’ human influenza A vaccine (Virus Research 2004)Universal influenza A vaccine: optimization of M2-based constructs (Virology 2005)last_img read more

Link between dog food, Salmonella cases looks stronger

first_img The agency said investigators are still trying to find out why human cases have been associated with dry pet food. Factors being considered include handling and storage of dry pet food, handwashing practices, exposure of children to dry pet food, and the location in the home where pets are fed. Sixty-six people in 18 states have been infected with the same strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund, and reports of new cases are continuing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement. The Food and Drug Administration had said earlier that two samples of dry dog food made by Mars Petcare US, Inc., had tested positive for S Schwarzengrund, but no direct link between the company’s products and the human cases had been found. Aug 28 CDC statementhttp://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/schwarzengrund.html “Households with ill persons were significantly more likely than matched households without ill persons to usually purchase a brand of dry pet food made by Mars Petcare US that may have been produced at a single facility in Pennsylvania,” the CDC said. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Health found the outbreak strain in an environmental sample from the Mars Petcare facility in Pennsylvania, the statement said. The CDC said 25 of the 66 salmonellosis cases reported so far occurred in Pennsylvania, with 12 in New York, 6 in Ohio, 5 in Massachusetts, and 1 or 2 in each of the other states affected.center_img See also: Aug 29, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Further investigation has strengthened the evidence of a link between recently recalled dog food products and human Salmonella infections, US health officials reported yesterday. The CDC, however, said yesterday that the outbreak strain of S Schwarzengrund was found in fecal specimens from two dogs that ate dry pet food in the homes of two case-patients. In addition, a multistate case-control study showed a link between illness and the purchase of dry pet foods made by Mars Petcare, the agency said. Aug 28 CIDRAP News story “Outbreak strain of Salmonella found in dog food” Of the patients for whom information was available, 39% were 1 year old or younger and 32% experienced bloody diarrhea. Ten patients were hospitalized, but none died, the CDC reported.last_img read more

Public space a ‘lifeline’ for post-lockdown cities

first_img“Public space has emerged as a critical lifeline for cities and their residents,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.The city of Braga in northern Portugal has opened public squares, sidewalks, parks and more throughout the city to restaurants and local businesses seeking to reopen to customers while maintaining social distancing.”This is almost a ‘must-do’,” said Mayor Ricardo Rio, noting that the move can be an “accelerator” to the economic recovery and that a few hundred businesses have already taken advantage of the opportunity.Research from a University of Massachusetts professor has found that outdoor activities are far less likely to transmit the coronavirus than indoor ones, a sense that is driving both policymakers and consumers. Public and outdoor space has been at a premium during the coronavirus pandemic: bike sales have leapt, park use is way up, and even pavement chalk drawing appears to be having a moment.Now as many cities start to reopen, some are looking at their sidewalks, squares, parking lots and even streets as a hidden asset in boosting their economies.”The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our relationship with our streets, open public spaces and public facilities,” said Laura Petrella, chief of planning, finance and economy at UN-Habitat. In Tampa, Florida, for instance, Jeff Gigante’s Forbici Modern Italian restaurant had to weather seven weeks of relying solely on sales of takeout food.Even when he was allowed to reopen in early May, he could only do so at 25% capacity, including his staff — hardly a solution, Gigante said, until the Tampa mayor announced emergency policies allowing the new use of public space.That meant the street in front of Forbici was closed down, and Gigante was allowed to put up a tent that can seat 72 at well-spaced tables.”This really gave us our life back,” he said in a phone interview.While the restaurant screens both staff and diners for symptoms of COVID-19, Gigante said the establishment is bustling again: “It feels very similar to pre-COVID. People are very appreciative, grateful that we’re open.”Underutilised spaceThroughout the world, public space is playing a quiet but key new role amid coronavirus upheavals, said Petrella.In Kisumu, Kenya, she said, local authorities have converted public spaces into open-air markets — similar to Kalaw, Myanmar, where streets have been closed to allow for social distancing at vegetable markets.And many cities worldwide are expanding options for walking, running and bicycle riding, she noted.Indeed, the need for recreation and new transit options has dominated much of the discussion around public space, said Phil Myrick, head of the Project for Public Spaces, a Philadelphia-based NGO.But, he said, the potential for use of public space is far greater.”As we think about ways to reopen during this pandemic, it’s staring us in the face: Sidewalks and street spaces are right there outside of every business, restaurant, hairdresser, dry cleaner,” Myrick said.Particularly in the developed world, these spaces have long been underutilized, and are far more equitably distributed across cities, he said.With traffic levels far lower than normal, “we can create more space for those businesses to start to move outside”.That is the idea in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.The city had encouraged residents to use parks and forests for recreation purposes throughout the pandemic, but something was missing, said the city’s mayor, Remigijus Simasius.”The feeling of city life — people were hungry for this,” he said by phone.So officials allowed businesses to expand into the city’s historic squares, parks and sidewalks, and closed some streets to allow businesses to use these, as well.About 400 businesses have done so thus far, Simasius said, and as competitions arose, the city even had to come up with metrics for deciding which establishment would have access to which piece of public space.The difference in the city was instantly noticeable, he said: “There was unimaginable enthusiasm on the first day.”That is part of a broader strategy, the mayor said, aimed at drawing in young families and new talent: “This is an important factor of economic recovery, but we were thinking even more about the spirit of the city.”Permanent changesWhile many new policies were developed under emergency circumstances, some cities are already seeking to make these changes permanent.For instance, Simasius said that while aspects of how the city permits outdoor use will go back to normal next year, the general aim of allowing more outdoor space and street closures will remain.Mayor Rio of Braga agreed, although he noted restaurants and other shops would probably have to start paying to occupy this public space.And in Tampa, discussions are already underway to maintain the current policies indefinitely in the area around Gigante’s restaurant, according to city spokeswoman Ashley Bauman.In the past, opening outdoor space for bars and restaurants has been complicated, said Travis G. Hill, chief executive at the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, the state regulator that is overseeing the approvals process for expanding outdoor use.”The outdoor space comes into conflict because people say it’s too loud, or it’s interfering with my use,” Hill said.But the pandemic has upended some of those regulatory assumptions, he said: “Local jurisdictions may see that people are more accepting of using these spaces with proper guidelines. It will be interesting to see what changes may remain.”In Seattle, officials have already announced that at least 23 miles of residential road closures will be made permanent.The closures, which allow local residents access but discourage through-traffic, were initially announced as a way to relieve crowding in local parks and to equitably spread out recreation opportunities, said city transportation director Sam Zimbabwe.Now, he said, the city is anticipating the prospect of changed transportation demands for the foreseeable future.”This is an example of the variety of approaches we think we can use over the next year of moving into recovery, and to think about how the city recovers stronger than before,” he said.Some residents say they look forward to the closures being made permanent.”It’s quite pleasant — we’ve definitely been enjoying walking and riding our bikes,” said Michal Waldfogel, 35, who lives with partner Ezra Cooper just off one of the Seattle streets affected by the new policy.”You definitely see more people out walking,” said Cooper, 42, noting the closure has brought a new energy to what had been a “sleepy” residential street.”I enjoy seeing people moving around,” he said. “I like the street to feel lively.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

UK regulator suggests new scheme-sponsor separation mechanism

first_imgThe scheme is poised to enter the PPF, with benefit cuts of 10% for members who have not yet retired.RAA deals have also been struck in full or in principle with Halcrow and Tata Steel UK, but in these cases the arrangement involved the creation of a new scheme that will operate outside the PPF.In TPR’s mind the proposed new mechanism would be separate from and additional to its power to wind up a scheme when it becomes clear the scheme may never be able to meet its funding obligations.On its wind-up power, TPR called for these to be revisited “to allow us to take into account all our objectives which are relevant to DB when considering to exercise it”.In its response to the government’s DB green paper, the regulator also called for more powers in relation to scheme funding and information gathering, and for the requirement for a trustee board chair’s statement to be extended to DB and hybrid schemes.“Being able to set clearer standards and to shift our dynamic with all of our regulated community so that we can monitor against those standards on an ongoing basis, not just when a breach is detected, is essential to our being a more proactive regulator,” it saidIn relation to scheme funding, TPR advocated it being given the power to set binding standards in detailed codes or guidance, supported by a legally enforceable “comply or explain” regime.The regulator also said there was a case for more powers to encourage employers to make higher deficit repair contributions where they can afford to do so.TPR called for more comprehensive interview and inspection powers for information-gathering purposes, and the ability to impose civil penalties in addition to criminal penalties for non-compliance with information requests.On consolidation, TPR said it supported a voluntary approach. Extending the requirement for a trustee board chair’s statement combined with a legal requirement for trustees to update on what they are doing to control costs could provide a significant impetus, it added. The UK pensions regulator has floated the idea of allowing stressed pension schemes to be separated from the employer on the basis of scheme viability rather than the risk of employer insolvency.Responding to the government’s review of defined benefit (DB) scheme regulation, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) said it might “be worth exploring” whether there was room for a mechanism allowing for such a separation.Currently, UK law allows for a sponsoring employer to cut its financial obligations to a scheme if this would avoid the company becoming insolvent. The statutory mechanism for this is a regulated apportionment arrangement (RAA), which must be approved by TPR and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and satisfy certain conditions.RAAs are rare, but have grabbed headlines in the past few months. The UK arm of household appliances company Hoover agreed an RAA , which was at risk of insolvency as a result of the funding needs of the pension scheme.last_img read more

DSME Wins VLCC Order from Pan Ocean

first_imgSouth Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has secured an order for a very large crude oil carrier from compatriot shipping company Pan Ocean.The order comes at a very challenging time for shipbuilding business and represents the fist oil tanker construction contract secured by DSME this year.The 300,000 TDW VLCC will span 335 meters in length and it will be 60 meters wide. The shipbuilder said the newbuilding would be fitted with a scrubber as a means of complying with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap.The ship is scheduled for delivery by the third quarter of 2021.Commenting on the order, DSME said that due to the low oil prices, tanker orders are expected to pick up, adding that it is ready to take advantage of such a trend.So far this year, DSME has won USD 400 million worth of orders covering three ships, two shuttle tankers and one VLCC.To remind, back in February DSME penned a contract with Norwegian-based shipowner Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS for the construction of two shuttle tankers.The 870,000 bbls shuttle tankers are expected for delivery in the second half of 2022. The construction contract includes options for additional units.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Key admits blunder over euthanasia comments

first_imgKey admits blunder over euthanasia commentsONE News 27 Aug 2012Prime Minister John Key has backed away from his comments about euthanasia, saying his language on the sensitive issue was “a bit sloppy”. Key last week said “there is a lot of euthanasia that effectively happens in our hospitals”. The comment angered doctors who said euthanasia was never practised as it was the deliberate ending of life, and was illegal and unethical. The suggestion could seriously damage the trust people had in hospital care of the terminally ill, doctors said. Capital & Coast District Health Board head of palliative care Jonathan Adler said switching off a life support machine and allowing someone to die of natural causes was not euthanasia. Key today said his comments were made on talk back radio. “It was in the context of a wider discussion about a scenario where I think I am saying the same thing as those doctors,” he told Radio Live. “They use specific and arguably accurate legal or medical definitions and I was using a bit of a general term.” The Prime Minister said he was not suggesting doctors were doing anything illegal.http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/key-admits-blunder-over-euthanasia-comments-5047150last_img read more